Friday, March 23, 2018

Grateful Friday

I'm grateful for life today.  I'm grateful for all the wonderful opportunities I've been given and the things that felt like raw deals but that taught me important lessons.

I'm grateful for my parents and siblings and friends.  I'm grateful for my mother-in-law and father-in-law and sisters and brothers-in-law and all they've added to my like.  And I'm grateful for life shared with my good husband.

Today Adam and I are 45.  Sheesh.  Some birthdays just seem a lot older and that is one of them.  It didn't help the whole 45-feels-a-lot-older thing when Mark asked me how long until I get social security.  He said, "Is that when you get to cut lines too?"

Sometimes I wonder about Mark's worldview.

But we're 45.  We met 27 years ago.  That's a lot of years ago.

I'm not going to write 45 things I love about Adam because I don't have the time.  He took the day off and we're going to spend it together.  I love sharing a birthday with him!

I just want you to know that I could write 45 things I love about him.  There are plenty of things to choose from.

Thursday, March 22, 2018


I am no good at transitions.  They keep me up at night and then I remember that some people have actual problems, but then I still can't sleep.

Being a mother full time has filled me up.  I love it.  It's what I always wanted to do and it's felt important and the best possible use of my time.

Thinking about being a teacher excites me.  I love it.  It's what I've always wanted to do and it feels important and like a good use of my time.

Transitioning between the two makes me anxious.

Mark.  He is big and sturdy and capable.  On the one hand he is on the cusp of gaining the independence of a driver's license and he really doesn't need me too much on most days.

On the other hand Adam and I have both had dreams this week about Mark as a little boy.

It's hard to let him grow up.

It's hard to balance everything--or at least feel balanced myself.  I think it's a lot less about what I am doing and a lot more that I feel conflicted about it all.

Next week, I'm going to attend a literary conference that I'm looking forward to.  Next week I also have to choose between a handful of parenting and preparing-to-teach-school-again things that are happening at the same time.

And then there's Easter to prepare for.  And when am I going to make the Finnish sour dough rye bread that is a multi-day process and one of our general conference traditions?

It felt overwhelming at 3:00 AM but later in the morning, when the sun was up, I told Adam that I am a planner.  This is what I've trained for.

I've got this.

(But transitions are still hard.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

How Mark feels about English

Mark has been working on an essay.  Yesterday I asked him how it was going.  He said, "I finished the outline and now I'm going to start writing.  And I'm dead inside."

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Family Home Evening

Last night the sun was shining and Adam must be able to recognize when my vitamin D stores are depleting because he suggested a walk.  We met Braeden and Emma in Orem and took a little turn around a park.  Then we went to Zaxby's for dinner.

I ordered a sandwich.  I asked, "Can I get coleslaw instead of fries?"

"No," the girl behind the counter said flatly.  "The meal only comes with fries."

"I can't substitute coleslaw?" I asked.


I was looking at her and she was looking at me and Adam said, "Can she get just the sandwich?"


"OK," I said, starting again.  "Can I get the sandwich and a drink and a side order of coleslaw?"

She said yes.

Out of curiosity, Adam checked the receipt and the price of those three items was the exact price of the combo meal.

When the food arrived, there were fries alongside my sandwich.  There was also a side of coleslaw on the tray.

Adam said it was a Zaxby hack.  A way to get extra food.

"A Zax hack," said Mark.

"A haxby," said Emma.

I took a bite of the coleslaw and it wasn't good.  "I don't want that," I said, placing it in front of Adam.

"Now that's ironic," said Braeden.

Adam tried it and deemed it not good, as in, it had turned.  He returned with it to the counter and came back with celery sticks.

I'm not sure if it was still a Zax hack or even a haxby, but I like celery sticks so I went with it.

Emma told us about the medieval stained glass in the Chartes cathedral and Braeden talked about Aristotle and property rights.  Having kids in college elevates the conversation, until it doesn't.  Because things usually deteriorate.

Braeden said something to Mark while Mark was drinking and Mark nearly spewed and nearly choked but held it together.

Later, Mark said something to me and I had just taken a sip of ginger ale.  I almost died (which would have been a downside of the whole evening).  I was able to swallow before I laughed until I cried.

All three kids talked about how satisfying it is to make Adam or me laugh that hard.

I just hope they don't kill me in the process.

The BYU kids needed to leave to get back to their family home evenings on campus.  Braeden was skipping his regular FHE to meet instead with his French class.  "Why are you having family home evening with your French class?"  I asked.

"Because we like each other."  That's as good a reason as any.

We parted ways and hugged our big kids and we read more in The Continuous Atonement by Brad Wilcox on the drive home.  We have a surprising amount of nontraditional family home evenings with just Mark here.

Family is an evolving revolving door.  I never imagined ten years ago that this would be my reality.  I do like it though.

Monday, March 19, 2018

A weekend

I could just describe how I was a little cranky all weekend because my eyes hurt and I was cold (the mild winter we had lulled me into thinking it was spring soon and it's been cold/windy/snowy).

Despite my crankiness, the weekend had its moments though.

BYU had spring break on Friday.  And by spring break, they meant one day off (which was more than I got as a BYU student).

Braeden and a group of his friends went to Moab.

He sent me pictures that made me wish I were there too.

And he sent some pictures that made me glad I wasn't there.  And also, don't tell anyone you're related to me.

Emma sent this about noon:

I told her never mind.  Time to wake up.

Friday night Adam was refereeing regional church basketball games--the teams across the region travel less distance to play each other than my nieces and nephews travel to play in their own church building.  While he was doing that, Mark and I went to the Cannon Center and had dinner with Emma.

