42 Months (in two days)

Dear Beautiful Z,

In the middle of last month you had picture day at preschool. I preordered the package online, not knowing how they’d turn out. All I wanted was to preserve the memory of your very first picture day.

On your very first picture day, your teacher sent home a note. You usually get a daily note of your general behavior – this comes as a golden rod laminated form that your teacher fills out: What you ate, what you played with, any tantrums, or moments in the calm-down corner. But the note your teacher sent home on your first picture day was a pink note. The pink notes are achievement notes, and this is the one from your first picture day:


This made me excited to see your pictures! I asked Dadda when he thought your pictures would be ready, and he said they usually take two weeks.

The next two weeks the suspense was unbearable. I kept busy and tried thinking about other things to pass the time. But it occurred to me that it was possible your teacher sent home notes like that for all your classmates, and doubt crept into my mind. What if your smile wasn’t really a smile, but a weird smirk? What if it was one of those forced smiles with your eyes squinty or tightly shut? What if you got all muddy or grimy from snack time? I’ve seen bad school pictures. Many of my school pictures were horrible. I definitely lowered my expectations of how your first school pictures turned out.

But the day came when I picked you up from daycare and one of the workers said your school pictures were on the top shelf of your cubby hole, and that they were sooo cute. And we saw another daycare worker who commented likewise about your school pictures. And so you and I went to your cubby hole and I glanced at the photo through the window of the big envelope, and I just about fell to my knees and cried from the cuteness. this is what I saw:


Everyone loves your school pictures! I love them. Dadda loves them. I’ve shown them to you and asked who the girl in the pictures is, and you’ve answered with your name in that sweet little voice of yours. It’s nice to know that your teacher just wasn’t being nice when she sent home that pink note. She was being sincere, and I’m so glad we have this memory!

Yesterday Dadda and I had parent-teacher conference with your teacher. We talked for a good while about the progress you’re making, and she remarked how much energy you have! She’s impressed with you, and I hope you continue to let your teacher challenge you, and that you’ll eventually learn to harness that energy. We know you’re 3, we know you’re a sensory-seeker, so we definitely understand the spinning and running and climbing everywhere.

While we were at your school, we also got to talk with your speech pathologist, who had the chance of talking with your ABA therapist. It sounds like they will be able to coordinate their efforts and methods to bring about the best results for your speech development. How fortunate that we have these resources. We feel so blessed.

And today: Your teacher sent home another pink note!


We are super proud of you. We love that you’re learning and expressing yourself. We love that communication is starting to click for you. We’re doing our best to help you, and your sweet spirit and desire to learn keep us from feeling too overwhelmed. We are here for you, and we will support you always.

Love, mom

Open Letter to … Oh, Who Cares

To Whom It Does Not Apparently Concern,

I know that no public transportation system is perfect. Things happen. Trains break down or even get stuck on the tracks in the “narrows” between Draper and Lehi like the southbound train did this evening. I don’t even know how that kind of a thing happens, but I’d like to understand why it did. Because seriously, if trains were running every hour southbound all day without incident, I wonder what happened. Was there a snowdrift? Could the train’s momentum not push through a snowdrift? I guess I could just jump onto a news website and find out what happened, but it’s so much more fun right now to vent.

The conductor did say that “bus bridges” would pick us up from the Draper station and drop us off at the stops farther south. I was fine with waiting at the stop, because I texted the situation to my husband, and he offered to pick me up.

I was fine waiting in the warm train, away from the frigid air, until the conductor announced (and apologized) that the train would have to go back north. He said that everyone would have to get off the train and wait for the bus bridges. I even bundled up and felt prepared to wait in the cold. Somewhere between zero and ten degrees Fahrenheit. Reilly found the address to the station online, and he texted me that he would pick me up soon.

That text came at 5:44pm. We got kicked off the train at 5:58. Draper’s not that far away from Orem, and northbound rush hour traffic isn’t as busy as southbound, so I guessed Reilly would arrive in about 20-25 minutes, which meant 6:05-6:10.

The wait went beyond that range of expectation, which means that I got that much colder for every minute that I waited past 6:10. I was perfectly cozy in my many layers before then. And then somehow my toes froze inside my insulated boots, which means the insulation worked the wrong way.

So Reilly didn’t get to the Draper Frontrunner station until 6:27, which means it took him 43 minutes from Orem. The station looks to be quite in the middle of nowhere, and I wondered if people who’ve never been to the station could easily find it. The answer is easily no.

