Friday, February 27, 2015


Yesterday I woke up with my left eye swollen shut.  If something is going to cause me trouble it is my left eye.  (And I am so nice to it!)  If eyes could get the bubonic plague, my left eye would already have had it.  I run out of left eye contacts months before I run out of right eye contacts.  If I have a contact problem, it is always in my left eye. 

I had the thought, "If I could have one wish, it would be for a new left eye."  Because it is the worst.

Then I amended my wish. If I could have one wish it would be for my children to never be disappointed, because that is the worst.  Then I considered a whole bunch of things I would fix in my life if I could.

I realized maybe mortality was the problem.

When Mark was a toddler and wreaking absolute havoc in my life, my mom said, "Your trouble is that you think Mark should just sit in the corner with his arms folded."

Well, yeah.

But I appreciated the lesson.  Mark was Mark.  I had to learn to cope.

And life is life. Without all the bumps, bruises, disappointments and hassles (and swollen eyes), it wouldn't be life.

I collect quotes like some people collect life-like dolls (who are those people?).  This is one of my favorites.  I first heard it by President Gordon B. Hinckley but he was quoting Jenkins Lloyd Jones:
Anyone who imagines that bliss ... is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed.  [The fact is] most putts don’t drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. … Life is like an old-time rail journey—delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.
I also love this:
Expecting a trouble-free life because you are a good person is like expecting the bull not to charge you because you are a vegetarian.
Jeffrey R. Holland
So I'll forge on.  I won't expect bliss.  I won't expect a trouble-free life.  I will be grateful for the ride (and for antibiotics).

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The emperor's new clothes

For nearly every day of our married life, Adam has made me laugh before I go to sleep.  I don't know if he consciously decided back in 1995 that he should make me laugh before I go to sleep, or if it just comes naturally.

Another thing about Adam is that he reads the New York Times like it's his job.

He came across an article about some Gucci fashion show stuff and he said it was like watching a train wreck, he couldn't look away.

I don't even know what to say.

socks and sandals aren't even a fraction of the problem here


The ruffles, the lace, the emaciated models.  The duck face pouts.

Do you personally know any man that you could pay to wear these?

I have no words.

Where's Waldo?

There he is!

Another score for Adam making me laugh before I go to bed.  (But also disturbing me slightly.)

Do yourself a favor and check out the entire collection.  You will then have the ability to make someone laugh too. 

Gucci.  I don't know.  I guess we pat them on the head and tell them everything is going to be all right.

And then lead them kindly to a store that has less bizarre clothes.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Mark had a baby tooth--a molar--that refused to let go.  Emma had the same thing when she was younger.  His permanent tooth had grown in underneath and the baby tooth was pushed off to the side but it persistently hung on.  Mark refused to let Adam touch it.  (Adam is the tooth puller around here.  I don't know who comes up with these divisions of labor, but that is his department.)

I told Adam that Mark had a dentist appointment soon and he could get it pulled then.  Adam pointed out that the dentist would charge a lot for something he could easily do.  So, I offered Mark $10 if he would let Adam pull out his tooth.  He tried to bargain for $15, but I was firm and he agreed.  He was happy; I was happy.  (He immediately bought a Lego set.)

Mark's currency:  currency--green American folding money.

I try to coax Emma into taking a walk with me when she gets home from school every day.  She rarely wants to.  Yesterday, because I knew she had a big paper due today, I told her that I would log her onto the computer only if she walked with me.  So, of course she relented to the walk.  (I felt like a genius.  A slightly evil and manipulative genius, but still a genius.)

Emma's currency:  getting her homework done.

I decided I wanted a big plant.  A big sun loving plant because what I have in spades is sunshine.  Furthermore, I decided a fiddle leaf fig tree was my heart's desire.  When Braeden got home from rehearsal, since I needed him to come along to carry the fiddle leaf fig tree after I purchased it, I said, "How much do you love me, on a scale of one to fiddle leaf fig tree?"

He said, "Ummmm."

I showed him a picture of a fiddle leaf fig tree (which is really fun to say).  I said, "Will you go with me to find one?"

He said, "Sure."

Braeden's currency:  he is always up for an adventure...and he rarely has homework.

We were non-triumphant in our quest but neither of us have the attention span to keep questing for too long.  He talked me into this plant.

