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Seeing Stars IV

May 29, 2012 | 10 comments
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Seeing Stars IV

read Part I; Part II; Part III IV. Stairway to Heaven We are entwined in bed when the phone rings. We let the machine answer, annoyed by the interruption but determined not to lose focus. Seconds later the phone rings again. Reed mutters something, and I silently curse whoever is lame enough to call repeatedly at 10:30 pm. When it immediately rings again, Reed lunges out of bed, grabs the phone from the computer desk and barks a hello. I brace myself on behalf of the caller, probably one of the kids’ clueless friends, who’s about to get an earful. But... Read more »

Seeing Stars III

May 29, 2012 | no comments
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Seeing Stars III

read Part I; Part II III. Day of the Dead When I come inside from lighting the jack-o-lanterns, the boys are waiting for me. “When are we going to go?” Sam asks from behind the white sheet of his ghost costume. “Yeah, let’s go,” says pirate Matt, swinging his pumpkin-shaped candy bag. He is eight and Sam is six. None of our older four kids are willing to be seen trick-or-treating with their parents. Matt and Sam would actually be pleased to have both of us tag along, but taking a long stroller ride in the dark is not our... Read more »

Seeing Stars II

May 29, 2012 | no comments
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Seeing Stars II

read Part I  II. Blue Boy The kids and I are decorating Christmas gingerbread men when the phone rings. I sigh, knowing that even a few minutes’ interruption could spell disaster in a kitchen full of rowdy kids wielding tubes of frosting. I head toward the phone, snatching the sprinkles away from twelve-year-old Ben, who’s sprinkling them straight into his mouth. My mother’s name shows on the caller ID; I pick up to tell her we’re in the middle of a mess and I’ll call her back. “I need you for just a minute,” she says, and her numb... Read more »

Seeing Stars

May 29, 2012 | 3 comments
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Seeing Stars

An essay posted in four parts. Originally published in Irreantum as an entry for the 2011 Charlotte and Eugene England Personal Essay Contest. The deadline for the 2012 contest is May 31.  I. Descent It’s an hour or so from sunset when we pile into the jeep – me and my roommate Stacey, her friend Dave, his friend Tim, and a couple whose names I can’t remember, who Stacey and I squeeze next to in the back seat. It’s the beginning of my sophomore year at BYU, early September, 1990—a few weeks since I met Reed, the man who... Read more »

Teleos

April 8, 2012 | 5 comments
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The door is the first thing I notice: an automatic sliding door with three wide panels of glass.  When I step on the sensor mat, the third panel slides back behind the second and the second slides back behind the first, leaving a doorway at least ten feet across. It takes me a minute to remember where else I’ve seen a door like this: the children’s hospital. The ER, to be exact. Not the main entrance, but the one in the ambulance zone, where EMTs rolled gurneys bearing little bodies into the fluorescent light of the trauma center. But... Read more »

Passenger

February 22, 2012 | 16 comments
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Visiting hours ended at 8:30. I hugged my son goodbye and headed out of the adolescent unit, pausing at the locked exit for an attendant to buzz me through. Ben had been at the neuropsychiatric institute for nearly a week, following an acute mental health crisis. We visited him every day—either me or my husband or both of us. Tonight I was alone. Which meant that I was quiet as I took the elevator to the main floor and navigated the maze of hallways toward the main entrance—quiet enough to hear the crying woman before I could see her. Read more »

Theotokos: Pentecost

February 3, 2012 | 15 comments
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Theotokos: Pentecost

Fourth and last in a series of essays about female identity. Previous posts explored this theme in the contexts of air, water, and earth. It was snowing when I drove to the hospital, and it wouldn’t be daylight for another hour at least. The only person in the lobby was the woman at the information desk. She directed me to the laboratory down the hall, where I handed over my paperwork and sat down in the empty waiting room. On the wall-mounted TV, a news reporter announced that an escaped convict had been captured. He’d broken out of federal... Read more »

Theotokos: Seed

January 3, 2012 | 9 comments
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Theotokos: Seed

(Part 3 of 4. Read the first parts here and here.) Once a year, right before our Christmas dinner, I practice the fine art of pomegranate seeding. If I’d let them my kids would eat pomegranates every day, but they’re expensive. And the juice stains. This year we have two of the fruits, spherical with thick skins of dull red. I choose one and use a serrated knife to saw through its center. The fruit falls in halves on the cutting board, revealing plump clusters of seeds separated by paper-thin pith. Juice seeps from the wound and runs down... Read more »

Theotokos: Land’s End

December 29, 2011 | 5 comments
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Theotokos: Land’s End

