Thursday, September 23, 2010


Stress release is going on at my other blog today. Hear me roar.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Back to School

How is it possible that it's that time again?

You can feel it in the air -- the cooling crispness, the excitement in the kids' faces, the buzzy hubbub at the stores. (I thought I had it all ready -- but, alas, I still ended up with a last-minute trip to the dollar store tonight.)

This summer has in some ways been personally very difficult, but all I really remember is that it was fun. And I think this post by my friend Julie sums it up very well:

“The adventure [summer] is over.  Everything gets over, and nothing is ever enough.  Except the part you carry with you.  It’s the same as going on a vacation. Some people spend all their time on a vacation taking pictures so that when they get home they can show their friends evidence that they had a good time. They don’t pause to let the vacation enter inside of them and take that home.”
E.L. Konigsburg, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
I welcomed my summer inside of me.  I made real clicks and heart clicks over and over to preserve the vibrancy and action and emotions; the people, the places, the feelings.

Most of my favorite childhood memories were just the times of pure play. I have many photos in my mind and heart of watching my children be children this summer, playing until way past sunset (oh, boy, are we having a hard time readjusting to a sleep schedule). My inability to be all over the place has in some ways been a real blessing. We did have some outings and a vacation, but mostly, we had a lazy summer here at home. Ahhhhh.

I'm more than a little sad to see summer end. But I'm excited for my children in their excitement. As we went to the back-to-school open house, it was fun to watch my children scurrying around the school visiting former teachers, walking around the grounds surrounded by their respective friends -- content (close to giddy, actually), ready to be getting back into the swing of things.

In their prayers as of late, they sometimes say, "Please bless Mom that she won't be too lonely while we're gone."

I will miss them, that's for sure. But at the same time, I LOVE watching them grow. I love who they are becoming. Mothering just keeps getting more and more fun, and more and more rewarding.

All sorts of sighs, for all sorts of reasons.

Monday, August 23, 2010

When a BYU Education Week Financial Class Becomes a Miracle

"But I don't want to end my Education Week experience with a class on finances," I argued silently.

I figured it was probably my overactive brain talking anyway, so I marched away from 446 MARB toward the Jesse Knight building without thinking much of it.

Until I had gotten settled in the next class.

I had picked a nice seat, way in the back, where I could juice up my laptop and convince myself that I could find the information from the finance class online. With no internet signal available in this particular room, that approach failed. I couldn't dismiss the nagging feeling I had that maybe I needed to go to that finance class. I was not happy.

As the nice host gave his usual schpeel about moving in toward the center so the latecomers would have a place to sit (this brother's class filled up every night -- he was good), I realized it was now or never. I walked past the instructor apologetically and marched back out into the gorgeous evening.

Right back to 446 MARB. (Ha. Joke's on me. Chalk it up to exercise for the day.)

After sitting for ten minutes, I thought of leaving. After all, I got the handout when I walked in. My stomach was in knots; I couldn't help but wonder what I was missing in the other class (and I've been known to split time between classes when I've been conflicted about which to attend).

But I held on, looking for something perhaps that could give me some reason as to why I felt pressed to come.

I learned a couple of cool things, got information about a great budgeting spreadsheet (you should check it out -- it's a Dave Ramsey special), and felt overall that it was a good class. I figured I'd leave and share the spreadsheet and hope someone could be helped by it.

But as the class ended, I looked over and saw a woman who looked familiar. I did a double-take (or two) and decided I'd take the chance that she was who I thought she was. (I even had a name come to mind.)

She was, indeed...someone from my high school days. Someone I'd never talked to, mind you. Someone who had actually moved away during our high school years.

But we proceeded to chat, and the chatting turned into a heart-to-heart conversation that lasted, er, well, a long time.

Oh, OK, I'll tell you. It lasted four and a half hours. It was as though we'd been friend a long time. (Bonus: We saw seven deer cross the parking lot and street while we talked in her car.)

Interestingly enough, she had planned on going home before this class, but a few things happened and she stayed.

The experience left us both in awe and feeling the Spirit from all that we had explored together. It was amazing.

