Thursday, July 14, 2011

Golden moment 46

July 14th 2011

Today's golden moment is quiet.

I'm recovering from my gum graft, my son is with his Gommy, and it is quiet. And it is golden. That is all.


Golden moment 45, written for July 13

Yesterday's golden moment may surprise some of you, but my golden moment was a gum graft.
Anyone out there have anxiety about dental work? I know I do. In fact, I feel quite justified in my anxiety over dental work. I had eight years of braces, (With no breaks people, they were on my teeth for 8 years straight) I had two major jaw surgeries, the first one lasted 8 hours and I couldn't talk, or eat solid food for about three months afterwards. It involved a bone graft from my hip to my jaw, laughing after having a chunk of bone scraped from your hip is excruciating. I gave birth without any drugs, or medication to ease off the pain, and I can tell you the graft was FAR worse than anything I felt in labor. Like a knife stabbing me it hurt so bad. I was afraid to sleep at night because I couldn't breathe very well, I was so swollen. In fact, the swelling did not go down completely for a whole year. Though the bruising did end eventually. Then, after all that, my jaw actually re-opened. And my teeth went crooked again. Not as bad as before surgery, but I do not have perfect teeth. I could actually bite normally for a short time, but the over bite just opened itself up again, and the doctor said it was so rare he hardly ever mentions it. But it only seems to happen to women between the ages of 18 and 25 or something, some weird fluke where the body just wants to reverse the effects of the surgery. And that statistic happened to be me. The second was only a four hour procedure and I don't think it was nearly as bad as the first. I don't remember much about it. Oh, and after I finally got my braces off, and teeth implants in, guess what, I had 18 cavities. I don't think I need to convince you any more that I have some SERIOUS anxiety surrounding dental work. I have literally gone in to have my teeth cleaned only to start hyper-ventalating and having a panic attack.

So you can imagine some of the trepidation I felt surrounding the gum graft I had to have done yesterday. But let me tell you what I did. When I had the thought "I DON'T WANT TO HAVE THIS GUM GRAFT DONE!" I actually decided to turn it around to "I want to have this gum graft done" and I found three truths in that. My truths were:

I want to take care of my teeth.
I love the office my periodontist works in, there are beautiful views of the forrest wetland outside her floor to ceiling windows
I really like my periodontist and look forward to visiting with her again.

As I walked into the office, or sat down in the chair and felt anxiety start to rise within me, I asked myself "Are you in pain? Are you safe? Is there really any danger here?" Every-time I had to answer, no to these questions and then I just told myself to relax.

At one point during the procedure my periodontist and her assistant were telling me a story that just made me laugh!  And I found myself marveling at the fact that despite having dental work done, I was happy enough to be laughing!

Whenever I felt my fists clench, my stomach tighten, or my lower back arch I asked myself the questions again, "Am I in pain? Is there really any danger here?" The answer always came up no, and once again I could relax.

The graft went beautifully, that hour was up before I knew it. When I went to get up, I had a drop in blood pressure and thought I would pass out, but my periodontist and her assistant were angelic as they put a cold lavender scented wash cloth on my forehead and slowly leaned my chair back for me. It took me a while to get my blood pressure high enough for me to get up without fainting but they were so sweet and let me take all the time I needed.

As I drove home I thought about the incredible blessing it was to have access to such good care, to be in such a comfortable setting, and to have such a kind periodontist who truly had a passion for her work.

That night, my periodontist called to check up on me. (I know, she is AMAZING!) And I told her that I was doing great, and that my gum graft that day had truly been one of the most enjoyable dental experiences I've ever had. In fact, I can honestly say it was a very nice afternoon.

My amazing mother in law has been kind enough to watch my toddler so I've had almost two full days to just rest and heal.

Discovering my power to just let go of such incredible anxiety astounded me. It was like cleaning up layers of clutter. The more you pick up the more you discover that there is something beautiful hidden beneath all the junk. It was like that with my thoughts, all I had to do was question the reality of my thought. "I'm anxious" really? Is that true, are you in PAIN right now? When I answered, honestly I could say "No" and then there was peace. Even if I had been in pain, I think it would have been okay. I would have gone from there, but I could deal with it without the stress, and fear factor.

