Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bland Stir Fry and a Cool Train

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . I tried a new stir fry recipe today, and alas, the sweet and sour sauce was neither sweet nor sour. When I commented that dinner seemed very bland, Phillip furrowed his brow and said it tasted really strong to him. I thought my pregnant taste buds had betrayed me until we figured out that he was talking about the garlic slices he'd bitten into. When I asked about the sauce he agreed that it had very little flavor. In other words, dinner was still disappointing, but at least I'm not as taste-impaired as I thought.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . watching Joy grin as we played the counting game again.

. . . reviewing the elaborate train setup Phillip and Joy put together after dinner. There are definite advantages to having an engineer for a daddy.

And another thing . . .

. . . what side dish can one serve with stir fry? We're always still hungry after we eat one, and I feel stir fries need a side to make them more filling, but what to use? Fried rice is tasty, but it seems redundant since the stir fry is already served with rice. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Fix-It Guy Made My Day

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Joy falling out of her favorite tree. No harm done, but she told me "I'm done climbing that tree until I'm older." Technically, she'll be a day older tomorrow . . .

. . . trying a new brand of canned chili which was so strongly seasoned that I couldn't bear to eat much of it. I have yet to settle on a favorite homemade chili recipe, but even my worst efforts were better than what emerged from that can. [shudder]

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . our apartment fix-it guy telling us our old oven/stove has so many issues that he's just going to get us a new one. With an actual window in the door. Woo-hoo! You know, I really do look forward to someday owning a home with a yard, where our monthly payment goes to our own equity rather than someone else's bank account, but I must admit I'll miss having an apartment manager with the skills and funds to fix anything that breaks.

. . . hearing my kids giggle as Daniel dogpiled Joy (with Joy's enthusiastic encouragement).

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Races and a Lantern

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Daniel dumping cereal all over the floor.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . running races across the playground with Joy.

. . . a home evening trip to REI to spend our annual dividend. We opted for a rechargeable lantern for our next camping trip.

. . . giving Joy a cuddle as she nestled into her blanket at bedtime.

. . . husband hugs.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . watching my kids run gleefully around Papa's yard with Daddy, Aunt Heather, and Uncle Sean.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bear Ball and 21st Century Shopping

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . playing ball with Joy. Or rather, with her Beanie Baby bear. I would roll the ball in their general direction, and the bear (with help from Joy) would pounce on it and shove it back toward me. Both humans got a kick out of the game; the bear didn't seem to have a strong opinion either way.

And another thing . . .

. . . Alas, like so many other Borders stores, our local Borders is closing, probably because of the weak economy and competition from online booksellers like Amazon. I regret that they’re closing shop because I love being able to peruse a bookstore and flip through the pages of books as I consider which to buy. On the other hand, I have partially contributed to their demise because I often buy from Amazon or check things out from the library to save money. It can be hard to put your money where your heart is.

On the other hand, I feel no regrets at all that video rental stores are closing. In addition to the familiar films I knew and loved, our local Blockbuster carried a plethora of horror and smut I'd never heard of. It seemed to glare at you from every side, and I hated walking past it all when I went to check something out. Long live Netflix, where I can search by category and title, and bypass any junk.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Shaggy Boy Gets Cold Feet

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Daniel dunking his leg in a bucket of cold water, then getting fussy because his foot was chilly.

. . . waking up tired yet again, because I stayed up too late yet again. Some people struggle mightily to restrain their spending or their calorie consumption; I have an inexplicably persistent weakness for staying up late. I'm usually doing things that are worthwhile or even necessary, but that's small comfort when I wake up with a groan the next morning.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . buying three baskets of strawberries at the farmers' market, and giving two as gifts to neighbors.

. . . Joy cuddling in my lap and telling me she loves me.

. . . finally getting Daniel's hair cut. He sure looks handsome now that he isn't so shaggy anymore.

And another thing . . .

