Sunday, February 17, 2013

Snapshot 2-8-13: Girls' Night and Inversion

What happens when you have a mini-nervous-breakdown and your husband doesn't quite know what to do with you?

If you're lucky, he might insist you have a girls' night with an awesome friend who meets you for Thai food (yummy), long talks about life, and who convinces the guy at Farr's to open the locked doors of the ice cream shop because you need sugar. Right away.

And what happens when you get home from your very-helpful-in-restoring-sanity girls' night and your children want a treat? Well, you might just break out the ingredients for chocolate chip cookies. And then eat some dough. And some cookies.

So while girls' night ends up being good for your sanity, it may not be good for your waistline.


But it's a good thing that your sanity is restored, because when you look outside your kitchen window and see Mordor, you might just curse Salt Lake winters and the inversion and curl up in a ball and cry. But you don't, because you've been shored up by much sugar and much talk of surviving hard things and remembering that winter won't last forever. Even if it seems like it will.

Snapshot 2-7-13: I Like to See My Benno's Homework

Seriously. Can you get over how awesome it is to have a kindergartner learning to write? I adore this little munchkin.

Snapshot 2-6-13: Ed Sheeran with Sophie(s)

For Christmas, Santa gave Sophie three tickets to the Ed Sheeran concert at Saltair: for a friend, a parent and herself.

I was the lucky parent. Sophie chose to bring her friend Sophie. It was a really fun concert, and I just couldn't quite get over that my girl is so danged old that I am taking her to a concert that I actually might have chosen to go to on my own.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Snapshot 2-5-13: Steinways and Puppy Time

This is where David was.

(I wasn't jealous, remember?) (Or so I told myself...)

And this is where I was:

I'll be honest...while I would have loved to have been in New York, playing a $150,000 piano, I kinda like being here, too.

And can you tell that Miss Maisie is loved? Adored? Mauled?

Snapshot 2-4-13: Early to Bed

David had the hard job of going to the Steinway factory and showroom in NYC with a few other symphony people to choose a new Steinway for the symphony.

I was not jealous at all.


I didn't try to figure out any way possible to go with him.


I didn't have all of my students start watching Note by Note, a fascinating documentary on the making of a Steinway piano for their lab times over the last few weeks, just to make myself even more jealous.


OK, so I was, and I did, and I did. But it was not in the stars. So he left and I told myself that I would take the opportunity to go to bed early so that 5:45 didn't feel quite so early the next morning.

And I didn't. And it did.

Snapshot 2-3-13: Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday sometimes crosses our radar. It's the only game that might actually get watched in the GreenHouse. And I use "watched" lightly. This year we had Ash and Holden over, and while we had the game on, of course, the real intention was to eat Super Bowl food and watch Super Bowl commercials.

Before the game started, I heard lots and lots of laughing from lots of cute people. They were watching clips of Superbowl commercials from previous years and laughing hysterically.

We ate ourselves sick (Ashleigh made amazing queso and wings. I don't remember what I made. Oh, yes, I do. Pretzel bites and cookies and salad and tomato soup) and kind of watched the game and mostly just had fun being together.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Snapshot 2-2-13: Nana & Boppa and Duck Cupcakes

My mom and dad took a quick trip to Idaho to see my grandma and decided to spend Friday night with us on their way back to California. They made a trip to Costco and showed up with many pizzas, much salad, and pie and ice cream and fed most of the Utah Youngberg/Green clan. We finished with lots of games. I fell asleep at the kitchen table in the middle of a rousing (well, apparently, not so rousing) game of Settlers with my dad and Josh. It was a sad night, though, because my dad beat me at Big Boggle. That was a shame, indeed.

The other excitement was that Maisie got to meet my mom and dad. Dad is a dog whisperer. I don't think he's ever met a dog that doesn't adore him. Maisie was certainly no exception, and it made me happy to watch.

Earlier in the week, we had our SEP conferences at the elementary school. We usually let the kids choose a book from the bookfair after their conferences. Kate chose a cupcake decorating book and was determined to make something from the book over the weekend. After four hours of shopping, baking and decorating, we had some fairly flat but pretty cute duck cupcakes. They were so fun to make that the teenagers downstairs decided to come up and make some, too.

This is about half of the ten-ish teenagers who were playing games in the basement. They are honestly amazing kids. I am grateful grateful grateful that Josh has good friends in his life. (We also made pretzels, finishing about 10:40 pm. A couple of the kids didn't eat any. When I asked why, they said they had already started their fasts. "Those are some good kids," says the woman who ate many pretzels and duck cupcakes at 11 pm.) (Also, when one of Josh's friends saw the clock and saw it was 11, the house cleared in four minutes. Ten kids with 11 pm curfews who don't complain about it or try to push the curfew envelope? "Is this for real?" wonders the woman who did not have a teenager-hood quite like this one.)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Snapshot 2-1-13: Starting Over

In 2010, I took a picture a day to catalog our lives. It just so turns out that 2010 was a pretty crazy year. And by crazy I mean hard. And also sweet. And also beautiful. But did I mention it was hard?

Funny thing, though. The other day, Sophie was reading through my blog and spent most of her time looking at pictures. And as I looked at the photos with her, I realized that by capturing so many of that year's moments, I could see the bigger (ha ha) picture. I saw the messy mix of life. I also saw the hunger my kids have to place themselves in time, to see the growth and the change and moments that matter but that are so quickly eclipsed by the next day's moments and the next day's.

The time we spent looking at pictures and laughing and remembering cemented my desire to leave something behind from our time together in the GreenHouse. So here I am 9 days late in beginning: as usual, full of good intentions, but so often slow in implementing.

I hesitate to fill your Google readers with so many posts. I know that the pictures of our family life hold most of their value for my little family. To make it easier to weed these out, I will title all of my picture posts as "Snapshots."

And so, here is the first picture.

Starting over is hard for me. A body in motion stays in motion, but a body at rest doesn't want to do much but eat cookies and play Triple Town on the iPad.

Since we added Maisie the Goldendoodle to our family, my exercising self has turned into a couch-sitting self. It wasn't just Maisie, of course. It was 4 mornings of teaching piano around 6:30. And lots and lots and lots of ice and snow and slush. And (being honest here) a little bit of depression. Plus laundry. And a new calling. And being in charge of the high school Reflections contest. And cooking and dishes and four kids with four different school schedules. And then the holidays. And then the post-holidays. And that INVERSION...blah.

Dang. It's been rough.

Not exercising became symbolic of my inward turmoil.

I've started and stopped over and over. Done the same thing with eating right. And trying to go to bed on time. And I started to question why it's so darned hard, why, after 41 years of life on this planet, I haven't figured out how to live life well, intentionally, in an ordered manner. I've placed lots of F's on my inner report card. And that, dear friends, doesn't lead to a healthy head.

Which leads me to February 1. After weeks of nasty, terrible air, a morning dawned with gorgeous skies and roads with less ice. It was a little miraculous. And I had just picked up my first new pair of running shoes in over a year. And I decided that starting over isn't the problem. In fact, it's evidence of being willing to accept responsibility for imperfections, of wanting change, and of optimism. Optimism is a good thing. I want more of it in my life.

So I laced up, and I ran four miles.

I know, four miles doesn't sound like much. I used to knock that out in my sleep. But it's a lot to me now, and at the end I felt a little like celebrating. So I took a picture.

And while the inversion hasn't left us alone yet, I've found my way to the treadmills at the gym (reading dumb free Kindle books on the iPad helps miles go by faster, I've discovered), and I've been doing some DVDs in my basement for weight training, and I've been walking the dog. Small steps, people. It's all about the small steps.