Saturday, November 27, 2010

Before The Sun Sets

Wow! It's Saturday.
It's a beautiful day in Colorado for late November.  I am looking out the kitchen window and seeing all the leaves I still need to rake, but it is still beautiful!!!

November was an interesting month.  Kelly turned 22.   TJ found out his knee was in bad shape, and needed surgery, taking him out of his senior basketball season.  Travis was in "You can't take it with you" at Jester's theater, sporting a toga.  Erin spent a couple of weeks in Iowa, helping out a friend with their business.  The Adams family annual Turkey Bowl at the bowling alley was lean this year, as many family members were with the "other" side of the family.  A dear friend was diagnosed with Cancer, and the prognosis is grim.

30 days in a month. Some stuff seems so mundane, the grocery shopping, the bill paying, the laundry, the cooking, scrubbing toilets just need to be done and we plow through it.  Some stuff makes your heart stop, take a deep  breath and realize that this trip here on earth is sometimes full of twists and turns. 

Sometimes you are just blessed with a phone call, a hug, an email or some other little way of letting you know that things will be OK, even when it seems like they won't be OK. 

So as the clock ticks, and the calendar moves along, take a second, and make each day matter.  Don't just wander on the road aimlessly, have some direction and some passion and some fire. 

When it is time, in a month, to say goodbye to 2010, I want to remember a good year.  I want to look back and know that I did my part to try to make a difference, and I want to remember all the people who made a difference in my life as well.    So take that calendar, and put it to work for you.  Don't let it work you over!!
I am going to work harder to make a difference, one random woman at a time. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

30 Days of Thanks - The Family

How could I share 30 Days of Thanks without mentioning my family?  Today, on the actual Thanksgiving Day, I am so filled with gratitude for the amazing people in my family.  For some amazing reason, the Lord saw fit to allow these amazing people to be part of my life.  Even more amazing is him giving me stewardship of some of them.  What an amazing responsibility to help amazing sons and daughters of God to navigate this earthly existence and make it back home, to him.  How I fall short!!!   The family is overlooked, under-valued and under attack from every angle these days.  Some people look as children as "accessories" to a successful life.   To me, my family is the most important thing to me, second only to my relationship with God.  These amazing people truly bless my life.  Today I am grateful for:

  • Erin slugging me when she was two years old in the K-mart because she did not want to go. (yes, she bloodied my nose) 
  • Erin blessing me with three, wonderful, amazing grandchildren.
  • Mike speaking like a caveman for years... " now...." 
  • Mike graduating college and becoming a teacher. ( now speaking in complete sentences!)
  • Kelly in her "pyro" stage, almost setting the garage on fire.
  • Kelly fighting through asthma attacks that nearly killed her and being tough as nails.She has grit and determination I never will have.
  • TJ swinging baseball bats at his siblings who teased him relentlessly. 
  • TJ who is the most talented, athletic, leader in the family. 
  • Travis who it was harder than giving a cat a bath to get him in a car seat. 
  • Travis who has the kindest, sweetest most pure heart I know. 

My children.  They have survived me being their mother.  They love bowling on Thanksgiving, eating Captain Crunch and "Whack-em-on-the-counter" Cinnamon rolls, fast food.  They have trudged along when I have had church responsibilities and are first to help when I have a new "project," no matter how overwhelming.  They have seen me at my best and seen me at my worst.  They have seen me strong as nails and weak as pudding.  They know I cry at the drop of a hat and I hope more than anything, they know I love them with every beat of my heart and every breath I take. 

They clean the leaves out of my gutters,  give me wonderful gifts,  mow lawns, vacuum rugs, shovel driveways and clean house when they don't want to, because they love me.    This "family" is an amazing thing.  It is a blessing beyond compare, and one that I will never quite understand how I got, as there is no way I deserve something this wonderful. 

Family is not just a nice addition to life.  It is the meaning of life.  It is why we are here, to learn and to grow, and the family is the test grounds for us to experiment, learn and get better.  We are all part of a family, I am grateful for the amazing people who are in mine.  I love "The Family: A Proclamation to the World",4945,161-1-11-1,00.html  Take a second and read it again, or read it for the first time.  It is an inspired document. 

