The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
November 2013

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Harry Potter Forever

I'm trying to remember just when it was that I was introduced to the Harry Potter saga.  I think it must have been when I was working at Primary Children's Medical Center. I specifically remember one Halloween, seeing multiple kids dressed in a cloak and mended spectacles with a curious lightening-shaped scar penciled in over one eye.  I had no idea what on earth they were dressed as.  Then I noticed that kids coming into the oncology clinic, where they'd have to sometimes spend the entire day, would bring with them one or another of the books, their parent reading aloud to them to pass the time.  Finally I decided to pick one up for myself.  My reaction to the very first page was that Ms. Rowling was trying to be another Roald Dahl, whom I adore by the way, giving everyone silly uber-British names.  I wasn't impressed for the first bit.  But apparently over those pages the hook was firmly set and suddenly I was racing along and gobbling up the books as quickly as I could get my hands on them.  The books had been released only up until the fourth, and after devouring them I started again, this time listening to them on tape as I drove to and from Logan twice a week as I had started going to school up there. Consequently I pretty much have the first four books memorized.  And with each release of another volume I've waited with great anticipation and delight, my heart breaking slightly as I finished the last chapter of the last book.

I was able to drag my husband along with me in this journey, although he was initially resistant to the idea of reading children's books.  It took him a couple of tries at the first book before the bug bit him as well.  I begged and begged him to read them, and then once he finally agreed I didn't see him again for a month until he had surfaced from Book 5 which had recently been published.  It was very validating.  I love having a co-fan in the house.

When my sweet son Stomper was born I knew that one day I would read those books to him.  I have such fond memories of my  mom reading books to me, in particular a Roald Dahl book by the name of Danny the Champion of the World.  I always knew I'd read to my kids and looked forward to the day my eldest would be ready to take on Harry Potter.  I think we started book one towards the end of 1st grade, maybe during the summer between first and second. It was every bit as fun as I thought it would be.  We listened to much of book 2 in the car on the way to and from St. George.  And then Troy started doing the reading at about book 3.  It has become a wonderful habit of theirs.  Bitty sometimes sticks around too - she definitely has the gist of the stories if not every detail.  We have decided not to let the kids watch any of the movies until the coresponding book has been read.  That's become a fun tradition as well - sometimes even the same day a book is finished we'll pop in the DVD (and pop some popcorn while we're at it) and watch the show, comparing and constrasting it to the book.  (Book always wins, in case you were wondering.) There is so much Harry Potter at our house that he's pretty much become an omnipresence - Troy tells me that due to the fact that he gets at least 30 minutes of HP time several days a week he has a hard time not thinking about life in HP terms these days.  I am a little jealous that Troy does the reading, but seeing how much he loves doing it is worth it, not to mention the fact that each night as he reads I get a few minutes to get the last of the day's dishes done or something like that.  Not gonna complain.

And guess what.  They're about half way through Book 7.  I can hardly believe they've come so far.  I'm going to be so sad when they're done, even though I know there are fantastic adventures to head to next; I'm thinking The Hobbit.  Peter and the Starcatchers is another saga I think he'll just love. But still, it's bitter sweet every time you reach the end of the series.  Luckily I forsee a re-reading of the books when Bitty gets a little older.  And Bundle too.  I hope they'll let me.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mary the Poppins

Guess what - I just noticed that my last entry was my 500th post.  Five HUNDredth.  That's a lot of history there.  And typing. Wow.

Okay, so next topic.  Last Wednesday I handed my husband our three darling (well, two darling and one sobbing, but she was okay after a while) children and left the house.  First of all, I took my friend The Becky for her first experience at the single best pizza joint ...anywhere. Ever. Settebello.  I don't think she was prepared for what she was about to experience. I tried to tell her, and I think she knew she was going to enjoy some pizza, but you should have seen the look on her face after she took her first bite.  It came after a nice fat helping of the Insalata Grande (a complete MUST), and it was the best pizza they have at Settebello.  It's called ...the Settebello.  Her eyes widened in shock and then closed in absolute dreamy joy.  If you've been there you know what I'm talking about.  My dear friend and fellow Settebelloist Krista and her sweet mother-in-law joined us.  We sat there trying to fit as much pizza inside ourselves as we could for so long that we were almost a little bit late for our next event, an event I have been waiting for for at least a year.

