I had a really wrotten day yesterday. Even so, it turned out great. I feel so blessed with so many people in my life that take the time to help, even when I may not always know how to ask for it.
Sir Edmund Hillary is my namesake. For so long, I haven't been able to get out of this rut I have been in. I have been relflecting on this man quite a lot lately. I need to live up to my name. I need to conquer my own little Everests.
Some Everests I have
(by the skin of my teeth) conquered:
get up early.
make breakfast, from scratch, to send my family off on a good note for the day.
Listen to uplifting music to start my day out right.(After this one is checked off, on go the Killers!)
Some Everests I am currently attempting to conquer:
Make more time daily for spirituality. (read scriptures, pray more sincerely, serve someone)
Hug my kids more, hug my husband more.
Be a little more gentle with my husband, my children, my "neighbors", and myself.
Put away my clothes. (hey- not all of my goals are so deep, but they are all just as important!)
Learn to play the cello.
Get to that point in running where it is enjoyable. (Is there such a point?)
People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.
-Sir Edmund Hillary
Well, better start my climb. Have a great day and do some climbing of your own!
Have you ever learned a profound lesson from a six year old? I have, just today as we were driving home from church. Joel said, "Hey Mom and Dad, our neighbors aren't just next door."
This got me to thinking... who are our neighbors? If they are more than just next door, where are they?
I believe that our neighbors are more than just our friends or the people sharing our real estate. Our neighbors are also people we may not know very well, and still, for whatever reason, they are in our lives.
Our mailman and I have had a run-in (or two or three) about my dogs and their bark. They sound like they want to rip his legs off when he gets close to our mailbox, and it kind of frightens/annoys him. (They really want to lick his face until he can't stand it anymore and are so happy that someone is here for them to visit with- True, they sound fierce, but in actuality, they are so dumbe they wouldn't even know how! -I know it, the dogs know it, but funny, the mailman doesn't know it...)
Because the mailman seemed a little gruff at times, I found it difficult to be neighborly. I wouldn't always wave when I saw him on his route. Infact, I would sometimes look the other way when I would see him coming. I would even grumble about what a grump he was. (Hypocritical? yep.)
The thing is though, that I found out the mailman, (who incidentally, lives down the street, my street.) is married to a lady named Mary. I know of Mary. She is a really sweet lady that takes in all the stray and starving animals and nurtures them back to health, then finds them a good home. She can make a beautiful garden not just grow, but actually flourish, in this Gosh-forsaken desert. She is known for creating beauty wherever she goes and with whatever she touches.
Mary has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The cancer has spread throughout her body and because she is too weak to have surgery, she is living out her last days here on this Earth the best she can. Due to this, I have noticed that the mailman takes frequent breaks from his duties to take Mary on short walks.
As I saw them the other day, walking slowly and holding hands, I felt ashamed of how I held a grudge about the way he lit into me regarding my dumbo dogs. I realized that I don't know the battles he faces everyday and I have absolutely no right to judge. I am not fully aware of the hurdles he must jump over to just get through one more day. I am not slowly watching the love of my life suffer and slip away. If I were, I'd be grumpy too!
While he is bringing me my junk mail, he probably wants to be with Mary. I feel so humbled when I think that some of those minutes he spends away from her must be spent on our behalf to deliver our mail. I am so truly grateful not only for the service he provides, but at the cost.
He deserves a better neighbor and I'll be darned if I don't want to be the very best neighbor I can be to him. I want to smile a little warmer, I want to be a little more gracious, and I want to be a little more neighborly. So while we can't always control who are neighbors are, we can be the very best neighbor they've got.
I am so thankful for Joel's insightfulness. Without it I probably wouldn't have given my neighbors a thought today. But now, I will always remember and be grateful for this valuable lesson I have learned from my six-going-on-thirty-six-year-old, and my neighbor, the mailman.
Holland is in preschool this year- ALL DAY LONG! I really miss this kid during the day so I have been thinking a ton about her. I know many of you get to see her fairly regularly, but not like I do. With this in mind, I present to you...