I really need to learn not to argue with that "voice in my head." I'm glad ultimately He won out.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I can tell when I'm not feeling good because I tend to slog and blog more. I haven't been doing my typical blogging and commenting for a while, but I've slipped back into it. And I at once hate it because it's indicative of my current state and I feel like a flake. But also in a way enjoy it because I really do enjoy chewing on ideas. And sometimes something of this speed (as in sit and think and that's it) is all I have energy for.

Blech. Chronic illness is hard. Is that just a whine? Maybe, but sometimes I just have to say it anyway.

That's all for today.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


When I was in college, jogging was pretty much everything to me. It was my sanity, my health, my connection with heaven (I used the time to pray and ponder), my stress release, my time outside. My so much. The worst thing I could think of happening was to blow out a knee or something and not be able to run.

I haven't run since my first pregnancy. Three children in three years pretty much was worse to my running career than a blown knee would have been. Add to three children the two bulging discs in my neck and I'm just never again going to be a runner.

And you know what? I'm ok. I miss it, and I was in much better shape back then, but it wasn't the end of the world.

You can probably tell from my blog that I loooooove tennis. I was raised with a tennis racket in my hand. I played tennis in high school. My first date with hubby was on the tennis court. (My first kiss as a teen was on a tennis court, but I digress cuz that just popped into my head and I found it funnily fitting.) Our summer family time has been spent largely on the tennis court.

And it was just suggested to me last night by my physical therapist cousin that when it comes to taking care of my messed-up neck, even running would be better than tennis.


I felt kinda sad last night as I thought about the possibility of having to give up tennis to preserve my body.

My husband's compassionate response was:

"Well, at least you can still play tiddly winks."

Ah, yes, the options are still so broad and exciting.

(But he is funny. He makes me laugh every day.)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

More Summer Snippets

I'd dare say this may be one of my favoritest summers as a mom. Maybe it's because I have dropped some measure of the problem of trying to measure my mothering "success" which has often translated into nothing but unmet expectations and frustration/depression. I'm just trying to enjoy each day, go with the flow a bit (including cutting myself slack for what I can't do, like do mornings), and keep our schedule as simple as possible.

Here are a few more snapshots of our summer:

Today, I had one of those rare scheduled meetings. I got a somewhat frantic call from #3 saying a glass plate had broken. "Just stay out of the kitchen," I said. "I'll clean it up when I get home."

"No," she said. "It was in the microwave!"

Note to self (and to you): If Corelle gets hot enough, it can explode.

- - -

After a day of errands, #1 says to me, "Mom, just so you know, those are the pants that have the hole in them." Let's just say the hole wasn't in the knee. (I'd checked for a hole there, but not there.) Yeah, well, I'm getting better at laughing at myself. Or with myself. Or with my kids as they laugh at me. Or with me.


Tennis. And more tennis. I can't run very fast with neck and head issues, but I can still get some good swings in there. I love making hubby run a little. ;)

This activity has been a great way to end the day spending time as a family. The kids seem to be enjoying it.


Too many late nights. And too many times of saying, "Tonight we'll get the kids to bed earlier." It's just too fun to soak up all the daylight having fun.


A couple of middle-of-the-night moments with #2, reading until she gets tired to go back to sleep.


Watching #1 do some serious housework in three days -- voluntarily. He was working to earn money to pay for half a Kindle. I'm such a stingy mom when it comes to trendy technology and schtuff like that. But this purchase made sense for my little man. He reads like crazy and this saves us space and I think my favorite part of all of this (besides him taking initiative and working like a madman to earn money) is that he's going for free books right now (I think he's downloaded 70 or so), which means that he's reading classics that he might not have read otherwise. He does his scripture reading on his Kindle, too, which is fun.

It's also been a great experience, I think, for him and his sisters to see that efforts to build trust with Mom and Dad can have dividends. Because he has been trustworthy with certain things, he has the privilege of having this cool tool.


For our holiday this past Monday, in one of those spur-of-the-moment moments, we decided to go to a 'fun center' with mini golf, arcade, batting cages, and go carts. Our children ended up cleaning house on 'tickets' on one of the games in the arcade. It was almost embarrassing. Their reflexes were lightning fast and twice, two of them hit the 'bonus' on the spinning lights game and earned over 500 tickets.

