Tuesday, June 10, 2014

End of an Era

Tomorrow is the end of something great. Something hard. Something life-changing for me. Tomorrow is my last day of nannying my cute nieces and nephews. It has been 17 months of blood, sweat and tears... and joy, smiles and love. 

I was drowning in boredom at my job. And my sister was drowning in life - with 5 kids, a business, and a big calling. So, we decided to help each other out. And I think it was the best decision I've ever made. (That might be an exaggeration, but only a little.) 

During the school year, I was there in the morning to help get the kids off to school, and then Lola and I would kick it all day. Doing laundry. Grocery shopping. VIsiting Grandpa Reeve. Going for walks. Taking naps. Reading stories. Playing with dolls. Swinging on the swings. Doing dishes. Making treats for when the other kids got home. 

When I started, she was not quite a year old - still a baby. She would fall asleep on the drive to the school in the morning, if I drove around the neighborhood the long way. Then after awhile that wasn't working. We went through a phase where she would fall asleep in my arms, but if I tried to put her down she would wake up. So I spent several afternoons in the rocking chair with her asleep, checking facebook and email on my ipad. If I was smart enough to grab it before we went upstairs. Sometimes, when I forgot, I would fall asleep with her. 

Now she is 2 years and 3 months old. She has turned into my little buddy. She is a great shopping buddy. We like Costco. Because it's fun, and we got good samples there. And I think she liked the bigger carts better. (I'm just making that up.) But, I love taking her shopping and talking to her as we go through the store. She is almost even answering me back these days. See, sometimes I like to talk to myself when I shop. So, if I have a kid that I'm talking to, it makes me seem less crazy. At least, that's what I tell myself. But, seriously, one day a few weeks ago, Lola was sick, but I needed to run to Costco. So after the older kids got home, I went by myself. And I missed my little shopping buddy. It wasn't nearly as fun without her. I just might have to steal her once in a while to go grocery shopping now. 

Now it is summer. And summer is definitely harder. The kids are home more. There is lots of chasing kids to this and that. Lots of trying to get the kids to help me keep the house clean. And they think I am there to entertain them always. And they always want to go out to lunch. Or to Orange Leaf. Or Sub Zero. Or for snow cones. THat was a challenge last year, because I wanted to give in to them all the time. But that gets expensive. And its not very healthy. So, I had to learn to be strong, and not let them talk me into those things every day. 

This year, I'm only getting two weeks of summer. So, we have partied a little bit. We went shopping one day. We went to the Museum of Natural Curiousity at Thanksgiving Point on Monday. Tomorrow Carson thinks we are going to the Parade of Homes. We'll see. We have to run Hailey to play practice. And probably do some laundry. And a little cleaning. But I want to have fun for my last day. 

Example of summer fun
The first day of summer, last week, I took the four youngest to the outlets in Lehi. They all have money burning holes in their pockets. Hailey has her own agenda, so she took of by herself the whole time. So I had Carson, Lindsey and Lola with me. Carson wanted to go to the Nike store. So, we went in there. And he found some basketball shoes that he wanted. So we tried to text Jeanette, to see if it would be ok to buy them. Meanwhile Lindsey and Lola are running around the store, bored. Lola tried to climb into the shelves of shoe boxes. She is little enough, she probably could have done it. And then I would have never found her again! Carson said he was done, so we left there. And went to find some girl-y stores for Lindsey. We went in one or two, but she wasn't sure what she wanted. Shoes, or shirts. She only had $13, so not much. 

I had to change Lola's diaper, so we went to the bathroom. And found the family bathroom. It has two toilets in it, and a sink, and a big counter to change diapers. They thought it was so fun in there. Then Lindsey discovered the women's bathroom, and how massive and nice it was. So, we had to go explore in there. And take pictures sitting in the chairs. Carson went to the men's bathroom, after he peaked into the women's bathroom. There was much discussion about the differences between the men's and women's. The men's didn't have any nice chairs in there. He wanted to know why not. We seriously were in there for 15 minutes I'd say. 

Then I had to return a shirt at Columbia, so we went there for a minute. Carson then decides that he needs to go back to the Nike store, because he didn't look at everything. (We had since chatted with Matt, and decided to let Matt take care of buying shoes for Carson.) Lindsey didn't want to go back in there, she still wanted to buy something. Gap was her next choice. Then, Hailey came and found us and was done, wanting to go to Target instead because she wasn't finding anything at the outlets. Lola is done at this point, but I sent the girls back to Gap for a minute, and let Carson go look in Nike one more time. 

We did end up going to Target, and Old Navy. Hailey did find some things. I think Lindsey bought something. And when we were done at Old Navy, Hailey walked out and said, "Can we got to Dollar Tree now?" I said, "No way. We are done. I'm done feeling like a circus!" So we went home. 

