Thursday, December 30, 2010

Time flies on wings of lightning

I was browsing the top 100 albums at Amazon yesterday and came across The Band Perry. They've got a song with a gorgeous melody, however, I have wondered about the message it's trying to convey. What does "If I Die Young" really mean?

The tune itself is rich and flows easily. The vocals are outstanding, and I love the arrangement. It's just the lyrics. So, I turned to a source of many of today's answers: google. It turns out, a lot of other people wondered the same thing I did. Is this song about suicide?

I tried to find out what the band themselves had to say about it. (They wrote it). I couldn't find anything on their website or otherwise.

We never know when this life might end. Some have goodly, old lives watching their grandbabies, and even great grandbabies, grow up. Others are taken in infancy. One message this song may be sending is that we should enjoy each day, and love those around us, because we never know when that last day will be.

At some point or other I think it's only natural to ponder life, its duration. Mortality is such a fleeting thing, "...time passed away with us, and also our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream" Jacob 7:26. I think it's true that "Time flies on wings of lightning".

It is an especially tender subject when we lose someone we love.

Sometimes we are faced with situations or events that seemingly lend themselves to impossible solutions. We can't find a way out, and may be tempted into thinking that the only true way to free ourselves is to leave this mortal life behind. This life is a time for us to prepare to meet God, and flippantly severing our gift of mortality in a moment of sorrow leaves only devastation for those left behind and uncertainty for the future. I think that one of the reasons the Lord arranged the necessity of sleep is because when we awake the next day it gives us perspective on the events of the days before. Sometimes we need to take a step back and separate ourselves from the situation in order to gain clarity. Suicide may be thought about and planned for years, but in its finality its consequences are eternal. Satan would have us believe there is no other way out. When we feel like we have no other options we can be sure that it is one of his evil snares. I know that through obedience to God's commandments we can find peace in this life, joy and rejoicing. Jesus Christ came down to this earth to atone for our sins, and only He can cleanse us from feelings of dispair.

This song really got me thinking. The topic of suicide is such a tender one. Two of our young, sweet neighbors ended their lives this way. I have known others that also chose this path, and I have seen the absolute devastation it brought their families. Sometimes these choices affect generations to come, with loved ones following the example set years before.

Many of us have wondered if those around us care. We may be hurt by the actions of others or by events beyond our control. "Wouldn't they be sorry if I were to die?" Perhaps they would reconsider their actions and how they had treated us if something were to befall us. But why should we feel like we have to control the consequences of other's actions against us? Thank heavens we can leave these things in the hands of God. He has numbered our days. He knows us perfectly and loves us perfectly regardless of who we are. We can change only ourselves, and sometimes we have to start by changing our perspectives.

Sometimes when something appeals to us we try to imagine that it's not what it really is. How expertly the devil wraps his vicious traps in the prettiest paper and adorns them with cloaks of splendor. So, regardless of what people may say the song means, I know I don't want my daughters listening to it and wondering.

This beautiful tune, misinterpreted or not, may be the last song some of their fans ever hear.

Let us rejoice in this beautiful life and be grateful for each moment we have. Let's get out there and bless others and love those around us!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

And then...

I was just reflecting over the year. There were a lot of blog-able things that should be mentioned:

First of all, Mr. A.H. was sprayed with a fire hose on the 4th of July. You should have seen his face! (He was in a tug-o-war game celebrating the independence of our country). Coincidentally, Nina and Ls were also sprayed, but had much less reactionary reactions.

Actually, that event was so memorable I can't recall what else should be mentioned.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Jalapenos and other household hazards

I heard a few weeks ago on NPR that in Mexico, some people put cooking oil on their hands when handling chili peppers in order to protect themselves from the capsaicin. I have had unfortunate run-ins with this nefarious chili component in years past. I love making chili, so this easy remedy sounded like the answer to all of my pepper problems.

In fact, I tried it just after hearing about it. And sure enough, voila! it worked like a charm. I even put it through a truly rigorous trial and handled the peppers as I was cutting them! No burning! Success! That is, at least, until I washed my hands and handled the unwashed-jalapeno-cutting knife. :-(

So anyway, today I decided to make my signature chili. I always make a gigantic batch (8 cans of beans! 3 cans of tomatoes!) and therefore am not shy about adding plenty of jalapenos.

