Friday, May 25, 2012

Value Yourself. What does it really mean?

There's such a lack of this.  It makes my heart hurt when people don't know how wonderful they really are.
What does "value yourself" mean to you?
I'll share my thoughts, but I want yours first.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The parable of the car seat

Lora and I had our first big conflict, and not surprisingly, it was about Benjamin.  A few weeks ago, Lora was with her Mom and in their pickup.  She mentioned that she was able to strap the car seat in without the base and that it felt more secure than it did with the car seat base.

I was wise enough at the time to not make a big deal about it, but I was thinking that that was a mistake.  You shouldn't try to fit and strap something as important as a car seat in a way that it wasn't intended.  Fast forward to last night.  She mentions the plan to pick up the table she bought at the D.I. by trading our car for the pickup at the temple where Lora's parents left it.  She said, lets just not try to move over the base and strap it in the same way as I did last time.  I was silent.  She got angry because she felt that I didn't trust her with our son's life.  I could understand why she felt that way, but I just couldn't feel comfortable using the car seat in a way that it wasn't designed for.  We kind of let it go and went to sleep.  Today, when we got to the temple parking lot she asked about it again. I said I wasn't comfortable with it and just moved the base over to the pickup.  It didn't help anything that it was really easy to do.  She was really mad at me because I didn't even ask to see her way.  Again about the trust.  She let me know how she felt.  I let her know that I felt justified and that I shouldn't have to feel guilty about not wanting to do it in a way that it wasn't designed for.  She tried to rebut with the fact that car seats didn't always have bases, but had frequently been strapped in without them.  I didn't know how to say anything that didn't make her sound like she didn't know what she was talking about.  Of course car seats had been strapped in without bases.  My point was that they had been designed for that, but how can you trust a car seat to keep a baby safe if you don't use it how it was designed to be used, and furthermore, it might even be a risk of getting a ticket.

She was giving me the silent treatment, and I was trying not to be affected by it.  We arrived home after picking up the new table.  I could see that it wasn't good to let things lie, so I asked, "OK, can you show me how you were going to strap it down?"  She didn't want to get into it.  It was too late for that because I hadn't even trusted her enough to even let her show me before.  Seeing it now wouldn't change that.  We had some more tentative back and forth with things that I don't even remember.  Lora finally showed me that she used these notches that looked like they were supposed to be used for that purpose.  I looked at them and was surprised to see them there.  I looked down at the picture of the instructions and saw that, surprise of surprises, the seat was designed to be strapped down without the base and she had done it the correct way.

Now I felt the egg all over may face.  I don't know why I had assumed that her way was not how it was designed to be used.  If I would have thought about it in terms of what was possible and not in terms of whether I was justified, I would have probably realized that of course a car seat can be strapped down correctly without the base.  Who would want a car seat that didn't?  The way she had described it the first time for some reason sounded like she had done something not intended and I was stuck on that assumption. This isn't to say that it was her fault.  It was definitely my fault for making the assumption, and it was definitely my fault for not even letting her show me her way.  I don't know why I wasn't even willing to look at how she would have done it.  If I had even an inkling that her way was how it was designed to be used, there would have been no problem whatsoever; and letting her show me her way would have quickly demonstrated that it was correct.  Part of it was, in all of my thinking and justifying, that either way wouldn't be that much different in how hard or how much time, and I wanted to show her that, and so I just said no and switched the base.

Fortunately, when she saw that I was dead wrong by looking at the instructions and that I was pretty embarrassed, she wasn't angry anymore.  Gloating, yes.  Angry, thank goodness no.  I guess she had earned the right to gloat.

This whole thing reminded me of a religious talk I heard once.  I don't remember who gave it.  He talked about how he had learned to trust his wife, even with things that made no sense.  I don't remember the specifics, but it was in things like using the washer and dryer, you had to do a certain trick.  To him, that trick made no sense.  It didn't seem bound by the any laws of physics, yet his wife insisted, and when you did the trick, it worked.  There was one day the he was in the garage and needed to clean up something with the vacuum.  It wasn't starting when he turned it on.  He called into the house and asked his wife about it.  She called back that you had to step in the bucket.  Again, this made no sense to him whatsoever.  How would having a foot in the bucket make the vacuum start.  So he did as she had told him, having trust, but not understanding.  It didn't work.  He called into the house and said as much.  She came out, looked at him and asked, "What in the world are you doing?  I told you that you had to flip on the breaker."