Today, I am thankful for all the people in all the families, that are making a difference, one random person at a time. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

30 Days of Thanks - Random Items Often Overlooked

30 Days of thanks would not be complete without a commentary on the wonderful items we have that are often overlooked. 

  • Hot Showers 
    •  Who doesn't love a hot shower?? There is something wonderful about hopping into the shower and the hot water coming all over you.  I am grateful that I can take showers without interruptions now.  I remember when my children were younger it was the ONLY time they needed me.  As soon as the clothes came off and I was in the shower, I  became the most popular person on the face of the earth.... Now, my love of a hot shower is shared by the two boys in my house, who shower till the hot water is gone.... It wasn't that long ago that one son was held down by his siblings and sprayed with Lysol for refusing to take a shower.... He loves them now.  How grateful am I for teenage boys who shower??  
  • Sweat pants and Hoodies  
    • Do you love your favorite pair of sweat pants and a baggy hoodie?  Some days, just coming home and putting on these old friends is all I need to feel a little better.  Everyone needs a favorite pair of sweats.  I love putting on a sweatshirt that reminds me of a favorite vacation.  Sometimes fond memories of coaching teams comes back, and I am filled with a smile.  To whoever invented these wonderful items,  I say, THANK YOU!!
  • Iron and Ironing boards 
    • Now many of you may think I am nuts on this one... Really Carrie?  Really? An Ironing board and Iron?   I am a big fan of ironing.  I don't think there is anything that brings such instant gratification.  Suddenly something looks brand new.  I love the crisp lines down my sleeve.  I love that I don't have to heat up something in a fire and try to pound it on a rock to iron.  What a wonderful invention!!
  • Flowers   
    • Who doesn't like a bouquet of flowers?  I am not picky, I love them all.  I love them sitting on my kitchen table for all to see.  I love any color and any kind.  I love how they brighten a day.  I love even more when someone surprises you with flowers.  Just because.  Pretty clear that a loving God knew flowers would bring comfort and cheer to so many. 
  • Tylenol   
    • Anyone who has ever had pain has to be grateful for popping a pill that takes some the edge away. Then some wonderful human being invented Tylenol PM.  Some nights that is just what the doctor ordered.... :)
  • Hair Color 
    • Many of you are nodding your head right now.  I am not ready to be totally white headed at my age.  I want to at least get the free breakfast at Denny's when I look like should get the free breakfast at Denny's. Nuff said...
  • Captain Crunch with Crunchberries 
    • I have searched diligently to find a crunchberry farm.  I would like to tour one and I think I would like to put some of my retirement fund into that field.  I especially enjoy Christmas Crunch!!  It is a holiday treat.  Thank you, Captain!!
Today I am so grateful for some of the random things in my life that brighten my day, make me smile and make my life easier.   When life is a little simpler, and I am a little happier, I am able to make a difference, one random woman at a time!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

30 Days of Thanks- Beautiful Music

Today I am grateful for Music. 
While I love almost all kinds of music, and have such an appreciation of those who are talented enough to share those gifts with us, today I am grateful for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  This YouTube is one of my favorite songs they do.

Have a great Sunday, and to all  with  musical talents, thank you for making a difference, one random person at a time!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

30 Days of Thanks - Happy Birthday, Poptarts!

30 Days of Thanks
would not be complete with more gratitude for the random things that abound in our world.

While getting into my MSN email account yesterday, I saw that it this year marks the 45 birthday of PopTarts.  Well, I say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, POPTARTS!!!
Poptarts were a staple for me growing up, and they still are on my shopping list nearly every couple of weeks.  ( I know some of you may feel the need to call Child Protection Services, citing child abuse! )  My Boys love strawberry poptarts and chocolate poptarts.  I like the occasional blueberry poptart as well.   On my way to school or seminary I would toss the  poptart, secure in it's thermal, silver, space age wrapping, on the dashboard of the car, and turn up the defrost.  By the time I arrived at my destination, I had a wonderful, hot breakfast! You can't do that with an egg!!

Poptarts are an amazing, balanced meal.  Especially the fruit ones. I think we are supposed to eat several servings of fruit daily.  This is a great way to get one of those servings.  And Chocolate poptarts!!! Is that the most amazing invention ever?  It's a breakfast food.  It can be dessert.  It can just be, " I need some freakin' chocolate... and I need it NOW!"   45 years of a food surviving the scrutiny of critics?  Sounds like Poptarts are a classic to me.  

Several years ago while reading humor columnist Dave Barry he shared his story "Tarts Afire!" 
 I love Dave Barry,  and, being me I had to give the project a whirl myself.  Yup, I tried to set poptarts on fire in  the toaster.  (Don't try this at home....really.... I am not responsible if you catch yourself on fire, your house on fire, your friend on fire.  You may not sue me.)   Either they have made toasters more fire resistant, or the frosting on the poptart is less flammable, but I had to "modify" the poptart to get it to catch on fire.  But I had a dang good time doing it!  Luckily, I was surrounded by friends, (The Woodburys) who were able to offer suggestions on how to "modify" the poptart to catch it on fire.   Although I don't have a degree in it, I do consider myself a "poptartoligist."

