Saturday, July 31, 2010
At long last! I finally was able to make it into a pool this summer. It's probably the only time I will get to. And it was in such a lovely setting and I was actually having fun with the people there. Very nice to enjoy a social function--especially one with access to a pool!
Friday, July 30, 2010
My wonderful co-worker--whom I don't get to see very often since the switch in departments--and I realized that neither of us had any Friday evening plans. So we were spontaneous and decided to hang out at her house. We walked her dog, which I enjoy because the dog is cute, I like the neighborhood, I need the exercise, and I love our talks. Then she made us a yummy dinner.
But best of all (besides the talking and laughing) was when she suggested we try her Wii Dance Party (or something like that). I'm so not coordinated in things like that. And I hate looking like a fool. That's why I like to do my exercise videos at home. By myself.
But both of us looking silly, uncoordinated, and lacking rhythm together? Ah, it was such fun. Add to that image two librarians still in their black work dresses and their hair done and I have quite the enjoyable memory. It was a very fun evening and I'm so glad we were able to have that.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Considering some of the thoughts of the day, and then especially this evening, I am having a very hard time being of good cheer. These are the moments when I must focus even harder on what good did occur in the day. For there is always good to find. There are always tender mercies of the Lord that came my way. And it is my task to find them, hold to them, and be grateful for them.
So as I search, and try not to repeat any of the same grateful-for things I think I've been saying over and over for the last few weeks, the sadness wants to prevail.
But I will not let it. I am choosing to find some happiness, that I may have some happiness.
And I choose the many compliments, reassurances, and pats-on-the back of how I'm doing in my job, which all came in just one day.
It's nice to know I do something right.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Decisions can be such difficult things. So many different kinds of decisions, and so many different ways to come to the decision. And with so many reasons, causes, and effects that are entailed into a decision, it is absolutely no wonder that one of the biggest understatements ever is "This is a hard decision."
I have been going through such difficult decision dilemmas myself of late. These have been some of the most complicated I've ever had, because I can only get at it in tiny pieces, with time in between before I can get another tiny piece taken care of. I never feel I've quite made the full decision because there always seems to be more to the decision. It's a bit odd. I don't remember going through this before, though I'm sure I have. Maybe I just wasn't as aware of it before.
So, while it's not easy, I'm grateful for the part that prayer always plays in this, and that I can tell I am getting somewhere in making this current decision(s).
Saturday, July 24, 2010
OK. So they were leftover from last night because I couldn't wait until Pioneer Day for them. But I still had them on Pioneer Day. They made a wonderful breakfast. And just how they honored so many of my ancestors and indeed the entire Church's heritage I cannot really tell you. Perhaps, their diligence, courage, and faith which helped the Gospel and its followers to stay strong and immovable, allowing me and others to believe and live our beliefs, values, and standards. And such freedom and ability to live what brings me the greatest joy makes sense to celebrate it with something else that brings me joy.
Ah, yes. Sassy Pancakes. A rare treat.
Friday, July 23, 2010
I had twelve. Twelve!!! Twelve whole (not half!) teens at my mystery program. Aside from the annual Teen Poetry, that's more teens than we've ever had at any teens only program. And they had fun. And I had fun. And it went off with much success. It was marvelous!
Oh, I do love the wonderful and varied joys from my job! I'm getting a glimpse of how motherhood can be so rewarding.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
It's something I know and yet realize over and over again. But with this "new" position I've had for 6 months, especially this very difficult time of the position itself and in my life in general, I am really realizing how important a spouse is. How important it is to have that best friend to lean on during your hard times, and be the support they need in their tough times. How important it is to be loved and to be needed. To have the give and take that makes human existence worthwhile, meaningful, purposeful, and wonderful.
And I really, really miss my best friend...whomever he is.
But at least I have this time of preparation; and I think part of my preparation is gaining a testimony of the importance of, joy in, and gratitude for my eternal companion, which will always remain with me, come what may.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Headway with SRP prizes. Dividing among 3, and with over 18000 individual items of varying qualities, quantities, sizes, ages, and, uh, other factors...it has been quite the exercise for my already tired brain.
