Monday, May 4, 2009

Alright already!

Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to keep posting! I guess it's some sort of "exchange" system...If I'm going to read someones blog (make a withdrawal), then I'm obligated to write something new (make a deposit). Although not many of my family are blogging lately, I'll still make my contribution.

So, 2 months...where do I begin?
*I got a new, permanent job - still in the mortgage industry. Turns out that there really is more business when you aren't solely focused on a Builder.
* I had 2 kidney stone episodes, one which landed me in the hospital for 2.5 days. Gotta love the morphine. Whatever did they do in the olden days for pain? Fortunately, I passed the "stone", or should I say "fleck of whatever". I was very unimpressed with the amount of pain I endured for such a teeny bit of....well, whatever. I guess it's the closest I'll ever come to giving birth. Except that if I gave birth, I'm sure I'd be impressed with the result.
* I experienced extreme job stress. Try starting a new job and landing in the hospital on day 5, taking morphine for 2.5 days, then going back to work. Really does a number on the brain. I had to pretend like I really understood what was going on, when most of the time I was working on getting all my little brain connections to re-connect. Was it the drugs? Hmmmm.
* General Conf: We camped out again, and can I tell you? It was fa-reeeeezzzing! I don't care how cold it is in Canada. Fifty-seven degrees is stinkin' cold here in Arizona. I worried about the girls all night long. And I confess, the next night I slept inside. It was 47 that night. I enjoyed the weekend other than tha.
* Oxycotin: Can I say that I tried to take 2, but I didn't keep them down. I guess I just wasn't meant for anything stronger than Tylenol at home.

Now I'm having random thoughts...
* Chloe (who is 2 years old) knows just how to ask for what she wants. She uses the teeniest, tiniest little voice to say "A mimi?", which means she wants to watch a couple of songs from the movie Mamma Mia. Most of the time, I say yes. Or "A pock?", which means she wants to listen to "Popcorn Popping" on the computer. Most of the time, I say yes. Or "A sistuh?", which means she wants to watch the parody of the Lennon sisters from Lawrence Welk on know "with my by myself". Most of the time, I say yes. What I love most is when she stands in front of me, puts her arms up and says "A hoju", which means "please hold me". Most of the time, I say yes.

Mom just loaded the dishwasher, and now she's mopping the floor. It's 9:30 at night. She must be working towards that Mother's Day gift. Just kidding, MOM!!

So if I think of anything else that happened in the last 2 months, you'll have to wait a few weeks to hear about it. Anyone out there posting lately? Helloooooooooooo?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

By the way...

My new calling at church is 1st Counselor in the Stake Primary! It's been very fun the last few weeks...I jumped right into Pinewood Derby, then Little Philmont.'s a whole other religion. So the interesting events that led to this new calling...

Ever since I became the Primary Chorister in our ward, I have had a little struggle. I felt like I just couldn't get the "hook" into the calling. I can lead music, and I can teach a song to the older kids, but I felt like I was really struggling with the younger kids. How do I teach a song to kids who cannot read? And I would worry/fret/plan/stress all week about what to do on Sunday? Several times I remembered that I hadn't been "set apart" yet, and thought maybe that was what I needed...but I never managed to get that done. Sundays were exhausting for me..ok, I exaggerate, but it's 2 hours of being "on", and when that last closing prayer was said, I was so relieved. Let me say, I was truly learning to love the children, knowing their personalities, and seeing that they were so happy when I would make eye contact with them. Sometimes I wink, and they would smile and wink back. One little Sunbeam girl would draw pictures for me in Sacrament Meeting and give them to me in Primary. So sweet.

A few weeks ago, I didn't sleep very well on Saturday night, and when it was time to get up on Sunday morning, the first thought in my head was: should I get a substitute and just not go? But then I started to think of all the arrangements that would need to be made, who would I call, and I thought it's just easier if I get up and go. So I did. When Primary was over, I was chatting with the pianist when I realized that the 1st Couns in the Stake Pres was sitting there on the first row looking at us. Did you want to talk to her, I said (pointing at the pianist)? No, he said. Did you need to speak with her, I said (pointing to someone else in the room)? No, he said. I need to speak with you. Ok, says I...gulp. (Good thing I decided to show up today!) Please, oh, please, oh, please don't let it be about camp! We found a little room and sat down. Says he: how's your job? Good, fine. How's your calling? Harder than I thought blah blah blah. How's your health? (Oh no, hear comes the part about camp!) Uh, my health is good? Well, says he, we'd like to call you to be...etc. Ohhhhhh?! Really? says I. Him: Do you think you can do that? Me: Of course. Now what does the 1st C do? Him: Well the 2nd C does all the Cub Scouting stuff.... Me: That's all I need to know.

