Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Of such is the kingdom of heaven

Yesterday, a neighboring household didn't have any eclipse glasses. Their neighbor had 3 pairs, one for each member of their family. So, the family with 3 pairs gave one pair to the family with none. And the kingdom of heaven was present on earth at that very moment. ♥

♥ Melody

Matt's Last First Day of School Picture

His last first day of school picture as a high schooler. I love this boy and am so proud of the man he is becoming.

Happy First Day of the Last Year of High School, Matthew! ♥

♥ Melody

Monday, August 21, 2017

Bentley at the Wedding

This is my grandson, Ben. His mom got married on Saturday and he was VERY excited.

Just before this picture was taken, he was indignant. "My grandma said that she was going to throw me in the water. I have a wedding to go to!" (He meant his other grandma - I was taking pictures :) )

After the wedding, a little boy came running to his mom and told her that he had accidentally gotten Ben's clothes wet with his waterbottle (I think the word "accident" might have been used erroneously, but nonetheless...)
So the boy's mom saw Ben walking over and said, "Ben, did ____ get you wet?"

And then, after the wedding was over, the pictures were taken, and clothes were changed, I took Ben & Aiden to their dad's house. As we were leaving the park from the wedding, Ben called over his shoulder to his mom,
"I love you, Mom!"
"I love you too, Ben!"
"Mom, I love you with all my heart!"

He is a rascal. A pistol. And such a sweet little guy. ♥

♥ Melody

Monday, August 14, 2017

Date Saturday for Steve & Me ♥

On Saturday, Steve & I got to spend the day together sans any children, all thanks to Matthew.

We got up early and went to AA - I love AA. And then we went to Target & got a few things. We looked for a substitute wedding ring for Steve - his has broken down the skin on his ring finger b/c he has refused to get it resized.. now he is forced to - but they didn't have one. I looked for a polo for Matt, but the kind he likes were sold out. So all we bought was some clear fingernail polish and a glitter nail polish, then we vamoosed.

Next stop was Penny Ann's Cafe to meet up with a friend of mine from high school - he had overslept after a terrible night's sleep, so while we waited for him, Steve & I went and browsed JoAnn's next door. We bought Teryn's birthday presents there: a lantern with nighttime noises, a vacuum to suck up bugs & look at them while they are safely inside the clear vacuum (it is a soft suction and is catch and release), and bug tape candy (Teryn was not excited for the candy that had candy bugs on it, though.) We replaced our lighted magnifying glass - perfect for getting slivers out!

Then, we went over to the cafe where Richard was then waiting for us. Such a busy place, that was, especially at lunch time! We had a nice conversation and caught up a bit. Richard took the Mondays throughout summer vacation and taught Matt woodworking skills. He was my good friend in my Sophomore year of high school, and he found me on facebook a few years ago. It's always nice to get together with friends who have been around a long time and talk about the old days and to talk about what is going on in life now.

After we ate, Steve & I drove up the canyon and dipped our toes in the water. Okay, I sat in the water, and he stood, but our toes were definitely wet. I haven't ever loved water, so I have found it very interesting that I have been drawn to water this summer. As I sat in the river with the water flowing over my legs and the sunshine dappling through the leaves, I could see the shadows of vortexes in the water and the way the waves looked in the current. It was fascinating and so relaxing. It was exactly what I needed!

Then we drove home to relieve Matt from babysitting and let him go get a haircut to get ready for the first day of school, which was today.

Here are some pics from Saturday:

Steve taking the group pic:

I said he always makes me look goofy in pics, so I should take one:

Up the canyon:

I told him that he should take off his hat for the pic - instead, he put it on both of us. (I'm realizing that I'm kinda bossy... who knew?!)

He took candids of me:

I took a candid of him:

The view across the street from the river:

It was a great, relaxing day; just what we needed!

