Friday, February 16, 2018

Grateful Friday

Today I'm grateful for a vacation and mostly the people I get to share it with.

Adam:

We are joining Adam on a business trip to Florida.  He is the author of all adventures.  He tells me about upcoming opportunities with a little twinkle in his eye.  He figures out all the logistics and works magic with airline miles and hotel reservations and then we're on our way.

Braeden:

He and Emma are flying separately from the rest of us and I'm grateful for his sunny disposition that will make a red-eye flight more bearable.  I'm grateful for his willingness and in fact enthusiasm to ask questions of people when he needs assistance. (Emma and I don't like talking to people.  The end.)  Finally, I'm grateful he's big.  It makes me not worried about his sister traveling across the country.

Emma:

Emma is the Disney World guru.  She has made sure we all have the app.  She secured us all fast passes.  She's read all the things so she understands how it works.  She even has a friend who used to work at Disney World who gave her some insider tips.  Also, when Braeden and Emma land in Orlando, bleary eyed from a red-eye flight, she'll be the one to inherently know how to use the Uber app.  The girl has app skills.

Mark:

Like youngest children everywhere, Mark will have the least expected of him but he'll also get the worst bed.  He'll be entertaining and make everyone laugh.  He'll be the first one in line to eat but also to carry all the things.  He and I will spend a few days together after the BYU kids fly home for class.  He'll be the brilliant side kick he always is (or maybe I'm his side kick--I'm never sure) and he'll be good company when he and I fly home together the day before Adam does.

As for my role in all of this?  I just obsessively plan and overthink and I'm going to make sure I have lots of snacks.  Always.  The difference between family harmony and crankiness is usually the snacks.

Let the adventure begin!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Some emails

Some of these were intended for me and some weren't.  What can I say?  My inbox entertains me.

It doesn't matter how many times I unsubscribe from Democratic National Committee emails.  I somehow get signed back up.  By "somehow" I mean that someone who thinks my email address is theirs signs me up again.

Most of the emails are from Nancy Pelosi.  She's a tenacious woman, not to be deterred by me unsubscribing.  She also has high highs and low lows.  She's usually either livid or thrilled.  And she always wants money.



I ordered flowers from this company and I love the myriad chances they've given me here to use my credit.  They may be the company that cries wolf but I'm not going to tell them how to live their life.


FamilySearch sent me this:



They were talking specifically about my Grandma and Grandpa Egbert.  I appreciate the heads up from FamilySearch, but in addition to getting married in Utah myself, all my siblings except one, my parents, both sets of grandparents, all four sets of great-grandparents and all eight sets of great, great-grandparents were married in Utah.

I feel like FamilySearch wasn't even trying with that hint.

On every door of Mark's school they have had signs saying that they will not be accepting deliveries from parents for Valentine's Day.  I have also received multiple emails with the same warning:

PGJH Announcements:
**Valentines Day.  To minimize the interruption of classroom instruction, our school will not be accepting outside deliveries for students on Valentines Day, this includes deliveries from florists.  Please do not bring or send valentine items to the Front Office to have delivered to a student. 


It would never occur to me in a million years to have a "valentine item" or flowers delivered to my 15 year old son.

Who are these people that needed the warning?  Whoever they are, my hat's off to them.

Finally here's an email not intended for me that made me happy all the same:



If I ever need foot surgery, I'm going to Niceville.  It just seems...nice.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Why I was saved for these latter-days

There are lots of reasons I am grateful to live in the here and now. (Here's looking at you indoor plumbing.)  Another reason:  text conversations.  Namely the Fam-a-Lam ones.

There are the texts that are general inquiries:










A question Mark had while indexing (the child can't read cursive very well):


 And the general inquiries that turn into something else:



The time Braeden threw down the gauntlet:



(By the way, Heather was one of my laurels.  And is one of my favorite people.  And someone I'd want to be on the same side of in a battle.)

Mark usually has Fam-a-Lam blocked (and who can blame him) but he occasionally chimes in:




The time Emma followed in her aunt Olivia's footsteps and sold her plasma:



Some observations by Braeden:

and...



Emma getting an idea:


Then there was the time Emma wanted to see some ancient art:



If I can't spend all my days with these people, at least I can get their texts.  I especially love the funny ones:


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

One of these kids is not like the other

Saturday we ran errands for ten thousand hours and also went to the high school play matinee.  (Into the Woods!  Loved it!) When we finally got home from all of that, Adam and Mark went to help someone move and Adam and Mark installed a new microwave (I don't want to talk about it).  Except.  I'm glad we have Mark.  The whole thing made me nervous (something about heavy objects hovering above my glass cooktop) and Adam would ask me to do something while he was holding the microwave aloft and I'd look at him sort of helpless and call for Mark, who has dexterity and an innate sense of how things work.

Finally I told Mark he needed to stay there.  I pointed out (not for the first time) that we were installing a new microwave because of him.  Stay and help.  So he did.

Because of the myriad delays, we sat down to eat dinner in the 10:00 hour.  Which gave me a headache.  Me + not eating on time = headache.

