Let No One Shirk

I don't know if this is a Utah problem - having spent my life here, save four consecutive months - or local, or maybe even worldwide.  I've only become aware of it over the last few years. And all I can define it as is shirking responsibility.

I see it most in connection with Church callings, i.e. the "undesirable" ones. Scouts. Nursery. Primary.  Parents are perfectly happy to drop their 2-year-old off for two hours and pick them up without even a "how was he?" (when I've spent all that time keeping him from giving another kid a concussion.)  They'll send their three boys to cub scouts each week but declare they will NEVER teach cub scouts to anyone who might listen (or ask them to).
Excuse me?

I understand the need for a break from your kids, believe me.  I'd love to toss my kids at someone else for an hour or two every week!  I'd even like to have a calling where I didn't have to bring them along with me.  But I'm sorry, if you're a parent, you have a never-ending responsibility.  And if you are slacking at church then someone else is picking up that slack.  The less you do, the more you leave for someone else (however willing they may be).  Please don't assume that it's easy for them, that they just love what they do and/or have a natural gift for it.  They may very well be having a harder time than you.

Gosh, they may go home and eat all the junk food in their cupboard and then have a good cry before falling asleep on the couch.  You just don't know.


High School non-Sweethearts

I keep thinking that one of these years I will actually be able to celebrate my anniversary ON my anniversary.
This year was not that year.
Slice has been at girls camp since yesterday and I don't expect him home until the wee hours of tomorrow morning.  So.

Instead I will delight you with the earliest known picture of Slice and me, discovered a few weeks ago in piles of stuff from Slice's mom.  Horrible quality even when it was first printed.

His team brought home silver medals; mine did not fare so well.  We were missing a team member and bombed the orienteering portion of the competition.  Let's just say if we're ever lost and need to use a compass to find our way to safety, Slice will be the one guiding the way.....or we'll die. One of the two.

Five years!



Summer gets away from me.

One minute I'm gearing up for API and the next the leaves are turning yellow.  And then, for nine months, I'm dreaming of biweekly parties in Lana's backyard, homemade ice cream and firepit s'mores.  Lazy days with sprinklers and slip 'n slides and UBIC concerts across the street.  Perfect summer nights that make living in Roosevelt (barely) worth it the rest of the year.

So if I'm not blogging, it's because I'm outside at Cub Scout Day Camp or watching Slice play softball or at the park with my kids, eating popsicles and getting freckles and enjoying it all while I can.

PS:  If you're looking for a laugh, or a trick to play on your nieces and nephews, or both, check this out.


Master of None

When I was growing up, my dad often talked about being a "well-rounded" person.  We had monthly father's interviews where he would ask us about progress in various areas of our lives.  He and my mom always encouraged us to try new things, to step out of our comfort zones.  I think we all took that message to heart.

Maybe I did too much. During my school years I did Mathcounts, Mock Trial, Geography Olympiad, student council, seminary council, Stagelight, Study Abroad, etc. etc. I spent eight years playing the flute in band and have hardly touched it since 2005.  My piano skills have decreased since high school, my vocal and writing skills since college.  I took a guitar class one summer semester at BYU and promptly forgot everything I learned.  (I'm sure I got an A.)  
Lest you all think I'm anti-sports, I DID try out for volleyball freshman year of high school, I just didn't make it (and truthfully, I was relieved).

Let's see ... I can crochet, decently well.  I can sew but I don't really have the patience for it.  My cooking and baking, dancing, hair and makeup skills are probably below average, my photog skills barely above.  I forgot most of the German I learned in four years of study.  Lately I've taken more of an interest in interior design, but don't claim any level of proficiency. There's definitely a pattern here - Jack of all trades, Master of none.  That's me, all right.

I'm not fishing for compliments here, just making an observation.  Is it better to excel at one or two things, or be decently good at several?  What do you think?

Anyway, I'm one of the best spellers you've ever met.  I almost won a district spelling bee in 8th grade. (Got out on a word I'd never seen/heard before.)  Jordan School District.  The biggest district in the state by far. 
So ... there's that.



Dear Will,

You're three today.  Three going on thirteen, really.  You are a very articulate, energetic, strong-willed little person with a memory like an elephant.  You DO NOT forget ANYTHING.  Not even things we WANT you to forget.  Like the toy that broke last week so we threw it away, or that "bad word" Dad said three months ago.  Or that time I fell down the stairs with Emma last year.  It gets exasperating at times.

You're a social bug, and every single day you ask "Can I go to Angie's house?" (Or Grandma's, Teryn's, Jake & Tally's, wherever you want to go that day.)  You like to be out and about, playing with anyone besides boring old mom.  You rarely want to come home.
When you are home, though, you still take great naps.  At least two hours a day!  I love that.  And you like to pester your little sister - favorite game being the one where you call her, then slam the door in her face repeatedly - but you're pretty good about sharing with her too.  She still adores you.

In the last year you started going to preschool occasionally at Angie's house.  You know everything the older kids do, and you LOVED going. You started "reading" books that you have memorized to Emma. You also know several long songs by heart.  You still surprise us every day with how smart and cute and funny you are.  There is never a dull moment around here!
I'm slowly learning to take a step back, to realize that I can't control what you do or say, all I can do is try to teach you the best I can.  You are your own little person and I love watching you grow.
Love you,