Friday, October 11, 2013

Repeating the 3 R's

Yesterday I took Hillary for a birthday facial.  She is so delightfully fun to be with.  I had one right along with her, and it was so refreshing and relaxing and rejuvenating I forgot to redeem my $15 coupon.

. . . Sigh. . . I guess I'm just going to have to go again. . .

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Real Lesson From Mopping

So the other day I got mopping and cleaning and just couldn't seem to stop.  I ended up putting a few coats of finish on the kitchen floor--a process that usually takes about four grueling hours, which includes application and drying time between coats.  I got interrupted numerous times, which I expected, so the whole ordeal lasted a day and a half.  Sophie the dog seemed to understand why I didn't want her so much as looking at that floor, let alone tromping across it.  That floor was so clean we could have eaten off it.  I just wanted to stand there and gaze at it and picture it clean like that forever. . .

Just as I was moving the kitchen table back in place, a knock came at the door.  Three of my adorable, darling, cute young neighbors, along with their cousin, stood there, smiling at me, asking for a Popsicle, which they often do, and which I always love to comply!

I found the very last of the summer season's Popsicles in the freezer.  I sweetly explained to them as I took the wrappers off that since I had worked so hard getting the floor clean, I wanted them to eat the Popsicles outside.  They were just fine with that.

As I was replacing the chairs around the table, in walked the cute little tots with their dripping Popsicles, asking me for a napkin and telling me they had forgotten to tell me "Thank You."

Their bright little faces looked up with me with such Christlike love and innocence.  I simply had to smile.  Is a clean, shiny floor a bigger deal than having a few drops of orange sugar water dribble onto it once in a while from love shared between neighbors?

It wasn't difficult to decide which mattered more.  I got them them some napkins, gave them a hug, and sent them back outside,  but before I cleaned up the mess, I updated my shopping list.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Who Knew?

Who Knew that I'd feel so motivated from General Conference this weekend that I'd look around today and see where I could start improving my life?

Who Knew that I'd start mopping the kitchen floor, then realize I hadn't cleaned underneath my oven in a looonng time, and decide to pull the big ole' thing out of its comfortable resting place?

Who Knew that I'd regret I ever read that book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie?

Who Knew that Michael Jackson's "Black or White" song, pumped up really loud on the kitchen stereo, would keep me moving?

Who Knew that so much disgusting dirt, grime, pretzels, ramen noodles, a fanny pack, cleaning cloths, and even a ping pong ball could all fit under there?

Who Knew that peppercorns and mouse droppings look a lot the same?  (I'm voting they were peppercorns)

Who Knew how excited I'd be that the piece of candy I would find under there would turn out to be a piece of licorice, which I don't like, instead of a Tootsie Roll, which I adore?  I seriously was quite excited about that.  It didn't last long, though.  As I cleaned a little more, I really did find a small Tootsie Roll.  Still in its wrapper, hard as a rock.  I threw it in the garbage, then fished it out again, unwrapped it, sprayed bleachy cleaner all over it to guarantee I wouldn't try to eat it, and threw it back in the garbage, where it still sits.  Good for you, Pam.

Who Knew that I was strong enough to put a hole right through that lovely old kitchen vinyl floor as I was moving the oven back?  That strength training is certainly paying off!

Who Knew that I'd be able to get that thing back to where it started out today--and that it would still function?

Who Knew how good the kitchen floor would look (except for that hole in the floor over by the oven)?  Why don't the visiting teachers come over today?

And Who Knows what motivation I will continue to feel from those wonderful conference sessions that will inspire me to do something to improve my life tomorrow?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sources of Guidance

I started to list all of the talk shows that are available on TV in the space of a week.  There seem to be countless!  A plethora of producers, writers, and hosts meet daily to discuss, debate, inform, and in many cases, sensationalize, the problems of the day.  Many topics which affect so many of us are addressed through this media.  And yes, there is good advice given.

The challenges discussed on talk shows are no different than those addressed at General Conference.

