Sunday, October 19, 2008

Do I stink?

I mentioned in a previous post how I really want to have a house that smells good. Well, right now our house is for sale and the other day we had a brokers' open house. (No need to worry. We don't NEED to sell our house, but we've lived in it for two years now and so we're (well, more like I) anxious to sell it and build another one.) So anyway, the house was all spic 'n' span and I had lit candles and everything, and I was on my way out to the garage when our realtor and a couple of others got here. They might have been totally taken by the spicy aroma in the air except that I opened the garage door. I tried to squeeze myself and Janey out the door without opening it more than a crack, but it was too late. The stench from the garage came trespassing in. I don't know why the heck our garbage was so dang rank this week, but it was, and I can't help but think the realtors got a whiff. Dang it! After all my hard work... But anyway, that scenario got me thinking about stinking, and thinking about stinking brought to mind:

The girls in my family are exceptionally cool--all except for the fact that we sweat. No, no. Not the normal kind of sweating, like the kind that happens after you've run a few miles, or the kind that happens when you haven't showered in days. The kind that drenches your armpits any time you leave the comfort of your room and your sweats. Oh, my heavens. It has been such a curse my whole life. At one point,my mom even took me to the doctor and I got a prescription for a special deodorant/antiperspirant. I think it was called Certain Dry. You had to take a shower RIGHT before you went to bed, dry thoroughly, and then apply it immediately. And it actually did help significantly if you followed those directions exactly. However, if you let yourself get distracted and say, brush your teeth before applying the deodorant, you were screwed. Not only would your armpits start sweating, but they would start itching like the dickens, too. No joke. So what did I do about it? Well, I survived the best I could--I stuck pantie liners in the armpits of my dresses when I went to dances or was giving a talk or something; I'd run into the bathroom at school and wipe my pits out with toilet paper; I'd wear multiple shirts; I'd wear colors that didn't change color as badly when they were wet....and I just tried to keep my arms down at my sides as much as possible. Like that isn't totally weird. So my whole life I've just had to fumble along trying not to be drenched in sweat. But it's getting better as time goes by--is it possible to wear out your sweat glands? I was even able to sing Once There Was A Snowman today in church without worrying about lifting my arms. (By the way, did you know that it is deodorant mixed with sweat (not just sweat alone) that makes those nasty stains on the armpits of your white shirts? So if you don't wear deodorant, you'll never get stains there. Don't worry. I don't go without deodorant very often. But sometimes, when I've just showered and I'll be wearing a nice white shirt to go out for a few hours, I'll skip on the deodorant and just wear perfume in order to keep the shirt looking good. I can only get away with it now that my pits are drying up.)

And constant sweating might be the biggest problem related to stinking I've ever had except that in college I had a bigger one.
Sarah and I were running errands one day and we were sitting in the car when she said to me, "Ann, you have the worst breath I have ever smelled. It smells like something is rotting in your stomach!" Yeah, THAT hurt. But it didn't hurt because it wounded my pride, it hurt because I was then horrified that I had just kissed Johnny earlier that day and I was going to be seeing him again later that night (despite being broken up. Oh, brother.) So anyway, I cupped my hands around my mouth and blew into them in an effort to smell my breath for myself, but it was to no avail. I couldn't smell a thing. I trusted my sister, though, and took her word for it as we left in a frantic to get me some help. We bought gum, mouth wash--you name it, and we went home and gave my mouth a good deep cleaning, but it just didn't do the job. So finally I decided to call my uncle (who is a doctor) and describe my symptoms to him. He told me that I most likely had a sinus infection--which would have been fine except that you can only kick an infection with antibiotics and time was of the essence. make a long story a little bit shorter--I did go on my date that night, and as unseemly as it is, I did still get a little fooshnickens (remember that work, Meg?). Come to think of it, it is quite remarkable that it wasn't my breath that day that finally broke us up for good--we all know what it's like to kiss someone with bad breath. And I did end up having a sinus infection. Turns out that my sinus infection was also the reason behind the loss of hearing in my right (or maybe my left) ear that I had been experiencing. And that experience taught me a couple of important life lessons: 1) the cupping-your-hands-around-your-mouth-to-check-for-bad-breath trick does NOT work and 2) just because a boy kisses you does not mean you are not totally repulsive.
So despite the fact that I obviously no longer have a sinus infection, I still have a lingering paranoia that I could have bad breath at any time without knowing it.

Enough about stink, though. Camp turned five! Yes, this is the season for birthdays in our family. He is really becoming a neat boy and I've been so excited to see him grow to share some of my passions--as of late: grilled chicken sandwiches, oreo blizzards, and decorating for holidays. And unlike for Danin, I did have a little party for him. I wasn't sure how I was going to pull one off without Becky being here. She's the one who always makes the really cool cake that Camp loves. I stretched myself to my creative limits, though, and made an oreo ice cream cake which I stuck spiders to. We bobbed for apples in the bathtub, played musical chairs and used toilet paper to wrap each other up like mummies. And the boys seemed to have fun, so that's cool.
Jane is as darling as ever except for the occasional "You are TUPID!" And oh, man. There is nothing that warms my heart more than experimenting with mascara on my daughter and being so pleased that she got Brian's eyelash genes and not mine.
Danin is still pretty bald, but there is evidence of some beautiful reddish hair. And she's so enjoyable.
Brian is still keeping himself busy and he has been losing weight. I've been really impressed because he has been eating really healthily for a month or so and he is really looking and feeling great. He and I went to the stake ball last night with another couple from our ward. It was titled Arabian Nights and I assumed we were supposed to dress up. Brian's always told me, though, that 'when you assume, you make an ass out of u and me', and I guess he was right. We were the only ones dressed up--as Arabs, no less. Someone asked us if we were going to be in a skit. Ummm, nope. Oh, well. It felt good to live a little.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Happy Birthday, Pee Wee.

