Monday, February 27, 2012

Just For Grins

Happy Monday!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Like Mother Like Daughter~Reprise

"Mirror, mirror on the wall... I am my mother after all!"

I saw a pillow that had that embroidered on it and had to chuckle. Don't you remember when your mom use to drive you a little nuts? Come on...admit it! I do. I use to think she was kinda out of it and didn't get the way the modern world worked very much at all. I was pretty sure I knew a better way. Of course I was a teenager then. It is amazing how much smarter our parents get as we get older. So many times lately I think..."Oh, that is what mom meant...I get it now." So many times I wish she was still alive so I could compliment her on her great wisdom in so many areas of everyday life.

The funny part is so many times you get those same feelings on the other side of the fence. I know my kids sometimes roll their eyes and think.."Oh, Mother!" They would probably say... I'm clueless! It is just part of the cycle of life and the way things work.

We learn many things after the fact. I can remember thinking as a kid, I will never do that when I grow up and become a mom...but, ironically you do. That is when you smile to yourself and wish you had that pillow! But you don't really need the pillow because you just know!

That thing that drove you crazy then is now mysteriously a part of who you have become! From my vantage point on this side of 50...I think it is poetic justice. I feel myself smiling when I think of how comical it really is. I think of the things people say to their kids when they are upset..."I hope you get a kid just like you!" Another funny one might be, "I hope you turn out just like me!" Of course you'd want to add "but better" but you don't tell them that then!

The truth is we just don't get certain things until we have experienced them ourselves. That is the pearl of great price in getting older! No amount of telling can replace being there yourself. As a mother, once in awhile you have to just bite your tongue and not say I told you so! But eventually we come to a certain meeting of the minds as mothers and daughters that just creates a friendship like no other, in the best of all worlds.

What got me thinking about this this morning was a series of posts on a sweet young woman's blog who just had a fun mommy/daughter time with her mom, my friend, Caroline. Nicki is a nanny and Caroline got to spend a week with her in NY recently. It was just so wonderful to read of her thoughts on her mom and how they have changed as she had become a young adult. Nicki's account of the visit can be found on her blog and here is just an excerpt that I thought was so precious.

Caroline & Nicki

Nicki said. "On our very last day together Mom taught me how to make homemade bread. A few months ago I tried to teach myself and it was nothing short of disaster, so this time around I was happy to have her expertise! It came out beautifully! We shared hot bread together before it was time to drive to the airport. A great way to end a wonderful visit.

I drove her to the airport that afternoon and to say that we were both a tad melancholy is acutely accurate. When it was time to say goodbye we hugged extra long and cried a little bit. Ariana had fallen asleep in the car and as I drove home I cried a little more.

It's funny to think of the progression of our relationship. Over the past few years it's morphed into a stronger friendship, I am so grateful for that. As a kid she was the Mommy who snuggled me and wrote notes on the napkins she put in my brown bag lunches. As a teenager she was the Mom who had to know "when, what, where & who?" and told me, "You could argue with a fence post!" {sorry about that one, Mom}. And now, as whatever I am, she's become my best friend, my shoulder to cry on, my outlet, my confidant, my go-to, my foundation and my example. I love it. There's nothing like a week of having your Mama all to yourself... can't wait until next time!"

This just touched me so much and made me think of my own mom and my daughters all at the same time. I am glad to be sandwiched in between such amazing women; mom and Jen and Laura who equal 100% happiness for me. I also I felt a lot of joy for my friend, Caroline, and for her job that has obviously been very well done!"

And it also made me feel sad for those wonderful women who have been such great moms. They have given their all but never have this experience with their daughters because their daughters have been given their agency to choose how they will treat their mothers. Sadly, in some cases it is quite different than this example of a mom and daughter who are best friends.

I just love it when I read something that really makes me feel something deep inside, that speaks truth to my soul in the way this blog post did. Thank you, Nicki and Caroline!

I am happy to say I am more like my mom than I could have ever dreamed possible. How can that not be when no one influences you more than your mom in your formative years and even after they are gone? I can still hear my mom's words in my head and heart.

Here is a slide show of the moms and daughters (and a few dads and sons) in our family that I made long ago.

Monday, February 20, 2012

If Money Were No Object

I found this gorgeous photo on Pinterest and fell head over heels in love. We have a brick patio courtyard surrounded on three sides by our cottage. We have always talked about enclosing it somehow. Well, here is the my dreams. Can you even imagine having anything so lovely right at your house? I can. Anybody wanna lend me some cash? You can come and use it anytime! Pinterest inspired the much fun. And free too. Maureen and I were saying how we just don't get people that see something like this and get depressed. We just get excited.

A Simple Woman's Daybook~February 20, 2012

Taking a Moment to Contemplate the Journey!

Just For Today...Monday, February 20, 2012
Our lives pass swiftly by!
I want to do something to remember
the everyday moments and my thoughts.
That is what this daybook is all about.
Focusing on the little things that become my life.
One week at a time.

Outside my window...The silhouettes of the bare branches are just beginning to peak through the long night. James is off to work for the day and I have time...time to do so many necessary things. I think we have skipped winter this year. I like all the implication of that except water shortages. The mild weather suits me just fine otherwise. It is supposed to be another glorious sunny day highs in the 60's.

