Monday, September 27, 2010
i am not a singer. never have been- and i have come to accept that i never will be. i do, however, sing to violet in the privacy of our home. i think it is important that she bounce along to my strange rhythm and hear that people can do other things with their voice besides just talk. i am no bette midler, but i still let it loose and sing all sorts of songs to her throughout the day. and yes, she loves it.
well, this morning while i was playing with violet i started to sing her a song that i learned while serving a mission in japan. i served on okinawa, a small, beautiful island south of japan, for the majority of my mission. i pretty much biked its entirety during my stay as i learned to love the people and gain an appreciation for their centuries-old traditions. as i was singing this song to violet, my mind quickly flooded with memories of my beautiful island and i wanted to share this song on my blog today.
so with this song, i wanted to also share my favorite memory associated with it.
while we were contacting some members of our branch who hadn't been to church recently, i met michiko. michiko was an okinawan woman- through and through. she owned a small, crowded pharmacy just down the street from the church where we would meet with her once a week. as soon as we walked in, she would rush us to a little lounge she had decorated at the back of her store while she finished helping any customers she had. once they were gone, she would make us scalding hot mint tea and bring a tray of crackers or bread. at first our meetings were very routine. we asked how she was, asked if we could serve her, bore testimony and left her with a challenge. slowly we started to get to know one another, our meetings became more personal and we all looked forward to our weekly visits.
one day while we were sipping our tea, michiko started to cry. she told us about her daughter who was getting into trouble and struggling with various addictions. michiko had not raised her daughter in the church, but she had raised her to make good decisions and respect herself. the more michiko tried to help, the more distant her daughter became and michiko was terrified to lose the only person she truly loved. my companion and i were not therapists nor did we have any sort of remedy for michiko so we sat quietly and listened, letting michiko tell us stories of her daughter when she was younger and tell us and all they had done together. it truly was a sad, sweet meeting with her that day.
well, the next week when we showed up to meet with michiko, she had a surprise for us. she had remembered an old, okinawan folk song called tinsagunu hana and she wanted to sing it with us. first, she sang (and yes, she did have all those pitchy changes just like the version above) and then she asked us to join in as well. admittedly, i was embarrassed to imitate a singing style like that and i stunk at hitting all the notes but we still sang it together. she explained that the words (which are old okinawan language) talk about how children learn how to do things from their parents. when children are lost, they should remember the teachings of their parents and follow them. the words brought comfort to her knowing that maybe someday her daughter would remember her teachings. it was a very sweet moment and we sang the song a few times together.
i guess we sang so well that michiko got the idea that we needed to sing this song for the women at church- which wasn't my favorite thing to look forward to but i knew that it would help. so from then on out, at our weekly meetings michiko taught us the words to the song while she mixed up various acne medicines for me to try. apparently she wanted my face to be clear for the performance.
anyway, i now want to teach violet this song as well. it is a beautiful reminder that our parents always want what is best for us and it is important to remember what they have taught. i haven't kept in touch with michiko and at times like this i wish i had. i am sure she would love to hear how much i love this song.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
(yes, we have a slight obsession with glow sticks)
i love camping at moosehorn lake. we went there often when i was a child and i can still remember fishing with my dad on the shore while eating choke-bread sandwiches. we haven't been in years so it was great to be back up there with the family (including the latest additions). cade had just had his surgery- literally we walked out of the doctor's office, got in the car, and drove to moosehorn. he was still a trooper to come along. that is a great quality of cade: nothing ever slows him down and nothing is ever too big of an obstacle.
it was august- so i figured it wouldn't be too cold, right? wrong. good thing i came prepared... and good thing nana brought new pjs for all the kids. layers were our friends this weekend. gramps even helped vi out by putting his gloves on her feet to keep them extra warm.
she had a great time watching us all set up camp.
since our spot was right off the shore, we took advantage by taking plenty of boat rides, hiking around the lake and lots of fishing.
vi looooved touching the fish. really. so, we were sure to keep her hands nice and clean. owen and addy both caught their first fish. they weren't as fond of touching the fish as violet was...
our hike was a little crazy. we decided to take 3 of the dogs with us... plus owen and violet... plus cade with his surgery leg. we had to take turns passing a child or a dog from person to person over the rocks to find a way through but we made it.
the kuwadas gave us a nice little sleep sack for violet when she was born and it was PERFECT for the trip. we would layer her pjs, wrap her in three or four blankets and then slip her into the sack for the night. her look was complete with socks on her hands and a beanie for her head. we were not about to let this little one get chilly.
heather was a trooper as well. she was about ready to pop with little baby macy and she ended up delivering just a few days after we got home.
it is sad that camping season is coming to an end. i love the chill in the air but summer is my favorite time of year. the possibilities are endless and there is always something to do. i welcome the beauty of fall but i am nervous about the upcoming cold (and the sickness it usually bring along as well). it really was great to get out with the family and enjoy moosehorn once again.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Veins are blood vessels that return deoxygenated blood from the outer parts of the body back to the heart and lungs. When veins become abnormally thick, full of twists and turns, or enlarged, they are called varicose veins. Generally, the veins in the legs and thighs have a tendency to become varicosed.
