Thursday, December 16, 2010

good things

I need to write down the good things I can remember from this week before I forget. Here's a brain spew of them. . .

Mom came for a short visit, I sang a solo in the Messiah for the first time, kids so happy about Granny's visit. Monday morning kids are still happy about Granny's visit, Drew and Sam insist on multiple group hugs. Read stories from the Friend for FHE. Signed Sam up for basketball. Got visit teaching done, made neighbor gifts, delivered most of them. Parent day at gymnastics, kids learning and enjoying their gym class. Car was finally repaired. Christmas cards are finished at the printer, addresses mostly gathered. Gifts starting to arrive in KY. Came up with a great gift for Mike, ordered it. Thanked Sam's teacher and delivered gift to her. Went on a couple of great bike rides, Drew rode in the trailer. Clean sheets on all the beds. Remembered garbage day. Mike scrubbed the entire master bathroom! Mike took the a/c out of the window and back to the shed! Sam and Em are both doing well in school. Went to lunch with Mike :) and Drew :) No one is sick. The laundry is almost finished. I was invited to a book club. The party store is selling everything for 75% off so I got all I needed to finish up Mike's family party. Everyone in Mike's family agreed to their assignments. Taught a harp lesson. Visited with some good friends. Tomorrow is Friday, it is crazier than ever. This has been a really busy week, not too much busier than most weeks, but it feels positive. Lots of things have gone wrong this week, but so much has turned out Great! I am grateful for all this GREAT stuff :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My Best Christmas Gift

The morning of Christmas has expectations. Excitement, joy, happiness, love, warmth, companionship, beauty, plentiful, surprise, generosity, and giving are all words that come to mind when I think of Christmas morning. On Christmas morning in 2004, there was a big part of my life missing. As my kids excitedly found what Santa had left them the night before, I watched for their reactions. The were very happy. Watching my children be happy made the ache in my heart pound a little harder. Knowing that their dad wasn't able to be there with them, to experience some of the "firsts" for our littlest, and enjoy the elation of our oldest. The phone rang just as the wrapping paper had all been ripped off the gifts, and the stockings had been scavenged. I laid on the floor with my kids watching them unwrap and eat Christmas candy for breakfast. On the other end of the phone was Mike. That Christmas morning was as complete as we could get it that year. We were all together, if we count being on speaker phone. We all laid on the floor with the phone in the middle of us and talked about what we had eaten for Christmas Eve. We talked about how the weather was in our different regions of the world. We talked about the people we spent Christmas Eve with, the packages we received, and the gifts we gave. During a deployment, holidays are difficult. The Christmas season has expectations. Sometimes those expectations are hard to meet. It is all in our attitude. The best Christmas gift I have received is when I answered that phone call from Mike. He was thousands of miles away, but we were still able to share Christmas morning together.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Today I was thinking about giving and earning respect. I have recently become friends with a few people who have really made me reflect on what kind of person I am. These people have made me feel like I am a good person, and that they respect me for who I am, the way I am. Do I treat people this way or have I become complacent about how I treat other people? Have I become careless about the attention I give my family and friends? Have I forgotten how to listen when someone is speaking to me? Am I a taker or a giver? I want to be a giver. I want people I come in contact with to feel like I respect them. I want to care about how a person feels and what they are experiencing. I feel like I have lost my way a little. I feel like my possible addiction to instant social interaction (facebook and texting), has effected my human interaction skills.

I went looking for some guidelines to help me answer these questions, and find some ways to modify my behavior so I can get into good habits again. I am a fan of Matt Townsend; he is a relationship counselor. I like his point of view. These are his 5 rules of respect. I have added some of my own thoughts about the rules.

1. Keep private things private. (Keep secrets in the proper places. Respect things that are private to your spouse. Keep your confidences- have the discipline to keep it to yourself.)
2. Honor the people who aren't present. (Talk to people with respect when you are with them, and not with them.)
3. It's more about your delivery than your intent or content.
4. Wow people with words of respect. (Such as, May I, pardon me, please, thank you, forgive me, excuse me, sorry, etc).
5. Pay attention while others speak. (If an important political person was talking to you, it would be easy to sit and listen and tune out the rest of the world. If your toddler is talking to you, it isn't as easy, but so important to show the child that you respect them, and what they care about. Check your text message when the person has finished speaking and your conversation is over).

