Friday, February 28, 2014

Who Are You? A Topic for Each Week of the Year {Week 7: Parents}

Week 1: Name/Birth
Week 2: School

What were your parents like? Did you have a special relationship with either of them? Do you know anything about them from when they were children?

My mom and dad with Reed, December 2008
I was lucky to have a special relationship with both of my parents--they both are and always have been super supportive. Here are a few specific memories I have of each of them:

Mom

I was blessed to have a mom who did not work outside the home. As such, I got to spend a lot of time with her. My mom is super, super crafty. She quilts, she sews, she paints--she can basically do anything. And do it well. I remember making forts under her big quilting frames and laying underneath them with Lynnie while my mom would tie the quilt. Sometimes I'd bring a book down and pass an enjoyable hour reading and listening to her chat with her friends. Other times I was apparently a little less lazy and would help tie the quilt. I'm sure my knots were loose and sub-par, but she always made me feel like I was doing a good job and was super helpful. I remember so many trips to the fabric store. Lynnie and I would flip through the gigantic pattern books while my mom got what she needed. If she was making something for us, she'd let us help pick out the fabric. If we had a specific costume we wanted tor Halloween, she made it. She made me a beautiful yellow "ball gown" the year I wanted to be Belle for Halloween. She hand-painted a doll house for us one year for our Barbies, which we loved.

My mom and I on my wedding day. 
My mom would always help us with our school projects--and there are five of us, so she had a lot of projects to help on. One time in middle school I had this project--I have no idea what the assignment was, but I decided to make a monster wallet to fulfill it. My mom helped me sew a wallet out of faux-fur, then I made a driver's license, fake money, a bank card, etc. to fill out. One time I had to make a cell in a creative way. Per tradition (seriously, every one of my siblings did this), she helped me make a GIGANTIC sucker, using different candies as the cell parts. Speaking of suckers--my mom had a sucker-making business for a while before I was born. So she had a plethora of molds, flavorings, and even a handy little bagging machine. (It was seriously cool.) We'd occasionally get the whim to make suckers and she'd help us heat the sugar, add the coloring and flavor, pour the molds, and bag the final products! In high school, I decided to run for student council and my mom spent hours making posters with me, with clever slogans she came up with. My favorite was "If you "carrot" all, vote for Megan!" The poster was shaped like a gigantic carrot. It was fantastic. She spent even more hours helping me put together my Sterling Scholar binder, finding and scanning in every award I'd ever gotten.

My mom with Asher, October 2010.
For a personal progress project one year (part of the Young Women's program), I decided I wanted to learn how to tint black and white photos. (How did I come up with this idea? I'm not sure.) My mom got the supplies for us, then helped me figure out what I was doing. Turns out, tinting photos is super fun. My mom also taught me to sew, to crochet, to cook, to bake, to clean, and to do anything remotely crafty.

My mom came on every single field trip I had in elementary school. I don't even think I'm exaggerating. I can't think of a single field trip when she wasn't there. She took us all 100,000 different places--dance lessons, soccer practice, basketball practice, voice lessons, softball practice, volleyball practice, early morning jazz band--I seriously don't know how she did it. She was at EVERY single one of our games and performances, even though sports aren't her favorite thing. My junior year I had a really bad volleyball experience, and my mom went and talked to my coach after the game, super upset. At the time, I was a little embarrassed--but also grateful to know that she cared about what mattered to me.

My mom with Lila, January 2013.
My mom was at the birth of each of my babies, and helped me get through the "what is this motherhood thing?" phase each time. When I found out Reed was failure to thrive, she called me and I cried to her on the phone for an hour. She told me I should come stay with them for a few days, and I did--which was a huge blessing. 

