Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I enjoy changing Rachel's diapers.  Okay, I'm not a fan of the poopy blowout smelly diapers.  And, I may change my view after changing 200 more.  But, I really do enjoy the one on one time that we share.  Rachel is extra talkative and playful when she gets on the changing table.  She laughs and giggles at my jokes.  She tells me stories.  She practices kicking and passing toys from one hand to the other.  I'm not always happy about the disruption in my daily activities.  But I know that I will miss this when she is grown.

Friday, December 25, 2009

My kinship with Mary

When I was 19 years old I was asked to play the role of Mary, the mother of Jesus, for a church activity.  I was supposed to dress as she would have dressed.  I was to speak as she would speak.  I was to tell the Christmas story to youth and children as only she would tell it.  I studied the story of Christ's birth over and over.  I read everything I could find that hinted at what his childhood was like.  It was a neat opportunity to get to know the Savior and his mother better.  I did my best at the activity.  I was so young and inexperienced.  I really could not grasp the scope of Mary's life and calling.

During this Christmas season I have come to love, honor, respect and love Mary in a way I hadn't before.  I have felt a great kinship with her.  I love reading the account of Mary and Jesus in Luke.  I love the statement in Luke 2:19 "But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart." 

As I rock my baby, I sing "Silent Night" or "Mary's Lullaby."  I ponder the scope of Mary's life.  In a lowly stable she held and rocked her beautiful child.  She rocked and comforted the child that would grow to be the Savior of the world.  But, that fateful night he was only a wee babe.  He was her child.  I imagine the absolute love that enveloped her.  She must have felt the love of her Father in Heaven, all consuming love for her child, and the love of  her child. 

I hold my sweet baby and feel a similar love wash over me.  I wonder what her life will be like.  What sacrifices will she make?  What joys and sorrows will she feel?  What will be her contribution to the world?  My love grows for her as I imagine her future.  As I think of what lies before her I want to hold her even tighter.  Let the future take care of itself, for tonight she is mine.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Calvin & Hobbes Snowmen

I give you 25 days of snowmen cartoons in honor of our latest snowfall.  Thank you to Calvin & Hobbes for keeping me laughing through the years.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Visions of Sugarplums

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

I laid Rachel down for a much needed afternoon nap.  I followed suit after completing a couple tasks.  I lay in bed listening to the sounds of her deep breathing.  I wonder what "sugar-plums" dance in her head.  I'll tell you what dances in mine:
  • Christmas gifts list
  • Money, money, money
  • Hunger
  • Dentist appointments
  • Optical appointments and glasses
  • Water heater rebate
  • Laundry
  • Neighbors and friends
  • Relief Society
  • The pile of paper in my kitchen
  • The other piles in the house
  • My Husband
  • Grocery list
  • How badly I want to be sleeping
  • What to do for date night
  • Basement
I'm sure there were more sugar-plums but I didn't have a pen or paper handy.  I've been sick for almost a week.  Doug has provided opportunities for sleeping in and napping.  Why do I still feel like I've been hit by a freight train?  But, the real question is how to get the dancing to stop when rest is most important.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I first saw folk dancers in Rexburg, ID when I was 11 or 12 years old.  I went to three different performances in one weekend.  I was mesmerized by the movement of the dancers, the lively music and cultural diversity.  I ached to have the chance to be part of it.  Soon after this experience my family moved to California and then to Texas.  I figured the dream of folk dancing would stay just that, a dream. 

Over the years I learned to jitterbug and square dance.  As a teenager I took ballroom and country western classes.  The joyful folk dances continued to press upon my mind.  So, when I got to BYU I began taking folk dancing classes.  I even dabbled a bit in Irish soft shoe.  I LOVED folk dancing. LOVED IT.
At the beginning of every fall semester I would find out about the Folk Dance Company auditions.  I would plan my outfit.  I would practice.  I would dream.  But, I never made it to the audition.  I never made it to campus.  I never even got past my front door.  I was paralyzed by the fear that I would be rejected.  Somehow I thought it was easier not to try than to be unwanted, a cast off from my dream.
Doug and I attended Christmas Around the World at BYU on Friday.  Every year it is a vibrant colorful feast for the eyes and ears. This year was an even more spectacular somehow.  It was the 50th concert of Christmas Around the World.  They invited alumni to come and participate.  The stage was filled with people of all ages in costumes depicting the world.  It was the "Small World" ride at Disneyland come to life.  In an instant I felt the world shrink.  My love for my brothers and sisters across the world caught in my throat.  It was breathtaking.

