Saturday, April 2

A Prophet's Voice

This is the weekend of the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. If you need me, this is where you will find me.

I am grateful for the opportunity to listen to a prophet's voice. I am a child of God, and I am grateful that my God loves His children now as much as He did in Bible times, enough to send us His prophets to help guide us in the paths that lead back to Him.

Come listen with me. I promise it will bless your life.

Friday, April 1

Dress Up

Tonight, my husband took me clothes shopping. Yup, you read that right. Apparently I have a genetic deficiency, I lack that crucial feminine shop-for-cute-clothes-for-myself gene. I don't seem to struggle with buying clothes for my children, but if it's for me? Uhm, yeah.

My husband, on the other hand, is quite good at the shopping/dressing thing. And last night he dragged me out of the house (not kicking and screaming, but definitely with a healthy dose of apprehension) and took me shopping for our date night.

To my surprise, we found several things that A) I liked B) were my size C) were modest and D) were in our price range. So he sent me to try them ALL on while he let the shop girls goo and coo at our baby and exclaim over her supreme cuteness.

Can I tell you how much it transforms the shopping experience to have your honey along appraising and being rewarding whilst giving honest opinions? Why haven't I tried it sooner? Goodness.

When we were done, I said, "OK, now it's time to whittle it down." "To what?" he asked. "To the ones we're going to get." "No," he replied, "We're getting all of it."

And he went over and plopped the whole pile on the counter and had the lady ring it ALL up. And paid for it. And took me home.

I am grateful for a husband who cares how I feel about myself, who goes to great (and somewhat pricey!) lengths to help me feel beautiful. I am grateful that he knows how to dress me up, because I seem to be broken that way. I am grateful that he doesn't recoil at the idea of clothes shopping, because that would be two of us too many.

What are you blessed with today?

Thursday, March 31

Light Heart

On a recent sunny afternoon, I grabbed my four girls and we ran some errands together. Nothing major, just tooling around town to get a couple things checked off my list. 

First, the bank: we went in - at the behest of the girls, because it's so pretty on the inside, and it's more fun than the drive-up teller window. I deposited and withdrew, they ogled the interior. The teller exclaimed over how sweet they were (were they all mine? oh my!), and the girls were thrilled by the obligatory suckers handed around.

Next, city hall: we parked, and they did the conga line all the way in, except the youngest who just wanted to hold my hand. Once inside, I paid a bill while they looked at pictures of dogs ("so!stinking!cute!") available for adoption at the local animal shelter. As we left, they meandered through the hall, looking at vintage photographs from bygone eras of our town.

Then, the movie rental store: I promised them a rental of "Tangled" as none of us had seen it yet (we approve). More conga line. More playfulness. More people watching them with amusement and possibly wistful looks. 

Home again, home again, jiggity-jog.

I am grateful for my daughters. I rediscover so many things through them. It's true I (often!) feel like tearing out my hair on their behalf. But I am just as often enchanted by their innocence and thoughtfulness. I am grateful for their light hearts. They help to make my heart light as well. It certainly took longer with them in tow, but it was decidedly more enjoyable.

What are you blessed with today?

Wednesday, March 30


Tonight, for the first time in a really long time, my husband and I had one of those very tense, very delicate conversations that is scarily close to a fight. The details are irrelevant, the circumstances personal. I post about it here only because of how it played out: we didn't fight.

We talked, openly, in turn. We listened carefully, to be sure we understood where the other was coming from. There was no name-calling, no unfair references to anyone's heritage, no use of inaccurate superlatives like "never" and "always". I didn't shut down at the first sign of conflict, he didn't refuse to open up and share his side.

It was the most awesome not-an-argument we've ever had.

I am grateful for all of the years behind us where we have learned about each other and how to approach these tricky sorts of moments. I am grateful for the amazing strides we have made in how we talk to each other when emotions are high. I am grateful for the tenderness with which he treats my feelings even when anger is palpable. I am grateful that we can reconcile our differences without either one of us feeling like we got the short end of the deal. I am grateful for the realization that I am finally growing up.

What are you blessed with today?

Tuesday, March 29


Our Lizzy friend-in-the-hospital has been moved up to the therapy floor. She will be there for some weeks to come

I have grand visions of doing whatever we can to make her stay less hospitalish. The main thing is to go down to visit once a week as long as she is there. We made it the first week, but missed out on the second week through a series of unfortunate events. It really is a big deal to commit the time and fuel to go visit. But if it were me (or my child), I would hope people cared enough to go anyway.