I think it is lovely in its little corner (but it is on a stand with wheels so it may prove to be a nomadic plant).  I will still keep a lookout for a fiddle leaf fig tree.  (Because they are so fun to say...and I have enough sunshine for both.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

State of the union

Adam:  We had a rare Monday night with just the two of us last night.  The kids had a church youth activity. (On a Monday!  I know!)  Adam and I had dinner at a Brazilian restaurant which was delicious and then we went to Costco.  Once inside Costco, I realized I hadn't brought my phone which contained my list.  I couldn't remember anything on the list!  I bought 6 gallons of milk because that's what I do every time I darken Costco's door and some contact solution but I couldn't remember anything else I needed.  I had a sad little empty cart.  I looked around as we stood in line and I lamented to Adam that the other shoppers with their full carts were the successes.  He said, "But I'd rather be married to you."

See why I like that guy? He's nice to me even when I forget what I need at Costco.  (It was canola oil and sour cream by the way.  Among other things.)

Emma:  is at that delightful stage where she is in driver's ed. and knows enough to criticize my driving, but she still hasn't mastered staying in her own lane.  (She comments on my driving when she takes a break from correcting my grammar...and my grammar isn't terrible, but she expects perfection.)  Braeden has never corrected my grammar but he went through the same stage with my driving.  When Emma told me I didn't have the proper following distance behind the car in front of me, I told her I was a better driver than she was.  She paused then said, "You didn't have to...that was a low blow."  But she smiled. I love that girl.

Mark:  went with me to the junior high yesterday.  We picked up a sheaf of papers for me to fill out.  While we were there, he whispered in my ear that he definitely wants to go to school all day next year.  The world tilted in a seismic shift and I had to swallow the big lump in my throat.  And then I had to remind myself that it's not about me, it's about him.  As much as I want it to be about me...

Braeden: gathered me in his arms yesterday while I cried a few tears about next year.  My life is going to be turned on its head.  Maybe because he's naturally empathetic, maybe because he's the oldest, maybe because he's been at it for so long...I don't know.  But that kid gets me.

Me:  I need to put away the Valentine's decorations.  And research house plants.  Because I want more, they just have to be the hard to kill variety.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Family weekend

This was a good one.

First, Friday we celebrated Azure's birthday.  My parents were there too which only made it better.

I love this picture of Mark and Azure.

She'd blown out one candle and was getting a pep talk before she attempted the rest.

When he's not riling his little cousins up with his wild antics, he's quite loving to them.

Here's the sweet princess enjoying her cake:

I am glad we're able to be a part of her life.

After the birthday party, we went to BYU to watch Clarissa perform.  She was fabulous as usual.  I love the way she extends herself with enthusiasm and tries new things and always has a big smile on her face.

I am glad we're able to be a part of her life.

We hit the BYU Creamery for ice cream after.  Marianne's family was there too and it was nice to be together.  Morgan went back to our house with us to spend the night.  We had left Adam's car at Ammon and Melanee's so while we were driving back to their house, Mark and Morgan were talking in the backseat--it was mostly Mark--and Emma and Braeden were in the middle seats, talking and laughing.  Loudly.  With enthusiasm.  And persistence.

When I was a kid and Olivia and I would get in trouble for being silly and told to settle down, I never understood what the problem was.  We weren't doing anything wrong; it wasn't like we were fighting (because we did do that sometimes).

Now I get it, Braeden and Emma can be a lot. A little much, like my mom used to say about Olivia and me.

Emma went with Adam when we got to his car and Braeden climbed into the front seat.  I said, "You have to stop.  I'm tired and cranky."

Morgan said, "I don't believe you that you're cranky.  Because my mom gets cranky."  Then he outlined a time they were given extra jobs because they'd woken Marianne up.

"Oh no!" Braeden said, after assuring Morgan that I could get a lot crankier, "You don't wake up Mama!" 

That's just basic safety.

Then they talked about how their dads don't get cranky when they wake them up.

I'm glad Marianne's kids and my kids have each other.  They can start a support group.  The main tenant of the organization could be You Don't Wake Up Mama.

We loved having Morgan though.  He is a darling boy and he and Mark have a lot of fun.