I think that his talk was about following the Lord even when some paths he leads make no sense to us now.  Also on making sure we come to understand his will clearly.  I think about the trust that this man had for his wife, despite his own experience and knowledge.  Today showed that I didn't have that kind of trust for my wife.  I hope I can show her that trust in the future.


I'm tired of looking at things so closely. 
Too many details can be overwhelming. 
Too many hopes can be crushing. 

It takes time
 and effort
and energy
 that I don't have anymore
to dwell on things that don't really matter. 

I want to see more of the big picture. 
I want to stand back. 
Gain perspective. 
Realize that the dark spot that I've been trying to figure out
 is part of a much grander picture than I've been allowing myself to see. 
Realize that focusing on the dark spot
has hindered my ability to see the bright things around me. 

The things that give life rather than drain it.

I want to let go.
Of unrealistic expectations
 the need to "keep up".

I want to be able to breath again.
To drink from the cup of life more fully.
To love more fully.
To laugh more fully.
To create.

I want to look around me and see the good.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Some Thoughts on This Motherhood Thing

I LOVE being a mom.  Love.

Even if I'm doing everything wrong.  Even if my house looks like it belongs on the set of a natural disaster movie.  Even if I am sleep deprived and have absolutely no idea what dinner will be.  I love it.

Why, you may ask, do I love it?  With the diaper changes and the spit up and the crying and fussing and feeding and constant laundry and no time to myself... how could I possible love this? 

Because whether it's 3 in the morning or 3 in the afternoon, when I cuddle my little boy and sing him a song or tell him a story to help him go back to sleep, and he nestles his little face close to me and smiles at me around his pacifier... I could be content for the rest of my life.

Never has sleep deprivation come with so much love, so much joy.  No finished assignment, or house cleaning project, or spell of alone time has ever made me laugh quite as much as my little man or brought as much peace.  Nothing has ever been able to readjust my attitude like his myriad of facial expressions.

Sometimes I wake up and can't believe that we have a child.  That he's really with us, he's really ours.  I keep trying to memorize the way that he feels in my arms right now.  I don't want to forget it.  I know this time will go so quickly and I really do want to enjoy every moment.  So I have a gazillion pictures that will bore most people to tears, a box of clothes that he's grown out of already, and as many memories as I can make to help me remember the yesterdays and todays before tomorrow sneaks up on us and takes those memories away.  Before he's walking and talking and getting ready for school.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Just Because

1.  I had a dream that I went to a huge family get together and dinner was provided.  Dinner consisted of 1/4 "real" food and 3/4 dessert.  We're talking tables and tables and tables of dessert.  I was so sad that I woke up before I got to eat any of it.  (I may have a problem.  But I don't know if it's that I get too much dessert or not enough... :))

2.  I went through my closet yesterday to organize it and stuff.  Stuff meaning say a tearful goodbye to smaller sizes of days gone by.  I found a pair of jeans that fit and were marvelous and were like an old friend to get into.  I wondered why I ever stopped wearing them!  And then I found the hole in the butt.  Sigh.

3.  If your name was Laura or Lora and your husband won a black hat with Dr. Laura written on it in red script and gave it to you even though neither one of you are/were big fans... would you wear it anyway?  Would you be offended that he gave it to you in the first place... ya know, hidden meaning and all?

4.  So.  In going through my closet I found a dress that I bought last year.  Last year it was cute.  Last year I felt like a hormonal sack of potatoes and was in desperate need of something that made me feel feminine once again.  And then I got pregnant and had to set the cute dress aside for the post-pregnancy phase.  Is it totally weird that I kind of hate the dress now even though it fits just fine?

5.  Quick tip:  To give your bedroom furniture a new look... dust.  As in the removal of it.  Stunning.

Happy Saturday one and all!

