Remember the Daily Affirmation on SNL with Stuart Smalley? "Because I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and, doggonit, people like me!" Well. One day a few months ago, my beautiful friend Kristen reminded me of the part in the Grinch movie when he's looking at himself in the mirror and sings out "Fabulous!!!" Ever since she brought this up, I honestly cannot pass a mirror without singing out in my head "fabulous!!" Now I am so NOT vain...see previous post where I mention that one of my big faults is always being an Eeyore. Given the opportunity I could pick apart everything about myself and whine whine whine. BUT now, thanks to Kristen, I look in the mirror and sing "Fabulous!" Try it. It's stupendously fun.
I saw this story on the Today Show this morning. Couple of guys made a t-shirt with this picture on it, and, of course, ended up making millions. This resonated with me though. I am, by nature, a pessimist. I don't like this about myself. It isn't attractive. I constantly struggle with seeing the glass half-empty, expecting the worst, being frustrated with my lot. I did jump on the "gratitude journal" bandwagon a few years ago and did it every day for, oh, a week. Then once a month. Then stopped. You know how it goes. However, if one chooses to say "life is good" every day, wouldn't you think that life would actually BE good? They interviewed tons of people who went to chemo,weathered natural disasters etc while wearing these shirts. I googled it, went to their website, only to discover to my dismay that one t-shirt would set me back THIRTY DOLLARS. What the heck is that? So. I plan to start every day from now on saying "Life Is Good!" Won't take five minutes like picking up a pen and journal. Only takes about 1.5 seconds to say it! My beautiful friend Kristen does this, I'm sure. I want to be just like her :)
Jillian is off to college in 3 weeks, so we had family pictures taken at Target on Friday. Usually I'm happy with my budget Target pics. Not.This.Time. I've been known to drop 50 bucks on a million "I have to have them all! Pictures of Grace!" With my coupon, I spent $15 on these ones. Perhaps the fact that Tyler has a demon-like look in his eyes is part of the problem?? Or that the little girl taking the pictures couldn't manage to see that Andrew's glasses were putting off a glare? Isn't that her job??? Oh well. We're saved in print for posterity. And I'm done with the "What the heck are we going to WEAR that we already have that doesn't have too much pattern on it so I don't have to drop $$$ on buying everyone matching shirts!!" That's all that matters!
This is my Dad in his Air Force Uniform. I have no idea of the date this was taken. There is no one left to ask. My dad has been diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, and has been rapidly declining in the past few months. It has been unbearably brutal to watch this proud man lose his memory, coordination and power of speech. He is one of the most witty, intelligent, hard working people I've ever known. I love him. He never lectured us. He would just make a few comments, and then go about his business. We learned by his quiet example. We've been talking a lot about the military around our dinner table this past week. My nephew just got on a plane last Sunday to enter the Marines. It's a bitter-sweet time for his family. It's part of life to see our kids grow up and we expect them to move on in some fashion...but my nephew chose to serve our country. Like his Grandpa. It takes a certain kind of courage, resolve, dare I say hardiness to make this choice. I for one, am very proud of this boy. I'm guessing that now that he's survived his first week of boot-camp, we'll have to call him a man. We're thinking about you every day Sam. And praying for you to have the physical and emotional strength to continue to do your best!
Recently my sister asked me, "Why the blog? Why?" I didn't really have a great answer for her. Then I read this recently in a magazine: "Creating a blog is more than just flinging your diary open for the world to see. A blog can bring you a circle of friends, an amazing sense of confidence, and a safe space to discover who you truly are." Hey! So that's what we're doing? Ok.
My boy is home. After almost a month away from home...I missed him so much. He's having a little trouble "re-entering" the real world, and speaking English! We had such a good time at the Banquet Tuesday night...they asked him to emcee with a couple of other students. It was amazing to me how much he had progressed and learned. I'm so proud of him for grabbing this opportunity and making the most of it! We're having fun pestering him to translate things into Chinese..."Hey Ry! Say 'I'm hungry and it's time for dinner"...or if you're Tyler, "Hey Ry! Say 'I want a monkey for my birthday!" He's good-naturedly obliging us for now...we'll see how long we can keep it up before he snaps!
