Resolutions 2012

I resolve to:

1. Not Retreat
I'm going to make it a point to be around more people more often. I'm also not going to shy away from my self because I'm afraid of certain reactions

2. Love More [Be kinder]
I really do love people - I want my thoughts to better reflect that.

3. Find Joy [more consistently]
Pray more, read more, meditate more

4. Make Dot Spot my very own
During Christmas break in Holdenville, while munching on some Chinese food, someone opened a fortune cookie that said, "Those afraid of doing too much often do too little." I know pretty much what I want every room to feel like, and what I want to the outside to look like, but I've yet to get anything completely complete. I'm not going to be afraid of how much I want to do. Fear in any form is paralyzing. Did you know someone wrote their name in our driveway and dated it 1940? Someone did, and I bet they were proud and could never imagine that some day in 2011, a little family like mine would belong to what they belonged to. They did their part to make Dot their own. It's my turn.

5. Lose the friggin' muffin top that is dun-loppin' over my jeans.
This is self explanatory. Like literally since Thanksgiving my midsection has been exploding.

Son of Mary. Son of God.

 Patty Griffin wrote a song called Mary. The chorus:

Jesus says, "Mother I couldn't stay another day longer." Flies right by and leaves a kiss upon her face. While the angels are singing his praises in a blaze of glory, Mary stays behind and starts cleaning up the place.

In the last few years, the significance of Mary has increased for me. I've lately been thinking of her when I hear the verse, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). Most people reference this in terms of the anguish that must have been God's at seeing his son's abuse and death at the hands of those he was sent to save. I think of Mary, the mother who grew this son in her womb, birthed him, raised him, the woman who bore divinity in both body and spirit, who lacked God's omniscient mind, who stood at the foot of the cross and watched her son, in agony, take his last breath.

I love her for allowing her son to live the life he did, play the role of teacher, be an example of charity and loving-kindness. I would have been so proud of his ambitions, but I also would have held him so close if I would have lived in the political/religious climate of the time. I'm sure she knew his life transcended this world, but I know it didn't make the sting in her heart burn any less.   

I was sitting on the counter in our kitchen when I was in late in my elementary school career, talking on the phone with one of my best friends. We started talking about Jesus, and she said, "God loves Jesus more than any of us because he's his only begotten, so there's really no point if we're always going to be loved second best." I'd never thought about that before, and it made sense because I really didn't know what "only begotten" meant.

This idea stuck with me into high school, and for a girl growing up without a father around, God was who I had. And if he knew everything about me and who I wanted to be, I didn't want to be loved less. When I was a sophomore, I finally had a discussion with my bishop, who was also my cross country coach, so we saw a lot of each other (in the LDS church, a bishop is like the head pastor of a congregation, only he doesn't preach every Sunday). The clarification for "only begotten" was a simple one. Everyone on earth has a biological mother and father, Jesus's biological father just happened to be God, hence only begotten of the father. The real magic was how this transformed Jesus for me if I didn't have to always be second best in the eyes of God. There's no competing with Jesus, right? Right. I was an only child, go ahead and call me selfish when it comes to love.

Jesus is my brother in humanity and brother in divinity as God is the father of all spirits.

I'm hoping to spend between now and Christmas writing about the roles Jesus Christ plays in my life and understanding.

After the Rain

This afternoon was warm and sunny. This whole week has been grey and cold and rainy, so we took advantage of the sunshine. After Cora got home from school....okay, wait, I can't go on without an omission:

I was up later than usual last night talking to a cousin, Magnolia's waking up ended our conversation, so I ended up going to bed sometime after midnight and before one. I took Cora to school, Goo and I came home and took a nap. My alarm went off at 2:40 like it does every day so I know that I need to stop what I'm doing and start getting everything together to go pick Cora up from school. I'm snoozing, my alarm goes off. I lie there for a few minutes and then look at the clock. 3:20!!! You have got to be kidding me! I totally fell back asleep and didn't even know I had. (Carpool starts at 2:55.) I picked up Magnolia, didn't even put her shoes on (but I did grab them), and we walk-ran to Staci car.

It's 3:26, and I'm stopped at 30th and Shartel when my phone starts ringing. It's Cora's teacher. And it's official. Carpool has ended, it's worse than being the last car in-line. There is no line. Which is kind of crazy, because some days I don't even make it out of carpool with Cora in tow until 3:30, and there are still several cars behind me. Anyway, on the day carpool goes by with super-human speed, I am late. I pulled up at 3:28. Cora is waiting with her teacher in the office. It's all good.

