Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Family: Qait

Madelyn * {Kathryn} *  Me * Abigail * Elizabeth * Isaac * Reed

Qait, who is married to a gorgeous man (in and out), lives in Utah, and is pregnant with her second child, loves to: play legos, have alone time, draw, play her harp, read, laugh, make food for loved ones, engage in quiet and usually-harmless rebellion, snack in secret, and make up songs with Maddie, amongst other things. She entertained a Barbie obsession in her younger years, but not one you might expect....her obsession was with popping off the HEADS of Barbies...and she got sent home from our dear friends' house a few times because of it. (Years later, she and Maddie would invent a game called Bop the Barbie. We'd set up the Barbies on the island countertop, their chins holding them up, their heads the only part visible above the edge of the counter, and throw beanbags at them from far away.) One last fascinating fact about Qait is that while I can definitely see her joining the ranks of the likes of Elizabeth Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, were she born in a different decade, she's also rife with Martha Stewart/June Cleaver tendencies that (I believe) round her out just beautifully. (Lurv you, Q.)

What brings you most happiness?
Fulfilling my role as a wife and mother; there are comparable things, an example being the creation of music, and I find a lot of reasons to be happy in life, but those two things are the highest on the list because being the best mother and wife I can be helps me feel more and more like the divine daughter of God I am.  

What would you say is your occupation currently, and/or what would you prefer it to be in the future?
I am definitely a fully occupied mother. And I do think that's awesome! But I love my hobbies! I am a harpist, and that is a great passion of mine. I'm also a beauty consultant, and that's more fun than I would have imagined! I feel quite ambitious and want to someday do more; I want to illustrate children's books, I want to learn the fascinating sciences of food and become an expert on nutrition and cooking, I would love to learn more about interior design and even clothing fashions, and with those skills I would be content if I only used them to sew my own clothing and decorate my home.  

What is your favorite memory with Rae?
This is a hard question you ask!!! :) I have so many, but the most precious memories to me begin with the night we couldn't find Isaac. We held each other on your top bunk and cried. We also prayed, and we both comforted each other with our faith and inexplicable trust that Isaac would be alright. That is a very tender memory. A lot of my favorites include times that we comforted each other, either by laughing together or crying together or even being bitter together (just for the sake of having sympathy and sharing honest feelings). There were lots of times that we went on "adventures" together, and I remember relishing your cautious nature because it made me feel even more brave-- I knew I impressed you with my fearlessness, and I loved it. It gave me a chance to feel like a leader.
What comes to mind right now is that for a while in Colorado we liked to walk to the curb together and watch the sunset. I loved being with you. I felt honored when you included me, because I thought everything you did was fun and interesting. One night we even took a thermos of soup or chili to the curb, with Mom's permission, and I felt like our little walk to look at the sunset was a really special time together. We didn't talk much, and it was perfect.
One more thing, brought to mind for its similar time period and feelings. We often biked or walked together to an old, seemingly abandoned fire station where there was a soda machine which for some reason only held orange and grape soda. Each only cost a quarter, which made us feel rich and independent. When we got there, you'd always have me pick first so you could pick the other soda. And I always wanted to pick your favorite--just to be like you--but in the end, without fail, I got grape and you got orange. And we'd sit by a ditch close by and share sips. 

What makes you laugh really hard?
I will be honest: gas. It just does.
But also, Michael makes me laugh-- he is really funny when he wants to be! And I laugh with my sisters, always, and perhaps even more with Isaac. It's almost like anything Isaac does can make me laugh, maybe because it makes him laugh too. Belly laughs! I also love to laugh with my parents. And I love to make other people laugh--sometimes that's even more satisfying!  

