Wednesday, April 25, 2012


You may have noticed I changed the color of my blog.  It's suppose to be red in preparation for Paul's matchy-matchy graduation, but it actually looks very pink.  It's the thought that counts, right?  [Update: fixed it!]

Oh man, my class starts this week.  Paul graduates next week.  Paul and I are planning a trip to Illinois in June.  We'll be driving. . .  My birthday is also in June, and you know what that means?  Andrea will start going to the nursery at church.  I'm so excited!

It seems like a lot of exciting things are currently happening in my life and I go through phases of relishing in the adrenaline of it all.  But lately, it's been really hard to get pumped up about the happy things because of all the sad things happening right now.

One of my best friends has a son a year and a half older than Andrea who was just diagnosed with a heart condition that is going to require risky heart surgery with potential for a few difficult complications.  He seemed like a perfectly healthy little boy until at a wellness check the doctor thought he heard a heart murmur.  That heart murmur turned out to be a constricted aorta.  The doctor told my friend he was surprised her son had lived this long.  I've been praying for him everyday that he stays safe until his surgery next week and that everything will go well.  I've also been praying for my friend and her husband that they will have peace in this difficult time.

My mother probably doesn't want mentioned in this blog post so . . . A female relative of mine (who I can neither confirm or deny may or may not have given birth to me) had a hysterectomy about five weeks ago.  It seemed she was healing nicely until she had a rather rare and serious complication last week that had her family worried and frightened.  It has been so hard for me to see this mysterious female relative is so much pain because she's one of the strongest ladies I've ever met.  I'm thankful to be living so close to her so I can be as helpful as possible while she recovers.  I'm also thankful for the ward members who've brought her family meals.  I know she feels like she is a burden, but she's not.  She has given so much service to others, and it has been refreshing to be able to give back to her.  I'm praying for her as well.

My grandmother also had to have emergency surgery as is currently healing from that trauma.  I wish she wasn't 1,400 miles away so I could be of some use to her as well.  Thankfully, she has children living close that are watching over her. Praying for her too?  You bet.

Andrea is becoming so patient during mommy's long prayers.  We give her little cheers when she's reverent through the whole thing.

Sometimes when all I can do is pray for someone in need it doesn't feel like the most productive course of action.  But there really is power in prayer.  A loving Heavenly Father is listening and answering when we pray.  I have felt so much comfort as I've poured my heart out to Him.  And I have felt so alone when I've forgotten to do so.  I hope teaching my daughter the power of prayer will be a blessing in her life and give her hope in a world of uncertainty and turmoil.

Friday, April 20, 2012


I don't know what it was about Andrea today, but I just wanted to eat her cute face!  Her and I played a peekaboo game until her hysterical laughter had her struggling to stand.  Paul came into the room and asked us if we were enjoying ourselves, and Andrea squealed with delight.  Once he was out of sight I gave her my phone, and we called him.  She LOVES talking to him on the phone, and even though he was home she was still delighted to hear his voice.  I just like her a lot.  She made me smile so much that my face is sore today.

Paul graduates in two weeks with his master's degree from the University of Utah.  When he graduated with his bachelors he didn't do the whole cap and gown thing because he had a new baby and thought we could use the money for something more practical.  I, however, didn't care.  I wanted pictures of my sweetie decked out in graduation regalia, holding his five month old daughter in her matching outfit.  I wore black for three weeks, mourning the loss of my matchy-matchy dream.  When I received a postcard advertizing graduation announcements for the U of U, I told Paul that this time he had to walk no matter what the cost.

With my dream renewed, I went to Wal-Mart (I know, I'm a big spender) to find some fabric for Andrea's matching dress.  I thought about just making a plain red dress with black accents, but when I saw these red and black flowers I fell in love.

Here's the finished product.  After I clipped the last thread I held the dress up to inspect and realized the style of the dress and the flower print make this dress look a lot like a muu muu.  Andrea loves it though.  I had her try it on and she wouldn't let me take it off.  She'd run away from me, point to her stomach, pull at the fabric, and giggle.

I'm excited to see those two together looking like matchy-matchy Utes!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The season of sick

Sorry I haven't written in a while.  I have not been feeling well.  Easter morning Paul woke up feverish and coughing up vital organs.  I remember asking him not to be dramatic, to which he responded, "I wish you knew how I felt right now."  The next day I started to cough too and by the late evening I was running a fever which lasted almost three days.  While Paul and I coughed and choked and sputtered and grasped our ribs in pain we prayed that Andrea would be spared from this ailment.  Wednesday morning I retrieved my daughter from her bed and she was hotter than a firecracker.

