Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Time to Say Goodbye...Officially

Well...I am sure that for the 5 people who actually read this blog, this post will come as no surprise.  I am officially calling it quits - at least on this blog.  I will be keeping up our family's private blog going - I have high hopes of actually blogging there again sometime in the near future.  You would think that now that Jewel and Alfredo are both in school I would feel like I have more time to blog, but really, I just feel like I need to spend more time doing other things.  I have really enjoyed creating this blog, it served an important purpose at a difficult time in my life.  I am thankful for those who have come back here to read, leave comments and generally lend encouragement.

For now...Adios.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

If You or Someone You Love...

As a woman who has struggled/is struggling with infertility I can attest to how hard it is to be a woman who is worried about having children as well as how difficult it is to be in the position of those who love and want to support that person.  At this point I don't really feel like I am struggling...I am very grateful for my children and know that they are both miracles!  But...I know other women who are struggling with infertility.  It is a very painful place to be.  The other day I read a blog post that I thought was totally awesome.  It is written by a woman who has faced infertility.  She is very frank with how she felt during the period before she had children (she and her husband have adopted twice now) and it always helps to know that there are other people who have felt the same way that you feel/have felt.  But my favorite part of the post is directed to people who have friends and loved ones who are struggling with infertility.  Then she gives advise to those who are facing infertility and how to talk to/act with those who love you and are trying to give love and support.  It is a great article.  So, if you or anyone you love is struggling with infertility, direct them to this great postSeriously...you'll be glad you did. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling...

I know...I've put that picture up every St. Patrick's Day.  But...I love it.  It was a picture I took in my backyard in my beloved Arizona...it still makes me happy.

Today at my house...
*My kids woke up at 6:00 - they were hoping to find that a Leprechaun had been caught in their trap and that he had stolen our gold coins and hidden them, which he does every year.  But that sneaky little man hasn't come yet...
*The kiddos almost fell over when I poured the milk on their cereal this morning and it turned green!  Such magic! ;]
*Jewel was so excited to go to school today because she didn't have to wear green.  At her last visit to the Orthodontist, she requested green bands on her braces.  She thinks it's pretty awesome. She did wear a shamrock garland wrapped around her headband, just in case someone thought they should pinch her from behind.
*Alfredo is excited to go to preschool wearing his green shirt and oversized Shamrock glasses. 
*Dr. D left the house without any green on at all. I'm worried about all those young girls up at the University thinking they should pinch him... :}

I usually make some fun St. Patty's day treats.  I hope I can squeeze that in today....it could be interesting.

Today I will leave you with some favorite Irish prayers and blessings.  Enjoy your St. Patrick's Day All!!!

An Irish Prayer 
May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

An Old Irish Blessing
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
One More...
May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Prayer & Tragedy

Tragedy - n. an event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress, such as a serious accident, crime, or natural catastrophe.

There have been a lot of tragedies unfolding all around lately.  The events in Japan are mind-boggling.  We don't have access to regular TV channels so my only way to see what has been going on has been on the internet.  I have found myself watching YouTube and news videos somewhere between awed and horrified.  It is hard to really understand and process what is happening there.  I don't know anyone in Japan.  My grandfather spent most of World War II in the Pacific on warships where the target was anything Japanese.  My grandparents went to Japan when they were in their early 70s - I think it may have been for my grandfather to come to peace with the war.  He left feeling a love for Japan, it's people, culture and heritage.  He told me about his experience, transmitting to me a love of God's Children everywhere.   My heart has been heavy thinking of what difficulties face the Japanese people. 

This morning I read a few blogs authored by people who have lost someone suddenly and tragically to accidents.  One was a mother, the other a wife.  My heart ached for them.

There are some things happening in my extended family right now that could definitely be described as tragic.  Things that some of my loved ones are experiencing that are causing great suffering and distress.  It hurts my heart.