I am thankful for...Hazel settling into her cast with five weeks to go. I am going to call her on the phone today for a little chat. I am thankful Jen will most likely get to go on her trip to see Laura and Grampa Camp with the four girls will proceed unscathed by the broken leg of our little angel. I am thankful that my friend Caroline may be coming to spend some girl time with me on the week Jim is gone. That could be a very fun and relaxing time should it all work out. Fingers crossed. I am thankful some health issues are resolving for our daughters...honestly always something but the Lord does provide His watchful care over our family.

From the learning room..lots of fun genealogy things are coming to me now and beginning to make sense. It has been quite a climb but Jim and I are proceeding forth in the right direction with the Lord's help. Yay! We have been able to help more and more people find their ancestors lately. It is very rewarding for us and exciting for them. What more could one desire in their work? Oh, $ maybe. But seriously this is strictly a labor of love, and a gift I'd never want $ for doing.

I am reading..."Rutka" still and lots of genealogy books and always scriptures and gospel related reading. The stack here on my desk is a little overwhelming. I think I'll put some away today. I have a 340 page book sitting here on searching Google. Seriously how can there be that much info? Hard to fathom but ...there is!

From the kitchen...Need to do some planning today and restocking but I am not enthused about it. Luckily we have a dinner invitation tonight with friends and then on Thursday one for church. So awesome, two days I don't have to think about the kitchen.

I am of my friends that has been traveling lately and will hopefully be home soon. My blogging buddies and of course the family...always the family and Robert especially.

I am hearing...Whitney Houston (RIP) I Believe in You and Me.

I am wearing...only half as much as I should be and I am freezing. Gotta get up and fix this asap.

I am quoting...“Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he’s been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to just be people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old time rail journey…delays…sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling burst of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.” ― Gordon B. Hinckley

Somethings that made me especially happy this past week...We have had two meetings with our genealogy study group since I last did a daybook. It is so much more fun to collaborate and study with a few other people. The synergy of doing that is phenomenal. We went to a travel show over the weekend and got to see our favorite travel guru speak...Rick Steves. Wow, what a bundle of electrifying energy and passion for his work. Made both Jim and me want to go to Europe again. We think our next adventure will be in Wales hopefully spring of next year. This year we are going on another family reunion at Sundance with all the kids but Robert. Secured the dates this past week and sent the deposit. So it is in the works. We are very excited to be returning to that fantastic place we had last year once again.

We thoroughly enjoyed that on Saturday and then we went to dinner at a young couple's home. That was such a beautiful experience. Jim and Tim work together at the temple and he and his wife prepared a lovely dinner and the evening was just fancy fun. Margo and I just gabbed and gabbed and it was like we had known them forever. It is so much fun to meet new friends and get to know them. They are keepers. It made us miss our own kids and our singles' ward experience. Love the energy and optimism of a young couple that is grounded and heading for a great life ahead. Very inspiring. We also had the missionaries over for dinner this week so we had some youthful experiences. Maureen and I went to Room With a Past and I found a great Italian piece of art for our bathroom. We always look forward to that. It was a week of awesome sociality and people lifting us up. Yay!

Some spiritual thoughts I have been pondering...We have been reading in 2 Nephi and found chapter 2 so inspiring. The choices we have to make seem so clear in this foggy mess of society we are living in now. Why can't more people just choose the right?
It would make all the difference if they just did. And yet our agency to chose is such a precious gift and everyone basically writes on the pages of their own life. Not to say there aren't tremendous stumbling blocks along the way and pain and sorrow that we do not cause or choose, but for the most part we do write our own script. It is the day to day choices that prepare us for the trials. I find Lehi's last words to his sons so poignant and exactly what we would tell our own kids when the time is short. CTR! (Choose the Right!)

I am increase my discipline in areas I am working on to improve my lot in life. That is code for getting my act together and doing the Weight Watcher program with a little more dedication and consistency and commitment.

One of my guilty pleasures...daydreaming of the possibilities in life. I rarely feel bored and most days wakes up with the enthusiasm to give this great life another go. What a blessing. I see so many people that just don't do that anymore. The stretching and growing and learning is the life blood of this time in life. That and great relationships with God and those around you. What else can give more meaning to your life?

Pet Peeve...politics...I am not a fan of an election year. Hate the lying and backbiting and empty promises of most politicians. They are so self-serving!

One of my favorite things...
talented, inspiring people. Those who give it their all. And never give up. Wow, they are everywhere. Do you see and appreciate them?

An enjoyable movie I have watched lately...without question, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. THE best movie we have seen in ages and ages.

I am curious many times we will go to Utah this year and how expensive it will be with gas potentially going over $5.00 this year. I was pretty much blindsided by the $71.15 total when filling my car up on Friday. I just hadn't been paying attention lately. Seriously, what a crime..highway robbery, literally.

If I could change one thing it would be..that Hazie was not in that horrendous cast for another five weeks and of course that Robert was home.
I know that was sneaking in two but is my party. Where else can I do whatever I want on a whim?

A few plans for the rest of the catch up on my work around here after the weekend. Dinner with our friends, tomorrow WW meeting and work at the Family History Center, Wednesday is looking open until the evening when we will be working with some kids on their genealogy right here in town. Thursday visiting teachers and teaching and a great women's conference and dinner in the evening. Also a class in Oakland in the afternoon. Friday friends meeting in the morning and then...who knows? That evening a movie with James. Saturday not sure yet.