. . . the zucchini recipe I tried the other day reminds me of Christmas. I think that's because the ginger in it makes me think of gingerbread.

. . . my food aversions (which fortunately have fairly mild this pregnancy) seem to be diminishing as I head into the second trimester. Nevertheless, as dinnertime approached today I just couldn't bear to cook what I'd planned. I baked frozen pizza instead.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Clutter and Powdered Milk

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . one of those rather crushing moments when I realize I will probably live amidst clutter for the rest of my life, because my puny, piecemeal efforts to tidy up are no match for the sheer quantity of stuff cramming every surface of my home. I might be able to sift and sort through it all if my family went on vacation without me for a week, but that ain't gonna happen, and even if it did I know we would start reacquiring clutter again immediately. [bury face in hands and moan]

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . savoring the smell of zucchini bread baking.

. . . attending a Shelf Reliance party at a friend's home. I actually enjoyed sampling a bunch of their freeze-dried fruits and veggies, just-add-water-then-bake brownies and macaroons, and instant milk. The freeze-dried broccoli was really tasty straight out of the bin, and I like the idea of using freeze-dried meat that tastes normal instead of the canned version that tastes like tuna, but the real star of the show for me was the milk. I've tried powdered milk, ultrapasteurized milk in a shelf-stable box, you name it, and they all taste weird. SR's instant milk tasted just like regular skim milk. If I did a blind taste test between it and skim milk from the local grocery store, I wouldn't know the difference. I definitely plan to invest in some of that, and a few other things, too.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dinner and Dishes

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . hearing my kids squeal with delight when they saw Daddy tapping on our window this evening.

. . . Daniel eating, liking, and repeatedly requesting more bites of the dinner I cooked. Oh, how that gladdened my mama heart.

. . . eating Asparagus Shepherd's Pie for dinner. Don't scoff--it's really good (just ask Daniel).

. . . Joy "helping Daddy do the dishes" (translation: she played with water in one sink while he scrubbed in the adjacent one). I'm not sure that technically qualifies as "help," but it is cute to me that she loves being with Daddy so much.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Game Day

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . playing a perpetual hugging game with Daniel. He would run and give me a hug, then just as I loosened my hold I would pull him back and hug him again as he giggled. I would repeat that a few times, then finally release him completely. He would take a few steps back, then charge forward for another hug and begin the cycle over again. I loved that my laughing little boy wanted so many hugs from me.

. . . watching Joy smile as we played "Guess the Number"--a game she and Pink Grandma made up. We took turns choosing a number between 1 and 100, and the other person would guess what it was. After each guess, the Chooser would say "higher" or "lower" until the Guesser guessed the right number and became the Chooser for the next round. Sometimes Joy was determined to give me hints, whether I wanted them or not. :)

. . . playing Trouble with Joy. The box says it's for ages 5 and up, but Joy came from behind to beat me the first time, and utterly demolished me the second time. We had fun cheering each other on.

. . . dancing to Celtic music. I was in the mood to exercise a little (four minutes, to be precise; I have the endurance of a sloth these days), and Loreena McKennitt was on iTunes, so away I went. And no, Cathy, it wasn't "The Snake Charmer Dance," but that would have been fun, too.

And another thing . . .

. . . When Phillip goes to the grocery store, I can almost guarantee he will bring home some snack that was not on his shopping list. Today he outdid himself, walking in the door with three big bags of chips, four Payday bars, a bag of mini Snicker bars for me, and a bag of licorice for the kids. Oh yeah, and the bacon he originally went for. The practical side of me cringes at the idea of spending so much of our limited funds on junk food, but on the other hand, I appreciate his desire to get some fun treats for his family. And hey--you’ve got to live a little now and then.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Honor Among Athletes

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . spending most of today's two-hour conference meeting struggling to entertain Daniel, or carrying him around the building so he could flip every light switch he could find. It made me even more grateful that the Saturday session of stake conference is adults only.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . visiting Mom H for dinner.

