Tuesday, December 29, 2009


This is for my husband.
So for those of you sick of hearing about my husband, read no further.

Yes, this was your birthday present, I know. But I always do blubbery, touchy-feely stuff. This time I thought I'd just post the sillier side of us. So here, your story!

And, as always, thank you for being the man of my dreams, awake and asleep!! You have made the last three years paradisaical!! Happy 3rd Anniversary!

And, sorry to those of you who don't already know that we're pretty physical. To those of you that do, you should have already expected this...

So I Married a Superhero

(Happy Birthday, Honey!)

Love, Charity, 2009

My husband’s a superhero. I know that look. You’re skeptical. And I was too when he first told me. But there are just some things that go beyond coincidence. Like how every time he kisses me, there’s an electric shock. Now I’m sorry. There’s only two explanations for that kind of thing—either his uvula is a Tesla coil, or his superpowers allow him to manipulate electricity. I’m prone to believe the second because that’s not the only thing I’ve seen him do with electricity. He can also turn off streetlights simply by looking at them. He revealed this particular superpower to me as we drove around the back streets of Salt Lake, searching for the venue where Greg’s band was performing.

“Look, there it goes again!” He pointed out another darkened streetlight.

I looked at the light, then sideways at him. “Baby, how do I know that light wasn’t already out?”

“Fine,” he said and pulled over to the curb. “Watch this.”

We both stared at the streetlamp directly in front of the car. Click. It went out.

“There! Did you see that?”

Well, what could I say to that? I stared at the dark bulb. “How did you do that?”

“I told you, baby,” he said, smiling in triumph. “I’m a superhero.”

Well, I was impressed, no doubt. But, frowning, I asked, “So, what can a superhero do with the power to turn out streetlights?”

He looked at me from his side of the car and grinned. The street went black. And twenty minutes later, slightly disheveled, I walked into the concert on the arm of a superhero.

Of course, he didn’t tell me he was a superhero until after we were married. Still, after five years of dating, I should have noticed the signs. Like, why didn’t I make the connection when everywhere we went other people recognized him? Strangers, all the time, anywhere we were. A mother would point him out to her little boy, “Look, Nicky, there’s Superman.” Or a student we passed on campus. “Yo, Superman, gonna save somebody today?” And he just smiled and winked.

And okay, there is a striking resemblance: the big blue eyes and the chiseled jaw line. Even the way he parts his hair on the side so that one curled lock always falls across his forehead. The fact that he’s super-mutant tall. And all he has to do is take off his glasses or loosen his tie, and suddenly you’re picturing him running off to a phone booth. So really, I should have known.

But technically, he can’t really be Superman. I mean, Superman’s already out there somewhere. And his name isn’t Clark Kent. It’s not Peter Parker or Logan Bruno. It’s Chad Brooks. Come on, is that a superhero name to you? So the whole name thing threw me off too. Chad Brooks the mutant hero!

And then, of course, his alter-ego has to have a name. He can’t be Chad Brooks the studious Swire manager and suddenly, moments later, Chad Brooks the giant electricity-manipulating super-mutant. It doesn’t work like that. After all, imagine him trying to get any work done all day. Here he’s got a wife and son to provide for, and yet he can’t make a buck because people keep flooding his office with copious requests:

“Can I get a photo with you?.... I’m trying to make my boyfriend jealous so he’ll actually propose.”

“My son’s just crazy about you, and he turns seven on Sunday—do you think you could fly by and sing happy birthday?”

“Hey, can you sign my butt?”

No, it just wouldn’t work.

And then there’s the whole anonymity thing for the good of all those he loves. I mean, think about it—if his name and address were listed right there in the white pages, then any psychotic super-villain nemesis that decided to take him on could just drive on over while he was at the office, duct tape my face, grab the baby by his ankles, and off we’d go to his mad laboratory or abandoned warehouse or flaming rooftop. That just wouldn’t work either.

“Baby, you should give yourself a name,” I told him one morning. “Before you really start doing your super-stuff. Don’t you think you need one?”

“Oh sure,” he said, eating his Reese’s Puffs. “Oh yeah, I’ve already been thinking about it.”


He leaned forward across the table. “How do you feel about Professor Victory?”

I winced. “Professor? Makes you sound old… makes me sound old by association.” I shook my head. “I still like Prodigium.”

