Friday, December 18, 2009

Tender Mercies

I write this sincerely hoping that it doesn't come off arrogantly or "holier than thou" because...well, because I don't feel that way and because I look on this more in the vein of being a tender mercy of the Lord to me to boost my own deep-seated insecurities.

El Guapo and I are both converts to our chosen faith and as such, I frequently felt (feel?) like I was (am?) flying blind as a mother. As wonderful as my own parents are I didn't grow up in a home where things like FHE or family prayer and scripture study were put into regular practice. I really had no idea how to implement them. And consistency? Ummm...yeah...not really my strong suit...

And so sometimes I wonder. Did I do it right? Will they be okay? And the suspense is killing me. Because we're not there yet and I'm really bad with suspense.

Every once in a while though the Good Lord takes pity on me and gives me enough of a glimpse to keep on going. To at least keep making the attempt. And to know that even if I'm not firmly on the path it's still in sight.

Like when I go to tuck Maizie in at night and have to come back five minutes later because she is praying. And then I have to come back again.

Or when I walk by Petunia's door and find her with her head bowed over her scriptures, searching and learning nightly, more faithful than any of us.

Or when I go to the door to wave goodbye to my sons and find them in the car, heads bowed in quiet prayer as they leave for a road trip.

I don't write this because I want to be reassured that my children are wonderful. I already realize I have been blessed far more than I deserve. I write it because I imagine that sometimes you wonder too (and someday they will) and because I know with all my heart that Heavenly Father will show you/them the same tender mercies that he has shown me. And I don't want you/them to miss them or give up too soon.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009




Recently I've been having some...well, what was best described by my noble foremothers as..."female" problems. It's been a bit of a zoo here I'll tell ya. Pressure has been mounting. And I'm gonna get some of it off my chest right now. So if words like uterus, fallopian tubes or even stirrups distress you...move on now. You've been warned.

Let me begin by saying that I'm not crazy about my doctor. He's a nice enough man I guess, but I find our whole relationship awkward at best. This might be true of my relationship with any doctor of this type but I don't think so. This awkwardness can best be illustrated by the following story.

I once missed my yearly appointment with the good doctor by a few months. I eventually went in and after the ritual weigh in, blood pressure check, etc. was given my obligatory uniform and told to wait on the table. Moments later, in walks the doctor who sits down, asks the usual questions and then walks over to the table, looks down on me, and asks, "So, are you still married to that same guy?"

Now, FYI, future doctors...

Don't say things like this to a woman lying with her feet in stirrups clothed only in a glorified bib and a large paper towel. It's weird. (Trust me, I checked around just to make sure it wasn't me.)

I switched doctors the next time I had to go for the yearly thing. I called around and found a guy I'd been hearing about for years. I went in and during the course of my twentysomeodd minute appointment he made eye contact with, ZERO...times.

Now, just another little piece of advice...if you are gonna get as up close and personal as an OB/GYN does with his had BETTER make eye contact at some point. Just sayin'.

Another year rolled around and I began the search again. Guess what I learned? All those doctors who went to med school for all those years, who I'd assumed really chose their profession out of a sincere desire to help and care for their patients, who I believed
had SOME interest in womens' health, who, after all, did take the Hippocratic oath...yeah, them.

Turns out? Only interested in making money.

Call me naive but I had thought they were interested in all their patients not just the ones with uteruses (uteri?) still planning on having babies. Could I find a doctor interested in me as a new patient? Nope.

Which is how I ended up back in the office Dr. StrangeBedsideManner. Just to be sure he didn't have to wonder about my marital status I took Guapo along this time. He really loves these kinds of field trips.

And there I have remained for the last several years, with a doctor I'm unsure of, participating in yearly, humiliating exams.

Until a few weeks ago when all manner of things began to go awry. I won't bore you with details but suffice it to say it ended in some outpatient, minor surgery and a great deal of angst.

And after all that? Well , they know some things it's not...

Today I went in and found out some of my options. There are several, among them a treatment whereby they run "scalding liquid" through my uterus and another where they just remove my uterus entirely. He gave me these options before (yes, before) he actually told me what was wrong. Which he doesn't actually know.

I love being a girl.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Just So You Know...

...According to Facebook, I'm still amazing.

And sometimes I'm also unbelievable.

