Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Dad

It always surprises me that my dad thinks he is undeserving of his daughters praises.  He will often say, "You girls are too good to me.  I don't deserve all that you do.  I was never this good to you."

But that is so far from the truth.  As we celebrate Father's Day today, I want to pay tribute to my dad, my very first hero.

As a very young child, I realized that my dad was doing the best he knew how.  I somehow knew that parents just figure things out as they go along.  I saw pictures of my mom and dad when they were first married, and although I was just a child, they looked so young to me.  They became parents not too long after they were married and I knew that they had had no experience parenting before that first bundle of joy was placed into their arms.  It was on the job training- and that can be brutal.

Most people learn how to parent by how they were parented.  And  unfortunately most parents are somewhat imperfect.  Hopefully we take the skills that we like about how our parents raised us and mirror that when we become parents ourselves.  

I know there are times when I hear myself saying something to one of my children- and I realize that I sound just like my mother!  It just comes out.  I wasn't trying to sound like her, but it happens just as naturally as any other thing I would do or say.  It's almost as if we have no control over it sometimes.   And sometimes that is a good thing, and sometimes it is not.

But it is what it is.  And as I have become a parent, I realize that now, more than ever before, just how much of an influence our parents have on us.

And if you were not fortunate to have loving, understanding, nurturing parents- well, it just makes it that much harder to figure out how to be that way when you become a parent yourself.  Such was the case for my dad.  

However, so very often, he chose to be loving and nurturing- and that is what I remember.  

I loved being his helper in whatever project he was working on- reloading bullets, painting the house, fixing the cars, working in the yard.  Whatever it was- I felt 10 feet tall if he asked for my help.  I just wanted to be near him and help make his load lighter.  Maybe that's the middle child syndrome- but I just wanted my dad to be happy.

My dad served in the Air Force as a member of the Utah Air National Guard and I was so very proud of him.  Every time I saw him in his flight suit, or in his 'blues'- I got a little lump in my throat and goosebumps on my arms.  I knew my dad was important and did things to keep our world safe.  

My favorite days were when I was asked to spend the day at the base with my dad.  I loved watching him interact with the other men, I LOVED watching them as they passed each other, saluting each other.  I thought it was such a neat way of showing respect.

When my dad served in the Persian Gulf War, I was nervous, but felt such pride that he was serving our country.  Although I probably had very little understanding of what he was doing each day, I talked about him whenever I could to whomever would listen.  In fact, I took a class in high school called, American Heros History.  At the end of the semester, after studying about all of the American Heros- we were given the assignment to write about one of the men or women who had become our own personal hero through studying about their lives.  I remember asking my teacher if I could write about my dad instead.  She gave her approval and when I turned my report in, she was so moved that she asked if my dad would come in to share his experiences serving his country with our class.  My dad was too uncomfortable to accept.   War is a very emotional experience, I learned, and my dad's emotions were too close to the surface at that time.

I have looked up to my dad my whole life.  I know he isn't perfect.  But I have yet to cross paths with anyone who is.  My dad does the best he can with each day he is given- and today, that means being the best grandfather he can be, being the best neighbor he can be, the best husband and father, the best brother.  And I think he is doing an amazing job in each of those areas.  I love my dad, my first hero.  He has taught me many things, continues to make me feel special and loved, and is a very important figure in my life.

Happy Father's Day Dad!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


My mood today has been as soggy and dark as the weather outside.  As I sit at my desk and look out the window at the rays of sun struggling to peek through heavy rain clouds in the sky- I am trying my best to wish those clouds away.  If not the clouds, then perhaps I can wish my soggy mood away.  I will do this by thinking of all the delightful things in my life....

Empty laundry baskets.
Freshly vacuumed carpets.
The english language beautifully written.
Watching my children sleep.
The moon shining through my open window at night.
A rich, moist slice of chocolate cake.
A shoulder rub from Mr. M., without having had to ask.
Clean bathrooms.
Listening to my favorite music.
An unexpected hug from one of my children.
Visiting with a friend.
No bills in the mail.
Sunshine, of course.  I will never take sunshine for granted again!

