Thursday, January 30, 2014

Snowy Walk

I had a headache, and the cold, clean air was just what I needed. Tia and me time. Meanwhile, Ari is singing Phantom of the Opera as she does the dishes.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My Relationship with Ozzy Ozbourne

I went to spin class this morning, and during one of our sprint routines, Ozzy Ozbourne's "Crazy Train" came on. I found I had a just a bit more muscle to push into those pedals.

I haven't always liked Ozzy. When I was in Jr. High, The "Night Stalker" was a very real threat to my peaceful sleep.When they caught the serial killer, my mom told us that he listened to Ozzy Ozbourne and was found wearing an ACDC hat (Just to be clear -- Ozzy happens to be a member of the Church of England, but uses kind of a Satanic showmanship on stage. I meant to just quickly look up the Night Stalker for a link, but that guy was crazy. I just read way more than I should have! {shudder}). All of the kids with dirty hair at my Jr. High listened to that kind of music. So never me! I wouldn't be caught dead listening to that "music that sounds like trash can lids banging together".  Even in High school, although I had no problem with the Cult, and even the occasional Metallica song, I was a Smiths and Depeche Mode girl myself. This made me intellectual, mysterious and poetic versus a drug taking Satan worshiper. Sigh. It's all about judgement and identity in High School isn't it?

But. When I got to college, I didn't have a car. I dated quite a few cars. There was this guy that had a shiny black convertible that I dated the fall of my sophomore year. He was good looking, and from a pretty wealthy Utah Mormon straight arrow family. He reminded me of my second cousin and good friend Jason: a little rebellious in his music maybe, or other little things, but nothing to be afraid of. At that time I had no idea what make a car was --all I knew was that his was shiny and black, and the top came down. We would fly all over Provo, up and down the canyons or old neighborhoods, looking for big piles of golden leaves to speed the tires through so they would spray out on either side of the car like golden orange water. What did we listen to on these drives? Ozzy. Cranked up as loud as it would go. It was glorious. I knew from the beginning I probably wouldn't date him long, but oh! it was fun while it lasted. Ever since I've had a soft spot in my heart for Ozbourne.

 When I married Jeff, one of his songs would come on the radio, and Jeff would say "let's change it before we want to commit suicide", and turn over to something else. There was some study he'd read that said something like that, and for a while I would do the same. I'd feel guilty listening, and change to something else. But when I started teaching kickboxing a few years ago, I discovered nothing would push me through a class like Ozzy, and I've been creeping back in his direction ever since, one trash can lid crash at a time.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Taking Ari to the ENT

It was cold and early, but I got my hot chocolate and toast for breakfast and that cheered me up as it always does. I loved the pinky silver sky too and the bony trees -some with leftover autumn on them. Ari had a good time, beautiful waiting room with Despicable Me playing on their flatscreen. Plus, it was all about her. We're hopeful with this Dr.'s approval we can get the new Naida processor for her second ear. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Family Christmas

 We had two sisters and their families come to Utah for the holidays and it was wonderful. The only thing that could have made it better would be if my other sister and brother could have made it at the same time.

Macey's store windows were filled with these...what were they? like pinatas MADE out of candy instead of filled with it.

Elephant head

This was like a planet with cities made of candy.

Ice sculptures at Thanksgiving Point

My sister and her husband with the very necessary firepit.

Christmas eve pho-fest

Christmas morning.

All of his gear.

Snow hike with my sister. Dang. Just realized there are no pictures of my other sister in here and it was so fun to have her here too! I love her, but I may love her toddler more right now. We spent a great few days together, but I Christmas eve I had to get some quality time with that little girl. Oh my gosh it was fun. I miss having a little little. I know around 3 am how lucky I am when I can roll over and go back to sleep, but that night seeing her little smile and bright eyes as she turns her head to me waiting for me to say "Oh man!" when she dumps all of the blocks out of the tin for the twenty-third time ...makes me miss little people.

I got called as the Stake Primary Secretary and it's kind of killing me. When I actually do effective work it's awesome. I sit in those ward primaries and I think --this is it. This is where kids learn to be good, moral people. This is where they get their foundation of faith so they have something to rely on the rest of their life. I sat in a smallish room with 60 children in it learning about not lying, and changing and repenting if they do, and I started to feel some hope for the world again (which I've been missing lately).


I was asked yesterday to forward an invitation to a scouting activity sponsored by the local university --just to all of the people in the stake with cub scout related callings (that's all) and it took me 3-4 hours, and I finally had to have my husband  figure out how to put the list of emails together for me,  that's not so cool. Then I don't feel so good about being secretary. Someday I will be asked to do something simple and it will BE simple right?  Above is a banner I created for our sign-off for Stake emails. Took me most of the afternoon and evening's free moments to do. Sigh.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

His burden is light --or, the bike lamp analogy.

