Saturday, October 27, 2007

Won't you miss me, please won't you miss me at all

This week started with me getting a card in the mail from the ladies in our ward in Phoenix that had been passed around in Relief Society and on which everyone had written a little blurb of goodbye and good luck. The card made me cry. The messages were short and sweet, but the card represented my sweet friends in Phoenix, people who appreciate me and are appreciated by me and helped me and were helped by me and admire me and are admired by me. Utah doesn't need me, and that kind of stinks (although it has benefits, too), but the card reminded me of being loved and needed and missed and it felt nice. One point for Arizona.

On Tuesday, I met Steve on the BYU campus in the Marriott Center which has the same yellow seats it has always had (and that is one of the few things that is the same about BYU since I left it 10 years ago), and we watched Chief Justice John Roberts' profile as he spoke to us about the US Constitution. A couple of weeks ago, we did the same thing, only it was Senator Harry Reid explaining his faith and his politics, which was really quite intriguing. I am loving the opportunities to be part of cool events like this on campus. One point for Utah.

A few times this week I helped out with some PTA ladies who were sponsoring Safety Week at school. I bought $80 worth of gummy Lifesavers and we passed them out to kids at recess if they promised to talk to their families about a plan for where to meet and whom to call in case of an emergency. Most of the kids had already had that conversation with their families, and it was no sweat off their backs. Utahns are so prepared, and are so involved in their children's schools. One point for Utah. Our school that we left behind in Arizona has just a handful of parents who do anything at all, and they are so overworked that "Safety Week" as an event that has priority for the PTA is kind of laughable. Again, I was needed at our old school, and I felt effective. One point, Arizona.

Last night Steve came home from work with tickets to The Marriage of Figaro at BYU, an opera. We'd been to an opera one other time -- Of Mice and Men -- and it had been a little on the ridiculous side: entertaining, but crazy, and slightly annoying. So, we had some low expectations for the performance last night, but were thrilled when we were absolutely blown away by this opera! It was seriously amazing. The actors/singers were tremendously talented, it was funny, it was easy to understand despite being in Italian, it made me want to belt out a soliloquy or two. We loved it! We are now officially opera fans, or at least Marriage of Figaro fans, or at least BYU Performing Arts fans. Also fun was that the lead was a boy we know from Phoenix, which was a surprise to us. Go Utah!

We got a package in the mail yesterday from the lovely Jami in Phoenix, who had put together a beautiful album of pictures and messages from our friends who had come to a goodbye party for us before we left. That sentence had a lot of prepositional phrases. We loved the album. We love our friends. We love prepositional phrases. I probably learned about prepositional phrases in Arizona. My kids won't be able to say the same. Arizona is where my heart is.

Today we got to go to the Hogle Zoo with my sister and her family and my aunt, uncle and cousin and her family. It was crowded and we waited in lots of long lines to get Tootsie Pops, but the weather was nice, we got in free which is always nice, and we got a nice tour through the beautiful Salt Lake streets up by the U of U on the way home. Also, Elliot became fast friends with his second cousin whom he re-met today, and that is a serious joy to this mother's soul, because Elliot has been slow to make friends up here, and it is good to see him happy. Utah is great.

This weekend in Arizona, our good friends and their spouses from Steve's old law firm are "retreating" away the days at the gorgeous Enchantment Resort in Sedona (moment of silence for Sedona --- ahhhhh, Sedona) where they will be treated to excellent food, helicopter rides, jeep tours, gift baskets, horseback riding, exclusive golf courses, red rock views, hiking and the like. Many of them are likely splurging on the spa, rated #2 destination spa in the country. Or the world, or something. We're (I'm) really quite sad that we can't be there. We love Arizona.

Steve is sad about missing the Sedona Retreat, but isn't really sad about not working in the contentious litigation arena anymore. So, as much as we miss Arizona, Utah is where we shall be. Steve loves his job here. And that makes everything right in the world, as far as I am concerned.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Thank you, Abby and Jamie!

Abby and Jamie and Milo and Pearl deserve some sort of prize for hosting such a fun weekend for my kids.

What kid wouldn't love:

a hike in the mountains
campfire complete with hot dogs and s'mores
scary ghost stories
movie about super heroes
campout on the living room floor
delicious breakfast of pancakes (hold the blueberries) and bacon and hash browns
board games with cool friends
go-carting (in the snow!)


Fun times, fun times!

What parent wouldn't love:

a kids-free weekend night
sleeping in until 8:30 on Saturday morning
knowing that there are people in the world who are dedicated to loving and having fun with your kids

Monday, October 15, 2007

Anyone need a dental visit?

Being the sucker for a charity auction that I am, I paid $15 at the kids' school carnival auction for a coupon for a visit to a dentist without thinking that we would get dental coverage through BYU. I'm never going to use this coupon, so if there is anyone in Utah Valley who doesn't have dental insurance and wants a free dental exam, x-rays, and cleaning at the office of Steven F. Melff, D.D.S. in Pleasant Grove, it's YOURS, baby. Leave a comment or email me at emilygcraig@hotmail.com and I will mail it to you, stat.

Out.

