Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Lost causes

I'm drawn to plants and maybe specifically to plants that are lost causes.

Trayvion.  Poor Trayvion.  Braeden and I brought him home a proud leafy abundance.  Leaves slowly turned brown and fell off and Adam told me to give up but I didn't want to.

Look at him now!

He's not as leafy as when I bought him but he's coming back!  (And that little humidifier on the floor has a lot to do with it.)  Tropical plants and arid air are not always a winning combination.

I had our boys move a hydrangea bush from a pot where the previous owners of our house had planted it.  The bush was too big for the pot, which was cracking, and I couldn't even tell if the hydrangea would survive but I like to try.

For weeks it has done nothing except sit there and look dead while I made sure it was getting enough water and I fertilized it.

And guess what?

That little bit of greenery behind the bush is a volunteer marigold.  They are springing up all over the front flower bed and I love it.

Next up in my lost cause plant list?

This friend.

This peace lily is one of the plants I've had the longest.  It loved the Pacific Northwest and thrived there.  It's struggled here.

But kind of like when google maps tell me how many minutes until my destination, challenge accepted.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


Erin and Adam looked at this camera and Robbie and I will be the ones looking at the other camera.  The travails of modern life and kids taking pictures with different phones...

Adam and I hosted a reunion of a few BYU friends last night.  Emma, master of portmanteau, decided to call it our BYUnion.

Erin and I were freshman roommates, randomly assigned.  Adam and Robbie were freshman roommates, randomly assigned and Rachel (who wasn't able to come and it made us all sad) was next door to Erin and me.

(We all love Rachel.)

Through some jockeying by Adam, who was in the Elder's quorum presidency back then, he and Robbie were our home teachers.

And also, Robbie and Rachel and I had older sisters who were best friends/roommates.

So there were a lot of connections.  We ate dinner together nearly every night and Adam and Robbie called us every night to play a Billy Joel song for us when Robbie found Erin and me lacking in our Billy Joel knowledge.  (For example, we hadn't heard of him.)  We visited our older sisters' apartment often and it was our home away from home.

We were kind of each other's home away from home.

I scanned and printed some pictures from our freshman year, which was 27 years ago.

We were children.  Babies.  I have two kids older than we were back then.


This picture was taken in our older sisters' apartment.

The stone washed jeans....

We had a lot of fun back then and we still have fun now.  We are the it's-like-no-time-has-passed-since-we-last-saw-each-other kind of friends.

We've been through stuff that's been hard that has made us different, but a lot of the same things are important to us as they were back then.  We still feel connected.

And we'll be friends forever.

Rachel asked us to take lots of pictures and we almost forgot to take any.  I know this is pretty much the same as the above picture, but in this one, everyone is looking at the camera.  So there's that.

Monday, June 18, 2018


Saturday morning, Braeden, the perpetual early bird, got up to get his worm.  (His worm was a small tree that was invading our front flower bed that I had asked him to get rid of.)  He wanted to do it in the early hour before it got hot.

Braeden is a lot stronger than he is careful and he punctured a sprinkler hose in his zeal which resulted in a deluge (the sprinklers were on at the time).  He quickly turned off the water and came inside to report his doings.

Adam, having just woken up, sleepily said, "Call before you dig."

Then he said, "You can help me fix it."  Braeden happily agreed with all the enthusiasm of a 6'4" Lab puppy (because that's basically what he is).

And they went out and repaired the problem.

Late Saturday afternoon, I asked Mark to replace the toilet seat in one of the bathrooms (the previous one never fit correctly).  Mark's usually good at stuff like that but he got confused apparently because instead of removing the toilet seat, he started removing the tank from the toilet.

Another son, another flood.

Adam hastened to his aid and Emma threw a big bath towel down from the upstairs bathroom, where she was getting ready for work, to mop up the water.  I could hear Adam patiently explaining to Mark what had gone wrong and then he walked him through the steps of fixing the problem and then replacing the toilet seat.

With a sad head shake, Braeden said, "I know how Mark feels.  You think you're doing the right thing and then you mess it up."

Then he added, "It's hard turning boys into men."

And it is.  Except I think Adam's pretty good at it.

Having celebrated Father's Day yesterday, I'm grateful.