I owe our school librarian a huge thank you for arranging for discount tickets to the many amazing shows that come to our local playhouse, The Capitol Theater.  We went to The Lion King last summer, the kids and I, but this time I went with girl friends and saw Mary Poppins.  At first I was feeling bad that I left my kids out this time, but I have to say after a few minutes of the show I was pretty glad that I left them at home. It's not that the show wasn't great; it was.  It just moved very quickly and deviated hugely from the movie.  We all really loved The Lion King because it was such a grand, sweeping epic show.  The artistic strokes it painted were broad and strong and just amazing.  Mary Poppins had a very quick pace and was slightly hard to follow.  I would have had to explain a lot to my kids and instead I got to just sit back and enjoy it.  It really was quite a spectacle, and my favorite part about it were the sets.  It was as if everything, including the Banks' home on Cherry Tree Lane, began as a pencil drawing on paper.  The big house unfolded like a popup book.  And color was added like paint.  It was so cool.  And the big dance numbers were so much fun.  So no, it have quite the grandeur that The Lion King did, but it was a great deal of fun anyhow.

Next year I hear that both Beauty and the Beast and Wicked are coming, but from what I understand, they're both so popular our school might not be able to get the tickets.  We'll have to see.  I sure love seeing these Broadway productions.  I'm so amazed by the creative talents people have that produce works of art like these. 




So I do have to say that I feel I need to take on more Mary Poppinseque qualities.  She had some great lines in the show.  Such as:

 Michael, "I really don't like that!"
Mary Poppins, "I really don't care!" 

Becky and I decided that we liked her sassy, confident yet kind attitude.  She's so sure she's right about everything and won't budge no matter what.  But she's nice about it.  I call it her "damn straight" attitude.  I think this would be a great addition to my parenting style.  We'll see how it goes.

Monday, September 19, 2011

LoToJa.

That name has just never flowed for me.  Lo. To. Ja.  I think I would like it better if you said it laTOWjah instead of LOWtajah.  No idea what I'm talking about?  Sorry.  Troy has once again taken place in the epic "Logan to Jackson" cycling race, obviously beginning in Logan, Utah and winding up in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  It is a race that takes you a puke-inducing 206 miles (I've been told many times not to discount those last six miles seeing as how they're the hardest to come by, so don't do any rounding-to-the-nearest-number, if you please!)  This year in order to actually ENJOY the race, Troy took on two legs of a five-leg relay, which meant he had a much better time, though the race still ended up being puke-inducing for him, poor guy.  Those last few miles are just tough, no matter how far you've ridden!  Other than that, I hear he had a great ride.  The guys took off on Friday afternoon - Troy, Rob, Shawn and Uncle Jimmy. 

And I'm going to let Troy have his first ever guest post in order to tell the story:

About 2 or 3 miles outside of Alpine, WY, Rob and I were riding together beginning the ride up the Snake River Valley when another cyclist pulled up behind us and in a very pleasant enthusiastic voice asked if he could tag along with us. I let him know that if he was willing to ride our pace he was welcome to stay with us to the end. He hung on back for just a short time and then happily took over duty pulling us up the canyon. We encountered another cyclist who was riding a slower pace than us and he gave the guy a frienly pat on the back as we passed and encouraged him to hop on back of our group. The man now leading our group was strong and friendly and doing his best to encourage everyone we met to be part of our group. I rode this great guy's wheel for 20 to 30 miles being so grateful for a strong wheel to ride. Eventually our group broke up and he went on his way, and Rob left me when the puke started to fly for me (who can blame him). With about 10 or 15 miles left I was left alone and I was feeling terrible having just spent the last few miles throwing up while still on my bike. My pace had dropped to almost nothing and I was starting to calculate how long it would take for me to finish at my current pace. It was not good. Then from behind came a familiar and friendly voice. "I just had a brat and a dohnut, life is good!" My guy had stopped along the way and partaken of some local hospitality and was now ready to finish his race. He once again asked me to hop on his wheel and we were off at a respectable pace that would get me to Jackson in no time. This time he did apologetically ask me how I was doing and if would mind taking a turn in front, but just as long I could and told me not to wear myself out too much. Eventually, I fell off his wheel again, but by this time the finish line was only about 4 miles away and I was able to ride in without feeling too bad. I really wanted to find this guy at the finish line and thank him for all he did for me during the ride, but the finish is crazy and crowded and there was really no chance of finding him. I have since decided that he was actually one of the 3 Nephites who was sent to help me on this long day of cycling. Ok, that is perhaps a stretch, but I doubt that any one of them could have been a better help to me that day.







