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Archive for May, 2013

On my bucket list is hiking Angel’s Landing. I look at pictures of the view when you get there 

and I start making plans to go, soon {who wants to go this year?!?} then I read stories of people who struggled along Walter’s Wiggles

 read the warnings about how hard it is, see the death statistics.  

The pictures along the way 

Looking at the hike as a whole

Then I let fear stop me. It looks hard and dangerous {after all the sign said so} and I hesitate and let myself believe that Angel’s Landing is for other people. More dedicated hikers, people better prepared, those who are stronger or less afraid of heights.

Except the only way to see the view and not just look at pictures is to decide to climb the mountain. 

Being prepared is important. Letting fear stop me?  Not necessary. 
Life’s mountains are often not optional. Situations and trials are most often not asked for but given to us no matter the strength of our protest. Be prepared, know that you can do hard things. 

Now to focus in the view from the top instead of the level of difficulty. 
None of these pictures are mine, since I obviously haven’t yet climbed my mountain. 

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Growing up Memorial Day was full of tradition.  School was out so we could finally wear shorts!  Woot!  Saturday before was the family reunion at the cabin.  The reunion was always fun, but just as much I enjoyed seeing how much it meant to Grandma and Grandpa.  Little squares of construction paper color coded to which brother/sister you descended from and your name, and if you didn’t have one you were promptly hunted down.  The sign in register, carefully disguised poster paper where you sign in — again under which brother/sister you descended from.

Cousins I typically only saw once/year, but you’d never know it — now I only see them at funerals.  Seeing Grandpa have to prove “one more time” that he could still climb the rope up to the log holding the swing cut from an old tire.  I don’t know how many years he promised Grandma that he wouldn’t do it again.  We always walked to the Big Tree {it really is a BIG tree} and took rides in the best.swing.ever.

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See?  Best swing ever!

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Not always, but often enough for me to remember Grandpa would at least want to give rides in the Model T.

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 9 -- Heritage

I remember Grandma picking flowers out of her garden to put on graves, mason jars full of lilac blossoms {our lilacs are through blooming, what’s up with that?} and whatever happened to be tall enough and blooming.  Her house would smell of lilacs for awhile afterwards, somehow she always had a few ‘extra’ lilacs that made it onto her kitchen table.  Everytime I smell lilacs I think of Grandma.

What did we do this weekend?  Charlet got to go to Colorado for a graduation but Kaede and I stayed home all weekend and worked.  At work, in the garden, on the house, on the 5 year plan to get rid of the purple thistles in the backyard {really, I think we’re on year 7 of the 5 year plan}  One of my favorite weekends full of memories and tradition has flittered away into nothing for my kids.

Going through years of pictures to find this has me feeling a bit sad and as late as it is I’m going to head to bed for some reading and contemplating.

~Heather

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It’s one of those catch phrases that has bugged me for a long time. When Michael was a baby and very ill I took him from Beaver to Orem for therapy to teach him how to eat again. Once a week for over a year — yeah, I’d not heard of Early Intervention at that point and in hindsight we needed the ST we had. Twice a month we went to the FUN clinic at PCMC. They knew us personally at Ronald McDonald House and Charlet thought the Rainbow Cafe was fine dining.

“I don’t know how you do it, I don’t think I could”
Really?  I don’t want to do it but it beats watching my infant starve to death {yes literally}. I occasionally wondered what not doing it would look like, my life was exhausting. 
Going back to school with kids, being a single Mom during softball season, working NOC shift. The list goes on of things that people don’t know how I do it. 
I look at people in situations where they have no choice but to do it and instead of wondering how they do it I pray for them to have the strength and endurance to do what they have to do the best they can.   I know there are people out there fighting their own battles privately and I hope they have the support system they need. 
Yes, I did tell one lady that I was thinking of not doing it, but was first trying to decide if I could deal with the consequence of my baby dying because he didn’t know how to eat. It wasn’t my finest moment, I did manage to walk away when she said he will eat if he gets hungry. 
Maybe that was the beginning of my using sarcasm as a coping mechanism. 

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The value of keeping busy is something I was taught growing up, along with a love of gardening. Fortunately for me the two go together very well. 

I’m putting a garden in over at Gromps’ and it hasn’t been gardened in forever. I remember being little and playing in the irrigation water but I don’t know what it was watering. I don’t remember much back there after Grommie died either. It has been growing rocks wonderfully. 
There are some amazing neighbors over there who are great helps. It does make things a little more tempting to move. {no I’m not going anywhere}. 

