Sunday, May 30, 2010

My Testimony

As I drove home today I pondered the experiences from the past weeks. I pondered Travis's coworker, whose baby was born with a heart problem and rushed to another hospital for surgery. I reflected on our friend's daughter, 11, who was in a bike/car accident and ended up at Hershey Medical Center for multiple injuries and many days of medically induced coma to relax her and allow for brain swelling to go down. I smiled tearfully at the thought of my brother recently diagnosed with a fatal cancer rubbing Kody for a whole hour during church today putting him into a relaxed and cuddly state of calmness. I questioned the second miscarriage of my sister-in-law who wants nothing more than to have one more child. I felt peace at the beautiful funeral of my sweet grandma who no longer is faced with the infirmities of her mortal body. I choked up as I watched a tender moment between a father and his daughter and I felt sad that I will never know that kind of love or father/daughter relationship. I alternately laughed and mourned with my good friends who are moving shortly as they bestowed many generous gifts to me that they didn't want to move with them. And I wept openly as I heard a good friend and father figure leave a solemn testimony of the Savior's life and death for all of us.

And the words have come to me quickly and repeatedly throughout the afternoon "He is the way." I hurry to the Internet to track down the song filling my mind with peace.

And after hearing it in my mind many times and buying the sheet music, I testify that I know that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father are over all. That their power and glory reign supreme and with perfection. That although I may not understand everything they do and I may not have all the information that my faith in them is so strong and pure that I submit my will and my life to them. And I accept my sadness, worry, and loss for the moment and then I change it all to faith, hope, and joy because through them all will be made right. Someday when we move past this Earthly existence we will stand before the Lord again and his love will be sufficient and his sacrifice more powerful than all the pain, injury, and mortality that this life offers. I know that his life, his atonement was made for me and that "he is the way".

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Heavy Blanket

Some things about living in PA still surprise me. Yesterday I woke up almost suffocating under a heavy blanket. The weather is a decently cool probably low sixties, but that doesn't mean the humidity isn't out in full force.
I forgot the palpable feel of water saturating the air.
I forgot the feeling of it on your skin feeling like you are on the verge of sweating droplets although you are not warm at all.
It's crazy to think that the air can hold that much water, to think that the skin and nerve endings can so acutely pick up on the water in the air, and to think that the west and people who live there have no idea about the shear intensity of this phenomenon.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


(My Mom-Nancy, Grandma-Anna, and Sister-Luann)
Memories flood me as I ponder the passing of my Grandma. I remember cousin sleepovers at her house, especially when my cousins from Indiana would come visit.

I remember her teaching me my very favorite childhood game of "Big, Bad, Wolf" which at a later date I dislocated my jaw while playing.

I see in my mind's eye a picture that was on her refridgerator for many years that I had drawn for her as a child. She always encouraged my drawing even when I was no good and she was so naturally talented at it.

I have a crocheted quilt she gave me that I look at totally different now.

Rummikub, Scrabble, Uno, and hundreds of other games I learned while playing with her on summer visits.

I watched her do word finds and crossword puzzles that peaked my curiosity for words.

I remember my sister and I while having an extended visit trying to prevent my Grandma from watching her beloved daytime shows, because our mom had taught us they were bad and so we wanted to "save" our Grandma.

I remember a couple of times her being our caretaker when my parents went out of town, one specific time when I hid her crochet needles so that she would play with me.

There is a sharp curve on a road nearby my house with a steep embankment on the one side that I can't drive by without remembering the time I was in my Grandma's car and she underestimated the intensity of the curve only to bump us all into the embankment and bounce back onto the road with a sigh of near miss and a chuckle.

I remember that everytime we visited she would make my very favorite dessert of fruited jello and she would add whip cream to make it special.

I remember loving my Grandma, and missing her while she was still alive but limited in her mental acuity to recognize me.

