Friday, October 31, 2008

A Few Miscellaneous Thoughts

Okay, does everyone remember the post I wrote a month ago about getting pregnant in November? Well, I'm still working towards that goal. I'm taking my folic acid, A LOT of iron, and in a week, I'll take some Robitussin (or at least the Walgreen version). I know this seems odd and maybe even slightly inappropriate, but what I'm asking from you, dear friend and family, is that you say one small prayer in the next couple of weeks on our behalf. Just one small, two second prayer that asks that God grant our family a baby. Mass prayers have worked for us in the past, so I'm counting on it now. So, see what you can do and know that I GREATLY appreciate it.

So that's miscellaneous thought #1. Miscellaneous thought #2 centers around this boy I tutored this past Tuesday over at the high school. I have never seen anyone so dedicated to his school work so absurdly behind. This boy is in 9th grade but, from my completely novice perspective, seemed to be at a 3rd grade math and English level. It was quite painful to watch him working on basic algebra problems but struggle with the even more basic problem of solving 15/3 or 30+13.

I talked to his teacher yesterday and he said he was going to try to get him tested this weekend to see if he has a learning disability and to see just what grade level he is operating at. My heart goes out to this boy and I wish there was something I could do to help him.

I started this post to ask for your advice and if you have any words of wisdom I will gladly take them, but all I can really do is to continue to work with the teacher and tutor him in whatever way I can. So, I guess, miscellaneous thought #2 asks those who've worked in a social worker type capacity what they do when they see sad cases such as this boy. How do you keep yourself from wanting nothing more than to take them under your wing and dedicate all your time to saving them? How do you keep yourself from crying yourself to sleep at night? What would the Savior do? These are questions I am desperately seeking answers for so any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for listening/reading.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Domestic Goddess Unmasked

I know I present myself as some sort of newly formed domestic goddess since moving to Washington (I made my first applesauce last week), but . . . it's not true. See above picture, herein classified as Exhibit A. If you can't tell, it was supposed to be cinnamon rolls.

I got a new mixer for my birthday (no, my birthday's not for another couple of weeks) and in my exuberance I decided to make cinnamon rolls. A woman I knew in our last ward gave me her "easy" recipe she uses in her KitchenAid. I got a Bosch mixer but I figured they were more or less interchangeable. It's not true. Or, if it is true, I am still too novice in my goddess abilities. I got so mad during the whole process I threw some iron plates that were getting in the way. I think Matt was so surprised and frightened by the whole experience and the level of my frustration he only spoke in soft, soothing tones and didn't harass me when he offered to clean off the counter used as the rolling area that was literally caked with dough. What a good husband. Ah, c'est la vie.

The upside to the story is that I was able to salvage just enough of the rolls to satisfy Matt and my cravings for sugar last night (hence the pock-marked appearance of the dessert). We ate the less doughy portions. Also, I found a Bosch-specific cinnamon rolls recipe I'm going to try later this week. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Crybabies Cry at EVERYTHING

I had a seminary teacher in high school who cried at least once during every lesson. I would always think to myself, "Seriously, woman, keep it together." So mean huh? Ah, what cruel irony.

I went visiting teaching tonight and I found myself getting really choked up over the lesson and I realized, I have become this sister. I cry, or at least get choked up at EVERYTHING. Maybe not everything, but pretty much anything remotely spiritual, remotely sad or remotely tender.

I was watching the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe the other day and I was choked up for the better part of the movie. Every year during the primary program at church, Matt turns to me at least once with incredulity spilling out of him and asks, "Are you crying?" I don't know what's come over me? Am I to be a crybaby for the rest of my life? Because, truthfully, it doesn't look that appealing. Does anyone else suffer from this? Does anyone else get choked up while watching the Olympics, while watching small children sing, while talking about anything relating to the spiritual? Am I alone in my ultra-emotional state? Please, I need some support here.

