Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Rest of the Story

Last week, the third graders sang at the Mall.  They were SO cute.  They did a really good job.  The teachers really prepared them well, and the children were very well-behaved.  During the performance, between songs, Mrs. K pointed to one of the boys and mouthed, "Are you OK?"  He just stood there, staring blankly.  He was quite pale.  Mrs. S, a mom helper, and her husband, an EMT, quietly swooped in and helped the little pale man down from the risers.  He was OK, just a little shaky--maybe he had his knees locked, or maybe he was just nervous...

But the show must go on, and the children continued their program.  After the little pale man incident, it occurred to me that I should keep a close eye on Isaac.  You just never know in these situations!

So he sang along, just as he had been instructed to do.  Even though he HATES performing in public, or anywhere, for that matter, he cares a lot about doing what he is supposed to be doing so he doesn't get in trouble.  I noticed him wiggling his legs so his knees wouldn't lock, and I noticed that he didn't put his hands in his pockets, even though I knew he wanted to! 

During the second to last song, I noticed that he kept looking at his hands.  He'd bring his hands up in front of him and study his fingers, then he'd look back up and continue singing.  He did this several times, and my Mom Radar was wondering, "What is he doing?!"  After one of these hand-studying episodes, he looked back up, but his eyes moved really slowly, and he had stopped singing.  At that moment, I thought to myself, "Does he look pale?  Yes, I think he does look pale!"  He just stood there, staring blankly, while I got from somewhere in the middle of the second row to his side in zero seconds flat.  My sincere apologies to all the people I'm sure I stepped on or clobbered with my purse...

I grabbed his arm just as his knees buckled, but he was GONE.  I couldn't keep him from falling, but I slowed him down.  Mr. and Mrs. S were there almost as fast as I was, and Mr. S caught him from behind before he toppled the kids off the riser behind him.  Mr. S picked Isaac up and carried him off to the side.  I tried to take Isaac from his arms, but I'm not strong, and I had a purse and a camera in the way.  So I just sat down on the floor and Mr. S put Isaac on my lap.  Mrs. S took Isaac's Santa hat and cute woolen scarf off him, and I pulled his shirt up so he could get some cool air on his skin.  I blew on his forehead and pushed his fuzzy hair back, and I noticed that he was really clammy.  Poor baby!  I scooted him off my lap and let him lay on the cold tile of the mall floor.

His eyes had started fluttering open, and I said, "I'm right here, babe.  Mommy's right here.  Everything's going to be OK."  His eyeballs were rolling around and he wasn't quite focusing yet.  By this time, Dr. O, the principal, was there, and the program was over and the third graders were filing past us, and everyone kept asking, "Is he OK?  Is he going to be all right?"

Dr. O offered to carry Isaac out to the car, and although I would have loved to do it myself, I couldn't have done it.  So he so kindly and gently carried my little pale  man halfway across the mall parking lot to our car.  By now Isaac was talking, and he asked, "Where's my coat?  Is my coat still on the bus?  I want to go home..."

I told him we would go get his coat, and that I would take him straight home.  I asked him if he remembered what happened.  He did not.  I asked him why he had been looking at his hands, and he showed me the two little open blisters on his middle fingers, where he had rubbed them raw with him thumbs during the program.  I asked him why he did that, and he said it was because he was so nervous.  I also asked him if he'd eaten his lunch.  He had not.  He was too nervous.

He told me that the numbness had started in his legs, and when it got to his face, everything went black.  Apparently that happened pretty close to the beginning of the second to last song, because he doesn't even remember singing any of it.  He was worried that he had hurt the children standing near him, but I assured him that no one got knocked down and that everyone was OK.  He was embarrassed at first, but then after Mrs. B, his teacher, called the house to see if he was OK, he decided that fainting during the Third Grade Christmas Program was pretty cool after all.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I Have an Idea...

I've been thinking of instituting a different "blog theme" for each day of the week.

So Wednesday is obviously "Wordless Wednesday."   When I do it, of course...

I haven't really come up with anything for the other days of the week yet.  Except Saturday.  I have a theme for Saturday.

Are you ready?

Here it comes...


What do you think?  A good idea?  I think so.  I could tell about all the big plans I have for the day, and then relate how, through circumstances that are usually completely beyond my control, I don't ever accomplish the things I need to do.

It always starts out with a major case of physical and emotional fatigue.  Add a house that hasn't really had any attention for at least a week, overflowing laundry hampers, Sunday School lessons that need preparing, kids that need rides, a neighbor who needs a little help with something, a fridge that is strangely devoid of anything edible, and you're on your way to a perfect STUPID SATURDAY.

Throw in there a little bit of unfinished Christmas shopping, choir dress mending, random dumb errands, and there you have it.  It's another STUPID SATURDAY.  I have them almost every week, and it puts me in a sour mood that usually lasts about a week, until another STUPID SATURDAY comes along.

