Thursday, June 25, 2009

Can I get any broader in my thankfulness?

Probably not.

This Thankful Thursday I am grateful for life.

I was reminded to be grateful for life, in all its fragile glory, last night. I was driving along, all by my lonesome (I know! Wow!) when some poor little bug flew smack into my windshield right in front of my face. One moment it was alive and well, enjoying an evening flight and the next it was gone; a mere smear on the glass. Just like that it went from this world to the next.

Strange that I am, it got me thinking about how quickly I could lose someone I love. Just as quickly as the bug was gone, I could lose my husband, or a son, or any family member or friend. Or worse still, many at once. I've been feeling off lately, on the crankier side, and this helped me to remember that it's stupid to get worked up over meaningless things in this life. I needed a focus shift and this was it.

Every so often, I need reminders like this so I can remember to have a better perspective. And I'm grateful that this reminder came from the loss of a bug and not someone I love.

What are you thankful for today?

Monday, June 22, 2009


Yesterday was Father's Day. I had such a happy and full day with my family that I couldn't find time to get on here and mark the day with a blog post. So here I am, a day late. But I figure that any day is a good day to blog about fathers.

It seems to me that the world really focuses on women. Is motherhood the crowning achievement for women or the last resort of the unqualified and stupid? Should a woman be afforded all the same opportunities as a man? Should she work? Should she stay home? Can she vote? Does she have the right to an abortion? Such topics seem to saturate the media these days. Here's a fun quote:

"The status of women is one of the questions of the day. Socially and politically it forces itself upon the attention of the world. Some … refuse to concede that woman is entitled to the enjoyment of any rights other than … the whims, fancies or justice … men may choose to grant her. The reasons which they cannot meet with argument they decry and ridicule; an old refuge for those opposed to correct principles which they are unable to controvert. Others … not only recognize that woman’s status should be improved, but are so radical in their extreme theories that they would set her in antagonism to man, assume for her a separate and opposing existence; and to show how entirely independent she should be [they] would make her adopt the more reprehensible phases of character which men present, and which should be shunned or improved by them instead of being copied by women. These are two extremes, and between them is the 'golden mean.'"

That was written in 1872, folks. We've been at this for over 100 years and we still can't find the "golden mean."

So, what about men? In trying so hard to gain equality for women and motherhood, we've pushed right pass the importance of men and fatherhood. Parenting is a team effort and to have the best chance of success you can't leave the father on the bench.

I love this article by President Faust, a leader in the LDS church. He talks in it about marriage and the need for children to have both a mother AND a father. And most especially, how each family member needs to respect the roles and special capabilities that other family members have to offer.

Fathers are priceless when it comes to raising children. Children are more likely to learn empathy when they have an involved father. Children with involved fathers are less at risk/less likely to participate in things like drug use, alcohol abuse, premarital sex, become school drop-outs, or have gender identity issues. And those are just things off the top of my head that I remember from delving into such studies back in my college days. There are so many facets in children's lives that are improved or, in the case of detrimental aspects, the risk significantly lowered when the father is involved!

When it comes to fathers, I think I have been a good way:) My whole life I have been surrounded by prime examples of what men should be and how they should act. My family tree seems to be teeming with excellent men. And while I have only known a handful of them in my life, the results of good teaching in generations long past have obviously carried down through the ages. I feel linked to those fathers I have not known in this life and yet have had an impact on me because their examples have carried on in children, grandchildren, and beyond.

It has been said that children, especially daughters, will see their Heavenly Father much like they do their earthly father. A child who grows up with an abusive father sees God as unfeeling, unloving, and someone to fear. I have been lucky enough to have a wonderful father. Because of his influence, I known that while my Heavenly Father loves me, that he wants me to come back to him, that he knows what is best for me, and that I can trust him. I have not been raised to fear men and so I feel more able to have an open relationship with the Father who knows and loves me best. Thank you, Dad:)

How can I post about fathers without mentioning the father of my boys? I'm married to Mr. Awesome himself. A man who changes diapers without complaint, gets down on the floor to wrestle, washes the dishes, vacuums, and works hard to put a roof over our heads and provide for our needs and many of our wants. I might lament over the fact that he won't do bath time for the boys, but this man also cleans the bathroom (a chore I despise) and cleans it well! Yes, I'm as lucky as they come:) Our sons could ask for a better father, but they're not going to find one. I hope that as they grow up, my children realize the treasure that we have in the patriarch of our family.

