Saturday, December 17, 2011
Sunday, November 13, 2011
So maybe some snippets will do for now because I feel the need to get something out, even if they're slightly old ponderings/thoughts/jots. And I write them here, as opposed to my "writing blog," because I feel this space has become empty with my infrequent writing. None of these words are particularly profound. Just ideas and words that perhaps I'll come back to one day and craft into something more. But for now, they are what they are.
If you miss yourself it's either because you've gone too far or haven't come far enough. You haven't arrived at yourself. you're out of synch. Out of tune. Out. Out and out.
if I had rocks in my shoes
my heavy boots
I could walk to the bottom of the ocean
my chest would explode
but I wouldn't mind
because maybe I'd feel right at home
a bed half covered in books.
where is one to sleep?
How does one remember to always remember to remember and remember?
Remember the "bigger picture."
when we meet at Jesus' feet
pilgrims on their knees
go and go
and go and
go and go
to the end.
you kneel in a heap
it takes all you have to raise your head
from your prostrate position
yes, you made it
come into my rest.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
It's true, my world very much revolves around this wee one. I love how much time I get to spend with him. He has always been fun, but of late, it seems even more so. He makes the silliest faces and is still such a lovebug--now a bug giving very slobbery kisses.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
I was born to Shari Clark and Grant Paul Skabelund on a snowy evening (1 December 1982). We lived in Leland and then in Springville before moving to Provo when I began first grade. My memories through kindergarten are few, but I remember visiting Gramma Skabelund's often to play with my aunt Sierra, who, at only eight months my senior, was and continues to be my best friend. My brother Andrew joined our family in May 1985. I remember helping Dad with the garden at our house across the street from Grant school where I attended kindergarten.
More memories accumulated when we resided in our house on 900 East in Provo. My brother and I would walk down the street to the "cookie man's" house. He always had cookies in stock for all the neighborhood kids. Summers were full of trampoline jumping, bike riding, mud pie making, and storming the neighborhood. It was during one summer (1990) that our sweet sister Natalya joined our family. She was the cutest; at eight years old, I felt like a very big and good helper to my mom. I loved to read, swim, and play soccer. My mom read to us often and instilled within us a love of books. I attended Wasatch Elementary and remember riding my bike to school. I preferred playing with the boys over the girls; I would join them in kickball and basketball. I often was picked first for teams in kickball and was always happy about that.
We moved to the Edgemont area when I was in fourth or fifth grade. My parents bought a house along with a huge yard they planned to build a new house on. I loved our gigantic yard. We had loads of trees, many of them fruit trees. It was fun to have so much room to roam, but I despised the chores that came along with it. We had to pick up all the apricots and apples that fell to the ground. My brother and I played well together, but often got into fights. It wasn't until we were young teens that we became friends more than foes.
We moved into our newly built house and I loved having a nice, new, and big room. I attended Farrer middle school and Centennial the first year it opened. I had a hard time making friends since all of my elementary school friends were at Dixon. My best friends were in the pool and on the soccer field. I continued to love reading and would often stay up late reading my latest favorite book. I dreaded the start of high school; I was so scared and knew I'd have an even harder time making friends. I was lucky and blessed, though, with two great friends who helped save the last two years of high school. Melissa Kemp moved in my junior year. I knew she was heaven-sent when I found out she both swam and played soccer. Amazing. I also was friends with many foreign exchange students and made a lifelong friend my senior year with Arlette Riesen. She was from Switzerland and lived with a family in my ward that year. I was (and still am) so grateful for her friendship that year. High school found me in the pool more and more, on the soccer field, in Mr. Watson's pottery classroom, snuggled up in bed with a good book, or at my desk writing. I taught swim lessons almost every summer and didn't work at all during the school year.
At the beginning of my junior year of high school we got a new brother. I was almost sixteen and I reveled in his arrival. I helped my mom out a lot with baby Josh. He probably has more pictures in his baby book than Natalya because I often turned our babysitting afternoons into photo shoots. My mom coached swimming, and still does, for BYU and for a local club team. So I helped take care of him before my own afternoon swim practice. Taking care of Josh further cemented within me a love for babies.
