Sunday, December 28, 2008

May Be a Hundred Different Things

The phone rang and my dad picked it up. It was my brother in-law, Art. He was looking for my sister as he hadn't been able to get ahold of her. 

"Let me ask April," I hear my dad say. "Do you know what your sister was up to tonight?"

"Well, she was making the kids pancakes for dinner and then she was going to put them to bed early and probably do some laundry while watching A Very Brady Christmas," I told him.

"She wasn't going anywhere," my dad told Art.

The difference between men and women....

It's in the details!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Like a Perfect Scene from a Movie Screen

I try to live my life like a movie if at all possible. Some might think this is unrealistic. But I think it's a romantic way to liven up most any situation. And I often think, "this will make a very funny/dramatic/magical/scary/romantic/heart-wrenching scene to the movie of my life."

So imagine my delight when I found myself stuck on the BW parkway in the worst traffic jam on my way to the airport. Sure, at first I was a little nervous that I would miss my 5:15 flight. And I chided myself for getting caught up at work and not leaving earlier. But when the clock hit 4:30 and I still wasn't moving, my mind turned to "movie mode"and sitting there I went through, in detail, how I would miraculously make my flight.

First, I'd start honking in order to move through the traffic. When that proved useless, I'd take it to the shoulder, speeding past all the cars, off-roading if I had to, finding a little shortcut to take me right to the terminal. I'd forgo the long-term parking lot as that would take too much time, instead driving straight to the "departing flight zone." Nearly in tears I'd explain to the kind old man at the desk how I couldn't miss one of my best friends wedding. Lucky for me he's the kind of employee who believes cusomter service to be the most important part of his job. He worked for Southwest for 30 years and in that time never had a customer miss a flight. He'd take it personally upon himself to help me make my flight and he'd enlist the help of all his buddies so that in a matter of moments the whole Southwest team is cheering me on. One guy would take my car and park it safely in long-term parking. My kind buddy would escort me to the front of the security line, explain my plight to the TSA and they wouldn't even make me take off my shoes. The woman at the front would call the gate and tell them to hold the plane. Then I'd run full-speed down through the terminal, giving a final wave to my helpful crew. I'd laugh at the irony of my gate being the furtherst away, but I'd make it in the nick of time. The whole plane would cheer when I made it onboard. And I would be one lucky woman.

Do you want to know how my movie scene actually played out? After some banging on the steering wheel and a few hundred, "come on, come on, come on, come on," traffic finally let up. I sped very fast (sorry dad) and booked it to long-term parking where I then rushed with my heavy bags to catch the shuttle. Then I nervously jumped up and down waiting for the bus driver to let me off the shuttle and rudely cut everyone in line at the curb-side check-in. The woman at curb-side did not rally around me to assist, but she was quite dramatic in her response:

"M,am, it is way too late. I can't even check you in out here. You have to go inside."

I ran inside, thankful for no line and asked the woman at the desk if she thought I could make it. She didn't rush to my aid either.

"You're flight leaves in 10 minutes. There is no way you are going to make it. " Apparently she didn't realize who I was.

"Can I try?" I asked her.

"Sure, you can try."

And that's when I started running. I ran to security and begged my way to the front of the line (thank you again kind folks). I still had to take off my shoes, and I didn't even bother to put them back on as I ran to the gate, down the escalator and wait....A3??? That wasn't as long of a run as I had anticipated. No one cheered at my arrival. In fact, there were still lines of people waiting to board.

It didn't work out exactly as planned, but I still made my flight. There was a brief moment of panic when the flight attendant announced our departure for St. Louis and I thought in my haste I had accidentally boarded the wrong plane. I started to imagine the scene it would cause to have to bring the plane back, while all the passengers moaned and groaned.

"Where is this plane going?" I asked the man next to me.

"St. Louis."

I gave him a look of horror before he assured me that the plane would then head to Salt Lake. We laughed and laughed at my confusion. I think I'll give him a part in my movie.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Little Man

Remember when I saw this little nugget enter the world?

We've bonded. He loves me!

No Fear, No Fences, No Reins

* While reviewing some of my past posts that I never published, I found this which was written while still living at the Flanders house. I never finished writing it, but upon reading it felt it was an accurate description of my current mood.

I woke up this morning around 4 am for my routine bathroom break. I love looking at my clock and realizing I still have a couple of hours to sleep. Except this morning I couldn't fall back asleep as normal, which was quite frustrating. It was too noisy.

4 am seems like an odd time for the house to be noisy, but if you think about it, the quieter things are, the more actual noise is apparent. House noises never used to bother me much. But the older I get, the more fearful I am about monsters under the bed or hiding in the laundry room. Except my monsters usually take the form of scary men.

This morning I heard someone walking around upstairs and in my sleepy state I convinced myself that it had to be a "monster." Who else would be up and about walking around. It should have been very easy for me to hop out of bed, go upstairs and realize that no one was there, or find one of my roommates up for an early morning bathroom break like myself. But instead I just laid there in fear, thankful that my room is in the bottom far corner of the house, convinced that the cops would be on there way before he realized my room even existed. And I prayed that he wouldn't find my roommates either.

It wasn't long before I had worked myself into a frenzy, and each additional noise was evidence that the "monster" was still there. I heard the laundry room open and quickly hid under my covers for that meant he had found his way to the basement.

Even as I write this, I know it sounds very silly. But darkness and a half night's sleep often trump logic. And recent experiences have shown that sometimes your worst fear really is possible.

Fear is a debilitating thing. People hide behind it, use it as an excuse and if they aren't careful, spend their whole life in submission to what they fear most. I used to think I wasn't one of those people. But lately, I've been a lot more content to hide under my covers and hope that the monster doesn't come get me, rather than just getting up and destroying the monster myself. Fear is paralyzing.

I go through cycles of fear, most often around periods of great change in my life. About a year and a half ago, I was about to move, a move that brought nothing but positive things into my life, but prior to I could not see these positive things, I simply saw fear. One of my dear friends came over and amidst our conversation he taught me a great lesson he had learned about fear. Sometimes the adversary uses fear in our life to keep us from things that will bring the greatest good in our lives. It's a tool of discouragement, it keeps us from reaching our potential, it tries to stop us from developing greatness. I was blessed to learn this lesson at that time and it helped me take the leap I so desperately wanted to make.

Now, on the brink of more change, I find the same fear and I struggle to remember the lesson I once thought I had learned. And I can't seem to believe that things will work out, even though experience has proved it to me time and again. I've never been good at closing doors and looking for that window. Once when I was a lot younger, I shared a room with my oldest sister. And then a physical wall was put up and the rooms were alone and separate. I couldn't sleep I was so torn about my new surroundings. 

It's very easy to only see the walls and to qualify them as limiting. The hard part comes in learning to see past the things we fear are holding us back and to not focus on the walls we fear are keeping us from what we want. I made a goal when I turned 26 that I no longer wanted to live my life this way. I would move forward and not be held back. 

No fear, another mantra. 

Monday, December 1, 2008

A few more Mormon misconceptions.

I was laughing with my brother over the question I received at work.

Turns out, he's had a few funny encounters himself.

Here are two of my favorites:

Friend #1: Chad, I didn't know you drove a car.
Chad: Yeah, my horse and buggy are in the shop.

Friend #2: Do you guys believe in Thanksgiving?
Chad: No, we have nothing to be thankful for.

That Chad, always a jokester.