Monday, March 25, 2013

Friends on a String

Week 12: Who were your freinds when you were growing up? How did they influence you? 

When I was a kid, I remember hearing an analogy about how we are tied to our friends by an invisible string. Because of this string, we will either pull our friends in the direction we are going, or they will pull us in theirs. The basic principle that I always got from that analogy is that we should choose our friends wisely and associate with those that have similar morals and beliefs to our own. That way, whoever is pulling the string on any given day, will always be pulling it in a positive direction.

When I was growing up, I had many friends in school that influenced my life in a positive way. Since I was active in sports and band, the majority of the people I hung out with got good grades and were  pretty sensible in their decision-making (we all kind of had to "behave" in order to maintain the privilege of participation in our extra-curricular activities). Perhaps I was pretty lucky in my choice of friends, or perhaps it was because of the influence of the string metaphor in my life at that time, but I don't remember ever being affiliated with people that tried influencing me to smoke or to do drugs. I guess I just associated with a lot of good, down-to-earth people that influenced my life in a positive way.

In high school, I was fortunate enough to have several good friends that have left their mark on my life in their own way. For example, when I was a freshman in high school, my friend, Jessica, introduced me to The Original London Cast of Les Miserables, and I was instantly in love (with the CD, not the girl. haha). I begged my mom to buy the CD for me, and after she gave it to me for my birthday that year, I listened to it so many times that I eventually had to replace it. hehe. To this day, there is something magical about Les Mis that evokes so much passionate emotion that it seems to make my heart hurt. Love. Love. Love.

With the recent DVD release of Les Miserables (the cinematic version), I thought it would be oh so sweet of me to share this video of one of my favorite Les Mis songs, which happens to be sung by one of my favorite characters. You're welcome, America. Hehe. ::winks at my hubby::

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Thousand More

I was reflecting today on all of the collapsing marriages in this world, and how so many couples have problems in their relationships because of disloyalty, dishonesty, infidelity, etc. Satan seems to be on a mission to destroy the family unit these days, and I recognize how lucky I am to have found someone who has integrity, has a deep level of commitment, who honors his covenants, genuinely loves his family, and not only wants us to be happy, but sacrifices so much to make us so. I look at him playing with our children and my heart swells, for I know that he is such an incredible, loving man, and we are so lucky to have him.

Now, I don't know what it is about this song, but from the first time I heard it, I was in love. When I hear it now, it gives me chills, for it reminds me of my own journey to love. I think back on all the experiences in my life that have shaped me into the person I am today, and I recall a time when I didn't feel worthy of happiness - thought I'd never find my eternal companion. Heavenly Father had a different plan for me, though; and I can honestly say that I have never been happier in all my life than I am now.

So today, I am dedicating this song to the love of MY life. Though our relationship isn't perfect, I sincerely feel like we complement each other in so many ways. He makes me want to be a better woman, wife, mother, and friend - and I hope that I inspire him in that same way. I know that I have so much to look forward to in our future together - so, here is to a thousand (years) more. <3

Source: via The Purple on Pinterest

Monday, March 11, 2013

An Appreciation for Healthy Lungs!

Week 10: Describe the most serious illness you have had.
Thankfully, I have always been a pretty healthy person. I've never even had a really serious illness, that I can think of. I had the chicken pox when I was a kid, but I was pretty young (younger than 10, I know), so I don't really remember much about the experience - other than the fact that the itching was horrific. I am seriously so glad that there are immunizations now, and that my children never have to experience that particular type of infection.

The most serious illness I've ever developed was actually pretty recent. This winter has been a horrible cold/flu season for my family. It seems like we have all been sick off and on since Thanksgiving. After this past Christmas; though, I contracted bronchitis and walking pneumonia, which was absolutely horrible. In the beginning, I tried treating myself with natural remedies, thinking it was just another cycle of the bug we'd all had the month before. The infection spread into my lungs; though, after only a few days this time around - and before long, I had this really painful chest cough. I was coughing up liquid and phlegm (I know...TMI), and eventually, my breathing became extremely labored. The simple task of walking from the living room to my bedroom would render me completely breathless - especially if I tried doing it holding the baby. I literally felt like I was sucking air in and out through a straw. I'd have to sit on my bed afterward for several minutes trying to control my breath, which was extremely shallow. It was pretty scary.

After a few days of that, I finally decided that it was time to suck it up and see the doctor. I went in for an appointment with a physician's assistant (none of the doctors were available for same-day appointments), and when she listened to my lungs, she asked if I had asthma. She said she couldn't believe how horrible my lungs sounded, but I assured her that I didn't have asthma - that my lungs had only started to sound like that since I'd started feeling symptoms of that particular illness. She actually made me a little nervous; though, because she was fumbling around between a program on the computer and an app on her smartphone trying to weigh my symptoms and determine what to diagnose me with. She eventually said she thought I had walking pneumonia then prescribed me a Z-pac and an Albuterol inhaler.

I thought I was starting to feel better after a few days, but as soon as the 5-day antibiotic prescription ran out, I started feeling the pressure on my lungs again. This time, I didn't want to mess around and got right back in to see the doctor. Again, I couldn't get in to see an actual physician, this PA seemed like he knew a little more about what he was doing though. After listening to my lungs, he couldn't believe that I hadn't been prescribed a nebulizer the first time I went in the week before. He actually ended up diagnosing me with bronchitis, and prescribed me the nebulizer with a three-day prescription for prednisone. After one treatment of the Albuterol (with the nebulizer), I was feeling so much better. By the end of the three days that I was taking prednisone, I was almost as good as new.

