Wednesday, August 31, 2016

We are family

Family has been on my mind.

Sometimes sore trials bring a family together.  I've been thinking about what Emma wrote about when Adam's dad passed away.  It was purely awful.  At the same time, it sort of cemented us together as a family even more than before; Adam's mom, his siblings, the cousins.  We went through something together.  We came out on the other side.  We still miss Linn.  We still wish he were around.  We're still confident we will see him again.

The point is, sometimes rough patches bring blessings too.

I'm grateful for my family.  My little tribe here.  We get battered at times but we are resilient too.  We sit on the deck and watch the sunset.  We pop popcorn.  We pray together.  We laugh together.  We go for drives.  We miss Braeden.  These are all bonding experiences.  I am glad I have them.

I'm grateful for my parents and siblings.  Several days ago I had a phone conversation with Enoch.  I seldom seem to talk to him.  Doesn't matter.  He said the exact words I needed to hear and he made me feel loved.  What more can you ask of a brother?

Sunday we went to visit Adam's cousin Pam.  Adam has stellar cousins.  I particularly love Pam.  Her son, Branson, is leaving for the Virginia Chesapeake mission in October.  We're crossing all our fingers that the two tall handsome cousins will be companions.  We had a fun time talking about all things mission.  We talked suits and bikes and washable ties (because biking in the rain) and Amazon prime.  We showed pictures of the scenery and pictures of Braeden being goofy and maybe Branson would be OK if they weren't companions after all....

Branson is a strong silent type and Braeden is...Braeden.

When we last saw Pam, around Christmas time, we both cried about boys and missions and growing up.  This time she cried and I was able to reassure her.  I was able to very honestly state, "It's worth it!"  I've seen breathtaking growth in Braeden and I've seen some of the influence for good he's been able to be and it all makes me feel grateful he has the chance.

And yes, I'll be happy when he's back home too!

It was nice to visit with Pam and her crew.   I'm glad we're family.

Yesterday afternoon I spent about an hour with my grandma.  In the history of ever no one is as kind to me as my grandma.  I walk taller after visits with her.

Finally, Stella.  She feels like family.  We email a lot.  I'm looking forward to meeting her.

There are lots of different family appendages in the world and they're all pretty great.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Words from Emma

Last night Emma asked me if she could read me something she wrote for her English class.  I said sure.  I like pretty much everything Emma's ever written.  She read it and then I cried and then she cried and then I thought, maybe everyone wants to cry?

Why not?

Crying is fun, right?

When I first heard, there was no proper response.  One moment I was waking up, mid-morning sun pouring through my too thin curtains, and the next moment my world was falling.  There was a moment of stillness when I put my hands over my face and shut out everything, but I was not able to shut out the turmoil inside of me.

When I finally opened my eyes I was thrust into a flurry of motion, a collection of jumbled up moments.  Driving to Grandma and Grandpa's--no, just Grandma's house now--and seeing a man taking out his trash.  So calm.  So normal.  Sitting with my dad on a chair just trying to make sense of how I was feeling.  The tears coming for the first time while I sat against a tree with two cousins, as we realized what having him gone meant.  No more Grandkids' Night.  No more pancakes in the shape of the first letter of my name.  Being in the family room with cousins while the adults talked quietly in the other room, planning the funeral.  And the funeral itself, seeing his waxed and made up body lying cold in a green casket, being horrified but unable to look away.  A quiet moment that night, when the family gathered together by the fireplace and his oldest sister told us stories from their childhood.  Smiling.

Sometime later when the family from out of town had flown home, and the disbelief had settled, and the sharpest grief had dulled, we went to read the inscription on his headstone.

"Love you forever"

Monday, August 29, 2016

The struggle is real

I needed to go to Deseret Book to pick up a Young Womanhood Recognition award.  It's a long name for the necklace the young women get when they complete their personal progress requirements.   I've gone to get the necklaces a few times so I know how the process works.

The lady working there did not.

I went back to the Distribution Center part of the store.  I explained my purpose.

