Saturday, August 23, 2008

Indulge me, I'm a Mom!

Scott recently got two life saving awards at the Police Recognition Ceremonies. When he was up on stage after they talked about his saving the life of a man who was stabbed by his brother and the medal was placed around his neck I shouted from the back of the room "That's my boy!" There was a mixture of laughter and disbelief...that a mom would embarrass her "macho" police son like that. I looked at his friend next to me and said "I'm in trouble, huh?" In reply he just nodded his head. Scott took it very well, I don't even think he was too surprised. When he was kidded about it, and he was, he just replied "That's my Mom!"

How does a Mom with all her feelings of pride and love share that about her grown children? There is absolutely no way THIS mom can control the emotion. Scott is an awesome cop. The world would be served well if there were more police officers that had the integrity that he does. I work in Chino and run into many of his fellow officers and the word they use about Scott is "genuine". He is a good man too. He loves his family so much, especially adoring his two little nieces. "That's my boy!" is just one way I can publically express pride.

Jim and Samantha just celebrated their 10th anniversary. It is fun watching him in his role and husband and father. He takes all of it pretty darn seriously and they are apparently successful in their parenting because the girls "shine" in all their activities. Madyson is the "dancing queen" enrolled in 5 or is it 6 dance classes and dancing at the competition level. Samantha is "Mom Supreme" organizing the schedule to get all bases covered. (I'm so lucky my boys did such a good job choosing daughters for me...) Hailey excels in school and is running for school president. Daddy helped her write her slogan "For fun and education daily, vote for Hailey!"

Jim, who considers himself "my rebellious one" has managed to become the most conservative person you can imagine. Patriotism, politics, how he manages and cares about his staff at work, devotion to his little family, the extended family, and how he turns to God to help him through difficult times prove it. I was always proud of who he was, even through his "rebellious" period, and how pleased I am at the man he has become. "That's my boy!"

Today though, my emotions are so high with love, joy and pride for Marque and Sarah. I could just sit and watch these two forever. When I do though, my eyes are always full of tears. They are so cute!!!

Marque is successful in business. We always knew he would be. Last week when I got to see where he and Sarah worked everyone wanted to share with me such positive things about Marque, and Sarah too. He is such an asset to this thriving company.

See, Marque is cringing now...probably even more than Scott was on that stage...humble and embarrassed to be the focus of Mom's gushing,

Marque, being the oldest takes on the role of responsibility in our family. When he called the house we would sometimes joke saying "Dad's on the phone". He's quite serious with us. Wants to make sure we are all okay. "Everything okay? Need any money? What can I do?" But when he's with Sarah that's gone...he is just a kid. They giggle and share inside jokes, he blushes, she dances or sings, he beams. He can't believe how lucky he is that she loves him, and she can't believe how lucky she is that he loves her. Cute, just cute. I have tried to express to them how happy they make me, and I just cry. But I think they know.

Now, the tears are filling my eyes and running down my cheeks with love, joy, and pride. They are getting their baby! I want to say his name, but the name isn't written in stone yet, though that's how I think of him. He will be a beautiful little boy, but more than that he will be a lucky little boy. Such wonderful parents he will have. They are great Aunt and Uncle to two little nieces, and three nephews. They have so much love to share. Yea!!!!!!

He has always been good at keeping a journal, and I love reading his blog marqueandsarah.blogspot.com because he is a good writer and you can feel what he feels. What he feels is so positive. You can tell he is a happy person. That's what I wanted for him it's written in his baby book "I just want you to be happy!" He has a good career, a great community, great attitude, wonderful wife, and now he will have this sweet little baby. I think he's happy! "That's my boy!"

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Perfect Day!

Saturday I spent the day at Corona del Mar beach with my two granddaughters. While I was watching the girls digging for sand crabs I took a moment to realize that in spite of my recent challenges I was happy.

Blue sky, fluffy clouds, still air, and ideal temperature helped to create the perfect day that was wrapped around me. It was crowded, boy was it crowded, but the buzz of the families celebrating various occasions, barbecues sending out fumes of burgers and asada, even the distant strumming of a guitar added to the atmosphere.