Monday, October 13, 2008


HE PASSED HE PASSED HE PASSED!!! My handsome, wonderful, brilliant husband passed the Washington Bar Exam. The results were sent out Friday so we waited by our mailbox Saturday, checking into the evening, just in case mail was delivered really late that day. When we found out that today was Columbus Day and all government offices, including mail, would be closed we about had a heart attack. Matt called the bar association this morning and they assured him they would be posting at noon. Noon came and went with no update. We prayed over our lunch and I asked God to please let us know the results before Matt had to go back to work. They finally updated and HE PASSED!! Tonight to celebrate we went and got some steaks and Matt's favorite soda. His idea. I thought we should go out for dinner but Matt wanted to celebrate at home. So that's what we're going to do. Steaks with some Gorgonzola cheese, asparagus, roasted red potatoes and chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Simple things make him happy.

Thank you everyone for your prayers, love and support!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I Heart Netflix

Did I really just type that? I heart Netflix? Eeeek. The problem is that I also heart Matthew's new computer. And the two of them together is what we, in the business world, term synergy. The occurrence when 1 + 1 really do equal 3. Honestly never thought I would ever say or type any of that, but it's all true.

Matt and I don't subscribe to any cable and are too lazy to set up bunny ears on our TV. So we end up watching/owning a LOT of movies. Recently Matthew got a new computer with a 22" monitor. 22"!! It's as big as our TV for heaven's sake. And it's in our living room since Matt doesn't want to be exiled to the office every time he wants to use it.

We watched conference on it last Sunday. It was actually really great!! It inspired me to succumb to the lure of Netflix. Especially when I saw that Netflix offers many movies in its selection online for unlimited use. So although we are in one of the lowest pricing groups, I'm sure we use it more than most, thanks to this lovely computer/monitor. That sounds SO lame. Like a shameless plug or something.

When Matt said he wanted to buy a computer I was thinking, something modest, something cheap. But that's not how Matt rolls, at least not when it comes to electronics. So he bought the cool computer with the cool monitor. And when I got Netflix pop up ads on my computer every time I clicked to a new website I wanted to find whoever works there and sock them one. But now I heart them both.

Wow, I can, I jar and I love Netflix. It's amazing how many changes I've gone through since moving to the Wenatch. I'm practically a whole new woman. Visit now before I change too much and become unrecognizable to all who know and love me. (Another shameless plug)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Homeless Sara

Thursday morning came bright and glorious and oh so inviting. I just had to get out for a nice long walk. So I did, and on the way home, stopped and got some pork chops and potatoes for dinner. About a block or two from my apartment I realized I had no keys with me. No way of getting in. No problem, I thought, Matthew works just a few blocks away, I'll run down to his office and get his keys.

I dropped my backpack of food in a bush by our front door and walked down the hill. I called Matt's cell phone but no answer. I continued my walk and when I got a little closer I called the office phone and found out that Matt was in a client meeting. Dang it. I failed to ask how long this meeting would last so I just figured it would take a few minutes. So I wandered around downtown Wenatch waiting for Matt to call back.

When I left the house originally it was morning and still sweats appropriate. Sweats and no makeup I should say. But as I wandered around downtown Wenatchee, passing working professionals, I realized that by late morning I should now be more appropriately made up for the day. To make matters worse I left my wallet in my abandoned backpack (I like to travel as light as humanly possible) so I had no way of going into a store to have a cup of cocoa while I waited. I'm more or less feeling like a vagabond but thankful the morning is cold and bright. Cold, because then my pork chops won't go bad; and bright, because who likes to wander around in dreary, wet weather?

To pass the time, with cocoa out of the question, I called my mother to relate my sad tale and to make her morning. She has gotten herself into similar predicaments and I knew her heart would be lightened to know she's not alone. She told me to hope there were no stray dogs roaming the neighborhood because they would surely smell the meet and tear through the backpack to get what they wanted. Great. I hadn't been worried before but now I felt paranoid. I HAD seen two dogs out and about when I left that morning. Maybe they were still around hours later just waiting to snatch a free meal.

