Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What do you like to eat on New Years?

I could write about resolutions or some other unnecessary thoughts and opinions on how I need to better my life. (When can I not? What's January 1st got to do with it?) But I think food is a better subject for the moment and since I was in charge of today's office potluck and it turned out as a success - in other words every one's belly is full - I thought I'd share this with you since tonight is the official last day of the year to pig out!

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Holiday spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately.
Go next door, where they're serving fudge.
2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare.. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-oholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it.
3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.
4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.
5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Holiday party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?
6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.
7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Holiday cookies, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.
8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day??
9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.
10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention.

Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by:"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Just another day in the life of a working mom.

Yesterday I was so distraught and depressed, just simply emotional. I hid it well though. At lunch I went out to my car and cried telling God, "I don't want to work, I want to stay home, I want to be home with my kids. I don't belong here." After that I felt better - I remembered why He put me here in the first place, I remembered to thank Him and that I am not a bad mother for going to work. I remembered that I need to take life one day at a time. So I dried my eyes with the napkins in the car stockpiled from the gas station and fixed my make up in order to present myself. Still feeling melancholy, I went back in the building to face the music. It was like I was a zomby, but at least I wasn't upset any longer.

I wonder if this was cause it was the first day back at work after Christmas and I was feeling a bit blue, like the baby blues I usually have after Christmas is over. Charlie is right though - I am doing better than I have in years past. However this morning I am reflecting back in time and I realize that I have felt this way many Mondays in a row. This has revealed to me that it is not possible that my emotional drama yesterday was all post-Christmas, yes some, but not all. Ever since we started our 4 day work week at work I have noticed Mondays have become a lot harder for me. Yet Tuesday and on seem to be okay, I get back in the groove and feel okay and seem to feel comfortable working again. But Mondays are like going through hell. Literally.

I think having that extra day off, for which I LOVE, has made me become even more torn between working and wanting to be a stay at home mom. In some weird way I get confused on what I am doing and why. I now realize that Monday's are just going to be a struggle every week and know that I need to do something about it. I am not sure how to overcome this or even where to start. The only thing I can think of is to proactively try to think about work on Sunday evening even if I don't want to. I need to think of what I have waiting for me in the morning but in a different way so that I can get it in my head on a positive note - rather than dreading going or not thinking about it at all. I need to find a way to ease my brain into the whole idea. That's how I am though, I take so much time to process my thoughts. Silly isn't it?

Friday, December 26, 2008


Last night we attended the annual candle lighting ceremony held each Christmas Eve at our church. It was one of the best I remember but I think it is because of my spirit this year and the fact that not only did I get the message but that I felt it too.

Christmas was good. We started the day about 8:00 unwrapping gifts. Coffee in hand I was still able to successfully take pictures of the kids. Savannah tuckered out afterward, just like the kid, Randy, in A Christmas Story. They were happy but not because of the gifts. We had a good time and ended the day with a great dinner. Turkey with all the fixins and prime rib roast - as usual it turned out great (thanks to my chef husband.) My mom and her boyfriend, Randy, came for dinner along with my brother and his family. We ate to our hearts desire and yes, I remembered to take a picture of the turkey before it was carved! Later our friends stopped by to visit and we fellow-shipped and had a good time. The day went by fast and after everyone left, Charlie and I sat in the dark with the glowing tree when he made an observation. He said that I was doing good this year, that I didn't fall into that "post-partum" depression I always seem to do on the afternoon of Christmas after all is said and done. Like I told you all, Christmas is different for me this year. Sure the part of the excitement of gifts and seeing family is over for now, but Christmas is never really over is it?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Time is Here

Nothing like coffee and cinnamon cocoa on such a cold wintery day! Mmmm. After our day long snowfall yesterday, the air has become frosty and the ground is crisp. I am not sure how many inches we got in snow, but it had to be at least 6" or more. The skiers are loving it I'm sure as it is that wet sticky stuff that is very slick and smooth. I hear it will be a white Christmas for us this year which is awesome cause I am not sure I remember the last time we had one. For me, I would like it to snow in the early evening on Christmas Day - after all the activity is over. They said on the news that we were going to be hit with a storm today, a pretty bad one it sounded like. We'll wait and see, but I'm not worried - nothing seems to be bothering me today. :)

