Days 2015

Days 2015

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Little Reunion

This was a really fun, busy week, all revolving around Saturday's activities for the womenfolk. Some of our friends from Texas, the Ernstroms, who used to be our neighbors, came and stayed with us a few days. It was great to let the kids entertain each other while we talked, shopped, lounged around and ate. Then Friday some of our other friends, also old neighbors, the Knudsens, came to spend the night as well, so we were the big party house, pizza, homemade donuts and all. Everybody kept apologizing for creating work for the limping pregnant woman, but really, the kids were great and everybody worked hard, letting me pretty much boss them around. It felt like old times that we got to stay up and play board games or watch movies when the kids all finally conked out.
Saturday was our big day. Erica, Miranda, Michelle and I, along with several of our other friends, are part of an unofficial quilt guild--the Loch Lomond Quilters. Our unofficial group leader was hosting a quilt show for us in her backyard and so we all helped and displayed our beautimus creations. (Our husbands were troopers for taking the kids pretty much all day...) It was beautiful weather and so fun to catch up with so many old friends while we strolled around and sat around in the shade eating all the goodies from the treats table. Miranda and I got to be the not-so-serious judges and had a blast passing out awards to the ones we liked the best, although now I'm starting to feel bad that we couldn't think up more awards because there were so many beautiful quilts. It was hard to decide!
Then Erica had to leave, but the rest of us also got to attend the Relief Society broadcast together. It was SO good and whaddayaknow, Pres. Uchtdorf talked about two things that will bring us joy: creation and compassion. Michelle leaned over and said, "I'm gonna tell Jeff that Pres. Uchtdorf told us to quilt!" My friends, with all their service, had been doing both all weekend, and when we stood to sing the intermediate hymn I was startled to tears to hear their strong voices harmonizing with mine. I had forgotten what that was like. Thank you, ladies.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Michelangelo Strikes Again



Ah, brotherly love. You'll remember a few weeks ago I posted pictures of Cooper plastered in Vicks. Well, Boston did it again, this time in that thick Eucerin lotion that comes in a tub. I was just in the next room and smiling that they were playing so quietly together and laughing at each other that I didn't suspect. (Until Boston started yelling, "Yucky! Ha hahaha.") I rubbed most of it off with a towel and threw him in the tub. Of course, Boston had to climb in the tub, too. (He just strips himself and hops in. Oh well.) Then, while I was getting Cooper dressed, Boston emptied half a bottle of Leslie's shampoo into the water. What a hurricane he is. They are starting to play so well together, though. The next picture is Cooper, running (that's why the picture is so bad) giving his older brother a ride on the Beep Beep. I swear that thing probably has 5,000 miles on it. The last picture you can see that I am starting to celebrate the season of the harvest. This was the first year I grew sunflowers and this head was so enormous it drooped down about two feet. I finally decided to pick it and let it dry out in the house because I was worried it was going to break. I read that I'm supposed to hang them upside down to dry in a mesh bag to catch the seeds, then soak the seeds in salt water and bake them. I actually hate sunflower seeds but I love the way the flowers look and Mark loves them, so I figured I should learn how to do it.
This week has been a learning experience. For Mark. He's been picking up the slack for me while I recover from surgery. I'm supposed to put my foot up alot and not stand on it very long, so I haven't been doing the routine clean-up-as-you-go-along type of stuff. He comes home from work and the house is completely trashed, with bits of torn toilet paper floating around between the cracks because Cooper keeps getting into the stash in the pantry. Plus the counters are stacked with dishes and the floor has not been swept. It's actually quite gratifying to be a bum for awhile, just to realize how much you actually mean to the family. Too bad I'm starting to feel better.
So, the surgery was to remove a bone spur and some troublesome scar tissue from beneath the nail of my big right toe. I injured it pretty bad in highschool when (clumsy me, of course) I was trying to yank open a metal locker drawer that wouldn't to get my shoes out after a swimming party. It flew out and landed on my bare, wet toe. Blood and gore, etc., and it has never been right since then. I had it checked out five years ago when it was giving me alot of pain and the podiatrist found out that it had actually been broken and that a bone spur had developed in the nail bed, making the nail ugly, unhealthy and not very well attached to my toe. He suggested surgery at the time but that freaked me out and I declined. Well, I barely tapped it with a vaccuum cleaner attachment a couple weeks ago and thought I was going to die of pain. So, after limping around for a week I went back to the doc and he said, "Let's do it." Luckily they still had my old x rays. He had to do it in the operating room instead of his office because he was going to be grinding down bone tissue.
This actually made for an interesting predicament. A little dinky surgery on a pregnant woman in a highly regulated and kind of scary place. I lived it up. First of all, since I am pregnant, he didn't want to put me under. Fine with me! I was awake for my wisdom teeth removal and that was no big deal. No paycheck for the anesthesiologist, na na. Plus, since I was only going to have a local, pain-numbing shot, the doc said to just ignore the nurse that called the day before to schedule me and instruct me not to eat or drink anything for however many hours. So I ate a nice big breakfast. I had no idea the nurses would be so ticked at me, but they were. I'm sure they thought I was going to lose it all over the operating room. It was actually pretty hilarious. I should have faked them out. Since they have so many rules I had to dress in the gown and the shower cap and everything. For a little pedicure. Then, after much protestation from me, they still had to give me an IV. "Just in case", they smiled. I guess they thought I was going to go into shock or something. They strapped me to the table and had to check the baby's heartbeat before we could start. That was actually kind of cool (although unnecessary) because they did it at the same time as the doctor was giving the shots, so I had something to distract me. I said, "Hand me my library book, please." They were shocked, but finally did something I asked, and the surgery was over after only about a chapter. They said they weren't used to people being awake in there.
Anyway, I think I'm recovering and will shortly be able to not have a plastic baggy over my foot when I'm in the shower.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Lessons from a Rich Vampire, a Singing Postmaster, and a Bald Old Frenchman

