Sunday, January 30, 2011

A muted joy.

Ugh. I hate it when I can't let go of something sometimes. It's like my brain gets stuck, and it doesn't rest until I talk it out or write it out. So I'm writing it out because little listening ears are around all the time--and today of all days, well, yesterday now, should be a happy day.

Austin won the Pinewood Derby! How exciting and wonderful and I'm happy for him! He put in a lot of work into that car, along side his dad, that paid off. There were hang ups. Definitely. He's been working on that car for about 3 weeks now. I regret not taking pictures of his progress.

He and his dad took a lot of time deciding which car style he wanted. They looked online at many different types of cars. I remember Austin complaining for a few days after he sawed the whole car in half that his arm hurt. He kept asking if his car looked cool, after only sanding for a few minutes.

I was pleased to see the effort and time he put into this was done in excitement, at how just...everything was shaping up. He was so excited. Is excited.

Yesterday when he won the first time, he was beyond estatic. I think he gave a whoop and you couldn't wipe the grin off his face. I was down at the finish line, and he exclaimed, "I won!" Yet, when another child told him he won and offered him encouragement, he returned it..."I think you got second!" in your face...ha! I was pleased.

The second time he won, he was incredulous. I was once again at the finish line and once again saw his reaction and joy at having won a second time. Excited is an understatement. Seriously.

Wouldn't you know, Grandma and Papa were there and excited as ever and said, "I can't believe he won!" And we, his family, were all just...excited.


Yet knowing other kids, and parents, didn't win that particular race...I told my son something that I sorta regret.

Let me back up a little. Last year, Austin didn't even place. He put in the same sort of effort, but the result was not the same. This year, we explained to him before we went that there were a lot of cars. That his chances of winning were slim to none and it wasn't about winning, but the adventure of building the car with his dad and getting to use the cool power tools, etc. So, he was excited regardless.

After he won the second race, I pulled him aside and said, "There are other kids who haven't won a race yet. You may not win could have just been chance that you won two times already. So don't show your excitement." Yeah, we can all have a collect sigh about what a crap mother move that was. And honestly it was in response to another parent's grimace. Which is so stupid on my end.

As a parent of more than one child, it's often I have the opportunity to witness the differences in my children. What one is good at, the other isn't.

Austin is a great kid. His spirit is one of the pure ones folks. His heart is so tender and open to just about...everything, and I have no doubt he's growing up to be a fine young man. He's learning lessons that will forever remain with him. He's growing up. But Austin struggles. He works so hard all the time to He's behind in reading at school and this plays a huge role in his confidence and his ability to want to do extra things. He's often saying the wrong thing by mistake...and yes, he gets that from me.

Scouting has been something he loves. It's been something encouraging for him and has set him on a path that I like. While there have been some hangs up with the program, he has not let that discourage him from trying his very hardest to succeed in all that he does. I'm so proud of him.

I guess, I just hope he remembers this experience as a positive one. Even despite the parent politics that I just...honestly didn't even know existed because we're so new to the program. But exist anyway. I shouldn't let what someone else says or feels about the derby influence or change my opinion of it. And I certainly should be able to openly praise my own son for his efforts and ultimately his win because of it. And I shouldn't feel badly about it.

But I do. Because that's me. So instead of being his excitable happy self tomorrow at church, which I honestly would love to see, I'll likely once again, ask him to put mute on it. For the sake of no one feels bad.

The funny thing is...he's taking it in stride, and yes...he's still excited. As he should be. It's me that feels the experience was sullied by an opinion that was not my own. And I just need to let that go.

And I need to finally go to sleep and stop worrying about this. Seriously.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Giving up what I want most for what I want right now.

I could just leave the title of this blog post like that, and let you ponder this on your own, but I'll ramble along and give you my thoughts anyway. However, I would encourage you to think about how this applies to you in your life now.