What are three of your favorite family memories? (Long, short, silly, otherwise--whichever)
1. One I think of quite often is when Isaac and all of us girls played in the snow in the front yard of our house in Colorado. We made a grandma snowman, who had little snowballs packed around her head for hair or curlers. And we all tried to make an igloo, but we gave up when it collapsed in middle, and we tried to then make it into a slide. That turned into more of a throne, and we plopped Maddie on top of it and pretended she was a queen. It was all so invigorating and fun, and we laughed together and played for a very long time before coming in for cocoa and blankets.
2. The guesthouse in Germany-- I specifically love that time because I recognized it as a peaceful time for us all, when I had expected to be frightened and lonely in Germany. Things felt orderly to me because I did my chores and was careful to read in my scriptures and pray every day. I knew it made a difference. And I loved the way everyone seemed to feel on vacation, relaxing together as if it were summer instead of winter. That was a delightful Christmas, with our skimpy tree and beautiful German ornaments (I loved the fact--perhaps too much--that they had been purchased from the store "Katie Wolfhart," and I said that name as often as I thought I could get away with it).
3. BOOBY TRAPS! This is maybe cheating. I love ALL of our booby traps memories, and I've always loved how that tradition sets us apart from other families. We had particularly special Christmases because of it, and I think it's one way I've remembered each Christmas from year to year. I loved the way we kids planned together and banded for the special event. I loved the challenge, and I loved having assigned buddies for what felt like a secret mission. Sneakiness was my forte, I thought, and I loved a chance to explore it. I also loved the way we had so much fun together with it, every single time.

What do you do to relax?
Almost invariably, I snuggle down in a comfy seat with a book. Even better when I have food with that book. I do not choose to nap for relaxation, even though I often need it--napping annoys me because I feel like it's such a waste of time. I'd rather waste time while being awake. I also love to watch movies while cuddling with Michael. That's always very relaxing.  

Three books you love?
It should be obvious, but I'll point it out anyway, that I love SO MANY books that these aren't necessarily the top of my list.
1. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver - I felt like it changed me life. I felt so deeply affected by it, as if I'd lived in Africa as one of the daughters (any of the daughters-- I related to each in some way or other).
2. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden - Again another book that seemed to transport me to its place of occurance (Japan). The narration is honest in a very deeply poetic way. As with the Poisonwood Bible, I felt like my mind had been expanded. I felt like my wisdom had grown as well as my understanding of the human heart and soul. Sometimes that's what does it for me in a book-- I love to learn more about people and why they live the way they do, why they think what they think, how they feel about life and how their understanding of life came to what it is.
3. A Northern Light by Jennifer Dosselly - This is a very recent read of mine. I relish honest writing, and this book was full of it. It was beautifully pulled together, made into a complete story not by a perfectly happy ending but by how real the character's feelings were. I understood her, and I understood her reactions to the sometimes jarring things she learned about life.

What are two favorites of all the places we've lived as a family?
Colorado and Belgium. I have so many wonderful memories revolving around Colorado! I loved our home, I loved my sense of freedom in our neighborhood, and I really, really loved being a child there. It was a perfect childhood-piece of life.
Belgium resonates with my introverted ways. I actually love the grey days, the rain and the wetness. I love the ancient buildings. I love, love, love the somber and mellow landscape, the lazy b'jours of the people, and the quiet feeling of walking down an endless road that seems almost handmade in its meandering path, surrounded by wetly bright green meadows. If I painted a picture of my inner character, the part of me that loves to ponder and say nothing, Belgium is me.  

What do you love about where you live now?
I am in my own home (well, apartment, but it counts). I love that my home reflects my desire to create an orderly environment where the Spirit is felt and where there is kindness. Beyond my home, I love that we live close to a lot of "things to do" or "places to go." We are friends with our neighbors, we live across the street from the church. There's more opportunity to be social than I've felt existed before, and it seems perfect for our stage of life. Oh, plus, I love that I have learned how to navigate really well. I don't really get lost--makes me feel powerful. :)

Tell us about your family (your kids, spouses, people who make your life joyous and full, people you are happy to be surrounded by....)
Michael and I met the "traditional" Mormon way: at BYU-I, in class. But we're cool and different, I promise. ;) We met because I needed a ride, and a guy friend of mine, eager to help me, found me a ride with Michael. Goodbye, eager friend! Thank you forever! It's a delightfully long story, actually...
Michael is getting his Masters in composition at BYU now. He has no shortage of original ideas, and his professors have great expectations of him. We have a son we call Ender, who is almost 3. Ender is a witty little boy-- he loves to make us laugh, and he does it often. One of my favorite characteristics to observe in him is that he loves order and obedience. Ender tries to obey us even when it is really, really hard for him. You can see the struggle on his face. But it's important to him and always has been. He loves to clean his room and line his toys up-- he feels a little bit miffed when things are untidy. He's a good helper. I'm so glad, too, because I know I'll need his help more than ever when we have another baby this summer! Hooray! The name's picked out already: Austuvious Galnutt Wourmberg Derdills Wahlquist XVI. (I know we do not indeed have 15 preceding Austuviouses, but the XVI looks so cool, don't you think?)

