Superpaige's Pad

The Trials of a Busy Mom

Category: whining and complaining (page 1 of 12)

New Year. Hooray!

new-yearIt’s January! Welcome to a new year and all that.

Only I get a little overwhelmed by the “new year” kind of stuff. People are all like “GOALS!” and “Self-Improvement”, and “It’s a fresh start!” Is it really? Did something magically change with the ticking of the clock between 11:59 on New Year’s Eve and 12:00 on New Year that erased the past year? I don’t think so.

Meanwhile, at church, there are tons of meetings. There’s a New Beginnings for Young Women, special ward council to discuss our goals for the year, the Stake Relief Society Presidency wants to meet with us, ‘Priesthood Preview’, ‘It’s great to be 8’and various other NEW YEAR type meetings.


But me, I’m dragging my feet putting away my Christmas decorations. I LOVE CHRISTMAS! Everything is magical and beautiful and the music and the concerts and the presents and the wrapping and the shopping and the food and the cooking and the parties and the wonderful feelings and the reading of the birth of the Savior. I’m sad that Christmas is over, that my birthday is over, and now we’re stuck in dreary, snowy, cold (2 degrees yesterday, folks) January. It snowed last night, but now it’s drizzling rain OVER the snow. Megan left today to go back to school (once her car thawed and the door closed ok, which it didn’t last night), and I’ve had a week with no chimes choir, but I have to start tomorrow. I’m not ready to get back to my real life, let alone make GOALS. Shovel snow, trudge out to feed the chickens, the floor is constantly yucky and needs to be mopped all the time, people leave their gloves, scarves, coats, and boots all over! January is just yucky!

January blah.
Whine, whine.
Cheer up, old chap, at least you don’t have to do yardwork!
(That’s me talking to myself in my encouraging British accent voice)

But we do have things to look forward to. Jenna and Kate both have birthdays this month, so we will be planning a big party for that, my chime choirs get to play at 2 Lone Peak Basketball games this month, it’s good to get back into a routine and clear out the clutter, of course.
In February I get to go to Europe with Ryan, so that is one thing I am REALLY looking forward to. In spring we plan to take the kids to South Dakota.

Right-Oh! Good on ya! Fish and Chips and all that.
(There’s that annoying British voice again.)

So, things aren’t ALL grump and dreary. But it would help if the sun would shine. Please?

And when I need a laugh, there’s always this.

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.


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.

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.

parade of homes
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.
back yard

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.
flashing stop

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.

Spring concert…At least there was no barf

Monday was our chime choir Spring Concert.

spring concert 2016


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.


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.


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.


Love you more

I know that yelling “I LOVE YOU” out the door to my sullen 12 year old who has just stomped around the house yelling at us in general, and me in particular, is not the most grown up thing. It’s better than screaming “I hate you” or some other mean thing, right? If I continue to tell him that I love him, do you think he will eventually believe me?


He no longer wakes up to his alarm, so that makes it my job to wake him up. He does not like waking up, and does not get moving quickly in the morning. And if I sleep in longer than I should, then I don’t wake him up in time for him to be as slow as he would like. Daylight savings time has not helped. Two days a week, we have to be to school by 7 am, so it’s rush, rush, rush. On Fridays, I tend to hit the snooze button a few times. It’s time to buy new alarm clocks for a few of these kids.

But I had time to make muffins for the kids. Well, I think only one out of three kids ate a muffin, but there were muffins available.

I don’t understand why EVERYTHING has to be an argument.

But I can keep on loving these kids.

And the next day was better.

In which I complain a little

I am not usually a complainer really. However, today I just have to vent a bit. I was supposed to have lunch with a friend today, but that didn’t work out. Ok, I got stood up, if you must know. After waiting and smelling the yummy food, I was quite hungry on the drive home and decided to just pick something up. Fast food, you know. Fast food, by the very nature of it’s name, should be fast. However, it was not.

I wrote this letter, and because I am still irritated, I thought I would post it here.

I’m not usually a complainer, but the service today was absolutely terrible. I waited in the drive thru line for 10 minutes. I would have left, but I was boxed in by other cars. When I got up to pay, the person taking the orders got my change wrong, and I had to correct him. There was no apology, no service with a smile,or even a “Sorry for the wait.”

More waiting to get from the first window to the second window. Really? Can we not get a few more employees?