"Oh," Store Clerk said, "Let me show you where they are."

So then I thought maybe they'd changed the system.

Store Clerk led me into the store, down the Young Woman aisle and showed me the torch necklaces.  They aren't any sort of award, just jewelry.


I explained again what I needed.

"We have chains?" Store Clerk said, sifting her fingers through the display of packaged chains.

Again, I need the Young Womanhood Recognition Award.

"Before," I said, "I had to get them in the back and only YW leaders can get them."

Store Clerk looked confused.

Store Clerk asked a fellow employee and Fellow Employee backed me up.  So then Store Clerk asked me for my phone number.  I told her and she said, "Thelma Davies?"

"Yes, " I said, "Well, it's Davis, but that's me."

"Oh."

Fellow Employee told her where to find the necklaces and she told me it would be $10.

"Before," I said, "they charged it to my ward rather than have me pay."  (Because the ward clerk lectures me if I mess stuff up like that.)

"Oh."  Fellow Employee was again consulted and again confirmed that I knew what I was talking about.

I told her the name of my ward (Grove Creek 6th Ward) and she typed it in.  She was unable to find it in her computer system though.

You guessed it, Fellow Employee was called over.

They studied the computer screen.

"I don't know if that is the correct name of the ward," Fellow Employee said.  "Maybe it's Grove."

So Store Clerk asked for clarification.  "Is it Growth Creek or Grove Creek?"

Growth Creek????

"Grove," I said, "like Pleasant Grove?"

"Oh."

So then she needed all my information again.  I told her my name and she said, "Right, but it's spelled like Davies, right?"

I said, "D-A-V-I-S."

I think we're just going to have to agree to disagree on the pronunciation.

Saturday night a bunch of young women were over here for a party.  I was telling them the tale of getting the necklace.

"It was a struggle," I said.

Emma said, "Larisa, you only had to do all the Personal Progress requirements, my mom had to go get the necklace."

Touché.

It is probably a bigger deal to complete all the requirements.  I'm telling you though, it wasn't easy getting the necklace either.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Dear Braeden

Braeden is the offspring most interested in reading my blog (or at all interested).  Adam set it up so my blog posts are emailed to him and he reads them once a week.

He also emails me back comments.

Recently when I posted some "tiny notes" he emailed back, "Dear Braeden?"

So here is Dear Braeden.

Dear Braeden,

The other day I told your dad that if you were here, you could absolutely cheer me up.  I told him about the time when you were three and I was completely overwhelmed with all the everything of moving and you got your beloved blanket and wrapped it around me to comfort me.

I told him about the time when you were about six and my patience was stretched to the very limit by baby Mark.  You made me laugh.

You always make me laugh and you always can comfort me when I need it.

Oh, and also?  I miss you.

You weren't happy that I have so many framed pictures of you.  You said it made you feel like Dudley Dursley.  I think I knew I would need those framed pictures of you for when you were on your mission.  Seeing your face gives me a lift every time I walk by.

Also, if the truth be told, you are still comforting and cheering me every day.  Just remotely.  Every time I hear from you or from someone there who loves you or I remember you singing Elvis songs or dispelling any angst or tension just with your awesomeness, I am buoyed up.

Don't get a big head.  You're not perfect.  It just feels that way sometimes now because you're not here to leave the milk out on the table (or drink all the milk) or hide your socks in sundry places.

In her latest email, Stella told me that it was evidence of Heavenly Father's love for our family that you were part of it.

I couldn't agree more.

(But still, don't get a big head.) 

I love you, kid.

Mom

my sunshine son



Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Peace

Adam gave me a framed print of this picture the night before our wedding.

via lds.org

I love it (and him).  I've hung it next to our bed in every house we've lived in.

Yesterday morning I was lying in bed, mustering the strength to face another day, like you do.  Without contacts the picture was blurry but I've seen it enough that I knew how it looked anyway.