And that's how summer is at that house. It's a circus. A good circus, but still a circus. I like feeling like a circus sometimes. But three or four kids at Target, who have opinions and wants and needs, is very different from one cute two-year-old who mostly sits in the cart and goes wherever I want to go and doesn't complain too much. 

It seems like it should be more significant. And yes, things will not be the same after this. But I will still see them often. Maybe not quite as often as now. But maybe, after I move down there, I will be closer, so I will still see them plenty. So, it seems big. But really its not. But it is. 

I've been feeling sad and melancholy tonight. And I wasn't sure why. But, I decided it was because of this. It's the end of something good. And that makes me sad. And, it's ok to be sad. It's ok to cry about it. Even though I know it is the right thing to do. And there are good things ahead. (I hope so at least.) 

I am taking on new job responsibilities at work. Which is really scary. But also really good. I'm taking over for a girl who has been working full time. Some people are skeptical that I will be able to do it all. And I must admit that I've had my doubts, too. But, I know that this girl spends many hours bored, and working on a tedious archiving project, because she has nothing else to do. So, I am confident that I can do both. My main worry is if the deadlines all pile up on the same day, things could get a little hairy. But, if I keep on top of everything, I don't think it will be a problem. I'm going to be doing the pre-press work. So all the files end up with me, and I will prep them for the printer, and upload them to the printer's site so they can take them and make the books. And along with that is several archiving processes that have to happen. Putting the files in a few different places, so different people can access them. So, it will be new and different. And a good challenge for me. 

When I was feeling sad earlier, I decided that I needed to write down my thoughts and feelings tonight. I know, I'm a horrible blogger. But, I blogged right around the time that I started this nanny venture. So I thought it would be fitting to blog as this chapter is coming to a close. And, I know, it is really for me. For my own mental clarity. To write down what I'm thinking. I should do it more, I know. 

I also think my mood is being affected by all the other drama surrounding me these days. We are selling grandpa's house. My house for the last 5.5 years. Grandpa's house for the last 26 years. Lots of memories here. It is sad. It is also time. I know that. I am ready for a change. I'm ready to not be roaming around this giant house with just me in it. I'm ready to downsize my belongings a little bit, and live in a smalller space. I'm ready to not commute 45 minutes to work. I'm ready to be closer to Rachelle, and Jeanette, and grandpa. I'm not ready to leave my ward. And my friends here. I'm ready to make new friends, and have new experiences somewhere else. 

Rachelle just texted me and asked how I was feeling. And that made me really cry. Just knowing that she was thinking about me tonight, knowing i would be sad, brought more emotion to the forefront. A good cry is therapeutic, right? I was thinking earlier about being sad, and decided that I would just let myself feel the emotions tonight. And be sad for a little while. But, one of the hard parts about living alone is that I don't have anyone here to talk about things with. To tell them I'm feeling sad, and I want to cry. Sometimes you just need someone to talk to. To know that they are aware of you and how you are feeling. I will be forever grateful for my sisters for filling that role for me. When I need it most. 

What should I do tomorrow with the kids? I should end on a high note, but so far, I have no idea what that is going to be. But one thing I do know, I'm going to enjoy the day, whatever happens. I'm going to soak it up. Circus and all. I love those kids. It has been fun to pretend, for just a little while, that I'm a mom, doing mom things, two days a week. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Selfies of Lola

I just remembered I haven't posted today. This is harder than I thought it would be to find the time and mental energy to post every day. 

And since I don't have much to say today, I will just entertain you with some photos Lola took with my ipad this morning. 

And there are about 20 more just like this. I think hailey has been teaching her some selfie tricks, like just holding down the shutter button and taking a million pics. She wanted to take a bunch of just the ceiling too, but amazingly I only have one of those. Lola hasn't quite mastered the fact that she can't have both hands touching the ipad screen. But, I'm sure she will have that figured out next week. She is basically a genius. 

One more cute Lola story. Grandpa Reeve lives in the Charleston, which is very close to the Bennett's, so they drive past it often. And, I have taken Lola there many times to visit grandpa. Now, anytime she goes past the Charleston, she says, "grandpa, grandpa". So cute! And smart!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

More Halloween...

Ok, here are the rest of the pictures I promised to post a few days ago. I'm still getting the hang of this blogging thing.

 This one is my cute sister at the top, she is a teacher and her theme for her classroom is cupcakes. So she is a cupcake baker. So cute! Bottom left is Lindsey, I believe, just playing with the Casper costume I made many years ago. The kids didn't believe that I made it. Carson said it was too professional. Middle is the 4 oldest Bennett kids. Such cuties! Right is Carly as a witch and Lucy as a baby. I miss those girls!
These are the cute John kids. I will not embarrass myself by trying to tell you what these guys are, because I don't know the right names. But, aren't they all cute and studly?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Lessons learned from this summer

So, I spent this summer preparing for and executing two big events - a family reunion, and girls camp for my ward.

