Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tender Mercy

Dear Professor Papworth,  

  Next time I'll be more resourceful when choosing my post title.  As they say, "The gospel is perfect...the wordy Saints aren't."  Until my writing abilities become perfected,  I'll have to resort to occasionally using a few Mormon cliches.  


p.s.  I hope the vittles you ate last night are nourishing and strengthening your body.

p.s.s I hope that no harm or accident will befall you on your way to class tomorrow.

I once had an English professor who gave an interesting lecture about Mormon cliches. He told us that our testimonies shouldn't be cluttered with trite parrot phrases like: with every fiber in my being; beyond a shadow of a doubt; I don't know where I'd be without the church, etc.  He said that if we'd make a sincere effort to eliminate these phrases, replacing them with our own well contemplated thoughts, we'd end up delivering rich, unique, and heartfelt testimonies(He was in no way berating our current testimonies).  Elder Bednar's riveting speech, "The Tender Mercies of the Lord," is home to the often used phrase,"tender mercy."  Professor Papworth would undoubtedly add that phrase to his list of testimony no-nos. But when a chica's Calliope Muse is caught in the myer, she'll have to stoop to naming her post after an overused Mormon cliche.  The Church is still true and so is this post.

The boy and I got out of the car and walked through the garage and into the house.  Sometime during our short walk, a little piece from the boy's Star Wars ship fell off and was lost. He became unglued and begged for me to help him find the missing piece. I took a picture for you to see how little this piece is.  I know what you're thinking: "THERE'S NO WAY I'D SPEND TIME LOOKIN' FOR THAT!"  That's what I said too.

I told the boy that I was busy grading homework, folding laundry, and making a nutritious dinner for the rest of my homies.  I told him to stop crying and to just deal with it. He did.

I walked in on my praying boy and immediately began crying.  I grabbed the camera and took his picture--a bit irreverent of me, I know. Are you dying right now?  Are you thinking this story has a tender mercy ending coming up soon?  I said to him, quickly hiding my tears:

"Were you just praying about your toy, buddy?"


"What do you think Heavenly Father's going to do next?"

"He'll help me find it"

"You're right, buddy.  That's just what He'll do."

I resolved that I wouldn't go to sleep until that piece was found, by golly.  I wanted  him to know, with every fiber of his being, that Heavenly Father hears and answers every child's prayer(like the song).  Within minutes of our search, we found the missing piece.  Thank goodness because I was getting nervous.  I didn't want to come up with an explanation as to why we couldn't find it--so faithless of me, I know.  The boy's faith is so simple and perfect: mustard seed faith+sincere prayer= tender mercy answers, every single time.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Heart Attack

I devoured an entire box of Joe-Joe's within the last 38 hours. They're addicting; don't try them.  I kept telling myself to stop after eating two. Okay, just two more, then you're done.  I even put them up high on top of my food storage (heaven knows I never poke around there). I moved them back down and ate two more. I forgot about them until I remembered I needed a snack to go with my Dr. Pepper, at least it's diet. Doesn't that cancel a few calories?   I put the Joe-Joe's box on the counter and pulled the tray of cookies out.  I turned off my mental self control button, then went to my room and changed into sweats. I'll have to wear sweats tomorrow too.   I won't try to shimmy on my jeans.  It'll make me feel bad. Plus, I hate the dent the zipper leaves on my finger from all that pulling.  

p.s. I might want to worry less about pant size and more about my heart.  Inhaling 105 grams of fat within 38 hours can't be good.  Can I still have my temple recommend?

p.s.s.  You've noticed that I've been working on my Dr. Pepper addiction.  Yes, I've made the move from cans to liter bottles.  Baby steps, chicas, baby steps.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'm Sorry

I need to shove the words off my tongue, but I don't want to. I was a lippy kid, and mi Madre endured many episodes of me pointing my know-it-all finger at her while my mouth sprayed nasty things like: "You hate me" and "You're the worst for making take piano. I hate piano" (I'm taking adult piano lessons). I'd eventually come to my teenage senses and shove out an I'm sorry because she and I had to be on good terms before any of my extracurriculars were approved. I regret talking to her like that. I really do. I'm reminded of this picture. Only I'd be wearing a different shade of lipstick. Pink isn't me.

