Monday, June 2, 2014

Anniversary Trip

Cabin in Oak Grove
Canyoneering at Yankee Doodle
B&B at in Rockville

Sunday, May 4, 2014

In Other News...

Nikki and Derek were able to come down for ten days over BYU-I's Spring Break.  It was so great to have them!  We got to do several big group activities, like swimming, the egg hunt, family dinners, and a LOTR marathon (Ezra's first, and a special treat because he just finished the books.)  But to me the visit was really at its peak when Nikki and Derek came (by themselves) to our house for dinner.  Having a few hours one on one with Nikki was exactly what I was craving, and it made me so happy.  
Since 2006 when I was making plans for our first house, I have always wanted to do a gallery wall.  I've put it off forever because it's sooooo hard to do.  But last week, I finally got it done!  This project took probably about fifty hours total.   I bought frames and other fun stuff at DI, yard sales, and Walmart.  I spray painted until the fumes made me dizzy.  I pored over, edited, ordered and framed a few dozen pictures.  Finally, (and this is the part I'm really proud of, because I'm pretty sure I invented this technique) I took a picture of the wall, and then took pictures of the framed pictures from the same distance.  I laminated the picture of the wall and cut out each little object, then spent two hours arranging and rearranging them until I had the perfect configuration.  Then TJ spent all of Saturday morning getting it all up there.  Along with the fantastic gallery wrap of Georgia's St. George Temple, this wall completes the room!  I am so happy with it.  
 Alisha, my good friend from high school, college and Alaska, just gave birth to sweet little Everlyn!  I got to attend the blessing today given by her dad, Todd.  It was so wonderful to be there.
I finally got sick of sun headaches, so I finally took the plunge and bought my first cabanna hat.  Then I spent a whole afternoon by the pool with Georgia to see if it was effective.  You know, anything for science. headache!  Pretty sure I'll never do another summer without one of these things!  (Also, my new prescription sunglasses are on their way!)

I finally got sick of my glitchy old phone and bought a new one--like, brand new, not just new to me!!! crazy, right?-- with all my plasma money and birthday money put together.  It's a Samsung Zoom. Instead of a phone with a camera on it, it's a camera with a phone on it! Georgia says it's almost as nice as her amazingly awesome $900 camera; it has 10x optical zoom and 20 megapixels, and even has f-stop and shutter speed settings in case I ever get fancy. And the phone is a really fantastic smart phone that does everything I ask it to and never runs out of batteries!  (Also, I'm still not paying for data.  I just use wifi for all my apps since I'm almost always here at home.)  I'm in total technology heaven right now.

(Parenthetically, I'm just noticing that this post has a lot of parenthesis in it.)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Just Kids

It is a sweet season for us.

The kids are in that beautiful stage between babydom and teendom--all five of them are.  Isaiah is starting to shun his high chair in favor of sitting on a big stool with the big kids.  They sit lined up at the counter, waiting for their pancakes.  Bop, bop, bop, bop, bop.  Sometimes even in age order.  No one is pining over unrequited love.  No one is collicky or teething.  No one is burdened with undue stress, with sin, or even with any great health challenges.  They tease each other and laugh over secret jokes.  They make messes and even help clean them up a little.  They read books about fairies or dragons, respectively.  They talk about animals, about the latest Studio C episode, and about adventures with mutual friends.  And after our meals, they often run out the front door and ride bikes and scooters around the circle together.  They are happy. They are friends.  And for the time being, they belong almost exclusively to TJ and me.

Has any mother ever been so blessed?  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mozart's Requiem

I love Mozart so much.  And there is no single piece of music I love more than his Requiem.  I grew up watching Amadeus with my family at least once a year--Dad said we could watch it on the last day of school because he knew there was no chance we could be depressed by it on our happiest day.  I did not realize that the notes and lines of Requiem were being woven into the fabric of my soul at that early age, but when I sang the Requiem in college it felt just like coming home.  (Does "fabric of my soul" seem a little much? Sorry, I get really excited.)

Norm Lister, who leads our community choir, said tonight that, at the age of 67, this year was his first opportunity of singing the entire Requiem.  Lucky me!  It was my second opportunity!  And it has been so glorious.  We performed last Saturday in the Cox (where I sang it the first time, fifteen years ago) in conjunction with the Dixie College Choirs and Orchestra.  It was truly a joyous day for me.

But the best part about all of this is that for the past five weeks, I've had Mozart continually running through my head.  You see, I bought the CD in college and listened to it ad infinitam until I fairly had it memorized.  I still can sing long passages from memory, and the solo passages play like heavenly music in my mind.  It has been a joy to be so pleasantly haunted by one of the greatest minds this world has ever known.  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Valentine's Day hike to heart arch.

Valentine Bouquets

TJ's Valentine's flowers for me.  Mom gave me the vase years ago, and it has sat unoccupied in my room all that time.  I'm glad to have such a worthy home for such lovely flowers!

My Valentine's flowers for TJ: bacon roses!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Morning Gratitude

I'm on my knees in the dark of the morning, trying to squeeze in a morning prayer before the boys find me.  I can hear that Isaiah is waking up sad, and needs either a banana or a hug from me.  His cries come closer to the bedroom door, and soon his pitiful wail accompanies his tiny-fisted knocking.  I crawl to the door and meet his eyes.  I can't resist a hug and kiss, but then I am firm:  "Isaiah, I need to pray.  Go get a banana and I'll be in in a minute."  He is reluctant, and here comes Paul in his wake.  Maybe my prayer will have to wait. But Paul puts an arm around his little brother, with and says with tenderness and older-brother wisdom, "Isaiah, come with me and I'll get you a banana.  Mama needs to pray."  Isaiah lets Paul lead him back down the hall toward the kitchen, his arm still draped over his shoulder.  And I kneel again by the bedside and start with gratitude for loving brothers.