So we shook hands and I walked out of there a little befuddled, as I recalled the last few months. I had attended my first ever Article of Faith reception, Great to be 8 meeting, and focused on the Primary program, knowing that I would be doing the music next year. And I remembered that I just couldn't get the "hook" into that calling. So, MY feeling is that my time as a chorister was to give me a little exposure to some of the things I would be working with on a Stake level. The Counselor told me they had been trying to get me since last Fall, had delays, then I lost my job, and they waited over a month to make sure I landed on my feet. When we had Ward Conference and I saw the Stake Prim Pres (who is also a friend) she asked me how my job was going, and I told her I was back at work. Two weeks later ...kaboom! I have a new calling. Anyway, it's just interesting how all the pieces fell into place. I feel so energized,learning new things. No meetings this week. First time in 3 weeks! Yup, loving the new stuff!

See another new post below...

My First "Tag"!

First of all, I'd like to thank the Academy...oh, wait, this is not an award. It's just a word answers. Anyway, it's my first, and I'd really like to thank those who voted for me....

1. Where is your phone? purse
2. Where is your significant other? lost
3. Your hair color? red
4. Your Mother? sitting
5. Your Father? waiting
6. Your favorite thing? sleeping
7. Your dream last night? weird
8. Your dream/goal? endure
9. The room you're in? offce
10. Your hobby? crocheting
11. Your fear? heights
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? secure
13. Where were you last night? bed
14. What you're not? cold
15. One of your wish-list items? two
16. Where you grew up? dallas
17. The last thing you ate? ice cream
18. What are you wearing? jamas
19. Your TV? dusty
20. Your pet? dead
21. Your computer? slow
22. Your mood? ok
23. Missing someone? caitben
24. Your car? cute
25. Something you're not wearing? shoes
26. Favorite store? none
27. Your Summer? hot
28. Love someone? many
29. Your favorite color? blue
30. When was the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? today
32. Something you crave? depends (not the diapers!)
33. Bad habit? procrastinate
34. Why you blog? ynot

I guess I'm supposed to tag someone...ok: Caitlin, Sarah, Lara. I won't list everyone I know so you'll have someone to tag. But then I guess you all have more friends than I do so it won't really matter.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I think it's interesting to note the following: you can measure a person's stress level/happiness level by how often they are posting. Sometimes. At least, I know it's true in my case. As shown in my previous post, there have been many weeks of worrying about other things, and creating a new blog post was not a priority - at all. Actually, it's never a priority - let me make that clear. But there are periods of time that allow my brain to ponder life, and then share it. I don't expect that I could explain something to all of you unless I can make some sense of it myself. Thus, I'm posting again. This must be a "good" time period in my life.

This afternoon on the drive home (it takes 45 mins to an hour) I decided to call my aunt/friend, Cathy. It seems to be a good use of the time driving, although while talking to her, I "ran" one of those little red lights at the "on ramp" of the 202. Oops. I did stop, even though I "go'd" before the green light flashed on. Anyway, the rest of the drive was very safe. I called Cathy to get the report on her girls and their kids. I always ask for the rundown, and try to remember any ongoing news that needs updating. I visualize it like a game board - I must know how all the pieces are moving along. Ok, maybe not a game board, but still, I like to know how everyone is doing. I always enjoy talking to Cathy.

So remember my last post about Changes? Well, I have another change coming up. I got a new calling at church. I can't talk about it freely yet, but let me say that I'm really excited. I have spent a lot of time thinking about the last few months since the change of our ward boundries and my calling as the Primary chorister. There have been several interesting encounters that have given me some exposure to people and events, and all these have led to my new calling. I've had many moments of understanding the "why" of many things. And it makes me smile, because when I realize those little "hints", I think of smiling up to heaven and saying " I get it", like Heavenly Father is smiling back at me, with a look of "See, I know what I'm doing." I guess this is a life lesson reminder for me. I do not see "the distant scene", but if I try to follow the "kindly light", step by step, I will eventually get to the right spot. For now.

So hopefully soon I will be able to talk about the next change.

