Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Words for the Wingmen

Dear Family and Friends,

March has come and so has Spring, I hope…The definition of Spring, in the dictionary of Tanner, is a period of the year when Sunday walks are both possible and enjoyable. Today fits that description perfectly, but so did two weeks ago and then we got a lot of snow so fingers are crossed that this weather has come to stay.

Update: If my life were a novel (which maybe it is), above would be a prime example of Dramatic Irony. As I type, a frozen white blanket descends on our valley home. Dash it all!!

Monday-Thursday = School. I’ll not bore you with the minutiae but I will note that I had the interesting and ultimately fulfilling experience this week of filing a formal complaint against one of my professors. The class is out of control. I decided that far be it from me to allow one crazed PhD the opportunity to run rampant in the classroom and ruin what have been four very positive years. Thankfully the department chair and head of advisement were quite sympathetic and it’ll be interesting to see what action is taken to remedy the situation this week.

AnneMarie has carried on with her Pilates and Institute class, both of which she enjoys immensely. She is almost thoroughly convinced that she’d like to become certified as a Pilates and Yoga instructor sometime in the near future and I have no doubt she’d be amazing. Stay tuned!

Friday afternoon, after emerging bleary-eyed from a 3 ½ hour Economics test, AnneMarie and I did date night right. We used a gift card to treat ourselves to some Chili’s, complete with an appetizer of Fried Pickles (two thumbs up!). We had fun using the new pay at your table touch screens instead of getting our check from the waiter. Hadn’t seen those before.

Then we headed north for the University of Utah’s Women Gymnastics meet. The Utes have, undeniably, the best women’s gymnastics program in the nation and they put on a sweet show. First off, these meets are the well-attended—the most well-attended women’s sports event in the nation! That night there was over 15,000 in the house for Senior night. I’ll admit it, tears were shed. Maybe by me, though I can’t confirm that. One of Utah’s gymnasts scored a perfect ten on her floor routine which elicited a five-minute-long standing ovation. Maybe more tears, I couldn’t tell you anything about that.

What I can tell you is that gymnastics has something I’ve really never seen in any other sport: true, abiding sportsmanship. Fans applaud opposing team’s routines; they give their encouragement when something goes wrong. The athletes? Competitors? Yes. But so absolutely gracious that it causes you to wonder why such respect can’t pervade all sports. Just some thoughts, but that was one type of exhibition that I’d pay to see over and over again.

Saturday morning, I woke up early to participate in an Elders Quorum service project. We were planting a sugar maple in one member’s yard. I loved learning about the proper way to plant a tree and just the simple experience of getting back into the soil after too much time away from it.

Saturday night we also partied at the home of my MTC companion’s parents, the Cummings. Lots of normal party fun was had but we also did something that is rarely done at parties: we made our own wooden pens! Bro. Cummings has his own wood shop so we selected our own wood (I chose Makassar Ebony and AnneMarie used Purple Heart wood), picked out silver or gold pen parts, and fashioned the coolest writing implements around. Most of the work was done on the lathe where we shaped the body of the pen, sanded it, and applied different polishes. I’ll attach some pictures so you can get a sense of the finished products. Coolest party ever. Plus, we played a round of exploding kittens, among other games, which, if you haven’t played it yet, needs to be on your list STAT. One of the most entertaining games around, basically a suspense-filled strategy game something akin to Russian Roulette, but with exploding kittens…You get the idea.

Tonight we got our weekly dose of Baby Emerson, though it obviously wasn’t enough. That’s one cute kid they’ve got there at the Pace home! Matt and Joanna were super sweet and had us over for dinner, desserts, and games (Bang! Dice version) and that’s both the right way to end one week, begin another, and finish off this letter.

Much love to our missionaries. You’re doing great. Keep on keeping on. Treat people like gymnasts, the right way, and everything will work out fine.

All our Love,

Tanner and AnneMarie

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