Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I'm Moving Away Forever.

I have always been an extremely modest person.

The only time anyone has seen me uncovered was when I had my 3 children, at the doctor's office, and the following time:

I was 17 or 18 years old. We lived in a mobile home, and my room was right off of the bathroom. I was listening to one of my sisters talk to Mom about why she needed another new bra. This sister had problems with many of her clothes quite often, so got newer ones on a regular basis. I never wanted money to be spent on me, so Mom would have to make me get new clothes, and I always felt guilty.

Mom was standing in the bathroom doorway, and Sister was just inside the bathroom. I was getting frustrated while listening. I had waited and waited to get a new bra, mine was getting ratty but I didn't want to get a new one just yet, as money was always pretty tight. Finally, I had enough. I got up, went out of my room, and stood at the outside corner of the door in front of my mom and sister. I said heatedly, "You want another bra, while I go around looking like this!"--and quite uncharacteristically for me, lifted up my sweatshirt to expose my ratty bra. Both Mom's and Sister's jaws dropped open, and time stood still as I stood there, shirt held up, and felt the coolness of the air across my naked chest. Then they started laughing hysterically, and I slunk off to my room. Yep, I had forgotten that I had taken off my bra before bedtime.

That story has gone down in our family history, and still comes back to haunt me occasionally. Maybe for others it wouldn't be such a big deal, but since I had a reputation for being super modest and more prim and proper, it was quite an event. Like I said, that was the only other time I've been...unclothed in that manner, well, maybe. I'm not sure now.

James has mentioned on occasion that you can see into our bedroom at night, but he didn't know how much. I assumed shadows. We have shades on the windows, they're the bamboo-looking type that were there when we moved in. Since we didn't want to buy new shades, and they looked kind of cool, we left them.

Last night around 11:00 he said, "By the way, you can see everything in our bedroom at night when the light's on." I grilled him, "How much can you see? Could you see the mess that was in there before I cleaned it?" He told me that I should go out and look. I started to feel sick. "NO!" I declared. "I'm not going to!"

Finally I couldn't take it anymore and informed James that I was going out to the van to get the hose for our rug cleaner. (I had loaned it to my sister--not the new bra one.) He knew what I was up to, and said he'd show me what you could see. I ignored him and went outside in the cool, damp night air.

I went to the van and took out the hose. Shutting the door, I looked up nervously. I relaxed for a second. You could see our headboard, up against the window. I couldn't see much of anything else. Then James came into the room.

He started dancing and being very goofy, and I could see it all. I could see that he had on a blue shirt. I could see him from below the waist and up. I realized in horror just how much the neighbors could see. We live on a cul-de-sac, dead smack in the middle. It also slopes down, so we're slightly lower than our other neighbors. We have an oak tree in the front yard, but that would only shield the view for a couple of neighbors, and not much in the winter. Anyone driving down the street could see in. Some of the neighbors stay up late.

Thankfully we don't always have the lights on in our intimate moments. But we do sometimes, and anyone looking would have seen it all. I have the light on when I undress. I'm so mortified that I don't know if I can ever leave my house again. One of our neighbor guys smiled and said "Hi" when I said hello yesterday. He doesn't usually smile. Now I'm going to be freaked out by everyone and wonder if they've seen something. I hope the tree blocked the view of our neighbor who's an assistant Baptist pastor. Just think, we'll have lived here 2 years in August, and no one's said a word. Being quite fluffy, I'm not that attractive sans clothes, (James, I know what you'll say when you read this, so be quiet right now!) so I wouldn't see why anyone wouldn't say anything. Unless, as my grandma put it when I told her, "Because they get a free show!"

I think it's time to move.

Monday, April 28, 2008

On Desiring and Obtaining Blessings

I should have posted this yesterday, as it would have made a good Sunday post. I gave this talk in church. I was supposed to speak for 7-10 minutes, and much to the other speaker's chagrin, I spoke for exactly 7! Hahaha. Anyway, it was an interesting topic, and I learned a lot. Here it is.

Why We Should Desire Blessings, and How Do We Receive Blessings?

