24 December 2009

A husband for Christmas

My 7 year-old nephew Syden asked to have a heart to heart talk. We sat down in the living room and he began to tell me his plan. "Shae, I saw a commercial for a website where you can enter your information and find a husband. I'm going to write all about you and then someone will marry you."

Merry Christmas to me!

23 December 2009

Fire! Fire! Fire!

There are many times when I wonder if the fire alarm system at my place of residence actually works as the main system in the lobby often has a blinking error message. Today I learned that the alarm does work, even when there isn't a fire. I was getting ready to leave the condo when the alarm in our hallway started making a piercing sound that could wake even the heaviest of sleepers. I walked through the condo to make sure I wasn't a possible fire starter and then evacuated the building. Lights in the hallway were flashing and I'm pretty sure I sustained hearing loss from the blaring alarm while walking down the stairs. I stood outside with a couple of neighbors until the fire department gave us the okay to re-enter the building. I quickly gathered my bags and when I was safely in my car, I made an appointment with an audiologist to be fitted for hearing aids.

20 December 2009

Perfect Lights

I love Christmas lights. Perfect Christmas lights. I like simple, classy lights. I may or may not scream when I see perfect lights on a house and may or may not have scared my friend in the process. Here are some lights I have seen in Utah and Idaho that do show perfect lights.

Creepy dolls enjoying the Christmas lights outside the window.

Christmas in Utah

You should see the front yard.

This house has a blow up carousel.

15 December 2009

At a bookstore near you

* Two women in their 70s meet weekly to edit the book they are writing. Good news, Thelma has quit smoking.

* A man and a woman meet for the first time after chatting online. I'll keep my fingers crossed that Fred has once again found love.

* Cathy, the barista, greets customers by name. "Hi, Ryan." "Hello, Joan. How are your children?" This is the place where everyone knows your name. And your life story.

*Jim talks on the phone with his soon to be ex-wife(don't ask me how I know this. I just do) and argues about the children.

* I see a behaviorist whom I work with on a monthly basis. Good thing I have a monthly summary next to my laptop so it appears as though I am working.

13 December 2009

Baby, it's cold outside

I was on I-15 South, heading to a party with a couple of friends when we saw a blue object jump out of the bed of the pick-up in the lane next to us and then heard a crash. We turned to look. I mean. The passengers turned to look while I stayed focused on the road. Yes, that's exactly what happened. The car behind the pick-up swerved to avoid the object and then placed a call on their cell phone. I imagine they were either calling the police or calling the number listed on the window of the pick-up in which the blue object once resided. My friends and I continued our journey to our destination when we saw a plastic swimming pool fly out of the same pick-up and shatter when it hit the pavement. The pick-up driver slowed down for a moment and the sped away. I'm sure they were upset about losing their swimming pool and having to explain to their children that swimming in 20 degree weather will have to wait. Or maybe they fill the pool with hot water and voila, the pool becomes a hot tub in only a matter of minutes.

10 December 2009

Night to Remember

I was at the Energy Solutions Arena for a concert last night when I saw him. Matt Harpring. He is a Utah Jazz player who will not be playing this year because of injuries.

After meeting Matt, I was ready to call it a night and then remembered I was at the Arena for the Phil Vassar concert. I have seen Phil a few times and have met him and he is an amazing performer. Bombshell and Bucky Covington opened for him and they were entertaining but not as good as my Phil.

27 November 2009

Black Friday

My sister Pip and her friend Cyndee convinced me to wake up at 2:30am to go shopping in Idaho Falls which is thirty minutes away. We arrived at Target and I learned that the store wasn't going to open until 5a and I was left alone in line while Cyndee and Pip went to a different store.

Standing in line

What a great way to transport a Christmas tree.

I was so tired that I decided to take a nap at a department store.

24 November 2009


I testified in Federal Court in Idaho this morning. I'd like to think that I didn't say 'uh' a kazillion times and yet I know that I probably did. I drove home feeling relieved that the day I had prepared for had finally come and gone and that I survived facing my former employers in court.

18 November 2009

Bright Light

I was walking from my car to the condo when suddenly there was a bright light and I turned around expecting to see a car with the headlights on bright. To my surprise, I saw a ball of fire sail across the sky and for a couple of seconds, the world was light enough to be noon instead of midnight.

29 October 2009

Where am I?

