Saturday, March 29, 2008

Children See. Children Do.

Is it obvious that my children are gone this weekend? Unfortunately Mark isn't feeling well so our date night is centered around relaxation rather than what we had initially planned.

I realize that my thought process may appear random but I associate this video with the last one I posted. Again, an extremely powerful message that makes a very important point whether you are a parent or not.

On the B Side: I am grateful for the many positive influences and examples in this life. President Boyd K. Packer makes an excellent point when he stated, "Remember that trouble attracts attention! We travel the highway with thousands of cars moving in either direction without paying much attention to any of them. But should an accident occur, we notice immediately. If it happens again, we get the false impression that one one can go safely down the road. One accident may make the front page, while a hundred million cars that safely pass are not regarded as worth mentioning." We need to spend more time focusing on the many who travel safely instead of the accidents and by this I mean that I believe it is important to be thankful for the many outstanding examples that are provided for children knowing that there are bad ones out there but they don't have to be the norm.

Some Kids Wish Their Parents Were Animals

My last post reminded me of this video that a friend of mine from Romania shared with me last summer. It is brief and there is no verbal communication used; however, the message it relays is extremely powerful.

The Good that Comes from the Bad

This blatant disregard for life makes me sick. What is wrong with people?

For the bad news click here and then for the good news read this.

On the B Side: I am grateful that this little guy not only survived but was reunited with a loved one. I really hope they find the person responsible for such a callous act of cruelty. Thank heaven for the good Samaritans in this world!!!

Weekend Activities

After work yesterday I met up with Amy and the kids to see Dayton's pal Christian. Dayton has been doing really well with his listening skills and now we're going to focus a little bit on Ellie to extinguish some of her baby behaviors.

Last night Mark and I babysat for Marcy and Jeff. Their three kids were full of spunk and kept us on our toes. We crashed shortly after they left and slept in until 8 AM. I was able to iron Mark's shirt and pants for work before I cleaned up quick and ran to my Mom's.

We had breakfast at our favorite little place; The Normandy Cafe and it was delicious! We met up with CrAmy Cakes to clean Mike and Michelle's place. Between the three of us in an hour and twenty minutes we busted out the high traffic living areas and were able to make a difference. Special thanks to both my Mom and Amy for their selfless service today!

My Mom and I hit Target together and then we went back to her place so I could assist with her resume and application as part of the hoop jumping for Jordan District. I then picked up a few things to help the kids with some bed time issues that should provide some consistency and perhaps make things easier on everyone!

I dropped that stuff off and came home to indulge in a warm bath and the books I picked up on the way home at Deseret Book! I started reading, "And They Were Not Ashamed" and enjoyed my baked potato from Wendy's!

Micci and Jazzy
were here so I got to get the the upload on their home hunting today with their Realtor. They have it narrowed down to some really cute town homes in Riverton and now I wait for my Marky Mark to come home for our date night!

So much for cleaning our home! For now I am going to drift off to sleep while watching the Kids Choice Awards on Nickelodeon as I adore Jack Black!!

On the B Side: I am grateful for days like this! I love being away from work and accomplishing various tasks. It feels so good to be productive!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Life Lesson #2 Just Mean It

When I was really young we had a little family that lived next to us. Dominique was a doctor at local medical center. His wife Ara was a stay at home Mom with beautiful long, dark hair, a friendly accent and warm smile. They had a daughter Michelle who was slightly younger than me and the nicest kind of child/friend/neighbor. She had big brown eyes and short brown hair cut in a bowl cut. She was shy and quiet but I always looked forward to playing with her.

I can remember standing in the side yard meeting them. My Mom told Ara that I was looking forward to playing with Michelle and though I was embarrassed, she was right. I really was looking forward to making a new friend. I believe I was 4 at the time and have some specific memories about my time spent with Ara and Michelle.

The first being that I remember Ara saying that I was welcome anytime. What was most remarkable about that was that she really, really meant it and even as a young child I knew this and more importantly I felt this.

