Thursday, July 24, 2008

Five Five Five Five Fivety Five

So, I have been doubly tagged -- by sisters no less!

and Emily want me to do this here meme. Here goes.


Each player answers the questions themselves. At the end of the post the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment letting them know that they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answers.

The Five

Now, we weren't sure if that meant you should give five answers to each of the five questions, or what. I think that's what I'm going to do, just for thematics.

Ten years ago…

  1. JDub and I had been married for one year and Kaitybean was 2 1/2 months old.
  2. I had just finished up my second year at Snow College.
  3. I had pretty awful postpartum depression, but didn't realize it at the time. I just thought I was either going crazy or that I was a horrible person.
  4. I had just begun a writing course through the Institute of Children's Literature.
  5. We lived in a lovely pioneer-era home and were managing two student apartment complexes.

Five things on today’s “to do” list…

  1. Take down Coco's crib.
  2. Put up Coco's big-boy bed.
  3. Hang up pictures in Mashuga and Coco's room (FINALLY!).
  4. Find something pioneery or holiday-y to do. July 24th is Pioneer Day, Utah's state holiday.
  5. See about going to see my new nephew, Liam. I am so happy for his family that he's here! Congratulations, guys!

Five snacks I enjoy…

  1. chips and salsa -- particularly fresh black bean salsa or mango salsa
  2. salt and pepper pistachios
  3. bell peppers
  4. popcorn
  5. anything with chocolate

Five things I would do if I was a millionaire…

First, a question. Are we talking millions or 1 million? The answers would be wildly different for me. I think with a million I'd be much more conservative. But, I'm going for the gold here and assuming we mean millions.

  1. Tithing
  2. Take two or three years and just travel all around the world with my family.
  3. Set up a scholarship program or an endowment for the arts. Something like that.
  4. Pay off house, invest it well
  5. Buy a small plane and pay for JDub to get his pilot's license

Five places I have lived…

  1. Across the street from Tooele High School
  2. Mill House in Ephraim
  3. In a tiny apartment on Main Street in Ephraim where our bathroom was across the hall from our front door.
  4. In a tiny apartment in Littleton, CO
  5. Here

I’m tagging…

  1. Emnacnud
  2. Mama Bear
  3. Trishelle
  4. Prairie Mama
  5. Abby

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Home From Vacation

We have been gone for eight days.

We drove approximately 1760 miles.

We spent four days in the Chiricaua mountains with approximately 130 relatives.

Collectively, we saw three rattlesnakes, two tarantulas, two desert frogs, three burrow owls, two horned lizards, three yellow striped lizards, one jackrabbit, many horses and about a kazillion saguaro.

Coming home, I need to do about three loads of laundry.

I have 225 unread messages in my email inbox.

I have 256 unread posts in my Google reader.

So, forgive me if I don't ever read the lovely words you've written recently. I think I'll be zeroing it all out.

Let me know if I missed any of your posts that I absolutely MUST read.

Ta Ta.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Little Housekeeping: Blogroll

So, my blogroll has been in serious need of update for a seriously long time. There are many blogs in my Google reader that are not on my blogroll and a few on my blogroll that I no longer read anymore.

So, if I read your blog (and I know that may be hard to tell since I've been lurking a lot lately) and you are not on my blogroll, please leave me a note so I can add you. If I don't read your blog and I should, leave me a note too. If you are on my blogroll and don't want to be, let me know that, too. I know some people don't like to advertise their blogs much.

I'm looking into different options for my roll -- I like how my sister has one that lists most recent posts on her blog. But, I also like have all of them available all the time. We shall see.

So, let me know if you think your blog needs to be listed here. Ready, go!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Your One Wild and Precious Life

The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean--
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down--
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

I have read this poem over and over. Always, her last question haunts me. I too, know how to be idle and blessed, to pay attention. But, what am I doing with this precious life?

Our family spent two days in the mountains recently.

One night, after everyone else had gone to bed, Scud and I tiptoed outside to study the stars. A few nights before, we had been laying on our trampoline and searching for constellations. Scud is so excited to be able to find the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper and the North Star. So, when I pulled him outside, he was in awe of how bright the stars shone away from city lights. He marveled at the Milky Way. We found Orion and talked about how amazing it is that God created all of those stars, galaxies upon galaxies, and that He still can be so aware of us.

I took a walk with Mashuga early in the morning, watched Mallard ducks swimming and diving in a nearby pond. We stopped to admire and inspect the minutia of every wildflower -- the purple blue of Mountain Bluebells, the welcoming white cups of Sego Lilies, the flaming red bursts of Indian Paintbrush. We jumped when a red-breasted bird shot out of the underbrush and stood very still, very quiet as a mule deer watched us with curious eyes. We threw rocks and watched ripples multiply across the glassy surface of Legacy Lake. I marveled at the wonder and the promise reflected in my son's wide blue eyes.

We sang songs, reunited with loved ones, met relatives that we have never known and were so amazed to find that we are connected by so much more than blood. JDub and I talked about how wonderful it is to know that there are such wonderful people in the world and that we are connected to them, somehow.

Tomorrow night I will end a six-week series of classes. I feel sad to say goodbye to these couples that I have come to care for so deeply. It is such an honor to be part of this process of initiating and preparing couples for the transformation of birth and parenthood. I see glimpses of others' souls and am always awe-struck at the love and faith and courage I find there.

I do not hold much with the cynics who believe that the "good people" in the world are hard to find or that miracles are hard to come by. Both are present all around us.

I have stayed up late tonight to prepare for our special final night of celebration. We will do so many juicy, wonderful things tomorrow and I am both excited and nervous. I hope they will enjoy it.

My prayers on my knees have been sparse and shallow lately. I want to pray in words and conversation. It just isn't coming. But my heart has certainly been continually drawn out. My poems have been prayers lately, my breaths have come out in prayers, my joy and wonder at the world's beauty have been the silent language of my prayers.

And what am I praying? I have felt such a deep need this year to know that I am doing all I should with this one wild and precious life that God has given me. The things I do are so simple. I love, I write, I mentor, I cook, I cuddle, I teach, I read, I learn, I watch, I serve and try to be a light to others. What else can I do?

I worry often that I am missing something, that my focus is off. I worry that my passion for my writing, for my birth work is somehow leading me too far away from my family and that I will regret not having a more single-minded focus on my children. But then, I worry that subverting these parts of myself would leave me unhappy, inauthentic and with less to give to the ones I love most. I worry that I am rushing too fast, that I am going too slow.

But then I wonder what else I should be doing?

And I don't have an answer.

The only thing I know to do with this short and wild and precious life is to live it. To rise each morning swelling with gratitude for the light pouring from the east. To be wild. To be authentic. To bring my love to every moment and do just what that moment asks of me. To trust and allow myself to be fully who I was long before I came here. To nurture my connection to the Lord and let the things He teaches me shape who I am becoming.

I don't know how to do any better than this, but some days it takes a lot of faith to know that if I am living this very moment as I should, that in the culmination of my life I will not disappoint or be disappointed.

Tell me please, I'm curious. What do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?