These rules seem so obvious to me, but I have strayed from some of them. On my way back to keeping these rules, I will remember how good I feel when I am around my new friends, and strive treat others in a respectful and kind way.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Vote for Yourself!

The Lord is voting for me, and Lucifer is voting against me, but it is my vote that counts.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ordinary Days

Today was the most ordinary day for me. It is more extraordinary to have a day like today. An ordinary day is far a few between. The kitchen appliances operated they way they should. I had ingredients for the things I made. There is gasoline in my car, but I didn't drive it anywhere. No one missed the bus to or from school. Home work got finished. Friends came to play. Emily and I had our daily harp practice. I didn't get any worrisome news about my family. All the shoes were where they go this morning. I was busy, but not overly busy. I am grateful for a quiet day like today. Today was one of those magic ordinary days.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

More Seat Belts

I have this cute little car. It is fast, and fun to drive. It has enough seat belts for my family, but my family is growing up and they are so squished in the back seat. I know I won't be getting a new car in the near future, but it would be great to have that happen. We travel so often it is nice to drive a car that has a great turning radius, super easy to parallel park, and gets decent gas mileage. Although, being able to put each kid on their own row, or even in a wider seat would be so nice for all these long drives we can't seem to go without. I would love to try out an electric Suburban or Expedition. Haha, of the two, I would chose the Ford. Why? Well because my taxes aren't going towards their bail out. In any case, I love my car, but wish it was wider. Any mom with kids filling up the backseats can relate to the craziness that happens when siblings poke, sing, spill, elbow, steal, color on, etc each other. A few more inches between the kids would be helpful in avoiding distracted driving. Okay, this is my new angle- I need a bigger car to avoid being distracted while driving. It is a safety issue after all.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Creepy People

Prank calls might be considered funny if you are in elementary school calling your friend to tell them that you are a girl/boy who has a crush on you. (I personally think prank calls are lame, and if I find out my kids prank call, they will loose their telephone privileges). I can see that some people think pranks are funny, and maybe they might think they can prove a point with them. That's all for now.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

random advise

If my opinions were important to anyone, and I was able to give them advice, I would tell them, in matters of life choices, be selfish. Meaning:
• If you are getting ready to be engaged, don’t be afraid to look out for yourself. Check your sweethearts credit score, email accounts, and personal history- of course those things should be available to your honey as well; history has a tendency to repeat itself.
• Education is important, and can mean your own security. Don’t let others push you about, finish your education. You are the only one who has the power to shape your future. Other people’s choices can create obstacles, but you are the one who puts yourself on the path, and that path is what leads you to where you will end up. Chose the path wisely.
• Being healthy and staying fit will keep your mind and spirit strong. Take time from the day to be healthy and fit. You will be happier and more mentally independent if you’re healthy and strong.
• Don’t have sex without being married and don’t get married so you can have sex. If you decide now to not have sex before you get married it will be much easier to say to the person your heart has fallen for, “now is not the time”, and you want to wait. If you don’t make up your mind to be abstinent, be smart about it. Don’t allow someone to give their infections to you or get you pregnant. Use protection, not just oral contraceptives, but other protection too.
• Stay true to the one you love. Don’t let anyone or thing come between the trust and honesty that a good relationship needs to have.
This is what I mean by “be selfish”. Deliberate decisions like these will make it so much easier to let your heart love with abandon. Being able to love with wild fever is one of the greatest feelings I have ever felt. My wish for anyone who reads this is that they will be able to feel endless love, knowing they have done everything in their power to secure their heart’s safety.


