Thursday, May 21, 2015

TBT -- I will fix you.

I know this blog has been a little "Max heavy" lately but this is happening today:

(That was Baccalaureate which was incredible BTW, more on that when I can think.)

But the real-deal graduation is tonight and as my mom (who's in town for the graduation) and I swing from one school to the next with parties and grad. set up and golden scholar award ceremonies, I figured it would be especially appropriate to post this TBT about Max way back when he was 16.  Especially since my big idea of making a slide show for him today hasn't quite come to fruition! These old pictures will do the trick for now.

I noticed that he was "fixing me" back then, and he still is.

Love him so.  So here you go.
The first time I posted this was in 2013 back HERE.

In my mother’s heart I should be mourning right now. 

Today the boy who first made me “mother” is turning 16.

Instead of snuggling softly in my arms, my mind in awe of his peaceful straight-from-Heaven demeanor, his towering 6’5” frame makes me feel small.  My mind is now in awe of the man he is becoming. 

Who is polite and kind and makes good choices….

Despite my plunders as a mother who is trying to figure out this parenting gig with him as my first guinea pig.

I should be devastated that my only boy is done with scouts forever.
2007-09-06 Green Family 0177-2
That his beloved blanket has gone from this:01688_n_8ablnh9hs752
…to this:02088_n_8ablnh9hs3046…and is now nothing but a faded memory from that little boy so long ago.

Gone are the days of hauling his cello to and from school:2007-09-07 kids 0056
…and little league teams of every sort.2004-04-27 gym & baseball 0302004-04-27 gym & baseball 03402511_n_8ablnh9hs3372010-03 kids and sports-1189
…and being able to squish him into a pumpkin.Pumpkin
Joy School days whisk through my mind.Joy School
And images of the ever-patient big brother with sisters constantly surrounding him:2004-04-11 Easter 048 2004-07-18 Bear Lake 0042007-06-06 Lucy's surgery 02562008-04-21 photoshoots 02332008-04-27 photoshoots 000102866_n_8ablnh9hs300502961_n_8ablnh9hs290103360_n_8ablnh9hs1811Max & Elle b&w2013-04-07 general conference 72985
Yes, my mother’s heart should be squashed and ripped in two because my baby has gone from this:Beach Baby
To this:2009-06-03Priesthood hike0178
To this:2013-05-19 summer kick-off 758322013-04-02 misc 72408
…while I blinked.

So why can I hardly help myself from letting that slow smile I see so often mirrored in his face creep across my own?

Maybe it’s because I never knew back then how much more fun things would get.  I thought I needed to hold onto that babyhood and boyhood with all my might (which of course I always will).

But who he is becoming is even better.

And instead of my heart being squelched it is growing by leaps and bounds every day.

A few months ago I was driving him to school.  He had missed the bus.  I was frustrated with him because he was letting volleyball consume his life and interfere with his grades.  I was huffy.  I was worried about his motivation.  I was worried I was failing as his mother.  I was pleading with Heaven to help me help him.  He plugged in his iPod and Coldplay’s “Fix You” floated out into our silence.

I’ve always liked that song, but that morning with the sun streaming through the windshield and my eyes welled up from lack of sleep and worry, it spoke right to my heart.

“When you feel so tired but you still can’t sleep…”
“And the tears come streaming down your face…”
“When you lose something you can’t replace…”
“Lights will guide you home…”
“I will try to fix you.”

And as the beat got going and I blinked out silent tears behind my sunglasses I thought about how much I wanted to “fix him.”  To turn him into who I think he’s supposed to be.

But quickly I realized I wasn’t “fixing” him at all.

He was “fixing” me. 

He has taught me more than I can say, this oldest child of mine.

Through the peace he exudes.

The slow smile.

The calm demeanor.

The sparkle in his eyes.

His quick wit when I need a laugh.

His thankful attitude.

I loved that baby boy of mine with my whole heart.

But that heart of mine keeps expanding to fit that huge boy he’s become inside.

And I’m so grateful he’s there to help “fix me.”

Happy Birthday dear Max.

Love you forever.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

seminary graduation (mine and how it was just yesterday)

My heart is in a knot.

It has been for a few weeks.

Having a child graduate is very bitter/sweet.

He's ready.

I'm not.

