Friday, April 19, 2013

In My EMail Yesterday

Yesterday I had my California brother and his family on my mind, so I sent an email filled with love.  This is what I got in return:

These pictures were taken over 11 years ago, and I am suddenly, achingly wondering where the time has gone since our Breezy was half the age she is now and our Lando was merely a toddler.  (And such a CUTE toddler!  I wanna munch on those cheeks, don't you?)

Don't worry.  I have a hot date to look forward to tonight (and for eternity).

It Melts My Mother-Heart

Our Sassy goes to bed very early because she has to get up very early and because she risks illness if she doesn't get enough sleep.  She hasn't felt good for the past couple of days, so I fully expected her to be in her bed by the time I got home from work last night.

She was lying down when I first got home.  Landon had his cousins in his bedroom.  I fixed myself a sandwich for dinner and took it into our bedroom so I could get started on my (substantial and formidable) homework assignment.  I kept our door open because I wanted to be available for Landon.

Before long, I heard Ashtyn up and in Landon's room with the others.  It got VERY quiet after a short time, and I realized they were all gone.  After about 45 minutes, there came trooping in a large parade of kids ages 11 to 18, one of them hauling in a new fish tank, others carrying various bags.  They then spent the next two hours setting up a new tank in Landon's room.  The only thing they ever said to me all night was, "Do you care if we give the smaller tank to the Fishes?"

Spencer got home and asked where Landon had gotten the money to do this, and he said, "I didn't do it.  Ashtyn came in and said, 'Do you care if we re-decorate?'  So she bought all of this.  I didn't even ask her, Dad!"  She walked in and said, "This was my idea, Dad."

I got lots of homework done.  Our kids and the Fish kids played together all night.  And I spent time thanking heaven for wonderful children who are friends and who love and sacrifice for one another.

I put away my homework when my eyes were crossing.  That's when Ash asked if I could put her hair in braids for the night.  She went to bed at 10:30 (VERY late for her).

Monday, April 15, 2013

Sharing a Memory -- Parenting

I was singing with the Sterling Singers at Libby Gardner Hall.   I had been assigned to sit in the center section, and I was seated by some young (20-something) ladies.  One of them was pregnant and had to leave for the bathroom twice before the show started.  She apologized, and I made some sarcastic remark about rude PREGNANT women who just can't be in control.  Luckily she responded laughingly to my joke, and we talked about how this was her first baby and she was terrified.  I said, "Look, I'm not going to lie to you.  There are things about parenting that are hard.  But oh my goodness, you are going to LOVE it."  She got a look of near-panic on her face and said, "Do you think so?"  I told her that there would be days that she would wait with bated breath for the clock to chime 8:00 (bedtime), and that there would be days that she wished she could make last forever.  I told her that her children would occasionally make her cry, but that she should laugh at every opportunity.  I told her that she was about to get to know someone really terrific.  I told her that I was blessed to be the mom, but I was also blessed to know four marvelous people!  She actually got tears in her eyes, and she said, "Can I hug you?  Everyone keeps telling me these horrible stories.  No one has told me that I was going to be doing something I would love."  I hugged her and said, "You are going to LOVE it!"

Inspired by This blog, I want to share a couple of things about parenting that I love and that I've learned.

First of all, Spencer and I made the decision before our first child was born that we would not waste a single minute waiting for that elusive moment that is usually prefaced by, "I can't wait until...", as in "I can't wait until she can dress herself" or "I can't wait until he can play with friends" or whatever.  I can honestly say that, while I sometimes ACHED to sleep through the night, I did not ever wish for something to come.  Both Spencer and I were COMMITTED to enjoying every moment we possibly could with our children.  Now that they are big and mostly grown and nearly gone, I am grateful every day that I made the commitment NOT to wish their lives away.  I am not foolish or forgetful enough that I don't remember that some days were hard.  But I'm so glad that I embraced those days, because they won't be back for me.  That thought makes me a little melancholy.

But not for long, because I'm STILL enjoying every day.  Having big, grown-up children is so much fun!  Their talents, their words, their goodness--it is reason for celebration.

And that goes for teenagers.  Seriously, if you aren't enjoying your teens, you are missing out on one of life's most enjoyable things.  OK, so sometimes they do or say things that make you roll your eyes and think, "Really?"  (I'll have to tell you about Landon's business venture in middle school sometime.)  But they're still teachable.  They are funny.  They are talented.  They are learning things so quickly (watch out for flying light bulbs above their heads)!  Love it.  Love it all.

