Friday, October 21, 2011

ike's ice cream

My first full week at home was tackling the enormous laundry pile. If you were reading last year, during my period of fascination with photographing my monstrous mountains of unfolded clothing, you know the type.  This one was actually blocking passage to the other disaster, Grant and Kyle's room, A.K.A. the family room and playroom.  I figured that was necessary preparation work before I got started on the boxes from China. 

Thursday morning I was getting ready to work on the playroom and when I got a call from a friend who told me that the new ice cream shop at Riverwoods needed kid models to eat ice cream, immediately. So as quickly as I could I got the kids ready.  How hard can it be to convince two little boys and a baby to change their clothes, get in the van and go eat ice cream?  By the time we got to Riverwoods I thought I would never smile again.  I didn't even bother to find my cell phone/camera because I couldn't imagine ever wanting to take a picture of my (I won't say which one) child again.  It was that hard.

Everything changed when we got to Ike's Ice cream and the cones came out.  Chocolate for Grant, his favorite.  William had chosen chocolate too, until he saw Sophie's blue-green bubble gum ice cream and quickly made a switch.  Then an enormous banana split arrived at the table and I was in complete blogger's remorse. No camera!  Life can change so quickly, from just feeling like you are buried under stress and depression, to a happy perfect day. I guess you should always be prepared for the chance that some kind of wonderful surprise might come to your table.

I told Grant we could ride on the carousel after the photo shoot, but it was time to get Caitlin off the half-day kindergarten bus.  So I convinced the kids to leave quickly if we could come back with Caitlin.  By some miracle we made it in time to see the yellow bus pull up to the stop.

It was a gorgeous  day to walk through the mall.  This is the Provo Beach Resort where Ike's Ice cream just moved in. 

They have crafts for kids an Thursdays at 11:30. They made candy corn filled mummy cups.

This is the best my camera can do.  I love this picture of a day on the boardwalk. It made me think about life; a string of productive, stressful, happy, boring, frustrating, lonely, crowded, complicated, interesting days. You live for the perfect moments like the one in this picture.  But how many can you expect? And if you are looking for the wrong thing, maybe you will miss the perfect moment that is happening to you right now.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

blessing day

Sunday October 9, we drove up to attend church with Aunt Judy and family, and Grandma Julia. It was blessing day for the kids' new cousin Desiree.
Judy made us a delicious spaghetti dinner. We brought french bread and dessert.  Sam has such a passion for bread.  I really hope he can serve a mission in Italy. The Italians would love his appreciation for food.

The kids love spending time with their cousins.

Olivia never looks happier than when she is with an animal.

As we drove away I reminded the kids that we should be grateful that we had a perfect day with the cousins instead of getting stuck with a flat tire or broken brakes in the mountains.  I had decided to take the scenic route to Magna, through Heber.  Definitely not the short cut.  The van started wigging out as we drove down the pass just out of Park City.  I pulled over and crept along the side of the road and prayed and told the kids to pray and imagined that the van just needed a mental massage, just to get it's central nervous system reset.  After several miles the brakes stopped shuttering and haven't given me any trouble since.  I guess I won't be commuting to Park City. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

cinnamon tradition

So in retrospect I can hardly remember being sick on the day of Grant's birthday. Actually I woke up feeling like I was sure to be the host of the next pandemic, my comeuppance for having a morbid fascination with Contagion. I was grateful for Grandma Martha's help. We had a happy day despite the fact that I had that respiratory system misery and muscle aching, sure that your white blood cells are going to be the death of you before the day is over feeling. Judith and Granddad brought chicken soup, crab apple bread, and Theraflu over in the evening. I slept very well Saturday. Sunday I felt resurrected. We made cinnamon rolls, homemade even. Always a sign that we are on track, life is going to be okay, stability, productivity, cycles, tradition, all that, even though they weren't the best I've made. I need to dig my cookbooks out of those boxes...They look odd don't they?  I had the mistaken idea that we should cut them thinner to make more.

I was grateful to listen to General Conference. I appreciated President Monson's testimony about personal revelation. I know that God is eager to guide our steps through quiet promptings. I've felt that myself. I've felt how He works with us, even as we accomplish mundane or just simple tasks. He makes them easier. That help adds up to what we recognize as real accomplishments.  After the first session Sunday, a man from the ward stopped by with a big bowl of pasta salad.  His wife had sent it over.  I'm sure that she didn't know how sick I had been Saturday. When someone does something like that for me, I feel like God knows who I am.  We had the salad for dinner.  I was grateful that it gave me more time to study for my finals.

I like to find my camera (my phone these days) and see the pictures that the kids have taken.  These were Bethany's.  She is my nature lover.

 William watch.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

grant is four

The first weekend in October we celebrated Grant's birthday.  We didn't want to interfere with Saturday's General Conference Priesthood session, so we started the festivities Friday.  This is Chuck E.Cheese, only slightly embarrassed to admit, once again, that it is a family favorite.
I'm nostalgic about this picture. I have one like this of Olivia when it was her fourth birthday. We were in Provo waiting for Grant to be born.