And I know that I'll be with her again someday. And she will be restored again to the loving, vibrant woman who affectionately called me ketchup eyes when I cried as a small child as she lifted me in her lap to whisper that all would be okay. I will miss her in the upcoming years, and I am saddened that my kids will never really have known her, but I feel lucky to have these memories to pass along to them.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Getting All Caught Up

With a pretty long and intense past two weeks I missed some major blogging highlights. Here is getting caught up. We had my brother's kids spend the night last weekend. We took them all to a baseball game. It was fun and crazy. We did get grass seats so they could run wild. And the game ended with the first fireworks of the season. Yeah I love fireworks.
And Issac, true to his nature, decided to take on a bench with his eye. The bench won. And so liquid stitches was in order, but since this is a frequent thing, we have gotten to the point where we do it ourselves with superglue. This boy has more scars than most, but I enjoy his tenacity. The boy has spirit and I can appreciate that!And we had a bridal shower for my baby brother's wife to be, Adriane. Her family is so great and we had so much fun.

Photo Friday

On Wyatt's Kindergarten fieldtrip, yesterday, to Lake Tobias my little group stumbled onto this.

The one boy asked, "What are they doing?" I responded "I don't know." After a bit another older group of boys, middle schoolish, comes over and one says "Look they are mating." To which the same little boy asks me, "What does mating mean?" to which I reply, "I don't know."

I know this was probably the wrong answer, but what was the right answer, these are 5 and 6 year olds.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tiny Fissures Lead to Big Breaks

This narrative is yesterdays:

It was proving to be a rough day. I was overwhelmed by the acknowledgement that I have too many fair weather friends, a major disappointment from my mom, and the continuous meltdown and misbehaving of my two littlest boys, my youngest being in that terrible stage of two. My neighbor and good friend had watched me cry openly and hugged me of all things - something I am not good at but needed- and it made the crying all the worse. Travis of course came to the rescue and rushed home to grab all the kids and give me the afternoon/evening to myself. I was running errands those things that are next to impossible to do with kids in tow making major progress. I stopped home briefly to pick up dinner to eat on the run to a Visiting Teaching appointment. The dinner was breaded Thai shrimp with a sweet pepper and ginger sauce.

As I drove through Manheim traffic caused from the end of the work day I felt a burning yet cold sensation on my crouch. I looked down to see that the container housing the sweet pepper and ginger sauce had tipped and poured three ounces of gelatinous orange onto my lap. It was cool to the touch hence the cool but I quickly realized that although the fabric of my pants was straining chunks of the pepper enough residue was leaking through to provide the other sensation of burning. I quickly capped the sauce, opened the glove box for napkins only to find none. My day sucked - officially. I pulled out the drawer below the passenger seat still none. I started to feel like I was going to cry again when all of the sudden I burst out laughing. As I sat there legs clenched trying to keep the sauce from getting on the car seat I used my spare hand to try and scoop out the excess and toss it out the window. I eventually found some tissues that immediately dissolved in the liquid into white balls.

After scooping the excess I remembered I had wet wipes somewhere. I found the container only to discover they were dry. I thought this might be to my benefit making a more absorbent drying agent. I was wrong it was useless. After getting what I could I was determined that I would just have to let me black yoga capris and underwear soak in the extra. Filthy I know. But I was laughing. Laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation. Laughing that I could smell myself imminently a distinctly sweet Thai smell. I went visiting teaching where I drew no emphasis to it and proceeded directly to belly dancing class with a quick stop at the library. And throughout the night as I would get a whif of the scent I would burst into laughter. My tiny fissures of insanity occasionaly break into hysteria. Yesterday was one of those days. It reminds me of a day in highschool when I got kicked out of Physics class for breaking into the same machine gun sounding fits of hysterical laughter. But that is a story for another day.

Friday, May 14, 2010

What is Proper?

It's not a question I ask very often, since I don't usually ascribe to that philosophy. Lately I have been driving along merrily on my way sometimes rushed sometimes not. The cars in front of me have slowed down significantly, pulled over to the side of the road to let me pass, or sent their daughter climbing through the backseat to take a picture on her cell phone. Then after a girls' weekend and me as designated driver, my girlfriend said I rode on people's tails really bad. I was starting to get that with the other experiences. And I don't mean to tailgate. I think I just have a closer following distance where I feel still safe and in control. But I don't want to bother people so I ask: What is the proper following distance? And don't answer one car space for every ten miles like the driver's manual says because that is redunkulous. And I'm telling you right now I have no plans to follow that nonsense. People weigh in.
(P.S. I don't follow this closely although I once did own a blue Dodge Omni like this.)
And second...I have been searching high and low for curtains for my office with little success. I want them to be blue and green and if it has small accents of red all the better. Pretty similar to my blog background right now with the blue and green. But I'll accept any blue green combos. I've checked IKEA, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Linens and Things, Walmart, and Target. Any other ideas of where to look? And if you spot some send me a link. I'll be eternally grateful.

