Friday, May 8, 2015

Back in NY

Right before I opened my eyes this morning, I was dreaming I was back at my Mom and Sister Reunion, and Allecia and I were in some kind of hot air balloon thing that was designed just like the chandelier that is hanging in my room--the one Brian made.  We had to hang on to the frame so as to not fall out and go careening to the earth.  And we actually weren't in NY this time.  We were somewhere else--on a cruise, I think.  But I was back at the reunion, so it was a good dream.

Our trip to New York was super fun--the best M&S reunion yet, I'd say.  We spent three full days in NYC, walking and exploring and experiencing New York City.  My favorite parts?  Feeding birds with a bird man in Washington Square, dancing in the subway station just before midnight, and eating together on Stone Street.  But every minute was good.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Matlock and Ladybug Poop

Soon after I was married, I got a job working at the Las Vegas courthouse.  Many times during my lunch break, I would go down and watch my dad in court.  He was right in the middle of that case where the lady had killed her mother (and shoved her body into a garbage can in her storage unit) in order to collect her social security money.  I remember hearing the defense team's closing arguments and thinking my dad had his work cut out for him.  Then, when my dad stood to give his closing argument, he seriously blew the defense out of the water.  He was magnificent, and I wanted to cheer. I felt the same pride I felt that day in fourth grade when we went around the class saying what our dads did for a living and I got to say my dad was a lawyer.  I was proud--not because we were rich, because we weren't.  In fact, I spent most of my childhood thinking we were kinda poor)--but because  my dad wore a suit to work and he worked hard every day, and never compromised his integrity doing it.

But anyway, at the courthouse, I was on a team in charge of scanning old paper case files into the computer.  We were not supposed to read the files, but it was awfully hard not to catch a few things, while were were straightening out pages and removing staples.  And I remember that for several weeks, we were scanning cases from the rape unit.  Oh, man.  It was awful.  I read so many horrible things.  I remember reading a case about a girl who was a student at BYU and had been sexually abused for several years before going to college.  Her case had finally gone to court...  And during that time, I remember feeling so sick to my stomach every day--or more accurately--sick to my spirit. My spirit literally felt sick and depressed.  Lucky for me, I remembered the lessons I had been taught my whole life in primary about listening to uplifting music as a means of focusing your thoughts on good things.  So one day, I brought a portable CD player and earphones to work and I listened to hymns and Enya-type stuff while I scanned all those horrible files.  And it helped.  It protected my spirit.


Do you know what one of the best parts of being a mother is for me?  It is a feeling of safety and approval and loyalty from my children.  I always know they love me and that at the end of the day--even if I've been a tyrant--they would choose me.  Because I am their mother and they know me and are comfortable with me.  I think they just assume I am smart and beautiful and talented--just because I am their mother.  You know what I mean?  I could be wrong, but I feel safe with my kids, and that's the point.  I am really grateful for that.


Yesterday, I was reminding Skip that he had a friend coming over.  He told me that he didn't want that friend to come over because she hadn't let him hold the ladybug I had found the last time they had played together.  I reminded him that right afterward, I had found him another ladybug that only he had gotten to hold.  Our conversation continued as follows:

Skip:  Yeah, but that ladybug pooped on me!
Me (in mocked disbelief): What?!
Skip: Yeah.  Did you know that ladybugs poop?  
Me:  Yeah.  Everything that's alive poops.
Skip:  Yeah, but I don't like things to poop on me!

I treasure these days.

Friday, May 1, 2015


I finished reading the Book of Mormon again this morning.

Camp, Jane, Danin and Skip---

When I was growing up, I saw Dona and Grandpa reading their scriptures all the time.  I knew they loved reading their scriptures because of how often they did it and how often they talked about what they were reading.  As a kid, I read my scriptures, too--mostly because that is what I was taught to do, but also because my parents bred in me a curiosity to find out what was so wonderful about the words written on all those pages.  I wondered if someday I would say that I loved reading my scriptures, too.

Now, 20 years later, I may not yet be able to say that I love reading my scriptures, because I still have a hard time making a habit of it at times.  But I can say that I love what I read in the scriptures.  And I   can say that I've read the scriptures--particularly the Book of Mormon--so many times at this point that the words have started to echo in my mind.  And sometimes the messages that God wants me to hear will come to me through all those words repeating in the spiritual part of my mind.  I am grateful for that. Those words rescue me, just like the words of Alma regarding Jesus Christ rescued his son when he (Alma's son) was racked with the pains of Hell.

And the Book of Mormon IS what it says it is.  It is a second witness (the Bible is the first) that Jesus is the Christ.  That message is repeated again and again and again.

For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do...And we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.