A few weeks ago I decided I should write my own story. Since I only remember a few small things from my very young childhood, most of that part of my life will not be written about. I know that I was born on my due date Aug 25. I was 9 ½ lbs, and long. I was born in Germany at a military hospital. My dad was on training missions and hitched a ride on a helicopter to come home when the news was brought to him. My Grandma Free was visiting from Provo, UT. I can imagine that I was a perfect baby. My mom must have been a loving and grateful woman, because when I think of my early childhood, I remember the warmth of her love, and her smiling face.
My first real memory is of a birthday when I turned 4. I had the most wonderful birthday cake. It was shaped like a butterfly, double layered. My mom always put thought, artistry, and whimsy into our birthday cakes. She used colored pipe cleaners for the antennas. My dad had just purchased a video camera. He opted to get a Beta camera instead of the more popular VHS camera because Beta had better quality film. Since it was the more expensive option, Beta wasn’t loved by consumers and it was hard to find anything Beta soon after that. In any case, we have video in Beta capturing the birthday cake and me dancing on the front porch. I remember my mom having to coax me to keep moving, because “this was the kind of camera you could make movies with”. My parents doting on me with their new camera, the beautiful and thoughtful birthday cake, and my little sister Charlotte dancing with me has made this memory strong and detailed. Whenever I think of it, I feel loved.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Opening in the Sky

The sky was blue, white fluffy marshmallow clouds were scattered about and kept us shaded from the sun. Across the parking lot stood two men, well, dudes. I had been in Cedar City for less than a week. I didn't know anyone except 2 of my room mates. When one of them asked if I wanted to take a ride with her, (I didn't have my own car yet, so I was stranded unless I ran to where I was going, or begged for a ride), of course I jumped into the cab of her big, old, Chevy pick-up. Our destination was a parking lot? Yes, a parking lot. Their names were Gary and Mike. I had never seen Gary before, he was just the average college guy. I had never met Mike before, but when I looked at him he was beaming. I looked around me, "could this be happening," I thought. I looked back at him, he was still beaming. Everything was shaded by the puff ball clouds, except Mike. It was like he was radiating, as if the sun was shining down on just him. (Is that the cheesiest thing you have ever heard? This coming from a person who has gone to great lengths not to be seem like a silly girl, ha!) It was confusing. I remember thinking, "what and why is this happening". When Mike opened his mouth, this came out, "I haven't seen you for so long!". He proceeded to wrap his arms around me in a giant hug, then looked at my face. You can't imagine what was going through my head at this moment, so I will enlighten you. "Is this person really hugging me? Does he think he can just touch me without even knowing who I am and without my permission? He has really great milk chocolate eyes. Why am I not kicking him in the groin? Why does he seem so familiar to me? I have never seen this person before. What's his name again? His arms feel so good around me. He has got to let go. How dare he enter my personal space bubble! Why do I feel like I know him, and why did he say he hadn't seen me for so long? How can we both feel that way when I know we have never met?" All this took just a portion of a second to wind around in my thoughts.

This is how I met Mike :)


We are supposed to keep a journal. I am so bad at it!! This is my attempt.

Personal Memories

When I was 20, I took my dad on a date. I asked him to go with me to the Utah Symphony. It was a business date. I knew my dad wanted things for me that I felt I wasn't capable of. He wanted me to study music at a great music school. He wanted me to serve a mission. He wanted me to have everything a wonderful dad would want for his daughter. He could see past the end of his nose, knew what it was like to be smitten and in love. He knew it clouded people's visions of the future, and that I had put myself in a perfect environment to chose a path that could shape the rest of my adult life. He wanted to protect me from disappointment, heart break, and regret. He also knew that unless he let me chose my own path, I wouldn't be able to find happiness. My parents did everything they could to give me opportunities while not taking away my agency. On the date with my dad, I told him I wanted to get married. That I had considered going on a mission, but that I wasn't taking that road.

I can't imagine what was going through my dad's mind. He didn't tell me what, or when, or why I should or shouldn't do anything. I was so young, just 20 years old. I didn't want anything more than to be married to Mike. I was so totally smitten, wildly in love. I would have walked barefoot across hot coals for him.

