Monday, December 17, 2007

christmas talk

In church today I had the opportunity to give a Christmas talk. It was supposed to be a simple memory or story. I thought some of you might like you read it, too.

Love, Mimi

Disclaimer: I may have some of the facts wrong. Now that I think about it, wasn't Boisucunga (sp?) our first Christmas there? Oh well, I'm the youngest—I can't remember those things from when I was young. :)


When I was eight years old, my family lived in Brazil. For our first snow-less Christmas, we went to Florianopolis. I somehow contracted the Brazilian measles and had to stay in the hotel room. My mother stayed with me most of the time, but one evening, the hotel was putting on a fireworks show, and she decided to go outside and join the rest of the family. My family was already seated in the front row, but when my mom joined them she had a bad feeling about sitting there, and she felt they should move. So, the family moved to the back. Later during the fireworks show, one of the fireworks misfired and landed underneath one of the chairs my family had vacated. The clothes of the person sitting there caught fire. Because my mother listened to the inspiration she had felt, my family avoided that danger.

A few Christmases later, we were still in Brazil. My mom was a regular volunteer at a nearby orphanage that was very understaffed. For Christmas, my mom took all of us to the orphanage to where the infants were. This allowed the regular workers to go home and be with their families for a few hours. We changed a lot of diapers, fed a lot of babies, but mostly my mom told us we were just there to hold them. To hug them tight and let them feel our warmth. My mom asked us to love them, and I loved those babies the best I could.

About five years later, we were now spending our Christmas in Muncie, Indiana. I am the youngest, and at that point most of my siblings were gone away from home, and there were no little kids for whom we could do all of the Christmas things. I couldn't really feel the Christmas spirit that year. It bothered me, so I thought a lot about what to do to regain that Christmas spirit that feels so wonderful. I finally had an idea and I shared it with my family. They all agreed it was a good idea and would be wonderful to do. We ended up doing a sort of Secret Santa, where each of us only purchased one gift for one other family member. So we all only got one gift, and we kept it secret who had who. It has been a lot of fun, but the real point to it is that with the money we did not spend on Christmas gifts, we were to give to a charity instead. We were to choose any place and donate the money we didn't spend on gifts. My family has done that every year since, and Jeff and I have incorporated it into our new family's traditions.

What do these stories all have in common? Yes, they all have to do with Christmas, but I also think they exemplify what the true meaning of Christmas is: Christ. The fireworks story showed the importance of following the promptings we receive from the Spirit. The orphanage story demonstrated how we need to willingly give our love and charity to others. The last story represented service and generosity.

If we listen to the promptings we receive, then we too can follow Christ this Christmas season by sharing our love, time, money, and efforts with others.

Many of you have already done this through the Service Auction. I was blessed yesterday to witness the results of your generosity and love. You brought joy into a mother's heart, as we were able to fill her cupboards and the space under tree.

I encourage all of you to continue to follow Christ and help and serve others this Christmas season. As the choir sang last Sunday, this is a time for joy, a time for peace, and a time for love.

I know that Jesus was born of Mary and God over 2,000 years ago. I know He lived to do many wonderful miracles and acts of charity. He atoned for all of our sins and died for us so that we might live again. Please take the opportunity this season to grow a little closer to Him and our Father in Heaven. Your life will be blessed.

To close this portion, I would like to share a quote by President Benson: "Without Christ there would be no Christmas, and without Christ there can be no fullness of joy. . . . And now, my beloved brothers and sisters, what must we do this Christmas season—and always? Why, we must do the same as the Wise Men of old. They sought out the Christ and found Him. And so must we. Those who are wise still seek Him today.

To finish my talk, I would like to share a story my mother-in-law included in a book she compiled for Jeffrey. It is by Richard A. Robb and is called "Two Dimes and a Nickel."

During my first Christmas as bishop, a single mother with three small children lived in our ward. This young woman had a strong testimony of the gospel and lived it to the best of her ability. She cleaned homes and did sewing to try to make ends meet, but often she could not.

