Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Intelligent or friendly?

It often seems like we either have the choice to be considered intelligent, cold, and distant, or we can be considered warm and friendly. But it's really hard to be considered both intelligent and friendly, especially on a first meeting.

Putting aside for a moment the fact that these types of studies use American college undergraduates/freshmen to generalize to the entire human race (it's using a sample of convenience not a true representative sample, but these studies always use it), there was a study that concluded that we can either be seen has having brains or emotions, but not both. The more of one we have the less of the other we have.

There are of course things they didn't take into account with this study. But at the same time it kind of fits with my dating experience. You're either the smarty nerdy girl that everyone is friends with but nobody wants to date. Or you're the bimbo that everyone dates but nobody cares about deeply.

Darn it all! Why can't we just be the smart, caring women that we are and have people see us for both aspects?

I did however keep my corduroy jacket on while I taught my college class today. Evaluations are coming up.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

One Day At A Time

The good news is that I'm feeling much better. Still a little lonely, really needing hug, but not collapsing on my kitchen floor sad about it. The other good news is that in three weeks, one of the most stressful periods of my life will be over and five days after that, I'll be back in The Homeland for a longer than usual stay. I can't freaking wait.

The bad news is that my new sister-in-law is having an emergency surgery tomorrow. It's a routine procedure, but that doesn't mean we're not concerned. My grandpa is dealing with some new health issues too, and I don't like to think about him leaving us any time soon. That's not a risk . . . yet.

And that's life, folks. Ups. Downs. All arounds. You just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and take lots of deep breaths. Everything is going to be ok.

- Posted wirelessly by Jinxie

Monday, November 28, 2011


This week is shaping up to be very busy: it's the culmination of the project I've been working on (how cryptic can I be...) but after this week, I won't be gone every night which will be a relief! Now I just have to determine how to use my spare time wisely so I can finish up some other projects before heading Elsewhere for Christmas. I'm also teaching in church on Sunday, practicing for a Christmas concert, exploring education options, and a few other things. I have a full plate, but I enjoy so much of it.

My bishop told me the other day that I should think about uncomplicating my life. When I got home, I listed the things I do on a regular basis and realized that the THINGS aren't necessarily complicating my life, but my THOUGHTS are. I am feeling a lot of (mostly) self-imposed stress about things I can't really control, and, because I get so caught up in worrying, it's making it hard to do anything at all. That's when things get complicated. I do need more quiet time. I need more time doing the things I want/need to do and less time worrying about how to get it all done. That means I need to calm down, do one thing at a time, and stop panicking about my family's financial situation in January. It has been an extremely difficult year in my house--without going into too much detail, I will say that the recession has hit my dad's business very hard. Without us pooling our limited resources, we might have lost our home. As it is, sometimes we barely make it through a month and in January, it will get even harder because of some health issues that need to be taken care of despite the loss of income it will entail. We can't afford to lose any income, but we also can't afford to have a more significant loss of income if these health problems aren't taken care of now.

Can I control any of this? Not really. Can I look for a better-paying job in order to help more? Yes, I can. Can I MAKE someone hire me? No. So what do I do in the meantime? I pray, I work, I try to find ways to make a little extra money, I support my family in good health and bad, I fast, I pray, I pray, I pray. I'm doing everything I can and freaking out about things I can't control will only use up energy I need to live this life.

Somehow, things will work out. They always do. And I'm grateful for Roxie and Jinxie who give me perspective and tell me to calm down when I get frantic.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Difficult Weekend

While my entire immediate family, except me, gathered together with my brother, my brother's wife, and my brother's wife's entire immediately family for a Thanksgiving meal back in The Homeland, I sat with some friends I've known for less than six months. Well, two friends I've known for less than six months, one of their girlfriends who I just met last week, and some family of hers I still am unclear of her relation to (besides the one that is her mother). Yet another year as a Thanksgiving orphan.

While I'm incredibly grateful I didn't have to resort to ordering Chinese and eating alone, I really wanted to spend Thanksgiving with friends or family I've known for longer than that. Maybe next year I will.

Unfortunately, the rest of the weekend has spiraled downwards for me. I've spent time with other friends, relaxed, tried to be productive, attended the temple, and reflected on my blessings. It was a fairly typical weekend. Last night, however, just I was about to go to bed, I was hit with a sudden and intense loneliness worse than I've felt in quite some time. I missed my family, I missed having someone to hold/be held by, and I was angry at all the men who have taken me for granted, hurt me, and let me go.

