Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Resolutions

Well, this is it, the last day of 2010.  Poor Doc is working a 30 hour shift and won’t be home until tomorrow around 9ish.  I’m going to a New Year’s Party with my kids tonight
so I’m sure I won’t be able to make my post for today before mid-night unless I do it now, so, I decided that New Years wouldn’t be complete without making a few resolutions. 
My 2011 New Year’s Resolutions:

v  Dance.
I will find at least one thing or moment a day that makes my heart (or feet) dance, and post it on this fabulous blog.


v  Exercise

It really isn’t New Year’s unless you make a resolution to lose weight.  Although dropping 5-10 pounds would be great, I really want to feel healthier and have a little more energy throughout the day. 
My goal is to excerise either on my elliptical, or do palates 5 times a week, and once it warms up a bit outside I’m going to start running with Jewel again.  I’m determined to run the “Girls Tri Too” triathlon in September … and not die.


v Poop

This one is more for my Little Princess.  She has no problem going #1 on the toilet, but she has some phobia of pooping on the toilet.  I’m so sick of changing nasty diapers.  I’m determined that she complete her potty training in the next few months.


vSpirit
Although a lot of my posts are spirit related, the reason for this is because I’m trying so hard to bring more of that spirit into my home and life.  I am by no means the most righteous person in the world, and my goal is to invite the Lords spirit more.   My goal is to:

Ø  Pray every day.
Ø  Read my scriptures every day.
Ø  Encourage my children to do the same.

Well, those are my big goals for 2011.  Wish me luck on completing them, and I wish you luck with yours.

Enjoy your last day of 2010!



Thursday, December 30, 2010

Leaps of Faith

I would never bungee jump. 

But I have taken other leaps of faith in my life. 
I thought a lot about Florence, and Niels, and the faith they had in God, and I thought, “How does someone put their life into the great unknown?”  “What feeling or motivation could possibly be so convincing to compel someone to leave behind all they have for a faith that is so brand new?”
And then it occurred to me…
I have made those leaps of faith.  I know how it feels to be so sure of a choice even though there isn’t any earthly evidence that should make me so confident.  I too have made my leaps of faith.
I was only 17 when I met Doc.  I shortly after turned 18, and my boyfriend of 2 years drove up to college and asked me to marry him.  I loved him, but something inside me felt so unsure… and it was driving me mad. 
I told him I would pray about it.
I did and I received such a strong answer… I knew in my heart and my mind that he just wasn’t right for me.  Looking back I realize that I had known that for a long time… but I did love and care deeply for him, and I selfishly prayed for the Lord to make it work.  When I finally came to Him sincerely desiring to do His will in this matter, He finally gave me the definitive answer that I had been searching for.
I made a phone call.  And cried more than I ever had in my life.
That was my first leap of faith. 
I gave up what I wanted, in the hope and faith that the Lord knew better than I did.
He did.
Not long after that phone call Doc started showing interest in me being more than just a friend.  I really wanted a break from the dating scene and wanted to focus on my schooling… but I couldn’t take my eyes off him.  He was unlike any guy I had ever known. 
I started playing racket ball with him… then going to dinner with him… and before I knew what hit me I realized that I was falling hard for him… and he was for me.
I knew what was inevitably going to follow, and not wanting to go through what I went through with my 1st boyfriend I went to the Lord and prayed for guidance. 
I had an experience that night that I can’t express here.  But when I got up from my knees I was sure of two things.
1.        Doc was going to ask me to marry him, and
2.       I was going to say “yes”.
Only a week later we were engaged.  All the fears, doubts and uncertainty that plagued me with my first boyfriend were gone.  All I felt was excitement, and peace about marrying Doc.
We were married 7 weeks later.
It was absolutely the best decision of my life.  The Lord really knows me so much better than I know myself.
Doc and I both totally understand what the song, “Unanswered Prayers” by George Straight was talking about… we both have similar stories.  And although our “ex’s” aren’t bad people, they are both actually very good people, they just weren’t right for us. 
So, I left my family at 18.  I had my first baby at 19 and moved across the country at 23.  I guess I do know the conviction and spirit guiding my life as Florence and Niels had in theirs. 
I’m so grateful to know that the same spirit that guided my ancestors, is guiding me in my life today.  I know from reading their stories that if I continue to have faith, and follow the promptings of the spirit that I will live a good and righteous and blessed life, just as Florence and Niels did.  After all… if I’ve learned anything so far in life… I know the Lord loves me, and knows me better than I know myself.  I’ll let him guide me.