Today I searched the fridge and found only 1. :-( Oh well, it was nice and juicy and I just love that little zing! I neglected to use the oily hand method, and opted instead for a plastic bag. Unfortunately, this gave me less control of the knife, and as mentioned, the pepper was juicy and by the way, did you know that juicy peppers can squirt when cut?
"AUGH! Mr. A.H.! I just got squirted in the eyes with capsaicin!!!"
I ran to the sink and quickly doused myself with water. I could tell that my supportive and very sensitive husband was suppressing a laugh. I then ran to the bathroom sink, because of course that water is much better for this type of emergency. Mr. A.H. quickly followed. I looked up after my curative efforts and *FLASH* Mr. A.H. to the rescue!

Instant karma, however, is still alive and well:

Sunday, October 17, 2010


My sweet Gram passed away on October 13.
I'm sure that nothing I could think to write here would come close to expressing how terribly I miss her, or what an amazing woman she is. I find traces of her in most every aspect of my life. She really influenced me tremendously, and I am so grateful for her stalwart example.
Gram passed away one week after her 98th birthday. She was never one that I would refer to as 'old'. That just was not a word that came close to describing her. She was so full of vim, so active and hard working her entire life. She was always actively engaged in some good cause or other. She is so loved by all who know her.
My Gram is such a quick witted, funny person. She has the best memory of anyone I've ever known. She could still recite The Fox and the Crow, in French, that she learned more than 80 years ago in school. Her gems of wisdom continually come to mind as I go throughout the day. It has always been that way, I have always greatly admired her.
She always loved learning. A few nights before she passed away, she had seen a television program about molecular biology and mold and had called up my Mom to warn her that if she ever found mold on a loaf of bread, to throw it out because the whole thing would be contaminated!
I loved walking into her home. She was always so happy to see us, and always made us feel like we made her day just by being there. She would tell us stories about her life, the people she loved and knew, and she could remember the names of all involved! She remembered names of neighborhood figures she knew as a child, the grocer, her teachers, her friends and acquaintances. I am amazed by her brilliant mind!
I have so many stories I love and charish about her. I couldn't have asked her a better grandmother. In deed, she certainly was, and is, the best grandmother ever. I miss you, Gram.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

So, I am like, totally related to Adam

Our family has finally rejoined the microwave get-in-an-instant age of Internet. Mr. A.H. has signed us up for high speed (1.5!). We used to have only dial up, which carries its own mysterious physique. To quote a teenager whom I talked to a few years ago about our, ahem, slower connection of the past, "Dial up? They, like, still make that?"
Before I would turn on the computer and get it started, go get a snack, come back and tap my foot at the computer that was still loading, eat my snack, go get the newspaper and read it, log onto blogger, stare at the ceiling, go get a drink, do the laundry, chase children... you can see why I haven't written in a month. Who has that kind of time? NOT ME. We've had this Internet for 5 days and I've been on twice, and it is SO much faster. I can actually post pictures once again on the blog. (Coming soon).
Last night I thought, "Ooh, now's my chance to catch up on some genealogy!" So I signed up for the new family search and was amazed! How cool it is! And, I am happy to report that someone has traced my dad's mother's side of the family all the way back to Adam! True. I spent way too much time tracing it back by clicking arrows to verify family rumor that it has been done. It has. I discovered that I am related to Opchanacanough, the Indian chief that captured the Pilgrim John Smith (Jamestown) and was subsequently captured and murdered. I am also related to
Jehosephat, King Solomon, Bathsheba, David, Anna (the cousin of the Virgin Mary), plenty of Kings, princesses, sirs and on and on. Apparently, when you are related to an infamous Mormon historical figure (as I am related to John D. Lee of the Mountain Meadow Massacre fame- this has been verified by myself and other family historians), it is "easy" to find your roots.
I am, needless to say, skeptical of this all-the-way-to-Adam thing and have already found suspicious areas that need to be verified. (By the way, go ahead and look up Adam and Eve, at least through the John D. Lee line, and be amazed).
There are so many things I'd like to do, but Time! That precious commodity that flies on wings of lightning, laughing.
So it may be a while until I find out if it is true or not if I am actually related to Indian chiefs, kings, prophets and Adam. Wait. I think Adam has already claimed me. Good. One down...

Friday, August 13, 2010


Mr. A.H. and I are having a little quiet time at the children's hospital.

