Friday, October 31, 2014

Funny Kids

My kids are hilarious.

Matthew: Can I go play outside?
Me: Sure.
Matthew: Great! I'm going to play with Beck. We're going to play "Doggies" and that means we are going to pretend to be dogs.

But. Er. Um. Beck IS a dog. So, in this game, I suppose that the part of the golden retriever is going to be played by...the golden retriever?

And then, this morning, Garrett was cleaning toilets. I told him to make sure he was using a lot of elbow grease. He had no idea what that was so I explained it. He came upstairs a few minutes later and said, "Mom, I was just using so much arm grease!"

Thursday, October 30, 2014


If you know me in person, and not just through a screen, you know that I am super competitive. I do not like to do anything if I don't think I can do it well. I love all manner of competition. And I am constantly setting short term goals for myself. IF I clean the bathroom, THEN I can eat five of the candy corns my mom sent in the mail because she loves me. For example.

This also extends to utterly ridiculous things like, let's see if I can correctly guess the number of gallons of gas I will need to fill my tank today. And, yes, there is let down if/when I cannot.

The most recent, ridiculous competition I set is between me and my heater. God bless Mother Nature this year because it is October 30 and we have not had any snow. This is the way fall should be. Still, in true fall tradition, the temperatures have been getting chilly. On the heels of being warm all summer, what will feel tremendously warm in the spring feels downright freezing in October. Several weeks ago, I decided to compete with my heater. NO HEAT TIL NOVEMBER is what we're calling this particular challenge.

Lest you think that the inanimate heater could not have possibly won, I assure you it could have. If it had snowed, say. If the fish bowl had frozen over. If the hot blooded husband had asked. But, it does look as though I'm going to pull out the win.

But not without sacrifice. The past two mornings have been brutal. It's so warm and cozy IN my bed and so not warm OUT of my bed. I almost folded. But, alas, competition runs deep in these veins and I refuse to let the heater win. At least, not without a fight.

Saturday, October 25, 2014


Off and on I've been reading Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts. The nature of the read is that you can put it down and pick it up weeks or even months later. I picked up the book, ran a bubble bath and climbed in. It should be noted that I was out of bubbles and had to improvise by stealing some from the kids. Now I smell like wacky watermelon.

When I'd last opened the book, I was in the middle of a chapter. I read a few pages and stumbled upon the following quote.

"To the Enfleshed Yes who said yes to this moment and yes to last year's illness and yes to the cracks of my childhood and yes to the nail and yes to my name in the Book of Life, hear me say YES! Not 'I'm worried.' Not 'I'm stressed out.' Not 'I'm anxious.' Not 'I'm too afraid.' Hear me say thank you. Hear me say YES! Watch me live a life of yes. To all that was and is and is to come. The power of sin and death and fear-from-the-Enemy are forever ended because we can trust in the bridge even if it's caving, in God even when it's black, in manna-nourishment even when we don't know what it is. The God whom we thank for fulfilling the promises of the past will fulfill His promises again. In Christ, the answer to the questions of every moment is always Yes."

Sometimes we have a decision to make and maybe we even write a list of pros and cons and all the reasons on one side are GOOD reasons. But maybe they aren't GOD reasons. Maybe we're gun shy and the whys are real and obvious. Still, we are not called to live a life of fear. Sometimes we entertain ideas that make no earthly sense to us and certainly not to those around us. Still, May the Almighty hear me say thank you and yes!

Friday, October 24, 2014


This past Tuesday my husband came home from work in the afternoon. He has to be back to the church around 6:00 pm because he's teaching a webinar for CBMatrix. He teaches for roughly an hour, takes a break and then teaches for about another hour. When he got home, he wasn't feeling well. He took a nap. When he woke up, I was getting ready to head out the door to get the boys their flu vaccination. I kissed Troy and he WAS BURNING UP.

That fever, 101.5 when I shoved the thermometer into his ear a minute after feeling ALL the HEAT, did not break until yesterday. It was almost a full 48 hours of 101. It would dive, temporarily, down to a high 99 when he took Ibuprofen but then it would shoot back up again. He was miserable.

