Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sharing Some of My Finest Skills

I've said it for years, and for the most part, it's the same for all my children... Unless it is bedtime or the weekend, it is very difficult for me to keep my children entertained for very long in front of a screen. It isn't that we put strict limits on any screen time, we've never needed to. Computers and television aren't a big distraction around here. (Okay, occasionally someone will pick up my cell phone and play a game, but not often.)

It's always been a big pet peeve of mine that my children can't last the entirety of a television show or movie during the day, or want to spend time in front of the computer. I wish they would, especially the little boys when I want to keep them inside the house for whatever reason. Sometimes I am known to bribe them with a treat. But the attention to the screen only lasts as long as the treat.

Case in point.

Some days, like yesterday, I felt sluggish and lazy. I wanted nothing more than to lay down on the couch for a little while and do nothing. I didn't want to have to keep an eye out for Drew in and out of the house, and so I did what I had to do.

I bribed Drew with a container of left-over cookie dough in the fridge. I told him he could have it all to himself (well, of course after I took some for myself) if he'd watch a show, while I closed my eyes for a bit.

Thirty minutes later, I awoke to the singsong sounding out of the letter "W" on the Letter Factory DVD, the sound of Drew "vrrrmming" a truck in another room and...

the empty cookie dough container on the floor in front of me.
Some days my mothering skills amaze me.

Monday, May 27, 2013

MIA

My mother had surgery last week. Although not a major surgery, it wasn't exactly minor either. Actually, for the point of this story it doesn't matter if it was major or minor surgery, what matters is that she was put under anesthesia and a knife and that in and of itself requires some degree of attention.

Like you know, when you wake up from surgery and after a short stint in recovery with nurses you get to see the face and hear the voice of a loved one. At least, you hope you will.

My mother had surgery early Friday morning, and when the surgery was completed my dad text me and my brothers to tell us that the doctor said all was well and he would be able to see her in about 30 minutes. I replied to his text asking him to text me again when he had seen her.

I went about my morning, got Joshua off to kindergarten (late morning on Fridays), and then came home to meet Mike for lunch. As we were preparing our basil and mozzarella paninis, my house phone rang. It was my mother. I was shocked to hear from her, and even more shocked when she said, "Have you heard from Dad?"

What?

According to my mother, (yes just out of anesthesia and who knows on what meds) she had been up in her room for an hour and she had not seen or heard from my dad. She had called his cell phone but he wasn't answering. I told her I would try to contact him as she didn't have her cell phone (duh obviously, she just had  surgery--my dad had all her belongings) and it was uncomfortable for her to keep reaching for the hospital phone.

As soon as I hung up with her, I told Mike the situation. His reply? "She probably just doesn't remember seeing him. She just came out of surgery." I tried calling my dad several times, and sent him a text. Not getting through to him, I decided to call my brothers and see if they had heard from him. James didn't answer the phone so I called Casey next. Surprisingly he answered the phone (sometimes I swear he screens my calls), and I explained the situation to him. His reply was very similar to Mike's.

I KNEW that wasn't the case. Although clearly out of character for my dad to disappear from the scene when my mother comes out of surgery, I didn't think my mother was so out of it that she didn't know she'd seen him. I called her back and double checked she really hadn't seen him. She again said she had not seen him.

I'll try to make a long story short.

Although my two brothers and Mike were really quite calm, I was beginning to sense a little uneasiness, as the problem of my MIA father and my just out of surgery mother really fell to me to deal with. (My brothers are 400 and 700 miles away.) I was a 30 or so minute drive away from her at this point. To put Mike and Casey's assumptions to rest, I called my mother's nurse to confirm that indeed my dad had not yet been seen in her room.  In the meantime, my brothers and I all kept trying to get a hold of my dad.

Amidst trying to enjoy my favorite summer sandwich on the back patio with Mike, I was texting and calling brothers, the nurse, my dad (of course no answer), when a slight sense of paranoia began to creep in. Mike patiently listened while I, (not exactly the optimist) began to list the possible scenarios of my dad's absence.

