Friday, June 24, 2011

It was the BEST of times....

It was the best of times, It was the worst of times...

Charles Dickens really nailed it when he wrote those words. I recently reread A Tale of Two Cities by Dickens. We read it in High School (but I was slacking off and just skimmed it) and it was my best friend's favorite book (or so I thought until this afternoon) and so I decided I would see what the fuss was all about and reread it. I loved it. It may be one of my new FAVORITES! It has everything - suspense, romance, deceit, and real vocabulary words that you can't find in the young adult section of the library that I have been reading lately! lol

But this is not a book review. This is a life review

Aforementioned "best friend" (that is right, in honor of Dickens I used a fabulous word like aforementioned) came to visit today. Lisa and I have known each other since 6th grade. And by our Senior year of High School we were pretty much inseparable - until the day she left for BYU. I was devastated. And to make it worse her roommate was none other than Ashlee Riding (whose HS boyfriend played Baseball with my HS boyfriend and I was under the assumption that she was a bit snobby...) But soon they were having the best time in Provo while I was struggling to keep things on track in Washington. (that's right, Ashlee was stealing my Bestie!! I think we are still fighting over her today!) So - I packed up my car and moved to Provo (I was planning on attending Beauty School in UT, but ended up moving back here). For the next few months I did EVERYTHING with Lisa and her roommates. It was a good time for me to sort out where I wanted my life to go.

I think we could have applied Dickens' phrase "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" to that Freshman year in Provo. I think we each went through our own struggles and faced some of our own demons. But we had each other. (and dances at "the Wilk" to take our minds off of things) But that Phrase might be even more true TODAY.

I REALLY thought that ALL my PROBLEMS would be OVER when I got married. In fact Lisa and Ashlee both got married about 6 years before I got around to it, and I envied them. I thought that Life was HARD for those of us who were single- still LOOKING for "the One" But today- after everyone left my house to go to their own families (instead of staying up all night in the dorm room) I realized that LIFE IS STILL HARD!

It is a DIFFERENT kind of HARD now. We each have our own struggles. And are still facing our own demons. And yet- it felt WONDERFUL to be together again. It DID feel like THE BEST OF TIMES! Their "big kids" were thoughtful and patient with my little kids. We still like eating brownies right out of the pan! Although I think we use to eat Ashlee's Jello Cake out of the pan back then. We still talk about the same things... although instead of Dances at the Wilk it is Zumba or Yoga at the Gym! We still LAUGH and LOVE EACH OTHER. (even though we don't just live to two blocks away)

And EVEN THOUGH we have struggles (some REALLY HARD struggles) I think we can still smile and say it might be the WORST of times- but it really is STILL the BEST of TIMES when we are together!

Right HERE I should insert an awesome picture of us all with our arms around each other back when we were kids. But you know me better than that...

So you will just have to picture two REALLY CUTE BLONDS who look almost IDENTICAL (to the point that Blake could not tell them apart today!) and then me. (wah wah)

And you'll have to think of YOUR OWN BESTIES (I just heard that phrase the other night and now I can not stop using it! I thought BFF was good, but Bestie?! it's awesome!) and think of how you survive your Best and Worst times together, and then get sentimental and call them and tell them you love them and were thinking about them because some girl with a blog was blubbering about her friends and it made you miss yours. (By the way, Ashlee, I said think of YOUR OWN bestie-- not mine! JK I think I have decided we can both SHARE Lisa... since I don't think I will win that one)

ANYWAYS -- Really do love you both, Lisa and Ashlee. You are both women I have ALWAYS admired and loved and been grateful to be friends with. I don't think I would be where I am today without friends like you that have seen me through some of my WORST of times and my personal demons and continued to love me.

It IS the BEST of Times.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Should I stay or should I go?

Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble
And if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know--

Who knew that the Clash would be singing lyrics that are so relevant to MOTHERHOOD?
Here is the question of the day- WHEN TO LEAVE THE PARTY?

Anyone else have a problem with rounding up there little ones to leave a party, or a park, or Grandma's house, or ANY event that IS NOT HOME? It is DRIVING ME NUTS! I am starting to consider NOT GOING to fun things because I KNOW LEAVING will be AWFUL!! Often I try to avoid going places in the evenings without JT. It is SO much more exhausting for me to get the kids rounded up to go home when I am on my own. (and feeling like "the bad guy") But this has transferred over into EVERYTHING. Play dates at friends'. Going to the Park. Even going to Fred Meyer! WHY is it that LEAVING anything is such an ordeal??

I have been TRYING to figure WHAT the MAGIC TIME is for the TIME TO GO? I can tell you when it is EXACTLY 5 minutes AFTER the TIME we SHOULD have LEFT... because that is when it goes from "Having Fun" to "Absolute BREAK DOWN". But I am only aware of that when the BREAK DOWN happens.