Yesterday, he woke up, still burning, and informed me that he was throwing in the towel. It was time to bring in the big guns. And by the big guns, I mean, a physician. I asked if he had any other symptoms and he said that his head hurt horribly.

"Does your throat hurt?" I asked. "Maybe it's strep."

"I've never had strep in my entire life," he reminded me. Just before I left to take the boys to school he took his temperature again. I asked him if his fever was down at all. "It's 100," he told me. Then he switched the thermometer to the other ear. "Wait. Maybe not. It's 105."

"A HUNDRED AND FIVE?!?!" I howled. Because I think my temperature was 104 or 105 when I was two years old and I can vividly remember all the terrible hallucinations I saw on that horrid night. And I was a child. I feel like 105 for an adult would be, maybe, mostly dead. I kid not, my mind had already thrown my kids in the car and used super human strength to lift my husband from the bed, stuck him in the car, thrown cold, wet towels on his head and floored it to the ER before he ever had the time to shake his head. "No. Sorry. 101 POINT 5."

Whew. That's, just, a lot better.

I insisted on driving him to the doctor because, in his feverish state, I didn't want him hallucinating an open lane where really there was a bus. The doctor asked him if his throat hurt. "Not really, Maybe just a little." He pointed a flashlight into Troy's throat and nearly recoiled.

"Oh. Okay. Wow. So your throat is really red and there's white pockets on your tonsils and I'm pretty sure it's strep."

So there's a first time for everything.

He took an antibiotic and he's on the mend. But, apparently, strep really doesn't agree with my husband because I have never seen him sicker than he was over these last few days. I wanted to love him and take care of him and will him to feel better all while simultaneously staying several feet away from him and his highly contagious germs.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


I recently had to send someone some pictures. It was specifically requested that we not be wearing sunglasses. DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO FIND PICTURES OF MY FAMILY WHERE MY HUSBAND IS NOT WEARING SUNGLASSES?

I wanted to send some pictures from our Israel trip a year ago. EXCEPT THERE WERE NONE. I could not find a single picture of our family that was both GOOD and SUNGLASSES FREE. In fairness, we spent the majority of our time outside and it was bright. So, I was pretty much wearing sunglasses the entire time too.

So I went back in time to our Maui trip from 2012. I found ONE picture where my husband wasn't sporting his shades. Obviously, this wasn't it.

Neither was this.

The pictures from all of our Tahoe trips look like this...

And, alright, so these aren't sunglasses but I couldn't resist posting this shot. I married him because he is reserved and proper. Clearly.

He even takes a picture in front of the door to a bed and breakfast. Sunglasses.

It's like he doesn't even have eyes. You wouldn't know that he actually does. And that they are the bluest blue you've maybe ever seen. You wouldn't know that I get lost in them. Maybe that's the thing. Maybe he has to wear them so that I can properly function.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Candy Pumpkins

Candy corn is fine.

Candy corn with the chocolate top is gross because it tastes like artificial chocolate. Like, when I was a kid and they asked me what flavor of florid I wanted at the dentist and I enthusiastically shouted, "CHOCOLATE!" and then was horribly disappointed because NOT REAL CHOCOLATE.

But those little candy pumpkins are really where it's at. And I need to stop impulsively buying them and then proceeding to eat the entire bag in under a week. With little help. The youngest hates them and won't touch them with someone else's tongue. The husband and the oldest both like them but probably eat one to my five. So, in a week's time, I can be found consuming roughly 80% of a bag of orange deliciousness. It's a problem.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

At Least It Isn't NASCAR

So. Listen. I once heard a women's speaker talk about marriage. Her point was that we need to find shared interests and that, if we can't find them, we need to MAKE THEM HAPPEN. She told about how her husband was a huge NASCAR fan and how she really hated NASCAR. But then, she started sitting down with her husband because, well, she wanted to spend time with him EVEN when he was watching NASCAR and, first, she found herself learning about racing. Then, she started to get to know certain drivers. Then she found herself LIKING certain drivers and then, CHEERING FOR CERTAIN DRIVERS! Now, she is a huge NASCAR fan. All because she wanted to spend some time with her NASCAR loving husband.