. . . my husband giving me hugs out of the blue.

. . . BYU's basketball team achieving a landslide victory this weekend, and reaching the NCAA Sweet Sixteen for the first time in thirty years. I usually don't pay much attention to sports, even when my beloved alma mater is involved, but I've been watching this BYU team closely since they began taking a lot of heat earlier this month.

All students who attend BYU commit to follow a set of moral standards known as the Honor Code. That code includes living a "chaste and virtuous life," and when the team's starting center Brandon Davies admitted he'd slept with his girlfriend a few weeks ago, he was suspended from playing on the team for the rest of the season. Critics assumed the school had blown its chances for the NCAA tournament, and many of them mocked BYU for sticking to its standards when other schools bend rules and ignore criminal offenses to keep star players in action.

I would applaud BYU's decision even if they had lost every game for the rest of the season--sometimes making the right choice requires tough sacrifice. On the other hand, sometimes we're blessed for sticking to our principles, and I'm thrilled to see BYU's team excelling despite the challenges they've faced. I'm even happier to read about the mutual love and support between the team and Davies (the suspended center), who has been on the bench in a white shirt and tie, cheering his teammates on. One of the other players referred to Davies as a best friend who’s like a brother to them, and said Davies’s dedication and support has really strengthened the team. We all make mistakes, and the consequences can hurt, but love has immense power to heal and help us move forward together.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Alarms and Vague Recipes

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Daniel pushing the emergency call button in a store elevator today. I immediately pulled him away from the panel, whereupon he hurried over to the other one (why are there two??), and pushed the alarm button. The staff just took it in stride; they say it happens all the time. I'm not sure whether to find that reassuring or unsettling.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . attending the adult session of stake conference with my sweetheart.

. . . hearing how much fun the kids had with Pink Grandma after we got home tonight.

And another thing . . .

. . . one of the banes of my existence is recipes that say "add salt to taste" without specifying an amount. I never add enough. Tonight's Chicken Paprikash recipe was a case in point, but at least when we discovered the sauce was bland I could stir a little more salt in and fix things. If you roast undersalted potatoes there's just not much to you can do for them once they're out of the oven and on your plate.

. . . we took our kids to the park today, and as I watched one child while Phillip followed the other around, I thought, "Hmm . . . what are we going to do when there are three kids and only two parents? And for that matter, what will happen when I bring three of them to the park, and have to keep track of all three on my own??" I'm sure I'll figure it out, just like I've learned to handle one and then two, but I'm beginning to see why some people say the third child adds exponentially more chaos to your life.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Chocolate Meringues and Salsa Balloons

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . trying a new cookie recipe that didn't turn out. Actually the cookies were OK, but they weren't what I was expecting. I envisioned something brownie-like, or at least a chocolatey chocolate chip cookie, but they turned out more like chocolate meringues--airy, hollow, and mostly crunchy. At least Daniel liked them.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . hearing my baby's heartbeat at the doctor's office.

. . . reading this oh-so-true statement I randomly found on the internet: "Salsa-filled water balloons are really better in theory, than in practice."

And another thing . . .

. . . It's hard to know whether to classify this year's ward talent show as a favorite or unfavorite. As usual it was a fun and eclectic event, but this time I was trying to wrangle two active kids on my own because Phillip had to work late. Daniel had marginal interest in the refreshments but none in the show, so we spent most of the time wandering the halls looking for light switches while I glanced in the cultural hall door to see and hear what I could. Joy liked watching the show, but after every number or two she would start calling for me to tell me that she wanted to see the video again, or that the Bishop was about to sing, or that someone had stepped on her finger. It was stressful and crazy, but all three of us managed to enjoy the outing in our own way.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Spills and Spandex

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . spilling a cup of cranberry juice all over the inside of the fridge. Sigh - sometimes mamas spill, too.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Phillip watching the kids this morning so I could tidy up and do some gardening. Ah, productivity.

