All posts by Michelle L.

About Michelle L.

(Blog Editor) never folds laundry and her car is a mess. She runs through the streets of Salt Lake City, UT, takes lots of photos, plays Uno with her five fabulous boys and buys way too many dresses for the little princess. Her husband is the most romantic man in the world because he does all the Costco shopping AND hauls it into the house (sorry to make you jealous girls). She writes at Scenes from the Wild.

Turn off your phone/iPad/game and Listen!

Settling into the back row for our third musical concert in as many days, my little daughter, bathed and dressed in pajamas whined, “I’m bored.” Without hesitation, I handed her my iPhone and she happily sliced through bananas and oranges in a game of Fruit Ninja. A few seats down the row, a man read the New York times on his phone, while just in front of us a toddler finger painted on an iPad. Sighting my son’s conductor approaching us, I smiled and waved hello, but she didn’t have a smile for us.

“I hope you’re enjoying your devices,” she said, sweeping her arm in a circle including the back three rows, “because I’m going to make you turn them off in just a minute. There is no hope, no hope for the future if we can’t teach our children to listen. Orchestras will die, live theater will perish and intellectual thought will disappear if we spend our lives in front of these screens. And frankly, you parents are setting a terrible example.”

Like a choir boy caught swearing in front of a priest, I wanted to defend myself, “I’m a conscientious parent. My kids study and practice. We scarcely even watch TV.” Instead, I simply palmed my phone from my daughter and pressed the off button.

I watched as the conductor canvased the room, delivering a similar message to like offenders. Minutes later she stood in front of the hall, “Welcome to our Winter Concert. Turn off your iPad, your smart phone, your games; no more texting, no more Facebook, no more Words with Friends. Every parent here has invested a small fortune in your child’s musical education and every teenager in my orchestra has worked incredibly hard on the music we will be playing tonight. Your teenagers deserve your full attention, and your younger children need your good example. Listen. Just listen.”

As the music swelled, I felt a rush of shame. The orchestra was incredible, each student playing with the enthusiasm and passion fostered by an excellent conductor. Maybe I would have turned off my phone without her rebuke, but I also might have borrowed it from my daughter to check my email or Instagram.

What have I become? Continue reading

The time hasn’t flown by for me

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With the many changes the new mission ages bring to Mormon culture, I pray we can eliminate this phrase from our vernacular, “The time has just flown by!” usually accompanied by, “I can’t believe your son/daughter has been gone that long.”

Ask me how he’s doing. Ask me what city he’s serving in. Or don’t ask me at all. But please, please don’t say the time has flown by, because all I hear is, “I haven’t missed him one bit.”

I know, serving a mission is a privilege, just as bearing a child is a privilege and I know there are mothers who desperately wish their child was on a mission. During my pregnancies I threw up several times a day, suffered through varicose veins, false labor and all kinds of fun infections and complications. Because I was surrounded by friends suffering from infertility, I was careful not to complain but I still didn’t appreciate people saying, “Wow. You just pop out those babies like it’s nothing.” Continue reading

getting older; getting better

Since I entered my forties a few years back, I’ve been offered masses of conflicting ‘truths’ and ‘knowledge.’

Everything is downhill from here.

You’re still young! Forty is the new thirty!

Well, you’re in your forties. Increased injury and weight gain is just normal.

Oh, you have no idea. Wait till you hit fifty. Then your body really starts to fall apart.

And um, not a single one of those is comforting. Because my forties have hit me hard. Really hard. I feel nothing like thirty and if I continue at this pace I will be three hundred pounds and barely crawling by fifty (wearing my knees raw trying to run my six miles, lift weights and eat my pound of raw veggies every day).

With all the negative talk and my own fairly dramatic symptoms, I’ve been looking around in wonder at all these healthy vibrant happy gray-haired people. Can it really be that hard for everyone?

So you can imagine my delight yesterday when my widowed friend, Florence reassured me, “I feel better now than I did at twenty-eight!”
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And look, I just happen to have a photo of Florence on her eighty-third birthday two weeks ago.

Continue reading

Read it your way

You’ve heard plenty of moving anecdotes about Pres. Hinckley’s August of 2005 challenge to read or reread The Book of Mormon by the end of the year. My story is a bit less inspiring.

We completed the final chapter, gathered our wild little tribe in a circle to pray and I asked, “What did you feel? What did you learn?”

My oldest son, with one sibling bellowing in his ear and another stomping on his toes answered, “I learned I don’t want to have so many kids when I grow up!”

The boys laughed, I cried and we forever changed our pattern of scripture study. Continue reading