Thursday, March 28, 2019

New Eyes

"The real voyage of discovery
consists not in seeking new landscapes,
but in having new eyes."

It's almost April, which means it's practically May, which means summer vacation is around the corner and I feel the movement to start planning and scheduling. Heaven forbid we have a summer where we just sit and do nothing. It sounds romantic to be very que sera sera about summer break but I know that two hours in to letting whims and fancy dictate our days there will be fighting and boredom. And that makes me feel like my nerve endings are made of chalkboard and the sound of kid's displeased voices nails screeching down my nervous system.

I don't want to travel a lot this summer. We were gone for most of the summer last year and it was tiring. Fun, sure but pretty exhausting. I didn't cope very well. In September I hit a real low point in my life and that lead to a really emotionally awful October. So, I am not going to do that again. I also don't have a lot of money to haul four kids anywhere exotic. I did thing about driving to Washington D.C. but I have visions of CK hitch-hiking home after a few days in the car, leaving us desolate somewhere in middle America. He would never do that for the record, but I bet he'd want to.

Today I was reading Instagram as you do, and I saw a comment from a very nice person who said that she follows me because I live in a beautiful state. I think that was one of the complimentary things I have heard on that particular social platform. She isn't following me because she has expectations of how I look, or how my house is, or what I say--she just likes the way I see my home. Isn't that lovely?

Utah is remarkable that way. In two hours you could be scaling desert rocks or sitting in a natural hot springs in central Utah or wiggling through lava tubes and picking up obsidian chunks. Just this month I have scaled a huge natural arch, sat snowy-side in an Alpine mountain resort cafe, waded through cascading waterfall pools in the arid desert, and watched a nightly star emerge directly at the top of the mountains in my own backyard.

So, I think it might be a chill summer for us learning to see differently what we've already seen before. I'd like to go back to some spots where we've found magic to see what else we can see. And maybe we'll hit up the BYU baseball park for some games (and hot dogs). The kids are signed up for a neighborhood drama camp which will end in a performance on Saturday morning in June. And we'll have lots of dinners under our twinkle light canopy in the backyard. CK makes the best homemade fries. Doesn't that sound lovely?

I think so too.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Join A Cult

Just checking in to say that reading the chapter in Bridge to Terebithia where in (SPOILER ALERT) Leslie dies did not go well at all and now Anson won't finish it. WILL NOT.

"They killed off one of my favorite characters of all time!" He protested. He was angry. I explained that all those emotions are very normal when someone close to you dies and that reading this book could help him navigate his way around death and loss. I tried to assure him that reading books that shred your heart actually make you a better person in the end. More compassionate, empathetic, and prepared for life.

Blah blah blah.

He will not finish it.

So I told him I would read the next chapter out loud and he could listen if he wanted. But then, the next chapter is the scene where Jess gets carried like a baby by his cold, distant father on the road and then I started to cry to the point where I couldn't talk and Anson was like JUST STOP MOM, OK?

But I had a most lovely time in Austin. Here's a picture:
And here's another:
We were laughing because one of us spilled water on know what? Never mind, it's too long of a story. I am going to go lie down and listen to a podcast. For the FIRST DAY OF SPRING I cleaned for almost 24 hours yesterday (slight exaggeration) and today I am hobbling around like an arthritic lobster. If you can imagine.
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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Attention Deficit Hyperactive DonglePoncho

Here are some subjects I currently on my mind:

The perils of geo-tagging instagramers on local it a boon to rural economies?
The problem with tourist-dependent economies in rural communities.
Paul Manafort, how much money goes to the legal team?
Biden, what would make me desperate enough to support?
(More on that on Twitter)
Should I stop writing so I can help Anson convert fractions into decimals for his homework?
What should I pack for my trip to Austin this weekend?
Am I cool enough to go to Austin this weekend?
My phone is about to die.
Should I go get a dongle or keep writing?
Was my latest tweet on the Utah Legislative session too caustic?
What is the formula for too caustic?
My child who keeps asking me when her friend will be done with piano lessons so they can play together is sort of driving me crazy because I DON'T KNOW and I am trying to write this very important blogpost.
Why did Anson give his friend my phone number? Now I get seven texts a day from him about Fortnite and I would ask him to stop texting but I sorta don't have it in me?
Even on my birthday when I was feeling "melancholy" I got at least four solid texts about Fortnite from this kid. And for some reason, getting those texts from a 10 year old boy meant for Anson on my birthday made me feel pathetic in a way I've never experienced before.
CK won't let the kids use his phone EVER and my phone is like the communal portal for desperate, bored or socially active children.
When I touch CK's phone it doesn't fee like someone dipped it in glue and rolled it around in a sandbox like mine does all the time.
I swear an alarm sounds and an electric shock is activated if flesh younger than ten years of age touches CK's phone. And that is what I call mobile device privilege.
I have a password on my phone but my kids have all figured it out and that's the problem with parental passwords, I am too lazy to protect them.
CK just brought me a dongle. So at least he's using his privilege to help others less fortunate.
Now I'm blocking Anson's friend because he actually got feisty with me when I told him Anson can't play Fortnite tonight (because I have to help him convert fractions into decimals). I don't need a power struggle on my own phone with my son's friend. Good gravy.
Now I feel a fresh new pathetic.
It's March 14th and it's very, very cold outside.
Is it unnaturally cold outside or is it that March phenomena wherein you think it should be warmer than it is and that's what makes it seem extra cold?
The haircut I have right now is not a good look for my face.
But it was worth a try. And it's ok.
Tonight Anson and I will read the chapter in Bridge to Terebitha where (SPOILER) Leslie dies and I do feel a little pit in my stomach about it. Anson is going to break down. But then again, so did I when I read it for the first time in fourth grade. CK said he did too. That break down experience made Bridge to Terebithia number one in my heart for my whole life. I didn't know that words could walk you through an experience with such skill that you felt it in your stomach and it stayed with you for years. So I think, Anson is about to experience something huge and I am feeling responsible but I am trying to keep it in context.
Parenting! What an exhaustive thing. I am going to need that break this weekend in Austin (whether I am cool enough or not).
Should I take a poncho?
When I started this blogpost there were two kids at my house and now there is six and we're still waiting for that friend who is seemingly NEVER GOING TO GET OUT OF PIANO LESSONS.
This dongle is having connection issues and continues to make my phone and my lap top BEEP and NOTIFY me on repeat.


