Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tempura and Baby Flutters

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

. . . stepping outside.  The calendar says summer began last Friday, but the weather says it started this week.  Farewell to the temperate days and pleasantly chilly nights of mid-June.  Hello to the oven-like days of summer.  I'm looking forward to autumn.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . the Primary president texting to say that she had set up chairs for tomorrow even though it's my turn to do it.  Bless her.

. . . smooching my sweetie.

. . . trying out a local Japanese restaurant with a little dining group I belong to.  Since I was the only one in the group who was fairly adept with chopsticks, my companions sometimes asked me what things were and how we were supposed to eat them.  I told them I had no clue about any of it, either.  Cross-cultural befuddlement aside, I loved the miso soup, the tempura, and just chatting with friends.

. . . Little Baby giving me tiny kicks now and then.  They're still just little flutters at this point--sweet reminders that Someone will be joining our family in a few months.  It's hard to believe that we're already halfway to delivery time.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Yeah, I'm Pregnant

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

. . .  realizing that I was scheduled to feed the missionaries tomorrow right about the time I should be driving home from a piano lesson.  Fortunately, they had no dinner appointment on Friday and I was able to reschedule.

. . . getting home from the grocery store and discovering that I had forgotten to buy the two items I most urgently needed.  Apparently I am very, very scatterbrained when I'm pregnant.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . taking dinner to a friend and getting to see her sweet little newborn.  Awwww.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fondue and Pepper Spray

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . taking my mom to dinner for a very belated Mother's Day celebration (I had to postpone at least twice because of that pesky cough).  The fondue was fun and yummy, and the live musician had some serious talent, but the best part of the evening was gabbing with my mom for a couple hours.

And another thing . . .

. . . after dinner, we passed a vendor selling self-defense items geared specifically for women. The company, named Damsel in Defense, sells pink stun guns (which deliver up to 7.5 million volts), pepper spray in a zebra-striped holster (or black, if you prefer a more elegant look), and even a clutch purse with a brass knuckle style handle. Mom showed keen interest in the products on display, and asked for a catalog to take home. That didn't seem consistent with my mom’s mild personality, so on the way to the car I asked if she was concerned about a rise in crime. She explained that she didn't plan to buy anything, but she thought my sister would be really interested. She’s absolutely right--I can totally see my sister carrying a stun gun disguised as a pink cell phone.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Books, Yogurt, and a Cougar

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

. . .  getting up this morning.  I stayed up an hour too late last night, then lay in bed another hour thinking about stuff, then I fell asleep and dreamt I was attacked by a cougar.  Needless to say, I didn't feel very rested when Daniel came in this morning requesting some breakfast.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . taking the kids for a walk.  Fresh air and exercise are good for the soul.

. . . snuggling Anna on my lap as I read a book to her (over and over and over).

. . . reading Mr. Popper's Penguins to Joy.

. . . making yogurt.  There is something strangely satisfying about that simple, predictable process whereby I simultaneously produce something nourishing and save a bunch of grocery money.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sugar and Inspiration

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

. . .  reading a 2011 New York Times article about the possible health hazards of both sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.  Of course, it's just one person's assessment of the studies on that subject, and the scientific community may ultimately refute his conclusions, but they may not.  I'm still trying to decide what I think of it, and what I'll do about it.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . watching an uplifting broadcast by the prophet and apostles with Phillip this afternoon.  It really inspired me to share the Gospel more.  Its principles and perspective bless my life in so many ways that it seems irrational NOT to share it, yet I get so busy and I'm not very outgoing.  This broadcast reminded me that sharing the Gospel isn't some time-consuming project; it's just naturally sharing something you find meaningful with the people you associate with every day.

. . . watching the kids play with Grandma when we visited her for dinner today.  Daniel and Grandma sang a nice duet of the Star Wars theme.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Stay-cation and Other Things

Over the past week or so . . .

. . . my not-so-favorite moments included . . .

. . .  Phillip's boss scheduling a mandatory meeting for the afternoon we were supposed to leave on a kid-free road trip together.  The meeting finished two hours before we were supposed to attend a concert.  The concert was four hours away.  I'm not the swearing kind, but I am the sobbing kind.

. . . my favorite moments included . . .

. . . our Plan B stay-cation.  We ate at some of our favorite restaurants, slept in as late as we wanted, attended the temple, and watched a movie in an actual movie theater.  I'm still a little bummed about missing the concert, but otherwise we had just as much fun together and spent a lot less money than we would have if we'd gone out of town.

. . . giving a heartfelt Father's Day talk about the good men in my life.

. . . celebrating Father's Day with my fam and joining a video chat with my brother Andrew.

. . . talking with a friend who served as a medic in Iraq.  She had some really interesting experiences there.

. . . taking a motorcycle ride with Phillip to eat pupusas at an El Salvadorean restaurant we like.

. . . meeting some of Daniel's future preschool classmates (and their moms) at the park.

. . . Anna laughing gleefully as she ran to give Daddy a hug when he got home.

And another thing . . .

. . . I'm not sure why I've let blogging lag lately.  Don't take it personally--I've let my journal go, too.  Most nights I manage a few short notes at best.  I guess life has just been busy.  Time to just give a summary of recent days, then start afresh, yes?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Broiler S'mores and a Butterfly

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

. . .  Anna having a full-on tantrum when I changed her out of her pajamas this morning.  I'm still not sure what bothered her so much. 

