Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

"He is not here: for he is risen..."
-Matthew 28:6


Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring Break

Last weekend, our family decided to travel south and take in a Spring Training game. This is something we've been meaning to do for a while, and since our son is obsessed with baseball, and our daughter is too little to care, it seemed like perfect timing.

As expected, our family trip was accompanied with a modest dose of rain. This rain karma has haunted our trips ever since we took a day trip to Tybee Island 2 1/2 years ago. (I think we may need to revisit the site and chant some spell to cleanse us of this bad karma. I'm not a witchcraft sort of person, but I'm getting desperate). The rain has dominated an anniversary trip, a trip to the desert, and now this one. Or spontaneity may be the key to enjoy good weather on our trips. In this case, I will need to prepare 72 hour vacation bags... ("The forecast says clear skies for the next 3 days. Grab your bags and get in the car now!"). 

For the first 90 miles of our trip, we endured crazy heavy rainfall. The next day, the sky was overcast but it behaved long enough for us to fit in our morning activities, which included walking around the temple grounds with our kids. I love to see the temple...

By lunch time the sky unleashed its fury. We were in the grocery store at the time. We heard much thundering, the store's lights flickered and went out, and we witnessed crazy hurricane type rain/wind in the parking lot. It was very exciting. We were very glad that we were not driving at the time.

There was a break in the weather, and we booked it to our hotel. As we drove, we were witnesses of the toll the storm took. Ten oak trees along the road had been completely pushed over, roots and all. (Note: this picture was taken the next day, sans rain).

We bunkered down in our hotel and watched a movie together on my husband's laptop. The weather cleared enough for us to go downstairs and take advantage of the pool. This  consisted of sitting on the edge of the pool with our legs in the water because the water was so cold. Apparently, outdoor pools need the sun to warm them. Imagine that. Even the spa/hot tub failed us, though my daughter enjoyed playing with the foam it made. I'm not sure what to think of that foam...

The next day- the day that really counted- was perfect! We enjoyed our game in sunny and comfortable conditions. Our daughter preferred to sit on any row but with us (already?!) and was done with the game before the first inning ended, and the home team lost. But, my son soaked in the baseball, my daughter learned how to do the Braves' "Chop", and they both got to run the bases when the game was over. This was perhaps the sweetest moment of our trip. As I stood in line with my son, he excitedly plotted to slide into home plate. As we got closer to the field, my husband met us and handed our daughter to my son so that she could run with him. He dutifully took her by the hand and carefully jogged around the diamond with her, holding her hand the whole way. He didn't even complain that he didn't get to slide. He was a true Big Brother looking out for his sister. 
Despite the weather, our family trip was a success!

Monday, March 18, 2013


This above blur is my son's Pinewood Derby car. My son and husband carefully and thoughtfully crafted it for weeks- sanding, painting, resanding, weighing, etc. It was fast. In fact, it was so fast it won the second place trophy!

I wish the story ended there. His car's placement meant it qualified for the District Pinewood Derby- which we didn't even know existed and (in complete honesty) kind of spoiled the win for me. I waffled as to whether I would take my son to Districts, since my hubbie was working that day and my son also had a baseball game that day. In the end I cast aside my doubts, sucked it up, and committed. I should have listened to my doubts. Districts was a Fiasco. The races were running behind when we arrived for our race time. We sat in a gym of chaos for 2 hours waiting for the first race to finish. We were the third race. We ultimately ended up leaving my son's car, drove home for him to change uniforms, relaxed a bit (sitting in a gym of chaos for 2 hours is exhausting), and returned at my estimated time of his race. From there we would drive to his baseball game. We completely missed the race! At some point during our absence, they figured out how to speed the process up. And to add insult to injury, his car didn't even place. A double whammy for my son. He cried as he grieved the death of a dream... and I suffered from excessive guilt.

Luckily, his baseball team had an awesome game (thank heavens) which helped ease his pain. But not completely. A few days later, in our calendar where I had written "Districts", my son crossed it out and wrote, "I did not go." Ouch. What a way to turn an initial sweet victory into a bitter memory.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Guess Who?

When my husband and I were coming home from Montana and waiting for our plane in NYC, we invented a game to pass the time. We would find people in the terminal who reminded us of someone, only with a feature that was completely wrong.  For example, "Your dad only with thick, grey, hair," or "Your dad with a beard and an Amish hat." This game continued after we got home. One of my husband's co-workers gave us symphony tickets they could not use. During the intermission we picked up our game again: "Your brother with a beard, playing the viola," or "Paul Ryan playing the bass." The fun of the game is agreeing or disagreeing over the person's likeness. And then laughing when it's spot on. I suppose it's a game I've always played in my head, so it's fun to involve someone now. On a side note, I find lots of people who look like Sam the Eagle. Now, I bet you will too.

