Monday, April 28, 2008

Mason's Baptism

Last weekend was super busy and extra special. On Saturday, Michael baptized Mason as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was wonderful! Mason got to choose who participated and had Teensy say the opening prayer, his dad give a talk on baptism, his Aunt Amber give a talk on the Holy Ghost, his Grandma Margaret lead the music and his Grandpa Meemers say the closing prayer. Is it wrong to admit my relief that he never once suggested that I take part in the program? I had my hands full enough for the weekend...

Michael's cousin, Sean, and his family drove here from Cleveland to attend the big event. My kids absolutely adore their second cousins and we had a blast fitting another family of six in our house for a couple of days!

In addition to Sean's family, Mason's baptism was also attended by his Grandma Margaret and Grandpa Bill, Uncle Josiah and family, Uncle Steve and Aunt Sue, Grandpa Meemers, Aunt Amber, Uncle Adam and family, Bro. Barron (surrogate grandfather to all the kids at our church), Bro. and Sis. Wright (his teachers at church), and our dear friends, the Obering, Johnson and Parish families. All told, is was about 46 people! (Sadly, I didn't get the word out to others who would have liked to come; I guess I'll do better on Marlee's big day.)

Mason was very excited to be baptized and make a commitment to follow Jesus Christ. He really is a sweet boy and thought quite a bit about this decision. He had some concerns with the concept of immortality but decide to exercise his faith in the Lord's plan and go ahead and get baptized. How I love this tender-hearted boy!

After the ceremony, we had a little dinner and then came back to our house for more play and slumber parties with cousins. By Sunday all the kids were exhausted, but I know Mason will remember his baptism day his entire life and think fondly of all those who made great efforts to share it with him.

Can't resist adding this shot of Teensy and Selena "cleaning up" the last piece of cake!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spring Top Ten

I think spring has finally come! I am so ready for it. Here is the list of the top ten reasons why I am thrilled that spring has sprung:

10. The beautiful flowering tree in my front yard.

9. The smell of freshly-cut lawns on Saturday mornings.

Going to the Ram's Head and eating a crab cake sandwich on the terrace.

Wearing fun strappy sandals.

6. Taking my kids to the park where they can jump and be loud without getting on my nerves.

5. A steady supply of Popsicles/ice cream in my freezer and strawberries in my fridge.

4. Dinner on the grill several nights a week!

The anticipation of my first pedicure of the season!

2. Sitting in my camp chair watching Mason play baseball.

And the number one reason why I am giddy that the weather is turning warmer is...

Children wearing sandals and decreasing the amount of "whites" in my laundry by up to 28 pairs of socks a week! Wa-hoo!

Monday, April 14, 2008

High School Reunion: The Dance

On Friday night, my Michael and I had a hot date to go to our ward (parish/congregation) High School Reunion Dance. It was an activity for all the members of our ward who have graduated from high school. In a word, it was awesome!

The idea behind the dance was a sort of flash back to high school. Each person was supposed to dress like he or she did in high school. I didn't know what to wear until I unearthed my senior tee during my spring cleaning frenzy; I didn't wear that in high school, but I figured it was close enough. We all sent in photos of ourselves in high school and they made a slide show out of them. It was fun to see who had great eighties hair, who was a cheerleader and who was a skater.

My Michael was a skater in high school but no one recognized him in the photo I sent in of him on his board. Typically, he doesn't ride a skateboard to his bishopric meetings!

We were also asked to send in music requests for the DJ to play throughout the night. It was so fun to have a great mix of Debbie Gibson, Erasure, and Alphaville. I hadn't heard those songs in ages! I must say, one of my favorite sights of the evening was watching Susan, Class of '79, (who wore her ninth grade dance dress!) teach us the Hustle.

After a couple hours of dancing, the DJ announced the Savage Mill Ward King and Queen and their attendants. It was hilarious. Susan was crowned Queen, with Suzanne (in her black lace gloves, pegged jeans and giant hot pink earrings) and Deb (who also fit into her high school dress!) as her attendants. My Michael was crowned King! I guess the crowd liked his graffiti-ridden shorts and t-shirt. His attendants were Barid, John (who let his teenager put eye-liner on him!) and Brian (sporting his Letterman's jacket).

