Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Stains on ma belly

When I was pregnant, I was CONSTANTLY spilling on that huge belly of mine.

So what's up today?  Because I'm definitely NOT pregnant.

I'm gonna blame it on the fact that I wore white.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Prophet Is Dead

Yesterday, they killed Abinadi.  Again.

Seriously!?  You'd think they'd learn!  Every time they do that, the results are exactly what he told them they would be:  death, destruction, slavery.  I can't figure out why they keep making the same mistake over and over again!

I'm glad I never do that.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Spencer Lovin'

Spencer and I love to be together, and we often catch movies or go for rides together.  But it's been a while since we planned a date, so I looked into weekend happenings, chose the two I was most interested in, and asked him which he'd like to do to celebrate Valentine's Day together.  He chose the BYU Men's Chorus Winterfest concert at the Conference Center.

Oh, my goodness, y'all!  It was fabulous!  They did four sets after filling the risers while singing "Stout-Hearted Men":  The first set was all in Latin.  Ya gotta love the tight harmonies and the discord and the beautiful, round vowels in that type of choral singing.  When they finished one of them, all I could think was, "That was delicious!"

The next set was several LDS hymns, all having to do with missionary work.  Their arrangement of "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" was breath-taking, and the Spirit of the Lord was there. 

The next set was old spiritual-types of songs.  The things they did with stacatto and sforzando (sp?) and other vocal techniques was amazing.

And THEN they did a whole set from Disney's "The Jungle Book."  These men were having almost as much fun as we were!

When the concert was over, Spencer said, "Already?"  We looked at our phones and realized it had been over an hour of fantastic music, and we felt amazed and really uplifted.

I love choral music.  I LOVE men's voices.  I love to watch the pianists and the director while the music washes over me.  It was wonderful, and it was all the better because of the fabulous company I was keeping.

As we were walking back to our car, I looked at Spencer, and I was just in love, ya know?  He glanced at me and said, "What?"  I just shrugged, and he said, "You look a whole lot like your mom."

Which might be one of the nicest compliments he's ever given me!

All in all, a wonderful night!

Friday, February 15, 2013


Somewhere around 1998 I had an MS relapse.  After three years of nothing, I decided to go see the doctor.  He prescribed to me one of three MS medications (there are more now, but these three were fairly new).  It was injected intramuscularly on a weekly basis.  That meant that a home health nurse had to come out to our house and teach me how to inject this medication into my body.

I felt very confident that my sweetheart would be able to do this for me.  But when the nurse came, she made me do the first injection on myself--she said Spencer could do it next week (lucky guy).  So with all of my little ones gathered around, I put a big needle in my leg.  It hurt (just sayin'), and out of instinct, I pulled back on the syringe a bit. That just meant that I had to stick it back in again.  (I never made that mistake again, lemme tell ya.)

It was a Sunday when all of this happened.  Later that day my mom called from California to see how it had gone and how I was doing.  When she heard that I had given the injection, she exclaimed, "YOU did it?!  Wow!  Big girl!"

It made me laugh, which was--BTW--exactly what I needed at the time.

I've thought about that many times, because in the end that "Big girl!" was exactly what I needed.  It wasn't that I needed to be told I was big or grown up, but that I needed to hear that I was brave. 

I've always tried to be a cheerleader for people.  It's easy for me, really, because I feel things intensely; so when someone succeeds, I really WANT to cheer for them.  But since the day of that first injection, I also want to be SPECIFIC about the encouragement and kudos I give to people.  Instead of just an "Atta Boy," I want them to know they are brave and strong and good and smart and kind and helpful; and sometimes they just need to know that I love them and that everything is going to be OK.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

One of My Favorite Days

I love Valentine's Day!  My parents always made it a special day where we just loved each other.  I do not understand this "singles awareness" thing or all the schmaltz having to do with romance.  Don't get me wrong.  I ADORE romance.  And I wouldn't say no to diamonds or rubies or pearls.  :)   But why can't we just all be OK with Valentine's Day being about love?  When I rule the world, Valentine's Day is just going to be about love.

Plus, it's fun!  You get to decorate a fun box.  You get to choose cute Valentine cards (yes, they're cheesy, and I still love them).  You get to have candy.  You get to have a party.

OK, maybe all of that stuff only happens in grade school, but it shouldn't.  When I rule the world, we're all having a party, eating candy, and reading cheesy Valentine cards.

I made some cute iPods out of boxes of Valentine candy. And I made pink and white cupcakes with red sprinkles.  And I bought special treats for our kids and a sappy card (and tickets for this weekend) for my sweetheart.

But most of all, I love you, all my friends and family!  When I rule the world, we will have a day when I can tell you that as much as I want.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Learning Moments

It was branch conference at our care center, so I was there on Sunday.  My goodness, I love that place!  I am continually impressed with the wonderful care givers there, especially since I've been to places that aren't NEAR that caliber!

Witnessing the sacrament there is a beautiful experience.  Those who are serving the emblems are loving and gentle.  They wash their hands repeatedly (thank you, baby wipes) because they have to literally place small pieces of bread and tiny amounts of water into the waiting, open mouths of the residents.  That residents understand this ordinance on some basic level is clear.  It's seriously beautiful. 