A year or so ago, I was appointed to be in charge of our Waite Family Fun Days this summer. I was excited, and had some ideas about what I wanted to do. Some of which got vetoed by the family, but some of my original ideas I did end up doing. Then, in October last year, I was called to be the Assistant Girls Camp Director for my ward. Which I was thrilled about. I LOVE girls camp. I had to laugh when I got the calling, because I pretty much knew that I had brought the calling on myself, by a comment I had made in one of my Relief Society lessons.

I was teaching, and someone was making a comment, and mentioned that they had just been to girls camp. I said, "I love girls camp. I wish I could go." Completely innocent and naive. But, oh my, the reaction that comment got from the women in that room - it was hilarious! Craziness and laughter ensued for a minute or two. People were telling the Relief Society president to watch out, that she was going to have to find a new teacher, etc. I just laughed about it at the time. But, several months later, when I was called, I was not completely surprised. Brother Ford, who was issuing the call, even asked me if I knew this was going to happen. I guess since I didn't act too surprised or shocked or anything.

I learned the rest of the story later. That same night (as the comment made in Relief Society), there was an open house at a ward member's house for one of her children. The Bishop was there, along with the Relief Society president, and the newly called but not yet sustained (so it was still a secret) Young Women President. The Relief Society president was visiting with the Bishop and WenDee (YW Pres), and telling them about what had happened in Relief Society that day. The Bishop, after hearing the story, said, "maybe if the right person hears that" or something to that effect, all the while knowing that the new YW president was sitting right there listening to this. And so she called me a couple months later.

At the beginning of this year, January or February, the camp director got released one Sunday, much to my surprise. (I found out later she was in the middle of a divorce.) The young Women president talked to me after church that day, and asked if I wanted to be the director. I said yes. It totally scared me, but I had already been feeling like that was what should and would happen, and with Heavenly Father's help, it would all work out. She said she would get a good assistant for me. I told her to get someone who knew about food and cooking because that is my major weak point. 

A few weeks later, they called one of my good friends in my ward, Jeanne, to be my assistant, and I couldn't have been more thrilled about that. She is a great cook, so I knew we wouldn't starve. And she is just a fun, happy, great person. 

So the two of us commenced the serious camp planning. We already had a theme, but that was about it. I had the whole thing to plan and figure out. I walk with Jeanne and several other ladies in the mornings sometimes, so that became our camp planning time. Some days it ended up just the two of us walking, and that's when we would really get some thinking and planning going.  

To be continued. I want to write about our theme and what we did. But this is already getting long. So I will split it up. 

And, I missed posting yesterday. I only made it two days. I had every intention of posting, but I slept at Jeanette's last night, so the kids distracted me. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Saturday Fun

Here it is, 10:24 again. Although, I have already turned my clock back, so it is only 9:24 actually. 

This morning, I got up and went to play practice, from 9 until 2. It was long! But, it went well I thought. I am not in the play, I am the director's assistant. So I just do whatever she tells me to. It sounds kind of boring, but so far I have really enjoyed it. I am still amazed at how much time and effort people are willing to put into things like this. My friend has done a play or two with her family. She told me she thought of it as community service. I liked that thought, it makes sense in my brain. 

After practice I came home and was lazy bones all afternoon. I finally found some energy, and got my library books gathered up to take back. Barely before the library closed tonight. 

And since this was probably the last nice day of the year, weather-wise, I decided I needed to take advantage of it. If i hadn't been so lazy in the afternoon I might have gone up in the canyons. Instead I ended up at Oquirrh Lake in Daybreak. 

It is a nice walk around the lake. I took some great iPhone pics for you to enjoy of my walk. 
It was just after sunset when I started, so the mountains were looking all aglow.

This is Mt. Timp way down there. It looks pretty at sunset with snow on the peaks. (One of these days I am going to hike to the top of that mountain.)

And this is when I finally found my car again, with the cute daybreak houses too. I started my walk in an unfamiliar section of the lake, so I hoped I knew how to find my way back around. It felt like a long walk, which was actually half walk, half run, but I was really only out there for 45 minutes. But I'm sure it was at least 5 miles! It sure felt like it. 

I didn't have my headphones, so I had no music in my ears, just my thoughts. I kind of like it that way. My thought for tonight was how thankful I am for my body. It may not look as good as I wish it did, but it can still do lots of things. Like running, even though I haven't run for a very long time. My body remembered how to do it. Now, I'm sure it wasn't pretty, but I didn't care. I don't know anyone out there. It just felt good to push my body a bit. And realize how good it feels to do that. 

