Tuesday, June 19, 2012

our married life.

first thing, you need to know we're on vacation visiting my husband's family and that we're sleeping in the living room.

secondly, a warning. the following story is a little TMI for some folks, so feel free to duck out any time.

"kids, go to sleep." i say, "your father and i need to go to walmart to get... stuff."

as they doze (with grandma sleeping in the other room) we sneak out to the car. we don't make it to walmart. duke unbuckles all of the kids' car-seats, throws them in the far-back, and we sit on the crumb-speckled bench-seat together. there's gigging and kissing and much-needed "married time."

sometimes staying in love is inconvenient. sometimes it takes moving car-seats and getting covered in goldfish crackers. sometimes it takes becoming accidentally locked in the backseat because of child-safety doors.

growing old together is proving to be a great adventure. i can't help feeling that i'm devouring cake while keeping it, too. 

we sat in the car and read our scriptures together by overhead light, relishing our time together, and feeling so very happy. we feel like our church and the pure and practical doctrine we have found there have brought us to life's oasis. we are so far from having it all together, but still we're trying, and the blessings are coming.

we have a rich marriage and we know it is because of our having followed Heavenly Father's patterns for happiness, as revealed through His church.

the other day i read a very interesting article about mormonism written by a college professor of another faith that you might enjoy. he makes mention of a statistic indicating that mormon women are more likely to be satisfied in their marriages. here's the link.

now, back to the air-mattress in the living room with a kid sleeping between us. which is pretty fantastic, too.

on the road.

postcard from Nevada...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

dancing, hunting puppy dog.

there are four other boys in ballet at his studio and they all camp out for shows in a corner by the boys' bathroom. iggy joined them this time now that he's getting a little old for the girls' dressing rooms. the highlight of my backstage experience was peaking into the boys bathroom to check on the cause of all the giggling. there was iggy brandishing a toilet bowl scrubber, the four seven-year-old boys at his complete mercy.

he danced beautifully, supported by so many loving family members in the audience.
our day's story included thai food, an ice cream parlor, and a lot of waiting.
 meanwhile daddy and the other kiddos attended my sister's graduation party, complete with a cotton candy machine. both stories were lovely.
we weren't sure if iggy would want to continue ballet after this year's end, but here we are and he's more excited about it than ever before.

i'm sort-of thrilled.

after today.

no, you don't have to get off of the trampoline and put your backpack on. sure, you can kick your shoes off. heck yes, girls, we get to play all day long. it's summer!

yes, darling sister, you can come spend the night. no, you don't need to worry about your procrastinated science project. sure, let's do something adventurous on a whim.

no, cute girl, you don't need to wake up at five for seminary. yeah, let's do throw a party in the middle of the day. aren't you a little sad that you won't need to say the phrase "i wish i could but i have to go do my homework" again (until you're talking to cute boys at college)?
hooray to my five best-girls. here's to school's glorious end!

sunday night.

i'm going to reflect on this reoccurring scenario with a sense of humor. or i'll cry.

we begin each Sunday like any other morning, with a relatively tidy home. in my quest to make the Sabbath a day of rest, set apart, and different, i decide not to clean. instead i focus on reading the scriptures, getting to church, and spending quality time with family.

i find it very difficult to feel peace in a ransacked house. i also find it impossible to keep the Sabbath when i work in the same occupation and capacity as every other day.
i think i'll try to see the day's end with a smile on my face. one day off for mom, and just look at this place! a rare gift to see our world without a few of my many contributions.

good thing we make it to church. i'm need all the strength of soul i can get to survive life's mondays.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


silently, mostly, but sometimes she speaks, she's slipping through stages faster than i have energy to savor.

she spends too much time crying. i hate that. i wish i wasn't so tired, so spent. i strap her in. in the car-seat. in the high-chair. in the stroller. in the bike-trailer. i frantically feed her while my mind plans for the moment i can put her away somewhere until i must keep her alive again.

all those pretty dresses still on the hangers. too small now. i planned to... well it's too late for them now.

strangers compliment her red hair. is it red now? i look at her and see the object i must move. she's strapped to my back now anyway. i take photographs of all i can see, but she's behind me always. i can't see her.

my daughter. i could scoop her up if my arms weren't so full. i could kiss her cheeks if my mouth could stop instructing. i could dance with her if life would stop cutting in.

she will be my summer love. i will let myself become obsessed with her. the tiny, round wonder that is my child. i'm determined to find her.

up a tree.

fan club idea.