And another thing . . .

. . . even my jeans have become too tight lately, so I finally dug my maternity clothes out of storage today. I'm pretty well set in the shirt department, especially since most of my regular shirts will still cover the jeans's spandex band, but I'm seriously challenged where pants and skirts are concerned. Guess I know what I'll be spending April's allowance on.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Grins and Splatters

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Daniel throwing his cup of strawberry smoothie at the precise angle and trajectory so that the contents splattered Good thing I was wearing khaki pants, eh?

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . watching Daniel get a "Hey, check THIS out!" grin as he was about to do something fun. I forget what the activity was, but I remember the grin.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fish and Popcorn

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Daniel pouring apple juice on a restaurant floor.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . giving my husband a back rub. He had something weighing on his mind, and though I couldn't remove his burden completely, it was nice to at least do something to make him feel better.

. . . watching Joy play with Pink Grandma in her yard, and go fishing for magnetic trout and carp in Papa's pool.

. . . showing Joy the "popcorn" on Pink Grandma's apricot tree.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Temples and a Postscript

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . seeing my husband smile.

. . . a wonderful Relief Society lesson. The teacher asked what words or phrases come to mind when we think of the temple, then cited the scripture that our bodies are temples (1 Cor 6:19), and therefore many of those phrases apply to our bodies. One thought that particularly struck me is that temples throughout the world look very different, yet they all have a stately beauty because of what they represent. Similarly, people look very different, yet we are all children of God made in His image, and therefore have something of divine majesty about us.

And another thing . . .

. . . this morning a reader emailed me a comment about yesterday's (Gay) Mormon Guy post. They expressed concern that perhaps it isn't such an admirable thing when a man dates and desires to marry a girl when he feels no attraction for her. That concern made me realize I should have been more clear in my summary of (G)MG's blog.

The blogger I mentioned yesterday sincerely yearns for a happy, loving, heterosexual marriage and family. He realizes it would be doctrinally and morally wrong to marry unless he is seriously attracted to a woman, and she is aware of his struggle and chooses to marry him in spite of it. He also realizes it would take a literal miracle for him to find such a woman AND be attracted to her, but he believes that such miracles can and do happen, and that part of exercising his faith and hope is to date in search of such a relationship.

He knows the chance of success is infinitesimal each time he asks a girl out, and he doesn't take that lightly. In fact, he goes out of his way to be gentle with girls' feelings when things don't work out. Frankly, I think he's much more conscious and careful of girls' feelings than many straight guys who are dating to find a mate. In both cases it never will work out until they find the right one, but some guys are much less considerate when they decide it's time to move on. (G)MG's deep consideration for others and the fact that he has the faith and will to keep trying against such long odds are two of the things I admire most about him.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Burgers, Cards, and an Enthralling Blog

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . watching my family's eyes light up when I suggested we go to In-N-Out for dinner.

And another thing . . .

. . . this morning I attended a service activity where we made thank-you cards for families to give to the doctors and nurses who have treated their children (the cards will be donated to a group that assists families battling serious childhood illness). It was the most mentally challenging thing I have done in ages. I am not a crafty person, and though I often peeked over others' shoulders for inspiration it was a real struggle for me to come up with even simple designs that looked good. All in all it was fun, though, and we made over 100 cards. Hopefully they'll warm a few hearts.

. . . this evening I followed a favorite blog to another blog to yet another blog called (Gay) Mormon Guy. In his own words he says "I'm a stalwart member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I'm also attracted to men. Which means that life is extra rough." His blog is very honest and heartfelt, and I found it captivating.

For example, I assumed that a dedicated Mormon struggling with same-gender attraction would reluctantly resign themselves to a life of celibacy, but this writer dates often in the hope that he will ultimately fall truly in love with a woman and build a happy marriage and family with her. He is aware that it may never happen in this life, and that even if it does his temptations may still linger in the background for the rest of his life. As I read that last comment, it occurred to me that my situation is not so very different from his.