So when I realized as I left work that I forgot to complete a storytime for tomorrow and forgot to eat during the day, well, I guess it was a relief to know that neither one of those made me stress more. It just made me laugh.
I think perhaps this job is helping me to become more easy-going and slightly less harder on myself. I hope any how.
One other thing of gratitude for today that I didn't want to let pass over. I got an unexpected phone call from a friend. Most calls from them are unexpected because I rarely expect this friend to call. At least, not for any out-of-the-blue-no-purpose-behind-it phone calls. Which, are the kind that I like best. And because I like them so much, I try not to ever let myself look forward to them, because then I just get disappointed when they don't come. So, it's a surprise to me when the phone rings and the ID points identifies my friend. But when it's a call for no real reason than just...to call, it's an even greater surprise.
So, while I'm still blown away and even a bit confused that a call came this evening, I'm grateful it did. I needed those smiles and something to take my poor, tired mind off of all that it has to think of.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Having to work Tuesday evenings this month, I've had to plan on missing Institute. That's not a happy thing for me. Institute is my favorite part about being in the branch. Often, it feels like the only thing that I get any spiritual gain or lift from. I know a big part of that is our teacher and his wife. And we now know that once we are done studying the Doctrine and Covenants, he will be released. It will be a very sad change for me. So it has been even harder knowing I'm missing these last few classes that he's teaching. So it was a very happy thing when tonight's performer ended and and took down in plenty of time for me to make it to half of tonight's class!
I was very, very grateful that I could study the scriptures in a happy, worthwhile, uplifting scripture class.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Can you believe it? 200 days! I can't believe we are already that far in the year.
And what thing of gratitude do I have for today? So many to choose from. Like the tasks which are always present at work. The practicing of my Mystery program for this Friday. The completion of this week's storytimes. The opportunity to sleep in. The chance to clean my water machine (and now the water tastes even better!). Making headway in the rally difficult audio format of a book I've wanted to read for years. Or the accomplishment of separating most of the SRP prizes between the 3 branches. And with my state of brain functioning, this is nothing short of miraculous!
Yet today, I can't help picking a favorite of something which often brings a smile to me. You can probably guess. Yes. Food.
Because I'm more conscious, aware, and careful of those choices, I believe food means even more to me than it did before. At least, I appreciate it more and feel a greater gratitude for the various ways it affects me.
So, yes. Today's item of gratitude is another food item. And not just any food item. Cookies! Yes. I do have a weakness for some cookies. But what do you call the discovery of almost a whole box of cookies that have been open for over a month, which has oddly enough come if the form of a soft, moist staleness rather than a crunchy, dry staleness?
I call it fabulous.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
I get nostalgic on Sundays. So I watched a VHS home movie of when my Beehives and I made a video letter for the missionaries serving from our ward. It was only about 4 1/2 years ago. Only. Really. But it seems forever and a day! And to see how much the ward members have changed. Particularly how the young ones have grown up.
But I got to see my little brother when he was, well, little.
And a couple of my brothers and their wives.
And a couple of nieces and nephews when they were so tiny--nursery age, if that!
And young men who are now on missions.
Goodness. Two of the 4 elders we mailed the letter (and all the treats) to have been married for a year.
So much change. But it all made me smile.
And then I saw myself sing "Popular" in the Ward Talent Show.
And I remembered why I rarely ever watch that video!
Oh well--at least I have some way to relive the not-too-distant past when I want, and smile at the memories but be grateful for my present life.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I sometimes forget that I don't need to feel guilty if I can't get to aerobic exercise because I'm exhausted, because it's ickily dripping hot outside, or because my little toe (which happens to be my middle toe) is still in pain from a couple of days ago.
Especially when I remember something that has become quite enjoyable, is almost always doable for me, and is just as stress-relieving (if not moreso!):
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
May we please have a moment of silence for my BYU pearls, who--after 8 years--finally went the way of all the earth.
