Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'm full of it...

We have a day once a year that we've set aside to give "thanks", but do we really have to wait until that time of year to recognize all the wonderful blessings we have in our lives? My soul is bursting with gratitude this morning and I hope you will indulge me as I share just a few of the things that I am so thankful for with you, and if you have things that you are thankful for maybe your heart will begin to burst too!

Strong Faith... I absolutely know that it is the foundation of who I am and it gives me the legs to walk through this life of trials and yet stand strong through it all. I absolutely love the saying "enjoy to the end" and I truly believe that by living gospel principles we are able to do just that. It brings everything into focus and gives direction to our lives. For this I am thankful. What a blessing it is to know WHO I am, WHERE I came from, and WHERE I am going. What the PURPOSE of life is and how to find true HAPPINESS. Why wouldn't one want to know these things? AND more importantly, when you KNOW them, why wouldn't you want to share it?

Family...need I say more? Our families buoy us through the storm and make life worth living. How truly thankful I am for my family. What a wonderful blessing my husband and children are to me. Loving someone changes your life. Life no longer is about you - it's about them. I don't know what I did to deserve them, I am truly honored to have them in my life.

Friends....I can't leave out my friends. These dear people who stand beside me and hold my hand through life. Who love me in spite of me. Who add the hot fudge and roasted almonds to my pistachio flavor which I exhibit. What would my life be like without them in it? Truly empty! Thank you my friends. Thank you for loving me, for laughing with me, and for giving me a shoulder to cry on when I need it.

Sharing is another thing I am thankful for...have you ever had something that has meant so much to you and you just want to share it with everyone so that others can have what you have? Some will nod their heads in a yes and others may feel more greedy and want to keep their "prize" to themselves. BUT truly, when you share something that you love with another, magic happens. It's that gift that warms your heart as you bring joy into the life of someone else. I've had this type of opportunity recently, I've had the opportunity to share something very dear to my heart with a wonderful friend. Sharing this has brought me great joy! Knowing that if she accepts this gift it will change her life FOREVER is something that cannot be expressed in words alone.

Close To My Heart...Who would have thunk it? Who would have guessed that it would have brought me so many great blessings? I joined CTMH just to get a discount and NEVER imagined that it would bring into my life so much much more. Being a consultant has obviously had it's monetary rewards for my family, including the wonderful trips we've been able to attend. But it's so much more than that. It has brought many wonderful people into my life, people who have become dear friends. We have shared many precious moments together as we've discussed their families, their hopes & dreams and sometimes their beliefs. Close To My Heart is a "feel good" business and it's a family that is warm and welcoming. May sound funny to some of you, but until you have experienced it you will never know. It truly is more than just stamps!

My list could go on and on...and I hope yours does too. Yes, I realize it's not Thanksgiving today, yet my heart is full of it today, full of gratitude that is, is yours?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Time heals all wounds...

It's hard to believe that is true...but it is. Time heals all wounds. At the point of hurt though it seems like nothing will ever be the same again.

Today my daughters heart is heavy, as time goes on she will mend, but for now she hurts. Breaking up with your boyfriend is never easy to do, but it was the right thing to do and it was time.

Now, I need to say here that her boyfriend is a great guy. There truly wasn't anything "wrong" with him, and so to some this may seem crazy to do, but for Kara it was the right time to do it. Both of them knew going into this relationship that this time would come, but that doesn't make it any easier. Nonetheless, he is a great young man and while his heart is also sad at this time, he too will heal with time and he will one day realize that this was a good thing. Let me explain a bit more...

You see he is going to be leaving soon to serve a full time mission for our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He will need to focus all of his thoughts towards those with whom he will be called to serve. There will be no room for girlfriends in his thoughts. That's just the way it should be too. He will leave a boy but will return a man. As he serves others & his Heavenly Father he will truly find out who he is and what he is made of. It will be the hardest thing he will have to do and yet the best thing he will ever do all at the same time.

Plus, Kara will be leaving for school soon, and she too needs to be focused on school but more importantly right now for her - she needs to have the freedom to date if the opprotunity arrises. Two years is a long time to wait for someone, especially as young as they are. Lots of things can happen in two years. That said, I am in NO HURRY to marry off my daughter, so I truly hope she is still single in two years and enjoying college.

While it's hard for this to end it was the right thing and at the right time. These past few months they've become the best of friends. They've shared many good times, laughed and cried together. They've shared their thoughts and dreams of life and have known what it's like to love and be loved. They will both heal and while it doesn't feel like it now, it WILL be okay when all is said and done. Who knows what life will bring their way only time will tell.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

If you see a happy face....

