Monday, August 31, 2015

Time Keeps on Slipping, Slipping Slipping

Since I last wrote, lots has happened. The revolving door of our house just keeps spinning, and the time hasn't stopped.

Sam and Madison left for their last year at BYU. It still feels strange not to have them living downstairs. They each have one year left of school, and I hope it will be great for both of them. I loved having them here, in the houes. It was so satisfying to see their new partnership and to have the chance to get to know Madison better. She was pretty brave and easy going to move in here for the summer immediately after marriage, and I love that she and Sam are now settling into their first apartment together. They will have lifelong memories from that first place.

Just before they left, we dismantled the kitchen to prepare for painting and updating the entire room. The things we plan to complete are: painting the cabinets, raising the cabinets, installing a shelf below the cabinets, getting a new sink and countertop, fixing a hole in the drywall, updating all hardware, installing recessed lighting, painting the walls, and updating my dishes and servingware. So far, we have the cabinets raised and the painting of them mostly complete. Tomorrow I put the last coat of paint on the last sets of doors. Two of four walls are painted, and the updated hardware has been chosen. The drywall has been repaired, and the shelves measured and cut. We also have the brackets for the shelves. I also have my new dishes. We are on day 12 since we started, and it will probably take about 2 more weeks for the main work to get done, then the counter and sink won't be purchased and installed for another month or more, when I decide what I really want and put the money together. I have about 2.5 weeks of near consecutive travel coming up, so Eric and Sara will be left with some of the details. I went a little crazy and chose a vibrant, sunflower yellow for the walls, and blue and white for the cabinets. Even in the chaos of the process, I absolutely love it. It makes me so happy to see the bright colors. I had good help with the paint and took the time to sample a lot of colors and it's satisfying to see that I got it right. It's not going to be everyone's cup of tea, but it's colorful and happy and it's really suiting me. I think that eventually I want wood countertops and will have more red touches like you see in the towels below.

Two walls and a blue cabinet. There will be doors. 

San Marino Dinner Plate
The New Dinnerware. It makes me so happy. 

On the same day that Sam and Madison left, Evan came home for a brief visit before his mission. He's had friends to see, farewells to attend, and errands to run. It's been great to have him home. He will be going into the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah on September 9, then leaving for Rosario, Argentina about 6 weeks after that. He'll be gone until September 2017.

We went to an Orioles game together. You can see how
happy these two are to be back together.

This past week has been a mixed bag of trying to work on the kitchen in any spare minute of mine while helping Ev get his own last-minute things done, punctuated by some fun times with Corinne's twins, who are part of my survival kit for living far from family. I sure love hanging out with them, and love that they think of me as an ordinary part of their lives. I decided a long time ago that I could whine and moan about being far from family, or I could find family wherever I am. I am grateful every day that I've chosen the latter.

It was also Sara's week for starting back to school, which is a huge step for her after returning from her mission in April. I'm really proud of her decision to be practical and stay here to get credits at the community college while she figures out her long-term plan. It worked well for Johnathan, and I think she is wise and brave to do what feels right. We got books ordered, a computer set up, and schedules figured out.

On Friday, Eric and I and Sara and Evan decided to go up to New York City for a quick 24 hours. Along the way we stopped in NJ for me to do a photoshoot for a favorite family, and then we met up at the LDS Temple right there in the heart of everything. A block from Central Park, almost across the street from Lincoln Center, and right where Columbus Avenue runs into Broadway. It's an amazing building, looking somewhat ordinary on the outside, but cleverly designed on the inside to hold both an everyday church facility, used for Sunday worship as well as weekly social activities and planning meetings; and a fully-functioning LDS Temple, which is a facility reserved for special ceremonies giving members the chance to remember and renew covenants made with God that govern how we live our lives. Being in the temple is a symbolic way to feel close to God in a special way. It's a unique experience similar to the temples spoken of in the bible, including the desert tabernacle that the Jews carried with them in the wilderness.

Because of all that, it's important to us to attend the temple regularly. The one here in DC is closed for two months of extensive renovations, but Evan is leaving soon for his mission, so we made a bit of a family pilgramage up to Manhattan to attend the temple there. It was definitely a worthwhile trip. We had some fun times, some emotional times, some great food from the Belgian Cafe across the street (Le Pain Quotidien) and some good memories.

The building that houses the temple and the church. 
(not my photo--we didn't take any while we were there)

My rasberry tart and hot chocolate from Le Pain Quotidien. A new favorite. And they have several locations in DC! I can't wait to go again.

When we arrived back from NYC, my sister Randi had arrived from Tennessee and was already waiting in the house. She came to hear one of Evan's farewell talks at church. It's always good to have her company. She brought one of her sons and as usual when small people come to visit, I'm glad I kept the Legos.

So now I'm caught up on the last 13 days. These are heady times for our family, with so many milestones, comings and goings, and witnessing the very act of our children becoming adults at close range. It's really quite amazing. Soon enough, our days will be quiet and routine, but right now, every day is different. Sometimes the pace seems dizzying and I just want a day to sit on the beach and read my book with my toes in the sand, then some days I'm afraid I'll miss something if I don't stay awake, right in the middle of it all.

Now I'll get a little sleep, then wake up tomorrow for another day of working on the kitchen, helping Evan get ready to go, and supporting Sara. Nice work if you can get it, and I am grateful.


  1. What a satisfying post! So many fun projects - I LOVE your kitchen color palatte, it makes me happy too! The NYC spontaneous trip is right up my alley. You are awesome!

  2. Your kitchen is going to be terrific. Love the dishes. It is special that some of the family is having a part in it. In the future, you can cook and remember the time you had together there. Young ones may be scattered, but their spirits will have traces in the kitchen. And that is the heart of the house.


Thank you for sharing your insights!