Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Marriage Is Bliss!

I love being married! My husband is not just the man I married, but he is my best friend, my soul-mate, my confidante and my hero. And most of the time, marriage is bliss!
Now don't get me wrong - marriage isn't one hundred percent perfect every moment of every day. People aren't perfect. I'm certainly not! Even my hubby has a couple small imperfections. It's really just a matter of choice.
You see, I'm not easy to live with, I know. I'm moody and I'm a perfectionist and that is not an easy combination. How does he do it? How does he live with the grouchy, irritable, complaining ME? He chooses to look past all that and sees only the good me - the one who loves him back, the one who loves to spend time with him and fix myself up for him and make him chocolate cake. He has these "rose-colored glasses" through which he only sees my strengths and that, my friends, is the Secret to a happy marriage and a happy life!
So I try my best to put aside my own criticisms and fault-finding to give in return what he gives to me: forgiveness. That would be the second rule of marriage, if there was a book on the matter. There are times, I admit, that I push the boundaries of those filters he wears and bring upon myself the sadness of forcing a harsh reality upon his eyes. And I don't like it so I am angry at myself for doing so. There's no one to blame but me. If I left him to his own devices we wouldn't be in the situation so I can't blame him at these moments. No, when there is discontent and discord in our relationship, it's all because of me. I am the one who takes longer to forgive.
But I am learning!
You spend enough time with someone, you begin to pick up on the things they do. I have learned from my husband that the most important relationship in your life - marriage - is a two-way street. That we can forgive each other and, sometimes more importantly, we can forgive ourselves. I've learned that life goes on, that mistakes happen but that we can move on and be happy. I used to hang to things - you know, like a filing cabinet in my mind where all events were stored, happy or sad. When he would do something that made me angry, I would rush to that file cabinet and pull out all the things he'd ever done wrong and flaunt them before him. I lived so much in the past that I didn't always remember that those things were in the past. He, on the other hand, lives for now, for the future, which is why he forgives so easily. Why dwell on the past? It's over and done. Enjoy now! Forget the things you don't like and cherish the things that were good!
So now I have given up that file cabinet. I dumped it. Just pushed it over a cliff and brushed off my hands. And it feels so good! No more heavy burdens of past mistakes or embarrassing follies! No more fighting about the same things for years and years! No wonder he's so happy all the time!
I still have my moments. I don't bring up past events but sometimes I get irritated and want to vent.
He still puts up with me.
You know, there's something about being married to the same person for a long time that is comforting. Yeah, sure, that "new" feeling wears off after the first year or so. And then kids come along or careers or both. All that is just a refiner's fire. It shapes and molds us and we learn from it. Here's what I have learned:
When someone sticks with you through sleepless nights of being pregnant or waking up with a baby or being sick, you know he really loves you.
When you feel overwhelmed by bills and schedules and you call him on the phone at work, crying, and he stops to talk to you and calm you down by simply saying "It's all right," you know he really loves you.
When you feel moody and ugly and you stay in your pajamas all day and don't do the dishes and don't shower or put on makeup, and he comes home and tells you how beautiful and wonderful you are, you know he really loves you.
When you scream in frustration and throw a fit and lock yourself in your room because the kids are driving you crazy and you've had enough - only to emerge 20 minutes later to a clean kitchen and kids helping daddy get the house clean for mommy, you know he really loves you.
When you get up in the morning with a million things to do but you put it all off to bake some cookies and take them to his work, you know you really love him.
When you have those moments of "what is going on with my life!" and all you can find good in it is the fact that you have a terrific spouse, you know you really love each other.
And here's my favorite. When you get mad at him for leaving his shoes and socks in the middle of the living room floor but then realize he didn't even say a word about having to help fix dinner, you feel kind of stupid. And you know he loves you. Really loves you.
Those rose-colored glasses sure come in handy.
So when I say marriage is bliss, I mean marriage is what you make of it. Yes, there will be hard times. There will be moments when you get mad or frustrated but those are just moments. They don't make a life, they just pepper it once in a while. So you laugh about it and move on. You remember the good things and you especially remember how the other person forgives you when you aren't so easy to live with.
And you always keep in mind that this is a lifetime commitment. Your parents made a lifetime commitment when they had you. Your siblings come in to a lifetime commitment. You make a lifetime commitment when you have children. You don't give up on these people when they do something wrong. They are family!
So you don't give up on the one person you actually had a choice in making a lifetime commitment to. You just don't. You keep that commitment because, let's face it, when you're old and your hair turns gray (or falls out) and your body isn't as sexy as it used to be, there's one person right there beside you who remembers when all that was different. He was there when you looked so beautiful in your white dress, when you weren't so pretty in the labor room, when those miracles were born and you shared a special, tender, God-given moment and had the realization that you both just created a new life. You were there when he graduated from college, when he got his first job and when he got let-go, when he could play baseball without his knees giving out, when he could still carry you in his arms (because he was stronger then and also because you weren't so ... much more of a woman!).
Who else would want you now?
I'm keeping the guy who still thinks of me as that cute little 18 year-old he first met. And I like that he doesn't mind the fluff I've put on around the middle. He's got long arms, they go a long way.
Bliss? Not always. But comfortable? You could say that.
"Love is blind," they used to say. Thank goodness it is!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Why Idaho?

