Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Hunted

(or please don't let me get the barfing sickness)

I sit and wait.

I know that it is coming for me.

I have watched as the others have gone down.

It started Saturday night.

Then spread to some of the stronger ones Monday.

And took the weakest that night.

But, by Tuesday, I thought that the danger had passed.

But, last night it struck again.

I have tried to hide.

But I have to help the others.

I can't just leave them alone.

Two more are done for today.

I am the sole survivor.

And so I wait.

Monday, October 24, 2011


n: An ornament or small piece of jewelry thought to give protection against evil, danger, or disease.

I have one.

It mostly just sits around on the desk in my bedroom.

But there are some nights when I've been having a bad day. I'm just tired, worn out, frustrated over life.

And I'll see it there and put it on and it seems that for a moment all is right with the world.

Now I don't believe in "magical" objects. But I do believe in power.

Especially the power the mind has over the body.

It's become a bit of a joke for me to sit down at the desk, start complaining, see it there, put it on, and say, " oh yeah, now everything is going to be ok. This is just what I needed."

I am superwoman when I wear it. All is right in the world.

I feel like I have to be careful not to wear it all the time or it may lose its power over me.

I wear it just long enough to get that "I can do this now!" feeling.

Why do I feel so good when I put it on?

My amulet came from a race I did this summer.

I worked really hard training for that race.

But when the race was over, it was somewhat of a letdown. There was no immediate runners high for me. It was just over.

But each time I put on that medal amulet, I guess a small part of me remembers what a hard thing it was that I did.

And if I did that, then I can do anything, right?

Its powerful.

And its all in my head.

But that's where I really need the most power.

Because even though I'm not running long distances all day long, I am raising children.

And dealing with teenagers and the emotional issues that sometimes come with that.

And trying to keep a house clean.

And trying to improve myself a little each day.

So, its nice to have a little something that I can look at or wear to remind me of what I am capable of.

(And to laugh at myself as well.)

The mind is a powerful thing.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Being Nice

I really like being nice.

I try to be nice to everyone.

But, sometimes I whine about having to do something nice for someone.

So, the question that I've been asking myself lately is:

"Am I only nice when its convenient for me?"

It shouldn't be.

So, I'm working on it.

Because I don't like whining.

And I like to be nice.

Friday, September 16, 2011


I am a zookeeper.

And I don't just mean that my house is a zoo.

Or looks like one.

Or smells like one. (I still remember my cousin's daughter looking into our car after a road trip and saying, "it smells like animals!")

I'm talking about my parenting style.

Have you heard about this book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua?

It's basically an explanation of a Chinese parenting method which produces successful tiger children.

Well, the other day on facebook a friend posted a link called Against Tiger Mothers.

It's the opposite view of the parenting method. He advances the idea of coyote parenting.

The idea being that tigers are the "specialists" and that coyotes are the "generalists" in our world.

I like both ideas.

Some of the children I raise will be tigers.

And some of them are definitely coyotes.

But, at least one of them might be a koala.

Sometimes it takes a while to see what animal they are.

That's my job as the zookeeper.

Figuring out what animal my child is and then following the appropriate "raising" technique.

Being a zookeeper is definitely not easy.

There are so many different kinds of animals.

In fact, in my zoo there are no two animals of the same kind.

But that's what makes a zoo great; the variety.

(And the variety is what makes it so loud, and messy, and smelly!)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


You know those summers when you were a kid.

The ones that seemed to last forever.

Staying out late at night to play games.

Hanging out with friends.

Doing family things together.

Everyday is an adventure.

I'm having that kind of summer.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Work = Joy

Making friends is hard work.

And it gets harder the older I get.

It seemed so easy when I was younger.

It just happened.

I had great friends in high school and college.

Then life moved on.

Even as a young mom it was easy to make friends because what else was there to do except hang out with each other and talk about our "experiences".

I've always envied those women who have lived in the same place for a long time.

I imagine it would be easier to transition from that young mom time to busy life and still keep your friends.

Whenever I've moved its been harder to make friends with people my age.

And its not because people are not nice.

It's just that life is so much busier with older and more kids.

It really takes an effort to put myself out there and make friends.

Its just easier to deal with my own life and be alone.

But women friends are necessary for my growth.

So making friends, as uncomfortable as it is at first, is worth it to me.

Every time I have moved somewhere and put myself out there I have found other women willing to do the same.

It just takes some work.

But the pay-off for me is huge.

Yesterday I went on a hiking adventure with 3 other women and their families.

I think the kids had fun.

But, mostly for me, it was about making new friends.

