day 254: textiles

My parents are leaving in three weeks to go to Portugal, providing the volcanic ash clears enough by then.  I have written a little before about my heritage, and I am thrilled that my mom and dad will have the opportunity to go to this place and get in touch with our ancestry.  They will also go out to the Azores, where both sides of their families are from.  I am predicting tears.  I am predicting experiences that will change them.

My grandparents, unfortunately lived during hard times, and with their immigrant backgrounds none of them finished high school.  They all, at one point or another, worked in the textile mills in that area of the state. I remember driving by these now-abandoned old brick buildings and not really catching the history there.  Kids never get things like this.

They worked at looms, sewing machines, and other jobs that were available.  It was tough labor, and of course they were overworked and underpaid.  But they made their way in this new country, and provided for their families the best they could.

They wove wool together.  They made sweaters. They made patterns.  They connected pieces together to make a whole.  They made fabric.  Yes, they certainly made my fabric.

day 253: little secret life

We know.  We know, Mom.  It was before us.

These are words I hear from my youngest boys sometimes, because my husband and I share a little secret life with these two in the photo. It is mostly just impressions and faded pictures in their minds, but as clear as day to me.  See, we lived before this life.  Before this Utah life.

We lived under palm trees and in friendly traffic.  We lived in 800 square feet.  We lived with a little lemon tree in the back yard.  We lived on warm sand and on hot sidewalks.  We lived behind graffiti.  We lived across the street from a waving black man, and next door to an eccentric Japanese woman.  We lived in morning fog.  We lived with strollers and diapers and car seats.  We lived.

And though occasional reflection leaves out #3 and #4, I remember and value those years as the time Geo and I got acquainted with each other through experience in a big city, raising these first two sons.  There was struggle and celebration during that little secret life.

day 252: onto the piazza

The journey within the journey.  Yeah, that is what I look for.  When I think about the things that have made me happiest in my life, I realize it has been the small arc here and then the small arc there, all within the larger, extended experience. 

I love the arcades in Torino, Italy.  They are like this.  Long walkways with ribbed ceilings and archways down each side.  The archways go and go and go, and through each one you can see the piazza or the beautiful churches.  Then you face forward again as you walk, with the occasional turn of the head.

The kids come, then grow up and head out on their own.  The developing of talents gives a certain adrenaline rush at first, and then we settle in.  The build up before a trip to the warm beaches of No Carolina.  And it goes on.

But all of these are part of my own arcade.  Little arcs.  Little arcs.  And I turn my head again and again to look out.

day 251: birth order

Research shows that birth order has a direct effect on personality, but like many other researched topics, there is room for interpretation, especially because people are involved.  And people often mess up the numbers.

I am a first-born child, which should mean many things about me. In the area of compliance I am supposed to be nuturing, reliable, and cooperative, along with traits under aggression, which include being a natural leader, assertive, and a perfectionist.  But a few traits are supposed to be common to both types of first-born personalities.  I should be energetic, ambitious, and enterprising.

It's tough to analyze myself and to decide how close I am to fitting into this list.  I know I can take perfectionist off the list.  No doubt there.  I am fine being less than perfect in many areas, and can even leave things partly done.  Dishes, laundry, unanswered messages, etc.  However, of the other 8 things listed I may be pretty close to the mark.

Some of the things that sound strictly positive have gotten me into hot water.  Being a nurturing person can come at a price when it is unwanted on the other side.  And ambition?  Don't even get me started there.

My birthday was yesterday.  I was reflective.  I took an hour-long walk with my headphones on nice and tight as I listened to music and thought a bit about my life.  I think birthdays are a good time for this.  And then I came home, showered, and was off to make my fortune, like any other first-born.

Remember my musical recording for the week is in the sidebar.  Ecoutez bien.

Musical Monday: C'Etait L'Hiver

After about 20 takes (I am not kidding) I finally got an acceptable cut of this gorgeous French song.  A bit dark in the lyrics, but the melody is so haunting and beautiful that I wanted to sing it anyway.  I have included both the English and French lyrics.  I hope you like it.  Just click on the yellow title below.  And, as always, this week's song will be in the mp3 player in the right side bar all week.

