Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sounds of the Season....

This morning on the ride in to work, one of the local radio stations announced "This is a SOUND OF THE SEASON!!!" meaning that a carol of some sort was coming up. Now, I normally like carols of all sorts, the instrumentals, the vocals, rocking TSO and ethereal Celtic Woman. The DH on the other hand gets highly irritated when people take a well known carol, say Silent Night, and "jazzify" it up in some way. You know of what I speak: the crazy arrangements and sometimes even crazier singing.

So, I thought back about some of the sounds of the season that may have been heard in my house since we put up the tree on Saturday. Here goes

-Children fighting trying to get the Christmas stuff out of the attic followed closely by the sound of the DH telling them "If you work as a team it wouldn't be so hard."

-The thunk of the Christmas tree box hitting the floor where I dropped the bottom (oops).

-The rustle of the limbs of said Christmas tree (we have a 7.5 foot prelit-white lights-it's a big tree) as the children and I set up the tree in it's itty bitty stand. The organizationers of the D-Day Invasion have nothing on me trying to get Jared to lift his side and Kiersten to move forward.

-Again the rustle of limbs as they whack me in the face when I pull them down and "fluff" and the ensuing murmuring (with some bad words thrown in) from me. I get a picture of the tree in the Charlie Brown cartoons that always eats the kite except the tree is eating me.

-Another bunch of murmuring from me while I try to find all the plugs for the stupid tree. Finally, I go to Mike who is cooking dinner and say "I can't find the other plug in for that side of the tree, it looks crazy with lights only on one side and why don't they put a longer cord in the stupid thing?! Could you please deal with it after dinner?" He looks upon me with that sweet, patient look and probably sees a crazed lunatic with her hair standing on end and scratches from the limbs mentioned before and takes pity on me. I get the sweet patient look a lot during the holidays.

-As we listen to TSO, the kiddies decorate the tree with their own ornaments. Of course, this year the bottom foot of our tree is undecorated to keep temptation from Sally the wonder dog. There isn't any fussing amongst the family, just looking at the pictures in some of the ornaments and reminiscing about how chubby Jared was as a baby or how much Kiersten has changed.

What other things do I listen for at Christmas? Bells, Christmas movies (although I don't watch them and I hate It's a Wonderful Life. Yes, I know, it's sacrilege to hate that movie but I just don't like it). Mike absolutely howling with laughter watching Christmas Vacation and then proceeding to quote the entire movie right along with the actors. Like he says, everything can relate to Christmas Vacation. Mike telling me at 3 a.m. Christmas morning "let's get the kids up, come on, PLEASE!!!!" The patter of feet not so little anymore on Christmas morning. The sound of hours of wrapping in just the perfect paper being ripped to shreds by eager children. Big and little boys alike putting together toys and the big boys "trying it out" before the little guys can play with it. The sounds of family gathered at mom's on Christmas Day and the madness that ensues. We will be missing some this year and it will seem empty without the younger Ervins there.

What are your favorite sounds of the season?

Peace and love y'all!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Who am I?

I've found myself lately really thinking about who I am as a person, an individual. It all started when I asked DH the other day why he called me "my wife" when he was talking to someone that we both know fairly well. This puzzled me, why doesn't he just say Kristi did such and such? DH's answer was that sometimes he was talking to someone that didn't know my name and it's just easier to say "my wife" rather than explain who I am and it has become a habit. I've also noticed other men that do this and want to ask them the same question but refrain. I've also gotten into the habit of introducing myself as whatever kids mom I need to be in that situation. It's irritating.

Who am I? To the world apparently I'm Joe and Vicki's daughter, Mike's wife, the kids' mom, Anita's SIL. Someone stopped me at church a few weeks ago and said to me "Hey, you're back!". No, I never left, that would be my brother's family. This is a person that has known me for years. This wasn't the first time they had made a comment about me leaving and/or coming back. Am I so forgetable? I know that I'm shy and quiet and fairly low maintenance so I'm overlooked a bit (not that I mind most of the time), and that's part of who I am but not everything.

Who am I? To me, I love being a wife and a mom and that is a major part of my life at this time. However, I'm also a person who has all sorts of interests. I love to read. I'm a beginning knitter. I love to learn stuff. I long to travel. I have a horrible temper. Christmas isn't my favorite holiday (Thanksgiving is). I have a silly sense of humor. I have crazy stuff that runs through my head almost all of the time so if you say something to me and I just get a silly smile, it's usually a stray thought that's gone through my head that I find amusing. I dream in color sometimes. I love to cook. I like Impressionist Art. I'm not one for a lot of drama, it's just too tiring. I love naps. I would love to go back to school and learn Russian and Hebrew and more about Art History. I think Russian history is fascinating. I can't do 7th grade math. I like to learn about other religions. I want to go to Italy just to look at the art and go to The Vatican. I wanted to work for a major museum before my life got a tad sidetracked.

What's the point of this? I'm saying sometimes we get lost in our roles as someone else's whatever (parent, child, wife, husband, daughter) that we lose who we are as individuals. Am I suddenly going to become some drama requiring, it's all about me type person? No, that's not who I am. I am me.

I was thinking over this post while I was knitting at lunch (it's a great destresser, as DFC says, it's cheaper than therapy) and I figured out that the people that matter in my life know who I am and that's fine with me. As for the others that don't really know me as me, just an extension of someone else, maybe eventually they'll learn who I am and I'll get to know them.

Peace and love y'all!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Finishing Up (Better late than never)

Well all, it's been a hectic but fulfilling November. I'm going to finish up the thankful posts today (only one day late) and then we'll move to something else. This final list has been rolling around for the last few days but I've just gotten a spare moment. So, here goes the final 9 things I'm thankful for....

1. Extended family. After spending Turkey day with a bunch of people that I only get to see a few times a year, I'm so thankful for all of them. From the oldest member of our family to the almost youngest (not counting Connor), we're a wacky kind of family. And of course, the craziest of all, cousin William who thinks I'm just the best thing ever (who am I to tell him I'm not?). Also included in that whole crazy mess is Mike's family and Kiersten's extended family. I love them all.

2. A car. My car is currently in the shop being diagnosed with something horrid so we're borrowing dad's "going to the flea market" van. It's hard to look stylish in the van, but, I'm grateful to have wheels to take us places and heat.

3. Speaking of heat... I hate the cold. I'm thankful for heat in my home, my car and my little electric blanket that Mike harasses me to turn on.

4. Legs. I was thinking that I'm thankful for my legs. I can walk, run, skip, hop and sometimes cartwheel (don't ask to see it-it's not pretty) all because of my legs. Sometimes you take the most mundane things for granted.

5. Prayer. I'm so thankful that I can speak with my Father in Heaven whenever, however and about whatever I choose. His line is never busy and he always listens to me. He knows what I need before I can ask for it, but I do need to ask. Sometimes He's going to tell me yes, sometimes He's going to tell me no or not right now, but He always has my best interests in mind and an eternal perspective.

6. A job. I love my job and I'm thankful to have it. I deal with lots of people in the safety of an office. I work for and with great people. At this time when so many people are jobless, I'm jobful.

7. Jesus Christ. I'm thankful that He took upon Himself my sins, that he suffered so that I wouldn't have to. He is my advocate, my elder brother, my friend. I can't go through the holidays without reflecting on His birth, resurrection and the Atonement.

8. Animal Planet. I love Animal Planet, it's a fountain of knowledge for useless facts. Who knew that primates can't swim because their bones are heavy and they have very little fat? Found out on Animal Planet. It feeds my dog training need (thank you Victoria Stillwell) and gives me all sorts of stuff to talk about with Jared.

9. You. I am thankful for all of you. Whether you be family, friends or occasional passersby, thank you for stopping by my little part of cyberspace.

Well, I think that's it. This has been an interesting little exercise, thinking of things to be thankful for. Sometimes they were serious, sometimes mundane but it really made me think.

Peace and love y'all!

Friday, November 21, 2008

And another one....

Today I'm thankful for books. OH NO!!! you say, you've already used that one. Nope. That was the ability to read back on Monday. Today I'm thankful for the things that I do read. I love the smell of books, bookstores and libraries. Mike thinks I'm just a tad off but he doesn't get it. Think about it, in a book you can learn fascinating facts, learn about a person or put yourself into a novel. This kind of ties in with what I'm doing this weekend-going to see the movie Twilight. BFF Crystal (the fellow ESAL) told me I don't know how long ago-I've got these books that you need to read, you'll love them. As I love all things vampirish, I decided to give it a whirl and loved them. BFF Crystal, DF Connie, Kiersten and I stood in line in August to get the 4th book in the series and tonight I'm going to go see the movie of the 1st book.

What do I read you ask? Everything! I love the smell of a new book, the feel of the pages and the sound of the spine bending (I'm terrible, I tend to break the spines of my books so that they will lay flat) and the fact that I tend to come away from reading a book with blackened fingers from the ink. I will walk into a bookstore or library, especially a used book store and just stand in the doorway and smell the loveliness that is the smell of old books. Mike says it smells like dust and maybe mold but what does he know?