Needless to say, I didn't have any takers for a round of mini golf. Once we did go-carts, the arcade was the focus of their time. Next time, I'll probably make them spread their time out a little more, but it was fun. 

We came home and I made a quick red, white, and blue dinner (pizza bagels (red sauce and white cheese), garlic toast with blue garlic butter, berry smoothie parfaits with tinted plain yogurt). My kids think I'm a little weird, but it was fun. (And did I mention quick?)


I think one of my fave things is just watching my kids play. Most of my greatest childhood memories are simply of enjoying childhood in play. We live in a great neighborhood with lots of children around, and I love the happy chatter, especially when they are playing outside, creating worlds of their own, playing outdoor games like kick the can (seriously one of the greatest games ever invented), having water fights, playing at the park.

I'm wondering how on earth I'm going to want them to start school again. I suppose they might get bored eventually and I might be ready then, but golly gee, I love having them home. And I love the lack of structure. I know such lack of structure drives some people crazy, but there you go. Just another evidence, perhaps, of the fact that I'm a little weird. ;)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Savoring Summer

I can feel it -- it's going to go too fast. It's already going too fast. But I'm just trying to enjoy it. Something has clicked in me this year. It's only taken me eleven years, but I'm doing better this year than ever before at detaching from "my" stuff to play more with my kids. I'm a slow learner, I know. But it has given me hope that maybe I can get even better over the next eleven years in savoring the time I have with them while they are still under our roof.

So, if the whole get-on-the-floor-and-play-with-your-kids thing doesn't come naturally for you, either, I hope this can give you hope, too. ;)

Here are some of my favorite memories so far.

- The end-of-school party with #3 and her friends. (#1 and #2 were on a trip.)

- Sitting on the grass in the cool evening, cuddled on a blanket, reading. (We did that again tonight.) I love to close my eyes and listen to the birds and the breeze.

- Sitting around the table, or on the couch, or on the bed, laughing together. We tend to get a little silly around here.

- Going to a movie with #1 and #2 while #3 was on a trip with her dad. What made the memory fun was that I forgot my wallet, but #2 just happened to have hers, so she paid. (She also paid for the new shoes we got after the movie -- I'd forgotten that my wallet was MIA.) It was funny to watch her count out her money to bail out her mom's spaciness. I played it up a little, too, clinging to her and begging as we walked to the cash register: "Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze will you buy it for me? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze?"

- Spending time with my girls sewing princess dresses. I'm not a seamstress at all, but they and their cousins came up with a new imaginary game and they wanted to make dresses. I figured it was a chance to try to teach them some basics while we spent some time together. (It was fun until I tried to tackle sleeves last night. Uh, ugh. Yeah, I guess they aren't the only ones learning. Ahem.)

- Playing tennis with my fam at sunset.

- Introducing the children to Icees (cheap treat -- a buck each at BK). (One child noted, quite astutely, that the first bite tasted like medicine but then it tastes good. Artificial schtuff doesn't taste as good as it did when I was a kid, that's for sure.)

- Family parties with out-of-town siblings in town!

- Surprising hubby with an amazing collage of photos of the kidlets for Father's Day. We had so much fun sneaking around, keeping that a secret. I have to say that I am regretting my no-photos-of-children policy about now. They are sooooooooooooooooo cute. (I'm such a mushy mom. I cried when I gave it to him.)

(Does anyone else struggle not to feel like they simply can't NOT use a photo from a photo shoot? Sheesh, these companies are smart. That free 8x10 sure ended up costing us, er, more than $0. Now we know why I don't do professional photos very often. But hello? Who's going to pay $120 for a digital copy of four photos?)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Life is Uncertain. Carry a Leash.

We both noticed the dog at the same moment as we pulled into our driveway. I think the same thing was going through our minds, too. "Who's dog is that?" with a simultaneous "I hope it doesn't poop on our lawn!"

(We don't have a dog for a reason. For THAT reason. I paid my poop dues with diapers, thankyouverymuch.)

It was clear that this dog had no other place it wanted to go. She looked at us, wagging her tail in anticipation of our exit from our vehicle. She even sat, patiently, while we sat in the car, giggling at the playfulness on her face and being able to easily see where this was going.

