Superpaige's Pad

The Trials of a Busy Mom

Excitement at the airport

Monday night we went to the SLC airport to pick up our new exchange student, Katerina.

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When we got there with our sign, we saw a bunch of people there already, and many of them had flags.DSCN2368

There were even news cameras from Fox13 there, and we were pretty sure they weren’t there to film us. Soon we realized they were there for soldiers coming home.
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As they came down the walkway, we all clapped, and then watched the JOY on their faces as they embraced their family members. This little girl was right by us and was so darling just hugging her Daddy. Then she held his hand and didn’t want to let go.

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It was quite a special sight, and we hoped we weren’t intruding.
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Then, our new sister came down, and I’m glad we had a big sign, because her face lit up. I would be totally worried that I would arrive with no one to pick me up.

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She’s a cute girl from Russia. Her English is once again impressive! She’s been here almost a whole day and we’ve gone to the Health Department, eaten Russian candy she brought, went to Wal-mart, and she’s now at a back to school party with the youth.

Here’s to another great exchange student experience.

Sometimes it takes a kick in the pants

It was a busy day, shortly after the wedding, and one of the cousins had been staying with us for a few days. Kids were busy “having fun” which meant that the house was pretty much a wreck. But two sisters in my ward were having birthdays, and I wanted to at least visit them.

When I stopped at the first house, the kids were so excited to see me. It was like they had never had a visitor, even though with twin babies in the house, I’m pretty sure they have had a myriad of people coming to help. Ashley came down the stairs holding one of the babies and apologized that she was in her pajamas. They were trying to pack for a weekend away, and she was just doing laundry. I told her that was perfectly fine, and asked if I could hold that darling baby of hers. The 3 year old, Savannah, took my hand and said, “Come see my playroom!”
Not sure if Ashley wanted me to explore her house, I asked if that was ok. Ashley was a bit frazzled, and I didn’t want to add to her stress. “I’m sure she doesn’t want to go down to our messy playroom,” she said. But I couldn’t disappoint my cute little friend, so I went with her to the playroom. She was so excited to show me the barbies, the blocks, and trains. messyplayroom_2It was fun to watch her and her brother dance around and show me things. I felt privileged to be allowed into their world. After a few minutes, Mom came down. We chatted for a few minutes, I wished her a happy birthday and gave her a small gift. Savannah held my hand as we walked upstairs. It was like we had been friends forever. She even wanted to walk me out to the car.

What joy I received from that short visit!

Later that day, after another visit with a sister (that wasn’t quite so joyful), picking up a little guy from school for a friend, and then dropping off cousin at Hang time for a party with his other cousins, I was done. I had spent my whole day serving, and I was done.

However, I was already in Orem, and I had planned to visit a sweet older sister in my ward who was in a rehab place after she broke her hip. She’d been there 4 weeks and I hadn’t visited. I had promised her daughter-in-law that I would go that week. Today was supposed to be the day.
But I’m tired, and I’ve been out of the house all day, and I want to go home, my inner voice whined.

But if not today, when? You are right here. You said you would do it today.
My other inner voice protested.

It was a struggle. Right there, in the Hang time parking lot. I said a little prayer, asking Heavenly Father to help me. Asking him to give me the strength and the desire to do what I knew in my heart I needed to do. After I finished my prayer, I took a deep breath, and put the car in drive. I didn’t exactly go RIGHT to the care center, I went through the McDonald’s Drive through to get myself a large diet coke FIRST, and then I went to the care center. Hey, it was 2:00 and I hadn’t had lunch, so don’t judge. At least I didn’t order food. I happily slurped my cold refreshing drink until I got to the care center.

I went inside and asked around for Shirley, and was directed to her room. Her husband was there with her, but they were both so welcoming! I found out how she had been learning to walk again, and she was doing even better than before she broke her hip. Her new physical therapist was such a blessing, and was teaching her how to walk, even with the neuropothy in her feet. wheelchair She had walked all the way down the hall today! Amazing! I had never seen her walk before. She’s been in a wheelchair all the time I’ve known her.

I wasn’t there more than half an hour, but it was a good visit. Good for her, but even better for me. Why was it so hard to make myself do that tiny bit of service? I came back to the car and said another prayer, thanking my Heavenly Father for allowing me to feel such a sweet spirit of love with this couple. I also repented of my stubborn and selfish spirit earlier.

