Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day

It was a beautiful Memorial Day!  After several days of cold rainy weather...the sunshine was SO appreciated.  We cut flowers from our garden and placed them in a big bucket with water to take down to visit the graves of our family that is close by.  Grandma did this every year.  We joined her occasionally. Now that she isn't here it is up to all of us.  With our bucket of flowers (the peonies were ready and perfect bloom this year!) we headed to Papa's house to pick him up.

We visited the resting place of Grandma & Grandpa Davis and Uncle Kelly.  We placed military flags at Grandpa and Kelly's sites to remember their military service.  It was so nice to see so many families gathered at each cemetery.  At the next cemetery we left flowers for an old family friend (Roy Parker) and Great Grandma and Grandpa (Goldie and Stanley).

After our visits we gathered at Papa's for a bbq.  We met cousins/aunts/uncles there.  Sally made a delicious meal.  We spent the afternoon together.  Papa invited us up to Grandma's to take some of the flowers and plants from her yard.  Amanda, Michel and I started digging...Papa found buckets and we came home with a carload of flowers and plants (day lilies, ferns, peonies, purple leaf coral bells & beautiful strawberries).  Grandma was the first person to teach me about planting flowers and gardens.  She loved every flower and walking around my garden with some of the treasures from her yard is so sweet.  We miss her.

We are so grateful for all those who have come before us.  We miss those we knew and look forward to sweet reunions one day.  The resting places of most of our family members aren't close by...but we think of them often and remember them fondly.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

up & up you go...

For Kate's birthday (almost a year ago) Mike and Annie gave her a butterfly kit.  It started getting cold before I got around to ordering the caterpillars so we decided to wait for spring.  The caterpillars arrived via mail and Kate was on cloud nine!  The five little creatures have lived on her dresser and she has watched and cared over them for weeks.  Yesterday the first one "hatched." Today the rest followed.  She decided to release them into our garden this evening.  They were reluctant to leave their first home.  A few of them even perched on her finger before taking flight.  We went back outside a few hours later and one was on our front steps.  She was so delighted!!!!!!  Thank you Uncle Mike and Aunt Annie!  She learned so much and it brought her so much joy!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1

Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1

I loved every minute of it!
The music was inspiring and beautiful...
and the company just perfect for me.

There is nothing like sharing an evening with my mom and sisters.
I wish it happened more often.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

to dream...

For as long as I can remember I dreamt of being a mom.  My childhood was filled with hours of playing with dolls...stuffed animals...and my favorite, playing "house."  Being the oldest child, I am sure I always insisted on being the "mom."  (Sorry Dede...)

I had a few other dreams of roles I might fill in life.  These always changed.  A few that I remember:

  • age 6:  someone famous  (doing what?  I have no idea)  hours of looking in the mirror...knowing I would be famous someday.  I am not sure I even knew what famous meant, but it was said to have happened regularly---that I stood in the mirror and a recited the phrase..."famous Carin"
  • age 8:  bank teller  I am not sure what it was about those ladies behind the counter or glass windows of the drive through.  Maybe it was that I thought they had all of the $ in the world.
  • age 11:  an artist  I loved to draw and I remember the sweet encouragements of my mom
  • age 12:  a writer   I remember sharing my stories, written in a gnome journal, with my mom's cousin Randy, an English teacher, at a family event held at our house.  He was gracious.  :)  The idea of being a writer lasted until age 14.

Unfortunately, at the age where I could have really focused on any sort of dream, high school, I let them all go.  My confidence faded and my focus switched from learning to friends and social issues.  School could have been easy for me, but I was distracted and lazy.  I lost direction, ambition and vision.  The one dream I always saw for myself was to be a mother.  After a poor academic attempt at high school I took a few junior college courses, mainly because I didn't have a better idea and my friends were going.  (I also became a bank teller.)  Finally a spark was ignited and I decided to go on a mission.  I am not sure I would have even had the confidence for that, but it was an answer to prayer...and my heart told me to go.

I set out on my 21st birthday for the missionary training center.  I spent a year and a half serving, the majority of those months I spent in Argentina.  It was good for me in so many ways...but one in particular was confidence.  I knew that I if I could travel to another country, learn a foreign language, teach and communicate and live with people I had never met before....I could go to college.

Returning to college started out slowly, I was working full time (again, at a bank) and took a few classes a session.  My first goal was to do special education or occupational therapy.  I wanted to help people.  Then I took a communications class that I LOVED.  I had finally finished my general education courses and headed to the University.  Danny and I were married now.  I was still working full time as a bank manager while Danny was finishing his degree and playing football.  I was sure that all of this would be interrupted and at any moment I would have a baby and become a full time mom.