Friendship, like anything else that takes work, brings me joy.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Women & Mothers

I love mother's day.

I was not the most girly-girl growing up. I was really a tomboy and I liked to hang with the guys.

It is through being a mother that I have learned about being a woman. To celebrate the more female qualities within me. To learn to be selfless. To learn to serve and to love unconditionally.

As I lay in bed this morning waiting for the kids to bring me breakfast in bed, I had time to think about mother's day and what it really means to me.

I thought about my cousin who had a baby born still two days ago.

I thought of another cousin who has not had children of her own, but is raising her sister's kids for her and doing an awesome job.

I thought of my friend who has not yet married but has mothered hundreds of young women.

I thought of my friend who worried she would never get the chance to be a mother and is now raising 4 beautiful children.

I thought of another cousin who is waiting for someone to choose her to be a mother.

And I especially thought of my own mother.

I think mother's day is really a day to celebrate womanhood.

I believe that all women have this divine gift to nurture, to love and to teach. And every woman has a choice to share this gift with others, no matter what her situation.

But it is not always easy.

It did not feel like a divine gift as I was cleaning the "garf" off the floor of the kitchen and myself; and washing sheets that were "wet".

Sometimes it's just plain hard.

But it is still a gift to share.

I love being a mother.

And I love being a woman.

And on this day I am thankful for all the women in my life who have taught me by example what these titles really mean.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Kind of Personal

I've been on my get-healthy/weight-loss journey for almost 4 months now.

I knew what I wanted to do and even how to do it.

But it has seemed to take forever.

I started out exercising by running for 1 minute/walking for 2 min for a total of 20 minutes.

Then increasing that running time each week until I could run 20 minutes without stopping.

I lost 10 lbs in the first 3 weeks.

Since then, it has been a 1 lb a week loss (maybe).

I lift weights 3 times a week and eat 5 times a day and drink tons of water.

I signed up for a half marathon because there is a great one where I live and its been on my "list" for a very long time now.

I've gotten discouraged thinking how I'm supposed to run 13 miles or more than 2 hours when I'm not even running 2 miles yet and only 20 min. at a time.

But the big turning point came the other night.

I have always hated feeling fat.

And feeling out of shape.

The other night I said out loud: "I'm not fat any more."

Not - "I don't feel fat, or I don't look fat".

Just, "I'm not fat."

That's huge for me.

That's a completely different emotion than feeling or looking.

It's a real thing.

And now I realize that I can do this.

I am doing this.

I pulled out the 15 lbs dumbbells for some of my exercises.

I am only 10 lbs away from my super goal weight.

I ran 3 miles this morning.

I have 18 weeks until my race.

I will be ready.

This is what life is.

Little steps leading to bigger plans.

Not always seeing results, but still changing along the way anyway.

I can't wait to see where this leads me.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Be Your Own Cheerleader

Few things drive me crazier than when I hear a kid say, I'll never get it done!

Or, it's too hard.

Really, what is the point?

One of my favorite classes I took in college was a Stress Management Class.

And other than breaking a board "with my hand" for the final, probably the best part for me was when they taught about self-talk.

During that class I realized that all that grumbling inside is useless.

Since then I have become a true believer in saying positive things to myself.

It's the whole "little engine that could" moral.

I think I can, I thought I could, I knew I could.

Well, it's kind of morphed into a self-promoting attitude.

Good job on dinner!

Hey, I cleaned all the toilets today - hooray for me!

Do you guys know how awesome I am; I ran for 12 minutes without stopping this morning!

I tell my kids all the time - you have to be your own cheerleader because you can't wait around for other people to do it.

I mean, it's nice if others notice your hard work, but really, just plan on cheering for yourself.

I think it is starting to rub off on my kids.

Yea, I got all my homework done!

I'm awesome because I'm done with my jobs!

I rock!

This is the kind of stuff I love to hear.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


def: invent \in-'vent\ 1. to think up 2. to create or produce for the first time

I like that definition.

Especially the second one.

This is the first time in my life when I've had toddlers, not been pregnant, and had children old enough to babysit.

All at the same time.

It's like a new me.

I find myself asking, "who am I?"

Or better yet, "who do I want to be?"

I know that I will always be the same person inside; but I have a desire to improve parts of me.

To create or produce for the first time some part of me that has not been there before.

I've thought about my friends whose lives have not turned out they way they expected.

Marriages came late.

Babies came late and in different ways.

There's never enough money.


And I've thought about how they've had to re-invent themselves from being one type of person to now being something totally different.

That must be hard.

