Monday, February 28, 2011

Words to Remember

I love working with children.  Sometimes it’s easier than others, but it’s always rewarding in the end.
In my church I get to be the primary music chorister.  I have a lot of fun teaching them new songs, and playing some fun and silly games that get them excited about the music.  I really enjoy doing it… even though I do a lot of coloring and laminating!
Yesterday the children got to sing in church for all their parents and ward members.  They sang a beautiful song by Sally Deford called “If the Savior Stood Beside Me.”  The words are very thought provoking and I wanted to share them with you.
If the Savior stood beside me, would I do the things I do?
Would I think of His commandments and try harder to be true?
Would I follow His example?  Would I live more righteously?
If I could see the Savior standing nigh watching over me.
If the Savior stood beside me would I say the things I say?
Would my words be true and kind, if he were never far away?
Would I try to share the gospel?  Would I speak more reverently?
If I could see the Savior standing nigh watching over me.

He is always near me, though I do not see Him there.
And because he loves me dearly I am in His watchful care.
So I’ll be the kind of person, that I know I’d like to be,
If I could see the Savior standing nigh watching over me.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Dress and Snowball Fights

Life if nothing if not spontaneous. 
It’s the surprise spontaneity of a crises that keeps us on our toes.
It’s the unexpected joke that makes us laugh all the harder.
It’s the shock of a child running and jumping into your arms and squeezing you into a “papa bear hug” that makes love grow even deeper.
Life is made up of unexpected surprises.  Sometimes they are wonderful, sometimes… not so much.
My philosophy is to try to make the best of all the moments that don’t go as planned, and maybe even create a few of these moments myself.
After church today… I took a nap. 
But after my nap the kids wanted to go outside and play in the snow a little.  Ottis needed to go out so I thought it would be fun to get a long rope out and attach it to a tree so he could play with them… and me not be afraid of him running off.
I threw a coat on over my “little black dress” that I wore to church today (yes, I took a nap in my dress), strapped on some snow boots and helped the kids secure Ottis to the tree.  Then, seeing a mound of snow beckoning me, and two unexpecting boys so close, I just couldn’t help myself.
I picked up the ball of snow, and chucked it at Droid hitting him right in the middle of his back, where it exploded in a shower of snowflakes. 
Before Oz could react I gathered up another pile of snow and tossed it at him… I didn’t want him to feel left out.
I laughed so hard at seeing their shocked faces, and the grin of malicious revenge spreading across their faces.  I ran for it. 
I didn’t get far before I felt a snowball smack right into my bootie, and Oz laughing hysterically.  This was followed shortly after by another wallop just below my knees.
The game was on.
What followed was an epic snowball fight.  Droid was diving over the 3 feet wall of snow that we had shoveled off the driveway just a couple days ago trying to find shelter, and more ammo.  Oz had a total game face on, and picked up huge pieces of packed snow from the snow pile and threw them as hard as he could, with surprising accuracy.
Little Princess even got in the game, and was true to form picking up little petite handfuls of snow and throwing them at whoever was closest… poor Ottis took a few hits, although I don’t think he minded all that much.  He ate it up… literally; he just sat there and ate snow the whole time.
The snowfall fight continued for several minutes, and just when we thought it couldn’t be any funnier, Doc came home from work.
The kids and I hid around the corner of the garage.  Doc, having seen what was going on when he pulled up knew he needed to proceed with caution.  Like a chicken he hid in the garage for few minutes.  He tried to make a break for the snow pile to arm himself, but he didn’t stand a chance.  The kids and I ran at him with our arms full of snow and nailed him before he had a chance. 
Doc joined the fight and we all laughed hysterically as we ran around the yard throwing snow at each other. 
The boys dressed in jeans and snow pants.  Doc still in scrubs.  And me in my Sunday dress.
Sometimes the best moments in life happen spontaneously.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Real Beauty Comes From Within

This story comes from Chocolate for a woman’s soul.  I hope that I don't miss out on getting to know anyone because I judged the book by it's cover.

