Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The don't fall in holes talk

Yesterday Braeden and a flock of his friends--a diverse group, friends from school, church and Denmark--went to the ice caves for a hike.  They were completely autonomous (besides borrowing my van--I warned them I like my van more than I like Braeden.  They all sort of laughed like they knew I was joking but looked at me carefully like, "Is she joking?").  They stopped at the store for food on the way; they stopped at the ranger's station to buy themselves a pass to park in the state park.

I'm trying to strike a balance between letting our kids soak up time and experiences with their friends before we go and getting them to help me.  Because they're big.  Especially Braeden.  That kid makes short work of all things heavy that need to be carried.

Before the boys left, I gave them individually and collectively a lecture on staying away from the ice caves so they don't die if the ice caves happen to collapse.  Jadon said, "Oh!  A don't fall in holes talk," as if that explained everything.

I said, "I don't know what that is."

He said, "It's when you give a lecture to someone that they should be smart enough to figure out anyway but you still give it."

I said, "Welcome to motherhood."

Don't fall in holes talks are my life.

The boys left, a boisterous and buoyant group.  They were happy to be together and happy to be heading out sans mothers and their lectures.  I'm glad they have each other and a day in the sunshine.  I'm glad they all came home unscathed.

I'm really going to miss those boys.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Writing about something

I think most (all?) of the people that read my blog may already know this, but we are moving!

We are moving.

To Utah.

It became official about a week ago and I think it still doesn't seem 100% real.

For at least a year, I've been praying that Adam's situation at work would improve.  He hasn't had the best situation and there wasn't a whole lot I could do about it except pray.  So I did.

(This isn't really what I had in mind.)

In an unrelated matter, we also decided to look for a different house.  We wanted something with a bigger kitchen and more family gathering spaces.  More garage space too.  We looked and found a house that fit the bill.  On the day we were set to make an offer on the new house, things really went south for Adam's job and he heard (again) from a former boss that had moved to Utah and wanted Adam to work for him.  We decided to put the house hunting on hold and look at everything.  I had been praying to know if buying that house was the right thing to do.

(This isn't really what I had in mind.)

It feels like a whole series of things fell into place to make moving to Utah a reality.  It was nothing we sought but it's almost like it sought us.

Some people take vacations and go on roller coasters.  We have had our own stay-cation emotional roller coaster this summer.  Conflicted emotions have abounded.  I can't speak for everyone, although I can see the distress on their faces at times and the excitement shining in their eyes at other times, but as for me, I've been all over the place.

I love our home.  We've been very happy here.  We have a 13+ year store of memories and traditions and living among tall trees and seeing green everywhere we look.  We have family here and fabulous friends.  We have organizations we're a part of (my writing group! my book club!) and there are just people who know us.

This weekend I was at the grocery store and saw a lady who knows Adam's mom.  She greeted me warmly and said, "I thought I saw your handsome sons!"  (Braeden and Mark had walked ahead of me.)

It's nice to live somewhere where random and vague acquaintances know who your handsome sons are.

Perhaps the most heart-rending part of all of it is that it is Braeden's.  Senior.  Year.  Who takes their son away on the cusp of his senior year?  Witnessing my children telling their friends we're moving and their friends' faces reflecting back sadness all around pretty much breaks my heart.

On the other hand, when I hear Adam, who has been discouraged about work lately, talk with excitement and interest about his new job prospect, I feel really happy.  I feel like my prayers were answered.

And then did I mention my family?

We are going to live ten minutes from Ammon and Melanee.



Tabor and Katie are four hours from our new home.

My parents and the rest of my siblings are four hours away in a different direction.  It's going to be amazing.  I haven't lived in any sort of proximity to my family for seventeen years.

I am looking forward to being within an hour of my dear grandma.  I hope to visit her and help her regularly.  I owe her for a lifetime of being one wonderful grandma.

So there it is.  Writing about it makes it more real.  So I'd better go get to work.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dressing for success

There are big changes happening around here.  I'm not quite ready to write all about it yet but soon enough I will be (and then I probably won't be able to stop).

Mark is a happy go lucky youngest child 90% of the time and then he gets a stomach ache and declares himself stressed.  He enumerates all the changes on his horizon all the way up to Braeden going on a mission (which won't happen for a year).

At such times I do my best to talk him down.  I told him that the weather changes all the time and there's nothing we can do to stop it.  We have to adapt and wear clothes that are right for the unavoidable changes in the weather.   I have heard there is a Norwegian saying, "There is no bad weather, only bad clothes."  I told Mark, "You don't want to wear shorts and t-shirts all the time just because you don't want the weather to change.  It won't help.  Sometimes you need to wear a coat."  I promised him we can adapt to changes.  He threw his arms around me in a tight hug and then started talking about the sonic screwdriver he wants to buy with his allowance money.

