Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Balance in Relationships

Warning: This may be inappropriate for the unmarried or people who don't like to talk about s...e....x.

I have a day planner that is so full, that sometimes the to do lists, grocery lists and agendas carry over into the next day. The pages are sprinkled with quotes by different people. This week's quote is from Joyce Brothers, it reads: "Marriage is not just spiritual communion and passionate embraces; marriage is also three-meals-a-day and remembering to take out the trash." I had to laugh out loud at this one. I won't let my husband leave the house without a passionate embrace, (it could be our last after all) but then it is quickly followed by, "Don't forget to..." My husband would rather fill the day with passionate embraces and just skip over the part about taking out the garbage or picking up the clothes off the floor.

A few weeks ago Nathan and I had one of those days just for us. It was a Tuesday, so I didn't have preschool. We sent the kids off to school and spent the morning just hanging out in bed. I never had such a lazy morning in my life. We went to lunch and ran some errands. Lots of passionate embraces but no taking out the trash, or cleaning up. We had the best day together. I told him, "We should do this every Tuesday." He thought a better idea would be every day. I said we had to be responsible every once in a while. After all toilets need to be cleaned, dishes need to be done and laundry needs to be folded.

I think it is possible to be both passionate and responsible, but it is a team effort. When one person is doing all the laundry, dishes, and vacuuming, there is not a balance. My husband's eyes roll in the back of his head when I tell him it is such a turn on to see him elbow deep in toilet water. There is something sexy about a man who loves his wife enough to get on his hands and knees and clean the toilet (he is afterall the one who made the mess).

I think the woman should give into their husband's whenever the husband wants it...and I think husband's should clean up just as often. And everyone should do it without complaint.

Ok...that is not where I was going with this...but it is where I ended up, so take it for what it is worth. you really think it is a big deal that the husband put the toilet seat down? Just curious.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Still going

I gave myself a year to write this book and I will need it. On Friday, when I wasn't in preschool, I spent most of day looking at a blank screen.

I spent Saturday the same way, except for once in a while the kids would come in and ask if I was ever going to get off the computer. So I eventually had to leave the computer to kiss Nathan and Trevor goodbye, they were going to one of Nathans performances....he sings in a singing group. I also had to make sure the other kids weren't starving. I fixed something for dinner and took Preston and a friend to the Lehi High School Play...I can't remember the name of it right now. I went to Walmart thinking it was a one stop shopping place....I have to do the balancing act with as much effeciency as I can. Walmart was out of Cream of Chicken Soup, they didn't have the right aluminum pans I was looking for, and they were out of the Ink Cartridge that I needed. When I stood there at Walmart realizing that I was going to have to go to 3 stores now I was so tempted to leave my cart right there in the isle with my frozen chicken and whipped cream and a million other things that would spoil if I left it. I shook my evil thoughts away and got in my car and cried. I had planned on doing the shopping quickly and then going home and playing games with the girls....after all I had promised them. So instead of one store I ended up going to three. I was back home in time to put the groceries away and give the girls a hug and say "I love you" and then leave again to pick up Preston and his friend from the play.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Life Out of Balance

Have you ever come to a sort of crossroads in your life? Maybe begin to question why the heck are you changing diapers every day? Maybe your life is out of balance, and something is telling you to make a change? Maybe you needed to have another baby (are you kidding me?), or maybe you needed to find something else to study in school (like Men 101 - How To Get Hubby To Put The Seat Down). Maybe you needed to get a new hobby. Maybe you needed to move from plastic back to paper? But no matter what it was, something was making you reevaluate your life.

5 1/2 years ago, I got a sort of tugging that led to us moving here. So many things fell into place that allowed us to just pick up and move. Our lives were completely different after that. We had a new house, new neighbors, new friends, a new ward, I was teaching preschool (something I never thought of doing in the area we were living before), and we knew we were where we needed to be.

So what if you reach another crossroads. This time, however, the answer isn't clear. In fact, the fog on the road you are currently traveling on is so thick, you can't even see a fork or a bend. Maybe it smells like cat throw up (I just spent 2 cleaning it up). I have been on that very road before. I cry out and maybe sometimes scream out, waiting for an answer. The answer doesn't come. I think it is important, no matter where you are on that road, that you keep listening to that voice that seems to be tugging at you. Keep asking what is your purpose, what does the world need from you. The answer will come. It may not be the best answer; like pack up your things and move to Zumbago (I made that country up) but the answer will come and most likely you will be willing to follow the answer because you know deep down you need to do it to fulfill your purpose. Everyone has a purpose.

