Thursday, February 25, 2010

R & R

Nic got me a gift certificate to a spa for Christmas. In her clever planning... she also got a gift certificate to the same spa for Christmas.
We had an amazing 'winter' pedicure to save our poor feet from the effects of living in this dry cold place. It was perfect to lift my spirits... I just tried not to look down at my kankles and sausage toes.
We had visited a very nice spa on our sisters retreat last year to Moab. It was the nicest spa I had visited... and we took full advantage of the robes, slippers, snacks, drinks, massage, steam room, sauna, and steam showers. It was awesome!
This spa was equally awesome. And had a great fireplace to sit and relax in front of.
The two estheticians were amazing. They were fun to talk to, and really loved their jobs. You know it's a good place when they love working there so much.
I felt bad, because I don't have dry skin... so I've never been good at lathering on the lotion. I use lotions for smelling... not for moisturizing. Nic has dry skin, so she is religious about lotioning her feet every night. I just suffer through the winter and don't worry too much about my feet.
The poor girl earned her tip... I felt bad she had to 'sand blast' the calluses off my heals. Terrible!

Funny story...
Neither Nic or I are ticklish. Our feet cannot be tickled. I always contributed it to growing up without shoes on. You run across that hot asphalt street enough times, and you lose feeling. I can have bare feet and walk on almost any surface. I haven't tried the circus trick where they walk on glass, but I probably could look into that career if something happens to Mike.
Anyways... the esthitician said that she was told that being ticklish is an inability to read pressure. So somewhere during your life, you developed areas of you body that you can't read pressure. Which means I must have tolerated a lot of pressure growing up... sounds about right. Interesting.
It really was an amazing night of pampering. Then of course we ended up talking till too late, but she's the best person to talk to. I really feel blessed to have such a great sister.
We spent last Saturday making freezer meals for Jay. We busted out 20 meals for them, and a couple for ourselves. Nic is a great cook, and she works so hard... regardless of what she's doing. Always willing to help, and my favorite person to do things like this with. I was telling her that it's great to do tings with her, because I never worry about anything. She is dependable, and for someone who really struggles depending on people, I can say that she is as good as it gets!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Big Fat Bummer


Bummer... this post will be a real bummer.
I recently worked my hardest to accomplish something. I gave it everything I had, honestly I'm not sure there was anything else I could have done!
I picture will get hung on the wall... another constant reminder of my failures and lack of self-control. I know it's a photo that everyone else will be fine with. And when openly complain about it... I will only be told "you look good!" and "it's not bad!" But honestly, after expecting certain results... the fact is that I'm extremely disappointed. If I don't believe it, it doesn't matter. I will keep my mouth shut and not complain... because there's nothing worse for me than feeling patronized. Even though I know it's just other people trying to be nice.
I guess I need to learn the lesson that... as bad as I might want something, I may never get it.
I know that I need to become more content with myself. And truthfully... that's probably the true lesson I need. I often times want something I don't need as much as I think I do. Or... what I want is stupid and superficial.
Happiness.
I need to find a way to be happy, and still keep a drive to improve. I seem to feel the most motivated by my unhappiness with something or someone. How do I become happy with myself, and still improve myself. Here's the cycle...
1. I get in a state of unhappiness, disgust, or become downright miserable.
2. I get through it by committing to make a change, overhaul myself.
3. I (hopefully) make a change... or at least make some moves in the direction that makes me happier.
4. I get into a better mental place, and decide to love myself. Accept my weaknesses and just be a happier person.
5. THEN... become happier with myself... only to revert back to the things that originally make me so miserable.
So my dilemma is... how do I love myself... accept my weaknesses... and still improve myself? My desire to improve myself seems to disappear when I decide I need to love myself for who I am.
I worry that I don't know how to be happy without self-destructing. It's almost like no mater what, I'm still not content with the results.
There is ALWAYS areas to improve. And even when I improve, I'm not quite happy yet. If I want to lose 20 pounds, I work hard to do so. But then when I reach my goal... I find that I need to lose another 10. I get discouraged, and decide to love myself. Then I love myself back to where I started.
I'm the same way with my kids, or cleaning my house, or scripture study. I find that no matter how hard I work, or how much I improve... I'm not where I want to be.
I know I'm not happy when my criticizing starts expanding from myself... to everything else. I start to find fault in everything and everyone. I walk away from a situation with only the negative parts. Or I over analyze and twist anything said until it becomes a bad thing. I think that everyone being nice to me is lying, and statr pushing people away.
Sometimes it just feels as if I just don't WANT to be happy. But I do.
How do I accept others, but not myself? Am I really accepting of others, or do I do the same thing with the people around me?
It's almost as if 'accepting who I am' is just an excuse to not try.
Maye I don't know the true meaning of acceptance. Or I just don't truly know how to accept.
What it all seems to boil down to is selfishness. I don't think it's fair that I have to work so hard to lose weight. Even if I lose some... I can't lose enough to be happy.
I can pray, search scriptures, and I still don't know why I can't fit in here. I don't know what I'm doing wrong.
I can make myself 'to do' list, but can never get it all done. I can't get my house clean. I can't do all the things I want to do with my kids. I feel lazy. Too tired to keep up.
I can make myself feel better by 'letting it go' or 'accepting' myself. But it's just giving up. And giving up doesn't make it better... and doesn't mean that all that stuff is magically fixed.
Depressing... I know. I think I just need the sun to come back.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day

