Tuesday, March 27, 2012

i love this job

I just needed to interrupt my to-do list to write a quick thought:

I love my job.

I love being able to take care of the people I love.
Making snacks and cleaning up messes.
Wiping away tears, giving squeezes.  Lullabies.
Making up silly words and belting them out in our "crazy voices".
Baking cookies.
Swapping out winter for spring flowers.  Even though they're not real, the new, fresh feeling is.
Cleaning and keeping house.
Cute hairdo's that send my girls off to school with a smile.
Teaching and loving. 
Dramatic growing up moments that make me grouchy when they wake me up but tend to make me smile to myself later.
Kissing my guy before he goes to work.  Looking forward to kissing him upon his return.
Hot dates.
Trying to balance it all, and sometimes- having it all work out.
Reading books.  Kissing noses.
Forgiving.  Being forgiven.
Loving and being loved- warts and all.

Keeping house isn't the right word.  When I am asked to write down my "employment" (as I am so often), I proudly write "homemaker".  I like the sound of that.  Making a home is much, much different than merely "keeping house".  The difference is everything.  It really is the best career for me- I'm sure of it.  There's no place I'd rather be.  No place at all.

So glad to be here to do it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

a forty year old head

This past Sunday I attended a farewell meeting for my friend's son who will soon be leaving on his mission.  It was an excellent meeting and gave me much to think about.  I was so impressed with his talk, and one thing he said really stood out to me.  He mentioned that while he knew his mission was the right path for him, he understood that he would still make mistakes along the way.  He then told this story:

President Monson said he remembers being in a meeting with the 1st Presidency & the twelve . They were talking about a mistake made by a missionary. He said that the tone of the meeting was serious and they were rather critical of the missionary. Elder LeGrand Richards said, “Now brethren, if the good Lord wanted to put a 40 year old head on a 19 year old body, He would have done so, but He didn’t. He put a 19 year old head on a 19 year old body, and we should be a bit more understanding.” President Monson said that the mood of the group changed, the problem was solved, and they moved on with the meeting.

I loved that!  I came home and related this story to Courtney.  I have been thinking how this also applies to me as a parent.  So often I am "rather critical" of my children, and all too often expect them to behave with a "40 year old head".  However, they are still small, still learning.  How many times each day could Heavenly Father remind me, "Now Kelly.  If I had wanted to put a 40 year old head on her little body I would have done so.  You should be a bit more understanding. . ."?  Too often, I'm afraid. 

And for myself?  Sometimes I am "rather critical" of my own mistakes.  I think it would do me well to remember that Heavenly Father has given me a 34 year old head for a reason.  I am still learning and growing.  The life experiences I face each day are usually coming at me for the first time and while I make my share of bloopers, I'm honest-to-goodness doing the best I know how.  A little understanding and patience with myself could go a long way. 

Now, what to do when I hit the ripe old age of forty, I don't know.  Hopefully a bucket full of wisdom arrives on that magic day? 

Guess I'll just have to use the 80 year old head excuse.

Monday, March 19, 2012

sunshine out my eye

Ryenne and her friends are quite happy, it turns out.  (Except for those moments at home where.  . .yah, not so happy.  Oh well, who doesn't?)  ANYWAY, she has great friends and this has been a super, duper year as far as that goes.  Thank heavens for good friends is what I say.  I love to hear her awesome stories about the funny and happy things they do.  A bunch of cute girls for sure.

The other day, Ryenne told me how she was in the process of memorizing a poem and was almost finished.  I immediately had visions of Robert Frost or something, well, a tad bit intellectual, maybe?  Actually, it wasn't very Robert Frost-ish after all.  It seems her friend Hailee Jo found this poem and they immediately fell in l-o-v-e.   It currently hangs on Ryenne's wall in the form of an art project.

I'd like to be a glow worm
For a glow worm's never glum
For how can you be grumpy
when the sun shines out your bum?

As you might guess, it's a favorite around here.  In fact, yesterday Claire walked around the house singing "I'm glad to be a glow
worm . . .for a glow worm's always. . . happy!  For how can I be sad when the sun shines out my eye?" 

