Thursday, September 24, 2009

Why I'm a Mormon

(Note: This post liberally uses Mormon lingo which may be unclear for those not of the LDS faith. If you have questions, you can ask me, or click here (an official website of the church), or here, (a fabulous "Ask a Mormon" feature by a trusted fellow blogger).

I love going to church. I love the fellowship, the spiritual uplift, the knowledge gained and the opportunity to serve. One of my favorite things about church is that out of ordinary people doing ordinary things come quite extraordinary blessings.

A quick example from last week. In Sacrament Meeting each Sunday, between speakers we often have a special musical number. This week the Priesthood brethren, Aaronic and Mechizedek, were asked to sing. When it was time, almost half of the congregation stood and went up to the front. They completely filled up and overflowed the choir seats, standing room only. Only three males over twelve years of age were left in the pews.

It was a great mix. Young and old, tall and short, thin and fat,; handsome and homely, rich and poor, confidant and shy, musical and couldn't carry tune in a bucket, stalwart and semi-slacker they all went up and started singing.

They sang We'll Bring the World His Truth. (If you're not familiar with the song, you can listen to it here.) I'm pretty sure they had practiced in Priesthood meeting opening exercises, because everyone seemed familiar with the tune, but there was nothing particularly musical or well done about their presentation. And yet, the impact was immediate and anything but subtle.

It was one of those times when you could palpably feel the power of God and his priesthood. They are just ordinary, garden-variety saints, as Elder Packer once put it, but collectively, what a powerful force for good in this world! Most of those standing up there on Sunday have been a blessing to my family in one way or another over the past nine years. I love these brethren! I love that they have testimonies and try to live them. I love that they try and sometimes mess up, but get back up and try again. I'm grateful that my sons have learned from them, in classrooms and campgrounds. They have helped my husband give blessings and have brought us chocolate as home teachers. I've watched them overcome difficult family situations and watched some of them newly embrace the gospel and press forward on the path with a faith that is beautiful to behold.

And Sunday, they sang. Most of them aren't comfortable with that kind of thing, but they were asked and so they did it. And as they sang, they bore a powerful witness of the truthfulness of the gospel that the spirit carried into the hearts of those who listened and we were filled, and lifted and blessed.

This is part of why I'm a Mormon. And I love this church!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ten again....sigh

Our family has been getting nervous. You see we hadn't recieved any flight plans for Ruggles' return from his mission in Thailand. We seem to remember Tough-guy's plans coming a month or so before he got home and some good friends had both of their son's travel schedules a couple of months before.

In this weeks email, I asked Ruggles about it. He called the mission office in Thailand and they sent his itinerary. Yes! Finally!!!

We've known for quite some time that his release date is October 2nd. Side note: A good friend who's Catholic recently pointed out to me that the phrase "release date", which we Mormon's commonly use for the date our sons come home from their mission, sounds like he's been in prison! Because Thailand is a 12 hours ahead of us, that gives him a full 36 hours from the time October 2nd starts there until it ends here. Plenty of time, this mother reasoned for him to actually make it home ON the 2nd.

But, alas! Between 20+ hours in the air and over 12 hours of lay-overs, he won't be home until the 3rd of October.

Ten is still a beautiful number, but I was hoping that today would be nine....sigh.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ten is a Beautiful Number!

After waiting more than two years (yes, it's been 2 yrs and 11 days since this picture was taken at the airport), having only 10 days left before I get to hug him in the flesh is a very exciting thing!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I forget!

I am no longer what could truthfully be termed young. The evidence has been mounting for quite some time now and has become increasingly difficult to ignore.

For example: Gray hairs are much more plentiful than previously in my mop of once nicely brown tresses. My first steps out of bed each morning have become a hobble to the bathroom. Opening a jar or turning a steering wheel occasionally causes breath-takingly sharp pains in the joints of my hands. And, I now frequently have to move a book farther from my face in order to get the words into focus, a very annoying development! I can no longer ignore all of these signs clearly indicating that age is creeping upon me at a steady pace.

Don't get me wrong, there are wonderful things about growing older. I'm much more comfortable in my own skin than when I was a mere 20-ish. I stress less over the small stuff. I understand my own strengths and weakness more clearly and thus am better equipped to deal with the stuff that happens in life. Twenty-four plus years of marriage to the same guy has too many benefits to list in this post, but suffice to say that it's a very good thing. There's definitely an upside to it all.

I was raised by a father who clearly enjoyed the process of growing older. Age has never bothered him and although my mom has been mostly silent on the issue, she seems to feel much the same; no lamenting the loss of youth and the effects of advancing years. My parents passed that attitude on to me. Thus, I have never had any problem telling others my age and birthdays ending in zero don't dismay me in the least.

