Monday, January 24, 2011

Have A Little Faith in Me

Exercising is a bodily exertion mostly for the sake of training or losing weight. There's running, spinning, weight lifting, yoga, swimming, cycling, aerobics, rock climbing, hiking, dancing, playing sports, rowing,... how many did I forget? When you're really into it, when you're giving it your all...You sweat. You grunt. You break through physical barriers. You surprise yourself at your own strength. You begin to morph. You tone. You get muscley...I don't- you might. And in a couple weeks that run that was kicking your butt is a piece of cake.
Does exercising faith work the same way? It seems like it should. In each of us there is a level of faith. Some of us may be body-builder-faith-havers, some of us may be getting-there-faith-havers, some of us may be wimpy-wimpy-puny-puny-faith-havers. I've always had an unshakable faith. I knew God lived. I knew there were miracles. Faith. Faith to move mountains. But lately, I haven't been so sure. I haven't been resonating with Faith. I was asking God for help and nothing was happening. Prayers were unanswered. That didn't seem fair. I do everything I am supposed to do. I go to church, fulfill my calling, give service, and on and on. Why is the help not coming? Why am I feeling like it will never come?
So. I have decided to exercise my faith the same way I would exercise my body. By pushing it to the limit. Working on it every day. Training my Faith. And I have discovered it's harder than physical exercise.  By a lot.  It's going to take more time.  By a lot. And I don't even like physical exercise. Not even a little bit.

I am giving it my all. I am pleading with God every morning and every night. I am kneeling and seriously trying to communicate with my Heavenly Father. Sometimes I am vocal and very specific and sometimes I just cry and know God hears my heart breaking. I am trusting God where I never have before.
It's not easy for me. It's even hurting a little. The hardest thing for me to overcome is myself. My fears, pressures, and thoughts. I'm not ready to run a spiritual 5k... or even a 1k. But I think I am breaking barriers. I know I am sweating. And giving it my all.  And I feel a change. Slight but evident.

"Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation. For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand." Doctrine and Covenants 58:3-4

Intermittent Yoga

Joy.  Harmony.  Peace.  Grace.  It had been so long since I opened that yoga mat I had forgotten those words were there.  My heart pranced.  The routine began.  The deep breathing and deeper stretching.  Ahhhhhh.  I released my problems into the earth (or my living floor.... same effect.)  Some of the stretches were difficult.  Scratch that.  All of the stretches were difficult.  How long has it been since I moved?  I was feeling like I hadn't gotten out of bed in 50 years.  Pre-Kole was only 6 months ago.  Sheesh. Let me tell you about my yoga DVD.  I have two.  One is exercise.  You loose weight.  It's incredible that you can work that hard and feel so relaxed at the same time.  It's tough tough tough.  The other came with my mat and yoga block.  Sort of a beginners package.   And it is definitely set towards beginners.  They teach the names different poses and encourage you to take as many breaks as you need.  So... knowing me.... which do you think I chose to start up into Yoga again.  The mega-easy-beginner-lots-of-breaks-one!  Of course.  Why get all gung ho the first day.  It was fantastic.  I did the AM Yoga.  When Kenny-rooster and I were talking that night I shared my triumph with him.  To which he responded, "It's been a while since you did THAT!"  I told him I was totally devoted to my new yogi lifestyle.  Ken said, "We'll see how long it lasts this time."  Do I have a supportive partner or what?  That's when Ken launched his Intermittent Yoga Campaign against me.  As strong as I am and as far as I can dig my high heels in.... he had a point. 
Ken claims:
I love trying new things.  Yoga, water colors, jogging, Sudoku, cake decorating, cross stitch, scrap booking, BodyPump, quilting, 5K, culinary art (like cutting vegetables into pretty shapes), gardening, photography, calligraphy, fly fishing, hiking, model-ship building, parenting....
First I get the idea.  Then I do some research and price scouting.  I buy everything I need to be a pro.  I read all the books the library has to offer on the subject.  And then... I set my plan in motion.  I become totally involved.  I am submerged.  Whatever it is becomes my life.  I don't surface... for... 48 hours.  Then it blows over.  It's gone.  I've tried it and I am satisfied.  Nothing really sticks.  Ken thinks I'm "fickle."  (Apparently we live in the 20s.... or is it the 1800s)
I see it differently:
It's experience.  And it shall be for my good.  The world is so much bigger than one hobby or interest.  I have to dapple in all the things this world has to offer me.  I'm a dappler.  I step out of my comfort zone... which is pretty expansive non-existent. Would you not climb the Alps because you could only do it once?  No.  That's why I climbed them in '04.   That's why I took a fly fishing class.  That's why I continue baking cakes.  Who knows what's next?  Scuba diving?  Rappelling?  Needlepoint?
The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Wasn't that one day of Spring just gorgeous yesterday? 
I love it when the Earth smells like wet dirt after coming out of Winter.  It's melting.  Letting go of the coldness and giving into warmth. 
My friend told me that life is like seasons.  Sometimes you are in Summer.  Everything is warm and sunny and easy.  There is an occasional thunderstorm, but it blows over.  Then, sometimes, you are in Winter.  There might be a sunny moment here or there.  But it is Winter in your life.  My friend was much more eloquent. 
I am in Spring. The cold, hardness is melting inside of me.  Icicles are dripping into muddy grass.  I am open.  I am warm.  I am becoming myself.  Inhale.  Deeply.  It's so fresh.  I feel fresh.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Open the Buffet, Please

