Friday, September 30, 2016

Not blogging






Braeden's friend, a woman from Virginia he recently baptized, is staying with us for the next several days.  We love her already!  I'll be back later and tell you all about.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Books I read in September 2016


A Small Fortune by Rosie Dastgir **

This book was about Pakistani immigrants living in England.  It was OK.  I wondered a lot if I was missing something culturally or if the author was trying to portray their culture in a negative light?  I don't know.  I want to expand my understanding of Muslim culture and this didn't quite fit the bill.  Maybe it did?  I would like to read something positive of Muslim culture I guess.



A Thousand Pardons by Jonathan Dee **

This book is about a family that kind of imploded and how the parents put themselves back together.  It didn't end how I thought it would or maybe how I thought it should, but it was OK.



These Is My Words Nancy E. Turner ****

After two tepid books, I LOVED this one.  I had read it before but my book club read it and I was happy to read it again.  Like the cover says, it's the diary of a woman in the Arizona Territories.  So good.



Brick Lane by Monica Ali *

I gave Islamic culture in England another chance with this one.  These people were from Bangladesh.  I didn't like any of them.  I stopped reading halfway through.  



Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter *

I read this one for book club too.  It was a good story but some of it was repellent.  There were no female characters that weren't treated with some sort of sexism or crudeness.  At first it made me mad that the women were portrayed like that and then it bugged me that so many of the men were so horrible.  I think the author is probably not a very nice guy.  I don't recommend it. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Adam

The other day at work, one of his coworkers asked him what the Mariners needed to do to make the playoffs.  Adam said, "Well, I'll show you my spreadsheet!"

They loved it.  Especially one of them because he's the finance guy and enjoys a good spreadsheet.

Adam.

He's some kind of wonderful.

To invite our kids to watch a movie, he created an invitation in a google doc that they needed to respond to.

My favorite part was the disclaimer:


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Introvert

I grew up between two extroverted sisters.  They like taking charge.  They like being the center of attention.  They like Christmas caroling.

My mom is an extrovert too.  She talks to random people like store clerks and I never do.  The other day when I told her I was no good at being in charge, she said of course I was.  (If I ever tell her I'm not good at something, she usually argues that yes, you are.)

Because she's good at being in charge, she thinks I must be too.

I'm not.

I'm an introvert.  I don't like small talk.  I don't like being around large groups of people.  I like to stay home.

Sometimes it feels like the world caters to extroverts.  I had an idea for a youth conference.  All the other youth leaders thought it was a bad idea.  Not "fun" enough.  I was telling Adam and he agreed with them.  Then Emma, who was also listening, piped up.  "I think it's a good idea.  I'd like that.  But, I'm an introvert."

So much of my job as a young women president requires me to try to be extroverted for the extroverts.  (Even though they aren't all extroverts.  Emma, for example.) 

I used to think I was deeply flawed in some basic way.  It was sort of freeing when I realized I am not deeply flawed, I am an introvert.

Being an introvert seems to give me permission to avoid situations that I don't like.  I can decline social events.  I can stay on the perimeter of the room.  I can tuck myself into the corner at ward council.

Because I am an introvert.

I keep thinking about this article I read, though.  It's titled, Am I Introverted or Just Rude?  I realize that I can't just hide behind being an introvert.  Sometimes you need to show up to be supportive and kind.  Sometimes you need to engage in small talk with someone because maybe they need it.

Sometimes, when you are young women president and it's one of the Time Honored Traditions around here, you have to go Christmas caroling.

(You don't have to like it, but sometimes you have to go.)


Monday, September 26, 2016

weekend list



1-Adam was in Seattle all weekend.

2-Emma worked Friday night.

3-Mark and I snuggled under a blanket and watched The RM.  He had never seen it before, thought it was funny, and thought we needed to watch it with Braeden when he gets home.

4-We also went out for frozen yogurt.  It's kind of our thing.

5-Mark gets chocolate yogurt with gummy bears and bobas.  So nasty.

6-I never ask for a taste.

7-Friday night I slept a whopping 10 hours.  That never happens.  And after The Summer of Not Sleeping Well, it felt like a gift. 

8-I finished my new and improved calendar (no more writing the numbers in chalk every month).


9-What will I do with that wealth of a couple minutes more each month?