Some people wonder why I choose to live in Idaho. Well, it's simple, really. That's where my best friend lives.
You see, I used to be against living in Idaho. I don't know why, I just thought I would never want to live there. Maybe it's because it seemed so "far away" from everything. Or maybe because it is full of farm land and so spread out and open. I'm a mountain girl, so that was not appealing. Or so I thought.
But then something happened that I never thought would happen. My husband got a job in the neighboring state of Wyoming. He commuted from southern Utah, where we had moved a few years earlier, and it was a long trip, even once a week. So we moved to a little city called Rexburg, which is where his new company is based. It was a much closer commute (7 1/2 hours versus 3 hours) and we had family and friends there already. So off to Idaho for me!
Just a little less than 2 months later, his position was no longer needed. But the company hired him back at the local office - something that wouldn't have happened if we hadn't moved there. And now we are officially Idahoans.
It's not what I would have chosen, but I have found that there aren't many places on this big blue marble that I don't like. And now that I am here, I would choose it any day of the week. Okay, so the mountains are a little farther away but I have found that I really prefer farm land when I can't have trees and sloped landscape.
Some day you will have to come take a bike ride with me and get the whole picture in your head. It's not enough to simply see the area, you have to experience it. Ride past the fields of wheat, potatoes or hay and see how slowly life unfolds. Smell the air and all its flavors. Float down the lazy river and watch a moose stroll across the stream ahead of you. Stop and watch the cattle or horses or other farm animals as they silently and peacefully graze and realize that you're just in too much of a hurry.
Then there is the people aspect. As you enter the town on Main Street, you see a sign that welcomes you to "America's Family Community." When you shop you are greeted warmly by others who live here and love it. Or you may be helped by a young college student working his or her way through school. And then you return home to the nicest neighbors in the world. This is not a place to hide out. No, your neighbors will help you move in, bring you dinner, help you gather firewood for the winter, and stop by just to say hi. It's a simple life, even with all the hectic intrudings of our busy world. Mayberry, perhaps? Just a little. But I wouldn't have it any other way.
Yes, I live in a place I once thought would never appeal to me. Others think it's funny that I do, and I can't blame them when I was once the same way. But maybe that's a good thing. If everyone knew just how wonderful it was to live here, it wouldn't be the same.
So, thank you, dear hubby, for getting me here. And thank you, Lord, for letting there be a few places left in the world that are still so wonderful and calm. I have the internet and a cell phone to keep in touch with my loved ones and the goings-on in the modern world, but when those are put aside, I have peace and comfort in my awesome little old-fashioned town. If you have a moment, come sit with me in the back yard and sip lemonade while we watch the clouds roll by. It's something much needed in this fast-paced, selfish world. And maybe you will like Idaho, too.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cheerful Aging

I just noticed something the other day: it is much easier to do things without the kids around. Okay, so I didn't just notice this, but I was doing some things around the house and suddenly I had this little light bulb moment. I was fixing dinner and thinking to myself "why am I still fixing dinner for so many people? It should just be me, Lee and two boys." Then I thought about why those people are here and I knew I was blessed, even if it is a little bit crowded and a little bit hard.
My daughter and her husband are staying with us for a few months to save some money and get into an apartment soon. They are in college and working and we are helping them out.
We also have an exchange student from Taiwan. It is a very great blessing to have someone live in your house who is from an entirely different culture. We have learned so much and I hope he has learned a little bit, too.
So here we are, all seven of us in a teeny little home. The three boys share a room in the "attic" which has a low ceiling that slopes on each side. (My boys are over six feet tall.) And my daughter and her husband are in the little room at the top of those stairs before you turn into the boys room. No privacy, no room to put much. Just their bed and a rolling clothes rack and a hamper. So we all have to give a little here.
And guess what? Our exchange student leaves the first of June (just over a month away) then my older son leaves to go on a mission for our church for two years near the end of June. Then my daughter and son-in-law will move out around the end of July (they think). And who will be left at home? Just me, my husband and our youngest son (who happens to be a senior this year). And then I will be left wondering who to cook for.
Just when I finally figure out how to cook for many, I will have to start learning to cook for few.
Well, life isn't fair, is it? Nope, it really isn't.
But I did figure out something else. I don't like a dirty kitchen. And when I am not feeling good, sometimes that kitchen does get dirty and stay dirty because Mom is not in there cleaning it. Or Dad. (My hubby is a great help to me most the time but I think he had so much else to do this weekend.) So today - feeling much better, I noticed, even though I had a headache - I cleaned the kitchen and made dinner. Wow. That felt good! So, family, if you read this you might take note that Mom is much happier when her kitchen (and house, for that matter!) are clean!
Ah, yes, I know - I will miss them when they aren't around. No messes to clean up, no kids to taxi around, no laundry piles in the bathroom to yell about, no - wait, maybe I won't miss this them THAT much ... *giggle, laugh* I will. Really.
But this makes me think ahead a little: do grandkids mess up the house?
Ha ha! Have a great week, everyone. And keep on smiling, it makes people wonder what you've been up to!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Do Over!