And so, Happy Father's Day to all you amazing fathers out there. You may not get the thanks as often as moms do (and we don't get it often either;)), but your efforts do not go unrewarded and they are certainly not fruitless. Keep up the amazing work!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

It's that time again!

Welcome to this week's installment of Thankful Thursday. A day to remember all the wonderful things we have to be grateful for. Yippee!

Today I am grateful for a prolonged spring. Normally at this time of year we're already suffering through very high temperatures. Spring seems to last for about a week most years. This year I've been able to keep my windows open for almost the entire month of May and, so far, half of June. It's wonderful! These weeks of cool temps and rain have kept us nice and cool, and brought lovely breezes and smells through our open windows. My one twinge of ungratefulness comes from my poor partially shade plants in the backyard. This rain and lack of sun is killing off my pretty flowers! *Sniff* I fear we may soon have a funeral for my hydrangeas who have been preceded in death by my cosmos.

But at least my petunias are flourishing in the window boxes! And, sad though it may be, I'll sacrifice a few flowers for such wonderfully comfortable weather which not only feels fantastic, but saves us a pretty penny in the air conditioning department.

Hop aboard the Thankful Thursday train and share with me what you're grateful for today. It's quite the ride:)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Desperate times call for desperate measures

This morning was a doozy. Jonz is slightly sick. Enough to not be bouncing off the walls, but not enough to stop him from teasing his brothers and whining like a poor deprived soul more than he regularly does. Al and Goose were in fine form screaming, crying, yelling, and getting in, on, and behind everything they shouldn't.

Rain kept us from escaping to the yard or park. I couldn't think of any errands that needed to be run and didn't want to hassle with having everyone in a confined space, trouble with carseats, or deal with extra screams because boys who didn't want to be were confined in carseats. To top it off, I severely injured a toe while trying to get over a safety gate. For a bit, I thought it might be broken, but it's stopped throbbing and the swelling has gone down so maybe it's only bruised.

I was cranky. All the boys were cranky. We had to get a change of scenery before we went ballistic.

What's a desperate mom to do in such a situation?

This mom decided to put Jonz and Goose in the jogging stroller/bike trailer with the handy-dandy rain cover (that I thought was a stupid asset -"Who goes jogging with their kids in the rain?" but I now praise the skies for). I shoved my feet, including my overly large and pain-ridden toe, into running shoes. Then I strapped Al to my back, grabbed the umbrella, and headed out for a 25 minute jaunt through the neighborhood. I'm sure we were quite the sight.

No really, I'm sure. I saw at least three passersby who didn't try to hide their smirks.

It worked out alright. My toe stopped throbbing after about fifteen minutes. I only heard one shriek out of Goose while we were out. The air was nice and cool. And I got in some excellent cardio because I was moving along 90 more pounds than usual.

I brought the boys home, fed them lunch, put the twins down for naps, and watched Cars with Jonz. Perhaps we'll make it through the day after all.

What have you ever done in desperation?

Name change

I'm not a fan of referring to my boys by their first initial. Mostly because it gets confusing when I'm talking about A.

...A what?


So, I'm going to use some nicknames instead. J will now be known as Jonz, A is now Al, and W will be referred to as Goose. Yes, there is some sense behind those names. Jonz is a nickname my oldest has had since before he was born. A and L are my second-born's initials, hence the Al. And W sounded like a goose when he cried as a newborn so I started calling him my little goose.

Strange? Goofy? Insane? Yes, yes, and yes. But such is the world we live in. Where a mom with an over-active imagination combined with the fear of the being the one out of a million who has the worst happen to her family must go to extreme measures to protect the identity of her children online.

There you go. Objections and suggestions will be taken into consideration, so speak now or forever hold your peace.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Did I really just read that?

