Monday, June 4, 2018

Keep Utah Wild

Two years ago I wrote on this blog about how my best friend/next door neighbor Janna was moving to Coasta Rica for two years and this also meant that Anson's best friend Asher moved too.

Guess what? It's been two years.

When you grow up Mormon you have a very keen sense of how fast/slow two years can pass by. All Mormon males (who are "worthy") go on two-year LDS missions. That means you wait for your brothers, friends, boyfriends for two years. A lot happens in two years. Then again, not a lot happens in two years.

Time is weird. It's the weirdest thing in this universe.

I listened to Echkart Tolle's New Earth this morning where he piles up his profundity on time. What is that guy even talking about? I consider myself an average intelligent human being and I am like how is this book a best seller? Who reads this? I mean, I know, Oprah but I figure she can afford tutors--even Eckhart himself.

But what I do understand from New Earth is that what matter is now. Right now. Right now my best friend and Anson's best friend are somewhere in between planes, trains and automobiles working their way home. And right now, I am excited for me and Anson. A little sad for our best friends, having to leave a jungle paradise, the most bio-diverse country in the world, to come home to the desert.

You know, people are always asking me if I would leave Utah. And yes I would. Of course. But first of all, when I even see pictures of the Utah desert I cry. I cried at the ending of Letterman's Netflix special with Howard Stern (don't judge). I sobbed. Christopher found me and thought someone had died. But no, just me crying over how intensely beautiful my home state is. I also get over-emotional when I see nature-scapes on screen savers, because a lot of those fantastic photographs depict the mysterious and wondrous land of Utah. And so, I am forced to admit I would miss that arid expanse something awful. I don't think I would ever recover.

Also, I live next door to my best friend, and Anson's best friend.

Which reminds me, time can be lonely too. For me and Anson, we've felt a bit robbed of joy this past couple years. I'll be happy to have that hole in my heart filled again. Growing up Mormon you also learn to understand quite keenly what it means to miss someone fiercely for two years. Your life settles into a sense of normality, while your heart doesn't completely follow.

But as for now--right now--Eckhart will be glad to know that I feel very happy. Very happy to be where I am, and have a life filled full of people I miss when they leave, and live in a state that is so alluring and awesome in physicality, but also in cultural uniqueness.

Stay wild!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Cave Popcorn

A few things to remember:

+Jessica Preece eating cheap pizza and Bishop's Bash ice cream in our backyard while we talked and talked and talked about a spectrum of politics and watched the girls put on Singing in the Rain tributes. Having a friend with a PhD in gender and politics makes for the most interesting conversations inside of a genuine friendship. Meaning, of course, if she had a PhD in accounting or some other snoozefest subject she'd still be my dear friend--her field of study is simply a cherry on top. AND EQUALLY AS JUICY!

+Carina allowed me a few hours for brunch to pick her brilliant brain about work and tech and life. She is like a human lantern for me--always illuminating the better way, always finding light when I am tripping around in the dark. She's never short on simple, pragmatic solutions and she never ever conveys shock at anything. Being shocked takes up a lot of energy, and so people who are never shocked have a reservoir of IDGAF. These are my people. I'm shocked I didn't understand this before.

+Yesterday we were at Great Basin National Park touring the Lehman Cave. At one point the ecologically enthusiastic park ranger asked, "Does anyone know what these bubbly formations on the cave walls is called?" Having just read the kiosk at the Visitor's Center, Anson correctly answered the ranger's question, "It's cave popcorn!" Then the ranger then said, "Yes, you are correct!" to which Anson responded with an equally enthusiastic dab. (He is ten. You'll remember.) Then the park ranger said, "Uh, did you just dab?" and Anson said, "Yes." And the park ranger said, "Oooookaaaayyy" and moved on with the tour.

We laughed about that for hours and hours and hours. Iris can do a perfect retelling. It's definitely going in the Anson Kendrick Hall of Fame for Family Stories.

+Our generous inlaws bought Anson a kayak for his birthday and we took it out for the first time outside of Delta, Utah in the west desert. All the kids took turns taking it out on the warm, shallow, aquamarine water as Christopher and I watched from the shore. We could see them deep in imagination, narrating stories in their heads about being explorers and marine biologists. At one point they ventured into a swamp-like area with tall reeds, we called them back to the shore but hated to interrupt their Sacajawea, Louis and Clark expedition.

+This afternoon I did some house projects while watching Tig Notaro's new Netflix special. Have you seen it? It was so delightful. The ending! It had me! I was laughing so hard and in so much suspense.



Just after the popcorn cave dab incident of 2018! 
(AND SPOILER ALERT! There used to be a speakeasy in this part of the cave! Prohibition is the most hilarious part of American history! A speakeasy in the middle of ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE NEVADA in a HUGE LIMESTONE CAVE! How hard up were people?!! Oh man, not to be rude but prohibition sounds like an idea Ol' Mike Pence would come up with! Oh jeeze everything is terrible.)

Wheeler Peak isn't messing around, ok? Menacing as hell. (Sorry Mom I am wearing those abhorrent Teva replicas. Ok, but perfect Mom Shoes tbh.)

Maybe I over-did it on the filter on this one, but I've been off Instagram for almost six months now so let me filter for old time sake, alright? Lay off.

