Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Joke's on Me

At meals, my baby girl does not tolerate her sippy cup to rest anywhere on her tray. When she is done drinking, she tosses it on the floor. Every time. Her accompanying "Uh-oh" is starting to seem a little bit insincere.

Then, the other night this conversation took place....

My Son: "Why is mom such a good cook?"
My Husband: "Because she always makes good food?"
My Son: "No, like it's a joke. Why is mom such a good cook?"

Monday, September 26, 2011

My Favorite Things

Last night, at the end of a looooong weekend of my husband being on night call, I was actually singing this parody of "My Favorite Things" by Hilary Weeks:

When I don't constantly nag at my children-
They just do their chores, like sweeping the kitchen.
When they put toilet paper back on the roll,
It feels like I've witnessed a small miracle.

Bedtime and naptime and bedtime and naptime
Bedtime and naptime and bedtime and naptime
Did I mention it's nice when the kids go to sleep?
These are a few of my favorite things.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Calling Without a Handbook

"I recently saw a woman respond when it was said of another, 'Since she had the new baby, she isn't doing anything in the Church.' You could almost see a baby in her arms as she protested with emotion: 'She is doing something in the Church. She gave that baby life. She nurtures and teaches it. She is doing the most important thing that she can do in the Church.'"
"... Would our perspective be more clear if we could, for a moment, look upon parenthood as a calling in the Church? Actually, it is so much more that that; but if we could look at that way for a moment, we could reach a better balance in the way we schedule families."
-Boyd K. Packer

Monday, September 19, 2011

Darling, I Don't Know Why I Go to Extremes

Sleeps too much ... Won't sleep enough
Only wants to be held ... Won't cuddle like she used to
Messy diaper every 4 days ... Every diaper is messy
Can't wait for naptime ... Can't wait for her to wake up
It'd be nice to sleep in ... It'd be nice to be back on schedule
Looking forward to the next milestone ... She's growing way too fast!

Caring for my baby makes me realize... I'm never happy!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy Anniversary, Constitution

In honor of the signing of the constitution in 1787 (tomorrow), here are some really neat quotes from the talk, "The Constitution- A Glorious Standard", by President Benson (I have tinkered with the formatting). Also, here is a link to the National Archives and some neat Q&A's about the constitution.

"To understand the significance of the Constitution, we must first understand some basic, eternal principles. These principles have their beginning in the premortal councils of heaven."
  1. Agency
    • "The war that began in heaven over this issue is not yet over. The conflict continues on the battlefield of mortality. And one of Lucifer’s primary strategies has been to restrict our agency through the power of earthly governments."
  2. The function and proper role of government
    • (Quotes D&C 134:1-2,5) "In other words, the most important single function of government is to secure the rights and freedoms of individual citizens."
  3. The source of basic human rights
    • ‍"Rights are either God-given as part of the divine plan, or they are granted by government as part of the political plan. If we accept the premise that human rights are granted by government, then we must be willing to accept the corollary that they can be denied by government."
  4. People are superior to the governments they form
    • "‍Since God created people with certain inalienable rights, and they, in turn, created government to help secure and safeguard those rights, it follows that the people are superior to the creature they created."
  5. Governments should have only limited powers
    • "By deriving its just powers from the governed, government becomes primarily a mechanism for defense against bodily harm, theft, and involuntary servitude. It cannot claim the power to redistribute money or property nor to force reluctant citizens to perform acts of charity against their will. Government is created by the people. The creature cannot exceed the creator."

Thursday, September 15, 2011

7:00 is the new 10:00

Since my early teenage years, I have had a fond appreciation of sleeping in. I love to sleep in. Anyone who has ever lived with me knows this.
The other day, I was discussing sleeping habits with two of my friends. I proclaimed my love for sleeping in. One friend agreed with me, and the other proudly stated that she loved to get up early (blah!), and even worse, go running  (double Blah!). I reiterated the fact that I hated getting up any earlier than I have to. To which my fellow sleeper explained to the other, that sleeping in for me was probably seven o'clock. I agreed that this was true. And then I stared blankly at the table and wondered what has happened to me. How is seven o'clock in the morning- an hour I once considered not meant for man's eyes- now sleeping in for me? I am living a lie.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Lettero

