Sunday, December 9, 2012

Good Things are to Come

This morning my hubs and I drove down the canyon through foggy mist, on icy roads and frigid temps to attend church with our cute Natalie (Brad's daughter). She was asked to play the harp in Sacrament meeting and she had invited us to come hear her. She attends a Student ward (congregation) in Provo, Utah. She played beautifully and invoked the spirit of The Lord with her beautiful medley of Christmas hymns. Her father and I were so proud of her:)

The Bishop was the first speaker. He spoke of trials and shared how, many years ago he, his wife and four little girls had moved from Arizona to Provo, Utah so he could go to Law School. He spoke of how poor they were. They sold their nice car in order to eliminate a car payment and purchased an old VW "Hippie" van. All six of them lived in a tiny two bedroom house and, in fact, they had one more daughter, while there, to add to the bunch! He shared that they had been SO poor that they all lived on potatoes, rice, carrots, oatmeal and whatever they could grow in their garden. They even tromped out into the snow and dug into the frozen earth scavenging for any left over potato, beet or carrot in order to just survive.

Then he told us that those are some of their HAPPIEST times and memories!

His message was clear and simple...happiness can be found under any circumstances. It's up to us and if we trust in the Lord, we can find joy in the midst of poverty, ill health and any other trial we may be experiencing. Then he said something that seared into my brain (an "Aha Moment"). He said:
"Trust God and believe that good things are to come..." 

I have always believed in God. I have tried to trust Him in all things but today, I realized that in order to REALLY trust in God you DO have to believe that good things are to come! That is where I have fallen short...

I'm reminded of a few of my heroes. The first in Viktor Frankl, author of "Man's Search for Meaning" which is his account of his incarceration in a Nazi concentration camp. As a Jew, death was certain for him. At one time he had contemplated suicide, like so many others, but his religious upbringing and moral foundation kept him from following through with those thoughts. He found ways to find happiness, joy and even peace, ultimately helping others in the camp and becoming one of the most inspirational holocaust survivors ever.

Corrie ten Boom, author of "The Hiding Place". She was not Jewish, but she and her family hid as many Jews as they possibly could, saved numerous lives as a result, but she and her sister were arrested and severely punished and banished to a Nazi camp as well. They were God-loving Christians who studied the bible throughout their lives. In the bible, The Lord says to be thankful for ALL things. She shares an account of having to sleep in a corner of the camp with her sister and a few other women, on damp hay which was infested with lice...During a particularly down moment, her sister told her to offer thanks to God for the lice...when she questioned her sister as to how in the world one could be thankful for L.I.C.E. her sister reminded her that God has told us to be thankful for ALL things and because of the lice the guards left the women in that corner alone thus giving them the opportunity to hold bible study classes which gave them immeasurable strength.

I admit, I'm not to that point, but I want to get there. Life is always going to offer challenges and trials. That's a given. I can only pray that I will always Trust in God and KNOW that good things are to come...

Friday, December 7, 2012

Alakina & Stella's Charity Event

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, two of my little granddaughters were greatly disturbed. They both were saddened by the bleak scenes of total devastation and expressed their interest in trying to help the children in New York and New Jersey.

Aja, their mother (my daughter) is one of these people who sits on three committees in our town and is actively involved with her kids schools as a room mother and in the PTA. As a single mother, she lives on a very limited income, spends no money on herself but ensures that her precious children are engaged in Dance classes, Violin, Gymnastics and various sports. She has no time to herself and on top of everything, she is a full-time student!

She told me of an idea she had. Just one week after the hurricane, she spent over 3 hours on the phone back East trying to find any organization that she and her children could help as a result of this terrible event. Finally, she found a school in Brooklyn, the Red Hook District, that was devastated. In fact, the morning she got ahold of an office worker at the school, she was told that they had just gotten their power back on only moments before her call. She told the lady that she spoke with that her girls wanted to hold a charity event and raise something that the effected children would need and like. They came up with the idea to collect Coloring Books, Crayons and Story Books for the school. Since money really means nothing to 5 & 6 year old little girls, this was a perfect solution.

So Aja got to work. She set the date of Dec. 5th to host an Open House from 3-6 PM at her home  where children in our community could come, drop off their donations and then decorate a Sugar Cookie to take home. She made flyers and her girls took them to church and their schools. Needless to say, it was a HUGE success.

Our town is AMAZING! It's very small, but has a huge heart. Everyone is service oriented and people showed up whom we didn't even know! So far they have collected 116 boxes of crayons, 74 Coloring Books, 49 Story Books, numerous Markers, Pencils, Pads of Paper and Flash Cards! She even received some cash to help with shipping!

My heart is warmed by the generosity of so many. I am so proud of my sweet daughter who didn't just "talk" about helping, she stepped up and took action! I can only imagine how excited those sweet little children in New York will  be when they receive several boxes from some precious little children far away in a little town called Midway Utah...This, my friends, is the true spirit of Christmas!

Friday, November 16, 2012

On Aging

Ya gotta love getting older!

You know, I've come to terms with the whole age thing. After all, I've had 56 years to come to grips with it. I'm OK with graying hair...I just color mine. I'm OK with a few wrinkles...I use coconut oil every morning and every night and it works pretty darn well. I'm EVEN OK with hot flashes...after 14 years of "flashing fun" I've finally gotten mine under control... BUT, what I do have a hard time with are the aches and pains that come along with getting...ugh...OLDER!!

Don't get me wrong, I don't think 56 is THAT old. After all, aren't 50's the new 30's (or something ridiculous like that?) I'm thankful that I've had the great years I've had and even the not-so-great years I've been able to endure. I just really still think of myself in my 30's but lately, my body is reminding me that I am, in fact, smack dab in the middle of my "golden years"...

I had foot surgery this past Monday morning. The surgery went very well (so I'm told) and the prognosis is great. All I asked the doctor was if I would be able to wear fabulous shoes and boots again...that, my friends, is my one great one great addiction. Shoes make me happy...but not right now:( my Docs response was "absolutely"...followed up with an under-the-breath "job security for me!" And here's the sick thing...I'm OK with that!

