I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know who I am. I know God's plan. I'll follow him in faith. I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I'll honor his name. I'll do what is right; I'll follow his light. His truth I will proclaim.

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

Monday, May 31, 2010


Day 151

It may be the video I made last year, but I still remember. I hope I will always remember.

And if the Lord could let each of them know of my gratitude, then my heart could be a little more at peace that the price they paid was not in vain or forgotten.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hearing and Hearkening

Day 150

I think I can be grateful two days in a row for the Lord's inspiration. Because only the Lord would have known of the migraine that would come today. That would hit be so strong and so fast, I was completely caught off guard. And what another stress to add if I had not already gotten 99% of the move finished yesterday. Now all I have to be concerned with is recovering (which usually just takes a good chunk of sleep), and then having the aforementioned bbq tomorrow with friends as we watch the amazing Gettysburg. A real relaxing something in a weekend full of other stresses. yes. The Lord knows me well and knows what will work best for me, and when.

I'm grateful that I listened.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Almost There

Day 149

I felt a prompting, and I followed it. And--like always!--the Lord was right. I felt very strongly around noon today that I needed to see if it was possible to move my furniture right then instead of waiting until Monday. A bit of unexpected stress and confusion had me wondering afterwards if I really should have called around the YSA branch to find any brethren who could spare the time. But we were in the middle of it all and I really couldn't change my mind then. At least. I shouldn't have.

And I didn't. I think the driving took the majority of the moving. And the guys wanted to move more than just the 6 pieces of furniture. So I scrambled around throwing everything into something and hoping that I remembered to keep back what I would need for the next 36 hours. (Already forgotten something!)

Then we were off. And that's when the adventures really shot off for me. My landlords were loaning us the use of their truck. A big truck. A very big truck. I had to raise my foot about 3 inches above my other knee just to step into the thing. And yes.

I Drove the Very Big Truck.

With furniture in the back!!! I'm almost more proud of that feat than any other accomplishment today.

Anywho. I'd set up the bed frame how I wanted and measured all over the room trying to mentally place the furniture. So once it was there and the gracious young men had gone on to enjoy the rest of their day, I set to work. My (very soon-to-be!) roommate was a great help because she talked and that helped keep me from getting overly weary as I tend to get in the unpacking stage. Indeed, I had quite the fun. And while I don't have everything out that I want out, I have things in places. Clothes all hung in the closet or in my "dresser" drawers. Pictures out and some up on walls. Bed made. The Kitchen things.

Oh--my kitchen things! I have missed having my own kitchen. And while this one will be shared, I do feel a bit more like I belong in it with my own silverware tray, cooking utensils, spice rack. OK. It sounds like I have lots of kitchen stuff. Not really. Just enough to survive when I lived on my own. But I did grow attached to those few belongings in that year. It is such a happy thing to see them everywhere--and to realize they took up about five boxes!

My room feels more like home, which is exactly what I was needing as the stress of moving and the unfounded worries and fears (unfounded, maybe; but very present, yes) kept mounting. I'm feeling much more excited to try out this new stage of life. Back to a roommate again whom I think I will get along with extremely well. We already do as friends. I don't think it will be too hard to adjust to living habits and quirks. Plus! This is my very first time to have a roommate, but to have my own room. Amazing, right?!

And then--after getting all of that completed as well as real BBQ and Memorial Day-ing plans for Memorial Day with my favoritest people around here--I drove the Very Big Truck home.

In. The. Dark

Just look at all my amazingness! Even squeezed in a hair ritual and cleaning the shower. I'll have a nice Sabbath tomorrow, and then come Monday morning it's just popping the leftovers in the car and finishing cleaning the room. Then the 2-month move will be over. (Though I could breathe more frequently and the stress was spread out, I do think that this kind of move is actually harder.)

It feels so good to follow the Spirit and see that the Lord knows what He's talking about--I feel better than I could have imagined myself being this weekend.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Where Did the Time Go?

Day 148

I received my first graduation announcement from a sibling. It's from my youngest sibling. OK. He's my only younger sibling. But still. I received one from him all the same. I have seen this day in distant future since he was born. Before that, actually. When Mom was only a few months pregnant, I was fast forwarding the unborn baby's life, wondering about him as well as where I would be as he reached various stages of his life.

Graduating from high school is one of those very prominent milestones in life. I knew he and I would graduate exactly 10 years apart. So, even more, I wondered where I would be and what I would be doing when the baby I couldn't even put into my mind's eye would be graduating. It seemed so far off. It almost seemed unreachable, as my 25th birthday had seemed unreachable for so long.

But just like my 25th birthday came and went, the time for his graduation has arrived and will be over too soon. I cannot believe that almost 18 years have passed! I know most (if not all) of my family would not see it this way, but I have often looked at myself as playing a large part in his growth and development. I mean, I was there for the first 8 years of his life. For the first two, it was usually just him and me, since the others in the family had school and church responsibilities and I had none. In the next 6 years I still felt I was often caring for him and having him come along to my own church and school activities.