Service is a blessing.
No, it’s not always fun, and it’s hardly ever convenient, but whenever you serve, you WILL be blessed.

Matthew 25: 34-40

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Change of plans–My, what a clean freezer you have

20160722_171645I had the day planned, including picking the Chinese girls up quicklyso we could go up to the Conference center for the King’s Singers concert. I have loved them for a while, especially after they were guests at the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert. They were so nice, and even talked to us backstage. And their voices….AMAZING. But even before that concert, I fell in love with this song from a PBS commercial.

I didn’t know who was singing this song, but I loved it. My sweet husband found out that it was the King’s Singers, and he bought me a CD with that song on it. The rest of the songs are kind of hokey, but THAT one..that ONE song is worth it.

Don’t believe me?
Listen to one of my all time favorite Christmas song arrangements. Hearing this one just takes me back to waiting in the stairwell keeping our bells quiet for our entrance in the next song. Every night, I just thought it sounded like angels. I’m listening to it right now and it’s such a calming song! I should make it my ring-tone.

Anyway, they are here with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir again for the Pioneer Day concert. Tonight. Right now.

Rewind a bit to about lunch time. One of the kids mentioned that some things in the freezer were mushy. I didn’t do anything right away, except to say to make sure they CLOSE THE DOOR! Jenna had a group coming over to go to space camp, and we were trying to make sure everyone was here, etc. Once we got that mess figured out, I had forgotten about the freezer. Later, when it was time for me to leave to go and pick up the Chinese girls, I remembered to check the freezer in the garage. Ugh. No WHOOSH should when I open or close it, which tells me the seal is not properly sealing, and things are all mushy and there’s a lot of goo on the floor. But I don’t have time to deal with it.

So, from the car, I called my daughters and asked them to
a-go and get some ice from the grocery store
b-start taking the meat out and putting it in the coolers
c-throw away stuff that is dripping
And I texted Ryan to see if he could come home a little early and assess the situation.

As I got onto the freeway, I got a text from the exchange group telling me that the buses from park city were late, and the students should be about 15 minutes late. Since I was driving to Orem, I decided to run into Costco quickly with those 15 extra minutes. I couldn’t get anything that needed to be frozen or even refrigerated right away, since I still had to wait for the girls.

Then I got to the school by 4:45 to pick up the girls. No Chinese kids. Listen to music, text a few people in my ward, trying to be productive. At about 5:20, they arrived. They had been to the outlet mall in park city, and every single student had at least one bag.

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I had already given up hope that we would be going to the concert, which was good. At least I wasn’t super stressed trying to get home in time. I knew it was a lost cause.

By the time I got four girls dropped off and our two girls home, it was almost 6. Ryan was almost finished cleaning out the freezer. Three coolers full of food were on our counter, with lots of food that didn’t fit in the coolers. Time to start cooking. For dinner, we had cream puffs, taquitos, mozzarella sticks, and fried rice (all from the freezer). Everyone seemed to enjoy our hodge podge dinner.

After dinner, I had the pleasure of putting the food BACK into the freezer.20160722_191442

The funny thing is, that LAST night at book club, Susan, Tess and Melinda were commiserating about their respective freezer thaw disasters. Ugh. I had to text them and thank them for jinxing me.

So, here we are…tired, sticky, a little bit grumpy, and NOT at the Kings’ Singers concert. Maybe I can scrounge up ticket for tomorrow night. If not, I’ll survive. I’ll just listen to my favorite song about 10 times.

Gifting

There is a stack of gifts in the front room. We brought home a car load of gifts from the reception and they have been sitting there waiting for the bride and groom. As the week has gone by, more and more people have brought gifts over. Cards have arrived in the mail.

People are SO generous!

We laugh about some of the gifts we received for our wedding. I don’t remember people being quite so generous. One of our gifts was a blender. There was a card with it, with about 10 names on it. We just laughed. The blender can’t have cost more than $25, and if 10 people went in on that gift, they each gave $2.50? Ok. Another gift was a dishware set for 4. Brown glass plates from the 70’s. Sort of like this. plates

There were also cups and saucers, I believe. The best part was that the box had been opened and taped back up. Was this a gift for their wedding back in 1979 and they regifted it to us? Don’t know. We laughed about that one and thought we would keep that until we had a cabin someday. But my dear friend, Tess, saw that set of plates a year or two ago when she was in our basement for some reason, and she really liked them. So, I gave them to her. Someone might as well use them.

