Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Early mornings....yawn.

I'm not a morning person. Let me rephrase that....I'm not an early morning person. Mornings are actually pretty good for me. It's when I'm most productive, most creative. But anything earlier than 7:00am feels middle-of-the-night-ish to me. In the mind over mattress battle, the mattress wins all too frequently when it is still pitch black outside.

When I was in high school I set my alarm clock for 5:00am every morning. Well...let me clarify, I set my alarm for 5:00am purposely so I could hit the snooze alarm exactly 3 times before actually getting up at 5:30am. And lest you think I was getting up that early for some noble reason such as early morning seminary or something, let me set you straight on that right now. It was all about the hair. It was the 1980s after all and big hair takes time.

Though I was never a fan of the 5:30am alarm going off each morning, it was doable. Some of that I place squarely on vanity. No way, no how was I walking out that door looking anything less than perfectly coiffed. (I'm telling you, big hair was, well...big.) But also, it was thanks to my dad who was an early to bed, early to rise kind of guy and therefore insisted on shutting down the house around 10:00pm each night. Unless I was sneakily trying to stay up later with a book or some extra homework in my bedroom to the dim light of a lamp, I was usually getting to sleep early enough that 5:30am didn't seem too overly taxing on my body.

My teenagers apparently are not as vain as I was at their age. Either that or their hair and make-up styles are just much simpler to maintain. They tend to get up around 6:30am. But every now and again they find themselves setting their alarms extra early. A test make-up in math class, an early morning madrigal or school musical rehearsal, a meeting of some sort. Rebekah used to wake up ridiculously early on Tuesday mornings (late start schedule at the high school) so she could drive to the temple and do baptisms for the dead with her friends before school started. They called it "Temple Tuesday." But for the most part, my teenagers get up later than I did. (They go to bed a lot later than I did too...but that's another story.)

This past couple of weeks Julianne has been running for student body officer at the high school. This has included multiple early mornings for meetings and to hang up banners and posters. I have set my alarm for 5:30am no less than 4 times in the past week. Three of those times were so I could be at the high school with Julianne by 6:00am to help her hang said banners and posters, or move them around to different locations. This morning was so I could help her pull together the last few odds and ends for the skit she has to perform later today, feed her breakfast and make sure she got out the door by 6:30am. Julianne is a night owl, so I think this SBO early morning craziness has been even harder on her. Plus it's also end of term. (And Sadie Hawkins, and region theatre competition and speaking in Sacrament Meeting in church, and extra rehearsals for her Disneyland performing group and "Thoroughly Modern Millie" in which she plays Millie, etc....but that's once again, another story.) 

I'm not sure why but 5:30am takes a much bigger toll on my 41-year old body than it did on my 17-year old one. Okay, maybe I am sure why, I just don't like it. The getting older part OR the waking up at 5:30am part. This SBO campaign more or less ends today. The voting starts tomorrow. After all of this work, I really hope the student body decides to elect her. But regardless of what happens, I think both of us will be extremely happy to see an end to these early mornings! (And an end to dreams about glitter. Another story....)

Friday, March 20, 2015

"I love to see the temple...I'll go inside some day!"

Taking your child to the temple for the first time is a pretty momentous occasion. Baptisms are awesome. But to escort your child through as they receive their endowments, make sacred covenants and take in the whole temple experience....well, it's hard to find the words to describe the many emotions wrapped around that event.
Rebekah has attachments to a few temples. The Bountiful Temple is our home temple, the one she has performed countless baptisms for the dead in. The one where she made trip after early morning trip up the hill for "Temple Tuesday" with her friends from high school...getting up extra early on the high school's late start Tuesday schedule to fit in a temple trip before school started for the day.

The Logan Temple became special to her this past year when she was attending Utah State University. It was at that temple that while doing baptisms, she spent much time in prayer and contemplation as to whether or not she should serve a mission.

The Jordan River Temple can now be added to that list of special temples. Realistically, the Bountiful Temple was our obvious choice when setting up an appointment for Rebekah to receive her endowments. However, the Bountiful Temple was closed during the week we had chosen. The Jordan River Temple was not only closer to all the grandparents and family who wanted to go through the temple with her, but also and even more specially...the Jordan River Temple is where Bryan and I both received our endowments and also were sealed.