I still was around him after high school. I was home during one of my college summers, and then lived at home for two years din between colleges and for the beginning of grad school. He was 12 then, and I was a youth leader, specifically over the girls his age. It was an interesting addition into our relationship. When I left home that time, we tried to stay in contact through emails and phone calls. Communication dwindled as he got busy with the last half of high school. I suppose I expected that as I had been the same way. (That's when my daily journal writing habit of 7 years faltered.)

He has a lot of similarities to me. 6 years ago, that bugged me to no end because I hated how I was in my teen years; and there he stood. Just. Like. Me. But in some ways it helped me understand him, too. I have never had trouble talking to him in spite of our age differences. And I don't think he has ever had much trouble talking to me. He became a confidant for me at times, and I was so grateful that he was the one brother (the only brother!) who would hug me, or lay my head on his shoulder whenever I needed that added strength in my life.

It's probably sounds odd to others, and I don't think anyone will truly understand this--except my Father, my Savior, and probably this wonderful little brother:

If I never have the blessing of raising children of my own in this life, I have been blessed and am grateful that I had the chance to play a small part in raising such an amazing young man.

And I am so proud of him.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Day 147

So many great things I could pick for today. But I thought I would choose the part where my landlords (for only one more weekend) decided to take me out to dinner. I don't often get to go out to eat. Especially at a "real restaurant." And most especially at a non-Chain restaurant. This one definitely had atmosphere. And the food was fabulous. I very much indulged by eating my entire meal in the restaurant instead of taking it home. So, so rare for me now to feel stuffed when I eat. And while I wouldn't want to feel like that every day--or even more than once a week--it's still a feeling that I enjoy once in a while. Wow--did I feel it. Still am!

I'm so grateful for the kindness and generosity of my landlords.

And for getting to go out to eat fabulous food in a real restaurant.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Good. Not so good.

Day 146

Good - gorgeous day

Not so good - didn't fit in a morning workout of any kind

Good - fit in a mile walk at lunch (in the gorgeous weather)

Good - seeing the man in a very clear full moon--it's beautiful!

Not so good - slight headache forming

Good - Chinese food for dinner!

Good - time in the morning to make a treat for a work friend who injured herself, and time after work to deliver treat and visit with her

Good - having a friend come over in the evening and re-living memories from the last 18 months

Not so good - Getting a bit damp while sitting at my office chair because of the humidity in the room

Good - loving the current audiobook series

Good - plowing through summer reading lists

Good - the awesome YA display we're going to have next month!

Good - compliments on my "obvious" weight loss

Not so good - having an acquaintance not come and say hello to me at work

Good - grateful patrons

Good - feeling like I know the collection better

Good - waiting to fill my car up until after my visit to my friend--and the gas price going down 2 cents in that time!

Good - safe driving

Good - Having so many good things that far outweigh the not-even-that-bad Not so good things.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Worthy of My Hire

Day 145

We didn't have storytime today. We're on a month break. But it's so nice to have time off and take care of other pressing things coming up. Then somehow with scheduling, I didn't have to spend any time at the Children's reference desk, but could stay at my desk computer.

All. Day.

All of that time to focus on, finesse about, and finish up the ever-growing To Do list.

And make a break through with my Clue Did It? teen program--plus get half of it prepared!

And make the 10+ trips to the printer on the other side of the building (yep! I get my exercise simply by printing from my computer).

And plan out Summer Reading materials for other branches.

And think out Summer Reading registration for the system.

And take care of all the things that require Publisher.

And begin the brunt work of the school summer booklists.

(And listen to audiobooks once more!)

It's amazing, relieving, and joyful how much I can get done at work without any interruptions or distractions.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hotaru Koi

Day 144

It's something I await every year. And miss it so much when I'm not near. But I am near now, and I exclaim with joy from the thrill and excitement.

I spotted "My" First Firefly of the Season!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Where is Home? - To Be Continued

Day 143

I got to have a "Family Night" tonight. There won't be many of those left, if any. I officially (and completely) move out in a week. I will lose the lovely home. The safe neighborhood. The family atmosphere. I have loved this living situation. It's had it's difficult points, yes. But overall, it has been such a wonderful experience. And part of my stress and sorrow of late has been from not wanting to leave it. I hate moving in general. But moving from something that brings me so much peace, stability, and a sense of place and belonging? It is very hard.

But I am ever so grateful for the 17 months of security, calm, and strength that I have had from this blessing in my life.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Another Mother Memory

Day 142

No one can compare to my mother. In so many areas, she is matchless. Today, it was in her never-failing patience and ability to "deal with me." My poor mom has had to endure many a phone call of me crying so hard that my speech is completely incoherent. And she knows just how to wait it out with sympathy and reassurance until I'm calm enough for the gentle advice and wisdom to come. And she knows just how to deliver it. If her words had come out of someone else's mouth, I probably would have gotten so upset with that person. But Mother says it, and I feel peace and know of its truth.

It is amazing--the power of my mother.

P.S. I told my almost roommate later on that before we marry, my future husband needs to sit down with my mom for at least a week to learn from her how to handle me. :-)
Then again, as almost roommate pointed out, he'll probably learn as Mom did--slowly and surely until it is what the Lord wants for us.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Theater. The Theater.