“Prodigium?! Are you kidding me?” He pushed away from the table. “It sounds like a building or a giant robot or a fossilized dinosaur skeleton. Professor Victory is refined, patriotic, intelligent. Kinda makes you want to pay a little more respect, eh?”

I grimaced. “I don’t know. It kinda makes me feel like I’m back in college.”

He shrugged. “Professor Victory it is.”

So newly-christened Professor Victory is out saving the world somehow, with his electromagnetic charges and his super-stellar looks. Although, when I stop and think about it, it seems that an alluring, virile man flying around turning streetlights off would cause more accidents than he would prevent. But I’m not the superhero—I obviously don’t understand the way it all works. The important thing is that he’s out there, doing stuff, for the good of mankind.

But then, I’m forgetting some of his even more extraordinary powers… for example, he makes super-spreadsheets! And it is this gift that proves he inherited his powers the good old-fashioned way—through genetic mutation—because his spreadsheet ability is on a whole other supernatural level. Mortal spreadsheets do things, and they’re fairly effective and mostly attractive while doing said things. Chad—Professor Victory— touches a spreadsheet, and it is the Picasso of spreadsheets; a Venus rising out of tables and charts; a document crackling with raw mutant energy; a spreadsheet that does phenomenal things while looking like a runway model, making dinner, and solving the latest sensitive UN issues. It is a gift that mortal minds cannot comprehend. Believe me, I’ve attempted to grasp it.

“See baby, here you just enter ‘=SUM(D20:AVERAGE:N20!ASTERISK+RED40):!’and you get the world’s wheat consumption for the last decade. Piece of cake.”

I stared at the computer monitor. Totals were coming up on the screen, in beautiful geometric tables of Mayan precision, while the computer box crackled and whirred. I reached for an advil.

“It’s all alien to me.”

He shook his head. “No, no, anyone can do this.”

“No baby,” I said, “I can’t. It’s a simple matter of genetics. You forget that most humans haven’t developed the Excel gene yet. Sorry, Professor, but this student is clearly failing.”

He grinned. “Well maybe you need one-on-one tutoring, Miss Brooks.” He pulled me toward the bedroom. “Come into my office…”

Of course, it’s not easy sharing your husband with a world in chronic crisis. But having a superhero in your home does come with a lot of super-perks! Cleaning is a cinch; dinner is always at the perfect temperature; and anything that breaks is fixed, no problem. Not to mention the fact that he’s a superfather to our son, who already idolizes him… as long as he doesn’t take him out flying without the proper helmet protection.

And it’s true what they say—mutants make great lovers. His superpowers in bed are most definitely supernatural! And that really never hurts anything, now does it?

All in all, marriage to a superhero is truly… super! And yes, I’ve already warned him that the minute I see him kissing some scantily clad vixen upside-down in the rain, I take the pinking shears to his supersuit!

understated greats.

I have rediscovered two understated greats in the world this week.

First, I am reading Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. Ray Bradbury is one of my all-time FAVORITE writers in the UNIVERSE (which is actually a fitting description for the author of The Martian Chronicles). Anyway, I have many, many, many of his books. I devour his short stories like nacho cheese Doritos. But I haven't yet read Dandelion Wine. So I started it this week. By the time I read the first page, I was again reminded just why he reigns supreme in my book. There is no one--NO ONE--that paints scenes with words the way he does. No author introduces me to ordinary things in extraordinary ways like he does. Tennis shoes are not just tennis shoes--they are all the imagined freedoms of a young boy. A priest does not just meet God in the desert--he meets him in the red martian sand and the polyphonic singing of the wind. And a boy is not simply overcome by a midnight carnival ride--he is brought to age, terror and disillusionment with each turn of the carousel. Ray Bradbury's stories are music, light, shadow, elation, terror, philosophy, religion, fantastic, the divine in the mundane. And he has said everything I have ever wanted to say in writing. If you have never read him, that's tragic. Read Fahrenheit 451 (actually, in my opinion, though his most popular, not his best work). Read Dandelion Wine. Read Something Wicked This Way Comes (one of my favorite books of all time). Read The Burning Man (a short story). Read The Martian Chronicles. Just read him. I concede that perhaps--perhaps--he may be too much for some. I would disagree. But then, that's why there are different literary genres. I think there is nothing more beautiful than a short story, a page, a paragraph of Ray Bradbury.