We're in the waiting room while little Meemers is in surgery. This is her 5th surgery. She is 5 months old.

The last 4 surgeries have gone well. We're grateful she has such a wonderful surgeon.

Our sweet little baby girl.

It's easy now to forget that when she was born she was hooked up to all kinds of things to make sure she was still breathing well and getting enough oxygen. We had to get up every 3 hours and suck her nose out with a machine, and then change the lead on her pulse oximiter. We didn't get a lot of sleep.

I still listen for her breathing at night. And I am grateful for every moment we have with her. She is so precious. And so funny! She started playing with the anaesthesiologist's face when he picked her up to take her back.

Sweet little Meemers.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


* We don't have soda in our house very often. Like never. I thought that for this reason Ls would be tickled pink to have some. Instead, I caught her pouring orange pop into our recycle bin. I ruined her fun with a reprimand.

* NiNa just finished swimming lessons. She is part fish, you know.

* Meemers rolled over today for the first time! Ya~a~a~y! And, even better, I caught it on video. I have now caught all three of my daughter's first rolling over experiences. I think I must have a kind of soon-to-roll-over-ESP.

* And, speaking of ESP, both Gram and Mr. AH say I must have some kind of spider sense, as Mr. AH calls it, because I can always sense when there is a spider within close proximity to me (meaning anywhere within 40 yards). Just yesterday I was drying off from a shower when I felt someone watching me. Sure enough, the window was cracked just an inch and there was a big, hairy, hideous spider peeping at my hygienic activities. I did the most prudent thing I could think of, given that I was taken off guard and rather arachnophobic, and slammed that window shut. Unfortunately, it didn't expire the fellow. That had to wait until Mr. AH got home.

* Mr. AH is amazing and got a scholarship. :-)

* Gee, I thought there would be more to report. Meh.

Perhaps I can report back next time on the exciting exploits of our recent letterboxing. Cheerio!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Future (mis)adventures

I've had misadventures in kite flying before, resulting in humiliation and physical harm.
This year, however, I have so far escaped injury and embarrassment. At least as far as kites go. How? I've not been able to get out much for some time.
Mr. Amazing Husband has been taking the girls out quite a bit while Meemers recovers from her surgeries. It's not quite house arrest, but we're not supposed to take her out in public until all this surgery business is over... at least until RSV season ends.
One day Mr. AH took the gals to the park with our dollar special and Ls's bi-plane kite for a good time. The wind was gusty, and soon the kites were torpedoing out of the sky, pieces scattering amuck. The girls came home frowning and jaded with this fabulous sport.
Perhaps, I think, I may try to remedy this.
I have read that as long as you get the dimensions right on a kite, it doesn't matter how big it is. I found instructions for a super-cool mini kite online, which I can't find now, but maybe if I gather up some of Mr. AH's engineering paper and some broom bristles I can figure it out! Voila!
(And by the way, I always wondered, why did I not have "economist paper" in college in which to work my equations? Admittedly, it was economical paper, but I digress...)
Maybe we could even trick/talk the neighbors into making kites, too, and we could have a huge neighborhood tournament just like in The Kite Runner! Except without the glass-coated string. Or the kite shredding. Or the running...

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Recently... another catch-up

Life is always pleasantly busy with a new babe in the house. And what joy! I love being a mom.

So anyway, I've been occupied with other important endeavors, so here are some handy bullet-point-news-in-brief from our household:

*WOE! The basil is dead! The birds have out-witted us again.

*Our curious hummingbird neighbor is back! We've had a few sightings in the last week.

*We had to evacuate our apartment... again... because our neighbors poisoned the apartment complex by using noxious chemicals near our heating system intake... again. (Different neighbors, same result: 3 days at Gram's). They moved out of state today. Unrelated, but appreciated all the same.

*Little Meemers is scheduled for surgery in a few days... her third.

*While at Gram's I got to hear lots of really interesting stories. She's 97 and has the best memory of anyone I've ever known. Seriously, she's amazing. It's so neat to chat with her, I've heard all about the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1916, life in the 20s, amazing pioneer stories... I am very fortunately blessed to have such a wonderful grandmother.

*NiNa's school had an art show, and one of her pieces was featured on the school-wide flyer. Our budding artist!

*I am recovering from a mysterious back injury.

*Ls has perfected her cute little dances. She does this bum wagging one that is hilarious. "What in the whole world!"