So with all the hustle and bustle I forgot to mention that we saw Kurt Bestor in concert at Charlie's office Christmas party Saturday night. We almost didn't make it to the party in that Charlie didn't want to go, but of course he didn't tell me this until it was time to leave. (Yes, my husband can be a Scrooge at times when it comes to social events.) But we did go and when we got there and signed in, I was excited to find that they were giving the employees a free Kurt Bestor Christmas compilation on CD. Charlie looked at me funny when I reacted this way - not knowing why I was so excited or who the guy even was. I was then thinking to myself, "Aha, for once I know of a musician that Charlie doesn't!" Then when they announced that Kurt was going to perform, I became ecstatic and I think it was then that Charlie saw my excitement and for a moment he seemed glad that we were there. I do admit that a lot of Kurt's pieces he played that night were very similar in key and I was kind of surprised at myself that I noticed it. (See how living with a musician has created critical hearing skills that I never knew I had?) Nonetheless, Charlie and I's favorite that night was the version Kurt created of "Christmas Time is Here" from the Charlie Brown Christmas show. I love to listen to music live whenever I can so it was a neat experience and am glad we went. What a nice Christmas treat!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Are you ready?

So as I am working on this snowy morning, I find myself passing by the mail room where there a dozen snacks to try and taste and so of course I stop where it seems that my co-workers are also collected there for the same reason. As we converse the topic is always up about whether or not you are ready for Christmas. I reply with a "Yes!" And of course realized then they were meaning the gifts, shopping, wrapping, baking, etc. So I had to clarify, "Yes, I am spiritually ready. I am happy and can't wait." Not worrying about the other stuff at all this year. Yes I do have presents that still need wrapped and last minute shopping to do, but I am not focused on that. That is not what's important to me, not this year. How about you?

Getting closer!

I am so excited to celebrate this year and as it gets nearer and nearer I have a harder time focusing on anything else. We are having a turkey dinner on Christmas Day and I've invited my closest families to join us. I have never made dinner on Christmas Day before so this will be fun. I can't wait!

As I work I keep watch on the clock and next year I will definately remind myself to take a two week vacation during the holidays so as not to be in the same position dreading each and every minute of work when I look out the window and see the snow falling wishing I were at home!

Friday, December 19, 2008

You'll shoot your eye out!

Yesterday at work I embarked on a couple of new duties that I am learning to do and found that I could really get into this job because of them. The people that I work with are disabled and part of our requirements to assist them financially up to a two year period is that they participate in applying and pursuing disability income. The program lasts for only 24 months and in that time it is my goal to help them either meet employment (based off their doctor's recommendations on what they can do) or to obtain SSDI and/or SSI. It is their job to participate in doing all that the policy requires of them on their part. They have to earn the assistance and work for it in many different ways.

Well when someone gets close to the end of their assistance there is a "Dire Need" letter that I write letting the Social Security Office of Adjudication and Review know that the customer could face homeless or lack of funds to help them treat their condition in turn making their situation worse. Another letter that I can create on behalf of the customer is called a "Medical Summary" report, this is quite a lengthy letter that is written showing almost a complete biography of the customer's life up to date focusing around where and why their disability all began in the first place and how it has taken so many things in their life away, including employment.

Well long story short, it occurred to me last night that I had no idea back when I was in college that the persuasive paper I had to write for English class would ever do me any good. I enjoyed writing it, in fact it was one assignment I worked hard on as I was determined to get that teacher persuaded by my point. I remember this vividly, it was like I was Ralphie, the kid in the movie Christmas Story. Like him, I wanted her to love the paper so much that it was like I envisioned the teacher falling in love with it and writing A+, A+, A+ in big red pencil all over it and even publishing it! And when it came back only as a B+, I was disappointed just like Ralphie was in the movie - only the teacher didn't say "You'll shoot your eye out" on it.