Rachel here, back at the helm. So there you have it. I guess someone has to puke every year; last year it was Shawn and this year it was my lucky husband.  Rob, you're up. I'm grateful for the mystery cyclist who helped him along, be he 1 of the 3 Nephites or not, he sure did a good turn that day.  I wonder who will be the puker next time. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Reflection of a Life

Saturday, September 10th was the 1 year anniversary of the passing of my friend TerriLyn.  I chatted a lot with her family that day and preceding week, and we all agree that some things in life are just not connected to the space-time continuum.  It's all jumbled up and simultaneously feels like it only happened moments ago and like years and years have gone by.  And yet despite that distance there are minute details, the type that on any other day you'd never remember, but that are absolutely etched in your memory even now.

It's been an interesting year.  The last year of TerriLyn's life, from the time she was diagnosed to the time she was gone, was really tough, I'm not going to deny that.  And I think it kind of took me about this entire year to get over it, to let go of the really hard ugly things about it, about cancer, about how it changes people.  And it is such a relief to just let it go and remember my real friend TL the way she was before cancer came along.  It has been quite cleansing, actually, and Saturday I was able to feel peaceful if a bit exhausted.

I met with a few friends including Adam Grundvig and his kids and we went to visit the cemetery, where TL's gravestone has recently been placed.  It's very lovely, and so sweet and sad to see her name there. We had a nice visit in the beautiful grounds then hit one of TL's favorite dining spots - Luna Berry crepes and yogurt on 4th South and 7th East.  So good.  But the best part of the day for me was that night.  I was alone for the first time that day.  I hadn't shed any tears or really mourned in my own way yet.  So I pulled out the DVD of TL's pictures that was played at her funeral and just sat and watched and finally had a good ugly cry.  It felt like just what I needed.  

Miss you, TL. As I posted on facebook, my life will carry a reflection of you until the day you come to get me.  There isn't a day that goes by that you are not thought of and missed.  Your kids are doing well and are angels at my house these days.  Your husband is sorting through things so admirably and he's dating a wonderful wonderful girl who brings light with her when she comes in a room. She is beyond devoted to your kids. You of course know these things already, but I thought I'd share them anyway, my sister-friend.



Monday, September 12, 2011

Free Time with my Bundle

It feels like it has been 100 years since I was running around the city with just one little toddler on my hip.  Stomper and I spent almost three whole years together partaking of what our city has to offer until Bitty came along.  Poor Bitty.  I know she got alone time with me as Stomper started preschool, but definitely not as much as Stomper.  I owe that girl a date. Any suggestions?  And then as the two of them got bigger and started school, life kicked into high gear and Bundle has spent her babyhood being dragged to meetings and to the grocery store.  We definitely get our alone time, but my to-do list has blossomed before my eyes and I never seem to get it all checked off.  And Bundle pays the price.  So last week I decided to chuck the dang list for the day and just go to the zoo.  No special occasion, just time together.

She, I feel I have to confess, just has to be the cutest little bug on the planet.  Her little voice, so tiny, is adorable especially as her vocabulary rivals mine and her annunciation is perfect.  I can't get enough of her mannerisms and funny faces, and I'm sad that every time I pull out the camera to record some of this she goes totally silent and still.  I'm trying to be sneaky, but she remains ellusive. 

The zoo trip was definitely worth it and it will be a priority from now on to enjoy stuff like that more.  As my friend stated, the to-do list will always be here.  Your toddler won't!