Monday, April 29, 2013

The bestest mommy in the whole wide world.


My son Cameron is late on a daily basis to school. He likes to say good-bye a million times. This includes going around the car and hugging and kissing me, the baby, and his little sister. Of course that's not a bad thing at all. The problem comes when his OCD tendencies kick in and he has to give us a certain amount of hugs and kisses in a certain way before he can leave. This can get very time consuming and we're usually late already.

This is what happened the other day when I dropped him off.

Me: "Good-bye Cam. Have a great day I love you."

Cam is now outside of the car. Suddenly he stops and turns quickly, then screams at the top of his lungs: "Hug and Kiss!!!" It's ironic that he yells two words like "hug" and "kiss", because it sounds like he is being attacked and screaming for help. 

Me (patiently): "Cam, we already did hug and kiss. I love you buddy. You need to go right now, you're going to be late."

Cameron now makes an angry face: "No we didn't! You kissed me, I didn't kiss you! I need to kiss you, not you kiss me!"

My patience is growing very thin, the other kids in the carpool are already inside the building. I speak more sternly this time. "Seriously Cameron, you need to go. You are late. We can't do this everyday."

Cameron ignores me and comes back to the car. He gives us all another hug and kiss. Thankfully it meets his his OCD standards. I hug him again. My hug turns into a shove toward the school doors. "Goooo now."

I start to drive off when I can see that Cameron has finally opened the school doors. I breathe a sigh of relief that he's finally inside the school. Suddenly I see Cameron turn around and b-line it halfway back to the car. "You've got to be kidding me!" I yell as I throw the car into park.  I roll down my window.

Me: "What in the world are you doing?!? Cam, you're late son!"

Cameron starts to blow me a million kisses and then shouts in a sweet voice: "I love you. You're the bestest mommy in the whole wide world!"

I roll down my window and yell: "Oh my hell Cam! Get in the school now!!"

Cameron turns around and skips into the school with a big smile on his face.

I guess it doesn't take much to be the bestest mommy in the whole wide world. Thank goodness for that.    


Friday, April 19, 2013

A World Full of Good

To read the original article on KSL.com. Click here.


Usually my posts are light-hearted and never serious, but I haven’t been able to sleep this week. Like many of you, I can’t get the images of the Boston Marathon bombing out of my head. A cloud of heavy sadness has hung over me. I wasn’t even there. I cannot imagine what it was like for those that were there and even worse for those who felt it firsthand.

I watched as Matt Lauer interviewed three people who were at the Boston Marathon. He asked them if this bombing would keep them from coming to another marathon. All three of them said that it wouldn’t. I thought to myself that although it may not deter me from going to any marathons, it may deter me from bringing my children. There have been so many horrible tragedies lately. Is there anywhere we can feel safe? New York is out, movies are out, school is out and now marathons are out. All of these thoughts swirled in my head bringing with them a pit of despair in my stomach. Is this the world I live in?

Yesterday I got up and checked my email. I noticed a new letter in my inbox. It was from my parents who are on a service mission in Johannesburg, South Africa. My parents had uploaded some new pictures on their blog. Their friends had come on a trip as part of the group "eyes4zimbabwe". One of their friends' son was playing with the natives. There was one sentence. “A picture is worth a thousand words.”













Tears filled my eyes as I stared at the picture of a small boy, who on a recent trip to Mozambique, unprompted, had removed his own shoes and shirt and given them to a native child in need. I realized something that I had already known, but had forgotten in my sadness. This world is also good.

In most of these horrible tragedies, it was one person that made the terrible decision to hurt others, one single person. And in every one of these terrible tragedies, thousands of people rushed in to help and save the victims.

Teachers hiding students and blocking bullets with their own bodies. People in a dark theater leading strangers to an exit while calling to fellow human beings to follow them to safety. First responders and medical personal who came by the thousands, some from states away to help strangers trapped in mountains of rubble. And now, Bystanders and volunteers who instead of running away from an explosion, ran toward it, to help fellow human beings-to help perfect strangers.

There are so many people in this world just like that little boy. Why is it that they take no thought for themselves when there is a need, even if they don’t know the person they’re helping? I believe the answer to that question is simple. They are good.

I watched the news last week. A man is dying of a rare form of cancer. He needs a bone marrow transplant immediately. A few days later hundreds of people drove to a church and waited in a long line. They were waiting to be tested, desperately hoping that they would be a match so they might save a strangers life.

