Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happiness Meter

Some people are easy to read. You know exactly how they're feeling based on their body language and their facial expressions. They're an open book. My baby is one of those people.  

Bruce has gotten to be more and more interactive this week. We can always tell how happy he is based on the movement of his appendages. The more excited he is, the more movement we see. There is a direct correlation between his level of happiness and involvement of his arms and legs. Thus, one leg moving is a little bit happy. Two legs = definitely more happy. Both legs and both arms going at full speed indicates that his little heart is about to burst!

Today I turned on The Sound of Music. Bruce loves music, and once the singing started, his little arms and legs started going. I even got a smile, but that hasn't become consistent yet. It will be by the end of the week at the rate he's going. I managed to get a little video of the happiness meter. Unfortunately, of course, once I turned off the camera, he really started moving.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Just Like Heaven

I can hardly believe how quickly time flies. It feels as if Brent just brought us all home from the hospital in some ways, and yet it feels as if I've always been a mother. 

I was talking with Brent not too long ago about the change in our lives with our new little addition. It's interesting. Before we were married, I remember wondering if I was ready to give up my freedom. Freedom to come and go as I pleased. Freedom to spend my earnings as I wished. Freedom to keep my home just as I wanted it. Could I really see myself bound to someone forever? I was completely in love with Brent and excited for our future together. But, in my mind it was unknown, and that meant it was unsafe. 

Despite my worries, the day I knelt across the altar from my Brent, I was overcome with a feeling of rightness. I knew that being married to him was the right thing for me. All of my worries melted away. They didn't matter. We'd face the future together and it would be more complete than any single future I could imagine. 

As the time drew closer for Bruce to join our family, I remember feeling similar uncertainties. We would no longer have the same freedom to come and go. We would have increased responsibilities and roles. I wasn't sure if I was cut out for that new life. 

And yet, from the minute he entered our lives, I have felt that rightness again. I can't imagine life without Bruce. I relish this new role. Life feels more whole - more complete with him in it. I love hearing his little voice. Seeing his little smiles. I love watching his big eyes take everything in.  Yes, it feels so right. Like my soul gets to catch glimpses of heaven. I don't know if it gets any better than this. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

'Tis the Season to be Winning

I just entered a contest to win a free Kindle from Noobie (worth $259!) and I wanted you to have a chance to win one too!

All you need to do to enter is to click the link below or copy and paste it into your favorite Internet browser:

Be sure to read the email you get from Noobie after you register. You'll get your own unique link that you can use to earn even more entries in the drawing!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I heart social experiments

Things like this really make me smile. I love that there are people who dare to shake up everyday existence. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hut, Two, Three, Four . . .

I think The Jungle Book is the only movie that my pediatrician's office owns. The amazing thing is, it doesn't matter when we go in, it's always playing in the same place. It's been two weeks, and the trend is the same. And I'm left singing all day. 

Saturday, October 24, 2009

14 days of Bruce - a photo essay

My brother said that he didn't think we'd actually brought the little bug home with us since we'd only posted pictures from the hospital. So, due to popular request, here are a few of our favorites. 

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sink or Swim?

One evening, my junior year of college, I was invited by my family home evening brothers to go to a bonfire down by Utah Lake. None of my roommates wanted to go, but I was trying to expand my social circle and push some comfort zones, so I agreed to go. 

I rode out with Joel and Autumn, two of my FHE brothers. There was to be a crowd of about 20 people out there. There was definitely a carefree spirit in the air - it was the weekend and we were off to a good time. Autumn drove a Geo Tracker, and once we hit the open dirt on the shore, he was anxious to put that little car through its paces. 

We were the first car out there, and he headed straight for the water's edge. He was having fun driving in figure 8's that gradually got closer and closer to the edge of the lake. Unfortunately for Autumn, it was a dark night and he couldn't see how wide the mud bank was. By the time he decided to head back to the dry ground, he was losing traction. We inched forward slowly, but it was a losing battle. The mud slowly but surely pulled his tires in to their axles. And then our wheels were turning, but we gained no ground. In fact, the more he tried, the deeper we sank. 

