Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Parable of the Beautiful Princess and the Colorful Glass Plate of Food.

  I don't understand why, and it is a very foreboding thought, that as life goes on the trials get harder: logically meaning that if I survive this one the next one will be worse. In the middle of said trial I can't imagine a worse one. I suppose I will have to work on my imagination skills because they just do get worse and worse, sometimes unimaginably worse.
  This is the end of my sad song.

  This is the start of my parable:
  There was once a Beautiful Princess, who loved to eat good food, she held a beautiful colorful glass platter and on it was her choices of food. She loved to carry this platter of food around and admire it, enjoyed eating off of it and just very simply loved this platter of food. The food on her plate was the very very best food she knew of. She could add to it with hard work and it never became empty.
  One day out of the blue, for no reason the Beautiful Princess could understand, WHAM onto her plate fell a giant lump of mashed potatoes, not the light fluffy buttery kind - these potatoes were very undesirable to the Princess, cold, grey, lumpy, no salt, no butter, not whipped whatsoever - these potatoes had been half cooked and mashed with a baby spoon. WHAM onto the edge of the beautiful plate they fell with a force.
  Now the Beautiful Princess is a Princess and elegant and happy and was not expecting this force of undesired mashed potatoes so she was carrying her colorful glass platter around balanced on one hand, very beautifully indeed. Well the mashed potatoes knocked the platter and oh she was going to catch it and save it really....but then WHAM another giant scoop and then as the plate was falling to add insult to injury yet another scoop glued itself to the edge of that beautiful platter and down it fell.
 
  This colorful glass platter was very important to the Beautiful Princess and she looked and could not believe that it was falling, and like all important things in life that fall and crash time slows and we see it fall so slowly. The Beautiful Princess watched helplessly as her treasured colorful wonderful platter slowly fell flipping and tumbling through the air, throwing all her beautiful and hard-worked-for food scattering down, down, down. She was helpless, she couldn't catch it no matter how much she wanted to. She prayed and prayed that someone else would catch it, she couldn't believe that God was not catching it, she couldn't believe it was falling...as it fell and fell and fell.
  She felt as though only she could see that it was falling, she prayed and felt peace but misery loves company and she was expecting something more along the lines of, "OH MY! BIGGEST WORSE TRIAL EVER! SORRY, MIS-CATEGORIZED, WE WILL DEAL WITH THIS IMMEDIATELY! NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS, THAT IS WAY TOO BIG! HERE IS A COUPON FOR AN EXTRAORDINARY WORRY FREE DAY! SO SORRY, WONT HAPPEN AGAIN."

  Then it crashed, on the floor, the plate did not break but the food was everywhere and it was not beautiful and cherished anymore it was smashed and dirty and ugly and everywhere and not nice to look at or desirable to eat. Not only that but when it fell to the floor and the Princess was sitting there wondering what to do the dogs started showing up. Not fluffy little cute dogs that you would feed a green pea to and pat and they wiggle happily. No, these dogs are black and they don't follow any Princess orders, she can fight but they will not relent.  These dogs are shadows and can not be fenced off or tied back.  One is named Depression another is Anger there are specially trained shadow dogs that sniff out the Faith and Testimony food items from your plate and will eat just those with greed. There are many very real shadow dogs in the shadows different ones come depending on the type of food that has fallen from the plate.
 
  What is the Beautiful Princess to do? Is it going to be a tragic ending? I do love tragic endings. The Princess sits there with the shadow dogs milling around, sniffing and sorting and looking through the food that the Princess once treasured, still does treasure, but just does not know how to save it, where to start, and how to start it is just such a daunting task. As she looks on shadow dog Depression walks by, "Why bother, it's unusable now anyway, you are not worthy to carry such a beautiful colored platter, look at you just sitting there on the floor, how could you have dropped it? It was a mistake that you were ever holding it in the first place." Closely followed by Depression, Anger follows on his tail, "It would have been better if the whole platter had shattered then you wouldn't have to worry about cleaning up this whole mess, you could get another better platter and you could protect it from ever having cold lumpy mashed potatoes fall on it in the first place." The shadow dogs start to do un-shadow like things like actually eat the food on the floor. Suffice to say the Beautiful princess who does not feel very beautiful anymore is distraught. That is when she notices that the shadow dogs are picking off her faith and testimony, very sneakily too, with their tails between their legs these little dogs are picking around looking for the most treasured morsels.
  This is just too much for the Princess she has yelled and chased and cried and she had prayed when the platter was falling, but when it fell she had just stared and looked rather unbelieving that something so beautiful could fall so quickly. The Beautiful Princess prayed and as she prayed she realized that her Savior had always been right beside her and he had stood there with her and held her hand as her beautiful colorful platter had crashed to the floor and he had not caught it, not because he could not but because it needed to fall so that she could see how much she treasured each and every morsel that fell from the platter.

  The Savior has the ultimate story of triumph! He suffered and felt all the pain and sadness the whole wide world over, all the generations of trials of all humankind heaped on him. He had his moment of helplessly watching his beautiful platter fall when he said, "Father let this cup pass from me, however not my will but thine." He suffered and suffered and suffered alone till he bled from every pore. Then he was cruelly crucified, buried and triumphed over death.
  The Savior knew how the Beautiful Princess felt and knew how she would feel when her platter crashed to the ground and he never left.
  As the Beautiful Princess prayed she saw that the Savior was there and he was helping her pick up the food scattered all about, he did not just scoop up the food and dump it back on the platter and he also did not lightning strike the shadow dogs but where he was they could not go. So slowly and carefully and calmly the Savior helped the Beautiful Princess pick up each piece of food and place it with care back on the platter. The Savior picked up those ugly lumpy mashed potatoes that had caused so much harm and he stuck them right there in the middle of the plate and then they arranged all the lovely food around it. Now the plate was balanced, maybe not as pretty as before as it now had a big lump of ugly mashed potatoes in the middle but the Princess simply had to carry the mashed potatoes and if she had to carry them they would be better there in the middle rather than tipping the plate at the edge.
  The Savior helped the Beautiful Princess stand and as she did so the dogs ran away, the colorful platter was beautiful again, the food was more beautiful and wonderful than before.
 The Princess does not know how long she will have to have the gray mashed potatoes on her plate and she doesn't know when the next scoop will hit the platter but when it does she will fall and she will stand again.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Fortunately Fast Fabulous and Fearless


Fortunately I have a friend who loves to run. 
Unfortunately she is now 7 months pregnant and not running with me anymore. Fortunately she took me running many times last year. 
Unfortunately? I had an unexplainable desire to enter a triathlon. 
Fortunately I decided to swim all winter to prepare. 
Unfortunately I slept in all winter and was not a super swimmer as planned and... awoke in the spring entirely unprepared. 
Fortunately I had a friend who talked me into entering a sprint triathlon with her anyways.
Unfortunately she got the flu the night before the race and couldn't attend.
Fortunately...
   ...I did train, I really did, I swam and swam I even took adult swimming lessons in the kiddie pool I spent so many hours swimming I should have been able to swim a marathon, my skin has smelled like chlorine for months, when I wear white clothes they come off whiter than when I put them on -okay maybe I'm getting a little bit carried away but I felt like all I did all spring was fight my way face down through the water.  I am a stronger swimmer now, but I do have a very long way to go. That's okay though because I can train all winter!  I rented a wetsuit because I heard they were buoyant and I was not too concerned about fast transitions and all that, I was planning on completing all parts and finishing triumphant in whatever place that was. I was very surprised at just how buoyant wetsuits are, it's a good thing no one told me that they are the sleek equivalent of a full body life jacket or I may have not even bothered to practice my swimming at all! I would like to say I swam a quick 1/4 mile front crawl but no such luck, there is this thing called smooth controlled breathing while swimming in water the color of rootbeer with other racers kicking and splashing and whapping all around like so many drowning fish. I settled into a nice rhythm of 8-10 strokes of back stroke interspersed by a few seconds of breast stroke so I could make sure I was heading in the right direction. It was a nice way to start this crazy race by peacefully looking up at the clear blue sky and swimming for dear life. 
   I was excited for the bike portion because I didn't even train for it, unless you can call hauling the bike cart around town behind my mountain bike with a 4 year old and an almost 2 year old in it filled up with random bags of beach toys and snacks and enough water to hydrate an elephant. I totally counted it for training as I figure one mile of that is worth at least 10 miles on Nathan's fancy speedy road bike which he kindly let me borrow for the race. Needless to say the bike part was very fun and fast and I really felt like I could have kept going for the olympic distance which I guess means I either overtrained or didn't go fast enough or both. 
   I run quite a bit, mostly early in the morning when I drag myself out of bed so I can hear the birds singing before rush hour traffic sends them into their daily depressed silence so I thought that not many things could make running harder than a cold, barley light, rainy, early morning but no nothing N-o-t-h-i-n-g can compare to trying to run-who am I kidding, nothing can compare to trying to move your legs after swimming then biking it really felt like I had no legs. I was running on stilts, and there was a whole row of us running on stilts though we weren't running we were shuffling-so- so -so- slooowwwlly. 
   I was worried when I started the race that my shorts were going to rub my thighs raw when I ran but I had no need to worry as I could have been running in a mini skirt with my knees duct taped together that is how s l o w  I was shuffling so incredibly slow and I simply couldn't find my legs to run faster. It took me a mile and half to feel like I could run again. 
   A mile and a half is a very long time to contemplate things like, how if I were to walk, it would probably be a faster pace. Or the fact that if there was something dead and rotting on the road I would not bother to go around it or avoid it, as that would take way too much effort. You know you are doing something that feels like it will never ever end when you start comparing it to childbirth. The only things I compare that to is getting laser dentistry done with no freezing and getting my blood drawn (I really hate getting needles). I also compared my run to childbirth and decided that I couldn't decide which was harder so that was probably my lowest point, around the end of mile 1, this was probably because I passed the sign that told me I had only run ONE mile and I had a whole 2.5 miles left to go-which isn't very far but it felt v e r y very very far last Saturday.
I expected the finish to be right when I got back to the park but like most foot races they make you run the spectator loop of shame where they stick you on a nice gravel track in the heat of the sun with all the people watching and waiting and cheering and all you want to do is stop drop and die and you realize you have to run the whole way around before the end. But the finish was in sight and I finished strong which was one of my goals- I also didn't drown, crash the bike or walk on the running loop so all in all it was a very successful race. 



Womens Sprint Triathlon. Age group 30-34. 7th out of 20. Overall Womens Sprint 41st out of 158. 
Time Details:    Swim 1/4 mile 0:11:09.2
                      Bike 13.6 miles 0:48:45.2 /16.7MPH
                      Run 5km (approx. 3.1 miles) 0:28:08.1 /9:15M
                      Overall time 1:30:32.9

Oh yes this race was sponsored by a chocolate company so they give out water bottles filled with chocolates and bowls of chocolates and boxes of chocolates. I'm sure they count on the fact that no one is going to want to eat hoards of chocolate after hours of exercise. Fortunately Benjamin was there to bring the chocolate consumption back into balance 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The circumference of me!

   Who am I? Why is this question even one? Can't I be Who am I! Because this will never change, time will pass on and on and Who am I or Who I am changes season of life to season of life.
   This is one of the most prized and glorious parts of life, the unexpectedness of gradual change.
   I originally wanted these writings to be my time but my time is obsolete times four, children erase time and they create time they make time more meaningful and make you wish time would either stop or hurry by.
  My life at this season is my children and as such these writings become who I am and in extension who am I?
   I am a mother, a part of cherished memories given as gifts all around me. Who am I! A Mother! the thought at times restricting but most usually exhilarating.

Double bouncy

  Last week we went to Trampoline Nation. There was a half pipe, a slam dunk area, a dodgeball area a super springy area and another area covered in trampolines just because there was room for it. There was more floor and wall square feet of Trampoline than I have ever thought possible. It was therapeutic in a way like being transported back in childhood when the trampoline felt as big as a city block and you felt like you could just jump up and you were sure that the next time you went up there really was a possibility you would be able to fly...or maybe next time.
   I was very impressed with the super springy trampolines they really were super springy and I could still do all my amazing tricks, I'm sure as a child I met my 10,000 hours of jump time making me an expert at 1-2-3 bum drop and double bouncing, unfortunately there is a one person at a time on the trampoline rule which was unfortunate as it takes away so much of the fun, but also most likely takes away most of the injury as well. I was still expert at bum drops, back drops, belly drops, donkey drops and front flips. 
   Sadly my age is not what it used to be and I could feel my tendons holding my knees together, though I would like to think it's just because that trampoline really was that extra bouncy. 
   

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Oh (baby) Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas Everyone! 


Benjamin loves the Christmas tree farm,
and all the "baby" Christmas trees. 






 He wanted his picture by every single baby tree we walked by, and, as you can tell, we walked past a lot of them. He even wanted his picture by a dead one until I told him it was dead and then he said in a very sad voice, "don't say that about that baby tree." 
 You can't see the saw but it is there and very sharp and heavy and dangerous.
 We got caught in a storm of rain and hail and sleet
 but we stayed warm and cozy, though a bit wet.

 Good Job
 Everyone is happy 
and Benjamin has a portfolio of baby tree photos.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

How I lost lbs and cured eczema

   I have had many people ask me about this diet I am on. I lost on average 1lb every 2 days. I am not a dieter and so this was the very first time I had done anything like this. I had to because my nursing baby had really bad eczema, face, body, arms and legs. Her eczema started to improve after 2 weeks and was completely gone in 4 weeks. I lost 30 lbs and did not get one head cold or illness for the 4 months I was very strict about this diet.

The following is what I do not eat and like most things there is an exception to most every rule:

No Soy products- no exceptions
No Dairy products- exception: Butter
No Nut based milk products: no exceptions
No Eggs- no exceptions
No Processed meats- exception: canned salmon/ seafood packed in water or olive oil
No Wheat- no exceptions
No Oil-exception: Olive oil, coconut oil
No Refined sugars- exception: Maple syrup, honey, molasses
No Flavored gelatin- no exception
and a few random things such as strawberries, tomatoes, pistachios and olives

I eat lots of meat, potatoes, salad and oatmeal. The biggest things I missed were eating out, granola bars and pre-made salad dressing. Oh, and cake and ice cream and cookies and chocolate.
So there you have it.

I gave her a very high quality infant pro-biotic
I gave her homeopathic sulphur 4 doses.

I also made an oil concoction that seemed to give her some relief when it got really red, inflamed and itchy.
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup coconut oil
4 Tbsp lanolin
24 drops seabuckthorn oil

Before


After



December Advent Adventure


1. Decorate the house for Christmas
2. Go to a friends for dinner and game night
3. Make a Christmas collage for your door, write letter to Santa
4. Make an ornament
5. Make Shortbread
6. Go Bowling
7. Make popcorn and cranberry chains for the tree
8. Go cut down Christmas tree at farm
9. Decorate Christmas tree
10. Make a wreath for the door
11. I love you because jar, make peppermint pennies
12. Go swimming at the pool
13. Make paper snowflakes, put on windows
14. Drink hot cocoa by the fire, read Christmas books
15. Ward Christmas Party
16. Take pictures by Christmas tree, play m&m Parcheesi
17. Set the table fancy, daddy brings dinner home
18. Camp out in the living room, make gingerbread cookies
19. Go ice-skating
20. Deliver Christmas treats to friends
21. Make Smores over the fire, watch a Christmas movie
22. Make gingerbread house cake
23. Go caroling
24. Drive to look at Christmas lights, listen to Baby Jesus story from Bible on Ipod.