Monday, September 26, 2016

29 Days

For a while there, it seemed like we had loads of time before Will left. Weeks and weeks, it seemed. And now, suddenly, we are buying suits and having dreams about being kidnapped by drug lords.

We were driving in the car yesterday, just he and I, and he told me he was going to miss me.  And now, we've gone there. Up until the moment he said that, I have been pretty successful about compartmentalizing those thoughts of him leaving, and telling myself I'd deal with all that later. Only now it's later, and I'm not so great anymore about plugging up the waterworks that start whenever I think about telling him goodbye.

I just really really like that kid, and I am going to miss him so much. He is so funny and smart, and I am going to miss all our random and irrelevant conversations, and all of his brilliant insights into the goings on of our world. I am lucky to have a kid that I feel like he "gets" me, and who I genuinely enjoy just hanging out with.

My advice to him so far about mission life is to live in the moment. Don't wish it away, don't count down the days, just be. Even the hard, sucky stuff, just live it and learn from it. Two years will seem like forever, but then one day it will suddenly be gone forever, so savor the moment that you have.  I hope I can do the same. I don't want to be counting down the days until he is. We're going to make the days count, by golly, especially the 29 we have left on this side of the hill.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Dark and Stormy Night

Am I ever glad to be home in my warm, safe house with the lights on. What a crazy night.

About four this afternoon, an enormous storm blew through Davis county. This was a second coming type of storm, with trampolines and garbage cans flying through the neighborhood, and trees falling into power lines and blocking roads. I was at work, so I missed all of the excitement, except for what happened in my parking lot, which was mostly apocalyptic hail and rain for about six minutes. A tornado even touched down not too far from us. Houses and fences and roofs, oh my. 

Audrey did not miss the excitement. She was out driving in it. She drove Will to an imaginary dentist appointment that he thought he had but that is actually not until next week. Then she drove through the driving rain and wind to get Duncan, who had to stand out in the rain and wait for her while she drove Will to the non- appointment. Then she attempted to drive back to get Will from the dentist where he was now stranded, but due to the aforementioned flying debris and power lines in the roads, all of the roads were closed, and she couldn't even get home, let alone get back to the dentist. So Will had to walk. 

While Audrey and Duncan were sitting still in traffic and Will was walking in the rain, Olivia was home alone thinking that the world was ending, what with the weather and the flickering power.  I was still at work, suffering through one of those odd pharmacy rushes that always seem to accompany strange weather, and we were getting slammed, and in addition to everyone in Bountiful suddenly deciding that they needed to come in for a flu shot before the tornado hit,  my offspring were all simultaneously calling/texting me to fill me in on the latest developments at home, on the road, and at the dentist.  I was worried about Audrey driving, having heard about all the accidents and road closures, worried about Will out walking in it,  Duncan out standing in it, and worried about Olivia home alone. 

Then when I heard that ALL the roads home were closed or jammed, I started thinking about just sleeping on the floor of the pharmacy for the night, since I have to be back there at 8 in the morning.  That prospect held even less appeal than driving home through the mess, so I steeled myself for a long trek and set out. 

The direct road to our house was a mess. It was pitch black except for all the flashing lights from emergency vehicles, so I opted for a less direct route and made it home without incident.  Neighbors have missing shingles, broken fences and downed trees, but so far our place seems intact. And all my kids were here and safe, which is all that matters anyway. Dan should be home soon as well.  I called Mitch to make sure he was okay, and he is without power, along with about 30,000 other homes around us, but he and Ria are home streaming Netflix on his phone, so it's all good. He lives a lot closer to where the tornado touched down, but sounds like things are settling down.

Out here on the edge, the rain has been off and on all night, but its coming down hard now.  In about ten hours, we will be heading out into it again. But I'm glad for a few hours refuge in a warm bed.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Day of Rest

Today we all slept in until 11.

Around noon we got moving and made pancakes for breakfast (lunch)

At two, we left for stake conference at the Ogden tabernacle.

At six, we ate dinner. Alaskan halibut and sauteed squash, I don't know what variety. Oh, and peaches.

Then Audrey made brookies- half brownie half cookie- and we took some to my neighbor Karen who helped us alter the  homecoming dress. The rest of the brookies we are working on devouring.  I love having a baker in the house.

