May 31, 2010


"And in today already walks tomorrow."
-- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The past few weeks have been full of impending change, foreshadows of my future, rushing up to meet me before I'm really ready.  Let me explain...

Several weeks ago was Savannah's "Wellsville Mile," a 1-mile race that all 4th and 5th graders in the south end of the valley compete in each year.  To say it is a "big deal" to the kids is an understatement!  I remember when the boys were both that age, standing outside for hours waiting for their heat, watching them race, and then sticking around for the awards ceremony at the end.  It was always the highlight of their year, but one I can honestly say I came to dread.  Each year it was dreadfully hot, there was never anywhere to sit, huge crowds of shrieking 9- and 10-year olds... what was to like?  In addition, I always had to take several hours off work to go, precious annual leave that didn't accumulate near quickly enough.  After Braden's last race, I was so excited because I knew it would be "years" before Savannah would be old enough and I'd "have" to go again.

Last week was Savannah's Wellsville Mile, most likely the last one I'll ever attend.  It got rescheduled due to rain once, and I actually felt disappointment.  My baby was running her last grade-school race... how dare it rain?!!  They held it later that same week, even though the rain was even worse that day.  The way it's going around here I think the organizers' figured that it would never get held if they didn't just do it.  Savannah ran a very respectable 9:10 which was even more commendable given the coldness of the day.  I wore my winter coat (but had no umbrella) and the rain was so bad that my pants were literally soaked from top to bottom, and the rain soaked THROUGH my coat in several places.  It took me hours to warm up when I got back to work, hugging my space heater like a long-lost lover! 

Last week was also Savannah's 5th grade graduation, her final day as an elementary school student.  My baby is off to middle school next year, with high school just days away at the speed I feel things are happening.

Today we drove Evan to Salt Lake City, dropping him off at a hotel where he'll stay for two nights before flying off to South Carolina for Boot Camp.  My baby is old enough for boot camp?!! How did that happen?  Granted, he'll only be gone for 10 1/2 weeks this summer and will return to finish his senior year before he's off again for his AIT training and most likely a switch from National Guard to Active Duty Army.  I'm feeling very thankful that I'm getting to take this leap into adulthood in two steps, but I think I am in disbelief that the days of having him at home (and Braden hot on his heels too) are really coming to a fast close.

I can vividly remember the days when the kids were all small; all the tears, diapers, fights, illnesses, tantrums, school "to-do's," etc., etc. and wishing that they were older, wishing for time for myself and my wants. Wishing, honestly, that I could just spend five minutes alone in the bathroom without having some small (or big) person banging on the other side of the door, demanding my attention that very minute and any other spare minute I might think I'd like to have.  It seemed like the day would never come.

Now those days are breathing hotly down my neck, and I'm really starting to struggle with the changes that are already coming, and the bigger changes I know are next.  It's exciting to see the young men and women they are all becoming (or in Josh's case, have become), but what I wouldn't give to go back and enjoy the moments that I didn't fully appreciate as the gifts they were.  To change my attitude and hug each kid a little longer, a little tighter, and to take moments away from cleaning or cooking or helping with homework just to talk, and really listen to their excitement about the day.

I can't imagine how strange it's going to be not having Evan around all summer, but I'm going to focus on enjoying the next stage of the journey.

Speaking of milestones, this little blog of mine has reached one tonight:  This is officially my 100th post.  Here's to the next 100, whatever they may bring... :-)

May 18, 2010

Rainy days and Tuesdays...

Today was going to be a wonderful day:  Savannah was supposed to run in the Wellsville Mile, a big race that all the 4th and 5th graders in the south end of the valley compete in each year.  This year will be her final one before entering the mad-dash world of middle school next year.  In honor of the occasion, and because Braden also had an orthodontist appointment scheduled for later this afternoon, I scheduled the day off of work so I wouldn't have to keep dashing in and out.  I was soooo looking forward to a few hours to myself, just relaxing. Unfortunately, the weather had different plans for the kids, so the race was postponed until Thursday (more on that later!).

But first, let me tell you about yesterday.  Yesterday, on my way home from work, I was stopped at a stoplight, waiting for my chance to turn when -WHAM- the white-haired old lady in the car behind me rammed right into the back of my car with a pretty good wallop.  Turns out that she was swatting at some sort of flying insect buzzing around her and not watching what was happening in front of her.  We pulled over and looked at our vehicles, neither of which were really hurt.  My rear taillight has a tiny crack, and it scuffed up my bumper, but nothing worse than what's already happened to it, and hers didn't look like anything had even happened.  We exchanged information, "just in case," and I went on my merry way, enjoying the good high that only an adrenaline rush can give you, but thankful that it hadn't been worse.

Cut back to today: For approximately 3.7 seconds I told myself I should just head to work, but I quickly gave up that warped idea!  Great!  Now I would have the entire day to myself (at least until 3:30 p.m.) to do anything I want.  I really want to get out again with my camera, but one look outside cured that desire.  I thought about doing some scrapbooking, but didn't really feel like doing that either: too much of a mess to clean up.  Reading a good book, uninterrupted, usually my heart's desire?  I tried gamely, but just couldn't work up the interest.  So what did I do?  I watched umpteen-million episodes of house hunters or other shows of the same ilk and worked on getting all of the faces in my digital photo albums tagged.  Do I lead an exciting life, or what?  (yeah, yeah, I know it's the "or what," - no need to humor me). 

