Friday, March 26, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Used to be a Surfer

I get these quick flashes in my mind of diving beneath the ocean, or swimming at sunrise, or watching my shadow swim beneath me in the crystal, clear waters of the Hawaii beaches where I grew up. They are quick flashes of memories, that hold still for only seconds in my mind, before I am snapped back to reality. I never bother to hang onto them very long, because they are not my reality anymore. But, deep down the memories are still there, and I am holding onto them, if only for seconds.

The other day I had a quick flash of memory of what it feels like to duck dive beneath a big, blue wave, surfboard beneath my body, salt water filling my eyes and nose. It felt so good. I could literally feel the ocean around me, as I popped to the surface again, -breathing fresh air, then paddling, paddling through the choppy sea.


It seems that everyone has a past life, especially as I talk to my other parent friends, who reminisce"I used to be a full-time yoga instructor, I used to run marathons, I used to write novels, I used to travel the world, I used to love staying up all night painting......" Each looking back with fondness at life before diapers, night-waking, and jobs that require a family income.

"I used to be a surfer,"
I try to explain to my 4 year old. But it doesn't register too much in his mind. Oh well. Sometimes when we're lying in bed, he asks me to tell him bedtime stories about when I was little. So I begin the story of "Little Mommy going surfing in Hawaii," explaining in detail, what I can remember, were my favorite things about surfing:

-Clean, glassy waves, about head high, on a hot,sunny day.
-Gliding into the water, surfboard beneath me, while navigating the best route through the crashing waves and currents.
-Feeling the salt water splash my face, and arms, and toes, as I paddle out beyond the crashing waves.
-Feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and alive, with each duck dive.
-Watching the little fishes scatter as I paddle by.
-Sitting out in the deep, blue sea, legs dangling over my board, soaking in the view before me; green mountains, coconut trees, white sandy beach, friends houses lining the shore....
-Deciding which surf break will get better as the day progresses--- Perhaps Laniakeas, Pupukeas, Rocky Lefts, Velzeyland, Chuns, or Ehukai sandbars. So many possibilities, as the winds, and tides and currents change.
-Paddling into a wave, dropping in, crouching down, and feeling like I'm flying-literally flying over the ocean.
-Holding onto that rush-that natural high-and smiling bigger than I should be, as I paddle back out to catch another one.
-Getting caught in a current, and feeling my muscles pull hard against the ocean, until I finally pop out into the calm, stillness again.
-Catching my last wave in, exhausted yet exhilarated, heading home to eat and take a nap, until a sunrise session.


(a very 16 year old me)

When I'm done, I look over and he is fast asleep. And I have tears dripping down my face, remembering a time that is past gone. Oh well.
I wouldn't trade my life now for all the surfing sessions in the world, and this isn't really a post about sacrificing, or changing, or finding time as a Mom. It's simply just about missing surfing. My husband Micah always likes to say, "If you don't miss anything in life, maybe you've never truly lived."

I totally agree, and I totally miss surfing.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bon Voyage, Crawdads!


Last week we took our pet crawdads down to the river and let them free. They had been surviving in our living room aquarium all Winter long, all warm, cozy, and well fed. We caught them down by the river 6 months ago, and thought it would be a fun/educational experience for the boys.

However, for those of you that come over regularly, you've probably heard me tell you how much I hated those crawdads--staring at me with their beady eyes, and haunting me with their creepy, crawly pincers! I couldn't wait to throw em' back in the river where they came from!! Bwahahah Bwahahahaa! (evil, vengeful laugh)

Run little crayfish! Run and be free!!
(I even left them with a nice, big, piece of pork as a parting gift)


Well, I finally got my chance--and then took everyone straight to the pet store to get some furry, fuzzy, little mice. We love them so much!! One is named "Peanut Butter" and the other is "Jelly Sauce". Named after Zadok's favorite foods, I suppose.

Here's to non-freaky, creepy, little spider-like animals living in my front room! And instead, some stinky, little fur balls that we call pets. :)


By the way, thanks Dad for the "pet" hampster you sent. Although it skitters around the house, makes squeaky noises, and feels furry and cute, I think the kids knew right away, the difference between a pet that is real and one that takes batteries. Ha ha!
They love it! We'll put it in the cage when the mice die.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Thinking good things.....

I was just thinking,
as I do,
at 4:13 in the morning,
when I can't sleep,
because of some weird, internal alarm clock,
preparing me for a newborn,
I suppose.

So, I was just thinking about,
how excited I am to have this baby,
and that I keep calling it her,
even though that might be wishful thinking......,
and I won't be upset if she's a boy.

I was just thinking how,
I love this baby growing inside me,
kicking and squirming in there.
Growing organs, muscles, bones, and hair,
and becoming a little humanoid.

Who will someday laugh at the dinner table with us,
and tell funny jokes,
and have her own, quirky smile,
and her own talents and abilities,
and call me Mommy.

I was just thinking how jittery and excited I get,
about pushing her out.
Like planning for a party, or some big event,
where Micah and I are in charge, and she is the star.
Maybe this time I will try to bake a cake for her birth day.