I just read an online Newsweek article about the blushing bride being a thing of the past. More and more women are opting for racy dresses, raunchy bachelorette parties, and bridal photos in lingerie or nothing at all instead of their wedding dress. Supposedly this is how women are showing how independent they are in these times.

Are you kidding me?!

How is it that throwing your sexuality in every one's faces means you're an independent woman?

This article said women are tired of acting feminine and proper. Excuse me, but when did feminine and proper become something to be acted, and something to be disdained?

Thankfully, the author of this article at least sited some concerns that sociologists have about such ridiculousness. "They see a problem with making exhibitionism the centerpiece of the wedding ceremony: it might crowd out other aspects of the marriage. You're highlighting what should just be a piece of the relationship." And I might add, making yourself look more like a hormonal teenager with no inhibition than a powerful independent woman.

No wonder marriage is counting for less and less these days, if this is how the majority treats such an occasion. How in the world did we become such a selfish group so fast?

There are just so many things wrong with this that I don't know what to write anymore. I've been shocked into writer's block.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Veritas vos liberabit - The truth will set you free

Growing up I always took a lot of flak for believing things that turned out to be untrue.

"I can't believe you thought that was real!"

"You seriously thought I was telling the truth?!"

"You're so gullible!"

Most such statements were followed by gales of laughter at my expense.

Haha. Very funny.

In my youth, I found it embarrassing. But for many years since, I've latched onto something my dad told me in high school,

"You're not gullible. You're trusting."

Can I just say how much better that makes me feel?! Gullible carries with it the connotation of being an idiot. I often questioned along with my peers, "why did I believe that? How could I not see it wasn't true?!" I am much more confident now in my non-idiocy:)

I think that it is inherent in everyone to trust. I'm not sorry that that tendency in me is alive and well while many seem to have had theirs squashed. I am sad that I continue to see and deal with lies and deceit.

Which brings me to my story. Have you heard of baby April Rose? April's story is a sad one. She was diagnosed as terminally ill in utero; not to survive long after birth, if she made it that far. Her mother started a blog about April's story, posting beautiful things about being pro-life, forgiveness, Jesus, and dealing with the prospect of losing a child she hadn't met yet. She gained a huge following, of which I was one for about a month. I prayed for April and April's mom. One afternoon, I read a post about April being born alive, but getting weaker by the hour. The next day I return to the blog to see what the latest was and the blog no longer existed. Weird...So I did an internet search for April Rose and the truth came out.

There is no April Rose. Never was. No such person, no such pregnancy. The stories on the blog were just lie after lie after lie. Turns out the woman who wrote the blog was outed after she posted pictures of "April." She used pictures of perfectly healthy newborns and dolls. What a story, eh? What a bummer. Word on the street is that this woman lost a baby a few years back, started the blog as a strange way to grieve, couldn't stop lying, and is now getting psychiatric help. Whoa.

Do I set myself up to have my emotions used like this with my trusting ways? No. I refuse to believe that my believing when someone else lies to me is a mistake on my part (within reason, of course). I don't think I can risk being a skeptic. There are good people in the world. There are people who need prayers and emotional support. I don't want to go through life second-guessing everything. I shouldn't have to, but such is life in this world.

Why can't we all just tell the truth?

Thankful Thursday- Transportation Tribute

Alliteration at it's finest:)

This Thursday I am grateful for planes, trains, and particularly -automobiles! I often overlook the fact of how awesome it is to have a van to transport our whole family in. Honestly, who could have envisioned so many years ago that people today would be able to climb into an oddly shaped container which would move by itself, at incredible speeds, taking said people to incredible distances and destinations? It still makes me laugh today and I know it's possible.

I sit in a comfortable chair, push a little pedal, hold onto a wheel, and the ground disappears beneath me. How convenient!

Can I visit my parents who are 20+ miles away for the evening? Easy!

Vacation to a completely different state, hundreds of miles away in mere hours. Sure! And even less time if you want to fly. Fly?! Seriously, how cool is it that we can fly!? Through the air!

I love living in the age of easy transportation.

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I'm confused.

