Thursday, April 16, 2015

Of dogs and men

Lately, Chewy has been obsessed with dogs....he stays up later than he should researching the best types of guard dogs, which ones home owner's insurance won't cover, which have the most cases of biting people, the most intelligent, etc.  He's taken quizzes on finding "the right dog for you".  He's talked about dogs incessantly for the last week or so.

My first thought on this? Panic.  I'm about to have a baby, folks, in case you've missed that fact.  I will be a stay-at-home mom with my very first child, trying to sleep and adjust to that lifestyle and my husband keeps talking about adding a large dog to the family (his favorite is Doberman but before that it was a Rhodesian Ridgeback (the Lion Hunter), and he hasn't completely ruled out a Great Dane....a Great Dane!)  I started out by reminding him I would be the one home with the beastie all. Day. Long.  I would have to do the obedience training, I would have to take one of these giants out for walks while also trying to navigate the baby stroller.  As you can imagine this didn't go well.  Spouses don't like being parented, and I'm pretty sure I parented in that moment.  There's a series I really enjoy called, "For All Eternity" - it's a book too, but I haven't read it, I just have the CDs of the guy conducting a four week seminar on the topic of marriage and communication.  Anyway, he says at one point, "Don't be a dream killer, let life kill the dream."  And yet there I was, trying to kill Chewy's dream, but you've got to admit becoming a dog owner has more probability and less road blocks than owning a beach house.

Anyway - so I let him talk and talk and talk about dogs now.  He's decided I am a lot like a Doberman, especially the needy part (I like having my back rubbed...and my arms, and I like cuddling, I can't help it - I require so much attention!)  And I think I've convinced him I would live in constant fear if I had to share the house with a Great Dane, it helped to prove my point that my hand has been in a deaf Great Dane's mouth before - against my will.  Luckily she didn't bite down, but she sent a message I've never forgotten...that if she wanted to, she could have taken my hand off.

So - we shall see.  Fingers crossed I don't end up with a high strung, high energy, 5'9 dog any time soon.

In other news.  We had a doctor's appointment this week.  They did an ultrasound to determine the baby's weight and overall size.  Little guy is already up to 5 lbs 15 oz.  They said that's about two weeks ahead of where he should be and it puts him in the 90-something percentile in weight.  I think Chewy took a lot of pride in baby boy's weight because he mentioned in the waiting room it would be cool if we had an 18 pound baby.  I told him he wouldn't be having one with this wife!

I'm at 33 weeks now but haven't taken a photo this week.

Monday, April 13, 2015

'Twas I, but 'tis not I

This past weekend (Easter weekend) we had an excellent General Conference.

I wanted to write a little on one talk in particular, that of Elder Dale Renlund, entitled Latter Day Saints Keep on Trying.  He began by quoting Nelson Mandela, “I’m no saint – that is, unless you think a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying.”

He then went on to quote from Shakespeare’s play, As You Like It. “’twas I, but ‘tis not I” Meaning, that’s who I was but no longer am. 

This touched me.  When I spoke at New Beginnings in March, our theme ‘we are all under construction’, reminded me how different the 2015 Lildonbro is from 2011 Lildonbro.  A lot of the struggles I went through in 2011 were self inflicted, the pain and sorrow I felt acted like a black hole sucking all the light and goodness from my life and I could not see the end, nor could I feel I deserved better than what I had.  I made a lot of mistakes as I tried to handle life my way instead of the Lord’s way.  I was obstinate to say the least.  I thought I knew what would make me happy, what would make my life more complete and I went for it, despite the still small whisperings that I had chosen incorrectly.  I couldn’t bear the thought of waiting any longer to move my life forward.  So I made things worse for myself.  That’s why it resonated with me when Elder Renlund said, “’Twas I, but ‘tis not I.”

Yes, I made mistakes.  Yes, I thought I had it figured out who I should marry and what I should do with my life.  And when that didn’t happen I let an irrepressible anger take control.  I have since learned to hand things to the Lord, including my anger.  I have learned that he can heal and sooth all the emotional hurts in this life.  The ones caused by others and even (maybe especially) the ones caused by my own decisions and actions. 

