Sunday, August 28, 2011

starting school

Monday morning was the first day of school. Sam left first.  His first day of high school.  Didn't phase me until about Thursday when he needed me to drop him off there, then I felt that feeling of I can't believe how time has passed so quickly.

Ben started eighth grade.

Caitlin started kindergarten.

Elementary school kids.

Anti-climactic start with the bus.  It didn't show up so I piled in as many kids from the ward as possible.

 I'm grateful to be on this side of last week of mid-terms. I have two quizzes tomorrow and a cranial sacral final on Tuesday morning. Since I survived last week, I'm starting this one with more faith in myself and one-after-another episodes of angelic intervention. Still not wanting to be overconfident.

Other grateful moments. Caitlin and her new best friend discovered they had matching bangs, warranting a photo shoot.

Thursday evening classes and tests were over for the week (still had Friday clinic though.)  I stopped to buy delicious and cheap beans and chips at Saydah's favorite Mexican Market..  I refrained from buying cream horns and elephant ears by taking pictures instead.

  Elephant ears not pictured.

I wish you could see the liquid sunshine.  It was raining where Kyle was sitting but not where I was standing.

Friday, August 26, 2011


Olivia's birthday in the morning.

I came home from school and it was time for Back to School night.  Caitlin's kindergarten class.

Then we went to Pizza Pie Cafe.

All the kids.

Sophie's stealing.



I love you Olivia.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

new home

Something happened in June that I didn't have the courage to even speak about.

 I've been learning that our cells keep memories,  I felt the need to pack up a few of mine and send them off to the inner cellular storehouses of my deepest connective tissue. Memories of our June move.

What's so traumatic about around the corner? It was extracting ourselves from the old townhouse. This time, with my school, stomach flu, big kids off to boyscout camp, everything made for a perfect moving week storm. The Relief Society sisters came to help me clean out drawers in the kitchen, wash walls, scrub sofas, and I worked by their side of course, except for the few moments when I had to run to the bathroom to cry my prideful tears. When you realize you really can't do it alone it kind of hurts.

But here we are now. We feel very happy and blessed to be here.  This is the yin house.  The shady side of the hill.  We don't face the park anymore, but we have this wonderful common grassy area.  We face the church and the mountains. North. 

This is our view to the East.
This tree is a new friend.
This is a very good longtime friend.  She and her family visited us. We knew them in Beijing.

Our neighbors invited us to have a barbecue at their home.  This is their dog and this was the first time that  we saw Sophie stand up her own.

This was our own barbecue.  We have a perfect little nook for it.

Close-up.  We like cheese I guess.

And we had another pet passing, but not without a proper burial.  This was our sweet Frank Moses, the pastel parakeet.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

friday clinic

Yesterday was my first day of Friday clinic.  I don't know why we were all so terrified.  Now that we are third quarter students, ten or so of us were selected to attend on Fridays with the clients who bother to set up appointments.  I guess we were intimidated by a more discriminating public.  Didn't turn out to feel any different than Saturday, but it did give me cause to think about the quotation by Eleanor Roosevelt "Do one thing every day that scares you."  What to do today?

Here is a picture of the mountains that I am  grateful to see every morning as I walk into school.  They remind me so much of Ecuador.

I felt  grateful when I got my Friday clinic letter. Honestly, I don't know if I am a very good therapist at all. I have shaky hands. Everyone who knows me notices that in about five minutes. And I have never really been a hand coordinated person anyway, if I were I would be a pianist and I wouldn't be here at all, right? I'd be off at Julliard...maybe.  But I put my best into the ten weeks of Saturday clinic. Didn't sleep at all Friday nights, sat up every half hour to check the clock, worried I would sleep through my alarm and miss my early morning shifts. I always showed up an hour before start time because I was so eager to see another human being after a night of insomnia. So I tried my best, raced through my breaks, tearing off sheets, wiping down the table, racing down the hall for the next client.  And here I am sometimes still wondering why I am doing this, but seeing God's hand in it all enough to reassure myself that it is where I belong for now.

The hard part about Saturday was waking up at four-thirty in the morning, doing five massages in five hours and then coming home to a stir crazed family ready to get out and have some fun.  Seven Peaks or the movies.  Here was two weeks ago, back to Trafalga.  I love my kids.  I don't think there is a person alive who loves the Frog Hopper as much as Sam.

Everything about Mary is year of the monkey. She loves the climbing wall.

Just like Great-Grandpa Alden.

Sam and Caitlin.  Sam is refusing to break at all because he wants to show me the proper way to drive the go-carts.  Apparently I am an embarrassment to the family because the other cars lap me like three times.

Ben and Bethany.

William contemplating Vikings.

Friday, August 5, 2011

movers day

Tuesday evening Rob came to pick up the kids.  They've been anticipating this all summer.  I have a list as long as my arm of things around here to organize and clean, but two weeks feels like a long time to have them away.  The house is painfully quiet and everywhere there is something that reminds me of their unique personalities.

 Finals week went well.  I put every minute I could into studying muscles and their functions, origins, and insertions.  Anatomy is a subject I never imagined would inspire me so much.  I feel like my time in massage therapy school has been worth it, if only for this new awareness I have about anatomy.  It is the most pure, meditative way to understand this thing that houses our spirits.  Anatomy and massage therapy seem  to give every one who spends time with them a new appreciation for every human body.

So what else, there was Russian sports massage, over and done with never to count strokes per minute again.  Hydrotherapy...another one to cross off.  I'm not a fan of ice massage, not to say that I haven't inflicted it upon my children.  And sports therapy,  that and shiatsu were my favorite modalities last quarter, both upbeat, physical, particularly sports being more interactive.  I have to admit that I find fifty minutes of Swedish massage is just too...quiet.  Reminds me of when I took American Sign Language in college and I used to dash out of the room at the end of class, where it was permissible to speak, like I was gasping for air.
This week we started Trigger point therapy and Structural Integration and Movement... the two deepest modalities that everyone waits for with sadistic anticipation.  Cranial sacral is new as well.  Trying to feel this mystic cranial rhythm.

 Last weekend, just as finals were over, we received our shipment from Ecuador. This was stuff we packed away and sent off to Maryland storage five years ago before we left for Beijing.

 Some of the stuff didn't fit in the house. This is my garage now.  The next project.  I loved looking at the things we collected in Quito. Reminded me of our wonderful friends there.