I forced myself sane again and called a college friend of mine I hadn't talked to in a really long time. After about an hour and a half of waiting for Matt to call back, I started getting antsy and said goodbye to Aubrey so I could call Matt again. Still no luck. By this time it's 11:50 and I'm thinking, well, it's almost lunch time, he'll be out soon. So I called work and answered some questions for my manager. Now it's 12:03. I call again. Where is this kid? In my growing desperation I call the office again, this time talking to the partner's wife who works as the office manager. She tells me Matt is still in his meeting but to just come up. "No thanks," I say, "I'm dressed like a homeless person, I really don't think you want me to come in." She tracks down my lovely husband who tells me he will be leaving soon. Thanks be to heaven.

So we finally got home, backpack still in tact, meat still nice and cold, Matthew thankful no one has died, and Sara with another lesson learned. Always frisk myself before I leave to make sure I've got my keys on me. That or get another key made to hide somewhere close by.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Volunteer Opportunities

When we first moved to Wenatchee I went to a few places looking for volunteer work. You know, to round out my day. The tutoring center at the community college never got back to me and after a few weeks of being told by the tutoring center manager's secretary that, yes she has my information, and oh yes she will definitely call, I finally gave up.

After that, I went to a local organization that helps drop outs prepare for their GED. I thought that sounded like a really good cause so I said I would love to help. But because I was going to be travelling a lot during the summer I said I would start when their fall classes started. I gave them my information to do a background check but never heard back.

I wasn't sure if I should just start showing up so I went down to the center to see if they still wanted me. It was obviously busy that morning but the receptionist told me someone would be available to talk to me in ten minutes. Great, I thought, I have ten minutes. So I waited for ten minutes. Then fifteen. The woman came by and said it was a busy morning and asked that I wait for a few more minutes. I was good and patient and understanding, until another fifteen minutes went by and I could see her having a sit-down conversation with another teacher. Now, I didn't know if this was a super-duper pressing discussion, but she looked pretty comfortable in her seat and so I left. Not bitter, but definitely feeling like free help and support was not high on this organization's priority list.

From there I walked over to the high school to see if THEY needed any help. They hooked me up with their volunteer coordinator and an Americorps volunteer who were beside themselves with excitement and gratitude that I would show up and ask to help. I guess the grant they are working under requires them to get a lot of community involvement. So, like I said, they were really really happy to see me. And with math skills. Well that's even better.

I told them I was going out of town for a couple weeks and would be back to start helping out in October. "Great," they said. "Thank you SO much," they said. I'll be honest, my ego was totally stroked that day. It's amazing what some enthusiastic flattery will get you.

Today was my first day. It's a fun group of kids. A group of motivated but low achieving, low income, first-generation college hopefuls were selected for a program wherein if they maintain a C average and attend this after-school tutoring program a couple of times a week for four years they will be given a one-year scholarship to the college of their choice. Sounds pretty good to me. I'm excited to get involved and help these kids to figure out their potential. Here's to having time to volunteer!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

I'm Not Pregnant . . .Yet

Matt says I've become obsessed with pregnancy. After reading through my journal and some of my posts, I'm beginning to think he's correct. But I'm still okay with that. I've been in such a funny mood these last couple of days. Saturday I couldn't control my emotions (see post below that was actually deleted and then reposted when my parents told me I should) and now I'm on such a high.

This funny girl I met about a year ago told me she had a friend who told her (kind of round about I know, but you know how I'm a stickler for the absolute truth, I guess unless I exaggerate) that she should tell people she was already pregnant. Because if she did the stars would align and the universe would give her what she wanted. So this girl did, much to her husband's chagrin. She would tell the checkout ladies that she was expecting. This made her husband crazy because if she went in the same store months later and still wasn't pregnant, people would start to wonder about this girl who goes around telling everyone she's pregnant when she obviously isn't. Still with me? But for this girl this eventually worked.