1. He has had a heart attack and is in the ER all alone, because nobody he loves even knows.
2. He's had some kind of mental breakdown and has decided to take off and abandon his family.

On a more rational note, I did wonder if perhaps he had a work emergency, that was so important he couldn't tell them he must visit/contact his wife who just had surgery!

I really knew the work emergency probably wasn't the case, as I knew my dad would interrupt a phone call for his wife. Therefore, my dad was either in the ER alone and dying, or he had abandoned us all for good.

Mike, (ever the optimist) listened to my scenarios and quietly suggested, "Maybe he's still in the waiting room. Waiting."

Yeah. Whatever. At the time, my scenarios seemed so much more likely. With still no word from my dad, Mike and I decided that the best option was for me to go to the hospital to be with my mom. Mike loaded Drew in the car to go back to work with him, and I called my brother James to tell him I was heading into the hospital and would he please keep calling dad. Just as I was finishing up the phone call with James, Casey rang in.

"Umm. I got a hold of Dad." He was in the waiting room, patiently waiting for someone to get him and take him to my mother.

Let's put it this way. My brothers and I immediately turned our thoughts from our poor-left-by-herself-post-surgery mother, and our missing father, to the poor person that was now going to take my father's wrath.

You see, my dad isn't always the calmest most relaxed person when he feels someone has been wronged. (ie. my post surgery mother!) But when he realized that the only person he really could get mad at, was a little old volunteer lady at the hospital waiting room desk, he focused his energies instead on getting to my mother's side.

(The long and short of his MIA stint was spotty cell phone reception (his phone only showed 1-2 missed calls) and a changing in shifts of two waiting room volunteers, and obviously "a little" mis-communication among hospital staff.)

I'm not really sure why exactly my dad's disappearance deserves a blog post to itself, when the trip my boys and I took later on that day (on the Frontrunner I might add) to visit my mother in the hospital is just as blog-post worthy.

I mean, who doesn't want to hear about the lady on the train wearing no underwear, or Drew's incessant questions about the protocols of train riding, ("Can people sit on each other's laps on trains?" "Can you stand on a train?" "Can people play with Hot Wheels on trains?" etc.), or the scantily dressed lady (not the "no underwear one") and her boyfriend that Luke and I now know every detail of their lives.

Or what about the details of the actual hospital visit? The long walk through the parking lot from the train station to the hospital doors with a complaining 4 and 6 year old in tow. Or the meal at the cafeteria during which Joshua tipped over his rootbeer at least 3 times. (My dad sure has relaxed over the years.) Or the stop in the bushes Joshua made to relieve the effects of the rootbeer before boarding the train for our ride home. Oh, and of course being able to visit my just-had-surgery-mother.

Regardless.

My mother is now home from the hospital and recovering well. My brother's first question upon hearing my mother was home?

"Does dad know?"

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Picture Purge

I just figured out a quick and efficient way of getting the photos from my phone to my computer. I know it is 2013, but I didn't know how to upload them as a group until last week. Warning, there's quite a few photos, but here is the month of May as seen through my cell-phone.

The day all five children ate a piece of french toast covered with this syrup... I laughed hysterically upon the discovery, my children were NOT amused.
Loved spending a weekend with these amazing ladies (and more). This photo is probably only half of the Power of Moms board. Absolutely LOVE the friendships and associations I have with some of these women.
My girls and I enjoyed a nice afternoon at City Creek for a Mother's Day girls lunch with extended family.

Got a big kick out of these two "panhandlers" sitting outside Temple Square. I couldn't resist tossing some loose change their way.

I loved the boys' enthusiasm to take a bouquet of tulips to their school teachers one afternoon.

Megan had a harp performance at the city hall.

Unfortunately this was the gift Ellie gave me for Mother's Day. Apparently she misunderstood her Activity Day leaders, and thought hiding a plant in her closet for six days was a good idea.

I absolutely LOVED walking outside one afternoon and seeing Ellie and her good friend swinging in the backyard while browsing magazines. It was one of the cutest things I've seen in a long time. My favorite part was when they'd stop swinging long enough to point something out in their magazine to the other. (The magazines? Justice clothing and American Girls catalogs.)