Finding this within me, was incredible, it was so freeing and so peaceful. I learned so much from this experience. Everything was just wonderful. And that, was golden.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Golden Moments 41-44

My oh my how time does fly
how time does fly and grandma's house
We run, we play
We lounge all day
Oh yes we love our grandma's house

Golden moments are coming at me faster than I can hope to keep up here at my mom and dad's place. I am so happy to be home!

Saturday July 9, we made dinner over at my grandma and grandpa's house (Scotty's great grandma and grandpa's) and hung out in their beautiful "Secret Garden" while we ate a delicious summer salad, watermelon and home-made ice-cream. Golden moment 41.

Sunday July 10, I had a terrible cold and lounged around my mommy's house, eating her food and reading her amazing books which have shaken me to my very core and I will never think a thought the same way ever again. Golden moment 42.

Monday July 11, I spent the day, yes THE ENTIRE day helping my mom clean her garage, organize junk, and prep for a GARAGE SALE! YIPEEEEE!!!!!! Only if you know me can you appreciate how incredibly golden this was for me! I LOVE to host garage sales, I LOVE to de-clutter, and I love to make a buck doing it! Good day! Golden moment 43.

Tuesday July 12, My little sonny came into my room this morning and snuggled up in bed with me. I woke up to his sweet little voice saying "Ma-mas!" He is such a wonderful little boy! Golden moment 44.

I apologize for my lack of photos, I'm currently visiting my mom and dad, and neglected to bring my camera and my computer so I've been writing on my blog from their computer, and they don't really have any pictures I can use...I kind of decided to come visit last minute and honestly had no idea how long I'd stay so I packed light. I'm having such a good time I haven't wanted to who knows when I'll start loading pictures again!

Being home is so great. Good food. Dinner was made for me last night. Beautiful home, big back yard for my little monkey, best company, I even have a brother who plays with Scotty for hours! And my dad will watch Scott while mom and I go shopping, I mean, this is heaven people! And my sister is off galavanting her summer away as a youth camp counselor for our church having the time of her life so I even get to sleep in a super comfy bed! Happy as a clam! Yes I am!

What's your favorite thing about being home at your mom and dads?

-Domestic Diva

Friday, July 8, 2011

Golden moment #40 A beautiful thought.

Have you ever read a book, that from the opening page, the opening sentence, made you feel it was written for you? Have you ever had the experience that as each word echos in your mind you can feel changes happening in your life and the way you see the world? Have you ever longed to meet an author, simply so you could wrap your arms around them and say "Thank you. Thank you for the gift of your words. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you." That is how I feel about the book I found at my mom's house today. I am 50 pages into the text and find myself stunned at the brilliance and beauty of this book. The unpretentious, honest, loving words gifted to me through the pages. It is books like this that make me grateful for language at all, and the ability to communicate ideas, inspirations and insights.

I find myself reading certain passages over and over. Even a sentence. I would like to share with you once such sentence, that I simply can not stop thinking about.

"When people talk, they're finding their way toward what they really mean, and the best way to help them is to just listen."

It may not seem like a life changing sentence, but to me, it is.  I love people and I love conversation, but let me be honest, I love the sound of my own voice. I have always believed I have something special to share, I have a great insight, I have an inspiration just around the corner of my next thought. How many times have I listened to someone, while silently preparing my response, before they even finished their thought. How I have longed for their admiration, and gratitude for my advice and my insights. But when I read this sentence, I realized something so powerfully it has shaken me to my core, they already know it. The truth, the answers, the inspiration, is within them. And MY thoughts can never be theirs. The greatest gift I can give is not my thoughts, it is my attention. It is my patience, and my love. It is my faith that they can find the way to their own enlightenment.

I can't wait to keep reading, I just wanted to share this ah-hah moment! It was truly golden for me today. If you'd like to join me in reading a book that will very likely change the way you think a thought forever, check out "I need your love-is that true?" By Byron Katie.