In a few days Jessie will be turning sixteen. Truly - I think I could leave it at that as you know what that means. Sixteen is the "magical" age where you are allowed to date in our house, but more importantly (I know - more important that BOYS? hard to believe eh?) is that you can get your drivers license.

Now, here in Washington State you have to take drivers education and it is NOT done through the high schools like it was when I was young. Too bad too as it is VERY costly to take this class. Last year I searched high and low for the "best priced" drivers ed program and found a place up in Smokey Point where she could take the class. Only problem was she didn't have any friends who also wanted to take the class with her - so she was on her own. Now, to a teenage this sucks, but as a parent I was thinking "WOOHOO"! Jessie is my socialite and I figured that if she had a friend in the class then she would be a "chatty Patty" and not learn a dang thing for my $300+ that I was spending on this class.

Now - why on earth we feel it is worth it to spend that amount of money on a drivers ed class only to then turn around and pay for the kids to have a license, gas for a car, and not to mention the astronomical cost of insuring a teen is something up for debate! Is it truly worth all the cost we go through to have the freedom of not having to drive your kids everywhere, and to be able to have them run quick errands for you? To me? Why yes, yes it is! I truly was elated when Kara got her license and could drive her sister to seminary. It was then that I figured out that by the time Kara went off to college that Jessie would be driving - thus no seminary runs for me again - and it was only when I started to figure out Aaron that I saw my flaw in the birth of my children. When Jessie graduates, Aaron will have 4 months where he will not be old enough to drive - meaning - I'm going to have to drive to seminary again! YIKES! What was I thinking?! I so should have timed that better!

Okay - back to my topic...

So, Jessie has completed drivers ed and went last week to take her written test for driving (which she passed - yeah Jessie!) - when we went up to the desk afterwards the lady asked "do you want to take your driving test today as well?" and I looked over at Jessie who was frozen in her tracks and scared to death nodding no as fast as her little head could nod. That day we had driven the durango which Jessie had not practiced parralel parking with or backing around a corner with - so we opted to set up an appointment to come back so she could use the "kid car" which right now is being called "Kara's car". We let her call it that but she realizes that when she goes to college the car stays - she can visit it when she comes home but it is not her car.

Every day since Jessie took that written test last week has been spent practicing the darned parrelel parking & backing around a corner. Over and over we did this until finally the day of the test came (today!). I got Jessie out of school early and we headed up for the DOL - when we got there we were early - and I thought we'd have to wait forever - but low and behold the guy came to the car 30 minutes early! I thought Jessie was going to faint but she didn't - she actually did very well! Off she went with Mr. DOL and before I knew it she was back with the blessed yellow slip in hand (that's the magical slip that says you passed) - Jessie tried to fake a sad face but she couldn't hide that smile that was beaming from her happy face.

She'd passed her test - passed it! Woohoo - what a happy moment it was. Now we wait for that final moment when she actually turns 16!

Friday, June 5, 2009

It happened in a blink...

Where does the time go to? It seems like yesterday that I brought you home from the hospital. So tiny. So pure, and precious. I remember counting your toes and loving your little furrowed brow. If I close my eyes and think for a moment I can still smell the sweet smell of your hair - apricots - it smelled like apricots. Long gone are those days when I would cradle you close in my arms each night and sing softly the words "teach me to walk in the light of His love, teach me to pray to my Father above....", yet while they are long gone they are not forgotten. My throat feels the hint of soreness and my eyes well up with tears as I think of those sweet moments that are now gone, but which the memory of is burned into my very being.

I remember when I used to look at people back then, people who age that I am now, people who had "older" children, who had "freedom", who didn't have diaper bags and car seats. I would dream of the day when that would be my life - "oh, how sweet it would be" I would think to myself. Little did I know then that I would look back once I got here and long for those days when my children were young again. Why is it that we can't cherish the moments we are in when we are in them? Why do we always feel the need to hurry through life? Life should be enjoyed. EVERY LAST MINUTE OF IT - it just goes to fast and we shouldn't miss any part of it. Oh what I wouldn't give to have just one more tender moment where I could cradle you close Kara and sing to you once more as you nuzzled your small precious head close to mine.