10-I pulled out the autumnal decorations.  It was like greeting old friends.


Welcome back, pumpkins.   And apples and pears.



I took the opportunity to include my favorite photo in this one.



11-I changed the quote also.



12-I invented a new idiom: That's like Emma calling Mark weird.  (It's similar to the pot calling the kettle black.)

13-Emma and I watched the Women's Broadcast at home.  We liked it.  Emma worked on a puzzle which is her favorite conference thing to do and I helped her a little.

14-Sunday was another day of 6 hours of church meetings and then sitting around in a comatose state.  Mark beat me at Monopoly Deal three times in a row.

15-I started feeling anxiety as the day concluded.  It's a busy week with lots of social demands and that's the hardest kind of week for me.

16-I talked to Adam on his way home from the airport.  I told him All The Things.  He said, "This is all survivable.  We'll go to lunch tomorrow and map it all out."

17- I'm glad he's home.

18- I was thinking it would be a feel sorry for myself sort of weekend but it was a sublime sort of weekend. (Until the Sunday evening anxiety.)

I like being here.



Friday, September 23, 2016

A bunch of randomness

Adam is going to Seattle today and we're all jealous.

Last night someone asked me if I'd lost weight.  I don't think I have but it was a very nice question.

There was a tornado in the Ogden area yesterday.

After a summer of sunshine and blue blue skies, we are having weather around here.



Mark's drama teacher told them there is a Utah accent.  Most of the class was flabbergasted by the news but Mark has recognized it all along.

And I sort of have a Utah accent.

I think it's more of a Great Basin accent.

Today's Adam and my half birthday. 

I'm looking forward to watching the Women's Broadcast with Emma tomorrow.  I wish I were watching it with my sisters and mom, or my friends.  But I'll take Emma.

Every day I do the mini crossword on the New York Times website.  If I can't complete it in under a minute, I feel like a failure.  If I complete it in 30 seconds, it kind of makes my whole day.

(Today was over a minute.)


Thursday, September 22, 2016

tiny notes

Dear Braeden,

When I make a big casserole for dinner that used to be just enough, I miss you.  Now we have casserole for days.

Dear Mark,

You've got to pick up the slack, kid.  Braeden's gone and your family needs you.

Dear Magical Bedding that Prompted Emma to Make Her Bed Every Morning,

What happened? The magic died about the time school started.  I guess summer magic is better than no magic.

Dear To Do List,

I'm going to start writing "Waste Time" at the top.  It will make me feel super accomplished.

Dear Hulu,

I don't want to pay for Hulu.  I don't want to watch TV when it's actually on TV because laundry folding = TV.  This is a quandary.

Dear Rain,

I'm happy to see you.  I didn't think I would ever say that but I'm sort of tired of watering my plants.

Dear Colorful Leaves on the Mountain,

You knock my socks off.  Every day.  Well done!

Dear Across the Street Neighbor,

When you post pictures like this on Facebook, it freaks me out a little.  I'm not sure I will go barefoot outside for awhile.





 Dear Braeden,

Also according to Facebook, this is Virginia Beach right now.



I'm glad you're tall.  And can swim.




Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Only child

Mark has a very casual interest in my blog.  As in, not enough interest to read it.  Yesterday he said, "So do you ever blog about me?"  He asked it like he didn't really care what the answer was.  And I'm pretty sure he doesn't.

But here's something about Mark.  Something to hold onto and remember this unique time.  (I'm learning that every time is a unique time.)

Monday night, Emma had to work.  So it was Mark and us. 

We did the dishes together and no one remembered to start the dishwasher.  Sometimes we're all a little myopic when it comes to dishes.

We installed the new air intake apparatus that Adam built.  It was sort of heavy and Mark and I stood on chairs with our hands above our heads, holding it while Adam drilled holes and screwed it into place.  It was really hard to hold it still and we kept shifting slightly and having to start over.  It was a teeny bit comical and a lot frustrating.  We finally did it though!  It felt like a huge accomplishment (and our arms were tired).