Just so you know.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

How Texting (And Other Technology) Has Changed My Life

When Dobbie came home from his mission a couple (?!?) months ago it quickly became apparent that he was going to need a phone. Buo had his old one and even Petunia had managed to talk her dad into one and really, even I, technological cavewoman that I am, recognized the need.

So off went the troops led by Guapo and sans me. (Otherwise known as the beginning of the end.)

Petunia was entirely too happy when they returned and here's why...


I had stood firm against the institution. I had made my wishes clear. It was a RULE.

And Guapo caved.

I hate texting.

It is destroying our ability to interact with one another as human beings in a face to face way.
I have conversations with the tops of the heads of half of the people who walk the halls of the high school where I work. Even when they don't have a phone in their hands they don't look up anymore. I mean really, if you're going to pick up the phone anyway, just call. Talk to someone for real.

And it is not just teenagers. I have had conversations with adults (adults, I say) who sit with their purses open or their phones sitting on the table of the restaurant where we are eating and who actually stop our conversation to respond to the person who just texted them. I mean, I'm not a bad conversationalist overall. Occasionally, I've even been told I'm witty and moderately intelligent. Talk to me, please.

Also, yesterday, my daughter experienced uncontrollable tremors in her thumb for a brief period of time. Note I said uncontrollable, not unexplained. I know what happened.

But really, how does this affect me? I mean, I don't have to text, right? The old "if you don't like it, don't look" certainly applies here. And I agree. But it still hurts.

Let me explain.

Last night Petunia and I went to a band competition. It was raining and I nearly slipped several times. But I successfully managed to navigate both the wet stadium steps as well as the drenched aisles with only a few near misses.

I nearly made it. I rounded the final corner of the Jeep and reached for the handle when it happened. Complete wipe out. Both legs in different directions. Purse, keys, umbrella strewn all over. And I was too stunned to move.

I assessed. Nothing broken. But my knee hurt a lot. And my wrist. And my back. So I just lay there, on my back, soaking up water and thinking, "I don't want to fall again. Petunia will come pick me up. She'll help me."

Then, "She'll be here any second. Maybe she didn't hear me."

And again, "She'll wonder why I haven't gotten in soon..."

Finally, I hauled my own sorry butt up and, clutching the side of the car for support, I looked across at the top of my daughter's head. Bent over, fiddling with a machine.

She swears it was her IPod.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Lap of Luxury

So, Petunia and I went to the Women's Expo last week and entered to win about a bajillion things. Everything from food storage to shoes to scrapbooking supplies.

And I won.

A four hour spa visit. Manicure, pedicure, facial and massage. An hour each. Whenever I want.

Lovely, you say. And I answer yes.

I decided to break it into small installments. Spread out the decadence over time.

On Saturday, I went for the facial. It was amazing, sheer indulgence.

Within two hours, I began to itch. By evening I had hives all over my neck. By morning they had spread further. Nothing stopped them, not Benadryl, not ice packs, nada.

This morning, seventy two hours in, I called the doctor.

Apparently, I'm allergic to luxury.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Oma's Book List or Homework #4- A Week Late

Books You Read Long Ago and It Is Now Time To Reread (In No Particular Order)

(I just picked these off my own bookshelves- I'm sure there are a hundred I will think of later...)

1. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
"One of the strange things about the world is that it is only now and then one is quite sure one is going to live forever and forever and forever..."

2. Peter Pan by James Barrie
"You see, Wendy, when the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies."

3. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (I just read this five months ago but I'm sure it's time.)
"Atticus is a gentleman, just like me!"

4. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
" 'You have been my friend,' replied Charlotte. 'That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what's a life anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die. A spider's life can't help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone's life can stand a little of that.' "

5. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
(No quote but I took turns imagining myself as every one of them at some time or another.)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Oma's Homework #3

Oma asked today what job you would be willing to do for free. I especially liked ~j's response which you can see if you click on the last blog on my sidebar. (And I also like that I knew that that was exactly what her response would be.)

I, not being as noble as my sweet friend, was thinking in a more "outside of the home" sort-of-way. And I am extraordinarily happy to be able to say that I would do the job I work at currently without any pay. In fact, I have often told my co-workers this.

"What do you do?" you might be wondering.

I am a paraeducator, a teacher's aide, at the local high school and I work with children who have a wide variety of disabilities.

I fell into the job by accident four years ago and I wasn't really sure how it was going to work out. But on the day I interviewed, another para told me, "I go home happy every day."