It reminded me of the scripture that I am ponderizing this week.  It is one that meant a lot to me way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was a freshman at BYU.  It was written on a chalkboard in my geography classroom the entire semester.  I wasn't a big fan of my geography class but I love this scripture.

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you:  not as the world giveth give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid.
I have had my freshman year at BYU on my mind lately.  Desi, everyone's favorite BYU freshman (at least this year), was dropped off on Monday by her stalwart mother.  (We had lunch after and Marianne ordered a Coke.  That's not like her.  She had been through something.)  The other day Adam and I regaled our children with freshman memories.  I pulled out my photo album and Emma commented that even back then my eyes were often closed in pictures.

What can I say?  I have a talent.

I'm grateful that I went to BYU.  I'm grateful that a scripture that was written on the chalkboard in my geography class all those years ago is imprinted on my brain now.  



Tuesday, August 23, 2016

First day of school

Yesterday was the first day of school around here.




That means that now I have to go back to cleaning the bathrooms and emptying the dishwasher and sorting the laundry.

It's a lot easier to mourn that than to contemplate the fact that this is Emma's senior year.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Balm for the soul

Friday was a disappointing day.  I felt weary and pretty much in full pity party mode.  Thankfully, we were heading to Nevada.  It was going to be a brief trip but it was just the respite I needed.

Minus Emma who had a drama council retreat, we hurtled our way across the Salt Flats and climbed over the mountains and found ourselves in fragrant hay fields in the shadows of the Ruby Mountains.  There's nothing quite like it.  I talked to my dad on the phone and he said that all his siblings were at their house.  I would have liked to see them all but what I really needed was a little sister face time.  Olivia and Edgar were hosting an Elder's Quorum party so we crashed it.  Marianne had arrived minutes before us to crash it as well.  Mark joined the cousin fray and I sat down at a table with my sisters, Adam and Edgar.  I picked a little food off Adam's plate and Olivia brought me a glass of water.  It just felt sublime to be there.  I noticed Luke across the grass in the cousin fray and he ran toward me.  He gave me a few big hugs.

And a hug from Luke (let alone two) made the entire trip worthwhile.

Everyone left the party and Marianne, Jennifer, Adam, Olivia, Edgar and I sat around and chatted.  We shared anecdotes about our dad, we laughed, we admired the plant that Olivia is babysitting while our aunt Olivia and her husband are serving a mission in Sweden.  The plant used to be our great grandma Olivia's plant (so, no pressure keeping it alive, Olivia).  I guess someone should let niece Olivia know that she's up next if sister Olivia is unable to keep great grandma Olivia's plant for aunt Olivia.

Phew.

Adam and I pulled Mark out of the cousin fray that was still happening even though it was nighttime.  We went over to my parents' house.  Sometimes that feels like slipping into a warm bed after a hard day and this was one of those times.  We sat down to visit.  My parents were telling us about progess in selling my grandparents' ranch.  Mark didn't know what they were talking about.  Adam explained to him, "They're selling the ranch."

"Are they dying?" Mark whispered to Adam.

"No..."

Then Adam realized Mark was getting "selling the ranch" confused with the idiom "bought the farm."

We assured Mark there were no impending deaths.

As usual Mark decided it was time to eat everything in my mother's kitchen.  My mom chided me for trying to stop him.  "Don't you think I want to feed him?" she asked.

I guess so, but I sort of want to civilize him and sometimes we are at cross purposes.  (Like at 10:00 at night when Mark is hungry.)

We were also at cross purposes when we talked politics.  My mom is NOT happy that I won't vote for who she thinks I should vote for.  I told her we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.

Even though I'm politically a disappointment, I know my mom loves me.  And I'm grateful.  We talked late into the night, my parents and Adam and me.  I started crying when I read my parents the latest very kind email I got from Stella and my tears don't know when to quit.  My mom went and got Kleenex for me and both parents gave me the perspective and confidence I needed.  They're these lampposts of light in my life.