I decided that I would honor the memory of this beloved necklace by looking exceedingly pretty and making myself (and my mind) extremely busy.
Oh, I will miss my dear pearls and the memories and sentimentalities connected with them, but I'm grateful I had them!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
In the last 2 months or so, I have spent every spare moment near a piano practicing the Pioneer Medley our branch choir was going to sing. A lovely medley, a very nice arrangement. But one killer piano part for one of my skill level. I worked and worked. I got close to tears sometimes because it was a harder piece than I thought it could be and I felt frustrated. (Or, as one speaker said twice in her talk today "flustrated.")
Maybe it was the stress to get it ready, and the relatively few times I had to practice. Give me 2 or 3 days a week for an hour of practice (at least) for another month and I would have felt better.
But I had all the time I would get.
Today was THE day. I prayed I would do as well as I could, and be happy with how I did. And that no matter what I did, I would not detract from the message and the spirit of the music.
So, while I didn't play about 10% of the notes, and messed up 30% of them, that still means about 60% went well! I'm not as upset as I've known myself to be in the past. In fact, the only upset that I have is with how my long-practiced, 8 measures (4 of them memorized: do you know how long and how hard it is for me to memorize piano music? So odd with my typically good skill of memorization) of an intro were totally botched up. The choir wasn't even sure where and when to come in! It upset me because I knew I could play it. I had played it. Many times. And correctly! So my consolation was that everyone in practice had heard me play it correctly at one point.
Yet no one commented. No one said "whoa" or "yikes" or "good job." But I suppose silence can be golden in this case.
Either way. Prayers are answered because even with that horrible and obvious (ai, there's the rub) mistake, well.... I didn't cry--because I had 7 more pages to get through! And though after the song I was slightly annoyed that I made the huge mistake, I still can't help smiling. It was so bad, it's actually rather funny. And perhaps I handled it better because I read a Mormon Mommy blog post a couple of weeks ago that was spot on hilarious. I just couldn't help laughing even more at all of this and realizing I am not alone and no one (of course) expects perfection.
I'm so grateful that the Lord helps me, well, get over it.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Not much can compare to a day where you can take part in every ordinance in the temple. Especially when 3 or those ordinances are for your own family! The sealing session was very special, and each name (5 sons and 1 couple) was a tender, precious moment for me. And how wonderful to have listened to the Spirit Wed. night and actually be able to prepare 14 names for the branch's baptism session!!! I was amazed, and yet so happy. So many amazing experiences.
But it didn't end there! Let me back up first. Due to upsetting circumstances, I had to go up by myself. So I decided to make the most of it and I had an Enos prayer. Yep. The whole drive. And all throughout my time at the temple. Well, we had a lot to talk about! And it was wonderful. I also felt the Lord's guiding hand as I avoided possible collisions and crashes with the on-and-off again torrential rains. I still made it up there in 3 hours (with a restroom break!). Which allowed for all the time to take part in all the ordinances.
So, for the ride back, I was asked if I would have a sister come along with me. We were VT companions for a few months, and now she is my VT. Even after being in the same branch for so long, neither of us felt we knew each other that well. I wondered what the ride home would be like. That was the shortest drive home from the temple I've ever had. And one of the most enjoyable. And I didn't get the headache that I always get when I have to drive to that temple. What a gem she is! We learned that we have so much in common. And we never ran out of things to talk about--in fact, we left plenty of conversations unfinished. I love friends like that!
And she was an answer to so many prayers over the last few days and weeks. Here I've been longing for some friendship in the branch--and there she had been waiting all this time! Not only that, she's my VT--who should be my friend! And she lives nearby. And I already knew she was the sweetest thing out there. And we have things in common! And both enjoyed each other's company and conversation! (And I got to introduce her to Wicked which always seals a friendship!!!) And unintentionally, she put to rest some major self-esteem issues I've been enduring over the last 2 months. Those were some of the best hours I've had in many, many weeks!
I feel so, so uplifted after such a long, full day!
A thousand little joys in just one day, and I am so grateful for every single one!
