Lately, my dear

I'm finally feeling like I'm back for real after fighting a post-trip cold for a good many days. And I finally feel like I have both feet in October. The leaves are extraordinarily late turning colors this year so it has still felt a bit like September to me.

I pulled out some of the Halloween decorations. That helped. And I had a birthday on Saturday (I have always loved my October birthday), a lovely day where I went on a long fall walk with Madeleine and Louie, G went grocery shopping with my wishlist, and we all went to lunch. And then I took a delicious birthday afternoon nap. October, you are more real to me now.

Yesterday I was chatting with Lauren on the phone and she asked "so, what's new there?" and I drew an utter and complete blank. It feels like we have kind of groove going and it's boringly (but satisfyingly) placid. No funny stories or mishaps lately. No big epiphanies. But I do feel like I dropped the conversational ball there and owe her a little more of a glimpse of home. So here's my do-over. Here we are, just doing what we do, every day:

Sam reads the paper, quizzes us on current events, practices & composes on piano, figures out more songs on the ukelele. Sometimes we don't know where he is in the middle of the afternoon and find him asleep in his bed with his headphones on and a book open by his side. He's playing basketball and refereeing soccer again this year (and loves the income that generates). I think one of his greatest joys is when I make a planned out, full-on family meal when everyone's home. He's so effusive in his praise and gratitude on those occasions that I really should do it more often. He likes Johnny Cash and is excited that the new Coldplay album is coming out. He just read the new Rick Riordan book over the weekend and re-read The Giver.

Maddy eats a banana every morning on her way to seminary. She's slowly adapting her new room to suit her and can usually be found nestled in her lovesac/chair listening to music and writing letters or reading. She's still that gal who is seminary president and student senate leader and model UNer and Mia Maid class president and assistant violin group teacher. You know, the one who raises her hand to volunteer for everything and has a list of other clubs she'd love to join if she had the time. She loves to take notes and smell good and laugh with friends and dress with flair and eat mashed potatoes and caesar salad (not at all the same time). She just finished The Catcher in the Rye and is now reading Song of Solomon.

As you know, most of Dad's time is spent: 1) working (7:30 to 7), 2) bishoping (bishopping?), 3) being a dad and husband. As you also know, he's a good good man who does all of these wholeheartedly. He plays basketball every Saturday morning with some dads from here in the neighborhood, goes running and makes his own lunches every morning, putters around the garden when he has a few moments to spare. He got a kindle at a work retreat so I'm not sure what he's reading right now since I don't see the cover any more but it's probably a good spy thriller or mystery. 

And you know about me: this blog pretty much covers that. I just read Falling Together and The Night Circus and just started Unbroken. One of my favorite times of the day is after dinner when we all plop on the couches in the family room and read, talk, and laugh. Dad looks through the newspaper and we all catch up on our day and read a chapter or two of scriptures. Louie burrows underfoot and fights for the blankets. Sometimes we watch The Amazing Race or The Sing-Off.  These are especially the times I still look around for you and listen for your laugh.

So, that's what I meant to say when you asked. We love you immensely and, while (as you and I talked about yesterday) things have probably changed a bit for all of us in your absence, there's still a Lauren space right here all the time. xo