 Drew and Mom's impromptu stop at a park to eat Cutler's sugar cookies together.

(gotta love the saliva oozing from Drew's mouth)
Instead of clearing up dinner like she was supposed to, Megan began entertaining herself with a raw tortilla-turned mask. Mike and I really were not amused UNTIL Megan went into the bathroom to look at herself in the mirror. Her hysterical laughter at herself made it pretty hard not to join in. Sometimes her ability to entertain herself with really dumb things, makes me wonder if she really is the age we think she is.

Drew's dives into the bath-tub. I try not to throw up while watching his enjoyment of submerging himself in his own filth.

Megan used a lot of different bowls to make different colors of cake batter for Ellie's birthday cake. Mike apparently loves cake batter and kept insisting to Megan that he got to lick the bowls. Disgusting.
My way of making a BSA statement, without really making one. Mother's pins? So completely over-priced (as are all the BSA awards and paraphernalia) and what do mom's ever do with them? I've NEVER seen anyone wear them. Except me. I used to wear them to every Cub Scout Pack Meeting, and now I wear them to Court of Honors. Luke added one to the collection after the photo was taken. Enough said about BSA, especially after last night. Don't get me started.

Ellie had a piano recital. I hope she keeps practicing her 2 songs, "Oh Susannah" and "Clementine". SUCH good songs to sing along loudly to. (Much to her annoyance.)
I LOVE seeing rainbows in the sky. I'm known to tell my children to keep their eye out for one after a storm, when the sun is just right. Love them. Joshua begged me to let him go find the end of it to see if there was treasure.

Luke has been a part of our life this month, I promise. But somehow his activities don't get recorded quite as much. Probably because he's been busy building a BMX bike ramp in a horse field (it's too muddy for me to be interested in following him out there), aerating people's lawns (I'm not sure OSHA would agree with his work, and therefore I'm not going to capture it on camera.), and bringing his goats over to our house (shaving Hank practically IN the garage wasn't exactly the smartest decision on his part, and capturing it on camera was the last thing on my mind-how mad Mike would be was at the forefront). Regardless, I still love Luke even if I didn't capture any photos of him. Although he did have about 47 (no exaggeration) self-portraits on my phone, but I deleted them in a huff the other morning.

And that about wraps up the month of May via a cell-phone.



Monday, May 20, 2013

It's Mighty Fine Turning Nine

a picture essay for Ellie's special day...

as per tradition, opening presents in mom and dad's bed
breakfast of choice (homemade waffles)
insistence on wearing new outfit despite cold temperatures
homemade birthday cake (courtesy of Megan)--LOVED that I didn't have to make it

dinner at restaurant of choice (Granny Annie's)
(the free birthday cinnamon roll was a nice bonus)
wearing the birthday hat to gymnastics 
singing happy birthday with cousins through the amazing wonder of Facetime

the surprise polka dots inside the cake
and that about wraps up the day Ellie turned nine
let's look at my favorite photo of the day again

Happy Birthday Ellie!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Judging Less, Loving More

Recently, one of my children was involved in an unfortunate exchange with an adult. As a parent, I was shocked and disgusted at the event, as was my child. Although the person later apologized for "misunderstanding the situation", there was no apology for more specifics as I would have liked.

(I am purposefully being vague about this particular situation. The specifics do not need to be shared publicly.)

I only shared the situation with one friend, knowing I could trust her completely, and hoping for a little advice. Although this particular friend has scaled much greater mountains of compassion and forgiveness than this little (somewhat) insignificant situation I found myself in, she validated my feelings.

As the days passed, I felt myself feeling more and more irritated that this event happened, and that an adult would act in such a way. It isn't that it necessarily surprised me that this particular adult would be capable of such an exchange, but that it would happen with one of my children is what bother (s) (ed) me most.

I found myself disappointed in myself that I would even temporarily hold a grudge, and kept doubting my ability to be cordial to this person when a future (inevitable) interaction happens.