You know the point when everyone has been fed, when they have settled into an area to play that is keeping their interest, when I have sat down and am actually in a conversation that doesn't necessitate a referee or a time out, when I am thinking to myself "Now THIS is why we came!"


Because it is always 5 minutes into that adult conversation, that peace and quiet, that relaxation - that the BREAK DOWNS BEGIN and I realize it is a half hour past bed time and we still have to load into the stroller and walk home.

SO- NEXT TIME we are at an "EVENT" together. (Whether that is the zoo, the park, or even just your home) and you see me settling in and starting to relax... PLEASE SIGNAL ME and TELL ME TO GO HOME. :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

THE Father's Day Post

This is a TRICKY one seeing as how I have more than one father in my life. How do I say everything I want about each of them?

The first most obvious Father is the Father of my Children. *sigh* I just smiled thinking about him. That shows just how much I love that guy. When we were dating I SUSPECTED he would be a Good Dad. He loved his little sisters and they adored him. He was eager to meet my nieces and nephews and patient as they all climbed on him. He was adoring to me, so I figured this would probably flow over onto our children. But I really had NO idea...

I didn't know then that when he held Riley for the first time in the Hospital that the whole room would tingle and glow. I didn't know that he could look at anyone the way he looked at her. I didn't know that he would be better at changing diapers, rocking to sleep, packing a diaper bag, and wearing a baby front pack than I would ever be. I didn't know that he would glow the same way when he held his son the first time. Or that Blake would soon replace his brothers as his Best Friend. I didn't know that he could find so much joy in wrestling, taking walks, and reading stories. I didn't know he would get so excited for things like swing sets, family nights, and the world's best stroller! I didn't know then that he would come home after working a 12 hour shift through the night and NEVER be grumpy with me or his kids. In fact he would even be excited to see us, get us breakfast, or just snuggle. I didn't know then that being a "Good Dad" also meant being an amazing partner for me and make me a better mother. I didn't know it would make me fall even deeper in love with him.

Really, I should have known by meeting his dad. JT has a really special relationship with his own dad. I have NEVER heard him speak an UNKIND word about his father. NEVER. (which I just realized is a trait he shares with my own dad who I have never heard be negative about his own father!) He really is JT's hero. He taught him a love for sports, and ALL things outdoor. He taught him a love of family and service and hard work. He taught him to honor his Priesthood and his Temple Covenants (which means more to me than any lesson he could have learned) He taught him to laugh and have fun. In fact, one of the first memories I have of his dad was them Wrestling in their house! This shocked me! They were grown men wrestling over furniture! This taught me how laid back my Mother in Law is to let her "boys be boys" but also how much my Father in Law loves to have fun.

Wednesday night, when our Washing Machine broke (which is a whole other post) my father in law was here at 11:00 p.m. to help JT fix it. This is not the first time he has been here in the middle of the night to rescue us. (he was the one I called when our dishwasher flooded right after we bought our house) As I sat in the kitchen listening and helping when I could (by retrieving flashlights and m&m's) I was really touched. I don't think his Dad knows a whole lot about Washing Machines. But he came right away because he loves his son, and he LOVES working with his sons. I think they actually ENJOYED working on the washer together! I am so grateful that he always let JT help him around the house and on the cars and other projects. I see this so often as I watch Blake and Riley carrying tools around to assist JT in whatever project he is working on. From hanging pictures, to changing locks, to mowing the lawn, and washing the cars, he always has helpers and is so patient as he teaches them what he is doing.

But he is not the only Dad I have called when I need rescuing. In the MTC I remember feeling like I needed some support from home. I wasn't sure what I needed until my dad wrote me a letter asking me about the ins and outs of the Mission Life. I agreed to send him letters with details if he would send me letters about his own mission. These proved to be the BEST letters I received my entire mission. My companions and I enjoyed reading the amazing stories from his mission. From traveling in a VW bus to eating yogurt off of the rooftop. It was a strength to me- and I am not sure if he even knows it. He also TRIED to teach me a love of sports, of camping, and working. Unfortunately I was not as receptive as JT was with his dad! But he hung in there and I can proudly say I DO NOT "throw like a girl" and I am a decent shot with a basketball thanks to him. One of my favorite Dad Memories was when he took me to buy my first car. A baby blue 1965 VW Bug. *sighs again*. He was so excited for me. I think he was proud of me for earning and saving enough money to buy my "dream car". I vividly remember that he was as excited as I was- and that meant so much to me! I also remember a time when I was younger and really struggling. I had made some big mistakes and I was scared to tell my parents. I knew I needed to tell them, so I called one afternoon from out of state to talk. It was the hardest conversation I have ever had with them. I prepared myself to hear the disappointment in their voices, maybe even anger. Instead I will never forget my dad's response as he gently told me how PROUD he was of me! Did he hear me wrong? No. He said he knew how hard this was for me and he was proud of me for coming to them. no anger. not even disappointment. just love. I think I have underestimated the power and depth of my own Dad's love for me. What better lesson could he teach me than unconditional love and forgiveness?