It is a glorious culmination celebration of so many years of wonder and work and worry and whining :)  And my heart is so full yet so empty.

Tonight is his seminary graduation.

So I just had to share this clip that I happened to find of my own when I was searching old stuff for Max's senior slide show.

Let's take a look at who I shake hands with at the end:

Yep, that's President Hinkley and Elder Nelson.  I had totally forgotten about that, but President Hinkley's grandson and Elder Nelson's son were my good friends and graduated with me.

And that feels like it was YESTERDAY!

Onward (I guess) to my favorite boy's graduation tonight!  Then school graduation tomorrow.

Not ready but I better buckle my bootstraps cause it's coming whether I like it or not!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

April little things

April started out with April Fools day which is always my favorite.  

I was scrambling around in the morning to find my trusty plastic spider I put in Max's breakfast every single year.  Why is that so fun for me?  This is what I try to do every year back HERE.

But this year alas, that trusty little spider was nowhere to be found.  I found a humongous one in the Halloween bucket but that wasn't going to do the trick.  I tried putting it in his lunch but he found it before I even put it there.  So I was back to the drawing board.

Then the day happened and everything came at me in rush speed and I forgot it was April Fools.  Until I saw a post from my friend on Instagram from my friend who put toothpaste in Oreos for her kids and my stressed out post-carpool funk suddenly got wiped away by stopping quick at CVS and picking up the goods. 
Max kind of spilled the beans by saying "toothpaste!" when he stole one from the pantry, but he still ate that thing and said it tasted minty.  And Lu took the cake making us laugh because although she absolutely detests toothpaste that isn't specifically kids' toothpaste, she ate one of those puppies right up, including licking the inside.

We were all busting up.

It's always good to get a little April Fools in, even at the expense of your children.

I did art masterpiece in Lucy's class and it was a pretty fun one.  It was based on a painting with dalmatians (sad that I can't even remember the artist...oh boy I'm losing it!).  My friend had the brilliant idea to let them try their hand at sculpting with play-doh the year before, so I copied her and boy these kids adored it!

I made the play-doh the night before.  Let's pretend that greenish stuff is actually black.
The kids each got a little baggie with their supplies the next day:

Here's the recipe straight from my dear friend in Virginia years and years ago...I've used it so many times since then and it's got a special spot in my handy recipe binder (back HERE).

Check out these cute little dogs the kids came up with:

Then it was Easter.
I talked all about that Utah/conference stuff back HERE.
So grateful for that opportunity.

Sometimes I can't help taking a screen shot of these humansofny posts.
Makes me feel powerful too, but weak as can be at the same time.

Lots of responsibility there I tell you!

I went to Lucy's field day at the school:
Dave's sister and her family came to town...(I wrote a little bit about their visit back HERE, love so much when they come to town!).

Max got answered to prom (that's an inside joke language on those bellies):
They both did their day-dates.  Elle and her group played some kind of soccer game while wearing these huge blow-up balls so they could collide into each other.  See the balls behind the kids in the picture below?

And I can't find a picture of Max's day date, but they went up into the mountains had a great time.

Then they actually went to prom.

I took Max's we are at the end:
All the pictures and how crazy it was getting these two ready at the same time back HERE.

I didn't get to see much of Elle but she had a great time and we finally got her pictures back a couple weeks ago.  I'm going to post them soon with a little bit about my thoughts on her dress and the shoulders some were worried about...there were some good questions so hopefully I can finalize my draft soon.

I found Lucy at the computer one Saturday morning doing this:
She loves art.

My sister-in-law introduced me to the best hairdresser who will come to our house and take care of all of us girls.  Elle had never had highlights and I finally caved right before prom.
Our new haircuts:
Dave's sister came to visit.  She is such a wonderful, positive person and I love her!
...and that t-shirt our neighbors gave Max as a joke that he loves...

Lots of looking at this trying to figure out if we should wallpaper our laundry room:

My brother and his family surprised us by coming through town on their way home from their school break.  We can never get enough of these guys.

Some of Claire's friend have phones and take pictures at school which make me happy.

I spoke at a women's conference this great lady in the front put together.
And one of my missionary companions was there! (in the green on the left).  Love her so.  Wish we had more time to get caught up.  My sweet mother-in-law came too.

We had a little birthday party for two of our good are some of our teenagers.