Let me interrupt this program to say that I would rather be tied up with chains while ants devoured my body one teensy, tiny, piece at a time than become a NASCAR fan.You can just kill me dead because I would prefer the grave to watching a car race drive around a circular track over and over and over and over and over and over again. Ask me what I love most about my husband and, well, up until this very moment I would have told you that I love his heart for Jesus. But that's only because I forgot about how he doesn't watch NASCAR*.

I totally get it though. NOT about NASCAR, but about spending time with your spouse and learning to love what they love. Or your close friends. Or your children. Really, this works with any significant relationship you have.

When I married my husband, I detested soccer. Hated it. And, in the interest of full disclosure, it's important for me to explain that I still don't really like soccer. But a weird thing has happened. I've become fascinated by the World Cup. I can't explain it. I watched A LOT of it this past year and I even watched it when my husband wasn't watching me watch it. As in, when he wasn't even home. 

Another weird things has happened. I've started yelling things at my children. Things like, "GO DOWN THE LINE!"



I've been so proud of my boys this season because they're really learning. Garrett is SUCH a good listener. He plays wherever the coach tells him to play and he doesn't try to be the star. He's one of the best defenders on the team. He's also one of the fastest kids, which makes him an asset. 

This year, the boys joined teams full of kids that had already been playing together for awhile. But they quickly began to fit in. Garrett, by proving his worth by following directions. He even managed to score once, despite the fact that he is very often found playing defense. And Matthew, by, well, by being a bit of a stud. Where his brother is just fine being a team player, this guy wants to be the star. (We're working on it.)

When he sets his mind to it (disclaimer: he doesn't always set his mind to it) he is FAST and SOLID and FAST and COMPETITIVE and FAST.

And he's scored 11 goals this season, with one game remaining.

I somehow find myself on the edge of my seat, somewhat crazy excited when one of my kids has a clear shot, internally howling things like, "BE AGGRESSIVE!"

It's taken eleven long years but, it's entirely possible that my husband and his soccer loving family and our soccer loving boys have finally rubbed off on me.

Don't get me wrong, I'd still choose football or swimming or track over soccer. But when the boys want to play it, well, I suppose that's fine.

I still draw the line at NASCAR.

*Okay. No. The fact that he doesn't watch NASCAR is not at the top of the list, by any means. BUT IT IS ON THE LIST!

Friday, October 10, 2014

So You Didn't Grow Up In Utah?

Since I (largely) disagreed with Chad Buleen's 13 Ways People Can Tell You Didn't Grow Up in Utah, I decided to come up with a more accurate list. Many things popped into my head that I didn't end up using. Bipolar weather, for example. Here in Utah, a storm can blow through in a matter of minutes. However, this is true of so many other places in our country that it's hardly a native Utah thing. So I crossed it out with a big black Sharpie. Unfortunately, not everyone has the good fortune of spending the first 26 years of her life in a place with near perfect weather year round. I also thought about how everyone uses the "I" when discussing an Interstate. "Take I-15," they'll say. Where I grew up, in southern California, everyone says, "the 15." Or the 163 or the 8 or any number of the other dozens of freeways. We don't feel the need to clarify that it's an Interstate. However, I've heard people use the "I" in other places so, again, it isn't something unique to Utah. Still, I was able to come up with a list of actual ways people can tell you didn't grow up in Utah. I present it to you now. This is very important stuff. I'm sure that all two of my Utah readers will find it fascinating while the other eight of you just wait for the next post.

1. You had never heard, nor do you use, the phrase, "Oh my heck!"
I was warned about this before I moved here so I wish I could say that I was ready for it. The truth of the matter is that nothing prepares you for this phrase. What does it mean? I've even heard it altered. Oh my go to heck. Yep. If Utahns can get away with this I think we should all just start making up our own versions. "Oh my dearly departed great aunt Ruth!" or "Oh my fried salamander!" Whatever. Be creative.