Dear Dora, Diego, Handy Manny, Maya & Miguel, etc.,
I am writing this letter to inform you that your efforts to teach my son Spanish by interjecting random Spanish words/phrases/expressions into your English dialogue is not working. In the past 4 years, I have never once heard my son use a Spanish word as a result of viewing your program. (Which isn't really surprising when you consider that most people can't remember a lick of Spanish after studying the language for 2 years in high school). I'm not sure why you are trying to teach my son Spanish, but I find your methods questionable. To be honest, I think the language you are teaching would be more accurately described as "Spanglish".
Until your program includes an exchange program allowing children total immersion in the language and culture of Latin America or Spain, including classes on navigation/orienteering or home improvement (in Spanish), I just don't think you will have any success. Lo siento.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Lessons I Learned from 9/11

For my high school graduation present, my parents took me on a trip to New York City (a tradition that had started with my older brothers). Among the activities on our itinerary was a trip to the World Trade Center. The day we visited the towers was overcast and gray. We took an elevator ride to the very top floor. The room was surrounded by floor to ceiling windows, and you couldn't help but stand as close to the window as you could to see the view below. I remember my knees weakening and catching my breath a little as I looked down to the street. It was truly staggering. The cars below looked like little matchbox cars. Unfortunately, due to high winds, we were unable to access the obeservation deck on the roof that day. "Oh well," I thought to myself, "I guess that gives me a reason to come back." I would have never in a thousand years guessed that I would never be able to visit these buildings again. In a few years, the World Trade Center buildings were gone.
I was in college when it happened. I was walking home from an early morning class, and as I approached my apartment building, some girls passed me on the sidewalk and told me some news about an airplane flying into one of the World Trade Center buildings. Not realizing the magnitude of the accident, I responded, "What, is the world coming to an end?" When I reached my apartment, the girls across the hall had their door open and were watching the news. As I watched the story unfold, I realized the gravity of the situation. I sat for an hour glued to the TV screen watching reporters describe events that were, up until then, only imaginable in the movies. Except, this was real, and real people were suffering. A fear, insecurity, and vulnerability I had never experienced filled my heart. The wickedness and hate it took to carry out this assault was unfathomable. When I could watch no more, I walked to my room and prayed for peace. I decided to take a shower and get ready for the day. Even though I knew that my university was at the bottom of the list for a terrorist plot, I still felt unsafe. While I showered, I actually worried that my apartment building would be leveled while I showered, and that my body would be found naked in the rubble. I couldn't imagine a more humiliating way to die- so I took a fast shower. Later, I listened to some comforting words, and the process of healing began.
A couple of years earlier, I had began the application process to be a volunteer at the 2002 Olympics. In 2001, I had received my assignment. I would be stationed in Solider Hollow with the cross country ski events. After the events of 9/11 unfolded, I began to worry that the Olympics, with an international crowd, would be the next venue for a terrorist plot to take place. I talked with a friend who strongly encouraged me to move forward and not to let fear guide my decisions. In the end, my fear won out and I did not pursue my volunteer assigenment any further. This is a decision I still regret.
Now with the 10th anniversary, I have reflected on the event and how it has shaped my life. I can think of two ways. The first, is that now I know that you can't depend on anything to be there when you come back. Now I try to take advantage of things when I can, and enjoy them as if I will never be able to again. The second lesson, is that fear should not be the method by which you make your choices. This is actually something that is easier said than done, but when you understand that sometimes opportunities only come once, fear will only lead to regret. 9/11 was an awful day, but hopefully, instead of reopening and nursing old wounds each year, we can instead choose to grow stronger from the lessons it has taught us, accept each day as a blessing, and then take advantage of the opportunities that each day gives us.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Religious Freedom

"Religious freedom cannot be reduced to freedom of worship, nor even freedom of private conscience. Religious freedom means that religious groups as well as religious individuals have a right to exercise their influence in the public square."

- His Eminence Francis Cardinal George

Monday, September 5, 2011


When earth's last picture is painted, and the tubes are
twisted and dried,
When the oldest colors have faded, and the youngest critic
has died,
We shall rest, and, faith, we shall need it- lie down for an
aeon or two,
Till the Master of All Good Workmen shall set us to work

And those that were good will be happy: they shall sit in a
golden chair;
They shall splash at a ten-league canvas with brushes of
comet's hair;
They shall find real saints to draw from- Magdalene, Peter,
and Paul;
They shall work for an age at a sitting and never be tired
at all!

And only the Master shall praise us, and only the Master
shall blame;
And no one shall work for money, and no one shall work
for fame;
But each for the joy of the working, and each, in his
separate star,
Shall draw the Thing as he sees It for the God of Things
as They Are!

-Rudyard Kipling