Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 426: That's My Boy!!

These are the kinds of things that make mom's cry. Here is my son--Elder Taylor Logan in a self-portrait. You know what? It actually looks like him :-) I bet if I were to search hard enough through his scapbook (that would imply that I am one of those really cool moms that keep scrapbooks for their you know this is purely a hypothetical statement,) I would find another drawing similar to this from when he was little tike, dreaming of serving a mission someday. This drawing, which I totally stole from his girlfriend's blog, seems to capture Taylor's personality. Man, I just love that kid!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day 425: The King's Speech

Are you a Colin Firth fan? I am. I have enjoyed his movies ever since his performance as the amazing Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. True, not all of his films are a "must see," some are just tongue-in-cheek ridiculous. But his latest film, The King's Speech, is far and away his most amazing performance ever. He plays King George VI, the King of England who had a horrible speech stammer.

I realize this does not sound like the premise for a happening movie....I mean what the heck? There's no action, no violence, no sex, no romance, no devious plotters trying to pull off the crime of a century. Perhaps that's why it won't do well at the box office. This is a movie about a real life person...who just happens to be the Duke of York...and 2nd in line to the throne. His battle with the embarrassment of his stuttering problem became particularly monumental with the invention of radio. His struggle with his problem made him a real-life underdog. His courage drove him to face his challenge, even though in doing so, he risked public humiliation and worse, being mocked by his own family members.

I found myself cheering the humble King on....nervous for him every time he faced the microphone. I do not overstate it when I say I walked out of the theatre feeling enriched. Very few movies have done that for me in the past. Too often, I walk away from movies feeling offended or I need a bath. This one is different.

The honest truth is, it never occured to me that this was an "R" rated movie. I didn't know it ahead of time, and I never gave it a thought thereafter, until I told my 15-year-old that I wanted her to see it. "Mom, it's rated R!" That was a complete shock to me. So I'll tell you... If you have made the personal committment to not watch R-rated movies, then I will not encourage you to break your committment. But I will tell you exactly why this one got an R-rating. There is no immodesty. There is no violence. There are no immoral scenes. All is quite proper, in fact. But... as the Duke becomes frustrated with himself during his one-on-one lessons with his speech therapist, he let's a few words fly....It's done in a totally non-offensive way, and is most humorous...definitely not directed at another person in any way. He finds that when he cusses, he doesn't stammer... so he uses that to help him prepare for a big speech. That's it. That is the whole reason the movie was given its "R" rating.

So... if you are up for something different....and you love Collin Firth (by the way, some of our favorites from Harry Potter are in there too..... Dumbledore, Wormtail, and Bellatrix LeStrange,) and you do not need sex, violence, drugs, loud action, or romance in order to enjoy a movie,,,, then I highly recommend you pay the money to see this one at the theatre, and lend your support to the making of truly, high-quality, classic movies..... Something we are sorely lacking these days.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Day 424: Furlough!

Work Reduction Days....That's how they are listed on our district's calendar. Days that you don't work....and don't get paid. It's a "nicer" way to cut somebody's pay....bottom line. The part they don't tell the public, is that we still have to do the same amount of work; we just have less time to do it. The result? We do the impossible; we really don't have any other choice.

The back-handed irony of it all, is that if and when the furlough days are lifted, it "feels" like a raise.
So how did I spend my furlough day? You're looking at it! It's my most favorite way of relaxing.... A beautiful pool, private jaccuzzi, warm sunshine, a gentle breeze, and nobody else around. Me. My book. My towel. And quiet. It's almost worth the amount of money I lost by not working yesterday.

The only thing that could have made it better was if my family was close by, enjoying the day as much as I was. That's a 5-Star day in my book.

How would you spend a furlough day?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day 423: Elder Logan, Part deux!

I've been working on a blog update for about a week now, but I can't seem to get it I haven't posted it. I'm a little that I have two to what I should say on which blog. So... I end up finger tied and saying nothing. So much of my personal life overlaps with my professional life that I have a difficult time separating the two.

Here's one update I don't need to over analyze. Yesterday, Taylor reported to the MTC and began his 2-year mission. It still has not sunk in to me that he is really gone. I've been comparing what it was like when Andrew reported to the MTC to how it feels now with Taylor. I recall the day Andrew reported very vividly... It was one of the most joyous days of my life. I was utterly overwhelmed with joy; there's just no other way to put it. I knew that he was fulfilling a life-long dream, and knowing that added to my happiness. Andrew was born determined that he would serve a mission---in fact, he came out of the womb holding a sign that said, "Future Missionary," and pretty much every decision he made was congruent to that goal.

Taylor is different. Taylor, who has an amazing ability to turn every hair on my head prematurally gray, had a unique kind of congruency. With him, I could never see beyond the here and now...beyond the moment. Each day was racked with the unknown. In my soul, I have always sensed he was a special spirit since before he was born, but at the same time, I couldn't help but worry about his future.

And here we are. He is a missionary. Letting him go was like severing a limb. It was extremely emotional for me.... joyful of course, but deeply emotional. I feel a little like Hannah in the Old Testament. I can sense Heavenly Father saying to me, "Mission accomplished. Thank you." That is a very comforting feeling as I turn my son over to the Lord.

