Saturday, May 17, 2014


When cleaning out some of the boxes stashed in various places around our house, I happened upon a little notebook.  And in this notebook, I found a list.  2 lists, actually, titled: Things I Want to Do in My Life and Places I Want to See. 

In case you didn't know, I'm a list maker.  I make lists like nobody's business.  Lists of chores, lists of errands, shopping lists, and more than once I have made a list of places I want to see and things I want to do.  If you were to dig through our recycling, you'd find multiple lists.  Lists, lists everywhere!  So discovering that I had made these lists was not actually surprising.  The exciting part was realizing how old these lists were.  They were made before I got married, but after I graduated from high school.  My best guess is somewhere around 2002. 

So let's get to it, shall we?  Here are the lists (with commentary in parenthesis):

Things I Want to Do in My Life
  • Go to the temple (check!)
  • Get married in the temple (check!)
  • Read the Old Testament (check!)
  • Kiss the Blarney Stone (sadly, no check)
  • Have kids (check!)
  • Learn to drive a stick shift (check?  I have driven a stick shift, but not well, and not for more than a few minutes.  And I certainly couldn't go do it right now without some serious coaching.)
  • Have patience (some things never change)
  • Get a doctorate (Um, no.  This is where Shannon of the past is disappointed with Shannon of the future, and Shannon of the future says, "Oh well.")
  • Go to a World Series game (nope)
  • Learn all about baseball (I've learned some things about baseball, but all things considered, it's still not much.)
  • Baptize at least one family member in proxy (That's a negative.  We did take a couple of Clark's family names through the temple a few years ago, but we didn't do the baptisms.  And it was his family, not mine.  But, as he reminds me, we're related!)
  • Help at least one person find the gospel (Nope.  At least I don't think so.)
  • Serve a mission (no check here)
  • Run a 5K (check!)
  • Compose a song (nope)
  • Look through a telescope (Surely I've done this.  Surely.  I just can't think of anything specific.)
  • Learn to play cricket, and play cricket (What the what?  Why on earth would I want to learn to play cricket?)
  • See a moose (check!)
  • Read Nephi Anderson's books (I've read 3!)
  • Milk a cow (check!)
  • Be kissed in the rain (check, check, and check!  [I have a fabulous husband])
  • Grow tomatoes (check!  Hoping for a repeat performance this year)
  • Learn Portuguese (no.  This was one of my new years resolutions this year, but so far it's been a big flop.  However, this list item, along with get married in the temple, helped me peg down the year this list was written.)
  • Have Spaceman Spiff PJs (Well, who doesn't want Spaceman Spiff PJs?  But alas, they don't make them.  And I don't know how I'd make them.  If you have any ideas, send them along.)
  • Eat beignets and go to a jazz club in New Orleans (nope.)
  • Go to Die Fleidermaus (nope.)
  • See David Letterman (No.  And sadly I never will.  Well...actually I'm not that sad about it.)
  • Watch Swan Lake (No?  I'm not actually sure on this one.  I'm talking about watching it live, of course.  Maybe I went at some point?)
  • Go to the New York City Ballet (nope)
I think it's fascinating to see how my priorities changed, to see what things happened, and what things didn't.  Just fascinating. And list #2:

Places I Want to See
  • France (someday)
  • Ireland (someday)
  • Scotland (someday)
  • England (someday)
  • Italy (someday [obviously I need to get to Europe])
  • Arches National Park (check!  We went on our honeymoon, and again before Ella was born.  So DOUBLE check!)
  • Lake Powell (We drove by it, so maybe that counts.  As a fair skinned person, this is not terribly high on my list.  It's just asking for a 2nd degree sunburn.)
  • A concentration camp (tie that in with my future Europe trip)
  • Disneyland (check!  Though I had been there before I wrote this list.  I guess I wanted to go again...which I haven't done...)
  • Zion National Park - the narrows (um, yes.  Yes, yes, yes.  Haven't hiked up the narrows, but I've hiked all through Zion, and the very beginning of the narrows.  Perk of living in St George.)
  • The White House (no, but I can feel a DC trip coming in the next few years)
  • Mt Rushmore (no.  But we are going this summer!!)
  • Nauvoo (check!)
  • Carthage Jail (check!)
  • Liberty Jail (no.  Only a 7 hour drive from here...)
  • Kirtland (check!)
  • Palmyra - the Sacred Grove (check, and check!)
  • Norway (again with the Europe)
  • New York (state, yes.  city, no)
  • Canada (check!)
  • Mexico (nope!)
So, we're slowly checking off that list.  Basically I need to go to Europe.  Sadly, I think the time in my life to go to Europe is either10 years ago or 10 years in the future.  So we'll put a pin in that idea and see what happens.

This is a long post, but I found it incredibly enjoyable.  Do you have a bucket list?  What's on there?