Day 141

I went to a local high school's musical tonight. It reminded me of my high school musical experiences. There was nothing like them. Nothing to compare. Nothing to beat, as far as high school experiences go.

I loved every bit of it.

So I went today in support of the youth that I serve in this city. And to have a night to go out on a date (with me). And to get out and do something. I had all kinds of thoughts, impressions, and memories as I watched a musical filled with 80s music.

One thought persisted. Perhaps I should feel bad about it. But I don't really.

Because seeing tonight's musical simply made me even more grateful that I was part of wonderful talent, support, and directing to be part of two amazingly produced musicals in high school.

Now I know the assistant director was right--our school could have won some High School Tonys--if such a thing existed.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Motions of Happiness

Day 140

No matter the state of tiredness,

No matter the changing level of headache,

No matter the stifling feeling of ugliness--

I made it through the day.

I got so much done. You wouldn't believe it.

-Finished reading one series
-Started finishing another series (almost half way through Book 2).
-Created 1.5 games of Jeopardy for a YA program
-Did 2 storytimes
-oversaw booklist updates
-staff meeting
-reviewed books for Summer Reading lists

Well, maybe you could--because in list form it doesn't seem impressive! But as it took me all day that I *ahem* forgot to take a lunch break and still had half of my To Do list left, I call that getting so much done.

PLUS: I couldn't get over how pretty my hair looked in its horribly messy, frizzy state.

Amazing the things that can bring you happiness, and the ways you can find happiness, when it feels like all you can do is go through the motions to make it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 139

Sick leave. It is a beautiful thing.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Work, Work, Work

Day 138

Such fun storytimes today--both of them! Enjoyment, laughter, and smiles from the books and the songs. I had a great time and I could tell the kids did, too. Such wonderful rewards that I get from the work I do! Stress, yes, but worth it and nothing like what others must have. I don't have to worry about the place completely falling apart, or losing a company 2 million dollars, or having to decide who to let go from their position. I may be busier than my mind can comprehend or keep up with, but I'm managing and it all is coupled with such fun and happiness.

I love my job. I love that I love my job. And I love that my job loves me!

Monday, May 17, 2010

It's about Perspective

Day 137

This morning I was made aware of various trials of someone else. Trials which are far beyond anything I have to deal with. Now, everyone's trials are different--"suited" to the individual. And one thing I'm really struggling with right now is trying to not compare myself with other people. Such comparisons are unfair to all parties involved. But we should still learn of, know about, see, observe, and learn from others' situations and trials. Their choices, attitudes, determination, focus, testimonies, and so forth. Because this does bring something very important and beneficial that we--or at least I--need. It brings perspective.

Today, I am very grateful for a new perspective--and I will use it to help me with my own trials.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Write It. Read It.

Day 136

You know I'm grateful for more than one thing every day, right? Some days there is a plethora to choose from. Other days, there is still plenty, but I have to look harder as I wade through my moods or tired mind to find them. My point in my 2010 Joy and Gratitude Every Day was to help me focus on the Lord's hand in my life, and to see His tender mercies all around me. Thus, on the happier days I would see them abounding, and on the not as happy days I would still see them--particularly as those were the days I most needed them. Just wanted to clarify that I'm not grateful for just one thing a day.

OK. That tangent out of the way, on to something else. The last 6 months have been such a change from the previous couple of years. The Lord has blessed me with an inner peace and happiness which cannot be touched--I haven't allowed that. Still, I have my tough times, as we all do. And I have had plenty of them in the last month. The last two weeks were the hardest.

I've had my reasons. While I would like to specifically talk about some things here, that would defeat my purpose in trying to focus more on the positive. I do need to talk about them, but I need to talk about them with someone who will be understanding about it while not being overly sympathetic. I need toughness with the tenderness. Sympathy but also guidance. Someone who will know how to handle me though it all (and that's no easy task!). Who can physically be there to wait out the possible periodical bursts of crying, or reach out in the times of silence when I either can't figure out what I'm trying to say, or just need...silence. To give me the hug(s) if I need it, to listen, and to help me get it all out.

Because there is nothing (right now, at least) that really needs to be solved. It just needs to be...out. Vented.
I am a Venter.

It doesn't have to be about something I'm angry over. Or something that annoys me either. It can just be having to talk out all of the stress that has built up over a day at work, or a storytime gone wrong, or the storytime gone exceptionally right, or the 35 things I did in a day to finish planning a program, or the printout that won't print out, or.... I have all these little things, and when I'm in a mood to talk, it really helps to talk these out. Either to laugh over them, or to analyze them, or to make my little "grr" and move on, or to hear a "you've done well--good job." But whatever to get them out. When I don't talk them out, they build. And build and build and build until there's so much inside and I can't help but cry profusely at inopportune moments and feel more exhausted and have every thing that wasn't wrong in the first place now feel wrong and all of it rolls together and I can't breathe and the teensiest things then do annoy my and I start to get angry--mostly with myself--and I get even more worked up than I had been and


I know. You should try being me for a week. You'd be grateful you're you! :-)

If I had someone to often and regularly turn to with that, I don't think (at least I hope) that I would get as built up inside. I wouldn't be at the point I am every weekend when the busy, stressful, no-time-to-think-or-breathe work week is done and I finally have time to let all the thoughts and feelings and everythings come back at me. The point where at times I feel I can not make it.

