What made my heart melt this week?  My son.  A hug from my son.  A hug and tears from my son.

Yawlin returned this weekend from spending 2 1/2 weeks with his dad.  He had a great time with his dad.  They swam every day (almost a necessity in Phoenix), they went fishing, they barbecued, they took pictures and played games.  Any time I sent a text asking how he was doing Yawlin always said he was doing well and having fun.

Yet, even with all the fun he had, when Yawlin walked through the front door on Saturday afternoon and I squealed and rushed forward to give him a hug, my tough 11-year-old couldn’t stop the tears from falling.

Which proves the truth:  No matter how much fun one has…it is always good to get home to mom.  😉

And boy did that hug feel good!


Text from my son, Yawlin, as I turned on my phone after landing in SLC:  “I just got asked to be someone’s Valentine!”

The handwritten note that accompanied homemade cookies that he showed me as soon as I walked in the door(spelling and grammar left intact):  “Those eyes, those eyes make the stars look like their not shining, your hair falls perfectly without you trying, those I’d kiss them all day long if you’d let me.  So Yawlynn what’s going on!?  your hott!  ha ha so this is for Valentine’s day!  Will you be my Valentines?  Pretty please?  hint…My favorite color is brown!!  Love yaaa hehehahahahahah”

My son’s response to the cookies and note on Facebook that I just discovered a few minutes ago:   ” I just got asked to be someones Valentine ha ha ha ha ha it was awesome i loved it i also got cookies they look YUMMY!! but only they spelled my name wrong (oh well i don’t care!!) so who ever you are yes i will be your valentine!!! thanks for the cookies!!”

So what does a mother do about a note and cookies from an anonymous young person to her 11-year-old son that quotes a song, but leaves the word “lips” out of a most important line, most likely on accident, but fully intending to send the message that they would like to kiss his lips all day long if he would let them??  A note that calls her son hott??!?  And what does a mother do when said note and cookies have clearly pleased her son as evidenced by his excitement as he shows his mother the note and cookies the second she walks in the door from a trip to NYC and is shown by his obvious excitement in his posting on Facebook??

She posts about it on her blog.

And won’t he be mortified when he starts dating in high school and his mother shows the girls this post?  🙂



A post and pics from our trip to NYC to come later…

Near the beginning of the school year Yawlin reported to me that there was a new boy in his class named Josh.  I casually remarked that he should try to befriend Josh because it is often quite hard to be the new kid.

Then I forgot about the conversation.

Earlier this week Yawlin told me that Josh had called and wanted to come play one afternoon.  I told him that would be fine.  Arrangements were made for today and so this afternoon Josh came home with Yawlin after school.  They grabbed ice cream sandwiches from the freezer and headed out to the trampoline.

Soon two boys grew to four.  When they tired of the trampoline, a “made-up” game with a ball ensued.  They were all enjoying themselves.

Josh’s mom arrived to pick him up after two hours of play.  Yawlin grabbed Josh’s backpack out of our car for him while Josh put on his shoes.  Since I hadn’t yet met Josh’s mom I went to the door to do so.  Her manner was quiet and she kept glancing at the boys.  I could tell she had something to say.  She told Josh to go get in their car.  He started down the walk and then turned back and said, “Mom, are you coming?”

“I’ll be there in a bit.  I want to talk to Yawlin’s mom for a sec.”

Josh went to the car and Yawlin and his other friends resumed their game with the ball.  I introduced myself.  After she told me her name she said, “I didn’t want to say anything in front of the other boys because I didn’t want to embarrass anyone, but I just wanted to tell you thanks for your Yawlin.  He has been a great friend to Josh since he started school.”

I smiled and said, “Oh, I’m glad!”

She nodded and her voice shook, “No really.  It has been a blessing.  Josh was really struggling.  Really struggling for a while there.  And then Yawlin became his friend.  It means a lot to me.”

“Well, we know what it’s like to be new.  Where did you move from?”

“Oh we didn’t move.  Josh was home schooled up until this year.  He was not happy about having to go to school.  It has been really hard for him.”

“How is he liking 5th grade now?”

“He likes it.  He’s getting along great now.  Thanks to your son.”

I haven’t had a chance to tell Yawlin how proud of him I am, he ran off with his friends, but I will make it a point to do so.

That’s my boy!

I’ve noticed that as my kids get older it is harder and harder to get one-on-one time with them.  So I have learned to grab opportunities when they come.  This past summer break had me feeling particularly guilty about the time I was able to spend with my 10-year-old son, Yawlin. 

First there was Youth Conference in June, for which I was gone from home for three days.  I got to spend those three days with Mack and Hoob and the other youth from our ward playing games, participating in team building challenges and problem solving activities, working through a ropes course, and just plain having fun.  No regrets on the time spent with two daughters–but Yawlin didn’t get to attend.