♥ Melody

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Pictures of Michael - January 2017 - August 2017

On my 47th birthday, Jan. 25th (Week 4):

Steve's 46th birthday, Feb. 12th (Week 7):

At Grandma's birthday party - Feb 5th (Week 6):

Brynley's Blessing - May 7th (Week 19):

At the park with Karen & Grover - May 7th (Week 19):

May 23rd (Week 21):

May 26th (Week 21):

June 28th (Week 26):

July 4th (Week 27):

@ Hell's Kitchen - Nebo Loop- July 4th (Week 27):

July 9th @ Aunt Debbie's (Week 28):

July 15th with Brynley (Week 28):

July 18th @ Amber's wedding (Week 29):

July 22nd, Michael's Birthday (Week 29):

Monday, May 29, 2017

Emily and Cole, Prom 2014

Back in the day when Ashton used the name Emily, they went to the prom with Cole. I can't believe that I didn't blog about this moment, but I missed it! When I was looking for it today, I realized my mistake, so now I am remedying it.

So beautiful! So handsome! The trip for this dress was an aggravating one, and then we found it and all was well. A friend of my niece, Ashlee, put on some straps et voila!

♥ Melody

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Key to resiliency::Having a support system

I just learned about the ACE test the other day. It sort of quantifies the abuse in your life before you were an adult (18). I have read about Rat Park - a study in drug abuse.
One common factor for success in life is your resiliency, and your resiliency is determined by your support system.
The ACE test: so you were abused... did you know your mother loved you? Did you know your father loved you?
Rat Park - isolated rats would ingest the drugged water more than those in rat park who could have relationships with each other and do things.
Support. Relationship. Community. Those are the important factors that aid in resilience, and resilience is what you need to bounce back from the "bad" stuff in life.
Get a support system and be a support for others.
♥ Melody

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Holy Week in The Episcopal Church

Living into Holy Week in The Episcopal Church is so much different than any other way I ever celebrated Easter before. For us, we do not live into the "Christ is Risen" message until tomorrow. For us, today, we are remembering Christ in the tomb, the emptiness and darkness.

On Thursday, we had Communion and foot washing to remind us of the Last Supper & the disciples learning to serve each other. As the service ended, those on the Altar Guild, who prepare the Altar every Sunday, went forward and helped the Priest strip the Altar - All of the linens, frontals, palm leaves, and reserve Sacrament left the church. (I'm afraid that the Irreverently part of my brain always thinks,"Christ has left the building.") Just as Christ went to the garden to pray and have his disciples wait with him, we took the reserve Sacrament into the choir room and placed it onto the Altar of Repose. Candles were lit, and the Vigil started. Congregants signed up for an hour time slot where they could sit in the quiet, dimly lit room with the Sacrament of Christ's body and blood and wait with Him, in memory.

On Friday, the gospel reading of The Passion, less formally than on Palm Sunday, was read at the Good Friday Service and shouts of "Crucify him!" brought sadness to every heart.

On Holy Saturday, there was a quiet, memorial type service.

And tomorrow, Easter Sunday of the Resurrection, we will proclaim "Alleluia! Christ has risen!" and we will remember our baptismal covenants that we have made, that ties us to our God.

But for today, the tomb is full. My heart is heavy. For Christ has died.
♥ Melody

Monday, April 10, 2017

Happy Birthday, dear Matthew!

Matt brought it to my attention (several times) that we hadn't actually celebrated his birthday. I looked through the pictures... and he was right. 😞

So! On Sunday, Steve bought a Dutch Apple Pie and we sang Happy Birthday to Matt.

Now, I'm sure that we sang Happy Birthday to him on his birthday. And I know that I made him his favorite food.. about a month ago.. and declared it his birthday dinner. So all that was lacking was the blowing out of the candles.

So now, it is official. Matt is 17!

Happy Birthday, Matt! I sure love you and am proud of the man you are growing to be. ♥ ♥ ♥

♥ Melody (A.K.A. Matt's mom)

Saturday, April 1, 2017

♥ ♥ Brynley Ann is here! ♥ ♥

She's here!

