Friday, February 27, 2009

Lemons and Lemonade

I have a great job, a wonderful job, a job that in many ways is absolutely perfect. In a million years I probably never would have pegged myself as a good fit for this job, or this job as a good fit for me, but surprisingly, it is.

However, nowhere in the job description did it mention that I would need to travel periodically. If it had, I might not have applied, because I have four children under the age of five--and that is very young-- and leaving them all day at daycare is hard enough; leaving them for a few days at a time is tortuous. Mostly for me, not for them. They have Emily (oh, the prayers I pray giving thanks for Emily!), so Mommy going away on a airplane for a few days is cause for celebration at our house. If you don't believe me just come hang out with us the night before I leave. It's a non-stop party in the kids' room, bouncing off the ceiling and singing loud extemporaneous hymns of praise that tomorrow is THE DAY they will get Emily all to themselves and she will actually sleep at our house and be there when they wake up and take them places and give them baths and let them have juice at every meal and wear summertime pajamas in the winter and all the other privileges that super-meanie mommy curtails.

A few weeks ago I was making travel plans for another trip and feeling kind of blue about it, when inspiration struck. I love temples + temples are all over the world = I can visit the closest temple whenever I travel, and make a game out of seeing how long my list will grow! Wahoo! Suddenly required travel just became loads more fun! It really worked--every time I started to feel sad about this trip I'd just remind myself that I would be visiting a new temple.

There is a new list on my blog: my list of temples. In order to count them, it has to be a temple that I've actually visited and done ordinance work in--the list would be twice as long if I counted open houses or weddings or even temple dedications, but since the point of temples is service and worship, I'm using that as the guideline for what goes on the list.

It's well after midnight. I'm typing this on my laptop in a hotel room a couple of thousand miles away from my kids. And I'm smiling because I just got back from the Raleigh North Carolina temple and it was marvelous and wonderful and precious, and everything I love about the gospel and the Savior, all tucked into one small, beautiful, extraordinary white building.


I've never acquired much of a taste for lemons, but I'm really kinda partial to lemonade. God is so good.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The February Stuff

The thankful list for this month:
  • Nyquil. And other assorted cold meds.
  • Rumbi Island Grill. Mmm....
  • Dove dark chocolate promises (why are my first three thankful items food? Wait, medicine isn't food, although it is ingested. Maybe I'm just hungry.)
  • Living the dream--that's right, boys and girls, I get to play the organ at the temple!!! Please note that this was on my list of 102 things to do in my lifetime, and God was listening, because I have a new calling! Love it, love it, love it!
  • "Broken" by Kenneth Cope. This is my current favorite song. I think I should learn to play the guitar just so I can do this song.
  • Group snuggle sessions with the kids on Mommy's bed.
  • Katie, who sits behind us in Sacrament Meeting and helps contain the kiddos' mess and noise and wiggles.
  • Anne-with-an-E Shirley. You never grow too old for some things.
  • The Goal Getters :)
  • Watching Grace shake her booty to Shania Twain's "Any Man of Mine," her current favorite song. Even better, watching Eric belt out Shania Twain at the top of his lungs. That boy has no chance, growing up with three strong-willed sisters.
  • Finding the kids sprawled all together on one bed when they decide to have 'slumber parties' and play themselves tired.
  • Mommacita's blog!
  • Valentine's Day from Betsy, who braved her cold and my cold and the stormy cold weather, to bring me candy on my first V-day as an official-once-again-single person. Now THAT'S friendship.
  • And speaking of Betsy, we checked off the MAN pedicure, and are now plotting the Man Day Spa. You should be afraid--very, very afraid. It's on my thankful list because we are having far too much fun giggling ourselves silly over possible ideas.
  • Holly, for understanding and appreciating my V-day text messages :)
  • big, fat cinnamon rolls (here we go with the food again...)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Reminder: Snobby Book Thingy

This Friday, Feb. 20th, 8:30pm, my house. "Seeking Enlightenment Hat by Hat: A Skeptic's Path to Religion" by Nevada Barr. Who has my copy, by the way?