Kazzy's voice has been silenced by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act(see the details here). Sorry you can't listen to her sing directly. But send her a message and she'll try to work something out.

C'Etait L'Hiver

Elle disait: "j'ai déjà trop marché,
mon cœur est déjà trop lourd de secrets,
trop lourd de peines".
Elle disait: "je ne continue plus,
ce qui m'attend, je l'ai déjà vécu,
c'est plus la peine".

Elle disait que vivre était cruel,
Elle ne croyait plus au soleil,
Ni aux silences des églises.
Même mes sourires lui faisaient peur,
C'était l'hiver dans le fond de son cœur.

Le vent n'a jamais été plus froid,
La pluie plus violente que ce soir-là,
Le soir de ses vingt ans,
Le soir où elle a éteint le feu,
Derrière la façade de ses yeux,
Dans un éclair blanc.

Elle a sûrement rejoint le ciel,
Elle brille à côté du soleil,
Comme les nouvelles églises.
Mais si depuis ce soir-là je pleure,
C'est qu'il fait froid
Dans le fond de mon cœur.

Winter Deep in Her Heart
by Francis Cabrel

She would say, "I just cannot go on.
My heart is too weighed down with secrets,
too heavy with pain."

She would say, "I just cannot go on.
What's to come is just more of the same.
It's pointless."

She would say that life was only cruel.
She no longer believed in the sun,
nor in the silence of a church.
Even my smiling frightened her.
It was winter deep in her heart.

She would say that life was only cruel.
She no longer believed in the sun,
nor in the silence of a church.
Even my smiling frightened her.
It was winter deep in her heart.

The wind had never blown more cold;
the rain, never more severe than on that night,
the night that she turned twenty.
That night she put out the fire
behind the facade of her eyes
in a white flash.

She has surely returned to the sky;
she shines beside the sun
as the steeples of new churches
And if ever since that night I cry,
it's because it is so very cold
deep in my heart.

day 249: blue-grey-green

For an April Seattle morning, it was more clear and dry than expected, with a blue-grey sky that looked a little like the color of the water in the Puget Sound.  We got up early enough to accomodate the full page of plans we had for the day, and drove north to catch the ferry to Whidby Island.  We would have been thrilled to see a whale or two, but were happy enough to just be together as our little family of four.  We stood out on the deck and the cold wind whipped off the water and right onto our faces, both shouting at us and welcoming us at the same time.  I realized then how much I missed water, having been born just a handful of miles from the ocean in Massachusetts, and growing up in a coastal state.  This felt good.

From Whidby we took a second ferry heading even further west, watching the white mountains approaching from inside that ancient rain forest on the Olympic peninsula.  Mountains in a rain forest.  Geo must have said this aloud tens of times as this Rocky Mountain boy tried to wrap his mind around the idea.  

Thai food and a nice walk down the old main street in Port Townsend, where we would spend a couple of hours before ferrying back to the city on a late afternoon trip that allowed us to stand on the bow and take in the whole beautiful view of Seattle as the evening light reflected off the glass buildings.  I wrapped my jacket tight around me and breathed it all in, while the boys explored the whole vessel.

Then I looked down at my right hand where I was wearing the topaz ring Geo had bought me out on the peninsula.  The blue-grey-green stone symbolizing the sky here, and the water, and the endless trees.  A reminder of our break from the everyday.  Our visit with nature.  And mountains in a rain forest.

ps  I've been practicing my french for my musical monday post I will put up tonight.

day 248: to see you

He was sitting across the room from me this evening and I thought to myself how different he looked when he played that role.  When he grabbed his ringing phone to answer a call from someone who needed help in our neighborhood.  I don't mean his facial expression looked different.  It was more than that.  It was like the way my baby always looked different when someone else was holding him, as if his entire body and mannerisms and even countenance were altered. 