Wow, looks like a fairly light week compared to last week. Good deal. I may have a bit of time to get started on looking for fixtures for our bathroom remodel off the family room. Honestly always something but we are getting there one project at a time. It should go pretty fast, new paint, new shower glass enclosure, new sink and john and floor. OK, so pretty much the whole thing but it is small so that might help??

Some photos and thoughts I'm sharing this week...
I stopped in at a local thrift shop last week and look what I found for $8.99. A brand new pair of Born clogs in red patent leather. Serendipity. The car just urged me to stop while passing by. For every fifty times I go in there I find something this awesome..this was my lucky day. The shoes had never been worn. Curious but awesome. I feel fancy in them. They are awesome with jeans and so comfy. Cha-ching, cheap and fun. Lucky me.

I just love it when something cool like this happens!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cultivating and Celebrating Real Love

You know how the Eskimos have 200 words for snow, right? I wish we had that in the English language for love. Love is such an over used word with so many meanings it is hard to know what it really means anymore. Most of the times when we say "I love that"...what we really mean is we like it very much. If it were just a simple matter of semantics it would be OK, but I think we are all prone to confuse the meaning a lot too, especially in relationships of the heart. Love is a lot more than the pleasure we get from something, the great taste of Italian food or how one feels in a pretty dress or after reading a great novel or watching a wonderful movie. It is more than a beautiful home or a fancy car or how something makes us feel.

It seem most young men and young women come into the marriage relationship focusing on very different things. Let's say the young woman has been conditioned to look for her knight in shining armor and seriously I wouldn't even speculate on what the young man is focusing on..(nope, not goin' there! LOL!) I know there are the exceptions and this is an over-simplification, but it is just to point out that our differences can set us up for some disappointments.

Our expectations spring out of what we focus on and I think the first few years are fraught with short sightedness and sorting all of that out. The ones that survive get stronger, the ones that don't become a statistic. I will say I think that the couples of today that we know personally have a great foundation in Christ and I think they do a lot better.

As for us, we were in love, we didn't have a testimony of the Savior then, we dated four years and got married. Honestly, I don't think I ever thought about what life would be like beyond the babies, the cute little house with the white picket fence and living happily ever after. I never once thought about what I would do with my life after the kids were gone. Hello! I don't think I thought about life over 50 period. Those were old people and that was the farthest thing from my mind. I am not even sure I thought they had a life! Youth is all about the here and now.

One of the old sayings we heard from our day was.."You can't live on love because you can't eat the babies!" Whaaa...? Honestly, we were so clueless back then. In those days kids just didn't get a lot of counsel about being a grown up. At least not from our families anyway.

A lot of what we learned from our parents came from old sayings; adages with a little something to mull over or worse, things that made little sense at all. Not that helpful, after all we already knew we weren't going to eat our babies! Anyone over 30 was an old fogie, and definitely had no clue about what being young and in love and cool was about. At 21, 30 seemed like an eternity away.

The Climb!
So you learn, line upon line, precept upon precept about what love is and what it isn't. It isn't about all happiness and bliss because what smooths the rough edges off that incredible diamond we call marriage is work, and adversity and becoming, and accepting the things you cannot change and getting over yourself. It is becoming we from me. It is not easy. Love is a verb. It is not something you feel or get from someone, that is something else. Love is something you give.

I believe that just about any two people can make it work once that concept takes hold. What did the Savior say? "As I have loved you, Love one another." We don't see the Savior sitting back waiting for us to love Him, or pouting or getting mad or getting even, if we don't reciprocate His love. He simply loves us. Not because of who we are but because of who He is. And if someone moves away and a distance is felt in the relationship; it is us, not Him. His love is steadfast, certain, unconditional.

Even as imperfect humans we can draw close to that kind of love if we do something. We can't stand back and wait for our spouse to be the magnanimous one. It has to be us that steps out and loves. Looking out to each other ~ not inward to all our own little needs and wants.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Could that not be a clue on how marriage and family is supposed to be? Could it not be thought of in these terms...Greater love hath no man than he that lay down his selfishness for his spouse, who actually is his family?

Anyway, these are thoughts I have been having lately about marriage and love and as I have tried to focus more on these things my love has blossomed more and more towards my very best friend and husband. As I try to follow Jesus Christ...a funny thing happens. My husband becomes more and more perfect in my eyes. When Christ works in our lives, miracles happen.

Once we were two floundering kids in love, trying to make sense of it all and we are now beginning to really get it. And I wouldn't give up this journey; this labor of love, for anything in the world. The bigger the price the more valuable the gift.

I don't know what this type of love should be called in the new version of the English language with 200 words for Love. But it is sure different than the way I love other people, or places, or things. It is that special love that you have to cultivate with just your one eternal companion. And that what we have celebrating at our house today! And a dozen red roses and a few little chocolates and mushy cards made it all the more fun! So for all of you that were wondering if the over 50 (ahem) 60 set does that sort of thing....we do!

Love is Not a Feeling. is a Verb!
It is about Cultivation of the (Heart!)

And that is a wrap for Valentine's Day 2012
I hope yours was great!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Look What Happened to Hazie...

We are sure glad she got a cookie after all of this!

