Friday, January 19, 2018

Grateful Friday

I hosted book club last night.  Book club is one of my favorite things.  There's just something about getting together with like minded women.  Also, there's something about getting together with sort of diverse women who all like to read.  There are empty nesters, almost empty nesters, mothers with elementary age kids and mothers with newborns.  There's the one who really wants to read vampire books, the one that loves an unhappy ending, the ones who really have good insight about the characters and the ones who are really just there for the food.

I love them all.  I'm grateful they're in my life.

For the book I chose Goodbye for Now by Laurie Frankel.  Mostly people didn't like it and I predicted that, but there was a lot to discuss (which is what makes a successful book club pick).

In the book one of the characters hung model airplanes from her ceiling.

Mark helped me do the same.

Another character made cheese.  Also, it's set in Seattle so I had a theme to run with.

It was fun and I'm grateful for book club.  I'm one of the old ones in the group and I'm a tiny bit exotic too (I've never been exotic in my life) because I didn't grow up here and marry a boy who grew up here.  Almost all of them went to Pleasant Grove High School back in the day and then they got married and stayed.

I kind of like being the old one too.  When one of the women said her kids were obsessed with cats and she didn't want a pet cat, I said that Emma used to be obsessed with cats too.  I said, "She got over it."  Then I introduced her to Horace, the world's best pet.

I also told another woman not to take her kids to Disneyland until the youngest was six.  The first time we went, Mark was four and I ended up carrying him all day.  And he wasn't light.

That's me, the wise old sage, dispensing cautionary tales about Disneyland.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Delight in simple things

Things that are delighting me:

1) I have fresh herbs in my kitchen window (the top one isn't an herb, it's my crazy medusa like plant that gets a haircut about as often as Mark does)

2) We got our carpet cleaned and these two did all the heavy lifting. (And then Adam moved almost all the furniture back late at night when Mark and I were asleep.  If you want to be happy for the rest of your life marry someone like Adam.)

3) These doves hang out on the tree outside our front window.

4) With all the furniture moving I took the opportunity to clean and sort some things.  I wanted a new way to store my cloth napkins so I asked Pinterest.  In less than 10 seconds, I had my answer, stack them on their sides.  Pinterest is a genius.

5) Even though we've had unseasonably sunny and warm weather, it's dark early and I love candles.  More than that, I love that Mark smelled every candle at Target with me until we landed on the right one.  He's my most patient shopper.  (Which seems contrary to his entire personality, but there it is.)

6) This picture delights me.  Every day.  I wouldn't wish away the ages they are now, but I love those little cherubic faces!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

An upside

When Emma started college, she asked me if I was glad she was leaving.  I told her I was happy for her, but sad for me.

She was surprised, "Aren't you glad?!?  Won't your life be easier?"

I said no.  I said, "Other than being happy for you, there is no upside to you going to college."

I have finally decided there is an upside!

Emma's room makes a spectacular greenhouse.  It is situated perfectly to get winter sunlight from late morning until sunset.

I would rather have Emma in that bed than those little seedlings, but I'll take what I can get.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Birthday surprise

Yesterday morning I texted Olivia because it was her birthday.  I knew that she was going to be in the area and I wondered if I'd get to see her.

She texted back that they had time to stop by right then.  Yahoo!

Here's the thing when you stop by our house in the morning in the 8:00 hour.  I will look like I just rolled out of bed (it's not my best look).  And the house may be a little unkempt as well.

None of that matters when it's your little sister though.

The night before when I was (mostly) cleaning up the kitchen, I had thought about Olivia's birthday (it was after all, Olivia Eve) and how she loves chocolate cake with mint frosting just like my January baby does.

Happily when Olivia came over, I had some cake left to give her.  It was a delightful start to my morning to visit with Olivia and Edgar briefly and to be able to hug my sister on her birthday.

You just never know what happy things might occur.

* *

Here's something not too surprising.  I got my results back from my DNA test that Adam gave me as a Christmas present.

Turns out I'm white.  There's a reason I get freckles rather than a suntan.

Monday, January 15, 2018

What it's like now

Saturday morning, we met at Kneader's to celebrate Braeden's birthday.  (All you can eat French toast, which for Mark means going back two times.)

I told them about my dream where I was part of the French Resistance in World War II and we were preparing for an attack by the Russians.  My awake self knows that Russia was not France's enemy during WWII but apparently my sleeping self has other ideas.

Emma told us about her recent dream where our family decided to join Mark on a scout campout which was, you know, a cruise for a few months.  In order to save money we were picking the option of not going to any of the ports and not getting any food.  We did however have all the yogurt we could eat.

We stopped at Harmon's on the way home for lemongrass.  I was a first time lemongrass purchaser.  I thought it would be grassy, like chives or something.  It's more like the hard part of the asparagus you cut off and don't use.

While we were there, Mark got a text that he had church basketball games.

So we zipped home for that.