Happy happy birthday, children dear-- Happy things will come to you all year. If I had one wish, then it would be-- That you would give all your presents to me.

As a kid, the original song got a little boring, so I decided to change it up a bit. And I've loved singing it ever since.

Yesterday was Danin's 1st birthday. And even though I don't really believe in getting presents and throwing parties for kids who are too young to understand what's happening, I did want the day to be a little bit special. So I did make her a [burnt, woops!] pancake in the shape of the number 1, and I did put her in a new outfit, and I did give her a cupcake (which she totally understood) with a candle . And all day long I really did feel even more love and gratitude for her than I always do. She's such a good girl. I was going to tell you all of the things she does, but it would just be too hard for me not to brag, so I'll just avoid the temptation, and write it all down in the journal that I used to use. You're welcome.

Instead, I'll just ask you: Have any of you seen how REAL SIMPLE has those pages where they talk about new uses for every day household items? Well, today I came up with my own:

Everyday use: Plate holder

Aha! use: Magazine rack for the bathroom

Saturday, October 4, 2008

All jokes aside

As you've probably noticed, I dedicate much of my blog to reflecting on my past. I think I do it because it is interesting for me to analyze myself, and also because I plan on having this blog serve as my personal history of sorts. That being the case, I feel like the following will be an important inclusion.
As a youth, my testimony--and the way I interpreted the gospel, was almost entirely borrowed from my parents. And it wasn't until after Scotty died that I started realizing it. Suddenly my parents' understanding and application of the gospel seemed to be changing and it was very hard for me. It was hard because I had come to accept and trust that their previous ways were correct and now I was being forced to question it all and try and sort things out for myself. Let me clarify. It wasn't like my parents had testimonies before Scotty died and not afterward or vice versa. It was just that their understanding of different principles changed, and as a result, the way they were raising kids changed as well. So I was left trying to figure out which way was better--the old way, or the new way, and I found myself being frustrated with my parents for causing me to have to go through this. (In case you care, the old way was good, but the new way is even better.) What I came to realize, though, was that I was really frustrated with myself for never having really developed my own understanding of the gospel.

So anyway, since then, I have been working hard to figure things out for myself and more importantly, I have been earnestly seeking for the Spirit to testify to me of truth. And I still struggle with some things. Specifically, I don't have the testimony I want of Joseph Smith and his prophetic mission. I believe he was a very important prophet and that he was the most important catalyst in the restoration of the gospel, but I don't think I've had the Spirit seal that testimony in my heart yet, as it has other things. And most importantly, I have not yet developed the relationship with the Savior that I want to have. And as hard as it is for me to say, I think it is because I am just now BEGINNING to understand and apply his atonement. In all my life, I have not sought forgiveness so much as I have the last three years as a mother. As a mother (and as a wife), I am being made painfully aware of all of my weaknesses, and I desperately yearn to be forgiven and to become more the mother and wife that Heavenly Father wants me to be. And despite how hard this has been, I feel so grateful to finally be recognizing a need for dependence on the Savior. And while I was visiting Sarah, she shared some of her insights on the atonement that I really appreciated. She said she feels like it is Christ's suffering for our sins and sorrows that allows him to give us the gift of Charity. In other words--Charity is a GIFT that only the SAVIOR can give because only He has suffered for all of us in a way that created such a perfect and pure love. (Man, I hope I got that right.) So anyway, don't get all worried about me, because I am working on it, and I am confident that my understanding and testimony of the Savior and his atonement will grow as I continue to work on it.

In the meantime, let me just say this--that I do know and have never doubted that Heavenly Father loves me and that I am his daughter. I know that he is aware of me at all times. I know that he listens to and answers my prayers. I know that he expects a lot from me, but that he is proud of my efforts and has great hope in my learning and becoming better. I know that he is a God of miracles. I know that he is a just God, but I swear I experience his mercy so much more often than I do his justice. I know that living righteously brings happiness. I know and have experienced the power of the Holy Ghost and I am SO grateful to enjoy its companionship when I am worthy. I am so grateful for the example of the Savior and for his perfect love. I know that it is his eternal mission to bring all of us back to our Heavenly Father. And I know that I feel the closest to Him when I am serving others.

And you know what else? I love the Book of Mormon. When I was growing up, I was super fortunate to have parents who both loved studying the scriptures. They were great examples to me. I saw them reading and studying the scriptures often and I knew that they loved to do so. They STILL do. And I've always trusted that the scriptures--particularly the Book of Mormon--contain the gospel and are very important, but it used to be difficult for me to comprehend how my parents could actually enjoy them so much. You know what I mean? So I went a lot of years wondering if I'd ever be able to say that I love reading my scriptures the way my parents do, and guess what? Now I can. I take that back. I can't say that I love reading them as much as my parents do because my parents even love Isaiah and Exodus and all that stuff. But I can say that I have really come to love and enjoy the Book of Mormon. Right now I'm not perfect at reading it every day, but when I do, I really do enjoy it. I've always appreciated the gospel gems, but now I recognize and enjoy the stories, I love noticing new details, and I love the power that comes from reading. The Book of Mormon even makes me laugh sometimes. So that's cool.
And I love General Conference now, too. It gives me the spiritual feeding that I really do hunger for now that I am a mom and my opportunities for Spiritual feedings are harder to come buy and usually interrupted by noise or needy or hungry kids. (Sorry for the run-on.) And it just feels so good to hear truth.