We politely asked her sisters not to correct her, on account of sunshine coming out of her eyes will sound a lot nicer at nursery than sunshine coming out of her. . .well, you know what I mean.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

all in the details

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine sent a group email to a few of us and asked us how life was going, requesting "DETAILS".  I finally got around to responding last night.  As my response sums up a typical day in mid-March 2012, I thought I'd post it here so we'll have a permanant record of our craziness :


R and C: Neither of you said if I can bring cookies to you for farewell dinners. Well? (By the way, I make a MEAN cookie!)   T, thank you for your "details"! Even though we see each other, I feel like we haven't had a chance to get caught up. It's been BUSY!  I miss you all! Here are my details:

1.   Well, I did approximately 73 loads of laundry yesterday. I didn't do any today, which means I will have approximately 47 waiting tomorrow.

 2.   Samuel is growing like a weed and is pretty much the cutest kid on the block. (We don't have many babies on our block, so he wins that category easily. Smart kid, eh?)

 3.   Claire is spunky as ever. Good thing I have her around because she makes me laugh every. single. day. (More like every hour to be exact).

4.   Emmy tried on some "handydown" sandals from "the box" yesterday. They didn't fit. She has only asked me 22 times today to get them again in case her feet have grown the necessary half inch since yesterday morning. I declined each time on account that I highly doubted the occurance of the hoped for growth spurt. Long story short, Emmy is not happy with me tonight.

 5.   Kate is hoping to have Mr. E next year as Miss L told us that Mr. B is a great teacher, but she felt Mr. E would appreciate Kate's "charming personality" a bit more. Not sure how to take that.

6.   Ryenne. She turns twelve next month which I think speaks volumes. Any questions?

 7.   Kelly. Well, the good news is that I painted the Ryenne and Kate's bedroom last weekend, which I would have never been able to do a month ago. I'm feeling a little more energy- yay! I've seen a few new doctors (a neurologist and g.i. doc) and they know I have neuropathy (nerve damage) in my arms/legs and also my stomach ( which has produced a chronic condition called gastroperesis). I understood only about 2% of what the neurologist told me, basically- my peripherial nerve system is sick but they don't know why. The GI specialist can't figure it out either. The good news is that I have a few answers to why my legs get weak and why I feel nauseous all the time. The not so good news is they can't figure out why it's happening, but really, I refuse to be bummed about these relatively little problems. I'm so, so lucky. My internist said the neurologist's best guess is that there is an autoimmune problem going on, but they haven't been able to pin it down and so our only option is to wait for the "next big thing" to happen. Sounds comforting, eh?

8.   Courtney. The most patient guy on the planet. Also, they just hired two guys who are moving to Moab to take care of most of the Southern Utah work for T&L. He'll still have to travel some, but if it works out it should be much less. Amen and hallelujah!

 9.   Last of all (I didn't realize I had so many details): The bad news is that Ryenne saw two snakes in the "snake tree" this past weekend. I was taking a nap at the time but Courtney has told me that the snakes have been "neutralized by a kinetic event" (I guess that's a politically correct term for shooting the dang things). The good news is that as we were discussing the probability of the tree coming down, Claire informed us, "Here's the deal. I'm good at kicking snakes." Problem solved after all.

Well, there you have it. I took the whole clan to the dentist last week and realized we're a traveling circus. Hope life is good with all of you. I love you all and miss your happy, smiling faces!
Love, Kelly

Monday, March 12, 2012

onward and upward

Last weekend Ryenne and I painted she and Kate's room.  It is fun and bright and looks a bit teenager-ish.  Eeeek. 

They love it.

Through this whole process of moving and redecorating rooms, I am finding that Ryenne has a hard time with change.  For instance, she still says every so often that she misses our old van sooo much.  It's been three years and two vehicles ago for heavens sake!  I didn't know she liked it all that much anyhow.  It's just that "it was so cozy and comfortable" and she misses the color and. . ..well, you get the idea.

She misses her old room.  She misses the window.  She misses her old bed.  The pictures on the wall.  The bulletin board that she used to have.  And now, as we painted over the old wall color in the new room, it began.  "I mean, I like the new color, it's just kind of sad that it'll never be that old color again, don't you think?"  And the light fixture (ugly!) that I thought she'd be so excited to replace with something a little more hip?  "Noooooo!  That light has been there since I was itty bitty!"  (Never mind the fact that it doesn't even work.)

