Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Ups and Downs

Happy Easter! Easter will always take me back to the days leading to my dad's passing as well as sweet, baby Rachael's death. In both instances, I received a confirmation of the truthfulness of the resurrection, the Spirit of the Holy Ghost, the gift of the Comforter and the blessing of atonement.

The day before Easter last year, I called Dad to let him know I was flying in on Easter Sunday. He said that would be great as he was busy talking to the Lord. He said they were having a great conversation, a discussion which is still a mystery to me. When I saw him on Sunday, I knew he'd been away with God as his countenance had changed since my last visit. He didn't seem so thrilled about leaving this life but I think he finally realized he had no other way to keep progressing. My sweet sisters' dreams confirm my thoughts that all is well for my father.

When Rachael was born, angels surrounded us. While she struggled at sustaining life, her voice was often speaking to my mind. Many times she would say, "It's ok, all is well." Sixteen years later, her voice still enters my mind, reminding me of the eternal nature of this life. During her transition from life to death, I had a dream where I was in a forest, dark and foreboding. I was afraid and didn't know how I could keep traveling in such darkness but I kept walking. Soon I came to a glimmer of light and as I walked toward the light, I came to a clearing, a meadow of tall grass and wild flowers. It was beautiful and warm, with a cool breeze, bringing me relief. I wondered what the clearing meant in my life. Understanding came to my mind which brought me peace. Life will have moments of darkness and fear yet if I keep on pushing along the path, I will eventually come to a peaceful, rolling meadow which will offer me respite. Of course there was another forest on the other side of the meadow but I knew I could keep going. My tenacity for getting through the tough times is a gift given during the eight short days of Rachael's life.

So with all these beautiful thoughts this Easter 2011, I have to mention the rough stuff of today. It started out at church singing beautiful songs of testimony, "I Know that My Redeemer Lives". Nursery was busy and wonderful with eleven 1-3 year olds. We've had a mom stay the last few weeks which has been such a blessing. Two extra hands with one extra heart will always be welcome. Chris had to fly to Florida so he came to nursery to say goodbye. We had a short lesson, snack time, an egg hunt and coloring page.

When we arrived home, I cooked some ham and cheesy potatoes. I had a nap and the girls got along fairly well. THEN the peace was interrupted with a stench of stinky dog. Diarrhea in a big dog is not a pleasant thing. The floors were spotted and smeared. Natalie was in melt-down mode, Eliza was disgusted and I was left to clean. Here's where I have to keep walking, even though I'd rather retreat. I sent Natalie and Scout outside so he could get hosed off. I grabbed the paper towels, the disinfectant and the mop to get the big stuff. Nat couldn't handle it so Scout was brought to the bathroom. I picked him up (70 pounds), put him in the tub and began the unpleasant work of bum cleaning. Eliza came in to sit by and support my efforts. Then the miracle happened. Eliza began cleaning the front room floors to get any spots there.

All is well, all is well. Yes, we'll still have meltdowns, diarrhea and dark forests but I will keep on the course 'til my journey's through. This is the only way and I am okay with it all.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spring is in the Air

The sun is shining, there is a breeze in the air, the oranges are ripe and General conference was just the manna I needed to feed my soul. Nothing more today.

Friday, March 25, 2011

It's finally sunny!

The sun is up this morning without the frustration of clouds hiding its beauty! Eliza vacuumed the living room and Natalie is in her favorite place in the world (next to the humane society)...the tub! Sometimes, I wish I was small enough or my tub was big enough to soak out the stresses! Not that I have any stress!

Yesterday I was ready to send both girls to Siberia! Why do sisters have to push each other's buttons? What compels them to scream at each other over petty disagreements? Crazy! I don't remember much of my youth (bad memory syndrome)but I don't recall screaming from my sister or towards my sister. Yes, we had times we didn't get along. I am sure I was the cause of her early declaration of independence from our family! I think she was 15 when she started her plot to leave. I tend to be messy, she is wonderfully neat. We shared a room. 'nuff said?

Anyway, sisters are important. When Kendra came along we welcomed her, even sharing our bed with her until we all moved out. She taught us to love unconditionally because that was the gift she gave us. Such a joy! Karyn's heart is as big as the universe too. It took being away from her for me to realize this wonderful gift she possesses. So today is dedicated to sister's love. May it eternally burn in our hearts.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Two year hiatus is over

This doesn't mean I am going to be a super blogger. I don't even know how to blog. I haven't written a real journal entry in awhile either so maybe this is a good thing. Ariel wants me to blog but I don't know what she wants me to write.

