Dreams, Family, Life, Marriage

Staying at Home

If you think about it, it’s pretty amazing to have one person completely enable all of your dreams in life.Handsome NathanaelYou want a gorgeous, hardworking, funny, golden-hearted husband? Here I am. You want an eternal marriage? Same here, let’s do it. You want to live in a flat in London and do makeup for and/or play Christine in The Phantom of the Opera at the Her Majesty’s Theatre? Umm. . . (Okay, maybe not ALL of my dreams. I dream big.)

So obviously one of my ambitions is to be a mother and nobody’s employee or boss, not even my own. I make a terrible boss of myself.

You should work.

But I don’t want to.

You’re a terrible person.

I know, I am, which makes me too depressed to work.

So that’s where Nathanael comes in.

Job interview

Off to one of his second-round interviews.

This human being is going to work every day for the rest of his life so I don’t have to. (Well, let’s be honest, I’m going to be working freaking hard, but it’s a very different field.) In fact, on our first date he told me that one of his goals was to make enough money so that his wife could be a stay-at-home mother. (He also prefaced that statement by saying he didn’t want to offend me, and in my mind I was like, Offend me? Marry me!)

I just finished my last job hopefully ever—unless Disney wants to hire me to be a princess—and I have never felt so liberated! Being in the workforce has never been fulfilling to me, and that’s not for the lack of good jobs with fantastic people (Jenn, Jeff, Dennis, Annette, Chani, David, Lisa, Sarah, Jess, Estee, Anne, and so many more). Let it also be known that I hugely admire people who work hard and build their careers.


My last job was teaching adorable children like this robotics (don’t ask), so it’s not like I’ve been doing slave labor here.

But I’m FREE!

I know this opportunity doesn’t come to everyone who wants it (or hasn’t come yet), so I’m just really grateful that it’s my turn (T minus 6 weeks until baby).


Dream Journal #15 and #16 — Guns and Musical Numbers

In the first dream, Nathanael and I were sitting in sacrament meeting at church. A little boy walked up to the podium on the stage to sing a musical number, and I was surprised that someone so young was going to sing by himself. He started singing “I Believe in Christ” (definitely in my top five hymns), but pretty soon he grabbed the microphone, walked down onto the floor in front of the pews, and then began doing what I would call “rockstar” dance moves along to the song. We were all a bit surprised.

For the last verse, there was a key change à la MoTab and suddenly, the choir (which I guess had been there the whole time?) joined in with this kid to make that last verse powerful and loud. But the kid himself was taking it a little too far and was more yelling than singing.

I started crying because I was really touched by the song, and I asked Nathanael if it was okay that I was crying even though it was such an irreverent performance. The end.

Next dream. I had applied for a new job, but I lost the information and couldn’t remember who it was for or what I would be doing. But I could remember their address, so Nathanael drove me to the address so we could figure out what this job was all about.

We arrived at a business park with four or five different businesses. Nathanael suggested that we go into each of them and ask who had put up a job listing lately. We started with the first one, which turned out to be a dry cleaning/laundry place. We walked up to the counter and asked the sharply dressed young man if they had a job opening. He said, “Let me get my manager.” While we were waiting for his manager, I looked around the room and thought, “Wow, I think I would really love working as a dry cleaner!”

A young woman came out and somehow we got off the subject of job openings and she started telling us how one of the dryers had burned her finger to the point of deformation. She showed us her pointer finger and I thought it looked pretty normal. At some point, a customer came in (a middle-aged woman who will become crucial to the plot) and joined our conversation.

Another customer came in, but she was a little bit on the creepy side (like, drool coming out of her mouth and inching toward me kind of creepy), so when the middle-aged woman excused herself to leave, I said, “Oh, I have to leave, too! I’ll go with you.” Nathanael said he’d stay there to wait for our laundry to be done (which we must have given to the laundry people at some point).

I walked outside with this lady and made small talk. (Picture the principal from School of Rock. That’s basically what she looked like.) After we reached the point where we needed to go different directions, I said, “Have a nice day!” And then she said, “Wait, follow me over here.”

So I followed her across the street and into an empty field, where we were far away from any onlookers. I got a weird feeling about this whole situation and was trying to figure out how to leave without being rude. I started to turn to walk away.