Mike and I take turns each year planning a Valentine's date. I know there are those who "don't believe" in the holiday. Stupid, commercialized, a ploy or government holiday, crowded restaurants, blah, blah... keep on complaining. What holiday isn't a government holiday now days? Christmas is the biggest marketing ploy, but I still celebrate and buy gifts. I think some people are cheap and frankly a little selfish... investing in your relationship is never stupid. I am grateful for a hubby who indulges in silly romance... even if it's 'stupid'.
Our big date does not have to be expensive... only memorable. Time is the most valuable gift we can give and receive. It was my year, and since we are 'getting away' in a few weeks, I tried to pack a punch in a few hours. So we got a couples massage and went to dinner.
Mike and massages... I must elaborate.
Mike is the definition of a 'manly man' not too evolved from the caveman. I knew that it would never happen. But I guess this is why our relationship works... I push him out of his box. And he gets out a marker and draws a box to help keep me in one place... and he draws a box big enough to keep me who I am.
So this was my plan. I scheduled an appointment without talking about it first. (don't ask/don't tell) I drove us there and we walked in. He shook a woman's hand and we walked back to a dim room. He looked at me and said "What are we doing?" By that point he had no choice but to take his clothes off and endure it.
And just as I expected... he loved every minute. Now, years later, he was so happy to hear of our plans.
Our date was fabulous. We went to dinner early to avoid too much wait... although a night of waiting together is still... together. (It's not like we could starve) I love spending time with that wonderful man, and I'm so stinkin' happy to be married to him. Love him!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Parenting doesn't get much better than this week

I have to start blogging everyday, only because things come out of my kids' mouth and I think "I HAVE to remember to write that down". Then I forget.
This morning Sophie and I were snuggling (which she calls Snaggling) in my bed this morning. She stood up and apparently had a major wedgie under her nightgown. She gets a bothered look on her face and says "Mom?... I think that my bum is eating my underwear for breakfast!"

My parenting class ended this week. I wish I could continue it for the rest of my life. It seems that a weekly reminder is the only way I can retain and use information.
I can say that I got so much from it. I can really love my kids more when I'm not stressed out, and inpatient. The biggest thing I learned is that I worry way too much. I make too many rules. I love my kids to the point of wanting to control things I can't control. Realizing the things I can and can't control works wonders for my sanity.
In searching for the tools to try and be a better Mom for Sophie... it has made me realize all the things I've done to screw up the others. It's not that my first three were easier, or better behaved. It was that they learned how to survive my controlling parenting methods, and probably conformed to what I wanted from them. Mainly out of fear I bet.
I can only take solace in thinking it's not too late to change.
I will never be perfect. I will never even become the parent I want to be... but I can do better. I can ask for forgiveness. I can learn that in accepting their mistakes and weaknesses... they will hopefully return the favor and accept my shortcomings.


On a similar note... I had Parent/Teacher Conferences this week...
Sophie's evaluation was in typical Sophie style. I'm always surprised in the fact that she is much smarter than I think she is. She retains SO much more than I think. (Then I think about her ability to push my buttons and remember that she is smarter than I am in most situations. And my underestimating her is the proof that she is smarter than I will ever know. Stinker.)
Addi is in K-garten, and loves every minute. Then again, she loves every minute of her entire life. Her positive attitude is the most incredible quality I've ever known, and blesses the lives of everyone around her.
Lexi's teacher was sick, and had to cancel her appointments. Thankfully, I get to be in the class on Friday's, so I'm not worried. Lex is my quiet shell with a loud personality. She's got so much heart it's unbelievable!
Cori's teacher was the funniest. I was her first appointment, and when I got there she was not in the classroom. I waited a few minutes then got a bit worried. We don't get much time, and I had another teacher right afterward. With about 5 minutes to go, I see her walking down the hall. She meets me in the entryway to say, "Cori's great. I'm never worried about her." I just looked at her, waiting for more. Then she said "Do you have any worries?" I said "Nope. Thanks." And that was that. No worries... a decent report.