The photo I included with this entry seems not to fit well, but this is what I wanted. I wanted to experience life with Mike. Live every moment holding his hand.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


A couple of days ago I let Emily sleep in till late morning. When she still wasn't awake at 9:45 I went to wake her up.
mom "Emily, hunny, it's time to wake up", nothing, "Emily, you need to get up", nothing, "Em, wake up, it is late in the morning".
emily "Mom, why did you wake me up! I was having a kung fu dream!"


Here's another one:
em "will you buy me some skittles?"
mom "Sorry Em, I don't believe in candy"


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Can you believe it?

I am having a hard time believing Andrew has had another birthday. He is my sweetheart. I am so grateful I get to be his mom. We had a pirate birthday party for him. He definitely got spoiled. We all had a great time putting the party together, and we all helped. It was a little too windy part of the time, but the sun was out so it was nice enough. Our balloons blew away with the wind, but we had pirate bandannas, swords and eye patches, so who needs balloons? Happy birthday little guy. I love you tons!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Kindergartner No More

My little 5 year old isn't in kindergarten anymore. I feel sad about it. I felt sad and happy on her first day of school, but today is different kind of sad. It is the end of a wonderful chapter. I love kindergartners. They are so great.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Push Up, updated

I have had a few people email me and ask why girl push ups aren't allowed since we are girls. Okay, fine, girl push-ups are allowed. No bums in the air though, let your arms do the work, tighten your abs and your gluts to take some of the pressure off your shoulders. It doesn't matter if you do 100 a day or 3, just keep going till you reach the goal of 1000. I wish I had a cool prize for the first person to reach the goal, but I don't :( Our nicely toned arms will have to be our prize!

P.S. Photo courtesy of Samantha :)
This is after 45 push-ups. When I reach 1000, I'll post another one. Hopefully this image will change a little.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Push Up Challenge

I want you all to take this push up challenge. I got the idea from my cousin, but his is very different from how I am going to do it.

Only girls are invited, sorry boys, and you have to do real push ups, not girl style. Let's see who can do 1000 push up first! Post your numbers in the comment field if you are in. Don't forget to post your numbers, it will keep me motivated!

Start today- Mother's Day 2010!

Come on, you can do it!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Side by Side

Last night I laughed so hard I burned calories. Whoever coined the phrase, laughter is the best medicine was not that far off. I have felt the far reaching, healthy effects of my laugh attack last night, all day today. When I watched The Gods Must Be Crazy, I felt the same way. I walked away with a sore stomach because I laughed so hard in that movie. I am not comparing the movie I saw yesterday with The Gods Must Be Crazy, but the hilariousness had the same effect on me. I love laughing. One of the reasons I like to be with Mike is because he usually is making me laugh about something. We were sitting on the same side of the booth. (He was confused when I sat next to him because the table was set to sit across from each other. At first he tried to be accommodating and move to the other side of the table, but when I wouldn't let him get out of the booth he and the waitress both looked at me like I was crazy.) So, there we were sitting rather close on the same side of the booth, looking at our menus. We laughed about a lot of things, because we talked to each other, not from across the table, but side by side- non confrontational, good conversation. When was the last time that happened? When we went running together, we ran side by side, and talked to each other through our "trying to catch your breath" type breathing you get when you run, when we drove to Cali we sat side by side and chatted the whole way. I honestly can't think of a good conversation we have ever had when sitting across from each other. The side by side conversations have been so much more meaningful and connected than the one's from across the table. The jokes are more fun to laugh at when you are sitting next to the other person laughing, it's easier to hold hands, kiss, put your arm around, whisper into ears, etc when you sit next to each other. Side by side, it is one of my favorite things.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Harps and other stuff

I have decided to rent out one of my harps. I am sad and nervous about it, but since I am not really using this one, it will be good to at least have some other deserving person using it. And a little bit of cash every month can't hurt either. I hope I can find the right person to use it. They need to be responsible, careful, and love the harp more than the little booger smearing neighbors, and scratching pets. HAHA, did I just say that? ya, I did. In any case, I love my Buttercup. I am going to put a photo up, it is really bad quality, but it is the only one I have right now. I can't find the camera charger in all these unorganized office boxes we still haven't gone through since we moved. Hopefully it will turn up. We have 3 different chargers for this camera. One of them is bound to turn up soon.

