Friday, October 22, 2010

The Airplane Story

Our Stake Conference was last weekend.

Our FIRST Stake Conference in a family ward.

Our FIRST Stake Conference as a married couple.

My FIRST Stake Conference where I was part of sustaining and ordaining a NEW Stake Presidency.

My FIRST Stake Conference without pie (old La Crescenta Stake tradition).

My FIRST Stake Conference where I realized... hey, we don't partake of the Sacrament (it only took me 3 Stake Conferences to notice this...)

My favorite part of Stake Conference, besides feeling the Spirit confirm that these men speaking were all called of God, being reminded of all the family things we must do to strengthen our homes, and going back to the beautiful white building where we had our reception, was the airplane story!

One of the general authorities (his name I forget at the moment)told us about a flight where the plane was seized by terrorists who demanded the pilot fly to Australia. The plane did not have enough gas and the pilot knowing this, did his best to fly along the cost of South Africa until the terrorists realized this and demanded they fly over the water to Australia. After a few hours, as the pilot had mentioned earlier, the plane was out of gas. An emergency landing was to happen and all the passengers were advised to put on their life jackets but not to inflate it. Some passengers, thinking they knew better than the pilot, inflated their life jackets so they would be ready for a quick escape. One man, frustrated that nobody was listening to the pilot, shouted at everyone to listen and not to inflate their life jackets! Some listened. Some did not.

The plane landed on water. The plane became full of water. Those who had inflated their life jackets had no way of swimming towards an exit and up to safety and sadly.. many died. Those who listened, who had not inflated their life jackets, were able to swim to safety and then inflate their life jackets as they lay in the water waiting for further help.

Sometimes we don't understand what our church leaders tell us to do. Sometimes we don't understand what the Prophet or his Apostles tell us to do. Sometimes we think we know better. But if they are directed by God, then I'll bet they do know better. We just have to trust and have faith... or else, we may end up drowning within our self destruction.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I'm a B+ Wife...

Maybe I compare too much.. but it seems like a Mormon thing (only saying that from all the blogs I see....) to go all out and throw your husband an amazing birthday, complete with numerous gifts, activities, surprises, etc. Birthdays weren't a HUGE thing growing up for me... in fact I had bad luck on birthdays so besides cake with the family, I never really wanted that much more. The older I got, the more insignificant they became and though I think everyone deserves a cake or a cupcake with a candle for their birthday... I couldn't think of anything to give to Andy this year and besides wanting an I-Pad (which I disagreed with), there didn't seem to be much I could give him.

Last year, I had the perfect opportunity to give him a cute powerpoint with 25 reasons why we (collectively a bunch of friends) loved him... but not wanting to be redundant... I couldn't come up with anything sweet or creative this year. Last year, I also got a bunch of people to chip in and help pay the way for him to go to Conference with me in Salt Lake... which was awesome!! ... but there wasn't anything big like that this year.

So this year, I made some Cafe Rio salad for a group of our friends to come and celebrate with us, bought some blue crepe paper that I never got to using, a "Happy Birthday" sign from Target and cut out "ANDY" to put underneath the birthday sign. I also got him something I haven't gotten around to completing yet... so it doesn't really count, maybe it can be a Thanksgiving I'm so thankful for you gift. The one thing we did get to do that was a bit special was use our "give a day, get a day" Disneyland passes and this is what makes me better than just the average C+ wife and what elevates me to B+ status. Yours truly.... beat Andy in the Buzz Lightyear game!!!!!

I love you Andy!

p.s. I'm home sick today and that is why I'm posting at 2 PM.. I'm not THAT big of a slacker.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I Know I've Been Spoiled...

If there's one chore I hate more than anything ... it's cleaning the toilet. I know it's something I shouldn't be afraid of since I use it myself and am half the problem of making it disgusting in our home... but I just feel vulnerable every time I try to clean it. I even googled "how to clean a toilet" to make sure I was doing it right before doing it.

I'll be the first to admit, I was quite spoiled growing up and never had to clean the toilet. Then, in college, we had bathrooms that were shared with 12-20 girls and cleaning ladies who would come everyday on the weekdays (which meant 2 days of maybe disgusting bathrooms). The first time I cleaned a bathroom was living with a roommate on my own in Santa Monica. Since my roommate at the time was a super neat freak, I always felt pressured to make sure I cleaned my bathroom periodically. And I suppose it was never that bad of a chore.....

Andy's not as much of a "neat freak" as this old roommate, so I'm afraid I've left the toilet alone far too long and now, cleaning it is plain ol' nasty! Despite how much I arm myself with gloves.... scrubs.... a toilet bowl brush... and the courage to go forth and clean the ugly thing...I still feel like everything is too close to me and that the poop and pee stains will get on me and taint me! Try as I might, I hate cleaning the toilet!