On Sunday night while her Daddy was getting her ready for bed he discovered something was wrong with her leg. Because Hazie cannot feel anything past her paralysis point someplace between her ribs and tummy...she did not notice anything. But Dad did. Her little left leg was all red and hot to the touch and bruised. Also dad stretched her legs out and noticed one leg looked longer. He could also hear a clicking sound when he moved her leg in the quiet room. He then asked, "Hazel, what happened to your leg? To which she curiously replied..."I don't know, what happened to it?" If there is any bright spot here this is it. No pain.

Jen immediately took her to the ER and this is what they saw. A broken femur and a mystery attached to it as to how this might have happened.

So they admitted her and they spent two night in the hospital. The day after the break they decided against pinning and that was probably because her little bones are so small. So she was sedated, the bone set and this horrendous cast put on instead. Now the bone looks like this...

The only problem now is waiting for the bone to knit. Have you ever prayed about knitting before? Me neither, but I sure am now. For a child with spina bifada everything is complicated. We must now pray for no respiratory problems due to inactivity and not being able to sit completely up, no infections, no skin problems due to the abrasion of the hard cast on very delicate skin, and no circulation issues to worsen. Also prayers that a little four year old can remain in this awkward position of neither sitting nor lying down, for six weeks and not feel tremendous boredom and worse, frustration. And equally needing prayers are her mom and dad who need to keep turning her all day and all night to prevent a lot of the above possibilities from being a big issue.

Where would we be in this crazy life without the refuge of prayer. I find such peace in knowing that you will be OK Hazie and this is why...

And not just me and Grampa but lots of other people that love you and wish you well. Especially all of your big family and good friends. The world is full of people that care and for that we are grateful. It is also full of wonderful medical helpers and you seem to get your share of their caring skills. Thanks to all of them too. And mostly to your little family, Mom and Dad, Piper, Julia, Chloe, and even Molly, your puppy, who is there to brigthen your days. One day at a time we will all see you through this...along with your angels and God who never sleeps. We love you, Hazie. Be of good cheer. Any prayers that you might offer up for her recovery would be appreciated.

Tummy time on the rotation schedule!
Yay for a brand new squishy bean bag and a smile!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Now this is a Valentine worth remembering!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Good Morning Family and Friends,

You may have notice I haven't been posting as much on this blog lately. My focus has been carried away by many things and I have been studying family history and genealogy lately and have fallen in love, hook line and sinker. This is such rewarding and fascinating work and one that I feel is so important. Honoring and getting to know our progenitors as well as our posterity is such and intrical part of who we are and who we become. I have learned so much about families as I have put my heart and soul into this. So the family focus has sharpened and I have devoted a lot more time to that than I ever did before. Not just the immediate family but the generational families in our family tree.

Don't worry though, I am not going to stop blogging as long as I can think and type I'll be here. It is such a way of life for me and something I enjoy so much. And the wonderful friends you have all become is such a joy to me and I want to keep up with all of you. Please don't give up on me.

I have had a couple of thoughts about the blogging. One is, I need to retire this blog and start a brand new one. I am nearing 1600 posts on this blog and the search engine just doesn't work anymore. Every time I want to look for something I cannot find it because the search engine times out. Sometime in the next few months I want to turn my attention to doing something new and different. I feel this blog has gotten stale and that you might be tired of it at this juncture. I'll let you know for sure and have a forwarding url remain on this blog.

My first priority right now after my immediate family, has got to be my studying as I have been asked to do some teaching at the regional Family History Center and I want to make sure I do my best. I need to be ready to do that in April or possibly May. It is a big responsibility and I take it very seriously. I have also been working on my Legacy Blog. This past weekend Jim and I started hosting and moderating a genealogy study group in our home on Sunday afternoons. That takes a lot of prep time right now. But soon hopefully we will be sharing the teaching with other members of the group and all learning together. Also for some reason I cannot explain, my design consulting has picked up again.

Now I must confess that has taken over my leisure time and I use it to relax my eyes and brain. It is everything I love. Beautiful designs and photography, helpful hints and organizing ideas for future use. It is all about people, places and things and the beauties of nature and God and recipes and great quotes and funny things. So since it is Valentine's Day I made a pin board for all of you with lots fun photos and links. Most pictures are links to the place where the photo was first pinned, often times a blog. Double click to open and then single click until you come to the origin of the pin. It is usually two or three times of clicking once. Anyway the board I made for Valentines Day has something there that reminds me of all the people I love in my life...and you are many. So just enjoy the link and know I was thinking of you when I made it.

Now I haven't been reading blogs lately but I did run across this post a few weeks ago and thought it was so good so I bookmarked it. I really hope you will come back and read it. This lady is a phenomenal blogger and photographer and has really captured something great here. Turn up your speakers and enjoy a little gift for Valentine's Day! Enjoy and know that you are loved by me even though I am on a self-imposed sabbatical right now. Happy Valentine's Day to You and Yours!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Thoughts on Becoming One in Marriage

In this series on Valentine Thoughts I have written about Unity, Acceptance and Growth. I think it is important that we not only get along with our spouse but that we also Become One through making a concerted effort to make that happen.