Those of you who know me well, know I like to take weird, little things that happen in our lives and put a twist on them.  I believe all of us, at one time or another, have our poptarts on fire.  Stuff goes on in our lives that make us feel like we are stuck in the toaster and ready to explode.   That's where it takes amazing friends and family and random people to make a difference.   Look around and see if someone you love has their "poptarts" on fire.  Do you smell smoke?  Do you see smoke?  Maybe you even see flames in their life.   I challenge you to react when you see "Tarts ablazin" to make a difference.  Can you  be the one who unplugs the toaster, who grabs the baking powder, or who grabs the fire extinguisher?  Most often, it doesn't take something big to help someone whose poptarts are on fire.  Most often, it can be a smile, a hug, a kind word, or taking a few minutes to really listen.

Yesterday in my office, my poptarts were on fire. In fact, I think I had several toasters full of poptarts, some smoking, and some with five foot flames coming out of the toaster.    A friend walked into my office, and, although she might have wished she didn't stop to talk to me and have to listen to all my verbal diarrhea, she did.  Without knowing it, she pulled out her fire extinguisher and put the fire out.  Michelle.  Thank you.

So, random friends!  Have a poptart!  (and if you really want to celebrate poptarts 45 birthday, maybe have a glass of TANG with it!)   But more importantly, learn the lesson of the "parable of the poptart" and be there to help those whose poptarts are on fire.  Sometimes all you need to do is just turn the setting down a bit.  Keeping people safe and their poptarts from burning is something we can all do, one random woman at a time. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

30 Days of Thanks - All things Medical

When the alarm went off at 5am this morning I knew I was in for a long day.  I had to have TJ at the surgery center by 6am for his knee surgery.  Having been to the knee surgery rodeo before I had a pretty good idea what he was in for.  Of course, he is a 6'5" guy who played the 2nd quarter of the Silver Creek VS Skyline football game on a blown out knee, so he may be just a bit tougher than me.....wait, I gave birth to five kids so I am pretty darn tough as well....Perhaps  the jury is still out on that one.... Anywho!  It is emotionally draining as a parent to bring your kids to basically strangers and let them take your child to a near-death state and fix stuff on them.  Imagine walking into the hospital and saying:

"Good morning Doctor, this is  TJ. Although this is the son who kicked out his Dad's windshield in a crazy fit of rage when he was 10,  he has become quite a nice young man.  I actually would like for you to bring him back to me when you are done creating an ACL for him and rooting around in his knee for other broken parts"

The cool part?  These total strangers do just that.  (Well, most of the time!!)  We go into them and place our total and complete trust in them, and they deliver.  The medical industry is a unique industry.  So many other jobs you can do stuff yourself.   I googled how to fix my toilet, avoiding calling a plumber.  My boys cleaned my gutters out last weekend, avoiding the need to call an handy-man to take care of that job.  My friends have helped paint the walls in my house, avoiding me calling a painter.  My future son-in-law worked on my car, saving me money a mechanic would charge..... you get the idea.  But I have yet to meet anyone who says,
" I had knee surgery last year, I am pretty sure I remember what they did so I will be happy to perform that surgery for you!"  (Word to the wise, if anyone ever comes up and says these words to you, RUN, do not walk away from them....they probably use a chainsaw and wear a hockey mask while performing the operation.)

So tonight, THANK YOU to all the people who spend their lives trying to help other people feel better.  Thank you for being willing to spend all those years in school learning how to do a Dacryocystorhinostomy,  figure out where my acromial is,  when to prescribe Benlysta,  learn how to poke needles in to hurt the least, how to comfort us, how to stand there while we throw up and not go running out of the room to throw up themselves, and work outrageous hours.  

Take a few minutes to be grateful for the amazing people in your life who help you feel better, and take care of you when you are sick.  They are out there, making a difference, one random person at a time!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

30 Days of Thanks - The Miracle of Forgiveness

30 Days of Thanks would not be complete without the discussion of forgiveness.  Today I enjoyed a great discussion surrounding Matthew 18 23-35  in the New Testament.   You can read it here:

How grateful am I for the gift of forgiveness and for all those who have forgiven me for all the times I am, frankly, a bonehead.  I have a debilitating disease..... called verbal diarrhea.  Some call it "lacking a filter."  My mouth goes into gear often before my brain engages, often resulting in embarrassment, and requiring me to apologize.  How blessed I am to be surrounded by those who love me and freely forgive me for my boneheadedness.  What a dreary world it would be if I could never be forgiven for all the stupid, thoughtless, goofball things I do.  Why then, is it so difficult to grant forgiveness to others at times? 

