Saturday, March 31, 2012

Don't blink. It's almost Spring.

The last of the snow has finally melted from our back yard. The neighbor's apricot tree, and most of the others around town, are in full bloom. Our backyard daffodils are blooming and the tulips are starting, too! The pink hyacinths were just GORGEOUS and oh-so-fragrant. We just had to pick them and bring them into the house. Then Eric had to take them to his bedroom because I think they were making me sneeze. Even the snow on the mountains is really disappearing quickly.


The weather around here is really sneaky! Even though it seems like spring has sprung. It hasn't. We've had a fierce wind all day. I'm pretty sure that it's blowing in a storm. I don't even have to watch the news or check to know that we have at least two, possibly three or more, snow storms to come before it really and truly becomes. . . well . . . summer. Spring is a "blink and you miss it" kind of season around here. I'm not going to blink. I will not miss it. The blossoms on the ground and in the fruit and flowering trees are just too spectacular NOT to see.

Don't blink or you'll miss it.

A series of (fortunate and unfortunate) events

After my trip to Reno (see post below), I had ONE good day at work. Mike and I actually went to yoga together on Tuesday morning, March 20. It felt good to do some stretching and breathing after so long of sitting. At noon that day, I did a really good and hard workout for my weight-training program at work. We didn't have any of those classes the week previous because it was the University's Spring Break, and of course I didn't go out of my way to do much of any exercising on my own. A little, but not much. [ Katie and I DID do a yoga video and demonstrated our expertise for Katie's grandma and her kids on Saturday morning. I'm sure it was pretty comical to watch.]

Well, about 4 pm that Tuesday afternoon, March 20th, I started feeling like I was getting sick. With a cold. Not surprising, considering how many snotty little noses I'd wiped over the weekend. But I'd tried to be SOOO careful and washed my hands...darn. I got it anyway. So I went home on Tuesday after work and went to bed. Literally. I slept off and on for about two days, so stayed home from work on Wednesday and Thursday. I ate Zinc lozenges and took vitamin c in massive amounts. I drank and drank quarts of fluid, mostly water. I rested and medicated and slept and recuperated. And it helped! I was ready to go back to work on Friday, and it's a good thing, because I had the opening shift at 7 am AND the 7 pm closing shift--with a 4 hour break in the middle. During that break time, I came home, ate lunch, took more medication and a nap, among other things. I never really had a full-blown head cold that got the best of me. Those remedies really helped me. I had a 2 day cold instead of a 7 day cold.

Saturday, we decided to head up to Provo for Brittney and Eric Autrey's baby Jayson's blessing. But we spent the better part of the day at home, doing laundry and other chores that just needed to get done around here. We headed out about 5 pm. Eric came with us. We spent Saturday night at Robert and Janet's house and watched a movie with Robert ("The Minority Report"). We also had another baby blessing to attend in Provo, so we went to that (me, Mike and Eric L) at 11 a.m. on Sunday, then over to Eric A's ward at 1 p.m. The first one was the baby of Eric's third cousin, Cheryl. Eric L has a link to her blog on his blog. She's a delightful woman and has a great family. Mike met her, and her mother (Mike's second cousin) last summer in Heber City. HER mother is Berenice's first cousin and it's THAT lady's 90th birthday party that is taking us to Canada this summer. {slight detour. Sorry. }
Eric with Jayson

So, the baby blessings were very nice, the meetings were nice. We had a nice luncheon at Eric and Brittney's apartment afterwards. They have a cute little place in Provo and their boys are such cutie pies!! We sat a lot that day, too. Sitting too much seems to play a major role in my unfortunate event.

Eric, Robert, Sarah with Jayson, Janet. At Brittney and Eric's apt in
Provo after the baby blessing.

Eric, Brittney, Kelson, Jayson

Silly Cousins. Eric A, Sarah, Eric L., Mandy

Janet with Jayson. Isn't he adorable?!!

Then we sat in the car and headed up to Salt Lake City . Eric had left his precious sun glasses at an elder and sister's house the previous weekend or so. He knew them on his mission, so we got to meet the Bingham's. Eric just adores that couple! And I can see why. They are very nice and served the Lord and the missionaries so well in Anacostia. Eric served with them twice. And we picked up Eric's sunglasses, so he was doubly happy--we'd met the Bingham's AND he had his sunglasses back. Oh, Eric stayed in Provo and spent some more time with Chery and her family, had another meal, played with her kids, helped clean up. Then he went to see a BYU student friend and spend part of the afternoon/evening with her and her roommates.

Our main mission for being in Salt Lake City that Sunday, however, was to meet with the Christensen's-- Nick's future mother-and father-in-law. We had Sunday dinner with them and Nick and Kaylee. They are a delightful couple, Mike and Joyce. They have a lovely home in So. Jordan and served us a delicious roast and trimmings dinner. Then we talked wedding plans!!! Woo Hooo!! Things are shaping up. Nick and Kaylee will be married in the Jordan River Temple on July 21. She (Kaylee) has a folder with questions, lists, etc. and is busy planning the reception/luncheon in Salt Lake. We'll be taking care of the doings in Cedar City a couple of weeks later, onFriday, August 3. They are going on a 1-week honeymoon right after the wedding, but then Nick has to re-take a class or two, so we spread it out from the wedding itself to make sure they would be able to fit it all in. It'll be busy, but it's certainly for a good cause! Kaylee's a real sweetheart and we've enjoyed the time we've spent with her. Her parents have been feeding Nick Sunday dinner for many months now. And Kaylee and Nick enjoy THEIR time together, too! Of course. But, sadly, it's just not nearly enough these days with work schedules, etc.

Obviously, none of above was unfortunate. It was lovely. Other than that very bad, but brief, cold. But it was a lot of sitting and a lot of NOT exercising. So on Monday the 26th, I was getting ready for work at home. I was taking my time, putting away laundry. I didn't have to go to work until 10, and Mike wasn't going in until 9. But sometime just before 9, I had what I have come to term a "Back Attack." Like great pain, spasms, etc. Crippling pain in the lower back. It was "just" a pulled muscle, I suppose, but it was still pretty darn incapacitating!! Yowee! Poor Mike had to leave for work while I was still in a cringing, crumpled heap saying, "Oh, I'll be okay. You can go. Just please bring me some Ibuprofen first." It helped. I drove to work, but I had to park in rather remote parking and walk in. I moved slowly and kept taking my drugs. Yikes. What a week. It is gradually getting better, but it's been a long week. I went to yoga on Friday at noon and made it through almost all of it, going slowly, carefully. It felt good to be able to move some parts again.

Today is Saturday. It was the first morning that I woke up after a nights' sleep without a backache! Progress. So then my allergies kicked in. Kicked HARD. Like about 16 sneezes in a row and that was AFTER I took my allergy medication. My goodness. Sneezes and weak backs don't go well together. Neither does sitting for long periods of time. And I've been sitting while typing all this and I'm done. I can't even count how many tissues/hankies/sleeves I've gone through this day.

The good news: my backache responds well to ibuprofen, so I'm going to go take some more. I've been listening to General Conference all morning while readying 4 beds and 3 rooms for 6 overnight guests on Sunday night. I went very slowly, but got it done. Mike has close to 3/4 of the messy cottonwood tree down from out front. I think THAT pollen is the source of my grief. It's everywhere.
Mike on the ladder. With Chain saw.

View from down the street.

zoomed in. it was scarey to watch.
One more big limb down before the wind started up.

And I have two and a half clean bathrooms. That's all good stuff for a partial Saturday!!

And, one more happy thing: Last night we had Mike's friend Larry over for grilled chicken dinner. It was Larry's birthday'! He's been helping Mike a lot at work AND with that silly (but huge) tree out front. We went to the movie after dinner and saw "The Hunger Games." I've read the books. They had not. We all enjoyed the movie, but it's still really dark. Well-done. Frightening, suspenseful. But kind of dark and disturbing, like the books. We came home and had cobbler and ice cream afterward.
The pollen-bearing-blossom-seed-pod-messy-tree-trash on our driveway that we hope to eliminate by ridding the neighborhood of this tree.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring Break In Reno

Happy Birthday, Corbin! He's sitting on a little John Deere tractor that he got for his first birthday. Just me and my mother-in-law went over there for a few days. I had days off work; Mike did not. His Spring Break comes later. Eric had other appointments, so he couldn't go. So it was just the two of us.
Little kids are SOOOOooo into electronics these days! I watched Hayden playing "Angry Birds" when we were there at Thanksgiving. He showed me how to play, actually. He has improved a LOT since then! I have not, sadly. I don't think I've played it since Thanksgiving, but then, that wasn't really on my list of things to do, either. ha. And I only have a "dumb" phone, not a smart phone. I s'pose there's a game on there somewhere to play, but I do good to just answer phone calls and text occasionally. And voicemail? Forget it! ;-) Too challenging.
Corbin was sharing his mom's green smoothie on Saturday morning. Katie and Casey didn't really have any time off of work other than the weekend while we were there, so since we got there on Thursday, we'd planned (Berenice and I) to drive over to Chico, CA to visit with Mike's older sister and some of her family. However, the weather was not in our favor. We checked the road conditions, reports, etc. and determined that we should not risk the 3 hour drive over the Sierra Nevada mountain passes. Snow tires or snow chains were required on both of the roads we would have had to travel on. The winds were awful. We opted to stay home at Katie's house. So, at noon, Katie picked up the boys from daycare and we got to spend some more time with them! That was fun to just play. We couldn't even watch TV because I don't know how to turn on their TV. Sound familiar? ha. But Hayden and I played trains and cars, and read and had lunch together. And the wind blew HARD all day long. We were glad we were just in the house, chillin' all day long. Literally. You have to wear a sweater at all times in their house on the main floor. It's chilly.

