Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Remarkable Woman

This week I was telling my boss/friend about this cool thing my mother did 5 years ago.  I asked my daddy to send me some pictures of this epic adventure.  What he sent was a photo essay.  I share it with you below.

Before I begin, however, let me just tell you that bungi jumping is not even NEAR the top of the list of things that make my mother exceptional, remarkable, extraordinary, and magnificent.  You should all get to know my mom.  You would be better for it.

Bungi Africa sponsored this wonderful leap into the gorge below the bridge.  The Zambezi River runs below.  She showed no fear, just a whole bunch of excitement to do it. 04.25.06

The first three seconds were surreal, beautiful, slow motion and stunning!

She dropped 379 feet! The first big pop back up was incredible to see because after she hit the bottom the bungee cord took her back under the bridge to where we couldn’t see her, and then she came shooting out and up from under the span. Quite a sight to behold!

The second big bounce she came up squealing and looking up at us…

She was not the least bit worried or scared. She thought the rush of such a jump would be one of the coolest things ever, and sure enough it was – for her. We had about 30 on-lookers who cheered and cheered and a small Zimbabwe newspaper interviewed her after asking why a woman her age would do such a thing; normally reserved for younger people.

She said she thought it looked fun and then said, “And if my sons were here they would have gone with me, too!” Everyone had a good chuckle over that. We said later that if it were to be am adult family affair we thought perhaps Laurie, Maki, Kimberly and I would be the photographers while the rest would be jumpers. It’s a big jump into a deep gorge carved out by those mighty falls – one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

Her last words before jumping -- was a glance at the videographer and then she muttered -- “Sorry, Mom!” (…believing her mother probably would not approve of such a jump)


That's right!  That's MY beautiful mom!

To a person, in our group – who had by then become family – they all hugged her and kissed her and told her how proud they were of her. Pierre Fourie, who had traveled with us the whole time as a guide, shook her hand, patted her on the back and said, “All I can say is you are one remarkable woman.” He needs to tell me something I don’t already know. She is a woman who just makes me thank heaven I was allowed to hook my star to hers. And she loved the whole thing from start to end…

This is the man who winched down about a hundred feet, got her upright, and then rode up with her. His first words were a sincere “Are you all right, Ma’am?”
She assured him that she was.

A Fabulous Night

Spencer had a 10-mile run after work, and I had a manuscript to work on, so I knew I would not be seeing him for the night.  But at 7:15 he said, "I'm starving.  The kids are at their youth activities.  How about La Luna?" 

We had a tasty dinner, and the conversation was WONDERFUL.  (I LOVE it when he wants to talk!)  (And plus, he's my best friend, did you know?)  (And also, he's really cute!)

When we got home, Ash and Landon and Logan were just getting home from YM/YW activities.  Taylor and Lindsey were at the counter having some pizza together.  We all stood and talked for a bit, and then I said, "I love you all.  Very much.  Clean up after yourselves.  Make sure the cat is out.  Open our door when you go to bed." 

I worked on my manuscript while Spencer showered and prepared for bed.  At 10:00 I turned off the lights and hit the sack HARD.

Best. Night. Ever.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Thinking of You!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

O Summer, Where Art Thou?

*sniffle, sniffle*  I'm always sad when our children go back to school.  It's like some kind of rite of passage.  Even though I've been saying for months, "Ashtyn is a senior," and "Landon is in 9th grade," there's something REAL about it when they actually step foot into the halls of WJHS and JPJMS.

Back in 1991 I walked into an elementary school (to meet with our foster son's teacher), and I came out of that building absolutely heartsick that someday I would have to send my Briana Baby (who was about 4 months old) into a place like that someday.  Since then I've sent all four of my babies off to various schools, (Briana lives in Far Away Logan, for heaven's sake!) and I have spent hundreds of hours working and serving in schools, including one I owned, ran, and taught.  I know that there are many, many good people who influence our children at school (thank goodness!).  But somehow there is still some residual dread about watching our little ones--who aren't so little--take those steps.

One thing, however, that I do not do is GUILT for what we should have done during the summer.  That is a luxury I allow myself since I work full time.  Bottom line:  I don't have time for guilt.  On the other hand, this is much easier now that our children are older.  If they want to go swimming, for example, they can GO without me.  The responsibility for creating marvelous summer memories is not completely mine.

