10 Favorite days:
- My reunion with E.
- Taking Jake to see The Martian. He and I had both read and loved the book, so I wanted to see it with him. He, Kendell, my sister-in-law Cindy, and I went to see it together, after getting dinner at Pork Belly’s.
- The day we made jam. The day before we left for southern Utah this summer, my friend Evelyn gave me two enormous bags of plums from her tree. I ran to Target for containers while I had Jake and Nathan pit the plums. When I got home, it looked like someone had been murdered in my kitchen—plum sprays everywhere! But they pitted them all, and I made jam. It is by far the best jam I’ve ever made. Those plums were exquisite.
- This summer, Haley did pharmacy shifts at different Smith’s throughout Utah. One day she worked in Salt Lake, and we had to run up there too, so when she got off we met her and took her to dinner at the Spaghetti Factory at Trolley Square. We parked on the top of the parking garage and the city looked so pretty, all lit up, and that’s my favorite Spaghetti Factory because it’s the one we went to when I was a kid. So I remembered, and we talked, and it was just a good, fun night.
- The restaurant Jake (and Nathan!) works for is called Pizza Pie Café. He’s become an expert pizza-dough tosser (last year for his birthday, his gift was a piece of fake pizza dough, to use for practicing!), and when the Summerfest parade needed entries, PPC got involved. Jake walked the parade route with his work friends, tossing dough. I loved seeing him! (I love parades in general. Cheesy, but true.)
- Our day at Lagoon. That’s an amusement park in Utah. We haven’t been in four or five years, but Kendell’s work got us tickets, so we all went. (Haley met us there.) It was so much fun! Kaleb was finally tall enough to ride everything, and we got to ride the newest ride, Cannibal, three times, despite the long line. (We just managed to hit it at all the right times.)
- The day this fall when Becky called me and said “do you want to run 8 miles with me this morning?” and I said “yes!” and then we met at the Jordan River Trail and ran 8 miles together.
- The day this summer when Kaleb was bored, so I took him to a new park in Springville that has a pond, and we went swimming together and I taught him how to swim on his back.
- Shopping at Nordstrom this December with my friend Chris. Every December they have a special night of shopping that you have to be invited to. The store is closed unless you have a ticket, and there is food and hot beverages and champagne. We didn’t cross many things off our shopping list but we had a ball together. We laughed, we joked, we tried on clothes, we resisted the champagne. I love our friendship!
- The night this December when I came out late from work. It was snowing, and the light from the parking lights made the snow sparkle, and off in the distance I could see my van—cleared of snow! Nathan and Kendell had driven by to pick up pizza and noticed the snow. So on their way home, they stopped and cleared off my car. It was such a sweet feeling to discover it!
9 things that made me happy:
- Nathan’s basketball success. He played on his junior high team and then made the sophomore team at his high school.
- Jake’s hard work paying off in his ACT score. He took an ACT prep and then did extra studying in the summer. He pulled off a 30!
- New tulips & daffodils. Last October I planted a bunch of new bulbs. It was so fun to see them come up this spring.
- I hiked the Y nearly every Wednesday this summer. It’s the most crowded trail in Utah County, so I felt pretty safe doing it on my own, even though I always headed up into the canyon past the Y. There’s a cliff there that I would climb up on, to drink some water and maybe eat a snack and meditate a little bit.
- I mowed the lawn almost every Monday. I think Jake mowed it once, Nathan twice, Kendell once, and I did it all the other times. I love mowing the lawn.
- I found a new place to try that does myofascial massage. Throughout January, February, and March, my legs looked like someone had beat me up, but by the beginning of March my hamstring pain was almost gone.
- One of the fourth-grade projects at Kaleb’s school is to build a castle for Medieval Days. Using four empty Pringles cans, an old shoe box, and lots of glue & grey paint, we made an awesome one! (Not quite so successful were his Utah History and Environmental Science dioramas. Sort of ran out of steam and creative energy for those.)
- The next best thing to having a cat of our own: Aunt Cindy’s cat had five kittens. Kaleb tried to go to their house as much as possible, to hang out with kitties. It was pretty much the best thing ever.