I first met Mary Jane at a women’s interest meeting at someone’s home.  The first thing that struck me was how different she looked from all the rest of us that evening.   Heavy and unshapely, she wore no makeup and had very short, thin hair that lacked any style whatsoever.  She wore what appeared to be a man’s three-piece suit, and definitely didn’t’ look as though she belonged at a women’s group meeting.  We all stared at her.  I’m ashamed to say that afterwards my friends and I tittered with laughter and made unflattering remarks about Mary Jane’s appearance.
I came into contact with Mary Jane again some months later when she joined a professional women’s networking group.  As president of this group, I needed someone to generate our monthly newsletter, and Mary Jane volunteered.  For the next two years, Mary Jane reliably and competently produced our organization’s paper.
From this monthly contact, I got to know the real Mary Jane—not the person she looked like, but the personality beneath the external package.  Witty, compassionate, and honest, she had a wickedly dry sense of humor and called the shots as she saw them.
As I learned more about her, I discovered a happily married woman with three children.  She loved riding her motorcycle in full leathers and volunteered her time to umpire women’s softball.  She was passionate about umpiring, and it came before everything else.  Mary Jane organized her schedule with that as her first priority.  As a talented accountant, she gained many of the members of our professional women’s networking group as clients.  As we all got to know Mary Jane better, we grew to appreciate her eccentricity, discovering that, most of all, she was a loyal supporter and a wonderful friend.
Mary Jane died recently in a tragic scuba diving accident.  It happened so suddenly that it’s hard to believe she’s gone and not coming back.  She died as she lived her life – out on the edge of excitement and challenge.
Her dying leaves me saddened in a fundamental way because knowing her taught me some valuable lessons about what’s important in life and what’s not.  Her way of being is a testament that in this fast-paced world of glitz and glamour, there are far more meaningful things than what I look like or what designer label I wear.  Unfortunately, the media’s view of what I should look like and what’s considered beautiful has nothing to do with reality.
I no longer pay attention to anyone’s looks; I see their core values.  Although Mary Jane has passed on, what she stood for burns brightly in my heart.  Mary Jane gave me her precious gift of authenticity and the courage to disregard others’ opinions of who I should be or how I should look.  She has helped me wipe off the mask of superficiality and not be afraid of being outrageously me!
-Lauren Maser

Friday, February 25, 2011

Midnight ramblings

Please forgive me for rambling on this post, I’m really tired tonight from shoveling the driveway.  There is so much snow out there!
Doc is working another 30 shift tonight.  Well… I guess technique it’s a 28 hour shift, but who counting?
He left for work at 5:30 this morning and won’t be home until after 9:00 tomorrow morning… give or take a little.
I miss him.
I always miss him when he has to work these shifts… which is usually every other week end.
He always comes home so tired, and I worry about him when he drives home after being on his feet for so long.
Very rarely at the hospital it slows down enough for him to sneak in a nap.  The longest nap he’s ever gotten was 45 minutes.  There are many times when he is literally on his feet the entire shift running from patient to patient, and squeezing in the necessary paper work whenever he can find a minute. 
The life of a doctor is not glamorous.  It’s hard work.  Harder work for him than when he worked on rebuilding hot rods… or working construction in 120 degree weather in Arizona for 12 hour days.  The stress level is unimaginable.  He tells me about some cases that he sees, but not all… but I can see it in his eyes when he’s had a hard day.
Tonight I’m grateful for doctors.
I’m grateful for their hard work and dedication.  I’m grateful that they can stomach seeing someone hurt and bleeding, and stay focused to fix the problem.  I’m grateful for their study ethic.  I know the long hours and thousands of pages read each week (yes WEEK) to pass endless tests in medical school… and the testing continues throughout their career. 
It’s a demanding job.  Both on the physician and the family of the physician. 
Doc and I have been married just over 11 years now, and we’ve been in the “schooling” phase this whole time.  (I say we because, although I’m not currently enrolled as a student, I’m still going through this experience with him).  Most people are in and out of school/college in 4 years.  I wish. 
We still have 2 ½ years of residency left. 
We will have been married for 14 years before he finally is able to get a “real” job.
I’m so ready for that.  I’m so ready to get a job somewhere and settle down.  We’ve lived in 5 different cities over the course of our marriage. 
I’ve worked as a waitress and off and on babysitting for others to help make ends meet… Of course I still am. 
We are in debt $350,000 in student loans alone!
I’m sorry for venting here.  I just miss my husband so much. 
I’m so proud of him.
But I selfishly want him here with me… especially at night.
My boys are sleeping on the floor again tonight.  I don’t know why the prefer to sleep there, but honestly, when Doc is working over night, I prefer them sleeping close to me.  I take comfort in hearing their breathing.  It reminds me that I’m not alone. 
And although undergraduate, medical school and now residency has been a bit harder for us because we have kids.  It’s also been easier because we have kids.  They remind me every day of what is really important.  They remind me that we are working so hard so that someday (hopefully) we won’t have to work as hard.  I hope to someday go on a vacation with my family and celebrate making it through this adventure together as a family. 
We love each other, and support each other.  There is no other way we could possibly make it through without each other.
I’m so grateful for doctors and all they do for others. 
I’m so grateful for my Doc and all he does for me and our family.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Uplifting Spirits

I feel like I'm hitting a bit of writers block tonight. 

I'm tired.

I'm aching to fall asleep, but I made a commitment to myself to write every night, so, that's what I'm going to do. 

I'm sitting here in bed, my laptop perched comfortably on my legs, and Doc is sleeping next to me. 

I have some beautiful soft, quiet piano music playing gently in the background. 

It's cold outside.  Which makes me once again grateful for the blessing of a sturdy roof over my head to protect from the wind and the snow that is supposed to start falling again soon.

I think of Florence.

She was homeless once.

It's humbling to imagine her and her family huddling under a tent while the wind and rain whipped around them. 

I'm sure she was cold.

I'm sure she was scared.