As our lives become busier and busier during the child rearing, career building years, it is easy to just have tandem lives running in the same direction. It takes an effort to stay connected lest we wake up one day when the kids are gone and wonder who that person next to us really is. Tandem lives are lonely lives. They often result from taking the easy road day by day.

I find it ironic that we often give less to our spouse than anyone else because we think that is a 'safety zone.' We have a way of assuming that marriage=unconditional love from the get go, but in reality I think that takes a life time of honing, effort and work. I think God gives us a glimpse of unconditional love with the birth of a child and then expects us to come to that place with everyone else. Especially our spouses.

If you think you have unconditional love for your spouse just naturally, ask yourself would you be willing to put up with abuse, infidelity, drug addiction, etc? Most people would run, not walk to an attorney, all things being equal. They may not actually do it but they will definitely think about it. Now I know there are cases where true repentance and true forgiveness work miracles and love is restored and strengthened through huge adversity. I am just saying that with our spouses we love differently than we do our children. And that total, unconditional love in marriage is a process. When people talk about marriage being work, that process is what they mean. It is not hard to love your spouse, but it is hard to love them unconditionally without time and effort. You can not fall into unconditional love at first sight.

I appreciate that our church teaches us ways to achieve that oneness with each other. So the first thing that I think helps is sharing a common operating system to live by. For us is is our faith and the religion we share. That is our foundation. I often think that in cases where you don't have that it takes years to find a point of reference with another person. I know we struggled with that before we came to a meeting of the minds on the basics. And I also know we didn't even know we didn't have it, until after the fact. Sometimes you don't know what you were missing until you do have it.

That common foundation gives you a platform to work from in all you do. It assumes you have a common goal, common values, common paradigms. We have been counseled as a church to put God first and then spouse and then children. If those get out of order it usually creates a big problem.

We are encouraged to pray together as a couple. I cannot think of one more important thing than that. Not only does it bring you closer to God but it aligns you with your spouse and your common goals every single day. In prayer you can share things with your spouse about your aspirations, hopes and dreams in ways you simply don't during other times of the day. You can apologize and show humility for the wrongs you have done and show a true desire to make things better. In prayer you do not discuss, but simply state the deep thoughts within your heart. No one will interrupt you or argue about a shared thought in prayer. You can express love and appreciation to your spouse in those very excellent communication moments. It is a beautiful way to start and end each day. It is the perfect way to keep intimacy between you. Intimacy is about honestly sharing your heart and mind completely, contrary to the world view.

We are encouraged by our church leaders to have a date night every week. This helps insure some quality one on one time together. The dating paradigm conjures up fun, romance, wholesome shared activities. It also implies by the very doing of it, that this is so important that dedicated time is set aside each week just for each other.

Make it Special Sometimes
This is brilliant counsel! Is there any couple out there that would not feel better about marriage if this was something to look forward to each week? These two things alone, prayer and date night strengthen families at the core..the couple. The good effects of simply doing these things ripples blessings into the rest of the family and everyone you meet.

Or just watch a movie at home~our favorite!

You have heard the saying.."When Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" Can anyone dispute that? The same applies for daddies. Why is it human nature to kick against things that make life better?


It took us a long time to learn this but now Friday night is a sacred night for us. And if we do find we need to make a commitment on Friday night that date night is automatically moved to Saturday night. We don't skip it because we need it. And we don't get out of bed before we pray together either. Again, not something we have always done but for the last several years we have never missed. These two things have brought us closer than just about anything I can think of that we have tried to incorporate into our marriage to strengthen it.

We've made some progress since we were here.
Thank Heavens!

Becoming One= ♥!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Thoughts About Growth In Marriage #2

The Acorn
Like an Embryo~
So Full of Potential But Soooo New

Looking back on the early years I can remember thinking that it was my total responsibility to keep Jim happy 24/7. Isn't that what young love thinks? You fall in love and live happily ever after...end of story, right? If only.....

I remember getting so distressed if he was down or grumpy, or hurting or perplexed about was my job to fix it. I thought that if he was not perfectly happy it was because of something I was or was not doing. If he was messed up about something I would turn it into my problem literally. I would think, I am not good enough, I am not pretty enough, or entertaining enough or whatever. I was just not enough...period. In my mind I thought I had to be the be all and end all of his existence.

Of course I reversed that paradigm and felt he should do the same for me. Of course that wasn't the case. I expected him to just understand my woes, I expected him to "get" me and fix me. I didn't want to have to explain myself, I just wanted him to know how I felt. I must have been thinking that true love comes with x-ray vision or something. If I had to tell him it defeated the purpose of having that "special one" in your life that just knows you to the core. Again a very silly notion and we both failed in this ridiculous endeavor of being someone else's everything! As much as I love Michael Buble's is a fantasy. The melody is beautiful but the lyrics are wrong. It was a rude awakening to discover I was not the center of his universe after all! Hmmm..

Young love may be exciting but it sure can be dumb too. I'd trade the some of those raging hormones for straight thinking and realistic exceptions any day of the week. Hindsight is 20/20. Here is what I think is a better way of being that special one.

The Awakening~The Seedling Of An Oak

Realize that you and you alone are responsible for your happiness. No one can make you feel a certain way without your permission. No one else can fix you. That is your job. Their job is identical. You cannot take another person's pain and suffering away but you can be a loving support.