Yesterday, a solicitor selling a product that can clean "anything" paid a visit to our home. As I came out of the house he exclaimed, "Why, nobody told me Mariah Carey is living here!" I immediately blew the compliment off as a desperate sales ploy to win my favor, and ultimately did not buy his product that cleans "anything". But, I found the compliment amusing, and it caused me to ponder... on what planet am I the likeness of Mariah Carey? I am white. I can't belt notes too high for people to hear. I have not had enhancements. I don't wear tiny dresses. And my house is the size of her shoe closet (just thought I'd throw that in for fun. But it's true.).

It wasn't until later, when I told my husband about this ridiculous comparison that he pointed out the truth... I had been a victim of our own game. This guy's got it all wrong though. You can't just make comparisons willy-nilly or that takes the fun out of the whole game. Or maybe that's another game altogether...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Parable of the Homemade Shirt

"My mother, bless her, was a marvelous seamstress. In my childhood years, when money was short and new clothing hard to come by, she would sometimes make clothing for us to wear to school. I would see a shirt in a store window or in a mail-order catalog, and my mother would say, 'I think I can make that.' By looking at the shirt as closely as she could, she would then cut cloth and put in seams to a degree that was close to the expensive original.
"I pay her tribute of being both willing and able to do that. But she didn't like to do it that way. While she could study the commercial products and come close, what she really wanted was a pattern. A pattern helped her anticipate angles and corners and seams and stitches that were otherwise hard to recognize. Furthermore, if she went back for a second or third shirt, she was always working from a perfect original pattern, not repeating or multiplying the imperfections of a replica.
"I think you can see my point and hers. We are bound to be in trouble if a shirt is made from a shirt that was made from a shirt. A mistake or two in the first product- inevitable without a pattern- gets repeated and exaggerated, intensified, more awkward, the more repetitions we make, until finally this thing I'm to wear to school just doesn't fit. ...
"Now, I hope this helps you understand why we talk about the pattern, the ideal, of marriage and family when we know full well that not everyone now lives in that ideal circumstance. It is precisely because many don't have or perhaps have never even seen, that ideal and because some cultural forces steadily move us away from that ideal, that we speak about what our Father in Heaven wishes for us in His eternal plan for His children.
"Individual adaptations have to be made as martial status and family circumstances differ. But all of us can agree on the pattern as it comes from God, and we can strive for its realization the best way we can.
"We who are General Authorities and general officers are called to teach His general rules. You and we then lead specific lives and must seek the Lord's guidance regarding specific circumstances. But there would be mass confusion and loss of gospel promises if no general ideal and no doctrinal standard were established and, in our case, repeated. We take great strength in knowing the Lord has spoken on these matters, and we accept His counsel even when it might not be popular."

-Elder Jeffrey R. Holland ("General Patterns and Specific Lives", Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, February 9, 2008)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Watch Your Back

Happy Daylight Savings. As my son said this morning as he groggily got out of bed to get ready for school, "Daylight Savings is stupid." These time changes, and air travel, always confuse me in a half-glass-empty sort of way. Did we lose an hour because we skipped an hour, or did we gain an hour because we moved forward on the clock? This is a debate my husband and I have every 6 months. But I digress...

Recently, my husband subbed for my son's Sunday school class. As part of an object lesson, he brought a baseball card of one of my son's favorite players. In the car after church, my son asked to look at the card. He studied it for a minute, and then said:

My Son: "This is a really cool card. I think one day it will be mine."
Me: (to self: Surely he can't mean how that sounds) "What do you mean?"
My Son: "You know, when he passes?"
Me: (to self: Yep, that's what he meant.)

It seems my son is already calculating his inheritance. My husband is now under strict surveillance.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Imitation Is The Highest Form of Flattery

It's fun to have a daughter. Before she was a twinkle in my eye, I would listen as my son declared how he wanted to follow in the footsteps of my husband or father for his future career. One night while doing the dishes I mused, "What? My job doesn't look like fun?" Well, we were blessed with a daughter, and I'm just beginning to feel the flattering effects of a copy cat living in the house. 

For example, the other day my daughter was playing with some abandoned flower pots in the back yard. She was filling two small pots with leaves, and dumping them into a larger pot. She then picked up a stick and informed me that she was cooking, and then began to stir the leaves. I reveled in it!

And lately, my daughter has been diligent about bringing her purse along whenever we go on a shopping trip. The other day, I informed her that we would be going to the store and began to prepare my purse. I didn't want to bring a diaper bag, so I stuffed an extra pair of training pants and leggings in my purse. I started out the door with her, but my daughter began to protest loudly. I asked her what she needed, and she went running back to her bedroom. She emerged with a pair of training pants and stuffed them into her purse as well! Then she was ready to go. It was hilarious and darling! She is learning the ropes of womanhood.