I'm sure she missed her strong and sturdy home she had left behind.

I'm sure she felt the rain leaking through the warn tarp.

But in the midst of this, I can easily imagine her looking around her at the others in the tent, who were also cold, tired, homesick, and a little scared.  I can see her taking a child under her arm and whispering a joke into her ear.

I can see them both laughing.  The present situation temporarily forgotten. 

I feel in my heart that I'm right.  I feel that I'm learning more and more of her. 

I think that she felt an urge inside of her to lift up anyone she saw that was down... even if she was feeling a little down herself. 

The easiest way to lift your own spirit is to focus on someone else's.

I'm grateful for the occasional storm that comes that reminds me how very blessed I am to have a home.  I'm grateful that I have a driveway to shovel and a car to dig out one in a while.

I'm grateful to Florence, though I've never met her... she still manages to lift my spirits.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

On Your Mark, Get Set, GO!

There were children running around all over the place.  The excitement mounted as little pine wood cars were each in turn weighed, greased and final touches were completed on the cars. 
Boys in blue Cub Scout shirts were everywhere comparing cars, and doing mock races on the ground while waiting for the real race to start.
Tonight was Droid’s Cub Scout pine wood derby. 
I would love to say that he worked hard on his car, but… he didn’t.  He did sketch out the design of it, and help spray a couple coats of paint on it, but mostly it was Doc’s handy work.  Last year Droid took a much more central role in the creation of his car, but unfortunately this year he wasn’t as into it… which is surprising because for the past 2 years in a row his cars have taken “Best in Show” for the coolest designed car, and he’s always finished in the top 5.  Last year he took 2nd place… although he was jiped on a couple bad calls… he would have had first… but that’s not what really matters.
This year once again his car did a great job.  He tied for 4th place out of 15 cars. 
Not too shabby.
It was so much fun watching the cars race down the track, and hearing the boys cheer for each other.  In the end we all cheered for the winners, but that wasn’t really why we came. 
We came to see the accomplishments of the boys hard work (or their father’s), and cheer for each other’s little cars.  There was a great feeling of good sportsmanship and friendship between all the boys and I couldn’t help think that the world would be a better place if we all treated each other like these cub scouts do each other.
They admired each other’s different and totally unique cars.  They encouraged each other and slapped each other on the back after a close race.
If one car didn’t win as many races the boys made sure to compliment the owner on the cars design and how cool it looked. 
I’m going to take this lesson from the derby and remember to treat my children, friends, neighbors and all I meet with this sort of attitude.  This life can feel like a race.  Everyone feels competitive and wants to win so bad, but in the process they miss out on appreciating the uniqueness of all those around them that they feel they are racing against.  There are some pretty cool people all around us… we just have to take a closer look at the details that make up the person.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A New Set of Wheels

My van has a problem with skidding in the snow.  I can tap on the brakes and more often than not I skid in the slush.  When I pull out on to a road and try to accelerate my tires peal out and have a hard time finding traction. 
My tires are bald.
We were hoping to wait until our tax return came in to get new tires, but after 8 more inches of snow were dumped on us last night we knew we had to bite the bullet and get it taken care of. 
The timing actually worked out really well.  My Little Charge is going to be out this week because he has some mysterious rash they are waiting to find out the diagnosis on, so, this week it’s just me and Little Princess hanging out together.
Doc was either really kind and thoughtful, or not thinking at all when he made an appointment for me to take the van to Firestone to get the job done.  Firestone is attached to the mall, so while the van was being worked on Little Princess and I got to have some girl time walking around the mall window shopping, eating Subway, and picking up a few fun things here and there.
My Little Princess is a diva in many ways, but the one area where I want her to be “divaish”, she’s not.  She will not let me do a thing with her hair. 
It’s a mess!
It’s frizzy, and raggedy and short, as a result of her twisting it, knotting it, pulling some of it out, and taking scissors to it… a few times!
While we were walking I saw “Claire’s”.  I really wanted to pick something fun up for Little Princesses hair.
There were so many cute things in there!  But, of course the one thing she really wants is this Dora toy cell phone.  I really wanted to buy her these really cute head bands with ridiculously huge flowers on them.  Little Princess didn’t want those… she wanted the cell phone.
What to do?
Of course there was only one thing to do.
I bribed her.
“Okay, I’ll make you a deal.  I’ll get you the cell phone if you wear one of these head bands.”  I offered.
“No.”  She replied, “I want the Dora phone!”
I started to put the phone back, “You can’t have the phone unless you wear the headband!”  I stated.
She hesitated.
She looked from the headband to the coveted glittering phone (literally… the phone was covered in glitter).
After a moments debate she consented, “Fine.”
YEAH!  I was so excited.  I went to check out with 2 way too cute head bands, one white with a glittery flower on it, and the other hot pink with a humongous flower attached.  … It was buy one get one half off… I had too…
And Little Princess got her phone.
It was hilarious.  As soon as we left the store I ripped the tags off of the white headband and put it around her head.  Then I took her phone out and gave it to her.
She put the phone to her ear and with a huge smile on her face she said, “Hi, Sara!  It’s me Little Princess” (She stated her full name… first, middle and last!)  Then she said, “I’m calling on my new cell phone.”
Anyway, she had me rolling.
I left the mall today feeling great.  Little Princess chatted contentedly with every person she had ever known… and many who she made up, on her new toy cell phone.  I was excited because the headband was still firmly planted on Princesses head.  And to top it all off…  When I left the mall my tires didn’t peal out… the van didn’t pull to the right, and I didn’t leave skit marks in the snow when I stopped.
My credit card maybe maxed out, but… it was worth getting a new set of wheels.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Love Poem For My Man