But I still would never bungee jump.




Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Amazing Faith

I love history, and lately I’ve been diving more into my family history and the more I learn about my ancestors the more inspired I am.
Niels Petersen was my Great-Great Grandfather.  He was born in Denmark.  At a fairly young age Niels became interested in religion.  His Autobiography says, “When he was about fourteen years old, he had a dream or vision in which a messenger came to him and told him that over in the western part of America, there was a strange people, and that this people had the true gospel.”
He never forgot the dream, and in 1867 when he was 26 years old he left his family and native land and set sail to America.


Upon arriving in New York he was able to get a job with the union pacific railroad, and was in Utah when the final spike was driven.  However, because he was still learning English, he wasn’t able to converse well with the hundreds of people who were there for the celebration; as a consequence he did not realize that he had reached the borders of the land he was seeking. 
.  He moved westward to Nevada, California, up to Oregon and then he got a job as a cattle rancher and moved back to Utah.  While there he learned of some old friends from Denmark living in the area and went to visit with them.   It was there that he met Mary Mortensen and was introduced to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  He was later baptized a member of the church, and went on to marry Mary.
What faith.
The more I think of this story, the more I realize that this dream he had must have been extraordinary to convince him that it wasn’t just a random dream.  He left his entire family, sailed to a country that he knew little about, and didn’t even speak the language, and in the hope of finding truth.
He is amazing to me.
What a leap of faith.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Oops… wrong ball game. 

There we go. 
Jewel was given some floor tickets to a Cleveland Cavaliers basketball game for Christmas, and she asked me and Doc to go with her and her hubby.  Doc of course had to work, but I couldn’t resist.  I got a babysitter and went to my first NBA basketball game.
Now, I love sports.  I ran cross-country and track, and played a little soccer and volleyball, and even played some softball when I was a kid, but basketball was never a sport that I was very good at, so I therefore didn’t follow it too closely.
As much as I would love to have scene:


We do not speak his name.

Or even:


They both have moved on.  Leaving Cleveland a decent, but obviously weaker team than they once were.
Despite the lack of big names, I had a blast!  My favorite players were Mo Williams and this guy:


I LOVE his hair!
We lost the game, but Jewel and I kept cheering until the very end. 
Never give up hope right? 
I had so much fun… but I did eat a lot of junk food, like onion rings, nachos, and a salty pretzel, so my tummy isn’t liking me too much right now. 
I’m going to go to bed and dreaming of Moondog.




