Ryan left last Saturday, November 13th, to fly across the country and the ocean for a series of pedo interviews.
On Sunday and Monday, he interviewed in Denver, Colorado.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, he interviewed in Honolulu, Hawaii.
On Thursday and Friday, he interviewed in Salt Lake City, Utah.
And now he is a Pocatello, Idaho, enjoying a few days with his family...until tomorrow night, when we will meet up in Denver, I will give him a big smooch, and we will spend the Thanksgiving weekend with my Pops and my Sisters.
I can't wait.
I get lonesome without Ryan around. And I'm cold at night.
Eventually, Ryan is going to have to "rank" all of these pedo options. He will put together a list of his top choice programs, and the programs will put together a list of their top choice applicants, and then a computer will "match" us (hopefully) to a wonderful place where we will spend the next two years of our lives. I say "hopefully" because there's no guarantee he will get accepted anywhere, let alone at one of his top choice programs. But I think he's quite darling and very delightful...smart and fun too...so hopefully those interviewers will agree with me.
On a completely unrelated note, I got an email from my dad this morning outlining his plans for the holiday weekend. The subject line was "Funnest." (This is a frequent one-word declaration made by the Westover girls when we are excited about something.) I decided that I will paste the email here, which a few interjected translations of my father's lingo:
"As you know, Little Pal* is here now, so SD** is happy. He will get even happier over the next couple of days.
*Little Pal=Laura, my little sister who is actually 23
**SD=Dad's nickname for himself. It stands for "Super Dad."
A few things I'd like to do while we're all together. I'm sure you'll have some to add:
1. Set up Christmas tree and maybe a few other decorations - Thursday morning.
2. Thanksgiving dinner is at 2 or 3 on Thursday. It will probably be just our family and the Oldsters***. I'd like to have a little Thanksgiving devotional-like thing with them. Nothing elaborate. I have a scripture I like (Psalm 100 a/k/a The Thanksgiving Psalm) that we could read and discuss, and then everyone could just mention something or a few things they are thankful for. I'm open to any other ideas about this.
***The Oldsters=My wrinkly, wonderful grandparents
3. Harry Potter movie. Perhaps Thursday evening, leaving Buddy Man**** asleep with the Oldsters?
****Buddy Man=My older sister's son, Callum
4. "Christmas morning" on Friday morning, since we won't be together in December
5. Temple session on Saturday morning. I'll have to round up a sitter for Buddy Man.
6. Cafe Rio, of course.
Can't wait to see everyone!
P.S. Yes, of course there is a Slave Girl***** list, but it's very short. There may also be a Slave Boy****** list, including helping me get a new TV. Old Faithful******* is acting up again."
*****Slave Girls=His daughters
******Slave Boys=His sons-in-law
Side note: He actually writes "Slave Girl List" at the top of my to-do list when I come home to visit him. A clerk at a store saw it once and said, "Wow...your boss thinks very highly of you." I responded, "Actually, it's my dad." Ha!
*******Old Faithful=Dad's ghetto TV that he's had for 25 years
His email made me smile. It also made me remember a similar email, sent eight years ago. During my first semester of college, I was feeling pretty stressed and homesick right before the Thanksgiving break, and my mom sent me an encouraging email explaining all of the fun things she had planned for my long weekend:
"Rachel: I am sorry that you are having such a hard time. Hang in there! We are so excited for you to come home! The number one thing you need to do is SLEEP, and the number two thing is RELAX!!!!!! I want to think of some fun things to do while you're here, since Dad will be around and so we don't end up wasting the weekend. Here are some ideas I thought of:
-Make some kind of treats or Christmas items for your Relief Society sisters?
-Movie?.....I have no idea what's out there, since I only go to movies with my daughters
-Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma's
I'll keep trying to think of ideas. Do you have any ideas? We are wide open for suggestions!
WE LOVE YOU! TRY NOT TO STRESS OUT TOO MUCH! Don't forget to sleep, take your vitamins, exercise, pray, and breathe deeply! :)
Love, Big Mama"
You may be wondering how I am quoting from an eight-year-old email. Well, this morning, I went into my old email account, went back into the history, and found the email.
As I read her words, my heart ached a little. I miss her more than I even know.
But then I remembered that I still have someone who sends me encouraging emails: my dad. And the more I thought about that, the more grateful I became.
I've written and talked about my mom a lot...most people know all about my mom...but I haven't shared enough about my amazing father.
This is the man who I called earlier this week on the way to school, and when he asked how I was doing, I broke down sobbing. "Why can't I have a baby?" I blubbered into the phone, and he just listened and told me he loves me and told me he's sorry that everything is difficult right now.
My dad knows the update on every fertility treatment and every doctor's consultation. Not many dads would know that stuff...and actually, I doubt he would know that stuff if my mom were still alive. But since she's not, he has stepped in and been there for his girls in every way.
He sends us care packages for holidays. He sends us flowers on the first day of our new school years (we're all teachers). He spoils us and even takes us shopping when he comes for a visit. (He dozes on the couch outside the dressing room while we pick something out.) He really is "Super Dad."
And I get to see him tomorrow night.
I have a lot to be grateful for.