Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Story of an Angel and a Miracle

Once upon a time there was an angel-girl born to our family.  She was happy and kind and helpful and beautiful.

Once or twice or thrice (or more) upon a time, the angel-girl got sick.  Once or twice or thrice (or more) upon a time, the girl missed school.  Once or twice or thrice (or more) upon a time the angel-girl visited the doctor. OOTOT(OM)UAT the girl had her blood drawn.  The angel has needle tracks on her arm, but her parents can vouch for being there each time one of those marks was created, and none of it was done illegally.  OOTOT(OM)UAT the angel-girl had to make up absences and assignments and sometimes entire classes.

So finally the angel-girl's parents said, "Angel-girl, you must stop worrying about so many things.  College will still be there in another year.  Jobs will still be there after high school.  We will worry about small things like senior portraits after we stop worrying about larger things like a high school diploma."  So the angel-girl dug in her heels and spread her wings.  She worked like an angel possessed.  OOTOT(OM)UAT the angel-girl met with her teachers and the vice principal and the school counselor.  OOTOT(OM)UAT the angel-girl went to attendance school (some more) and did packets and took online classes.

And finally, finally, finally, the angel-girl got her just rewards and qualified to graduate from high school.  (The official "walk" is tomorrow afternoon, and there is a lovely blue cap and gown hanging in the dining room.)

And also finally, the angel-girl had time to go get senior portraits taken:

Congratulations on graduation from high school to our Angel-Girl, Ashtyn.  We are so proud of her!  No senior has ever worked harder to get to this milestone than she has!

Can You Call It Family Time?

So, this past weekend was a long weekend.  Bliss!  (Don't get me wrong, I love my job.  But a day OFF the job will ALWAYS beat a day ON the job.)  So I immediately asked everyone what they were doing.  The answer was "No plans."

I start planning.  We can take a picnic to the lake.  We can go on a hike.  We can drive down to  (fill in the blank).  We can go to these gardens or those museums.

I ask Spencer, and he says, "Let's go to Lagoon!"  Let's just say it wasn't my first idea.

And then Tay asks if Logan can come with us.  And Landon asks if Tanner can come with us.  To whit, we saw neither hide nor hair of any of those four boys the entire time we were in the park.

Part of me is sad that my family time was robbed from me.  On the other hand, the kids all had a fabulous time.  So, do you call that family time?  I don't know, but either way I call it a success.

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Day of Gratitude

Today I'm grateful:
1. That we slept in
2. That we had milk in the refrigerator
3. That Subway is close
4. That the whole family could spend a day together (except Bri, of course, but she is honorably excused)
5. That we had the perfect weather
6. That we got to go to Lagoon
7. That we have nice, reliable carS
8. For sunscreen
9. For Icees
10. For sunglasses
11. For crockpots and meals ready to go to work with me this week
13. For many really nice people

Most of all, I am so grateful for the people who have served our country.  They are all heroes.  When I have days like this, I think how marvelous it is that we have freedom and opportunity to work, to travel, to do as we please.  Thank you, Veterans, for your service and your sacrifice.  I'm sure I take it for granted far too often, but I truly am grateful.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Mom is the North Star

This was in an email this week from someone I love:
My manager wanted to know my opinion. I said to him, “Do what is right!”

He countered, “I hate it when people put you in these kinds of positions.”

I added, “This isn’t about popularity. It’s about doing what is right."
Let me say here: Geez, Louise! Do the right thing.

It was interesting that I got the above email this week, because just this morning something came up with a friend of mine. This friend is a good person and I cherish our friendship. My friend told me about a situation and said, "Should I just do ____ and repent later or should I ask first?" Because I wanted my friend to understand that it probably wouldn't affect anything to ask first, we walked through everything together. My friend was stuck between a rock and a hard place in the two options being considered. Just as I was about to give my opinion, my friend said, "Let's come back to this."  (I think my friend already know what I would say.)

An hour later we came back to it. My friend said, "Okay, I'm ready now. What do you think I should do?" I replied, "What's the right thing to do?" My friend sighed heavily and said, "I knew you were going to say that." I said, "What would your mother say?" My friend's response: "You're gonna get in trouble!"

Some people grow up with mothers who say to them, "You're gonna get in trouble!"  I'm sorry for them.  A mother shouldn't teach a child to do what may or may not get them in trouble.  She ought to teach them to do the right thing, even when it's hard.  She ought to teach them that in both word and example.