Today in Sacrament meeting I had the opportunity to listen to our Stake Relief Society President speak. I'm sorry, but I forget her name. It was enlightening. She told the story of a book she used to read about Cookie Monster. Remember him? I think they've made him a fanatic of veggies now--which is ridiculous if for the simple fact that cookies are WAY better than veggies. Meh, anyway. Cookie Monster was on a quest for the ultimate joy and happiness. Along the way he was presented quite craftily a cookie and he paused...Do I continue on my journey for the ultimate joy and happiness, or do I stop now and eat this cookie...right NOW? He chose to eat the cookie, and he chose here and now.

She went on to talk about how this can apply to us. How often do we give up what we want the most for what we want right now? I know in my own life, it's frequent. This applies on so many levels for me!

Firstly, I was thinking about what I want most in my life right now. And I've been trying so very hard at losing weight and thus far have been successful in losing 36lbs. This is no small feat. I mean, come on! It's a 1st grader! Ha! So I'm really very happy with my success, however, I often reason--at least to myself--that I can have another cookie and go over my daily points and use a little of my weekly points because, well, it doesn't happen that often. And the weekly points are there for a reason. But what I want the most is to lose more weight. I want to be healthier, trimmer, I want to be able to continue to run easier, to wear a certain the question then becomes, am I willing to give up what I want the most for that extra cookie? I mean, I'm already having a cookie, that's within my budget for points...but do I really want another?

I'm going to start asking myself this question more often. Today was my weigh in and I didn't lose any weight. I didn't gain, but I didn't lose. I knew this was going to happen because yesterday was my office Christmas party and I overate and used a lot of my weekly points. I even remember thinking at one point during dinner, actually I had a full on inner monolog going on and it looked something like this:

Me: Do I want to eat dessert?
Me: Well, you don't need it.
Me: I want it.
Me: You don't need it...
Me: But, if I don't use any of my weekly points I'll lose them tonight.
Me: This is true.
Me: Besides, I still have like 30 activity points I could use too if I needed.
Me: This is true.
Me: It's not like you're gonna be even close to using those.
Me: Right. Exactly.
Me: So just have the dessert.
Me: Done.

Turns out I did have the dessert, and it was gritty and I didn't even eat it all, but had to count it anyway. Bummer. So I chose right now. And this particular time, it wasn't worth it. Now, of course, if we were talking an oatmeal fudge bar...

Then I started thinking about this on a spiritual level. Which is the point the RS President intended. What I want most is eternal life in the highest kingdom of heaven. I wonder when I make my choices now if I considered this question before chosing anything, "Will I be giving up what I want the most, for what I want right now?" and then consider that each choice I make will bring me that much closer or farther away from my goal...would I chose the same?

I typically don't make choices that will pull me in a direction that isn't where I should be going, where I want to be going, where Heavenly Father wants me to be. I make bad choices, but I've been given the very real opportunity to repent and be forgiven, and I often do and am.

The last speaker was a member of the High Counsil. And for the life of me I can't remember his name either, but he told stories of his life and how each trial or wonderful event was a gift to him. And I cried like a baby, because I was thinking of the many, many...too many to I've been given throughout my life. I cannot possibly ever repay my Father in Heaven for them, but I'm not going to be discouraged and stop trying. He simply asks in return to have faith, have hope, to live like His son. These are simple things that I make harder on myself, so I'm going to try to make things simpler so my goal...what I want the most is what I'm choosing right now, too.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Do my prayers contain my hopes?

Recently I had the opportunity to attend TOFW. This was my first experience doing so, and I have a lot to blog about as a result of this experience, but today, for whatever reason, I'm being prompted to write about the title of my post.

Sometimes we receive promptings that are so strong, they're impossible to ignore. We can try, but something, inevitably, pops up to make us remember. And that's what I've been doing all day today...remembering. Hope.

This may be a bit scattered, a bit unorganzied, but I'm putting it out there anyway, because there's not time like the present.

So some things that I learned from TOFW, besides the universal message of having hope, was how important hope actually is. There were many speakers who spoke on varying ways hope helped them throughout their lives. How significant hope them, to us. To me.