Friday, July 9, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Different kinds of amazing cheese (havarti, gouda, crandale, and the ever-wonderful sage derby among them)
Chocolate Frosted Fudge Pop Tarts
does NOT stem from
but IS influenced by
My Innate Cravings
And it's so good, yummy, pleasant, and joyful to be able to fulfill those Innate Cravings!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
So many things to bring a smile today--as usual!
-finishing one audio book and beginning another--that much closer to completing my book challenges!
-having the performer pull me on stage with some of the kids during part of the show (though it was a shock and a little embarrassing, it was still very fun!)
-a roommate with access to DVDs and who is just as eager to begin the Star Trek: Voyager "marathon"
-a place to practice the piano (even if it's some distance away)
-"discovering" many family names just in time to be taken to the temple this weekend
That's one happy plethora for a day's events!
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Well, if one has to work a 12-hour day, what better way to have it then to watch a really cool and funny magic show, complete with adorable bunny at the end.
And still make it to the last half of Institute class.
Yeah. I can handle it.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Sunday, July 4, 2010
There's so much I could say about today. But the headache I have had for some hours is beginning to get worse and I need to escape into sleep before that option becomes difficult. So I'll just quote what I wrote on my family's website:
I love celebrating our country, our freedoms, our history.
But mostly, I love that I AM free.
Happy Independence Day, everyone!!!
Saturday, July 3, 2010
I could not foresee any other chance to make it to any kind of swimming water this summer, so in spite of the tempting chance to sleep in and/or sleep all day at home, I had a date (with me) and ventured out to the beach for a few hours. And what joys came along!
It was the most perfect weather! Especially after what we've been enduring.
And it was a lovely view.
And I got a bit of a workout.
And I read...kind of.
(And I looked pretty and modest in my new swimsuit.)
And I made a fabulous and much-needed-for-me analogy with ocean and friendship.
And I still got in my sleeping--two or three bouts of it.
Glorious, wondrous, happy morning at the beach!
Friday, July 2, 2010
Dear French Apple Cobbler,
You are so good to me. Perhaps not good for me. But most certainly good to me. Who else could provide further enjoyment while watching a roommate with one's roommate? Who else could be my 2nd cobbler ever made? Who else could have a recipe which asked for ingredients that were all at hand? Who else could be mixed together in 12 minutes? Who else could fill the apartment with that aroma? Who else could make melting vanilla ice cream that much better?
Who else, indeed?
Thursday, July 1, 2010
My brain is even tired! Truly it is! But it is just cognizant enough to know that there have been little happy spots:
Finally got much-needed errands run.
Did my first batch of laundry since moving in (I have to use the complex laundromat now).
Delicious meals--oh, you should try them. They're so good.
More great storytimes.
An enjoyable audio book.
Beginning a "promising" novel--an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from ALA (thanks, roommie!) by an author whose other two works I enjoyed. (Of course, I keep nodding off every few paragraphs as I've been doing of late with any print book because the mind thinks "We're slowing now? OK--sleep time!")
My first herb plant!
But best of all--today at least--I am loving reading quotes on freedom, patriotism, etc. from our LDS prophets.
Two of today's favorites by Brigham Young:
"I love the government and the constitution of the United States, but I do not love the damned rascals who administer the government."
"Sustain the government of the nation wherever you are, and speak well of it, for this is right, and the government has a right to expect it of you, so long as that government sustains you in your civil and religious liberty, in those rights which inherently belong to every person born on the earth and if you are persecuted in your native land, and denied the privilege of worshipping the true God in spirit and in truth, flee to the land of Zion, to America—to the United States, where constitutional rights and freedoms are not surpassed by any nation—where God saw fit, in these last days, to renew the dispensation of salvation, by revelations from the heavens, and where all, by the constitution and laws of the land, when executed in righteousness, are protected in all the civil and religious freedom that man is capable of enjoying on earth; and our national institutions will never fail, unless it be through the wickedness of the people, and the designs of evil men in brief authority; for those rights were ordained of God on this land; for the establishment of the principles of truth on the earth; and our national organization originated in the heavens."