Friday, April 30, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
We had an awesome Easter. We missed Marque, Sarah, and Leah as we always do when they aren't with us, but they sent me pictures of my little Leah hugging her bunny rabbit that Gramma sent her. She is so sweet!!!! Head cocked and loving it with all her might. (I wish I knew how to download from my phone.)
Anyway, those of us in California went to Palm Springs to the time share. It has an amazing slide going into the pool and Hailey had a blast going down. Jim and Scott tried it a few times too. Mady enjoyed the smaller slide because we just couldn't convince she was really missing out with the big one. The water was warm, sun bright, and we relaxed, talked, played with a ball that skipped across the water, sat in the hot tub under the waterfall. Nice!!!
Bud and I made the spaghetti dinner on Saturday night. Jim and Sam treated us to eggs benedict Easter morning after the girls found their baskets. They are really beginning to trust the fact that Easter bunny will find them wherever they are. What a smart dude! I tell you our family Easter Bunnies (Samantha and Cynthia) really took care of us too. In between watching conference we were back by the pool until we decided it was time to make our appetizers. That was fun.
I had everyone bring ingredients to an appetizer they enjoyed. Then I collected the recipe cards and switched ingredients. Jim and Sam ended up with the ingredients that I brought, Scott and Cynthia got Jim and Sam's appetizer ingredients, Hailey and Mady got Grampa's ingredients and Bud and I got Cynthia and Scott's. The rules were that you had to use those ingredients, but you could use other things that you found too. It was kind of like "Chopped" on Food Network. What fun, and really tasty. Everyone did well.
I also brought pedigree charts for everyone to fill out, and a mad-lib regarding the Trosper Easter. We ran out of time to do the camera Scavenger Hunt I planned so we will have to save that for another holiday.
The prime rib, ham, baked asparagas, fruit salad, and garlic potatoes Scott prepared were yummy and ended the weekend on a very FULL note. We expressed love for each other, and for the Savior, so it was a special time of gratitude as well.
I didn't have a camera so I hope someone will send me pictures so I can add them to the blog. Puleeeeeeze!
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I get all gooshy and my heart melts when I see pictures of Leah over the internet. One step better is a video so I can hear her chattering along with the pictures. Then to hold her, hug her, feel her heart beat next to mine is just addicting. I want more, more, more.
Marque and Sarah appreciate the birth mom, Caitlyn, so much. Above the rocking chair in Leah's room is a framed piece that has the following words on it. "When I'm worried, and I can't sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep"
Caitlyn and her family were also adopted by Marque and Sarah. They invite them to be a part of Leah's life. Not too much that it would ever be confusing, but enough that Caitlyn continues to know how grateful they are. And that Leah will some day know that too. They call her their angel. Caitlyn made some mistakes but she didn't compound them by keeping a child she felt she was not ready to raise. She loved her baby enough to give her a better chance. Leah is so blessed that Caitlyn chose Marque and Sarah as her parents with Heavenly Fathers guidance.
Marque and Sarah don't just thank Caitlyn and leave it at that. They are forming a foundation to put their hearts and money where there mouth is. It will offer a scholarship to young mothers who choose adoption rather than abortion or raising the baby as a single teenage parent. This will help them get back to their lives and even take a step forward. The first recipient will be Caitlyn appropriately. The foundation also will help parents seeking adoption as a way to build their family.
It's a beautiful thing and this mom and gramma is so very proud. So very in love and so very proud.
Here is a connection to Marque's blog to read more http://www.marqueandsarah.blogspot.com/.
Monday, April 12, 2010
So many times, we as women, transition into a new life when circumstances require it. My mother was a working woman until she had a couple little munchkins at home so it was better for her to stay home. I don't know if she even thought about "a choice" or not. When my dad traveled for several weeks out of the month on his job, she became a single parent a large amount of time. Then when he wanted to buy a restaurant the stay at home mom became an instant owner/manager. Transitions, not necessarily of her choosing.
I think we don't even realize how flexible we are to bend and twist our lives to the will and requirements of those we love. A friend of mine went from a single woman, to a care giver for her parents without blinking an eye....transitioning without giving a thought to her own needs. After 10 years her mother recently passed away and she now needs to learn to live her own life. Not as easy as it sounds after giving every thought, every moment to her mother's care.
So is it any surprise that when life changes leave us alone to figure out what we want to do ourselves that we are at a loss. This is where I found myself after my kids were grown and on their own. I had many goals in my life, but they were mostly wrapped around my husband and kids, so I rarely gave a thought to myself. There I was with time to spare and no idea what to do with it. Thus, the "empty nest syndrome". We chart our future to include: graduate from school and seminary, go to college to get a bachelors degree and an M R S degree, find a nice return missionary (or convert some unsuspecting soul), get married in the temple, have children, raise them in a beautiful gospel oriented, nicely decorated, happy home filled with love, get them all off to college, and eternal families of their own. Then we pat ourselves on the back and wonder "What now?" Most women don't plan beyond that. We should. Our relationships with our husband, family, and friends need to be nurtured. We need to also stay active in hobbies and interests that are ours alone.
After my kids were all grown I went with a friend to a class at Chaffey College called "Women in Transition". There we found that we were not alone. There were many women questioning "What now?" in the class with us. It has been many years, but one of the things I remember is the teacher asking what we do for ourselves. Most of us replied "Who me? Nothing!"
