My inspiration for this record of my days:

“The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. . . . I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less” -Anna Quindlen

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Conspiracy

I’m pretty sure I know what my kids talk about, late at night, when they are supposed to be sleeping.  I suspect they lie there and talk about how they can create the maximum amount of work for me, while maintaining a facade of innocence.

I can hear it now:

“When mom asks me to do something, I’m gonna pretend to be agreeable, and then when she turns her back, I’ll ‘forget’ to do it.  That way she’ll have to ask me several times, and follow me around to make sure it gets done.”

“Oh yeah?  Well my plan is to sneak all the clean laundry back into the dirty baskets so she’ll have to wash things over and over again.”

“I’ve been leaving wet towels on the carpet in the corners of my room.  By the time she thinks to look for them there, they’ll smell so bad she’ll have to wash them with bleach!”

“Well when I clear my dishes, I leave big chunks of food in them.  By the time mom figures it out, stuff is always crusted on there, and she has to scrub them double the amount of time.”

“One of the easiest ways to drive her crazy is to put things away in the wrong place.  She’ll spend forever looking for things!”

“Yeah!  That’s a good one!  She may catch on to some of our tricks, but by the time she has to ask each person to find out who made which mess, it probably won’t be worth it.  It’ll just be easier to clean it up herself!

Even Simon has joined in on the fun.  His secret weapon is to suck on the top of the salt shaker, so that every time I want to use it, I have to clean it out to unclog it.

Jeff tries to assure me that it isn’t conscious sabotage, but I’m not so sure.  Maybe tonight I’ll listen outside their bedroom doors…

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Alston Family Reunion 2011

Here are a few pictures from the recent Alston reunion in Payson.  I don’t really have anything eloquent to say about it, but only because my brain is barely functional these days.


Simon slept in the bathtub of our hotel room.  We’ve got to make good use of the space, you know!


Swimming with cousins in the hotel pool.


We spent one afternoon at the Verde River, where I remember playing as a kid.  The next generation jumped off the rocks, swung from the rope, and hunted for crawdads.  Of course my dad was the first one all the way in the water.  And fully clothed!

_MG_8844 IMG_8922

One of the highlights for me was sitting and listening to Uncle RT and Aunt Frankye, two of the “origional” siblings, sit and tell stories from their childhood.   They talked about working long, hard days in the fields, and only getting to keep $.25 of their earnings each week.  The rest went toward supporting the family!  It made realize, again, that I really don’t require too much of my kids.