“Wait, Shelbey, there’s one more thing,” she said. And then she pulled a gun out of her purse and pointed it right at me!

I tried to scream, but my throat muscles were so tense that I couldn’t. So instead I grabbed the barrel of the gun and simply said, “No,” sternly and walked away, hoping she wouldn’t shoot me in the back. She didn’t.

Another part of the dream was me relating this story to Nathanael, one of my old bosses, and various college students in a classroom somewhere. I remember one of the students asking, “Was it a shotgun or a handgun?” Everyone was very impressed by my story except Nathanael, who lost interest in it by the time I got to the best part.

The end.


Dream Journal #14 — Jimmy Fallon

I had a dream that I was on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, which was odd because I have never watched that show. Been shown snippets by friends, yes. Been in the room while someone else was watching it, yes. Late-night television irks me. But I do have to admit, of all TV show hosts, I do appreciate his upbeat personality and sincere silliness.

So anyway . . .

I was on Jimmy Fallon’s show. However, we weren’t on a stage: he was riding in a car while I was riding on a bike next to the car. But we were being filmed and I had prepared a musical number.

After singing whatever song it was, I remember thinking, That was actually a decent performance. Thank goodness I didn’t embarrass myself on national television.

I was then allowed into the car with Jimmy for the interview portion of the show. He started with, “So let’s talk about Chris Brown,” implying that there was some large media scandal related to Mr. Brown.

I responded, “Actually, I don’t talk about people behind their backs.”

Jimmy seemed disappointed and confused, and stuttered, “But . . . It’s Chris Brown.”

“Well, I don’t even know him anyway.”

And that was that.

But this does bring up a question: Why do we gossip about celebrities anyway? 1) It’s mean, and 2) who cares? Here’s to not gossiping—whether about celebrities or loved ones or not-so-loved ones or coworkers—a quest that I still find absurdly hard sometimes.


Dream Journal #13 — My Hero

I dreamt that Nathanael was walking down a street, when he saw a body in the middle of the road. The body had been decapitated (yeah, gruesome right?). Nathanael started to walk away, but then the person called out to him feebly, “Wait . . . Help me.” The person was me! (Yet I was also watching.)

Then it went black. The next thing I knew, I woke up in the hospital, although this hospital sure didn’t look like one. I walked to a cafeteria-like place, where I found Nathanael and his brother talking. My neck felt really sore. I told them that, and then Nathanael proceeded to tell me that my neck was sore because they had sewn my head back onto my body, because he found me in the street and brought me to the hospital. I felt my neck, and I had a circle of stitches surrounding the whole thing.

I instantly became enamored of my rescuer (in my dream, we weren’t married, he was just an acquaintance). I kept thinking, He saved my life! He is so wonderful!!

After talking to them, I went to a different part of the hospital. People kept pushing on my head, and I tried desperately to stop them so they didn’t rip the stitches and decapitate me again.

The good news about this dream is that I woke up feeling really grateful for Nathanael. But I still had a sore neck.


Dream Journal #12 — Miranda Lambert

You know, sometimes I think Miranda Lambert knows me better than I know myself. Her music somehow encapsulates my entire range of thoughts and feelings, from my ability to overdramatize unrequited love* (“Mama’s Broken Heart,” “There’s a Wall,” and “Kerosene”) to my octogenarian-like dismay at technology (“Automatic”) to my overly paranoid panic about the neighborhood I live in (“Time to Get a Gun”) to my awe at having found the love of my life (“Oklahoma Sky” and “Makin’ Plans”).

Well, anyway. Had a dream about her…

country music guitar

…There I was, sitting in the bleachers next to an elementary school’s track and field (I’m not totally sure if elementary schools even have a track and field). I was chit chatting away with Blake Shelton, who told me that his wife, Miranda, was going to join us for “the project” today. This was it—my chance to become Miranda Lambert’s best friend! So I told Blake, “You know, me and Miranda are like the same person” and explained all the reasons why. I was hoping he’d tell me that he thought she and I would make great friends, and sure enough, that’s exactly what he said!