As the day wears on I've noticed more and more a headache, my neck is stiffening up a lot, and is really quite sore.  So great... I wonder how many days I should live with it before I go get it checked out?  I hate to seem like one of those people that gets in a fender-bender and then claims to be disabled for life, but I also don't want to be the one to foot the bill if I end up having to get it checked out. What would you do?

On a brighter note, today is also my Aunt Lois' birthday, and I am so blessed to be her niece!  Happy birthday, Lo!  And in a weird way, it's also my "Un-Anniversary," as the ex and I selfishly hijacked her birthday for our wedding date all those years ago.  Little did I know at the time that it would forever link the two events in my mind.  If we had picked any other random day, I would probably never remember. 

Anyhoo, I'm off to soak in some nice, near-scalding bathwater in the hopes that it will make my head feel better.

May 6, 2010

Mother Nature is a Definite Tease...

"If spring came but once a century 
instead of once a year, 
or burst forth with the sound of an earthquake 
and not in silence, 
what wonder and expectation there would be in all hearts to behold the miraculous change!"  

 ~~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I'm a day late (which is nothing new to those who know me well), but for the second week in a row I'm doing the "You Capture" challenge hosted at I Should be Folding Laundry.  This week's topic?  Spring, the redux.

For the last six months I have been scrimping and saving, eating endless leftovers in order to hoard lunch money, and slaving away doing side jobs to earn enough to buy my very first DSLR camera.  I finally bought it a little over a week ago, but ever since then the weather has been nothing but miserable, thwarting all my grand plans of using the new toy.  Today was another typical spring day here in the Arctic Utah, meaning that there was an expected high of 50, and snow in the forecast.  What else would it do in MAY?

I have finally come to the conclusion that I will NEVER get to use the camera if I wait for perfect weather, so tonight after work, I braved the cold and took some "spring" pictures. I hate the weather but love, love, LOVE my new camera!  And I have to say, I think the snow really adds a nice element.  Enjoy the pictures while I go warm my frozen hands by the fire... ;-)

Regardless of the cold, I was struck again at what a beautiful creation God has given us! 

May 5, 2010

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch

Or "Teenager's are a trip..."

Here's another appropriate quote I found this week, although this one is listed as "Author Unknown."

"It's difficult to decide whether growing pains are something teenagers have - or are."

Truer words were never spoken!!!

So here's the latest story:  In my home, we have two teenagers, but only one of them has earned his driver's license.  In mid-February, said teenager was pulled over by police on his way to school one day.  Was he speeding? No.  Was he weaving erratically through traffic? No.  Was he talking on his phone or texting? NO.  He was just a teenage boy on his way to school, minding his own business. However, when the policeman decided to run the plates, just for the fun of it, the vehicle came back as being uninsured.  Cue flashing lights and siren!

Turns out that our insurance company had the wrong VIN number in the system, so the vehicle, even though actually insured, wasn't showing up as such.  Frantic mom called the insurance company and they were nice enough to speak directly to the policeman, saving us an impound fee, but the policeman had already issued the citation and couldn't rescind it (which mom personally thinks is bunk, but who asked her).  The insurance company also faxed us a letter stating that we did indeed have insurance on this particular vehicle, how long we'd had it, the fact that we'd never had any lapses, the usual.  Now-subdued mom gave teenage boy the letter and reminded him that he needed to take it in to get the problem fully taken care of.

Now fast-forward to about a week ago.  Mom picks up the mail, only to find a letter formally addressed to "Parents of neglectful child" stating that because said child had never gone in to formally prove we had insurance, he was not only being charged with being an uninsured motorist, but would have a warrant out for Failure to Appear if he didn't get his mangy butt in to the court by May 5th.  Monday we took another copy of the letter from the insurance company and went to the court, assuming that the problem would end there. 

Is anything in my life ever really that simple?

No.  ** Sigh **

Because this child had waited so long, he would now have to appear on Wednesday (today) to speak to the Prosecutor.  After standing in line to see the prosecutor, he explained that, even though they were able to dismiss the uninsured motorist charge,  because it wasn't taken care of when it was supposed to, said child still had to go before the judge on the Failure to Appear and face a $207 fine.  He recommended that the fine be dropped to $50, but emphasized that it was "ONLY a recommendation; the judge doesn't have to accept it."  He gave us a paper and sent us to stand in line again at the Clerk's window, where we had started off the afternoon.

When it was finally our turn, the lady gave us an orange piece of paper, carefully making sure that we understood that, even though the recommendation was to drop the fine to $50, the judge didn't have to accept that."  As we entered the courtroom, the judge, whom I actually grew to love by the time we were done, was informing the person up to bat that even though they had a recommendation by the prosecutor, she didn't have to hold to that.  Gee - I think they wanted us to take note of that fact.

We then spent the next two hours watching person after person take the stand, most for no insurance, no registration, and suspended licenses.  Excuse after excuse was offered, but the judge handled them all in a totally even-handed and even humorous manner, only chewing up and spitting out a few of them.  Each sentence ended with x-amount of days in jail, suspended upon payment of fine. One man offered up the excuse that his wife threatened to buy a dog if he didn't sell his motorcycle. "One of those yappy little things!" he responded when the judge asked what kind, when explaining the reason that he took his beloved motorbike on a last, uninsured ride before selling it.  When teenage-boy finally got his turn, the judge read through the file, and lo and behold, for probably the first time that day she agreed with the prosecutor's recommendation!  The fine would only be $50.  As she told the court stenographer what to write on the paperwork, when it came to the line about jail time, she looked at my boy and said, "he's too young, so we can't give him jail time, as tempting as it is!"

I really like this woman... :)