18 on the 18th, the April Edition

Today is the 18th, which means it’s time for another edition of 18 on the 18th. Hi Angie! Hi Elizabeth!

I’ve decided to not view my failure to manage to take 18 pictures as, indeed, a failure. Instead, I will just celebrate the photos I did take, while just using words to describe 18 things about today.

  1. Kendell had an appointment with his orthopedic surgeon this morning. This morning at 7:30. At 7:30 in Salt Lake City. I so did not want to haul my butt out of bed at 6:15. Let’s be honest: I don’t want to haul my butt out of bed when I have to get up almost an hour later. I’ve never been a morning person but lately the act of getting out of bed feels physically painful. I can’t tell you exactly where it hurts, but somewhere.
  2. The surgeon thinks Kendell’s knee (he had a partial knee replacement in February) is coming along just fine. He told him to stop being vain about his scar (he’s sort of a blunt guy, that orthopedist) and to keep it covered with sunscreen all summer, which to me seems like sort of a contradiction: don’t worry so much about your scar but make sure you protect your scar. At any rate, because he can’t take anti-inflammatories, as they mix badly with blood thinners, the surgeon suggested a round of prednisone instead.
  3. This sent me into a little panic. I took prednisone for two weeks when I was 14 or 15 for a lung infection and HOLY COW. It made me a moody, emotional mess. Part of me thinks I have never been the same since those 14 days of steroids. I really, really hope they don’t affect Kendell’s emotional state like they affected mine. (Of course…adolescence might’ve made my reaction worse.) To calm myself down I made a plan for if it DOES make him a little bit crazy (or a lot crazy): One of us will just stay in a hotel until it’s over. Totally doable.
  4. I had Kendell drop me off on a side street just off the freeway so I could run home. Being dropped off after an errand=one of my favorite ways to fit in a run, because I love having somewhere different to start.
  5. I did my long run today. My plan is to do all of my long runs on Mondays but, alas, I haven’t actually done a long run on Monday. Last week I was writhing with anxiety-induced neck pain. This week there were 40+ MPH winds and I was afraid that a branch of a tree might blow off and hit me. So I went to the gym and did 3.5 miles on the treadmill. Which might be worse than being hit by a wind-blown tree branch.
  6. Anyway, today’s long run was seven miles. The first three miles were basically all uphill, which sounds like torture but I actually really love running uphill. Even though it makes me slower. I haven’t run long since I did my half marathon in New York City in November, and I’m always unsure as I start building miles: Am I strong enough to keep going? And I’m finding that I am, at least so far. I was tired, but not unbearably so. Plus, running in the spring is glorious. Right now there are forsythia bushes, tulips, daffodils, and grape hyacinths, flowering crab apple trees, and entire peach orchards in bloom. So pretty. And there’s the smallest hint of a floral scent here and there. So lovely.
  7. I was afraid I dressed too warmly for my run, as my phone told me it would only be 36 degrees when I started but it was actually 41. And I had a wool long sleeve on, and long tights. But that’s the cool thing with wool, it regulates your temperature. Even when I was finished at it was almost 50 degrees, I was just…comfortable. 18 on the 18th april 01
  8. Stretching after running=the best thing ever. Maybe better than running itself. Especially when I can stretch outside. This morning I stretched underneath my apple tree, which is almost ready to blossom. My neighbor came over to say hello and show me some pics from a recent trip. A protein shake after a long run is pretty damn good too. 18 on the 18th april 02
  9. While I drank my protein shake, I hurried to finish the quilt backing for my soccer quilt. I was going to quilt it by myself…but I think some of that neck pain might also be coming from my recent spate of making quilts. It’s been a furious spate. A ridiculous spate. Four quilts almost finished. Plus, I just really, really love the way a long-arm quilted quilt looks. So, see #12.
  10. Then I hurried to shower so I could speed (literally) to the next place I needed to be: I finally got my hair done. AH! I wish my hair could always be the same color it is on hair-color day. I really, really am not accepting my grey roots gracefully.
  11. It was lovely to talk to my hair person. I’ve known her for ages, and even funnier: my high school friend had the biggest crush on my hair person’s husband, back when she and I were 17 and he worked at the cologne counter at ZCMI. Then a couple of years later, he started working at WordPerfect, where I was working but not, alas, my friend who had the crush. He and I became good friends though. And then he got married (not to my high school friend) and I started having his wife do my hair. There was about a decade where I tried going to other people, because she lives about twenty minutes away. But no one has done my hair as well as she does.
  12. With freshly-colored hair, I stopped at the house of the person who quilts my quilts for me, Melissa of Sew Shabby quilting. She forgave me for running late. I dropped off the soccer quilt and can’t wait to see it finished. (Please overlook that by the time I actually finish the soccer quilt, soccer might be over. Or at least it won’t be freezing during games anymore. Then I will just call this the purple quilt.)
  13. Next, I went to the Close to my Heart warehouse sale and bought a few things. Stamps, cardstock, a few inkpads. I also bought THREE pink post-bound albums. Haley doesn’t love pink but I will probably use them anyway. Because, you know. They were only $4 (I think the albums are $30 now. You do the math.)
  14. I rushed home, changed for work, realized I forgot to take Kaleb’s track uniform to him. Nathan was just getting home from school so I had him drive me to the junior high to drop it off. On the way home we talked about a meme I found recently, “signs you’re actually a cat,” and we talked about why Kendell is, actually, a cat. Even though he dislikes cats. I took this photo of me and Nathan just so I could remember laughing in his car in the driveway with him. (And also, I confess, to commemorate Freshly-Colored Hair Day, as it is such a short, fleeting day.) 18 on the 18th april 07
  15. I didn’t have time but I decided to make time: I wandered around in my yard for a few minutes. April, too, is fleeting, and I haven’t taken enough time to savor my beautiful
    spring flowers. (Well, and, truth be told: Mother Nature has been pretty grumpy this spring. Not that I blame her, as we’re all in a fairly abusive relationship with her, but there have been almost no warm days so far this spring.) 18 on the 18th april 03
  16. I was starving. So before work I stopped at that bastion of healthy eating, Taco Bell. I know. But I needed some actual food in my body. Nothing fried was purchased.
  17. Off to work. Yes: I was late. Yes: I ate tacos in my office while I filled book group requests. Yes: I savored the silence. Later that night I filled the new book display, which was looking pretty empty. Carrying large, wobbly stacks of books in both arms up a flight of stairs=special librarian skill.  18 on the 18th april 05

