Tuesday, February 23, 2010


A group of students is reading Tuck Everlasting right now and in our discussion, the word melancholy came up. I try to help make sense of things for my students so in response I used a real life example, "Why, just yesterday I was feeling slightly melancholy because I wasn't here with you and my husband was working far away. I felt a little sad and lonely." One of my students looked at me earnestly, "Mrs. K, have you ever considered getting a pet?" Another student said, "You should have called a friend." And a third student said, "Taking a walk outside might help." I totally busted up laughing and reassured them that feeling "slightly melancholy" was not the same as being in the depths of depression. I sincerely thanked them for their concern. Great kids!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Church Service

I got a new church calling yesterday. I am the Young Womens Camp Director. Camp will be in July. When I told K he said, "Oh, NO!" :) He worries about my sanity and other small stuff. I was the Assistant Camp Director a few summers ago while living in Eagle Mountain. I was also the Young Womens president once upon a time in Hawai'i. I hear we have about ten Young Women in our ward, but they could all be gone by July (our ward consists of apartments, condos, and townhomes--a revolving door)! Still, I feel I need to MEET these young women and get to know them, even if they don't stay long.

Speaking of church callings, my other one is going well. I'm having a blast teaching Gospel Doctrine in the adult Sunday School because you know how it is, the teacher learns the most! I love all of the class members and I'm so happy when they make comments and share perspective. I felt like Brother Haws saved the day yesterday with his comment about how "it doesn't matter" what our lineage is and who we're descended from. We can all partake in the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

One sister made me chuckle after class. She's a cute, tiny, blonde little ballroom dance student with a husband who also dances (no children yet). She approached me after the lesson and said, "I just wanted to thank you for being a good teacher, because, you know, Sunday School is usually the boring class between meetings that you just have to "get through" and this class is really fun!" High praise, certainly!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

MY Valentine

K is the best husband for me. He really hates it when I brag about this stuff, but I GOTSTA say, he's pretty incredible. I have been EXHAUSTED for the last three weeks due to many obligations, personal and professional. My ever supportive husband pitches in where needed, even when he's not feeling his best either. True love is doing the laundry so you can spend more time together when the spouse gets home from work. Not only is K an excellent "laundress", he even READS THE TAGS on my sweaters to check if something should be dried flat or hand washed. K does dishes and I thank his mother for teaching him this. He takes out garbage, he makes the bed, he cleans the bathroom, and he cooks dinner. I really don't deserve him. I do all of the above listed things as well and sometimes we do them together which is more fun. The bottom line is, K surveys the situation and takes action in my behalf, selflessly, desiring to please (me) and ease (my stress). I could go on and on, but I'm already in trouble with the bit I mentioned if K gets around to reading this. I adore this amazing man!

K purchased a plane ticket for me this weekend. We are going to Washington, D.C. together again! This is unbelievable since we were just there in April. K has training (thank you Department of the Interior) and so I am tagging along for four days before his conference begins. K does whatever he can to increase our time together while we have this crazy live-apart situation. We are so excited to do some more exploring. We are such parkies you know. We love learning about the land and our country's history. So glad I married my own personal travel agent. I am more smitten with him than ever!

And just so I don't forget, I want to record this little tidbit. If you know K even a little, you'll understand better. I am older than K and I have some silver/white/gray hair showing up at my temples. K was touching and mentioning it the other day and I scowled because I prefer he not focus on the "negative." He was shocked that I interpreted it as a negative thing. He said, "I love those hairs! They look like frosting!"

I love you, K! Thanks for being my Valentine!

M and M--The Big Day!

We traveled to St. George for K's cousin's wedding in the St. George Temple. K wasn't feeling so great the morning we left. He was still "under the influence" from surgery, so I did all of the driving. St. George usually has lovely weather this time of year, but it rained almost the whole time we were there and we drove through a huge snowstorm on the way back. In fact, K wasn't feeling so swell on the way back either. So, this wasn't your typical weekend getaway to St. George in midwinter, but we still had a nice time visiting K's family and participating in some of the wedding festivities. We were glad the hotel was nearby so we could have some down time when we needed it. Fortunately for the bride and groom, the rain stopped just long enough for their pictures at the temple.

Speaking of the temple, it was so nice to be there. I was very happy to sit next to my eternal sweetheart in the sealing room reflecting on our own marriage ceremony. We are thrilled for the bride and groom and their endeavors in life together. We were glad to see K's family members from Iowa and cousin J who just returned from her mission two days prior! We met another cousin's newest baby and got to visit with The Sweetest Grandpa in the World. Sorry--no captions for these pics!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Pay Day

Be warned that this is a self-promoting post. I apologize for that, but the experience was too special to me so I must blog about it.

Ranger BJ at Timpanogos Cave sometimes says, "We park rangers take our pay in sunsets." I don't know any wealthy park rangers and I don't know any wealthy teachers either. However, I just got one of those special teacher paychecks during parent teacher conferences last night.