While I don't feel any same-gender attraction, I (like every other imperfect mortal) came into my marriage with temptations and faults that I constantly struggle to keep in the background for the sake of my relationship and ultimately my salvation. At my worst I'm selfish, proud, critical, and lazy--flaws which have destroyed far more lives and marriages than same-gender attraction ever has. Most of the time I keep those faults in the background, trying to feed the virtues of my character and starve the vices.

If I keep working at that and praying for God's help, I may one day vanquish those faults completely, but in the meantime I'm just working to nurture the best in me, one day at a time. Sometimes it comes easily. Other times it's very hard, but on the rare occasions when I consider what life would be like if I abandoned my faith or family to indulge my self-centered desires, I know in my heart that (paradoxically) living just for me wouldn't truly make me happier.

Incidentally, in response to Karl Marx, religion is not "the opiate of the masses." When seen for what it truly is--a guide to becoming more like God, experiencing true joy, and achieving your potential as His child--it is the greatest motivator for good the world has ever known.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Family Reunion, Of Sorts

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . attending Phillip's grandma's funeral. It might seem odd to call that a favorite experience, but I really appreciated the chance to learn about a relative I never had a chance to know (she had Alzheimer's during most of our marriage), and to get to know the extended Hendrickson family better.

. . . spending so much one-on-one time with my sweetheart today. Many thanks to our friends who tended our kids while we were attending all the family events.

. . . watching Uncle Mark wink at Aunt Connie and whisper that he loves her.

. . . finally meeting Cousin Risa. Until today, we only really knew each other through blogs. When she choked up leading the closing hymn, it made me cry, too.

. . . meeting Great-Aunt Janine, who I had never even heard of before today. She is intelligent, well-read, and wonderfully friendly. If she was in my ward I think I'd sit by her every chance I got.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Softball, Bongos, and Girly Shoes

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . my kids rejecting the pizzas I cooked for dinner, both of which they LIKED when they sampled them at Trader Joe's. Apparently when you remove the mystique of the TJ's sample booth, the pizzas were just another weird thing mama had cooked. They devoured the strawberries, though, so I guess I should be grateful that my kids prefer healthy produce over unhealthy, processed food.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . watching Joy randomly decide to warm up with a little girl softball team at the park today. Her catching was spotty and her aim virtually nonexistent, but most of the actual team were in the same boat. They all seemed to have a good time, though. :)

. . . seeing a guy with dreadlocks playing bongos at the farmers' market. The cool thing was that he was singing hip arrangements of children’s songs, and on blankets spread in front of him were several small chairs and lots of instruments—little drums, tambourines, homemade shakers, and even an old xylophone. Any kids who wanted to could play along while he drummed and sang. Joy dove right in, playing virtually every instrument he had, and even beating his bongo a few times. It was fun to watch her get so into it.

And another thing . . .

. . . up until now I’ve always bought Joy play shoes from the boy section because they were more practical, and because the sparkly, pink, girly shoes bugged me. Today, though, as I watched her try on some masculine athletic shoes with her cute girl outfit, I grudgingly conceded that it was time to shop in the girl section.

I bypassed the cute-but-useless glittery ballet slippers and open sandals, attempting to find something both functional and palatable in the tennis shoe section. We tried on one pair that was so busy with hearts and butterflies that it made my head hurt; fortunately Joy said it didn’t feel very good on her foot. We eventually settled on a pair of white (for now) and pink shoes with sparkly metallic trim, whose requisite hearts at least had the decency to be subtle.

Phillip gaped at them in consternation when he came home tonight, but kept his opinions to himself. Joy, for her part, seems content with them, and I find I don't mind them so much because I saw so many outrageous alternatives at the store.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Funky Nibbles and Friendly Quibbles

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . the frustration of pregnant taste buds. That's right, my illness is long gone but food still tastes kinda weird to me. When you enjoy food and cooking as much as I do, this little side effect officially qualifies as a major bummer.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . poking around a couple cooking websites, which is kind of ironic since it's almost pointless to try new recipes when I can't tell whether they're any good for the next six months.