Koley Oley is 6 months old today.  Incredible.  He's so different now from when he was just born.  He's grown.  He seems so... human.  Our biggest accomplishment as of late is eating real food.  Real meaning luke warm and mushy and predominantly out of a jar.  He's crazy about it.  Yes, I've started the long awaited Weaning Project and, as expected, I have some things to say about it.
FIRST- Why is it that as soon as you really get nursing down, babies want to eat?  I mean I had it down!  His nursing schedule was so regular.  It was almost to the minute!  And I was getting pretty good at nursing discreetly in public places.  I don't think I'll ever be a pro at that because my comfort level is just NOT there.  But I could do it in emergency situations... say when I had a bottle of pumped milk and no nipple for it.  WaahhhWAHHHH!  Nursing is so easy....and so free.  And so unwanted by the Kolester.
SECOND- Why are there no instructions on how to wean.  I mean there are the What to Expect books, other moms, and some books by Le Leche League.  All of which I consulted.  The What to Expect books left me... with answers to questions I never had.  Other moms helped but most of the time I was met with "But Kole is so Big."  And the books by Le Leche... didn't fit my needs.  They were focused mainly on weaning your 4 or 5 year old.  And, in my opinion, and I am talking strictly for my needs, if you can talk to your child and explain what is about to happen and they understand and respond (!!)  that child can be making it's own GD sandwich!  Back to no instructions.  I called Kole's pediatrician and they gave the pat answers... give him some rice cereal, start on a little baby food once you think he can handle it.  These words are fuzzy to me "some", "a little", "you think", "handle."  The instructions on the box say to start with a tablespoon and gradually work up to 4 tablespoons.  So, I started with one.  That was enough to feed a fly.  The next day we went to 4 tablespoons.  And, it should be no surprise, that Kole, the 24 pound baby, was still hungry.  Am I asking too much for more specific guidelines and instructions?  I mean there are millions of babies born.  I think there should be a chart on the box.  Something along the lines of "If you baby weighs ____ it will most likely need to eat _____ a day." 
THIRD- Why can't my baby just stay a baby?  Every milestone, every triumph breaks my heart.  I am so proud of him for developing and for learning new things... but I feel like it just brings him closer to wanting to play at his friend's house instead of with me.  Closer to borrowing the keys and staying out all night.  Closer to leaving and serving a mission.  Closer to going to an east coast college to prove he can.  Closer to moving out of the house and leaving me all by myself.  (Well all by myself plus Ken.)  It's incredible and heartbreaking to see him grow.

FOURTH- He is the ca-yutest eater.  Hands down.  No contest.  Don't even try.  His palette has been exposed to applesauce, pears, carrots, rice cereal, and Baby Mum Mums. Tomorrow we'll explore sweet potatoes.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Graviest of Grave Posts

Graves Disease.  Symptoms include: Hair loss, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, muscle loss, increased appetite, jittery, mood swings, bulging eyes, and a rash on your shins.  I have all of the above except the rash and bulging eyes.  I've had these ailments for a while but didn't see a correlation.  I kept saying "I just had a baby."  I figured that credited to...
1.  The hair loss: Mostly in the back- but also above my ears.  It's bald basically... and still coming out by the fistfuls.
2.  The Increased appetite- I am nursing a moose.  But my appetite is insatiable.  I am constantly hungry.  After dinner I'm like "What's for dessert?"  After dessert I'm like "What's for Dinner Number Two?"
3.  Anxiety:  Every new mom worries if they are doing things right to the point of insanity, right?  RIGHT?!
4.  Insomnia: I figured was related to the anxiety.  I'd be awake repeating my fears in my head over and over and never got any sleep.  And then one night I wasn't repeating anything.  I was just wide awake.  It was 3 AM.  I didn't even feel tired.  I got up and started laundry.  The pattern has continued even though the laundry is done.  Sometimes I color.
5.  Fatigue:  Is it really fair to list fatigue as a symptom next to Insomnia?  I mean common sense, kiddos.  It eventually catches up with you.
6.  Irritability:  I've always been a lit fuse.  I hardly thought you could count your personality as a symptom.
7.  Jittery:  I was getting the shakes a lot.  I wrote it of as the shivers since it was cold out.
8.  Mood swings:  Was Ken being a crab apple?  Was Ken being a candy apple?  Thus predicted my mood and the swinging thereof.
9.  Muscle Loss: This is when I figured something was up.  In the mornings my hands would really be sore.  I thought I was so tired my muscles were just exhausted.  Then, one morning, I went to get Koley out of his crib and I couldn't grasp him with my hands.  It's been that way every morning.  I scoop Kole up with my forearms and shimmy him up to my elbows. Bless his heart for not complaining.  He thinks it's fun.