Yet I do make it. I have to find other, usually less efficient methods to vent. A good hard cry. That's the physical ventation. An edible treat to tell myself it's OK and please the stomach to distract the soul. It works. (Though that's the emotional eating that I'm trying to work on, but still....it's not completely out of control!) A good book or movie to curl up and remember sweet, silly things that then remind me of the silly things I've been stressing over.

But the main thing is, I make it. And sometimes, I document. I write when I'm upset. I write as the Lord and I are working through things. I write when a friend does come along to help. I write when I feel I'm getting nowhere. I write when I feel progress. I write. And then, like this evening, I read.

Therefore, I can see all of the many times that I have made it through. I testify to myself and of myself that the Lord and I made it before. I always make it. And I come to understand myself a little more. And I hopefully try to be a little better with the next trial or struggle that comes along.

And there it all is as proof, reminder, lesson, and renewed commitment in a written record--and I know (and begin to feel) that I am fine. Peace begins to return. Happiness, which was always there waiting for me to choose and hold on to it, comes back into my grasp once more.

P.S. I would like to mention that prayer is always a method of ventation. Always. Usually the first. Sometimes the only. Please don't think I forgot about the best method of all! But Heavenly Father knows His daughter. He knows the times I desire--possibly even need!--companionship. A friend physically there to help me through it all. To encircle me with their arms as the physical manifestation of the arms of His love. Well, what can one expect--physical touch is currently my primary love language. And my second? Quality time. Yep--sitting there with me, taking the time to talk with me, any thing that is time with me. It's what helps.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mother Memory #6

While I was in 6th grade, my father had to go to D.C. for some conference thing that would last a couple of days. Mom was going with him. As my brother was still under 2 years at the time, he was going along with them. As was I. I really don't have any clue why. Memory tells me that Mom said something about "wanting my help." Honestly? Me? Why didn't they pick one of the other kids, particularly my more capable sister? It will never make sense to me why I was the other child picked to go along, but I will be forever grateful.

It was one of the most fun, interesting, and exciting vacations I have ever taken. I was taken out of school for 3 days. We drove to get to and from. We stayed at a hotel that completely wowed me, but not quite as much as the underground world I was introduced to. Shops underground! Including a bookstore! I was mesmerized. While Dad was in his conferences during the day, Mom, little brother, and I played tourists. We tried to squeeze so much in during that short time. I found it all so interesting and, um, WOW. And I loved being able to help with the stroller and anything else Mom asked me to help with. In the evenings, I stayed with my brother while Mom and Dad went out.

Our final stop on our last day was the LDS temple. It is the first time in my memory that I ever saw this edifice. What an indelible impression it left on me. I had long wanted to see it. Even then I knew of its importance, but I didn't yet know just how much.

There were so many things from this trip, this memory, that could be looked at. Mom wanting to show me historical places like Mount Vernon. Mom wanting to show me things of my nation's capital like the many monuments. Mom allowing me for a little bit of worldly fun that we did not have at home (I watched the Disney channel in the mornings and we had room service!) Mom wanting to take me to the temple. Mom allowing me to help her. So, so much. It was wonderful. But I think what was the most wonderful was all of that time--uninterrupted by school, church responsibilities, or other siblings (minus my baby brother)--that I got to spend with her.

Just Mom and Me.

Mother Dear--I Love You So!

Day 135

Today, I am grateful that Heavenly Father sent one of His Daughters to earth--at the right time, to the right place, and with wonderful blessings and opportunities so that years later when I would come along, I would be born to this grown Daughter who had the best knowledge, testimony, strength, wisdom, patience, experience, and much more to raise me....and my other 7 siblings.

Happy Day of Birth for us all (and especially for me!), to my own dear Angel Mother!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sol--A Needle Pulling Thread!

Day 134

I completed 1/5 of one of my 29 various goals that I had set.
  • use my sewing machine on at least 5 projects
Thus using the material left over from YW days when we made shorts (which I finally finished last year and now use for PJs)
And using left over material for our YW princess hats for Girls Camp one year
I created completely on my own....

A Purse!

Well, OK. I did have to call me Mum. Once. Because after getting the all but the straps done, the sewing machine started to act up and I couldn't for the life of me figure out why. Yes. From the other side of the country Mom had to try and troubleshoot her old machine which she hadn't seen in quite some time. (And there you have Mother Memory #5!) Se gave me suggestions and tried a couple of other things.

I was able to finish it, as you can see. The intention is for a RS project we're doing of making purses and putting hygiene kits inside, then donating them all to a battered women's shelter. I thought I'd try out a pattern I found to see how simple it was. And considering this is officially my, um, 5th or 6th (?) project to complete on a sewing machine, I would definitely call that simple.