Jim's brother was killed in a terrible accident when he was 26. He and Jim were a year a part and best friends. This was when I first realized he was hurting so much and I couldn't fix it for him. I felt the frustration of wanting to but, I just couldn't. It was the first real glimpse of a catastrophic problem that clearly had absolutely nothing to do with me. When I tried to make it better and couldn't...I gave my support. If I had simply gone there first it would have been great but I had to take the long way around to learn.

I had to be patient, I had to deal with my own deep sorrow over Gary's death and I had to put whatever I felt I needed during that time on hold. That was good for me! It was hard for me. I needed things too. We had a 2 month old and a three year old and we were moving the same month.

I learned really quickly that I had to look out of myself even in my own stress and suffering because he couldn't give to me then. I had to look out and towards him, love him, comfort him and everything else was secondary. If I needed help I asked others..that was hard too but I didn't want to put another thing on him at that time. He carried on with the things he had to do and worked hard but I didn't want to add to it. That was a good lesson in how to love unconditionally. I learned we have to be a supporter not a fixer.

The Goal~The Mighty Oak

To truly love another person we need to allow them time and space for their own personal growth. By being loving and tolerant and understanding we can give them peace as they seek to become their best self. There truly is a lot of wisdom in the thought that God isn't finished with either one of us yet. Love and tolerance and patience and forgiveness bring tremendous growth into a relationship.

These paths to learning are long ones and we are so not there yet but we are on the right road. When I get upset about something I sing a hymn in my mind...You know the one about the Mote and the Beam? We are two separate people, with a common mission and purpose. We are on a journey...we are becoming better at being of one mind and growing. Isn't that 'becoming' what earth life is all about? I wish we had truly known that way back then! But that wasn't part of the plan. Growth comes with nurturing and patience and caring and time and experience.

Growth Over Time =

Thoughts About Acceptance in Marriage

I think men and women spend a good portion of their first years together trying to make their spouse be just like them. I know we did. I wanted Jim to think like me, do what I wanted to do, dream like I did, enjoy what I narcissistic can a person get? I can also remember feeling that same kind of pressure from him. I was always trying to reinvent myself to be more like him. For those of you that know us this probably sounds pretty funny. We are like polar opposites on many, many things. Our personalities are very different. Our marriage has been like mixing water and oil in many ways. We are the quintessential difference between the apple and the orange. We all give lip service to the notion that you cannot change another person but I bet if the truth were known, we have all done our darnest to disprove that one.

He likes one thing, I like another. He likes to camp and hike and take managed, I like the comforts of home and sleeping in a real bed. I detest carrying what I need for survival on my back (seriously carrying pots and pans and food and bedding is fun??) Really? Rarely do I willingly take risks..managed or otherwise. I don't like leaving my comfort zone or safety net much..he doesn't have one. I use to love dancing, but he is not a fan and doesn't even listen to music that much. Me..I have to have it, it is like air to me~ music is a huge part of my life. He is very mechanical and logical and a great leader. I have trouble with anything mechanical, I operate from my emotional base and love to work out of the spotlight.

He is a dash-always running onto the next event, I am a dot. I like to savor an experience before moving on. He has got to be on the go and moving 24~7, I am happiest reading, writing, staying home and I enjoy a balance between activities and relaxing. We both love being busy but our definitions of that are quite different.

So how does this work over nearly 44 years? Does he ever dance? Yes. Do I ever camp? Yes. Have we converted each other...not really. We do it for the other one and that makes it good in spite of itself. You know how the scriptures talk about 'kicking against the pricks, right? You have to stop doing that. God created your spouse and there is no ""do over" that you are in charge of. Accepting that is a major step towards a mature kind of loving relationship.

Mixing and over lapping like a wedding ring quilt~works!

Accept your differences and relish them. There are two for a reason. The synergy of the two of you, both different and wonderful, is what God had in mind when He instituted marriage. You each bring your gifts and talents to the marriage to benefit your family, to learn from each other, to compensate for and lift each other, to be more as two than you could ever be as one. The last thing you should want is to be the same~you diminish your resources by half if you are.

Real love is based on commitment for the long haul, acceptance, and a lot of giving up of the things about ourselves that make us selfish. What makes a marriage strong is working towards unconditional love for our spouse and sharing a life time of experiences. Then you truly become one. What makes all that possible is shared beliefs, goals and vision. It is looking beyond what I want and am and seeing what we can potentially be together. It is loving God and being willing to learn His ways. It is knowing that in marriage, "we" are more important than either one of us individually.

From This Day Forward And Forever
Acceptance =

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Ironies of Big and Little (Reprise)

People trying to learn English often say that our language doesn't always make sense to them. I have a feeling it doesn't always make a lot of sense to us either! Take "big" and "little" as an example. The size of things really takes on a value of its own...some times good, sometimes bad.

Good Big Things:

Big house, big diamonds, big eyes, big smile, big dimples (only if they are on your face, bad dimples everywhere else), big breasts, big bank account, big vacation plans, big boat, big motor home, big car, big investments, big assets, big fan club, big job, big swimming pool, big screen TV, big plans, big dreams, big family (only if you are Catholic or Mormon), big wedding, big education, big talents, big presents, big fun, big ambition.