What is delightful to you?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


To whomever it may concern,

I would like to bring it to the attention of management that it is now the month of JUNE.  I am not sure if anyone in your department has gotten that memo.

It has been raining for 14 days straight (give or take a day) and the sun has only shown it's glorious rays for a total of 4.5 hours during those fourteen days.  The temperature has been in the mid 70's- which is cause for concern- at least for those of us who like to wear shorts.

My legs are pasty white, I have not been able to read a book out on my front porch, no picnics at the park or dinners in the back yard.  The kids are stuck inside playing computer games instead of running around the neighborhood eating drippy popcicles and skinning their knees.  

Please understand that while it has been very nice not to have to worry about watering the lawn, because of the amount of rain we have been receiving, we are unable to even find a moment when it is dry enough to mow it.  It is starting to look like a jungle around here.

I hope that someone who has the authority, would take a moment to turn the faucet off and the heater on.  It wouldn't take too much time or effort, that I can see, but would make a world of difference to those of us who are trying to enjoy some summer weather fun.

I would appreciate a quick response as time is a-wasting.  

Thank you kindly. 

Missing Summer  

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


It seems like there are a lot of bloggers who have been posting random thoughts lately.  I think there must be many (myself included) who are having 'blogger's block'.  I'm not sure why that is.  For me, it could be the abundance of moisture in the air, the lack of sunshine, the fact that I have been having a solid week of really bad hair days- (and my hair appointment is not until next Monday!),  I can't quite put my finger on it.  Nonetheless, I can't think of a particular topic to post about- so it's everything random today.  Just commit right now to wasting a couple minutes of your life, and read a few random thoughts from me.  Enjoy!

I really cannot stand an unmade bed.  It is impossible for me to walk past a room that has an unmade bed in it.  Unfortunately, I am the only one in my family that feels this way so I spend a good portion of my morning making beds.

I need a new wardrobe.  I feel frumpy.  I hate feeling frumpy.  It's not a good way to feel.

I put curlers in my hair last night, took them out at 3 A.M. (why? I'm not sure. It made sense to me at 3 A.M.), half of my hair was straight when I got up at 5:50 to go walking this morning.  Drat!   Another bad hair day is eminent.  

I am selling dust, if anyone wants any.  I just have too much here at my house with all of the sanding that is going on in the basement.  I feel bad keeping it all to myself.  So I'm selling it- for a really good price!  Any takers?

I'm glad my husband thinks I'm sexy with curlers in my hair. (Now if that wasn't random, I don't know what is!)

I need a good book to read.  The first day of summer is on Sunday and I am determined to start it off right by reading a good book!  Anyone have any suggestions?

I get to help in my son's 4th grade class two times this week.  I love helping in his class.  There is something I love about hearing 4th graders call me "Mrs. Melde".  It's the only time I think it's cute to be called that.  I think I should have been a school teacher.  

I love walking in the morning.  I love the company, the conversation, the sunrise, and how it makes me feel!

It makes me nervous to hear about all the recent deaths in Utah from the Swine Flu.  Every sniffle, sneeze, scratchy throat, headache or cough that I have, and I am determined I am coming down with it.  

I am tired of allergies.  (See above.)

My hands need lotion.  My cuticles are dry.  I need to drink more water. 

Ian has been having a lot of nightmares lately.  Neither one of us has been getting much sleep because of them. 

I am making Hawaiian Haystacks for dinner.  I hope I have oriental noodles in the pantry.  Hmmm.

Ian talks really loud.  I have just started noticing that.  I mean REALLY loud.  It gets on my nerves sometimes.

I love how the guys who are finishing my basement listen to oldies music.  They are 30 something year olds and it surprises me.  I love hearing it coming from the heater vents.  Makes me smile.

Nicole is at Lagoon today.  I wish I was there too.

My camera on Photo Booth is not working today.  Not sure why- but it is stressing me out.  More than I would like to admit.