My mom is the latter kind of mother.  I'm trying to be that kind of mother and friend.

But there is no one who is as honest and true as my mom.  Right is right, and if it's right, that's where you'll find my mom.  She's so true that sometimes it frustrates her when people try to hedge around the truth.  She doesn't understand them.  It's just in her to be that way.  She has always been my moral compass--true as the North Star--and I wish everyone had that wonderful blessing.

Because guess what?  Sometimes doing the right thing is really hard.  Sometimes doing the right thing is unpopular.  Sometimes doing the right thing might get you in trouble.  But right is right.  Always.  Wouldn't the world be great if everyone just chose the right, without worrying about their precious image or who might get ahead of them or what someone else might think?  Wouldn't it be great if other people didn't beat you up (literally or figuratively) for doing the right thing?  Yes. Yes it would. 

Well, if you choose the right, you will be on my mom's side.  You wanna be on my mom's side, trust me.  If my mom is on your side, you are in a safe camp.  If everyone was on my mom's side, the world would be a better place.

After I learned that my friend's mother would say, "You're gonna get in trouble" I responded, "My mother would say to do the right thing.  Period."  I walked away, because we also have to let people make their own choices. 

The Right won this battle, and it turned out that the two options we discussed were completely avoided, and a third, better option was found.  Win-win-win.

Thank you, North Star!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Since No One Is Really Reading Anyway

I was reading a post about keeping marriages happy through laughter, and I decided to share a couple of funnies that Spencer has said.  We laugh together all the time.  In fact, when I stopped teaching preschool, Landon said, "Now who are we going to laugh at?"  Simultaneously Spencer and I said, "You!"  Because life is funny.

Spencer and I were on our first cruise.  We had gotten up early and stayed up late for several days in a row, and we were exhausted.  Our cabin was in "the bowels of the ship," which, BTW, is FABULOUS because it's dark and you just get rocked to sleep.  (Hmmm... Cruising bliss!)  Anyway, we were lying in the bed in our dark, rocking cabin.  I was sure Spencer was already asleep (because he does that), and I heard someone come literally staggering down the hall outside our door.  Whoever it was kept bumping loudly into the walls and doors.  Every second or two he'd mutter some slurred, incoherent oath.  And then, just outside our door, it happened:  he lost everything in his stomach.  My mind was racing:  "Ew!  There's vomit out there!  I wonder if that guy has passed out.  Why is drinking fun?"  etc., when out of the blackness came Spencer's sleepy voice:  "Clean-up on Aisle 6."

I wish I could paint the word picture for you so you would know how hilarious this was.  I thought he was asleep.  I was having visions of something terrible.  And all he says--totally drypan--is "Clean-up on Aisle 6."  I laughed so hard I had to stand up so I could breathe.  OK, maybe I was a little punchy from lack of sleep, but you're gonna have to believe me, we both laughed ourselves silly.

The next one happened just a week ago:  While we were in California, we stayed at a hotel.  Spencer and I were awake before the kids, so we got dressed and went downstairs for breakfast.  After we sat down, we started discussing the options of a possible move.  I was glad for the discussion, and I said to Spencer, "I don't really think you and I are on the same page on the house thing."  He said, "Okay, this is a good time to get on the same page.  You wanna go first?"  I replied, "No, you first."  He said, "Well, you should know that I am good with having sex any time you want it.  That's about 3/4 of my page."  I'm just glad I didn't have a mouth full of juice at the time.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Such a Lovely Weekend!

Spence and I went to a movie--alone--on Friday night.  The movie was average, but the company was lovely.  I'm totally whooped over that guy, and I am so grateful to have him in my life!

We spent some time with family at my grandparent's house on Saturday morning.  The weather was glorious and cool, and I loved being with our family.

It was stake conference weekend.  As is often the case, there were choices between two good things, so Spencer and I made the best choices we could, which separated us for the evening on Saturday.  After I got home I started watching "Independence Day" on TV.  Tay's friends came over and had a bonfire in the back yard.  There was a lot of action at our house, and Spence and I finally went to bed at midnight when the movie ended.  The others were still roasting marshmallows and watching a movie outside.