We quickly but gingerly jumped out of the car and into the sludge. By this time, other cars were arriving. Friends and strangers alike gathered around to assess the situation. We tried wedging wood blocks (brought for the bonfire) under the wheels to give them enough purchase to get out. One of the other guys there brought their truck around to try to pull out the Tracker. Unfortunately, we were farther in than anyone had anticipated. The other, heavier truck also sunk into the sludge and refused to be moved. 

At this point, we were getting frustrated, and it was getting late. We were also quickly running out of options. Then, one of the guys remembered that our bishop had mud tires on his truck. If only they had his phone number. Unfortunately, of all the guys there (including the executive secretary for the ward), no one had his number handy. 

Ladies to the rescue! Our bishop spent the beginning of every Relief Society meeting for the first month in our ward having us all practice his phone number in unison. He told us that he wanted us to be able to call him if we were ever on a date and the so-called gentleman was acting ungentlemanly. He admonished us to carry a quarter in each shoe so we would always be ready. He said, "You tell that young man, 'My bishop can be here in 12 minutes. He's 6'4," weighs 250 lbs, and once spent a night in jail for losing his temper.'" 

Well, several of us girls started to recite the bishop's number in the unison sing-song way we'd practiced.  We made the call. Bless that man! Bishop Young drove out to the far side of Utah Lake with his mud tires and pulled both vehicles out of the lake. 

Poor Autumn didn't hear the end of it at church the next day. His car looked like it had barely survived a brush with the mud monster. He took it all good-naturedly. That was the last bonfire I attended at Utah Lake. To this day, I still have Bishop Young's number memorized. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Secret of Life

Happy 100th post to me!  I didn't think I'd actually have that much to say when I started this. Thanks for reading! Thanks for your love and support. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Unsolicited Book Review

I just finished reading These Is My Words by Nancy Turner. It's been on my list for a few years, but I just hadn't gotten around to reading it. Then, my mom came to help me get ready for our new addition and she had brought that book with her. She loved it so much, she insisted on leaving it here so I could read it. 

The book is beautifully written. It's full of rich, interesting characters. There's action, drama, and romance. It's been a long time since I've been so hooked by a book that I couldn't stand to put it down to sleep (and sleep is a very precious thing in these parts these days). I would recommend this book to anyone. It's a fabulous read! Thanks Mom, for insisting I read it before I finished my current read. 

Anyone else have a good "must read" that I haven't heard about? It seems like I'm always looking for a new book. I'd love some suggestions.  

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Introducing . . .

Bruce Aaron Hill. Born on October 9, 2009. Weight: 8 lbs, 12 oz. Length: 21 inches.

Lucky for me, it was a pretty classic labor (once he finally decided to come). My mom got into town last Monday to help me get ready for his arrival. We walked, we cleaned, we nested. Then we waited. Patience is not one of my virtues, but I don't think I was nearly as anxious as Brent was for his arrival. Finally, on Friday morning, I woke up feeling terribly. I just knew it had to be that day. We went on a walk, and the contractions were already going. I got home and showered, and then I could no longer stand. 

Thankfully, we found a brother in the ward who could come over and help Brent administer a blessing. Then we were off to the hospital. Of course, our little guy would come on a day when we hit every red light. There was an accident on the major road, so we had to detour through more traffic, but we arrived soon enough and were checked in. 

From there, labor went just as it was supposed to. I am amazed at the human body. Labor was a harrowing and hallowing experience, one that I'm honored to have been a part of. I was so grateful to have Brent and my mom there with me. I needed that moral support. I got a little dehydrated and had to wait for the IV drip to finish before they gave me an epidural (around 2). Then, it was up to my body to do the rest of the work. Around 6:00 we started pushing, and Bruce arrived at 6:30 on the nose. 

