Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The big day

It's finally here.  His whole life we've talked about the day he'll serve a mission.

And here we are.

I can't even begin to describe how it feels.  Exciting and scary and joyful and full of gratitude and really, really rotten come close.

I'll miss him.  That's all.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Other stuff too

I have one and only one thing on my mind and that is the impending departure.

You know, in case you couldn't tell...

Today we have a packed list of last minute stuff to attend to. Just when we thought we had everything, it turns out we don't.  I'm very glad we'll have Adam to help us tonight.  He's smarter and more experienced (at being a missionary and at packing a suitcase efficiently).

Today also, I have some things to say unrelated to Braeden's mission:

1-Happy news!

Meet Lucette.  She arrived yesterday.  All ten. Pounds. Of. Her.  (Well done Melanee!) She is already a well loved celebrity in the family.  She is not only the Baby Dahl (23rd grandchild!) but she also has the distinction of being the biggest at birth.  I can't wait to meet her later today.

2-  This is what Emma wanted for her half birthday present:

She is a silly old bear, much like Winnie the Pooh, but incredibly huggable and cuddly when she wears her new pajamas.

3- I have been enjoying my grandma.

Sadly, she broke her back and is in a rehabilitation center and so wasn't able to come on Sunday.  We've visited her a few times, including last night.  I love my grandma!  She'd already given a very generous donation to Braeden's mission but when we went last night--and Braeden was there to say good-bye--she retrieved a folded bill from her wheelchair and asked if he had room in his bag for that.  She is the kindest, most generous grandma in the world.

Recently, when going through the possessions of their parents' that have passed away, my mom's cousins found a box of letters that their father, my grandma's brother, had written home during World War II.  They made copies and then gave my grandma the box of letters.  I have been reading the letters aloud to my grandma.  She was still living at home at the time and so the letters are to her as well.  They are a treasure trove of information.  I love reading about the history of the time and getting an inside look at the life of a soldier.  I also love the family history aspect of it.  I always liked my great uncle Shirley.  (He was named before Shirley Temple made Shirley a girl's name!) He was a talented piano player and always kind with twinkling eyes.  He was also my grandma's next door neighbor.  It is interesting to learn more about the relationship Shirley had with his parents and my grandma back then and I like to know the kinds of things they talked about.

The very best part is how inspired I feel when I read Shirley's words.  He was incredibly optimistic and upbeat.  He didn't complain about a single thing.  There was one, "Golly it is hot today..." but that's hardly a complaint.  He writes about what they're doing (we're at the beginning of the letters so he's still in training and hasn't gone to Germany yet) and who he is with.  He's complimentary of his fellow soldiers and grateful for the food he's getting (food at home was rationed then).  His letters are also chock full of gratitude to his parents, their way of life and how he was raised.

They make me want to be a better person.

Monday, August 31, 2015

I am glad for many things

Sunday Braeden spoke in church.  I'll have you know that I may have teared up a smidge, but I did not cry.

This is progress.

We had about 60 people over for lunch.  It was a wonderful day.

my favorite picture is right in the center:  I don't know the details but I think Cormac was sad and Luke who has the heart of a giant in his athletic little body was there to offer compassion and probably advice

 There was cousin time:

that last picture is what happened after the boys dumped the water cooler all over the trampoline...they're a little nuts
And cousin time:

Incredibly, amidst the chaos, there were nappers.  It sort of looked like a crime scene.

It was a small army to feed but I had an incredible army of helpers too.

I loved every minute of it.

Then there were the good-byes.

That almost made me cry so I had to pull myself together a little. And start cleaning up.   

Olivia compiled a treasure of a book for Braeden.  She surreptitiously passed it around and everyone filled it with advice and love for Braeden.  He also told me that my dad took him aside and gave him advice that has been handed down through the generations for missionaries.

All I can think of are the lyrics of a primary song I learned when I was a little girl.

I am glad for many things,
Many things, many things.
I am glad for many things,
That are mine today.

Thank you, thank you, my heart sings, 
My heart sings, my heart sings, 
Thank you for the many things
That are mine today.

I can't say that I am looking forward to saying good-bye to my boy for a few years but I also know that I have never been more grateful either.  I am grateful that I feel like that same army that was at my house yesterday is there supporting me and Braeden.  They could change the world.  They have changed my world.  Their collective prayers on Braeden's behalf will carry him through thick and thin.  I am grateful that he is ready and able to go.  I am grateful for the experiences he will have that will shape the rest of his life.  

I'm grateful that I have such a wonderful offering to give.  He's one of my best and brightest.  

