Monday, June 28, 2010


Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy.
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry.
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high.

If I had a day that I could give to you
I'd give to you a day just like today.
If I had a song that I could sing for you
I'd sing a song to make you feel this way

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy.
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry.
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high.

If I had a tale that I could tell to you
I'd tell a tale sure to make you smile
If I had a wish that I could wish for you
I'd make a wish for sunshine all the while.

--John Denver

Isn't it amazing how just being out in the sunshine can make everything seem lighter, less heavy? I always feel so much better about everything after spending some time outside.

I love the sunshine. It's wonderful.

*image courtesy Google images

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Every month around this time, I grieve.

I grieve that my body isn't working the way it's supposed to. I'm only 32 years old, for crying out loud. I'm supposed to be able to have a few more years of childbearing left. I just feel so frustrated by the events in my life that I have no control over.

I have always been a problem solver--a person who wants to find a solution, find it quickly and do it. Solve that problem. It frustrates me that these problems I'm facing have no readily available solution.

If we want another baby, we will have to go with fertility treatments. But because we struggle financially, money for that type of thing is not something we have.

It costs money to get all the fertility testing done. Most of it is not covered by insurance. Some of the tests are because they aren't fertility-specific. The tests and treatments aren't all super-expensive, but when you are living paycheck to paycheck as it is, every amount over that budget is a lot. Then we are faced with a choice. Put it on a credit card or not get the tests done? Increasing our debt to have a baby doesn't seem right. These are the choices that are always facing us. Do I just sigh and say, I guess I'll be content with four kids even though I still really feel like there is supposed to more in our family? I just wish my body would work right.

With the whole fertility thing, I don't like it when people tell me that I shouldn't be so upset; after all, I have four kids already. If you feel like your family is complete, then you don't understand how I feel. If you are still fully fertile and have no problems, then you don't know how it feels. Having four children doesn't diminish my desire to have more or my feeling that our family is incomplete. Yes, of course, I am grateful for the four I have. They are wonderful. I love them with all my heart. But I just feel like our family is not complete.

And then I have those who tell me to be patient, we have all the time in the world, what's the hurry? So how long do I wait before pursuing the fertility treatment route? Until I'm 33? That's only in six months. Until I'm 34 or 35? When do we stop trying?

I know. The situation really isn't as hopeless as it feels sometimes. My doctor says there is a chance that I could conceive naturally but because of my condition (and age--despite popular belief, women in their 30s are at higher risk for lots of problems with childbearing than women in their 20s), I have a higher chance of miscarriage. So there is a chance we wouldn't have to go the treatment route. But then every month that I'm not pregnant I wonder if we should try another way.

It's just so hard to know what to do. And I do grieve. I grieve that I have no control over what my body does. I feel angry because it's so unfair. Yes, unfair. I know life is not supposed to be fair, but sometimes the unfairness of it is enraging.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Dear Friends

Do you have a book that you read as a child that is like a dear friend to you?

Recently my son brought home a Scholastic Book Club order form from school. I am having a hard time encouraging him to read and enjoy it. He reads quite well, several grade levels above his age group, anyway, but he is not interested in it. So I looked through the book order and spent $130 on lots of age appropriate chapter books and nonfiction picture books that I thought he might like (and my other children too).

One set of books that caught my eye was the complete Ramona Quimby series by Beverly Cleary. Those were my favorite books as a child, and I couldn't help myself. Even though I have mostly boys and my daughter is a long way off from reading chapter books, I went ahead and ordered it.

The books came and he brought them home from school. I helped unwrap them all from the plastic and reorganize our bookshelf to fit the new ones. When he left for school the next day, I couldn't help myself. I pulled out those Ramona books and started reading.

It was like visiting with an old friend. I knew Ramona like I knew me. I was Ramona Quimby growing up in a lot of ways. I even felt like I looked like her with short brown hair and brown eyes. I loved to draw and write and read. I loved my new pink eraser I got for school.

I loved re-reading my Ramona books. I had many other books I loved throughout my childhood and adolescence, but those Ramona books were my first love of reading. I hope my daughter enjoys them as much as I do.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bad Week

I am suffering from a bad week and a bad mood which has made me unmotivated to blog.

First of all we're still going through all the infertility testing to figure out why we can't seem to conceive again. That hasn't been very exciting. I have poly-cystic ovarian syndrome, aka PCOS. That means that my ovaries do not make eggs. Instead, a cyst forms where the egg is supposed to be. So when I'm supposed to ovulate, I don't. Since there's no egg to fertilize, well, you can see where this is going. My doctor recommends a certain progesterone treatment to sort of reset my cycle and go from there or we can do the fertility drug clomid, but before we do anything like that with me, we need to get the dear husband checked to make sure that it's not his fault too. Given some of his weird medical issues, which I won't delve into here, he possibly could be contributing to the problem. We shall see.

