Archive for December, 2012


In November I did 30 Days of Gratitude and I would spend a lot of my free time thinking of things big and small that I was grateful for that would photograph well or interestingly.  Some days I was just desperate for something to post about because really I was just grateful right then for my pillow.

It definitely made me more grateful for the friends who picked up the other end of the phone when I called, having a warm fall and being able to enjoy the sun and outside a little more.  There are still unrecognized gratitudes out there though.  The car starting when you turn the key, going to work and knowing the computer system you are required to use, lack of “incidents” involving your hair that require a drastic haircut.

Today I had the guys at Battery Depot make it so my car starts when I turn the key.  Kade is a friend of my brother and has helped me out before, even bringing the battery to my house and installing it for me.  Today I didn’t see Kade but I was taken care of just as well.  Brand new battery without any hassle and an apology for the battery needing to be replaced.  It is really hard as a woman to be treated decently with “guy things” like the mechanic etc.  Battery Depot (and Rolling Rubber for things not battery related) has never treated me anything but perfect.  Never talked down to or as if I didn’t know what I was talking about.

I can’t say much about the warm fall, although it was warm enough today that if I hadn’t been dealing with batteries and trying to sleep I would have gone for a nice long cleansing walk.

As for working somewhere you know the computer system, tonight is my first night in the ER since they’ve switched charting and I was never trained on it.  Because of that I get to go in an hour early, because you know 13 hours with a program you don’t know is better than 12.  Really, just how chaotic can an ER be on a Friday night between Christmas and New Years?  Really, I should take something to occupy my time shouldn’t I?

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"Let It Go"

I picked up a copy of Let It Go for myself for Christmas {nope, didn’t wrap it and wait though}  I remember hearing the story on the news, the updates, seeing the Mormon Message about the story and every time I’d see or hear something about it I was initially amazed at what a spiritual giant Chris Williams is and then I’d almost immediately think “I wish he’d write a book”  and I’m very grateful he did.

I read and cried through the book today, was initially planning on sitting at The Little Brick House reading for a while after DiAnna had to go back to work when I realized that I hadn’t brought nearly enough tissues and I wasn’t up for a public cry today.  I just finished the book and am amazed at his resilience and faith.  I’ve added him to my bucket list of people I’d like to spend an afternoon with that I’ll likely never get to meet.

I had hoped to gain some insight on how to forgive so readily, but like most of my plans that’s not what happened but I still sit in complete amazement at his ability to forgive.  I closed the book realizing that I need to have more patience and acceptance with the Lord’s plan for me and his time frame.  There are things I hope and pray change, or that I have the appropriate opportunity to change, but having an acceptance of the Lord’s time frame instead of mine is something I struggle with.  I can be patient with a store clerk during a busy season {really, who goes to wal-mart the weekend before Christmas expecting it to be a quick trip?}  but when I decide I want something or that something is a worthy goal I want it then.

I can call down to the blood bank with a hurried tone of voice and plead for the necessary blood products to be in my hands like 5 minutes ago and I know they are working as quickly as possible to make it happen.  I’m not use to deciding that I want something to happen in my life and then having to wait patiently while moving forward.  I want to be able to say “this is Heather and I need that done STAT, what can I do to help” and having it make a difference.  Outside of the hospital STAT doesn’t mean anything just like the listen to me and listen now tone doesn’t mean much to anyone besides my kids.

Perhaps at this year I can be more patient and more accepting of the Lord’s time table knowing that in the end everything will be as it is meant to be.

This is the Mormon Message “My Burden Was Made Light” that features Chris Williams and highlights his tragedy and forgiveness if you haven’t heard anything about his story it’s a good place to start.

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If you know me well at all for the last several years you have probably heard me talk about Finding Peace, Happiness, and Joy by Richard G. Scott.  Whether by name or just as “the book” and I know of a few times without a reference at all.  I have a 2 year old paperback copy that is flagged, highlighted, written in, journaled about and in general looks very well loved.  It’s gotten me through some tough times with what seems like a small amount of grace intact instead of feeling like not only the rug but my entire world has been pulled out from under me.

It’s been ignored on my bookshelf for a while, until I pulled it out tonight.  I know from how the book flops open and from the multitude of highlights and flags that pg 102 has been very powerful for me many times and tonight that is where it fell open to and this passage stood out, so much that it’s the only part I read tonight.

Have you ever had the feeling that the walls are closing in, that you are not in control, and that you simply can’t do it?  Those feelings of frustration are not from the Lord.