Once I was asked what made me the happiest and my answer was “Cheering from the sidelines of a soccer game.” Somehow when I was being the Mom I was meant to be, the grass was greener, sky bluer, and air cleaner . That was the kind of day Saturday was. Just being there watching the girls dipping toes into the water (Mady) and jumping into the surf with a brand new friend (Hailey) made me so aware of God in my life and I was sure he was particularly aware of me. My joy was superb and the tears mixed with the sand on my cheeks.

We are told, and it is practical as well as spiritual advise, to be prepared with physical supplies as we might encounter tragedy. I was thinking that it is important also to gather nuts to be prepared for emotional or mental “hits” to our lives. These are some of the nuts I think I was lucky to have hoarded and I plan to continue gathering.

1) Friends and family. I’m not one who tends to call and “cry” it out, but how grateful I am someone is always available when that need is there. Thanks for the listening ears and the soft shoulders to lean on. Your advise, wisdom, and wit pulled me through many tough moments, days, weeks, and months. You helped me make sense when there was no sense. I’m just asking you to continue to do so because I’m sure that while I have topped the peak there will still be many times I need to reach out. Friends are special “nuts” I’ve gathered. LOL

2) Quotations, scriptures, pearls of wisdom. You will frequently find a scripture taped to my bedroom wall, or a quotation adhered to my mirror. I have always been a collector of people’s words to describe things I felt, and had no idea I would feel. I even gather words…..like attitude, perspective, forgiveness, acceptance, joy. My favorite quotation is “Attitude is a little thing that makes a BIG difference.” Sometimes a little attitude adjustment, or a new perspective on a problem makes a huge difference. If you gather these thoughts in good times, they will sometimes just appear when you most need them. If I find myself a little down, unable to bounce back up, I will head off to Hallmark right to the Cope and Encouragement aisle. Yes, it’s true, I will buy myself a card, take it home and paste it to the mirror. So if you ever get a card from me that has little tape marks on it you will know that the thought was a well used, well loved one that was passed on to encourage you through your tough time.

3) Music. Michael Ballam said that we all need a first aid kit of music to heal our emotional hurts. Boy, do I agree with him. How magic is it that everything you feel you will hear on the radio just when you need it? There are favorites that I have stored that kiss my hurt away just when I think I can’t stand the pain any longer. Or, some that will lift my spirit even higher when I’m just beginning to soar again. When I was coming home from a family reunion in Utah I stopped at a Walmart in Cedar City because I had a hunger for an old friend. I looked until I found a John Denver CD that had the nut that I needed “Wild Montana Sky”. I got out to the car and ripped the saran wrap with my teeth…I was like an addict that needed my fix! I finally popped it into the player and punched up #20. After fastening my seat belt John Denver and I headed home harmonizing my way to bliss.

Last Saturday when we were driving home with the girls sleepily scrunching into their sand filled seats, I tentatively removed the Hair Spray soundtrack that had played at least 3 times through and replaced it with my John Denver CD. The girls fell in love with him too. “ Play it again Gramma! Play the Montana one again. Perfect! A shared moment, a shared nut. Thank you so much Heavenly Father for all my blessings! It was the perfect end of a perfect day!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Store up Nuts

Saturday I took my two beautiful granddaughters to the beach and had an amazing day.

As I was sitting on my towel watching them digging for sand crabs I took the moment to register the joy surging through my soul. I recognized that in spite of recent adversity I was happy! How could I not be? There I was wrapped in the beauty of a perfect day. Ideal temperature, blue sky, fluffy clouds, and the air was motionless. Oh, it was crowded......way crowded, but that added energy and happiness with the buzz of conversation, families celebrating various occasions, barbecues sending out fumes of hamburgers or asada, and the strum of a guitar in the distance. Heavenly! The only thing that made it better was watching those two little girls making friends with every other little one within shouting distance.