Adam left for his shift of helping Robert with the Ruby Mountain Relay that they put on.  It's a big undertaking and Adam is happy to help in the overnight hours.  I think he's crazy but I also admire his goodness.  I went to bed and breathed the fresh canyon air pouring through the windows all night.  At one point I woke up and there was a rectangle of silver moonlight on the bed.  That happens at my parents' house because they have no curtains and it was magical when I was a little girl and it is magical still.

The next morning, my mom had already left to go work her Ruby Mountain Relay shift and Adam had come and gone because he wanted to help Robert more.  Since Edgar had borrowed my dad's truck, we were without a vehicle.  At least a motorized one.

My dad came inside and told me that he would take me over to where my mom was so she could buy me breakfast.  (An organization benefiting autism was serving breakfast.) I went outside where he was finishing up hitching one of his horses Andy to a buggy.  I climbed up on the seat next to him and Mark scrambled into the back and off we went.  It was only when we got to my grandparents' house where my mom was stationed and I climbed down from the buggy amidst the curious and wondering stares of some of the runners, did it occur to me that maybe everyone's dad doesn't hitch up a draft horse when his daughter needs a ride.

I spent a pleasant few hours visiting with my mom and aunt Claudia.  Then, Adam was done and we headed for home.  We had been sent a message that there was a church meeting Mark needed to be at Saturday afternoon.  In order to get him home on time, we skipped stopping to see Jennifer's kitchen painting project and seeing Enoch.

It turned out Mark didn't even need to be at the meeting after all.

Hmph.  Those are the kind of minor frustrations that make a quick trip to Nevada necessary every once in a while.



Friday, August 19, 2016

Unexpected

I have been over and over surprised and amazed by the good people that have come into our lives as a result of Braeden's mission.  I was expecting that it would be a good experience for him.  I was hoping he would be able to make a difference in someone's life.

I had no idea how it would bless mine.

Stella and Rebecca have sort of become my pen pals.  We've never met but have one thing in common.


We love this kid.

Corresponding with them has been a comfort and strength to me when I needed it most.  I don't think those good ladies will ever know how much they mean to me.

I've also learned lessons as a result of Braeden's experiences.

One lady posted this picture on Facebook awhile ago:


It has been a hot and humid summer in Virginia and lots of Braeden's pictures are like this.  Sweaty hair and melty looking shirt.  I was thrilled to see a picture of his smiling face but what really gave me pause were the icy drinks in their hands.

Seeing someone treat my son with this simple kindness of an ice cold drink meant the world to me.  I felt unreasonably happy and grateful.

Then I started thinking about how Heavenly Father must feel when He looks down on His children.  He sees some that are struggling.  He sees some that could use an ice cold drink--or a smile, or an invitation, or the benefit of the doubt.

How does He feel when He sees us serving one another?  Seeing this picture gave me a glimpse.

Another lesson I've learned was a result of reading Braeden's and also Clarissa's emails.  These missionaries love the people where they are.  If you believe Clarissa, the best people in the world are in New Zealand.  If you believe Braeden, the best people in the world are in Virginia.  And I know those two well enough to know, they aren't just saying it.  They love the people they serve.

Awhile ago, Braeden was telling us about a person they were teaching.  This person (like every single person in VA apparently), was awesome.  He told us all about the progress this person was making and how great they were.  He mentioned in passing they were a heroin addict.  I was struck by his nonjudgmental view of this person.  I could tell he honestly viewed this person as someone with a lot of potential.

What is it about missionaries? I thought.  How do Clarissa and Braeden have these positive views of everyone?

Then it hit me.  I think it's because they see the people they serve like Heavenly Father and the Savior see them.  They don't see anyone as a lost cause.  They see people who are awesome.  People with potential.  They have a message to share that will make all the difference in their lives.