Brynley Ann
Born on March 28, 2017
@ 5:43 p.m.
6 lbs 9 oz
18 1/2" long

Mommy and baby are doing great! So glad that this little sweetheart has finally put in her appearance!! 
♥ Melody

Happy Birthday, Dear Jessica!

Jessica's birthday was on Thursday.
She was a good sport and went to WalMart and got a box of Jello cheesecake (her fav!), and I made it while she went to pick up some to-go lunch at The Family Tree, along with one of their BIG scones & extra honey butter. (All my treat, of course.)

We ate lunch, played chess, and hung out until Steve got home. Then we sang "Happy Birthday" and had the cheesecake. After that, Steve and Jessica played chess while I went to take some Taco Bell food to Amber & see Brynley. Jessica is bummed that Brynley couldn't wait 2 more days to be born on Jessica's birthday. :)

How I love this dear daughter of mine! She brings fun, and silliness, and a touch of easy-goingness to our family, and I am so grateful she is one of mine. ♥
♥ Melody

Friday, March 10, 2017

♥ing Fiction & Imagination from a young age

When Josh was a little boy, he was too restless to watch a movie... except for Jungle Book.

Grandma D. bought us a VHS video of Jungle Book because we were broke and couldn't afford it - it was a lot more expensive than the other Disney movies back in '92 that were $12 or $14 bucks - it was $18. Thank heavens for Grandma D.! That video gave me some time to take care of things without having a 3 years old running around the house undoing my work as soon as I got it done.

One day, Josh told me that he needed a screwdriver. When I asked why, he said, "Because I need to go inside the tv and play with Baloo!" I think Baloo was his first fictional friend. And, I for one, totally understand the importance of fictional friends -

I don't know what life would be without Anne of Green Gables; Aslan the lion; Atticus, Scout, or Jem; Gilligan, Skipper, and MaryAnn; Belle, Maurice, and Beast; Mercedes Thompson and the werewolves; Alex Craft, Death, and the Faerie world; Odd Thomas, Stormy, and Little Ozzie; Meredith, Cristina, Derek, Alex, Bailey, and Chief Webber; Liv Moore or Ravi.

Fictional life is as important as real life; it takes us on travels to new places - many that wouldn't exist without imagination; we meet new people; we see things from another perspective; we gain empathy.

The importance of it is something so simple that even a three year old understands.
♥ Melody

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Wind, by Aesop, and my brief thoughts afterward

Æsop. (Sixth century B.C.) Fables.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

The Wind and the Sun

THE WIND and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger. Suddenly they saw a traveller coming down the road, and the Sun said: “I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveller to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger You begin.” So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard as it could upon the traveller. But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveller wrap his cloak round him, till at last the Wind had to give up in despair. Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the traveller, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on.
(from Bartleby.com)

I behave as the wind far more often than the sun. The wind thinks it can control; the sun knows it can only influence.
♥ Melody

Monday, March 6, 2017

On Conflict

"Indeed, strong reactivity in harsh circumstances is normal. It is not pain translated into reactive positions that is the ultimate danger. Rather, if what is intended to be immediate becomes longstanding, a pattern develops, stubborn in its resistance to change. Strong anxiety will override good sense, commitment to beliefs, clarity, direction, creativity, and response. The system locks itself into its own automatic and defensive processes. In essence, the system chooses immediate security over learning, harmony over transformation, passivity and helplessness over stewardship, disease over change, the elimination of symptoms over altering the reactive processes. It does not trust what is difficult." Peter L. Steinke, "How Your Church Family Works - Understanding Congregations as Emotional Systems"

This is a great, enlightening thought.

I am one who will jump into a discussion, and may even do so passionately and with a high emotional response. I have been taught by how some react that is is "bad" and, honestly, on an emotional level, with people unable to talk through it, it feels bad.