After we finished the first coat, we were wrapping things up and calling it a night when I overheard a conversation between Ryenne and Kate.  I smiled because it fits their personalities to a tee.  Ryenne was talking about this very thing, wondering if Kate was feeling a little sad too.  She was repeating her quandary, how she "loved the new color so much" but doesn't Kate feel a little bit sad about leaving the old color behind? 

This was Kate's oh-so-Kate-reply.  In her cheery, optimistic voice, she counseled exuberantly, "Onward and upward, Ryenne!"

This morning I've been doing a little cleaning.  (Which reminds me to report:  I've been doing a little cleaning!  This is good news on account that I haven't had the strength to do much cleaning of any kind for the past six months.  In fact, we've been paying someone to help me.  But!  Last week I felt like I was feeling enough pep to do it myself - Yay!  Another step upward, I suppose!)  Anyway, I was tidying up my room and vacuuming around the bassinet when I had to stop and face the facts.  We haven't used the bassinet in months.   Months and months, in fact.  You see, I feel like I didn't really get to enjoy Samuel's newborn stage. Everyone else did while I getting better. It's interesting that I went into his birth experience more determined than ever to enjoy his first weeks and months- every minute, every day. I was going to hold him and kiss him all I wanted.  What I'm getting at is that I realized a while ago that I haven't been able to bring myself to take the bassinet out of my room because that means the newborn phase is over.  This is silly, for I know deep down that keeping the emtpy bassinet in my bedroom won't change anything.  Holding onto it won't bring back that first month. 

Things don't usually go the way we plan, but that's okay, isn't it? 

I took the bassinet out to the garage today. 

I still have the Christmas wreath on my door.  Partly because I haven't gotten around to throwing it away, and partly because it means Christmas is over.  Helllloooo, you say?  It's been over for two and half months?  I know.  It's just that I went into this past Christmas season more determined than ever to enjoy the holidays with my family.  I felt like I'd been a little absent the entire fall season.  So for the holidays?  I was going to be there, dang it!  PJ's every day, all day.  Laughter and movies and memories.  I was going to soak up every second.

Things don't usually go the way we plan, but that's okay.

The wreath is coming down today.  Spring is almost here, after all.

Lately I feel a little undone.  Physically, I'm feeling much better.  More energy, which is nice.  I'm starting to feel like the mom I used to be.  I'm baking again, cleaning, and feel like our family is getting back into a routine of sorts (as much as you can with five kiddos).  As I stood in my laundry room sorting my mountains of laundry early this afternoon I thought about why I'm so stinkerish and confused feeling inside.  It's not the first time I've wondered, and heaven knows Courtney's probably tossed around the same thought a time or two himself.  Finally, it occured to me (or more likely, Heavenly Father helped it occur to me) that it's time to work on the inside of me.  We've all been so focused on the physical me for so long now (resting, healing, doctor visits, tests, doctor visits and more tests. . . .) that I hadn't really taken time to realize that emotionally, I've been through a little bit too. 

I think it's time to work on my inside a little.  Maybe that means more writing.  More sharing.  Admitting how scared I am sometimes.  That I remember that day when everything went awry.  That I think of it all too often and tend to push it away most of the time.  How I was fine one minute and the next minute I wasn't.  I really wasn't.  It makes me cry to write that. 

Everytime I go out, I am asked by a great many people how I am feeling.  (The girls say I'm famous because I almost died.)  If I've learned one thing, it's that people are so kind.  Very, very kind.  Most often, I hear how good I seem.  How my color has come back.  Just yesterday, someone told me that I "appear to have come through everything unscathed".  I've wondered about that word ever since.
I'm not unscathed.  I'm so, sooo lucky  blessed.  I laugh.  I walk!  I do what I am so grateful to be doing, and I try to do it well.  When I get tired, I pretend I'm not and most of the time that helps.  But I'm not unscathed.  I may always have some physical issues, it seems.   In many ways it's just a "waiting game"  as my doctor tells me- he says we just have to wait until the "next big thing".  He said he knew that wasn't what I wanted to hear, and I'll be honest.  It wasn't.  But I'd be a very silly, silly girl to feel picked on, don't you think? 

