Friday, October 07, 2011

Parenting Quandary

Luna the rat is dead. Cause of death: starvation/dehydration. Isn't that awful? It's awful. We didn't feed her. More accurately, the kids didn't feed her and no one reminded them to feed her.

The dream around these parts is that at some point my kids won't need constant reminders (nagging) to do responsible things. Does that just magically happen at some point? Our oldest is showing signs of turning that corner. He wakes up on his own in the dark, cold basement and starts getting ready for school while I yet slumber. That's a biggie.

But by and large, if I don't remind/ask/nag/tell, bad things happen: kids go to school with bad breath, school reports get turned in late if at all, Grandma's piano teaching efforts are in vain, rats die.

Steve is firmly in the low intervention parenting camp that advocates Lighten Up What's the Worst That Can Happen So They Spent Three Hours on the Computer Big Deal. He does step in to assist with homework because he knows it's important to me and I drown in it otherwise, but he does not begin to know what the assignments are without coaching.

What's the magic balance of letting children suffer the natural consequences of their actions or inactions? As a parent, do I insist they brush their teeth, or do I allow them to be utterly shunned by everyone with whom they come in contact until they learn life's lessons the hard way?

Friday, August 19, 2011


This was part of a post on Provo's mayor's blog advertising a community health fair. Can you spot the irony?

Monday, August 08, 2011

Rules, because this blog is boring

  1. Go where you're invited. Steve doesn't believe in this life philosophy, so I've become lax, but I think it's a good rule. This last Saturday I was invited to two events, each of which I did not have much interest in attending, so I didn't go to either. On Sunday I learned that both hosts had had low attendance and felt bad about it and it made me feel horrible. When I was about 8 my mom had a Tupperware party and no one came and she was hurt; even though it was a dumb Tupperware party, she took it personally. So even when I get invited to dumb jewelry parties,  I think it's a good idea to make an effort to show up because people are more important than me not being slightly inconvenienced. 
  2. Pay attention to the things you think about while falling asleep/when you wake up for whatever reason/first thing in the morning. Your (my) brain has usually had a chance to filter out the unimportant stuff and whatever is left often provides clarity and new perspective. This is what I thought about this morning when Calvin woke up at 5 AM:
  • Make extra sure there isn't a child behind the monster Tahoe when backing up, every time.
  • Don't put anyone on the spot in future RS lessons.
  • Buy a ticket to North Carolina, baby.

Emily out.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Whatever came our way

I was 21 before I owned a car (although I'd crashed a couple already - sorry, dad). A Chrysler Cirrus and Stephen came as a package deal. One was rather lemony, the other, pure brilliance. He called her Cheryl, she had big child-bearing hips, er, a wide back end, and she broke down on the 14 on our way down to Arizona to get married. We got towed to Cedar City where we stayed with strangers and I sent Steve off to the mechanic's with the admonition to "be assertive," presumably to get them to hurry up on our repairs so we could get to the altar on time. It ticked him off. Though she was our first car and we were grateful to have her, nary a tear was shed when we very cheaply traded her in for bigger and better things, I think 5 years later. Cheryl was red.

Steve's grandparents died while we were in Tucson for law school. We inherited their ten year old, massively rusted out Chevy Lumina, Euro edition. Did I mention the rust? It was rusty. It had sat in a snowy Canadian field for a year prior to our getting it. The a/c barely worked, it was a two-door, and we had two carseats; get this, the DRIVER SIDE DOOR DIDN'T OPEN FROM THE OUTSIDE (oh, we have some funny stories about this car), and not only was the exterior a brick red, so was the awful interior. Guess what? We loved this car! It granted us untold freedoms as we became an official two-car family. It had crazy low miles and never any issues mechanically. We abandoned the newer, chic-er, lemony Cirrus in favor of the rusty, ugly, totally reliable Lumina every time we traveled. And, it provided us with funny stories involving valet parking and funny looks from people. I like to think the Lumina is still out on the road today. I wouldn't be surprised. We also cheaply traded this car in to our friend the auction-based wheeler and dealer who sold us...

A Chevy Venture van with a checkered past. A salvage title. This purchase was purely one of weneedabiggercarbecausei'mninemonthspregnantwithourthirdandwedon'twanttospendtimeresearchingwe'lljustbuywhateverTerryhasinourpricerange. He had a red van, and we drove it for almost eight years until it died last week in Tremonton (oh, Tremonton!) and we laid it to rest for a paltry $375 at a scrap yard. It was ugs and we put a lot of money and time into it, but we have a lot of memories in that van, and it wasn't horrible.

Somewhere in there Steve decided driving a rusted-out Lumina Euro from decades past wasn't doing a lot for his image at the law firm, so we went all out and bought his sister's Chevy Cavalier from her for $1500. Cute little car. We drove it for a while, then gave it to my
brother for a wedding present and I do believe it is still serving its basic purpose on the streets of Charlotte. (I could be wrong.) The Cavalier's color? Yup, cherry red.