It made me wonder how physically different I look when I play my roles.  If the same person were to observe me teaching a dozen 5-year olds what sound a "T" makes, then teaching the women in my congregation, and then helping my children with homework, would I be recognizable?

How does God see me?

day 247: over pizza and cheesecake

No pictures, sorry, but lots of them in my mind as I reflect on this nice evening.  I met up with 5 women for dinner at Pizzeria 712 in a neighboring city, and we talked about writing and blogging, and family.  Women I had never met before, but I knew.  Especially two of them, whose writing I have been reading for awhile now. 

Afterward off to a gathering where we were joined by about 30 others for an evening of getting acquainted, making connections, and typing into my iPhone the names of blogs that would, by evening's end, be added to my google reader.  I saw a handful of friends that I knew in print, and I was shocked at how quickly we were talking about important things and remembering what we already knew about each other.

On my drive home I thought to myself how, almost accidentally, this blogging world has become a vital part of my creative self.  My self that has things to say and things to search for.  And how happy I am to have a place for that.

day 246: accidental choking

Early mornings are perfect for my own private devotionals.
Stumbling out to the cold leather chair in my blue pin-striped robe to share the glow spilling over the mountains outside my living room window.
I open scriptures and read, and then close and sit.  Eyes shut tight while the story plays.
It is time to run the film in my head.  This is part of my pondering.  My style.

The boys creep upstairs, rubbing gluey eyes and moaning a bit, and we wait for Geo to come out for prayer and food and family.  
This is my ideal.  My aim.

Then the mornings where I haven't left enough margin around myself.  Where getting up 15 minutes before everyone else feels like lifting a car off the ground, or draining blood from a rock.
I am weak.  Body, soul, whatever.

I have a beautiful cathedral inside of me.  Not beautiful from any of my doing, but beautiful because of the promises.  Beautiful because of pre-earthly architecture.

When I let the vines cling onto the sides it is almost unrecognizable,
and I accidentally choke myself.

Pulling and tugging is possible.  The roots can't hold too hard to the stone and mortar underneath.  But it is a bother and an inconvenience that I allowed.  So I start again.

 I remember my rose window and my nave.  I remember my altar and stained glass.  And I unchoke and begin anew.

day 245: flux

This is in no way meant to sound like a complaint, but this house is in a state of flux.  In, out, in, out.  The last wave started in August, when son #2 left to live in the dorms for a semester before leaving on his mission. It was down to the four of us.  #1 was due home a few months later.  So when December came, #1 got home from Africa, #2 moved out of the dorms and back home, and all 6 of us were a happy, together, family again.  I was happier in those few weeks than I can remember being in recent memory.  Truly.

On New Years Day, #1 was busy repacking everything to move back out (already) to an apartment near BYU, and it was back to five of us.  #2 was ready to start working hard as he saved for his mission, and we were keeping tabs on #1 and making sure he was eating and living and adapting.

Two weeks ago #2 left for his mission, and that day Geo, #3, #4, and I went to Seattle for some much needed R and R.  Good times.  So now we are back, getting used to the huge vacuum in the house without Red (#2), and #1 announces he is ready to move back home for awhile until he can get on his feet.  Of course, we will welcome him with open arms.

And then we will install a revolving door.

day 244: parts of me

I am a part of all that I have met.  ~Alfred Lord Tennyson

To the unnamed people that have become part of me...

The time that you talked to me on the phone when I thought my life was falling apart.
The way you made me laugh so hard it hurt during high school choir class.
The way you listen to me when I need an ear.
The way you help me when I think my problems are insurmountable.
The way you call me princess.  Still.
The way you still let me smooch you right on the cheek every morning.
The way you always have a smile when you see me at church.
That one time you brought balloons to my house on my first birthday in the neighborhood.
The time you said you loved me when I thought I was going to need a medical procedure.
The great example you have been to me over the years as you have demonstrated faith and endurance.
The sweet notes on my pillow for Mothers Day.
For the stack of love letters in my dresser drawer.
The money you always put in my checking account when I was a stupid college student.
The great lessons I have sat and listened to you teach.

