Friday, May 27, 2011

The Video I Plan On Watching Into The Night

You guys, on a scale of one to Oceanology! this is Charlie Bit My Finger and Double Rainbow All The Way! combined.  Watch this, and you'll be forever changed.  Anita, I could kiss you on the mouth for bringing this to my attention!

Video Courtesy of

Where Awesome Is Relative

Some recent self esteem boosters:

  • I got a call from a friend whose daughter was working on a school project about fame.  Her voice was excited, “Vern!  I found your celebrity twin!  Have you ever seen Ugly Betty?”
  •  My kids are better than I am, and I’m not just saying that disparagingly.  They are smarter, they work harder, and they’re more goal-oriented.  Hard as I try to preach mediocrity as a purer law, they’re not buying it.  I’m happy for them, actually, until something happens and I point out how they are making me look bad and Samantha says, “Well Mom, maybe you’d better step up your game,” then I just feel like an idiot.
  • A couple of weeks ago I stood in the entryway of a woman’s home who had just lost her husband.  We were waiting for her to finish a phone call in the other room as I gripped flowers and a casserole with one hand and thrust the other in my pocket.  What the…?  My fingers came in contact with something squishy and as I pulled my hand out it was covered in chocolate, the product of a hoarded Reese’s chocolate Easter egg long since forgotten.  What’s a girl to do?  Oh well, nothing says “I’m sorry for your loss” like licking chocolate off my fingers as a grieving woman rounds the corner. 
  • For Mother's Day I got a little box full of written messages from Drew that he had made in his Sunday School class.  One slip of paper encouraged him to finish the sentence, "My favorite memory about my mom's childhood is_________" to which he wrote, "when she went hip hop dancing in a bar." 

    • Samantha is very proud of the fact that she takes after her Dad in most things.  From her eye color to her even temperament she is cut from her father’s mold.  The other night as we were getting ready to take a run around the lake we started discussing shoes.  “So Mom,” Samantha asked, “do you have neutral or support shoes?”  I answered, “neutral” and then she moved on to Cory who reported, “support”.  “Well,” she said, “just one more thing I take after Dad on.”  I casually asked, “Samantha, did you get anything from me?”   She replied, “Yeah, you know how you get really excited about doing something and then you never really finish it?  I think I get that from you.”  *cough*cough* And then who do you suppose came in last on our 5 mile run?  Hey, AT LEAST I FINISHED.
     I guess it could be worse, I could be a yodeling ventriloquist in the Miss America pageant: 

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Done. But Not Really.

    I apologize in advance to those of you who may not speak my religious language, but those of you who do who have been following me for the last couple of years might be interested to know that I was released from my calling as Relief Society President on Sunday.  Many have asked me how it feels, if it is bittersweet – the reality and perhaps the irony is that the biggest thing I feel…is RELIEF.

    It turns out that shouldering the burden of 100 women is rather intimidating and sometimes difficult because, have you heard?  Life is hard.  For EVERYBODY.  At first I wondered if I would be able to care about that many people; we had just barely moved at the time and most of these people were complete strangers to me.  Could I actually love and serve virtual strangers in a meaningful way?  Well, a funny thing happens when God asks you to do something and you say yes, because it was impossible not to. 

    I feared the “big” stuff the most.  Funerals, divorces, hospital stays, abuse – I encountered all of it.  But more than that I learned that behind every door, was something.  Every mother wants a good life for her kids, every woman wants to be seen for who she is, every wife wants her home to be a safe haven; we all want the same things but the curve balls sometimes hit below the belt and we get thrown.  The trial is knowing we can’t always fix it, the blessing is being able to surround each other when things go wrong, and the hope is that God keeps his promises.  In spite of all of it, the one thing I witnessed over and over again is that Heavenly Father loves His children.  He “will not leave you comfortless”, He knows how to “succor his people", and we keep moving because of the promise of the joy.  That's how Jesus got through it:  "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross...." (Hebrews 12:2)  

    This calling blessed my life.  I met wonderful women, observed countless acts of kindness, saw miracles happen in people's lives, and prayed mightily for miracles in others' lives.  But in the end, no matter who we are or what we are asked to do it's not ultimately about us, it's about HIM.  How HE loved, how HE served, how HE sacrificed, and that everything good we do honors that, and honors Him.

