Wednesday, May 25, 2016


Mark: Which one of you pajama pants are going to drive me to school?

Me:  These are yoga pants.

Adam:  (also not wearing pajamas) Your mom.


Mark: Here's a fun Star Wars fact for you.  The Skywalkers were going to be named Starkillers but the fourth grade focus group didn't like it so they went with Skywalkers.

Emma:  Did you make that up?

Mark:  There really wasn't a fourth grade focus group.

Adam:  So it isn't really a fun fact?

Mark:  Well Skywalkers rolled off the tongue better.  Probably.  It's more of a probably than a fact.


Me:  What should we do when we get home?

Mark:  Introverts unite, separately.

Emma:  Yesssss!

Me:  I want to be with Dad.

Mark:  So we're going to be introverts, uniting separately except Mom and Dad because Mom likes Dad?  We should really come up with an acronym for that....


Mark tunes the radio to 104.7 Mi Preferida every morning on the drive to school.  He doesn't understand a word of the music that is all in Spanish but he has declared that next year he will, since he's taking Spanish.  He adores the fast talking DJs and dances in his seat along to the music.  This morning he said, "This music makes me hungry.  I want a burrito and nachos right now."

Everything makes Mark hungry.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Oldies station plays songs from high school

I'm one of the oldest ones in my book club.  They talk about preschool and the kindergarten bus and how hard it is to go to Target with their children and I have teenagers that I would love to take to Target with me if they would only agree to go.

Like groups of women do, we talk about anything and everything. Usually simultaneously.

I realized that the younger the mothers are, the more concerned they are with their children making their beds.  One shiny faced young thing with preschoolers insists on beds made.  Another mother with children in elementary school said her kids only have a duvet cover so they can pull it up easily.  A mother with kids the same age asks every day if they've made their beds but they usually haven't.

My kids haven't made their beds in years.  I change the sheets once a week and then I make the beds but that's it.  I used to try to care but my current philosophy is, "If it doesn't bother you, don't bother."  And it doesn't bother me.  

The other night, after we'd discussed the book, the conversation turned to social media and hashtags and texting lingo.   The younger mothers were concerned about the slang they don't understand.  They were trying to make sure they understood what was going on in the latest social media.  It isn't so much that I'm too old to learn it all, I just don't care.  I guess age = apathy.  One thing that made me laugh a little though was that I knew all the slang and text shortcuts that left them confused and feeling out of touch.  Because I have teenagers.

The young mothers want to be up to date and aren't.  I don't care, but I know the lingo.

They never have asked me to dispense my wisdom but if they did, here's what I'd tell the young mothers.  Read to them more.  Worry less.  It goes by faster than you can imagine.  There will be plenty of time later for All the Stuff.  Just sit on the couch and snuggle.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The drama banquet

Last week Emma had a big event:  the drama banquet.  She wanted a fancy dress for it.  Last year she just wore a church dress and she was the only one.  Everyone else was in formals.   That's drama kids for you.

We took Adri shopping with us because Emma is always a better shopper when she has a friend along.  We found a pretty dress and Emma was happy.

Thursday afternoon she went to Adri's house, along with Vanessa and Caralyn to have Adri do their hair.  Adri is magic with hair.  Emma came home looking lovely.

She said that Adri called dibs to do Emma's hair for her wedding.

I don't know who would compete with Adri.  Me?  One of her brothers?  I think Adri can have the job.

I had to run to the store and when I got home, there was a small crisis.  The zipper in Emma's new dress was stuck.  The fabric was maybe stuck inside, I don't know the trouble, but Adam was trying his best to fix the problem.  "Don't break the zipper," I cautioned my husband with the strong hands.  Within seconds he had indeed broken the zipper.

To Emma's credit, she didn't burst into tears.

We were less than half an hour before the drama banquet and her dress was in ruins.  I investigated the zipper and there was nothing I could do to fix it.

"What am I going to do?" Emma asked, eyebrows raised and forehead creased.

"Put the dress back on," I said, "and I will sew it shut."

"How will I get out of it?" she asked.

"I'll cut the stitches."

So that's what we did.  I was sewing furiously and the time kept ticking.  "Almost done," I kept saying, trying to be reassuring.  "Almost done."

I finished in the nick of time.  Adam snapped a few pictures and she was off.

It was the most intense stitching I've ever done. (Maybe it was the only intense stitching I've ever done.)

When Emma got home, Adam was talking on the phone with his mom.  He switched over to Facetime so he could show her Emma's dress.  Adam's sister Megan was there too.  They oohed and aahed over Emma then Megan said, "Who did your hair?  I know it wasn't your mom."

"Hey!" I said.

