Friday, October 29, 2010

I'm Just Sittin' Right Here, Watchin' Airplanes...

Mitch's newly coined concept has been, "Just say 'yes' more."  If there's something your spouse or kids wants to do (and it's not crucially imperative that you shouldn't do it), then just say "yes"--even if it's not necessarily your first idea of fun.  We've all been trying to apply that in our family better, because too often we're too tired or too busy & before you know it, life is stifled for the ones you love.

Today I chose to drive to Phoenix to redeem some free tickets to a Suns game.  If I were more organized I would have found some sort of discounted pass to something cool like the Science Center, or a museum, but I just couldn't get out the door in time, and there was a deadline if I wanted my free tickets.  After we stood in line & got my freebies I asked Tyson what we should do next and he said he wanted to go watch the airplanes.  At first I was amazed because all I would have to pay for was parking!  Whoohoo!  I just saved a ton of $$$, you know!  But now I look at our trip to the airport & I'm amazed at how strongly I felt the spirit of love and happiness in something so simple with my kids.  I'm so glad I told him yes!

These are some of my favorite moments from today:
  • Each time a plane took off from the runway, Tyson would take off his baseball hat and wave it as he watched the plane fly away.  I'm talking E-V-E-R-Y time!  Emmett even noticed & tried taking off his baseball hat, too.
  • Each time a plan would land on the runway, he would clap for it.  : )
  • Emmett's response to the airplanes was not as dramatic--he enjoyed squishing Capri Sun juice out of the straw, and walking around about as much as watching the planes, but occasionally he would look at the airplanes, point, and with lips perfectly protruded in a rounded O shape, say, "Oooh, oooh!"
  • We determined that the planes that were driving slow were just afraid about flying right now.  Haha!
  • After about 15 minutes I asked Tyson how much longer he wanted to stay.  His answer:  "Twenty-four-five minutes." 
  • We wanted to see the airplanes better so we kind of snuck our stroller up a closed off ramp--it was the only way I could see that would get us to a prime airplane viewing position.  As we were sitting up there, after a while, a security truck pulled up and honked at us.  When I turned around, the guy waved--he was friendly & was trying to get my kids to wave, too. 
    • "Are you guys watching the airplanes?" he asked us.
    • "Yeah, is that okay?"  I thought for sure he'd make us go somewhere else.
    • He smiled & responded, "That's what life's about!" and he drove away.

I couldn't agree with him more!  It felt so good to sit there with my kids watching the airplanes.  I told Tyson he had the best ideas ever--I just wanted to hug him forever.  I squoze him & told him, "I love you a million-billion times!"  Then I clarifed: "That means I love you so much that I will never stop loving you, no matter what!"  He said, "I will never stop loving you, either....I will love you 5 times."  (He must have meant 5 times forever, haha!)  I'm so grateful the Lord sends me these precious moments in time when we can just sit and watch airplanes take off and fly!

Monday, October 25, 2010

My Eggplant Friend

I went to a local neighborhood Fry's store this past week on Tuesday. I was in the produce section choosing fruits and veggies for the week with my kids. I was in a good mood thinking about all the delicious things we were going to eat: grapes, bananas, apples, squash, cucumber, tomatoes, potatoes, green onions, etc.. I saw a lady near me grab an eggplant; we made eye contact & smiled at each other and I told her I love eggplant. "I do, too," she said. I told her I've only ever used it to cook Eggplant Parmesean and I asked her if she likes it Italian style. She said she normally cooks it other ways.

Only 3 days later, I showed up at the chiropracter and there she was ... MY EGGPLANT FRIEND!!!