Like church basketball games everywhere, they were forfeited because there weren't enough players. They played anyway, mixing up the teams, and we watched a little.  Mark had fun.  If he's moving, he's having fun.  That's Mark.

We hosted a mini service project at our house, assembling kits to hand out to homeless people.  It was quick and felt like a good way to spend a little time and money.

On something of a whim, Adam and I went to the BYU Women's Basketball game.  We sat behind Braeden and Dillon and Braeden and Dillon make me happy like Mark and Gavin make me happy.  Plus BYU won.

We came home and I cut Adam's hair and baked a cake for the further birthday celebrations happening on Sunday.

On even more of a whim, Adam suggested we go to the movie at Water Gardens.  It is super cheap plus we had a buy one get one free coupon.  They're pretty much paying us to go to the movie!

The three of us quickly made our Vietnamese pork meatballs (why we needed the lemongrass) and they were delicious and then we headed to the movie.

We saw The Post which I loved.  You can't go wrong with Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.  I cried a little when Meryl Streep's character was exiting the Supreme Court and walking past a line of admiring young women whose opportunities were opening up because of people like Katharine Graham.

It was a full day but also a relaxing and hassle free day.

The almost empty nest is a happy place.

* *

Sunday we celebrated Braeden's birthday some more.  We made seven pizzas (only repeated one type--margherita--because everybody loves that.  My favorite was the one I created with peppers, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, mozzarella, peppercinis and lots of kalamata olives.  Mark called it my V. I. Pizza.  At the end of the night, he told me there was one V. I. Piece left for me.

And I ate it.


Here's Braeden lighting his candles:

The cake (chocolate with mint frosting--Braeden's favorite) is slightly wonky because that's the only way I know how to make cakes.  Braeden looks exhausted because he's a college kid and has 9:00 church.  He's always exhausted on Sundays.  He's wearing a shirt Adam wore in college and those are the Yu-Gi-Oh! cards he's had since he was six.  Sam brought a box full of Yu-Gi-Oh! cards back from Switzerland and I interrupted the game Mark and Sam and Braeden were playing so we could have cake.

(Sam's cards are in German.  Also he sang Happy Birthday to Braeden in both German and French.)

Friday, January 12, 2018

Grateful Friday

Today I'm grateful for President Thomas S. Monson.  His funeral is today and I'll be watching it and remembering a great man.

When I was growing up, his were always my favorite talks in conference because of the stories he told.  I loved to hear him speak because he entertained me and made me feel warm inside.

As an adult, I have had various real experiences where I have felt the Spirit confirm to me that President Monson was a prophet of God.  I've felt lifted by the words of a prophet and amazed that he seemed to be speaking just to me when he was in reality speaking to everyone.

There are many ways that President Monson has inspired me.  The internet has been littered with quotes by him lately and I've loved that.

One that I've always remembered and appreciated is this:

I aspire to be like that.  I want to be trustworthy and on the Lord's errand.  I'm grateful I get chances to try.

Sometimes the things I'm asked to do are not that hard.  I have the time and the ability.  Sometimes they are hard.  Sometimes I don't want to.  Sometimes I feel like I don't have the time or talent or inclination.

I'm grateful for a prophet of God who has inspired me to be better.  To keep trying.  To be someone who will run those errands.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Birthday boy

Today I have an official adult son.  He's 21.  Every mother says this every birthday her children have, but I need a minute to wrap my head around that.

Somehow he has gone from this...

to this... an astonishing blink of the eye.

The good news is that I enjoy that kid more all the time.

He's celebrating with his friends tonight and we'll mark the occasion this weekend.  But I'm going to lunch with him today.  I missed the last two birthdays and I want to see his face.  Braeden is worth celebrating.

Here is my love letter to my firstborn.  Here are 21 things that I love about Braeden:

1- He is up for anything.

2- He is a dispenser of wisdom that doesn't seem like a kid his age should have.

3- He wants to do the right thing.

4- He's a little boy in a man-sized body.  Seriously.  Or a lab puppy in a man-sized body.

5- He is the first to sign up to help.

6- He knows a lot about the gospel and scriptures.

7- He is a humble receiver of correction.

8- He is funny.  So funny.

9- He makes people feel comfortable.

10- It doesn't matter how many times you tell him, he can't remember where stuff goes in the kitchen.

11- He still enthusiastically empties the dishwasher every time he can, putting stuff in wacky places.

12- He has an insatiable appetite for all things politics.  He wants to discuss.

13- He has a strong work ethic.

14- He has a strong play ethic.

15- He is loyal.

16- He is forgiving.

17- He is able to lift heavy things and reach stuff on the top shelf.

18- He is quick to apologize.

19- He is steady in adversity.

20- He is the big brother everyone wishes they had.

21- I am lucky enough to be his mom.

Happy birthday sweet Braeden.  Thank you for making me a mother 21 years ago today and for forgiving me when I've fallen short and for making me happy and for being you.

Because you are pretty great.


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