Wednesday, March 23, 2011


See this guy...the one staring lovingly at me?

He is officially the best husband on the planet.

He snuggles with me when I'm feeling needy, he tickles and rubs my back whenever I ask him to, and he is so considerate and thoughtful.

I am so lucky to have someone to dote on me when I'm feeling sick. When I feel sick, I get really cuddly and snuggly. Jeff just lets me lean up against him, he puts his arm around me and strokes my back. He constantly is checking to make sure I'm okay and happy. If I'm feeling sick, he always asks if I need anything and he is always willing to get me what I need...

Even if its root beer at the most inconvenient of times...

I am so lucky and blessed to have such a wonderful, thoughtful husband. I only hope that I have been able to find ways to sufficiently show him how grateful I am!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Remember When...

Maybe its because I'm overly hormonal, or maybe its because I'm craving root beer floats like they are going out of style (personally, I blame the root beer floats) but I have been thinking a lot lately about my childhood. I have been thinking a lot about the people who made me who I am today and the crazy experiences along the way.

I know the first question that comes to your mind: "Why are you blaming root beer floats?" Well darlings, root beer floats are connected to basically every major, big, fun family event I ever experienced growing up. They were a Winberg household institution!

I've also been thinking a lot about my dad.

My dad died when I was twelve. I don't really have any bad memories of him. This is a good thing. I like to focus on all the fun we had together. I remember how he would come home from work, start dinner and then come sit on the couch to watch General Hospital (yes, my mom was forced to tape it for him religiously EVERY DAY! He was totally addicted to it!) I would lie on his chest on the couch and listen to his heart beat. I would listen to his stomach make funny noises because he was hungry for dinner. I felt safe. I felt warm. I felt loved. He never had to say or do anything, just let me lay my head on his chest and bask in the glory of being close to him. He never pushed me away. I'm so grateful for that. He didn't say he loved us very often, be we ALWAYS felt it. I don't ever remember feeling like a nuisance or a pest.

I remember daily life in our house. I remember that the only time the television was really on was for General Hospital time for dad, and for TGIF on Friday nights on ABC. We'd sit as a family and watch Full House and Family Matters, and as the line up changed, we just kept watching. It was tradition. We stayed together and enjoyed a little break from the real world.

I remember pulling out all of my mom's Carpenters records. We would make up lip synch routines and dance and sing for her. Because we always forced my poor brother to play the postman when we used the song Mr. Postman, we let him have his way and use a Ray Stevens song The Streak...we'd all laugh hysterically as Aaron ran back and forth in the living room and made up crazy dance moves using his mad skills on the fly.

I remember getting into trouble with my brother. We were best friends. We still are. I miss him and wish he wasn't so far away, but I still have a connection with him that has yet to be explained. Aaron and I had a special knack for trouble. There was one time that we used our impressive dare devil skills to crawl on top of the fridge and get out my mom's good silverware. We then proceeded to pretend we were pirates. We spent the better part of a lazy summer day making a map and burying her silverware in the backyard. We then got side tracked in a neighborhood water fight and forgot about the silverware and, unfortunately, the maps. Since the silverware only came out for Thanksgiving, our little escapade wasn't noticed until November. Mom was gobsmacked when she couldn't find her silverware. Aaron and I kept our mouths shut, but finally saw how sad she was about it, so we confessed. Mom was furious...the maps were long gone, as was her wedding silverware. That spring, as we planted tulips (a yearly occasion) my mom managed to find a small cache of silverware in the flower bed. She washed it, but as it was only about 4 spoons, I think she gave up and realized that kids will be kids and laughed it off.

Aaron and I also took all the bed linens in the house, tied them together and tried to crawl out the second story window of our suburban managed to find us right as Aaron was headed out the window...curses...our plan was foiled (but likely for the best).

I remember my dad's love of animals. My mom loves animals too, don't get me wrong. But I remember how we got our first dog (or atleast the first dog we had that I remember. Apparently from the time I was born until I was about 2 we had an Australian shepherd. I don't remember him). My dad had been at a friend's house for a football party. He came home with Lokie on a leash. Dad told us that he had seen his friends being not so nice to Lokie (we found out later that my dad had witnessed him being abused) it didn't sit well with dad. He wrote out a check on the spot and said that if he was such a nuisance for them, that he would bring him home to us where he would be taken care of. It took a long time for Lokie to warm up to us. Mom worked a lot with him while dad was at work. He was very skiddish because of the way he'd been treated by his old masters. Dad had had Shelties growing up and had bred them and decided that he wanted to do it again. He decided it would teach us some responsibility and that it could bring a little extra money into the house.

