Monday, September 23, 2019

College Visit

When we would visit BYU when I was a kid, my parents would always be excited to point out their favorite spots and how things had changed since they were there. "They just finished the Kimball tower right before I graduated!" or "This whole quad was just one giant hole!" kinds of things. I never quite could catch the same enthusiasm that they had, though I did like to stop by the varsity theater snack bar for one cent fruities...

Now, every time we visit BYU with the kids, I am so excited to point out my favorite spots and tell them all about how things have changed since I was there -- "my dorm was right over there!" "You used to be able to drive right through here!" "That's where my old office was!" I finally get it -- there are just so many memories packed into that college time and those once so familiar places. And even knowing that the kids aren't really all that interested, I still show them all my favorite spots, and they offer very similar reactions to what mine once were, with much more enthusiasm for the candy counter or the creamery (understandably :)

Last week, I went along as a chaperone on Landon's college visit day to BYU. (And I left all the sight seeing comments to the tour guide.)  It was a super long bus ride for a super short tour, but still fun to spend the day with Landon and always fun to visit this school I still really love!

Cake Day

I can't remember what the task was Isaac had to do, but one day last week Jordan promised him the reward of choosing a dessert for the next night. He did whatever it was he was supposed to do, and was super excited to choose "cake!" The next day, he talked all through the day about this cake. "I'm the chooser today!" Jordan took the kids to Lee's for a funfetti mix (and sprinkles!) and said yes to Isaac's request for one candle. His sweet excitement was contagious and we all sang "Happy Cake Day to You!" before the kids enjoyed this great mini-cake from Jordan :)

Sunday, September 22, 2019

A few little moments this week

+ Waiting at the orthodontist with Landon as he got his braces on (!). He fidgeted with his feet while he was keeping still for the brackets to go on. One floppy shoe fell off and I reached down to slip it back on and got a secret thumbs up in return.

+ Saying goodnight to Owen. After a night-time prayer, he always hugs me back with a great big hug that I love so much.

+ Bowling with the kids (Ellie and the younger boys while Jordan and Landon were at Bike the Bear). Wrestling Isaac (to avoid more bowling balls filling the gutters of the lanes near us...) as bedtime inched closer, and Porter taking his turn then hurrying back to his seat. Without thinking, he did a quick headstand on the chair, then sat down. (These headstands -- I hope I always remember Porter at 5 and 6 years old and his headstands!)

+ Sitting with Ellie on her bed at the end of each day (two tired girls) to read scriptures together.

+ Morning walks with Isaac. (Oh I love this beautiful place we live -- the trees, the mountains, the grassy fields...) And this cuteness -- Isaac noticed the moon up one morning and pointed it out to me. The next day, he noticed the moon in a slightly different spot and asked "Is the moon magic?" Also from Isaac - all of his so sincere and sweet phrases like "You're welcome" and "I love you too."

+ Falling asleep listening to Jordan read to me. (And his patience finding our place the next night when I realize how much of the story I've missed :)

Friday, September 13, 2019

These days

These are the days of...

+ new morning routines forming

+ slowly making progress on improving our yard - new curbing today!

+ better school mornings. We started the school year with a newly revised "short list" of jobs for the kids and even though we no longer have regular trashes out/towels folded/anything dusted, our mornings feel much happier and more peaceful so I'm still thinking it's worth it.

+ potty training (mostly) success

+ basement floor work (especially by Jordan, but with lots of kid help too whenever possible.)

+ rainstorms, hailstorms (with the largest hail I've seen!), and beautiful cool Fall days

+ after school snacks (I'm still at 100% for having a snack prepped or planned each day - woohoo!)

+ early morning orchestra for Ellie a few days each week

+ late afternoon swimming for Landon a few days each week

+ cub scouts and boy Scouts and activity days and young women and primary

+ happy full days that have a couple of the kids asking "please! can I go to bed at 6:30 every night?" :)

Friday, September 6, 2019

Happy Weekend

I went to our school community council meeting this morning, and it felt nice to be finally feeling like I'm ready for this new school year! Then, Isaac and I had a happy quiet morning - tidying up, a morning walk, movie time/shower time, snack time,  preschool time, working in the garden, reading, playing "Hoot Owl Hoot", making lunch together... (and then his sweet "I'm ready for napping now" !)

Our plans this weekend include: 

+ Working on our basement floor -- Jordan was ready for a big project over Labor Day weekend, so we pulled up all the old carpet (with amazing help from the kids!) and started putting new flooring in (also with great help from the kids!). We've kept up work on it through the week, and we'll keep at it.  I can feel though that it may get harder as the weather is now just about perfect for...

+ Some outside adventures! Yesterday Jordan and the kids ran/rode to Yogurtland, and it was still just a little too hot to be perfectly pleasant. But starting today it looks like we're really getting right into those wonderful Fall temperatures. 

+ Stopping by the 1st Annual Brazilian festival tomorrow here in Logan.

+ Picking up some farmer's market nectarines. 

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Back to School / Reentry

I listened to a podcast recently from Emily P. Freeman - Come back with Peace - all about the good of taking a break and her how-to of then returning to real life. And while my own break was not a planned and prepped sabbatical, but just a hard-to-get-better-from round of sickness, I still enjoyed the application. She described the reentry from space and how sometimes it is simple and smooth, while other times it feels more like a series of car crashes. We've not had quite the car-crash roughness, but definitely not the smoothest transition back to school, Fall, and regular life. Mostly I loved that tiny phrase that stuck with me -  'come back with peace' that helped me accept this slower than expected reentry of mine/ours.

It has been a long stretch of sickness, but yesterday morning as I helped the kids prep for school I realized, wonderfully, that I was feeling better! Not quite back to normal, but finally really hopeful that maybe I wasn't just going to be sick forever! (dramatic maybe, but still just exactly how I'd started to feel!) I finished up all the laundry and felt like it was just a little part of the day instead of the greatest achievement of my day :) I had a dinner plan on Monday night and a dinner plan for Tuesday.

The kids have had their own rounds of sickness (Three weeks into school and we've had a stomachache/headache/fatigue bug for a couple of kids, a cough/sore throat/earache bug for a couple of kids, and a nausea/throwing up bug for a couple of kids...) With daily 'please excuse' emails to the school secretary, I finally emailed  yesterday with a "One of these days we will really have all of these kiddos healthy on the same day!"

 I discovered yesterday (we've been in school for 3 weeks!) all of Porter's back-to-school info -welcome to first grade,  school supplies needed, first-day pick up procedures...  all those things that would have been good to find a few weeks ago!

 Still we've made our way through. Some happy sweet days and some discouraging days. And all the days where I thought of sitting down to write here while Isaac napped, but all I could think to write about was the latest  Brough family health update... But today, It feels like I can say "that was hard, and oh, how nice that things are getting better!"

And we've had lots of regular and great life happening in between on the good days-- a celebration and a pirate party for Porter's birthday, the start of swim team for Landon, piano and cello practicing, school lunch making, front yard swinging, preschool time with Isaac, a few neighborhood walks,  even a big house project that we've jumped in to. Oh --and potty training!  And (worth another celebration!) the kids are all still feeling relatively happy about 8th/5th/3rd/1st grades. :)

I'm hopeful today that I'll just keep feeling better and better, that the kids will get well (and stay well for a little while - please, oh please!) And I'm excited to finally enjoy the almost-Fall, back-to-school, new rhythm and routine-making that I've always loved so much.