I thought of a poem last night while trying to fall asleep, and I thought I would share it with you tonight:

I lay down at night with a smile on my face
Because my arm is around your waist.

The love I feel inside me grows
As I rub your leg with my toes.

You are the one I love and adore,
‘though I’m awake because you snore.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Still Trying to Figure This Out.

I’m so tired tonight… but my heart is full.
Last night was a long one.  I didn’t put Ottis down until 10:30, and I didn’t get to bed until closer to 11:20 or so. 
Droid and Oz have developed a habit now of making a little bed of blankets and pillows on my bedroom floor and sleeping in with us.  There are nights when I’m better at “putting my foot down” and putting them in their own bed… but it is nice to have them near and listening to their deep sleepy breathing as I fall asleep.  It’s peaceful.
But at 2:00am, Little Princess woke up because of a nightmare… I tripped over the boys while going to check on Little Princess.  She ended up coming in with her great big teddy bear and sleeping with Doc and I.
While laying back down I thought about Ottis, and wondered how he was doing, and if he needed to go out.  I tip-toed around the boys this time and snuck down to Ottis.  He was sleeping on his back with his little legs spread in the funniest angle.  I thought about taking a picture, but I didn’t want to risk waking him.  I stood there for a minute debating on whether to wake him and take him out or not.
I decided to go back to bed and let him wake up on his own.
I laid back down.  It was 2:30am.
At 3:00 on the button I heard Ottis whining loudly from him crate.  I jumped up, tripped over the boys (who didn’t even stir) and ran to the basement to get Ottis. 
He was very ready to go.  I opened his crate and we ran upstairs together.  I grabbed his leash and was getting ready to take him out when I realized, I didn’t have shoes or a coat on. 
“Hold on a sec!”  I told Ottis… who had a look of panic in his eyes, and I ran to the closet and grabbed my coat, and then to the door and grabbed my boots… then ran to the backdoor, only to find Ottis gone.
I ran down the hall just in time to see Ottis taking a healthy poo in Little Princesses room.
Shoot!  I failed my first night attempt.
I let him finish his business… I didn’t want it all over the house, besides… the damage was done, then I told him “Outside” several times and we went out together, where he went a few more times.
After I put him back to bed, I picked up the new Resolve carpet cleaner that I now realize he was inspired to buy, put on some disposable  gloves and went to work cleaning Little Princesses carpet.
If I could just insert a little commercial here… Resolve is AWESOME!  The carpet looks great, and there is NO smell left.  I’m a very satisfied customer!
I put everything away, and this time put the leash, my coat and boots together right next to the back door so next time Ottis and I could make a quicker escape.
At 5:30 I got to test my strategy.  I heard Ottis whining again and I jumped up… once again tripped over the boys (who once again didn’t even notice), and ran downstairs to an anxiously awaiting puppy. 
I let him out of the crate, we ran upstairs, and this time went straight for the back door.  I clipped on his leash, and hooked it to the door so he couldn’t ditch out on me again, and I quickly through on my boots and coat.  Then together we made a dash outside.
I’m so excited to be figuring out this potty training thing.  Ottis and I are coming along.  He’s had a few accidents, but I’m learning his “signs” and hopefully we will figure out how to communicate with each other soon.
I put Ottis back to bed, and tripped over the boys trying to get back into mine.  I cuddled up to my Little Princess who was cuddling up to Dad, who was snoring.  I lay awake for a while feeling the closeness of my family, all of us sleeping in the same room.
Though I’m really tired from being up so much last night, I was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed these little midnight walks around the yard with my little dog.  The moon was so bright, and the stars so clear.  The breeze was brisk and cold, but my coat kept most of it off me.
I know tonight, and the next several nights I’m going to be repeating this process.  I feel kind of like a new Mom.  Waking up several times a night to take care of my “baby”, so I’m really tired, but really fulfilled at the same time.
These moments with a small family and a new little puppy won’t last long.  I’m soaking up all of the little moments and experiences… even the poopy ones.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


What a fun day today!  My heart is full and I fill as though my family is complete. 
We found the sweetest little puppy at the Pets-mart adoption day.  We talked to the lady in charge and told her what we were looking for in a dog, and she pointed out “Herbie”, who is a mix of German Shepherd and Shar Pei.
He is 10 weeks old, and he is so cute!