My lawyer friend says Paul Manafort is in it at this point for 3 million. That seems cheap. In a global gangster sort of way, I mean.
Suddenly I want a hot chicken sandwich. Maybe I can get one in Austin.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

My 42nd March 11

Well well well here I am logging in one year older and wiser too.

I spent my birthday intermittently crying, and please don't tell me that has never happened to you. In my 42 years of having a birthday I can honestly say there are happy birthdays and there are sad birthdays and this was a sad one.

Let's call it melancholy instead of sad, ok? Because it sorta felt out of my control. It's like, you're just not feeling it. Not feeling being birthday girl.

I woke up to one child puking in her bed. Another child had the most dynamic breakdown I've experienced as a parent just as it was time to head to school. CK was also sick with the flu (but I question the diagnosis and would put my money on: Pleaser Who Cannot Handle Expectations on Spouse's Birthday.)

For the record, when you are married to a pleaser, the nicest thing you can do for them is plan your own birthday and let them know how exactly they can play a part. I mean, I blew up all my own balloons, designed my own cake, bought my own gifts, even wrote my own birthday card. It's my birthday right? Let me treat myself! I am not a pleaser like CK, but I can please myself when it counts. ;)

On all accounts it was a lovely day. Felt like spring for the first time, my sister Lucy brought me a pot of tulips and hyacinths, my other sister Page took me to lunch and I even got a nap! My mom and dad brought me a luxury towel embossed with "C" (my mom  CINDY was quick to say that it wasn't a re-gift). I heard from a ton of lovely friends and some strangers. I went shopping, ate my favorite sugar cookies, took the kids to dinner by myself which is sometimes kinda nice and ended the day with friends over for cake and story-telling.

The weekend I had spent with Janna in Capitol Reef National Park hiking, eating and totally taking advantage of free therapy. And the night before that, we went to a lovely dinner with dear, dear friends.

And yet, I cried a lot yesterday. I cried at my yearly check up, I cried to Page, I cried to Janna, I cried to CK a TON. I cried by myself driving in the car. I cried when I saw that Ever had spent a few hours decorating my room. I cried at the jalapeno burger I ate for dinner (but that's because of spice, I am pretty sure).

You know, just sometimes you have those kinds of birthdays. I don't know, but I was super happy to wake up to March 12 this morning. I did not want to Billy Murray that birthday.

If you know what I mean.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Pictures From My Phone: A Hipster Party Cheetah & A Clownish Hyena Go Get a Sandwich

Ever and Erin are in the school play this year. The dress rehearsals are this week. Ever is a clownish hyena and Erin is a hipster-party cheetah (?) and I am their costume designer. I have been working very hard on both of their outfits. Too hard probably. I can't help it, I live for this stuff.

I gave my mom a few Rupi Kaur books this morning. She's new to Rupi. I think she'll love the feminine power prose. Stay tuned.

We went to Bear Lake for the weekend where there was so much snow it was impossible to walk in it without falling a few feet down. Well, I mean if you're above a certain weight. My body happened to sink (OKAY). It was sort of funny and also annoying when you just want to get from point A to point B. Towards the end of our stay I decided to make the most of it and turned my sink holes into little snow caves for the kids. This is peak body acceptance.

I was laughing here but honestly it wasn't that funny.

Look at this grilled egg, bacon and cheese sandwich--CK cooked the egg so perfectly the yolk spilled out when I cut into it. When I fell in love with Christopher I didn't know he would someday do this for me on a very cold day in Bear Lake after I had been trying to weasel my way out of quicksnow. This picture was taken as I was officiating the wedding of Grilled Cheese to Tomato Bisque which as you know is very holy matrimony. May they be as happy as me and CK and still surprised by skills after 16  years!

You know on sunny days when you can't see anything on your phone camera so you shoot hoping for the best? I shot this one yesterday and I am pretty impressed that my selfie game is so natural that I didn't even miss my face, but sadly this wasn't the picture I thought I was taking. I thought I was taking this one of CK and is brother MD.

Thank you for coming to my phone photo dump. It's been everything you ever wanted. Much like the yolk that spills from the perfect grilled cheese you use to dip into the steaming pot of tomato bisque.

Mazel tov!