Mom and Grandma, so sorry for not blogging yesterday! The internet was so slooooooooow last night, and after I finished my homework, it was already late and I was burnt out from dealing with the internet. I’m just going to add categories to today’s blog that apply from yesterday. (Yesterday we went to the mall with Rose, Sev, and Taina, babysat the kids while Rose grocery shopped, and went to Bikram in the afternoon.)
Today I went on a run up City Creek Canyon while Abe took the girls to ballet. Afterward, we went to the library and the market.
Then we used a Groupon at O’Falafel, a Palestinian restaurant in Sugar House. The cousin of the owner came over and ended up chatting with us for a long time, and we loved getting to know him and eating the delicious food.
Then we came home for naps. Mary slept a little in the car, so for much of our nap she was climbing over Abe and me and trying to ride us like horses. (Abe played horsey with the girls at his parents’ house after ballet, and she apparently wanted to revisit the game.)
Abe crafted with the girls for an hour after our naps while I practiced the piano. The girls were so cute–they would run up every couple minutes and bring me gifts that they’d crafted. Sometimes the gifts were just wrinkled papers in an envelope, but it was still sweet. Lydia kept saying, “Mom, I made this for you because I love you.” Mary would give me her gift, blow me a kiss, and run back downstairs to craft some more.
Then Isabella babysat so Abe and I could go to the temple. We picked up some groceries on the way home, and now we may or may not watch a movie.
Since I suffer from social anxiety already, the addition of interpersonal friction is almost too much for me to handle. I know it’s wimpy, but I was just plain scared to go to class yesterday. I asked everyone who would listen for prayers, I put my own name on the temple roll for the first time EVER, and I even did a complete, no-cheat fast. The whole way to school I listened to KLove, and I almost called up their prayer team to pray for me. I was driving, so I thought that dialing might not be smart, but I needed all the help I could get!
While in my anxiety-ridden state, I had two helpful thoughts. 1) I started meditating on John 15. I thought about how Jesus is the vine, and even though I felt like I had absolutely no strength to handle any more friction, my connection to Christ would strengthen me and power me through whatever came my way. 2) I thought about Ezra, one of my favorite OT heroes. I thought about how he and the Jews at the River Ahava had no idea how their story would end, but they made that dangerous trip to the temple in faith. God didn’t let them down. It seems like all people of faith have to turn it over to God and trust that He will write a triumphant conclusion to their stories; yesterday was an opportunity for me to witness God do that for me (even if my situation was a result of my own anxiety and weakness).
And guess what? He DID! The first thing that happened when I got to class was the woman who yelled at me last week smiled a huge smile and greeted me warmly. Then she quietly apologized for her behavior last week. Can you believe it? Who apologizes these days? Practically no one, right? So I considered it a divine miracle, as well as an attestation of her excellent character. The rest of class was enjoyable, and I got to know her a lot better. I found out very endearing things about her, and I felt so happy to have that friction gone.
Looking back, I realize God carried me through that trial. While driving to school, I knew I didn’t have it in me to handle one more stressful interpersonal conflict with Christian love and grace, and I asked Jesus to somehow carry me through or work with me anyway. He took away the problem entirely, and so I didn’t have to deal with 1) scary conflict or 2) my own inability to handle the situation. He inspired my teammate to apologize, and he created opportunities for us to talk and connect. By the time I left, divine love for my teammate was present, natural, and flowing–all due to divine intervention. I love God and all He does for me and my petty problems. Praise Him.
Today wasn’t very dramatic, but I was very happy all day long and thought a lot about what God did for me yesterday. This morning Lydia had a swim lesson, and then we went to the grocery store and came home. Mary is teething and took a five hour nap (!), during which time I napped, cooked dinner, and baked cookies.
