Sunday, June 20, 2010

some of life's lessons learned from dad

LESSON #1 Choose your priorities

I began learning this lesson from my father while incubating in my mother's womb. Apparently times were tough when I was born, and my father had a decision to make. He had to choose between me and his other "baby". His other baby didn't have feet, but wheels. His other baby didn't need constant diaper changes, but an oil change every now and then. His other baby didn't demand attention and just sat patiently in the driveway. His other baby had cravings for gasoline, and never chocolate or boys. His other baby, he thought, was his pride and joy. His perspective, of what really was his pride and joy, may have done a little shifting in a hospital room spring of '83. Even though he had to sell his Land Cruiser to pay for me, and at times-- particularly through teenage years and a week every month, wished he could sell me back, he knows he got the better end of the transaction.

Sometimes it's okay to expose yourself in public

Actually, this lesson has taught me never to go on the water with anything valuable in your pockets, but I thought the other title was better. My dad loves fishing. He especially loves going at early hours, which I never understood. Secretly I think it's cause he is the "Fish Whisperer" and gets out on the water to coax them into the boat with his charm. However, I think when you get up that early, you can't think clearly. Clear thoughts would tell you to put your keys/wallet/anything else valuable into a safe place on the boat. My dad thought it would be okay to place those things in his chest pocket. Leaning into the water to net a fish + Keys in pocket = dad stripping down and diving into the lake to retrieve keys and lose fish completely. The lakes he fishes on have lots of houses around them, so chances are he has exposed himself, and his religion, to countless people- more than one time.

If you are going to do something, give it everything

I think I learned this lesson several times in life. Two stories come to mind.

First Story- Us kids were playing in the woods behind the house. I think it was my brother and his friends that started this project, but when you have four little sisters, you are stuck with them wanting to be a part of the action. Anyways, my brother and his entourage were out playing with wood scraps and started constructing a tree fort. It looked good, but was a little on the weak side. Dad came home from work and asked the guys if they wanted some help. That night, our woods had everything they could want- a rope swing, fire pit, chicken coop, garden, playhouse, honey bees, and an amazing tree fort. Dad taught us that night to give your projects everything.

Second Story- I can't remember where the idea came from, but my parents decided it would be cool to have honey bees. So here we were, a family that had all the typical pets- a cat (normal), chickens, and honey bees (how about that for show-n-tell?). My dad would gear up from head to toe to go harvest the honey. One small hole in his face net was over-looked, and ten minutes into the harvest my dad, in his lovely harvesting attire, came running through the woods yelling to my mom to get the hose. His face net looked like a hive- tons of bees were swarming his face. That night we sat around watching as my mother picked at least 30 stingers from ONE of his ears to his chin. The next harvest he was a little more thorough as he scanned his gear.

LESSON #4 Hard work can be fun

I have learned to work and work hard. I never wondered if my dad was going to be able to support his family. He's always worked hard to provide for our needs. I remember being so irritated that we would have to get up on Saturdays- early, do house chores, and then go outside to do yard chores. We would mow the lawn, weed weed and weed some more (we had a LARGE gravel driveway that wrapped around our hose that would grow weeds in it), pick rocks out of the garden or lawn, chop and stack wood (living in the woods there was always a tree that fell and needed to be made into fire wood), and help plant the garden. There was always work to be done in the yard. At the end of a long work day, we would choose a kool-aid flavor and make 'slushies'- ice + kool-aid = slushies. Knowing that we would get a 'slushie' at the end of a ten-hour work day would keep us and the neighbor kids working all day. We always had a nice yard.