  18. Finally home late. I am tired. Today was a long day and I didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to. (Kaleb’s uniform? The only thing I actually dried in the load of laundry I started before we left for the doctor this morning. Everything else is sitting in a cold, wet pile I will have to rewash.) (I also didn’t make a card for a birthday that’s tomorrow. So maybe I will just make and mail it tomorrow.) (And I’m only going to get in about ten minutes of reading before I fall asleep.) Some days are just like that, long and full. But I do feel like I got a lot accomplished, too.

How was your April 18th? I hope it was full of orange tulips and bright green grass!

18 on the 18th april 04

18 on the 18th: The March (aka No Photos) Edition

I had a goal this month to join Angie and Elizabeth on Project 18. I think it's a great project for capturing everyday moments and the little details that slip our memory so quickly.

Remember last month? When I took 9 out of 18 photos? My goal was to actually take 18 photos. But, alas, today I took exactly one photo, for a scrappy project I'm going to blog about tomorrow. Partly this is because I spaced what day it was, and because I had a headache, and because holy cow I am still fairly exhausted because Kendell's knee keeps us both up at night.

But here's the thing: I don't have to have photographs to capture today's little moments. There's a medium far older than photos, and that's words! So, here's a list of 18 photos I wish I would've taken today.

  1. Kendell and me, asleep in our bed until 8:30. This is a minor miracle because his knee starts hurting, and then he eventually wakes me up, and by the time about 7:00 comes around I'm too frustrated to try to sleep. This morning? He slept until 8:30, and then I got up to refresh the ice in his ice machine...and went back to sleep until 10:00. So lovely.
  2. Kaleb headed off to church. He is not loving church these days (actually, he hasn't loved church since he was four). Some Sundays I am willing to fight the good fight and go to church anyway. Some Sundays I just don't even try because the contention doesn't seem very spiritual. This Sunday, he was OK with going. Not excited...but OK. He has a purple striped tie and his size-11 shoes and he's just looking so grown up.
  3. The three of us in church. We're sitting in the next-to-the-last row because that's where we always sit. There is a kind and very quiet-spoken couple giving the talk...Kendell's head is leaning one way, mine is leaning the other, and we're doing our best to keep our eyes open but it's not going so well. Kaleb is sitting next to me drawing pictures of soccer balls. At least we tried...
  4. What would a photo of my headaches look like? I guess just my face grimacing, but what it feels like is metallic. Like liquid metal—silver, maybe, or whatever alloy the Terminator is made from—spreading into the crevices and atop the ridges of my brain. I don't get pounding headaches, I get sharp, stinging ones, and sometimes Excedrin will take care of them but usually Excedrin and sleep are both necessary. So the photo of my headache might be the three of us leaving church early.
  5. Speaking of leaving church early, in this next imaginary photo, I'm sitting in the car while Kendell is helping Kaleb clean his church shoe off on the grass. Listen: I am entirely bothered by people who let their dogs poop at the park or on trails or pathways without picking it up, but at least it makes a little bit of sense. WHO lets their dog poop on the grass of a church and then just leaves it? Sigh. They still looked adorable, though, working together. They were even laughing, even though Kendell gets more annoyed at the inconsiderate recklessness of pooping dogs than I do.
  6. When we got home from church, Kaleb said "Mom, I know you have a headache but would you mind making me a sandwich? The one you made me yesterday was perfect." (Another sign that Kaleb is Kendell's mini-me: he can eat the same foods over and over again without getting annoyed.) Who could resist? So here's a photo of me making Kaleb's perfect sandwich, which goes like this: grilled bread, light mayo on both pieces of bread, five slices of turkey that have also been heated on the grill until they are just a little bit crispy, one slice of Monterey-Jack cheese, and a tiny dollop of mustard. Kaleb is running up the stairs while I make it, his church clothes changed for his favorite blue t-shirt. 