Being a public blog I’m not going to share the full extend of how much those sentences mean to me tonight but I did want to come and share it.  It’s not your typical “Merry Christmas!” message, but this hasn’t been a typical Merry Christmas year for me either.  I do hope that everyone was able to find moments of peace this holiday season and took time to enjoy things for what they are, not what you wanted them to be.

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Home For The Holidays

For the kids to be able to come to Beaver for any length of time we needed to come over today. I am still incredibly not ready for Christmas but with the exception of Grandma’s popcorn and chocolate dipping the pretzels I am as done as it is going to get.
I sit here at home working on Charlet’s scarf that likely won’t get done wishing for the peace I typically find at home to be found.   There is definitely less stress here — maybe because I can’t do anything about the stressors while I am here. Maybe if weather cooperates I can walk around the walking trail.

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Never Again!

Every year I say that next year I’m going to be more on top of things.  Not as rushed, etc.  This year may be the worst year for how far behind I am, and I’ve not had anyone come up behind me to help {I’m not complaining, feels good to be independent — except of course for the things I’d like help with LOL}  Kids want to spend time in Beaver which means deadline for us moved up a couple of days and I’m still wiped out from this last work stretch {somewhat wondering if I’m trying to come down with something, I’m not just tired my body is on a full fledge strike}

Just like every other year, I’m not doing this again this way.  If I can manage to avoid Wal-mart completely between Thanksgiving and New Years Day I’ll consider it a success.  I keep reminding myself “no matter how unready you are, Christmas day is wonderful”  Right?

I am right, aren’t I?

Part of why I’m frustrated this year is that I wanted to do ‘neighbor gifts’ not just out of obligation or habit but because I really appreciate how much easier my life is because of neighbors who go above and beyond their neighborly duty whether it’s giving the kids a ride or listening to me when I need to talk to someone besides myself.  It’s not things that I feel obliged to do, it’s things I want to do and can’t that are frustrating for me.

Just like always, maybe next year.

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I’ve been ‘off’ lately, so many tragedies the last few weeks and some that have really gotten inside my heart.  I typically go for a long rambling walk {or multiple, depending on the circumstances and time allowed} but it’s been so very cold I haven’t been able to {no, walking laps at the school won’t help}  I’ve had people from just about every area of my life ask if I’m okay or say they’re worried about me.  I’ve got a few steps left before I can even definitively say the fake “I’m fine” with a smile and nod but I think I’ll get there.

I don’t know if I have been too busy to work on dealing with stuff, the short days and long nights, the bitter cold, the stress of the season, my legs {they are feeling MUCH better by the way} the fact I think I’m doing a little bit better and something else happens to pull the rug out from under me or a combination of all of the above but I’ve got to work through things.

I can’t walk it out, so I’m going to try writing it out.  I don’t know how helpful mindless rambling at the computer will be and it’s been forever since I’ve written with a purpose other than blogging.  I’d love to write about the things that are bothering me to get them out, but I’m bound by privacy laws and the fact that it’s just the right thing to do.

My heart goes out to those who are mourning in the public eye, I can’t imagine living through such sorrow and then having it be such a public affair.  Then I think of all those mourning in private, perhaps without anyone else knowing at all and I pray that if there is anything I can do to make their burden a little lighter that I’ll know and respond.

There are a few things I do know, list format

  • It’s okay to be sad.
  • I refuse to stuff all of this, well, stuff
  • Bad things happen even during the most magical time of the year.
  • I don’t want to be alone forever.  I might not ‘need’ anyone and heaven help the poor soul who crosses me on the wrong day implying that I can’t do it alone but it’s easier with help.  I have friends and neighbors who have made a world of difference in my life once I let them but it’s still lonely at say 12:40 and I’m writing to no one in particular when I’d love to be having a conversation.
  • There are worse things than being alone, many of them.
  • I am happier now than I’ve been in a very long time.
  • There is a lot of power in “The Primary Answers” 

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I never, ever finish up The Great Big Giant List of Everything That Must Be Done (TGBGLETMBD).  Ever.  It’s more of a wish list than reality and I’m okay with how that goes.  A few years ago I realized looking back that no matter how unready for Christmas I was when Christmas Day finally came everything was just fine.  Family, fun, some special holiday magic and I never worried about what I didn’t get done.

This year I think I’m going for a record of how much gets undone and I don’t have a really good reason — or even a really bad reason.  I’m trying to let it go knowing how everything will work out in the end but I don’t even have TGBGLETMBD to drop things off of as time, money, and energy run out.  I haven’t felt my typical Christmas Scroogey self this year — until this week when the reality of working 7 out of the last 8 nights, money, time, and wishlists all came crashing together in a colossal bang {maybe that’s what happened to my kitchen?!?}  I’m exhausted today and flaked out on some obligations and I sit here fighting back sleep at 7:30.