So, that's it for today. To all of you going to see Twilight this weekend, good luck and hope you enjoy the movie. To all the rest of you, you might want to pick up a book and see where it takes you.

Connie, I mentioned your name, do I get a prize?

Peace and love y'all!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Here we go for today....

I'm thankful today for a drama free life. You know how some people and families are constantly surrounded by some crisis or drama? Not me thank the heavens. Mike and I were discussing this fact a few weeks ago and we both came to the conclusion that our steady, somewhat boring lives were better than crazy ones. I had an acquaintance once that seemed to attract drama. Her family was crazy, her kids were always in trouble, there was always something going on in her life that would classify as "drama". I thought she must be so tired having to keep up with all of that craziness. Now, I'm not saying that sometimes we don't have a little bit of drama, but usually it's not bad and we move quickly back into our normal pattern.

So, that's the thankful post for today. I'm knocking on wood as I'm writing it that it won't come up and bite me in the butt later.

Peace and love y'all!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Today's Thankful Post

Today I am thankful for food. I LOVE food! One of the best eating holidays is coming up next week and I cannot WAIT! I love turkey and dressing, deviled eggs, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, green beans...the list of Thanksgiving food sure to induce a coma goes on and on and on.

What brought this to my mind was an article I read yesterday about people in Haiti having no food and the world food shortage. I read about mothers having to decide which child to feed knowing that a child may not live because of hunger. It also brought out the fact that the USA eats more meat than any other country, and because other countries are starting to follow our example it's causing a problem because those cows eat a lot of grain or whatever which doesn't get made into bread. I'm probably oversimplifying the problem but I can't find the article so I can't cut and paste. But anyway...

The Word of Wisdom in D & C Section 89 states:

10 And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—
11 Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.
12 Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;
13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.
14 All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life, not only for man but for the beasts of the field, and the fowls of heaven, and all wild animals that run or creep on the earth;
15 And these hath God made for the use of man only in times of famine and excess of hunger.

Interesting huh? I'm thinking that the whole sparingly thing is the point. I'm not looking to get into a deep doctrinal discussion about vegetarianism and whatnot, I like a good burger or steak as much as anybody, but He tells us to eat meat sparingly.

That being said, I'm off to eat lunch and dream of sweet potatoes like my granny makes and mac and cheese made by my cousin (YUMMY!)

Peace and love y'all!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I am Thankful for....Part 2

Let's see, what am I thankful for today?

1. The deer that Mike ambushed and shot last night. You deer season widows will understand. I feel sorry for Bambi's daddy, but happy that Mike finally got a deer. That means he'll be home a good bit more (woohoo!).

2. Agency (as in freedom to make our choices). One of the great parts of our Heavenly Father's plan is our ability to choose our own way-good, bad or ugly. We make bad choices and have to deal with the consequences of our actions. We make good choices and receive blessings. It's simple, but very important.

3. The Church. Who would have thought that a boy prophet that everyone thought was loony would establish a church that would grow to however millions of members in all different parts of the world? This is my testimony, to be added to millions of others, I know it's true, I'm blessed by its teachings.

4. Kiersten. I'm thankful for the baby girl, she'll ever know how much. She brought light into my life at a time of overwhelming darkness and although we sometimes bicker, she's a wonderful child. She's talented and funny and smart and wise beyond her years. She's had to grow up in a different way than most of her friends, but she adapted well. I just look at her sometimes and feel this overwhelming sense of love for this precious angel.

5. Jared. He is the most helpful child I've ever been around. He is so funny, I laugh constantly. He's also my hugger, he gives the very best hugs and seems to know exactly when to say "mom, do you need a hug?". He loves to build things and learn stuff (just not in school). He is more outgoing than his sister, he never met a stranger and people just love him. He's also really good with younger kids. He's his dad in miniature.

6. Grass. Not to get too serious here, but fluffy green grass in the springtime that you can walk barefoot in without hurting yourself. I long for fluffy grass, but alas, I have regular everyday grass that turns into spikes if it gets dry.

7. Friends. I have great friends all over the place. It's funny that some of the friends that I thought would always be around have fallen by the wayside, but others have come in to take their places and my life is made richer by knowing them.

8. Mike. I can't leave my best friend out. He will never know how much I love him. I've loved him forever and will continue to love him through eternity. He puts up with my moods (they are many and varied) and my silliness. I feel somewhat incomplete without him. I'm moving into cheese territory so I'll move on.

I think that brings me up to date. Today is the 18th, so I'm on track. Today was a tad more serious than I thought it would be, but some days are just like that.

Peace and love y'all!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I am Thankful for...

I've finally gathered my thoughts (as much as they can be gathered) and realized that everything floating around in my head was an expression of thankfulness. So, what I thought I would do was do one post a day about something I am thankful for. It may be just one line or an entire book, but that's what I'm thinking. So, since I have 17 days to catch up on, here are a few things I'm thankful for in no particular order.

1. Primary programs. We had ours yesterday and it fills me with joy to watch the children sing their songs and do their parts.

2. Hunter B. I am thankful for Hunter B. because he reminded me yesterday of the joy of a 3 year old boy and brought just a bit of that joy to the congregation.

3. Feet. This morning I drove in and I was thinking about the pioneers (we're listening to a Trek CD) and how they had to walk and walk and walk. I don't think I could have done that without some serious complaining. I would be the one saying "are we there yet?".

4. Music. Last night, there was an EQ singing thing at the church and it was GREAT!!! All of the performers were terrific. Billy Brittain played a guitar and harmonica AT THE SAME TIME and sang too! As someone that really has a problem walking and chewing gum at the same time, that's an amazing feat.

5. Sally the wonder puppy. She has brought so much laughter into our home, and after setting some rules out (no peeing or pooping on the floor, no pulling empty milk cartons into the middle of the living room), we're doing really well.

6. Work. At this time of high unemployment, I'm getting a lot of phone calls from people who have been out of work for a while and they're really in dire situations. I'm grateful that I have a steady job that pays okay and I enjoy.

7. Parents. My parents are great! I was reminded yesterday when Jimmy P. told his dad thank you for making the decision to be baptized. I realized that I would not have what I do if my parents had not made the same decision. I wouldn't have my DH, or my kids or even a complete family. So, thanks mom and dad for making the decision to be baptized .

8. Fingers. I do a lot of typing in my job and I'm pretty sure I couldn't even do my job without my fingers. If you've ever hurt one of your fingers bad enough to have it taken out of commission, you feel handicapped.

9. A car. Now, I diss the cruiser sometimes because it's not really MY car. But, I'm grateful to have it to get us where we need to go.

10. The ability to read. I LOVE to read. I'll read anything I can get my hands on, except for true crime, went through a bunch of those a few years ago and ended up freaking myself out and never wanting to go outside. I love the magic of a person's imagination, and how they put words together to make ideas. I think it's really cool when authors have these complex worlds and characters in their heads.

So there's a few, I'll catch up eventually.

Peace and love y'all!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Writers Block

I am afflicted with writers block in some sort of funky way. I can think of things to write about but then forget them fairly quickly or they're rolling around in my head and I can't put the thoughts down the way I want them to read. It's frustrating. Just wanted to let you all know "I'm not dead yet" (love the Monty Python reference), just can't write.

Love and peace y'all.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I voted, did you?

Today is Election Day, the end of the longest campaign season known to man and the beginning of a new era no matter who you voted for. This is truly a historical election, we will either have the first African American President or the first woman Vice President.

As I was standing in line this morning, I was thinking about the people all over this country who are going to the polls today. We are of all different backgrounds and places in our lives, but we have the power and the privilege to elect our leaders. All in all, the line wasn't horrible, only waited for about an hour and a half, but I think it's well worth my time. I remember when I turned 18, my parents told me that the first thing I had to do was register to vote so that's what I did. Every major election, you can find me standing in line somewhere waiting to vote. I told Mike this morning that I love to vote and I really do, I love that I have a voice in our political process. Granted, my candidate may not win, but I did my part.

So, tomorrow we'll have a new President, let's pray for him (whoever he is) that he will lead our country in the way it should go.

Peace and love y'all!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thanks Christy! Now I have something to write....

This week, there's been nothing special to write about and then on my morning perusal of the bloggerverse, I saw that I had been tagged by Christy P-maker of cute dresses and all around cool person. So, I'll tell you a quick story about the young man (Jared) before getting to the ABCs of moi. A few days ago, Jared and I were on our way home from Alona's and we were talking about Alona's dogs being preggers and discussing that we needed to get Miss Sally fixed so there wouldn't be any puppies at our house. My parents asked who the daddy doggie was, and he informed us in a very grown up and mature voice, "that Beenie, he's just a maniac about THAT sort of thing". All of the adults in the car quickly looked out of the windows and tried really hard not to laugh. This is also the child that told me the story of the Headless Horseman using the words "a.k.a Bram Bones" and told me yesterday he wanted to be "a fixer" so that when other people's stuff broke, he could get lots of money for fixing it. He's a joy!