Is 8:00 too early for me to go to bed?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Proud Mama

See my beautiful daughter and her wonderful friends?  I'm so proud of them.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Six Weeks and Counting

From this, nearly two years ago:


Through all that, to this: 

42 DAYS... 

But who's counting?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday and Some Other Stuff


And other stuff:

For anyone local, or anyone who will be local in February, I have SIX (6) tickets for the Peking Acrobats on February 3, 2012, which I will not be able to use because I am fleeing to Disneyland.  The performance will be in the DeJong Concert Hall in the Harris Fine Arts Center at BYU.  Starts at 7:30 p.m., and these are really great seats.  I am selling them for exactly what I paid for them, minus the dumb service fee--$166.00.

Anyone interested?

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Nightmare

In my dream, I was sitting on the floor with Dennis; he was behind me and I was leaning on his chest.  Wade and Isaac were playing nearby with some kind of action figures.  They were using boxes for tables.

Dennis said, "I have something I have to tell you."  I listened and Wade and Isaac continued to play.

He then confessed to me that he was married to someone else.  He had been for the whole of our nearly 23 years together.  In my dream, the breath I took was literally painful.  It was a shudder full of knives and broken glass.  He was crying, and I couldn't breathe.  I said, "Who is she?  Where is she?!"

I jumped up and turned to face him.  Wade quietly gathered the action figures and said to Isaac, "Come on, Isaac.  Let's go play somewhere else."

I looked out the dream window and it was raining.  I wondered where Kate was.  I wondered how my husband could be married to someone else when he is clearly married to me.  I wanted him to tell me how it all worked, how it all happened, how I could have fallen in love with him when he was married to someone else.  How he could have fallen in love with me when he was married to someone else.

He was trying to speak but his words wouldn't come out.  He was blubbering.  I thought it was fitting.  I wondered how I would support myself after I divorced him, because I WILL NOT stay married to someone who is also married to someone else.  Duh.  I also knew that we would have to cancel our Disneyland trip because Disneyland is no fun when your husband is married to someone else.  Duh.

Then I looked around at my blubbering husband and the unfamiliar apartment in which we found ourselves, and the empty boxes, and I thought, "Hey!  I don't live here.  This is not my house, and these are not my boxes.  This is a very bad dream!"

And I took a new breath that did not hurt, and I walked out the door of that place.

I opened my eyes and looked around the dark bedroom.  Dennis was cuddled up next to me, like he is every night, and the little solar light he put in the window for me was glowing softly.  I could see the shadowy blades of the ceiling fan he installed last summer when I fussed that I was too hot.  His book proposal that I read for him last night was sitting on the dresser, and my half-eaten Caramello bar was oozing caramel on a piece of foil that I left on my dressing table.  I almost woke Dennis up to make sure he wasn't married to anyone else, but my easy breathing assured me that he isn't.  So I closed my eyes and went back to sleep.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

One of Life's Payoffs

Last night I went to the Orchestra Concert at the High School.  I go to all of the Orchestra Concerts, and the Band Concerts, and the Choir Concerts at the High School.  Next year I probably won't go to any. 

My beautiful daughter plays in the Band and the Orchestra, and she sings in two different choirs, so there has been a healthy helping of concert attendance in my life the past few years.  Kate will be graduating this spring, so I am anticipating that there won't be many, if any, concerts for me next year.  That's actually a bittersweet thought.

So I'm sitting in the auditorium last night, thinking about my numbered days at these events, and my mind wandered back to when Kate first started playing.  She was in the 4th grade, and she was pretty shy about playing in front of anyone, including me.  She would cry when she was practicing because it was hard to get any tone at all, let alone a good one.  But she struggled along, and pretty soon, she was getting it to work.  She practiced well, and we had pretty regular lessons.  She would play for Grammy and Grandpa if I would let her hide behind the chair while she played (so no one could see her...)  We played the little duets that came along in her lesson books, and it was fun for both of us.

Fast forward to now, after dozens of festivals and concerts and recitals and rehearsals, when she will be playing the Gordon Jacob Concerto No. 2 (III and IV) with the Orchestra in January, she is preparing her Senior Recital, and she sightreads Kuhlau duets with me for fun.  And last night, while I was thinking these kinds of thoughts, the Orchestra began playing Bizet's Carmen Suite.  And this beautiful sound floated out above the Orchestra--a soaring, singing tone.  The tone of my dreams.  It was Kate, and she sounded so wonderful.  I remembered the days when there were tears, I remembered the lessons where I picked on her to do better and to work harder, and all at once, the winding road that led her to this moment was clearly visible to me.  It is a road we have walked together, my girl and I, and the joy of the journey has never been more apparent to me than it was last night as I listened to her play.  And I cried.  Oh, the tears flowed down my cheeks, because I was so incredibly proud of her.

