Thursday, June 30, 2011

the warming sun

I know Father's Day was nearly two weeks ago, but I was trying to find this picture to post because it is like, my favorite ever.

I remember as a small person evenings spent tag team reading through a dozen Roald Dahl books with my dad while I walked on his back. And the thrill that came when he pulled out his guitar, plugged into his amp and played along with songs on the radio. And my favorite memory from being really little...curling up on his lap with my head on his chest to feel in my ear his low, even voice as he spoke with other adults.

My dad was a great dad with little kids. He was patient, he treated us like our thoughts and opinions mattered and I know that for me, he made me feel like I could do anything. I knew my dad was very smart and not a very expressive man so when he vocally thought something I drew was good or something I wrote was good or something I thought was good...I believed him; because I knew he was proud of me. I have wonderful memories of being a kid and now looking back, I know both my parents did an amazing job teaching us from childhood on that while the world isn't full of fair, if we use our brains and are thoughtful, we'll be able to navigate well and I hope so much I can be that kind of parent someday too.

But older kids were a little bit more tricky for my dad. Partly because he has no patience for smart-assery (and Clifford teenagers were all smart-asses to some degree). But partly because by the time my younger brothers and I trickled into teenhood, various problems were weighing on my family. From my perspective, it seems that years of financial insecurity were feeling heavier to everyone and particularly to my parents' marriage. When I was 14 the genetic kidney disease that runs in my dad's family started to work away at his kidneys and the slow deterioration seemed to affect my dad in more ways than just physically. He seemed unreasonable and tired of people. It was easy to fight with him and we all did. His kidneys failed completely a few years later and there was a time of dialysis 3 days a week until a kidney transplant my senior year of high school. His health got better, but I was mad at my dad all the time and my brothers were mad at my dad all the time and everyone was enough mad all the time that when I was 19 things were messy and my parents got divorced.

And while divorce is a sucky thing, when it happens, it can be the best thing for a family and it was for mine. For a while I didn't make any effort to see my dad, I only would when it involved Elizabeth, who was young enough still to be shuffled back and forth between parents.

But my dad made an effort. He showed up to things and called just to check in. He apologized but didn't force or expect an acceptance which seemed to give the breathing room necessary to heal our relationship as well as fractured relationships with my siblings too. He gave what he could and left the rest up to us.

I'm always impressed when I think about that now since things are so different from where they once were. Because for years my dad and Elizabeth and I (and Aaron now too), go to breakfast together every Saturday for hours on end. Because every now and then I've called or shown up unannounced, overwhelmed and on the verge of tears and his low, even voice manages to comfort me like it did when I was little. And because in the temple on my wedding day my not very emotional dad cried like a baby and hugged me tight...and having known the bitter, it made that sweet all the more special and amazing to me.

My dad is human and I know my dad is flawed, but my dad is my dad and I'm grateful on Father's Days and all the other days too that he's around and in my life.

Monday, June 27, 2011

broken telephone

I kind of stink at phones. I either have one that is WAY outdated or one that is a little bit broken because I pretty much have only ever cared about a phone to use as a phone. Oh and then also I drop them all the time.

But you don't marry Aaron Sanchez and get to stay out of the technological loop! So I've been holding out on an upgrade for the new iPhone coming in September and in the meantime have managed to go through 2 Craigslist phones. The last one totally crapped out, so Aaron found me another this weekend and since I couldn't transfer my contacts, he went through his address book and gave me anything he had that I would want.

And this morning I noticed my address book starts as any address book should start:

They catered our wedding and we eat there at least once a week...I guess it's time they made it into my phone (and in case you are wondering why double a Aaron is not my first contact it's because he programed himself in as 'My Man').

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

nothing is perfect

For Naomi's going away party last night I made cookies.

And for some reason, almost more than anything else, a successful baking endeavor makes me feel like I'm winning at life.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

in the middle of the night

The 6th year of Cliffords doing Wasatch Back Relay was a total success. Not only was it just generally a smooth year for our team, but I got a great 7 mile run in the mountains at 2am listening to Bon Iver which reminded my cold heart why I love participating.

Cus the a-hole in me can't roll my eyes wide enough at all the tu-tus, the ESTROGEN OVERLOAD! girl teams, the kill scores, and the general douchey-ness involved when you've got 1400 teams of 12 runners (hey, I said I was an a-hole).

But hooray for my Grinch heart growing a few sizes this year! And of course...picture proof.

Van 2

Casey's first run up to Snow Basin.

Inappropriate teammates!

The whole team (minus running Casey).

The kind of moment that makes me want to stop everything and GET PREGNANT.

Kevin lit up like a Christmas tree.

Nearly Clifford Corey

Oh hello June in Utah.

And finally, I love collecting these no-one-paying-attention-finish-line photos.

Way to go In The Thicke of The Night!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

turning tables

Is it okay to be in love with the kitchen table we got over the weekend?

Because I am.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

baby sister

We discussed on Sunday that from here on out every ten years, for just six months, the baby sister and I will be in the same generalized decade of life. Which for now, is our 20s.

To see her just starting while I'm on my way out made me realize that despite being mostly boring, I've got a pretty great 20s to look back on. There are things I wish I'd done, some caution I wish I'd thrown to the wind, but you know...what else can boring expect? Watching Elizabeth blow out candles I knew I wouldn't change her places and that makes me think I'm maybe on the right track.

In so many ways I can't believe she's 20 years old. But in other ways, the girl who has also seemed like such a little adult is adding on years to catch up with grownup brain and clever wit that are in there.

Happy 20s, Be Bopper!

Friday, June 10, 2011

dreams on fire

I've been in LA the past few days at E3 for work. Beyond the convention it was a really fun work trip...we went to a taping of Jimmy Kimmel, I was struck by the pants fairy and found 2 pairs that I loved and that actually fit me during a 20 minute Zara run, we ate on the beach and just generally enjoyed the company of co-workers outside of work.

But I gotta say (everywhere I possibly can), that the highlight for me was running into Scott Porter, aka Jason Street from Friday Night Lights in the hallway on Wednesday.

Turns out he's a big gamer and has gone to E3 the last 4 years and is one of the voices in a new X-Men game. Oh and also he is really nice and not in a wheelchair! And it means I have the potential to run into him next year and become BFFs.

It was so awesome, and if you still haven't watched Friday Night Lights then call me and I will give you my seasons because there isn't anything better ever.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

how am i different

I'm not saying I think my life is better now that there is an iPad in it.

I'm saying I know my life is better now that there is an iPad in it.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I can't believe it's already Thursday...sheesh, why can't every week a Tuesday-Friday work week?

The next few weeks are busy around here with a work trip for me and Wasatch Back Relay, so luckily, we were able to get away last weekend for a totally amazing few days.

In fact, it was nearly perfect to me for lots of reasons (guest cabin in Torrey, a retired environmental lawyer full of wisdom, naps, O Pioneers!, dear friends, new friends, Indian food with grandparents), but a lot cus we spent most of the time like this in southern Utah:

And finished up in Logan like this:

A lot of sun with a hint of boot and scarf weather...yummm, my dream life.