Tuesday, May 28, 2013

No More Friends

I finally did it. I took the bold step that I have known was coming for a while.  I have no friends.  Well, no Facebook friends. I got rid of everybody. I sent everyone a message with all of my contact information. I still have an account where you can message me and find me. But I have no friends.

Why?  Why this drastic step?

Do you ever feel like your life is headed in the wrong direction and a course correction is necessary, no matter how painful? That is where I am right now. I have come to some realizations in the last little while, but I have lacked the courage to follow through.

My first realization is that I need to live life.  I have been sitting here for a while watching life pass me by. I have been a passive observer, instead of an active participant.  This idea really came into focus last year when I attended a book club, where the book was called "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years".  It was a memoir that basically said what I just did.  The author was a spectator of life and decided to do something about it.  I had felt this in my heart for a long time, but it was solidified in the pages of this book. I knew it was true. I knew I was guilty.  Life is passing me by way more than I would ever want it to.  I want to live life and have awesome experiences.  I know it will benefit my children and family, but I am not planning on doing it for them. I am going to do it for me.  They will see my good example, and that will be a positive consequence, but it is not my motivation. My motivation is purely selfish. I only have one life. I need to live it and be a part of it.

Does this mean that I will be hiking the Inca Trail to the pinnacle of Machu Picchu? Probably not.  But can I hike the endless trails of the Wasatch front, listen to the birds sing, learn the names of the trees and plants, rediscover the wonder of bugs and snakes, and drink in the beauty of God's creations? Yes, I can. I can do that every single day. I can get on the ground and play with my kids, read more books that will take me to magical places and expand my mind to ideas I have never considered. I can step out of my front door and stop by to see a neighbor, call an old friend, write a letter.  I can make a real, tangible social network in my life, based on real relationships that take work and thought.  I have been so lazy and passive. 

This gets into my second reason for unplugging.  I have realized that the more "connected" I am in cyber-space, the more disconnected I really am to people in my life. A high "friend total" does not measure my worth or popularity in life. My real friends, the ones I really care about, and who really care about me will be in my life. If my relationship with someone was never strong to begin with, then they will go their way and I will go mine.  It is not like Facebook was really strengthening anything to begin with. I can't be best friends with everyone and I can't stay in everyone's business. It is cluttering my mind. I am here. If you need me, you can find me. But I am going to start really focusing on what is in front of me...the people who are in my path now. I don't know what relationships will endure, but the ones that do will be based on concrete things. This is going to require effort on my part and I will put the effort in where I feel that I should. And for all my friends, I will just have a whole lot more Christmas cards to start sending out every year.

There is one thing I know about myself. I have an addictive personality. I grew up in a house of TV addicts. Hence, I am most definitely a TV addict. This is the next step in my life. I just really need to unplug everything. I have done that before with TV and it really does make a difference. But just like TV, Facebook and things of that nature fill the void.  I make no plans, I set no goals, and then I feel deprived and need to fill it in with something and TV/Facebook do the trick. It is unfulfilling and depressing and I just need to cut the cord.

My kids are really starting to do stuff, cool stuff. I want to lead the way. I want to be right there with them.

Now that I am unshackling myself from all of this nonsense, I am going to live life from the driver's seat, unfettered and unafraid. That is, once I go through my withdrawal phase. It could take a while.

I've Got the Dress

This dress is kind of special. My mom made it for me and I wore it in my first grade school picture. I had bleach blonde hair and a dazzling smile. Now my dazzling little daughter wears it. And she is even more adorable. My mom gave me this dress over Christmas last year and it was such a wonderful surprise. Julia thinks so, too.

She is quite an amazing girl and she says the cutest stuff.  She always wants to go with me to 'scub scouts'. She loves to watch the movie 'Stoy Story'. And of course, there was this unforgettable exchange with her matter-of-fact older brother, Zach.

Julia doesn't think she is a princess, she knows she is. This came to a head a few weeks ago when Zachary was trying to prove to her that she is in fact, not really a princess. "Julia, you can't be a princess. Your dad isn't a king."

Nope, she wouldn't have any of it. "I am a princess. I have a dress!"

Boo yeah, girlie. You got that right.  She sure does have a princess dress, in fact, she has 2. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A House Filled with Love

Thursday just felt like a get-out-of-the-house sort of day. I wanted to do a little bit of exploring of the area and that took us to American Fork Canyon. It was a lot colder than I had anticipated, so we didn't stay long. But these three sure enjoyed throwing rocks into the reservoir. It is a family classic activity.

And what can I say about this kid? Just can't stop kissing him...

On another day this week, Zach came running into the house full of excitement at a discovery. He had found an ant swarm around the corner and he wanted to show everyone. We all walked down the sidewalk to take a look. The little kids were completely enthralled in this little bit of nature.  They sat and looked at it for quite a while. These are the nice little black ants so nobody got attacked.

And for Mother's Day today, this was my present from my kids. They each gave me a heart with the things they love about me. 

