Thursday, January 30, 2014

What Does It Mean?

If you know me in real life or have spent more than a minute on this blog, you know that I have incredibly vivid dreams.


Explain to me why, two nights ago, I had a detailed dream involving me dying of meningitis. Except I don't think I actually had meningitis symptoms. I just had a fever and I didn't want to move and I was in the hospital and the whole world was very concerned. Except my husband and children because, if they existed in Lori's Land o' Dreams, they were absent without leave. I also think I might have been considerably younger than I am. This is based on the fact that the only person I actually knew in my dream was my mother who refused to leave my bedside. Although, maybe if I was actually dying of meningitis, she would be refusing to leave my bedside? Even in my current state of, well, 32.

Oh no.


I did have a husband in the dream because, at one point, I was lamenting how much of all it was costing. Just then, the doctor came in and said, "I've been reviewing your finances." (Full service doctor, right there). As I laid there and wallowed in my illness, she continued, "You really don't have much to speak of, do you?"

And even in my state of extreme sickness, I managed to be very irritated.

So maybe my husband was busy working so that he could keep paying the hospital to keep me? I know that I kept telling my mom to let me go to save the finances. Except I just don't think death was imminent. I think I had a fever and felt like crap. These are not really reasons to justify euthanasia. I think, maybe it wasn't meningitis, even. I think my doctor would have been better off being an accountant and not diagnosing me with a terrible disease.

My dreams are weird.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Three Parks

I grew up going to Disneyland. Once a year, if I was very lucky. It's never lost it's magic. Main street is still made of memories, dreams, and ice cream. Adventure Land is still adventurous. And the first part of Pirates of the Caribbean is still one of my favorite places on earth.

Sharing this place with my children is just icing on the cake.

My oldest is tall enough for everything now. We're not entirely sure what my father was doing in this picture. Attempting to freak his grandson out by breathing dramatically, probably.

I'm still bitter that this isn't called The Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse anymore. But I'm dealing with it...

My oldest has been dying to do the Jedi Training for at least two years now. His chance came. He got to fight Darth Vader and everything.

We also went to Knotts.

We played with Snoopy and Woodstock.


Garrett stole the show in a Cowboy Antics fight. The actor put his hat on Garrett and my child saw fit to chase the bad guy, throw the hat at him, and generally insert himself into the show. But it wasn't pretentious or obnoxious. It was dramatic.

We had a great time.

Two days at Disneyland. One day at Knotts. Giant corn dogs in New Orleans square. Popcorn. Rainforest Cafe. Rides. Hours and hours at three amusement parks. Two hotels. Countless memories. Fun. Fun. Fun.

Monday, January 27, 2014


Matthew, the stubborn light of my life, kept getting up off the bench where he was eating his lunch yesterday. "Finish your food and don't get up again or I'm going to glue your bum to that bench," I said. Or, at least, something very like that.

My brother was sitting next to him and, apparently, Matthew said that he was going to glue my bum to the chair I was sitting in. My sister-in-law asked who would take him home if I was glued to a chair.

"Myself," he replied. "And bubble gum."

In the musical Wicked, Glinda informs the Ozians and the audience that, "We can't all travel by bubble." But, apparently, Matthew can.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Three Day Theme Park Extravaganza

We went to Disneyland.

And California Adventure.

And Knotts Berry Farm.

My two boys are sleeping soundly tonight.

There is nothing that my seven-year-old won't ride. Also, somehow, during the past six months or so, he turned into a big boy.

My four-year-old was afraid of the Haunted Mansion. Until he began using his finger and thumb as a pistol to shoot the ghosts. Now he loves it.

There will be pictures eventually. But not now. Because I am going to sleep for a day and a half. Or until my children wake up. Whichever comes first.

Friday, January 17, 2014


Yesterday I was with kinders.

They seemed so mature to me last year. Now that my own child is in first grade and has a head full of adult teeth, the kindergartners seem a little like babies. One of them sucks her thumb non stop and can't recognize the letter O.

But, in any case, they are still hilarious.

"Can you tell me some words that rhyme with and?" I asked them.




"Well, man doesn't rhyme with and. It has the same vowel sound but it doesn't end in the same sound. Let's try again."

"FRAND!" One girl shouted, very proud.

"Well, okay. Frand does rhyme with and frand a word?"

Some said no. Some said yes. The girl who supplied the answer shouted, "Yes! It is too a word." Then she put on her very best southern accent and said, "This here's my fraaaaand."

And I could not hide my laughter.

Monday, January 13, 2014


So remember that cyst I had awhile back?

It persisted.

Through November.

It persisted.

Through December.

