Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Once more to be sure.

I am writing this post as a tribute to one of my best friends Chris Pardon. We have known each other since eighth grade and yesterday was his birthday. We are both a little older now but I remember when we were 13 like it was only two years ago instead of....well I won't say how many years ago, it isn't lady like to share my age. To top it off we both have kids now that are the age we were when we met.

My dad had just been transferred to Hanua, Germany and I was about to start eighth grade. We moved in next door to a boy who was in my grade and also my homeroom, Chris Pardon. We became good friends as we walked to and from school together and spent time chatting and hanging out.

The end of the school year came and we were invited to an eighth grade graduation party. The entire group sat in a circle and played spin the bottle. If the bottle landed on you, then the other party would escort you to the hall where you were supposed to kiss and then come back out to spin the bottle again. By the time I started ninth grade I had kissed six boys and all thanks to that party.

When Chris spun the bottle and it landed on me we went back into the hall. The kiss was a bit awkward. I was nervous. We went back to the group and I remember thinking how unremarkable the kiss was. I guess I had expected once we kissed there would be fireworks. I mean he was my best friend after all. Really it was just a residual taste of butterscotch that he got from me because that was what I happened to have been eating just before the kiss. (I love butterscotch .)

Once or twice over the summer Chris and I discussed the unremarkable kiss at the party and agreed that we should try kissing again, once more to be sure. We thought maybe the given circumstances under which we first kissed may have had a role on the true effect of the kiss. After choosing an agreed upon place and time we met up for our second, and hopefully more fulfilling kiss.

It too was unremarkable. Maybe it was the lack of chemistry, the fact that this time we kissed under the stairs in our building, I didn't have butterscotch, who knows, but after we kissed for the second time we agreed that we were definitely meant to be friends. Looking back on this story now I laugh at our 13 year old selves actually discussing when we should kiss again just to be sure. It makes me smile even more that we have maintained a friendship over all these years. Happy Birthday (yesterday) Chris!! And many more.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

No longer the smartest person (not that I ever really was)

It is official, I have a daughter who is a freshman in high school. She has been a teenager for a few years so I have had time to get used to "the teens" but a new phase has begun. This new phase I think will have to be called "dumb Mom". My daughter would never be so audacious as to call me dumb, at least not to my face, but it has been strongly implied.

I give you Exhibit A: I was sitting at a stop light recently and I let up from the brake in preparation for the light to turn green, I was the first car at the stop so no worries about me running into any cars in front of me. (if you are confused read my post about it being my fault). My teenager turns to me and says "Mom, the light is red." I looked at her and asked if she was sure. I was pretty sure I knew red from green but I am glad she reminded me. In my defense she was not with me during my little fender bender so I didn't see any need for her to be so worried. (she just thought I was dumb)

I give you a better example in Exhibit B: The very same teenage daughter was with me at the grocery store. I asked her if the sign on the shelf said the soda was 3 for $10. She said it did and helped me locate the appropriate correlating drink to the price. I grabbed two, one with each hand, and she says "Mom, that is two." I looked at her and asked "Really, I am pretty sure I can count but two is a high number?" She said "Mom, but it is 3 for $10." "Yes, I know", I replied "but I only have two hands." On our way to the register I asked if she thought I was dumb. I told her that if she did that is okay, it really does not hurt my feelings, in fact she is at the age where she is supposed to think I and all other adults are a lot less smarter than her. She was very emphatic in saying that she didn't think I was dumb. I sort of believed her, but not really. Her continual actions and words prove otherwise. But oh well, I guess she finally knows what I have all along. I really am not that smart; Just clever enough to act like I am, most of the time.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Time to Reflect

Summer has flown by. Is it a case of getting older that time seems to go by so fast that I barely have time to look back on anything? It feels like May was just here, I had graduated from college, finally, and was looking all summer to “relax” and get a grasp on the idea of joining the work force. Time for “relaxing” ha! We went on summer vacation to Utah for two weeks and the rest of the summer flew by. I got a job working as an Administrative Assistant as soon as we got home from Utah and between summer activities with the kids, my job, fun with friends, company visiting us and an awesome visit to California I can’t believe that school starts again for my girls in less than a week.