Monday, January 26, 2009


Most of you already know all this, but here goes:
My last post was Dec 1st. Four days later, I was told by my manager that due to the slooowwww new home market and lack of sales, and because I was "low man" on the totem pole, I was being "let go". That was December 5th. I went home, put together a resume and signed up with a temp agency that was hiring for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, with whom my previous company was affiliated. I had plans to leave the following week (Dec 9th) for Canada. So I changed my plans - and left earlier than planned (on the 7th). What else should one do when one is unemployed? Go on vacation! I got there a couple of days early and stayed a day longer than the original plan. I arrived in an unexpected snow storm, and enjoyed the snow all week...except for another freak storm that came in on Friday and put the brakes on our Banff trip. So sad. The girls went out to eat, and to see "Austrailia", then we went shopping the next day at the mall, and finished with lunch. Yes, everything revolves around sitting down and/or eating. The reality for me is this: I don't care what I do while I'm in Calgary, just as long as I'm there.

I returned home to reality on the 16th, followed up on the paperwork for the "new job", and tried to figure out how I was going to shop for Christmas on a suddenly non-existent budget. The other issue is that I could not bring myself to look forward to celebrating, knowing that my immediate future would be different than what I had anticipated. Knowing that a job was assured, but just not knowing the start date, I tried to enjoy what might be the only "down time" I would get for a few months. There were a few days in a row where I didn't get dressed or leave the house. It was nice. I didn't really sleep during the day, but then I wasn't really sleeping during the night, either. Christmas came and went. No family over this year. Jeff and all his family were up at the cabin.

New Years? We invited family over. Jeff and Jeanette had to miss about 5 hours because they had "Baby Jesus" duty at the Mesa Temple. Seems as though the baby Jesus kept being stolen from the nativity...while the grounds were crowded with the viewers of the lights! So they had to get "guards" to make sure he was safe. Jeff said his instructions were to be non-confrontational. I guess he was just supposed to be a "witness" to the stealing...if it had happened on his watch. While we were at home, we eagerly anticipated each Baby Jesus update, knowing that he was safe, and that Jeff (and I assume, Jeanette) were fulfilling their duty on New Years Eve. They came home about 10pm. We popped the poppers at about 9 for the little girls, managed to stay awake until midnight, then went to bed. At least, that's how I remember it. My new job was to start on the 5th, the following Monday.

Keep in mind that for the last 3 years, I would usually get out of bed at about 7:20, and leave the house at about 8:45. This new position, at least for the training, required that I arrive there at 7:30 am. What?! As I did the backward calculation to allow for driving time and preparation time, I realized that I would have to get up at 5:15. What?! Did you all know that it's dark at 5:15? Well, I just started my 4th week, and except for a couple of cases of the "mid-day drowsies", I think I'm doing ok. My hope is that I will be hired on a permanent basis.

The other change was even more difficult than waking up at 5:30 in the morning: Ben and Caitlin moved to Maryland. I could go on and on about this, and how difficult it was for me to accept. But now that it's done, I have decided to live in a world of "pretend". I'm pretending like Caitlin is on a mission. But actually, this situation is better than a mission because we can talk on the phone, or even visit them in Maryland. The only bad part is that we have become really attached to Ben and Caitlin. They have been coming over for dinner almost every Sunday, and we would see them several times a week in the evening. Yesterday was the most boring dinner we've had in quite awhile...white fish, white rice, white tarter sauce, yellow squash, and some green peas for a little color. No card games, no puzzles, no making fun of people on know, all those fun things we used to do. I saw the saddest thing the other day - I opened the pantry and saw an unopened bottle of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing. A bottle that was purchased specifically for Ben, because it's not just Ranch Dressing that he loves. It's Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing that he loves. I hope it keeps for 2 years.

I have to remember what it was like when I was in my 20's. Every decision was an adventure, and every adventure was so exciting. How do parents let their children ever leave home? I cannot imagine how my parents ever dealt with all my "adventures". Maybe that's why I didn't tell them about my adventures until after they were over? Anyway, logic tells me that Ben and Caitlin will have fun, and be ok, and take care of each other. But my heart is sad, and I will miss them. I suppose I will have to adjust to yet another... ch-ch-ch-change.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Giving Thanks

I am back to work after enjoying the last 4.5 days "off". Our Thanksgiving dinner included most of the family this year, except for Ben and Caitlin who were up with Ben's family in Camp Verde, and the Tramundanas kids. Kathy and Victor stayed in Utah and made dinner up there, and Andy hosted Thanksgiving for his side of the family. It's always fun to have a house full of people. I love the moment when you get that first whiff of cooking turkey. Yummmmm. Jeanette made rolls with help from Emma and Sadee. Sarah made a beautiful raspberry jello salad, Stan brought corn, Alisha made some cheesecake pies and Jennifer made a lemon meringue pie. Other offerings: Mom made cranberry sauce, Zack made his traditional hot pickles (which I hear are very nummy, but I cannot eat them), Jeff used his muscle to mash the potatoes, then carve the turkey, and Becky and I continued our sweet potato war. I never really liked sweet potatoes until I saw Aunt Sadie cook them with brown sugar and butter, kinda chunky and really nummy. Becky liked that recipe, too, until she discovered cinnamon! Now she makes them like baby food - bake the sweet potatoes, peel, mash, and add all the other flavors. I am not a fan, but that's ok. She loves them, and so does everyone else. A couple of years ago, she was making the sweet potatoes. I assumed she would make them the "normal" way. I love the combination of a little bit of stuffing with sweet potatoes. I was horrified when I realized that instead she made the baby food style, almost completely pureed and flavored with cinnamon! I just about left the table, I was so disappointed. Since then, we have served 2 different bowls, cooked 2 different ways, and after a week, we usually have 2 different piles of yuck to throw away. We just can't seem to get the proportion right. Leftovers always sound sooo good BEFORE Thanksgiving.

