Today’s post is a random mish-mash of thoughts and announcements and such.

Most importantly, we found out on Saturday that Matt passed the Bar exam.  I can’t begin to express what a hallelujah moment that was for us.  I was dreading gearing up for single parenting again if he didn’t pass, and I did. not. want to.   I mean, it’s been a looong road.  Here’s what our boys looked like when we started the law school journey.

Then, once we’d moved, started school, and Matt was in his first semester of law school taking finals, Natalie was born.

And now, we’re finally done.  Look how our family has grown up (and grown old) since then.  Can’t believe how the days and weeks can be so long, but the months and years just fly past.

Anyway, congrats to Matt and hooray for me.  🙂


Natalie’s been taking medications for a long time.  Prescriptions are part of our daily routine.  She hates medicine, and every day it’s a bit of a battle.  She actually has a sinus infection this week, so there are even more prescriptions.  She cries and doesn’t want to take her medicine because she’s too cold or feels yucky, and I try to tell her that’s why she needs the medicine.  It will help her fever and help her feel better.  She still hates it.  Today I pulled the medicines out of the cupboard and I saw her sneak from the room out of the corner of my eye.  I called her again and again.  No answer.  Finally I found her in the office hiding behind the couch.  I thought how funny it is that she tries to hide from what’s going to help her get better.  That made me think of this quote from general conference and realize that we’re all as silly as Natalie in some ways.

“Sometimes we want to have growth without challenges and to develop strength without any struggle. But growth cannot come by taking the easy way. . . .  We must be careful that we don’t resent the very things that help us put on the divine nature.”  –Elder Paul V. Johnson


I can’t really explain this, but lately I’ve had an increased sensitivity to the elderly.  Maybe it’s because Matt’s grandma stayed with us for a little over a month while her husband was in the hospital.  I don’t know, but I’ve just noticed them more around me, and my heart has been drawn out to them.  I imagine that they have great wisdom from life’s experiences and probably many family members and happy memories.  But I wonder how much they struggle with loneliness or sickness, mourn the loss of spouse or loved ones, as well as the loss of their own strength, health and maybe independence.  Yesterday as I left the pharmacy, I saw a man who used to be my Stake president 18 years ago at BYU.  He set me apart for my mission.  One time he called me up out of the audience to bear my testimony at Stake Conference.  He also taught a mission prep class that I attended.  I greeted him, introduced myself and said hello, but as I got back into my van, I had a surge of those memories and I felt a wave of emotion and gratitude.  I wished I’d told him he was an important part of a really developmental stage of my life and my testimony.  I saw him as an 80 year old man now, much thinner and more frail, carrying away a prescription that was probably for him or maybe his ailing wife, and I thought, “maybe he doesn’t know what a great life he has lived and shared.”  I went home and looked him up on and found an address for him.  So I wrote him a letter, and it felt so great, and I hope it will somehow give him a little bit of joy.  Anyway, I’m not telling that story because I want you to think that I did some great thing; I just had a strong feeling and the thought that I should share it, so I did.  But maybe you know someone older whose day could be brightened by a note, a phone call or a visit.  Your kids can help too.  I don’t really know my point, but it’s just been on my mind lately.


I have a cousin who suffers from chronic migraines.  Matt asked about her the other night at the dinner table, so then my children were curious about her.  We explained that she’s had a really bad headache for literally years.  Grant was shocked and cried out, “Why?!!  Are her kids really annoying?”  I thought that was so funny.  I told her about it and we had a good laugh.  She assured me that if that were the real problem, they would have been gone long ago.  🙂  It also reveals a lot about what Grant understands about their behavior and my well-being.  Smart little whipper-snapper.

The wisdom of an immature mind

My daughter Natalie is a 4-year-old genius.  (Doesn’t she look great in my glasses?) She’s like a grown-up, intelligent woman in a little tiny body . . . assuming that the grown-up, intelligent woman pees her pants a lot and screams like she’s being axe-murdered when her socks “feel funny.”  Anyway.  I was looking through some old abandoned drafts and I found this comment that Natalie made to me one morning.  It wasn’t just any morning.  It was one of those mornings where you’ve decided to give up before the sun even rises.  I think I actually crawled back into bed and told her that I’d decided to stay in bed all day and hide.  She bellowed with great sincerity:  “Nooooo.  We love you.  We want you to get up every day.”  I have to admit, it made me feel better, and I (mostly) recovered and survived the day.

This past Sunday, I arrived at church in a tizzy because I don’t care if we had church at 6:45 p.m., we would still be scrambling to get out the door on time.  It’s pathetic.  And in this case, I was pretty convinced that our family was hopeless, and that I was destined to be the lone, unappreciated crusader to get my family out the door and to church on time without missing any major articles of clothing.  I was annoyed.  During sacrament meeting, the hymns and prayers and sacrament began to cool me down (as they are designed to do), and at some point Natalie leaned over and whispered to Matt, “Daddies don’t have diamonds in their rings because they don’t make dinner.”

