Thursday, September 29, 2011

The best 8 Days of Bluefield....

A few months ago when I lived in the nucleus of the Mormon Beehive in happy Utah valley I was constantly amazed at how many little quotes stenciled, stitched and painted on anything and everything, anywhere you go. Now don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of something well said or a deep quote but it seems to me like little quotes are the new pokemon cards for homemakers and its a craze.  It's as if people will literally will forget to "live, laugh and love" if it's not posted in their living room; or heaven forbid the classic, "Always kiss me goodnight" in massive vinyl letters (if you need vinyl lettering to remind you to kiss goodnight, I think you should be investing in marriage counseling, not vinyl letters).  Anyway, I saw one a few months ago that made me roll my eyes because it was a no brainer.  It simply said, "Family is everything."  Well, let me tell you that I could make wallpaper, bathroom rugs, and a front door that says "family is everything" because I have come to realize just how dang true that is.  Family is everything.  Everything. Did you get that?  Everything.  I was more than thrilled to have my mom and Em come for 8 days of pure joy to my new world (I would say state, but this place is seriously in its own orbit).  
Liv became an instant celebrity.  Justin Beiber looked like a regular old trash collector compared to the attention Liv received.  I told them about her newest trick of rolling over but she hardly ever got the chance to perform because she was being held, coddled, gooed at, and kissed every second of the day. They even wanted to wake her up from her nap because they would miss her.  This befuddled me.
  I wanted them to feel like they got their money's worth so I took them to all the big attractions. The Disneyland of West Virginia....our coal mine in Pocahontas. 
Not to mention an authentic  Bluefield auction where the natives get together to bid over hideous plastic pink flowers that were in style back when Teddy Ruxpin, high tops, and BUM brand were all hip.
We visited an old abandoned train.  Can you believe our entertainment?  Why go to the beach when you can come to Bluefield and see all these sights for free?  That's right folks, free.  Book your ticket today, we're only 3 hours away from the nearest airport so give Liv and I little notice so we can pick you up in time...
One of the zenith aspects of the entire trip was being with Uncle Jared, Aunt Jodi and their darling boys.  We toured UofV and enjoyed lunch with Jodi and shopping in Charlottesville.  We loved being with them and their family (more to come on this particular topic).
Liv soaked up the attention like a swiffer on a sopping wet floor.  She laughed like crazy and adored being adored. It was so fun to see everyone get so excited about my constant companera. It's like I had been living with this treasure trove and didn't even know because I had gotten used to it until everyone came and raved.
Hands down, one of the best days and discoveries of the trip was a little place called Bramwell where we found the original diner with old soda fountains, the best sandwich and potato soup and of course supreme company.  More to come on this place as well.  This is just a little teaser of great things to come...
Game night in the evenings was also a source of excellent cheap laughs as we played our best senile nertz, racko, and loaded questions.  I love games. I love family. I love the combo meal of having both at one table.  My own table.
Garrett deserves an award for being so patient with all the same DNA estrogen all in the same house.  I bet he was thankful for the first time that he worked nights.  We never went to bed before 2 because we would talk and talk and talk and talk.  I loved it.  Every word. 
I was so happy that all the women I love got to coexist together.  Every morning I would wake up and get so excited that my mom and sister were in the next bedroom and that we would have all day to just be.  I hope Liv gets sisters and a mom like I have. There couldn't be anything better because I state my original claim that family is everything. Amen.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Big day....

Big day today. Huge. Liv rolled over today.  If you don't have a journal, go buy one so you too can record this epic event.  Maybe you are what we call a blog skimmer and you didn't fully understand what I said so I am going to re type this very slowly so you can soak it all in....Liv rolled over today.  I am with Liv every day, all day.  G is working nights this month at the hospital so when I say it's a girls night, that is essentially every night ( the novelty is quickly wearing off).  Anyway, G said that today was my lucky day because he finished his case presentation and had a few hours after he woke up before he had to go back to work so he said he would watch Liv while I could do whatever I wanted for an hour.  Well, that was a rare opportunity indeed so I went to the most exotic place in the town next to ours...Wally's palace. Yes, Walmart. Alone. In solitude. Just me, the cart, and mobs of all kinds of people with a variety of tattoos and wife beaters all cramming their carts with "great value" brand items just like me. 

Well I was at the bread aisle getting rolls because the sister missionaries were coming over for dinner and I A. Don't know how to make rolls and B. Forgot to pull out the frozen ones that make it look like I know how to make rolls when my phone rang.  G proudly proclaimed that Liv had just rolled over for the first time.  Out of all the hundreds of hours that I had spent being Liv's "roll coach" laying on my belly dangling overpriced cat toys in front of her face making weird baby cooing encouragement mothering noises, trying to help her heave her thunder thighs over, she chose the one hour, the only hour that I have left in weeks to bust her move.  I think she did it on purpose.