  7. Would two photos of me sleeping be too many? But that nap I took after church was exactly what my headache needed. (And the Excedrin. And the caffeinated beverage later.)
  8. Headache managed, Kendell and I drove out to visit my mom. She has been moved to a rehab-style hospital, where she will hopefully get strong enough to finally be able to come home. (I am dreading the other possibility, which is that she won't ever be able to regain enough strength to live at home again.) While we were there I thought "I should just sit on her bed with her and have Kendell take our picture," but I didn't because...I'm not sure why I hesitated, except I wasn't sure if she would want a photo of herself in her condition. But we had a nice chat.
  9. The mountains as we walked back to the car. A strong wind had sprung up, blowing clouds so that they were just starting to surround the foothills on the east side of the valley. On the west side, the sun was shining and the sky was blue; where we were standing in the wind, a sharp snow was falling. It was cold but so beautiful.
  10. My quilt-covered kitchen table. Right now I am working on five different quilts. That's not a typo. Three baby quilts and then I'm determined to finish the quilt I want to have for soccer games (which start next Saturday!) and the pink and black quilt I've been working on forever. Two of the baby quilts are using scraps from the pink and black quilt (but no black, only grey) and one is made with scraps from the soccer quilt. I like how they are feeding and influencing each other. But there is fabric everywhere! I think I'll finish all but the pink and black one...I haven't decided yet how to arrange the half-square triangles.
  11. What is a good life-right-now documentation without some images of food? For dinner tonight (the first food I actually ate, see #7), we had sweet pork burritos. Every time I make them I think "I should share my recipe" but I still haven't. I really should, as it is a delicious and fairly easy meal. 
  12. Nathan and Kendell watching TV together in our bed. They have several shows they watch together, and I heard Kendell say "It will be weird to watch this by myself after you move out." SNIFF. No, seriously, SNIFF. This isn't a photo of my son and my husband watching TV together. This is a photo of the ending of things. I'm so not ready for Nathan to move out, even though I know HE is ready. He takes good care of me and I can't even explain how much I'll miss him.
  13. Nathan and me sitting at the kitchen counter, using our new phones. I feel a little bit guilty getting a new phone, as I just upgraded this fall, but there was a deal (Kendell can't resist a good cell phone deal!) and for some reason, Kendell really, really wanted me to have the plus-sized Samsung instead of the regular one. Nathan also upgraded, and we're still figuring out the new stuff. He got a yellow case and I got a clear one because my phone is purple. Purple and enormous, but it still fits in the pockets of my running skirt so I'm good.
  14. Me, Kendell, and Nathan watching TV together. We all piled into our bed because Kendell still is avoiding the stairs.
  15. Kaleb working on building stuff with Lego. He's trying to watch less TV these days. Today he built a house with a bathroom and a kitchen. 
  16. More food! Well...do chocolate chip cookies count as food? Nathan was craving some, and I can toss together a batch pretty quickly. So I did. One of the secrets to really delicious chocolate chip cookies? Different sizes and flavors of chocolate chips. Also butter!
  17. Me massaging Kendell's leg. I stand on the side of the bed to do this for him. He swears that me touching it gently helps it heal. Might be complete B.S., but I can't do much else to help. 
  18. I think the last photo should be of me, writing this blog post in the dark while everyone else is sleeping. I'm working on our PC, which I don't do much anymore—since Kendell works from home now, he uses the PC and I've set up a desk with my laptop in my scrapbook room. But I'd still rather write on this computer, as it feels like home. I've written a lot of blog posts on this machine!

