Monday, May 20, 2013

The Ridiculous Game of Life

It’s blog time.  It’s blog time.  My children tease me that I take pictures of everything.  It used to be that I was some crazy tourist, now however, it is because I must be putting it on my blog.  How can they complain?  They will have a complete journal of their lives because their mother found it fun to blog.  Blogging has got me thinking every week of what I might write here next which has kept my mind open to the simple things that bring me joy and the simple things that remind me of my Savior’s love for me.

For mother’s day my absolutely awesome husband got me a smoker/grill combo.  I watch this show, it has become a wicked addiction, called Dinners Drive Ins and Dives.  How can you not watch something that shows week in and week out all the glorious creations made in a smoker and not want to have one yourself?  And for someone like me who adores cooking, it was a definite must have.  Last weekend as I was struggling to get the coals started and the wood caught in my impatience I poured lighter fluid on coals that I did not realize had started a small blaze brewing in one corner.  What happened?  That’s right…cabloosh!  Let’s just say that I will be growing the hair back on my arm for the next month or so and that I couldn’t get enough cold water on my hand for several hours after without feeling like I was going to go up in flames.  My fingers never blistered and my skin only looked sunburned for a few days but it got me thinking of all of my clumsiness.  In fact my family teases me that I should never handle a cheese grater because perhaps I would grate more skin than cheese.

There...have I made you hungry with all my pictures? 
                    Now you want a smoker too!
                         You know that you do!
 All my life I have been clumsy and when I was a kid I used to think of that as one more major defect about me, but now I kinda find it enduring.  Strange I know, but it has taught me how to laugh and never take life too seriously and I really like that about myself.  Clumsiness seems to run in my family.  I won’t point out which siblings of mine are clumsy like me, but they know who they are and let’s just say that there is more of us than not.  My mother…the ultimate klutz and I laugh about it a lot.  Her father, my grandpa Hoklas was the king of them all and something about that makes me love him more, because you see, that makes me like him and I loved him so very much and he loved all of us so very much too.

All of us have things about us that perhaps are impossible to change.  Does that make us defective?  Should we be returned for an upgrade?  Absolutely not!  That’s what makes you unique and that’s what helps you see others with kinder eyes.  If earth life was perfection than those that were not would have absolutely no hope and the greatest gift that Christ has given us is hope.

Luke broke his collar bone this week and got a concussion in an accident with his motorcycle.  It kept him asking the same questions over and over only seconds apart for a good five plus hours and the next day it was every ten minutes or so. I worried that maybe his brain would never be right and I tried to laugh at the repetition instead of cry like I wanted to do.  His brain is back to the brilliance that is him but his happiness not so much.  Sometimes I feel like the choices that he makes seems to lead from one negative to another and part of me worries that he’ll have a hard time remembering that we love him and that God does too.  It’s never fun to be the parent when a child is hurting and you have to remind him the consequences that come.  Summer spent without a dirt bike or his skateboard as he gives his head time to heal and his mind time to grow up and become the awesome man that I know someday he will become.  I wish there was a way to let him in my head for one little moment so that he could see just exactly how much I love him and how much I worry about him.  I wish he could feel the love that I feel.  I guess maybe that is what God is thinking when we forget him, or trials come, or he has to remind us to take the better course.  Maybe he wishes that we could see inside his heart and understand how much he loves us.  Maybe he wishes that we could feel what he feels towards us.

My niece Molly had her first birthday party yesterday.  She was all smiles and cheers as she opened her presents and ate her cake and all I could help think was that I was so lucky to have her in my life.  I want my family home…all of them and Cullen, Annalee, Connor, Dallin, and sweet little Molly are finally home.  Oh how I have missed them when they were living in Texas.  The other day Cullen was talking with me on the phone and mentioned that he was having a guy’s night with my brother Brad and I teasingly said, “That’s not fair.  I have no sisters here for a girl’s night.  I should get to come too!”  Of course I was teasing and of course I was so happy that he was spending some quality time with one of my brothers but part of me was really sad too.  I never really got the chance to know my sisters very well.  Kari is much older than me and Jill so much younger and they live so very far away and part of me knows that Heavenly Father doesn’t want us to lose those relationships that maybe we never really had in the first place. 

Well, Jill is at this very second on her way here for a visit.  It has been two years since I have seen her and I haven’t even met my nephew Liam except in pictures and I guess I should just thank Heavenly Father that he is giving us this chance to connect, one of his many tender mercies, but part of me is sad too because I know that it will come to an end.  Time to find a way to get my Jilly Bean home for good.  I miss the chances that she and I have yet to have.