Looking back on that "adventure, " I can promise you that I NEVER want to experience that again. It gave me a new appreciation for healthy lungs though, I can tell you that much. :)

Related Link:

52 Gems of Reflecion

Friday, March 8, 2013

How to Avoid Being Raped

For those of you who haven't already heard, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs recently advised that in order to avoid being raped, women should tell their attacker that they have a disease, are menstruating - or that they should urinate or vomit on themselves in an attempt to get the attacker to leave them alone. 

"WHAT? REALLY?" You say? Yes, sir...Yes, ma'am - I am not making this junk up. Even my imagination is not grand enough for this nonsense.

For starters; though, can I just say that this statement (I won't even validate the idea by calling it a suggestion - that would imply that it was actually suggesting something productive) is absolutely absurd! How degrading to women, first of all - to tell them to vomit, pee, or defecate on themselves to avoid becoming a victim! What happened to empowering women by telling them to take self defense classes - or oh, I don't know...EDUCATING our women on their 2nd Amendment rights! This is a huge, GIANT leap BACKWARDS in feminism. And aren't liberals supposed to be advocates FOR women's rights? 

It's like telling women that if they want to lose weight, all they have to do is spend five or more hours a day cleaning house and doing laundry. Oh wait, that happened too. I tell you, the hypocrisy is almost laughable.

Seriously though - Ladies, the best way to avoid being raped is to PROTECT YOURSELF! Period. No one says it quite like Token Libertarian Girl, though: 

Nuff said! Haha. Hopefully, none of you peed YOUR pants from watching this video. :-P

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pass the Popcorn, Please. ;)

Today is Thankful Thursday - and today, I am thankful for easily accessible fabric stores, exemplary women with amazing testimonies that inspire and uplift me, online scriptures, moments when I can see the Lord's hand in my life, moments when I see the light in my 2-year-old's eyes as he accomplishes something new, play dates, stimulating adult conversation, finding a new recipe that turns out amazing, being a part of a testimony-building experience with my daughter, good books, miraculously avoiding would-be car accidents (I KNOW this one was divine intervention), and finally - actually having my hubby home for a pizza/movie night. Pass the popcorn, please. :)

Popcorn and Thor? Nom Nom Nom! ;)

Related Link:

Thirty Days of Gratitude - Day 29: My Babies

Thirty Days of Gratitude - Day 30: Family Time

Monday, March 4, 2013

Marshmallows and Moonlight!

Week 9: What was a favorite place to go with your family when you were young?
When I was young, my favorite place to go with family was camping. I have so many memories of packing up the car and heading out onto the open road - jammin' out to Steve Miller Band on our way to some remote location in Utah, or along the shore at Lake Mead. Some of the most memorable places that we went camping were Navajo Lake, Duck Creek, Zion (all in Utah), Lake Tahoe, and this place at Lake Mead that we called Muddy Mountain. 

I remember tin foil dinners, roasting marshmallows for s'mores, singing songs around the camp fire, and sleeping in sleeping bags in our big, six-man tent. I even remember throwing sleeping bags in the back of my dad's old, blue, Ford pickup and sleeping under the stars with my brothers a few times. When we got a little older, my parents bought a tent trailer, but most of my memories of camping as a child involved less modern methods of camping - and "roughing it" out in the the good ol' outdoors. 

I remember hiking up to the Emerald Pools in Zion, and checking out the icicle caves at Navajo Lake - the water in the lake being so cold, we'd joke it would turn your skin blue. Haha. I remember taking our shampoo and other toiletries into the bathroom to use the campground showers, exploring the woods for so long - and almost getting lost several times, playing in the river that runs along the campground at Zion, and trying to swim across Duck Creek, realizing that it was actually a LOT further across than it looked. lol.

I remember telling scary stories around the campfire, and then being afraid to get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom. Haha. I remember making bacon and eggs for breakfast on a cast iron skillet, then roasting apples with red hots in tin foil for dessert after dinner. 

I remember going camping once (this time in our tent trailer) out at Mission Bay (near San Diego) and renting these big three-wheel pedal boat things. My younger brother and I pedaled our way out to the middle of the bay and started goofing around, rocking that pedal boat back and forth so hard until it finally tipped over. We laughed and laughed for a minute, then both of us remembered we were out in the middle of the bay. Our eyes went wide as we yelled, "SHARKS!" Then started scampering back up onto the pedal if there were actually a shark on our tails. To this day, my mom jokes that she never saw two kids move so fast in all her life. Haha. Good times. 

Most of all; though, I remember spending time with my family, creating amazing memories, and having the time of my life. Thinking about it makes me kind of sad that we don't go camping more now as a family. Z's crazy work schedule kind of makes it difficult to make a lot of weekend getaways, but we have some fun camping trips planned for this summer that I am really looking forward to. It's definitely time to remedy the situation and get out around that campfire - for some good ol' marshmallows and moonlight. ;)

Related Link:

52 Gems of Reflection

Friday, March 1, 2013

Muscle Music

Oh my gosh. This video is so crazy. If jazz is said to be the music of the body, then what would you call this? Haha. 

It doesn't get much more frivolous than that. I don't know if it's real or not, but it made me smile, so I just had to share. :)

Happy Friday! <3