Saturday, January 31, 2009

I'm a freak!

I couldn't stand the red background anymore. When I looked away after reading the text, I saw nothing but lines before my eyes.

Forgive the ADD! If I were really professional, I'd pick a background and never change it until I die.

But that would be boring. ;-)

Friday, January 30, 2009

The end of a swimming season

My daughter swam in Region finals today and I couldn't have been more proud. She worked so hard this year to keep on top of her grades and has been dealing with a lung issue we hope to soon have diagnosed. The meet wasn't quite what she would have wanted in terms of her times, but she was there and I was so, so proud.

Now, getting there was a journey in itself. For me, today, I mean. I now am babysitting my nephew, one-year-old Alex, and I have my four-year-old, Gunder, still at home. I figured if we left the house by 1:00 I'd make it to Bountiful by 1:45 to see Nina swim her last event. I had a funny internal dialog going on, sometimes peppered with comments from the two rugrats.

Me: Have to hurry. Got the bottle, drink for Gunder with lid, Cheerios in cup, diaper. Dang. Need wipies. Ok, got the wipies. "Gunder, stop with the jumping up and down! Put your shoes on!"

Inner voice: Patience is a virtue.

Me: Shut up. Ok, set the alarm, out the door. Buckle everyone in, no movie for Gunder. "Sorry, Gunder, no movie. You'll just have to listen to the radio. No, I'm not going back in." Listen, kid, my head's going to explode if you don't stop the whining about the movie.

Inner voice: He's only four.

Me: Again, with the shut up. What is with all this blasted traffic? Who's so desperate to get out of Ogden at 1:00 on a Friday? Does nobody work a full day anymore? My day goes till midnight! I never have an early day. Wish someone would offer me four tens.

Inner voice: Idle hands are the devil's workshop.

Me: I'll give you idle hands. Ok, finally moving. Good. Going faster. Passing Lagoon.

Gunder: "I see the roller coaster!"

Alex: "Aaaaarrrgggghh."

Gunder: "I dropped my Megazord!"

Me: "You'll have to leave it, buddy. I can't reach it."

Gunder: "Please, Mom! It's just right there."

Me: (Reaching and driving with one hand), "There. Now don't drop him again!"

Inner voice: You should keep both hands on the wheel. Isan't their safety more important than Megazord?

Me: Isn't my sanity more important than anything at all? Who wants to listen to him whine about Megazord until we get there. Do you want to listen to him whine about Megazord till we get there? Ok, making ok ringing, it's Anna. "Yes, we're almost there." Driving kind of fast...hmm. The car shimmies a bit at 80.

Inner voice: Old Arab saying, Do not stand in places of danger praying for miracles.

Me: Crap. And I did pray before I left the driveway. Front tire is kind of bald. Slowing down, darn you.

Inner voice: You should slow down more. We believe in being subject to kings, rulers, (something) and magistrates and in obeying, honoring and sustaining the law.

Me: Some laws were meant to be broken. There are places in the world where this speed would be considered crawling. Again with the phone. "Yes, honey, I swear I'm almost there." Ah, good. There's the exit. And pulling up to a stoplight. Ok, good, got the green arrow. Checking watch. She'll be in the pool in four minutes. What? are you kidding me? A school zone with no kids and not even a crossing guard in sight. But the lights on the sign have been turned on. Blasted kids.

Inner voice: Suffer the little ones to come unto me and forbid them not...

Alex: Aaaaarrrrrrgghh!

Gunder: Mom, he's touching me.

Me: Ok. Parking lot. Oh look, there's Anna.

Anna: "Mom, are you just going to park right here?"

Me: "Yes. The snow covers up the yellow paint on the curb. Besides, there are two other cars right there."

Inner voice: Would you follow them off a cliff?

Me: At this point, yes. And didn't I tell you to shut up?

So, needless to say, the Inner Voice needs to work on her articles of faith. And she's annoying. And she always pops up when I'm the most stressed.

The good part of the afternoon was that I saw Nina's second race, and saw her get a medal. I saw her hug her dad and get teary-eyed on his shoulder- this, the girl who rarely cries. I saw my teddy bear of a husband get teary-eyed. This, the man who always does, bless his heart. He has been in love with his girls from the moment they took their first breaths, and as I watch him try to let go as they get older, my heart breaks a little for him, even as I laugh gently with him. Well, kind of with him. He's not laughing much.

My friend Jerelyn gave a talk recently where she was honored for Good Works. She said when she goes to bed each night, she thinks, "What was the best part of my day today?" and "What was my good deed today?" Well, I suppose my good deed for the day was not ramming my dinged-up SUV into the cars in my way as I frantically tried to see my daughter's race, and the best part of my day was watching Nina's face as her dad told her how proud he is of her and how much he loves her.

I hope I never forget that moment.

Monday, January 26, 2009


"Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she has laid an asteroid."

--Mark Twain

I love that.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Last week of January!

Aw yeah! We've almost survived the most dismal month of the year! Of course, some of you probably love January. I limp through it. ;-) I know, fresh start and all that.

My friend, Norman Vincent Peale, helps me through the hard times. One of my favorite quotes is from a book which is a collection of some of his most favorite writings through the years. The book is How To Be Your Best. He talks about the fact that although there are billions of us living now and in the past, no two of us are alike.

"Almighty God put a personality in you, different from any other He ever made. And He means for you to bring it out, to let it loose. Be yourself." He also says he would say to himself, "I am different; I have a job to do in this world. And if I do not do it, it will never be done."

So here's to all the things that we each are charged with doing! No, we can't all cure infectious diseases or end starvation, but each of us has a small realm, and within that realm we can do lots of little things during the course of a day that add up to big things when you look at them over a lifetime.