Mark brought a plate of chicken and vegetables that had had the life boiled out of them to the table and said, "This does not look like a gyro to me."

Emma said, "Mark, you got that from the Euro station.  E-U-R-O and gyro is spelled G-Y-R-O."

So Emma and I laughed at Mark and he drowned his sorrows in about five more plates of food.  All you can eat is a spectacular deal for Mark.

The three of us went to The Little Mermaid at the Hale Theatre.  I am always blown away by the shows they put on in that tiny space.  The sets and costumes were fabulous and the actors were talented and I love live theater.  The End.

Saturday both Braeden and Emma (and Braeden's roommate, Scott) spent the afternoon and evening here.  They did homework and Emma sat at the piano and sang (which is wonderful) and the boys played Heroscape which Mark had painstakingly set up and I combed Emma's hair while Adam and I watched Darkest Hour.

Yesterday in addition to church and a nap I worked a little on family history for a friend that I'm helping.  Her family is from England.  I know it's a small island, but they only have like four names in the entire country it seems.

Which one of these is the one she's related to?

They were born in the same year, in the same quarter, in the same county, in the same registration district and they have the same name--just different mothers.  It makes me a little crazy.

Also, I wonder if the reason Utahns stereotypically give their children wacky names is because they've done enough family history to know that there is value in a unique name....

Emma and Braeden came for dinner.  They told me they'd passed Grandma and Grandpa on the way.

We had dinner (which wasn't that good, the dinner, not the company), I gave them a survey of meals they like most because I'm going to have a list of 15 meals and just rotate through.  I'm tired of coming up with what's for dinner.  Mark was assigned to sing in church next Sunday so he got his siblings to sing with him.  They picked a song and practiced a little and hearing our children sing together fills my soul.  (I'm going to play the piano for them and that fills me in a different way.  Terror.)

Emma left early because she had choir practice and Braeden stayed a little later.

Adam and Braeden played this game that Adam invented.

The person up above drops a pillow on the person on the floor and the person on the floor tries not to flinch.

Then they throw the pillow back up.  During that part, I say threatening things about them hitting something and breaking it.

Does Milton Bradley know about these guys?

Friday, March 16, 2018

Grateful Friday

Sometimes it is just the small occurrences in my life that delight me.

I like the mini lectures my extroverted sisters gave me in the comments in response to a recent blog post.  Those girls may lecture me but in every way important or small, they have my back.  They always have and they always will.

I appreciate that when I'm not feeling well (like earlier this week) Adam takes care of me in little and big ways.  He goes out of his way and then tells me he didn't go out of his way.  (But I know his way and he went out of it.)

I love that when Braeden came home to borrow a cooler for his weekend escapades, he quickly emptied the dishwasher before he left.

I love this text exchange he shared with me:

I don't know who the person is who got a new phone.  I don't know if Braeden ever told them it was him or maybe they were a good enough friend that they figured it out based on the response.

I love Emma's texts too which are often succinct.

I love when she responds with things like:


I feel good when I'm relatable to Emma and when she gives me 10/10?  Well, that's like winning the lottery.

I love the ways that I can rely on Mark, currently my one and only child at home.  He puts things away on the top shelf, shows me how to do things like extend the mop handle (it was impossible until he showed me and then it wasn't) and this morning when we were watching CNN 10 and they were talking about submarines, I paused the iPad so I could ask Mark about submarines and how they're able to be stealthy.  He explained the downside of pinging with sonar and then told me about rubber hulls which they use for insulation.  Then I started up the video again and they talked about rubber hulls.

All my kids know more than I do and I'm glad they share their knowledge.

I loved this text from Adam:

I loved when I was working with a first grader the other day.  I had him write words on sticky notes (which it turns out is way more fun than writing on regular paper).  He would decorate the words with smiley faces and check marks if he got them correct and he would write a big X if he got the word wrong.  At the end of our session, he looked at the sticky notes fondly and said, "You can keep those," like he was bestowing me with a great gift.  Delightful.

And then there was yesterday on the drive home from school when Mark told me he was "shook" in his geography class.  They had talked about the student protest and his teacher had basically said what I had said the day before.  When I had said it, Mark had said, "Yeah, yeah," like I was a verbal mosquito buzzing around his head.

When the inestimable Mrs. Braithwaite had told him the same thing, he was shook.

I said, "That's pretty much what I had told you, right?"

He said, and not even ironically, "Yes, Mom.  You are really smart.  You are one of the smartest people in the world."

I turned the car around and went to find a notary public so we could have that statement put in legal writing.

(OK, not really, but I was tempted.)

Thursday, March 15, 2018


I love that when you're in a family, you learn along with each other.  You become familiar with each others' passions and hear about things you would never know otherwise.

For example:  Fane Lozman.  Because Adam follows the Supreme Court like some people follow a sports team (or like how Adam follows the Mariners), I know all about the crazy antics of Fane Lozman and the city council in Florida that had him arrested and sunk his house boat.  You can't make this stuff up.

Braeden, the political science major, texts me articles to read from the NYTimes.

Emma, the humanities major, texts me pictures like this one of a Celtic knot design:

Yesterday morning, Mark said, "Do you hear that Mom?  That's the lambo."

Our neighbor down the street has a Lamborghini which Mark, the car lover, is impressed with.  We can't drive anywhere without Mark pointing to cars I would never notice and telling me interesting things about them.

As for me?  I guess I bring weather to the lifelong learning table.  I pay attention to it.  I want to understand what is happening and why.  (I don't always understand what is happening and why, because science, but I'm still interested.)

And we're having some weather around here this week.


Related Posts with Thumbnails