Raef's orange card said, "Mom your the best, best, best, best, best, best, best, best, best, best, best, best, best, mom in the world. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo"

Hmmm... maybe we should work on adjectives.

Zach wrote, "What I love about you is you're kind, cheerful, sing well, make dinner, and help me feel better."

Harry said... 
1. I want to give her a kiss. 
2. She is buu-tiful.
3. I like to draw her a picture.
4. I like her to play legos (lay-does)
5. I like her smile.

Eli said...
1. I love the breakfast she makes me.
2. She is very nice.
3. She is very, very kind.
4. I love her and she loves me.
5. She lets me work lots of days and get money.

Julia said...
1. She makes a ponytail.
2. She makes pancakes.
3. She is Kelly.
4. She makes me waffles.
5. She gives me hugs and kisses.

Raef also made me a cute necklace. He drew a heart on cardboard, colored it red, and put it on some red yarn. I was stylin' at church today.

It was a good week filled with a lot of love. As we were driving home last night from a dinner we had with our friends Kristin and Brian, Raef just tells us out of the blue that he is so glad to be a part of our family and that he loves our family so much. It was very sweet. Yes, it is a house filled with love.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Salad Makes Steel

This is just a snapshot of a special moment today.

I asked Harry to show me his muscles. He put his arms up to do a cute little flex and show off.  Then he walks over to me and pulls up his long-sleeved shirt. He points to his arm and tells me that there is salad in there! Salad? What?  Yes, there is salad in there, and that is why he is so strong. Oh, the power of salad!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Don't Leave It Unsaid

Pregnancy is an emotional safari. The process takes a long time and you make many discoveries along the way. For my first pregnancy, I remember coming home from work and watching an episode of "E.R." and it really scared me. Nurse Hathaway was pregnant with twins (like me) and it just happened to be the show where she gave birth.  The first one came out just fine, but then everything fell apart and she had to get a c-section.  It was all too real for me and I really didn't want that sort of thing happening to me.

Luckily it didn't, but when you are going through the same life experience as a fictional character on a popular television show it can become very real.

Fast forward to today.  I was reading the local news on my little iPhone, and saw a tragic story that happened today in Orem. A mother of six died in childbirth. This was the headline today. Whoa. Katrina Lawrence, a real mom, gave birth to her sixth child and then died. Does this even happen anymore?

Heartbreaking. So heartbreaking for her six beautiful children, left here without a mother. Yes, she is the same age as me and her kids are just about the same age as mine. It just makes me weep.

I know that I have a Father in Heaven and that He has a plan for me and for her. But at this point in my life, it would just tear me to pieces to know that I would have to leave my kids. I love them so much. And just so that nothing is ever left unsaid to my little brood, I thought I could just take a minute to write down my feelings about them. Some day they will see it, even if it is when they are old and gray and are pouring through Mom's old papers and reminiscing after I am long gone. 

I just want them to know without a doubt...

Raef, you are the most darling, adorable, lovable, kind-hearted spirit I have ever known. You are so thoughtful and smart and dedicated and caring, not to mention incredibly handsome. You are careful to include everyone in your circle. You are a true friend, and especially to me. Thank you for all of the love notes you leave on my pillow, the many laughs we have shared, and for your helpfulness. Our family could have never had a better oldest brother than you. You are going to make this world a better place and I can't wait to see it happen. (p.s. Don't tell the other ones that you are my favorite.)

Zach, oh Zach.  Boy, you can drive me crazy, but I really wouldn't have it any other way. Thank you so much for your off-the-wall comments, facts, soliloquies, questions. I would have a completely and utterly boring life if I didn't have you in it. I love you so much. You are so smart, kind, determined, focused, funny (yes, your jokes really are funny), stalwart, brave, and amazing.  I marvel at you and what you can do. You have an amazing mind and an honest heart. I can't wait to see what you do when you are an adult. I don't think the world is going to know what hit them.  And try to keep this to yourself, but you are definitely my very favorite kid.

Eli, you are my beautiful little boy with the stormy blue-green eyes and big eyelashes.  Man, do I love you. I love to kiss your squishy cheeks and rub your belly. Thanks for letting me, even though I know it probably annoys you. You are a pleasure and a joy, so easy-going (except when you're not sometimes) and full of love. You have a tender heart and a gallant spirit. Your personality is just starting to emerge and you are a force to be reckoned with. You are so quiet and then a tidal wave of words and when you put your mind to something, there is nothing that will hold you back. You are smart and fearless and you constantly amaze me with the things that you can do. Thank you for your hugs and kisses and apologies. And you know that you will always be my favorite, but make sure not to tell your siblings.

Harry, I always worried that you would be forgotten in our family because you are the number four boy and your twin is a girl. But what was I worried about, really?  You are not someone who will be ignored. You have a voice and you know how to use it. Don't ever forget that! What a gift that is. I call you Happy Harry because you always have a smile on your face, except when you are crying, of course. And even if you don't smile, your eyes always do.  You give the best kisses and cuddles. You really are my boyfriend and every Mommy needs one of those. You are a hard-worker and a diligent helper. You are dedicated and very determined and your heart is full of so much love. My love for you is eternal, my little Harry Bobbers and you are definitely my favorite. Shhh...it's a secret.