This morning, I was mulling over in my mind how to get down to Lizzy (with her gal pals in tow) this week. I came up with a wild idea, but then rejected it as way to complicated. So I called my husband at work and asked him if he had any bright solutions. Yes, he did, he always does! And like all of his ideas, it was solid but and workable. I was tempted to give my wild version to him as a counter offer, but decided to just go with his.

Less than an hour later, he called me back with a new idea to pitch.  It was precisely the idea I had cooked up and then abandoned as too rash. Ha! We do think alike!

When I got off the phone with him, I called Gina - the mom of Miriam, another of Lizzy's friends - hoping to snag her and take her along. Lo and behold, our mutual friend, Amber, was standing in Gina's living room at that very moment, ready to leave with Miriam and head down to visit Lizzy.

So, that was four of us all on the same wavelength this morning. In the end, Amber went with my daughter and Miriam. And they had a grand time. The did their nails, and played card games, and giggled a whole bunch and got home way late. And I am sure Lizzy loved every minute of it.

I am grateful for a husband and friends who think like I do on so many things. That good ol' synergy is hard to beat! And I am grateful for the other Amber who was willing to make the drive this time. It is cool-like-goosebumps that we were all on the same wavelength at the same time. Call me naive and idealistic, but I would say that was inspiration. So, thank you, God, for putting us all on the same page!

What are you blessed with today?

Monday, March 28


We did something this year that we've never done before: we bought a family pass.

We promised our children we would do "one fun thing" with our tax return this year. Many ideas were bandied about, each child had a decided opinion: movies! water parks! pool pass! expensive awesome family vacation! build the tree house!

In the end, it was decided that a family pass to the campus pool and rec center was the best bang for our buck. The pool is indoor, so it's open year-round. We figure it will only take ten trips as a family for the pass to pay for itself. And the rec center means I can finally learn how to play racquetball. Against my husband. This should be good.

Tonight was our first night with all of us going together to the pool.

It was a hoot.

I actually sat on the pool deck with the burbling baby and watched the action (and counted heads repeatedly and compulsively). It was my husband who got in the pool and won the prize for Awesome Dad by playing - simultaneously - with all six of the kids in the water. What a guy. The lifeguards think we're so cute. I suspect they wait all week for us to troop in and liven up their shift.

Those water babies swam and splashed and swam some more. For over an hour. No one climbed out and took a break. No one started a fight. It was non-stop getting along whilst treading water. They are going to sleep sound tonight, I tell you! Go Team!

I am grateful for our pass. It is the first time we have made the commitment of time and money, and I think we can actually make it work for us this year. I am grateful for a tax return, and for the wiggle room it gives me to do "one fun thing" for my family. And I am grateful for a husband who will squelch his distaste for swimming and plunge right in to play with his kids.

What have you been blessed with today?

Sunday, March 27

Good Golly Miss Mollie

[Alrighty, so the thing where I don't use any names but just express my thanks in general terms and impersonal pronouns is getting tricky. This is my second recent post directed to a specific person.]

Mollie is leaving. It never occurred to me that she would go anywhere else. I mean, of course she is leaving. She is a college student, and she has been here for four years, and that's what college students do when the graduate: they leave.

Who is Mollie? Well, obviously, she is a college student. Mollie is a great person, with a 10,000 watt smile and a killer sense of style. She is a good sport and a loyal friend. She has been in my life mainly as the Primary teacher of my little girls. First it was Lucy, then Eliza, and then Yvy (pretty sure, it's been four years, I can't remember which ones). All of them have loved her. And shamelessly idolized her. Eliza named a doll after her. For a little while, Lucy started wearing her hair like Mollie.

And then there was the time my family had a big family even at the Winter Quarters temple, and Mollie (and her mother) opened her home to all (which is a lot) of my little nieces and nephews while the rest of us were in the temple. Without knowing any of them in advance except mine. And still liked me when it was over.

And the time we rooked her into dj-ing a Youth Conference dance with Mark (her degree is in broadcasting), and she pulled through in a big way with music from the radio station where she worked...not to mention working all day and then dj-ing all evening.

Mollie is a party in a box.

Mollie will be an indelible part of my girls' childhood. Whatever else she does in this world, she is effectively immortalized here. I am grateful for Mollie. I am grateful for the roll model she has been for my children (go to college! be active in the Gospel after you leave home! make sure your shoes match before you walk out the door in the mornings!). I am grateful for her and all the other young college "kids" who come to our church, who love my children and who are part of our extended family.

God bless you, Mollie! Success in whatever is ahead of you in life. And someday, when you have your own little girls, come back and hang out, and let my girls babysit for you.

What are you blessed with today?