Second, Moose Tracks ice cream! Enough said.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


It's coming on a month since my last post.
I know, what a slacker.

But sometimes I don't have much to say. The truth is, sometimes, for weeks at a time, I do the same thing every day, and it really isn't anything to crow about.

Sometimes, for weeks at a time, my day goes like this:
Wake up around 5, when Chad kisses me goodbye... I've instructed him that he MUST ALWAYS do this--otherwise my day cannot begin right later, when I get up for real...
Wake up around 6, when I have to pee--my bladder, I think, is getting weaker in my old age (I am almost 27, after all).
Wake up at 7, when Coren is crying and ready for his chicha (bottle)... HOORAY for dark winter mornings that keep the boy asleep an extra hour! One perk of wintertime! I pull Coren out of his crib and move him into bed with me, where we cuddle while he downs his bottle (and he is very serious about his bottles!). For some reason, I am most maternal in the morning hours, and I find all kinds of ways to get him to cuddle with me--really responsible things, like Disney movies (actually conditioning my child to watch TV. nice.), and songs with all the hand motions. And we "talk," which consists of the dude making noises and grinning while I mimic them. Over and over. This can go on for minutes and minutes...
Then, when the boy goes down for nap #1 (such a good napper, how did I get so lucky?!), I do the productive part of my day: exercise, clean up all the boys messes from the previous afternoon, laundry, shower (or bath, depending on how cold my feet are), and of course, the daily crossword--this is VITAL!
By this time, the boy is awake again, and we go into phase #2 of the day: get out of the house for at least a few minutes in this frigid weather, so we don't become hibernating moles! So I bundle the boy up, and he's so good in the cold--he loves being outside, he sings when we get out there; we chase the geese around for a while, which cracks him up; we visit a neighbor down the way, who is just crazy about Coren; and we get the mail. And that's about all the winter weather I can handle... so sorry, Dude, it's back to the cave...
After a little more playing, it's on to nap #2 for the dude. This is the fabulous one, where he sleeps for a good 3 hours! This is my less-productive time--I read, most often, I read and read and read... and sometimes I sleep. Bliss!
... And then the BEST part of my day--Chad comes home! From this point on, my day is focused around Chad--what I can do that involves sitting next to him... or just being able to touch him.... or look at him.
And still, we don't do anything amazing: watch movies, eat dinner, read books, chase Coren around, (Chad also has his daily Best of YouTube routine), pretty mild, pretty normal. And often, we have night activities: ward things, visiting neighbors and new couples, grocery shopping, etc. Then it's off to bed for the Brooks household.

....And still, my life is a joyful parade! Something I can't fully explain or describe. But my heart holds more emotion for my mellow husband and silly boy than I imagined I could hold for anything or anyone. I have a life so normal, there will never be a book written about us; there will never be a reality show; there will never even be a newspaper article in the local section. But I think I am happier than ALL of the exciting people I have ever met. And maybe that sounds outspoken or exaggerated, but I really think it's true. My life has joy-- the kind of joy that is ever-present, that does not ebb and flow with what's on the weekend activity board, that lurks persistently even behind the times when I am frustrated, angry, sad, or just plain bored-out-of-my-mind. A joy that pulses behind every daily moment... there are no words for it. And strangely, I am sad for the great people with their exciting stories who do not have this normal, joyful joy. I have it. That makes my life something fabulous, I think.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Many Thanks!!

A few days late, I know; but still. I thought this year I would tell my many (many, many) family members why I am thankful for them:

-Chad--because you are a hero among men; because you make me beautiful! (See bedroom wall for more.)
-Coren--because you changed motherhood from fear to bliss!
-Pops--because you taught me how to recognize the heroes among men; because you are my solid, wise and happy father!
-Momma--because you are everything good and gentle and strong that I remember from my childhood/teenage years!
-Andrea--because you were willing to come in and pick up where Momma left off; because you love us like crazy; because you are patient and forgiving!
-Sue-Stanley--because you're my favorite literature/movie/music buddy; because you stay up with me till 3 am to talk about whatever; because you treated your sisters like queens!
-Mel--because you are everything I wished Garrett to have; because you fit right in with our weirdnesses; because you make me feel like a million bucks!
-Genevieve--because you are crazy! because you tell people you're a popstar, and you enjoy Mothra, and you already know how to have strong opinions!
-Aeris--because you have no sense of personal boundaries; because you are the happiest face to see in the morning!
-Cian--because you still won't let me hold you (grrr!); because you have a giant smile!
-Seanny--because you are perfect for Tera; because you are just another big brother, totally comfortable, like you've been a Sorensen since birth; because you are always ready for the next big outdoor activity!
-Tera--because you are Tera; because you are the person I go to for advice on life; because you have a neverending wall of calm, which is a constant comfort for the rest of us!
-Shmoody--because you loved me best when you were a baby (yes, you did!); because you are a fabulous big sister; because your hair is beautiful!
-Benny--because you have the best giggle ever; because you are soft and tender!
-Megamoo--because we all know exactly how you're feeling by just looking at your face; because you are unique; because you already have a teenager's stubbornness!
-Nacy--because you are squishable; because you can scream at police siren frequencies!
-David--because you are a weirdo; because you always have a new musician for us to listen to; because you have a dry, sarcastic humor!
-Rinny--because you light up my world; because you are always ready for an adventure; because you are sassy; because you make me feel better whenever I talk to you!
-Porter--because you are also a weirdo; because you never tire of our ridiculous conversations; because you are an example of integrity!
-Brittney--because you are Brittney; because you are an anchor for others; because you are always a joy to hang out with!
-Launa--because you finally like me (hooray!); because you love taking care of Coren; because you have incredible eyelashes!
-Jean--because you are tender; because you have the greatest laugh to listen to!
-Amber--because you used to sing all over the house; because you have a fabulous smile!
-Special--because you are solid; because you were always my partner in imagination; because you have talent coming out of your ears; because you are an ideal brother!
-Shorty--because you are the definition of happiness and joy; because you constantly make me laugh; because you are kind and good and compassionate; because you are also an ideal brother!
-Brooklyn--because you let me be a big sister; because your smile makes life better; because you talk to me and listen to me!
-Kyra--because you are Kyra; because you are strong and wise and happy; because you are someone that others look up to, even if they're older; because you just rock my world and bring me joy!
-Prestone--because you make me feel important; because you're always happy to see me; because you have excellent stories!
-Jesse--because you are crazy! because you are the resident monkey; because you make me laugh and make me exhausted!
-Mike (Dad)--because you raised a hero among men! because you are wise and faithful; because you are ever-interested in the accomplishments of your children!
-Stacy (Mom)--because you are warmth and comfort! because you have no greater joy than having us around; because you have wonderful advice; because you have endless compassion!
-Brandon--because you are smarter than me; because you are always fun to talk to; because you are a character of strength and confidence; because you make the party better!
-Ciara--because you are another sister I was always waiting for; because you are always fabulous company; because you love to spend time with me, and you teach me so much about being an excellent mother!
-Shlecka--because you are already a teenager; because you have a one-of-a-kind imagination; because you are so animated!
-Noah--because you have a large head; because you have the most smiley face; because you are a great buddy for Coren!
-Toddums--because you are a giant among men! because you welcomed me right in to the family; because you are a loyal friend and a great listener; because you are always game for high adventure! because you are a rockin' missionary!
-Summy--because you always make me happy; because you like having me around; because you are fun and tender and sassy all at the same time; because you are just good, in all the choices you make!

And the list keeps growing! I love you, my family! I love that there are more of you every year! I love every in-law and step that comes in and fills another hole in my utopian world! My life wouldn't be the same without any one of you!! Thank you! Thank you! And I thank my Heavenly Father every night for letting me be a part of your lives! There's no better place!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


This is what a hamburger's all about.

And Draper's new IN-N-OUT just opened today... which is a joy and a sorrow--so joyfully close, and sorrowfully no longer a California novelty. But well, embrace change, right? Especially when it tastes SO GOOD! So I picked Chad up, and we went and got some deliciousness for lunch!

Now I know there are the skeptics out there, who say that the food really isn't even that good, blah blah blah. And if we're being honest, yes, of course I have tasted a better burger.

But sometimes you just need that simple double-double with grilled onions, fries, and a chocolate shake. And hey, if you're coming home from Oceanside beach, it's basically a law that you must stop at the In-n-Out off the 76.

And, really, it's the whole package. It's IN-N-OUT, people! It's California burger goodness with the old-fashioned flavor and ambiance we know and love. So let's hear it for IN-N-OUT!! And let's eat!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Happy Quarter-life!!