After dinner I gave Will and Duncan haircuts. Probably Will's last haircut before he gets it cut to leave for his mission.

Now we are watching Star Wars Episode III which is as corny a movie as you have ever seen. I voted for watching Sound of Music, in honor of Charmian Carr who passed away yesterday, but I lost.

I haven't yet been up for 12 hours, but I feel like if I put my head down on the pillow here on the couch, I would be out cold.

It was really nice to have a day of doing nothing.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Homecoming, Also Known as Unabashed Mom Bragfest

Back in my day, Homecoming was dinner and the dance, and maybe a VHS rental from the video store if we were really in the mood to live it up. These days, Homecoming is pretty much an all day affair, from a day date to after dance activities.  And Audrey's group did it all up right. 

They met in the morning and went on a picnic/ hike/ gondola ride at Snowbasin. Most of these boys are in our ward and Audrey knows them well. The girls are a more random lot, although Audrey knows and likes them all, so she was excited to be going with this gang.

Audrey has some pictures of the picnic, but these are all I have for now.

Then she came home long enough to get cleaned up, get her hair done, and get beautiful, which in Audrey's case, never takes too long. 

I can't believe we pulled it off. In our crazy, rushed state of mind over the past week, we managed to find a dress, shoes, accessories, make up, and squeeze her in for a hair style with our favorite stylist. And it all came together nicely if I do say so. 




Before dinner, they headed over to the park for some more formal pictures.

Aren't these kids all gorgeous? Where does Syracuse find them all? And I know I'm biased, but out of all these lovely people, aren't Audrey and Isaac seriously the most beautiful! They look like Ken and Barbie- all that tall blond charm they have going on.

I can't wait for her to get home and hear how the evening went. 

And while Audrey is out having all this glamorous fun, this is what the rest of us are doing:

watching Star Wars and fighting the animals off of our pizza.

As usual, Buck is not amused.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Full Throttle

Today was my first day off since August 30. My first day off since Olivia went off track. I forgot how nice it was to not have to work. Don't get the wrong idea though. It wasn't like I was lying about on the couch eating bon bons and watching Dr Phil.  My list of obligations to kids and house has been multiplying rapidly during all those consecutive days of drug dealing, and if I had not had a day off today, I am certain the whole domestic experiment of which I am in charge would have detonated.

I spent the morning with kitchen chores and laundry. Then Duncan had a dentist appointment (no cavities!) and then needed a ride to the mill. When I got home, there was more laundry and cleaning to do, and Olivia went off to piano lessons. When she was done, we picked up Audrey from school and drove into Bountiful to do some frantic Homecoming dress shopping in the hour we had before it was time to pick up Duncan.  Olivia and I had fun as observers and judges of the Audrey fashion show- she must have tried on a dozen dresses. There were some really gorgeous dresses, but either they were too short, too long, too big, wrong color, etc. etc. I wish we had more time to look, but we have really put ourselves in a corner here. She found a dress that will work, although it needs to be altered to fit her.  It is very simple, but we are going to dress it up with some sparkly accessories and she will look gorgeous!  By the time we narrowed down the dress, I was already 20 minutes late to pick up Duncan. By the time we got there, he had been standing in the rain for nearly 40. Oops. A trip to McDonalds for a Dr. Pepper cheered him up.

Then it was home just in to time to host a Beehive activity here, with seven cute but loud 7th graders. We were supposed to go ice blocking, but it turned cold and wet so I had to scramble at the last minute for something to keep them busy. We wound up making posters and care packages for the missionaries in our ward, and playing a rousing game of zip boom. By the time I got everybody home, it was 8:30-  high time for dinner.  Tomorrow and Friday, it's back to my 11 hour work days.

It's not just me with the crazy schedule either. I don't really remember the last time Dan was home. He has had major projects going on at work, plus moving into a new office building, plus a load of extra TV work, plus movies and reviews. He is a busy guy. He gets a day off tomorrow, hopefully to catch up on sleep and kick back time.

Will got a second job and works pretty much from 11 am to 9 pm every day. In fact, he just texted me to let me know his shift has been extended tonight. Good practice for a mission.

And Audrey is trying to catch up on all the homework she missed while they were in California, plus keep up with her regular homework, plus work, plus play rehearsal. She is NEVER here. And probably won't be til December.

