Monday, February 27, 2012

Better Together

You know those scriptures that talk about how when you are ready to enter the fold of God, you desire to "bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort"?
Sometimes, I think we focus on doing all of that bearing, mourning and comforting to those outside of our home. Outside of our immediate family. Outside of our marriage.
Can I tell you how blessed I feel, that today, a day definitely outside of my "be strong, be happy, and love the life you live" norm, that my sweet husband was there to bear my burdens, to mourn with me, and to comfort me? He was a strength just when I needed him to be, and a sweet shoulder to let my tears fall on.
I am not really a panic type of crier. I tear up at babies being born, and sisters being married, and wipe my wet eyes when a friend shares her burdens, or my little girl talks about her love of the Savior, but I generally hold it together when my life's road gets bumpy. But, suffice it to say, today was a little out of the norm, and my man was there for me.
I was reminded in that moment, standing in our kitchen, with my head on his shoulder, and his arms wrapped around me, of the incredible blessings of marriage. We are two, different people, who have, as it turns out, very different strengths. Sometimes our differences might be mistaken as a weakness, but I will say, that I believe our forces combined make us great. We are better people because we have eachother. And I love that.
And I love him.
The end.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?

The following is my sweet husband’s definition of yesterday’s holiday, in his own, exact words: Last week he suggested that we celebrate Valentine’s Day on Thursday instead of Tuesday, the real day.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because everything will be half off the day after Valentine’s Day”
You can tell that he is truly a romantic, can’t you?

While I know that he is not, and never will be a gushingly romantic guy, and while I have come to the understanding that he will never, on this day in mid-February, sweep me off my feet and plan a date and arrange a babysitter and gaze into my brown eyes over a candle-lit dinner while we talk about all of the amazing, fabulous things that make me, me…I think a little part of me will never give up hope that it could possibly, maybe, just maybe, one of these years, happen.

I knew this would not be that magical year. He had a city league basketball game, and an indoor soccer league game scheduled for Valentine’s night. Really? Who schedules city league sports games on Valentine ’s Day. Oh, that’s right, a guy! I had come to grips with this. I suggested that we at least go out to lunch for V-day, which he agreed to. Though, while I was pinning down my boys at the doctor’s office for their shots that morning, he called to see if it would be ok if he invited another couple to join us on our lunch date. Apparently his friend had just invited him out to lunch. He didn’t want to have tell his friend no, so the obvious solution in his cute little mind was to just invite his friend and his wife to tag along with us.

While I really like these friends, I was a little bewildered that my sweet husband would want to include them on our Valentine’s date. So I gave that idea the old heave ho.

While we were at lunch {with our adorable third wheel} An obnoxiously rude woman sitting two tables away was profaning left and right about the horrible service. She did not look like the type of person who was accustomed to lavish service, yet she hollered and stomped her feet and threw around the F word like it was going out of style until she finished her meal, licked her plate clean, and then demanded her money back because it was so bleepin’ terrible.
It kind of ruined any atmosphere this place had going for it. Not Sweet Husband’s fault, just not exactly a great time.

After a heart pizza dinner, the kids and I cheered Daddy on in a victorious soccer game {it really is a treat to watch such a fantastic player play, and be able to claim him as our own!}, but while he was off winning the league basketball championship, and I was putting the kids to bed, and then doing dishes, and then folding laundry while I watched a couple mushy, V-Day themed TV shows all ALONE, I let those lonely, wistful, girly feelings creep in that make me wish that my man cared about stuff like dumb, romantic, made up holidays.

But alas, I will have to resign myself to be happy with a guy who cares about things like providing for his family, and taking care of my car, and doing ALL of the yard work, and shoveling our enormous driveway so I can safely leave the house amidst a snowstorm, and making time to attend all of our children’s parent teacher conferences with me, and massaging my quads after a particularly hard work out, and doing his home teaching, and showing his kids tricks on the trampoline, and dancing with me at church dances because he knows I love it, and telling his babies incredible bedtime stories, and making sure those babies have all thoroughly brushed their teeth before they get to hear those incredible bedtime stories, and offering to play Boggle with me when I’ve had an exceptionally bad day, and singing sweet country songs to me even though he’s not exactly a singer, and you know, all the really amazing, charming, thoughtful things he does every. single. day. I sure do love that man - even if he does loathe one of my very favorite holidays. And, really, he's kind of adorable, isn't he?

I do hope you had a good Valentine's Day, but I hope you have a better, every other day of the year with your significant other. Here's to real, day in, day out, snow shoveling love!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Just a taste of my Testimony

I go to church. Every Sunday. For 3 hours. {Well, honestly, I'm usually a snitch late, so we'll make that 2.75 hours}

I do this among other reasons because 1. I am a believer 2. being a part of a community to which I feel responsible helps me be a more loving, more selfless person and 3. I want my children to learn the same values and principles that I did as a child & youth, and the good people at church help me in that quest.

I am not here to debate theology. I believe God truly loves ALL people, not a select few that belong to a certain sect, and that he gives knowledge to ALL people. I will say that I am happy with the life I have chosen. I am happy with the life I am trying to give to my babies. I am happy that I have felt God's love and light in my life.

In my church {yes, I'm a Mormon} we have this little thing called Testimony Meeting. On the first Sunday of each month, during our regular church services, the entire Sacrament Meeting{after the passing & partaking of the sacrament} is open to anyone who might feel prompted to share their testimony with the other members of the congregation. People leave their comfortable seats in the pews {or if you're like me you're usually in the hard metal overflow chairs in the back} make their way to the front of the chapel, step up to the microphone, and share their personal, faith promoting experiences and beliefs.

Would you like a teensy glimpse into how this works? Oh, good. I thought you did. :) Yesterday was one such Sunday. And yesterday, my heart was full. And yesterday, I found myself in front of the microphone wondering if what I had to say was at all important. But there I was, and there was no turning back. The following is what I said. {Mind you, I did not write this down beforehand, so this transcript is from memory of what stumbled out of my mouth...but I think it's pretty close.}

My name is Cumorah McOmber, and the testimony I would like to share today is a simple one. It is that Christ lives and loves us. When I say “us”, I don’t mean merely us - the Cordera Ward. I don’t mean just us – The Mormons. I mean all of us. Humankind. He loves all of us. Everyone. He and His Father have given us the tools to be happy and find joy in this life. They give us opportunities to see their hand in life all around us. I have witnessed these things in several ways this month.

I have felt the power of the Priesthood as my husband and father gave my daughter who was suffering, and in pain, a blessing of comfort and healing before she went in for surgery.
I have seen Their tender mercies as I was given the opportunity to snuggle up with my Granny on her bed and sit and chat and hug and kiss her just two weeks before her unexpected death.
I have felt comfort and peace as we gathered together to celebrate her amazing, uplifting and inspiring life, and felt joy in the knowledge and testimony I have of eternal families and the Plan of Salvation, knowing that she has joined the other half of her dynamic duo, my Grandpa who is equally amazing. I felt for those in attendance who do not share that same testimony, who were pained and sorrowed at her passing. That is a sorrowful thing, to not believe in the eternities, and that life and love continue on. That is a sorrowful thing.

I have seen Their great compassion and love for all of us, as I have spoken with my sister about her trials with depression, and how she was given hope and encouragement in the knowledge that even a prophet of God, George Albert Smith, who’s teachings we are studying in Relief Society and Elders’ Quorum this year, suffered through the same thing. I have witnessed that the Lord loves us and looks after us all, even through our struggles.

And just this morning, when I learned that my father was to be called as Bishop of his ward today, the Spirit spoke to me, acknowledging that “Yes! Of course! This is where he is meant to be, and what he is supposed to be doing.” The Spirit spoke to me. What a precious gift.
You know, sometimes, as a mom, as a parent, I get nervous that I am doing it wrong. I look to my dad, a man who never raised his voice to me, who was gentle, and kind, but whose quiet words “I am disappointed” were crushing beyond belief, and I believe that is what the Savior and His Father must be like. They are gentle, and kind, and oh, I do not want to disappoint them. Luckily, they have given us the tools we need to live our lives well here, and they surround us with their love. We are given the opportunity to share that love and be a blessing on their behalf with everyone around us. I have had those opportunities, and I have been a recipient of those blessings, which strengthen my testimony that Christ truly lives. That I have a Heavenly Father. And that they love me, just as they do all of “us”.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Slim Down Series - #2

So a couple weeks ago, I was in the ladies room at the gym and encountered an advertisment that looked very similiar to this: If they were trying to get me to go home right after my workout and eat an entire stack of cookies by myself, their advertisement was extremely effective. If, on the other hand, they were attempting to lure me to their cafe to buy their shake mix. They failed. Bigtime. There should be a rule about posting pictures of delicous looking cookies at the gym. Their ad should have looked a little more like this:
Now that might have given me the urge to sample their fruit protein shake...which I know they carry...instead of giving me a hankering for dessert. Pictures of greasy, flat cookies at the gym? Sure. Plump, scrumptious, cookies? Heavens no. I get enough temptation in the comforts of my own home, I certainly don't need it at the gym too!
As a mama, I think one of the trickiest parts of trying to eat healthy {I won't say 'diet' because that sounds too much like something you do for a few days and then quit} is preparing yummy breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for my kids - that they will actually eat - and having to prepare completely different, healthier things for me. Little Cal's PB&J on white bread with the crust cut off, sounds like heaven when I'm eating dry tuna and pickles for lunch.
I have found though, that if I have my healthy food prepared ahead of time, or even if I have a 'go to' healthy food list written down, it is much easier to thwart the temptation to sneak PB&J's or french toast smothered in butter & syrup & powdered sugar off my chitlins' plates.

One thing I should say before I give you my little list, is this: my healthy eating plan is not scientific. It is based on what works for me that I have found through trial and error, and from reading lots and lots of diet plans. The rule of thumb that works for me is to: Eat one portion {about the size of your fist} of protein, one portion of smart carb {like a fruit, or whole wheat, or red potatoes - no white carbs}, and as many vegetables as you want for every meal, and drink lots & lots of water.
Here is my go to list of super simple, real things to throw together or stock your fridge with. No frills. No Salmon with chutney. Just real, every day, healthy eats:

Green Smoothie Protein Shake ~ Look for this recipe in a future post

Cottage Cheese

Scrambled egg & egg whites with turkey, green onions and red peppers

Plain oatmeal with a snitch of vanilla & cinnamon
Whole wheat Sandwich Thin {half} with almond butter

And last, but certainly not least, Homemade 'Lara' Balls
Open faced turkey sandwich

I take a whole wheat round sandwich thin, add mustard, then stack with mesquite smoked turkey, tomatoes, and green onions and microwave for 15 seconds (just so it gets a little juicy) and add sprouts to the top. Delish.
Plain tuna with chopped pickles {I can only hack this probably once a week}
Crockpot shredded chicken salad ~ Look for this recipe in a future post
Black Bean & Corn Salsa ~ Look for this recipe in a future post
No noodle Turkey Lasagna ~ Look for this recipe in a future post
Grilled Chicken with Fruit Salsa ~ Look for this recipe in a future post
White Bean Chicken Soup ~ Look for this recipe in a future post
Shredded Chicken & Black Bean tacos on whole wheat tortilla
Lara Bars/Homemade 'Lara' Balls
Turkey Jerky
Chewable Vitamin C {sweet enough to pass for dessert in a bind!}
Whole Peas
and Extra Mint Chocolate Chip Gum

Heaven bless the people at Wrigley's for conjuring up this 5 calorie dessert. Love it. Here's to a healthier 2012 version of you! Look for more simple, everyday, healthy recipes in upcoming posts, and remember, YOU CAN DO ANTYHING!