It has been four years and I can say the same thing. Still.

I smile...Every. Single. Day.

Those kids are wonderful. And funny.

Some days I cry.

But I still go home happy.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Homework #2- Books

Two days in and I'm already behind on my homework.

And the thing is, these are actually assignments I like. Especially this one. Because it's about books. And reading.

I have read for as long as I can remember. And I have reread for as long as I can remember. I have identified with more books than I can think of and have more quotes floating around on sticky notes than I will ever find. (I have a hard time desecrating a book with ink-or even pencil.) I have followed Elizabeth Bennett, Harry Potter, and Mary, Colin and Dickon far more closely than I ever followed The Brady Bunch, ER, or the exploits of The West Wing.

When I looked at Oma's assignment and saw Scout's smiling face my heart leapt. Somehow, through all my years of junior high, high school and the four plus years it took me to bring home a degree in, of all things, English literature, I had never read this masterpiece. I only discovered it this past spring and...well, words simply fail me. Suffice it to say, I think it should be passed out as a parenting manual with every new baby born. ("Car seat? Check. Diapers? Check. Copy of To Kill A Mockingbird?) We would all be better human beings if Atticus had been a part of our lives. (No disrespect intended to your parents or mine.)

But to narrow it down to just ONE book?


Can't be done.

I started instead, to think of books that I turn to for, well, I guess they could be called comfort books. You know, like comfort food...for the heart. And two leapt to mind...

Having Our Say
The Delaney Sisters First Hundred Years by Sarah and Elizabeth Delaney


A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck

Having had a few unconventional older women influence who I am, I find something deeply satisfying in my soul is filled when I read these books.

I won't say anymore. I don't want to ruin the experience for you.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009



I haven't had homework in a long time and to be frank, I don't miss it. At all.

But ~j suggested on her blog that we check out this blog- for an interesting thing to do. So I did. (Had my crash course in blogging been a bit more comprehensive I would know how to make that into a link but, alas..)

Back on topic...I was...intrigued.

And now I have homework.

Today one was supposed to plan a magnificent trip. Anywhere. And Oma describes how she does it. The woman has it down. But I have decided that I am not a planner. I freely admit this. It just doesn't hold my attention. And I'm okay with that. I am the first to admit that I miss a lot. And I'm okay with that too. What I do see though, I really see. And I see it for as long as it takes because my itinerary doesn't tell me that I have to be somewhere else in forty five minutes.

When I read the assignment I thought, "Hey, I have just come back from the proverbial 'tripofalifetime'! I believe I will write about that instead."

And so, let me tell you about my recent trip to New Zealand.

I tried to plan. I really did. But it is a whole COUNTRY and we had two weeks. And so, when we got off the plane I really and truly had no gameplan.

And so we winged it. Wung it? Let the winds blow us where they would? You get the picture.

And then it was over. And I needed (for some unknown and inexplicable reason-probably because people keep asking me) to be able to account for how I'd spent this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

No, I did not see Hobbiton. But I saw hills that looked a lot like it in the same part of the country where they filmed it. And I met an amazing "solo" mom with one of the most gorgeous children I have ever seen. I sat on her couch and we talked about how her life had changed in the past several months and I made a new friend.

I did not see the beach where they filmed "Narnia" or "Whale Rider" but I did ride in a boat deep in a cave on the other side of the world with my husband's arm around my waist while a million little glowworms shone above us. It was magical.

I went nowhere near the South Island reported to be the really "beautiful" part of New Zealand. But I held my husband's hand in one of the most beautiful zoos I have ever been in and I handfed a tropical bird. We went everywhere together on our first trip ever alone together. Twenty two years into our marriage. (You see, we walked home from our honeymoon. Another story for another time.)

I saw museums, botanical gardens, islands, lots and lots of cafes, and people from all over the world.

I saw the strangest bathroom I have ever seen in a place called Kawakawa.

I saw a sign in a window that read, "Morality, like art, begins by drawing a line somewhere. " It was flanked by two adult entertainment stores.

I saw the haka performed and I went to a Maori "unveiling" for a man I had never met but would have liked to have known.

I saw a young man whom I hadn't seen in two years climb out of a car in the pouring rain and run across a parking lot to embrace his father and me. Then I saw it again because his sweet companions were kind enough to film it for us.

