Yesterday got away from me so I’m posting this a day late. (Church, where I taught a lesson on how to be more Christlike in our efforts to take care of the poor and needy, and then a little wander with Kendell, and then a nap, and then dinner which I loved—roast beef, scalloped potatoes, acorn squash, and biscuits—not just for the food but because the kids came and helped me cook and really: I need to do that more often, even if it makes the kitchen feel crowded.) But last week was a pretty good week, so I’m not going to skip. (And I just want to keep the momentum going!)
Last Sunday, after church, Kendell and I went for a hike. We kept debating whether or not we should go, because while it was sunny and almost-warm when we got up, by 10:00 it was cold, windy, and grey. But I knew the leaves would start losing their color soon, so we bundled up and went. It was chilly, but not too bad once we were moving (except for my hands…should’ve worn my running gloves), and the bonus of hiking on a cold day is we had the trail almost entirely to ourselves. Plus the trees were on fire with color. Autumn hiking is the best!
(Kendell was teasing me about my hiking "outfit." I probably do match too much, lol!)
I’m trying to be hopeful that my recent mood upswing is a thing I can trust. I got out and went running twice last week, but I’ve got to ramp it up this week as I finally signed up for a half marathon. I’m going to run the Brooklyn Half in November, when we go to New York. I’m fairly excited to run a race in a different state, as I’ve never actually done that before. I also really, really love running in the fall, and I’m enjoying so much, this year, not having the anxiety of a heart surgery looming over us like we did for the past two autumns.
In his English class, Nathan read Oedipus the King, and last week he was working on an essay about it. We had some pretty good conversations about fate, choice, why bad things happen, and if they are unavoidable. I so love it when school influences relationships in positive ways. He played in his first volleyball tournament on Saturday, which we missed because I didn’t find out about it until that morning and I hadn’t planned for it. (Since I work two Saturdays a month, the Saturdays I don’t work are usually full of a long list of to-do items.) But he loved playing again, his team won 5 out of their 8 games, and he loves his coach. I’m so glad he switched from basketball to volleyball. I don’t know if this is just a Utah County thing, but the emotional environment of his basketball team was utterly toxic. Volleyball seems so much more laid back and supportive of everyone. He’s much happier with this sport.
Kaleb had his first parent-teacher conference for junior high. I couldn’t go because it was on the night I worked, but Kendell took him to it. I’ve worried about Kaleb in junior high being successful at academics (not because of ability but because I wasn’t sure he’d take it seriously) but he is doing great. He had two grades he needed to bring up before the end of the term this week, and has been doing that on his own without me prompting him. In his English class they’re reading the novel Wonder, which I loved. He’s read it before but is enjoying revisiting the story.
I finished the book I was reading for my book group and then I picked It back up. I need to just power through and finish it, because I have so many other books waiting. I also finally got all of the Halloween pics printed from the past 22 Halloweens, so I can put them in a simple little scrapbook. Photos coming soon! This summer I decided to try making some monthly family layouts—one double-page spread with photos from the month and list-style journaling. I realized that there are so many pictures that never get printed, and this is a good way to remedy that. I made the July, August, and September layouts last week and they came together quickly (I'm keeping them super simple). Not sure how long I'll do this—once Nathan moves out and it's just Kaleb at home, will I have enough family pics to keep it up?—but I am enjoying it, even if I only do it for a year.
I had a little meltdown this week (despite my improving mood!) based entirely on trump’s tinkering with the world. I am troubled by his careless actions, executive orders that hack away at things without giving any solutions, but what really pushed me over the edge was Rob Bishop working on dismantling the Antiquities Act. I wonder how much money he is getting from oil companies? Also the approval for the mine bid in Alaska. When trump was elected one thing I felt consistently was a sort of furious terror at what he will cause to happen to our environment. People’s lives will be negatively impacted by his decisions in terms of health insurance and taxes and policies. My life will be. (With two people in our family with heart conditions—which, I have to add even though it is wrong I feel compelled to add this—came about not because of their choices but because of genetics—you can bet that I am terrified about what will happen with our healthcare.) But the damage done to the physical world cannot be undone. It doesn’t just affect now, but the future. And it sends me to dark, sad places. Anyway, I posted about this sadness on Facebook, and although there were a few comments that made me grind my teeth a bit, there were some really kind, supportive comments too. I probably spend too much time on my social media (I always say “it’s like having friends,” in Luna’s voice in my head) and it’s not always positive, but sometimes it’s magical, the support it can bring.
And that, friends, is the wrap up of another week of October, my favorite month. Hoping this week continues on with the better mood!