Yup, we all have felt it.  We love the sweet, sublime feeling when we say we are sorry and someone tells us its ok, and they forgive us.... but when the shoe is on the other foot.... sometimes.... its tough.... That is where Matthew 18 is so powerful.  The huge debt being removed... then demanding the relatively small debt be paid.  Why are we so human at times and unable to think like God thinks?  Why is it so hard to truly see each other as a brother and sister? 

Mostly  we are wrapped up with Pride.  For one of the most insightful writings on Pride, read President Ezra Taft Benson's remarks back in 1989 that are as valuable today as they were 21 years ago.   Pride keeps me from being kind way to often.    What does pride keep you from doing, saying or forgiving?  

The opposite of Pride, is Charity.  Charity of the pure love of Christ.   How are you doing in that arena?  If pride is waning , than hopefully charity is blooming.  With Charity, we can love as Christ would love and forgiving just seems to make more sense, and gives us the strength to forgive when it seems almost impossible.

So,  I am forgiving all the dumb things,  the rude drivers, the people who hang Christmas lights poorly, the people who can't count in the "15 items or less" line at the grocery store, Oakland Raiders Fans,  poor sports,  people who are mean to my kids,  people who think coconut should be a food, people who created onion bagels, thus allowing me to get a big, fat bite of onion with my plain,toasted bagel with strawberry cream cheese,  people who created horrible, foul rap music,   people who write political TV commercials,  people who are mean to animals, people who think animals that should never be eaten taste "just like chicken" people who don't return their carts at the grocery store, people who drive slow in the left hand lane,  and for every dumb, goofy thing I get annoyed at. 

To the big stuff.... that is truly hard to forgive.  The broken hearts, the conflicts, the profound sadness, the things that test me to the end of my rope, and teach me to lean on the Savior, I will continue to press forward in forgiveness and love, knowing the Lord expects me to forgive 70 x 7., and knowing he will assist me in all I am asked to do. 

And finally, here it is- if I have offended, or hurt you in anyway, please forgive me.  I truly do not want to hurt anyone.  And I am going to try harder to love, forgive and make a difference! Pride needs to go away, and charity needs to replace it.   What a great world we would live in, if we all did that, just a little bit better, just a little more random woman at a time.  

Sunday, November 14, 2010

30 Days of Thanks - For The Beauty Of The Earth

30 Days of Thanks would not be complete without being grateful for the amazing earth we live on.  Today, just a beautiful song with beautiful pictures to ponder some of the wonders of the earth.  Grateful people can make a difference, one random woman at a time!  Thanks to John Rutter !

Thursday, November 11, 2010

30 Days of Thanks - Veterans Day 2010

 Today, nothing sassy to say.  Just a heart felt "THANK YOU" to all who have served, are serving and will someday serve.  Proud to be an American.   Wishing all a thoughtful Veterans Day.  Looking forward to that day when we shall all live in peace.  That will only happen when we make a difference, one random person at a time. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

30 Days of Thanks- My Birth Mom.....Part 2

In celebrating 30 days of thanks yesterday I was thankful for my birth mother.  I shared a cheery version of us eating at a swanky restaurant for lunch and chatting.  I imagine she owns a horse farm on hundreds of acres in the outskirts of Lexington, KY.   This "Disney-version" of meeting my birth mom is probably a little too perfect.  Today, I share, what I see as... "The rest of the story...."

ThelmaLou comes out of the door. She is tall, and large...She could play linebacker for the Denver Broncos....Especially this year.....  She is wearing denim.  There are visible tattoos. I think that is a beer can in her hand... It is the size of an oil can.  As she gets closer I see she has several teeth missing.  Oh boy.... What have I done?

She speaks to me, and I am aware that it is some kind of English dialect,  but I have trouble sorting it out.   I hear banjos... She invites me inside and tells me there will be a big, family celebration tonight, Where I will meet all of my half-brothers and half-sisters, grandmas and grandpas, cousins, aunts,  and uncles.... several layers of family.   I hand her the flowers I bring for her, to say thank you, and she asks, "Who done died?"  I am even more grateful for adoption. Oh, boy.... What have I done?

One of the "cousins"
That evening I meet the "family."  Everyone has two first names.  Billy-Bob, JimBo, BettySue,... yea, you get it.  They look strangely similar, especially the triplets with the birth defects.  I hear banjos again.  I am afraid to eat the meat, wondering if it was run over earlier this afternoon.  I am pretty sure that was some sort of moonshine in the barrel, I got dizzy and light headed walking past it.  Are they square dancing?  I take pictures because no one will believe me when I tell this story.  I wouldn't believe me if I heard this story.... When is my flight home?  Oh boy.... What have I done?