I do love to write when I am challenged with getting out what I want to say and to make what I have to say interesting. I was told by my English teacher in 8th grade that I ought to go into an honors class for my writing. I don't even remember what the paper was about that I wrote back then other than it was a creative piece and when she read it to the whole class, I was so embarrassed!

Recently I wrote up an nomination for co-worker for a regional customer service award. The person would receive a lovely plaque made out of crystal and $500 if their nomination one. Well mine took to vote and the lady I nominated was so astonished and truly surprised as was I. It was as if I had won that award myself! It was so exciting!

I know I am talented at writing, but I have much work to do. My problem when I write now is taking the time to read and make a final draft. I sometimes think I've put it all there but then realize that just cause it was in my brain doesn't mean I got it out as fast as I was thinking it. This has been an issue with blogging as I only have so much time to myself. However I have a feeling that Santa will finally be bringing me that laptop after all these years that I have been persuading him I need. Just maybe mind you.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The snow is falling again...

Well today is a good day. The morning sky is glistening with sparkling crystals of snow falling so peacefully leaving a thick blanket of pure white fluffiness. I love first snowfalls. They are so beautiful. Granted it has already snowed a couple of times this season, but it melted and now it is back. It is so pretty. I am the first to admit that I do enjoy driving in the snow where no one has touched in fact just as much as walking in it....funny how just like a kid you see something so pretty and clean and you just get this urge to make your mark on it!

Savannah will be performing her Christmas program with her preschool today so I am so excited that I get to be there. My employer is and always has been very flexible and family oriented, so I am very appreciative that I get the opportunity to flex my schedule as I need to so I don't have to miss everything. It is hard not being at home and baking cookies or building snow men during the day - and I am not just referring to this time of year, but the activities like this that are year round! Maybe there will be enough snow left for tomorrow on my day off to build Frosty. Hope so. My trouble is that when I have a day off I think I need to worry about getting my other chores done. I have been diligently trying to work on this and I am doing better. I don't need to feel ripped off cause I am a working mother - I only feel that way if I let myself!

Something I heard that was sad yesterday - I was meeting with one of my customers for the first time and in getting to know her she had mentioned that her soon to be ex-husband had come in her home and stole their Christmas tree and presents. Isn't that horrible? What kind of person would do this? Of course you are thinking Grinch just like I was when she was telling me this, but she was dead serious. Only thing that still puzzles me was that she didn't seem that upset about it. Maybe cause unlike a 4 year old child the only child in her home who is 14 years old will have an understanding of it all or maybe it's cause she expects it from him. I don't know.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I would like to share something with you all. As I struggle in life and have for so long, I am just at peace this morning with a dream I have had. Some background to why this is so relevant is that the churh where we attend has been recently given an opportunity and a need to either relocate or restore our church building, but nothing has been set in stone. Charlie and I also have a need and are in a possible opportunity to relocate as well. But we have had to pray much for our situation and in order to do that we need to be conscious of our spirituality so that we may receive the answer that is of His will. So both of these things put together may have nothing to do with our church at all but I believe it has given some direction to the prayers God is receiving from its body, including myself.

For quite some time I have been having vivid dreams about driving a car or other type of vehicle and never really understood what they meant until this morning when I woke up. I remember the first dream I had (sometime in 1993) where I was in my car I had at the time and I had one of my boys in a car seat in the back, it seems that he were a baby in the dream. Well I had somehow gotten out of control and started veering off the steep road into the large ditch, you know that big hill by the Orem Wal-mart? Well I was going down that road heading toward the lake, no other cars were around and it was dark. I just remember the car going off the road, rolling, and then me and the baby (it seems like it was Michael) just walked away. But then I woke up. I don't remember any feeling of emotion other than wondering what it meant.

