Monday, May 23, 2011


Anna has this imaginary friend, Frank.  In fact, it is more like a whole gang of imaginary figures roaming our house on any given afternoon. In fact I was informed that they are my charges for the good part of the day.  So, I guess I run some sort of imaginary orphanage.  It seems anyone who is around three to six and has no bones or flesh, comes in and cozies up on the couch and watches Super Why with Anna.

Am I annoyed by the fact that Frank and crew stomp their imaginary soil on the carpet? Do I worry that  she needs more socialization, real friends with blood pumping through their veins? Do I worry when Frank tags along with Anna to the neighbor’s and when I pick her up, there are giggles behind the mom’s eyes*?  No. In fact, I encourage them to join our household. Who do you think let my children watch Harvey a few weeks a go?  A seven foot rabbit has not graced us with his presence, yet. I love it. I even sometimes go beyond playing along. Who isn’t the least bit curious about this illusive being that you serve up an imaginary bowl of ramen  or who brings out Anna’s inner tomboy?    I even become the referee when Anna and Frank disagree.  You see, Frank can be  a bit forgetful and it bothers Anna that she has to explain everything a second time.  Or maybe it is the first time, I am not sure how much knowledge he gains the the realms of the imaginary.  I don’t know how long Frank will stay, or how often he will come.  He had a long absence of 4 or 5 months yet is now amongst us, his imaginary family again.  Yet, I morn for the day he leaves.  There was a time I buckled four boys into car seats in the back of our little red car. Now John, Michael, and Robin have left us entirely with no chance of return.

For now I will bask in the constant stream of playmates and hope for new ones to pop in for a chat in a few years.  I have high hopes for Jack’s imagination.  Please don’t make him the logical one.

I f you think I have been acting a bit imaginary as well, you would be correct.  I need to promise myself to write this stuff down.

*My neighbors love Anna, they are definitely amused, but just as much as we are.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It was a day

Last week you came home hands playing a balancing game with your books and winter things,  tears in your eyes.  At first I was bothered.  How can life be that bad when you are in fifth grade? I mean, you still come home with evidence of spoilage. The candy wrappers crammed in your jeans’ pockets are evidence.  Yet, you came home as if you had been the tether ball that day, hit back and forth again and again.  Yet I look in those azure eyes and remember, I can’t be bothered.  Moms aren’t allowed.  When I took my maternal pledge I think something was said about always standing by you even when my understanding wilts.

Last night you rattled off particulars of your coiffure.  Not to short, go easy on the bangs, you told me.  I wanted to sheer you like a sheep and overwrite your opinions.  I didn’t. We are at the end and beginning.  Yet I hate being the observer at times. Peering over as you muddle through  passes, pits,  and switchbacks with hormones pulsing.  It is hard to not be the strict warden every moment of the day.  Sometimes I want to tighten your basketball shorts or wipe that bit of hot sauce off your face and I let it go.  You probably wish I would restrain more.  I am lengthening your leash, not cutting it. Not yet.  I’m afraid if I did, I would never get the occasional hug or ‘love you.’  Yet, you seem to muddle better than expected.  So maybe, just maybe some of my hair-brained parenting techniques are working.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Last Week

Last Week we...feed ducks, dressed up, basked, learned CPR (on Dad), played all together, mourned, raced and fell, performed fifty nifty, did homework, and ate dominoes.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

If you could be bottled


If your dancing laugh and punctuated speech could be preserved, I'd do it. I would take you to the bottling company and tell them to bring a fleet of semi’s because that is how many bottles I would buy. I sure it would fizz over with giggles and princess stories. It would never miss my daily dose, your sweet elixir healing all my ails. Once my order was delivered I would give them a permanent quota to fill. Luckily I have you right here with me. No need for the manufacture of Anna Juice, it is much better fresh, anyway, my ballerina twirling, morning snuggling, picture crafting, gum hating, honey mustard loving girl.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Pause


This week I was to fill my blog with my children.  Jack is already playfully displayed. Yet, I must take a break and let recent events enter in.  I am not good with death.  I would rather it not exist.  I mean, I always tell Aaron that when we are old and close to dying that will lie next to each other and say “One, two, three, die.” Then we will be transposed to the afterlife with out a moment without each other.  We will be true eternal companions.  I think the same of my family and close friends.  My faith in life after death stands firm.  I just don’t like the separation feature.

When I was young I remember my sister telling me of going to stay at Grandma’s.  She and my older brother would go and stay for a week eating Fruit Loops for breakfast,  baking sugar cookies with a hit of nutmeg, walks to  school playgrounds, watching the Disney channel, and an infamous trip to the Spanish Fork McDonald’s.  There would be talk of the infamous “you’ve got corn on your face” dialogue Grandma and Grandpa would have while eating a supper full of vegetables from their own garden. It made my mouth water waiting for my invitation to stay.  It came and all my expectations were met I that tiny white house in Payson.  My cousin Kirsten and I would spend hours down in “Aunt Becky’s room” playing Barbies.  Dolls that seemed to have been preserved for us. The Zebra swimsuit and handmade dresses.  It didn’t even compare to the ones I had at home.  I had one that I could twist up her hair in a multitude of dos. Yet, the stale hair of the retro set seemed more satisfactory. 