Deciding where to attend school after Timpview felt like a really big decision for me. I narrowed it down to swimming at BYU and playing soccer at Dixie. In a perfect world, I would have been able to do both. It broke my heart to have to abandon one sport. Ultimately academics also factored in, of course, and I chose BYU. I still don't know all the reasons why BYU was the school for me because I suffered through numerous shoulder dislocations and surgeries. I never swam much faster than my times in high school. Frustration was ever-present, but I do know that my time at BYU really helped me to know how to be friends with everyone and to be easygoing.
Ever since I was a small girl I had hoped to serve a mission, and as I approached my twenty-first birthday I began to pray more fervently about it. I was confused because I didn't receive the answers I thought I would. It didn't feel like the right time to go, so I kept praying and waiting. Finally after four years of college, the time finally felt right to serve a mission. I only had a semester of school and a student teaching or internship experience to complete in order to graduate, but I still felt like those things would be fine to finish upon returning home from my mission. I had already completed my French minor and I was trying to not have any hopes about using my French on my mission; President Jackson, though, made a comment that let my hopes for such leap up a little. My dream mission was to serve in Geneva, Switzerland. In reality, my dream mission turned out to be the Ukraine Donetsk mission. I served from May 2005-November 2006. It was glorious, hard, wonderful, exhausting, heart-breaking, lovely, and so many other things. Learning Russian certainly took a lot of work, especially with all that French banging around in my head. I'm so grateful for my mission. I could write pages and pages about this, but won't do so now.
Upon returning from my mission, I finished up my semester of school and got an internship to teach English at Pleasant Grove high school. That first year of teaching was very hard, but I stuck with it. I was blessed to be hired on again, and my second year turned out to be wonderful.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Dad fixed a garden jubilee dinner. Get this. From his garden: carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, peppers, cabbage. From Grampa's: potatoes and onions. From Pa's mighty hunting skills: elk. Yep, my dad is pretty much the most amazing dad ever.
We were well fed--both physically and spiritually. I got to hear Peter recount a very sad day in February when Celine, his grand-daughter, died from crib death. Peter is my Swiss dad because his daughter, Arlette, is one of my dearest friends--a kindred spirit for sure. Celine is Arlette's second daughter. Celine was only four months old when she died. Eamon was two months old when I got the phone call. Nothing felt right as I listened to the terrible news that day. I hate the space of being more than an ocean away. Celine would have been one year old yesterday. She, Arlette, Samuel, and Sarah have been very much on my mind and in my heart this week.
I've had several "heavy boots" sorts of moments this week. It's hard to see Tawna in so much pain. It kills me I can't give Arlette a hug right now. Just lots going on. But there's hope, and hope is what I'm trying to have because that's what will pull me through.
Well, would love time to write more, but there are things to tend to. Happy Thursday!
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
I don't want these gorgeous mornings, days, and evenings to leave. Not ready for the cold to settle in. But, alas, I guess I'll survive. And I'll certainly enjoy these days while I can. Hopefully from my bike as well. Today I discovered a flat and I don't know where my bike repair stash is. It's not always the best idea to have stuff still packed away at your parents'.
Anyway, gotta go turn the water off on the squash and then it's beddy-bye time.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Friday, September 9, 2011
Thursday, September 8, 2011
- Finley and Eamon yesterday. Finn walks around like an impressive explorer. He pointed out the way and Eamon followed with his lumbering bear cub crawl. I loved seeing their interactions and hearing them jabber away at each other.
- Pears from Heather. So yummy! They tasted divine in my oatmeal this morning.
- Reading stories with Andrew and E at bedtime and then singing songs. So cozy.
- (On a recent run) Seeing a schoolkid bolt out of his house. He was hurrying so he wouldn't be late (or later?) to school.
And that's all I have time for because I need to go wrestle with Bubsy.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
I have my triathlon coming up on Saturday. I signed up for the olympic distance several months back. I was optimistic I would have loads of time to train and get in tip-top shape. Problem was I didn't have as many chances to hit the pool or bike as I thought I would; swimming and biking are a bit impossible with the wee one, especially since we don't have a bike trailer. We do have our nice jog stroller, though, so I've done a lot of running, hiking, and walking. Anyway, I started to stress out about running a 10K after biking 24 miles. It just wasn't sounding fun to me. So I've now got it sorted out that I'll be doing the sprint distance. I'm feeling a lot more excited about it. I know I still won't be super speedy or anything, but it will be fun.
I haven't been reading much of late. I started a Brandon Sanderson book before Hawaii, but haven't gotten back into it yet. I want to, but we've been trying to get Eamon back on schedule and have simply just been busy with other things.