Later that night ThelmaLou wants to spend some time just with me.  She thanks me for coming to see her.  She admits she had "plum forgot" about me, and she was glad I had looked her up.  She then hits me up for money.  I look like I am made of it.  Can we run down to the Minit Mart and buy some lotto tickets?  This is the big one and ThelmaLou knows she is going to win it.   One of the hound dogs needs some surgery.  Normally they don't do surgery on the dog and just put it down, but this one is special.   I tell her I would  be happy to share some money with her but I only have $100 with me.  She tells me to never mind the trip to the Minit Mart, she just won the lottery.  I tell her my flight was changed and I need to go.... now.....  Oh boy, What have I done?

I return the rental car.  I get on my plane.  I think what on earth have I done?  Why did I need to go digging where no one should dig?  Dottie is in Heaven, laughing.  Belly laughing.  Grabbing her angel friends and slapping each other laughing... Tears running down her angel spirit laughing... Oh boy, what have I done?

I suppose I should be worried since ThelmaLou said she is coming to visit me..... But I am not... I gave her Hank's address in Wyoming...... Oh boy.....what have I done??? 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

30 Days of Thanks- My Birth Mom

The bouquet of red roses is for the amazing lady that I am grateful for today.  Today I say THANK YOU to the woman who is my birth mother.   I have never met her.  I don't know her name, or anything about her.  I take that back... The only thing I have heard about her is that she was a Co-ed at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, and my birth father was a professor.  While that could make an interesting "Lifetime" channel movie, that is all I know.  I have no idea what color her eyes are, if she was tall, if her hair turned gray early, if she likes french fries, if she loves sports, or is anything like me at all.   I have no idea what happened when she told her parents she was pregnant,  if she ever saw my birth father again, if she graduated from Uof K, or what she did the rest of the summer of 1962.  I have no idea if she even thinks of me in June on my birthday or if she has long erased the difficult event from her mind.  I think of her, occasionally. 

I imagine I locate her (perhaps something dramatic like on the OPRAH show, or something less amazing like I just figure out where she is and who she is, because I am pretty good with GOOGLE.)  We chat on the phone and make arrangements to meet.  I fly to Kentucky.   We meet in a public place, (She worries I am a freak, she has seen too many Jerry Springer episodes of bizarre adoption reunion stories)  and we have lunch.   I greet her with a huge bouquet of roses.  I hope she likes them.  I bring her flowers for all the events I have missed in her life, Birthday's, Christmases,  Mother's Day,  you know, all the good ones!  We exchange small talk.  I show her a picture of my kids.  She thinks they are amazing, adorable and sound wonderful.  (Because they are!)  She shares a little about 1962.   She tells me the hard parts.  She is worried now that I will want to be in her life full time.  

The best part is when I just say "Thank you."  I tell her about Hank, and Dottie.  I tell her about how they spoiled me rotten.  I tell her about going to Europe every summer growing up (doesn't everyone?) And I tell her about piano lessons, swim lessons, riding horses, inter tubing down the ditch by my house, sleeping on the trampoline, joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and becoming me.  I tell her I have always wanted to sit at the table, take her to lunch and tell her thank you.  I don't need to be at thanksgiving dinner, I don't need to meet 96 year old Aunt Pearl, I don't need to even meet some brothers and sisters that I may have now.   I only need to say thank you to the woman who brought me here.  I had a mom and a dad.  They were amazing parents and honestly, she should be semi-thankful she didn't have to raise me!!  
The ball is in her court.  If she wants to be a part of my life, I will love this new, amazing woman in my life.  If she wants to walk away and never talk to me again, that is ok too.  She has been through the rough part.  I finally get to look at her.  I finally get to see her nose, her smile and her eyes. I get to bring her the flowers I have wanted to bring her for as long as I can remember, and I get to simply say "Thank you!"  Talk about making a difference, one random woman at a time??  This lady made a choice that let me be here, and get a chance to be me.  Can't ask for anything more than that.   

Monday, November 8, 2010

30 Days of Thanks- Mom and Dad

Hank and Dottie Werner
30 days of Thanks would not be complete without a shout out to my parents.   Hank and Dottie were pretty amazing parents (although I was a pretty amazing child, so parenting had to be fairly simple.....)  I share their engagement picture because I had no idea my parents were movie stars! Seriously, does this picture look like a movie poster?   Earlier on this blog I have shared thanks to my mom., and I have shared some thoughts about my dad as well, but today I share total gratitude for the people who have helped me become who I am. 

In 1962 two amazing people adopted a little cute baby in Lexington, Kentucky.   Hank worked at IBM and Dottie was a stay-at-home mom.  I was told that one morning, while leaning out of my crib to watch my dad shave I did a header out of the crib and landed on the floor and in the hospital.  (So when people ask, "Where you dropped on your head as a baby?" The answer is a resounding, "Yes! Why do you ask?"  