*We unwittingly had an all-corn dinner yesterday: Corn on the cob, corn chips, cornish game hens, followed by pop-corn. Lest this sound unhealthy I will point out that we also had salsa.

So ends this edition of catch-up. Meemers finally went to bed (so I don't have to type one-handed), but it's WAY past my bedtime.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Reflections on David

Lately I have really enjoyed reading the scriptures. We read from the Book of Mormon every night as a family, but recently I felt like I should have some personal study and read the story of David in the old testament. Then I decided that to really understand it, I should start with Saul. And then I figured that the book of Ruth was so close to all that Saul stuff that I might as well start there... but I digress. I've just finished reading about David's fall.

David was walking around on the roof one day and saw the beautiful, but married, Bath-sheba. Being a heroic, successful and popular king, perhaps he figured he could have what he wanted. He wanted her. In 2 Samuel 10:4 it says,

"And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned to her house."

Bath-sheba learns that she is pregnant, and she sends word to David. To summarize briefly, David decides to hide his sins instead of repenting. So, he has his servant Joab send Uriah, Bath-sheba's husband, off to a particularly dangerous war zone so that he will be conveniently killed.

In the Bible Dictionary we read this about David:

"Like Saul he was guilty of grave crimes; but unlike Saul, he was capable of true contrition and was therefore able to find forgiveness, except in the murder of Uriah. As a consequence David is still unforgiven, but he received a promise that the Lord would not leave his soul in hell. He will be resurrected at the end of the Millennium. Because of his transgressions, he has fallen from his exaltation."

David lost his exaltation forever. I find that a particularly tragic tale. Here was a man who lead what many consider to be the golden age of Israel. He united the tribes of the region into 1 nation and was recognized as the king throughout the country. His government was based upon religious principles, and, again quoting the Bible Dictionary he had "developed that conscious dependence upon God which was the secret of his strength throughout his life."

David is again mentioned in D&C 132:39.

"...and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord."

In Alma 42:18-19 we read:

"18 Now, there was a punishment affixed, and a just law given, which brought remorse of conscience unto man.

19 Now, if there was no law given—if a man murdered he should die—would he be afraid he would die if he should murder?"

I believe that David suffered a spiritual death for his sins.

The man who slayed Goliath has fallen! The Lord's annointed to lead Israel! All the wonderful, righteous, heroic deeds that David performed throughout his life cannot erase his fall from exaltation. This is truly a very tragic cautionary tale.

In closing, I'll quote once again from the Bible Dictionary:

"David's life illustrates the need for all persons to endure in righteousness to the end. As a youth he is characterized as being a man after the Lord's "own heart" (1 Sam. 13:14); as a man he spoke by the Spirit and had many revelations. But he paid, and is paying, a heavy price for his disobedience to the commandments of God."

Sunday, March 21, 2010


I'm here at Meemer's and my current digs, the children's hospital. It is strange to wake up in a hospital. And, from Meemer's perspective, I'm sure it is strange to wake up with a plastic box tent over your head. Due to her nasal stents, she gets to spend time in an oxygen tent nowadays.
The first morning I woke up after I had the babe I was quite surprised to find myself in a hospital. Having just had major surgery. Being a new Mom again! (YAY!) Things went so completely un-according to the birth plan that I think I was caught off guard by the reality of it all. Traumatic c-sections do that to a person, I guess.
So the babe is doing well. They pretty much just do maintenance for RSV. There's not much you can do for a virus. It is comforting to be in a place where her oxygen levels can be tampered with.
She is so dang cute. I love that girl.
Her stents have turned out to be a major blessing as far as her RSV goes. Her nasal passage can't swell off, so she is easier to clean out. (We did a lot of booger sucking before this happened, and now it's even more). The nurses have said they wish all their patients had stents.
Her next surgery will probably have to be pushed back for several weeks, if not over a month, to give her time to heal and for the inflammation to go down in her lungs.
Anyway, blessings abound.

(And, PS, I'm sorry I don't have a cable to download any pictures. She is SO sweet. Babies are so fun).

Friday, March 19, 2010

Oh! Can lightning strike twice!

