Thursday, December 15, 2011

O Speaks

I came into the bathroom to get O out of the tub,
M - Why is there water where there shouldn't be water?
O - Talk to Ariel, she will tell you.

At dinner one night.
O - You can't see me, pretend I'm miserable.

About Pres. Uchdorf.
O - He is one of the fossils.

I was taking care of a 4 month old one day. O wanted to help me change a dirty diaper and as soon as I opened it up, she grimaced and said. "Ew". I taught her the word "blow out" and later that day she told her daddy that A's diaper blew up. (not too far off)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 30

Well, this post is the last in the series, even though it was one I started pondering how I wanted to talk about it in mid November. I am grateful for it and at the same time I despise it. I truly have a love/hate relationship with it.


I am grateful for the medicine that aborts my migraines. I hate that I need to use it so often. I'm a little bit, okay, a lot bit worried about the potential risks for taking it as often as I do. I mean, a stroke or a heart attack aren't really any better than a migraine. Neither is an aneurysm. And, yet, I rely on it only because everything else I've tried has failed.

I am grateful for medicine that saves lives and sustains quality of lives. I don't want to be misunderstood here. I think medicine is a miraculous tool.

I am grateful for medicine that helps with my anxiety/bi-polar disorder. Granted, what I deal with is incredibly mild compared to a majority of people I've met. (Usually in support groups.) I am very fortunate I don't have to deal with extreme symptoms. I am grateful for that. AND, I hate that I have to rely on it to manage my symptoms. A while ago, some natural disaster reminded me of my dependance. I was close to the end of my supply of meds and I realized that if I wasn't able to refill my prescription, for any reason, I would be screwed. I would probably end up crying all of the time and feeling anxious and overwhelmed. It would be a nightmare. It really freaked me out.

You all know, mental health awareness is a soap box of mine. I know a lot of people don't understand mental illness. Unless they have one, they truly struggle to get it. Medicine is great and it doesn't take away all of the symptoms. It makes them more manageable and easier to deal with. Medicine for mental illness has many undesirable side effects; weight gain, numbness, decreased libido, cloudy and sluggish thoughts, and sometimes, even an increase in symptoms, just to name a few. I remember when I committed to taking medicine, I knew it was a life sentence and I felt defeated. I hate it, and I am grateful that I have a much better quality of life.

So, there you have it. A month of gratitude.
"My cup runneth over."

Day 29

Okay, so I've saved these last two posts for the last because I wanted to take the time to write something meaningful to me. Well, I got swept up in the holiday madness and my daughter decided her bedtime needs to be at 10:00. (Ya, I know, it's really annoying. Especially since she wakes up at the same time in the morning and is cranky all day. Oh, and if I go anywhere in the car in the afternoon she passes out and wants to stay up until 10:00 again. So frustrating, but I digress.)

My plan for this post was to write a little ditty about how much I love music. BUT, since I don't really write music, a ditty was out of the question. So then, I wanted to write a piece about how music reaches the deepest part of my soul, balances me and brings the world into focus for a moment. BUT, like I said before, I got caught up in the holiday madness and my daughter won't go to bed at a decent time, so I don't have much time to myself to write a meaningful piece about how much I love music. (How's that for redundancy?)

So, to steal a line from Jerry MaGuire, a movie I have never seen, but phrase I've heard for years, "You complete me" music.

There, wasn't that just beautiful. It doesn't do justice to how I feel when I am wrapped up in a brilliant composition of music, but it will do for now.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Okay, I know I still have a few more "I'm thankful for" posts to do to finish out November, but I HAD to post this.

Last night, I tried to cut LTs hair. It was a dismal failure. Well, tonight we had O "fix" it for him. She rocked the razor. Once we finished with him she wanted us to give her a haircut. A great big NO was our answer.

Enjoy the pictures

LT prepping the razor.

O excited for her first haircut.

Figuring it out

Such focus

Look at her steady her daddys head, so cute.

I have a feeling O is going to want to do this more often.

