Monday, November 30, 2015

Radiant chaos and animal calm...

Nothing in Common 

Sometimes I feel I have nothing in common with anyone.
I shamble through the day, dragging my knuckles in the grass,
and each new hour with each new person is a cliff I can’t climb —

yet I know I’m alive now — inside a song as deep as forever,
that stretches to the infinite future and the bottomless past,
connecting every place I’ve lived or nearly died —

and I shouldn’t worry so much about losing what’s most precious,
my simian balance, shaggy fur, bold fleas,
my plentiful fingers and opposable thumbs,

and my curious, glowing, ape-like eyes that still shine
with radiant chaos, wondrous animal calm,
and so much love, for everyone.

- Freya Manfred 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

His First Decade

My Roo...

When the doctors delivered my son and I heard his first cries, I immediately broke into tears.  Outright sobs.  My doctor even joked with me while I lay recuperating on the operating table - "Don't worry.  He doesn't look that bad".

I've never experienced a happy cry like that before.  And not just happy - it was celebratory, exclamatory, triumphant!  The little guy had made it!!  For 9 months I had lived on a perpetual cliff of anxiety.  Not knowing how long I'd be granted this precious connection with a little life inside me.  I came to appreciate every single moment.  Grateful for every passing day for what it was, never looking too far ahead. 

He arrived 10 years ago this month.

We're still soaking up every moment.  

Thursday, November 26, 2015


Bubbs was born during one of the worst forecasted storms in Utah's history.

The hospital went down to a bare-bones operating staff.  They even called nurses at home and told them not to risk themselves on the roads.  Greg left Bubbs in my arms and quickly hurried home so he wouldn't be stranded away from the other 3 kids when the storm hit.  The hospital consolidated all the maternity wards onto one floor and in one hallway.  I remember keeping Bubbs in my hospital room that night - I wanted him safe with me throughout the storm, especially if we lost power or something else outrageous.

But nothing happened.  

The storm was a light dusting - a laughing joke for the predicted "storm of the year".

Turned out to be a perfect parallel for my apprehensive fears over adding one more to our family.

Fear isn't the right term.  Terrified is more like it.  For my health, my sanity, my balance.  The hard part of going through years of infertility - once the windows miraculously open, how do you possibly justify closing them?  

Bubbs almost didn't come.

But Heavenly Father knew we needed him.  And in the end, it was Greg.  All Greg.  And revelation that comes when you're least expecting it - like on a busy Sunday morning with all our crazy chaos for 9:00 church - the last moment in the world when you feel like plunking another little one in there. 

But we did.

And the joy and love in our house has only skyrocketed since.

So let us not be fooled.  And let us not be disillusioned.  Let our eyes see You clearly. - Nichole Nordeman

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Greg's Glory Days

Further proof that snowboarders are just plain sexier than skiers.  

Fresh off his mission and getting acclimatized to the slopes again.  Circa winter 1998.  Greg was with his younger brother David and one of his favorite companions from the mission - Matt Yenzer.    

I love this photo (it's been buried in unmarked boxes for years).

Friday, November 20, 2015

Eyes Dad is amazing.  But I knew that long ago.  I knew it before he brought 30 cow eyes to my 5th grade class for myself and my classmates to dissect.  In my 5th grade-sized hands, the eyes were much bigger than I had ever imagined.  And so much harder to slice through than you'd think an eye would be.

When your Dad is a retina surgeon, you get used to seeing eyes up close.  Really close.  Nothing grosses you out after a while.  In fact, the lens is quite beautiful - like a diamond.  And if you reach the back of the eye, you'll find the retina, which honestly looks like a rainbow in your hands. That's when you realize the black residue goo of the eye (the iris) is absolutely necessary because it tempers the power of the retina.  The genius of the eye is brilliant when you think about it.  Clearly the Creator knew what He was doing.

Like sending me to my father.

And granting all of us a few more years with him so he could come to my son's 4th grade class and repeat history.     

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Month We Moved Into Our Car...Again

This year wasn't too bad.  

Our Big Guy finished his second year with his Jr. High Cross Country Team and we only had to juggle piano, scouts and the tail end of mountain biking.  He dropped more than 5 minutes from the start of the season to his run in Regionals - bones and muscle this little man.     

Out Sweetie wanted soccer only.  But he warned me the minute he hits 6th grade, he's joining Cross Country.  And maybe mountain biking (2 more years, 2 more years, 2 more years).  When that time comes, Greg and I will have zero weekends free from the start of August to mid October.    

Pretty Girl is still into dance.  The plan is volleyball in the spring.    

And Bubbs...we're in no rush.  

We have NO SPORTS for the next 5 months (aside from Pretty Girl's dancing).  My mind is going wild with possibilities!!  

Like naps.  And putting my feet up.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Holidays With My Better Half

I freely admit I can't stand most Christmas music.  This is one of my lovely exceptions.  Every year I forget about it until mid September - and then I laugh all over again.  I love it because it's me.  It's Greg.  And it's exactly what happens in our marriage every holiday.

But it's like this every year, you deserve a lot more credit here.
You always show me up on Christmas day.
Well I ought to be a little bit more like you.
Instead of running around with so much to do.
I gotta relax and take in the holiday.


(On a side note, not only does the talented Nancy Hanson live in my town, her kids go to my kids school!!!  I get a little fan girlie whenever I see her.  I've been a fan since college.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Fall In Review

This fall season we took it easy.

In between BYU football games, bike riding, camping, hunting, our annual reading of The Raven, Halloween parties, cousins parties, corn-field mazes, BYU Homecoming, 5K races (3rd and 4th place!!), fishing, decorating, pumpkin carving, Halloween parades, trick-or-treating...

Yeah, we took it easy.  

TWO McKinnons on the board!!