Negligence At Its Finest

Dear Grace,

How in the world do you do all that you do? It feels like I am constantly rushing to get things done; rushing through planning and grading, rushing to school, rushing to scouts, to church, to dance practice, etc. Due to aforementioned rushing, I have decided to compile a list of everything I have been neglecting lately just so you know my letters to you have not been the only things on the back-burner.

  1. The Food
    • I have never been the sort of person who could consciously or subconsciously skip meals. In fact, most of my thought processes seem to revolve around what I am planning to eat next. But if I am being completely, totally, unabashedly honest, I haven’t made Abe a home-cooked meal for a week. Mumsie would be shocked and dashed. I just can’t seem to pull myself together at the end of my long days to cook anything, so Abe will sweetly give in and order pizza or fetch breakfast burritos or let me heat up frozen corn dogs. My skin and wasitline are certainly paying for it.
  2. The Dishes
    • Despite the fact that we have not been eating real food lately, there is still a mountain of dishes to be done. How does that even happen?
  3. The Laundry
    • I might get the laundry into the washer and eventually into the dryer, but it has been sitting in mountainous piles in baskets waiting to be folded. When it comes down to it, I probably will just rewash everything because it is all a sad, wrinkled heap by now.
  4. The Exercise
    • Besides teaching my dance classes, I cannot think of the last time I purposefully exercised.
  5. The Hair & Makeup
    • Five out of five hairdos this week have been messy buns. Emphasis on messy. Abe’s teenage cousin has taken to calling my hair The Tumbleweave due to its sad resemblance in both color and texture to our beloved desert plant. I also ran out of face makeup about a month ago and have not made the time to go out and buy more. Given the fact that our diet of grease has been doing a number on my skin, I don’t look much better than the acne-infested students I teach.
  6. The Cleaning
    • Where does one even find the time to clean the bathrooms anyway?
  7. The Patience
    • I think Vanessa may have picked up her habit of eye-rolling from me because it feels like I have been doing this a lot. Or maybe I picked it up from her? I find myself rolling my eyes at my students, the teenage girl drama of my dance team, my scouts, even sometimes at Abe (Heaven forbid!). Most recently I found myself losing patience at a Cub Scout pack meeting. One of the leaders decided we needed to do a group cheer of sorts at the beginning of each meeting. The eight-year-olds started off with a steady beat befitting their age and abilities, the nine-year-olds added a beat slightly more complex, and then the ten-year-olds added theirs. I was actually slightly impressed and for a brief moment thought it was a good thing for the boys until the leader who started it all cried out, “And now I’ll add a cha-cha of my own!” She started flapping her arms about wildly, slapping her body in an inconceivable pattern, and stomping carelessly about the gym not caring for the steady beat set by the young boys. It was clearly an attempt at an impromptu Stomp performance, but we all sat there awkwardly patting our legs while she flailed about, literally to the beat of her own drum. I was so bewildered I couldn’t even roll my eyes, and I certainly neglected masking my impatience that night.

What this all boils down to is negligence. Not purposeful negligence, but negligence nevertheless. So I repeat: How do you have time for it all? Sometimes the thought of adding one more thing to my schedule actually brings me to tears. I keep reflecting on it all and asking, “How can I possibly think about adding a baby to this mess? How can I even think about adding more classes, more involvement, more reading, more cooking, or more anything?” I have always known life as an adult would be busy, but my word, does it never end? I surely can’t go on neglecting things forever.

Love always,


P.S. Tell the kids we miss them and talk about them all the time. I hope we can come visit you at least sometime this year! We will try our best not to neglect that.

Treat Day

Dear Millie,

I just got back from a high school choir Christmas concert!  I may go to another high schools’ tomorrow, because I need music.  I kind of wish I was on my way to Hometown and could stop off at the cathedral and sing with the choir.  I do think you and I should take them up on their invitation next time we’re in the area!

The concert tonight included a sing-along Hallelujah Chorus.  I didn’t go up and sing because someone had to be the audience, and I realized that while I’ve played it a bajillion times (and still love it), I only really know the violin part!  Maybe I should’ve gone up and proudly played air violin or something.

OH!  We started the tradition copying Mumsie’s Relief Society’s–(this being the Sunday before Christmas) we had a nice spread of treats/snacks for the women at church and it turned out great.  I was missing Mumsie while I made her recipes.  By the time I finished preparing her recipes, they didn’t taste anything like hers.  I decided that way, the women could also miss her!  Ha ha.  There were li’l smokies and fruit and veggie platters, and I made fudge, peanut butter fudge, dipped pretzel caramel thingies, cheeseballs, and Pops’ horse doovers.

(I also burned a batch of caramel that was supposed to be for my friend who doesn’t like chocolate [I KNOW] [I don’t think she really cares for food at all, to be honest, which makes me wonder how we’re even friends.  How can she know I love her if I can’t stuff her full of food?].  Oh, and I tried to make almond joy truffles which turned out tasting delicious but looked so terribly unappetizing, I “forgot” them at home.)