As a little girl I was painfully shy. Looking back I can tell you that I had a fairly strong intuition about people...not all people, just some people. Ara was the kind of person/Mom/neighbor that carried her heart in her hands and loved people.

I remember her compassion when my Smurfette balloon drifted accidentally into the sky. I felt better because of her and it isn't her words that I remember but how she made me feel. I remember her taking me to the Thomas Beaver Library to borrow my first book on her card. What she said to me, I do not know but my desire to love and care for that book until it was time to take it back was real.

I remember her patience as she popped popcorn on the stove in a tin foil pie tin as I flooded her with all kinds of questions. I remember how much better the Whitney's yogurt tasted at their house simply of because how I felt being in their home.

I remember the trust she instilled in me when she let me carefully hold one of their new kittens. I remember her excitement when her son Dominique's umbilical cord fell off. I remember sharing a brand new pair of big girl panties with me when she bought them for Michelle. I remember her willingness to invite me to eat dinner with them and her concern that I let me Mom know where I was.

She put her heart into the things she said and did and that is what I felt. It isn't her words that ruminate inside of my head but that way that I felt around her that stand as a remembrance. So whatever it is in life that you do, do it with your heart because it really will make all of the difference. I have no doubt that her sweet little Michelle is now much like I remember her Mother in the days of past.

Again, of all of these things I most remember her sincerity and how it made me feel. By no means do I mean to minimize any of the things that I learned or felt at home. My point is that I did not expect these things in the home of another and this was my first remembrance of being accepted outside of my home. Under the best of circumstances and even the worst I had an amazing childhood and just want to appreciate all the good that existed.

This is yet another outstanding example of a Christlike virtue. The condition of our heart tels a tale each and every day and so to each of us I would ask, what is the condition of YOUR heart?

On the B Side: I am grateful for Ara and her family. Again, it was the small and simple means, the actions that made a difference and left an impression on my young heart. Michelle was my first little friend that I remember and she always shared her life with me which opened my eyes and my heart to yet another dimension of this life.

Life Lesson #1 Just Do It

What is it about human nature that causes us to say things like, "Call me if you need anything" or "Let me know what I can do to help" or even something as simple as, "Gosh, I'm sorry. That's too bad". Believe me when I say I am guilty of this time and time again. I am sincerely trying to avoid these things and let me expand for further clarification.

Do any of these things really mean any thing? Are they really an expression of genuine emotion? Do they make a difference to the recipient of such phrases? Do they provide any element of comfort? Do they just seem like the right thing to say? Do they fill space and time or just make a situation less awkward? Then we follow up with things later like "So how are things going?" or "Have things been better?" Again, we say this things for the purpose of mere conversation? Is it out of curiosity or is it really concern? Do we REALLY want to know???

For the sake of having my glass half full I am more than willing to give man kind the benefit of the doubt and conclude that these are all well meaning words from the heart of well meaning people. Period. The reason this sticks out in my mind so much is because of my previous post related to my friend who has MS and the disappointment I feel from others surrounding her particularly at the office.

It suffices me to say that for the most part I am sure that it is a way for us to acknowledge the hardship of another. Frequently it is difficult to know what to say, to express ourselves or anticipate the needs of another. There are times when I think we really do mean it from the bottom of our heart. I also fully realize that often times it is better to say something than nothing at all but as well intentioned as this seemingly kind phrases may be they are completely void of action and hence are watered down orange juice in my perspective and verily seem to negate themselves.

No doubt that we all have also had these things said to us. I am willing to concede that again kind words are better than no words but have you ever really taken someone up on such an offer? Have you ever felt comfortable enough to really reach out and say, "Yes, I really do need help". My guess is that when it comes to a time of need these frequently spoken phrases by others are not forefront on our mind as a REAL sentiment. Perhaps that is also human nature and suddenly my glass may be half empty but I for one can tell you that I do not reflect upon these words during times of distress nor do they really provide any kind of relief. If your experience has been different please tell me.

So the next time you find yourself wanting to say one of the aforementioned phrases stop and think...just how sorry are you? Just how much do you mean it? Are you a warm meal sorry? Are you an afternoon sorry? Are you willing to sacrifice your time sorry? Do you care enough to make that extra phone call sorry? If you really want to make a difference than take action. The action does not have to be big or earth shattering but it is truly the action that makes the difference to another.