I have been toying with the idea of writing a children's book for a long time. Something like 20 years. That road has been very foggy as I have tried to write something and then it turns into mush. The road is not so cloudy anymore. Besides mush isn't so bad.

I have a friend who told me that if you want to accomplish something and you declare it to the world, you will most likely accomplish it. So today I am making a declaration. I declare that I will finish writing my children's book by December 31, 2009. There, I said it. Now I am commited. There is no going back. The road has been chosen...will it make all the difference? I think so.

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Year Of Lessons

This has probably been the most challenging year of my life. But with each challenge the Lord seemed to prepare me. I have learned to have gratitude and faith.

The lessons learned actually started in 2006. We sold our cabin on the lake and invested the money with 3 different companies. With the profits from these investments, we were making almost 3 times the money we were making before. We took the kids on trips, we bought a nice car, and I found two great ladies who cleaned my house for me. We bought 3 lots at the lake and built another cabin on one of them. We got season tickets to the Jazz games with great seats. We were living large and life was easy.

In the summer of 2007 the money from one investment had stopped coming. A few months later, income from another investment had stopped coming. We not only lost the monthly income we were making from these investments, but the investments themselves were gone. We don't know if we will see any of it.

September of 2007 was the first of many miracles. We shut off the water to the cabin we had just finished building (we had a "for sale" sign in the window), but somehow a pipe broke and water began gushing into the cabin. A man who happened to be walking by the cabin walked up to the door. He could hear water running. He peeked into the window and saw water coming from behind the refrigerator. He called the number on the "for sale" sign and reached Nathan. He told Nathan what was happening. Nathan told him how to get into the cabin and the man got in and turned off the water. Nathan, the plumber and I took the 3 hour trip to the cabin and found this man still there cleaning up with a shop vacuum that we had left there. I believe this man, we only know by the name of Richard, was sent by the Lord to bless our lives. We assessed the damage that day and found that the carpets were going to need replacing, and all the wood doors on the main floor were so warped that they needed to be replaced. Walls were damaged and baseboards were damaged. We found a company to get the water out of the carpet so they didn't need to be replaced. The next trip to the cabin we found the doors were working perfectly, the base boards fit and were not warped and the walls were just fine. The only lasting damamge was a hole in the wall behind the refrigerator where the water blew through and a rug had bled through and stained some of the tile on the bathroom floor.

2008 brought much humility. We stopped using the housekeepers; the children stopped extra activities that were costing money; and we ate out less often. We started using coupons and buying only essential things that were on sale. I stopped going to Lia Sophia, Pampered Chef and other parties. The children stopped asking for things and became more concerned about our families' welfare. We wanted our children to know that everything would be just fine and to have faith. We began to look at the things that we did have, and became more grateful for those things. Nathan continued to have work and we were able to keep paying the bills.

During one particularly expensive month this past year, I didn't know how we were going to make it. After much prayer and fasting, I got a phone call from the guy who helped us build our cabin. He told me that he had gone through the numbers on the cabin and said he owed us money and he would be sending a check. That check kept us going for another 3 months. Many prayers of thanks were offered at that time.

2008 brought 3 serious injuries to Nathan's hands. Never in the 19 years that Nathan had been working was he ever injured, and this year he had 3. Instead of being angry, we had learned how important these blessings were. He could still work and he still had full use of his hands.

This past year has been humbling, and a test of faith. We have experienced so many small miracles that I can't even name them all. I am grateful that I can clean my own toilets, that my children are healthy, that Nathan has his hands, and that we have an abudance of blessings. These blessings have come from remembering our Heavenly Father's hand in our lives and by trying to live in a way to be worthy of those blessings.

Hope for 2009. I have learned so much from this past year. I have learned how important it is to pay tithing, to spend less than we make, and to save as much as possible. I no longer take for granite our ability to work, the opportunity to share with those less fortunate that us, and how easy it is to have our lives turn up-side-down. We can prepare for those difficult times by putting our hearts on the things of the Lord. I know that Heavenly Father loves us and will always be with us if we do our part. I will do more of my part this year.

May this year bring you joy, hope and more gratitude.

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