The three of us were a wreck. Most of the day was spent watching Yo Gabba Gabba (Andrea's favorite show) because it was the only thing that seemed to distract her from her pain.  And I didn't have the energy to do anything but sit beside her.  By evening my fever finally subsided, so I went down to the local health food store and bought some essential oils.  I bathed my mini sickie and massaged her feet with the oils.  I laid her in bed and prepared myself a soft place on the couch in case I spent the night there holding her crying, feverish body.

She slept THIRTEEN HOURS!  Thirteen beautiful, uninterrupted hours.  And when she woke up, her fever was gone.  I feel like she had angels watching over her sick body that night because the healing that took place was nothing but miraculous.  Paul and I are still coughing a week later, but my sweet baby is normal and happy as a lark.

I know Heavenly Father doesn't always answer our prayers in the way we want, but I'm so grateful He answered our prayers for Andrea Wednesday night.

Other Rowberry news:  About a month ago I got a flyer in the mail advertizing community college classes.  I begged Paul to let me take one and, without hesitation, he agreed.  Next week I start my first class and I'm SOOOO EXCITED!  Putting school on hold was one of the hardest decisions I've ever made.  This community class reminds me that I don't have to stop learning when I'm not enrolled in a major university. 10 more days!!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The most awkward bridal shower

Today I went to a bridal shower.  Actually two.  Funny story.

Today was the bridal shower for one of my oldest friends.  She and I met in sixth grade at school. (Although we went to church together too and didn't know it.)  We went to the same junior high, carpooled together every morning, and were known to have occasional weekend sleepovers.   We went to high school together also, but started making different groups of friends. Then, she started college, moved to Provo, and we only contacted each other a couple of times a year.  She is getting married now, and I was so pleased she thought of me when making a list of people to invite to her bridal shower.

The shower was in Provo.  If you've never been to Provo, YOU ARE THE LUCKIEST PERSON ALIVE.  Seriously.  It is largely a student town where gazillions of BYU students live in the surrounding areas of campus.  In this area traffic is usually ridiculous, there is NO, I mean NOOOO, zero, zip, zilch, nada, and again I repeat, NO parking.  The streets are lined with red curbs, and all apartment lots are plastered with signs indicating the inhumane torture you will undergo should you decide to park there.  But, I was going to a two hour bridal shower and didn't want to walk nine blocks clinging to a huge present.  So I drove along the street, unsupiciously pulling in and out of little lots, until I found one large enough and vacant enough to hide my white car.  I said a little prayer that I was not taking a tenet's prime parking space, and that I would not get towed or booted. . . or Chinese water torture (which I recall seeing in the fine print on the hostile sign near the entrance).

I still had to walk a block clinging to a huge present.  As I approached the front door, I made note of the matching address and knocked.  A squinty-eyed girl answered. She welcomed me in to sit with the already gathered girls, instructed me to help myself to a stale sandwich and some chips, took my present, and added it to the pile forming beside the table.  I looked around the room and noticed that there wasn't a face I recognized.  I expected this though.  After all, my friend and I don't see each other often and have completely different social circles.  And by that I mean she actually has a social circle.

I tried to make conversation with the young lady next to me about how horrible parking in Provo is, and another girl came over to learn our names.  Every one sat awkwardly, I assumed waiting for the bride-to-be to show up.  I took an instantly-regretted bite of my stale sandwich and ask the girl beside me how she knew my friend.  She at once looked shocked.  "Who?"  She said.  I repeated the name and asked if this was her bridal shower.  The silence was palpable.  Twelve girls stared me down until a few looked away, feeding off of my discomfort.  I tried again.  "Isn't this [such and such] address?"  The hostess confirmed, but politely asked me what apartment number I was looking for.  Clearly not use to being in apartments that required extra numbers I said I thought it was two.  Hesitant chuckles began to emanate from some of the guests and the hostess told me I could stay and finish eating.

I was already running late for the REAL bridal shower.  So I asked for my present back and exited the silent scene, sandwich and all.

