Thursday, December 8, 2011

Day 238

There are a closet full of presents for the children.  Each one wrapped and labeled and brought over by angels who which to remain anonymous.  I mean four garbage bags full of presents.  There is also a Christmas tree in my front room that was dropped off on our porch.  A check in the mail, a Thanksgiving feast.  All I know to do is say is Thank You.  I have an idea where some of it may have came from, but the thing about giving anonymously is that it's usually in poor form to rush up to someone and shout, "I know its you!!"  So, I thank God for you.  I bless you in your life and I will try to live my life and serve wherever I can (though not monetarily right now) in some sort of pay it forward.  I guess I am lucky.  I know how to give and I am learning (it's hard sometimes) how to receive.

C won his geography bee at school.  I don't mean his class, I don't mean his grade.  I mean that he is the top student of his entire school.  He beat out 8th graders, 7th, 6th, 5th and 4th.  He was the last man standing and has two gold medals to add to his ever growing collection.  He takes a test now to qualify for the state finals.  Do you remember last year?  He was out in the first round.  His only goal this year was to not be the first one out.  He kept going...and going...and going...and going.  It was a tender mercy for our family.  So stressful, so huddled together, and this?  We are joyful at his exuberance.  I always wondered if he would ultimately be school champion, but I had no idea it would be in his fifth grade year.  

Have I been writing?  Why yes, yes I have.  I received my first paycheck as a copywriter for concepts I helped with for a major company.  I will not name them here on this blog, but I admit I cried with happiness as I received the check.  I LOVE coming up with concepts and to have gotten paid for it is beyond comprehension.  I can do the creative thing.  The portfolio thing and the marketing thing, I am in way over my head.  But I CAN do the creative thing.  I hope and pray to have other opportunities to do this very thing.  Writing lights me up.  Being creative lights me up.  Marrying the two together?  Magic.

Last but not least.  Little C called my friend M who had promised to come to our house to watch her sing and dance the "Angle Song."  M came right over and sat for over 1/2 an hr. watching my daughter sing and dance her heart out.   Little C threw her arms around her neck and told her they need to hang out again.  There have been very few times I have ever seen my daughter that happy.  Isn't the Lord great?  These moments of joy eclipse any heartache. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 237

It's cold down where we have our computer now.  T's office is in the basement just until he finds a job and I shiver as I write this.  I received an ultimatum from my work yesterday:  40 hours a week or no job.  To the world it makes no sense.  T doesn't have a job.  I have an opportunity for full time and I'm not going to take it because I'm not going to leave my kids.  So, no more unlimited free classes or discounted PT stuff.  I know it will be ok.  I am telling myself that another opportunity will open or a way to keep healing will present itself. 

I still work for the doctor.  Maybe I could get more hours with her to now pay for all the PT I still need.  It was a blow.  I felt like I was fired.  Maybe I was.  I've never been fired before.  Maybe this is so I will know how T feels.  Today I just huddled on the couch.  I made like 17 hair bows for little C.  I put on movies and gathered myself together.  Tomorrow I will do what needs to be done and the next day, but nothing is in my control anymore.   Except my will.  See, now I write this and intellectually agree, and yet my body is in knots.  I can feel my shoulders hunch like they do when I am stressed.  I'm having trouble sleeping.  It's funny.  I feel so blessed and I feel the storm all at the same time.  I guess it's just like Paul says:  I know how to abound and how to be abased.  I know how to be filled and to suffer need all at the same time.  Trust me when I tell you, that this scripture has taken on new meaning for me.  No matter the blessings, no matter the opportunities to see miracle, the trial must be there to continue the growth.  There is no joy without adversity.  Always when I wish this would end, I think and then what?  Can I finally be happy when T gets a job?  When I publish something?  When my son has no problems?  What then?  When there is nothing to strive for, what then?  It cannot be.  There must be opposition in all things.  Ouch, though.  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 236

I was so grateful for that extra hour of sleep last night.  I am always amazed how there are enough hours in the day.  I have had people's names come into my mind.  Today I just went to see only two.  In the past, I felt like I sometimes have to have something in hand to knock on someone's door.  I don't know exactly what to say and maybe its just about listening.  I know the words will come.  It is a humbling experience.  I find I can't not go.  I know who to see next and then after that.  I also know I have to pace myself.  I was gone three hours today after church and I still have so many others I need to see, but I don't have to go all at once. 

Work is going well at both places, but I am not a receptionist.  It's not my strong suit and I've felt frustrated with myself at little mistakes.  Some people have asked me how I deal with working for the Dr. I work for at my second job.  She is a well known and respected (rightfully so) psychologist.  She is also a hoarder.  It has been an eyeopening experience for me to see how inanimate objects if left unchecked can suck the energy out of the human soul.  I tell people that she needs me.  I don't know if she needs me, but she says she feels calm when I am there and that she seems to feel more clear headed.  She has confided in me that she knows how to understand the complexities of the human brain in her patients and make some life altering decisions, yet she is at a loss dealing with the tiny tasks such as how to deal with the things that have literally eclipsed her life with their trite tentacles.  She cannot throw things away.  She cannot let them go.  They have a choke hold on her, they fill the voids that she doesn't know what to fill with.  I have decided that I will be there for her until she passes away or I do.  It's not about the great money.  Maybe it was at first.  But now there is an opportunity for hearts to communicate without even saying a word.  It's less about what to let go of and more about how to fill up with light, peace, love.  

I know I write infrequently and when I do, I seem to be airing out my testimony, but its where I'm at.  How can I not shout from the rooftops the love I have for my Savior, the mercy He has on me, and how he sustains me and my loved ones for yet another day?  

Monday, October 31, 2011

Day 235

I have to document this Halloween so I always remember how unique it was and probably how it kicked off new territory for me.  For the second year in a row, C was out the door early with a group of buddies he trick or treats with.  One of the kids dad is a rock star, no not literally, but he is in my book because he takes the boys all over the place.  I had to put some snacks in a baggie for C to take with him because dinner wasn't even ready.  It was snap take a picture and out the door.  Little C was asked to go trick or treating by her best friend who happens to have just turned 11.  The plan was for our friends to come enjoy dinner this year ( a favorite-chili in a pumpkin) and then head out the door with little C and her friend.  Lo and behold, the little girl comes with her mom and her mom wants to go with them.  T and I kick back and enjoy dinner with some great company and kids happily off trick or treating.  For a while, my parents came over and handed out candy so that took care of that job.  Our friends don't have children so we enjoyed a leisurely evening.  Either we are the laziest parents ever or we have discovered a new fabulous way to celebrate this holiday.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 234

I am composing, compiling the Relief Society newsletter.  That is the extent of my writing the last little while.  I feel it, but there are things being written in my heart that don't necessarily translate to the page, at least not yet.  I fell on my roller-blades the other day, right onto my back.  I was so upset with myself.  I didn't want to go backwards and it wasn't the pain that got to me, it was the imperfection.  There are too many other things that I just can't seem to do well, at least not by myself.  There is nothing like humility to put things into perspective. 
By myself, I am all thumbs.  I realize through all of the experiences of these last few months, that I know nothing.  And because I know that I know nothing, it makes anticipation (which has always been an anchor for me,) obsolete.  That is not to say that I am without hope, but I am less sure about what I hope for.  That is not steady ground for me to be on.
Do I hope that T gets a job, any job or do I hope he just gets the right job no matter the length of time?  Do I hope that through the tiny daily mundane tasks that there is steel forming within me or do I yearn to see some impact that what I am doing matters?  That last one doesn't seem right, but I watch sometimes as others just do it better, neater and I wonder at my weakness.
I want to do more, be more, but I am impatient with myself for needing to rest.  I know the Lord doesn't expect me to run faster than I have strength, but sometimes I want to just sleep and I don't want that to be an excuse to not get the things done that I need to.  There are still things that frighten me, that I don't want to take too close of a look at, but I know that I need to.  So, I push them aside and focus on other things.
I played my parents' grand piano for half an hour this weekend.  My fingers ground the keys with all the energy I had.  My arms didn't hurt.  My arms didn't hurt.  I played a duet with my brother, every hymn I could think of, music I've written, it all fell out of me.  It's still in there.  Do you know what a big part of my life that is?  Don't I talk about it?  Yah, I know.  It's because it's been a good decade since playing has been possible.  I mean really playing.  This healing stuff, I tell you.  It is so complicated.  I know I need to give voice to it.  My spirit yearns to split open, to carry this  body high upon a mountain.  This imperfect body, that shakes uncontrollably when the spirit is just too strong for its natural man-ness.  The two parts have to join somewhere, to come to some sort of an understanding.  I think they did when I played that piano.
Have I told you that healing can be scary?  I would love to tell you that I have perfect faith.  With each new step, more is required.  Excuses are gone.  Old hangups go out the window.  I know He lifts us and blesses us, but I admit, I have fear sometimes.  I think because of that, I am sometimes even afraid to receive inspiration for my own life.  The last vestiges of my comfort zone I cling to like a life line and I know I need to jump out into the abyss.  I know it.  And I shun the fears that still take hold of me sometimes, but they doggedly follow me.  I know that my healing depends on continued and even increased faith.  I don't want to let Him down, I don't want to let myself down.  I know He loves me and will bless me.  I know we can only go as far and fast as we are able, but sometimes I know that I can do more, that I can at least listen more, be more willing to ask.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Day 233

A lot of disappointment lately.  It has been pretty tough and to be honest, I have felt alone.

I had a heart to heart with the temple matron today and told her about an idea that a friend of mine had about installing a doorbell at the front doors of the temple with a sign that says, "Please ring if you need assistance with the door."  She thought it was the best idea she has heard about the problem and said she would talk to the temple pres. asap.   I felt as if in a small way we had made a difference, an impact that could help someone.  I guess that's all I want, to make a small difference somewhere and for my life to leave behind a ripple.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Day 232

Howdy.  I'm here.  Working hard.  I did a chart audit today and that was pretty cool.  I was essentially by myself at the front desk for six hours.  It wasn't the prettiest picture, but the job got done and I felt nice and proud of myself.  I spent time going through the channels until I got to the recorder's office at the temple.  They needed my interview in person as to why I feel there should be handicapped options for a temple entrance.  Cool.

It will be at least a year until that happens.  C'est la vie.  At least I tried and took one for the "I'm gimpy, but don't look it" crowd.  It is always so embarrassing to knock and wave at cute little senior citizens who don't look like they can open heavy doors either and then try to explain why I, by all accounts healthy looking fire woman, need them to strain their backs for me.

T's in the running for three jobs.  I told him when this is over he is taking me away...indefinitely.  Ok, so maybe for like more than one day, if we're lucky, I think.

In other news, C has the opportunity to start violin for free from an amazing teacher.  He has never taught before, but plays beautifully and has a violin for C to use.  C wasn't sure the violin would be his thing, but for free lessons I asked him to try it out.  He won't start for three weeks because he has scouts twice a week and soccer twice a week and I think that's too much.  His piano teacher is traveling for a little while so this seemed like an opportune time once soccer season is over. 

I was going to try and do one of those cleanses everyone talks about, but then I realize I like pasta way too much.  If liking pasta means I need to keep this belly, it may be here to stay.  N, my trainer is trying to prepare me so that I will be ready to certify to teach mat classes by next fall.  She says I need to be in shape.  I train three times a week and I'm not in shape.  I'm trying to bike with T and want to start running with L, and ya'll know my anti sweet and cheese thing.  I can't give up pasta and bread though and go to a 80/20 veggie thing, can I? 

T says no way and my body says....CARBS and so here I am.  I need to be in shape in a year so that people won't look at me and say why should I take class from you, Frumpy McFrumperston?

I've missed it here.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 231

There has been a flood at C's school so he has been out of school since Wed. morning when we all raced to pick the students up.  We just got an email that says estimated start date will be next Wednesday.  I feel so bad for the school, but C is loving having some unexpected time off.

T has had a couple of amazing interviews, so we both feel like its just a matter of time.  There have been so many blessings we have received while he has been home this long summer.  I have picked up a couple of extra hours at one of my jobs on Saturday so that will help too.  We will be moving into a different building at the PT office in October so there is much to do.

And I sent off the first rough draft of the novel to my own hubby and members of my writing group to check out.  It was pretty hard for me.  I think it's important that I work on something else now, so as not to lose momentum.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Day 230

I have been pensive the last two days.  Yesterday I had some amazing experiences in visiting with certain women in my ward as I went out with little C in the stroller.  I try to take walks with her and be out so I can go and visit where I feel I need to and also because it always forces me out of my very strong comfort zone.  I challenge myself out of my comfort zone when I can and trust me, it doesn't come naturally.  Naturally, I would be hibernating. 

Anyway, another thing I did yesterday was defend my child.  After defending my child by telling the other child to stop kicking said child and telling the child that if it continued I would need to call the parents, I received a profanity laced phone message from a man who doesn't know me who is the father of this other child.  Luckily, I didn't listen to it, but T did and he answered appropriately.  It left me reeling.   He never asked what his child did, or try to understand the truth of what happened.  He just screamed.  I admit I was worried about repercussions for my own child over this, but I cannot shrink or I could not have allowed what was going on to continue without intervening. 

I was left praying for this other family for hearts to be softened, as threats were made against me and yes, even my child by this man.   T assured the man with all of his Italian sensibilities, that that would not be wise on this man's part, but seriously, I have never witnessed anything like this man's reaction.  I will tell you what, I now understand a little more about his children's actions based on his reaction to them.  Yikes.  I have a lot more to say about this, but I will leave it at this and continue to pray over the matter.

I will send out my novel tomorrow night to interested parties.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Day 229

56,140 words.  I am working on one more scene and then I will be done with this first draft.  On Thursday I will be sending this novel out to some friends and have them read it for me if they are willing.  I am proud of myself for finishing this.  I pulled out Curly and read it again.  I think I will be ready to take a look at that story again once I've finished this.  It feels so good to be writing.  It feels even better to have finished a goal I set.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Day 228

I'm almost done.  I wanted to do Pilates tonight, but was a good little girl and wrote.  I am bound and determined to send this out for reading on the 15th and so I'm trying to work sometimes in the wee hours of the night (which is after 10 for this old lady) so it will be somewhat ready.
I hate this part of it.  I'm so scared that it won't be good and I need to know if it isn't any good, but that will be hard to hear. 
A lady I know said she had heard that I was a good writer and I asked her if she had ever read anything I've written.  "No," she said, "but I believe what I've heard."   She then looked at me searchingly, and asked, "Do you believe it?"

And it is in that question, where the whole point lies, for every writer's heart.  Do I believe I am a good writer?  Do all of us who labor to tell a story, bear our souls, believe that we have something of value, worth sharing, worth leaving our mark for?  And I finish this novel, not even because I think it's the best thing I've ever written, but because I grow as I write it and there's value in that journey. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Day 227

I watched videos today of little C as a baby.  I didn't even recognize her.  After a trying evening attempting to get her down to bed, those baby days are foreign to me.  T and I looked at each other and wondered where that baby had gone.  Now there is a willful mini teenager, otherwise known as toddler, up there screaming for her father.

You aren't going to believe this, but as I am writing this, T just came down the stairs after having gone in her room.  He told me that when he got up there, little C was sitting up in her bed and said, "Daddy, I just called you up to so I could tell you I'm sorry."  Then she laid down in her bed.

I will eat crow right now.  She is an articulate, intelligent, dramatic, and sensitive soul.  Wow, how humbling to me.

I didn't write today, but had literary leanings with J as we discussed motivations for our characters.  I love laughing with you J, and I love that we did this...again.  Thanks for being the GENEROUS friend that you are!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Day 226

Worked more on the novel tonight.  I don't know how to finish this.  I wish I was Zusak.  I want my prose to sound like poetry.  I want every word to drip with meaning and not only am I not exactly clear on my character's motivations, I am less than clear on my own.   With my ghost story, the voice was very clear.  With this novel, I struggle with making each character's voice unique.  I feel as though I am getting better with dialogue, something I've always struggled with.  I still need to get to So. Cal. and walk in these places.  I think it would help, but it isn't essential.  My main character is weak and I don't love her.  The psychopath boyfriend is fascinating to me.  The mother is strong and over the top and missing chunks.  I have mentioned before that she is the key to this story, but I'm still struggling with her character. 

Watched Soul Surfer with the kids.  They loved it.  It was a great movie with a great message based on a true story.  I highly recommend it. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 225

So I've had this thing that probably everybody is experiencing.  I've been dizzy for days, but am functioning and walking around.  Is it walking flu?  It comes with a hefty sized headache, but mostly the slightest thing makes me dizzy.  Oh, like reading, writing, driving, walking, breathing.  The other day I almost fainted as I stood in someone's living room and coming home from the canyon with some girlfriend's, I thought I was going to have to stick my head out the window.  And yet, everybody around me is fine.  Weird.  T thinks my body is just rebelling from running around too fast.  He gave me a blessing last night since Thursday's are my 12 hr. days and I was able to function, but tonight as I sit and write, the room is spinning.  Who knows? 

Congrats, J.  You're a star. 
Happy Birthday tomorrow, K.   I'll call you.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 224

I read through all 178 pages of my novel.  I wrote a new scene and cleaned some things up.  I know my weak spots and where I need to focus.  I worked for about four hours this evening on it.  I set a goal with my writing group friends to be done by Sept. 15th and while part of me thinks that was a crazy thing to do, the other part knows I need my feet held to the fire.  I am so close.  I just need to finish it and send it out to others to read it and help me with it.

I'm pretty tired, but writing all this time felt good tonight.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 223

aghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  I don't feel good.  I almost fainted today and I can't figure out if I'm coming down with something or if I'm just stressed.  I think it's the latter.  I honestly think I'm a wimp now that T's gone all night every night.  I am so worried about him and before I could just focus on all the stuff I had to do and just trust that he would be alright.  Now I worry that he is up all night and not sleeping much or well during the day and its throwing everything all off.  Where did the summer go?  Where were all the fun little idylic field trips I was supposed to take the kids on?  I don't understand.  I hate not knowing.  I hate limbo.  I am in a life 'waiting room' on the one hand and charging full steam ahead on the other hand.  Can I tell you how many times this week my 10 year old has babysat during late hours of the night?  Every night this week, T leaves before I get home.  I find my boy's bedroom light on reading his nightly vigil away.  He doesn't complain and is a champ.  He is perfectly capable of doing it, but my heart is always home praying that my babies are okay. 

Where is the calm, zen fire woman?  She has left the building and listening to Angels and Airwaves full blast as I write this.  Now is the time for me to work on my novel.  Today little C told me there were kidnappers in the green belt.  What the?  Then C asks me why people would kidnap children and if they just want the ransoms.  I just hugged him and told him that maybe sometimes that happens, but that people just aren't very nice sometimes.  I just left it at that.  I want to always just leave it at that.  They are getting older and I'm not ready. 

I've gotten to the point where if people ask me what they can do, I just tell them.  My darling sis'n'law asked what her and my brother can do and without even having to think I told her.  I want to get away.  My 15 year anniversary came and went without not only fanfare, I don't think even a piccalo played.  I want to go away for a couple of days and remember T and I innocent, in a world where kidnappers only care about ransoms. 

Where is T?  Where is he under all of it?  How is he really doing?  I don't know.  I do know he feels like everyone and their dog thinks he's a loser.  How do I help him with that?  I can tell him it's all ok, but he can tell if I'm not completely feeling it. I tell you without the Lord I would be in the fetal position.  Because I sure as heck (I'm being a good girl here) can't make it all ok for him, C and little C.  I know my love and support are vital, but sometimes it just doesn't seem like it's enough.

Mostly I'm just disappointed in myself that I can't do it all.  I worry that I'm not a good enough wife, mother, friend, counselor, human being.  Talk about providing self esteem.  Don't worry.  I've got it.  I just want to be more, rise above, be better, learn and apply. and I know I'm taking baby steps, but sometimes it's hard until I've looked behind me.  T is a stud.  No one even uses that word any more, but the fact that he hasn't hung his head and run across the border floats my boat.   Anyone else looking forward to when "George" moves on and I come back to my senses?  Peace. Out.

PS-    K, you amaze me.  I know I have no reason to complain in lieu of your trials right now.  I love you and your faith is inspirational to me.  Hugs and prayers to you and N.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Day 222

When I was growing up, my mom used to call our monthly friend, "George."  That was until a new family moved in next door and the man's name was actually George.  And she would curse "George" up and down so that had to stop.  I think it then became "Pete," but I digress.   "George" is currently with me and I have been weeping or weepy all day.  Thanks C for listening to me snivel and bemoan my hormonally skewered fate. 

T didn't get the job we thought he was getting.  He is now at a temp job and will be there until five am tomorrow morning.  I hate that.  I just do.  I'm not going to put a bow on it and wrap it up for granny.  I just hate not having him here with me overnight.  We've done this before.  Now we are doing it again.  I know, I know, that's life.  I miss him.  I miss knowing him when we aren't tense and stressed in the quagmire of little details and sometimes big ones too.  I want a sunset beach.  I want a breath with him.  We went to the temple last week and were chosen as the witness couple.  I thought that was pretty apropos because while we always go separately, we seldom go together.   It was like a little gift, a little hurrah that we were together at the right place and that it mattered.

It's so hard.  I'm sorry, I don't mean to complain.  I can't explain how we are surviving financially, but I tell you after all this time, things are just working out.  I guess my period and unemployment just aren't on speaking terms right now, because the two of them are a cocktail for emotion spillage for me.  How do you like that image?  I went to see The Help with my sister.  She is actually my brother's wife, but she is my sister.  I adore her.  Run, don't walk and see this movie.  I went through a packet of Kleenex.  Oh my gosh.  Allison Janney?  She kills me.  I was so impressed with everything really.   I would finally breathe and then someone else's performance had me again.  This was a risk for Bryce Dallas.  I love her and I don't.  She was Hilly, bless her little heart.  And Mo Mabley?  Squish your precious little girls.  Ok, maybe don't go see it when "George" comes to visit you. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Day 221

Does anyone feel like they don't see me anymore?  I'm sorry about that.  I can't tell you how many people tell me I look tired which is never a good thing.  I am tired.  Those new minerals I'm taking make it so that I don't crash during the day which gives me more stamina to get things done, but it also makes me wonder if I truly am getting enough rest.  I still think I am being I am being lifted and carried.  I gave my two weeks notice for the filing job.  There's just no way.  I left at 7 am last Thursday, worked at the new job until 3:30, trained until 4:30, went straight to the doctor job until 8 and then ran to file until 10:30 pm.  Certifiable, that's what it is.  And that's my temple night which is the most important thing anyway.  I went on Wednesday instead and it just wasn't quite the same.  There is NO WAY I could have done this even a few months ago.  Luckily, the filing job will end Tuesday and that will free up three hours. 

It isn't a bad thing for me to get a taste of what T experienced.  I come home and he has dinner made and things straightened up.  Sometimes he doesn't get to it and that can be overwhelming.  But I will be stuck in traffic and call him to start dinner preparation.  Today I had RS visits for two and half hours and he had my zucchini soup ready when I got home.  It's just been good for me and maybe for him too?  I can't speak for him, but I've been proud of him for keeping his spirits up.  I know it must be hell in a lot of ways.  I think he's enjoyed being with the kids.  It's been fun, surreal, scary, peaceful, everything, having all of us home all this summer.  He lost his job just as C was ending his last school year.  And now C will begin again next Monday.  Full circle.

C met his teacher Friday.  He already knows her because she was his reading teacher in second grade and she remembers him really well for getting some of the highest reading scores at the school.  He seemed happy that she will be his teacher and I PRAY that this year will be better.  Seriously.  You may find me on my knees all day every day praying for this.  Fifth grade.  He will do great.  I'm just putting it out there.  He will do great.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day 219

The shop smells like cat.  It makes sense since a cat is the first thing I see, curled up like a vintage stole on a tattered cushion.  The proprietor of the shop is all I could have hoped for and I am immediately on my best behavior.  He is twitchy and intense and a social understudy.  He acknowledges our presence by almost imperceptibly lifting his eyes above his thick black frames.  His spirit licks the walls covered with Sinatra, Elvis, Judy album covers.  The collection of Derby hats belies a collection since childhood and the men's section is what adorns our attention as soon as we enter.

T grabs a Fedora and the felt spoons his ears.  I shake my head and leave him to his own fate.  I enter into another room and gasp.  I admit it.  Dresses arrayed by era, feathers, sequins, mothballs, it's all here.  The fabric is heavy and though I don't see the owner his angry eyes seem to be reflected like a disco ball in the center of the space.  I want to pick garments up to try them on, but almost reverently I just need to pay homage to my surroundings.  Orange is on full display and I am attracted to it as it leads me near with peachy pheromones. 

I stop at the woman's hats.  Oh, collapsed lungs.  The netting, the flowers, the bead work.  I cannot fail to miss the well placed sign with it's not so tongue in cheek mantra:  DON'T PLAY IN THE DAMN HATS.    Duly noted.  I am obsessed with excavating good feeling among people who frighten me.  I see the man stalking the racks subtly following my trail.  I say, "Excuse me, but I am looking for a dress from the forties and I am not exactly sure what I'm looking for."  He looks annoyed and tells me he will help me later and we both know that now he will stop following me, though I would have rather he answered my question. 

There is a $5 rack.  An orange brocade suit nudges my will power, but really when will I wear orange brocade?  It is heavy on the hanger, heavy on my frame I'm sure.  A navy polka dot ensemble has me at hello and I find that I am now ready to bear fabric in my arms.  Hat sign be damned, I try some on.  Do I have a large head?  Were heads smaller then, were bodies?  I feel like a modern Attila the Hun as silk flowers perch ridiculously on my always considered normal sized noggin.  I need gloves, don't I?  I need a light blue taffeta prom dress, right?  I am on a mission now.  I need a lime green pea coat.  I need a cameo, scarves with Asian flare,  a cream blouse with more ruffles than Bobo the clown.

And now I need to try them on.  The man points toward three rickety looking dressing rooms.  There is not only no lock on mine, there is no latch.  Is this his idea of a security camera?  Ooohhh...I don't want to get on his bad side and I talk myself into the fact that T is looking at suspenders nearby and then I can't stop touching the lilac velvet chair inside the tiny room emanating a royal vintage vibe and I undress.  The fabric is well made and sometimes musty.   There are more buttons than I feel like messing with.  The ruffles now seem like a really bad idea and I am dismayed as I look into the mirror.  I am not wearing vintage well.  The sleeves come up past my wrists or the coats wrap me in their coils.  I feel stiff and uncomfortable and slightly itchy.  Something changes inside me in that unprotected room.  I had envisioned that I was part of that world, that the world was part of me.   I needed a fifties house dress and apron to clean in, a pill box hat, and white gloves to run errands.  I can't pull it off.

I am a modern girl with an old school twist.  I do not subscribe to the casualness of the world.  I wish we all wore dresses everyday.  How sick I get of jeans.  I think we need to have a fancy dress for some other place than church.  And if we were wearing white gloves would we have as much road rage?  I don't buy anything from the store and when we leave the cat is gone off his perch, but I haunted the shop I had wondered about for months and I may even go back.  It is a character.  The whole experience awakened a creativity and thirst even.  I found a pair of red square toed Mary Jane's at the DI soon after so you can't take the past from the girl.  I realize that it just isn't the fashion.  It's the quest for beauty, for femininity, for the opportunity to make a mark, a work of art on my body when I'm not working on the written page.  Color attracts me and I need it near me.  I like the classics, in literature, in education, in my wardrobe.  A simpler time, a more innocent time, and a man and his cat will follow you around the store should you too decide to go rummage through his wares.  Bring your own lock...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day 218

I was gone 14 hrs. today.  Say a little prayer for T, he has a 4th interview tomorrow for the same company.  I'm so tired I think I will just fall into bed.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Day 217

T just got a new calling, but will still keep his other two for the foreseeable future.  We were laughing.  I have three jobs, he has three callings.  They say good things come in threes.  My parents came by last night wondering how all this is going to work.  I told them we were in the Lord's hands and He knew what was going on.  We have been doing really well, but today we were driving each other batty.

He left for awhile just to get out of the house and then I did.  Boy, this house feels small sometimes.

I think I am going to take this new job.  I wrote up a schedule and I can work all day on Thursdays and a few hours on Saturday mornings and not be gone from the kids for too long. T will be home on Saturdays and my mom offered to watch the kids on Thursdays when T gets a job.  I will still keep my doctor job on Saturday afternoons as well.  Things may get rearranged a little, but right now this feels good.  I really think I can learn a lot. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Day 216

My heart is full.  I hope I can do justice to this.  I want my kids to know and maybe they will if it's in writing here.  This has become my journal in a lot of ways.  I don't often take the time to record in the book sitting next to my book, but I try to be faithful in sharing life here.

I did the wedding.  I worked with my mentor and spent the day in a meeting with him and running over town texting him back and forth.  There was no time to be timid, and he wouldn't have wanted that.  I had to be organized and bold and forthright and above else, I couldn't panic.  T gave me a blessing the night before and I had my mojo back.  It wasn't perfect.  I know this.  I was running ten minutes later than I had said for a meeting with the groom's mom, and the groom had not told us the layout of the venue and he had very specific ideas about table placement so he had to come early to iron things out.  Oh, and I forgot my cell phone on my way out the door to the reception.  On the other hand, my social anxiety melted as I dealt with people and situations I didn't think possible.  I gave all I had and at one point, the bride came over to remind me to eat dinner.  I was everyone's go to gal and I can't believe I remained calm.  Seriously, a power that was not my own.  I had a walkie talkie (yes, I did) and I used it.  If we are basing my job performance on the fun and excitement of the crowd and the money I was paid, then I have to say that it was a success on both counts.  T was an angel.  I kid you not, that he probably ran to the store eight times to grab more ice and he was everywhere helping out.   I have to say this was something I can now cross off my bucket list.  Could I do this again?   Yes.  Do I want to?  I don't think so.  I was really flattered when everyone just assumed I was professional at this.  The manager of the venue came up to me at the end and said it was one of the smoothest experiences and that we left it cleaner than she had seen in a long time.  The photographer told me that the crowd was having more fun than most of the weddings she shoots.  There was swing dancing and don't think that I was too busy to shake it on the dance floor with T.

We got home at midnight and the next morning I stumbled to Pilates, then to work for the doctor, then straight to a baby shower for a less active sister I visit teach, then I came home and kissed my babies I hadn't seen in two days and I spent time with them.  I went to a wedding reception last night and put little C down at 8.  It was then, that I finally had a moment to think on the Relief Society lesson I needed to give the next morning.  I prayed.  I knew it would be okay.  The topic of faith came into my mind and I searched out three scriptures that I felt like the Lord wanted me to share.  Then I went to bed.  I knew he would bless me.  I had done all I could physically, mentally, spiritually do.  Now the rest was up to Him.

This morning I stood and I let Him take over.  He did.  He has never failed me before and He never will.  It is only my own faith or even lack of it that can make the difference.  And now, I will rest.  Now, I will sleep. 

Now is this all I have to share?  My Physical Therapist called me in to see her.  They are looking to hire someone and they had a big meeting about it.  It was unanimous.  The PTs, trainers, and front office staff want me to come and work with them.  Now bear in mind, I haven't approached them about a job.  They know T's out of work, but they also know I'm doing several other things to bring in money.  She told me they trusted me, they liked me, felt like I would treat their clients the same way that they treated them and then she proceeded to tell me what a huge honor it was that everyone could agree on it being me.  She said that never happens.

I'm not saying this to say look at me, I'm cool.  I'm sorry if it sounds that way.  I wish I could describe that moment.  It was the afternoon before the wedding and I couldn't focus on that right now, though it meant a great deal.  I told her that I needed time, that I was so flattered, and that I would love to work with them, but that I was a mommy first and I needed to figure out if that was feasible.  She said that they would be willing to work with me at every turn, and that if I only came in 8 or 9 hours a week, that would be ok.  She said they just really wanted me there.  She told me that I would have unlimited free classes per week and a significant discount on the other providers.  She said she would pay me more because she trusts me and thought I would approach things the way that she would.

That night at the wedding, I saw all the employees.  They all came up to me.  They want me there.  My first instinct is to take it and run.  You know how much I love them.  You know how it would provide an incredible amount of missionary work as there is only one other member of the church that works there, and that I would save hundreds and hundreds of dollars just on my care by taking it.  But I know that I will sacrifice a lot and I know where my priorities lie.  In two years, it will be a no brainer.  Little C will be in first grade  I will be there.  I think I've known since I've started training that this facility would play a significant role in my life.  But T and I also agreed right off the bat that I would be home with these kiddos.  Don't worry.  I'm fasting and praying.  I know the Lord will answer me and make it all work out and that what He has planned will be what I will do. 

Wow.  What an adventure.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Day 215

My friend M came through in a giant way with some last minute wedding details.  Thank you!!  N's dad and I are having a pow wow tomorrow.  I think that his expectations and mine are very different.  I haven't been able to talk to my bride now for awhile as she hasn't gotten back to me and I had no idea until this afternoon that she had not found a DJ.  Her dad was understandably frustrated and I realize that I just can't assume anything.  T gave me a blessing because I feel like I'm going into a meeting with a big CEO tomorrow and I have to be very professional which I don't feel.  There are so many loose ends right now, but T blessed me that if I am not afraid and have faith and pray for things in the moment that I will be answered.  Will the caterer show up?  I don't know, but it will all work out and will I plan another wedding?  I think I'm good until little C's.  I can cross it off my bucket list, even though it wasn't there to begin with.  When you here from me again, I will have survived this. 

Good night.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Day 214

I had a pretty cool experience on Saturday.  I met N's father, the creator of Polestar Pilates.  He and his family came early for the wedding and he took the mat class with us.  I was able to tell him about our Miami experience and how I almost moved across the country to train with him and found his daughter in my own backyard instead.  I told him I am his unofficial cheerleader, singing his praises to anyone who will listen.  Seriously, what are the odds?  Those who remember my devastation over this, who would have thought I would be working for him now, helping his daughter, perhaps paying him back in some small way for what his hard work has done for my healing.  I was laughing as he gave me his cell phone so we could coordinate final wedding details.  I know it seems like a small deal, but all roads have led to this with my recovery and I can't believe I am here now.  It blows my mind.   What do you think?  Tender mercy?


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Day 213

The only way I have to do this story justice is to write it.  I went to camp.  I hadn't been back for twenty years.  I know that I have let some of you read my short story I wrote about that experience at girl's camp two decades ago, but all humor aside, that was a pivotal time in my life.  I know that those "glory" days if you will I had to experience before I went through one of the most trying times a few months later.  Clara Bella Fire Woman was the epitome of all the strengths I had and how much I was looking for acceptance and found it in such a dramatic fashion. 

The fire woman was popular.  She was sought after and wanted.  The girl who moved away from all of that was not.  She was alone...again.  So I went back this time as not even a leader, as a spectator, a friend, a woman who has crossed mountains since that frizzy haired little girl of years' ago.  The girls cheered when I got there and I got strapped up ready to dazzle on the zip line.  I had never done that before and it was exhilarating.   Being with the girls was incredible, being with the camp directors who are dear friends was amazing.  There were some politics and I'm not going to go into all that here, but this was the opportunity for me to face that head on.

There was a talent show the first night.  All the girls and even some of the ladies were running up to the front.  I couldn't get up.  What could I share?  What could I do?  I felt frozen and content to just sit and watch.  The girls were begging me to get up, giving me ideas.  "Do Shakespeare like you did back in high school" (how did they remember that?)  "Sing a show tune" (huh?)  Suddenly, my buddy A, 14 going on 35, grabs my arm.  "You are an actress.  We are doing improv right now."  The girls shout out scenarios and I just knew my heart was afraid.  There were a couple of people in the audience that frightened me, that I felt don't like me at all and so I felt like I was suspended in the moment, not daring to believe what was happening.

My friend C stands up.  She knows me well.  "I want you to share the Fire Woman story."  Suddenly, it fell into place.  I wasn't there for the two people in the audience who gave me pause.  I wasn't there for me.  I was there for these girls.  My mouth started moving and I gave my story.  I had to water it down a bit and let the girls know that all the pranks I pulled weren't something they should do, but I told my story.  The girls loved it.  They all stopped and took turns naming themselves different camp names and someone came up and gave me the headdress they gave to the game winners and it ended up being the culmination of the evening.  The girls surrounded me and asked me to play games with them, visit their tents and I realized that there was an energy there, that maybe I was an energy there. 

The next morning was the devotional.  I mentioned how I was preparing.  I prayed that morning in our tent.  I told Him I was there and willing to say whatever he wanted me to say, but that I needed his help in reaching the girls.  We all sat in a circle.  I told them the rest of the story.  How after I left camp I would move and leave all my friends and even what I felt was like my identity and would  feel utterly alone and how I learned that the Savior was my shelter during that awful storm.   I bore testimony of Him and then I talked to them about how they too can be shelters for each other.  I testified and shed tears and felt the spirit.  I had done what I came to do.

 Bro. P and Bro. B were there for me to hang out with and share stories over meals and to cheer me on.  I rocked the hike and wore myself right down, but spoke to the person I needed to clear the air with all the way back down the mountain.  It was healing.  I realized that we just needed to talk to each other and I saw the world from her point of view and maybe she saw the world from mine and suddenly the politics were over, maybe not for others, but for me.  I realized that I don't have to belong to one "group" or another.  I am a free agent.   I choose to get along with everybody. 

I was able to talk to the girls one on one and I realized that I am in the calling I need to be in right now.  It is not YW's at this time like I originally thought.  I love the girls, but the time is not yet.  I am so blessed.  The Lord knows what I need to help me grow.  He constantly gives me opportunities to stretch outside of my comfort zone. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day 212

I'm up late working on the devotional.  I think I know what I need to say, though now it's just organizing it in my head.  I don't really write things out.  I am thinking if I have an idea in my mind of how it should flow, then He will direct me where I should go with it.  I read Gene Cook's book on Teaching By the Spirit a few years ago and I was amazed at the thought of him studying and pondering and praying upon his talk or lesson and then with no more than his scriptures standing at the pulpit and speaking what he was prompted to say.  It goes along the same lines as the scripture of first seeking to obtain the word, so that you might proclaim it and your mind being filled in that very moment with what you need to say if you are prepared.   I have experimented on these words and I have found out for myself that they are true.  I keep thinking I should be terrified, but I feel peace.  I actually don't feel comfortable speaking in front of a group, but he qualifies me in my great weakness.  It hasn't escaped my notice that all these opportunities have come and that I am busier than I've been in as long as I can remember, but that faith is the only fuel I can run on.  I don't have time to be afraid. 

Many of you know how exhausted I am every day.  I don't sleep at night very well and certainly not deeply.  I have to nap every afternoon two hours at least to get through the day.  I know I have been low in minerals, but haven't been sure what I needed.  I took some today and for the first time in...years honestly, I didn't need to fall into bed this afternoon.  I continued to run the errands I needed to and make all the visits I needed to make and I felt like I had energy to spare.  I know it may seem like a small thing, but wow, it was incredible for me.  I pray these minerals will continue to work and will make an impact on my overall healing.  

Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 211

I just got a call that I got my first copy writing assignment.  Not sure what it is yet, but I'm excited.  Not sure when I will have time, but it will all work out.  Thursday is girls' camp.  I bet I am more excited than the girls.  No lie.  They are letting me go on the hike, there's a cot in my tent, and I just may stay for the highlight of testimony meeting.

Just got back from a lovely canyon cook out with the B's.  It rained on us in the jeep all the way home.  No doors,  no top, one of the best days I've had in a long time.  

Friday, July 22, 2011

Day 210

Yesterday, my friend at pilates lent me a book called 'Writing to Change the World' by I can't remember the author's name and it would require me to run upstairs as it's sitting by my bed.  This was right before my PT asked me if I wanted to take the year long course and teach Pole Star Pilates.  I have been giving it some thought.  Part of me would love to.  It is only taught every other year so the next courses wouldn't begin until next fall and most of them are taught on weekends.  I could save up the money by then.  Little C would be in first grade by the time I was ready to take on clients.  I have been trying to picture myself doing pilates as the teacher as opposed to being the student.  It would give me a skill.  T says he can see me doing this more than he sees me being a copywriter, though he thinks I just need to focus on my writing. 

The Change the World author (oh, she wrote 'Saving Ophelia') said that if you as a writer are fuzzy at all in your life, then how can you expect your characters to be anything less than fuzzy?   I have realized that the reason the mother character in my novel is unfinished is because I don't really know my mom, not really, though I long to.  She has always kept herself hidden and because I sense that the story is really about her it's just not clicking.  Add that to the fact that I still don't fully realize myself as a mother and you've got a fuzzy character.  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Day 208

Sending prayers out to my friend K and her hubby and kids.  Love you!

Had a wonderful day with C and our kids.  It was so nice just to relax and do some writing.  Poetry is tough and it's good to have some prompts to assist my flabby writing muscles.  The hours just flew by. :)

T had an interview today.  He feels like it went well and so we'll see.  He has had 4 and it seems like he's getting more calls now, so fingers crossed... I just feel so strongly like we are in the Lord's hands and we will be okay. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Day 207

I have so many opportunities to write.   And I know I haven't discussed where I am in my novel for awhile.  I'm actually pretty busy writing, just on other things for the past little while.   I rewrote the words to "Sisters" from the old Bing Crosby movie, White Christmas.   My presidency and I are going to perform it at our next enrichment night.  I'm excited and I'm grateful they are all willing to go along with my crazy ideas!!
I may have an opportunity of writing and editing a newsletter each month, and tonight I have spent the evening writing out what I want to say up at girls' camp.  I am supposed to give an early morning devotional after spending time with my two buddies K and C in a tent.   How fun will that be?  Those of you who know me know I'm not exactly bright eyed and bushy tailed at any early morning hour, but I will strive to be in this case. :)  My topic is on shelter.  It started out that I wanted to talk about where the girls can go to find shelter from the storms of life, but I think it's also important to discuss with them how they can be shelters for others.  I'm excited for the experience.  I love the YW in our ward.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Day 206

I now have one item in my portfolio.   I met with the creative director of a local company today and he was impressed by one of my lines and thinks he may be able to use it as well as one other concept I came up with for a future campaign.  He gave me a couple of books to read and wondered if maybe when I go back to school I should go for marketing as opposed to English.  It was fun to have the experience and I find myself looking at ads now and wondering why they work or don't work. 

Here's a story.  I search all day yesterday for accomodations for 50+ guests for the wedding and all the home rentals in Logan are too small and the ones big enough are 45 minutes outside the city.   The hotels don't have the 13 rooms because Aug. 4th is just around the corner and it's rather last minute.  So I find good ole' Super 8 the king of quality (ha) and they not only have the rooms, but they bend over backwards to give me a KILLER deal!!!  I text the bride and she thinks it sounds great.  Her dad, my mentor, the man who invented the PT that is healing me, understandably was not impressed.  He is world renown for the work that he does and informed her that he will ONLY do a Hilton hotel.  A good lesson for me, the queen of the good deal.  In this case, a good deal isn't what the client's father, who is paying these bills, wants. 

I bet I could throw a great wedding on a dime. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day 205

Yesterday I was asked to be the wedding coordinator for a friend's wedding.  She will pay me well and I am doing everything from finding accommodations for her 50+ out of town guests, to coordinating with her caterers, baker, decorators, etc.  I have spent a few hours today researching the best price on chairs and trying to get the head of a bbq place on the phone who can make decisions regarding on site catering.  I need cake pans, pie tins, glass bottles, candy dishes, and hoping the luncheon venue is walking distance from the temple. 

This is on top of my other two jobs and I have a copy writing meeting on Friday for a possible gig if I can keep the creative juices flowing.  This sounds like someone else's life.  It's certainly not mine, is it?  I am rewriting the song 'Sisters' from White Christmas so our presidency can perform it next month and I still have to plan my devotional I give to the YW at camp at the end of the month.  I have started multi tasking.  I make and return phone calls in the car.  My friend cut and styled my hair (which is now much shorter) as we went over wedding plans last night. 

If I stop and think too hard about it I may want to run away, so instead I will just go forward.  I have to set aside a few hours a day that are assigned to specific things.  I am very aware of the blessings and opportunities I have received.  Talk about taking me out of my comfort zone.   I can't be hesitant or afraid.   What do I know about coordinating a wedding?  All I know is I want it to be perfect for my friend and so I will do everything I can.   I can do this.  I can do this.  I can do this.  :) 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Day 203

   So, thank you C for this Versatile Blogger Award. C is the greatest poetess I know and I like to think I have extraordinary taste in poets and friends and she's the IT girl of both.  With this award I have to write seven random facts about my writing.

1-I began writing when I was 7 years old.  I received a journal from my Grandma Arline and she encouraged me to write my feelings which I did faithfully and I wrote my very first poem entitled 'I Love My Baby Brother.'  I tell you it's a classic.

2- I wrote and then starred in all the neighborhood plays.  We charged people, but made no money and I always played the villain.  I wrote a school play in fourth grade and it was fun seeing all my friends have to play the woodland creatures I forced them to play in my Christmasy woodland wonderland.  Heeha...

3- When I was sixteen I moved to Utah and it was a very painful time.  Writing saved my life at this time.  I mean that literally and I really think it's true.  I wrote poem after poem and I think that's why I consider myself a poet at heart.  I would like to think I view the world and interpret it as poetry.

 4-I wish I had the letters I wrote to friends at this time.  I poured my heart out and it would be nice to see it documented now.  I burned all the journals I had of this time and I wish I hadn't. 

5-In college I was a writing tutor.  It was by invitation only and you had to submit a portfolio.  I didn't have a portfolio so I just hurried and wrote some stuff a few hours before the deadline and handed it in.  I was called the next day and they hired me.   The advisor was my writing mentor and I kept in touch with him up until a few years ago.

6-Writing the ward road show was awesome.  Winning first place was probably the happiest day of my life.   

7-I write better with music and each of my characters have specific music they have to listen to.   I hear their voices in my head when I write, but I try not to think too far ahead and still prefer to write one line at a time so I'm not bored.  I like not knowing what to expect.

So, I send out this award to my friend A who inspires me with her tenacity and passion.   When I lose desire to write, she picks me up by the bootstraps and keeps me on the straight and narrow.   She is an amazing writer.  You go, girl.