In the face of all of these difficulties, I find myself wishing that I could do something.  My heart yearns to relieve some of the suffering and some of the pain.  In each circumstance, I am powerless to help.  (Yes, I can contribute something for the aid in Japan, but I cannot physically go there and help)  It seems the most I can do is pray.  Pray for peace, comfort, relief.  Pray for solutions, miracles and an easing of the way. 

And so I do.  And I thank the Lord that He is listening and loving.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Couple Successes

Can I just say thank you again to those of you who have made such nice comments on the last couple of posts?  You are awesome!!!

For anyone who is interested, I have updated our Rexburg Readers Blog.  We had a great discussion last night and I find myself grateful every month for our little book group.  Last night's discussion helped me continue this process of getting back on my feet and moving forward again.  I always feel refreshed and edified by spending time with fun women in our neighborhood and I love the books that everyone chooses.  We have officially been doing book club for a year now.  Thanks to everyone who has made it possible.  It's like a little life-line for me!!!

Yesterday I stumbled on something that I think is going to help in my quest to get my family engaged in being a part of making our home a better and cleaner place to live.  Somewhere, sometime I saw something from someone talking about how they love myjobchart.com.  So, I checked into it yesterday.  I looked at the videos they have on their homepage and decided to give it a try.  The basics are these:  you set up an account (it's free!) and then you can set up individual jobs for your kids including daily jobs, jobs they only do on certain days of the week, jobs they only do once, or extra jobs so they can earn more points.  Every job is worth points and they can use their points to earn rewards, they have even partnered with Amazon so you can reward your kids with books, DVDs, toys, games, ipods, etc., etc.  So, I spent time assigning my kids their jobs, setting up rewards, etc.  I taught my kids how to log on to check off their jobs and showed them some of the rewards they could earn just by doing their part to make our house a happy place to be.  We'll see if the trend continues, but my husband thinks that I have worked some kind of magic on the kids.  Last night and again this morning they were excited to do things I usually have to nag them to do.  You know, things like:  get dressed, brush your teeth, make your bed, pick up your toys.  What amazed me even more is that getting the kids involved made everyone anxious to create order - Dr. D and myself included.  Dr. D wants me to set up a list for him now so he can earn rewards too (I think he wants a new iPod;).  Like I said...we'll see if the trend continues, but I can see some serious possibilities here and I'm excited!

So...narrowing down my essentials has made a huge difference in my life over the last couple of days.  It has allowed me to feel successful and more enabled.  I'm sure I'll add a few more to my list over the next few weeks, but I can't even begin to say how big of a change this has made.  Serious answer to prayers here.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Yesterday and Today

Thanks Andrea and Amanda for your comments yesterday.  I really needed them.  Thank you Thank you!!!

As I was thinking about why I was in a funk yesterday I realized a few things.  One of the most important being this:  Lately in my ward and in other places, I have heard a lot (A LOT) about doing the essentials first and then everything else working out.  For me the list of essentials is exhaustingly long.  I feel completely overwhelmed because the "essentials" are already more than I can handle.  I always feel like a failure because I can't even seem to get to all of the essentials, let alone the "good but not essential" stuff.  It has been frustrating and debilitating to me mentally and spiritually. 

So yesterday, after I wrote my sad, sad, needy post, I went out to get a few things done.  The sun was shining and it wasn't as cold as I thought it was and I took a breath of fresh air.  I came home with a little more happiness in my heart.  I read comments from good friends and pondered what I could do to make the right choices to find more happiness in my life and I made a decision about something.  I decided I needed to revise my list of essentials.  So, for now, my list of essentials contains 4 things: praying, personal scripture studying, getting the beds made (ideally getting everyone to take care of their own), providing a good dinner every night.  That should leave me time to take time for myself and do things that are therapeutic for me (like blogging),  and still get other things accomplished.  This means that my house won't look perfect which is hard for me to come to, because I really believe that order is an essential quality of heaven and I'd like to have a heavenly home on earth.  But I also realize that I have been struggling for a long time to find ways to get my family more involved in taking responsibility for our home.  Now I am going to have time to study out how to make this happen. 