Thing is, dear Emersonian eyeball of public transportation: Just because you name a road “Frontrunner Boulevard” doesn’t mean the Frontrunner Station is automatically easy to find. Online, the station location is 12800 S 500 W, but the street names do not follow this grid address system near the station. That extra 17 minutes in the cold really isn’t anything to whine about, but if public transit in Utah is to be efficient and comprehensive:

  • Mark Frontrunner (and bus) stations with signs at the freeway exits
  • Use signs en route (from the freeway exit) to clearly direct public transport commuters to Frontrunner stations
  • Provide better online maps/links for Frontrunner station locations
  • Update the website immediately with alerts or route changes

It could have been worse, definitely, but no one should get lost looking for a Frontrunner station, especially if so many people rely on Frontrunner to get to and from work, and especially if another situation like today happens and people don’t want to keep their friends and lovers cryogenicizing out in Siberia because uncoordinated or lacking streets signs have caused the station to David Copperfield. Poof.

Things could be worse. I could be in Florida, stuck on Blanding Boulevard or the Buckman Bridge. I could be in Manhattan, in a Zipcar on the Westside Highway on the Friday before Labor Day.

But things are better now. My feet are warm again, and I can feel my toes.

So, I guess as long as the mercury doesn’t freeze, there will always appear to be a silver lining.

Thanks for letting me vent,


Let’s Play Inferences

I checked my grades for my religion class on Thursday
Apparently I received a 7/10 on a weekly journal assignment
I reviewed the journal assignment
I sent the professor an email contesting the score
The email may have sounded slightly annoyed, but I tried sounding as nice as possible

The professor’s response:
Ouch… sorry your journal was misgraded… It looks great to me and I have given you three more points. The reason it was marked down is my TA misunderstood what you were doing. It is fine. Press on. I continue to like your creativity…

Ouch: I may have come across more annoyed than I intended
three more points: My overall journal score is now perfect, and there is no reason why it shouldn’t be
TA misunderstood: This does not surprise me, though I’m a big fan of smart and competent TAs
I continue to like your creativity: The entry was relatively creative. Duh.


Now it’s your turn! What are your conclusions from these statements?

1. General Conference was great and dreadful in all the expected ways.

2. This week will be insanely busy.

3. I know I should want to get married, but most days, I just don’t feel it.

Have a great week!

Small Request

I know I don’t talk to a lot of you on a regular basis, and sometimes the conversation goes a certain way. Most of the time. You know what I mean. I’ve been having this kind of discussion for 18 years, ever since I was old enough to date?

If you decide to ask me if I’m dating anyone, just be aware that I will know:

  1. if you’re merely curious
  2. if you are concerned about my overall happiness and would meddle if you could
  3. if you want to brag about your current amazing relationship, which, if you’d just tell me already, I’d be very excited for you.

Now, I can hold up my end of the conversation, and my intuition serves me well. I may call you out on your intentions, or I may not. But please also be aware that:

  1. if I want to tell you if I’m dating, I will
  2. if I’m not dating, it doesn’t mean I’m sad or pathetic
  3. I really do appreciate your company, but if I’m not outright complaining about dating, you really don’t have to worry or try to fix anything. I’m doing great. I promise.


Not Grateful

Dear People,

Do you even read this blog anymore? I did start writing here over seven years ago as a way to update friends and family about my life. Now it seems I’m talking to empty space. A void.

I miss the details about your lives. I miss being involved. And present. And I realize what I signed up for when I returned to school, but I didn’t fully understand how much it would change everything.

Are we even friends anymore? I don’t recognize what this is, us.

Maybe I’m having trouble correlating my absence with the obvious consequence of delayed gratification. I’m used to being in the loop, instantly and constantly. Even when things were strained between us, when we were in the same room, at least we could share the elephant that stood in the middle of it.

Everything about all my relationships is palpable to me. They have texture and dimension. And when they seem to sublimate before me, I worry.

Is it really as easy as “Out of sight, out of mind”? It can’t be, else I might as well take Occam’s Razor across my wrist.

Oh, Google, What Do You Think You’re Doing?

I received an email from a lawyer today. It kindly requested I correct some information about the person the attorney represents. After I made the necessary edits, I replied:

Per your request, I did correct the reference to [the person] in my blog, mayiwrite.com. The edit was according to the designation you provided, [the designation]. Please confirm this correction or advise to omit the name altogether. I’d be more than happy to do that.

There is another mention of [the person] on my blog, besides the post where you commented. It happens to be in an anecdote from one of my readers. If you scroll down to the comment of [this post], you’ll see [the person’s name]. If I should do anything with this particular comment, please let me know.

It was never my intention to offend or misinform. I apologize for any oversight.

Thank you.

May Anderton

The esquire promptly replied, thanking me for making the change. He also said he read through some of my other entries. He said they were interesting and that I am an excellent writer. Keep up the good work, he said.

This whole situation is a pretty big deal, because our favorite search engine listed my blog as third from the top when I typed the person’s name in the window that dares me to find anything I absolutely want in the whole universe. How does that even happen?

My bad information could have turned into bad blood.

Very interesting experience. Always learning.

A Short Note

Dear Person,

I’d like to inform you that texting is not an acceptable substitute for a phone call. I’ve only texted you as a reply to your texts, but I’ve also called and left messages as an effort to show you how important talking with you is.

