A Little of This and That in July and August

Sep 15, 2017

This summer was so, so good to us. I'm wishing it a fond farewell today by sharing a few of the highlights. July and August found us . . .

Walking . . . through the Light of the World garden at Thanksgiving Point. Someone had mentioned this new garden a few months ago and described it as "the best spiritual experience money can buy." Mike and I scoffed a little at that, but I still really wanted to see it, so I planned it for one of our dates in July. It is made up of larger-than-life bronzed statues displaying scenes from the life of Jesus Christ. The setting is beautiful and you're able to walk right among the statues and look into their eyes and touch their hands. I was surprised by how deeply I was touched. It was one of the most sacred, transformative experiences I've had in a long, long time.

Agonizing . . . over whether or not to change Ian's name. Yes, you read that right. At two months old, I came this close to changing my baby's name. I alluded to my lukewarm feelings about his name in this post, and when they still hadn't gone away several weeks after that, I panicked just a little. It just didn't seem right to not be completely in love with my baby's name. Ten days before he was going to be blessed at church, I tentatively mentioned how I was feeling to Mike, and he surprised me by saying, "You know what, I kind of feel the same way." So we looked into what it would take to legally changed his name, we talked about what name we would give him instead, we mentioned it to our kids, we sought advice from a few trusted friends, we called him by a couple of other names to see how they fit, and we did a LOT of praying. I was willing to go through the pain and hassle and stress and embarrassment if that's what we were supposed to do, but I had to know that it was right. It actually brought me a lot of peace to really throw myself completely into the process for ten days and open up my mind and heart to other possibilities because, in the end, it didn't feel right to change it. I think if I hadn't put in all that work, I would have always wondered if we'd made a mistake. But this way, I am confident that we didn't. For whatever reason, his name is supposed to be Ian Scott. And Ian Scott it shall remain.

Blessing . . . sweet little Ian Scott on the first Sunday in July. Although there was a lot of drama leading up to the blessing (see above paragraph), the actual ordinance was quite peaceful and special. We were lucky to have lots of family there (including Mike's parents, who were visiting from Germany at the time). Ian was an angel for the blessing and looked quite dapper in his bow tie and suspenders, but he couldn't abide wearing the hat.

Sending . . . an iPod through the washer. Overall, Mike and I have a pretty conflict-free marriage. But one thing we've disagreed about from the beginning is whether or not you should check the pockets before you toss the clothes into the washer. Mike's of the mind that you waste more time checking pockets and finding nothing than you do cleaning up after a stray tissue once in awhile that goes through and gets stuck all over everything. At least that's what he thought until one day he was doing the laundry and accidentally sent Max's iPod through a cycle. And it never recovered. I may have said, "I told you so." Just once or twice.

Ending . . . the Fourth of July on a scary note. After spending a delightful day at the family cabin, we came back to our neighborhood to set off a few fireworks with neighbors. Clark is not a fan of fireworks, so I almost stayed home with him but then convinced him at the last minute to go. He tolerated a few little fireworks while being distracted by an otter pop. Then Mike set off an aerial firework, and when it did its first pop, the box jumped and tipped over. The firework was designed to have several blasts, and with each one, it spun around and shot off in another sideways direction. One of the sparks landed right on the blanket Clark was sitting on, burning a hole in the blanket and getting Clark on the leg. We doused it in cold water right away, and it ended up being a fairly superficial wound, but it was still so terrifying and just made me sick to my stomach about the what ifs. Needless to say, Clark hates fireworks more than ever (and I do, too).

Listening . . . to a couple of new podcasts: The Daily and Awesome with Alison. When it comes to the news, I am not always the most well informed, and I rely a great deal on Mike to make sure I actually know about the important things. But The Daily is perfect for me because it's only twenty minutes long, it's reported in a more narrative style, and it focuses on just one or two of the really important stories from that day. It probably leans a little more left than me, but I don't mind. As for Awesome with Alison, I'd been hearing about that podcast from everyone, and I was staunchly avoiding it because I had looked at The Alison Show on Instagram and could tell we had nothing in common. But then, my friend Sarah, told me to just give it a try and suggested a good episode to start with (#12: "9 Things We've Learned From Being Married For 9 Years!"). I listened, and just like that, I was hooked. In fact, on our California trip, I binge listened to most of the back episodes. I was right that Alison and I are very different, but she co-hosts the podcast with her husband, Eric, and he's pretty mellow compared to her, and the balance between the two is perfect. It is really a positive and uplifting podcast.

Knitting . . . up a storm. In the course of two months, I knitted a hat for my mom, two baby bonnets, a cowl (which is still in progress), and a little cardigan (my favorite). Oh, and I swatched for a cardigan for me, but I've been too intimidated to actually cast it on. I'm not worried about the actual knitting or construction, just about the fit after it's done. I just want to want to wear it.