Yesterday the granddaughter of some ward members bore her testimony in our sacrament meeting.  I would guess she is around 14 or 15 years old.  She was articulate.  She had learned some VALUABLE lessons.  She taught me truth.  That is impressive.  If you're not learning good things from your teens, you need to get to know them better. 

Also, are they learning good things from you?

Lastly, you don't get to take credit for your children's choices.  This includes the good and the bad.  You can and should teach them.  You can and should correct them.  You can and should help them.  You can and should pray for them.  You can and should love and love and love them.  But in the end, they get to choose.  Therefore, if your child does something really terrible, you cannot take credit for it.  You are not allowed to feel guilty for someone else's decisions.  I won't let you.  It's wrong. 

On the other hand, you also cannot feel personal victory or claim credit for someone else's decisions, even your child's.  When your child is terrific, SHE is terrific, not you.  It's not about you.  It is your child's victory, your child's good consequence.  Let her have it.  Let her practice small failures and small successes while she is small, and larger ones when she is larger.  Before you know it, she will be the one making grown-up decisions every day.

You're going to love it.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Just Add It To the List of Dumb Things I've Done

I left my cell phone at work last night.  I knew that it would be dead by the time I got back in the morning, so I immediately put the charger into my purse.

Landon wanted to drive today, so he brought me to work.  Since I knew that meant that I would need to take the train home, I packed light to come to work.  Lunch. Shoes and socks so I could walk home from the Trax station.

I packed too light.  I forgot my purse. 
No work badge.  Security let me in and told me to come back later and get a temporary badge.  That's a pain, so I'm stuck on my floor till I am out of here for the day.
No work badge, no train ticket.  No way home.

No money or credit card. No way to buy a train ticket.

No phone charger.  No phone.  No way to contact Ashtyn to look for a ride home.

Poor "Information Please" Spencer.  His wife has no brain.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Being Cool

This morning while getting ready for work, I started thinking about the "cool" things I've done.  Here is a list of some of my coolness:

Ran a Ragnar relay (or three)
Ran a 5K (or 2 or...)
Scuba dived.  In the Caymans.  And Cozumel.
Had a baby without any medication at all.
Swam with dolphins.
Saw the  Dodgers play.
Was the president of an organization (or two).
Earned a bachelor's degree.
Flew first class.
Sang with an exceptional choir.
Sold a story to a magazine.
Had the lead role in a play.
Visited our nation's Capital.  Twice.
Visited the prophet in his office.

As I was thinking through my life for what could be classified as "cool," I thought, Huh!  Those are all cool things by the world's standards, but they aren't even the most cool things I've done.  So here's more.

  • Got married. To the right man.  In the right place.  Stayed married for 24 years (and counting)...
  • Had 4 babies.  Doesn't matter how medicated I was, I still got them here.
  • Sang "The Wheels on the Bus" HUNDREDS of times.
  • Fixed a special dinner party for my very own family using my very own china (thanks, Mom and Dad!).
  • Loved lots and lots and LOTS of kiddos!
  • Found satellites in the sky.
  • Went to temple dedications.  Went to temple open houses.  Went to the temple.
  • Taught classes.  Mostly religious, but also pre-K and elementary school-oriented.
  • Rode in cars, vans, motorcycles, buses, trains, airplanes, ships, boats, roller coasters, horses, mules, and a zipline.
  • Played the piano, both privately and in public.
  • Cared for babies and old people.  Sometimes simultaneously.
  • Have opened our house to many, many people (and loved it).
  • Sewed clothes, tied quilts, canned fruit, made bread, grew vegetables.
  • Sang at a funeral without crying.
  • Attended cheer performances, soccer games, lacrosse games, basketball games, choir performances, youth conferences, swim practices, debates, graduation ceremonies, YW and Scout awards nights, and missionary training center farewells with our children.  
  • Have--along with Spencer--taken our children to baseball, basketball, and soccer games; plays; concerts; malls; museums; friends' homes; family's homes; shopping; nice restaurants and not-so-nice restaurants; Disneyland; church; the temple; hotels; Mexico; camping; hiking; photo ops; movies.
  • Led my family down a mountain while singing.  (One of my favorite memories)
  • Driven across Nevada.  DOZENS of times.
  • Went to Disneyland several times and DisneyWorld once.
  • Spoken in public.
  • Given hugs and shared tears and laughed and laughed and laughed.
  • Have NOT been fired from a job.  Yet.
  • Have made friends from other countries.
  • Have met people who I am convinced were friends of mine before this life.
  • Read THOUSANDS of books and articles and periodicals.  Also cereal boxes and road signs.

