Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Time Delays On Repeat

I am seeing a disturbing trend in Nevada. Well, not really disturbing since I have no pressing matters, but WOULD be disturbing if I had anywhere else to be but the DMV for three hours. 
Case in point: the two and a half hour middle school thingy I still am not convinced wasn't a huge waste of time -- except that KJ was so happy we were like all official and stuff by being there. And Olivia was pulling some great faces, so there was that. 
I also spent three infuriating hours with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles while they told me I couldn't get a Nevada drivers license because my birth certificate/social security card names didn't match (duh, I'm married), then they didn't like my marriage certificate because it was religious, then they just flat out didn't like how my birth certificate looked and alleged I was a terrorist with a copied birth certificate. (Note: that IS my birth certificate. You can ask my mom!) They sent me away with some real anger issues. Twenty bucks, a helpful state of Utah, and a few weeks later, they spent another hour telling me that they accepted my new fancy birth certificate in the criminal section of the dmv (literally, the man to the right if me failed his last drug test but swore he was sober for this one and the man to the left of me tried to explain in very broken spanglish just WHY he had the gun when he was arrested. Hashtag: I'm not a terrorist.) But they did NOT accept my two required bills because they had my husband's name on them and not mine. But... but... but...
Sputter of death. 
I think the lady knew they'd have to take me out in cuffs, so we worked it out. In 8-10 days I should have a drivers license for the state of Nevada, which is apparently planning to succeed from the Union, because they just don't care much what the federal government has to say about me and my alleged legalness. 
Finally, my two boys and I waited almost three hours in the doctors office so they could get their shots and I learned my oldest son is very, very invested in my youngest sons health and will answer any and all questions before I get the chance to. 
Sigh. I'm retiring. Maybe. 

I had the most beautiful afternoon in the Las Vegas temple last week-ish. It was a profoundly healing experience for me to be there. I was so thankful the Spirit basically  insisted I go and that I went. First time seeing the Vegas temple. Different but beautiful!
I am so thankful for those wonderful moments in our lives when we get exactly what we need. The Lord is so mindful of us and so good to us. 

Conference Time

Best time of the year!
It's so fun to have these special date nights with Olivia. She gets so excited, and I do, too. I thought the Women's Session was so good this time. Loved it.  
We went to Panda Express, because in Olivia Land, is there really anywhere else? She is a profound joy to me. An absolute ball of light. 
Katelyn is mighty anxious to turn 8 so that she can come, too. It's almost too much to bear, really. Especially when she found out KJ gets to go on a date with Dad next Priesthood Session! Sheesh! The afflictions of being five. 
We decided kind of last minute to go up "north," I guess we can call it now, to spend Conference weekend with our families. It was fabulous. Especially the Sunday sessions, I just loved. The three new apostles touched my heart, Elder Holland (of course), and I absolutely loved and marveled at President Nelsons talk. I was thankful for the spiritual nourishment, plus it's just so groovy to be ABLE to go up and see the fam. Bev sent a text missing our conference morning crepes and I may have shed a tear or two! It was a great time. It's fun to see KJ kind of grow into conference. I noticed it last time, too. He is really listening and getting things out of it. So proud of that boy of mine! 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


My precious boys. 
So endearing to watch them play together. KJ loves Benson so much and is so good to him. Benson loves KJ so much and gets so excited when he sees him and wants to play. 
This week Benson has figured out that "Mama" and "Dada" are our names. It's like you could just see the light bulb flick on. Mama is still hard for him to say, but he loooves to say Dada. He usually wakes up from his morning nap to Dada being home (BB starts work at 2 a.m.), but today he woke up early. As soon as I  went to get him, he starts pumping his legs as he stands in the crib "Dada! Dada!" He called for his Dad all the way down the stairs and was not too happy with me when he wasn't there yet. He is a great imitator. And he's started saying "Hi!" Over and over again, because he just loves getting a response back so much. He is also so thrilled that he understands what KJ wants when he asks for a "five." Started waving out of the clear blue sky about three weeks ago and now waves to say hi and bye. He pulls himself up to everything, tries to get into everything, and started moving along the furniture -- still shaky -- this week. He is growing by leaps and bounds! So tall and morphing out of baby into toddler. Sigh. He keeps us on our toes. Benson is so mischievous. He LOVES when he knows that he shouldn't be getting into something and just laughs and laughs! He also has a great love for electrical outlets.
Oh boy. Babies! So fun and so exhausting.
I wrestle trying to know if our family is complete. I know most mom's do this. In many ways, I feel myself ready to move on to the next phase. And maybe that's part of the answer right there? I don't know if I'm ready to say I'll never have the experience of having a tiny baby again, don't know if my body could honestly survive another pregnancy. I also know that Benson was a gift when we honestly thought we might not have another. So four is amazing! Four is a lot! I'm so grateful for that. When do you know? I wrestle. And I don't know if it's a stupor of thought because I'm trying to get the wrong answer, or if it's just the wrestle all mom's must have to receive their answer. I don't know! Sheesh. Really -- what I really, really want -- is just to do what the Lord wants me to do. 
But it is getting time -- I find myself searching for ways to create and express myself. And dreaming of accomplishing some long dreamed of goals I've put on hold. Specifically those last two semesters between me and my fancy, shiny degree from Brigham Young University. It's calling my name. So I find myself thinking, in four years, Benson will be in school. And I want to be ready to hit the ground running. The idea of it is exciting. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