Single-handedly raising three boys under the age of eight was a real challenge. These active, energetic youngsters always seemed to be in some sort of trouble. I remember extricating them from more than one tussle with their classmates.

Several good people helped this struggling family. I'll never forget the brother who came into my office one Sunday just a couple of weeks before Christmas, asking to speak with me privately. He was concerned about the young mother and her family and wanted to do something for them. Would I accept his contribution and use it in the best way i could to help them? As we spoke, I hardly noticed his small son, who remained in the office with us.

The man explained that he did not know what the woman and her family needed. He just wanted to help and felt that I would be inspired to know what to do. He then entrusted me to quite a remarkable sum of money—not remarkable in the amount, but remarkable relative to his modest means, of which I was well aware. I knew that this gift meant a sacrifice of his own family's Christmas, at least in the temporal sense.

But this wise brother knew where real rewards come from. Seeing the resolve shining in his eyes, I protested only gently. Then I cleared my tightening throat, thanked him for his unselfish gift, and promised to do my best to make Christmas a little brighter for the young mother and her sons. I also agreed to honor his request for anonymity.

The story might well end here and still be memorable. But the event that has etched this experience in my mind had yet to occur. It wasn't the way I was able to help the family with the contribution . . . but rather what took place in my office one week following that brother's visit.

It was just a few days before Christmas, and I was between tithing settlement interviews when I heard a soft knock on the office door. I opened it to see, standing quite alone, the six-year-old boy who had sat quietly in my office while his dad and I had talked the Sunday before.

He asked politely if he could talk to me for just a minute. After we walked into the office—which I presume is always a bit of a frightening experience for youngsters—I invited him to sit down. He fidgeted with something in his pocket, and after some struggle, pulled out two dimes and a nickel and laid them on my desk. He apologized that the coins were all the money he had, and that they were a little old and dirty, since he had had them for quite a while. The money, he explained, was for me to use to help his three friends, like his dad was helping their mother.

As my heart swelled and my eyes became moist, he added that he felt I would know best how to divide his treasure among his friends and that he was sorry he did not have three dimes so that each could have one.

What lessons culminated in that moment! A father's unselfish example, the trust of a small boy in his bishop, and the humble, Christlike act of a child obviously without guile. Only a few weeks before I had pulled this boy from a scuffle involving the soon-to-be recipients of his forgiving love and charity.

I hugged him, partly to camouflage my now obvious tears and mostly to tell him how much I appreciated him and how much I knew his Father in Heaven loved him. I then walked him to the door, shook his hand, and assured him that I would do the best I could to help his friends this Christmas with his generous gift. As I turned to go back into my office, he whispered after me, "And remember, Bishop, don't ever tell anyone it was me."

Well, I never have told anyone until now, my young friend. I hope relating your special story in this way is all right so that others might feel a bit of the quiet Christmas spirit of love and charity that we felt that day. [end of story]

I hope you all take the time this season and all throughout the year to spread love and charity will all those you encounter.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

haircut

so i totally got my haircut.
i know i know i know i was supposed to be waiting for it to grow out
but
come on now
can i wait for anything to happen with my hair?
so yeah it's totally boss
it's shorter than i was planning on, not too short though, however this summer i may go really short you know because it'll be like warm and stuff
so yeah i'm pretty chipper about it
:)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

It's the Good Life

Hello everyone!

As I tried to figure out what to write in the subject line, that song got stuck in my head, so that's the subject. :)

So life after graduation is indeed life. I miss being on campus, going to the library, listening to my intelligent professors, and being a part of BYU, but I definitely do not miss homework. I have enjoyed the extra time I have in the evenings now as well.

