Thursday, August 30, 2007

Mashuga's First Day of Preschool

He LOVES preschool. And his teacher LOVES him. I'm so glad. I know it could go either way with this kid. *grin*

I sound my barbaric YAWP to the world.
I am READY for preschool.

So, so cute. Any photoshop geniuses out there who
can sharpen this one up a bit?

Ready for my first day! He was SO excited.

Playing with rice in his teacher's living room. He barely
paused to say goodbye. I think it will be a good year.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

Happy, Happy Birthday Scud Dear!

Oh my darling boy,

I am so grateful you were born seven years ago. You are bright, funny, tender-hearted, eager to please and to be noticed and loved.

You are thoughtful, kind, curious and questioning. Lately you have a strong sense of justice that keeps your dad and I on our toes. Thanks for that. You make us better every day.

You are responsible, trustworthy, determined and loyal. It is a privilege and an honor for me to be your mother.

Oh, and I feel like I should tell you to cut it out with the camera already. But I don't really mean it. keep it up. Finding this stuff on the camera really makes me smile.

Hopefully I'll have time tonight to write you more.

I love you forever.

I like you for always.

Love, Mom

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Will Someone Please Bring Me Some Sprite and Saltines

I'm sick to my stomach.

I just sent a check for $2242 to the IRS. ACK!

Now, I don't mind contributing to our society, a little at a time. But, despite the IRS's claims to the contrary, we're not so wealthy that we should pay them this much.

Silly us. Instead of spending lots of money on things that could be counted as business expenses last year, we decided to put every extra penny toward saving and getting out of debt.

Really, what were we thinking?

Anyone living in Utah who knows a good accountant, please email me. We may already be too late, but I think we'd better start working things out now so that this will not happen again next year.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Funny Ebay Auction

Okay, many of you moms may have already read this. If not, you must.

I'm glad I'm not the only momwho has horror stories about grocery shopping.

Here it is.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Back to Skoo

Today was the first day of school for my kiddos. Ahhhh....

I think I was a bit more excited about it than maybe I should have been. Surely I'll be missing them in a few weeks. But, despite getting a bit nostalgic as I watched them run into school in their handsome uniforms, I am very glad that school has begun.

I'm excited for them. Kaitybean and Scud both love to learn. They love the activity and social interaction that school provides. So, they are glad to be back.

Mashuga goes to his preschool for testing today. Then he starts in a week. Just two days a week for 2 1/2 hours, but he is ready for it. I'm excited for him.

More than anything, just getting up and getting ready this morning reminded me how much I love the way school adds edges to our days. There is more rhythm and purpose built in to a school day. As you know, we've needed that.


Can I , um, dispense with the niceties and just complain for a while?

My house is a disaster. I told my SIL yesterday that it is not just messy enough that I'm embarassed to have anyone over. It's such a mess that I'm embarassed to live here.

So, I will be thoroughly gutting my house over the next few weeks. All non-essentials will either be going to charity or they will be put in storage. There is simply too much stuff around here.

Oh, and do you remember the kitchen chairs I was so excited about? The red paint and adorable yellow fabric. Well, the chairs are now officially a nightmare. The three I didn't prime will be okay. But I'm afraid I used the wrong primer for the other three because the paint just isn't looking good. Aaaaaaargh! I'll probably have to sand them down and start all over.

Add to this that Coc gives me enough time each day to finish one coat on one chair. So, approximately five coats off paint on six chairs, plus sanding. I figure I'll finish in time for Thanksgiving. Until then, we will continue eating while sitting on the piano bench, rubbermaid boxes and buckets.

I've decided that I need to have my own home decorating and maintenance show. Only instead of making you feel terrible about what your house looks like, like Martha, you can watch my show and feel muuuuuch better about yourself.

Oh, and I'm in pain. My left side stabs and hurts whenever I move. So i think I will be seeing a doctor today. Lovely.

So, I'm done complaining now.

It will all work out beautifully, as it always does. I just needed to vent. So thank you dearly, my bloggy friends. I hope you still love me.