2. You don't know any good recipes involving green Jell-O nor do you know how to cook Funeral Potatoes.
Everyone who is actually from here knows how to whip up a dish involving green Jell-O and shredded carrots. Everyone also knows how to make a dish referred to as Funeral Potatoes. I think this is because they're commonly eaten at the gathering immediately following a funeral. But I honestly don't know for sure on account of the fact that I'm not from here. The latter are actually delicious while the former is gross. Carrots? In Jell-O? It's a Utah thing.

3. You are not used to seeing an LDS meetinghouse on every corner.
The small town I grew up in had two wards that shared one building. Here, in the Salt Lake Valley, there's one ward for every few streets. The spires on the meetinghouses can be seen everywhere. If you're used to seeing a 7-11 or a Starbucks on every corner, you probably didn't grow up in Utah.

4. You didn't know that Halloween is more important than Christmas, Hanukkah, Easter, and Independence Day put together.
Utahns LOVE their Halloween. When we came to visit in October of 2007, I had no idea what was happening. It was the very first week of the month and yards were COVERED in fake spider webs, grave stones, goblins, ghosts, witches, and black cats. People had changed their outside lighting to shine orange or eerie green. There were Halloween superstores everywhere. Now that I live here, I know about the crazy corn mazes, the haunted houses, the carnivals, and the fact that everything just about shuts down for this weird holiday. In other places, Halloween is for the kids. Here, well, it seems to be for everyone.

5. You've never heard of Pioneer Day.
In Utah, the only holiday bigger than Halloween is Pioneer Day. Where all the other states just have the 4th of July, Utah gets the 4th AND the 24th. Celebrating the day when Brigham Young led the first group of pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley, Utahns get the day off work to light fireworks, have barbecues, march in parades, and attend parties. It's exactly like what all Americans do on the 4th, except, 20 days later. So, if your Independence Day was lame, never fear. You've still got Pioneer Day.

6. You pronounce Hurricane, Tooele, and Mantua they way they look but you pronounce Juab with a silent J.
Juab is actually pronounced the way it looks. Jew-ab. This is confusing for anyone who moved here from anywhere with a Spanish or Latin American influence. It looks like Wahb to me. This is especially confusing because nothing else is pronounced the way it looks. Take Hurricane (Hurri-kin), Tooele (Too-ill-uh), and Mantua (Manna-way) for example.

7. You stop when the light turns red.
Here in Utah, when making a left turn, red lights are completely optional. No joke. When the light turns red, you can see three or four cars continue right on through the turn. Oncoming traffic has to sit and wait for everyone to break the law before they can safely go. If the city placed traffic cops at major intersections, we could easily balance the budget. It's ridiculous. It's dangerous. It's a serious problem.

8. You've never had to go to a state liquor store to buy alcohol.
The local grocery store doesn't have an alcohol section. Well, they do, but it consists of beer. If you want something else, anything else, cooking wine, even, you'll have to find your local state liquor store.

9. You've never sloughed/sluffed school before.
You've, perhaps, "ditched" school. Maybe you've even "skipped" school. But you've never sloughed it. To slough, in biology terms, means to shed or cast off. How this came to be the verb for a Utahn choosing to do anything but attend class is beyond me.

10. You eat ketchup with your fries.
Utah is the home of the fry sauce. I think fry sauce is some blend of mayonnaise and ketchup, heavy on the mayo. It's no wonder why this hasn't spread outside of Utah. It's straight up gross.

11. You come from a place that doesn't name all of its towns after LDS leaders, Biblical places or Book of Mormon locations.
Zion, Lehi, Nephi, Ephraim, Enoch, Brigham City, Lewiston, Moab, Willard and Woodruff. To name just a few.

