Saturday, November 28, 2009

John Jones

Today TJ and I attended John Jones' memorial service in Stansbury Park.  Our sister-in-law, Cherie, is his big sister, and we were there to support her.  As soon as the service began, though, I felt that Cherie and her family were there to feed us spiritually. 

They spoke about John's exemplary life and the gospel he was so devoted to.  Cherie and her sister listed many of John's Christlike attributes, continually referencing the scriptures.  They encouraged each of us to honor John's legacy by choosing one gospel principle to live better.  His wife, Emily, has chosen to read the scriptures every day in memory of his tireless efforts to do so, even in the thick of med school.  I felt impressed to commit to speaking softly and with love toward everyone in my home, every day.  I have decided that this will be one of my defining characteristics from now on. 

I was especially touched by how apparently uplifted and supported by the spirit Cherie's family has been these past few days since John died.  John's wife Emily, Cherie, and her dad Leon all gave powerful testimonies of the Savior and of a loving Father in Heaven.  They are sure that the Plan of Salvation applies to John.  They are sure that they are sealed to him for eternity and that they will see him again.  Their suffering is being swallowed up in the joy of Christ. 

It was inspiring to witness the Jones family's mindfulness toward the rescuers in attendance.  They thanked them for their efforts and more than once assured   them that they were not in vain.  They were more than gracious--their attitude was one of pure charity for everyone in attendance there today.  It was a powerful example of selflessness that these family members gathered not to be comforted, but to impart comfort to each other and all who came to mourn with them. 

TJ and I never knew John, but at the end of this service we had shed more than a few tears for his loss.  Ths world will not be the same without him--the next world surely received him with joy.  I feel grateful for the time he had on this earth, and for the many lives he touched.  I feel grateful to have been inspired by his example today. 

We love you, Cherie.  Thank you for touching our hearts today.  Our prayers are with you and your family.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hair

The journey of a thousand miles may begin with a single step, but I'm here to tell you that the last mile is the hardest.  So much so, that the notion of quitting within sight of one's destination, so unfathomable at the beginning of the journey, seems logical and overwhelmingly desirable.

Consider my hair, for instance.  It used to be lovely, long, and blonde.  Now it's long-ish, somewhat coarse, and mousy brown.  After my last short cut about three years ago, I determined that I was going to get it back to its full length and enjoy my youth while I still had it.  The trouble is, of course, that youth is relative--and my hair seems to think it's old.  It just doesn't seem to grow like it used to.  Maybe it's my flat iron.  Maybe it's those crazy mothering hormones.  But a picture of me a year ago proves that, despite my self-control at the salon, it's not getting any longer.

And so, although I'm within six inches of all my hair dreams coming true, I've spent the last two weeks seriously considering getting a pixie cut.  Thinking about the prolonged agony of growing it out from that length has deterred me, however, and I've decided to go for the gold.  No more half-hearted measures--I'm going to follow every hair-care rule in the book and make this happen. 

My stylist sold me some lovely shampoo that actually has already made a difference:  Sexy Silky Hair.  Seriously, even TJ has noticed, and that's big, since he usually adheres to the time-honored male tradition of failing to notice any changes short of a buzz cut.  I'm washing and rinsing in cooler (cooler than my usual scalding hot) water.  I'm picking out tangles while the conditioner is still in.  I'm going to get a new blow dryer with a cool heat setting.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Randomness

Eliza has learned how to whistle really well.

TJ was observed last week by Brother Valinga, the CES guy in charge of hiring, and it went well.  A truly stressful experience, preparing for that! 

Naomi is still the whole family's sweetheart.  Every time someone does her a favor, she gasps dramatically and exclaims at the top of her voice, "You're the BEST MOM (or insert other family relationship here) EVER!"  Who can resist that?  She's also getting over her tendancy to get upset when people call her silly.  She used to say, "I'm not silly, I'm beautiful!"  And now she says, "Yes.  I'm silly, and beautiful and marbelous."  She also likes to describe my list of qualities for me, always ending with a resounding, "marbelous!"

Nana visited us last week on a spur-of-the-moment trip North with a friend for a wedding.  She popped by for about an hour, and we loved having her.

Ezra is just like his father, has a one-track mind.  Currently he's obsessed with planning the Thanksgiving program he conceived for our family celebration at Georgia's in St. George.  I'm all for it, since he seems to be excited to sing in public for once. 

