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Thursday, February 24, 2011
Today we found out that my oldest son was accepted to the university that he has dreamed of attending for as long as we can remember. He called us from school to tell us the good news right after opening his acceptance email. (Email? What happened to acceptance letters? Man, am I old.)
I am so excited and proud and absolutely thrilled for him! In Allen's family there is a history of college graduates. In my family, however, there is not. College was something that my smart friends did. I didn't even consider applying to any big colleges or universities when graduation approached. I wouldn't have even known where to begin at the time.
I have learned since what a difference it makes to have a degree and I knew from the time that my kids were very young that I wanted them to continue their educations beyond high school graduation. Allen has jokingly reminded me of the time when our oldest boy was still in diapers and I broke down in tears when we were working on our budget. "What's wrong?" he asked. "We will never be able to afford to send our kids to college!" I cried in despair. It's a funny story, but that is how long I have been determined to provide this opportunity for each of our children.
And now - well, we did it. We really did it.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
As I’ve explored the blogging sphere, I’ve discovered some people who seem to put absolutely everything out there. Each and every aspect of their personal lives, their families’ habits, their children’s nuisances, and the faults of their spouses are made readily available for all the world to read. Sometimes, there are things these people wouldn’t tell their own mothers which seem to be shouted out behind the cloak of anonymity (or not so anonymousness) of the Internet and blogging. I can’t tell you of how many times I’ve inadvertently run across those who’ve written about having ‘procedures’ done, about certain conditions that are better left unsaid, or even use language that borders on an R-rated movie thrown out like confetti at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Over at my blog, Life As I Know It, it's Q&A week. Readers ask questions and I give answers. To every question. Guaranteed.
This post is in response to my friend Rebecca's question:
If you had all 10 boys or all 10 girls, instead of some of both gender, which would you choose?
Why didn't you just ask which were my favorite, my boys or my girls? I guess you pretty much did. Well, let me put it this way...
My girls share most of my interests, such as thrift store & bargain shopping, baking, sewing, singing and collecting shoes. So I choose girls.
Boys are much easier to shop for because they'll wear their jeans and tennis shoes until they're falling off or won't fasten anymore - plus they'll wear whatever I buy for them without complaint to avoid a shopping trip. So I choose boys.
I can not attend scout camp with my boys who love to get dirty and wear the same clothing (including underwear) all week but I can attend an awesome week of fun mingled with spiritual growth at young women's camp with my girls. So I choose girls.
Boys have short, almost maintenance-free hair. If they give themselves a haircut, no problem. A quick all-over buzz with the clippers and we're back in business. So I choose boys.
Two words: potty training. I choose girls.
Two words: potty humor. (I'm easily entertained in this regard.) I choose boys.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I went with honesty.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Monday, February 7, 2011
Forget the canon and Brad Wommack...I can't ignore the belly when it begins its weird internal tango...immediately, the shirt comes up so I can see the skin rippling and popping in time to a music that I can't hear. It never gets old.
It began a couple of months ago as faint "popcorn" bursts deep within. Now, as muscles strengthen and bones continue to form, it's more like a persistent little alien is working on making his presence very known. Although a little disconcerting, this is one of my favorite things about pregnancy--right up there with seeing the baby on ultrasound and hearing the heartbeat.
Truitt started making his presence known in church service Sunday morning, and for a while I contented myself with just resting a hand lightly on my stomach and pretending to pay attention. Lawson was sitting on Duane's lap next to me, pretending he was still little enough to take a nap in church. I took his hand and placed in under mine, holding it there for the few seconds it took Truitt to kick strongly.
He chortled. There's no other word for it. He gasped, snatched his hand away, and chortled with delight.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Don't let your mind bully your body into believing it must carry the burden of its worries. ~Astrid Alauda
I have a close personal relationship with tension. There’s always the emotional tension that comes from…you know…life (especially my life it seems) plus I do have a special gift for worrying and I sometimes have a hard time slowing down, giving things up and taking time to do nothing at all. Because of this close personal relationship with tension I seem to have found certain places on my body to just carry it around with me all the time. I get some really tense muscles in my neck and shoulders, but especially my lower back is the place I really pack it in.
As I said, I’ve felt it for years, but as the years pile up, I’ve struggled with this more and more. I have tried to alleviate the tension with Yoga and different stretches and workouts. They work ok, but sometimes I’m cranked up too tight to really be able to participate fully in the Sun-moon-saluting-soldier pose or whatever it is. I’ve done the massage thing a few times here and there over the years and that has helped the most. But the problem there is that massage just not cheap - at least not cheap enough for me. I just haven’t had (and still don’t have) the excess fundage for such an extravagant self-indulgence.
But a couple of weeks ago my body really started rebelling. I had apparently reached the limit of the tension I could stuff into my lower back and had really started doing a pretty good Quasimodo impression (you know –The Hunchback of Notre Dame?) When any walking around was required I actually sort of looked like a cross between Quasimodo and a geriatric duck (The Hunchback of Notre Duck?). My body was basically telling me this is all I can take and I can’t take no more – it was time for a sacrifice.
