Tuesday, September 18, 2018


Today after he did his practicing, Nick told me he prefers the clarinet to the saxophone. When I asked why, he said he prefers playing classical over Jazz. I asked if he thought he'd still like to take both instruments. Yes, for now. But if he quits saxophone, he said he wants to take up piano again so that he still plays two. Interesting. As he was walking away he said, "It's so weird how I wanted to play saxophone so bad but now that I got a chance to play it, I don't like it as much as clarinet."

Chris was excited to tell me about an experience he had at school. He said he was late for seminary so he was walking over by himself. As he crossed the street, a lady yelled from her car, "Joseph Smith was a liar! He lied to everyone!" Chris yelled back, "Screw you!"

Of course my first reaction was, "Chris! Geez!" But he said, "No, listen. There's more."

"After I yelled I wondered if I would get points for defending Joseph Smith or lose points for yelling that. And I really wasn't sure what the right thing was. And then in seminary in our regular scripture reading, my prayer was answered! Our teacher told us to turn to D&C (I can't remember where) and here was the scripture (reads it to us, but I don't have exact scripture) something about defending Joseph Smith!"

Nick interjects:"Well maybe you can defend him but not in such a fierce way."
Chris: "No, that's my answer! I did the right thing!"

What I learned is that my teenager does have a conscience. That he does want to do what's right. Sometimes he makes mistakes, but he feels bad about it after. And that he discovered the scriptures can give us answers. I'm pretty happy. He is a teenager after all.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

It Was a Good Weekend for Football

When BYU beat 6th ranked Wisconsin, I shed some tears. 
I would have liked to call my Dad and hear him cheer the Cougars or comment 
on the players or awesome plays. Or the offensive coordinators or coach. 
It was so fun to be with him when he was so excited and you got to be excited right along with him.
I miss that.

But before Saturday's awesome BYU game, Olympus played their Homecoming game Friday night.
Luke was 1st Attendant in the Homecoming Royalty. Chris' friend Jake was 2nd. 
And the girls were all Chris' friends as well. (Not to mention Homecoming Queen was our sweet Trek daughter who we adore!)
Olympus won 42-0. They're having a great year.
And I missed looking for my Dad in the stands so we could sit with him.
But I loved watching Chris and friends hype up the student section.

Saturday morning Chris had his 14 friends and their dates over for breakfast. 
During prom, they cooked for their dates. But this time one of the mom's made her famous pancakes and homemade syrup. She came over and we cooked up the breakfast together which was actually really fun. Pancakes, eggs, bacon, cinnamon rolls, strawberries, juice. I love these boys and loved meeting the girls. It was fun to cook a feast for them! After eating they all swam for a while.

Nick had his first lacrosse game that afternoon. 
He's super excited about getting number "0"
I love lacrosse in the Fall! 

After the game we came home and Dan and I swam in the pool, worked on the Ireland trip hotels and Dan live-streamed the BYU game. 
Heavenly! The other times we've been swimming I was working on homework.
But my class doesn't start until next week so today was much more relaxing.
I said, "The only thing this resort doesn't have is poolside service!"
But Dan picked up his computer and ordered dinner via Uber Eats.

Chris and Jake leaving to Homecoming. They love posing as a couple.
"Mom, how would a girl hold the flowers?!"
Chris and his real date, Brin.

We cleaned up and put on our UW shirts to cheer against the Utes.
UW won! Go Huskies!

Before the game, we heard thunder. Then we realized it was a fighter jet crossing directly overhead. 
Then we realized it was four fighter jets. 
And they circled at least 20 times. Maybe 25. They circled for over 30 minutes and it was like our own private airshow. So cool!
ESPN delayed the game so we figured they had to circle 
while they waited to do their flyover the Utes stadium. 
It was awesome! 
We would watch all 4 fly by one after the other. Then come in for maybe 2 minutes before they came back again and run outside to watch all over again. Finally we just went outside.

And on Sunday the Cowboys beat the Giants (I think it was the Giants). 
I think this is a first to have all our teams win in the same weekend!
Fingers crossed BYU and the Cowboys have a strong season!!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Second Chances

I just cried all the way home from Target.
At 4:30 p.m., that difficult time for moms, a woman about my age was in front of me in the checkout line. Her 5-year-old daughter, wearing a soccer shirt and pigtails, was sitting in the cart. Her 3-year-old son was running around the cart laughing and dodging his mom's grasp. Our checker was a young 18-year-old boy checking really slowly. The mom was simultaneously trying to load bags in her cart and contain her little boy. She reached out but he wriggled away. She put him in the cart, but he climbed out. Then her daughter climbed out. She picked up her son in one arm and loaded a bag with the other arm into the cart. With a big smile on his face, her son started squirming and she put him (subconsciously?) down. He ran across the way to the drinking fountain and pressed the button on and off.

The mom exasperatedly asked him to come get back in the cart. To stay out of the way of people. Her daughter ran over and as he pushed the water on and off and laughed, she would lean down and give him kisses on his cheek, forehead and lips. Then they giggled and laughed together. Meanwhile the mom was loading another bag in her cart and (I'm guessing) silently willing the checker to go so much faster. Then she called out to her kids to ask them to come back. But they were having too much fun and ignored her.

I asked her if they were her oldest or her youngest. She said, "My only."
I said, "They remind me of my children at that age. I have an oldest daughter and a boy 2 years younger." I said, "Look how sweet they are having fun and your daughter giving him kisses and him laughing."
She looked at me with evident appreciation and smiled. "Thank you!"
I think I put her at ease.