Our next chore was to place flags on all the sprinkler heads.  We were having our lawn aerated and needed to mark the sprinklers. On one of our weekend Home Depot trips we had purchased 40 little flags (all green and blue--Seahawks colors).  Surely that would be more than enough!  Adam instructed Mark to put on his swimsuit.  The sprinklers had to be running to be visible so he turned them on and Mark darted around marking them with flags.  He wasn't wearing his glasses so in addition to holding the flags, Adam and my job was to point out sprinklers to him.  It was an adventure and then we ran out of flags.

So we went to--you guessed it--Home Depot.  Well, Adam did.  He dropped Mark and me off at Froyo first.  We got some yogurt and sat side by side on a couch in the neon and chrome place (have you ever been in a frozen yogurt place that wasn't neon and chrome? Also little tiles on the wall? Why is that?) and chatted while we waited for Adam.

When we got home, it was dark.  Now my job was to hold a flashlight while they placed the remaining flags.

We have 60 sprinkler heads by the way.

That seems sort of ridiculous.

Emma came home and to the backyard in search of us.  She thought maybe we were playing a round of moonlight mölkky.

More and more, Mark is the only child around here.   The good news is that we really like Mark.  As long as we keep him fed, he is pretty much up for anything.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I feel like you don't even know me!

I had a dream that I was driving a bus full of teenagers.  I didn't know any of them.  I was going to need to drive through the night and we were in southern Utah heading into Arizona.  I usually don't remember my dreams but this one was really vivid.

I was driving along and thinking, "I just need to stop and take out my contacts.  I can't do this with my contacts in.  I need to wear my glasses."

I woke up and wondered about the dream.

Why would my subconscious come up with that nonsense?

My friend Cortney recently worked concessions at a BYU football game.  Her daughter is on a ballroom dance team that works concessions as a fundraiser (they get a portion of the proceeds). Since Cortney's daughter is too young to work, her mom does it instead.

She told me that it was awful.  She was there from 5:00 PM to 1:00 AM and there's no caffeine at BYU.  (To which I have to say, c'mon BYU, can't you throw us a bone?)

She said, "It almost killed me.  It would have killed you."

Because Cortney knows that I need my sleep.  Apparently everyone knows that except my subconscious that has me up all night, driving a busload of teenagers.

Has my subconscious met me?


Monday, September 19, 2016

weekend list

1-Enoch and Isaiah stayed with us Friday night.  They left before I woke up on Saturday morning.  I am a shining example of how to not be the hostess with the mostest.  We were happy to have them though.

2-Isaiah has size fourteen shoes.  I predict a giant.

3-Emma worked 11 hours on Saturday.  She was excited to go.  She came home happy.  She loves her job and I love that.

4-We took 2 trips to Home Depot.

5-Every time we go to Home Depot, Mark peruses the appliances.  He has opinions. 

6-Adam built a frame to house a new and improved air intake filter grille.  It will make changing filters easier and it will mean we don't have an ugly hole in our ceiling.

7-Adam is awesome.

8-I learned that there is something better than Premium Plus Ultra.  (Do paint companies think about these things before they name types of paint?  What does premium plus ultra even mean?)

9-I bought Marquee paint.  For the outside trim.  It better be fan-cy.  Because it is a step above Premium Plus Ultra. (What does that even mean?)

10-Mark cleaned the van, including an air freshening bomb thing. (I'm pretty sure that's not the official name.)  It was "new car scent" and is...strong.

11-We all updated our phones and I foresee a future of me really upping my texting game.  Emma is my main victim.

12-We played mölkky again.  Emma kept score, the other three of us played.  Adam and Mark tied to win so that made me the only loser.

13-Emma also took pictures.  (She's taking a photography class this semester and takes photos nearly every evening.)




14-A kind person texted me a picture of my favorite missionary.



Short of him walking through the door, nothing could make me happier.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Not my email

It's been awhile since I posted one of these, but the Thelmas of the world are connected to me.  There's one Thelma whose Facebook notifications I get.  I'm able to log in as her onto Facebook.  I could cause all sorts of social media havoc for the poor lady, but I'm really not that interested.

I hardly post anything on my own Facebook page.

Anyway, here's some of what the other Thelmas have not been receiving.  I have carefully categorized them (mostly just because I like to categorize stuff).

Persistence:

The Huntington Pediatric Dental Group does not give up on people.  That's the kind of patient care you have to appreciate.





She may be more likely to make an appointment if she was receiving these pleas....