I for one, am excited to see this boy grow during the next two years as he "blooms where he is planted." That saying, "Bloom where you are planted," is one I stole from the movie, "Facing the Giants," and I love it. It incapsulates so much of what I have been struggling with this year in bothh my personal and professional life.

But more on that later!! For now, it's Goodbye Taylor....Hello Elder Logan!

Here we go again!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day 422: Before & After

There is such a sense of cleansing & renewal when I put my house back in order after Christmas. Here are just a few examples:





And finally..... Before:


That about sums it up... don't ya think?

I am officially declaring a National Day of Rest!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day 421: "It was the best of times...."

The New Year has officially begun---Welcome 1/1/11! There are many unknowns in store for me this year, that's for sure. For one, I have no idea where I will be when the 2011-2012 school year begins. TOSA? Admin? Classroom? District Office? Site? Middle School? Elementary? Much remains to be determined....I am quite curious to see it play out.

And then there's my book. I will actually hold in my hand a published copy of my book. I cannot imagine how cool that is going to be. Definitely will be on my top ten of all time.

Another coming attraction for 2011 is that Taylor will leave for his mission. I am excited for him, naturally, but I am going to go through some major withdrawls when he leaves. I will miss him a lot more than anyone realizes.
Taylor leaves on 1-11-11..... How cool is that?

Enough of the previews for 2011, let's move on to the moments that topped my best and worst lists in 2010-----They are not in any particular order.

Top 10:
1) April 13th, I received the news that my book would be published! Yipppeeeee!
2) April --- I attended Raechel's graduation from BYU! That was amazing in and of itself... but what really blew me away was when she honored me with the gratitude sash. That was a moment I will treasure forever.
3) June 4th, I began a new chapter in my career. I left the classroom and became a Special Education TOSA. (This event makes both my lists....truly it has proven to be the both the best and worst of times!)
4) July 19th, I finally got to go on my dream vacation to Hawaii! Maui! Wow! That was the most incredible vacation of my life.

5) July --- I snorkeled for the first time.... and I SNUBA'd for the first time. Yes, I realize this is sort of cheating because I already counted the Hawaii trip.... but these two events were such personal triumphs for me, that they deserve their own spot on my year's best moments.
6) September 22, Andrew came home from his mission. Embracing him at the airport was a moment of the most exquisite joy I could ever have imagined. It gave me a glimpse of the joy to be experienced in Heaven.

7) September, Taylor received his call to the Tucson, AZ-Spanish mission.

8) November, All my family was together for Thanksgiving. I loved having the chickens back in the nest, even if just for a brief moment.

9) December 19, I led our Ward Choir in a Christmas Cantata. This, by itself, might not have made the list of my favorite moments....but my family was in the choir. Ron included. The choir performed so beautifully that it brought tears to my eyes.
10) Christmas. Ronnie, Kelly, & their kids....Ryan, Jen, Jane....Raechel, Andrew, Taylor, Ellen....all together ... and then Christmas day with my parents and Wes & his family. My mom and dad looked young again on Christmas day....and that was a beautiful gift.

Honorable mentions----buying my new car, having friends take me out to lunch on my birthday, traveling to St. George with Ron, Disneyland with Joyce, Charlene, and Judi, Women's Conference with Raechel... (That is always one of my favorite times of the year,) finishing my blog-a-day for a year, and being released as RS President (that one also makes both lists.)

Now for the "Not-so-wonderful" moments:

1) I was released as RS President. Yes, it was a blessing....but it came with a price. The spiritual let down was drastic....and I still have not fully recovered from it. I experienced a spiritual void like nothing I had ever known before.
2) Jane's surgery. Again... it was a blessing. She came through it with flying colors. But seeing her with a surgical scar across the entire width and length of her tiny little chest was heart breaking.
3) Taylor broke his leg and ended up having to postpone leaving on his mission for 6 weeks. Yep, you got it... this was a hidden blessing too....because I got to have all my family together for Christmas, and Christmas definitely made my top 10 wonderful moments.
4) I left the classroom. Blessing, yes. Curse, absolutely. I miss the classroom...I miss being at a site...I miss kids. I miss my gig at GMS. True, I am learning much and growing as a professional. This is a good thing. But growth is often painful.
5) Getting the letter that ripped me to pieces just before Thanksgiving break. No need to remind me that this turned out to be a great opportunity for personal revelation, not to mention a faith-building experience, but again, the growth was painful.

Well, I suppose I should stop there. It is abundantly clear that most of my "not-so-favorite" moments turned out to be powerful learning experiences that were very positive, so I really cannot complain. Clearly, God's hand has been in my path throughout the entire year. That's cool.

Okay... I've got a sleeping baby that will wake up in about 4 hours.....and if I don't get some sleep, I will be insanely grouchy tomorrow.... Time to shut it down for the night.... and for the year (2010, that is.) Tomorrow I will tell you my pics for best and worst movies of 2010. Now c'mon, isn't that worth a trip back?

Happy 1/1/11 Everyone!