Saturday, Olivia and Edgar and Tabor and Katie came to town also.  The kids were babysat by their older cousins at our house and we all went to the Mt. Timpanogos Temple.  (My grandma too.)  It was Clarissa's first time.  What a blessing it was to be in the temple with four generations: my grandma, my parents, my siblings and dear Clarissa.  (I wish Enoch and Jennifer had been there too.  Enoch had basketball coach stuff and I feel like basketball coach stuff is severely cutting into my chances to see those guys.  And it is all about me, after all.)

I always enjoy going to the temple but being there with my family just made it all the sweeter.  At one point my mom whispered to me, "It doesn't get much better than this, does it?"

And she's right.

Because of the temple and the covenants made there, everything that matters most in life can be ours.  We are a family.  I can't put it all into words, but I was very grateful to be there.  And it's possible I cried.

But I'm not the only one.

Afterward we retrieved the kids and took over a corner of JCW's for burgers and fries and milkshakes and the like.  I guilted Marianne and Robert into sitting by us, even though they were in demand elsewhere.  If you can't guilt your own sister, who can you guilt?

Sunday morning we went to Provo and saw more family.   My very youngest cousin, Brett, who I hardly know because I am old and he isn't, returned from his mission and spoke in church.  Before his talk, the bishop asked everyone in the congregation who had returned from a mission within the last year to come to the front and sing Called To Serve.  There were 41 of them!  It was incredible.  (A lot of them were sporting Russian tie tacks--that's where Brett served--and they were there to see him.  I was also sort of blown away by Brett's talk.  I love listening to missionaries tell about their missions, particularly when, like Brett, I can tell they returned from their missions changed people.  I was glad my kids were there to hear him too.  It was fun to see some more cousins and aunts and uncles that I haven't been around for years.  When Brett got me confused with Marianne, I assured him it was OK.  I said, "I was the age you are now when you were born.  I'm your much older cousin.  It's OK if you get confused."

For most of my adult life, I've not been around so I love being able to do all these family things that fill me up with belonging and happiness.

I tell you, family.  That's the thing.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Mr. Mark

Monday Mark and I have an appointment with the registrar at Pleasant Grove Junior High.  We're not sure what his school day will look like next year...every other day, part of a day, all day.  But it will be different than what it is now.

My homeschooling days are numbered.

It fills me with a whole bunch of loss.  A life raft I have to hold onto is my own interest in teaching in a school again, coupled with the knowledge that good things await Mark.


I really enjoy every minute of this.  We have a loose routine that I love, punctuated by small adventures.  With only one exceptionally bright boy (I'm his mother, I can think that), the school work doesn't take too long.  A few days ago we went to BYU to buy tickets to some of Clarissa's performances.  We stopped by the Museum of Art and perused the Japanese Deco exhibit and then the origami exhibit.  We didn't take long/read any descriptions/linger.  It was just a happy stroll through art which is always good for the soul.  We kept a lookout for Clarissa, but didn't see her.  At one point, Mark gasped and said, "There's David!"  Then he laughed because, not really.

He's a turkey.

But I love spending my days with him.

Yesterday I was cleaning the bathroom while Mark was working on a math assignment.  He was supposed to tell me when he was done.  I was scrubbing the shower and heard an odd sound.  I turned around and this was walking toward me:

It was a robot type thing that he had built for science earlier.  (We do science first thing every day, at Mark's insistence.)

How could I better spend my days?  I can't think of a way.

Around lunch time, I was thinking about how Mark needed a little bookshelf in his room.

We had a little bookshelf in our room that would be perfect.

And then the shelf down by the piano would be perfect in our room.

(Wheels, they were turning.)

I scanned the Ikea website for bookshelf ideas (to replace the one by the piano).  Then I decided to look at the KSL classifieds.  Ta da!  There was one that was just right!  I sent a text to the owner and was thinking the best idea would be to go look at the shelf when Braeden could go with me.  (The whole Craigslist killer thing plus he's good at carrying furniture.)  The owner of the bookshelf wasn't available in the late afternoon or evening when I could take Braeden--or Adam.  She said she was home right then or I could come another day.

When have I ever been patient?

I decided Mark was strong enough for lifting and loading and besides, I didn't think Highland, Utah in the middle of the afternoon was a very risky place to go.