Golden moment #39 A laugh, for July 7

Yesterday, my three year old walked into my bedroom as I was dressing. He caught me without my shirt on. Before I could say a word, he pointed wide eyed to my breasts and with a big smile exclaimed:

"Nursers! Babies drink ma-ma's nursers!"

I couldn't help but laugh and say "Yes, Scotty, those are mommy's 'nursers' and babies do drink from them, very good!"

My son has been weened weened himself about six months ago, and though he's never expressed interest or even memory of going back to nursing, he has observed his Aunt nursing her new baby. Every time she nurses with him around I explain to him that babies get milk from their mommy's breast, and it's called nursing. When he was a baby, he nursed too. That is how he got his food. Now he is a big boy, and he can eat all sorts of things his baby cousin can't eat. He can drink chocolate milk, and eat apples and carrots and cheese!

He's taken this all in with silence, so to hear him put it all together yesterday caught me by surprise and delighted me! What a sweet golden moment.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Golden Moment #38 Opportunity

Thomas Smith Gilbert, Officer during the Civil War
My great, great, great, great, great, great, super great
Grandpa! I really don't know how many greats
he is but he deserves them all, he is one of my heroes.

I want you to look at this picture of Thomas Gilbert, really, look into his eyes. Those beautiful, piercing eyes. You do not have to be his grand-daughter to see what I see.  He seems to be looking back at you from the ages, doesn't he? This picture is a treasure to me. This man's legacy is a treasure to me.

The second treasure of mine I want you to see, is the poem "Opportunity" written by Edward R. Sill. Sill was a graduate from Yale, and became a professor of English Literature. He also wrote another one of my favorite poems, The Fool's Prayer. After reading this poem, I will share with you, how this picture of Thomas Gilbert and the poem "Opportunity" are so intimately connected in my mind.

By Edward R. Sill

This I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream:
There spread a cloud of dust along a plain;
And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged
A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords
Shocked upon swords and shields. A prince's banner
Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes.

A craven hung along the battle's edge,
And thought, "Had I a sword of keener steel-
That blue blade that the king's son bears-but this
Blunt thing!"-he snapped and flung it from his hand.
And lowering crept away and left the field.

Then came the king's son, wounded, sore bestead,
And weaponless, and saw the broken sword,
Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,
And ran and snatched it, and with battle-shout
Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down,
And saved a great cause that heroic day.

This was my Grandpa Gilbert's sword. Magnificent isn't it? The sword has been lost over the ages, only these pictures remain, but I have often seen this sword in the hands of my grandpa as I read the poem "Opportunity", my grandpa the noble prince. How many times, have I complained about the struggles of military life. The burden of patrols, the inconvenience and frustration of over night duty. The nights my husband comes home after standing watch for two days and hasn't had more than three hours of sleep. I feel so angry at the Navy sometimes, when  Josh comes home so drained from work it's all he can do to climb into bed and sleep only to wake early the next day and do it all again. I have thought many times about the wonderful life and marriage we will have once this is all behind us, I have thrown my sword into the sand and said "It's too hard, I could do and be so much more under different circumstances. I could be so much happier without all this stress."

And then, I think of my grandpa Gilbert. I pull out the pictures and stare fixated at the magnificent details of the sword he once carried onto the battlefield of the civil war. I once more gaze into those wise eyes captured by his portrait picture and  think of his life, his courage, his passion, and his legacy. I read this letter, one among many cherished letters we have of his, that he wrote home to his beloved wife, Annie, during the war. I hope you will appreciate the beauty and wonder of this letter. I hope you will feel, as I do, the sacredness of it and the privilege it is to read it.

Letter Written From Camp Banks-Fredrick City Md. August 14, 1861

My Dear Annie,

I have not heard from you since we arrived here but expect to today. Lieut. Ager is due here this A.M. and then at last I shall hear from you.  I suppose we are to remain here for some time to come, as government stores are being brought here from Hagerstown and Harpers Ferry; and as our long experience in guard duty eminently fits us for that service, I expect nothing else for this regiment at present.

