Friday, January 28, 2011

Midlife Hair Crisis

It's been coming for some time, but this week my midlife hair crisis hit me like a ton of bricks. Perhaps it was seeing that picture I posted of me and Dad where you could see how red my hair used to be. Perhaps it was the acquaintance who yesterday leaned over and said, "You have a lot of gray hair." Perhaps it was even the cute, stylish woman at church who had two little pink extensions clipped into her adorable blonde bob. I don't know all the reasons behind it, but I know it's real.

So, what does a woman do, but turn to her friends. She turns to her sisters, her nieces, her vast readership of blog followers [even lurkers like you, Emmalee (wink, wink)]. I am taking suggestions for what to do.

Do I let it grow longer? Do I cut it shorter? Do I leave it the same and continue to appreciate my 'instant' hair straight out of the shower that many women envy? Do I go more blonde? Do I dye it purple just because I can? Do I go darker with more highlights? The options are endless, right?

Truth is, when I think of the women who read this blog, I have way more faith in your fashion sense than in my own. Please help me! And for you couple of men who read along for fun, I'm definitely open to a male opinion as well.

I can handle it. Be honest. After all, the acquaintance already broke the news about the gray. Daniel has already suggested letting the gray roots grow out longer, then dyeing just the roots dark so it would have black and blonde striped look. I can take it. Let me have it.

I have an appointment scheduled with my hairdresser next Thursday. I'll be taking any and all suggestions until then. In advance, I thank you from the bottom of my follicles.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Stunning Display

For those of you who are local, I'd like to make a strong recommendation to attend the Carl Bloch exhibit that is currently being shown at the BYU Museum of Art. It will be on display until May of 2011. We finally made it there this past weekend.

Carl Bloch was a Danish artist who was particularly known for his religious paintings. His works include multiple altarpieces for cathedrals in Europe as well as a large collection of paintings done for a palace in Denmark. Many of his works have been used by the LDS church in publications in which they would like to depict scenes from the Savior's life. You may be surprised by how many of them you've seen before.

I knew he did fine work. I'd seen pictures of some of his paintings. Even as you enter the museum, they have a large banner outside showing his painting of "doubting" Thomas with Christ after His resurrection. It's beautiful, but nothing compares to the actual works on display. The actual painting of Thomas and the Savior is one of the first works you see, and I still can't find the right words to describe it. It was stunning. It was spectacular.

I will never cease to be amazed at how paint can be laid down in layers to create such vibrant colors, such feelings, and such detail. I am equally amazed at how people have been able to preserve such works for the rest of us to see.

It was so fun to take Cheyenne and watch her be moved by the work as well. As she walked through the gallery and recognized stories from the Savior's life, she would comment on what each one was. It as a thrill on so many levels.

Information about the exhibit can be found here. It is free, but you do need to print a ticket to get in.

When you are done with that exhibit, I recommend going downstairs for the landscape exhibit and the electronic arts exhibit. We were thoroughly entertained in the electronics one! Read all about it here.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Day in my WildeLife

Among the many things I did today was read a blog about a woman who is fascinated with reading the "Mormon Mommy Blogs," despite the fact that she considers herself a "young, feminist atheist." Between the blog itself and the hundreds of comments, there were several comments about these blogs and how they couldn't possibly be real. They said that most of the blogs portray young mothers dressed in the height of fashion with home interiors that look like catalogs. They said that the moms show their lives as perfect with perfect children.

So, in the spirit of my own blog, I'd like to say that I am a Mormon mother. And for posterity's sake, I'd like to document my day today to show what it's really like. I did get dressed today, but I wore blue jeans with what I'm sure is way too high of a waistline. My hair has been completely unmanageable. My house has been a cluttered mess for days. I've never had an interior that looked like a catalog, but my already frumpy interior has been covered with papers, stuffed animals, tea set dishes, text books, etc. I will add that today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day so the kids did not have school, but my husband did have to go to work.

My day:
  • Up early to make lunch for husband
  • Sneak a quick nap to get warm before the kids get up
  • Breakfast and clean up with the kids
  • Help change sheets
  • Help Daniel make bread for the piano teacher as a thank you for some special help
  • Laundry
  • Take son to the eye doctor to try to pick out new glasses since his are 3 or 4 years old
  • Pick up friends on the way home so son can finish French project
  • Fix lunch and clean up
  • Clean up dog poop off the stairs that got there from son's shoes
  • Help daughter call 6 or 7 friends trying to find someone to play with
  • Clean up blood and a tiny mouse leg that were stuck to the floor from some event with the cat
  • Take son to the doctor for a check up
  • Tutor a teenage girl in Geometry
  • Fix dinner for the family and clean up
  • Clean up house for neighbors to come over
  • Laundry
  • Help Dale teach neighbors how to make ancient bread while entertaining the younger set
  • Clean up bread mess
  • Get kids ready for bed
  • Do some paperwork with husband
  • Return call to old friend
  • Blog
That's just a list of the big things I did. I didn't include the whining, crying, hugging, arguing, explaining, loving, etc. That just all gets mixed in. It didn't include the reading in brief intervals, thinking, praying, hoping, wishing, etc. That gets mixed in too. I guess I'm just saying that you can be picture perfect sometimes and that's awesome. You can have a normal day sometimes and that's awesome too. You can even have bad days. But in the end, it's all okay, and it's good to be happy doing what I'm doing.