Ok last of all please excuse the bathroom selfie but look at my hair!!! OH MAN SO AMAZING! Do I look like your idiot uncle in 1976? Like in my spare time I rev up the engine on my mustang and troll the town for ladies while listening to Boston? Or maybe you've seen me down at the lake as the captain of a houseboat named "Nauti & Nice!"
It just looks like this when I wake up! I don't even try to be your uncle, though to be fair, we ARE both naughty and nice. OHHHH DAAAAAAAABBBBBBB.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Wooden Broccoli

You win some, you lose some.

-As of today 4/4 Kendrick kids have completed their respective grades and are inclined to move onward and upward on this harrowing ladder we call academia.

-According to tradition, on the last day of school all of the students join in a dance festival which spans culture and history alike. This means the festival is a massive gathering of students, faculty, staff, parents, grandparents, older siblings, dignitaries, and former students. It is an agoraphobic nightmare stuffed with smiles and cameras. But, this was the first year I spotted all of my children before their respective dances and was able to actually see them perform!

-Foiled by social anxiety, Christopher gave me his blessing to slip out early after my kid's dances were done. I wish I didn't sweat and fret at the thought of being in high-capacity social situations. But navigating two hours of that kind of sociability will put me in bed for days.

-I spent a few hours on the perfectly-planned deck of my dear Mindy Gledhill eating pizza and commiserating about social anxiety as our children buzzed around in swimming suits. It's been thrilling to watch her latest album take form and function.

-I only got through an hour of summer break before I was grunting at the kids. Why won't they just put their shoes IN THE SHOE BASKET?! Christopher and I have this thing now, when the kids do something inexplicably irresponsible or reckless we look at each other and say, "ALL SUMMER LONG!" Did you come to this blog to hear about my perfect life? THERE IT IS.

-Before the kids were out for the summer Iris and I got one last hour of alone time. We watered the back porch plants and played in her cottage with her wooden food. She made me "burnt cheese sandwiches" (grilled cheese sandwiches) and a side of broccoli warning me, "Be careful, broccoli will make you fart!" "Is that so?" I asked. "Yes, broccoli and beans make you fart." I am old school enough that the word fart still seems so vulgar, and yet when a little blondy four year old says it, it's the cutest drop of human verbiage.

-Yesterday we celebrated Anson's tenth birthday. Anson is VERY ten years old. If you've ever known a ten year old boy I think you'll know just what I mean. It's a full time job. But I would like to mention that Ever came home a couple weeks ago and told us that Anson won the Anti-Bully Award at the school for being an ally and friend to all, and for standing up to bullies. It's so Anson that he didn't even  bother to tell us himself. He is very tender-hearted and carries a keen sense of justice. The more he ages, the more he uses it for good. And also yesterday I took him to get a haircut where he sat in a chair and played Nintendo. And like five hours afterward he looked in the mirror FOR THE FIRST TIME since the haricut and said, "Oh wow, that is really short. Oh well," and moved on. How would this life be?

-Anson turning ten also means that I've been a mother for a decade now. Was there really a time when I pined for kids to litter my house with their shoes? It almost seems like it was just a dream. Haven't I always been here, eating wooden broccoli and watching tanned-skin children parade about wet with swimsuits in the sun? It seems natural, though certainly not easy. Sometimes I think I might crack and break and die of the ordinary. But there are little bits of splendor that catch me by surprise and delight my crackled soul.

Like when Iris says fart. ALL SUMMER LONG.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Pony Up

I am trying to get some writing in today but Ever and Erin are watching My Little Ponies in the same room as my desk and so I am like writing one sentence and then getting engulfed into the storyline and then I snap out of it and write another sentence and then I am like, "Wait, what did she just say?" and they answer me and then I turn back to my computer and I have completely forgotten where I was.

I have been trying to get up early to write but it's not working out well because I'd rather use that little bit of time to sleep. So sue me.

I was sleeping last night and woke up in a panic because my lungs wouldn't open up enough for me to take a deep breath and I was coughing and thumping my chest and

(Human Twilight Sparkle just chose to go to Crystal Prep! She's like the smartest!)

and Christopher woke up and ran and got an inhaler and taught me how to use it and I did and woah, it was amazing how fast it worked. I am new to allergies but boy do I hate them so much.

But I am trying to say that with a night like last night, and the night before when two of our kids got bloody noses, and the night before that when one child entered into a nightmare marathon I just don't get a lot of sleep. So I take it when I can get it.

And writing just comes when it comes. I guess. So what's with My Little Ponies turning into humans? I mean, call me a purist but...turning ponies into humans isn't scientifically correct for one thing.

Besides that, when those ponies turn into humans and experience allergies and nightmares and bloody noses you'd think they'd be like, yeah it's a pony life for me.

But what do I know? I've never even been a horse much less a pony.

Ok, time well spent.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018


"For me it's an extraordinary gift to see something and to write about it. For me, no experience is complete until I've written about it." -Michael Longley

I think I've had a breakthrough about writing recently. I don't think calling yourself a writer has anything to do with your technical skills, your education, your perfect prose, but it has everything to do with how you experience the world.

For me, when I am having experiences, they fill up my head in words. I am constantly asking myself,  "How would I write this experience down? What words would I use? How would I phrase things so as to arrange the narrative to make a comprehensible piece?"

Couldn't all artists just substitute Longley's words "write/written" for whatever medium they experience the world through?

 I think so.


And so the list goes on.

This is just a thought I needed to write down so that I can say I've completed this breakthrough experience.

So it is write/written.