(Part 2 of 4. Read the first part here). Between the Washington Beltway and the Delaware coast lay 150 miles of waiting. Waiting, and watching, and sweating with boredom as my grandmother’s Oldsmobile slowly cruised Route 50. We took this road every summer, me and my brother and our Yia Yia Christine, leaving behind the Maryland suburbs for the Lynard vacation spot on Rehoboth Beach. Read more »

Theotokos: Flight

December 21, 2011 | 5 comments
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theotokos3

(part 1 of 4) A strange autumn. The gold harvest sky, usually so calm and calming, is full of unrest. Nervous pigeons cluster near the freeway overpass. Above them circle the gulls, those inland outlanders who should be pulling fish from the sea. Nameless small dark birds coalesce into rolling, chattering clouds before dropping to roost on rooftops and treetops and utility wires. Read more »

The Totality of Mortality

January 8, 2009 | 60 comments
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When I picked up my manual to prepare to teach Gospel Doctrine this Sunday, I figured it would be a lesson about the spirit of Elijah (second week = section 2 = turning hearts, etc). I was surprised and delighted to find that Lesson 2 is instead about the atonement, highlighting powerhouse passages in Doctrine & Covenants sections 19, 76, 88, and 93. While reading the material I was reminded of a favorite quote from Chieko Okazaki on the topic and had a hankering to share it. Read more »

Semiautomatic Madness

January 6, 2009 | 133 comments
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“Gun sales in the waning months of 2008 saw a dramatic spike in Utah, a trend gunowners say is propelled by the election of Barack Obama and a faltering economy . . . At Kearns’ Impact Guns, assault weapons, such as AR-15s and AK-47s are out-of-stock after a post-election rush.” Will someone please explain to me why any civilian would want or need an AK-47? Read more »

Om nom nom

January 2, 2009 | 39 comments
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In a recent ABC article, mother of three Robyn Paul has some good things to say about breastfeeding children beyond infancy. Read more »

Is the pudding done?

December 24, 2008 | 2 comments
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As far as holiday food goes, Thanksgiving tends to steal the spotlight. At our home Christmas Eve dinner is a true feast rivaling the best turkey-centered spreads our table has seen: Read more »

Get thee behind me, Santa!

December 22, 2008 | 16 comments
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I know, I know. There’s so much to love about the jolly fella. But he keeps getting in the way. Or not. Read more »

Home

November 27, 2008 | 18 comments
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Any minute now, it will begin: first one car, then another, then another will drive into our cul-de-sac and park in front of the house across the street. As they do on every holiday, the Bishop’s children are coming home. Read more »

Hum together, right now

November 6, 2008 | 12 comments
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While the candidates have been talking the talk about cooperation and unity, a few humble LDS editors have been walking the walk. Read more »

Halloween treat

October 31, 2008 | 23 comments
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Halloween treat

Strangely enough, I didn’t catch the irony until just now, as my first- and sixth-graders ran outside to catch the carpool. First grader=John McCain Sixth grader=jihadist Afghani Read more »

Girls, Are You Hip Enough?

October 29, 2008 | 95 comments
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I kissed a girl and I liked it The taste of her cherry chapstick I kissed a girl just to try it I hope my boyfriend don’t mind it It felt so wrong It felt so right Don’t mean I’m in love tonight Read more »

What a day for a daydream

October 26, 2008 | 80 comments
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A few days ago, Russell passed around this quote backstage (yes, T&S has a backstage–that’s where the permabloggers hang out, fight, and make fun of you): Read more »

Power to the Parents

October 24, 2008 | 88 comments
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Naysayers regarding Sarah Palin’s promise to be an advocate for children with special needs can stand down for now rant all they want, but I’m still excited. Read more »

Two-headed Hydra

October 22, 2008 | 100 comments
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Thirteen-year-old son: Mom, can I watch “The Sarah Connor Chronicles”? me: No. son: Why not? There’s nothing bad about it. me: I disagree. son: Well, I disagree with you. me: That’s okay. Read more »

Thank you, Dr. Ulrich

June 19, 2008 | 4 comments
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A good thing now comes to an end. We thank Wendy Ulrich for her fantastic guest posts, and wish her the very best. I’ve just begun reading her book, Forgiving Ourselves, and I can already tell that it will be a life-changing experience. Here are some of the chapter titles: The Spiritual Basis for Self-Forgiveness Defining Self-Forgiveness Receiving the Gift Repentance Shame and Pride Depression Anxious Perfectionism Self-Destructive Unselfishness Trauma and Abuse Though Your Sins Be As Scarlet Forgiving Ourselves as Parents Believing God Dr. Ulrich, thank you again. We hope you’ll come back and visit us soon. Read more »

Rock bottom

June 1, 2008 | 18 comments
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Today’s Gospel Doctrine lesson: the conversion of Alma the Younger. Read more »

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