Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Court

Fourteen years ago, I met Rebecca Whitaker, the super smart girl in the back of my sophomore pre-calculus class.  We were little more than acquaintances, but our similar interests kept us together throughout high school.  We bonded over Shelby and Ronaldo, the sleeve puppets with which we kept ourselves entertained during AP Biology.  Incidentally, AP Biology was the first class I ever skipped, and Becca my first partner in crime.  We also shared Madrigals, AP History, and a love of Fruit Loops.

Twelve summers ago, my family participated in the Draper Arts Council production of My Fair Lady.  My dad got to sing in the men's quartet with Kurt Jeppson, "the guy with the hat" (that's just what we always called him... his name may have been Jared?) and somebody named BJ who seemed familiar to me.  When my senior year started, I quickly realized that BJ was actually Brett, who was in Madrigals with me.  In addition to sharing the common denominator of Becca, we also shared an easily-skipped 2nd period class and enjoyed several trips to Sconecutter for scones and raspberry lemonade.

That same year, I met a junior fairly new to our school, another fellow Madrigal named Phil Hall.  We had common friends, and even though I was steadily dating someone else, I asked him to go to the Christmas dance with me.  I remember awkwardly slow dancing with him to the theme from Armageddon all the while thinking of my boyfriend because that was kind of "our song."  Phil pulled me closer and told me if we were going to dance, we might as well dance.  For the record, that didn't make it any less awkward.

I have to be honest that in high school, these were just people I knew.  These were not the people I spent yearbook day with, proclaiming how much we'd all miss each other.  I didn't even know yet what they meant to me.

College was a bit of a struggle for me as I left home and tried to figure out who I was.  I went to Utah State where I didn't really know anyone.  Within the first week, I found out Becca was a student there, too, and we became inseparable.  She and Brett and Phil had forged a strong friendship, and she was kind enough to take me under her wing and welcome me into her circle.  Brett and Phil would sometimes drive up on weekends, sometimes we would meet up at home, and sometimes we'd drive down to UVSC where Brett was going to school.  We'd laugh, have waterfights, listen to little-known musicals, or sit around the piano and sing.  Even though I didn't have a clue where my life was headed, they accepted me for exactly who I was.  After all, we were convinced we all shared part of one brain.  When I broke up with my high school flame, they were there to help me figure it all out.  I wasn't always the best person, and sometimes I was a downright awful friend, but they stuck with me.

Brett got called on his mission.  Becca got married.  Phil got called on his mission.  I got married.  Life happened.  Brett and Phil both got married.  People moved.  We've all kept in minimal touch, but we've mostly tended to our own lives.

As luck would have it, Brett, Phil, and Becca all managed to end up in Georgia.  Oh, and -- vital piece of information -- Brett happened to marry my sister.  So here I am visiting my sister in Georgia this week, and Phil's parents were kind enough to have us all over to dinner.  As I posed for a picture with three of the best friends I could ever have, I couldn't help but think of the lyrics I wrote before Brett left on his mission.  We had called ourselved "The Court," with Becca and I being princesses and Brett and Phil being the knights sworn to protect us.  I wrote this song, which I bawled through at the piano in Brett's house the night before he left for the MTC.
There are people who'll go through your life and leave no trace,
There are others' whose names will bring a smile to your face,
But the people whose presence you could never do without
Are the ones whose love for you you'll never doubt.

We're the Court of the Rock and on Christ we depend.
His work and His glory are ours to defend.
And though our paths diverge now, they'll rejoin in the end,
So see you later, see you soon my dear friend.
It's been ten years since Brett left.  Ten years since we started out on our own individual paths, and I still feel just as lucky to call each of these people my friends.  So to three people to whom I owe so much of myself, "Though our paths diverge now, they'll rejoin in the end.  So see you later, see you soon my dear friend."

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Thoughts from Stone Mountain

On Friday, Brett and Lisa took us to Stone Mountain Park where we got to watch a laser show on the side of this HUGE stone wall.  The center of the wall (and focal point of the laser show) features a Confederate Memorial Carving of Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson.  It was a fitting time to attend a fireworks and laser show, just one day before I'd have celebrated Pioneer Day had I been home in Utah.  The lasers were pretty amazing, the music was fun, and I left feeling like I'd just sat through an entertaining lesson in Georgian history.  (Did you know that Outkast, the B-52's, and James Brown were all from Georgia?)

One of my favorite parts was when Mariah Carey's "Hero" morphed into "Go the Distance" from Hercules and the laser show depicted hometown heros like school teachers and doctors and then military heroes and firemen.  It was followed by a great rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" with a new set of words. 

My least favorite part was the realization that my fellow Americans have so little respect for our country that less than half of the audience stood for the national anthem.  I could understand not jumping right up; I didn't even think of it until my sister stood.  But as some people started to stand and others didn't it became apparent to me that there was no passive choice.  People either chose to stand or chose to sit.  Chose to have their view of the laser show blocked by the respectful people standing in front of them.  Chose to impart a disrespect for country to their small children by their example.  Chose to let phrase after powerful phrase pass them by while they remained still.

It was also interesting to contemplate the Civil War from a southern perspective.  It must be a bit of a struggle to be proud of one's heritage and one's ancestors who fought for what they believed was right but also to know they lost and the country was better for it.  Actually, it was interesting to contemplate the Civil War at all.  I think it doesn't hold as much weight in the West where "we" weren't a part of it and where, in Utah at least, it seems like religion is often a bigger deal than race.

