Ten years. This is an anniversary that seemed so far away. I was starting my senior year of high school when she died and now I am about to send my oldest child to first grade. Time has been frustrating me recently. Time is so unforgiving and relentless. Its characteristics are consistent to every individual but the usage of that time varies so widely. Time doesn't care about intentions or outcomes. It just ticks on.

Sometimes I feel like I am very far away from myself. I am not where I thought I would be and I am not where I think I could be. It's an odd kind of feeling. It is an anxiety-inducing feeling. It is a feeling of not being enough; it is a feeling that something about me needs to change to please someone else. I have been struggling with feeling like anything I am doing is successful or making any sort of difference.

When I think of Rachael I remember that even inconsequential things can have a big impact on others. It makes me wonder what kind of wake I am leaving behind me. Am I drowning the people around me or leaving a wake of love? It has been ten years since Rachael has walked on the earth but it has been minutes since the impact of her life and death have been seen in my life.

The memory is vague now (as are so many of my memories), but when I was back in college, I was worrying to Michelle that I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. She laughed and said I sounded like Rachael. I think of my sister Rachael often, but especially on January 22nd and August 19th. Although those dates have become so significant me, there are so many other days where important things are happening and I need to focus on those things, embrace them, and look for more ways to share love. To conclude an email my Dad wrote to one of my brothers on his mission he wrote, "Hope you are feeling loved by many and loving all." How often I am mixing around this equation. I don't want to cry for a wasted day. 

While writing this, I was interrupted by a phone call from Michelle. We talked for almost two hours. We laughed at funny things and we pity-laughed at our sad things. I am so grateful for family. I am grateful for these people who are forced to be my friends because we were birthed by the same Mom. I think about Rachael and I remember her smile and it makes me smile. That's a pretty good wake she left behind. I hope to add my wake to hers and one day join the Apostle Paul in saying, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."


Happy 6th Birthday, Alex!

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Alex wore a pedometer about a month ago and I was shocked at the end of the day to see he had taken 22,000 steps. He is only awake for 12 hours! At the end of a long day, Alex (the only child around here who does not take naps) is still bouncing around gleefully. His brain is just as busy as his body. He can read so well and understands the things he reads. He even gets in fights with me about words  why is "signal" not pronounced "sine-uhl" anyway?! Alex loves music. He remembers lyrics, dances to the beat, and can carry a tune without needing a bucket! One day, he heard a song that he really liked. He asked me to keep replaying it for him. Later that day he said, "I feel like I have a DVD of 'Fireflies' playing over and over in my head." I explained that people describe that as having a song stuck in their head. I love how he came up with a way to describe it. Sometimes I worry that Alex is a little bit of a people-pleaser. But then he likes to act like a total punk just to mess with me. I think he is turning out alright.

As for things this kid has said recently that make me think he is even cooler, I have a long list...

Alex: What helps with a runny nose?
Emily: Lots of water and lots of sleep.
Alex: I don't want either of those things!

I was telling Alex that his friend stays at school even longer than he does, and that she eats lunch there and then doesn't come home until the afternoon. Alex said, "Wow! I'm so excited to do so much learning! But I am going to miss you."

I told Alex that they forgot to put the toy in his kids meal and I did not noticed until we got home. He said, "It's okay. I have something better than a toy." And then he ran over to me and gave me a hug.

Alex met playground graffiti for the first time. "Why did I read a word that says, 'F*** off?'"

I helped Alex get his cleats on for the first day of baseball then asked him if they hurt his toes. He said, "No. But it hurts here [pointing somewhere other than his toes] and pretty much all over the rest of my foot."

Alex told me he peed on the kitchen table. But he didn't want to make me mad so he licked it up. I asked when this happened and he said, "A few weeks ago." Vomit.

"When you have another kid  if you have another kid  and it's a boy, I think you should name him M-A-K-A-Y [he was pronouncing it McKay]. And then the next one you can name L-E-O."

"I really want to fly sometime. That's one of my plans for summer. I'm serious! All I need are four fans and then I will be able to fly!"

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