. . . hearing my kids giggle as they had a dance party on the big bed.

. . . writing this post's title.

And another thing . . .

. . . I once heard about a study which found that siblings who quarreled wouldn't necessarily have a bad relationship when they were adults. The researcher explained that if kids never disagree it's probably because they don't spend much time together, so they may not be very close later on in life. On the other hand, kids who quarrel regularly often play together regularly, too. During the course of playtime a disagreement arises, things get a little heated, then the storm passes and play resumes. Obviously you want to encourage kindness and avoid constant or extreme fighting (my friend's older sister tormented her growing up, and their relationship is still strained decades later), but if quarrels are balanced by plenty of happy play time you shouldn't have much to worry about.

I've thought about that study a lot lately. Daniel is getting old enough to play with Joy, and they often have fun together, but she has also discovered countless ways to bug him. Her latest favorite is to kiss his cheek. He doesn't mind the first kiss, but the second, third, and even tenth one really gets on his nerves. They get on mine, too, since I know she just does it to bother him. My latest parental balancing act involves weighing how much I should proactively encourage friendly choices and discourage unfair or annoying ones, and how much I should just let my kids work things out on their own. I want to lend what guidance I can, but they seem to have the best time together when I'm on the sidelines and they're making their own fun.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy In A Borrowed Garden

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . several straight hours, actually. A friend had the kids over to play all morning, and I spent every free minute gardening. Another friend with a yard lets me use part of their garden plot, and today I finally planted potatoes and seeds for chard, carrots, onions, lettuce and peas. I often say I'm more tenacious than talented when it comes to gardening--some plants thrive while others struggle, and I don't know how I'll find time to keep ahead of the weeds, but for some reason I just can't resist. I love seeing the plants grow and change week to week, and it's fun to become more familiar with their shapes, habits, and quirks. Oh yeah, and it's fun to eat what I grow (at least when it turns out well--I have rotten luck with melons). Joy particularly likes eating home grown carrots.

. . . noticing a little nasturtium coming up by the garden fence, a child of one of the nasturtiums I sowed last year. I like nasturtiums--they remind me of my mother, because they remind her of her mother--and I love seeing the seedlings of last season's parent plants. I enjoy watching the cycle of life play out.

. . . seeing a red variety of Spanish Lavender in full, prolific bloom while the kids and I were out for a walk.

. . . finding my lost sock in our building's laundry room. I had really missed that sock.

Adventures with Spoons

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . Joy waking up at 6:30am. Bleh.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Joy looking at our home evening job chart and noting that she was in charge of the "entihbillee" (activity) tonight.

. . . for her birthday a little while ago Joy received a My Little Pony, complete with brush, rainbow skirt, and a bio declaring that all the pony's friends come to her for fashion tips. Today Joy asked what she should name the little horse. I replied that it was her horse so she should choose a name. She settled on "Bulls-eye," Woody's faithful steed in the Toy Story films.

. . . reading a quote from a chef urging people not to throw out produce just because a bug or bird took a little bite out of it. He said, "It's probably the best piece of fruit, anyhow, if a bug wanted a bite. They go for fruit purely based on taste. So cut the bite out and eat the rest. If you see a bunch of parrots flocking to a certain fruit tree, you should just try to beat them to it."

And another thing . . .

. . . Daniel is increasingly determined to wield his own spoon, but he always turns it upside down and the contents fall off. Every time his oatmeal plopped onto his tray this morning, he laughed like it was the most hilarious thing ever. It was cute, in a messy, inefficient sort of way (and you can guess how much I love messy inefficiency).