My focus this last week has been on "forgetting" the incident and feeling no ill-will towards the person involved. I find it no coincidence that on Sunday morning a dear friend shared with me specifically, a video. Knowing nothing about my previous week, but recalling a conversation from months before, this friend believed I would appreciate the video. I'll take it one step further, I think this friend was inspired to send me the video. (Thank you, Michelle!)

As I watched the short video I found myself imagining the specific "descriptions" applying to the adult in the questionable exchange with my child. With tears in my eyes, I was humbly reminded, that it is not for me to judge another person's actions. And though a child of mine was clearly wronged, what a lesson for me (and Mike) and one of our children to (re) learn--we have no idea what was going on in that person's life that day.

Instead of holding a grudge or being irritated, my job is to judge less and love more.

I shared my experience and the video with my little family this afternoon. Now I'm sharing it with you.
~enjoy

(This video was put together by a hospital in Cleveland. Believe me, it is well worth 4 minutes of your time to watch.)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Few Facts

Fact #1
Mike watches very little television. The nightly news and maybe Seinfeld re-runs if he didn't fall asleep during the weather forecast.

Fact #2
For the last 8 years, from January through May, Mike watches television every Wednesday and Thursday night. For five months, our lives and schedules revolve around a television show. American Idol.

Fact #3
Viewership for American Idol is at all-time lows. Even in our own family, everyone has lost interest in the show. Except Mike.

Fact #4
For the past several years, Mike has correctly guessed at least 2-3 of the top 5 contestants during 'Hollywood Week'.

Fact #5
This year is probably Mike's favorite year. He loves. I mean LOVES the last few contestants. (And yes, one of the top 2 he has predicted all along.)

Fact #6
My dear husband works very hard. He is hard to convince to ever take time off of work. Our most frequent arguments for 16 years of marriage are about days off of work (or the lack of).

Fact #7
Neither Mike or I are spontaneous people

Fact #8
Mike is frugal.

Fact #9
Mike rarely takes time off of work.

Fact #10
Did I mention Mike is frugal and favors days at work.

Fact #11
Mike loves American Idol.
Correction.
Mike LOVES American Idol.

Fact #12
When my brother Casey called to say he has a ticket to the American Idol finale one week away, Mike replied, "I'm going."

Fact #13
A plane ticket to California with one week notice isn't exactly cheap.

Fact #14
This is a very busy time of year for someone in the construction/landscape business.

Fact #15
Mike is at the American Idol finale.

Fact #16
It makes me laugh. Although I think Keith Urban is HOT and I'm mildly jealous Mike will see him in person.

Fact #17
You know those dads you see on videos singing lullabyes and stuff to their children via cell-phones at airports, on the bus, etc? I think Mike should have been a good sport and not selectively "forgotten" this sign (made by Megan) when he left for the airport.

Fact #18
My husband is a nut.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

If You Need To Slice Strawberries...

(I was never sure exactly what I would do with this photo of myself that Megan took on Mother's Day. So I'll be brave and share it with the world on a blog post about me and my unfocused mind.)

Have you ever read the series of books such as "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" or "If You Give a Dog a Donut" books? Ellie loves them and I think has nearly all of the series. They are actually quite fun to read, I should retrieve them from her room and read them to the boys.

The other day I found myself feeling as though my morning could have been taken from the pages of one of those books. Except, in the book most of the tasks relate, in my life that day (or any day for that matter) there really was no correlation between one task or the next.

It went something like this:

My nice neighbor's mother offered to watch my boys while I ran to the grocery store. Feeling so grateful for her generosity, I tried to be very quick at the store out of politeness towards her. I think that was my first mistake--it set me off into a rushed speed--at a time in my life I'm trying desperately to slow my pace during the day-to-day tasks I embark on.

Anyway.
After arriving home with my groceries, I started to put them away. As I opened the fridge, I realized I hadn't sliced and frozen some previously bought strawberries for a frequently made DELICIOUS summer dessert. So I began slicing strawberries.