At the second window, the girl handed me my food bag, but not the drink. I waited at least 60 seconds while she tried to get my diet coke. She did say sorry, at least, and that the machine wasn’t working.

In my opinion, this kind of service is absolutely not acceptable. My food was no longer hot, and I had wasted 10 minutes.

As I was sitting there waiting for my drink, I dialed the 800 number on the window for comments about my service. The number that says to call anytime, 24 hours a day. I was put on hold. I live 5 minutes away, and talked to a live person just as I got to my driveway. The live person told me that the number I called does not support the McDonald’s location I was calling about. Really?

You don’t need to contact me about my experience, unless you are offering me my money back.

Harsh? Yes, probably. But I can’t be nice ALL the time, now can I?

And then I saw this on facebook.

So, no, I’m not angry. I just thought I should share my experience as a warning.


My nemesis is back

Many years ago, I didn’t eat gluten. I know, Yuck.

I developed a skin condition sometime after my first baby was born, but didn’t find out what it was until after my second baby was born. There’s a long name for this condition, and you can read more about it here, if you want. It’s basically a rash that is caused by eating gluten. Wheat, barley, mostly. I can do oats (at least I think I can). Anyway, after my last one was born, the condition kind of just went away. Weird, but I wasn’t going to question my good fortune, so I started making bread, and enjoying gluten again. I thought maybe it was a hormonal thing, related to pregnancy, I don’t know. I was just happy to be able to eat whatever again.

Because cookies are my favorite thing. Ever.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when I scratched at something by my ear and a water blister broke open, oozing out onto my hand. What the what? Shortly after that these little blisters began popping up on my face, around my eyes and nose.

I tried half heartedly to give up gluten, but it seemed to be getting worse. Itchy, painful, and ugly, so I went off of gluten. No bread, no crackers, nothing. And I made an appointment with the dermatologist. By the time the appointment came around, the next week, the sores had started to scab over and dry up. Which to me is a sign that it is gluten related. The doctor didn’t think it was that, since it presented differently than the typical rash on the elbows and knees and back. He told me to use a very expensive steriod cream on the rash, then he zapped a few age spots and told em to come back in a couple of weeks.

To test his theory, I ate gluten again. Tortilla, even some bread. And stuff started to reappear. Painful, itchy, yucky looking stuff. On my face.


I guess I’ve got to give it up.

Harder said than done. When I can’t think of anything that I can eat, I look in the cupboard and see pringles or chocolate…Gluten Free! That’s not the right way to do this, of course.

I went to a luncheon yesterday, and they served croissant sandwiches, pasta salad, and grapes. Then there were all kinds of yummy cookies and stuff, too. I didn’t eat the pasta salad, but I did eat the croissant. Couldn’t see how to politely scrape it off. I guess I’ll have to be more prepared and pack my own stuff.

It’s so discouraging. Really. I’m trying to lose weight, trying to eat healthy, and now this? So please pardon me if I’m grumpy, it’s like I’ve lost my best friend….bread. For now, at least. I don’t really know if this is a long term thing or not, but I know I don’t want the gluten consequences.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go have some peanut butter on a rice cake.

387 Bad Reviews should have given us a clue.

Saturday was HOT. Super HOT. I was already planning on hosting a party for the Bells on Temple Square members and their family, and I anticipated that we’d have about 60. I’d been prepping and planning all week. But John really wanted to have a garage sale, and I couldn’t foresee any available Saturdays for quite some time, so I gave in and said we could just do it. That meant about 3 days of sorting, purging, gathering, etc. We made signs, we dragged up tables, we folded clothes. On Friday morning (after being out late on Thursday night to go see a play with the Relief Society ladies), I got up at about 5:30 to start taking out our tables and make sure the signs stayed up (they hadn’t). I had to wake up the tired kids, most of whom did NOT want to be woken up before 7. But I wasn’t about to do this by myself.

We started our boring sale, which was a lot of sitting there outside, waiting for people to come. The kids were wondering why we were even doing a yard sale on Friday, but I was hoping by having it on Friday, we could NOT have to sell our junk on Saturday. At the end of the day, we had made $70. I was hoping that was enough to toss everything and send it to DI. But no, they wanted to sell again on Sat. So, we hauled everything back to the garage and closed up shop.

Next day, repeat. At 1:00, we started to pack everything away. We didn’t have time to waste. We had a retirement party to go to, and our Bots party to set up for. But why was it so hot? Cole and Megan took most of the leftovers to DI (thank goodness).

