Sunday, April 26, 2009

Today marks the two month anniversary since my dear sister-in-law passed away. I visited my brother and he was in good spirits. I visited with her brother and his family and they seemed to be in good spirits as well. I try not to dwell on the specific circumstances surroundng her passing, but I often think about her and remember the wonderful qualities that she possessed.

Often times, when I hear a sad song or a nice love song on the radio, I think of her and how drastically my brother changed when they met. I wonder if he is listening and remembering her too.

This afternoon, as I gazed at her young son, I sat in awe of his beauty; of the beauty a new life has along with all the promise of the future. He is amazing. THEY are amazing, those babies. I held him tightly and admired at the wonder the hint of her lips and the shape of her brow that rests upon his beautiful face.

Those boys are getting so big. They are getting to be social little babies, gazing into the eyes of the aunts and uncles who love on them. Every now and again, they gift you with a smile and sprinkle you with little baby coos. I hope that she can see them and see their wonder. I hope that she can hear their sweet voices and know them. I am certain that if she could, she would be so proud.

In my mind, as I watched her close family members, I shout with praise and encouragement. You are holding on. You are making it. Though I see smiles around me, I know that she is sorely missed and she will be missed for a long time to come.

Seeing the spring flowers and the blossoming of these beautiful babies... reminds me of the atonement and plan of salvation. I am reminded of new beginnings and hope that those who were left behind can continue to find the strength to keep living, and keep living worthily for the promise of a reunion some day.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


In the last year, I posted some personal anecdotes about a family member who got mad at me (and my hub) and some contention that we had experienced as a result. The issue at the center of discord was basically lack of parenting (or from my perspective, judgments on my parenting skills from a nonparent).

Then I updated that all was ok. I think I might have updated that they were expecting arrival of their first child.

I THOUGHT about updating back in August that the happy couple learned that they were expecting twins.

Finally in October, I seriously thought about updating yet again and telling you that my beloved brother and his wife were expecting their first child(ren), twin boys.

The boys arrived in February. Oh happy day. None could find more proud parents than my brother and his wife. They eventually made it home after having a c-section delivery.

Three short weeks into parenthood, my sister-in-law passed away. In the wake, she left my devastated brother and two infant children.

Words cannot express the regret and sorrow that I carry each day. I wish I had made more of an effort to be a friend and a sister. I wish I had been more patient in the last year. I wish I had said more kind words. I wish I had forced myself on them so that they could have gotten to know me better and realize that I'm a regular ol' nonintimidating person. With everyday human failures.

I wish I had expressed my love and care and friendship with her. So that she could have known. And perhaps the ultimate outcome could have been different.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Catchy Tune

Three times a week, I drive my oldest child to school, along with four other kids- 1 female first grader, 1 male 3rd grader, and 2 male seventh graders. All are LDS and their parents are a lot more stricter Mormon than I am.

Given that, I always try to be conscientious of what is on the radio when they get in the car. When I started carpooling, I cranked the country music. Originally, I thought that that was tame enough (even though it is not my first choice). I finally switched over to the trendy stations playing the latest hits after the kids started singing a couple different songs. (In my mind, I thought- oh! their parents let them listen to regular music, so it must be ok for me to play it in my car...)

A few months ago, a song really stuck out to me... its kinda rock-y, and while I don't particularly care for the tune, the dude croons about something "between the sheets" and how he loves those little sounds she makes.... ugh. I can NOT stand this song. I mean, try driving down the road at the crack of dawn, this song comes on and all I can think of is how to keep from wrecking the car while I scramble to change the station. Seriously. I feel like I am blushing and HOPING that my two deacon cargo are not noticing the lyrics. (wishful thinking, I know).

A week or so ago, I heard another catchy tune. This time, some girl is singing about how she tried kissing another girl and she liked it. She goes on to describe the taste of the kissee's cherry flavored chapstick... I don't know what else she sang about because I had to change the station since my first grader was riding along.

I have to say, I am really disappointed in some of the crummy music that is coming out. As I was contemplating the 'girl' song, it occurred to me that the gist of the song was suggesting that people 'try it' cuz they might like it. The fact that such a topic (for this entry, I'm going to refer to it as SSA) is treated so casually, as if a person could simply choose a lifestyle like you would choose a pair of jeans, is troubling to me. Later, when the song was played again, I found myself singing along in my head because the tune IS so catchy.

I won't even begin to rant about "Kid Bop" albums and the fact that they have KIDS singing the words to Beautiful Girl, about how the girl is so pretty, I am just suicidal because its over.