So, since Monday, I've been laid up, unable to bear ANY weight on my foot. Since I HATE painkillers and don't do well on them, I'm a total SPAZZ on my crutches and have had a few wipe-outs adding to my hubs already (very distinguished) graying hair. I haven't eaten much and if it weren't for the sweet generosity of a sweet daughter and a sweet friend, we probably would be starving...guess I fell off the ward radar for meals to be brought in...oh well..

So now I'm off work until the beginning of Feb. I'm in the "healing" phase of this whole ordeal and, to be honest, I'm NOT a good patient! I am going stir crazy, I've been "Netflixed" out of my mind but I can finally read again and have finished off 2 more books in a series of 4.

So this Thankful month, I am SO thankful for skilled doctors, modern medical procedures and the promise of better days ahead.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I Am Thankful...

I am Thankful for:         

  • The taxes I pay because it means that I am employed.
  • The clothes that fit a little to snug because it means I have enough to eat.
  • My shadow who watches me work because it means I am out in the sunshine.
  • A lawn that has to be mowed, windows that have to be washed and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.
  • The spot I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means that I am capable of walking.
  • All the complaining that I hear about our government because it means that we have freedom of speech.
  • The lady behind me in church who sings off key because it means that I can hear.
  • The huge piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby.
  • The alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it means that I'm still alive.
  • The pain I experience when I stub my toe because it means I still have feeling.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

Give Peace a Chance

I don't know about you, but I am SO sick and tired of all the political ugliness that we, as a nation, have had to endure for the past few months. Wednesday cannot come soon enough for me.

Let me just say that I am VERY strong in my political beliefs. I study issues before congress, I listen to debates, I write to my elected officials. I read history books and books by good, honest and wise men who love this great country of ours and who have put their "popularity" on the line in the name of defending Liberty. I volunteer in my community and I strive everyday to live what I believe and I vote my conscience; usually, this is not popular, but, I don't care because I vote with my heart and my mind.

One of the things I love about this country is that we ALL have the right to vote for whom WE choose. Much blood has been spilt on OUR behalf by our great Founders who quite literally pledged their lives, liberty and fortunes on our behalf. I, for one, am eternally grateful for their immense sacrifices and can never fully repay them.

Never in my life have I EVER been as disgusted as I have been with the rhetoric of this election. In my humble opinion, it has been laced with ugliness, cattiness and just plain old hatred. I have seen things posted on Facebook by people whom I once respected, that is hateful and disrespectful. We are so polarized as a nation. How can we ever heal from this? On Wednesday, what is the tone of Facebook going to be? Are the voters of the "Loser" going to cry foul? Are the "winners" going to gloat? I for one am going to move forward and continur to fight the battle for Freedom and Libery. I'm going to love my friends regardless of who becomes our next president.

Our nation is in desperate need of some major healing. Name calling, mud slinging, bullying should NEVER be tolerated and we have allowed, participated and stooped to an all-time low (in my humble opinion). I know people who de-friend people because of political posts. How pathetic!

What's really interesting to me is that the majority of these slams are not even accurate. I grew up in the entertainment industry surrounded by the media and I know how things can be spun.

So, my sweet friends, I do not agree with all of your beliefs and you do not agree with all of mine and THAT'S OK!! I still love you and I still value our friendships. Come what may on Wednesday...but let's get rid of this ugliness and work together to help restore our freedoms and liberties. Let's take care of our brothers and sisters who are struggling, whether it's from the effects of Hurricane Sandy, a broken economy, or just struggling with the challenges of everyday life. Let's reach out and extend the hand of compassion. And most importantly, let's clean up our own backyards and stop with the critisizing, judgments and accusations. All I am saying is "Give Peace A Chance."

Peace, Love and God bless us all...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Birthday Weekend

Tis the season...for the dreaded head cold!

I came home last Friday morning filled with absolute joy and excitement of enjoying 4 fun-filled, relaxing and yet productive days. After all, it was my hubs birthday weekend and I had BIG plans.

Alas, I was greeted by a stuffy headed, red-eyed, phlegm coughing lover boy who was more interested in sleeping than celebrating. I obliged.  Don't get me wrong, I love my hubs unconditionally and when he's sick, I hurt for him. And he was sick, I mean full-on, snot-filled, seal barking sick.

Bless his heart, he was such a trooper. He had gotten up that day, showered, and dressed all for me. I immediately put him back to bed. And so it began.

My sweet husband always has a clean house for me when I get home. Dishes are done, laundry is washed, folded and put away, floors are vacuumed and the toilet, bathtub and sinks are scrubbed. He's the BEST! All I really have to do is a bit of dusting. It makes coming home so much less stressful. I knew he was sick when I walked in to a pile of dishes in the sink and pillows and blankets strewn around the living room which was obviously used as a make-shift recovery room...

All of my Birthday plans were thwarted...

I went to work picking up and organizing my disheveled house which really only took about one hour. Hubs slept most of the day, but got up every 2 hours or so to make phone calls for work...yes, he's THE most dedicated person I know when it comes to work. Around 5:00, my sweet mother talked us into going to dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant, Tarahumara, right here in our little town. It was perfect and I think hubs even semi-enjoyed it. my plans were put on hold. We had a quiet weekend. By Sunday, hubs felt better and we had the kids and my mom over for our family favorite meal, Chili Con Queso. It was a good day.

Fast forward to Monday...I woke up with swollen glands, a scratchy throat and a sinus headache. I have NO TIME TO BE SICK!! I HAD to go back to work today and I HAVE to fly tomorrow!!! So Monday was spent drinking copious amounts of Emer-Gen-C and swallowing thousands of mg of Vitamin D. We shall see if I was able to fend off the Beast!

Life goes on...I still got up at 4:30 AM to catch a flight to MSP. I was miserable, but I survived. I drugged myself up on prescription cough syrup with codeine and struggled to maintain any semblance of normalcy so the poor sap who would get stuck sitting by me wouldn't shoot me daggers for sharing the evil germs of influenza...I got lucky...I got a whole row to myself!

And so it didn't rest for me. Flights still went out on time and when I fly tomorrow, I'll smile and greet everyone with my deep, rich phone sex voice...I'll enjoy it, even if it's only temporary;))

Monday, October 1, 2012

Perks of the Job

There are obvious perks to my job as a Flight Attendant. But there are also perks that aren't so obvious but every bit as important and wonderful.

