Saturday, February 26, 2011

Birthday recap

Sorry about my last post — I was extremely frustrated and somewhat at my wit’s end, but I’m feeling so much better. Now it’s time to give a recap of my birthday!!!

My birthday this year was a great mix of friends and family spread out over the month of February. It was a luxury to be able to celebrate with all my siblings since I don’t usually get to do so, but since I took the trip to Idaho for work, I was able to see everyone in my immediate family in only a week! That’s no small feat considering that we’re spread throughout Idaho and Utah. And since it was soon going to be my birthday, they all wanted to celebrate with me.

It started in Boise with my older sister and her family. We went out to dinner at TGI Fridays while I stayed at their house during the first part of my Idaho tripl.


My next celebration was with my two sisters and their families in Logan.I originally thought I might be able to go back last weekend, but it didn’t work out as I had intended, so it was good we did celebrate while I was there.



Even Panther wants to help me celebrate. How cute! Or he could just be interested in playing with the string. That’s possible too. Smile


The next part of my birthday celebration took place at my aunt’s house the night before my birthday. It was lovely with dinner and some White Collar. Nothing like an attractive and charismatic criminal to help celebrate my birthday. Yummy! I forgot my camera that night so, alas, I don’t have any pictures. My dear aunt and cousins do such a great job of looking after and taking care of me. Thanks to them for helping make my special day great since my own family couldn’t be here.

My actual birthday was wonderful! I took the day off work, went to the gym in the morning, had a mani/pedi of which I just realized I have no pictures. Then I went out to lunch and to Park City my my dear friend and her two darling children. Here are a couple pictures of my birthday buddies.

A is entertaining herself in the Croc outlet store in Park City. Next to her is her darling baby brother.



We got just a little carried away in Park City so I had to rush home for the party, but it turned out to be okay. It was a small gathering but still great. I have such wonderful friends in my life! I also have a wonderful family whom I love with all my heart. I talked to almost all my siblings on that day as well.

In case you’re wondering, yes part of the cake was already gone, but it’s because we’d used it for the family party the night before. My aunt offered to make another one for me, but I didn’t really see a need. A helped blow out my candles.


My awesome friends!


See, my special day was wonderful!! Thanks to everyone who helped me celebrate!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The dark place

I’ve been meaning to write a birthday recap post for the last couple of days but I just seem to have been too busy to get around to it. I would do it now except I’m just not feeling up to it. You’ll see why below. Stay tuned though because it’s definitely in the cards for this weekend!

Two days ago it was my birthday, and anyone who knows me knows how much I love it! This year’s birthday was a complete 180-degree turnaround from last year’s, a very much welcome change, believe me. I had a wonderful day, and many people did kind things for me, which I am happy to write all about in my recap post.

What I suppose I hadn’t anticipated about this time of year is that it would be tinged with sadness. We’re quickly approaching the one year anniversary of the passing of my niece. In some ways I can’t believe we’re at that point already and in other ways it feels like forever since I’ve seen her, heard her tell me that she loved me and prayed for the time when she would be released from the pain and suffering of her mortal life. I’m not sorry she’s done with that, but I am sad it means we won’t ever see her again in this life.

My heart still hurts and misses her desperately and when it feels like it’s all right, a part of me is screaming inside that it’ll never be all right again, but I’m just going to have to learn to live with it because what choice do I have? I know she wouldn’t want me to be sad, but sometimes I can’t help it. I just am.

But it’s not just the anniversary of my niece’s death that’s been making me sad and feel like I’m sliding toward the dark place again. Other factors have also figured into it. Changes in friendships that aren’t by my choice and that I have no control over also make me sad. I think I’ve mostly accepted that too, but it doesn’t mean it still doesn’t hurt me at times.

I’ve been trying so hard to make positive changes in my life and be a better person, but sometimes I feel like it’s not good enough, that no matter what I do I’ll never be good enough. Or I backslide on changes I have made, reverting to old habits that just seem to die hard. I know change comes slowly, and I just have to be patient and keep at it, but it’s hard when the dang natural man gets in the way!

And there are certain righteous desires that I want with my whole heart that just aren’t happening for me yet. I’m trying to get myself to a place that I would be ready and open to receive them, and sometimes I feel close while other times it feels as far away as ever. So I sigh loudly (and perhaps a little dramatically) and try to content myself with the many blessings I already have. And, yes, I do know that I am very blessed, and I appreciate that, but even that can’t fill the ache for what I want most.

My emotions have been all over the place in the last couple of weeks. I hoped it was just hormones so it would quickly pass, but such doesn’t seem to be the case. For crying out loud I almost started bawling my eyes out watching an episode of The Biggest Loser tonight!! Besides the contestants themselves (who do it for the cameras in many cases) who cries over a weight loss show?!

So I’m sorry this post is not such a cheery one. I’m certain I’ll be just fine and I’m strong enough to make it through this just like I have many other things. Believe me when I say having been deeply entrenched in the dark place at this time last year I have no desire to be there again. Plus, my circumstances have changed a lot since then. I’m sure I’ll be fine. Just bear with me as I make my way through this as best I can, especially since I might use my blog to help me through it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thank goodness for good Samaritans (and uncles too)

Today was my first stake conference since I moved. I meant to go to the adult session last night but felt icky so I didn’t make it. I still felt a little bit sick this morning but was determined to go in spite of that.

Of course it snowed this morning so I had to clean off my car and was a little distracted by that. I was driving and not only heard a funny noise but it felt weird too. I had a strong feeling my tire was flat, and as soon as I stopped to check, I found out I was right. Luckily I wasn’t too far from home so I carefully made my way back, but now I had a big problem. How in the world was I going to get to church?

I called a couple friends from my ward who live in the same area, but neither of them answered their phone. I was making my way slowly back to the house when I spotted my next door neighbors all dressed up in their Sunday clothes and I guessed they might be heading to the same place as I was.

Without ever having met them, I asked if I could have a ride to church, mentioning about the flat. They’re a nice couple with a young baby, and they agreed I could ride with them. Congratulations — I’ve now met my neighbors! I am very grateful though because otherwise I wouldn’t have made it to stake conference.

When I walked in I saw a girl from my ward, so I sat down next to her. We both enjoyed watching the cute kids in front of us throughout the session, and then she gave me a ride home, which I very much appreciated.

I’m blessed to have family nearby, so after I got home, I talked with my cousin about seeing if her dad could help me change my tire. He came over, and we went to work, only to discover another problem: my trunk has an inch and a half of standing water in it. Yikes! Yeah, looks like I know what I’m going to be doing tomorrow.

We had just finished putting the donut on when this guy walked around the corner. He told us he has an air compressor and the stuff to patch my tire and offered to fix it for us. Okay, that works for me. SmileHe patched the tire only to discover a second more serious problem that he couldn’t fix. Dang it! But, it’s good that I’m off work tomorrow so I can take care of this problem.

I’m just grateful for my uncle and the other good Samaritans who made a difficult situation easier for me.

Friday, February 18, 2011

I think I’m in love. . .

Some of you may be very excited about the title of this post. That could be because you’ve been waiting months or even years for me to admit this.

Well, don’t get your hopes too high because it’s probably not what you think. In fact, I’m sure it’s not. The pictures below will show you why.

Over Thanksgiving I was introduced to two of the nicest cats I’ve ever met in my life. They are so sweet and loving. They LOVE to be petted and held and they’re still technically kittens so they love to play too. The saddest part of this whole situation? Their owners don’t bother to take care of them!

So, my sister being the kind nurturing soul she is has basically adopted them. And she discovered others in her neighborhood have also fed them. When it was so cold over Thanksgiving we made them a cozy little kitty house to keep them warm during the cold snap. They slept in it all night. I know because I checked. I just couldn’t help myself.

Now every time I visit my sisters, I’m also super excited to visit Panther and Snowbell as well. If I was allowed to (and it wasn’t technically stealing) I’d adopt these cats in a heartbeat. I’m still holding out hope my parents might get to adopt them.

See for yourself why I’ve fallen in love with these sweet kitties. They LOVE, and I do mean LOVE, to be held and cuddled. How in the world could you not love those cute little faces?! And, BTW, Panther totally climbed up on my neck like that all by himself. He knows where the warm spot is.



Any kitty who will  tolerate being mauled by very loving little girls is well worth your time. Bumblebee and the Diva both love Snowbell and Panther.


I discovered last weekend while I was visiting that Panther has been well fed — and he’s starting to show it. But his fur is so long that he just lookp poufy. A good brushing would probably help him, but my sister said her husband wouldn’t be so keen on her spending any more money on these kitties, especially since they already have two dogs to take care of. Oh well!


Now do you see why I can’t resist these cats?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I'm a sucker. . . so what?

Wow! I didn't realize until now that it's been over two weeks since I wrote in here. All I can say is that it's been an incredibly busy two weeks and that's why I haven't written here. Perhaps I'll write some sort of follow up to my week long Idaho visit (the reason I haven't written for so long), but for now I have other things I'd like to write.

I started this tradition with my nieces and nephews some years ago where I make them a message with conversation hearts, attach it to a small box of chocolates and send it to them. My purpose is twofold: I want them to receive something in the mail and to give them something special for Valentine's Day. My parents used to give us conversation heart messages, and I always loved them, so I figured the kids would too.

So you'd think if I was taking a week long trip throughout Idaho and Utah where I got to see all my siblings (no small feat, mind you!) that I could save myself some shipping and take said hearts with me.

Unfortunately I was short on time and, I must confess, cash before I went so I didn't get the chance to get the hearts ready. The night before I left for Idaho I took a long look at the chocolates in Target and decided perhaps this year I was going to forgo making the Valentine hearts.

Until several of the said children asked me about the Valentine's hearts and told me how much they enjoy them, wondering when they were going to get them. . .

So that's why at 9 p.m. I'm making a mad dash to the store to purchase some boxes of chocolates to make special Valentines hearts.

* Sigh * I'm such a sucker!