Sure enough, when hubby opened the door of the car, she was by his side in a matter of a second or two.
(All I could think about was how we inherited a cat when I was a kid, all by being too nice to it.)

I noticed the dog had a tag. Hubby called both numbers. No dice. The address put her as being well over two dozen blocks away from her home, if that was, indeed, her home.

There was only one way to find out. I wasn't about to leave the dog to wander off and get lost (or to poop on my lawn, thankyouverymuch). She was awfully cute, after all. (Were I to ever get a dog, I'd like one like this one.)

I called her to me and led her to the car. (Hubby's car, of course. Less cubic footage in which potential dog damage could be done. He wasn't so sure he liked that idea.)

Let me just tell you that that two dozen+ blocks was quite the adventure. She was all over the place -- on my lap, on the seat, licking my face, bumping her head on the windshield, sticking her head out the window.

As she whimpered, I worried. Is she trained? Am I going to regret not bringing a towel? Am I going to get a ticket for driving a bit like a drunk person as this animal was jumping all over me?

I was relieved to get to the address on the tag, although by this time I was beginning to wonder if I'd really made a mistake by bringing her.

I knocked. Again, no dice, although there was clearly another animal inside. Right after I decided I needed to let her down to, er, take a break in the grassy area between apartment buildings, a man came out with his three chihuahuas. Grrrrrrrrrr. Little dogs were growling and snipping and pouncing, and I was panicking. "I'm sorry," I explained. "This isn't my dog...I'm trying to find the owner." Fortunately, his dogs were on a leash and he did all he could to reign them in so he could take them in.

By this time, the dog had turned the corner on the neighboring building. I had visions of trying to explain to the owners that I had found and then promptly lost their dog....

"Can you help me get that dog?" I cried out to a tenant of that building, explaining again the fact that she wasn't mine.

"Do you need a leash?" I felt like I could have cried with gratitude.

Long story short...I finally found a neighbor home, who agreed to keep the dog and put a note on the owner's door.

By the time I got home, the owner had called my hubby's cell phone back. And I had the humorous experience of telling the tale to my neighbors. As it turned out, the suspicion that crept into my head as I drove to the apartments was true...

...It was my neighbor's son's dog who had gotten out while they were at dinner.

(Well, at least they know I care, right?)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Stop the race! I want to get off the track!

We usually talk about the rat race in terms of business or the crazy, money-making world out there.

But gollygeewhittakers [or is it willakers?], it actually really frustratingly (adverb attack was annoyingly deliberate; I'm feeling off tonite) creeps into the realm of motherhood. AND I HATE IT.

I know in my heart of hearts that motherhood is not a good place to be playing comparison games, but sheesh. Try telling that to my brain.

And then summer adds a whole new dimension, because now children are home! Now is when you really show your momma stuff! (Maybe summer is a good time to avoid reading others' blogs. When you sleep half your day away, you're not going to be able to pull off much of that Fun Momma Stuff. Meh.)

I have to keep reminding myself that there is more to my mothering than just how Fun I may (or may not) be. And I'm not knocking Fun, either. I just need to figure out how not to care so much about what I can't do (or even just what I'm not doing) and just let myself be me and let our life be what it is. To figure out what for me, for us, is good (best?) and right.

As I talked to a friend about this today, a thought I had is that learning to discern what is right for your particular situation is a key part of the journey. And trying to sort through that in the role of mother is some serious soul work.

Just more evidence that motherhood isn't just about the growth of the children.


 ˙ʍou uǝbʎxo ןɐnʇıɹıds ǝɯos ɟןǝsʎɯ buıʌıb :ʇdıɹɔsʇsod*

Friday, June 4, 2010

Spring Perfection

It was a simply stunning evening tonite. The clouds went on to the edge of the horizon in a beautiful pattern of puffs. The wind came in gusts strong enough to keep tennis balls rolling in perpetual motion on the court, but not so strong that we couldn't enjoy some great volleys.

I haven't been on a court for probably a year, and didn't realize how much I missed it until I was out there.Wow, I love that sport.

And headache notwithstanding, it was as if a bit of life was breathed into me by that wind. I couldn't resist just stopping occasionally to breathe in the marvelous spring air. I even did a few slow twirls, with my arms fully extended, Julie Andrews style.