I love that girl.

That’s all.  Carry on.

The season where dreams (almost) come true

A week or so ago, we were on our way home from a family outing and decided to eat out because it would be too late by the time I got dinner ready at home.  We stopped at a Chinese buffet.  Is it weird that except for when I actually lived in China, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a Chinese buffet before?

Anyway, I wasn’t very impressed, but my children pigged out to an embarrassing level (Matt gave them free reign of the dessert buffet.).  Then they each got a fortune cookie as we were finishing up.  Grant opened his and started jumping up and down for joy.  He started yelling, “Yes!  I’m going to Disneyland!”  He was SO excited.  Matt and I looked at each other quizzically and I asked him for his fortune paper.  A close look revealed the following fortune:

“You will soon be traveling to a distant land.”

His hasty reading had an unfortunately over-abundant translation.

I tried to comfort him by reminding him that he had just consumed more desserts than children in most third-world countries get in a year.  Somehow that wasn’t quite as magical to him.

Personally, I think it was a nice introduction to the season where Santa politely says no to most of the things on his Christmas list anyway.  🙂

(For those of you who missed it, please join us in the  12 days of Christmas challenge! Random acts of kindness daily until Christmas. Today’s the “2nd day of Christmas.”  Click here or on the button on the sidebar for more information.)

Girl humor

Today Natalie (age 3) referred to this movie:

as “Lady and the Cramp.”  Does anyone else find this as funny as I do?

I’m thinking it would be a great rewrite/parody.  Remember the song the hootchie girl dog sings in the dog pound prison?  Maybe she could sing it like this:  “It’s a Cramp, and I hate it …”  And after Lady gets out of the clink, can you imagine the PMS-induced wrath that Mr. Street Dog would get?  I don’t think it would be a spaghetti kiss, put it that way.

What would you write into the story if  you were the screenwriter for Lady and the Cramp?

Why I should have been on the evening news

No, it has nothing to do with family services or anything like that.  (Just in case that was your first guess.)  I was a hero.  Well kind of a bumbling, awkward, and maybe a teeny bit screaming hero, but a hero all the same.

I went to the zoo yesterday with my children, my mother-in-law and 3 nieces and nephews.  There was supposed to be a shark feeding, so we headed to the aquarium wing.  There’s a display part in the middle that has sharks (not the man-eating kind) and stingrays.  To set the scene accurately, they’re all about the size of a standard bed pillow.  The tank is open on the top, and probably about three or four feet deep or so, and maybe overall the size of a putting green. A fairly large display.  Kids can stand on the side and put their hands in the water and if anything swims near to the top, you can stroke its back.  But it’s quite deep and usually the creatures are all out of reach.  Believe me, we’ve stood there for hours before because Grant just couldn’t go until he made contact.


Yesterday, I walked up behind my own children just in time to see a little girl to Grant’s right go up on her tip toes, bend over the glass and reach just far enough that she FELL IN THE SHARK TANK HEAD FIRST!  Her feet were up in the air and over the edge of the glass so she was literally submerged upside down and couldn’t get her head back above water.  After my tiny (but very brave) scream, I bent over, reached all the way down into the water grabbed under her shoulders and pulled her head up out of the water.  Then I lifted her up and out of the tank.

I will try to refrain from social commentary when I say that some lady from the day care she was visiting with looked at me, came over from across the display, walked away with the girl and said NOTHING to me.  My shirt and pants were wet, and I was a tad freaked out, but mostly unharmed.

This may not actually sound that heroic to anyone, but just about a month ago I had a slight panic attack while canoeing on the river because I have a phobia of contact with lake and/or river and/or ocean creatures.  And I saw Jaws.  So I think I deserve some kind of good citizen medal or something for flinging myself into a shark and stingray tank.

Conversations that make you wonder

So in this whole we-might-be-moving mess, Natalie somehow got it into her mind that if we buy a new house, we’re getting a dog.  We’re not.  But she was telling Grandma all about it on the phone today, and when Grant overheard her, he began speaking over her loudly trying to remind her that we’re not getting a dog until he’s 13 (because I said that once, and I might play dumb in 6 years when he tries to remind me).  This is how the rest of the conversation went, to the best of my memory:

Grant:  “NO, Natalie.  Not yet.  When I’m 13 we’re gonna get a dog.”

Clark chimed in:  “Kids don’t live until they’re 13.”

Grant: “Yes they do!  How do you think kids turn into adults then?”

Clark:  “We’ll, some kids fall down the stairs before they’re 13 and die.”

He has a point you, know.  I’m thinking maybe I took the baby gates down a little too early.

Update:  House goes on the market on Friday.  Driving to my parents’ home on Saturday, Sunday and maybe a little bit of Monday.  When I arrive, I may take a 36-hour nap.  Sorry, mom.  I promise I’ll take care of my children after that.