Unsurprisingly, I didn't sleep very well. We all have our own brand of loneliness - mine comes from living thousands of miles from my parents and siblings and grandparents and the family dog, hundreds of miles from aunts and uncles - alone in my own apartment, which I love most of the time. I have friends, close friends for sure, but no default, always there needs me as much as I need them kind of friend. It's just me against the world right now and there's a lot on my plate that I'm trying to face on my own right now.

And it's hard.

It's so hard that when I reached into my fridge tonight for some vegetables, I got so overwhelmed that I had to close my refrigerator door, sit down on my dirty kitchen floor (dirty because I haven't had time to clean it and certainly no one else will be doing it), and just breathe on the verge of tears for a couple of minutes. It didn't last long, but it was a low moment.

Maybe it's the hormones combined with the holiday (yay menstruation!). Maybe it's just that I'm really stressed with my professional life right now. Maybe I'm just lonely.

Thank you for reading this far. Posts like this are what this blog is about after all - the secret thoughts of the frustratingly single. I'll get through this. I always do. In the meantime, I'm going to try and get some sleep. I just hope my subconscious wants to play nice tonight.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


(I chose "short" as the title for this post because it's been a busy week and my internet is iffy at best lately. I think we have a bad router and hope we can replace it soon.)

The project I've referred to in most of my blogs this month has been stressful but fun. Part of the stress is that it's brought back a lot of memories of the breakup of my engagement a few years ago. Some of the memories are good, some are very sad, but I'm glad I have the good ones and that the bad ones are memories and not current events. Reminiscing with friends (and talking with new friends who ask) has, at times, been difficult, but it's been so good for me to be able to look back and see how far I've come. I know that it is only through the power of the Atonement of Christ that the breakup didn't completely crush me. I'm so grateful to be able to see that, and I hope I can be a strength to others.

I'm happy to be where I am (despite my job angst) and happy to be headed in the right direction.

Life is so good.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Is wearing a bikini immodest?

There are many studies and many discussions out there about the messages a person sends when they wear certain clothes. You have to be careful teaching people to dress a certain way (particularly modestly) because you don't want to lay all the blame on the dresser for the wayward thoughts someone else might have as a result. However! I do think that both parties have to responsible in their thoughts, actions, and dress. Here's an interesting video that's making the rounds on Facebook regarding some scientific evidence for why we should choose to dress modestly.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Holiday blessings

I've had a post sitting on the back burner since last year about how to make the holidays your own, especially when you are single and possibly far from the family you normally celebrate with. But we're all different. So what worked for me might not work for you as well.

Instead, here's this little bit of advice - make them your own, remember why you are celebrating, keep the traditions you can and start some new ones. And remember the wonder that is webcams.

I've found that no matter what is going on in your life, there is always something to be thankful for. And counting those blessings is even more important when it doesn't look like you have that many.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bless The Telephone

I've been really digging this song lately.

I look forward to having someone to share it with.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Recently, I've had the regular opportunity to be around some adorable children. They are so sweet--yes, they're little monsters, but they're SO sweet. It has been a delight to be around them. Tonight, one of them did something so cute I could barely contain myself. I turned to the woman next to me (who has children in a range of ages, the oldest just about married) and said "I want a baby RIGHT NOW!" She smiled and said, "they're awfully cute, aren't they? Are you trying to have kids?" I laughed and replied, "I'm not even married yet! Let me rephrase: I want a date, and then a second date, and then a boyfriend, and then a fiance, and then a husband, and THEN a baby. I have to do it all in the right order, you know!" She laughed too, and then touched my hand and said, "You have a wonderful mother heart. I can tell just watching you how loving you are. Don't ever lose that heart!"

I was sincerely touched. I told her I was doing my best to stay gentle and loving, even though it's hard to be kind to everyone some days. . . It is good to be reminded that it's ok to be kind, especially to children. It's ok to call them "sweetie" when I see them. It's ok to let my heart be soft around them. Sometimes I think we feel like we can't allow ourselves to love because we might not get what we want to love. Yes, it's hard to love without the surety that we get to keep the loved one, but life is so much better when we allow ourselves to love spontaneously and honestly. I love the kids I get to interact with--I think I'll let myself do that without being upset about the children I don't have yet.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Movie or a play?

Dinner and a movie is considered a standard date. However most will admit that a movie isn't necessarily the best date idea because there is not a lot of opportunity for conversation and getting to know each other. I was trying to explain to some new daters (recently 16) why a play (or musical), while it is similar to a movie, is actually a much better date idea. Which took me a little bit of time to figure out.

I finally realized that plays have the before (without ads and previews), intermission, and after that are open for talking. And plays more often than not give you food for thought where movies generally don't (movies are fun, don't get me wrong, and we need mindless stuff to relax from time to time, but mindless dates are not the best). Every time I've gone to a play for a date it's provided a full evening of conversation.