I was shocked at how excited I was at this new trick.  I couldn't have been prouder if she had won a gold medal, won "Americas got talent", landed the Hinckley scholarship and won Miss the same time.  Now, if in 20 years, the only the she has accomplished is rolling over, I will be extremely disappointed.  As a 28 year old, my mom doesn't start going nuts every time I roll over. I had this split second epiphany about how Heavenly Father feels being a parent; I think our small little successes in life are both known and rejoiced over, however, just because we do something does not mean that Heavenly Father forgets about our potential or what He wants us to become.  I think He is thrilled and happy when we "roll over" for where we are in our spiritual development but still has great plans and expectations for who we can eventually become. Those small things matter. I love being a mom.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I like....

G's dad took us to lunch while we were in Michigan and I am still thinking, no not thinking, dreaming of what made my tastebuds tingle.  It was called Ridley's Deli and I have never beheld such a sandwich, nor anything like unto it in all my years of digestion.  I hate when I go to a restaurant and eat something and think, "Duh, I could have made this in my own kitchen, it's like 15$ pasta roni with a couple of free breadsticks."  Ridley's was something else; and right then and there I decided how much I like going out to lunch when it's something so good that there is no way, an no amount of watching food network that would ever teach you how to replicate it.  I have always liked going out to lunch.  It's less expensive than dinner, it usually means you are with friends you enjoy, and it's a fun half time break in the middle of a day.  Liked it.  Liv slept the whole time which was also a plus.  I found 3 things today that I liked so I will share them now:

Item #1- I like these pillow cases. I think I am going to buy them.
Item #2- I like this hat. This is a real hat.  If I was ever rich enough and lived in England and was invited to rich hat wearing occasions, I would want this hat:
Item #3- I like this because it is funny.  That's all, nothing but some free cheap laughs. Try it next time you have a pen and you are bored.

I love a lot of things and a lot of people but that is different. Like is not love. I love Gar and Liv. I love the gospel. I love Christmas. I love Kix with strawberries and sugar. Like is a definite step down from love but still important. That is why I have listed these items because they are things I liked today.  Chances are, if you are reading this blog then I like you too.

The adventures of Liv and style.

Saturday was the wedding of our friend Michaela so I told Liv on the drive about wedding etiquette. Frankly, I haven't been  to many civil weddings before but I figured it would be like the movies and people saying "I do,"  with all the good food, expensive bridesmaid dresses, decoration, cheesy love songs playing the background minus the sealing power.  No big deal.  Well, I wasn't feeling stressed until I got in the car and realized that there was not an address to the church on the invitation.  I called someone for directions to put in the GPS and they said the GPS wouldn't pick up where it was and gave me some vague unhelpful hints that made me feel like I was on a backwoods scavenger hunt.  By the time we arrived Liv was doing her "I'm a teradactyl being stabbed" scream in the backseat.  I calmed her down and rushed into the chapel but as soon as we opened the doors I realized that the bridesmaids had already started walking down the aisle and Liv chose that moment to fill her lungs and let out a screech that was the precursor to her screaming cry she often does at inopportune times.  So we spent the entire wedding sitting on the steps outside the church in a town that I don't know the name of because it didn't show up on the GPS.  It will be a long long time before I ever bring Liv to another wedding again. At least a wedding in West Virginia where no one knows the address.

Thought of the day...

Seminary WV style...

I love a lot of things.  A lot. I love Sonic strawberry cream slushes in the middle of summer in your car with your windows rolled down and the AC going at the same time. I love good taste samples at Costco during lunch. I love the skin on old people's hands that is wrinkled and looks like it is 2 sizes to big and they still wear cologne or perfume that is a signature old person smell.  I love when you're listening to a song in the car and you pull into your driveway exactly when the song is ending.  I love the silky cotton on the top of vitamin bottles. I love laughing so hard that I can't breathe well and my only response is to clap my hands like a retarded seal and let a very unattractive, unfeminine gut laugh escape before I implode.  Besides Garrett and the people in my life, the thing on Earth that I love more than anything else is teaching seminary.  Without a doubt, teaching with the best men I have ever met in my life, and Kay (who if I get rich enough someday I will have a statue made of her for my entry way) was by far one of the most significant and enjoyable experiences of my entire life.  I've been to Hawaii and I would rather have that job for a week than sit on a beach with tanning oil sipping pineapple juice (see pic for reason why below:)