The following conversation took place in the last few days:

Mark: There will be durassic changes.

Emma: You mean drastic?

Me: Yeah, not Jurassic, there won’t be dinosaurs.

Mark: There won’t NOT be dinosaurs.

So we'll adjust to the dinosaurs.  What do you wear in the case of dinosaurs?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Keeping the habit

Here's me, still trying not to fall off the blogging wagon.  I love to blog.  I love to write.  I want to keep the habit.

Sometimes I have a lot to say and sometimes I don't.  Well, I always have a lot to say, just sometimes I don't know how to say it.

In the meantime, here are some things to be grateful for.  When in doubt, if I'm grateful, I feel better.

This will be a memorable summer for big and small reasons.  Today I celebrate the small.  I like the way Braeden climbs in bed next to us when he gets home late from a social engagement.  He makes me scoot over to make room for him so he can tell us about his adventures.  I'll always make room for him.  I like the small cleverness Emma adds to everything.  She is a thinker with a quick wit and that's a dazzling combination.  I like the way Mark is always making a scheme, mostly involving things he wants to buy.  (I just nod and say "that's interesting.")  I like how he is increasingly able to hold his own amongst his siblings with his own clever wit.  I like giving him problems to solve and sitting back and watching him go.

I like Adam too.  A whole lot.  Last night he showed us a clip of an 18 year old boy with cystic fibrosis who was able to play in the Sounders soccer game because of the Make A Wish foundation.  Adam's eyes got teary when the stadium of over 60,000 people were cheering for the boy.  I love that about him.

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

Marcel Proust

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sometimes boys are awesome

On Tuesday night Adam and two other leaders took a bunch of boys on a bike ride.  They're preparing for their scout high adventure activity next month where they'll ride their bikes a long distance.  I've been told the distance but I can't remember.  It's longer than I would want to go, I know that much.

My job was to drop Adam and a few boys off at the church and then pick them up later at the park.  They were joining the older boys and their leader at the park to play frisbee hockey.  In the time I had between venues I went to the pool to watch Braeden finish up his swim lessons.  (Then buy him dinner.)  I love watching Braeden teach swim lessons.  He's always having a fabulous time.  He was teaching a little preschool group.  They were singing "The Wheels on the Bus" with abandon.  Braeden was singing his loudest.  He got a yellow floating tube and called it a banana and they had to swim with "big monkey arms" to the banana.  Then they all pretended to chomp on the tube which is sort of gross but they were all having a fine time.  He got a hula hoop which was a "ring of fire" they had to swim through.  The girl instructors next to Braeden were doing the same sort of things, but quieter.  I remembered the times we'd had boy babysitters when our kids were small.  It was loud and messy but the kids had a lot of fun.

We went to the park.  Of the four adult leaders there, no one had a frisbee.  Who was supposed to bring it anyway?  Nobody seemed to care.  They boys joined some other kids playing soccer.  One of the wives showed up with a frisbee and a game of Ultimate Frisbee ensued.  The men and a few boys were on one team against the rest of the boys.  There was no coddling, there was fierce competition.  The men were ahead and rubbing it in.  I couldn't help but contrast the difference between that activity and how women and girls would have been instead.

For one thing, someone would have had a frisbee.  Possibly a back up frisbee too.  There would have been refreshments (probably a tablecloth) and structure, structure, structure.  They would have made sure all the girls were feeling included and not getting their feelings hurt.  I'm glad to be a girl; I like the way we do things.  (I like refreshments.)  I had to admire the boys too though.  Without exception every man and boy had an enormous grin on their face.

Men and women are different and I think that's wonderful.  We need each other.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


The other day Mark said to me:  I have people to see, places to go.  I am a busy guy.  I'm surprised I have had time for this conversation.

Sometimes I don't know what to say.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Princess Potter

Last summer Emma tried to read all seven Harry Potter books in seven days. 3,674 pages.  She finished at 1:20 a.m. on the eighth day so she considered that a failure.  (I tried to convince her it wasn't because she didn't start at midnight on the first day.  She didn't believe me.)  When you make up your own challenge, you make up your own rules.

Last week she tried again.  She finished at 7:30 on Saturday evening, well within her desired time frame.  I visited her several times during her reading to check her progress, I'd call her Princess Potter and try to get her to do something else with her eyes.  She still had to help a little around the house but she mostly read and read and read.

She said she still saw words when she closed her eyes.

At the end she cried.  She said things made her cry throughout that she'd never cried at before--like when Mrs. Malfoy loved Draco more than she feared Voldemort.  Emma didn't know why she cried.

I do.

Because she has a mother heart.  Someday she'll love her own children.  Even more than she fears Voldemort or any other scary thing.  Watch out if you get between a mother and her babies!

I'm glad Emma's back from her reading.  If for no other reason, I missed her texts:

Reading can make you tired...


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