At about 2:30, we started to set up the canopies. We have one square shade canopy that we bought, and two that we were borrowing from a neighbor. While we do have a LARGE back yard, we do not have a shady back yard, so we had to put up some shade.

And we have this thing.

It looks great, right? The description sounds great, too.
Holds up to 30 people
4 sidewalls with windows
2 end walls
All-white waterproof polyethylene canopy features UV protection; blocks 90 percent of sun’s rays
Measures 10 by 30 feet

We borrowed this canopy when we had a different big party here, for my parent’s 50th anniversary (also hot, also in June). Ryan’s sister and husband host a lot of parties for the Chilean association, so they have all the stuff. We set this thing up in the morning, and then had to leave. It was no small feat getting this thing up, because the instructions (I think we did actually have the instructions then) are ambiguous and just when you have one side done, one of the poles comes unsnapped. It’s a VERY frustrating thing to put up even when it’s not 95 degrees. When we came back, the wind had taken it and twisted it. Part of the canopy was ripped and one or two of the poles had broken. NO!!!! We had to do our best to repair it and put it back up, but we wore worried it would get ripped and ruined even more. We used other stakes and weights to hold it down. It did hold up for the evening. However, we couldn’t return a broken canopy, so we ended up buying her a new one, and we kept the one we had broken.

Fast forward to Saturday. Blazing heat. We’re already exhausted, dirty, and tired from yard sale X 2 days.

Ryan and Cole are pulling over the bounce house and setting that up. We had the box of poles and tarps. No instructions. 5 of us sat there surrounded by poles with the mandate…”You guys figure that out.” Are you freaking kidding me? First I tried to make light of the situation. “Let’s pretend we’re on the amazing race and this is our task in Africa.” They were not amused. Megan even went in to get cups of water for us, since we were in danger of heat exhaustion. We tried fitting pole 1 to pole 2. Now what? 3 and 4? No, that doesn’t fit. Turn it around! Tempers were flaring with the heat and frustration.

If someone were to ask me what I thought of that really cool canopy and should they get one, I would Grab them by the front of the shirt and yell in their face, “For the love of Pete, man, do you not love your family? Don’t do it! Don’t buy it! I know it looks big and the price is great, but DON’T DO it! You WILL say things you regret, and isn’t your family worth more than that?”

There are 387 customer reviews on Amazon for this tent. That’s 387 families that are probably in family counseling now (or at least they should be). One short and sweet review said, “If you want a canopy made from cheapest materials available this canopy if for you. It would make a wonderful windsock. One good gust and hope you can find all the pieces.”

You get the picture? There was whining, crying, gnashing of teeth, yelling, screaming, and stomping. There was also working together, trying to be supportive, and encouragement. We weren’t ALL bad. We TRIED. In the end, we got the thing up, and miracle, it stayed.

We all needed showers to cool off (both literally and figuratively).

The party was still hot, but much less than if we’d had shade.

I was so busy, I didn’t even get any decent pictures, but my friend Liz took a few. You can kind of see the canopies in these pictures.

We survived. The party was fun, even though it was too hot. I haven’t written my review on Amazon just yet. But I’m ready in case I decide to.

Can’t stop the thinking

First I couldn’t sleep.
Too hot. Too cold. Pillow too flat. Husband making noise. Whatever.

Then my brain kicked in.
Thinking about fundraising for John to go to the scout National Jamboree. Thinking about the kids and their end of school projects and things. Thinking about Cole coming home and details that go with that.

I was finally just about back to sleep and I had this horrible thought that something wasn’t right.
So, I dragged myself out of bed to go and check to see if the kids were all in bed, and all breathing. Irrational? Yes. When I got to Megan’s room, I couldn’t see ANYTHING, and I stepped on something. It woke her up and freaked her out that her stalker mom was coming to check on her. I don’t blame her. “Mom, what are you doing?”
“Just checking to see if you are allright.” Such a lame answer, I know.
“I couldn’t sleep, so I just wanted to check on everyone.”

Is it just me? Stupid middle of the night fears.