- Varicose veins can form anywhere in the body, but they are most often located in the legs.
- In the United States alone, about 19% of men and 36% of women have varicose veins.
- Varicose veins tend to become more prominent as the person ages.
it was no secret, nor was it anything cade was embarassed about. since i have known cade, he has had these protruding veins in his leg and i wasn't too worried about it. then one day i learned that blood clots in veins can sometimes get loose, travel to the heart and cause a stroke. this was enough for me to start to worry... and keep worrying... until we had solved the problem. plus, cade was ready to get rid of the beasts.
so last month, cade braved the surgery and had them cauterized. twice. the healing process is still going on, but i thought a few "before and after" pictures would be appropriate.
they are looking much better and feeling better too! the only drawback was the lace-topped stocking he had to wear for a few weeks for recovery... i had a few people ask me if he had shaved a leg. who just shaves one leg? anyway, he may have to go in for a few follow up surgeries but overall we think the whole process has been a huge success.
here's to a vein-free day!
Monday, September 20, 2010
the day after the wedding, cade rode in the ULCER again for his second year. the ULCER, meaning Utah Lake Century Epic Ride, is a 109 mile race around utah lake. cade had such a good time last year that he decided to convince a few work buddies to join him in the race this year.
as expected, cade was the only rider we saw in the entire race on a single speed bike. he kept up with the "multi-gear" riders- giving many of them a good run for their money. it is fun seeing people notice that cade is riding a single speed- they are always shocked and impressed. i just sit back and soak in all the glory for him... almost as if it were me on the bike.... but then i remember i am not as tough as this:
violet and i joined jen in trying to catch glimpses of the riders en route... but that was a flop. it was near impossible to gauge when they would be at a certain checkpoint- so we pretty much missed them at all checkpoints, including the finish line.
we did manage to find them right after they finished... so the sweat had not completely dried yet.
cade really does love cycling so it is fun to see him in his element. i keep thinking that one day we will need to get him a legit racing bike- but he insists this one is utilitarian and perfect for what he needs. one day we will amp up his ride, i guess.
mitch and heidi were married on august 6th in the salt lake temple. it was quite the event.
we had a blast celebrating with them
and even though the rain POURED down during pictures before the reception, it still turned out to be a great night. without the rain- how could we have had such a fabulous rainbow?
some other highlights include:
cade looking dapper
violet looking oh-so-good
fun family time (don't these two look like twins in this picture?)
and the people's eyebrow
thanks for sharing your day with us!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
and vi put on hers...
we stopped in reno (i can only imagine all the hampton inn employees' groans when they saw us taking over the place again) and on our second day of driving, we were able to see dylan and mallory in elko. even thought they only recently moved there, we miss them.
thanks for a great trip, grammy!
the scenic route is great- beautiful views, cool coastline... you get the point.
but after driving for about 2 hours, we realized we had barely made ANY progress towards the redwoods. looking at our map, we saw that the curvy road snakes through all the beautiful areas and is not concerned in the least with hurrying travelers along. what we could have driven in a half an hour has now taken four times as long...
those curves also caused serious issues with the stomachs of some of our group. in an overlook as beautiful as this, we pulled over and let more than a few family members puke it out. the situation was bad enough to warrant a full wardrobe change for one sick rider. carsickness took over and needless to say, people were a little miffed about the scenic route decision.
grammy let cade know how she felt...
at first when i saw these photos i was worried that cade and grammy had been arguing. nope. as grammy was lecturing cade about making good decisions, he was busy striking poses for the camera. impressed in the least about his facial expressions, grammy just kept on getting after him and brad just kept on snapping photos.
we quickly found our way back to the main road and zoomed on to the redwoods.
this is an amazing place. i knew that they were big- i have seen pictures that prove that. i just don't think i understood how big they really are. HUGE. MASSIVE. BURLY.
i mean, imagine scooping one of these up and putting it in your front yard. you wouldn't have a yard- or a house- and you would be able to see it from all over. HUGE. MASSIVE. BURLY.
we tried to take pictures that would show just how big they are...
don't we look like ants?
we climbed on them
walked through them
and drove through them
violet is a huge nature lover- so she was in heaven. i guess it is kind of hard to tell if a 5 month old is a nature lover- but she really is sooooo happy whenever she is outside.
we did have an emergency outfit change in the middle of the forest which left her looking a little bare...
when we weren't exploring the woods, we swam, shopped and milled around the little town.
from the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters....
this land was made for you and me.