12. You enunciate the T in mountain and you don't add a K to an "ing" word.
So many people native to these parts (and a lot of people who've just listened long enough to people native to these parts) do not pronounce the "t" found in the middle of words like mountain, fountain, titan, etc. There is a slight pause where the "t" should be, almost as though it's spoken softly from the back of the throat. Additionally, the "g" at the end of words gets caught in the back of the throat as well. As such, it seems that the "k" sound is added to the end of many "ing" words, resulting in these action verbs sounding more like they all end in the suffix "ink". Hikink, swimmink, flyink, sittink, sleepink. Will you meet me at the fow-an in the cen-er of the parkink lot?

13. You didn't name your son Jimmer, Hyrum or Monson. You didn't name your daughter Brinkley, McCall or LaKindree.
It's been brought to my attention that this is actually a problem here in Utah that has been written about, discussed, etc. The theory is that it does stem from the sheer volume of children born here and the fact that parents don't want them to be the fifth David in their class. So, they go with Dravin or Javid or something else, unique to their child. There are baby naming apocalypses going on in other places as well but it doesn't seem that anywhere is facing quite the epidemic that Utah children do.

I've posted this video before. It cracks me up. I'm not saying every name on this list is awful or terrible. Some of them are nice. But it's still way funny.

They just made a new video. Equally as hilarious.

So there you have it. 13 ways people can tell you didn't grow up in Utah.

Monday, October 6, 2014

13 Ways People Can Tell You Didn't Grow Up in Utah

I just can't even begin to write about the fact that, on Saturday, I found out that four people had died. I had only met two of them in real life but the deaths are all up front and personal for people I care about. Two of them were children. One was 29. It's rough. So I'm just going to go ahead and not talk about that right now and, instead, discuss something I saw on Facebook.

As I scrolled through my feed this morning I saw a link to an article titled 13 Ways People Can Tell You Didn't Grow Up in Utah. I was intrigued. The article was found at and was written by Chad Buleen.

Some of them are spot on. The rest are ridiculous. So let's explore them, shall we?

1. You Don't Quote "The Princess Bride"
FALSE. He goes on to say that it's a cute movie but suggests that people from other states don't quote this film, only Utahns. Um. What? Doesn't everyone quote this movie? I mean, I probably look at my husband on a weekly basis and say, "I'm not a witch, I'm your wife." This might say more about my own personality flaws than the fact that I like the film in question but, come on, Chad. Everyone quotes this classic.

2. You Enunciate the "t" in Mountain
TRUE. He says if you want to fit in here, you must stop saying the t's inside of words. TOTALLY true. Mountain sounds like m-owin. The "t" is kind of, sort of, there but it's spoken, somehow, from the back of the throat. It completely loses the tip-of-the-tongue-on-the-back-of-the-teeth aspect of saying an actual t. He stops short of telling us the other Utah accent issue which is to add a k to the end of all "ing" words. Example: We went hikink in the m-owins. If you heard me read that aloud, you'd think I sounded just like a native Utahn.

3. You Don't Care Who Wins the BYU-Utah Football Game
FALSE. Long before I moved here, my favorite college team was whoever happened to be playing the Cougars. When we candidated, a kid asked me if I was a BYU fan or a Utah fan. While, truly, at that time, the answer was neither, I emphatically announced that I was a Utes fan. Because, you know, given the choice, there was no decision to be made. Living here has only made this allegiance stronger and I now consider myself a University of Utah fan. When I see the Y on apparel (or hillsides), it conjures up as much disdain as the logo for the Raiders. If not more.

4. You Pronounce Tooele the Way It Looks
TRUE AND FALSE. When I first saw it spelled and heard it pronounced "correctly" on the news, I had no idea how they came to that. So, in that sense, true. It looks like too-elle. So too-elle it SHOULD be. But, now that I know how to say it, I don't go around saying, "Too-elle." I properly pronounce it, "Too-ill-uh." So. False.

5. You've Never Seen This Movie

6. What Everyone Else Calls "Rivers" You Call "Creeks"
FALSE. I'm from San Diego. Dude. A stream looks like a river to me. When I was a kid, I saw the Mississippi River at flood level. Holy cow. I thought it was a great lake.