Saturday morning we had birthday breakfast cereal. I asked Grant what he likes. He said "every cereal."  Grant's staple.  His birthday request was McDonald's for lunch. They had Power Rangers toys.
Grandma Martha joined us.


We love you Grant.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

finals, snakes, snow

Nine days into October. This month has already been rich in interesting, blessed days.  We celebrated Grant's birthday over General Conference weekend. Then I moved on to finals week at school.  So this is just a bit out of order for the sake of writing while my thoughts are fresh. As fresh as possible.

Monday October 3, I finished Pathology. It was a blessing to have an amazing woman, a professor from BYU teach our class.  She teaches at the U of U med school, huge lecture classes at BYU, and at our little college in Lindon. We were so lucky to learn from her, and get to know her in a way that the students at the other schools can't.  She made Pathlogy fascinating and inspiring. I have a passion for terminology.

Tuesday felt like a day that I would never see the other side of.  We finished Anatomy, one hundred and fifty questions from the entire seven months.  I didn't have as much time to study for the test as I would have liked because I was so sick over the weekend. I had used what energy I could to celebrate Grant's birthday and study for Pathology.

 Monday night I had been deperately trying to piece together the mystery of Movement and Structural Bodywork...not my favorite modality.  Tuesday morning I felt embarrassed that I had forgotten so much of my Anatomy II, the insertions and functions, so I was sitting in my desk during the test flexing and extending and feeling for insertions.  I love that you aways have a cheat sheet in an Anatomy exam.  It wasn't a triumphant finish, but I got enough points on the final to get an A in the class. I would have been heart broken if I hadn't, since Anatomy was my favorite subject. Sonya said my Anatomy textbook looked like her Grandma's Bible.  I felt pleased to hear that.  Structural went well, though it was still a mystery, and cost me some good sleep and Anatomy study time.

Wednesday morning, Trigger Point therapy.  I felt better going in since I had had a chance to practice the protocol on my neighbor.  Tuesday night I stayed up late studying for the written portion. I felt blessed that the tests went well.

 It felt unreal as we put away the tables for the last time. Seven intense months.  So much opportunity for self-examination, challenge, growth, change.  At lunch we had a potluck. In the afternoon we had our last session of Professional Development.  No final since we took it several weeks ago.  We took turns sharing thoughts about how we've changed, where we've come from, where we are going.  I think we all realized how much we've grown as individuals and how we've grown together, like family.  Driving home I felt so grateful that God had allowed me those associations and that seven months of accomplishment.

Thursday evening, another rich experience.  Rachel, our Pathology teacher,  took us on a tour of the BYU cadaver lab.  It was a blessing to be able to have our first look inside the human body, and our first association with cadavers be with Rachel. She has a tremendous respect for the donors and her love for them made the experience uniquely spiritual.  The hour went by too quickly. None of us wanted to leave.  It was fascinating to be inside the new universe of muscles and organs we had spent so many hours discussing and were finally seeing in three dimensions.

Friday was my last day of clinic. I felt like I had a new perspective, having been to the lab the day before.  I thought about how familiar everything is at that little college. The smells, the steps from the classroom to the drinking fountain, the clinic music, and all the opportunities it gave me for introspection, of course the faces, my favorite lunch place, the Juice Press, the mountains behind the school.  And oddly for the first time in a really long time I realized that life had never come to a sad end, that progress was still very much on its way, that growth and change and interesting fascinating experiences were happening all around me and would continue to happen indefinitely,  and I had the most incredible sense of wholeness, something I have not felt for some time now.

By the way, Thursday evening we saw the first snow in the mountains.  This was Friday morning.

After clinic I picked up the kids from daycare for the last time until I find a job or go back to school. I'll figure that out in the next few weeks, after I've caught up on some kid business, housekeeping, and sleep.  The teachers were sad to see the kids go. Sophie's teacher almost refused to let me take her.  We drove over to the elementary school to meet the older kids who already walked up to the school carnival.
Grant was excited to see the snakes, lizards, and turtles.
Olivia always loves the face painting and hair styling.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

school, sophie, silhouettes

This was Thursday September 22, Grandma and I took the boys to play at Pioneer park while the girls were at dance class.  I had the most incredible sense of relief. I passed my licensing exam that morning.  My brain was so fried, driving home from the testing center in Draper, I drove all the way to Springville before I realized I'd passed my exit. 

Wednesday September 27, our class planned to have lunch together at the Chinese restaurant next to our school. Celebration of our last week of regular classes.  Next week we have finals.

What else to write about to finish up with September?  Sophie loves to stop and look at any flowers that she sees.  She points to them when you ask her to.

I love the hairstyles that Sophie's teacher gives her at daycare.  I walked into the lobby. Blinded by the stream of evening sun, I could only see two cute arms reaching up to me, and two silhouetted pigtails. 

This is the view we usually get of Sophie now.