Monday, December 27, 2010

A Little History


How quickly the time goes.  Dad had to go back to work today, his Christmas break is over. 
Doc is an OB/GYN resident physician.
He is amazing.                                      
He’s the kind of guy that every girl dreams of meeting, and every parent hopes their daughter marries. 
I met Doc my first day at college.  I moved into a little apartment with my sister and two roommates, and while we were organizing everything a sweet 1964 Chevy II Nova pulled up, and out steps 2 good looking guys. 
Coincidentally my roommates were from the same town as these guys, and that night they introduced us.  Doc was the oldest of the 4 guys rooming there.  He was 21, which to me, a 17, almost 18 year old girl, was pretty mature. 
I’ll go into details later, but after I ended a relationship with my boyfriend of 2 years I decided to try the single life for a while. 
I started dating Doc the next day.
We were engaged about 4 weeks later.
We were married on January 14, 2000, after only a 7 week engagement.  We both believed in waiting until we were married so… we didn’t want to wait too long.  J
We were planning on waiting on children for a few years, so I could finish school, and so we could have some time together. 
We were pregnant 2 months after we were married. 
We learned early that not everything goes as planned.
While I was going through a rough pregnancy, I was throwing up about 14 times a day on average, and had to go to the hospital and get hooked up to I.V’s, Doc quit his job at the tire shop and decided to go back to school.  It was a great decision.
While taking some anatomy classes he came home with the funniest statement.  “Hey!  Did you know that the human body works a lot like the engine of a car?!”  Then he gave some similarities, like:  being able to bypass a clogged artery just like you can bypass a clogged fuel filter.  Then he hit me with this, “I think I want to be a doctor.”
Really?  Didn’t you have to be a genius like Doogie Howser to be a doctor? 
But, playing the supportive newlywed wife I said, “Sure you can!”  While honestly thinking that he would give up on that after a few classes.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I have learned so much about Doc sense then… when he puts his mind to something, he gets it done.
Our road has taken us from Thatcher Arizona, where we met,

To Tucson Az. Where we lived for only 4 months.  Then on to Sierra Vista Arizona where we worked, Doc went to the community college, and little Droid was born. 

Then we were off to ASU for 4 years while he worked for an undergrad as nutrition major, and I worked as a waitress to get him through.  Little Oz was born there.

Then miracle of miracles, he was accepted to medical school in Virginia, and we moved our little family across the country.  We lived in Virginia for a wonderful and very hard 4 years, and our little princess was born there.


Now we are here in Ohio for a 4 year residency. 

We have 2 ½ years to go.  And I have no idea where we will end up next.  It’s been a very long road. 
Next month we celebrate our 11th anniversary.  It’s amazing how fast the time flies… and how slowly it sometimes drags on.
But we’ve learned to take it a day at a time.  A semester at a time.  Or a rotation at a time.  We always have hope that the next phase will be a little easier. 
We haven’t always been right about that.
But we always hope.  And hold onto each other for support. 
Everyone has their trials, and everyone has their blessings.  He is absolutely one of my greatest blessings.  In 10 years we’ve never had a fight.  He is still my best friend.  And I’m still his.  At the end of the day, after the bed time stories are read, and the prayers said, and the kiss good-nights.  He is the one I most look forward to cuddling up with. 
I’m so grateful for him.  And I hope he gets feeling better soon… he has to work a 30 hour shift in the morning.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Where Can I Turn For Peace?

The world can be so confusing, busy, hectic, and even scary some times.  There is so much uncertainty.  There are so many things that all of us are searching for, but I think most of our deepest longings are to have Peace.
Many think that if we could only gain this one personal possession, then we would finally have peace.
Some feel that if they could only have that one job that would give more money, or more respect, then they will be at peace.
For others it is to find a spouse, or if only they could have a baby, then they would find peace.
I think that most Mother’s think that if they could only have a moment to themselves, of complete silence, then they could feel peace… surely we can’t feel peace in a room full of noisy children.
Everyone is searching for peace in different places, because all of our needs, and desires are different… we are after all, completely different people coming from different backgrounds.
However, no matter how different we may be, peace for all of us can be found in one place. 
Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and He taught us how to find it. 
I’ve just spent over an hour reading talks and scriptures discussing peace and how to find it.  I wish I were a more eloquent writer, and I wish I had more time to write about this topic, but my time is running short.  I have little boys who need to be tucked in and a story read to them.
I think it comes down to this.  We can only feel and find peace if we are willing to be open to the spirit of peace, and willing to create an environment for the spirit of peace to exist. 
When I get tired, or stressed, or a little too busy I need to “Be still and know that I am God.”
When I become frustrated about finances and start thinking that I need a certain thing to bring me ease, or comfort, I need to remember the Master told me, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:  “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

When my heart is turned to loved ones I have lost, and begin to mourn them again, I need to remember the Lord’s beautiful words, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  I go to prepare a place for you … ; that where I am, there ye may be also.” 
They are in His care.  They are at peace… so I can be at peace too.