Life is good. It really is. But there is just so much of it. All the time.  Just when we think it is going to slow down, it speeds up double, always with somebody else who needs to be somewhere else at the exact same time as the other somebody needs to be across town. I just need a nap.

Monday, September 12, 2016


So my mom went and turned 80 last month, and we had a big party with all her favorite people.

Mark and some of his crew flew into town for the big event, so we took advantage of the late summer loveliness, rented a cabin in Preston for a few nights, and took everybody on an excursion to Lava Hot Springs. 

We floated down the river on tubes then sat in the hot springs. We had a blast, especially Olivia, who surprised me with her enthusiasm for the river. If you know Olivia, you know that she tends to be cautious with anything new, especially if she senses any physical danger.   Now I would never describe this particular stretch of the Portneuf River as dangerous, but it is pretty exhilerating to climb into the cold, swift water and launch yourself into it's mercy on a little tube.  There are a few good dips and turns along the way, and  if you don't watch yourself, you can bump your tailbone pretty good.  So it's a good adventure. And Olivia loved it.  Couldn't get enough of it.  She was purely exhuberant over the whole experience, and kept exclaming that it was the best vacation of her life.  I was proud of her, she has been working hard on being braver and taking risks, and this one paid off big time. 

Two weeks later, my sweet mom is still gushing about what a great birthday she had, so I am calling it a success. She deserves all we did and more. Every day I am more grateful for my mommy, and all she taught me and put up with. And ditto to my dad. I am the luckiest girl in the world to have them both.

These are good days.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Oh, Hello September

Life seems to never slow down around here, and it sure never stops changing. For instance, a few months ago, Olivia learned how to whistle. Now I hear her whistling at random times throughout the day, and it is such a happy, comforting sound to  me.  In 44 days, when Will leaves for two years, I will be even more glad that Olivia is a whistler.  See, Will is a whistler too, and most of the time, when I hear Olivia whistling in the background, I assume it is Will, until I realize that he is at work, or somewhere else, and that it is actually Olivia whistling.  It is one of those things that I'm sure I would never have thought about missing until he was gone and there was suddenly no whistling. With Liv around, we will still have whistling.  Although, I fear it is still going to seem all too quiet around here with only three offspring in the house.

Olivia started sixth grade at the end of July:

 She has already completed her first track, and is now off track til the end of September. We have talked her into sticking with piano lessons for a bit longer, but she really wants to swim. She is getting taller before our eyes.

Audrey started her junior year a few weeks ago:

She is going to have a busy year. On top of her various AP, concurrent enrollment and honors classes, she is on the FLY team (Falcons Leading Youth) has a lead in the school musical, and next week is going to be made president of her church group (shhh don't tell). She is currently a 4.0 student, AND has a date to Homecoming with her sixth grade ballroom partner.

Will is working. And working some more. Missions are expensive.  He also was set apart as an elder last week. Grandpa Dan and Grandma Linda came up to help out with that, and to celebrate Grandpa's birthday.

Then the very next day, we celebrated Mitch's 27th birthday, which seems so ridiculous that I have a 27 year old child.  I am only about 32 at the most. How did that happen?

I kind of like him though, even if he shows my age. He just started a new job, and he and Ria have a really nice apartment in Ogden that they are working on getting fixed up.  My baby is becoming domesticated.

Duncan will finish up his service mission at the end of the year.  He has been quite social with us lately, and is excited to get a job and make some money when he finishes being a missionary.  I have a friend at work who has cancer, and we went to her birthday party the other night. Duncan was very interested in her story, and her prognosis, and really wanted to come with me to the party, which is unusual for him. He wrote her a very sweet card and signed it "A young Church Service Missionary who is praying for you."  He has a big heart, that one.

Alisa and Erwann are making plans for yet another tour of  Europe next summer. Alisa graduates in December, and they are planning a move here in the spring so that I can tend my grandcats while they play all summer.  Ok, not really, they have more reasons to move than me babysitting, but hopefully, in a few years, I'll be babysitting something human.  And I'm glad they want to be close to us.

In between all of this, we celebrated an 80th birthday, sent Will and Audrey to California, and entertained family, all of which I will someday perhaps catch up on. Catch up blogging is not as much fun as day to day blogging. I need to repent.