Monthly Archives: June 2010

Club Awesome Friday June 11, 2010

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Friday June 11, 2010

These are the top of the list this week from my daily gratitude list.

1. Tire swing in the backyard. I am really impressed with my daughter for inspiring me to figure out how to do it. She has a can-do attitude that I occassionally fall back on (“Really?! You think we could do that?!” Hmmm, ok!”). She is an enormous gift in my life, an alter ego when I am not ready to give the world a cheery face. A good front man for me when I am feeling a little less than I want to be.

2. Braces off my son’s teeth. Watching him enjoy his new smile is really endearing, fun, terrifying, and heart-warming. They were completely removed on Wednesday, so that night at Church youth group, he was downright flying from one group of girls to the next. Like that Greek guy with wings on his feet, I don’t think his toes touched the ground. This man-child of mine thoroughly enjoys his life and all that the world has to offer him. There are downsides to this attitude… But for now, this day, I am trying to learn from his demeanor as well and soak up the feast of life like he does.

3. Renewed friendship with an old friend. I was finally able, with no weird awkwardness at all, to approach a dear friend whom I let slide away 12 years ago in the hailstorm of life. And that grace from God, to begin the mending process, was amazing. I have no idea what is in store for us, but it was past time for me to do that, so I thank God that I had the courage and grace to get it done.

4. Roses are in bloom now! The previous owner of the house I live in planted about 50 rose bushes, and I get to reap the benefits. I have no idea how to take care of them, but I just try anyway. They are all different colors, so I have beautiful blooms.

5. Friday was payday. Of course it is all already spoken for, and I don’t even have money for licorice this week. But I am really thankful that I have a job I can go to where they appreciate the work I do, and compensate me fairly for it. I am thankful that this week I worked honestly and hard and (mostly) enjoyed it, despite the boring parts.

I know all the trees when I go to Utah

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I know all the trees when I go to Utah. I know their names, why they live where they do, how much water they need, and what animals like to live in them best. I am trained as a plant ecologist. I went to graduate school for it.

But, when I go to a party, or a 7th grade classroom full of boys, or a conference room full of colleagues, I don’t know much at all! I am 45 years old, and still a student of life, trying to learn how to get along, to love despite hurts, to have compassion instead of anger, to reach out instead of push away.

I don’t even live in Utah. I live in Colorado, with people surrounding me every day. How is it that we can spend so much time together, and not understand each other? How can I know so little about myself as well?

When I was 8, I sat on the creek bank with my friend Nini, braiding violets into chains, thinking about what it would be like when I would be 17, and know everything about the world, boys, and my life.

When I was 17, I was dating Brad, and planning my wedding to him and the children we would have together (4 before I was 26!). We were never married though, and at 26 I felt far too young to have children. I couldn’t even figure out how to make a living. I was still in school and looked forward to 35 when my job would be secure and my home would be cute and decorated with Laura Ashley curtains. My husband and I would vacation in Europe.

When I was 35, I was a divorced single mom with 2 babies trying to figure out who God was and wondering if I would ever sleep an entire night again. I didn’t know how to pay bills and raise kids at the same time. I focused on figuring out a way to make it to the next nap time. I couldn’t wait until I was just a little older and could figure out how to balance it all. And, I would understand God for sure by the time I was 45…

Now I am 45. I sit with my daughter picking violets, wondering when I will understand boys (my son as well as men in general). I wonder again about God, naps, friends, marriage, vacations, and careers. I don’t think I will know it all when I am 55, or 65, or 75. But I could learn all the trees in Nevada!

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Club Awesome for Friday June 4, 2010

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Club Awesome for Friday June 4, 2010

The purpose of this weekly blog entry is really a selfish one. I find that if I am not held accountable for gratitude on a daily basis, I let it slip and tend to think of the things I do not have rather than my blessings. So maybe these lists don’t do as much for you as they do for me. However, I hope they inspire you to think creatively about your life and what you are grateful for today.

1. My Dad is having a birthday this weekend. I am so glad that he is here, on this planet with us. Our relationship grows closer and closer every year. Through him, with him, from him, I learn so much. He is the reason I am a biologist!

2. I am actually feeling neutral this week (and last week too, I think!) about my heart’s desires. I know what I want, I am asking God for them, and I am trusting just the tiniest bit more these days. They say that if we hand over our mustard-seed-sized faith and ask God to build on it, it will happen. I think my mustard seed has maybe graduated to a sunflower seed… I am grateful I am not clawing and grabbing and begging and obsessing over what I feel is necessary to my happiness. For these moments, I am trusting God’s timing and God’s plan.

3. Last weekend, my daughter and I had a really good time making a tire swing for our backyard. We shopped, compared, talked, listened, climbed, testing, tied, and then SWUNG! It was a miracle of togetherness.

4. I had a meltdown with my kids Thursday night. It was over chores and sleep. I let my exhaustion get the better of me and probably added the kitchen sink in too. I talked “rather loudly” (which means I was yelling actually). Ears and hearts were hurt. The wheels came off big time and I am not proud of it at all. Anger is usually a self-righteous act for me, I struggle with it and want to get so much better with mine. However, we all 3 got to a new place after the noise subsided. We were able to step back, claim our pieces, ask for forgiveness, proclaim our love, and move on in love and trust. Wow, another miracle. And the Eggos together the next morning were delicious.

5. “Yet time, and showing up, turns most messes to compost, and something surprising may grow”. My favorite quote from my favorite author, Anne Lamott, in Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith. Our biggest messes can become miracles we had no idea were even possible… That is good news for me, because I mess up a lot!