Sunday, September 27, 2020


Tomorrow is my and Skylar's one-year wedding anniversary what how is that possible you look so young STOP IT YOU GUYS.

What a wild first year of marriage this was. So many unpredictable left turns. I mean, I assumed when we got married last September that our next twelve months would include a worldwide pandemic, a near economic collapse, an earthquake, and a mountain hurricane, but I didn't think we'd also have to process all that news about Meghan and Harry.

In twelve months we've faced more together in some ways than I would have expected to deal with in a decade. I feel so fortunate that he's the person I've had to navigate all of this with. 

People commonly talk about how you can tell a couple is about to break up when they start gushing about one another on social media. Something compels relationships in crisis to engage in full denial in this way. Sometimes when I start to write something nice about Skylar he'll say to me, "people are going to think we're about to get divorced if you publish that."

Whatever. I can't help myself. I adore that man.

Skylar makes everything better. He makes everyone better. I don't know how he does it. You meet him and suddenly you're just a better person for it. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Only In Utah!

Skylar said it was "hot" and he was "sweaty" so that's why it was a good idea for him to take his shirt off and go sit on the furniture. I told him this wasn't my preferred choice for him, but he laughed it off like he always does when he doesn't want to argue anymore.

We're in that weird time of year where the iceberg that sunk the Titanic floats down our street every night and then all the fires of hell descend upon us by 10:00 AM.  "Just open all the windows. It's September." I hear myself saying every year around this time, as though God has designated this month for consistent temperature control.

We open the windows, and we bake during the day and shiver in hypothermic misery all night. 

"September is the best. So pleasant. So lovely." I insist. 

I claim it's the one month that really is just right. In reality, it's the one month where I'm uncomfortable nearly all the time. 

Classic Skating: Puberty On Wheels

I was eight years old when I was first introduced to Classic Skating. A neighborhood mom had called my mom to let her know they’d be celebrating her son’s birthday over roller skates and outdated rock music in the local roller rink.

I was thrilled to be included. The party in question was for a child a couple of years older than me. His mom was obviously behind the invitation. I wasn’t cool enough to be a thought for this soon-to-be-ten-year-old. But I didn’t mind. I’d have a chance to literally roll with the older crowd in our town’s mobile tween rave.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Dead Rat

Our greatest neighborhood allies are the Perfects next door. When I bought this house in The Year of Our Lord Eleventy Hundred, I was too intimidated to talk to them because they were, well, perfect. So instead I just spent like three years doing a lot of embarrassing things in front of them without affording myself the opportunity to explain.

A big part of the reason I didn't cultivate much of a relationship with them is because I just assumed they wouldn't want me to bother them with my boring self. This is a thing I assume about everyone always. It's very healthy and for sure not in need of therapy.

Then Jon Skylar Westerdahl moved into my house. Skylar is the opposite of me. It doesn't even occur to him that someone wouldn't be interested in talking to him. And it's not like he's arrogant about it. He doesn't necessarily assume everyone will love him either. He just doesn't care. He barges into the lives of everyone he sees and decides that if they don't want him, it's their burden to get rid of him. 

Within days of him living in this house, he was in the Perfects's''ses' front yard arm-in-arm with all four of them and the dog, laughing and creating memories. Suddenly they were coming to parties at our house and helping us with our gardening. We became "can you water the flowers while we're out of town" neighbors for each other. They texted us immediately after the earthquake earlier this year to make sure we were ok. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Teacher's Pet

I'm a few weeks into this new semester with my First Amendment class at the law school down the street and reader, let me tell you: teaching a class is so weird in These Uncertain Unprecedented Times We're All In This Together.

My university made the decision to require that around 60% of all classes be offered exclusively online this semester. The rest of the classes are taught both in person and over Zoom (for anyone who has symptoms or is otherwise uncomfortable meeting in a group).

The school has some really strict measures in place to keep in-person classes as safe as possible. For example, there is only one class in the building at a time. They also have seats blocked off so students have to sit 6 or more feet apart. Everyone has to wear masks. Everyone is supposed to wipe down their areas before and after. Everyone is supposed to leave the building as soon as class ends.

The school asked me if I was comfortable teaching in person and I said I was because I don't believe in science I'M KIDDING DON'T EMAIL ME. I thought the measures sounded good enough that I wouldn't feel at great risk. Also, I haven't left my house since The Year Of Our Lord Eleventy and I'm starting to lose my mind greatly so I thought it would probably be good for me to have two events a week where I see 14 other humans.