Bad Big Things:
Big attitude, big rear, big belly, big ears, big legs, big feet, big nose, big lips, big debt, big problems, big ego, big appetite, big sorrow, big pain in the rear, big body, big mouth, big depression, big illness, big bills, big obstacles, big tendency to whine, big issues, big needs, big addictions, big disabilities, big hassles, big thighs, big clutter, big food portions, big number at the scale, big worries, big "to do" list, big stress, big worries, big boat load of enemies, big thick waist.

The interesting things is we all want a bunch of big stuff we don't have. Ironically, we also have a big bunch of stuff we don't want in a very big way! Hmmm! My list seems to be tipped heavily in the wrong direction and it often give me a big bad headache!

Elizabeth Gilbert~Nurturing Creativity

This TED Talk was sent to me by my friend after she and I had been discussing this very thing for quite some time. I think it is really wonderful and also believe that "thing" she is talking about is The Holy Ghost. I hope you enjoy it. I especially like the part where she talks about the poet, Ruth Stone. Just beautiful.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Wow! Best Ever Post on Marriage...

One of the very best things I have ever read about marriage and love can be found here.

Ann Voskamp's post is quoted in part below. The link above will take you to her blog and the entire post.

"I think we were standing outside the back door, out by the white pickup under the Big Dipper, when I turned and said it.

Said I hated him.

The dark can make you brave.

Or a fool.

But when you’re twenty-two and think you know everything, panic
can tear up your chest like this howl that has to rip free.

“I hate it when you stand there all quiet.”

He kicks the ground with the toe of his boot, drives his hands deep into his Wranglers. Does he hear me at all?

Hate how you just pull away. Hate how you always think I’m the problem and it’s never you. Hate it, hate it — hate y…”

There. There it is, spewn sick over everything. And the moment that ugliness wrenches free, I feel released — and wretched. Ill.

I want to fling that wedding band encircling my finger and everything. And I want to somehow hold on tight.

I want him to hold me tight.

He turns his back....."

To finish reading the post click on the link above. Ann is one of the best bloggers/writers on the Internet in my opinion. Her blog is an experience, not just a read. Enjoy, Bonnie

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Simple Woman's Daybook~February 7, 2012

Taking a Moment to Contemplate the Journey!

Just For Today...Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Our lives pass swiftly by!
I want to do something to remember
the everyday moments and my thoughts.
That is what this daybook is all about.
Focusing on the little things that become my life.
One week at a time.

Outside my is actually Monday night and I am getting an early start on this. Hopefully the sky is very cloudy and heavy with rain that will begin @ about midnight. 100% chance of rain in the morning when we wake up according to the forecast. If we are going to have a winter I want it to get rolling so it is not still snowing in Utah in June! Everything is budding here...mother nature is confused.

I am thankful for...A wonderful husband and children and grandchildren and siblings. Life would be rather bleak without them.

From the learning is always in flux. Sometimes the rolling with it is easier than others. But roll we must and so we do.

I am reading..."Rutka" a story about the Jews of WWII. She is compared to Anne Frank and her journal was just discovered a few years back and published. It is very interesting and sad. So wonderful that it was preserved to come forth.

From the kitchen...I cooked ahead and we are all set for the week.

I am missing...something...I am not sure what. You know how it is when you just have that empty space that needs filling but you cannot identify what you need.
I am hearing...You Are So Beautiful by Kenny Rankin.
I am wearing...Jammies
I am quoting..."But if we are truly happy inside, then age brings with it a maturity, a depth, and a power that only magnifies our radiance."

Somethings that made me especially happy this past week...Lowell's promotion to VP of his company. Uplifting letters from friends. A great day in the city with Jim, two clients that need some help in their homes, dinner out with wonderful friends last Monday night to celebrate a birthday. Church of course and then the Super Bowl yesterday with my brothers and my cousin and their wives and of course, James. Loved chatting with the sisters while the men watched the game. Who played...not a clue! I am a week away from starting some classes in family history that hopefully will make a difference. The best of news about a budding, no full blown new romance between two 86-year-olds. He is close to us and has been for 40+ years, we haven't met her yet. This is sweet, I'm telling ya!

Some spiritual thoughts I have been, there are so many. I have been thinking about the importance of the Family in a mufti-gen
erational way. Like have you ever thought about what if the immigrant ancestors had not left the old country? All those life decisions that we all make affect the outcome of all the generations to follow. It is a miracle that any human being made it here through all the odds that they wouldn't. I guess that is kind of a weird spiritual thought but one that really makes me know that the Lord wanted each of us here to live his plan and help in the work of building his kingdom through service and love. No wonder he knows each of us by name, we are special to him and we have a job to do.I am try not to disappoint God and do what it is he has called me to do.
One of my guilty on one with a friend or two. The older I get the less I like the big shindigs. They are exhausting.
Pet Peeve...That just when I finally feel recovered from the holidays it is time to start thinking about getting the tax stuff together. No rest for the weary.
One of my favorite things...
getting my 'to do' list done and feeling good about what I have accomplished in a day work. It feels good to be productive. But I also like to have some fun and serendipity along the way.
An enjoyable movie I have watched lately...The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. It is so fun to watch those movies when you have been to the places where they are set. That Ron Howard could direct and produce movies that replicated the Vatican and various other Catholic settings is almost incomprehensible.
I am curious about...why I saved so many important things to do until the autumn of my life. So many things that I just feel like I can never get it all done. The number of boxes of pictures that I need to scan would scare you.
If I could change one thing it would be...the unrealistic expectations we all put on others.