I think I am entering a season in my life where I must censor mainstream music so that my kids are not exposed to questionable lyrics and I, myself, are not singing along as if its no big deal to be kissing on other girls or no big deal to be suicidal over someone else's looks.

I'd like to hear what you have to say...?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Albino Vegetables

I've been "branching out" with my culinary tastes these days. Not on purpose, I blame Winnie the Pooh 100% for this one. I mean, how am I supposed to tell my kids what a rutabaga is if I don't know?

For the record, parsnips = albino carrots but not as crunchy.

And a rutabaga? Yeah, that's just a big old radish.

So the next time you're thinking you're going to make this really awesome roasted vegetable side dish? Don't add the rutabaga, because it ruins the entire thing. Those radish-y flavors leak onto everything.

And they're not even a pretty color.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

the guilt monster

There is this little monster

that pops his head into my life
every now and again, you know
and he is the 
Guilt Monster.
I think I mentioned him
in my last (and first) post here.
And I honestly haven't
thought about him in a long time.
But tonight I was doing my usual
blog rolling
and a post over at
got me thinking on it again.

I've decided that there are 
a few types of guilt.
The kind your mother used
to lay on you for staying out too late
or talking back to her.

Then there is the kind that comes
when you just bought something that was too much money
or ate something that you probably will regret eating later...

And then there is 
Divine Guilt.
That comes when the 
Spirit is withdrawing from you,
because you are making the wrong choice
and deep in your heart you know it.

What do you think??

Friday, October 31, 2008

Further Proof of Our Brilliance

Dan was a single guy, living at home with his father and working in the family business.

When he found out he was going to inherit a fortune when his sickly father died, he decided he needed a wife with which to share his fortune.

One evening, at an investment meeting, he spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Her natural beauty took his breath away.

"I may look like just an ordinary man," he said to her, "but in just a few years, my father will die, and I'll inherit 20 million dollars." Impressed, the woman obtained his business card.

Three days later, she became his stepmother.

Women are so much better at estate planning than men.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Of Moths, Slime, and Nasty Tastes in the Mouth

We have a lady in our neighbourhood who is terribly afraid of snakes. We’re talking climb on a chair, shriek like mad, and possibly faint level of fear here. Our next door neighbour has the task of chasing the snakes out of her yard every few months or so and he’s just enlisted Neil as his backup should he be away or dead (he is in his late seventies after all) the next time the need arises.

Now, the sort of snakes in this woman’s yard are 100% harmless. Personally, I find them about as scary as a really thick shoelace and that’s about the size of them too. Her fear makes no sense to me because wee little garden snakes won’t, can’t, hurt people. Unless stretched out and used as a garrott perhaps, but that’s getting a little bit gruesome, I think.

Myself, I have a few fairly rational fears. I’m scared of wasps and bees, spiders with pincers or hairy legs on them, and large clawed and/or pointy teethed animals. I’m scared of harm coming to those I love, of hurting people, of being hurt. I’m scared of fading into the background like I used to once upon a time and feeling worthless and invisible like I used to feel.

I’m scared of a lot of things it makes sense to be scared of.

I’m also scared of moths. Of trying new foods. And of getting my hands all slimey (as in gardening or doing dishes without gloves).

As I look at those three irrational fears all in a line like that I can’t help but grin at the irony of having moved somewhere where moths often grow to the size of small birds, having inherited a huge garden and well landscaped yard, and having married a man for whom culinary variety is one of the keys to happiness.

Apparently these are fears I’m meant to conquer.

What strikes me is that none of those things can hurt me. Moths don’t bite (though they sure as heck look like they’d like to), dirty hands don’t hurt (unless, you know, you never clean them), and an unpleasant taste in the mouth is just a fleeting moment (long memory notwithstanding). Much like the little garden snakes, my irrational fears have no power to do me real harm.

And yet…I get panicky when someone opens the front door at night and a swarm of moths flap in. When I can’t find my rubber gloves the dishes sometimes sit for a day or two till I get a new pair. We eat a pretty boring diet around here because I shudder at the thought of a nasty taste in my mouth.

Joseph B. Wirthlin said:

“Fear can make us run away from things—things like setting and achieving goals, developing relationships, or becoming the people we know we should become. Fear can be a thick fog that smothers our dreams.”

Much of my life is coloured by fear, and that fact saddens me. It is encouraging to remember that as with many things we feel are our outside our control, we can make a choice for things to be otherwise. I can choose not to let fear rule me. It’s an easy thing to say, but realizing that is, I think, essential to beginning the struggle and striving to conquer those many fears which prevent me from progressing.

I’m going to go do the dishes now. With the gloves off.