Of course, that also means it doesn't look all that great. I've never been good with all of those exact details. Probably why I'm not a good artist, and have some struggles with a few musical things when I expect more on the perfection part. I also don't know how sturdy this bag is. I suppose we can use it as the model, but I'm not sure it's worthy of giving away.

Is it bad to say that I'd be all right with that. Because I've been needing a purse for some time. For about 4 or 5 years, I've been using my old temple bag--which is actually a large scripture case--as my purse. I wouldn't mind having another option. And I feel connected to it, too. I also had so much fun doing it, and loved feeling so homemakery, that I began another purse and got all the way to the straps. The sewing machine decided to act up again and I had to leave for a graduation party. So it is almost done. The material is definitely not as sturdy--it's the leftovers from my Austen dress. But it's such a pretty pale yellow.

So, I guess I'm actually more like .38 done with one of my goals this year--and I feel so accomplished even if it isn't all that amazing by others' requirements and standards. It's amazing for me.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mother Memory #4

My mother (with occasional help from my sister) read the entire Little House on the Prairie series to me when I was very young. The first one that I really remember being read to me each night was These Happy Golden Years. To this day, it is still my favorite secular book. It's not just the book itself. It's that my mother read it to me.

By the way--my mother placed a great deal of importance and value on reading to and with your children--both secular works as well as the scriptures. Today I stand as testimony, standard, and product of her diligence, determination, dedication, and wisdom--a librarian, a lover of reading, and a budding young scriptorian in progress.

Water can do THAT, too

Day 133

A few days ago, my parents passed along information of how to use "our" Kangen water to help treat things like acne, eczema, psoriasis, cuts and scrapes, sunburns, moles, warts, and sore throats. I've known that the water can help with these, but I wasn't exactly sure which water to use. I'd tried on my own, but had no clue what I was doing. I'm having that problem with other uses.

-So I use pH 11.5 for cleaning food, but all kinds?
-Which household cleaning do I use it for?
-When do I use the pH 2.5?
-What else can I use this pH level for?

It's all quite new and very exciting to see the many capabilities. So I like it when things like this are passed along that come right and tell me to which level which way to help for this or that. As I currently suffer from a couple of the items on the list they passed on to me, I thought I might as well try. After all, "it's just water." It can't hurt me. And it shouldn't have any reaction as all of those creams, lotions, facewashes, ointments, and every other thing can (and with me, usually do).

So I tried. Sprayed on 2.5. Then "soaked" for a few minutes with 11.5. And ended with a splash of 5.5.

It was the first time in many, many days that my face was not in pain.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mother Memory #3

Fourth grade. The night before the trip to the state capital. We'd had chili. And, as we really don't want details, let's just say I didn't want to eat chili for quite a few years after that night's broken rest.

I had tried to do as I was told--get to the bathroom. My young self didn't think that bathroom = ~30 steps, at least. The majority being over white carpet. Yep.

Memories of that evening are vague. But I do remember my wakened mother (and sister) gently putting me back to bed (or was it bed, because I remember it beginning there...) and cleaning up the various spots and traces all the way down the hall. She must have been so tired. If calculations are correct, she was in the last 1/2 (if not near the very end) of her pregnancy with child #8. Child #8 who was coming at a fairly advanced age (considering typical pregnancy age in these times). How exhausted, how uncomfortable, how...everything she must have been. But she didn't scold me for not staying in one place to make the ordeal easier to clean up. She calmly suggested that next time I not move. I still wonder if part of her wanted to laugh at the bit of silliness that resided among it all.

What I remember most was her tenderness, her caring, her nurturing, her patience. And it didn't end there, as the next morning she was all ready in preparing me for the school field trip--complete with Life Savers holes (my first ever!). Just one time of illness for just one of her 8 children that my mother must have spent innumerable hours taking care of. She truly is amazing!

Rain on my Face, Wind...Rushes By

Day 132

It was brief, but we had a glorious thunder (and lightning) storm. Pounding rain. Strong winds. Bright flushes. Loud rumbles. Absolutely beautiful. I love thunderstorms. We don't get many around here, and I've missed them. One thing I did not expect was that the storm would pass in time for the clouds to move over just a bit and make for a magnificent sunset. I am a lover of clouds, as well--and oh if you could have seen them. As well as the overall affect everywhere I looked. It was breath-taking. Times like that my heart aches that I have no talent to reproduce such beautiful scenes and I know I'll never be able to remember exactly as I saw them.

But I'm grateful that for a few moments I did see it, and that the Lord will provide many more in future.

(P.S. Bud survived the quick storm very well. It amazes me the strength she has and how much weather she has endured in her young state.)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother Memory #2

In a family of 6 boys and just 2 girls, the males dominated our home. Not in an unrighteous way. Just, I have noticed in looking back that many things were deferred to what the males preferred. For example, certain subjects they didn't want to talk of, listen to, or be anywhere near. So "those subjects" were not talked of. You know. Girl stuff. Well, once in a while my sister and I might speak of it in our room. But not all that often. Indeed, it took me so long among female roommates at college to get "used" to talking of some subjects so freely. I think I still feel a bit embarrassed and in the wrong when it comes up. But particularly if any male is present. They don't want to hear about it if they can help it--and I don't blame them.

