Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Film Above the Rest

It's not the original trailer - but this is brilliant! 

Worthy of a blog post...

And worth mentioning that while we wrap Christmas presents tonight, I have an extremely generous husband who doesn't mind watching my favorite movie...

If only ALL women could be like Elizabeth Bennett... what a better world it would be.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Nineteen years ago this month, I walked into the Tanner Bldg at Brigham Young University to meet with the director of the MBA program.  The man was Dr. Gary F. McKinnon. 

And by a happy, fateful coincidence, I'd already been on a few dates with his second-to-youngest son.  But that was beside the point.  Over a Sunday dinner, Gary had urged me to come meet with him on campus to discuss my academic future.

My academic future??

I was a Freshman at BYU.  In other words... clueless.

Gary sat across from me in his office and leaned his elbows over his immaculate, organized table.  With a spark in his eye he asked me if I'd ever considered getting an MBA.

No.  I hadn't.

He then launched into his powerful pitch about the corporate spectrum, marketing, women in business and how acceptance into a top 25 MBA graduate program would skyrocket my career (the Marriott School MBA program is #17 last time I checked).  And then came the phrase I would never forget.  With all the persuasive foresight and understanding my future father-in-law possessed, he looked me straight in the face and wisely predicted,

"It doesn't matter where you go or what you do.  It will open doors for you."

That meeting set in motion my academic goals for the next several years.  Academically rigorous years combined with miraculous GMAT scores before that wonderful phone call telling me I had finally made it.  I had been accepted!  And never once during that time did I forget what Gary had said.

Because he was completely, 100% right. 

And he still is right.  

Thank heavens for the wise and sage counsel of family!  And the older I get, the more I find myself clinging ever more tightly to their guidance.  Blessed is my life and the lives of my children because of the wisdom of my parents.

Greg, Pretty Girl and Gary McKinnon

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Next Mr. Walt Whitman...

My favorite part of this little piece from Our Sweetie was the ending...

Once there was a storm.
It blew out all the corn.
But I was safe on my
porch eating my food with
a fork.

- A. McKinnon, 2013 -

Friday, October 11, 2013

Happy Birthday!!

I asked each of the kids what their favorite thing about Mom was, and while it was hard to choose, and on some I literally said “seriously?”, here they are... 

BIG GUY - "Mom takes us on awesome summer field trips and helps us do experiments."

SWEETIE - "She loves me."

PRETTY GIRL - "She shares her lotion and makeup."



ME -
My favorite things about her are her quirks.  These include misquoted sayings, the fluttering opposing eyelid when she does her eyelashes, the way she sucks on Jolly Ranchers, and most recently discovered, her very apparent emotions while reading, switching from intense stares to a subtle, and sometimes not so subtle smile.  And mostly her surprise when she sees me watching.

The one thing we all agree on, she is priceless.  Happy birthday sweetheart.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

"There is no fence nor hedge around time that is gone. You can go back and have what you like of it, if you can remember. So I can close my eyes on my valley as it is today, and it is gone, and I see it as it was when I was a boy. Green it was, and possessed of the plenty of the Earth... Everything I ever learned as a small boy came from my father and I never found anything he ever told me to be wrong or worthless. The simple lessons he taught me are as sharp and clear in my mind as if I had heard them only yesterday."

- How Green Was My Valley, Richard Llewellyn -

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Nostalgic in Less Than 26 Seconds (3 Videos + Mood Music)

This morning we spotted snow in the mountains above our home and my fingers froze on the way to work.  I'm missing warmer times and all the freedom of being with my kids.  Last summer was Colbie Caillat.  This summer it was The Lumineers. 

"I belong with you.  You belong with me.  You're my sweetheart."


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Rare Insight

Once a week (or more) I volunteer in my kids' classrooms.  I don't get to interact with them 1:1 - instead it's mostly mundane, mind-numbing errands like copy papers, correct papers, sort papers...

You get the idea.

But I love it.  Because while I go through these simple tasks in the back of the classroom, I get to watch my children - up close and personal, like a fly on the wall.  I get to watch how they interact with their peers, their environment, their social world outside of their home.  Because for the most part, they forget I'm there - or they think I'm too busy to be notice.

I'm not.

I notice if they're really paying attention to the lesson/teacher and how much of what he/she says actually gets translated correctly when they get home.  It's amazing to observe how they move in their most basic element - witnessing them struggle with how to respond, how to calculate a move, what to think of themselves when someone else makes a judgment that's not Mom or Dad.

It's an incredibly enlightening experience. 

And it makes the love I have for my children explode - like a heavy pressure in my chest.  It makes me love them THAT much more for bravely shouldering an ever-increasing load that will take them further and further away from me into their own independence.  The heaviness sometimes feels lonely.

Is this how God feels while watching me?  Is His discerning gaze aware of my struggles, my weaknesses and my tactless gibberish?  Does He know that sometimes I'm not listening when I should be?  That I should be kinder when I'm not?  And that deep down I only really want to come home?

The days I volunteer are my kids' favorite day of the week because Mom is suddenly, uncharacteristically sweeter than the other days.  And she usually has their favorite after-school snacks waiting when they get home.

They can't figure out why.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

One of Those Moods...

I love the metaphor of change here & how it reminds me of being a parent - this is me talking to my babies. 

(and Patty sings this like no other - upbeat, fast tempo with serious guitar action and soulful heartache)

My friend, my friend, you are traveling
So many secrets are unraveling
Some other picture's coming into view
I've seen the water washing over you
And the water's speaking now, it speaks your name
I hear it talking to me, sometimes when it rains
Telling me a story of joy or pain
But I've got no regrets baby, I've got no shame

'Cause we are water.  We flow and flow.
I feel you pouring through every inch of my soul
And I really must tell you this, baby before you go
We are water

You are a river, baby, you've got plenty of time
You don't know where you're going, you're just following the lines
There's just no telling where this river will flow
You got no choice in the matter, baby, you just go where it goes
You're making your bed tonight, right under this cloud
Sometimes the lightening's so frightening
Sometimes the thunder's so loud
Still, I know this tide is always kissing your heels
Someimes I think I'm drowning in all these things that I feel

And we are water, we flow and flow
I feel you pouring through every inch of my soul
And I really must tell you this, baby before you go
We are water
We are water
We are water
We flow and we flow

-We Are Water, Patty Griffin-

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


A conversation with our Big Guy -

"Mom, sometimes I wish I was an only child."

"Oh, yeah?  What would you do if you didn't have your brothers and sister?"

"Oh, I'd be running outside and building forts all day and doing a thousand jumping jacks.  And then I'd play some lacross and basketball.  Maybe some soccer.  Then I'd go work out at the gym and read a ton more books."

"Really?  That sounds fantastic!  Later this afternoon while Bubbs is taking his nap, there will be nobody around to interupt you if you want to go outside and get started on all of that."

"Oh, no Mom.  Not today.  I meant another day."

"What about tomorrow?"

"I'm busy."

Monday, February 18, 2013

Realistic Happiness

This is Greg. (esp the early morning part)

This is our little family. 

This is my sweet day-to-day routine and every good moment of it I credit with following my earthly father and my Eternal Father. 


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

New McKinnon Theme

I've wanted to update our blog theme for a few years now - but I had to wait until Bubbs was big enough to warrant the new silhouette figure above. 

It's definitely the right time.

Life will change, habitats alter and our kids will someday stretch their wings.  So along the way, we'll focus on The Divine Things That Matter Most. And in celebration of the change, it's time to once again post the video below which showcases Elder Uchtdorf's talk.

You can never hear this talk enough. And my kids are crazy about the video.