LESSON #5 Shoot, cast, aim

Growing up with brothers and then having a son and four girls, I think my dad thought his hobbies couldn't be enjoyed by 80% of his children. Wrong. All five of us enjoy shooting guns, bows and arrows, crabbing, fishing, camping, and are not afraid of going to the bathroom in the woods (except when you have to hike to the hole in the ground in Yellowstone in the middle of the night with bears around).
We each got to join my dad and his buddies as they participated in archery tournaments. The men would shoot and then walk us children up to the kids' line to shoot our bows. We would carry our bows and our arrows on our backs- proudly.
There were days when mom would need to get stuff done and sent us fishing with dad. What a perfect place to baby-sit- kids all strapped in life jackets, sitting still so they wouldn't scare the fish, and catching so many to feed a family of seven dinner.
How about the perfect 'man' Christmas? A dad is truly lucky when all of his kids want guns for Christmas. My dad taught me to speak about and to shoot guns. It may have taken me a bit to memorize this line, but Dad taught me about my gun and now I can say perfectly "I have a Savage 22 ten-shot semi-automatic".

LESSON #6 Heed to the promptings from the Spirit

My dad drove into town to park his car and catch the bus into work. The bus stop was down in the wetlands and all the Boeing employees would park down there to catch the bus each day. As he was waiting for the bus with his friends, he felt he needed to move the truck. He felt the prompting a couple of times and told his friends he would be parking his truck in an upper lot that day. They all teased him for not feeling comfortable that day. Two hours later the river flooded and the lot and all the cars were submerged in river water. My dad's truck was completely dry in the upper lot. He gained some respect and a stronger testimony that day.

The life's lessons that we learned growing up were endless. I am a very lucky girl to have a wonderful father. I remember always feeling safe/protected when I was with my dad- no one could hurt me. I remember a LOT of laughter growing up. My wit comes from my dad. I know I am his favorite. I know that I made it through each school year, with limited problems, because I received a blessing at the beginning of each one. There are many more lessons, and stories attached to each one, but I also know that there are many more father's days to come. I love you dad!

I have wonderful men in my life and I am excited to see my husband lead our family in ways that only a father/husband/priesthood holder can do. I wouldn't let a man into my life that couldn't take care of me like my father did/does. He passed all of the tests. He lucked out with a wonderful father and mother that taught him how to love and abide by good principles. To them, I can't come up with words to express my thanks.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

All in a week

This last week was a full one. It had a couple of moments that threw me off, but for the most part it was a fun one!

I am going to start re-capping from last Friday. Last Friday we got to check one more thing off of our list-- we went camping to Ohiopyle. It was a fun trip with great friends. We got in after work and started setting up camp. Sean's eyes light up when we participate in these sort of activities-- he would live in the forest without a tent, if I would agree to it. Sadly, I appreciate my bed, fridge, shower, stove, washer, running water, etc..... I do love a good camping trip though, so we compromise and go as often as school permits. After the tent was set up, it was time to build a fire. In step the men. We may of had to use some of Sean's eyebrows and eyelashes to get the fire going, but it sure got going.

The four of us couples that went, split up the four meals we would be having. The spatula that was going to be used for breakfast had been forgotten, but don't worry-- Sean and his duct tape came in handy. He constructed a spatula out of forks and layers of duct tape. The eggs were scrambled properly and the pancakes flipped beautifully.

We spent Saturday at Cucumber falls and hiking around. We ended up leaving that night, but not before a wonderful foil dinner. I learned something new about foil dinners this trip. I learned that you can fill your foil with all the good stuff and add BBQ sauce or cream of mushroom/chicken to help season-- yummy!

Sunday Sean taught Sharing Time in primary. I think it was fun watching him react to the large and very active junior primary that we have in our ward. He enjoyed it. On Sunday we also took a long walk back into church and then home. It was beautiful outside, so we took advantage of it.

crossing the bridge from Schenley Park into Oakland.

Oakland area-- where Sean's school is as well as church.

Sean was so tempted to drop all of his Sunday "rules" to go and play in this ultimate frisbee game in the park.

Our beautiful building, built in 99. Apparently the neighborhood wasn't too happy about it's construction.

Monday was Memorial Day. We had a ward picnic in Forest Hills. We were ready to get out and participate in some games, when we realized that our keys were safely locked in our trunk. Luckily our insurance covers these "oops" situations and sent someone down to let us in. We got them out 40 minutes after they were locked in. After that escapade Sean was rewarded by staying away from his ultimate temptation on Sunday, and our ward played a large, very sweaty game.

