Monday, June 27, 2011

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

So you know how I jokingly said at the end of my last post that my wonderful Friday was either the beginning to an amazing weekend or a preparation for something horrible to come?  Well, it turns out it was both.

Saturday was the good part of the weekend.  I went to the YSA Summit with my brothers, and it was super fun!  To make a long story short (because I tell way too many long stories :)), I attended three different workshops that were all amazing, and I spent a good part of the afternoon playing on the organ, accompanied by a guy on the piano and a guy singing along; none of us had met before that afternoon!  :)  Then we finished off the evening with a comedian and an impressionist, both of whom were awesome!  We left before the dance got started, because none of us is very interested in dancing, and I wanted to get to bed on time in anticipation for my commute to Provo for 8:30 church.  So much for best-laid plans.

When I woke up yesterday morning an hour before my alarm was supposed to go off, I knew immediately that I wasn't going to be going to Provo.  It seems that the stomach flu that has been going around the daycare's infant room got passed on to me.  Great.  So I spent the entire day completely miserable.  Definitely the worst of times.  What's funny is that the worst part of that whole ordeal was not my physical discomfort; it was my disappointment that I couldn't go to Provo!  :)  I always look forward to Sundays because I get to see all my friends in Provo.  I hated not being able to see them.  So, if any of my friends in the Provo YSA 190th ward are reading this, I hope you appreciate my perspective.  :)  Well anyway, I'm feeling much better today, albeit totally exhausted.  Now I just desperately hope that what I had doesn't pass to the rest of the family.  We don't need anyone to be sick over the fourth of July.  Yuck!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Can't Stop Smiling

My alarm went off at 5:05 a.m. this morning (a time that my dad likes to call "0 dark thirty"), which I deeply regretted for the first five minutes afterward.  However, once I reached my intended destination, I could not stop smiling.  What was the cause for such incredible happiness at such an unholy hour?  None other than the Jordan River Temple.  (This calls into question my use of the word unholy :))  I hadn't been to the temple for a couple of weeks since it was closed for cleaning.  This morning, from the moment I arrived until the moment I left, I almost never stopped smiling.  The peace and Spirit at the temple is so incredible, and the wonderful temple workers there just added to the serenity.  When one of the temple workers asked me how long my family had been doing this regular Friday morning temple trip, I had to stop and think for a minute, and I realized it has been about six years!  My older brother and I started going together when I was nearly fifteen, and each of my siblings has joined in when each has turned twelve.  What a wonderful tradition!  I hope my younger siblings keep it going all through until they themselves move out, and I fully intend to continue my weekly trips (or at least regular trips) whenever possible, even though they won't always involve the baptistry.  Needless to say, that was a wonderful way to start the day.

But the smiling didn't stop there.  Two hours after I got home from the temple, I arrived at work to start off a day that would turn out to have a great deal of smiling, laughter, and fun.  How can you not smile and laugh when you have eight beautiful babies who smile, giggle, babble, squirm, and wiggle their way into your heart?  Have I ever mentioned before that I love my job?  :)

As if I hadn't already had enough joy and happiness for one day, I had the wonderful opportunity to go to a wedding luncheon for one of my best friends.  Cordie and I have known each other since middle school, and we have had a lot of incredible times together with our mutual friend Natalie.  The three of us were practically inseparable through a good part of our middle and high school years.  Unfortunately, with Natalie attending BYU-Idaho, me attending BYU-Provo, and Cordie staying put, we lost direct touch with each other and only occasionally communicated through text, e-mail, Facebook, and the occasional phone call.  I knew nothing of Cordie's relationship with her now-husband until she told me she was engaged.  I've now vowed that I will keep in better touch with people; let's see how long that lasts.  But for now, it was absolutely wonderful to see Cordie, who seems so deliriously happy.  And it was also wonderful to see Natalie, who was also at the luncheon.  Perhaps now that we're all a little closer together, we'll be able to see each other more.

With all of the smiling I've been doing today, I have to believe that this is the start to a wonderful weekend.  Or maybe I'm just being prepared for something horrible to happen later on.  :)  Either way, I'm grateful for this day and the joy it has brought to me.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

You Know You Work in a Daycare When...

  • You recognize the individual voices/screams/crying of the children in your charge.

  • You imitate the cooing sounds of any baby you hear, even if it's just someone on a home video.

  • A child throws up on you, and you're hardly even phased; you just feel bad for the poor child (True story; just happened today).

  • You know more kids' names than adults' names.

  • You dream about that stupid classroom toy that plays a silly children's tune over and over and over again.

  • Paper towels are valued higher than gold.

  • You constantly talk at a volume twice as loud as average.

  • You stop wondering where you got that stain on your shirt (you probably don't want to know anyway...).