This idea that when you see something is wrong, you recognize it, you name it, you say it and then you work through being "good" is a new idea. It it is typically what I do. Sometimes, it *feels* bad, though. Right now, I'm in the middle of that "badness." It feel so super shitty.

But as I look back at the "moment" and as I look at where I am right now - I think I'm exactly where I need to be. In a deep, dark pile of shit, and, though I hope that I come out smelling like a rose, it will be what it will be.

I, however all of this turns out, will never be the same again.
♥ Melody

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

My Valentine and me

Our Daily Prayer (adapted from the Book of Common Prayer)

Almighty God, giver of life and love, bless [Steve and me].
Grant [us] wisdom and devotion in the ordering of [our] common
life, that [we] may be to the other a strength in need, a
counselor in perplexity, a comfort in sorrow, and a companion
in joy. And so knit [our] wills together in your will and [our]
spirits in your Spirit, that we may live together in love and
peace all the days of [our] life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Steve and I have been together for 21 years. Nearly half of our lives has been spent together. Incredible!

There is an activity weaving its way through facebook for couples - I'll play along here on the blog.

Okay couples... ❤Valentine's Love Story.

Copy & Paste... Then fill in with your answers.
1. Anniversary? November 22, 1995

2. First date? Joseph Smith story at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in SLC

3. How did you meet? Dancing at Jakes'

4. What is "your song"? we don't have one (but my song for us is "Not a Moment too Soon," by Tim McGraw)

5. Do you remember the first movie you watched together? yep (see above)

6. First road trip together? On our honeymoon - to Wyoming for Steve to meet my family

7. Do you have kid/s? Yep

8. Which of you is older? me

9. Who was interested first? he was - I thought he was 18 and to be avoided. LOL :)

10. More sensitive? equally

11. Worst temper? me

12. Funniest? both

13. More social? he is

14. More stubborn? me

15. Wakes up first? depends on the day - I wake up first, usually, but he gets up first.

16. Has the bigger family?he does

17. Eats the most? he does

18. Who said I love you first? I think he did...perhaps me? I remember him telling me, though

19. Hogs the remote? neither - he hands it to me

20. Better cook? both, but different foods

21. Hogs the bed? neither

Happy Valentine's Day, Steve! I love you!
♥ Melody

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Music to sooth my soul::February 9

This one has got to be my favorite right now: "Drops of Jupiter," by Train.

Followed closely by Ed Sheeran's "Thinking Out Loud."

But for the past couple of days, this one has been exactly what I need.
Creedence Clearwater Revival: "Have You Ever Seen The Rain?"

♥ Melody

Monday, January 16, 2017

Amelia Rose

I just realized today that I haven't written a blog post about Amelia being born...

Amelia Rose was born February 24, 2016 at 11:20 p.m. to Karen and Grover. She weighed 6 lbs 9 oz and measured 18 inches long.

I went to the hospital around 10, and got so sleepy that I had to leave. I was so hoping to be at the hospital when she was born, but the little stinker didn't make her appearance until just a few minutes after I left.

Karen brought Millie to see her Grandma Mema a few days laters. Such a sweetie pie! (Both of them, actually.)