Tuesday Sean started his externship with Allegheny General Hospital. He was doing an externship with the oral surgery residents. After several bloody, teeth-pulling days, he ruled out the option of becoming an oral surgeon. I think the thought of being in school for seven years may have also been a factor....

Wednesday we had a HUGE rainstorm. The freeways had lots of standing water, and we may have hydroplaned a bit. From now on we will stick to the side streets.

Thursday I had a very interesting experience with a guest that came in to get her haircut. She told me she wanted to look like a "bombshell". We started going through several magazines trying to find the best haircut for her new "bombshell" look. After asking a series of questions we found what she wanted. She wanted a trim-- I'm talking, half an inch off! I was suddenly suspicious of this lady. I think she may have been schizophrenic. I say that because when I took her back to get her hair shampooed, she freaked out. She kept saying "I can't do this, I can't do this, I can't do this" over and over. My heart was beating quickly, and I didn't know what to do. I took her back to my chair. When she calmed down, she told me that she likes to wash her hair with natural things. She started telling me that she treats her hair with vinegar, honey, milk, and mayonnaise. Her hair was a mess-- sticky, stinky, and full of debris. She kept rambling about the military, military wives, and the militia. I couldn't make any sense of it. I cut her hair a half an inch and she felt like a bombshell. I was relieved! She then told me how she wanted it styled-- I styled it the way she wanted, but then she panicked and told me that she wanted it in a ponytail. I put it in a ponytail, but then she panicked because she wasn't looking like a bombshell. I styled it again how she first had it. This game went on for a good 15 minutes. We went in circles and I was beginning to panic because I wanted her to have a great experience, but she was scaring me a little bit. I started to feel as if she would never be happy with what I had done. Finally my next guest had arrived, so she knew it was time to go. She told me that she had been reading up on etiquette and wanted to give me something nice as a tip. She felt badly that she didn't have any money, so she started unbuttoning her blouse to give me. Uh-oh! I told her that all I wanted was for her to be happy and feel like a bombshell. I consoled her and escorted her out. I went to apply the color on my next guest, but the front desk came to interrupt me and tell me that she was up front putting all of our products (the ones for sale) on her hair. Again I went up and escorted her out. She again offered me her blouse and told me about some military wife or something that I could never really understand. As she left for good I felt like I was going to cry. I was hoping she had a place to stay, was surprised that I felt so uncomfortable, and was seeing her through the Savior's eyes. I know that she is looked after, but I couldn't help but worry. She too is a daughter of God.

Friday came and was as eventful as Thursday. This time, my guest was 5, she had long hair that had never been cut, and a very sentimental mother. He mother only wanted a half of an inch off, because she still wanted her to have some of her baby hair. This girl would not sit still. She scooted closer to the mirror and made several faces. I thought it was funny, at first, but quickly realized that her mother was going to let her call all of the shots and continually misbehave. I work at a very high-end salon, so to have all the other guests and stylists hear her yell and see her wiggle like she did was slightly embarrassing. I thought it couldn't get any worse, when she began to yell, loud enough for everyone to hear "Mama mama, I cut the cheese! I cut the cheese, mama! I cut the cheese through my vagina, mama!" Oh, I died!!!!

Friday night, Sean took me on a date to Phipps Conservatory. They have some incredible gardens. We walked from garden to garden and thoroughly enjoyed it.

my favorite plants were the hibiscus and the orchids. They are such gorgeous plants!

We had a gift card that we used for dinner at this place called 'Bites and Brews'. It is a typical college hangout in Pittsburgh. The hockey game was on and it was packed! We were squeezed into a small table and put in our order. After our order was put in a man approached us and asked us to move over. We did, and then his group of friends sat next to us. They were a bit tipsy and kept asking us about ourselves. They found out that we were recently married, are mormon, where I work, where and what Sean is studying, and where we hope to head after school. The man told us that we were one of the happiest couples that he had ever seen and then bought our dinner. Wow! We didn't want to accept, but he insisted. So, we still have our gift card and are ready for a second date to 'Bites and Brews'.

Saturday was a productive one. Sean looked so good gardening, in our tiny garden, I had to snap a picture.

And that was our week-- bring on next week!