I chose this picture because this is the last really FUN day I think I've had this winter. We traveled to South Lake Tahoe, found a side road, drove as high as we could and played in the powder. I wonder if that area is covered in 6 ft of powder now? What a fun memory of climbing over rocks, making snow angels, taking in the view, feeling the cold wind on my face! These are memories to cherish.

March Madness- every year for the past 25 years, February and March have had an interesting undertone in our home. I am not really sure where the darkness comes from but I wish it would disappear. The grimness is always around during Christmas season too but that's pretty common for a lot of people. Generally, I thought it was me and something I'd done. Then I figured it had to do with someone's seasonal need for sunshine but we had plenty of sunshine in Phoenix and now California. I can't imagine life without joy and happiness yet there is one in our home who exists without it. What is my role in this darkness? I am not sure. I worry about the "if only" mantra which comes into conversations. I want to hold up a banner of courage that reads, "'IF ONLY' isn't happening so live with it and choose happiness"!

I am going to take a journey soon. Not sure where we're going but it will have sunshine and beaches and delicious food. My children are not welcome to come. I am going to turn off my phone during the day or maybe even go somewhere without cell service! I keep planning on things and then let negative thoughts of all the coordination it takes overwhelm me until I settle for nothing. Not a good thing! I don't know why it's so hard to just click on the "BOOK" button but I am going to do it!!! I think I am finally comfortable with how life is going so now I just need a caregiver to get Natalie to school, give her the medicines she needs at the times she needs the them, ensure she bathes and dresses properly and then I AM GONE! My sweet mom came with the flu last October when Chris and I went on a weekend birthday trip to Monterey and San Francisco. It was wonderful but not not sunny, warm beaches-just wonderful company and good food. It will just have to happen! Last year, I spent my 25th wedding anniversary at my dad's bedside in the VA Hospice. I wouldn't change where I was but this year I'll make is something wonderful.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I wake up every day and discover I am breathing and my mind seems to be functioning so on I go...most days it feels like I am on a river, floating along, running errands, paying bills, working, volunteering, keeping up with how everyone is but lately, the river has turned to rapids. NOT CAT 5 but close enough to keep me on my toes.

Ariel is hanging in there in Iceburg, I mean Rexburg! She goes to school, got a job, has roommates, eats, sleeps and does everything she needs to be doing. I am so proud of her. I am amazed by her strength to endure some pretty tough times. I am delighted with her humor in difficult times. I love this woman for who she is, just as she is.

Eliza is our newest brace face. She was so anxious to get them on and now is wishing she could get them off. It will be a few years before we get her set but she is a good sport. She chose an ortho who served in the Rochester Mission, went to school in Rochester and Buffalo and who knows a lot of the dear friends we know in ROC. I know, not great qualifying credentials as far as the world would see it, but she is happy and he is excellent.

Natalie is doing better and better every day. She has slept through the night (5am) twice this week so maybe there is hope for me to once again sleep through the night. Having Natalie around is like watching myself as a child. So many similarities. She has a few new friends and has been stressing less and laughing more. Hooray for little things!

The river doesn't seem as bad now that I've written it all out so maybe I'll blog again soon. Don't hold your breath...

Friday, January 2, 2009

No pictures but maybe next week

Bahamas- blue sky, gorgeous beach, wonderful snorkeling, loved being together, too short,

USPS- to the "letter", regulation, regulation, regulation, long classes, missed kids, too little sleep, too little Christmas thought, wishing for a breather, grateful for the new opportunity

JetBlue- delays, cancellations, kind customers, frustrated customers, wonderful surprises, fantastic people, thankful heart for employment

Daren- grown and splendid, kind, compassionate, helpful, loving, missed by mom

Ariel- fantastic, brave, loving, fun, matured and growing, missed by mom

Eliza- teen of wonder, joy, kind, excited, bored, loving, fun

Natalie- powerhouse, loving, friendly, caring, wishful, creative

Christopher- amazing, kind, compassionate, caring, loving, thoughtful, wise, loved

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bahamas on my Mind

Daren is in the mountains being an electrician's apprentice so it is girl week at home. You'd think we would be having pedicures and eating chocolate but NO! Instead we are catching up on "John and Kate + 8, Biggest Loser Family and Pushing Daisies".

Today I started a 9 week quest to be able to run a 5k. I didn't run too much but the walk/job went pretty well. I will have to look for a 5k cause to test my goal setting skills. Tomorrow I will ride my bike so I can use different muscles. Wish me luck!

The post office called and I was scheduled for orientation at the same time as our trip to the Bahamas. So I have postponed the post office for two weeks and will go with my family to NAS and FPO for four days. This is something totally unlike me since I am known as the penny pinching scrooge. I am excited to have time together! All 6 of us focused on fun for a few days. I hope I know how to relax!