I met person after person who opened their homes and hearts to us and told us about how our son had turned into the man he has become. How the message he had brought about the Gospel had changed their lives. How much they loved him. And how sorry they were to see him go. And it made giving him up for two years suddenly worth it.

I met the kindest, funniest, and most amazing man who had looked after and loved my son for those two years and I heard him sing "Moon River" and call Dobbie his "huckleberry friend."

Not planning seems to work for me.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

She's A Thinker

So...the other day I'm driving down the road. Maizie is in the backseat telling me about her day and the test she took and how worried she is about how she did (or didn't) do.

Let me remind you at this juncture that Maizie is all of ten.

Somewhat distracted, I assure her that I'm sure she did fabulously and not to worry. "Plus also," I add cheerfully at the end, "You're beautiful!"

There is an audible pause in the back seat and then...

" that'll get me a college degree."

I think it may have been the proudest moment of my life.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Today my baby turns ten.

Let me repeat that, with emphasis...

TODAY my BABY turns TEN.

I find it almost impossible to believe that ten years have passed since I gave birth my youngest child.

Her first year of life was far more eventful than anyone's first year should be. Born slightly early and fighting an infection and prone to turning blue with no warning she started out in NICU and ended up hooked up to a monitor for the next six months. This slowed things like crawling and walking down for her a bit and just when she was about to catch on, we fell down the neighbor's steps together and she broke her hip on her first birthday.

I don't really know what we were thinking but, after seven and a half weeks in a cast that stretched from her chest to her toes on one side and her chest to her knee on the other, we really thought she'd be rarin' to go when that thing came off. Instead she couldn't even sit up. I was so worried.

A friend said to me, "You wait...when she figures out that there is nothing stopping her from moving, crawling, walking anymore you won't be able to catch up!"

And that's why I can't believe that it has been ten years. Because when she did figure that all out she started running and I've been lagging behind ever since.

And that's okay.

You go, sweetie. I'm right behind you.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


"You really don't look old in that video, Mom," says Buo.

"Besides," chimes in Maizie, "old is the new young."


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Me and You and A Bicycle Built For Two

So my dad came to visit a few months ago when spring was here and we got to visit for a bit. We were driving down the road one day and he saw a sign that had intrigued me before.

Tandem Bicycles For Rent

Mmmmmm. Two seater bikes. There are two of us. This could mean some quality father/daughter time.

"What do you think?" says he.

"Sounds lovely," says I.

And we were off. A few days later. More or less that's how I remember it. And more or less we were off.

We called and we went and picked up the bike. And helmets. (Always wear a helmet if you are me. Or if you are related to me.)

These are the things I learned about tandem biking.

First, turns out tandem stands for IN tandem. Meaning you gotta work together, people. As in, AT THE SAME TIME. This is trickier than it sounds if you are me (or are related to me.) And as both of us on the bike fell into one of those categories...well, you get the picture.

Second, make sure that your boss will be in the office and not planning a venture to the outside world. We were spotted as we crossed the street...before my dad realized that I was not actually yet seated and ready to push and started to leave without me. This is all I really wish to say on this particular subject.

Third, there are certain things that are required of tandem cyclers. You will discover most of these on your own and I won't take that experience away from you but I will let you in on the biggie, no charge. It is this...


The person in the back had better trust the one in the front. Because you just can't see a thing that's coming at you if you're back there. The side view is just fine and it is really relaxing and peaceful. The poor guy up front is the one with all the responsibility. He's gotta watch out for all the bumps and potholes. Oncoming traffic. Unexpected birds and critters darting at you. He's gotta watch out for the both of you.

And guess what? We NAILED that one, people. Because we've been practicing that one for the past fortysomeodd years. My dad has been watching out for me, helping me dodge potholes, oncoming disasters, and a variety of unforeseen obstacles that have come seemingly out of nowhere. He's really good at it. That's why I trust him. Implicitly.

After we turned the bike in, we walked back to the car. I said, "That was wonderful. Thanks so much, Daddy. But next time, I'll be in front so you can enjoy the ride."

I'm not sure but I think I heard him mutter, "That should be relaxing," as he closed the door.

We'll work on it.

(Happy Father's Day, Daddy.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


A little over 15 years ago I discovered I was going to have a girl. After two boys I had really been hoping for a baby girl and, lo and behold, I was about to get my wish.