I love the movie A Beautiful Mind. What a work of art. And what a life! But there is one scene especially that I love--so much so that I have to rewind it and play it over again just to hear the words one more time. It is the last scene of the movie, and John Nash is accepting the Nobel Peace Prize. He makes a short acceptance speech--it is perfect:

"What truly is logic? Who decides reason? My quest has taken me to the physical, the metaphysical, the delusional, and back. I have made the most important discovery of my career - the most important discovery of my life. It is only in the mysterious equations of love that any logic or reason can be found."
And looking at his wife, he continues. "I am only here tonight because of you. You are the only reason I am. You are all my reasons. Thank you."

Even now, it's enough to choke me up. That is what I want to shout to you, my husband, every day--You are the only reason I am! You are all my reasons!

Thank you, Honey, for making every day with you the deepest circle of HEAVEN! For making me grateful I wasn't born Angelina Jolie or Ann Wilson or any of the other people I sometimes fantasize about being. Thank you for making me perfectly satisfied being regular old me because it means you are there every morning and every night. I love you! I love you! I love you! Happy 25th!

Monday, November 2, 2009



Halloween has got to be a dreamer's favorite holiday... You get to create your identity for the day; the sky is the limit. Have you always wanted to be a princess? Be a princess! You really want to be a cockroach? Go be a cockroach! Nerds are suddenly cheerleaders. Cheerleaders are nerds. Models are zombies. And everyone looks fabulous!

We go all out for Halloween! It was always big at the Sorensen house. It's still big here in the Brooks home! Chad and I love figuring out how original we can get--no pirates or witches or vampires for us, baby! (Although Chad says that if we do ever go that route, we'll be the RADDEST pirates EVER!!) And no store-bought costumes either--costumes that look like someone's bored attempt at creating a look-alike outfit. No, we get serious! We go to the thrift stores, we cut, we sew, we paint, we glue, we LOVE our Halloween costumes!!

In the past, we've been a homemade Jack and Sally--Chad won for scariest costume. When I was ENORMOUS last year, with Coren in the oven, we were Hefty and Glad bags--we won most original. This year we did Labyrinth--Awesome!!! Chad was Jareth, the Goblin King (aka David Bowie), and he went all out with the wig, the tight pants, the sparkly jacket, etc. I was Sarah, and Coren made a perfect little Toby. We had four different Halloween parties--Chad's costume won at all four!! That's right, all four!! I was so proud!! This is the way to do Halloween: No holds barred, and never do it halfway! It rocks!!

As a P.S.: I discovered a fabulous thing about Labyrinth this week. First, everyone who ever saw it had a crush on David Bowie... It is the weirdest truth I have ever come across! Now, I know I always had a secret crush on him; and I can remember talking to friends in high school who shared the same secret sentiments. But this week I had Relief Society presidency members come up and confess their secret love of Jareth. Cute eleven year-old neighbors admitted it. It was the greatest thing I've ever heard--Jareth lovers may be the biggest support group in the country! So let's give some credit where it's due.... Give it up to David Bowie, who made a man in spandex, a huge 80s mullet, and a lot of make-up look absolutely delicious! For having that air of charisma that convinced a generation (and more, it seems) that he was the best thing to ever happen to them! We still love you, David!!

Friday, October 30, 2009


It is freezing outside. Utah winters (any snowy, colder than CA winters, actually): the BANE of my existence. I love the season changes, but then I wish they would change back. Yes, I recognize that that is fairly demanding, but well.

So with snow and freezing wind comes a new new set of challenges for me--how to exercise...?? Anyone? Usually I run--that's my torture of choice which, surprisingly, became somewhat of a euphoria this year as I moved up to 5 miles without stopping! I am a runner (Okay, Tera, and all you cross-country-ers, don't steal my thunder right now!)!! And frankly, I would continue running in the cold if it weren't for a 23-pound tagalong named Coren, Sticks, Sticky, Favorite, Most Cutest, Mi'jo, Corencito... or whatever his latest nickname happens to be.

I have a son, and he is very, very, very healthy. I would prefer that he stay that way. So sticking him in a stroller in biting cold weather for hours at a time doesn't sound like such a fabulous idea. Hence, I am housebound.