Elder Renlund says, “No failure ever need be final,” and I agree with him.  We get up when we fall, we forgive when we’re wronged, we seek forgiveness when we’re wrong, we hand over all the pains and sorrow to the Lord and let Him have them. And then we do it all over again, slowly climbing our way to perfection.  And it's all due to Jesus Christ and his sacrifice for us.  Elder Holland said it best in his talk on Sunday morning when he spoke of Easter and the Atonement, "Today we celebrate the gift of victory over every fall we've ever experienced, every sorrow we have ever known, every discouragement we have ever had, every fear we have ever faced."

So to all my blogger friends, Happy Belated Easter.  May we always remember that it is possible to be better than we are today because of Jesus Christ, our Savior.

Monday, March 23, 2015

We Are All Made Of The Same Stuff

A few weeks ago we had New Beginnings.  It has been at least 14 years since I've participated in New Beginnings so I have to say I was more than ready to let everyone else take the lead and I figured I'd watch and help out more next year.  But that's not what callings are for.

For those of you who don't know what New Beginnings is, here is my simple and hopefully close to correct definition.  Each year, somewhere near the beginning, the Young Women put on a program to introduce the upcoming Beehives (girls turning 12 that year).  But the program isn't only about the new girls,  All the girls are asked to attend and parent's of all the girls are invited. We choose a theme and give mini talks.  Then we eat.

This year our theme was basically, "we are all a work in progress" or "under construction" - I honestly can't remember the official theme,  The girls wore hardhats and gave "tool talks" about each of the Young Women values (and they picked a tool to signify that value - i.e. blue prints, hammer,etc.).  Then - it was my turn to talk.  I was to give a 5-7 minutes talk on how we are all a work in progress.  I will admit, I stressed about this.  There isn't much already out there about this topic and I wanted to make sure I went along with the rest of the program without really understanding what the rest of the program would be.  I didn't know if I was near the beginning or the end (actually...I assumed beginning but I was at the end).

I want to share some of the thoughts I shared with the group (and some I didn't share).  I can't say I completely followed what I had written, which means I joked around a bit more because I do that when nervous and I hope it means the spirit spoke more than I did.

I started off with sharing a quote from President Uchtdorf.  He gave a talk in a Priesthood Session of conference entitled, "Four Titles" and one of the titles was "Son of God" (changed by me to "Daughter of God" for the evening).  He says,
"Compared to the perfection of God, we mortals are scarcely more than awkward, faltering toddlers.  But our loving Heavenly Father wants us to become more like Him, and...that should be our eternal goal too.  God understands that we get there not in an instant but by taking one step at a time.
I do not believe in a God who would set up rules and commandments only to wait for us to fail so He could punish us.  I believe in a Heavenly Father who is loving and caring and who rejoices in our every effort to stand tall and walk toward him.  Even when we stumble, He urges us not to be discouraged - never to give up or flee our allotted field of service - but to take courage, find our faith, and keep trying."
 Then I suggested that there were three versions of us coexisting each day of our lives.

  1. The person you used to be
  2. The person you are now
  3. The person you will become
Here's where I'll interject a bit more of a personal touch for the blog.  To better clarify this idea, I remember a time in my life when I felt so far away from God and from the person I thought I was, the person I wanted to be.  I never thought I would get back there, much less, to develop beyond to even better.  I was stuck with the person I had been, the one who had made mistakes and led me to that moment, and the person I was at the time because of those actions and consequences.  I can still remember a day only a few months after that when I realized how far I had come.  I read through an old journal entry and realized that in a matter of months I had completely changed (with supreme effort from the Lord and from myself).  In my moments of self pity and depression, I failed to see the third version of myself, and to understand that the person I am now is changing, sometimes as quickly as day to day.

For the girls I described the difference between being a helpless baby (completely dependent upon their parents) to the young women they are now.  How they can walk and feed themselves, how they can have conversations, how they can even take selfies now.  But I also shared with them that they don't have to look that far back to see the difference from a younger version to the present.  