It was a Payoff.  One of those moments in life where you can see that all the hard work and the struggle and the sacrifice were worth it, and you get a glimpse of the beautiful possibilities for the future.  My girl will be graduating and moving on, and we won't get as many moments as we have had in the past.  But I will always remember last night as one of the best ones.  EVER.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Telling My Story

Last night, I watched 17 Miracles for the first time.  In spite of the goofy comments from my children (and husband--they were on a roll last night...), I was SO moved and inspired by the faith and the determination and the sacrifice of those people.  That, in conjunction with a lesson we had in Relief Society about telling our family's stories, got me to thinking.  (A dangerous pasttime, I know!!)

Who is going to tell my stories?  I tell some of them to my children, in fact, we tell a lot of stories.  But I don't think any of them are written down.  I was telling a story yesterday while we were driving up the canyon to see the beautiful, brilliant fall colors, and Kate even said, "Mom, you should write that down!"  And do you want to know what's really sad?  I can't even remember, less than twelve hours later, what story I was telling her!!  What is going to happen to my family history if I can't even remember twelve hours, let alone a lifetime of memories?

So, in the spirit of telling my stories, I have decided that I might try telling some of them here.  I print out my blog each year, so it would be a permanent-ish record, that my children could have, and since I like blogging better than writing in my journal, I might actually do it!

So, here's one of my stories:

I am one of eight children in my family.  I am the 2nd child, the oldest girl, and until I was 13 years old, the only girl. I love my brothers.  But growing up the only girl had its challenges.  I had six brothers before I got my longed-for and dreamed-of sister.  My poor youngest brothers had to put up with being my very own personal live baby dolls, complete with being dressed up in little dresses and riding in my baby carriage.  They were my special little buddies, and I loved them fiercely.  My older brother and I had a special relationship in that he was very protective of me, which was fine when I was five, but by the time I was a teenager, I didn't appreciate as much.  Plus, he teased me mercilessly, which I also didn't appreciate that much.  My brother two down from me was the most loving, cute, mischievous little demon child, and he also teased me.  I beat him up regularly, so I suppose I wasn't the ideal big sister either...

But what I needed was a best friend.  A true friend to stand by and who would stand by me.  Someone who would never tease me, and who would never criticize me, but would give me sound advice and honest feedback.  Someone to share my secrets with.  My brother, Vaughn, who is two years my junior, but a good twelve inches my senior, was the peacemaker in our family.  Calm, cheerful, easy-going, he was the polar opposite of my worried, stressed, and grouchy self.  But somehow, it clicked.  One day, when I was about ten and he was eight, we were riding in the big orange and white van with the rest of the family.  I think we were on a family vacation, but I'm not positive about that detail.  We were sitting in the back seat--the one that if Dad drove over a bump, we would fly up into the air (this was in the days before seat belts--I don't think that van even had seat belts!!) and our heads would crack the cardboard roof of the van's interior.  I think my Dad had just hollered , for the umpteenth time, at the general population to STOP FIGHTING AND FUSSING BACK THERE FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE!  I'm sure DON'T MAKE ME STOP THIS CAR was included.

At that moment in my childhood, something happened that changed my life forever.  I don't know if it was Vaughn's idea or mine, but we turned to each other, there in that bouncy back seat, and said, "Let's be best friends forever."  And we promised to never, ever fight with each other, or be mean to each other, or ever hurt each other.  We smiled at our newfound best friend-ship.  And that was that.

And we have kept our promise to this day.  Vaughn has never hurt me.  I hope he can say the same about me.  We never fought.  He has been there for me, and I have been there for him.  We walked home from school together, we snuck out of the house late at night together, we stayed awake with each other when the other couldn't sleep.  We went on double dates together, and we supported each other through stupid relationships and inevitable heartbreaks.

Vaughn has special relationships with all his brothers, and his other sister, too.  And I have special relationships with all my brothers, and especially my angel sister.  But somehow, throughout my life, that one little moment in the orange van was the answer to my prayers for a best and bosom friend.  I hope he's not offended if I say that he is the Diana to my Anne.  I never had a best bosom girl friend, so my little brother stepped it up and did it for me.  And I am eternally grateful.

Wade and Isaac, if you ever read this, take my advice and make the same promise to each other.  It will change your life.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

All I Need

Here is what I need:

Here is what I have:


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

2:48 on a Sunday Afternoon

Church goes from 1:00 to 4:00.

I'm clearly not there.

I feel SUPER guilty.

I'm a church SLUFFER.  I'm truant.  It's an unexcused absence!  Do you think it will affect my grade?