I wasn't sure if I really wanted to believe in this oh so bizarre theory but I've started thinking about it today. So here it is. I've decided that my iron deficiency my doctor's keep harassing me about is the cause for my one and a half year infertility streak. As such I have begun taking my iron pills with the complete faith that I am going to get pregnant in the next few months. Preferably in November so I can tell everyone that I got a baby for my birthday. Really, wouldn't that be so sweet?!?

So there it is. I'm not to the point that I can start telling people I'm pregnant when I'm really not, but I'm putting it out there nonetheless (I can't believe that's one word). People who've known me for at least a couple years (especially in college) know I am a woman of plans. Crazy, hair-brained plans that almost never seem to actually happen. So I know that this could very well be one of them. It could very well not be true and that would be okay too. Because right now I have so much faith that I know that if I don't get pregnant in November (like I really, really want) than the Lord has an even better plan in store for me!!

I tell you, my life is one crazy emotional rollercoaster.

Opposition in All Things

This was originally posted Saturday evening but taken down Sunday morning. It is now being reposted.

Do you ever read your friends' blogs and think that their life is so much more glamorous than yours?
Do you ever have a day when you think everyone must wish they were you because you are so lucky to live the life you do?

Do you ever look at your husband/wife and think if you loved him/her anymore your heart would burst out of your chest?
Do you ever look at that same spouse and wish they had a clue how to make you happy?

Do you ever wonder why you should get out of bed?
Do you ever get so excited about what your day holds that you literally jump out of bed?

Do you ever think, "if I could be this good and pure and spiritual all the time, I'd be set?"
Do you ever think, "I'm so far from God right now, what's the point?"

Do you ever wonder how can one person survive this crazy emotional roller coaster? I do and I can. It's what makes my life so interesting (at least to me). It also helps to keep my husband on his toes, bless his heart.

For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so . . .righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness, nor misery, neither good nor bad.

Maybe I'm not so crazy after all?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I love my Husband

Did I tell you I love my husband? He's a man of many many many interests. Some weird, some not so weird. One of my favorites, though, is that he cross-stitches with me. The first winter we were married a snow storm came through Portland keeping Matt from school and me from wanting to go to work. So we hung out inside watching movies for a couple of days. After the first day, Matt lamented that he didn't have anything to do while watching movies like I did (cross-stitching). I promised him we would find him a project. Beaverton has a fabulous cross-stitching store and the first time we went in Matt was excited about looking, not so excited about claiming the project as his own. After a few years of working on it, though, he is ready to claim it and announce to the world that he is a cross-stitcher! I'm so proud of him!! Isn't she BEAUTIFUL!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

the Parents

I love my parents. I especially love that my dad called me tonight to let me know they FINALLY used the rest of my Christmas present, mostly due, I think, to my unrelenting harassment last time I was there. I got them a few gift certificates to some of my favorite restaurants in Portland. Maybe not the most creative of Christmas presents but a few years ago my dad asked for date ideas and I thought dinners out were way better than the items my mother had circled in her home decorating magazine. Yeah, I also love that my mother circles stuff in magazines the way we did in the Sears catalog when we were small.

So anyway, my parents finally made it downtown Portland to Mama Mia for dinner and Moonstruck for dessert. Two places I eagerly recommend to anyone. But the Moonstruck they know about (there's a much more easily accessible one in Beaverton) is on NW 23rd, the hip part of town with impossible parking. Probably why they hadn't made in downtown sooner. The parking was so bad that my father drove around the block over and over again while my still gimpified mother went inside and ordered their shakes and chocolate truffles.

I don't know why it paints such a funny picture in my head. Maybe it's because, most likely, the only reason my parents finally went there was to appease their daughter. And they went to such lengths to fulfill their present that my father drove around the same block five or six times, in a part of town where my parents definitely aren't comfortable, just to get a shake his daughter says is totally worth it. It is. But that's beside the point. I love my parents.

But isn't that what good parents do? They where funny macaroni necklaces and proudly display awkward ashtrays when they don't smoke just because their children made it. They wear, display, and go to crazy places just to make their children happy. Just another reason why I'm so thankful for my funny, oh so cute, and darling parents.