Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Resolve

I hate New Year's resolutions.

It often seems like another way to put more pressure on an already pressured life. "Let's see, you've done your best this year but apparently that's not quite good enough. You're a mess! Let's see if we can step it up this year and up those approval ratings. Now drop and give me 20!"

Why on earth did this tradition ever get started!? Perhaps we all need a regular check-up to see just how we're doing. If we let the years slip by without evaluating ourselves at some point we could let our life get away from us (cause it doesn't do that already). How are we going to know where we stand, what we've improved upon, what needs improvement if we don't sit down and take a look at ourselves.

In order to get a good resolution one must first be honest with oneself, even brutally so. Let's face it, getting down to a size 4 is impossible for me and what else is left after that? I read an article once that talked about realistic resolutions. Why try to do the impossible. Why not try something you actually enjoy? Resolve to take more bubble baths, eat more chocolate, exercise less, and watch more TV. Those are very doable as well as enjoyable. So why can't I feel good about that kind of resolve? Is it because it's too easy? Do I actually need to do something that will improve my life.

In light of my sick need to be a better person, I have decided to make one New Year's Resolution. Do more service this coming year. I'm not exactly sure what I mean by that. More service by the week? day? year? I feel I should start out slow if it even has a chance of getting off the ground. Perhaps I should settle with doing my visiting teaching regularly. Hmm...

Interesting statistic:

"Recent research shows that while 52% of participants in a Resolution study were confident of success with their goals, only 12% actually achieved their goals. Men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in goal setting, a system where small measurable goals are used (lose a pound a week, instead of saying "lose weight"), while women succeeded 10% more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends" -Wikipedia

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Independence! My downfall.

I am fiercely independent, almost to a fault and especially when it comes to finances. When David and I were engaged we went to the store because I needed a few groceries and he tried to pay for them. I was appalled! I wouldn't let him do it. I had a job, I was perfectly capable of taking care of myself thank you very much! He was dumbfounded of course because we were getting married in one week, what was the big deal. He would more than likely be drinking some of that same milk. But somewhere deep down inside of me my need to hold on to my independence was coming forth. I wouldn't let him do it. As soon as the marriage vows were taken however I asked for the checkbook and haven't looked back since!

I'm not sure all the ways that this independence was drilled into me, but a good chunk is just plain stubborness (got that from both sides of my family) and another chunk is the way I grew up. For as long as I can remember I started earning money to pay for my needs. My brothers and sisters and myself all worked potato harvest in the fall to pay for our school cloths, class dues, dances, etc. We had the money and we had to make it last the year. Now we weren't always that good with it so towards the Spring we would run out. So then we'd take the odd jobs around the house to get extra income. We cleaned the long cupboard which was worth $2-3, the Primary cupboard $2-3, and the fridge which was always worth more cause it was usually disgusting. In the summer I mowed lawns for income. I think somewhere along the line I believed that a responsible person pays for their own stuff, the end.

But that was a long time ago, surely none of that matters now. Not so. I think that I may have recently frustrated/offended my mother-in-law. I didn't mean to. I have felt so blessed to marry into such a great family. From the first day we've all pretty much gotten along. But you know how when you start dating someone you are always on your best behavior lest they see the ugly side of you? And then eventually it all comes out and you just hope that the guy is already trapped into liking you enough to see past all that bad stuff. We'll my best behavior is wearing off. I admit, it's been a shock that it would even happen, I mean it's not like we spend a lot of time in Hurricane. So either I'm much more comfortable around the fam or I really am not a nice person. I prefer the first.

So, back to my mother-in-law. We went to Wal-Mart the day after Christmas to pick up a few things. One was a game called Rage. She was getting one for Sophie and herself. She asked me if I wanted one and I said no. She asked a few more times about the game and other things and I kept saying no. The only thing I would let her buy was cold medicine for David.

I've thought about this a lot since it occurred. Why on earth did I put up such a fight for a $4.00 game! All she wanted to do was buy something for me and I was too stubborn to let it happen and it was for silly reasons. You see, the first time I said "no" it was an automatic response that I didn't even think about. After that it was a matter of pride. I'd already given my answer, stop trying to make me change it! "Change is for weaklings who don't know what they want! Sure I may not know what I want but I will die before I let you know that! Whaa ha ha haa!" I am completely ridiculous!