I remember in a Sunday School lesson once, the teacher said "We are all made of the same stuff".  I can't remember exactly what the lesson was about, but this statement has helped me, especially when I still find myself comparing my qualities to others.  I used to look at others and the things I admired in them and felt as though I lacked the ability to ever get there.  They must have something that I don't.  Even at the beginning of the program that evening I couldn't stop comparing myself, a nervous wreck who had to look at her notes, to Annette, who wrote her talk a few minutes before and I don't believe looked down at her notes once.  Or Jen, much further along in pregnancy and yet she's always willing to give a talk or bake some goods, or run to the store to pick up decorations.  I feel so lazy compared to her.  While I can't stop the thoughts, I can remind myself, "We are all made of the same stuff".  It means I can be better than I am today, I have the same potential as everyone else.  If I see a quality I like in someone else, I can work on developing that in myself.  It's not about where someone else is in their progress, but about continuing to work on my own.

We all have the same basic building materials to start construction.  We have the same potential as the person next to us.  We are not finished products but we are under constant construction and it is a lifelong process.  We’ve been given everything we need; it is up to us how to use these materials.  It’s important to seek the Lord’s will since he has the blueprints for our best selves. 

C.S. Lewis gives an example of a living house.  He says: 
Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
It is important to remember that you are created in God’s image.  You are a daughter of God with divine potential and he has a plan for you.  Each week in our opening exercises we stand and recite our theme which begins, “We are daughters of our Heavenly Father who loves us and we love Him.”  This statement reminds us who we are and whose we are.  He is the master architect and if we trust in Him he will push us beyond a cottage and into a mansion.  

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Baby's Day Out

I had a doctor's appointment this morning, the infamous glucose test I've heard so much about.  My appointment was at 8, so Chewy and I showed up a few minutes early.  The doors to the office weren't even unlocked yet, I've never been there that early.  We checked in and went back for an ultrasound.  We had a new lady, well, one we haven't seen before.  Little man wouldn't cooperate for her so she wiggled the wand around on my belly and pushed down and begged baby boy to move so she could get the shot she wanted.  Chewy asked if there was some trick I had to get him to move.  I told him I hadn't figured out how to control our baby yet.

We got to see him as he experienced some hiccups though.  And she got a picture of his fist in the air.

More power to you baby.

At one point, he retaliated against the ultrasound lady....of course, I'm the one who felt it, and let me say, not pleasant.  She finally got what she wanted and Chewy and I cleaned up the goop and went over to the lab for my glucose drink.

I had heard from so many people that it was disgusting and to drink it fast.  Only one person had said it tasted good.  I had my choice of fruit punch and orange.  I went with the lesser of two evils (fruit punch).  The lady said, "you have five minutes to drink that."  So I untwisted the cap and threw it down the hatch.  I don't know if I was worried it would taste bad or if I'm incredibly competitive and saw "five minutes" as a challenge, but I'm willing to bet it was the former.  It tasted like HI-C and not revved up HI-C like was told, just what you would get if you got it as a fountain drink.

Then it was over to the doctor to be least favorite part.  I gave my usual sample and then Chewy and I sat in one of the rooms waiting.  The nurse came in to give me my "injection" - I think I would have preferred her to call it a shot.  A shot isn't so bad.  She stepped over to the counter with her back to me and I rolled up my sleeve.  I think I may have said, "This is the worst day ever" because after my "injection" I would be getting my blood taken.  To which she replied that at least this shot was in the butt.



...I unrolled my sleeve.  Out of all the things the people in that office have seen I'm not quite sure they've ever seen my butt.  I immediately felt the need to get off my butt so I stood.  She said I could lay on my side on the short little table or I could stand in front of it with my hands in front of me (not sure why that's a concern, maybe it's only natural to fight away a needle aimed for your butt).  I chose to stand as it seemed more comfortable.  I pulled down my pants and then I pulled them up again and verified that I was suppose to do that.  She said 'yes' and I said, "good, because I didn't want to make this awkward."  Chewy came over to hold my hand, for which I am grateful because let me tell you, that sucker burned!

The whole time I had no idea why I was getting the shot, I figured it was just routine, but as the lady was leaving she mentioned that she is "RH negative too" and she always had to get the shots.  I learned something new about myself.  Well, I really learned it when I Googled it after she left (gotta love smart phones).  All the things I am learning about myself because of this baby.