Long story short, since then I have had a lot happen to me. I recovered from one of my largest tribulations - my divorce, battle with drugs, and loss of insanity 1996 to 1999 - it has been off and on where I have experienced similar dreams. However my dreams were always bright and during daylight and instead of a car I am driving a large pickup truck. When I am driving in these dreams (and my kids were not with me in these dreams, it seems I was alone) I find that when I need to stop the vehicle I can never seem to get the brakes on the truck to work. It is at the point where they are not stopping the vehicle where I wake up. Sometimes in these dreams they included other things that were sinful in nature, things that I was probably experiencing at the time and knew that I was in need of God's help, but I don't recall the details of those pictures now. Where I always knew these dreams meant something I also let myself think too that maybe they were just memories and/or nightmares of my experience in learning how to drive a manual transmission in a large truck as I once had, but I know differently now.

My last dream like this was a couple of months ago. I was not alone this time though. A friend I have had for the last few years was there in the truck with me with one of her kids. (Just as I typed this I originally put "with us" instead of "with me" - because I am never alone am I?) I was the driver and it seemed we were driving in a large outdoor mall, kind of like the Gateway but instead it was built with pillars you would see in Rome. We were to go shopping it seems, and once again I was driving a large truck and this time there was an intersection with a stop light just beaming red to stop. When I tried to stop the truck I remember looking down at the brake and it wouldn't stop, it wouldn't even slow down. I then woke up.

This morning I dreamt I was driving my little blue car that Jacob now drives. It was dark out, very dark. I had Savannah with me but she was older than she is now. I was on my way to take her to the babysitter prior to work as usual. I remember driving in the car and how smooth the ride felt. I saw myself from above driving through the kitchen in our church - it was pitch black and all I could see was the car driving through all the folding chairs there. Then I was no longer looking from above, I was in the car and as I was driving I turned my head to the right as if to look behind me when I told myself to slow down, that there was a cop I had just passed. As I slowed down a voice told me not to worry about being pulled over, that "He" knew I was being careful. I felt joy at that moment. Then I turned a corner where I saw the babysitter's face (this is the same lady I mentioned above that has become my friend over the past few years) but it wasn't her, it was her face but her image was more of a spirit form of a different person that I don't know. And just as fast as I saw her face it disappeared. I then found myself in "a" church kitchen with a good friend from church, where she was preparing a pork roast for a potluck we were having that day. It felt like it was to be a potluck for work (cause in my dream I am on my way to work), but yet it was actually for a church congregation. The kitchen we were in reminded me of the same as the one we have in the church now, yet different and new. As I turned to use the kitchen sink and excused myself from getting out of her way, I remember the counter top of the kitchen being exactly the same as the kitchen of the church we have now but then when I glanced to the left the kitchen was not the same. She didn't say anything to me and just smiled as she went on her way with getting the roast in the crock pot. There were many other people there to her side. I didn't see their faces, but there was a group and they were all working together. I then remember looking behind me at Savannah who was standing near a fridge waiting for me to get her a drink of milk in her "sippy cup" to have before I dropped her off at the babysitters, and behind her was the dark area where the folding chairs were and it looked just like our old dining area of the kitchen of the Calvary. I then remember thinking I needed to get to work now and it was then that I woke up.

I shared this dream with Charlie as I have all the other dreams where I cannot stop the truck, and as I was expecting him to think I was being silly it was then that I saw him overcome the spirit as it did me. It was an awesome experience.

The dream I had today is representation of my life that today is finally and truly being led by His spirit and the prospective change for what may lie ahead in the future for myself, Savannah, and for the church we attend. It shows me that with prayer the ride will be smooth and our destination will be celebrated. But that we must continue to work for it and to have faith.

I praise God for prayer and His work as he is the potter and we are the clay. That he has a plan for us and we can never know what is in store. That great things are to come from Him and that if we continue in prayer we will know His will. I am even more now than before in so much wonder to know what the future holds for us and for Calvary. I just pray.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas spirit!

I just love having the Christmas spirit fulfilled within me. I am really looking forward to the new things happening this year versus years past:

Savannah is more aware of what is going on and shows so much excitement. She is so excited to place each gift so carefully under the tree. She also loves to sing Christmas songs next to the tree while we are all watching and cheering her on. Each day when I remind her that she needs to take a chocolate out of her advent calendar she is so excited to run and get it and bring it to me to help her find the next day.