We also got a multitude of Coleman coolers. Popular gift back in 1992.

Some of our gifts got returned, some we kept, but have not used. I still have several fancy bowls still in the boxes. I thought I would have more of a need for fancy glass bowls than I do.

I have one of these party balls in the basement. Never been opened. Maybe I’ll give it to one of the kids to take to college or something.

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But these cute kids came back from their honeymoon and we had a little present opening party last night at Emily’s house.
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There were piles of presents! It was like Christmas, but all the gift were for them.
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I am blown away with the love and generosity. So many gifts! So many cards, gift cards, and money. I am amazed. And I feel like I need to step it up personally in the gift department. I always buy things when they are on sale, sometimes even with a rebate. I do not spend $50 on wedding gifts, unless it’s a group gift for a niece of nephew. But so many people have given gifts of $25 and even $50 in cash or gift cards. One couple from our ward came up to us at a play before it started and we were chatting for a minute. He pulled out his wallet and said, “We won’t be able to come to the reception, but give this to them for us,” and handed Ryan some cash. $50. Wow!

Yes, it’s been a while since we got married, so I do understand that things are more expensive now, and we live in an area where there are a lot of well off people, but still, I was shocked. And thankful.

The gifts they got the most of? Pyrex dish sets. I think they got 5 of those. And bowls. Plastic bowls, nice glass bowls, heavy ceramic bowls. Lots of bowls. I didn’t, however, see plates. Maybe they already got some plates, or maybe that’s one of the things they will have to buy. They did say they were going to buy a portable AC unit with some of that cash/gift card money, so that’s a good thing. Their apartment is quite hot with no air. They did get a garbage can and a dustpan, which I thought were nice and useful, even a whiteboard and a bookshelf.

I also learned some good wedding gift tips. Write what your gift is inside the card, or even on the envelope. That way, if the card gets separated from the gift, the happy couple can figure out who gave it. Or, one person had stamped their name and address on the outside of the card, so that no one has to look up their address to write a thank you note.

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And even though they registered, they still got multiples of the exact same thing–from the registry. I guess it doesn’t keep track of things bought if they don’t scan it and say it’s from the registry.

As I looked over the pile of presents, I thought, “What would be a really unique gift?” A fire extinguisher. A hammer and tape measure. A level. Command strips. A drill.

Maybe next time.

But, if you sent or brought a gift for them, please know how much we all appreciate you! It’s so nice to see this cute couple get started as a couple and to have the basics.

So much love!

Cole and Emily Erickson–June 23, 2016

WEDDING!!!

Wow! Even if you are the groom’s parent’s, there is a lot to do to get ready for a wedding.

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But I’m glad they got married in June, as early as they could. Short engagement is good, and then it doesn’t drag on all summer. Getting the invitations out was kind of a mess. But hopefully we keep that list updated for when we have the next wedding. And then there’s the stress every time an invitation comes back. Do you try to find the correct address and send it again? Do you just email the person, or do you figure they are lost forever and you don’t need to try to track them down further?

As the groom’s mom, I decided I wanted to host a family dinner the night before the wedding at our church. That way I could decorate and do some of the fun and creative stuff, and we could invite a lot of family and still keep the costs down. My friend, who’s daughter got married in May, pointed me to a fabulous local caterer, and I was very happy with how the food turned out.

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Even though the location was simple, we tried our best to make it pretty. I was going for a garden theme, so I brought all my plants, watering cans, and cute garden decor. I also arranged with a few neighbors to borrow some of their plants.
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When we went to set up, I wondered what we should do with the blackboard, and I think Ryan said, “Oh, it’s just like their announcement,” So, we got Megan started in copying the writing from the announcement on the chalkboard.

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On each table there were bird cages filled with greenery. I had snipped a few branches from my laurel bushes, and also some clematis. It looked nice. We set each place with a plate, fork and knife, napkin, cup and a temple cookie in a cute bag.