And then when I got to my car, I cried. Because there was so much joy on those children's faces having the time of their life at Target. But when I was the mom, I never saw that joy. Instead I only felt my frustration. My tiredness. My worry that they would be bothering someone. My desire to hurry and just get home because I was too tired to be in public wrestling children at this time of day. And especially too exhausted to handle a potential negative comment from a bystander.

But today I didn't see kids misbehaving or being rude. I saw children being children and finding JOY in the buttons of a drinking fountain and being with each other and riding in a cart and escaping their mother's grasp. I felt so sorry that I couldn't see that joy every time while I was living it. I totally missed it. And now they're 23 and 21 and so far away.

At first I was standing at Target annoyed that I was in a slow line. But I stopped and looked around and my eyes were opened. I saw beauty where I hadn't appreciated it before.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Happy 48 to Me!

While I was outside with my book club 
(enjoying a beautiful September evening and all catching up 
on everyone's lives -- we don't meet in the summer), 
Dan was decorating for my birthday.

He didn't want to stand in the window to hang the banner with Book Club watching,
so he hung it over the stove. It looks very festive! 
He's got design talent!

I woke up to birthday cards and gifts.
Last line...
Nick, I love that you write personal cards! And that everyone can laugh at me! Ha!
Dan and I hiked up to Lake Mary. Then beyond to Lake Martha and Lake Catherine. 
Then just a bit beyond to Catherine's Pass and he described to me where he likes to ski 
in winter and how it's often untouched with just al little bit of hiking!  

We ate at Silver Fork Lodge -- new to both of us, but we've passed it in the canyon a million times.
The leaves are changing!!

It was a very happy birthday!

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Race Weekend

Racing day Friday and Saturday. Chris and his car. He's pretty talented on the track!

Dan and I went to the Demolition Derby with a whole bunch of friends.
It was a blast! And definitely we'll be going again next year!

Thought this was a pretty cute way to answer to the dance. Simple and colorful!

Friday, September 07, 2018


Blast from the past! 
Our old friend, Carlos, posted a tbt photo of himself. 
But I recognized my striped shirt 
(actually Jason's striped shirt that I often wore the summer I met Dan.)

I told him I recognized my arm and he sent me the whole photo!
Ohhhh... that summer! 
That wonderful, wonderful summer...

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Parents vs. The Kids

At a recent RS activity, we sat in a park under a covered pavilion enjoying a variety of salads and visiting with friends. What a great way to end the summer! I sat on a table with some women with children my kids' ages and enjoyed getting to know them better and talking. Inevitably (as often happens when mom's start talking) the subject turned to worries about our kids or "kids today."

They talked about how prevalent sexting is. That most likely all girls (these women have teenage daughters) have received a request for topless photos -- probably starting in Jr. High. Also, one mom reported that her friend intercepted her daughter's phone and got some requests while she had it in her possession. She answered as if she was her daughter saying, "I don't think that's a good idea. And you shouldn't be making these requests." etc. She ended her telling of the story with, "My friend said these were boys we knew to be 'good boys' making these requests. And we would be shocked if we knew who it was."

The conversation turned to sex and that many/most/some/all kids think that touching each others penis/vagina with hands/mouth/body parts is ok. As long as they're not actually "having sex."

So of course I went home in a panic. I talked to Chris, whose first comment was, "I hate when the moms all get together and talk about this stuff." Chris and I talked some more -- me trying to get my point across about what is not ok and why. And him saying he knew already and they talk about sexting all the time in school and how its illegal to send photos and you could go to jail etc. And that, by the way, the girls are also sending requests for photos.

I hope he heard what I was trying to say. What I heard him say is "I hate when mom's start pointing fingers and using the term 'all' and getting too involved in everyone else's teenager's lives." And the more I thought about it, I do too.

One worrisome thing about having boys is that they won't clearly understand limits with themselves and others and coerce or force a girl to do something she doesn't want to do. Or misinterpret signs. Or be accused of forcing a girl to do something she doesn't want to do.

Just a few days later, I ran into another friend out walking. She is worried about suicide rates and wants to have an assembly to teach kids to be kinder to one another and look out for each other. She rattled off a lot of social media apps that are harmful to kids. In their family they've quit social media and it felt like she was encouraging others to do the same. I reminded her to talk to a professional for professional advice in her assembly -- not just rely on the judgments of what moms think. I reminded her that we/the kids can't be held responsible for someone's bad choice of choosing suicide.

I've had a lot to think about. And I've decided that I'm not a policeman. I'm a teacher.
I want to teach my kids what I think is wrong and why. And encourage them in what I think is right and why. But I don't want to worry every second that they're not following my counsel. I worry that I won't teach them often enough. But I will also remind myself that they have judgment and personal accountability.

I'm not a detective. I'm a safe place. I'm not a mind-reader. I'm a hugger. Sometimes we have to intervene. And I'm not afraid to do that. But I won't fall into the trap of taking on the worries of other parents around me. I don't believe "everyone" means every one. I believe if we make a mistake, it doesn't define us. Bad judgment last year doesn't mean bad judgment this year. That kids who don't follow certain rules are still good kids. Sometimes its hard to be a kid. Especially with parents watching and reporting your every move. Especially with parents judging you based on your decisions and attaching those decisions to bigger motives. I want kids -- mine and their friends -- to feel my love, not my judgment. I want to stand up for kids.