The words of the scriptures are so comforting, and when I read them I always feel a gentle peace fill me up whispering that the words are true.
I hope that all of us can find the peace that the angel proclaimed 2010 or so years ago to the shepherds on a hillside.  “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

I think it's impossible to write a blog post that appropriately expresses the beauty and true meaning of Christmas. 

It's something you feel in your heart. 

It's beautiful, and magical, and forever memorable.

Mine was.  I hope yours was.

Merry Christmas,

Love,
Me

Friday, December 24, 2010

Not a Creature Was Stirring

I have no idea what sugar plums are, but they should finally be floating around my children's dreams.  It took some time tonight, but they are all finally asleep.

Little Princess was so excited tonight.  She was singing, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" all day, and I had to lay her down 4 times before she finally closed her eyes.  She kept looking out the window for Rodolph and listening for sleigh bells. 

The boys are still hopeful that there really is a Santa Claus, and I keep reassuring them that there is.  I believe in Santa Claus.  I know he doesn't really come down the chimney and eat millions of cookies, but I believe in the spirit of Santa.  The spirit of giving and love, and thinking of others.  I want my children to cherish that spirit as I do.  I know soon they will figure out for themselves the reality of Santa, but I hope they will forever cherish him as I do.

It's 12:27am.  "Santa" has finished his work, and I'm excited celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ with my children in the morning. 

I'm going to settle my brain for a long winter's nap... and hope that sugar plums visit my head soon... I'm really curious as too what they are.

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Learning to Skate

It took a couple times tying up the laces to make sure the boot was on tight enough.  Then the coat was zipped up, hat pulled down, and gloves slipped on. 
Carefully she stood up.  It was like learning to walk all over again.  She was so wobbly. 
Hesitantly, she took a step forward, and immediately I help out my hand to steady her.  She held on so tight.  Trying to balance on that thin little blade was so hard and a little scary for her.
The boys stood close by waiting, somewhat patiently for Little Princess to be ready to head over to the ice-skating rink.  It was all of their first times going ice-skating.
Dad took Little Princesses hand, and helped her on to the ice.  She clung to him.  She was terrified the moment her feet slipped on the slick ice.  She had no idea what to think of it.  She didn’t cry out, or protest this new experience, just held on tight to Dad who she knew wouldn’t let her get hurt, but her eyes showed her concern. 
One small step.  Balance.  One more small step. Slip.  Dad holds her so she doesn’t fall.  Both her hands are clasped tightly onto Dad’s.  Hesitantly trusting him.  And slowly they continue and repeat the process.  Slowly they make their way around the rink.


Droid who just turned 10 was fearless.  He stepped on the ice, didn’t even reach for the wall, and took a surprisingly smooth first glide.  He was a natural… and he was gone.
Oz, who is now 7, was giddy with nervous energy.  He couldn’t wait to get on the ice, but he wasn’t going to try it alone.  His eyes told me that, and he didn’t need to ask me to stay with him.  I secure my camera around my neck, and reach for his waiting hand.  He squeezes back, and holds on as we both take that shockingly slick first step onto the ice.  We both wobble a little.  I brace my legs to hold my balance while I help him stabilize his own.  It amazes me how much he leans on me, how much he relies on me to keep my balance, so that he won’t loose his own.  He’s so unaware of my own self doubt.
As we slowly make our way around the rink, the smiles are ever present.  Every face that goes by from those who are flying by, those clinging to the wall, and even while many fall, there is laughter, and smiles, and hands holding hands, helping each other feel secure. 
We took our time, and I didn’t try to rush Oz as he slowly built his confidence.  I loved this moment.  This was new experience for him, and for me. 
As Dad and I took turns helping Little Princess and Oz learn how to skate, I was learning a lesson of my own. 
My children are so willing to cling to me, and they rely on me to be firm and steady so when they wobble, I am there for them to hold onto.  I learned that teaching takes time, and when I’m not in a hurry to run off and do my own thing, teaching them, and watching their eyes light up as they learn, is so enjoyable.  I didn’t care how long it took to get around the rink.  It wasn’t a race.  Each step we took together was a moment of smiles with the snow falling on our faces, and laughter when we both got a little wobbly. 
It was a perfect moment.
By the time it was time to go home Oz had let go of me, and was ready to try it on his own.  He ran on the ice more than skated on it.  I had never seen little feet move so fast.  But he didn’t fall.  He was so proud of his accomplishment.  He could skate on his own.  I was so happy for him.  I knew how hard he had worked to get to that point. 