We got a new computer and suddenly all of my recent pictures have disappeared. Luckily I've got something to share that doesn't need pictures.

I've been the second counselor in our ward's Relief Society (our church congregation's women's organization) for 2 1/2 years. This seemed like a pretty heavy calling  (job) and there have been times, with my personal training clients again, and Jeff's new job taking up lots of extra hours that I've been tempted to ask for a release. Sometimes it's felt like I was being stretched longer and longer -as though there were screws attached to my skull and soles and every day they were twisting tighter and tighter in opposite directions. I was expecting to snap like an old rubber band any day. However I liked serving the ladies in my ward, I enjoyed my work, I loved my clients, and loved being with my kids. I'm not saying it was bad stuff in my life, just that I wondered how I could do it most days (and most days there were a lot of mistakes).

In my church you are always doing something. Everyone usually has a job. It's part of our belief system that we follow the example of Jesus Christ in serving each other, so we all take turns doing something. In the last year or so I cast about looking for a job that I could be given next that was sufficiently easy for me. That would give me the "break" I felt I so richly deserved. I decided ward librarian would be perfect. That would mean showing up Sunday and helping people make copies, sign out pencils and scriptures etc. and then going home until the next Sunday. Perfect. I could be extra nice and smiley to people. I would be perfect.

A month ago I got released. I got NO new calling. People commented on the smile on my face. I couldn't stop grinning. I was having my thyroid biopsied for cancer that next Friday so I thought Heavenly Father (since we believe all callings are divinely inspired) knew how much I needed a break and was giving me one. Even better than librarian! Well, later that night I noticed I had a voicemail I'd missed from the day before. From the STAKE PRESIDENCY. For those of you not familiar with the vocabulary, the Stake is our group of 10 congregations in our area. I was called as the Stake Primary Secretary. Arguably this may be the most time consuming calling I could possibly get. I won't go into details, but in the interview, I was told over and over how much of a time commitment this would be, how much my family would have to sacrifice, etc.

I looked President Parry in the eye and asked -a little desperately- "the Lord helps you, right?" and he assured me that the Lord does. I said OK then, as long as I didn't have cancer.

I didn't have cancer.

That was huge miracle in itself. My Dr. was sure tests would be inconclusive, that surgery was a surety, gave me surgeons' names to check out; then the results came and were unequivocally benign.  This was where I started to believe everything would be OK, that somehow I could do this.

I sat in church the next Sunday, and heard someone quote the familiar scripture from Matthew 11:30 that we always hear around Christmas: "his yoke is easy and his burden is light".  I always wanted to say nuh-uh! when I heard this before. It often -very often -didn't feel light at all! It felt heavy! But this time, I heard it in a different way. His burden is "light". Light and not darkness. I heard how he helps us see more clearly, to get the answers we need. If we serve, and keep the promises and covenants we made, he would give us revelation in return --or a help in carrying our burdens.

Today our Sunday school teacher mentioned a story I'd heard before about a bike lamp. There was a boy who had a lamp on his bike to light the way in the dark. The faster he pedaled, the brighter the lamp would shine. The problem (in his mind at least) was that having the light on the bike meant extra resistance. It was a little harder to pedal against that resistance, so he decided to take the lamp off. A crash during the next night time ride was inevitable. It was harder to pedal with the light, but clearer. The lamp was necessary to light his way.

I guess I am willing to work as hard as I need to in order to keep that light. Along with keeping promises I've already made to serve, I'm noticing answers coming to questions I've had for months and years. The whole politicized conversation regarding homosexuality and same sex marriage has been confusing and disturbing for me. It's really bothered me. I don't like the idea of a  group of people feeling we as a church hate them or don't care for them. I've been getting some real helps with this question lately (see this interview for example). I also have worried about the restriction of the priesthood (in the past) for people of African descent (see this page on for a quick overview), and I've been recently been put in touch with full personal histories on this question that helped me get some peace about this subject (i.e. --people in the church aren't perfect!).

I'm looking forward to someday being the ward librarian. I'm -of course- already making big mistakes in my new calling, but so far the stretching doesn't feel like I will twoiiiing! any second, but that I am increasing little by little in my capacity. God bless us all in all that we undertake. We'll need it.

Friday, January 3, 2014

New York Trip with Meesh last year.


We had such a lovely time. I was planning on spacing these pictures out and including descriptions, but since it's been a YEAR AND A HALF! Thought I'd better just get it out there. I wish I'd gotten some pictures of Deja and her place in Boston that we also visited. That was another wonderful part of this trip. She was on bedrest and couldn't make the trip over to the Apple with us like we'd originally planned. I sure would love to go back --I feel like -well, I know, we just scratched the surface of NYC while we were there.