Having Mykaeleigh back threw us for a loop. We had all finally adjusted to our new schedule, without her. I was doing the accounting for Sonora Grill, had just taken over the marketing, and I was coaching Junior Jazz basketball. We were getting the kids to school on time, keeping the house clean, planning good meals, and living a fairly non-chaotic life. Without any notice, she was back. And in need of more love and attention than ever before.
With the return of Mykaeleigh, there were a few scheduling conflicts, and we definitely couldn't maintain the same lifestyle. (Trying to coach basketball with Mykaeleigh was a disaster.) But it was good to be able to take care of her. I did her hair. I went to work getting her eczema under control. I took her shopping for new shoes and clothes. I brushed and flossed her teeth. I said prayers with her. I tucked her in bed at night. All without knowing how long any of it was going to last.
November wasn't actually the best month for our family, but I'm going to go ahead and record the good and the bad, so here we go . . .
Steve is on the school board with these ladies, who all happen to be short:
He arranged the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new school and asked me to take pictures:
The photographer from the newspaper did their best to garishly block everyone else from getting a decent shot. But I think my pictures still turned out better than theirs, and this was the day I talked Steve into getting me a new lens, so it all worked out.
I love this one. Amie Campbell, the school's new principle is on the left and Kathy Thornburg, who retired after ten years at OPA, is on the right.
Amie led the press and some civic leaders from the community on a tour of the new school:
But my favorite part was following Kathy around and watching everyone flock to her. She couldn't walk down the hall without students (and teachers) leaving their classrooms to embrace her. She was a well-loved principal.
Steve took the Scouts camping at Antelope Island and came back with some great pictures:
Any guesses which one I would like to nominate to What Not to Wear?
Historically, Steve has not been interested in taking photos. But now he manages a Facebook page for Scouts and his own personal Instagram account, so things are changing. I love it.
I didn't love that he told me that he would be home by twelve, so I set up a high school class reunion meeting in Salt Lake for one. I called a little after noon to see where he was, and they were "on their way home":
Busted. He didn't get home until well after one; I went to Salt Lake without him.
Steve picked out what he wanted for Christmas:
After hearing about the updates to our situation, our counselor told us that we needed to keep our boundaries and that Mykaeleigh needed to go back to Derrick and Gcobisa's house. I had already dropped Mykaeleigh off at school and promised that I would pick her up, so I went over with her bag of clothes and told her that her dad would be picking her up instead of me. Such a hard situation.
Adam had a cough for most of October and half of November, but I wasn't wanting to pay another $160 to go back to the doctor for more expensive cough syrup. Steve told me if I wasn't going to treat him with traditional medicine, it was time to look into some homeopathic remedies. So I ordered a whole slew of essential oils. (And we haven't been sick since. . . true story.)
I took the Jr. Jazz team to a Weber State Womens Basketball Game. I saw a friend sitting courtside, and since there were clearly plenty of open seats, she told us to come sit on the floor. We sat on the very front row.
We were, by far, the most enthusiastic fans, so we got a lot of attention from Waldo the Wildcat:
We were probably on the Jumbotron just about as much as the basketball players:
Weber State won. . . by a lot:
It happened to be team autograph night, so the girls lined up and collected autographs from all of the players:
But it was perfect. This girl was so excited, you would have thought she was at Disneyworld:
Saturday morning was spent at the pet store. . . buying a new water bottle for the class hamster. (They hold a drawing each Friday to see who gets to bring the hamster home for the weekend, and Adam kept winning.)
I wanted to add the hashtag:
Rachel made a sign to let everyone know where our Wi-Fi hotspot is:
At school, Adam learned that when you see someone in a military uniform, you should go up to them, shake their hand, and say, "Thank you for your service." So when we went to the Veterans Day Program at the Junction, that's what he did:
The 2013 Capitol Christmas Tree rolled into town:
So I took the girls to go check it out:
The six-story tree was available for viewing through Plexiglass windows. Rachel signed her name on the vinyl paneling covering the truck:
She stood on my shoulders to do that. . . and hmmmm. . . . that's actually when the pain in my abdomen really started to get bad.
We won our first (and only) basketball game of the season:
I'm so glad that we were able to win one. . .
These girls were pretty excited too:
We were desperately trying to hold off going to the doctor until January 1, but I finally decided it was time to go in. He told me I had an incisional hernia. It made perfect sense. By the end of the day, I was always holding my abdomen with my fist, pushing in on the painful area. Rachel noticed me doing this one night and fashioned me a girdle out of her scarf:
(It was replaced by a supportive abdominal binder.)
Gcobisa's went back to South Africa, and her father passed away.
Angela had her baby, and I went up to the hospital to take some pictures of these three excited kids, welcoming their new brother, Max:
Rachel started wearing my clothes:
We made cards for Grandpa Malouf's 99th birthday:
At my grandpa's party, my Uncle James played his accordion, and poems were recited by my Uncle Ray and my dad. (I thought we had Uncle Ray's on video, but Steve didn't get it. . . someone needs to get a copy of that poem!)
My dad gave me a priesthood blessing.
Angela needed some shampoo, so I got to go back up to the hospital and see Max again:
Rachel got braces:
Adam read a lot of RAZ kids:
And he continues to improve at school:
So he got to do bumper cars with the Loosli twins:
I had to take the kids to school at 6:00 am so they could be on TV. I wouldn't have bothered, except that Steve set the whole thing up and wanted them there. (Steve had been at school since 5:00 am. . . and he had been at work since 3:00 am, prepping for a breakfast catering.)
I finally talked Steve into putting up the shelves in our living room:
And then the wind storm blew down our fence:
I ended up spending a lot of days at home, unable to bend or lift without causing a lot of pain. It was difficult to be at home all day and not do regular mom stuff, so then I decided I was better off going to Steve's office and working with him. Steve took over most of the household duties: laundry, dishes, making beds, most of the grocery shopping, and everything else too.
Life continued, but we were bordering survival mode. Steve was trying to balance everything at work and home: Weber State meetings, OPA meetings, planning meetings for the new restaurant, Eagle Scout Board of Reviews, Priesthood Preview, baptisms, etc. And Steve was growing a beard. That takes a lot of work.
Good friends at Junior League offered to take care of my poinsettias for me, but Steve and the girls went with me to pick up the flowers and did all of the deliveries.
Our team left with a lot of medals:
I made this handout to go with the lesson I taught in Relief Society. Steve asked me if found it on Pinterest, so that made me feel pretty good about it:
It's an excellent talk and reminded me who I am and what I have. And that I needed more faith.
. . . .
There were certainly a lot of hard parts about November, so I guess I should be relieved that Rachel only remembers the good.