We have a few television shows we watch that get us talking too. "Parenthood" has started a lot of conversations about what type of parenting we want to do and where different relationships hit problems and what could've been differently to prevent it. We talk clear throughout "The Sing-Off" as we're analyzing the music and making our predictions about who is going to win the round and who is going to get cut.

I've done my share of dinner and a movie dates. They've ranged from bad to okay/good. But anything that'll get you talking is always better. And going to community theater helps support your local community too.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

It's not your news to share

I told my dad that I met someone. The guy with the exclamation point in his text? In this case, we really did just meet once and had a very fast dinner together a week later, his treat. That and some texting is it so far. My dad grabbed on to that story and ran with it so much so that at a recent family gathering almost everyone asked me: "So, I heard you met someone?" Even a stranger at the gym then my dad goes to and I was attending with him asked, "So I heard you met someone?"

Yes, friends and family, I met somebody. Just met him. That doesn't mean I'm going to marry him - doesn't even mean I'm going to date him. But, yes, in the true sense of the word, I have met someone. Whether or not I Met Someone is too early to tell.

When there is news of that nature, I fully expect my dad to shout it from the rooftops. However, one dinner and one meeting do not a relationship make and I don't know why my dad feels a need to share this with everyone. For all I know, it's going to show up in the family Christmas letter! I'm glad he's excited. No, really, I am. I'm excited too. I just don't know what it is yet and I certainly don't think it's worth telling strangers at the gym about.

How do you deal with an over excited parent? I think Roxie had the right idea - she allowed her mom to ask her once a month. I am ever closer to making that a requirement. I know my dad wants good things for me. I want them too. I'm glad that I can share things with my parents as they really are some of my best friends but that doesn't mean they need to share my news with everyone.

I also tire of these questions my dad has asked me lately:

Dad: Do you have any boy news you want to share?
Me: Noooo.

Dad: Have you reconnected with anyone?
Me: Are you asking if I've talked to [this guy I've met] since I got back from The Homeland?
Dad: . . . Yes.

Have you dealt with this situation? How have you found a compromise between over sharing and not sharing at all?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

You Shouldn't Say

Here, for your benefit, are a list of things you shouldn't say to a single person or a couple dealing with infertility.

1. "Just relax." Which goes with "It will happen when you least expect it" or its twin "Stop trying and it will happen."
Everything I've ever gotten in life was because I did something. Part of getting married is actually putting yourself out there the best you know how. People get pregnant because they do something, and in the case of infertility it's because they do a LOT of somethings. Telling someone to "just relax" is basically telling them faith doesn't need works. "Just relax" denies my works.

2. "Have you tried...? That's what worked for me."
That's wonderful. But I'm not you.

3. "I know how you feel."
Really? You've been exactly where I am with my exact background? If you have been in a similar situation it is to turn that from a "you" statement to an "I" statement. "I felt this way when..." rather than assuming you know how I feel. Or even just simply ask how I'm feeling.

4. "Everyone needs a favorite aunt." or "You can always adopt."
No, being single/infertile is not the end of the world and yes, there are other ways to be fulfilled in this life. But each person needs to figure them out on their own and it is nobody's place to say what to do next.

5. "Husbands/Kids are a lot of trouble."
I swear I'm walking out of a meeting if it ever turns into husband/kid bashing. There's a bumper sticker that says "A bad day fishing is better than a good day working." In some ways a bad day in a good marriage is better than a good day all alone.

6. "How are you doing?" when accompanied by sad puppy dog eyes of pity.
Please, hold the pity. It doesn't do anything to build anyone up. Especially if you give me pity about the area of my life that isn't going the way I want when I'm having a pretty good day in other areas of my life and would rather talk about that at the moment.

But that does not mean you should be silent and ignore reality. So here's some things you should say.

1. "Let me know if I can do anything."
And mean it. And then leave it.

2. "How are you doing?" when accompanied by genuine interest in my life as a whole.
Simply acknowledging there is more to my life than my marital/parental status is huge. When I want to talk about the marital/parental stuff I will, but if I don't bring it up, maybe you shouldn't either. The friends I appreciate the most are those who don't always press for details and who acknowledge me as a whole person.

The best response I've gotten about our infertility was when I told a friend why I couldn't schedule a meeting with her for a certain week because I wasn't sure what I'd be doing medically that week because of the next step we were taking and she replied with the most genuine and excited, "That's great!" She didn't give advice. She didn't give pity. She didn't judge. The most she's said since was to tell me once that she was thinking about us and praying for us. And isn't that what we all need.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Sometimes I feel like my flirter is broken because I don't get to use it very often. Every once in a while I pull it out, dust it off, and see how rusty it is. Usually, it's in pretty good shape, and I enjoy using it.