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program: The ABCs of M-E.

A. Attached or single? Attached
B. Best friend? My husband - Mike
C. Cake or Pie? Cake - Yellow cake with chocolate frosting
D. Day of Choice? Saturday
E. Essential item? books. Lots and lots and lots of books
F. Favorite color? cranberry red
G. Gummy bears or worms? Bears, I like to bite their little heads off and then put one color head on a different colored body. Strange I know.
H. Hometown? Elgin
I. Indulgence? See E
J. January or July? July
K. Kids? Two
L. Life isn’t complete without? my family
M. Marriage date? March 14
N. Number of brothers and sisters? 1 younger brother
O. Oranges or apples? Oranges
P. Phobias? Too many to name, I'm a scaredy wimp.
Q. Quotes? My new favorite is: "Trouble knocked at the door, but, hearing laughter, hurried away"— Benjamin Franklin This is how I feel most days :"I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."— Marilyn Monroe And to answer your question, Mike does handle me at my worst.
R. Reasons to smile? My husband loves me!
S. Season of Choice? Spring
T. Tag some people: Connie, Crystal and Anita
U. Unknown fact about me? I'm an open book
V. Vegetable? I love most all veggies
W. Worst habit? I bite my fingernails
X. X-ray or Ultrasound? Neither, that would mean something was wrong.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Quick post

Hello all,
Every Sunday on our way to church, we listen to some sort of church music (hoping to get everyone reverent and in the right frame of mind-sometimes it works, other times not so much). Anywho, lately we've been listening to the 2008 YW CD called Steadfast and Immovable. The music is always so moving, but this year, one of the songs hit me very hard and here are the lyrics from Jenny Phillips' website:

To Become Like Him
Jenny Phillips/Tyler Castleton

You look around you
And you wonder if you’ll measure up
In this world it seems you may never be enough
Don’t let anyone convince you that it’s true
So much beauty lives inside of you
And you are enough
Just look up

Remember you are greatest
When you walk with God
When His light is in your eyes
You are truly strong
You don’t have to prove your beauty
In the eyes of men
You are divine within
You were sent here to become like Him

When you’re uncertain
Of the place you hold and who you are inside
He will share with you your part in His design
Seek for His meekness
Seek to emulate His life
And you will feel Him always by your side
You have His love
Just look up


Holiness, love, good works, mercy
To be like Him
Charity, hope, truth, and wisdom
To be like Him


I think this is definitely inspired, not just for the youth and the YW, but for all of us. We are enough, we have our Heavenly Father's love, we don't have to prove anything to man, we are divine.

Just a thought---peace and love y'all

Friday, October 10, 2008

Well, it finally happened....

Well all, it finally happened, I offended someone here at work. After the oh so nice email to me about my unprofessional and untactful comments about people at my desk, my heart sped to Indy 500 speed like it does when I get angry. Then I thought to myself, self, I'm not going to let this boil into something that is crazy, this is an office. So I wrote the offended back thanking her and telling her that I would be more mindful in the future. I hope this took the wind out of the sails of whatever is up her butt.

What did I do you ask? I have no clue. We were supposed to have a department picture (spur of the moment type thing apparently) and I don't know why everyone chose to come to my office to be around MY desk. I do know that I moved out of MY chair when people came behind me and touched me-those are big no nos in the Book of Kristi. My friend here explained that I do not like people behind me (even the boss won't stand behind me). Let me explain about that whole issue, most of you know that I don't like to be touched by people I don't know, I'm not a touchy feely person, never have been, never will. I don't like people hovering over me because it just bugs me to death. But I digress. After a bit, when it was determined that maybe another time would be better, some people had left, I was back at my desk doing my work and my phone rings. Everyone still in my office continues to talk at top volume and I tell them "Y'all!" and make go away motions w/ my hands. I can't hear or concentrate when people are talking and I'm already on the phone. Maybe this is what set her off, I don't know.

Do I care? Not really. Why am I writing about it? Because I had forgotten for a moment that people take offense at the smallest thing. MY DH heard something at stake conference one time like you choose to be offended. I may have lost my membership in the Epitome of Sweetness and Light club.

Whatever. I'm going to the fair tonight! I'm taking my camera so hopefully I'll get some interesting pictures of the craziness that is the fair. BTW, I got my hair chopped off a la Katie Holmes so maybe there will be a picture of me as well but I'm not promising anything.

Y'all have a great weekend, I'm ready for some fair food!

Peace and love y'all

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

This morning was chaos. I was sleeping peacefully, just beginning to wake up when Sally jumped on my head (her oh so lovable way of telling me it's time to go outside), and I realized it was a little too bright to be the normal waking hour. I looked at the clock, 7:00!!!! After much running and stress, Jared and I finally headed out the front door only to go right back in and get jackets. Fall has arrived!! I love what I call the "in- between seasons", fall and spring. It's not too cold or too hot, just right for doing whatever you want to do. I love spring because everything turns green and the trees bloom and it starts getting warm. I love fall because the leaves turn and the weather starts getting cool.

So, here's my list of fall loves:

1. The state fair. Yes, I'm a people watcher and that's the best place to watch the wackos that inhabit the great state of SC. Also the fair food. I don't ride anything (hello, you put it up and take it down in a matter of days, it can't be all that safe), but I will eat until my little heart's content. This brings up a funny memory, Anita, do you remember the chicken gyro burps?

2. Sweaters. I LOVE sweaters, they are my most favorite article of clothing. If I could buy nothing but sweaters I would. Sweatshirts are nice too but I really have a thing for sweaters. This is a perfect segue into....

3. Boots. I'm rather short so any height is a good thing. I need a new pair of boots this year but will never be able to find any as comfy or cool as my old boots (and I got them on sale).

4. The colors. Red, orange, yellow, brown leaves. I'm always on the lookout for bright leaves. There's a tree in our little town that turns the most vibrant shade of yellow every year. I'm always so happy to see that tree when it turns. It's like the trees are giving us one last little cheer before going to sleep for the winter. I also look better in fall colors but that's another issue.

5. Hot chocolate. There is nothing better than getting a big mug of mint hot chocolate (with whipped cream) and a book and reading in front of the fire.

6. The stars. Once the haze of summer leaves, you can see the stars so much better at night. You really get a feeling of smallness when you think of all of the planets and stars that God created, it's a source of amazement to me.

7. General Conference. This used to be an excuse to stay home and do nothing on a Sunday (which feels kind of odd), but now as I grow older, it's a time to learn something and spend time with the family. Of course, we're horrible parents because we make the kids sit through at least one session which is torture to a certain 8 year old boy that I know whose first name starts with "J".

8. Blankets. I'm always cold so blankets are a plentiful thing in my house. I love to snuggle up in a blanket and watch tv, read, stare at nothing in particular.

9. The holidays. Halloween and Thanksgiving, gotta love them. Some people have issues with Halloween but I've always loved it because you get candy for minimal effort. We are always at the trunk or treat at church and all the kids have to do is keep going from car to car to car until the candy runs out. My kids then are on a sugar high until Easter (another high sugar holiday). Thanksgiving is my most favorite holiday of the year, again, very little stress but good things abound. It's a time for me to think back on the year, before the Christmas chaos begins and really appreciate what I've been blessed with. Also, going to granny's house: mac and cheese, chicken and dumplings, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, deviled eggs....I can't go on, I'm drooling.

What is your favorite thing about fall? Let me know.

Peace and love y'all!

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Good Mormon Wife? What the heck is that?

This morning I was reading an entertaining article in the Deseret News by Orson Scott Card entitled A Bad Wife or just a Busy One (It's in the Mormon Times section if you want to take a look at it). Anyway, the general gist of it was that Mr. Card's wife had an issue with him taking his shirts to the cleaners because as a good Mormon wife, she was supposed to iron although she hated it. There's also talk about division of labor and stuff like that (read the article folks!). That got me to thinking-what exactly is a good Mormon wife? and am I one of those people?

Sometimes we think about a good Mormon wife and what she supposedly does. She bakes, knits, cleans, has a spotless house, does her visiting teaching every month (the first day), her geneology is up to date (from Adam), she volunteers at the school, hospital and library (every day), she's read the scriptures at least twice this year (all 4 standard works), her husband comes home to a four course meal and her children are always polite, clean and on their way to being the next Bill Gates or Nobel Prize winner. That must be tiring. I need a nap.

From me, you will get a blank stare when you ask who my great great great grandmother on my father's side is (dad who is it?). I also laugh if someone asks me if I sew or bake my own cakes and cookies or if my oh so delicious brownies are "home made". My brownies, by the way are home made, I make them at home from a Duncan Hines mix, my idea of darning socks is to look at the hole in them and say "Darn!" if not something else better left untyped, sewing is something that I have never got the hang of (I've never really tried, it just seems cheaper to go buy something). When Mike and I got married, we had a deal that he would do the yard work, the house work and everything else if I changed poopy diapers. That deal worked really well until Jared was potty trained, now I have to actually do some stuff that I don't like doing, like housework. Mike still does the bulk of the cleaning, I'm more of a "picker-upper". However, he doesn't do the homework with the kids, that's my job. I cook and draft him to wash dishes. He cuts the yard and I actually don't do anything with it other than say "honey, the yard looks really great, good job!". I am also the supreme planner, scheduler and kid taker and picker upper. Ask me what the kids or Mike has going on and I can tell you the rough schedule until the end of the year (including the holiday schedule and who will have Kiersten on Christmas Eve this year).