Making . . . guesses about where my brother, Blaine, was going to go on his mission. He received the call at the end of August and was assigned to the Kentucky Louisville Mission. He's been preparing for many years for this, and I'm really proud of him.

Cutting . . . Ian's hair. Not me. Mike. Without my permission. I was upstairs recording Episode 14 of The Book Blab with Suzanne, and he was downstairs making Ian look like a shorn sheep. It's probably true that Ian was looking a bit scraggly (and Mike can't stand hair hanging over the ears), but it aged him really quickly.

Going . . . to family reunions and spending time with family. That really defined our summer, and although I'm not going to take the time to detail every event and get together here, we absolutely loved it.

Celebrating . . . Aaron's ninth birthday. He asked for pecan pie instead of cake, which was just one of the signs that he's growing up. Another one? He had woefully outgrown his bike, so he got a bigger one for his birthday and has been cruising all around the neighborhood on it.

Hosting . . . a friend birthday party for Aaron. This is worth mentioning because it was the first friend birthday party I've done for any of my kids. And before you get too excited and think I've completely lost my identity, it was only two friends, and it consisted of the pool, cake and nerf guns. (And I didn't even provide the nerf guns.)

Taking . . . a road trip to California and the redwoods. I wrote about all of the details here, but it really was a pretty perfect trip for our family at this stage of life.

Reading . . . so many fun books. Our summer reading program was a huge success (I think Max read something like 170 hours), and we discovered many new books to love. Our favorite readaloud was Summer of the Monkeys, which I still need to review.

Being . . . in totality for the solar eclipse. For eighteen months, Mike had been talking up the solar eclipse. He had ordered eclipse glasses, a nice set of binoculars, solar filters (for the binoculars), a tripod (to hold the binoculars), and extra gas cans for the drive home. He had also reserved a spot for us at his brother's house in Rexburg, Idaho. And I was kind of like, What's the big deal? He would tell people, "You have to see the solar eclipse," and I would whisper behind his back, "No, you don't." Salt Lake was going to get 91% coverage, so I wondered if the hassle of driving to and from Rexburg and making the boys miss their first day of school would be worth it. But then I saw the eclipse, and I was like, Oh my goodness, why didn't I force all my family and friends to come see it?!?! Because it was amazing. Not 9% more amazing but 1000% more amazing. The things that happened in the final seconds leading up to it and then the couple of minutes in totality itself cannot be described. But it was absolutely incredible. And being there with the two biggest nerds on the planet (Mike and his brother, Jon) made it that much more spectacular. (Oh, and did I mention that we didn't have Clark with us? We traded him for our two teenage nephews, who appreciated the eclipse so much more than he would have and who didn't complain on the EIGHT hour drive home.)

Finishing . . . up our summer goals. We still have a couple more to check off (we had to hold off hiking Mt. Grandeur because it got too hot), but overall, the boys did really well. My personal favorite was helping them memorize several paragraphs of The Living Christ.

Sending . . . the boys off to the first day of school. Aaron is in fourth grade, Maxwell is in second grade, and Bradley is (FINALLY!) in kindergarten.

Swimming . . . as much as possible. We love our little neighborhood pool, and we took full advantage of it all summer. Ian even took a little dip in it for the first time at the end of the season.

Tell me about the highlights of your summer!


  1. A similar thing happened to us one year with a firework like that, and it was FREAKY. Kinda makes me think twice now every time we're by people setting them off.

    And I had never heard of that new garden at Thanksgiving Point, but I'm so glad you shared! Now I think I might make it part of our big birthday date that my husband and I have coming up :) Is it a temporary exhibit? Or is this a new permanent fixture of TP? Do you know?

    1. Yes, it's a permanent exhibit, which I'm so happy about because I think I'm going to plan on taking each of my kids around their eighth birthday. I think it will be a wonderful way to help them prepare for their baptisms. I hope you love it.

  2. Sounds like a wonderful summer! I remember fireworks with young kids -- the mix of joy and fear. We also had a rocket go sidewise, into the garage, which luckily caused no damage thanks to heroic uncles with soccer skills and one who apparently teleported to a four year old to get her off the ground in time. And my oldest seemed to be a spark magnet -- I remember celebrating when he finally managed to make it through without a single burn.

    And I also emphasize with the name thing. My second son left the hospital without a name because we just didn't have one. We had to go back to fill in the paperwork a few days later. And my older one, Alexander, was supposed to be Xan (a name from a L'Engle book) but from when he started talking he prefered the long version. Took me a while to adjust.

    And their dad actually got a legal name change when he was six months old, so parents definitely do that!

  3. I didn't know you thought about changing Ian's name! I'm glad you searched it out so you knew for sure.


Proudly designed by Mlekoshi playground