The first thing I did was to shop, of course! (This actually started a precedent for this particular child that I have grown to regret in recent years. But I digress...) I bought a beautiful green velvet dress and ruffled socks and brought them home and hung them in the closet.

And then I panicked.

I was going to have a GIRL! I didn't know how to be the mother of a girl! Girls are different than boys! I only knew little boy games and they didn't like trucks or dinosaurs and...oh, yeah...I was a girl. It was going to be all right.

And then she was born with hair thicker than mine and an inch long all over. The nurses couldn't get enough of her. I don't think we went out in public for over a year without being stopped by someone. I hadn't just given birth to a girl...I'd given birth to a beautiful girl.

And she still is. But she is so much more than that. You see, that was the really tricky part. How to let her know that yes, she was beautiful but her Father in Heaven wanted the inside to match. I worried over this (as I do about most things.) I worried in particular because as she grew, it became apparent that not only did we not look particularly alike but our personalities are quite different too and I could never quite figure her out.

And then a few years ago something lovely happened, (as it usually does if you just wait patiently enough.) Summer began and I decided to take up walking and Petunia, to encourage me, said she'd go with me. And we began talking. And guess what? Turns out we're not so different after all. And all the things I worried about? Not a problem...Heavenly Father blessed her inside and out. She is intelligent, kind, compassionate and passionate about the things that she believes in, and this one believes, I'm here to tell you. She is rock solid, people.

In truth, I'm unbelievably honored that a loving Father trusted us with a daughter so lovely. I thank Him every day.

And then, I hug her tight.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Today is Buo's birthday. He is seventeen today. I can hardly believe it. In fact, I can hardly believe it whenever one of my children has a birthday. And they all have summer birthdays.


It appears I will spend much of the next few months in a state of disbelief.

When Buo was little he was my wild child. Wedged in between two fairly (read completely) laid back individuals, he was the live wire of the group and, truthfully, there were moments that I was unsure just what to do with him. If the other two were middle of the road, Buo never even touched the pavement. He was a child of extremes; extremely happy or extremely...not.

Thankfully, he was mostly happy. And thankfully, he has stayed that way.

This might sound like bragging but I can't claim credit for any of it. He came this way. I have learned more from him than I can possibly sum up in a few inadequate adjectives and paragraphs. But this is some of it.

I have learned (or relearned, because I knew this once upon a time) to really focus on the good in people. Not because I have had to do that with him but because he does that with everyone he meets. We don't walk away from meeting up with someone (insurance salesman, cashier, man-on-the-street) without him saying something like, "She had a beautiful smile" or "He was the happiest bag boy I ever met". We just don't. Ever.

I have learned that, when someone is upset, angry, emotional, sometimes they need a little space and a few moments to themselves. Without their mother in their face. Talking incessantly.

I have learned to laugh. A lesson I have learned from all of my children actually, but Buo can diffuse almost any situation unlike anyone I have ever seen. With sheer audacity and wit. And his siblings are picking it up. And I love it.

I am learning still from him, to love without holding anything back. He doesn't carefully hold a place reserved to protect himself. And he is rewarded for it by receiving that kind of love back.

I have learned to love life because he loves life. Every single second. And he makes everyone around him feel that way about life too.

I am in awe of the human being he has become. He is so much finer than I could ever have imagined when I held him in my arms for the first time seventeen years ago.

Happy birthday, son.

Friday, May 8, 2009

My Own Personal Fairy Princess

Tis the season and all that jazz to think about...


I could and probably should put a picture of my sweet momma...


But she would not like that.

My mother is a lot of great things. She is funny. She is compassionate. She is loving. She is kind. She is spiritual. She has an amazing laugh that she shares freely. She would walk over fiery coals for her family. She has spent every waking moment of her married life focused on her family even when she was helping others.

She is not perfect. And she will laugh when she reads this.

She is not like other mothers.

I know. You think this about your mother too. And you should.


In my lifetime I have had many friends whose mothers were nothing like mine. I have friends who physically leave town so that they can dodge Mother's Day and the painful reminders and ironies that it brings. My mother mothers them too. Without me telling her who they are. And not as she mothered me because frankly, some of them couldn't bear it. But she mothers them in the ways that will make sense to them. Intuitively.

When I was little I would watch as she would put her make-up on and she would transform. From a tired, overworked, underpaid Everymom to my own personal fairy princess. I thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world.