In the meantime, Drew came into the house asking for a peanut butter sandwich. I stopped to fix him one, being sure to make one for Joshua too, to eliminate another interruption. Except I forgot to put jam on Joshua's, and just as I was returning to the slicing of strawberries, Joshua returned into the house asking for jam. Which I swiftly applied to his sandwich. Using the last of the jam, I rinsed out the jam jar to put in the dishwasher. Suddenly I remembered I had forgotten to buy eggs at the store, so (A FIRST FOR ME) I went outside to see if the chickens had laid any eggs that morning. Reminding myself that retrieving chicken eggs IS NOT in my job description, I called for Joshua to help me. After washing the eggs and putting them in the fridge, I realized I should finish putting away the groceries. As I went to throw away something, I noticed the garbage was extremely full, so I pulled out the full bag and went to retrieve a new garbage bag. Except I couldn't find them. It was then I realized an overly helpful child had put away the paper towels, shoving the garbage bags and paper plates to the very back of the cupboard. I emptied the paper towel rolls one by one, and reorganized the cupboard. Eventually retrieving the garbage bag and putting it in the can.

Seeing the full garbage bag sitting to the side, I took it outside to the big trash can. As I glanced over to the chicken coop, I remembered the bag of rotting apples that were a complete waste of money (I will NEVER buy pre-bagged apples again on sale) and decided I should take them out to the chickens.

Meanwhile, I remembered the laundry needed to be switched right then. (I'm picky about things sitting in the dryer too long.) I ran upstairs to do that, and afterwards got side tracked putting some out-grown clothes into a bag to give away. I stopped to take a potty break, and realized I should refill the toilet paper holders in all the bathrooms. It was then I remembered I never replied to an email from Mike that morning asking if I could pick up a few items for the office. Upon my return downstairs to use the computer, I saw the semi-sliced strawberries sitting on the counter and remembered,

That I was actually in the middle of slicing strawberries.

Mike's email never got replied to. But after slicing strawberries, I did grab a notebook and write down everything I had just done in a 25 minute period. If for nobody else but myself.

Well, and for Mike. Perhaps then, he can better understand why he eventually felt the need to purchase the office supplies himself.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Not the Best, But not the Worst

(Yes, in case you are wondering, my hands are holding children in place and are not gentle grips of love or affection.)

As far as Mother's Days go, I've had better ones. But as I prepared for bed on Sunday night, I reread the notes my children gave me and was reminded that I really do like my job.

"You are nice most of the time."

"My mom is fune" (funny)

"You are pretty much the best mom!"

"I like you."

"I hope I'm like you when I'm older."

I think my favorite Mother's Day gifts were the coupons I received from Ellie, especially these two. Although the excitement over them quickly evaporated when I showed them to Mike and he laughed. Not so sure he exactly permitted Ellie to grant me such a gift.

Oh well.
I could say the great sunny, Sunday spent with my fabulous children was far better than if a weekend away by myself to a fabulous location AND an unlimited shopping spree had legitimately been on my list of received gifts.

But that would be a lie.

And I'm not good at that.

Which is why I'll say, as far as Mother's Days go, there have been better ones.

Friday, May 10, 2013

My Brief Encounter With Stardom


(I may or may not have taken this photo secretly from the window, hoping the professional reporter (who really was very down to earth and I loved her!) couldn't see.)

It was kind of a fun surprise on Tuesday morning when I had an email from a KSL Radio reporter (television and radio station here in Utah) asking if she could interview me. Yes! Of all people, me!

She had heard some recent podcasts I was involved in and some articles I've written on Power of Moms, and wanted to come to my house and interview me for a 2 part series in honor of Mother's Day.

It was a little exciting.
OK-kind of a lot exciting.
Like, immediately call Mike to tell him kind of exciting.
Except he didn't answer.
So I called him again.
He didn't answer. Apparently he was in a meeting.
So I called him again. I mean, come on! His wife is about to be interviewed for a radio show and a meeting with some architects is more important??
So I called him again.

According to Mike, he apologetically said to his fellow meetingers, "I'm sorry. I should take this call, I think it may be an emergency." (Because I don't get emailed by reporters very often, and therefore, rarely call him 3 times in a row.)