My regret isn't that I missed out on being on that stage.  My regret is that I possibly missed out on enriching experiences because I was too scared to try.  If I have any wisdom to share because of this, and other experiences, it is this...  The only way to guarantee that you won't succeed is not to try in the first place.
On the plus side, I was able to use what I learned in my folk dance classes to choreograph dances for Bethlehem Revisited, in Waxahachie, TX.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Worked Like a Dog

Last night, Doug and I stayed up late talking about life, the universe, and everything.  I told him that I "worked like a dog" yesterday.  The thing is, my life would be super easy if I worked like Zoe.  So, this is my life if I "worked like my dog."

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Lost Book

When I was in high school I read a book that I absolutely loved.  So, as any good friend would do, I lent it to my BFF.  She read it and we spent a great deal of time discussing it.  Then she lost the book.  I have spent years wondering what the book was.  Once in a while I would receive a suggestion.  It was never the book I remembered.  All I remembered was that it started out with the main character speaking in the plural "we."  It ended with the character learning how to be an "I."  My nephew Kaleb cracked the code and told me that the book is "Anthem" by Ayn Rand.

I took the book on my trip to Texas.  Barely over 100 pages, it took a matter of hours to read.  As with so many things in life, it was not as earth-shattering as I remembered it.  However, the parable like structure of the story was intriguing.  It was a good reminder of how we need to learn, grow and stand on our own.  It is important to be individuals.

I have hesitated to speak in groups for fear of being different.  I love how the writer expresses it.  " the dim light of the candles, our brothers are silent, for they dare not speak the thoughts of their minds.  For all must agree with all, and they cannot know if their thoughts are the thoughts of all, and so they fear to speak."

And I love how the main character expresses his newly found individualism at the end.


My hands...My spirit...My sky...My forest...This earth of mine...

I stand here on the summit of the mountain.  I lift my head and I spread my arms.  This, my body and spirit, this is the end of the quest.  I wished to know the meaning of things.  I am the meaning.  I wished to find a warrant for being.  I need no warrant for being, and no word of sanction upon my being.  I am the warrant and the sanction.

It is my eyes which see, and the sight of my eyes grants beauty to the earth.  It is my ears which hear, and the hearing of my ears gives its song to the world.  It is my mind which thinks, and the judgment of my mind is the only searchlight that can find the truth.  It is my will which chooses, and the choice of my will is the only edict I must respect."

Ayn Rand is a little too "live only for yourself" than I am.  But, I love the reminder that our experiences, our happiness, our choices and our being are truly our own.  There is nobody else in the world exactly like me and there never will be.  My thoughts, feeling and ideas are important.  And so are yours.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I am on a continuous quest to find the ultimate restaurant salsa. I've only been eating salsa for about 10 years now. The turning point was when I made my own...fresh. I have been hooked ever since. I find my own salsa to be addicting. I can eat a pint of it in a couple of days. I will reek of the smell of onion, jalapeno pepper and cilantro. The stench radiates from my pores. I love it. My husband does not.

It takes a lot of time, effort and money to make my own salsa. Plus, it goes bad really quickly because I'm the only one that eats it at my house. The last salsa I had at a restaurant was abysmal. It was more like spiced marinara sauce. I am looking for fresh tomato, onion, cilantro, jalapeno peppers, and garlic with a twist of lemon. I want it freshly pureed. I do not want it so chunky that it will pass as pico de gallo. Nor do I want it to be a thin flavored water with pieces of tomato. Please let me know if you find my ultimate restaurant salsa.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Please Be Considerate

I stood in line at the pharmacy. I waited semi-impatiently like so many do. I watched as 3 people exchanged money for prescriptions. I had only one more person ahead of me. There was conversation between her and the pharmacy tech. Then came the checking with the pharmacist. And more waiting for her order to be fixed. And then, to my horror, she proceeded to unload her cart onto the counter. Now, I have checked out at the pharmacy myself once or twice. But, had she looked at the line behind her she would have seen 6 people waiting, spilling out into the aisles and causing blockades. She did not look. Checking and rechecking to see if all items had been scanned, the tech finally handed the lady her receipt.