I've been surfing blogs today. One person posted a question: 20 years ago, what did you think you'd be doing now? Hmmm. Got me thinking. You know, when I graduated High School, the most important thing to me was what I'd be WEARING to whatever job I had. This was seriously a deal breaker to me. I actually was hired by Lagoon when I was 15, but got put on a food cart on the main fairway, and once I heard that I was required to wear black polyester pants and a purple polyester shirt...ummm yeah. I'm ashamed to say that I declined to work there that summer and stayed home and stripped my mom's kitchen cupboards and chairs instead. I was lucky enough to score a clerk job at IBM my senior year of High School. This rocked. I wore skirts and fantastic high heels. I loved it. This was what I thought I was destined for...an office job where I could wear beautiful clothes. Am I shallow? Probably. I wanted to be a nurse too. I was fine with wearing scrubs...everyone in the medical field wears them, and you can individualize with prints. They aren't glamorous, but are very comfy. I figured that I could still have cute clothes to wear off the job. But the mere idea of trying to pass chemistry and math classes made me cry. So I never tried. So. I'm sitting here as a full-time mom wearing a black cotton t-shirt and black cotton shorts that have a picture of Disney's Thumper on the leg. From the WalMart. Wash and wear. Not exactly what I pictured for myself 20 years ago: ) And, funnily enough, I'm sitting here with the same "what do I want to be when I grow up" issues that I was contemplating 2o years ago. Needing to get a job, wondering what the outfit requirements will be... So are you where you thought you'd be? Is your life all you dreamed it would be? Are you wearing the outfits you thought you'd wear? Inquiring minds want to know!
See that mess? That is my kitchen table. It's looked like that for 7 days now. Twice a year I spread out the scrapbooking stuff and do my best to catch up with memories x 4 kids. Aiieeee!!!! Here's the thing. I started, as we all do, with ONE CHILD. I started a photo album for Jillian, then made doubles of the pictures I actually wanted to scrapbook. You know, the picture at the zoo with the zoo map and entry ticket...picture of the airplane with the airplane ticket...yes, I save all the stubs and flotsam and jetsam that comes with school events, vaca's etc. Then add kids 2,3,4 and OH MY WORD WHAT HAVE I DONE??? They all have photo albums, and I have piles and piles of picture doubles just waiting to be scrapbooked into works of art for SEPARATE SCRAPBOOK ALBUMS. I'm not kidding. I have a friend who scrapbooks...she puts all the kids on one layout. Halloween? All 6 kids on a 12x12 layout. She just keeps them in community "family" albums and says that it's not her problem...they can figure out who gets the books when she's gone. Me? Halloween costumes...times 4. Christmas Eve...times 4. Easter...times 4. Trip to This is the place...x 2 (the boys weren't there..I imagine I'll get around to scrapbooking this one oh, in 2011 : ) But at this point, what can I do? Add the frustration of now not having enough "doubles" for each child to have that cute page of all of them together doing...something. Twice a year I try to "catch up" (right!!) I counted. Jill now has FOUR photo albums, ONE 8x11 scrapbook (made the mistake of starting small) and FIVE 12x12 albums.Now imagine this scenario x4....thank goodness I thought to color code them... Jill's are all pink, Ty's;blue, Ry;red and Grace's are purple. I'm suggesting now that she marry money 'cause she's going to need a special room to house these things. I know I do! Wish me luck.
Only 9 days 'til the boy gets to come home. We visited again on Sunday...Grace spent nearly the whole time on his lap : ) He's having the best time! His days are packed, he's made some lifelong friends, he's learning tons. His calls and text messages are now few and far between! They've attended a Chinese ward for Sacrament meeting each Sunday, which is cool. He saw and wanted the Chinese hymnbook, so Andrew stopped at the Distribution Center and picked one up along with a Book of Mormon. It is the absolute weirdest, but coolest thing I've ever seen. Above is a sample of some Chinese Characters. This is how the whole Book of Mormon looks. Squiggle after squiggle. ???? How can the boy make sense of it? He can. And does. Wow.
I LOVE this holiday! We've been going to the Provo Freedom Festival for 15 years...we get to the field at 6:00am to see the hot-air balloons fill up and take off. It's so much fun! Even our feet are festive : ) We came home and made these yummy turkey burgers for lunch. Delicious! We're still boy-less...Ty comes home from Lake Powell tomorrow. We're off to see fireworks at Thanksgiving Point!
The Girls and I went to This Is The Place Heritage Park this morning. We hadn't been there for about 10 years. Oops. It's under new management, and is a really fun place! We rode the train, had a covered wagon ride, Grace weaved a basket, went to school, rode a horse and didn't pet a sheep. Jill petted a sheep. And a goat. This is the Mormon version of Williamsburg...real families dressed up as pioneers doing pioneery stuff...hanging laundry, dyeing wool, beating rugs, sittin' on the porch chatting. It was awesome. We actually spent over 3 hours there, and didn't even get bored or mind the heat. Much. I highly recommend it for a field trip!
The Brain: Are you pondering what I'm pondering? Pinky: I think so Brain, but burlap chafes me so.
Quote of the Day
"Faith in something greater than ourselves enables us to do what we have said we'll do, to press forward when we are tired or hurt or afraid, to keep going when the challenge seems overwhelming and the course is entirely uncertain." -Gordon B. Hinckley
Word of the Day
fillip \FIL-uhp\ , noun: 1. A snap of the finger forced suddenly from the thumb; a smart blow.
flummox \FLUM-uhks\, transitive verb: To confuse; to perplex.