The other day I had the priviledge of flying to Rochester, MN home of the Mayo Clinic. We stay very close to the Mayo which still leaves me in awe of such an amazing facility. Millions of people flock to the Clinic in hopes of finding cures, relief, help and hope from the expertise of some of the top notch doctors in the entire world. It's a beautful place.

The flight to Rochester from Minneapolis is only 18 minutes as it is a 78 aeronautical mile trip.The good news is that there are usually many doctors and nurses on board. The bad sad news is, there are many patients and potential patients on board. I am always on the top of my game in the event of some sort of unforseen emergency. I'll admit, it's a bit unnerving at times.

The other day, we were actually returning from Rochester. As we were boarding, I noticed a young girl with her parents. This girl was in a wheelchair, wearing a heavy coat, knit hat, mittens, get the picture (it was about 75 degrees outside). Her skin was gray, her eyes sunken and she was clearly sick. My assumption was cancer. As she stood from her wheelchair, with help from her parents, it was evident that she was living on borrowed time.

I kept an eye on her during the flight. She sat by her adoring, doting parents and slept most of the flight.

Then, in row 1, there was another couple. This lady was also thin, frail, had gray skin, sunken eyes, almost no hair on her head and no eyebrows or eyelashes. Her adoring husband lifted her into her seat. During the flight, he held her hand, tenderly touched her sallow face and spoke sweetly to her. they told me they had been married for 57 years.

I sat on my jumpseat with these precious souls onboard. They were both fighters and they were both strong in spirit. I couldn't take my eyes off of them. They were both captivating and they both touched my heart.

As I fought the tears, I reflected on my own life. It is so easy to get caught up in our own personal battles and struggles that we often are blinded to those around us who are facing life and death situations. I can't begin to imagine the hours, days, weeks or even months of "torture" these two women have endured. My "problems" or challenges pale in comparison. While it is true that we all have our own crosses to bear, I, personally, am extremely thankful for the ones I have had to face. A sweet friend of mine said in Sunday School class yesterday something to the effect of: "There are only two things I can really control: 1. my preparation for things to come and 2. How I react to what comes."

I only hope and pray that I can find the strength that I may need to deal with whatever comes my way. How incredibly grateful I am that I have enjoyed good health, prosperity, happiness, love and much much more! I pray that God will continue to bless these unseen, often unknown heroes. I also pray that He will bless me to recognize the blessings in my life


Sunday, September 30, 2012

One More Update

An amazing thing happened to me tonight.

I have posted about my son, Tyler, several times during the course of this blog. Tonight, he stopped by as we were having a little family celebration for my hubs birthday but only stayed about 5 minutes. He left abruptly and I really gave no thought to that because he is very busy going to school and juggling AA/NA meetings.

About 45 minutes later, he returned and asked to speak to me privately. In the past this would have raised my blood pressure a viewpoints. We went outside and sat on the front porch. He proceeded to apologize to me about his behavior earlier in the evening. He went on to explain to me that he wasn't upset with me, he just had a lot on his mind and was having issues with someone else. 

We spoke for about 30 minutes. He told me that he was working on his 4th step which is basically to look at everything he had ever done and take accountability for his part in each incident. He talked, I listened. He spoke clearly and rationally. He was articulate, conscise and clear.

Out of respect for him, I won't go into the details of our conversation. Let me just say that we both healed a bit tonight. We both acknowledged that we don't quite know how to be in a relationship with each other as two adults. But we both resolved to try a little bit harder and I realized that he still needs me!! He is strong and he is progressing in so many beautiful ways. 

So there's my update on my sweet boy. He's doing great but admits that everyday presents new challenges that sometimes seem too hard to confront but he now possesses the skills to deal with them. He has overcome amazing things. He has wonderful, caring people in his life who are there night and day, 24/7 for him. 

He's my hero! I've never had to overcome something as difficult as a heroin addiction. He has and that shows me that he is stronger than most of us.

I don't know who, if anyone, will read this. But that's OK. I'm one proud mama...

Friday, July 6, 2012

Life Comes At You Fast

You all probably know the commercial that says, "Life comes at you fast..."That's how my life has been since the end of June. First we had a death in the family, next my sweet little 2 1/2 yr old grandson went in for emergency brain surgery which was unsuccessful because he was beginning to slip into an irreversible coma so the surgeons, thankfully, recognized what was happening and brought him out immediately. Then finally, my daughter underwent heart surgery.

Needless to say, I have been completely exhausted...but having said that, I can see the greatness of the blessings that we have received. We made it through the tragic death that caused my children great pain and loss only to emerge stronger with each other. Little Tage is fine. We are anxious to see if he can eventually have the necessary surgery to help with his epilepsy; he has sleep apnea so his tolerance to any kind of anesthesia is extremely low. I am confident that the capable doctors will come up with a viable solution that will help this sweet little guy live a relatively normal and healthy life. And, Aja's heart surgery has been quite successful. Of course, we are waiting for the biopsy results which will hopefully tell us where the leakage is coming from, but in the meantime, she is doing so much better.

A wierd thing happened to me back on May 26th. I was staying in a hotel in Minneapolis. It was about 2 or 3AM when I was awakened by a sharp, searing pain that felt like someone had stuck a needle in the ball of my left food. I threw off the covers, saw nothing and went back to sleep brushing it off as a bad dream. I awoke in the morning to a foot that was swollen to about the size of a golf ball. It was sore and I could barely walk on it. I immediately iced it, got ready to fly that day and eventually got my shoe on.

It has now been over a month and my foot is still swollen (about half the size of a golfball) and still sore. I went to the doctor who ran a myriad of tests and x-rays thinking that possibly it was gout or's's a bug bite...YIKES...Of course, we will never know what actually bit me, but the little critter made me sick for 3 days. I couldn't eat or sleep as the nausea was extreme and the pain was annoying. I'm much better now, but it's still sore...ugh...

It has been a VERY rough month. I am NOT sad to see June pass us by. But life does pass us by and sometimes this is a great blessing, sometimes it's a great tragedy...I find that I tend to get so caught up in the moments and events that are happening in that instant and sometimes I neglect the things that are really important.

So as things are winding down, I look back and am amazed at all that we, as a family, have endured. We got through it and we are still healthy, happy and strong. Those days have thankfully passed and hopefully, better days are comes at you ready and always be thankful for all that is good because that is what has sustained us through this crazy time.