Ah-hem: After Cora got home from school, we loaded up in the stroller and headed off for the grocery store to get the two ingredients we needed for dinner. We really just needed black beans, but two cans of them. We left with black beans and pickles...and some plain ol' peppermint Orbit gum because it's getting harder to find. Wintermint is all kinds of taking over. We'd also packed some holiday treats to give to some of our neighbors.

The real fun was the park. The first friend's home we stopped at was before the park, and she gave me some towels to wipe the swings off with as it had been raining. I was happy to see that there was no wiping required when we arrived. As it turns out, lots of people had been getting out to enjoy the day just as we were. We spent a while playing and talking with new friends. When it was time to leave, the sun and wispy clouds were making a beautiful sunset. Cora loved all of the pink clouds. I loved the warm glow. We stopped in at some neighbors on our block, Cora raced with Pineapple (aka Megan). They love each other. I love being outside after it's rained.

When we walked to our home, it was all lit up and cozy. Jake was home early. I LOVE when I get to walk into a non-empty house. He'd made dinner. Sloppy Joes. They were great. I ate two...and a less than 20 minutes after I'd discussed the re-emergence of the love handles on my back with my afore mentioned neighbors. (Jenn Tupps, I have one package left for you, but I'd rather stop by when you're home.)

The girls went to bed easily. I have high hopes, as I do every night, that Magnolia will pull an all-nighter asleep in her bed. She had her 18-month check up yesterday. She is TERRIFIED of the nurse because of the whole shot thing. When she sees her, she falls a part. So, we didn't really get an accurate height and weight. Like I was weighed by myself and then with her because she wouldn't hang out on the scale. She's rollin' around 20 pounds, and she's just under 30 inches tall, but that was taken as she was lunging out to me. All that adds up to her still being right around the sixth percentile, where she's been since her two week appointment. She got one shot and had some blood drawn. The nurse called me with the results (right as I was drifting off in nap land) of the blood work and she is right in the middle of the normal range for her hemoglobin concentration and hematocrit levels (i.e., she's not anemic). She's healthy and happy and sassy as all get-out.

Eternal Flame

During our last year-and-a-half of undergrad, Jake and I lived in a teeny tiny apartment complex called Waverly Gardens just north of Nichols Hills. Every day we would make the trek from our little home to OCU down the same path. We'd make our way to Wilshire, over to Western, passed Chesapeake, and eventually onto Classen, rounding the big curve around a small neighborhood and Rose Hill Burial Park until we we saw Belle Isle Station. Every time we did this, we'd pay homage to small oil/natural gas site (I have no idea what it really is) marked by a flame. We lovingly named it "Eternal Flame" because it never went out.

When we were in Chicago, everyone started talking about the Classen curve. I had no idea why this stretch of road had become so significant to people. The most significant part to us was that flame. I mean, we gave it a sort of theme song and everything. When we moved back, we saw what everyone was talking about. Our beloved stretch of morning commute had been developed into a series of restaurants and stores called none other than the Classen Curve. There's even a counterpart across the street called the Classen Triangle that has a Whole Foods and will be getting an Antropologie.

Every time I drive through there now, I can't help but admire the great use of the curve and the fabulous architecture that makes that little spot in the city so interesting. In all of it's new awesomeness, the best part is still seeing that flame, and while not super hip, it survives.

Here's to you, Eternal Flame.
Leave a Comment

If it wasn't this

I hate wishing away time. I am very aware of how fleeting it is, how one never gets it back, and how much I'll miss certain points in my life.

This week is testing all of the above.

I'll just talk about today and you can multiply that by the four, as it is only Thursday.

My Visiting Teachers were coming over this morning (in the LDS church, each woman is assigned two other women from the congregation (visiting teachers) to come and visit her, or at least check in monthly to make sure she's doing okay). The house looked like we'd been out running errands all week. So I was tidying up. That went all right. The girls were playing especially well with one another. I needed to take a shower because I didn't take one the day before (honesty, Folks). I jumped in, jumped out, got ready, and I walked into Cora's room.

It was insanity. Toys were everywhere on the floor. Cora had been in her closet on top of the bin I store clothes that Magnolia will grow into. She'd pulled down so many things from the shelves in her closet. I honestly didn't care about the mess. I cared about the little mouse bait block that was missing from behind the afore mentioned bin. It's in a completely childproof container, but I couldn't find it. Everything is falling a part.


