Friday, May 26, 2017

Fam and U2

Last Friday evening, Eric and I flew out of SLC to LAX to stay with Sandy. We left during a very lovely sunset. We left with a lot of nerves and excitement. We knew it would be less than 48 hours and we really wanted to maximize our time with family.
Looking eastward from the plane

Flying over the Great Salt Lake

Saturday morning we woke up and headed up to Elida's house to see her little family. I'm not a morning person; you never know which version of Tina you'll get. I woke up too excited to be grouchy. 
I was thrilled to finally meet my niece, Aubrey. She's very mellow and reminds me a lot of Elida when she was a baby. She studies your every move and has a beautiful smile. She studied me pretty heavily. I studied back. 

We headed to the Rose Bowl early enough to get good parking and get in line for our general admission tickets. The sun was hot and heavy, and the line was long. 

Once we got through security and into the stadium, we scoped out a good spot. 
The Lumineers opened for U2. I've liked their songs for a long time and they were fantastic to sing along with. 

I always get like a giddy school girl, reminiscent of the old Beatles videos of girls crying, when U2 comes on stage. Saturday was no different. We had been placing bets on which song they would open with. None of us was right. But they know how to get the crowd up and moving right out of the gate. 
The images they flashed on the super duper large screen were inspiring! I swear some had to have been collected from Utah. Stunning! 
We sang and danced (and our feet ached!) and had a marvelous time! 

Sunday morning, Eric and I had breakfast with Elida's super cute little family, then made our way back to the airport to head home. 


Flying out of LAX

Flying into SLC

I really wish I had been able to spend more time in LA with my family. I find even short visits are replenishing to the soul. 
It's times like this, when I have to race back to work, that I wonder where my priorities are. I can't take these trips without work, but isn't family the most important? Still working on this life/work balancing act that my generation loves so much. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday Night Videos

So this is happening this weekend! I cannot wait to sing with my favorites ever! I love U2 and am super excited to see them again.
U2 Joshua Tree Tour 2017

I'm hoping there are some songs from Achtung and Zooropa.

Another vid to add this week. It makes me laugh:

I found this one inspiring and emotional...Our culture values genealogy and even with crazy and unhappy times of the past, this brings it all home. 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mothers are the Real Superheroes

In 2005, I married the love of my life. I had come to think I'd never find someone who would love me the way I loved him, and then one day, there he was.
We were in our early thirties and decided we'd begin our family sooner than later. Time went by with no little family members on the horizon.
We met with specialists, went through testing, took medications, underwent procedures, and were ultimately advised we wouldn't be able to have children. There was no medical intervention to assist.
We were devastated. A future we had hoped and prayed for was no longer ours to have. The few friends and family who knew of our efforts did their best to comfort us. Others who suspected our struggle offered other words. Their words didn't help us....
"Obedience begets blessings" .. in other words, if we obey God's commands, he'd give us children.
"Have you prayed? fasted?"
"As soon as you stop thinking about it, it will happen"
"God works in mysterious ways"

Our friends and family had children with such ease. We were surrounded by other couples having families. I wanted to celebrate with them, but found my bitterness and pain growing.

The words of comfort evolved into other suggestions:
"You can always adopt..."
"You can be a wonderful aunt..."
"You are a mommy to your dogs..."

While those words are true, it is in no way a replacement for the desire to be a mom. A desire I'd had since I was a child. A desire I fully expected to be fulfilled.

Several years have gone by since I made my peace with this loss. From time to time my heart aches for the children I've never had. But the years have eased the pain and I'm happy with the life I've chosen.

Each year on Mother's Day I feel I want to honor the women who are mothers. Who have or are still raising a future generation. And somehow, I feel it's a bit of a betrayal to them, when others want to include me in the Mother's Day greetings. I don't say this to diminish my own role in the future of my nieces and nephews.

Mothers work hard to teach their children how to maneuver through life. They put their health, time, money, energy and heart on the line. In all the of the efforts I make in the projects of my life, none have the kind of sacrifice of the mothers I know. Although I recognize that grandmothers, sisters, aunts, and other women help raise children, mothers have a deeper role.

With all this in mind, I have to say, I don't love hearing people try to wish me happy mother's day. I don't want or need to be consoled with words like, "you're a fur baby mommy..." or "you're their have helped raise them." True though they be, those words do not put me in the category of a mother. I don't say it out of anger or's a fact. And while I have the heart and strength of a mother, I am not one. The mothers in my life deserve the real honor.

I want to honor my sisters, friends, cousins, aunts and my own mother, who are in fact, mothers, and superheroes.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Service Awards Banquet - Twenty Years

In June I will reach the weirdest achievement of working twenty years at the University of Utah Hospital.
Twenty years ago I began working as a HUC on the Orthopedic inpatient unit. To this day, I think it's one of the toughest work I did at the U. We began working thinking to myself that I would work for the U for about 2-3 years.
At my five year achievement dinner, there were several who were recognized for working twenty years. I thought how crazy it must be, "who are THESE people!?"
I've worked in registration, billing, insurance authorization, financial counseling and training. I've been in IT training for 14 years.
I'm fortunate as hell to have a job I love.
The celebration was very nice. We were invited to dinner at the Grand America hotel. The food, company, music and ambiance were wonderful.

I'm grateful to the leaders who have seen my potential and helped me be a better version of myself.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Dandelion Hippie

I began making dandelion salve last year when my mother-in-law was suffering from severe arthritis pain. She follows the doctor's orders, but the pain is sometimes too much.
I have joint pain sometimes.
I began googling natural ways to help with the swelling and pain that accompanies arthritis and sore muscles.
In my searching I found that many people use dandelion oil. In fact, some massage therapists make their own dandelion oil because it's a natural way of relieving pain and swelling in joints and sore muscles.
I tested a batch last spring. Just a small batch. I made enough for me and her. She loved it. It helped her. It helped me.
Now I'm the one wandering my neighborhood picking dandelion heads from the neighbors' yards. My coworkers bring their dandelion heads.
I dry them. I steep them in avocado oil for 3-4 weeks and then I make the salve.
I add coconut oil, natural beeswax and essential oils.