Musical Monday: Superstar

I was between the ages of 10 and 15 or so when the Carpenters were really popular.  I remember hearing Karen Carpenter sing and thinking, I want to do that.  She always sounded so sad to me, but her voice was intoxicating and as smooth as honey.   This was so nostalgic to record.  Enjoy.

I keep the mp3 player running the week's song over to the right on the sidebar, but the link below is there for a download if you so choose.--------------------------------------------------------------->


Kazzy's voice has been silenced by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act(see the details here). Sorry you can't listen to her sing directly. But send her a message and she'll try to work something out.

day 242: spring cleaning

What is it about cleaning things out and stuffing my trash can full that makes me feel so good?  I don't like being surrounded by too much stuff.  I need to breathe.  I need to have some good elbow room.  It helps me stay sane.  Today as the four of us were cleaning the back yard up, cleaning out the car port, cleaning kitchen cupboards, and organizing stuff, I felt lighter.  Now, the trick is not cleaning things out so that I can refill them more easily.  Yeah, that's the trick.

So, how can I stay sane when my calendar needs a good cleaning out?  How can I get it emptied out and not immediately find new ways to refill it?  I think I need a personal assistant.  

Any takers?

day 241: of boys and men

Two of these children are my boys.  The other two are my men.  Here I am almost 46 years old and it is still hard to convince myself that I have children that are adults.  The age spread has made it interesting, not that it was totally planned.  Bookends.  That's what we call our children sometimes.  Two sons, six years, two more.

I always thought, when I was old to enough to start thinking about being a mom someday, that I would have six sons.  There was never any surprise when the ultrasound technician said it was a boy.  Never.  Not once.  No girls ever entered my mental picture of my family.  But that 6-year gap has always kind of baffled me.  We were just settling down after five years of grad school in LA, and our first little guys were 5 and 3 when we came to Utah and bought our first little home.  We were learning how to be stable.  How to have our very own place, with our very own backyard, and our very own washer and dryer, and our very own mortgage.  And God had us wait.  So wait we did.

Then when a couple of more years had passed, along came the last two.  I have been a different kind of mom with these two.  Just a little.  More kicked back, but at the same time more direct.  A little more age and a few more life experiences will do that.

I love.  I am loved back. 

day 240: miss karen is flickering

I have learned so many things being a teacher.  I go to my job all dressed up and prepared to distribute the learning, and I end up being schooled.    

Letters make sounds.  Numbers are used for counting.  Can you feel yourself getting smarter?  Look at me when I am teaching you something.  Be kind to each other.  Please push your chairs in.  Your ring finger and pinky just go for a ride when you are writing.  Cough into your arm so you don't get your hands germy.  Say please and thank you.  Go get a tissue instead of mining in your nose.  We start all of our letters at the top.  Dancing at the beginning of the school day helps us get our wiggles out.

It's not like I didn't know these things already.  I have children of my own and was an at-home mom until a few years ago.  I loved being home, and if truth be told, I would love to be in that position again, even though my kids are getting old now.  But being in the classroom everyday, and loving other mothers' children, has been a blessing in my life.  Especially with my kiddos.  Yes, I am biased, but when was the last time a little boy writing the alphabet brought tears to your eyes?  Or when did you last give a standing ovation to someone who counted to 100?  It is special, in all of the double meaning that implies.

Now, the lesson I have learned most strongly.  Positive change can happen.  Just when you might think it is hopeless, that everything has been tried, to no avail, somehow a connection is made and the light bulb flickers, and all becomes right.  In these moments I am not only thrilled for one of my students, but I have hope for myself.  I can feel so stuck sometimes.  Stuck in my own head, with my own problems.  I can feel uninspired or unworthy. And then I have a moment with a student where a circuit is completed, and I am energized and ready to regain the optimism about myself that I know I felt once.  These little ones are symbols.  Types.

And each day I can be new again.

day 239: rerouting

Have you ever had a conversation with someone you care about that is, at the same time, nerve-wracking and exciting?

Where your heart kind of starts pounding as you feel your neurons rerouting themselves all through your body?

