It Was A Beautiful Day

June 8, 2019


This was two weeks ago. I don’t know how that happened, where the time went. Not that it passed particularly quickly or slowly, but that it . . . moved.


The service at the church was beautiful. Poignant music. Heartfelt words. A lot of tears. Some laughs. Many hugs. There are a million stories that could come from that hour and a half at the church. And a million more that could come from the hour-long viewing beforehand.

Graveside. Sunny, mid-60s.


Z could not have been been better behaved. She understood the day.


Carla would have loved these flowers. A coworker relayed that Carla actually chose her spray. Her colleagues were more than eager and happy to oblige her. For this day. This one wish. Something in the way her coworkers regard her is particularly touching to me. They were also her friends, but there was something about their relationship that somehow resounds with me.


Two weeks sometimes feels like a million years ago. Sometimes it feels like yesterday. These perceived lapses occupy the same space. Or maybe they’re layered on top of each other. Or interwoven. I don’t understand it. Maybe a part of me wants to believe that understanding it will help me feel better. But what I should understand is that I’ll feel better with time. Whether that time is in slow-motion or warp speed.

And “feeling better” isn’t a singular event. I’ve felt pretty darn ok in certain moments. Laughed, even. I’ll take what I can get.

I’ll give what I can, too.

Today is Blake and Carla’s 41st wedding anniversary.

This isn’t an easy month right now.

We’re all going to watch Reilly’s brother play in the Utah Symphony as they accompany a screening of Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire.

Should be fun.

A Voice

“I sure do love you.”


This is the soundbyte.

Over the last few months. Probably the last year. Carla would say that right into Z’s ear whenever she gave her a hug.

Whenever this memory bubbles up, I hear her loud and clear, as if she’s in the very same room. As if the memory is present. In real time. The inflection. The tone. The depth and pureness and sheer truth of this statement.

I don’t ever want to not hear it, for it to fade.

At bedtime, I try to say it to Z the same way Carla said it to her.

I want to keep hearing it. I want Z to hear it. Forever.

To feel it.

A Memory

Disclaimer: I’m grieving and have more feelings than I know what to do with. Writing is one way to sort through them. Not sure if they’ll make sense, but here they are.

Further back. In the month or so of receiving her diagnosis. Early 2017.

The bishop is over to give Carla a blessing. Reilly administers the oil. Or maybe the roles are switched.

I’m crying way before “amen.”

She hugs the bishop. She hugs Reilly.

She says to me, “Come here.” And she hugs me.

Comforts ME.

When she’s the one with less than 30 months to live.

Always a giver; always a fighter. Always loving.

A Memory

Disclaimer: I’m grieving and have more feelings than I know what to do with. Writing is one way to sort through them. Not sure if they’ll make sense, but here they are.

Sometime during Carla’s final two or three weeks. Probably Mother’s Day. Maybe the Sunday before. In Reilly’s parents’ house.

We’ve had dinner.

We’re sitting in the living room, just hanging out. All the kids are there.

One of them asks, “Do you want to go downstairs and watch a movie or something?”

Carla says, “I like sitting up here, talking to all of you.”

We stay upstairs.

We talk.

She loves it.

We love that she loves it.

Because we love her.

I Thought the Cup Game from Girls Camp Was a Secret

From this post:

We learned a fun cup game while we waited for our turn [to eat]. Two claps, three drums to the bottom of the cup facing up, one clap, pick up the cup with the right hand and set it to the right slightly (boom); clap, pick up the cup with the right hand, bringing the cup’s mouth to the palm of the left hand, set the cup down right side up (boom), pick the cup back up and put in the left hand, bang the right palm on the table (boom), and place the cup mouth down on the table space of the person to the right. The rhythm starts over and gets faster until your cup ends back in front of you. I still remember it, obviously.

This cup game combined singing teenagers and percussion, young women and an emotional bond created through rhythm. We laughed, we sang, we got loud and laughed some more. We also happened to sound great while doing all of that. I can hear the echoes of my memories so clearly.

I’ve come across variations of this cup game, and that only means that I have to admit to watching shows like Glee and movies like Pitch Perfect. They’re the same show, you say? Maybe. Do I care? Sort of, but also sort of not.

Sometime during Christmas break, I decided to catch up on this season of Glee. One of the first songs of the premiere features Provo’s/Las Vegas’s very own Imagine Dragons and their song, “It’s Time.” And the LDS Girls Camp Cup Game, of course.

