Saturday, May 28, 2016

It is done

It happened.

It is done.

My fourth child has graduated from High School.

 We took a few pictures.
Much to his dismay.

Harley came to support him.

Obligatory picture with the parentals.

Even Ryan came to the graduation. 
Brotherly love.

Anyway, YAY!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


Homework has been the bane of my existence for many many years now.
Oh, not MY homework.
I had no trouble with my own homework.
It's the kids homework that is the absolute WORST.

I am in the final countdown now,
with my last child graduating from High School seven days from now.

And yet
the torture continues.

He stayed home from a church activity last Wednesday so that he could 
"finish his homework".
I came home to find him laying on the couch.
Was it finished?
Oh no.  Not by a long shot.
He whined about being SOOO tired.

The next day he knew he had to finish it but I could tell he was starting to think it might be fine to only partially finish it.
How little could he do and still pass?

I bribed him with eating out.
If he finished 3/4 of it, we could go eat out.
Then he could finish the last of it afterwards.
It actually worked!

And I don't think the homework was as painful as he thought it would be.

I wish I could say that the torture was over after that.

But, no.

Today he has to tackle a big stack of make up work for seminary...
which is another story that I will not venture into because I will begin to rant.

We can do this.
I know we can.
Well, I think we can.
I hope we can.

Why am I even involved?

Why is this a "we" thing?

I don't think my parents ever even asked about my school work!
much less, get involved.
But, I was a different kid and they were different parents.

Anyway, today, I believe is the LAST DAY for homework woes here at the Hill house.

I can not wait to be done.

Another too long post about unrelated things

Have I talked about Mother's Day?
Here it is in a nutshell:
no breakfast
had to wake the kids up for church
(obviously I started out the day a little annoyed)

flowers and candy from kid

funny card from other kid with nice note inside

texts and calls from far away kids
Chocolate and pampering all day from hubby

truffle from church
card and cookies from niece who was here for the weekend!

went to my brother's church to see his son receive the Priesthood
lunch cooked by hubby and brother
(also awesome)
no pictures...dangit.

home for card opening
fried chicken and waffles for dinner

all's well that ends well!
A good day.

At the end of April I attended BYU Women's Conference
These kinds of events are one of the things that make living in Utah so great.
I love being inspired, spending time with girlfriends and family, and just getting that little time away from life.
My friend Kim (who moved to Utah, a couple of hours away from me, from Massachusetts) and her daughter came down and stayed at my house.
It was fantastic.
My sister also attended.
It is always fantastic when I get to spend time with my sisters.

We even met up with Kim's daughter-in-law for one of the sessions!

I'm terrible at looking normal in selfies.

At least I look excited though...which I was.

One of the things we did during Women's Conference was to be involved in a service project to make meals for the local food bank.  We collectively made over 350,000 meals!
It was awesome.

Seriously though, I'm a dork.


Frank finished the wood shed and placed a couple of pallets inside on which to set the wood.
The pallets were blue plastic.
Oh. My. Word.
After going to all the trouble to make a pretty woodshed, he put blue plastic pallets inside???
I decided to keep my mouth shut.
Seriously, it's too late anyway.
I did mention to my friend, Kim, that I could not believe that I had to look at ugly blue pallets and we had a little chuckle over the cluelessness of men.

The next day I returned home from Women's conference to see that Frank had installed a nice wood edging to the front of the wood shed.
He said to me, "Did you see what I did?  I knew those blue pallets would probably bug you, so I made it so they won't show."
I feel bad for doubting him.
He knows me so well.
And, also, am I difficult? 
Don't answer that.


Carter and I have been shopping a lot lately for clothes and other necessities for his mission.
It has been pretty fun.
He doesn't love shopping so we are doing multiple short trips rather than a long marathon session.
We have spent a ton of money...all his so far, thankfully.

I haven't taken pictures because he hates having his picture taken.
But I tried to snap a few without his knowledge the other day
(he caught me)
because, seriously, I should have some proof of the event, shouldn't I?

Here he is trying on his overcoat/raincoat.

Noticing that I am taking pictures and turning away.

Giving in and sort of posing for me.

He's really a cute, pleasant kid overall.
He likes to give me a hard time but it's generally all in fun.


Amber is really good about sending videos and pictures of the kids.
I certainly wish they lived closer, but if they can't live close by, I am so thankful that she keeps us updated on their lives.
I miss that cute family.
Here are a couple of recent pictures she sent:

She told the girls that she wanted to send silly faces to Daddy and this is what she got.
Thankfully she sent them to the grandparents too.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Senior Pictures

All photos taken by Dion Davidson, Photographer Extraordinaire

I have wanted senior pictures of Carter since the fall...
However, this kid does not like to have his picture taken.
So I waited.

But graduation is only 2 weeks away now, so time is definitely up!
I asked my brother if he would take some senior pictures for me
and just informed (I did not ask) Carter that we had an appointment for pictures.

Looking serious....he's too cute.
He wasn't excited, but he did agree to show up.

He wore the same clothes he wore to school that day.
He fixed his hair by running his fingers through it.

He didn't tie his shoes
(more authentically "him" apparently)

He looks handsome in his pictures.

I love this kid.

Of course I love all my kids.