Whenever I have a question or want to try a project, she lets me come "shop" for supplies in her basement, then gives me a tutorial when I get stuck. Right after Lila was born, I mentioned I was looking for stretchy lace for headbands for Lila, but hadn't been able to get to the craft store because it was far away and I was having trouble juggling three kids. Four days later I opened my mailbox to see a small package from my mom with four different kinds of stretch lace. That's just the kind of person she is. And I'm so grateful for all she has taught me.

Dad
Every year, the night before school started, my dad gave each of his children a father's blessing for the new school year. I forward to my blessing every year. Additionally, he was more than happy to give me a blessing any time I needed one.

In Elementary School one time, my dad came on a field trip as a chaperon. I think we went to Spring Mountain Ranch, but I'm really not sure. Anyway, I was PUMPED that my dad had taken a day off work to come with me!

During my junior year of high school, I went to the temple to do baptisms every Saturday (or almost) with my friend, Alyssa Winterton. One time, before I left , my dad sat down with me and read my a scripture: "And we ask thee, Holy Father, that thy servants may go forth from this house armed with thy power, and that thy aname may be upon them, and thy glory be round about them, and thine bangels have charge over them;" (D&C 109:22). He told me how proud he was of me for going to the temple and that the work I was doing was important. I still read that scripture every time I go to the temple. I got really involved in family history work in high school and one time, while I was on the computer looking for family names, my dad sat with me for a minute. He told me that the stake president had promised that if we did family history work for an hour each week, our families would be blessed and spared trials. He told me I was directly blessing our family. Those experiences were very special to me.
My dad and I on my blessing day (early 1987).
My dad was the bishop of our ward when I got baptized--I copied my sister Lynnie and told him I didn't want him to baptize me--I wanted the bishop to baptize me! The day of my baptism was really special. Our new church building had just recently been completed. The morning of my baptism, I got to go to the church with my dad to help him hang the large artwork that had arrived for the walls of the church. I was his eyes--I'd tell him what looked centered and leveled. I had a great time with just the two of us. Later, when we got to the baptismal font, we saw that somehow the stopped had come unplugged and the font was empty. He replugged it and started the water again. Luckily we were early--but when the guests arrived there was only about 1.5 feet of water. He had to lower me super far down into the water, but it worked out!

My dad ended up basically following me around with my bouquet on my wedding day! (July 28, 2006)
When I was in high school, my dad spent HOURS tossing volleyballs to me at the gym so I could practice my passing. We set up two empty garbage cans as my targets. He'd toss, I'd pass, he'd retrieve the ball. Over. And over. And over. We only had one volleyball, so this was kind of a lot of work for him--not to mention a huge time sacrifice.

Throughout middle school and high school, my dad occasionally left notes on my mirror when I had a particularly important or challenging day ahead of me. I still have two: one that says "good luck at tryouts!" (trying out for the sixth grade basketball team) and one that said "there are two types of people: those who are bugs and those who are windshields. Be a windshield today!" and had a picture of a bug and a windshield that he'd drawn. The latter came during a particularly emotional and trying time during my junior year of high school. Those notes meant a lot to me.
When I was a junior in high school, I re-took the ACT, trying to reach a 33 so I could qualify to apply for the Presidential Scholarship at BYU. I had a volleyball game in Las Vegas the afternoon after the test, so I took the test in Vegas. I woke up very early in the morning, realizing that I had forgotten my ID at home. Panic ensued. My dad spent the next several hours on the phone with our neighbor (who used our garage code to get into the house, get my car keys, get my wallet out of my car; then drove to Kinko's, made a high quality copy, and faxed it), the testing center, the test administrator, anyone he could talk to. That day was my very last chance to take the test to qualify for the scholarship. And guess what? After all that drama, they let me in, let me take the test, and counted my score. Which was a 34. I didn't get the scholarship--but I was grateful for a dad who cared so much about what I cared about. 

My dad coached me on more teams than I can count. He came to every single game, whether he was the coach or not. That's not to mention the dance recitals choir performances, band performances, awards ceremonies, and millions of other things he came to. I love him and am so grateful for him!

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