Which is what I am feeling towards my husband today for no reason at all. Man I love that dude. And how is this post for stream of consciousness? Are you following?

Thursday, May 13, 2010


In an effort to lose weight I have been changing my eating habits to reflect life long change instead of dieting. I just love food too much to do that nonsense. From the beginning of the year I have lost 10-12 lbs. depending on the day. I fluctuate those two pounds daily. I am really excited about those pounds and have noticed a real difference in the way my clothes fit.

Still I want to lose another 10-15 lbs. And although some may be bulking at this figure because when it is all said and done that will be 25 lbs total which is a lot. I'm not arguing that, but considering almost no one has recognized the first ten it signals there is still plenty more to lose.

And here is where I need your help. I've hit a plateau. But remember I am looking for healthy solutions. Let me give you all the 411 on my body. I am short, muscular, and the basic equivalent of a square or cube since I am 3D in terms of body shape. I gain my weight pretty evenly all over with a slight increase in inches towards my hips and thighs. After hitting the gym hard for the first two months of the year, I realized that I bulk up with muscles far to fast and just firm the square instead of lenthening to a rectangle. At this age I am looking for a more lean look. So I switched to Yoga and Pilates, although cliched it has done wonders for me in the third and fourth month. The biggest eatting change has been I have definitively stopped eating after 7pm, a hard and aggravating, but worthy change. I would contribute the bulk of the weight loss to this change single handedly.

So now what? I have heard people talk about multivitamins. Yes I believe they will help with general health, but in weight loss. I don't know. Second drink more water. And third eat more fiber. I have just started this third one yesterday. People give me your tips, hints, and advice on what works for you. Remember all healthy, achievable, realistic long term life changes. I'm not doing Atkins, South Beach, HCG, or any other food restrictive/binge eating nonsense. First and foremost I believe in nutrition and health. I'd just like a little more weight loss on the side.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Mutterings

Of course a Mother's Day recap seems important. My weekend was great. Yes weekend because Travis is just that spectacular that I was spoiled the whole time. And I can't even lie because I am so spoiled everyday; Travis does so much for me. And that is when I get all funny feeling in my stomach and realize that I really have married the best man I know. If I were any other girl this funny feeling in my stomach is equated with happy tears, you know the ones all of you shed during chick flick movies. I just don't cry at them, but sometimes I get this funny feeling. I got this same feeling while watching The Blind Side the other night. It was beautiful but also made me realize how much more I should be doing for those around me. Not PTO, Manheim Women's Club, etc...although these things are good, I want to be changing lives doing more somehow.

Back to Mother's Day the highlights, I received tons of gifts, burnt music CD's from a neighbor, great music too, potted herbs from another 'hood rat. Lots of cards and drawing from the kids. Favorite quotes from cards are "Thank you for being my real mom and not let anyone else be my mom," "Please relax today. You work so hard," "I will always take good care of you," "You always make me feel good," "My mom has taught me about Jesus Christ." Those last two sum up my highest goals of motherhood and to see them acknowledged makes me feel successful, if not yet perfect as a mother. I got to go on a scavenger hunt created by Bella, and was surprised when some of my beautiful little Primary children made me pictures and cards. Primary is the class for kids under 12 for our church. I just lead them in singing and therefore felt overjoyed to realize that I was impacting their life. Taking me back to The Blind Side movie again. This stuff is important. And last but not least, probably greatest of all was a Netbook from Travis. Man I was surprised and overwhelmed. And to spare you all the long details it will be summed up like this: I am not good at accepting gifts or surprises, especially those with significant value. I'm sure there is some repressed self esteem issues of not feeling worthy, and some sacrificial lamb issues of wanting to reallocate that money to my kids or the whole family. But Travis did it all in a way that made me happy to receive the gift willingly or at least as willingly as I am capable of at this point in my life.

