Sunday, September 27, 2009

My "little" girl is 20

Where do I start? If she's 20 that makes me...old. I look at her and wonder when she grew up. Where has the time gone? This child of mine is an adult. I don't need to accompany her to the dentist or get her up in the morning or drive her to a play date or do her hair or pick out her clothes. (She pretty much did those last two things from the time she could walk). And some days ( a lot of days) I really wish I still could. So many days I find myself wondering if I did enough. In some ways I feel like watching your kids leave the nest and go it on their own is like being graded on an "end of term exam." Did I teach her everything she needs to know to survive and be happy and successful in this big, bad world? Did I listen enough? Did I praise enough? Did I testify of my Savior enough? Did I hug and kiss her enough? Did I expect enough? Council enough? Love enough?
No. No, I didn't. I'm afraid I don't pass. And I wonder, can I do extra credit to bring up my grade? Are we graded on a curve? And I pray, really pray, that I will have faith to believe in the atonement of my Savior-our ultimate teacher- that can make up the difference for all of my failures and inadequacies. Looking at who Brittney has become -in spite of me-assures me that it is not just possible but probable.

Brittney is surrounded by people who love her. Aunt Kelli loves her.
Hailee and Katie love her.
Jill loves dessert-and her.
We celebrated with really yummy cinnamon bundt cake (I can't say bundt without thinking of My Big Fat Greek Wedding), warm carmel sauce, peaches and whipped cream.
I love that the dog is hoping against hope that his "daddy" Christian will 'spill' something. (Always a good chance)
Jill got her beautiful bracelet at the Farmer's Market. (In case you were wondering).
Brittney has faced an unusual problem with her living situation down at school. Her roommates (5 of them) are very, very health conscious. They cook every night. Brittney calls me often just to tell me (brag about) what she had for dinner. At this point in the school year , she is craving a hot pocket and some top ramen-which became her sole means of nutritional survival her freshman year. Since they split the food bill every month, she hasn't felt it was appropriate to suggest adding in some "treats." Since Brittney's grandma would probably starve without her own allotment of daily treats, she jumped at the chance to use her birthday as an opportunity to ease her pain.
Speaking of "treats," one of the sweetest things for me is to watch the relationship between these two. Brittney has her dad wrapped ever so tightly around her little finger. We all joke that if we want anything from Jordan, we just need to get Brittney to ask him. Really, though, she is hard to resist.
I am so proud of this girl. I am so excited to see who she becomes. I love you, Britt.

She's Baaack...

That's right folks. My niece is back for her final season of high school soccer as a senior. This time as a co-captan of her team,the Braves. We drove up for the game against our high school soccer team. She was playing hard, but I noticed a slight limp and a little bit of a pained expression on her face. I was thinking about calling a "time out." (I think if you're an aunt you can do that).

But then this happened: Kate and her teammate went up to head the ball at the same time. I didn't see it happen (because I was looking through the lens trying to find her) but I did see her lay on the field after in a crumpled little heap. The other player hopped up laughing. Kate didn't move. Let's be honest here, folks. My kids-not the toughest. Kate-tough. For a second I couldn't breath.

Slowly, she pulled herself up and told the ref she was ready to play. I confess that at this point I was thinking not nice thoughts about the coach that left her in the game. I wanted to rescue. The coach wanted her to become stronger. Hmmm...I wonder if there is any sort of life lesson we can glean from this?

See that scoreboard? That's what happens when you stay in the game.

I also went to get my "Jilly-fix." She wraps her little arms around you and for a second you feel like the most important person in the world.

But then you notice that it is a gift she offers to everyone. (For example, I have no idea who that girl is)
Hailee and Maddie are cousins, supporters and spectators (just not always of the game).

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Birthday to me!

I've been wanting to go to Ruth's Diner in Immigration Canyon forever. Finally, my birthday created the perfect excuse to gather with my family, be in the canyon and EAT. There couldn't be a more perfect birthday present than that.

We had to wait for a table. The beautiful weather made it quite enjoyable. Are not my parents the cutest?

I love this picture.

These are my ethnic siblings. Just kidding. But really...? The fact that Erick speaks fluent Spanish as his profession further illustrates my point.

Check out Jodi's arms. She worked hard for those.
Kelli is more my mold. I wish I had her smile.
Who does this handsome hunk belong to? That's right. He's mine. All mine.
This is one of the few pictures of Brandt where he is not making a face. Save this Kel. Frame it. He really can be quite nice looking.
We decided that the BBQ pulled pork sandwich was a favorite. For future reference.
Thing is... it was all good. Very, very good.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Just Peachy

I wish I could adequately describe what this one night a month spent with these other 6 women does for my soul. With many of these women it is the only time our paths cross all month. Each of us are full time, stay at home moms at different stages in our children's lives. Some are grandparents and some have toddlers at home. For these past several years that we have been getting together we have shared in each others joys and triumphs, pain and sorrow. We have strengthened, encouraged and supported each other. We have laughed together and we have cried together. But it's the fact that we have been able to do it together that has made our journeys so much more rewarding.
Last week, Andi hosted us at her home. And honestly, that's how it felt when you walked you were home.
Besides her artistic abilities, her amazing sense of style and her ability to make every meal she makes taste like the best thing you've ever eaten, she also has this incredible sense of humor and can make me laugh.

The table was beautiful. It spoke to us. It said, "Welcome. Please stay. Eat 'till your belly hurts." And so we did.

From left: Jana, Sheila and Angie show up the incredible sunset.

Rebecca brought the Family Home Evening lesson. Who knew the Old Testament could be so exciting? I left with a greater determination to do "hard things" knowing that in doing so I will create a capacity to do still harder things. Can't wait to share with my family on Monday.

This salad looked almost too good to eat. Almost.

Philly cheese steak sandwiches (inspired by Andi's youngest son/BYU co-ed/chef), crash hot potatoes with bacon and cheese, and salad w/ raspberries, pears, cashews, bleu cheese. (My mouth is watering)

Kristin eyes the dessert of homemade vanilla ice cream with fresh peaches and warm caramel sauce.

Once again I left inspired, motivated full and happy. But when Hailee aked me the next morning how Family Night Goup was, I told her honestly, "it was just peachy!"

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Try again

This was the scene Sunday morning. Gabe had been working on that tie forever. Christian stepped in and gave him a few pointers and then said, "now try it again."
That's what we're going to attempt to do with this blog. Try again. We'll see how it goes.