    And that was my biggest lesson.

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    Show Me A Sign Part II

    (continued from yesterday…)

    I was a little surprised when Cory talked about the Rapture happening on May 21st. I hadn’t heard anything about it, likely due to the fact that I watch Oprah instead of the news and blog instead of reading the newspaper. I was alarmed to learn that one gentleman invested his entire life savings of $140,000 into promoting the end of the world through billboards because let’s face it, come tomorrow morning when his neighbors’ dog is still barking, his fridge is still full of moldy cheese and the new season of The Bachelorette is still set to air he’s going to be like, “Crap. I should have bought that investment property in Florida.”  Then after Cory brought it up we passed THIS sign along the freeway.  It's like it was listening to us!  Weird.

    Then again, what if he’s right? What if Jesus really is on His way? I think he might have a few questions for me and since I don’t want to go to hell I’d like to set a few things straight and issue a few apologies, just to be sure.

    For starters I’d like to address my childhood friend, Diana: I am sorry I ditched you in 7th grade and became friends with the cool kids on the soccer team. I am a big fat jerk and will always treasure my memories of Mouse Trap and 52 pick up in your bedroom closet that had beads for a door. Also, tell your mom I’m sorry for digging that hole with you and peeing on the oak tree in your backyard. Just because it was your idea didn’t make it right. (Still. YOUR idea.)

    Kevin: I spent eight years of my life with a mad crush on you, eight more years grateful that you never acted on it, and every year since feeling thankful you made peace with your demons and that you’re still alive. One time I faked an illness to leave a dance where your presence made me so nervous I decided to go home and Maria was so mad at me! That’s okay, Maria was always mad at me.

    Speaking of Maria: You were my first friend to see my potential, the first (and only) one to force me to play Barbies, the first person whose phone number I gave out as my own when a boy I didn’t like asked for it (sorry), and the first person to let me use your dorm room phone so I could talk to my first boyfriend. Remember, the one who liked Physics more than me? Thanks for being there when Physics won.

    Jill: Good news! The END is NEAR!

    Mom: Imagine that I have boxed up all of my journals from my adolescence and set them on your porch with a big fat note that says “I’M SO SORRY.” Would that suffice?

    Cory: The only time I’ve lied to you is when I secretly stashed money to surprise you with a trip to Hawaii - I think God will understand. I’m also kinda hoping that after the big quake tomorrow Denver will look a little more like those waterfalls in Kauai. Fingers crossed!

    Samantha: I ate the rest of the ice cream. Not apologizing, just telling the truth. I think that’s what Jesus would want.

    Drew: If you make it to heaven tomorrow and I am thrust down to hell, do come visit will you? And bring me some Cold Stone?

    Ganelle: I’ll save you a seat.

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    Show Me A Sign

    Driving down the road in Missouri last weekend Cory and I saw several signs along the way.  There we were, exploring Robin Hood Lane and talking about how nice it must be to live where real live trees grow when suddenly we passed a blur of red, white and blue in someone's field.  It was so random I turned around and went back to get a picture:

    I guess if you live on 50 acres and have room to put something like that, in a field next to a wood pile along a road that only 3 people a day drive on seems as logical a place as any...?  What I really want to know is if anyone has ever watched Glenn Beck because of seeing this sign, because if this stuff really works I've got some scrap wood in my garage and I'll get crackin' on my "Hugh Jackman For PTO President" billboard.  I would totally volunteer at my kid's school then.

    This van was covered with hopeful and uplifiting messages:

     I don't even know who this guy is "talking" to.  How do I know he's a guy?  Because I worked in a Congressman's office for a summer and we got regular mail from a crazed constituent who had this exact handwriting.  I'm pretty sure it's him.

    Hey!  Look at this cute couple!

    We kept driving (our destination was 3 hours from the airport so we did a lot of that) and as we searched for topics to fill the time Cory said, "Hey, did you know the world is ending on May 21st?"  (to be continued...)


