Monthly Archives: March 2015


I’m reading the Old Testament. 

By “reading,” I mean listening to this guy with a deeply dramatic, Shakespearean kind of delivery read it aloud to me every morning as I get dressed and ready for the day.

iPhones and Gospel Library apps and dude with the dulcet tones mean that I really love brushing my teeth these days while I hear about Jehoshaphat, et al. 

You guys, the Old Testment is WILD, which we all know on a very general level. We’ve all absorbed some of the stories because it’s a part of our culture and Andrew Lloyd Weber uses them as the basis of musicals and Charlton Heston was MOSES and Christian Bale was, too. I know

But it is more than Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It is historic and literary and spellbinding and chock full of crazy shiz. I’ve only ever read it before in bits and pieces, never all the way through and never with a narrator who was born to play Richard III. Except when he reads the lines spoken by biblical women. Then he uses a falsetto voice, which is kind of silly and yet quite endearing and I really feel a lot of genuine affection for my theatrical Bible man.

People lose their birthrights. People conspire for power. People manipulate each other, enslave each other, and seduce each other. There is murder. There are kings who rule in righteousness and kings who are straight up wicked. There are chapters outlining genealogy. Everyone has lots of children and women are mostly remembered for having given birth to many sons. I’m a little bit Old Testament that way. Rock on.

But I don’t have to live in a tent, so yay. 

Now I need someone to explain to me why no one has yet made a movie about the Book of Esther. It is intense. The characters are delicious. There is intrigue and plotting and bravery and comeuppance. Is it because the king’s name is Ahasuerus and no one even knows what to do with that?

Is it because the book of scripture is named for a woman? And Esther supposedly can’t headline a movie like Moses can? 

The Book of Esther could be the next Noah, the next Ten Commandments, the next Exodus: Gods and Kings, people. Give it a chance. I’m just saying, I can see the film play out in my head as my melodramatic reader tells the tale of suspense.

It would be a good movie. It’s a good book.

It’s THE good book.


I’ve been looking through all my old pictures that Dutch has transferred at various times from my phone to the hard drive. It is strange to revisit a slideshow of one’s hairdos over the last eighteen years. We have been married long enough that flipping through our pictures means seeing the evolution of pudge-faced toddlers to lanky big kids. The house changes subtly in the background and the trees outside grow bigger.

It felt a little like that time I decided to finally read the Harry Potter books after shunning them for like twenty years because GIANT TRENDS annoy me and I basically HATE THEM, like my darlings Sarah P. and Louise P. We don’t need people foisting on us a charming and inventive School for Witchcraft and Wizardry! So back off!

Except then one summer I scraped through the days with Jack, who if he ever started a garage band, could call it, the I Hate Summers. Or The Interminable Summer of Death Band. Or simply Ennui. Because Jack needs the structured routines of the school year, not eleven weeks of driving me to drink during long free-form summer days.

But Jack isn’t starting a garage band. His garage shenanigans involve turning on the document shredder, pushing around the lawnmower, and tossing bits of garbage into the backseat of the parked van, not wailing on guitar.

Anyway, Harry Potter. I rejected the books for years purely on the basis of everyone in the world loving them. I don’t do pop culture peer pressure. See previous post re: the contrary that is me.

But then one awful late July, I needed escape and inexplicably started reading Rowling’s bestsellers. And I LOVED THEM. Oh my stars, did I love them. I admit to being 100% smitten with all of it, people. I read all seven books in a couple of weeks, intentionally ignoring my children whenever possible. The series cast a spell against the hard end-of-summer monotony that is life for the special-needs family, whose options for getting out and going places are crap.

As I finished each book, Dutch and I would watch the corresponding movie that evening after putting the guys to bed. And in a demonstration of the magic wrought by the passage of time, the actors in the films aged from children to teens on the cusp of independence, all within 14-15 days.

Daniel, Emma, and Rupert grew up before our eyes. It was mesmerizing—the best way to partake of the Potter series. Sometimes being crotchety and dismissive of trends can lead to something wonderful. I’m grown up enough to say this now.

But that is not the point of this post. Instead, it is this epiphany:

We have been a family for some time now. We aren’t newlyweds anymore, or students or graduate students, or fresh-faced twenty-somethings, or fledgling parents. The earth rotates and the years ebb, leaving photos on the hard drive and banked memories. 