He's already got me wrapped around his little fingers. There is just nothing that compares to having a new, sweet little baby in your home. I'm honored to be his mother, and I hope I can live up to this sacred calling. 

On Bruce's due date. Still two days to wait.
Is it time-o?

I got to hold Bruce minutes after he came. I have no words to describe the feeling of welcoming a new little person to this earth.  
Our new little family.

This just feels so right.
Weighing in.

It's so bright!
Bonding with dad
I love the look on Dad's face in this one. 
Bruce has really dark eyes. I'm betting they'll go brown.
Left to right: Brent, Dr. Ynostroza, me, Bruce, Mom, and Debbie (Brent's mom)
Hi, Mom. 
Look, I can suck two thumbs at once. 
Sleeping so good. 
Welcome home, little Bruce. 

Friday, October 2, 2009

Why I Don't Belong On Hell's Kitchen

“I’m sure you’ll be fine.”

Mom’s parting words as I stood alone in the kitchen. My young heart fluttered at the thought of being alone in the kitchen. Not that the kitchen was a particularly scary room. I just hadn’t ever been turned loose to create in that space without supervision. 

Earlier in the day, I had asked mom if I could bake cookies all by myself. Due to my cautious nature, I don’t always like to do new projects all by myself, for fear of messing up. Looking back, I’m surprised at my proclaimed independence. Then again, this experience may have more deeply entrenched my perfectionistic, and thus fearful of failure tendencies. 

I was alone in the kitchen to make cookies on an overcast day while Mom napped. Time to test my wings. 

I decided applesauce chocolate chip cookies sounded delicious. I remember carefully pulling out all the ingredients and double-checking the recipe. Flour? Check. Sugar? Check. Spices? Check. I was all set. 

Carefully, I creamed the sugar and the butter. I added the eggs. I remember intently putting each ingredient back as I went - just like Mom. I wanted her to be proud of me for doing this right all by myself. When at last all the ingredients were mixed, I started loading up the cookie sheets. 

The smell that came from the oven was heavenly. The warm, welcoming smell of baked goods is still one that I associate with “home.” It makes you feel as if all is right in the world to enter a home that smells of homemade love. With my task in it’s final stages, I was feeling more confident by the minute. I’d helped mom load and unload cookie sheets before, and everything smelled so good. I just knew she’d be pleased with me. 

Mom helped me finish cleaning up the kitchen after her nap. I think we even loaded a few plates up to give to neighbors. I was pleased with myself. After dinner, we all sat down with our glasses of milk and a cookie in hand. I bit into my cookie, anticipating the euphoric soft, chocolatey-goodness to melt over my tongue. Alas, I bit into something hard and not sweet at all. The grimace on dad’s face confirmed my heart’s dread. 

My cookies were a failure. It turns out that when a recipe calls for cloves, it usually means ground cloves and not whole cloves. I wasn’t sure when I was reading the recipe. Lesson learned. We’ll just say that my husband is glad that I’ve become a more accomplished cook and baker since that day. Still, I don't think this will ever be anything more than a hobby for me. 

Friday, September 25, 2009

What's for dinner?

My paternal grandmother was an inspiring woman. Grandma Rose was always learning a new skill, trying to improve on the many gifts and talents she already possessed. It seemed that every time we visited, she would pull me aside for a quick piano lesson. She always had a list of ready questions - how do I count this measure? what does maestroso mean? how exactly should this passage sound? When I was in college, she would frequently bequeath old cookbooks (how I came to be the proud owner of the Crisco cookbook) and new recipes. I know she watched (and frequently recorded) cooking and painting shows. When she passed away, we found more evidence of her quest for knowledge and self-improvement. Books about improving your voice. Books about drawing and painting. Books about nature. Books about God. 