I'm older now. I should know better. But sometimes I fall prey to spattering out a little teenage mouth spray, and I ain't referring to Binaca, chicas. Carolyn lives behind me. She isn't the "sweet" that Neil Diamond sings about. She's old. The kind of old that spends her time filling bird feeders, feeding stray cats, and hanging wind chimes. She doesn't like kids(got 3) or barking dogs (there'd be a lot less of that if she got rid of the cats). I made the mistake of giving her my phone number when we moved in. I was trying to be a nice. Never do either. Phone# + way too nice=disaster. Thank Buddha for caller I.D.

Carolyn's Complaints

1. Your dog is loud (she took that one to the H.O.A. We got a notice. Twice).
2. Your kids keeping looking into our yard (No they don't. They got scared when they saw your lady sags hanging out of your swimming suit. Be sensible and put those away, Carolyn).
3. Your trees' leaves are falling into my pool and the roots are ruining our fence (We spent 500 dollars removing the trees after the 80th call).
4. Your yard guy keeps blowing debri into my yard. I can't enjoy my morning swing time because there's dust all over everything (We've told Rudy that she's loca and to be careful when blowing. She called Rudy too. He pretended that he couldn't understand English. I love Rudy.)

Here's where the spraying comes in: I went out to the backyard and noticed a H-U-G-E pile of branches tossed at the base of one of our trees. I asked mi Amor if he'd been trimming. He hadn't; but Carolyn had. She was bugged that our branches were hanging over the fence into her yard, so she cut and tossed them back. I was D-O-N-E. I marched into the house and speed dialed mean Carolyn.

"Hello, this is Carolyn!"

"I know. Did you toss some branches into our yard?"

"No. Well, I cut some branches, but I told Mike to put them in the trash.

"He didn't. I can't believe how incredibly rude you are. I could only dream of having enough free time to notice that my neighbor's tree branches were in my yard. You're crazy, old, and pathetic. Never call me again. Ever."

Mi Amor was aghast when I hung up the phone. He said I was harsh. I was. I didn't mean the old and pathetic part. Tomorrow I'll shove the words out onto an apology letter and mail them to her. I'm sorry. I really am.

A little afterthought: Mi Amor read this post and informed that I never told Carolyn that she was "old" and "pathetic." I guess my story telling was a little juiced-up. Sorry. Except for those two words, everything else is t-r-u-e.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sabbath BAND-AID

Excuse moi,  I've got to share a Relief Society moment.

So yesterday was Sunday, and we gotz a few keepin' the Sabbath Day holy rules.  Basically our kids can do anything as long as it doesn't include watching regular T.V. shows, playing video games, swimming, playing with friends, smiling, laughing, or having fun...just kidding.  But I think they sometimes feel like Sundays=M-I-S-E-R-Y.   We always give them the usual suggestions: journal writing, watching church videos, baking, writing notes, coloring, and memorizing the names of the Twelve Apostles and the First Quorum of the Seventy. Apparently that last suggestion sent my littlest boy straight to the knife drawer where he stuffed a pocket knife into his little pocket and headed for the bathroom, not to slash his wrists due to his Sabbath Day dread, but to hide his curiosity for knives from us.  Mi Amor has repeatedly told him to layoff the pocket knives, but his warnings only make the boy more curious.

As I was slicing up some Sabbath dinner fruit, humming to MoTab's rousing rendition of "Come, Ye Children of the Lord," I heard his desperate cry, "Mom! Hurry, I'm blooding."  Out came that little boy with a bloody finger and a skewampus band aid wrapped around every part of his finger except the bleeding part.  I scooped him up and took him to mi Amor.  This was a man to boy moment, so I left the two of them alone to discuss.

They came out 2 minutes later, the boy with a new band aid and Mi Amor with a learning moment.  He said, "I wonder how Heavenly Father feels when He asks us not to do something, yet we choose to do it anyway?"  I thought about Mi Amor's insightful observation throughout the rest of the day and I couldn't stop thinking about John 3:16: "For God  so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."  I'm so indebted to the Lord for all of the mistakes I've made. I'm inexplicably grateful for Christ's Atonement.  Like my little boy confessing to Mi Amor, I can go to Heavenly Father and ask for forgiveness and through His grace, I can be forgiven. "But behold, the Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arm of his love.  2 Nephi 1:15

Now I've got to go dry my tears and ask for more forgiveness because I just yelled at my boyz for buggin' me while writing this post.  

