Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Zip-A-Dee Doo Dah: Reflections on a Tragedy

Osama bin Laden is dead. That is not what this post is about, specifically, but it's what the news was talking about when I had the proverbial 'aha' moment I would like to write to ya'll about.

As the TV in my mom's hospital room played All Osama All Day I overheard a newscaster's comment about all those people going on with their normal lives had a plane not crashed into their office building.

Normal lives.

Normal lives.

What does that mean, I thought. I pictured people going home to their families...the same dissatisfaction; the same ordinary, passionless lives they may have been living. With no idea they had just been spared to live another day. Another year. A lifetime.

That's not to say there weren't plenty of people who were happy, living their dreams, appreciating their blessings, loving their families. But that's not who I thought of. I thought of the ones who were contemplating divorce, hurting their children, taking poor care of their bodies, searching for peace and coming up empty. I thought of those who felt like life isn't worth it or thought their problems unsolvable. And even those who were happy-ish; who had a pretty okay life, good friends, a happy family, but still forgot sometimes the beautiful gift that life truly is. I thought of my family and friends, my neighbors, myself.

How do we know we weren't just spared some horrible fate today or yesterday or ten years ago? Actually, I'm pretty sure we were. At some point we've probably all had the divine intervention that saved our physical lives whether we're aware of it or not.

So, how do I muster the kind of gratitude that propels me to 'live like I was dyin'' right in the middle of my ho-hum, blahbity-blah life? I'm not sure. I'm pondering. I'm ruminating. I'm trying to get there. I want to feel like I was just spared my own, personal 9/11 without having to experience the tragedy of it.

Okay, I just realized I need to be very careful what I wish for. I'm certainly not asking for a reality check. What I'm trying to do is avoid the necessity of a reality check.

On paper, I think I have just about the most ideal life a person could possibly be blessed with. So, why is it so hard to live in a state of heightened gratitude? Still working on that. But I'm surely going to try. 'Count Your Blessings.' Is it as simple as that? Maybe so. I'm going to give it a try and see what happens.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

We Go Through Cars Like DIAPERS Around Here!

The good: No one was hurt. It wasn't her fault. She was wearing her seatbelt. It's a good lesson to learn early that you CAN get in an accident even if you're a good driver, so you always have to be careful.

The bad: Maddie got in an accident when a guy pulled out right in front of her after being waved out by someone across the intersection. He fully admitted to (and profusely apologized for) not checking to see if it really was clear, which it wasn't. We still don't know if it's totaled or not.

The ugly: Before I left the house that afternoon I had the thought that I should take my coat. I reasoned that I was just driving carpool and would be in my warm car the whole time. A picture flashed in my mind of getting a flat tire or something and having to stand out in the bitter cold. Nah...won't happen. On the way back from carpooling Andie needed me to stop at a store to get something she needed for school the next day. Andie and her friend stayed in the car because they only had their tumbling clothes on. As I walked into the store I thought I should go back and get my phone, but I knew the girls were playing on it and I wouldn't be very long. A picture flashed in my mind of getting an emergency phone call where I was needed immediately. Nah...won't happen. As I was checking out Andie and her friend came running up to me, "Maddie is on the phone! She's crying! She needs you! She just got in an accident!" Ended up standing out in the cold without a coat for 20 minutes.

Coincidence? What do you think?

Monday, January 3, 2011

January 3, 2011

What! Don't get all, "Holy cow! Kimi wrote something," on me. Just go with it.

So, I guess a couple of things have happened since I last posted. You know, Collin's broken jaw, the stolen minivan, the trip to Las Vegas for the National Finals Rodeo and stuff.

But forget that boring stuff. Let's talk about my Christmas presents! Er, I mean our family's Christmas!

First of all, it's strange and lovely sitting here in a very quiet and virtually abandoned house. Quiet, but for the sweet sounds of laundry and cello music. I don't know why the cello music, but I like it right now. Prob for about 10 more minutes and then I'm gonna be all, "Let me out of this CELLO CONCERT already!" But for now it's kinda...okay now it's totes bugging the corn dogs out of me! I shouldn't have mentioned it.