Then last weekend, per a friend’s suggestion, Reilly rented Pitch Perfect. During one scene, Anna Kendrick’s character decides to audition for a college acapella group with just her voice and a cup. Fittingly, she sings a song called, “Cups,” and it features the LDS Girls Camp Cup Game.

These shows didn’t ruin my memories of girls camp. Instead, watching how trendy the cup game has become has allowed me to fondly reminisce about 100 girls chanting and drumming, with strong voices and drinking cups, a daily ritual that didn’t even last a week, every summer for four years. Those were such good times.

A Few Favorite Photos from 2012

On New Year’s Day, 2013, Reilly is on the floor grading papers and lesson planning. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade plays in the background. It’s one of those cold yet sunny days. I’ve decided to sort through this year’s photos and see which ones I like the most, strike the fondest memories, make me smile a lot. These are in no particular order and only represent a tiny fraction of the photos we have.

When the light is right and when the walls aren’t purple, I still like admiring the engagement/wedding ring.


Really, one of the funnest days I’ve had.


Along with this.


And this.


I love weddings. I always cry. If not for the actual photographer’s flash in my way, this would be one of my all-time favorites. What a jerk. Still a super cute picture though.

Big screens showed shots of the massive audience. I just say I had a backstage pass.

I never listened to a lot of Iron Maiden, but this concert was a lot of fun.


I came out of this concert walking on air.


Free Frontrunner day with one of my favorite families.


The Alpine Loop in the fall is always pretty. Reilly is always pretty.


At Rockefeller Center in August. We got some sun, and my hair isn’t horrible here.


The past, present, and future all here.


He wears these all the time now.


Awesome, right?

The picture’s blurry, but this hike was amazing.


Labor Day weekend in Moab. Saw good friends for the first time in around five years.


Simple. I really like it.


Something magical about the hint of mountains here.

Reilly’s done grading and planning now. So we’re watching Last Crusade with more attention. It’s at the part with the dirigible.

Here’s to another year, more pictures, more memories, ever more happiness.

Those Who Have Gone Before

“Thirty-five is when you finally get your head
together and your body starts falling apart.”
– Caryn Leschen

“Thirty five is a very attractive age;
London society is full of women who have of their own
free choice remained thirty-five for years.”
– Oscar Wilde

“Very few people do anything creative after the age of thirty-five. The reason is that very few people do anything creative before the age of thirty-five.”
– Joel Hildebrand

Keep it coming, life.  I can’t wait for more.

Happy birthday to me.

Avec Corrections

Rewriting the whole thing with the corrections will help me understand the grammar better. Posting it on a public blog will help me face my constant feelings of idiocy. I need the practice. The account below is a true story in my head; I may have taken artistic liberty with some of the details. I will say the professor likes my writing style, and that may have kept my grade from plonger.

Before you skip the rest of this entry, let me report: Day 1, no cookies; I only picked a little bit on my left thumbnail, and I already totally oopsed on the profanity. No one heard. Well, except You Know. I’m working on that.

Un Noël Blanc

J’avais treize ans. Quelques jours avant Noël, je suis allée à la fête d’anniversaire de mon amie, car son anniversaire était la veille de Noël. Il faisait plus froid que d’habitude ce soir-là, mais j’avais assez chaud chez mon amie. La fête était amusante, et je ne voulais pas aller dehors. Quand je rentrais, mes parents et moi avons parlé en voiture du temps froid; les arbres étaient nus mais du givre couvrait les branches. C’était une beauté bizarre. Nous avons arrêté de parler. Les phares coupaient le noir mais le silence a persisté jusqu’à ce que nous soyons arrivés ches nous. Ensuite, nous sommes allés au lit.

C’étaient les vacances de Noël, pourtant mon petit frère et moi nous réveillions tôt tous les jours. Le matin, nous regardions des dessins animés, et puis nous mangions le petit déjeuner. Quelquefois, nous faisions nos devoirs. Parce qu’il faisait trop froid cet hiver pour jouer dehors, nous sommes restés dans la maison. Parfois, nous jouions à des jeux d’enfants. Plusieurs cadeaux étaient sous le sapin, et nous essayions de deviner ce que c’était. Ensuite, ma mère nous disait de nous habiller et de faire nos tâches ménagères. Sans nous plaindre, nous obéissions.