I was surprised at the rush I felt in realizing that we’ve been around the block a few times, and yet my family keeps slogging on. We have weathered some things but we are still here. The hairdos keep changing, The guys keep growing taller, smarter, and kinder. The house is definitely in a state of entropy, but it’s standing.

Looking at those pictures on the computer dialed back my worries about the future. I saw the past; we had made it through.

A Few Good Words

Someone asked me this week to describe myself with three or four words. I was being filmed at the time of the asking. It was determined (by me) that I basically should win the Oscar for Lamest and Most Awkward on Camera, Ever. I was a self-conscious, rambling train wreck. I go full-on Deer in Headlights when anyone pulls out a camera and starts filming and I can’t even put words together people.

Thinking back on what I said, it was quite dumb.

I need redemption, so here are A Few Words That Describe Me, with the benefit of no one rolling tape:

1. Creative.

I’m that creeper who takes that thing someone said at church, or that story my family wants to forget ever happened, or that dysfunctional tale that probably shouldn’t ever be repeated, and I write about it. I can’t help myself. Sorry guys. It’s in my nature to refurbish the life experiences into stories in my head that become stories on the internet. Writing is better than therapy, and I love it so.

2. Skeptical & Unimpressed.

I know, this is two words, but they kind of go together. I am skeptical of anyone selling a quick fix and I am highly skeptical of things that are said to be all about ease. You don’t raise kids with disabilities and then fall for that “click your heels three times” business. Real life and real challenges do not have quick fixes. There are answers, but the pressing forward isn’t generally easy.

Likewise, I am unimpressed by bragging, gossiping, and snobbery. No thanks. I’m too caught up in real life with ACTUAL CHALLENGES to care. Does that make me snobby about gossips and braggarts? Hmm, good question. I’ll have to mull it over.

3. Direct.

The guys have knocked the demure out of me. Life demands efficient and honest communication. I’ve learned to be direct and bold in advocating for my boys. It just works better. It’s a skill I’ve learned from Terra, Louise, Georgie, the Flakes, and others in my life. Just say what you actually mean. Feel free to temper it with kindness and humor. The end.

4. Quite Contrary.

I dislike Pinterest because everybody loves it. I am the only person in the universe who doesn’t like avocados and who doesn’t want guac on my Cafe Rio salad. When something is trending online, I don’t want to know about it because there is a good chance it will be super annoying. If I am told that I must do something, I will take care to definitely NOT do that thing. Opinions and snark run thickly through my veins. I could say that I can’t help it, but I don’t want to say that.

So there you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth.


Hardship Stories

They asked me to give a little thing yesterday in Relief Society. Before church, I told Dutch that they wanted to me take a few minutes and contribute to the lesson.

“What’s the topic?” he asked.

“Guess.” I replied.

“Trials and tribulations?” he ventured.

“Bingo. Patience in adversity.”

Because I guess when people think of hardship, they think of us. Dutch was asked to give a similar thing in a recent High Priests’ Group lesson.

There certainly isn’t a dearth of things for me to say on the topic of coping with challenges. And I’m always happy to shoot my mouth off about things, so there you go. We don’t seek out the spotlight, but we have plenty to say about living a life mottled with growth experiences and lessons in patience.

If you need someone to speak about hard things with a side of poop and snark, I’m apparently your woman.

And if you need some hardship stories with a dry wit and less poo talk, Dutch is clearly your man.


Third Son

Today Charlie held up his toy machine gun, which was broken in half. 

“My gun is broken,” he wailed. “I need some goose tape.”

Because goose tape is stronger than duck (sic) tape, duh. 

“Let’s go find some goose tape in the garage,” Dutch said to third son.

Also today, Charlie said he wants to go to Cabela’s for his birthday this month and buy all the guns with his “Washington.” It’s the limp one dollar bill that he carries everywhere, including to school and church. Kid drops Washingtons like they grow on trees. 

Other things Charlie wants to do for his birthday in two weeks: go to the beach, go to the cabin, go deer hunting, go ice skating, build an igloo, paint his fingernails, see Paddington, go to the gas station, have a sleepover with his cousins, go skiing, go to Alaska, go to the bike park, and eat cake.