I was recently going through some of those passed-on recipes. Since I have more time at home now, I've been enjoying finding my love of cooking again. (It's hard to love it when you don't have time, energy, or anyone coming home to it). I have many standard favorite recipes, and cookbooks and blogs bookmarked with new recipes. In honor of grandma, I think I will share a clip from one of my favorite cooking shows, and tonight's dinner inspiration. Bon appetit!

Finding my voice

*Edit from yesterday: So, I just re-read yesterday's post. It sounds awfully whiny. I'm so sorry! It was not my intention to complain, but it was my intention to give voice to my feelings. I suppose yesterday I needed to complain just a bit. I'm feeling much more optimistic today. I know that the more days my little guy gets to cook, the better off it will be for him. I would rather have a healthy baby and a safe delivery than risk his health because I'm a bit uncomfortable.

I took a class in college that has surprisingly stuck with me these many years since. It was my first year writing class, and I still think about it often. It may be because I have a love of words (much to my dear husband's amusement). It may be because the written word has greatly influenced my life. It is not surprising to me that my chosen field of work is based in language. And I will admit I have a mild obsession with pens and new journals. 

One of the things Professor Taggart emphasized in that first year writing class was finding our voice. He encouraged us to write in as many different contexts as we could. As homework, we were to send a letter every week (he never read them, he just put the addressed envelopes in the mailbox for us). We were to keep a journal. I'm sure he would have encouraged blogging had it been a common form or written communication then. 

As I've been reflecting on that class this past week and its impact on my life, I realize how lax I've become in my writing. I have become a lazy writer. I used to write in my journal at least weekly - even during graduate school. Since entering the professional workforce, my journal writing has become sporadic at best. I used to write letters weekly (real letters - the kind with an envelope and a stamp). Now the only envelopes that go into my mailbox usually have checks in them and are addressed to the electric company. Even my blogging has taken a desultory direction. I'm ashamed. 

I have noticed a conjunctive decline in my reading as well. There are days when I don't crack open a book that doesn't relate to my work. Who is this person I have become? 

So, I'm changing my tune. I'm searching for my voice. I've missed it. I'm promising myself that I will do more reading and writing. I hope you notice a difference here too. 

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Dialogue: "I hate waiting." "Get used to disappointment."

Patience may be a virtue, but it's not one that I possess in great quantity. I hate waiting. It's not something I've ever been very good at. I was raised to be punctual (almost to the point of paranoia). I hate being late for things - for class, for work, for church, for bed. I get sweaty palms and a racing heart. Usually, I putter until the appointed hour for departure. I keep busy, finishing off projects, practicing the piano for a few extra minutes, reading a good book (but not really being able to focus on it). 

Today we went to the doctor hoping for a more defined ETA for our little bug. I left feeling deflated. 

No change. 

For the last three weeks the report has been the same. 1 cm dilated. 50-70% effaced. Head at 0 station. No change. 

I guess there’s no outward change, but my body feels different. I feel an increase in my energy levels (on the whole). My abdominal muscles are constantly sore (like I’ve just done 100 sit-ups). I have less room for my internal organs (like my lungs, and my bladder). And it’s like I get a daily deep tissue massage . . . from the inside out. And I feel like I’m sitting on a bowling ball most days. 

None of these symptoms are unique to me, but they give me hope that the end is not far off. The most interesting symptom is the “nesting” instinct. I’ve spent my days catching up laundry, dusting corners, sorting piles, getting out the autumn decorations. I still have a rather long list of things that I could and should be doing, but I’m finding it to be increasingly difficult to focus on the tasks at hand. Instead, I’m distracted by the waiting. 

I find myself wondering what he’ll look like. What he’ll smell like. What he’ll sound like. I want kiss those little fingers. I want to suckle and swaddle and nurture. And then I get all anxious again because I’m a victim to a timetable I have no control over. 