I told Mark if he was helpful (meaning no complaining and actually helpful) I would take him through a drive-thru on our way home.  He helped me reconfigure the seats in the van and I counted out the cash and we were off.

We chatted and listened to music and Mark complimented me on finding the house.  (It's always sort of a miracle when I find the place we're seeking and my kids know it.)

The shelf was even more perfect in person and we loaded it up.  Mark took a picture of it with my phone and texted it to Adam while we drove.

Adam texted back, "What is that?"

That is Mark and me, solving the storage problems of our world, one bookcase at a time.

I got Mark a double cheeseburger at the McDonald's drive-thru.  He opened it up and showed me. "Twelve years," he said, "Twelve years and you can't remember to ask for no pickles."

(I guess because I think he should get over it and eat the pickles.)

We strategized the best way to get the shelf in the door and then had to carry the other bookshelf upstairs.  Mark wanted to wait for Braeden.  (Again, me with no patience.)

"We can do it!" I said.  I reminded him of the no complaining clause of the contract.  We negotiated the landing on the staircase thanks to his spatial skills and he even rescued a few pictures from falling off the wall.  And he's getting strong, just in time to replace Braeden as the resident strong boy.

All the bookcases are in their new homes.  Mark and I have more small scale adventures in store and I'm going to enjoy this homeschooling gig as long as I have it.

Here's the new bookcase because I know my sisters will ask for a picture.  I have yet to arrange and rearrange things on the shelves, but you get the idea:

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Braeden at the doctor

I took Braeden to the doctor to get his physical. 

For starters, that kid is big.  6'3 1/2" and 212 pounds.  When the nurse told him the stats he gave a self satisfied nod (although he wishes he were as tall as his uncles).

I know that I shouldn't be surprised when you figure in his DNA and food consumption and the fact that he's full grown, but still.

He used to be my baby.

I handed over his immunization record, the same one I've carried around to doctor appointments since he was born. Braeden and the nurse were both amazed it was the original immunization record.  "Usually people lose them," the nurse told me.

I told Braeden, "Someday I'm handing this immunization record over to you and I expect you not to lose it."

The nurse eyed Braeden and said, "Better make a copy first."

Braeden said, "Better make three or four copies."

He had to have blood drawn and a TB test which didn't phase him in the least. Gone are the crying at the doctor's office days.  (They've been gone for a good long time but they were traumatic enough that I still appreciate their lack now.)

Two days later, yesterday, we had to go back to get the TB test read.  I met Braeden there after his rehearsal. It occurred to me that I could have just had him go on his own, but I didn't trust him with the stack of papers.

How do I trust him to go serve a mission in the first place if I don't trust him to keep track of the papers?

I don't know.  It doesn't have to make sense, OK?

We walked in together and Braeden said under his breath, "Just tell it to me straight, Doc, will I ever play the violin again?"

He does that, tells me goofy things right before I am supposed to speak intelligently at the receptionist desk.  The nurse called us back and Braeden rolled up his sleeve.  "Negative," she said. (Which I could plainly see and could have marked the little negative box on the paper myself, but then what would I do with all my free time?)

Braeden said to me, quietly, "I guess I need to get back all the things I gave away to people since I thought I may have tuberculosis."

Again, there I was laughing and the nurse was looking at me like, this is really no laughing matter.

I gathered up the paperwork, since that was my entire role in the excursion, and we headed out into the late afternoon sunshine.

Anytime you don't have TB, it is a good day.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Last Sunday

We decided to have our traditional seven course meal on Sunday.  Of course we invited our Clarissa to join us.

First we took advantage of the gorgeous, windy weather and walked down our path to fly kites.  (By way of walking uphill first only to realize there were too many power lines.)

The colorful kites and blue sky and snowy mountains were a stunning combination.  Clarissa and I decided my dad would call it the most beautiful day in the history of the world.

I will never get tired of blue skies.

The rest of us had changed out of our church clothes but Braeden wore this all day, with the gold sunglasses Grandma Geri gave him.  The heart wants what the heart wants.

Here's Emma helping launch the kite for Clarissa:

And then for my extremely fancy and artsy shots:

What is that blue-green dot on the left?  Maybe a UFO?
Over Adam's shoulder:

Mark was there too but he eluded the camera.