. . . for home evening tonight, I borrowed a recent RS teacher’s object lesson, offering Joy a spoon and a flower pot full of dirt, and instructing her to take a bite. She did it without hesitation (I was pleasantly surprised that she trusted me that much), and found the Oreo crumb “dirt” so tasty that she ate a dozen more spoonfuls of it. I then explained that, just as she trusted me enough to do something she ordinarily wouldn’t do, sometimes God and His prophets ask us to do things we aren’t sure will make us happy, but we trust them enough to do those things anyway. When we do, we find out that we really will be better off for following their counsel.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cute Toes and Geeky Quotes

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . spending the afternoon and evening talking with my sweetheart.

. . . watching Daniel grin as I spun him in the desk chair.

. . . playing a game with Joy.

. . . thinking of a random Star Wars quote during a conversation, then hearing Phillip chime in with that exact quote.

. . . looking at Joy's toes. I know it's random, but I've always thought my kids' feet are cute, and her toes are as uniquely her as her nose or her hair. I couldn't pick her hands or ears out in a crowd, but I'd know her toes anywhere.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cravings and a Dance Party

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . Joy inviting me to a dance party in my room. Her imaginary DJ was apparently a fan of Primary songs, because Joy told me we were dancing to "The Wise Man Built His House Upon A Rock." The party also included snacks: imaginary oranges, bananas, strawberries, and hamburgers. I ordered a hamburger with strawberries on the side, but Joy told me if I ordered that, they'd put the strawberries on my burger. I told them to hold the strawberries. Daniel joined us a little later, and it was fun to watch the sibs dance together.

. . . hearing Daniel giggle as I read him a fun book.

. . . watching my kids play at the park.

And another thing . . .

. . . there aren't many foods that sound good to me at this stage of pregnancy, but this time around there's one thing I can't seem to get enough of. It isn't pickles, ice cream, or kung pao chicken . . . it's hamburgers (how did Joy know?). Recently I ate four in one week, and I could really go for one right now. Anyone up for a late-night run to In-N-Out?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Good Night

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . sleeping poorly and waking up tired. I tried to rest on the couch some more, but it didn't really help and frankly isn't realistic when you have little kids. The only thing that really helped my energy level was finally hauling myself up to dress everybody and make a grocery run. Talk about counter-intuitive--you'd think when you're tired it would be more help to rest than work.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . celebrating Daniel's birthday (very late) with family now that we're all getting well again.

. . . relaxing and talking with my husband a while at the end of the day.

. . . reaching the end of the day so I can go to sleep.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Cupid and the Owl

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . waking up really tired this morning. It was my own darn fault because I stayed up too late again. I got some very good things done whilst burning ye midnight oil, but wake-up time hit me like a bus this morning. Note to self: must break lifelong night-owl habit.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . celebrating a very late Valentine's Day with my sweetheart, now that my cough has become a minor nuisance instead of an incessant plague. We went to our favorite Latin restaurant. The food was good, but frankly I enjoy doing just about anything with my sweetheart.

. . . Joy giving me a big hug.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Don't Spill On My Jeans

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . surviving preschool again.

. . . a friend offering to have the kids over next week so I can get some things done. Bless her.

. . . watching Daddy play with the kids.

And another thing . . .

. . . I can barely fit into my jeans these days, so I better keep them clean until I can find my maternity clothes. If I wash my jeans I'll have no prayer of squeezing back inside them.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Snow Globe Meets Wall

Today's not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . . my four-year-old, in a moment of foolhardy exuberance, chucking a snow globe at the wall. It shattered into a million pieces. OK, it was more like 150, but after you clean up the first few dozen, who's counting?

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . doing prenatal Pilates with Joy (boy, I'm out of shape).

. . . cleaning out the fridge. It's a decidedly unpleasant task, but it sure feels good when you're done.

. . . making caramel corn for our home evening activity. My sister's recipe is a fun one, involving paper bags, a microwave, and lots of shaking.

. . . hugging my sweetie.