go, fish

Behold: A new little fish at a big pond called Stansbury High School.

Classes started Tuesday. That morning he was his usual calm, collected,
no-need-to-make-a-fuss-it's-no-big-deal self.

But the night before, he came to me and admitted to having a butterfly or two.
"They'll be all these older kids there... which will be freaky."
{Freaky = Scary}

I reminded him that he knows lots of those older kids, and they'll be cool to him. I also reminded him of all the other freshmen, many of them his friends, who would be swimming right along with him... and in no time, they'd all be going with the flow.

"It's going to be a lot more work than junior high... and, dude, that sucks."

Yep, it will be more work. And from now on, it counts. So, my darling child, get a handle on that concept today. Right now. Otherwise, the suck factor you speak of will be of EPIC PROPORTIONS.

{Note his brooding above, over the prospect of Epic Suckage.}

We quickly changed the subject and talked about all the cool stuff.
He made high school the golf team, which he is loving,
and so far has qualified to compete in every tournament... not too shabby for a minnow!

We discussed the various clubs and activities,
which are great opportunities for him to get involved.
We also chatted about the games, the assemblies, the dances...
and all the other epic grab-ass that is High School.

{Note his elation above, at the prospect of Epic Grab-ass.}

As Tyler's Retired Diaper-Changer/Nose-Wiper/Lullaby-Singer, I gotta tell ya... he seems awfully big to me. {I mean, are ya lookin' at these photos?!} But in this context he is, indeed, a little fish in a big new pond... so my final counsel was short and sweet:

Stay alert. Stay close to good friends. Pray. Stay true to yourself.

"You're gonna rock high school SO HARD!" I chirped, all excited and smiley. "Do these things, honey, and you'll be just fine." He smiled, hugged me and went to bed. And then I cried.

Not because I'm worried about him. Not because I'm afraid he won't succeed. The tears were flowing because I know what high school really is.

For Tyler, it's a thrilling new beginning. For me, it's the beginning of the end.

And I know it's as it should be.

{Go, fish... and know that I love you.}


Fam Photos Part I

Last month my sister, Christine -- also known as The Darling of the Family, Vitamix Dynamo and Photography Wunderkind -- came to visit for a few weeks. The minute I knew she was coming I pounced on her, asserting whatever "I-Am-The-Oldest-You-Will-Do-What-I-Say" influence I might still possess and asked her to take our family pictures while she was here. She was happy and excited to oblige... and, in fact, was completely unaffected by my big-sister bullying. Which is precisely why she's The Darling of the Family.

Seriously, if you sat the Dirks down right now and asked us all to vote, she'd have it sewn up and IN. THE. BAG. Actually... the first round of voting would be thrown out because, being the self-absorbed narcissists that we are, we would all vote for ourselves... except for Christine, who would write down:

"In a million years I could never pick just one of you, because each of you are darlings to me. Please don't hate me for not picking, I love you guys so much! xoxoxoxo"

DIRK FAMILY: Do I not speak the truth? (Feel free to corroborate.) Which is why, when we voted again for real, Christine would take it in a landslide.

I digress. I meander. I tangent. Where was I? Oh, yeah... family photos.

The last time she took our photos was December 2009; they were taken in front of a totally cool barn that I'd driven past for years, and they turned out awesome. About a year ago I chose our next family photo location, another place I drive past all the time: An old abandoned railroad way station, sitting on the salt flats next to the Great Salt Lake, adorned with graffiti (the artful kind, not the ghetto subway station kind). Next to the building is a rusted out railroad car that's also bedecked with urban artwork. BINGO. The next time Chris was visiting in the summer, I knew that this was the place.

This first installment of photos features my faves of the Whole Fam Damily. Then I'll post my faves of Tyler, and then my faves of Dave and me. Actually, they're ALL my faves. I love this location, I absolutely LOVE how they turned out... and I LOVE LOVE LOVE my little sis for being so talented, so accommodating and... well, so damn darling. Thank you Chris!

{Thanks also to the Fam Damily for, once again, humoring your wife and mother... and for being so handsome and photogenic.}


fresh, man.

High school registration was yesterday. So we went to the school and filled out the forms...

Paid the fees ($226 -- and, for the briefest of moments, homeschooling seemed appealing)...

Got his yearbook picture taken (thank goodness he'd showered; he was even wearing school colors!)...

Got a locker (on the end, so he's got a little elbow room)...

Found his classes ("Whoa, I didn't realize this place was so big!")...

Found his friends (waaaay easier than finding his classes)...

And, finally, humiliated him by making him stand next to the mascot statue so his sentimental mother could take his picture, plaster it on her blog and preserve this moment forever. 

It's official: Tyler’s a Stallion!

{Also official: Mom's emotional! But we won't discuss that right now.}