We went home to prepare our feast.

We set a festive table:

a chocolate initial at each place
Mark and Adam made the appetizer, baked eggs and mushrooms which  I was skeptical of, but it was Mark's choice and it turned out quite good.

the kitchen got really messy...this doesn't even begin to illustrate that

Emma also made a pesto cream cheese spread for crostini. 

Braeden assembled the caprese skewers.  Well, first he artfully arranged the ingredients:

he put extra balsamic vinegar on mine because he knows how I am
We had carrot ginger soup, which was a crowd pleaser.

The palate cleansing lemon sorbet:

The steak and grilled asparagus:

The dessert, chocolate covered cherries:

And the cheese:

Now I'm hungry.

And there aren't leftovers...

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


I have a daughter who is sixteen.

Just need to wrap my mind around that for a minute.

Here are sixteen reasons why she's my favorite daughter:

1) She is wickedly funny.  Emma doesn't always try to make you laugh like her brothers do, but she is plain funny.

2) I gave her a tour one time of where everything goes in our new kitchen and she remembers.  I tell everyone else constantly where to find a spatula or where that bowl goes.

3) She is way smarter than I am.  Which is convenient when I need help.

4) I am better at 1010 than she is (a new game app she has introduced me to).  It makes me feel better when you consider that she is way smarter than I am in every other way.

5) She is good.  She wants to be good.  She has a crush on a boy because he's so good.  I don't worry about her.

6) Her work ethic is incomparable.

7) Her ability to sleep is incomparable.

8) She is one of my very favorite people to be with.  Combine her low maintenance personality and her clever wit and I'm happy for the day.

9)  Emma is extremely independent--she fills out her own paperwork and only needs me to sign it. I love that!

10) She is pleasant even when she doesn't get enough sleep or isn't feeling well.

11) She is fearless.  She doesn't like talking to strangers but will advocate for herself when she needs to.

12) She writes beautiful music.  And poetry.

13) Emma is a loyal and kind friend and sister.

14) She could talk her dad into anything but she doesn't exploit that ability.

15) She is absolutely impervious to peer pressure.  Or mom pressure.

16) I like her more and more the older she gets...which makes me happy, since she keeps getting older.

Emma invited a group of friends over yesterday for a little party.  They made these Harry Potter wands out of chopsticks and hot glue and paint.

You don't even have to be a big Harry Potter fan, they are pretty great wands. 

I like Emma's friends.  In addition to having clever ideas on how to make Harry Potter wands, they are a nice group of girls.  When we sang Happy Birthday, Adam said it sounded like 18 part harmony.  Most of the girls are in choir, and they're good at it.  They gave Emma sweet and thoughtful gifts.  With funny homemade cards.

Adam and I went to buy them pizza after he got home from work.  We discussed the amount.  We scaled way back from what we would have bought if Braeden was having a party.

They only ate half the pizza.

Here's something you may not know:  boys and girls are different.

Here's an example, they're doing Emma's hair:

Braeden and his friends have never done each others' hair....

And here's my pretty girl with sixteen candles:

I love her!  Happy Birthday sweet girl.

Monday, February 16, 2015


A whole weekend of love.  Happiness all weekend long.

Friday was a great start with us finding out Braeden and Emma were both cast in the next play.

(It's possible I cried a little.)

(It's possible I'm emotionally unstable.)

(It's possible I shouldn't be seen in public.)

Another triumph for the day was that Adam's Valentine box placed third which awarded him a $25 gift card.  (Mark immediately wondered about his share.)  Adam said it was too subversive to win first place, but subversive enough to get him on the podium.

I said, "Please tell me there was really a podium."

There wasn't.

Also Friday I made chocolate covered cherries which are 1) delicious and 2) make me think fondly of Janet because she's the one that taught me to make them.

That night Adam and I went on a double date with Ammon and Melanee which was fun.  I like those kids.

Braeden had a group date with some of his friends and Emma babysat for Ammon and Melanee.  I was hesitant to leave Mark home alone which deeply offended him because, "I am twelve, Mom!"  I made sure Emma ate before she went because Melanee was feeding her kids ahead of time.

When we were there dropping off Emma and picking up Ammon and Melanee, Melanee said, "I fed them dinner but here are some crackers if they get hungry."

