Monday, August 31, 2009

My Blog = My Home

I write this blog for me. It’s for me, and my family. This is the place I come to get things off my chest. This is where I bear my deepest thoughts and feelings. I keep it open to the public, because I want to share it with my friends and family. And I have been pleasantly surprised how many amazing friendships I’ve made because of this blog. I have met many women, who I’m sure were my closest friends in the life before this one. Some of you are my kindred spirits.

I have always considered myself to be an honest person. What you see is what you get. I don’t mince words and I have no secrets. What I put on my blog is real. It is me. Sometimes I write feelings that are deeply personal to me; I express my most raw emotions, and I share my experiences with you. I have born my soul to you. And most of you have been truly supportive. In fact, if at any time you disagree with me, I encourage you to share your feelings with me. I definitely subscribe to the fact that people have different opinions.


If you choose to disagree, or judge me, or any person for that matter, through the comments, have a spine and use your name. Making comments anonymously is not only hurtful, but cowardly.

My blog is my home. Would you knock on my door, come into my living room, and say to my face the same things you say to me in my comments, anonymously? If so, then thank you for being honest with me. If not, maybe you should consider not saying it.

Obviously, you are ashamed of the words you are writing, or you wouldn’t hide behind the anonymity. If you don’t feel comfortable using your name with your words to another person, then you should keep it to yourself.

And honestly, if you really, truly cared enough about me, to tell me that you were concerned about something that I’d done, then break off a phone call and talk to me about it.

I am not perfect nor have I ever claimed to be. And you aren’t either. If you were, you would’ve been translated by now. How I choose to live my life is my business. If I have said or done something personally harmful to you, then tell me. Otherwise, it is my business.

There is only one person who has the right to judge me for my actions. And I know He understands me and what I’m going through; even if no one else does. And I don’t believe that He condones judging others, anymore than He does me for what I’ve done.

Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.

I’ve been through some stuff lately. Normally, I would vent about it on my blog. And now, because of judgemental anonymous comments on my last post, suddenly I don’t feel safe saying exactly what I’m feeling on my blog anymore. I know for a fact that I’m not the only one who is worried about getting anonymous hate mail.

I’m just saying if you have something to say to me, say it to my face-- Or in the case with our blogs-- with your name. Own your opinions. If you can’t confidently say what you need to say without being anonymous, then keep it to yourself.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Napa Valley--a Review/And the Reason for my Absence.

It is Friday, today, isn't it? I'm pretty sure it is. Traveling across different time zones with a slew of self-diagnosed terminal illnesses can be very debilitating. Dr. Me, however has recently discovered that my mysterious disease must be stress induced.

This was only diagnosed after several extremely sophisticated medical tests. It may be difficult to describe such comlicated procedures, but they may have included vomiting on the side of Interstate 15, whilst en route to the airport, vomiting again on the airplane, again in the Oakland airport, and finally feeling absolutely fantastic during my 4 day relaxing "business" trip to Napa Valley, California.

This morning? As I prepared to pack, and board a plane to come back to reality, the onset of perplexing symptoms resumed.


No pun intended.

Needless to say, the reason for my continued haitus from blogworld is due to my nearly month long battle with the strangest disease I have ever experienced in my life. Possible self-induced diagnoses include: brain tumor, Parkinson's, pregnancy (ruled out), stroke, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, IBS (look it up), diabetes, hypoglycemia, Krohns, and Celiacs. In the end, the only confirmed diagnosis at this point (made with the help of my thoughtful husband) is simply Hypochondraicism.

I am now also a big fan of Lomotil.

But, some good came from my little trip to the whine, I mean, wine country. I learned a whole lot! For instance, just as I expected, Northern California, is so beautiful, and lush and green.

Ha. Okay, it wasn't what I was expecting, but as we got into the Napa Valley, it was quite beautiful.

Can you tell I took this picture in the car? While it was moving.

Also, despite my religious and nutrition convictions, I decided to participate in the ever popular activity of wine tasting.

I learned two things:

a) Red wine is disgusting.

b) White wine is only slightly less digusting than red wine.

I know now what they mean when they say it is an aquired taste, because EW!

I don't get why people can get addicted to the stuff, because it was just NAST! No longer curious or tempted to drink.

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with whatever it is I'm talking about at the moment. Just needed somewhere to stick it. This is the ladies golf round. From the left: Carrie--can't remember where she's from, Sonja--her hubby is my hubby's boss and owns all of the Utah companies and works out of the WJ office, Me, Susan--her hubby runs the Orem store affiliated with C's company.

I learned, also, that funny people become hilarious when drunk. And Loud. And apparently, I am much prettier to a drunk person. One girl kept telling C and me over and over that we were the most beautiful couple she had ever seen. Apparently, she doesn't read the tabloids, and has never seen Brangelina.