Lately, I've been put in a situation where I'm back in contact with someone I used to be interested in but who didn't return the interest in any appreciable way. For a while, I thought maybe there was something between us; we got fairly close and communicated either through text, phone, or IM almost every day. Then I discovered that he wasn't entirely over his divorce (which, to give him credit, was pretty traumatic for him) and instead of seeking help for it, he turned into a serial dater, chasing after girls more than 10 years younger than him. I quickly became uninterested and wrote him off as not worth my time.

Now I see him almost every day and will see him every other day until Christmas. Is he still attractive? Yes, he is. Is he still dating inappropriately young girls? I think he is. Do I have the uncontrollable urge to flirt with him? YES I DO. Is this really annoying? You bet it is.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Some of my favorites on love

Mary Oliver

to live in this world, you must be able to do three things:
to love what is mortal:
to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

Some Things Go Together by Charlotte Zolotow

Pigeons with park
Stars with dark
Sand with sea
and you with me.
... Hats with heads
Pillows with beds
Sky with blue
and me with you.

I Like You by Sandol Stoddard

I like you because
If you find two four-leaf clovers
You give me one
If I find four
I give you two
If we only find three
We keep on looking.
... I like you because if I am mad at you
Then you are mad at me too
It's awful when the other person isn't
They are so nice and hoo-hoo you could
just about punch them in the nose.
... I would go on choosing you
And you would
go on choosing me
Over and over again.

Your Personal Penguin by Sandra Boynton
A penguin pleads his case to a bewildered hippo. (There is also a musical version, sung by Davy Jones from The Monkees.)

I like you a lot.
You're funny and kind.
So let me explain
What I have in mind.
I want to be your personal penguin.
I want to walk right by your side.
I want to be your personal penguin.
I want to travel with you far and wide.


No. No, you can't... STOP. Please don't go away. Please? No one's ever stuck with me for so long before. And if you leave... if you leave... I just, I remember things better with you. I do, look. P. Sherman, forty-two... forty-two... I remember it, I do. It's there, I know it is, because when I look at you, I can feel it. And-and I look at you, and I... and I'm home. Please... I don't want that to go away. I don't want to forget.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. Please tame me! One only understands the things that one tames," said the fox.

Said the Shotgun to the Head by Saul Williams

Have you ever lost yourself in a kiss? I mean pure psychedelic inebriation. Not just lustful petting but transcendental metamorphosis when you became aware that the greatness of this being was breathing into you. Licking the sides and corners of your mouth, like sealing a thousand fleshy envelopes filled with the essence of your passionate being and then opened by the same mouth and delivered back to you, over and over again – the first kiss of the rest of your life. A kiss that confirms that the universe is aligned, that the world's greatest resource is love, and maybe even that God is a woman. With or without a belief in God, all kisses are metaphors decipherable by allocations of time, circumstance, and understanding

C.S. Lewis

To love at all is to be vulnerable.
Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken.
If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Roxie and I were talking the other day about how easy it sometimes is to be discouraged, and she made the point that discourage essentially means "taking away courage". Last night, I got a rejection form letter for a job I applied for, and today I feel hopeless and discouraged. I feel afraid to try anything else right now because I'm certain it won't work. I feel like I'm not good enough to try to get out of my dead-end job, that I'll be stuck here forever, gradually gaining 100 pounds through inactivity and losing whatever IQ I have through mindless repetition, eventually becoming grotesque and pointless and redundant.

I posted about being lonely a couple of days ago, and that feeling is just adding to my current spate of discouragement. Sometimes this being single business is REALLY hard.

I've been doing Jillian Michaels' 30-Day Shred program and liking it quite a bit. I haven't leveled up yet but plan to in the next week or so. There's a thing she says at the very end of Level 1, when you're doing bicycle crunches and your abs are screaming. She says, "I know it's hard. That knot in your stomach right now? It's you getting stronger. It's fear leaving your body." I really like hearing that. At first I wasn't sure what she meant, but when I figured it out, it made so much sense. It's the fear of not being able to finish that workout AGAIN, but you power through anyway, and you're done! So I guess we need to fight the fear in our lives in the same way, right?

I guess I just have to keep going through this little setback. I have to power through another set of spiritual bicycle crunches so I can come out stronger in the end. But, much like a workout routine, it's really hard to keep going when you don't see immediate results. That's what has me down today. I'm losing the courage to change my life.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My brother is a husband now

The wedding was marvelous. Wonderful. Beautiful. Just as it should have been. It made me so happy to see my brother so happy and I can't even begin to describe the feeling that exists in the sealing room of the temple (where we as worthy members of the LDS church hold weddings that will be bound on earth and in heaven forever) when you witness the creation of a new eternal family, especially one that is an extension of your own. Needless to say, I cried many tears of joy watching my punk brother and his lovely bride make covenants they intend to keep always. To get married in the right place at the right time to the right person is one of the most important things about this life and I knew that my brother and new sister-in-law were doing just that.