Doctor came in to talk to us for a bit about our baby and the results from the ultrasound.  Then he sent me to get my blood taken.  I was hungry,tired and I had just taken a shot to the butt.  In some ways, having my blood taken was nothing, in others, I worried all the above would combined and I would get sick.  But it wasn't bad.  I don't look, I don't think I could handle looking.  I just count random numbers and pray with my eyes closed.  When I was done we went to the waiting room and I ate some crackers.

When I got to work I tried swiping my ID badge to get the elevator to operate.  That's not how you do push a button.  Luckily I was alone and could laugh at myself rather than be embarrassed
And that's my day so far.  Just got word that work is closing early today because of our weekly inclement weather we've been having.  I mean, seriously, it's like every Thursday we are going to have snow or ice.  We haven't had youth night in three weeks now.  But who am I to complain, I get to go home and rest.

Friday, February 27, 2015

What not to say...

At work there are several pregnant women.  Three of us like to email each other when something has been said to us that we want to remember never to say to pregnant women.  These things are never meant in a mean spirited way but some of them can make you feel bad.

The first was, "Oh, you've popped!" Meant in kindness and excitement over the growing baby however it doesn’t leave the woman who has ‘popped’ feeling very good about herself.

Next from a doctor, “Proteins grow the baby, carbs grow you.”  Yes, yes, it came from a medical professional to my friend, but she wasn’t happy about it.  My sweet doctor doesn’t mention my weight, it’s proof that I have a very smart doctor.

The next we got wind of was, "I see you waddling over there."  Which I told to Chewy and he likes so he repeats it to me sometimes.

A few days ago I got my first one.  I was in my workstation talking to my coworker about something and a lady from downstairs stopped by and had me turn so she could see my pregnant belly (my pride and joy *sarcasm* I do not like looking this wide).  So I swiveled around and Vanna Whited my belly for her.  She smiled and then brought her hands up to her cheeks and made a squishing motion and said, “And your face is getting juicy."


Then I said, “Ohhhh, thank you, I’ve been waiting for someone to notice.”
At least when she left my coworker and I got a good laugh out of it.  So the tears that followed the statement were brought on by laughter instead of feeling I am bloating like Violet Beauregarde.  Of course, I emailed the pregnant ladies to tell them of the newest “what not to say”. 

In other news, people at work are beginning to notice my growing belly.  This sweet older man at work came up today to congratulate me.  I gave him kind of a blank stare at first because I am still unsure of how to react to the fact that people notice.  I pointed at my belly and said, “This?”  He laughed and said, “Yes, I was worried by the look on your face that maybe I had it wrong.”  I laughed too and said, “Yeah I am.  But it would be funny if I weren’t.  Thanks for congratulating me on gaining weight, it was nothing, just ate extras at every meal.”

And as long as I only look down at my belly (and don't catch a side view) it's not too bad.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Breaking News

Thank you to all our concerned readers.  Boyfriend was found last night in a Thirty-One Bag with a note (since he lacks vocal chords).  The note reads, "Don't leave me! I Love You!"

Monday, February 23, 2015

The case of the missing boyfriend

For my coworker’s birthday, she received a “Grow a boyfriend”

Just add water.

Since my boss has a fishless fish tank in her office we decided to pull a little prank and check her observation skills.  My coworker went in early and put the ‘boyfriend’ in the tank.

When boss lady went to the restroom, coworker ran in to stand him up.  Then there came the series of meetings in the boss’ office.  Each of us had to meet with her and I went last.  While in there I would steal glances at the fish tank but it appeared that boyfriend was missing.  I figured boss lady had already found him.  So after my meeting I checked with the others in my department but they each said that nothing had been noticed during their meeting.  We slipped in when boss lady wasn’t in there and checked but sure enough, he was gone.  We checked the trashcan and my coworker even dug around in the fish tank with a letter opener.  We finally told boss lady about boyfriend and asked if she had taken him out but she hadn’t.  No one knows what happened to him and it’s killing me.  I feel like our prank got turned around on us but  no is fessing up!

Have you seen this man?

We're beginning to think maybe he dissolved in the nasty fish tank water.  What a way to go.


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