Visiting teachers are here, children are crying. Cora is crying because she knows she did something she shouldn't have, Magnolia is crying because Cora is crying. After everyone gets in and sits down, I explain what's going on, and sweeter than sweet, they volunteer to help clean Cora's room to see if we can find the block. The room gets picked up. No block. We go and visit for a while. They leave.

It's lunch time and Cora is off to school. I come home and put Magnolia to bed, and then because Magnolia has been up a million times a night this week, I indulge in a nap. I went into Cora's room to do it. I move a stack of folded quilts, and go to lie down, and realize I'm on something. It's the bait block! Phew. I rest in peace until my alarm goes off that it's time to pick up Cora.

In the carpool line, I get a text from a friend that her girls will be caroling with their school at Whole Foods, which is close to our house. Great! It's in a fun area near Chesapeake with lots of gorgeous Christmas lights. We get home, have a snack, play for a little while. I make dinner and intermittently try to change the bulb in our headlight. That was a no-go, but we get through dinner and out the door in time to pick Jake up from work and drop him off to go Home Teaching (each family in the congregation is assigned two men to do the same thing as visiting teachers - they're called home teachers) and get to Whole Foods.

We got there a little before the caroling began and before all the kids were there. I asked one of the workers where the caroling would be and she said, "Oh, you must be thinking of the Chesapeake area right behind Whole Foods." and pointed me in the direction. There were no carolers there, but there was a gigantic winter wonderland full of kids playing on hills of fake snow. Of course, Cora wanted to do that. I asked another lady at a Whole Foods table about the carolers and she told me they were in fact in the store and someone was working on getting them organized. We went back, found a table, built some dollhouses out of napkins, saw some old friends, and then the caroling merriment began.

All was well. For two songs. And then Cora, who was dancing and having fun, burst into tears because she wanted to go play with the other kids on the snow. OMGee. The crying ensued. When we were on our way, I told her we were going to get a piece of cake while we were there. I brought up the cake, and after a minute or two, she decided we would go pick our perfect piece. She picked carrot cake.

We made our way back to the front to the check out and where the carolers were. Smiles and carrot cake. Phew. This was going to work out. I reach for my wallet. That's right.

NO WALLET. The eldest of my daughters loves gum and knows how to work zippers. When I was getting Jake's spaghetti together to take with us so he could eat on the go, I came back into the living room and found both girls huddled around my purse. I got them both gum, restored the contents of my purse that were on the couch, and we were off.

We walked our perfect piece of carrot cake back to where we found it, Cora cried more about the snow, and we just walked right on out of that store to the tune of Oklahoma Rising. Crying all the way home. We walk in the door, and I see the strap of my wallet peaking out from under my nursing cover, both on the floor. Crying Crying Crying.

Goo to bed.
Cora story.

Now I'm blogging. I'm trying to forget about the dishes. Magnolia has been sending out a little cry every now and again, but I hope she'll settle in for good. Jake has been out late each night this week. I don't want to be someone who is completely dependent on the idea someone being home, but again, this week is testing that. And really, I'm upset at myself that I find it all so frustrating. Sure I feel like a single parent, but at least I get to be a stay-at-home single parent, right?

And I can't stop thinking about my sweet friend, Ryan, who has two sick little girls. Like lifelong sick, and all she wants is a sense of normalcy for her family between hospital stays and weak immune systems. Her youngest daughter, Lucy, is two months and in the hospital right now. Her oldest, Ellie Kate, is six and was supposed to perform in her first dance recital, but she got sick. Both girls have NKH. As I read through this mother of four's blog posts, my heart breaks for her broken heart. She wanted her whole family to be together to decorate their home for Christmas. She wanted Ellie Kate to dance, and Lucy to not be completely ravaged by the disease that her sister has been. She wanted a normal holiday season for her two sons. She's one of the strongest, most faithful women I've known. She puts complete trust in God, that he as at the helm of their lives and struggles, but with everything going so crazy, she is hurting right now. Please pray for the McLaughlin family.

I want to not be frustrated by the whining and the crying, and blah blah blah blah blah. Here's the real deal:

I feel really lonely. There, I said it. I've felt that way ever since we moved back to Oklahoma. Something is so different. I don't have the same constant circle of friends I loved so much. I know I can't expect everything to be the same, and I know I'm naturally pretty introverted and don't require a great deal of social interaction to feel complete (I've always called myself a natural loner), but I need some people. And with Jake's regular schedule, plus all of the things on top of it like rehearsals and recitals, it's just's a lot. I suppose one of my resolutions for the new year, and perhaps before the year is out is to put myself out there a bit more. The funny thing about loneliness is the more you feel it, the more you withdraw which is the exact opposite of what makes lonely go away.   