Also, when you send an email to your aunt and she doesn't get it, just resend it to the exact same email address two days later.  (Add a subject line for added assurance she'll receive it.) Maybe this time it will work.



Friendliness:

Everyone wants friends.  Even if this email was intended for someone else and is missing who exactly asked them to send this solicitation my way.  I appreciate the friendliness:



If I was looking for a 1 bedroom apartment in Liverpool, I would contact Rightmove.  Because we're friends.

This one sort of delighted me.  Just how many invitations is this person writing?  They needed to stop and take a breather?  Hopefully they'll get the scoop on Ben at the party.  I would give the news on Ben, but...I don't know Ben.




Stressful:

What follows are a series of email that stressed me out.


I

How are matters going to be resolved!?!  Mr. Wilson didn't get this email!  I guess I could call Amy Blankinship and explain. 

International flavor:

I got an email and the following was the subject line.  (There was nothing in the rest of the email.)
 


Since I don't know Spanish, I copied and pasted into google translator.  There's a good reason for this technology, people!


So that cleared it riiiiiight up.

And they don't have to worry.  I can totally be trusted with this information.  My lips are sealed.


Thursday, September 15, 2016

A change is as good as a rest

It's been a long, hot and dry summer.  On Tuesday a storm blew in.  Wind, lightening, thunder and rain.

It was also the night I took the Magnificent Seven (flag helpers) to Sodalicious.  When the rain started, they ran outside.


They danced and twirled and jumped in puddles (it's possible the hit of sugar and caffeine they had just consumed courtesy of Sodalicious was a catalyst).  I considered that this is something that happens in the desert.  You wouldn't see Seattle kids gleefully running outside to the rain.

Although maybe you would if they had been without it for as long as these girls.

Yesterday morning I opened all the windows and let the rain cleansed air in.  There was snow on Mt. Timpanogos.  Just a dusting, but it made me happy.

I stole this picture from the PG community page on Facebook.

Some change we long for.  Some change we dread.  The weather reminds me of this quote by Abraham Lincoln:
  
It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words, "And this too, shall pass away." How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!

I'll keep praying for change.  And praying for things not to change.

In the meantime, I love a wild storm and a fresh morning.

I love snow on the mountain.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Mom life

My day had been hijacked by an unexpected trip to Salt Lake in the middle of the afternoon.  My to do list, robust and lengthy, sat neglected on the kitchen table.  I got home and started cleaning the kitchen, scheming how to reclaim the rhythm of accomplishment around here.

Emma and Vanessa came in.  They both have colds and were each carrying a full size box of Kleenex like they were accessories.  Emma started explaining why she hadn't come home from school directly after school and what she needed to do in the evening and I was half listening because dishes!  and wiping counters!  I mean, I had important stuff to do.

Then I looked up and her eyes were full of tears.  What?  I stilled my hands and demanded an explanation.  (Another one because I hadn't been paying enough attention the first time.)

She explained that the casting had been announced for her productions class and she was sorely disappointed with how it had gone.  Then she went on to tell me all the myriad ways she wasn't good enough.

I don't know.  Something about my admirable and maddening and spectacular girl saying she's not good enough.  It does something to me.

I abandoned the half cleaned kitchen and we moved to the family room.  Vanessa and Emma sat on the couch--each holding a box of Kleenex and I sat across from them.  I started talking and we soon were all three crying and I don't even know exactly what I said because Mama Bear was in the building.

After, Vanessa said, "Wow.  I wish I could write that down and use it for a monologue for an audition."

Emma said, "My mom gives the best pep talks."

Again, I'm not even sure what I said.

Mark wandered in in his pajamas.  He had stayed home from school.  (Also sick.)  I had been trying to get him to eat all day with little success.

"Will you make me grilled cheese sandwiches?" he asked humbly.

"Sandwiches?" I asked.  "How many are we talking?"

"Two or three."

So I went into the kitchen and started slicing cheese.

My to do list isn't all its cracked up to be anyway.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I won the prize



One of the laurels in our ward was in the PGHS Homecoming Queen Pageant so we went to watch.  It was a pageant.  As in you wear a formal and impossible-to-walk-in shoes and parade around the stage. 

It felt archaic and maybe a little sexist and it's possible Emma and I whispered a few comments to each other from time to time.

