Monday, December 20, 2010

sisters, sisters......

Every year around Christmas time, my sisters and I watch "White Christmas." It's one of my favorite holiday movies. The performance of "Sisters, Sisters...." is one of our favorite. We're often heard singing it to each other throughout the year. I really love my sisters and feel very blessed to have them as sisters.

The other day when I attended the Jingle Jam with Wendy, I became a bit envious. All of Wendy's kids and her sisters kids attend the same elementary school. And, they all live within about a half mile of each other. As if that weren't enough, they all meet at Wendy's house each morning with their kids to finish getting ready and take the kids to school. There was definitely a pang of jealousy in me when I learned that.

I adore my sisters and wish that I got to see them everyday. My closest sister lives about 250 miles away in Hurricane, UT. I see CJ a handful of times throughout the year. I stay with her twice a year when I do the St. George tri and the Kokopelli tri. If I ever decide to do the St. George marathon again, she'll provide me with lodging for that as well. She also comes to Provo a few times a year--usually involving the Hurricane State Football championship game or some other sports related event. Sadly, when I see CJ it is only briefly and it is rare that her kids (and sometimes even her husband) are around. I wish they were closer so I knew those nieces and nephews better. I will take what little time I get with CJ as she is a busy mom of 4 teenagers.

My next closest sister lives about 280 miles away, at least for 10 more days. When Meggie got married, Jonathan took her away! Yes, he still had school to finish and his school was BYU-Idaho. But, still, we once lived within 5 miles of each other and spent a good deal of time together. I did go visit them in Rexburg over the summer (and ran a half marathon while I was there). Jonathan has been great and brought Meggie down to visit several times. Each of their visits are so fantastic and I've grown to love Jonathan more and more with each visit. Now, not only has Meggie left Utah, she will soon be leaving the country. She and her cute husband and heading to China for several months. It's an exciting adventure for them, but Meggie will be dearly missed. The best part, I have an excuse to visit China now! I can't wait for that.

And then, there's Mandy. Mandy lives 1200 miles away in Texas. I go visit her every year and she is good about coming to Utah. But, gone are the days of diet coke and a crossword puzzle in the history department. And, now that Mandy has 2 adorable kids, it will be even harder for her to make the trek to Utah for some sister time. I went to visit Mandy for Thanksgiving this year and boy was that trip not what we had planned. We were both looking forward to some good sister time; Mandy's last hurrah before baby number 2 came along in January. Well, Lucky's brother had other ideas and he just didn't want to wait until January. That cutie-pie decided November was a better time to arrive. I had a fantastic time with Lucky, but Mandy and I missed out on some good sister time. We did the best to cram a week's worth of playing into 24 hours, but it just wasn't enough.

As Wendy told me about the fun with her sisters, it really did make me a bit jealous. I thought how fun it would be to live within a mile of all my sisters, to see each other everyday, to have our kids (well, not that all of us have kids or any school aged kids for that matter) attend the same school, to enjoy play dates at the park. I miss having my sister's around to watch a good (bad?) made for TV movie with me. I'd love to see CJ and more of her kids' sporting events. I wish I was around to help Mandy right now and spend time with Maddy watching Monsters, Inc and playing outside. I wish Meggie was around to help me feel hip and cool and do fun crafting projects. Hopefully one day we will all live closer to each other. Until then, I will just have to enjoy what little time I do get with them. And, at least we can talk all we want thanks to mobile-to-mobile minutes.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

jingle jam

The original plan for today called for me to meet Wendy at Pizzeria 712 in Orem. When we talked last night she told me, "I know there's something going on but I can't for the life of me remember what it is. It must not be that important otherwise I'd totally remember it." She completely forgot it was the Jingle Jam at her kid's elementary school. Oops! Just blame it on chemo brain.

So, instead of an uneventful lunch at Pizzeria 712. We grabbed lunch from Flour Girls & Dough Boys and headed over to her kid's elementary school. We met up with her sisters, who also have kids attending the same elementary school and prepared ourselves for some mind blowing entertainment.

Here are the highlights (er, low lights) of the event:
  • I was accosted! OK, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration. However, the woman sitting behind me had about 15 different cameras and recording devices. Once her child had completed their performance, she decided it was time for her to leave. She loaded up her camera bag that weighed about  37 pounds, turned to leave and bonked me in the head with it. Who knew a kids concert would be such a dangerous place.
  • It was interesting to note the different ways parents recorded the performance. One parent on the video camera, one on their phone, snapping still shots with a phone, DSLR, point & shoot or anything else they could get their hands on. There were even people with tripods set up. I had no idea that a kids concert elicited such professional documentation.
  • I was sitting with the cool kids. Seriously, Wendy & her gang are pretty rad! We laughed, we joked, we had a great time. We were completely entertained by their kids and the antics of all the other kids in the school.
  • I ran into a former neighbor who I hadn't seen in about 6 or 7 years. It was so nice to chat and catch-up. And to learn that her oldest son has turned in his mission papers. I'm always amazed at how these youngsters grow up---especially since I don't seem to age a day.
I forgot how much fun a kids Christmas program could be. I'm so glad that our lunch turned into "lunch and a show." I always have a great time with Wendy, but this event definitely took the cake! Even if (very briefly) I did feel like I was being held hostage.

Monday, December 13, 2010

i choose to believe

I have a 9 year old niece who still believes in the wonder of Santa Claus. Not having children, I don't know at what age they quit believing and start to question. However, I think there is something special about this child. She is the most logical and rational kid you'll ever meet. Seriously! She once convinced her mom to let her have cookies for breakfast (true story!) She was 6 at the time and she wanted cookies for breakfast. Her mom informed her that cookies were not a breakfast food, but rather a dessert. She immediately shot back that they have donuts for breakfast sometimes and they also have donuts for dessert sometimes. How were cookies any different than donuts? She got cookies for breakfast that day. So, it is shocking that this brilliant, rational child still believes that a fat man in a red suit travels the world on Christmas Eve and delivers presents to all the children of the world. On some level, I think she knows it isn't possible. But ultimately, I think she wants to believe; because there is something magical about believing.

Believing isn't always easy. There is lots in this world that makes me not want to believe. There is so much hurt, pain, heartache and sadness in this world. I've definitely seen my share. It sometimes seems that there are only those awful events and experiences to be had in life. Life can be hard! Some days it just seems easier to give up, to quit believing and just accept a miserable rotten life. I've definitely felt this way in my life and certainly over the past few weeks. But even amongst all the sadness and heartache I still believe!

I realize as a grown woman it my be corny to still believe, but trust me I do. I believe in the goodness of people. I believe that I can make the US Olympic team (even though I'm not an expert at any sport). I believe that someday I will grow 2 more inches (because I've always dreamed of being 5'10"). I believe that someday I will make perfect cupcakes (because I already make perfect cookies!) I believe that someday I will find my soul-mate, my perfect match, my dream guy and I'll marry him. I believe (even as a woman of my age) that I will be blessed with a child of my own. I believe in magic and fairy tales and pixie dust and unicorns and the happy ending.

While the notion defies all logic and rationale, much like my niece, I believe in Santa Claus. Maybe not the literal being, but all that he represents. You see, I'd rather believe in happiness, hope, kindness, love and even a little magic. And so, everyday I choose to believe!