And after the conversation is over all you want to do is go eat something and then go to bed?

"Cause I just did.

day 238: red hair and an eclipse

I had a memory today of walking to school with my friend Leigh.  She was three years older than me, but always treated me very kindly.  I would wear shorts under my plaid skirt, like most girls did then,  and we would walk up the tree-lined street to school.  My metal, purple, Osmonds lunch box swinging by my side.  

After school once we watched a solar eclipse while we stood in my front yard.  She had red hair and we would run back and forth across the street to each other's houses.  We splashed in the pool beside my house.  We danced in the carport to 45s we played on an old beige record player.  

These are some of my first memories of some independence around the age of 8 or so.  A good life.

day 237: sisters, except for blood

Meet Luann.  She is a beautiful photographer, mother, wife, oboist, and friend to yours truly.  She listens to me when I am frustrated or need a good cry.  She gives good advice when I ask for it.  She is true blue and consistent and I love her muchly.  That's all. 

 ps Being on the road on Monday meant that I didn't put up a new Musical Monday post.  I missed it.  Back again next Monday.

day 236: upkeep

When you have short hair, like me, it needs more, regular maintenance.  The shagginess hits pretty quickly, and it doesn't take long before you feel almost distracted by it.

Sometimes I feel like there are other things in my life that have fallen into the same category.  Like the tighter the hold on my class work and other expectations, the more regularly I "need" to keep up the maintenance.  The room for some shagginess disappears and I create my own problems by over-achieving.  By needing it trimmed, just above the ears and around the back of my neck.

This time around I am so much more attentive to my work, and in some ways it is both good and bad.  I am trying to summon my 20 year-old self to get some advice on ditching my schoolwork and going out for pizza.

day 235: this day

The cool wind on my face makes me feel good.  A fresh start.  A new cycle of things.  #2 would like Seattle.  He is a cloudy sky, drizzly air, dramatic weather kind of guy.  I think about him a lot today as I float on this boat heading back toward the city, after a long, good day out on beautiful islands.

I eat strawberries and cream and sit at the big oak table with my friend, and we talk about nostalgic things, like having children, not having children, commitments.  We share feelings about choices we have made.  Ones we would remake, ones we might rethink.  Our husbands are listening to the news in the next room and my boys are upstairs putting on sleeping clothes and tucking themselves into bed.  We all are paired up and finding out things about each other, and ourselves. 

And now a plan for our return to real life.  Hotels, mountain passes, responsibilities.  All of these things waiting for us.  And I sleep.

day 234: intermittent reinforcement

Living life with an expected schedule of reinforcement is good while we are learning to obey commandments and obey our parents.  We get an allowance if we clean our rooms and if we don't pinch our younger brothers (hypothetically).  It is a great system.

But the real shaping comes when we receive intermittent reinforcement.  We don't know when we might be observed following rules.  We do the best we can, because there is a chance that if we are caught doing right, we might really get the big pay off.  Imagine the power of knowing that if we are caught doing the speed limit, a policeman might pull us over and give us a hundred bucks. 

In my life this has become a very true principle.  I am never quite sure if or when there will be a payoff, but I try to live as if I am ready to be caught.  Caught doing something right.  This by no means should convince you that I am completely in control.  Puh-lease.  But I teach my children with the hope that there will be random opportunities for me to witness them being great adults, and great emerging adults.  This is an intermittent reinforcer.  At some unknown and unplanned place and time, #3 will stand up to someone and say, My mom taught me that I am worth something. 

That would be so cool, wouldn't it?  Where a regular schedule of reinforcement allows for training, intermittent reinforcement allows for living. 

ps I love special ed, where I am blessed enough to learn these principles.

day 233: skin

My skin feels tight.  Not the good kind of tight that comes from being fat-free.  The kind of tight that means stressed out.  A loss of elasticity.  An oldness.

And I use both hands to pinch and tug a little at it.  I run my fingers slowly and gently over my face as I lie in bed, and it is like palm-reading.  Like I can feel memories buried there, right under the surface. And I can almost make predictions and see my future.  My sons' weddings and nuzzling grandbabies.