For me, I dare say there is nothing better than a gorgeous spring evening, the chance to play tennis, and priceless time with my precious family.

It was the picture of perfection. Too bad I didn't have my camera.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

End of School Reflections (Ramblings?): Motherhood, Growth, the Atonement....

I really can't believe it's the end of another school year.

I measure my kids' growth not by birthdays, but by their progression in school, so this time of year is always a bittersweet time for me. I am so proud of them and the people they are becoming. By the end of the year, I'm so ready for them to be home and to have a break from the routine of homework and all.

But it's also a time when I come face-to-face with how fast they are growing. It's so cliché, that phrase, "They grow up so fast." But it's so. true.

Sometimes the reality of that cliché nearly takes my breath away. Sometimes it comes close to making me sick to my stomach, actually.

My children are close in age (all born within three years of each other). I love it. They are such good friends. Since we haven't been able to have more children due to my health, I try to just enjoy the unique fact that our children are all pretty close to the same stage of life, so that makes family activities really fun.

But guess what else it means? The empty nest thing will not be gradual. Even as I can't wait to see how they will continue in their path to becoming their own people (it's so fun watching them grow!), another part of me wants to scream: STOP! Slow down!

Each year, I think I savor, value, appreciate, understand motherhood more. While I know I still have lots of room to grow, I have been doing this long enough to see that there has been progress in my personal journey. I get it more and more. I'm less and less threatened by talks about the ideals surrounding motherhood, because I see that it's all a process, and the ideals are essential in the process. And anger at the ideals distract us from the real work and give the adversary power.

The Atonement works, people. It really does. And wow, if there is ever a place where the Atonement is needed, it's in the realm of parenthood. Growth is sometimes so imperceptible -- sometimes so much so that it makes me crazy -- but it is real. Grace is real. Walking by faith bears fruit.

Being a stay-at-home mom for me has been in large measure an act of faith. I am grateful I have the choice to do that, and realize not all women do have that choice. But you need to know that it's not necessarily been the natural choice for me.

But there is lots about seeking to be a follower of Christ that isn't natural. It's a process to learn to become like God. Just because we have a divine heritage and birthright, just because seeds of godliness are within us (and that is truth), doesn't mean that everything divine will come without effort and sacrifice. I think we sometimes forget that. I think women in particular forget that.

More and more, what motherhood means to me is finding more of the divine within me through obedience and sacrifice. No, better said, it's having God reveal more and more of the divine within me -- and in this role -- through His grace.

And every year, at the end of school, I get to reflect on all of that. It both pains me to realize how fast they are growing and how much I still need to grow, and also excites me to see how we are all growing up together.

I love being a mother.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Migraine Madness

Migraines make me feel a little crazy. Like maybe I'm going to lose it.

But I realized tonite that I tend to pray more when I have migraines, or at least think about praying.

It's pathetic, but true. 

I'm trying to be positive here. There has to be a silver lining in the pain, right?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Garage Sale = Miracles

It started off as a lousy day, really. I had a hard time falling asleep (above and beyond the usual -- I didn't drift off until the sun had awakened. Zonk.)

When I woke up a few hours later, I knew I couldn't help with the garage sale. I needed sleep...again above and beyond my usual needs; I was still dealing with the remnants of the icky sinus/bronchial infection I'd had. And so, for the second week in a row, I wasn't going to be there with my kids, helping with their fundraiser.

As usual, my husband was kind and supportive. "Don't you worry about it. You get back to sleep."

I woke up after the 2 p.m. finish time. I was curious to see how they did, so I went over to the neighbor's garage. (Oh, my neighbor. She's one of my living angels. Seriously. I'll need to write more about her sometime.)

My mind immediately started thinking about trying to sell some of the stuff on Craigslist or something. That futon would likely make someone happy -- I mean, it seemed to me to be a steal at $25.

And then I thought, "Hmmmmm. Maybe we could buy it." Wheels started turning.

Long story short, with the help of home teacher and a family friend, we miraculously got it down our bendy staircase. We put it in what had been a craft room for the kids and created a bedroom for #1. He is more than thrilled.

That means #2 and #3 also have their own bedrooms now, too.