Then came Buttercup. Dad got her for mom for her birthday and mothers day. She was so tiny. Mom loved her. A few years later, we found Lokie and Buttercup in the backyard hooked explained that Buttercup would have puppies in a few months. We were excited but abashed! Buttercup and Lokie weren't married! GASP! Mom knew just what to do. We had a little doggy wedding ceremony in our backyard.

While we were waiting for puppies, we ended up getting another dog, another Sheltie. Her name was Penny. Dad had a friend at work who couldn't take care of her anymore. It seemed like we were starting a Sheltie rescue in our house. Penny was blind and going deaf, she was 14 years old. I took her under my wing. Penny became MY dog. I remember dad being worried that I had gotten so attached to her, but I didn't see the problem. She couldn't crawl up the steps of our deck to get food, so three times a day (morning, after school, and evening) I would take a bowl of food and water down to her and point her snout towards it so she could smell it and eat it. We had a special relationship. The other dogs weren't very cuddly, but Penny would come and lay her head in my lap. She loved me and I loved her. Even though a vet gave us the news that she was completely blind and deaf, I wouldn't believe it- she always seemed to know when I was coming, and if I called her she always came running. Finally, one day Penny came running when I called her and ran straight into the swing set. Dad happened to see. I ran to her, tears soaking my cheeks, and pulled her into my lap. She gave me kisses and snuggled up to me. Dad came running and said, "She's blind Britt, I think we need to take her to the vet again." I tried to reassure him that I could nurse her and that she was fine, but he persisted and a few days later we went to the vet. Dad wouldn't let me come in with him. Mom and I sat in the car. About 20 minutes later dad came out with Penny's leash and collar and told me that the vet had helped him send Penny to heaven...I think this is the only memory I have of my dad where I ever felt betrayed. I told him I hated him. I cried the whole way home and for the rest of the week.

Buttercup finally had her puppies, but my wound was too fresh. I didn't care. The puppies weren't Penny. I remember going out to the backyard and sitting on the deck. I started to cry for the millionth time, and Lokie came up to me. He stood in front of me, caulking his head to the side, then he moved and sat next to me. He then proceeded to lay his snout on my lap like Penny used to. It was like he was telling me it was all going to be okay, and that he'd be my dog now.

I forgave dad, of course, he told me that Penny had been hitting her head a lot lately and that it wasn't fair to keep her alive. That is was selfish. In my 5 years of life at that point, it was the first time I learned a true lesson about being selfish. It wasn't fair or nice of me to want to keep Penny alive just so I could be happy if she was sick and not going to get better. I had to let go. Dad always had a good way of explaining things so that they made sense to my young developing mind.

I remember dad and Football! BYU and 49ers football was another religion in our house. My dad would go get giant sandwhiches at this sub shop called the Wizard. Grandpa and uncle Jeff would come over and we would watch football ALL DAY LONG! Just to give dad a hard time Amber and I would root for the other team every once in a while, but it just kept things interesting. Our hearts never strayed from the cougars or the niners!

I guess, I just overall remember how much love we had. Even when times were tough, we had eachother. We loved eachother, and there was always a friend to reach out to or play with.

Well, I'm sure darlings that you've had about enough of my novel...and I need to go pack for a short trip to Idaho Falls this week.

The moral is darlings, no matter how disfunctional your family was growing up, its likely that you have just as many fun and glorious stories to share. If you are a parent, think back to your you honestly remember the toys your parents could buy or the things that you had? I don't, I remember the love. I remember the time we spent as a family. Time is the most precious gift you can give to your family. How much of your time do you share with them? Things come and go, you can't take them with you, but you can take the love and the memories you share.

Hugs and loves until next time.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Speaking my mind

There has been a great debate raging in my head as I have struggled with what to tell you my darlings and what not to tell you about my life as of late.

There is always the fear of the unknown...

But after much soul searching, I have decided that the whole reason I started this blog was as a way to have an open diary. For me, this blog is a safe place to speak my mind, a place to be honest, and basically a place to keep it real (these are basically all the same thing, but I think that splitting it up into three subcategories makes it so much more official, don't you?)

So, in the interest of keeping it real, I will share what I have been debating to share...

I will start with a story...

On our second date, Jeff and I went to Barnes and Noble. We sat on the stage in the children's section and read to each other. We each picked books that we have loved growing up as a kid. Jeff managed to find one that I had loved before I did, so he got to read it.

It was this book...
As Jeff read to me. We got to the part in the story about this man:
Sylvester McMonkey McBean is his name...for some reason, I found it extremely silly on that day.

I joked with Jeff and dared him to name his first born child Sylvester McMonkey McBean. He accepted the dare...


I don't think this will be the name we will be using come November 10...