Charlie will be performing with the praise & worship team at the Christmas Eve service at our church. We took a break from church for a while and are now back and attending. I am never sure why we (I) quit going in the first place since I feel so much more joy and fulfillment when attending than while not. He will be playing piano, bass, and/or singing. I'm not for sure yet what he will be doing, but he will be great at it! (For those in my family that are LDS and/or do not understand what praise & worship is like I didn't, it is not people shouting out "Hallelujahs" and yelling loudly and raising their arms up and down violently. We simply express our praise to God using musical instruments of all sorts and we stand and sing with the group that is performing the music. The spirit does lead us to clap our hands or raise our hands to God and it is awesome - you feel alive and alive in Him. The church we attend is a non-denomitation church for Christians to gather and fellowship to praise Him and spread the Good News.)

Every year, we are asked to create an ornament for the Jesse tree at church, when others brought up their ornament, Savannah's eyes just lit up and said, "We need to make ours!" So this year to see Savannah's desire to do this is such a neat experience that I am looking forward to starting this week on getting our ornament done to she what she and Jake (and myself) learn!

This year I get to sit next to my husband during the sermons, until January that is. (I will be teaching the kindergartners Sunday school starting then...) In years past he was running the sound board so I didn't ever really get to sit next to him. It is funny that it means so much me to just sit next to him to hear the message, but it does. It's a feeling of partnership that I have had with no one else. I cherish it.
So about that job thing? Well after pondering on it all week and reminding myself that I prayed to God about leaving my last job, that I wanted something more, that if I was going to spend time away from Savannah at home to be working, that it must serve some purpose other than salary and great benefits. This past week I am reminded that my prayer had been answered...that duh, hello? I asked for this. I wanted to be put out of my comfort zone so that I may grow, I want my time to be spent meaningfully. I may not see the reward now or have the confidence that I am or can make a difference in other people's lives, but it will come.

It's funny cause Mondays are the worst, the beginning of the week I am leery and do not get a feel for the job, but by the end of the week I usually find I am doing better and have a better focus on it. Why is that? Maybe the three day weekends I don't know, but it's true. So for now I will only ask for His guidance to get me through the day one day at a time so that I may be led to perform the job I have been asked to do.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Having second thoughts...

On my new position that is. I am wondering how a person can already be burned out from her job after only accepting it 2 1/2 months ago. I realize this working one on one with people and counseling them would be hard and a challenge for me, but I am concerned though that maybe it isn't for me and may never be for me. I am finding that I am tired of people and their problems already. I find I do not enjoy working like I have previously even in comparison to issuing food stamps and Medicaid this feeling has even changed. When I was just issuing benefits, it was easier as I didn't get involved in their lives. Now I am entwined in such a different way.

Do I give it more time knowing that this is a new position or do I talk to my boss about it and see how he feels and ask for some advice? At what point will I know whether or not this is the job for me? Is it because of the holidays that I am lacking the desire to work? I know the answer all too well is to give it time, that once I learn better what I am doing and become effecient at it I will like it better. But even if I know what I am doing better the people and their problems will not go away.

I got a job announcement for a Financial Analyst III with the State Hospital, it sounds mind numbing, but it would be a promotion and not involve working with people and their problems, just numbers. That's it. Sounds too easy. Drawback is that this would be with a new agency and my goal was to retire with Workforce Services, I have a dedication to them I guess.

What is your opinion?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Getting excited!

I am ready to celebrate Christmas. After spending time during a great Thanksgiving and recent wedding with family and remembering our blessings I look forward to more. This time of year is good for that. Last night when we turned on the lights that were hung on the porch I was reminded of the light He gives us when we are lost. The lights resemble this to me more than ever. I also saw a beautiful nativity scene this morning on the way to work. It always brings me warmth and peace when I gaze upon it. After reading Jamie's blog, "Blogging with Ida," I am also reminded of this meaning of Christmas and am inspired to teach Savannah about it as well and to set aside all the commercialism she is exposed to. I hope she will understand and learn it in her heart too.