I forgot take pictures. Most of the pictures I am posting were taken my the hilarious drunk lady at dinner last night.

The rest were taken this morning, in the car, at every light we stopped at on the we to the airport. Trying to make up for forgetting to take pictures.

This is the Golden Gate Bridge. We could see it far away from the freeway. (Actually it's a milk truck that drove right in front of my picture. Rude!)

This is also the Golden Gate Bridge. Well, actually, it's the chain link fence on the side of the free way, but that red splotch at the top? That's the Golden Gate Bridge!

Grapes. One bunch out of many, many acres and miles of grape vineyards. It was pretty cool to see.
Never mind the glare of the windshield that was in the way of this potentially beautiful photo.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

Random Sherisms and Random Tunes

This is my 401st post. I guess that's kind of a big thing. Maybe I should do something to celebrate. Celebrate the fact that I've neglected my children, neglected my housework duties, and basically sat on my a$$ 400 times.
How much hate mail am I going to get for saying that?

Actually, I only kind of feel that way. I like my blog. I like your blogs. I love that I've made some truly amazing girl friends from having this blog. And that I probably won't be nearly as successful with my music if it weren't for the publicity my blog (and facebook) has given me.

I'm sure I won't feel so guilty once my children are at school, and my house will stay clean a teeny bit longer, and I will have more time to myself.


I actually showed my face at Enrichment night last night. For the first time in like a year. Ok, okay, it was because the RS counselor happened upon my website, and discovered that I can actually play the piano (no I didn't shout it from the roof tops in my ward). So, she asked my to play the prelude, and the opening hymn. Of course, I agreed. Then, I found out that she announced in RS (I play the piano in primary, so I wasn't there) that I was going to be playing selections from my CD at Enrichment night. Ok, sure, whatever. So, I played a few of my hymn arrangements for the prelude, and figured I was done. Then, they had the lesson/activity. More on that later. Then, they got up and announced that now they would turn the time over to me to play a musical number. What?! Uh, I was not prepared for this! I didn't even know what to play. So, I played Solitude. Why is it that my closest friends and neighbors in a small relief society room at the church, make me more nervous than if I were playing in front a huge crowd in a large auditorium?
It's okay, though, because one of my neighbors bought one of my CD's, so it's all good.


The enrichment lesson was about financial peace. The bishop's wife, who turns out is/was in accountant, taught the lesson. She kinds of combined the church's advice on money, and Dave Ramsey's book. I thought she did a great job. I definitely thought it was relevant right now, considering the recession we're in. I got some great budgeting ideas. And I learned that I need to stuff cash under my mattress for a rainy day. You know, like just in case the world ends and the banks are closed, and I need money (cash) to survive. I never thought about that before.
Although, I would have to hide somewhere and forget about it, or I'd probably be tempted to dip into it.


Did I mention that I'm anxious for school to start? Not that I have anxiety about school starting, but I think my kids are giving my anxiety. Or stress. I could stand to go a few hours with out the fighting, whining, and Disney Channel. I wouldn't mind having a clean house for a change, without having to follow my kids around all day, cleaning up their messes.

Although, it finally occurred to me the other day to teach KJ how to do the laundry. She's so excited about it, she keeps asking me if she can start another load. Why didn't I think of this before?! Only, she still won't fold them, and I have to hound all three of them to get them to put their clothes away. I think I'm going to have her start doing her own laundry. Seven is old enough for that, right?


So, after an interesting discussion with three of my favorite ladies yesterday at lunch, I decided I might have some obscure illness. It's probably either premature menopause, lung cancer, TB, Alzheimer's or a brain tumor, and maybe giardia. I tried to diagnose myself on Web MD by listing all of my symptoms, and even they were stumped. No, C, I am NOT a hypochondriac. I'm just tired of being tired all the time, and tired of all the aches and pains, and the headaches, and the cramping, and........


Sorry, for being a downer lately. This usually doesn't hit me until well into the fall. It seems to come earlier and earlier every year. I'm second guessing my self-diagnosis of SAD. How does that flare up in the middle of the Summer?

p.s. Can you tell I'm having fun on Wikipedia today?


Here's some tunes:

1. Crazy For You - Alex Boye
2. Constellations - Jack Johnson
3. As Long As You're Mine - Idina Menzel & Leo Butz (from Wicked)
4. Enchantment - Corinne Bailey Rae
5. Let's Get Crazy - Hannah Montana
6. Forever & Always - Taylor Swift
7. Don't Mess With the Doctor - Thompson Twins
8. Another One Bites the Dust - Queen
9. Runnin' Down a Dream - Tom Petty
10. Silent All These Years - Tori Amos

Bonus: Waiting on the World - John Mayer

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Almost Wordless Wednesday

My girls, circa 1996 at the our Senior Banquet

Sher(me), Kristie, Emily, Heidi, Amberlynn, Kristen, Chan, Jodi, Jen, Rachel, Jamie

My girls, 13 years later, July 2009. I love you guys!