All of that is to say that if I never drive another red car, I will not be sad. Not my favorite car color. We've since owned cars in shades of royal blue, silver, and now white (ah, white!) and Our color scheme is looking up.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

The coldest winter I ever spent was the week in June I spent in San Francisco

We rode a cable car to church.

Steve and I are pretty bad at photographing and documenting our collective life. Well, I take that back: he keeps a fairly faithful journal, so I'm pretty bad at it. We're both bad at taking pictures and his stress level rises whenever I suggest he should be good at that, because who has time to take on one more hobby?

Point is, though, we have a good life together. We love each other. Our kids are pretty cute and, in spite of all their wild monkeyness, they're good kids and good people.

We spent all of last week in San Francisco, which is such a magical city. I mean, it totally looks like a magical, fairy tale city when you come in across the Bay Bridge, with its hilly, tree-y skyline. People there are really good at parallel parking and they have charming neighborhoods, awesome food, and everyone is nice, even though there are cheap souvenirs and double-decker tour buses every which way. I probably wouldn't be very nice if I lived in a city with double-decker tour buses.

My parents came with us and were super great. They're maybe the most accommodating and flexible people you could ever hope to travel with, even my dad who pretends to be curt. I love that my children will have memories with all of their grandparents.

Isaac and Aaron have dark brown eyes.

We rode a cable car to church.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

You'll get older too

My cute sister put this together of all the grandkids wishing Papa a happy birthday. Yup, 64. But our dad is cooler than Paul McCartney.

Untitled from Abby Sharp on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Joining the conversation

My handsome and brilliant husband has started a blog, yo.

Monday, May 02, 2011


I love to travel. I crave change and newness and trying new things. I believe LDS temples are among the holiest of places on this earth. I enjoy setting concrete goals that I can work toward systematically or incrementally.

For these reasons, I want to visit all the operating temples on the planet. There are 134 currently in operation. Here are the ones I've been inside.

St. George Utah
Logan Utah
Manti Utah
Salt Lake
Cardston Alberta
Mesa Arizona
Los Angeles California
Oakland California
Ogden Utah
Provo Utah
Jordan River Utah
Boise Idaho
Denver Colorado
Portland Oregon
Las Vegas Nevada
San Diego California
Bountiful Utah
Mount Timpanogos Utah
Vernal Utah
Albuquerque New Mexico
Snowflake Arizona
Redlands California
Manhattan New York
Newport Beach California
Rexburg Idaho
Draper Utah
Oquirrh Mountain Utah

While I don't count these toward my goal, I also find this list interesting. It is temples I have seen in person and/or traveled to the city but for whatever reason have not gone inside. I intend to revisit all of these places and rectify that.

Laie Hawaii
Idaho Falls Idaho
London England
Washington D.C.
Chicago Illinois
Toronto Ontario
Madrid Spain
Palmyra New York
Oklahoma City Oklahoma

Thursday, March 24, 2011

You're a Craig

Christian Nielson, a man who knows a thing or two about being recognized, recognizes Aaron on the slopes. Thanks for the video, Christian!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Steve tells me I need to blog again so as to push down my pathetic post from weeks ago. So this is what I'm here to say:

Norah named her plastic horse "Rahita Rahita Climb Down Your Hair". It's the best horse's name of all time, if you ask me.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Here's hoping

Today I was mean and grumpy and irritable and fed-up (when I wasn't being long-suffering, encouraging, patient, and attentive, because let's be honest, there was some of that, too) and I kept thinking about what Diana used to say all the time to her sister Eliza when they were growing up: "I love you, but I don't like you." Mostly directed (but not spoken aloud) to my kids.

Here's hoping for a new week filled with liking my cheerful, non-teething, obedient, loving, neat and responsible children!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Complicated tithing question for my financially-savvy tithing-paying readers. Anyone?

I'm just now rolling over the 401(k) from Steve's last job to our current retirement plan. We paid tithing on the money we contributed, but obviously not on the money contributed by the firm or any interest that accrued. The same is true for the current retirement plan: tithing paid on money we put in, but not on matching funds or interest.

So now that we're combining the plans, it just seems like it's getting super complicated. When we're retired and withdrawing this money, how will we pay tithing?

Should I:

  •  keep track of the dollar amount that we've paid tithing on already....all the way until we're 65 and living on this money? (Where will I keep this information that I will be sure to find it in 30 years??) Then I could write one big tithing check on interest and matching funds, and then an annual check on additional interest.
  • just give up on trying to keep track, switch tithing to net instead of gross, and pay tithing on everything when we pull it out down the road, meaning that we'll be double paying on some of it?
  • pay less tithing this year equal to the amount that we've already paid on retirement contributions, then pay on net income in the future and plan on paying tithing on everything we withdraw when we're retired? This one doesn't feel quite right to me.
I'm genuinely perplexed about how to proceed. I know tithing is personal and up to the individual, but I would love to hear what has worked for you in this situation. Any ideas?