Paul is smiling and gurgling and cooing up a storm.  It is such a source of joy to me.  He sits in his bouncer by my seat at dinner, staring at me and waiting for me to glance down.  When I do, he rewards me with a stunner of a smile like this one.

Breakfast in Bed

During my shower this morning Eliza and Naomi took it upon themselves to make me "breakfast in bed"-- under the disapproving glance of their big brother, who was pretty sure they were going to be in trouble.  Note the cereal box toy and the unsweetened yoghurt.  How cute is that!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Time

The National Geographic magazine arrived today.  I groan and stick it on the shelf with thirty or so past issues, only half of which I have even perused for a few minutes.  I love the magazine, really.  But I just don't seem to have the time to read it anymore.
I did, however have two hours to read archives of The Meanest Mom today.  And I do have time to check my email about a million times a day.  Lame!

So much for Supergirl.  What bad habits have you gotten into lately?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I'm Supergirl

In the past 24 hours I did all the laundry*,
baked gluten-free bread,
cooked and served three decent meals,
ate those meals with the kids (quality time),
cleaned the kitchen,
vacuumed the living room and family room,
nursed the baby nine times,
and more or less kept everybody happy**

And I did it all without the assistance of Superman,
who was off working a thirteen-hour day in the snow.



*not counting the laundry generated in said 24 hours.

**minus a few temper tantrums, only a few of which were mine.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Of course, I never really doubted that Spring will always be my favorite.  That's because, while Spring marks the end of Seasonal Affective Disorder "season", Fall marks its beginning.  As daylight hours wane, my mind becomes a haze of inadequacy, fear, sadness, and anger.  My temper is short and the world seems to conspire against me. 


That's when I haul my sad little buns to the gym, where with a little sweat I wash away the old Kari and walk out feeling sparkly new.  The house is still messy, but it's not the end of the world.  My life is still busy, but I'm grateful to be who and where I am.  Everything that was driving me crazy just a few hours ago rolls right off me and I'm able to own my power again.


So grateful for the experiences that have taught me to take care of myself before it's too late.


So grateful for a husband who supports me as I do so.


So grateful for my gym membership.


So grateful for a sickness that demands I look after my mortal body.


So grateful for an immortal spirit that can never be touched by any of this.


So grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who trusts me enough to bless me with trials, and who has held my hand through every hard day.


Life is so very good.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Crafty

I'm a Super Saturday dropout.  I struggle to put together even the most basic crafts, so usually I don't even try.  This October turned out to be a notable exception, however, so I wanted to share what I've been up to!


These necklaces are made of ordinary washers and craft paper.  I did one for each of my friends who signed up for the Pay it Forward giveaway last February.

As my love affair with fall continues, I've been so inspired by the bold colors and textures all around.  I did this pumpkin bouqet and these pumpkin candle holders right before Halloween.  Thanks, mormonchic, for the great idea!




My backyard is full of these pyrocantha berries and leaves, just begging for a special project.  Eliza and I put this wreath together in just about an hour.



So there you have it.  If I can craft, you can fly.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Poser

Whenever there's a camera in the vicinity, this little girl sprints to be included in the picture. 

And when she's being lovey-dovey with Paul, or when she's creating something cool, she says,
           
 "Mom, you should take a picture of me!" 

I can't say I blame the girl.  If I were this cute, I'd be the same way!

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!



This year TJ and I hosted a Halloween costume party here at the house.  Our guests were the Holmbergs, Childs, Carlsons, and Jones.  I dressed as an illegal alien and TJ was a Homeland Security officer.  We played Ligretto, and later on put on "Earth Vs. the Spider" and did our own Mystery Science Theater 2000.  It was so much fun!

The next night was Halloween proper, and the kids had a great time.  Paul, our chili pepper, slept on TJ's chest as we trick-or-treated around the neighborhood.  Naomi was a clown, which was sooo fitting.  Eliza was a poodle.  She based that decision on the fact that it was the only presentable costume in the color pink that Kid to Kid had to offer that day.  Ezra was our mad scientist.  When the buckets got too heavy and the kids realized they could be eating it, we all headed home and watched Peanuts.
All in all, a great Halloween.  Better than poor Charlie Brown's, anyway! 

Paul