  • Your hands are perpetually dry, usually cracked, and often bleeding from constant handwashing.

  • You rush toward a child who's about to do something dangerous and then have to remind yourself that it's actually your thirteen-year-old brother (which, considering my thirteen-year-old brother's track record, is not all that encouraging :)).

  • You've eaten more Saltine crackers than the average five adults ever would.

  • You can locate the perpetrator of a soiled diaper within moments of smelling it.

  • You can hold a child on your lap while feeding two babies at the same time (yes, I have done that).

  • One of the greatest moments of your day is to see a thirteen-month-old toddler finally walking, a nine-month-old baby finally pulling himself into a standing position, or a four-month-old infant finally recognizing your face.

  • You give and get more hugs and speak and hear more phrases like "I love you" than you'll find in almost any other job.

  • You almost always look forward to work.

I realize some people might contend with that last point.  Some daycare workers do not always look forward to work, and I'm sure that people in many other professions look forward to working at their jobs as much as I look forward to working at mine, but hey, I had to find a happy, concise, warm-fuzzy note to end my little bullet list.  What better than to let the world know that despite the insanity and the stress, and because of the love and the joy and the fun, I love my job?  :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Tribute to my Father

Okay, now it's Dad's turn.  I sometimes feel like I have a little more trouble talking about what I love about my Dad, and I think that's because his personality is different from my mom's.  My mom and I are, well, we're girls.  :)  We like to talk about feelings and such, so we have a much more emotional relationship.  My dad isn't into that stuff as much, so sometimes I feel like it's harder to open up about him and what I love about him.  But I think that is a big reason why I should talk about my feelings.  I need to acknowledge what an amazing man my dad is and h0w much he's blessed my life.

First, I want to talk about some of the funny or quirky things that make my dad who he is.  One of my favorite things to say about him is that no matter what you say to him, he'll have a song to sing about it or a related quote from a movie, his favorites being Winnie the Pooh and Homeward Bound. And when I say that, I'm almost entirely serious.  The number of times that he breaks out in song in the middle of a conversation is astonishing, and the movie quotes aren't far behind.  His quoting has certainly rubbed off on me: I love quoting Disney movies wherever possible!  :)  Our favorite quotes from the two above-mentioned movies are "I'm looking down, P-P-P-Pooh" (Piglet from Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too) and "I don't want to hurt you; I just want to chew on your neck" (Chance from Homeward Bound).  :)  Another thing we tease my dad about is that he's a horrible speller.  He often says, "As long as I don't have to spell 'heaven' to get into heaven, I'll be okay!"  :)  My dad always curious about how the world works.  My mom likes to joke that he grew old but never grew up.  :)  Because he has always been curious and has wanted to learn so much about the world, he has learned a lot, and I always feels like my dad knows everything.  The first reaction I have when I don't know the answer to something is, "I should ask Dad."  :)

My dad is a scientist through and through.  When I was growing up, my dad would come into my elementary school class every other Friday as a parent volunteer.  As part of his volunteering, he would do science experiments for the class to teach them about different basic concepts of science.  I later found out that one of his biggest reasons for doing this was to help his children be more popular with their classmates.  How sweet of him!  And it worked: a lot of kids in my classes may never have taken notice of me if it weren't for my dad and his awesome experiments.  My dad's knowledge of science and math also helped in another way.  Throughout my years in middle school and high school, I struggled with science and math, and my dad was always there to help me understand it.  He would sit with me and patiently explain concepts to me, not giving up until I understood them.  And for years he did something I will never forget.  I had a lot of trouble with making silly mistakes in math that would cost me a lot of points on my assignments and tests.  To fix the problem, my dad would come home from work every night and do my entire math assignment on his own; then he and I would compare answers, and when we disagreed, we would work through the problems until we figured out where one of us went wrong (obviously it was usually me, but even he sometimes made mistakes :)).  At the time, I don't think I appreciated what an incredible blessing that was, but I do now.

One of my favorite things about my dad is that he makes me feel safe.  Whenever I've felt insecure about something (be it a nightmare when I was younger or my current concerns about the future), he has known just what to say and do to help me feel better.  And my other favorite thing about my dad is how strong he is in the gospel.  He fulfills his callings to the fullest, and he holds and uses his priesthood with all the authority and reverence that the Lord's priesthood deserves.  He is a great example to me, and I hope that when I have my own family, I can embody some of his values into my parenting.  If I do, I know my children will benefit.  Happy Father's Day, Daddy!  I love you!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Reminiscing...sort of...