So he and I started walking into the elementary school. At some point whilst traversing the field, he turned into someone else and there were leopards walking around. Oh, and then he disappeared.

I walked into the school’s main hallway and saw the other volunteers (at this point, my conscious self was still not aware of what it is I’m volunteering for), who were spaced at various points in the hallway, holding up long strips of butcher paper. Among their number was my friend Anna (who is an elementary school teacher in real life and played the role of teacher in my dream), one of the young women in my ward, one of my fellow Young Women leaders, a few other anonymous people, and Miranda Lambert, naturally.

We started the project, which involved painting the butcher paper and then folding it into the shape of a dressing room…? Don’t ask.

While we were doing this, one of the other volunteers started talking to Miranda about her passion for drawing. Miranda confessed to a similar passion for drawing, and I was immediately jealous—was supposed to be the only one with things in common with Miranda Lambert!!!

And that’s all I remember. But the weird thing is, I haven’t listened to a Miranda Lambert song in months. It’s not like I think about her all the time—or ever, really. It’s crazy what your subconscious will bring up in dreams.

* Luckily for the world, I will never have to experience that again. I’ve moved on to overdramatizing everything else.


Dream Journal #11 — BYU/Beauty and the Beast/Computer “Hacking”/Sword in the Stone

I was at BYU with Nathanael. He needed to print something in the good ole Cougar Copy Center in the basement of the Joseph Fielding Smith Building (aka JFSB aka where I spent 90% of my college career). I walked there by myself to get in line while he wrapped up talking to a professor about something. When I walked up to the counter, the worker was on the phone and said to the person on the other line in a quiet, brisk voice, “Someone is stealing our data. Send police to the JFSB Copy Center,” and then he hung up and told me he’d be with me in a minute. He walked through a doorway into the back room with all of the machinery, and as my eyes followed him I saw another copy center worker sitting at a computer with an obstinate look on his face. There was a young Asian man (I stereotype in my dreams, okay?) sitting next to him—clearly the one in control of the situation—who was whispering threateningly to the worker to enter all the required passwords and put the important data onto the flash drive he had inserted into the computer. He also had earbuds hanging over his ears (just FYI).

Suddenly, I felt a sense of civic duty and fled the scene. I ran into Nathanael and explained that there was a crisis in the Cougar Copy Center because someone was robbing them of their data! Nathanael entered Bruce Wayne mode (as he is wont to do when he senses an injustice) and we returned to the copy center. As we entered, the thief was leaving and I whispered to Nathanael, “That’s him!!!” So he said, “Stop him from leaving. Talk to him.”


Pretend this is Brigham Young University.

I approached the man who wasn’t actually Asian at this moment (he’d like flash back and forth… I don’t know, people. I don’t know.) and I said, “Where do you think you’re goin’??”

He told me he was leaving so I cunningly said, “Oh.”

I then remembered that oftentimes those who commit crimes against schools are the outcasts no one was ever nice to in school. This guy kinda had the whole “outcast” thing down, so I thought maybe a compliment would help.

“I like your shirt,” I told him. (But then I looked closely at his striped shirt, trying to figure out if I really did like it because I wanted to know if I had just lied [Yes, all of these thoughts occur to me in dreams.]).

He said, “Thanks. I like yours too.”

I tried to study his face so I could give a good police sketch later. Okay, he’s got a striped shirt. Angry looking. Asian. Wearing glasses. …That could be ANYONE! 

And then he left.

I never found out what happened with that whole incident because THEN the JFSB turned into some freaky Beauty and the Beast theme park ride. This is where the dream gets fuzzy. The JFSB had transformed into a castle, but it still very much looked like the JFSB. Just the castle version. And the ride was a real ride—with people sitting down and everything—but the Beast from Beauty and the Beast was actually in there and lived in that castle. It was one of those things where occasionally the citizens would send their strongest man into the castle to try to kill the Beast, but no one had succeeded yet. So I guess during the ride you had the option to get off and challenge the Beast?