However, there is one side effect of having a substantial number of years under my belt that truly drives me nuts! It's the horrific lack of memory!!! If you've given birth, you've experienced it during pregnancy and know what I'm talking about. However, I can no longer blame this sad malady on gestation and, worse, I can't even comfort myself by pretending that it's going to get better after the delivery! It's here to stay along with all the drawbacks that come with chronic forgetfulness!!! Thank heaven for forgiving family and friends!

I've tried herbal remedies purported to boost memory, but forget to take them much too often to ever ascertain whether or not they are at all helpful. I write notes to myself as reminders of things and then promptly lose them never to be seen again (okay, I do eventually find them, long after they are no longer relevant!) And I write appointments on my calendar that I forget to look at. There are myriad ways that this lack of memory negatively affects my little world and all of them are embarrassing and stressful!

I'm truly quite comfortable with most of the signs of my not-too-far distant old age. Grey hairs? Bring 'em on! Slower pace? I'm ready! Hairier self? I've got good tweezers (though, sadly, no cilia forceps. I didn't win InkMom's contest!). Failing vision? My glasses are stylin! It's all good except that I'm more forgetful than a baby whose yet to develop that whole object permanence thing!

I don't have anything profound or particularly interesting to say about the whole issue, just aaaarrrrgghhh!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Do you remember the song from the movie White Christmas? The way Rosemary Clooney's voice slides into the notes? Love it!

I have lived far, far away from my sisters and any and all family for nine years now. Count them, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 years. That's huge!!! (at least to me).

Before we moved to the midwest, we lived two blocks from my mom (my children could literally walk to grandma's and pick apples off her tree!) and 10 minutes by car from my in-laws. One sister lived twenty minutes in one direction, another 30 minutes in the other. Most of Hubders family was within 20-ish minutes too. Family was everywhere. Anytime you needed somone to watch your kids, help out with --whatever--you know, the kinds of things that you need help with and can't ask anyone but family, they were there, always. Multiples of them and you could always count on a helping hand, more food than you should eat, a laugh or two and a sympathetic ear. I've missed that!

I love the Midwest. Love the green, love the friendly atmosphere, love the common sense outlook, love the spring and falls (the summers and winters--not so much, but that's another post), love the fact that my children have dear friends from different religions and races, and most of all, love the people! My only real beef with where I live is that my family is NOT here.

Most of the time, I don't really think about it and it's bearable. But occasionally, especially holidays and General Conference, when you know exactly where they all are and what they're all doing, and you're not there, it hits me with an ache that almost overwhelms me.

We've made multiple attempts to get Hubder's employer to move us back to Utah, but don't have any hope of it happening anytime in the near future. So, I try not to think about how extended family-less I am and enjoy the things I love here. Because they're truly legion. Really, I don't want any of my Midwest friends to get the idea that we don't just love living here. Because we do.

I'm sure I've mentioned that one of my six sisters moved here this summer (yup! I'm one of seven sisters--and we all have exactly one brother--a really great brother!). She's only one sibling from a large family, but can I just say how NICE it is to have some family around again!!! Our kids think it's the coolest thing on the planet just to hang out at each others houses. Labor day, we got together with family!!! It was such a novelty!!! My sis and I chat, and learn sign language together and share recipes, and books, and crafty and bloggy things.

Now, I have some really wonderful friends here, friends that would literally do anything for my family. But, I'm so hesitant to ask. Maybe I shouldn't be, but it's just the way I am. And so, for the past nine years, anytime I've needed someone to watch preschoolers in the middle of the day, when we have to go out of town for a couple of days, or we need some help with a panic/semi-emergency, I've asked. But I've always felt uncomfortable and a little bit guilty. Yes, I've returned the favor and all, but still, I'm very reticent to request friend's time and energy to help me in my little life.

Enter, my sis who just moved here. It's pure bliss!!! Somehow, it's completely different when it's actual family! I don't hesitate, even when it's last minute and maybe not even nice to ask. I know that if there's any way she can do it, she will. If it won't work for her, she'll say so. And I know that she'll ask me back whenever the need arises and I'll tell her yes, or no depending on my own life and it'll all be good!

I didn't even realize how much I missed that easy give and take in a big extended family, until I got a smidge of it back in the form of my sis.

So, this post is dedicated to Laree, my MUCH younger, (I'm almost old enough to be her Mom!), fellow bloggin, joy to talk to, fabulous Mommy, brought something really sweet and important to me back into my life, sister.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Have you ever noticed that there's nothing cuter than your kid's toothless grin?