A baby wasn't coming, so my first class at the University of Utah was in communications.  I decided to combine the two interests and study communication disorders through the Speech and Hearing Science department.  I still expected to be pregnant at any minute and drop everything to be a full time mom.  I was fascinated by the sciences and was excited to be learning.  I loved becoming a full time student once Danny graduated.  My dream was to sit in the library in the middle of the day---during those M-F/9-5 hours that had been occupied at a bank for so many years.

During my senior year in college we were trying more serious fertility measures and nothing was working.  Finally, the month before I graduated, our doctors recommended we travel to a specialist outside of UT (in CA or CO) to pursue our fertility issues further.  They said they couldn't do anything for us.  I was approaching graduation...without a plan.  I had been sure we would be parents by then (we had been trying for 6 years), now that graduation was upon me...I had wished I had planned for graduate school.  My dream of being a mom seemed to elude me no matter what I tried.  I worried about why I wasn't worthy of the opportunity.  I struggled not knowing what path to take.

After graduation I decided to get an entry level job in both Speech/Audiology.  I was hired first at a local hospital in the "maternity ward" doing infant hearing screenings.  I would test the baby's hearing the day after they were born.  I wondered if my mental wellness could handle it.  Would I be able to spend hours each day...facing my one dream that always stayed constant...that I never let fade away...knowing that for me it wasn't happening???  I decided to do it.

One of my first days of training at the hospital I felt queasy and sick.  I remember worrying that maybe I would spread something to the babies.  I washed my hands well and started learning the new job.  After work I went home and called the doctor.  My period was several weeks late, I was thirsty, tired...and sure that I had diabetes.  The nurse asked me if I had taken a pregnancy test.  I fought back tears and told her about my promise to myself that I would never take another pregnancy test again.  Too many had been (-) and I couldn't face another stick to pee on.  She told me to drive down (40 min. away).  I felt so silly driving down there.  It was just two months ago this same office  told me that intro-fertilization wouldn't work.  I hadn't been on any fertility treatments in months...how in the world could I be pregnant.

Without telling a soul, I headed to the doctor's office.  After several hours the results came back (+)!!!!!
I don't believe in coincidences.  I became pregnant one month after I graduated from college.  Although those years of waiting for what I wanted most were hard, painful, soul searching years, they were some of the most precious to me in any growth I may have attained thus far.  Now, to have had those experiences AND to be a mom to THREE DAUGHTERS, I feel as though I couldn't possibly ask for more.  I am a better mother because of a formal education...but also the spiritual education my trials have given me.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sunday, May 13, 2012

"I am glad you taught me..."

Arizona, SUMMER 1976

On Mother's Day I reminded the girls that we would be seeing Nana that day and that she would love a card.  We had a bit of running around to do before-during-after church.  The girls were on their own.  They each had a hand made card when it was time to get in the car for Sunday dinner- with no help or direction from me.   After we finished dinner they found their cards and handed them to Nana.  My mom asked,  "Did you read this?"  I hadn't.  She handed it to me with a smile.  This is what it said-

"Dear Nana,  When could you do a puzel (puzzle)?  I am glad you toght (taught) my mom well so I could have a good live (life)."

She signed it-

To: Nana
From: Kate

Along with hand drawn flower pictures...it might have been one of the sweetest cards I have ever read. I realized I should have taken the time on Sunday to write my own card...


Thank you Mom for being one of the first people to teach me how to love.
Thank you for finding fun in small ways.
Thank you for taking care of all of my needs.  

When I think of learning to read, sew, do dishes, enjoy sunshine, cook, iron, attend church, swim, celebrate holidays, serve a neighbor---I think of you.  Some of these things you taught me through instruction---but most of them were by watching your example.  Thank you for that.

I love you.
Happy Mother's Day.

Mother's Day

It was a mother's day to remember.  Danny and the girls surprised me with the gift that I wanted (an iPad) which I was sure I wasn't getting...because Danny told me I wasn't getting it...and I believed him.  He took the girls early in the week to buy my gift.  They were all so careful not to say too much because they were so excited about the surprise!  They also made breakfast for me that morning.  But really...what I treasure most...were the sweet handwritten notes from them.  A few excerpts-

Danny-  "I was just talking to Kate and I asked her how she got so sweet and lovely and she said 'cause of my mom.'  How true this is."

Ellie-  (Ellie wrote her card @ school in english and spanish...the spanish version is my favorite)  "Querida Mama:  Gracias por ser mi mama.  Te amo.  Gracias por comprarme ropa, dar me de comer, y ser buena conmigo.  Te amo porque siempre eres buena y generosa."   The translation:  "Dear Mom, Thank you for being my mom.  I love you.  Thank you for buying my clothes, feeding me, and being nice.  I love that you are always nice and generous."

Kate-  "Dear Mommy, I like the way you treat us.  I hope I grow up like you.  p.s.  Can you chek (check) my tempetur (temperature). love Kate"  (Kate was fighting a cold this week.)

Sophie-  two cards...with sweet hand drawn pictures that both said, "I love u mom.  Sophie"

How did I get so lucky????????