I'm really not sure what to post. We've had some interesting trials pop up this last month, much overshadowed by phenomenal blessings. The best of which is that our daughter, Meemers (note: her nickname), was born a month ago. She is so beautiful. It is an amazing blessing holding such a perfect little soul.
We had some complications at birth resulting in an emergency c-section (because of me) and a rare-but-fixable-through-several-surgeries birth defect. (Meemers has already had one surgery at 2 days old and is in for at least 3 or 4 more in the next few months). I don't really like going into detail on a public blog. Here are a few tid-bits:

Meemers is so sweet! It's fun to see how every child is so different right from the start. I love how curious she is about the world around her.

My epidural failed me yet again right during my c-section surgery. I've had 2 emergency c-sections, and the epidurals failed during both of them. It hurt so bad I thought my heart would stop.

I am so grateful for good doctors and the NICU. And for children's hospitals.

It would sure be nice to meet a good anaesthesiologist for any future c-sections.

RSV really, really stinks.

We have the most amazing family, ward (our church group), friends and neighbors EVER. They have helped us out so much with babysitting, meals and emotional support.

A good laugh can definitely go bad after major abdominal (abominable) surgery. For a short whlie I thought people would think I lost my sense of humor because it hurt too bad to laugh. And I have the funniest husband, mother and kids around. Sounds funny, but ouch! Humor can hurt!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

"Tis an ill wind that brings nobody any good"

In the last 3 months I've had at least 7 illnesses. It all started with the flu. Thank heavens we all had our seasonal and swine flu shots! I think maybe my immune system took an extra hit after that one, because I've since had pneumonia twice, (which I currently am gettting over), numerous colds, a strange leg infection... I've been on 3 separate courses of antibiotics. It's really not so bad being pregnant, it has actually been pleasant. Being sick and pregnant is a little different, but I feel very fortunate that I haven't had to be hospitalized. It's scary getting sick when you've got asthma, let alone when you have asthma and are pregnant. It's a good time to count my blessings, for sure.
We are so excited for our little one to come. I hope she waits a few days until I've recovered, though!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I'm free! I'm free!


I'm not sure how to write up this post without sounding, well, unpatriotic and not very citizen-y. However, it sure feels nice to have less responsibilities.

I felt a deep sense of duty as far as trying to better our community and stand up for things that I believe in. So, a few years ago while at a caucus I accepted some political positions. I was the only one in attendance that wasn't moving, and as a result was elected as precinct chair, county delegate and state delegate. This translated into 5 to 6 important meetings a year, plus a few extras here and there. Then, a few months ago I was asked to serve as Legislative District Chair as well. This meant I was suddenly in charge of 25 voting precincts. This was a much busier task.

The other day I was trying to fill 5 vacant precinct chair positions. After looking over thousands of names, calling hundreds of people and leaving more messages than I can keep track of, I was a bit spent. So, when a few administrative glitches threw a monkey wrench in the works I decided that maybe it was time I re-evaluate my time. I was able to fill 4 of the 5 vacancies, which I feel pretty good about. However, I realized that I'm going to have a baby sometime in the next 3 weeks. When am I going to have time to run an entire Legislative caucus and hand out credentials before central committee meetings? Thank Heaven for my wonderful family. I resigned and feel much better.

I'm glad for the opportunities I had. I would definitely like to urge you all to get involved any way your circumstances allow. I don't think we should complain about the government if we aren't even exercising our right to vote. Even more so, I think most people would be quite shocked to find out how maddeningly persistent special interest groups are. They DO get involved, they DO run for offices, they DO voice their concerns and agendas to lawmakers, and the general public MAY NOT always agree with these agendas. So who cares if politics isn't your thing? Bettering your community is always a nice choice.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Humanitarian Aid for Haiti

Haiti is in dire need of emergency aid. For those of you wondering what you can do, the best thing is to donate to either the Red Cross, or to my favorite, LDS Humanitarian Services. 100% of your donation goes to the cause when you donate through this organization. Everything is done by volunteer work. You can go here to donate:

Visit the following article to find out more:

Thursday, January 7, 2010

An early salute to the King

Today NiNa was really excited to tell me about a wonderful, good man she learned about in kindergarten: Martin Luther King, Jr. So, although the official day of oberservance for this brave man is still a week and a half away, I thought I'd share my favorite NiNa quote on what she learned about him:

"He made a march with the people and said, 'That's not fair! That's not fair!'"

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Some of our best friends are hoping to adopt.

They've got the cutest little 1 year old boy, and they are the sweetest parents.

For more information, click here: