Sunday, March 30, 2014

post-op thoughts

Since I had to come down and write the kids their Sunday emails, I thought I'd pop in and say hi.
It feels so good to finally come downstairs after being cooped up in my in bed for three days.
It's amazing how good it feels.
My surgery went well.
I went to the hospital (you can see the back of it from my front porch) at 7:30 Thursday morning
and was home that afternoon.
Keith took the day off and Friday as well.
He's been such a good nurse.
I honestly don't know what I would have done
without his care.
Here's some "for instances"
(so I'll never forget):

When I was coming out of the anesthesia and was shaking uncontrollably, he was there by my side,
sweetly stroking my hair,
whispering "Em, just take deep breaths like you do in your yoga."
Him quietly wiping away my tears when the pain started kicking in and I was kind of loopy
and that moment I was so overcome with the love and prayers that I felt so powerfully from those that love me.
Him carrying me up the stairs
and constantly checking in on me throughout the days and into the nights;
anticipating and meeting any need I might have.
Stroking my hair again and cleaning my face and then having to dump my own throw-up bowl when I was so sick from the heavy-duty pain meds. 
His steady hand and steady presence whenever he hears the sound of the crutches. 
And to make bathing easier for me, his idea of rigging up a food storage bucket with a cushy garden pad for me to sit on in the bathtub, my bandaged foot dangling over the side
and then his holding me
while toweling off my wet, shivering body. 
Picking up and taking kids where they need to be.
Watching Napoleon Dynamite with us Friday night and then making a special trip (his idea and his persistence) when I laughed and said how tater tots sounded really good and when he couldn't find any, bringing me back a basket of  sweet potato fries and a bean burrito because he knew that would taste good to me, too.
For him doing the laundry and my/our taxes and the dishes. 
Cooking dinner last night and then bringing it all up to the bedroom so I could eat with everyone.
For his late night run to the grocery store last night.
Running the show and holding down the fort in addition to all that he's doing for me.

I'm so touched with the love I've felt from him.
For the nurturing we all felt from Mama and Mane's
pots of soup and loaves of bread.
For the neighbors bringing in a taco salad meal.
For phone calls and emails and prayers and kindness.
For the total wow of my wonderful and thoughtful doctor having a box of gourmet cupcakes and a (personalized notes from all his office staff) get-well card
delivered to my door that evening after my surgery.
For a comfortable bed and fluffy pillows propped.
For stacks of library books (I'm in the middle of my second novel) and DVDS.
For Netflix documentaries and Pinterest fun.
For Isaac entertaining me with our (many, many) games of Rummikub and his trying to get a reaction out of me by throwing his rubber snake on my bed.
For his sweet thoughtfulness when he brought up a cup of tea for me he made all by himself.
For Sam's smile with his gift of that bag of Twizzlers he bought at his work vending maching.
For the comforting sounds of Eliza on the piano.
For blossoming trees and springtime at last.
For the joy and excitement that I can finally
get out there once again and take it all in.
For what it means to surrender to slow and to rest.
For what it means to be on the receiving end.
For healing and for hope
and for never ending love.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

cookie fairy

It was that sugar-sweet cinnamony smell
wafting upstairs alerting me that another
late night baking session was underway once again.

"I guess I've become the cookie fairy, Mom," she explains 
this morning with her quiet little laugh
as I face, with a tired sigh,
the sticky, crumb-covered kitchen counters 
piled high with crusty pots and pans.
But even more than the thoughts 
of extra work this now makes for me,
a poignant witness and a tender reminder 
entering and softening my grateful heart;
the blessing and the pure joy it is to have a daughter 
so thoughtful and so kind.

For what has become an almost weekly ritual for her now,
these birthday Snickerdoodle surprises,
this time for three of her school mates.
Their special days brightened and remembered today
as she seeks out and scans 
the crowded, chaotic high school hallway;
those friends faces finally found,
as her own face, with it's shy smile,
presents, with outstretched arms, 
those cheery yellow paper plates piled high
with sweet and soft and golden gifts of love.
Tokens of her own soul-sweetness.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

thoughts on this first day of spring

I've felt a quiet stillness within me these last few days. 
Despite of and in the midst of the daily schedules and deadlines of my family member's lives. 

This husband and these teens staying up late 
til the wee, wee hours of the morning.
That almost returned missionary son 
transitioning to life at home.

Pinewood derby cars to put together. 
End of term projects to complete. 
And university Skype advisement center interview and fall registration to confirm and arrange.

I've found myself in the role of supportive encourager 
quite a few times this week.
Their quiet place to land.
I'm so glad for that.

Because of the ongoing and progressively-getting-worse
pain in my foot,
I cancelled all my massage appointments this week.
Surgery scheduled for next Thursday.
It's time.

You know,
It's a delicious thing to have full days to do as you please.
Mornings lounging in bed with my books.
Or listening to YouTube Wayne Dyer videos while doing the dishes and sweeping the floors.

My dad calling me yesterday, inviting me to lunch.
Said he's been wanting to for a long time.
Him initiating time alone, just the two of us, to strengthen our relationship.
I can't tell you how much this means to me.
It means the world.

Dropping Eliza off to school late this morning.
Seeing and understanding her desperate need to sleep in a few extra hours this morning.
And having a chunk of time to kill before another lunch date invitation with the other man in my life.
I wander undiscovered country roads.

Searching for beauty.
Searching for inspiration.
Finding springtime.
Finding peace.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


it's a selfie and all.
but the eyes and the necklace
go with the theme,
you know.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

yes, this

she did not need much,
wanted very little.
a kind word,
fresh air,
clean water,
a garden,
books to read,
sheltering arms,
a cozy bed,
and to love,
and be loved in return.

~Starra Neely Blade

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

beautiful moments on a tuesday

:: pink tulips (just because) in a jug.
:: this song. eliza and i both agree that it's worthy of evoking sobs, it's so beautiful. 
:: sensing snow in the dark morning air while taking lucy out early, then witnessing a moment later the first few flakes of snow slowly drifting down. 
:: golden honey drizzles on bread for their sandwiches.
:: a warm and relaxed soak in a lavender scented bath.
:: hillary's strong, calloused, and knowing hands working my feet.
:: email joy.
:: him having the day off from school. our day of fun just us doing all the things he wanted us to do together. bowling, skeeball, air hockey, ice cream, fries, bookstore and art museum browsing, holding hands, having so much fun and feeling so good. together. 
:: "he'll remember this day for the rest of his life," keith says.
:: realizing, it hitting me so hard, that these one- on- one times, these memory making times, these bonding times are probably what i do best in my motherhood.  the thing that brings me absolute joy and something i can feel good about.
:: putting the seat all the way back with my feet on the dashboard waiting for them to come out of school. not caring what one anyone thought of me.
:: laughing really loud with them. 
:: them not getting my dorky jokes.
:: cozying up on the couch, my face in the warm afternoon sun shining down on me through the window. curled up with a catalog and a magazine that were in the afternoon mail.
:: songs like "everything is awesome" getting stuck in your mind. (you lego people know what i'm talking about.)

Sunday, March 9, 2014


For all of you who struggle in your relationship and even understanding and belief in God or a higher power-- in a place of complete vulnerability and sincerity and honesty, I share with you what I wrote to my two missionary children tonight.

Perhaps there's one soul who might read this and feel a bit of comfort. That's my simple hope.

My love to you...

"As you know, I've been struggling for a long time. Feeling such a distance and pain; so many questions, longings, and searchings unanswered.... Giving God the silent treatment as far as prayer is concerned. (Again, it's so hard for me to even share this with you two, as I don't want to cause any amount of worry or concern, or cause you to judge me which I know in my heart that you do love me)-- anyway, I share this experience with you to hopefully boost your own feelings that God is aware of you and loves you and accepts you just the way you are. --- just like He does for me.

Monday night I went to bed feeling so discouraged and in tears. Not really anything I could say as to the reason why. I guess the feeling would be a despairing type of feeling. The next morning, Dad had to go to work early and left around 5:30, and so after he left, I couldn't go back to sleep and just lay there thinking in bed. I don't know why, but I felt such a feeling of hope in prayer like I haven't felt in such a long time. Even in this tiny reaching out in full humility and deep heart felt yearning, not knowing if I could trust Him or believe Him, but just holding onto the desire of wanting to connect, be heard, be loved and know that He really does care and accept me and know the silent struggles and longings of my heart. 

I got down on my knees in bed and tried to express these feelings. I cried and it felt like a burden was lifted and that in a small way, my heart was cleansed through my tears and the tiny faith I was exerting. I then layed down and prayed some more. Very simple yearnings, mostly for you two. "May Gary be blessed. May Gary feel peace. May Jane be safe. May Jane feel joy." Then the thought came into my mind to look upon myself-- this Emily-- almost as I would a child-- with those same feelings of total love and compassion. " May Emily feel loved. May Emily be blessed. May Emily feel peace..." Again, more expressions of pure, simple faith. Then, I tried to create positive thoughts to create and envision this new day before me.

The day proceeded and I decided mid morning to run to Orem to see if I could find some new comforters for the boys bedroom. No luck there or at Ross so I got in the car, ready to check out Target. But, as I put the key in the car, it wouldn't start. Ugh... Thank goodness for cell phones, but I called and continued to call and text Dad, but no answer. It was raining and I decided that all I could do was pass the time by wandering around the stores, then going back and sitting in the car, trying all the while to contact Dad. It got to be over an hour and my cell phone was about ready to die. (I knew I should have charged it.) I hesitated to call Mama and Papa to have to put them out, but at this point I was feeling kind of desperate-- needing someone, anyone to come to my rescue. I got to the point where I felt so alone, even when I knew it wasn't that desperate, but just feeling like I was kind of abandoned and really didn't know how I was going to get help. I knew I should pray to ask for His help, but again, my doubts and fears crept in and thoughts of "if I don't get an answer, then how will I deal with that letdown to my faith that is trying so hard to grow." (thinking of that morning I really prayed for the first time in a long time).

 While wandering around, over and over looking at all the things on those shelves, I started to see things popping out at me. Little messages on wall nick-knacks or journals with words of "Trust in God" and "God Loves You" I started to feel in my heart like these were direct messages, and the quiet tears started to well in my eyes at just the sight of them, but I didn't know if I should trust them. So as this was going on, I get on the phone with Papa. "Emily, I'd come and get you right now, but Mama has the car. She went to the dentist this morning and then had to go to Costco to get a new iron." You could call back in a little while. (my cell phone was totally dying by this point.)

The tears were right on the verge of spilling over. Feeling so lost, alone, and hopeless. So right when I was ready to hang up, I look up across the store (Ross) and all the sudden, I see what I think is a woman that looks like she has Mama's hair, standing in the check out line. She turns and miraculously, it is my beloved mother! "Oh, Dad, Mama is right here! She's actually here!" He starts to cry and blubber and I do and I rush to her. Longing for her, so absolutely amazed and overjoyed that she was placed there, out of the blue like that, to be my rescuer.

She told me as I explained my situation in tears, that she really didn't even want to come to Ross, She didn't really need anything-- she was just there just a few days ago (on Saturday, remember when I told you I saw her at TJ Maxx) and it was totally out of her way from the dentists in Provo to Costco.

Gary and Jane, I totally needed this tender mercy. I was so desperate to feel of God's love and awareness of me, even His existence--.A miracle for me, even in a small, simple way that I can't deny. That Mama would even be there at just the right time. That I could have been wandering around in another store or sitting in the car when she was there. Even how I could have easily been there at the back of the store by the mirrors where I was and not glanced up briefly to even catch a small glimpse of her before she left the store. I just couldn't believe it. This experience has created a softening for me that has brought more of a sense of peace and hope. Creating a desire to pray and plead and try to commune every morning since. It was exactly what I needed to try to hold on and grasp on to hope.

I'm so glad I could share this with you."