Saturday the girls and I and Sam finished weeding the lawn and mowing it and planting the garden.  Jason spent the night in Price playing a gig and didn’t come home until late morning.  Then we ran up north and got Suzy a new swimsuit for her pool party at school tomorrow and Nan a new dress for promotional from eighth grade on Thursday and ran some other errands.  When we came home I went in the house to get dinner ready and the kids played outside.  When I came out they were all laughing and giggling in the front yard, Jason included, as they took the bat and a plastic ball and played a completely crazy game of baseball with the ball going all lopsided in the air.  Safe from killing a car window, a house window, or a flower bed, and making the game utterly ridiculous and I couldn’t help but think that that was what life is all about.  Old and new, klutzy and happy, hurting and learning, new relationships and cementing old ones, and family all tied up into one crazy lopsided game of life with home base leading back to our Heavenly Father.  It’s a ridiculous game at times, and sometimes very painful too, but it’s worth every strike if in the end we hit a home run.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Love…love has been the word on my mind a lot lately.  How can I love my house so much that I would be happy never to leave it, how can I love the lilacs on my bushes so much that it makes me smile, how can I love my kids so much that even when one of them may drive me insane I still only want them to be happy, how can my husband love me so much that all he thinks about is me?  And of course how can the Savior love me so much that he would give his very life for me and how can I ever show him how much I love him in everything that I do?

The kids got a new addition to our home yesterday.  He (or quite possibly she) is the tiniest little turtle about the size of two quarters and yes my kids, and I have to admit perhaps me, are already completely in love with him.  Popeye as he has come to be called doesn’t do much of anything all day long but walk back and forth in his cage and sleep but I can’t stop watching him.  Ridiculous but true.

My green house is full of tomatoes going to flower and other veggies and flowers all waiting to be planted and I can’t seem to get enough of going out into its warm walls and just staring at all the green things shining back at me.  We’ve had cold weather and the orchards in Santaquin are worried that they may have lost up to 60% of their crops this year.  My little peach tree, come what may made it through this hard winter and somehow has made it yet another year through the frosts and on inspecting the buds yesterday winking back at me were little fuzzy starts of peaches as if to say, “see, I held out just for you.”

This morning I made some crafts for the demonstration for Young Women’s tonight.  Gotta make sure the project works out before you try to teach it to a group of girls.  One of the crafts was a princess crown to be sold at the country store at our stake’s 4th of July celebrations.  Each ward’s Young Men and Young Women are required to donate.  I couldn’t help but smiling when I got done with the princess crown.  So simple but so cute and all I could think of was that every little girl needed one of those, even my Young Women.  Perhaps if we walked around with a crown on our heads all day we wouldn’t forget who we were and how we should behave and most of all…just how much that we are loved.

You see, it doesn’t take much to see the love all around you.  It’s in everything if you take a moment to look.  I know I focus on this a lot but I would be very unappreciative if I didn’t.  God has blessed me with a very special gift that took a whole lot of years to get and one that everyone really should have.  He has softened my heart enough that I can’t seem to go without feeling all of his love all around me.  I can be in the deepest despair and somehow I can still feel it above all else.  Every year I am amazed when I look back and see the silliest simplest little things that I felt his love in and I am grateful for the joy that I have felt.  How can I not share that when it’s what drives me?

I’m not this great pillar of really anything…just a very simple woman really, but somehow God has been able to fill me with joy that seems to leak out from everywhere.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m still just as human as ever, just ask my sister in law Annalee who saw me loose it yesterday with Luke over a stupid little setting on my IPad that he had changed, but despite my gazillion weakness Heavenly Father has given me one constant that seems to run my life and bring grace to a rather average mundane day.  If this was all the joy that I would ever receive in this life or the next it would be more than enough, but the great thing is, is that it doesn’t even come close to what will come.

What a great blessing we have in knowing that God lives and that his son lives and in everything they can’t wait for us to come back to them.  Christ’s whole purpose on this earth was for us.  Heck, he suffered and then died a death that no one else could have endured for us.  We must be pretty darn important to him, even if some of us hide it under layers of hardness and heartache, he still loves us enough to take care of it all.

Okay.  Enough of my rambles.  I’ve got a whole day of finding joy in stupid little insignificant things that warm my heart.  Maybe I will go stare at Popeye a little more while he takes one of his million naps.  Why not?  It makes me happy and I’ve already cleaned most of the house and mopped the floor, washed dishes, did crafts, got kids off to school, organized for Young Women’s tonight, planned dinner, oh and got a grown boy off too work.  Who cares that my face and hair aren’t done, heck I haven’t even gotten into the shower yet and it’s after 10:00.  Popeye’s waiting for me and I can’t wait to see the joy in all of it.