And nyah to you, January! Take that!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Provident Book Club Night!

Sandra, Candace, Me

Last night I went to Provident Book/Humdinger Toys in Pleasant Grove. The ladies in that book club read Isabelle Webb: Legend of the Jewel for their first book club selection ever! I was so flattered to be there and had such a good time chatting with the ladies.

Eileen, Me, Tristi

This store is just so much fun. I highly recommend a visit if you're ever in the neighborhood. The address is 661 W State, Ste A, Pleasant Grove, UT. Click here for their blog and Karlene's post on the bookclub.

Karlene, Me

Thanks, everyone, for such a fun night!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Words of Wisdom

"Rather than dwelling on the past, we should make the most of today, of the here and now doing all we can to provide pleasant memories for tomorrow."

--Thomas S. Monson

It's easy to get caught up in the "if only I'd," or "I wish I would have," mode of thinking. "I can't believe s/he felt/said/did that to me..." Sometimes we need to let go of all of that and live in the present. I know that thinking/dwelling too much on past pains can bog us down really fast and hold us there if we let it.

The quote above is from a Thomas S. Monson talk called "Finding Joy in the Journey," and it's full of good stuff. One particular paragraph states, "This is our one and only chance at mortal life--here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that elusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey--now."

I come from an impressive line of worriers. Combined with my Myers/Briggs personality profile which pegs me as an ENFP who thinks what could be is always more exciting than what is, it makes for a pretty schizophrenic person. I worry, or I think of what could be. The reminder to enjoy the here and now is really good for me.

There's an awesome quote in Kerry Blair's Counting Blessings. She speaks of the Mary/Martha "careful and troubled about many things," (if memory serves- I don't have the book right in front of me. It's on my nightstand). Kerry's quote is, in essence, "if you must be careful, be careful not to borrow trouble." That hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm often a borrower of trouble.

The whole message of finding joy in the journey is such a valuable one. It really isn't all about the destination. I love reminders of that because it allows me to take a deep breath, smile and appreciate the details along the way that make life so rich.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Joy in the journey

"Whatever hour God has blessed you with, take it with grateful hand, nor postpone your joys from year to year, so that in whatever place you have been, you may say that you have lived happily."


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Getting political for a moment...

So I don't usually step up on a political platform. Well, I kind of did with the Civil War series. Tried to be objective, but my emotions came out through Emily Birmingam. Anyway, I've thought a lot about that series this morning, and here's why.

When I finished Faith of our Fathers, I was emotionally exhausted. I was disheartened that history shows so many good people allowing something perverse to exist in this country for so long. Even then, the people called slavery a "peculiar institution," and indepth research about it and the war itself made for one sad writer.

I wasn't sure I'd ever see the day when this nation elected an African American president. It took 100 years after the Civil War ended to see an effective Civil Rights movement. 100 years! And this morning, some 50 years later, I witnessed history.

I was grateful to hear the inaugural invocation. Rick Warren is a California preacher of some controversy, depending on who you ask and on which side of Prop 8 you fall on, but it was nice to hear a prayer delivered on behalf of the people asking for humility, wisdom, forgiveness and blessings. Despite the divinely inspired separation between church and state, I love that I heard someone petition our Father for help on behalf of an entire hopeful, weary nation. It was a decidedly Christian slant, especially ending with the Lord's prayer, but I sincerely hope it will be received by all as the gesture of faith that it was.

One of my favorite passages from his prayer:

"Help us, O God, to remember that we are Americans, united not by race, or religion, or blood, but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all. When we focus on ourselves, when we fight each other, when we forget you, forgive us. When we presume that our greatness and our prosperity is ours alone, forgive us. When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive us. And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches, and civility in our attitudes, even when we differ."

Now before you get all up in arms and post nastygrams to me saying that the Civil War was about more than slavery, I already know all that. I also still maintain that there was only one issue divisive enough to rip this country in half, and it happened when Lincoln was elected, having made his views on slavery clear. Race has been an issue in this country since its inception and the fact that we are now seeing such diversity in leadership and, indeed, in the highest post in the land makes me feel warm inside.

Regardless of what happens in the future, for now, I am hopeful. May our Father bless us all.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Oh! And a couple more things...

First, my darling son.

Secondly, my darling, weird daughters.

And thirdly, a really cool review of Isabelle Webb: Legend of the Jewel on Meridian. Forgot to post it when it went up! (And yes, Jennie is my friend, but she's also very objective. I didn't pay her one red cent!)

Win a Book!

I love easy contests! Jennie Hansen, my friend and extremely gifted author, is hosting a contest at her site. Simply respond to any of her blogs between now and the first of February and she'll enter you in a drawing to receive a copy of her new book, High Country.

Click on the link! Even if you don't win, you'll find yourself at a really cool blog.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Between lots of family activity and Christmas itself, I haven't blogged for ages. And when I thought of all the things I should do this year, I got entirely too overwhelmed.

This will be short and sweet. I'm stealing from a comment on the V blog made by Jennie Hansen, whom I admire enormously. She mentioned that she tackles one day at a time, one mountain at a time, rather than get overwhelmed with massive New Years Resolutions.

In fact, here's her actual quote. "I don't make resolutions either, a whole year is too long of a goal for me; I work with shorter goals better, the climb this mountain today, then I'll think about tomorrow's mountain kind of goals."

I can't tell you how liberating it was for me to read this! I'm so relieved. Because there are some days when one day at a time is all I can think about. I'm probably not alone in this.

I wish you all the very best a fresh new year has to offer, and here's to getting through January! Bleah.