Saturday, March 25, 2017

good morning

Email that I sent to my friend, NeYoda.
It is a nickname given to her (by Dawn) because she is wise, like Yoda.

Good morning NeYoda, 

It looks like spring.  It smells like spring. It feels like spring. Finally!

For me this time of year feels more spiritual... I will sit outside with my eyes closed and there is an energy, that is almost tangible, as everything that was dormant starts to wake up and grow again.   And I don't mean any of that in some weird hippie way.  I just love this time of year.

So Megan.

I looked at Megan a couple of weeks ago and there was something different about her.  Her eyebrows were half gone!  What The Heck!?  Turns Megan had tried to shape her eyebrows with a razor. It didn't look so good. Oh, she also cut her long eyelashes back by half.  Why?  I am still not entirely sure.  The best answer might be, "Because she's Megan."

Sending love,
Janae :)

NeYoda and Megan back in 2012.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

"First and foremost, you are a child of God."

“First and foremost, you are a child of God.” - Elder F. Enzio Busche

Here is a short 6 minute clip.  The words bring peace and hope and love.

Thank you Heather for sending this to me.  

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Why Not?

Hello February! 

So far February looks VERY similar to January, but I am okay with that.

Jeff and I and our kids sometimes talk about, “Why Not?”

(I think this idea originated with our friends, John Matthew and Megan.)

This is how it goes:  Everyone takes a turn saying something that they might want to do by phrasing it with a “Why Not.”  The only rule is that NO ONE can tell you why you CAN’T do it or why your idea is impossible or ridiculous etc.

It is fun to think big, or think differently, or to think your ideas out loud and just maybe put them into motion.

Recently my sister’s family was over and here some of the “Why Not’s” we came up with.
(I will say that this game can be more fun to play with kids than adults.)   

“Why Not”…

(Remember the rule.  You CANNOT tell the other people why their idea won’t work.) 

Jump out of an exploding spaceship while shooting a rocket launcher in space.
Own 5 billion dollars.
Eat steak every day.
Own an elephant.
Get a job as a billboard.
Become a pigeon whisperer.
Fly an A10 jet.
Get a flame thrower.
Actually manage New Year's resolutions.
Get a dog.
Find a cure for death.
Become a plant.
Eat all the Twinkies in America.
Stay up past 9:30.
Beat Erik in ping pong.
Analyze each line of the Divine Comedy.
Major in Philosophy.
Visit Western Europe.
Read more.
Get a cat.
Get a dragon.
Save up for a trampoline.
Travel to South America.
Get a Bugatti.
Go to the beach.
Go to the Farallon Islands to see a great white shark.  
Eat a whole container of Ben & Jerry’s by myself in one sitting.
Organize a comedy night.
Go to the Festival of Colors at the Hindu temple in Spanish Fork.
Plant more flowers in the green space.  
Drive the coast from Mexico to Canada.

Some of the “Why Not” participants. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

for the love

Festival of Trees is a fundraiser for Primary Children’s Hospital.  It is an event where people decorate and donate a Christmas tree, which the Festival sells, and all of the money goes to Primary Children’s Hospital.   People donate beautiful quilts, wreaths, centerpieces and gingerbread houses which are also sold.  The event takes place the Monday-Saturday after Thanksgiving.

This year we donated a tree. We named our tree “For the Love”.   That phrase can be a cheeky expression, BUT this time it represented all the love and effort that went into it.

When I use the word “we”, there is a whole lot of “WE” that went into making the tree happen. Friends and family that contributed their talents or donated in one way or another include:  Jenn J., Laura, Heather, Andrea, Shelby, Liz, Kindra, Deb, Lynette, Whittney, Jenn, Amy, Dawn, Laurie, Teri, Martin, Louise, Jeff, Claire, Megan, Erik, Kristen, Heidi, Linda, Merilyn, LaKay, Terrie, Cindy, Dave & Dawn.

There were quite a few handmade elements.  Felt embroidered ornaments, jute wrapped balls, moss sticks, hand felted wool fairies and blue eggs, the tree skirt, to the dogwood branch star that my Dad made.  We created a display with tree stumps, lanterns, a toboggan and a gift basket themed after the book, "The Mitten," by Jan Brett. 

Oh let me just show you :) 

The flame in the candle looks real, but it isn't. 

I will be honest. That Monday after Thanksgiving when we finally set up the tree… I never wanted to see another tree in my life.  Never.  Well two days later I found myself thinking, “Hmm, if we did a tree next year what would it look like?” 