The girls and I hang together in their bathroom every morning as I help them bathe and get ready.

...and nag them to make their beds and put away those darn legos and ask them for the twenty-thousandth time why in the world trash doesn't make it into the actual trash can.  Oh and why to bobby pins have to be left all over creation?

Just a few things I ponder while I hang with them:)

I had to snap a little picture of Claire putting her shoes on from my perch on the edge of the tub helping Lu with her bath.
It's only for a little while each morning, but I love being there with them and talking about "stuff."

It's the little moments like that that I love so much about mothering.

Unless I have to get on their cases for dawdling so darn much.

Because oh boy do they ever, to that's a regular occurrence.

But there's still a good feeling in that bathroom with my three little girls.

They tell me what to do with their hair and I do it.

Every once in a while I remember to take a picture.

And every once in a while our hair talks turn into deeper talks about life and love and God.

These cute girls in our gym carpool practiced their guts out for their performance (last Saturday...more on that soon).

One day we turned our whole house into a photo studio so I could help our friend with a photo shoot for a new practice he is starting.

There were make-up people and stylers and a whiz-bang advertising guy who knew what he was doing.

Our cute neighbor taught Claire some skate tricks.
These girls got creative for a little art project.

We took some pictures of the three graduating cousins at Nana and Papa's house one night...

...which turned into this:
...and this:
...and this:

...oh and this:
Little do these kids know right now how incredibly lucky they are to have each other.

Lucy's new perch during Family Home Evening (gradually we are starting to actually decorate this place!)

Dave's brother and sis-in-law came to town and we went to lunch.
Love discussing the world with them.

Bike rides and more about them back HERE.

Rumikub Family Home Evening:
(Lu and Claire were on the same team about to win...)

Lucy's nightstand:
I love how much she loves to read.

...and that I got to go with her on her class field trip to the "Butterfly Wonderland."
Love this teacher of hers with all my heart.

You can't see all the butterflies, but man alive there were a whole slew of them.  Lucy was dying to have one land on her and was so disappointed when everyone around her had butterflies plopping down on their shoulder or heads.  She waited so patiently for one to land on her to no avail.  Finally my friend "helped" one land right on her belly.  She is a butterfly whisperer I tell you!

Claire finished the fifth Harry Potter:

Grace helped me cook up a storm:
Lucy did yoga in Activity Days:

Friends at the volleyball games:

Claire's "Golden Scholar" night:
(pics of her back here)

We helped my nephew with his Eagle project doing "Billions of Graves."
Such a gorgeous morning and a great way to connect with ancestors.

Lu and I finally cleaned out her closet and put up the stuff we've been wanting to for a while.
I wish I had a "before" picture.

My ankle has been swollen all month.  It's so weird.

And it's driving me nutty.  It doesn't hurt, but the valley fever specialist said your body does all kinds of weird things when you have this crazy thing.

So when one night we all sat down and watched "Shark Tank" randomly (our television is very rarely on on weekdays), it felt so nice that my girls would rub it for me!
I love, love, love that all these kids do their own laundry except for Lucy.
I especially love it when they aren't fighting while doing it! :)

These two started tennis (again).
I don't have a picture of one of the assistant coaches who offered to help but he's really handsome and good and his name is David and these girls love him (and the main coach who has taught them intermittently as well as Elle for years.

One of our old favorite FHE activities re-discovered:
(You fold over the paper three times and everyone draws the head on their own paper.  Then they fold it so the next person can't see it and pass it on.  The next person draws the body then folds and passes and the last draws the feet.  Love it.)

Our fireplace cracked and New Years Eve (the first time we turned it on).  From there that tiny crack got worse and worse and worse until we had to hold it all together with duct tape.
We've spent some good time on that baby and how to replace it.
Hopefully soon.

I was mesmerized by this beautiful view in a doctor's office:
The iPhone can't do it justice, it was gorgeous.

We rarely saw Max and Elle in April since they were on the courts so much.  More about the tennis wrap up back HERE, and I need to get to the end of volleyball asap (just ended this last week), but we did get to have the team over for a big dinner like we did last year and I was so grateful for my assistant in the kitchen:

Grace and her team partner made a pretty awesome rocket at school.
Wish I could find the video...that thing took off!

Ok I'm off to a field trip but wanted to wrap up April before May speeds up and ends!
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