Après  deux jours de plus, c’était la veille de Noël. Cette année-là nous avons mangé un grand repas la veille de Noël. Mon père a fait deux tartes: une aux citrouilles et l’autre aux pommes. De plus, il a rôti une dinde et a fait de la purée de pommes de terre et du maïs. Tout était divin. Notre famille avait une tradition d’ouvrir un cadeau et de lire l’histoire Noël de la Bible. Quelquefois nous chantions des cantiques, mais nous n’étions pas très bons chanteurs. Cette année-là, nous avons aussi conduit dans des beaux voisinages pour regarder les lumières et les décorations. En les regardant, des flocons blancs ont commencé à tomber du ciel. Ils ont gentiment flotté à terre, où ils ont disparu. Alors, mon père a conduit lentement pour notre sécurité, mais surtout pour que nous regardions la neige.

Chez nous, mon frère et moi n’avons pas dormi pendant plusieurs heures. Au lieu, nous avons fixé les toutes petites étoiles qui descendaient. Le clair de lune faisait luire les nuages. Nous avons regardé comme si c’était le meilleur film que nous n’ayons jamais vu. Finalement, nous sommes endormis.

Le jour suivant était Noël! Nous nous somme réveillés et avons ouvert les cadeaux qui restaient. Je suis certaine qu’ils étaient génials, mais il y a des choses plus importantes, comme le temps. C’était la Floride! Le temps était plus significatif que le bavardage habituel. Une couche blanche couvrait la terre et des petites stalactites de glace étaient suspendues aux arbres. Notre jardin avait l’air pur. Il neigeait toujours; les flocons étaient plus grands. Mon frère et moi avons mis un tas de vêtements et nous sommes allés dehors. Sans gants, nous avons fait un petit bonhomme de neige. Nous avons joué jusqu’à ce que nous ayons froid, environ trente minutes.

J’appelle Jacksonville « la région froide de la Floride » parce qu’elle est au nord, mais il n’y neige pas tous les jours, alors nous sommes allés dehors après nous être réchauffés, après nous avoir bu du chocolat chaud. Les garçons qui habitaient à coté sont aussi venus dehors (mais ils n’étaient pas mes premiers amours, au fait), et ils se sont battus contre nous (mon frère et moi) avec des boules de neige. Nous avons joué comme ça toute la journée. Nos cils ont blanchi et nos bouches faisait des petits nuages quand nous parlions. C’était mon premier Noël blanc. C’était un jour magique.

Le Château de ma Mère

Notre classe lit le livre qui est l’histoire de ce film. Aux trois prèmieres minutes de cette scène, j’ai pleuré. Tous les hommes de la famille Pagnol sont très beaux, n’est-ce pas? La campagne et le voix du narrateur contribuent à la nostalgie puissante,  et c’est me fait penser à mon enfance. Je me demande où sont mes amis, et les ans passés me rendent me sentir vielle.

Quels bons souvenirs.

J’irai La Voir Un Jour

The first time I heard this song was in April 2007. At a Patty Griffin concert. My very first one. It was at the Beacon Theatre, and I had never been to that venue before. It’s one of those moderate-sized halls that happens to feel intimate at the same time.

This song combines Patty Griffin and French, two of my most favorite things in the world (though French is starting to slip in the rankings these days).

Patty introduced this song as one her grandmother sang to her when she was a child. Simple tune, simple lyrics, but beautiful and touching. It was just her and the piano for this number. Her voice, her memories. Her music causing my tears.

It makes me think about love and family and eternity. It makes me think of my own grandmothers, whom I didn’t really know. But I interacted more with my mom’s mother, and I never knew my grandmother on my dad’s side.

My mom’s father was a very gentle man from what I can remember, and my dad’s father was stern.

I wish I knew them all better. But I will.

I will see them one day.

J’irai la voir un jour
Au ciel dans la patrie
Oui j’irai voir Marie
Ma joie et mon amour

Au ciel, au ciel, au ciel
J’irai la voir un jour

J’irai la voir un jour
J’irai mourir aux anges
Pour chanter ses louanges
Et pour former sa cour

J’irai la voir un jour
Cette vierge si belle
Bientôt j’irai près d’elle
Lui dire mon amour

Au ciel, au ciel, au ciel
J’irai la voir un jour

J’irai la voir un jour
J’irai près de sa tombe
Recevoir la colombe
Dans l’éternel séjour

J’irai la voir un jour
J’irai loin de la terre
Sur le coeur de ma mère
Me poser sans retour

Au ciel, au ciel, au ciel
J’irai la voir un jour

J’irai la voir un jour.