(And so does dh. Due to my major sleeping and health issues and his major snoring issues, we don't sleep in the same space. Sad, but true. For the past several years, he's been sharing a room with #1. Now he's got his own space downstairs. He's by ds, so I can worry less. ds still has a parent close. And dh is pretty happy to have a place (old craft table now in the middle of the not-huge room) to spread out all his books. Which means they aren't on the kitchen table anymore. Ahem.) 

Anyway, I could never have imagined what this would do for our family and for my mothering, but I feel God knew. He knew what I needed and what they needed. (And He was so frugal about it, which makes me nearly giddy and, of course, deeply grateful.)

I feel He has helped compensate for things I cannot do very well as a mom, such as teaching them in focused ways how to clean and organize. I have felt much guilt about my weakness in this area, which is only compounded exponentially by the chronic illness issues which have plagued me for years. I can't fully capture here what it has felt like to watch my children suddenly have a stewardship, a place to order and organize and call their own, but it has been a spiritual thing to see something beyond myself happening. Divine intervention came in a wholly unexpected way, compensating for my mortal weakness in this role that matters so much (and where my weakness pains me so much).

Things just clicked. Without being able to anticipate this happening, each child now has a desk (I dare say homework has been more fun for them the past few days) and a CD player (one of those was also a garage sale find, one was a Christmas present from grandparents, one had already been in the girls' room). Should I confess that neither dh nor I knew that #1 loves classical music? He's been listening to it pretty much nonstop when in his room. He's never listened to it before. I have always hoped my children would resonate with uplifting music. Now they each have the means to do that in their own way, without having to answer to a sibling. (Having children so close together is such a blessing, but does have its challenges, and this has really helped with many of those. Just like that.)

Another tender mercy element of this that I'll capture here corresponds to recent inspiration (you know it's inspiration when it just works) to have #3 get herself to bed earlier than the other two (bedtime has been another challenge with three so close together). Now there is no need for #2 to tiptoe in or sleep on the floor in "the boys'" room.

And now, every night, my favorite ritual has even more meaning because it's truly one-on-one. I get to tuck them in and cuddle and chat in more personal ways, in their own little world. They are at an age where that personal space really means something, and being allowed in that space to help them end their day is sacred time to me.

As I stood in my kitchen eating a midnight snack tonite, I saw this on my pantry door, and it really says it all.

Believe it. Look for it. See it. And be amazed.

I sure am.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

We woke up to the newness of all the rearranging we had done the night before. That will be a post for another day, but it was quite a day yesterday...a sort of fun springboard to a good day today, late night notwithstanding.

My family had set out their gifts on the table, and my daughter included the pipe cleaner flowers she had made a few days ago. I was touched that in all the craziness (and I'm talking CRAZINESS) of the day yesterday, he thought to get a couple of gifts...some favorites, including chocolate covered raisins (one of the few things these days that really tests my willpower) and a bookstore gift certificate. (I may like that even more than chocolate.)

Church was delightful. I have more thoughts on the many scriptural insights into motherhood, but that will be another post, too.

Then we had a great time gathering with my family. My brother-in-law found an email from four years ago where we shared some of our favorites -- and he made the dinner with something from each of the emails of the women there. The main course included a little something for everyone, and then he laid things in front of us as we ate (a grapefruit for my sister, chocolate for me). And then there was dessert (yes, more chocolate).  It was all delicious and a lot of fun.

We enjoyed watching the cousins play and just sitting around chatting about lots of things, from politics to books to old friends to the strangeness of getting older when you don't really feel older.

It was just a delightful day. How was your day?

p.s. I have more thoughts about Mother's Day, and yes, you guessed it, that's for another post. But this one has been written. (Whether that's good or bad is up to you to decide. Or not. There's are reasons I have two blogs, and one is that I know not everyone will want to read such things. And that's ok.)

Friday, April 30, 2010

My week at a glance

As mentioned previously, I'm grateful for 24-hour pharmacies. (Extra points if you can figure out what book I took with me.)

This is my daughter's photo shared in a slideshow of student photos - a class project sponsored by a local photographer. (Had fun absorbing the photo tips myself.)

I love our fish. We recently got new ones, including "Little Leppy" next to "Leppy" -- short for leopard, since their coloring looks leopardish.

