Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More Pinterest Love

What was pinned:  "Basket of Sunshine"

What I made:  St. Patick's Day Love

What was pinned:  Glue canvas

What Ashtyn made:  Glue canvas painted

What I made:  Glue canvas
 But the glue doesn't work very well.  You need a substance that holds its form.  I used puff paint.

P.S.  Pay no attention to how crooked my pictures on on the wall of my cube.  It's fixed now.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I Am Loved

Last night Ashtyn and I were sitting at the dining table working on a homework assignment.  At about 10:30, Spencer came in to say goodnight.  Ashtyn was discussing something with me, and I really was listening to her.  Spencer just started kissing the left side of my face.  I kept eye contact with Ashtyn, but I grinned.  Finally she set her laptop on the table and said, "Dad!  You're making it very hard to concentrate."  He looked up at her with an innocent look and said, "I'm concentrating just fine!"

Look At My Christmas Present!

Ashtyn made this lovely vase for me.  It is my Christmas gift.  All four sides of the vase have some of my favorite quotes etched into the ceramic.  And it's yellow, which is TOTALLY Ashtyn.  Isn't it beautiful?  I love it!

Friday, March 23, 2012

It's the Little Things That Bring Me Joy

I went to the cafeteria at work, planning to get a salad for lunch.  It was taco day at the bar, which is a favorite.  And guess what?!  They had the beautiful chicken/onion/green pepper mix.  *bliss!*  They haven't had that in a long, long time.

Isn't it amazing what small things can make your day?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Twenty Years Too Early

If life expectancy is around 80 (and rising!), then you could say I am at mid-life.  It's not fair!

1.  Women reach their physical peak at about age 25.  That was close to 20 years ago for me, and 20 years before mid-life is way. too. soon to reach a physical peak.  Imagine!  If I were just now starting my physical decline, I would be much thinner, much less gray, wearing contact lenses instead of bifocal specs, and my joints wouldn't hurt at the end of the day.

2.  You have teens while you're in your late 30's to your 50's.  Teens stay up LATE.  Sometimes it's because they're out and maybe they fall asleep at a friend's house (or worse).  Sometimes they might have missed a full week of school with just one week left in the quarter and they have one more night to get it all done.  And their parents might not be sleeping because they are maybe worried about them or are helping them with homework.  (Not that I know anything about this.  Taylor.  And Ashtyn.)  Wouldn't it be awesome if I was pre-downswing in my ability to bounce back after a long night?  What if the skin under my eyes magically sprang back within an hour or so of awakening?

3.  How come my body just keeps sending those eggs along, like I'm still young enough to keep popping the babies out?  First of all, the difference in my age between our first and our last baby was only 6 years, and I SURE felt a difference in those pregnancies.  What if I got pregnant now?  Ack!  That would be AWFUL.  I'm pretty sure pregnancy would kill me, and if it didn't, chasing toddlers would; we won't even think about what having teens would do to me in my 60's.  But if my body were just now STARTING to age, there would at least be some justice in those monthly visits from Auntie Flo.  (Dear Body, I'm SO done with this!)

It's not fair.  I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Another Missionary

Colton is Tay's friend and our adopted son.  We love him very much.  In November he received his mission call to NY NY North, and today he left for the MTC.  He invited us to his setting apart last night, and it was a sweet experience.

It was sweet to watch his older brothers and sisters try to wrangle and control their little children.  I was sweet to think that those children will learn to pray for "Uncle Colton in New York," the way our children prayed for "Uncle Gavin in Argentina."

It was sweet to watch Logan and Chris and Taylor rally around to celebrate with their friend/brother.  It was sweet to know of the loving, serving, and singing friendship they have formed.  It was sweet to think that the other three will soon be following Colton into the mission field, and they will continue to celebrate with and support one another.

It was sweet to receive a hug from Colton's mother and his sister, both of whom thanked me for loving Colton and for allowing them to Taylor.

It was sweet to watch Colton's mother fight the tears as--on their 43rd wedding anniversary--their son was set apart to serve a mission.

It was sweet to listen to the stake president give counsel and direction to Elder P.

It was sweet to feel the Spirit telling me that all will be well with this young man.

I am grateful that we were invited to participate with Colton.  I am grateful for his love and his friendship.  I am grateful for his service.

Monday, March 19, 2012


A lorica is a prayer of protection.  St. Patrick had a lorica.  You could write your own, but here is one of my favorite written prayers by St. Francis of Assissi:

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to loved.
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
It is in dying that we are born
To eternal life.