It was just such a great activity because we adults got to be together and just have fun. We weren't distracted by making sure we knew where our kids were or anything else. And everyone danced! It was so fun to jump around and dance with our friends, but I especially enjoyed dancing with my Michael. He has never fast danced with me before. It was so fun!
I guess the biggest tell-tale sign that I am not in high school anymore was the fact that my feet were seriously sore by the time the evening was over. We came home exhausted but totally looking forward to this being an annual event.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Happy 8th Birthday, Mason!

Today is my Buddy's birthday! This is a picture of him on this big day. Isn't he just a handsome little guy?

On Friday morning, I went in to volunteer in his second grade classroom. (Thanks to Brenda for watching my little girls so I could do this!) While I was there, I helped the children with a writing activity where they each penned (or penciled, as it were) a cinquain. In the spirit of this project, I whipped up a little cinquain of my own:

Bouncy, snuggly
Climbing, leaping, sprinting
Love fills my heart

It's no Walt Whitman masterpiece, but my boy sure likes it.

We had Mason named when he was just a twinkle in his daddy's eye, as they say. Michael had just announced his plan to make all of our kids' names start with the letter, "M," and I was trying to think about how I could be restricted to just one letter. I thought of one of my best friends from high school, Jason, and put an "M" on it. I thought "Mason" was a good name and Michael agreed. By the time we found out we were expecting and that the baby was a boy, we had the name set. Mason's middle name is my brother, Brent's, middle name. My brother, Brent, was one tough cookie with a lot of courage and I thought it would be nice to name a little boy after him.

As a baby, Mason was very sensitive to...well, everything. He didn't like a lot of people, noise, or lights, but he always loved his mom. As a toddler, he wasn't into Rescue Heroes or any of the other toys that boys his age were into, but he sure loved his mom. Now, Mason doesn't cry in a room full of people and likes Pokemon as much as the next eight-year old and he still loves his mom!

Mason has always loved little toys, from lizards to frogs to trains. The smaller the toy the better. He used to methodically line his toys up on the hallway banister before going to bed. He is a fan of order. As his mother, I am quite thankful for this! His room is always picked up. I don't have to tell him what to do each morning. He wakes up, gets dressed, puts his dirty jim jams in the hamper, makes his bed, eats breakfast, makes his lunch, practices math facts, and reads for 15 minutes every morning before school without a single prompting from me. It's quite nice. He's just a really good boy.

And "boy" he is. He loves to play outside with his best friend, Dallin. Together, they forage through the woods near our home, capture lizards and slugs, and climb trees. At the end of the day, he is often a sweaty little dude with dirty fingernails.

Another crazy encounter with Mason and Dallin.

I love my boy! I used to feel so guilty that he doesn't have a brother, but he is a fabulous brother to his three sisters; he'll take turns playing with their girlie toys or watching their girlie movies with them. I think he'll make a great, sensitive husband someday (he'd never throw his wife under the bus...). He loves spending time with his dad at Judo or the batting cages and he loves to cuddle and kiss his mom. What more could a family want?

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Addict Hits Rock Bottom

Well, dear friend and devoted reader, a rather mortifying event has taken place since I last confessed my addiction of googling people to you. As previously stated, I have been known to research an ex- or two of my Michael. I know I'm not alone in this activity, but somehow that fact is not offering me any solace at this point. Allow me to fill you in on what's happened.

I found a blog. Authored by Michael's high school girlfriend. I read it. In a spirit of friendly Hey, honey, check this out! I showed it to him. He read it. No big deal. Then, he left a comment for her. Again, no big deal, right? I mean, I showed him the blog, right? What does it matter if he reads it and leaves a harmless comment?

