Thursday, September 15, 2016

Random Acts

Yesterday was a crazy day in Angi World.  Most of you know that Jason and I run a small home business.  For over twenty years Jason has run a mobile D.J. company that ranges from small weddings to small arena size sound.  It has grown over the years as customers have asked us for things that my brilliant husband has easily come up with.  Giant movies in the park, karaoke nights at the Wilkinson Center and Photo Booth for parties and weddings and corporate gigs.  Yesterday for me was along the lines of corporate gig.

I meet a lot of people doing Photo Booth and I am immersed in a lot of different cultures.  I love talking to people and laughing with them, because that is what Photo Booth is….fun.

Yesterday I was at a beautiful park in Salt Lake, Sugar House, and it is huge.  Finding the pavilion I was to set up at took a moment but once I got there a whole herd of people unloaded me right to my spot.  Amazing… the lady in charge was so nice and the people who worked for her completely concerned for my comfort.  Again…amazing!  I met so many interesting people and when the rain came threatening my gear a million hands were there instantly to break it all down and get it into my car, without me asking.  Again amazing.

Traffic, during rush hour getting home was ridiculous, but for the first time in freeway history people were nice and patient.  I got home 1 and ½ hours early because of the rain and was able to empty the car with the kids, send girls off to young women’s, drive Sam to scouts, get gas and take Suzy out to her friend's in Fairfield so that she could get up bright and early, 3:00 a.m. early, to take her pig to the State Fair. 

Crazy day, and that doesn’t even include all that I did that morning.  Driving home from Fairfield around 7:30 that night I stopped at our local grocery store to get milk and bread for the next day and grabbed a few things on sale.  On the drive there, alone in my car, I said a heartfelt gratitude prayer that the day in all of its craziness had gone so well and I had met so many nice people.  I went through the grocery store in kind of a tired daze but it was all good.  Unloaded the groceries and got into the car and drove out of my parking spot when I noticed a little sticky note stuck to my windshield.  When I got out to see what it was I was certain someone had bumped into my car and was leaving me their information, although I hadn’t noticed any damage.

The note had two simple words in orange marker, “You’re Awesome.”  Now possibly this was put on there by someone I know, but more likely it was put there by someone who just wanted to brighten someone’s day.  I smiled.  The day had been so crazy with the monsoon and crazy work and mom schedule and all, but so good in so many ways, but now it truly was awesome.  I got home to an empty house, kids gone and Jason working at BYU, but I took the note inside determined to tell everyone about my happy little surprise.  I fell asleep and forgot.

This morning after breakfast Sam went to take the garbage out to the road for pick up day and when he came back inside he ran to tell me, “You know what Mom, I’m Awesome.” 

He was so excited to tell me about the note that he saw when coming back in from taking the garbage out that was sitting on our dining room table which is right inside the sliding glass door.  He was smiling from ear to ear and then I told him my story.  So not only did I have an awesome end to my night, Sam had an awesome start to his day, and through it all I had a great lesson to teach him about random acts of kindness and what they can do for a person.  And what if, what if my last night was actually a long horrible one and Sam’s morning was a jumbled crazy one, well then that random act of kindness would have brought some joy in a life that was struggling.  You never know what joy you can spread, whether it is adding to the goodness that is already there or bringing a light in an otherwise dark storm, it matters people.

Oh, and thank you, you random someone for making two people smile today, and last night. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Choosing the Good

So I woke up this morning after the craziest dream and I’m gonna share it with you.  Don’t worry there is a point to it…it just might take a moment for you to understand the reasoning behind it.
In my dream I had several unsightly zits on my face and I was off and about to some place spectacular where people would see me.  Suzy had taken my cover-up stick and so I borrowed hers.  Well in the real life tendency I have to sensitivities in my skin I, in this dream, reacted to Suzy’s cover-up stick, breaking out in a rash and eventually blistering and bleeding, skin peeling off of my face.
Yes, I know, stupid dream, but what does it have to do with anything?  Absolutely nothing, but that is what has been going through my head over and over this morning, every gory, gruesome bit, when it should have been amazing things that happened last week, like…
Lunch with my mom that turned into the whole day and dinner that night.
Beautiful dirt for the garden spot bought for only $20.00 for the whole truck load.
Suzy winning third place in her FFA science project at Richfield that she was not expecting.
Nan getting her FFA state degree also at said FFA getaway in Richfield.