This is a fine country in every respect, there are fine landscapes formed by the varied scenery of mountain, vale and woodland; I wish you could see it; nothing I ever saw equals it for quiet beauty. The city of Frederick is very old and historic, full of monuments of Revolutionary times in close proximity to Baltimore Washington. There are public buildings here built in 1696. The barracks where we are encamped were built by the British in 1775 and occupied by them until they were taken by the American forces under Washington. There are hundreds of muskets-canteens, cartridge boxes. etc. stored away here after the close of the war which have remained undisturbed here until now. I have secured a musket, canteen and cartridge box which some Revolutionary soldier carried in the early struggle for American Independence. I expect to send them home by express and wish them preserved to the latest generation of Gilberts to be handed down from sire to son as I am proud to think my ancestry were actors in all the wars which were honorable happening since they migrated to this continent. And now I have their ancient fame in keeping. God help me to never tarnish their glories. The time will surely come when to be known as one who fought or died to preserve the dear bought liberties of this land will ensure fame and honor.

Think of it, fighting to uphold and perpetuate the government which our Fathers fought to establish; the government founded by Washington, Adams, Monroe, Jefferson fighting against traitors, villains who would stab our liberties and blot out our history; who would reverse the decree which has made men famous for their wisdom, patriotism and virtue, and make successful villainy and infernal tyranny objects of ambition and forced respect. This cannot, ought not to be while one fine heart is left to bleed in the sacred cause of freedom, while one is left to stand in the broken wall of our union and fight for the future and the past. This is a bitter struggle but a struggle which must go right on until liberty and order triumph or be crushed out from the earth. I have no fear for the result. I hope for a complete redemption from the evils which afflict us and look for a new era of happiness and prosperity after this new and terrible ordeal shall have been gone through.

My health is good and the general health of the regiment is good. Night before last I was called upon for extra service in the way of picket duty which kept me on my feet for 30 hours in succession with a squad of men so this is a liberty day with me and I intend to enjoy it by sleeping and writing to you. Nothing would please me more than just to see you once more. I think of you all very often and feel proud of you, proud when I think how cheerfully you bear your part in the sacrifice we are called on to make for the public good. Give my love to all and believe me as ever your devoted husband.

T.S. Gilbert

"Then came the King's son, wounded, sore bestead,
And weaponless, and saw the broken sword,
Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,
And he ran and snatched it, and with battle-shout
Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down,
And saved a great cause that heroic day."
-Opportunity last stanza

My Grandpa Gilbert's sword has been lost to the generations, as have many earthly possessions he once hoped might be passed down from "sire to son" in honor of the legacy he hoped to continue. Even the Gilbert name has ended, as my great great grandmother was the last. But his battle cry to fight for that which is good and true rings on through the hearts of his descendants. His passion, his strength, his courage, his love for God and family and country are his greatest legacy. His strength reaches me, his kind words to his wife speak to my own heart, how proudly he acknowledges her cheerfulness in the face of sacrifices, so much greater than my own.

We all have battles to fight. We all have struggles to face, we all stand on the field of struggle with a sword in hand. And for each of us, there comes a moment when we must choose to save a great cause, or find the excuse which causes us to lower ourselves and creep away. To each of us is given this great and golden opportunity.

"I am proud to think my ancestry were actors in all the wars which were honorable happening since they migrated to this continent. And now I have their ancient fame in keeping. God help me to never tarnish their glories." T.S. Gilbert

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tuesday July 5, Golden moment #37 Off guard.

Hubby caught me totally off guard  surprised me today and came home for lunch! Thinking that I had until tonight to try and reclaim the sanity in my home after a sick day that is really reflective in both my home and my physical appearance, I immediately begin to apologize for the state in which everything (Including myself) looked. But my sweet husband just hugged me and told me he loved me and that he would clean the house tonight and I should just rest more today and get all better. 

I really, really love my husband. 

My house looked bad.

I  looked bad.

But this man, is wonderful.

And now, I'm totally exhausted, so I'm going to go rest, maybe watch a little HGTV....and try to get over this yucky cold.


Monday July 4th, Golden moment # 36

This was the magnificent Fourth of July picnic day I stared out at all day from my sick bed.

Yes, I came down with a monster cold. I have been pretty much so dizzy, that it has been all I can do to change diapers and scrounge up snack food. My son has been a champ the last two days, occupying himself while mommy is pretty much confined to bed. Today my head-ache eased up enough to catch up on this blog, but honestly, I am so ready for a nap it isn't even funny.

This is a glimpse of what happens when "Damage Control" (aka mom) is out of commission for a day. I will not post pictures of the wet towels in the bathtub, the melted ice-cream on the couch, or the mess in the kitchen because honestly, I'm just too tired! But it's a site, that's for sure. This picture actually makes it look only semi bad, but trust me when I say, it's bad. Sick mom=messy house. It may not have been so bad, but sadly, dad had overnight duty when this bug hit me full force, so I have been totally on my own the last two days.

Golden moment however, was that I had a great view of a firework show from my bedroom window. And I really enjoyed that, as did my son who clapped and yelped for joy after every big firework that shot magnificently up over the trees obstructing our view. The sound of his happy little voice exclaiming "Fireworks! Fireworks!" is still echoing in my mind and making me smile!

What was your 4th of July like?

PS-Happy BIRTHDAY Christine. I'm so sorry I didn't call you, but I felt so miserable and I knew you were busy with your birthday celebrations and probably out having a ball with your in-laws. But I was thinking of you!

Sunday, July 3 Golden moment #35

Sunday was just a wonderful day as all our family came together, along with my sister's in-laws to watch baby Anwell receive his name and blessing at church. This is a sacred tradition in the Mormon church, it is always so beautiful to watch. Most commonly the baby's father will give the blessing, and in it the baby's name is declared and a special blessing is given for the baby's life.

My son's name and blessing day, 2008
When my husband gave our son his name and blessing, we were so happy to have our dear friend Nathan Tyler apart of that special day for our family. At the time, we had adopted him as an uncle to our family, but I was doing everything I could to set him up with my sister and make it official. 

Three years later, and not only did Nathan indeed marry my sister and become my son's real uncle, but he and my sister had a beautiful baby boy, making me an aunt. It's a wonderful, fun story and just makes me incredibly happy to see how everything came together so perfectly in the growth of our family. To have Josh be apart of the name and blessing for Nate's son was a beautiful full circle of events.

My nephew's name and blessing day. 2011
There is nothing more precious, and beautiful than to see a family grow, and to see the love and adoration we have for each other increase and expand as new people join our home through marriage and birth. This is the happiest time of life. Everything is growing, everyone is alive with hope for the future. I can not imagine a more golden joy than the happiness felt in a family knit together with unity and love one towards another.


Saturday July 2, Golden moment #34

On Saturday, I helped my mom host a baby shower for my younger sister. We created more of a little social get together with good food and time to talk. We invited husband's as well, and chose to opt out of games. The decorations were requested by the new mom to be blue and orange, and I have to admit, it was a pretty cute event! Here are a few pictures!

I have another sister studying culinary arts, her contributions to the event were the cupcakes!

We really lucked out with all the blue and orange we were able to find. Must be the season.

Each flower arrangement had a dinosaur sticker on the vase, this was totally my mom, and I thought it was absolutely ingenious!

All in all, it was a fabulous and fun gathering, I had a wonderful time putting it all together with my mom. If you missed the invitations I made for this event, you can check them out here.


Golden Moment #33

Okay, my life has taken a turn for the crazy the last few days and I'm behind by (I think) four golden moments...I guess I could really figure it out if I just pulled out a calendar, but let's do that when we reach this time next year and I really scramble to fill in the lost days, shall we? I think to tackle this one, I will just pick up from the last time I posted and go from there, but I will give each day it's own post, because I had some pretty awesome things happen this weekend!