And I'm the lucky girl who gets to read the emails.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A list

Things I'm grateful for:

people in Virginia who love Braeden
air conditioning
bluebirds
frosted lemonade from Chick-fil-a
belonging to a book club
cooler nights
zinnias
school supplies
purpose
a dishwasher
being a mother
diet coke with lime
nail polish
photographs
music
sunsets
prayer
the internet
house plants
memories
puns
sitting on the deck in the early morning
crossword puzzles
listening to our children reminisce
words of prophets
Janet
blue sky
being married to a good cook
unexpected goodness
laughter
the twinkling lights of the valley out my window before bed
the full moon--it still reminds me of my sisters



Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Half birthday girl

Awhile ago, Tabor said, "Aren't your kids getting a little old for half birthdays?"

Frankly, that surprised me.  Is getting too old for half birthdays a thing? 

Today I'm grateful for my girl.  She is 17 1/2 today.

Also this morning I went in her room and said, "It's time to get up.  You need to start moving your schedule because school is starting soon."

She said, "No."

She's pretty much one of those docile souls that is easy to push around.

It is no secret that Emma is a strong and independent woman.  She can be...prickly.  It's great for a mother who loves a challenge.  (ha ha)

On Sunday afternoon, she lay on my bed next to me with her eyes closed and I traced the curves of her face with my finger while we talked about her senior year.  (Her senior year!)  Like nearly every milestone that hits, my kids seem to be ready for them far better than I am. 

Yesterday Emma decided to curl her hair before she went to work.  When she was a little little girl, I attempted to curl her hair and she said, "No offense, Mom, but curly hair is ugly."

And you know, none taken, because who takes offense when their daughter calls their hair ugly?

Yesterday she was striving for curls though.  We have a curling iron.  I got it as a high school graduation gift and it is basically in mint condition because we've never really used it.  Since hair styling has never really been a thing around here, Emma didn't know how to work the curling iron.  I showed her and she asked, "How do you know how to do that?"

I said, "The 80s."

She said, "Thank you, 80s."

There's a lot to love about Emma.  I love how smart and capable she is.  I love that she's funny and kind.  She's a good friend and very loyal.  She is tough.  No one, least of all her mother, is going to tell her how to live her life.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Adventure time

Today I'm thankful for Adam's knack for adventures.  I'm ever the reluctant one and he perseveres and then we have fun.

Saturday Emma was at work so Adam and Mark and I saddled up the Subaru and headed out.  Our first stop was the Maverick in American Fork (because Adventure's First Stop).

Our last stop was the Maverick in Santaquin because we had to use the bathroom by then.

We drove out to Eagle Mountain and Cedar Fort and to Fairfield.  Camp Floyd used to be there and in its day, it was largest military installation in the country.  They were trying to keep those pesky Mormons in check but really trying to divert attention from slavery and states' rights.

We visited the cemetery and the Stagecoach Inn and this school:


I loved the details.


This is the inside, peeking through the curtains.


From there we drove.  And drove.  Soon we were on a dirt road in the west desert and I kept saying things like, "Um...Adam?" and he kept saying he knew where he was going.  Google maps kept telling him random little dirt paths to turn on and he kept saying, Nah.

"Um...Adam?"

Adam's grand scheme was to sneak up on Goshen from behind, which we did.  I did my student teaching in Goshen and hadn't been there for 21 years.  (!)  I have lots of great memories of driving there with my carpool buddies (except we went via the freeway).  They knew more about my dating and engagement to Adam than about anyone did.  It was conversation topic #1.

From there we hit Santaquin and saw the sights of Payson (there's stuff to see, people) and then home.

Even though I'm usually hesitant, I'm glad Adam isn't.  It's a beautiful world and we might as well get out in it.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Thanksgiving in August


Sometimes it just seems like so much silliness.  Sometimes it is just like a travelogue that no one except my immediate family will ever be interested in.  Sometimes it is just to keep me writing.  Sometimes it is just because I want to remember.

This blog.

It's mine and so I can therefore do what I want.  Right now, I need more gratitude in my life.   I'm just going to be grateful for awhile.

To start with, I'm grateful today for my family.  Adam, Braeden, Emma and Mark.  They are my world.  My island.  My happy place.