But Cynthia, if it helps, this is how the moment would have went with my mother:
"I'm getting a game for your sister, do you want one?"
"No thanks" (the automatic response)
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, I'm sure." (Not really, I've thought about it and it looks quite fun.)
"It's a fun game and I'm buying."
"Really, its' fine." (Now I really do want it, I'll come back someday and buy it myself)
"What if I got it for you as part of your birthday present?"
"Well, I guess that could work."
"Let me buy it for you for your birthday."
"Okay, I'll take it!"

What's worse is that sometimes we both want the same thing and we actually buy it for each other, all the while calling it a part of a birthday or Christmas gift, and exchange it in the car. For some reason that makes it alright.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Fetchin' Gretchen

I have recently caught up with one of my all time favorite companions from the mission field. Of course all my comps were grand in their own way, but Sister Pratley and I did a lot of time together. We served in 3 areas and 5 months. Unfortunatley after the mission we kind of lost track of each other for awhile. Through the miracle of Facebook, we're connected again.

Gretchen, this one's for you!
There are a few things that come to mind right away when I think of Sis Pratley, one is companionship inventory (one in particular of course, something about crooked sunglasses and non-flowered dresses), "what do you mean this is the AP's camera", and a note that is kept lovingly in my journal. It says:
"For my Sister Hubbard,
What I like about Sister Hubbard
1. Your accents
2. Your cookies
3. The fact you're a big dork like ME"
For you, in photographic form, is a brief journey of all that we went through together.

Us and the elders decorating the fake Christmas tree that Sister Preece loved so much. We were just happy we weren't in trouble for sneaking into the elders aparment and sabotaging it.

The Christmas garland of 1997 that must have been a relief society project gone wrong. Ever cheap, ever sheek, ever classic, ever tacky to-go containers with plastic wrap and lights. We didn't know whether to put it up or wear it.

"This is a tornado warning! Take cover immediately!"
What better place than the bathtub!

I have to wonder, did you ever get to live in your dream home!
The 16 Wide is the "Home of the Future"

And who can forget the need to preach repentance unto all.

There are so many more I could have posted, the pics in front of the Granite Steel mill, the Eternal Flame, Sandy, the Hawg Cafe, Paris, Brooklyn, God's Bus, The Kelly's (do you know where to find them?), year mark "burn", concrete geese, our "fake fight" to help our DL feel useful, Shop-N-Save Sombreros... the list goes on.

Sure do miss you!

Sunday, December 28, 2008


My knees hurt. I don't think it's fair. My hip hurts too, just one though. I'm 33 years old as of 8 days ago. I don't think that I am supposed to be feeling this way without having first had children. All of my life I've been under the delusion that it was the coming of children that made the hips spread, the knees go bad, the hair go gray, and excess weight attach itself. It's the physical act of procreation that brings gravity into full effect and slows down our metabolism. If I had but looked around I would have noticed the lie right away, but who looks around when you are an indestructible teenager with her whole life planned out?

As it turns out my life had plans of it's own and it quite successfully put gravity into effect without the childbearing step. I have no children and I still have wider hips, bad knees, and more poundage than I feel necessary. I don't really know if I have any gray hair since I dye it. On my 31st birthday I got up and ran 5 miles just to prove to myself that I still could. Thirty-one had a more devastating effect on me than 30 ever did. Thirty was a milestone, something that everyone talked about with fear and dread. In fact it was hyped up so much that it was kind of a disappointment. I'm not sure what I expected, perhaps dark clouds hovering ominously in the sky, a personification of death standing at the foot of my bed holding a scythe, a face full of wrinkles to appear immediately letting myself and also everyone around know that I was in fact older. It was nothing like that. I was still a newly wed and I felt pretty darn good. But 31 was horrible. It hit me quite abruptly the morning of my birthday that getting older doesn't stop. Aging will proceed whether we are ready for it or not! I was devastated, which is why I got up and ran. I wanted to stay young and free and full of vitality! Why I had just barely begun to live right?

I also used to live under the delusion that "if I couldn't have kids then dang it, I would be sexy!" I still am sexy, but only to my husband (thank the heavens for him!) and older men with bad eyesight.