We Feel Good Because We Do Good

Katelyn was happy as a lark when I picked her up from school. She loves it! And is doing so well. She was knocking my socks off with sight words tonight.
When we got home and settled, she went upstairs to play. Not long after, she came down and said "Mom, do you want to come see? I cleaned KJ's room!!!" She was bouncing on the stairs. She gets so excited when she feels good about herself. Of course, we headed right upstairs, and ta-da! Sure enough, she had straightened up his whole room for him! I felt so happy for her and so excited. She is growing up! She looked outside her own person! She helps with Benson every day now, playing with him and loving him. He lights up at the very sight of her and starts laughing, because he knows the fun has arrived! It felt like this little good deed today was a big sign she was holding up saying "I'm becoming okay, Mommy! I'm making big progress! I feel good about myself!" I will keep nurturing that little flame as vigorously as I can! She made my momma heart happy. How I love my Katee girl!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Mile High City

So on the drive from Missouri to Utah, I had KJ and Olivia and Benson in the Durango until we stopped in Hayes, Kansas (I love Hayes. I can't really explain it, I've just always loved it. Here's a little love for you, Kansas!). Katelyn was having fun with Daddy in the big truck watching movies, while they pulled the car behind them. After the kids had a potty break, I locked them in and dashed in for a little relief, myself. And when I got back out, they'd set off the car alarm! Ha ha! We worked fast to get that baby shut off, let me tell you.
Eventually Kate and Olivia switched vehicles, and as we neared Limon, Colorado (just passed my very favorite part of the trip -- miles and miles and miles of wind turbines) the Double B called me to let me know the side mirror had fallen off the Budget truck and he was completely unable to see anything on the left side of the truck! Oh, boy. We called Budget and they told us to pull over in Limon while they tried to work it out. I beat him there and then we ate at the yummiest Pizza Hut ever created while we waited and waited and waited. About two hours later, with 8 hours in the car behind us and one and a half still to go, we decided to just head to Denver slowly and I'd stay behind him the whole time to use my flashers and lights to help him.
We were so happy to get to our hotel! But Benson really, really hates hotels and CAN NOT SLEEP if anyone is in the room with him. So I held him through the night (which he had hated since birth -- only baby in the history of the world that doesn't want to sleep with momma), turning him when he'd wake up every 20 minutes or so. Phew! So tiring! We still hadn't heard back definitely from Budget, but it was supposed to be that day. So after talking about all our options, we decided it would be best to get the kids through this. So we shoved things around to fit one more kid, and I drove my four troopers across the Rocky Mountains. I had to pull over three times, begging them to be good and be quiet for 15 minutes while I tried to doze a bit. Seriously sleep deprived! They did great, we were so blessed. Another 10 hours in the car, and they were so patient. My parents were so gracious and met us at Cove Fort to drive us the rest of the way to Southern Utah. My eyeballs felt like sandpaper! But we were so happy to see them! My wonderful siblings and in laws welcomed us with open arms. So great. But what about my sweetie pie in Denver? Well, that's where things get interesting. Budget, we learned, is not very competent when it comes to side mirrors. He was stuck in the hotel room in Denver for three days without a change of clothes, no toothbrush, no deodorant, and no way to get anywhere! He did watch a lot of Cubs baseball, though. So that worked out! Oh, boy. It was horrible worrying and waiting! My Dad and brothers were about ready to go and get him, and I thought his poor mother was going to call out the national guard, but he finally made it safe and sound, thank heavens... just delayed. And darned if he didn't get $600 off the price of our rental truck, too. It was pretty sexy, too, hearing him politely tell them he didn't accept their offer and they owed us a better discount. Go, Double B! Rawr.
The next day we drove down to Vegas and filled two storage units.
Life is full of adventures, let me assure you.