Saturday, Casey had a class to go to for his degree he's working on, but Katie was home. We'd wanted to try to go to a children's museum; however, Katie and her boys all had snotty noses, it was still very cold, snowy and windy, so we just stayed in. We go in a couple of movies over the course of our weekend ("I Don't Know How She Does It" and "Happy Feet 2"), and just had a good time relaxing. And wiping snotty noses. All day long. ha.

I made a trip to the grocery store on Saturday, too. And sorted baby clothes that Gail had sent. We may have even had a nap... It was relaxing.

OH! We learned how to play Hayden's favorite game, which is "Don't Eat Pete." Cute!!

We found out Saturday afternoon that one of the friends we wanted to see in Reno had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. That was sad news. She's a lady in Katie's ward, but Berenice has known the lady since they were on their mission in Hawaii, and had even attended their wedding!! They go way back. So, going to see sweet Sister Easter Stockman. We did that on Sunday evening.
Katie and Casey have a really nice, friendly ward. We enjoyed our meetings there.

We headed home on Monday morning, but dropped the boys off at daycare on our way out of town. That saved Katie a little driving and time that morning, and it had snowed and iced a little, so that saved her even MORE time, as she said drivers in her area slow to a crawl if there is any thing at all on the roads. It made for a rather rushed departure, as we had to time it just right in order to accommodate the schedule of the day care provider, but we made it with a minute or two to spared. But only a minute or two.

Berenice and I decided to take a more southern route home, rather than the usual highway 50, "America's Loneliest Highway." We went through Hawthorn, Tonapah, and Caliente. We had good weather, no incidents, so it was a "good drive," in my estimation. I listened to an audio book while I was driving, and almost finished the whole thing on that trip. What a lot of driving!! But we were grateful for a safe trip. Sorry that we missed out on seeing Anita in CA, but glad to have spent time with Katie and family.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sunday Dinner

For many MANY years, I have been an "Anti-Sunday Dinner" woman. That's not to say I don't like to eat dinner on Sunday, but that I don't enjoy preparing a big dinner on Sundays. I think my feelings began in the early years in Texas. My mom prepared the easiest meal possible on Sunday's because our Church attendance required a lot of travel time and simple was good. Broiled Hamburgers were what we mostly had, I believe.

When I got married and started having children, Church attendance was nearby--minimal travel when you live in Utah! However, the exhaustion factor was HUGE. Kids and callings just plain wear me out. Fixing a meal was the last thing on my mind. A nap, or nursing a baby, or tending to crabby, worn-out kids was really the top priority. Mostly the nap. Sunday's not really a day of rest for any active Mormons. It's a day of rest from other worldly activities, but it's hardly restful in the worldly sense of the word.

But, I'm in a new phase of my life now. I enjoy preparing a meal (most of the time, at least) for my semi-extended family on Sundays. It's just Me, Mike, and Eric at home, but on Sunday's we invite Mike's mom and Gail's family over. Sometimes an extra friend will join in. And I truly don't mind preparing a nice meal. (Well, they are nice by my standards.) The difference is the rest factor. It doesn't really matter what my calling happens to be, I don't have to deal with babies, etc. at home. I can just have "me" time before or after Church. I can use the time for lesson preparation and/or food preparation and it seems like most days I even have time for a bit of rest!! What a marvel. Whether we have the 1 pm church or the 9 am church (with Choir practice at 7:45 AM, for goodness sake!!), there is time. It's a miracle. It's just proof positive that all those exhausting child-bearing-raising years were worth it, gals. Yes, it's hard. Yes, you get tired. But, YES!! It does come to an end!! And, yes, it was worth it. Even if we did just have leftovers, or pancakes, or peanut butter sandwiches and popcorn for Sunday Dinner . We survived.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Rubber Bands

I'v been trying to be a little more fit lately. "T-Fit" is a program through work, and they offer some opportunities to participate in stuff. Like yoga--for free! And weight training--for free! There are walking groups, a basketball tournament this month, I've done water aerobics in the past. . .it's all good. My goal is to go to weights at least 2 to 3 times a week. This is not to get strong or buff, but just to stave off osteoporosis. I also want to attend Yoga 2 to 3 times a week.

So, the other morning in yoga the instructor was telling us to ". . .stretch and relax, stretch and relax. Think of your muscles as rubber bands, stretching and pulling. Gently, no pain, just a gentle stretch..."

Then this thought came to my mind, "Wait. . .OLD rubber bands break!" And so I pictured my old muscles just snapping * snap * as I bent, pulled and stretched.

I don't know that I'll enjoy doing those stretches quite so much in the future. Either that, or I'll just start giggling.