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It was a nice evening! And it was wonderful that so many friends and family of both the bride and groom could come. I think we had 78-80 in attendance.
DSCN1280 Of course, when it was over, we had to take everything BACK that we had borrowed. We had more help cleaning up, so the tear down was quicker than the set up, but we were also tired. We had lots of silverware and plates to wash, too, and had to wait for the caterers to finish washing up all their dishes before we could start in the kitchen. Thankfully, I have some dear friends who helped me clean up. We were there until nearly 9:30 washing dishes, while Ryan took a few loads of plants and other garden things like our wrought iron bench back home. They plopped all the plants on the porch, after returning the ones they had borrowed.

After I was home and finally in my pajamas, Cole remembered that he needed his white pants hemmed for the temple. That will just have to wait until morning, I told him. Emily invited all her bridesmaids to sleep over at her house, so the girls grabbed some pajamas, and went over there. So fun.

In the morning, we were trying to get hair done, sew up those white pants, get the girls’ hair done, etc. 10:00 came quickly and we got in the car. Megan was going to drive herself, Natalie, Jenna and John and meet us at the Draper temple at 11:30, after the wedding. One friend called me on the way and said that they just realized the wedding was in Draper, not American fork, and they might be late. No worries, though, somehow they made it on time.

They let the parents go up to the sealing room before everyone else, and we wait quietly. It’s so beautiful!! After a few minutes, friends and family start to come in. Wow! After everyone was seated, they brought in the bride and groom. Cole was seated by me. The sealing was so special, so touching. During that ceremony, I remembered my own wedding, and I looked across to see Ryan. And so many of our families were there to show their love to Cole and Emily.
It was beautiful.
I cried.
It’s come full circle. We were just two stupid kids when we got married almost 24 years ago. Look at us now. We have 5 children, and our oldest son is starting his own family with a girl he adores.

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Here’s my first picture of them as man and wife. They come out of the temple to a large group of family and friends who are there for them. To show love and support to both of our families. It’s overwhelming the amount of love we felt.

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Then there were pictures. So many pictures.

This is my new family. Six kids instead of five. Isn’t it wonderful how a family is constantly growing and changing, all while staying the same?

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One of the smart things we did was purchase and bring 5 large umbrellas. They aren’t expensive, just from IKEA, but it helped to have some shade during the picture taking. And we could even use them as props.

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The reception that night was also beautiful. Yes, it was long, but it was so amazing to have So many people come in support of us and Cole and Emily and the Beus family. Wow. It was overwhelming. So many people came through the line to tell us how much they love Emily, how special she is, and how much she loves Cole. Such a fun evening full of love. I don’t have a single complaint about the reception, and I hope Emily and her mom feel the same way.

Wow!

Now the bride and groom are on their honeymoon. Today they spent the day in Disneyland. And the packages and cards keep arriving.

Gratitude.

It’s wedding week!

Wedding week. EEEK!! It’s so strange. My fistborn, my sweet little Cole, My Kolipoki…he’s getting married!

Maybe we should watch “Father of the Bride”.
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Or maybe not. Maybe later.

There were many things I was going to do ‘before the wedding’.
-Lose 20 pounds
-Get a spray tan
-Get the house cleaned and organized
-wax the eyebrows

Now it looks like we are just going to do the necessities. I have lost 5 pounds, but not 20. Oh, well.

Last night I packaged up 100 shortbread cookies for the wedding dinner. Oh, and our air conditioning went out. But, hooray, it’s working again, so that’s a good thing.

It’s all about these two cuties.
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We are so happy for them!

It’s a stop sign

really stop(Warning…grumpy old ranting ahead)

Dear Parade of Homes,

Let’s start by saying I’m not a big fan. People come to all different styles of houses that they can’t afford and gawk at the extravagance and excess. Or maybe they are looking for ideas to use in their own houses, but then leave discouraged because real people with real mortgages can not spend that much on amazing extra features. And why pay $15 and drive all around when you could just look at the pictures on the website? Ryan and I went to the parade of homes once. We were in the “get ideas” phase before we built a house. I think that was a mistake. Unrealistic expectations and disappointment is what I brought away from that experience. But maybe that’s just me. Maybe I’m the only one who looks at an amazingly beautiful, absolutely spotless house and compares it to my own house, and then feels inadequate.

Sometimes I get inspired by new houses. I visit teach a lady and we had heard about the house and watched it being built. I was so happy for them when they finally got to move in, and I was in awe of her organized pantry. I came home that day and started to organize my pantry. Not to the level of HER organized and brand new pantry, of course, but I was inspired to action instead of just depressed about the state of my pantry.