Where are you going with this Kristi you ask? This is where I'm going: We as LDS women sometimes put too much pressure on ourselves to be "perfect". We all have different strengths and weaknesses. We need to celebrate ourselves, not dwell on our failings. I think my mom keeps a spotless home, Connie has the most loveliest decorations, Christy P. makes the most beautiful dresses and outfits I've ever seen, Trish makes the most to die for desserts, I could go on and on with things that other women do that I don't. I'm glad they do them.

The answer to the question what is a good Mormon wife to me is: a woman who loves her family, does her best to do what she's supposed to and appreciates the gifts and talents of others. Am I one of those people? Although I may fall short at times, I'm trying and I think that's all the Lord asks of us.

That's my post for the week. Peace and love y'all!

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Few Pictures for this evening

Hello all-

As Kiersten sits here reading over my shoulder, I'm finally able to post some pics of the dog and Jared in his new hunting garb.

This is Sally, our new addition. She is a sweet puppy who saved Mike and I from a particularly vicious roll of toilet paper last night. I woke up this a.m. to find the scattered remains by our bedroom door and a very tired Sally by the bed. When we come home, it's a dash to the door (for her to potty) and then jumping and playing. She seems to be getting along with Buster pretty well. She jumps on his head and he seems to tolerate her.

Jared and his new camo. He's actually more excited about hunting than he seems in this picture. I think he's just so tired here that he doesn't care. But you can't see him can you?

More later, that's all folks!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Mother of All Posts

Hello all! It's been forever and a day since I last posted, but it's been extremely busy here at work (those unemployed people just won't leave me alone!), and at home I don't feel like looking at a computer. BUT, the bossman is out today so I have a little bit of spare time to tell you all what I've been thinking lately and since I'm a listmaker, here's my list:

1. Saturday, Jayne, Connie and I and maybe some others are going to the beach to get inked (henna people!). I've been ruminating on what to get that is "me". We're also going to do some shopping and lunching. I'm so excited, I'm bouncing in my seat like a little kid. I get to go somewhere with cool females!!!! I am bummed that my fellow ESAL Crystal is not going to be able to come, but we'll figure something out between the two of us.

2. I was watching TV about the HADRON whatever over in Switzerland that they fired up this week to simulate the Big Bang. Detractors are saying that it's possible that the collision of the whatevers that are moving at the speed of light will cause a black hole that will swallow the Earth. I don't think that will happen but wouldn't that be a neat disaster movie?

3. The political conventions are over (thank goodness). I didn't watch them and I'm still undecided as to who to vote for. I'm more of a debate watcher. This leads to a rather largish gripe that I have which I will share with you. PEOPLE OF ALL POLITICAL PARTIES LISTEN TO ME!!! Please do not send me an avalanche of anti Obama, anti McCain junk. Some of the stuff that has hit my email box here and at home is actually bordering on offensive. I understand that all people have the right to their own opinion and it's a great country where we get to vote; however, you will not sway me with anti whoever crap. Vote the way you want and I'll vote the way I want. If we agree, great. If we don't, that's great too.

4. Back to the fun stuff---Kiersten got her expander put in her mouth last week. It's quite an interesting little gadget that I have to "turn" every day for 22 days. She is still having an issue talking, it sounds like she has a big jolly rancher in her mouth. But, it's getting better. We were laughing together at the orthodontist about the way she sounds and Dr. Green said we were having too much fun.

5. Jared told me this morning he "has allergy symptoms". He is learning new words and loves to use them. We were going through World Market on Saturday and he was saying "that's so awkward!" about everything. Sometimes he got the context right, sometimes not. He's also turning into a guilt tripper. It was funny during the Olympics, he would want us to record something and if we didn't, we would hear this little voice go "it's okay. I didn't REALLY need to watch the BMX stuff."

6. Hunting season is upon us, which means I will soon be a deer hunting widow. Actually I don't mind so much as it gives Mike a chance to do something that he loves (hang in a tree and kill defenseless animals), while teaching our son a necessary life skill (hang in a tree and kill defenseless animals). Mike bought Jared some really cool new camo last week when they went goose hunting. I know that they're supposed to look tough and tree like, but Jared just looked so darn cute! I have a picture somewhere that I'll post.

7. Kiersten asked me the other day when she could start wearing makeup and get contacts. Oh the horrors! My baby is growing up! Mike and I talked about it last night and we're going to tell her 13 for very little makeup (don't want her looking like a streetwalker), like mascara and lipstick. Then after the braces are off we'll talk about contacts again. She, of course, thinks it's a travesty that she has to wear braces and glasses at the same time (this was put into her head by her father and I would gleefully smack him for saying such, but I refrain. I am the epitome of sweetness and light).

8. Life in the Chesley household has changed in the past month, we added a new addition to our family, little Sally Mohawk the puppy. I have never had an inside dog so this is a totally new experience for me, getting up in the wee hours to take her outside to wee. (Do you think that's why they're called the "wee" hours? I made a funny!) Thanks a bunch Alona for letting us have the precious miss. Her favorite person in the whole family is of course, Mike. It's quite entertaining to watch her when he comes home. As soon as his wheels hit the driveway she is at the door waiting for him. When he comes in, she looks like she's having some sort of fit and if he leaves the room, the little lady follows him. I call her his shadow, they work on the computer together, watch Outdoor Channel together, and play with the laser pointer together.

Well, I guess that's all for now. I have been thinking more, but those are kind of deep and not much fun so I'll let them pass by for another day. So everyone, here's a brand new post for all of you who have been waiting for one. Hope you like it.

Peace and love y'all!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Beauty is....

As many of you know by now, a few weeks ago Kiersten got braces. She will still need some stuff done on her mouth, but it's all good. After getting them on, she didn't want to look at them and looked at me a little teary and said " mommy, they're so UGLY!", it almost broke my heart. However, after reminding her that teeth do not the woman make and that she is truly beautiful inside and out, I started thinking about what true beauty is.

In the world's view, beautiful people are those stick thin model types with perfect hair, teeth and lose baby fat in a matter of weeks. Those people make me want to puke. There are few and far between "regular" or "plus sized" people that are considered beautiful in the eyes of the world. We look at the world's beautiful people and think, man, what I wouldn't give for her hair, butt, boobs, face, house, clothes, seemingly perfect children. I have this not so secret fascination with Katie Holmes' new hair style. However, we don't know what those people are like on the inside. I know of some truly beautiful people on the outside, that once you get to know them, they're ugly as those little Chinese Crested dogs. Their ugliness on the inside seeps out of their pores it seems and coats them on the outside to those of us that know them. I also know women that think of themselves as "regular" looking that are so beautiful on the inside, it radiates to the outside and people gravitate towards them.

After the chat with Kiersten, I really pondered about what true beauty is and I think I found just a few. You know that Coke commercial that ran during the Olympics that showed athletes receiving their gold medals, including some athletes from the Special Olympics? Those special spirits that the world may see as "different" were truly beautiful to me. A woman that goes through chemo and loses her hair but not her sense of humor is truly beautiful. A woman, though frail of body who is mighty in spirit and a testimony to the power of faith-that's true beauty. A man who pushes his father's wheelchair around on Sunday, through crowded church hallways without complaint-that's true beauty. A 12 year old girl with shiny new braces, who is funny, good hearted, and smart-that's true beauty.

What examples of true beauty have you seen lately?

Peace and love y'all!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Olympic thoughts

Every four years, the Olympics come around, I get little to no sleep and learn a great deal about obscure sports. I also get to watch from the comfyness of my own home (usually my own bed) new world records set, amazing feats of stamina or lessons in endurance. I love to watch swimming, diving, gymnastics and my new favorite, beach volleyball. Some standout moments for me that I have either seen or read about:

Holy Fireworks Batman!!! I know that China is the birthplace of fireworks, but man, that was SOOOO cool. I understand that some of them might have been digitized for the viewing audience but still.

All those little boxes that moved around had people in them!!! I was amazed and sat on my couch for a few minutes in awe.

Unless you've been under a rock the past few weeks, you've heard about Mr. Phelps. In our house, we've been stressed out and totally blown away by this young man. The relay where Jason Lezak found some fountain of speed and blow past some Frenchman for the gold medal. The race that almost killed my poor hubby was the one just a few nights ago where Phelps won by 1/100th of a second.

Dara Torres-the 41 year old mom of a 2 year old in her 5th Olympics. What most impressed me about her is her sportsmanship. A few nights ago as we were watching a relay, one of another country's team had a swimsuit issue. Ms. Torres went over to the judge, told her and then the whole race waited for this swimmer to come back out and the race continued.