So okay, it wasn't exactly an emergency, but I still think Mike should have started jumping up and down with my good news instead of whispering, "Nice. But can I call you back? I'm in a meeting." (He didn't even tell the good news to his fellow-meeting attendees!!!!!)

And to think a couple of hours later I was being interviewed and actually referred to him as my "biggest cheerleader."

Which he is...
As long as he isn't in a meeting with architects.

Anyway.
It was fun standing with my children gathered around the radio in my kitchen Thursday morning and hearing the story on KSL. I loved that Megan requested being driven to school so she wouldn't miss it.

Then again, as dinner was being served on Thursday evening, we listened to it being aired again.

Friday morning we listened intently again gathered around the kitchen radio for Part 2. Except Megan, after being assured it would be on again Friday evening said she was going to ride the bus. I did suggest she ask the bus driver to switch the radio to 102.7FM.

She rolled her eyes.

Seconds after both Thursday and Friday radio segments were over my phone rang with Mike whooping and hollering with pride. I have now forgiven him for the whispered, "Nice. But can I call you back? I'm in a meeting" response from Tuesday.

For Thursday's Part 1 segment, click HERE.
(Yes. The whole "lay on the couch" part was slightly out of context. I must do a blog post about the real "lay on the couch" practice though. It has resonated with a lot of people.)
Friday's Part 2 segment, click HERE.
(This one should air again today at 5:45pm)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Disagreement

Mike and I are for the most part, on the same page with parenting. Of course we certainly have our disagreements over privileges, discipline, systems, etc. But really, more often than not, as far as parenting decisions go we agree with each other.

Except for the past 6 weeks or so, we've been in a little of a disagreement about one particular thing. Actually, I think Mike vacillated between "yes" and "no." I, on the other hand, never changed my original answer, "NO!!!!"

"The question" that was in question?

"Can I get another goat?"

Last year, when Luke got Lily, we knew 2 goats would be it. Luke was content, Mike and I were content, and all seemed well. Except of course, Lily didn't make it through the winter. Following Lily's death, Mike and I were very mindful that with spring and "goat-birth season" arriving, the question would certainly arise, "Can I get another goat?"

Now. I must explain Luke's grief over Lily is still very tender, raw and real. If he could, he would never get another animal if only Lily could come back. Of course she can't. Luke is convinced that Hank has never acted the same since that dreadful January day, and as much as Luke wants another goat, his convincing arguments are most often for Hank.

I said no. My mother heart doesn't want another baby animal and I certainly don't want to go through another winter with a baby goat. Hank is strong and healthy, and I don't worry about him. (Not that I ever worried about any of these *darn* goats until January!)

Mike knew my answer was no. Luke pretty much did too, as I always answered his questions with, "That's Dad's department."

Last week Mike was teetering very close to my side, and said to Luke, "I think for now your time, money and energy is best spent on the animals you already have." I was feeling very triumphant, until I saw Luke's face as he left our bedroom. I knew that another wave of grief was about to hit.

It did, and it wasn't pretty. It was downright heartbreaking. Both Mike and I had to hold back our own tears as Luke laid in our bed crying about missing Lily.

I knew I was dangerously at risk of losing my arguments, but I kept quiet and let Mike handle this wave of grief, with the exception of briefly chiming in, and helping Luke understand that another goat wouldn't make all his sadness go away.

Despite the heartbreaking grief, for a myriad of reasons, a few days later my answer was still a pretty firm "no." Mike on the other hand still kept wavering.

Saturday afternoon, I was busy at a Power of Moms event in Park City. Between my own responsibilities there, and my desire to listen to others, I was pretty occupied and in my own zone. And then I noticed I had a text message on my phone.

There were no words. Just this picture.

Obviously...
Luke won.
I lost.
And depending on who you ask, Mike is a hero or a villain.

Meet Dudley.
The latest addition to our lives.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Late Halves

Luke turned 11 and a HALF last week. I decided to use the WHOLE cake (2 rounds) to make his HALF cake, thus the quadruple layer cake. It mildly resembled the leaning Tower of Pisa, but with 7 piggish cake lovers around, it didn't have to risk falling for too long. Megan and Ellie made it clear while eating the cake (for the millioneth time) that chocolate cake is not their favorite and they'd never choose it.