So what's keeping me from moving on, emotionally?  I'm thinking about that.  Maybe it's that I miss the old me.  I miss the me who didn't worry about "the next big thing".  I miss the days when I didn't worry about the future me, what I'll be like.  I miss the me that knew I could do just about anything I wanted - any project, any adventure.  I miss the innocence of feeling like I'd be there for my family, no matter what.  There was a moment where I realized I might not be, and try as I might, that's a hard thing to get over. 

I wouldn't change it, you know.  I wouldn't want to forget what I've learned.  In fact, I worry incessantly that I will forget.  I worry that I will take it for granted.  So you see, I'm a little bit like my Ryenne girl.  I love the new color, I'm just a little sad that I'll never see the old one again.  Sometimes when I talk about the new me, someone will optimistically tell me, "Don't worry, it will come back".  But I know something that no one else could possibly know.  Not because they don't try to understand, but because they weren't there.  They weren't there.  That might sound pessimistic, but I don't mean to sound that way at all.  It's just that there is a part of me that will never be the same, and I feel happy and thankful and sad and a little bit scared about it all at the same time.  And I see just now that my family might be feeling a little bit the same. 

Sometimes thing don't go the way we plan, but that's okay.  It's really okay.  I'm thinking about the things I would say to Ryenne.  I might tell her that the old colors and the new colors, they are both beautiful.  They each have their place.  One was a little more subdued, a perfect fit for the little girl she was.  The new color?  It's a little bit more bold, a touch more grown-up.  It's perfect really.  Even though we liked the color we once had, we don't want to keep it around forever, do we?

It's time.  "Onward and upward. . .onward and upward!" 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

aunt kelsey did it

Whilst I was in the hospital for my December staycation (because we all know that's what hospitals are for, right?), Claire underwent a styling change to her golden locks.  Unbelievably, until now, we haven't had a self haircut by one of the girls.  There's a first time for everything, right?  That's what we thought, anyway - until Miss Claire set us all straight.

According to an eye witness account, Grandma walked in just as Claire dropped the scissors and sped out of sight.  Upon closer inspection, Grandma found that Claire was missing a sizable amount of hair on the right side of her head.  A clean cut over her ear.  (And a fine mullet it was, I hear.) 

Of course, the evidence tends to lead one to assume that Claire was the guilty culprit. 

Fortunately, Aunt Kelsey is quite handy with her own set of scissors, and so Grandma took mullet girl to pay her a visit.  

As you can see, Claire was thrilled, absolutely thrilled! at the outcome.  Not only did she think she looked a bit "like a boy", she was mad that they wanted to take a picture of the spectacle.  Girlfriend was not happy.

A few days later, I found out why.  Claire was wanting me to put her hair into piggy tails (her favorite 'do), and I had to explain that there ain't gonna be no pigtails for a while on account of Miss Claire cutting her hair.  When I suggested that she was the one responsible for the pigtail hiatus, she exclaimed, "I didn't cut my hair like this, KELSEY DID!"

Turns out this whole time we had the wrong criminal.  Thanks a lot, Aunt Kelsey.

ps.  Claire has since recovered from the initial shock and is quite taken with her hair.  Especially since she can do cool things like mohawks and stuff.  But if you meet her on the street and ask about her new hairdo?  She'll tell it to you straight. 

Aunt Kelsey did it.

don't worry. i didn't make samuel wear a matching outfit.

Christmas dresses- 2011

a weekend in island park

 Wow.  I'm really behind. 

A few weeks into January, we spent a long weekend in Island Park with our good friends, the Hurd family.  Usually, we spend New Years celebrating with them, but this year I had to up and land myself in the hospital over Christmas break and so we didn't make it.  When I realized things weren't looking good, one of my first thoughts was, "My kids are going to kill me!"  They like nothing better than spending the New Year with their buddies!  Luckily they forgave me.  And what's more, we were invited to come a few weeks later!  Yay for good friends is what we say!

So.  We spent a terrific weekend playing in the snow, going sledding, and even fit in a trip to the swimming pool.  To be honest, I actually hung out in my p.j.'s all weekend while the menfolk took the kids sledding and played in the snow.  However, I did help chaperone the swimming trip!  And Tricia and I made donuts for the first time!  (See boys, we did do something other than spend the weekend drinking hot chocolate, wrapping up in blankets, and solving the world's problems through our hours of conversation!)

It's sure nice to have good friends.  (Even better when they live in a beeeeautiful place!)