Saturday, December 31, 2016

December 31, 2016

In early December I went to a funeral.   At the end after most people had left a woman approached Jeff and I.  She introduced herself and was already aware that I had als.  This woman told us us about a loved one of hers that was diagnosed just over a year ago.  She said how with her loved one, the disease is progressing quickly and he is already in a wheelchair.  She went on to tell me I looked like I was doing well, and added "I hope that we get as much time as you. (pause)  Why do some people get more time than others?"

I glanced at Jeff, not quite sure how to respond, but if anything, her comment seemed to be rhetoric.

We certainly didn’t have an answer to her question.

Goal for today:  Be Present.

Some photos from 2016…

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

I see beauty in all of my friends

Megan has a t-shirt that says:

"I see beauty in all of my friends"

Is it weird that I'm about to post pictures of plants and instead of people?

Shelby, a fellow plant lover would say, "Of course not."

'Friends'  (Thank you Dad for taking these photos)


Friday, August 19, 2016

just some thoughts (and a picture)

An email from a cousin:

Hey Janae!  I am doing a blog post on ways to support, love, serve those who have chronic health problems. I know for a lot of people this is really difficult, and many are not sure what to say or do. They don't want to say the wrong thing but they care. 

I emailed her back with:

Some ways family and friends have helped us:
-          Countless meals (including freezer meals)
-          Grocery shopping
-          Laundry
-          Carpools
-          Visits
-          Girls Night Out (movie, a concert, roasting marshmallows over a campfire, etc)
-          When my youngest daughter was 3-4 years old, a friend took her for two hours every Friday so I could take a nap.
-          Different friends help me with hair and makeup and a friend comes to my house to cut my hair.
-          If I am planning a party or get together, friends make it happen.

(I will add: take me to the temple, take me to plant nurseries, plant the plants, make a birthday cake for my kids, go on walks with me, help me organize my house, help make grape juice from our grapes, help with home and yard improvement projects, read a talk for me in church, include my kids in outings, pick up a slurpee... Everyday there is something.) 

That is a ridiculously short list compared to the amount of help I received.  The kindness of others has been a huge blessing to my family.


Continuing my thoughts here.... (Parts of this are a repeat of what I emailed.)

The other day in church a twelve year old boy was sharing his testimony. One of the things this boy talked about was how even if someone is different from you, you should still be nice to them.

It made me think about how I treat people.  Why do I sometimes feel uncomfortable around someone who is “different” OR someone who is experiencing a difficult trial?  Why am I hesitant to talk to them?  Perhaps I am worried how they will react if I say something.  Will they be upset? Will they think I’m nosey? 

I find myself on this side, knowing someone who is going through a hard time with their physical health, or depression, a concern with their child, difficulties in their marriage, grieving the loss of a child/parent/sibling, losing a job, etc. I want to do something yet I don’t always know what to say or do.

Sometimes it isn’t my place to be involved, yet there are the times the person’s face keeps resurfacing in my thoughts.

When you get that “feeling” to check on a person it might seem random and out-of-the-blue, but God is giving you a nudge towards someone who needs you.  I know that God is aware of each one us and it is through the actions of others He sends help.  Your gesture can be as easy as sending a text, an email, a handwritten note or a treat. Call them on the phone or stop by and say “Hi”.

It might seem like a small thing, but it will mean a great deal to the individual knowing someone is aware of them and cares.  From the kindness of others I know that this is true.

The other part to this was “Why might I feel uncomfortable around someone who is different?”

For me, I probably just don’t know what to say to them. 

Here is a situation for the purpose of comparison I have found myself in:

If you are trying to talk to someone who speaks a foreign language the conversation often doesn’t go far.  You ask how they are doing and other simple questions.  After a while you have both exhausted your limited similar vocabulary, the pauses in conversation are a bit too frequent and you awkwardly part ways.  You genuinely like the other person, but the very important aspect of communication is difficult and frustrating. In the future when you see that individual, you both smile and say hello and perhaps ask how the other is doing, but that’s about it. 

In the past I have been-there-done-that from both sides.

If you are talking with me and you don’t know what I said, just tell me and I will repeat it.  No big deal.  This is much better than you nodding your head and pretending to understand me when you don’t.

One thing I DON’T like is when I ask a certain 14 year old boy to do something and HE PRETENDS TO NOT understand me. Hmmm… But THAT would probably happen even if I had clear speech.

Back to the topic.  It's a two-way road.  There are times when I am stand-offish and do not make it easy when someone is trying to talk to me.  Developing and showing genuine interest in others is something I certainly can try to be better at. 

I love this 14 year old boy, even when he acts 14.  If you don't know what I mean than you probably aren't a parent of a teenager.  (Thank you Mary for the picture.)