Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Little Feet

As if my sister getting hitched wasn't enough excitement for 2010-we added another baby to our nephew pool last night!

Wyatt Mark was born 10 minutes after his parents got to the hospital, I guess when it's time to come out, it's time to come out!

The good news is I only have to wait a few weeks to meet the little weasel because the Wasatch Back Relay is just around the corner. I wonder how a newborn would fare in the car with us for 30 hours?

With this new arrival, I'm pretty sure we've hit our quota of major family events for the year.

Major congrats to Christopher, Tasha and Mr. Morgan, the world's most adorable big brother.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sister wedding weekend came and went far, far too quickly. I wish I had about ten more siblings because Clifford’s sure know how to pack a lot of fun into a few days.

Some highlights

• My friend Jimmy’s sister is the famous Sweet Tooth Fairy and he made five dozen super delicious cupcakes for our family dinner the night before the wedding. But not only were they great for eating, one of them made the ultimate sacrifice so that for once in my life, I got the upper hand with one of my brothers. Logan never even saw it coming and although I knew the second the frosting smeared across his face that it would end badly for me, those three to five minutes of him covered in cupcake are moments I will forever treasure. Another five minutes later I was pinned to the deck with a bowl of fruit salad being spooned into my hair and cupcake frosting in my ears. Worth it.
• We have a dear friend who is a hair stylist and cuts pretty much everyone in the family. She talked me into bangs. They are hot. Hot is the way the spinster oldest sisters should look at a wedding. Thanks Marian.
• Spoiler alert-nephew bragging coming! THEY ARE SO FREAKING ADORABLE. They are a perfect example of how wonderfully personal it is to be a human. Almost everyone on the planet has been and Aunt or an Uncle. It’s not anything unusual, and every last one of us was a baby at some point. But these two are absolute miracles to me. They are funny and they are sweet and when they are around I just don’t want to be anywhere else. It’s a huge relief when they are crying or cranky and I can give them back but if being a parent means being even more in love with a little creature than I am with these guys then I think every cheesy cliché about a mother’s love is probably still inadequate to explain what it really feels like. And on a shallow competitive Aunt note, they are really, really cute little boys.

• My sister throws one heck of a party. She did so much herself on a tight budget and it was beautiful and creative and classy-just like my little sister.
• My friend Mark, who is crazy talented and who shoots rock stars for crying out loud, worked his tail off and charmed great photos out of everyone from the mother of the bride to crying toddlers.
• I always say the only two things I care about in a wedding are the photos and the dress. Once again, sister turned up the awesome with a dress designed by a girl she found on Etsy. It was so fresh and sophisticated. Emily is a pretty girl anyway but she was stunning on Saturday.

• My family…oh my family. When I go back to Utah it’s always so hard because I have LOADS of people that I love there and I always want to see them. But then I’m sitting in Christopher and Tasha’s kitchen and Logan and Kristen come over and I never want to leave. Let me be clear that our family has been through our share of tough times. Divorce, illness, financial issues-it hasn’t always been a cake walk. And growing up, I was irritated at the little ones more often than not. All younger siblings do is get into your stuff and follow you around when you are trying to play with your friends. But everyone has turned out to be such a delightful, responsible, fun adult. And then four of them have made pretty stellar choices in mates. I have these three sisters-in-law who are smart and interesting and beautiful and independent and who all support and push my brothers to be better. And our very first brother-in-law has turned out to be quite a gem as well. And watching him adore Emily and treat her just like you hope someone will love your little sister, I’m thrilled that he’s stuck with us now. I feel lucky too that in this marriage obsessed religious culture I grew up in, I have never felt an ounce of pressure from my parents or grandparents or extended family about the fact that I am still single. They never make me feel like they are worried about me or think my life is sad or less full than the marrieds. I know they all want me to be happy and to find someone to be with but I never, ever feel any disappointment which is always such a relief.

