Sunday, August 24, 2014

Have I ever mentioned that I'm overconfident?

And in case you're wondering-it's a real thing; I suffer from the I got this mentality. This mentality sometimes gets me in a car on a highway 23 hours from home with nothing but spilled Cheerios and whining children between me and insanity. That's the razors edge of sanity if ever there was.
 Here I am after 26 hours on the road with these hooligans. 

On July 2, 2014, in classic Jamie style, I decided at 9:00 a.m. to go ahead and leave that same afternoon, rather than the next day, as planned. We headed for St. George, UT where we stayed at my Aunt's vacation home. After a mere 8 hours on the road I was seriously considering heading South back to Arizona, calling it good. We ended up staying there for two days and heading North to Salt Lake where we picked up Grandma at the airport. (Everything is better with her around!)

The hardest part of all the driving I did over the month of July was those first eight hours; especially the part where Jack cried for three hours straight and I had to drive with one hand while holding his hand with the other. On a positive note, he got it all out of his system in one fell swoop; deciding that three hours of uninterrupted crying was enough even for him.

We detoured through Idaho Falls attending a Peterson family reunion. We saw grandma Peterson--she's 96--and it was great to see her. The ranch looked beautiful and it was really fun to see all my cousins all grown up with their own families. That night we stayed in the world's worst hotel! Thankfully, the next day we were bound for grandma's house in Washington (lice free!).

A quick nine hours later Jack and Lily were ecstatic to be in Grandma's bathtub.  Every time I come home I'm blown away by my parent's yard, everything just grows and grows. It's so beautiful! Shortly after arriving, I took refuge on the porch swing--my sanity hanging in the balance--while the kids soaked up the glorious Wi-Fi. Who knew Wi-Fi was so important? Kidding (not really).

Wi-Fi is everything--everyone knows that. Reconnect to the internet, sanity returned to all. We forgot about the trials of road and we all lived happily ever after. Please don't make me recount the return trip to you. Agh! *drool runs from my cross-eyed face*

I come by it honestly.

Look at these two handsome devils! Behold my mom and dad's college pictures! The two hardest working people on the planet found each other at BYU about forty years ago and decided to make a life together. Would it be filled with lazy beach days? I have first hand experience with them on beaches and let's just say there is about zero laying about going on. They both love to work and are such dreamers! I just love that about both of them. Have I ever mention that my dad got a book series on how to build a house and thought, 'I can do that' . . .and he, ahem, WE, build my childhood house together. 

One would think that you'd start simple and small for your initial foray into carpentry and home-building. WEAK SAUCE! Nope, they bought two acres and designed a two-story house with a walk out basement and soaring ceilings that is over five thousand square feet. I like them. Let me paint you a mental image; I was about 12, Jason-14, Jay-10 and Josh-8. . .on the second story holding the exterior walls while my dad was nailing them in. Yup. There is no photo for the TWO acres of grass we planted but the memory is forever burned into the retina of my mind. The area where immense torture and pain is stored. It was heat wave in Washington--perfect time to: 
  • level two acres
  • rake two acres
  • evenly spread topsoil on two acres
  • evenly spread seed onto two acres
  • evenly spread MANURE on two acres
All without the use of heavy equipment--I mean why rent equipment when you have so so many able-bodied children. They probably won't need their arms for anything in the future. I'm not bitter or anything. Don't even ask me about the mowing. . .oh, the mowing! They purchased a riding lawn mower while I was in college. Yes, college. I've never mowed it on the riding lawn mower but I can painfully recall how I did it with the push mower.

It took years to finish building the house. Every day after school and all day Saturday during my youth we (my five brothers and I) pretty much cursed our parents. But looking at this feat now with mature eyes I see what a gift it was to all of us. Not just the house, but the lessons. Building that house taught us perseverance, hard work, determination, rebounding from failure, triumphs, grit. It's extraordinary to fathom how immensely difficult it would be to build a house with children as your laborers.
just look at that grass, single tear. . .

See the rose bushes that Lily is standing next to? There are about one twenty hundred rose bushes; why have five or six when you can have ONE HUNDRED and TWENTY, give or take a few. Ha--their optimism just kills me.
So that's my tree and I'm the apple. Often I find myself way in over my head but, I kinda love that about me too.