We own a wonderful rendition of Rapunzel wherein Rapunzel’s pregnant mother tells her husband that if he doesn’t get her some rapunzel from the sorceress’ garden, she will die.Now, I have had my share of cravings, but I always thought that line was overkill. Well, today I literally ate my words. I honestly felt that if I did not eat chocolate chip cookie dough and chocolate chip cookies, I would die! I have never made chocolate chip cookies so fast in my life, and the funny thing is, while I was madly mixing together ingredients, Lydia decided to give me an out-of-the-blue lecture on my chocolate consumption,
“Mommy, you are a chocolate mommy and you need to try new treats because chocolate is unhealthy. If you eat too much chocolate, Santa will give you coal in your stocking but he will give me, Mary, and Daddy presents. Jesus can help you not eat chocolate. Just ask Him. Remember what Daniel Tiger says? You’ve got to try new things ’cause they might taste goo-ood! See, Mommy? You need to try new things, like kisses…er, not kisses…”
“Like marshmallows, honey?”
“Yes, marshmallows! And candy canes.”
She went on and on like that for approximately half an hour. I listened to the phrase “chocolate mommy” so many times I thought she might actually think I’m part chocolate. At any rate, I was a chocolate mommy today, and I needed cookies. I’m eating another one now.
We had Wendi Rees over for dinner, but alas, I did not take a picture. Christine Hansen and her three kids were supposed to come, but they had strep. Since I had enough food prepared for seven people, I just packed up the leftovers and took them to Christine. We had a lovely visit. I stood outside the whole time because, if you’ve noticed my categories, you will notice we are not all often healthy in this house. As in, I could probably count on my fingers and toes how many days all four of us have been illness free in the past nine months. I don’t want strep in the middle of the summer on top of it all.
I do have pictures from yesterday’s class, though. Sorry, Mom and Grandma! I WILL take more pictures tomorrow!
Today was very busy and very fast. Work is going very well. I got credit again for a deal that was routed to me after the person who did all the work left the company. I’ll get commission and quota and I’m very happy, but I’m also highly aware that so far most of my success has had little to do with me. Still, I’ll take it. Any day that I bill is a great day at work. I’m still loving the train!
I take it that Lily also had a super busy day because she didn’t get a chance to take pictures so I snapped some over dinner. I’m actually not too sure what Lily did today because the first time we connected during the day, Lily had to go because she was simultaneously doing homework and trying to prevent Lydia from melting down while fielding a conversation with me on the phone. The second time we connected, it was all about me (Lily is a really good listener, I’m so jealous), so I still don’t know much about her day. Tomorrow when she blogs, perhaps she can mention a few highlights, especially some information on how her class went tonight. If you remember, last week was a very horrible experience for her and I’ve had her on my mind today, praying that tonight goes better.
When I got home from work, a haircut and an informational meeting with the previous Elder’s quorum president, I walked our babysitter/cousin home with the girls, visited with my aunts and then returned home. At home we had what I think was “second dinner” as hobbits would call it, and hustled to bed. Of course the girls were in their princess PJs!
Abe is about to go to bed without me, so I have to be fast–it’s cooler out tonight, and I want to cuddle.
I took the girls to the playground and then to Lydia’s swim lesson this morning. Then Isabella babysat while I went to the temple. I have been dying to go to the temple, and even though Abe and I are planning to go this Saturday, I just couldn’t wait that long. I had a great experience, and I honestly think that going to the temple is the only thing that helped me keep my resolve to not yell today. When I got home, Lydia tried my patience to the point where I usually yell, but today I didn’t! I figured it was a temple blessing at work.
I made peanut noodles because they were a great catch-all for the fresh produce we got from Chelsea and Derek yesterday.
After dinner, I headed to church for a two hour meeting. I really like the women I work with, but it is SO hard for me to sit through a meeting and not get through the agenda in a time efficient way. Plus, I feel like whenever I do say something, it’s usually the wrong thing. Maybe this will all get better with time, but I came home two hours later discouraged and depleted.
Luckily, Abe had a wonderful Family Home Evening planned. The girls were so cute in their princess pajamas. They started FHE with a fashion show, and then Abe taught us a lesson about gratitude. We threw the beach ball to each other and said things we were grateful for. Lydia said she was grateful for her beautiful home, her family, her mama, daddy, and sister, the Fourth of July, and her cat. (Mary said she was grateful for whatever we told her to say.)