I expected a fun evening, and I was pleased to have also been offered the opportunity to think about some of the moments that made this country great and to be proud to stand for my country.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Live from GA

Dylan and I are lucky enough to get to spend 10 days with my sister who lives in Georgia.  We arrived via airplane late Tuesday, and here's a list to sum up the experience thus far:
  • I'm not a fan of the humidity or crazy rain, so I'm getting really familiar with the inside of Lisa's apartment. 
  • Luckily she and Brett just moved into this particular apartment, which means I get to put some of my organizational skills to use. 
  • Having only one child definately has it's perks.  I've had lots of one-on-one time with Dylan and lots of time to read. 
  • It's ridiculously quiet without my older boys.  Thankfully I have one noisy brother-in-law to help fill that void. 
  • If I thought I tended to be competitive at home, it's only because I haven't been able to spend much time with Brett in the last few years.  We've been battling it out on the Wii Fit, and though I do have to admit to losing most of the time, I don't think either of us would be able to boast such high scores without the "friendly" competition.
  • It is fun to have a new audience for my cooking.
  • Brett and Lisa live near an air base, and the jets that fly over are AWESOME!  I still need to get pictures to post.
And here are some pictures of our trip here and a few highlights of the trip so far.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Layover

After 3 days in Garden Valley, Idaho and 3 days in Lava Hot Springs, I am home for a brief layover before my next adventure. This month, home has been nothing more than a place to clean the laundry and pack up again, and I have had a blast! Here is what will hopefully be quick highlights of our adventures:

Shown: Me jumping off the 30-feet-high platform at Lava Hot Springs.  Not only did I do it once, I did it TWICE!
Not shown: Me white water rafting on the South Fork of the Payette River and jumping off a huge rock into churning rapids

We are constantly amazed at Adam's increasing willingness to try new things!  As he came out of the tube from his first waterslide at Lava, he looked at me with a pale face, and I thought he was about to cry.  Instead, he exclaimed, "That. Was. AWESOME!  Let's do it again!"


Not Shown: Taelin - hopefully I'll have a cute picture soon of one-year-old Taelin climbing up on Dylan's lap to give him a hug.


Not Shown: Dylan on G.Gpa's lap, chewing on the straw of his Pepsi.  When I told Grandpa it was a good thing Dylan couldn't use a straw, he started teasing me.  "Oh, you young mothers who won't let your kids have candy or soda..."  Nope, Grandpa... I'm not anti-candy or anti-soda... just anti-caffeinated-babies.


The river was pretty cold, but Dylan insisted on being down in it.  If I held him up out of the water, he would cry.
Adam does this thing now where he turns his hat inside out and then wears it.  I thought maybe Kirk had taught him to do it, but he seems to have invented his own little style.

NEW DANCE:

We took the kids to the drive in and they were jamming to the music before it started.  Worth watching!

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Sunday, July 11, 2010

What Did You Learn Today in Primary

If somebody routinely asked me, "What did you learn today in Sacrament Meeting," (as I routinely quiz my kids about primary/nursery each week) it's quite likely I'd respond the same way Adam does each week. 

Me: How was Primary today?
Adam: Good
Me: Really?  What did you learn?
--Pause--
Adam: I don't really remember.

Thankfully, as a current primary teacher, I happen to know exactly what was taught each week, and with the correct leading questions, I can always get him to regurgitate something from the lesson. 

Me: Did you maybe talk about any animals?
Adam: Oh yeah... it was something about sheep.

Since to me a successful Sacrament Meeting is one in which Adam keeps his constant talking to a dull roar, Alex manages not to scream at Adam for some minor infraction, and I leave with only marginal amounts of spit-up stains all over my dress, it's no suprise that if asked what I learned, my answer would generally be, "I don't really remember."  Sadly, it takes a really captivating speaker to get me to even look in the general direction of the podium.

Well, there was that one week where the speaker brought a piece of strawberry shortcake and placed it on the podium just to get people to look in that direction. 

Today, I actually came home from church feeling refreshed.  Rejuvenated.  Renewed.  And I'm convinced it's because the new couple in our ward that spoke today was exactly what I needed.  Captivating.  Confident.  Listening to the wife speak was almost like music as her voice rose and fell naturally as she passionately expounded on her topic.  Listening to the husband was easy because he approached the pulpit with such honesty. 

Still, what did I learn today in Sacrament Meeting?

Hm.  I really don't remember.

It was something about the Title of Liberty.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Diamond Fork Area

I could post a lot of details here that nobody would really care about but me, but I've decided instead to let the photos and a few short videos do the talking. These are all from our recent trip to the Diamond Fork area of Spanish Fork canyon including our 5 mile hike to/from the Fifth Water Hot Springs and our explorations of the Red Ledges Picnic area and the river.


 








Happy baby babbling in his new carrier = $5 well spent!
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Happy baby splashing in the cold river = Happy Mommy!

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Happy Adam, bravely crossing the river via plank bridge = Progress
**Last year when I took him on this same hike, he spent the first 15 minutes screaming because i was making him hike close to a river.**
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Hey, and I've heard a rumor that my videos aren't working when I post them. Please let me know if that's true, since they take *forever* to upload. I'd rather not do it if they aren't working anyway.