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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2010: My Year of Change

I'm foregoing the usual and overly-typical New Year's Resolutions this year seeing as they usually only survive the first 30 days anyway (if they're lucky). Instead, I'm opting for a month-by-month personalized plan of change. Of course, I want these to be long term goals that will stick, but I also don't want to overburden myself with a dozen resolutions all at once. By incorporating them one at a time like this I'm hoping to accomplish more and feel better about myself come December 2010. Here is my (hopefully not too ambitious) list of changes:

1. Change of heart: I want to be like the real heroes I read about in the scriptures who had "a mighty change of heart" and became the ultimate source of goodness and righteousness. I want to have a knowledge of what is true and become unshakable in my faith and unmovable in my beliefs.

2. Change my plans: In living 3 decades on this earth I have learned one thing and that's that the Lord has a plan for everything and everyone, including me. Once I stop fighting it, then and only then, can I blossom into what He needs me to be.

3. Change my weaknesses into strengths: My desire is to become a woman who is strong both physically and spiritually. I want to change the things that tempt me into things that appall me. And I guess I can't escape some of those typical new year's resolutions no matter how hard I try, because I still want desperately to change my food cravings, (i.e. milk chocolate and caramel fudge baths if I had my choice), and rev my clean eating habit and exercise routine into a turbo-charged lifestyle.

4. Change my personal time table: Because I am so schedule-oriented I find it difficult to veer off from that schedule too far. Therefore, I tend to be the fuddy-dud of the two parental figures in the Mason abode. Plus, I've been so busy this past year that I have sacrificed some precious moments with my number one fans. Those moments can't be brought back, but I can help create new ones!

5. Change my spiritual time table: I won't even delve into the major disappointment that is my temple attendance last year. Let's just say, it wasn't near what it should have been. I vow to go once a month every month, at least.

6. Change my perception: Of others, of myself. I have found myself being more judgmental and even, what I consider, hateful this past year. People who cut me off at the light or in the supermarket got a roll of my eyes or a heavy sigh and a glare from me. People whom I barely know that have judged me wrongly got that same judgment back-tenfold. I found myself saying things like, "Why do I care?" or "Who do they think they are?" or even, "I can't stand him/her". Harsh words, I know...but no more. This is not about being the bigger person in a certain situation, but rather about being the better person in the long run.

7. Change the output in the Bank of Mason: My husband has always been so good at saving money. I have always been so good at spending it. It's a love/hate relationship that usually works against us. This year I plan to contribute to our savings from the entrepreneurships I have ventured out on in 2009, (heaven knows I have plenty to choose from!).

8. Change my desires: My list of wants is a pretty long list. I want to build a home. I want to open a business. I want to travel the world. I want, I want, I want... Well, my list of needs is a fairly decent-sized list, too. I need to help save money, I need to get out of my box and give more service, I need to do better on my visiting teaching, I need to do this, I need to do that. This year, those lists will be condensed and molded into a more practical list of Things Important to Accomplish in Life.

9. Change of mind: I love learning. Anything that seems interesting to me, I'll try at least once. Some of those intellectual curiosities have taken me to places in this life that I would never have traveled to by myself or out of a classroom setting. I wouldn't exchange those experiences for the world and I plan to expand my knowledge base even more in 2010.

10. Change of attitude: In the words of Thomas S. Monson, I will "find joy in [my] journey now". I have so much in life to be thankful for, so much to find joy in. But most of the time I feel like I walk around too tired or groggy and half-dazed or annoyed to be truly happy. Well, that's MY problem and I plan to fix it this year.

11. Change the visitation rights for Aunt Flo: Ok, so this one is a bit off the wall considering the other things that have appeared on my list thus far. But, seriously, her visits get quite annoying. So, this year they will be eliminated via an I-Don't-Care-Just-Rid-Me-Of-This-Nuisance procedure. (Safely, of course).

12. Change my fear of change: No lie, all these things on this list excite and scare me all at once. I have an excitement and ambition unlike no other, but I also fear the unknown. This year I resolve to overcome that and then try one thing I'm absolutely scared to death of. Bungee-jumping, sky-diving, singing for a crowd of about 10,000, whatever. I'll find it and whip it!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Shun the Non-Believer!

Garrett comes home from school today and informs me in a matter-of-fact tone of voice that one of his classmates, Carlos, does not believe in Santa Claus...

"Well how do you feel about that?" I asked him, and my heart fluttered a little.

After a slight pause for contemplation and an exasperated sigh he replies, "I think Carlos should be put on the naughty list."