But I know, we all know.  There's no way I could have done it.

this was taken after Emma got home and she was more relaxed
 Adam took a picture of her shoes because Megan said Whitney would want to see them:

And then, in case you're wondering.  I snipped her right out of that dress safe and sound.

Friday, May 20, 2016

His arms are stronger than his compliments

This picture is from four years ago and completely unrelated to anything.  Isn't he cute though?

I wanted to move our king sized bed to vacuum behind it.  I fetched my furniture sliders (which are maybe my most useful possession) but I couldn't lift the bed high enough to slide one under a leg.  I called Mark.  I figured he could slip a slider under while I lifted with both hands.

Except I forgot that part about Mark being a teenage boy.  He lifted the bed with one hand and slid a slider under the leg.  Then he did it three more times.  He helped me move the bed and then, with a pat on the shoulder, said, "OK, I think you can handle this now."

It's amazing how teenage boys get strong all at once.  Just add food.

That night at dinner, Mark said, "I like your hair, Mom."

"Well, thank you," I said, feeling flattered.  (Because my hair is not usually any prize.)

"It's your house cleaning hair," Mark said.  "It's how your hair looks when you've been cleaning."

I realized that I'd had my hair in a ponytail for the vacuuming of the dust bunnies.  I had pulled the elastic out and who knew what kind of crazy my hair was doing.

I'm glad Mark liked my hair, I just wish he hadn't...elaborated.  House cleaning hair?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

True colors

Emma got sick Monday night.  She spent a miserable night, awake a lot, feeling awful.  I recommended she stay home from early morning seminary (even though they offer it release time here, she has her electives priorities and took seminary early morning).  She said she couldn't miss any more days.  (I think you can miss four or something, I can't remember.  I don't have to remember because Emma is on top of it.)

When I woke up she was dragging herself home from seminary.  She was terribly pale.  I said, "I thought you would miss seminary."

She said, "I had to go."

And that is Emma.  She does what she does.

She told me she was staying home until 10:00, then going back to school.  I said OK, because what does my opinion matter?

As the day progressed, she was feeling better.  She had a voice lesson at 5:00 in the evening and at 4:45, I found her asleep on the couch.  I gently woke her up.

She sat up, bleary eyed and dazed.  "Thanks Mom," she said, "I am so lucky to have you."

I think I just blinked.  Because Emma has never said anything like that to me before.  Somehow I gave birth to the most independent soul I've ever known.  "You're voice lesson is at 5:00," I reminded her.

"I know," she said, picking herself up off the couch.  And the spell was broken.  Because she always knows all the things.  She drove herself to her lesson and came home singing like she usually does.  She had dinner and got herself ready for the last choir concert of the year.

I watched her sing, afterward we chatted about the end of year slide show.  We commented on the choir performances.  She went to bed in her own due time because she can't be rushed.

But I will always remember that one time, when her defenses were down and she told me she was lucky to have me.

I am certainly lucky to have her.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

10 percent

It is really easy to make me laugh.  That's not necessarily a character flaw, but when you have children that are funny + love to perform, it's dangerous.  Because you laugh when they are funny and they lap up the attention and try even harder to be funny and you laugh and the cycle continues until it is too much.  Stop.  You're not funny anymore.

Many, many times I used to tell Braeden to only say 1/10 of what he was thinking.

Well, my little boy is growing up.  He emailed us this:
The sister missionaries were sick this week and we called them about something.  Afterwards we were just talking about how they were sick.  Sister Brownlee said, "1 Thessalonians 5:25."  I looked it up and it says "Brethren, pray for us."  I laughed and then read the next verse in my head.  I was SOOOO tempted to say it out loud.  Self control for the win.  Still trying to only say a tenth of what I think of.....
So then Adam and I looked up 1 Thessalonians 5:26.

Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


I can't remember what year it was.  I was in college at the time, but which year?  The years blend.  Whenever it was, our family decided to have a "homemade" Christmas.  I don't know whose idea it was originally, but my money is on Marianne.  She's often the idea girl.

Now this sort of thing worked well in our family because of my parents' skills.  My dad made me a silver necklace and my mom sewed me a beautiful dress.  I think I wrote something for each of my siblings which strikes me as sort of a lame present.  (Sorry everyone!)  I can't remember what all my siblings gave me, but yesterday I was straightening up and my eyes landed on the gift Olivia gave me.

I named her India.  She has absolutely nothing to do with the country India, I just liked the name.  Her face is a little dirty (despite my best efforts, she was seriously loved by all of my children as toddlers) but she's still perfect.  I love the happy doll.  To me she represents a little sister (a talented little sister) who loves me.  I love the mix of patterns.  I love the colors.  There's nothing quite like arranging the skirts of a rag doll your sister made for you.  I don't know, it just raises the spirits.


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