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Green Peace

We had planned on going to the train park, but instead, I selfishly persuaded my boyz into going to the Scottsdale Mall.  I promised them that if I could JUST LOOK in Nordstrom for a few minutes,  they could play at the play place.  And afterward, we'd eat Sprinkles cupcakes. Sold.

I would have kept my word, stuck to the plan, if I hadn't seen that 50% off sign in Banana Republic's display window.

I told the boyz, "One little trip to the sale rack...just looking for a Sunday dress.  I'll be quick; I promise. I'll let you play for 5 minutes longer?"

"Okay," they said. 

I had every intention of keeping my promise...until I remembered that mi Homegurl really needed a new swimming suit. 

I said, "Just a quick dip into Gap Kids.  Look, they even have Star Wars t-shirts in here!"  

The shirt distraction lasted long enough for me to realize that cute and modest swimwear is H-A-R-D to find.  Why do bikinis always have cuter fabrics and styles? And why do the one pieces look like Grandma Myrtle Mayva designed them? 

Now my boyz started to become defensive, saying things like, I tricked them and that I love shopping more than I love keeping promises. Harsh.  So, we made haste to the play place.  They played; and  I read until they started nagging for phase two of the promise. Cupcakes. Sprinkles is outside of the mall, but I still needed to visit Nordstrom.

I said, "I still have to look in Nordstrom for mi Homgurl'z Easter dress."

"Just the dress, right?"

"Right." I said.

We started looking, and I couldn't help but notice that Scottsdale chicas get dressed up for their shopping trips...kinda like they're going to the Presidential Inaugural Ball or something? I overheard two ladies talking about how they were going to strategically pack their newly purchased St. Johns clothing for their upcoming trip to St. Tropez, and they weren't talkin' about a trip to the their local Catholic church, chica.  These ladies were serious about travel and everything else that's fancy.  That's probably why they were glaring at me in utter shock when one of my boyz knocked over a toy robot display, interrupting their conversation (not fancy). Maybe they were just noticing that I'd forgotten to adhere to local dress code:  

Wardrobe Don'ts:
flip-flops:  Check!
capri jeans:  Check! 
Shade shirt that screams, "I'm Mormon.":  Check!

They returned to their conversation, and we slumped out of the store, promising to never return.  But then I remembered that I had a Crate and Barrel gift card that was burning a hole in my wallet.  I knew that my boyz were D-O-N-E, and I shouldn't have pushed my luck, but I did.

"Just one more stop.  I think they have toys there." I kinda lied.  Not good.  

Within five minutes of entering the store, my boyz knocked over 3 things, jumped on two beds, used picture holders as hair clips, and dropped two glass salt shakers.  I don't know if I purchased the green glasses because they were the closest thing to the register, or if I subconsciously wanted a "little drink." And we ain't talkin' about Dr. Pepper, chicas.   

As I walked out the door, I vowed to never lure my boyz into my good intentioned shopping trips.  We went to Sprinkles, stuffed our faces full with cupcakes (not fancy), and made our peaceful way home with our fancier than dixie cups, green acrylic stemware.

P.S. I refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages...always.  I heart the W. of W.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chica, You Got Some Splainin' to Do


This DOES NOT look good!  There's going to be a smackdown in mi casa.  Pray for me because I've got some serious splainin' to do.

Boring Is What Boring Does

Mi homegurl learned the hard way that sayin' things to me like, "I'm bored" and "There's nothing to do" earns  her a big FAT, "I'll give you something to do" chore list.  So the other day, she had a group of girlfriends over.  And instead of asking me for suggestions on what to do, they made up a list of their own. I busted a gut when I later found their "Idea" list.  I  just couldn't resist highlighting and adding to some of their suggestions.

1.  Jump in pool.  That was a no can do because it was filled with leaves.  I heard one girl say, while peering out the window at the pool, "Looks a little slimy in there."

2.  Do a movie in our swimsuits.  Hold on there, chicas.  Just because mi Homgurl is a love expert doesn't mean she's quailified to direct the next, Linda Lane: Girls Gone Wild video. I better keep a closer eye on that girl.  She's getting a little too frisky in her old age.