My fears about welcoming this new person into our family? Much tempered. She was nervous about meeting me too and even texted me the day before we met that she hoped I didn't think she sucked.

I certainly do not!

I fit right into the group at her bachelorette party and comfortable around her family as I met them throughout the next few days. When it was just us, we had no awkwardness and I really started to feel like she was my sister.

My brother didn't realize until it was almost too late that by marrying her, he was bringing another woman into the family where the women already outnumber the men, making the ratio now 2:1. Almost as soon as the four of us sat around a table alone for the first time (crafting for the reception, natch), we quickly started discussing things like cervical fluid and birth control. My brother had joined us, at the insistence of his now wife, just before the conversation went the direction and almost immediately regretted that decision.

Heh. Sorry, bro, but if you're about to be married and doing the things married people do, you're going to have to learn to deal with that topic. Though I will concede you probably don't want to know how your sisters collect their menstrual fluid.

Still, it was a conversation that gave me reason to look forward to more relaxed conversations in the future. Are we BFFs yet? No, but we're on our way. We're building a relationship of trust and love and I really do like her. I was even of more assistance during the wedding dinner than her own sisters, which I think was an important bonding moment.

She suits my brother well. Their commonalities, complimentary differences, patience, and love are evident, and I have faith in the lasting nature of their relationships. I'm very glad they found each other!

Welcome to the family, sister-in-law! May we all be as lucky in love as you are now!

Monday, November 14, 2011

First dance

Two years ago tonight we had our "first dance" as a married couple. We'd danced before, probably even to the same song. It felt like we were the only two people in the room.

But honestly, I think I'll like the dance we'll have tonight even more when we really will be the only two people in the room.

Last year we danced to our song in our living room on our anniversary as well, it's my new favorite tradition. Things just get more fun as we go.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


In the last couple of weeks, I've had moments of loneliness. I'm surrounded by people I love and who love me, I'm happy with my life, but there are times I'm suddenly so lonely it knocks the wind out of me. I wonder, during those brief moments, if I can handle a lifetime of them. I don't want to handle a lifetime of intense, if occasional, aloneness, but I've dealt with a lot of things I wouldn't purposely seek out. I suppose if it is my lot to be single the rest of my life, I'll be blessed to be happy in the midst of my trials.

But it would really be nice to have a husband soon.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


My dad is painting and installing closet doors lately, and after inspecting one of the doors at his request, I declared, "I love white doors, but if I feel like painting them orange, I think I will. I figure it will be my house and no one should care if I paint my closet doors orange."

That pretty much sums up my feelings on interior colors--if you want orange closet doors, why not have them? It's just a can of paint and some time, right? Besides, we could all use a little color in our lives. :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank you veterans

When I was younger I thought I'd probably marry a military man from Idaho. Which seems oddly specific. But I liked traveling/moving (I've since outgrown that) and I liked potatoes, a lot, like eat them every day for two weeks like them. So it seemed like a military man from Idaho would be exactly my type.

My grandpa served in WWII. He left behind my grandma and uncle to fight in Europe. He was decorated and returned home. And he didn't talk about it until a few years before he died.

My dad has friends whose names are on the Vietnam memorial.

One of my cousins served in the Marines. Another cousin married a man in the Air Force and has already been through several deployments.

I am grateful every day for the men and women who serve this country in the military and I pray their families have the strength and peace they need.

And I'd be lying if I didn't say I wasn't a little bit grateful that my younger thoughts didn't come true and I'm not one of those people who needs that much strength in my life.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Prayer and cramps

I have never been one of those people who has miraculously been healed of an illness; not really. I’ve prayed when I’ve been sick, and I’ve had relief either through medication or sleep, but I’ve never had the illness leave my body instantaneously. Don’t get me wrong! I have been healed in other ways—I’ve been strengthened beyond my capacity to endure emotional and mental burdens that would otherwise have crippled me, and I am profoundly grateful for that divine intervention. There are times I’m sure I wouldn’t be alive today had my prayers not been answered, but this little post isn’t about that kind of burden.

This post is about cramps.

I’m sure we’ve all had them at one time or another. I’m pretty lucky because mine are rarely very bad; mostly just uncomfortable and annoying. I can count on one hand the times when cramps literally had me down for the count, very suddenly and out of nowhere, over the last 20-odd years. Two of those instances, I had the luxury of finding out I couldn’t go to work before I got to work. This last one, I was already at work when it hit. Now listen, I rarely take sick days. The last time I took more than one sick day was last year when I had bronchitis and was coughing my guts out for three days. I might leave work early occasionally when I haven’t had enough sleep or need to see my doctor for something, but I usually tough it out pretty well. One day last week, I couldn’t. I could hardly move. By the time I’d been at work for half an hour, I was suddenly (it's never gradual in this case) in so much pain that I was nauseated, dizzy, shaky, and very pale when I gave up on Advil and looking up pressure points online and limped down the hall to throw up in the bathroom.

I’d been chatting online with my sister and had told her I was shaking and light-headed. She’d responded by reminding me I could take more painkillers and that she’d bring me some if I didn’t have any. I thanked her and told my coworkers I’d be back in a few minutes. I don’t know how long I was gone, but it was more than a few minutes. I remember facing the toilet in that public bathroom, praying that the pain would go away somehow so that I could stay at work and function normally. I kept praying as my body decided to keep my breakfast inside. I kept praying as I washed my hands and saw how pale and shaky I really was. I prayed more as I limped back to my office. I prayed as I saw that my sister had signed off. I kept praying that the pain would recede enough that I could think.

About 20 minutes after I got back to my desk, my sister came into my office with some painkillers and one of those ThermaCare patches for cramps (a GODSEND). She asked how many Advil I’d taken and how long it had been (3, an hour earlier, which should have kicked in but hadn’t made a dent) and suggested I take a fourth immediately and another one if the 4 didn’t take in the next 45 minutes. She told me to put the heat pack on as soon as possible and to keep her posted if it didn’t work, and then she was off to her own job.

I followed her instructions, choking down another pill before limping to the bathroom to put on the heat pack. I huddled over my desk, praying still, and felt that if I could, I should find a place to sleep for even 20 minutes. I talked to my coworker and told her I wasn’t feeling well (she wasn’t surprised, based on how I looked) and needed to lie down for a while but would be back before her meeting in 45 minutes. One of the bathrooms in the building has one of those anterooms with a padded bench, a shelf, a mirror, and a light you can turn off. I made my way there, set my phone to wake me up in 40 minutes, curled up on the bench, and tried to sleep. I never went into a full-blown sleep, but I dozed enough that my body was able to calm down and restore itself so I felt much better by the time my alarm went off. I checked my color in the bathroom mirror, realizing I was much less shaky and that the pain, although still in the background, no longer made me nauseated and dizzy.

I was able to get through the rest of my work day with only a little illness, and thanked my sister again when we met for lunch, which was cottage cheese (lots of protein, which I needed) and French fries we split (carbs, which I also needed). She said it was funny because at the time I told her I was shaking and dizzy from the pain, she had gotten distracted by something and was still online. Normally she wouldn’t have been in her office on the computer just then, but something made her stay. I had prayed for relief, and she had been able to see my need and provide help. If she hadn’t been there when she was, I don’t know if I’d have been able to drive myself home—I’m not a wimp, but I really don’t know if I would have made it all the way home, let alone out of the parking lot—and I know that I wouldn’t have been able to stay at work.

She was in the right place at the right time; angels didn’t come down from Heaven to take away that awful pain (I really feel for those of you with endometriosis!), but the pain was taken away because my sister was paying attention. Was my prayer heard? You bet it was! Was it answered? Definitely. I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father who takes care of me and for a sister who follows promptings.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


My brother gets married this week. My younger brother. My only brother.

Mostly, I'm so happy for him and excited to get to know this new sister he's bringing into our family.

However, there is some weirdness, which I think is mostly just getting used to the idea. You see, I've never met his future wife. I'll get to meet her a couple of days before the ceremony, but we won't have much time to really get to know each other because those days will be chock full of last-minute wedding prep and masses of other family and friends. I've met her via Skype and we've been Facebook friends for some time now, but that's hardly sufficient.

The rest of my family, on the other hand, has spent lots of time with her. Even my own blood sister, who I also haven't seen in almost two years, calls our new sister a BFF. I'm actually afraid that not being there from the beginning will hurt the rest of our relationship. I'm afraid that I'll always be this outsider and we'll never have the kind of relationship we ought to.

Of course, I'm likely paranoid. If she's as awesome as she seems from her Facebook and from reports from my brother and family, we're going to hit it off right away. And even if we don't? We have eternity to figure it out. My brother really, really loves her, so I'm going to welcome her into our family and just be excited to have a new sister!

