Christmas Gift Giving

I have this friend. We had a few classes together in High School, and have somewhat kept in touch since then. She posted a blog letting everyone know that she was "quitting Christmas" this year. She went on to say that she loves to spend time with friends and family, but she doesn't love that she has to buy things for them to show that she cares. So she invited us to spend time with her instead.

This got me thinking. It's not a new, or original concept. I've heard of it a few times in years past, and people continue to do it, so whats up with that? I understand the thought behind it, and at first glance I even agree with it. At first glance.

After I read this friends' post, I added a comment without really thinking it through (something I do pretty often)saying something like "I might adopt this for our family this year!" But then I caught myself, and thought a little about what I was saying. My sister in law just found out she's pregnant, so I'd be buying things for her anyways. Which led to another thought... Am I really buying presents for my family and friends just because it's expected? Because I HAVE to? Because the sales are really good and cute wrapping paper is easy to find?

No. I'm not.

(Well, the sales do have an impact on my shopping habits, I can't deny that. But it's not why I'm giving stuff away to people I like)

I give presents to my friends and family at Christmastime, on birthdays, or any other time I feel like it because I LOVE them. A gift is just an extra emphasis to a hug or a kiss or a phone call you would give to someone. I am giving you people THINGS to remind you that I will be there with that hug or kiss or phone call that you are secretly thinking about right now. It's true that the presents aren't as important as the other things, but I just wanted you to know that I'm not giving you gifts just because it's expected or because I HAVE to. It's because I like you.

By the way, there's nothing wrong with what my friend is doing. Sometimes it's good to go back and remind yourself and everyone around you about what's the real core of things by stripping away all the other stuff. I've done it a couple of times myself, in different areas. This is really just a type up of what goes on in my head. After all, you read this at your own risk.


A Trip and a Death

The rest of our weekend in California was pretty much the best ever. On Friday morning we got up and headed to the Jelly-Belly factory on the way to the beach. Trevor liked seeing all the machinery, and of course, the free samples they gave out at the end :)

After the free Jelly-Bellys, we got back in the car and headed out to the coast. We had what was probably the best weather I've ever seen at Bodega Bay! Cloudless skies, hardly any wind at first, and it was probably in the 70's. Beautiful! The tide was going out, which was a little sad, but the waves were still pretty good for boogie-boarding. Right after we got there, I downed half a turkey sandwich and then decided I was too excited to wait anymore. Trevor, Dad and put on our wet suits and headed out into that gorgeous water (I've seen bliss, and it comes in the form of a wave).

After we were done with that, we took a walk down the beach to go look at the tide pools and poke at the sea anemones' (at least, that's what I wanted to do). A while later, we decided to head home, but not before I got to take a picture in front of the pink salt water taffy house. However, the taffy there isn't actually that good, so we filled our bags at the kite place instead :) Tasty tasty.

We came home late Sunday night, and almost immediately went to bed, only to wake up Monday morning to find a killer and a victim. Santa (our Beta fish) was pretty well dried out on the kitchen table, and Piper (our cat) had her best "innocent until proven guilty" face on. She got sprayed with the water bottle and ignored the rest of the day, while Santa went to the great porcelin bowl in the sky.

R.I.P Santa. You were a good red fish.


Thanks (for naps) giving day

So today was Thanksgiving. All in all, it was pretty much a fantastic day. We slept in as much as we could, ate as much turkey as we could, talked as much as could, and ate as much pie as we could. My Uncle Steve makes some mean chocolate pie. And my mom made a DELECTABLE pumpkin cheesecake pie. SO GOOD. The turkey and sundry was all delicious too (mmmm stuffing and rolls....). I got to talk to my old friend Addison for a while in the morning. And Trevor got to watch football all afternoon, and eat cranberry sauce, so he's a happy kid. We had a blast talking with all the family and eating all the good food. We missed you, Pam & Rob, and Grant and Lucy, Kim, David, Chris & Lorna, and Kayla and Ian. We missed the jokes that would have been made, and the side looks we would have given and received, and the cute funny things your kids would have done.

Tomorrow we're going to the Jelly-Belly factory and the BEACH! You can bet your bottom dollar that I'll have a big ole' post about that (with pictures and everything!). I'm super excited, we're going to to boogey-boarding (all the cool kids are doing it), and we're going to get salt water taffy, and maybe even go see the old school house where "The Birds" was filmed. WOO-HOO!


Ace Hardware Terror

A few weeks ago I went to Ace Hardware to buy some screws. We needed them to hang up pictures, no biggie. So, I drove into Rexburg, ran some errands, and stopped off at Ace Hardware on my way home. As I walked in the store, a nice, cute helpful assistant asked me "May I help you?"