Okay. Now it's just the laundry. Later I will be making efforts to put Christmas away. Flylady says I only have to do 15 minutes at a time and I'll have it done by Friday. I have an idea Flylady: Let's do it for 90 minutes at a time and have it done by this afternoon.

Can I talk about my presents yet? Fine, I tell you what other people got, so as to seem less self-centered. Collin went berzerko over his new cello (and yes, that has something to do with my music choice earlier). Maddie loves her new phone. Andie had a room makeover and it's actually clean, which is really a gift to the whole family and also many of her friends. Christian loved everything he got. He's pretty easy since he always wants everything. I actually got Bob good stuff this year, which is very difficult for me for two main reasons. 1. He is, as you know, an incurable shop-o-holic and always has everything he wants (hmm...are Bob and Christian related? The only difference right now is that Christian doesn't have any money and Bob does). 2. I'm not usually creative enough to get around what he already has and figure out what he didn't know he wanted. But this year I didn't do too shabby: A calendar made from gorgeous pictures from Fiji that Tanner took, with all the birthdays of extended family and friends printed in it; a multi-picture frame already loaded with pics for his office; and the power-washer that he almost got for his birthday, but couldn't decide between it and a leaf-blower and ended up getting nothing. So everybody is happy and we had a great Christmas.

As for me! It was slightly anticlimactic opening the video camera that I knew we weren't keeping because we found a better one online the day before, but I'm pretty stinking excited for the one that's on its way. However, I was completely blindsided by the absolutely unexpected gift of ...(dun dun duuuun)...a KINDLE! Ahhhh!!!! So exciting!!!!

As with pretty much every new electronic gadget I get, I'm head over heels for my little e-reader. My Keemdle, as I immediately named it. I love how comfy it is to hold and read. No holding pages open, no cramping thumb, no bookmarks! Here's my favorite part: the Kindle app for the iPhone! The other day I arrived early for an appointment. "Oh no," I would normally say, "How could I have forgotten to bring a book? Whatever shall I do for 20 minutes?" Instead, I went to my Kindle app which told me where I had left off reading in the Keemdle, and asked if I wanted to go to that location and continue reading on the iPhone. Heck yes I do.

But of course my very favorite gift was a 90 minute phone call with my favorite missionary. You can't beat it. You could have a better connection without a vexing delay which caused us to talk over each other, but you still can't beat it. He sounded so great! The best part for me is to hear him laugh. He has such a great laugh! Especially as a missionary he is, well, not serious necessarily, but just very sincere and calm. So it was fun to get him laughing. Other than that, it's hard to describe what that phone call means, unless you've had that call before. It's pretty great.

Well, I can see that not only is this post BORING, but it's LONG! A goal I have for this year is to post more often, so hopefully I won't be so long-winded when I get around to it.

Happy New Year!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Word of the Day: Chillaxin'

Random title, I know. It's because this is a random post.

Random thoughts:

You guys! I just rode 20 miles on my bike! I know, riDONKulous. The most I've ever ridden is 12 miles. And that was a year ago!!! Owie.

This summer has not been the lazy kind of summer that I so enjoy. I'm kinda bummed. I mean, chillaxin' is usually the theme, but this year not so much. More like what's the next thing we have to get ready for? Not my favorite theme.

Ah, but next week is Powell week. There will be some serious chillaxin' at Powell. Love, love, love it!

Why did everyone decide to get married this month? Everyone.

Whenever I sit down to clean my computer desk I just get on the computer instead. Like now.

My kids are supposed to BE UP by 9:30 every day. Hasn't happened once.

Which reminds me--I gotsta go wake up the bums.

Hope your summer has been more chillaxed than mine has!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Travelogue: Days 2 and 3

So............let's see...........on Friday we went to Seal Beach. It was a beach I had found on the WWW before we left. It's in a quaint little town and has some cute little shops and stuff. The beach was lovely, but it was super windy so it was hard to lay out on the sand because well, sand would blow in your face. And I didn't like that. Plus the wind made it a little cold, so I had my jacket on and didn't get a chance to tan. Oh wells. It was really fun walking on the shore, though, and there were a bunch of kite surfers doing their thing, which was really fun to watch. Andie had the really great idea of buying a big ball to play with on the beach, but anytime we let go of it or didn't have it tightly wedged between 3 beach bags it would go flying away and Andie had to sprint as fast as she could across the sand until she finally caught it and brought it back. It was good times. She also had fun doing some tumbling moves in the sand. We went to a few shops, but didn't buy anything. Then we got some smoothies from a 50 year old hippie/surfer guy who was obviously living in the moment pretty much always. He was funny, but you had to wonder how he long can keep his smoothie shop running. That makey outey couple in the background was pretty annoying, I must say.