This picture came just a few days before we realized that our two goldfish were very sick. Did you know that when you get new fish, you aren't supposed to dump in the water from the store? I hate learning things the hard way. Now our whole tank is infected. Bleh. It was interesting to realize tonite how much the tank is usually a source of peace and tranquility for me. Not so much this week. 

I will just say that I'm proud of myself. I didn't lose it. Just took a deep breath and asked my husband to get the camera. It splashed as far up as the counter, over to the fridge and dishwasher. But the floor is clean, now, probably cleaner than it's been in a while!

I was excited to pick up this piece of furniture that I helped the furniture guy design. We are thrilled with it.

Not so thrilled with the fact that we can't yet put away winter coats, cuz, yeah, we still are getting snow around here.

Went to a couple of classes at Women's Conference. Awesome. More to come on some of my reflections, probably on my other blog.

Didn't get pictures of the funeral of my friend, or the garage sale preparations, but those have been big things this week, too. (Very big, actually.) And, I'm adding that I wish I had a picture of the pickup truck I FILLED with stuff for the dump. Losing that kind of weight is exciting in its own right.

What's your week been like?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

On love and loss

Although they are bittersweet, funerals are, I think, important events -- a way to honor the one who has died, a way to get some closure, a way to support the loved ones in their grief. 

I got to know more about my friend, Sharee, today. We smiled (and laughed) as some of her children shared little things about her -- her love of sports cars and of driving fast, the long receipts from shopping trips as she spoiled her loved ones ("If you like a shirt in black, you ought to have it in all the colors of the rainbow"). We wept as we remembered her kind, courageous, loving, faithful ways.

Sharee was my visiting teaching companion for over a year and a half. I feel blessed that I had such an opportunity to serve with and get to know her. Truth be told, I think she served me more than anyone in our association as companions...she was there during some rough times in my life. I have precious memories of sitting in her car for hours after a visiting teaching appointment. We had some long phone conversations, too.

As I drove my children home from the funeral today, my youngest couldn't hold back the tears. (Sharee and she had quite a close relationship.) I shared with my children a quote from Elder Russell M. Nelson that has gone through my mind a lot these past weeks:

The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life.

This quote was shared at my grandma's funeral; it stuck with me and somehow gave me permission to grieve when my grandpa died two years later. The feeling I had was, "Bring it on!" -- let the grief come, I said to myself; it only matched the love I felt.

And so, we grieve, hard, today. Because we love Sharee deeply.

Rest in peace, friend...until we meet again.

Some people come into our lives
and quickly go.
Some stay for awhile
and leave footprints
in our hearts
And we
are never the same.
(printed on the back of her funeral program)

Monday, April 26, 2010

I. Love. Spring.

That's all.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Maybe I'm not a wimp. Maybe I am just really sick.

But after 12 hours with antibiotics in me, I'm back to being able to fake my way through much of the day.

I'm grateful for modern medicine. And for 24-hour pharmacies. And for the little mid-night thought that helped me remember that our local 24-hour pharmacy was actually Walgreen's, not Rite Aid.

Sometimes I feel like a wimp

I am sick. Again. And guess what? I cried in the doctor's office. I cried on the way to the pharmacy at midnight. I'm a mom. I should be strong and brave. But it's the middle of the night, and I am sure not feeling brave or strong. I'm feeling like I want to curl up in a ball and be mothered.

For someone who deals with chronic illness, I'm not a very good sick person.


About this site

When I was a teen, I read a couple of books that had two separate but interconnected halves. One half of the book was full of challenges for the reader to try, and then if you literally flipped the book upside down, the other half presented promises for taking on the challenges.

˙sıɥʇ ǝʞıן 'uʍop ǝpısdn pǝɹɐǝddɐ sǝsıɯoɹd ǝɥʇ

I'm going to do something a little like that with my two new blogs. This blog will be a place where I sort through and share some of the schtuff of life -- the hard, the awesome, the tedious, the funny, the crazy, the baffling, the frustrating, the amazing. 

And then sometimes, I'll link to my other blog, which includes reflections on the truths that keep me going and bring meaning to my life.

I'll spare you the upside-down text. Maybe.

I hope this can give some context to why the gospel of Jesus Christ means so much to me. I also hope to have some fun along the way.