I really feel bad for messing up on his hair for a couple of reasons. I really like it longer and the buzz cut is cold for this time of year.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 28

I am grateful for rainy days and hot chocolate.

Day 27

I am grateful for a sense of humor. Life would be so boring and serious with out one.

Day 26

I'm grateful for a neighbor who will text me to let me know I left my garage door open, again. We are blessed to live on a great street.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 25

I am grateful that I had the chance to play many sports growing up. And, I am grateful I can share my love of sports with O. We went to a basketball game recently and during the game, she told me she wanted to be on a team and play basketball. Wa-hoo!!!!!!

Day 24

I'm grateful for people who can talk politics without getting angry if you have a different opinion.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 23

I'm grateful for all of the rich memories I have of family game time during the holidays. The Murphys are huge game players and I hope to teach O how to enjoy family game time. Right now, she's got Go Fish and Old Maid down. We'll work on Rummikub and Cribbage a little later :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 22

I am grateful for that great big piece of chocolate I had after lunch.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 21

I am so grateful my husband has a job in this tough economy. I truly feel for those who are unemployed. We had to deal with that when we were first married. LT did construction and mowed lawns for about 6 months. It was very humbling and we are so very blessed.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 20

I'm grateful for my talent for massage. O asked me for a back and butt massage. I don't know where she got the idea for a butt massage, but it made me grin. I'm so very grateful I can do something I love that helps other people feel better and in some cases, heal from chronic pain. I'm grateful I can use LT for my guinea pig to practice new stuff. I'm grateful my daughter shows interest in something I love. Grateful, grateful, grateful.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 19

I'm so very, very grateful I know how to read. Life would be pretty difficult with out that ability.

Day 18

I am immensely grateful for play dates. O gets to play to her hearts content and I get to clean the house, or sort the laundry, or pay bills. Just kidding, I get to do fun stuff too, like read a book.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day 17

I am grateful for Joy. I LOVE seeing other people happy. Truly, I do.

For example, I love watching the olympic athletes receive their medals. Some of them beam and others cry. I can only imagine the rush of emotions they feel at their sense of accomplishment. I love watching The Biggest Loser because I love seeing people learn about themselves, lose weight and change their lives.

I love watching O figure out something she's been working on. This past week she figured out how to skip. My heart smiles when I watch her. I can see how proud she is of her new found talent. I have that feeling a lot when it comes to her. She is truly a joy in my life.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 16

I am grateful for "Once Upon A Time". We are having so much fun as a family watching it. O gets so excited she runs around the room when it's time to watch it. She has a bazillion questions and it is a great way to get her to behave.

What happens at night?

O went to bed in pajamas last night, but this morning, she woke up in this dress.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 15

I'm grateful for rock climbing. I really like to climb things.

Aw, look at that view.

I just can't get enough.
I've only been climbing once since I moved to MD and I didn't bring a camera to capture my cool moves.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 14

I am grateful for adoption.

Nov. 14th marks the 3rd anniversary of O's adoption day. I am grateful for the selfless choice her birth mom made to allow us to be O's parents. Our lives have changed so dramatically, I can't really remember what we did with our time before we became parents.

I LOVE the longhorns hanging on the wall in the background.
Go Texas!!

I have very strong, and possibly even offensive to some, opinions about adoption. I wish more people would choose adoption over abortion. There are many, many wonderful people waiting for children to love. I can't think of a more precious gift you could give to another.

Day 13

I am grateful for gum, especially on days when I had a lot of garlic the night before.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 12

I'm grateful for bugs and animals that eat mosquitos. I think mosquitos totally suck.

Day 11

I am deeply grateful for this wonderful nation and for the brave men and women who sacrificed to make it so.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day 10

I am grateful that I have been blessed to travel to many parts of the world and as a result I have an even greater appreciation for this great country in which I live.