And then I get anxious that I’m not ready for the next step. I worry that I won’t be able to figure out this mothering thing. Will I really feel that unconditional love that women talk about? The thought is far to abstract for my finite mind to understand without the concrete weight of a baby - my baby - in my arms. Am I ready for the paradigm shift - to go from counting weeks to counting months? Am I fit to help this little soul find his path in this big world? Am I equipped with all I need to remind him who he is? Waiting is not good for my excessive sense of worry. 

Therefore, this week, since I am doomed to waiting, I am determined to put this anxious energy to good use. After all, there are some definite advantages to being home and “in the interim.” To list a few:

  • Mornings with Brent. We actually have regular time together for the first time in months. It’s been nice to start the day together.
  • Discovering the art of snacking. Since there’s only room in my stomach for about 1/4 c. of anything, I am becoming a professional grazer. 
  • Having time to read. I’m re-discovering Charles Dickens and finding the discovery to be literarily delicious.
  • having time to find my voice again. I’ve been missing writing. A lot. 
  • Having time to be self-sufficient. I bottled chicken this week. All by myself. For the very first time. Self-sufficiency has got to be one of the best feelings . . . hmmm, “if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear”
  • De-cluttering. I breathe so much easier when my house is clean. It’s a good feeling. I can enjoy perpetuating that feeling while I have the energy to do so.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Swine flu claims it's first celebrity victim. I think we all know who gave it to him. 

Saturday, September 19, 2009


This made me smile today. 

I'm getting so excited for General Conference!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

If you're going to San Francisco . . .

Brent and I had the opportunity to travel this weekend to San Francisco. It felt so good to be out of town and away from the brain noise that life has become. I think we both needed the break. Brent starts school tomorrow, so we wanted to take a moment to celebrate the growing Hill family before life became crazy again. 

We drove up Thursday night and stayed overnight at Kris (Mahoney) Dahlin's parents' house. They were good enough to share a bed with us for the night. I love Kris, and Brent and I both were fast fans of her new husband Jon. Friday morning we had breakfast at a delicious little restaurant and then headed into San Francisco. We got there right in time to check into our hotel and walk down a few blocks to the Embarcadero where the San Francisco symphony was giving a free outdoor concert. 

The Justin Herman Plaza on the Embarcadero

My charming husband
We walked or took the bus everywhere in the city. I was pleasantly surprised by how many people offered up their seat for an obviously pregnant woman. We made lots of friends on the busses (which meant that we, unfortunately, had to backtrack to get to our original destination) including a family from Paris who were part of a house-exchange with a family from San Francisco. They had a darling five-month old son. We met a couple from St. Louis in for a conference about antimicrobial therapy. (Well, the wife was - the husband was there to see the sights). We also met a young visiting historian from England who was in the states to study the history and memoirs of the CIA. (His doctorate was on MI-5 and MI-6). Riding the bus certainly added flavor to our trip. 

On Friday we went out to see the Golden Gate Bridge. What a fascinating structure! Brent had never been there either in all of his traveling to San Francisco, so it was a treat to be able to see it together. (It was a good thing we went Friday. You'll see what I mean later).

Sorry about the hair . . . it's a little windy out there. Yes, that is a 36 week baby belly. I was told I was a brave woman for walking all over San Francisco in that state. While I got tired quickly, I still feel much like my same old self.

Friday night we ate some delicious cuisine in little Italy (made by bonafide Italians) and retired to our room early. (After all that traveling, I was plum-tuckered out). Sorry - no picture of the room, but I assure you it was quite comfortable. 

We slept well until about 4:15 in the morning when a flash and then a crash resounded. I was awake almost immediately. At first I thought my mind was playing tricks on me. Surely, that rumble was just the sound of the dumpsters being emptied on the street below us (the city is full of sounds!). But, then I heard another crack and the thunder rumbled through the sky scrapers like it would echo through a canyon. It was amazing! So, I just laid back and enjoyed the patter of the rain and the rumble of the thunder. 