I was so shocked by the situation--dumbfounded that at a doctor's office 30 minutes away from our neighborhood grocery store, complete strangers would meet again. It took me a minute to remember why I recognized her, but finally I remembered where I had seen her before and she told me I have a good memory. I really wish, though, that I would have asked her if she enjoyed her eggplant. : )

Sunday, October 24, 2010

$4 Croquet

My stud muffin husband found an amazing deal at a garage sale last week Saturday.  $4 for a WOODEN Croquet set in good condition.  We were amazed & we loved it.  We took the set with us to a park & played croquet with the Newman's after we at at YC's.  Funny story:  We walk into YC's Mongolian Grill & realize that there's NO SHARING allowed, which we thought was a little lame.  As we sat IN FRONT OF THE REGISTER discussing whether or not those were acceptable terms to us at the price they were asking for a bowl of food, I began to realize that Craig said the same thing to the girl at the register about 4 different times.  The gyst of it:  Their food was way too expensive & that if we were going to pay that price, we were going to end up with a month's worth of food.  I thought he was kidding.  We all paid the top dollar price & then proceeded to get the largest bowls of food I have ever seen in my life.  I kid you not, Craig piled his bowl about a foot high with food for them to did Mitch.  At first I started laughing because it was so ridiculous, and then I felt totally bad because we had had a group discussion about the price of the food.  Let me tell you, we definitely got a bargain. I even asked the girl at the register if we needed to pay extra for the food & she said that food bowls like that were normal & that's the reason why they don't allow sharing.  It was hilarious & a little ridiculous, and I will definitely visit YC's again--they had great customer service & delicious food, even if I was embarrassed because for a moment in time I felt like I was with a group of teenagers again.  So funny!  That's why we like hanging out with Craig--he makes it interesting, and we get home with a "month's worth of food" from the actually only lasted about 3 days, but that's besides the point. : )

Gorgeous day for the Zoo!

 I spontaneously decided to go to the Zoo & Friday, and totally lucked out that friends could go with me! It turned into such a fun trip and it was a gorgeous day, too!  We seriously couldn't have picked a more beautiful day--slightly overcast, slight breeze, animals up & roaming, not hot--just PERFECT weather.
The Rhinos looked awesome.  I love that there was grass there & that they were eating instead of lying there like a lump. : )  I guess that's what happens when it's NOT 117 outside.  I'll try to remember that for my next visit, haha.

 Lindsay was miraculously not working...well she was, but she was able to leave early & meet us up there--YAY!  Tyson was happy, too, because Lindsay isn't a frazzled, worn out, mommy & so he got to hang out with his "best friend" and ride on her back even.
 It was a miracle--the cheetahs were up, walking around, looking around & BEAUTIFUL.  This was my FAVORITE part.  I believe the last time I saw the cheetahs when they weren't asleep was when I was in grade school.  We came at the perfect time.
Emmett got away from me--I thought his footsteps were adorable.  Tyson decided to take a picture of us near the elephants--can you see them?  Of course, not, but he was proud that he got "the whole body" in the picture of me & Lindsay & Jenny.
I'm so glad Jenny came & brought Hudson--she was the first one to respond to my text & let me know that I would have company--I was so happy!...unfortunately I didn't snap the shot with the boys, but it was Hudson's FIRST ZOO TRIP!  Whoohoo!  Maybe I'll edit this post later when I get a pic from her.

It was a fun Zoo trip!  Thanks guys!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Super Mom

 Haven't seen Beckie-Lynn in person for YEARS, but got to hang out with her today at a SUPER HERO b-day party for Brenden. I'm so glad we were able to go. It just felt good to par-tay with the little ones. : )

 I like Emmett in the background.  Don't forget he was there, just not in the mood to keep his mask on very long. : )
This shot has so much emotion in it for me.  It's like it's straight out of a movie.  Each step up the ramp is determined and focussed.  The true nature of a SUPER HERO!

Can you believe Beckie made the masks AND the capes?  Who does that?  Only SUPER MOM's do.  Seriously, it was PERFECT, and the kids loved it.  There was so much satisfaction on their cute little faces as they ran around playing with their special masks & capes.   Good job, Beckie.  Keep it up, I'm so proud of you for all the sacrifices you make for Brenden.  You're a great mom, and he loves you--so do all the people who know you.   

Friday, October 15, 2010

Scabby Noses that MATCH...kind of...

Both my children IN THE SAME WEEK, no less, bashed their noses
& got scabs with BOTH their parents present on each occasion.  What can I say?