On March 11th...a Wednesday afternoon, Rebekah entered the front doors of the temple and rather go downstairs to the baptistry, continued past the recommend desk and on into the main part of that beautiful building. It was an amazing experience. One thing that was neat for me was that because this was Rebekah's first time, they let her get ready in what they used to call "the bride's room." I think now they find that equal number of girls are going through the temple in preparation for a mission as for a wedding so they have stopped calling it "the bride's room." But it was sentimental for me because as was helping Rebekah get dressed and ready for her temple session in the same room that my mother helped me get ready to receive my endowments and then the actual sealing the next day.

A "parent's payday" is how I heard it described by many friends and neighbors. And while that is's so much more than that!


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Toddlers vs Teenagers

Remember when your child left her lunch or homework folder home and it was just a quick jaunt up the road and around the corner to the school to drop it off in the front office? Rebekah left a very important folder home this past that is rather crucial to a project she is working on in one of her classes at Utah State University. And so today that quick jaunt up the road to drop it off, was actually a lengthier jaunt up the freeway, through Sardine Canyon, and down into Cache Valley....a good hour plus of drive time. And it was worth it because though the folder was the top priority, she also needed an external keyboard to replace the one that is not working on her laptop, and her new glasses that I told her I'd pick up at ShopKo. Plus, her car is acting funny so I drove Julianne's car to Logan and did a swap...bringing Rebekah's home to see if we can figure out what the problem is.

I always thought that once my children got older, my life would get easier...that I would have more free time. And while in some respects that is true, in others it most definitely is not. And I've come to the conclusion that having teenagers is just as busy as having's just a different kind of busy. However, there are a few things that for me at least, I've discovered to be unexpectedly harder as a parent of teens.

     *When my children were young it took a lot of effort to get us all ready and to church on time. Physically getting each of them up, dressed, hair done, fed, etc was very time consuming and somewhat stressful. But strangely enough, we have an even harder time getting ready for church in a timely manner now than we did back then. Although I still have to help Lilian, the teens obviously can get themselves up and ready. And maybe that's where the problem lies? It's now out of my control somewhat. I do wake-up call, after wake-up call....but after two nights of being out late on weekend dates, parties and friend hangouts, they are tired. And after two nights of waiting up for them, so am I. I'm often frustrated and frazzled by the time we get to church.

     *Potty training sucks. It really does. I'm not trying to put any rosy spin on it. But teaching a teenager to drive, in my opinion, is worse. Those state mandated 40 hours of parent accompanied drive time are incredibly inconvenient, even if I do agree with the reasons behind it. And did I mention dangerous? And scary?? And frustrating??? Believe it or not, I'd rather potty train a toddler...I really would! (That being said, both potty training and teaching a kid to drive both come with awesome rewards when the task is complete.)

    *When I had toddlers and most of our days consisted of home time, I was always looking for any excuse to get out of the house, despite having younglings in tow. "I have to go grocery shopping today? Hooray!" Now I am running around so much with gymnastics and theatre class and trips to the craft store for supplies for a school project...or various concerts, soccer games, conferences with the school counselor, prom dress shopping, etc....that I'm always yearning for a day where I don't actually have to go anywhere. "I don't want to go grocery shopping....can't I just stay home???"

Can they entertain themselves most of the time? Yes. Are they now my good friends, as well as my children? Yes. Can they feed themselves if I'm not in the mood to make dinner? Yes. Can they do their own homework? Usually. But is my life any less busy? Nope.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Missions and home towns

On January 2nd, a few days before Rebekah headed back to Logan to start winter semester after Christmas break, the missionaries came to dinner. Elder Maring was from England, he said. Born in Germany, but then moved to England when he was young and did the majority of his growing up years there. He and his companion both were pretty excited about the fact that Rebekah was in the midst of filling out mission papers. There was a lot of talk about missions and speculation as to where she would go.