Friday, May 11, 2012

5-Minute Friday: Identity


How I have identified myself keeps changing.  I used to keep a list of "who I am" around just so that when I forgot I could remember a bit more easily.  It said things like: woman, sister, runner, reader, piano-player, hiker, laugher, etc.  Sometime the list contained what was true, sometimes it was what I wished I could be, like pirate, or sky-diver.

I haven't done an identity list in quite awhile.  Is it odd that I'm a little scared to do it?  That perhaps all that has changed in my life has made me too much of a different person?  That perhaps some of the very things that I loved about myself have disappeared?

I used to love my independence.  My ability to be okay going out to a restaurant or a movie all by myself.  I liked to hike in the mountains alone with my thoughts.  There is still some of that in me, but the need for it has changed.  Alone used to be my saving grace.  The time to realign my thoughts, my priorities.  To make sense of the crazy that was happening or not happening in my life.


Now I'm not sure. I still like alone time, but I don't seem to need it as much as I used to.  I enjoy it thoroughly, but when it's the choice between spending some quality time with the men in my life and going for a drive by myself, I'll take the quality time.  If it's a choice between sneaking out for a quick walk while David bathes Ben, I'll take the walk.  Well, most of the time.  Sometimes it's just too cute to see my man and my little man together and all happy.  They do my heart good.  They help keep my priorities straight.

So who am I?  How would I identify myself?

Mother, daughter, lover, wife, laugher, story-teller, smiler, diaper-changer, smile-getter, woman, writer, reader, laundress, cook, maid, all-day-pj-wearer, Latin-hip-mover-impaired, killer-pasta-salad maker, friend, family member, church goer, seeker of fun, seeker of peace, movie watcher, exerciser etc. etc. etc.

How's your identity these days?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Because it Needs to be Done: Grace High Dance Music, My Years

I was recently involved in someone else's trip down memory lane via music.  It was 80s music. Some of it was awesome... totally rad.  Others were kind of embarassing for the decade.  Still others I hadn't even heard of.  But all in all it was a fun evening with good company.  Most involved in this event shared the same musical past.  Others did not.  Therefore I feel the need to take my own trip down memory lane and hopefully some of you will enjoy it with me.


Love Shack, B-52s

Criss Cross, Jump

November Rain, Guns-n-Roses

Faithfully, Journey

C+C Music Factory, Gonna Make You Sweat

Enter Sandman, Metallic

I Cross My Heart, George Strait

The Dance, Garth Brooks (so very much not the official video but I couldn't find one that wasn't a cover)

And another C+C Music Factory, Things That Make You Go Hmmmm (it's apparently how Grace High rolled.)

REM, Shiny Happy People

There were more, but I'll stop.  I admit, I'm feeling quite happy this morning.  And a little bit happy!
May your Wednesday be spectacular!

Monday, May 7, 2012

5-Minute Friday: Real

I don't know what's real.
I've sat down at this computer and tried to let the words flow.
I've tried to write about what is real.
But I can't seem to do it.
Nothing is coming but frustration.

Writers block is real
Laundry is real
Dishes are real
Trying to find something for dinner is real
Deadlines are real
Bedtime is real

My lack of time is real.

What's real for you?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

How Was Your Monday?

Mondays are interesting around here.

Mondays bring a new set of weekly things, a chance to have a better week than the last one.  Mondays bring a predictable schedule back into play after the weekend chaos, good and bad.

This last Monday brought some goods and some bads of its own.

Good:  Ben is doing his part to keep our bills down by reducing our need to use so many wipes, even at the wee age of 2.5 months.
Bad: He's doing it by "saving up" and only "going" once a week.  On Mondays.  Like clockwork. (Never fear, we talked to his doctor and he said "oh, he's one of those" and told us we didn't need to worry.) Unfortunately his wipe savings is sometimes at the cost of a surgically removed onesie. 

Good: We were informed that a good friend had a successful round of IVF!!

Bad:   My cheeks hurt a little bit from smiling so much.  That's not really bad is it.

Good: We are back to a full paycheck with Dupont! 

Good: David will get to spend more quality time with Benjamin. 

Good: We'll be getting some projects done around the house!  Woo-hoo!

Bad: This all came at the expense of a lay-off and a good severance package. Not so woo-hoo.

Good:  We're handling it surprisingly well.

I wonder what today will bring...