Oh, I'm still working on my novel and sooooo excited about it. I've been researching Kentucky coal mines in 1958, Kaiser steel, Napa California, botulism. It's coming together in my mind. It will be grand.

I found one very cool little thing in my research. My grandparents used to live at 1012 Darms Lane in Napa, CA. Look at what is there now.

The little cottages that were there in the 1950s are now a lovely little B&B. Pretty cool, eh? I told JDub that we will be staying there soon.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Nate Revisited

For those of you who missed the first half of this story, you can read it here.

Continuing on.

So, this writing of notes continued for the first few months of school. One particular gem that I had forgotten until I started writing this was when Nate said something like:

I don't think of it as sexuality, but sensuality.

Now, that should have been a red flag, don't you think? No. Like I said, I was fourteen. Naive. Absolutely flattered that someone liked me so much.

Oh, and when he said "sensuality not sexuality" I thought, "Oh, wonderful. I'm safe. He doesn't want to have sex with me. I'm so glad we're on the same page."


This is one of the many, many, many moments I wish I'd had a good friend whack me over the head with a cast-iron frying pan. Was I really that slow?

So, this flirting and talking and note-writing was all so lovely. Soon, it was the Christmas season. I gave Nate a bag of Hershey's kisses for a Christmas present. He said thanks and enjoyed them. I mentioned to one of my friends that I wondered whether or not he'd get anything for me. I didn't expect much, but thought a token gesture might be nice.

"Um, Heather. He's Jewish," she told me.

"Yeah, so," I replied. Really, I was brilliant.

"He doesn't celebrate Christmas."

"Oh, yeah." Of course I had known this, but somehow I hadn't managed to connect the two.

Well, the last day before our Christmas Winter Break, Nate stopped me in the hall right after Journalism.

"Corey and I are going to skip the rest of the day and drive to Salt Lake. Want to come?"

Well, I had never cut class before, so I was a little scared. But, boys with eyes like that (I did tell you about the gorgeous blue eyes, right? So blue they looked like they'd been painted.) can be very persuasive.

And Nate's best friend Corey was a really good guy, someone I trusted and enjoyed, so it sounded like it could be a really good time.

I talked to Monsieur Mott, my French teacher, and told him I was sick. He excused me and I ran out to the parking lot to meet Corey and Nate.

We talked and laughed all the way to Salt Lake and then stopped at one of the local malls. It was so much fun to be walking around the mall during the Christmas season. Then, we went to an arcade and played air hockey and pac man. I felt so dangerous, cutting school for the first time, spending time with TWO boys.

After getting something to eat, we started the drive back to our hometown so that we would be home before school was over.

This time Corey drove and Nate and I were sitting in the back seat. I was perfectly happy sitting next to this cute boy in the back seat. He was holding my hand. All was right with the world.

Then, he leaned over and kissed me. Now, I'm sorry to say that this wasn't my first kiss, but I still wasn't all that experienced in the kissing arena. So, when he kissed me, and I mean REALLY kissed me, I wasn't sure what to do.

Then, he put his hand on my waist. Okay, I thought, waiting for him to pull back. But he didn't. He just kept kissing me.

And before I knew it, his hand was much higher than my waist and I was INCREDIBLY uncomfortable with the whole situation.

So, I grabbed his hands, pulled away and scooted over to the next window, faking a cough.

Nate scooted with me. "Are you all right?" he asked.

"Um, yeah." I lied. I was not all right. Since when had the cute boy in my journalism class turned into an octopus? "I just get carsick." Another lie. I don't usually get car sick.

"Do you need me to pull over?" Corey said.

"Yes," I told him. "I think I'll do better if I'm sitting in the front seat."

So, Corey pulled over. I launched out the door and into the passenger seat.

It was a very quiet drive home the rest of the way.

When, we got back to the school Nate said something about needing to get his books and catch the bus. He gave me a hug and then hurried away.

Corey walked slowly back to the school with me. When we reached the doors, he turned and gave me a knowing look. I'm sure I looked a bit shell-shocked.