I guess my life is not like I imagined it would be either.

I'm not living with all of the comforts of life that I expected.

But I wouldn't change any of it.

It's the process that has changed me and made me who I am.

The process of inventing a new part of me.

It is sometimes really hard and not always pleasant.

So, what quality or trait will I produce from this new time in my life?

I think its one of those things that I won't know until I'm looking back.

That's ok.

In the meantime I will invent.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Science Geeks

It was the science fair last night.

I really like the way our elementary school does it.

Anyone who wants to can participate; but it is very low key and everyone gets a medal and certificate.

They had a professor from the university doing science experiments in the front for the kids and their families.

He had a static electricity ball.

And he had a girl with long hair put her hand on it so we could watch her hair go up.

He kept telling the kids "don't touch her or it won't work!"

But different kids kept throwing stuff at her and trying to touch her.

And I thought to myself: look at who you are talking to guy.

You have a bunch of kids in front of you who wanted to do the science fair.

They are the ones who like to experiment.

So of course, if you tell them not to do something or this will happen, they are going to test it out!

It's just the way their minds work.

It would do me well to remember this in my own family.

My kids are very strong-willed. (that might even be an understatement)

So of course, they are going to test limits to see what happens.

As long as they feel the consequences then maybe the lesson will be learned.

Unfortunately, it takes a lot of patience to actually put this into practice.

But, hey this life if basically one huge science experiment for us to test ourselves and learn.

Over and over again.

Monday, February 14, 2011


I never take my watch off.

Well, almost never.

I was getting ready to go running.

I went to take it off my wrist so I could hold it while I run.

It's easier to see it that way. (I'm only up to run 1 min./ walk 2 min.)

It wasn't on my wrist.

Where was it?

Did it fall off?

Oh, I must have left it in the temple locker yesterday.

Darn it.

I borrowed a watch from my daughter.

I went running/walking.

I came home.

I got in the shower.

I always check what time it is when I get in so I'm not in too long.

My watch said 9:10.

My watch?


It was on my wrist.

You see, I always wear it . . .

. . . on my left wrist.

For some reason I checked my right wrist in the morning.

This is what my mom calls "halfz-heimers".

Thursday, February 10, 2011


We got our first full months electric bill.

Let me just say that it wasn't pretty.

So I started thinking about what appliance I could do without to maybe help ease the pain.

It's too cold for a clothesline and I do too much laundry to use the inside one for everything.

We kind of need the refrigerator because its nice to eat non-frozen/non-rancid food.

The electric heaters in the added-on master bedroom and bathroom are already turned down as low as possible without creating icicles in the rooms. (ok, so there may be a few icicles)

That left only one large appliance left.

The dishwasher.

Which really if you think about it is just a place to hold dirty dishes anyway.

So now, I just fill the sink at the beginning of the meal with super hot sudsy water (that way by the time dinner is over, kids can stick their hands in without complaining about their skin falling off).

Then each kid is responsible for their own plate and utensils.

Dish duty for the rest of the dishes is then rotated weekly.

I decided against daily since I really wanted to give the kids a chance to master it.

And I didn't want complaining that so-an-so didn't do the dishes the night before so now they have more to do than anyone!

I like to think that my kids are learning a skill that they might need some day.

Who knows, there might still be places in the world that don't have that dirty dish holder thing.

So far it is working beautifully.

I think it makes my kids feel good to accomplish something that they think of as hard.

I'm not sure that it will really make that big of a difference in the bill, but so far I love the difference in our family.

And one bonus I didn't count on - not getting into bed and having to remember - "did I turn the dishwasher on? "

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I found an interesting scripture at the end of last year and I've been repeating it in my head.

It's toward the beginning of the Book of Mormon.

Lehi and his family have left Jerusalem; lived and journeyed in the wilderness, built a boat and traveled across the sea.

And not without much difficulty.

They finally arrive in the promised land.

1 Nephi 18:24
"And it came to pass that we did begin to plant seeds; yea, we did put all our seeds into the earth, which we had brought from the land of Jerusalem. And it came to pass that they did grow exceedingly; wherefore, we were blessed in abundance." (emphasis added)

They did not hold anything back.

They did not say to themselves, just in case this doesn't work out, we better save some of these seeds.

They put all of their seeds into the earth.

So this year, I'm telling myself to plant all of my seeds.

To not keep myself back from living fully just because I may not feel settled.

Even though, I know we will only be here for another year and then we will move again, I'm planting all my seeds.

There is no use in waiting for what may be in the future.

This is my life right now.

It's a great life.

I'm planting all of my seeds!


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