July 1st Golden Moment #33

July 1st was a catch up day for the two days before, but I'm quite sure I didn't actually post a current golden moment for the day, so for that day I'm going to post something that makes me feel absolutely golden all over. Hopefully, it will create the same bliss in you.

My friends, this is the lobby at the Grand Wailea in Maui. This is where Josh and I honeymooned. Every single time either of us mention this paradise both of our eyes sort of glaze over and we escape into this day dream of blissful joy. It is truly the most beautiful place on earth and I can't wait to go back. Either as celebration for getting out of the Navy in three years, or as celebration for graduating from Stanford in five years. At any rate, it will be in celebration for one of the two, and that will be a golden moment I'll be talking about for a lifetime. If you want to see more of this amazing resort you can go here. Or you can watch Jennifer Aniston's new movie "Just Go With It" because they film the majority of the movie at the Grand Wailea. The fact that they never mention the name of the resort in the movie, but I knew which resort it was because I recognized it, made me feel pretty cool, I must admit.

And while we are on the subject of Maui, for a moment, let's just talk about the beauty of the Polynesian language. "Mahalo" means thank you, but the literal translation is a prayer "May you be in Divine breath's presence." The fact that the language consists of fewer letters than ours and most of them "soft" letters like vowels and m's and h's, makes every word sound like a prayer. I want to learn Aloha Oe and sing it in the lobby of the Grand Wailea. I'll post a video when I do that.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Golden moment 31 and 32, my mom and dad.

I am behind on my daily golden moments. So I'm going to pick up two right here and go forward with tomorrow. For these two golden moments I want to talk about the two people to whom I owe this golden life of mine. My mom and dad.

My mom is one of those people who waited her whole life to be a grandma. When she walks through the door, Scotty is thrilled, what will this mean today? Kiddy pool in the living room? Bubbles in the back-yard? A trip to the park? Smiley face stickers on my fingers? Train track building? Story book reading? CANDY? My mom is always playing creatively with Scotty, just like she did with her own kids. 

She is the voice in my head that assures me when Scotty is throwing a fit "There's nothing wrong here, he's a  toddler, this is normal." While miraculously, at the same time reminds me "You can be friendly and firm at the same time, you can insist on obedience and still be empathetic towards his frustrations and desires." It's from my mom's voice  I get ideas like singing clean up songs to get my son to pick up his room without even asking him. Training him to sit in his car seat without a hitch by simply handing him the keys to unlock the car door. Offering commands without demands, when he dumps out his juice on the floor and instead of hearing a reproach, he's simply handed a towel. My mom has always believed that children are intelligent and they know what they need to do. She is pretty expert at gently guiding the will of the child to comply to the will of an adult, and she knows when to let a kid just be a kid too and let the will to play RULE. When it comes to the art of parenting, this woman understands the balancing act like no one else on this planet. When I grow up, I want to be just like her.

My dad. I have always taken pride in those two words. 
This is my dad
This is my dad, and he takes the time out of his busy schedule to drive me to voice lessons an hour away because she is the teacher who came with the highest recommendations. This is my dad, and he is my biggest fan at every music performance, always asking me the magic question before I open my mouth to sing,

 "Heidi, do you love to sing?"
 "Yes dad, I love to sing." 

This is my dad, who  treats me with the utmost respect, kindness and love. Who showed me from the time I was a  little girl how I deserved to be treated, how I deserved to be loved. My dad, will be there for me and my family whenever he is needed. He is one call away, and he will be there. I love my dad, I am grateful for my dad. Every day of my life I feel keenly aware of the blessing it is to have him in my life. His love, is never taken for granted. I am so grateful he is my dad.

And I'm so grateful he is my son's grandpa! One day, in the not so distant future I can hear a little boy's voice saying proudly to his friends "This is my grandpa." "He takes me to baseball games, and plays with me in the park, he doesn't miss a single ____________ (Fill in the blank with current interest of choice, gymnastics, piano, etc..) And Scotty will know the kind of love he is worthy of always, because he is loved by my dad.

Who are the people that make your life golden?

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