On his way over to the table, I asked Adam to bring the Advil.

"Um, where is it kept?" Adam asked.

And that made me laugh out loud.

Braeden, Emma and Mark and I?  We're Advil takers.  When one of us has a headache and hasn't had Advil, someone else will invariably ask, "What family were you raised in?"

The kids know I always have Advil in my purse.  This is just basic safety.

But Adam doesn't know where we keep the Advil.

Mark said it's because he's stronger than the rest of us.  Truth.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Brothers

Thursday night Mark went with the youth to Provo to do baptisms at the temple.  After, they went to the Creamery which is steps away from Braeden's apartment.

So Mark texted his brother.  Braeden joined him and they called to see if Mark could stay and go to the men's basketball game with Braeden.  Braeden said he would drive Mark home later.  I said OK and have him home by 10:00 (school night).  Adam offered to go pick Mark up but Braeden wanted to drive Mark home so they could spend more time together.

They texted this picture:

That's one of Braeden's roommates, Ben, on the other side of Mark and I don't know what Mark is wearing because he left home in a white shirt and tie.  He borrowed it from Braeden?




Then Emma texted, "Why are you hanging out without me?"

Both boys texted her to come and join them and she answered, "I'm actually busy."

They rolled in around 10:30 and I said, "Wow, is it 10:00 already?"

Braeden said, "In my defense, I said I would have him home by 10:00-ish."

And I didn't really care that much, just like they knew I wouldn't, so there's another reason why I shouldn't write parenting books.  I was already in bed and had been looking forward to going to bed early but the boys climbed onto the bed and the four of us talked and Mark made us laugh so hard that I cried.  I kept saying I was going to sleep and they would make a move to leave but we'd start talking again and the problem with entertaining sons is that they're entertaining even when you want to go to sleep.  Finally we said a prayer together and I said goodnight for real this time.  They tumbled out the door, laughing and talking and I love those two.

And I love that they love each other.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Grateful Friday

The other day I drove past The Purple Turtle and I thought, it was about this time last year that Braeden had his surgery.  The Purple Turtle always reminds me of sitting in the parking lot there talking to Rebecca Justesen on the phone while she was at the hospital with Braeden.  I looked back on my blog, which is in every way my journal and personal history.  Yep, about a year ago.

Rereading that post brought back all the memories of anxiety but mostly made me really really grateful.  I'm grateful Braeden got to serve and finish his mission.  I'm grateful for the amazingly kind people who took care of him.  I'm grateful for the bizarre experience of him coming home, twice.  It was great to see him and I think upped the empathy around here for missionaries that return home early.  I'm grateful he healed from all his ailments.

I'm grateful this year is here instead of last year.

I've learned things about adversity in the past few years.  I wouldn't want to relive that time or wish it on anyone but I'm so grateful for all the times that rotten things have turned me and the people I love to the Lord for comfort and peace and lifelines.

Without troubles, the Atonement of Jesus Christ would be a theory.  It would be something we learn about and that sounds good.  When we are in the midst of things that feel out of our control and out of our scope for help and healing, that is when we test the theory.  That is when we fall to our knees and just plead for help.

That is when the help comes.  It may not magically repair everything, but we are given the strength to go just a little further.  We can keep trying.  We feel buoyed in unmistakeable but hard to explain ways.

I am grateful.

*
**

Here's one more thing to be grateful for:  Mark's backpack was found!  We prayed it would be and it was!  Hurray!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Rats

As further proof that I can't keep bad things from happening to my kids, Mark's backpack was stolen yesterday.

He left it somewhere, thinking it would be fine and it...wasn't.  Someone took it.

The backpack itself was nothing fancy and not a big deal.  What was inside it was a bigger deal.  Aaaaaall his schoolwork.  He has/had an enormous binder with assignments and papers from every class.  The kid who stole the backpack was probably hoping for electronics or cash or something inside and only got school work and probably just threw it away.

(We searched all the dumpsters outside the school.  No luck.)

I had the thought that this is a learning experience for Mark.  He will learn that he has to pay attention to where he leaves his stuff.  He has to be more careful.

I hate these kinds of learning experiences though.  I hate the learning experiences where our children learn the world is less safe than they thought.

Braeden and Emma and Mark started the world with wide-eyed wonder, ready to trust anything and everyone and every time something like this happens, they learn to trust less.  We all do.  It makes me sad.

Here's what doesn't make me sad.  Mark emailed his teachers last night to tell them what had happened because he's going to need some mercy extended as he tries to reconstruct all the notes and assignments he has lost.  Mrs. Braithwaite, his history of civilization teacher and now one of my favorite people in the world, answered him (Mark's email comes to me too, so that's how I know):

Mark, I am so so sorry!!!!!!!!!! Don’t worry about the assignments for my class! I know that you were caught up with everything so tomorrow we will just go copy someone else’s papers so you can have all the notes/assignments. It’s too bad there are stupid people in this world. But seriously don’t worry about anything for my class, we’ll get everything tomorrow!

It's hard to despair too much about the world when there are such kind and compassionate teachers.

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