27 November 2010

Thankgibing 2010

Twas the night before the Christmas season officially began,
and all through the house,
all the Eatons were sleeping,
for Speed Scrabble overdose and tryptophan magic.

We had a really great Thanksgiving. It was pretty mellow, all adults (the Jexies in Utah), and while we missed them, we kept reminding ourselves next Christmas will be the polar opposite so we should soak this in for what it is. Holiday 2011, in my parents' house, on top of the adults, there will be 5 small, small grandchildren (at least) and Cameron will probably decide it's a great idea to get married the day after Christmas or something.

Since we're all grown up my Mum wisely delegated and put her hard workin feet up. Jeff and I were in charge of the yams, Sarah and Hal took the rolls (which turned out amazing and exactly like Mom's!), Cam mashed potatoes, and Dad owned that turkey. My Dad loves to cook and it shows -- the turkey was somehow even better the next day. Mumsy did make the pumpkin pies too (sans crust because while it's perfectly acceptable healthwise to eat See's chocolates till you're blue in the face, pie crust is the truest form of evil). I threw in a "French Cherry Pie" which Jeff informs us has never been seen before in France to his knowledge.

We played out our food comas in front of While You Were Sleeping and Speed Scrabble. Mom was the morality police, looking up each word the winner claimed after each round. It may or may not have exposed a proper noun here and there.

Last night we took the annual trip to Roger's Gardens and to the "toppest tree" at Fashion Island.

Other than that we've spent the time knitting, gardening, blasting official Christmas season music (I've been listening to it for about 2 weeks already but never in Jeff's presence -- he's very protective of the proper timing to these things), and relaxing.

You really can't go wrong.

20 November 2010

I remember watching a contraband episode of Friends long ago in which a pregnant Jennifer Aniston/Rachel Green was relishing in her baby shower. And why wouldn't she be enjoying it? She's about a million days through her pregnancy but her legs are still lanky and her Title 9 arms un-chubbed. This enjoyment started to wither, however, when her gifts began prompting questions of, "Why would I need that?" or "What's this for?" Before the third commercial break she had a completely adorable meltdown of, "I've been so focused on the pregnancy I forgot to figure out what I'd do with the baby!" [Cue audience laughter]

Even as a high school student, I watched it believing I would be very different when it was MY turn to be the skinniest pregnant woman alive. I was the 2nd of 4 children, and a highly solicited babysitter. And, I LOVE BABIES.

Now here I am, pregnant and the clock is ticking. After a couple of rude awakenings I realize I have been something of a pregnant Rachel Green, the flabby armed version. But I know there probably isn't much of a point to try to "figure it all out" before D-Day. When I got to Costa Rica for my mission, I remember thinking all the books I'd read in preparation, all the time I'd spent learning Spanish, all the lectures and lessons from returned missionary teachers in the Missionary Training Center, it was all a load of crap. NO, it was NOT a load of crap, but I may have muttered that under my breath a few times in that first week. It wasn't crap, it was just that they made us feel that we were prepared, and then I got there and learned you can't be. The mountains of time I'd spent training for my mission could be perhaps more accurately called "help". It was "helpful" to study Spanish and memorize scriptures, but it was not close to sufficient training. My scriptures were artistically hilighted in Provo and I was the best speaker in my district. I got to Costa Rica a pale gringa who didn't know Spanish could be spoken so quickly, and didn't even begin to understand who these people were, what they needed, and how I could help them. There were so many more variables than I had anticipated.

I have resigned myself to the fact that I am at the proverbial Salt Lake City International Airport all over again, and the adjustment to life after the flight will be just as difficult if not more painful. I have years of babysitting siblings, friends, nieces, and nephews under my belt. I have a bad-A stroller and the most comfortable glider of all the gliders in the kingdom. But I know that soon, I will be a rookie in the job I have always known to be my most important one.