It made me think more about the Atonement.  Sunday in the Care Center was another learning day.


Lee is retiring.  He was a director.  He was demoted.  He's struggled.  I think he was kinda forced out.  It makes me sad.

His secretary--who "lives" right next to me--is being reassigned to a cubicle on the other side of the floor.  I will be alone again.  I am not looking forward to that.  Also, I will miss her.  She is fantastic.

When Lee leaves, there will be an open director's office next door to my boss.  There is a director for this department on another floor, and I know he is going to want to move down here with the rest of the department.  This is a man who is likable when you're on a personal level, but I don't care much (or at all!) for his business dealings.  Worse, he has employees who make me NUTS.  I'm afraid they will all come down and invade "my" space.  Which makes me shallow.  And worried.

Looks like more learning experiences are coming!


Have you ever noticed how some learning experiences are wonderful and others are just hard?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Sharing a Memory -- Mission!

For my entire life, the eligible age of missionary service in our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) has ben 19 for young men and 21 for young women.  I ALWAYS wanted to serve a mission because I loved Jesus and I loved the gospel.  Once when I was about 7 years old, my dad came home with treats for all of us kids:  a Tootsie Roll bank!  We got to eat the Tootsie Rolls, but the deal was that we could now have an allowance (which we'd been asking for).  Tithing must be paid first, and it would go directly into tithing envelopes to give to the bishop.  After that, we must pay into our savings, which was that little bank.

Since there were four of us, there were four banks.  When we received them they were labeled:  Brant - Mission; Derek - Mission; Gavin - Mission; Aundrea - College, Marriage, etc. 

Oh, boy!  Did that little bank make me angry!  (I guess I was a feminist clear back then.)  I was absolutely adamant that I was going to serve a mission!  And that was ALWAYS my plan.  I even knew that I would leave on my mission and come home to one more year of school before being a kindergarten teacher and spending my summers travelling the world.  :)  (I didn't think I would actually get married and have a family, so...)  I remember talking to my friends about this, letting them know that for that year they would have to find another roommate because I absolutely would not be there.

When we graduated from high school, the next logical step (and yes, part of the plan) was to go to college.  I was excited to go to college, but honestly, it wasn't that big a deal.  First of all, I started off at a community college, and I lived at home.  Anyway, school was just what you did when fall came around.  No biggie.

My dad came into my bedroom one evening shortly after graduation.  He asked me if I would consent to attend the YSA ward in our stake.  I looked at him like he was crazy (I thought he probably was).  I told him that I had no desire to do that.  That was a place for people who wanted to get married.  I just graduated high school, for heaven's sake!  I was still just 17 years old, and I had pretty definite plans for the next four years.  Daddy explained that the stake was trying to build the YSA ward; that I was a leader among the youth so would really be setting a great example; and that the first goal of a young woman was to be married and raise a family.  He said, "I know you want to serve a mission, and if that is how things go, we will support you all the way.  But if the right young man comes along you should not postpone marriage for a mission or anything else." 

Finally I sighed and said, "Fine.  I'll go.  BUT I AM NOT GETTING MARRIED."

I turned 18 on a Sunday while we were on vacation in Utah, and the next week I began attending worship services and activities at the Citrus Heights 6th (YSA) ward.  I opted to attend the missionary preparation Sunday School class, because duh!  That's where I planned to be!  And within a very short time, many of my friends and school classmates were working on mission papers and receiving mission calls.

Oh, how I wanted to be the missionary!  I was going to college, I had my first job, I was dating more than I ever had--but all of that was just normal.  It was just regular life.  While the "guys" my age were embarking on this great adventure (attending the temple and serving as missionaries), I was just continuing the life I'd always lived.

I asked the bishop numerous times if we could just bend the rules so I could go on a mission.  I KNEW a mission was where I belonged, and it was definitely where I wanted to be at that time.  He was always kind but always firm and always amused when I'd ask.  I didn't think it was amusing at all.

Well, you know the rest.  I met a wonderful man and we were married.  My guy friends were all still on their missions.  But I still really, really want to serve a mission, and I hope I can go on a proselyting or service (like, Third World) mission.  Ironically, we will not be eligible for that for another 21 years or more.

The fact that two of our children are now serving as missionaries for our church is a blessing I can hardly explain.  I am righteously jealous (is there such a thing?) of their opportunity to serve; and I am probably the highest bar they can measure against.  I know they are fabulous missionaries because they wouldn't want to come home and report to Mom that they had been anything less.  :)

Now check this out.  I would be tender about it anyway, but add to it the fact that we have children doing this, and I have joy beyond belief for these wonderful young people!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Worst in the Class, but Better Than...

I joined a gym.  It's hard to get up in the morning.  The people on the treadmills all around me are running far faster and much farther than I am.  I use 5-pound weights at the very most.  I cannot do a full, real push up.  Burpees are from hell.  My muscles ache, and I have found muscles I'm not sure I EVER knew I had.  I am UGLY when I work out--no kidding!

But I'm lapping the people who are on the couch and I actually DID the burpees and someday I'll be able to use an 8-pound weight and get through an entire class.  And this fall, I WILL run that half marathon and hike the entire Grand Canyon.

I'm not saying I'm better than you, but I am FOR SURE better than the me I was 5 weeks ago.  It counts.