we are a fan club. we like choir performances, school plays, soccer games and (in this case) jog-a-thons.

in the past we've made signs to show our support for our friends but the posters inevitably become a bother. they're soon crinkled and ripped. left behind in odd places. they find their way into my all-holding-hands.

capes and headbands cut from extra fabric have been our favorite fan-club-apparel thus far. to keep things simple we wrote our message in marker.

i'm pretty sure our support was the reason our friend ran so fast... that or she was trying to get away from the embarrassing mob of super-preschoolers chasing her around the track.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

unsavory photos of us eating kettle corn.


why not?

we spent a good part of afternoon sitting on this downtown bench, eating fresh kettle-corn from the wednesday market, and laughing hysterically at pictures of each other mid-chew.

best outing ever.

daddy's shoulders.

can't we stay here? in this world of babes? where our oldest still fits on daddy's shoulders?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

boys and girls.

the neighbors were having a (very loud) bachelor party the other night. the boys couldn't sleep through the noise and they were curious about the wild ruckus. spying from their bedroom window, the boys spotted a pinata of a naked woman.

i cannot deny their growing fascination with such displays. from the time they could toddle around the park, they'd find the girl with the shortest shorts and follow her like sad, little puppies.

lately i've caught iggy and the four-year-old girl i watch mooning each other. safety, respect, and privacy have become my most redundant lecture topics. i can honestly say that i wasn't ready to start teaching my boys about some of this stuff.

me: what do you think about that pinata? is it appropriate?
sparky: no.
me: is it respectful to women?
sparky: no.
iggy: why do those guys get to look at it, then?
me: you can't pick what other people choose to look at. but you can control yourself. that stuff will be all around you through your life and you're going to have to learn to look away.

we talk anatomy constantly. they want to know exactly how babies get out of tummies. they want to know why little boys and little girls have the same chests but boys show theirs and girls can't. the answers lead to more questions. when do girls change and why? do boys change, too?

these clinical discussions can feel a little awkward. how much should i tell them? duke and i want to keep this dialogue open so i avoid thwarting their attempts to reach out. diagramming their bodies is awkward but helping them with their emotions about bodies can be plain painful.

me: it's not that nakedness is bad or wicked. our bodies are wonderful. Heavenly Father wants us to be thankful and proud of our bodies. we just need to be respectful and reverent about them.
sparky: it's hard.
me: what's hard? (silence) not to look at those things?
sparky: yeah.
me: have you ever seen any pictures of girls in their underwear?
iggy: super hero girls wear underwear and they have very big boobies.
me: you're right. did you know that when your daddy and i are watching a movie and a girl with immodest clothes comes on daddy covers his eyes or turns his head away?
boys: no.
me: he does it out of respect for me. because he only loves me that way and i'm the only girl he wants to see that way. when you grow up you will each find a girl. you'll love her so much and she'll love you, just like mom and dad love each other. after you are married, you will see her body and she will be beautiful.

i'm sure every parent approaches this sensitive topic differently. some children seem more oblivious than others, but mine definitely aren't. their world is saturated with sexuality, despite our many protective efforts. their young feelings of attraction are very real and i am learning to help them to bridle their passions.

i love that they've rewritten this song to be "all the pretty girls at the saturday market." they sing it constantly. they really like girls. and that's okay, so long as they respect them.

Monday, June 4, 2012


earlier today i wanted to take a nap so badly. i took a shower and cleaned house instead.
right now i want to surf my favorite blogs so badly. but i'm choosing to make a family dinner.

parenthood, in a nutshell.

Friday, June 1, 2012

warm rain.

Often I feel like the "hard-stuff" goes on forever in a consistently crappy loop. Not so. Little details change, we just need to try to notice.

We've been walking two miles to drop kids off at school each weekday morning, rain or shine, for several months now. Come dawn I look outside and think (almost every morning) "Oh, great. It's raining again."

For a long while that was all I was seeing; the same trek set out before us. The same problem. The same trial to endure. Waiting all this time for a drastic shift in climate, I've failed to see the tiny glimmers of change.

The leaves on the trees are full and big now. They serve as giant umbrellas so that we only get wet about half of the time. The kids no longer cry about the walk. They're getting stronger and more patient. We've given up several layers of heavy jackets with gloves and hats. Small rain slickers will do now. About forty minutes of my day has been freed now that I don't have to weatherize a small army each morning.

Isn't that the way it goes? How can life possibly be the same for very long with so many dynamic variables? I choose to see progression.

I have to admit it's getting better, it's getting better all the time.