"You weren't really carsick, were you?" He asked.

"Um, no," I confessed. "You won't tell Nate will you?" I added quickly.

Corey laughed and put his arm around my shoulder. "No. I won't tell Nate. Listen, Heather. Nate's a good guy and all, but he's a bit confused right now. And he's obviously a bit more, uh, experienced than you are. Be careful, okay?"

"Yeah," I said lamely and then started to walk toward home. I still was very confused about what had happened in the car. And I didn't exactly know what Corey meant when he said that Nate was more experienced than I was. Still, I was glad it was over.

A few weeks later, I wrote Nate another note. I'd done a lot of thinking over the Holiday break and had decided that Nate and I should probably cool it, whatever "it" was. I thought I'd be better off without worrying about boys.

The note was terribly cheesy and included these lines from Pippin:

Rivers belong where they can ramble.
Eagles belong where they can fly.
I've got to be where my spirit can run free,
got to find my corner of the sky.

He told me later how much that note had hurt his feelings. I didn't understand why.

We still wrote notes. From him, they were usually angry, venomous notes. We had many, many religious arguments. In fact, I'd never really read the scriptures or questioned what I believed until this time. These arguments, notes, sometimes (I'm sorry to admit) yelling at each other in the hall, really led me to question my religion. Nate pounded me on all fronts, leading me on a search to understand the doctrine of my church and decide for myself whether or not I believed and felt fulfilled by the tenets of my religion.

Then, it got worse. Nate started taking acid. He called me one afternoon. He sounded frightened, angry, upset. He told me how horrible his home life was. He let me in on his hallucinations. There were a couple more of those acid-trip calls. It was scary. I was glad we lived fifteen minutes apart and that he didn't have a car.

Also, I worried about him. I didn't know whether to tell someone or not. He wasn't always nice, but I knew he was a good guy, down deep. I worried about him.

I think that he gave up the drugs after a short experimenting phase. By April he seemed somewhat sane again and we settled into an uneasy friendship.

I was surprised to see what he'd written in my yearbook at the end of that year.

Stay Mormon, Heather. It's the root of your existence.

I think he meant it as a slam, but it was interesting commentary. Nate more than anything, caused me to search my soul and make the decision to root it in my Mormon faith. It was his brash, unexpected personality -- the angst that I watched him go through and share with me that made me really doubt, question and decide for myself.

He called me a few times after he graduated. Once, when I was a Senior in high school. We had a good talk. He had changed quite a bit, softened, and we laughed and talked for an hour. He asked me to go to breakfast with him in the morning, but I was going somewhere -- a debate meet I think.

Then, he called me about a year after I got married. He was married and in the Navy, stationed in Florida. We both had little girls that we adored and were proud of. It was nice to hear his voice, to know he was doing well. I was surprised that he'd wanted to check in with me after so many years.

I still think about Nate sometimes and wonder how he's getting on. It's interesting.
That one stolen day in December of 1992 was the only time we ever spent together outside of school. I never met his parents. I don't know if he had siblings, what he liked to eat, what he did in his spare time. But, I count Nate as one of the most influential people in my life.

I hope he's happy and that he's figured out who he is by now. I'm grateful that he helped me figure out who I am.


Now, you can go visit Brillig or Kate to read other fabulous Soap Opera Sunday posts.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Someone Else's Spectacles

I saw this today and really liked it.

Simon Travaglia - "Don't borrow someone else's spectacles to view yourself with."

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Whole Decade

I have often said that marrying JDub was what Mary Pipher would call a "North Star Decision."

He is so much of who I am (and like about myself) now. So many experiences and decisions and happy times in my life would never have happened if I hadn't chosen to marry him ten years ago.

I adore this man and I am so grateful for him. He makes me laugh every single day.

We woke up this morning and just stayed in bed, talking and laughing. I love him even more now than I could have imagined ten years ago. And I told him that, knowing everything I know now about everything that has happened in the last ten years, I'd do it all over again.

"Even Mashuga?" He teased.

"Especially Mashuga," I told him.

It's good to be where we are.

Today we took the exhausting hike up to Timpanogos Cave and toured it. It was a lot of fun. We really should have gotten a picture up there together, though. Oops.

Here are some pictures from that day, oh so long ago. My only regret about our wedding day: I wish we'd hired a better photographer.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Still writing away on my novel. I've got two or three rough chapters finished.

On another note, I think Coco may now have Thrush. First Herpangina, now this. Poor little guy. I'll be calling Dr. Mumford the Magician in a few minutes.

But look at how cute Coco is. This picture was taken last Friday.

And guess what I found today?

A drive-through market! After my sadness at the loss of my dearest Grocery Guys, I think I may try this market out and see what I think. Anything to avoid the torture that is grocery shopping with four children.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Soap Opera Sunday MIA

I'm terribly sorry, but I am going to have to finish the second installment of last week's Soap Opera Sunday next week.

I am busy working on a novel that I've been wanting to write for years. It's really flowing.

What can I say?

When the muse is in, the muse is in. I'm afraid that if I take a break to tell you more about Nate right now, that she'll go away.

Perhaps if I get done with what I'm doing and find time to finish up Nate's story tonight I'll do it.

If not, please accept my apologies. :)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Bragging Rights

Marrying JDub was one of the best decisions of my life. I am so grateful to be sharing this life with him.

And, on top of that, marrying him came with five big bonuses -- his brothers.

You see, getting married was kind of hard on me in ways. All of my very best friends were boys before I got married. I always had an easier time relating to and being friends with boys.

So, to get married and instantly have five brothers to play with has been a huge blessing for me. I just adore my brothers-in-law, all of them and all for different reasons.

And one other bonus was that, in one instance I got to keep one of my best favorite guy friends, too. JDub's younger brother, we'll call him Kiki (because that's what my kids call him), and I have known each other and been friends for nearly as long as JDub and I have.

In fact, I dated Kiki more than I dated JDub before we were engaged. And I kissed Kiki before I kissed JDub. (Yes, there is a Soap Opera Sunday post there. Wait for it.) Trust me. We are incessantly needled about this by our family. And we both take it good-naturedly in stride.

But, really, Kiki has always been one of my favorite people. Large chunks of our relationship consisted of commiserating over the fact that those who would end up being our spouses were so blind to our amazingness. And we were always able to talk and to laugh together. I have always considered him to be a kindred spirit, a dear friend.

I used to puzzle (and still do sometimes) over why I had such strong romantic feelings for JDub (who pretty much ignored me, other than letters, until after his mission) and not for Kiki (who was always fun, kind, friendly, attentive). Who knows. But we are all happy with who we are, where we are, so it seems silly now to ask why.

So, getting back to the point of this post...

This week I have been flashing back to a night almost 13 years ago. Kiki and I were sitting together on a patch of grass with a few other people and he was rubbing my shoulders. I'm not sure how it came up (probably it was because I told him how good he was at massage) but he told me that he wanted to be a chiropractor when he grew up. Very cool, I thought and filed it away. I still remember that conversation and how sure he was of who he wanted to be, what he wanted to do.

Fast forward about 6 or 7 years. JDub and I were sharing a house with Kiki and his wife. Scud was still a baby and their oldest daughter had just been born. Kiki was just finishing up his degree in massage therapy. And he was good at it. Partly because of the techniques he'd learned in school, but I think mostly because of his natural healing touch and sensitivity.

He finished his degree as a MT and also his prerequisite work at UVSC. About a year later their family packed up and moved to Oregon. You guessed it. For chiropractic school.

I remember thinking then, "Wow. He's wanted to do this for a long time and he's doing it."

Grad school took years, as grad school always does. It felt a bit like time warped and slowed down. And that's just for me. I'm sure it was even more so for his wonderful, supportive wife (who is also one of my best friends and the one who introduced me to both JDub and Kiki).

But through all of the years, his vision has remained steady and he's continued to put one foot in front of the other toward his goal.

So, it is with much joy and pride in my wonderful friend that I just have to brag for him.

He is now a full-fledged chiropractor. The tests have all been passed. He has finished his internship (apprenticeship, residency -- hit me over the head and tell me the right word to put here Kiki). He is state-licensed.

I am thrilled for him, for his beautiful wife and his three darling daughters.

You've made it! Hooray! Congratulations!

So consider this both a flashback and a flash forward. A flashback to my wonderful friend, who I am lucky enough to now have as a brother. And a flash forward to the marvelous man he will continue to be and the success I am sure he will enjoy. He is truly a gifted man, a natural healer and a fantastic chiropractor.

I can't wait to see what comes next.

And for those of you who are local and could use a good chiropractor, you can check out his website here. He's worth the visit.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I'm like a bird, I only fly away...

So, I don't know if it's because of their dinosaur ancestors or because my mom was always afraid of them. But, I'm afraid of birds. Not terribly afraid. Pet birds, birds outside don't bother me. But wild birds inside my house? Kinda creepy.

At least once a year a bird makes it down our fireplace and into our home. This is somewhat scary to me.

Confession: Last year I heard a bird in our fireplace, which was blocked off, and I didn't let him out. I just listened to him struggle until the noise stopped and tried to make myself feel better by telling myself that he'd been able to fly out the chimney. But, sure enough, when my husband opened up the fireplace, he was dead in there. I am ashamed that I allowed my fear to overcome my better self and allow another living thing to die.

So, this year I knew I had to do better. This morning, I heard a bird stuck in our fireplace. I marshalled the forces, my two oldest boys. We cleared everything out of the bird's path and opened the back door.

Then, we unblocked the fireplace. Nothing. I could hear him, but couldn't see him. The flue was closed and, we couldn't get it quite right to let him out. I was ready to give up and call someone for advice.

But, Scud decided that this would be a perfect time to say a prayer and ask for help. What a sweet kid. Who better to ask for help than the one who made the sparrows and knows each one.

After his prayer, he pulled the lever to the flue just right and the bird fell into our fireplace and flew up, trying unsuccessfully to fly out our windows. He was stuck at our kitchen window, so I got a broom and directed him away from the window and toward our back door.

After a few minutes under the kitchen table and a close call with Rusty, he flew out the back window -- free and surely relieved.

And I feel much better about myself.

It was like a redemption.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

It's Okay to Take a Break. Really.

One of my favorite people and sister Birthing From Within mentors wrote this today:

Potty Break

Not only am I constantly astounded by her gentle, thoughtful mothering, her words today were an answer to prayer. I want to reach across the miles to hug and thank her. Truly, what a gift.

Just to let you in on what I've been going through. I've talked a bit here about the feeling I have that I really need to concentrate on my family and home, on building friendships and community and staying close to home.

In my desire to do this, what I really feel like I need to do is to just stop mentoring Birthing From Within classes, completely stop doing doula work. It would mean a cold-turkey, cut-and-run from some things that I am terribly passionate about and love very much. It feels like the right thing to do on one hand, on the other it seems completely unthinkable. It would be a bit like cutting off my left hand, or at least a few of the fingers on my left hand. I have not been able to reconcile this feeling that I need to take a break and let go with the passion I feel for this work, the way it has made me grow and blossom as a woman, mother and friend.

Then, I read my friend's post and it was just what I needed to hear.

It was both humorous and enlightening to imagine myself as an antsy 3 year old who doesn't want to stop what she's doing to go potty.

I can just see little Heather bouncing around and whining, "NO! I do not have to go! I don't want to stop what I'm doing! What if the game is all over when I get done."

And then, there's the sweet, mother Heather (in BFW language, we call her the love warrior), who is stroking my hair and saying "It's okay, sweetie. It will still be here when you get back and you can play then. And won't it be so much more fun to play with all of the other girls when you can put your full attention to it and not be distracted by the pain of knowing that you need to be somewhere else? Won't that be much more comfortable?"