Yesterday was hard, today is still hard but it feels better.  Thanks for listening!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Looking for a Little Warmth and Happiness

Has it seriously been nearly a month since my last post?  I say that like I've been busy - and truthfully some things have been busy at our home.  Dr. D has been traveling a lot working with an orchestra in Southern Idaho and there are always lots of little things to keep me busy.  Things like tidying up the house, washing clothes and bed sheets, checking my email and status updates on Facebook, making meals, breaking up fights, making plans, etc.  Nothing earth shattering or really very important.  I wish I could say that I like February, but by the time February rolls around in Idaho I am quite sick of cold and snow.  The snow doesn't get to me as much as the cold and gray skies.  I know everyone feels like this to some extent.  It's harder on some than on others & some days are harder than others.  Today the sun is shining, which is nice, but it is still cold and I am longing for a nice warm day with the scent of spring blossoms reaching out to touch my senses.  But I'm going to have to wait quite a bit longer for that...

It's times like these I find it hard to be super positive about life.  Ok, readers, please help a girl out and tell me what you do to keep a bit of joy in your life, to keep things positive, to keep smiling.  I really want to hear and more importantly, I really NEED to know!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday Thoughts

Last week was a long, hard, no good very bad week.  I'm glad it's over.  But today is a new day and even though the new week begins on Sunday, I always feel like the week really starts on Monday.  So, I am going to look forward to a new week and hope it is better than the last one.

My grandma used to be somebody pretty famous in our church.  She was known by millions in our church around the world and was also known by a large number of people in the US who were/are not members of our faith.  She was the General Relief Society President of our Church for the first 10 years of my life (the Relief Society is the women's organization in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, incidentally, it is the largest organization for women in the world).  She gave lots of speeches.  In one of those speeches she said this, "Goals are stars to steer by, not sticks to beat yourself with."  Somehow I always forget that last part.  I remember that my goals are important for guiding me to do better and be better, but I forget not to start beating myself up when I don't accomplish my goals. 

At this point in the year I have always made goals and I usually have done OK with some and completely forgotten others.  This is also always the time of year when I get mad at myself because I have not accomplished my goals.  It's hard not to.  Last night Dr. D had the kiddos get out their goal list & we also pulled out our family goal list, then he did something amazing.  He had us go through the goals one by one and evaluate them.  We talked about how it was going.  We had made some progress on some of our goals, and we weren't doing very well on some of the others.  The ones that weren't going very well we talked about and decided to do better.  It was like making the goal over again.  I think I need to do the same thing with my personal goals because I'm black and blue from beating myself up over what I haven't done.  I guess this is my reminder that what my grandma said needs to be true, "Goals are stars to steer by, not stick to beat yourself with."

Monday, January 24, 2011

Stream of Consciousness Blogging

Well,  it seems that I am not really made for blogging anymore.  I just don't have time.  I have thought of just getting rid of this blog all together and just keeping my private family blog, but I guess I just can't bring myself to do that.  So, today there are lots of things just rumbling around in my head and I am just going to spend a few minutes writing. It will be random and it might be a little confusing, but that's how life is, right???

I just got an email back from our family doctor.  I was updating him on Jewel's recovery from surgery, &c.  As I read through what I wrote to him I realized that I spelled assess incorrectly (leave off the last "s" to know what I wrote).  I am mortified and don't know whether to write him back and apologize.  At the same time it makes me laugh.  I used to be a pretty good speller, ok, I've never been that great but I guess I used to do a better job of proofreading.  Those days seem like a long time ago.  I also used to be pretty organized, another thing that has disappeared from my life.  However, we have been re-organizing our basement.  It's still unfinished which pretty much makes for an open canvas.  I have been dreading doing it, but knew it needed to be done.  It's taken a week, but we now have everything re-ordered and it feels and looks much better.  The best part is that Dr. D loves it (he is the kind of guy who really likes to get things in order - which is awesome).  He says that every time he goes downstairs he just feels calm and happy.  Maybe that is partly because we really fashioned a study/practice area for him.  Anyway, he loves it, the kids love their newly designed play space and everybody is happy.  Now, if I could just make the upstairs work as well as the downstairs.  Speaking of getting things in order...I took all the pictures off my walls last week.  I just have never been happy with their placement and so I am starting over.  The house seems a little more echo-y. 

