Friday, July 31, 2015

Summers End

We left at three pm Saturday and pointed the car toward the lake. With only  a few hours of summer left to us we had to make it count. The lake was warm and breezy and we all paddled our selves out past the buoys and around the bend to the jumping rock . The first time all 7 of us have been there together.We jumped and cheered each other on and laughed and clapped for Cali who flew off that jumping rock like a brave paratrooper over and over. A near-by wasps nest was the only thing that kept us from jumping all night.

Later, Scott and I floated in the shallows with our little girls and watched our 3 big kids play king of the boat while the last of the sun sank behind the desert mountains. My heart felt full with happiness and love and also broken with the end of another summer.

The kids played this...

And we enjoyed this...

And then we drove home through the desert in the dark and stopped for treats near home. Kaden's friends called him a million times and I loved hearing him say with confidence, I cant hang out tonight, I am with my family. Not even a hint of regret in his voice.

I snapped a picture of my 5 happy kids just before packing up and all I could think was, all I care about in the whole wide world is right here. It was a good, happy, little slice of heaven day.

Sunday night brought a line-up of tender Father's Blessings, my favorite back to school tradition. "Courage" was what I chose to have as a kind of "school year" family theme and we talked after blessings about the courage to try, courage to try again, courage to reach out and courage to stand for whats right. I think I really love a one word, simple theme that packs a whole lot meaning in just a few letters.

Then morning came, just like I knew it would and I nearly died at how grown up these 3 looked as they turned their backs and headed out. Be still my heart.

And so I tell myself "Courage, Mama, courage". School year 2015-2016 I got you.

Monday, July 20, 2015

My Hero: Smoothie Edition

One awesome thing that has occurred since Scott went full time into Real Estate is that we get to parent together more than we ever have. For most of the nearly 16 years that we have been parents I have been the main caregiver. I did all the up-in-the-nights, I did all the driving, teaching, scripture reading, cooking, feeding, bathing, activities, doctors appointments, homework and chores. Scott's work was so demanding that he did little else at home than sleep. Occasionally, he had slower weeks and he was able to be with us more but I got used to fixing bike tires, putting together new toys, throwing birthday parties and pretty much every other aspect of parenting alone. I was always so thankful for Scott's hard work that meant it was ME caring for our kids and not a babysitter but I missed him and I was stretched thin meeting all those little needs 24/7.

The one image (amid thousands) in my mind that illustrates this best for me was when Kaden was barely 3 and Brylee and Branson were 6 months old and they were SICK. Not only had they picked up the RSV virus but I was so sick with bronchitis that I could hardly move. I didn't even know I had bronchitis until 2 weeks later when I finally made it to the doctor. I had to get the twins into the pediatrician and it was raining. No pouring. The parking lot at the doctors office was packed. I couldn't find anything even close to the entrance. I parked, situated blankets over the two infant car seats, pulled Kaden out of his car seat and explained to him that as soon as I set him out of the car he was to hang on to my back pocket (He was good at this because he had to be, I only had 2 hands and they were always full of twins). I set him out, he hung on to my pocket and I lifted the two carriers out and we sloshed through the rain into that stinkin doctor appointment. When I say I wish I could go back and give that girl a hug I am not kidding. How I wish I could tell her that she wasn't as alone as she felt. It is so much easier to see in hindsight that you probably had your very own crew of angels helping because how the heck else did you do it?

The good news is that amid all the HARD and lonely of those years there was certainly a lot of joy. And the next piece of good news is that with a new career Scott is hands on and available. He still works long hard hours but he chooses when and where and that has been a blessing beyond my wildest dreams.

Scott makes our green smoothies in the morning and then he sits with Cali, our wants-to-eat-nuthin-but-sugar girl and coaxes her through an entire cup of veggies. He is a master at it. This morning he took Kaden for a workout, he didn't miss a single swim meet all summer and he spent 3 days last week at scout camp with Branson, Ella told me while he was gone that she "just isn't comfortable going to sleep without Daddy."

I'm with Ella.

By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. The Family: A Proclamation to the World

I am so thankful for Scott, he has hero status around here. He is REAL man, who is devoted heart and soul to his family.

Friday, July 17, 2015


About once a week I think about writing. I sometimes scan through old posts and think, "where is that girl who could write every emotion, lesson and life story without effort. Where is she? She could really say in a string of words just what she was feeling." Well I am not sure where she is. I miss her. But now a days writing eludes me. Like an old friend that has moved away. I long to record the stories of life but life itself seems to get in my way, in my brain and in my heart.

A few weeks ago I was in a group of women, sort of part of the conversation but mostly not. One Mom was joking about how lazy she has gotten in parenting and she made the comment "I am done parenting." I thought, parenting is ALL I care about. Dont care about nothin else really only if it relates in someway to the well being and teaching and raising of these 5 little charges.

It is my work. It is my life, my whole heart and soul. I don't love every second of it. A lot of it is down in the trenches, heartrendingly hard but I like to remember that God Himself is a parent and if its what He does then its what I want to do.

I am approaching the completion of my 16th year as a Mother. I love being here. I love the feeling of season and wisdom that I have now and yet I know there is plenty still to learn and experience. I want to write it all down. I had a goal to read the whole Book of Mormon this summer and I am almost finished. What a beautiful record that amazing book is. Written by parents. Parents who wanted their children to know to what source to look. I want to be the kind of parent they were.

So we are still alive and well over here. The kids are growing up. And so am I. I plan to get back to keeping this record. And with "first day" marked on the calendar and approaching quickly I just might have a chance.