All those trips seem to mesh together in a big mass of memories.  Yet as I type, I want a bowl of Fruit Loops.  I have forgiven her long ago for not teaching her left-handed granddaughter how to crochet.  Yet, last night all I could think about was the warmth she had given our home with all the baby blankets, comforters and afghans. Not to mention the dish towels, washcloths and bath linens that she made.  This morning, I spotted Jack’s quilt.  She was over ninety when Jack was born and here is an expertly crafted frog quilt. The only request she made is that she held the tiny receiver of her gift.  She held each one of mine. My big babies over-filled her tiny lap, commented on how the boys looked like Aaron and Anna was just like me. When it took a while for my last two cherubs to arrive, She told me it would come and I believed her. She was right and her quilts welcomed them into the world. I feel so remorseful for ignoring and excusing myself for not making the long trek to Payson to see her and letting her see her progeny.

I was paid the compliment that my eyes resemble hers.  Our eyes that squint and crack when we smile.  That is how I see her.  That is how I love her.  Only if  I could resemble in so many other ways.  She was constant and firm. I will always see her in that white house on top of the hill. That is where she wanted to be. She fought to be there.  She would have been there if she hadn’t had to relent to more care these last few weeks.  I think I might have a bit of her stubbornness, I am not easy swayed from my own ideas.  Yet, on her stubbornness is a virtue. 

When I heard of her death, all this that seemed vaulted rushed out. I have drowned in it and basked in her memory.  I think today I need to pick up some Fruit Loops.

Saturday, January 22, 2011



John Preston Nydegger

aka Jack

I must confess that some days seem wasted. Like when we used to get the newspaper and forget to bring it in until two days later. It would be wet, or wrinkled from drying the the sun after being unintentionally watered. Then it would sit on the counter and, since we don’t have recycling with our garbage service, thrown out not browsed or picked through. Days seem to speed by unnoticed then left for pick up

I don’t want it this way. I remember holding Jack after my most painful childbearing experience. The intense cry he released pacified me, calmed my hips and back. I examined him over and over again. His stick-up blond hair and narrow feet. His intense gaze when he heard my voice. He knew me. I held him a few days and nights later. Days and nights that swirled and heaved with unexplained crying and uncomfortable recovery. I was a bit disillusioned that the instant bonding process had left. Yet, he looked at me as I spoke, and I was repentant. Our souls seemed to leave our bodies and tie together and then a piece of that union was sent back to each of us. I began to understand his wails and fusses. It wasn’t always instant but, we worked on it together.

It seems so long ago that all this happened. Yet, luckily when I look in those eyes and he purses his wet red lips, I remember that tiny babe. He still finds my eyes to get his jumbled messages across. In them, I find the decoder I need to recycle this memory and help him navigate.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Response to a kind Commenter

Yes I am back to blogging. I realized with are my intermittent absence, all my resolution to return, it really didn't change much. I would go about my day, with the thought that all that I am breathing, seeing, doing, should be spelled out. Not for others but for myself. Then I would quickly shove those feeling in the back cavern of my head to keep company with triathlon training, getting published, and doing my children's baby books (which are so covered in cobwebs and dust will take a lots of gentle nudging to get out.) So I would go a week or month changing diapers, figuring out biography projects, and putting on princess dresses on Anna, content and fine. Yet, none of that has found a spot on this blog. So in response to the one who knows me best, I am here and ready to pump the life back into this blog. We need the Elvis Dance Parties and trips to Wheeler Farm. More than not, we need not to forget our good life. We need to drown ourselves in it. To the rest of my quaint readership: I am back.
By the way, posting a picture, let alone letting someone take a picture of me solo is really out of character. What does this say? Not exactly sure.

Monday, January 10, 2011

And now to say Adieu, 2010

Basements and babies. Those two things seemed to fill 2010. Now the basement complete and the baby, well, I deny he is growing up. A week ago he lay on my chest in the early hours, and his big sister took up Aaron's. I could see their backs lift and fall with breathing a sigh escaping once in a while in that full bed. It is nice to be full and not bloated. I laid there satisfied after a feast of a year. Full and glad to see what preparations we can make for this year. Little goofy but, that's how I like them.
Partying princess style

Looks like we made it!

General Sherman came in November for a brief stay. I was surprised to find out his whiskers were drawn on.

Halloween Folks! Come join our wild west adventures.


Here's proof of my child prodigy.

Loved Arches despite the bugs and heat.

Splish, Splash, Anna loves to dance. Sorry rhyming isn't my forte

Love him.

This will scare the boys away.

Montana skies and my men on horseback.

Smallest cowboy, cutest in the west..and north, south and east.

Wrangling kids @ Timpanogos Cave. I spend lots of time wrangling

A little retro-chick for Anna.