Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Kawi is moulting, a phenomenon which turns a reasonably sweet bird into a grumpy monster, only Kawi already IS a grumpy monster. He's dropped several feathers, although it isn't visibly noticeable, and now his delicate skin is covered in painful, sharp pinfeathers. It's just a part of the process of growth and development for a bird, a way to make sure that those broken and tattered feathers are replaced by healthy new ones. I guess you could say that we go through something similar.

When I came home today, I mixed a little kosher salt in a dish and filled it with warm water. I then held Kawi in the dish and covered his sore skin with the warm water. Kawi, who acts like he is on the verge of death if you touch a single tail feather, settled down and even nibbled affectionately at my face after his third dip. It soothed his sore little body, and now he is preening my kneecaps in appreciation (strange little fella).

Today I signed a contract. I told my manager at work, who already knew I would. I attempted to explain all of the reasons, when really, it's what I want. I would love to spend time focussed on International aspects of the business, placing me on journeys to China, Africa, Russia, and the Middle East. Even as I write this it sounds pretty enticing! Still, while I will not have the International emphasis, I feel I will be able to use certain competencies that would be limited in the other position. I will still be able to use analysis, strategy, and similar skill sets.

Sometimes pain is associated with change, and while I was immensely happy today, I also had a little piece of me that realized I am going to miss working here! I still have another month, and have been asked to develop a business plan before I leave. I will be speaking at a conference coming up as well. I will certainly be busy over the next month, but am looking forward to this new opportunity.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dear God....

Dear God,

First, thanks for all of the rich blessings and opportunities directed our way lately. Who can find things to complain about when so much is worth celebrating? Thanks for spring flowers. Thanks for little children. Thanks for little birds. Thanks for kind people, even those who care too much when you wish they wouldn't. Thanks for trials and troubles that make us stronger. Thanks for a bounty of good, clean, and healthy food we have so readily available. Thanks for water with which to stay clean and hydrated. Thanks for a warm, dry, place to sleep.

Thanks for vehicles that run. Thanks for jobs that allow us to pay our bills. Thanks for health and physical bodies. Thanks for the opportunity to get dirt under my fingernails and to watch things grow. Thanks for giving me a best friend in my spouse, and for making him better every single day. Thanks for great parents and siblings. Thanks for the ability to connect with old and new friends.

Thanks for the beauty of words, and for the opportunity to find beauty where it's not easily found. Thanks for miracles that are as bounteous as the stars, and for heartache that carves into our hearts a place for greater vision. Thanks for opportunities to serve others, and for the way those acts of service always come back to serve us much greater than we gave.

Thanks for the gift of choice, the chance to stretch, the need to grow. Thanks for patience, and for giving me the opportunity to wait for thy timing, because it's always the right time. Thanks for giving me what I need, even when it isn't what I think I need at the time.

Thanks for the chance to live in a world where bitter things happen so that I don't forget the sweet, and so I can help make it better. Thanks for sending thy Son, for giving us all the gift of everlasting life. Thanks for loving us in spite of ourselves, for wanting us to always be better than we are today, and for giving us a perfect example that makes us yearn to be even better than we think we might ever become.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Childless to 91 Children

It was a great day, but exhausting. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we each serve in a variety of callings. We serve voluntarily, without pay. Today I was called as Primary President, which means I am responsible for all of the children in our ward. The day C was released from the bishopric, we had a lovely chat with the Stake Presidency member, and when we arrived home there was a message stating that they forgot to extend a call to him. C was called to the High Council. That release didn't last very long. Both are big jobs so we will be busy.

We spent the day yesterday at C's marathon. More on that plus photos tomorrow. I am ready for some sleep.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Nixao post

Today I met a man who told me that he hopes Trump becomes president. "this country needs to be run by someone who can go in and fire everyone." I am sure he will rank right up there with Ross Perot. I also met a man who was an Ivars chowder rep. I gushed about how much I love it, and he gave me a $1.00 coupon in exchange.

I recently learned that e-tickets are awesome. No printing, no ticket, just your phone. Primo.

It was a good day today. Tomorrow will be even better.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye...

C was released with the bishopric today. Someone came up to me and said, "It's got to be hard to sit by yourself for all of these years." I told her no, not really. She insisted and so I let her be right. It will be good to have the opportunity to sit by him in church.

For the past couple of weeks C and I have been calling a certain individual "bishop" in the privacy of our own home and today, much to our delight, that individual was called as bishop. He is a very good man and will do a great job in this capacity. Two of our friends were called as counselors and they will also do a great job. I just want one of them to know that while he was staying late for meetings and processing tithing, C took a nice long nap! :)

I have an eventful week coming up, but I really can't talk about it in detail. You see, even though this is an incognito blog, I have known for over a year that one of my most valiant invisible followers is someone with whom I work. (No need to stop reading my blog, even if I know you read it, and feel free to leave a comment every now and again. :))

What this means is nothing. Full disclosure isn't my thing, even on work topics. As we all know, people get into a whole lot of trouble when full disclosure overrides logic and reason.

Suffice it to say that by the end of the week I will need to make a decision about work. My recent coaching sessions have been so helpful and powerful that it has helped me remember that external comments, good or bad, should not erode my definition of self. Competencies may be learned or forgotten, but we should never forget who we are at the core.

While C took his well earned nap today, I took Kawi and Penny for a drive. I know that sounds a little odd, but they get so excited to see the outdoors, even if it's behind glass. Penny squawks cheerfully and Kawi jabbers non-stop on sunny drives like today. "Kawi's such a bird. Hi, whatcha doin'? Hey buddy! Slurp, take a drink! Kawi's such a GOOD bird. Kawi's such a PRETTY bird..." and so on. My decision to never let him hear the words "dirty bird" has paid off. Penny will be another story since she is about 10x dirtier than Kawi.

Well, here's to an eventful week. Stay tuned for additional details.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Buyer's Remorse

I rarely have buyer's remorse. I use the term buyer's remorse here to apply to much more than just financial decisions. We all have experienced the sinking feeling that burns into our hearts and minds the realization of a bad decision.

There are very few moments in time that I have looked back with regret on decisions I have made. While I may make some course corrections based on what I have learned from making certain choices, I rarely wish to recant my decision. The lessons I have learned from said decisions are so important to me that I often conclude that the pain was worthwhile.

That being said, there is more than one "path to the top of the mountain." This is where course corrections come in handy. Nobody is perfect, and it's impossibly selfish to try to hold an individual in a frozen snapshot of time and think that this is who they are. We are dynamic, ever changing, ever morphing individuals. Strangely, there are those who refuse to let us change. Change takes a great deal of time to take effect, and even when we have changed, sometimes it takes much longer (if ever) for those around us to recognize or accept the fact that we have changed.

In contrast there are great and noble individuals who have the magical ability to not automatically label our behavior as "good" or "bad." Instead they accept us completely, unconditionally, with all of our dynamic quirks and isms. They create an environment in which change is inevitable. You can't help but want to be better when you are around them, and if you choose not to then that is your own fault.

These individuals also recognize that when we are in life's vice, we behave differently than we would when we are not under these pressures. These individuals are rare, and so we must become this unconditional individual who creates opportunities for change in ourselves. We can't rely on others to recognize when we are under abnormal amounts of pressure. It is our responsibility to know and recognize these stressful behaviors in ourselves so that we may adjust accordingly. I never thought I would say this, but we can actually control our own stress and turn it into something productive!

Some opportunities wash up on the shores of our lives on very rare occasions. Sometimes we look admiringly at those opportunities, but don't dare touch them because they simply look too good to be true. Some such opportunities have been percolating in our lives these days.

I have been working to recognize stressful behavior in myself lately. This week I made a decision based on some incomplete information and was immediately seized with these suffocating vice-like grips that felt familiarly like buyer's remorse. I knew that I needed to correct something to make it right.

I have always wanted to learn how to avoid going into stress, because I never quite feel like myself in that space. When I am in stress mode, I have a harder time creating an environment of calm for those around me. Everyone is different, and lately I have learned that certain decisions create enormous amounts of stress for me. To avoid going into stress, I need more time, more information, and to share additional information with others. I have also learned that it is my responsibility to pursue these needs.

My buyer's remorse decision didn't really have a return receipt, but I had to be willing to ask. It was a difficult conversation, but I recanted my decision and asked for more time. I feel that my request for more time was a great personal success. I was accountable to myself to pursue a solution, and this was a step forward on the path of change for me.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wherein We Move Beyond Ourselves into Something Greater

We all have something to prove. We travel this existence with something in mind that we absolutely must do, even if we aren't sure exactly what that looks like. Sometimes it requires someone else to help us understand what that thing is. I think that's one of the things we love most about books. We love seeing someone overcome obstacles, trials, heart-wrenching relationship difficulties, or seeking lifelong before finding, accomplishing, achieving. What is it that holds us back? What is it that restrains us from realizing who we are?

Perhaps we will spend our days finding ways to substitute our greater achievement possibilities for things that may be visible differences on the outset, when really we are still starving ourselves of our true potential. What great dent will be ours when life is over? Will we have carved our name on some veritable great tree, or will we have planted a forest?


Will we be afraid to stand out because of who we have become, or will we be content to blend into the background? What, if anything, will move us past our state of comfortable compromises to shake us from our complacency? Will we ever have the courage to do the very thing we dream? We envy those who do, so what invisible anchors restrain us from beginning today to set sail on our great life's adventure? Perhaps when we take a closer look, we realize that those heavy anchors that we believed existed were never really there in the first place.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Stand Tall

So many things going on right now. The next several weeks hold some interesting events and possibilities. Today I spoke with the company that wants to offer me a major position. Tomorrow I will receive the dollar signs. I have a decision to make.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Leap of Faith

PhotobucketYesterday we left early in the morning to pick up a suit for C. His suits hang rather loosely on him these days. We wanted to beat the rush and run errands before general conference started. After picking up the suit, we hit the French Bakery, and then the bike store to pick up pedals for C's new bike. Later we hunted for a tailor to take in three of his other suits, but tailoring on Saturday isn't a popular pastime in these parts.

Conference started on the way home, and I ran in for a frozen yogurt on the way. When I came out, C said, "You missed it. They announced a new program where women are supposed to do all of the housework, and there will be a theme for what you cook each month. April is French food. In fact, the food you are supposed to cook this weekend is crepes."

"Crepes, hmm? You mean like strawberry crepes topped with whipped cream?" I asked, noting that we had a box of strawberries in the fridge.

"There are all kinds of crepes. dinner crepes, dessert crepes. All kinds." He said, nonchalantly.

True to form, I made crepes for dinner, even though C later admitted that he'd made it all up (really?). Chicken with diced onion and mushroom, and a low fat roasted garlic cream sauce with lite Jarlsberg Swiss went over very well with my meeting-bound man. I also refrigerated some between sheets of parchment paper for strawberry breakfast crepes.

Sunday morning we slept in (for the first time in many moons) and C chopped strawberries while I warmed the crepes and set the table for breakfast. Kawi and Penny also enjoyed some crepes, and Penny discovered that she likes whipped cream so much that she growled when C took it away. I later made a few loaves of whole wheat banana bread with four bruised bananas, my own recipe, and for dinner I made faces with egg eyes, hash brown hair, and turkey bacon smiles with a strawberry for the nose.

The remainder of the strawberries found their way into a fresh bowl of ganache along with some pizzelles, chilled in an egg-carton lined with plastic. We listened to amazing and inspiring conference talks throughout the day, and I napped between sessions. We later attended to some church business and then picked up the mail at the post office. It was a perfectly delightful day, and restful in so many ways.

I still haven't made my decision about what I am going to do with work. Perhaps I have been drowning my thoughts in foodie glories while avoiding this important decision. I have some very interesting opportunities, and more available should I pursue them. I may just need to take a leap of faith and do something difficult.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Baby, Baby

This past week I met a New Zealander who endured eight IVF cycles in pursuit of motherhood. She administered her own intramuscular shots because her husband traveled and was not available to assist her. After her faithful, but unsuccessful pursuit of motherhood for many years, she and her husband applied for adoption and received a call within one week from a birth mother who had selected them. Her beautiful blue-eyed daughter adored her. Her husband, who had been reluctant to adopt told her two weeks ago that he wouldn't give up any of their past struggles, because otherwise they wouldn't have their beautiful little daughter. She told me that she'd heard that the years of struggle would just vanish once she had a child. She said it was true.

Yesterday I was able to spend time with a mission companion from Japan. She lives in Tokyo, Japan. I asked her to contact a friend who lives in Kobe to see if he is safe. It was good to see her. She is here to listen to the prophet and 12 apostles today and tomorrow. You can listen too at lds.org. It's just full of happy!

I had a dream last night. I don't remember all of the details, but there was a baby in it. No, we haven't broken our 11 year streak of un-babiness, but who knows what somedays may hold.

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