We are an imperfect, struggling lot.  We lose patience and let each other down occasionally.  More often, we carry each other along.

I can't even begin to outline the ways Adam saves me every day.

Braeden is my hero.  Striving against adversity and just generally being awesome.  He inspires me.

Emma walks over and hugs me when she can see I need it.  And she is not a hugger!  She quietly goes around doing good.

Mark is the sparkle I need.  He is sweet and funny and kind.  My sunglasses came apart and I handed him the pieces.  He fixed them and then tightened the other side too.  Because he's Mark.

Some kind soul texted me this picture of Braeden on Saturday.


There was no explanation except, "Working at the car wash."  Who knows?  I just know that I gave birth to that kid.

And I'm glad.

Friday, August 12, 2016

The limits



How about that Michael Phelps?  He's amazing.  The only thing I can compare him to is Michael Jordan.  I guess the takeaway is that if you want a once-in-a-lifetime athlete, you should name him Michael.

I watch the Olympics and see people who have pushed themselves to the very limit.  I marvel at their dedication and preparation and just raw talent. 

I've been thinking about limits and being pushed to them.  Sometimes life gets hard.  Really hard.  Sometimes I feel like that's it, I'm done.  This is beyond my limit.

It never is though.  And here's why.

A few days ago a pinprick of light arrived when one of the laurels told me she'd finished her personal progress requirements.  I spontaneously threw my arms around her.  There are just good things in the world!  Everywhere!

Even on bad days, I have a family that loves me.  They gather around me--even via the phone--and bolster me in ways that matter.  I have a temple that shines like a beacon out the window.  And it's proximity is close.  I can go there for peace and solace.

I have prayer and a loving Heavenly Father.  If I'm quiet enough, I can feel whispers of hope.

The other night, I asked Adam, "Do you feel like we're being pushed to the limits of the human spirit?"

(I'm nothing if not dramatic.)

He said, "Yes."  Then he added, "And we're surviving."

And guess what?

We are.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Tiny notes

Dear Emma,

YOU GOT A JOB!  I am happy happy happy for you.


Dear weeds in my yard,

I feel like I can't turn my back.  Stop growing already.


Dear tomatoes,

You're awesome.  Keep growing.



Dear library,

I love everything about you.



Dear alerts on my phone,

I didn't particularly want to know who won the gold at the Olympics because I was going to watch that.  Thanks for freeing up my evening?



Dear Mark,

When you tell me you don't need to clean because it is "your room" you are in dangerous territory.  Very dangerous, my friend.  I'm glad you recognized it in time and cleaned that room that you're allowed to use.



Dear Grandma Geri,

Emma has been making her bed every day.  That bedding you gave her is magic.



Dear Adam,

I like reminiscing with you about biology class at BYU.



Dear Marianne,

Thank you for helping me pass biology at BYU.  I spent too much time talking to Adam but you saved my bacon.



Dear Dad,

Don't tell me stories about times you almost got into a gunfight.  I'm lucky you're still alive.  I guess we all are.






Tuesday, August 9, 2016

My favorite spice

I've got to say, it's ginger.

It's nice to have Mark back.  We've regained a bit of balance.  We're always a bit lopsided without Braeden but 2/3 is better than nothing.

It was quiet when Mark was gone.  It would have been quiet anyway because Emma's quiet.  But when Emma's reading Harry Potter manically all week, it's really quiet.

Yesterday in the backseat of the van, they discussed Harry Potter and what Voldemort should have done with the horcruxes.  Emma has clever ideas and ideas that wouldn't occur to me and that I only minimally understand because I have only read each book once.

Mark also has...clever ideas.  He thought Voldemort should have made a burrito a horcrux and then eaten it.  Also, if Voldemort was magic, why didn't he give himself a nose?  And maybe a tan?

I love hearing them laugh.

And they discuss at length who has to do which cleaning jobs.  (I suggested they write down the jobs and trade off each week.  "No," they said, "We like doing the same jobs.  We have it figured out."  I wanted to point out that they had the same elaborate discussion every week but I decided never mind.  It's the safest pursuit with the two most stubborn children in America.  Never.  Mind.)