Just a few short years later we are living in Boulder, Colorado living in a hotel while the house gets ready to move in.   Seemingly the TV got a little boring and I did not like what was on, so I took two feet and kicked it over.  I am amazed I am still alive.

For the kid who amazingly survived childhood I am sure my parents questioned working so hard to keep me alive once I became a teenager.  I pushed every limit, whined constantly, begged for stuff, and must have made them look up the adoption agency at least once to see if the return policy had expired.   A quick trip to Tucson, Arizona proved if Hank wanted to kill me he had ample opportunity.  No one would have found my body in the desert, and frankly, no one would have blamed Hank if I "disappeared."  But, he didn't ever kill me, and for that I am truly grateful.

I am who I am because these people raised me. Their blood doesn't run through my veins, but I am their daughter, no doubt about it.  I am as stubborn as Hank, (Who, at 83 refuses to give up driving back and forth from Wyoming to Colorado)   And occasionally as kind as Dottie, who has been gone since I was 17 years old, and taught me to think of others before myself.  I still struggle with that, but someday, I may get there.

Forget the stupid stuff your parents did, heck, we all make mistakes and they were trying to do the best they could.  For Dottie and Hank, that was no easy task.... and I was the GOOD kid!!!    I know not everyone had a great family.  Heck, by some standards mine was pretty screwed up.  But one thing that never failed was that Hank and Dottie loved me.  They still do.   They were the ones who taught me that, even though I am only one random woman, I can make a difference.   So can you..... Being Thankful is one way to truly make a difference.  Will you? 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Random Thankfulness

To truly live up to my "One Random Woman" image, I want today to be grateful for random things. 

  • Toilet Paper.... (Awesome product, never really appreciated until you don't have any) 
  • Ice Cubes...great invention! 
  • Deodorant.... An entire world smells better, what a wonderful product! 
  • Vacuum Cleaners.. This fall with my chubby dog dragging in leaves, this is a godsend. 
  • Q-Tips.... The entire world would be walking around with clogged ears without this awesome invention. 
  • Toothpaste/Toothbrush... Please refer to deodorant... smelling better, feeling better... 
  • Headphones...Occasionally the most wonderful thing to drown out noise and let you hear only what you want to here. 
  • Popcorn... Imagine movies without popcorn?  What's the point?? 
  • Cell Phones.... Ok, occasionally the bane of our existence,   But think about how quickly we can keep in touch with friends and family.  It is awesome to connect instantly with those we love. The world becomes a very small place!! 
  • Feminine Hygiene Products.... No explanation necessary
  • Hostess Products... Ding dongs, Twinkies, Ho Ho's, Fruit Pies, etc.  Truly an American wonder.  

Please add the random items you are grateful for to our list!!!  There are tons of things that we really don't NEED but we are so grateful to have.   Loving something random is what makes us special!  Go make a difference, one random woman at a time!!! 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thankful for those who care!

TJ Adams #6 for the Silver Creek Raptors
Yesterday  got some bad news regarding my senior son TJ.  He has a torn ACL and MCL and will require surgery.   This ends a great season as a wide receiver and tight end for the Silver Creek High School Raptors and takes TJ out of his senior season playing basketball.  As you can imagine this was tough news to take.  Surgery is scheduled for later this month.  

The funny thing about getting bad news, you find yourself surrounded by those who love you and support you.  This never ceases to amaze me!  Just when you feel at your lowest and struggle to find your way, people come out of the woodwork to assist.  Isn't this a  great thing??  When we show love to our fellowman, we show love for our Savior.  This is the path that we have been shown. 

Years ago, in an LDS General Conference Rex D. Pinegar shared a great message on  love.

This message is as valuable today as it was in 1978.  Yesterday, as we shared the news friends came out to share love, hugs, and words of encouragement to us.  I even called old friend Raegan Scott Pebley, who is the head women's basketball coach for the Utah State Aggies to ask her advice.  She walked me off the ledge and gave me hope and peace that things happen for a purpose and that we are all here to learn and grow.

What am I thankful for?  How can I not be grateful for the outpouring of love, support and prayers for my son?  How can I not appreciate all the prayers offered on his behalf?  How can I not be reminded to  help another every chance I can?  The words of consolation don't take away the sadness from my son, but the words offer hope to prepare for  the future, and to be ready to take on anything that comes his way.  The words of love and support help me remember that my Savior Jesus Christ loves each one of us, knows our trials and our sorrows and finds ways to comfort us with the other travelers on this journey.  

Make that phone call to a friend today that keeps popping into your head.  Stop what you are doing and hold the door for the frazzled person racing into the store. Smile. Take a few seconds to think of the trials that others carry, and see what you can do to make a difference- then DO IT!   We all can make a difference, one random person at a time!