I still do.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Things That Make Me Crazy About Facebook

As I have already mentioned, I am completely out of my depth when it comes to working anything technological. For example, I believe I just published the title to this little entry...without the essay attached. Because of this I find myself frequently frustrated by, really, the simplest of things. Facebook is the current bane of my existence.

People are continually sending me plants, fish, hearts, quizzes, Easter eggs, candy, (the candy kind of made me happy until I figured out that this wasn't really a notification that a package was due to arrive soon), shoes (ditto to the candy), shamrocks, Christmas ornaments, gifts, dachsunds. The list goes on but really, I'm sure you get the picture. The problem? I can't actually retrieve any of them. I am notified that they are there, I press "accept" and then I can never figure out how to view them.

Also, on my little sidebar of notifications, it always says "Congratulations". Just at random intervals. For no particular reason. And I have to rack my brains trying to remember what great thing I've done to deserve this. This is too much work, people.

I only signed up to keep an eye on my kids and while I have found some old friends (for which I am very grateful) I don't really know if this is worth it. I have enough stress in my life without adding this.

P.S. Zoosk, I don't know who you are and I don't care HOW many flirts I'm missing out on...I'm married.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Space Age? Stone Age? It's A Toss-Up

Things are not going well for me technologically speaking today. I can't make my email work. I can't make my blog work. My washer is making alarming sounds and not draining properly and the new dryer is trying to get in on the act.

In short, I feel like a character from "Little House On the Prairie" stuck in an episode of "The Jetsons".

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fairy Tales

"Fairy tales are true; not because they tell us that dragon exist, but because they tell us that they can be beaten."

~C. K. Chesterton


This is hardly an original thought but I just had it brought home to me in a new way and while it's fresh in my mind I thought I'd jot it down...

I just dropped Maizie off at school while driving our minivan which I have had to drive pretty much nonstop since Buo got his license. A woman had kind of parked at random in the middle of the lane where one is not supposed to park and walked her child inside. (In her defense, she did smile.) What this means for the rest of us is that we could either try to squeeze in behind her or pull around her and attempt to parallel park between her and the guy who was parked incorrectly in front of her while fifteen little children attempted to make it into their classes in thirty seconds running like ants exiting an anthill that has just been kicked.

But I digress.

I opted to squeeze in behind her and let Maizie out the door. I had, of course, pulled foward fairly closely so that the two other automobiles behind me (neither of whom wished to attempt the parallel parking thing) could also drop their children off. Problem? I am now stuck. The woman in front of me had not yet returned and the people behind me? Not moving either. So I begin manuevers to exit.

Here's where my little epiphany occured. I inched back, wiggled the wheel, inched forward, wiggled a bit more, back, forward, get the picture, and finally edged my way out. I breathed a sigh of relief and thought, "There really had been enough room. Guapo would have zipped right out of there. I always sweat these tight fits only to find out they're really not that tight..."

And then it hit me...

El Guapo and I are not what could reasonably be termed "tall" people but he is still several inches taller than my 5' 2" frame. When he looks over the hood of the car he's actually seeing the same thing I see but from five or six inches up which isn't actually the same thing I'm seeing at all, is it? I've been 5'2" since I started driving so things have always looked this way to me and it's how I've always looked at things. When El Guapo says, "Just pull forward already!" it's really never occured to him that I can't see that I'm safe from my angle. And when he makes what I think is a tight turn I'm not aware that he can see that he's got room.

Now, I'm usually pretty bad at analogies. (They start out strong but usually fall apart about 2/3 of the way in.) But...I think we do this quite a bit in lots of areas of our lives. We pass judgement on each others' lives, follies, foibles, mistakes, actions, and opinions without ever stopping to consider that from where they are standing it is a perfectly reasonable and valid response, no less valid than ours. Sometimes we can help each other see that a particular response is overly cautious and sometimes perhaps not cautious enough. Either way, at least in theory, there is communication and growth on both sides.

Plus, also, I am SOOOO using this the next time somebody tells me I'm a bad driver.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Love Letters

Taking a page from Nie, I have been contemplating writing a love letter to El Guapo for a long time. The thing is...El Guapo? Well, he's not really the love letter type. And I'm fine with that. I married him, right? I knew this all along. (You should hear our proposal story. Plus also, he used to ask me on dates to the library. The library!) Valentine's Day is on the way though, so I thought that it would be an appropriate time for this particular post...