One question---why do the men get to wear shorts and t-shirts but the women wear those littlish bikinis? Anyway, I'm the newest fan of beach volleyball. It moves alot faster I think than regular volleyball (what can I say-short attention span).

A story that I read today really touched me and I had heard about it from some of the YW at Stake Conference yesterday. A marathoner ended up getting hamstring issues only a few miles from where the finish line was. Instead of pulling completely out of the race, she continued on. Of course, she didn't win, but she wasn't last either, she kept going even though she was in pain and had to stop several times. This is a true example of enduring to the end.

So everyone, if you see me around and I look a little bleary and tired, now you know the reason. The kids started school today so I'll report tomorrow hopefully.

Peace and love y'all!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Let Go and Let God

This week I've been thinking a lot about my granny's favorite saying "let go and let God". As many of you know, I have a slight tendency to worry-actually if worrying was a sport at the Olympics, I would be on the podium in the gold medal spot. Years ago, when I was worrying myself sick about something, my granny told me to "let go and let God" and everything would be fine. Letting God was not a problem, letting go was a whole different thing.

I'm not only a worrier, I'm a control freak and I like things done a certain way (my way and in my time). However, I like to think that I'm getting better at doing both. I have learned that I can either worry myself into an early grave, or I can let go and let God handle it. I finally figured out that God was all knowing, all powerful, knew me and my strengths and weaknesses, even had a plan for me. He would know what I was going through and what needed to happen in my life. I, of course, needed to do my part by thinking up solutions and then taking them to the Lord because the answer to a problem wasn't just going to plop out of the sky on my head. I also figured it out that I can't control what other people do, think or feel as much as I wish I could because I'm always right :-) They have their agency as well and I have to let go and let God handle their problems or issues and if I "don't have a dog in that fight", I need to get away from the fight and let other people sort it out. Now, I'm not saying that I don't get upset about things (just ask Mike-he's privy to my rants about the injustices of the world on an almost daily basis), but I know that I can't change certain things. I can work toward a goal-giving money to certain groups that I support, paying my tithing and fast offering, vote, etc. but I can't MAKE certain things happen just because I want it. Believe me, if I could do that, everyone would have jobs, homes, world peace and enough to eat.

Also while I was thinking, some verses of scripture came to my mind that pop up when I am troubled or feel put upon or that I just can't deal with things anymore. I think about the Prophet Joseph Smith, in Liberty jail for months and in the Doctrine & Covenants (for all you non-LDS readers, it's a book of scripture written during our day dealing with modern day revelation), there are two sections that really hit home. Those are Sections 121 and 122 and here are the pertinent verses for me:

5 If thou art called to pass through tribulation; if thou art in perils among false brethren; if thou art in perils among robbers; if thou art in perils by land or by sea;
6 If thou art accused with all manner of false accusations; if thine enemies fall upon thee; if they tear thee from the society of thy father and mother and brethren and sisters; and if with a drawn sword thine enemies tear thee from the bosom of thy wife, and of thine offspring, and thine elder son, although but six years of age, shall cling to thy garments, and shall say, My father, my father, why can’t you stay with us? O, my father, what are the men going to do with you? and if then he shall be thrust from thee by the sword, and thou be dragged to prison, and thine enemies prowl around thee like wolves for the blood of the lamb;
7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
8 The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
9 Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.

I know that my trials are puny by comparison and if he can Let Go and Let God, then so can I.

Peace and love y'all!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Words to Live By....

This morning I came in to work feeling blah and got this nifty email from Papa C (Mike's dad aka Steve). I thought I would share. Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

An unknown author wrote the following as “words to live by”. Hope you can use them or they can help in some way. If someone knows the author, let me know.

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
9. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
10. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
11. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
12. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
13. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
14. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
15. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.
16. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.
17. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
18. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else. 19. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
20. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
21. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
22. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
23. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
24. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'
25. Always choose life.
26. Forgive everyone, everything.
27. What other people think of you is none of your business.
28. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.
29. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
30. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
31. Believe in miracles.
32. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
33. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
34. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
35. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
36. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.
37. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
38. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
39. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
40. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
41. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
42. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
43. The best is yet to come.
44. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
45. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
46. If you don't ask, you don't get.
47. Yield.
48. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift

Friday, August 1, 2008

Fun Fact Friday!!!!

I LOVE useless knowledge! I love to watch Jeopardy, Animal Planet, Discovery Channel and those icky forensic shows. So, today, to honor my love of goofy facts, here are a few of my favorites:

Just learned this week that the Tibetan Hot Spring Snake is the highest living snake on the planet. If you haven't guessed by it's name, it lives in hot springs in Tibet.

The sloth is the world's slowest animal. It moves so slow that moss grows on it. Also an interesting fact about sloths, they eat, sleep, mate and give birth upside down.

The peregrine falcon is the world's fastest animal. They've been clocked upwards of 170 mph.

Can you remember what happened to the 6 wives of Henry VIII? I use this little rhyme that I heard somewhere: Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, Catherine Parr.

Wint-O-Green Lifesavers spark when you bite them.

Walt Disney was given an Oscar for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Big deal you say! However, this Oscar was special. It really had 7 "dwarfs" and an Oscar.

That's all I can remember right now. Maybe I'll do this again. Do you know of anything to add? Please let me know. I can't remember my name sometimes but all this stuff is rummaging around in my head.

Monday, July 28, 2008

How Oprah Changed My Life....

One day many moons ago, I was sitting on my couch watching Oprah when she had Jamie Lee Curtis on talking about a book or movie or something. Ms. Curtis informed the audience that she had had a revelation that had changed her outlook on life. I, of course, was riveted because I think she is just so cool (love her hair!). Anway, moving on. She changed the way she thought of things from "I have to" to "I get to". I thought to myself that that was indeed profound and decided to try it out on myself and the other guinea pigs that live in my home.

How did it work you ask? It changed our way of thinking. Instead of dragging ourselves out of bed every morning and being all down in the mouth and saying "I HAVE to go to school/work", I became a Pollyanna and said "No, you GET to go to school/work". This reminds us all that these things are blessings that some do not get to share. Now I'm not telling you that it works perfectly because some days are just like that, but most of the time it works. So now, we GET to go to school/work, GET to go to visit family, GET to do service projects, GET to go grocery shopping (this is a constant source of pain for Kiersten and I), GET to work in the yard, GET to do the dishes (Kiersten disagrees with me about that one), and so many other things.

People have been telling me that my brother's family HAS to move to Oklahoma. I look at it as they GET to move to Oklahoma. I've never lived out of the state, I think it would be an adventure. They get to meet new people, establish new traditions, yada yada yada. You never know, there may be someone in Oklahoma that needs their family.

Anywho, that's the way Oprah changed my life for the better. It's now not quite so painful to get out of bed to go to work (although Mondays are still rough), and it's a phrase that constantly goes through my head: You don't HAVE to, you GET to.

Love to all and hope you have a great week!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A few gripes

This is just not my week. I did finally end up with a Pepsi and all was well in my corner of the world. I've been floating along until today. I don't know if I'm just grumpy or people are actually trying to dance up my last nerve but I've gotten some pretty fussy people on the phone already. Now, let me explain. I work for a state agency dealing with the public a good bit. I answer the phone in the General Counsel's office so I get all sorts of interesting folks (usually angry by the time they get to me). I try my hardest to be pleasant and helpful to everyone at all times but there are a few things that just drive me nuts.

1. Don't threaten me by saying you're going to call the Governor. I don't care. The only person that scares me at work is my boss in a bad mood.

2. Same goes for local TV stations. I'll give you the number for our public relations people. Your people can call my people.

3. Don't treat me like I'm an idiot just because I'm not an attorney. I've been here a while now and pick up on a lot of stuff and legalese. Big words don't scare me.

4. Please read the notices that you get from our office. We don't like killing trees unless we have to.

5. 10 days is 10 days is 10 days. Calendar days people! Not business days from whenever you receive something. We don't know when you receive it. It's calendar days from the date that we mail it.

6. Other attorneys don't frighten me either. My attorneys know more than your attorneys about this particular type of law.

7. Yes, you're going to get the same answer from all of us because we actually FOLLOW THE RULES!

8. I am not the switchboard for the agency. General Counsel/Legal Dept. does not mean "please let me to direct your call". There's an information line for that.

9. If you call me, turn your radio, tv, children down. It's kind of hard to hear you and concentrate on you when there's a bunch of loud background noise.

10. Don't have your mommy call. We can't talk to her, we need to talk to you.

11. You don't have a permanent record after you graduate from school. Someone firing you is not going "to go on your permanent record". It may go on youre resume, but there's no file on you floating around.

I am generally nice to all and sundry who call because I know that they are frustrated and in a bad situation. However, I'm going to be more willing to stay nice if people are nice to me.

I feel better already. Thank you and have a lovely day. What are some of your gripes about where you work?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My day so far...

Today has so far been not the best of days. I had a hard time waking up this morning and am still draggin' at whatever time it is-10ish a.m.

