Sunday, December 8, 2013

December 8

My kids aren't little anymore. 
We set the tree up a week ago and nobody really wanted to decorate it.
I made hot cocoa three different nights and almost cranked up the Dean Martin CD to get everyone in the mood, but the ornaments sat there in a box on the coffee table for a solid week.

Finally, last night I called the kids together and we just got it over with.
I don't know why we all have Holiday Drag*ss this year, but we do.

So happy and jolly.

The angel has died. 
She is now an angel of darkness.

 For some reason, the Angel of Gloom cracked everyone up and I got a few smiles.

The kids started to show the love.
Sort of.

Today was Zane's 18th birthday.

Grandma and Grandpa Olson got him his favorite gift:

BYU rugby...Zane loves the team.
This was, hands down, his favorite present.

We got him some rugby equipment and a new game.

We also got him a new TV/DVD player.

I'm a terrible mom who has always let the kids have a TV in their bedrooms. 
I also let them swim right after a big meal, ride in the back of pick-up trucks, swim in canals, take candy from strangers and get tattoos.
I'm just kidding about the candy from strangers- candy is best when eaten directly off the ground.

He is such a good son.

Today, he made a very difficult decision.

He is not going to play rugby this year.

Rugby in New Jersey is not like Rugby in Utah.
There is no Sabbath Day here, and even if there was, it would be on Saturday. The only group out here that see the Sabbath as a holy day are the Jewish people, so Sundays are all clear.
Event he most religious of other groups see Sunday as covered as long as they got to services.
We see Sunday, the Sabbat,h as a holy day, a day of service and rest.

Every single practice and game is on Sunday.
It was last year, too.
It sucked.
 In January, they add Tuesday and Thursday practices and some Saturday games, but there is rugby EVERY Sunday.
Last year we compromised and Zane went to the Tues and Thurs practices and the games, but not the Sunday practice.
It caused him to not get a starting position during the games, and he often felt he was being penalized because she wasn't there for the Sunday practices. 
 Learning to make choices and follow through even when there are hard consequences matters a lot to us. Last year, we had decided that he would do nothing on Sunday, but after a few weeks, that answer felt wrong and when we prayed again, we all felt strongly that Zane needed to commit and finish the season with his team- even though it meant games on Sunday. By not doing the practices,  it meant he was never going to be first string starter. 
At the end of the season last year, we talked to the Coach about the possibility of having practices on Saturday this year and not Sunday, so Zane could have an easier time his Senior year.  He said he'd see what he could do, but when we saw the schedule this year-- it was every single Sunday.
We were all bummed, but Matt and I said nothing. Zane would know what was right for Zane to do.
I assumed he was just going to play, as he did last year, but he wouldn't miss as many Sunday practices, because he wanted to start.

Today in church they announced that next year we were changing the meeting schedule and sacrament meeting would be last.
This announcement was the final thing Zane needed to make a decision, he felt. With church being later there was no way he could even just go to sacrament meeting and preside of the sacrament, as is his duty. 
He told me that he loves rugby so much, but he loves the Lord more. He had asked himself -what kind of prospective missionary was he being if he wasn't even at church the 6 months before going on his mission? What kind of Elder would he be if, because of rugby he was essentially inactive and breaking the commandments every single week?
 It was too far off of the path he wanted to follow.
He said " in 10 years am I going to care more that I didn't play rugby this year or will I care more that I might have to leave on my mission late or make choices because I'm was not in the right place could keep me from going at all?"
 No rugby game was worth taking that risk and he wanted his priority to be clear and to be on the side of the Lord. 
I cried as he told me, he cried, too.
I talked to him about Elder Oaks' talk about Good Better Best.
It's one we talk about often in our family. 
You're not just making some trade- you're making a sacrifice of something REALLY GOOD for the promise of obtaining something BETTER. You sacrifice something super awesome for the CHANCE to earn/obtain something that is the best.
Zane has chose to trade a BETTER for a BEST.
Being a great kid was good, but being one who played rugby and played well was better.
Preparing for and going on a mission in BEST and he wants what is best.He wants to receive those blessings
 and know he is worth of the very best the Lord promises those who will put aside that natural man and follow Him.

But this was a hard, hard decision. That kid LOVES rugby and I love to watch him play. He and Matt bond over it and he is a great rugby player. 
But he can play with the missionaries on P-Day. He can play on Tuesdays and teach Isaac and JJ how to play and help get the YM in our ward into it. He will be able to spend the next 6 months preparing for his mission and knowing he made a choice and a sacrifice. 
I am proud of him for choosing- I am proud of what he chose.

My Zane has always amazed me with how he knows right and wrong and where there is light- he always chooses to follow it. He is drawn to the light and will go towards it without fear, in faith that the light will do what light does- it will help him to see, it will bring him warmth and it will help him to go to the places he wants to be.
I don't think I was that mature at age 18. 
I tell ya, I don't know how I got so lucky to get the kids I have, but I am blessed beyond measure.
I love you, Birdie and I will forever. 
Happy Birthday, Zane- now a man but small still to me.


  1. Amazing and wonderful. We miss you all. I miss the strength of your kids in the youth program, but I am happy for Zane that his priorities are so intact. Well done, Mom. Very well done.

  2. Zane, you make us proud yet again that you are our grandson. A hard choice for you to make, yet I know you will not regret your decision. You are an example for the rest of the family, including Grandpa and Grandma! Thank you for your strength and your faith. We love you.