Why, yes. Carlos the Grinch SHOULD be put on the naughty list for such a Scrooge-like attitude.
Another year of believing for us! Yea!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Lesson in Listening

We took a little family outing to Sherman this week for some much needed escape time. We ate at Olive Garden then, went to PetCo (where we talked ourselves into buying 3 mice. Hey, even the cats need food storage). Well, we parked halfway in between PetCo and Target because we were going to have to visit Target as well to buy our son a heavy coat for winter.

Upon exiting PetCo my husband says to the kids, "Now, don't get in the car. We're just dropping these things off in the back and then headed to Target." All 4 children obediently respond, "Yes, sir."

Jonathan opens the back door and begins making room for our new pets and all their equipment. I open the front passenger door and Garrett opens the side passenger doors and proceeds to climb in. I turn back to him and say, "Garrett, did you not hear what Daddy said? DON'T get in the car", as I sit down in the seat and shut the car door.

.....

It takes about 20 seconds for me to realize the car is extremely quiet. I look out the window and see 4 pair of little eyes and 1 pair of Daddy eyes staring at me in confused wonderment. My face turns Pope Robe Red and I open my door as fast as I can. I look at the children and sigh, stifling a giggle.
My husband looks at me and in all seriousness says, "Did you not hear what Daddy said?"
We all busted up in to an uproarious laughter.

Touche. Mommy is grounded.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The EMT (Chronic)les

I am not even working full time at EMS yet. I've only done a few ride-outs and one clinical day.
But I've already experienced several odd characters and even odder situations.

My first contact ever with an emergency situation was during a ride-out while I was writing an article for The Buzz. We responded to a call for a patient stopped on the side of the highway with severe indigestion. When we arrived on scene, the EMT and Paramedic I was with performed their assessment and determined the man was not suffering from indigestion but rather, was having a massive heart attack. We loaded him in the ambulance and I did nothing other than hold this guy's hand and spike his IV bag. Other than that, I stayed out of the way and watched helplessly as this grown man cried like a baby at the relentless torturing pain he was enduring.

Once we got to the hospital and he was given some morphine for the pain he was able to relax and speak without much extra effort. I peeked in his room to check on him and he waved me over to him. I grabbed his hand and smiled.
"Honey," he said, "thank you for all you did to help me."
"It was nothing." I replied knowing I didn't do anything really.
"And honey," he began again and paused to breathe.
"Yes?"
"You've got to be the prettiest damned EMT I've ever seen."
And then he called for a trash can so he could throw up.

Then, once I was helping transport a diabetic patient from the hospital back to his nursing home. We were looking over his room making sure we had gathered all his belongings. I asked him,
"Sir, do you need to take anything with you from this room?"
He glanced around the room and then grabbed my arm startling me and said,
"I'd only take you."
I smiled at him once the look of sheer fear left my face. I had no idea Casanova was still making his rounds.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cool Camping Party

So my son turned 6 this past week.
CRAZY, I know!
I wanted to come up with a party that would involve lots of fun activities but without having a bunch of rambunctious little boys all cooped up in a stuffy house. Well, what a better activity than having a camp out?! It was still fairly warm outside so we took it all outdoors and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows on our grill and in our fire pit.

Nice blazing inferno for the children, dad!

*cough* What fun it is *cough* roasting hot dogs. *cough, cough*

Ashley and me. I think we enjoyed the s'mores more than the kids did.

Roasting marshmallows was fun. Few wanted to eat them, they just wanted to roast them and then throw them in the pit and watch them blow up. lol. It was kind of entertaining.

Coloring our camp out backpacks.

Props to a husband who helped to make it all happen by doing such manly things as lighting the fire, operating the grill and handling crowd control.

I was going to make my own camp cake but my oven conveniently went kaput the day before so I had to settle for a Wal-mart clearance cake, (buttercream icing. ICK!). The cake was originally an army theme. So, I took all the army toys off and added the graham cracker tent, the iced sugar cone trees and the pretzel campfire encircled with yogurt covered raisin stones. It was a big hit! 6 candles made the campfire roar!

My little superhero making his big wish. *sniff*

You know momma has to get her birthday kiss in.

Opening the gifts.

This was a gift from his bestest cousin Liam. A picture of the 2 showing their HUGE muscles. It was too cute!

And this was the display of brotherly love afterward. Too cute! (It looks like Liam is choking Garrett but I promise, they were hugging.)

Making homemade trail mix. I lined up leftover pretzels, raisins, gummy worms, coconut, sunflower seeds, nuts, etc. and gave them each a bag to fill with their individualized trail mix snack bag.