We've been enjoying heaps of tomatoes, carrots, and squash from our garden. I love picking something off the vine and eating it soon thereafter. It's just magical.
I started coaching again yesterday. It's fun to be back on deck. The real experiment will be today when I take E to practice with me. Yikes! I really don't know what to think. We had all of August off and I didn't have to take him too much in July. He's moving a whole lot more than he was back then. I think we're going to have to figure out a babysitting solution for the days Andrew teaches, but we'll see how today goes.
We took Eamon for his first swing and slide rides this past weekend. It will be fun to see him start to enjoy playgrounds more.
Well, that's all for now. Happy Wednesday!
Sunday, August 21, 2011
School starts tomorrow for the kids around here. My baby brother begins his first day of middle school. Kids in the neighborhood will now fill the shortcuts and paths down to the schools below our hillside homes. I miss it. I miss school. I miss teaching. I miss my students. I hope there will be a season in my life for such teaching once again. Coaching is great, and I love it, but teaching reading, writing, and loving language is something else entirely. And so as this time of year rolls round again and I'm not a student, nor a teacher, a bit of my heart mourns. Parts of my heart also hope, though, because I truly hope to teach again someday. I know I teach as a mother, but there's something magical about introducing a poem to a student and having that student absolutely fall in love with it.
And now I feel I'm blathering. But it's just what this time of year does to me. I remember when September rolled around when I was on my mission. I received emails from home about school preparation and such, and it surprised me how much I missed it. It catches me off guard and makes me take note.
But I guess I can be glad I don't get the Sunday-night-creepies anymore; you know what I'm talking about if you're a student or teacher--the slightly anxious feeling that your glorious weekend (or entire summer) is over and you must return to school once again. See, I don't view school/teaching through rose-colored glasses. But I certainly remember much more of the good than I do of the bad because the good is just so good.
Happy week to all!
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
And they strongly struck my soul.
Whenever I'm reminded of the power of words, I'm humbled and awed and inspired. Because of amazing people like Courtney Jane Kendrick and Emma Lou Thayne, I'm more resolved than ever to develop what talent I have in writing, and to fit it better into my life. My soul deserves, craves, and needs it.
I love this paragraph from Kendrick:
"Emma Lou explained that those of us who are called to be writers, the writers of life, have to pay attention in a different way. We have to reserve quiet time to write what we feel. I've always loved Emma Lou's pledge to her children, 'I love you with all my heart, but not all my time' meaning that the solitude time was part of her ability to thrive. This paying attention and seeking for quiet time goes along with two ideas I've had lately, one about balancing the senses (seeing as much as hearing, touching as much as tasting) and another about this quote, 'I hold this be the highest task of a bond between two people: that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other.' Rainer Maria Bilke. Also, I've come to realize that most of my frustrations can be worked out either by hard work (labor) or solitude. When scrubbing the sticky dishes isn't clearing my mind, a walk by myself usually will."
Here's to making it happen.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
I told Nat to read The Help by Kathryn Stockett. She loved it. Another good one to read, especially since I hear there's a movie coming out.
Anyone read True Grit? I'd like to read it, watch the original film, and then watch the film that recently came out. If someone tells me it's worth it, I think it'll be more likely I'll read it.
I finally read The Princess Bride. It was such a fun read. We watched that movie all the time when we were kids, but I'd never read the book. I love the lines that come straight from the book to the movie. The back stories (not presented much in the movie) are also pretty awesome.
I've also read another book of late: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I really liked it.
Next book? I started The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card with Andrew on our little road trip this weekend. I don't know if I'll finish it. We'll see. I also checked out a couple from the library, but don't know what I'll crack open next. I'm sure you'll hear about it here, though, since I like to blather on and on about books.
Happy week and happy reading!
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
As I read through some old ideas of mine yesterday, I came across the following. I wrote it 7 November 2008. And I'll leave it without a title for now.
Sketch of a bird.
Snatch of conversation.
A broken button.
You turn the pages.
Pencil captured the bird.
Mind remembered words.
Tape holds down the pieces.
The feathers remind you of a rainy morning.
Clouds hindered the sun as you looked out the window.
You held your cup of tea and upped Neil Young’s volume.
The assumed dialogue becomes a soliloquy.
A man and his dementia battle it out.
One voice. Two tones.