Next was an anniversary trip to St. Maarten with my wonderful husband.  We got to snorkel, lie on the beach, swim in the ocean, gather sea shells, shop, relax, and basically reconnect as a couple.  No regrets on the time spent with my husband–but kids were left at home.  (Side note–they did not mind being left at home at all and, in fact, have told Hub and I to take a trip ANYTIME.  They thought it quite fun to experience a little bit of independence)

Next Yawlin and Hoob were invited to spend a week at their grandparents’ cabin in the Uinta Mountains.  They got to ride atvs, go fishing, hike some trails, picnic, and play card games with Grandma.  No regrets on letting my son and daughter get some individual time with Grandma and Grandpa–but I didn’t get to go, and it was more time away from my boy.  (During this time I was able to spend time with the other kids, Huh, Mack, Shroom, and Juju)

Next was a five day Girls Camp with our Stake.  Once again it was time spent with Mack and Hoob.  We hiked, canoed, made s’mores, did crafts, made up a silly skit, took silly pictures, and did all the usual “camp stuff.”  No regrets on the time spent with my two daughters and the other young women in our ward–but Yawlin was at home.

I mentioned often to others about my worry and guilt about not spending much time with my son over the summer.  I’m sure it was my over-active “mom-guilt gland” that was pricking my conscience.  It’s not like my son never saw me.  There were days between all these major happenings that I was at home and able to be with my son, but it was never an activity for just the two of us.

Then opportunity knocked.  Twice!  I happened upon a coupon for 50% off of a two hour guided river trip.  I asked Yawlin if he would like an early birthday present and showed him the coupon.  I told him it would be the perfect chance for the two of us to spend some time together.  Yawlin jumped at the chance.  I allowed him to invite two friends because, really, an adventure like that needs to be shared with friends!  We packed picnic lunches and picnicked near the river before our rafting trip.  I made sure to bring my camera and got some pretty good pictures of the three boys enjoying their adventure.  (Side note:  These were definitely some “city kids.”  When we passed a bunch of horses grazing on the bank of the river one of the boys called them “horse cows.”  It made me chuckle.)

Then, during the same week, I got a call from Yawlin’s scout leader inviting me to join the troop on their hike to Timpanogos Cave because he had an extra ticket.  Yes!  Another chance to spend time with my boy!  I took my camera along again and got some great pictures of the boys hiking up the mountain and again in the cave.  Yawlin surprised me with his stamina on the hike.  When all of the other boys were ready for a rest, he wanted to keep going.  The cave is amazing–a real treasure for our state. 

A river trip and a hike to a cave were the perfect ending to a very busy summer.  And it helped calm my over-active mom-guilt gland.

Trying to do my best in preserving anonymity, here are a few photos from our adventures:

Three boys checking out the river after our picnic lunch



Getting into the raft

Beaver Dam

Horse Cows!

Yawlin adds to the excitement by hanging off the raft

Beginning the hike to the cave

Checking out the view

One view from the trail

Cave entrance waaaay up there!

Working their way up

Checking out the view near the top

Going into the cave

The "heart" of the cave

Other formations in the cave

View outside the cave

Heading back down

Though it was the last week of summer break and school shopping needed to be done, along with a million other things, the time spent with my boy was worth it!

Tuesday night I was all set to soak in a warm tub and then do a little last minute prep work for my art lesson the next day.  But, before I could start the bath water running, Yawlin came to me and asked if I would drive him to a local bookstore to see one of his favorite authors.  Apparently Brandon Mull, author of the Fablehaven series had visited Yawlin’s school that afternoon and had told the students that he would be at the bookstore that night for two hours signing books.

I looked at the clock.  7:15.  “What time was Brandon Mull leaving?”

Yawlin looked hopeful.  “I don’t know.  He just said he would be there for a couple of hours.”

“Yawlin,” I said with a sigh, “why do you tell me these things so late?  It’s possible he will be gone by the time we get there.  Besides, I still have some stuff I have to do before tomorrow.”

The disappointed look in my son’s eyes was heartbreaking.  I swear, that boy knows how to tug at my heartstrings!  I looked at him then back at the clock.  “Are your chores done?”


Sigh.  “You go finish them while I finish this one thing real quick and then we’ll go.  No promises that Brandon Mull will still be there though.”

“Okay!”  Yawlin dashed out of the room to go finish dusting the entry way and cleaning his room.

Fifteen minutes later we were on the road.  When we got to the bookstore we discovered that Brandon Mull was still there, but scheduled to leave in ten minutes.  We had just made it.  We hurried to the back of the line, Yawlin with his copy of Fablehaven tucked safely under his arm.  We happened to get in line behind two of our neighbors.  “J” is the librarian at Yawlin’s school and was there to have a copy of Brandon Mull’s picture book signed.  She and Yawlin carried on a conversation about Fablehaven, who the best characters were, and some of the happenings in the book.  My curiosity was piqued.  I guess I need to add Fablehaven to my list of books to read some day.

It turns out that we were the last people to see Brandon Mull that night.  Yawlin was all smiles.  He got his book signed, talked a bit about the book with the author, and had his picture taken with him (via my camera phone).  When we left, Yawlin had his signed copy of Fablehaven, a signed poster, and three bookmarks.  And, he was one happy boy!