Anyway, I was called to be a seminary teacher again but it is a VERY and let me say VERY different experience.  I went from teaching 180 youth of the noble birthright to teaching 5.  It should be early morning but they live 1 1/2 hours away from each other so we meet at night before mutual. It's more like seminary tutoring.  With such a small class roster we def enjoy certain perks like Wendy's frosties for reading rewards.  Most of the teenagers parents are inactive and they are the only LDS kids in the whole area so it is a great responsibility to teach them. Even though it is so different, I am loving it (I should say Liv and I are loving it because she lays on the floor plugged up with a pacifier for all the lessons)  Even though I miss the Lone Peak peeps more than their intelligent minds will ever fully process, it does feel so good again just to be with the combo meal I love most...scriptures and teenagers.

The day of warm rain...

Guess what I've got under my shirt?
 So Liv and I were visiting our friend and we all decided to go on a walk.  Simple. Normal activity. Normally it feels like the whole state is on a massive vaporizer with the humidity but the skies were blue and it was deodorant defying warm.  We started out and walked and walked and walked (feel free to sing along).  The pioneers would have been proud even though we had only made it 3 blocks when all of a sudden there was a slight sprinkle.  So slight you couldn't be sure if someone had sneezed on you or if it had come out of a spray bottle from the sky, so we paid no attention and kept walking until all of a sudden it was like a giant water balloon in heaven exploded and it was pouring.  It was still so warm that it was befuddling but it did not relent and we were 3 blocks away from any form of shelter.  I had no choice.  I did the only logical thing and put Liv under my shirt like a mother kangaroo would do for her joey (that's what you call baby kangaroos) and ran as fast as I could in the pouring rain the whole way back.

Well, lets just say people were staring from their windows as we sloshed our way home.  The funny part is that she was didn't cry or fuss at all, but the jostling from the run in the monsoon caused her head to keep popping up from the soaking shade shirt like some sort of "miracle of life" birth in reverse. Every time her soaked little cranium would pop up, I would put it back down until we finally arrived at shelter.
I haven't read a lot of parenting books but I'm fairly sure this isn't recommended.  I was trying to be resourceful.  As I sprinted up the streets I could not stop laughing.  I just thought that in heaven when we get to see the movie of our lives, I definitely want to rewatch this scene in slow motion.  I don't know all the decisions and turning points in my life that have led me to be running like a mothering fugitive with my baby water suctioned like a river reverse papoose, on the streets of West Virginia but I love my life.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Excuse me.

It happens every time I see flashing lights in my review mirror. You know that bad "I just ate too much cafe rio" feeling in your gut when you know you're in trouble?  Unfortunately I have felt this feeling several times and every single time I always have the same reflex thought process.... I immediately open my excuse mental hard drive and start going through my best files of reasons why I was speeding.  I don't even mean to do it.  It just happens.  Police Lights activate my excuse files.  It's not just the law that I do this with, I realize I do it to myself thousands of times a day.  It's like a pop up file that overpowers whatever mental thing I am thinking and comes whenever I think of something that I should do that may require a little effort.  For example, I should wake up early and read my scriptures before Liv wakes up. I set the alarm with real intent but for some reason, I get a mental pop up and suddenly when the alarm goes off I have at least 8 legitimate excuses of why getting up is not even a fathomable option.  It's the same thing anytime I know I should help someone that annoys me or go do my visiting teaching to the lady who blabs for hours that makes me feel as awkward as blind date (I've got a huge file for this one).  I'm amazed how many excuses I can tell myself when I know I should just clean the microwave that has melted cheese from my quesadilla last Wednesday suctioned on the side like a barnacle on an old war ship.  Instead of just doing the thing I know I should do, I mentally get myself an epidural from feeling the guilt that would cause me to act and instead focus on the excuse of why I shouldn't possibly have to call that person I know I should, or finally vacuum the dang car after months of who knows what on the car mats, or get up early to make breakfast for G even though its dark out.

I make up excuses to police officers with double chins I don't know on the freeway, to teachers when I was in school, to my mom when I was late for curfew, but worse than all of those is the fact that I recently discovered how often I am making excuses to myself.  Why I can't do or be what I know I should and instead settle for moldy mediocrity.  Then I realized how the Lord feels about the whole excuse file I keep right on my frontal lobe of my brain.  I was reading in Alma 42:30 where there's not a lot of room for loose interpretation when it says:  "Do not endeavor to excuse yourself in the least point."  Sheesh. Pretty sure that's fairly clear on how the Lord feels about excuses. I suppose being omniscient eliminates the validity of excuses. 
I think it's time to delete or at least downsize my excuse file.