Ken convinced me to see my endocrinologist.  How cool am I?  You may have a hair stylist, or a manicurist... I have an endocrinologist.  Believe me though, you're better off not needing one.  They are exPENsive!  My endocrinologist ran some tests and then called me himself... personally... at like 7 o'clock one night.  He told me I have Graves' Disease.  He explained it was an auto-immune disease.  Which immediately made me think of AIDS- which convinced me I was on my way to my own early Grave.  That's why it's called Graves' Disease, right?  People die.  After I found my bearings and a pen and paper I asked him to start all over.  I wrote down a lot of what he said and after I got off the phone couldn't explain a bit of it.  I tried and it sounded like this:
You know, Graves's Disease... it's auto-immune... your TSH receptors recept the tors around your thyroid and you get really moody and loose your hair.... your body attacks the TSH 4 levels from 3.  Graves'!  C'mon- You've heard of that.
Yea no one has.  A grave situation indeed.  So I've done my own research.  (The Mayo Clinic has excellent information on this condition.)  It seems to me like the most severe and irreversible case of hyperthyroidism.  That can lead to really cool sounding tragedies... like a Thyroid Storm.  Pack your umbrellas!  Immediate treatment was called for.  But this medicine... kills fetuses.  Now, I'm not pregnant but if it kills fetuses it's probably not a great idea to give it to Kole four or five times a day.  So I've started to wean my little man cubby.  That's another adventure, another post.  That will have pictures.  I promise.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Cold Splash of Water

There are some things that have really been bugging me recently.

Kole has diapers with the Cookie Monster surrounded by floating apples and bananas. Why is there fruit all around him? Is he not the COOKIE Monster? I didn't think he was the Apple and Banana Monster. That's awkward and too long to say.   I thought Sesame Street had done a fantastic job for years building a reputation for our furry blue cookie craving friend.  He loves cookies.  I always loved how they crumbles everywhere as he ate them.  And that noise- "Nom nom nom nom nom."  Like he can't eat them fast enough.  And now all the sudden he's on diapers and he has to eat bananas and apples?  I'm sure he's not going "Nom nom" anymore.  C is for cookie.  Not apple.  Not banana.  Cookie.  And I say "shame on you" to the parents who can't let the Cookie Monster be himself because they have blamed him for their kids obesity. Newsflash- your children (if not plagued by a disease) are obese because you can't stand on your own two feet and say no to that bag of Cheetos.  Shame, shame, shame on you.

Why is internet supposed to be capitalized to be Internet? I didn't think it was a proper noun.

I hate it when washed up singers find their "new sound" with Country music.  You're polluting my airwaves Darius Rutker.. oh I mean Hootie!  Go back to soft rock.  Your country songs are pathetic.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Really Smart Moves

Over the weekend I told ken we needed to set our goals for the new year.  His response?  "Why?  We never do them anyway."

After the shock, the embarrassment, and the punch on the shoulder I gave him- I realized he was right.  We set goals together and that's about as far as it gets.  I set my own and from time to time throughout the year I remember/find them and have spurts of goal-oriented triumph.  But all in all... nothing really changes.  My goals remain basically the same year after year and although I continue to grow, adapt, and become better- I beat myself up in January for not doing so hot on my goals. 
When we were kids, as a family, we would set goals and then for a family home evening the following year we would give ourselves grades on how we think we did.  I remember always getting an "A" for the vacation category.  I set 6 goals for myself last year.  Here's my report card:

1. Be less judgmental: F
2. Let go of Stress: F--
3.  Read my stinking scriptures: C
4.  Clean the Kitchen Before Bed: F
5.  Rebuild the Savings Account: B
6.  Be transparent:  F

Hmmm... lots of Fs in there.  Even one F minus minus.  That's bad....
I'm taking a different approach this year.  I was reading in my Oprah magazine (what else is new) and I learned something very valuable:  A beret is always tres chic- especially in a print and neutral colors.  Hehehe.  Seriously though.  Martha Beck taught me that goal setting has everything to do with parts of speech.  It is better to use adjectives to set a goal rather than nouns and verbs.  She recommended using four steps.