Happiness is being married to your best friend!
Okay, I call "do over" since I have not written on this blog in FOR-E-VER!
It's not that I am unhappy but perhaps because I have been busy BEING happy. But that's no excuse, so let's move on...
I can feel my life being blessed lately and I think it's because of many things, the foremost being that I have been working hard on blessings. Do you ever do that? We are promised that if we live right, we will receive blessings and if told that if we don't, we have no promise.
Well, I am happy to report - and give testimony to - the fact that I can see this working in my life.
I read a book once by a man who talked about "the universe" and how there is this thing about everything interacting with everything else. He even believed that when you give, the universe gives back. Hmm, how about that?
Yes, it is truth that no matter how you believe it, there is something about life, the universe and everything that adds up to more than 42. (That was for all you Hitchhiker's Guide fans). And I have seen it. I personally attribute it to my Heavenly Father and the laws of the universe under his direction. Choose your own way of believing, no matter what it is, but just believe it. There really is something about giving in this world that sends better things your way. And I know it.
Isn't it great to be alive and to know that when you do good out there that somehow it is making more good for everyone else and even sending some back your way?
I had a co-worker once who said she didn't think people were as good as many others thought they were. She believed that if one were to lose their wallet, it was gone forever. Most people would keep it or toss it. That's just the way it was. People were generally selfish and she was afraid of the world in general.
Now, this woman lived in a small town in the USA. It was a family-oriented place, full of people who were generally good Christians. She had never lived anywhere but there and yet she felt this way. Was it the news she watched? Was it just her attitude? I was always unsure about that. But one thing I did know: she was never truly happy. She always seemed to be nervous that something bad was going to happen, fretting that someone was out there waiting to attack her or a loved one. She lived in a little town with good people but she was afraid.
Now don't get me wrong. She was a good person, did service and even worked with children at an elementary school helping them improve their reading. But she just couldn't relax and enjoy life.
I, on the other hand, have lived in some big cities where you never spoke to your neighbors or got involved in their lives. I have seen selfish people on the freeway, on the streets, in the parks. But I have also seen someone I know lose something at the store and have it returned to them soon after. I have seen strangers help an old lady pick up something that was dropped or mothers look out for children they didn't know. I believe that people are generally good. I think they all want to be good but sometimes they are in circumstances that cause them to choose differently sometimes.
And I am almost always happy.
Attitude can affect us and the world around us. I think that maybe the universe also gives happiness to those who share it. Those who have positive outlooks tend to draw more positive energy back to them. It sure seems to happen that way, anyway. Take a look around you (or in the mirror?) and watch: those who are happy and have good attitudes tend to draw others to them. We are all creatures of light and we crave that happiness that we see in those people. When we make up our minds to see the world in a positive way, we are telling the universe that we are part of that energy and it feeds us as we use it.
Or - you can look at it this way as well - when God gives us a promise, he keeps it. We give good, we receive good. What an awesome concept!
So, wherever you come from - believer or not - choose to be happy! And if you haven't tried it yet, what are you waiting for? What's it going to hurt to try and be cheerful and nice to others?
Hey, there are some crummy people out there but even they can change. Besides, you have to know that there is that reality that not everyone is on the same plane. Some people haven't discovered how to be happy yet. And if you are aware that some are liars or bad people, just stay clear of any situations that might harm you. You don't have to be gullible.
And one last thing. Keep this motto in mind: If you loan a friend twenty dollars and you never see that person again, it was worth the twenty dollars!
Keep on smilin'!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A New Beginning

Things are starting over for Shauna as she once again moves home and tries to get on with life. I find myself a little envious of some of the things she has but then I remember the heartaches she has been through and the tough life she has had over the past seven years and I realize I am very blessed to have a secure relationship with a man who loves me more than anything. In that I am very fortunate. I'm glad it's that way, not only for me, but for her as well. She can come home to a loving family and secure home when she needs to. I pray every day that she will be able to find the right guy some day and have a great relationship at last.
We traveled to Seattle this last weekend to pick her up and move her home. Lee, Jacob, Matt and Lylia went with us and we spent a fun, sunny day in Seattle after packing up. Sunday was a long drive home (15 hours) but we made the most of it and had a few fun stops.
Shauna got an apartment yesterday and we moved her in last night. She will be getting a job soon at a bakery so she can finish her hours for school and still get credit. She will apply to BYUI and hopefully finish up a degree.
Lylia only has about 6 weeks left with us and I don't want to think about sending her home. She's just like one of the family and I don't want to give her back! But I'm sure her family in Brazil is looking forward to getting her back so I will make sure she gets on that plane, hard as it will be. Her mom is coming out here in a couple weeks for graduation. Then we will take them on a tour of Idaho and Utah. We wish we could take them to California as well but time and money are a little short.
Lee and I are so happy to be living here, even though Rexburg isn't the prettiest place. Or warmest. But it has been a blessing to live near Robert and Michelle again and to have their family nearby. We enjoy that. Plus we have some good friends here now and we like our home. Things are going pretty good, thanks to the Lord. We sure miss our friends in Utah and California but the internet is a blessing when it comes to keeping in touch with people. Besides, everyone keeps sending their kids to BYUI so we have many excuses to see them, or at least their children. We feel like we are in touch when we see all these kids.
Well, back to the same ol' stuff. Post a comment once in awhile so I know you're still alive!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Just keep swimmin'...

Well, it's been an eventful month with more than a fair share of events from great to sorrowful. What has mostly been on my mind is that I've had to help my daughter through another heartbreaking marriage and divorce. I am so sad for both of them but I know things will turn out all right, at least for my daughter. She has been practicing faith and turning to the Lord for help and He is guiding her and giving her strength. I have to admit this can be pretty tough for me as well but as her mother I know I can help her through this.
With summer on the way I have been feeling much more upbeat. I love the longer days and the warming of the climate. I am really looking forward to floating down the river, camping at Yellowstone, and having bonfires in our backyard. Lee planted irises today and we are starting to prepare for a garden and putting in some flowers around the house. Oh how I love this time of year!
Tyler has a girlfriend and she is just the cutest girl. She fits in with our family and is a very happy, loving person. I wouldn't mind at all if they got real serious ... :)
I made my first wedding cake for someone who wasn't my daughter! And it was so much fun. A friend of a friend, the bride wanted a lemon cake with raspberry filling and fondant on the top. It turned out great. And I did the serving cake as well, which I was told everyone raved over. That made me feel good! I think I will do this more often!
It's craft fair time and my friend Sarah and I did our first one last weekend. We are doing another one this coming weekend. I enjoy keeping busy with my crafts and will probably always do at least one craft fair every year, just to keep myself busy.
The happiest part of all is that Lee and I still love each other more than anything in the world. How is it that two people can love each other more after 26 years than when they were so head-over-heels at first? Somehow all the trials we've been through together and all the events we have enjoyed together have made us closer and now I can't even imagine what life would be like without him. Thanks, Leebert, for making me the happiest woman on earth. You are a wonderful man!

Monday, March 22, 2010

What a Week!

Okay, so I decided to do a before and after session and this is it. I look much better after, that's for sure! How does Lee even like me when I have no makeup on? Bleck!

We got a letter today telling us when Lylia goes home and even though that isn't until June 29, it still seems like it will happen too soon! We will sure miss her. She is such a sweetie.
Darci is moving home again. Just for a couple months. She needs to save some money to move back to Provo. So it will be fun having my little social butterfly back home for awhile.
Tyler got accepted to BYU-I and will start classes in April. His friend Katrina will be back then, as well, so he will be quite busy...
Things are going well for me in my Mary Kay business because I decided to put some effort into it. I went to a career conference in Salt Lake and got all fired up. Now I feel like I know a little more and can really get going. That's always a good thing - to feel well educated and more confident. Now to just start getting out there more...
I finally finished the "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" book and it was all right. The author changed a few things about the story and added in the whole zombie element so it's kind of funny but at the same time, I'm not sure a teenage boy would want to read all the other parts of the story (because it's a love story) so I don't know who he geared it for since teenage boys are the only people who like zombies. Hmmm. Well, it was fun. A lady I work with on the PTO board didn't like it. So there are two opinions for ya.
Well, have a good week and keep on smiling. Every day is the best day of your life!