I never got around to soaking in a warm bath that night.  But the joy in my son’s eyes…

It was worth it.

Moms have many titles:  chauffeur, coach, peacemaker, housekeeper, chef, tutor, etc.  For the last two days I have added one more title to my “Mom Resume.”  I am now officially a guinea pig nurse

Yawlin’s guinea pig, S’mores, suddenly became ill on Wednesday night.  So ill, in fact, that I was surprised he made it through the night.  The next day we spent hand feeding him, wiping his goopy eyes with a warm wash cloth, and giving him a warm bath.  Yawlin was brought to tears with worry for this little pet he’s had for two years, so I decided I’d better see what I could learn about guinea pig illnesses.  I did searches online and came to the conclusion that S’mores had an upper respiratory infection (URI).  Guinea pigs can’t overcome such an illness by themselves and, unless they receive antibiotics from a vet, it usually ends up fatal.  Swell.

My next step was to find a small animal vet and set up an appointment.  Yawlin is off-track from school right now so he was able to accompany me to the vet today.  The vet checked poor S’mores over and then let the bomb drop.  The guinea pig has pneumonia and is in critical condition. 

We had three options:  1.  Do nothing and let S’mores die.  2.  Take S’mores home with a supply of antibiotics that we administer twice a day.  Try to force feed him.  Watch him (his chances of survival–pretty slim).  3.  Leave him at the animal hospital for some intensive care; chances of survival 50-50, and a cost of $350.00 (in addition to the $50.00 I was already paying for the examination).

After consulting with Hub on the phone, and then talking to Yawlin, it was decided we would bring S’mores home with the antibiotic and see what we can do for him on our own.  He had his first dose of antibiotics at the animal hospital.  We will give him his second dose just before we go to bed tonight.  Since the vet said he is very dehydrated I used his medicine syringe to force him to drink some water.  I have a feeling it is going to be a long day and night. 

Yawlin understands that S’mores is very ill and that he might die.  I have had to rearrange my schedule slightly in order to help take care of this critical little animal.  Why go to all the trouble for a guinea pig?  If you could have seen the look in Yawlin’s eyes the first time I took S’mores in my arms and tried to get him to take some orange juice from my finger, you would understand.  The look was one of hope and relief–hope and relief that Mom knows what to do, hope and relief that Mom is now in charge, and hope and relief that Mom will do whatever she can to help the little piggy.  

The cost of recieving the new title of Guinea Pig Nurse = some of my time, letting some of my schedule go, and the very real possibility that my efforts will fail.  But, the look of relief and hope in my son’s eyes, and the knowledge he now has that Mom loves him enough to do this for him = priceless! 


Only one more day to enter the contest celebrating my 102nd post!  The prize?  A nifty customized t-shirt.  Enter here.

On Monday night, instead of a Family Home Evening, we had a Family Away Evening.  We took a picnic dinner to a park called Memory Grove.  And why did we do that?  Because it is October and the park is supposedly haunted by a bride who died there just before her wedding, and because the weather was gorgeous, and because the leaves on the trees are breathtaking right now, and because we thought it would be fun.  And we were right, it was fun.

We never saw “the” bride, but we did see one bride getting her bridal pictures taken there.  After the meal the kids enjoyed watching dogs play in the pond, one particular corgi was quite adept at retrieving the sticks her owners kept throwing into the pond.  Someone found a tennis ball and the older kids started throwing it around to each other.  While that was going on Yawlin and I decided to walk up one of the wooded trails together. 

Yawlin is in third grade, right at that age where he’s not sure if ghost stories are scary or fun.  The tales of the haunting bride must have been running through his mind because he kept looking around nervously.  As we turned one bend in the trail Yawlin saw what looked like an abandoned campsite in the trees off the trail and pointed it out to me.

“Let’s check it out,” I said.

“No,” was the nervous reply.

“Why not?”

“I just don’t want to.”

I stepped a few steps off the trail towards the campsite just so I could see what was there.  I saw an old chair cushion and a backpack.  There were other items, but without my glasses I couldn’t tell what they were.  Yawlin was getting restless while he waited for me back on the trail so I turned and walked back to him.

Yawlin started back down the trail.  “Let’s get out of here.”

I caught up to him and jokingly said, “What would we have done if someone was in that campsite and started to come after us?”

Yawlin immediately slowed his steps so that he was behind me.  I turned and joked again, “Oh, are you going to claim that I ran ahead of you instead of staying and protecting my son?”

“No, Mom.  I’m behind you so that I can protect you.”

Aw, that’s my boy!  With that comment he completely made up for his third grade snubbing back in August.  He was going to protect me.  Yes, he made up for it.


Remember to enter the contest to win a customized t-shirt.  Just leave us a suggestion for a Halloween costume and you will be entered to win.  The contest ends at 12:00 p.m. this Saturday, so hurry!