Now… we weren’t sure what to name him.  At the shelter he was called “Herbie”, and at his foster home he was called “Clyde”.  Oz was thinking of calling him “Spike”… but that just sounds like a mean dogs name.  Droid voted for “Spartan”.  Doc, who had never owned a dog before, thought it was fun to call him “Ottis”.  We all laughed.  Then Little Princess called him “Yottis”.  We all laughed so hard. 
In the car we took a vote.  “Ottis” (or Yottis if you are under 5) has officially been adopted into our family.

I stongly recommend adopting a pet from a rescue shelter.  There were so many adorable puppies and dogs over there that desparately need a family to love them.  If you are interested in getting a pet, please consider adopting.

We are so excited to have Ottis in our family.  All of our hearts are dancing tonight.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thinking about adding one more to the family!

I had a day off today!  My little charge had a few doctor check-ups today so I took advantage of it and Little Princess and I had a “Girls Day Out”! 
I had heard on the news that there were over 100 puppies rescued from a home earlier this month and some of them were ready for adoption.  This got me thinking.  My kids love dogs.  I grew up with a dog that I loved and adored.  Isn’t it time that we start thinking about adding one to our family? 
So, I spent the first part of the morning looking up animal shelters and dogs that were up for adoption that would be good with children, and mild on poor Doc’s allergies. 
After that I took Little Princess on a drive to look at some of the dogs that were up for adoption.  Although all of them were already “claimed” we had fun at the Pet’s Mart looking at and petting the dogs, looking at the fish, birds, crabs, and cats.  We really enjoyed our time together, just us girls.
Tomorrow is another adoption event at a Pet’s Mart right down the road from us (I drove 30 minutes to get to the other one).  I talked with the girl who is bringing the dogs, and I think she might have one that will be a good fit for us!  The boys don’t have a clue that we are even thinking about this!  We are just going to take them with us tomorrow and cross our fingers that we find one that we all like… and pray that it really does end up being a good dog for the kids… and for allergies.  J
As part of making this decision I’ve been thinking about how short childhood is, and how much my dog Shotzie (a German word of endearment… which I’m sure I spelled wrong) meant to me.  She was always there to play with, and always excited to see me.  She and I raced around the block, I was on roller blades, and I still could barely keep up with her!  Sure I had to pick up dog poop out of the yard, and keep her fed and clean, but she taught me my first lessons in how to care for another creature.  In a sense she prepared me (to a very small degree) how to be a Mom. 
Anyway, I hope that we can find a dog, if not tomorrow, soon, that my children can remember with the same fond memories and love as I do of Shotzie.
Wish us luck!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I made a new friend today.  Joycee from Granny Mountain blog (which I've read some of today and I love it!) e-mailed me about one of my Great Grandmother’s poems.  Her inquiry made me pick up my book of poems that she wrote, and I couldn’t help but read through more of them.  There are so many that are so beautiful, I’m sure I’m going to share more of them throughout the course of my blog, but one poem called “Millennium” touched me very deeply.
It was written on March 20, 1941 which was at the beginning of World War II

When Peace fills the Earth and Love rules supreme
When hate and oppression are naught but a dream
When there is no friction, no worry, no fear.
Oh then we will know the Millennium’s here.
No longer we’ll shudder at horrors of war
No longer we’ll fear deadly bombs from afar
With Death and destruction eternally banned
The earth will become what our Creator planned.

We’ll hail the Millennium!  Happy the day
When greed and deception no longer hold sway!
When cities and nations shall worship the Lord.
Earth’s symphony one grand harmonious chord!
I think this is one of the most beautiful poems I’ve ever read.  I especially love the final idea of all the earth’s nations represented as different instruments playing together in harmony.  I pray that I live to see the day when there truly is peace on earth. 
And then we can all dance together.   

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

An Egg, A Turtle and a Shell

My children are constantly surprising me.  Whether it's with Nerf guns, magic tricks or funny (or not so funny) pranks, they definitely keep me on my toes. 

Today it was my Little Princess's turn to surprise me.  And of course it was when I least expected it.

We had just finished reading the scriptures together as a family (something that we haven't been very consistent with, but are doing better with) and we were all kneeing down around my bed for family prayer.

Little Princess informed us that it was her turn to say the 'night night prayer". 

We all anticipated a very short prayer, but Little Princess went on asking, "please let us watch movies, and go to play park, and have a good sleep, and Dora, and school, and Dad at work, and an egg, turtle, shell.  Amen."

Where did the egg, turtle and shell come from?  I have no idea.  But it's hilarious, and humbling that my little girl remembers to ask for the big things like safety, but she also remembers to be grateful for the little things that are always overlooked, like eggs, turtles and shells.

I'm going to try harder to notice those little gifts that the Lord has created and be a little more appreciative of them. 