A Late Autumn Night

I'm sitting in my front yard on one of our green retro chairs, admiring my handy work in the form of Christmas lights on Dot. She's covered in a few rows of warm white C9 lights. The big bulbs. She's vintage, you know. The front windows' blinds are open. The soft light and Christmas tree look so inviting. I love driving by homes that share their contents at night. Dot is generous. And oh so lovely.

I'm wearing fingerless gloves so I can type, but my fingers are freezing. According to, it's 32 degrees outside, feels like 26. I'm wishing my jeans didn't have holes in the knees.

Two of my neighbors just passed by. One is James. He reminds me of John Locke from lost. I like that he lives close and that we see him almost every day because he takes his dogs to exercise and train them at the school yard across the street from our house. The other is Jeanette. She has three little girls, all about a year and a half a part. The oldest, Megan, is a year older than Cora. When Megan found out that Cora's nickname was Coco, she nicknamed herself Pineapple. It's changed a few times. The last one I heard was Muffin. I like knowing neighbors. I want to get to know them better. I'm hoping someone majorly awesome will buy the house across the street.

As the leaves have fallen off the trees, more and more of the Devon Tower has made itself visible. I love it all lit up with its construction lights on every floor, and of course, the cranes. Some people have a view of mountains, others have a lake or the ocean, we have the Devon Tower, right out our front window. And it's beautiful. It's the biggest, brightest Christmas tree on Earth. Record breaking.

Well, my battery is running low, my fingers aren't very efficient anymore, and I'm still waiting for Jake to get home. But just on the other side of the yellow walls before me...there is hot chocolate.



I have an extremely sensitive sense of smell. I partially blame the intense morning sickness I've had with all three of my pregnancies on the amplified state of my nose's already amplified ability. I know this because things like trash bags and the scent of the kitchen floor (the glue under the linoleum perhaps - and no, I was not down sniffing it) sent me running for the bathroom. I still send up praises for Zofran in my prayers from time to time. I digress...

I love perfume. Beyond love it. And I'm in the market for a new scent. Upon graduating from college, it was between Light Blue (Dolce & Gabbana) and Princess (Vera Wang). I chose Princess. I liked its warm undertones. Most recently I've had Pretty (Elizabeth Arden), but my bottle has been dry for a couple of months.

In transitioning, I reverted back to an old standard, everyday scent: Sweet Pea (Bath and Body Works). It came out my freshman year of high school, and I thought it was perfect. It was a nice soft transition from the super fruity sweetness of Pearberry that had just been so popular, and that had been a major transition from the woodsy scent that everyone was wearing in the form of CK Be just before that. Sweet pea: soft, sweet, warm. It had been several years since I'd had any. It was like being reunited with an old friend.

Anyway, I have been taking home sample after sample from Sephora. I swear I'm going to have to start wearing disguises even though I've never asked the same person for a sample twice. I just haven't found the one yet. I really like Pretty, but I'm feeling restless.

Marc Jacobs Daisy and Lola have both been lovely. I like Daisy best, but only in its parfum form, the toilette version falls flat very fast on my skin. I also love Dior Addict, but it's very rich. I don't know that I could do it everyday. It's like Thierry Mugler Angel. I LOVE that perfume, but I feel like wearing it everyday would be something like eating chocolate everyday - too indulgent. The One (Dolce & Gabbana) had me at hello, but it's still a little heavy, though putting it on and going through the top notes through the bass notes makes me really happy.

Shout out to Happy (Clinique). You can't tell me you didn't love that one.

So on my last Sephora trip, I got a sample of Bright Crystal (Versace) on the recommendation of a friend and the girl working at Sephora. I also got J'adore (Dior). When I got home and put Bright Crystal on, it smelled so familiar. It only took me about two seconds to realize what it was. I received Pink Ice (Rue 21) as a Christmas gift last year. They are almost identical scents. I sprayed one on one wrist and one on the other, and the only difference was that Pink Ice was a little sharper and lasted a lot longer. Look at the packaging even (and both perfumes are tinted pink):
 (Photo by Cassandra Kiser)

I did a google search to see if anyone else had uncovered this phenomenon. Apparently, I'm the only one so far. They both smell good. Props to Rue 21 for a fabulous imitation.

