Saturday, May 16, 2015

My Hill

This is my hill looking down from the top. 

I run up it several times a week. It gives me something to work for. It challenges me on days when I feel overrun by mindless, repetitive tasks like laundry and dishes. My hill never feels repetitive because each time I run up it, I strive to get better at it.  I try to run faster, push harder, and get to the top without swearing. 
The challenge inspires me. It makes me want to work harder at being a good mother and a happier wife, and even better at doing the mindless, tedious tasks that need to be done on the days I don't want to do them (Does anyone out there love doing dishes? I do not.) 
Because  I know that if I can conquer my hill, then I can accomplish anything that comes my way that day.

Everywhere we've lived, I've look for a hill to run up. When we were first married it was Griffith Park in the Los Angeles hills. I could see massive buildings and freeways for miles and miles from the top! When we moved to Idaho it was the hill in Rexburg going up to the new LDS Temple. Each day I went up that hill I got to see the latest progress on the temple grounds. In Cedar City it was Leigh Hill. Oh how I loved the view from the top, looking out over the red rock mountains! In Hilo Hawaii it was West Kawailani Street. I'll never forget the giant rainbow I saw waiting for me at the top of that hill one day. I wished I could've touched it! 
Now back in Cedar City, I've found my newest hill near the golf course. It beckons to me daily: "Come run up me! Come push your big ol' stroller full of children up my cement incline. Come forget all your troubles as you drive your sweat and tears up my sidewalks. I'll make you feel like a rockstar. I'll give you endorphins and adrenaline and make you feel like a million bucks. You'll go home a happier person once you're done with me!"

So I go. And I push. And all of it comes true.
I've even found a special friend who will run up my hill with me. Her name is Lacy and she's awesome. Although, on those days together we don't so much as run, but instead walk really fast and talk about life, and our children, and happy endings. I love running with Lacy.

I am so grateful for my hill. And the beautiful view that comes with it. 
I often wonder if other people have hills, or any sort of self-fulfilling challenges that motivates them throughout the day. I suppose a hill could be anything that lights your fire.
This might look like boring sage brush and desert, but it's my home. There is hidden beauty in these hills.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Good morning smelly smells

It often surprises me how the smell of my children's elementary school brings back so many happy memories for me. The smell I think is a combination of everything that I loved about school when I was a kid, all compacted into one: pencils, pencil sharpeners, lined paper, paints, construction paper, scissors, recess equipment, computers, toys, library books, science experiments, drama costumes, musical instruments, and the occasional teacher's perfume.
I had to run some stuff into the school this morning and right when I opened the door the smell entered my brain and triggered the happy memories of times past. 
I felt really happy to be there this morning, and really grateful that my children love it so much. My third grader adores his teacher. It is his first real teacher since he had been home-schooling up until several months ago. But gosh, the way he looks up to her and cares about her is the most assuring and joyful thing ever. 
Back when I felt like I was drowning and needed someone else to help me enrich and inspire the live's of my children, I never dreamt that these teachers would be the answer. Both of them! Because my first grader's teacher is amazing, too. They love, they care, they teach, they challenge, they inspire, and they light the fire of curiosity within my children to always want to learn new things.

As I was driving home I saw the crossing guard who keeps large pockets full of candy to hand out to the kids. He's worked that cross-walk for years and everyone knows him. The kids were laughing and smiling. The principal was waving hello as children arrived. I also saw parents I know from church, from La Leche League, from my neighborhood, all walking their eager children into the building. I smiled to myself because this is my community. My home. The place I get to raise my kids.
 I felt so grateful, once again, to my Heavenly Father for leading us back here to this small town of ours. 
There isn't a lot of crime here. Children still walk to and from school unassisted. Parents still smile and wave at one another and make chit chat. People are helpful and caring, in general. 
I like it here because it's also expanding, which brings in more diversity. However, I feel a sense of territorialism, because often with expansion comes more riff-raff. I hate riff-raff.  I hope we can maintain a safe and happy community here for many years to come, even as the city expands. (no riff-raff)

Right now I am sitting at the keyboard nursing my 9 month old. He is getting his first tooth this week and needs lots of lovies. 
My mom is visiting and she's in the other room playing with my 4 year old. 
Life is good. 
I might even go for a jog today and plant some more flowers in my yard.

That is all.