Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ingratitude is Ugly

Today I was struck by the ingratitude growing in my heart. I earnestly try to be a positive person and look for the good, but I have definitely not been as kind in my heart to certain persons as I could and should be. It made me think about how important gratitude is; how noble a virtue it is, and how truly unattractive ingratitude is. And who wants to be unattractive? So since its been a long time since I've publicly declared my blessings, here they are in no particular order.

  • I get to be in Hawaii for the summer, living rent-free, preparing very few meals, and getting to know my very kind in-laws. It's been an interesting summer, and in no way completely ideal, but when all is said and done, I am an extremely lucky chicky.

  • The beautiful Laie LDS temple is an easy and pretty 1 mile walk. The Spirit that pervades every trip has boosted me in more ways I can mention; and when I leave for home I am treated to my favorite ocean view at just the perfect time in the morning.

  • I have been absolutely blessed with work this summer. I might not have tons of time to spend at the beach but every hour I work brings me closer to my dream of easily paying for children and maybe having some fun too.

  • My husband is the best example of long-suffering patience. He is charity personified and I am grateful that despite my tantrums he still finds something to love about me.

  • When we first started out this summer, we were unclear what the Lord was thinking when he gave Matt his internship. He had absolutely nothing to do (he read SEC regs just to pass the time) and we wondered how this job was going to help him in his goals for future gainful employment. But as the summer has progressed (he only has one week left), it is now abundantly evident that this was THE perfect internship for him, if for no other reason than he has finally decided what he wants to do with himself - turns out it's banking.

  • Perfect summer temps. My family in Oregon has been hit with an extremely mild summer while my family in Virginia struggles with the opposite problem. Here in Hawaii, it is 75 - 80 degrees every day.

  • My great new pair of jeans I recently purchased that were 40% off, are the most comfortable pair I have ever worn and still manage to look ultra cool.

  • IVF tender mercies. As we start down the path towards IVF (in vitro fertilization) we have been blessed with caring nurses and doctors, discounted rates, donated drugs that cut the $4,000 drug sticker price in half, reasonably good initial testing and beyond perfect timing. While we have no guarantee this will work, at least it has been made as easy as possible. And in the meantime I am completely at peace with the choices we have made and I feel confident that whatever happens will be closely followed and engineered by a loving Heavenly Father.
Thanks for indulging me. LOVE.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ode to Motherhood

My darling sister, Melissa, won Oregon's Young Mother of the Year for 2011. Now while she claims she only won because no one else entered, she is a wonderful mother, maybe even a perfect mother!! She has 5 wonderful children (with one - hopefully a girl - on the way). And while she might have started with good raw material, she has worked very hard to make them great (though picky eaters - sometimes even the best mothers can't have completely perfect children). She has excelled at making a comfortable home for seven on her husband's teacher salary. I am so eternally grateful to know her and claim her as my sister for all eternity.

Here she is in the Sherwood parade, driven by my father who is completely enjoying himself. Her children and her husband also participated by carrying the American Mothers banner and walking/dancing down the parade route.

This is how Melissa finds joy in being a mother.

Giggling reverberating around the home, warm sweet hugs and kisses goodbye, enjoyable discussions around the dinner table are the things that make family life so rewarding.

Many find marriage and children a great deal of work. Families are a large amount of work but they also bring the greatest love, happiness and fulfillment. I find joy in the laughter of my children at play, especially with one another. Happiness and peace envelope me as I stop and observe my children read a book to their younger sibling, working together, and playing together. Rocking a baby to sleep or hearing the precious voices of children as they sing me songs before bed are also treasured moments. These simple yet sacred encounters make motherhood so sweet.

I love the security, warmth, and love I feel from my children and my husband. I love their friendship and companionship especially that of a loving and caring husband. Working together to create a loving home environment and helping with family members concerns creates unity and brings purpose that fortifies me in my life. Seeing faces that light up when they see you and feeling their love makes motherhood so treasured.

Watching them grow and sharing in their excitement at their new accomplishments also makes motherhood so fulfilling. It is wonderful to share in the excitement as a child learns to clap, walk, read and ride a bike. It is amazing to watch their confidence grow as they learn an instrument or score a goal. It is so marvelous to share in their joys as they discover for themselves that God really does answer prayers.

So while my home can be a little noisy and crazy. I know that there is no greater work and no place I would rather be than at home mothering my children.

Friday, July 22, 2011

I've Been Hacked

If you have ever received an email from me, or if we have ever been good acquaintances, chances are you have received a spurious email from me this morning. If you haven't and you feel a little jipped, I supremely apologize. If you did receive a spurious email from me and you didn't receive an apology email from me, I also supremely apologize. I did my best. I spent about two hours this morning trying to make amends for my rogue email account. I tried to get everyone, but you never know.
And now, I'm left feeling kind of violated. Who hacked me and how did they find out my super secret password? Do they feel good about what they've done? How do they sleep at night?
I've had this email account since 1997 and I've grown very fond of it. People who have known me for years but haven't talked to me for a while always know if they want to they can find me there. I've had well over 10 home addresses over that time period, a couple of names, multiple phone numbers, and a few jobs, but my email account is one of the only constants in my life. I realize that sounds utterly ridiculous, but it's true. Change everything else about me, but don't change my email address. That could cause some serious issues in my life. So I really hope this is a one time occurrence. If it isn't, please let me know and I will find alternative means of electronically communicating with the world.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I killed a cockroach

Much like most women, I don't like bugs. I don't like to see them, I don't like to kill them. This is one reason why I got married, so I would no longer have to kill my own. Thankfully for me, Matt indulges me enough not to harass me about this little idiosyncrasy of mine.

