Ten Year Baptiversary

Ten years ago today, I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  This came about after a whole ton of stuff sort of merged together to create conditions that made it an inevitability, including my very own mini-miracles.

In the church, I found Jesus.  I found home. I found my wonderful husband.  I was able to grow as a person through my work with kids, cub scouts, and the women’s organization of the Church.  I was able to develop faith in Jesus Christ, faith that is dependent on nothing but my relationship with Him–not what my family thinks, not what authority figures tell me, not what I see on TV.

I love the me from ten years ago.  I was innocent–perhaps naive.  There was joy around every corner, not the least of which was felt because of all the corners I had turned before that weren’t so joyful.  It was all simple and beautiful and the colors of the rainbow, slightly faded from all the light.  It was like getting baptized washed all the muddy browns away and everything was right.

Things have changed since then.  I’ve seen ugly, both in and out of the Church.  I’ve left the LDS Church, but not my faith in Christ.  I’ve taken the harder road, again as a direct result of prayerful consideration.  It really is so much easier to be a believing, faithful Mormon than it is to leave the Church (although I do enjoy my cup(s) of coffee in the morning).

My rainbow is still there, but it is sharply colored now; it is full of all the things I want in the world, all the things I want for my children, all the things that the world could and should be.  It’s almost hard to look at because of all the possibility and hope that it contains, along with all of the disappointment in how of it doesn’t exist.

But thinking about that–shouldn’t our relationship with God be difficult to look at?  Shouldn’t it challenge us to become better people, to become better spouses, better parents, better children, better neighbors?  I have grown up in the last ten years.  The world can’t be cotton candy forever, although that period of my life was nice and beautiful and I treasure it.  Everything isn’t ice cream and candy now, but it turns out that the rest of the meal is delicious too, or at least interesting to taste and experience.

If I could go back to the me of ten years ago, I think the only thing that I would tell myself would be to live as fully in the moment as possible, and to write it all down.  And that’s what I hope I remember to do in the next ten years–to fully live my life in the present, in the moment, and to enjoy all of the colors and meals that life hands to me.  Because ten years from now, I will be different, but I will love the me that I am now.

Such Great Heights

To My Very Dearest,

Eight years ago we were married.  We hadn’t known each other for nearly long enough, and we jumped the gun at nearly every turn with regards to everything to do with our wedding.  Anyone who knows us well, with our impetuous ways, toweringly high dreams and ideas, and fearless optimism as a couple, will know that the way we got married suits us.  I still think that one of the best quotes for us is this one from The Postal Service:

They will see us waving from such great
Heights, ‘come down now,’ they’ll say
But everything looks perfect from far away,
‘come down now,’ but we’ll stay…

When I met you, it was one of my first days in Knoxville, right before classes started at the University of Tennessee.  I was newly Mormon, and you were a Return Missionary.  The very first time I saw you, I was smitten.  Here was a guy who was smokin’ hot, funny, intelligent, and just a really nice guy.  You became my home teacher; I lost all ability to speak coherently when you were around.

Still, even with obstacles like my early speech impairment, my kind-of dating your brother, some Shakespearian-type comedies of error, and the fact that I didn’t like Chinese food, we still fell in love.  (And give me credit for not going into detail about your poorly thought out “theory”!) Continue reading

Mommy CPA

So, I’ve been thinking about the turmoil of the working mother. I haven’t really talked to anyone else about this, but I imagine that I cannot possibly be alone, and what I feel is probably universally shared by all moms who go to work.

I get up in the morning, race around as quietly as possible to get as much done before Oliver and Hazel wake up, and then get them ready. I drive them to their nanny’s house on my way to work, and have to give them hugs and kisses (and sometimes more hugs and kisses) before I leave for work. Some mornings I can’t help but cry on my way in.

I go to work, and by the time I arrive, I have put on my auditing persona. I concentrate on work and colleagues, and while I talk about my kids (perhaps more than these single guys that I work with are really interested in… but they humor me, and I love them for it), I’m not really focused on them. I love my job, I work hard, I get stuff done. I talk with my clients, I try to help my staff, I audit financial statements.

Except when it’s time for me to have some quiet time with my pump. I take the pump downstairs, and read parenting magazines. Pumping is never as satisfying as nursing (I guess machines really aren’t an adequate replacement for children, as much as I may love my Crackberry), and I always wonder what the people who work in the offices next to the room clearly labeled “LACTATION ROOM” think of me when I walk in and out, and if they wonder about the mysterious interior of the locked room.