It's the delusional life that gets the better of me more times than I like to recall. The "imaginary relationships with real people" the "denial of my pant size, dang it I will fit into these again" the "it doesn't matter if I'm not where I thought I would be, I really am happy". It's the last one that gets me the most. Perhaps it's because it's the line I feed myself so often. How can we be truly happy when we measure ourselves against a ruler that was created in the all-so-knowing years of high school? Who said that was the measuring stick of life? It's time for a change. Throw the old one out and make a new one. One that fits, one that's real. One that's flexible. Who really knows what the future brings but God? Perhaps instead of creating my own measuring stick, I should try harder to understand the one that God has for me.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Warm Wishes

As the Christmas Season is very much upon us, I can't help but think of the wonderful family and friends we have been blessed with. From church friends, neighbors, co-workers and family members, our lives have been enriched. We thank you for the shoulders to cry on, the bouts of side-splitting laughter, and everything in between.

With the hustle and bustle that this time brings, I hope we all can take a moment and do as Mary did after the birth of her son. She "kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart." What a magical time His birth must have been. And here we are celebrating it year after year, that glorious night. The heavens opened and angels sang of the long awaited miracle. Shepherds gathered in awe. Tears of joy were surely wept. It was a long time ago in a land and time we don't fully understand, but the impact is the same. His birth made all our lives possible. His birth made our lives worth it.

May you all have a wonderful Christmas Day and may the knowledge of the Redeemer's birth burn within bringing everlasting joy.

All our love, Lora and David.

"Cry, the Beloved Country"

I just finished reading "Cry, the Beloved Country" by Alan Paton.
Set it rural South Africa during the 1940's, Paton writes about the effect of the gold industry on the native people. The main character is Kumalo, an old priest in a small rural town. His son, brother, and sister have all moved to Johannesburg for one reason or the other and have lost their way. The story begins with a letter from a fellow priest in Johannesburg asking him to come because his sister is ill. Having never been to Johannesburg due to financial restraints, he sacrifices the things he was saving for in order to go and help his sister as well as search for his lost brother and especially his son.

It is a tender story showing the struggle of a nation that has been inundated with white speculators who have made it "big" in the gold mining industry. Native labor has been brought from the redistributed country side (the land with no gold) with promises of good wages they can feed their families on. As seems the story with all places that are taken over by Europeans, education and equal rights are colored as dangerous for the native peoples. "It is best to keep them in ignorance for their own good." But I digress. The unfairness of one people over another always gets me going. So, moving on...

Kumalo goes to Johannesburg and the story unfolds itself. White and black come together, boundaries are crossed and unexpected respect, forgiveness, and hope are shown. It is beautifully written in the prose and way of speaking that is evidenced in all of Africa.

Perhaps the expression that struck me the most was the use of 'mother'. A young African student used to work in dining services with us on campus. He is from Sierra Leone and plans to return there to help his people after he finishes his doctorate. He always spoke of how good he was treated here and how truly thankful he was to work for such people. He would refer to his boss and sometimes me as a 'mother' to him. I found it odd at first and chalked it up to cultural differences, but I had no idea the term of respect it was. "Mother" is used for someone who shows kindness and nurtures the body or the spirit. It is a term of respect not given lightly.

I highly recommend the book for anyone to read. It is well worth your time. Again, a beautifully written story of respect, forgiveness and hope.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


So, yesterday was my birthday. For those of you who know, well you already know how old I am so I don't have to tell you. It was a smashing day though!

First, Eli, Velvet, and Axel (their 4.5 month old child) came and spent the weekend. Twas a blast! I was excited to have them come and spend some time with us and play some games. Who knew it would end up being a family thing! Saturday plans included a big breakfast, errands on the part of others, and then farming the afternoon away. (That would be with the help of "The Farming Game") As it turned out, Jarom and Melissa stopped by with their kids to finish up a bit of shopping and so did my parents! At one point we had 12 people running around this little house. That doesn't seem that big of a deal for some of you, but have you seen my house? Yea... not much room. But fun anyways.

I was a bit worried that we wouldn't be getting any farming in with all the unexpected company, but never fear, we got 'er done. After the rest of the family left we sat down to "the game". We all started out even enough but the Hubbard farming prowess and expertise soon showed itself as Eli and I proceeded to trounce the Sullivan's and Titcombs. Year after year we made money hand over fist. Naturally we don't play by the official rules so by the end we had the calculator out and were using bank notes as money because we were out of the real stuff. It was possible that we felt bad about beating them so soundly, but we were just too dang silly to make the effort sincere. It was good to laugh uncontrollably! That kind where it just hurts and tears come to your eyes and you just can't stop. Those are truly good times.