Nobody knows how many times I leave my school discouraged. I can never accomplish enough. I can't find the right books to hook the student who hasn't discovered reading yet. I don't have time to correct everything, plan everything, and teach everything. I worry about fifth grade hearts and souls. I get snappy, grumpy, impatient. I can't remember much of the positive, but if one child mentions she is bored, the comment stays with me for weeks, even though I'll tell her that this isn't a dog and pony show (then the child looks at me like they've no idea what a dog and pony show is, because they don't, so then I'll rephrase it like this, "We're not playing an animated video game here, this is good, old-fashioned WORK!"--they understand that a bit better). So, you get the idea. I'm weighed down by the responsibility of teaching all the kids so much stuff, and then I'm weighed down by the threat of low test scores, and it's just a vicious cycle. But then the sun comes out. I do get puffed up once in awhile by sincere comments that I might never hear unless a parent happens to mention it to me during a conference.

Well, last night I met with N's parents. N was not present. I clearly remember the last conference because N's mom told me N has NEVER liked school. He just does it because he has to, but he takes no joy in any of the subjects. During this conference, N's mom said, "I want you to know what N said the other day. He said, 'Mrs. K is my First Favorite Teacher.'" N is so quiet. He started crying at my desk the other day while I was checking his planner. I have no clue why. How would I have ever known that he's finally liking school unless his mother told me? My eyes teared up instantly. Out of all the stress and worry, I got a wonderful "sunset" which made me think that perhaps I do have something to offer to these children in spite of all that I lack.

The "I'm bored." comment will stay with me for weeks. The "Mrs. K is my First Favorite Teacher." comment will stay with me for the rest of my life!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Surgery Day

K is now officially without a gallbladder. Nurse Julie, having no gallbladder herself, reassured him by saying, "You're not gonna miss that sucker one bit!" K was a total champ at everything, especially considering his HUGE dislike for medical nouns (persons, places, and things). It's really interesting to watch your spouse submit to something which goes against every fiber in his being. Here's to hoping K feels well soon and can say that surgery was the best choice for him.

I just want to record a thing or two about the humorous behaviors I noticed while K was recovering and emerging from all of those lovely napping drugs.

He winked at me! K never winks at me. It was all I could do to not laugh heartily, but it was just the funniest uncharacteristic thing--I knew it was the drugs. Actually, I wonder if he winked at anybody else today. K also kept asking me the same things repeatedly. It's amusing because you know you just answered the question and you know their brain is waking up, but still, it seems funny. The surgery was over by 4:00 p.m. and the doctor told me everything went well. They called me back into the recovery room at 5:00 p.m. and K's eyes were opened. He said, "Sweetie." Then he said, "You didn't leave me. You're still here. Thank you SOOO much for being here."

Then he asked me what time it was. I told him it was 5:00 p.m. About thirty seconds later, he asked, "So what time is it?" I told him again that it was 5:00 p.m. Then, shortly thereafter, K asked, "So, is it about 5:00 p.m. then?" I patiently replied, "Yeah, it's 5:00 p.m." I told K that the surgeon spoke with me and told me everything went very well. After a minute or two, K asked, "Did the surgeon say anything about how everything went?" And that's pretty much our rockin' recovery room conversation for two hours, between small sips of water and then juice.

Rewind a moment to Saturday. Before I went to the store, I asked him if he wanted any juice for after surgery and K said, "Pretty much anything except apple. Don't get apple." Fast forward to the recovery room. Nurse Becky rattled off a list of various juices and K chose apple! The real kicker for me was when the nurse came back and K said, "Thanks so much for the apple juice. It tastes SO good!"

So, here's the timeline of today:
10:15--our original report-to-the-hospital time, we started planning another travel trip and ordered maps from AAA
12:15--our updated report-to-the-hospital time, Doc was doing emergency surgery
2:00--our final report-to-the-hospital time, good thing we live just 3 miles or 10 minutes away
3:00--they wheeled K away in cap and gown with IV and funky slippers
4:00--doc found me in waiting room and said all was well and that they would call me back into recovery in a half an hour
5:00--they finally called me back into recovery, K was still in a gown, but no cap, K requested that I hold his hand, even complimented me that my hand felt so nice and warm, and soon after requested that I stop holding his hand, we caught the 6:00 news
7:00--K sat up in bed, got shaky and cold, but calmed down with a warm blanket, made the requisite and successful visit to the restroom as we held hands all ten steps there and all ten steps back, and then I helped him dress
7:30--K got a wheel chair ride, requested crushed ice and Powerade on the way home
7:40--turned on electric blanket, helped K change to pajamas, headed to pharmacy
8:30--pain meds were $0.63, I was starving so I ate before I called K's mom
10:00--time to make K eat, take meds, and walk around--says he has it narrowed down to two choices: oatmeal or Lipton cup of soup

One last thing...because they kept delaying the surgery, they gave us a $25 gift certificate for Outback Steakhouse! When I called K's mom, I asked if he wanted to say "Hi." He said "No." I then asked if he just wanted to listen to the conversation. He said "No." As I left the room, he said, "Be sure to tell my mom they gave me a $25 gift certificate!!!" Oh, K, I love you so, SO much! In sickness and in health...