The pain came and went, went and came. I pretty much refused to take pain medication for it because I didn't want stories written about the suburban pastor's wife who spent her very small life's savings on her drug addiction.

Two days ago it hurt bad enough for me to contemplate taking the drugs. It was like I was 21 again and newly in love with Troy and thinking about him 20 hours a day. Except, in this story, Troy was a prescription for Trama-Dol.

Last night I went to bed in pain and this morning I woke up in pain. I got up, made the boys breakfast which consisted of pouring them bowls of cereal and giving them each two mini donuts because MOM OF THE YEAR, RIGHT HERE. Then, I flopped back in bed and made a very loud moan. The moan said, "Husband, who is still asleep, I am in pain and would very much like to go back to bed. I would very, very much like it if you got up and took the boys to school this morning because I feel like getting back out of bed NOT AT ALL." Except, well, my husband doesn't speak Moan. So then I kind of flopped around in the hopes that he would turn to me and say, "Clearly something is wrong, I love you for being a princess and a diva and why don't you sleep for a good, long while and I'll get those strapping young men of ours off to a day of education." Except my flopping was very passive aggressive and my husband also doesn't speak Passive Aggressive. At a later hour of the morning, he assured me that he would have gladly taken them to school had I simply said, "I don't feel very well. Can you take the boys to school?"

Men. Apparently they want to communicate in plain English.

So I took Garrett to first grade and then I took Matthew to preschool and then I came home and started a load of laundry and then we changed the sheets on our bed and then, sometime a half hour or so later, BAM.

Stabbing pain in the area of my right ovary. This was followed by relatively little pain that made me think, "Huh. Well that was intensely weird."

And then THAT was followed by what can only be described as having a hysterosalpingogram that takes next to forever instead of ten minutes. Thankfully I've had a hysterosalpingogram before so this feeling wasn't altogether new. I don't know for absolute certain that the cyst burst but if it didn't then I just spent my morning having a close brush with death for no good reason. So, I'm sure putting my hope in the former.

Once I was finally able to crawl out of the fetal position and into an upright one, I took the blessed Trama-Dol. It took the edge off the pain and the world was a better place.

I'm still in a little pain and I'm strangely very tired. But I did next to nothing all day--a travesty since we're leaving on Friday for San Diego, working all day Thursday, and I have to pack and clean and do a million and two other things before we go. My husband waited on me.

My favorite part of the day was when he asked me if I needed a bell. You know, so that I could summon him whenever I needed to.

I love that man.

Almost as much as Trama-Dol.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Hill

They're wearing helmets because, well, they're crazy, we're those parents, and there is a metal grate at the bottom of the hill that has already been responsible for one immense goose egg on the skull of one of my children this season. This child.

This one finally treks up to the top of the hill, by himself, without whining and crying about it. Without me having to grab him by the hood of his jacket hand and drag him. But he'd still rather prostrate himself on the ground and eat large quantities of snow. 

He's trying to master his beginner snowboard. It would probably help if he actually stuck his feet all the way into the straps.

The oldest has been "snowboarding" for longer, so he's a little better. Of course, he needs to have his tongue sticking out for ultimate focus.

(He's had the focus tongue since he was a tiny guy.)

The snow can be a pain, the freezing temperatures are undesirable to my thin, sunshiny blood, but it sure is fun to spend the afternoon at the sledding hill.

Friday, January 10, 2014


Last night, before I realized that it was an hour long, I got sucked into an episode of Treehouse Masters. That's why it was all kinds of late when I finally got in bed. BUT. Before I got into bed, I brushed my teeth. I took out my contacts. I pulled out a few stray eyebrow hairs because if I didn't do regular upkeep I'd be borderline Unibrow Woman. With my face all pushed up against the mirror, I surveyed the state of my pores. I turned my head this way and that.

And that's when I saw it. A black hair. A loooong black hair. Growing out of the side of my face. It seemed to be a confused head hair more than a whisker but its location suggested that the world is going to conspire against me and I'm going to get that beard after all.

Now, yesterday, I had a conversation with someone at the bank. I went to Dollar Tree. I had a discussion with not one, and not two, but three of the first grade teachers when I picked Garrett up from school. I conversed with friends. In the flesh. Face to face. Or, as it was, face to whisker. This is not to mention all the people I've seen, up close and personal, in the past several weeks.

If teenage me had known about facial hair, she would have run away screaming. If I could talk to her now. The conversation would go a little something like this.

"You're going to find stray beard hairs coming out of your face."

"Well, Old Lady Self, I'm prepared for that. Few of us age gracefully."