Happy St. Patrick's Day (ya know, last Saturday); and better yet, Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My Temple

When I came down to the 10th floor, there was a fabulous picture of the Oakland Temple by night, overlooking the Bay.  The picture we have is even more beautiful-ER than this picture:

That is the temple where Spencer and I were married.  So I immediately emailed the space manager and asked him if we could not only leave the picture on the floor, but move it to the adjacent wall so I could see it all day. 

His director wanted to take the picture with him.  I don't know if they're going to order one for his floor, but this one stayed, and it got moved.  I'd love to say it was just for me, but I'm not quite that important.  At any rate, it's here, right across from my desk.

You would not believe how many people come by and say, "That is my temple!"  Steve is from Hollister and was married there.  Alan is from Reno and was married there.  Kathy grew up in Walnut Creek and was married there.  Wendell was born in Antioch (but he wasn't married there).  Lee is from San Francisco and was married there (he actually pointed out his neighborhood on the picture.)  We had a vendor come in who grew up in Northern California.  His sister was one of the youth leaders in our ward when my siblings were younger.

I'm so glad I got to keep that picture!  Otherwise how would I know these important things?

Friday, March 9, 2012

My Sweetheart Comes Home Today

Spencer has told me that I would be a better widow than he would be.  I tell him that if he's widowed he should re-marry quickly:  not because he needs someone to take care of him, but because he has such a tremendous capacity to love. 

My honey has been in Missouri for work this week.  I have missed him.  I especially miss him at night, when I'm out of things to keep me busy.  There are many things that keep me busy; and let's be honest:  I could curl up for HOURS with a book and consider myself busy. 

But when the night comes, and it is time to call it day, I miss Spencer so badly I ache.  I want to tell him every detail about my day, and I want to listen to the calm sound of his voice as he tells me about his.  I can't get to sleep without him there, so I end up staying up late enough that my eyes feel like SAND so that when I actually do curl up (on my side of the bed) I will be too tired to think.

He was booked on a flight home today, but the flight was overbooked and he did not have a guaranteed seat.  I was holding my breath to see if he would make it home today.

And he is!  He got a seat, and he is in the air as we speak, headed back to me.  Hooray!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Living Deliberately

Briana got to call from the airport today.  I know I mentioned this already, but it was a pretty big deal.  Especially since I didn't know if that was really allowed, and then HELLO!  There's a call coming from Colorado!  Yayayayay!

We had such a wonderful conversation.  But I digress.  I wanted to tell you about Bri's MTC companion, Sister D.  Sister D.'s mom is having a really hard time having her daughter gone.  Sister D. is getting like THREE letters a day.  Every day.  She gets boxes of stuff every week.  Sister D's home is about 2 miles from the MTC, so she is constantly seeing people from school or the neighborhood or the ward.  And to top it all off, Sister D's sorta-boyfriend-but-not (whatever that means) teaches at the MTC.  Monday night, as they were packing everything, Sister D said to Sister Hill, "Can you believe we are 1/18th through our mission already?"

Bri is telling me this story, and she says, "Mom, I just can't think that way.  I mean, I've been out for almost a month already.  Sometimes it's seemed really long, and sometimes it's seemed really short.  But mostly it's just been about living happily while it's happening!  I don't wanna think about a countdown to get to the END of my mission.  I want to ENJOY every minute of my mission!"

Every once in a while there is evidence that you really did teach your children something, and I think that was one of those things.  Because while there have been endless days sometimes, there have also been days that fly by.  I've always tried to live carefully and deliberately in the moment, because all-too-soon that moment will be gone.

Today our daughter called us from the airport.  Just yesterday she was in 6th grade, getting ready for a class dance she did NOT care about.  The day before that she was wearing her dad's work boots and a dust mask that covered her entire face.  I'm so glad I didn't miss any of it by wishing for the next stage to come!

My Cup Runneth Over

Surely agoodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Last week when we were at the Jazz game, I did so much laughing with Landon.  For a moment he laid his head on my shoulder, and I leaned against his spiky faux-hawk.  :)  Spencer took my hand as we were leaving the arena, and I just felt completely overcome with love and gratitude.

Ashtyn is my helper in my Primary class each Sunday.  She often helps to answer the questions, and she has WONDERFUL answers that are relevant for the children.  She helps them walk reverently down the hall to Sharing Time, then she walks reverently to her YW class.  She often shares with me the lessons they've had, the discussions they've shared, or the thoughts she's had while reading her scriptures.  I call it our Seminary Time, and she is such a blessing to me!

I'm not sure what's up with Tay sometimes.  He (and the others) are ALWAYS in my heart and in my prayers.  I am not afraid to ask them about their lives, but I know there are many things that I just don't know.  Anyway, lately he will walk up to me and just grab me in a huge embrace.  He tells me he loves me and I tell him I love him more and I'm so proud of him and so grateful for him.  Sometimes we talk after that, and sometimes not so much, but it is sheer joy to be in the arms of my man-child, just because sometimes he needs his Mom.