But here are a few lovable things about this particular kid:
He's funny.
He makes cute faces.
He likes to tease but usually in a nice way.
He likes to pretend to give me a hard time, but then follows up by doing what I want him to do.
He's pretty helpful around the house. Ok, I usually have to ask...but when I ask, he helps happily.

He makes the "magnum" face when taking pictures...I mean, how can you not love that?
He likes to watch movies with me or play cards with the family.
Sometimes he isn't in the mood to play cards, but he still does it.  Although he will often throw the game in these situations.
When I guilt him into taking a family walk even when he doesn't want to...he does it.

And if we leave without him because he doesn't want to go on a family walk, he will get up and try to catch up with us. Aw.
He likes the same TV shows that I like and we laugh over funny scenes or quotes together.
His room is a disaster.
(I don't usually find this to be a lovable quality but I'm feeling sentimental right now.)

He was ready to be done with pictures after this short photo session 
and was dismayed when Dion let it slip that we might do more later.

I still have hope of getting some decent pictures of him in his Eagle uniform
which he will hopefully consent to
(after all, I made his brothers do it)
but we shall see...

We told him to walk down this road.  He looked skeptical.  We said, "You're walking into your future"  To which he responded, "On a dirt road?! My future is a dirt road?! I hope my future is at least paved!"

Friday, May 13, 2016

It's time

I'm so ready for school to be finished.

You know how I can tell that I'm ready?
I'm already in "summer mode"
Carter and I were caught sitting in front of a movie at 11 PM last night when Frank returned from his business trip.
On a school night.
I had not even paid attention to what time it was!

I'm saying things like 
"We should go to Logan next week"
to which Carter might say 
"Am I skipping school?"
and I might respond
"Do you have anything important?"

Not the right example or attitude, I realize.

The downside to school ending is that I am creeping ever closer to the day that Carter leaves.
He will leave for his mission on June 22.
A mere 40 days from now.

He has the same sense of humor as his Dad and brothers...
so he likes to just randomly say things like
"42 days until I leave home forever"
Just to remind me.
sweet, isn't he?

I've already had a few episodes of feeling teary eyed over the fact that my last child is leaving home.

I sometimes go into mom mode and tell Carter to do his homework or to finish strong.

But mostly I am thinking about how I want to relax
or how we should have a barbecue
or go on a road trip.

Graduation is two weeks from today.

It can't come soon enough.
It's happening way too fast.

Monday, May 9, 2016

The sound of silence

I really enjoy being alone.

Maybe it comes from being in a family of 8 kids where there was always always lots of noise.
Always so much activity around.
Maybe it comes from having four boys and all the noise they made.

But when I have a bit of time to be all alone at home,
I find it to be absolutely blissful.

I usually "waste" the time
by lounging around or
reading a book or
watching a favorite show.

Sometimes I think I should spend the time doing some cleaning or other necessary tasks
since I don't get those things done very well when everyone is home,
but I rarely bring myself to do that.

I just bask in the silence.

My husband is the kind of guy who always has music going or an audio book.
He doesn't really get my enjoyment of silence.

But, I really love quiet.

All I hear right now is the wind blowing occasionally outside.
A random bird in the backyard.

If I return from running errands
or arrive home from work
to find that there are no cars in the driveway,
I am always struck with a moment of happiness that I know I will be alone for a few minutes.

I occasionally feel bad when this feeling comes over me.
But it isn't that I don't enjoy my family.
I promise!
It's that these moments are so few
when I can just sit and be alone with myself.

I will soon have an "empty nest"
and I wonder if I will have so many more moments of this alone time
that perhaps I will not find them as relaxing.
Perhaps I will start to feel lonely
rather than peaceful.

I hope that is not the case.

But I guess I can always turn on the music or an audio book if I find that I can't stand the silence.
For now, though, I will just enjoy.

Sunday, May 8, 2016


Happy Mother's Day to my awesome mom!

Of course I will tell her in person since she doesn't go online anymore
but I'd like to write down a few things anyway.

My mom:
the kind of person who just figures out what has to be done and finds a way to do it.

Life for my mom is different now.
She's older 
and, as part of getting older,
her health isn't as good as it once was.
She has asthma that is barely controllable.
(More ER visits and breathing treatments that you can believe)
She has short term memory loss.
She's not as sharp as she once was.
Skills that were second nature to her like sewing, cooking, drawing and painting
are now out of reach.

But she's still a kind, positive, lovely person.

Growing up my mom was such an example of strength to me.
I wanted to be like her.
Fearless and bold and able to take on any challenge.
Her faith was unwavering in good times and in trials.

I sometimes feel sad because this current, simple life probably isn't what she pictured for herself.
She probably always imagined herself going and doing.

But now, her life is more about simple pleasures:
a good movie
a good meal
seeing her kids and grandkids

She and my Dad spend all their time together and they are pretty sweet together.

Mother's Day isn't my favorite holiday.
I am one of those easily disappointed people.
I'm trying to do better.
(And have lower expectations)

My mom probably had some disappointing Mother's Days.
I hate to think that I disappointed her...
but I was a normal, selfish kid
so I'm sure I did.

I can't make up for my foolish younger days.
But I am trying to show my mom how much I love her
by spending time with her each week.
Doing things that she enjoys
and talking with her about her memories.

I love my Mom and I'm grateful for all the sacrifices she made throughout her life in order to make my life better.