Thursday, June 23, 2016

Once in a Lifetime

It's small but huge, unexpected yet not all that shocking. But since it's personal, since it's my experience, it's everything on the bigger scale. It is huge, it was unexpected, and it was the best reminder ever that things do work out for me in the way I want them to from time to time.
Porter started talking about this Steph Curry camp and after a couple mentions I told him we'd take a look at it. Google showed that there was in deed a Steph Curry camp and that-- of all places-- it was being held at BYU-H. Y'all, if BYU-H wasn't already supposed to be in all caps, I'd be writing in all caps because HAWAII.
Quick time out to give the strong reminder of how much I love Hawaii.
Google actually had other information for us as well. The camp registration was closed, as was the waiting list. Camp full.
My heart sank. Halfway for Porter, halfway for me.
The thought of a Steph Curry camp being at a church school blew my mind. What are the chances??? Even after knowing this for 2 1/2 months, it still blows my mind. The merging of all things good was happening.
Well, it was happening for 200 other people, but not Porter.
The disappointment set in but life went on because that's what life does. Normally, I'm pretty quick to move on. Missed opportunities aren't that stunning to me. I'm pretty go with the flow and of all the opportunities I've missed out on over the many years, only 2 have regrets attached to them. 1) I should've gone to a portion of the World Cup in Brazil with Yosh. 2) I should've gone and seen Jack Johnson in concert for his Here and Now tour.
All other missed opportunities have got little more than a shrug of the shoulders and an it is what it is response.
But not this. I couldn't shake it. I've expressed- although not strongly enough- my love for Hawaii, and then the praise hands for this camp being held at a church school.
On the other end, though, we had Porter. Porter had a rough second semester of school. There were multiple calls/emails home from a teacher or two, a call home from the principal. We had "moments" to say the least. BUT...
But at home we had this kid who had awakened a dormant ambition to be better at basketball. And who infused that desire? Steph Curry. Who was that teacher on how to be/get better? Steph Curry. Porter watched countless You Tube videos on shooting technique, dribbling drills, etc etc and then spent literal hours doing the work. Basketball was the ying to his school yang. It was inspiring to watch.
As we were trying to instill inspiration in Porter to improve his behavior at school, who did we naturally refer to as an example? Steph Curry. We found inspirational quotes that resonated, that made Porter want to a good person on and off the court, to work hard on and off the court, and he did. He put in the work at school too.
All these details combined to create a disappointment that warranted much more than the shrug of the shoulders.  I knew there just had to be a way to remedy the sitch and my heart confirmed that by not letting it go.
I did something out of my comfort zone and emailed a friend who grew up in BYU-H (in fact her dad worked there) to see if she knew of an in. Please! But to no avail. She had no in, her dad no in.
But a couple days later she emailed me saying a Facebook friend had posted that the Oahu Marriott was auctioning off one ticket to the Steph Curry camp. For me, this felt like a mini-miracle! One, that there would be an unorthodox way to get a ticket, and two, that somehow I got my hands on that knowledge.
To submit an auction, you had to do a write up about the potential participant. It was so great to take a minute and articulate our Porter and what this camp would mean to him.
Here's the email:
A little history about my son, Porter— he is nine years old and a basketball fanatic. Although basketball has been his favorite sport for a couple of years, starting a few months ago, he spends every spare moment on the basketball court practicing shots or doing dribbling drills. It has been super fascinating to watch my creative, aloof, forgetful kid turn into a dedicated, deliberate, ambitious child all because of basketball. Steph Curry has quickly become his hero. He rotates daily between his 3 Steph Curry t-shirts. He watches Steph Curry video clips and then goes and applies the Steph Curry work ethic to try to improve his own skills. Needless to say, he’s both a huge Steph Curry and basketball fan!

Unfortunately we only heard about the Steph Curry camp a few weeks ago:((  I was sooooooo disappointed to see it was already full. Because in addition to Steph Curry being my son’s hero, two of my sisters went to BYU-H and I was able to visit them once at the campus. The colliding of Steph Curry with BYU-H has left me with such a strong desire to somehow make this camp a reality!!!!

Thank you so much for the opportunity— hoping that we get lucky!
 
I didn't want to get my hopes up too high but I also felt like the chances were stacked in my favor. I mean, how many people were really going to hear about this auction? And of those people, how many would be willing/able to get to Hawaii for it? BUT, you never know. Enough people wanted and were willing to go that both the camp and waiting list were full.