Like my Little Princess is.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Getting it Under Control

I had one of those days today.  
Not the down and out, everything that can goes wrong does go wrong kind of days, but one of those rare, I’m full of energy and motivation and I want to get my house under control kind of day.
And I took advantage of it.
After dropping the boys off at school I ran to Wal-Mart and bought some of those clear plastic organizational drawers, and a sweet dirty laundry organizer with 3 mesh bags to sort the laundry into. 
Then I came home and set to work.
First I went to the laundry room.  I had to get it under control.  My Little Princess and my charge have made a game out of throwing all the items in her room… and anything else they find around the house, down the laundry chute.  The laundry room had become a mess of toys, books, shoes, spoons, random sheets of music, and of course laundry. 
The first thing to do was to get all the laundry out of the way so I could start taking care of the rest of the mess. 
I opened my new laundry sorter box, only to find a mess of PVC pipes, and joints and mesh bags. 
“Oh Crap.”  I thought, “I’m going to have to put this together myself.” 
Now I know most of you will laugh at this, but I am easily intimidated by anything that requires even the smallest amount of assembly.  If it is at all possible I always put things off until Doc can come home and do it for me.
“I can do this.”  I told myself.  I have seen doc put many things together, and I’ve learned that it’s never as complicated as it looks.
It took me a few tries, but I’m proud to say that I did finally put it together!

It took me 2 hours to go through all the junk that those kids threw down the chute… and this was the second time I’ve had to clean it up.  But once I was done it looked so dang good!  I swept up the room, sorted all the laundry into the bins and admired how fantastic the room looked once it was clean and organized.
After I folded several loads of waiting laundry I went downstairs to tackle a corner of the room that I’ve adopted as my little sewing/craft area. 
I’m in love with all the different sizes and shapes of these plastic organizational drawers!

I’ve got a drawer for my scrapbook stuff, my ribbon for making bows, yarn, needlepoint floss and patterns, paint, wood plaques, sewing patterns, quilting blocks I’m working on, and a whole set of drawer for all my extra fabric.  This little corner has never looked so good!
What I find really interesting is that once a space is clean and orderly, I have a heightened desire to go and use that space.  There are so many projects that I want to start… and several that I found that I need to finish.
I’m grateful for days like today when I have the motivation and energy to get things done.  I wish that I always had this much energy, but… I’ll just have to make sure that when these days do come around that I take advantage of them, and really get things down.
Hopefully tomorrow I will have the energy to clean the play room…

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines Day Surprise

I set my table early today.  I wanted it to look nice for my Valentine when he got home from work.  It was covered in a red table cloth, set with my simple set of cream plates with forks at the ready.  I pulled out my 3  wine glass candle holders and surrounded them with some off-while fake flowers.  To finish off the look I cut out a bunch of red hearts and sprinkled them around the table.  Then I placed a simple hand made card for each member of my family at their place at the table. 
The table was set for what I hoped would be a nice Valentines Day dinner with my family.
Doc came home a little late today.  He texted me and told me that he had an emergency c-section that he was running too.  I was okay with that.  It would give me a little more time to get some things cleaned up, and figure out what to make for that dinner that the table was already waiting for.
When Doc got home it was about 6:00.  I was so excited to see him. 
He was excited to see me too.
I showed him the table, and he smiled and told me to sit down at the end of it and close my eyes. 
I did.
The boys ran out with Dad to the car to “help” him with this surprise that he was so anxious to get.
I heard some rustling around and giggles from my boys.  Something was placed in front of me, and then I was told it was okay to open my eyes.
I did.
I was confused at first.  I saw a long and kind of narrow box, and on top of it was some brochures and a Norton Anti Virus case. 
“You got me Norton?”  I asked.
“No.”  Droid explained, “He got you a laptop.
Holly cow.  I’ve never had a laptop before!  My other computer was giving me so many problems, and I knew we would need to bite the bullet and buy one soon, but Doc beat me to the punch. 
I’m so excited!
I’m still trying to get used to this, so I wasn’t able to upload the pictures I took of my table… hopefully I’ll remember to do that tomorrow, but anyway, I’m so excited! 
My heart is leaping as my fingers dance across this amazing keyboard. 
I’m so in love with my husband.  Not because he bought me a computer (although that does help.  J) but because of all he is always doing for me.  He’s a great listener, and so patient and understanding with my rants.  He has the hardest work ethic of anyone I know.  He is thoughtful, and considerate, he wants nothing more than to be a good husband and father.  He is honest, and honorable.  He is funny and adventurous.  He is my best friend.  He is my lover.  He is my Valentine, for today, and for always.
Happy Valentines Day.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Then Why Do you Do it?

For Christmas my Mother-in-law gave me a priceless gift. 

It was a binder full of old e-mails that Doc or I had sent her ever sense we were married 11 years ago.  The binder was very full.  Before I had a blog, our family would make a habit of sending out "family updates" usually about once a week so, even though we are all far apart, we can still know what each other are doing and give support and love, and laugh together.

Tonight I was looking back at a few of the more recent "updates" that I sent out, and one in particular really popped out at me. 