We had a lovely stake conference yesterday.  I took a nap in the early afternoon, then spent kind of a lazy Sunday.  Logan and Chris came over again.  I'm glad they feel like they can come.

Did y'all see the annular eclipse?  Spence has a welder's mask (let me tell you how I rock a welder's mask), so we took turns looking at the sky when the clouds were not in the way.  Pretty cool stuff.

Good news:  Ashtyn gets to graduate!  Is that the best news you've heard in days?  Yes.  Yes, it is.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

For the Breast Cancer Survivors We Love

I'm Totally Losing It

We spent this past weekend in Sacramento.  It was a full weekend, and I spent a good amount of time preparing for this trip.  There were clothes and dishes to wash and garbages to empty.  There were my school projects to catch up on and employment issues to settle before we left.  I called the schools to get the kids excused and made sure everyone had packed everything on the list.

We got home Monday.  It was a fabulous trip.  We made really good time in our travels and were even able to go look at a couple of model homes before having dinner, unpacking, and dropping into bed.

Tuesday morning I got up and started getting ready for the day, when suddenly it hit me:  I FORGOT TO GET A SUB FOR MY PRIMARY CLASS!

Besides being sad for my kids, I'm mortified.  I so don't flake on my callings, especially if it's Primary.  (OK, there was that one activity...)

And does it concern anyone else that I didn't even remember that I forgot until TWO DAYS later?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Everything Was Settled for a Minute

The department I work for has a new managing director.  He happens to have been the managing director of the department I used to work for.  Before that he was the director of the division I worked for.  My friends--knowing how I've felt about this person--have all been very kind to me, for which I am incredibly grateful.

If someone had asked me if I was OK on Friday or Monday, the answer would have been "Not so much."  Spoken through tears.

But as of yesterday (and continuing to today), I am doing very well.  I am looking at this latest change as an opportunity to grow and learn something that I clearly haven't learned yet.  Patience? Kindness? Tolerance? Self-Mastery?  All of the above?  More?

Yeah, I'm going with "More." 

And, as my sweet, finger-wiggling friend reminded me, the division of (mostly) men and (a few cherished) women who I love will now be in my department again.  Blessings abound!

Now we just need to get ready for the next (almost-guaranteed) move.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Do You Know This Guy?

When we learned that we were going to have our first baby, our SIL sent a box of stuff.  It was all used.  Some of it we kept, and some we didn't. 

The only thing we still have from that box of baby stuff is this posable pink panther toy.  It became a joke for us to leave the Pink Panther in places where the other person would find it, but maybe not for days.

He has been in the jungle (our plants).  He's been under pillows, in the shower, in cupboards, in dresser drawers, in the refrigerator, and even on a cruise (maybe my biggest Pink Panther win).  He is currently hanging from the closet molding in our bedroom.

I just got thinking about how things evolve into lovespeak.  I don't really know how it happened for us.  It was just a game, really (and it still is).  But it also means "I was thinking of you," "You mean the world to me," and "You're my best friend."

I've never liked the Pink Panther (the acted movies or the animated cartoons), but I love the Pink Panther!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Trying to Get to "Whatever"

I'm a mom--did you know?  I've never been much of a coddler, and I try not to be a worry-wart.  But the truth is, I'd like to make it all better for all the people I love.  The problem is that these days it's not just a kiss or a bandaid that will make it better.  In fact, most of the time there's not one dang thing I can do to fix it, except pray (which I do).  Sometimes even if I could fix something, I would not be doing the person any favors by doing so, as there is something they need to experience and learn (and the same is true for me).  Sometimes the person doesn't want anything to be fixed, or at least not fixed by me.  And sometimes it just is what it is.

The point is, it's very difficult for me to just let things go, allowing myself to be unfazed, or being cool with the fact that there's nothing I can do about it.  You should hear the conversations in my head!  :)  I'm constantly telling myself that everything is going to work out, that I can't worry about things I can't control.

Sometimes I'm so good at turning off the worry that I worry (maybe "plan" is the better word) less than I should.  That's no good, either.

I'm glad I'm empathetic.  I'm glad that I have passion for life and for situations and for people.  But I wish I was better about that middle of the road; the place I call "Whatever."  Whatever is the place where you just don't care about things that don't matter.  I'm not talking about shrugging it off (which I try to do when appropriate), but genuinely not caring about things that don't matter.

*sigh*  Whatever.  Is there such a place?