We got another little round of the storm later in the morning. The thunder was so loud that it woke Brent up. Brent's immediate words were, "Please, don't let the other plane hit us!," but I assured him it was only a thunderstorm. A glorious thunderstorm. (The first one I've heard in almost two years, actually). Saturday's weather was a bit drizzly, but we enjoyed it! It was such a nice change from our Bakersfield dustiness. 

The Transcontinental Building - where does it end?
Jon and Kris Dahlin. I love these people!!!
Brent just couldn't keep out of the display. Can you blame him?
Unfortunately, the camera was dying by this point. So, no pictures of the funny sea lions, but here's one more happy picture of us. We had a great trip to San Francisco!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Many have been requesting pictures of my ever blossoming belly. Sorry the quality isn't better - I need to get some taken outside. However, this gives you an idea of how big I'm getting. I'm definitely feeling pregnant. Here are some of my "symptoms":

  • I itch all the time.
  • My little guy loves music. He starts a wiggle fest whenever I turn on music. It’s been fun to see how he reacts differently to different kinds of music - hymns vs. Michael Buble vs. Beethoven vs. James Taylor. The funniest part is that if I start to sing, he almost immediately stops. 
  • Weird cravings? Just Slurpees and cornbread 
  • Whereas it used to be fun to feel the little squirt squirm around in my belly, it's started to take on a slightly uncomfortable edge. It's not bad, but it's definitely not like it used to be. 
  • Brent has to be ever patient with my emotional instability, and he does so. 
  • I'm getting so excited to meet this little guy!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Life Lesson Learned

Note to self: The absolute worst time to go shopping for office supplies is after work the Friday before school starts. 

Monday, August 17, 2009

My burgeoning belly

**Disclaimer: Sorry, I'm short on the pictures this time. We went to Arizona last weekend, and I have lots of pictures of everyone else, but you know how it is when you're the one behind the camera . . . not so many pictures of you get taken. 

Someone asked how the baby was doing the other day. (Who am I kidding? I get this questions multiple times, daily). He's doing great. Per the doctor, we're right on track. He's just the right size. He's in the right position. Seven weeks to go until our due date. (Which means just over 3 weeks of work left . . . not that I'm counting).

My only complaint: no one told my that third trimester fatigue is not entirely unlike first trimester fatigue (read: I could fall asleep at a moment's notice unless it is the appointed hour for my body to fall asleep, at which point I'm bound to stay up, restless all night - which, again, may have something to do with the fatigue).

I tell you what, though, in the past two weeks, I feel like I've been watching my body change at an unprecedented rate. Seriously, it's like watching those nature shows where the plant goes from seedling to fruit-bearing in a matter of minutes instead of a matter of weeks.  Our little guy is taking off. I feel like I can literally see the inches adding onto my middle. And I've taken to itching incessantly. I suppose those two things go hand in hand. 

So, we're still waiting and watching in wonder as the miracle of life continues to unfold. I'm grateful for a patient husband who puts up with my pregnant irrationalities ("yes, we need to go to the store and get baby socks TONIGHT. We can't bring home our baby with bare feet!"), and the unsolicited waterworks. I wish I wasn't like that, but I am. 

Friday, July 10, 2009

You say goodbye, and I say hello

In the last several weeks, I've been surprised at the passing of so many. Not just people that everyone seems to know (i.e. celebrities), but even at the hospital I work at, we've had several people pass away. 

The hardest loss for me lately has been the loss of a dear friend and lifelong companion, literally always there for me. But, I suppose that's part of life. As a woman's body grows and stretches to accommodate the new life within her, there comes a time when she must say goodbye to her inny belly button. I suppose it was foolish of me to fail to acknowledge the inevitability of this passing, but I considered my charming, perfect belly button to be above such injustice. Alas, 'tis not so. I saw the signs of impending doom, and I turned a blind eye - only to realize, I took it for granted.  