I think the other weirdness stems from the fact that this is the first wedding in my immediate family. We've been just the five of us for nigh on thirty years, or a little more than 20 if you count when my sister joined us, and now we are six. Forever. It's hard to wrap my mind around the fact that this woman I've never met is going to be one of us for the rest of time and all eternity. Not only am I getting a sister-in-law, I am now someone else's sister-in-law!

And yes, there is a little bit of jealousy. Most of the time, as the oldest, it's my job to do things first. But not this. I promise, however, that jealousy is just a tiny part of it.

So, tell me, friends with siblings-in-law - how did you get through the weirdness of welcoming a new family member?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Story People

Several years ago a friend, who I lovingly refer to as my ADHD friend (and I think everyone needs a friend like him, life is always awesome around him) gave me a book called Story People by Brain Andreas. If you are not familiar with Story People you should be. It is a delightful book with something you can relate to every few pages that will make you think or smile or laugh.

Here's a few I thought related to this blog.

  • Little Man - I actually really like the quirks and have no intention of ever training them out of anyone. It's our quirks that make us who we are.
  • Partial Enlightenment - Now this one is hitting really too close to home right now. But it's a good reminder. My life always goes better when God takes over, it's just a hard thing to let go.
  • Wheelbarrow - Now this is a lovely image. I'm not leaving my dreams, I'm just getting help with them. Related to the previous, I'm sure my Heavenly Father would be more than happy to help me push my wheelbarrow, I just need to let Him chose the direction.
  • Fast Forward - And let's dedicate this one to Jinxie, because there's definitely a lot of guys missing out there.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Blink and you might miss it!

I think I got my answer about the last guy this weekend. He deliberately came over to me at a party to say hello and give me a side hug, which was nice of him. Eventually, we started talking, and I asked how things (work and school, specifically) were going. We talked for several minutes and he mentioned that his schedule would be less stressful in the coming weeks. I suggested that if that was the case, it would be nice to spend some time with him again. He nodded and said "We'll see, we'll see." with a slight hint of a smile.

But then I blinked, someone else joined us, and before I even had time to realize it, he was across the room in another conversation.

Oookay then.

I'm not holding my breath with this guy.

On the other hand, when I suggested to a different young man, via text, that we get together again when I get back from traveling, he wrote back almost immediately, saying that would be fun! Exclamation point his!

So that's something. And something is always good.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Checklist of pride

Today a sister gave me back a book I'd loaned her. It's a book I've loaned out several times because it changed my perspective on things so much. It's called, "Confronting the Myth of Self-Esteem: Twelve Keys to Finding Peace" by Ester Rasband. I think everyone should read it.

After she gave it to me I was flipping through it I came across the section, in the chapter about identifying the needs of your heart, about people who live a checklist life.

I have a lot of checklists. They help me remember to do all the little things. So this section caught my eye. And as I reread it, my eyes became wet. This was the section I needed to read today.

The type of checklist talked about in the book is the one that leads us to say "I've done x, y, and z, now the Lord owes me the blessing I want." Which is something I recognized in me. There have been times, and now is one of them, when my prayer is something along the lines of, "I've done everything that is in my power, now it's your turn Lord."

We do need to do everything that is in our power, this is true. But that isn't the way to think about it, like a checklist. My prayers and thoughts should instead be "Thy will be done" or at the very least "help me accept Thy will."

When I was single I did everything I could think of. I was faithful in attending my church meetings. I expanded my talents to make sure I kept growing. I put myself out there in different ways so that it would be possible to meet people even if I would've rather just stayed home. But doing all of that won't bring peace if I'm then going to the Lord and basically saying, "What's wrong with you that everything I've done isn't enough?" Pride is never peace.

Things with that aspect of my life worked out better than I could've imagined. And I need to let that experience of putting that aspect of my life in God's hands to put my life back in His hands.

Desires for marriage and children are righteous desires. We should do all we can along those lives. But then we also need to remember not to hold it against God when he knows what is best for us better than we do. The natural man is prideful and putting him off is not easy. But it is the only way to have peace. And I could definitely use more peace in my life right now. I don't know that I'm strong enough yet to say "Thy will be done" but I can at least change my prayers to ask for help in accepting His will.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Remember last time how someone mentioned I was a "young 36" and I thought part of it is that I'm still curious and sometimes silly?

Tonight, I watched "This Old House" with my family and was absolutely delighted at the tools and techniques and innovation they show every episode. I loved hearing them describe how different tools do different jobs. I enjoyed watching them demonstrate an innovative techniqe. I was fascinated by how things were put together. I wanted to learn more about some specific tools and materials!

Tonight, I put sparkly nail polish on my fingernails and am so delighted by it that I keep getting distracted while I type because it's so pretty.

This morning, I was so delighted by a small boy's running and playing that I clapped my hands and grinned like crazy.