Saturday we decided we needed to go to Hollywood or we were never going to find a sleb! Maggie was being poopy about getting us there and was demanding an address. So we kind of made something up that she finally bought and it actually worked pretty well. We ended up about 4 blocks from the Kodiak Theatre, so not too shabby. We decided to take a tour so we payed a bumload (with a Mother's Day discount, no less!) and got in the van with the top chopped off and the african tour guide with the thick accent ('that is WHOSE house? What?') and had our 2 hour tour of Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Bel Air. It was actually really fun. We hadn't seen any stinking movie stars after an hour and a half. We knew we'd prob passed plenty of famous people in their expensive cars, but the black-tinted windows were not really conducive to star sightings. Do you think that's why they do that? I don't know. Anyway, finally on a narrow street in Beverly Hills we saw up ahead a cool classic convertible that looked different from most of the dark colored BMWs and AUDIs and Mercedes. Maddie and I both noticed it, but didn't say anything. Sure enough, the car passes us and it's driven by none other than the GOVERNATOR! So exciting! We looked up his car when we got home and it was this one! He looked just like this, except he was alone and didn't have sunglasses on:

That made our day. It ended up being the only sleb we saw the whole trip but at least we didn't go home empty handed.

Speaking of hands...I knew we would be flying home that day so I wore long sleeves and long pants so I wouldn't be cold on the plane. After hours of driving around in an open-top car, well, at least my HANDS got a pretty good tan.

Of the stars' homes, this was our favorite. Can you guess who first owned this house?:

That's right. Dr. Suess! Isn't it the cutest?

After the tour we had to book it to the airport. We had eaten the yogurt we had in our hotel fridge for breakfast and nothing else the whole day. We didn't want to be late so we didn't stop to eat on the way to the airport. We decided we'd get something there, once we were settled. Bad idea. They had one little 'shop' that had magazines, candy, and like, Advil or something. The most nutritious and filling things they had to eat were muffins. So we had muffins. And we were two hours early! And there were like 12 people in the whole airport! We really could have used Bob there to make food more of a priority. But whatever. We had a great time and we LOVED our girl trip!

Travelogue: Day 1

We had SO MUCH fun on our girl trip to sunny California! I'd like to tell you about it if you have a sec.

We left after school on Wednesday and flew into the Long Beach airport. Pro: it's small and you couldn't possibly get lost there since it's about as big one floor of my house. Con: zero chance of seeing any celebs, which was one of our stated objectives, maybe even our only stated objective.

We got our rental car, a cute little Mazda3 sedan, which I LOVED. Becky had insisted we take her GPS with us and why I haven't had one for the last [ever since they were invented] years, I may never know. But our little friend Maggie (that's what we named her) SAVED OUR LIVES! Well, fine, obviously she didn't SAVE our LIVES, but it felt like it. We never once had to worry about how to get somewhere. Mags is the BOMB! You do have to be very specific with the little Magster or she will act all 'I have no idea what you're talking about,' but if you can give her a legitimate address she WILL get you there. Pretty much effortlessly. Our fave was when she would say, "Remain on current road in...2 miles." Or even better, "Right turn in point 5 miles, followed by a remain on current road in...2 miles." Did that mean we could go wherever as long as we're back on the current road in 2 miles? We don't know, that's just Maggie. She's a jokester, but she'll always get you to your destination. I love the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction you feel when Maggie says, "You have arrived."

On Thursday we went to Disneyland. We had a great day even though our feet were killing by lunch time. We didn't put a lot of thought into the whole shoe thing. I know, a-duh. We were scoping for slebs the whole day and...nothin. But we did have a total blast riding rides and stuff. All in all it was a fabulous day.