The second thing that came up this week is that my husband is being transferred. The company he works for is family-owned, not franchised, and until he is a store manager, he can be transferred anywhere in the division. He had finally convinced his store manager where he works currently to allow him two Sundays off and work the other two Sunday nights. Unfortunately, he isn't going to ever be able to have that schedule because the manager at the new store isn't so flexible. I'm terribly bummed because I felt like this huge burden was lifted from me when he told me that about the Sundays two weeks ago, and now it's back and worse than ever because he'll be gone a LOT of Sunday days.

Last is that we found out from our landlord yesterday that we will not be able to renew our contract in October because he will be selling the house. So we have to move. I'm hoping and praying that we can find something in the school boundaries so my kids won't have to start school on August 26th and then start a new school on October 4th.

So I've been pretty stressed out and down in the dumps all week.

We rode our bikes to Iceberg today and got shakes. It really helped dispel some of the gloom.

The wonders of chocolate ice cream, I tell you.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Blog Thoughts

I've been doing a lot of thinking about this blog and why I write it. I actually have four blogs, each with a different purpose. I started my first blog, A Royal Nest, at the end of 2006. It is my family blog that I print up blog book every year, a family history.

In 2008, I started this blog because I had a lot of ideas and opinions that I wanted to share but didn't want to have on my family blog. I kind of patterned it after my brothers' blog, A Bird's Eye View. Their blog is very intellectual, religious, and political in nature, with them writing about different ideas and opinions in these areas, often spurred by articles or books they've read. Their writing style is quite formal, as is mine.

Their blog is a great read, but they don't post much anymore because they are too busy with their careers and families, I suppose. It's a shame because their writing is so thought-provoking, intellectually stimulating, and even spiritually uplifting.

My other blogs are Love For Learning, which is a journal of sorts of the preschool I do with my own children, and Happy Little Book Group, a group blog book club so we could read books and discuss them online with people halfway across the world.

I feel the purpose of this blog is to write my thoughts and feelings on just about anything I feel like writing about--thereby "cluttered"--and often my thoughts dwell on marriage and homemaking and how to raise children. I have very strong opinions on anything related to these topics. Occasionally, I veer and talk about other things, whatever might be on my mind that day.

And there you have it. The purpose of this blog in a nutshell. You can click on the other blog links and check those out. In fact, I'd like to get going with the book club one and start reading some new stuff, if anyone is interested!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Our Marriage Vows

Marriage Summer Challenge, Week Three

I will be honest. I don't remember the exact wording of the vows in the temple. It's not until death do you part, though, that's for sure. I love that marriages and families can last for time and all eternity. That's so much sweeter until death. Imagine spending your entire life with someone, only to be separated by death, never to be united in marriage again.

Today is actually our 9th anniversary, so it's interesting that this week is the week to reflect on the actual wedding and the vows we made.

I don't remember a whole lot about our actual wedding day. We got married on Thursday. That was because we wanted to be married on the 21st which was the summer solstice and an easy date to remember. 6-21-01. We went down in the morning, fighting commuter traffic because it was a weekday. I went down with my parents and my friend who was my maid-of-honor. I can't remember, but I think my youngest brother was with us even though he couldn't come in the temple. He was to wait outside with the rest of the group that couldn't come in.

We went in, I got in my temple dress and then we went in for the ceremony. The first time my husband met my two older brothers was in the locker room on that day, right before the ceremony. We had everyone in my family, except my baby brother (who was only 14 and couldn't go in the temple for a sealing) at the sealing--my parents, my older brothers and their wives, and my younger brothers. Neither of my grandparents could make it, but my great uncle, my grandma's older brother, was there. Also two of my mom's sisters and their spouses were in attendance as well as a few of my cousins and their spouses, if they were married. On my husband's side was his mom, his grandparents, and his brother and wife and any cousins or aunts and uncles that could make it. I don't remember if our bishop was there, I don't think he was.

Outside the temple was anyone who couldn't come in--kids too young or those who are not members of our faith or those who do not hold a temple recommend. They waited for us on the steps of the temple. The actual ceremony itself doesn't take very long and afterward, we went to change and met our party on the steps of the Los Angeles Temple. Then we had pictures all around the temple grounds.