I could do my runs at night, when Chad gets home from work. But Chad has a chronic condition--he really, really likes me; and so he doesn't really, really like the idea of me running at night in the dark by myself. I am okay with this--he basically lets me do whatever I want all the time, so when he makes the occasional request, I am happy to comply; it gives him peace of mind. Really, as husbands go, I'm not sure there's an easier, more perfect one out there! No, there isn't! So this leaves me with a short two-hour window right around dinnertime to run... and Saturdays are always fine.

In the meantime, on those days when I can't get out and run, I exercise inside the apartment. I have a DVD full of great workouts (and I use great honestly, not sarcastically at all): Biggest loser workouts, cardio blasts, yoga, pilates, dance, etc). These are videos that actually leave me sweating and sore at the end, so they work!

And here drops the other shoe. Coren also loves these videos! He absolutely loves watching his mother running, hopping, lunging, boxing, and contorting all over the living room floor. He loves it so much, he simply has to be in on the fun! So three minutes into my workout, there are little hands on my legs, and there he is bouncing alongside me. When I lunge, he makes a grab for my weights--every time. And when I'm doing crunches, he lays across my stomach and cracks up. He wants to be right where I am, doing whatever I'm doing, or at least attempting it.

So even my in-house exercise routine becomes tricky. But man, it's pretty hard to be annoyed with a little dude crawling across your stomach over and over again while you're trying to finish your bicycle crunches, laughing and patting your face every time he makes another cross. Or a little bulldozer cruising toward you at top crawling speed to grab your feet and chew on your toes while your in down-dog. Oh boy. My boy! So exercise becomes quite the feat during the winter.

Monday, October 26, 2009

We all scream....!!

There is a newly discovered gene, rare and recessive. However, if you or your genetic line has it, it is quick to manifest itself, sometimes as young as just a few months old. And once manifest, this gene is in full force and functional for the rest of the genetic subject's life. And although recessive, it seems to only need to be in the genetic make-up of one member of a procreative partnership to manifest in the entire line--children, grandchildren, etc. It is an aggressive recessive gene, another reason it is so rare and unknown. The gene is unmerciful... like Turrets or OCD, it manifests itself in compulsive behavior that cannot be fought or overcome--it simply must be accepted and dealt with.

Medical scientists are currently studying it in the genetic line where it has become most prominent: The Sorensen family line.

The gene's medical name: coactum glacies crepito, or in street talk: COMPULSIVE ICE CREAM GENE!!

.... And it would seem, true to the aggressive gene's nature, it has been passed on to my son!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Richfield, Part II

Well, you just never know where you'll find a gold mine!

Eight days of Richfield living, and we suddenly discover a great thing! Chad wiki-ed Richfield, just to learn a little about the stats and such. Lo and behold! There, there on the bottom of the page, under "famous people"--Walter Frederick Morrison! The inventor of the original WaMo (standing for Walter Morrison) Frisbee Disc! You'd better believe it!

So what now? Well, what do you think?! We can't very well be minutes away from a living legend and not make the hajj to see him... So Chad looked up his address, found his double-wide trailer on Google Maps, and we headed out to his sagebrush-covered ranch to say hello...

And there he was! Ninety years old, with six heaters going at full-power in a semicircle facing his recliner. The room was stifling! And he let us walk right in... into his "cave", as he called it. And despite our dropping in unannounced and completely inconveniencing him, he was affable and kind. He signed Chad's mangled Frisbee (a black lab had given it heyday just minutes before), made small talk, and we said farewell.

And there you have it! Walter Frederick Morrison! The man behind the myth! What a fabulous way to end the week in cozy little Richfield. Viva la Frisbee!!.... It is now hanging on the wall above our bed, a trophy for Chad to cherish for the next sixty-plus years!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Welcome to Richfield!

Well, here we are, living out of a hotel room in Richfield, Utah. For those of you that aren't familiar with the town (like me), it's a tiny little town just two and a half hours south of Utah Valley, off the I-70. A tiny town. There is a main street, maybe a half-mile long. Along this street you can find The Ideal Dairy, Walmart, Reel Theaters (playing one movie: Surrogates), The Dollar Tree, Lotsa Motsa Pizza, Bella Moon antiques and curiosities, and other quaint shops one finds in a one-street town. The rest is desert: mesas, sagebrush and tons of sky. We're here for a week--Chad is covering for the manager down here; then it's back to Draper.