A few plans for the rest of the week...working tomorrow afternoon and evening, Wednesday, doing the tax prep in the morning for a Friday meeting with the accountant, Thursday a family history class in Oakland and a morning date with James, Temple Friday night and hopefully sometime this week a pedi. Date night Saturday night. Hopefully a Movie out. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Tell me if you have seen it??

Some photos and thoughts I'm sharing this week...
a short and simple one. We love San Francisco. You just have to get out of the car and walk around a few blocks to see it up close and in person. When I cannot take the noise of where we live sometimes...this gives me a great new lease on life. I love the escape of just blending in....the anonymity of it.

Voted the Best Bakery in the USA by New York Times Foodie Columnist. Located at 600 Guerrero Street we would highly recommend it. We tried a couple of things. Lemon Bars... aw, the best you have ever had. Don't expect fancy..this is pure neighborhood dining small and crowded with excellent food. Not a tourist in sight.

Mission Delores and Mission High School below.

This was the favorite picture of the day.
Love the old Victorians and their distinguished character.

Social Media Explained


Sunday, February 5, 2012


I haven't thought a great deal about angels in my life but lately for some reason I have been. What do you think about angels? I feel they walk and live among us and help us. I believe in guardian angels, especially for our grandchildren. Wouldn't it be neat if after we die we got to be the guardian angels of our little ones? One lady told me she hoped for that and I thought, what a sweet idea...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Nicholas and Mara Wed

The Church
Our nephew, Nicholas, got married last weekend. It was such a happy and lovely occasion and they did a fantastic job of creating the perfect day to remember all of their lives. Nick and Mara met at work a few years ago and it has been magical ever since.

This Catholic church is just beautiful. Very European and gorgeous. The stained glass windows are magnificent and the ceiling really high. The statuary was really nice as well. It was so cold inside on the night of the rehearsal, but they did warm it up a bit for the wedding. The immensity of it just made it too difficult to warm. But what it lacked in temperature it more than made up for in beauty.

This area was just to the side of the alter area. The marble was exquisite. The soloist sounded like an angel for sure, it was very moving. She sang a lot and that made the ceremony very special. Jim and I were asked to read the Prayer of the Faithful and that was a sweet experience. We were honored to have been asked to participate. There were 53 people at the rehearsal and dinner and all of them had a part of some kind in the ceremony. This was the biggest wedding we had ever attended for sure.

Note the hanging chandelier above the alter.

A kiss for the Mr. and Mrs. while
awaiting photos after the ceremony.

A small part of the wedding party!

Steve and Emily's Family
Raul, Alesha (Our niece) and Samantha whom you cannot see in her mom's arms, Mara, Nick, Emily and my brother, Steve, with his new, high fashion, white hair..and their grandson, Sebastian.


This is just a bit of Mara's mother's side of the family. They came out in force for this great occasion! Nick married into a really nice family. We had several family members there but nothing to compare with her side.

The Angelic Grandma Gloria

This is Jim's mother with a halo! This is what our son, Chris,
did for fun while waiting for the wedding photos to be taken.
Chris is a character and his Grandmother was eating this up,
I can assure you! That big chandelier came in handy!

Uncle Steve and Chris

My brother, Steve, whom many of you prayed for all summer during his chemo, with our son, Christopher. It was so wonderful to have him home for a few days. It was a rare opportunity for him to come home with his busy life. We had a nice dinner at home the first night with some of the family that was not coming to the wedding. The reception was in this amazing winery. The happy hour was in this room that was wine barrels from floor to very high ceiling and then in the center they had these tall tables where you could set down your drinks and h'oeuvres plates while chatting. Or you could just sit and talk with people. It was really nice. They had an open bar so people could have whatever they wanted. Our whole table was drinking virgin concoctions from one of the bartenders. He did a pretty fantastic job of mixing different juices, and sparkly water or ginger ale and it was fun. All the food for the entire evening was five star.

The reception!

This shows a portion of the reception dining room. They also had great music and one of Mara's cousins sang two amazing songs for them. Nick also made a wonderful video to surprise Mara and they did all the traditional stuff, garter toss, bouquet toss, first dance, money dance, dancing with the parents, toasting by the best man and maid of honor and special words from Mara's father and Nick's mother, Emily.

My sweet cousin Bob and his wife Beth

My youngest brother Gary and his wife Marilyn

Uncle Tom, Marilyn's Dad and Gloria

They even had a professional photo booth set up for everyone at the wedding to get pictures taken of their group to take home. They were just supposed to be goofy fun photos, four in all with various accessories available to add to the gaiety. Our group was not really too with it in this department until it was over. They were just taking the photos so fast. And we were a little slow on the up take.

The Photo Booth shots

I was going to have a hot pink boa but the little girl in front of us was still trying to untangle herself from it when we went into the booth. C'est la vie. It was a fun evening. We were gone a total of ten hour from portal to portal...a long and memorable day!

The cake was beautiful as you can see
and it was very delicious as well.

They even had their names
projected over the bar in huge letters.

We hope you live happily ever after, Nick and Mara!
We love you both! Best wishes!
Your wedding was beautiful!
May your life together be even more so!