Friday, December 31, 2010

Resolution Schmesolution (Now that's a mouthful!)

Make a resolution? Last year my new year's resolution was to actually keep a resolution. Wanna guess how well that went? This year I don't want to focus on change. I simply want to focus on what is already good. Here are a few - and I do mean few - of the things I was truly grateful to have this year:

*reasons to laugh at myself
*fingernail polish
*stain remover
*bubble gum machine rings
*dancing in the rain
*candles that make me go yum
*flip flops
*hiking trails
*flannel sheets
*books, books, and books
*taking chances
*mafia wars
*"my" soldiers
*midnight chats
*arm warmers
*girls' nights out
*no more meat cleavers in my house
*vitamin e
*competent doctors
*compassionate pastors (okay, one)
*best friends
*powerful words
*monsters that make me laugh (and sigh and cry)
*aching muscles
*text messaging
*8G SD cards
*the delete button
*flat irons
*beer bong tournaments
*camp fires
*Tanner's first fish and Braeden's first concert
*the peace that comes from prayer
*relief that can only come from a rightly timed F word
*favorite restaurants
*favorite authors

Saturday, November 27, 2010

*This hike was on the Peralta Trail, up to Fremont Saddle and to Weaver's Needle in the Superstition Wilderness Area. The trail was two-and-a-half miles from the trail head to the saddle and climbed over 1,300 feet in elevation. Though the climb was demanding at times, the views were majestic and rewarding.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Last weekend I attended my niece's (and my goddaughter's) 10th birthday party. All of the kids were swimming and enjoying the water, oblivious to the degrees on the thermometer, which I believe totalled 109 that day. A little over halfway through the party, I felt enormous pressure in my head and the sensation that I was going to black out. I walked inside to get away from the kiddos, and checked my heart rate, which was dancing along happily at almost 120, not minding that I was sitting still and it should have been in the 80s perhaps.

It took me a few days to get over the fatigue and general run-down feeling that I get after my tachycardia has been running wild. And I thought about what a family friend said to me that afternoon. She said didn't it just make me angry- that it must be frustrating and she knows how she feels when she can't control her body.

That's exactly how I feel. But at the same time it makes me thankful for what I do have. It reminds me that I can't control everything in life, and that is the way it should be. Then I might not remember to stop and appreciate everything that surrounds me on a daily basis. Touching lyrics to a song. The smell of my children's hair after it's been washed. The sunlight bouncing off of a cloud. The gentle rumble of the thunder in the monsoon sky. Shared laughter over the decoration of cupcakes.

Life is short, break the rules, forgive
quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably,
and never regret anything
that made you smile... -Mark Twain

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Precious Moments

My four-year-old son asked me to break one of my rules tonight and sleep in his bed. This is something I don't do unless my boys are sick or injured or otherwise need my watchful eye during the night. Mostly because I encourage them to develop security and comfort in their own beds, only coming to mine after a bad dream or when they aren't well. Partly, too, because I've learned the hard way that sleeping in close proximity to my boys means the possibility of having the wind knocked out of me when I get a kick to the rib while I was otherwise happily lost in dreamland.

But, he asked, and for some reason I felt compelled to grant his request. I told him to go to sleep, and I would come in after my school work was done, which I did. I crawled into his bed (which, just so you know, is so delightfully comfortable I'm thinking about trading in my own grown up bed for one of those flimsy looking but surprisingly comfy IKEA mattresses), and about two minutes later he rolled over and without opening his eyes, said to me, "You said you would lay with me tonight."

I grabbed his little hand and was going to answer him, but he was already back asleep. And I thought to myself, "How precious is this?" But I realize I find myself thinking that quite often. On a daily basis, probably. And that is because every moment, every breathing minute we spend with our children, is precious. Even the ones camouflaged in tantrums and tears and rolled eyes. Every moment is one to be appreciated for what it is.

It's either a moment to be treasured; to be stored in our memory so we can look back on it when our children are grown and gone. Those teeny tiny moments that come together to build their character and dynamic individuality and which form bonds between loved ones. Or it's a moment to teach our children something; how to handle their distress when the birthday gifts aren't meant for them, or that we prevent them from eating too much sugar because we love them and don't want to see them with belly aches and we want them to learn about self control and discipline, and that all good things should come in moderation. Or it's a moment for us to stop and learn from them; to see the world from their perspective, to marvel at the little things we take for granted, like a butterfly about to emerge from its chrysalis.