I got to work and ended up going downstairs to get a little pick me up (good morning Pepsi) and somehow I ended up with a Canadian quarter. Pesky pepsi machine wouldn't take said foreign currency so back upstairs I went to get another quarter. I end up getting accosted on the elevator by a co-worker's perfume and conversation (She's not my favorite person and after the happenings, it takes everything in me to not tell her to shut her yap, I haven't had my morning can of happiness-but my home training prevails).

Back down again with a US quarter and even the Pepsi machine is having a hard time waking up this morning! I thought I was going to have to kick it, beat on it and shake it to get my drink out (it's not a pretty picture believe me but you really don't want to get between me and the cold Pepsi), but it finally came down. Happiness reigns in my little world for about 20 steps, can slips out of my hand and proceeds to explode. After saying a few choice words (my mother would be so pleased!), picked up can and walked it quickly into the ladies room grumbling all the way.

I have now figured the better part of valor would be to stay at my desk with my bottle of water, somewhat bleary eyed until later in the day. But wait-we get an email saying that the water in our building will be cut off which automatically throws all the bladders into overdrive and there's a mad dash to the bathroom. I think there are heel marks embedded in my flesh.

So right now I'm listening to my music on Itunes and trying not to think about having to go to the potty. The day will get better-it has to.

Monday, July 21, 2008

We are Family...

I've been thinking a good bit about family the last week and what is family. With Ben and Anita and the kiddies moving to Oklahoma in about 2 weeks, it's really struck me that our family has always been together and now we're going to be half a country apart. However, I will not cry, I'll just miss them a bunch, but since Anita's got her nifty new blog, we can "see" what's going on.

This leads me to the meat of the blog today. What is family? A family is usually made up of mom, dad, brother, sister, grandparents, and all those folk. However, I've added people to my family and I cherish those relationships just as much or more than my "blood" family. People like Crystal (BFF, fellow ESAL and the first "adopted" kid), Heather (my sister of Jewish extraction), Steph (she actually is a cousin of sorts but more of a Western sister), Connie (crazy fun auntie) and a whole bunch of others that would take me days and days to name. Most times my "put together" family knows more about what is going on in my life than my other family members. Added to that are all of Kiersten's family members, who feel like offshoots of my own. Not to be left out of course are the families that have "married in", the Chesleys and Branhams that came with Mike and the Crews(es?) that came with Anita.

I wonder sometimes is it a Southern thing, to have the regular family tree, then a whole bunch of offshoots and twists and turns. I don't know. However, I know that I'm blessed to have ALL of my family, blood, adopted, married in and tacked on.

By the way, for all of you that are wondering, I'm doing fine driving Mike's car and we sold my van on Saturday. The whole driving thing is a topic for another day.

Happy week to all!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Farewell old friend

Last night I returned home from a jewelry party only to find my house empty, no boys watching outdoor channel. Turns out that they were in the camper with our older dog, Monty, who was not doing so well. I ended up putting Jared to bed and then Mike and I sat with Monty for a few hours, just petting and talking to him. He ended up passing this morning. Mike and I got him when we were just married and bought our house, so he's been with us a while. He was a sweet dog who provided endless hours of entertainment, served as a guard for Kiersten when she was little and stood watch over Jared as he tried to chop down trees. Mike is torn up and Jared is not much better. I'm sad but grateful he's now in a place where he can run and chase squirrels to his heart's delight. So Monty, here's to you old friend, you were a great dog and we'll miss you.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What's Up Buttercup?

Well dear readers, my life has been full of joy, sadness, trepidation (isn't that the coolest word?) and downright fear the last few days since my last post.

We had a annual 4th of July gathering at mom and dad's last Friday, it was lovely. Fireworks were great, no one was injured (always a blessing) and a good time was had by all. The boys went to Charleston fishing on Saturday so Kiersten and I went to get haircuts and just hang out which is always fun. I love bonding time with her because I know eventually I'll be stupid mom and so uncool she won't dare be seen with me. Sunday was good even though Jared and I missed church. I think the sun, 11 honeybuns and little sleep don't mix really well with a certain young man. He was feeling "off" and I kept him home and he ended up sleeping until 11 a.m. We also had Olivia's baptism on Sunday evening and it was really nice. Kiersten said Olivia looked like a princess, which she did.

Monday I got in my car to go to work, the engine light was flashing and it made the kerplump noise that's never good so off to the mechanic it went. Tuesday we found out that the car had a cracked head gasket (whatever that is), and would end up costing $2000 to fix. Apparently if you have to do engine work on my van you have to take the engine out (bad). This is where the trepidation comes it-wait for it, so, Mike and I made the decision that instead of having another car payment, I would learn to drive his car (it's a stick) and he would drive his truck to and fro work.

Here's where the downright fear comes in now-I'm scared to death of driving Mike's car. All I can see is me in downtown Cola town in the middle of a massive pileup and it just gets uglier from there. However, last night we went practicing because I am determined to do this and I will not let a car get the better of me. I must say that I did pretty well although by the time we got back to the house my feet were cramping and I think I had bleached my knuckles white from gripping the steering wheel so hard and I think I actually sweated. Mike said I did great ( this was actually the 3rd time I had driven his car but it's serious now), we even practiced starting out on a hill. I drove from Lugoff to Camden and then back home. I'm still scared pale but I'll get it.

By the way, I was thinking last night about feet. I know, this is a crazy topic but work with me here. Aren't feet a wonder? The skin on your feet has to be tough enough to walk on rough surfaces but sensitive enough to be ticklish. Also, your feet have hundreds of pounds of pressure on them every day and generally don't complain. I wonder if it's because of the way feet are shaped, the pressure is distributed. Don't know, a topic for internet research. If you have any thoughts, let me know. It's just one of those random thoughts that came up.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Independence Day thoughts

As we come up on the 4th of July on Friday, I've been thinking about what the holiday means. To Mike and Jared, it means setting stuff on fire and watching it explode into pretty colors. Always pretty and entertaining and may have some deeper meaning in connection to our nation's independence but not what I'm writing about today. What does our independence really mean ?

It means

-We can worship who, what and where we want to. Our country is a mixture of all religions, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Wiccan, you name it we've probably got it and usually we get along pretty well.

-We can own guns (a personal favorite of my DH). For better or worse, you can get a gun pretty easily. It's also a constant source of conversation in our home about whether someone actually NEEDS an assault rifle to hunt deer v. the right that we all have to protect our property.

-We can speak out against the powers that be without fear of being jailed, tortured or killed. I was reading about the recent "elections" in Zimbabwe where people were being forced to the polls, harassed and if they didn't vote they would be in trouble. How wonderful it is to know that in November, we'll be able to vote for the leader of our country. If we don't want to vote, fine. If we vote, fine.

-Pretty much everyone has the right to vote. There's no more white men only type voting, so if you're a citizen you can vote. Sometimes we take this for granted but it's the way we can have some sort of say in the way our country is led.

-We can pretty much do whatever we want as long as we stay within the laws and don't hurt anybody. Sounds silly, but it's true. In some Middle Eastern countries, women can't drive, vote or be seen outside without a man.

That's just a short list. So, on Friday when we're all having a grand time grillin' and chillin', watching the fireworks and spending time with our friends and family, take a little time to think about what Independence Day actually means to you. Have a safe and happy weekend!


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Things you should never ask....

My friend and I were talking the other day about things that people have asked us that they just shouldn't. We wondered why this was so and came up with two really good reasons. 1. They've known you all your life and expect some sort of free pass to get all up in your business, 2. They just don't know any better. So, to honor that conversation, here's a list of things you should NEVER ask.

1. When is your baby due? You never ask this unless the person has brought up the fact that they are pregnant. Could lead to serious embarassment.

2. When are you getting married/ Why aren't you married yet? A snappy come back: All the guys that I date kind of freak out when I turn into a werewolf at the full moon, it's a little off-putting. Serious note here: People that aren't married might not want to BE married, leave them alone.

3. When are you having another child? Serious note on this one: Again, it's none of your business, don't ask, it could be very painful. I can't think of a snappy comeback that's not really offensive so I'll pass on that one.

4. Is that your natural hair color? Snappy comeback: That's between me and Ms. Clairol.

5. You used to be so cute, why don't you lose some weight? Snappy comeback: We've been commanded to have a years supply of food, I just carry mine with me. Where's yours?

6. What happened? These two words can be tacked on to the end of any phrase and it becomes something you never say. Example: You were so cute as a baby, what happened? Snappy comeback: Life.

7. Are you wearing that? Snappy comeback: Apparently so unless it's clothing optional.

So people, the point is to think before we speak. I have been known to blurt things out only to wish that there was something in front of my face to catch my words but I'm trying to do better. We never know someone else's circumstances so unless they bring up the subject, it's better not to ask.

***Disclaimer (read in that car dealership mumble at the end): This is not meant to offend anyone, just bring to light something that happens. Please remember, the cone of safety is in place.

Y'all have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

What is Love?

Hello all-
Notice the title, it's a capital "L" in love. A few weeks ago, Mike and I were enjoying some well earned time by ourselves courtesy of granna feeling adventurous and having all of the grandkids spend the night (brave soul), and we went out to dinner at our local Olive Garden (love me some bread sticks). Anyway, as we're going to the car after finishing our meal, we both notice the older couple on the sidewalk in front of us. The man is tall and straight with silver hair and wearing dress pants and a polo with little tassely (sp?) shoes. The woman is small and straight, with hair just so and dressed in a dress, pumps with a matching handbag. She has her arm through his as they walk down the sidewalk to their car. As we are walking behind them, we also see another older couple coming to the sidewalk. He is also tall and straight and casually dressed. She is tall and willowy, but there's something not right. He's having to help her stand and walk. It looks like she's been the victim of a stroke or something else affecting one side of her body. As Mike and I stepped onto the grass, this gentleman helped his wife up onto the sidewalk and they moved into the restaurant. I remarked to my DH that those I wonder what we'll be like when we're older. He of course says, just like now older and a little shorter, but we will still love each other, probably more than today.

I've been thinking alot recently about those two couples and others that I see around me. What exactly is Love? My thoughts on that subject have changed through the years. In the teen years everything was bright and flashy and quickly crashed and burned. As I listen to teenagers today, I think about what some of them are looking for, looks, money, a cool car, whatever. That is love. They don't think about after those looks are no more, you're driving a broken down car b/c you've got kids to put through school or heaven forbid your spouse gets sick with some dread disease. I read an article a while back about Fmr. Supreme Court Justice O'Connor's husband who is stricken with Alzheimer's and is in a facility of some sort. He doesn't know who she is, who his children are, but he's found a new love there in the facility. Their family acknowledged this and pretty much said to the public, if he is is happy then they're happy, they love him and want him to be happy. That, my friends, is Love.

Here is my definition of Love: A feeling of peace, contentment, joy in being with someone else. This feeling is not affected by the mood of either individual or circumstance. Love is patient, kind (you guys know that verse, it's all true). Love is, for me, something you don't take lightly. It's not a passing fancy or crush. Love is knowing that the looks that attracted you may fade, but now you're more attracted to the heart. Mike isn't Brad Pitt, I'm not Shania Twain, but I know that he would be there for me to lean on walking down the sidewalk, helping me when I need it (although sometimes I won't ask for it-I'm stubborn like that). He knows that I am there to support him, lift him when he's down and generally make his life wonderful :-)

That my friends, is Love.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

As I think about Father's Day, I realized that sometimes we take dads for granted. Of course, they never complain, that's not the dad way. But, they are always there to bail us out of trouble, whether that be car trouble, money trouble or any other kind of trouble we get ourselves in to. I'm lucky to know and be associated with three wonderful dads.

First, my own dad-we're so much alike it's funny. We both have a quirky sense of humor, an obsessive need to plan everything and a great amount of let's call it stubborness. Years ago when my dad was going to have a gamma knife procedure to cut something out of his noggin, mom and I were there to lend moral support. He was hooked up in a halo type head thing so that the doctors could put the radiation just where it was needed. Anyway, there were quite a few jokes from him and I about him turning green and bulking up the next time he got angry. Then of course, the Darth Vader impersonations began and trying to get him something to eat was an adventure in and of itself. When I was young, we fought but I also knew that I could count on him. I've come to appreciate him more that I'm older and have my own kids and watching him with said children is a joy. He's taught me to hope for the best but plan for the worst just in case. Maybe I get a little of my craziness from him (ya think?). I couldn't ask for a better dad.

2nd is Mike's dad-Steve is truly the epitome of sweetness and light. I don't think the man knows how to raise his voice in anger or frustration. He set the example for Mike of how to be a good, gentle, caring man who thinks more his wife and kids than himself. He is steadfast. I always see him as a ship on the sea, whether the seas are turbulent or calm, he is there doing what needs to be done without thinking what's in it for him. Mike looks up to his dad and wants to be like him. I couldn't think of a better person to be like.

Last but certainly not least is Mike, my own love. You've read "our" story and you all know us. He was a blessing in a time of great need and he continues to bless my life everyday. He came along to love me at a time when I felt very unlovable. He stepped into a ready made family and then glued us all together into one family. He is an example to me of what selflessness is(much like his dad). He always thinks of our needs first and does without so that we can have what we need. He is crazy, caring, sweet and a wonderful man. I see Jared following him and hope that he'll be the next in a long line of good men.

We'll hug those that are with us still, cry a little for those that are gone, but mostly, be thankful that they were our dad. Happy Father's Day guys!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hi Ho! Hi Ho! It's Off to Camp She Goes.....

Yesterday I dropped Kiersten off at the church to go to Girls Camp for the first time. As I said earlier, she's excited and ready to go and hang out with her friends. I stuck around until everyone was packed into the cars and they were on their way. As I drove home, I felt a little pit in the bottom of my stomach. You know, the kind you get when you leave your first child at daycare for the first time, the first time they spend the night with a friend, the first day you leave them at school. It's another first for her and I'm glad she's able to go. I told Mike the other day that I'm glad she's flying a little bit on her own now and it's a little from the nest. She's always been a little more adventurous and more able to accept changes than Jared, she'll get on a roller coaster in a heart beat, I've never had to worry about her going to a new class (although she did have a little bit of an issue last year changing schools and all). She'll have a blast and I'll hear all about it when she gets home.

As I was doing my morning flit around the blogs, I came across Cindy's blog about sending her daughter off to camp and the memories that she had of camp. I had to laugh at that because she and I have some of the same memories. Some of my (now) fond memories of camp:

Running with the bull. If you weren't there you don't understand. We even got little medals. However, watching Crystal's mom and aunt Libby clear a gate like Superman was something I'll never get out of my head.

The camp with the pool (only one time in all the years that I went to camp that we had a pool). Watching Sis. Barentine go off the high dive and thinking "that's not going to be pleasant".

Camp Appletree in the NC mountains, it rained all week and we were all sopping wet. However, being in the testimony meeting and watching the clouds come over the mountains like a wave was really cool. That was my favorite year I think just because of all the spiritual experiences, like that final testimony meeting.

Camp Hell(that's my name for it anyway) at Sis. Marsh's family cow pasture. I learned how to conserve water and put together a shower out of a hoola hoop, a shower curtain and a wooden pallet. I got chiggers on my feet so bad I couldn't wear shoes and my mom ended up giving the Bishop and Stake pres. a piece of her mind for putting "her girls" (she was YW Pres. at the time) in a hell hole.

It's funny how now the craziest things stick out in your mind. They may be funny, sad, spiritual or bad memories but I'm glad I've got them.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I will never, ever, ever...

In life, there are things that you will just never, ever, EVER do and no one will ever be able to talk you in to doing them. I'm quite the chicken and worrier so my list is long and somewhat silly but I'm taking a break at work right now so I'll let you in on the list.

I will never, ever, EVER....

1. Eat in the bathroom. That's just icky.

2. Ride another roller coaster. I hate them, they scare me to death. However, Kiersten loves them-she can ride with Mike, not me.

3. Eat bugs. I know that there may come a time when bugs are all we have but I will eat grass and dirt before bugs. I'm working on my food storage a little every week just so that it won't come to that. ICK!

4. Check a mouse trap. If there's a mouse in it, someone else has to get it out, not happening. If Mike isn't at home, I'll call my dad or the neighbor.

5. Watch a scary movie. I can't deal with things like that, gory, make you jump. The previews for the horrors movies now scare me slam to death. I know, some people really enjoy them. I am not one of those people.

6. Ride in a hot air balloon. The thought of riding in one is very lovely but then the whole thought about what if it runs out of hot air, what if the bottom falls out and I plummet to the earth? Not good thoughts.

7. Sky dive. Again, plummeting to the earth and I don't get along.

8. Go underwater spelunking. Don't people know that you can get lost and there's NO AIR DOWN THERE! That gives me the shudders just thinking about it.

I know it, I'm a chicken.

Okay, that's what I can think of right now, I'm sure there are other things but the thought of them is just too traumatic for me at this point. What's on your list?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Bringing You Up to Date....

Hello all,
We've survived the first really hot weekend of the summer (highs in the 100s). Mike has survived yet another deep sea fishing trip (barely and he's still feeling the effects almost a week later). Kiersten is getting ready to go to girls camp for the first time and Jared will be going to Cub Scout daycamp at the end of the month.

Mike went with a group of friends from church deep sea fishing on Wednesday, thinking that the first pukefest about 5 years ago was maybe a fluke. Well, it wasn't. The poor guy had been popping dramamine from Monday before going on Wed. He said he was fine until about an hour in (only halfway to the destination 50 miles off the coast of Charleston), then it did not go well. He did manage to catch some fish but I really don't think he cared. He ended up getting sunburned only on his face (hanging off the boat and the sun reflecting off the water and all that). To add insult to injury because his lip was burned, he's got fever blisters all the way across his lip. He said the pain in his lip woke him up a few times last night.He's also being ragged by the Bishop about the whole thing. He and Kiersten went to the temple on Friday and the good Bishop asked if he would be okay doing baptisms because the water was a little choppy. Silly Bishop.