I guess I can't really call it reminiscing if I don't remember the event.  :)  But my parents remember, so that works.  My sister pulled out one of our home videos today, and it was the one that focused specifically on me.  My parents had a separate video for each of the kids as we were growing up, and they made a special effort to take videos of each child's individual antics, so we each have our own video documenting the first few years of our lives.  Today, my sister picked mine to watch.  I couldn't believe that the adorable baby, toddler, two-year-old, and three-year-old on the screen was me.  I had a ball watching myself commando crawling, haphazardly singing children's songs, conducting songs for family home evening (I was only two, but I was actually on the beat! even if I didn't know the right pattern :)), "playing" the piano, jumping on the trampoline, and riding my big wheel.  I think working at a daycare has made my affinity for children ages birth to three that much stronger, though of course I always enjoy watching my siblings and I during those early years.  What a fun family activity!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fun, Friends, Family, and Faith

If there’s anyone out there who actually enjoys reading my rambling :) and has been disappointed by my lack of writing in the past little while, I apologize.  Blogging kind of took a back seat while I was dealing with my ear infections (yes, both ears did get infected, darn it), feeling rotten and exhausted, and being ridiculously busy.  Ah well.  But this weekend was pretty spectacular, so I figured I should share some of the fun things that went on.

This past Friday, I went to work at noon, where I was told that my boss had made another change in the staffing placement.  I got a little concerned, thinking, “Where is she going to put me now?”  But then she told me that I will be working in the infant room!  Hooray!  I think the infant room is one of my favorite places to be in a daycare.  I love babies!  I had always wished last summer that I could be in the infant room, and I had always looked forward to being in the infant room whenever my substituting took me there this past month.  Now I get to work there all the time!  I’m trying not to let myself get too excited, just in case my boss changes her mind again, but for now I’m super happy!  So hanging out with the babies made the work day go by fairly quickly.  Then I got home in time to supervise my sister’s birthday party.  Part of the party was a homework-burning bonfire in our back yard, and my parents (who had a sealing session at the temple that evening) weren’t going to be there, so they wanted me to make sure things didn’t get out of hand.  Of course, I joked around with my sister and her friends that maybe it hadn’t been a good idea for my parents to put one of the world’s biggest pyros in charge.  :)  Yes, I was exaggerating, but still, I do love playing with fire.  *sadistic grin*  I managed to endear myself a bit to my sister’s friends by making a complete fool of myself---chasing escaped papers down, throwing stuff on the fire, and stoking the fire with a big stick.  :)  I was having so much fun with them that I ended up hanging out with them for most of the party.  What does it say about me if I have so much fun with a bunch of sixteen-year-olds?  Haha, well, as one of my friends put it, perhaps I’m destined to be a Young Women leader.  :)

On Saturday I mowed two lawns, neither of which was my own family’s, and got paid way more per hour than I get paid at the daycare!  Too bad I couldn’t get enough lawn mowing jobs to work forty hours a week (not to mention that I’m pretty sure I would die after a week of doing that anyway).  :)  After that, I helped my mom get the house cleaned up and ready for my cousin’s baby shower, which my mom was hosting.  It was super fun to see aunts, cousins, and friends.  I had a blast playing with the children of one of my cousins: a four-year-old daughter and eight-month-old son.  My favorite part was showing Lucy to the kids.  The eight-month-old just wanted to pull on her fur :), but the four-year-old loved petting her and hearing her purr.  It’s so cute to see little kids’ fascination over simple things.  When the shower was over, I went on a great dinner-and-movie date---a great end to a great day.

Sunday was also a wonderful day.  I started out with my usual long commute to Provo for church.  I had to laugh when the presidency started Relief Society (our ward has Priesthood and Relief Society first) by requesting that the sisters try to get to church on time.  I thought, "No one can tell me that it's hard to get to church on time!"  :)  All three meetings were wonderful, and I felt the Spirit very strongly.  This was the last Sunday that I would be substituting as the ward chorister, which was both sad and happy for me.  I was sad because I actually love being the chorister, but I was happy that they called a new chorister; I didn't want to be the permanent chorister unless I was called and set apart to do so.  Speaking of choristing (yes, I have decided that that is a word :)), after church was choir practice, which went well considering half of our regulars were missing.  I think they must have just missed the memo that it was actually happening.  I hope we get good numbers next week, especially sopranos (I actually have to recruit sopranos?  That never happens!), because that will be our last practice before we perform!  Yikes!  The rest of the day was spent in pleasurable pursuits with my wonderful Provo friends.  I hung out with my former roommate and future roommates, jammed it up with a musical friend of mine, visited a dear friend who just recently moved out of the ward, and generally had a wonderful time.  I'm looking forward to actually living in Provo again so I can see those friends more often and for longer.  For now, I'm just enjoying this time in my life: the chance to have fun both at home and in Provo, to see friends in Provo (as well as here), to spend time with my family here, and to strengthen my faith "at all times and in all things and in all places."