Anywho. My mother is very proper. I hold propriety very highly, and I think I got that from Mom. So you can guess and you'd be right that "those subjects" were not often talked of by my mother. And I felt it too awkward to bring them up...unless absolutely, unavoidably necessary--which are different memories and ones too special and sacred to share.

In high school, we had some church friends from another ward come and stay at our home for a few days during our All-State final practices. The girl and I were riding in the car with Mom when the girl brought up one of "those subjects" without even batting an eye! And shock of all shocks--my mother joined in! It was one of the funniest conversations I have ever been part of, as well as one that was very honest, simple, and, well, human. My mother seemed more real and relatable to me after that conversation.

But there's just something about laughter among surprise and slight blushes which seal that as a prominent memory.

Awake and Arise

Day 131

Waking early and managing a scripture study and a mile run before 7 a.m.? That's one great start to a day! I am grateful that I was physically able to wake up (and early!), and physically able to run.

But mostly, I am grateful that I had one more day.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother Memory #1

We had moved in the middle of my high school years. I went from so many friends, school activities, church involvement, and much more to...nothing. And no matter what I worked on that summer, I began the school year very much alone. Unfortunately I got swept up into the wrong crowd, and it was almost 2 months before the Lord truly blessed me to get out of that situation. My attempts at school activities sadly worked in reverse, and I was supposed to get a job.

My parents took pity on my desperate situation, and when I landed a lead role in the musical, they extended my time for when I would need to obtain employment. The two months being part of the musical proved a great blessing. I finally made friends and began to feel a part of the school. Yet the close of those two fantastic months approached. The day of our last performance was not only difficult because of the impending job that would take me away from the new friendships I was forming, but also brought some sad news within the family that struck down much too deeply. I cried so much on Closing Night. And the pain was not much eased the following day as I readied for church.

Mom was very sick that morning. She was not able to go to church, and it was up to me to get "the boys" ready and off. I stopped by Mom's room just before we left. In her extremely weary, sickened state, she still could see the pain I was in. She sensed the hurting that coursed through me. And she tenderly asked, "Do you need a hug?" It meant so much to me to have that hug. And to hear her reassure me that she was aware of what I was going through, and to offer words of comfort.

That time in her room before I had to leave was probably no more than 2 minutes. But it is one of the most precious memories I have of my mother. My poor mother ended up with a very emotional daughter, and at that point we still did not know any of the medical causes we would find out a few months later. But at that time, my mother knew exactly how I was feeling, and knew exactly what to do to help and comfort me. It was the beginning of more than a decade of countless "unaccountably emotional" times she would endure with me and strengthen me throughout.

Letting Go

Day 130

After two years of joys, concerns, and worries, I am happy to announce:

my baby's been adopted!

I do believe, from personal experience, that she has found a good home. Oh, yet I shall miss her.

She has grown so much in our short time together.

And I had such hopes to raise her myself.

But I knew I could not provide her a good home for a long time, and it was best for her to have some place else to live and someone else take care of her. She would never be able to fully grow and reach wonderful potential without this necessary adoption.

There was finally an interested party. But they kept putting it off for over a year. And during that time as she struggled to hold on to life but was held back in potential growth, I worried I would have to just sit and watch her die.

Then this morning I noticed that my dear Bud's adoption had been finalized, and it brought a simple, sweet joy to my currently sorrowful, tumultuous soul.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Glorious Name...and Person

Day 129

It is the Day of Days when we celebrate the moms in our lives. Today, I tried to extend a little and reach out to some of the mothers "in my life" whom I've not really reached out to before. It made the day a little more special for me. It also made it a little easier because--as this was one very hard week to be the one that led up to the annual Mother's Day celebration--it helped me look at different things and in different ways that I would not have normally looked at or thought about.

But, of course, the majority of this day's honor went to my own dear, wonderful, amazing mother. I did so many things to keep her on my mind, remind me of "the little things," and honor the memories I have of her. And, being me, you can count on some of them being odd things.

-I used my special eggnog shower gel, because my mother always had eggnog ("Christmas milk") when I was growing up.

-I pulled out the wispy strands at my hairline and using a little bit of water--Voila! Insta-curls! When I was very young, Mom would often get my hair wet, wind it around her fingers, and let go to ringlets abounding all over my head. Yeah. I was cutie. I was completely fine with having cutesy curls framing my face, because they made me think of Mom. (And heaven help me but occasionally I do like the cute look! How...?!?!)

-I wore my Easter dress. It always reminds me of the little purple dress Mom made for me when I was 3 or 4 (and around Easter, I think). The dress also reminds me of the countless times Mom would dress her "Doll Baby." I exuded cuteness today--all in the name of Mother. And she laughed when I told her.

-I brought frosted mini-wheats as my snack at Church. I gave all but one to my friend who really needed some food, but the cereal (as well as Kix) makes me think of Mom.