The three uneven pieces beg you to finger their crags.
One hole remains intact.
Makes you ponder your own heart’s shape.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
"When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and in neighborhoods? Will what happened in cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses? When the surf of the centuries has made the great pyramids so much sand, the everlasting family will still be standing, because it is a celestial institution, formed outside telestial time. The women of God know this."
These words come from Neal A. Maxwell and the whole talk may be found here.
This whole talk has soothed me and inspired me to be and do better. I'm so grateful to be a woman. To be a daughter, sister, wife, and mother.
Stake Conference begins in 20 minutes. Eamon is asleep. Andrew already left with Tawna to procure soft seats, so I wait for the babe.
It's June. Can't believe that we've been back from Jerusalem almost 11 months now. Insanity.
I chopped inches off my head of hair yesterday. I'm never quite sure what to make of my hair when I do this--reduce it to what feels like almost nothing--because I'm used to having it long.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
BUT I did go running Monday and Tuesday. I actually had glorious runs. Monday Eamon and I happened to meet up with Mel J. It was wonderful to see her. I haven't seen her since the day I got married. She had her dog Scout out with her, so the four of us went for a jaunt. We talked and caught up. It was so nice to run with someone, especially Melissa.
On our run we were so lucky to spy two squirrels. They weren't jabbering in a tree, nor were they scurrying around on the ground. We passed beneath them as one chased the other across a thick power line. It was seriously sweet.
I told Melissa that if we had been keeping nature points, we would have scored 1,111 points for each squirrel because of how neato their passing over our heads was. If you haven't played the nature game before, you really should start; it could very well change your life.
How to play? You make up the rules as you go, which is inherent in any game worth playing, right? You assign different point values for different species found in nature. We don't often include trees in our reckoning (but you're totally free to play how ever you want, remember?). For example, one might give red-breasted robins a value of 12 points because a robin is somewhat common, while giving moose 5,000 points because they're much harder to come by when you're out and about in the city and neighborhood.
Anyway, I hope you have fun, playing the nature game or not. I hope to play this game more with Eamon once he can figure it all out. I can't wait to see what rules he makes up.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
pushing Eamon in the stroller,
and passing someone on an uphill.
Like I said, kind of evil. So I guess that makes me kind of evil.
Which reminds me of this quote for some reason:
"I wouldn't marry anyone who was really wicked, but I think I'd like it if he could be wicked and wouldn't."
Anyway, this has turned very tangential. Back to worky work.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
today has been ok. i'm ready to crash into bed, but thought i'd write for at least a few minutes.
want to remember how much i love spring. love how a day can start drizzly and cloudy and turn into sunshine lighting up new and fragrant blossoms.
want to remember how strapping e into his stroller calms him. how big he smiles when he gets enough naptime. how he turned himself around a full 180. he squawked for the last 90 of it, but he was working it.
want to remember how mr. manly cleaned up so i could get some other work done. how he got us a beautiful Easter (i will capitalize that) book for fhe last night. how he brought me down a bird's nest (a bowl full of desserty treats) tonight.
want to remember how it feels to rush down bannock on my bike. because i did that tonight. it's been a year since i've cruised on my bike. and oh how delicious it was. i could almost hear my legs screaming, though, on the return trip. i was tempted, oh so sorely, to get off and walk, but i kept spinning, upward and breathlessly.
want to remember the good despite how weary i am.
as i look back to the beginning of this post, i see i wrote that today was ok, but the act of remembering has changed it from ok to good.
remember remember. it's good for me.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Today I'm lucky, blessed and thankful. I'm grateful for:
- runs in shorts and a tee
- Eamon's smiles, squawks, and laughs
- Andrew's hugs
- late afternoon walks with Eamon, Tawna, and Ember
- hope that Eamon will sleep through the night
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Sadness, though, is the big tree branch that was felled at my parents'. They've been in California for several days and won't get back until tonight, so I headed down the hill to give their driveway a good shoveling as well. The snow must have been too heavy for the branch. I guess it's more of a limb. It was the second biggest limb and now it has broken off, leaving the tree looking wounded and lopsided.
