Friday is a great day for me as a mom, as a person. 
It is the day of the week that I take a breather - 
It is the day of no homework, no dinner made, and no bedtime enforced.

It is the day that I consider my timecard filled. 
(for a few hours at least) -

Friday is the day that you just gotta get down, 
Friday is the day where all decisions are simplified to either; 
sitting in the front seat,
 or sitting in the back seat.  

we can all agree on that, right?

Friday is the day that I sit in reflection of the accomplishments I made during the week 
as the mom and the wife.  

We all know Saturday is a "special day"it's the day we get ready for Sunday -  
and I hate to say it, but with 9:00 a.m. church...Sunday is no day of rest my friend.

So Friday it is. 

Friday is the day I feel either satisfaction or regret about my week.
Usually regret.

The kids these days have TBT (throwback thursday) 
and SS (selfie sunday)
 and TPT (tool pic tuesday)

But for me, today is;
(forgiveness friday)

Friday is the day I offer penance to my family 
and ask forgiveness for my shortcomings.

Forgive me River...for lecturing you when you complained yesterday about not wanting to go to school. Forgive me for telling you all about the poor little girls in China who go to school year round and sleep with rats, and study night and day and get only one crust of bread to eat.
I might've laid on the guilt a bit too much that early in the morning.
*But remember how I followed up with a "starving kids in Africa" speech at dinnertime? 
You're welcome.  

Forgive me Wade...for documenting your attempt to smooch an older woman. 
I probably ruined your moment. Forgive me for making you re-inact the smooch over and over
so I could take a picture.
Get used to it.
...get used to the "me taking your picture" part,
 not the "smooching older women" part. 
*But remember how I reminded you to brush your teeth? 
You're welcome.   

Forgive me Kal...for insisting that you rummage through the dirty clothes for pants to wear to school even though you protested almost to tears. I know you have an image to keep up in Kindergarten, I'm sorry I messed with it.
*But remember...I am the one that gave you those crushing good looks,
... and that courtesy cone. 
You're welcome. 

Forgive mommy Canyon...for laughing out loud when you did a backwards tumble off the table at lunch today. Sometimes things just strike me funny, I blame YouTube. 
I'm sorry that Quincy had to "shush me" and tell me stop laughing. 

*But remember, I did kiss and wipe away your tears...
before the bleeding started. 
 You're welcome. 

 Forgive me husband of mine...for dragging you along shopping for our teenage daughter. You were miserably uncomfortable the whole time.
   *But remember... I did go to that zombie movie with you even though I hate zombie movies - almost as much as you hate "girlie" shopping.  
You're welcome.

Forgive me Lauren...for going to your school field trip. I thought you were bluffing about me going...and by the look on your face when I showed up at the school, you obviously thought I was bluffing too. It was like a bad game of chicken. Either way, forgive me for sitting in the back of the bus surrounded by all your peers telling them your embarrassing stories and secrets.

*But remember... I did buy you a new (bra) shhhh.
And hey, good news, you're moving up in the alphabet! 
You're welcome.

Forgive me Quincy girl...you know when I told you that you couldn't go to that cute little preschool down the road because you and I were going to do "mommy school" at home -
well, um...uh...Mommy school is just doing laundry and loading the dishes all day.
*But remember..."A clean house is a happy home" oh who am I kidding, I'm bored too. You're welcome. 

Forgive me Brett... for dragging you to parent teacher conference with me even though you assured me that all the cool parents go without their kids. I guess you were right.  
 *But remember all the fun we had sitting in front of your teachers
 as the adults discussed "your potential" as if you weren't there? 
You're welcome. 

Forgive me...Me. I neglected you again. Too little sleep, and too many expectations = too little ambition. Most days this week you went around without makeup and a quick finger comb in the morning counted as "doing your hair." Forgive me to my goals and ambitions...I let you down again. Forgive me...Me for spending money thoughtlessly and eating junk carelessly. Forgive me...Me, I was too hard on you this week, you don't deserve to be called such names. Forgive me, Me...for making dinner only once this week, for doing very little housework, for being a grouchy wife and for watching all two hours of "The Bachelor." Forgive me for caring when Desiree was sent home...forgive me for even knowing the jilted girl's name, 
forgive me for planning on watching the rest of the season.
 Hey Me, I'm sorry! OK?   
*But remember...you get the chance to do it all over again next week! 
You're welcome.