"Yes, I need some screws to hang up some artwork"

"Aisle 13"


I sauntered down the main aisle, feeling pretty good. It's been a good day, and I get to go home after this. I'll even have time to read a little before I start dinner... hmm should we have spaghetti and meatballs, or something with chicken? hmm.... oh, there's aisle 13.

Looking back, I should have realized what was coming... Aisle THIRTEEN? How could I not see that?

I turned into the aisle and was struck with cold terror. Boxes and BOXES OF SCREWS AND NAILS. TOWERING OVER ME. "Composite Wood Deck"? "Fillister Head"? "SELF DRILLING SCREWS"? Has the world gone MAD? I began to walk up and down the aisle, which I will hence forth call the "lane of despair". Of course I immediately realized that there was no way I could make this decision by myself. I peeked around the corner and asked an associate for help. "I'll be there in a moment ma'am" (Side note: When did I become a MA'AM? At 20, you'd think I'm still a miss). I hovered on the edge of the Lane of Despair, waiting for help to arrive. A few minutes later the associate arrives on the scene, and I tell him I need some help finding the right kind of screw to hang pictures. What does this kind, helpful man say? "It's the ones at the other end". And then walks away.

A little too stunned to really take in that kind of response, I watch his retreating form turn into a speck. My brain goes into panic mode, and retreats to subjects I can handle... "What colors should I paint the spare room? I wonder if Ian would like a stuffed Lion for Christmas?... NO! I have to bring myself back!" I begin to plan out spending the night in the store so I'll have enough time to figure things out... but then! I remembered that I have a CELLULAR PHONE. I whipped it out and speed dialed my husband... no answer. My Mother! She knows everything! It rings once, twice... she answers! "Hello!" Oh my wonderful mother. She will know what screws to buy. After a lenthy covnersation, I decide to get drywall screws... I'm still not sure what size, or what it all really means, but it's okay, I'm getting there. I grab the boxes and run for the checkout. The nice, cute helpful clerk is still there.

"Did you find everything you need?"

"Almost. Do you know of a nearby Psychotherapist?"


Winter Semester Classes

It's official! Here are the classes Michelle is taking for the Winter Semester:

Public Speaking (Comm 102)
Interpersonal Communications (Comm 150)
Writing Communication (Comm 111)
Christian History (Rel 352)
Geology Lab (finally.. I took the actual class over a year ago...)
Intro to Theatre (TA 115)

Oh... and FA 100. I guess.




Does anyone know how much it costs to get a cats claws trimmed? I don't really trust myself to do it, but I probably don't-trust-myself only to the amount of about 15 dollars. I'm not going to get her declawed, because the idea of having MY nails ripped out kind of makes me want to scream (so I'm not going to do that to her). But she doesn't go outside enough to keep them down to a reasonable length. Anyway, just let me know if you have any idea!

Reusable Bag Day.

It's TRUE!! There is a Reuseable Grocery Bag Day!.... if you live in Massachusetts. But I'm willing to celebrate it here in good ole' Sugar City, Idaho. It's this Wednesday, the 14th of November. So drag out your backpacks, your fanny packs, and those bags you made during Relief Society enrichment (then chucked in your closet and never looked at again) and make use of them! I'm sure the nutella and cheez-it's hidden at the bottom of your grocery cart won't mind (or am I the only one who does that?)


Trevor's Addition.

...Trevor just wanted to add this: "Why do they put round pizza's in square boxes?" That's all he wants to know. And "When am I getting a new dirtbike?"


So last week, I had a rather impromptu trip to Phoenix, and I got to fly back on a PRIVATE JET for free. Yes. That's right. Michelle Butchart flew on a PRIVATE JET. My sister Kim and I were the only people on the 8 person jet, with two pilots. It was definitely a good thing that we were the only two, because we were giggling maniacally for the first hour. Everything about the PRIVATE JET was ridiculously awesome, the snacks were awesome (Nutter Butters & Swedish Fish), the seats were awesome (leather, and facing each other), and the blankets were awesome (yeah! blankets!). I would highly recommend that if an opportunity presents itself to take a ride on a private jet, you should take it.

The actual trip to Phoenix was a blast too! Grant is talking so much now! And Lucy is so chubby! I love spending time with my sisters. OH and by the way, I've been looking for those super thick cotton tights EVERYWHERE, and guess where I found them? Arizona. Ridiculous. The only sad parts of the trip were A. Trevor couldn't come (he's not as irresponsible as me) and B. My digital camera BROKE! I lost all my halloween pictures, and couldn't take any while I was there. All in all, this was a pretty fantastic trip :)

P.S. Thanks to Pam for letting me steal the picture