Needless to say it was truly a pleasure to have them in our home! I LOVE family!! Thanks for making my birthday great!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Stars in God's clear skies

God's Garden
-Robert Frost

God made a beauteous garden
With lovely flowers strown,
But one straight, narrow pathway
That was not overgrown.
And to this beauteous garden
He brought mankind to live,
And said: "To you, my children,
These lovely flowers I give.
Prune ye my vines and fig trees,
With care my flowrets tend,
But keep the pathway open
Your home is at the end."

Then came another master,
Who did not love mankind,
And planted on the pathway
Gold flowers for them to find.
And mankind saw the bright flowers,
That, glitt'ring in the sun,
Quite hid the thorns of av'rice
That poison blood and bone;
And far off many wandered,
And when life's night came on,
They still were seeking gold flowers,
Lost, helpless and alone.

O, cease to heed the glamour
That blinds your foolish eyes,
Look upward to the glitter
Of stars in God's clear skies.
Their ways are pure and harmless
And will not lead astray,

But aid your erring footsteps
To keep the narrow way.
And when the sun shines brightly
Tend flowers that God has given
And keep the pathway open
That leads you on to heaven.

I've always had an affinity to the poems of Robert Frost. I'm sure there's a lot of his poetry that I don't understand and many a scholar would think that I am a simpleton, but I do enjoy it.

This, of all his poems, I dedicate to you wonderful women out there who have lent me a helping hand/note/phone-call, etc. to keep me on God's path. It's always been there, stretched out before me, I just occasionally let blinders be put on my eyes. Thank you for stepping in and helping me remove them. God has always had a hand in my life even when I wasn't sure I wanted it. If he helped then, why on earth wouldn't he help me now?

There are definite silver linings to every situation we find ourselves in. The trick is trusting God enough so he can help us see them.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Face in the Mirror

Yesterday as I was getting my hair done, I looked in the mirror and saw a face I hadn't seen in a long long time. It kept on disappearing and coming back with a smile. It was faint at first, and then stronger, almost haunting, but delicious all the same. I saw my Grandmother looking back at me through the mirror.

I've always known that I looked like my mother, but never had I made the connection with my Grandma until I saw her smile, her cheekbones looking back at me. Naomi Ruth Revoir Robbins passed away on February 16, 2005 and I've missed her ever since. Especially at Christmas time. She always made homemade chocolates. Since my birthday is in December she would make me a special box of Cherry Chocolates all my own. She gave them to me in an old checkbook box. Twelve. I had twelve days of cherry chocolate bliss as I slowly ate each one. She also gave me a card with $5.00 in it and birthday wishes. Sometimes I would even get shampoo and towels, she always was the one for practical gifts.

Christmas time is for families and as ours grows bigger in some ways and smaller in others, I can't help but think of the "old times" we spent as kids. Christmas night was spent at Grandma's house with aunts and uncles and cousins. It's where we learned to play cards (I can't even remember learning how to shuffle, it just always seemed part of me) and eavesdropped on the grown-up conversations. They always had the most interesting ones. (My aunt worked at the school so she always knew what was happening with administration and the small town political scandals.) Grandma always met us at the door with a big hug and a lipstick kiss on the forehead or cheek. As Christmas approaches and I grow one year older, what I wouldn't give for one of those birthday cards with $5.00 and special Grandma birthday wishes.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

"Necessary Madness"

I recently finished "Necessary Madness" by Jenn Crowell and I must say that I found it a fascinating book. I was a bit reluctant at first because it sounded a bit... contrived?? The book jacket reads: "After a scant eight years of marriage, Gloria's beloved husband succumbs to leukemia, leaving her alone with a son to bring up in an adopted country. The madness of grief is constant..." I admit is was the fact that it was in an "adopted country" that made me feel alright about reading this one. I like to learn about different cultures than my own. The rest of it sounded melodramatic and predictable.