And I love hearing them sing.  As I write this, they are in Emma's room, singing loudly.

Siblings were a good invention.





Monday, August 8, 2016

Games

I don't mean the Olympics.  Although I have enjoyed watching them a bit.  Every four years I suddenly care about swimming and gymnastics for a few weeks.  Except men's gymnastics.  It kind of freaks me out.  Especially when they're hanging on those rings and their eyes and muscles are bulging in alarming ways.

I digress though.

I don't really love playing games all that much.  A complicated and intense board game full of strategy?  No thanks.  I am OK with a card game, if it's fast.  I don't have patience for much else.

Except Boggle.  It's my one talent.  I don't think Adam has ever beat me at Boggle.  He kindly offers to play when he thinks I need cheering.  Over the last several days, we had Boggle out on the table and played intermittently.  (It's an advantage of having a big kitchen table and not many people home.) Adam scored higher than me a few rounds but I soundly beat him in the end, just like always.

Why isn't Boggle an Olympic sport?

I also played (and outscored) Emma.

She's dangerous though.  I'm not sure I'll always beat her.

Adam and I were playing on Saturday afternoon.  Emma took a break from her reading and sat down at the table.  (She's been doing her self inflicted Harry Potter marathon again which is sort of crazy--she read over 1000 pages on Saturday alone.  Why does she do this?  No one knows.)  Emma watched us for a few minutes and then started writing words down on a piece of paper.

She got a whole bunch of words neither Adam or I saw.

She found jot and tittle in this.  I don't know what to think about having someone better at Boggle than me in the family.  She'd better stick to her reading...

We refused to acknowledge the words she had in common with ours.

Then she decided to go back to her reading.  (I can't imagine why.)



Friday, August 5, 2016

I miss Mark

Early in the morning I glanced in the mirror and my hair reminded me of something.

I decided it was this plant.


This plant is sort of sad.  I divided my fern in two and the other half is thriving and looks like a fern should and this poor guy is spindly and sheds leaves.

And looks like my hair first thing in the morning.

I've heard sometimes people resemble their pets.  In the absence of a pet, maybe I'll start resembling my plants?

Maybe though my hair has just gone whackadoodle because Mark is gone.  Braeden has told me many times when looking at pictures of me that I became much prettier after Mark was born.  "You needed Mark," he says.

Mark's at scout camp and I'm resembling an emaciated fern.

Good thing he's coming home tomorrow or I may start looking like this plant:


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Happy Anniversary

We've been married twenty-one years.  Next anniversary we will have been married half of our lifetimes.

I feel lucky and blessed and grateful.

There's nothing extraordinary about our marriage.  We disagree, we get cranky, I send him to the store for fruit and he comes home with the wrong thing, I am abysmal at directions and zero navigational help on road trips.  Still.  It's pretty great too.  We have the same goals.  We have these three children that mean the world to us and it's comforting to have a partner in raising them.  We put premier value on our marriage and we want each other to be happy.

That's worth a lot.

Yesterday I went into Adam's office and declared I wanted to go to Maverick.  Adam said, "OK."  And we went.

This is the summer of Maverick.  Diet coke + nugget ice + fresh limes.  It sort of makes your day.

And it makes my day that when I want to go, Adam is all in.

It's the stuff happy marriages are made of.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Not my email

I can't decide if I feel guilty about this or I helped Eithne dodge a dental bullet:

First there were the reminders:


You've got to hand it to Huntington Pediatric Dental Group/Dr. Stephanie for their persistance:




Aaaaaand I'm guessing she missed the appointment.  (That's what happens when you don't get the reminders.)  Did that dissuade Huntington Pediatric Dental Group?  No it did not. 


Because Eithne's dental health is important to them.



Huntington Pediatric Dental Group:  Do you maybe have a phone number for Eithne?  That may be the best way to reach her.