Kind of a roller coaster

This week was hard for me. Monday, especially. Monday and Tuesday were auditions for a summer show at the Sera theater. I’ve always loved “Joseph and the amazing technicolor dreamboat”,even before Donny made it his own. Even though there aren’t really any parts for women, I wanted to audition. But when I accepted this relief society calling, I told Ryan that I would probably have to give up community theater for a bit. I didn’t say forever. When I looked at the dates for that play (and two others) and looked at my rehearsal schedule for bells (every Wed night, three Saturday mornings and a couple other nights thrown in before our concert in June) and the other things the family has already scheduled, I realized that no one would cast me in a show that opens July 2, even if I did audition. But it made me sad, still.

I couldn’t find my favorite chicken again. She doesn’t like to go into the house at night, and we usually have to pick her up and put her inside. When I went to put them away one night, I couldn’t find her anywhere. Couldn’t find her again the next day. She did this once before, and after disappearing for a day, she magically came back. I figured she was just on another walk-about. But, as I was out in the orchard area of the yard, spraying weeds, I found her. Or bits of her. Only her feet and a wing were there. Something had come into our yard and eaten her. Sadness enveloped me as I cleaned up what was left of my favorite chicken. A thought came to me that if I cared this much about a chicken, imagine the sorrow that a parent, or our Heavenly Father, feels when a child is lost. It put things into perspective a bit, but I was still so very sad.

On Tuesday, I read on the freecycle email that someone had two Americauna Chickens to give away. The same kind as I had lost, they lay green eggs, and are very friendly. Tuesday night I went to go pick them up. Even though I only lost one, I picked up those two and brought them home to our flock. I hope they adjust well soon. So, that was good.

Wed I got to sub in Kindergarten. First time I’ve had a little one throw up in the classroom, and let me tell you, I don’t need to experience that again…ever.

Bells rehearsal was a lot of fun. LeAnna was gone and Larry was a little bit more casual and fun. Since we had just had a BIG long day on Friday, it was nice to take it a little bit easy and have the pressure off.

The deadline to get Natalie registered for the National Debate competition has been looming. While we want her to have a good experience, this trip just doesn’t seem to be working out. Only 3 kids from Lone Peak Qualified, and there were no chaperones, except the one boy’s mom, from what I could tell. We as parents got NO communication from the school or the debate coach, even though I emailed and asked questions. Natalie’s friend is her duo partner, and I kept asking her mom if she knew anything. Last week I realized we would have to do all the arrangements ourselves, and I called to see if we could reserve a room at the hotel where the competition is being held. I thought if I went with them, that would put me at ease. Sold out. Wait list. Looked at flights, not terrible, but still, we would want to book those soon.

I’ve had this unsettled feeling about the competition. How would these girls find anything? Where would they stay? Take a taxi? What 16 year old knows how to do that? I’m not a seasoned traveler, so these things make me nervous, maybe I was projecting that feeling onto this situation.

I heard in a meeting the other day, that if you have a little feeling and you wonder if that’s from the spirit trying to tell you something of if it’s a thought you had in your own mind, 99% of the time, it’s the spirit trying to tell you something. I’m trying to live closer to the spirit since my RS calling, and I just couldn’t get this nagging annoying feeling to go away. I prayed and asked Heavenly Father to please help me figure out what to do. Then I messaged Natalie’s debate partner’s mom and just told her what I thought. She said she would not hold it against us if we decided to pull Natalie from the competition, even if that meant her daughter wouldn’t be able to attend. It would simplify their lives as well (she would be missing half of a family vacation).

When Natalie came home, I braced myself for some drama, but as I explained how I felt and what we were thinking, she was very calm and I think she understands. I told her how much we love her and that we want her to be happy and successful, but we don’t think this is the competition for her. She called her friend, who already knew what we moms were thinking, and they told the coach to put the alternates in, that they wouldn’t be going. (Sure, SHE can reach him, but he won’t answer my email? Whatever)

I feel a bit more peaceful now that the decision has been made.

I had kept today and tomorrow open because my friend Robin had wanted to fly here from AZ and go to women’s conference with me, but she decided at the last minute that she’d better not. Even though she feels pretty good at home, her white count is down, and who knows how the altitude and the flight might affect her (she’s undergoing cancer treatments). So, while I could have gone to Women’s conference, I spent the day doing Relief Society things instead. I made muffins and went to visit two older sisters in our ward. They are both primary care takers for husbands suffering with Alzheimer’s. It was good to visit with them for a few minutes and let them know that we care and we are available to help, if they want that. I also worked on my lesson for Sunday a little bit.

So, you can see, the week is full of ups and downs. That’s how life is. Ups and Downs, highs and lows. You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have…….I’ll stop now.

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