And how could that not make me think of my Heavenly Father on this Father's Day?

The TRUE example of what every Dad wants to be.

The Father that is ALWAYS patient. Always forgiving. Always understanding. Always listening. Always building. Always blessing. Always giving. Always knowing. Always teaching. Always loving.

No wonder I have such amazing Fathers surrounding me! JT, his Dad, and my own Dad. They all have the best example to follow.

Happy Father's Day. I love you all so much.

Monday, June 6, 2011


How many times can I write a post about getting on the WAIT LIST before everyone stops reading my Blog because it seems to be THE SAME STORY OVER...and OVER... and OVER???

Well, in case you missed the FIRST TIME (in 2010) when we got put on the WAIT LIST for Pacific University in Oregon, or if you missed the SECOND TIME (in 2010) when we got put on the WAIT LIST for Chattham University- Puerto Rico, here is your chance to read about the THIRD TIME we are on the WAIT LIST!

This time (2011) for ROCHESTER UNIVERSITY in Rochester New York.

That's right. Here we go AGAIN.

Is this a sick joke? Have we not felt like the Beauty Pageant RUNNER UP long enough?? Can our mail box be any more cursed?

It is exhausting. It is hard enough to painfully wait for results in the mail. It is hard enough to have the interviewer tell JT good job and that he would be recommended for admission. But to add three more months to the TORTURE??

I am not trying to sound UNGRATEFUL here. "It is an Honor just to be nominated" (oops, that was from the speech I wrote for myself to humbly accept that I did not Win the Academy Award and act like I was happy for Angelina Jolie who stole it from me) What I meant was - we are glad that he is being CONSIDERED. That it isn't just a FLAT OUT REJECTION, those hurt even worse. (I think Miss Washington knows that - she almost never makes it to the top ten for Miss America) But seriously.


The one thing I have learned from this story... that keeps repeating itself OVER... and OVER... and OVER AGAIN:

I am NOT giving up on JT. He is FIRST place to me. If this was me. If I was the one getting put on waitlist after waitlist I think I might have given up on myself. Thrown in the towel. Taken the role in the Cheesy Romantic Comedy (oops, back to me and my Academy Award). But this isn't about me. It is about JT. And I believe in him. And I will continue to support him.
And Most of all...


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sunny Half Day Syndrome

You know when it has been RAINING for WEEKS (or even MONTHS)? And then you get a SUNNY DAY (or the first TWO sunny days in a ROW in over 7 months)? And you HAVE to abandon your plans ENTIRELY to get outside and ENJOY it?

My Little Sister calls this


This dates back to our High School Days and the panic we would feel on those rare Half Days that it was sunny. It is EXCITING ENOUGH as a Teenager to get half of a day off school (especially when it shortens all of your classes to 20 mins. rendering them useless to the teacher and in effect giving us a WHOLE day OFF since we don't actually THINK during the half day we are in school). But when you add the POSSIBILITY that the day may ALSO be SUNNY- it creates a dangerous EFFECT.

We suddenly PANIC. Our minds go into OVERDRIVE fearing that we MIGHT WASTE THE ONLY SUNNY HALF DAY THAT WE MAY EVER GET!!!!

We feel the COMPULSION to BE OUTSIDE the ENTIRE DAY. We feel the NECESSITY to "Live it up" since it MAY NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN.

I see this Carry Over even into Adulthood.

The SUN IS OUT. And Panic has set in.
What are all of the FUN things I have been WAITING to do all WINTER?

Bike Ride
Ferry Boat
Water Park
Fly a Kite
Go to the Beach

How on EARTH can I fit it ALL in TODAY?!!
(because one of the Effects of the SYNDROME is the INABILITY to BELIEVE this PHENOMENON may EVER HAPPEN AGAIN!!) SO - it has to ALL fit in today!

Can I BBQ on a ferry? What if I ride my Bike TO the Camp Ground? And Maybe there is a Fountain there? Does the Water Park close early? Because I can't make it there until After the Hike? Oh And then Another Picinc for dinner! But that will have to be in the car on the way to the Beach. But we will keep the Windows Down so we FEEL the sun! (we don't want to waste it, you know) And then all the way back to the Camp Ground! (with the KITE flying out the sun roof the whole way)

It's sounds exhausting I Know!
But WHEN will we EVER get a SUNNY HALF DAY (or TWO BACK to BACK DAYS of 70 degrees) AGAIN???!!!!!