I want to reflect on this summer a little bit but first… for me reflection requires some back story. All of you who know me know that I have to tell a story to get to my point. So, for those of you interested in the end just skip to the last paragraph or two. I can’t promise it will make sense but you will save some time.

Three years ago, right about the time I went back to school full-time for my Bachelor’s Degree, I went through what many church attenders would call a “crisis of faith” or a name I like even better “Dark Night of the Soul”. When I look at my faith honestly, even now I can’t say that I have reached the other side of my “crisis”. My faith is not and never will be the same as it once was. I do feel like the “Dark Night” has lifted a bit.

Through this time I have had amazing outlets to which I have turned for insight, help, love and understanding. First and most amazing has been my husband Shae. Without his constancy, patience, love and help I would have probably gone a bit “off the deep end” as he phrased it. Next I had the Mormon Stories podcasts and papers in particular this one article was very helpful course, I had my brilliant and amazing friends. They were my community of love and listening while I was steeped in my “Dark Night”. I would be a bit remiss if I didn’t acknowledge them by name and thank them even though inevitably there will be someone I forget to mention here: Martie and Ken Clark (lawyer/BFF and running partner listener extraordinaire), Rachel Williams (my sister by blood and soul), Kirsty Sayer (giver of true understanding and no judgment), Katy Smith (friend, confidante), Diane Johnson (mothering and guiding force), Jenni Passig (sounding board, kind heart), Erin and Matt Lingard (empathy and love all abounding), DeAnna Massey (amazing, there are not enough good words to describe her and what her friendship has meant), Alicia and Mike Black (support and friendship from the far away east coast), the Mormon Stories community (a place where I have found many more Mormons like myself and feel like I can truly be myself). For those I forgot to mention by name I am sorry, but I am forever grateful for all the love I have had in my life from so many wonderful people especially during the last few years.

That is the shortened back story and now on to reflections of this summer. As I said for me summer started when I graduated from Lindenwood University with my Bachelor’s degree in Music and Theater studies. There were so many loved ones that came for my graduation and party that it was amazing to me to feel the outpouring of love and understanding for the time and effort it took to finish my degree while raising my three girls.

We go to Utah every summer to visit our extended families. This year was no exception and the planning was in the works when I learned that one of my favorite Mormon authors, Carol Lynn Pearson, was going to speak at the Salt Lake City Mormon Stories Conference. I decided to take the girls on the two day drive to Utah in the first of June by myself a week earlier than we had planned to be there so I could go to the conference and have a little extra time to spend with my brother and his family. (Shae flew out shortly after to go with me to the conference). Our visit was wonderful. It was worth every minute driving out early to go to the conference and listen to many Mormon’s like myself share their thoughts, ideas and feelings about their Mormon Heritage and identity. If you click on the Mormon stories link you can see I even got the nerve to get up and share some of my feelings during their open share time. The link is here and if you fast forward to 36:40min. you will see and hear me. I told the people running the San Diego, California conference that I would love to speak if they had need of me. It turns out they did and so I went and spoke later in July. (I will have to blog about that another day, hopefully when the link is up for you to watch my talk).

No sooner had we gotten home from our amazing trip toward the end of June to visit all our family when I had a job interview. I was hired and started working the very next week. It has been a great job. I mean it when I say I LOVE IT!!
It was very fulfilling to be able to share my Mormon Story at the San Diego Conference. I feel like things had finally come full circle. I feel comfortable in my own skin and in my own faith journey. I believe that regardless of what other people think or feel about me and my decisions during, in, and through my “faith crisis” I will ultimately be fine.

To finish summer off with an amazing BANG (besides the 4th of July when we lit off tons of fireworks with our friends the Clarks and Bennetts) we had Thanksgiving in July at Ken and Martie Clark’s house. What is that you ask? We eat and eat and eat all the amazing Thanksgiving food in July with a huge group of our loved ones. It was awesome.

