Friday, August 23, 2013

The Unexamined Life

A few Saturdays ago, I had the opportunity to attend a Mormon Woman Project salon to hear Claudia Bushman speak about "Telling Mormon Women's Stories."  I expected Claudia to talk about telling other Mormon women's stories, but instead, she talked about the need for Mormon women everywhere to tell their own stories.  Geneological records will always be there, she said, but some things need to be recorded now. The stories of the living. Why? She gave a number of reasons: if you keep a journal, you'll live a better life because you'll consider your life; if you don't write it down, you'll forget it; if you don't writ it down, you'll be forgotten; and simply because we value the stories of our lives.

I used to be an every day journal writer. Now, I don't write except for keeping this blog (which Claudia thinks doesn't count!). I can see her point, though, as I look at most of my entries, especially over the past year. Most of what I include here is for my kids and for family since, until a couple of months ago, we didn't live by most of our family. Most of what I include is more like a travelogue or a report of happenings and less about examining and considering my life.  So I'm going to try to do more examining and considering and less simply reporting.

Um, how about starting next week? :) I need to post some pics of our recent cousins cabin trip and our beach house family reunion with J's family.

The Cabin Trip:  We first called this the girls trip because the boys stayed to work so just the girls went with the kids. Then we realized that it wasn't a girls trip. It was a kids/cousins trip. It was fun, except for the night when H and Little Zelly took turns waking each other up, so I got only about 2 hours of sleep. The kids loved 4-wheeling and roaming the woods. We saw 2 moose and bunch of deer.

The dirty 3

 Everyone had to have a bow and arrow

Rach and her boys

 Newport Beach! Overcast the first couple of days, then beautiful.
 One of the only pics of Andrew, since he had the stomach flu after day 1. Poor guy. H couldn't get enough of the beach. He stayed out from morning until evening.
  Boogie boarding with the dolphins. You can see them in the 2nd pic.

  Visiting Grandma Shirley

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

 I stayed up until 11:30 a couple of nights ago writing a post about back-to-school time (aka this year "the most wonderful time of the year") and the Google Gods apparently decided that the post was too beautiful for human consumption because the next morning, it had disappeared, never to be seen or read again. And, because I dare not tempt the Google Gods again, I will just post these first-day-of-school pics of Mister (5th grade), Sweetie (3rd grade), and H (preschool--but he doesn't start for another 2 weeks).

 H and I decided to live it up while the kids went to school so we took Little Zelly and headed for the local dinosaur museum for Two Buck Tuesday, thinking everybody would be in school. Nope. Everybody not in school was at the dinosaur museum. It was a complete madhouse. But H still loved it, despite not seeing any live dinosaurs (he didn't quite believe me that we would only be seeing bones).

 And I managed to finish the back-to-school cakes just in the nick of time. They're supposed to look like the kids' backpacks. You'll have to use your imagination a bit.
Despite the fact that I love having my kids home with me, I'm so glad they're back in school this year. The move, the renovation, the comings and goings of the summer have all meant absolutely no semblance of order in my life and I crave order. I'm a schedule girl.

I was really anxious about the kids' first day in a new school. We didn't get the track we wanted and Mister got put in a 5th/6th grade split class, which I was not happy about, but they both like their teachers and are in the process of making friends. So, all is well, all is well.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The fun seems to never end

I should be writing my sacrament meeting talk for next week (on marriage--what a lousy topic! Not much in the scriptures, can't use personal examples without sounding prideful or without airing our dirty laundry, etc. etc) But anyway, instead, I need to finish this blog post. I uploaded the pics last Sunday but didn't have time to add any text. The text, however, is crucial because the pictures by themselves don't come close to telling the story of our past few weeks. From the pictures, it would seem that the fun never ends around here. We have had plenty of fun: 

We've gone to Seven Peaks twice with different sets of cousins and once by ourselves:
We've spent time up the canyon, which is only 3 minutes from our house:
My mom took me, my sister, and our daughters on a fun overnighter to Tuacahn to see Mary Poppins. We ate good food, swam at the hotel pool, shopped a little, and of course, enjoyed the production. Such a fun trip.

We went with cousins to the zoo.

We joined the neighbors in a bike parade on the 24th and then joined family for a rockin' BBQ, pinata, and fireworks show.

And the kids have been roaming the mountain, building forts; creating cities out of the boxes in the garage; making treats with friends; having airsoft gun wars with friends; and playing night games.
We have worn ourselves out with fun:
Despite the fun, these past few weeks have been terribly hard for me--hard and exhausting.  The week beginning with Grandma's Girls' Trip to Tuacahn, J had a once-in-a-lifetime golf trip opportunity. He didn't feel great before he left, and by the time he returned at the end of the week, he was beyond sick.  He moved into the guest room in the basement with a terrible virus, sinus infection, hacking cough, fever, and so on. He hardly emerged for 2 weeks, during which time, I single-parented.  And during that time, Little Zelly decided to start waking up 3-4 times a night, H had nightmares and blanket issues every night, Sweetie had the stomach flu (2 nights of cleaning up throw-up episodes and other unmentionable episodes at night), and H got sick with a high fever for multiple days. I hardly slept. I was completely disconnected from J and I was lonely. After 10+ years of parenting, I have learned to function with hardly any sleep, but I also recognize that, even though I can still make food, clean the house, care for kids, schlep kids around, and even exercise fairly regularly with only a few hours of sleep a night, I become an emotional mess, liable to blow up frequently and at random times or sob in the kitchen or speak in monotone to my children for hours and then feel guilty about all three. So, while the pictures seem to show that the fun never ends, it's been a very difficult few weeks. I hope we've come out of it now and that the next post will be a little more cheerful. Now, onto thinking deep thoughts about marriage for my talk next Sunday . . . .