Thursday, December 31, 2009

Reflections and Other stuff

Things of note that should be mentioned lest they be forgotten.

1. Thanks Tawyna and Isaac for having us over for New Years! What a hoot! and I loved the dip though my body did not. Totally worth it though.

2. I don't remember being this tired of Christmas this early before. When did I become Scrooge?

3. My Christmas slippers have stopped shedding on me. Happy.

4. Next year I want to start all over on Christmas decorations. Especially the tree. I want maroon ornaments and white crocheted snowflakes... I already have some but need more. Anyone know where I can get some. I suppose I could always learn to make them myself... hmm.

5. I'm kind of excited for normalcy and routine to take back the reins of my life. I seem to get much more accomplished that way.

6. I only made 3 cut out snowflakes this year. Seriously. Scrooge.

7. I still love the crunch of snow.

8. I wish I could finish painting around the light fixtures in our house.

9. I wish our fireplace was not just decorative but functional as well.

10. I love the Lord of the Rings movies. That pretty much makes me the coolest sister-in-law in David's family. It matters not that I'm the only sister-in-law.

Bah Humbug.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Day

Christmas Day.
We woke up bright and early
and watched nieces and nephews open presents.
We spent the night at Jarom and Melissa's home
and got to spend the morning with their three kids.
It was so fun being able to watch
their faces light up with joy.
Isn't it that much more fun to watch a child
rather than spend it without.
Unfortunately I didn't get photos of our actual Christmas morning
but I was able to get some at mom and dad's
though even then I failed miserably at getting pics of everyone.
oh well!
The boys playing with Christmas.

See what I have to put up with!
What is it with kids and little chairs.
Axel couldn't fit but we sure got a kick out of watching him try.
To the founder of the feast.. or at least part of it.
Alex dazzled us with his dutch oven prowess.

Just us, enjoying the day.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Be of Good Cheer

"Be of good cheer and accept what comes your way."

This was given in a talk today at church. It was a blessing given by President Monson, then a counselor in the first presidency, to a the sister of one of the women in my ward. She had cancer. She passed away, not sure how long after, but she had peace in her heart. How difficult is it to be of good cheer no matter what.

My patience and good cheer was certainly tried today. Being the Sunday after Christmas it was inevitable that people would be missing, particularly primary teachers. Substitutes were hunted but not too many were to be found. In fact, I ended up teaching the entire Junior primary with my husband because there were some no-shows. Armed with a lesson manual, plenty of pictures, papers and crayons, David and I braved the 11 children ages 4-6 with faith in our hearts and purpose in our eyes. I'm still not entirely sure what happened but in about 4 minutes time I felt completely out of control. Perhaps it was my extended late nights accumulating in severe sleep deprivation (and we want kids!) but I think if I would have had duct tape there would have been at least two either taped securely to their seats or with a goodly portion of the stuff across their mouths. Thank heavens for David who was able to keep a calm head about him. He told stories and helped move things along in a more spiritual direction. I on the other hand was frazzled. Nothing but frazzled. I wanted to come home and cry.

Be of good cheer and accept what comes your way no matter what. Apparently I need a little more work in that direction... cheerfulness and all. I am willing to try though. Might make a good new years resolution.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

When did this happen?

When did I turn so cynical? So full of the "reality" of life that I pick things apart.

Let me start from the beginning. I just finished reading Stephanie Meyer's "The Host". I'm pretty sure that I won't spoil anything for anyone because if you've been sucked into the "Twilight" series then you already know she has an affinity for happy endings. This is where my cynicism comes in.

After finishing "The Host" and I must say I really did enjoy the read. It was much more adult than her other books and I found myself sucked into the characters whether I wanted to be or not. The main character, Wanda, was definitely a Meyer's character though. Impossibly good and self-sacrificing but it's okay because she's from a different planet, not subject to human foibles, and therefore easier to swallow. Naturally there was the love interest because you have to have it. Isn't our ability to love and hate with equal fervor so very human?

K, on with my internal struggle. As I read praise for the book consisting of such phrases as "no matter how much pain her characters suffer, Meyer infuses the tales with light and hope," I found myself rolling my eyes if not outward at least in my head. Then it hit me... what happened to me? When did I start becoming this cynical person that thinks light and hope in literature is unrealistic. Why shouldn't we have hope? Why shouldn't we write stories that actually do have a happy ending without being a fairy tale? Just what's wrong with having your cake and eating it too? Then I had to ask myself... do I really think this way or am I being altogether too hard on Ms. Meyer because I was so utterly disappointed in the ending of the Twilight series... hmmm.

So, here's to hope. Turning the page, starting anew with a brighter outlook, less cynicism, more hope in the reality of a new and beautiful day. May it lace your thoughts with beauty and not be too cheesy in literature.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Weather Outside is...

Cold. Yep, that's pretty much it.

Christmas seems to make even the bitterest cold weather a bit more bearable. I love turning on the lights we have strung across our porch and around our windows and looking outside from the safety and warmth of my home to see the light reflect off of the snow. It seems to just warm everything up. I think that's why Christmas lights are so popular. Not so much because of the season, but because in this dark and dreary time we need to create our own light to brighten the darkness.

So go ahead, I dare you to humbug the season while looking at the magic twinkling of thousands of pinpoints of lights. How can it not raise the spirits.

My spirits are high today. I just have one of those good feelings that everything is falling into place. All is exactly where it should be. Part of me thinks I should be looking around the corner trying to see where it's all going to fall apart. Thankfully the bigger part of me is more than content to bask in this wonderful feeling of peace. All may not be right in the world, but all is right in my heart.

This song came on my pandora station and I love the feel of it so I'm sharing. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Just run with it.