I am really enjoying my new job. I work at Heritage Web Solutions. (You can see their website at heritagewebsolutions.com or heritagewebdesign.com ) I am a staff writer and editor for them. A company will hire HWS to design them a website. If the company can write, then I will go through and edit their copytext. If they cannot write, then I will interview them, research their field, and then write the copytext for them. I should go back and check to see if any of the earlier websites I have done are online yet. That would be exciting! I really enjoy it. My cubicle next-door neighbor also graduated from BYU this year. She was an English Language major (I was an English major), and we were both editing minors. Her name is Holly Kelly, so we both married into last names that could be our first names! Also, her husband is in the facilities management program, and he (Sam) and Jeff have a class together this semester. It has been really nice to have them to talk to during the program and work socials.

All of my coworkers are really nice, and I have loved working at Heritage. The only sad part is getting my vacation denied. I had wanted to go visit my parents over Thanksgiving and go to my cousin Mikey's wedding in October in Houston. But since I am asking for two weeks in Christmas to go on a cruise with the Colletts, they denied my other requests. I guess that is a dose of the real life though.

One of my favorite things about my job is that I am never bored, because each company does such a different thing from the other. There are some repeats. I have done three websites for companies that do custom work on concrete. I am officially going to get my driveway stamped or stained when I have a house. It is so cool! I am also convinced that 3M Window Films are one of the best investments anyone can make. I am very easily persuaded by all of these commercial websites. I have also done one website for a man who is starting a new political party—the Middle Party. His sign is the buffalo. Look out for him! His main beliefs have to do with "boarder patrol," "leagle issues," "aboration," and so on. (His spelling was a highlight for me.) An exciting, but expensive sounding, website was Top Gun Flight Dog. You go with a group and are paired off with an ex-Air Force pilot. You are briefed and then put in a plane. You fly around and shoot laser bullets at the other planes playing the game. It sounds really, really cool.

In my spare time I have joined a choir. A friend of my family's, Ranelle O'Dell, is in a chorale. She invited me to join. At 22, I am the youngest soprano. The next youngest is 28, and the oldest is possibly in her sixties. It is a really talented group. It is called the Mapleton Chorale. We have four performances in December and then three or four in the Spring. I am really excited about. It meets every Thursday in Mapleton, about twenty minutes away. One of our December concerts will be on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. It is a huge tourist attraction for all over the world, so it will be a great experience to sing to so many different people. I love being in a choir again and singing again. Now I just wish that I had a house, so I could sing whenever I wanted without fear of the neighbors, whose walls connect to mine, being disturbed by my singing!

I am also in the process of becoming a hospice volunteer. I have made it through all the training. I think I will get paired off this week. I will either go to someone's house and read to them or I might end up at a nursing home where a hospice patient lives. I would be in charge of creating a book club for her and her friends there. Either one would be fun. The book club might be difficult; everyone would remember different amounts and I don't know how I would get enough copies of every book for everyone, but I would figure something out I am sure. I have wanted to help with hospice for a few years now. In one of my freshman classes, a lady came and gave a presentation about hospice. I was doing different volunteer work then and I didn't have a car, so I couldn't do it. I always remembered it though. Now I can do it, and I'm going to! I am really impressed with the service they provide. I am sure it will have its very sad moments, but I don't foresee it being depressing. That will make all the difference.

Jeff is still in school and will be until April of 2009. He is doing an internship this semester with BYU's Physical Plant. Every week he is working in a new department (heating and cooling, electric, custodial, landscaping, event control, etc.). This keeps it interesting for him and gives him a broad experience. Every day he is with a different supervisor, so he is really learning all aspects. He is also discovering that there isn't much to do for a lot of time and then when there is an emergency there is way too much to do! He has had the opportunity to clean the inside of BYU's air conditioning ducts, climb on top of the boilers and bang pipes, and test the water in all of the athlete's special pools, just to name a few of his activities. He comes home pretty dirty some days. :)

He is also taking a full class load, so he has a lot of homework. That is kind of boring for me, but I find things to do. :) He is in the habit of waking up at 6 in the morning and doing homework before school starts. By the time he gets home in the evenings, he is usually too tired of school to do school work then. Since he is waking up that early, I have been attempting to wake up early as well and go running. I've been told that being pregnant is pretty physically challenging, and any extra amount of healthiness helps. I have made it at least once every week and one week I made it four times!