Emmett tripped at Grandma T's on Sunday & cut up his nose because he LANDED on the corner of a baseboard.  Poor little guy!  And as for Tyson, well...he leaned too far over the edge of the wagon on Monday and fell out onto the ground.  When we picked him up, he looked fine, but the next day it was scabby.  Boys will be boys, right?  At least they match...kind of. : )

Monday, October 11, 2010

Love These Guys!!! --The Biglers & Starkes--

 Keith & Donna, Debbie & Joe
In April of this year (not 2009, like the pic says), Keith & Donna came to my brother's championship baseball game...which his team lost in extra innings...and we all had dinner afterwards.  It was an uplifting evening & felt so good to share each others company and talk about Azure as well as how life is going.
2 and 3 year olds are funny. They smile at the same time except for when you click the picture. : )  I still think Eric is cute, even though I wasn't fast enough to catch his smile.  Here's Eric Starkes & Tyson Borden at the chapel in Heber after my grandmother's funeral.

Brian & Ginger, if you're reading this, I hope you don't mind that I copied your thumbnail picture--I didn't have a picture of my own of your cute family!

There are few days in my life that I can recount in vivid detail.  Coming across Azure's car accident with my family and finding her baby in the car made for a day in my life that is as vivid as my wedding day, as poignant for my life as the birth of my children. I can remember the expressions on people's faces, I can remember what the wind felt like as I held Eric, I can remember the slow motion of watching as everyone who could do anything tried to help to save her life.  I remember everyone comforting each other (my husband, Melodie, my mom, strangers), I remember a young couple I do not know, but who stood nearby watching.  On Wednesday, it'll be three years since she died, but I think about Azure and her family often--not just during this time of year.

The second we came upon the scene we were praying.  We were all hoping for a miracle--we wanted a story where we'd be reuinited at a later time after she was taken in the air-vac to find out that the CPR worked.  We wanted her family to get to keep her & have a long full life with her.  I wonder about that and why the miracle we hoped for wasn't meant to be, and then I remember Eric.  I believe that he was Azure's miracle.  The only thing wrong with him was that he had dirt in his eyelashes, so my mom helped me wipe some of the dirt away.  After a car flips 10 times and glass is shattered, you can't tell me it isn't a miracle that he was calm and completely unscathed.  I just feel lucky I got to hold him that day.  It's what his momma would have done if she could have.

I get worn out being a mom sometimes--especially when I'm low on sleep, when my house is a wreck, and when my kids get sick.  A few months ago I was really down on myself feeling like I hadn't accomplished anything worthwhile and while I was lying down with my kids to help them fall asleep my mind was on all the things I still needed to do, and I had the thought come to me like it was Azure saying: "Just hold your kids.  I don't get to do that right now--I only get to watch from a distance.  And this time doesn't last very long. Just hold your babies."

I've always wondered about all the similar connections Brian & Azure's life had to mine & Mitch's.  We have so many things in common: we were married for the same amount of time, we both tried to have kids but miscarried before we could have them, Brian & I have both taught 6th grade, we both had baby boys first who were just months apart, and we even had the same brand of carseat so that when Mitch pulled Eric out of the car it was quick & with ease.  Our lives to that point were very similar & we were just learning what it means to have a family of your own in the great journey of marriage and parenthood.

So here we are, 3 years later.  I love the Bigler's & Starkes.  It might sound odd, but it's healing for me and my family to see them doing well.  It makes me happy to see Brian with Ginger as they build a life together and have more children.  It makes me happy to visit with Keith and Donna and to feel the strength of their testimonies of the resurrection.  And it makes me happy every time I see Eric.  I don't know if he'll ever understand the way I feel when I see him--I just love that adorable little guy, and I think I know how his mom feels about him.  He's her miracle.

A video with Azure in it:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

What is this all about?

Today I had the chance to accompany a musical number for a baptism.  A sweet young girl in our ward, at the age of 11, has chosen to be baptized.  I'm so happy I got to be there.  She was so sweet--when she came up out of the water her words were, "Did it work?"   When the Bishop got up to speak he assured her that it did in fact work.  She was probably mostly concerned about whether or not she was completely immersed or not, but her question still speaks to my heart.