April 27th, 2008

Why should we desire blessings?

Some people may feel that they don't want to bother Heavenly Father with requests. Others may feel that they don't deserve blessings, or that they have enough and should be thankful for what they have. I have pondered this question a lot this past week. Our Heavenly Father wants us to be happy. He wants to bless us. He has told us to ask for blessings. Moroni 10:30 says: “And again I would exhort you that ye would come unto Christ, and lay hold upon every good gift, and touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing”. He is the Creator of our earth, and of us. He has given us so much, and he still wants to give us more. When we seek for blessings from our Father, we become more attuned to His will and come closer to Him. It becomes easier for us to feel His love and Spirit in all aspects of our lives.

James 1:17 says,

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."

In the Book of Mormon, King Benjamin said this while addressing his people: "And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you." (Mosiah 2:22)

I asked James why he thought we should desire blessings, and he had a wonderful insight. He said that we should “desire blessings so we can bless others.” The more we receive from our Heavenly Father, the more we can use those blessings to serve our brothers and sisters. And in serving our brothers and sisters, we are again blessed.

How do we receive blessings?

Heavenly Father has natural laws set up. Doctrine and Covenants 130: 20-21 states: “There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.”

So, before the world began these laws were set up. When we obey a law, we get the blessing on which it is based. There is no specific list set up where we can go. There isn't a book we can get that has laws in one column and blessings pertaining to that law in another column. Some we can figure out, such as if you obey the Word of Wisdom and don't drink alcohol, you won't cause a traffic accident by being under the influence. But others aren't that easy. That's why it's so important to study and pray when wanting a specific blessing. The Lord reveals to us by the Holy Ghost what we should do to receive that blessing.

President Gordon B. Hinckley observed:“The trouble with most of our prayers is that we give them as if we were picking up the telephone and ordering groceries—we place our order and hang up. We need to meditate, contemplate, think of what we are praying about and for and then speak to the Lord as one man speaketh to another.” Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley (1997), 469. ”

There is a wonderful article in the December 2006 Ensign about prayer. Sister Mary Jane Woodger says the following about prayer:

“After confessing my weaknesses I then feel ready to ask for specific blessings. For me, habitual phrases such as “bless my family” or “help me” do not usually constitute mighty prayer. My prayers are more effective when they include names and circumstances.

Notice how specific President Kimball is in this admonition: “We always have a prayer in our hearts that we may do our best on the football field, that we may appear well in the classroom, that we may remember the things we have learned when the test is on. … We pray as we stand to speak, as we walk, as we drive. We remember our friends, our enemies. We pray for wisdom and judgment. We pray for protection in dangerous places and for strength in moments of temptation.”

The Apostle James writes that sometimes we have not because we ask not (see James 4:2). I have found the following definition of prayer in the Bible Dictionary helpful: “The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them. “What I Have Learned About Mighty Prayer, Mary Jane Woodger, Dec 2006 Ensign”

As parents, we want good things for our children. It makes us happy to see our children happy. Instead of just giving them everything they want willy-nilly, we want them to ask for things. Why? So they have accountability and feel a greater sense of value and worth for what they have been given. If a reward system is in place, they learn to decide what they really want and if it's worth it. They learn from the process. For example, this past week my children really wanted to play a computer game. It's rare for us to get those, so they were very excited and often asked to play it. I made the rule that their room had to be clean before they could play it. They worked on it, I helped some, then when they finished and it was clean they got to play the game for a while.

Knowing how excited they were, I was tempted to let them play it before they were ready. However, being obedient to the rule I set up helped them appreciate the game more, and gives them incentive to keep their room clean.

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him? (Matthew 7:11)

Our Heavenly Father is waiting to give us so much more than a computer game. We need to be ready to receive those blessings fully.