Samantha has learned Twinkle Little Star on the harp. It is cute to watch her little fingers close, and her skinny little arm raising on the long notes. She seems to be liking it pretty well. Of course she wants to move onto the next song before she is ready. I am trying to keep it simple, not get crazy about it, but let her be my girl, and not pupil. I want her to love it; I know I can't MAKE her love it. It is so hard to find a healthy balance with many things.

My knee has been swelling and aching the last week or so. I have been trying to avoid it and just work through the pain, but I have conceded. My knee is going to have to win for a few days until it doesn't hurt so bad. I have had to drop out of my race. I am so sad about it. I have let so many people down. I just don't know what to do with this lame swelling and pain. In any case, I am still going to run, just not more than 3 miles right now. First I have to figure out what is going on with my body. I went to Zumba last night with some people I met in my new neighborhood. It was really fun, I am glad to be invited. I will definitely be going back some time soon. It turns out the instructors both know Mike pretty well. They went to high school together. In this small town, there aren't many people who don't know Mike in one way or another. It is pretty cool, and a little creepy all at once.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Too Much Bum Time

I spent so many hours in the car driving from place to place to place for things that were fun, and things that needed to be done. I feel sick to my stomach because I sat so much. I even carried my running shoes all around with me hoping I would be able to sneak in a jog, but it never happened. Now, I am still sitting on my bum because it is too dark, so I can't go on a run. (Besides, I am having lame feelings, so my excitement to get off my bum isn't really happening.) I hate feelings, wa wa wa. Feeling words. I've never been good at expressing them.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Running is something I used to do when I was in high school and my freshman year in college. As far as running as a sport or for fitness, my body hasn't visited the activity for many years. For some reason, as mentioned in an earlier post, I agreed to run on a Ragnar Relay team. So, I looked up a training schedule, was more than a month behind, but started in on it anyway. WHAT!? Am I crazy! This is like running a half marathon. For some, who have the marathon achieved already, this is no big deal. But for me, this is craziness! Except . . . after a lot of discouraging emotions and my brain playing tricks, I was able to pass a huge mental barrier today. I ran for over 35 mins straight, and hit a mileage I hadn't yet been able to conquer. I haven't run that amount of time straight through since 1996. I was so happy I felt like I could run another mile, I was actually smiling at the end. Thank you to Callie who sent me an encouraging note with great advise in it. Yeah, may be I can really do this after all.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring Snow

Too many days of spring have been littered with snow. Although the crystal snow flakes are beautiful and melt every day, there has been new snow covering the ground every morning for over a week. Spring means, tulips, daffodils, peaking day lilies, flowering fruit trees, fluffy yellow chicks, warm sun, cool evenings, thunder storms and rainbows, refreshed energy, baseball, bicycle trips to the park, etc. The snow blanketing the ground has kept these wonderful spring things from happening. Patience, patience.

I took a wonderful trip with Mike to celebrate our 11 year anniversary in March. It was so much fun, I don't think it could have been more wonderful. I wanted to stay on that fantastic vacation and have my kids shipped out to me. Alas, reality eventually greeted us on our last day, and we came home. The weather was perfect, the water was turquoise, the food was prepared and delicious, and I didn't do any dishes. Mostly, the water was perfect, and the sun was amazing, and it was wonderful to spend a week with my hunny-bun.

I miss the warmth of my sunny Mexico trip; I am looking forward to the warmth of spring days, and the coolness of spring nights. And for school to be out for the summer. I miss my girls when they are gone all day.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I just committed to being on a relay race team! I haven't ever done anything like this before, but I am really excited. It is a Ragnar Relay. I am behind on the training schedule, so I will have to make up the difference somehow. Scared and excited. This should be good.