It was about a year and a half ago.  Doc and I were preparing to move from Virginia to Ohio for residency, and we were in the process of buying our very first house.  Little Princess was only 18 months old, and I was the PTA's "Teacher Appreciation" committee chair.  During the week of this e-mail I was in the middle of "Teacher Appreciation week" and was incredibly busy at the school.

In the midst of PTA duties I was also trying to keep the current house we were living in (a small 1930's farm house which my Father bought, (Doc and I remodeled it while living there, while Doc was going through medical school)) immaculate, as realtor's were constantly bringing potential buyers over to look at it. 

Doc was extremely busy finishing up the last of his rotations with medical school and I was doing everything myself.  I overwhelmed, and exhausted, and this is part of what I wrote:

Droid asked me today, "Why do you do everything?  Are you a slave?"

"No," I replied.  "I'm not a slave."

"Then why do you do it?"

"Because nobody else will.  If everyone else would do what they were capable of, and not just assume that someone else will do it, then that someone else (me) would get a whole lot more sleep at night knowing that I can do my SMALL part, and not have to carry the burden of it all on my shoulders."  This being said as I'm making a sandwich for him, and eyeballing the pile of dishes that are stacking up in my sink because I've spent the past 2 days straight from 8-4 at the school with baby on my hip, serving food, running home to buy and make more food when we were running low, heading back to organize 2 days worth of massage appointments, and characacher appointments for Friday (who today ended up having to cancel), then planning a car wash for 88 staff members, running to the store to purchase supplies, only to have to cancel it today because of rain... I'll have that to look forward too next week... then I get to make morning announcements for the teachers "Oliver Oscar" awards (we are doing a super star theme) we came up with a movie for each staff member to be in.  It was fun, but long... our favorite was the cafeteria ladies award for their reproduction of "Fried Green Tomatoes"... and none of this includes the decorations of hanging 100 or more stars from the ceiling all over the school... the HUGE banner hanging over the front entry hall that you walk on a red carpet to get too... or the walk of face with all the black and white head shots (that I took) of every staff member which is framed on black card stock with whit starts surrounding each picture... and don't forget the "Tabloid stand" that I made with 5 magazine covers of "Teachers TIME", "IQ Mag" "Primary People" (it's a primary school), "Reader's Digest" and "The Educational Enquirer" which is everyone's favorite because I cropped staff members faces to superman and other super heroes bodies... I have to hand out breakfast bags to all the bus drivers in the morning, which I stuffed today after I got lunch on the tables... then I get to serve breakfast to the teachers... all this one handed.  The BBQ is on Friday, and that's going to be... fun.  My arms are so swore but so ripped from carrying around Little princess during all of this.

What really impresses me is that I've been able to keep the house is "show" condition for 23 showings now... and thankfully on the days that I've just not been able to be on top of the house, I haven't been called for a showing.  Talk about blessings.I'm also supposed to be closing on a house in Ohio tomorrow, but that's going to have to be pushed back because not all the paperwork is in... we've been crossing our fingers, and holding our breath that the VP of the hospital could get the underwriter a "letter of explanation" ASAP so we can close, or the seller, who is getting frustrated is going to charge us for it... I don't know how much... which leads to the other stress of financial because, seriously, after paying for the home inspections, bug, radon, septic, and appraisals, I just can't take anymore.  I'm so excited about the house... but... this is getting crazy.

I've literally been running paperwork too and from the bank in between 1st and 2nd grade lunches at the school!  Running home to print, sign, and scan and e-mail back papers to the underwriters within minutes of receiving it so that they can't blame me for ANY delays.  Oh, and my Little Princess cries every time I put her down!  OH... and I forgot to mention that my computer has that awesome virus on it that likes to spontaneously freeze your computer, or just turn off in the middle of creating spread sheets of the donations of the 32 people I just spent the last 2 hours straight calling!

Next year I'm doing what everyone else is doing... writing a $5.00 donation check and sleep at night pretending that I actually contributed in some (pathetic) way!

And it goes on...

Guess you can see that I'm not always perky and optimistic. 

I can honestly say that that last year of medical school was the hardest of my life.  Just a few months prior to this e-mail we had both our cars break down, we had to put in a whole new engine in one of them, and the other we had to just buy a new one.  I had church responsibilities that were just as crazy as the PTA stuff I just vented about.  The whole year was nuts. 

Which brings me back to why I'm writing about this, not so optimistic e-mail.

Why did I do it?

 Because I went to a PTA meeting one day, and after seeing how much they needed help I couldn't say no to helping.  I feel obligated to do my part and to help others in whatever way I can.  After all, the "Golden Rule" says to "Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you."  If I needed help, wouldn't I hope someone would help?

After reading this I see some small parallels to my life now.  I'm not nearly as busy now (thankfully), but being a Mother is a full-time job in and of it's self. 

I clean up the same room over and over again while children come in and destroy my efforts over and over again.

I wash the same clothes over and over.

I wash the same dishes everyday, over and over. 

And the vast majority of what needs to be cleaned... I didn't make dirty.