Now the countdown is on for school to start, and that count is six days from now my kids will be getting up and taking the bus to school for their 2nd, 5th and 9th grade years. Next thing I know I will be reflecting on the school year next summer. Seriously, how do we account for all the time that seems to fly by?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's my fault

I have so many just plain airhead moments it is hard to keep track of them all but yesterday's was more memorable than most of the normal ones. I was in my swimming suit, driving home from the pool with my kids and two of their friends. We were at a stop light and the kids asked me a question. After turning around to talk to them I turned back around to face front and saw the light was green, so I hit the gas. Problem, twenty cars in front of me had not yet hit their gas, so I just ran right into the back of the guy in front of me. I pulled over, got out of the car, in my swim suit, (which was slightly more humiliating than having just blatantly ran into the back of a non moving vehicle) and exchanged information with the guy in front of me. This was completely my fault. There is not a good excuse for why I hit the gas before I realized there were all those cars, I just did. They say these things come in threes, these things being bad luck or karma. I am hoping this is not one of the three things, it is just a dumb, my brain checked out moment, and the rest of the week will be fine. But just by saying this I feel like I am tempting fate or pressing Murphy's Law. I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Back in the Blogging world

What on earth could possibly induce me to write after an 18 month hiatus? The fact that I graduated from this place,, on May 14th? Or maybe going on a vacation to Disneyland last year or Utah this year? How about blogging about getting a job here, , now that I have officially graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in Music and Theater Studies? Nope, these reasons are not why I decided to blog at all. I have been given the gift of time, well sort of... I have graduated and my kids are out of school and I have yet to start my new job so we have been doing summery type stuff, if summery is a word? Well, I say it is for my blog so we have been doing summery stuff, ie: vacation, Popsicles, swimming, sleeping in (sometimes). This is what has driven me to my key board yet again, the summery stuff, or to be more precise, swimming. Yes, here I am again writing about going swimming at the city pool. I know years past I have regaled my 2 followers with stories about the pool and the funny happenings there but really it always seems to be such a traumatic experience the first time I go in the summer. Yes, we have been swimming before today, but that was vacation swimming. Doesn't vacation swimming seem like it is not the same? It is okay if you ate 5000 calories before 3 that afternoon and you feel a bit bloated in your swim suit, you are on vacation, it is okay to feel that way. But the first time at THE pool, the one where you will most likely see the same people you actually see in the community in normal clothes, it is not okay to have "that" feeling. I mean there was all the working out and watching what you ate and making sure you still looked okay in that five year old suit so you wouldn't have to go through the HORRENDOUS process of putting on multiple suits at the store. All that plus talking yourself into finally biting the bullet and just taking the kids to the pool already. So today was the day, and I was sitting in my pool chair watching my kids swim, reading my book and checking out the crew that I will most likely see every time we go to the pool and I felt ridiculous. Why? I mean really I get myself so worked up every year, DREADING, going to the pool. I have to wear what feels like almost no clothes and worry that I will be like this in front of what feels like the whole town. But guess what?! everyone else is too. I mean they are all in swim suits. Wow, what a realization, after how many years of taking the kids swimming and today I get that geez I am not the only person who has to wear a suit, to be in the pool. Of course there are the "odd" ones who stay fully clothed. I like to think that they either have sun issues or their kids can swim perfectly so they don't need to worry about bothering with getting in the pool. But everyone else is just like me, well, you know what I mean, we are all in our swim suits, probably getting burned because we forgot to apply our sunblock or forgot to reapply because we didn't realize that SPF 50 meant to reapply every 50 min. Not that it protects 50 times better. There you have it, my return to blogdom, all about my insecurities, again, amazing how self-absorbed I am. Not really amazing though, I mean who wouldn't want to write about their first summer pool visit as opposed to finishing college after going for 14 years?