Kiersten is leaving for camp on Wednesday and it promises to be an adventure. They're going to an actual camp with cabins and a pool, rock wall and zip line. When asked if she was going to go on the rock wall, the fearless child said of course, who cares that it's 40 feet up in the air. She's even more excited about the zip line. It's a good thing I'm not going, I'd need some Miss Clairol for sure. She's very excited about the whole thing, her first time away from home without a parental unit (unless you count a few days at the beach with her BFF last summer). She'll be back on Saturday and I hope everything goes well.

Jared is being himself, just kind of hanging out. He goes to Cub Scout day camp the last full week of the month (same week that his dad will be at Boy Scout camp). He's progressing nicely in the Cub Scouts, got his 2nd belt thingy last week. He should get his Bobcat badge at the next pack meeting (I think next week?), he only has 2 more requirements for that and we're going to work on them this week. He's keeping up with his reading and is not all that impressed with the Lego thing that he bought with his birthday money (it apparently is not as indestructible as he thought). He keeps telling me he needs to glue the thing together but he won't stop playing with it and changing it long enough for me to glue it.

That's the report for right now. It's too hot to think deep thoughts. love to all!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Weekend report

Hey there all,

Just got a few minutes to post about J's baptism on Sunday. It was really wonderful and special. Thanks everyone who was able to come. It was extra special because all of Mike's uncles were able to attend. The kids just came home from their granna's house last night wiped out after being in the pool all day so hopefully I'll get some of his thoughts about the baptism as we go through the rest of the week. Here are some pics and everyone have a great week.

Mike, Jared, Nana and "the boys"
Sam, Paul, Brad and Tim

Thursday, May 29, 2008

School's Out for Summer!!!

Yep, that song's been going through my mind all week long. The children are done with 6th and 2nd grade. Jared was worried that he wasn't going to be going to 3rd (don't know why, he made A/B honor roll all year long). He's a worrier like his mom. I know, this comes as a shock to many of you that only know me as the epitome of sweetness and light (candy bars and lightbulbs as Mike says), but I am a worrier. I'm trying to be better and sometimes I am, sometimes not.

Anywho, this blog isn't about me, it's about the kiddies. I missed Kiersten's awards day on Tuesday (we had a nice long discussion about telling mommy things before the night before), but she received the highest average in art and in English/Language Arts. I did attend Jared's thing on Wednesday, where he received a PE award ( the boy loves PE, says it's the only place he can run and jump and play without getting the whole Jared, stop, slow down, calm down thing) and A/B honor roll. I'm so proud of both of them, I have great kids.

Do we have plans for the summer? Nope. Kiersten is going to girls camp (Please Lord, let her have fun and not get hurt on the rock wall or zip line), Jared will be attending Cub Scout day camp (Please Lord, don't let my son get shot by a stray arrow or shoot anybody with a BB gun). That's about it. Pretty soon I'll be hearing "I'm BORED, I don't have anything TO DO!!!" But until then, I'm going to chill. No more teachers, no more books, no more homework, no more getting up at the crack of dawn to get everyone showered and dressed and out of the house by 7:10. WOOHOO!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Happiness is....

Mike and I were talking the other day about what makes us happy and that's what I've been thinking about for the last few days. Here's a list about what makes me happy (some silly, some serious).

-clean sheets (some prefer line dried, not me. There are bugs in the great outdoors my friends)
-naps (on the clean sheets is even better)
-pansies in the winter time
-the first SC spring blue sky after the gray of winter
-towels just out of the dryer(once again, bugs and outside ick)
-a little boy's dirty face (I saw this yesterday, it wasn't dirt, it was chocolate pudding)
-talking to my daughter
-an email conversation with a friend that lasts all day
-vacation planning (McBrides and the Chesleys take Nauvoo by storm '09)
-sitting beside my DH in church (doesn't happen very often, there's usually at least one child between us)
-Knowledge of the plan of happiness
-watching the kids do something for the first time and succeed
-hearing my grandmother sing happy birthday to me at 6:30 a.m. (strange but true)

There are many, many other things that make me happy. I'm trying to find at least one "happy moment" each day. My happy moment on Saturday was when I walked into the kids bathroom and it was done! The shower curtain (not the new one, still on the hunt) was up, the sink had its guts back together, Kiersten contributed a pot that she had painted to put toothbrushes and toothpaste in. Mike had stayed up entirely too late putting stuff back together so it would be done for me when I got up in the a.m. I'll be posting pics in the future.

Jared had his interview with the Bishop for his baptism (June 1st -all are invited) on Sunday and he's excited/nervous. Kiersten is still writing. She's now on her 2nd story, she tells me she's going to have to go back and rewrite the 1st. Mike and I spent the day together yesterday (which very rarely happens b/c he had the day off, I had the day off and the kiddies had school).

This weekend was good, we are blessed. Love to all and have a good week!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Maybe I wrote too soon

I was all chipper on Friday because of my it could be worse post. Well, I forgot to knock on wood, click my heels three times or whatever it is that you do to ward off bad luck. I get a call Friday as Jared and I are going to Wally World to spend his birthday money that Mike and the scouts have broken down on the side of the interstate in my van but they're going to the house to get Mike's car and continue on their way camping. Frick, frack, fried green tomatoes!!! Luckily, our mechanic is the nicest guy in the world and would get it off the side of the road later that evening.

As Jared and I are checking out, the monsoon comes and it looks like it's never going to stop so we run for it after waiting a few minutes at the door. After almost losing my flip flops, and my pants (bottom of them was weighed down with water), and thinking about all the icky stuff that ends up in the WalMart parking lot that could cause illness or death if it even touches my feet.
Jared and I watched this thing on Animal Planet a couple of weeks ago about parasites that enter through your feet although these are mostly found in South America, not South Cackylacky and it's freaked me out ever since, we get to the truck and we're on our way. Jared, sweet baby boy that he is turns to me and says Mommy, it's okay that your hair is all wet ( I was looking like a drowned rat by this time), we've had our shower for the night and when we get home we can get in our jammies, eat our Rush's dinner and watch TV. As we were headed home, we passed a forlorn looking little green Mazda on I-20 and I almost cried for the van. It's been such a good car, hopefully David can fix it without too much trouble or pain in the pocketbook.

Saturday J and I woke up early (7 ish) and I was ready to paint the bathroom which Mike had finished priming for me on Friday. I'm a horrible painter, I want to get it done as quick as possible which is sometimes a bad thing. Didn't know that I would need like fifty coats of paint to make it turn out like I wanted it. After one, there were still streaks and stuff. Mike did another coat Saturday night and it looked better. I'll probably do a coat a night all this week to make it end up where I want it, but anyway. Mike doesn't like the color, says it's depressing, I tell him let me finish it and get everything back in, pictures and accessories and it will be lovely. He's skeptical, I'm optimistic and I'll be damned if I'm going to paint that stupid bathroom again. Pardon my lapse of language there.

Sunday was lovely, church was good and I got a nap. Jared's baptism date is firmed up for June 1st and he wants my dad and Derick to speak. He's still a mite worried about people looking at him but he'll be fine. Heather and I will be planning a baby shower for Anita and the end of school is coming barreling like a freight train out of control. In other words, just a normal, every day kind of craziness.

However, it could be worse. My engine could have blown up in the middle of 5:00 traffic, I could have gotten some form of strange parasite from the water runoff or driven in the monsoon (I hate driving in the rain), the bathroom could be pink.

Our family is blessed (pray for my bathroom and my sanity).

Friday, May 16, 2008

It could be worse

This is my favorite phrase to remind myself and my family to count our blessings. Some people sing the count your many blessings song, others name their blessings one by one, I say it could be worse. This sometimes drives Mike crazy but it's really the only way to sometimes keep myself from going crazy (er) when something that I think is just horrendous happens.

When the roof leaked, I told Mike it could be worse-the whole roof could be falling in or ripped off in high winds. When Kiersten complained about wearing glasses-she could be blind. When Jared complains about having to do homework-he could be in a country where he wouldn't be able to go to school. It's a Pollyannaish attitude I know but it really makes you think sometimes things aren't as bad as we make them out to be in our heads. We have trials, some are big and some are little, but once we get through them we are stronger people.

The whole it could be worse thing came when my mom was going through chemo a few years ago and she was wiped out and tired and hairless. She was telling me one day about this trial and I told her it could be worse, the type of cancer she had is known as a silent killer, you don't know it's there until it's too late. She was lucky to have good doctors that listened to her and found something that could have killed her. Now she is able to play with the babies and watch them grow.

Yes, there are trials where nothing could be worse but hopefully those don't come around too often. I'm not saying that the trials that we go through are meaningless or not acknowledging the severity of said trials, this is just gospel according to me. So, until some other phrase comes along, I'll keep telling myself it could be worse.

Love to all and have a good weekend!