So the waiting began. The auction closed on Cinco de Mayo. At home we were "celebrating" with the cheers-ing of Mexican Cokes but meanwhile I was checking my email way too often, even though I also reminded myself that we were operating on Hawaiian time. Which meant that not only are they 5 hours behind us, also ain't nobody in a hurry over there. That was Thursday. Then Friday. I knew there was no chance of hearing anything over the weekend. So I thought maybe Monday by 10 pm I'd have an answer. And then if I didn't, Tuesday I would reach out.

But Monday at 6 pm, we got the news...Porter had won the entry.
My goodness, luck is on my side from time to time and this was one of those times! I remember leading up to this moment, thinking, "If Porter wins this spot, it's going to be a true testament to me that God is aware of the little things and that, despite my perspective that my dreaming rarely goes according to plan, sometimes the dream finds the finish line." I'm thankful for the hype leading up to this moment so that I was ready and could appreciate the gems when they came.

But PORTER WAS IN!!!!

 We waited to tell Porter. In fact, we told Dallin first because unfortunately timing is such that Dallin is the only kid that doesn't get to make the trip:[  (He made the All-Star baseball team and the tournament starts right before we leave.) In true Dallin fashion, he accepted it like an absolute champ and then figured out a way to surprise Porter. He taped a packing list for the camp to a basketball and then asked Porter if he wanted to go outside and shoot.

True to form, Porter was (or played??) confused. An explanation was necessary and the as the days have passed, the excitement has only grown! Good times lie ahead and I am beyond ecstatic to be the chaperone on this adventure!  

Monday, June 20, 2016

Tid Bits

From time to time, my mom sends us little snippets of her journal entries from years ago and I absolutely love hearing small, seemingly insignificant moments of mine and my siblings past! So in an effort to pay it forward...

*Porter is a supporter of me and I love it. Sometimes when I get frustrated with the kids not eating what I cook, I get all huffy and puffy and am all, "I'm not cooking anymore." And Porter gets all serious and says, "Mom, please don't stop cooking. I'll eat your food. Don't stop cooking." I'll always cook for you, Porter.
He knows I'm in a Photography class and he asks from time to time how my homework is going and telling me I need to practice. (Pretty sure he's heard me say I'm a bit frustrated...) This weekend I was needing some models and he gladly paused his front yard baseball derby to model for me and his bro and friend followed suit. It;s funny how these little things are really the big things.
Him and I got home late Friday night. Yosh was out of town and the bog boys wanted to sleep with me. I told Ports I was probably going to wake up and go to the gym in the morning. He was all, "Come on, Mom, don't go to the gym. You need more sleep than that. And we need to cuddle." Make no mistake, he is a cuddle bug. When I let him sleep with me, he wants to sleep right in my armpit with my arm around him...all. night. long. Next level cuddling right there. Kirt and Kady style.
*B man is a good kid. We just told the kids a couple nights ago that we were going to Hawaii...well, everyone except B. And like the champ he is, he accepted it. Obviously it's with good reason he's not going (he's on the All-Stars team and the tournament starts right when we're leaving) but still...  He was the one to tell Porter and the kids the news and it was a cute little night.
B is such a hard worker. He took note of Porter putting in time on the basketball court (and the accolades that followed...) and he has starting working on hitting on his own more. He's so fun to watch on the ball field with his innate understanding of the game and what to do in fast plays. His hustle and competitiveness comes out on the field overtime. The other day while playing 3rd, he literally dove and tagged someone out heading for home and then still had his head on straight enough to get up and throw it to 2nd for the double play. (Full disclosure: I could be butchering the play, or combing two plays as details aren't my strength, but all these things happened- a diving out and a double play- just maybe not in that order and/or together!)
The way B plays with Deetz and Kai is so endearing to me. I keep waiting for him to get too old or above being the best biog brother but it's yet to happen. 
*Deeter Bug Hansen. This weekend he was texting with Yosh (while Yosh was out of town) and I literally had to double check to see who was who-  he held such a sophisticated conversation. Im glad him and Yosh have each other, they can analyze details and statistics together and never get bored of it. Yosh is right when he calls Deeter an encyclopedia- he's pulling facts and tid bits out that no 7 year old should know. But the Deetz does.
His summer morning routine includes a solo trip to the Daily's trampoline to get his dunks in and get sweaty enough to warrant a break.
He loves his big bro's and is thrilled when he is invited in on their shenanigans. B asked him if he wanted to sleep in their room last night after the NBA finals (the boys apparently had a lot of post-game analysis to get through...) and his response, "You bet!"
*Kaia has been praying in echo mode. This girl. Just no words. Homegirl is still sleeping and I need to rouse her because she has been on the countdown for gymnastics camp for many days and the day is finally here! She does countdowns for a lot of things- Deeter's bday, gymnastics camp, and now Hawaii. I love her.
Her little feminine-unique details make me love having my little girl. The kids were setting the table for Father's Day dinner last night and she had to go make everyone's name tags for where they were to sit.
And let's talk about her ritual of laying out clothes. She has had up to TEN-- yes you read that right-- ten outfits laid out at a time. This weekend she upped the ante by also writing a hairstyle label for each day. 
She loves swimming! She kept asking to go swimming in her clothes yesterday (somewhere she heard someone does??) and was thrilled when I told her she could go in just her panties. Dreams coming true.
And can I make a quick note of how much this little lady chats? Every now and then a break (for me...) is necessary!