Friday, February 5, 2010

It feels good to give

Shae and I decided a few years back that we really needed to teach the girls how to be more giving. We have been so fortunate to have a comfortable home,food to eat and a loving atmosphere. We wanted to make sure the girls understood the importance of appreciating what they have and being willing to give of themselves and their time to others. We thought the best way to do this would be to make a family goal to do a service project every quarter. This doesn't mean we have always been great at getting four family projects done every three months, believe me there have been times when we have gotten to July or August and realized we were a little behind in the service department. This year, I am happy to say I have been a little more on top of things. We have completed our first project and while in the past I haven't really shared our projects I felt compelled this time because it was near to our hearts. So what was it...?

We signed up to make blankets for the Linus Foundation. This foundations collects blankets and donates them to hospitals around the country to give to children who may need a little comfort. We first heard of this group two years ago when Adelle was in the ER in Nebraska. We were driving through the state on our way home from visiting family for Christmas and Shae's sister's wedding. As we were driving Adelle stopped breathing. We called 911 and they met us on the freeway and took us to a nice little hospital. Needless to say we were all a bit shook up and scared, but of course Adelle was frightened most of all. Realizing how traumatic the situation was for her a nurse went out of the room and came back with a fleece ducky blanket, wrapped it around Adelle and told her it was hers and would keep her safe. Adelle did not part with that blanket from that moment on and still sleeps with it in her bed. The nurse told me it was donated and after checking the blanket over I found a little tag that said it came from the Linus Foundation. I was so grateful for the time someone had taken to make a little blanket that would give comfort to my sweet girl in such a scary time.

Our family made ten blankets in all, two per person. We took the girls to JoAnn's fabric and let them choose whatever pattern of fleece they liked. I was so proud of them for being thoughtful of the fact that maybe a little boy would want a blanket. They made sure to each pick one pattern that boys would like too. I am not crafty by any means of the imagination but the foundation website had great ideas for no sew blankets that we could all do together. We drop the blankets off tomorrow and even though we don't know who will get them I hope it brings as much joy and peace as we got from the little ducky blanket Adelle was given.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

No Fire, just more craziness

"FIRE, MOM there is a FIRE!!" this is what Cora was screaming as she came running down the hall to the bathroom, where I was quietly taking care of my bathroom business. Upon hearing this I jumped up tried to get my self back together as I go running toward said fire, in the kitchen, whereupon I found the pot of water I had been waiting to boil, boiling over. Just another crazy afternoon in what is generally my crazy life. I have to admit I wasn't very patient or kind with Cora after the fact. I moved the pot, cleaned up the mess all the while getting upset with her for not paying more careful attention to what the problem really was.

Honestly I was mostly just frustrated for being so quickly removed from the bathroom. I know, I need to be more understanding and patient, believe me I know but sometimes I just can't be the perfect mom, okay all the time I can't be the perfect Mom, I am just getting by doing the best I can. Today feels like a constant reminder of that fact.

The fire incident is more how the day ended. The day began in the bathroom with Adelle having a problem as well. She said it hurt to go potty. REALLY, CRAP and no not hers, that is just what I was thinking. This is my first week back at school and I really can't afford to miss. Yes, me thinking of being a good Mom again. After conferring with Shae, and discussing that she didn't have a fever and was otherwise fine we decided to send her to school and I would get her into the doctor as soon as I could. But, the office didn't open for two hours. Not long after being at school the nurse calls me and says "I am sure you know, because Adelle said you were with her in the bathroom, that it hurts when she goes to the bathroom. I think she needs to see a doctor." "I couldn't agree more" I told her "but our doctors office doesn't open for another 15 minutes and I can do nothing for Adelle until then. She said she was comfortable enough to go to school so I will pick her up when I can take her to the doctor." After which the nurse asked me to call when I get the appointment. Maybe there are other really delinquent parents she deals with, but I took that as her thinking I would not follow up and take care of my own poor kid. Yes, I know I admitted to being a little bothered with having to deal with the problem initially but of course my first priority is always to take care of my kids.

Lets just say that today has not been a day of flying colors in my life of parenthood. But hey the girls are all asleep in bed and tomorrow is another day. So here is to tomorrow and me doing better, or at least having a better attitude.