The sting of being a single Mom at Christmas hit me hard today too.  I enjoy planning out Christmas with someone.  Talking about what to get, trying to find something special for everyone and working on my yarn project of the year getting feedback on how it looks.  That doesn’t happen by yourself and has always been one of my “I wish my life were like” dreams.

Halfway through Christmas day the kids go with their Dad until they go back to school on the 7th.  I’m looking forward for a chance to get the house caught back up,tackle the laundry monster, perhaps work on my front room walls again.

Christmas Ornaments 2009

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This reminds me of 2 Christmases ago when I had nothing done for Christmas, nothing prepped, nothing.  After Gromps died I had a friend look around my living room and ask “Heather, what can we do to help?”  Through tears I said I don’t even know.  “Can we wrap?”  Well, I haven’t bought anything to wrap.  So the conversation went and through my frustration he saw what he could do — and did way more than I ever expected.

This year circumstances are different.  I’m not stressed about Christmas this year and I’ve enjoyed the concerts the devotionals etc.  I haven’t sad down in frustration about all things I’d like to do and can’t.  I’ve enjoyed what I could do.  
I work through Thursday (1/2 shift) and hope to be able to make some ganache so I can dip truffles on Friday morning.  Debating about when to go to Beaver, I have the kids over the weekend until halfway through Christmas day.  
This afternoon when I woke up I laid in bed fighting making a list of how I’ve not been a great friend to everyone who has been wonderful to me, how I’ve not baked and dipped chocolated, how I’ve not even made the Great Big Giant List of Everything That Must Be Done, how I’ve not {fill in a long list} and tried to fight back the perfectionist side of me.  I took time to mourn this Christmas season, time to heal and rest my legs, but that time has to come from somewhere and now I’m looking at my working 7 out of 8 days {had last night off for Kaede’s concert} and trying hard to remember that no matter how ill prepared we are for Christmas, Christmas day is wonderful.
Wonder what the chances of being on call at all this week are?  {yeah, those of you who have seen our census go ahead and laugh}

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I can’t even begin to wrap my head around the elementary school shooting in Connecticut, let alone find the words to describe how I feel.  It stabs me at my core and becomes nearly paralyzing if I let it.  Today there is another funeral for a child taken too soon that didn’t make national news because unfortunately her story, while tragic, just isn’t news worthy on a national level.  The second story did emotionally paralyze me for a few days.

Both have similar undertones, I refuse to allow fear to dictate my choices.  It’s not that I’m not afraid or I don’t care or as was suggested in a vitriolic online rant that I don’t love my kids enough to care it’s that I’ve lived my life making choices based on fear in the past and I adamantly refuse to go back there.  Not in my home, not in schooling choices for my kids, not in political decisions I make — some of my very worst choices were ones I made out of fear.  Each morning I get up and I make my decisions based on what I think is best, putting my kids first.  Not what makes me least afraid, not what I think someone deserves but what is going to make us the strongest family possible.  If there is a lesson to be taught, what is the best way to teach it?

I just can’t turn this tragedy into a political platform, no matter how hard I try.

So each day I get up and do the menial things that build my life.  None of them are life changing or exciting, but they are me.  Each morning the sun does come up again, a neighbor steps in to help when they probably don’t realize how much their help is needed right then.  The world seems to pause just for a moment and you can see beauty in the stormy sky before the wind starts to howl and blows cold through your bones.


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Concert season

Along with hot cocoa, lights, cold weather {yes, that hit hard today} and busy stores another part of the season that never leaves is concert season.  I missed the Advent concert at St Judes but heard the kids sounded great from a very reliable source.

Tonight was the CHS winter concert. {I’ll save my gripe about why I have no still shots of Charlet in concert dress with her flute for another time}  Kids did great and when I think back to where they were not too long ago it amazes me {somewhere on my youtube there is a copy of them playing Holly Jolly Christmas}  We definitely live in the right area if you want your kids to learn an instrument.  I ran out of memory so did some quick deleting and missed the very beginning of every song and only got 13 seconds of Mr. Grinch but since it’s one of my favorites I’m going to post it too.

Mumbo Jumbo (combined bands)

First 13 seconds of Mr Grinch (combined)

Brighton Bridge (concert band and I hope I spelled that right)
Good job guys, you were amazing.

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