I had plans to work out this morning, but those dissipated in the face of housework.
Last week Misty called me and told me she’d signed Sophia up for swim lessons, and that there were still empty spots left. I signed Lydia up immediately, and they had so much fun today at their first lesson.
Then we came home, ate lunch, and headed down to Orem to visit my friend, Chelsea. The last time I saw Chelsea, she gave me the best salsa I’d ever had. When I told her how much I liked it, she said she’d teach me how to make it during her next canning session. She grew everything herself, and so she cans when all the salsa veggies are ripe. They were ripe today!
We had the BEST time. The whole drive down I felt so happy and excited to spend time with Chelsea. Abe and I talked about this on the way home, and there’s just something extra special about seeing a friend you’ve known in your pre-adult life. I don’t have any of those out here in Utah except for Chelsea, and I feel really happy whenever I get to spend time with her (not often enough).
If spending time with Chelsea weren’t enough, my eyes were also opened today about the possibilities of living in Orem. Chelsea lives exactly eight minutes from Abe’s work, so when he was done I picked him up and we went back to Chelsea and Derek’s house and had amazing Thai food for dinner. Chelsea and Derek loaded us up with canned and fresh produce, and we left feeling so happy, grateful, and blessed. I asked Abe how soon he thought we could sell our condo so we could buy a house near Chelsea and Derek…
Afterward, we headed to the outlets to buy pajamas for Lydia. We’ve spent six months in denial about her pj situation, and it’s finally reached the point where we’ve come to admit: she needs new ones. She spends half the week in her 2T pjs which barely come past her knees. During out outing, we discovered princess pajama dresses. Whoever came up with that must have had Lydia and Mary in mind. I kind of think all the other pj’s we bought might not even get used now that wearing a princess dress to bed is an option. The girls fell asleep before we got home, so I’ll take pictures of the princess pj dress tomorrow.
Today Abe got sustained as the new Elder’s Quorum President. He will be wonderful, I’m sure. It will mean a lot less time home with family and a lot more time out doing visits and giving service, but this is how I feel: God gave me Abe. If God wants me to give some of Abe back to Him, I’m very happy to do that. As long as my husband is alive and healthy, God can have all the Abe he wants and I will just stand by and be grateful to be married to such a faith-filled man.
I had to conduct Primary today. Even though I’m supposedly a trained teacher, getting up in front of people is hard for me. The children were very nice, though. Josh Geiger, my visiting teachee’s son, was very nice and volunteered to say the opening prayer when I realized our scheduled child wasn’t there. He gave me a reassuring wink as he headed up to the stand, and that made me feel happy. I have an ally in Primary!
We were up until 1:30 am last night visiting with Jon and Shirley, and we enjoyed every second of that. It was so hard to stop chatting, but we finally decided to be responsible and say goodnight after two and a half hours flew by without us even realizing it. They stopped by again for a short visit after church and saw the girls. We are so grateful to have such wonderful friends in our lives.
Today Abe and I both felt sapped of energy, but I still enjoyed the morning. I may not be quitting culinary school, but there’s no need to be a glutton for pain: I AM quitting the competition team, and I have zero qualms about it. I enjoyed my school-free morning treeee-mendously.
Abe took Lydia to ballet while I took Mary on my errands.
Abe took the girls to the park while I cooked meals for a couple families in the ward.
After I delivered the meals, we went on a sloooow bike ride to and around the cemetery. Cemeteries are some of my favorite places, and the Salt Lake Cemetery is gorgeous. We live right by it, and I can’t believe I don’t go there more often.
Abe and I are about to watch a movie. Shirley and Jon are in town and going to come over around 11 pm. We missed seeing them in New York, and their Salt Lake trips are always packed, so we take them whenever we we can get them. We’re so excited to see them soon!