Have a wonderful summer, let the sun always shine wherever you are and may God bless you all...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Power of a Smile

I was sitting in the Minneapolis airport yesterday afternoon waiting to get on a flight to get home after 6 long days of flying. Since I had been in Canada the night before, I hadn't had a chance to turn my phone on after arriving in the US until around 1:30 PM. When I did turn it on, I received a text from one of my daughters that simply said, "When you land, call me ASAP"...that's never good.

As I dialed her number, a million thoughts ran through my mind...are the kids OK, did something happen to my hubs, is my mother heart started beating faster and faster. She answered the phone with a different tone to her voice than the normal upbeat, "Hi Mommy"...she simply said, "Hi Mom...where are you?" I told her I was waiting to see if I could get on the flight home. She took a big breath and then proceeded to break some tragic news to me. As I sat in my uniform amid a massive group of anxious passengers, I realized that my reactions had to be VERY tempered. As a Flight Attendant, passengers look to us for strength and encouragement during stressful times. If we fall apart, they fall apart. Likewise, if we remain calm, they are more prone to remain calm. So I held it together but must have gone completely white in the face because after I hung up, a concerned passenger asked me if I was OK.

My heart was broken. I was in complete shock and denial and I had to hold it together as I even more anxiously awaited a seat on an already oversold flight. I felt SO alone and helpless as I was dealing with two distraught daughters long distance, offering the best support I could over a cell phone...All I wanted to do was get home, grab my sweet daughters in my arms and cry with them.

I didn't make it on that flight. I had to wait 3 more hours (the LONGEST 3 hours, I  might add) for the next flight (which too, was oversold). My mind raced and I literally fought an internal battle with myself as I wandered the sprawling concourses of the MSP airport searching for a place to find some place to just be alone and collect myself. Impossible!

I finally settled on finding my next gate. As I entered that particular concourse, I saw that people were scattered about as they were waiting for their flights. A multitude of flights were cancelled and delayed due to bad weather on the east coast. A group of high school aged girls in matching red t-shirts were splayed out on the floor taking up temporary residency with their iPods, ear buds, pillows, high energy drinks and copious amounts of snack foods while they awaited their uncertain departure times.

Do you remember the old Disney movies where the queen looks into a mirror and an old hag looks back at her? That's how I felt yesterday...As I dragged my heavy laden bags, body and soul into the gate area, one  girl caught my eye and she simpy smiled at me like I was an old friend. Remembering that I was in uniform, my zombied stare quickly turned into a returning smile and instantly, something amazing heart was spirit was a bit lighter.

For whatever reason, that sweet young lady simply smiled at me. In doing so, and I'm sure not even realizing it, she completely lifted my heart, fed my hungry soul and validated my existence on this planet in that instant...OK, I know that's dramatic, but really, she did!

One sincere smile! That's all I really needed at that moment in time. A smile from a random stranger whom I will probably never, ever see again. A smile from someone who had NO clue that I had just received some horrible news. A smile from someone who was happy, celebrating her life with her peers and she took a mere second to share some of her happiness with a complete stranger who definitely looked haggard and exhausted.

I made it to my seat in a corner of the large area and the flood gates opened. I shed tear after tear after tear. I had been feeling so alone, helpless and even a bit hopeless. I cried tears of terrible sadness. But deep in my heart, I felt relief as I let my emotions out and held on to a complete strangers innocent gesture of kindness.

Eventually, (after yet another gate change) I made it on the "oversold" flight. Due to the weather and delays on the east coast, many passengers never made it to my flight so I got a seat. I was thankful.

I guess the whole purpose of this post is to simply say that a smile holds more power than we can sometimes imagine. One smile that dreadful day...that's all I really needed to continue to function in a very dysfunctional moment. The power that that one smile held was invaluable. It gave me the strength to continue on and to keep my emotions in check as I made it to the precious reunion with those I deeply love and care about. Together, we wept, but the surprising strength that I posessed was due in part to the gracious smile of a young stranger...

Monday, May 7, 2012

One More Day...

**UPDATE**The precious 2 year old granddaughter who was in the hospital, has died...There will be a triple funeral tomorrow (May 12th)

Yesterday was just one of those days. We've all had know, the ones where it seems that everything that could wrong does, indeed, goes wrong. That was yesterday.

 I got up at 3:00 AM in order to catch a flight to go to work in Minneapolis. My husband usually gets up and drives me 45 min down the canyon in the serenity of the wee hours...but yesterday, he asked me to drive myself because he had been up all night sicker than sick... I was exhausted before I even left home due to a very restless night myself. I then had to fly (for work) until 9:00 PM on virtually no sleep. So I was bugged, tired, cranky and basically just really irritated with life. I even spoke to my husband on the phone and made the comment, "I just wish today would end..."

When I finally got to my hotel and settled in for the night,I pulled out my iPad and got on Facebook to catch up on the happenings of the day. As I was scrolling down, I noticed a few postings from some people in my town who were expressing their condolences to a family in our community (2 adults and 2 of their grandchildren) who had been involved in a terrible car accident. They were driving up the canyon and apparently crossed over into the other lane colliding head on with another car carrying 2 adults and 1 child. Three people lost their lives yesterday. Their day was over. The driver of the car that crossed into the wrong lane and her husband were killed and the lady in the other car was pregnant and lost her unborn child.

When I heard this terrible news, I immediately called my husband who knew both of them very well as they all grew up in our small community. He was heart broken, as was I even though I had only met them a couple of times. They left behind 8 children, and their 2 grandchildren who were riding in the car with them, are both in the hospital and are hurt badly. So tragic. It made me really stop and take a look at MY "crappy" day. I was wishing that my day was over and for three precious souls, they will never know another day on this earth! I felt selfish and ungrateful. I thought about how each day truly IS a gift and it is up to us to make the most of it. So there I sat. In my lonely hotel room hundreds of miles away from the most important people in my world. I don't think I have ever felt so alone and so...stranded...I longed to hug each of my children and grandchildren. I ached for the loving arms of my sweet husband and I just needed to thank my mother, once again, for all she has done for me throughout my life.

