Sunday, February 26, 2017

Define Your Dash # 9: What I know About the Day I Was Born

My mom was very sick and did a lot of puking and wondering if my Dad would leave her (he never would have) after so much throw up. They left to go the hospital and my Dad stopped to buy a Mountain Dew. I was born naturally and late in the morning. My Grandma had predicted that I would be born on Labor Day and was correct.

I learned more. My mom was in labor almost all night at home. She slept on the floor in the hall with her feet up in the air against the closet because it was the only comfortable position. She woke my dad up around four and he stopped not once on the way to the hospital, but twice because the first place was closed and he was not able to get any caffeine. I was born late in the morning at the University of Utah Hospital with a room full of people (interns and nurses and people who needed to witness a live birth). My dad may or may not have cried harder when I was born than at any other point in his life. My mom did get an epidural but much to late to do anything (she had taken a class that strongly discouraged them). They didn't know if I was going to be a boy or a girl until I was born. After they left the hospital they stayed with my grandparents for a few days before my Grandma told them they were good and sent them home. My mom cried and cried because she didn't know what to do with a baby. She figured it out and I have wonderful parents.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Define Your Dash # 8: What Did You Enjoy Doing with Your Father When You Were A Child?

My Dad was a very present figure in my childhood (and is in my adulthood for that matter).
Every once in a while, we would have interviews. Interviews were where we got to spend time with just dad and talk. He asked us questions about school and church and we pretty much got to tell him whatever we wanted. I only remember doing this a handful of times but I thought it was pretty cool to have Dad's full attention for a half hour, or whatever it was. It made me feel important and worth listening to.
I also enjoyed going on hikes and playing frisbee. I was not so good at hiking as a child, but I thought it was a lot of fun when the whole family would pack lunch and go on a grueling one-mile hike on a Saturday.
Dad taught me how to play frisbee, which pretty much became my Saturday night activity in high school. He was very patient and showed me how to throw straight and far. We loved to go to the park for family night and have mini ultimate frisbee matches or just play catch.
Movies are another activity I remember enjoying with my Dad. He likes movies and liked to share the good ones with us. The ones I remember most clearly are Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Minority Report.

  • Star Wars stands out because it is the only time I recall him having me stop playing outside to come inside to watch a show. We had just watched Empire Strikes back and he wanted me to come in and watch Return of the Jedi so I could see how it ended. He was probably disturbed that I really wanted Luke to end up with Leah. 
  • Lord of the Rings came out when I was in Middle School and dad would check me out of school so we could go see them together in the middle of the day. 
  • Minority Report (which I hate) reminds me of my dad because he drove my friends and me to the dollar theater when I was in seventh grade and then stayed to watch the movie with us. It scared me to death (I have always been a wimp when it comes to movies). When he was dropping my friends off after the show he shouted "Run" very loudly at one of them and scared us all to death. If you have seen the movie that makes sense. Run till haunts me. . .
I also remember my dad playing video games and letting us try. I have never been terribly good at video games but I am pretty boss at the original ones that Dad taught us.
I remember family night treats and games and visiting Dad at work. I remember going with him and mom to clean up my grandma's yard every Spring. I remember and enjoyed the many vacations he took us on and getting to stay at all the cool hotels (which I will discuss) in another post.
I think, that when dad was involved, there wasn't a whole lot that I didn't enjoy doing.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Define Your Dash #7: Vacation Wist List

What destinations are on your vacation wish list?
Oh, this is hard, I love traveling and would love to go almost everywhere. However, money won't allow that currently and there are many places that would give me pause now that I have a baby. Becoming a mom has made me worry more about my own safety than I used to.
So, I have two lists. My realistic list that I really do want to accomplish before I die and my I would love to go here but they are secondary to my first list list.

Definitely want to go to/do/accomplish LIST

  1. I want to visit every state in the USA (I think I have done 22)
    1. Cedar Point in Ohio
    2. Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando
    3. Disney World in Orlando
    4. Niagra Falls
    5. The Smithsonian
    6. See a play on Broadway
  2. I want to hike through the slot canyons in southern Utah and specifically do the Subway in Zions National Park
  3. Havasupai Falls (hike Grand Canyon)
  4. I want to Hike Angels Landing
  5. I want to visit Phichit Thailand again and see the school that I helped start (I want to take Nick to see all of the amazing places I saw)
  6. Europe, there are many places I would like to see but my goal is just to make it there.
  7. Inca Trail to Machu Pichu
  8. China/Taiwan 
Would be Great LIST
  1. Chichen Itza
  2. England/Scotland/Ireland Trip
  3. Australia
  4. The Alps
  5. Iceland Laugavegurinn/Fimmvörðuháls Pass
  6. Appalachian Trail
  7. Pacific Crest Trail
  8. Pyramids in Egypt
  9. Japan
  10. New Zealand

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Define Your Dash #6: Mother's Influence

How has having a mother enriched my life?
I was lucky enough to have a Mom who stayed at home with me. This made a huge difference. Having taught school for five years I could almost always figure out which kids had at least one involved parent within the first week. My mom was very involved. She always knew where I was as a kid but I never felt like I didn't have freedom and choices. The feeling, even as a kid, that my opinion mattered and that I had options was key for me. I think a different parenting style could have made me a much more rebellious person (knowing myself better now than I once did).
I know my family was far from wealthy when I was kid, but I didn't realize that. My mom gave me more than enough support and attention to make up for any money that we didn't have. I remember doing art and playing outside and going to parks and on bike rides.
As I got older I remember her being there when I got home every day ready to listen as I talked about my day. This was consistent and she asked me questions and was involved. She knew my friend's names and what classes I liked and didn't like. She welcomed my friends into the house and fed them and was always willing to have guests for dinner. She once made me a deal that if I was ever in a situation where I was uncomfortable (like my friends wanting to do something that I didn't want to do) that I could invite them over to my house for ice cream instead and that she would go buy ice cream for us no questions asked.
When I was an adult and started college she let me come home whenever I wanted and often drove me back up to the dorms Sunday night crying. She drove up and rescued me on more than one occasion as well. She let me go but at the rate that I needed. She let me set my separation pace and has always been there to help and take care of me.
I am a mom now and she still does these things. She showers my baby with love and has more than once come to my house to watch him while I have a nap. She was there with me when he was born and when he had surgery (both times). She still feeds us regularly. She participates daily in our lives and we are enriched by having her around.
This is short and has said nothing of the lunches she made me (all the way until I got married) or the skills that she taught me (organization, cooking, cleaning etc.) or the example in the gospel she has set for me my whole life or the selfless service that I am trying to emulate. . .
My point is, my mother's influence in my life has been key to me being the person I am and still points me towards the person I would like to be. I am eternally grateful that I have the mother that I have. My life has been far more than enriched by her.