In my experience we often feel compelled to do something but don't really know what to do. We say these things because we don't know what else to say. It's easy to say that we are too far removed to do these things, that we don't feel comfortable, that we don't want to impose or that we have other plans. It's easy to think that we just don't have time or that we have our own problems to attend. Do we really have any idea how much it means to another to really have someone reach out for no reason other than to merely help? Do we really understand the impact that it has on another's heart?

I can tell you from personal experience that the altruistic acts of kindness that others have shown to me have been absolutely priceless. The Christlike service is something that have touched my heart, helped me more than I can express, made me a more humble person and helped me to understand the importance of helping others. Granted I am a veritable work in progress! The compassion that is shown, the sacrifice of another's time, thoughts and/or energy is the hope that shines brightly during times of difficulty.

Rather than consume myself with trying to understand what it all means, why it isn't the way I think it should be, etc I want to focus on really just being a better person because of those that have helped me to understand this Christlike virtue. Think upon the the times that you have had someone follow a random inspiration and proceeded with a small act of kindness. Rather, instead of thinking about it, JUST DO IT.

On the B Side: I am grateful for the opportunities I have to serve others. I won't say that it's easy, convenient or that it doesn't some times tear my heart out but I love making even a small difference in the life of another and I can tell you that it is during these times that I am not thinking or worrying about myself. I am also extremely grateful for those that have lovingly taken action to help me. The instances are without number and continue to teach me on so many levels. I can't tell you the countless times others have blessed my life without even knowing just how much it has made a difference and if you think about it I'm sure you could say the same. Christ was the ultimate example and lived His life as He would have us live ours. The difficulty is honestly doing our best and knowing that he will make up the difference in the midst of our trying-to-do-what's-right shortcomings.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

23 Weeks

Adalie is now 23 weeks old in utero! One more week and we hit 6 months and one more month and we hit the third trimester.

Her body is getting plumper but her skin is still fairly wrinkled due to the lack of subcutaneous fat. She’s starting to drink the amniotic fluid she’s floating in, and her digestive system is mature enough to absorb nutrients. And not only is she starting to drink and taste, but all of her sensory systems are maturing as well. Her face and body are looking more like those of an infant, the bones of her inner ear are beginning to harden and her pancreas is developing.

I don't feel as pregnant as I am but I do tire quite easily and rest often. The kids have been really sweet and very understanding. I'm getting nervous about the idea of an infant simply because i love and need my sleep!

This week the kids have both been saying some really funny stuff! Here are some examples;

Ellie was laying in bed and was supposed to be sleeping but she kept telling me that she needed to come snuggle with me. When I asked her why she innocently exclaimed that she wanted to see my beautiful face! This earned her a warm spot on the couch for 5 minutes as I just couldn't resist!

Dayton was intent on getting another McDonald's toy last night. I half heartedly told him that perhaps we could tomorrow. He replied that he would be too busy. Then about an hour later while watching American Idol he randomly proclaimed, "Mom you really were right. I think we should get a toy tomorrow!" He was way too serious and had obviously been thinking about it!

They are now at their Dad's for 3 sleep overs and are both really looking forward to it! I miss them already :(

On the B Side: When I was first married in 2000 a good friend at work told me that life doesn't even start until you have children. I often thought about that and wondered if maybe his marriage just sucked. It wasn't until I had kids of my own that I really understood! They change life so dramatically and I love, love, love everything that they are and the many things that they teach us along the way!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Today I received an unexpected call from my dear friend Michelle. I have known her for several years as we work in the same office. Over time we have become good friends and I so adore her. Last year she was diagnosed with an extremely aggressive case of MS at the age of 25. Her husband also works in our office and is a cherished friend. They really are great people and have been through quite an ordeal together.