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . glimpsing a bright, orange butterfly on a purple flower.  The colors were striking.

. . . planning fun activities for the summer.

. . . Anna giggling as I (slowly) chased her around our front yard.

. . . discovering that one can make s'mores using the broiler.  I foresee much marshmallowy goodness in our future.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Pool, a Prayer, and a Better Day

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . sleeping in.  Thank you, Sweetheart.

. . . attending an end-of-school-year pool party for Joy's kindergarten class.  Joy had a great time swimming, and I had a good time getting to know the teachers and parents (just in time for us to go our separate ways).

. . . Anna giggling enthusiastically as Phillip played with her.

. . . playing close-up catch with Daniel (it's easy to catch a ball when it's only being tossed from six inches away).

. . . Joy thanking God that I cook yummy dinners when she prayed this evening.

And another thing . . .

. . . yesterday was a rough day.  As I trudged my way through it, I thought more than once of a quote I recently saw on Pinterest: "It's just a bad day, not a bad life."  And lo, it was true.  Today was much, much better.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Oil, Bread, and Cookies

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

. . . shoe shopping for one of my children.  When I go looking for something specific, they almost never have it.

. . .  splattering hot oil on my arm twice while I was cooking dinner.  The first time hurt; the second time hurt, plus I felt like an idiot for not learning my lesson the first time.  I was much more careful after that.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . playing hopscotch with Daniel this afternoon.

. . . eating some delicious cookies one of Phillip's lab-mates brought back from India as a gift.

And another thing . . .

. . . I tried a new bread recipe this week, and it was a flop.  Thank goodness for Nutella, which can make all but the worst bread palatable.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Snuggles and Stories

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . little Anna coming into our room this morning to snuggle with us.

. . . cooking an awesome dinner.

. . . Joy offering to read Daniel a bedtime story because my throat still isn't in tip top shape.

And another thing . . .

. . . I am tired, tired, tired tonight.  Maybe because I walked Joy to school for the first time in weeks.  Or maybe because we babysat four exuberant kids this evening.  Probably both.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Bed and Baptism

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . waking up in my bed after a sound night's slumber.  After a week of fitfully sleeping propped up with pillows on our couch so I wouldn't cough my lungs out, just sleeping in my own bed was a huge thing.

. . . attending a young girl's baptism.  There was such a spirit of love and joy there.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Kicks and Giggles

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . feeling Baby kick, I think.  It's still hard to tell at this stage.

. . . Joy asking the Trader Joe's worker for an extra piece of taffy so she could take one home to Daddy.  He loves taffy.

. . . hearing the kids laugh as Phillip plays with them.

And another thing . . .

. . . this afternoon I officially put most of my regular clothes in storage because they don't fit any more.  I'm keeping most of my T-shirts out for a while, though, because I only have a handful of maternity T-shirts, and I can't stand half of them.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Books, Pianos, and an Unsurprising Concert

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

. . .  Phillip announcing that he wanted to attend an out-of-state concert which I had already surreptitiously bought tickets for to surprise him.  I considered trying to talk him out of it, but I'm a lousy actress and I decided it would just be simpler to tell him my plan.  The whole business will probably be easier and more fun now that he knows and we can plan our road trip together, but I was really looking forward to surprising him, and I'm still a little disappointed that that didn't work out.  I suppose he felt the same way when he ordered me the pressure cooker I'd been yearning for for Mother's Day, only to arrive home and discover that I'd finally broken down and bought one.  There are many advantages to knowing each other so well, but it sure makes it hard to surprise each other.

Today's favorite moments included . . .

. . . cuddling Anna while she sat in my lap to hear me read a book.  I did fine with the first one, which only has twelve words, but after that she chose a much longer one that I was supposed to sing.  There was no way more poor throat could carry any tune more than a few seconds, so I skipped through the book eight pages at a time, then hid it somewhere she won't find it for a few days.

. . . letting Joy stay up a few extra minutes to finish James and the Giant Peach, then glancing over and noticing that she had finished the book and started over.  She was already on chapter six when I made this discovery.

And another thing . . .

. . . Phillip recently bought a digital album by the Piano Guys, which includes a bunch of the music videos they've made.  As I watched the piano player effortlessly playing a piece that he genuinely seemed to enjoy, I reflected on the seven or eight years of piano lessons I took in my youth.  I acquired a decent ability to play correct notes, and learned some musical principles that have come in handy over the years, but my performances always felt like working, not playing.  I stumbled through key changes and challenging passages, and never really enjoyed a piece because I was too worried about making mistakes.  I certainly never felt comfortable enough to just relax and speak through the piano.

I wonder if that is a reflection of my personality, my inherent level of talent, my commitment to practicing, or the teachers I had.  Probably some combination thereof.  I also wonder, if I resumed lessons with a diligent attitude and a quality teacher, whether I would ever reach a point where I could just sit at a piano and enjoy letting it sing.  Perhaps I'll learn the answer to that question in the coming years, since Joy will soon begin piano lessons with a teacher who insists on teaching a parent, too, so they can help the child practice properly.  I'm actually really excited to start.