After, when we were driving Emma back home, she was telling us about her time.  She described a game they played and she said, "Then I made them dinner."

Adam and I both said, "But Melanee had already fed them."

"She had?"

Sometimes my smart girl likes to pretends otherwise.

Saturday morning the boys played in a church basketball game, Adam refereed, I watched and Emma stayed home and slept.  Braeden often reminds me of his uncles and he plays basketball like Tabor.  He mostly fouls.  He was wearing a tie dyed tee shirt and so when Adam would call a foul on him, he would say it was on "Tie Dye." 

In the afternoon we took Tie Dye with us and shopped for our big Seven Course Meal (which we had the next day and I will have to tell you about later or else this blog post will be too long.)  We sampled fancy cheeses and hunted down shallots in the produce section and generally had a good time.  Braeden likes being the only child occasionally.  Takes him back to his roots, I guess. 

Emma had some friends over while we were gone.  When we got home I went in the basement where they were giggling and watching a movie and giggling.  Oh, and giggling. 

That night Braeden had a man date.  (Not to be confused with a mandate.)  It was his friend Andrew's birthday.  The rest of us were generally lazy.  We talked about dinner ideas and landed on waffles and sausage.  Adam and Mark went to the store for toaster waffles and sausage and also came home with flowers for Emma (yellow roses) and for me (red tulips). 

We ate our dinner and then watched Persuasion.  Mark was reluctant.  He said, "Nothing ever happens in those movies."  We coaxed him along until he agreed though.  Every twelve year old boy should be exposed to some occasional Jane Austen whether they like it or not. (And I think in the end Mark did sort of like could he not?  Jane Austen!)

It was a good way to spend Valentine's Day.  I was surrounded by people I love and that's the whole idea, isn't it?

Friday, February 13, 2015


Yesterday Adam forwarded me an email about a Valentine Box Contest they were having at work.  In the email it also included an employee list, as in make a Valentine for everyone.

They are all adults, right?

I felt compelled to action though.  Adam needed to redeem himself from Christmas.  His last day of work before Christmas, he came home laden with treats and cards from coworkers.  He had taken nothing to anyone.  I guess we didn't really know that was a thing.

But Valentine's Day!  I was determined to step it up.

I searched Pinterest for Valentine box ideas and Valentine ideas but there were 58 names on the employee list and I couldn't see me going to too much effort.  Adam and I decided to tackle the project when he got home.  We enlisted Emma's help.  (She's kind of the obvious choice around here.)

The three of us went to Hobby Lobby and Michael's and the grocery store.  Adam had an idea to decorate our paper shredder as a Valentine box which is pretty clever but could backfire if whoever came up with the contest idea feels offended by the paper shredder idea.  We plastered it with pink and Mark even wandered through and decided to help once he heard there were cash prizes for the winners.  He stuck hearts on and negotiated his cut of the winnings.

Emma assembled the Valentines.  We decided on some groovy tattoo ones...all peace signs and rainbow colors.  They seemed just cheesy enough.

reading the employee list off the ipad--she put a smiley face on Adam's boss's Valentine

We had fun but I kept thinking, they are all adults, right?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Lucius and Luscious McCoy

Because he's always trying to be funny, Braeden signed his name Lucius McCoy on something.

At least that's what he meant to do.  Later he asked Emma if luscious and Lucius were spelled differently.  "Yes," she told him.

Which just made Braeden laugh because he had accidentally written Luscious McCoy.  In the vast range of Braeden's talents, spelling does not figure in.

Emma is taking a geography class and she has had to make food and then have people taste it and write statements about it.  (And you thought geography was knowing that Istanbul was Constantinople!) She made this Aztec chocolate drink which was really thick with no sugar.  (Pretty nasty.) I noticed the paper and here's what Braeden wrote:

It tasted how I imagine an old miner would taste.  Earthy, with a hint of shame and regret.  Interesting texture though.
--Luscious McCoy

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Why I am doing this

Lately I've been working on getting Braeden's doctor appointments in order as he is getting his mission papers in order.  (And it's a pain because I invariably set up the appointments for times that don't work for him but when I asked him earlier if he had conflicts, he didn't. Sigh.)