Friday, September 11, 2015


KJ - Today in English my teacher talked to us about September 11th. Do you remember what you were doing when it happened?

Me - Yes. I remember every detail about that day.

KJ - She said you would.

Me - Dad remembers, too.

KJ - She was right. She said anyone older then about 20 remembers everything because it was so hard. (Pause) Did you know people jumped out of those buildings?

So we talked. I told him about my 8 o'clock Book of Mormon class at BYU, where someone said that the World Trade Center had been hit by a small plane. That sounded pretty weird, so I'd rushed back to my dorm and gone to the basement to watch the tv's. The second tower had just collapsed. The horror felt everywhere, even in Brazil where Aunt Sil watched, too.  The jammed phone lines. The news reporters, not knowing where the President was. Waking up my roommate with my tears. The grounded airplanes, and when I finally saw one flying again at an outdoor play weeks later and it scared me.

KJ - My teacher said it also brought everyone together. That everyone felt united and good things happened, too.

I told him how true that was. That suddenly our difference didn't matter, the kindness and love that was shown for other people and our country. The patriotic songs on the radio. The faith displayed.
It was a good talk. We talked for a minute about Pearl Harbor, too, and how the terrible scars of events like that mark generations. I know this day will be marked for the rest of my life. But the pictures, sounds, news clips take me right back, and it's too terrible for words, for all of us, even after all these years.

I'm thankful for a good teacher who cares enough to talk to her students and try to help them understand.
As hard as it is, we can never forget.

Leaving Missouri

My life has been a whirlwind for a long time, moving and then moving again! I wish I would have written about the last part of our time in Missouri at the time, but it was insane and we were exhausted every second. I wish I would have written about it while it was still fresh, but it was still pretty painful to look back. I wish I would have written about it when the shock wore off, but where we would end up was unsettled and I was waiting. So now I'm none of those things, and realized I haven't written about it.
I miss it. There are lots of wonderful things about the Midwest. I learned to appreciate the beautiful green, the crazy weather, the wonderful ward family, the way things are done there, and even the flat landscape, believe it or not. I actually miss it more then I thought I would. It's a great place. The thing we all miss the most, of course, is the Tates. They became our family there and an important part of our lives! I especially miss Bev. There just aren't Bev's on every corner (even though there should be). I will forever be a better friend to others because of the superior friend she is. Just the best there is. She saved us that last week! She helped us pack a bunch but in the end just took Benson with her and that helped so much! We couldn't have done it without that. I dreaded saying goodbye to her and had to work hard to keep it together as we stood outside my house at her car! I tried to tell her the truth through a closed throat -- that she'd saved me, every day for two and a half years. She got me through my first tornado watch, ha ha -- totally terrified in her kitchen! And homesickness, primary callings, and basic insanity, and made me laugh... she's a funny girl. We'll be friends for life. I'm not letting that girl go!
The kids miss school and ward friends, BB and I miss our ward friends, I miss the primary kids and my students. I'm so glad I got to teach those classes! I'm not sure I'll ever have my own studio again, but it was great. Putting that last recital together was crazy! Honestly crazy. But they did a beautiful job and I was so proud of them.
Packing a house is hard. When it's just you two, absolutely endless and sooo hard. That final night KJ graduated from 5th grade and we were up trying to pack the moving truck until midnight. I went to Walmart to get supplies for the drive at 12:30, it was incredibly foggy but the moon was bright. When I got home, BB was asleep but had prepared my cot for me. So kind. I laid my aching body down, mind racing, and when I finally feel asleep, I dreamed we were being attacked by a T-rex and velociraptors, ha ha! We woke up early, worked furiously, and pulled away from our house at 10:30. Driving down the 152, heading west with all the exit signs saying "Kansas City," I felt so strange. When we crossed the wide Missouri River and left the state of Missouri, I shook with tears. So full of both sadness and relief. Missouri was a master teacher in my life. It will always be with me. 

I need to share the amazing sale of our house, the Double B's unexpected stay in Denver, and our delayed summer. It's bed time for the little ones, but stay tuned. Remembering is healing, because it helps my heart remember, too. The Lord was with us.