For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift. (D&C 88.33)

By learning how to desire, ask for, and receive blessings we can draw closer to our Father in Heaven. This subject has been eye-opening for me, because I have felt many times that I didn't deserve “extra” blessings. However, there is no such thing as "extra" blessings. Heavenly Father is waiting to bless us even more than he already has. He has blessed me so much, and I have had some experiences lately that have shown me how much He is waiting to bless me continually. I testify of His love for me and for you. He is a God of hope, and of love. I hope that we all can draw closer to Him , our Eternal Father, and receive the multitude of blessings He has for us.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Case of the Toilet Paper Squares

I'm developing a habit of posting twice in one day. Although, to be fair, the other one should count as yesterday's because I posted it at a few minutes past midnight, then went to bed. Like Saturday night for example; it never really becomes Sunday until I fall asleep and wake up again. At least I tell myself that on the rare occasion I end up at Walmart at 11:59. --Edit-- After posting this I see that Blogger does not know how to tell time. It was most definitely after midnight!

Sometimes I post little gems that happen to me during the day, mostly as a way to preserve the memory. I expect everyone who reads these to tire of my little stories, but that's ok. How else would I remember Bugaboo mooning the aisle in Walmart? I read some older posts a while ago and found that I had blocked out that memory. Then? Not so funny. Now? Quite funny. Plus, I need ammunition for when my sons become teenagers.

Anyway, the past month or so I've noticed a disturbing thing. There has been a pile of single toilet paper squares growing by the toilet. I would pick them up, and it would start growing again. Mushrooms growing, I could understand. But toilet paper? Due to the complete lack of modesty on my children's part, I've been in there when each one of them has gone to the bathroom, and the source of the pile was baffling me. I was suspecting Princess, as we've been focusing more on her potty training. I didn't say anything, because I kept forgetting to.

Yesterday the mystery got solved. Bugaboo had a minor bladder infection, so he would cry and yell for me to help him because he couldn't stop going after the initial deluge. He'd sit or stand at the toilet dribbling every minute or so until I'd count, "1, 2, 3" and he'd throw the paper in the toilet and pull up his pants. He went a lot until it got better, because of all the cranberry juice I insisted he drink. It worked wonders!

On one of his many trips, he got some paper to wipe with. Due to improper use of toilet paper, a while ago James told him to use four squares and fold them up. Since Bugaboo is addicted to routines, he uses that many each time he wipes, for every potty episode. I stood there and watched as he counted, then tore the paper off the roll. He then silently counted each square again: one, two, three, four, five,*rip* --then tossed the lone square onto the floor.

Anyone want a bunch of white toilet paper squares for a collage or something?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"It's Like Raaaaaiiiiin on Your Wedding Day..."

I'm wondering how many of you got the subject line. The ironic thing is that many things in that song aren't, but I still like the song. Well, only except that I have to yell "WHOOOOOOOLE life" to drown out the swearing. This post however, is not about Alanis or her angst. It is quite serious. First, some background information.

Princess has been nicknamed such because of her love of all things princess, pink, frilly and as I just found out recently, hearts. She makes up little...plays or skits or whatever with Bugaboo, who's 6. They mostly consist of the following: a princess, a king, a queen (sometimes) and a witch. I wondered where the two of them were the other day, so I went out on the deck and there they were down below. Bugaboo was standing on a two-foot high retaining wall brandishing an old, short piece of pvc pipe, and Princess was on the patio yelling, "NO! Don't come in my castle!" The two of them are hilarious. On Easter Bugaboo had made a play out of dolls, and had Buzz Lightyear playing the evil witch. It was great, especially when the witch died then came back to life! He had a teddy bear play the "Brave Old Prince". It's so nice to see them play together even though it makes her obsession worse, and even though I'll hear her scream like she's dying because Bugaboo has snatched and run away with her Fisher Price queen.

A couple of days ago I had a particularly rough day, one of those days where you know you shouldn't be yelling all day but have a hard time stopping it. One of those where you want to crawl into bed and start the day over. I had been doing too much without enough rest and was so exhausted I acted like one of the kids, not the parent I should have been. Finally that night, the boys went to sleep and I felt like I could breathe again.

It was quiet, and Princess was sitting on her daddy's lap before bed, chattering away. I was enjoying listening to the two of them as I sat at the computer. Of course, it didn't take long for her thoughts to turn to her favorite subject. She said to him matter of factly, "I am the princess; Daddy, you are the king;".....I was so pleased that I knew what was coming next, my little girl calling me a queen! How adorable!....."and Mommy is the witch."