Enter the excerpt from my Michael's "harmless comment" with which I take issue:
Anyway, my wife found your blog a couple of days ago (I taught her to google

Who among you, my dear friends and devoted readers, is not horrified at the way my beloved companion threw me under the bus like that? Why didn't he just write "So, my psychotic stalker wife was searching the internet for any sign of your life..." I mean, seriously! I thought he and I were on the same team.

Needless to say, he is in the dog house around here. He claims "it was late at night," he "was mentioning that I had a wife" (?!?!) and that he was "just trying to be funny." Yet anyone I know (of the female persuasion, at the very least) feels horror, not humor when I relate to them this latest gem from my life's most embarrassing moments.

There's nothing I can do, I guess, except repent of all my compulsive googling (look where's it's gotten me!) and pray that this poor girl doesn't feel the need to change her identity after the manner of the Witness Protection Program. Actually, I half-hope she's reading this right now (hi, Kirsten!?) so that I'll feel a little more normal.

In the meantime, I have a hot date tonight with a cute guy whose sense of humor is a little off, to say the least. But he does have his good qualities...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Spring Cleaning Discoveries

I know, I know, just how long is it going to take me to spring clean one house, right? In my defense, I am being really thorough. I'm basically going through every drawer, shelf, closet, etc. and purging like you wouldn't believe.

The other night I was going through a giant stash 'o paperwork. It was stuff that needed to be sorted and then put away in it's appropriate file. I'm not going to lie. It is a big job. I'm only about half way done with all these papers that have been hiding in a couple of bins in my room. It had gotten a little out of control. I'm not proud of the horrendous paper situation, but I am on the road to annihilating it, so that's got to count for something, right?

Anyway, in a serge of ultra-organized cleaning, I went through tons of papers Sunday night (while crying with Miss Elinor Dashwood over her broken heart on PBS) and found some interesting things, both good and bad.

The good would be two $10 bills, two $5 bills and a $10 gift card. That's quite a haul for just a little over an hour's work, don't you think? I'm sure some of that cash belongs to my kids as I found it in old birthday cards, but I'm not sure they'll be getting it back. At this point, I'm looking at it as payment for services rendered.

On to the bad. And sad. There was a little box of various mementos from Maia's birth (her little bracelet, her first knit cap, etc.) Among them was a book that my nurse at my OB/GYN would fill out at each visit while I was pregnant with Maia. It's a log of my blood pressure, belly measurement, and (here's the kicker) weight/weight gain. I, of course, turned to the last entry, when I was 39 weeks pregnant, and made the shocking and completely disheartening discovery that my current weight is exactly two pounds more than it was when I delivered my first child. Can there be a worse discovery in life?

I think there can and here it is: I never even appreciated my weight then. I never felt like a small or slight girl. I always thought I was a little large, in truth. And yet here I am, weighing much more and thinking Why didn't I think I looked good then? Why did I waste so much time worrying about being big when, obviously, things and thighs were only going to get bigger? I'm just a little perturbed at my twenty-four year-old self for not appreciating her body a little more, you know?

And so I am taking that knowledge and what I've learned with this new 20/20 hind sight, and I am going to appreciate my current body a little more. And I might make some cookie dough today to celebrate. After all, I haven't missed a day on my treadmill yet this week...

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Confession: Googlaholism

A couple of years ago, my Michael taught me how to google people. It can be quite fun and informative!

Last night I stayed up until an uncharacteristically-late-for-me hour googling almost every person I could think of from my former life (read: before motherhood). First, of course, I googled myself. My maiden-named self is virtually non-existent. Where did she go? Is that some kind of metaphor for what happens to a woman who chooses to devote her life to her family? I really don't think so. But Google evidently does. There were tons of hits on my married self and only one on my maiden name. I kind of wanted to make an addendum to that one hit that read see also Mendy Hunter.