- We saw Haley a lot more this year. Especially this summer, when she was working at so many different pharmacies. She even spent a couple of nights at my sister’s house and it gave me a very specific happy feeling to know they were together.
8 songs/CDs that will always remind me of 2015:
- How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful by Florence + the Machine (training for my half marathon)
- My Favourite Faded Fantasy by Damien Rice (driving to the U of U hospital after my mom’s spinal fusion surgery)
- 25 by Adele (cooking on Thanksgiving eve & morning with Haley)
- “Wonderful” by Adam Ant (our day at Lagoon)
- “Hold Back the River” by James Bay (our hiking trip in Southern Utah)
- “Renegades” by X Ambassadors (running in the summer mornings)
- “Till it’s Gone” by YelaWolf (I sung this to myself whenever I needed courage with teenagers)
- "First" by Cold War Kids (the day Becky & I went hiking)
7 Medical conditions:
- Shingles (Nathan…when I called the pediatrician and said “I think my 15-year-old has shingles” they said “We don’t believe you” but my diagnosis was right, unusual as it is for a teenager)
- Sliced-open finger (Amy…I should’ve had it stitched but it happened about twelve hours before we left for Disneyland and I didn’t have time, so I carried Bandaids in my backpack and changed it about 27 times a day)
- Bruised meniscus (Nathan…we are hoping it really is just bruised and not torn, or that he can get through the basketball season before needing surgery. The doc drained about 60cc’s of swelling off it and that helped immensely, along with an awesome PT)
- Capsulitis (Amy…2nd toe on the left. It’s still not better. I don’t want surgery. But I might not be able to avoid it. I’ll get my bunion fixed at the same time if I have to.)
- No one had the stomach flu. That is a Sorensen Family Miracle.
- Dermatological issues: Haley and Nathan started doing acne treatments, Jake had two moles removed, Haley had one mole removed, Nathan had four warts removed, Kaleb had one wart removed.
- Open heart surgery: Kendell. (This is listed last because it was, obviously, the biggest, hardest medical thing we had. To do it once is one thing; to do it again, entirely another. He is a trooper.)
6 Interesting facts (one about each of us)
- Kendell: made a ton of progress on his degree and will graduate in the spring.
- Amy: I got a new responsibility at work; I get to buy all of the poetry and essay books.
- Haley: Ended up taking the same Spanish class as her cousin Hilary. They are both minoring in el Espanol.
- Jake: Went to Disneyland with his Parli team.
- Nathan: Learned how to drive.
- Kaleb: Fell in love with scary movies.
5 Favorite family photos (of some configuration or another)
The kids at Kaleb's 10th birthday dinner
The boys on Father's Day
Kendell and Amy at Calf Creek Falls (this is pure romance for us!)
Our family on Thanksgiving, courtesy of the timer on my camera. I wanted this to be our Christmas card pic, but I'm out of focus and so is Nathan (although, the one I used is not much better).
4 New things we got:
- A new set of pans. (I got rid of almost all of my non-stick, except for a little frying pan, because who can make eggs on a stainless steel pan? Not me!)
- Couches for the basement. Our old couch was seriously old and ugly and broken, thanks to rambunctious teenagers & their boyfriends (who shall remain nameless).
- Tile in our master bathroom shower. It’s pretty again, but even better is how easy it is to clean.
- Paint, crown molding, and shutters in our bedroom. Honestly…I don’t love the shutters as now the room is dark all the time. But I love the paint, which is a pale grey.
3 Places we went:
- Disneyland (Amy & Kaleb in February)
- Southern Utah (Jake to Lake Powell and Nathan to Zion in the summer)
- Southern Utah (Kendell & Amy—Canyonlands, Arches, & Bryce Canyon National Parks)
- Thai Village (their curry is the best! Kendell and I always knew this, but Jake and Nathan have discovered it as well)
- School lunch (Kaleb discovered he could eat lunch from the cafeteria; this is the first year he hasn’t eaten lunch from home, so mornings are a little bit smoother!)
1 Summary for the year:
- Unexpected changes brought us both struggles and surprises; I think we understand each other a little bit better and feel stronger for surviving.