Yesterday Michelle started chemotherapy. It is the last option that her neurologist has given them given the frequency and intensity of her attacks. They have already exhausted all other known approved measures available here in the US and they have also incorporated homeopathic alternatives as well. Unfortunately none of it has been enough to kick her into remission. I admire their decision to take action and move forward controlling what lies within their control. I know that that was not an easy decision for them and one they had hoped to avoid.

She's been in a wheel chair and has lost her vision. Between attacks some of her functionality/vision have returned. Today she did say that she is able to read and this is a very bright spot in her life as she is passionate about reading. She and Mike have 5 children between them; one of which lives in Pennsylvania and 4 that our here. They have two toddlers at home (both age 2) and one child in Elementary and another in Middle School. I stopped by to see them after work yesterday to take a card that the office had signed to let her know that we were thinking of her. I cannot imagine the struggles they face day to day.

It is hard for me to see her as she has changed so dramatically but I never want to miss an opportunity for selfish reasons. I also made sure I didn't cry this time. It really is an extremely helpless feeling to stand in the periphery and watch. There's no way to anticipate their needs and I never want to be intrusive. I have set up an account for our fellow co-workers to donate to assist them and I've arranged various groups on occasion to help at their place with cleaning and also to make accommodations for her after she was last hospitalized. The dinners and food provided seem fairly insignificant when you put it all into perspective so again I just stand helpless and feel small.

She has fallen many times and is unable to be alone at this point. Her husband is her loving care giver and attends to all of her needs without complaint. He bathes her, feeds her and carries her when necessary. Not only is he the care giver but the Father, cook, maid, chauffeur and full time employee. I worry tremendously about his health and stress levels as well. They are not affiliated with any church and do not have much family in the area for assistance. They do really well despite all of these challenges.

Tomorrow I am working remote from their home as to remain with her while he goes to the office. Again, this seems so small. I am happy to help and often go remote anyway so the company will be appreciated on my part and I feel like it's the least I can do. It really is heart breaking to see her rapidly decline, start to recover and then be knocked down again. Amazingly she maintains a positive attitude and outlook. She is a determined and driven individual with a heart of gold. She is truly and example and constant reminder that I can handle my own life and struggles because again they are small.

Another co-worker is assisting to arrange a team for the MS Bike Ride (with Michelle's blessing) as he participates each year given that his Mother had MS. She has since passed on but he remains dedicated and full of hope with tremendous insight into coping with this debilitating disease. I also spoke to our Office Manager today about an Oracle volunteer event to participate in the MS Walk for the sake of showing communal support and contributing for the purpose of on going research. Again, it all seems so small in their big picture. Michelle is open to it and i hope it provides some level of emotional support.

Chronic illness adds so much perspective even as one indirectly affected by this. There have been times when she has called me last in the evening and has been elated that she was able to get her husband a salad from the kitchen. There have been times when she has called and been ecstatic that she could put laundry away. There have been times when she has called to simply ask how I was doing and offer sincere gratitude. It is extremely humbling on so many levels and again leaves you feeling helpless and just wanting to make everything better.

I have to remind myself that we came to this earth to learn. I have to remind myself that everything happens for a reason. I have to remind myself that there are opportunities and blessing in every circumstance. I have to remind myself that trials make us stronger and help us to become more like He would have us be. I have to remind myself that this life is only part of the plan. I have to remind myself that there is much hereafter. Knowing all of this doesn't lessen the ache inside.

On the B Side: I am grateful that there is a plan, that we are here for a special purpose and that we are blessed for the challenges and trials that we endure. I doubt that I comprehend the true significance of it all or how a loving Father in Heaven must feel watching us all stumble through this life doing the best we can. I am also really grateful for the way in which Michelle and Mike have touched my life and enabled me to look outside of myself.

Monday, March 24, 2008

For a Friend of my Friend

I'm promoting for one of Clancy's pals! Check out the following movie trailer and pass along the word;

On the B Side: I am happy to help in a really small way. Best of luck to Racheal!

Our Little Easter Eggs!

They were "dye-ing" to take a bath together with a giant orange fizz ball! No worries, they were swim suit modest ;)

This was the highlight of Easter morning in our home!

On the B Side: I am grateful that they get along well and have a great time together!