J'adore, though, J'adore has won me over. This is only the second day I've worn it, so I'm not entirely sure yet, but I can't believe I've never smelled it before. I guess it's not too surprising because I've never smelled the most popular fragrance in the world: Chanel Nº5. I have to admit it came across my radar because of the Charlize Theron ads. If only my legs were 6 inches longer, um, maybe more like a foot longer. 

Is there a scent you swear by? Makes you feel ethereal? Pleases every little ounce of your aesthetics? Tell me.

PS: There is great irony in the fact that I am married to someone who cannot smell. Just the same as he in an accompanist married to someone who is afraid to sing in front of people. While the scent of my perfume gets lost on his missing sense, I get to pick his cologne: Perk. A couple of years ago, I discovered L'Homme by Yves Saint Laurent. It is heaven. Absolute heaven on a warm, beating neck. I've thought of wearing it on occasion.

PPS: Among others, I also sampled DKNY Pure. It was very creamy clean, and perfect for everyday (in case you're in the market), but I'm feeling a stronger floral component at this point in my life.

The Real Giver

Cora: "Mom, make sure you pray to Jesus to ask Santa for a pink scooter. Because pink is my favorite color."

If only she knew what was hiding away in the trunk waiting for Christmas to arrive.

Occupy Movement

I had high hopes for the Occupy Movement. The main premises of the movement are at the forefront of my ideals for social justice at the moment. Corporations should not be a powerhouse in government, and a nation cannot sustain itself if the gap between rich and poor continues to grow to rapidly, especially when the majority of a nation's wealth is in the hands of literally a fraction of a percent of the population. How did so few end up with so much? The correlation between corporations and the government seems pretty self-explanatory.

While I share the ideas, and was glad to see a movement come out with what I think is a big disaster in our society, Occupy's approach always rubbed me the wrong way. I didn't like that they were sleeping in parks. I didn't like that people were bringing them food. It felt like a waste of resources. I still want something to change in regard to the problems the movement presented. I want these things to be taken seriously, and more attention to be paid to them rather than tent cities. There was too much going on for a point of change to be made. With eviction notices popping up all over the country, I'm hoping that something meaningful can come. I just wanted to share a few thoughts on the issues. I enjoyed this talk that explains the pitfalls of a large economic gap on societies:

I feel there are misnomers thrown around that aren't accurate. I often hear that the government is money hungry, and I never know how to respond because I'm always like, "But wait, isn't the government a not-for-profit institution?"

Sure, there are shady politicians who like to slip a little extra in their pocket, but if they're in office, it's our fault. It's our fault in more way than one. The obvious reason is that they get our vote. But the less obvious one is being oblivious to where their campaign contributions come from. Corporations get so many people elected or in positions of power to secure the profits of the company. If we know where the contributions are coming from, we can see who that politician will ultimately be working for.

I've also heard a lot about how we're heading straight for socialism because of the government wanting to increase taxes on the wealthiest citizens. I believe the exact phrase is redistributing the wealth. And then I'm like, "But wait, that's part of what it [the government] does." That's how all communities have schools (even though there is drastic difference in quality), that's how there are roads across the nation, and how the elderly can have health care. Every little anything that isn't privately funded is a result of redistributed funds from the citizens of the country. The infrastructure of our country is aging, and with the present deficit and not much hope in terms of revenue, bridges will collapse, schools will crumble, communities will fail. Tax codes define how much is taken from what incomes, but those same codes that take also give breaks, and the breaks and loopholes in our country favor those with the most money, and those with the most money are a fraction of the majority of the American people.

This is a great video about the tax rate and prosperity of the 50's:

I feel like our lack of real interest in how everything works is how we got here. How did we let the power fall out of the hands of the majority of Americans and into the hands of those at the helm of profit driven companies who get all kinds of breaks but have no financial obligation to the country that has allowed them to get that way? How did we let really big things sneak by us? Why are so many adamantly defending 1% of the nations populace at the expense of the 99%? And if you think anyone you know is that 1%, you're probably mistaken.  I read a great quote the other day that I feel is fitting.

"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."
--Isaac Asimov
And another one because I love it (this was said in protest to the recent budget plan congress would have been willing to pass if presented by the Super-Committee. I think we probably all heard that the plan did not pass):

"This country does in fact have a serious deficit problem. But the reality is that the deficit was caused by two wars -- unpaid for. It was caused by huge tax breaks for the wealthiest people in this country. It was caused by a recession as result of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street. And if those are the causes of the deficit, I will be damned if we're going to balance the budget on the backs of the elderly, the sick, the children, and the poor. That's wrong."
--Senator Bernie Sanders, VT 


Powered by Blogger.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Back to Top