I was asked today how I can put a garden in with everything going on. It’s easy, it keeps me busy and gives me a friend to confide in that I know won’t tell anything I don’t want shared and will never judge me. I wouldn’t mind a two legged friend to keep me company sometimes over there, but what’s new there?  

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I truly treasure this book. Not long after I first bought it I realized it was going to look like my seminary scriptures. 

It’s gotten me through some rough times and things that have been truly horrible. 
I sat at lunch today, mid yard work break and completely looking like yard work in the wind, and read while munching on my sweet potato fries.  I’ve used it as a reference regularly, but its been a while for me to do a cover to cover read of it. I think I’m going to again. 
I think I will see if a friend will read a specific chapter for me, I’d love to have someone to talk to about it. 
{Heather}

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It just so happens that after my standard crazy day that follows an unplanned {and un slept for} shift has left me with some peace.  For right now, I know I’m doing okay.  Even if just for tonight, my house is filled with love and peace among the bickering and list of chores not yet done.

A long talk with a friend that I look up on a regular basis, several walks, an attempt at humor that turned worse {well, funnier?} than intended rolled into evening softball games.  I have got to figure something different out for dinner on softball nights, but we’re finally all fed.  I sat on the swing at twilight for my favorite 15 minutes of the week wishing it could last longer.

Sitting and waiting for the girls tonight when I realized how much peace has followed me through today and I started to wonder how?  With all of life’s current chaos and stress {including the really, really long list of things I can’t do anything about and refuse to accept} and has difficult of a Mother’s Day as yesterday was today has been  peaceful.  Some of it I can make sense of, I had two different conversations with amazing people — but I often talk to them on really bad days and while I end up being encouraged and perhaps finding enough strength for just one more hour they don’t turn my entire mood around.  Then the story Richard G. Scott tells in Finding Peace, Happiness, and Joy about being troubled by something, turning to prayer and then taking a nap to wake up to peace.  Never having a similar experience I filed it away into my memory of “that’s cool” where things sometimes get lost forever until today.

I can’t remember the answer {yes, I know now what I’m reading tonight} but in response to the overwhelming peace Richard G. Scott asks how it is done.  I only remember the beginning of the story, not the end but will search for it tonight.  I’d say I’ll come back and edit the information in, but I know better than to promise something like that.

I have had several friends on my mind today, some I’ve known less than a year but have been great to talk to and laugh with {even as I’m ignoring my oh so sore tailbone} others I’ve known longer, for as long as we’ve lived in Cedar and some friends from my childhood and high school years.  I truly am blessed with great friends during most of my life, I get far more from them than I give.  Games of hopscotch and jump rope have changed for playing “weed or flower” or being grateful that we’re both too tired and too hot to go for a walk on the time we’d arranged to go walking and settle instead for sitting and chatting.  Local help is only a phone call away and slightly less tangible support lives inside my computer and has seen me through twice weekly weight checks, endless appointments, moving, Monday night hijinks and so much more. Thank you so much for the part you play in my life, I am grateful for all of my friends and the impact they have on my life.

It’s just this side of tomorrow and I have laundry to switch over, a couch to reassemble, and a story to find.  I hope everyone can catch a moment of the peace I’ve had today.

{Heather}

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The past couple of weeks I have had more dealings with members of the 8th ward that I deeply enjoyed and helped me out when things weren’t going so well  or even if I just needed to sit and laugh.

I don’t want to give up the new friends I have made, but I’m a little homesick this week for the way things were.  I use to see old friends occasionally before or after church but that has left with the building being torn down. I even miss being collectively referred to as 2nd/8th ward or seeing it printed on hymn books. 
I’d name names but chances are I’d leave someone out that I might not even realize.  I miss our coke dates, your RS lessons, Primary presidency meetings, being Home taught, going Visiting Teaching and learning from you. Anytime you want to move to this side of 400 I will help you find a house. 

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This post is how I feel, about my experiences as a Mom. I do not and will not claim to speak for anyone else. 