This picture just happens to show all girls which I find ironic. All week long Garrett had been asking me, "My party is just for boys, right?" I would reply, "Well, your sisters will be there."
He'd say, "Oh, ok. That's ok, I guess. They can have cake. And you too, Mom. But no other girls, right?" I said, "Well the boys you have invited all have sisters that I'm sure will have to come, buddy." He sighed and reluctantly agreed to their potential presence but not without first proclaiming, "Well, ok. But only the boys will get to play in the tent, right?" I guess when you're surrounded by estrogen on all sides of you at all times and you're as masculine as he is, you beg for some manly birthday time with your bros. lol!

LOL! I thought this was soooo funny!

Everyone with their backpacks and favors. They each got a puppet to make at home, and a little basket filled with a wooden snake, rock bouncy balls, a plastic container with holes on top for catching bugs, a mini flashlight and pop rocks.
Overall, it was probably one of the most successful parties we've thrown. The cake was a hit, the gifts were a hit, and everyone enjoyed themselves to the point of not wanting to leave, adults included!
2 thumbs up!!!

Conversations with a 6 year old...Expanded Edition

My son was spending the night with my mom this last Friday. He was explaining to my mom that he has a hard time remembering which hand is his right and which one is his left. In an attempt to help my son more easily remember which hand was which she says, "Just remember that the hand you WRITE with is your RIGHT hand. And the one that's LEFT is your LEFT hand."

Garrett thinks that's pretty cool except that he remembers something. "But Nana, I can write with both hands." he says.

"Really??", my mom asks him in wonderment.

"Yes", he begins, "but this hand (pointing to his left) is messier. It's not very smart."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fright Night is upon us...

Welcome...

Come inside and take a peek at my frightfully fun and fiendish home decor this Halloween season.


This is Belladonna, my witch dog.

Every witch needs the correct ingredients to cast the perfect spell. On my spice rack I have owl egg, scale of dragon, chicken pox, things that go bump in the night, sparkle of moon, wool of bat...
...eye of frog, salted lizard, witch hazel, spider legs, evil powder and lust dust. I also have the remains of the little girl down the lane and a picture of My Pretty, which makes me cackle every time I look at her.


It doesn't really show up in the photo but the back wall is a huge spider web that has some vintage Halloween postcards clipped to it with clothes pins.



And of course, there's Mortimer, the Head Waiter.

I just love this little display!




Looks like something's brewing!

Hope everyone has a Happy Fright Night!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Bliss

Me and Mr. Simpleton
Props to Kelly David Sansom who took the time out of his busy schedule to shoot this amazing photo of us! Thank you!!


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Spiritual Trippin'!!

This past weekend my husband and I were able to mark a very important event off of our Bucket List. We saw General Conference LIVE!
And here's the proof:


When we arrived at our hotel, 2 hours late and cold I might add, the receptionist delightfully upgraded our rooms for no reason. Best of all, it was FREE! This was our room. Have you ever seen a 2 story hotel room? Well, I haven't.

This is the view from the 2nd story of our room.

Needless to say, we were pleased with the freebie.

This was our getaway car for the weekend. Again, another steal of a deal.

Isn't she lovely? I wasn't a fan of Cadillacs until this eggplant colored beauty stole my heart.

I just think these buildings are beautiful!

Ye Ol' Tabernacle.

"Then...came Jesus and stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you." Luke 20:19

"And when He had so said, He shewed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord." Luke 20:21

"...be not faithless, but believing." Luke 20:27
















I found it amusing that this is what some people chose to do with their Saturday free time. One day, I truly believe, people will decide to protest against things they actually know a little about.

And as for this guy, here's what I have to say to you, sir...
"Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long suffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another; if any man have a quarrel against any; even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful." Colossians 3:12-15

"Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off; him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer." Psalms 101:5

"...he that uttereth a slander is a fool." Proverbs 10:18

"They are all grievous revolters, walking with slanders..." Jeremiah 6:28

"Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil-speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:31-32.



The Conference Center on Friday, before the hustle and bustle.


30,000+ people all heading to see the prophet speak.
"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" Matthew 18:20

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir. As wonderful as all the talks were, I must admit in full honesty that the thing that touched me the most was hearing the choir sing that beautifully powerful rendition of "Come, Come Ye Saints" LIVE. My eyes were indeed wet, to put it mildly.

Listening to them warm up before conference began.

We emerged spiritually fed and walking on the clouds.

This was the day we left. We stopped by a custard place that some of our friends took us to a couple nights before hoping to stuff our bellies full of the divine treat one more time before we had to go to the airport. Unfortunately, the place was closed. (Go figure, a place of business being closed on Sunday in Utah?!)...

However, the owner was there with his family enjoying a special treat in between conference sessions and saw us trying to get in. He opened the door and the first thing out of his mouth was, "You're not from around here, are you?" lol.
He chuckled and gave us some FREE custard since it was Sunday! AWESOME!

This trip really couldn't have gotten any better!

Oh wait, it just did...

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