The real joy of the weekend was seeing my sister so happy. She’s been so mature throughout this whole engagement, always focused on the fact that no matter what else happened that day, at the end of it she would be married to the boy of her dreams. There are a whole bunch of really tender posts on her blog about getting married that made me so proud of her and her adult perspective on the things that really matter. No talk of how big her ring was, she wanted a chair instead that would symbolize them starting a home together. She definitely wanted a fun wedding but it was always so balanced with how excited she was to be ending up with Aaron.

When I was a junior in college, Emily and her friend Libby came to visit me for a weekend at SUU. Of course I loved my sister and we have lots of fun memories growing up but in those few days, it dawned on me that hey, she was way more than a little sibling, we might actually be able to be friends. I’m five years older but I am constantly finding reasons to admire her. She is creative and fun and soft-hearted. She is a thoughtful friend and a good listener and advice giver. I have called her in full meltdown mode over boys and life choices so many times and she is always patient no matter how nutso she must think I am. She comes to visit me even when I live far away and always leaves my house ten times cuter than she found it.

My access to Emily changes now that she is married and even though I love Aaron, it makes me want to punch him a little bit. I know he realizes what a prize he got but I think he’s going to discover more and more as time goes by that she really is one of the best of the best. Watching so many people come to her wedding who love her made me wish I had spent less time trying to get her out of my room when we were little.

It was never part of my teenage fantasies that I would go to four younger sibling weddings alone and I won’t lie, there have been some good cries and a few, “wait really??” moments for sure. But I adore that girl and Saturday I just about burst with joy imagining all the good, good things in her life right now. And today when I got a text from her FROM HER HONEYMOON asking what that drink is that I like from Starbucks so she could get one (make that two! Good girl Em), I was happy to be able to provide some older sister wisdom.

Congrats Mr. and Mrs. Sanchez!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mission accomplished

Sister-radiant, weather-perfect, family-happy, friends-abundant.
Weekend an utter and complete success. Details when I don't have to type them on an iPhone.

Monday, May 10, 2010

(explosion sound here)

So all of the sudden the wedding that felt months away is in four days and I have a giant presentation due five hours before I get on the plane. It's making this week feel like it's on warp speed. And for some reason I thought Diet Coke at 9:30 was a great idea even thought what I clearly need is some sleep before I go home and live in the Clifford family talk until the middle of the night no matter how much we have to get done the next day crazy nuthouse schedule.

I have things to say and a post about another stellar May weekend but I have GOT to see what I can do about getting my eyes to close.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl

I spent the evening Saturday in Denver with my friend Jane at her daughter Kiana's dance competition. I wasn't really sure what to expect but as it turned out, this was a pretty high level competition and I got to see some really fantastic performances. I took ballet and jazz for about five years when I was a little girl and even though I was OK quitting when theater started taking up too much time, I spent a lot of time feeling just a twinge jealous of all those girls on stage. I give all those years of running around in a leotard and having to know my body really well with my relatively peaceful relationship with it even now.

I ended up sleeping over and Kiana was super patient as her mother and I talked about families and parenting until two in the morning.

I met Jane and her husband Dusty back at SUU. They got married and then moved to Korea to teach english and it really wasn't until Facebook got lots of us back in touch that I knew much about what they were up to. Turns out what they were up to was being pretty killer parents and raising a bunch of adorable kids. Jane is the kind of mom that plans fabulous birthday parties and makes green milk on St. Patty's day and spend half her life driving to various lessons. But honestly that's not what consistently impresses me about her. Especially watching her this weekend as she and Kiana interacted, at the very core she absolutely adores her kids and supports the heck out of the things that are important to them. Family is wildly important to her and I admire how hard she works to create meaningful family traditions. At the same time, she went back to school last year and has done a great job retaining a sense of "Jane" amongst all that good mothering and wifing. All of that stuff still sort of scares the daylights out of me but this weekend, Jane made it look kind of effortless.

One of the studios at the competition made some pretty creative music choices and my favorite performance was to a Broken Social Scene song I have long loved.
They have a new album out today. I'm enjoying it to death right now.