7. You Don't Have a Mommy Blog
FALSE. Yes, yes I do. And I started it before I moved here.

8. You Eat Ketchup With Your Fries
TRUE. Or well, sometimes I eat them plain and sometimes I use BBQ sauce but I NEVER, EVER, use that disgusting light orange concoction that was invented here and is referred to as fry sauce. There's a reason it hasn't spread beyond your borders, Utah. It's GROSS.

9. You Drive the Speed Limit on I-15
FALSE. This one goes on to say that everyone in Utah drives 10-15 miles over the limit and that if you drive what's posted, you'll stand out. Well...I grew up in California so...I actually think we drive the freeways slower here in Utah. What this one should have said was, "You Stop When the Light Turns Red." Because, here in Utah, that's totally optional.

10. You Actually Want to Swim in the Great Salt Lake
TRUE AND FALSE. When we first moved here, I'd already been to Israel and I thought of the Great Salt Lake as a sort of Dead Sea, known for its healing powers and floatability. So, originally, this statement was true. But then I came to know that the Great Salt Lake is smelly and has tons of flies and is really rather nasty. I've been to it approximately once in the almost seven years we've lived here. And by approximately, I mean, exactly.

11. You Don't Know Any Green Jell-O Recipes
TRUE. This state purchases more Jell-O per capita than any other. Everyone is supposed to have a green Jell-O recipe up her sleeve. I don't. Everyone is also supposed to know how to make "Funeral Potatoes" and I don't. But my aunt moved to Hurricane, UT, years before we moved here and she makes a delicious dish she calls Auntie's Potatoes. I suspect she ripped off the Funeral Potatoes recipe. And, since I do know how to make Auntie's Potatoes I'm pretty sure that, if I ever find myself at an LDS funeral, I can supply yet one more casserole dish of Funeral Potatoes.

12. You Speak Only One Language
TRUE AND FALSE. A lot of people here went somewhere else on their mission. I didn't go on a mission. Well, I mean, I've done missions work but not, like, for two solid years. However, that being said, people in southern California are A LOT more bilingual than people here. There are a lot of women and children and even a great deal of men that live here that do not speak another language.

13. You Think The Mountains Look Better Without Giant Letters on Them
TRUE AND FALSE. I definitely think that mountains look better without letters on them but that hardly means I grew up somewhere that didn't have letters on the mountains. Doesn't EVERY place have schools that march up the nearest hillside and put a giant letter on it? One of the things my husband and I love most about driving through Nevada on our way to Tahoe is when we see the giant letters on the hillside alerting us to the fact that we're heading through the town of Battle Mountain.
We're roughly twelve years old, is the thing. But the point I'm making is...every town puts letters on their hills. So this is mostly false.

Only three of Mr. Buleen's observances were actually, completely true. I pronounce my "t's", I don't eat fry sauce, and I don't make green Jell-O recipes. The rest are not inherently Utahn. Try harder next time, Chad.

Thursday, October 2, 2014


There are a lot of FEELINGS right now.

Example: I'm FEELING like Ebola might kill me dead. And everyone I know. I don't live in fear but bleeding from the eyes is not, actually, the way I'd like to go. I'd like to go out like Elijah, you know what I'm saying? Just, like, walk outside and hop into my fiery chariot and shout, "Adios!" Although, given that Elijah was not Spanish, or Latin American, I do not think he yelled such a thing. Still. If such an exit is not a possibility for me, I think I would enjoy slipping peacefully into eternity while I sleep. Fall asleep in this world, wake up in that one. Ideal. Excessive vomit, a high fever and the aforementioned eyeball bleeding, not ideal.