While Chad's at the plant in the mornings, I take Coren on walks and... Holy smokes! Does it take me back! I am suddenly walking down one-lane roads in Warden, with Sister O walking next to me, nearly unrecognizable as my companion because of the layers and layers of clothing to keep us warm in the biting wind. Two sisters plodding along, thinking of all the songs we can come up with that have the word rain in them. Two sisters in Warden, population 2,500 (really?! that many?!), where the typical conversation between us during our walks went something like this:

Sister O: Did we pass these cows already?
Me: No, I think those were Holsteins.
(Silent trudging)
Me: hey, there's still some onions left in this field. Should we grab some?
Sister O: Nah. We still have half a box left at home.
Me: Right.
(more silent trudging)
Sister O: I'm hungry.
(Sister O trips and falls on her face)

So great! And then all the other memories come back... Warm Hispanic faces welcoming us in and feeding us till we need to throw up. Tiny Spanish branches where everyone wants to help in the work... and they do! Where they sing the hymns with gusto, whether or not they can sing at all. Quiet platicas and companions bearing powerful testimonies of Christ in broken Spanish. Teaching children and playing in the snow and wide empty skies with indescribable sunsets. A year and a half in the middle of nowhere, and it meant everything to me.

So I love this tiny town. Truly, the beauty is breathtaking. And Coren and I get to spend the week with Chad, which makes it even sweeter. So could I live here? No, no, no, no, no. Not this city girl. But it's a beautiful place to be this week--just as the middle of the Washington desert was the most beautiful place to be for a mission! Funny how when the situation is right--serving the Lord, spending the week with your hubby--anywhere can be heaven!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

To Have It All

So here's the thought I was having this week... My son just started throwing tantrums this week. Not unusual for children, I've been told. But Coren has been the ideal infant since the beginning--as mellow as potato soup, a perfect sleeper, happy to be left with anyone, and an all-around 9 month-old gentleman. Not so as of Wednesday. He will be heard! And so it is that he has discovered tantrums and that he LOVES them! Grant me serenity, right?

But then I made a discovery of my own... My squalling son is the new version of himself--the Coren 2.0, if you will. And this latest version, like all progressing models, is more fantastic than the previous version. Now, I heartily concede that I do not enjoy his tantrums; I imagine I never will. But my son is evolving... he is becoming dynamic! And seeing the dynamic transformation is one of the breathtaking heights of parenting that I have discovered thus far!

My son is dynamic. He will laugh. He will cry. And yes, he will rage! And he is fantastic! What care I for a flat landscape of a child, when I can have a flowing, mountainous, glacier-carving boy? People like Galileo and Magellan studied and explored to show us that we do not live on a flat plane of existence. We are round; we have depth and height, peaks and valleys; we are full.

In ignorance (understandable ignorance, but nonetheless), we say, "If only he was a tamer two year-old." "If you weren't so dramatic all the time." "If only my life was calmer." "Why do things have to be so hard?" Etc... Unconsciously we wish for a flatter existence. And achieving it, we discover there is nothing to discover. It is in getting angry that I understand that I must feel fairly strongly about this issue. It is in sleeping alone that I realize the warmth of my bed comes from my husband. It is in sitting, heartbroken, near my mother's grave that I understand that love is heavier than I ever imagined--and that truth makes it precious! If it were lighter, I could throw it off me and never miss it. I can't. And that makes it central to my existence.

We are dynamic beings because only there can we plumb our true depths and become ourselves. We are dynamic because, for heaven's sake, it's infinitely better than the alternative! So give me tantrums! Give me the occasional sorrow mixed with the inexhaustible joy!

And please, give me a room where I can hide till the tantrum is over.

Hello World, this is my YAWP!

So here it is--yes, a blog by an anti-blogger. A few influences conspired together to create the new oxymoron: Charity the Blogger:

First, Ever since my personal Waterloo in the struggle against Facebook, I have been contemplating the next all-too-natural, masochistic step--blogging.

Second, I visit the blogs of my loved ones (yes, Tera, Shawna, Emily, I read your blogs), and I love them. Despite my rage against joining the technological world, I secretly love it. So.

Third, I read an article in the Ensign about it this month--that basically sealed the deal.

And finally, this is the only, only, only way I will EVER get any personal journaling done. So here we go....