And then Miss Judge comes in to protect me and says "Yeah, and you're not a lot of fun to play with right now anyway. I know you really want to be involved and helpful and great at this work, but really, you are just not able to put the energy into it that everyone wants you to put into it. You're probably bugging them and they might not even like you as much as you like them. After all, the other girls are really going for it, getting involved. And you. You just kind of hang around. You don't do much because you have to spend all of your time with your baby and your family. You're kind of a loser right now."

Mother Heather looks sternly at Miss Judge and wags her finger. "Now, now, we shouldn't use words like that with people we love. First of all, it doesn't matter what all of the other girls think. What matters most is that we're happy and that WE are being kind and good to others and doing what's right. And I'm sure that the other Birthing From Within mentors are glad for any contribution Heather can make, no matter how small. They're all exceptionally nice, loving and understanding women"

Miss Judge butts in here, slightly humbled but mostly indignant. "Well, if they're happy she's contributing, which I doubt, then they won't understand when she just stops teaching Birthing From Within for an indefinite period of time. They might even be angry. What if she even takes YEARS OFF? Nobody will even remember her then. Then, not only will she have been a sub-par mentor for a while, but she will have to start all over again from scratch. And what if everyone is just annoyed?"

"Oh, sweet Judge. You're so good to want to protect Heather. I hear what you're saying," Mother Heather, Love Warrior says with a patient, knowing look in her eye. "It might be different when she comes back. It really might. And some people might not understand her decision."

At this point, little Heather pipes up, her big blue eyes welling with tears. "Is that true?" She asks. "Is it true that things might be different? That some of my friends might not like me anymore or that they might not even be there or even remember me? What if Brooke and Isabel and Virginia and Linda and everyone else have gone on without me and I'm all left out? What if Pam forgets me, too? I'd hate that. I really don't want to go!"

"Oh, honey. I know you don't," Mother Heather says. "And yes, my darling. It's true. It might be different. Some of your old friends might be gone. But you can make new friends. And Pam might forget you. But, you can get to know her again. And think about this. Things might be different when you get back to BFW. They might be very different. But, what if they're even better?"

This time both little Heather and Miss Judge Heather cry out in unison, "But what if they're not!?! What if it's worse?"

"Well, then, we're pretty good at this stuff. If things are worse when we get back, and we've waited until we really have the time and energy to devote to Birthing From Within, then we can volunteer to make it better. We can do that. And if that doesn't work, then we can find something else we'd rather do."

"I don't know. I'm not sure I like that either," says little Heather. "I like Birthing From Within. I don't wanna do something else. What if I never do Birthing From Within again? What if that? That would make me sad."

"Sure. It might. But do you remember that time when you were absolutely sure you wanted to be a concert pianist or a choir teacher when you grew up?"


"And you're not a concert pianist or a choir teacher now, are you? And that's okay, isn't it?"

"Yeah. It is. I just don't want to do that anymore and I'm happy with what I'm doing right now. I don't really feel sad about that because that's what I USED to want to do. Now, I just don't. But, I don't really ever see me feeling that way about BFW. I want to do it again if I can't do it right now."

"That's great, honey. Let's plan on that. This will just be a short break and then you can come right back to BFW. And if it's different, with different people and whether it's better or worse, you most certainly can jump right back in and enjoy it and really make it work well, for you and for everyone else. And if you don't want to do it anymore, and that's the only reason you won't do it again, then it will be okay with you, just like it's okay that you're not a concert pianist. You'll still have just what you want. Sound good?"

"Yeah, I think so," Little Heather squinches her mouth to one side, like she's thinking really hard.

"You can't just think so! You've got to know so if you want to make this work. You'll never be happy otherwise," Miss Judge interjects.

"Miss Judge!" my Love Warrior Mama Self says. "You know I love you and appreciate you for all you do for us. You really want to protect little Heather and I am grateful for that. But right now, we have things under control and it's your turn to be quiet. Is that okay? Can you do that and trust me to take care of Little Heather? I promise I'll do a good job. Is that okay? Can you let us figure this out without you from here on out?"