    I guess I didn't "allow for expansion"

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Our Waitress Was An "Angel"

    Thanks to awesome in-laws, the Mister and I had a rare opportunity to go away together this weekend. A co-worker of Cory’s was getting married in Missouri and his company offered to pay for me to accompany him. Good news: free trip with the Mister! Bad news: in Missouri! It’s best to focus on the positive.

    Some highlights:

    Did you know that Cory is 6’3” and walks 76 mph? This comes in really handy when you have to walk 3 miles to get to your airline terminal. In the rain. Which reminds me, doesn’t Kate Middleton have to walk a few paces behind Prince William when they are in public? Which is to say, Cory treats me like a princess.

    I met my first TSA employee that I didn’t hate. Here’s a hint for getting on my good side: when I walk up to you and hand you my boarding pass and ID and you greet me with, “Hey gorgeous!” I will likely find it easier to raise my arms and let you feel me up while checking for switchblades.

    Our flight was delayed 3 hours so we decided to grab dinner in the airport. Our waitress’ name was “Angel”; she had feathers in her hair and called me “hon” numerous times. She was delightful but I’m always suspicious of women who call me “hon”. You can work at TSA and call me “gorgeous” all you want, but somehow a woman calling me hon screams, “I’m a chain smoker with very few friends, if I bring you 7 refills will you please like me?”

    There are certain advantages to attending a wedding in a town with a population of 267. Not only does the whole town show up, but one woman broke out her best hairpiece for the occasion even though it didn’t match her natural hair. It looked like a squirrel that got stuck in a bad perm and nobody even cared. Another gentleman got out his Sunday best in the form of jeans and an American flag shirt and graced the 3rd row. Nobody blinked, probably because everyone was too moved listening to Randy Travis over the speakers while we waited for the bride.

    Driving down the road I saw a sign for the “Big Rock Church and Cemetery”. Does anyone else see that as a conflict of interest? He is risen! You are dead! Let’s pray.

    The “Hookers Bar & Grill” also caught my eye. There’s a lot of fishermen in Missouri. Can you imagine if Hookers and Hooters got together and joined forces? Whooboy. I don’t think I’d be comfortable ordering hot wings from a place like that. (“I said a side of “ranch” not “wench!”)

    Cory swallowed a toothpick at the wedding buffet. We were afraid he might puncture a lung during the digestive phase but he’s made it two days now so we’re thinking he’s out of the woods. (As to whether the “woods” are out of him…we can neither confirm nor deny.)

    All in all, a weekend with Cory, no matter where we go is still my favorite.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011


    Remember the good ol’ days when people would ask, “Are you a blogger?” and you’d be like, “Is it necessary to resort to name-calling?”  I didn’t even know what it was until a neighbor enlightened me, and from then on I’ve been hooked.  My neighbor is what I would refer to as a blogging pioneer, kind of how Survivor is to reality TV – she’s been at it since before the Olsen twins started wearing eyeliner.

    I’ve only been at this since the beginning of 2007, but today marks my 455th post here on Rabbit In The Headlights.  Now, some of you (all of you?) are wondering what is so special about the number 455.  Why not highlight #400?  Or wait until I reach 500?  Well, probably for the same reason Paul Reiser started one of his books on page 145.  Which is no reason really, other than I feel like it.  Besides, I think you would be surprised how significant number 455 really is.  For example, did you know that there’s a 17-year-old kid who dead lifted 455 pounds of weights and then posted it on YouTube?  Or that Oldsmobile once made a car called a 455 Rocket?  And did you know that the book Altar of Bones is 455 pages long?  You think that’s just coincidence?!  Whatever, you probably still think Elvis is dead.  

    At any rate, a lot of people write stuff on their blogs to commemorate landmark posts but I’m not going to do that.  I will not be writing down 455 things I’ve learned, 455 things I’ve done, or 455 topics I’ve addressed.  I will not be asking you to leave 455 comments or tell me 455 things you like about me (not even possible for the Creator Himself on His best day), but I just wanted you to know – I think this is a big deal.  It’s a big deal because other than marriage and self loathing I haven’t committed to ANYthing for this long.  I think it’s a sign of great things to come.