Monday, June 13, 2016

One of a million Crossroads

You know those blog posts that start out, "I don't even know if I'll actually push publish on this post buuutttt..."
I actually find that opening quite annoying. Obviously you're going to post it, you pushed publish and didn't edit out the opening line.
And yet in this moment I'm tempted to have that same cliche as my start. And truth be told, I more or less did start like that. I just wussed out by quoting the generic instead of claiming the cliche as my own. 
I think what all those writers are really feeling, as am I, is, "This feels like a vulnerable post to me for whatever reason. Therefore, it makes me nervous/scared to push publish yet I have this desire to be honest and share."
At least that's how I feel.
I'm in this stage of life where I'm trying to cross thresholds and add different experiences in my daily life to up the quality. For the last 11 years, my time, energy, and desires have been monopolized my mothering, which is just how I wanted it. The last two years have represented a shift in demand and therefore... time, energy, and desire. I've known something new was on the brink (or needed to be is probably better said...) but wasn't jumping.
And before I get no one too excited, let me add a spoiler alert-- there's no big news, no big opportunity at the end of this story.
But the last two years have been filled with me wanting something new and different added to my daily. In the more recent months, I've been thinking more in specifics as to what I want to do and have even filled out one application and dreamt out loud about ideal jobs. A month ago I signed up for a photography class as this could be one component in the big picture of some things I'd like to eventually do. I've been so proud of myself for starting a journey. It's been soooooo refreshing to be in an instructional setting and feel like I'm learning and being challenged in a different role again. It's been encouraging to confront one of my innate weaknesses of entering a course of action without really knowing the end result. It's breathed new life into me allowing myself to explore without an expected outcome.
All that said, I'm at this crossroads however many weeks later. I'm halfway through the photography course and feel pretty discouraged. I don't feel like I'm picking up on the techniques/principles either at all or as quickly as I'd like?? Don't know which one it is and I feel this very real crossroad is begging the question, "So are you going to give up? Because you don't have automatic natural talent? Are you not willing to work hard to become good at something?" Because meshed in that rhetorical character -nagging question is a truth that is not an original thought to me-- everything new has a learning curve. Learning anything new takes a lot of work, a lot of failure, a lot of "this isn't really all that fun" time being invested.
And apparently-- as previously suspected-- I hate this part of the journey. I think I've encountered this part of a journey many times and have pretty much floundered and said, "Forget it, this isn't for me." Whatever the current "this" may have been.
So now I'm at the point where I could say that, but the nagging truth is just that-- nagging. Reminding me that I can go ahead and quit but that whatever I determine to put my efforts in, I'm going to face these exact feelings. Time and time again. And the only way I'm going to find success- in anything- is working past this pit in the road, trudging on, and getting through the no fun this sucks part of the journey.
One of the interesting things about mothering is the natural incentive. I'm sure I've felt this way many times when dealing with different challenges in mothering, but the innate love for my kids and the innate desire to be a full-time mom leaves it such that quitting isn't even a considered option. Like ever.
So it's a new ball game to choose to enter an arena when the incentives aren't nearly as natural. My incentives are simply that I have a stirring desire to do more, my mind is begging me for more engagement, and I know I can't experience full happiness in my current state of being. But figuring out all the details to satisfy these bullet points are definitely up in the air for debate. 
So there's that. Who knows why it feels vulnerable to me to write this. Maybe because I'm admitting that I'm a quitter and I'm currently trying to quit that habit. Of being a quitter. Imagine the irony.
And actually, with that, I'm off to practice my photography work. To be a good student, because if there's one thing I've really wanted to do the last few years, it's that-- be a student. So here's to making good on your dreams when they're laid before you.