I like to read fiction. It is a pleasure and an escape for me and I think it helps me be a better person in general to picture other people and their circumstances. Sometimes after I finish a book, some of the ideas will stick in my head for awhile and I feel like I'm seeing life through a different window for a while, noticing new things. Sometimes one gets stuck in my head like a song might, where you like the song but wish it would go away because you are sick of the broken record. (I've read Gone with the Wind three times and each time it takes me about three weeks to "get over it"). Well, in honor of my alma mater, I gave in to the hype and finished off the Twilight Series (by BYU author, Stephanie Meyer). Her books are highly absorbing, suspenseful and very romantic, and very long (yeah, yeah I read 700 pages in less than 24 hours and still played with my kids). The first two were good for me especially because I read them while Cooper was in the hospital and it was nice for a distraction. The one I just finished had some really interesting themes (especially coming from a Mormon perspective) about immortality and eternal love. That part I very much enjoyed. I do have to caution myself a little though, because the characters in her books are so very perfect in every way and I shouldn't feel bad or sad if I'm not like a fairy tale. (Well, in this case, a vampire tale, where both hero and heroine are immortal, indestructible, richer than England, sappier than Romeo and Juliet, beautiful beyond belief, kind, and somehow never have any demands on their time. Now that's fiction!) Now that it has been a few days since I finished, I've been thinking about real life love, and how, although not always novel-perfect, it can be pretty darn close.
Here's just one comparison taken from Edward, the rich "tame", Bruce-Waynish vampire. He is worried sick that his lovey is going to die before the wedding and her pending immortality. So he buys her this extravagant Saudi Arabian car that is bomb proof, bullet proof, tank proof, fire proof... you get the picture. After I finished reading that I thought, wow. I love Mark but I just don't feel that worried and concerned about him all the time. What's wrong with me? Then sitting in the adult session of Stake Conference with him last night I finally got it. We've been married for eternity, just like a fairytale, and if there was something that WAS going to threaten his worthiness or his ability to return to where we really want to go, I WOULD risk life and limb and do anything in my power to protect him. Likewise for my children. (So then I felt better.) Then, my eyes were open a little and I looked around. I was surrounded by many extremely beautiful people. Seriously! Novel worthy! Also some pretty ordinary, but happy looking people. But you know what really stuck out? They were at the adult session, without their kids, and almost every last couple I knew just looked so thrilled to be together. Our beautiful friends in front of us were whispering and passing notes. He's in the bishopric and they never get to sit together. My visiting teaching partner, mother of six, was there with her husband who is always out of town, and they had the whole row to themselves with their arms around each other, listening and smiling. An elderly wife to the left of us was playing with the back of her husband's neck and smiling up at him like a bride. Mark, concerned for my comfort already after three months only of pregnancy, asked me if I wanted him to get me a soft seat. I'm telling you, romance is alive and well and very real if you just look around a little.
I was telling Mark some of my observations after the meeting and I remembered that his Grandparents would have fit the bill perfectly. They were so close that they even intentionally dressed alike (back when men could find a polyester suit of any color). He was the postmaster in Fillmore Utah and also a much requested performer at every community gathering for his voice and collection of humorous songs. I never got to meet him but I much enjoyed reading his memoirs. I think he was probably alot like Mark. (His nickname among his quorum brethren was, sarcastically, "Lawbreaker", because he was such a straight arrow.) He served as a sealer in the Manti temple for years and wrote that he loved serving with his wife Melva because every time he saw her in her white dress, she just was so incredibly beautiful and looked like an angel to him. Glasses, gray hair, wrinkles and all. (I added that last part, not him. She probably was extremely beautiful. I never got to meet her, either.)
Let me just close this lengthy letter about love with one of my favorite memories from when we went to France, where they really know about that kind of stuff, I guess. We got to have Sunday dinner with the Merciers, a lovely older couple who knew Mark on his mission. The husband, Michel, was serving as branch president when we visited. They live in Normandy in a cottage near the coast. (Sister Mercier's cooking was fabulous and the memory is distracting this pregnant woman for a moment...) While we were finishing up and showing some pictures we had brought of Mark's life since the mission, he had some grandfatherly advice for us. His eyes brimmed over with tears. "Marry-ahge. [translate hear, marriage] Eet ees ze BEST sing een life."

Boston's birthday

Boston had a great birthday. We went on a family adventure to the zoo. It was Boston and Cooper's first time because Mark hates the zoo. When I ask him why, he says it's because it's hot and stinky and sweaty pushing a heavy stroller around. Well, Boston's birthday was perfect. The weather was fabulous and NO ONE was there, I suppose because it was the day after Labor Day and everyone had gone the day before. Mark even enjoyed himself. We went with Grandma Frances and Leslie especially loved that because she had someone to run her nonstop chatter to. Boston and Cooper were just mesmerized and Cooper was trying to make all the animal sounds. Here are some pictures of my garden, the zoo, and Boston's birthday. He got some underwear, a toy snake, some matchbox cars, the book Gallup, his own coloring book, and a pirate ship. The pirate ship has been a big hit and he vigilantly "protects" it from Cooper.