After pictures, we got changed and drove down to a luncheon at the LDS Institute building in Lancaster. Later that day was the reception in Lake Los Angeles. We spent the first night in my apartment and then left for San Diego the next day. We moved shortly after returning from San Diego into a bigger apartment in the same complex. And that is our start.

Happy Anniversary!

My aunt took our engagement pictures at a lake near her home in Northern CA.
The top picture is the one we used to send out with our invitations. The bottom one is the one we should have used. :)

On the steps of the temple--all who were in attendance inside or waited for us outside.
The next four pictures are on the temple grounds.

And this is us cutting the cake at the reception.

The end.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Our Story: Part III

The week of the seminary morningside Christmas performances ended and his birthday was the next day, Saturday, December 9th. A bunch of people from the singles ward went to see Vertical Limit on Friday night, with the invitation extended to him as well, but he went out with an old high school friend.

The next morning, quite early, several of us kidnapped him and took him to breakfast at Crazy Otto's. Apparently, he was forewarned, since he was sleeping on the couch in the living room in sweats. I later learned he doesn't usually sleep in sweats or other pajamas. Anyway, that's when things really started.
Waiting outside Crazy Otto's in Lancaster

Later that day was an activity for Institute: "How the Grinch Stole the Olympics". We did silly games, like a round robin of ping pong and an egg toss and a four-legged race, shown here. I thought I had a picture of the egg toss, but couldn't find it.
The four-legged race

At the end of the activity, he invited me to his house for a birthday dinner. I thought that maybe he was just inviting some friends, didn't realize it was only me and that it was a date until later.

And that was our first date--I went to his house for dinner for his birthday and met his mom, brother (and the brother's wife) and three sisters (his dad had already passed away a few years before, so I never got to meet him). After the steak dinner, we went to see the movie Remember the Titans. I'm amazed he asked me out again after I cried in that movie.

The next night, he came to my house for Sunday dinner. We then saw each other every day for one whole week until December 16th, which was when I left for the holidays to visit my family in Michigan. He called me in Michigan over the holidays, and on my birthday (December 21st). I came back to California on the 30th. He proposed to me on January 2nd.
Dinner at my apartment on Sunday

I called my parents to tell them, and my mom told me that my dad was out of town. She called back a few minutes later to tell me that he was renting a car (he was in San Francisco) and driving down to see me on Friday of that week. He came down, arriving late at night Friday, went out to breakfast with us on Saturday and then went back to San Fran.
Meeting my dad

During our engagement, which lasted about 5-1/2 months, we visited his family in San Diego and Orange County and my family in Northern California and Utah. He met my mom when she came out in February for wedding plans. He met two of my five brothers when we went up to Utah. He met another brother (my youngest) over Memorial Day weekend, when we went to Utah again and my parents were there, driving through on their move to Arizona from Michigan. He finally met my remaining two brothers and their wives on the day of our wedding.
Meeting two of my brothers in Utah, the one in the middle was a student at BYU, the one on the right a student at Utah State.
This picture was taken at my grandparents' home in Mt. Pleasant, Utah

For this challenge, I was supposed to remember something we were good at doing when we were dating and engaged that has sort of been lost over the years. I think being open in our communication was something we really had back then but something that we really need to work on now. So that will be my goal, to be a better communicator.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Our Story: Part II

Okay, after finally scanning in pictures and re-reading Part I, there was a little detail that was left out.

After I met the man that would become my husband, like I said, I didn't think much of him. I was interested in another guy at that time. One of the places all of us would go hang out was at the In-N-Out Burger in Lancaster.

My husband worked at that In-N-Out.

After I initially met him, I didn't see him around much. He was quite busy with football, school, and work, and since he didn't attend the singles ward and went to Institute classes during the day, when I was teaching school, it was weeks before I saw him again. The very next time I saw him was one of those visits to In-N-Out, where we all went after the Wednesday night Institute class and he was working.
*If only I'd known back then how big a part of my life In-N-Out would end up being. I had no idea that it would be such a huge part of my life--back then it was a just a fast food joint we would frequent. I had never even heard of In-N-Out until moving to CA to teach school. It was on a date with a different guy that I even first tried the food.

I was in a joking mood, so I went up to the counter where he was standing and said, "Where have you been all my life?" It had actually started with the question of where he'd been, why he hadn't been around at activities and such, but that's what came out of my mouth.

He tells me that's what got him to notice me.

Our first real encounter was from an activity that we had--going down to the lighting of the Christmas lights at the Los Angeles temple grounds. He and a few people went down earlier in the day to get us a spot, and the rest of us came down later. We spent much of the time before the program flirting and trying on each other's hats (his was a baseball cap, mine was a Santa hat). After the program, we walked around the temple grounds together, looking at the lights. Then we all drove down to the Santa Monica pier and had hot chocolate on the beach. I walked to the end of the pier with him.