That's for sure.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

So. Busy.

I hesitate to not blog because I don't want to infuriate my nieces.  I promise I'll get back to this.  Today the first guest arrives.  Today starts the hullabaloo, the party, the celebration.  We're sending the boy off with a bang. 

I'll be back.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

It will never be the same again

This is one of those write-myself-into-well-being posts...

A week from today.  That's when he leaves.  Am I beating a dead horse on this one, or what?  I can't seem to think about much else.

Nothing will be the same after he leaves.  And then he'll come home and go to college along with Emma.  It will just keep changing and shifting.

If you can't be happy with change, you won't be happy in life.  I need to embrace that truth and get stronger here.

I was thinking about those words:  it will never be the same again.  There have been other things happen to me and then my life was never the same again.

1- I learned to read.  It was never the same again.
2- I went to school.  It was never the same again.
3- I got a driver's license. It was never the same again.
4- I went to college. It was never the same again.
5- I got married. It was never the same again.
6- My siblings married fabulous people. It was never the same again.
7- I gave birth.  Three times.  It was never the same again.
8- My children, one by one, learned to talk. It was never the same again.
9- My children, one by one, learned to read. It was never the same again.
10- I made some lifelong friends. It was never the same again.

In every case, it was better.

I guess this is my way of saying, never the same again doesn't necessarily equate with something hard or sad.  If I had a nickel for every time Adam reassured me and encouraged me to trust more, he wouldn't have to work.

We would be independently wealthy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Living in Utah county

Braeden and I went to see Once I Was A Beehive.  It may or may not ever be shown beyond the shadows of the Wasatch mountains.  I don't know.  I do know I loved this movie!  (And you've got to admire the security of an 18 year old boy who would go to a girlie movie with his mom.)

It's about Girls' Camp and having gone to Girls' Camp as a young woman and having gone as a leader, I thought it was impeccable.  A little over the top and exaggerated because, you know, it's a movie, but I know people like the people in this movie.  A lot of them.  They are crazy and quirky and ultimately really loveable.

There's a lot of quirkiness about being a Mormon.  We are different.  Peculiar even.  (Hopefully loveable.) 

Living around here, I feel Understood.  I can let my freak flag fly.  I don't know, did I use that right?  Is being Mormon a freak flag?  It's a little surreal to live in a place where my religion is not in the minority.  Everywhere else I've ever lived, being a Mormon was Different.  Here it is The Same. 

I've decided that getting a missionary ready in Utah County is a luxury.  It feels like all the stores have my back.  First there was The Missionary Mall and then there was bicycle shopping.  Every mission is different and sometimes you buy the bike there and apparently sometimes you don't.  Braeden's mission let us know he could either send a bike from home (which he's outgrown and Mark has commandeered) or he could buy one there.  Braeden is the least likely person in the world to have retail experience or shopping skills.  He doesn't like to shop (unless it's for outlandish clothes at a thrift store).  Also, he has a shopping attention span of about 20 seconds (that is if he's promised a treat).  I felt queasy about entrusting him with a bicycle purchase.  We went to Fezzari bike shop.  They had great deals for missionaries (plus free shipping to his mission).  Also, they know what kinds of bikes missionaries need.  They measured him because they will build him a custom bike and the bike will be pretty much assembled when it is sent.  (I would send an unassembled bike to Mark, but not Braeden.  Braeden has a lot of talents and abilities but none of them involve tools.) 

I was elated when we left the shop.  I would like to give Utah County a great big kiss.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Still me


I don't know.  This is weird.

I told Adam the other night through my tears that I felt like my purpose is diminished.  Adam is 1) unfazed by my tears and 2) a good listener and 3) always a wise adviser.  I'm lucky I have him.

I tried to explain how it feels that I very soon won't be a Full Time Mother (no children at home), it felt so different.  I realize I'm a late bloomer.  Most people with kids the age of my kids have already adjusted to this....Adam talked about all the glorious things I can do with increased discretionary time.  And he's right!  I'm anticipating Time Well Spent.  It also feels too luxurious somehow. Selfish even.

Adam pointed out that I've never been all that selfish and he doubts I'll start.

Adam asked me if once I was going to school, my mom no longer mothered me.  Of course she did!  She still does.

I'm still me.  I'm still a mother.  As my circumstances shift and my role goes from a managerial to a more supportive and advisory role, I will try to roll along with the changes.

Change.  I like it when it involves paint colors and throw pillows.  It's a little harder to take when it involves how I spend my days.


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