And so it goes.....

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

17 Years Ago....

Cathy called me today while I was out running errands. She reminded me that 17 years ago today, our dad passed away. Wow, how embarrassing that she had to 'remind' me. I think aboutDad all the time, and especially in January, but the exact day had slipped by me.

Ever since that phone call, I've been thinking a lot about Dad and about the last 17 years. I remember the day so clearly. I was in the middle of a 3 day long training session that week. Dad was in the hospital. On my way to class that morning, I had a fleeting thought about how sad I'd be if he died. Because I was involved in a class, no one could reach me by phone when the call came. So, Colleen tracked me down and came to the class to tell me. I can still see her there in the hallway. I remember what I was wearing. I was so sad.

Dad had been sick for so long, and he always pulled out of it. Every time I prepared myself for him to die, he didn't. I wasn't that prepared this time. Even so, I was quick to remember something Dad said to me once. He reminded me that no matter what happened, he and I had said all the important things between us. We knew we loved each other. He was right that we'd said it all before, but I missed him.

I've missed him a lot over the last 17 years. He did get to see pictures of my new house that I'd moved into just two months before he died. He did get to meet Dale whom I'd married 3 years before. Unfortunately, he isn't here to see that I'm still living in that "new" house. He's never met my kids. Well, actually, I have wondered if maybe he did meet Daniel. I've speculated that he was in heaven with Daniel before he was born. He probably talked Daniel's ear off. When Daniel reached his limit, he decided to just jump and be born 2 1/2 months early!

Honestly, I think he and Daniel would have had tons to talk about. Dad would have loved Daniel's mind and sense of humor. He would have been as smitten by Cheyenne's little hugs as everyone else is.

I often think of all the technological advances since Dad died. He was an "early adopter" before there was a word for such a thing. That's why he had a Beta system and a couple different laser disk players. I have no doubt that he would be rocking an iPhone and a first generation iPad. When I was little we had a big console stereo in our living room, and he would lay on the floor with giant headphones on while he listened to music (probably a rockin' Roger Miller LP). He would definitely be enjoying an iPod or two with cute little earbuds.

One of the things I thought about today was how different my life is from 17 years ago. I honestly feel like a different person living an entirely different life from then. I know that's not really true because I have some core values and personality traits that haven't changed at all, but my circumstances have changed a ton!!! I could never have foreseen the opportunities, the challenges, the bizarre things, the wonderful things, the births, the deaths, etc. that have made up the last 17 years. Maybe it's good I couldn't have seen them or I may not have done them.

But what struck me about this thought process is that I couldn't have foreseen it all, but I did it anyway (or am doing it), one step at a time. Back then, I could never have understood my life now. I could never have predicted that I'd understand what I do or that I'd survive the things I have with the perspective I have. It makes me hopeful about the future. Maybe it's okay that I can't imagine what it will be like to be elderly. Maybe it's okay that I don't know exactly what heaven will be like. Someday it will make sense, and it will all work out. That's hopeful to me.

I'm still sad my dad isn't here to share much of my life with me - we would have had some great times - but I'm pretty convinced he is very aware of what happens with me and my family. I believe he still watches me and shares in my emotions like any father would. Someday we'll have a good laugh about it all - that is, when I can look back on it and laugh.

The day of Dad's funeral, my sister Colleen was called home because her two-year old son had been hospitalized with a terrible illness. About 24 hours after that, my pregnant sister Cathy was forced to head home in a pickup because her other children had been caught in the Northridge earthquake in southern California. I was left alone in Colorado to attend Dad's burial which had been delayed by the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Overall, it was a pretty rotten week.

When we came home, we had a New Year's Eve party and started the year over in the middle of January. Considering this was 17 years ago this week, I might just raise a glass again to Dad and wish us all a happy, prosperous, amazing new year. May it bring another 12 months of things we can wonder about this time next year. And may it bring me lots more memories of my dad and the joy I have in being his daughter. Love you, Dad!!!