But!  The women were surprised and delighted and I was so delighted they were delighted!  I’m already scheming for next year (finger sandwiches?  Tortilla pinwheels?  It seemed we were short on food food) and I would love your input.  Better yet, I’d love for you to join me next year to help make it all!

This last week, I’ve been noticing little things that people do to help others.  It’s been amazing to see the goodness out there.  This week, I’m determined to focus my love, service, and attention on the ones who live with me.  I haven’t been doing so well including them in my #LIGHTtheWORLD doings, and while I love serving in my community, sometimes I need to remember that serving in my home lights the world too!

I’m off to make dinner!  Have a lovely evening and write me back sooooon!




Dear Millie,
Happy Friday!  This is it for you, right?  Well, not it, like your life is OVER, but you know, the last day before your break?
I was just going through some old videos and got to watch you and your dance team win state!  That was fun.  Also a long time ago.  Do you still dance like that?
Did I tell you about how they did the limbo at our ward Christmas party and I was standing there on the sideline seriously considering showing everyone up because you KNOW I can still limbo like I did in high school/college/pre-children.  Wouldn’t that surprise everyone!  The woman who has a hard time sausaging herself into her two remaining pairs of non-yoga pants anymore and may not be able to button her coat (but MAYBE she just isn’t cold enough?  You never know!)…yeah.  THAT woman would show everyone!
Kind of like how I dreamed of showing up for cheer tryouts in college and surprising everyone that I could do handsprings and such and then telling them that never mind, I’d rather play drums in the stands.  I actually would rather play drums in the stands, but I still thought it’d be funny if I made the squad.  I know, I know, HILARIOUS!  I have a special sense of humor.
In the end, I think it’s a good thing no one spiked the punch at the church party, and therefore saved me (and everyone else from fremdschämen).  Doesn’t fremdschämen make you think of ‘friend shaming’?  It does for me.  Huh!.
Not saying anything in particular here, I just saw this and thought you’d enjoy some Fantasia:
My favorite biddy was telling me last night about a problem she had with her bank getting her mixed up with someone else with the same name.  In the end, she told them, “I don’t want any more crap from yous!”
‘Yous’!  I love it.  I feel kind of bad that I laugh when she’s being serious, but she has some of the best expressions.  She adds “yet” to the end of sentences and I’ve started noticing other locals do, too.  Kinda fun, yet!  (I probably misused that.  I don’t know what the rule is on it.  Yet.  Har!)
It’s not so cold today.  Snowing (we’re expecting a foot between today and tomorrow), but above zero.  The wind chill had put it at -4 when I realized Gordon had forgotten the plate of fudge I’d prepared for one of the secretaries separately from the peanut butter fudge (don’t you think peanut allergies are tragic?  I do.).  I ran out to catch him in my yoga peddle pushers, flip flops, and pushed-up-sleeves hoodie.  I thought I’d freeze to death and would surely regret not jumping into some boots, but it wasn’t cold at all and I stood out in the snow in my flip flops talking with him before sauntering back into the house.  It was a bit weird!

Lucy recently started running with her fists clenched and her arms bent and shoulders raised, and it reminds me of this:

Well, except it’s cute and not creepy (why are they running with their arms like that?  And why are their arms so short?).  Maybe I’ll just have to get video of Lucy doing it.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to hearing from you!  Happy Friday!

Baby It’s Cold Outside

Dear Millie,

Okay, fine.  I’m cold.  I sent the boys to the bus stop and it was -4 degrees.  Windchill was -29.  The wind whips over the ground and picks up loose snow and swirls like a dust storm.  My backyard looks like a white Sahara.

I dreamed last night that Gordon took a job in Utah.  UTAH, of all places.  I was devastated because I love it here, and for the whole dream I was begging him to promise we’d visit frequently and maybe have a second home here (and maybe he could just visit me and the kids here on the weekends?).  Then I thought about all the perks of living in Utah (family is so much closer!  That’s about it…just kidding.  There’s Hires too.) and I felt marginally better.  I can’t believe I live here in the crazy cold and that I mostly even like that (maybe because I have a crazy insulated house and can enjoy the picturesque view while in my cozy yoga pants and hoodies).

Last week when I was helping clean that house (not my house!  Psh.  Who would do that?), I was running stuff in and out of the house and it was 20 degrees and I was so glad I was wearing short sleeves.  So weird.

Paul woke me up wanting to know whether they had canceled school.  Nope.  I rolled over and went back to sleep.  Truman woke me up and wanted me to take his temperature.  Normal.  At breakfast, Kyle and Truman were complaining that they hadn’t canceled school and Paul sat there with a wry smile on his face.  I asked what was up and he said, “Well, I know why they didn’t cancel.  Last night, I prayed that they wouldn’t!”  I thought his brothers would pummel him.

How’s the weather in the Great Southwest?