And in a way it was predictable. Somehow you know Gloria is going to get through this or the book wouldn't be written. It was her "necessary madness" that captured me though. So often in life we don't give expression to the madness that threatens to engulf our lives. It's almost unacceptable to let people, or even ourselves, see us suffer. To give ourselves over to the grief we feel so desperately at times in our lives is weakness, right? I mean, if we have a good cry session doesn't that mean that we have no control anymore?

We don't want to experience the pain, we only want the good things. But sometimes that madness, that grief, is a necessary step in the healing process. Sometimes we have to admit it to ourselves and let the pain, sorrow, and heartache take over so that we can get through it completely. I know that I am quite guilty of putting "band-aids" over wounds that require more attention that a little cover up. It goes deeper inside the flesh and needs to be cleansed completely in order for it to heal.

"Necessary Madness" is beautifully written and filled with grief and hope. I found myself on the verge of tears during moments of tenderness and pain and rejoicing in the small steps that were taken to get Gloria's life back on solid ground. Should you choose to read it though, I must inform that it is set in London and certain "cuss words" are more prevalent than others. So beware. It was a good read though.

New Do!

First of all, thank you all so much for the advice and attempting sanity. Finally admitting that I actually can't to this all myself has done wonders for my overall well-being. I have taken some of the advice to heart... actually most of it. I was told to do something for myself so my first move was a haircut! I have conveniently attached before and after photos for your viewing pleasure.



Self portraits are the worst to get! So awkward!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A "Wicked" Review

So, I just finished reading "Wicked" by Gregory Maguire this morning. Overall I really enjoyed the book. I found the behind the scenes story of the Wicked Witch of the West fascinating. I've always loved the Wizard of Oz from the time I was a little girl. For some reason I remember it coming on either around my birthday (December) or my brother's birthday (March). I don't know if it jumped around or my memory did. (Just ask me what I remember about Jaws sometime.)

Anyway, the trip through Oz and the land that is seemed to be was very interesting from the witch's viewpoint. I found myself rooting for the "wicked witch" and hating Glinda! Now this is to say nothing harmful towards Frank Baum's original version because it is what it is and without it we wouldn't know what "lions and tigers and bears oh my" meant. Maguire simply took the story and fashioned his own around it, and it was delightful. I can't wait to read "Son of a Witch".

However, I feel it my duty to say that if you should pick up the book for a good read, when you get to the part about the "Philosophy Club" you can safely skip it. Kinda nasty and doesn't lend any light to the storyline. It was only 2-3 pages of the whole text so really, you aren't missing anything.

Other than that, it was great!

Friday, December 5, 2008


... A List

1. Do you think it's really going to snow anytime soon?
2. Will I ever get the energy up to clean the bathroom?
3. What are we going to have for dinner?
4. Do doctors really know what they are talking about or is it a cruel hoax?
5. How long will my filing pile up before I do it?
6. How does David Letterman come up with ten things for each list?
7. What to get David for Christmas and why that one is so hard.
8. How long the rest of my house will stay clean?
9. Does the Christmas tree need water?
10. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie pop?
11. Why are the things you want the most the ones you don't get to have?

Number 11 would be the main cause of my wondering. I hate to go into overkill about things, but all you women out there who have had difficult times becoming moms... what to you do to keep your sanity while waiting for the biological miracle to take place? When the world around you is filled with expectant mothers who can't keep their breakfast down, how do you "cowboy-up" and get through the day to day? It's my sad little cry for help. Any suggestions?

Just wondering.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Life of a Recluse

I am sitting in the house watching "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" and I don't know why. I added it to my netflix queu in a moment of temporary insanity? Well it came today and I can't just send it back without watching right...
So, what have I been up to lately? I shall tell you in pictures.
Black Friday.... some shop, we work in the shop!

We made Santas!

I have been reading Wicked by reccommendation from Katherine. I have 50 pages to go and I am quite enjoying it!

During various projects at home I have been entertained by the complete M*A*S*H series on loan from our neighborhood 'be well' specialist.

My Tree!
I have also purchased the Beatles "1". I have wanted it for quite awhile, I just never go shopping for music. So, my brother called one day and asked me to pick up the new Guns-N-Roses album... not my favorite... and I glanced in another aisle and got the album! Love it! Sometimes nothing makes me happier than the Beatles!

One of my endeavors while watching M*A*S*H was to make pillowcases for all the neices and nephews. I gotta do something to secure my favorite aunt status.