I was disappointed when he didn't ask me out for the following night or even the next weekend. After the Christmas lights, we got heavily involved in Institute choir. We were working on a Christmas program that we would sing at seminary morningsides throughout the Antelope Valley. That was when I really got to know him, was during Institute choir.

To be continued...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Common Courtesy

These days people lack common courtesy and civility. I am sitting in my house and can hear very clearly the music being played from my neighbor's garage. It's almost 9 pm and my children are trying to go to sleep.

Note: if other people can hear your music off your property---it's too loud!

Same with your car.

I really don't like sitting in traffic having to listen to somebody's rap music blasting out of their car, especially when my windows are rolled up AND their windows are rolled up. And when they aren't even stopped next to me, but are several cars away.

Would they like me to blast my Beach Boys that loud or my country music? Or maybe they'd like to hear my Singles Ward soundtrack at full volume?

I'm positive they would be just as annoyed as me if they had to endure my taste in music.

Why can't people just have common courtesy and consideration for others?

*image courtesy Google images

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer Marriage Challenge: Week One: Our Story: Part I

Week 1, the week of June 14th: Post Pictures from your dating days (or tell us all about it!). Think about one thing you used to do or have as a couple that you have lost in the shuffle of life. How can you regain it?

This is actually interesting that I found this challenge at this time because I was going to post our dating story this week anyway, since next Monday is our anniversary. And next week's challenge, remembering our wedding day and those vows we made, comes at a perfect time, being that our 9-year anniversary is on Monday, June 21st.

My Version of Our Story

Our story actually begins with my graduation from BYU. I'm sure there are things from his end as well, but then that's his story, and this is my version of it.

Anyway, I graduated from BYU in April 2000, and in the four months previous to graduation, spent that time student teaching for my degree in Elementary Education. During that time, my parents had put their home on the market (they lived in South Jordan) because they were moving to Michigan. I was still single, not even one single dating prospect to keep me in Provo. I had burned a bridge from a past relationship, a missionary for whom I had waited. So I had a few choices. I could stay in Provo, or just Utah, like many of my peers who were also graduating single. I could move with my family to Michigan to teach school there and live with my parents and youngest brother. Or I could find somewhere new to go entirely.

I decided that the last option sounded the most exciting. California was going through a hiring craze in 2000--they had a ratio law of 20 to 1 in the lower grades--so I got offered a job with every district that interviewed me. I took the first one that I was offered--and that is a story in itself how that all happened. I took a job teaching 2nd grade in a small town called Lake Los Angeles on the outskirts of Palmdale in the high desert of Southern California, known as the Antelope Valley.

I didn't know anything about the area. I didn't know anyone who lived there. My parents drove out with me a few months before to help me find a place to live. At first I tried to go through the LDS Institute there to find a roommate but was unsuccessful. A few of the teachers at my school recommended a certain apartment complex, where a couple of them lived, and that's where I signed on for my own little one-bedroom apartment. I even rented furniture because I had nothing.

*2nd grade class, first year teaching (2000-2001)

Then I moved to teach 2nd grade. In September 2000, I went with the Antelope Valley Singles Ward for a temple trip to the Los Angeles Temple. I had previously received my endowments in December of 1998. On that temple trip, I was introduced to my husband, but I didn't really think anything of him.

A few weeks later, a bunch of us from Institute went to the junior college football game to support someone who was a member of the Church, active in Institute, and on the team. That was the same guy I'd met on the temple trip. At that point, I was interested in someone else. And that young man, the football player that I'd met on the temple trip, wasn't even in the singles ward. He attended his home ward with his family and only took part of Institute classes as he went to the junior college across the street. He was fresh off his mission and not very far along in school. I really didn't think anything of him at all at that point.

To be continued...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hot Summers

I am missing me a hot summer right now!

I went to the park with the kids and met some friends there. We were sitting on a blanket, mostly in the shade. I haven't been able to wear shorts much this year and had them on today.

Can I just tell you that I am not used to my legs and arms being so white by the middle of June? Maybe at the beginning of March, this whiteness is normal. But by June, I'm used to being brown, brown, brown, along with all the kids. We had to slather on the sunscreen something fierce today and still got a little pink.

We also went to the splash pad. Can I just say that the water here is like splashing ice all over yourself? I like my water warm enough that it's only slightly less than the temperature of my skin, so it's not so cold that when the wind blows I turn into a popsicle. The kids were crying because the water was so cold and the wind was blowing. The temperature might read 80+ but the water and wind says it all.