I lost it. I laughed so hard I could hardly breathe, collapsing onto the computer desk. Yes, I had been a witch that day. I know she wasn't saying that to be funny or make a point, but my little girl taught me a lesson. I don't get to be treated like a queen by default, I have to earn it.

Even if I am married to the king.

Friday, April 18, 2008

"Who's Googling Now?"

I've waited so long to do this that I have quite a bunch. I may save part of my heavy list for later. It's amazing what some people Google these days, and that they ended up at my blog looking!

Michael Buble Gee, I wonder why you would find him on my blog?

Buble_16 Wishful thinking, little teenage girl. He's 32. Same as my dreamy husband.

blogfever I'm sorry you're coming down with that. I had it, got well, and I think it's coming back.

i'm a victim of circumstance fast foods got a hold on me and I don't stand a chance I hate to tell you, but unless that burger has tied you up and thrown you in a trunk face down in a pile of french fries where you have to chew in order to breathe, you're not a victim of circumstance. It just feels that way.

"A little mouse with clogs on" gift Whaaaat? I certainly hope you aren't a guy looking for an anniversary gift. She may not stop screaming from her precarious position on top of the refrigerator to notice the cuteness of the clogs, even if the mouse could dance. Buddy, you'll need to do better than that.

fast food lyrics kidsongs I sincerely hope you're not teaching that song to your kids.

Pistachio Opening Line. Again, whaaaat? Ok, let's see if I can help you out.... "Well, I was walking along the sidewalk yesterday waving my arms and flapping like a bird, and this guy calls out 'Hey dude! You're a nut!' Get it? A nut!.....Because I am a pistachio? Aww, heck."

flat volcano cakes pictures I have yet to see a flat volcano cake. I made a cool one out of a bundt cake. Maybe you should try that. Unless you're looking for one where someone sat on a volcano cake and made it that case, send the pictures my way. Laughing at someone else's mishaps takes the edge off of my own.

LDS RS BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION I like birthday celebrations, especially if it's for all the women of my church at once. Hint for the next one? There really, REALLY should be cake. Chocolate cake, or vanilla with raspberry filling. Buttercream or cream cheese icing, please. Not the stuff that's just sugar mixed with some shortening. No flat volcano cakes, please.

fast food's got a hold on me lyrics kid songs Ok, I know two other people you should get together with. You can have an old Kidsongs convention. Kidsongs can be playing continuously as you dance and frolic in theme parks, railways, barnyards, and construction sites. Just make sure you get a black and white dog to represent Bingo.

mormon vegetarian If you're one, nice to meet you! If you were looking to see what one looks like, you're probably disappointed. I don't fit the stereotype. I'm rather...zaftig, to put it mildly.

I love to pee my pull ups Your mother works tirelessly cleaning up after you, yet you broadcast your peeing pride to the world? SHAME ON YOU!!!!

"fast food's got a hold on me" It's no wonder our nation has a problem. So many of you are admitting it! At least you're taking the first step.

mother superhuman strength This one is intriguing. Are you a mother of superhuman strength? If so, please share your secrets. Are you a man declaring the obvious? Good for you. If this is a general declaration for the good of all mankind, I applaud you. It's about time we mothers are recognized for the superhumans we are. Superhuman...great. Now visions of hairy gorilla-like monsters come to mind. Right now I have the hairy legs part down. I need to cover them up...where did I put that cape? Whoops, forgot. "NO CAPES!" (If you haven't seen the Incredibles, you won't get that reference.)

piano music for "I'm still here" Thanks for the vote of confidence, but it was only a blog post. I didn't write a song about it. I'm glad you were so deeply moved by my words, and if you're wanting to write music to go with it, I'm sure we can work out an arrangement. You can pay me either in bazillons of dollars, or chocolate. Actually, a mixture of both would be best.

That's it for this edition of "Who's Googling Now?" See you next time for more wild and wacky searches!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Nine Years Ago Today....