Some days I can only do so much, you know?  I had to do all the chores I would have normally done on Saturday on Friday, because on Saturday I was up in Salt Lake all day with Kate for All-State Choir.  Didn't get home until almost 11:00, and fell in to bed exhausted.   Dennis and Wade weren't even home yet from the BYU football game.  Whose stupid idea was it to have the game so late?  Got up this morning--Dennis already gone to meetings, kids all need showers, need to fix dinner before church so we can eat right after church because we have company coming over.  Choir practice is right before church, so I have to leave an hour before everyone else. 

Kate is going up to the airport to drop off Romain, and I've been teary all morning just thinking about it. 

Andy came home from his mission on Friday--saw him at church today--he looks GREAT.  And he's home.  That means Paul will be home soon, and we still don't have a place to put him.  Are returning missionaries offended when they come home and have to sleep on the couch?

So I just feel overwhelmed.  I'm tired.  (I'm hungry, too...that can't help matters, now can it?)  Life is good.  But it's busy.  And I feel like I need a break. 

But you know what they say...NO REST FOR THE WICKED.

And as proof that I'm wicked, I'm skipping church.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I'm feeling VERY stressed these days.  I have bad dreams about people jumping off the top of very, very tall water slides, or else my children are super heroes and have to fight battles and I can't help them--in fact, I am scared and so I run away.  I cry at work every day, and I hope no one notices.  I have back pain (again or still, whatever), and foot pain, too.  I have sullen and sassy teenagers.  Isaac cries before he goes to school.  My son is coming home from his mission in about four months and we have no place to put him.  My house is dirty and  I don't have time to clean it.  My daughter invited friends over for dinner the other day, and I had no food to feed them with (who EVER heard of serving fish and spaghetti???  It was embarrassing).

There's too much to do, and I don't feel like doing it.

Although, I can throw a mean pity party, and apparently, it's in full swing.  Come on over!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

If You Insist...

OK.  I knew that photo would ellicit some interest, and I apologize for keeping you all in suspense!  There's really only one thing that needs to be said about that picture of my sweetheart's forehead.


And you can thank me for NOT posting the photo of his neck.  That one was pretty nasty.  Twice as long, and you know...on his neck.

I've kind of been sitting on this news, because I didn't really want to talk about it.  There's lots of good news here, so we feel very positive, but still, it's a scary conversation to have to have in ANY form.  It's basal cell carcinoma, which is the most common form of skin cancer, and NON melanoma, so it rarely spreads, metastasizes, or kills.  WHEW.

He's getting those stitches out this morning, and the doctor will let him know if they got all the cancer when they removed that chunk of his head.  The doctor said that they did get it all when they did the one on his neck.  So we're feeling pretty good, all things considered.

And you must know, Dennis has been quite happy going around telling people that his wife whacked him in the head with a frying pan...

He's such a funny guy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Potty Pod

When Isaac needs to take a potty break, he'll often take Dennis's or my iPod along for entertainment.  I assumed he was playing Plants vs. Zombies or watching Phineas and Ferb on NetFlix.

Apparently, I was mistaken.

I wonder how iPods do with Clorox wipes?? 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Blessed and Grateful

Last night Kate and I went to a concert at the University.  We do that a lot.  Sometimes it's me and Kate, sometimes it's me and Dennis, sometimes I torture the boys and make them come, too.  But I love these outings.  I love the time I get to spend wtih my daughter, or my husband, or my whole family.  These are special times.

When I go to these concerts, I usually cry.  At some point during the night, my soul overflows with joy and gratitude, and the tears flow.  To hear these performers, to be a part of the music, to be able to listen and enjoy...  I just can't help it.  I cry.

I feel so blessed, and so grateful, that there is this kind of beauty in the world.  And that I have the opportunity, here in little old Provo, to hear some of the world's great artists, and to hear some of the world's greatest art.

Want to see what I'm talking about?

 Brian Stokes Mitchell


 Dawn Upshaw

 Frederica Von Stade

 The King's Singers

Lea Salonga

You see how lucky I am?  I have been there.  I have seen them.  I have heard their voices.  And this is just the past couple of years, and just the professionals.  The BYU groups make me cry, too. Maybe even more, because they are my friends.  Holst, Shostakovich, Dvorak, Strauss, Prokofiev, Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler.  Such wonderful music, such amazing performers, such thrilling performances.

So you see.  I am blessed. 

And I am grateful.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I'm Distracted

I sat down to do a little blog post about the busy beginnings to the school year, but Kate is watching one of my favorite movies, and I can't even concentrate.  Anyone want to venture a guess?

"For Heaven's Sake!  Can't a girl get a word in edge-wise?  After all, they're my public, too!!"

"What's the matter?  Am I dumb or something?"

"What do you know about it, you... you piano player!  Are you anybody??"

"Now that I know where you live, I'd like to see you home!"

"Then everybody was a dope."

"Well of course we talk!  Don't everybody?"

"I...I...I make more money than, than Calvin Coolidge!  PUT TOGETHER!!"

OK, I have to go.  I gotta watch....