I'm sitting in a bookstore working. Not only do I get to hear great music while writing reports, I also get to people watch. Life is good.

24 October 2009

Jury Duty

My mom called a couple weeks ago to tell me she has been called for jury duty in Federal Court in Idaho next month which is ironic because I am testifying in Federal Court next month in the same state.

15 October 2009

My Life

"Want me to help you?"

"No thanks. I've learned to adapt."

29 September 2009

Love you much

The phone rang at 7:46a and I took a deep breath as I prepared myself for what was going to be said. You see, receiving a call from home at that time of the morning is rarely a good thing. "Shelley, Grandma passed away at 3a this morning. Your mom and I were with her until midnight and knew it wouldn't be long before she let go. " I numbly listened for a few minutes and then hung up the phone.
So many memories flooded my head as I thought about her life and all that she has taught me. In many ways, she was not only my grandma, but also a second mom. As a young girl, myself and my brother briefly lived with my grandparents while our parents were dealing with some major health problems and since that time I have had a special connection with my grandma.
My almost 4 year-old niece said it best when she spoke these words after hearing about grandma, "Heaven came and got Grandma Bingham."

Love you much grandma.

13 September 2009

Favorite child

"Syden, do you know which of grandpa and grandma's children is their favorite?"

"Of course I do. My mom and Clay are the favorites because they have kids and you don't."

Note to self: Do not ask 7 year-old nephew any questions without first verifying that he knows the correct answer.

24 August 2009

One day

A little library, growing larger every year, is an honourable part of a man's history. It is a man's duty to have books. A library is not a luxury, but one of the necessaries of life.
Henry Ward Beecher

19 August 2009

Once a Duck. Always a Duck.

I spent the weekend in Oregon for my brother's PhD. graduation from the University of Oregon.

Here are some highlights from the trip:

Hogwarts professor or PhD graduate?

Visiting with Kaydi Rae.

Portland Rose Garden.

Blue Lake Regional Park.

13 August 2009


I turned in my resignation letter this morning and my last day working for the state will be August 27th. I'll soon be a private support coordinator doing the same job I currently do, but working from home. In my free time, maybe I'll write a book. Learn to cook. Improve my musical abilities.

Life is good.

10 August 2009


What did I do over the weekend? I'll show you.

Woodland creatures courtesy of photoshop.

*No animals were harmed during this shooting extravaganza. I cannot say the same for the watermelon, cantaloupe, or lettuce.

09 August 2009

I'll Wait for You

My friends and I were leaving a fireside and noticed two guys looking at us. We got in the car and that's when things got interesting. One of the guys came to my window and handed me the following note:

(I have crossed out last names and phone numbers to protect the young, but not-so-innocent guys. If you would like their numbers to ask them out or last names so you can add them as a friend on facebook, let me know).

We responded with the following message and their response is also included:

Ah, the innocence of youth. At this point a guy on a motorcycle pulled up and asked what was going on and then drove off. Our response was "Good luck. Unfortunately, we are a little older than you." Our car was separated from the guys and we again saw the guy on the motorcycle. The driver of our car rolled down the window and let motorcycle guy know she did not appreciate him cheating on her with someone else. And no, I was not the driver.

I do hope Stephen has a great mission and may Sam find love.

07 August 2009

Rise and Shout

My friend Kristen and her husband Rob bought a house 8 months ago and vowed in this post to paint over a blue Y on the basketball court. I visited their home yesterday for Kristen's baby shower and this is what I found in the backyard.

Go Cougars!

05 August 2009


I love summer. I love concerts. I love summer concerts at Red Butte Gardens. I saw Chicago last night and Indigo Girls in July. My friend's employers gave us VIP tickets which meant we sat on chairs provided by Red Butte and had access to an unlimited supply of bottled water.

29 July 2009

We don't live in a vacuum

I was sitting in on a therapy session for a client and the therapist said something that resonates with me. "When life gets tough we push away the people closest to us."


24 July 2009

Stop! I'm tired

Rugby tournament. 100 degrees. Black shorts. Black shirt. Running. Tackling. Exhaustion. Dehydration.

One rugby player loudly exclaimed "Stop. Stop. I'm tired." Everyone, including the player, started laughing and yet, you could tell there was some truth to his statement.