Also on the athletic side, Jeff is teaching me how to play tennis. My father and countless gym teachers have tried, and I was able to impress Jeff by knowing the correct terms for the scoring system, so I got something out of it! The first go was incredibly painful, but Jeff kept telling me it shouldn't be. We figured out that it was because my hands are so small and my brother Danny's old racket that I was using was just too big for me. We almost purchased me a junior's racket (haha my softball glove is for pre-teens!), but we ended up finding a women's racket that was almost small enough. My exact grip size should be something and 1/8 and I ended up with that same something and 1/4. I love my racket though! It is the Wilson breast cancer awareness racket. It says "hope" on it, and it reminds me that if thousands of people can fight cancer, then surely I can learn to play tennis. Sometimes it is a sad reminder of people that I have loved that have been lost due to cancer, but it has only made me cry once. It is the perfect racket. I'll keep you posted if I am ever able to return one of Jeff's serves.

Jeff is on an intramural flag football team this semester. He played defense until he got to play quarterback. He has stayed as quarterback and twice now has thrown zero interceptions. :)

We are going to Las Vegas next weekend for the first time with Jeff's two brothers (Jason and Ryan) that are here at BYU now and their friend Chris from Cincinnati. BYU is playing UNLV, so we are making the trip mostly for the game and also because Jeff promised he would take me to Las Vegas someday. (I have never been there before.) There won't be a whole lot of spare time, but I hope to see a few things. (He has also promised California—also never been there—we'll see when that happens!)

We are looking at internship possibilities for over the summer. We are the most excited about Zion Ponderosa Ranch and Aspen Grove. Aspen Grove is a resort just north of us near Sundance. Zion Ponderosa is on the edge of Zion National park. Both are resorts, so we are kind of excited about that. Summer is still a ways off though, so who knows where we will end up. He's also toying with the idea of interning at the Salt Lake airport or with the Church. He isn't sure yet what kind of facilities management he is interested in. Hopefully these internships will help.

Wow, this email is really long and I'm about all done. I have heard that five of my cousins are pregnant right now, as well as my sister. I am so excited for all of them! I am not pregnant though. We would like Jeff to be a little bit closer to graduating before a blessing like that enters our lives. We do, of course, want children and are very excited for the day when we get to have some. I have (haha) named our first nine children. (We are not actually planning on having nine, but I love names!) If you are curious about those, please let me know. I would love to share!

Well, I love you all. Please let me know how you are doing if you haven't already.
Love, Mimi

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Danny and Rachel

Danny and Rachel were wed and sealed on Friday. That makes all of my siblings married in one year, four months, and three days. I am proud to say that I, the youngest, started the stone rolling. :)

As all Boling weddings have, there were a few mishaps. The wedding bands were left at my parents' house, the marriage license was left at my brother's new apartment, the groom didn't have the right tie, and he lost the driving directions to his honeymoon three times. :) Luckily, the temple stayed open late for us and the wedding started about half an hour late.

It was really great to see so many old friends. There were people there from when I lived in New York, Indiana, and Michigan. All that was missing were people from Maine, Brazil, and Utah. It was a great time. I put about eighty pictures of it onto Facebook.

I think my mom and Jeff are getting along a little better now. Jeff and my dad are definitely friends now.

I wish my parents lived closer, so the time with them wasn't always so rushed and just a count down till one of us leaves.

I am so happy that I got a job, because I thought it was going to be really hard to get a job, but this one kind of fell in my lap. I feel very blessed.

We had a Labor Day barbeque at our house. The Bellows, McGrews, and Jeff's brothers came over. It was the first time that Reed and Jeff met. I wonder if Abby and I will become friends or if Reed will really become part of my history as he wished to have happen in that sad, sad note almost two years ago now.