One of the interesting things I have found as Mom is that you experience everything your kids do (or that they are willing to share with you) more intensely than you ever did when you went through similar things. In a heartbeat I’d face the two faced friends in middle school not only because I don’t want my kids to have to deal with them but because it hurts more watching your kids. 
I never thought that I’d be willing to go through things I really dislike I place of my kids, but I can’t count how many stomach viruses I’ve unsuccessfully wished on myself. 
The opposite is also true, there is so much joy to be found in watching your child work hard at something and then see that hard work pay off with success. Joy coupled with the hope they see the value in their hard work and dedication. 
Love gets redefined as a Mom, first in the delivery room when you hear the first cry and many times after. Sitting waiting for the specialists verdict at PCMC, again, because the first time all you remember hearing is “I don’t know, we need to run more tests.”  The love that comes with a Mother’s prayer for her child’s life changes the mother forever. 
Then come the Tweens and teens when you cherish the good moments and hold on for the rest often catching yourself thinking “it’s a good thing I love you right now”  I promise that through all the frustration and boundary testing there is a deep love flowing even during the times you can’t remember it. Tell your kids as often as possible that you love them, you care about them and their life. Even the teenage drama that they have to go through, when waters get rough it’s important they know you are there for them when they need it. 

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Before I begin this is the second time I’ve typed this up, phone posting even!  Grrrr!!
I played city league co-Ed softball tonight, first time I’ve played anything besides church ball in over a decade. Don’t get me wrong, church ball is awesome its just a bit different. 
Main lesson I learned tonight is if you don’t use it you lose it. My throwing arm?  It’s gone, a distant memory I’m now wondering how much of it was a little enhanced since I was 20. I can consistently connect with the ball, it just doesn’t go as far as I’d like and my rough ability to place the ball is now tied up in theory and physics lessons. I didn’t get a chance to test my ability to field a fly ball but the test will come, hopefully with a little more skill. I won’t even discuss my inability to run the bases. I was never a wonderful softball player earning scholarships to wherever I wanted to go with loyal fans besides Mom but I love the game, tried my best {usually}, was dedicated and loyal to the team and I consistently improved until I stopped playing. 
If you don’t use it you lose it applies to far more than softball skills. Math {have you tried to help with high school math homework recently?  Nothing us even named the same!} to gardening and faith. 
Over the last few years I’ve learned that faith is a verb, and as a verb if you don’t use that skill set it can atrophy the same way my softball skills have. 
It’s a different skill set, this one consists of regularly studying the scriptures. Not just reading a chapter a night, but contemplating the words and taking it beyond the stories and personalizing the messages. I’m not knocking the chapter a night, that’s what we do as a family. I just need more. Praying not just out of habit before crawling into bed but praying like Enos. Attending meetings not just physically but with heart and mind.  Gratitude, service, and humility have become my trifecta for strengthening my faith when things are difficult. 
With regular use the faith skill set can become a strong foundation able to withstand the trials and darkness that will come. There has been a lot of discussion lately about only needing a twig of faith to act on.  Today I have that twig. 
I don’t know how but I do know that everything will be okay — eventually. I can’t let myself focus on the how because there is no answer for that right now. It’s not going to be easy and there may be times I wish I could give up but we will be okay. 

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Long ago and not so far away I remember thinking “I wish I had her life”. Things that I was specifically struggling with she was not and I didn’t know anyone who didn’t enjoy being around her. As I got to know more people here there were more people who could fill in the blank.

A few of those people I’ve gotten to know better and now call them friends. I enjoy being around them as much as ever but now I know they aren’t happy and fun to be around because they have an easy life, they are fun to be around because that is who they are inside, regardless of the trials they were {still are for some}

I wonder how does one find the balance of a smile and best foot forward in times of trial without stuffing all of the emotions and details that must be worked through.

When it doesn’t seem to make a difference how do I get up each day? Laundry? Does it ever really matter?

Life is feeling too much like a checklist of very important things that must be done while my mind is always elsewhere.

It is as if life has required amount of worry that is required for each trial. Forget about a test? Required to worry until it is graded and posted at worry level 2. Tests, forgotten and otherwise (except for the NCLEX) have never worried me much though. Serious illness of a loved one? 2 weeks at worry level 8 then a month at worry level 2, to be repeated with each illness flare. Trials in the past that I felt stuck on until there was some kind of resolution dependent on others I have moved past without the resolution or any solid answers

I don’t know how much more of my now I can control {change the things you can, accept the rest} and I know that there are things right now that I will not ever accept. Ever. I know I can’t change them either. Worry level unmeasurable, length of time undetermined.

I don’t know how to improve my perspective right now. How can I be the person I want to be?

{Heather}

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