Nine years ago this morning, while getting ready for the day at my new friend Laura's house, I didn't know that stepping out of the bathroom would alter my life forever. I was 20 years old.

Through a strange series of events I had met this guy who lived close to Springfield, Missouri. I met him at the Liberty Jail in Liberty, Missouri. No, I wasn't incarcerated, the Liberty Jail is a historical site for my church. I met him because he was with a guy I met at a dance the week before, who was his roommate. That roommate had been in the same mission as a close friend of your head spinning yet?

Anyway, I was there at the jail for a commemoration of one of the sections of the Doctrine and Covenants. A new display painting by Liz Lemon Swindle was about to be unveiled. I was busy getting on with my life, doing the right things and forgetting about dating. I had dated someone seriously for a couple of months late in the summer before, was briefly engaged, and I wanted to wait longer before taking that step. He didn't. We broke up. It was pretty hard on me, and I didn't want anything to do with dating anyone for a long, long time.

Enter...let's call him Larry. He asked me out, and for some reason I said yes. He came up the next weekend, about a 3 1/2 hour drive, to take me out. He stayed at my parents house downstairs overnight. This was a first. I really didn't know what to think. I wasn't comfortable with dating, but felt like I should see him.

Two weekends later, I was supposed to go down and see him. I really didn't want to go, I felt like I was getting sick, a cold. I was tired from my job as a home health aide, running errands and helping people bathe, cleaning houses, preparing meals. My mother encouraged me to go, she felt that I needed to. She even said that maybe something else would happen when I was there, but she felt that I should go. I had already talked with a girl named Laura about staying with her, as that's where Larry and his roommate were living. His roommate was Laura's husband's brother, and they were all living in the basement of the two brothers' mom's house that they were finishing building. Larry, roommate, roommate's brother, roommate's brother's wife and 1 year old baby. Got that? Didn't think so.

Anyway, Larry and I talked a bit on a pay phone when I stopped driving for a break, and both of us didn't know which way this was going, so I was a bit more relaxed. He sounded like he wanted to make sure that I knew this was more of a "let's see what happens" kind of weekend, not to expect anything. So, relieved, I expected to go and hang out mostly as friends. Larry was already committed to going to an overnight campout with some of the guys, and he didn't want to stay overnight since I was there, for appearance sake. So when I got there, he was already camping as it was later in the evening.

Laura was wonderful and kind, and we took to each other instantly. I was alarmed when I saw the kitchen table, however. There were three red roses there for me from Larry. I wasn't happy at that, because new friends who don't know where the friendship is going don't give red roses. We had barely held hands for a few minutes on our date when he was up in my town, and I told him I was uncomfortable with even that.

With that in the back of my mind, I proceeded to enjoy the evening. Laura's father came over, and I was impressed on how quickly he could fall asleep on the floor, asking her to wake him up after 10 minutes. I also met her mother and little sister, and thought they were nice. We talked about the next day a bit, as Laura, her baby, her 15 and 13 year old brothers, mom and sister, Larry, and I were all going to Silver Dollar City in Branson for the day. After everyone left, Laura and I talked as girls do about dating and such. I told her that I didn't know what was going to happen with Larry. She said, "If things don't work out with Larry, I should introduce you to my brother." When someone says things like that, you (at least I) would brush it off. For some reason, that thought tingled in the back of my mind.

It was late when I went to bed, and I slept a little late as a result. When I woke up, after breakfast I went into the bathroom to take a shower. Of course, getting completely ready down to makeup and all took a little time, and I heard voices from the living room as I was finishing up. When I was done, I took a deep breath, walked out of the bathroom, down the hall and around to the living room. It was full of guys. At least it seemed that way.

There were a couple I didn't know, but one of them I did! It was a guy I knew from my singles ward up in Kansas City. "What are you doing here?!" I exclaimed. "What are you doing here?!" he responded. Turns out he was going to school down there, along with his two roommates who also were there. One was a blond, big guy; and one was this broad-shouldered, tall, dark-haired guy that I immediately noticed. And of course, there was Larry.