I am glad that I was able to go to his and Abby's reception. They are a very cute couple, and I am happy for them.

We got to go to a second Labor Day bbq. Jeff's grandma and her husband randomly showed up in Utah, so we drove up to one of his aunt and uncle's house and had a nice little impromptu family reunion.

It is so nice to have family!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

found my blog!

Wow. So I found my blog again. I got busy and forgot the password, but I have it all figured out again now. :)

So, let's see. I graduated from Brigham Young University. I have been married for over a year now. All of my siblings are almost married now too. So, as of this Friday, my parents will have had all four of their children married in one year, four months, and three days. It's gone pretty quick. :)

I am at my parents' house right now. I am uploading pictures to facebook and Jeff is sitting next to me watching the Golf Channel and ESPN and reading one of the online sports forums he's a member of.

We went to a Tigers game last night. They beat the Yankees like 16 to nothing. I was cheering for the Tigers of course, but I felt bad for the Yankees. It is sad to lose that badly.

The game was really fun though. I'm glad Jeff thought of it.

Oh yeah, and I got my first job! I applied for it last Monday. They called me on Tuesday. I interviewed on Wednesday, and they called me later that day offering me the job. I'm pretty excited about starting to work there. :) It is a big relief to have a job. Now I don't have to worry about that anymore. It was a big worry!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

nothing

So my next door neighbor started a blog this summer. It made me remember that I have a blog. I know this one is pathetic, but I had an old blog from 2004 to 2005 where I wrote more than weekly. I don't remember the password to that one though. Sad. And the website for it (spymac.com) totally changed. It's all confusing now. Maybe I'll go back and try to retrieve those entries some day. Anyway, I was inspired by my next door neighbor to write in this blog again. The only problem is that I also have a written journal and I find that I don't have it in me to write about the same things twice, so one of them misses out.
Perhaps I'll survive?

Friday, June 22, 2007

freshmen :)

During my first semester at Brigham Young University, I forgot to take a science test. Panic-stricken, I approached the professor to explain my predicament. He looked at me sternly and asked, "Were you ill?"

"No," I answered.

"Well, did you have a family emergency?" he questioned.

"No," I repeated.

He tried once more. "Are you a freshman?" I nodded. "Good enough," he said and handed me the make-up slip. [Campus Comedy, Reader's Digest, October 1992, p. 7]

Thursday, June 7, 2007

fatherhood

There are some great dads out there! (Try not to cry when you get down to the story part.)

James E. Faust, “Them That Honour Me I Will Honour,” Ensign, May 2001, 45.

Brethren, noble fatherhood gives us a glimpse of the divine attributes of our Father in Heaven. A father should be many things. He should magnify his priesthood and be an example of righteousness. In companionship with his wife, he should be the source of stability and strength for the whole family. He should be the protector and the provider and the champion of the members of his family. Much of his love for his children should flow from his example of love, concern, and fidelity for their mother. By his uncompromising example he should instill character into his children.

When Elder LeGrand Richards left to attend college, his father, George F. Richards, said to him and his brother, George F. Jr., “I would trust you two to go anywhere I would go myself.” Their hearts swelled with love and pride in his words. LeGrand later said, “They put rods of steel in our spines, and we couldn’t do anything that would disappoint him.”

A father should never consciously disappoint his wife or children. In 1989 there was a terrible earthquake in Armenia that killed over 30,000 people in four minutes. A distraught father went in frantic search of his son. He reached his son’s school only to find that it had been reduced to a pile of rubble. But he was driven by his promise to his son, “No matter what, I’ll always be there for you!” He visualized the corner where his son’s classroom would be, rushed there, and started to dig through the debris, brick by brick.

Others came on the scene—the fire chief, then the police—warning him of fires and explosions, and urging him to leave the search to the emergency crews. But he tenaciously carried on digging. Night came and went, and then, in the 38th hour of digging, he thought he heard his son’s voice. “Armand!” he called out. Then he heard, “Dad!?! It’s me, Dad! I told the other kids not to worry. I told ’em that if you were alive, you’d save me and when you saved me, they’d be saved. . . .