-I sang in a musical number. It was a 3-song medley. One of the songs ("Love is Spoken Here") was my first public musical performance that did not involve more than 10 people. In fact, it was a duet with my sister. (I got "the guy's part" of course--but it is one of my favorite parts and was the part the women sang today.) Ward Talent Show. I remember practicing a few times before the actual night. And I had a sense even then that my mother was proud of us. I don't think any of us had any idea how much more my sister and I would give to Mom (and Dad, too!) to be proud of where the singing is concerned. Anyway. The practicing and performing of that song often brings my mother to my thoughts, so I was happy that was one of the songs in the medley. And, as I sang it, I thought of my mother and it made the musical number a completely different piece.

-We're studying Old Testament in Sunday School. Mom not only taught me the scriptures as I grew up, but she was my teacher for that particular work of scripture in Seminary. No one, yet, has been able to top her in teaching it well and interestingly, and helping me learn new things. Every time I crack open the Bible to the Old Testament, I remember my mother as I read the words and think on the lessons and principles.

-I last minute had to teach Relief Society. The topic was on prayer. Mom taught me well about prayer. And the "I see my mother kneeling" of the previously mentioned song was always one I knew to be true in my home. And we covered the scripture Moroni 10:3-5--one of the greatest lessons my mother ever taught me, and I don't think she realizes the huge impact that lesson has had on my entire life.

-I looked over various Primary songs, and thought on my mother.

-I sang on the way home, wishing Mom could hear me. Bet she wishes that, too!

-I drink my Kangen water. Every time I drink that water, I think of how much my mother (and father) love me so much to have brought it into my life. I think of how much it has blessed my mother's life and helped with her health. Others see water, maybe even "weird water" or "my water." But it is more to me. It is one more physical manifestation of the love, concern, care, mindfulness, and nurturing that my mom and dad have for me.

-Along with the Kangen water, they have introduced living water in my life. And as I spent this whole day in studying more of the Gospel and renewing covenants that are a part of that Gospel and this Church, I don't think there is any greater reminder of my mother and father, and blessing they could have given to me. Well, aside from my physical, temporal life.

I know. This post was to be about my mother. But even Mom would agree that she's not Mom without Dad. They are sealed into one whole unit. They are me. I am them. Life is, because they are. I'm grateful for their complementing differences, and for the relationships I have with them.

And today, I am so grateful that I am my mother's daughter.

In further honor of my mother, this coming week's posts will be dedicated to Mom and some of my memories of her.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I Love to See

Day 128

I go because I should go.

I go because I am commanded to go.

I go because I want to go.

I go because I need to go.

And today, though I went because of all of those things, it was very much for the last one. So much that the Lord and I had to communicate with each other. Another small step in the very long process I am going through, and one I'm very grateful to have access to. Slowly, but surely, I am making progress. I am getting through. What would I do without that closer access to heaven?

Oh, how I really do love the temple.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Have I Done Any Thing?

Day 127

Some days are so busy that every task flows together till you wonder if you completed this, or started that. You wonder exactly what you did and just how much of it you did. But one thing you never wonder about--that you did something.

A multitude of tasks that keeps one on the veriest tips of their toes as they run hither and thither can be quite refreshing, satisfying, empowering, and gratifying.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

"I like smiling. Smiling's my favorite."

Day 126

I'm so worn out physically and mentally right now; I haven't even had time to consider if I'm exhausted emotionally. But after various events of the day, and having drifted off about 3 times already that I just need to go to sleep, I think today's post from The Thursday Chronicles best sums up today's joy and gratitude(s).

If you chance to meet a [not-so-happy-event-on-the-supposed-to-be-amazing-Thursday]
Do not let it stay!
Simply [do a whole bunch of wahoo-isn't-this-fantastic!?! things]
And smile that [not-so-happy-event-on-the-supposed-to-be-amazing-Thursday] away!

No one likes a [not-so-happy-event-on-the-supposed-to-be-amazing-Thursday]
Change it for a smile.
Make the world a better place
By [doing a whole bunch of wahoo-isn't-this-fantastic!?! things] all the while.

~"If You Chance to Meet a Frown" (aka "Smiles") by Daniel Taylor

And it really works.


Yes, smiling is a favorite.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

All Together in One Great Whole

Day 125

I love a day full of so many little things that amount to one great day. Things like

*my co-worker's banana chocolate chip cookies. Oh wow. Consumption was definitely too much.

*finally having a return to my ever favorite RA and updating all of the YA master lists. My how long I have waited.

*packing my car to the brim with Car Load #3 for Part 2 of The Imminent Move. There is such a joy to see how much I can fit into my Lizzie. You'd be surprised. It bothers me that there is still a total of ~24 cubic inches of space in the car, but I have to have some space for my work things tomorrow morning. And because there's really not much else I can pack as I still need something for this last month before I'm officially and completely moved out.

*the workout from more packing, lifting, and stair climbing--and knowing I'll get the other part of that workout tomorrow afternoon

*washing the dishes. Always something that calms me down and gives me time to think and de-stress. I didn't care that it wasn't "my night." They sat there needing to be done and there wasn't anything else to do while dinner cooked.