I miss my students so much. I normally would have taught lessons tonight; if felt strange to not tune the harps, arrange the music on the stands, settle my kids, etc. Moving to this town was the right thing, I know it was- otherwise I couldn't have done it. But it is pretty dang hard. But, . . . there are much harder things.

Mike is stuck in a snow storm half way to Lehi. He decided not to brave the weather anymore and is ducking low in his truck, working on homework, and trying to get some rest before the morning. So, now I can't sleep because I am worried about him staying warm, and driving safe in the morning. I am making that same drive tomorrow afternoon. I sure hope the weather lets up for us. And I can't wait to get a phone call from Mike saying he made it to his destination.

The joys of moving. We moved into a house that was already full of stuff, that stuff is being carefully packed up and stored away. This has been a challenging few days. I still can't find Emily's tennis shoes!! She doesn't mind since there is muddy snow on the playground at school. I had hoped to have so much more done by this weekend than I do. Progress is certainly being made though. You can see the pantry floor! Anyone who has been in this house knows that the floor in the pantry hasn't been seen for many years. The base boards are actually white, not brown, and the stair well hasn't been painted yet, I just scrubbed the walls! Oh, and yes, the toilets are white- just in case anyone forgot, they are supposed to be white, (they weren't white when I moved in, ooo gross.) Like I said, progress is being made. Samantha is really good at washing floors- this is a new discovery. Emily is really good at setting up bedrooms, this is a great help. And, Andrew really likes chocolate milk- new discovery.

This photo is of us eating dinner last night. What a funny dinner we are having- the pantry wasn't unpacked yet so our food options were very limited. I let the kids pick what ever they could find, within reason, because I hadn't found so much of my kitchen stuff. Luckily, the most commonly used items in the kitchen have been located and have a home where they can be found for tomorrow.

My warm bed is lonely. I am going to get in it :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Changes? Stressors? ha, I will look them in the eye with a warriors yell!

Life is full of more changes than things that stay the same. Some changes are great, like a good hair cut, or a smaller dress size, or new carpet- even better, hard wood. Some changes aren't noticed, and others, they make the list of top stresses in life.
Top ten stressful life events
1.Spouse’s death
3.Marriage separation
4.Jail term
5.Death of a close relative
6.Injury or illness
8.Fired from job
9.Marriage reconciliation

I only have a few of the stresses listed above, but I just took a test that says if you have a score of over 150 you need to make some serious changes to reduce your stress. Can you guess what my score was? 750, that's right 750! I think that is a load of crap. Let's say I make some changes in my life to reduce the amount of stress I have- what about the changes? changes make more stress, right? I realize now, it is just a circle we go around over and over again. Or, maybe it is just a circle I go around over and over and over and over. . .

As I write this, I smirk at myself, and have to laugh about it. Here I go HAHAHAHHA!

Today was a wonderful day. I made delicious food, had my family over to share it with, put my kids to bed by 8:30, the taxes are finished, and I started a good book. And now, I am going to bed to enjoy my good book.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Goals/Resolutions 2010

Mike asked me, just as 2010 rang in, what my new year resolutions are. I told him that I feel like I am already working on so many things that I am just going to stay on track with what I am already doing. After pondering about the new year for a few more days I have come up with some new things I would love to be better at. Here they are.
1. Focus on the positive attributes in my family members.
2. Give Samantha a harp lesson every week, and practice with her.
3. Practice with Emily on her flute.
4. Enable Sam, Emily, and Mike to nurture and gain new, healthy, friendships.
I have my work cut out for me. These seem like simple things when written on paper, but in reality they will all be difficult to stick to.

Here's to 2010. 2009 was the worst year of my life. Yes, I lost a lot of weight, but beyond that, hands down, the worst year yet. I have hope for a brighter future. Gaining happiness is an action. Happiness has to be made, it doesn't just happen. Happiness is an ongoing process- once it is reached, the striving for it has to continue. 2010 here I come.