Number 1. Whose children are they?
Number 2. How dare they say such blasphemous words.
Number 3. Chocolate cake and HOMEMADE chocolate frosting is the BEST.

Megan turned 14 and a HALF last month, April 12th, the day I left for Las Vegas. Fortunately, I made her chocolate half cake before going to the airport, but unfortunately nobody thought to take a picture of it.

What??
I think it is the first half birthday not caught in a photo.
Oh the misfortunes of life.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Boston--Part 3 (of 3)

Seriously? Can you believe this is a city library? Okay, it is a city like Boston, as in Boston's city library, but still. Could you imagine showing up with your toddlers and pre-schoolers for a weekly story-time at this place? Or even going anytime? I'm fairly certain I'd be brilliant if I lived in the city of Boston, as I'd be inclined to spend a lot of time in library. Okay, maybe not, I'd spent a fair amount of time outside seeing all the other cool stuff, but still, the library was pretty incredible.
And this church??? I should really consider changing religions. LDS churches really don't have a lot of charm to them. Our temples are beautiful buildings, but the church buildings?

(Trinity Church, Boston)
Sunday afternoon we had already planned on going to Copley Square to see the Trinity Church. While sitting in Sacrament Meeting (in a quite charming LDS church building I might add), we saw on the program that there was to be an inter-faith "peace"  benefit concert as at the Trinity Church that afternoon for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.
It really was a stroke of great luck to have been able to be a part of it. Even though the concert was a tad long for me. (Although I'll have you know, afterwards my mother-in-law and sister-in-law said the same thing!!!) It was inspiring to see so many faiths join together and perform individual musical numbers. I loved seeing some of the choirs clapping and singing as they really got into their songs.


The Mormon choir, hands down was the best, (even if Mormons rarely ever dance and clap while singing!). I don't think I'm saying it because I am biased. It was really neat to see the reactions (gasps and tears) of some of the people around us as the choir finished their touching rendition of "Come, Come Ye Saints."


In a tie for first place was the final number which all the choirs joined together to sing. That final number was worth all the so-so number's of the previous 90 minutes, when a girl sang one of my favorite songs, Amazing Grace among the other performers.

It was the first day the church had re-opened following the bombings. The pastor spoke with my mother-in-law after, and told her that until just recently all the marathon garbage had stayed on the street, and his church was closed for services. The memorials outside were a stark reminder of the tragedy of that sad day, but the concert inside was a clear juxtaposition to the horrible tragedy of two weeks previous. 

You can read a great write-up about it HERE in the LDS Church News by my mother-in-law. (Totally spontaneous decision for her to start interviewing people post-concert and how fortuitous that Yours Truly always carries a notebook around with her so that I could loan her a couple of pieces of paper after her concert program had no more room for notes. I'm totally fine with the fact she didn't credit me for the note paper in her article.)
(These makeshift memorials to the victims of the bombing were touching to see.)



I haven’t even touched on all the Revolutionary War and other stuff I saw in Boston that I actually very much enjoyed...
This photo Kristin said, “ I would be the rebel, fighting for revolution, and she (referring to me) would be the traditional woman in a dress making the food.”
She was right! I loved hearing the stories of Abigail Adams using her kitchen, and making the musket shells (is that what they’re called?), and taking care of the home. Nothing wrong with being a traditionalist, right?
House where JFK was born. Which is probably on one of the most charming streets in the Boston area. Except for the fact it was garbage day so the photos of the street weren't exactly charming with all the cans lining the road.
Who doesn't love the ocean?
And how could I possibly forget this photo? Of course my feelings towards the Revolutionary War aren't all triumphant and victorious.
These Boston posts are really for my own remembrances anyway, they're long and there are a lot of photos, but oh well. I think I've just about wrapped up a fabulous 5 day trip in 3 blog posts.

Two of my summer goals?

To make a book of this trip, and one for Megan and Luke from our DC trip 2 years ago. I miss old fashioned photo albums.

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