Sunday, May 30, 2010

My Hero: From "Slice of Life" Prompt

I really don't know how to condense down to one hero. I have had so many. My two biggest heroes have been my parents. I was just telling my husband how I remember my Dad wanting to be relatable to others and struggling with it. So he decided to work on his joke telling skills which means that us kids were the guinea pigs. While we heard some of the same jokes over and over, I learned that you can overcome social fears if you just have the courage to try something new and work at it. I really credit him with my being the outgoing person that everyone sees me as. My Mom has been my hero in alot of areas, but #1 as the wonderful wife she has been to my Dad. She always edified him. She found ways to learn and grow with him and she was always by his side. Another one of my heroes is my oldest sister who has started this blog prompt. When we were growing up there was noone prettier than my sister. All the boys liked her ;) She was smart. She got this big trophy for reading the most books throught out the school year. She seemed to me to be good at everything. She did cheerleading, then she picked up my thing twirling. She played the flute and didn't seem to be terrified like I was about performing on it infront of others and was much better than I at it. She had good ideas like creating the Libby's Stand where we sold peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches and servings of open cans of green beans to my parents and grandparents for a quarter. And no we didn't pay them back for the ingredients that we pilfered from the kitchen. It didn't matter how much we quarreled, if someone was picking on me, she would stand up for me. Once she even tried to take on a teacher, it was probably a good thing that she couldn't find her. When I turned 18, she through me a surprise party. I had always complained about not having any great parties growing up b/c my birthday was right up against halloween and back then halloween parties were big. So she threw me the most memorable and creative birthday party ever. It's even on tape somewhere. When I went through my divorce, she did what she could to help me handle being a single Mom. I still use my homemade cookbook that she put much work into. I have to say it's looking a little worse for wear. When I got married, she knew how much I wanted her there, but there was no way should could make it due to distance and weather so she spent the whole evening before chatting with me about the upcoming wedding and all my bridal issues. So she has shown me that we protect those we love, that we give encouragement and cheerlead for those that we care about, that we get creative when can't do what we'd like to do and we do what we can for others to make this world a little brighter. She's a pretty amazing sister and a wonderful Mom and wife full of rich ideas and talents. I'm pretty lucky that I have her to look up to. What's really cool is that I get to thank my hero and know that she'll read this and be able to see that she's made a difference. So not trying to suck up to the prompter ;) I didn't edit so if you read from the beginning you can see that I just started writing and realized that she IS my big hero :)
Thank you!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Firsts: From "Slice of Life" Prompt

I think my first BIG know the first thing that gave me a real sense of freedom and accomplishment was getting my own apartment. I was in the middle of a yucky divorce and I had a job that paid a little more than minimum wage at Foleys. I was living with my two toddlers, at the women's shelter in Conroe, TX. It was not a fun time for me. You had to share a room with one or more other mothers and their children. And of course not everyone has your same beliefs or way doing things and that could be stressful. Add into that that the kids all had a hard time as their own lives were being turned topsy turvy and you can imagine the stress and tension felt by the adults. We also had to have our kids in bed by 8pm if I remember right, so that we could meet back down stairs for our resident meeting every evening. After that we would split up and do our chores before going to bed ourselves. Well with being in a strange place and Mom being gone all day, you can imagine that my two boys didn't really want to go to sleep. It was then that I developed our bedtime routine that would become a blessing and a memory for my two oldest for a longtime there after. I would read a story out of the picture Book of Mormon. Then one other story of their choice. Then we would say prayers and I afterwards I would sing song after song till they fell asleep. It is so funny, I remember feeling so good about my singing after a fellow roommates daughter put in a song request. I was always so afraid that I would miss the deadline to be at the meeting and get kicked out, but I was always blessed. The kids would fall asleep just in time. But you can imagine my relief when my application for an apartment through HUD housing,( government assisted housing), came through. The apartments were in the worst part of town. Later I was told that it was the area where cops refused to go. My Dad was so worried about us going to live there, and the only way he reconciled himself to it, I was told later, was that their was a lady there that he knew that said she would keep an eye out for me. The apartment wasn't mutch. there was no carpet. It was all linoleum tile. And not the pretty kind if there is a pretty kind, lol. It was the stuff you see in hospitals. The walls were all white. It was kind of dingy but it had two bedrooms. There was no little porch but it was on the first floor and that was a blessing in some ways. Eventually the behaviors of the other people there would drive me to seek shelter till another application went through, but in those first days I was so excited! I was thrilled to be out on my own. Atlast! I was going to be taking care of myself and I was proving that I was capable of it. I was so excited about my little space that I asked everyone over to celebrate Christmas Eve at my house.
I wrote my Dad a poem that year to go with a picture of he and I in my first snow together. This is me reading it to him. The poem was a thank you for believing in me. He had just helped me to buy my first car, so that I could continue forward. I remember my parents brought down my Aunt Lynn that year from Oklahoma. She came to visit too. It was the last time that I would see her before she died. We bought her pink pig slippers because that was her favorite thing to collect, pigs. She loved them as you can tell by the picture. I thought that my Christmas tree was the most beautiful thing ever. It was the one thing that I asked my husband, at the time, for. The boys and I had decorated pine tree cones and I bought ice garland strands. I loved that natural theme and built on it year after year till I remarried and had to merge our Christmas's. In the I even commemorated that first Christmas on our own in my own apartment by buying an our first Christmas ornament.
I have it to this day. I know most people would think that is weird since those are usually for a couple's first Christmas, but for me it's still important to remember that first. The knowledge that I could stand on my own two feet and make it. I think everyone should know that. To have that innate belief in themselves that they can make it, no matter what life throws at them. Lot's of firsts for me that year and definitely a year to feel grateful and blessed.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

New Calling and Tidbits

Next week I will be released as a Relief Society teacher and called to be the new compassionate service leader. After talking to my mom about the calling, I'm actually excited. When it was extended to me earlier, I felt they were phasing me out of teaching b/c they didn't think I could handle it with the two little ones and they were giving me a less demanding calling. Now I realize that it will probably be more demanding and very fun for me as I love getting to know people and finding ways to serve others. It's funny that I can look back over the last year and see how Heavenly Father has prepared me to serve in this capacity. From being on the recieving end to giving and helping to coordinate service. There have also been lessons that I've taught that have prepared me spiritually as well. So I am excited and ready to magnify!
As for tidbits, I'd like to know if anyone would like to start experimenting with me in the transferal of energy from toddler to parent. I figure that if this can be accomplished, just to a median point, I might stand a chance against little Red. My poor baby has had his face smashed in by Lil Red and been tripped over and pounced upon by him more times than I can count, due to the never ending supply of toddler energy. Sometimes I can see them as Tigger and Pooh. Although Lil Red has also had the need of many a kiss to the knee and bandaid's over scratches as well. Sometimes he's his own worst enemy. Imagine Tigger's tail falling behind the actual bounce and you'll envision what I mean, LOL! I am grateful though that Lil Red has so much independent spirit built up in him. It is great that I can give him his clothes and tell him to put them on while I keep going with my own readiness. That I can get him to wash his hands and brush his teeth. While I get baby dressed. He truly is a BIG boy! and growing every day ;)
Don't you love the energy in this picture ;)

I know you've noticed that I keep calling our new one baby. I'll have a nick name for him in a little while. He's only two months and in many ways over shadowed by Lil Red, so I'd like to give him a while before I saddle him with a nickname on here. So please bear with the constant referrals to my sweet baby :)

Hope your Sunday was fabulous!