I write this post with a humble heart. I pray that whoever reads it will take a moment to express their love to their family and friends and I pray that we may all learn to cherish each moment of our precious days and never, ever take them for granted. In an instant, we can be gone. I feel horrible that I wasted even a minute yesterday, feeling sorry for myself and wishing that time would pass quicker. You can never say, "I Love You" can never hug someone long enough and kind acts and deeds can never become old. I, for one, am blessed beyond comprehension. I certainly don't feel worthy of the blessings that I take for granted every day and I have new resolve to remind myself daily of the bounteous, merciful gifts showered upon me by a loving Heavenly Father who, despite all of my faults, loves me enough to give me "one more day" to be with those I love, cherish and adore.

Life is precious, life is a gift and life is fragile...

Monday, April 30, 2012

Charity Never Faileth!

The past few months have been a whirlwind for me. Don't get me wrong, life has been great, but there have been so many changes and so much to do! During all of this change, one thing that I have had to "sacrifice" has been my position on several committees within my community. For the past few years I have served on the Midway Boosters Committee as well as the Swiss Days Committee.  With a heavy heart, I had to resign from Boosters, but have been able to maintain my seat as Swiss Days Chair in charge of Advertising and PR.

Aside from these committees, I have had numerous opportunities to serve my neighbors and fellow citizens through my church, but again, I haven't been here much so aside from a donated cake to a funeral or a casserole to a sick neighbor here and there, I have felt like I have not had the opportunity to serve as I would like.

As I watch each passenger board my planes each day, I work hard to smile and make each one feel special from the moment they step onto my plane. I don't know their reasons for flying. Yes, many are flying for fun to an exotic vacation or to visit family members or dear friends. But others are traveling for sad attend a funeral for a loved one or to sit with a dying parent, child, grandchild...whatever the reason, it's my job to provide them with a pleasant experience on the plane. I have actually been thanked for smiling at them!! This shows me how simple it is to serve. Sometimes all we need to do is express our gratitude or extend a sincere compliment to ease somebody's's simple!

My daughter lives just 4 houses away from me. She has 3 beautiful young children and is a single mom who is completely devoted to those children. She also has her own set of health issues and just the other day (I was away on a 4 day trip) she had to go to the ER for chest pains (She has heart issues). Without hesitation, my neighbor not only drove her to the hospital, but stayed with her until after 4:00 AM! She was gracious and unselfish as she made my daughter feel loved and cared for. Her selfless service was far reaching...she doesn't even realize how much she served me! I was able to complete my trip and be rest assured that Aja was with someone who loved her and cared for her in my absense.

I truly believe that we all came to this earth to be tested, tried, strengthened and to grow. I believe that we came here to become the very best person that we can be and yes, we will have failures and road blocks along the way. I also believe that we are all children of God and one of our missions in life is to gather together our "brothers and sisters" and to take care of each  other. If we don't serve our fellow man and try to take care of each other, then we have been cheated out of blessings and opportunities for us to grow.

When we strive to help someone else we often take upon ourselves the burdens and even chaos in their lives. It's just part of it! I have shed tears with mothers who have had to bury their children. I've watched as a loving wife has fought for the freedom of her imprisioned husband whom she believes has been wrongly accused of a crime. I've watched children who are scared and confused because they are too young to understand why mommy isn't able to take care of them. I think you get the point...

Many years ago, 30 to be exact, I was pregnant with my second child. During this pregnancy, I miscarried a twin and was able to carry the other precious baby to a healthy delivery. But the pregnancy was very endangered and I was put to bed. Now, this would have been fine if I didn't have a precocious 2 year old running around. I struggled with any help offered to me. For some silly reason, I had a very difficult time allowing anyone to help me outside of my familly but the ladies from my church really stepped up. They were "lovingly" insistent and for days on end, these sweet young mothers would come and take my sweet little child to their home for the day. She loved it! She would come home bathed, fed and happy! This was a HUGE burden lifted from my shoulders. They also ensured that I had hot meals brought in every night for my little family.

There was one incident that has stood out in my mind for all of these years and it taught me a great that I have never forgotten. I was told that a meal would be brought in this particular night and that several ladies would be bringing different parts of the meal to my home. Sure enough, the doorbell rang. A lovely, piping hot main dish was delivered. Next a beautiful dessert was dropped off. Then, my doorbell rang one more time. As I opened the door, I saw a woman whom I had never before seen. She lived in a trailer park adjacent to our little subdivision. She looked disheveled, exhausted and totally beat down. She handed me a brown paper bag and with a sweet smile said, "Here's your salad, I hope you feel better." Somewhat confused, I thanked her and shut the door. I opened the bag and found a brand new head of iceberg lettuce still in the wrapper and an unopened bottle of Ranch Dressing along with a receipt showing that it had been purchased just moments before delivery to my house. I couldn't believe it and was actually offended that such a lack of care went into this "salad"...I sent thank you notes to the first two ladies, but, I'm ashamed to say, I did not send one to the "salad lady".

As the years went on and as I matured and grew, I often reflected back on that story. And then one day, it hit me...I felt like someone took a hammer and hit me over the head with a strong reprimand spoke to my heart saying, "It was the best that she could do. You didn't know her circumstances and shame on you for not being more grateful. You need to learn to be a gracious receiver!"

How selfish could I possibly have been?? This woman was a single mother and lived in poverty. I didn't know her and she didn't know me. She'd been given the opportunity to participate in a charitable act and she accepted the opportunity. She was down on her luck, BUT, she still found a way to serve me! She took a few moments out of her life to purchase a head of lettuce and a bottle of dressing with her very limited funds for my family which enabled us to put together a delicious salad. She did the best she could. By me not being a gracious receiver, I lost out.

I had judged this woman! Her service was not up to my standards! How dare she?...How dare I???

Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to go back and thank this sweet woman. I never had the opportunity to look her in the eye and thank her for her charitable contribution. But know this, I now see the true act of charity and she taught me a great lesson that has followed me for 30 years.

Charity is unselfish, kind, loving and perfect! My "standards" of charity go out the window when somebody serves with a pure heart and pure love. It then becomes my responsibility to accept their kindness and generosity with the same pure heart and pure love with which it was offered. I learned to become a gracious receiver. I learned that it was more for this woman than for me! I learned that life is about sharing and loving and taking care of others. God bless this sweet woman...