Some of my more forward coworkers have asked me about the room, and some general questions about pumping. I appreciate that, because it’s way less awkward. More awkward is when someone asks me an innocuous question about the trendy black carrying case (“Is your lunch in there?”), and I can’t think of anything to say except the truth–that it’s a pump. The younger people are sometimes really slow to pick up, and ask, “A pump? What do you mean?”, and I have to explain, for breastmilk. (Of course, as I’m writing this, the clever answer seems obvious–is my lunch in there? No, but my daughter’s is!)

As I near the end of my workday, I climb back into my car and make mental to do lists for the next day as I drive away from Fannie Mae’s offices and towards home, my kids, and the other me.

When I arrive at my nanny’s house, Oliver doesn’t want to talk to me–he doesn’t do transitions well, and my arrival is no different. Hazel smiles at me like I have just made her whole universe better–and her smile does the same for mine. We go home, play, eat, bathe, read, sing, dance, and love.

Except on the really rough days, I love my job. I love what I do. I love that I go to work. In other circumstances, I would love to be full time. But I love my kids. I love Oliver’s jokes, Hazel’s stubbornness, the way that they hold hands and kiss and love each other so much. Is it possible to have it all? Maybe I am–maybe having it all involves sacrificing a little bit of everything, but coming out as a better, more whole me on the other side. Am I cheating my kids out of my time? Am I cheating my coworkers out of my knowledge and experience? Maybe. But I think that I need both sides of me–I need Mommy-Katy, as well as Katy-Katy. And, just as important (if not discussed here), I need Conner’s Katy, too.

And the Joke Falls Flat…

As usual, I was walking around with Hazel in the moby, and her little legs were poking out.  Someone gushes, “Oh, look at those wonderful chubby legs!”.

I turned around and said in what was an obviously joking voice, “Hers, right?  Not mine?” 

The person didn’t get it.

Don’t you hate it when you’re clever, witty, and fabulous and the people around you just don’t appreciate it? 

More Mockery

Lest you think I only mock other people, considering myself superior to others, I will share some of my recent kitchen foibles.  Mostly because I think that my own stupidity was funny. 

Friday night, Conner and I had our good friend W over to hang out.  I decided to surprise Conner by making a bisque, and bought all of the ingredients ahead of time (like, Wednesday or Thursday–for once I was on the ball!).  It was to be a corn and red pepper bisque, and sure to be delicious. 

Friday came and I was scurrying around the apartment like a madwoman, having procrastinated tidying up to the last minute (after Oliver’s nap).  I had to start the bisque, clean the kids’ toys, sweep, do some dishes… But I did it.  The toys were put away (stuffed into Oliver’s room where nobody would see them), the clean laundry was hidden (in Conner’s closet–no time to fold the clothes).  The dirty laundry was hidden (in my closet, so we didn’t confuse the baskets).  The dishes were cleaned (I didn’t cut corners there). 

I sat Oliver down to eat his dinner, and began to prepare the ingredients for the soup.  It was then–and only then–that I realized that in our NYC apartment, I only have one pot.  And it’s a 2.5 or 3 quart pot.  Certainly not big enough to make soup in.  After about 10 minutes of panicking and trying to figure out what else I could make that would dazzle W (she’s really fabulous and worth dazzling), I realized that I could halve the recipe.  Phew!  Disaster averted.

Then it crossed my mind that we only have two real bowls.  Our ‘fully stocked’ kitchen did not come with bowls, and when we first moved here we only bought one for each of us.  After all, we have plenty of bowls at home.  This was a problem.  I considered serving dinner straight out of the pot and pretending that it was some hipster way of eating, but I rejected that as being a bit too weird to be believable.  I considered having Conner stop and buy a bowl on his way home from work, but he was already running late. 

I settled on serving my soup into what can only be considered a deep plate.  Seeing as how I’m not a huge fan of the spicy and the soup contained more than a little cayenne pepper, I wasn’t going to be eating a lot anyway. 

So, disaster averted.  Fun was had by all on Friday night.  But I’ve learned my lesson: don’t just read recipes ahead of time… think about what you’ll need to cook the food in the recipe, and what you’ll need to serve it.