So I'm a bit behind the times, but in recent weeks there was a news story that made me go, "Whaaaaat?" Here's the long and short of it:

A young woman finds herself pregnant and she doesn't want to be. What does she do? She pays a man to beat her up; focusing on the stomach so she'll miscarry the baby, but making it look like a random assault. Guy gets nabbed by the police and fesses up to the whole story. Guy and girl are now both facing charges.

Strange enough story, right?

Here's the kicker though, if you think about it- If she had gone to a clinic and paid a doctor to give her an abortion, she would not be facing criminal charges.

Seriously. I'm confused.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Baring my soul in the name of record-keeping

Before I get started, I think we all ought to be on the same page. What follows is an account of something very special to me and which I don’t have the ability to give justice. That said, I hope you won’t think less of what I have to say just because I can’t say it well. This is something I've wanted to share for years. Now is as good a time as any and I can’t let my inadequacies keep me from it. Just know that it’s special and if you don’t think so, don’t tell me:)

There. Same page.

Way back in August of 2004, my oldest brother was sealed to his wife in an LDS Temple. It was an amazing ceremony and my first opportunity of being present at the sealing of a family member.

After the sealing, I had the opportunity to hug my brother. Dan hugged me tight and the tears I was already battling because of the happy occasion were pushed out. Then, just as we were about to let go of each other, Dan gave me an extra tight squeeze and something incredible happened. For the tiniest and briefest of moments Heavenly Father gave me a gift. I saw, or perhaps felt or sensed would be the better word, my family together in the eternities. With that came the feeling of the most exquisite joy I have ever felt in my life. It was as if Heavenly Father was showing me how happy he wants us to be, how happy we can be, and how my family had taken a step closer to that goal that day with my brother’s sealing. I like to imagine that I felt similar joy as I witnessed sealings taking place among my ancestors and parents before I was born and that perhaps this was just a lifting of the veil so I could experience what I had before.

As quickly as it began, it was over. Why? Because it was too much joy for my mortal body to handle.

Yep, I lost it.

Big time.

In general, I am not a pretty crier. I claim membership with the blotchy faced, runny nosed, strange-noise-emitting group of criers. This experience did nothing but make my crying ways worse. In addition to the spiritual things I learned that day, I also learned that you shouldn't try to take a deep, steadying breath to make yourself stop crying. You’ll only succeed in embarrassing yourself further. Don’t try to get a hold of yourself until your body has naturally calmed down. Better yet, just try to get away from people so as to avoid the embarrassment as much as possible. Don’t hang around just because your brother is getting married. Leave, compose, and then come back. You’ll save yourself a lot of regret.

So, this Thankful Thursday I am grateful to my brother for marrying in the temple which created the opportunity for higher learning. I’m grateful for a sister in law who didn't let the fact that I put an unexplained blubbering damper of a moment on the most important part of her wedding day keep her from ever talking to me again and instead has become a most cherished sister. I am thankful for such a wonderful family. And I am thankful to my heavenly Father for pouring out such a wondrous blessing and giving me a taste of what I am working toward. This experience has sustained me many times over the years.

And thanks to you for “hearing” me out and letting me share:) Feel free to join me on the Thankful Thursday Train!

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Green Corduroy Book

Disclaimer: I am not getting paid to post this. That should tell you how awesome it is.

I am now in possession of something so cute that I have to share it with everyone. It's called the Green Corduroy Book. Click on the words "green corduroy book" to head to the website and see the pictures and get more info.

It's the sweetest little book that's purpose is to have one place to write down the funny, silly, crazy things your kids say. It's got cute illustrations on every page and a handful of fully illustrated pages of funny things the author's kids said.

I've already made a few entries in mine. My latest entry comes from J saying something funny yesterday as we prepared to walk to church. J has his own Book of Mormon which I handed him to carry as we walked. He stopped in our driveway and opened his book to "read" a bit while he waited for the rest of us to catch up. A breeze flipped a few pages over and J said excitedly, "Look, Mom! The wind is reading!"

It's so fun to have this awesome book to collect the funny things my kids say. Now I can turn to one place to find or remember something funny instead of trying to search through my blog or journal for a particular story.

Get one yourself and start creating a family treasure before your kids grow up!