Friday, November 5, 2010

30 Days of Thanks

I noticed recently on Facebook many of my friends posting a daily short thought on things they were thankful for.  It is all part of of a campaign for 30 days of thanks, encouraging us to take a second from our busy days and notice all the blessings and what we are grateful for.  I am grateful for awesome people who come up with great ideas to get regular folks off their duffs to make a difference.

So pass it along, share your thoughts of what you are thankful for, get your friends to, and your family, and your co-workers.  Sending positive messages around in this day and age is exactly what we want to do be doing.

I have no idea where to start, I am so thankful for so many things.  So I think we can all agree we are thankful for the big things, our families, our freedom, etc.  So I am going to get little and specific, and share things I am thankful for that might be a bit off the beaten path.  (Because, let's face it, I am off the beaten path.... and doing "normal" just doesn't work for me!!) 

Today I am thankful for bedding.  Yup, pillows, sheets, blankets....bedding.   I LOVE hopping into bed and wrapping myself in my sheets and comforter, and resting my head on my comfy pillow.  I have BED-ADD. It is an illness that affects many of us... I can't sleep with the sheets tucked in.  I feel like my feet are being held hostage and can't move.  My feet are not meant to bend that way.   I hop into bed and quickly kick up the covers and "untuck" them to make a mini sleeping bag around me.  I then prop my pillows all around to create a "pillow canyon" for me to rest in.  It is amazing.  Now, of course, it is a little easier to have BED-ADD when you are single and don't have to share the bed with anyone.  BED-ADD people have trouble sleeping with normal people who keep the sheets tucked in and keep pillows at the top of the bed.   As far as I know, there is no cure for BED-ADD.  

So Thanks, pillows, blankets, sheets ( nice, high count sheets) for making bedtime a comfy place.    Because if we get a good nights sleep its a lot easier to make a difference, one random woman at a time!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

She Lives!!!

Since I am easily distracted I like to travel.  ( I get bored sitting in one place too long... feels like I am time-out.)
I am off on holiday to St. Louis MO to visit  my awesome friend/sister Julia.  To write the trip off, I am speaking at two different events,  last night at a fireside for the youth in Lake St. Louis, and on Wed. night for the Relief Society sisters in Julia's Lindell ward.   Last night went well, but I am really looking forward to Wed, night, since it is a lot more laid back and I can let my hair down a bit.  ( yea, there will be hula hoops.)

I wanted to share an experience that I had since being here.  I know this has happened to other people, but It has not happened to me so far in my life.... the event of the cell phone flying into the toilet.   Yup, there I was, in the ladies room at DIA (Denver International Airport) and my Iphone jumps out of my pocket and goes head first into the toilet.  It is as if she was committing Isucide, that I had used her so much that leaping into a watery death looked like the only alternative.  How could she do this to me???  I loved her!!!  She was my constant companion- The last one I spoke to  in the evening and first one I spoke to in the morning.  I took her everywhere with me.  I thought we had something good together. 

I did what any friend would do to save the life of their buddy, I dove in the toilet right after her.  I swooped in and pulled her from the jaws of death and began emergency procedures to save her life!  I grabbed the seat covers and wrapped her in them.  I hugged her, and tried to keep my sobs silent so the other patrons in the ladies room would not worry about what was happening in our stall.  She blinked, she flashed, I tried to turn her off but nothing would work.  I put her in my backpack, and boarded the plane.  I was now heading out of town alone, suddenly my joy was overcome with grief.  What would I do without her?  She knew everything about me, my children's phone numbers, my work information,  all my life was wrapped up in her little, shiny black world... how unfair of her to take it with her!!!

I arrived in SL save and sound and my sweet companion was still not with me.  I shared my story with Julia, and we put her safely in a blanket of rice, hoping to dry out the water, that she may live again.    That night, Julia suggested we say a prayer for my little phone.  I was pretty sure that God was not going to bring my phone back to life when I had been so thoughtless, and stupid by endangering her keeping her so close to the water.  Julia insisted and she shared a sweet prayer asking for life to come back to my little friend.   As I said my prayers that night, I thought of his power and his ability to move mountains.  He certainly could restore health to my phone, I just needed to have faith.  It  wasn't weird or dumb to pray for things that were important to me.  He is my Father, for heaven's sake, he loves me and is interested in everything that I am interested in. 

The next morning we awoke and got ready for church- Julia asked if I was going to try my phone.  I was afraid to look, but picked her up and turned her on.  After a couple of minutes, she came back, first the small apple sign, then another picture, than my entire screen.  Then the beeps came, new email, new text, new voicemail,!!!  She Lives!!!  She is back!!!  My sweet baby phone lives!!!!