So, the kids have been swimming and camping.  They've been to movies and parks.  We've been to more reunions than we wanted to attend.  We've eaten ice cream and frozen yogurt and slushies and s'mores.  We've been to the mountains and to the city.  We've barbecued and had hobo dinners.  And we've laughed a lot.  I'd call this summer a success.

But I still don't want them to go back to school.  Does that make me weird?

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Kiss of Death

There are many meetings with which to fill a day.  The day will be busy.  We might have short breaks to work on projects, but then another meeting will happen.

And then he does it.  The Boss says, "This meeting will be short."  And JUST. LIKE. THAT. there are no more short breaks.  Because that meeting that was going to be short lengthened substantially, and now the next meeting is delayed.  And the next.  And the next.

Why does he do that?  It happens every. time.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Remember Me

In a meeting I attended yesterday, a speaker encouraged the audience to determine how we would like to be remembered.  It motivated me to ponder the people (mainly professionally) who have influenced me and why.

This exercise led me to wonder how I am remembered in places I have left.

S&S:  Young, inexperienced, young.  Capable but YOUNG.  A bit flaky.  Young.
PM:  The office has never looked better.  What was her name again?
SLAH:  Teacher's pet.  Dependable.
USPO:  Who?
LLPS:  Loved our children.  Happy.  Talented.
2LL:  Capable.  Dependable. Knew everything.  Laughed a lot.  Bossy.
8:  Unhappy. 
11:  _________(?)

After this I thought about people I may have influenced, for better and for worse.  You know how you talk about your life's experiences and the people who were there?  Am I the one who people say, "Oh, what was her name again?  You know, the girl who:

  • (cried about everything)
  • (had a [pretty] [awful] voice)
  • (taught a [fabulous] [ridiculous] lesson)
  • (loved the children so much)
  • (thought she knew everything)
  • (always told everyone how to do everything)
  • (was always [dependable] [undependable])
  • (was so loud)
  • ([could never be] [was easy to] please(d))"
How will you remember me? 

Will you remember me?

Please remember me.

Friday, August 12, 2011


This is what homework looks like when you grow up. 

Not much changes after high school, really.  There's still a boy wearing a splint on his arm.  There's still a calculator, books, and strewn papers on a desk. (What you don't see is the snacks on the other surface.)

What HAS changed:  hair color, hair amount, and comfort of the chairs.  Also, the work building doesn't smell of pheromones the way a school does. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

17 Miracles

Go see it.

Monday, August 8, 2011

My Heart Took a Picture

Yesterday Landon walked up behind Briana and gave her a hug.  He said, "I love you, Sister."  It's a miracle, really, and my  heart took a picture.

Such a Great Weekend!

You know the economy (at least at Boeing) is turning up when we can have parties again.

We went to Iceberg after the party.

I love this man.

Exciting Stuff for Landon

This boy is seriously one of the funniest people I know.  The kid has me laughing all the time.

A serious goofball, who is never seen without his headphones.  Cutest kid ever!
He got a call early on Monday morning.  It was the orthodontist's office, saying they'd had a cancellation and wondering if he'd like to come get his braces off.  I was at work without a car, so Ashtyn and Logan accompanied him.  "Don't worry, Mom," they said when they joined me for lunch.  "We took before and after pictures."
Is it just me, or did he age about 2 years by losing the braces?

Trying to Share the Love

Once upon a time, Blogger went really weird on us all.  The end.

Since Blogger went weird, I cannot post comments on many of the blogs I've followed for years.  Sometimes I can, though, which puts me in the same category as Pavlov's dogs--the intermittent reinforcement has me salivating and continuing to try to comment.

If you are one of the people I follow, please know I am here and I watch you every day.  Ooo!  Creepy!

Also, I love you.  Aww!  Sweet!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Please Pray for My Friend

If you haven't started following Noelle, you are missing out on some deliciousness in life.  She's funny.  She's intelligent.  She's loving.  She's human.  She's in love.

She's also a new mommy to a beautiful, 6 pound girl named Emily.  Emily has a heart condition (among other possible things).  Fortunately she is in the capable hands of wonderful doctors and nurses; a large, loving family; her mommy and daddy, who walk by faith; and our Father in Heaven (who is surely wearying from the prayers in Emily's behalf).

Please join me in praying for a woman who has become my friend (and who I hope to meet someday), for her sweet,  heaven-sent husband, and for their cherished daughter.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Twenty-three Years

That's how long it's been since I owned a bed that belonged just to me.  That's how long I've been sharing a bed and a bedroom with my best friend.