I’d been saving up for a while for a new coat. Winter and cold doesn’t usually bother me too much and I can usually get by with layers and jackets. But it’s been a pretty darn cold winter around here this year and I’ve been feeling the absence of a good coat. But with my hunchback duck-walk it was pretty clear that if I didn’t start taking care of myself, I wouldn’t be going anywhere that required a coat. So I decided to blow my coat money on a series of massages (like I said, a real sacrifice).
As you might imagine from my self-described tension addiction, I am just repressed enough to have some hang-ups about massage. First of all there’s the whole nudity (or near-nudity) issue. I know you’re mostly all covered up and draped except in the areas they massage therapist is working on. But still, under that I’m naked under a sheet in a room with a stranger. And then there’s being touched in a fairly intimate way (for me anyway) by that stranger. On the other hand I guess I’d rather have it be a stranger than a friend …I guess. Now I know these people are professionals and it’s like going to a doctor or a chiropractor. To them we’re just another body - like an auto mechanic working on a Buick. But to me it’s still someone massaging my butt which is a fairly familiar act (I apparently have a lot of tension in my gluteus maximus – a literal pain in the butt...go figure). But because I had come to the point of walking through Quasi-duckland every day, I was compelled to summon my inner reservoir of maturity and made the first appointment.
The Therapeutic Massage and Wellness Center is a very nice place (University Avenue in Provo). It’s full of just he kind of new-age sights and scents one expects from massage therapy. To be honest though massage tables, anyone’s massage tables always kind of worry me. They look kind of like a piece of plywood across two sawhorses (albeit decoratively carved from polished wood in Sweden or somewhere) and I can’t imagine that they’re going to be strong enough to hold me. Then there’s the little donut looking headrest thing that you get to squish your face into while they’re working on your back. I come out having lips like a blowfish for at least a little while after a massage. The music also cracks me up. It’s always a mix of ocean waves and Native American Pipes or running brook and soothing piano. I’m not complaining. It is soothing. But I can’t help but imagine (while my faced is squished into the donut) who are the musicians that create “massage music?” Then I also wonder does the masseuse just get sick of the “Soothing Sounds of the Pacific” after awhile? Do they crank up the ZZ Top or Mettalica when no one else is around?
Anyway, I’ve had 3 in my series of massages now and I feel so much better that I think I’m going to have to find a way to stick with this – self-indulgent or not. I’m not sure yet exactly what I’m going to have to give up on the other end of the budget to make massage therapy a permanent part of my life…food…haircuts…car payment? Of course if I do give up my car and have to start walking everywhere, at least I’ll be able to stand up straight.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
I got on the waiting list for this particular novel at the library and within a week or so it became available. I started to read it almost as soon as it was placed into my hands, excited for the adventure that awaited me within its pages.
Well. About 30 pages into the book I was thinking, "It must be starting slow. It's going to get good, I know it!" So I kept reading. And I kept thinking it was going to, at some point, become the amazing story I had envisioned. When I made it to Part 2 I realized that this book was not going to even come close to meeting my expectations and I put it down - for good.
Does this mean there was something wrong with those who loved the book and suggested it to me? No. It also doesn't mean there is anything wrong with my own taste in literature. It simply means that we have different opinions. And you know what? Different is good.
Different is what keeps life interesting.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
I was asked by a friend, not long ago, what I would want to be remembered by—you know, my legacy.
I didn’t respond. Not because I didn’t think her question warranted an answer, but rather because I found myself becoming deeply lost in this topic. After all, when I thought of a legacy, I was somewhat at a loss. Just what would be my offering to the world and those that I love? What is it that I would want others to conjure up when they dig into the past annals of memory where I am someplace buried after I’ve departed?
My mind drew up a blank—as blank as—well, words fail me; I was just blank. I thought of the various things that this legacy could be, and realized that I simply had no idea.
When I was a kid, more than anything I wanted to be a movie star, and be able to leave a pop-culture ridden life behind for others to envy. People would watch “Star Trek—The Next Generation” and see me as the intrepid child star—who cared about that Will Wheaton kid when they could’ve had me? Back then, that seemed to be a pretty good legacy to leave behind. After all, popularity is always a good thing, right?
With the passing of a year or two, I found myself instead thinking of legacy in an entirely different matter. I would be a writer. A writer whose books were so popular that sales were only trumped by that the Bible itself—after all, I didn’t want to become more popular than deity.
The years moved onward, and I again found that I was again changing.
One day, I decided to be a teacher.
Why? Oh, there’s a whole story behind that…one I have hinted at and mentioned before. And it becoming rapidly late, I don’t wish to reiterate it here and now. Suffice it to say, I became a teacher.
But what about your legacy, Teachinfourth?
Ah, yes. There is that question again…
Today I think of the students I teach year to year; those I try to make a difference in their lives. I thought of my family members and the friends that I love. I thought of my long excursions out on vast deserts. I thought of my faith. I thought about my photography. I thought about my writing.
Then it came to me. It’s not what I leave behind when the days of tomorrow have passed, but it’s what I am living today…my living legacy. That ‘gift’ which I give back to the world, the heirloom I pass down to as many as I can—
I am a teacher.