Sometimes I panic when I am reminded that the world has changed a lot since I was a girl wearing a tutu day and night. Last month a child psychologist came to chat with the Relief Society about parenting tactics. I had no idea some of the things I would be up against. He offered more warnings and strategies for dealing with girls than boys and I left relieved that as of now, daughters are not my lot in life. Not so fast, Merz. The next Sunday's Relief Society lesson was about keeping our families safe from the evils of pornography which dealt more with, you guessed it, sons. I may have broken a sweat and in the middle of it my charming friend may have squeaked, "I can't do this! I have a little boy!" There are many times when I wonder how I'll ever keep up with the declining moral strength of the world and keep my home a happy refuge where my family wants to be protected.

At the end of these internal panics I usually just let an audible whimper slip out but come, again, to the conclusion that I will do my best and learn to swim after I've been flung into the Pacific. I have the examples of 2 strong, savvy mothers, Madame Meri and Madame Charissa, who will also continue to be premium grandmothers. Our grandmothers, aunts, sisters both Hayes and Eaton, cousins, friends, I know they are there to learn from and to comfort me and nudge me along. We have been promised by the general leaders of the LDS church that if we stay close to the Lord our families will be protected. I've never looked to a promise with such hope and humility, knowing that Jeff and I indisputably need heavenly help in this jou-- (ha! I almost wrote the "J" word on my blog!) -- I mean, in this new and everlasting phase of life we will enter in just a couple of months.

I take ever so much solace in knowing motherhood comes with a wardrobe a bit cuter than rayon dresses and orthopedic shoes and includes snuggling with my husband.

18 November 2010

10 Gold Stars

will be awarded to Mother Meri.

Today she met me at lunch (and waited 15 minutes of her lunch break while I ran late) and showed me where I was going wrong with my Christmas stocking knitting. And she gave me some yarn.

Thanks, Mom.

16 November 2010

My old boyfriend is getting married.

He just never knew he was my boyfriend.

In high school my BFF and I bought each other the People magazine Prince William special edition book about him for Christmas. We swooned. I think my mom was just happy my version of teen heart-throb wasn't Kurt Kobain. My wisdom to the happy couple is to get those wedding snapshots taken before the bald spot on top of his head flourishes further, and please, no third parties in this royal marriage. You KNOW I'll be up at 3 in the morning to watch the wedding stream live!

In other breaking news, I've become a modge-podger. Isn't that the final step to domesticity?

08 November 2010

Viva Las Vegas

And viven the sisters we have that live there!

Friday we miraculously missed traffic while shooting up the I-15 to the suburban fringe of Sin City. Don't ask me how it happened, it just did.

It was, as usual, much too short. But we enjoyed it. Something perfectly convenient: Jeff and I each spring from families of four children. Until Harry graduates from law school and Cameron graduates from BYU (assuming afterwards they jet),

- We each have 1 sibling in Utah (and Jeff's parents -- extra bonus).
- We each have 1 sister in Palo Alto.
- We each have 1 sister in Las Vegas.

So basically we all hit at least 2 birds with every travel stone. The purpose of this weekend getaway was to see this treasure be baptized.

The ordinance was followed by plenty of food and long talks on the couch, motherhood recommendations and stories, just the sorts of things I love. Jeff twisted my arm all the way to the outlet mall (J. Crew), and we polished our Saturday night off with Kris, Elizabeth, the kids' Halloween stashes, and Susan Sarandon.

Normally spending anything longer than 30 seconds with Susan Sarandon makes me cringe and roll my eyes (hello self-importance and overly sought depth!), but I loved this movie, and liked her in it!

Sunday morning: More chats and stories and kids. Our families are the bees' knees. Why can't we be together more? And why didn't I put on some make-up before taking this picture of me and my E with our bellies?

Ah, tis too late now I suppose.

We somehow, SOMEHOW, missed Sunday I-15 South traffic coming home.

Our weekend expired with us watching Invictus and sorting through all the generosity shown to us by our sisters with their baby donations. (I'll never need to put money down for a onesie. Ever.)

Raise your hand if you love weekends!