Wednesday, November 25, 2015


I am a fan of escapism.  To keep my mind off my mom's health, or the troubles of friends and family, or stressful news stories (yes, I work in the news and even still the stories bother me), I have been trying the following things the past few months:

British TV, like Downton Abbey series 6 (watching online from the UK. Don't judge, and call me when you watch it on PBS in January because I will be watching it again, too, and then we can talk).

Hair blogs/instagram accounts/Pinterest boards.  I daydream of braids, twists and updos and try them on myself either Sunday mornings before church while Andrew and James grow cold in the tub beside me ("Keep splashing, mom just needs a couple more bobby pins!"). Or I try it in the car, where I then try to take a picture of the back and keep failing.

I used to do this same thing with cake decorating videos and blogs (see some of these posts when searching frosting on this blog). Thinking of cake decorating actually helped me fall asleep at night. Braids do now.  Someone told me it's a form of self-hypnosis.

Monday, November 23, 2015

You are getting sleepy

I was looking through my pictures file for a picture of JB and me (because 12 years!) and I realized the pictures I want are on JB's laptop (first world problems), but then I found this one from a while ago, and it reminded me that I would like some commiseration because almost 2-and-1/2-year-old James did not nap Saturday or Sunday.

Run on sentence, yes, but there it is.  At least it was on a weekend when I don't need a nap by not waking up so early for work, but JB was gone most of Saturday (because Utes) and all day Sunday (because tithing settlement bishoping) and I had to face the cranky James alone.

However, this wasn't too bad, because a) other moms do this every day all day all by themselves so I can take a weekend, and b) Jamesey has three great older patient brothers. Well, two patient older brothers and one (cough cough ANDREW) who actually helped him escape his crib because "Mom, Jamsey isn't asleep!"

James spent those afternoons rolling around like a bear cub with Andrew, and biting all his brothers. We are really working on the biting but he just won't stop! In fact he now asks for hot sauce as a pre-emptive strike against the punishment I was trying. Just a tiny drop, mind.

I was trying to remember what I did when the naps stopped for the other boys and before they were in school til 3. Max would do a quiet time with books and activities, but by Ben, I think that's when I began the afternoon movie tradition. And JB started working more from home in the afternoons, too, to help guide a wayward toddler back to naptime/quiet time and guard my napping door Or I went to bed earlier and didn't nap as long. Right now it's 2 hours afternoon, around 6 at night for me. Yawn.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Fall is for football

At the end of October, Max and Ben and I went to a BYU home football game. They won 70-6, so my boys heard the fight song a lot. Granted, they played a pretty poor team I had never heard of, but still.

I love BYU. The campus and stadium bring back so many memories. I chatted away about my time spent on the sidelines for my sports broadcasting class, about my time in the stands with my roommates and friends, about this class and that class, about my job in the Harman Building/Conference Center by which we parked the car. All the boys thought was that it was far away from the stadium to walk.

After that game, the boys watched the U of U play that evening on TV. They have not been happy about all the late starts the U has had this season. While daddy and Papa are at the home games, I make Max and Ben go to bed at the half. They grump their way downstairs to their bedroom but watch the highlights the next the morning.  They didn't even get to stay up to start the last BYU game at 9:30 PM.

Now, why, you ask, is this picture of handsome JB officiating a wedding in a fall football post? Because several of the wedding guests remarked that he sure looks like BYU head football coach Bronco Mendenhall. I ate it up. He was a good sport about it.

That was a nice wedding, in beautiful Kamas, with an incredible dinner afterward that they invited us to.

JB is getting good at weddings. He's done three now and has the best remarks -- not too long, with just the right stuff to say.  He's also, unfortunately, getting good at funerals if you will. We've had some dear and sweet older ward members pass away since his time as bishop, and probably a few more to go. Such is our neighborhood.

Friday, November 6, 2015

My mom

Thank you to all who have expressed concern about my mom.  She's now in a rehab portion of the hospital. It sounds like she is getting better after her stroke(s), but then I hear a report from a sibling or my dad that worries me about her long-term outlook.

(me and my mom circa 1999 when I was home for a break from college)

I worry because she's the only mom I've got, and I feel I haven't been able to have a better relationship with her these past few years. We disagreed on some things, and geography is the biggest obstacle; she's several states away. But I could have been much better at FaceTime or calling instead of texting, or writing notes or sending cards or so many things.

I regret that the last few texts I sent to her last week, were all about me. They were often about me lately. My pain, my sadness, or asking for advice on this or that with the boys, or talking all about how the boys were doing.  I didn't ask her much about how she was doing.

(November 2003)

I feel guilty for not taking her health concerns seriously enough in the past few years, or for not recognizing warning signs -- perhaps she would have listened to me? But she's the mom, you know?

I hope that everything will be fine. People say recovery can take time, and that prognosis can be good with the right medication, speech therapy, occupational therapy, etc. 

(My mom with baby James in June 2013)

I pray the things I love most about my mom will remain. Her humor, her care for others, the memories of her childhood and mine, her mothering/pregnancy/breastfeeding advice, her hugs and kisses on my cheek, her talents.

Mom, if you read this someday in the future -- and I pray that you do -- I love you.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Pinewood Derby

In October was ye olde Pinewood Derby.  These boys pestered daddy for weeks to work on the Pinewood Derby cars with them, but he had it all under control.


Ben was able to participate officially, because he is almost a cub scout himself.

One heat (under the direction of a rather interesting fella who seems to have made Derbies his business), had Max and Ben going against each other. Ben's car was faster.

And Max was such a good sport about it. Look at him clapping for Ben in the background as Ben moved on to the finals.

Ben I think came in 5th.

They tried so hard to temper their competitive natures with the fact that "it's all just for fun," and they were not as bummed on the way home as I thought they would be.  I think the extra treats the leaders gave them helped after we had stayed to pick up and put away chairs.

Monday, November 2, 2015


My mom has been in the hospital. So has my brother Joe. I know, I know, enough for a full post in and of itself. Suffice it to say they are both doing much better, though with more recovery ahead from what appears to be diabetes and stroke for my mom, and back surgery for Joe.  Our thoughts and prayers are with them, and I am often texting my dad and siblings far away from me for information.

I have been sending my dad pictures and videos to show my mom while she recovers, including this one of us getting ready to trick-or-treat.

Yes, the force was strong with us this Halloween.

All four boys were Padawans/Jedis for the ward Halloween party and classroom parties, and JB wore a Darth Vader mask.  Oh, and I buried the lead -- I put my hair in Princess Leia buns (I really want to insert that emoji with the face that's laughing/crying).

Then before the actual day of Halloween, our friend brought over a kids Darth Vader costume, and Max did a "gimme, gimme gimme, I need I need I need."

James as we went about the neighborhood, was sometimes mistaken for an Ewok or Yoda. No biggie, as long as he got treats. He gobbled half his bag as we were going along. He has been a treat-monster by the way this whole week. "Tweat? TWEAT! Waaaaaaaa!"

Here's my full outfit. I am the fighting Princess Leia. Mainly because I didn't want to wear the one white dress I had. It felt....sacrilegious.

Andrew was probably the most-happiest of all the boys this Halloween. He was in Star Wars heaven. His face when JB came in with that Darth Vader mask.....and then when I came out of the bathroom with the Leia buns....."OOOOOOOOHHHHHHHH!"

I've already scooped out mucho chocolate for myself from the boys' bags. But Max thinks he can make his bag last until the end of the year. Muahahahaha, we shall see (James has already found it).