Friday, February 22, 2008

If I weren't a mom...

I was thinking this morning about the things in life I wouldn't know if I weren't a mom.  This started as I was trying desperately to wake up this morning, so I took a longer shower than normal, and for some reason I have the best ideas or thought processes in the shower.  So here it goes
If I weren't a mom, I wouldn't know...
1.  I can actually teach a full day of school after having been awakened four times during the night due to three kids with laryngitis, realizing that it took me a full hour after the third time to fall back asleep.
2.  The twista
ble crayons are better than regular ones because the paper doesn't have to be peeled off all over the house, and the likelihood that they will get broken is significantly diminished.
3. It's much better to buy printer paper by the box than just a reem at a time because we go through it so fast with paper airplanes, various coloring projects with markers, colored pencils, crayons and watercolors and the new creations that are made with the expert scissor skills.
4.  Admitting defeat makes it easier to not get stressed over the fact that I will NEVER be caught up on my laundry.
5.  A sky full of snowflakes is incredibly exciting regardless of the month or how many major snow storms have created havoc in the streets and on the job-sites.
6.  It's much more fun to dip pancakes in syrup than to cut them up and eat them with a fork.
7.  Every holiday is fun and exciting.
8.  Making cookies/brownies, especially when there are eggs to crack, is almost as much fun as eating them.
9.  Learning to read is the best thing about school.
10.  A bucket of Legos can provide hours of entertainment.
11.  There is no problem in the world that can't be solved by imagination.
12.  Most problems can be solved by snuggling with a favorite 
blankie and a cup of milk.
13.  Couch cushions were made for hut making.
14.  My big books make the best weights for holding down the
 sheets of the huts.
15.  Hot dogs, spaghettios and grilled cheese sandwiches 
are better than ribs, steaks and well thought out meals.
16. Wal-Mart should not be attempted while hungry or tired - and that goes for either the kids or the mom.
17.  Sitting down at night with three eager readers is an adventure.
18.  Bedtime is heavenly.
19.  Kids soccer games are actually exciting.
20.  There is not a better experience in the world.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Love our grandparents

The kids each wanted the chance to take some pictures when we were at one of Ryan's basketball games, and we got some great ones of the girls with my mom and one of my dad.  Enjoy!
Ellie loves to pose for the camera - and can you believe my mom is 50!!!
Catie has learned a trick or two from her older sister

Dad's looking relaxed now because the game hasn't started yet :)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Once there was a snowman

These are from several weeks ago, but the kids finally had the amount of snow, minimal mud, and proper attire to make a lovely snowman.
Making sure the accessories and facial expressions are just right is ever so important.

Enoch helped with the bottom part - the rest is all done by the kids.
Too much fun posing with a happy snowman!!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Six words of life

I just read this article which got me thinking about how I would sum up my life. This is actually harder than I thought it would be, but strangely enough it puts life in real perspective.

Lousy housekeeper, great mom, wife and teacher.


Striving for absolute perfection and failing.

OR (if that last one was a little too depressing for you)

Acknowledging massive imperfections, still having fun.

This is actually quite an interesting experience - the three of you who occasionally read my blog should try it. 

But on the topic of perfection, I keep hearing news reports and feel that I need to put my two cents in on it.  This article is well written but I thought I'd explain and add my never so humble opinion.  Basically, what it comes down to is that prescriptions for anti-depressants 
in the state of Utah are higher than any other and some people think it is because we can't let go with alcohol (WHATEVER!  Hands down one of the most ridiculous ideas I've heard of).  They also think that our religion is too strenuous, asks too much of us, yadda, yadda, blah, blah, blah.  Excuses.

Here's my theory - we, as LDS people, often feel that we need to be perfect.  We can't be perfect because we are HUMAN.   I have seen several women specifically, but men fit in too, who feel inundated with tasks, responsibilities and 8 million different things that for some reason we feel we have to do well and in absolute perfection everyday.  Basically, we have a perfectionist complex.

I have a magnificent husband to met me in one of these states and could see that depression slipped into my life when I didn't have a gourmet meal for dinner, laundry caught up, straight A's, whatever project was the new it thing in the neighborhood, couldn't get in 15 minutes of scripture study individually as well as with him, didn't pray as much as I should, 
etc.  He told me that he didn't marry me because I was perfect, he didn't want me to be perfect, it was impossible for me to be perfect, so why the heck was I still beating myself up over something that isn't attainable?  

Since then I have realized that I have an amazing spouse given to me 
by an amazing Heavenly Father to help me realize that the effort is worth it, and that as long as I was moving forward instead of backward or standing still, I was doing the best I could.  