Today Breezy called from the Denver airport.  She is on her way--as I type--to the mission field in Indiana.  She was sad to leave the people she had come to love in the MTC, especially the sweet sister who let them teach her the gospel.  She's been taught and led and blessed.  She was also really excited to be out and put it all into practice.  She is humble enough to recognize her weaknesses, but she has confidence in the Lord and in herself and her testimony.  It's a marvelous adventure, and she is ready for it!
How did I get so blessed?

Friday, March 2, 2012

More Adventures in Public Transportation

Ashtyn and Landon have the day off from school today, so I scheduled them to see the dentist.  That meant they needed the car (just like any other day), and I was going to have to take the bus and the train to work (just like any other day).  We had a pretty good winter storm last night, and the roads were kinda yucky.  The good news is that I did not have to drive on the nasty roads.  The bad news is that things were severely slowed for everyone and everything which WERE on the nasty roads. 

I walked in the middle of the neighborhood roads to get to the bus stop, because I could walk in the cars' tracks.  When it was 10 minutes past time for my bus to pick me up, I called UTA.  The nice customer service lady told me* that my bus was stuck in a snowdrift, and the next bus should be there in 10 minutes.  15 minutes later I called Ashtyn to see if she'd just come pick me up and take me to Trax.  Just then the bus arrived.

I stepped through the snow to get to the bus stairs, and my last step sank me about 7 inches deep in slush.  Fortunately, the heat on the bus was blowing.  My poor little toes started tingling pretty fiercely; they were so cold!  We got to the station, and I went to stop off the bus and landed 7 inches deep in the slush.  *sigh*

The red line trains always blow air, but it's not heated, so it's cold on those trains.  It was a long ride into the city.  I had to transfer trains once I got downtown.  Unlike most days (for me), the sun was up, so I stood in the sun, hoping to counteract the cold wind at least a little bit.  I got on a blue line train, which takes me the remaining 2 stops to City Center.  Except at Stop 1, one of the doors (right next to me, of course) would not close.  Not only was the cold air coming into the train, but they had to come and do maintenance on the door.  I'm sitting there, just three blocks from work, and I can't bring myself to leave the heated interior of the train (blue line trains have real heat!  and believe me, I was snuggled as close to the heat vents as I could be) and walk to my building.  How lame am I?

We finally got going, and at my stop I got off the train and started walking to my building.  Everything was icy.  It was very cold.  I was so cold that my entire body was aching.

Luckily I have a great little heater to un-numb (yes, it's a word!) my feet, and I have hot chocolate mix in my drawer and a microwave in the hallway.

I have time that I need to make up at work tonight, so Spencer is going to pick me up and take me home after he massages.  That means I don't have to ride Trax tonight.  I am so grateful!  I will probably just barely have thawed when it's time to go home.

It's sure a glorious winter day here, though!  Hello, mountains!  I see you, and you look lovely!

*This woman must have apologized to me 10 times.  I think it's a sad commentary on our society that she has been so abused by callers for things over which she has no control.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Taylor Is My Favorite

This morning I did NOT want to walk the icy 1/2 mile to the bus stop, especially in the COLD.  So I asked Tay if he would take me to the Trax station.  Just as we pulled IN to the station, the train was pulling out.  He said, "That's OK, Mom.  I'll just wait here with you till it's time for the next train."  We visited about some really awesome things for about 12 minutes.

He's coming downtown to pick me up from work this afternoon so I can make it to my 5:00 meeting in West Jordan.

Taylor is a love.  And that is why Taylor is my favorite when I'm with him.

Ashtyn Is My Favorite

Ashtyn came with me on Tuesday night to a girls' night out "thing" with some of my friends.  She fit right in.  She laughed with us.  She made us laugh. 

Last night she stayed home and worked on school "stuff" (and watched movies, too) while we went to the Jazz game.  (That was her choice, BTW.)  Anyway, she texted me with this:  Guess who just finished the Book of Mormon?

Ashtyn is a fabulous woman.  That is why Ashtyn is my favorite when I'm with her.

Landon Is My Favorite

Last night we went to the Jazz game.  Landon chose a large tub of popcorn as his treat.  We were all sharing our treats, and he asked if I wanted some popcorn, so I took a handful.  He said, "Woah, woah, woah!  Hold on!  You took WAY too much!"  He then proceeded to take ONE piece of popcorn out of my hand.

He makes me laugh.  All the time.  That is why he is my favorite when I am with him.