I was thinking how ungrateful and stupid it is,
to complain about pregnancy.
Like somehow my size and shape,
my ability (or inability) to breathe and walk,
the aches and pains,
are somehow a curse to me.

They aren't.


Every day they are a beautiful reminder,
that God is blessing us with a child.

Thank you. Thank you a million times for making me a Mom.

23 weeks

And for transforming me into the person I am supposed to be.
More than a bump on my belly,
I am becoming the daughter of God,
who is fullfilling my destiny,
completely and lovingly,
and becoming a better person each day.

Not because of anything I've done.
No, no, no, that would've been way too chaotic.
But because He allowed me to open my heart,
and become a wife, and a Mother.

Those two things changed my life forever.

I am thinking I will go back to bed now and cuddle my family.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Local Inspiration

We have quite the amazing group of mothers who come to our local chapter of La Leche League. I am proud to be a part of their experiences, as we meet each month to discuss breastfeeding, mothering, and life in general! The meetings are only an hour 1/2 long, but they leave me with a high for the rest of the week!

This past year we've had quite the eclectic group of breastfeeding mothers, each with her own story of inspiration to share. A variety of women show up each month, and sometimes we never know what little pieces of their lives we can bring home with us!

In general, we have moms nursing newborns, moms nursing twins, moms nursing toddlers, moms tandem nursing, moms pregnant and nursing, moms who need help nursing, moms who give help with nursing, moms who are working and nursing, moms who struggle through nursing, moms re lactating after a nursing hiatus, moms who come to learn about nursing their future babies........and on and on.


We had a Mom this past year have a baby born with cleft lip palate. He really struggled with latching on, and went through a battle of surgeries, bottles, and discouraging relatives, before he finally got it! They are now nursing great..after 5 months of practice! Talk about perseverance and dedication!

Only a small percentage (about 3%) of women can't make milk, due to hormonal deficiencies. However, we know at LLL, that with a little information, education, support, and determination, the other 97% can.

It's great to be around women who won't take no for an answer.
Find a group near you!! Click here.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sugar Cube Temples

I heard about making these sweet, little, mini LDS temples but then I searched and searched and couldn't find a very helpful sugar cube temple tutorial, so I am making one!
We did these for our 8-11 year old Primary Girls, however, I think they are fun for just about any age group!

First you need the following materials:

sugar cubes
Elmers school glue
hot glue gun and glue
gold paint, paint brush
Little Moronis (instructions below)
Artificial flowers
rocks
Anything pretty to decorate them.

It takes 53 little cubes to make this particular Temple. We live near the St. George, UT temple, so we compared ours to that one, however I think these could probably represent any sparkly, white temple. (The St. George doesn't have a Moroni on it anyways, by the way!)


Arrange and glue the cubes in rows of 5 long, 3 across. Then two rows on the top of 2 long, 3 across. On the very top are the last two sugar cubes, and your little Angel Moroni on the very top.
Angel Moroni needs to be hot glued on. The cubes can be elmers glued. (If you use hot glue on the cubes they turn into mush)

Instructions for Angel Moroni:

I went to the craft store and found little, wooden pieces to be the body and head. The bodies are letter i's. The heads are some wooden beads. I suppose you could use beads, too, if you wanted; An oblong bead for the body, and a round one for the head.
Then roll up some paper and glue it shut, for the trumpets.
Glue them all together with the hot glue gun, and paint gold.




Lastly, decorate your temple grounds with glitter, flowers, rocks, or whatever else you find!

When making our temples, with my 2 year old and 4 year old, I found I had to be very flexible and throw my perfectionism out the window. I loved each of their interpretations of what we were creating! Whatever you do, have fun!
This below, is 2 year old's "Choo-choo train Temple"

This below, is 4 year old's "Two towers church-temple." (they are very different children!)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Daily Life

Some pictures from around the home...


Odin was really ill a couple weeks ago, and I actually enjoyed the quiet, cuddle time. But, it was even nicer watching his spunky personality come back, as he got all well again. A well baby is better than a sick baby!


The boys are captivated by computer games! This is something fun they like to do with their Micah. Glad he has two knees.



When the sunlight hits the front window in just the right spot, there is a beautiful trail of dust lined up in the living room. The kids like to try and catch it. They call them "dust bunnies!" It's actually pretty cool.


Little one liks to help Mommy make the waffles.....

Big brother likes to eat them.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Working is a job


This past week we took our Primary church girls on a tour of a local thrift store. This particular thrift store it is owned and operated by the LDS church, and is a strictly non-profit organization. They have them all over the United States.
I learned a few really cool things about Deseret Industries during our one 1/2 -hour tour. For instance:
*the D.I. provides on-the-job training skills for low-income families, immigrants, and those who don't have the job skills necessary to find work.
*Most of the donations received by D.I. are sold to help humanitarian aid.
*These past months have been extremely busy as they've been shipping most of the clothing and shoe donations to Haiti and Chile.
*Many of the donations received are issued out for free, to church members who can't afford basic necessities like couches, chairs, and school clothes for their kids.
*Dirty, ripped, or worn clothing donations, are recycled into rags for cleaning businesses.
*Almost all the stuff donated finds a new home or is recycled.
And my personal favorite:
*The D.I. is an excellent place to bargain hunt and find treasures for cheap!

Our tour was a lot of fun, as we got a behind-the-scenes look at how a thrift store operates, and what good impact it has on the world. The best part was, the store manager had our girls "work" for 20 minutes or so, sorting and cleaning the store.
It was cool to see their faces light up, as they felt they were doing something meaningful with their time and energy.

(Our group! I am a co-Leader in charge of providing service and skill oriented activities for the girls in our church, ages 8-11)

I think it's important to teach kids from a young age that money doesn't grow on trees, and work is necessary to live! I have definitely experienced a sense of confidence and satisfaction in my life, as I look back on all the many jobs I have had. Starting from when I was a 12 year old babysitter, I knew that working was a necessary part of life. Not only did it enable me to buy my own bon-bons that nobody else could eat, but it also provided me with a sense of purpose and responsibility in life.
Since those first days of sitting, I have had lots of different jobs. My first real job was at the Laie Movie Theatre, where I cleaned up after the movies, and sold popcorn to patrons. For the next 10 years I have worked as: a waitress and bartender at various restaurants, a sales person at a shoe store, a full time nanny, a cashier at a truck side stand, a caregiver at an eating disorder treatment center, a Wilderness Therapy Field Guide, a Trailwalker, a Ropes Course Instructor (favorite job, ever!), a counselor at a group home for troubled girls,a secretary for a Fire-extinguisher company, and well, that was the last job I had before kids!

Right now in my life I have no desire to work away from our kids, however, I have seen the impact my past jobs have had on my feelings towards motherhood and community service. Knowing the value of work, and seeing a job through, has allowed me to feel confident, motivated, accountable, and goal oriented in my church, community, and Mom responsibilities. Not every day is perfect, and there is a lot of hard work involved, but there is a great reward inside my heart. :)

Work can be very satisfying, and a happy experience, too. We want our kids to feel a great sense of joy and fun in work, but we also want them to know, from a young age, that you have to work, to live. That's just the truth of it. Taking personal responsibility for your life and actions, being self sufficient, and earning your right to fancy privileges, is something I feel very strongly about. (Nothings for free, kids!)
And through hard work and effort, blessings come in great measures!

I am grateful for the people who have encouraged me to work in my life, and for the people that helped me out when I needed it! My parents are both hard workers, and I am extremely proud of their examples. Without them, well, I would probably still be lounging on their couches eating bon-bons!

Would you like ranch with your fries?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Journaling/blogging

I wrote a nice, long post on here, then felt in my heart of hearts that some things are better left written for my personal journal.
Some day I want to print off my blog and add it to my journal.

I keep a personal journal filled with all the cute, funny, and mind-blowing stuff my kids say each week. I hold those things close to my heart.
I write about my life, my marriage, my spirituality, and the deepest secrets and desires of my heart. Those things are for my posterity to read, so they know who their great-great-great-great grandmother was. ha ha. Or I guess my kids can read it when I'm old.

I have been journaling since I was old enough to write. There's definitely something therapeutic about putting words on paper, and letting the ink flow. I keep thinking I should ditch the hardcovers and start journaling on the computer, but it's just not the same as ink. Creativity and emotions have a way of letting themselves free, when I give them a piece of paper.

I like blogging. It gives my friends and family an insight into my life--without boring you with all the details!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I Collect Skirts

My Dad came out to visit last September and bought me two, beautiful skirts. He only asked that, in return, I blog about my skirt obsession. So, funny Dad-- It has taken me awhile, but here it is:

I lovest my skirts!
I love their vibrant colors and diversified fabrics of joy.
Long skirts, short skirts, flowy skirts, stiff skirts,
beaded skirts, wrap-around skirts, black skirts, tie-dye skirts;
all of them are special to me.
I wear them all year long,
it doesn't matter if there's rain or snow.
Each skirt makes me feel happy,
except for when they snag and rip on some sharp object.
I buy them at thrift stores, or yard sales, or funky stores I spot around town.
Some are hand-me-downs from old friends.
One of my favorite skirts belonged to my friends Mother,
an old, rainbow-sparkly, hippie skirt from the 60's.
She is dead now, but not her skirt!
I've sewed two skirts.
There are 3 on the mending table, waiting to be worn again.
Maternity skirts and regular skirts--I wear them all.

Skirts mean freedom, movement, fresh air.
They mean feeling dressed up on a frumpy day.
Skirts never go out of fashion.
Skirts look great on men, too.


I like the way the flowy ones fold around me when I sit down--
like a lovely tortilla wrapping up it's favorite food.
I like the way skirts make me feel; pretty, feminine, easy-going, relaxed.

And that's why I love skirts.