Above is a picture, literally from the viewpoint of a four-year-old, as he sets up a play date with his pet dragon and creates friends from his imagination. Today, take a moment, not to smell the roses, but to bend down and see them from eye level, as a child would do.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Are you ready to say goodbye forever?

It has been said that the oil spill in the Gulf Coast is the single largest natural disaster to hit our earth to date. I certainly hope it is the largest one I will ever see, because the tragedy it has caused to our ecosystem and wildlife is heartbreaking, and I could not imagine watching our earth endure anything more.

Species are being threatened into extinction, including some species of sea turtles, whose existence already hung on by a fragile thread.

If we must believe everything happens for a reason, or if not, that we should find a purpose in what happens, then please let this be a lesson to treat our earth a little- no, a lot better. It is not our right to damage what does not belong to us.

"Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents,

it was loaned to you by your children."

-Ancient Indian Proverb

*The drawing was done by me, based on a picture found online. Rights to the photo unknown.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


In my last blog post I talked about writing and making the decision to put real effort into it, or whether to dedicate my time to other aspects of my life. A day or two after I wrote about it, I was still thinking about it, trying to decide what felt right in my heart. I was really torn, because right now, I don't have a lot of extra time to spend doing something which ultimately is unproductive.

So, the story continues as I sat at the mall on a day that was too hot for my children to play outside. They were playing in the kid area, making friends and burning off some energy, and I browsed through the e-reader app on my phone.

I was not looking for anything about publishing, but came across a popular e-book that discussed how to publish your own e-book. This piqued my interest, as my brother has been discussing his desire for an e-reader, and the popularity of these devices certainly have gone up since the iPad and Nook came on the market. Personally, I love the feel of an actual book in my hand, but I know our culture is a big fan of convenience as well as tech gadgets.

As I browsed through this e-book, I realized it was something I could do, and was perhaps the answer to the questions I'd been asking myself since my last blog.

So, in accordance with my personality, I typically think about decisions quite a lot before I'm ready to commit to a definitive answer. This can be a positive thing, but it can bite me right in the ass at times. The good thing is that when I do make a decision, I know I've considered it from all angles and when that decision is made, I have a lot of peace and confidence in it. The downfall is that sometimes I get so caught up in the pros and cons and what-ifs and maybes that I never feel comfortable making a decision.

This time, I was able to make a decision and put it into action right away. I had the idea, and I had the resolve. So I set my fingers to the keyboard and I wrote a novel. I spent about nine days actually working on it, and in the interest of not letting anxiety get the best of me, I have published it and it is available online already. It is currently available in only the one venue, but will soon be available on other online retail markets, including Barnes & Noble and at Apple.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My lost blog

In the past few months, I've been thinking a lot about my writing. It's something that has been part of my life not necessarily as a hobby, and not necessarily as a job, but something in between. I did a lot of writing in high school for things like the yearbook, and I certainly do a lot of writing for school. I've won a few minor poetry and literary contests, but the thought of doing more with it is daunting. Writing is a very difficult field to break into and it seems almost absurd to try, unless you are famous or have so much money that you can self-publish and be certain you can advertise for yourself.

And then I decided this; the last year has taught me nothing if not that I need to appreciate what I have. What I have right now is a lot of responsibility- the kind of responsibility that comes with being a mom, being a full-time student, being a home owner, and so on. What I have is a lot of residual frustration at the lack of energy I have after my health complications, and a lot of learning left to do about how to manage my diagnoses. (No, I didn't spell that wrong. I walked away from my fifteen or so trips to the hospital with confirmed tachycardia, vaso depressive syncope, and hypoglycemia. Whether those are all related or not, the doctors are still unsure, but I do know that I still experience the symptoms from all three to some degree.) What I have is a lot of uncertainty about how I am going to manage to finish school, do my student teaching (which, may I remind you, is essentially a non-paying full-time job), and have two children in two different schools. Braeden is going into first grade this year and I am looking for a preschool program for Tanner.

But the other thing that I have is the desire to fulfill some goals. One of which is to see if writing is meant to be a part of my future or not. When I have no more need for academic writing, will there still be a place in this world for my thoughts on paper? It's time for me to either put the effort into finding out, or put the idea to bed altogether. I'm not ready to pull the sheets over that one yet (no pun intended).