Nan off on her date with Ethan for her prom and all the girly fun of shopping and dress fitting and fingernail painting and picture taking that goes along with that…not to mention the splendid time that she had and all while looking like a princess the whole time.

Or, finally, the fact that Jason and I had the busiest day ever Saturday with gigs and life and somehow we made it through it spectacularly.  And by the way the next day was daylight saving time resulting in only 3 1/2 very grumpy hours of sleep for me and I taught Relief Society that day through a very groggy mind and the Stake Relief Society Presidency decided to show up, but you know what…although it for sure was not my best lesson ever, it definitely wasn’t my worse and I didn’t make a complete fool out of myself, and that too was a pretty excellent thing too.
So why does this stupid dream keep going through my head instead of these wonderful things?  Why do the jokes of presidential candidates that are running for president keep haunting me and the unending ache that I feel when I think of all those innocent babies that keep being murdered in the name of feminism keep clouding my mind or the hunger and war and famine and wickedness and callousness of society keep hounding me instead of the wonderful things in life, like for one, I am going to be a grandmother the end of July to the fabulous Brantley that I have already gotten to see on the ultra sound machine with my husband and my son and his beautiful wife.  What about the neighbors and ward members that I love and the friendships of such beauty with people all over that I hold, or the fact that I have the most sexy, amazing, kind, generous, fun husband in the whole world.  I am a member of Christ’s church and have every blessing that they had in ancient times that go right along with that, including temple marriage and the perfect outline of how to live a blessed happy life written for me in sacred scriptures.  Why does my mind gravitate more to the sad things in life than the beautiful?
I think it is human nature, and don’t get me wrong, if no one, me included, never thought on those sad things nothing would ever change, nothing would ever get better and that too would be a very big sin, but I think an even bigger sin is in losing ourselves to self-pity, to doubt, to harsh things of life and neglecting to be grateful and even very happy for the millions and even billions of blessings that we have in life.  Shouldn’t we be mindful of all the good around us, shouldn’t we be grateful?  Shouldn’t we hold ourselves responsible for the attitude that we choose to share with the rest of the world, especially the ones we love the most, our family?  Aren’t I showing ingratitude when I don’t choose to be happy in life, and not just kinda, but truly and really happy in life when I have all those millions and billions of blessings?  Don’t I have some responsibility in choosing that happiness and by so doing sharing it with the rest of the world?
One of the prayers this Sunday in our church service mentioned those around the world that were praying also and the spirit that they sent around the world.  All those millions praying in different churches and different religions all over the world because it was the Sabbath softening the world just a little by their faith that day.  Doesn’t me choosing to be happy and looking to my God given blessings each and every day send a little peace out into the world and if more and more people chose to be happy and look to their blessings, wouldn’t the compilation of those millions of happy vibes soften the world just a little?
Don’t forget those other sad and important things, because it is up to you to help change them, all of us together thinking and praying and working and enlightening others on those sad and sinful things in the world will compile together to help to change them, but a happy, grateful heart along the way can only add to the change that together can soften the whole entire world.
Now…here is a picture of Nan’s most fabulous desert that she had on her amazing prom date to hold you over for one more day and help to sweeten those happy thoughts you and I are going to choose for ourselves today.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Secret to the Perfect, Imperfect Marriage

Ever have something so perfect and wonderful and good that you wished that you could share it with the rest of the world?  I have.  Sometimes it scares me a little that it is too perfect and therefore something must come along to pull it all down.  Other times I feel guilt because nobody else has what I have and why do I deserve something so wonderful.

Jason says I’m crazy when I say it.  Really.  Why should I feel guilty for having something amazing, even if few others do?  Wondering what I am talking about?

So last night I watched the show “Fresh off the Boat.”  Not life changing, it never is meant to be, but sometimes when I can’t fall asleep something light and fun like that show helps.  Anyhoo…it was their Valentines show and the middle boy who is a ladies man (he’s like 11 so it’s very innocent and cute) was making a love wall, hanging all of his valentines up on the wall and leaving them up for the whole year.  He was really sad later in the show when his parents had an empty house with no kids and instead of doing a gooey lovey dovey Valentines Night they stayed home and did their taxes.  Broke his heart but the neighbor man next door taught him that true love shows up in little things and not always in grandiose ways.

