Thursday, September 8, 2011


heavens. i've been here on the blogger dash half a dozen times in the last few weeks, ready to post. so much to say. but life comes tugging and yanking. and i end up with a few words of introduction, maybe a picture, but nothing complete or cathartic. and the thoughts and memories just build like sinus pressure. one of the things i'm thinking about is time - how to use it, how to stretch it, how to really make the most of it, how completely precious it is. i'm slowly conquering the art of early rising. the mornings are sacred to me now, and my only chance for exercise - i push the windows open wide, the treadmill spins, i stream something inspirational to my ears and hope it sinks to my heart. (usually gospel truth, sometimes a song that moves me (or gets me moving, as the case may be before 7 am)). it's a good ritual, a good way to start the day. i greet the children with more patience and more gumption. and i need both. we're homeschooling henry this year, which feels both right and insane to me. if i can be honest, it is so hard. and i have a lot of qualms about it. but it feels like the most right of the options available to us this year. next year? *spudder* there is a mess of possibility for next year. i'm hoping it might find us under a different roof, in a different school boundary. we are famously slow movers, though. so we'll see if we can actually relocate by next fall. but for this year, i am trying to make the best of it, trying to love this home school choice and embrace the lifestyle that comes with it. i loved it yesterday afternoon as i sat on the floor in the children's section of the library with my littles and let them gather up all the books they were excited about. i think we checked out 40 titles. we heart books. and our curriculum gives me courage; it is incredible. for like seven seconds in the late summer i thought, "i could probably just piece together my own curriculum." and then i came back from idiotland and thought, yeah right. order calvert. so i did. and i will be glad about it til i die.
so anyway, getting back to time management ... it was a big issue before. it's gigantic now. tonight i excused myself from the dinner table and told nate i really wanted to pick blackberries and could he please get the kids ready for bed. i filled my little bucket by the fading light of the sun and the brightening glow of the moon. it was beautiful. i savored the quiet. and girded up my loins about what i've taken on this year. i'm trying to figure out when/how i'll write, go to the temple, nurture my marriage and reach outside the walls of our home to love/help elsewhere. and stay sane.

also, my mind's been consumed with thoughts of lori and her darling children (background for those unfamiliar: lori recently lost her husband to brain cancer. she has two small children exactly my childrens' ages). i have wept for her so many times since i learned of wes's passing. sunday at church i could not pull it together. i don't know why i was so consumed with tenderness, but there it was, in spades. i couldn't stop the tears. after sacrament meeting was over i told nate i needed a hug and i sobbed all over his lapels. it was grief for the truman's. and sorrow for my own ingratitude and weak faith. and soberness and fear about how absolutely fragile life is and how little control we have. and why is god's plan so difficult to comprehend in the short term? it's clear in the big scheme, but it is absolutely vexing in the details sometimes. i have been wrestling with that conundrum lately. and trying to choose faith. all those things came gushing out in the chapel sunday morning. it was ugly and snot laden, but it was also beautiful. it felt like god was peeling back layers of stubbornness and defense and doubt and indifference and touching my vulnerability. and the communion was beautiful.

lastly for tonight and happily, nate stole me away for a birthday getaway on tuesday night and it was maybe the best night we've spent together...ever? we stayed at a charming bed and breakfast. we ordered just the right things at dragonfly. we picked the right caramel apple to share while we strolled around downtown. we talked about all the important things on both of our minds. and instead of talking in circles and never reaching any conclusions, we actually decided on a few things, came up with plans, conquered some puzzling issues. it was magnificent. i really just can't believe i get to do life with nate. he is the best. kind and gentle, strong and funny, smart and deliberate. and so handsome. i kept thinking, "how did a fuddy duddy dweeb like me end up with such a prince?"

on our way back home the next morning we drove by nate's childhood home. he pointed out the little shortcut paths he would take to school and told me about the chores he did in their old farmhouse and the adventures he had on the property that stretched out behind it...and i almost cried thinking of little boy nate, full of enthusiasm and zest. so many things about his childhood were magical and good, but some things were frightening and amiss. and my heart breaks to think of his young heart trying to negotiate those things. as we drove along i squeezed his hand and told him that i am as in love with the little boy of the childhood he described as I am with the man he is now in the life we share. if that makes sense ?
there are a few things i really wish i could do which would require a bit of time manipulation. 1) i would like to rock baby henry to sleep again (i could write an essay of reasons why.) and 2) i would like wrap little boy nate up in a big hug and assure him that despite the trouble of his childhood and the turmoil of his adolescence, his life would be brighter and more brilliant than he could imagine. i know this will sound horribly cliche, but i feel absolutely honored to be part of it.


  1. That sounds like a WONDERFUL birthday. I thought of you that day but didn't get a note written. So Happy (belated) Birthday! And good luck with the home schooling! I'm excited to hear how it goes.

  2. oh wow! homeschooling! i've kicked that idea around a time or two, but we are fortunate to have such great schools (!!!) here that i haven't gone anywhere serious with it. i would love to hear more about this as the year progresses.

  3. Great post, you really capture the pain and beauty of being part of this existence on earth.

  4. oh em, i love your writing. there have been so many times i've wept for Lori this summer. and i still do, just the other day in fact. her faith and commitment has made mine stronger. i think of her so, so much. of lucy and spencer. she is something special. it's amazing to me how much she touches my life.
    you are an inspiration with your homeschooling. i really hope you just gobble it up and enjoy it immensely.
    i know what you mean about time management. i feel like i do a poor job at it and it's a constant battle to find the right balance. but i guess a good battle. one that makes me try new things.
    i'm proud of you for your early rising exercising! i've been doing more of it this summer too! it's the only way and it's good for my psyche to have that time in the morning alone, before the hectic of the day. seems to make me a happier mom. that's always a good thing.
    so fun to hear about your birthday date! and so sorry i'm the lamest friend ever! EM! no excuses - happy (late) birthday! if only i looked at my calendar more often! i just treasure good dates with mark. even better that it was your birthday date! so happy for you. lets chat soon.

  5. I don't even know where to start right now. I kind of just need to call you about 10 things on this post.. But in the interest of time ;) ... I'll just start with this. Happy darn Birthday!!! I'm lame sauce for sure. But I'm tickled it was so magical. Now.. HOME SCHOOLING! Did I really read that right? Holy smokes em. But if anyone can do it, YOU can! I wish I knew every detail that went into that decision. when the going get's tough, look up the talk by Elder Holland called Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence. I mean it. It's kind of epic. For more reasons than one.
    Good luck with the time management thing. I'm afraid I got nothing for you on that one. Let me know when you figure it out. But I will say that you might be well on your way with the whole early rising thing. VERY impressive. And I've thought my whole life that that might be the secret..I've just never been able to emplament it. You inspire me. Well em, there's so much more to say.. But I'll just end with an I love you. You're an exceptional wife, mother and friend. I believe every part of your heart breaking for that widowed mom. You have empathy a plenty. ..good luck with all this homeschool craziness! You can do it :)

  6. implement* ...I got a good laugh outta that one. :)