“There are 14 of us left out of 33. . . . When the building collapsed, it made a wedge, like a triangle, and it saved us.”

“Come on out, boy!”

“No, Dad! Let the other kids out first, ’cause I know you’ll get me! No matter what, I know you’ll be there for me!”

All family relationships should be honored including those to our kindred dead. Love, service, and help should flow between brothers and sisters and the extended family.

Monday, February 12, 2007

last week

So today. Jeff and I went to choir and church. We didn't teach Sunday School today, so we were able to go to the class where we are taught how to be better teachers. I am glad to go to that class, because I need all the help I can get. I get nervous when Jeff and I teach. :) I didn't mess up conducting the music at all, so that was kind of a miracle. Well, I did mess up once, but that was before we started singing and the pianist just played it over again, so it wasn't too major. :)

Yesterday Jeff studied all day for some tests that he has coming up. I got all of my homework done. We also did three loads of laundry at the laundromat for the first time. We usually go over to people's houses and do it there, but we deecided not to mooch this week. :) We also discovered on Saturday what was wrong with one of our fish.

We have to calico fantails (a type of goldfish). They are Cookie and Cream. Cream has been "playing dead" this week. She likes to flip over and float on the top. She would swim upside and eat upside. We thought it was a game for her, then by Saturday she was doing it more and more and we realized that it wasn't a game. She didn't have a choice. So we searched the internet and discovered that she has swim bladder disease. So, we fed her peas, fasted her from her normal food, and reduced the water in the tank to six inches. Today she can swim again and stay right side up. Isn't that weird? I'm glad she's okay. I was really worried last night.

We also watched a movie last night with our next door neighbors, Zach and Brooke Bellows. (Zach was Jeff's freshman roommate). We watched "Hearts in Atlantis." I was a little disappointed. It had Anthony Hopkins in it and was based off of a Stephen King book, so we thought it would be good. However, I didn't feel like it had much of a point. I googled it and found out that it was actually the first of five novellas from a Stephen King book, so that's why it didn't have much of a point or an ending—four fifths of the story was missing!

Friday I had class and worked. I spent a lot of time working on my portfolio. I am going to apply next week for a job with one of the Church magazines or the Church news. If I get it, then it will be a full-time, paid internship starting two weeks after I graduate. I will get to work on a magazine that has a worldwide subscription of over 100,000, so it would be a nice place to start. Wish me luck! I'll start applying for other ones after I hear back from this one if I didn't get it.
Friday night Jeff studied a lot again for his tests (he has three midterms this week). I went on campus to watch "King Lear" with one of my lit classes. I walked out after about Act III though. I already read the play for class, and I found the tragedy a little too tragic for me to watch it again. Luckily I got to read "A Winter's Tale" (another Shakespeare play) the same week, so I did have a happy ending to counteract "King Lear." Also on Friday night Jeff and I ate dinner at Maria (Haynie) and Shane Oka's house. They got married the same day as Amy and Devin. She was one of my best friends from Brazil. It was really fun to see them.

Thursday I worked and volunteered. I am volunteering this semester for a nice lady named Jenny. She is in a wheelchair, and has very little use of her hands and has trouble speaking and focusing her eyes. I take notes for her in her Social Work Law class. So I get to hear cases that have some relation to social work policy. It is a graduate level class, and is really interesting. Sometimes it is kind of a downer though, because for things to have gone to court, they usually have gone quite badly. Jeffrey had an intramural basketball game on Thursday night. I got to go and keep score. Jeffrey's team had sixteen fouls, and the other team only had two. I think the refs were a little biased. Jeffrey's team lost, but they would have won if they had not allowed the other team so many free throws. Oh well.