Once I was asked what made me the happiest and my reply was quick, "Cheering from the sidelines of a soccer game while my son(s) played." Somehow when I was being a Mom I was meant to be, the grass was greener, sky bluer, and air cleaner. That was the kind of day Saturday was. Just being there watching the girls dipping toes into the water (Mady) and jumping into the surf with a brand new friend (Hailey). Is God in my life? Most certainly! Is He aware of me, little ole me? Darn right! Am I aware of Him? How could I not be?! Joy, pure joy!

Sure I feel adversity. I feel sadness and loneliness. I may even have a day of occasional depression, but I'm grateful that I bounce. When I hit the ground I know, for certain, that what goes down must come up. Luckily I bounce back up pretty quickly. I guess it's just my nature to some degree, but also I think there are a few things that I do to help find the joy in life.

Store up nuts for the future: We never know when tragedy of any sort will strike. It's part of life. God let's us work through these problems and it strengthens us. Just as we should put money, food and other essentials aside for physical tragedies or those caused by nature, we should store "nuts" that will take us through personal or emotional challenges.

Some of my "nuts" include:
1) Keeping in touch with friends. I am blessed with an abundance of friends, many I have known for years. Though I am usually not the person to call and "cry" it out, it is nice to have someone to listen when that need arises. And the shoulder to lean on is comfy too. Your advise, wisdom, and wit pulled me through many tough moments, days, weeks, and months. You helped me make sense when there was no sense. More than that it is great to have someone to have fun with when life just isn't fun.

2) Gathering quotes, cliches, and scriptures. I have always been a oollector of people's words to describe things I felt, and those I had no idea I would feel. Cliches are true, that's how they became cliches. Some of my favorite quotations deal with attitude, perspective, service, kindness, forgiveness, acceptance, joy. My favorite quotation is "Attitude is a little thing that makes a BIG difference." Sometimes a little attitude adjustment, or a new perspective on a problem makes a huge difference. If I gather these thoughts in good times, they will sometimes just appear when I most need them, I can always find something get me through a blue day. You will almost always find some quote or scripture attached to my mirror. To help me survive my current challenge I have actually adhered permanently to my wall the following "Cherish yesterday, Live today, Dream tomorrow!" If I don't have anything in my brain file to solve the days crisis, you will find me at Hallmark looking through the Cope and Encouragement section. Yes, I do buy cards for myself with just the perfect message. I take it home and tape it to the mirror. So if you ever get a card from me that has little tape marks on it you will know that the thought was a well used, well loved one that was passed on to encourage you through your tough time.

3) Being aware daily of my blessings. When difficulties arise if you are in the habit of counting your blessings they will pop up in your head just when you are ready to submerge yourself in the "Poor me's". If I start my prayers thanking the Lord for the blessings already received, I seem to get the answers far more quickly when I move into the "Lord, please help me" stage of my prayers.

4) Music. Michael Ballam said we all need a first aid kit of music to heal our emotional hurts. So true! There are favorites that I have stored that seem to "kiss" my hurt away just when I think I can't stand the pain any longer. Or, some that will lift my spirit even higher when I'm just beginning to soar again. The other day when I was traveling home from Utah I had the craving for an old friend. I stopped at a Walmart in Cedar City and searched for a John Denver CD. It had to include a few of my favorites but most particularly one called "Wild Montana Sky". I got to the car and ripped the saran wrap with my teeth.....like an addict that needed my fix! I finally popped it in and punched up #20. I played it over and over and sang so loud the coyotes probably heard me as I drove through the Nevada desert. Music heals, music gives joy, music touches my soul, music passes on through the generations with memories attached. I remember and sing songs my parents taught me, I taught my children, and now my grandchildren love singing them with me.

Last Saturday when we drove home from the beach and Madyson and Hailey were scrunched into sand filled seats, I tentatively removed "Hair Spray" and popped in the John Denver CD. The girls fell in love with him too. They quickly learned "Wild Montana Sky". "Play it again Gramma!" I did! Again and again. A shared moment, a shared "nut". We all three sang it loud enough to disturb the bunny rabbits in the Sun City desert. Thank you so much Heavenly Father for all my blessings! It was the perfect end of a perfect day!