D, condensed version

In 1996, I participated in a BYU ethnographic field study program in Namibia, long before celebrities flew there to have their babies, or baby, as the case may be. It rocked. There were 8 of us--all girls--who went, along with a male TA and our professor/anthropologist-in-chief and his 5-year-old daughter. We camped near a settlement of OvaHimba in Northern Namibia for three weeks. We had no shower; we were earthy, some more than others. We hired translators and lived among the women and children and the old men because the men were attending to their pastoral duties in less arid topography during the dry season. We interviewed them, we talked with them, we attended a funeral, we (I) took their hurt children into town to the nearest medical clinic when one of them was to fall into the fire and melt the skin on his hand. We watched them play, cook, eat, and we took lots of notes and recorded lots of interviews. We each had an area of focus. Mine kept shifting, but it had something do with how these wonderful people were struggling to keep their culture vibrant despite increasingly frequent exposure to Western civilization (hello! 11 white people from Utah encroaching for a month, among others!); how they viewed their social and political position in the region; what they knew about life outside their homesteads. It was a vague and ever-so-dynamic topic of study. I never really got a good handle on it.

One of our classes for which we were getting credit required that we type up our field notes in a comprehensive fashion post-return to the States. A year passed and I hadn't done the assignment yet. Graduation and marriage approached and my professor offered to front me a grade -- a B , so I could get credit for the class with the promise that after I turned in the 30+ page assignment he would switch my grade to an A. Well, I'm kind of a procrastinator. I left Utah without ever having done it. Two years turned into, whattayaknow, TEN, and I still have not even transcribed my TAPES into notes to turn into the polished collection of field notes that my professor was owed oh so many years ago.

So, I have a chink in my integrity. I told my professor that I would do it, he gave me a grade, I graduated (although I'm almost positive I didn't actually need those 3 credits to qualify to graduate). And I never did it. And NOW -- can't you see what my biggest fear about living in Provo is?!? -- I'm sort of afraid of running into this (scary) professor and having to answer for my failures. I'm sort of afraid of unknowingly buying a house right next door to him.

I deserve that you now think less of me. What can I say? I'm not perfect. (And it's still eating me up inside.)

Monday, October 08, 2007

Ignorance

I actually own some nylons. I'm sure I do. They haven't been worn for five or eight years, but I know I have some. Maybe some tights, too -- that I'm not so sure about.

All of my nylons and maybe tights are where (here, if I believed in making up percentages that have no substantiation, which I definitely do not, I might say) 92% of my belongings currently are. Do I think that I am defined by my belongings? I most certainly do not. I don't even like belongings very much, but the fact remains that I own nylons and they are in storage.

Oh inhabitants of Utah and cold weather places: please inform! What do cool people do with the leg covering situation in the throes of wintery weather? Are bare legs kosher? Did I just make an anti-Semitic comment? I read that Carol Gotbaum converted to Judaism when she got married. Is it wrong that I feel kind of defensive about Sky Harbor airport when her husband speaks at her funeral about how if only one person would have helped her, she would be alive today? I digress. Is it okay to wear nylons in 2007? Black? Off-black? Nude? Tan? Should I buy Spanx toeless nylons? Should I wear opaque tights? Are there fabrics of skirts/dresses that just don't go well with opaque tights? Will I look like a fool if I stick to what I know best, which is b.a.r.e.? Where should I go to purchase hosiery, and how much should I spend? Is there any word in the English language more repulsive than 'hosiery'?

On Sunday Steve and I took Elliot to the Conference Center for Sunday Morning session, and we had a most wonderful time with our firstborn. There was a brief moment of panic while I was getting dressed, as there is every Sunday, when I remember that I both hate and have no access to nylons of any kind. Yesterday I solved that problem by wearing black boots. But I can't hide behind black boots for the next 7 months. I need your advice.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Attn: My Pregnant Friends; RE: Why you should be grateful today

Jordan, Courtney, Pepper, Julianne, Bek, and others of you who may be with child,

Please, today, take time to give thanks that--more than likely--your baby will not look like this upon immediate exit from your body.



Your friend in medium-to-low birthweights,

Emily

Norah, Age 1










Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Never thought I'd be a weather wimp, but

A VERY COLD STORM SYSTEM OVER THE GULF OF ALASKA WILL MOVE SOUTHEAST
INTO THE WESTERN GREAT BASIN LATE THURSDAY. THIS STORM WILL MOVE
SLOWLY EAST THROUGH NEVADA...AND STRENGTHEN AS IT APPROACHES WESTERN
UTAH. THIS SLOW-MOVING STORM WILL PRODUCE SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF
PRECIPITATION OVER WESTERN UTAH LATE THURSDAY NIGHT AND INTO FRIDAY.
THE CENTER OF THE STORM WILL MOVE ACROSS UTAH LATE FRIDAY NIGHT
THROUGH SATURDAY. THE VERY COLD AIR ASSOCIATED WITH THIS STORM
WILL DRIVE SNOW LEVELS DOWN TO THE LOWEST ELEVATIONS OF NORTHERN
AND CENTRAL UTAH. HEAVY SNOWFALL COULD DEVELOP ABOVE 6000 FEET...
ESPECIALLY THROUGH THE WASATCH RANGE AND THE CENTRAL UTAH MOUNTAINS.
THE STORM WILL MOVE EAST OF THE STATE ON SUNDAY. VERY COLD TEMPERATURES
WILL REMAIN IN THE WAKE OF THIS STORM. MORNING LOWS ON SUNDAY COULD
BE WELL BELOW FREEZING ACROSS WESTERN UTAH. AFTERNOON HIGH TEMPERATURES
ON SUNDAY COULD END UP 15 TO 25 DEGREES BELOW EARLY OCTOBER
NORMALS STATEWIDE.
PERSONS PLANNING OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES THIS COMING WEEKEND SHOULD STAY
TUNED FOR UPDATES ON THIS COLD EARLY SEASON STORM SYSTEM.


Hey, Phoenix, are you enjoying your 86 degrees?