Later that evening we enjoyed a wonderful rain storm and we even got some hail. It was like 45 minutes of winter, so we quickly got out the hot chocolate and marshmallows. I think it was an enjoyable day for everyone.

Friday and Saturday were days of doing nothing - for me. I crocheted and watched TV. I'm trying to get a new blankie finished for Sarah Ritchie. She loved her old one to death. Soon, very soon! Sunday - prepare myself for the marathon that is Primary. We found out that in 2 weeks our meeting time is changing to 8:30am! That's the best news I've heard in a long time! It is a really early time for families to get ready, but it's seems to be so much easier on the children. Afternoons from 3-5 pm is not a good time for Primary. We'll be home by 11:35, with the rest of the day to be productive. Or something like that.

We will be decorating our Christmas tree this evening, I hope. Should have done it this weekend when there was "nothing" to do. I love to have the house decorated for Christmas!

I'm off to Canada a week from tomorrow night for our annual BS trip, and just so you don't go "there", BS stands for Banff Springs. I get a little taste of Winter right before Christmas and I get to visit with some of my favorite people in the world! Have I mentioned before that I also look forward to breakfast at Eau Claire, and somewhere in there, lunch/dinner at Peking Garden? I know for a fact that there are some Canadians who look forward to Cafe Rio in Utah (we have one in Arizona, too), and In-n-Out Burger here in Arizona. So I guess it goes both ways. But we have something Calgary doesn't have....Baskin Robbins ice cream! I think I can be brave for a few days and live without the BR.

I'd also like to give thanks to Lara for updating my blog background. Sometimes a change is nice! Signing off....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cyst Assistance

I have to say that time flys by soooo quickly when you try to record things. I've always been terrible at keeping a journal. There will be no way to ever write my biography because there are no records. All my stories will go with me...when I go. Maybe that's a good thing?

Yesterday I had 2 Dr's appointments: One with a urologist, a follow-up on the little kidney issue I had last year (the kidney isn't little, the issue was little). A year ago I got a pain early on a Sunday morning that wouldn't go away. Finally I agreed to go to the ER since I had started to vomit (lovely). I knew that was not a good sign. At the ER, the first order of business was to start an IV - not so fun. After a few attempts, they finally found a vein and started to give me the pain medicine. They gave me 3 different kinds before I felt like I could finally lie down on the bed and relax a little. I had some tests - CT scan and whatever - and initially they said I had a "growth" on my kidney which kinda freaked me out a little. All I could think was "kidney tumor". Zack and my home teacher gave me a blessing. I was in the hospital for 3 days, for no good reason. The urologist determined that I have a cyst on my kidney that had blocked the drainage, or something, which caused the pain. He said there was no reason to remove it as long as it wasn't causing any trouble. Honestly? The pain went away on Sunday night and never came back. It was a mystery to me - I wasn't sure what happened to make it go away. But then one of my friends looked at me like I was stupid (I was), and said, "Hmmmm, didn't you have a blessing?". Oh, duh. So, that's how it works! My arm looked terrible from all the iv's, and I was able to go home after they determined that my kidney's did indeed function. So the appointment yesterday was to give me the results of the follow-up CT scan I had a week ago. No change in the size of the cyst, and absolutely no problems for a year. Everyone was happy, but mostly me.

After that appointment, I had the pleasure of my annual mammygram. Yes, it's a pleasure. I was also blessed with an ultrasound of my left chestal region. Guess what I have? Yup, cysts. I have cysts throughout my body, I guess. There are also a couple of little areas that they are watching, but again, no change in them, so good news all around. After being adjusted, squished, mushed and inspected, I went home with all the dignity I could muster. I don't think anyone could tell by looking at me what I had just experienced, even though I felt like announcing to everyone in the waiting room, "I'M CLEAN!".