I walked around the corner of the building nearly in tears.  You see, when I said apartment number two, I was merely guessing.  But considering my invitation was in my car parked down the block (and I'm still caring my HUGE present, people!) I geared myself up for knocking on every door in the building until I found another bridal shower to crash.

Apartment number two had a large front window, and as I ascended the steps leading to the door I noticed a table with neatly place finger food just inside.  I said my second prayer of the adventure, spun around in a circle three times, wished upon a star, ate a four leafed clover, had an asthma attack, and then rang the doorbell.

You can imagine my relief when the door swung open and my friend excitedly called out my name.  I entered explained why I was caring a stale roll and old lunch meat, had a good laugh with the new bridal shower group, and was treated with tasty hummus and cucumber sandwiches.

When the party was over I stepped outside and called my husband.  I didn't want to be alone in the event that I stumbled upon a booted car or no car at all.  Or a creepy Chinese guy with a pitcher of water.  He talked me down the street until I came to my car, unscathed and just as I'd left it.


I'm glad today is over.

Friday, April 6, 2012

For the bullies

I've been thinking a lot about bullying for the past few months. I suppose there is irony in all of the anti-bullying campaigns because in that same breath people are so quick to tweet and flood the internet with hate. I'm pondering deleting my facebook because every time I log on my feed is full of venomous articles and statuses. I've also thought about shouting out my hurt and filling cyberspace with rebuttals and hypocritical exposés. But that's just it. I would be doing the same thing I so strongly dislike. Last week in General Conference Elder Holland said, "Be kind and be grateful that God is kind." So I will keep my silent vigil on controversial topics because I don't think I'm ready to say something nice. (And you know what Thumper says. . .)

Many of my favorite blogs have lightly touched or deeply bit into riotous topics, and I was tempted to share my voice with the chorus. I, at times, felt shame because my hesitance was brought about by cowardice. But as I've examined myself and my intentions I realized I was not scared as much as I was concerned-- concerned my thoughts would hurt someone they way I've been hurt.

It is often difficult for me to be in a confrontation. I was bullied as a child and became very defensive. In high school I was quick to make sassy remarks to those who might try hurting me. Once I was told, “You teach people how to treat you.” Since I didn’t want to be walked over, I tried to demand respect.

I carried this attitude from my locker straight into adult life. But it was not a peaceful way of life. It still isn’t when I choose to go down that road. Christ taught, “Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.” (Luke 6:27-29) I guess people will learn how to treat me by the way I act, but it's not my job to teach them.

I am also learning it is more important to be righteous than right. It is also harder. Restraining my first reaction and replacing it with one more thought over takes more patience than I have some days.  But when I try to approach conflict and biting remarks with kindness my relationship with my husband and family are better, and I feel happier.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Conference lift

I've struggled writing the past couple of weeks.  Mid-month I had a slew of thoughts that seemed to ooze out of my fingers effortlessly and compile themselves into paragraphs and stories.  But once those thoughts had officially evacuated I was left feeling vulnerable with a BAD case of writer's block.  I sat down so many times to write something only to stare blankly at a white page and a blinking courser.  Repeatedly, I begged that man I love to tell me what to write about.  After I continuously rejected his suggestions, guilt overwhelmed me, and I wrote about Andrea's new favorite word because it was important to him.  A small part of me thought if I just wrote something inspiration would once again fill the empty chasms in my head.  It did not.

So I rubbed my two brain cells together and tried to identify the problem.  After a brief conversation with my little sister where she asked me what I wanted to write about, I realized that my problem wasn't having nothing to write.  It was having too many personal things to write.

So here I sit, on my eighth (no joke) attempt to write beyond this point.

Friday before I saved and give up writing all together, I typed "I feel like a loser" and shut down my laptop.  But after watching General Conference this weekend I can actually say I feel renewed.  So many of my personal issues were addressed, and I'm left with hope.

With my renewed spirit I've begun making a dress for Andrea that will look smashing on Paul's graduation day.  I've started reading a new book.  That's one of my goals for the month-- to read the book club book and another book on the side.  I spent some time baking at my mom's house, and once the men left for the priesthood session Saturday night, us ladies youtubed some classic 70's hits and danced till our feet hurt.  Literally.

I'm so grateful for my family.  I would be lonely if they weren't so close.  Sometimes I just need to lighten up a little and my sisters and my mom and my goofy little brother and my dad just make me laugh until I'm sore.