There was some joshing about me being down there as "Larry's girl" or something like that. I think Larry was taking a shower at that time, thank goodness. Remembering the roses, I retorted "I don't belong to anybody". For some reason I ended up doing the chacha with the guy I knew from singles (probably because I used to teach guys to dance), and I was keenly aware of the dark-haired guy watching me. It annoyed me how drawn to him that I was. I learned that his name was James.

I remember asking Laura in passing if that was the brother she was talking about. She said "Yes." I was surprised and pleased. Yet I was still annoyed at myself.

The rest of us who were going to Silver Dollar City left. James was going to do a service project with the other guys that morning, but like today's rainy weather, it got rained out. He stayed to install a sound card on Laura's computer.

Silver Dollar City was fun...kind of. Thankfully the rain went away, and it was a beautiful day. I wanted to pay for myself, but Larry wouldn't hear of it. I kept dodging him holding my hand the whole time, and I grew more and more uncomfortable from that. I really wanted to pay for myself so that he wouldn't have any reason to feel entitled to anything from me. I did have lots of fun with James' 15 and 13 year old brothers. They sensed what was going on and didn't give Larry a chance to be at my side for long, or for him to be alone with me. I should have felt badly that Larry was irritated, but by that point I decided that I didn't care. I didn't want to play games where we say one thing but do another. We were staying friends until we decided we wanted more. I was pretty sure that I didn't want more.

I was really disgusted with myself though. During the course of the day I kept thinking, "James would like this" or "I'd bet James would like that". I kept wishing he was there instead of Larry. Then I'd catch myself and think, "You're being an idiot. You don't even know the guy. How do you know what he'd like? You're here with someone and thinking about someone else who you probably wouldn't even like if you get to know him more." Thinking those thoughts didn't stop them from coming, however. I felt like I was going crazy.

After a long day out, we headed for home. I caught myself wishing that James would be there when we got back, but I knew he wouldn't be. We had left late in the morning, and wouldn't get back until 8:30. I knew that James wouldn't be hanging around an empty house all afternoon and evening.

As we turned the bend in the long driveway, I was still hoping to see his car in the driveway, and still mad at myself for wanting to see it. When I saw that a car was there and heard Laura say, "James is still here!" I couldn't believe it. The house was dark.

Laura opened the door to find James waking up from having fallen asleep on the floor hours earlier. After he had installed the sound card, he suddenly got so tired that he couldn't keep his eyes open. He knew Laura would kill him for driving 20-30 minutes back to Springfield while he was that tired, so he lay down on the floor and fell asleep for 6, yes 6 hours!

I was in a daze. Things like that only happen in movies, or so I thought. I couldn't believe that he was actually there!

We went into the house, and Laura and James went into the kitchen to start dinner, and give me some time to visit with Larry. He had to prepare his lesson for Primary the next day at church, so he sat down to do that and gave me the cold shoulder. I gave him space for his lesson, but he was acting strangely. It was more than just concentrating on his lesson, it felt like he was snubbing me for some reason. I decided that I didn't have to stay and take that, so I went into the kitchen to help with dinner. We all had a great time visiting while we made pizza. I remember slicing olives and answering questions James asked me. Eventually we had dinner. At some point that day at Silver Dollar City I had told Laura that I was going to talk to Larry and tell him it wasn't going to work. I couldn't believe I told her that I liked her brother, but somehow I did. So after dinner, James and Laura left for a different part of the house to leave me and Larry alone. I didn't know this at the time, but Laura told James that I was telling Larry that I didn't have feelings for him, but that I did for James. He was surprised to find that the feeling was mutual. I'll let him tell his side of the story at a later date.

Anyway, Larry had warmed up again. We talked for a bit, and I told him that I was just looking to be friends with guys, and that if something happened with someone, then great. He mentioned something about how you find a really great girl, but it just didn't feel right or wasn't right, or something like that. I thought we understood each other perfectly. Then I felt much more comfortable with him as a result, and because of my tumultuous thoughts during the day I felt that maybe something could happen with Larry because I was finally feeling comfortable with him. Then he was going to go to bed, and we gave each other a hug....that wasn't ending. I knew, I just knew that if I looked him in the eyes he'd kiss me. A small part of me thought, "Why not?" The sane part of me said, "NO!" I had only kissed one guy before, the one I was engaged to, and I knew that I didn't want to be that kind of girl. Since we had agreed to be friends, I didn't want to kiss him. I was relieved when the hug was over and I hadn't given in. He went to bed.

