Saturday, September 27, 2008

sense of satisfaction

In an effort to conserve water last year, Dave decided to pull up the grass in the little strip of space between the sidewalk and the curb in front of our house. We originally planned to put bricks in the space, but summer turned to fall, fall came quickly to a close and we filled the space "temporarily" with a portion of the big pile of pea gravel we had left over from a previous project. (In case you are wondering, 5 yards of pea gravel is probably more than you can actually imagine.) The pea gravel looked slightly less than okay in the space, but with winter around the corner, we decided it was a better choice than mud and vowed to put some pavers in first thing in the spring.

To make a long story short, we finally finished our pavers today! It took several more hours than I had hoped, my shoulders are sagging from lifting 200 pavers (some of them more than once) and thanks to the heat of a Utah September, I sunburned my face and neck. And yet, I have a sense of satisfaction I haven't felt in awhile. To completely finish a project is a beautiful thing!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

the trees are in the ground

I was waiting to write about my newly planted trees until I had photos of them, but in truth, my husband is an amazing photographer so I rarely pick up a camera.
You will have to take my word that we successfully researched, purchased, waited for digging approval, and planted three trees last week in honor of my dad and brothers.
We now have a beautiful Yellow Poplar (aka Tulip Tree) in our backyard and two fruit trees, an Asian Pear and a Peach, planted in the "orchard" area.
I am very excited to watch them grow and am grateful to my loving husband who, in more truth, did all the digging and planting. Thanks again to my in-laws for this beautiful gift!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

sunday morning

Nothing beats a Sunday morning with no pre-church meetings.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Culture Shock

Last winter I sold my soul to the devil and took a job in the corporate world. Having mostly worked in nonprofit since graduating from college, it has been a shock to my system. I regularly disagree with the business decisions made by the company and whine about needing more positive feedback for my team. Things that were once my strengths (openly sharing the information available to me with others, speaking candidly about how I feel on issues, advocating the rights of people) have now become my weakness. It has been nice to have the extra income, but I really have to wonder if I will ever adapt. Can a person truly adapt to a foreign culture, or will they always feel a little bit homesick?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

remain unaware

Yesterday I was stopped at a light and noticed a child in the next lane over. She was sitting directly behind the driver's seat and was pulling at the mother's hair with her toes. The mother seemed not to notice, which made me wonder what has gone on in my own back seat all these years.

Perhaps it is best to remain unaware.

Monday, September 8, 2008

only one aunt

For a variety of reasons, my husband and I only have two kids. Having both grown up in big families, we occasionally think it would be nice to have a bigger family, but usually on holidays. (It turns out that Christmas just isn't the same with 4 people and neither is Thanksgiving.) For the most part though we live by the slogan, "one for each hand, one for each parent" and consider ourselves lucky to have two great kids. But the other day Max asked me if his cousins would be the aunts and uncles of his future children. I said, "No, only Abby will be your kids' aunt." I then attempted to explain that whomever he marries may also have siblings, but I don't think he heard me due to his complete and total dismay at this news. He just kept repeating over and over, "My kids will only have one aunt; that's so sad! that's so sad!!" Since we often ask our kids if they wish we had more kids in our family, and Max's answer is always a resounding, "NO!" I attribute his disappointment to the greatness of his many aunts and uncles. Unfortunately, there is no chance of more siblings for Max, but maybe the cat will live a long time...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

spread through the sky

In lieu of sending flowers when my brother passed away, my husband's family sent money for me to buy a tree in his honor. I was touched by the gesture at the time, but as the weeks have passed, I have had more time to think about the meaning behind this beautiful gift. The idea of planting a tree in honor of someone I have lost gives me hope beyond what I had originally imagined. I look forward to planting the roots in the soil and watching the branches spread through the sky, linking heaven and earth. I was so moved while choosing Phil's tree that I bought one in honor of my dad and my brother Mark too. I am planning to bury some of my sadness along with those roots.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

grossly underestimated

I firmly believe that the social, emotional and mental benefits of a good haircut are grossly underestimated in our society.

Monday, September 1, 2008

clouds on the mountains

I planned to plant a tree today, but a storm rolled in last night providing thunder and lightning and rain until well after noon. At first I was a little disappointed, I have been wanting to plant my tree for weeks, but before long I was baking cookies, snug in my home with the clouds on the mountains like a winter-time tuque.