There are times in my life when I also want to yell "Stop! I'm tired." Those are usually the times I pack up and head to Idaho for some much need rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. You see, I'm not one of those people who receive energy and strength from spending time with others. I need some alone time. Scratch that. I crave alone time. And I guess the important thing is that I recognize when I've stretched myself too thin and need to take a step back. It can be easy to simply go along with life without much thought as to where I'm going and then one or a dozen things happen that cause me to realize that life is both precious and great. People care and want to help.

Life. Running. Ruminating. Tackling. Exhaustion. Joy.

22 July 2009

Pesto Mayo

My friend Lisa and I met at Mimi's Cafe for lunch today. The server was bringing the food to the table and I heard her say she dropped the cup filled with pesto mayo. I looked down and didn't see mayo on the floor, but I did see it on my shirt. The server apologized and I laughed while cleaning the mayo from my shirt. The ladies at the table next to me offered assistance and Lisa was kind enough to help clean the mess I couldn't reach. The manager offered me a free meal and I gladly accepted. In the rush of trying to clean my shirt, I forgot to take a picture. This is not my first encounter with Mimi's so I think I'll wear a poncho over my clothes the next time I eat at Mimi's or maybe I should stop ordering the condiments on the side.

24 June 2009

Countdown to September 5th

On September 5, 2009, I will be here cheering for BYU. I may not be a Dallas Cowboys fan, but I am definitely taking the $15 tour of the stadium.

22 June 2009

Another Break

My brother in law Travis was 4 wheeling with friends at the Sand Dunes in St. Anthony, Idaho when he flew over a hill and crashed. After a bumpy ride on a sand buggy followed by an ambulance, Travis found himself admitted to the hospital where he learned he broke his left forearm and his right shoulder. He was in surgery for six hours and has pins in his arm and a metal plate, screws, and pins in his shoulder. He has a long road ahead of him but the doctors are saying he will have a full recovery.
On the bright side, his daughter Avry is no longer the only one in the family with a broken arm.

17 June 2009


My niece Avry fell Monday night and fractured her elbow. She will have a soft cast until the swelling goes down and then will have a hard cast. As the Dr. was applying the soft cast Avry said "Stop! I changed my mind. I don't want to do this anymore."

16 June 2009

Spotted on 33rd S...

A man riding a motorcycle with a blow up doll behind him. For a moment I thought I was dreaming or I was in the movie Lars and the Real Girl. Sadly, no pictures were taken to document the moment for I was too shocked to get my camera out before 'they' drove by.

30 May 2009

Love Story

I need this sheet music. Anyone play the cello?

17 May 2009

I can do hard things

5 weeks down, the rest of my life to go.

11 May 2009

03 May 2009

A day in the life of Shellinskaya

Once upon a time there was a girl named Shellinskaya who liked to sit and read by her pool. She read all sorts of books: books about love, books about vengeance, and books about how to win friends and influence people. One day, as Shellinskaya was sitting in her favorite spot by the pool, the sun beating down on her intent figure…

A handsome young brute happened by and said "My...what a nice figure." He said this to himself because, well, thinking aloud is generally frowned upon. The strange thing about the brute is that he was lost. He had been busy fighting dragons and slaying filthy rich rastards from the Netherlands when suddenly, *POOF!* he happened upon the fair Shellinskaya at the pool. It seems he'd entered some kind of time continuuuum vacuuuum wormhole and nobody has ever understood those so just go with it.
He greeted Shellinskaya with a "Holla back now!" Shellinskaya battered her eyes. Actually, she battered her fries and batted her eyes. Yes, that's it. Her eyes. "What up, G?" The Brute, thus addressed, firmly replied, "Wiggidy wack. Love." His name was Peter. Oddly, the main character in our heroine's book was named....Petro.

"Do I know you?" Shellinskaya asked wondering where the brute came from and why he was talking to her. Peter explained that he was a secret agent for the Russian government and was fighting dragons from the Netherlands. The last word Shellinskaya heard Peter say was Russian. You see, Shellinskaya loved Russian novels and dreamt of visiting the motherland one day.

The odd thing about Shellinskaya is that although she had a Russian name and loved Russian literature, she was actually a very small and shrewd African-American who has been denied all the luxuries of life--thus we enter into a B-movie with little to no plot line but some very good dancing...

Peter and Shellinskaya continued their strange conversation, which only continued to get stranger as Shellinskaya confused Peter with Petro, the character in her book (Petro, as we all know, means Peter in Icelandic). Peter explained, as people often do in these sorts of stories, that his greeting to Shellinskaya was actually a secret code...that she failed with flying colors.