I lived in Scotland and England for a year as a small child. I've visited Mexico, France, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Brazil, Argentina, the Bahamas and Germany. I'm not sure if a layover in Taiwan counts as a visit, but I'll put it on here anyway. (I have yet to make it to Canada, crazy, I know, because it's so close.) I still plan to visit Africa and Australia before I die. (LT has requested that I let you all know that HE has been to Africa and Canada :p

With my brother in Loch Ness, Scotland

With my dad in Can Cun, Mexico, 2000
(I love that fanny pack, it accentuates my geekyness)

Thailand, May 2006

Malaysia, May 2006

Cambodia, May 2006

Cambodia, May 2006

Rio de Janero, Brazil, August 2006

Iguazu Falls from the Argentina side, August 2006

Nassau, Bahamas, May 2009
You can't go to the Bahamas and not hug a dolphin.

Another view in the Bahamas

Stuttgart, Germany, December 2009

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The playground

A typical day after NB pre school.
Running and screaming

Being brave.
Those monkey bars can be a bit intimidating. But, here she goes.

A ride down the slide.

Halloween 2011

I'm only a couple of weeks late getting this up, but who cares.

We had a fantastic Halloween season this year. I think the last thing I have to report on is the day of Halloween. Well, the night before, O lost her second tooth. It was a perfectly gory way to start Halloween Eve. Blood.... ew.

In September when my parents were visiting, my mum bought O two princesses dresses. (Because she needed one for a friend when they play dress up.) Most of the month of October, O would say she was going to be a princess if someone asked her what she was going to be for Halloween. Well, a few days before her school party, LT influenced her to choose something else. He said, "Remember last year, when all of the other girls were princesses at school? You could dress up as a Jedi and then you'll be something different." Well, it worked. At her school party, she dressed up as a Jedi. I didn't know why until LT explained it to me later.

Here she is with some of her Princess friends.

Mom and daughter. I was the school bus that came to pick her up from school.

Here are 2 of the most wonderful teachers EVER!!!

That evening, O wanted to wear one of her princess dresses, without anything else on. I told her she had to wear pants and a t-shirt underneath it or she couldn't go outside. (It was cold. I'm such a mean mom, I know:) So, she put on her leopard costume and we set out to trick or treat. LT wanted to stay at home to pass out candy. We made the round on our street and then headed over to our friends neighborhood to see if we could find them. I was wearing a 2 foot inflatable skeleton head, so I was easy to find and my friend found us. We joined a small group of friends and wouldn't you know it, O's very best friend in the whole entire world, J, was in that group. They took off running from house to house. It was a blast so see them go into a frenzy. I don't think it could have been a better Halloween. And what else is cool is several people told me they really liked my hat. I'll try to get a picture of it soon.

Here she is, pre whiskers.

O, in action.

Lounging after a good night of trick or treating.
(Not the best of pictures, but I had a tough time getting a lot of good ones that night.)
I love that you can see her mouse shoes in this picture.

O funnies

"Hey O, smile for the camera"

Saturday morning, I spent my time cleaning the house. Well, I cleaned a bunch of it and there was still a lot more to do, but I'd promised O we would go to the swimming pool on base. So, once it was time to head out I had to stop where I was to keep my word. Originally, I envisioned our family going together, but LT didn't want to go because he wasn't feeling well, so, it was a girls trip. I think LT felt a little guilty about bailing on us, so on our way out he asked me if there was any cleaning I wanted him to do while we were gone. I paused to think, but before I could even take a breath, O rattled off a list for him.


"Daddy, you can sweep the floor and then mop it." was basically what she said. LT and I grinned at each other. I didn't want to openly laugh because I didn't want her to think we were making fun of her. But what was funny, was, she was totally serious. Little Miss In Charge!!!

I added that he could clean the bathrooms and she said, "Ya, and clean the bathrooms."

Another thing that makes me laugh has to do with the name of our property manager. His name is Norman, O calls him Mormon. It makes me grin every time she does.

M-"O, you can't swing on the stair rails from your jump rope because it will break it."
O-"And then Mormon will be mad?"

M-"Shoot, our toilet isn't working."
O-"Will Mormon have to come and fix it?"

One day the Sister Missionaries had to drop something off at our house. They weren't sure which house was ours so they looked in our car. Sis E said, "As soon as I saw the red lipstick in the booster seat, we knew it was yours."