Some of my other googling was quite successful though. And, boy, did I get creative! I found out what my best friend from BYU's freshman year boyfriend it doing. Now, that's important, isn't it? I didn't stop there, either. I googled the girl I sat by in French class, an ex or two of my Michael's and even the boyfriend I had in high school (although I actually misspelled his name--how pathetic is that?) Sometimes I think about random people and wonder what they're up to and if their lives have turned out for them how they'd hoped, like mine has for me. According to Google, some of these people are doing well... and I'm happy to know about it.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Flashback Friday--One Day Late

This week in celebration of her birthday and in a blatant attempt to guilt her into either (a) commenting on my blog and/or (b) posting on her own blog, I am honoring my dear friend Wendy with my flashback.

Wendy and I met on our missions. I'd like to say that I appreciated her immensely from the moment we said, "Buna ziua," but that's simply not true. I liked her fine and I'm sure she liked me, but it wasn't for almost a year that I really came to love my friend Wendy so very much.

There was a rather dark time in my mission/life where I felt like a fish on land. I was miserable and felt like I was slowly suffocating. Whenever I had a couple of hours with Wendy during that time, it was like she scooped me up off the sidewalk, placed me in my native water and swam around with me until I was strong enough to go on. It might sound dramatic to you, dear friend and devoted reader, but you don't know how hard that time was for me; I hope you never will. Wendy was a great listener and she really saved me. Sadly, I had the chance to be the same support for her when my situation improved and hers took a turn for the worse. Because of our like experiences and the way we helped each other through them, we really bonded.

After our missions and graduating from college, we went to Europe. (The above photo is us in London, as you might have guessed by Big Ben's presence above our heads.) We did a whirlwind trip from England to France to Italy to the Czech Republic to Hungary to Romania to Germany and back again (give or take a country or two). We had a great time eating our weight in Hot Tamales on trains across Europe and seeing all the major sights we could get in. It was such a fun time and I'm so glad I got to do it with her.

Wendy exceeded the expectations of even a great friend when she came out to help me after Mason was born. I loved having her! She was a real trooper to stay on the couch in our little apartment and melt in the ninety degree weather with ninety percent humidity and no air conditioning!

I haven't seen Wend since then. Eight years! During that time, we've lost touch and then reconnected. I hope to see her again in the near future. She's a fabulous story teller and I'd love to stay up until the wee hours of the morning talking to her again...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Mufasa Said It Best

For Christmas, Mason got a little terrarium and a coupon for a tadpole. Feeling a little generous, I ordered two tadpoles (basically to ensure that we'd get one frog out of the deal). They arrived in the mail in late February.

Mason was thrilled that he didn't have to watch the mailbox anymore and that he could actually see his long-awaited pets. Of course, not five minutes after seeing them for the first time one of the tadpoles met his end (with the help of an over-zealous two year-old observer who sloshed him out of his water in an effort to "just see da widdle tadpole better"--man are those things fragile!). There were tears. My boy is of a sensitive lot and truly heart-broken that his beloved pet (of five minutes) had kicked the bucket before they could become better acquainted. I secretly patted myself on the back at my genius in ordering two tadpoles.

We all watched Bob/Fred (the debate over the name is another tale...) grow and mature. I confess I found it quite fascinating to watch that little speck grow longer, lighter in color and eventually sprout back and then front feet. How we all rejoiced on the day he hopped out of the water! It was a miracle to behold. Here's a picture of the little guy on his second day on land. He was still utterly tiny at this point and, clearly, still had much of his tail.

The next day, when his tail was finally all gone, so was his little froggy spirit. It was awful to have to tell Mason that his frog was dead. He was so very heart-broken. I was grateful, as a mother, to have the knowledge of the resurrection to share with my son.

I know it seems like a silly thing with a tiny frog, but it was huge to Buddy. I know Heavenly Father loves Mason and that He loves that little frog. I know that death is just a part of the circle of life, but that Jesus Christ overcame death in all its ugliness and sadness. He was resurrected and took away the permanent sting which would otherwise accompany death. I am grateful for that knowledge and the comfort it gave Mason on a sad, sad day.

In the meantime, I am pushing the idea of a Webkinz...

Quotation of the Month

There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.

-Jill Churchill