I registered Sophie for K-garten. I'm sure I don't how much my life will change in the next couple years.
I'm not worried about being bored. I've honestly been looking forward to this time for 10 years. I'm excited to work. And even though I will miss spending the time with my sweeties... I cannot tell a lie... being a 'stay at home Mom' does not completely fill my cup. Maybe I have a bigger selfish bone than others... it's probably my femur.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The fun has arrived

After a crazy 28 weeks, my sister had her twins on Thursday, February 9th.
Paetyn came into this world at a whopping 1lb. 1oz. and 12 inches long...

And her younger... but bigger sister Morgan tipped the scales at 2lbs. 5oz. and 14 inches long...

I knew I belonged to an older generation when I found out that an email had been sent out with the big news... and for someone who checks her email only a couple times a week... I was told through the grapevine. (Not just through the grapevine... my grandma called me... she's my internet savvy informer)
The sad thing, was that my Mom was out-of-town on a business trip. I read the email and while the girls were doing surprising well, for being so tiny... Jay lost a lot of blood. I realized this and felt horrible that she didn't even have her Mom here for the birth of her first child... I mean children. I thought I would head to the hospital, even just to be someone in the waiting room.
My sister and I have not been the closest over the last couple years. We are about as opposite as two people can get. I will say that regardless of differences... the bond between my sisters is unbelievably strong. And when all hell breaks loose, I know that my sisters are the people who will be there for me. We have a crazy amount of dedication to each other... even if we drive each other crazy :)
So I get to the hospital to find my sister as white as a ghost. Literally, it scared the crap out of me. Usually, you see a woman who just gave birth and say "You look amazing!" Because anyone who has gone through it knows that if you can have your insides ripped out of you and manage to still be in one piece... with a smile on your face... you look incredible!
I didn't want to say that I was worried about her... but I was. They were just starting her first blood transfusion, and she desperately needed it. They were also giving her some Demerol for pain. Within minutes, she was looking a lot better. Her incision from the c-section looked amazing. The doctor came in and explained why she had lost so much blood. He said he had to cut through blood vessels as thick as his fingers. (and he is a large man!) He talked about how great the girls were doing, and that they are "as good as anyone could hope for" given how little they are.
Jay was hoping to see her girls, and understandably ticked her off that she hadn't seen them yet. (I remember when they didn't bring Sophie back to me after she was born... I was not a happy lady!) My littlest sister showed up, and even with the improvement I had witnessed, I could tell Sam was worried. Jay and Kyle started filling her in on the events. I looked over to see her sit down in the chair. She looked at me and said "I think I'm going to pass out." Next thing I know... Sam head dives towards the floor. I grabbed her just in time to save her skull from smacking the floor. But from the angle I had her, I couldn't bring her back to an upright position. Jay was too drugged to see me bent over at the end of her bed. And it took Kyle a bit to understand what I was doing. (It says something about my family to know that those types of things look like we could just be messing around.)
Kyle helped me get her back up in the chair. And the nurse quickly got her some juice.
As Jay got more pain meds in her, she got more and more relaxed. She looked pretty darn comfortable. Then she started saying things like "You guys should try this stuff" and "I wish we could all do this together" When Kyle said "We should all try it at a concert." Jay got a big smile and slurred "That would be sick!" Too funny!
They were able to finally get Jay to the NICU. Sam and I went down to the gift shop and found the cutest pink baby vase of flowers. Then Nic showed up with some beautiful flowers.
I'm so proud of Jay. Her strength through this pregnancy and delivery. She is an amazing Mom, and loves those girls with all her heart. Her selflessness is incredible, and Kyle is a stellar husband... and now a stellar Daddy.
I so happy for them, and wish them luck on the crazy road ahead!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The end is near