3.  Slip n Slide, if we still have one....She forgot that, no, we don't have a slip n slide.  We threw it in the trash because it was home to about 7 scorps., two of which were found near her bedroom door. Plus, mi Amor was tired of looking at our front lawn's landing strip of dead grass that the slip 'n' slide left behind.  I miss the constant reminder of last summer's belly sliding.  

4.  Visit Nancy Farill because she might be passing away soon.  Oh my, heavens!  I didn't know whether I should laugh or cry at this one.  Nancy Farill is this sweet woman in our ward who suffers from a severe case of M.S. She's paralyzed and confined her wheelchair and bed 24, 7.  Mi Homgurl and her chicas usually visit Nancy every Sunday.  But apparently mi Homgurl's recent observation that Nancy's health is declining made her consider an off Sunday visit.  So sweet, really.

5.  Do a sale for cookies.  There's nothing better than making a little chi-chang! And that's exactly what these girls decided to do.  They baked up a batch of delicious chocolate chip cookies and went door to door (to people we know) and sold their cookies.  Brother Sellers, bless his heart, gave the girls 5 bucks for 2 cookies; and they made 15 bucks, total.  When the boyz in the hood caught wind of the chicas' bake sale success, they decided to bake and sell their own goodies.  Unfortunately, the boyz experienced little success.  Maybe it was because they weren't as cute as the chicas, or maybe our generous neighbors were out of cash.  I felt bad and gave them 7 bucks because I care about their self-esteem and whatnot.  I started to eat one of their brownies, proving my undying love and appreciation, when a closer look revealed that the brownies were a magical mix of chocolate and grass. 

I asked the boyz, "Did you drop these because I see grass in here?" 

They said, "Maybe a bush got to them."

I said, "I need a refund."

They said, "We can't. You already touched the brownies."

I kept the brownies, cleaned up the chicas' HUGE cookie mess, and thanked my lucky stars for creative and fun kids. 

P.S.--Mi Homgurl and boy visited Nancy on Sunday.  Thanks, Nancy, for letting my little rascals into your home.  It's good for them.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Better Than the Golden Mushroom

Yesterday's transfer from mi Amor's  checking account was a necessity.  I said I wouldn't do it anymore, but we're talking about NEEDS here, chica.  I've always loved earrings. And as a girl, I remember begging mi Madre to let me get my ears pierced.  She told me that I would have to wait until I was 16, but my incessant nagging brought the age restriction down to 8.  I victoriously wore my boring gold posts until the healing time was up.   I quickly moved on, wearing hoops, dangling stars, glittery hearts, and long golden chains that brushed the tops of my shoulders--so Cindi Lauper of me, I know.

I wanted to be like my friend, Tammy, and enshrine them all on a golden mushroom earring stand. But mi Madre was D-O-N-E with the nagging and said, "Save your money, Honey Child." By the time I had enough cash,  I had lost most of my collection; a pair in the pool, one during gymnastics, and another pair left at Tammy's house (now hanging on her mushroom, I'm sure).

We live and learn; and now that I've got a my own little chica, I've made it my personal mission to ensure that all of her earrings are present and accounted for.  So you can understand why I go ballistic when I find her earrings on the bathroom sink, on top of her dresser drawers, right next to the earring stand, and brace yourself for this one, stuck in the bottom of my foot.  

She'll know how lucky she is to have una Madre like me when she goes to college. But until then, the only satisfaction I can gleam from this maddening situation is that you go to Urban Outfitters and buy yourself one too.  I know you'll appreciate such a nifty find.

P.S. We've only filled the earring stand's top row, only 3 more to go.  Looks like I'll do another transfer.  Needs, chica, needs. 

P.S.S. I'm not really going to do another transfer.


I grabbed this book from mi Amor's bookshelf and packed it in my purse.  I needed something to read while I sat in the orthodontist's waiting room.  I usually love having a justifiable reason for perusing the waiting room's magazine rack, but I'm trying to wean myself from my Pop Culture obsession.  "More good books, less magazines," I tell myself as I let three people go ahead of me in the WalMart line so I can finish reading what's going on between Jen and Angelina.   

I'm diggin' the message that this book's cover is sending out; sleep, solitude, and a really nice bod.  Yes, please. I'll take all of that.  Hopefully the book will prove to be as good as its cover.  It's a guarantee because mi Amor doesn't house trash on his bookshelves.