    I have a really good feeling about the number 824….

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    I Cracked My Tooth On A Raisin

    Life is amping up over here at Casa de Vern.  There's so much to talk about!  I haven't even told you about my very first Weight Watchers meeting last week, how I spent the weekend in Utah to see my brother-in-law get baptized (SO. COOL.), that I cracked a huge chunk off my back molar while eating trail mix and had to get a crown at the dentist (and how disappointed I was to learn that being crowned doesn't even involve a tiara or bowing of any kind), or how I saw an Ikea for the first time.  I haven't had time to mention my conversation with a dead moose, Drew trying to make Cory cry (epic fail), having 220 unread posts in my Google Reader, or how standing in line at the BYU Creamery for my double scoop of Raspberry Cream Cheese and German Chocolate Cake ice cream felt like waiting for the pearly gates to open.  (Spoiler alert:  They did open, and I did see angels.  The thing about angels is they don't have to wear white.  Sometimes they were blue aprons with hot fudge stains, and that's okay by me.) 

    I'm not sure if I'll ever get to any of these topics but in the meantime, I'm guest posting over here today at The Peanut Gallery Speaks.  Go ahead, click on the link and then have yourself a beautiful weekend. 

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    Or As The Italians Say, "Cenerentola"

    My decision to accompany my son on his field trip to the opera this week was based on two main factors; one, since this is his final year of elementary school this would probably be my last opportunity to chaperone a field trip.  To dwell excessively on this reality tends to trigger overeating so I will leave it at that.  Secondly, I have never been to an opera.  I’ve had my picture taken on a camel, dodged cars on a busy road led by a crazy Greek, danced with friends in a gay bar, and fallen asleep in a Physical Science class during a scintillating dissertation on the composition of tomatoes, but I have never been to an opera.  Good news:  I can scratch that off my list now.  More good news!  Now I never have to go again.

    We saw Cinderella.  I thought this would prove helpful - I already knew this story so it would make it easier to follow along in Italian.   Also on my side was my experience with Spanish, which parallels Italian so if someone were to drop a, “si!” or a, “no!” I would totally know what they were saying and have a leg up on everyone else.  (Did I just say I’m trying to get “a leg up” on a mezzanine full of elementary schoolers?  Not to worry, getting a life is on my list of things to do after seeing an opera so I can get to that next.)  As it was, however, a gentleman came on stage to make some clarifications before the show began.
    “In this particular interpretation, there will not be a stepmother, but a stepfather.”
    Whatever, I can roll with that.
    “And instead of a fairy godmother there will be a dude in a grey suit with no personality who doesn’t even sing ‘Bippidy-Boppidy-Boo’.”  (Or something like that.)
    No fairy godmother?  What’s next, no glass slipper?
    “And instead of a glass slipper the Prince will have to find Cinderella by trying to match a bracelet.”
    This was getting out of hand.
    The emcee further explained that at the time this opera was written it was considered scandalous for a woman to show her ankles, so they used a bracelet.  Right then and there I vowed that if I ever mastered time travel my first order of business would be taking Lady Gaga to the opera in Italy in 1817.  Just for kicks.

    Alas, I did not love this experience.  It’s not that the singers weren’t talented, it’s just that their chests were heaving with so much exertion that I kept waiting for a lung to fly out of someone’s mouth and hit me in the face and I had a hard time getting excited about that.  Adding to my disappointment, Cinderella and the Prince never even indulged in a reasonable kiss – they just stood there holding hands across from each other and belted out words like “bellisima” and “amore” while spit flew everywhere.  Is that any way to tell your soul mate you love them?  Like the Italians say, “No!” (Now I’m just showing off.)

    At any rate, I concluded that the opera and I were not meant to be together.  It’s okay if you don’t agree with me, but if you DO disagree I suspect you also have more books than the library of congress, wear tweed on the weekends and smoke a lot of cigars.  Am I wrong?  No matter, at least I’ve crossed it off my list.  But if I ever have to choose a do-over, I’m picking the photo op on the camel – hands down.