I think that it's interesting... and a bit concerning...that I've heard so much counsel lately on preparedness. It's not anything new, I mean it's all information I've heard before, it just seems to be more and more frequently.
We've had Sunday School lessons, RS lessons, both VT messages this year... and so on. This past week it's been on my mind a lot.
I'm not a 'doomsday' person, and I don't get caught up in the consipiracy theories about "the world ending", but I can say that I worry about bad things appinging to our nation. I can see where a supply of food and a reserve of financial security.
Part of my personal battle includes justifying my half-a efforts as good enough... or better than most people. Somehow, I think that "better than other people" won't do me much good when it comes down to it.
My 72-hour kits are stocked and in place, we have a decent amount of food stored, and I feel like things are pretty much in order if we encountered disaster. But... I have this voice in my head telling me that there's more to be done. A persistent little voice that keeps nagging at me to put more effort into being better prepared.
I keep dismissing the voice, hoping it will just go away. But lately, I feel like it's coming in all directions, I can't avoid it.
So I'm thinking I have to take action, I have to finally listen to that voice and realize the things I need to do. Buggers!
On another note... my sister had twins... very, very prematurely. I was able to visit her soon after she had them. Our Mom was out-of-town, and I felt so bad for her. Even though my sister and I haven' been the closest, I would do anything to show support for her situation.
Even when she showed concern at the possibility of a stretchmarks on her stomach... I was able to bite my tongue and be supportive.
It's amazing how modern medicine can keep these little people alive! The bigger baby weighed two and a half pounds, and the other baby was barely over one pound. They truly are little miracles. I hope they don't suffer any long-term struggles and I hope they fight through any obstacles that might come their way.
My sister seems to be handling the situation very well, and I pray she will be able to stay strong through the coming months.
Here's what I've learned this week...
Regardless of hurt feelings, or differences between family members... when push comes to shove... family will always pull together. I would do ANYTHING for my sisters, and I know they would do the same for me. Family ties are strong, and in my opinion... unbreakable. It's sad that it sometimes takes tragedies to know just how strong that bond is, but I'm glad to know it's there.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Manda's Big Day

I had the opportunity to escort my sister through the temple. She was taking out her endowments a week before her wedding. She is such an amazing woman, a great example to me in my life.
Going through the temple with her reminded me of some of the feelings I had the first time I went through.
My Mom and I hadn't been very close, in fact... planning the wedding was the most we had talked or spent time together since I was probably 11 years old. We got along much better after I moved away from home... and I wasn't involved much in my own wedding. We went dress shopping together, and talked about things now and then... but that was about it.
So I didn't really have anyone to help prepare me for my first time at the temple. Part of why I admire my sister, is because of the preparations she made before that big day.
That was a bigger day for me than the day I got married. My nerves were shot, and I threw up on the way to the temple.
As I went through with her, the temple workers were so impressed with the calmness and confidence she had about everything. The workers kept saying "We have some brides/women come through who look so scared and confused." I wanted to say "Yep! That was me!"
It was such a great experience to be a part of, and I don't think she'll ever understand how much it meant to me, that she wanted me to do that with her.
It's great to look up to my little sister... she is one of the smartest and most genuine person I know.
The following Saturday was the wedding. I did her hair and make-up the morning of... bright and early... or should I say 'not-so-bright' and early. I can't think of the last time I woke up when it was still that dark outside.
After getting her all ready, I realized I had only left myself 30 minutes to get out the door. I quickly did my make-up, and seriously considered pulling up my hair a ponytail. I decided to try and quickly straighten it... blah.
Oh well! It was too busy of a day for me to worry about it. Plus, the fact that Mike had to get the girls ready to meet us at the temple made me think that damage control with their hair would be the enough to worry about.
I was responsible for the decorations at the reception. It was at a beautiful place, so luckily the table decor was all I had to do.
Manda (who is so amazing and smart) had a very limited budget, so I got creative and came up with some cheap (and fairly modern) centerpieces.
Tension was running rather high, and the funny part was that Manda's was the most relaxed. I had to tell my self... and my sister... "don't let me get this stressed when my girls get married" It doesn't make it fun for other people. It's like that saying "too many cooks in the kitchen"
Anyways...
The self-centered focus building up to this day paid off. I set some outrageous weight loss goals, and anticipated this day way too much. I can say that with all my hard work, it did pay off. I was able to be pretty happy with the way I looked, and felt good in my efforts.
I'm so happy for Manda... she is an amazing person, and I have no doubt that she will accomplish great things. Her husband is so lucky to have her, and he's a great guy himself. I wish them infinite happiness, and all the blessings in the world.