Well then, that should about do it for FORGIVENESS FRIDAY.
You should be feeling pretty darn good about yourself after reading this.
...you're welcome.



Recently, a friend asked if would ever consider moving - 
 and I would,
                                                                                         ...within a mile or two. 

You see I'm a homebody, 
a Daddy's girl -
Some might say I'm a little soft. 

Dean just calls me a big baby.
(branding day, note the appropriate footwear)

I'm nostalgic and sentimental -

Sappy and old fashioned. 

I like where I live, always have. 

I was born and raised in Spanish Fork (basically)
and have lived within fifteen minutes of home my whole married life.

I'll admit, I'm a bit sheltered. 

Right after I was married, I was enrolled in a psychology class at UVCC. Our assignment was to describe for the class a personal problem we were having at the time and present it in front of the class for feedback.  So with a quivering voice, I stood in front of my fellow college students and told of sadness and despair caused by my crippling homesickness.  
One student asked the question of where I was living and where I was from. 
I sheepishly answered; 
"my husband and I live in Mapleton and my family lives in Spanish Fork"
(ten minutes apart)

I still remember the exasperated look on the professor's face and the collective eye roll from the class.

Dr. Phil's people would just love to get a hold of me, I'm sure. 

I know there are great places around the world, but for me - 
There is just something unique about where I come from.

Where I come from;
the houses are bright.

The ballparks, pristine. 

The people, supa cool.

And the fast food, one of a kind.

Where I come from;
my view from the window changes from this;

to this;

in a matter of months.
(several long, miserable months)

Where I come from;
the July 24th grand parade down Main Street is the same as it was when I was a girl. 

Well, with a few modern additions. 

Where I come from;
 Johnny's Drive Up is still there with the same line-up of cars each morning. 

Also still there, is my Grandparent's humble home right next door to Johnny's.   

Whenever I drive by the corner store, 
I remember as a little girl, waiting patiently with my hand outstretched as my Grandpa would dig around in his change purse, retrieving a quarter so we could run over to Johnny's.
-what I wouldn't give to be six years old again.

Where I come from;
the views are 360 degrees.

One day when I was a girl, my Dad calmed my fear of a tornados by saying not to worry about them, because our mountains protect us. 

Like our very own protective, cupped-hand mountain range.  
I then asked my Dad to reassure me regarding another childhood fear of mine...
My Dad said in all seriousness;
"earthquakes? Oh yeah, I would worry if I were you! We are all going to die!" 
And then he acted out a dramatic death scene, pretending to be swallowed up by the floor. 

You wonder why I have issues?

Where I come from; 

Rees elementary was the best, and I'll fight anyone that says otherwise. 
Meet me at the monkey bars.

Awe, kindergarten cousins.
 (Mom,  please tell me you still have my sailor dress)

Where I come from;
fries and a drink at Stone Drug come with the best fry sauce ever, 
and if you'd like...a side order of ABC gum.  I claim a few of those pieces.
I cautioned River of the thousands of pieces of germ-infested gum under the counter. 
 but, try as she might, 
she just couldn't help herself. 
Sadly, the last time I was in Stone Drug I saw that they have a nice, shiny new gum-free counter. 
Hey, what's the fun in that? 

Where I come from:
It's out with the old and in with the new.
We are the home of Pride and Progress, emphasis on the Progress. 

My teenager told me he and his friends were meeting at "Flo's" (Floribertos)
I informed him that "Flo's" was actually at one time "Frost-Top."
He said, "What's a Frost-Top?"
A piece of me died in that moment.

Where the new Costco now sits, was once was our beloved North Park. 
As kids, we thought the city built the park just for us.
We made a fort in the playground equipment, and kept our "club supplies" 
under a Olive tree by the fence and they were never bothered. 

Where the new Maceys now sits, was once an old salt flat field that my siblings and I used to short-cut through on our way to the old(West facing)Maceys.
Maceys was doing food samples before food samples were cool.
My brothers were well known for snagging a bunch of samples in the sample line, 
stepping outside to change clothes so the worker wouldn't recognize them,
 and then going back in the store for more samples.  

Smart boys. 

Where I come from;
sometimes out with the old and in with the new just isn't the same. 
We have a brand new Fairgrounds arena to be proud of,
but I can't help but feel sentimental about the old, original arena. 

I showed a colt in that arena when I was eight and did a bang up job as you can see.
(yeah, I'm a natural horsewoman)

Where I come from;
baseball is religion. 
End of story. 