 


Later that day we drove an hour to meet up with some friends from medical school.  We are both in our second year of residency now, and it can be pretty hard sometimes.  The kids played in the McDonalds play gym while us adults chatted away.  The evening flew by, and all too soon it was time to drive home.
It’s always hard to say good-bye to friends you’ve relied on so much.  Through all 4 years of medical school we were blessed with a group of 4 other couples that we grew very close too.  We shared Thanksgiving dinners, Halloween candy, New Years, Birthday’s, Baby showers, and hours upon hours of study time together.  There is a bond that was forged that is almost indefinable.  We really became a med-school family.  We leaned on each other.  We held onto each other, and supported each other.  We learned how to make it together.  Letting go and moving off on our own was so hard. 
I’ve found new friends that help me so much, but there are times that I feel wobbly and unsure.  Visiting with our Columbus friends help me get my feet back underneath me again.  I’m reminded that I know how to do this.
One small step at a time.  It’s okay to move slowly.  It’s not a race.  I need to slow down and enjoy the moments more.  The wind on my face as I glide on the ice, the smiles that are always surrounding me, the laughter, even when one falls down.  It’s okay to fall, just laugh, get up, and keep on skating.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dreaming of a White Christmas

One of my favorite Christmas movies of all time is White Christmas.  The singing and dancing is amazing, and the story line is brilliant.  But my favorite part is at the very end when the doors open and you can see the snow falling outside.  For an Arizona girl, it was magical.


This is my 6th winter in the east and every year I’ve dreamed of a white Christmas, but no luck.  All snow was either melted by Christmas, or came just a few days after the fact.
This year however, the stars seem to be aligning!  There is a beautiful coat of snow on the ground, and according to the weather man, the temps are going to stay below freezing.  To top it off… we should be getting some snow flurries on the Christmas Eve AND Day!
I’m so excited!!!  Please Mr. Weatherman, for once be right!  My fingers are crossed, and I’m dreaming of my children opening their presents with the tree all aglow, a fire in the fireplace, hot cocoa on the stove and snowflakes dancing outside the window.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Finding the Blessings in Trials

There is a man in my ward (church) named Stacey who is always smiling.  I mean it… I’m not exaggerating… he always has the most sincere smile on his face… and it’s contagious. 
Stacey has cancer. 
He was once a professional football player.
Now, he walks with the aid of a custom made pair of crutches.  His left leg is paralyzed and he has limited mobility in his right.
But he still smiles.
He’s in constant pain.  He has to go to the hospital everyday for treatment, and he’s often fed by I.V. because he can’t always keep solid food down.
But he still smiles.
Today Jewel’s family and I went to go and visit him, and bring his a Christmas present that we bought him.  He was a little late.  After his radiation treatment he always goes to the children’s ward and reads to them.  Today the kids kept begging for “one more book.”  How could anyone turn down such a request?
While we were talking today he said so many things that were so humbling and thought provoking for me. 
He’s grateful that he has cancer.
3 and a half years ago he was diagnosed with brain cancer.  I’m not sure of all the details, but somehow he lost the use of his leg.  He contacted a special crutches maker in Las Vegas to make him a pair so that he could walk.  He became good friends with this man, who was a Bishop in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Stacey started asking him more about his religion, and after some time, Stacey was baptized a member of the church.
Today he told me that he is grateful that he got cancer, because it was the cancer that led him to the truth.
He has to get surgery on his spine again soon.  But he’s still smiling, and hopeful that it will help.
He told his doctor that he feels like sense he found the church he’s in a “win/win” situation.  He told them, “If you guys are able to help me walk again, then I win.  But, if I’m stuck with these crutches until I’m 90, I still win… because now I know what comes next.”
I didn’t realize how much I had taken for granted, until I heard this man I admire so much, tell me that he is grateful that he has cancer, because it let him to the truth.
I told him today that he was either going to laugh or be offended, but reminded me of my Great-Great-Great-Grandmother.  He laughed.  I told him that that is one of the highest compliments that I could give him, and I told him Florence’s story.  He got misty eyed, and I think Florence inspired him a little too.
For Christmas we gave him a book called, “The Fire of the Covenant”.  It is a book about some handcart pioneers like Florence did, but they met with disaster when winter came early and they were stuck in Wyoming with no winter gear and basically no food.



