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Friday, June 11, 2010

Peaking my head up out of the sand

I'm tired people.  Tiredness is a general way of life for me right now.  Classes are back in session, and I'm having a tough time with statistics right now...and we've just started.  The thing is, the book doesn't give the clearest explanations in a lay-person way.  It gives very technical definitions, and that's cool but that doesn't help me to really understand the difference between the population and sample (which I get, but the examples make it tough to tell the difference), and I'm hoping things will clear up after my seminar.  They suggested that even though I only have to attend one of the seminars, I should listen to the recordings of the other two because the different professors will be covering different things.  I won't be knitting, or spinning, or teaching knitting, or doing repairs, or much of anything else but school, work, and Sharing Time.

In terms of work, I shortened my hours until these classes are over.  I'll only be working Tuesday and Wednesday, and doing my Friday morning class.  And that class?...I'm going to give it another month or so and if it still hasn't caught on by then I'm pulling the plug.  Day classes will have to be by appointment only because I just can't sit in the shop for two hours with no one there, considering how much classwork I have to do.  But I'll still be doing workshops, and I just announced the first of a series of sock workshops where I'll be taking students through heel flap construction and sharing tips I've learned over the years.  If you're interested in the workshop, it's Sunday, June 27th from 3-5pm.  Call ahead to register because space is limited.  In July, I'll be covering short-row heels.

Last week was really emotionally draining for me.  Alex turned 4 and I was afraid that no one was going to come for his birthday party.  I was so upset I was in tears.  It was really silly and dramatic but I have this thing about birthday parties where every time I host one, I invite dozens of people and maybe three show up.  Last year (Aaron's surprise party) was the only year that a party was successful.  At my Sweet 16, my best friend came...and no one else.  A few years before, my mom tried to throw a huge party complete with all the food and a sheet cake.  That year my best friend (who didn't stay that way for long) didn't even bother to come.  One kid that was on the track team with me came.  So I'm a little sensitive about parties and I fear that the boys will get their feelings hurt, and that means that I don't often do parties.  This was basically a play-date with cupcakes so it wouldn't really be a big deal if kids didn't make it, but Alex was so looking forward to it.  He kept asking me "where are my kids?" and "where's my birthday?".  After everyone left, he said "I liked when my friends came to play with me".  Thanks you guys for coming over, he really enjoyed it and it was therapeutic for me :)

In addition to the party fiasco of 2010, one of my best friends ever moved away to Utah.  I knew they would be moving eventually, but after being here for six years it felt like they were permanent residents.  I remember the day they came into our Ward, and I remember that Rex was wearing a bow-tie, and that Natalie looked so friendly and warm (and she is), and that Henry was the cutest thing I'd ever seen at just about 18 months old.  I got to have him in the nursery while I served down there and I just loved him because he could actually talk to me.  Then came Lucy, and I got to knit sweaters for a little girl for the first time in a long time.  I over did it a little bit.  After a while, I went down into the primary and I got both Henry and Lucy down there.  Sometimes they were lifesavers, being the only students to participate.  Along came Peter, and it was just a cute round little version of Henry.  And a few years later we have Hazel.  I'm sorry that I won't get to know her like I got to know the others, but I knit her a sweater so that she can remember her time in Rhode Island (what little there was of it) and that people here loved her.

The Neilson's are one of those families that I would see at church and want to be like.  One of those families that we wish we were born into, or that we could build for ourselves.  I've only met two other families like that in my life, but I didn't really get as close to them as I did to the Neilson's.  Rex confirmed Dante after his baptism.  He was a part of Alexander's blessing.  He came to my home to teach me the temple prep lessons, and he and Natalie took me to the temple for the first time.  Natalie sat with me and went through every step of the way.  We shared something special, and it was like having a sister.  They provided me with support and encouragement when my life got difficult.  Natalie helped me with feeding issues and sleep problems with Alex.  She helped me figure out why my bread wasn't rising, and what I was doing wrong.  She gave me her copy of the America's Test Kitchen cookbook with all of her notes for my birthday one year.  She was my visiting teacher at one point.  We started a knitting group together that eventually died a slow death, lol.  We've swapped books with patterns in them, only to give the books back months and months later with neither of the patterns ever being knit.  She organized the most wonderful baby shower for me when I was pregnant with Alex, and even bent to my wishes of not having to play the baby shower games that I hate so much.  Natalie and Rex have been the best example of patience, faith, obedience to the gospel, and loving parents that I have ever seen.  They're the family that I measure myself against, and she is the type of wife and mother that I always wished I was. 

Natalie, if you're reading this, I'm sorry that I didn't get to tell you on Sunday how I feel about you and your family.  I really love you and I really love your children.  You have a wonderful husband who gives up his time to see to the needs of others in the ward (and I know that you know this but I wanted to tell you that I know this).  You're the smartest person I know.  You set such a wonderful example of living the gospel just by being yourself every single day.  Your children are brilliant.  Lucy passed off three articles of faith and she's what now?...six?  I don't know how you do what you do.  How you manage to provide home cooked meals regularly.  How you bake your own bread for your family, and how you get them to eat it (when mine won't touch it).  How you remember your visiting teaching duties, manage to teach relief society weekly, get the kids organized and off to school.  Bring everyone to church on time, clean, fed, dressed.  I know that sometimes you've said how inspiring I am, but you don't see how inspiring you are.  Your friendship pulled me through rough times in my life, and times when I could have easily fell inactive.  When I get overwhelmed with my life, I look at you and all you're doing and realize that it can be done, and it can be done with class and poise.  I didn't get to say any of this to you because I was too busy trying not to cry all over you (and doing a poor job of it).  I've never grieved when any of my other friends have moved away, but I still feel sadness as I type this almost a week after saying goodbye so that tells me how much you and your family mean to me, and to our ward.  Your leaving has left a large hole, and it's not going to be easy to fill.  But even in my sadness, I really wish you the best and I know that big things will happen for you in your new home.  Thank you for being such a good friend.

1 comment:

  1. For help with stats, try googling the terms you're trying to understand and "powerpoint". A lot of professors these days put their powerpoints online, and they phrase things differently. This has helped me with stats and research methods. There is a "Statistics for Dummies" book out there too, which phrases things in lay language. Trust me, if you continue on in the behavioral sciences, eventually the statistics that are hard to understand will seem so simple and evident that you'll laugh at how hard it was at first. And you'll be able to be understanding and helpful to others who are banging their head against the wall over stats!