Thursday, May 28, 2015

Warning: May Cause Disease

In this day and age, my parenting peers are discussing the effects of screen time on their children, how to manage it, how to work around it when parents aren't home, what time restrictions to place on it, etc. etc. etc. I always assume that people think I am exaggerating when I tell them that we really don't have any rules or regulations about screen time. (Duh-of course we do about appropriate sites, etc.) But time limits? Not at all necessary. We have the absolute opposite at our house. We have to set limits and regulations on their imaginations. 

While I ran a billion after-school errands with Megan for her upcoming Carnival Fundraiser this Saturday, I returned home to this:

"We're making home-made rafts." ~ said one child

"Did Dad give permission for the wood to be used?" ~said the parent

"It's old wood." ~said another child

"What exactly do you need rafts for?~ said the parent

"To play in water." ~ said a child

"What water?" ~ said the parent

"Water in the pasture. And when that dries up, we'll take them somewhere else to use." ~said the same child

"What is going on?" ~ said the other parent who arrived home minutes after the first parent

"Did you ask permission for the wood?" ~ said the other parent

A short time later, we could hear laughter and happy squealing all the way across the field to our pasture. Megan, being the first to ascertain where the laughter was originating from suddenly declared, "They look like neglected children."

To which my eyes wander to where she is looking and I behold this sight.
Neglected children?
Not really, they actually get a lot of attention.

Imaginative children?
(See the broken wheel on the red wagon? That would be from it being used to descend the hill and ride into the water.)

I walked over to get a closer look, and though all my responsible, clean, uptight personality traits wanted to yell and tell them to get their clothes on and get OUT OF THE MUDDY WATER immediately, the part of my personality that understands they are only young once, and the soft, motherly part of my personality that heard, "Mom! Are you mad at us? This is the best day EVER." simply took some photos, and told them to come home in 10 minutes.
I didn't get any "after photos" of the mud strewn across their faces and bodies, or of them standing in their underwear in the back yard while I hosed them down with a hose. To which they complained about the temperature of the cold water. To which I responded, if you can play in mud puddles, you pay the price of a cold hose squirted at you before you're allowed into the house to shower.

Megan is concerned they are going to catch cholera. My BFF is concerned they are going to get ticks. My only concern is what will they think of next!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

A Thoughtful Gift for Mother's Day

Megan just gave me a Mother's Day gift a day early. It's one of my favorite gifts ever. So thoughtful, so poignant and so real. Really, it's a gift for mother's everywhere.

It's further proof that really, it's about the little things...

Happy Mother's Day

Monday, May 4, 2015

Good Women in a Matter of Days

Wow! What a wonderful few days I have had. I am quite in awe at the quality conversations, moments and time I have spent with some of the best women life has to offer.

Back in November, my dear friend Koni asked me if I would be her assistant for a hospitality committee for the annual BYU Women's Conference. I've never attended the conference before, but after a couple of weeks of really thinking about it, I accepted her offer. Last week, all the trainings and meetings regarding our hospitality roles were put to the test. I've opted to leave my conference experiences to my personal journal instead of here, but suffice it to say, it was an amazing two days.

(We were soooo busy on Thursday. We were responsible for the guests at the Marriott Center, which is a LARGE venue. We spent the whole day on our feet running from here to there, and this was the only shot we got of us looking official in our "uniform." Too bad Koni's eyes are closed.)

I loved spending time with two dear friends, Koni and Allyson. Our paths met through Power of Moms, but it was fun to work with them in an entirely different women's venue.

(I think this is a picture of a picture--thus the blurriness.)

I LOVED running into this friend of mine from high school. Sharie was my best friend during much of my 10th grade year. I have fond memories of countless hours spent at her house. Sadly, as high school girls sometimes do, our friendship sort of fizzled at the beginning of 11th grade. I'm not sure I've seen her in person since high school, but when I looked over and saw her and her sister at a nearby photo booth, I couldn't contain my excitement. Loved seeing her!!
(Sharie and Tiffany)

This is a dear friend of Koni's. She is originally from Spain, and now lives in Washington. She came to Utah to help with the conference, and slept at Koni's house the same night as I did. Koni fell asleep early, and Mayte and I were left to visit with each other. I'm so grateful for the few hours of conversation with this lady. Wow! Truly, a woman of faith. We woke up on Friday morning, and each went into a different bathroom to shower and get ready for the day. When we met for breakfast, we were dressed as twins!

Friday night was the Power of Moms board meeting in Park City. I love the opportunity I have to work with so many top notch ladies. I will be forever grateful for my association with Power of Moms and the friendships it has given me.
(This is by no means all of the board--just the ones in attendance on Friday night.)

Not sure I could even begin to describe my feelings for these four ladies. I'll just say I love them. Truly, and deeply I love them. There are some lives whose paths are just meant to cross. These are some of them for me.

I have no idea why my face is tilted the way it is, and with a fake-looking smile. Rest assured, everyone laughed at me (with me?) when Rachelle showed it to us on her camera. We got NOWHERE near enough sleep on Friday night, but our time together laughing until our bellies hurt was well worth the hangover the next day.
(Koni, Rachelle, Allyson, Alisha, Tiffany)

(Shout out to my friend, Cheryl who took the above photo. She's one of my favorite women too, I just didn't get a photo with her THIS time.)

Proof we didn't get enough sleep on Friday night. Why yes, these naps just may happened to have occurred while speakers were speaking on Saturday.

Completely separate from my time at Women's Conference or at the Power of Moms retreat, was the lunch I had with this friend on Monday. In full honesty here, for a few specific reasons, I have never been a big fan of the visiting teaching program in the LDS church. But I think my opinion of it is slowly changing. If it wasn't for that program, my life would never have intersected with this dear friend.

My friendship with Breeanne began just shy of a year ago. Our lives are so very different, yet so strikingly similar. When I think of the time I have spent with Breeanne, our conversations and our text exchanges, I think of two women navigating through life, and the importance of women supporting and loving each other. Breeanne no longer lives in my neighborhood, but when we met up for lunch on Monday, I was reminded what a blessing she is in my life.

(Breeanne and Tiffany)

As much as I would love to do a great blog post about the influential women and friends in my life, I likely never will. But believe me, my personal journal and my gratitude journal are filled often with  mention of women that I feel blessed to know and love. I'm really not much of a chit-chatter. I'm not as friendly as I should be with those I don't know well, but I'm trying to do better at that. The older I get, and the more women I meet, I realize how true it is that everyone of us has our own story. Our own paths, our own lives, our own challenges and joys. And what a true blessing it is when those things are shared with another.

“We must cherish one another, watch over one another, comfort one another, and gain instruction that we may all sit down in heaven together.

~Lucy Mack Smith


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