i went home nearly speechless

I cry when I read the news—and not just when I'm pregnant.

I read stories of horrible things people do to one another and I grieve and worry for them. Sometimes, I even let myself get a little pessimistic. I think: the world has always been this way and will continue to be this way until we blow each other up.


Then the people around me snap me out of it and give me a weekend like last Saturday. People like good friends who made a long drive to see me. People like my in-laws' extended family, several of whom I've done a horrible job of staying in touch with. People like the loveliest women in a ward I moved out of two months ago.

They came together to celebrate a baby girl they've never met, to help me prepare for the arrival of a complete stranger—a little person who didn't even exist on this earth until 8 months ago. They brought her truly generous gifts and wished me well in a way that made me think I might actually be able to do this whole motherhood gig.

This world is filled with good and thoughtful people. Welcoming a baby into this crazy world feels hopeful because of the ones I know.

Greener grass

I no longer have a job that allows me to blog. I've missed you guys.

But graduation has its perks. I'm glad I went to BYU, and I miss everyone that I met there, but I'm so happy with our new situation.

I learned my name in Arabic today. It's گرستوفر (Christopher) وييست (West). Is that not the coolest thing you've ever seen? It looks a lot like my actual signature (next time someone makes fun of your sloppy handwriting, tell them it's Arabic).

An Iraqi refugee named Refat is teaching me Arabic. Anyone is invited to come. We meet on Saturdays at 10am. I pay him a little for his time, because he has a wife and daughter to take care of, and because he's a refugee from freaking Iraq. Give me a call if you're interested.

I've also helped an organic farmer start his seeds this week, and I'll be helping brother Rasmussen with his corn crop when the weather gets a little warmer. So I'm on my way to becoming a farmer.

Dirt brownies
Along those lines, my landlord and neighbor Gregg says I'm a real cowboy now. I had just finished filing my taxes (arrgh) when I looked out the window and saw a cow in the neighbor's yard. This is not very unusual in Draper. Our other neighbor has horses. But this neighbor owns dogs, not cows. I recognized the cow as that of my landlord, and I ran outside and called my landlord up on the phone.

"It looks like the grass is greener on the otherside," I said to his voicemail, "because your cow has escaped."
The fugitives
Gregg had not answered, so I was on my own. I chased the cow around for a while, and opened up the gate to steer him inside. But after I opened the gate, the other cow also escaped.

I chased them around our yard for about ten minutes. They did not want to go back to their already-chewed and trampled grass, they wanted the fresh green mouthfuls our yard had to offer.

They ran away from me like naughty little kids. They really are full of personality. I finally shooed them inside, and that's how I became a real cowboy.

We still have no idea how the first one got out.

If you're not sure what you're going to do when you graduate, or with your life in general, I welcome you to Draper, where you can chase cows, learn Arabic, and play in the dirt.


Up until now, I feel like we've been pretending a little bit. We went to school and had our not-quite-real jobs. We sent in our pretend tax returns (pretend because we filled them out but were too poor for the government to charge us much). We played house very nicely in a little basement that we filled with too many toys—books, in our case.

But I feel like we're almost grown-ups now: we pay for our own internet (not sure why this seems like a serious step toward adulthood for me), my pregnant tummy's big enough that parenthood feels like a reality, and my husband has a real-live job. Legally, we've been adults for quite some time now; I just took my time adjusting to the change.

And the real-live job? C. now works at a fancy medical lab where he tests medical devices for cytotoxicity and biocompatibility. You'll have to ask him to explain what that means. It's very grown-up of him.

i'm glad my dreams don't often come true

The night before we flew to Texas for my brother's wedding, I had a dream that I went into labor on the plane. We circled above the Houston airport, but the pilot refused to land because my brother had decided to change venues to hold the wedding on the airport runway. We couldn't land the plane because we would interrupt.

Fortunately, my dream and the reality of the trip didn't match up. I think my brain was just trying to make sense of the way our family is changing. I now have a beautiful sister-in-law who's fabulous for my brother. And in 6 weeks or so, we'll meet a beautiful baby girl who will be fabulous for us. Nothing's better than getting new family members you adore—even better if they don't join your family on an airport runway.