Then I close my eyes and feel the skin on my neck.  It is getting small creases in it.  Creases from looking up at my sons' faces.  From tilting my head to the side to hear little children speak to me.  From age.

My skin does not lie.  It is my shell.  Imperfections and all.  I turn onto my side, bury that face and neck into my sleeping husband's back and drift off.

day 232: a sketch

In honor of my son's newly-begun mission, I am posting a short part of my personal history in relation to my religious experience. This was posted at in January.

My parents are first-generation Americans, both descended from Portuguese-speaking ancestors from the Azores, which are islands about 1000 miles off the coast of Portugal. As you might guess, that background comes packaged with a a thick Catholic heritage. I grew up going through all of the Catholic rituals of baptism, catechism and eventually confirmation. My family attended church weekly, and though we never talked about religion at home, we knew that the church bonded us together by giving us a strong link to our past. I am the oldest of five children in a very close-knit, tightly united family, which now embraces 4 different religions. Only one brother has stayed faithful to our religious heritage, but the other four of us have found refuge in the Mormon church, the Lutheran church, and the Methodist church. Now that I am a mother to adult children I can more realistically imagine the struggle my parents must have had when I, unknowingly, started the trend against my religious upbringing by choosing another way. But I would like to make it perfectly clear that I was not rebelling, per se, as much as I was looking for something more meaningful to my soul. And I found it in the LDS church.

Once I was baptized, at age 19 (my Catholic parents in attendance I might add), I spent another year attending a private college in the Shenandoah Valley in my beautiful home state of Virginia. But it wasn't long before I realized that I craved a fellowship with my own kind, so my fabulous parents agreed to my request to attend BYU, and by the following Summer (1984) they packed up the station wagon, and the three of us went on a road trip to the Rockies. There was a real symbolism to this trip as we drove farther west than any of the three of us had ever been before. Just passing through Wyoming felt like a kind of reality check, and the gate to my new western life that, little did I know, would be my future home with my own little family someday soon.

I had been baptized by a young man I had fallen for in high school, and after he left on his mission to Japan I knew I had to get my feet planted firmly in the gospel in order to be prepared for my future. I dug in at BYU and welcomed my missionary home at the beginning of my senior year, only to be engaged and unengaged in a matter of weeks. His parents, still my friends to this day, were so good to call me regularly to see how I was feeling and to encourage me in my still-new membership in the church. I was already all in, so I stuck it out at BYU and soon met my future husband Gideon. We were married in the Salt Lake Temple two weeks prior to my graduating with my bachelor's degree in Education, and settled down in Provo for two more years while he finished his degree in English. He is my best friend.

During these two years we welcomed the first of four sons to our family, and by 1989 we were ready for an adventure, so we left for Los Angeles, where my husband earned his PhD in Rhetoric, Language, and Linguistics. In 1994 we took a job at BYU and carted our, by now, 2 little boys back to Utah where we bought a home in Springville. We had 2 more sons during the next 4 years and have been in Springville ever since. Our oldest son just returned from a mission to the Kenya Nairobi area, and our second son leaves next month to serve in the Mexico Monterrey mission.

While here over these past 15 years I have served in my ward in a variety of callings, including 1st counselor in the Primary, 1st and 2nd counselor in the Young Women, Gospel Doctrine Teacher, Relief Society President, and now a Relief Society teacher. I also am a special ed kindergarten teacher.

I have been blessed beyond measure by having the gospel in my life. It has given me purpose and promise. Purpose in that I know I am to use my life to help others. I know I am meant to teach my children about bigger things. Promise in that I now know more about my Savior, who died for me. I know he loves me still, and that he is my advocate. How do I live a life full of thanksgiving for so many blessings? Although the debt can never be repaid, I try and live what I believe. And I believe in the principles demonstrated in the atonement. Love, service, repentance and forgiveness.

day 231: payment

You know it will come. The first time you hold that little boy. He will leave right when you are ready to teach him more. Love him more. Hug him even more.