So here goes: Hope is as important as air. I had never really given this much merit. How can hope be as important as air? We require air, we need is a universal truth and it applies to everyone. I had never considered that having hope was the same or applied to me specifically in this way. But giving it some extra thought and pondering this analogy, I find it to be most adequate. Clever these people are to address the issue of hope this way. Much like air, if we don't have hope--we die. Maybe not in the literal sense, but maybe so. How often have I been so heavy burdened in my life, miserable even? Many times, I'd venture to say, especially in the thick of things, more than my share. Each time, the only thing that pulled me out was hope. Whether it was a person, a thing, a message, a or many of these things struck me and made me hope.

We hope not for what we have, but what we believe is possible. However, is it wrong to still hope for the things that we have? I mean, I have a family, and I hope for them all the time. Maybe I'm refining my hope, then, and continuing to put in the effort for my hope to be realized. I think that's expected of me. I need to work on refining my hope for my family, and focus on the very most important of things. Recently in conference we had the opportunity to hear from President Uchtdorf and he spoke about our lives and the rushed pace of it all--and how we need to refocus on what matters most. He says, " is good advice to slow down a little, steady the course, and focus on the essentials when experiencing adverse conditions." I think that when we slow down, we can see more clearly our hopes, but when we're rushed or pressured we lose sight of those hopes--even if a little--and when this happens, I've found that, for me, my course is unclear.

How much clearer our path, that righteous course, when hope is always in sight!

We were asked at TOFW the first day to list the things that we hoped 'for'. No hope, no venture, no dream was too large to hope for. The next day, we listed what we hoped 'in'. I have to take pause for a moment to reflect on these lists. Wipe my eyes and blow my nose, because my lists are very similar.

I'll show you what I mean, here's some things on my hope for list: A happy eternal life. Jon to be happy with his career choices. Jon to be happy. Austin to be happy. Alex to be happy. Samantha to be happy. For my family to know God loves them. To get to my goal weight loss. Financial security.

And my hope 'in' list: Christ. Jon. Austin. Alex. Samantha. Susan. My ability to lose weight. My ability to provide for my family. Myself to achieve eternal life.

There are other things for which I both hope for and hope in, but I found that these things were the most important to me, and thus were listed first. How similar they are!

Having hope is not something that will weaken us, but strengthen us. Provide us with an understanding that God loves each and every one of us. That He knows our basic needs and will always meet those needs. Which leads me to the one question I've been struggling with...Do my prayers contain my hopes? Or perhaps I should be even more specific...Do my prayers frequently contain my hopes?

Sometimes I find myself asking Heavenly Father for something, but it's once...and it's more of a need. Sometimes a desire. It's not that I think it's not important enough to ask more than once's just that I feel like I ask for so much as it is--that what I hope for isn't as important to Him to hear about, than the things that I geniunely need. And I KNOW that He wants to hear from me always, about anything, but maybe I should consider He hopes for me to ask Him ALL THINGS.

How can I remember to prayerfully contain my hopes on a consistent basis? Are my hopes really too far different than my needs? What will jog my memory while I'm on my knees? A ribbon tied on my wrist? Or is it more that I need to better know that I'm worthy to have my hopes realized? Maybe a combination of those things and more.

As I sit here contemplating what I can do to further clarify and refine my hopes, I'm prayerful that I'll get it right for myself.

But I have to put on roller skates right now and get a million things done. I hope for enough time to do them.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Being blessed.

I honestly don't even know if anyone reads this anymore. It was never my intention to bag out and quit just sort of happened. So many things have happened over the last year, and I do realize that it has been almost an entire year since I last posted.

I do use Facebook though! I'm under Rebecca Garver...which I think is pretty obvious, but you never know.

I guess I just wanted to come on here and say that I feel my Savior's love for me these days. A friend of mine is going through a rough patch, not similar to mine, but she doesn't have the knowledge of Heavenly Father's plan, or feel Christ's love and perfect brightness of hope in her life. I worry for her.