Julia, my only daughter. I always wanted a daughter and look how blessed I am! You are so beautiful, girly, and tough all at the same time. You are a bit mischievous and love to get into my make-up, especially the lipstick or walk around in my shoes. You have a wicked imagination...the world is yours. Heavenly Father made you perfectly. You love to twirl and will pretty much only wear dresses, especially the twirly kind. Pink is a given, of course. You have a heart full of love and you leave a path of joy wherever you go. I love you so much, little girl. I enjoy all those moments with you and look forward to your path toward womanhood. You make this world a more beautiful place and this world needs more beauty and of course, you are my favorite.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Hand-written Cards are the Best

Dear Auntie Norma,

Thank you so much for you sweet card we got in the mail a couple of days ago. It was such a nice surprise. We are grateful that you are a part of our family, but more importantly, that we can call you "friend".  There is something about you and all of your siblings that is very special.  All of you are a paragon of thoughtfulness, a gift that I hope to develop as I grow older. There have been  many times that we have received surprise letters from you, or Margaret, or especially from Grandma.

Now that we don't live in the boonies anymore, I hope we will be able to have you drop by occasionally. Draper is in the Salt Lake valley, so we are right in the thick of it again. And it is always so nice to get an infusion of much needed Aloha Spirit!

So from Rinar, Kelly, Raef, Zach, Eli, Harry, Julia, and surprise baby #6, we are sending you a big mahalo! Lots of loves and kisses from the mainland.

Your very favorite niece in the whole wide world!!

p.s. We are very glad to hear that all of you are doing well and wish you the very best.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Riding a Bike... Boo Yeah!

Since yesterday was Saturday, I made good use of my time and hit some yard sales in the morning.  There seem to be lots of them in the area.  Luckily, I was able to find a few treasures. The best one was a new bike for Eli. His old bike was a bit too small. This one was absolutely perfect and in great shape. I came home and got the stuff out of the car. I told Eli I would teach him how to ride. Then I got busy doing stuff with Harry or whatever was distracting me.

I didn't even pay attention to the the amazing-ness that was happening in front of my face.  I finally looked up and saw Eli riding the back around the driveway like he had been doing it for the past 20 years or so.

I was speechless. Where did this kid come from?  He just hopped right on it and took off. I guess he was ready.  He went up the driveway, down the road, turned, stopped, started.  No problemo.  

Let's see. He has potty trained himself, taught himself how to swing (okay, maybe his older brothers helped him a little bit) and is just moving right along with life.  He is such a smart, kind little boy.

Friday, May 3, 2013

My Life This Week

It is amazing what happens when you eat a whole bunch of vegetables. Surprisingly enough, I have a lot more energy today. Life has been moving along for our family. I haven't really felt that inspired to blog, but I figure I can just start writing something and then maybe the creative juices will start flowing again.

It is intimidating to move into a new house, especially one with vast and empty wall space.  Where do I hang the pictures? I don't feel like my life is complete until the pictures are hung, but it feels like such a commitment to decide where to put them.  Like the unraveling of a scroll, I am starting to find a place for everything. I just have to keep reminding myself that nothing is permanent. If I don't like it, I can always put it somewhere else.

I am trying to get all of my children involved in learning and some kind of school. They are all getting old enough to do something now. This week, we started some preschool stuff and Eli, Harry, and Julia seemed to enjoy it. Naturally, we had to start with the letter A.

I found a few things online and we did those activities. We made a silly letter A lady and sang some songs and did rhymes. I also checked out "The Letter Factory" from the library. Julia really liked to watch it, Harry was somewhat interested, and Eli really didn't care for it.  I think it is a little below where he is right now.  But I did push on with reading lessons for him.  He is pretty bright, but does have reading tendencies like Raef. I hope that I will be able to deal with that better this time around. I guess I will find out really soon.

I am going to be getting two new callings in church: Primary pianist and Webelos leader.  Piano will be fun and I am grateful for the chance to really develop that skill to another level.  As for Webelos, I thought I was done with Cub Scouts for a while, but I guess I will get to enjoy it from another angle this time around.

My pregnancy is going well, as far as I can tell. I feel good and have lots of energy.  I am trying to remain positive about everything and I do feel that my attitude is changing a bit. I do have a lot of anxiety about the impending c-section, but I guess I am just going to not think about it. It is completely out of my control and I will just have to put my trust in the Lord, and the doctors.

Rinar headed out to St. George today with Raef and Julia. He is competing in the St. George Half Ironman. I hope he survives, as he has not had the luxury of being able to train very much, with all of the craziness we have experienced over the past few months.  But he seems confident that he will manage it just fine, so I can only hope for the best. It will be nice to have a few days with fewer kids. It will be a nice break.
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