That's how long it's been since I spent every weekend hanging out with my girlfriends.  That's how long I've spent most weekends with the same one person.  Who is NOT a girl.  At all.

That's how long it's been since I was NOT temple endowed.  And that's not even CLOSE to how long I hope to spend with my family.

That's how long it's been since I lived with my parents, my three brothers, and my sister.  That's how long Spencer and I have made a home together.

That's how long it's been since I worked at the yogurt shop.  That is also how long I've had recurring dreams that I can't remember how to put the yogurt machine together.  And there are customers in the store.

That's how long it's been since I earned my Associate's degree.  It's also how long it feels till I finish my master's degree, but that's a different story for another day.

That's how long it's been since I saw most of my single's ward friends.  Are any of you Citrus Heights 6th Ward circa 1986--1988 people out there?  Thought not...

That's how long it's been since I kissed anyone goodnight at the door.  Well, I mighta done that since 23 years ago, but if I did, I continued kissing him THROUGH the door.  And down the hall.  And into the bedroom.  (Hey!  Mind your own business!)

That's how long it's been since I had to eat macaroni & cheese, hot dogs, or bread & gravy.  And I've never missed them.

That's how long I've been sweeping and mopping my own floors.  Anyone wanna take over the next 23 years?

That's how long it's been since I wore a size 5.  *sigh*

That's how old Spencer was 23 years ago today, when we were sealed in the Oakland California temple.

Twenty-three years is a long time.  Twenty-three years was yesterday.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Fly Who Won't Die

Yesterday I opened the freezer door, and out flew a fly.  I don't actually think he was in there; I think he was plopped on top of the fridge door and just fell before he actually started flying.  He's an elderly fly.

But the stupid thing just keeps buzzing around.  Last night he dive-bombed us in the kitchen.  This morning it was trying to commit suicide against the bathroom mirror, with taxiing trips to my hair in between.  This evening he's bugging me in my bedroom.

It's the same fly, I'm tellin' you, and it's getting really old.

Wouldn't it be cool if I could actually hit something with a fly swatter?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Funny Conversation

Have I told you that I love my boss?  I know I told you that with my former boss.  It's true again, and it feels really good to love my job and the person I work with the most.  Here is a funny conversation that happened yesterday.

Dean wanted to meet with David and David, but his meeting with David and David went too long, and David had to go so he could catch his bus home.  (Anybody confused yet?  Sheesh, people!  Choose a name other than David, for goodness' sake!) 

Dean: What is David's problem?  He knows I would take him home!
Me: Waaahhh!  Cry me a river, build me a bridge, and get over it.
Dean:  People and having to catch their buses!  I think it's just an excuse.
Me:  I'd love to cry about this with you, but I have a bus to catch.
Dean:  Before you go, send a quick appointment for 7:30 tomorrow to David and David.
Me:  OK.  But if I miss my bus, you have to take me home.
Dean:  I'll take you home.

Me:  I missed it.  I'm waiting for you on North Temple.
Dean:  You did not.  I'm on North Temple and you are not there.
Me:  No you're not, because if you were you would see me.  But don't worry, I contacted an escort service.  They're sending someone to get me in 10.
Dean:  I'm probably going to be here till 8.  It might be worth staying till 10 just to see who they send.
Me:  Not AT 10, silly.  IN 10.  I hope he's rich and hot.
Dean:  Hot meaning he just got out of jail?  Rich because he stole a lot of money?
Me:  Hope not.  He's here!  Not rich, but hothothot.  I think I'm going to invite him home with me.  See you tomorrow.

Dean came into work this morning laughing.  That's a pretty good way to start a day, don't you think?

Happy Anniversary to Us!

This Friday is our wedding anniversary.  Since Spencer is in charge of our finances right now, I have been waiting for him to give me some money so I could go get him a card and a gift.

But TODAY I came home to MY gift--A LAPTOP!!!  I can't believe it.

I go back to school on September 1st.  With as much time as he's been spending on house hunting and bill paying, I've been wondering how I was going to commandeer the laptop to do my schoolwork.  But NOW I don't have to commandeer anything.  I HAVE MY OWN LAPTOP!

I know, I know.  Welcome to the 21st century.

DANG!  I LOVE the 21st century!