"Um. No, Teenage Self, I don't mean at NINETY. I mean, at age THIRTY TWO you will find stray beard hairs. There will be several locations that you will habitually check and pluck. Two hairs in your chin alone, Girlfriend. But, inevitably, you will miss the one on the side of your face from time to time until it has grown to nearly half an inch in length! Half an inch. HALF AN INCH!"

"Wha? THIRTY TWO? Say it's not so?"

I hate Teenage Self. She was so unaware. So young and naive. And her arms were so toned. So very, very toned. Her stomach--flat as a washboard. And vericose veins, she knew not of these.

So there I was, yanking a half inch dark black hair out of my face. Let me pause here to say, "WHAT? MY HEAD HAIR IS NOT DARK SO HOW IS MY BEARD COMING IN BLACK?" Anyway. I pulled. It came out. I started frantically searching my face--at all angles and with several different lighting options--for other signs that I'm turning into a man. And, would you believe that there, growing out of my CHEEK was another one? Well, if I spoke with you at all yesterday I'm sure you would. I'm sure you saw it. I'm sure you debated how to delicately inform me that I was sporting two wiry facial hairs of substantial length.

I lamented to my husband. "Woe to me! My beard hath beguneth."

He promised that he hadn't noticed them.

I believe him.

Certainly he wouldn't have wanted the wife of his (slightly later than) youth to walk around unknowingly showing off her spectacular beard hairs. He insisted that no one noticed. But I kind of want to retrace my steps and approach anyone I spoke with yesterday. "So, those glaringly obvious hairs I had growing out of my face yesterday, I removed them. In case you were wondering."

What is up with getting older?

What is up with having to add, Remove Unwanted Facial Hair, to my list of things to do?

Please tell me I'm not the only one this happens to.

Monday, January 6, 2014


A post that's making its way around social media recently reminded me that they'll never be this small again.

Tomorrow they will be one day older, slightly taller, and weigh just a little bit more. The youngest one might speak just a bit more clearly. One of these days, his sporadic correct pronunciation of the letter L will turn into always getting it right. Soon, he might even be able to say his R's. The oldest will, eventually, stop saying vitafin. Although, I vow not to have anything to do with telling him.

Tomorrow they will go to second grade and kindergarten.

Tomorrow they will go to the prom.

Tomorrow they will be men.


From here, I see what seems like a lifetime of science projects, skinned knees, report cards, vomit, broken hearts, inevitable bad choices, math problems. Endless volumes of math problems stand between now and then.

But, somehow, someway, it's already been seven and a half years. They sleep through the night. They feed themselves. They don't spit up on my clothes--at least not normally. They clean their own playroom when, for years, I thought that particular goal would never, ever, in this lifetime, be accomplished. They read. They're toilet trained. How did all that happen? How was all of that accomplished?

They still want me to snuggle with them at night--a sacred moment or two that will be gone before I know it. Sometimes I just want to kiss them and take a shower. Sometimes I don't want to crawl up onto the top bunk because, one of these days, I might die trying to get back down. Not today. But maybe tomorrow. I remind myself that the oldest is full steam ahead with eight on the horizon and the little one is not so little anymore. So I climb up. I wrap my arms around that warm body--lanky with limbs and life. And sometimes I sing because they still want me to.

"525,600 minutes. 525 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes. How do you measure, measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights in cups of coffee. In inches, in miles, in laughter in strife."

"Mommy! Are there really that many minutes in a year? Whoa! That is so many!" he exclaimed.

How do so many go so fast? I wonder.

9,460,800. That's roughly how many minutes I get to raise these guys. Nine and a half million minutes. That's so many. What will I do with all those minutes? And why do I know, inexplicably and without a shadow of any doubt, that it will never ever be enough? 

And how many of them will I make worth remembering?

They will never be as small as they are today. Tomorrow, a little less of them will fit into my arms.

Friday, January 3, 2014


Proverbs 31:25-30
Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
"Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all."
Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

I long to be just a little like the Proverbs 31 woman. Probably I won't plant a vineyard and probably I won't consider a field and buy it. I also will not likely stop fearing snow for my household. But oh how I hope that the heart of my husband will safely trust me. May I never take off the clothing of strength and honor. May I always be a woman who fears the Lord.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Snow Cave Time

This is what my dad does when he comes to town.

Well, I mean, not every time he comes to town because sometimes he comes in July. And while I'm not saying that it would never snow in Utah in July, so far mother nature hasn't been quite that cruel to me.

So, yeah, we've got a giant snow cave in the front yard. Except that now our temperatures are in the toasty high 30s so if we don't see some more snow soon, that sucker is gonna melt right quick.