On Wednesday I did a short presentation in one of my classes on John Donne. I apparently did well, my professor thought so at least. Jeff had to watch "The Mission" for his history class, so we watched that that evening. I had seen parts of it twice in two of my Portuguese classes, but never the whole thing. It was also sad. The Jesuits and the Indians ultimately lost to the Portuguese and Spanish slavers/colonizers.

Wow, I promise my week wasn't really as depressing as I am making it sound!

Tuesday... worked and volunteered.

Oh yes, I have trouble figuring out what to cook and then figuring out how to cook it. I should have paid more attention to my mother before it was too late. So, on Wednesday I was absolutely out of ideas. I decided to call my mom to see what she was making for dinner. She didn't answer her phone so I called my mother-in-law Laurie. Her boys had had a snow day, so they shoveled an elderly lady's yard and then had pizza. So, Jeff and I got to have pizza! (My mom later called me back and they had left overs and beets, so I am glad I talked to Laurie. Haha!) :)

Monday, I had work and school again. My life is rather monotonous isn't it? I can't remember what else we did.

I do remember that the weekend before that was great, because we had been invited for dinner at different people's houses on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night. I just had to make a salad and dessert. It was pretty wonderful.

This is getting really long, so I guess this should be the end. If you want to hear a funny story about destroying a meal, let me know. :) I've ruined plenty with my cooking. :)

Oh yes, another thing, outside of my school reading, I was able to read a book called "Life of Pi" by Yann Martel (I think). I really liked it. it is about a boy and a tiger on a life boat. It is really inspiring. I recommend it. I do not recommend the other book I am reading right now (or any of them). I am sick of "Paradise Lost" and Amelia Lanyer. Although, I am sure I will like them much more when I get to class tomorrow and my professor opens my eyes to all of the wonderful things I missed. I did however, enjoy the Langston Hughes and Robert Frost poems I am reading for a different class.

That's pretty much my life right now.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

byu beat air force

I just came home from an incredibly exciting game!
BYU ranked Air Force (who is ranked 13th in the nation and 1st in our conference)
i have never seen so many people at a BYU game. they said we had the most people since march 2004.
and i got to eat dippin' dots. i love those. they're amazing.
i would waste all of my money on those frozen melting drops of goodness and delight

Sunday, January 21, 2007

dad's progress

People have been asking about how my dad is doing. Here it is in his own words. :)


The absolute coolest thing happened on Thursday this week. I was eating something (besides a raw vegetable) and it tasted good. Man oh man, that was the beginning. I am so happy to report that a number of foods are really starting to kick back in again. Yes!!! Seriously, a week and a half ago I opened a root beer and took a sip, closed it up, tried a few days later and so. Well that soda hadn't lowered more than a hair but let me tell ya, last night I polished off the whole bottle. I'm talking a 12 ounce here, might have even been 16. Anyway it is pretty fun to start liking a number of things again.

I went into see my radiologist on Wednesday and she is pleased with how I'm doing, I guess in about 5% of cases there can be complications with the skin or inside of the mouth, but I seem to have escaped this. On Friday I was down at the UofM for my follow-up and he was also pleased. I will go back in two months for my first post-op MRI and those will become an annual event. He indicated that he would want to see me on a three month basis for physical exams. Things I was told: most recurrent cancer is found by the patient, so I'm supposed to start poking my face every day. He knew that my inclination was not to touch it because it's sensitive (still hurts a bit) and it feels messed up as in scar tissue... Anyway I'm supposed to teach my fingers what the new side of my face feels like as this will help me notice if something does start to change. If recurrence happens, it will be expected on the nerve, that's what acynic cell likes and that is where the scrapping occured. This means that one day I might start feeling stuff which I'm to ignore if it's just a twinge or if it only lasts a couple days but if it continues for over two weeks I'm to call. The left side of my tongue will likely always have a bit of a metallic taste to it. He told me that I would have dramatic improvement in taste, boy was he a prophet there. Think about it, everything tastes gross and suddenly it tastes awesome again. Man.