But, they kept the faith, just like Stacey.  I hope that he will be inspired by their faith on his bad days, and realize that like those amazing pioneers, he inspires so many around him with that smile that is ever present.
Click below to see a video that explains Stacey's story much better than I did.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foz1eaHRXjE

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sweets and Singing

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is making candy, fudge and cookies for all my friends and family, and go deliver a nice plate of goodies to them.  As much as I love my family, there is no way I’m driving 3 days just to sing a carol and hand over a plate of yummies… they will have to settle for a Christmas card this year.
However, I couldn’t let that stop this tradition.
Today I worked so stinking hard!  I woke up and got the boys off to school which was a nightmare today.  Then I drove to my favorite grocery store Aldi to pick up what will hopefully be enough groceries to last us the week.  I didn’t get any coupons in my paper this week I almost cried, but told myself it was a blessing because I will save myself some valuable time from cutting coupons, so after Aldi I skipped my usual shopping marathon.
I came home and put away the groceries, did the dishes, cleaned my kitchen, folded and put away some laundry, and through another load in, picked up a couple of toys that are still hanging out at the bottom of my laundry chute, and then told myself I’ll find the rest of Little Princess’s room later… but I did find her snow boots!
Then my little charge got dropped off for me to watch.  He and Little Princess ran off to play with some little trucks, and I went to work on my goodies.
I had a bunch of bananas that were getting pretty brown so I decided that I should make some banana bread with it.  I made 5 cute little mini loaves of banana bread, (banana is really fun to type!)  then went to work of the fudge.  The recipe I have was given to me by my sis-in-law, which was given to her by her Mom-in-law, and who knows where she got it… but it is amazing!  It is so soft and sweet, but not overly rich… it’s a lot like the inside of a truffle.  Heavenly?  Yes!

Finally I had to make choco/scotch clusters.  This is my husband’s family tradition, and I LOVE it.  You melt 12oz semi-sweet chocolate chips, 12oz butterscotch chips, and 4 tbls. Peanut butter in a large sauce pan, then add 8 cups of Rice Krispies.  Mix it all up until the cereal is well coated with the melted chocolate, then drop spoonfuls onto wax paper.  I put them on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for about an hour.  Anyway, they are simple and delicious, and no your thighs no good.
Once little charge was picked up, and Doc (my hubby) got home we headed out to spread some Christmas cheer in the form of high calories.
We drove around to 6 of our closest friends, and had so much fun visiting with them and handing over the goodies… but first we had to do one of my favorite things… Carol. 
Now… with Little Princess only being 3 years old, I’m pretty much the only member of the family who wants to sing, so the on the way to the first home the boys came up with compromise.   
When we arrived at the first house they boys hid behind trees, or bushes, or even a snowman and when our friends opened the door I started singing, “We wish you…” and the boys would jump out and  sing “A Merry Christmas!”  and then hide and kept jumping back out at  “A Merry Christmas”.  It was so funny and they all loved it. 
I’m sure we didn’t sound like the beautiful traditional carolers


We were more like this:

But, except for the occasional bickering over seats in the van, the night was fun, and today I’m grateful for sweets, and singing.