Well, the list could go on and on and on.  What a remarkable life I am living!

I Had a Complete Meltdown

Monday was maybe the most frustrating day I've ever had at work.  And that, my friends, is saying something.  I came home, threw my stuff on the bed and exclaimed, "I have just got to get out of there!"  Then I ranted some more and had myself a little pity party, in which Ashtyn was an active participant and during which Spencer nodded his agreement all the while.  :)

The next day--still frustrated, but calmed by a listening ear, a good night's rest, and a run--I spoke with a co-worker about some thoughts I'd had.

Yesterday I vowed to be kind, hold my tongue, and make it a better day.

Today that same co-worker came to me with some ideas of her own.  Ideas all designed to help me.  Another co-worker stopped by to see me, which was a wonderful treat.

Tomorrow is the end of the week.  I am glad.

I'm not glad I left my phone at work, though.  How am I going to get through my run without tunes?  *sigh* My first-world problems....

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Today's Pinning

What was pinned

What I made

What was pinned
What I made
What was pinned
What I made

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Tissues Just Keep Flyin'

Last week I got a head cold.  Head colds leave me doing two things.  First, they make me wonder how one little head can produce so much mucus ("mucus" is a gross-sounding word, but "snot" is even grosser).  Second, they make me very thankful for the times when I can breathe.

I kept the Kleenex company in business last week.  I went through two full boxes at work, one from the kitchen, one in our bathroom, one in my car.

Sunday night that cold moved down into my chest.  I am not coughing continually--thank goodness--but when the cough comes it is deep and ugly-sounding and it rattles and burns my chest.  I can feel the pressure in my sinuses still, too.

I'm seriously thankful for non-continual coughs, a good night's rest, tissues, hand sanitizer, facial moisturizers, soap and water, and a body that heals.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Only a Mile

Last Saturday I jogged 4 miles.  My muscles were tired by the end, but it was quite do-able otherwise.  This Saturday I'm scheduled for 5 miles, and I feel confident about that.

This week I am scheduled to jog 2 miles, 1 mile (missed this one because of this stupid cold), 2 miles (done today--woot!), 3 miles, and 2 miles.  I'm still super slow, but to go out this morning and jog 2 miles was just not hard.  Don't get me wrong.  I breathe hard.  I sweat.  My legs get tired.  But the fact that I can go out and do a couple of miles without really thinking about it is a super big deal to me.  It feels good to not be dying as I run up Charing Cross, which not long ago seemed like a HUGE uphill battle.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I Seriously Hate 1:00 Church

I think church should always ALWAYS be at 9:00 a.m.  Seriously.  It's enough to make me want to move.  Three different houses so I can follow the church schedule.  I'm sorry, Bishop, I can no longer serve as the best, most amazing Primary teacher you've ever had, even though I adore these perfectly beautiful children, because I won't be in your ward next year.

When our children were little I contended (and I still believe it for young children) that 11:00 was the WORST time for Church.  It's too late for breakfast.  It's too early for lunch.  It cuts right into nap time.  All around, it's a losing proposition.  I always feel sorry for the  nursery leaders when we have 11:00 church.  If I were the nursery leader we'd have PBJs every week.  It is lunchtime, after all.

Now our kids think 11:00 church is best, because they can sleep in.

But we have 1:00 church.  We sleep in.  We eat.  We look at email and Pinterest.  We watch "Music and the Spoken Word."  Then BAM!  Suddenly it's noon!  We haven't even showered yet!  Where oh where did the morning go? There hasn't been enough time!  We're going to be late!

And I don't wanna!  I like being in my jammies.  I like sitting on my bed and not doing anything.  No homework.  No housework.  OK, sometimes laundry.  But whatever it is (or isn't), I do NOT want to be interrupted by church.  Stupid dress!  Stupid makeup!  Stupid heels!  Stupid boring meeting.

Oh, wait.  Because it's rarely a boring meeting.  It's always beautiful and wonderful and reassuring.  And best of all, I go hang out with the children, and I end up so happy my cheeks hurt by the end!

But I still like it better when it starts at 9:00.