This afternoon, I went to my church to check for some equipment I need for my lesson tomorrow, and was delighted to find the library had exactly what I was looking for.

This morning, I met a sweet cocker spaniel/blue heeler cross who licked my hand and I laughed with delight while I stroked her soft ears and watched her walk around the room.

There is SO MUCH in this world that is delightful!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Giving up hope

One of my favorite quotes about hope is:

Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.
- Shawshank Redemption

I recently heard a father talking about his son who had recently gotten married. He actually said, "We'd almost given up hope" because this poor son had hit 30 before getting married.

How sad is that!?! Parents giving up hope on their kids. That's kind of rotten parenting isn't it?

Now, I'm pretty sure that isn't what that father meant, but that doesn't mean I haven't heard it many times in many places. However, the words that come out of your mouth reflect the thoughts rolling around in your head. So if you're saying you have no hope in your kids than somewhere you're thinking they are a lost cause.

I never lost hope in myself. It might have dimmed at times but it never went out. Don't lose hope. Don't let it die. Have true hope and faith.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Well, fine then

Some weeks ago, I went on a really nice first date. I had asked him out to an event, but he couldn't make that evening, so he asked me to dinner later in the week.

So to dinner we went. We laughed a lot. We had great food. We went on a post-dinner walk. We talked for hours. He would go on to describe the evening as "refreshing" and that he "had a wonderful time." A few nights later, we arrived separately to a party only to spend most of the night near or with each other, leaving together and talking in his car into the small hours of the night.

For the next couple of weeks, I got a hug every time we saw each other and met a couple of his friends. Conversation was still easy and things seemed to be going well. We didn't have any more official dates, but there were still good signs in that direction.

And then they weren't. I wouldn't go so far as to say that he's avoiding me, but sometimes it feels like it. As usual, I have no idea why. I have my suspicions, but no real clue. If I ever feel it's appropriate, I might ask him what's up, but then again, I might not. Instead, I'll just move on and find someone who never leaves me hanging.

Whoever Mr. Future is, he's fantastic and never giving me reason to doubt his feelings. I'm tired of not believing something is real and then have that doubt come true.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I met someone the other night who knows my dad through work. When I told her hi from him, she said, "oh, he's a dear! I'll tell him I met you when I see him again!" (In order to keep this as anonymous as it is, I'm trying not to be a name-dropper. Sorry about the vagueness.) I felt inspired by this woman and refreshed on my journey to other employment/education.

Yesterday, on IM, my dad said he'd seen this acquaintance and she'd asked a little more about me. He told her my age and some other things, and her comment, which he passed on to me, was that I was a young 36. I laughingly responded that I'm a "young 36" because I haven't lost my curiosity or ability to be silly, but I really think that's one of the reasons people don't think I'm my age. What's the point of growing up if you're going to get stodgy or so focused on one thing that you're boring? If I feel like skipping down the hall, I'll skip down the hall, darn it! You can't stop me. I guarantee I'm more attractive and fun to be around that some 36-year-old who isn't willing to be silly or who isn't interested in the wonderful world around her. I haven't had a date in a few weeks, but that really has nothing to do with this kind of attractiveness. Children like to talk to me, the elderly seem to LOVE me, and people in general seem to find me easy to be around.

If wearing polka dot socks with my red shoes is the reason, I'll keep doing it, laughing to myself all the way.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

You're doing it wrong

I apparently did it wrong.

Lately I've heard two people say things that are often said in one way or another, and honestly, I think it's those people who are wrong, not me. I'll talk about the other person later

Last week I was at a youth event and one of the other youth leaders told one of the teenage boys that every dollar he spends on a girl before his mission is a dollar spent on someone else's wife, implying he shouldn't spend a lot on girls before his mission. Which was odd. Because every dollar a guy spends on a girl before his marriage is a dollar spent on someone else's wife, not just before his mission. It's a weird way to look at it anyway because until a guy marries a girl, some other guy is spending money on his wife. So really, stop worrying about it already and go date! (if you are over 16)

However the leader then went on to say that a young man who recently got married had "done it right" because he'd only dated one other girl after his mission before getting married. Is that really the "right" way to do it? Not all of the adults standing around know that HP and I got married in our 30s, but he did. He'd known and watched us since I moved to the same town as HP about four years ago.

So I followed up by asking him if he thought HP and I had done it wrong since we'd dated a lot of people after our missions before finding each other and getting married. Which flubbed him up a bit and he had no answer so he had to pretend I hadn't said anything.

Truth is, we didn't do it wrong, because there is no one right way to do it. Good for that couple that got married that fast. But I wouldn't have done it any other way for us. There is no wrong way.