She encouraged us to write down ways that we would like to be nurtured. She also told us we needed to find a space that we could go to feel peace and relaxation. I immediately went to a florist and set up a plan to come in each week to pick up some fresh flowers for my table at home. Since fresh flowers brighten up my house, they brighten my spirit as well. But that wasn't the main reward, it was that I was important! Important enough to do something for me each week. I was on a budget so I only spent $5.00 on my flowers, but was amazed what delightful bouquets I got for that small price. Somehow taking them out of a florist wrapped in the lovely green floral paper, created just for me, made it even more inviting than picking them up from a local grocery store. I think I need to go to my florist tonight! Just writing about it reminds me of the joy that brought me. I also have always created a wall, usually by my bed, that helps me melt into meditation. Problem is, you have to give yourself that time. I have a cd player right there too, but rarely remember to turn it on. I used to put a little Enya on and drift away into sublime peace.
I was asked a number of years ago who I was and what I enjoyed. My response was that I loved going to soccer games and watching my kids play, or that I loved spending time playing games or going places with my husband, etc. The response was "Now tell me what you like without using your kids, husband, or house in the sentence." Oh my gosh I stuttered and stammered and realized my whole life was wrapped up in them, and that I couldn't think of one thing that didn't include them. It took me a long time of thinking to be able to say that I love writing, spending time with friends, art....oh I love art! Not my own, although I believe some day I would love to paint again. Painting, sculptures-art in museums and in books. They tell such stories. Music is my absolute joy and can bring me up or give me peace with the perfectly chosen artist. I also like decorating for myself and others, spending time in nature (particularly around water), dancing, cruising, traveling....I enjoy the journey as much as the destination. There are so many other things on my list for my transition into retirement.
There are many retired folks who come into my office to pay insurance and love to just sit and talk forever! Now, I know I am a nice person, but still....why would anyone want to sit around an insurance office for an hour? Because they are bored. They need conversation, something to do with their lives. I have friends who say they have trouble getting up in the mornings because they have nothing to do, no goals, no interests, no desires. That would be tough. I am glad I faced this idea of "transitions" a little earlier in my life and have a plan in mind for my semi-retirement now that I am working just three days a week, and for my eventual full retirement.
Transitions usually come into our life unplanned, and we find ourselves unprepared. From the time our babies stand up on their wobbly legs and want to see their little world, when we want to still be cradling them in our arms, to being ready for them to get their drivers licenses and date before we see them as much more than toddlers. We need to be prepared for the transition. We need to set things up for the day that they go to college, marry, and leave our nest. We might need to even think about and get ready for the day we are alone entirely. Because believe me, sometimes those transitions are unexpected as well. Plan ahead to nurture yourself during those unwanted transitions in your life. Cultivate your interests now! It will make those times more tolerable, and maybe even desireable in some ways if you recognize life is full of surprises and curves. While you are taking care of your children, grandchildren, extended family, friends, and your husband.....don't forget you!
Friday, April 9, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Some things are well thought out and meant to become traditions. For instance: when our kids were young we decided that each year we would get them a Christmas ornament. Even at their birth I could imagine some day they would take all their ornaments with them and have a sentimental start to their own decorations. That was a planned tradition. The unplanned part of that tradition came when Jim seemed to get soldiers or nutcrackers as his ornament a couple years and he decided that is what he wanted each year. Scott got rocking horses. When he was around 18 I asked him if he wanted to change from rocking horses to something else and he said "No, tradition is tradition." Marque never chose or got the same thing every Christmas. His ornament seemed to be something that was simultaneous to his life. An ornament playing soccer when he was in soccer. A missionary with an Elders badge and a suitcase when he went on his mission, etc.
I think sometimes the boys want to hold to the old traditions even harder than I do. Everyone blends two families traditions when they get married...together they decide which stays and which goes. Our family has breakfast casserole after opening presents on Christmas morning and Sarah's family had cinnamon rolls and juice. So they have both at their house. Scott and Cynthia decided to opt for the beautifully decorated tree rather than the "rocking horse" tree. But they put up the manger set I got them and have a well decorated and lighted house like both of their families traditionally had. Jim and Sam have their tree decorated with nutcrackers (Jim), angels (Sam), teddy bears (Hailey), and snowmen (Madyson). Recently when I took a box of decorations out and told the kids they could each take several items from the box I was impressed that they didn't go for the new fancy items, but for the ragged and worn ones tied with traditions that they hold with so much value.
Jim is the guard of the Trosper traditions so it is lucky that he is married to Samantha who is willing to concede and even embrace most of them.
It is very important to me that we have tradition. It makes everything more memorable if it is looked forward to on each occasion. That is so in the world too. Can you imagine if at the end of the wedding no one said "You may kiss the bride". Imagine after their vows the wedded couple just headed back down the aisle without the kiss to seal the deal? We would all feel a little frustrated, unfinished. Tradition gives us something to hang onto, wait for.
But even I am not as serious about keeping the tradition as Jimmy is. Jim is the "Keeper of the Trosper traditions. It is lucky he is married to Samantha who has been willing to concede to most of them. Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without letters to Santa, stockings before gifts, unwrapping each gift one at a time so we can ooo and aaah. Easter wouldn't be Easter without dying eggs the night before, Easter Egg hunts over and over, and ham for Easter dinner. Birthdays have to include smushing someone's face in the cake. Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without letting the dinner get cold while we pass the turkey leg and say what we're thankful for. These are just a few of our traditions at holidays. We have lots of other one's that aren't necessarily for holidays; like, the family game being PIT or Game of 5000, singing my dad's old songs when we travel in the car, games for jobs, or picking up big big gulps especially before road trips (even 15 minute road trips LOL).
Yep Trosper and tradition almost are synonymous. I opted to have prime rib today. What a faux pax. "What?" Jim decried, "We always have ham on Easter." I didn't realize it was a hard and fast tradition....but Jim would. I am really going to enjoy the prime rib this year down in Palm Springs watching conference on tv, but you can be sure I will be checking the tradition guru next time.
Thanks kids for embracing what is important to me. Now, more than ever, we need those stable memories to hang onto. I love you all so much!