"Okay. As long as you promise to do a good job and ask me for help if you don't know what to do. Promise?" Miss Judge looks at Mother Heather expectantly.

"Yes, my dear. I promise."

"Pinky swear?"

Mother Heather chuckles. "Pinky swear."

"Okay," Miss Judge agrees, folding her arms contentedly across her chest.

Mother Heather turns to Little Heather. "Do you think you can be okay with this now? With taking a break? I promise to come with you and to help you. And I promise to help you figure out what you want to do and how to get back into things when your break is over. Sound good?"

"Yes. That sounds good. You'll help me? You'll help me know what to do?"

"Yes, I will."

Little Heather runs off happily to take care of business and do what most needs to be done right now.

And so, here I am, left with my Love Warrior self to try to figure out how to make this work. That I need to take a break and focus on my family is a certainty. Now that I've talked to my sweet little Child and Judge sidekicks, I feel comfortable doing this. I know it's the right thing to do and I'm at peace with my decision.

So, all that's left are decisions. Do I make it a long goodbye? Do I take the time to finish up my certification requirements before bowing out for a while? Or do I plan on a very short break and a re-evaluation in a few months to decide whether to finish my certification? Or do I just stop for good and plan to start fresh in a couple of years? Do I keep my toes in, continuing to go to retreats and check the message board and listen in on conference calls? Or do I just say goodbye and trust that it will all be there when I come back?

I still have decisions and plans to make. But they should be significantly easier now. Up until the time I read my friend's post this morning, I had not recognized that my confusion on the matter was coming from the fact that the little child in me was in the driver's seat with my judge shouting criticism and advice from the backseat.

Things ought to go much more smoothly now that my wise, compassionate and courageous adult self (you know, the one who actually has a driver's license) is now behind the wheel.

Monday, August 06, 2007


You'll have to forgive my truncated and postdated Soap Opera Sunday post. I have a sick little baby.

He has herpangina and is very uncomfortable. He has wanted to be held and nursed almost constantly since Saturday.

I took him to the doctor on Saturday to see what was going on. He'd been fevered and irritable since Friday morning and I thought he might have an ear infection.

Nope. The doctor took one look in his mouth and said, "Ah, he definitely has herpangina."

I called JDub on the way home to tell him the news.

"I took him to the doctor and she says that he has herpangina," I told him.

"He has her WHAT?!?" Jeffrey responded. "Don't you think he ought to give it back?"
That's my JDub. Always the comedian.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

His Name Was Nate

And he was new in town. He'd just moved to Lakepoint from Park City, which meant he went to my high school.

I was a lowly freshman. He was a Junior. I was a Mormon. He was Jewish. And he had the most incredible eyes I had ever seen. Oh. The eyes. They killed me.

I met Nate on the first day of my Freshman year. We had Beginning Journalism together during first period. We joked and played together during class those first few weeks. Then, we started writing notes. Exquisite notes. He wrote poetry for me and quoted Shakespeare:

"What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Heather is the sun!"

I was smitten. Smitten, I tell you.

He wrote other things.

I adore you.

You are the most beautiful person I have ever seen.

If I could only have you alone for a couple of hours.

Eeek! Of course, in my sweet, naive fourteen year old heart it never occurred to me that, in having me alone for a couple of hours, he would want to do anything more than hold my hand and talk to me and bask in the beauty of my presence. I imagined firelight and poetry. The intervening years have taught me that he probably had a very different picture in mind.

to be continued...

Thanks to Kate from Walking Katetastrophe and Brillig of T'was Brillig for the fantabulous idea of sharing Soap Opera Sunday with all of us.

Friday, August 03, 2007

A Burst of Creativity

Before you move on, please read the post below -- Finding Gravity -- and comment.

Have you read it yet? Commented? Really, I need help.

Okay, moving on.

I have felt rather creative lately and have been working on some things this week.