Misty told me this morning that there was a reptile show at the library, so I decided to bring the kids. The only thing is, now that I am trying so hard to be the World’s Nicest Mom, I can’t figure out how to get Lydia to listen. I sat on the steps for half an hour repeating, “Lydia, honey/love/darling/sweetie-pie/babycakes/sugarpop, can you please put on your shoes?” Thirty-five minutes later, she finally complied, and we arrived to the library just in time to see people streaming out. We’d missed the show.
What a great opportunity for a natural consequence, I thought! “Lydia, honey, we missed the show because you wouldn’t listen to Mommy and put on your shoes. Isn’t that sad?”
“Well, Mommy, the reptiles are scary. I don’t want to see reptiles.”
Um, okay. I guess she won all around.
In all seriousness, though, I’d rather miss a million shows and feel powerless and frustrated than know that my daughter feels scared and shamed and sad, which is how I felt when I got yelled at on Wednesday. So Project World’s Nicest Mom continues, and I’ll just have to learn to be more creative and resourceful when it comes to teaching my kids to listen.
After the library, we came home for lunch and quiet time. Afterward, I played play-doh with Lydia for an hour and half while Mary slept on. (Mary took a four hour nap today. It made me nostalgic for times not-so-long-ago when that was just her norm.)
While playing play-doh, I called my mom. Mom, thanks so much for talking with me. I really needed to talk to you, and it was so great to feel loved and understood. Thanks for everything you do for me! I love you.
Anyway, after Mary woke up, we all went outside to pick tomatoes and play in the sprinkler. Mary doesn’t like to get dirty or wet (which character trait seems incongruous with her otherwise adventuresome spirit), but she’ll get wet if I hold her hand. Lydia held the hose and Mary and I raced through a couple times. After about three runs, Lydia asked if we wanted to get wet again. I hesitated, and Mary yelled, “Nooooo!!” We spent the rest of the time drying out in the sun.
In the meantime, Lydia, my little not-so-adventuresome child, loves to get wet and doesn’t seem to notice or care when she’s dirty. She was pretty happy.
Abe and I also went on a date, tonight! We saw Maleficent. Mom, you would love this movie. I don’t know why, but I love it when movies make me cry. This one definitely did. I asked Abe to give this to me for Christmas–I can’t wait to watch it again!
Yesterday was the absolute worst day at cooking school I have ever had. I got yelled at by a teammate, and the chef almost completely lost it at me multiple times. I came home feeling so sick and upset that Abe ended up giving me a blessing at 1:30 am, and then I only slept three hours after that. It was terrible. I would love to quit, but I know sticking with it will build character…so I’m gritting my teeth and going forward, even though this feels like a masochistic exercise.
But I feel better today. Honestly, I spent most of the morning imagining what I should have said to my teammate, and that actually helped me feel better and move on. I actually don’t hold anything against her, but it felt therapeutic to think out an appropriate verbal response to her random, loud verbal attack last night.
Also, I was grateful to be on the receiving end of both just and unjust yelling. It made me resolve with more determination than ever that I will not yell at my children. I sat Lydia down this morning and explained everything that happened last night and why I am sorry I have yelled at her in the past. I then told her I was going to try very, very hard not to yell ever again, but if I did slip, I instructed her to say, “Mommy, your yelling makes me feel sad and scared. Please stop.” I hope this plan works. After the pain of last night, I just can’t bear the thought of my children feeling that degraded and inhuman.
So today was a success! I was more patient than I have ever been in the history of my own parenting, and the kids, for the most part, responded with excellent behavior. I pray, pray, pray God helps me keep this resolve.
After taking the girls to the library and grocery store, we came home. I played play-doh with Lydia for half an hour. Ever since Abe’s FHE, she likes to play “Amalikiah and Moroni’s walls.” In her version, a snake kills Amalikiah–and then a frog kills a snake.
We also had some Primary teachers over for dinner. Actually, Abe used to home teach Lisa and Dustin, so he was extremely excited when he found out which teachers were coming.