Then Laura and James came out. We talked and laughed until 2:30 am, and James did the schoolboyish thing and threw a dead grasshopper at me that he had accidentally killed while trying to capture it. He was going to put it outside. I was mad at him for throwing it at me, but kind of impressed that he actually did. I know that sounds weird, but he was one of those guys who did what he said he would do, and he meant it. I kept feeling more and more drawn to him in spite of myself.

Laura went to bed at 2:30, and told us not to stay up too late. She smiled as she said it. James got his jacket, and I couldn't bear the thought of him leaving. I was so comfortable talking with him, and we got along so well. I kept talking, hoping he'd stay. He put down his jacket, and we sat in the living room talking for hours. We didn't intend to stay up all night talking, but that's what we did. James started losing his voice, so at about 5 am we went into the kitchen, and I made him a cup of hot chocolate. That helped. We were still sitting there talking when Larry got up and we knew he realized that we had stayed up all night. I felt really bad. I wanted to spare Larry's feelings since he was the reason I went down there. I never intended to find my best friend that weekend, or stay up all night talking to him. I didn't realize at that time that I was already starting to love James. I had never, ever felt so comfortable talking with any man before.

James left to go back to get ready for church in Springfield, and I went with Larry in his car to church in Branson. I apologized, and told him I didn't know that would happen and that I was truly sorry. I told him that I never had intended to talk to James all night. He wouldn't speak one word to me the entire way to church, and it was 15-20 minutes away. Especially from his reaction, I knew even more that he wasn't for me. I would expect someone to at least listen to me or say something. I would never have chosen to be with someone who would react that way. I was definitely not someone who would be called a "player" by any stretch of the imagination. I found out later that the reason he was upset the day before was because he wasn't happy that James was at the house when I was there. I didn't ride home with him, and by the time we got home Larry wasn't there. I knew he was sorry because he left me some perfume samples or something like that he had acquired. I felt bad for getting a little miffed, and I felt sorry for him. It was a nice gesture, but I would have preferred words, talking things out. At least later on after James and I were engaged, he said that he figured it was supposed to happen that way, especially since James and I were going to be married. Thankfully he is happy now with a wife and at least one child.

Anyway, I took a nap before driving the 3 1/2 hours home. I knew Laura had given James my phone number, and he waited until Tuesday night to call. We talked for 3 hours. He called Wednesday night, and we said we couldn't talk that long because of the phone bill. We talked for 4 hours. We were engaged the next weekend, (I'll tell that story at some future date) and I moved to Springfield. After some ups and downs, unengagement and reengagement due mostly to my being gun-shy, I realized that I never wanted to be without him. We were married in the St. Louis Temple on Sept. 1st, 1999. I don't have any wedding pictures on the computer, but here is a picture of the man who has my heart.

I love you, James. From the day I met you until forever.

Of Pictures...and Michael.

I've felt guilty that I haven't written much lately. Yes, my life is full. However, I feel bad because I haven't gotten those pictures up of Professor's play, or talked about my Michael Buble concert experience. That stands in the way of my other, probably better thoughts.

The reason for the first? It's because I forget how to plug the camera into the computer. So, so sad, I know. The second? Because it's so sacred and special to me, the fulfillment of dreaming about a Michael Buble concert all my life even before I knew he existed. Normal, everyday life pales in comparison to being in my husband's arms, swaying to Michael's dulcet tones.

So, if I haven't already said it, the concert was divine. I can't wait to go to his next one. Even though we were far from the stage, there was no bad seat in the Sprint Center. It still felt more like an intimate setting, no small feat with a crowd of 12,000. It was Michael's biggest concert yet. A reviewer said that Michael had tears in his eyes when he walked off of the stage. He was so humble, thanking us for spending our time and hard-earned money on him.