In my time of mourning, I have found solace. I suppose the passing of one makes way for the entry of another. My brother and his wife welcomed a new darling girl to their family on June 22, 2009. I have yet to meet her, but she's a little sweetheart who already has her daddy wrapped around her finger. I love hearing about their transition - I hope it can prepare me for my own. Out of respect for the new parents' wishes, I won't post any pictures of the little angel (who thinks she's a star because she'd rather shine (read: play) all night long than sleep), but I don't think they would begrudge me this one that just makes my heart sing. Home truly can be a heaven on earth! Welcome to the family, Emma. We're so glad you're here!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Quote of the day . . .

"Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy. The amount of work is the same."

--Francesca Reigler

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Re: Sleep

I'm increasingly feeling like a chicken on a rotisserie spit, only my rotations are not as regular.

Thursday, June 11, 2009



I have fallen in love with the simple elegance of Shabby Apple dresses! I would love to win this dress!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

I just can't resist

Creative Puns for Smart Minds (or, How I Love the Wordplay)

1. The roundest knight at King Arthur's Round Table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

2. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.

3. She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still. 

4. A rubber band pistol was confiscated in an algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.

5. The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

6. No matter how much you push the envelope it'll still be stationery.

7. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

8. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.

9. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

10. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

11. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it. 

12. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

13. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other, "You stay here, I'll go on a head."

14. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

15. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said, "Keep off the Grass."

16. A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to the hospital. When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, "No change yet."

17. A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

18. The short fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.

19. The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

20. A backward poet writes inverse.

21. In a democracy, it's your vote that counts. In feudalism, it's your count that votes. 

22. When cannibals ate the missionary, they got a taste of religion.

23. Don't join dangerous cults, practice safe sects!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The happiest place on earth

I was talking to a co-worker on Friday about weekend plans. When she asked what I was up to, I mentioned that my husband and I were planning to visit the Los Angeles Temple on Saturday. Having had a sister married there, she was familiar with the building.

"Oh, that's a beautiful place!," she exclaimed. I echoed her sentiments and told her I love the peace you can feel there, even on the grounds. You can hardly hear the city from there. "I know!," she said, "it's almost like Disneyland!" 

At first, I was a little taken aback by her analogy. I hadn't thought of it like that, but I could see where she was coming from. From someone who has only been limited the grounds of one of the Mormon temples, I am honored that she would make such a comparison. Both are places apart from the world. Both are places that celebrate families and focus on happiness. 

How grateful I am that we have access to lasting joy in this life! The temple truly is the happiest place on earth. 

*Photo taken from here.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Snakes and snails and puppy dog tails

It was one of those Saturdays where I had to work the morning shift and Brent had to work the closing shift - in other words, just another day of the week where we didn't see each other. Unfortunately, we have far too many of those. 

Anyway, while I was at work, Brent had decided to go fishing with our brother-in-law. Unfortunately for Brent, fishing is a past-time I don't quite understand. I've only really been fishing once in my life. In sixth grade. Our teacher took small groups of us fishing toward the end of the year. Well, that year as class awards came around, instead of "most helpful" or "most optimistic" I was awarded the "fishless" award. I was the only person in class to have not caught a fish. 

It's not like I've avoided fishing since then, but I haven't eagerly sought out opportunities to sit on a river's edge and feel like a failure again. I was grateful to Tydus for taking Brent. 

That night as I was tidying up the house to get it ready for Sunday, I was greeted by a dragonfly on my kitchen wall. The only body of water near our apartment is a highly-chlorinated swimming pool, and I doubted that this little guy had come from there.  

When Brent got home, I showed him our new friend and expressed my concern about his origins. I just couldn't figure out where he'd come from. Much to my surprise, Brent exclaimed, "I missed it!" Confused, I asked him to explain. 

Turns out, he'd seen the cocoon on a twig at the river that morning and brought it home to watch it hatch. It's endearing moments like that that make me realize I'm glad we never have to completely "grow up."