That's the world I live in and that's the world my kids will be raised in - a world where strangers run in to save other strangers. A world that is full of good.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

New KSL Article: Goal Parties

'Goal parties' bring back fond memories

By Katie Lee | Posted - Apr 13th, 2013 @ 7:39pm

SALT LAKE CITY — At the start of each year, we sat as a family of 12 around the dining room table and each of us filled out a “goal sheet.” At the top of the goal sheet we listed our name, height, weight and school grade.
Five columns ran down the left side of the sheet and were labeled physical, spiritual, mental, financial and social. Each of us, including our parents, wrote goals we wanted to accomplish during the coming year in the appropriate column.
At the end of each year, on a Monday night, we had our “goal party”. This was something we looked forward to all year.
A typical goal party agenda
During the goal parties we highlighted one category at a time and went around the table, each of us telling what goals we had written down. If we had accomplished the goal, everybody would cheer; if we hadn’t, everybody dramatically yelled “boooo!”
We were especially good at booing when it came to Mom's and Dad’s goals. We jokingly yelled “boo” anytime Mom or Dad had some type of goal having to do with being a better parent.
Candy was a rarity in our home and therefore was the best part of our goal parties. Mom kept the candy next to her on the floor. As each of us reported our accomplishments, she pulled out a bag of candy and tossed pieces of candy equal to the number of goals met.
Each category received a different type of candy, so by the end of the night we each had accumulated quite the stash.
These nights were a blast and full of good memories. We congratulated each other when one of us accomplished a particularly big goal that had been worked on throughout the year. At the same time, we called for proof when someone said they had accomplished something that was doubtful to the rest of us.
The most memorable goal party ever
One particular goal party stands out in my mind. I was away at college, and Mom called asking if I could come home for the weekend so I could attend the goal party. I laughed because I was 20 years old at the time. My little brother, Jordan, was 18 and the only one still living at home. But because I had such great memories of our goal parties, I agreed.

Related:

That Monday I showed up and Mom seemed a bit surprised that I was home, until she remembered why I’d come.
Dad, Mom, Jordan and I went outside and sat on a big blanket in the front yard. Mom pulled out the previous year’s goal sheets for each one of us. As I stated my accomplishments under the first category, Mom cheered loudly while she threw me five chocolate chips — one for each of my five goals accomplished.
I looked down at the chocolate chips disapprovingly, “Chocolate chips? Are you serious? That’s quite the let down,” I said.
She told me to be quiet as it was now Jordan’s turn. After he read his accomplished goals I gave a sarcastic and half-hearted “yay.” Mom threw him four chocolate chips.
Jordan and I eyed each other, both of us confused.
As I read my accomplishments in the next category, Mom reached into her sack and pulled out three raisins and tossed them to me.
“Did you steal these from the nursery at church?” I jokingly asked.
Jordan joined in. “This is lame. You got old and aren’t cool anymore,” he said.
Mom ignored us, so I hesitantly read the next group of goals, not sure that I wanted whatever makeshift “treat” she’d pull out of her bag.
Share your thoughts
Does your family have a memorable way of setting goals together? Share your story on the ksl.com Motherhood Matters Facebook page or on this story's comment board.
After I finished, Mom pulled out three differently colored round discs that looked like Smarties candy, only bigger. When I inspected each of them closely, I suddenly yelled, “Are you kidding me, Mom? Are these Tums?!?”
“What the crap?” Jordan said laughing.
Mom was caught. “I’m so sorry you guys," she said. "I totally forgot it was the party tonight and I didn’t get any treats.”
“You think? I’m so glad I drove an hour for five chocolate chips.” I said. “What’d you do, look under the couch cushions?”
By this time everyone was laughing.
We continued with each of the remaining categories, but now we were anxious to see what Mom would pull out of the bag. Pennies were the reward for the next category, and peanuts for the last.
Mom apologized again, and then she pulled out two $20 dollar bills and gave one to Jordan and one to me. We were thrilled.
Mom said how impressed she was with both of us and all we had accomplished. She told us we were great kids and she was proud of who we had become.
Not only was it one of the best goal parties I had attended, but its one of the best memories I have.
On the drive back to school, I thought how one day I would continue this tradition with my own kids. I ate my five chocolate chips, two peanuts and three raisins. I chuckled as I thought, I hope I can eat all of this without getting sick.
Luckily I didn’t need to worry about that. I had three Tums just in case.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Article: Veil of Ugliness

This is an article I wrote for a contest on Familyshare.com

It's about the "veil of ugliness" that overcame me while on my mission.

Click here  (This article is no longer online, but it is in my book, "A Half Fast Memoir."

If you like it please share it so I can win nothing. haha.  I am always so amazed at how many of you read these and share them. You guys are so awesome. You literally keep me writing.

Thank you so much!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

One Week and Counting

It's Saturday and one week before busy season is over for Accountants, which means one more week for me to be a psycho mom. My oldest son Cameron can be more than challenging and unfortunately he doesn't know that when I get psycho he needs to stop pushing my buttons immediately.

Tonight he was on a role and I was more than done with being a single parent. I sent both he and his sister to bed and was so mad at them that I just said, "Go to sleep now!" and left the room.

Later I was walking by their room. That's when Cameron says in a sweet, quiet voice, "Mommy, it seems like you don't even like us anymore, and you never even hug or kiss us good night."

Of course my heart broke and I immediately went in and apologized for my behavior, assured both of them that I loved them no matter what and explained that I was stressed with Daddy gone all the time, but it wasn't their fault. I hugged and kissed them both and told them I loved them before leaving the room.

I was emotional and texted the orrdeal to my husband at work; saying that I was a crappy mom.

He texted me back. "So did they go to sleep?"

I wrote: "No. They're in there talking."

This was his reply: "Tell them to go to sleep or they will never get hugged again."

This time I did cry . . . from laughing hysterically.

I so married the right person.