Hawaii bugs are a whole different story though. Especially the cockroaches. There must be something in the water because these bad boys are at least two inches long and they fly. FLY!! Ugh, just thinking about it makes me sick to my stomach. And it doesn't seem to matter how clean your house is, if you live in Hawaii, you are going to get a cockroach from time to time.

A few weeks ago, I saw a cockroach in my bathroom. Matt wasn't around but thankfully his brother was and graciously dispatched the thing while I cowered in another room. This morning, I found another one. Matt had already left for work and no one else was either up or otherwise around so the task was left to me. After a moment of indecision I picked up one of Matt's shoes and went after it determined to be an adult.

I had to chase it a little bit, but unluckily and luckily enough for me it was too big to just skitter under some box so it was trapped and we both knew it. I landed what I hoped would be a killing blow, saw gore spurt from its body and ran from the scene utterly grossed out. I thought I was brave enough for the deed, but maybe not. I went to get breakfast hoping someone else would come along to clean up my mess. After about a minute, I gathered some more courage and with a large paper towel went to finish the job.

I looked in on him only to find him twitching and squirming still alive but definitely mortally wounded. I hadn't counted on this and once again I lost my nerve. I went back to my cereal but, as utterly and seriously grossed out as I was, I couldn't stop thinking about him suffering because I was too sissy to do the job properly. So back in I went to hopefully finish him off. He was there still moving his crazy long antennae and even after I landed a few more blows with Matt's shoe, he continued to wiggle even if only weakly. This sucker was not dying anytime soon.

That did it, it was just too much. If this guy was going to leave this world it wasn't going to be at my hands. I was just about to start making enough noise to wake someone else up when, mercifully, Matt's mom came home to clean him up. I guess in the ensuing moments he had finally made the decision to die, so I did at least put him out of his misery, but I still felt bad to make my MIL finish what I couldn't. So along with a whole host of other neuroses, Hi, I'm Sara and I'm a sissy.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


These pictures are probably not what people were hoping for, but hey, you get what you get and you don't throw a fit. I'll try to be better.

Fun thing about Hawaii is the beautiful and oh so fragrant flowers to be found everywhere. I love the smells of the island.

Another fun thing about Hawaii is the great hair you get after being in the ocean. Mine was pretty sweet too, especially since I have recently chopped it, but Matt's was pretty sweet too.

And finally you get my sweet as heck burn on my back, complete with the crystal clear tan line from my bathing suit straps. Can you tell that this part of my body doesn't see the sun very often? I am actually tanning up fairly nicely for my standards, but my back is one of the last acceptable places to see any daylight. Thankfully it doesn't hurt, it just looks pretty bad.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I rejoice in my children

A friend of mine recently asked a few women she knows to write about how they rejoice in their children. In a moment of something, inspiration maybe, she included me on her list. An odd request for a woman without children, but an assignment I was interested in fulfilling. If anything I was curious to see what would come out of my head. So this morning I sat down and briefly wrote out how I rejoice in my children. I apologize to my friend (should she read this) that it is going up on my own blog before she gets a chance to post it on hers. Hopefully she forgives me. Thankfully, I don't think we have the same readers. So, for the sake of my family and other miscellaneous people, here is how I rejoice in children.

The Lord has a sense of humor. Of this I am most positive. For most of my teenage years and into my early twenties I was determined I did not want children. I would hate them and they would surely hate me. I just knew it. But, as in most things in life, age matured me enough to see the folly of my youthful ideas. Maybe I did want children after all. So when I got married at the ripe old age of 26, I thought because I waited "so long" to get married, and because I came from very fertile stock, children would come as easily for me as they did for my parents and siblings.

Now 4+ years in, I still wait on the Lord and His timing, all the while rejoicing in my promised children. As such I go to appointment after appointment, subjecting my body, my time, and my money to countless exams, blood work, and hospital gowns. I cry, desperately hoping they know of the love I already feel for them. I name them and hope and plan and pray for the day when I can know the awesome power and deep humility that comes with bringing Heavenly Father's most cherished creation into the world.

And I rejoice for others. I rejoice when I hear of someone I love being pregnant. I rejoice in my 4 nieces and 15 nephews (with one on the way). I rejoice in the older children I teach in Seminary and the younger children I teach in Primary. I rejoice in their potential, in their uniqueness, and in the light of Christ bursting from their young but my no means small personalities. Children truly are an heritage of the Lord, and I can rejoice in them whether they were given to me or to someone else.