I wish you could see all your ride pictures at the end of the day and then decide which one you want. I kept thinking the next one might be better and I'm not buying more than one of these things. Of course as it turned out the last one of the day was terrible and you couldn't even see Maddie's face at all, so we got none. Except for the one we took a picture of (Space Mountain):
And the self-shot we took just as we headed into the first tunnel:

Space Mountain tied for second place as our fave ride. The Tower of Terror (which must always be said in a spooky voice) was the other second place finisher. California Screamin' won top prize. I especially loved how smooth it was and how it had speakers in the safety bar right next to your ears and they played the perfect roller-coaster music while you roller-coasted. It made me want to take my iPod on roller-coasters from now on because it so enhances the experience.

Okay, I sort of made the girls come with me to this and, as I predicted, ended up apologizing for wasting 17 minutes of their Disneytime. But how could we NOT?:

One thing that was obvious was that Bob wasn't there. And it was obvious because not once the whole trip did we have good food. None of us cared, which is prob why, but still, we noticed. Here is what we grabbed for lunch at California Adventure. We looked and felt like a pack of wolves and I'm not sure I'll ever eat a turkey leg again:

We also had Limeade. They were out of Lemonade and when we asked if the Limeade was good the lady said the closest she could describe it was that it tasted like a margarita. I looked at Maddie and said, "It tastes like a margarita." She said, "Well, in that case..." And so we bought it and had a little laugh. We will always call Limeade a margarita now, but prob will never embibe one again. Nor will we ever be tempted to try a margarita. *sourface*

Obligatory Main Street picture:

Our hotel was close enough for us to walk to D-land, and from our balcony we watched the Disney fireworks on Friday, so that was cool:

Also, we didn't know Collin had a flower shop:
Well, there you have it. Day 1.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thoughts on the Mish...

So I have some intense and mixed feelings about my missionary today. Even when your son is called to Fiji you don't really expect to get an email --three days late, no less-- that says things like, "I got a call that I was being transfered to Rabi and I was leaving early the next morning." And then, "...we ran to Suvatown to buy a few last second things and packed only the bare necessities, like clothes and a toothbrush, and left all the rest of my stuff in Suva." And perhaps, "I'm trying my best to learn the Kiribiti language." Followed by, "We have no electricity...we have no washing machine, refrigerator, oven, bathroom, nothing." And the kicker, "This is 'Other Side of Heaven' status."


I mean, it's a good movie and everything, but you don't really want your son to be the MAIN CHARACTER!!

My heart was pounding while I read this letter. He has to learn aNOTHER new language?! He'll only be there for a few weeks to a month, and then he goes back to Suva, (which will prob feel like the Ritz-Carlton by then), because they're closing that area. But then he adds that if/when they open it back up, he, Elder Farley, will go in as the sr. missionary to open the area. Well, how's he supposed to do that when he has only a few weeks' worth of the language?!! Andie's answer was, "Mom, he's a missionary! He'll be fine!"

Yeah, I know, but...

The other reason my heart was pounding is that he also said things like, "That was probably the coolest flight of my life," referring to the flight on the tiny plane to the new area. Also, "...everything is right next to the ocean, and we walk on the beach all the time, and we have to (get to) walk through the ocean sometimes." Then, "All the other missionaries are jealous of me." And, "Elder Taburuea is from Kiribati islands, so he's a native speaker of this language. He's the funniest missionary I've ever met. Elder Garner is from Kaysville and graduated from Davis High. They're both awesome and we get along very well." Something about, "I'll probably be able to send you some breathtaking pictures when I get back to Suva," and, "...this is an unreal experience, and I am so blessed." And the kicker, "I've never been happier."

It was probably the craziest letter I've ever gotten. One sentence I'd gasp in horror, and next, I'd be ooh-ing and aah-ing. The sentence after that I'd bust out laughing. Afraid one minute and thrilled for him the next. One good thing: I know he's still loving every minute of his mission, even more now than before. Something that might be nightmarish to me is paradisiacal to him. It's always kind of been that way, so not that surprising I guess.

Here is what I know for sure: he's in the best possible hands in the best possible place (for him) doing the best possible thing with the best possible opportunities to become the man he is meant to be.

Now how can I possibly be worried about that? I guess I can't. Sniff. Hiccup! Nosewipe. Dusttissuefluffoffface. Deepcleansingbreath!

Okay, all better now.