I keep trying to find joy in the daily grind.  Some days that is harder than others.  We have had lots of talks in our family about how it's not Mom's "job" to do all the cleaning, straightening and so on, but in the end, it really just happens that way.  When you have friends over and the house is a mess, do they think, "Oh those kids just haven't done their jobs."  No...you think, "Why can't that woman keep her house in order."  I realize that part of the job is getting the family members to do their part (this means, please don't lecture me on this if you choose to comment).  Order is a big deal to me - it's part of my upbringing.  My least favorite cleaning jobs are showers and toilets.  Unfortunately, I can never get anyone else to do this.  It's me or it just doesn't happen.  I am trying to figure out what I can realistically expect from my children in terms of cleaning.  This means - I have been doing it alone for too long and now I need to figure out what I can teach them to do a really good job with and then expect them to do that.  Why is this so hard?  I am a smart person, my mom did a great job of teaching her children to pitch in - I guess I just need to work on one thing every two weeks with them until they get it.  If you do have suggestions on this...I'd love to hear it.

What does a girl with thick, wavy hair do with said hair?  What kind of styles work best.  I have learned that I am not the kind of girl who can spend lots of time getting myself ready anymore.  When I was in High School it took me an hour to just dry my hair.  Most days now, I just put it up in a bun after I shower.  When I take out the bun at night my hair is still wet.  I guess I am just pretty lazy - I can't stand spending time on my hair.  You'd think I'd just get it cut super short.  I would, but I am totally scared of doing it and I also know that if I cut it all off...I really do have to spend time styling it, because I really don't want to look dumb.  I think I am just discontented because it is January and it's a discontenting time.  I miss sunshine and being warm.  I miss Arizona.  Last week I told myself to realize that I am never going to move back to Arizona and I just need to move on.  Now, I am mourning.  I always knew that was true, but I guess I always held out some hope that it could happen.  I am being realistic now and know it won't.  Is this post getting depressing?  I think so.

Just before Christmas I was called to be in the new Primary Presidency in our ward.  It's hard to believe, but I actually think I will miss being a Cub Scout Den Leader.  Crazy!!  The good thing is I'll still be seeing them weekly at Primary and (at least for now) I'm the counselor over Cub Scouts, so I'll still be involved.  It has been interesting trying to get things all put together.  I feel very grateful for the teachers in Primary and their willingness to give up their Sunday nourishing to fill the needs of others.  This is my third primary presidency.  I hope I can get it right this time.

Ok...time to wrap this up.  It's been more than a few minutes.  Off to get something done!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Confessions of a Worry Wart

There are a lot of things I am good at.  But there is one thing I have perfected.  That is ... worrying.  Yes, I am a worrier.  I worry about everything.  I don't know if this is genetic or just reflects a lack of faith in my life.  I do try not to worry, but it just happens!!!

I watched a documentary a couple of weeks ago about how stress ruins your health, shortens your life expectancy and so on and on...So I thought, I would try to de-stress and stop worrying.  It hasn't been working.  Right now, in fact, I feel sick to my stomach because I am worrying.  What am I worrying about...sorry, I'm not going to tell you.  These are my worries and if I tell you about them, then I will just worry that I told you about something I shouldn't have been talking about and it will be worse.  But the combination of many factors is increasing my worry level to great heights.

Why am I telling you all of this?  Because I want you to know that if you have left me a voice message that I haven't returned, you need to email me.  Right now the phone stresses me out.  Also, if you come to my house you will see it is out of control right now.  I am working on this, but the harder I work on it the worse it seems to become.  Weird, hu?  Also...if you see me, please don't tell me that I look tired, or worried or whatever ... I know.

Now...I am going to take a deep, cleansing breath, read my scriptures for a few minutes and then I will get to work....