I'm grateful for my dad.  When we went to Isaiah's basketball game last week, we were looking for the right gym.  I knew my parents were already there so we were on the lookout for Grandma and Grandpa.  I told Sam (because he hadn't met my parents) that my dad was tall and always had a hat on.  I said, "When I was growing up, I could always find my dad.  All I had to do was look up."

What a blessing it is in my life to always have had a beacon, a righteous and steady man to look up to.

I'm grateful for Adam's dad.  I honor him as well.  Not only was he one of the kindest men I've ever met, he grandfathered our children like it was his job.  Also, he, along with Geri, helped shape Adam into the good man he is.

I'm grateful for Adam.  I am a lucky and blessed woman.  He loves us and works hard and sacrifices in a million ways for us.  Also, he's really witty.  And smart.  And patient.  And makes any mundane thing you're doing fun somehow.

You get the idea.

I love that guy.

Adam got a leaf blower for Father's Day and tried it out on our kids.  They may or may not have been exaggerating just a bit...

Friday, June 15, 2018

Grateful Friday

It's the little things, you know?  Here's what I'm grateful for today.

Air conditioning

Fresh blueberries

My desk chair

I am not at Girls' Camp.  My sisters are.  Solidarity, my dears, but I'm glad I'm not camping.

Taking a morning walk with Mark.  Or Mark or Braeden.  Or Mark and Braeden and Sam.  I just like a morning walk.

Finding enough hangers when I'm hanging up clothes after doing laundry.  Feels like winning.

Getting snapchats from Emma.  She delights me.

Early mornings and evenings on the deck. (I'm there right now.  There's a cool breeze and I can smell the neighbor's roses and hear the wind chimes and birds.)


Last night I was asked to go to the Family History Center to help some kids from "the other stake" with family history.  When I got there, I asked which stake they were in because the other stake could be one of many.  (It was the Timpanogos Stake.)

I started working with Anne, who was about 12-13.  She was smart and good on the computer and knew her login information which frankly is half the battle.  Her family history was complete as far as the eye could see.  I saw some Egberts on her tree and after a few clicks, realized we were related!

We searched for about an hour to find a name she could take to the temple with zero success.  At one point she said, "So I'm seeing that this is a tedious process that requires patience."

I agreed.  But then I told her that when you do find something, it is exciting.

Across the room her brother was working with a much more expert expert.  She said, "My brother's finding names and we have the same family.  Shouldn't I be finding names?"

"Well," I said, "your brother has a lot better helper than you do."

She stared at me for a beat, then started laughing.

I sort of loved Anne.

And finally, finally we started finding some names.  She said, "This is exciting!"

Then she said, "I feel all warm inside!"

When her parents arrived to pick her up she said, "I don't want to go home! I love this!"

The Spirit of Elijah is real my friends.

Driving down to the Family History Center (which is 2 minutes from my house) to work for a few hours felt like a little thing.  But sometimes the little things are big things after all.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Today was amazing

Braeden told me about a missionary who wrote "Today was amazing" on the top of his journal every day.

And when I was thinking about it, I think it applies.

Here's what's been amazing me:

The sheer volume of food Braeden and Mark and Sam can put away.

Those three boys woke up before 7:00 AM to help with flags (flag day).  I thought I was done when I was released as YW president but now Adam is YM president.  So we're back.

Mark's YM leader had donuts for them at 7:00 AM.  People are awesome.

It was 77 degrees outside at 2:00 AM when I opened the windows but then decided against it.

Things still smell a little skunky.  How long does that last anyway?

I guess the world is amazing.  You just have to look around.

Last night we went to SLC and watched Isaiah play basketball.  That kid is amazing too.  I enjoyed seeing Luke and Savannah and chatting with Jennifer and my parents and hugging Enoch around the waist (which is where I can reach).

The boys had each had multiple pulled pork sandwiches for dinner and then after the game we went to McDonald's for hot fudge sundaes (they were out of ice cream!  The humanity!).  Each boy got a McDouble.

I said, "We just ate!"

Sam said, "But that was like three hours ago."


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Some summertime happenings

Emma and Rose and Fiona finished their masterpiece.  (I told them to do something on our driveway next but it hasn't happened yet.  Emma said if I bought Diet Dr. Pepper it might entice Rose and Fiona.)

This guy got his braces off.

The boys and I went to Salt Lake City (Emma was working).  The boys went to the movie with Hyrum--a.k.a. the birthday boy--and Marianne and I went looking at flooring samples.