I am tired of the IRS telling us we need to pay more money.  It is getting old.

I haven't talked to either of my sisters in way too long.  

I haven't accomplished much of anything today.  I need to make out a to-do list tonight so my day will be more productive tomorrow.

I wish I had something interesting to blog about....there's always tomorrow.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Happily Ever After

I got tagged by my friend Amber to write a post about how Mr. M and I met.  Oh boy!  Does anyone even want to hear that story?  I feel like I've told it a million times, but here goes anyway....

It was April, and I was a senior in high school.  I was so young, so naive, and so dating a sophomore named Matt.

My sister, Terra, was lusting after a guy by the name of Martin, whom she had met at a singles ward at Salt Lake Community College.  It was a Monday night and she wanted me to go with her over to the single ward's FHE at the college so that I could meet this mysterious Martin.

After a little searching, we found him, surrounded by many admiring girls.  He came over and we visited for a minute or two before someone came around the corner looking for him.  It was Erik, his younger brother, telling him it was time to go.

My heart stopped.  He was so cute!  He had such lovely bangs!  Such a nice smile!  And he was NOT in high school!  :)  Martin introduced us to his brother, who he mentioned had just returned from his mission- even better!

We visited for a few minutes and before parting ways, Erik mentioned, oh so casually, that we should go out some time.  I agreed and we exchanged phone numbers.

I hesitate to put this next part in, but I will, for it truly happened.  I went to school the next day and told my friend Erin that I had just met the man that I was going to marry.  I just knew it.  I don't know how, but I did.  Oh and I broke up with Matt.

The next weekend, Terra and I found out that the singles ward was attending a conference at BYU.  It was too late for us to sign up, but our grandparents lived in Provo by the campus, so we made arrangements to sleep over and met up with the ward at Ivey Towers to do some dancing.  

Erik was there, I think we danced together once, and then we found out that their group had decided to leave and go back to the hotel, where they were all staying, to play some games.  We were invited to tag along, and Erik hopped in Terra's car so that he could help us find the hotel.  My heart was pounding the whole time!  Did I mention how cute he was?!

As fate would have it, Erik and I ended up as partners in the board game that they were playing, but we didn't last long.  We were talking so much that we stopped paying attention to what everyone else was doing.  It was just us.  

I don't remember exactly what we talked about, but I do know that at one point, I mentioned to him that I had put his name on the fake wedding invitations we had to make for an assignment in the Parent Ed class I was taking in high school.  You know, Mr. and Mrs. West are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter Rebecca Ann to Erik Melde, son of Mr. and Mrs. Melde.  Yah.  I actually did that, and I actually admitted that to him.  I am still shocked that he didn't get up and run away that very minute.  I think it was my legs that kept him there.  He was a leg man and mine were particularly tan and freshly shaved, and well, I'll just say it.  They were hot.  And I was wearing shorts.

Anyway, we talked and talked until like 3 in the morning, and then Terra and I carefully snuck back into grandma and grandpas house.

Erik and I talked as often as we could the following week and had our first official date that weekend.  We went to King Kwong for dinner and saw Dances With Wolves.  :)

Two weeks into our relationship, Erik asked me when I wanted to get hitched.  Seriously.  We were sitting on the top of the restaurant at Bridal Veil Falls.  I was thrilled!  I was ecstatic!  I was still in high school. 

I graduated, and we continued to talk about marriage.  I mentioned this to my parents.  They probably had figured as much, but encouraged me to continue on with my plans to attend college at Weber State.  I got the same thing from my grandparents and pretty much everyone else that I talked to.  We were encouraged to 'court' for a year and then see what happened.

But I just knew he was the one, and that there was no reason to wait.  We got engaged in November of '91 and married the following February.

  We were just babies.  I realize that now.  But we were in love and everything just happened the way that it was meant to happen.   Of that I am sure.  

  And now 17 years and 3 kids later, he is still so cute, still has great hair, a great smile, and he still loves my legs!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rah, rah, rah

I love being a mom.  