Amy, Nicole, Jamie, Kristie, Jodi, Emily, Sher(me), Kristen


I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Not that it's much of a secret. But, I just have something I need to talk about, and this is the only place that I feel safe saying exactly what I'm thinking. Maybe because, although most of you are now my real life friends, you still live in my computer, you're still my imaginary friends on my blog. Right now, I'm just talking to space. I need to talk about it.

For the past two months, we have been "trying" to get pregnant. I use quotes on trying because I am so wishy washy about the whole concept. I have been waffling back and forth about having a fourth child for years. So, two months ago, I decided that maybe, kinda sorta, that I was ready. So, I went to the doc and had my IUD taken out.

I miss that wonderful little contraption. Ever since, I have been a walking emotional and physical mess. I feel like crap All. The. Time. I don't like anybody. You better not talk to me, even to say Hello, or I just might bite your head off. I've been cramping constantly since the "procedure." I feel nauseous, dizzy, achy. I've lost almost 20 pounds in the last month and a half.
And let me tell you, after going 3 1/2 years with no periods, it really, really sucks to have them now.

So, back to my apprehensions about having another kid. Most of them are completely selfish. I have a certain lifestyle, that I've gotten used to over the past few years. My youngest child is 4 years old. All of my kids are pretty independent. I don't have to "take care" of them constantly like I would a baby. They are all in school this year. I spend a lot of time for myself; running, writing music, playing piano, blogging. C and I go on about 4 work trips per year, and they are starting to get more frequent. It's a lot easier to leave big kids than babies for 5 days at a time.
I absolutely LOVE my children with all of my heart and soul, but I am just not one of those people who finds eternal joy in parenthood. It's hard and thankless. And I hate cleaning house, and doing cutesy crafty crap, and cooking. I'm like the polar opposite of June Cleaver. Poor C, his Mom makes June Cleaver look like Howdy Doody. She is the perfect housekeeper, always stays on schedule, and is always calm and collected. He did NOT sign up for this.

But, the biggest concern I have about having another kid is my emotional stability. Or lack thereof. I'm prone to depression anyway, but when I have babies, I get PPD so bad, it's scary. It's more like post-partum psychosis. I get crazy murderous, suicidal thoughts. It's terrifying. And I'm worried that having another baby would be the thing that pushes me over the edge.
I'm terrified that I will be that mother who drowns all of her children in the bathtub, and then shoots herself.
C is equally concerned. He has to be the poor sap who has to pick up the pieces when I fall apart.

And I'm just not that confident in my Motherly skills. I kinds feel like I really suck at it. I'm worried that I'm ruining my children's lives before they even get started.

On the other hand, there is just something nagging at me whenever I think I could be done with three kids. I don't know. There are a gazillion really qualified reasons to just stop now.


there is something in my gut. I feel like I'm leaving someone out of our family. But husband says he thinks I'll feel that even if we have 20 babies. Maybe. But, I feel a tiny pang of disappointment, every month, when the pregnancy test is negative. Or maybe it's guilt. Maybe I just feel like I need to produce a litter in order to fit in to the "Perfect-Righteous-Utah-Mormon-Housewife club."
Except I think we all know I was kicked out of that club, years ago, when I first said the word "hell," instead of "golly-gee-fiddle-sticks!"

And yes, I have a fasted and prayed, over and over and over again, about this. For YEARS! With all three of my other children, having them was a deeply spiritual experience for me. All of them were planned. And I knew beyond of shadow of a doubt, that it was time for them to come.

This time I don't feel that surety. My husband and I have both felt strongly that the answer is simply this: it is my decision. Heavenly Father wants me to decide for myself.
But, I keep having these thoughts. Like, what if I decide NO? Where does that little soul, that would've come to us, go to then? Or what if I decide yes, and I can't handle it, and I end up in the loony bin, and my poor husband ends up behind the single father of 4?

I can't decide. I can't make this decision. My whole soul is tired from trying to figure it out.
Why is it so hard?


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

In Which I am Nominated for Mother of the Year

--or the post you have all been waiting for--

*Graphic photos enclosed. You've been warned*

Alright, I know you all want to know about the toe, but I need to preface this story, first, by letting you know, that I really don't beat my kids. Usually.


is really from three mosquito bites on Peter's face, and a nasty fall at Lagoon in which she banged her nose on the guard rail.

I promise she wasn't beaten. Please don't call CPS on me.

