The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
December 2017

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Coming Through to the Other Side

Late, Saturday evening. Sitting by a fire. Listening to quiet music. Watching snow fall on the hill of trees outside.

Guess what - that is actually what is happening right now! It's not just a daydream! This is a very good thing after the completely insane week and weekend I have had, which followed the very insane Thanksgiving holiday. (I think I need to think of a new descriptor, by the way. I keep having busy times and describing them as: crazy, insane, nutty....are you noticing a common thread here?) But really, it was a lot to handle. The only way I stayed on top of things was to revert back to my primal list-making-with-a-purple-pen strategy (I gave it up a few months ago with the arrival of my iphone and its very fabulous list-maker). But for this, I needed my old-school purple pad. I made lists for planning and executing the Church Christmas Party, for the food and craft for the church kids party, for PTA meeting snacks, for packing and cooking for our trip to Bear Lake with the Burnetts....there was something else too but since my purple list, now well crossed-off, is far away from me at this moment, I have no idea what it was. And all of those things happened in a 48 hour period. And Troy was gone. (Feel bad for me already!!) Anyway, I am seriously happy to have that list almost all the way crossed off, and to be at the tail end of this non-stop weekend.

And now I need to share a story. So, like I mentioned just once or twice or seventeen times, I was put in charge of planning this big dinner for our church. I'm pretty good at delegating some things - especially the decorations, which were pulled off beautifully by two young couples along with some helpers. They have a talent for transforming the gym into an enchanting dining hall. I delegated some of the food, though I learned a couple of lessons in that department, namely to expect a few people to cancel on the items they signed up to bring but to not freak out and make a bunch of extra because 5 lbs. of crockpot mashed potatoes feeds more people than you would think. (Even with my cancellations we had potatoes practically flowing out of the kitchen, and that doesn't count the two recipes' worth I made just in case. Lotta potatoes.) I chose an easy main course - tangy beef brisket - I put it in the ovens at church before 9 that morning and it was totally stress free. But I should have had one more. Or not let people serve themselves. We kinda ran out, but not until the very end, so it was okay.

One thing that I did not delegate in time was the program. I never know (well, I haven't known for the two years I have done this) what to do for a program. Do people want to listen to a performance? Have a silly talent show? Do nothing? Have a sing-along? Karaoke? I don't know! I think I'm trying to make too many people happy at once and end up not being able to decide anything. Plus our in-house musical genius couldn't be there so then I was really stumped. Every day on my list that "plan the program" item remained un-crossed-off and I stressed more and more about it. Finally yesterday afternoon as I was grabbing a couple of things from home I frantically printed off a silly guess-that-carol page (from Pinterest! Where else!) and decided to set that out on the tables and call that good. Actually, I think a lot of people did have fun with it, but...still, kinda lame.

Then, just as dessert was starting to disappear from the buffet table, this wonderful thing happened that I am going to tell you flat out was just a blessing from heaven. A blessing for me, who was stressed and anxious, and a blessing for everyone who was there to enjoy a neighborhood party and feel some Christmas spirit. There is a man who has been a leader in our community and is beloved by everyone. He is tall, kind, gentle, and reaches out to everyone with this infectious warmth. I kind of wish he would adopt me. (I adore his wife as well; she has stepped in many times in my life to help me when my mother has been away. I love this family.) I had asked this man if he would be our M.C. at the party; welcome everyone, say thanks to the decorators, get someone to pray over the food. That is all I asked for. But later he approached me and asked when he should start the program. I sheepishly told him I hadn't planned one and he said, "Oh, I've got one." WHAT????

This man had put together the cutest little program - mostly just a list of questions for which he had prizes, like who can name all of Santa's reindeer and who can sing all the words of whatever song...he made people laugh, he told bad jokes, he had chocolate Santas....he was adorable. And then he got two other dear people to read a short spiritual thought that ended on a beautiful note and that was that. It was PERFECT.

I tried to express to this man what this had meant to me and he lightly brushed it off as no big deal. I would just like to tell you all that it was a VERY BIG DEAL to me and I was very grateful. I don't know which guardian angel of mine whispered to him in the night, "Rachel has nothing for a program! Do something!" But he listened. And I'm grateful. And I feel very not-forgotten by heaven and by dear friends. Best Christmas spirit I have felt in a long time.

My decorator made a movie of our party and you can view it HERE:

(My computer is grumpy about posting videos on my blog...dont' know why!)

Friday, December 06, 2013


I am being so naughty right now. I am sitting in a PTA meeting and I'm supposed to be listening and possibly even contributing but instead I snuck in my ipad and I'm doing a little writing. I am just so behind! And I see very little hope of getting a nice long quiet writing stretch any time soon. Today is our ward Christmas party and guess who is in charge. That's right, Mrs. Stupid. (I mean me, who can't say no to anything and is now cooking for 200 people even though my husband is gone all week on a business trip and we also have a Primary Pajama Party in the morning and we are leaving on our annual Bear Lake Christmas Tree Hunt right from the party.....I'm sweating just thinking about it.)

So. I'm sitting in PTA and writing.

Anyway, Thanksgiving was really FUN. And that's all I can remember.

Just kidding - it really was great. It was (you're never going to believe that I'm saying this....) BUSY!! Both of my brothers' wives had babies this fall, and Adam (who lives in Seattle and has no family up there anywhere near) decided to bring his family to our valley to both celebrate Thanksgiving and gather the family for Park's blessing. My other brother Peter was feeling sad to miss our family gathering, and even though his wife Sheri and their new baby Iva weren't ready to travel yet he came up the weekend before Thanksgiving with his two big girls. Peter couldn't stay long but Adam and crew were here for the whole week and I'll just say it was a very full week bookmarked by two very full weekends. Oh yeah, and there was Thanksgiving too, which we spent with Troy's family up in Cache Valley. It was such a lovely day.

You know, I think I remember that I used to really enjoy writing long and thought-filled posts with observations about my experiences and wanderings. Those days seem to be a thing of the past and now I'm just excited that I wrote something down at all. Here's some pictures.