I love watching my children.  I love peeking in on them when they play.  What I love most though, is when they play together.

Today I observed one of those moments.  

Nicole was doing her cheer exercises and Ian decided to join her.  He watched her carefully and then mimicd her as best he could.  It seriously was the cutest thing ever.  He kept saying, "Now my muscles are warmed up!".  

It was one of those moments that brought a smile to my face and a warmed to my heart.  

Who says that a 15 year old big sister and a 5 year old little brother can't be BFF's.
Nicole and Batman (aka, I-man, Ian, little dude, buddy, or Sir) doing cheer workouts together.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Too Sweet

It was quiet.  Too quiet.  

I woke up from a much needed nap this Sunday afternoon and the only sound I could hear was Mr. M's soft snoring coming from the pillow next to mine.  There was no sound of the children playing, yelling, fighting.  Only quiet.  

How nice.

Then I heard a tapping sound coming from downstairs.  I listened.  Then I remembered.  

Right after dinner was over, Isaac asked if we could make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies today.  I have been nursing a pretty nasty cold for the past few days and have been playing nurse to Mr. M who has been recovering from a procedure he had last week.  I was so tired.  Making cookies was the last thing I wanted to do.  But once Isaac gets something in his mind, he doesn't give up.

But my need for a nap overtook me as soon as the last dish from dinner was rinsed and put in the dishwasher.  I went up to my room, changed into some comfy sweats, laid down on my soft bed and that was that.

Then I woke up to quiet.  Something that just doesn't happen around here.  Ever.

So back to the tapping.  The sound came again a few minutes later.  Oh no.  Isaac is making cookies, BY HIMSELF, I soon realized.

This is what I found as I turned the corner into the kitchen.  He had been busy for an HOUR, measuring, mixing, and making a mess, trying to make cookies.  He was so proud of himself.  

As soon as he saw me, he readily admitted that he had made a mess as he reached for the dishcloth and started to wipe the counters.  "You did this all by yourself?", I asked.  "Sugar and Spice...and now I have cookies.", he said with that adorable dimpled smile.

I helped him with the last two ingredients, and finished mixing it all together for him.  

After the first batch came out, he put a few on a plate, got a glass of milk and took them up to his daddy, where he admitted to putting 'just a little more sugar in them than the recipe called for.'  When we asked him just how much just-a-little-more meant, he said, "About a sixth of a fourth of a cup."  Hmmm.

He was quite pleased with himself, and I will admit that his cookies turned out much better than I would have thought.  In fact, just a few weeks ago, I found him pouring sugar on a snail, thinking he was using salt.  He doesn't usually pay attention to what's going on in the kitchen.  So his attempt at making cookies, by himself, was pretty huge.

His cookies are a bit sweeter than normal, but they are overall, very good.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Lagoon Day

It's 9th grade Lagoon Day today.  As Nicole was leaving for school this morning, I told her to enjoy her day because she will be talking about this day for the rest of her life.  She laughed.  But I was serious.

I can't believe how many times my 9th grade Lagoon Day has come up in conversations over the years.  It was a field trip of sorts, but one that you weren't supervised.  You were treated almost like adults getting to roam and do what you wanted to for the whole day, not having to check in with anyone!  It was huge!

The day before, I remember my girlfriends and I planning our outfits, how we would do our hair, which boys we were hoping to sit by on the bus, which ones we hoped to ride the roller coaster with, etc.  Not to mention our hopes of meeting someone new- I mean how many other school districts were going to be there too!  The possibilities were endless!

I still remember his name.  Ryan Ogden.  He lived in Layton.  He was the guy that I met that day.  We met on the roller coaster- first in line, and then as we were stuck on the track.  How cool was that?  Stuck for like 20 minutes on the first big hill up the tracks.  It was awesome!  We had a lot of time to get to know each other.  We spent the rest of the day together (my group of girlfriends and his group of guy friends), we exchanged phone numbers, and I do believe there was even a hug as we said goodbye at the end of the day.  It was the best day ever!