So all you lovely people in the state of Utah, I would encourage you to
 adopt the new motto of O be wise, what can I say more?  Do what you can with what you've got and if it didn't work out, try again next time.  I promise, life is more enjoyable when you can enjoy it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Story of my Life (so far)

My creative writing class is starting an autobiographical unit and I wanted to get them some writing prompts to realize it's not just telling a boring story about the day to day existence of a person.  I gave them this assignment, and decided that seeing one as an example would be fun and let them know a little more about me.  Since I wrote it, I thought "Why not post it?"  So here it is - enjoy (or even better write one yourself - 6-7 major events in your life and not necessarily in chronological order)

The Story of My Life (so far)

In 2000 the millennial anticipation and crazy theories about the end of the world subsided while the joy of a new family member disintegrated and prior hope was devastated.

March of ’01, ’03 and ’05 - happiness developed three times over, amid exhaustion and pain; vitality entered my mundane life as Will, Ellie and Catie.

In 1995 I planned my own surprise birthday party as a joke with a friend (a revelation never discovered by the guests), and was picked up by childhood friend in charge of my “surprise”. He gave me dolphin earrings. Four years later I wore his diamond ring.

In July 1999, after listening to well meaning (and recently divorced) neighbor tell me it was never too late for five months, I married my best friend of 12+ years in complete confidence and amid a torrential downpour of rain in St. George.

In 1996, my self-perspective flipped a 180, shock resonated when my goal of making $100 for playing the piano turned into being crowned Miss Iron County. All of a sudden I’m “the pageant girl”.

2001 – Graduation was finally met, after starting as a surgical nurse; I held a BA in English, my six-week-old son and five grand in debt.

In 2000, I discovered, through unparalleled praise, that the mind I had worked for and dreamed of grasping, I owned.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Semester I Realized I Was Smart

I have spent a good deal of my life realizing that I learned most things easier than most people, and for some strange reason, I seem to remember almost everything that I have read. I always shot for A's in school, felt let down with anything lower than a B+ and pretty much only struggled at math, but then, not really much.

After going through a series of majors in college and a great period of self-discovery, I realized that my true passion in life was with English, reading and writing are things that I enjoy to no end. So when I started my English major and loved every minute, I was satisfied that I had finally found the right track for myself (and I did this before I was even engaged, which helped tons because that was one less huge decision that I would have to make).

Then, due in part to the persuasion of my great friend Tiana, I took a class that I knew would be very hard, challenging, but probably a once in my lifetime experience. 
I took a John Milton class from David Lee.
Dave started the class by explaining that he never gave A's in this class because the students just didn't think on the level that he hoped for, listed out the workload for us and let us know that we were going to be married to John Milton for the semester.  He wasn't kidding.  (Incidentally, during this time, Enoch referred to John as my boyfriend - the looks on some faces were priceless to hear him talk about his bride for six months this way)

Something happened to me during that time. I discovered a love for learning that I had only percieved through a very small lense. I would spend hours in the library researching various themes of the great epic poem Paradise Lost.  Having had a miscarriage at the start of this semester, this poem became my refuge from reality, I started thinking about grad school (something that is still burning in the back of my mind - 10 year plan) and the compliments from my beloved professor changed my life.   He is the teacher that I hope to be someday, with the wit and wisdom and amazing sense of reality that kept him relatable and real.  

The funny thing about this post is that Dave doesn't like technology, would type all his poetry on a typewriter, didn't even know how to check his email or have any reason to. He has since retired and last I heard moved back to Texas, but I would fly out there with the sole intent of telling him thanks for changing my life.  That may be one of the great regrets is that, because he enjoys his seclusion so much, I may never get the chance to show my true gratitude to one of the few who strongly influenced who I am today.  

Thursday, February 7, 2008


I have had two of the most stressful weeks of my life and I'm on the verge of losing my sanity. I have had to administer the UBSCT (pronounced You Biscuit by educators) for the last three days during my prep, which means that I have been trying to get extra work done in other times during my life which I haven't had. For a week, I couldn't find a babysitter and played the game of call everyone I know the night before (Thankfully this has been resolved until our new sitter has her baby in April). I am still prepping two new units, To Kill a Mockingbird and Playwriting, which has been taking tons of my time and add all the craziness of normal life, sprained ankle healing, trying to eat right, workout well, and keep my composure.

I had one of those we-aren't-really-fighting-but-this-isn't-a-pleasant-conversation moments with Enoch last night which still isn't settling well with me and all week I have felt the inadequacies of not being a good mom, spiritual leader, housekeeper and recently cook. I'm finally caught up on grades (except for one class) but my desk is a mess and completely unorganized. I think I'm at the point where I either need a really good cry or a really good workout, and I'm not sure I up to either...maybe both. I have hit a pinnacle of stress, and the much anticipated weekend away that I was supposed to get last weekend was cancelled because of President Hinckley's death (look for thoughts on this when I have my mind back).

Then the only presidential candidate that didn't make me vomit to listen to him talk had to drop out today. Basically, this week isn't looking like it's going to get any better any time soon.

I need a break from reality.