*creating a healthy dinner that was so good. I don't know what to call it, but it consisted of fresh spinach layered with mashed sweet potato, organic salsa, and sliced kiwi. Mmmm. It was so good. And really, my water makes the food so amazingly good--it's unfair to everyone else who cannot taste how marvelous it is!

*a very enjoyable hour of the members of the household sitting around the table eating their own thing, chatting, and laughing at the end of the day. We should have more evenings like that.

* seeing how much cleaner my room is with only Truck Load of Furniture and Car Load #4 left to move. And there's even more floor space so I can do my Turbo workouts again!

I love it when life is so marvelous that absolutely everything--the good and the not-so-good--brings something to be grateful and joyful about.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Blessing of Guidance

Day 124

I can't believe how fast my day flew by. I kept forgetting to go to lunch...or just wasn't getting around to it. By the time I got back from lunch, I had only a little over 2 hours left of work. I should take late lunches more often!

Now if I were to score my day productively, I would say I did not do well. Actual tasks done, etc. would not be impressive. But I know I did stuff. And I also know that in this time of change at work and with extreme busyness impending, once every so rarely often of taking a day a little slower in pace is not going to be detrimental.

Indeed, it was very beneficial. I could feel myself smiling more--and not with huge effort. Laughing came more easily. Letting the silly, this-doesn't-matter-so-much things go was not hard. I just roll my eyes when I see the ugliness on my face because I can't control that, and honestly who is going to comment on that unless they're really socially uncouth? I laugh about the piles at my desk. I let myself be a little calmer about the things I have to do, because I know it is not life or death to accomplish them, and that others will understand if I make a mistake or two. So I may feel so unprepared and more unqualified than ever for my job. Oh well. I'll learn even more that way.

And aside from work, there is so much more just of my life in general that is coming back into focus as to what's important and what's not. Good reminders. Reassurances. Declarations. Wise counsel and "of course!" commandments.

It's so nice when the roller coaster starts climbing back up, no matter what the speed is.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Can't Keep a Good Dog Down

Day 123

I did not want to go to work today. Not. At. All.

It wasn't that I didn't want to go to work. It was I didn't want to go to work. I didn't want to go anywhere. But even if circumstances hadn't changed, I went. In spite of...everything. I went. Which, of course, was the wisest choice as I knew it would be.

Sure, I didn't care much about my appearance. (Sorry to my mother and my image consultant. But there are those days.)

And didn't really care that the humidity doubled in the room.

And didn't care that my desk sprouted 3 more piles without me even sitting at it today.

And didn't care that I ate twice as much for breakfast since I only had one other meal in the day.

And didn't care that all day I looked and sounded like I'd just been dragged out of bed when really I'd been up since just before 7--on my morning off!


I finished straightening what I could of my room and even managed to vacuum the batch of carpet that appeared.

I listened to the Elder Perry and Sister Perry interview podcast.

I re-watched a couple of episodes of my new favorite period drama.

I accomplished everything on my work To Do list, as well as some things I forgot to put on it.

I had a 20-minute power nap at lunch.

I heard baby birds chirping up in the vent for hours at work.

I managed to be creative...kind of.

I had some good PR with some of my patrons.

I put on happy music as I wound down for the day.

I laughed. And smiled. More than once.

Ignoring the not-really-important and getting so much done? Wonderful.
Having a laugh and a smile? Priceless.
Knowing Who makes all of it possible? Sweetest Joy.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

It's All in the Presentation

Day 122

Some days, all you can do to find a happy spot in the day is to turn to the vanity. Yep. I didn't want to look like I was feeling awful, sad, hurt, distraught, or any other negative emotion inside. So I put in the contacts even though my eyes were tired and I knew the on and off crying would make them more uncomfortable. And I put on make-up, though I skipped the mascara as last week's huge streak of it all during sacrament meeting before I could get to water to get it off was lesson enough there.

But mostly, I wore that one twirly black dress outfit that is probably too flattering. Add to that the fact that I'd done a hair ritual in the morning, and my curls looked fabulous. I did a half up-do with a ribbon of the beautiful royal blue intertwined among it all.

And though I felt terrible, I looked amazing. It helped enough to make the day not only bearable, but even interspersed with happy times.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Out in Society

Day 121

I was social today. Twice over. In one case that was fine, because it was at my home and I was in a comfort zone. And I had a lot of fun. The group that was there (half of them new to me) was very pleasant to spend 3 hours making wedding invitations with.

The other case involved me not only going out, but driving 45 minutes away to a home I've never been to and didn't know who lived there to a group where I didn't think I'd know any but one person. Oh how I didn't want to go. But I knew I should go. I knew it would mean a lot to that one person. So I went. I actually made it. And she is such a fun, outgoing, happy person that my social anxieties were easily hidden and I don't think any of the other group noticed a thing. Not only that, I also enjoyed myself. And that was quite a plus. Especially considering that it was a bridal shower (for a different bride) which can always go in so many directions and have me extremely wary. Nope. This really was just a relaxed, talking, laughing, eating get-together. Perfectly fine with that!

I was worn out by the time I got home, but I'm grateful that I made the social efforts and that they weren't painful in the least.