And now my daughter is there having a Lagoon Day experience of her own.  I can't wait to hear all about it when she gets home.  I am sure it will be filled with lots of drama, funny stories, a few stressful situations, but mostly just lots of happy memories.  I would expect nothing less.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Strange Sunday

Where do I begin?  

Yesterday was strange.  It was not our typical Sunday.  It started out that way though.  We all slept in a bit, took our time getting ready for church, finished up lessons and Nicole's talk, and then we walked to church.

It's what happened after our Sunday meetings that still has some of us in shock.  It started with the torrential rain that started during the last 10 minutes of church.  I sat in Relief Society listening to the rain pounding against the door.  Remember that I mentioned that we had walked to church?

We waited as long as we could once church was over, hoping that the rain would lighten up a bit.  There were massive raindrops, and the parking lot became a swimming pool.  It was insane!  

The boys decided to make a dash for it and run home, Nicole and I hesitated just a bit, and thanks to that moments hesitation, we were rescued by my friend Keek, who drove us home.  You should have seen Ian's dripping wet face when he- now standing under the shelter of the garage- saw Nicole and I get out of the car.  It was priceless.

However, the craziness doesn't end there.  We ate dinner, and then loaded up the car with frozen cookie dough, from Nicole's cheerleading fundraiser, that needed to be delivered.  We all piled in the car and off we went.

We stopped at my aunt's house and then proceeded to our friend's house in West Valley City.  We were visiting with the family, when their son went outside and yelled back into the house that the neighbor's dogs were killing each other.  We thought it was a joke.  He yelled back inside that there was blood everywhere!

Most of us ran outside to see what was going on.  My little boys were in the basement playing video games oblivious,  I thought, to what was going on.

When I first stepped outside, I heard someone crying.  Some neighbors, who are also old friends of ours, had been out for a Sunday stroll and were the first to come upon the scene.  The crying was coming from their youngest son who had witnessed up close and personal what was going on.

Inside the fenced yard of our friend's neighbors were their two dogs, a pitbull and some other equally menacing looking dog.  Both were white, but were now covered in red blood.  It was awful!  One dog was loosing the fight as we all tried to figure out what to do.  The dogs owners were not home and no one knew how to get a hold of them.

Animal control was called but said that they wouldn't be able to do anything about it until Monday.  Are you serious?  Monday?

A rope was found and somehow the men were able to get a loop around the back end of the Pitbull.  After some time they managed to get it off of the dog underneath and pulled its hind quarters up and over the fence.  After a minute or so, the dog who had gotten the worst of it, wheezing and panting heavily, got up and slowly went into the carport and into its doghouse.  We could see a large gash on it's neck, but there was just too much blood to tell what other injuries it had.

Around that time, I looked back toward my friends house and saw Ian standing on the porch with a very worried look on his face.  I was not sure how much he had seen, but as soon as he saw me look at him, he burst into tears.  I took him in the house and through his tears, he asked me if the other doggies head had fallen off.  I guess he had pretty much seen most of the action.

While comforting him, I realized that Isaac was outside as well.  He had seen the whole thing too- as had Nicole.

Needless to say, we had some traumatized children to deal with.  Nicole seemed to handle it ok, once the shock of what was happening wore off.  They boys not so much.  Ian could not stop talking about it- he kept asking questions and making comments of what he had seen, which upset Isaac who didn't want to talk about it anymore.  He was terrified that he was going to have nightmares. 

We came home, got both boys tucked in, said prayers and our goodnights.  It was not much longer that Ian made his first appearance.  A little while later it was Isaac's turn.  We tucked them both back into bed and some time after I fell asleep, Ian crawled into bed with us.

It was crazy.  It's on everyone's mind today.  That is just something that you don't expect to see.  It was shocking and disturbing and just plain awful.  I feel so bad that my children had to witness something so horrible.  

It was a Sunday that, unfortunately, we won't soon forget.