But mostly, I compare.

Can we be realistic, though? The houses that are being built near us are enormous. Who needs a house that big? My sister. My sister and her husband have 15 kids. And a mother-in-law living with them. They sold two houses to build one big house. It is very big. But it’s built for 18 people! I don’t see any families that big moving into these other houses. Two kids, maybe three? Excess. It’s embarrassing. When we host exchange students from other countries, they are amazed by the size of our house. Our house is quite large and we have a big yard. We do have 6 bedrooms in our house, now. Enough for 7 or 8 people, and there’s always room for guests, even if we have to kick someone out of their room for a guest to sleep in their bed. But when someone from Japan or China comes, they are always shocked at the size of our house. It’s Utah, folks, where there is a lot of land, so we can spread out a bit. But 8000? 10,000? 12,000 square feet of house? Who’s going to keep that clean? A housekeeper? Probably.

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This is the house in our neighborhood. It is beautiful. I especially love the back yard, and I was glad to see this picture of the backyard on the parade of homes website, since I don’t know if the new homeowners will invite us over for a barbeque. Probably not, if they ever read this post.
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My REAL complaint about the parade of homes, however, would be the DRIVERS. We have had trouble with that stop sign since it was put in. stop People don’t stop. And now, with 40+ cars coming to see the house on parade, do they stop at the stop sign? NO. Do I lay on my horn when they don’t stop and give me the right of way? Yes, I do. And I wish there were a police officer there to pull them over. I was SO happy on Saturday, when I was driving into our neighborhood, I saw a police officer with lights on pulling someone over RIGHT there. Just past the stop sign that they had ignored. Maybe these drivers don’t realize that PEOPLE live in these neighborhoods. People with kids. People with jobs and dogs and scooters and wagons and strollers. We are trying to go about our lives, going to work or scouts or the grocery store, and we really don’t want to be hit by Mr. and Mrs. Parade of Homes attendees who can’t bother to look up from their maps or their phones to see a stop sign and actually STOP for it. really stop The stop sign requires you to stop, whether there is a car coming in the other direction or not. What? Yes, folks, that’s how a stop sign works. We are SO sick of the drivers. We thought the stop sign running was bad when it was just construction workers. We had a neighborhood meeting and talked to the city council about how to handle the problem. I feel especially bad for the people that live right by that stop sign. They have taken down license numbers, called the police, left notes, and done everything they can to help people notice the stop sign. One of those blinking stop signs would maybe work, but we don’t want something so obnoxious in our neighborhood.
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A few more days is all we have to put up with this parade of homes traffic, and then hopefully the rest of the time it will be people who actually live here.

So, there you have it, Parade of homes. Sorry to be so blunt, but we don’t really want you here.

Moab Memorial Day weekend

We wanted to take a little family vacation before Cole got married and while Larissa was here with us. Because of girl’s camp and other scheduling issues (like school and concerts) the only time we had was Memorial Day weekend. So we decided to go to Moab.

Yes, it’s crowded with many travelers, but it’s not too hot.

Arches National Park is amazing. I’m wondering why we haven’t brought our kids here before. Seriously! Because it’s always hot? Because we aren’t big hikers? Well, we have missed out.

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I love that there are So many people here from all over. As you are hiking you can hear so many different languages. And even though we are so different, people are friendly. You can ask almost anyone to take your picture. There is lots of camera trading. Especially at delicate arch.
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We got here on Friday, and wanted to go see some arches first thing. We went to the windows. Not very far from the road, and you can climb to 4 or more amazing sights! We aren’t all the best hikers, and we don’t like being hot, so I’ll admit there was a little complaining.

On Saturday we wanted to get an early start to hike delicate arch. With this many people, “early” ended up being 8:30DSCN0780

People were already coming back down when we were starting. But I’m so happy we weren’t any later.
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Not going to lie. It’s a hard hike. Especially for people who don’t hike. Did I mention we don’t really hike? It’s a mile and a half of UP.
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The kids were almost always ahead of me, but I did make it.
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I love how people will just hand strangers their camera, and you take their pictures for them. One lady asked me to take pictures with her phone, and while waiting for them to get under the arch, I took a few other goofy pictures. They will get a surprise when they look at them.