The even odder thing about this odd pair is that they had managed to enter the time vacuum device together and now found themselves on a beach in Madagascar. You know, spider monkeys and such. Well, thankfully S-Dawg was a small shrew--er, shrewd--Africanish woman, so she knew all about spider monkeys. But did she know about mad, rabid, evil-terrorist-plot spider monkeys? A good question. That's where our story gets interesting. Spider monkeys are known for their anti-Russian-African-Scandinavian-American tendencies, and this one was no different. As soon as he spotted the twitterpated couple he began plotting against them. The goal? To kill their love, their puppy, and their very souls. In that order. Or maybe love and souls are synonymous. Semantics. (Narrator interjection: If you'll recall, semantic is different than semitic. So if you hear a band called Anti-Semantic, don't alert the ACLU. Can't we all just get along?)

So anyway, the evil arachna-monkey anxiously awaited his opportunity to destroy our main characters. And he waited with a switchblade...

24 April 2009

I not

I not going to smile for pictures.

20 March 2009

Happy Spring

10 March 2009

I'm local. I live here.

I'm looking out my window at work and I see blue skies and yet I know that it's not warm outside. I wish I could go back to December when I spent a week in Hawaii. I realize I never posted about my trip so I will do so now. I'm not going to write much about any injuries that may have occurred while in Hawaii, but you can read about one injury here.
Flying solo to the island of Oahu was a great experience. I sat next to an elderly man who tried to get me to join a telephone marketing scheme and a couple of college guys asked me to spend time with them and wanted to know where to buy pot on the island at which point I laughed and walked away.
I stayed on a military base with my friend Amanda and her family and visited Mike who was attending BYU-Hawaii. Here are some highlights from the trip:

Rain. Flooding. A lot of rain. A lot of flooding.

Matsumoto Shave Ice.

Dole Plantation.

Making and eating delicious food with friends.

Overall the trip to Hawaii was great, even with all of the rain. In addition to spending time with friends, I made some new friends, and learned more about myself and life in general.

09 March 2009

Day of Faith

Washington Post journalist Sally Quinn spoke to a panel of Harvard students about their various religions. Rachel Esplin was asked about her faith as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I was impressed with how eloquently and honestly Rachel answered each question.

Day of Faith: Personal Quests for a Purpose - 3. Rachel Esplin from Harvard Hillel on Vimeo.

04 March 2009

On Hold

The following is my most recent phone conversation with Syden:

"Hi Shae!"
"Hey Sy. How are you?"
"Good. I'm drawing a picture on papa's computer."
"Fun. How is school?"
"I like it."

Syden then started talking to his sister and stopped talking to me. I patiently waited and eventually Sy began talking to me again. Until...

"Shae, can you hold on?"
"Uh, I guess so. Why?" "Sy?" No answer, but I can hear him talking. "Sy? Give the phone to grandma. Sy?"

After what seemed like an hour, Syden picked up the phone and said he stopped talking to me so he could finish his drawing on the computer.

"Love you Shae. Bye."
"Love you too! Bye."

26 February 2009

BBC Reading List

BBC Reading List
The BBC believes most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here. I saw this list on a friends facebook page and decided I wanted to see how many I have read.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen (X)
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (X)
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte (X)
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling (X)
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (X)
6 The Bible (X)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (X)
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell (X)
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman ()
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens (X)
Total: 9

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott (X)
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy ()
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller (X)
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare ()
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier ()
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien (X)
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk ( )
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger (X)
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger ( )
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot ()
Total: 13

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell (X)
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald (X)
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens ( )
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy(X)
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams ()
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh ( )
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky (X)
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck (X)
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll (X)
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame ()
Total: 19

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy (X)
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens ()
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (X)
34 Emma - Jane Austen (X)
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen (X)
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (X)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (X)
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres ( )
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden (X)
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne (X)
Total: 27

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell (X)
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (X)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (X)
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving ()
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins ( )
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery (X)
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy ()
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood ()
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding (X)
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan ()
Total: 32

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel (X)
52 Dune - Frank Herbert ()
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons ()
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen (X)
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth ()
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon ()
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens (X)
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley (X)
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon (X)
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez (X)
Total: 38

