Hamilton take two (and fail)

After I bought Hamilton tickets last week, Abe accidentally declined the payment. Thank goodness he did because I found out that the ones I had bought were from a third party seller, and the direct sales event took place today. Tickets were much cheaper, but you had to wait in line online.

I dutifully logged in to the online waiting room the minute it opened…and proceeded to wait in line for the next six hours. It was very stressful because I was also trying to keep Ammon alive and (repeatedly) fed, nurse and entertain Clarissa, get Mary ready for the day (she was extremely obstinate today), and cook dinner for some dear friends who just had a baby. After six hours, I got a message saying that the line had ended, the tickets had sold out, and that I didn’t get any tickets. ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™

In the evening Abe and I got a sitter so we could deliver the dinner to our friends, Lucas and Kim. I took a picture of the food in the car because I didn’t have time to before. I was really pleased with the discovery of this recipe and am going to make it a lot more in the future.

These are Ina Garten’s leek, spinach, and ham empanadas, but I swapped out her ham for turkey.
I used my cookie scoops for the first time! I used scoops all the time in culinary school, but I never bought them until recently. They make such a difference in turning out uniform, gorgeous cookies.

Happy day

Today was a really happy day. I felt happy in every life role I have, and I felt grateful the whole day long.

These are some pics of Mary and Clarissa hanging out in the morning. Ammon and Clarissa had similar bonding time, but I didn’t have my camera handy. I love watching my older kids be so sweet with Clarissa.

I also took some pictures of the Christmas decorations Mary drew for our door. They completely wrecked the door because she taped them on, but we’ve been greeted by these cheerful drawings every day, multiple times a day, for months now. I will miss them (and my intact door) when they fall off.

Today’s pictures

Lydia went to “Little Red” with her class today. Her teacher sent out this cute pic.
Mary took this picture of Clarissa and me.

She also took this one including Ammon!
I took this picture of Mary doing homework in her fairy wings. Someday she’ll grow up and not want to wear wings just because.

Sweet Mary.

Play date with Heather and Olivia

I have moved Mary’s piano practice to the evening. It means we don’t practice as much, but it’s not as crazy because Abe can hold Clarissa and make sure Ammon isn’t playing with knives. With our mornings free for the first time in a year, I can have morning play dates now without feeling like I’m cheating Mary.

Monday morning we had a wonderful, wonderful play date with my friend, Heather Anderson, and her darling daughter, Olivia. I think I’ve written on this blog before that Olivia is one of the cutest kids I have ever seen in my whole life. She is so adorable.

Ammon and Olivia were in bed reading a book together and Heather and I ran for our phones. When we got back the moment had passed, but they are still cute!
pre-play date tower building.
Mary LOVES Clarissa, and she spends a lot of time kissing Clarissa (or her feet, in this case), playing with Clarissa, and talking to Clarissa.

In the evening I completely forgot Mary’s piano lesson. I felt so dumb. Maybe the amoxycillin is laced with a forgetfulness drug–I also forgot Lydia’s harp lesson last week. Ugh.

Abe’s birthday party

Every year I try to make borsch for Abe’s birthday and host a party. Usually we have Morgan and Jessi over, and occasionally we have other people too. This year we had Morgan, Jessi, Todd, Ashley, Lesi, and everyone’s kids (except for Lesi’s, who was just flying through Salt Lake this weekend). It was a great time. My only complaint is that I always want more one on one time with Jessi and Ashley. Hopefully I will get to rectify that this week!

Vika and Clarissa play!
We forgot to get a picture of the borsch…but it went in the bowls.

Also, in other news, Abe went in to the dealership for maintenance today and emerged with a new van. Since Abe is in sales, I think he knew how to get a good deal. It ends up that it would have been more expensive to keep our old van than to lease this new one. Go figure. I haven’t even had time to check it out because I have been so occupied with Abe’s birthday party!

Also, Lydia brought my mom and Abe breakfast in bed. I was headed out the door to get groceries when I saw Lydia struggling to carry the tray and open the door to my mom’s room. I helped out by opening the door and snapped these sweet pictures:

Mary followed suit and brought trays of food up to Abe and my mom too. These girls are so sweet.

Clarissa was awake from midnight until 4am last night. I really hope the pattern doesn’t repeat itself tonight. Good night!

Friendships

Today I made a discovery. I have been feeling really happy all week, and I attribute that to getting off the hamster wheel and getting that break (even though it was marked by illness) in Mexico. Just getting a break from the routine has made my life feel so much more joyful upon return.

So anyway, I was sitting in what is normally my spot of despair, and instead of despair, I felt…happy! joyful! emotionally resilient!! And I had the thought that maybe, just maybe, I could stay in this good place for a while.

The thought occurred to me that one way I can do this is by breaking routine. Mexico broke the routine, and now I’m happy again. Between financial constraints and the homework/music practice grind, it’s hard to break the weekly routine very much. BUT I can break the isolation of motherhood by nurturing–seriously investing–in treasured friendships. To date that has been difficult because I have a hatred of the phone and phone conversations, so many of my beloved friendships have dimmed with time and distance.

Today I let Mary and Ammon play contentedly with each other for two hours while I Facebook chatted with one of my dearest mission companions. We chatted on and off throughout the rest of the day (and in fact have chatted while I have been writing this post) and I just felt so uplifted to have that relationship alive and in my life. We plotted a just-us getaway sometime in the Fall, and I hope it happens.

While I drove around to errands and after school practice, I overcame my aversion of the phone and called another dear friend from my mission. I found out she is going through a horrible divorce, and it made me sick to think of what she is enduring right now. I resolved to just pick up the dang phone more often because you never know what beloved friends might be going through–and this one is often on my mind anyway, so why don’t I call more??? We also talked about getting together soon, and I am going to make sure that happens one way or the other.

Then while we were waiting for Lydia to come out of her harp practice, I took it up a notch from the chatting and phone calling and Face Timed with Swathi. She’s on maternity leave now so I figure I should take advantage of this time and call when I know she might have more free time than normal. I am so lucky to have such an incredible sister in law, and so I should take advantage of opportunities to connect when they arise.

I have several other friends that I plan on calling this coming week, and a couple more that I will try to get together with for play dates. Play dates get so hard once kids are in school, but I feel like I am starting to learn that relationships are just worth the effort. Facebook is fine for feeling like I’m superficially in touch with people, but actual, real, live, back-and-forth communication is needed if I’m going to be able to keep friendships alive.

Anyway, that was my joyful epiphany for the day! I feel so happy, and hopefully with the help of my friends, I will stay in this place!

Writing my congressmen

Today I called my senators and representative about this article I read while in Mexico. I just want to make sure my taxpayer dollars are not funding Afghani pedophiles.

Also, I wrote six emails to my senators and representative. I wrote three about the Afghan pedophiles who are illegally receiving US funding, and I wrote three about immigration. I told them I support the dreamers and DACA, that a wall is ridiculous, and that above all I want families to stay together. After listening toย Hamilton for two days straight, I felt like I should take advantage of our awesome system of government and try to make my voice heard.

I was also just happy in general today. The girls both got good practices in and their homework done, and beside that, I found teeny pockets of time to re-readย War and Peace. I’m going to make some serious progress now because Abe is at basketball. Good night!