Later, when we were home, I told her that I was glad she was my daughter.  "Thank you for never being in a pageant."

"You're welcome," she said solemnly.

*****

We went to the school for Emma's senior CCR (career and college readiness--I think that's what it stands for but I could be wrong).  Emma did all the talking like she does and I'm an extraneous appendage because Emma has got it covered. 

Also she told the counselor that I said she can't go to Yale.  (It's true.  I told her it would be over my cold dead body.  If I try to be super dramatic I think it adds a certain flair.)  It was the first time anyone acknowledged I was in the room.  He gave me a cursory look and said, "Maybe you can go there for graduate school."

Hmph.  Send your own daughter across the country.  I'm trying to keep mine close.  I'm trying.

You really can't make Emma do anything.

*****

Emma gave me parenting advice the other day.

It seems like that's the sort of thing that would normally irritate me, parenting advice from my daughter.  It was actually really good advice though.

I told her thank you.

She said, "Well, you know, I have vast parenting experience.  I had a tamagotchi."

I pretty much won the lottery when I got Emma Jayne for a daughter.

Monday, September 12, 2016

weekend list

1- Mark and I went to the Hale Theater on Friday night and watched See How They Run.  It was funny.  And I particularly liked the cute girl working behind the counter at the concession stand (she's the one who scored us the free tickets).  I bought Mark a $2 package of Skittles (Skittles!  Bleck!) just so I could say hi to Miss Emma.

2- We saw an ad during the BYU football game for $.50 Frosties at Wendy's.  Shut up and take my money!  We went during half time.

3- The BYU game went down to the wire and they sadly lost in the end. At least I got a Frosty out of the deal.

4- Adam and Mark mowed a mölkky pitch on the lawn.  Mölkky is a Finnish lawn game that Megan gave us.  It's fun.  It works best with extra short grass.

5- We played mölkky and I won.

6- What can I say?  I'm an athlete....

7- Not really, I think I was sort of lucky.

8- On Saturday we went to a baptism for a girl in our ward.

9- The whole time I thought of Braeden who was at Stella's baptism.

10- I went to 6 hours of church on Sunday.

11- It was the kind of Sunday where you wear comfortable shoes.

12- And put up flags with the young women at 6:30 in the morning.  (For September 11)

13- Watching things about September 11 still makes me cry.  Since it happened before Mark was born it feels like ancient history to him.  "Do you remember that?" he asked.  Yes. 

14- I vowed to take the seven girls who showed up to help with flags to Sodalicious later this week.

15- It's nice to know a person's currency.  YW of the Grove Creek 6th Ward live and die by Sodalicious.  

16- Sunday afternoon I wore this shirt.



17.  The Seahawks game went down to the wire and they won in the end.








Friday, September 9, 2016

Messes


Back when this was my daily, we had messes.  Big messes.  It was part of the scenery.  Those days are long gone.  We rarely have the kind of mess happen that makes you want to banish everyone to their bedrooms while you contemplate how to even start clean up.

Miss Emma, with her first paycheck deposited in the bank and transportation of her own, decided a few days ago that she was going to remedy her mother's unwillingness to buy sugar free Nesquik.  She drove herself to the grocery store and made her purchase.

Unfortunately yesterday afternoon, she perched it precariously in the pantry.  It fell on its head and  Nesquik was eeeeeeverywhere.  Seriously.  How did all that stuff even come out of the small container?!?  Imagine drifts of chocolate powder on everything in the pantry.

It was a big mess.  It was the kind of mess that small children make.  It was horrendous.  It was not like toddler days with toddler messes though.  Instead of me banishing people away, Emma helped clean it up.  She was a lot of help.

The REALLY big difference?  She kept lamenting her hard earned money being wasted.

The disaster scene felt familiar but I guess you can never go back.

And I'm OK with that, except aren't those kids cute?


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Like mother, like son

When I was in school and was inflicted with PE, I pretty much hated every minute of it.  I am not and have never been what someone would call athletic.  I'm not competitive and I don't like to hurt my body.  These are two key things that make a person like me unsuccessful at PE.  Oh, and also, I'm uncoordinated.