My turn! I quickly paid for my prescriptions. I turned. I smiled at the others waiting in line. And I pushed my cart of goodies to the express line (10 items or less.)

The lady at the pharmacy only stole 5 or 6 minutes from my day. Still, I wish people would think about how their actions affect others. Please be considerate.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Looking Presentable

I started this post a week ago. What began as a thought provoking question became a full-blown essay in the making. Believe it or not, this is the scaled back version.

Sunday is usually the only day of the week that I am reliably, what some would call,
presentable. Most other days range from pajamas, to t-shirt, jeans and a ponytail. I recently got my hair cut so that it would have more personality. Yet, it still remains in its standard ponytail most of the time. So the marble, that has been rolling around in my brain this week, is this...

What is "presentable?" And, why do we dress to that standard.

For me, presentable would be capable of having my picture taken without a black bar over my eyes. My hair would be fixed, makeup on, contacts instead of glasses, and wearing a deliberately chosen outfit. But, am I less of a person or less viable when in loungewear?

For most of my life I dressed to escape fit in. I was not the top of the high school food chain. I was definitely not the bottom either. When I was feeling down and left out at school my Mom would take me to buy a new outfit. I could wear this new outfit the next day invoking, what she called, the bravery of my tinkling ornaments. (2 Nephi 13:18) It was the newly found confidence in myself that helped me go to school the next morning. As a teenager I avoided wearing pink or anything that even resembled a heart for fear of being labeled a little girl. As a freshman in college I was often offered the kiddie menu at restaurants. I had to dress up to give myself age credibility.

As an adult I "looked presentable" for different reasons. I dressed for work so that I had credibility in front of the Board of Trustees. As a missionary I got dressed so that others would believe I knew what I was talking about when sharing the gospel. And, to be a credible representative of my Savior. I dressed for dates to show I would be a viable girlfriend and wife. I needed to look good, to feel good about myself. I needed to feel good about myself to get dates. I needed to date to find that special someone with whom I'd spend my life.

It worked! Now I am married to my beloved. He loves me no matter what I am wearing. He loves me when I'm sweaty. He loves me when I look presentable. He loves me when I'm greasy. He loves me when I've gained weight. He loves me when I've lost weight. He loves me when I'm pregnant and can't reach my legs to shave properly or to paint my toenails. He loves ME. So, why do I get dressed?

On the Sunday that I started this post I believed I got dressed for other women. I don't like getting together with them without looking presentable. (Which is funny since I will go to the store in whatever I state I happen to be in.) I thought it was because I feared their judgment. I have changed my view. I get dressed so that I can feel good about myself. I get dressed so that I can make more friends and have credibility with my peers. It really comes back to feeling good about myself, feeling like I have credibility. It comes back to me, myself and I and what I need to feel good. How I look will not matter to most people. But, the way I interact with them will be affected by how I feel about myself.

After all of this soul searching my definition of "presentable" has not changed. But, now, when I take 30 minutes to curl my hair and try on 5 different outfits before leaving the house I know why I do it. I do it for me.

Diet, a four-letter word?

Is diet a four-letter word? I have always believed it to be so. I've spent the last 10 years trying to "change my lifestyle." Sometimes I succeeded. But, my old ways tended to come roaring back once something upset my daily regimen. All along the way I have avoided using the word "diet." Diet invoked an image of starvation, self denial and panic in my head. I would hyperventilate because of my belief that I would not be allowed to eat.

I am now in a position, with my health, that I must lose weight. So, is diet really a four-letter word? My perspective has changed. Diet means that temporarily I give up something I want (food) for something I want more (health, little red dress.) Once I reach a healthy target I can eat a few of the things I love. I will have to change my lifestyle if I want to keep the weight off. But, the diet will help me get to the results faster.

I guess diet is a means to an end and not a four-letter word at all.