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Breathtaking.

Later that day we went to Dead Horse Point. Amazing! The kids were hiked out, though, and didn’t want to “hike” much, so it’s a good thing you could drive up to the lookout.

On Sunday, after church and lunch at Denny’s, we went to the Moab Movie Museum.
DSCN0955 Small, yes. But free. And fascinating! Larissa quickly got bored and ended up walking around the lodge, but I loved it. Watched the whole 15 minute movie and looked at all the posters and memorabilia.
DSCN0963 Plus, it was out at the beautiful Red Cliffs Lodge. As we drove back to town we saw SO many people rafting, kayaking, or paddle boarding in the river. And we wished we had our bikes so we could ride along the trails by the river.

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Later in the evening, we went back to Arches to walk through the Park Avenue. It’s a 1 1/2 mile “hike”, but it’s not climbing, so it was a great hike to walk, talk, goof around, and for John to climb on rocks. This may have been my favorite area in the park.
DSCN1069I don’t remember ever walking through here before. And in the evening, the colors are spectacular, and there’s no need for sunscreen. While climbing up on a big rock, I scraped along my leg. DSCN1031 Not hard enough to break the skin or even bleed, but when I stood up, the veins on my leg were super swollen and blue. I don’t know what I did, but I’ve got quite the bruise on my leg, now. Dumb varicose veins.
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Larissa collected flowers all along the trails. She’s probably not supposed to do that, but we looked the other way. She stuck them all in a book to dry.
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Monday was our last day. Larissa went on a hike with the Englebrights that morning, and we decided to go to see landscape arch. Along the way we also saw pinetree arch. It made it a 3 mile hike, and it was just starting to get warm when we finished. We did a lot of bird calling to each other and were so goofy. I think the kids were just relieved that they could go home and not have to hike any more.
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It really was a GREAT weekend. Yes, it was crowded, and hot (but not HOT), but it was so beautiful, and so much fun.

Some memories you wear

When my amazing friend Melinda got married to her sweetheart, Paul, it was a big deal. For all of us. Melinda had been one of my super best friends in high school, and we roomed together at BYU for two years. We shared everything. We lamented over boys, grades, lack of sleep, assignments and papers. We said goodbye to all our missionary aged friends, and we made fantastic memories together.

So, when she and Paul got married, it was kind of like the end of an era for me. We were graduating from college, she was getting married, I was going on a mission, we were growing up.

I know there are plenty of jokes about bridesmaids dresses, but this one was lovely. Not poofy or unflattering, but a dress that I wanted to wear again. Her grandma sewed these dresses, if I’m remembering it correctly. And she worked in a fabric store at the time, so she picked out some lovely fabric. Anyway, I really loved that dress. bridesmaids

There’s a lot of hair there, I know. This was back when I permed my hair every six months.

But aren’t we pretty in our matching dresses?

I wore it after the wedding, as well. This was was with my roommate, Laurie. I don’t know why we were at the temple, unless it was for her sister’s wedding. But I was wearing that dress.

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I even have pictures from me in the MTC wearing that dress. I didn’t take it with me to Germany because I didn’t want it to get ruined and worn too many times. But I did wear it in the MTC. Again, Not a great picture, but you get the idea.

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Well, soon after the mission, I got married, and the weight crept on. No longer did I fit into that dress, but I still kept it. I also kept the dress that I wore on our wedding day before the wedding dress. It’s also special to me. Soon, these two dresses and a few other sentimental clothing items were in a box up at the top of the closet.

But I’ve been cleaning out the closet (after I read the life changing magic of tidying up), and I’ve gotten rid of quite a few things. Bags of shoes and clothes, and I still have a LONG way to go to declutter, but at least it’s a start. What to do with those two dresses that I love, but that do NOT fit. I actually even tried them both on, just to see. Nope.

I even texted Melinda and told her that I still had this dress, and how much I have loved it throughout the years, and to thank her for picking such a lovely dress for her wedding. She was sweet, and said she’d actually like to have it, if I was getting rid of it. So, I was prepared to do that. I brought it down before book club so I could take it to her, and my daughter snatched it up.

“Where did you get this dress? It’s so retro! Can I try it on?” I told her she could try it on, but she couldn’t make fun of it, because I really loved this dress. She put it on, and it fit her.

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She posted a picture of herself in that dress on her instagram and got a LOT of nice comments, so she decided to wear it to church today.

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I’m so glad I kept that dress. Flowers and lace are coming back in style. She may take out the shoulder pads, but she really likes that dress, and it makes me so happy to have it be loved again.

Sentimental? Yes. I will always think of that as MY dress, but I’m so glad that I can share it with my daughter, too.

Spring concert…At least there was no barf

Monday was our chime choir Spring Concert.

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The kids get to perform twice for the school, and then once for the parents in the evening. They had some pretty difficult songs, and I scheduled the concert pretty early (so as to be BEFORE the band concert, as per request of the kids), so they weren’t totally performance ready. But they did ok.

We never have quite enough time as we would like to rehearse that morning, but it went ok.

We went in the afternoon to practice with the teens, and there was a karate group in the gym. Oh, well. We’ll just go up to the stage. I was thinking ahead this time, and brought everything I thought I would need for the evening. I brought T-shirts and a sign that said how much the t-shirts cost, and even listed the sizes of the shirts, I brought tablecloths for the t-shirt table, and the cookie table, I printed programs and brought those, the tables were all set up, the props were there.

For the evening concert, there were all three groups performing. I have an AM choir that meets before school at 7 am, a PM choir that meets before school at 8:00 am, and a TEEN chime choir that meets in the afternoon at the City Arts building. The teen choir is new, and I didn’t have anywhere for them to perform, so I just added them to this concert group. They really haven’t had as much time to prepare, since they rehearse on Mondays and there have been so many Monday holidays off of school. But, since they are a bit older, they pick things up faster.

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We were just about to start, and the kids tell me, “Lily is feeling sick! Should we go tell her to stay in the car?” Without saying too much about this particular child, there is a reason that I do not normally include 2nd or 3rd graders in my choir. They are just not ready for it, and usually don’t have the musical knowledge that is needed. But, if there is a sibling in the choir, I’ll often make an exception. Mistake. Anyway, I told her brother that she really should play. Probably just nerves, right? She looked terrified, and I’m not sure if she played her notes or not. I asked her if she was doing ok, and she said she thought she might throw up. So, I put things in fast gear for that group. Not much talking, cut out the banter. Just get through those 4 songs so that sick girl can be off the stage and away from the chimes. I really cannot imagine what I would have done if she threw up on the chimes (and music and tablecloths). I think we would have had to just call it and be done right then.

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The next group comes up, and we are missing one girl. Seriously? She’s been flakey all semester, missed more than half the practices, but she was there for the school concert, and I thought I had sent enough reminders home that she would come. Nope. Not there. And she’s on the high notes, so if they aren’t played, you really hear it. I called up a cute girl from my other choir and asked her if she would fill in. Sight reading. Seriously! She’s pretty awesome!

Even with her help, though, we had some serious problems. There were entire measures where no one played anything. It’s just me leading and GLARING at them, mouthing the measure numbers, hoping that someone…ANYONE…figures out where we are and GETS with the program. I’m glad the audience could only see my back at those moments. And not just one song. Multiple songs falling apart. Kids couldn’t find their folders, looking under the table trying to find them, missing notes that were borrowed for one song and not put back. Not smooth.

Ryan had told me that I was not allowed to complain about the concert, or we couldn’t go to dinner. So, I held my tongue. I was so exhausted! We did have a nice dinner out with my two chime choir kids, John and Jenna, at Rumbi.

As we were driving home from dinner, the kids were in a super giggly mood. “WANG CHUNG” came on the radio, and Ryan and I sang along. One of the kids asked what that meant, anyway, and Ryan said it was just a made up word. “It can probably mean anything, right? Everybody Wang chung tonight….I hope I don’t wang chung my lunch.” That set off a WHOLE slew of hysterical laughter and we were back on the subject of upchucking (or “Wang chunging”). At least we can laugh.

I’m very glad that we are almost done with chimes for the year. We have a performance in church on Sunday (eek! Why do I do this to myself?) and then a spring music festival next week where we all go to another school and perform and listen to other groups perform. And then we’ll be done. I’m burned out. I need to focus on other things (hello, wedding!) and take a break so I can be excited about teaching again come August.

It will probably take me that long to organize the file the music.

Sigh.

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