PS--We might do Louisa May Alcott in March :). Heehee.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

More True Than You Know

This morning I awoke to the sound of child voices wafting from the bedroom where all the kids had piled together for a 'slumber party' last night. Grace and Mia were leading the group in a rousing version of "I Am a Child of God," and this wasn't the version we learned in Primary.

" I AM A CHILD OF GOD," screeched my darlings. "AND HE HAS SENT ME HERE! HAS GIVEN ME AN EARTHLY HOME, WITH PARENTS KINDA WEIRD!"

No hint of irony in their voices.

I didn't bother to correct them. As far as I can tell, their version pretty much nails it.

The Criminal Mastermind

A few days ago I woke from a cold-and-flu induced sleep to a sound that wasn't possible. A door that is kept locked by orders of the Supreme Commander, a.k.a. Mommy, was opening and closing.

I got up to check. It was unlocked. Mumbling something that could have been "Well, I thought it was locked but I guess not..." I reset the lock and went back to bed. A few minutes later I heard the same door opening and closing, this time accompanied by suspiciously giggle-like sounds. The logical assumption would be that the kids unlocked the door, but this was completely impossible. The only keys for said lock are kept in an ultra-secret, very-nearly-childproof location, and there had been no security breaches of late.

I stumbled back out of bed and followed the giggles to a very proud and slightly nervous Grace. "Did you open this door?" Huge grin and huge nod. "HOW did you unlock this door?" Grace held up a hair clip she pulled out of her newly-straightened hair. "With this." "How in the world did you know to do that?" "Um, I just thinked it with my mind and it worked. My hairclips are magic, maybe."

Maybe it was the cold/flu stupor, but I just stood there and grinned at my dimpled darling eldest daughter. I had a little flash-forward picture of all the hard knocks life will throw at Ms. Grace--all the ways she'll be held back, held down, or held aside. She'll experience being hemmed in, restrained by false expectations--her own as frequently as other people's. She'll know the frustrations of doors that seem to be chained and padlocked shut to her.

And I knew in that moment that she'll be just fine.

A couple of magic hairclips and her 'thinking mind,' and Miss Gracie will take on the world.

Poor world; my money's on Grace.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sometimes It's Better Not to Ask

Mia (mumbling into her cereal bowl): Just call my name Gracie. Then I can be bad, bad, BAD.

???

Deconstructing the Anatomy of Gender, or Just Another Dinner Conversation at Our House

Grace: If Mia cut off all her hair, she would turn into a boy.

Mia: Yeah!

Mommy: No, she'd still be a girl even if she cut all her hair off. Do you know why?

Grace: Because Heavenly Father made her to be a girl!

Mommy: Um, yeah, so that means her body would still be a girl body even if her hair was cut off, because she'd still have--

Grace: I know! I know! Eyelashes!

Mia: Shoes!

Mommy: Uh, not exactly.

Grace: Shiny berry lip gloss!

Mia: Knees!

Mommy: It's a part of your body that will help you have a baby when you are older...

Pause.

Grace: Oh. THAT. Hey, if Eric had long, curly hair he would turn into a girl!

Thud. Thud. Thud.

Grace: Why is Mommy banging her head on the wall?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

When Toddlers Are Wiser Than They Know

Mom: Eric, are you going to go on a mission when you grow up?
Eric: Yeah!
Mom: What do missionaries do, exactly?
Eric: Grow up.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Casey


Casey was beautiful, smart, fun, confident, and happy. I met Casey at a point in my life when I rarely felt like any of those things; I could have hated her. But Casey’s great gift—the reason I love her, and the reason I will miss her—is that she made everyone around her feel beautiful and smart and fun, confident and happy. You couldn’t spend a minute with Casey without feeling better about yourself. If someone like Casey sees worth in you—well, you must be something pretty special.

Lucky angels.

Casey, we miss you.