1.  Fess up to your real desires.  Pick the biggest, most ambitious one.
2.  Imagine what your life would be like if you realized that goal.  Create a detailed fantasy about it.
3.  List adjectives that describe how you feel in your dream-come-true scenario.  Write down 3
4.  Forget the fantasy scenario.  Focus on anything that can be described with your adjectives.

Is it all a little too out there for you?  It's been an incredible breakthrough in my life.  Goals are supposed to help us reach some feeling, not some thing.  I'm still working on my adjectives.  It's HARD!  I have one: Calm.  I keep repeating the mantra "The Pleasure of Doing Nothing" over and over again in my head.  (I heard that on Eat, Pray, Love)  It's a start.  I'm not setting a goal to be lazy.  No no no.  I'm finding inner peace.  Maybe that will help me next year when I tackle World Peace.

Monday, January 3, 2011


The time has come my friends.  The end of another year.  Auld Lang Syne! Ring Out Wild Bells!  Loddi Doddi We Love to Party.  That last one was a Snoop Dogg reference for you severely white peoples.  Anytime I start naming off songs Snoop comes to mind.  He's the Doggfather... he's Paid the Cost to Be the Boss.  C'mon ladeez.

Welcome to...

Da Bloggies!  I'm glad to see you all came dressed up and that the kids are safely distracted.  Your blogs this year were splendid.  Just spa-lendid. They've given me hours of late night, early morning, andmidafternoon reading entertainment.  Seeing your families grow and learn new things... *tears*....  I just love being part of your life.  Even if I didn't comment- I read.  Some of you have shown extra-devotion to your blogs and for that I say hurrah.  For those of you who didn't I say:  You're a nincompoop.  I wish to award the outstanding bloggers with a Bloggie. A bloggie is my own personal award that goes to you.  No ribbon.... no money... just a real good feeling of accomplishment.  A "You Did It!" sensation.  This year we'll also recognize a runner up in each category.

So- without further ado- with abated breath...
Let us commence.

Most Suspenseful Blog

Runner Up:  Heath Candy Bars (they are always doing something fun... ALWAYS!)
Winner: Cinderella, A-Train, and the Little Caboose
You guys have got to read this blog.  It's incredible.  She has really unique and differing posts.  She can really tell a story.  It's not all given away in the first line.  It's never the same thing twice.  Sometimes it's a recipe.  (I have tried some and I lub dem.)  Sometimes it's a family story complete with pictures. Sometimes it's an epiphany... it's beautiful.  She's beautiful!  She has a beautiful sense of self.  And an incredible sense of style.  She titles well.  She writes well.  And always leaves me wanting more.  (Plus!  Somehow she got her comment line to say "4 Cool People Said:"  instead of comments.  So cool.  So cool.)

Least Updated
Runner Up:  Teener Weiner aka The Ivie's (c'mon Kris... let's try here.)
Winner:  The Bells Are Napping
I'd say the bells are napping!  They've been napping since July!  And took frequent cat naps before that!  Larae get back on the horse.  It's not too late for you. 

Most Thought Out Commenter
Runner Up: Chris and Courtney (rarely misses a post, gives advice, shares life)
Winner:  Kar's Kith and Kin
2 years running here.  The girl can comment.  She even comments on Kole's blog.  It's really cute.  She always says (and I always agree) that comments are the language of love.  She never misses a post.  It's amazing.  And she can normally comment withinh... I dunno... 2 hours of a post?  I know, right!  This girl has commenting down to a t.  Down to an art.  Down to business.

Best Pictures:
Runner Up: Blethen, Mark and Megan (gorgeous, GORGEOUS pictures. Hire her.)
Winner:  Munns Funs aka Natters
The Munns' take pictures of everything.  My favorites are of her kids.  Colton and Taylee.  They live on a farm and Natters catches all the magic of childhood.  Her kids are always looking like maniacal balls of fun.  Nats also takes pictures of good couping deals and home made projects she does.  She can write a blog with just pictures and you'd be able to feel what she was trying to express.

Impressively Improved
Runner Up:  Brett and Tiffany (Blogging a lot more, really letting that big personality get through, funny and friendly.)
Winner:  Chris and Julia
Jules won an award last year and I feel like you will think there is some family narcissism here.  There is not.  I consider you all my family.  Julie has really worked to find a niche of her own with her blog.  And she's written like 20 billion more times that she did last year.  She's added movies and downloaded pictures all for my entertainment.  And your entertainment.  And their entertainment.  Jules updates every single day.  (Vicky hates it when anyone says "every single")  It's something I have come to look forward to and something I have come to envy.  If only my internet was faster.  If only.

Congrats to this years winners, runners up, and losers.  Not so much to the losers.  I just didn't want to leave you totally out.