Despite the fact that there is a possibility that I might not be able to have another child, I feel comforted. I feel the strong embrace of the Savior and the power of His touch in my life. I cannot possibly know why the things that happen happen sometimes, but I cannot question Heavenly Father's love for me. I cannot thank Him enough for sparing my life so that I can live it with my sweet husband and children.

The last week has been probably the most painful of my life. Like, considering actual physical pain. But I'm getting through it. Each day the stairs are easier to manage. Last night I slept through the night completely. Today I applied make-up, and despite the fact that I'm still so utterly pale, it helped me to feel better. I went to work, only for an hour or so, but I wasn't too winded, and I managed.

Little things. I'm noticing the little things today that I normally don't give a second thought to--well, I'm grateful for them. I feel blessed to be able to do them.

I'm still slow and have a heavy heart. Ridiculous things still set me off, and I cry. I cry, a lot, for me. But it's okay. I'm going to cry it out if I want to. It's been a week. I need more time and I'm going to take it. And I'm going to cry.

Tomorrow another sweet sister is going to be taking my children for me in the morning so I can rest. The love we've received from our Relief Society has been astounding, and very much appreciated. The meals that have been provided in my absence and since I've been home have been lovely and nurishing and terrific. Last Monday I had my grocery list completed and planned to shop in the afternoon with Sam. I never made it, of course, so those meals provided so lovingly on our behalf saved us. I'm so grateful.

While I've got a ways to go, quite a lot actually, it doesn't seem too far. It doesn't seem to daunting or unrealistic or unmanagable. I'm grateful for this.

I'm grateful for so many things.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A lot.

There's been so much happening lately, I can hardly wrap my brain around it.

I've been working a lot more lately. Sherwood Oral Surgery has been up and running since April, but only in the last month or so has it really started to take off. This means that I've been working on Tuesday's and Friday afternoons over in Sherwood. It's been an interesting experience. The office over there is quite a bit different from the Portland office. The people over there are nice, but the dynamic is SIGNIFICANTLY different than the Portland office. Of course it's going to be different - I've been with the Portland office for almost 11 years...I'm used to it. Over in Sherwood, however, it's just different. I can't explain it any other way.

Then, the actual office itself is like 20,000sqft or something INSANE! There's entirely too much room to get lost in. I can't figure out where I'm going half the time. Oh, and I've chinned twice now. It's weird. I don't know if I like that part of it because you have to hold still for so long and my hands kind of cramp. I'm not complaining though...too much.

I have a lot of new responsibilities that I've never had before for this new office and I'm both excited to learn and scared to death. Mostly scared because I'm extremely anal retentive and everything has to be perfect. And since my doctor has lost some receipts, etc...well, that just makes me all nervous and such. LOL

We're planning a trip to Mt. Hood this weekend and into early next week. I'm excited for another break, even if it is only a couple of days this time. The following week we hope to head out to either Haag Lake or Detroit Lake...haven't decided yet. I have to be back by the 25th for my next hearing. Hopefully the last one before the trial in October. I can't wait for that mess to be over and done's too much sometimes.

So, the kids have been doing very well. They are all rapidly getting bigger and making me laugh with the things they say. I told Alex the other day that he was going to be such a big boy going to Kindergarten and he says, "Being a big kid is lame!" Nice huh? That one is going to be just like his father with all his little quirks and quick wittiness. A little mini-Jon.

I hope this finds you all well and having a great summer! :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Another funny.

It seems the only things I've been posting lately have been things that the kids say that I find funny. For the sake of keeping things perserved and remembered, I had to share this as well.

I made lunch this afternoon and the kids were playing in the living room with dominos. They were building all sorts of things, houses, tables, chairs, making robots...just all sorts of things. Anyway, I called them to the table so we could eat and placed their food in their respective places.

Just as we were all gathered together, Alex said, "Wait! Hang on mom we have to do something real quick, even smart people forget things!" And he ran off to make his creation before he forgot what it was that he wanted to make.