Why do I share this story of what a huge dork I am and how addicted to my phone I am?  Because I am so grateful for a friend who has such amazing faith.  I am so grateful to have a sister who knows my weirdnesses and loves me inspite of them.  I am so grateful to have prayer in my life and to get little reminders of how much our Father in Heaven loves us and is interested in our lives.    It's so true, we all make a difference in this world, one random cell phone at a time!!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Where the heck have you been?

I can't believe it's been so long since I have written!  So much has happened that I don't even have a clue where to begin, so I will forget it, and just start fresh!! 

This weekend has been another LDS Conference weekend, full of inspiration and a spoonful of guilt to motivate me to action.  (See, I am writing in my blog....must be working!) There are a few things I have chosen to work on so that I can continue on that journey to becoming a better person.   

Today I think of the random people who are making my life so awesome right now.  

My Family- Erin, John, Bodie, Brynlie,Brycen, Mike, Christine, Kelly, Levi, TJ and Travis. (wow, I am the Waltons...) You are the frosting on the cake of life.  

SCLA (Silver Creek Leadership Academy) I work with the most amazing people ever.  Joylynn, Jean and Lauren have the 9th grade program kicking it.  Thank you for being amazing. 

Longmont Stake RS- Janet, Brenda and Cecelia... were still here, and I am thrilled.  You are dynamic women. Thank you for your amazing example. 

Silver Creek HS- Principal Sherri Schumann has recently announced her retirement. She will leave a gaping hole in the middle of the hearts of the entire staff.  I doubt any Principal cares more about their school than Sherri does.  The shoes to fill are huge. 

The amazing, random people who touch my life and make it rich and full.  Eutslers and the gang behind the kickball tourney, all the folks I work with at SCHS, Brandon's Mom, Brenda, for your grace, strength and amazing faith, The football family, my amazing friends, random strangers who make a difference... all of you.  

Thank you for making my life rich, and so worth living.  It is really true- we can make a difference- one random person at a time!!


Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Friend's Kids

There is something spectacular about our own children.  I love them.  I love how I can't live without them and they drive me insane almost simaltaniously. They complete me.

But the strange phenomona that I am thinking about today is how much I love other people's kids.  More specifically, my friend's kids.  You know the ones.... you are the emergency contact at school... your friend is out of pocket and you get the call to pick up her kid who is barfing in the nurses office.  You drop what you are doing, grab a trash can and head to the school to take home the little vomit machine....who of course, throws up in your car on the way to your house completly missing most of the stratigically placed trash can.  Funny thing is, you don't care.  You just get them to your house, grab the fuzzy blankie, a pillow, a bigger trash can,  sprite, saltine crackers and put on their favorite movie and offer soft kiss to their forhead.  It is the darnest thing.  It is like they are your own kid.

Through the years I have had my fair share of "extra" children.  Some come and go, and some could eat Thanksgiving Dinner with us and no one would actually remember they are not birth members of the family.   I guess it is my turn to return the favor for all the homes that took me in as a stray, and for all the "Mommies" who were in my life, and who still are. 

As the "extra kids" get older, (and mostly stopped barfing at my house) they still hang around.  I get fun text messages from them,  I watch their ball games and dance recitals, I go to concerts and plays, and I know what they are up to.  They know I love them.  I have watched them graduate, go to college, get a job, get married and start having their own little familes.  It is the most wonderful circle of life to see the kid who you wondered if he would make it past 12 years old as a wonderful, loving Daddy.  And it is even more amazing to have his cute children call me "Grandma Carrie." 

So today I am grateful for every friend who has allowed her children to be a part of my life....And to my kids' friends who are turning into amazing adults.  Today I hope each one of you stops and thinks about that kid of your friend who you love and consider one of your own.  Let them know they are awesome.  Let them know they have you always there for them.  Let them know how much they have blessed your life....Funny how we really all do make a difference, one random woman at a time.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome 2010..... I have been waiting for you!

Frankly, 2009, you have worn out your welcome! Maybe the years are like your children during their senior year in high school.  They drive you crazy so that you won't miss them so much when they go off to college.

2009 has been an interesting year.  Some good, some not so good, and some downright crap.

So ta-ta to 2009 and welcome 2010!  You are the shiny new crayons on the first day of school!  You are a new pair of shoes! You are the car filled with gas, vacuumed and washed.  You are clean, fresh sheets.  You are new, crunchy snow on a perfect cold morning.  I am going to do my best to treat you with love, kindness and respect, and enjoy you for all you are worth.  I will look for the positive you bring and appreciate you.  I will work a little harder in 2010 to make a difference, one random woman at a time!