(pics from our recent trip to Utah)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Shifting from Independent to Dependent Children

I know one of my strengths: raising independent children. At probably 9 weeks, I had all of my kids sleeping through the night, because I had followed routines that taught methods of self-soothing. Starting from pretty young, I got the kids in routines that had them getting dressed, making beds, and getting breakfast mainly on their own. (To be fair, I've always cooked my kids breakfast and probably always will for as long as they let me. But they know how to get themselves a bowl of cereal or make toast or whatever.) When I go out of town, they rock their morning routines and can make it out to the bus on their own. They know their night routines of pjs, potties, brush teeth and can easily get themselves and each other to bed. It makes it very nice when we have a babysitter because they're independent.
The other day I was reading this blog about someone's adoption story. The family has adopted multiple kids. Anyway, the mom was documenting the following weeks after adopting another child. She talked about how important it is at the beginning to establish dependency with the new child. She said kids coming from orphanages know how to do everything for themselves- soothe themselves through discomfort, hunger, pain, know how to put themselves to sleep, etc. The challenge becomes to teach them to let people into their lives and create a dependent relationship.
It has been so interesting to think about that, especially in my own realm at home. One reason I'm such a hound for raising independent kids is because it makes my life a lot easier. But reading this really stopped me in my tracks and made me think about areas I could improve on to create more of a dependent relationship with my kids. With all the kids being between the ages of 5 and 10, we've entered a different stage where needs have shifted from less physical to more emotional. And emotionally, I want more of a dependent relationship with the kids. I want them to approach Yosh and I when they are having problems with friends or image or decisions or just figuring out life. It's going to be something interesting to think about over the next little bit but it's definitely an area where I want to make strides.
Anyways, food for thought and I love food of any kind. 

On Enduring

When we first moved to Texas, I remember this one specific morning taking off to run a couple laps around my loop. I got to moving and was quickly aware of my sloooow, heavy pace. Not a single step was easy, smooth, or fast. So at the very beginning of my run, I fell into a rhetoric of positive self talk that I was oh-so-familiar with, "It doesn't matter how fast you're moving, what's important is that you're out here and making forward progress. Trajectory. It's all about trajectory, not pace." I've mentioned so many times how running has acted as a conduit for so much learning in my life and in  
  the next 30 minutes I came to understand life and God better. I'd always been pretty unclear with the commands in religious contexts (whether in scripture or church meetings) to be perfect, yet with also understanding that the purpose of life was to come here as very imperfect people and get better. I was very confused about the gap between one's knowledge and one's discipline to implement said knowledge, and other things that related to that. Other things also being life and goals, etc. As I was pep-talking myself about things I knew to be true- i.e.: go forward the best you can even if it's slower than it used to be, move forward even if you don't want to, just move forward. I thought as life as a marathon and definitely knew that God could care less if we  finish that marathon in 3 hours or 16. He's there waiting at the end, so proud. No prouder of the first finisher than the last finisher. All he cares about is that we don't give up and keep moving. 
That parable, if you will, made a lot of sense to me. There are a lot of things in my life that I need to and want to get better at, whether it be a characteristic trait or other physical habits. Sometimes I am going to make fast and furious progress in an area before it slow's down to snail pace. It's very hard to be satisfied with a snail's pace when I was just sprinting and getting far fast. In fact, it's hard for me to be okay with going at a slow pace. It makes me fall into negative self-talk, how I'm not good enough, not disciplined enough, and too lazy. I'd been failing to remember trajectory. Am I on the right path going in the right direction? That's what really matter. Is it as exhilarating going slowly? No. But it's getting me where I want to be.
So, that was like part 1. Fast forward to about a year later. It's somewhere around May or June and I'm out running as I had been for many previous months. But all of a sudden I felt like I could barely breathe, after runs I was having major headaches and seeing double vision. Convinced I had a brain tumor or something (not sure I'm exaggerating....) I was googling my symptoms and found an article where the writer was saying many people had been writing in with similar concerns and that there was an answer...heat and humidity! She then showed a humidity chart that illustrated certain paces and then put that same effort level in different humidity percentages and how the same effort translated to much slower paces. And it all made sense! Last year I assumed that I was out of shape (and probably lazy and undisciplined) when really there were these unseen forces (heat and humidity) applying pressure and making forward progress harder and slower. It added an even deeper understanding to the previously learned lesson! There's often reasons why our progress pace is slowed (added obstacles, more responsibilities, less time, etc) and we rarely see the why, we only feel that we're failing. We remember the sprint portion of progress and realllllyyy liked that and feel that we should be able to maintain it. None of us would try to maintain a sprint pace for a long distance race, but it's hard to apply that to real life as well and be okay with it. I struggle big time with this.
Just a couple weeks ago, it also hit me what all this really was. And when this was the topic in Church today I knew I needed to write it down! All this lesson is enduring. I think I've always had a negative connotation with the word enduring. Like, it was a very tangible, miserable state of being. That's what enduring was. Now I don't see it like that. Enduring is just committing to forward progress even during the un-gratifying (not to be confused with miserable) times. It's learning to be ok when you have to downgrade from running to walking. It's finding the value of not giving up and staying present even when things are unpleasant. It's giving time for processes to take place. Enduring applies to a lot of things.
Anyway, this insight has been very valuable for me. It's helping me with things as small as getting through 3 hours of church when I don't want to or am super tired and know I won't get as much out of it as potentially available. It's helping me to keep towards goals as simple as cooking dinner at home more, and laying with the boys at night, and I could go on and on. It's helping me not beat myself up when I'm struggling in different areas. Some day we may have the luxury of seeing and understanding why certain periods of our life were slowed down, just like the unknown of the heat and humidity that is now so obvious to me and makes me completely shift my expectations. 
Just got to keep on keeping on aka enduring and the bonus being that it's not all that miserable of a thing to do.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Rainy Days