Monday, February 14, 2011

If you like makeup and presents

If any of you are like me in any of these ways:

  • loves presents
  • loves packages in the mail
  • admires classy presentation of said presents and packages
  • likes using nice beauty products
  • but spends almost zero time researching them so doesn't know what to buy
  • appreciates advice about makeup application or hair or skin care
  • loves to try new products, as in, gets really really bored using the same things all the time
  • likes luxurious stuff
  • likes to feel pretty
  • would just as soon other people pick out cosmetics/beauty products for you
  • likes to try something out before committing large amounts of money

THEN, perhaps you would enjoy this beauty product subscription service I've found. It is in my top 5 of favorite things. I love it mucho mucho.

It's called Birchbox ( You sign up for however many months you want, and for $10/month, they send a darling little box full of high-end beauty samples. Sometimes you can use a sample 4 or 5 times, sometimes it will last months and months (no kidding). It is seriously great. I got a box today, and that's why it's on my mind. It had a NARS highlighter, BareMinerals mascara, a moisturizer sample, a face exfoliator, and some dark chocolate. All awesome. In months past, I've discovered some new products that I love (mostly hair care products or moisturizers are the things I'm most likely to purchase after trying). It is seriously fun for my bathroom cabinet/makeup bag to get a recharge every month with high-end stuff I would never otherwise try.

This sounds like I'm trying to sell you something. Totally not, I get nothing. I'm not even linking to the website so as to let you know I will receive nothing if you sign up. Just wanted to share what I'm totally loving right now and what is fantastically great at adding sunshine to my life. Love it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

You got Jimmered

The thing about being a sports fan is that ultimately, your team will lose and it will be heartbreaking and a big downer. Even if they have a good season, they're probably not going to win the championship, because only one team can win the championship and probability dictates that it won't be your team. So you'll end the season depressed.


Sometimes your team will win (hopefully). And every once in a while your team will win in a big way, in an important game. In a historic game.

And if you're extra lucky you'll be there to see it all go down.

Oh man.

That will be the best. You will love that so much. It will be the biggest thrill of your entire winter, maybe your year.

Undoubtedly your non-sports fan spouse will even find it invigorating and scream and yell and laugh and cheer and comment at your foresight to get $5 tickets before the game sold out.

That's the best thing about being a sports fan.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

R & R

Dinner tonight at our house with Ruth and Rachel and their families.

I love my friends and the interesting people they are.

Ruth: foreign service officer, stopping in Utah in between posts in Dominican republic and sweden, nurse, mother of 4, compassionate, a thinker, brilliant.

Rachel: small business owner, makes jewelry, lover of all things vintage, eclectic and bright and fun home decor, loving mother of 3, a complete joy to be around, mismatched colors and patterns in her clothing choices like nobody's business with fabulous fashionable results, generous and kind.

I love that I get to have such lovely and fun and interesting people as friends.

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Year of the Road Trip?

'Thas (which should be a word) become a tradition in our family to open as the last gift on Christmas the destination for the following year's main family vacation.

2009 destination: Oahu
2010 destination: Disneyland
2011 destination: San Francisco, with Nana and Papa to accompany

We will drive and perhaps take our time getting there. Neither Steve nor I have driven west on I-80 and we plan to see Reno, and of course have the obligatory car breakdown in Winnemucca. (Isn't that required? Other types of breakdowns, i.e. emotional or mental, optional.) Google Map's 12 hours and 28 minutes + bathroom stops + cleaning up vomit stops + lengthy restaurant stops + where's the nearest Redbox stops will surely = 16 hours on the road (not counting overnight stay and aforementioned obligatory car repairs).

We will return home to Provo, possibly host a 4th of July party (you're invited if we do), catch up on life, then get back in the car and drive to the Oregon Coast. Google Maps is giving me an optimistic 15 hours and 12 minutes, which of course in Craig time is 20 hours +. I love to travel, love to go to new places and explore new parts of the world, but I am already a tad car-weary.

Plus, just because I like to break the monotony of January/February and because we have a nephew getting baptized, I'm contemplating a trip to Phoenix in the next couple of weeks.

Road trip extravaganzas, I tell you.

Any fabulous ideas for what to do:

  • in San Fran with children?
  • in Lincoln City, OR
  • en route to either location?
I'm thinking we will need to take the scenic route to the Oregon Coast and go through Kennewick, Washington to show my family the little house 713 S. Garfield, 99336, where I grew up, and perhaps the Pik-a-Pop on the corner, the Taco Johns where Neil was to serve his mission, the bowling alley where Ryan played pinball games past his non-curfew and gave Amye the ND. So, also, any fabulous ideas for visiting Kennewick, WA?

Tuesday, January 04, 2011


makes a sharp knife.