Doing anything with Marianne is pretty much fun.

Adam joined us after work and we went to World Market for tikka masala sauce and Walker shortbread cookies and ginger mints and a free shirt.  (It's a long story.)

We briefly visited our grandma and then the movie was over so we went to dinner.  Marianne told Hyrum, "You should enjoy this because it may never happen again, but you can order whatever you want."

The boy got a big steak and shrimp.

Sitting with Marianne and Adam across from our handsome and witty sons, I had to think, you know, we didn't do half bad here.

(I wish I had a picture.)

Sam is staying with us for a few days...a week?  I don't know.  Both Braeden and Mark were unreasonably excited for him to come.  To help with staying up despite jet lag, Ben and Alexa came from Provo for the evening (and Taco Tuesday, which is a thing for us this summer).

I like my kids' friends. And I'm not just saying that because Sam brought me an enormous bag of chocolate from Switzerland.  Swiss chocolate!  Why can't America do better?

It's not all fun and games though.  Last night the kids were eating their ice cream and playing a Swiss card game on the deck and there must have been an altercation with a skunk and the neighbor's dog.  They came in quick but our house smelled skunky (sad but true, it's a sort of porous house).  We had to sleep with the windows closed which was sad.  I went out this morning to turn off the deck lights.  No one was brave enough to do it last night.

Sometimes I think there's too much wildlife and not enough suburbia around here....

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Team Davis

Saturday I had agreed to help with games at youth conference.

Here was the plan:

Pick up Braeden from being an EFY counselor at BYU.  Take him home and let him sleep.

Take Emma to youth conference with me to help me run the games that were already well established and figured out.


No big deal.

Except Friday, Cortney, who I was filling in for Saturday morning, stopped by.  She had done a few rotations of groups on Friday and it hadn't worked.  She said she had completely thrown out every plan and had winged it.

There are two types of people in the world.  There are those who can wing it with group games for teenagers and those who can't.  Guess which group I'm in.

I asked Adam if he would help me (he was there anyway) and of course he said yes.

So OK, not exactly to plan, but Cortney and I talked through a few options.  It would still work.

Saturday morning I headed to Provo to get Braeden.  I was plenty early to get back, tuck him into bed, deliver the pie I was taking to a funeral and pick up the supplies that Cortney was supposed to be dropping off at my house.


Except it wasn't.

There was a marathon from Provo Canyon into downtown Provo and all kinds of crazy traffic and closed roads and also road construction in Provo and it took me an hour to get to BYU when it usually takes 30 minutes.  I am abysmal with directions but luckily Provo is one of the few towns I know so I was able to be adaptable in finding my way.

Still.  It was crazy and by then I knew there was no way I was going to make it to youth conference on time and since it was in the canyon with no cell service, I couldn't even tell anyone I was so late.

I didn't know if Cortney had delivered the game stuff plus the plans were all so sketchy and half baked I didn't know if it would work anyway.

I picked up Braeden and bless that little (big) boy's heart!  He was exhausted and looking forward to nothing more than a long nap but he said he would come and help me.  He said, "This is what I've been doing all week.  I've got you, Mom."

(Four of the best words in the English language, "I've got you, Mom.")

I talked to Emma and she delivered the pie and was able to get the game supplies.

I talked to Adam who had come out of the canyon to deliver stuff to our house (long story) so he took Emma and the game supplies and some caffeine for yours truly because seriously.   I didn't even go home but took Braeden straight to youth conference.

I had Emma and Adam and Braeden and truthfully, what more could I want?  (I know, a ginger.  We did get together with him for lunch.)

Adam and Braeden both have booming voices and innovative styles.  They led the games and Emma kept track of the time and managed supplies and handed out cookies and it all worked!  At one point, Emma leaned over to me and said, "Braeden is really good at this."

And he is.

It is the role he was born to play.  He has the loud voice, plus he's big and commanding so people listen to him.  He's funny and fun and I just sat back and watched and thanked my lucky stars that I hadn't been left to my own devices because it would have been a train wreck.

It is wonderful that we all have different talents and can serve in a variety of ways.  Maybe it's easier when you're a parent to look at your kids and be blown away/impressed with their uniqueness.  When we're looking at ourselves, sometimes we just feel not good enough.  But that's just because we're good in so many different ways.

It is also wonderful that we have families.

Whether or not I deserve them, I'm glad these are my people.


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