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck (X)
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov ()
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt ()
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold (X)
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas (X)
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac ()
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy ()
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding ()
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie ()
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville (X)
Total: 42

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens(X)
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker (X)
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett (X)
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson ()
75 Ulysses - James Joyce ()
76 The Inferno - Dante (X)
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome ( )
78 Germinal - Emile Zola ( )
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray (X)
80 Possession - AS Byatt ()
Total: 47

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (X)
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell ( )
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker ()
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro ()
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert (X)
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry ()
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White (X)
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom (X )
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (X)
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton ( )
Total: 52

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad (X)
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery (X)
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks ( )
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams()
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole ()
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute ( )
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas (X)
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare (X)
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl (X)
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo (X)
Total: 58

I'm not entirely shocked that I have read more than 6 books on this list and yet there are still so many that I want to read. I better get started now so don't be alarmed if you don't hear from me for the next couple of weeks.

23 February 2009

Birthday Weekend

I spent my birthday weekend in Moab, Utah. Now, I will state for the record that Moab isn't exactly the 'it' place to visit, but I had my reasons for going. One of the reasons was to hike to the Delicate Arch. Meags and I asked a man to take our picture and for some reason, he only captured a small portion of the Arch so we took matters into our own hands and took a picture of ourselves.

Some friends came over for a Wii party and I sang my little heart out while singing for the American Idol game. Simon Cowell told me I could sing the phone book and it would sound amazing-definitely a highlight of the night. There were too many pictures to choose from so I made a slide show from the Wii Party and birthday dinner. Enjoy!

15 February 2009

Down on the farm

Pink little pig says, "Oink oink hi!"

Mouse whispers "Squeak! I'm a little shy."

Sheep says, "Baa! I like dressing up too!"

03 February 2009

I believe

In an attempt to have some alone time, my mom went to her bedroom and found her granddaughter Avry wrapped in 'Avy Shae's blankie' watching tv. Soon after my mom lay on the bed, Avry wrapped her in 'Avy Shae's blankie,' patted her shoulders, and lay next to her without saying a word.

I believe there are times we each need to be 'wrapped in a blanket' by someone we love and many times, words are unnecessary.

01 February 2009

Mr. Sun

Meags and I went to St. George for the weekend for some much needed warmth from the sun. The inversion has set in and I'm afraid that I've forgotten what the sun looks and feels like. Meags, Lori, and I set out early Friday morning and our mood gradually changed as we headed South. We spent time basking in the sun... and we may have watched a little rugby as well.

18 January 2009

More flour?

"Can I help?"
"Sure," I responded as Syden ran to the bathroom to wash his hands before I had finished telling him he could help make tortillas.

Syden stood on a stool with a look of excitement and wonder as we mixed flour, baking powder, salt, shortening, and water to make what he liked to call 'stickiness.' His favorite part of making the tortillas was rolling the dough into a flat circle. It became a competition to see who could roll the most balls of dough and Syden was kind enough to allow me to roll 2 of the 15 balls of dough-he's such a fierce competitor. I impressed the crowd of one as I flipped the tortillas in the pan and at that moment, I knew I had a loyal fan for life.

03 January 2009

I believe

I was at a stoplight in downtown Salt Lake City and saw two blind girls walking across the street with a man I assume is their guide. The guide walked beside the girls while letting the girls lead the way from one side of the street to the other. As the girls approached the front of my car, I noticed one of the girls was leaving the crosswalk and moving closer to the stopped cars. The group passed my car and the 1st girl continued to walk near the cars and eventually ran into the car next to me with her white cane. The 2nd girl heard the 1st girls cane hit the car and was startled. The guide remained calm and waited for the girls to get back to the crosswalk and reach the other side of the street. Once again on the sidewalk, the guide spoke to the girls and I imagine he asked what each of the girls learned while crossing the street.
As the light turned green and I continued on my way, I reflected on the role the guide plays in the life of the girls. The guide could have grabbed the 1st girl so she didn't walk into a car, but instead, he watched as she found her own detoured way across the street. He was standing by to assist as needed, but wasn't overbearing which lead to the girls being able to find their own way with the skills and knowledge they possess.
I believe some of the most important life lessons are learned when we 'safely crash' with guides nearby to support and give guidance as needed.