I was, however, smart enough to figure out strategies.  Survival strategies.  For example, when we played dodge ball (which, let's face it, is a barbaric activity), I had a strategy and it was called Get The Ball to Tommy.

Tommy Morrow was one of the more athletic boys in my class.  He was fairly tall and really good at catching any ball thrown his way.

When we played dodge ball, you were out if someone else caught your ball.  I would call across the net to Tommy to get his attention, then I would lob a ball at him.  He'd catch it and I'd be out.  It was a beautiful friendship.  Also, to my advantage, Tommy didn't get out himself.  (If the person that caught your ball got out, you had to go back in.)

I didn't want to go back in.

Ever.

So if I got the ball to Tommy, I was just fine.

Now, compare this to Mark.

At his school, they have "flex" period.  As long as you're passing all your classes, you can participate in a variety of activities.  One of them is dodge ball.  For reasons I'll never understand, this is one of Mark's favorite activities.

Yesterday I picked him up from school and he excitedly told me, like he does on all dodge ball days, about how much fun he had.  "I'm on the strike team," he said proudly.

"What does that mean?" I asked.

"It's sort of an alliance.  My friend Strider asked me to be on the strike team.  We're sort of the best players and we help each other."

So, you see, Mark and me--we're basically twins.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

In the rear view mirror

photo credit:  Emma Jayne


With Labor Day come and gone, it really feels like summer is behind us.  It's time for me to gather up the seashells and American flags and box them away.  It feels a little early for the autumn box.

This summer was not without it's disappointments and adversity.  I'm pretty sure I'll remember that.  My purpose here is to remember and document the other stuff.  The good stuff.

This was the summer of:

-sitting on the deck first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening

-avoiding the deck in the hot afternoon when its surface would have burned my feet

-Maverik trips

-growing tomatoes and the most enormous zinnias I've ever seen (from seeds my aunt Olivia gave me)

-grilling dinner--we ate a lot of grilled hamburgers without buns and Greek salad

-Mark mourning the absence of buns for the burgers

-going for drives

-taking walks

-hosting the Jorgensens and having a practice wedding run (we'll be all prepared when our kids get married...maybe)

-taking Leif to the MTC

-pretending like we had three kids again while Gavin stayed

-quick trips to Nevada

-getting to know the Young Women better

-making pen pal friends with people in Virginia Beach

-learning lessons--among the lessons learned, we are pretty good at sticking together

-remembering again and again why I like these people so much

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

I'm not sure I'm worth it

Two days in a row we have not turned on our air conditioning.  Amazing!  This summer has been the 2nd hottest on record.

(Why, yes.  I've discovered a new weather blog.  Why do you ask?)

Being a nerd about the weather is not the only reason I'm not much fun.

There's always a "Mom won't like that" discussion.  If we're going to a restaurant, they talk about the places, "Mom won't like."

When Adam cooks meat on the grill--most nights this hot summer--there is always worry if it's done enough for me.  I don't like any pink.  When in doubt, burn it, I say.

We were going on a drive and taking a picnic yesterday.  Food ideas were eliminated.  "Mom won't like the way salami smells."  "Mom won't eat that."

Mom may get car sick.

It comes down to me being the lame one.

Sometimes literally.  (My knee.)

We were driving into American Fork Canyon and I brought up the topic.  "I'm sorry I'm always so much trouble," I said.

Mark said, "Now you know why Women's Conference is always such a magical time of year."

OK.  I guess I deserve that.

Adam wanted to drive on the back side of Mt. Mahogany.  The Alpine Loop already makes me a little carsick (although Adam is pretty good at driving it in a smooth and steady way that helps a lot).  We turned off onto a dirt road.  It was suuuuuuper bumpy.  I grew up on a dirt road.  I know dirt roads.  This made every dirt road of my youth seem smooth.  There were tall trees on either side so I felt a little claustrophobic too.

See what I mean?  I'm a horrible person.

I felt like dying.  Adam pulled off the road and I lay on a log in the sunshine until the world stopped spinning. 

Mark pulled a camp chair out of the car.  I sat in it and Adam tucked a blanket around me (it was sort of chilly in the mountains).  I'm basically an invalid.  They fed me Fritos and grapes and eventually I found the courage to get back in the car for the return trip.

Sometimes I wonder what memories my children will have of me from their growing up years.