And here's Karen's part of the story:
On February 24 I went to the midwife for check up. I had been in and out of the hospital for painful Braxton hicks and later to find out two full kidneys of kidney stones. I was sitting at a steady 2 for almost a week. The midwife looks at me and goes I know you've been in pain so I'm just going to strip your membranes now. You should have your baby in about 24 hrs. I was planning a natural birth, so I had to stay at home right up until the time. I told Grove and it was only his second day at his new job and we didn't want to screw it up. So he said he would make it as soon as possible. It's noon I can make it for 7 more hours.
I start cleaning the house, jamming to my music, went and got the kids McDonald's. Come home and hits me. Ouch that one hurt. Ouch there's another one. I'm thinking was that five minutes? Holy crap less than five minutes? I call Grove, no answer. I call his sister Rose (who was going to be there when amelia was born) no answer. I text her and say baby's coming get a hold of Grove! My next thought I'm not having this baby here! I got the boys' jackets and shoes on. If I remember right Ben had a tantrum about his shoes so I picked him up and carried to the car. I sat there called Grove one more time, left a not so nice voice-mail and started think. I'm trying to breathe, and think I know who to call! My mama Melody. If I'm going to have a baby in my car she's the one I want talking to me. I don't remember everything we said but I remember dropping the boys off at my mom's and getting to the hospital in under 10 minutes. I remember while I was driving to the hospital I started panicking, I was dizzy because I was hyperventilating. I told Melody I'm going to have to do this by myself. I remember her asking who I wanted there and I told her anyone!
I'm still like this with Melody. When I should be calling the dr. Or 911 I'm calling Melody. She relaxes me or confirms maybe you should call the dr. Or I'm calling the dr! She's literally my life line.
She talked to me until I got into the hospital. I ran up to the desk and said I'm going to have a baby! The nurse hurried and got me a wheelchair and took me into the room. She gave me a gown and asked me to get dressed. My midwife came in asked when my contractions got worse and how far apart they were. And bam while I was standing in the bathroom taking my pants off my water broke all over the floor. "I think my water just broke!!" My midwife came in and said yes it did.
I got the gown on, laid in bed and contractions are intense and I can't move. I have to close my eyes and ball up my fists every other minute. Being trapped in a bed and not being able to move is horrible with contractions!
My midwife came back in and asked would you like an epidural now? I remember thinking I'm going to do this all by myself. Damn right I want an epidural! They came in fast, I remember getting ready for the pinch in my back which really feels more like a stab in the back wishing Grove was there. Then I thought about Melody. Holding my hand the last time with Ben. Tears came flooding down. It was finally over. I lay back down finally relief and there Grove walks through the door! Where we're you 5 minutes ago buddy?! Little did I know as soon as he got the message he drove from Salt Lake straight to the hospital in under 45 minutes. My midwife told him things slowed down and he could leave and take a shower! Well.. I didn't bring anything with me so I guess that's ok. Grove seemed relieved because he was dirty head to toe (maybe that's why my midwife told him he could take a shower) 😉 so I'm panicked again! I'm doing this by myself! And then the troops come in! I think Paul and his girlfriend came first. And then Jess and Em. Or it might have been the other way around. I remember having nobody to having a full room. Melody sure did deliver!♡ Everyone started talking and really calmed my nerves. Calmed them to a point that I was getting tired. I remember Melody and Matt coming later I don't know if Grove got back before or after. But everyone was there. Melody brought me relief and lots of love.
The midwife came in and checked me a couple times. I just wasn't moving anywhere closer. It was close to 11 and everyone was so tired. I think Jess had to get up at 5 and Paul and Melody worked all day. I totally understood why they wanted to leave. I felt bad trying to sleep with them there. Now that I'm thinking about it I think they gave me medicine to speed things up and it was making it hard to breathe. I remember being light headed and ready to pass out, and Melody saying, "Hey! She's dizzy, what's going on?!" (If I'm ever to shy to say anything Melody always has my back)♡
Anyways they say goodbye and Rose, Em, and Grove are left. Grove goes and lays down on the couch I start closing my eyes. I'm about half way between sleep and consciousness when the midwife says she wants to check me. She goes to put her hand under my gown when she exclaims, "I can't get my fingers in because her head is right there!" Everything happened really fast after that, rushing tables and nurses. She was born about 5 minutes later. Fast! I remember thinking I almost gave birth to a whole room of people! Quite the experience!

(I'm so glad that you wrote, that, Karen. I had forgotten so much. And I'm so glad that I can be there for you when you need it. ♥ Thank you for loving me, and I sure love you a whole bunch!)

♥ Grandma Mema, AKA Melody