I like Kevin Bacon. I've liked him since I was a teenager and saw "Footloose." (Who among us didn't develop a little crush on Ren McCormack who only wanted to dance and was so honorable that he made Ariel wait for her first kiss.) Once, I even camped at the same campground with him and his family in Montana, although I didn't see him. I just overheard the campground owners talking about it when I went to buy toothpaste in the little convenience store.
Now, I'm not an actress. I had a role in the play "Annie" that happened accidentally. But because of that role, I (and my daughters and sister and mother-in-law) now have the distinction of being only FIVE degrees from Kevin Bacon. Here's how it goes:
I was in "Annie" with Danny Tarasevich.
Danny Tarasevich was in "Sons of Provo" with Will Swenson. (By the way, if you've never seen this movie, you should. It's quite funny.)
Will Swenson was in "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" with Jeff Goldblum.
Jeff Goldbum was in "The Switch" with Jennifer Anniston.
Jennifer Anniston was in "Picture Perfect" with Kevin Bacon.
So there you have it--my dubious claim to fame.
Sorry, I'm not giving autographs. Oh, all right. If you really want one, I will.
The fact that I did numerous loads of laundry and even got them put away instead of sitting on the bench at the end of my bed.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. Matthew 7:1-5
I've always loved this scripture, but after last night's LDS Women's Conference, I love it even more. President Monson's talk made me laugh, cry, feel chastised and feel loved and accepted. That's a lot to accomplish in one talk.
Too many times in my life I've looked at others through my own dirty windows. Too many times, I've had to be reminded that my first impressions or judgments about others were wrong or misguided. I know how it hurts to be on the receiving end of wrong impressions and judgments. We need to be kinder to each other and easier on each other.
Some day I'll have to face my Savior to be judged for my actions in this life. If the scripture is true, and I believe it is, I would be wise to give people every benefit of the doubt. It tells us we'll be judged the way we judge others. Do I want the Savior to judge me as harshly as I've judged others at times in my life? or do I want him to be liberal in his acceptance and forgiveness of me and my flaws?
Because I want him to be generous with me, I'm trying to be generous with others. If I perfect this principle, I'll be in pretty good shape.
The meeting last night helped got me even more excited for next weekend.
***Next weekend is one of my two favorite weekends of the year. I don't have to dress up (even pajamas are okay), snacks are readily available, I can sort photos, scrapbook or color (yes, I like to color) and enjoy eight hours of inspirational messages that usually seem prepared just for me. I hope everyone can enjoy at least a part of General Conference.***
I don't like talking about sickness or physical ailments. We all know how much fun it is to be around someone who dwells on their aches and pains and maladies. It is exhausting and I try not to be one of those people. But because I want to share something wonderful with you, I think you need just a little medical history, so please bear with me.
A little over fifteen years ago, I was in a horrific car accident with my sister and two of my kids. My 3 year-old son suffered serious facial lacerations requiring over 180 stitches. I suffered internal injuries, multiple fractures of the pelvis, a crushed elbow and sciatic nerve damage. Thankfully, we all survived and recovered remarkably well. Our physical bodies are truly miraculous.
Unfortunately, if I let myself get too tired or stessed, I experience pain, especially sciatic pain. Pain and stress also take a toll on the lymphatic system and it sometimes becomes difficult to handle. Several years ago, I was introduced to a woman who does reflexology and lymphatic massage and experienced great benefits from both. When we moved to a new state, I tried to find a replacement and after several attempts, I gave up.
Last spring, the pain became severe and my husband went on a quest to find me some help. The help he found me was a woman named Karalee. She works out of her home in Utah County and she's a miracle worker. A bonus for all of us is that she wants to help people, so she's also reasonably priced. Her reflexology and lymphatic massages are only $30.00/hr. That is a bargain!
She also does the stone massages, sports injury massage, essential oils and emotional release therapy. I don't really know anything about any of those, but you could talk with her if that is something you're looking for.
If you're interested in setting up an appointment with her, email me and I'll send you her number.
Just a quick note, however. Reflexology and lymphatic massage are not relaxing and pleasant. You may actually find (as I have) that it would be preferable to have your fingernails yanked out with pliers or your teeth drilled without medication. It hurts. It feels like acid coursing through your veins. The benefit comes after it's over. You just might feel like a new person.
***This is not a paid endorsement. I will pay my $30.00 every time I go, just like anyone else. I'm telling you about her because she's helped me and I wanted to share the benefits of her skills with others who might need it.***
It sounded great. We wanted to know more. The formula turned out to be simple. Open an account with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange ($5,000.00) and start trading futures.
Isn't that a bit like gambling, we wondered? Oh no, not if you follow the formula. You get online when the market opens at 6 a.m., you look at the yen and based on it's first couple of moves, you can tell whether you should buy or sell. If it turns against you, you get out immediately. If it's working for you, you ride the wave until it dies. If you follow this plan without deviation, you'll make far more than you lose.
So we decided to practice. At 6 a.m., I met with a couple of my brothers and we did paper trades. Some days we got out almost immediately (on paper) and somedays we made huge sums of money (on paper). We did this for a couple of weeks to be sure the system worked. During those weeks, we made a lot of money--thousands of dollars, enough that if the trend continued, we'd be able to pay off houses in months rather than years. Did I mention that all of this was on paper?
It worked so well that we couldn't wait to get started. I sent in my $5000.00 to open my trading account and excitedly waited to start trading for real, earning real money that would pay off our house, take us to Norway and New Zealand (the two places I want to visit most in the world) and buy us a new car.
Monday arrived. I got up at 5:30, anxious to get to work. I went down to the basement, where the computer was set up and opened the CME page. The markets opened. I followed the formula. According to the first couple of moves, I needed to buy. So I did. Thirty seconds later, I'd made $24.00. Then it shifted. Following the sure formula, I sold. By the time I got out, I'd made $12.00 that day. Not the beginning I'd hoped for, but hey, now I had $5012.00 in my trading account.
That was the last day I turned a profit. I followed the formula exactly. The second day, I lost $36.00. The day after that, I lost $60.00. I don't remember specifics beyond that. It's all a desperate gambler's blur. Each morning, I'd check in with my brothers. We didn't understand why it wasn't working. Our mentor couldn't help us either. It just wasn't working.
Sick at losing money every day, I wanted to stop. But I couldn't until I at least got the $5,000 back. I had to break even. After all, that was money paid to me after a terrible car wreck. I didn't want it just flushed down the toilet. So feeling like a desperate man at the poker tables, I kept trying.
Several mornings, I made my trade, and then prayed, closing one eye and keeping the other on the screen to see if my prayers were being answered. I didn't like the answers I kept getting (which I now believe was, "Get the crap out of the futures game!) so I kept trying and praying and failing, finishing my agonizing mornings by crawling back up to bed, only to lay there crying, wondering how I was going to get out of this mess.
It was hopeless. I lost almost all of my investment before I finally called it quits. It was a very dark time. I clearly was not cut out for games of chance and speculation.
I'm just glad I don't live in Las Vegas or anywhere near an Indian reservation!
A main theme of my book "Gifted" is the importance of friendship and how a good friend can change our life. I have been a lucky girl blessed with some amazing friends--people who make my life better.
Some of my friends are built-in. They're members of my family--that group of people that by some grand design became a major part of my life, whether I liked it or not. Luckily I like it, even love it.
I was one of those people who balked at Facebook. I thought it was trendy, high school and not for me. But then I signed a contract for my book to be published and Facebook was forced upon me. Since then I've been able to catch up with friends I have thought of and wondered about for the past twenty-plus years.
Friday I had lunch with two girls I taught on my mission. I call them girls because at the time we became friends, I was a missionary (technically an adult, although now I realize how young I was) and they were high school students. Now our ages seem almost the same and we're in the same stages of life. They're my peers and my friends. In spite of the many years that have passed, it was comfortable and fun. I can't wait to have lunch with them again. I'm counting on it not being another twenty-five years.
It is a wonderful thing to have a connection with a friend that transcends time and distance. I hope everyone knows what I'm talking about. The kind of friendship that comes easily no matter how long it's been and no matter how different your life experiences have been, someone who is comfortable and understands you, and someone who still 'gets you' even when you're sometimes hard to 'get.' I am blessed to have friends like that. I know how lucky I am.
So to my wonderful friends, you know who you are and I want to thank you. You are blessings in my life.
My sister sent this video to all the moms in our family. I loved it. The messages from other moms and the song were quite touching and made me think. With my nearly nineteen years of being a mother, what valuable piece of advice would I want to share with the young, inexperienced and terrified me?
There are really many things--some would apply mostly to me, but a few would sound just like the lines we've heard from our mothers and grandmothers for generations.
I'd tell myself that no matter the complications, getting the baby here is the most important thing. Don't feel bad about having to have c-sections. It doesn't mean you failed.
I'd tell myself that sometimes the doctors don't know what they're talking about and if you have to fight and nag and annoy to get what your daughter needs, go ahead and fight and nag and annoy.
I'd tell myself that being a mom hurts, that every bit of teenage angst and insecurity is tripled or quadrupled when you're watching your child go through it, but that if you love them, they'll be okay.
I'd tell myself that it's okay to cry--sometimes because you're happy and sometimes because your heart is breaking.
I'd tell myself to get up a little earlier in the morning, so that everything can run a little smoother. I'd tell myself that sending your children out the door after harsh words makes for a very long and difficult day.
I'd tell myself not to forget to smile and laugh, no matter how out of control life feels.
I'd tell myself that I was about to win the lottery--four times.
I'd tell myself that I was giving birth to four completely different people, with different talents, strengths, and personalities and that I'd be wise not to compare them to each other.
I'd tell myself to pray, and then pray again, and then have courage to follow my heart.
I'd tell myself that from the time I first held my babies in my arms until I sent them away to college was going to feel like eighteen months instead of eighteen years and that everyone who said to enjoy the moment and don't wish the days away was right.
What would you tell yourself?
The only problem with the trip was that the water level was a little low. This made it imperative that we pay close attention so that we didn’t get trapped in the shallower areas.
Unfortunately, there were a couple of times that we got into trouble and were stuck in shallow water on beds of rock. This wasn’t easy to remedy because the raft was clear full of people including six children and my pregnant sister-in-law. My brother and son had to get out and push/pull/drag/manhandle the raft to get us back into safe waters.
It made me think. The waters were treacherous because there wasn’t enough rain or runoff from the winter. At other times, when plenty of water had flowed into the river, the waters were deep and easier to navigate.
I think that’s how our testimonies are. When they’re properly fed (like a good year on the river) challenges and snares are easier to overcome. When they aren’t, everything is a little more precarious and it’s easier to get hung up on the tricky spots.
I taught a Young Women’s lesson a couple of weeks ago. The lesson reminded us that our testimonies are living things—if fed and cared for, they grow. If starved and neglected, they die. For some of us, faith and caring for our testimonies comes easier. It feels like the natural thing to do. For some of us, we have to be more conscientious and attentive. It isn’t easy. It’s work.
But then we’re able to run the river with fewer scrapes and close calls.
These were the words of wisdom shared with me by my well-meaning aunt. They are the words that prompted me to take every shorthand, typing, and 10-key class I could during high school and my first year of college.
The typing and 10-key, I still use. But let's talk about shorthand. For those of you who are too young to know what shorthand is (and sadly, that's probably a pretty good chunk of the population now) it was the skill that would allow a boss to tell the secretary what they wanted written, while the secretary wrote it down with a series of scratches and scribbles that were then typed back into the English language. To the average person, they looked like a cross between doodling and Chinese.
I excelled at shorthand. I could take dictation at over 100 words per minute. I could transcribe that dictation with nearly perfect accuracy. I practiced it so much that I started thinking in shorthand. Shorthand, along with my typing, 10-key and other secretarial skills were preparing me for a future career.
Sadly, I used shorthand at exactly one job. And at that job, I was called in to take dictation twice. The next time my boss called me in, he showed me this amazing gadget that you recorded your memos or letters into and then I could transcribe it using this wonderful machine called a transcription machine. Just two years after I graduated from high school, shorthand was eliminated from the curriculum.
So what do you do with an obsolete skill? You can't take it to a pawn shop or the Goodwill with your parachute pants, your oversized color-blocked sweater or your 8-track tapes of K.C and the Sunshine Band. I guess you can do what I do and take down baby blessings for relatives. You can write yourself secret notes that you don't want anyone to be able to read. You can impress little children by showing them how funny their name looks in shorthand. Beyond that? There's really nothing you can do with it.
Thankfully, I've heard it said that it sharpens your mind to have a skill like shorthand. So any time I start to feel a little dull in the head, I'll whip out a steno pad and take a few curlicued notes.
As far as good preparation for a career down the road? I guess I'd better hope that books don't become obsolete.
The winner was chosen randomly from the nine successful entries. Congratulations to Lee! Use that gift card for something fun!
For those of you who didn't find them all, here is a list so you can check out these great blogs:
5. http://therecipesociety.blogspot.com/ (I feel I should do a disclaimer on this one. Yes, I'm a contributor to this recipe blog, but I wouldn't have included it if it wasn't a great blog. Check it out!)
For this month's giveaway, I thought we'd do something a little different. I love looking at blogs and I have some favorites. I have chosen five blogs for you to hunt for. All you have to do is find the blogs I'm referencing. When you have all five, email me with the answers. On Tuesday night at midnight, I'll name the winner (either the person with the most correct or chosen randomly from those with the correct answers). You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is definitely a prize worth winning. A $25.00 Walmart gift card. You can buy whatever you'd like--flashlights, school supplies, a poster of Justin Bieber, air freshener, or Pine-sol--whatever strikes your fancy. My recommendation would be a good book and a stash of delicious munchies. It's up to you. So start hunting.
1. This blog turns old stuff (junk) into cool home interior items. The blog's author grew up on a 40 acre dairy farm. This week there is a delightful and beautiful posting about front doors. (It makes me very dissatisfied with my own front door.) This blog's author ran a series of very helpful articles about improving your blog. Stars are an important part of this blog's header.
2. This blog has a digital alarm clock in the header. The blog's author is obsessed with Lost. The blog's author reads and reviews several books a month. On August 2, this blog featured a Before and After article that humorously reflected real life (at least it bore a striking resemblence to my real life). This blog features tips for not very good homemakers.
3. This blog's author is a mom with three kids. On August 11, the blog featured a post with a photo display I'd like to duplicate and a nice tribute to her husband. Her husband calls her Stie. Her most embarrassing moment involved a tour of Nathaniel Hawthorne's House of Seven Gables. The blog author recently shared photos that perfectly depicted '80s hair and fashions. **Bonus clue, just because I want you to read the posting** On June 7, 2008 there is a posting about a middle-of-the-night experience that simply and sweetly illustrates God's love for us.
4. I like this blog because I like pretty things and the pictures you'll find here are stunning. This blog features weddings and you'll find lots of wedding cakes. (Since I used to make wedding cakes as a profession, I enjoy looking at them.) Every Friday they post Friday Bits--random beautiful pictures. On August 12, the blog featured some amazing cakes from Magpie Cakes. On August 31, a wedding is featured with a picture of the most delicious looking strawberry lemonade I've ever seen.
5. This blog is all about food. This blog has multiple contributors. This blog's has a black and white striped header. On August 30, you'll find a posting for peach pie with a picture that makes my mouth water. Someone named Lisa had a dream that inspired the idea for this blog.
Now go find the blogs and email me with the names. Have fun and I hope this introduces you to a couple of blogs you've never heard of.