I will always be thankful for this lesson that was taught to me. I still struggle with receiving "charity" from others but my perspective has changed and I watch as others derive so much joy from doing simple acts of kindness for me or my family members. I pray that we may all open our hearts and go forward with an eye for opportunities to serve. Maybe it's just a simple "thank you" to the pimple faced kid who bags our's simple, really.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Many of you are aware that I have a son who is a recovering alcoholic/drug addict. His name is Tyler and he is an amazing young man. Here's an update:

First of all, let me start by saying that I couldn't be more proud of him right now! He has overcome obstacles that I'm not even sure I could have overcome. He has fought hard for his sobriety and is honored to call himself clean after almost 8 long years of fighting a hideous heroin addiction. He is a remarkable young man and I love him with all of my heart! Now, having said that, he still has a ways to go and he reminds us all that everyday is a new day and a day to start the healing process over again.

I LOVE that! "Today is a new day and a day to start the healing process over again..."

What a lesson for us all...We all have battles that we are fighting. We all have challenges and we all have temptations. Maybe we are all addicts in one way or another. Are we addicted to food, a certain diet soda; something tangible or maybe it's bigger than that...are we addicted to an intangible like jealousy, pain or even anger? Do we even know what it is we are addicted to? I have taken a few months of quiet reflection and really tried to take inventory of my life. I have realized that I, like my son, have much to heal over. Now don't get me wrong...I am a very blessed woman and I have had a very charmed life in many ways, but I have also experienced pain and consternation, doubts and fears.

When I first started back to work after 7 glorious years of NOT working, I was thrown into a tailspin (no pun intented!) I was in intense training for 4 weeks away from my loved ones, I was sent to Portland and lived in a crash pad, never flew but had to be there, and then I made the decision to transfer to Minneapolis and struggle with a very challenging commute. I joke with my hubs and ask him, "Aren't these supposed to be my Golden Years??"

I was miserable for the first few months of flying...I LOVE the job, but my circumstances were out of balance with my life. I was literally just existing and I completely forgot to LIVE. Then it became easier to accept my miserable circumstances as the norm...I was a mess and didn't even realize it.

On December 16, 2011, I was injured on a flight and had to take a month and a half off work to try to heal with intensive Physical Therapy. My back is still not 100%, but I know what I need to do and it's a work in progress...anyway...that injury turned out to be a gigantic blessing in my life. I had the precious gift of "TIME" dropped right in my lap. At first I was a fish out of water. But I took that time to evaluate the direction my life was taking and I hated what I was seeing. Again, I loved my job (still do) but hated the circumstances. I came to realize that my transfer request to Salt Lake City was not going to happen any time soon so I had only 3 choices: Go back to Portland and be miserable, Quit , or Transfer to another base where I would fly and NOT be on Reserve (where I'm at their beckon call...ugh...)

I took the challenge and put in my transfer request to Minneapolis. I returned to work (in Portland) on January 27th, and received a call that very morning telling me that my transfer request had been granted and could I be there IMMEDIATELY????  YES, YES, YES!!

I am a very happy camper. I love my new base. I hold a line, which in the airline industy equates to freedom! I know in advance what my trips are and they are all commutable from SLC. I fly in to "Minny", start my trip that day, finish my trip and fly home the day I finish. In the 3 months that I have been based there, I have only had to pay for a hotel once...I had an early morning report time so I flew in the night before...hubs went with me...$50 out the door! What a HUGE blessing.

So I realized that I allowed myself to become a victim of circumstance. When I took that leap of faith, my life changed drastically and I was/am thrilled with the new circumstances I have. I still have my transfer request in for SLC, but in the meantime, I'm doing great.

Now, back to Ty...

He came over to the house the other day (I was off flying) and he talked with my hubs. He told him that he was going away for 30 days and that it was OK. Apparently, his probation officer petitioned the court to release him from his probation and allow him to pay a $500. fine and be done with all of this. His P.O. has seen the mighty change in this sweet boy's heart. He sees firsthand that he attends either AA or NA meetings every night, he has held a good paying job for over 6 months, he is attending college at his own expense and he has passed every single drug test and alcohol test administered to him. He is rehabilitating back into society very nicely and is becoming the responsible young man that he should have been many years ago. In his P.O's mind, he had paid his debt to society and is a true success story...NOT SO FAST...

The judge said "NO"...he decided that Tyler needs to go to jail for 30 days to "pay his debt to society for a charge he had one year ago!!" Are you kidding me????

In my humble opinion, this contradicts exactly what the "system" says they are trying to achieve. BUT, my sweet boy is O.K. with this. He told my hubs that he felt like maybe there is someone in there that needs his help and that maybe even, he will meet someone who will help him! He quit 2 more addictions recently, chewing (yuck) and smoking and has struggled with temptations to start up again. He looks as his 30 day stint in the joint as a 30 day rehab for his smoking/chewing addiction because he won't be able to do it inside. He has made plans to read, work out and try to find someone whom he can inspire to clean up their lives and attend meetings like he does.

I am in tears as I write this because the change in this sweet boy has been a true miracle! He is taking accountability for his actions of a year ago and he is demonstrating responsibility. He has paid ahead on his bills and he talked to his boss who assured him that he would have his job waiting when he got back and that they would sorely miss him! He has a HUGE support system with his friends who are all in active recovery. They are all supportive and encouraging to him and have promised to write to him and they will be there for him when he gets back...

Blessing?? Maybe...probably....I know that my son is on his road to recovery. I will continue to pray for him and even for the judge that he will soften his heart...but whatever happens, I want it to be the right thing for Ty.

"Let go and Let God". That's a big AA thing...I  never really got it until that my son has "Let go and Let God"...I'm one proud Mama...

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I'm Back...

I have sorely neglected this poor little ole' blog and I am SO sorry!

As I have considered posting after all of these lost months, I have suffered from a bit of...guilt! Seriously...I feel like I have abandoned an old friend when they needed me the most. It's weird.
It's time now to move forward, let go of the guilt and start sharing my thoughts and feelings with whomever cares enough to read them. I have a lot on my mind...

I have successfully transferred to Minneapolis (MSP), but still live in Utah. I hate the commute, which is challenging at best, but I can truly say that I LOVE my job! I love my trips, I love that I hold a line, which in the airline industry equates to freedom, of sorts...I have great pilots and overall, it has been the best move I have made since starting on this journey just over 10 months ago.