So, naturally, this......

wasn't from me neglecting my child, and letting him roam the neighborhood, barefoot, which resulted in him running in the neighbor's yard and tripping on a sharp rock, or dropping a scooter on his foot (I'm not sure exactly which story is the right one. He keeps changing it).
I really was on my way out to call TJ home, when I heard him screaming, bloody murder, and saw him limping across the street. Of course, being the incredibly caring and concerned Mother that I am, I told him to quit his belly aching and he should've listened when I told him to put shoes on. Then, I noticed the blood. Lots, and lots of it. Still thinking it's only a little scrape, I took him in and put him on the edge of the tub to rinse it off. (This part is gross...sorry). When the water hit his foot, the toe literally starting flapping around. I know, I know, but it's true.

That's when I took a closer look to notice the nail was completely gone, and his toe was hanging by a thread. It was sliced about 3/4 of the way through. Yeah, so technically it wasn't completely severed (but that was a good teaser, wasn't it? You were dying to know what happened, right?)

Of course, we rushed to the ER (thanks MB, for taking KJ for me!). The doctor came in to examine the toe, and to give TJ a numbing shot. For the love of all that is good and holy, I have NEVER heard anyone scream so loud in. my. life! And again, being the loving, concerned mother that I am, I started busting up. I couldn't help it. Something about the whole situation was achingly funny to me, for some reason. I know, Mother of the Year, right?

Three hours later, we were told, after x-rays, that the tip of his bone is gone. Just chipped away. The toe was stitched back on, and off we went.

To top off my claim that I deserve this award, I decided to still take the kids to the babysitter (broken, severed toe and all) that night and went out to eat with my husband.

Post your nominations and votes for me in the comments section.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Camping, Camping and more Camping.

*Warning: Picture overload below. Proceed with caution*

Alright, I know that you are all dying to hear about the severed toe (not mine). And I promise I won't disappoint. But, I feel the need to report my life's happenings in chronological order, and besides, I took pictures on my phone, and since my hubby canceled my web access on my phone, I can't email them to myself, so I'll just have to take the memory card to the Walmart and get them developed. How's that for a run-on sentence!!

So, for now, how about some pics from the Shep Family Reunion in Crystal Hot Springs!!

This was my husband's family. And I went with my kids, and myself, and all our camping gear, loaded up in the Tahoe....without the husband. He went to St. Louis to "work" and watch a Cardinals/Dodgers game. GO DODGERS!!! I'm not bitter or anything.

Alright in his defense, he did show up the second day. I kinda forgot to take pictures while we were swimming. So, sorry.

Have you ever been to Crystal Hot Springs? It's been there in Honeyville, UT, for about 70 years. And I'm pretty sure that it looks exactly the same as it did 70 years ago, minus the rust/mineral stains on all the pools. I think they had the same fiberglass water slides, and ugly blue tile the last time I visited the place about 25 years ago. Although, I do have to say that was probably the best waterslide I've been on in forever! So, sorry, I have no visual evidence, but I do have some pics of some really, really cute kids!

All the Shep cousins. What a bunch of gorgeous kids!

This is all of C's siblings, spouses and parents.

Did I say MORE camping? I think I did. Yeah. We got home from CHS on Saturday.

I got an email from the loverly WonderWoman on Sunday saying she'd heard MY SONG on FM100! YAY!

Then, Monday morning, after a routine visit to the dentist, the kids and I packed up again, and headed off to Bear Lake, for a little camping with my Mom and sisters and the kids.

Somehow I got home and ended up with quite a few incredibly unflattering pictures of me.
Seriously, what is that face? Cute baby though. I'm going to take a stab in the dark and say that's M. She's one of the twins. I was just getting the hang of trying to tell them apart (they're identical) when they went back home to OK. BOO!!
Again, cute baby. Crazy aunt Sherrie.
Apparently, you can be skinny and still have 14 chins. Ew. But, look at my sister and her monkeys. She is so beautiful.

Actually, I really like this pic. Me and my sisters. My two very best friends.

Alright, I like this pic, too. Me, Peter, and my cute little niece P and nephew J.

I did get some good pictures, too.

Look at KJ's dirty, black feet!

My beautiful daughters.
This picture, right here is probably most brilliant photography moment (that's saying alot coming from a non-photographer). But, it's not that hard with such a beautiful boy. Love you J!

Ok, these three girls are the perfect little Mini-Me's of their respective mothers.

This is all the cousins that came with us. We are missing a few. My brothers wives and kids didn't come up with us.

Char and TJ

My awesome parents. I love you!!!

My youngest bro, Char

Yes, I am still Alive

I'm still around. I didn't die...or fall off the face of the planet...or delete my blog or anything like that. I've just been insanely busy....with family reunions, camping, Lagoon, visiting the ER, sewing back on a severed toe (not to come!!) know, the usual.

I will post all about it later. When it's not midnight. Sorry, I've been MIA lately. I'm definitely a prisoner of summer. School cannot start soon enough!!

Needless to say.

I. Am. Exhausted.

To Be Continued..............