Mornings are usually filled with random thoughts going through my head starting at oh... 5 a.m. or so. Today you get a glimpse. Scary huh!

1. I once "dated" some one who wanted to start exercising. Rather than let me run with him (cause I was running already) he just asked me to follow along after him in my car. Yeah, idea lasted all of two seconds. Weird huh. Was he just afraid of being shown up by a girl? Perhaps I should have taken the opportunity and just run him over... hmm. (I would never do it, but the cartoon of it that plays through my head is pretty funny.)

2. My dad is okay. Thank you all for the support. He is currently in the hospital. They thought he had a heart attack on Monday but further tests show that the sack around his heart has an infection causing the heaviness and the heart attack symptoms. He is hooked up to an iv to clear away the infection and should be right as rain in a few days.

3. My hair looks like a big burr this morning, I don't know how to tame it. And yes this is after it has been freshly washed and dried... Definitely time to get a haircut. Why do I insist on waiting so long?!

4. One of my favorite things about my bathroom is that the heating vent blows right on my feet while I get ready for work. Aaaahhhh.

5. Live music on the radio rarely sounds good. There's some guy on the Eagle who is from England and it honestly sounds like he's trying to do a James Brown impression. It kind of makes me want to call and ask him to please please stop.

6. I hate buying close-toed shoes. I much prefer shoes that let my feet breath and show cute, painted toenails. I almost feel like it's a waste of my money to buy practical shoes when I can buy cute ones. Winter always throws my for a loop. Since I hate winter shoes, I am facing the dilemma of: should I wear warm shoes that have some sort of weird squeak when I walk, or the ones that hurt the back of my heels. Sigh... we're not even going to talk about socks.

The end. Hope you all have a marvelous, warm-footed day.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I woke up early this morning, the newly fallen snow reflecting the street lights around and lighting up the night. Walking around the house in the dark but still able to see.

I received some disturbing news about my dad yesterday. He's been having really bad headaches and a heaviness on his chest. It has been happening for awhile but he has been able to get rid of it all with medication but this last weekend he wasn't so lucky. He went to the doctor yesterday and found out that half of his heart isn't working. Of course they are running more tests to see what the cause is and therefore what the treatment will be. Treatment could be as simple as pill to as complicated as a bypass surgery.

I'm not sure how to process this information. Part of me wants to burst into tears and my heart wants to break for my dad. The other part tells me that doctors are wonderful and medicine has come a long ways and he will be just fine. Perhaps it is because the heart is such a delicate matter and in so many ways. Isn't it the heart that keeps us all alive, physically, emotionally. I'm pretty sure that my dad's body will be just fine. I am worried about him emotionally though.

Dad has always been such a hard worker. When the body starts to fail, it's hard not to tie one's worth to one's abilities. It's easy to feel worthless and like dead weight. Can't he see there's so much more to life than the ability to move pipe and drive fence posts.

Walking around in the dark but still able to see. It's bright outside right now, but it is an artificial light. Man-made to help us get through the night. When the light of the sun shines across the horizon, how much brighter it will be. Almost blindingly so with the light that only God can give.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree...

... thy leaves are so unchanging
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Thy leaves are so unchanging.
Not only when something or other
but also in na na na na

Who knew that so few people know the words to "O Christmas Tree"?!

Last night was my big family Christmas party. The one that I was putting the music together for. As crunch time came, my visions of a re-usable song book bound together for everyone's singing pleasure, came crashing to a halt. Due to lack of time, my vision took a drastic change to "just get the stupid words on the paper so that they have something to look at". Since I had approximate 1 hour to finish the job and get it printed, I opted not to write down the words to all the songs. Seriously, who doesn't know the words to "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "O Christmas Tree"?! That would be my family.

The party went well though. And people got a kick out of my typos... or maybe I just got a kick out of my typos. Best one: In "Sleigh Ride" I typed "Let's take that road before us and sign a chorus or two". Best part is that without fail everyone sang sign! Oh the power of the written lyrics!

Enough of that. This week's highlights:

1. Most funnest book club ever! (it's my blog I can write it how I want to) We read "The Bright Side of Disaster". I quite enjoyed the book even with the bit of language that seemed to be stuck in their now and then. It was odd to think that some of the things that she was dealing with, I may never go through myself. (It was about a woman having her first child. It's more complicated than that but it does give you an idea.) Mostly I loved getting to know more about the delightful women who are in the book club with me. It was soooo good to laugh uncontrollably with everyone! Looking ever forward to next month.

2. I attended Activity Days for the first time of my entire life seeing as Activity Days came after my time (which kind of makes me feel old.... oh well). It was such a boost to have the girls happy and even excited to see me! Seriously, there really is nothing like Primary kids to give you a huge self-esteem lift.

3. The afore mentioned family Christmas party has come to a close. Sigh.

4. I didn't eat sugar for 5 whole days!!! Wow huh! For those of you who know me, that's like a Christmas miracle itself. I usually form a severe addiction to all things sugar/chocolate on Halloween and it lasts until roughly Easter. This new achievement actually started thanks to my husband. For the drive home from Hurricane after Thanksgiving, our "meal" consisted of Mountain Dew (my caffeinated beverage of choice), Nibs, Cheese Nips, and an embarrassingly large bag of Reese's Pieces. The Reese's Pieces and Nibs I blame entirely on Cecil by the way. We were both really quite ill by the time we got home and new we would be but didn't care. And the saddest part is that neither one of us would have changed a thing in retrospect. That's when we knew something had to be done. Sugar free week-days and sugar weekends. We have to do it together or we'll both fail. Seems to be working well so far.

Music/video to start the week with: