Weekly Whimsy

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.

~Stanley Horowitz {courtesy of the Quote Garden}


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Very Own Autumn


Last month at this time I was completely and utterly dreading Autumn...not because I dislike the beautiful leaves and crisp air, but simply because I am a summer girl who loves warmth and sunshine...not to mention how awful it is to look ahead apprehensively for a stressfully busy Christmas season and then even worse, the winter blues that descend upon me with a terrific crash in January.

So I've pondered a lot on what I can do about my seasonal mood swings and I determined to ask my dear, sweet friend Savanah for some wisdom in this regard.

With her usual insight, she replied with some ideas that changed my whole outlook on the months of September, October, November, and December.


1.  Try to find things that are beautiful amidst the dreary winter.  Like watch the sunrise make the freshly fallen snow sparkle.  Or wear a black pair of gloves and catch the snowflakes on them.  The black makes it so that you can see each individual snowflake beautifully and you can admire their each unique shape.  I find that when we make a conscious effort to look for the good in everything then we find it.  So make it a goal to each day find one thing new that you can enjoy about winter.
2.  Make a goal for the end of each month.  Have something exciting and fun to look forward to.  Like a pedicure or lunch out with your grandma or something.  If you have something fun to look forward to, than the months won't seem to drag on too slowly.
3.  Try wearing bright colors.  Even when everyone else is wearing the seasons dark and drab color scheme, try wearing spring colors to lift your spirits.  You could also try adding bright colors to your home decor for the winter season to try and brighten your home.
4.  Learn something new.  I thought that a fun hobby would be to learn to crochet cute winter hats.  My mom made some last winter that had an adorable flower on the side, they were so stylish for a homemade hat.  Those might be fun to learn to make in order to lighten up a winter day!
5.  Make memorable winter moments.  Make a snowman with your boys or curl up in a big blanket with a cup of hot chocolate, warm popcorn, an old movie and your little family.
And finally....today I found a wonderful idea in the Ensign.  There was an article about a mom who memorized "The Living Christ" and then tried to help her family memorize it.  I know that our kids are too young for that just yet, but what if you tried to work on memorizing a part of it each day.  It will uplift your spirits, invite the Holy Ghost into your home and no doubt prepare you for the Christmas season.  Before you know it, winter will be half over and you won't even have had time to think about it!!
And so because of her inspiration, my Autumn has become something different this year.  It's not just a time to notice the dropping temperatures or dread the foreboding winter.
It's a time of change.  And of preparation.
It's a time to settle down and make home a comfortable haven for soon wintry days.
It's a time to put away the summer and put on the fall...including soft sweaters. (Of course, I'm going to continue wearing summer colors on occasion. ;)
It's a time to stop and pause and look how far this year has taken me...and how far I still have to go in order to reach my goals and become the person I want to be before the end of December.
It's a time to recommit to pushed aside projects and procrastinated ideas.
It's a time to make apple pie and pumpkin spice bread.
And cinnamon rolls...we had those last night.
And last week when the boys and I drove down to my Mom's, I glanced off to my right to see a little bunch of fiery red trees clustered on the side of a mountain.
It was a sign to me that Autumn is officially here...and surprisingly, that thought did not make me cringe or even sigh.
I smiled.

When winter comes along, I will be ready with Savanah's tricks up my sleeve.
"Come what may, and love it!" as Elder Wirthlin would say.
I guess my goal for September can be checked off.
I am LOVING Autumn.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Where I Am.

Today I'm feeling the need to take a small break...to look at this year...how far I've come...and how far I still need to go.  I feel tired and exhausted for really no reason at all.  Fall time is hastening on and I finally realized that I'm ready for it to come.  Summer has long been my most favorite time of year and this year I dreaded even the thought of Fall...which meant winter was on its way.  But last week something changed for the better.  I found a few Autumn pieces to display in my home and then a few more and a few more.  Until I found myself surrounded by Autumn decor and I was happy. 

And then there was yesterday.  I happened upon the steal of the century with a $20 beautiful record player.  The record player is long gone, but the piece is stunning and I can't wait to paint it all white.

And therefore, today with summer lingering and autumn forthcoming, I feel the need to stop. Sit. And reflect upon this year.  I have learned much.  I have grown much.  But I need to reflect and remember in order to make the best possible use out of the rest of this year.  I have a little less than 4 months.  I want to make them spectacular...like the grand finale to an already grand year.  But how can I do this unless I first stop and ponder upon where this year has taken me and where I still need to traverse.  Perhaps this poem by Robert Frost sums it up best:


Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there's some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.


The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Today I'm feeling...

...like I'm this field of dandelions.  I'll tell you why.

Today I turned over a new leaf...
...it's name was
Simplify.

It all began with Nephi you see.
About 3 weeks ago I was reading about Nephi praying in earnest that he might burst the bands which held him bound (1 Nephi 7:17).  The Lord answered his prayer and the cords were loosed.

I was pondering on the question:  "What am I bound with?"
And it hit me like a ton of bricks.
I am bound by my overcomplicated life that spreads me so thin and pushes me to the outer limits of my anxiety.

So I wrote in the margin of my scriptures:
"Pray to the Lord in great faith that you can break your bands by simplifying your life and ask Him to give you the capacity to succeed in the simple matters."

So I did.  And He answered me too by loosing my bands.

I made a list of the most important things that I want to accomplish in my "simple" life.  They were: 

1-Nourishing my own spirituality and testimony
2-Teaching my family
3-Making family memories
4-Preserving those memories

That's all it took for me to realize what I needed to cut out in my life and what needed to stay in.
I then rearranged my schedule to include and focus on the "important things."
Well, that was the easy part.
You see, I've always been such a good planner and such a poor carrier-outer.
I can't count the good intentions I've made that have slipped through the cracks in one way or another.

Well, this is one plan I didn't want failing.
So now I'm in the praying phase...praying for the desire to carry out my simplified life.
And guess what?
It's working.
It always does. when He's involved.

And so today when Patrick went back to school, I began my simplified schedule.
And it worked perfectly. {Or at least nearly so}.

And this is why I feel like a field full of dandelions.
You still don't see the analogy?

Let me explain.
I'm not a field of roses because the things I've chosen to implement in my life are not expensive, costly, or looked upon by the world as desirable.  In fact, my simple homemaker lifestyle that consists of feasting on the words of Christ for a small time each day, cooking simple meals, cleaning a little at a time, planning small dates for me and my husband, preparing my sunbeam lessons, teaching my boys from the scriptures daily, educating my boys in a secular way, and reading millions of picture books is not glamorous, noteworthy, or even intelligent.  To the world I am just a field full of weeds.

But that's because the world's lens is dark and reverse magnified.
To them all I do is sow seeds of dandelions with my simple acts.
And I'm all right with that. Because I choose to look through heaven's lens.
For Heavenly Father sees perhaps a field of pure white lilies.
And I know that His opinion is all that really matters.

So, in sum, I've consigned myself willingly to a life perceived as a field of dandelions.
But just between you and me, we know better.

Dandelions=Lilies in heaven.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

My New Vintage Scarf

Oh I was so so excited to get this last week.
Soft white vintage scarf with a scattering of lace fringing the bottom.
I'm in love with it.
And I kind of wish I could wear it every day.
For when I do I can't help but think of white.
and purity
and dainty cottage life that someday I wish to lead.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Today I'm in love with...

Golden Retrievers

Someday I'm going to have one...actually two...and then maybe a dozen when the puppies come.
It's just a dream...but it's one that I hope will come true.

I think I've been in love with them ever since the day when we found Polly by a little pond in Driggs, Idaho...or was it Victor?

She spent the day retrieving stick after stick from the water and loyally stayed by our sides.  When it was dark, we still had not found her owner.  So we took her to our cabin.  The next day we called the Animal Shelter and reported her.  The lady told us to keep her because she was pretty positive no one would call in and claim her.  But we left our number just in case and then drove the 4 1/2 hours home with Polly in the back of our suburban.  Somewhere I have a picture of Polly with her head laid on my lap during the trip home.

And she was ours for a whole week.

~~~~

Until the Animal Shelter called us back and told us Polly's owner had called in.
So we met him halfway to give her back.  We found out her name was Blaze and we were quite disgusted, for to us, she was Polly.  She seemed happy to see her owner and even happier to see her companion male dog, but we still cried on the way home.

Not too much later, we got a dog of our own.  But that's another story for another day.

I loved Polly even though she was mine for only a week.  I loved her dark coat and soft fur.  I loved her loyalty and sweet demeanor.

I think it's because of you, Polly, that I want golden retrievers...for keeps.
And perhaps someday when we have our very own house and have room for a dog, we will find the ones that are meant to be ours.

And maybe someday this will be my little boy by our very own golden.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Update on Lilacs


A little while ago I did a post on the lilacs I saw outside my window.

Well, here is my update.

My lilacs are still blooming.  More blossoms appear every day, causing me to reflect upon how my life has seemed to blossom more and more the last few days and weeks.  Isn't it interesting how our life goes through seasons.  First we plant some seeds of hope.  Then the waiting game begins.  Finally after rain and much trial, we see little sprouts and then blossoms.  And then we have a bush of full-fledged flowers and we wonder how we could ever be happier.  Then the blossoms begin to wilt, then dry and fly away on the wind.  Fall brings this.  Then winter brings dry branches and the cold gray slate of snow.  But springtime is just around the corner...never forget.

I guess our lives are just one cycle of changing seasons and changing trials...

It keeps us thankful...for those few weeks of fragrant summer...both in the past and in the near future.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

My New Shoes

I love my new shoes.  They were a birthday present from my sweet mother. Or were they a gift for helping my sister with her election video?  I don't recall, but I love them either way.


Ode to New Shoes


I love you new shoes
I feel so brand-new
So sunny, not blue
When I choose to wear you
New shoes new shoes.


Doesn't it feel nice to treat yourself well?  I think Heavenly Father intended us to feel good about ourselves.  And to feel good means to dress yourself in a way in which you love yourself.  It doesn't necessarily mean we have to own every new fangled and fancy style or article of clothing.  Nor does our apparel need to be expensive...in fact, I seem to love things more when they're a bargain.  But to own a few lovely things makes a big difference.  I think it lets our true selves shine through a little more...


perhaps I'm rambling....


but...perhaps not....

Friday, May 21, 2010

Today I Saw Lilacs...

{Today I Saw Lilacs…}


Yesterday we got new blinds that replaced the icky old curtains in this apartment.  So for the first time this morning, I opened the blinds (I have kept the curtains closed because I didn’t want to touch them).  What I saw took my breath away…fresh, purple, spring lilacs.  This is just one more instance convincing me that there is beauty all around when you take the time to notice.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Look Closer.

I think I first learned this lesson in my 7th grade Health class.  When I saw my class schedule, my heart dropped.  What luck?!  The dreaded Mrs. Gray.  I had never talked to anybody who liked her.  She was meaner than mean, crueler than cruel and often sent kids home in tears!  To top it all off, I had never heard of a single person who had ever received an A in her class.  This was the most worrisome part of all considering my 4.0 GPA.

I will never forget the encounter I had with my dad when I told him of my horrible misfortune.  He looked at me with his wise, fatherly eyes and told me to give her a chance.  He counseled me to be respectful and good in her class, and to work hard.  This I could do, I thought.  But then he told me that I might be surprised.  Mrs. Gray might become my favorite teacher, he smiled.  I agreed to do my best, but in my heart I questioned my dad's last statement.  He just doesn't know Mrs. Gray, I thought.

I had knots in my stomach all weekend long as I waited for Monday to roll along.  And it did much to my dismay.  My first day was scary of course, and Mrs. Gray did seem like the witch everyone described her to be.  But as the semester progressed, I noticed that my respect and hard work was paying off.  Before long I noticed that Mrs. Gray was taking a liking to me.  She asked me to do favors for her, and she actually smiled at me--often!  It was a miracle!  By the end of the semester, I had learned a great deal, and my grade was an A.  I realized with a little laugh that Mrs. Gray had become my most favorite teacher.  On the last day of school, I took her a bouquet of flowers and thanked her for all she had done for me.  She gave me a great big hug and showered me with compliments on my accomplishments that year.

The "Mrs. Gray experience" was so much like this banana.  Far away and according to rumored opinions, Mrs. Gray was gray and monstrous.  But up close with a magnifying glass, she was beautifully yellow...a truly golden person...that is, if you took the chance to get to know her.

Thank you Mrs. Gray...for teaching me lessons of health...and lessons of life.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

{brown m&m's}

Dear April 20th,

Tonight I dipped my hand into my little red bag of peanut butter m&m's and pulled out a plethora of brown ones.  There were a few other colors mixed in, but what are the odds?  Doesn't it seem like there are just some days like this?  Today was one for me.  Brown m&m's.  A wasted trip to the store.  A wasted trip to grandparents (no one was home).  A windy, blustery day.  Only 10 minutes at the park.  Ornery boys.  Tired me.  Brown m&m's.
But at the same time, there is somewhat of a beauty about these dark little things.  Think chocolaty-richness.  Think dark, brown eyes.  Think muddy mud pies.  And brownies.  And german chocolate cake.  Fuzzy teddy bears.  Hot cocoa.  Maybe you can add some of your own.  Brown isn't always bad.  There's a certain sweetness in the drab.  If we look hard enough.

I guess I can love you April 20th...my beautiful, brown day.

Monday, April 19, 2010

chasing butterflies...

Today my boys and I took Spring's delicious invitation to bask in the mid-morning sunshine.  There was a little butterfly...probably the first real, live butterfly that my oldest son has ever seen.  He was so excited.  He darted this way and that, squealing in pure delight as he tried to chase his butterfly.  He did well for a few minutes, until the butterfly decided to fly over the fence and into the neighbor's yard.  We tried to explain that the butterfly would be back, or maybe a different one.  It was just going to play somewhere else for a while.

His smile faded but he quickly found something else to explore.  A little later, here came another butterfly.  It was hard to tell if it was the same one or a different one.  Again the delightful chase began.  And as he stood by the old, white garden gate, watching the butterfly as it flitted off to yet another distant adventure, I began to see the parallel...

So many "butterflies" have fluttered through my life.  Dreams, they are--always beckoning, always beautiful.  But no matter how hard I try, I can never quite reach them, or grasp them, or hold them in my hands.  As I think about my current dream, my present little butterfly I am pursuing, I realize that my chase has been somewhat sluggish.  I dream and I wish and I hope, but I want it now, not later, not someday.  I get frustrated thinking that my dream is so far down the road.  But perhaps I can learn a lesson from my sweet little son (as I so often do).  Perhaps the joy is not in the getting.  Perhaps the joy is in the pursuing.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Scripture Depth


“[We] are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
“In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
“In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”
-Ephesians 2:20-22
There is much to ponder in these short verses.
I will be thinking today...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Meditation on Color

Different days beget different feelings, do they not?  Overjoyed. Discouraged. Sweet. Melancholy. Boisterous. Ornery. The list could be volumes.  Let's assign a color to our emotions.  For like colored chalklets, our emotions paint the horizon of our days.  It makes for a livelier discussion when someone asks, "How are you?" to respond, "Oh, I'm feeling a bit magenta today."  Don't you think?

Upon awaking, establish the color you want {or feel} to be.  Remember that colors can change and so can our moods.  Blue doesn't have to stay downtrodden all day...mix in a little bit of exciting red and wallah!  Purple is born.  Also, shades are quite subject to change.  A hot pink, vibrantly glowing in the morning can fade to a pale, pastel shade of rose in the evening when contentment has set it.  White and black do a lot to vary shades.

Here begins my experimentation on color.  Wish me luck.  I wish you luck.
Until tomorrow...what color will you decide to be?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

{Sacred}

Dear Mie {Mie is short for ja-MIE},

Today I wish to be here.  In God's great expanse of loving nature...right on the brink between heaven and earth.  The reflection in the pond seems to pull heaven and earth together in a very real and personal way, making me think that if I were here, I could be very near to my Father...

I wish to lay down on the soft pine needles and sweet soil and look up...
I wish to feel invisible to the world...
I wish to breathe in the scents of His love...
I wish to commune with my Divine Designer...
I wish to listen...
And feel His answers speaking straight to my heart...

And perhaps if I close my eyes and imagine myself here, that's all it will really take...to have this sacred communion with Deity.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Quotes I am in Love with...

"What do you think this is? A dress rehearsal?"
        ~As quoted in Carol Clark,  A Singular Life, 35-36.

Life is not a time to fritter away.  It's a time to live, to love, to learn, to play our parts well!

"The challenge is not to wait successfully, but to live richly, fully, and joyfully."
"As you strive to become a quality person, commune daily with your Heavenly Father who knows you best of all."
       ~Elder Marvin J. Ashton, Be a Quality Person Now, Feb. 1993, 64-67.

Is it possible?  Can I have this?  Can I be this?  I think can.  I know I can, with the Lord's help.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Testimony

Sitting at the feet of the prophets and basking in the word of God.  It's one of the tenderest mercies that our Father gives us.  I have much to change.  Much to improve.  But I also felt the Lord's approval with  my efforts.  I know He accepts my motherly efforts because I am trying to do all that He wants me to do.  I also know I am not perfect.  But the Savior is helping me with that.


I know that He is risen!  I know He lives.  I know He is.  He is our Savior, our Redeemer, our very advocate with the Father.  Oh how I love my dearest, truest friend.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Remember When?

It seems like only yesterday when I held my babies' feet in my palm.  And still it seems forever ago at the same time.  Remember when?  Remember the awe?  The unconditional love? The sheer joy of cradling your little one's precious spirit in your arms?  I do.  At least hazily.  When was the last time you held your little one close and kissed their feet?  Children never get too old to be touched. to be cuddled. to be snuggled and loved.  Even as adults we yearn to be held close.  I remember the days of sickness growing up.  My mother was always by my side with chicken noodle soup and a cool wash cloth.  But what I remember most is her touch.  The touch of her hand as she checks my fever.  The feel of her fingers stroking my hair.  We need to be caressed.  

And if you search your heart, you'll realize that even and most importantly, our Father in Heaven reaches out and touches us.  At times it's through the touch of another.  But far more often, it comes as an enveloping blanket when sorrow strikes your soul.  It's a peaceful warmth flooding your heart.  It's a soft caress beginning at the tip top of your head and traveling down to your toes.  It's a tingling of witness when you hear something that strengthens your testimony.

Reach out to Him.  Let Him touch your heart.  Reach out to your little ones.  They need your caress.

Perhaps this life is to learn how to reach.  How to touch.  And be touched.

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