If I were being true to myself right now, do you know what I would do?
Have all my kids at home with me on this rainy day. We'd cuddle and watch TV and play cards. We'd look up show times for The Jungle Book and have our pick of seats at The Alamo Drafthouse to watch it because everyone else would be in school. 

But alas, I only have one kid at home with me due to a tummy ache (sliiiiggghhhtttt) and one still in bed. Which is going to lead to one of two scenarios: 1) I take Deeter to school when I take Kaia or 2) Kaia tells me she's taking the day off because how come sometimes Vance's mom doesn't make him go to school so I'm not going. The argument will be pretty close to verbatim. Deeter being home will only strengthen her argument. At least in her head. My resolve in the exact moment this all plays out will determine the outcome.

As for the big boys, I don't think I can pull them out. I asked them what they had going on at school today and B reminded me it's day 2 of the puberty talk. The anticipation of this puberty talk has gotten a lot of publicity in our home in the last week. Who knows if nerves, curiosity, or genuine annoyment is the springboard but discussions there have been and I LOVE it! Any opportunity to make those kids squirm just a bit and/or get into their heads and see what they're thinking about is more than welcomed here.

Yesterday was day 1 where they talked about the boy anatomy and all things boy and puberty. I asked Dallin if he learned anything new and his answer was quite funny. Although probably not blog appropriate. Today's topic is the girls' anatomy and puberty as it applies to us. Not a chance I was letting him miss out on the conversation. So at school he is and will stay! I guess Porter is guilty by association- he'll be forced to stay at school too.

And that's about where we're at.

post edit: The sun came out and not a chance anyone was staying home. Mama's got things to do.
 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Nostalgic

Dang, I got sucked into the vacuum of reading old blog posts and you want to know what I miss?
Some funny stories.
Man, I used to have funny stories coming out the ying yang.
And now? Like, in this very moment NOW?
You couldn't pay me a million dollars to write a funny story because I CAN'T THINK OF ONE.
I'm sure that's a direct result of trying too hard, trying to force creativity, etc. but I'll tell you what, I need to start capturing funny moments again because if there's one thing in life I appreciate, it's humor.
And do you know who else very obviously appreciates humor in life?
Porter Pope.
Last night was Pinewood Derby which means the last week or so has included prepping.
Porter pretty quickly deemed Hello Kitty the design inspiration for his car.
My first response?
Confusion.
How many questions did I ask?
Zero.
Yosh's first response?
If I were to guess, frustration and being annoyed.
A couple days later, I asked Porter why (of all of the many things that interest him in life?) he went with Hello Kitty? Which mind you, I've never heard a single mention of Hello, Kitty-anything from Porter.
What kind of answer did Porter give?
He thought it was funny. And that coy little smile that I'm oh-so-familiar with (strong DNA y'all) accompanied his reply.
When I say his response was completely satisfying, I'm not exaggerating even a little bit.
I get it.
Like, I GET IT, deep in my bones, in my blood, in my DNA, I get it.
Can't anybody argue with funny.
And if it's funny, we want in.
So that was that.
Unfortunately I have a total of 0 pics from last night.
That's what happens when you're in charge of the event. Children suffer, families suffer.
But suffice it to say, Porter and Dallin were in an 8 way tie for last place in the speed division of the derby.
Porter's car got awarded "most girlie" and Dallin's "most likely to be Mormon". 
Can you guess Dallin's design?
BYU.
His daddy through and through.
At this time, I have to close this post.
I'm getting dramatically yelled at by Kaia for being a loud typer and she absolutely cannot hear her movie.
A loud typer and a loud pee-er.
I'm winning in all the right departments. #not 

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