This past weekend was crazy but fun. We had Funfest, 3 elementary schools from our district put on a carnival type event. My guess was attendance around 2000-3000. I was in charge of the games and it was a success. I loved hearing that everyone thought it was such a well executed event because I pride myself on being organized. Then Saturday morning we had a neighborhood yard sale. Made a little cash, but always spend at least half picking up other finds from around the neighborhood sales. Last year's best find a real Chanel purse for $10, this year's favorite find - a Ralph Lauren green and blue plaid down comforter with matching blue sheet set for Wyatt's bed for $7. Upside of living in an upper middle class neighborhood is picking up the truly great finds for cheap from our yard sales.

Also after being spotlighted in Primary yesterday I realized some things: one I want to make an official bucket list. It's a common concept. At one point I had one, but with our stolen laptop went the list. And as I have a goal to by the end of 2011 have visited all 50 states that will be the first item. The second is I really need to write my book. It's been in my head and heart and various levels of development for five years. It may suck, it may never reach publication, but I want to do it anyway.

And that is what is circling in my brain early this Monday morning. How 'bout you?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Shaping A Man

Being a Texan is about the most definitive distinction for those who come from the big state. Being a rancher is a lifestyle of one who works the arid land of that great state. My husband is each of these. He grew up on 315 acres of Texas lush land in the rolling hills of Texas in a small town called Boerne (pronounced Bernie). Running amok with his four brothers and best friend, Puppy Dog, my husband turned into a man.

In addition to his parents my husband was under the tutelage of his four grandparents. You see he comes from a closely located and close knit family. His closest neighbor are his grandpa, his aunt, and his uncle. And just five miles or so into town is his Pawpa. It is his Pawpa and mom with whom he is sitting. And despite the millions of stories I could tell you about each of his grandparents - today I share a story about Pawpa.

In May of 1998 my husband came home from serving a two year mission for our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Eager to return to the land he was born to love, he decided to take a job working for his Pawpa for the summer. He was a local developer who owned a number of pieces of heavy equipment. During the long hours of working, interacting and negotiating with his Pawpa on the right way to do things, my husband often took the lessons of the man and contemplating them extracted those things which he thought would build him to be a better man. There are still times when I will come across him doing something and and he will gladly give the credit to his Pawpa's teachings.

Pawpa left this world on Friday, April 30th 2010. But he left a legacy behind him. Life springs forth still from him as I watch my husband teach our children those principles his Pawpa taught him. And luckily through our deep seated faith in the Atonement of the Savior of the World and Eternal Families, we approach this event not with sadness but a time of happy reflection to find that we are better people for having had him in our lives.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Party Like It's Cinco De Mayo

Who wants to have a party Wednesday night? Not me. So we threw our Cinco De Mayo party Saturday night instead. We invited some friends over, did potluck Mexican. Oh my goodness my friends can cook. We drove the car to the back yard, Mexi-style, and blared our fiesta mix CD, lovingly made by my sister. And we ate and talked and played till it was too dark to see and kids needed to home to bed.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Fat Check?

Do these kids look overweight to you? Yeah me neither.
But according to their school BMI evaluation both are borderline at risk for being overweight. How ridiculous!

Monday, May 3, 2010

I love...It's a Series

I love...this week anyway was posted in March. Then a week or so ago, I wanted to do another one like it, but didn't want to title it the same so I called it An Attitude of Gratitude. And here I am once again feeling those same urges, and having never been good at denying myself what I want, I retitled An Attitude of Gratitude, I love... and am making this a series. Look for more upcoming posts on the things I love.

This week I love:
  • being one step ahead of my husband's last two concerned emails to me. Done and done!
  • delicious food, takeout, and restaurant leftovers. (Dreamy Smile)
  • when other people take pictures of me and pass them along. I have so few of myself.
  • talented friends who inspire me with their craft, creativity and general talent.

Kirsten's geniusness

Ambyr's brilliance

  • blogging!
  • going to dinner with friends, to the spa with neighbors, and group get togethers.
  • finding new totally great music that fits my mood.

Kesha, Tik Tok, is so much more than that played out tune, I found more great finds.

Vitamin String Quartet

Colbie Calliet - yes I know she is older, but I just found her so there.

  • Cinco De Mayo party planning.
  • going down memory lane with family and friends.
  • taking the boys to the park with no other thought than to play with them.
  • learning to play a new song on the guitar.
  • reading book after book, escaping into a different time and place - being a million things to a million people at one time and still being no one at all to anyone.