Today, some years ago, my best friend was born to my grandma. I still get a kick out of the fact that my best friend is my aunt. What does "best friend" mean anyway? I have several best friends. So I hope none of my best friends feel slighted when they hear me call someone else my best friend. Sierra and I go back the longest, though. She's only eight months older than I am and always put up with my bossiness. She's a gorgeous woman inside and out. She's hilarious and I love her latest stunt about challenging spring. I miss her too much. I wish she, and her cute, blossoming family, didn't live all the way across the country. But I still wish her happy birthday all the way from here. I hope spring comes soon for her.
Looking forward to more wonderful Conference participation. Laters.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
And now? Time's a luxury. Time to write even more so. I know I can "make" time, but right now I feel I'm just scraping by. I try to write as much as I can, but when I've grabbed a few moments I usually can only think of how tired I am or how much stuff I have to do.
But I'm still trying. I'm still pushing my pen to paper. I don't know what will ever come of it. I'm not saying anything grand has to come of it. For me, for now, simply feeling good about creating is a dandy enough reason for me. So I'm grateful for the twenty minutes I took to write this post in addition to this one (nothing much, very off the top of my head). I'm hoping to put something up over there at least once a month. I think that's a goal I can achieve. We'll see.
Anyhow, happy new week to whomever happens to read these babblings of mine.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
February has gone by so fast. Sure, we still have a week's worth of days left, but March isn't too far off. It boggles my mind that we've been back in the States longer than we were gone.
Things are good. I'm enjoying the sunshine and hoping it continues to warm up. We ordered a stroller and I can't wait to strap Eamon in and go for walks and runs. Yippee!
I dedicate this post to Guya. I want her to know that I'm putting a link to our family blog (Happy Making) on the side so she can find it and check on it and stalk us. Just do it.
Really, though. My sister is amazing. You should check out her writing. This poem is beautiful; she inspired me to meet my goal of writing at least ten minutes a day, be it here, in my journal, in my writer's notebook, or in Eamon's book. I just need to make time for it because I miss it so much and I feel loads better when I'm able to express myself that way. Thanks, Natty.
Alright, break time is over. I'm going to steal a few more minutes to jot down a few lines in my writer's notebook. Perhaps I'll pick up posting again on my writing blog. We'll see.
PS: I love you.
Monday, February 7, 2011
On the left is my cousin's baby (b. 21 Oct).
Eamon's in the middle (b. 15 Dec).
On the right is my cousin (b. 31 Sept).
Things are still wintry around here, but it's not as deathly cold as it was last week. I forced myself out the door after feeding the child this morning to go running. It feels so good to be able to run again. I'm nowhere near any sort of fast, but I'm trying to be patient and understanding with my body. I can't wait to go climbing again even though I'm kind of afraid of the weakling I am now.
Most embarrassing moment of yesterday: when my mom had everyone sing "Happy Anniversary" to Andrew and me. Ergh. That's why I love her, though, along with all the other nice things she and Dad do for us. Anyway, now I'm just blathering. Best be getting back to work. Eamon's asleep so I better get going.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Sometimes the notes are ferocious,
Thursday, January 20, 2011
More pictures of our little chunky monkey.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
And Josh, if you're stalking my blog, keep it up. I promise to post more pictures soon of your chunky nephew. Weird. You're an uncle!
Now I'd better get some work done before the snoozer wakes up and I get to feed him and then make dinner. Life is great. Life is grand. Happy halfway (through the week)!
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
A while back I finished The Space Between Us, Crossing to Safety, and The Help. I really liked all of them. Sorry if you wanted more in depth analysis. I just liked them. That's all. OK, maybe I'll say a little more. I got mad a little bit at TSBU because usually I can tell or at least sort of figure out what's going to happen, but this book's plot really never let me unravel all it had in store. I thought the ending was good too. CTS: I loved the writing. It was beautiful. The story was very engaging and the characters were very deep. TH was just a fun, good read. I started it a day before Eamon was born and finished it less than a week after. Nursing him at night wasn't bad at all because I had good reading to look forward to.
Recently I finished The City of Ember and Half Broke Horses. The first: meh. Not my favorite. Not too exciting. The second: I liked. The author of The Glass Castle (which I LOVE) writes a "true life novel" about her grandmother. Her grandma was a crazily strong woman and I truly enjoyed reading about her.
And now I'm reading Warbreaker. Andrew gave it to me for my birthday. The cover is kind of ugly, but don't judge it by its cover. This is the second Brandon Sanderson book I've read (well, I haven't finished yet), and I've liked both of them. The other one I've read is Elantris.
Next on the list: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.
Images: here, here, here, and here.