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

The Unremarkable Update

There's this question that people ask, and I never know how to answer.  "So, what have you been up to?"  I immediately go into Shy Mode and end up saying something like, "Oh, nothing much.  We're pretty boring."  I don't know why I do this.  I guess I don't like talking about myself, I get all embarrassed and flustered.  It seems silly, I know, but that's how it is.  But when writing, I am free of all shyness.  I can write what I want, and even edit said writing (don't you wish you could edit speaking sometimes?).  And so I thought I would write a blog post about what my family is up to, since I haven't blogged for a while, and most of my friends don't live close by and probably have no idea what we do around here.  An update, however unglamorous the details may be. 

Let's start with Ella.  Ella goes to school 3 days a week.  She is in a preschool program at the local high school where students run the show under the direction of their teacher.  She LOVES it.  It's a short day, only about an hour and a half, but she is bursting to tell me all about it on the car ride home.  Last week the theme was "I like to eat, eat, eat."  They talked about foods they like and dislike, how things taste different, etc.  Ella brought home a paper with pictures of foods she liked and disliked glued to the appropriate column.  The dislike column was a sea of green.  That kid does NOT like vegetables.  I can't think of a single one she likes.  I keep offering them, and she keeps rejecting them (heartily, I might add). Anyway, it's great to see her learning new things and making new friends. 

We also hit up the library once a week for storytime.  Ella has been signed up for the 3 and 4 year old storytime, which is a drop off program.  This is FABULOUS.  I drop Ella off and have 30 minutes child-free in the library.  Heaven.  Her section just ended, so now we'll go to the multi-age storytime, where I stay with her.  I'll be awfully sad when I have no small children to take to storytime anymore - it's been a fixture in our lives for 5 years!  We all look forward to library day, and check out a ridiculous amount of books.  I have seriously been worried that we'd exceed the 100 book limit before.  Multiple times.  I love that my children love books as much as I do.

With the warmer weather, Ella and I have also been discovering new parks in the area.  She has reminded me that she is a big girl, and I "don't need to freak out anymore" when she climbs ladders, walls, etc.  It's delightful to watch her play, and to see her imagination take off.  She is forever telling me stories about Pinky, her doll.  Pinky is having an anniversary.  Pinky has 12 children.  Pinky has been on this street before!  Pinky can't come to Utah because she'll be taking a nap.  Pinky knows everything, and has an awful lot of experience under her belt for being a baby doll.

Moving on to Julia. As you may recall, we sold our home back in February.  Julia took note of this, and a week or so later began petitioning for full day Kindergarten.  She made a mental list of all the good things that would happen if we sent her full day.  I prompted her to make a list of the drawbacks too.  She presented all this to us, and we decided that it would be a good move to bump her up.  This was probably the best thing I have ever done for my Julia.  She has thrived in full day.  She has always been an astounding reader, way above and beyond anyone else in her class, but her writing has been lacking.  She now has the time to work on it.  When she doesn't rush through an assignment, it turns out she can actually write pretty well.  She now has recess, which means she gets to play with other kids.  She gets to eat lunch with her class.  She is just so much happier.  Our time together in the afternoon is much shorter, obviously, so she doesn't get to read as much as she'd like, and playtime has taken a hit, but she has grown so much in the past 6 weeks.  Worth every penny.

As I mentioned, Julia is an avid reader.  She has finished the Capital Mysteries series, and is now in love with Washington DC and US History.  She wants to go see Mount Rushmore this summer, which we might be able to swing on our way out to Utah.  She has checked out books about Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln from the library.  She also wants to go see Springfield and learn more about Lincoln. I love her enthusiasm, and can't wait to do all these things!

As for me, I try to keep the house running and the kids happy.  On the days when Ella goes to school, I have a bit of child-free time.  Once a week I volunteer at Julia's school, making copies, cutting out crafts, etc for the teacher.  Another day, I go grocery shopping.  The third day is "my day," which I either spend reading or shopping or something else I want to do.  Lots of reading has been going on in 2014.  And I love it.

I am also in Young Women, and that takes up every Wednesday night.  I am starting to get my bearings there.  I finally feel like I have a firm handle on what is going on most of the time, and I'm starting to get to know the girls better.  It turns out, I love this calling.  It's been more challenging than any other calling I've had, but I love that challenge.  I love preparing lessons, I love bearing testimony to these girls, and I love hearing their testimonies in return.  It's a good place to be.

I spend a chunk of time listening to podcasts while I clean or cook or walk.  My favorites: Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, This American Life,  RadioWest, General Conference talks, and The Dinner Party Download.  I find this is a great way for me to get a little variety in my life, whether it's a good laugh or my entertainment news or something a little more serious and enlightening.  What would I do without my ipod?  The dishes would never get done!

As for Clark, he has his own blog.  Though I can say that he spends a lot of time working and running and reading and being a good husband and father.  I hit gold when I married that guy.  We work so well together.  We just celebrated our 10 year anniversary, and marveled at the fact that it's been 10 years.  Unreal.

And there you have it, folks.  Consider yourself updated.  Any questions?