That kid cracks me up more times than I even dang!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Today during breakfast I had a very interesting conversation with my children. Alex started it. He asked me whether I had two moms. I told him that I had only one mom that gave birth to me, but another mom, Grandma Susan, who stepped in when my mom couldn't. Essentially. That seemed to bode well with them.

A few minutes later, Austin asked me if I knew my dad. I told him that I did not. He wondered why my mom didn't know who he was. How to explain that mess to him... Alex piped in and said, "Maybe your dad didn't like your mom." Simple enough right? Maybe...I really don't know anything to explain further on the subject so I get up to put more food on our plates to drop the subject.

Then, Alex pipes up and asks, "Mom, do we have ancestors?" I told him that we did.

Austin then asks, "Do we have an-brothers, too?" I had to ask him what he said again to be sure, and he repeated himself. At this point I'm twitching around in silent laughter because dang, that was funny right there.

I explained to him what having an ancestor meant and I don't think he really understood why I was laughing so hard, but seemed to accept the answer.

Kids say the funniest things.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Yesterday I had this great idea. Don't put on sunscreen...get a little burnt and it'll turn into a tan.

What the heck!?

So, I think it would have worked if it wasn't for the fact that I was out in VERY HOT weather for 4 hours. I'm lobster red, like, really.

We went to the river again yesterday and it was very relaxing and fun and there was even a slight breeze at time. I think it cooled down to like 97 degrees or something tolerable, so that was also nice.

The day before we went to the lake and low and behold, all of us got sick. Turns out that there was a rare blue green algae growing in the middle of the lake that got stirred up by a bunch of boats. When ingested it causes flu like symptoms. Yeah...

Then, if that's not bad enough, we had to worry about West Nile virus from the bugs. I got bit once, and my kids didn't get bit at all, but Calvin got a nasty bite and his leg swelled up. And Rannon...well, that poor kid has bites all up and down his legs.

But, we were out in the beautiful weather and played for hours in the water and had a blast. Was it worth it? Sure was. Towards the end of the night we might have all been thinking twice about it, especially if the bathroom was otherwise occupied, but still. It was good.

I'm not sure when we'll head back home...this feels too good to rush it right?

Ok, onto that run before it hits 85...

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Yesterday I went to my first rodeo. It was very cool. The announcers were what made the show, I believe. Some of the riders won over $60,000!

The bull rider competition was insane. Only one bull rider managed to stay on for 8 seconds. Period. So needless to say he won that cash prize.

There was one rider whose name was Cash. His parents named their first child Rope, second child Tye, and third Cash. So when Cash had his first son, he named him Straight Cash. BiZarre. It was sort of funny though. Apparently, according to the announcers his mother, on a scale from 8-10 for hottness is a 12. They were going on and on about how hot his mom was. Poor kid.

We're planning a trip to the river today to do some rafting. It'll be 108...or something crazy, so we might not be out for that long.

It's been very relaxing on vacation. I've really enjoyed it. It's been a long time coming.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Party time?

The title says it all. I have to spill on what happened yesterday because it was just sooo funny!

I hear the doorbell and am not expecting anyone, so I run to get it...all the while thinking it's going to be a salesman asking me if they can clean my carpet for the hundredth time this week...

I open the door to find a nice young man there ready to come into my house! Upon closer inspection I realize...wait a second!? Is that a Willoughby? I'm pretty sure that's a Willoughby...

"Hey," said Willoughby says, "is this where the party's at?"


"Um, no, sorry. We're not partying here right now." I laugh. *If he only knew...*

"Oh, well can you tell me where the party is?" So polite he asks, fully expecting me to know.

"Sorry hon, I didn't even know there was a party anywhere!" Laughing again.

"Oh, well, there is a party and someone said it was here..." Looks around for the first time and shrugs.

Then I proceeded to go out and talk to his mom and laugh because this was what I needed yesterday as a break. It was so funny.

We're leaving for vacation for 2 weeks. I'm so excited! It's a good thing he didn't barge in or anything because he would have been acosted by laundry anywhere he turned in my house right now. LOL