I made it to the finish line of Summer 2012 by knowing I would close out August with waves crashing over me on their way to moisten Laguna Beach.
You see, June, July and August weren’t lemonade-sipping, novel-reading, watch-the-clouds-go-by kind of months. But there was plenty of heat. My body, mind and spirit were on fire as I juggled family, work and church while trying to give my family a lemonade-sipping summer. Want to know why my blog and my lemonade took a backseat? Here’s a quick look at the hotseat.
The most visible part of my summer was the headline debacle that had me crying, apologizing, explaining, being interviewed and eventually moving on.
I also helped plan and carry out a weeklong LDS Stake Girls Camp for nearly 400 people in July — the same week the debacle above set up camp on websites nationwide. For added fun, American Fork Canyon was evacuated and closed the week before our scheduled adventure. So I did mental gymnastics figuring out a Plan B, which we fortunately didn’t have to touch with a 10-foot hiking pole.
As a pre-camp activity, we put on an overnighter where we fed, entertained and corralled dozens of girls in preparation for a 12-hour adventure up and down Mount Timpanogos. This was my first time at the peak of the valley’s icon. It was a highlight of my summer — even considering the episodes of “pumping” I had to do in the trees while hoping my nursing baby was taking a bottle at home.
• We put on our annual UV50 gala to recognize the valley’s top 50 businesses (fastest-growing, top revenue and startups to watch). Two hundred “who’s who” dressed up and teetered on over to our BusinessQ party. While the event probably seems simple to attendees, there are a million decisions and details that go into a night of hosting Nu Skin, Domo and Jef from “The Bachelorette.” (His venture, People Water, was named our No. 7 Startup to Watch.)
My older sister (and closest friend) became a mother for the first time when she took in three foster children at the beginning of June — the siblings are age 3, 20 months and 5 months. I was there the moment they arrived in her Lehi home, and my heart and advice (however meager) have been with her ever since. (I also have a few Sharpie scribbles on my home computer to remember my new nieces and nephews by.)
I backed into a parked BMW. One second of distraction brought hours of phone calls, paperwork and head shaking.
New York Magazine had a lapse in judgment and asked to interview and photograph me to represent Salt Lake City in Style Tribes. The impending arrival of Miss Chuck Grant, a New York-based photographer, sent me and my friend Heather Houston into a flurry of embellishing the simple decor in my home. I also took trips to Dear Lizzie and the mall so I could have the required 3-4 outfits ready for my multi-hour shoot. (None of my new outfits actually made it into the magazine … the first pic of me is in the only red top I could find when they had a color scheme in mind. The double-breasted jacket used to fit before the … (ahem) nursing referred to above.)
I took three trips to Idaho within a month’s time. First, we headed north for the annual WFFD — Waite Family Fun Days. The vacation got fun only after I completed my one-hour radio interview with the Sistas In Zion (see the first item on this list.) Second trip, I took my two youngest daughters with me to the Gem State so I could attend my 20th high school reunion. So glad I went! On the last trip, Matt and the same young daughters accompanied me to Rexburg where I delivered my first 60-minute speech. I was a breakout speaker at a 20-stake youth conference held at BYU-Idaho. I really should make this speech its own bullet point because it was heavy to prepare and deliver a (hopefully) meaningful message to some spiritually hungry youth.
On the last day of school in the spring, we added another member to the family. My son’s friend moved in with us for the summer while his family stayed in Germany for his father’s career. While I can’t imagine an easier teenage boy to get along with, he did bring his appetite, his desire for a cell phone, his early morning weight training at Lone Peak and his laundry. A six-kid summer makes for a full minivan and an empty fridge — again and again. Costco, anyone? At the end of the summer when Talmage moved out, the minivan felt empty again. (We’ll take you anytime, Tal!)
And I can’t forget that I nursed a baby around the clock and around the house and around the office. This is truly my full-time job. She has yet to actually swallow formula. I’m five-for-five on children demanding the real deal for a real long time. But I’m secretly happy because it requires me to slow down, to sit down and to breathe.
Speaking of jobs, our business doesn’t take the summer off. We completed the following magazines during the summer months: July/August Utah Valley Magazine, September/October Utah Valley Magazine, Summer BusinessQ, Fall BusinessQ, Utah Valley Parade of Homes, Northern Wasatch Parade of Homes, Park City Area Showcase of Homes, Cedar Hills Family Festival Mag, Orem Summerfest, Spanish Fork Fiesta Days Mag, Prosper Magazine featuring Isagenix, Prosper Magazine featuring FreeLife, Utah Realtor Magazine, Layton Foundation Magazine.
My children had various camps, practices, tryouts, activities and the never-ending question of, “Can I go to the Snow Shack?” I am fully expecting a thank-you card from the Snow Shack owners for putting their kids and grandkids through braces and college.
My grandfather turned 90 this year and is living in an assisted living center in my neighborhood. Although we aim to visit weekly, I feel a daily pull toward this wise steward when I pass the Charleston on my way to the Snow Shack.
I tried my hand at choir conducting for the first time when I volunteered to form a youth choir and teach them “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” Hearing these young vocalists perform was truly a highlight for me, even if I didn’t do a perfect job of bringing in the tenors.
Our amazing office manager, Whitney Behling, turned in her pink slip in mid-August so she could take a job closer to her family. Amidst the deadlines and the snow cones, Matt and I scoured resumes and found finalists. I spent my kids’ first day of school interviewing a handful of applicants. Our new office manager started today, and I hope she comes back tomorrow after seeing how crazy we are.
We hosted a luncheon at Chef’s Table for a couple dozen women in business who were featured in our July issue of Utah Valley Magazine. It’s always a good day when you can share a meal and life experiences with other women attempting to juggle June, July and August.
If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go make some lemonade and look through pics of my trip to the ocean. The memories of the crashing waves will get me through the fall.