Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Back to School

How is it possible that it's that time again?

You can feel it in the air -- the cooling crispness, the excitement in the kids' faces, the buzzy hubbub at the stores. (I thought I had it all ready -- but, alas, I still ended up with a last-minute trip to the dollar store tonight.)

This summer has in some ways been personally very difficult, but all I really remember is that it was fun. And I think this post by my friend Julie sums it up very well:

“The adventure [summer] is over.  Everything gets over, and nothing is ever enough.  Except the part you carry with you.  It’s the same as going on a vacation. Some people spend all their time on a vacation taking pictures so that when they get home they can show their friends evidence that they had a good time. They don’t pause to let the vacation enter inside of them and take that home.”
E.L. Konigsburg, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
I welcomed my summer inside of me.  I made real clicks and heart clicks over and over to preserve the vibrancy and action and emotions; the people, the places, the feelings.

Most of my favorite childhood memories were just the times of pure play. I have many photos in my mind and heart of watching my children be children this summer, playing until way past sunset (oh, boy, are we having a hard time readjusting to a sleep schedule). My inability to be all over the place has in some ways been a real blessing. We did have some outings and a vacation, but mostly, we had a lazy summer here at home. Ahhhhh.

I'm more than a little sad to see summer end. But I'm excited for my children in their excitement. As we went to the back-to-school open house, it was fun to watch my children scurrying around the school visiting former teachers, walking around the grounds surrounded by their respective friends -- content (close to giddy, actually), ready to be getting back into the swing of things.

In their prayers as of late, they sometimes say, "Please bless Mom that she won't be too lonely while we're gone."

I will miss them, that's for sure. But at the same time, I LOVE watching them grow. I love who they are becoming. Mothering just keeps getting more and more fun, and more and more rewarding.

All sorts of sighs, for all sorts of reasons.

Monday, August 23, 2010

When a BYU Education Week Financial Class Becomes a Miracle

"But I don't want to end my Education Week experience with a class on finances," I argued silently.

I figured it was probably my overactive brain talking anyway, so I marched away from 446 MARB toward the Jesse Knight building without thinking much of it.

Until I had gotten settled in the next class.

I had picked a nice seat, way in the back, where I could juice up my laptop and convince myself that I could find the information from the finance class online. With no internet signal available in this particular room, that approach failed. I couldn't dismiss the nagging feeling I had that maybe I needed to go to that finance class. I was not happy.

As the nice host gave his usual schpeel about moving in toward the center so the latecomers would have a place to sit (this brother's class filled up every night -- he was good), I realized it was now or never. I walked past the instructor apologetically and marched back out into the gorgeous evening.

Right back to 446 MARB. (Ha. Joke's on me. Chalk it up to exercise for the day.)

After sitting for ten minutes, I thought of leaving. After all, I got the handout when I walked in. My stomach was in knots; I couldn't help but wonder what I was missing in the other class (and I've been known to split time between classes when I've been conflicted about which to attend).

But I held on, looking for something perhaps that could give me some reason as to why I felt pressed to come.

I learned a couple of cool things, got information about a great budgeting spreadsheet (you should check it out -- it's a Dave Ramsey special), and felt overall that it was a good class. I figured I'd leave and share the spreadsheet and hope someone could be helped by it.

But as the class ended, I looked over and saw a woman who looked familiar. I did a double-take (or two) and decided I'd take the chance that she was who I thought she was. (I even had a name come to mind.)

She was, indeed...someone from my high school days. Someone I'd never talked to, mind you. Someone who had actually moved away during our high school years.

But we proceeded to chat, and the chatting turned into a heart-to-heart conversation that lasted, er, well, a long time.

Oh, OK, I'll tell you. It lasted four and a half hours. It was as though we'd been friend a long time. (Bonus: We saw seven deer cross the parking lot and street while we talked in her car.)

Interestingly enough, she had planned on going home before this class, but a few things happened and she stayed.

The experience left us both in awe and feeling the Spirit from all that we had explored together. It was amazing.

I really need to learn not to argue with that "voice in my head." I'm glad ultimately He won out.