One thing I have observed in MSP is that I have yet to fly with a pilot who is older than me! In fact, most of them are young enough to be my sons (and in a few cases, daughters). I even had one First Officer who was 23! Really?!? AND, he was a GREAT pilot! I felt confident and safe in his capable hands. My age has never been so apparent in my life. Don't get me wrong, I am fine with my age and I am very open about it. I just turned 56 and I am happy with my life and all that I have encountered and endured. But flying with all of these young guys has just really brought it all to the surface.
I saw a quote the other day on Pinterest that said something like this:

"Never worry about growing older. Some people never have the chance."
So true...

It has been just over 7 months since I lost my daddy. I miss him everyday. As much as I miss him, I am thankful that he is out of his misery and I know that he is free from the bondage of his sickly body. He left a great legacy for us and I was extremely blessed to have had him for 55 years. He will never be forgotten. Through this "loss", I have really seen the importance of cherishing each moment we share with those we love. "Life is very short and there's no time for fussing and fighting my friends..." (I had to add a little Beatles)...BUT, Sir Paul McCartney was absolutely right when he wrote that iconic lyric. I have worked hard to savor life's moments which is oft times a challenge at best!

I have noticed that so many people in the world have lost focus on what's truly important and they tend to focus on what they don't have or seem to have lost, instead of focusing on what they DO have and CAN have if they change their perspective. (Whew...THAT was a long sentence...) I too have fallen into that dirty little trap at times. As life has flowed on, it has become glaringly apparent that no one is immune from trials, sorrows, hardships and pain. It comes in all forms and all sizes. What I find interesting, is that through the darkest moments of my life have come the greatest blessings and opportunities. Life is about learning and growing at all times. When we become stagnant, we start to die. A person without goals is empty.

Well, enough of that...Here's what I'm working towards:

1. Trying to stay focused on my job. Do the best I can at it and be prepared for my recurrent training coming up in June.

2. Be more "service" oriented. Since I'm not home as much as I'd like, I am trying to find ways to serve those I come in contact with everyday.

3. Pay off my American Express card. I am forcing myself to not drop as many trips so that I can make a little extra and pay that sucker off within 3 months.

4. Finding joy in every situation.

5. Trusting in the Lord more than I ever thought I needed to. He has been utterly amazing and blessed me with more tender mercies than I can ever be worty of.

That's just a small sampling of what I want to achieve this year. I am truly grateful for all that has come my way. I have an amazing husband, beautiful children, precious grandchildren and a wonderful mother, brothers and sister + all of their families. Life is short. Life is precious and I don't want to regret any of it.

So, I'm back. I apologize to my patient, humble blog. Thank you for waiting for me and not giving up on me. All of my old posts are still here and new posts are waitingpatiently to be written. And to those few of my followers, I hope you will find me again and please know that I have missed all of you!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

New Changes...A New Path

So much has happened since my last post. Let me try to catch up a bit...

First of all, my back is better and after much physical therapy and exercise, I feel stronger than I have in a long time. My back is still not 100%, but I am back at work and boy, have things changed!

I got to Portland last Thursday evening so that I could be on call the following Friday. It was hard to go back knowing that the flying is not great out of that base and, true to form, I didn't fly on Friday, was a VERY eventful day! It started out fairly typical. I got up showered and as I was putting my make up on, I received a phone call from SkyWest telling me to check my email in the next hour for a possible transfer to Minneapolis. I had put my transfer in back in December. Minneapolis (MSP) has more options for me and I will not be on Reserve (on call) but instead will be able to hold a line (where I have more control over my schedule and ultimately the ability to make more money!!)

Needless to say, I was anxious as I checked my email. I tried to focus on improving my face, but was so distracted. Then, there it was! I opened the email, saw the "granted transfer" and quickly accepted it. Then the phone call followed. Normally, transfers are granted at the end/beginning of the month. The actual transfer does not become effective until the first of the following month. In this case, that would be March 1st. But, since we are very short of people in MSP, I was asked to move immediately! "What does immediately mean?" I asked. I was told that I would have 4 moving days then would need to report to my new domicile.

So now, Brad and I are planning to fly to MSP Tuesday morning, check things out, see my new crashpad and return home that evening. I will then turn around and fly back on Thursday and be ready to FLY on Friday!! Big changes...Huge!! Thankfully, I have some friends there who have opened their apartment up to me and will show me the ropes in my new base...God bless them!

I have become a voracious reader. I have always read, but lately I can't get enough! I have to recommend two incredibly inspirational books that, in my opinion, are "must reads". The first is called: "The Hiding Place" by Corrie ten Boom. It is a true account of a family who hid Jews during the occupation of Holland during WWII. Without giving too much away, they are discovered and are sent to Nazi Concentration camps. The amazing accounts of the faith of two sisters is completely moving and overwhelming. I couldn't read this book fast enough and was actually sad when I finished it. It changed me...

The second book is: "Left To Tell:Discovering God Amongst The Rwandan Holocaust" by Immaculee Ilibagiza. Again, a similar story (true story) of incredible faith and strength. In this book, she survived the Rwandan genocide as her family is butchered. And I was sad to finish this book too. Both of these books changed me. These women showed me how incredibly blessed I am and they made me wonder if my faith would be strong enough to sustain me through such atrocities, terror, fear and even torture. Is my relationship with God strong enough? Do I know Him as intimately as I should? Both are beautifully and poignantly written. I urge you all to get these books, then please, let me know what you think of them. I promise, you will be inspired!

As my life has taken a big turn, once again, I am renewed, energized and anxious to move forward. No, I did not receive my transfer to Salt Lake City, but that's OK because new experiences and opportunities await me in MSP. I'm anxious to meet new people, see new places and make more money!! God will take care of me and walk beside me. I have faith that He has led me to where I am today and look forward to the challenges and adventures ahead.

My children and *Littles* are doing great. My girls have their challenges, but face them head on and are growing into extremely strong women and amazing mothers. Ty is clean and sober, he smiles, he laughs, he talks rationally, he has a great job, is a full time college student, is active in AA/NA and once again, loves his life. He shines!! He is reconnecting to the Lord and he is healing. Everyday is a gift for him and he recognizes that. He calls me just to talk! I feel so much joy around him; something I haven't felt around him for about 7 years. I am even thankful to him for taking me on this treacherous journey with him. Don't get me wrong, I NEVER want to ever go through the darkness and hell that we have experienced during his drug abuse years again, but I am a better person for having survived it. Mistakes were made. I didn't always handle things with dignity and grace, and I even broke down many, many times. But I am stronger, a bit wiser, less judgmental and more compassionate to these precious children of God who are lost in the depths of hell. I ache for their families and especially their mothers. Tyler is not out of the woods yet, but he knows this and takes it one day at a time. He has surrounded himself with good people with similar goals and values. He has changed his thinking and, most importantly, he is growing and he is on the right path...he's becoming whole again!