The idea was sweet, and it had a good message, but I couldn’t help but think of what Jason’s little things were, verses theirs.  Like the fact that he carries around a blanket for me in his car trunk just in case I might get cold.  How he knows the best places for me to go potty any trip we take because he knows I kinda hate public bathrooms.  How I have every gadget I could ever imagine for my kitchen cause he knows how much I love to cook.  How a section of our bedroom, his side of the bed even, has my stationary bike in it because he knows it is the best angle for the television and he knows I hate to workout outside cause it’s cold.  How he gets mad if the kids let me shovel the walk or driveway because he knows I can’t keep my core warm and I’ll shiver for hours after.  The times he gets the shower warm ahead of time just for me and a towel laid out because, well…the whole cold thing again.  He calls me to share his day with me all day long and he rushes home to me at night.  He snuggles and holds me nonstop and chases me around the house to get kisses and hugs because he needs me near, and he doesn’t even care who sees.  Even going to the store he drags me along because he knows how much I miss him when he is gone to work all day. 

Then I’ve thought about the big things that he does.  He never ever looks at other women and turns his head if they are dressed inappropriately.  And in no way form or circumstance does he ever let me talk bad about myself.  He tells me that I am beautiful, or sexy, or perfect about a million times a day and better yet he absolutely means it.  He says sorry first when I hold a grudge and he covers me up at night when he comes home late from a gig and I am already asleep in bed and my covers have slid off.  He holds me and listens and remembers everything.  He tells the kids how wonderful I am and expects them to treat me like a queen.  He goes to church and holds my hand or wraps his arm around me while we sit side by side, no children in between us, because, he taught me when our children were very little, he loves me and they should know that.  And I am the first person that he wants to share something with when he’s had a bad day, or even better yet when something wonderful has happened.

Now can you see why sometimes I feel so guilty because I have something so amazing?  But this is where I will share this little secret with you…are you ready…we, Jason and I, didn’t just happen upon this perfection accidently, and sometimes, some days, it’s lacking ever so slightly in perfection.  We’ve been married twenty two most beautiful, wonderful, amazing, incredibly hard years.  Sometimes me squeezing the tooth paste tube all wonky has driven him nuts, and sometimes him leaving his bags all over the living room coach has made me pull out my hair, but at the end of the day, none, not ever one of those things have ever been deal breakers.  Not the year before Jason figured out that he was Diabetic and his moodiness was really picking at me.  Not the year that my hormones were off when Luke was a baby and one minute I was crying, the next minute I was yelling and the next minute I was sulking.  Not when we had a teenage boy that was driving us to our wits ends and at each other’s throats and we didn’t know what tomorrow would bring.  Not when we had a very sick baby threatening to die on us every second and neither of us knew the right way to handle the stress of the fear.  Not even when I was on bed rest going stir crazy and Jason being pulled in every direction at once being both mom and dad. 

None of those things, or bigger things that pull at every marriage has ever been deal breakers.  And why is that, you ask?  How did we overcome that and flourish and build this perfect imperfect marriage.  Because…ready for this…we chose to.  There you have it, the secret to the perfect, most wonderful, beautiful, happy ooey gooey marriage is found in one word, choice.

Jason has always been better at this choice thing.  He chooses to forgive so much faster than me, he chooses to love even when I’m the least loveable, and he chooses so completely to think of me every moment of his entire day.  But he has taught me that choices, those moments of serving one another, of loving one another are the most important choices that we will ever make even if sometimes they are the hardest ones.  And you know what, the more that you make these choices the easier they become until your life is wonderful and amazing and perfect, well until something else hard comes along and then you have to make all those choices all over again.  But those choices are worth it and even if the other person isn’t choosing them you can, and hopefully somewhere down the road, they like me, will learn to make those choices too, because we are human and believe it or not we are completely capable, each and every one of us of making those wonderful though sometimes very hard choices to love, and forgive, because let’s face it, every one of us needs forgiveness sometimes.

So yes, I’m gonna make my ooey gooey Valentine’s Day wall to last all year in my house.  You may not recognize it as such when you see it, but I will always know what it is every time that I walk past it.  It’s this great big mirror in my bathroom, and in the right light it reflects back at me all the emotions and thoughts and choices that I have made every day and every day that I am making the right ones, the loving ones, I’m adding to that valentines wall that makes up this so wonderful and ever changing marriage that is all my own, well and Jason’s too.