Anyway, so I was on this ride and I got off with a guy who looked like the grown-up version of the boy from The Sword in the Stone. He was going to go attempt to kill the beast and I was his sidekick of sorts. Evidently, if you killed the Beast you received a large dagger (which had some mystical powers, naturally). Sword-in-the-Stone Guy walked up to the Beast’s lair and loudly proclaimed to his intentions to kill him and win the magic dagger. Out of the shadows, Maleficent grabbed SITSG (Sword-in-the-Stone Guy) and pinned one of his arms behind his back. Disney villain duo!!!

The Beast approached him and said, “I will give you the dagger right now and you can try to kill me with it. But you WILL. FAIL.

So he dangled the dagger over this kid and was going to drop it into his hand. With his free arm, SITSG reached up to grab it. As soon as his skin touched the hilt, he unexpectedly swung his arm around and thrust the dagger into Maleficent’s heart, pulled out a sword he had somehow hidden, and sliced the Beast in the stomach. All in a matter of milliseconds. (That sounds graphic. But my mind didn’t even picture blood and guts or anything.)

The Beast keeled over and I thought he was a goner. SITSG (Sword-in-the-Stone Guy) chopped off Maleficent’s head (again, gore-free) and walked over the the Beast with the same intention. He raised the sword high above his head and pulled it down through the air where it collided with the Beast’s neck with a huge CLANG! Evidently, the Beast’s neck was made of steel.

The Beast started to get up and SITSG started running (at this point it was as if I were watching a movie, and not actually there). The castle walls started crumbling—gargoyles and molding and stones started falling. I knew that SITSG could not get out alive, but was hoping that the castle would crush the Beast. Immediately after that thought, a huge piece of castle wall started making its gravity-induced plummet right toward the Beast. He dodged it though, and it flattened his foot instead (it was literally flattened like in a cartoon).

And thus endeth the dream.

I never got a resolution for either of those stories. Maybe tonight!


Dream Journal #10 — Adult Primary Program

I was in the auditorium that functioned as my freshman ward’s chapel (just one of those small auditoriums in the Harman Building at BYU with a pulpit on the front “stage” area). I was walking up the steps to the stage with a handful of other young adult ladies like myself, about to start our rehearsal of the primary program. Except that we were in it and no primary kids. However, it followed the exact same format of a primary program—like where each kid gets up and says one or two lines about prayer or whatever and sits back down.

My group was about to start, but each of our lines was timed with an exact moment in the music the accompanist was playing, and there were a few girls missing. I wasn’t technically up next, but the two girls in front of me were absent, so I walked up to the pulpit to just wait until the music queued me to say my line. As I stood there, looking down at my script and following along with what “11” and “20” would be saying if they were there (why the numbering didn’t follow a logical sequence is the least of my worries with this dream), our teacher, who looked oddly like Ms. Trunchbull, walked on to stage and started chewing my ear off about how I was supposed to start talking and how I singlehandedly messed up the program (k, she didn’t really say that, but it sounds better).

primary program

I replied, “Well, excuuuuuuse me! 11 and 20 are missing so actually, I wasn’t supposed to start talking yet.”

She figuratively tucked her tail between her legs and walked off to let us restart the rehearsal. For some reason this gave me a huge feeling of pride and accomplishment so I looked out into the seats where my husband was faithfully sitting, legs up on the theater seat in front of him, to see if he had watched me be so witty and poised putting my teacher in her place.

When I looked over at him, my eyes were caught by someone entering the room. It was Sharon (name changed to protect the innocent), who happens to be Nathanael’s cousin and who I think is one of the prettiest women I’ve ever seen (as a side note, all of his cousins are, if we’re being honest). But in the dream, she wasn’t his cousin—yet. Jealousy clenched my heart as I watched her walk down and sit in his row. She’s totally going to flirt with him, I thought. And she’s prettier than me.

However, the show went on.

A few minutes later, I looked back up at them to see if they were still by each other and GASP! She was rubbing his feet!!

Okay, she must not know he’s married, I thought. Better tell her.

So, in the middle of rehearsal, I walked up to the pulpit, grabbed the mic, and said “THANK YOU, Sharon!”

She called back, “For what?”

“For rubbing my husband’s feet!”

And then they both looked at me like I was crazy and she said, “…….Yeah, my cousin’s feet???”

Oh yeah.


Then I had a dream about being a computer programmer.