*****

I get lots of Facebook notifications for different Thelmas. 

I was intrigued by this one because of the profile picture.


Here's the close up.


My only response to that is:

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The hero

A hero (masculine) is a person or main character of a literary work who, in the face of danger, combats adversity through impressive feats of ingenuity, bravery or strength, often sacrificing his or her own personal concerns for some greater good.

If my life were a literary work, Adam would be the hero.  That makes me the wife of the hero, which feels like a lucky place to be.

Saturday I washed all of Gavin's clothes and carefully hung up his church clothes so we would be all ready for Sunday.  We were going to leave church a little early, come home and feed him and then take him to the airport.  It was all planned and going to work very well.

Then on Saturday afternoon we heard from Gavin's parents.  They called because, where was he?  They were at the airport to pick him up and he...wasn't there.

What?!?!

It was one of those times when the world starts swirling and nothing makes sense.

So here's what happened.  Months ago, when Stephanie and I made the plan for Gavin to come, she told me the dates were the 22-31.  I marked it on my calendar.  You might as well say I wrote it in my blood.  When it's on the calendar, it's a done deal.

Later she sent the flight itinerary.  I noted the flight times.  I didn't even pay attention to the dates because I'm 1) an idiot and 2) see number one.

I thought I already knew the dates.

The dates had changed.

He was supposed to fly home on the 30th.

I apologized as best I could and Stephanie was, of course, very gracious and told me not to worry.  They would find another flight.

I said that we would pay the change fee because it was 1) my fault and 2) see number one.

Later in the evening I called Stephanie again to check on progress and she said they couldn't change the flight so were going to buy another ticket.

I felt so terrible.  

Adam, a.k.a. my knight in shining armor, pulled out his phone and said he would call Alaska Airlines and get the flight changed.  Meanwhile I called Brent and said, "Don't buy the ticket yet!"

He said, "I already asked to change the flight and they said no."

Adam is Adam though and he's really good at that sort of thing.  Soon enough, he had Gavin on a new flight and was chatting with the Alaska Airlines employee on the phone about someone also with a last name of Davis who lived in Orem and had taken her horseback riding.

I can't tell you how many times this scenario has played out.  Me, in distress.  Adam, to the rescue.

This has been a challenging summer and often, when I don't know where to turn in my own brain for peace, I turn to Adam.  He's a night owl and many nights, I can't sleep and stumble down the stairs to find him.  He stops whatever he is doing and turns his full attention to helping me.  He says the right things and listens and provides perspective.  He's not only good at convincing Alaska Airlines employees to help him.  He's also excellent at convincing me it's going to be OK.

The number one reason it's going to be OK is because I'm married to the hero.

Monday, August 1, 2016

It's a beautiful world

Friday afternoon we headed to the mountains.  It was nearly 20 degrees cooler there.  It was the most sane thing to do.

We went to one of several Silver Lakes.  I'm not sure if the same person named them all Silver Lake or if they were copying each other.  Either way, it can get a little confusing when you're a newbie and trying to google your way around.

It was absolutely beautiful.

And I guess the sun was bright.  Here 2/3 of the children have their eyes closed.


We walked on a path all around the lake.




There were a mama and 6 ducklings on that log.


As we passed another group of hikers, Adam said, "Do you notice a lot of these people don't look very...healthy?"

I said, "Yes, this is an easy trail.  This is for indoorsey people."

(Picked by me so my knee wouldn't give me any trouble.)

Adam said, "We've got to get your knee stronger."

He wants harder hikes--I'll keep working on this knee.

We drove up and over the mountain to Park City.


What a sad world it would be without mountains.

We drove around Park City, seeing the sights, then dropped into Salt Lake.  We went to the Church History Museum which is what we tried to do Monday but it was closed for Pioneer Day.

Raise your hand if you think it's ironic that the Church History Museum was closed for Pioneer Day....

We had a nice time there and walked around City Creek a little.  By the time we got home in the evening, it was slightly cooler.

Mission accomplished.

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