Many women complain of morning sickness and how awful this time is, I find it interesting thought that months later when there eating and everything tastes great again that there not more excited about this, must be because there all caught up with how cool new borns are that they don't think about how great food tastes again.

Anyway, things are great with the doctors. Oh did I mention weight. On a real scale like at the doctors office I'm at 189, this is compared to the 204 at the doctors office when I started my treatments. So, officially down 14 pounds. This is of course fully dressed so adjust for clothes we're talking about 185, in my prime at Purdue I was just under 170, so we are in striking range of real fit here, now if I could just get my butt (Vic reports that my butt sags, no one wants to hear this I know, I think it may just be psychological manipulation to get me working more and off the couch) out running we could really be bragging.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

So... I just wanted to sign in so I could write a comment on my brother's blog and now all of a sudden, I have my own.
So I don't really have much to say.

I had a soccer game today. I played well. We tied 3-3. We could have avoided that if we had left our goalie in goal instead of putting the person who scored our first goal and had an assist for our second in the goal. Oh well, things like that happen when you have no coach.

There might be some drama. We were supposed to have a team through our ward (church congregation), but there are a limited amount of teams allowed so my team is on the waiting list. One of my co-workers had a team and invited my husband and to join hers. So we did. Now a bunch of people from my church want to join my other team, and I'm not sure how to diplomatically choose who to bring over.

Oh well.
It will probably all work out and I'm stressing over nothing! :)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

because she is a mother

Jeffrey R. Holland, “Because She Is a Mother,” Ensign, May 1997, 35
There are some lines attributed to Victor Hugo which read:

“She broke the bread into two fragments and gave them to her children, who ate with eagerness. ‘She hath kept none for herself,’ grumbled the sergeant.

“ ‘Because she is not hungry,’ said a soldier.

“ ‘No,’ said the sergeant, ‘because she is a mother.’ ”

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Trust Jesus

(Jeffrey R. Holland, “Look to God and Live,” Ensign, Nov. 1993)

Katie Lewis is my neighbor. Her father, Randy, is my bishop; her mother, Melanie, is a saint. And her older brother, Jimmie, is battling leukemia.

Sister Lewis recently recounted for me the unspeakable fear and grief that came to their family when Jimmie’s illness was diagnosed. She spoke of the tears and the waves of sorrow that any mother would experience with a prognosis as grim as Jimmie’s was. But like the faithful Latter-day Saints they are, the Lewises turned to God with urgency and with faith and with hope. They fasted and prayed, prayed and fasted. And they went again and again to the temple.

One day Sister Lewis came home from a temple session weary and worried, feeling the impact of so many days—and nights—of fear being held at bay only by monumental faith.

As she entered her home, four-year-old Katie ran up to her with love in her eyes and a crumpled sheaf of papers in her hand. Holding the papers out to her mother, she said enthusiastically, “Mommy, do you know what these are?”

Sister Lewis said frankly her first impulse was to deflect Katie’s zeal and say she didn’t feel like playing just then. But she thought of her children—all her children—and the possible regret of missed opportunities and little lives that pass too swiftly. So she smiled through her sorrow and said, “No, Katie. I don’t know what they are. Please tell me.”

“They are the scriptures,” Katie beamed back, “and do you know what they say?”

Sister Lewis stopped smiling, gazed deeply at this little child, knelt down to her level, and said, “Tell me, Katie. What do the scriptures say?”

“They say, ‘Trust Jesus.’ ” And then she was gone.

Sister Lewis said that as she stood back up, holding a fistful of her four-year-old’s scribbling, she felt near-tangible arms of peace encircle her weary soul and a divine stillness calm her troubled heart.

Katie Lewis, “angel and minister of grace,” I’m with you. In a world of some discouragement, sorrow, and overmuch sin, in times when fear and despair seem to prevail, when humanity is feverish with no worldly physicians in sight, I too say, “Trust Jesus.” Let him still the tempest and ride upon the storm. Believe that he can lift mankind from its bed of affliction, in time and in eternity.