First, I finally took this, which I took about a year to finish (not because it was hard, but because I did it in fits and spurts) and which has been finished for at least two months:

Then, I cleaned, trimmed and framed it. Here's the finished product:

I spent the better part of an hour trying to get it straight. It's still not quite straight. Shhh. Don't say anything. I might have to spend another fruitless hour. I'm happy with how it turned out. I love this little blessing I found the door of a retreat center in Santa Barbara. This will sit on a shelf in our entryway (a shelf that is waiting to be painted).

Here is the last cross-stitch I finished. This also took about a year. For the same reason as above, but it was also hard. It is about 60% my own design. I didn't design the house. I saw this saying in a little cottage in Spring City, Utah.

Now, I'll be working with this:

And these:

This is how far I've gotten:

Three of my six chairs primed and sanded. I grossly underestimated how much extra work it would give me to allow my children (and the neighbor girl) to help. Don't you love the pepto-pink primer?

Next up is this:

Which I hope will magically transform itself into some lovely tote bags, diaper bags and handbags to use and to sell on etsy.

Also, I NEEEEEEEED to get this clean, organized and liveable.

I'm hoping this will make it a nicer place to write and to create.

Coco has had his own creative spurt. He turned seven months old on Tuesday. And he's already doing this:

He loves to look out our window and watch his siblings play.

I keep fighting the urge to beg him to SLOW DOWN, SLOW DOWN, SLOW DOWN. He is in such a hurry to be like his older siblings.

Have a marvelous weekend.

Come back on Sunday and I'll be joining in the fun of Brillig and Kate's Soap Opera Sunday. Now, which soap opera moment to choose...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Finding Gravity

JDub likes to use an interesting analogy about life, gravity, consistency.

As he puts it, what would life be like if, every morning when we got out of bed, we had to wonder which direction our feet would go? Will it be up today, or down, or sideways? It would be very hard to accomplish much of anything without the constance of gravity.

And so it is with our lives. If we are ever-wondering what will happen next, it is hard to accomplish much of anything, to move forward, to blossom and become better.

And so, in this stage of my life, I feel myself yearning to find gravity, to find and create some constants that can hold our family to the ground long enough to move forward.

I've never been good at routine, at consistency. Even as a teenager, when my days were pretty much planned for me -- School from 7:30-3:30, Madrigal Choir from 3:30-4:30, Soccer practice from 4:00-5:00, play practice from 5:00-9:00 -- I had no routine. I'd make it to school on time. Sometimes. Sometimes I'd go to a full soccer practice and miss part of choir, sometimes I'd skip soccer practice. Sometimes I'd go to play practice, sometimes I'd just go home and take a nap.

Now, I have learned much since those crazy days about being dependable and showing up when a team or a cast or a class is depending on me. But, I still find it difficult to rein my fickle ambitions and unruly emotions into anything that resembles order.

And if the over-scheduled life of teenage-dom didn't help me learn to pattern and plan my days, the empty canvas of motherhood and family life is certainly not bringing order to my life.

But order is something I really need to find right now. For me, for our children, for my sweet husband.

I've always thought of JDub and I as two parts to a song. He is the rhythm. I am the melody.

But, this isn't working anymore. In our nightly talks, between the time we put our kids to bed and JDub slouches into a sleepy, drooling blob because he's been awake since 4:30, we have determined that the rhythm JDub is marching our children to is a bit too strong.

Also, the relentless, maddening rhythm of his life outside our home is nearly killing him.

So, it falls to me, miss melody, miss fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, the free spirit of the family to find a better way.

Deep breaths.

So I'm searching and thinking and trying to find and create some laws that govern our family's universe.

Like eating dinner before 8pm and breakfast before 11am.

But, I also want it to be more than a marching order. I want ritual, beauty, joy and peace to fill our days.

Is this too tall an order?

So, I'm dying to know, for those of you who are so much better at this organization and routine stuff than I am, how do you do it? Any suggestions?

And for those of you who, like me, are a bit on the erratic side, have you learned any ways to channel yourself? Your family?

Please share your ideas.

How do you weave a sense of gravity, of ritual and things to depend on into your family's daily life?