Remember how I said I wouldn't hold myself responsible for screaming? Well, I don't. As soon as Michael walked out during the opening notes of "I'm Your Man" I couldn't refrain from being one of those silly girls who jump up and down, screaming in excitement. Normally, in public, I'm quite ladylike. Not so that night! James just laughed at me and shook his head.

Yes, it was a night to remember. I discovered something that I already knew, that Michael and I sound good singing together. I hope the people around me thought so too. Just kidding. It was so loud that they couldn't have heard me. I kept hoping a spotlight would appear and I would be escorted to the stage where I could harmonize to "Save the Last Dance for Me" with him. Alas, it was not to be.

I'd like to see another concert top that one. And Mamita, no, I did not run off with him. I have a love for Michael Buble, comprised only of his voice, smile and humor. Well, he's good-looking too. I also have a love for James, but it's deeper, complex, and only partly comprised of his voice, smile, humor, and devastatingly good looks. (The man can SING!) Not to mention that he can fix any computer problem that we have. Not to mention that he's my best friend. Michael Buble is one in a million, but James is one in forever.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Today is a Day for Miracles.

Quick note. I'm exhausted.

I just got home from the hospital so James could go to work. He stayed home so I could be there.

It all started at 5:30 yesterday when my sister called me to help her confirm that her water had broken. She wasn't due for 2 1/2 weeks. It had most definitely broken.

It was a long, rainy, hard night. Fast forward to today, about an hour and 15 minutes ago.

She and her husband had their first baby, an adorable little girl. I had a front row seat at the end, holding up my sister's leg and helping her breathe and push. Mom was on her other side supporting her other leg and helped her focus by holding her gaze with each contraction, except when she was pushing. Her husband was behind her, holding her. The feeling when this little miracle was born is indescribable. Mom and I both had tears streaming down our faces. It truly is a holy day.

I'm too tired to write more now, but I love my sister. I was there at her birth (when she was born), and she was there for 2 of my 3 children's births. I'm so glad I got to be there for her today.

Monday, April 7, 2008


I should know better than to put conditions on a prayer.

Today I let my kids be my alarm clock. I'm still a bit weak from the nasty flu I had, twice. On Saturday we spent the day between General Conference and hauling all the branches from the December ice storm from our back yard to our front yard, before the final sweep of the city picking up branches. James is in the later stages of recovery from the flu, and it wore him out so much that he slept most of the day yesterday. Thank goodness for Conference archives!

Because James slept so much, I had to remain semi-coherent for the children. I was so exhausted that that's why I slept in.

I woke to the usual, "MOM!!! Professor's hurting me!" "MOM!!!! Can I have some brownies?" (I'm ashamed to say that I told them to go ahead.) "MOOOM!!!!!!! Did you stealed my clothes I wored yesterday?!?!" (Said in a very mad, accusing voice by Bugaboo.) "No, I did not steal your clothes. I washed them." You get the picture.

So, before I hauled myself out of bed I offered up a silent prayer. I prayed for patience, but let Him know that I didn't need extra opportunities to be patient today. I should know better.

Not 20 minutes later after I consumed the last brownie and fed the children their cereal, I told them to behave and went in the bathroom to take a shower. Before I even got the water running I heard Bugaboo crying. I opened the door, came out into the hall as he was approaching, and asked, "What's the matter?" "Professor DIED!" He ran down the hall and into his room. Professor was laughing at the table. "I pretended I was dead and it scared him," he managed to get out between laughs. I lost it. Yes, I yelled. "STOP IT RIGHT NOW! I CAN'T EVEN BE GONE FOR ONE MINUTE BEFORE YOU START THIS NONSENSE! THAT'S EVIL!!!!!!!"

I marched back to the bathroom and took my shower. From inside my watery sanctuary I heard the kids outside. I had told them not to go outside until we had done our schoolwork. Of course, they managed to get back inside before I got out of the bathroom. Is it any wonder that I rarely get to shave my legs during the week? Those few minutes can mean the difference between life and death for those kids.

I have to say to God, with all due respect, I do not find this funny at all. I have to go now, Princess just bonked her head on the table.