The Top Ten Endearing Oddeties About Holland, the Stewart Caboose
#10- Holland is afraid of the security cameras at school. (They are on the ceiling and are motion sensitive. They move when they detect movement. Holland watches them and then freaks out every time she sees one move. It's funnysad.)
#9- Holland twists her nipple. (I'm trying to break her of this... before her nipple breaks!)
#8- Holland didn't know stars were real until last summer when we left the lights of the city and drove out to the country.
#7- Holland fits perfectly nestled under my chin when we take a nap every day at 1:30. I have always loved how much she loves her nap, how easy it is for her to fall asleep for her nap, and how I get to take a nap because of her nap! (I miss snuggling now that she is in school...)
#6- Holland totally IDOLIZES her big brother Ethan. If she has a bad hair day (she is VERY VERY VERY VERY particular about how her hair looks) she won't want anyone to see her that way. Ethan (sweet boy) will make sure to dote over how beautiful her hair is that particular day and his opinion will totally turn her bad hair day to a great hair day! Way to save the day Ethan!
#5- Holland's smile is asymmestrical due to the constant sucking of her two middle findgers on her left hand. She has been sucking the very same fingers since she was three weeks old. Her smile is starting to look a little Katie Holmes-ish...
#4- Holland has an entorage of two teddy bears, and one stuffed ginea pig. They go everywhere she does during the night- to her bed, to my bed, to the bathroom, to my bed, to Ethan's bed, to my bed, back to her bed, but mostly just to my bed! (I haven't had a good night sleep in so long...)
#3- Holland is in LOVE with Taylor Swift and listens to her songs on repeat. Her dad and I will stop what we are doing to listen, all the while we are trying to look like we are not listening so as not to embarrass her. Taylor Swift is SO unaware of her biggest little fan!
#2- Holland is absolutely terrified of Yoda, (or atleast, the mask of Yoda that belongs to her father and currently resides in his side of the closet, top shelf...) she has an extreme distaste for peanut butter, and she still flips out when I go through the automatic car wash.
#1- Holland is so very compassionate. I smashed my finger yesterday and it made me cry. She hugged me for a long time and cried with me. Man, how I love this incredible kid!
My husband, Mr. Pharmaceutical, signed our family up for the Diabetes Walk-a-thonin Yuma Arizona. He set up a booth displaying information about diabetes, and how his company has medicines that can help. Even though he only did a "talk-a-thon"while Joel and I were the only two who did the walk-a-thon, it was a great day!
As Joel and I were walkin' (well,Joel actually just rode piggy back on my back!!!) we sang our ABC's, and days of the week. We talked about the river next to us, (the Colorado river) and how it would be so nice to go to swimming in, say, the beach... After we crossed the finish line, we packed up and did just that- we went to the beach!!!
Holland asked us about every 30 seconds (of a 3 hour drive...) if we were really going to the beach, and if she could really dig in the sand, and if we were almost there, and if she could really dig in the sand, and if we were really going to the beach... (you get the picture)
Needless to say, Holland LOVES everything about the beach. This picture says everything her heart has to say about it! Once at the beach, we played, we explored, and we had fun just being together!
When it got dark, we went to a greasy taco shop for dinner. They were amazing!!! (Except for the grit from the relentless sand.)
The next day, we began our festivities with a little trip toIkea. Holland has been talking and dreaming about the blessed day when she would be tall enough to go into the play place with her siblings. Mr. Pharmaceutical and I crossed our fingers as the attendant assessed her height. Finally when she gave her approval, our whole family jumped up and down and cheered for the little gal! (Even the people in line behind us congratulated her... ) Mr. Pharmaceutical and I high fived each other as we were able to enjoy every nook and cranny of Ikea... childless!!!
After Ikea, and like a hundred dollars later, we went back to the Pier/beach. We drank hot chocolate, saw a seal, Ethan tried unsuccessfully to catch a pigeon or seagull, and we watched the fishermen. In the afternoon, Mr. Pharmaceutical and I took a nap in the sand while our kids soaked up the sun and waves. It was such a great weekend! Best of all, we got to spend it together. What a delightfully splendid weekend!