Not that I'm asking for more snow, mind you. Because I'm not. It's January now. As you well know, I only tolerate snow in December.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


I hate the tradition of recognizing a new year and setting resolutions.

Even when I resolve not to make goals, I can't help but think of what the upcoming year holds--changes I want to make, dreams I want to see come true. And they are daunting, requiring an ever-present persistence.

I always want to be more faithful, more fruitful and more fit.

I want to be more present, less absent.

I want to be moved by the little things and, maybe even, the big things.

I want growth.

I want to " deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck the marrow out of life..." -Henry David Thoreau

So I won't set a resolution that will only be broken into a thousand dejected pieces.

Instead, I will only hope that when I come to die, I will not discover that I never lived.

This is Christmas

I haven't had a chance to blog about Christmas because I've been trying to get this angel off my head for the last week.

She's actually now in my trash can because I've had her forever, there's a short in her system so she can't be plugged into the lights unless you want to hear a constant, "EEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!" sound, and her dress is torn. That angel has seen better days, is what I'm saying. But I'm a sentimental sap so I had to march straight to the trash can and toss her in without any fanfare. Now those sanitation workers need to come to my house RIGHT QUICK and take her away before I fish her out.

The tree is also gone because WHOA FIRE HAZARD. I've never had a tree lose more pine needles than that one did. It's truly a wonder that our tree didn't catch fire and burn our house straight to the ground.

Christmas for us is always a slow, drawn out affair.

AND WE WOULDN'T HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY. I read my friends' accounts of AWAKE at 6:00 and finished with presents by 8:30 and it makes me so sad. I mean, to each her own but y'all really should be jealous of how my family does it. Envious. Green eyed monster attacks.

We start the festivities with our candle light service at church on Christmas Eve. Truly, I love Christmas Eve so much more than Christmas day. On Christmas Eve, the magic of the day hasn't come. We wait in eager anticipation--for the celebration of the birth of our Lord, for the gifts, for the family togetherness.

When we get home from church, we sit with our boys and read the story of Christ's birth out of Luke 2. Then, we open presents from Troy's side of the family. After that, we get the boys in bed. One of my favorite holiday traditions comes just after the boys are nestled into their beds with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads. Except not really because they don't know what sugar plums are. Come to think of it, I don't know that I know what sugar plums are. Ah well. Once they're in bed, Troy and I sit in the dark in the living room, with our eyes fixed on the tree. The house is quiet. The tree twinkles with lights. We sit together and talk in hushed voices. And sometimes we don't even talk at all. I know that's hard for you to believe but I promise it's so.

On Christmas morning we get up whenever the boys do. This year, Garrett woke up around 7:30 and Matthew stayed asleep for almost another hour. We started opening our stockings at about 8:45. It's lovely the way we delay gratification. Our boys, at just 7 and 4, love to draw every moment out of the day. We got good ones.

The boys get their gifts from Santa--a stocking and ONE gift. They are only allowed to ask Santa for ONE thing. Santa only brings ONE thing. This year, they wanted skateboards.

Once we finish our stockings--which takes about a half hour because we take turns and there is only ever one person opening a gift at a time--I make a big breakfast. The boys enjoy their Santa stuff while I cook. When we're finished with breakfast, Troy does the dishes. We get dressed.

This year, my parents arrived before we began round two of the morning. We helped them unload and then we all sat down and they watched us open our family gifts. Troy and I buy the boys a want, a need, a wear and a read. (As a general rule. Although this year they both got two "wears" and a stuffed toy as well.)

From us, Garrett received: A bathing suit for next summer and a pair of pajamas, a book, a stuffed Woodstock, a sled and a military tank toy.

Matthew received: A pair of pajamas, thick gloves, a book, a stuffed Charlie Brown, a sled and a Scooby Doo mystery mobile toy.

Again, we take turns. It generally takes almost an hour for us to do our family portion.

My parents came bearing gifts. But, in our DRAG IT OUT, MAN fashion, we had a light snack before opening the things they brought from California. (Like this adorable cop costume from my brother and sister-in-law because Matthew LOVES himself some dress up.)


By the time we were finished, it was mid afternoon.

It's slow. And quiet. (I mean, as quiet as our house ever is which is the equivalent of NOT VERY QUIET.) There is no ripping and no shredding. There is not a lick of chaos. We try not to focus on the gimme gimme gimme aspect of Christmas.

We try to remember what it's really about. It's all about a Savior, in a manger, who came to die so that we might live. God, made flesh. The Word, who spoke the world into existence, humbling Himself, entering His own creation, to seek and save the lost.

This is Christmas.