Monday, February 28, 2011

I had a marvelous day!

And it isn't just because I found this nice handful of glass.

It was a sunny day, a bit windy but what made it marvelous was that child #1 came with me. He rode his bike down to the beach and then I carried it the rest of the time we were on the beach.

He likes to look for sea glass and it does his mama's heart good when he finds a piece of glass. He stuck fairly close to me and it was fun to have a friend along. At one point he played up on the crest of the hill and I was down combing the sand for glass, but we both kept checking on each other. When he was done on the hill, he ran down and said, "I'm checking on you Mom".

 A couple of times, I had to wait for him to catch up to me and then later, I had to remind him to move out of the way of the sunlight, (which helps me to see the glass amidst the rocks). But he is patient with me...

And as we walked home, I was patient with him while he rode his bike through all his favorite mud spots.

What could be better?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Thoughts from a Rainy Day

It has been pretty stormy around here, so when the sun peaked through the clouds, I thought I might go out to see what the ocean washed up.
Not much.
Just a few pieces here and there. I did find a plastic sand toy and a rubber bouncy ball (that was very entertaining until it ended up in the toilet and two little hands were found trying to get it out). Yuck!

But, I did send a small sampling of sea glass pieces to a friend of mine and in the note I talked about how there are many life lessons that sea glass can teach us. Life experiences can toss and turn us but like those little pieces of glass tumbled by the sea, these experiences help to smooth us out. If taken the right way, life's experiences can help to mold us into women of God, people of God or if God isn't your anchor, then to be the person that you know you can be.

Just some thoughts....

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My biggest piece of sea glass

Don't you love the eraser? I needed something for comparison.
I know you're thinking - what? That is your biggest piece?!
There is a reason.
Before I had a blog but loved reading other blogs I knew this story would need to be written, and I began mentally composing it in the emergency room.

You see, one rainy Saturday, I had gone out for a run and like most runs, I ended up on the beach. I found some sea glass, but nothing out of the ordinary. The family admired them and I left them on the table to go shower. Getting out of the shower I heard a frantic shout from the living room. Dashing in I see child #1 freaking out and my husband is trying to look in his nose with a flashlight. When things calm down enough to find out what happened, my heart sinks... there is a piece of sea glass in my son's nose.

We bundle everyone up and head to the local and very small emergency room. My husband checks him in, they call for the doctor that is "on-call" but after waiting for 30 minutes,(I think he was at home eating breakfast) he arrives. He assesses the situation, puts on a headlamp, uses a tool with a loop at the end and gets...nothing. (I don't see any of this but I do hear my child's tears and the doctor's request, "can you hold his arms?" as I was entertaining/dealing with child #2, in the other room).

After tears and numerous tries, the doctor informs us that he will have to call around to find a pediatric ENT (Ears, Nose Throat) doctor, who will most likely have to sedate our child in order to get the glass out. My heart sinks, now it is getting serious.

With this unfortunate news, I begin trying to think of who I can call to care for child #2 and of course, all the while, I am praying in my heart,
"please let this be short"
"please, I don't want him to have to be sedated"
"please, just let this little piece come out"
"please help me handle this all"

We wait and wait (did I mention it was Saturday morning?). I go out to the car and let child #2 play, while child with sea glass in his nose plays with daddy's iPhone.

I get tired of the car and my husband and I switch kids. When we make the switch, he mentions that child #1 had sneezed earlier, but nothing came out. I began to pray for another very large sneeze!

As I sit there worrying and praying, child #1 is stealthily trying to pick his nose. I quickly tell him to move his hand away. He then tells me to move away. I do and again the finger moves to his nostril. I understand that it must be uncomfortable to have something stuck there, but like a good mother, I try to explain that he must leave it alone.

But he is very persistent with wanting to pick.

Because so many people have been looking up his nostril, he does not want anyone to look up his nose, but I sneak a peak when he is distracted by the iPhone (bless you iPhone!)

With that peek, I become convinced that I can see the glass and I ask my husband to get the doctor. The nice doctor comes from his office (where he has been waiting to hear back from other hospitals) and tries again.

Again, the headlamp and the tool with the loop at the end. And again I hear tears but this time, I also hear a clink.

It is the piece of sea glass being dropped in a metal bowl! What a relief!

I hug my crying son. We sign some papers. The relieved doctor mentions that he was afraid this was going to be his first extraction where he was unsuccessful. Because of that blessed sneeze, he keeps a perfect extraction record. I think we were all praying for a little miracle!

And that is why that little green piece of sea glass holds the title of "My biggest piece"

Monday, February 14, 2011

Family History

In our congregation, each week different people are asked to speak on various topics. We don't have a paid ministry so we all do our part and serve. I was asked to speak about family history. It was a fairly easy topic as I feel passionately about finding out about family members living and dead. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Mormon Church, families are very important to us (as they are to most religions and peoples) but we are also concerned about finding those ancestors who have passed on before us. Although I couldn't share this clip in my talk or speech on Sunday, it is worth viewing as it gives a wonderful description and feeling to what family history is all about.Why family history is important

And while I won't bore you with the whole text of my talk, I wanted to share one part:

Genealogy is not only about people and how they are related, it is also their stories. My parents and grandparents told us stories about their past - about their childhood and life adventures. I hope parents understand how powerful family stories can be as they teach life lessons like: honesty, humor, love. They connect you to your children and them to you.