Example: I'm FEELING Jewish. I'm as Euro-Mutt as they come but something happened a year ago when we went to Israel and I feel desperate to go back. This is weird because it wasn't my first time. Maybe it was sharing it with my children. Maybe it took twice to really get under my skin. Maybe that Mediterranean sun was just too good. I don't know. The other day, a friend of mine posted a ten minute video she'd found of some women shaping challah bread. I watched the entire video, riveted to the screen. It's not because I'm thinking of opening a bakery but because, in the video, the women talked and laughed and I couldn't stop listening to their Hebrew. The light, the lilt, the sweet words. What used to sound to me like a harsh, throaty language, now sounds, somehow, like home. I think it's because it's how my Savior would have sounded. When I feel His presence is He whispering, "I love you," or, "Ani ohev otach," or a language of Heaven that I haven't yet heard? The video did, however, make me attempt to bake challah bread, which I did yesterday. My husband was...flummoxed. "You're baking bread?"

"I'm pretending to be Jewish," I replied. And not, like, Jewish-waiting-for-the-Messiah but Jewish-the-Messiah-has-come-and-now-I-want-to-speak-Hebrew-and-live-on-a-kibbutz-at-the-Sea-of-Galilee-and-bake-challah-bread.

I had all kinds of problems with the dough rising and declared myself a Disaster Baker but then I consulted the Internet and determined that the ridiculously cold temperatures of Utah October were preventing the humidity and warmth loving yeast from doing its job. I stuck it in the microwave with a cup of hot water and that totally did the trick. I created a tiny little Hawaii right there in my kitchen and my dough was happy. So I've now successfully baked challah bread. (Don't judge me. I know it's like the easiest of all breads to bake.) learn Hebrew.

Example: My BABIES are leaving me. For real. In, like, little more than a decade. I only get these guys for a couple handfuls of years. Just. What? And, in these precious years I have left with them I yell because WE HAVE TO LEAVE FOR SOCCER RIGHT NOW SO THAT MATTHEW CAN SCORE FIVE GOALS AND WHY ARE YOU BOTH STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BEDROOM WHIPPING EACH OTHER WITH YOUR SHIRTS? GET DRESSED ALREADY AND GET IN THE CAR! How, exactly, do we balance forming them into men who can make it places on time while focusing on the joy found in the fact that they are still children? Can someone older and wiser help a girl out?

But, yeah, Matthew totally scored five goals.

Example: Sometimes adoption is hard. Sometimes I think Matthew feels things deeper than even other adopted children his age. Maybe it's because it's just so obvious that he's adopted. (Yes.) Maybe he's just a sensitive child. (Yes.) Maybe it's just who he is. (Yes.) It's often at night that he struggles. I know it's partly the fact that everything hurts worse when you're tired and also, perhaps, partly that he's trying to prolong actual sleep and gain extra minutes of snuggle time. But he usually chooses the bedtime hour of the day to talk about wanting to go visit his mom. "Why can't I see her?" "Why can't we get in the car and go there?" This doesn't happen often, but when it's does, it's gut wrenching.

Last night, for the first time, he asked the question I've been dreading and hoping wouldn't come for awhile. Years. Decades. Ever. "Why didn't my mom want to be with me?" I'm not a crier and even typing that sentence makes tears spring up in my eyes. Because shame on adoptive parents that feel personally attacked by that question. Because shame on parents who won't allow their children to talk about ALL the feelings they feel. Because it's impossible to explain to a five-year-old that his mother made an agonizing decision. Because his primal wound sees it as rejection. Because he can't understand that she wanted him. Snuggling there with him, holding him in my arms as he clung to me with snot and tears and saliva smearing my shirt, I responded the way he needed me to. "She loves you so much. Some day you can see her and get to know her but she lives really far away right now." But inside I thought, "Get in the car. We'll go. We'll do whatever it takes to help your heart RIGHT now."

And so I did the only thing I could think to do. I told him that I've hugged his mother and that he can hug me anytime he needs a hug from her. Then I walked down the stairs, opened a chest where I keep blankets, pulled out the blanket she made him when she was pregnant. It's so soft and fuzzy and perfect. Then I climbed the stairs and wrapped him in it. Troy stayed with him until he fell asleep.

Adoption is wonderful and incredible and amazing and I wouldn't trade a moment of the journey, but sometimes it's hard.

Sometimes it makes me feel all the feelings.