Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The End of Gratitude Month, But Not the End of Gratitude

Well, it's been quite a month.  So much to be grateful for! 

My plan for December is to concentrate on the Savior.  Maybe my posts won't all be about that, but that will be my personal focus.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Put Your Feet Up, It's Sunday Night.

Jordan and I helped out in the Nursery today.  I am grateful for those cute little people and for our Nursery leaders.  Our leaders do a wonderful job.  There is structure, play, a little lesson, singing time and love every single Sunday.

I'm grateful for the Relief Society and the structure, play, lesson, singing and love that goes on there.  I learn so much from the sisters.  Different RS experiences have really helped shape me and will continue to help me grow into the woman I'm supposed to be.

My Visiting Teacher, Autumn, found herself with an industrial-sized can of pumpkin that needed to be used.  So she made pumpkin bread with cinnamon cream cheese frosting and shared it with many lucky people, including us.  I'm grateful to know her and for her thoughtfulness.  She made it with less sugar and no nuts and had the frosting on the side, just so that Rowdy could eat it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Which brings me to today...

It was our last Saturday Team Challenge run this morning.  We ran at Coronado, and the weather was sunny and beautiful--somewhere in the 60's.  I ran with June and Lev.  I'm always grateful for June's running commentary (ar ar ar).  We did four miles easy, then our "race pace" for the last two miles.  Lev and I ran with Coach Dave for one of those miles.  He told us that we would both easily do a 10-minute-mile pace for the race.  Our pace was exactly that for each of those last two miles.  I'm grateful for our Team Challenge coaches and for my teammates.  Next weekend is going to be awesome!

The kids and I went shopping this morning.  I must admit that I was the one who came home with the most stuff.  I'm grateful that they are easy people to be with, that I can provide them with the things they need, and that they are good at expressing gratitude.

We're watching the BYU-Utah game from the comfort of our family room.  I'm very grateful for the education I received at the Y and the wonderful friends I made there, that I still have and love like family.

Leftover gratitude

Yesterday, I was grateful for the things I can do in my job to help others.  Of course, I couldn't do that without my amazing support staff.  I try to express sincere gratitude to them after each case and whenever I make them stay late or struggle with me through a difficult case.  The moment I walked into that control room almost six years ago, I felt at home.  They are a wonderful blessing in my life.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bears Reposting on the Eve of Our Fifth Anniversary

We arrived in Venice by train, just before sunset. The water buses (vaporetti) to Venice proper depart from a dock just in front of the station exit. We purchased our tickets and then walked onto a floating platform for the boat to San Marco, along with several other travelers with large suitcases.

The #4 express vaporetto to San Marco arrived, and Rowdy and Jordan pushed to the front of the line. The boys and I stayed back, because I didn't want to be one of those people who can't queue. R and J boarded the boat, the mate closed the gate, and off they went without us. As I waved goodbye, I could see Rowdy's stunned face and gesture of "why aren't you on this boat???"

Keiler and Max were a little bit concerned, but we were able to get onto the next vaporetto within about ten minutes. Our boat, however, was not an express. We were on the leisurely tour of the industrial part of Venice, the Guidecca, and the Accademia, with a lovely view of the sunset. I told the boys that I was not going to let their dad get away with it if he decided to be mad at us for not getting on the boat. After all, I was the one who had been to Venice before; I was the one with the hotel name, address and directions.

Our boat finally docked at San Marco, but not the same San Marco stop where Rowdy and Jordan disembarked. The boys were nervous, and pleaded with me to "just call Dad and find out where they are." Unfortunately, my cell phone had no service whatsoever in Europe. (What a rip! Rowdy's did, and we have the same service and the same type of phone. But I digress....)

I said to the boys, "You guys are lucky you have a smart mom," and proceeded to show them that we could go to the map and see that boat #4 had a San Marco stop just a short walk away, and I was sure that we would find them there. As we walked along the canal, I told them that they were also lucky to have a mom and dad who had faith. I knew that Heavenly Father wouldn't let us get lost, that I had a husband who would have actually listened the million times I said that we needed to stop in San Marco, and who was an Eagle Scout who knew to stay in one place when he was lost.

As we approached the "other" San Marco stop, we heard Rowdy yell, "Max!" Rowdy walked up to us with a big smile, Jordan in tow. He said, "I told Jordan that the first rule of being lost is that you stay put. You don't go wandering around." Then he turned to the kids and said, "Your mom and I--we have a thing between us. We will always find each other."

And with that, we headed as a family to our hotel.

File This Under "I Wouldn't Want To Change Places With Anyone"

A colleague's 7-year-old son was diagnosed with a brain tumor on Saturday and had it removed on Sunday.  I think that my concerns and problems are pretty small compared to that and to my cousin's roller-coaster ride with leukemia.  Yep.  I'll take what I have to deal with in life and be grateful for it. 

I'm grateful that I can provide good food for my family.  Pumpkin pies are in the oven as I type.

I'm so grateful that SNOMG 2010 didn't really turn out to be as bad as predicted, and J and M weren't grounded by bad weather.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Frankly, I just couldn't muster up the gratefuls yesterday.  Not sure why.  When I thought about it later, I knew that I should've said that I was grateful for Cuties, clementines, mandarin oranges, mekons, whatever you want to call them.  They're sweet little balls of deliciousness, and I feel instantly healthier when I eat one.

Today, I'm grateful for:

1)  Half-days at work
2)  A new mattress that will be arriving tomorrow morning (maybe even before I leave for work!).  It is our fifth anniversary present to each other.
3)  The opportunity to serve in the temple.
4)  Jo and Max are arriving tomorrow!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

Rowdy came with me to the singles' ward.  It is wonderful to have a supportive husband.  I'm grateful for him!

Today was the last Sunday before Desiree, Scott, Liam and Ella Wojda move on to the OC.  I'm grateful for the friends I've made in this ward and in the stake.  I'm grateful for Facebook and blogs that help me keep in touch with these friends as they move away.

The Wojda twins playing with the Aguirre-Leavitt twins.  Cuteness x 4!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

On This Rainy Saturday, I am Grateful For...

1)  water.  I ran in pouring rain for 11.8 miles this morning.  Surprisingly, I am feeling good, except for being thirsty.  It is a blessing to have clean, pure drinking water.  Rain is also a blessing.  I love how green it makes things, and I love to be warm and dry in the house when it is raining.

2)  podcasts.  One Wait, Wait!  Don't Tell Me and one-and-a-half Fresh Airs made the 2:08 it took me to do my run not feel like an eternity.

3)  a warm, dry house.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Can You Believe That Thanksgiving Is Next Week?

I cannot.  I haven't done any shopping yet.  We are pretty basic around here when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner.  We all like turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy and rolls.  I will make a salad and some brussels sprouts because I will feel all ooky if I don't have some vegetables (and if all the food on my plate is the same color).  Don't forget the pumpkin pie!  If I don't make Rowdy a real pumpkin pie, it will make him feel quite unloved.

Today, I'm grateful for the new washer and dryer that Rowdy bought.  Our current set was purchased at the Sears Outlet store about five years ago.  They've had a lot of use, even for a small family.  We're so active that we change clothes a lot.  Heavy gis were hard on the washer, too. 

I'm grateful that my talk for Sunday is coming together.

I'm grateful for Diet Coke, ibuprofen and acetaminophen to combat cramps.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I've been trying to figure out why someone in my household keeps doing the same irresponsible thing over and over again, even though it never ends well.  When the other person in the house and me tell this person that there is a better way to do things, that now is the time to learn responsibility, that we are there to help him, and that lying about things is a bad way to go, he partially closes his eyes, raises his eyebrows, leans resignedly on the nearest wall or countertop and says, "I know, I know, I KNOW!  Okay.  OKAY!"  But secretly it's obvious that he's thinking, "You don't know crap.  I'm not going to do what you say."

It's not like this is new behavior for him.  He's been working on this character flaw (trait?) for several years.  His good mama and stepdad tried to figure it out.  They tried to have professionals figure it out.  We thought that maybe things would be different here, because (he said) one of his motivations for moving in was us was to make changes in himself. 

Well, he has in some good ways.  He's a good kid in a lot of ways.  But what he's doing is threatening his very future.  Right now, it looks like he just might flunk out of high school.  (Maybe that's not possible in this day and age, what with "No Child Left Behind".)

I've been trying to figure out why he chooses not to apply himself in some of his classes and why he lies to us about schoolwork and other assignments.  His blow-off answer is that he's just lazy.  But, really?  He's smarter than that. 

What I suspect is up is that it's really a way for him to feel like he has power in his life.  In my research, that seems to be why teenagers do some of the contrary things that they do.  But why would someone choose self-sabotage as a way to have power? 

When I think about my younger years and how I would respond to advice--really good, well-meaning advice that would have made my path so much easier and happier in the long run--what really was running through my mind was, "Well, that may be fine for some people, but I don't have the (confidence, talent, ability, money, etc.) to do that."  That's really it.  I just didn't believe in myself.  I had no idea who I really was and what I was really capable of.  And I also didn't know how to use the support network I had to accomplish things.  There was definitely a huge amount of emotional insecurity there, too.

Could that be some of what's going on?  It's entirely possible.  He doesn't like to do anything that is risky, whether it's a physical risk or an intellectual risk or an emotional risk.  Either he doesn't understand or he doesn't accept that taking risks is important in growing as a person.  "With great risk comes great rewards," is a favorite saying in our house.  Well, favorite of two of us.  Someone else just doesn't get it.

The way I hope this story plays out is that he'll have experiences like a mission that will help him develop discipline and confidence.  He'll probably be one of those people that is a late bloomer.  He has the potential to be quite a force for good.  It's frustrating to see him digging such a big hole for himself right now, though.

What am I thankful for?

Time to ponder and gain some insights (at least into myself, even if they turn out not to be remotely applicable to the subject at hand).

That the problems we are having as parents are minor, compared to things that some other parents have to deal with.

Rowdy's surgery date--Friday, December 17th!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Everyone in my house is cranky, for one reason or another.  So I'm grateful today for the chance not to be in the house, to work and to run.  I'm grateful for chocolate chip cookies and milk and a hot bath before bed.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Book Club or The Place I Go to Talk With Other Women About Everything But the Book We Chose At the Last Meeting

Maybe the rest of you are like me (or not), but I do have friends here, but I never really get the time to hang out with them and talk.  Except for at book club.  And really, it is rare that we actually talk about the book.  We talk about everything else in our lives and eat good food. 

Tonight, I laughed more than I have laughed in a long time.  I really needed it, given that everyone who lives in my house has something to be cranky about right now.

So, I am very grateful for book club.  Very.

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's a New Week!

and I am so grateful for it.  This week brings some relief in my work schedule, mani/pedi, visiting teaching, book club, running with the team, a baby shower, the SDSU/U of U game and a speaking assignment in the singles' ward.

I'm grateful for a reconnection with a high school friend and her generous donation to CCFA.  It turns out her daughter was diagnosed at 15 and has had three surgeries.  This friend has gone through so much in her life, including her daughter's illnesses and her son dying of cancer as a teenager.  I'm grateful for her example of strength and perserverance.

I'm grateful to be able to serve someone else, after all of the service we have received.  And I was able to meet sweet little Olivia Jane.  What an adorable little baby!

I'm grateful what seemed to be a cold is just fall allergies.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Sweetness

Today, I am grateful for presence of mind and inspiration in dealing with a parenting issue.  I think it went well, and I know that I was prepared to be able to say what I needed to say and have the right tone.

I'm grateful to be able to have a nice phone chat with my mom, dad and sister today.  They're good people!

I'm grateful to have gone on a short but nice bike ride with Rowdy today.  It's his first time on a bike in what seems like forever.  It was just a sedate pedal in the flat part of the neighborhood, but it was amazing to have him outside and doing something even a little bit close to what he really loves to do.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday in the Park

No, not really.  Saturday running at 6 am, going to the Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, working (called in for a patient plus finally getting some of my back-dictations done) and grocery shopping.

I am grateful for running.  Really!  This is the best I've ever done when it comes to training for something.  It's very likely that I will be able to keep it up after the race because I don't feel discouraged about how my training is going.

I'm grateful for good counsel and a big spiritual uplift today from attending the meeting as well as listening to the Book of Mormon while I ran.  My iPod needed to be recharged, so I borrowed Rowdy's MP3 player.  He had it already set to the scriptures, and it happened to be right in the middle of Ammon's mission.  That Ammon!  What an awesome guy!

It really hit me today as I was walking through the hall at work how grateful I am that we were guided to buy the house we are in.  It has been a great blessing to be close to the hospital during all of Rowdy's hospitalizations.  If I had to drive in traffic 25 minutes or more every time I wanted to see him or when we needed to rush him into the ER in the middle of the night, I would be even more stressed out by those experiences.

Friday, November 12, 2010


I do not enjoy that being in the ER late in the evening is becoming a habit for this household.  This time, I was there with Keiler.  He broke his thumb playing flag football last night.  My men are now 2-for-2 at breaking a digit while playing flag football.

He was stoic about the pain, but he is not happy about having to get a hard cast later today.  

Well, I'm grateful for:

1)  living just up the street from the hospital
2)  good insurance
3)  Keiler's calm nature (at least on the outside)
4)  being able to watch movies from Netflix on my iPhone while waiting to be seen.  We watched Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin shorts.
5)  my own personal good health so that I can look after these knuckleheads

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Almost the End of the Week--Oh, Boy!

Kilo was making an absolutely delicious salad when I walked in from work today.  It was just the thing I needed!  The kitchen was cleaned up, too.  I am so grateful for such a wonderful son.

This being Veteran's Day, I am grateful for those people who have served, will serve and are serving to protect our country.  I can't see myself ever putting myself in the situations they find themselves in.  I'm grateful they are braver than me.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Midweek Gratefuls

I'm grateful for wonderful visiting teachers.  Hailey brought us a delicious white lasagna, bread and apple turnovers.  Autumn has already brought us Tuscan bean soup with homemade croutons and peanut butter cinnamon rice crispy treats.  They're both wonderful, interesting women with great testimonies. 

I'm grateful that my heart, lungs and legs can take me farther than my brain thinks I can go.

This morning, for some reason I had the idea when I was praying to pray for angels to help out people I love who need help.  I'm grateful that prayer was answered.

And finally, I'm grateful that so many other people are sharing the things for which they are grateful.  Sometimes you make me giggle, sometimes you make my eyes mist up, and always you inspire me.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday Afternoon

I'm grateful for my colleagues, because without them, I would have had to miss my hair appointment this afternoon.  That would be sad, because I'm really grateful to have a good hairstylist.  Morgan takes care of my hair and Rowdy's.

I'm grateful that my iPod didn't die after all, because it is such a pain to try to sync up a new one.

Rowdy pronounced my new, red, Target heels "dangerous" (in a good way).  I'm grateful my husband is good about appreciating it when I get cute new clothes.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Day Eight

Grateful for rain and General Conference talks on my iPod during my run this morning.

Grateful that R didn't wake me up much to help him deal with his middle-of-the-night gut fludge explosion.  But I'm even more grateful that he was able to rise to the occasion and do the bag change himself.  It usually freaks him out, and he appreciates my being near.

Grateful for the blessings that come from being grateful and reading how Jordan experienced the fulfillment of that.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Grateful

Our Fast and Testimony meeting today was remarkable for how many people bore testimony.  We had probably 15 people run up there, and not many of them were the people who say something every month.  A lot was said about missionary work.  Our full-time missionaries bore testimony and were really, really humble and sincere about it.  I was grateful for the Holy Ghost and the testimony of truth.

Rowdy was stopped by one of my visiting teachers as he left church today.  She asked what she could do to help us.  It's been important to me to be able to try to have us be self-sufficient, but Rowdy told her that the thing that stresses me out the most right now is feeding my family.  I can get it done some days, on some days we have takeout, and some days we just scramble.  She said that she would bring us a meal this week.  I'm grateful that she thought of us and wants to help us, and I'm grateful not to have to worry about food one day this week.

I'm grateful for repentance.

I'm grateful that Rowdy has developed more stamina as the weeks have gone on.  We saw Megamind at the movies yesterday, which was fun  And I love that he can at least come to Sacrament Meeting on Sundays.

My biking buddy, Amber, had a terrible migraine the night before our ride and has one again today.  I'm grateful for the miracle of her feeling well yesterday for the ride.

Saturday is the World Wide Training Meeting, which always is a great learning experience.  I was quite concerned that my running schedule was going to include a long run, plus I'm on call next weekend.  A quick check of the schedule shows that this is a "recovery" week, so just a six-miler on Saturday.  I'm grateful for that, and that the meeting starts at 8 am.  I can easily do the run here in my neighborhood before the meeting, and I can usually schedule any call-backs at the hospital for after 10 am.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fifth and Sixth Days of Gratitude

I am so grateful today for my friend, Amber.  She talked me into doing a 50-mile bike ride, Bike the Coast.  Despite her massive migraine last night, we had a fun time driving up to Oceanside yesterday.  I'm grateful for friends.  I'm grateful for a healthy, strong body.  I'm grateful to live somewhere with beautiful weather all year round.  I'm grateful for my awesome bike.  I'm grateful for my husband's 100% support.

Fifty miles sounds like a lot, but it really didn't feel like a big deal.  We started at Oceanside Pier and rode south to Torrey Pines on the Pacific Coast Highway, over to Carmel Valley and then back up the PCH to O'side.  I'm grateful for perfect weather, no crashes, lots of fun, and an easy ride.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

30 Days Hath November

Yes, and there are thirty more days before the Las Vegas Rock and Roll Half Marathon!  I'm so excited!!  There's still time to donate to Team Challenge for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America.  Thanks to many, many generous donations, I have raised $3,665 (I have a $20 donation that hasn't been processed yet).  Just $735 from my goal--do I know 74 people who can donate $10?  Probably.

There are only two days until the Bike the Coast 50-miler.  Amber and I are driving up to North County tomorrow night, and we plan on getting an early start on Saturday.  It's going to be tons of fun.  I hope to have pictures to post on Saturday.

Broiling Hot Gratitude

It hit 100 degrees here today.  I'm grateful for air conditioning and not to be digging myself out of a snow drift somewhere.  However, I was looking through the latest J. Crew catalog.  All of those cute layers and tights and things....  I guess I'm grateful that I can save money by not living somewhere where I can wear fall or winter clothes more than a couple of days a year.

I'm grateful for the ways that the internet can keep us close to and informed about people.  I've been watching a miracle unfold on Skyler's blog.  He's out of the ICU finally, alert, talking, smiling and peeing.  Crystal, Laurie, Neil and the rest of the Beckstrand bunch have been a great example of faith and steadfastness.  Am I grateful for their example?  You bet!  And I'm grateful to be related to such wonderful people.

Speaking of Skyler, if you live in the Salt Lake area, you should check out this benefit concert at the Blue Lemon on November 20th:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Arrggh! I'm struggling!

Three aborted blog posts...how to demonstrate real gratitude and not just say things like, "I'm grateful for oranges"?  Things this week are too chaotic, too stressful to give the topic of gratitude it's full and reverent due.

But I am grateful for whatever little blessings, the "tender mercies" if you will, that have helped me get through today--getting a good night's sleep, having time to eat, getting that little reminder in the back of my head at one point "these people are here to help you; let them". 

I happened to have a patient today that I did a biopsy on a year ago.  He has lung cancer and has been on chemo.  They needed a rebiopsy to do some more genetic testing.  That's how sophisticated chemo is these days.  For some cancers, certain genetic types respond better to different chemo regimens.  I'm grateful that I was able to help him and his biopsy went great.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

This Was a Day I Really Needed to Work On Gratitude

This was such a tough day at work.  Just tons of things that needed to be done or dealt with

Grateful today for:

Mountain Mike's pizza 50% off on Tuesdays

IV fluids at the ready for a obviously-faltering Rowdstar

Fruit to snack on

Not being on call

Oh, and voting.  Living in a democracy is a good thing.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Only Interventionalist In t' Village

Those of you who have seen Daffyd on Little Britain will understand the reference.  I would post a clip, but I fear that some of the language would offend.

I am grateful for my job.  There is really no reason to think that there will ever be a chance of becoming redundant when the referring physicians just love and rely upon us.  Thank goodness for that.  But I have to say that things get a little tricky when you're "the only (IR) in t' (hospital)".  Heck, thanks to one of my colleagues being on an around-the-world adventure and another deciding to show his six-year-old daughter the wonders of a New England fall/Hallowe'en, I am literally the only fellowship-trained, board-certified interventional radiologist for our nearly-500,000 subscribers. I am tired.

So that makes me very grateful for my support staff.  They work hard to make things happen.  The patients come to our department, they're treated efficiently and well, and we're on to the next one.  I can rely on them to have my back.  It's a great blessing, and I try to remember to thank them after every case and acknowledge their contributions in front of the patients.

Gratitude Month

Gratitude on a daily basis means we express appreciation for what we have now without qualification for what we had in the past or desire in the future.--Elder Robert D. Hales

Thanks, Amberly, for the challenge to make November Gratitude Month.

Rowdy says, "I'm grateful for you, so you can be be grateful for that!"  Yes, I am grateful that my husband is grateful for me.

I'm also very grateful today for:

Oliva, my cleaning lady.  Oh, how I missed her the past month.

Mimi and Paul's visit last night

Paul is so darn cute, he really merits a close-up.

Being able to run five miles this morning.

The priesthood in action--Tyler and Max at Max's ordination to the office of Priest and Craig and Chase at Chase's baptism.

My Rad Life!