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I’ve been sick for two weeks exactly today. It has not been fun… tonight I feel like I’m at my breaking point – I just want Tom to put his arms around me in a great big hug and pat my head and tell me it’s going to be o.k. and I will actually get better soon. And then he can do all the errands and take care of running Haley to her concert and make food and be the parent. I don’t usually indulge in this kind of thinking because, well, what good does it do except to make things worse?? I’ve been stoically dealing with the cough and the blocked sinuses and the sleepless nights, all the while reminding myself that this too shall pass. But seriously?? Just sick of it already.
It’s been a busy fall. I’m teaching seminary again (early morning scripture study class for the youth in my church) and we are studying the New Testament this year. It has been great to go through the gospels again and to take my class on the journey with me. I have a partner this year, which has been nice – I’ve had to prepare only half the lessons, which is excellent!! Today was our last day of the semester and I’m pleased to report that all my kiddos passed their assessment first time around this year. Last year half the class failed the first assessment. Hopefully that means I’m getting better as a teacher. I think it helps that most kids are more familiar with the New Testament than with the Old Testament. Whatever! It was exciting for me anyway. My class this year is mixed – Freshmen through Seniors. It has been an interesting change and I’ve enjoyed the differing perspectives.
In October Spencer, Kayla, Haley, and I went to Universal Studios, Florida for fall break. We are all Harry Potter fans (some of us more obsessive than others – I think Kayla and I fall into this category) so we were excited to go visit the magical world of Harry Potter. It was a very quick trip – we spent two days in the park and then went home. We stayed at one of the Universal Studio hotels so all our transportation was taken care of and we got to go into the park early both days. Now is the time when I would be inserting pictures to make you all jealous – but I took exactly one picture of Hogsmeade and there isn’t even any family in it and that is just boring. The first morning we wandered all over Diagon Alley and it really was like being in the books – all the shops felt like shops that would be in the books – even the packaging was uniquely Harry Potter. I think my favorite part was Knockturn Alley – it felt really immersive, for some reason. Weasleys Wizard Wheezes was pretty cool as well – I was tempted to get a Skiving Snackbox. Hogsmeade is a bit smaller, although I loved the Owl post office! However, I met my match in the dragon roller coaster ride. The ride was really fun but it totally played havoc with equilibrium. I was motionsick for a good 30 minutes – maybe more. I avoided most of the big rides after that, which was a bummer. Both days we ate in Harry Potter World which was a lot of fun. We ate once at the Three Broomsticks and once at the Leaky Cauldron – and we had more than our fair share of butterbeers. I don’t even like soda, but I liked the butterbeer. Apart from Harry Potter World, my favorite rides were the water rides – Jurassic Park, Dudley Do Right, and a white water rafting ride. We got completely soaked both days and traveled home with wet clothes in our bags. It was a lot of fun to have a family vacation – the last one we took was in 2008.
We spent Thanksgiving with family at my parents’ home in Utah. We are getting too big to fit comfortably in their home!! There are six rooms with doors that serve as bedrooms (aside from the master bedroom) so if we all go home at the same time, there are six married couples (I still get counted in this group) and we all get rooms. But there are kids too – two of my siblings have four kids and the rest of us have three. It was crowded!! My dad set up two tents in the basement – one for the boys and one for the girls. The three teenage girls slept on the couches in the basement – needless to say there wasn’t a lot of quality sleeping going on among the kiddos. Still, we love being together! Andrew is back on level 2 so he was eligible for off-site visits. He wanted to come stay for the weekend, but we didn’t think it would be safe for him to be around all the kids, so he came to the house for Thanksgiving dinner. The next day I went and got him and the two of us spent the day hanging out – we went to a local museum, took family pictures, had lunch, and then went to see the new “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” (excellent movie – I highly recommend it!!). The third day he and I rode up to Provo and got to see some of Tom’s family which was really nice. Although I was glad to see Andrew, the whole weekend ended up being a lot more stressful than I hoped. I’m discouraged about his lack of progress – although I try to remind myself that the goal was to keep us all safe, not necessarily to “fix” him. He is hard to spend time with because he alternates between arguing and asking for stuff. It gets old. But I am glad that I got to spend some time with him. Unfortunately I came home with this blasted cold which won’t go away and has mutated into a sinus infection …
Holidays can be a tough time to do without Tom… but there’s something I have learned over the last couple of years. Hard things come along – I didn’t want to go through watching Spencer and Kayla marry on my own – I didn’t want to go on a trip to Mexico as the only unattached adult in the group – I don’t want to do the myriad smaller things that are part of life like being sick or getting the car repaired or being the only parent. But every time I have “girded up my loins” so to speak, reminding myself of others who are struggling, reminding myself that I can get through it. And every time I have gotten through it and it has made the next time easier. I don’t know that I will ever like being on my own or that I will ever stop missing the relationship I had with Tom. But I have discovered that life is still good and the hard things can get easier if I’m not afraid of them. And I will get through this dang sickness!!!