Tonight Kara graduated from high school. I have dreaded and be moaned this day for the past 4 years and yet awaited it eagerly. It's a "bittersweet" moment for sure. While I'm so very proud of her, what she has accomplished in her life and the beautiful young woman she has become, and excited to see what will come next as she enters this new phase of adulthood, I can't help but be sad at the same time. I'm going to miss this beautiful girl and am going to long to hear her voice and see her smile.

Where does the time go to? It seems like yesterday you were a young girl learning to walk, then ride a bike, and heading off to the first day of school. I blinked and 17 1/2 years have flown by - you've grown up and are finished with those childhood things. Your a young adult who is ready to start off on a new chapter of her life. Enjoy this new chapter Kara because before you know it you'll blink and it will be done. You'll wonder what happened and it will seem like a dream. Then it will sink in just how fast our time here on earth really's just a blink of an eye. Enjoy it Kara, treasure it, love it, live it. I love you!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Label: Public Enemy #1 - Loud & Obnoxious

Even as I sit here now trying to type this...I'm not quite sure what to say. In life, we all know that there will be times when we will meet people who will for whatever reason just not "like" us, but even though you may have that knowledge it doesn't help soothe the wound when it hits.

I realize that I am an acquired taste - a taste that isn't for everyone. Truly I know that. In life you will find people of all sorts of flavors. Some are vanilla, some are chocolate, or strawberry. Me? Well, I'm pistachio! lol While it's wonderful to me - it's not for everyone. Aren't we all supposed to be different to a degree? How boring it would be if we were all exactly the same? But nonetheless, I know that not everyone will "get" that I'm truly just like everyone else, goofy one moment, serious the next, excited about life, needing acceptance and wanting a friend.

Some days I am my own worst enemy. Does that ever happen to you? Hard as I try - the words just don't come out right, and I come off sounding like a total goof or heaven forbid at times - rude (which truly I try so hard not to do - but at times I will admit I have "footinmouthitis"). Both of these though can be detrimental to friendship. Those who love you will overlook your goofiness and realize it is only a temporary lapse of brainpower and that soon you'll be back to normal. Those who don't, will write you off as a idiot. Those who love you will forgive your ailment of "footinmouthitis" and realize that you TRULY didn't mean it the way it came out because they will KNOW the intent of your heart and that it is good. Others will think the worst of you and worst yet, will always think you are a horrible person when truly you aren't, you just had a moment of "footinmouthitis". But then - maybe I'm the only one with that disease at times eh? I'm a pretty open person and I do tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve. While it can be a good trait at times it can also be a curse. You will never have to guess how I'm feeling as it is normally pretty evident with me. Being an open person though leaves you very vulnerable - as you can easily be hurt by oncoming labels or cross blows of glares.

When I was naming my blog, I was torn as to what to call it. It didn't want it to be just for business or just my family stories etc - I wanted to have a place where I could just be open, be myself - a place where I could express myself not only creatively but also emotionally - sort of a what makes Kim tick sort of spot. My sister Rebecca actually came up with the name "Kim is a card" which of course it is a play on words since I make cards & I'm also a goof - I love to make people smile. There is a saying Laughter soothes the soul. It brightens your life and makes the worldly cares of your heart fade away. There is a saying by Mary H. Waldrip that states: "A laugh is a smile that bursts" - I LOVE this saying. We need more smiles so they can burst. Life is to be enjoyed not just endured. Abraham Lincoln stated "most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be". I've used this saying many times in my life with my children when life has gotten them down, it's followed by "choose happiness". I truly do believe we can choose to be happy in life - it's up to us.

Anyways, today my heart is heavy and saddened. Try as I might my eyes aren't smiling and so neither is my mouth and I'm afraid I might not get that smile which would then burst into a laugh at all today. I'll get over it, the pain will lapse and a new day will bring new friends into my life but for today I am sad. I'm saddened by what could have been. By the friendship that is now lost, and the labels that seem to have been attached now to my forehead. Soon the super glue power will fade, and the labels will fall off. My wounds will heal and yes, I will make new friends. But, deep down I know that there will always be that feeling of loss. The wonder of what could have been a great friendship if only they could have over looked whatever moment it was that made them turn away.

I love the part in the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" when the dad is toasting the bride and groom and he explains the meaning of both of the family's last names and how one means apple and the other orange. He says "while we are both different on the outside, we are basically the same - both fruits". Truly, this statement is true. We are all pretty much the same on the inside - even though I am pistachio - on the outside - on the inside I'm just a vanilla, chocolate or strawberry. I have the same feelings, hopes, dreams , aspirations, longings and beliefs.