However, the difference is the Source of the solutions.  Many learned men and women have spent their lives seeking answers--from other learned men and women.  I don't discount that.  But doesn't it make much more sense to trust in the counsel that comes from those with divine direction?  To "walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit?"(Romans 8:1)

Our Heavenly Father wants us to be happy.  He wants us to succeed.  That is why He wants us to seek His guidance and counsel.  "What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same." (D & C 1:38)

I eagerly anticipate the inspiration and heavenly help that will come today through message and music, in a calm and peaceful manner, without commercial interruption, and delivered by divinely appointed messengers!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

The St. George Marathon

My computer has been having issues the past few days.  I am glad to be up and running again.  Speaking of running, as I'm writing this, in about six hours, the St. George marathon will begin.  Just a few short years ago, on two separate occasions, I was down there, prepping for the run.  One year Mark and the kids came along to cheer me on; another year I was there with Dianne and Ruth--my two marathon buddies.  Everyone should run a marathon with Dianne and Ruth.  They are wonderfully positive women.  They taught me how to be happy through those 26.2 miles.  One game we played while we ran was taking a little trip through the alphabet, and coming up with and sharing positive words.  A-wesome, A-mazing, then B-rilliant,  C-apable, and on down the line.  The only rule was that we couldn't say words with a negative connotation, like A-wful, A-chy , B-rittle, B-rutal, or C-an't, or  even C-orpse.  That game really worked well between mile 16 and 19!

Another thing we did was to name a body part that wasn't hurting.  By about mile 20 we simply could not come up with anything, until cute Dianne said that the only part that didn't hurt on her was her earlobe.  We laughed until mile 23!

Part of me is quite content this weekend to be at home, sporting my cozy sweats, watching conference.  But a lot more of me wishes I were down in St. George, with my two running buddies, doing that delightfully grueling marathon. . . I am only too aware of what it would take to get back in training.  I don't have as much confidence in my knees as I used to.  But what an indescribable thrill it is to cross that finish line and have that "Finisher" medal put around your neck!  And especially to do it with people whom you love and appreciate, who have inspired you to try your hardest and give it your all.

To you, Dianne and Ruth, my marathon sisters, thank you for the incredible memories which continue to motivate and encourage me!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Blah. . .

We all have a "blah" day once in a while, don't we?  This has been one of those days.  Today I've played a lot of catch-up, cleaning, organizing, and the like.  But I've felt . . . blah. . .  I thought about President Monson and his talk at the General Women's Conference last Saturday night.  I thought that baking homemade bread may help.  I even took a loaf over to a dear friend, and reconnected a bit. . .

I made some healthy chicken soup, thought that would do the trick.  Nnnnnope.  I talked and laughed with Hillary.  That does always brighten my spirits, no matter what kind of day I'm having.

Could my yuckky feeling be a result of eating two pieces of birthday cake last night? (Hey!  At least it wasn't three!)  Could it be the result of not getting out today on a walk or other exercise besides house cleaning?  I have done a lot of that today.  Yep, very well could be.  Raising the heart rate even a little each day seems to make things better.

Or could it merely be the result of living a mortal existence?  Some days are simply blah.  I'll think like Scarlett O'Hara.  Tomorrow is another day.  I'll sing with Annie.  The sun will come out tomorrow.

I've got the bathwater running.  I'm going to go soak in the tub with a good book and count my blessings.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Happy Birthday Hillary!

To my sweet daughter--who has brought so much joy since joining our family all those years ago on this day--thank you.  Thank you for your happiness, your enthusiasm for life, your joy along our journey together.  I still remember so well that day you were born.  It was a lovely, fresh autumn day, just like today.  The doctor who delivered you kept telling me throughout the contractions, "Patience is a Virture!" until I wanted to throw him across the room.

You were worth every pain, every discomfort, every concern, every single little bit of everything I had to go through to get you here.  And, although I am still trying to get back to that pre-pregnancy shape,  I'm trying to have that patience Dr. Lamoreaux spoke of.

You inspire me to be a good mother, Hillary.  I am trying to take good care of you, so you can make it back home someday.  You have a Heavenly Father who has entrusted you to your dad and me.  We want you to feel of His love, as you hopefully feel of ours.  You are a cherished, beloved daughter.

I am so blessed to be your mom.