But oh boy. Let me tell you something. It is a challenge to teach to a large mostly-empty room of spread-out people, in a mask, and simultaneously minding the Zoom screen of students at home. 

Sunday, September 13, 2020


Skylar found out his newest rotation would be in pediatrics and this freaked him out. I was honestly surprised that he was so nervous to do this rotation. If you ever meet Skylar, within seconds you sort of get this Barney the dinosaur vibe from himlike maybe he missed his life calling. 

He told me he was nervous because he's "not good with kids," which might be the least self-aware statement I've heard from a human mouth since basically everything I ever said before I came out.

When we go visit my family, my nieces and nephews, MY OWN FLESH AND BLOOD, will literally run around me to jump on him. Their official greeting to me is "where's Skylar?" One time a few years ago we stayed at my sister's house to watch her kids while the parents were out of town and the then five-year-old had a terrible nightmare in the middle of the night. I got up to console him and when I got to the room he sobbed "can you just get Skylar? He's better at making me feel better."

And look. I'm not offended by this. I know my limitations. I am incapable of talking to children under the age of 14. I treat all kids like I'm their accountant and I'm concerned about their financials as we near the end of their fiscal year. 

Skylar? He approaches the world with majestic wonder, and kids can sense that from him. He's excited by the same things that excite them, and he treats them like they're his whole world.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

When It's Easier To Laugh Than Cry

We received an alert or several that a sly wind from the east was coming in. Apparently the air from wherever was about to cross over from Colorado and Wyoming and ultimately hit our quiet little Salt Lake City.

I'm told high winds can result when a huge build-up of cold air hits our mountains and then pours down them into our very lovely valley. 

By early Tuesday morning all of those nannies from Mary Poppins were getting launched directly over my house as we legit had category 3 hurricane winds, which is not a thing I thought I'd say about my 2020 at 4,500 feet elevation, deep in the desert mountains of Utah.

As it turns out, high winds are terrifying. Nearly the entire city immediately lost power. I say "nearly" because somehow our house seemed to be the only place in town that had electricity (it's been a few days since the storm and there are still large parts of the city without power). My friend Emily came over to work from my house after this happened at her house:

Monday, September 7, 2020

Red Vines

On Saturday I started getting notifications to my phone about my Instacart order. This was curious, since I had, in fact, not placed an Instacart order.

I had forgotten that some time ago I gave Skylar the login for my account and it seems he, from the next room over, decided to go ahead and place a Costco order without bothering to consult with me about what we should buy. I suppose that was fine. We've nearly committed personal hate crimes against one another inside a Costco in the past. I'm 100% positive that no relationship exits a Costco in better shape than when it entered.

But you'd think we could engage in online shopping without getting the divorce lawyers on the phone. The bulk of our historic Costco contention really centers around navigating the army-tank carts around entire family reunions in order to gather more cheese than we could ever possibly consume and then stand in a line that wraps around the entire solar system twice just to get back out to the parking lot that stretches to Prince Edward Island.

Speaking of buying more than we could ever use: the last time Skylar did an Instacart order he accidentally bought 2,000 garbage bags. We don't go through a lot of garbage bags. After they were delivered he calculated that at our current rate, these bags could last us up to 35 years. 


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

This New Step of Covid

When The Great Covid began earlier this year I was one of those people who was constantly telling you that actually we really had a lot to learn from this experience and "in a way" it was totally valuable and shouldn't we be kind of grateful that we had to slow down?

Then some months passed and suddenly I found myself screaming in my mind and becoming willing to kill for movie theater popcorn.

Ok, not totally. I still feel those early things about sunshine and rainbows. But the working from home all day every day business has started to wear on me in a way I had not previously anticipated.

When we started all of this, Sky was in regular classes at school and since The Whole World got canceled starting March, he was suddenly sent home, just like I was. So we'd both work from the house every day together, occasionally yelling to each other from neighboring rooms "WHY ARE YOU SO FREAKING LOUD."

Duncan would wander between us, sometimes happy for the company but usually looking more annoyed that we were disrupting his all-day nap, which, to be fair, would be an important part of my schedule as well if I had no bills, someone fed me every meal, and I got to poop outside without shame YES I THINK THAT SOUNDS LIBERATING DON'T @ ME.

So, things were fine and well. I felt like I was sequestered with my family, checking the news and worrying, but at least having someone to worry with.