Not hot enough for me.

*this picture was actually taken last summer in San Diego. I haven't uploaded the pics from today yet--complete with blue lips and goose bumps

Friday, June 11, 2010

Summer Challenge

I pulled this from another blog and decided to accept the challenge. Some people (many people actually) were posting very negative responses that doing something like this is very archaic, but I think there's nothing wrong with trying to serve your husband and make your marriage better.

Click on the button to see the challenge yourself and check out Courtney's blog!


I think I need to relearn how to pray. I mean, I know the pattern of prayer. I try to pray every morning and night. Sometimes I forget, but mostly I do it.

But I don't think I know what it is to really pray.

I think about what I'm going to pray about while I'm doing my various tasks--washing the dishes, cleaning the bathrooms, taking a shower. But when I kneel down to pray, all those thoughts leave me and I can't remember what it was that I wanted to pray about so badly. You know, like how you think out what you will say to that ex-boyfriend if you ever run into him, so you sound chic and suave and like you really have it together but then when you finally do bump into him out of the blue, all you can do is stammer a "hello" without looking him in the eye and then running off the other way? That's how it is when I pray, it's like I can't remember all the things I wanted to tell my Heavenly Father so I don't really pray. I just sort of pray.

Sometimes I wish I could have a heart-to-heart, like sitting down on a big couch and talking with Him like I would my earthly parents. I tell them something, then they respond with advice and so on and so on. Or maybe they just tell me that everything will be okay, because that's what their life experience has taught them. While all my prayers are, indeed, answered, getting a warm fuzzy feeling of comfort or following a prompting aren't the same as someone telling you to your face that it will all be okay.

I know it will all be okay. But remembering that on a day-to-day basis when things aren't going very well is hard to do sometimes.

I have to work on really praying, really communicating with God. Because right now, I don't think I do a very good job. At least I don't ever feel like I've really prayed.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Craziness of Life

I haven't been blogging as much as usual, and I apologize. Life has been quite crazy these last few weeks and I just haven't had the time to write much, or even just blog surf. So I admit, I haven't been reading your blogs either. I am way behind on my housework, I haven't practice my violin in about three weeks, and I just can't seem to catch up. So, when (and if) I do, I will start blogging again. That may be this weekend or not for another week. Sorry about that. Got to catch up!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Being a Grown-up is Boring

I go to parks with my kids all the time. Usually, I'm all alone. Being that I arrive alone, I have two choices. I can sit on the bench and watch my kids have fun. Perhaps I could bring along a book. Or I can get up and get in the game with them and actually have fun.

But when I look around, sometimes I see other moms there who also don't have a friend to chat with while their children play. I never see any of these other moms playing with their kids. I'll see them walking around to check on them, maybe pushing them on the swings, or catching them at the bottom of the slide, but I hardly ever see them climbing up with their children to slide down with them in one big long train or hang on the monkey bars with them or even swinging alongside them.

So I've decided. Being a grown-up is boring. I refuse to be boring. So I will play with my kids whenever I can. Because I don't want to be boring.

By the way...I can still do a back flip off the swing. My kids thought I was awesome.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

CBC '10

In case you non-obsessive bloggers don't know what that is, I'll tell you. It was the Casual Blogger Conference 2010.

Some anonymous lovely person donated two full conference passes for me and a friend to attend. I spent almost two full weeks trying to find someone to come with me, and I finally found someone to go.

Two weeks prior to the event, my husband's boss decided to take an impromptu vacation that lasted through the days of the conference. My husband could not get either day off. So I took a look at the schedule and decided that I would go to the Thursday and Friday night socials, and then my husband would work on Saturday night so I could attend the classes during that day.

Well, things didn't quite work out how I wanted them to.

My friend that was going to come with me decided not to come the week before the conference.

I tried going to the social on Thursday night and felt so out of place, not really knowing anyone. So I left after being there about 20 minutes.

I ended up not going to the social on Friday night. Long story of why I didn't go, but I didn't.

I only made it to two breakout sessions on Saturday: The Art of Storytelling and Finding Your Voice.

All in all, I hope that I can try to go next year, if they do it again. And hopefully next year, we won't have the same scheduling conflicts that we did last year.

I did enjoy the session I went to, although now I hardly know what my "voice" is, whereas before I thought I knew. I think I have to reinvent this entire blog, start from scratch. I don't know how much I'll be posting for a while. It may take time to morph it into something better. We'll see.


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