It occurred to me, while I was sitting on hold with a doctor's office, that I am really shooting myself in the foot here.  I'm helping this process along.  This is a process that will rip my heart out and I'm working towards its success?  I feel like the wiser thing would be to sabotage the whole thing, but I'm helping him.

Am I crazy?

But here's the thing, I know that we have a prophet.  I know that he is inspired by God and I know that when he says these boys should go and serve, it is true.  I sustain the prophet; I'll send my son.

Here's the other thing: my friends.  These glorious women with their glorious sons are my inspiration.

Here's Janet welcoming David home.  Such a happy and wonderful time. Such pure mother love.  

I want that.  I want to welcome my boy back.  I want to throw my arms around him and tell him, "Well done!"

And then there's this picture:

Stephanie and Dillon

That look of pure joy on Stephanie's face.  I told Braeden that there was nothing he could do in the next two years that would bring that kind of joy to my face, except serve a mission.

I know that Braeden will help people.  He will teach them that God loves them and he will help them to be happier.

And when I need to remember why in heaven's name I am helping this process along (this rip the heart right out of my ribcage process), I'll remember those smiles on my dear friends' faces. 

I can do this!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

When pinterest and the arrival of chalk markers collide...

I think I saw it when Melanee pinned this on Pinterest.  I thought it was cute.  It works for Valentine's Day and the mascot of the kids' school is the Vikings. And also, chalk markers!

What's not to love?

Monday, February 9, 2015

The last time

Saturday night I watched the last high school musical with my Braeden on stage.  I have enjoyed every moment.  Before the show, I was filling out a "cast-o-gram" to send a treat backstage to my kids.  On Emma's, since she helps make it snow in the poppy field from way up high in the catwalk, I wrote, "There's no business like snow business."

I know, how did I get so clever?

Then I was filling out Braeden's and I couldn't think of anything to write that wouldn't make me dissolve right then and there in front of the concession stand in a puddle of tears.

I had to pull myself together.

And I did pretty well.  No tears.  I knew the exact moment when Braeden saw me in the crowd and he gave me a rascally smile when he was dancing onstage in what was made to look like his underwear.

I stood and clapped my heart out at the curtain call.  Partly because my heart was up on the stage.

Emma emerged first and I hugged her and told her it was all brilliant.  Then she dutifully said, "I'd better go help," because they were striking the set.

Then Braeden came out.  He grabbed me in a long hug and kissed the top of my head.  He hugged everyone else we were with then came back to Adam and me.  He put one arm around each of us and said, "Thank you for letting me do this."

Then he looked at me and said, "I almost cried at the end."

I looked up into his face and saw that his tears were near the surface and that did me in.  Tears filled my eyes and then he started crying and then he wrapped me up in his arms and have I mentioned how much I like that guy?

We both dried our tears and he headed backstage to help and we headed to the car and that was that.

The last time.

I found out they will put some good pictures of the show on the drama website eventually.  For now I have some that Olivia took at one of the shows.  She was using our camera, which is nothing fancy.  She asked me how to zoom and I couldn't remember.  Sigh.

(Sometimes I'm not much.)

"Something tells me we're not in Kansas anymore."
Braeden was too tall to be on his knees like the rest of the Munchkins so he popped his head out a door.
The Munchkin Mayor cracked me up.

So did Braeden's expressions...
Braeden is the cranky tree on the right.

Here's an iconic there's-the-Emerald-City shot:

The Winkies--that's Braeden right in the center

Above is where some of the Winkies (Braeden's the middle one) attacked the Scarecrow, Tinman and Lion.  The Winkies lost the battle and had their clothes stolen so here's where they danced in their underwear after the witch died.

It's blurry but it made me laugh every time.

Here's where the Wizard is trying to take Dorothy home but she doesn't know where Toto is:

Here's Toto, making friends with Braeden. (Braeden!  Tell Dorothy where Toto is!)

And then here we are, back in Kansas:

It was a wonderful show, one of my favorites Braeden has been involved in.  I consider myself very fortunate to have been involved with all the wonderful high school theater I've known as a result of Braeden's participation.

It's been a good time.

After the show, the Wicked Witch, the Good Witch and Dorothy posed for pictures.

Olivia and Ruby, giving the Wicked Witch a wide berth.

Lili and Ruben--Ruben is my kinsman:  eyes closed for the picture


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