Yep, O is probably the only 5 year old who has a stash of lipstick in her car. She was also the only one in the entire primary who wore BRIGHT RED lipstick and dangly earrings during their sacrament presentation. She couldn't be missed.

And, just so you know, she is really good at putting it on all by herself too.

Day 9

I am grateful for working cars. What a HUGE blessing.

I really don't like bicycles.

Day 8

I am grateful for 4 seasons.

I've always enjoyed the changing of the seasons. It think there is a lot that is beautiful and poetic about shifting from one to the other. When I was in massage therapy school several of my courses focused on Traditional Chinese Medicine. In TCM the elements characteristics are evident in the seasons. In those classes I began to see the wisdom and beauty of the seasons and I became more aware of how I moved through each of them and how they effected me.

My favorites, in order are;
1. Spring - Birth, newness, beginnings, awakening, rapid growth.
2. Fall - Harvest, gathering in, slowing down, casting off.
3. Summer - Heat, passion, life, extrovert.
4. Winter - Stillness, looking inward, depth, replenishment, intrinsic, introvert.

The first time I lived away from a 4 season climate I was 31. I moved to TX and, I could tell a huge difference. I was stuck in limbo land. It was always summer. Fall and Spring didn't really happen, kind of. They may have been a week long each. Summer was HOT and the "winter" was like a mild summer day in ID. I survived 4 years of limbo and am now happily residing in a beautiful 4 season climate again.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day 7

I am very grateful for hot baths. Sigh.

Day 6

I am especially grateful for this dude.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 5

I have a great love for holy places and I have been blessed to have many of them throughout my life.

Girls Camp was a holy place for me as a teenager. I get that that sounds quite strange, but it was a place where I felt a profound sense of acceptance.

Hooray for Pocatello 6th Ward
Talk about going grungy. I'm not sure some of us used the showers at camp that week. There was a lake, who needed the shower, right?

Oakcrest was a holy place for me. I consider it my non-official church mission. I spent 2 summers in the sun making up skits, eating ashcakes, playing pranks and teaching the gospel of Christ. My understanding of how God loves and works with His children reached depths previously unknown to me. The holiness of those experiences have remained with me through the years.

The beloved Oakcrest sign at the 50 year reunion.

And, this, my friends, is what happens when you let campers do your hair.

Some of the counselors in '94. Why would any teenager take anything we said seriously? Just look at us?

Ah, my favorite activity at camp, Survival. Also affectionately referred to as Suicide. We always did this with another unit so there would be 2 counselors present. One at the top, strapping the girls in and one at the bottom, catching them before they slammed into the mattress. I always felt a little sorry for the poor little 12 year old at the bottom that volunteered to help catch. They, inevitably, got picked up and dragged along with the person on the harness. So, so funny to watch from up top.

One day I stepped out of the bathroom stall and was surprised by a group of my girls.
Don't cha just love that hair???

Duckie and M&M, the BEST FLOATERS EVER!!! I had such a great time with M&M during the week we didn't have girls. We were responsible for the weeks theme and party and skits. We were such goofballs. Also, check out those shoes, they were AWESOME!!!.

The holiest of places I love to visit is the temple. I received my endowments in Logan, UT, was married in Jordan River, UT and O was sealed to us in San Antonio, TX. Now I attend the Washington D.C. temple. I don't really mind which one I attend because the spirit is the same in all of them.

Yes, here we have the cheesy, breezy couple looking longingly at each other. The fuzzy around the edges filter makes me groan. Blech.
Wow, we were had no idea what we were getting in to and 10 years later we are convinced it was the greatest decision for the both of us.

I will remember this day forever. We waited over 2 years to have O sealed to us. It was a miracle of miracles how the timing of our schedules all worked out. LT was preparing for his deployment to Djibouti and was living back east. He was able to come home for Thanksgiving and we went to the temple the Wednesday before.

I think everyone needs a space where they can just be. And I think in the being, we can reflect and then become.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 4

I am grateful for signs.