Just sayin...

Hugs and loves until Next Time!

Friday, March 4, 2011

I'll take Sweden...

Hey all!

Today was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, I was wearing sunglasses and 5 inch peep toed cream colored heels...

I was happy...there was a spring in my step...and I didn't put my finger on what it was that was making me so chipper until I was on my way home from choir rehearsal. I stopped to breathe in the sweet, sunshiney air and realized I was happy because the snow was gone, sure there are a few patches here and there in Pocatello, but for the most part spring appeared to have finally joined the land of the living.

I got in my car to drive home and a good pep up song came on (Ke$ha, "You're love is my Drug"- I'm not a big fan of Ke$ha in general, but I do like that song.) I turned up the radio and blasted it on my way back to my apartment. It was so nice to feel the sun on my face, arms, and back as I drove, I'd almost forgotten what that feels like.

I got home, and am proud to announce, that after about a week of searching I found my I Pod charging cable. I happily plugged it in. Jeff (scared) surprised me by bursting through the door earlier than I expected. There was an above average spring in his step. He exclaimed, "I am now officially a week and a half ahead. I didn't need to stay tonight." He sat on the couch with me and we talked about our day. I told him how excited I was that it was such a beautiful day and that I wanted to go do something other than sit home. He looked at me, pointed his finger and in his usual off-topic way interrupted my chirpy, happy soliloquy with: "Question!" I stopped talking and said my usual, "Shoot!"

He then proceeded to say, "Phoenix, Cali, Las Vegas, or....Sweden?" I looked at him puzzled, it then dawned on me that he was talking about potential places that he could get a job.

I told him, "Well, Phoenix would be nice, but I don't know if I'd like it so much in the summer when its 120 degrees outside, I don't know if I'd want to live in Las Vegas, but I've been to Henderson, which is a suburb or Las Vegas and its actually lovely and has a large population of LDS people too. I'm not sure about Cali, it depends on where in Cali," "I don't want to live in Cali!" Jeff interjected. I smiled and continued, "Sweden would be an adventure, that's for sure! I'm actually not opposed to it at all."

I then thought of how funny it was that I had realized just earlier this afternoon how happy I was when it was sunny and warm outside, and Jeff comes home and lists off three very warm places as potential spots where we may settle for a while.

Jeff told me that if he took the job in Phoenix that he would likely have to commute to Sweden because they are owned by the same company. I immediately thought, "Well, if he has to commute there often enough, I'll just suggest we make a move...I could handle living in Europe."

I then, out loud, told Jeff about the pros of living in Phoenix: warm weather, awesome doctoral programs and performance opportunities for me, etc. and how the perks were very similar in Las Vegas. I then realized that if we lived in Sweden I could actually go see real operas for dirt cheap, and get performance jobs...

I'm not saying we're moving to Sweden, don't get your knickers in a twist my darlings...but wouldn't it be AMAZING if we did? Think of all the fun things ahead!

Jeff was bubbling over with excitement. He is happy to have opportunities to interview with these companies in the next few weeks. He said that if more than one say that they want him after he graduate, it just gives us an opportunity to weigh our options and decide what will be best for us and our future children.

I feel so fortunate to have married this wonderful man. He is brilliant and he has so much potential to change the world. I am just so lucky to be along for the ride. I can't wait to see what the future will bring! I have been praying and praying that the future will become clearer for me. With all the unrest at Idaho State, and some personal issues and thoughts I have had regarding my future, it is nice to think of the adventure that lay ahead. I know not everything will be sunshine and daffodils, I know that life just isn't perfect.


For one almost perfect day, in one perfect moment with the most perfect man for me, I was able to sit on the couch, snuggled up and dream about the possibilities and how much fun they are. Don't be afraid of the future darlings. The great Creator always finds a way to guide us to where we need to go and what we need to do. He never said it would be easy, he just said it would be worth it.

I'm so glad I trusted that, and chose to come live this mortal existence. I am so glad that I get to spend the rest of my life and eternity with someone who is as big a dreamer as me...with someone who loves me because I'm a dork and not in spite of it...with someone who was made to perfectly complement me in every way.

The future is a beautiful thing. Darlings, never give up hope in a bright future. Regardless of whether your life is what you want it to be right now, it will always end up being what it was meant to be. Lay back and enjoy the ride. Stop fighting, kicking and screaming. Sometimes our plans aren't what is best, sometimes the Big Man Upstairs has a better one. Dream...dream big...and trust that no matter what, if you try your hardest to do the things you know you should do, if you take advantage of opportunities when they come knocking, that you will end up where you're supposed to be.

Hugs, loves and, pickled Herring until next time darlings!