What does your dream home look like?
My dreamhouse is always evolving, but it will be a beautiful one that Michael and I will build, and it will be a place where kids can play and easily feed their imagination, music will be a big part of everything, beautiful gardens will surround the house, and delicious food will fill the kitchen. I have already put a lot of love into the dreamhouse.

Do you have pets? Tell us about them, and maybe briefly share a memory of one of the pets we had as a family.
I do not have pets. I'd love to have a couple kittens. Hey, who knows? Maybe this pregnancy will surprise us! HAHAHA! Just kidding... I loved my kitty Nigel. I even call Ender by that name sometimes! :| Oops... Anyway, Nigel was so weird! I loved it! He had the chortliest meows and the babyest face. Sometimes he was maybe a little annoying, but never in a bad way. Just when I had to go the bathroom, and he'd stand in the doorway looking at me like he was waiting for permission to come in so he could drink water from the tap. Sheesh. YES, come in, NOW. Weirdo. But! I love this sneaky memory of our cat Spiffy: one day, well, one of the many days that I felt scissor-happy (by the way, I was probably 5 or something), I decided that Spiffy didn't really need such long whiskers. I thought they should line up nicely instead of stick out all funny. So I wrestled her to the ground and snipped a side. She got away before I could finish the haircut. And Mom came to me later, saying quite suspiciously, "Qait...did you cut Spiffy's whiskers?" I said "No! I noticed they look funny, though, don't they? Maybe they grew in funny this time..." (Mm-hm, not fooling anyone)

What do you like to create? What makes you feel most create-ive?
Well, I love to draw something from an original and funny idea. Doodling is really satisfying in that way. But I also take great pleasure in cooking meals very well. I love to bake and cook, and I even like to experiment with either inventing recipes or finding out what makes a recipe better. I enjoy doing different "looks" with my makeup, as if my face is a canvas ready for painting (it's really one big reason I enjoy makeup, rather than for the sake of covering my face or something). I love thinking of fun ways to play with Ender. That always leaves me feeling invigorated and brilliant.  

What do you love to eat?
Hah. Right now? Food is kind of stupid because I need it all the time. But that's okay, I won't complain. When I'm more my normal self, I first of all love the act of eating. It's very comforting, almost regardless of the food. I suppose I have favorites, though! I love to eat chocolate ice cream, popcorn, or Italian food. Or...chips. Or fruit, mmmm. And it's always better with a good book. Besides all of that, though, I really love to eat a good meal that I've prepared. That's a very good feeling, most especially when I'm sharing the meal with family or friends (I guess because I'm proud of it...) 

What is your favorite thing about where you are right now? (This can be Where You Are as in the state or city you're in, or Where You Are as in what your life is like, etc...)
Since I talked about where I am locally already, I'll talk about ... spiritually, more like. I am so happy. I feel like I'm in a time where my growth is constant, or at least consistent. I love the feeling of progress. I feel very forgiving of my faults, and I feel very encouraged by friends and family...I feel very confident with who I am, even with the humility of realizing I've got far to go. This feeling, of not being consumed with ME, is very ...peaceful, relaxing. I feel like I have the mental space to care for Michael and Ender better than before.  

One last thing: We (the readers) want to know how your name came to be spelled the way it is! (Q-a-i-t, instead of K-a-t-e) When I was 13, I went through a variety of spellings...some were definitely inadvisable. Maddie's favorite to tease me about is "Keyte." She called me Keet for about a week or two...or three...
But during the month or so that I played around with the spelling, it was to have fun with it. I like wordplay, and I liked the idea of seeing how many ways I could logically spell my name. I didn't feel an identity crisis, that wasn't it. I honestly love my full name (and my mom's only request was that I not try to reinvent my full name's spelling, which was perfectly fine with me. I really was just aiming for a twist on my nickname).
I'd been emailing my brother Isaac pretty regularly (like I do now, actually), and I had signed my emails with a new spelling each time. Then one day, he emailed me with his own spelling: QAIT.
And I LOVED it! It's so fun to me that I've kept it up since then! And "Q" has become an affectionate nickname for me that I feel fits me really well somehow.

1 comment:

Christy said...

I LOVE that you're doing these. It's so fun to get to know the grown up versions of the family I love!