I guess the lesson I've learned is not to let things sit and get to the point of plain ol' nasty before you pay attention to it. I never thought cleaning the bathroom as a chore in my Santa Monica days but I also always had a clean bathroom that only needed a bit of clean-up. The more I leave my toilets alone now.. the dingier they get, the harder clean-up becomes, and the more effort I have to put into it.

It's really just like daily prayer and scripture study... which if done everyday can become a routine blessing whereas avoiding it until you're desperately in need of it.. makes it a nasty chore you just want to ignore but cannot because it's screaming at you.... "clean me!" It's a good habit to clean the bathroom (and toilet) regularly.... just as it's a good routine to pray and read your scriptures regularly in order to avoid the day of reckoning when no matter how hard you roll up your sleeves, pinch your nose and tell yourself the yellow and brown are just the result of bad lighting.... you know it's an awful chore you just have to do!

Monday, October 11, 2010

My Quest For The Hardest Career Ever...

I used to wonder what my objective in life was. It seemed to be a moving target hidden behind the backdrop of wanting a family. I was never embarrassed to admit that was my heart's one desire but it was often amusing to hear the reaction of others...

I recall a time when I had just made senior at the Firm and was conversing with a male coworker who asked where I wanted to be in five years. I knew exactly what I wanted - a husband, some kids and whatever else came with it. He was shocked. He figured career was first because in his eyes he saw me as successful and not the "be a stay at home mom kind of girl." He figured I'd want to be independent, travel, see the world and maybe even consider a rotation internationally with the Firm. I had considered the probability of meeting my future husband internationally, but didn't think a foreigner would understand my culture or ways. And quite frankly, traveling was something I always envisioned doing with my future family.

Career was important, it paid the bills, it kept me challenged and working throughout the week, but ultimately, it would take second place to a family. He couldn't believe I ultimately wanted to be a mom. His disbelief, though never explicitly commenting that motherhood was second rate to our current career path, implicitly did.

It infuriates me that so many people think being a "mom" is an alternative no successful woman would make. It's so common to just hire someone to nanny your kids that it seems more and more females are opting out of raising their own kids. And we wonder why society is turning out the way it is.... (I was bullied too as a kid ...but my mother helped and I'm still here today! more in another post on that)....

I'm not a mom yet, but I know, just from my mom alone, that it is the hardest but most rewarding job ever. And now, when I see all the other moms with young babies, toddlers, teens, college kiddos and even grown-ups, I am quite positive that it is a hard job that yes, anyone can do, but not everyone chooses to do and succeed at! The same skills of organizing, prioritizing, people managing, budgeting, and conflict resolution I have learned in the Firm will help me succeed as a mom (despite the likelihood of still failing at times) and though I may continue to make money or earn fancy titles in my current job, I lose out on amassing the skills to sew, cook, and interact with kids. It's all a trade off but the opportunity cost of working and putting off a family just don't bode in my favor.

Friday, October 8, 2010

We Shall Run and Not Be Weary... Walk and Not Faint

As of lately, we have not run or walked beyond the steps necessary to get to the elevator or to work and the hospital. In truth, we have been absolutely lard-riffic and plain slothful. The simple pleasures of P90x and Bar Method videos, trips to the gym and a few times at our community pool have become less as we have only a few mere hours before our 9:30 PM self imposed curfew. Somehow, the four hours (on a good day for both of us) we have together goes especially quick considering dinner, clean-up, scripture study and getting ready for bed. Despite wanting to desperately make working out a part of my morning routine, my bed seems so much fluffier and appealing and in the mornings, I'm always more hopeful that the night will somehow have more potential.

Nevertheless, if we cannot get the proper exercise we must do something else. Alas, I have determined that offsetting our lack of exercise with healthier eating is the answer for now. I am now imposing my wheat pizza dough, fiber cereal and constant fruit eating (that's our dessert) on my other half and he has happily accepted. In exchange, we try to have a bottle of Diet 7-Up in the house that we can mix with orange juice, smoothies and other more fruity drinks to derive the pleasant sugary drink effect. I prefer not to drink wasted calories but sometimes juice just tastes better than water. Furthermore, I have discovered the "less calories" lemonade and apple juice and determined that the former far exceeds the latter in taste value.

And with our newfound bits of healthier habits, we will still be able to hopefully run and not be weary, walk and not be faint .... and eventually get back into our work out routine (once Surgery rotation ends... we can sleep at 10 PM... hooray!).