Sometimes I know. 

(shaking head sadly)

Monday, September 5, 2016

How we celebrated

It was slumpy late afternoon on Friday and Adam decided we should go to Pizza Pie Cafe to celebrate Braeden's one year mark.  (We had eaten at Pizza Pie Cafe on the way to the MTC one year earlier.)

So Adam sometimes has a flair for the dramatic.

He called the kids to the family room in drill sergeant fashion.  Mark got there first and stood at attention, saluting.  Emma quickly joined him.

Our children sometimes have a flair for the dramatic too.

"What day is it?" Adam barked in a booming voice.

"Friday, sir!" Emma and Mark replied in perfect unplanned unison.

Then they all started laughing and Emma and Mark gave each other a high five because how often does perfect unplanned unison happen?

When everybody recovered, we hit the road for Pizza Pie Cafe.

Meanwhile, the Justesens texted me pictures of Braeden.  He wanted pizza too (because in addition to being dramatic, we're all a weirdly sentimental bunch as well).  There isn't a good pizza place in their area so they took the elders to a Chinese buffet but the Justesens said Braeden got a piece of pizza too.


seeing pictures of Braeden eating are always reassuring to me...I think it's a weird mom thing

We're in charge of the celebrations in our life.  I say we might as well live it up.


Friday, September 2, 2016

One down, one to go

A year ago today, we dropped Braeden off at the MTC.

Do I looked shell shocked in this picture?


He's smiling and it looks like I am maybe trying to smile but can't entirely make it work.

It was rough.

It's been quite a year.  We five have weathered storms together and separately and I think we're actually closer as a result.

Yesterday I went to the dentist and because Utah County, we talked about missionaries.  The hygienist has one brother coming home in seven weeks and one in a year.  The dentist told me that although he was happy when his son came home, he was also a little sad.

I said, "I can't imagine being sad..."

He quickly clarified that he missed the great emails.

Hmm.

I like getting emails from Braeden, they're just no replacement for hugs.  Or his booming laugh or his uncanny ability to make me laugh.  I don't care how great an email is, I'd rather hear Braeden tell me how hungry he is and see his almost comic gratitude when I feed him.  I just want to sit next to the kid for awhile. 

I would love to find his dirty socks lying around.

I assume he'll be sad when he comes home.  He'll miss the good people he is getting attached to and he straight up loves Virginia.  I, on the other hand, will not be sad.

One more year.

But who's counting, right?

Braeden a few days ago.



Thursday, September 1, 2016

Books I read in August 2016

I forgot one of the books I read last month and it was a good one.


The Marriage Bureau for Rich People by Farahad Zama ***

There was a mild plot and mostly interesting characters in this book but what I really liked about it was the eye opening look it gave me into the marriage culture in India.  It was about a man who set up a marriage bureau to assist families in arranging marriages.  The lists of requirements they looked for in spouses was different than what my list would include!  This was a book club book and we had a lot of interesting discussion!



Mercy Snow by Tiffany Baker ***

This book was set in a New England paper mill town.  There were the horrible mill owners, the lemming-like townspeople that wanted someone to blame, the eccentric lady that lived on the outskirts of town, and the vagabond family that lived down by the murky, polluted river.  I thought the description of the place was very well done.  It felt cold.  The characters were well drawn and the story was sort of depressing.  It worked on a hot summer day.




Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld *

This book is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice.  Since Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book, I am attracted to different incarnations of it but I should also know better.  I rarely like them.  This book was no exception.  I didn't like it and didn't finish reading it because it just frustrated me.  The Bennett family, instead of being cringe-worthy, was completely unlikable.  They were horrible people.  Even Jane came across as sort of simple and weak.  And Mr. Bingley?  He was sort of an idiot.  Disappointing.



After You by Jojo Moyes ***

This was a sequel to Me Before You.  I wanted to read this because I needed a better ending to Me Before You.  I didn't want to read it because I was afraid I would get an equally dismal ending.  I don't want to give too much away, but I liked this book.



Shem Creek by Dorothea Benton Frank***

This book was mostly frivolous which was exactly what I needed.  Nothing heavy.  It's about a single mother who returns to South Carolina where she'd grown up.  The characters weren't quite believable all the time but it was a nice little escape to read it.

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