But tonight as I lie in bed tapping out this post, I am excited for my son to grow and share and contribute. I know he needs to have his innocent faith proven.

It is good. He is good. God is good. Five years until the next one. I can be ready again. I can keep asking my sons to help pay my debt.

day 230: mannequin crime scene

Driving down University Avenue tonight, on the way home from Brick Oven with the kids, #2 and I both saw a crime scene out the corners of our eyes.  We both gasped as we noticed a half-clad woman lying on the sidewalk, head detached.  What else could we do, but stop and take pictures.  A quick u-turn at the light and we found ourselves in the perfect spot to decifer the evidence.

Lying in front of a small office.  Face kicked in.

Left with no dignity.

And a crown that matched her torn dress.

Yep, it was the Liberty Tax mannequin.

Poor thing.  Nobody likes to pay taxes.  And just because you have a nice figure and a matching outfit, don't think you are exempt from wrath.

Musical Monday: New Shoes

This is my pleasant-natured, red-headed, so-easy-to-be-around son who leaves in 2 days to serve a mission

for our church.  He is cute and quirky (see how his collar is undone?).  He is a complete joy, and will be

missed tremendously.  But in the spirit of his happy personality, I opted out of doing anything sad and sappy

for my post today, and instead have chosen to do Paulo Nutrini's New Shoes, because it is one

of Elder Burton's favorites that he introduced me to a few weeks back.

Here is another photo, from our session last weekend.  More to come in future posts.
remember to check the sidebar for the mp3 player ----------------------------------->

Kazzy's voice has been silenced by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act(see the details here). Sorry you can't listen to her sing directly. But send her a message and she'll try to work something out.

day 228: for my sake

He was born into this world like the rest of us.  A pink little baby with an adoring mother who cuddled him and whispered things into His little ears that she hoped he understood.  Things like, You are my little miracle.  You will save us.  

When He became lost at the temple there must have been frustration.  He lost track of time.  He was just finishing up something He was meant to do.  He had a purpose that day.  And the next.  And the next.  And He said things like, I was about my Father's business.

When he started gathering followers to help keep His message alive, there were those who disliked Him.  They spread rumors and sought His life.  They mocked Him and hurt Him.  They betrayed Him and hung Him.  Humiliation and loneliness.  And He said things like, Forgive them.

Three days in a dark stone tomb, and then He stood.  Calling to Mary.  Showing wounds to His apostles.  Teaching.  Again.  And I read this story over and over and can't quite absorb it all.  The love. The sacrifice. The power.  And I say, For my sake did these things happen.  For me.  Me?  

day 227: lessons from gandalf

I sat across from my husband tonight at Magleby's and enjoyed my Blackened Chicken Linguini and some good conversation.  We talked about people we care about that are struggling.  A bit of helplessness, mixed with optimism, as strange as that sounds.  

Later, snuggled up on the couch after dinner, Geo, #4, and I watched The Fellowship of the Ring.  I have seen it before, multiple times, but when you hear truth through ears and a heart that have had new experiences, you hear it differently.  

Even the smallest person can change the course of history.

The most we can do is to do the best we can with the time we have been given.

Two truths.  Two reasons to cry, just a little.  And two reasons I think Gandalf is one cool wizard.

day 226: minus one

Forever ago I walked along the canals
and saw the sandcrabs running as fast as their tasty little legs would carry them.

Learning backgammon and whistling with fingers shoved in our mouths,
and holding hands with cousins who loved me.

Still do.  Even though one is gone now.  To breast cancer.

Sand. And gritty towels hung on weather-beaten railings
as we stretched out on the bed and listened to music.

Warm.  Brown skin.  Good food.  Stilted houses.  Outside showers. 

Did I mention love?

day 225: i've been served

Yesterday I pulled into the parking lot outside my class at BYU and there was my spouse with orange chicken and chow mein.  Tonight I came home to mounds of clean laundry and happy children (not a mound of them).

I think he is proving something.  I think he needs me.  I think I need him too.  I think I am one lucky chick.