Archive for April, 2011

I was watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution last night on television.  I was outraged along with the twenty parents who showed up to view his “how much sugar is in flavored milk” demo.  I wanted to try his “I know where this meat comes from” burgers at the fast food place.  I was nervously anxious to find out if he will ever set foot in an LA school.  “Let Jamie In!” I chanted in my head.

All of this was going on while I ate my way through half a box of Little Debbie snack cakes.

The chocolate and creamy ones that are rolled up like Ho-Ho knock-offs.

Talk about a disconnect.

Why is it that we can know something is not good for us and still take it in?  Or, for that matter, know that something is GOOD for us and NOT choose to take it in?  I was guilty of both last night.  And will be again, I’m sure.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated about the right things?  What helps you steer clear of those pesky temptations that we want out of our lives but we know are not good for us?  I’ll answer my own question…if you throw the Little Debbies away then you won’t eat them.

OK.  The box is empty now, anyway.

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Puppy Love?

I’ve been sitting here with this photo on my computer screen for the last week or so.  I have it arranged perfectly to the side of my internet windows so that I can see it always.  This is the essence of my little guy.

Minus the puppy.

I used to like animals.  Until I got scared one day as a little girl and came home crying, “Dog!”  Ever since then I have been nervous around dogs.  Then when I was a teen, I cuddled a kitten for an hour and swelled up like a blowfish and found myself at an allergist’s office twice a week getting shots for the plethora of animals and environmental treasures that I was allergic to.  Even bunnies.  I’m allergic to bunnies.

I have tried to overcome my fear of four-legged furry creatures.  I steel myself when a little dog yaps his way up to my shins.  I resist the impulse to run when I see a big dog not on his leash, eyeing it to not come any closer as we pass by each other.  I’m trying to get better, more comfortable…but it hasn’t worked too well.

This is a problem.  I want Cole to love animals.  I don’t want him to feel the same fear and trepidation that I do.  Unfortunately, unless we get a hypo-allergenic poodle, we will never have a dog because of my allergies.  So, I’m hoping that his experience with animals in other places will be enough for him.

He doesn’t naturally cling to animals.  That’s fine.  I just want him to feel comfortable around them.  So when Nikki, our neighbor (and Cole’s babysitter) got a darling new puppy, I was thrilled. Please, Nikki!  Please give Cole lots of opportunities to love Diddy! Maybe if he grows up along side this little fluffy guy then he will become more at ease and possibly even learn to love doggies of all shapes and sizes.

We’ve made progress, thanks to Nikki and her patience.  Last year, while taking a walk in the stroller, a little neighborhood dog jumped up and started barking eye to eye and nose to nose with Cole.  Who wouldn’t be a little freaked out if that happened to us?  Since that startling event, we’ve advanced from Cole cautiously hiding behind me when he sees Diddy to now hiding near me as he tells the puppy, “ComeMeer!”

We’re working on it.  In the meantime, I love this picture.  That grin.  Those chubby hands “holding” a furry ball of fun.  Can it get any cuter?

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I am constantly amazed by human nature.  Sometimes in a not-so-good way.  But mostly in a fabulous way.  The little things we do for one another that make the difference.  I’ve talked about the Relief Society before.  It’s the women’s organization in the LDS Church and with 6 million members, is referred to as one of the “oldest and largest women’s organizations in the world.”

It was started by a group of 20 women in 1842 who saw a need to organize their efforts to serve and care for those around them.  It was a common practice during that time – establishing societies or clubs to carry out charitable acts.  What is uncommon, however, is that although their focus was to meet the temporal and spiritual needs of their community, the leaders of the group envisioned more.  Emma Smith, the first president of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo said the following at their first meeting, “we are going to do something extraordinary.”  Little did she know that their humble efforts would grow to include so many women all over the world.

The name of the organization has since been changed to simply being called the Relief Society, but the purpose remains the same.  To look after the temporal and spiritual welfare of those in need.  Recently we had an event in our neighborhood, celebrating the founding of the Relief Society and eating some tasty food.  Because let’s face it, everything is better if food is involved!

The women planning this event asked me to help them with a favor for the party.  They wanted a little bookmark at each place setting when the women arrived.  The theme of the event was “Something Extraordinary,” based on the words from Emma Smith at that first meeting.  As I thought about what I wanted to create, it became very important to me to focus on each woman individually.  Maybe it was because I felt like it was my opportunity to celebrate the many women who have cared for me over the last year while I have been sick.  Maybe it was because I know how much each of us do, as women, to take the time to watch out for one another in emotional, physical and spiritual ways.  I think I just wanted to say thank you to all those who have helped my little family – the countless ways that they have made a difference.

The question became: how to do that with something mass produced?  I decided to add two words to the theme: “you are.”

These simple words say what I feel about the women who have touched my life.  And I wanted to include you in this list.  You are out there, in your own towns and your own homes, making a difference.  You have cared for your families.  You have watched over your communities and neighbors and congregations and friends.  You look for people to serve and take the time to help.  You provide relief.

So yes, I created this favor for the women in my neighborhood but I wanted to share it with you as well.  Just click on the photo to download the pdf.  This is for you but you probably have people in your life that you would like to share it with.  The ones lending a hand.  The ones offering a shoulder to cry on or a hug to comfort.  The ones sending the note or making the phone call that says, “I care about you.”

You are something extraordinary.

Thanks.  Thanks for making the difference.

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