I came home and flipped through some of my new library books. And now I want to make a quilt. Going to the library can be dangerous to my creative brain. 

Friday, November 1, 2013


So, I am slow to this game, but I decided to jump in. And since it is still November 1st - for another hour and 17 minutes - I have time to start this.

I do have lots of things I have wanted to write about, so hopefully this will give me good incentive to actually do this.

My topic tonight is Halloween. I know, it was yesterday. But I'm still going to write about it. 

First of all, some cute pictures of my awesome kids (my nieces and nephews). 

This is my sister and her youngest daughter. She had planned to dress up as Dorothy, and have Lola be the Tin Man. But the costume never came. I'm glad because I think this is adorable. This is my buddy - I tend her two days a week for my sister, and it is awesome. I love it. We have a good time together. 

These kids live far away from me, in Oregon. I love this picture, because it shows the different personalities so well, and, seriously, how cute is the little monster in the middle? He is almost 8 months old, and I wish I could just give him a big kiss and a snuggle. I am going to have to plan a trip to visit them soon. 

This is my cute Hanna that lives in Canada. She dressed up as her dad, Mr. Nunn, who is the principal at her school. I showed this picture to people at work, and they really thought she was a boy. I'd say she bears a striking resemblance to her dad. And she won best super hero costume. Go Hanna!

Tomorrow, when I have more time, I will add the pictures of the other kids. They were all so cute. And creative. It was fun to see pictures pop up all day yesterday on Facebook of all these cute Halloween kids. 

At my work, they always have a Halloween party, and costume contest. People go all out, with very elaborate costumes. I've participated with groups before, and actually won. I think it is fun to dress up and be someone different for a day.

 But, there was no group thing happening this year (or for the last several years actually...my team has changed and they are a little boring these days). I still wanted to do something, not be a total humbug about it. I just couldn't decide what to do. I didn't want to spend any money. And I wanted it to be easy, and quick, and comfortable. 

I thought about going as girls camp director, and wear the apron we made this year, along with other camp paraphernalia, but I decided that might be dumb. 

The morning of Halloween, yesterday morning, I woke up, still not positive what I was going to do. As I lay in bed, trying to get some energy to get up and get going, my thought was mostly, "let's just get this day over with, so I can move on to the better holidays." Halloween is not my favorite holiday at all. That could be because I don't have kids of my own to celebrate with. 

I ended up going with my old standby Halloween outfit - black skirt, orange shirt, with random colored knee socks and crazy shoes. It is festive. And comfortable. And easy. 

And now it is over and we can move on to thanksgiving and Christmas! Much better holidays in my opinion. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A new space

I finally decided, and had the energy, to move myself back upstairs to my old bedroom.

I lived in this room for about two years when I first moved in. After awhile, I needed my own space more, so I moved my bed down into the basement. Where it has been for about three years. (Seriously, where did that time go?) 

Anyway, I have been thinking about moving back upstairs for awhile, and just today, almost on a whim, started moving furniture. After I got my bed up here, and was starting on my clothes, dresser, etc., I stopped and said, out loud, "Am I really doing this?" (I do talk to myself sometimes. It gets lonely if I don't.) I thought about it for a second, and said, "yes, I'm really doing this". 

So, here I am, sitting on my bed, in my new bedroom. I brought up my bed, and dresser, and a few things I know I will want in here. And then I stopped. I don't know what else I really want in my new bedroom. I have been thinking about living with less, getting rid of the excess things in my life I don't need. And part of my wanting to move upstairs is so I can start figuring out what is important and what I can part with. 

So here I sit in this room, with just my clothes, a lamp, and my chargers. I know I will end up bringing more things upstairs. And I know that I haven't actually gotten rid of anything, yet. But I know I don't want to bring the clutter up here just because. I want to be a bit deliberate about it. And then, after awhile, I will hopefully be able to go downstairs and say, I don't need the rest of this stuff, and I can get rid of it. 

Baby steps. That is what it's going to take. I've been known to be a pack rat, so to try to go minimalist is going to take some effort. But I want to try. That's the first step, right?

My question, though, is... How does anyone who is a crafter and has lots of craft/art supplies, become a minimalist? Because I honestly don't know how I'm going to downsize my craft room. I can be more organized, that I know. Hopefully if I organize it I can manage it better. 

And, on a side note, moving furniture around by myself gets tricky sometimes. I'm a pro at moving my twin bed, I knew I could do that. But I had to move a queen bed out of this room before I could move my bed in. At first, I left it in the hall, and the office, but it was in my way, so I thought I'd attempt to take the box springs downstairs. And this is where it still sits right now:

The turn on the stairs got me. So, I scooted it over so I could at least get up and down the stairs. And there it sits, waiting for me to attempt it again, or for some unsuspecting person to come over so they can help me.