I am a blessed woman. I am thankful for the challenges that have come my way. They are not fun, or easy or even seemingly bearable at times, but the emergence of survival and strength is the greatest reward. Most importantly, I am thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who has never left me OR my sweet son. He has held us both up and has sent His love and protection at times when we both have, many times, felt unworthy. But He is God. He never bailed on us even when we may have bailed on Him.

Life is amazing. I found a quote on Pinterest that touched my heart to the core:
"Successful women build a strong foundation with the bricks that have been thrown at them."

I only hope and pray that I can pay honor to that saying. I have been broken many times, but am healing.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Joy Dare

A couple of months ago, my hubs and I were visiting our Bishop and his family. He and his wife have 6 children ranging in age from 19-7 and they are ALL wonderful, amazing young human beings. As we were seated in their Family Room surrounded by the sweet members of this family (these kids are ridiculously crazy ove Brad), I noticed large sheets of paper taped around the room. Upon closer look, I noticed that these huge sheets were lists of everything that this sweet family was thankful for.

What really touched me was that NOTHING was off limits! These lists contained everything from, The Savior, The Gospel and Individual family member names to Bras, Satellite Dishes, Diet Coke and Tampons!! We giggled, but I was touched that these young people took the time to write down ALL that they were grateful for. My hubs and I even made the list!

I've thought about this. The spirit in their home was peaceful, loving and kind. Now, I know that the family dynamic is often intense and that there are definite moments of discord, but in this home, that evening, it was the best place we could be.

This morning, as I was perusing some of my favorite blogs, I ran across a beautiful posting similar to the "List Making" in our friends home. It was here and the title is "Taking the Joy Dare".

I realized, as I read that post, that my heart was in need of healing. Nothing serious, just with all of the life changes in such a short amount of time, I realized that I am always in need of drawing closer to the Lord and maybe by becoming cognizant of my "gifts", just maybe my heart can begin to heal.

So I downloaded this app on my iPhone and on my iPad.

I commit to you all that I will report in on this humble, meager little blog, of my progress of appreciating and acknowledging my gifts. I'm even going to link up with Ann Voskamp at " A Holy Experience"

Here's my Start:
  1. My Heavenly Father and Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
  2. My sweet family.
  3. An amazing, loving husband.
  4. A healthy, fulfilling marriage.
  5. A warm and comfortable home.
  6. My microwave (mine broke and I've lived one week without one...ugh)
  7. My husband's job.
  8. My job.
  9. Great parents.
  10. A very comfortable and warm bed.
  11. My iPad and iPhone.
  12. Fabulous shoes.
  13. My 2 dogs.
  14. Holiday celebrations.
  15. Skilled doctors.
  16. Skilled Physical Therapists.
  17. Clocks.
  18. Cameras.
  19. Photographs.
  20. My beautiful town & community.
  21. Great friends.
  22. My BFF.
  23. Shining Sun.
  24. Hugs & Kisses.
  25. Hot running water.
  26. Indoor heat.
  27. The most precious grandchildren a woman could ever ask for!!
  28. My beautiful mother who is the rock of our family .
  29. Tender Mercies of the Lord.
  30. Challenges and trials that shape me into a better person.
That was much easier than I expected...I hope to travel on this journey with Joy. Feel free to join me. I challenge all my readers to take "The Joy Dare"...after all, what have you got to lose?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Newest Obsession

As my life has taken a new course of direction over the past 6 months or so, I have had a lot of what you might call "down time". While it's true that I have tried to maximize this time to my advantage, I have added a few things that maybe aren't as productive as others. On the upside, I have read 7 substantial (400 pages or more) books, I finished a Christmas Stocking, Tatted some lovely lace and doilies as well as some other long-ago-neglected projects. But...

I have a new obsession. It's something that I HAVE to do everyday! I wake up early, I read my scriptures, check Facebook, read my current book and then...I check it...I have to because I'm totally obsessed with this new site. Do I have your attention??

It's called "Pinterest".

It's a sort of "Virtual Hoarding" site where you create Boards and "pin" pictures of things that you find interesting, entertaining, beautiful, creative, lovely, fabulous and more, more, more. I currently have 30 boards...T.H.I.R.T.Y. !!

They range anywhere from "Quotes" to "Fashion" to "Delectable Desserts" to Chocolate" to "Photography"....and lots more.

It's amazingly entertaining and inspiring in many ways. I have found fabulous recipes, amazingly creative gift ideas, stunning photography, and fabulous decor. It has inspired me to explore my own creativity. It's SO much fun and I have actually learned a lot about my friends and family members who are on the site.

If you want an invite, send me your email address and I'll be happy to oblige...but's addicting!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012



I have learned to HATE this word! The very definition fills me with consternation and makes me uneasy. Here it is...are you ready for it?

"In the end, especially after a long delay, dispute or series of problems."

There you have it...

I have been anxiously, and not so patiently, awaiting a transfer to Salt Lake City with my job. I am tired of commuting to Portland, I hate where I live when I'm not at home and I sit in a disgusting crashpad waiting and waiting to fly. It's frustrating, exhausting and downright lonely most of the time. Everyone I talk to (within the company) assures me that "EVENTUALLY" I will be granted my transfer...I highly doubt that they really understand the definition of this hideous word with regards to the circumstances of my life! And in all fairness, it's not their problem or responsibility.

So, how do I deal with the "meantime"? That's really where I have to live. It's where my reality exists and where I have to find joy.

I guess "Eventually" is a fine word. I'm sure that in some cases it serves people and situations very well. For me? I have learned to hate that word...sorry, maybe I will one day learn to like it again...Eventually!!


Monday, January 2, 2012

My Beautiful Children

Just wanted to post a picture of my kids. This was taken in September at my dad's funeral...Love these amazing people...I'm SO blessed!!