Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A little reminder

I'm all signed up for classes, and today I ordered my parking pass.  My fears and anxieties are beginning to fade as excitement builds in my chest.  It's all I can do to not tell the cashier at the grocery store that I'm going back to school.  I only feel guilty at the burden I'm placing on Paul to be mommy and daddy Tuesday through Thursday evenings.  But I've been an education widow to a full-time student for the past three years.  Now it's Paul's turn.

Saturday one of my best friends got married.  As Paul and I pulled out of the driveway to attend the blessed event, we discovered my car had a flat tire.  Thank heavens we have two vehicles.  We loaded the car seat into Paul's Honda and took it up to Salt Lake.  As we merged on the freeway and the temperature in the car began to rise (both of our cars have broken A/C), anger began to bubble beneath my skin.  Sweet Paul tried to make sense of my sudden shift in mood as I tried to explain without crying, though I hardly understood it myself.  As the words left my lips, however, it became clear what my frustration was all about.

I wish I could say that day was atypical, but it wasn't.  Cars breaking down left and right is normal for us.  And as Paul sped down I-15, I could not imagine a world any different.  That's what made me so mad.  I felt doomed to starving student life, driving clunkers in constant disrepair, and having to make homemade wedding gifts because I can't afford something on the registry. .  I am ashamed of those feelings, but they were real.  Miraculously, God gifted my bitter heart with a tender mercy.  The air conditioning choked out enough puffs of cold air to keep us from showing up to the wedding dripping in sweat.  I probably didn't deserve it, but I'm glad to have received it.

This Sunday I got a new calling in my ward that has to do with scouting.  Scouting!  I know literally nothing about scouting except they decorate bland-colored shirts and carve pinewood derby cars.  Oh, and pee in camp fires.  I called my mom who told me I needed training and certification.  I'll have Pack Meetings, Round Table, and some kind of committee meeting.  I was completely overwhelmed.  How was I supposed to fit all this in to my school, family, and housekeeping schedule?  Thankfully, I was given a blessing on Sunday setting me apart for the job.  In the blessing I was told that I'd be able to find balance and my burdens would be made easy.  It was exactly what I needed to hear.

Sometimes I forget that the Lord is aware of me and that I matter.  But I do.  We all do.  This weekend it was nice to be reminded.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Brobee birthday

Last Thursday my little nephew turned two. As I listened to the plans for his special day I noticed a cake was not mentioned. I asked if I could make one.  His mother consented, giving one simple instruction. It had to be chocolate. My nephew loves chocolate!

My sister-in-law was throwing a Yo Gabba Gabba party, complete with hats, napkins, figurines, noise makers, and other Gabba paraphernalia.  I've done a lot of cupcakes lately, and I immediately formed some ideas for Brobee cupcakes.  He seems to be Jax's favorite.

Here's a video of him in action in case you don't know who he is.

Andrea prefers Foofa.

But the more I thought about it, the more I felt a full-sized cake would make a much bigger impact on a two year old.  Around 3:00 P.M. I mixed up my first batter, and just before 11:00 P.M. I slipped the finished product in the fridge.  It was a record for me.  Layers of chocolate cake, whipped ganache, and fresh raspberries marinated over night whilst I awaited the big reveal of my. . . .

Brobee cake!

 Jax saw the cake and said, "Oh!  Brobee!"  I was so excited that he could actually recognize him.

We sang to Jax and he blew out the candle so well we lit it again and let him blow it out a second time.  While we cleared a spot on the counter for cake cutting, Jax examined the smooth fondant.  He poked, stroked, wiggled, and walked his fingers along the cake until we had to rush it away after his finger went up his nose.  He was served a piece and after each bite exclaimed, "Yummy!"  It was worth every minute spent on that cake for his reaction.

Unfortunatly. . . Brobee went to a party. . . a party in our tummy. . .

Saturday, August 11, 2012

My first love

I don't think I can remember many times in my life where I've lack more confidence than I do now. At the end of this month I am going back to school, hoping to complete my degree by 2015.  It's been less than two years since I've walked the musky halls of an old college building, but it feels as though I'm stepping out of the 1800's to a new bizarre world of learning.  My last semester was during my third trimester.  Andrea was born the first day of finals week, and just 3 days postpartum I waddled on to campus for my exams.  Sitting in the JSB testing center, tears streamed down my face.  Each chair that squeaked sounded just like my precious newborn cuddled in the arms of another human seven miles away.  I feel as though a decade has past since I was that young mom, and I'm full of fear.

Because the feeling of youth has generally left me, I find myself worrying if my feeble mind is up to the task of educational rigor.  Will my rate of retention be equal to that of my younger self?  How will it feel to be the old mom on the class of eighteen year old whipper-snappers?  How will I keep up with my household responsibilities or cope with not being home to lay my daughter down to sleep every night?  I've already made a lengthy mental list of all the reasons I shouldn't do this.

But a fire of learning burns in my soul and yearns to prove itself.  My inner voice tells me school will only be more difficult the longer I wait.  My husband supports me and wants me to know what it feels like to stare at that embossed diploma.  After all, he has two.  So I've signed up for classes, readied my work station, and prayed hard, so hard the tension of my words being forced to heaven have pushed me prostrate on the floor night after night.

The upcoming back-to-school date has become my new deadline.  Sewing projects, cleaning assignments, and copious amounts of socializing must be completed now to fill the void I will create myself as I withdraw from society a bit for the sake of essays and assignments.  And I find it somewhat amusing that the rhythm of life I resisted for so long is being so disrupted just as I've come to love it so dearly.

So, please, if you see me at the grocery store and I burst into tears, know it's how I fight away insanity.  And if you see me on campus and I'm glowing, know it's because as hard as this next chapter may prove to be, learning was that first love I never got over.