I'd like to promise that next month on the 18th I'll manage 18 photos. We'll see. But I'm glad I wrote down these little details. 

18 on the 18th: February edition

My friends Elizabeth Dillow and Angie Lucas are doing an Instagram challenge: take 18 photos on the 18th of each month in 2018. I totally missed it in January, but wanted to play along in February. Was determined to play along, even though 18 photos seemed like a lot.

I woke up with ideas for this month's topic—color—but I forgot something: the 18th is on a Sunday. And lately Sundays have been rough on me. If I make it to church, I feel one sort of sadness, and if I skip church I have another sort. Sundays are not equaling funday in my life. (More like "lose my temper day" or "cry because I'm feeling like my life has been worthless day.")

And, yeah...this Sunday was also not awesome. 

But watching for color helped keep me a little bit more focused, even though I only took nine photos instead of 18.

Anyway, I shared them on Instagram (I'm amylsorensen over there, come follow me if you don't already!), but I wanted to write something about each image. So I decided to share them here, too. And hopefully once March rolls around, I'll be a bit more emotionally ready for a Sunday and 18 photos!

Feb 18 on 18 no5

I don't usually go running on Sunday. But we have two time-consuming (and stressful) medical experiences this week, and I still want to make my 12-miles-per-week goal, so I went running this morning. Probably it helped stabilize my mood anyway (quite of which is being influenced by my fear of those medical experiences). It was cold when I started, even though it was 45 degrees; the wind was biting and I was questioning my short-sleeves decision. But once I started moving it was just fine. These bright colors were perfect for a gloomy morning run.


Feb 18 on 18 no1

I was thinking while I ran "OK, I am going to find some some color" and then I started thinking about how that is one of the hard parts of winter for me: there's really not any color. And why spring is so refreshing: color slowly returns. This winter has been especially blah as it's been so brown here. Brown, dry winters are the worst; if it's going to be cold it might as well be snowy and white. This was the view as I ran up the canyon trail this morning. Ecru, beige, khaki, umber, buff: yes, those are colors, but not very vibrant. (I still love running here. Those dramatic cliffs! Can you see where the fault line curves?)


Feb 18 on 18 no2

The view on the way back down. Still blah colors...but a little bit of pale blue in the sky. There was a storm gathering, so that was the last bit of blue I saw today.


Feb 18 on 18 no4

But here, with just a mile left, I realized: that is yellow! True—old, worn out, tired yellow, but yellow all the same.


Feb 18 on 18 no3

There are also a bunch of these bushes in the canyon. I think they are pretty nondescript in the summer...but in winter, that violet-red is the only deep, vibrant color to be found.


Feb 18 on 18 no6

After my run, I went to visit my mom, who is in the hospital (still...two months and counting now). I thought about taking a few photos there, her blue hospital gown maybe (and now I think about it, I wish I would've taken a few photos of just her hands), but I know she's not really feeling in a photo-taking mood. I was feeling less emotional about my life, but more emotional about her (and being in the hospital reminded me to not forget to worry about the upcoming stressful medical week), so when we got home I wandered around my yard. These little snow crocus were some of the best things I ever planted. They come up in February and wither away at about the time the daffodils start blooming. They are bright and cheery and remind me that color will come back to the world. 


Feb 18 on 18 no7

Speaking of purple and yellow...I also have these brave little violets blooming in the space underneath my maple tree. I don't know where they came from, but they've been blooming since January. They are small...but determined.


Feb 18 on 18 no8

Before I went running, I threw every piece of running clothes out of my drawer into a pile on the floor in my bedroom. (I told you...bad Sunday. Too much drama to explain this, but some swearing was involved.) So after I showered I tackled reorganizing all of these. Put away most of my winter running clothes, found all of my capris, told myself I don't need any more running clothes. If I had a photo of my closet, you'd see: almost all of my clothes are black. In my everyday activities, I like wearing black; it makes me feel both inconspicuous and a little bit elegant. But when I'm running? Sure...there's black in that pile. But I also love colorful exercise clothes. They help me feel motivated to get out the door, and it seems like inattentive drivers notice you more when you're wearing something bright.


Feb 18 on 18 no9

Part of why I love scrapbooking is because of color. This is the next layout I'm going to make. I probably won't use 75% of what I pulled out...but, ooooooh, pretty.

My Sunday ended with a visit from my little niece and nephew. The youngest, Becca, is just two, and she wanted to show me her newest skill: telling the names of colors. Seriously! Could there be a more perfect end to today than finding colors with a cutie who would, every so often, just give me a hug.

Well, actually, something almost as good happened: it snowed! I can't wait to wake up in the morning and see the world finally made white again.