Fast forward four weeks. Rebekah's mission call arrived on a Friday. The next morning Rebekah and I attended our Stake Women's Conference. One of the workshops Rebekah and I decided to attend was the one about "missionary moms" to prepare your children to serve a mission, whether they be just littles or teens who are actually in the process, and what to expect when they are on a mission. We thought it was appropriate timing. We walked in and there sat the Elders. Elder Maring had a new companion, but he immediately recognized us as we walked in and waved us over to seats near him. After shaking hands, we told him that Rebekah had received her mission call just the day before. He and his companion were happy about this news and right as Elder Maring was asking Rebekah where she was going to serve, it hit me that he was going to be very excited when she said, "I've been called to the England, London mission!" The look on Elder Maring's face was priceless! A few more questions revealed that not only was Rebekah going to London, but to the right part of London (there are two London missions)...the part that includes his home. The fact that he was serving his mission in her home town, and she was going to be serving her mission in his home town seemed rather mind boggling to him. He even said, "I'm going home in October! I could come visit you!"

A few days later we were having a birthday dinner for Julianne when the doorbell rang. Assuming it was another friend dropping by to wish Julianne a happy day, we were surprised to find the Elders on our doorstep. They wanted to stop in and say hello they said, and had some english chocolate for Rebekah. They were disappointed to find that Rebekah wasn't home. The didn't realize that she was living in Logan to attend USU. They were hoping to set up a time where they could have a little mission prep sort of family home evening with us. I assured them that Rebekah still came home on various weekends and that a mission prep message sounded like a great idea.

A couple of weeks later Rebekah came home for the weekend, Elder Maring and his companion came over and we all gathered around to hear their message. They gave Rebekah all sorts of information about being a missionary in general...but Elder Maring also told her all about London and the surrounding areas she would be serving. Hints about certain things she shouldn't say or do that could be offensive in their culture, food, slang, weather, etc. They answered any and all of her questions. They even told us about their own missions, funny stories and experiences and even how they felt about being called to Salt Lake City, Utah. Interestingly, both of Elder Maring's parents had served in this very same mission in Utah!

We had a great time with the Elders and their message and information was so incredibly helpful! Elder Maring has been recently transfered, but not before he gave me not only his personal email, but also his mothers email over in London, telling me that she would be more than happy to check in on Rebekah for me or get things to her, etc. And that if I wanted to send anything to Rebekah through him when he flies home in October, to let him know. It's nice to feel like we have friends there already that can potentially be looking out for Rebekah.

Julianne, Rebekah, Lilian, Elder Unklesbay, Brandon, Elder Maring

Monday, March 2, 2015

Decades Revue...fishnet and poodle skirts

Lilian is finally old enough to join CentreStage Theatre this year. Considering how much of a mini-Julianne she is, it seemed appropriate.

The studio put on a Decades Musical Revue recently with each class taking a different decade. Julianne was up first with the 1980's. Talk about the soundtrack to my teenage years...every single song they sang brought back memories. I am truly a child of the '80's. ( was all I could do to not sing along to Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer.")

A few weeks later, Lilian was up with the 1950's. Her class used a little play called "At the Bandstand" to incorporate all those oldies but goodies such as Shake Rattle and Roll, Rockin' Robin, Johnny Angel, etc.

Lilian played Maisy Skippy Paws, the sassy little cat of Darlene Worthington (an entitled little rich girl who wants to be the new dancer on Bandstand.) Their play reminded me of a cross between the TV show "American Dreams" and that '80's movie "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun."

I may be biased but Lilian was adorable. Every single line was a meow or purr and it was fun to hear her change those up by changing the tone in her voice...every meow sounded different. I was surprised to realize that she had a little duet (where rather than meows she sang sh-boom and other such nonsensical words.)

Next up for my CentreStage girls...first, a performing trip to Disneyland over spring break for Julianne. Then her class is putting on "Thoroughly Modern Millie" in which Julianne plays the part of Millie! After that, the whole studio is doing "The Wizard of Oz" which means Julianne and Lilian will be in the show together. Sort of. Different classes do different scenes. I'm looking forward to it.