So, why do I do it?  I'm not a slave after all.

Because I LOVE my family.  They are my world.  I am not a slave to them.  I am serving them. 

Is it hard work?  Absolutely.

Is it monotonous, boring, endless, frustrating and sometimes depressing doing the same things day after day... Yes, sometimes it is. 

But I try to remember that these years of "service" won't last forever.  My children are growing everyday, and someday they will leave me and have a family of their own.  And I pray that when that day comes they will serve my Grandchildren with love.

I hope I can show them by my example they way I want my Grandchildren to be treated someday.

So my anonymous friends who may be reading this I would like to issue you a challenge.  Ask yourself, "Am I serving those I love with all my might, mind and strength?"  Is there some area in your home, or community that you could help a little more with?  A $5.00 donation is much appreciated, but a helping hand is invaluable.

I promise that although your brow may sweat with the effort, your heart will dance when you give a little more of yourself to others.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Precious Oz

My little Oz, is a spit fire of energy.  He is loud and hyper and a ball full of love flying over the back of the couch.
He is a pleasure to hold, and a trial to control.  He is so smart and so difficult to focus.

There is so much I want and need to teach him, but he ends up teaching me so much more.

Everyday I look into his open and eager eyes, so anxious to see acceptance and love in mine. 

I do all I can to make sure he finds it.

He is unique.

He is mine.

He is God's.

He reminds me everyday how important and how hard my job as Mother is. 

And how rewarding it is.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Beautiful Silence

I'm sitting on my couch with my feet kicked up resting on my coffee table. 
The lights are out, and everyone is asleep,
but me.

It's so quiet.

When I was younger I remember jumping into the car with my parents and the first thing I wanted to do was turn on the radio and crank it up. 

Silence was awkward. 

It was boring.

I never understood why my Mom always preferred to drive with the radio off, and beg us kids to "quiet down".  I thought she was just chronically grumpy.  (sorry mom for being so wrong).

I understand now.

Silence is wonderful.

It's peaceful.

It's non-demanding, and has no expectations.

It give me an opportunity to listen to myself for a change.

It lets me feel peace within myself.

The joyful and fun noise of childhood will return in the morning, and I will run and play and laugh and enjoy the noise. 

But for now, I'm relishing the peace that only silence brings.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


In honor of the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday I ran to the store and bought my first kit of scrapbook paper.  My intention was to cover a few empty Kleenex boxes with the paper and decorate them in to “mail boxes” for everyone in the family, so we can all leave little notes or coupons in each other’s boxes.  If this goes well I’m thinking of keeping them around as a perminate home mail system… although I’m sure I’ll end up leaving reminder notes that they forgot a chore or two…

Anyway, I finished the boxes, and still had pretty much a whole kit worth of scrapbook paper left.  I wasn’t sure what to do with it.  I’ve never made a traditional scrapbook before.  However I have made many digital scrapbooks through heritage makers, and I love them. 

I thought it would be cool to see if I can’t pull together a “real” scrapbook.  My Grandmother gave me a 12x12 scrapbook for Christmas a couple of years ago, so I thought I should give it a try.  After all, it wouldn’t cost me anymore that I’ve already spent, and I have a big Rubbermaid container full of old pictures that I needed to do something with.

So, I spent all day today going through all the pictures in the container and putting them into chronological order.  Then envelope by envelope I took the few that I would actually scrapbook out, and the rest of them I slipped into a photo album, still in chronological order.  I ended up with two full photo albums from 1999 when my husband and I met, and I’m through 2002.  I have Droid’s birth documented now, and tomorrow I’ll run to the store and pick up another photo album to slip the remaining pictures in.  I have a few of Oz when he was little, but shortly after we switched to digital cameras.  I’m going to have to go through my computer and print some of my favorites, especially of my Little Princess so our photo albums and scrapbook will tell a more complete story.

I was able to finish 3 scrapbook pages today.  And I’m really excited!  They turned out really cute, and I’m surprised to find that I actually enjoy sitting there cutting out paper, and gluing layers together to get a fun look. 

Today was a wonderful day.  Not only did I get a lot done, but I was able to really take my time, and look back at my life, especially the early days of my marriage. 

As I look at the many stages of life that Doc and I have already been through, I’m struck with a feeling of gratitude that I have this wonderful friend and partner to go through this journey with.  I feel so blessed with the children we have.  I’m grateful that we have made it this far, and I’m reassured that we can make it through the rest. 

Residency is so hard.  This is an uplifting blog, so I’m not going to go into my trials here, but know that I have my down days, my bad days, the days that I want to “clock out” as a Mom and go to a spa (which I’ve NEVER been too… it’s on my “someday” list).  But seeing all these pictures spread out in front of me.  My life captured in fleeting moments.  I’m reminded at how fast the time does go. 

Someday today will be a picture.  And when I look back on today I want to remember this time with joy and satisfaction knowing that we did the best with what we had.  And we will dance through the hard days. 

Just like Florence.