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Friday, October 7, 2011

Here's a challenge for my writery friends: Describe the kind of kid who would draw this picture

Just in case you can't tell, that is a bus screaming, "Aaaa." Why? Because of the wolf perched on top of it with blood dripping from its fangs. Got it? Good. Now go. Then come back when you're done because I'm going to describe the kid who actually did draw it.

She is my Girl 3 and six years ago this week, she looked like this:

But now she looks like this:

And this is the picture we sent out in her birth announcement:

But this is the one we should have sent out:

Because, lo these six years, her sisters have been pretty convinced she is the favorite child. And according to a recent Time magazine article, they may be right.

She certainly brought  a new level of joy to our family when she was born. And she still does--despite the occasional screaming and all too frequent whistling.

I'll admit it, some days she is my favorite. Especially when she skips and twirls. Oh, how I love the skipping and twirling.

Except when we're late (which is often). Then I don't love it as much.

But I still love her just the same.

And because she had a birthday and this post is about her, here are five more things I love about her:

1. She laughs so loud when she watches the Muppet Show or Donald Duck that you can't help but  laugh with her.
2. She asked for fizzy bath balls for her birthday.
3. She likes to wrap her arms around my neck when I lie down next to her at bedtime.
4. She likes to chase lizards, but never actually catches them.
5. She says "I'm happy that...(insert things like, Lola (the dog) got a haircut") at random times, sometimes long after the thing that made her happy happened.

Oh, and her artistry skills. Let's not forget those. It's not every little girl who, when given the assignment to draw a picture for her school calendar, will draw a bus being mauled by a wolf.

Or a turkey pooping--which is what we got last November. Can't wait to see what she comes up with this year.

Happy Birthday Birdie!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It's A Pondery Sort Of Tuesday

I keep trying to find the path I want this blog to take: is it a place for some funny stories, a record of what's going on in my life and my childrens' lives, a writery place, a Mormony place? What is it supposed to be?

And I think I've decided it's all of those things. At least for now.

It's the Costco of blogs. You can get yourself some food, but also a coffin. Because while you need the food every day, one day you'll need a coffin too. So maybe most days you need a laugh--and hopefully I can provide that--but maybe one day you'll need one of those other things this blog has to offer.

Today if you're shopping for a little spirituality/religion/Mormony stuff, I've got that. I don't know why. That's just what my brain is delivering this morning.

This past weekend the fam and I went to Las Vegas and while the kids watched movies for hours--which they'd never be allowed to do at home--in the backseat, husband and I listened to a podcast called Mormon Stories, which sometimes I like and sometimes I don't. But this time I really liked it because the interviewee was Terryl Givens.

You can find the podcast here, but I will warn you that it is long. Well worth a listen--particularly if you have to drive from California to Las Vegas and back again--but very long. And it will make your brain hurt because there is so much to think about.

Like this quote: "We are mired in banality, but within the gospel [of Jesus Christ] there are eruptions of the divine in our life that occur from moment to moment."

Which pretty much sums up how I feel about my religion and why I live it. I don't always enjoy going to church on Sunday for three hours or the meetings that go along with whatever job I'm currently performing within the church. And, more often than not, I don't hear anything I haven't heard before when I listen to the speakers or the teachers. That's the banality part.

But then there are moments when I can feel a divine presence in my life which makes all the banality worth...well, the banality of it all.

My friends and I were talking about this at our weekly breakfast get together this morning and when I said this, one of them said (or something like unto it):

"It's like this time about a year ago when I had all four of my kids at church by myself. I was trying to keep the baby quiet and my son from poking his younger sister and my oldest daughter kept squeezing my leg trying to get my attention. I felt so frustrated and mad that I even tried to take them all by myself and I kept ignoring her squeezes. Finally I turned and listened to what she was trying to tell me and I saw her eyes were welling up with tears. She said, 'did you hear what that man just said?' I hadn't heard a word of what anyone had said, but she obviously had so I asked her, 'did it make you sad?'  She answered, 'no, it made me really happy and I don't know why I'm crying.'"

My friend explained to her daughter-- who was only seven-- that she was feeling the spirit. Which is, essentially, the love of our Heavenly Father. And not only had her daughter felt it, but knowing her daughter felt that love helped my friend feel it too. And it was, as Givens calls it, "an eruption of the divine."

And it's moments like those-- even when they're not my own--that help me understand why I do what I do and live the way I live.

Even when I don't want to.

And isn't that what religion is supposed to do? Help us recognize the divine?