Where I come from;
A diner now sits where "Guys Bike Shop" used to be.
The store owner "Guy" was a kid's best friend.
He would fix a flat for any of us, for free without saying a word.
As a kid of the 80's, our bikes were all we had. 

Where I come from;
We played kickball in the streets, sold red punch on the corner, swam in the irrigation ditch, ate "cheezies" from the vine, toilet papered the houses, raided the abandoned foundry for sandstone, walked to Sags, Hawkins Market, Storehouse Market and church, re-inacted People's Court and the Olympics in our backyard, visited old ladies hoping to be offered a butterscotch, walked our little brothers around the block in strollers, played ball tournaments in Little Chicago, 
and perfected the neighborhood pecking order.
...with little to no parental involvement I might add.
(all of our mothers were too busy watching the Luke and Laura saga on General Hospital)

I'm glad none of us moms nowadays indulge in such time-wasters. 

Where I come From; 
The Leland Truck Show and Sugar Factory welcome you from the South.

The giant, surrealistic windmills welcome you into the valley from the East.

and the Anderson Mill and Dirty Jo billboard
 invites you in off the freeway to stop and stay a while.  

Where I come from;
the High School is still the same school where I took swim lessons, sewing classes,
 and babysitter workshops. 
It was in those babysitter workshops that I decided I would one day
 have a bunch of kids for my very own.   

 It's the same school where my Dad and his scouts built their 
award winning zip line year after year. 

It was the same school where I danced on the football field as a five year old singing, 
"bye baby bunting" with my doll and three hundred of my closest friends. 
(my mom promises that's me, in the pink gown, on the right side, looking at the camera. 
Brooke is in the peach ruffly gown)

Where I come from;
Our High School football team recently played for the state championship in the big city. 

Kinda a big deal.

Where I come from;
the entire community turned out for the big game. 

businesses closed, schools let out, 
and whole families make the drive. 
(eye spy my teenagers)

Where I come from;
We start 'em young, instilling Don pride. 
Yeah, that's right...we are the "Mighty Dons."
you got a problem with that?

Where I come from;
Once a Don, always a Don. The fans are loyal,
and fierce. 

Even if we lose. 
and lose we did.

Where I come From;
the Kodak photo booth was in the Barry's parking lot, long before it was "Barry's"
My mom tortured us each time she dropped off film but never, ever stopping for a hamburger.
I was in my teens before I discovered the Malibu Chicken;
 an undisputed tragedy. 

Where I come from;
The people are creative,   


and frugal.  
 I still can't figure out what kind of a yard sale this is. Uhhh... let's move on. 

Where I come From;
Main Street was legendary!

Let me say it one more time;    Legen(wait for it)dary! 

I feel a little sad that my kids will most likely not know the joys of the best teenage pastime,  
Dragging Main.  
Actually, thinking back on some of those Friday nights on Main, 
my kids are probably better off sitting in darkened corners and texting each other. 

Where I come from;

Family is everything.
and a head-strong, handsome, tough as nails little boy can grow up to be...

...a head-strong, handsome, tough as nails US Army Ranger.
(and a daddy too)
That's my bro.

Where I come from;
We proudly send soldiers to war zones and give them a hero's welcome when they return. 

Shortly after the holidays, our family said goodbye to my little brother Will as he joined the ranks of so many others from Spanish Fork serving their country a world away.

The morning Will left Utah, we met him at the Little Acorn for a quick goodbye. 
Will would be meeting his wife Kimmy and his two babies in Texas. 
Time was short, words were inadequate, 
and all I could think of saying was;  "be safe, and promise to return home."

When we pulled up to meet Will,
 he was by the car standing tall, straight and a bit vulnerable. 
The scene reminded me of an old picture I came across a little while ago. 

A picture of my little brother Will packed and ready to go somewhere, 
standing tall, straight and a bit vulnerable.

Will was anxious to be on his way, 
so with a quick smile and a wave he turned onto the Highway,

...leaving the comforts of home,
driving past his "going away party" from the giant windmills and fading through the canyon.

So, if you still live or have ever lived within the good 'ol 84660.
consider yourself blessed.

And, if you are reading this and you find yourself away from home or a loved one is away, 

Take heart -

You see,
  where I come from;
          ...all roads lead back home. 


(a two minute video of the girl who needs to be everything)       So far my hobby has been micro-managing my kids and as rewardi...