I know you’re busy; I know you’re involved. That does not excuse you from being a Person. You still have duties as a Person. I do not feel your love as a Person through your texts.

Please try to communicate better.

I miss you.

Love, may


Dear Australia,

Right now, over where you are, it’s Becky’s birthday.

If she had remained single up to this point, she would have “graduated” up to the family ward at church. You swept her up and saved her in the nick of time.

And, you took her from me. But hey, I can’t do anything about that. I wouldn’t have tried, seeing how abundantly happy she is.

You know what, though, Barry? I get to see her in a month.

I’ve been planning this for a long time, and with each passing day I get increasingly excited. I know you know what that’s like, because I’ve seen you count down the days when Becky would become a fixture in your life. I’m genuinely happy for you. I know you’re treating her well. I know she’s thriving and loving her new life and counting her blessings, even though she has to start numerous rounds on her fingers and toes to try keeping track.

When I think of Becky’s birthday, I think of my time with her in New York City. Movies and books and dinners and exploring the city with friends. And videos. And happy tears. Lots of laughter. True quality time. It was with that time I felt almost deceptive, because her presence was a far bigger gift than anything I could ever dream of giving to her.

It’s Becky’s birthday! Show her a great time, Barry. I know you’re making her as happy as she deserves to be. I know you’re more than capable of filling the next month with richness and bounty.

Then, I’d like a turn. If that’s okay.

I love you, Barry.

But, I loved Becky first.

Happy Birthday, girl.


Another Letter, Again

Dear Australia,


I know I said I was done writing you, but I just finished watching my best friend’s wedding videos, and I am weeping. I’m sure you’ve seen what a beautiful bride and wife she is. Of course you have.

It’s incredible, the different and disparate paths our lives take. The Lord definitely guides us – if we let Him – to where we need to be.

It’s Palm Sunday here, and my gratitude is overflowing.

I’m glad Becky and I got to talk on the phone a couple of weeks ago. The signal was clear, and she didn’t seem as far away.

It makes me happy to see my friends really, truly in love. I think back to that January morning in the temple and all the true and righteous choices that led to her marriage. What a beautiful day! What a wonderful life! She inspires me.

Becky loves and gives and understands and cherishes. I’m so blessed to have her friendship. She’s been there for me pretty much since we first met almost six years ago, and I can always count on her for her support.

Keep me posted, Barry. I’ll see you soon.


Still Applies

The power and wisdom of friends are beyond measure. One such friend told me one day:

May, … I wanted to share a few thoughts with you while they were fresh in my mind…..

First, let me say that I understand, from more firsthand experience than I wish I had, how you feel.  You know I’ve … been utterly perplexed as to what I should do next, and all as a single person, which adds a whole new dimension that most can’t understand.  I still look at my life occasionally and think, “Where am I going?  Why did I decide to do this?  And why didn’t things work out the way I wanted them to in (fill in the blank)?”.  I’ve been angry and not known what I was angry at, been sadder than I thought I could bear, and ached for people and places I left behind.  So, long story short….you are not alone.  Others have been where you are now, and while they can’t do much to take away the struggle you are going through, they do understand and know that the darkness will clear at some point.

Secondly, I want you to know that I am always willing to talk about anything you need to talk about….there is no need to be eloquent or even to make sense.  I have tried to give you your space … but don’t think that I’m not always willing to listen.  …  Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to make this time MEAN something, if that makes sense…..just relax and rest and take care of yourself and try to find fun when you can.  You are going through a major change in your life, and that is going to have an effect on your mental state….it would on anyone’s.  Don’t think there’s anything wrong with YOU when your brain feels jumbled or angst-ridden.

Thirdly (why do I feel like I’m writing a 3-point high school essay?), please know that being here is not a failure.  I admit that I am not coming from the perspective of someone who has lived in New York (and I’m not saying that sarcastically, if it sounds that way :-), but I have lived in a big city and I’ve traveled a lot and I know, to some extent, at least, the amazing life and opportunities those places offer.  But I’ve also found, through my own struggles, that there are things you can get here that you can’t get there.  I know it’s hard not to compare while you are here, but please don’t give those thoughts that you’ve landed back in lame-o podunkville any credence.  This place is filled with beautiful people who are living life and who have dreams and aspirations and disappointments and heartaches.  It’s okay to be here.  Where you are does nothing to define who you are.  This is just a part of your journey.

Finally, and most importantly, I believe firmly that God is a God of new life, of rebirth, of redemption, and of grace.  He is always doing something with our lives if we are seeking Him, even when we seem to be in the midst of a desert.  He takes the pieces of our lives and forms beautiful things, and I know He is doing that with yours.  Trust Him and trust that He’s doing something. That is the only anchor that holds firm.  I take a lot of encouragement from Psalm 103, especially vs. 2-5:
“Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits–who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

May, I hope this doesn’t seem judgmental (it’s not meant that way) or like so many platitudes.  They are just thoughts that I hope will help a bit.

Thank you.