Dear Darling Husband,

In honor of Valentine's Day and in honor of YOU, I wanted you to know some of the things that I love about you just in case I forgot to mention them in the almost twenty two years of marriage that we have experienced together. This will not be a typical love letter because you, my dear, are not the typical husband in my humble opinion. Read on.

1. I love you because you whistle while you work. Really. I love that puttering around the house makes you that happy. I love that replacing the kitchen sink pipes in our very old house for the seventeenth time makes you whistle and not swear.

2. I love that you gave me chocolate lips for our first Valentine's Day as a couple. (I bet you thought I didn't like them, didn't you? And I don't know if I did then...but I really do now.)

3. I love that you love your mom.

4. I really love the parrot birthday card that I made you buy me when you forgot to buy me one on my first birthday as a married woman. And I especially love the Mother's Day card that you gave me when I was just about ready to give birth to our third child that began..."Happy Mother's Day on This...Your First Mother's Day." (I've always known you didn't really actually read those cards.)

5. I love that you took me to the temple.

6. I love that it takes you FOREVER to get mad. (Now, if I could learn that and you could learn to get over it quick, like me, we'd be perfect!)

7. I love that you are always planning your next project. I get tired of the dust sometimes, I'll admit, but I love that you always want to make things nicer for us.

8. I love that you can still make me laugh. And that you still try.

9. I love how willing you are to help and serve. Anyone and everyone who asks. No matter what time it is. Or how little sleep you've had.

10. I love how much you love our children.

11. I love your dimples.

12. I love the way you look in your favorite Levi's. (They're my favorites too.)

In short, husband mine, if I had to do it all over again...knowing everything I know right now... (the good, the bad, and the ugly)...I a heartbeat.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Health Food 101

I just came back from the health food store.

I like saying that.

The implication is that I eat healthily and know what to buy when I am in there. The implication is that I am a bit of a granola girl, a free spirit, you know, cool...hip.

The reality is that nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that, while I do own a few pairs of Birkenstocks, I actually have no idea what I am doing in a health food store. I go in there to buy ear cones and tapioca flour to make the Brazilian cheeseballs like they have at Tucano's. The reality is that my eating habits revolve around the following theory: If the preservatives they put in Twinkies give them a shelf life of twenty years or so, and I eat enough of them, it just might mean that my innards will be preserved beyond their normal shelf life.

I have been told that there is a hole in my theory. I have been told by multiple people. I live next door to one and my backyard hooks up with the backyard of another. Bless their hearts, they're trying to help me, I know. And in reality, I do listen. I probably eat better than I think I do...I hope.

But sometimes people who shop at the health food store can be a little condescending about the whole thing. Not my neighbors, mind you. They really only tell me things when I ask them. A few years ago though, I made the acquaintance of some really nice people like this. (They really were truly nice people.) They were doing a whole macrobiotic diet thing (I still don't know what this actually means) and they could never eat anything I offered them. They were nice about it and all but I sensed that they did not approve of my eating habits. I ran into them one day when I was coming out of the health food store.

" shop here?"

They actually said this out loud...just like that.

"Umm, yes, I do."

"Oh," (I could see them mentally reworking their entire dietary approach to life at this news) "Oh, well nice to see you."

"You too."

Did I tell them that I was just getting the stuff to make cheeseballs?

No, I did not.

I admit I was smarting a little at the stress they had put on "you" so no, I did not make them privy to that information. Need to know basis and all that.


Pass the Twinkies.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


My children deserve to know something. It is something that I think I've taken for granted that they knew and that I hope I demonstrate in a hundred different ways in their daily lives but that I don't know if I have expressed in so many words.

It is this.

They are the most important choice I have ever made in my life.

And it has been just that. A choice.

I have worked hard to help them understand that they are responsible for their choices and that there are always consequences. Well, I am also responsible for mine. I chose each of them over every other choice available to me. (And yes, kiddos, there were others.) I continue to choose them. Sometimes in the day to day grind of assuming responsibility for my choices (and their laundry, their feeding, and their general upkeep) I fear that I have not conveyed to them the importance of that choice and I need for them to understand it. Especially my daughters.

I need them to know that I made that choice to have each of them. Knowing that there would be a cost and that I have paid, and continue to pay it, gladly.

I made that choice four times. Conciously, joyfully. Fully aware and cognizant.

And I celebrate that choice.