My mom tells of having a difficult time adjusting to Kindergarten. She was the youngest child in her family and she tells of crying and crying about having to be at school. One day, she took matters into her own hands and walked home. She lived about 1.5 blocks away from the school, but when she got home, her mom wasn't there. Undetered, she walked across the street to the Mormon chapel (this was in Payson, Utah) and went into the Relief Society room....and there she found her mother. What a funny, yet sweet story. I love that she knew where her mom was. Relief Society (the woman's organization in our church) has played a central role in my grandmother's life, my mother's life and in my life. It is in our blood.
Another story I shared:
My dad recounts how as a collage student he was working on a fishing boat in Alaska. He would work during the summers to earn money for school. As he and my mom were dating, summer came and he went to work. He talks about being on the deck during one of his watches at night and praying to know if he should marry my mom. That story taught me at a very early age the value of prayer and that Heavenly Father hears prayers, no matter where we are.

Lastly, I loved this quote about family history. It rings true for me:
“Knowledge of the historical context in which our ancestors lived, the details of their lives, and the experiences that shaped their personalities are essential to our understanding of ourselves.” “Thus in researching family, we're really researching ourselves.” --Elder Neuenchwander, emeritus member of the Seventy

In some ways, searching the internet, census records, and other sources for family connections is like searching for sea glass. But unlike sea glass, names, dates and places that represent a person hold much more beauty. They represent someone who experienced life, had children, dealt with good times and terrible times. And while I love glass, I think people (dead and alive) are much more inspiring than an old piece of bottle or dish that has been tossed by the waves and finally washed on to the shore. Don't you think?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Typical Day

This handful is a typical day on our beach. Nothing fancy - except for that blue piece.

That was a find!

And I always consider it a good sea glassing day if I find a blue no matter how small.

Later today, I was thinking about what makes a typical day - a good day. A good day for me would include a chance to exercise, some sea glass and a clean living room. (If I have the energy at the end of the day to pick up the clutter, it's a good day.) 

And while today was not perfect (child #2 has learned to climb out of the crib - yikes!), I got two out of three. It was a good day. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

New Years Resolutions

I was trying to share some encouraging thoughts with a friend today and was reminded of my goal to take time each week for myself. And when I say "take time for myself", it doesn't mean, going grocery shopping or running to the post office without kids. It means taking time to do what I enjoy and what connects or reconnects me with me.

When I heard these words from Deider Uchtdorf in October 2010, I knew in my heart, that was what I needed to work on. For those of you not familiar with me, I am a very religious person....Mormon, in fact, and I feel a great deal of strength from my beliefs. In these remarks Elder Uchtdorf, (as we respectfully refer to him) discusses how we need to focus on our relationships with:
1. God
2. Our family
3. Our fellowman
4. Ourselves.
He said, "May I suggest that you reduce the rush and take a little extra time to get to know yourself better. Walk in nature, watch a sunrise, enjoy God’s creations, ponder the truths of the restored gospel, and find out what they mean for you personally. Learn to see yourself as Heavenly Father sees you—as His precious daughter or son with divine potential."

Elder Uchtdorf is an apostle of Jesus Christ, and I know what he says to be true.

Having time to think, uninterrupted, goes a long way in helping me to connect to me. Sometimes with the rush of life, I forget that I am a person with hopes and dreams and emotions. Taking time to remember who I really am and using that precious "me time" to sort through life's hurried moments helps to bring balance to my life.

And honestly, I think balance is a goal we're all striving for...

 So I'd like to say, here's to all of us in 2011!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

True Sea Glasser

Today as I walked along the beach in my pink rubber boots (already wet inside) I must have been a sight. I was pushing one child in a stroller in the sand and carrying the other. He can walk but I was in a hurry. There was a dark patch of rocks ahead and I could already see people picking up sea glass. If  you are new to the sea glassing world, sea glass is broken bits of glass that have been tossed and tumbled by the waves. This process makes them smooth - no rough edges. I find it very soothing to be on the beach searching for these little gems. So today, when I read the tide was low at 5:00, I got dinner ready, packed snacks for the kids and headed to the beach. At one point when I was dashing in and out of the waves, looking for glass, I looked up and saw my kids sitting on the sand. My son had pulled his sister on his lap and in the glow of the setting sun, they were happily watching me eating their snacks. That little moment made me smile and I thought "I must be a true sea glasser" ....or that I am becoming obsessive about sea glassing!

You'll have to decide as you read future posts.

PS I was successful, I came home with a pocket full of sea glass!