Does the Lord's saving grace really work?  Yes, it does.

Then I have to ask myself:  Is my heart truly immersed in the love of the Lord?  Do I offer my heart to Him by the way I live each day?  Maybe I did yesterday, but what about TODAY?   

I don't know exactly HOW the Atonement of Jesus Christ works, but I have felt it, and I know it does.  I sat reflecting on my own baptism when I was only 8 years old.  In the dressing room afterwards, I told my mom that I felt a little different.  It wasn't a huge difference at that point in my life, but it was still a difference, and I knew it.  The Spirit of the Lord is so quiet in our hearts, like in 1 Kings 19:12, the Lord speaks to us not in earthquake, or fire, but in a still small voice--it takes effort to truly listen, but it's there.  What's amazing is that as time continues, I still feel the difference I felt that day, but in much stronger way.  I feel like I have been Born Again, but I know I must spend my life with a daily reawakening of that feeling.

For several years now, I have been known to turn to the Christian station when I'm driving places.  I get fed up with censoring the regular stations because there's so much trash on there.  So when I don't have my favorite CD's in the car and need a boost, sometimes I turn to KLOVE.  The other night I heard this song by Tenth Avenue North: Healing Begins.  I love this song--it's about confessing and forsaking your sins.  The resolution isn't the best, but I like that it shows the words.

After I got back today from the baptism, I heard of a tragic death of someone my family cares about.  He's had a rough set of circumstances in the last many years, and has died recently by taking his own life.  My heart is broken for him and for his family.  I wonder how things might have turned out different if he truly let the "light met the dark" for him.  My dad and I were talking about what more we might have done to maybe have helped him.  I also wonder how we might be able to help his family right now--they need to feel the Lord lifting them up and through heart breaking time.  If we have the feeling of being born again, it's on our shoulders to reach out and uplift and share the light with others.  Too many times people have a thought about a friend they haven't seen for a long time, but feel stupid & don't follow through with contacting them because they don't know what to say.  Maybe that was God telling you that that person needs you as a friend.  We need to be God's hands.  We need to help others feel what it feels like to have the "light meet the dark" in their lives.  How might things be different if we could help more people know and feel and truly understand that they are sons and daughters of God? 

I wonder about President Monson & all the good he's enacted in his lifetime.  He didn't stop himself from doing good works because he didn't want to feel stupid.  He never pushes away the promptings of the Spirit no matter how small or insignificant those acts of love might have seemed at the time, and in effect just one example of his service was that he formed relationships with 84 widows who requested him to speak at their funerals, because they knew he truly cared.

Here's another Christian song about our responsibility to reach out:

Anyway, it's been an interesting day for me.  I know that I am a daughter of Heavenly Father who loves me, and I love Him.  I want to be "His Hands".  I want to reach out and make a difference.

Luke 22:32

... and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

I know that when hard times come, my hope and faith will get me through, because I have felt it, and I wish I could help more people see what this life is all about.  I wish more people could feel and understand the HOPE Jesus Christ gives to us in our lives:

Isaiah 25:8-9

He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.
And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

Someday He will come and heal all of us and wipe away all of our tears, he will save us from the sorrows of this world.  In the mean time we need to remember on a daily basis what it feels like to be born again and then reach out to help others feel God in their lives one by one. 

Does it work?  In many ways, that's up to you.
Monday, October 11th
I've heard this before, but had forgotten it until it was shared at this funeral. It is comforting to remember that the Lord knows everyone's hearts and will give all of us the fairest kind of judgement possible:

The late Elder Bruce R. McConkie, formerly of the Quorum of the Twelve, expressed what many Church leaders have taught: “Suicide consists in the voluntary and intentional taking of one’s own life, particularly where the person involved is accountable and has a sound mind. … Persons subject to great stresses may lose control of themselves and become mentally clouded to the point that they are no longer accountable for their acts. Such are not to be condemned for taking their own lives. It should also be remembered that judgment is the Lord’s; he knows the thoughts, intents, and abilities of men; and he in his infinite wisdom will make all things right in due course.” (Mormon Doctrine, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966, p. 771; some italics added.)