Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Wake Up Call

On Thanksgiving day we went to the park to get out of the house. We (Cody, sister, brother, mom, and soon-to-be-brother-in-law) began throwing a Frisbee back and forth. Eventually we decided to have someone in the middle to try and intercept the Frisbee, just to make things more interesting. At one point it was my turn to be in the middle. The Frisbee was thrown to Cody and I ran full speed towards him. As I was running, Cody slipped and fell; I tripped over him, landed on his head and on my hand (which was pointed the wrong direction on impact) and my face. I laid in pain for some time, loudly complaining about my hand and my out-of-place jaw. During all the fun and games, I had got hurt. Everyone was laughing (as I would have been if it had been someone else). I walked home feeling more than pain from severely jammed fingers and a sore jaw, I felt OLD. I really think I would have been able to stay on my feet in the old days, but now I fall to the ground like a sack of potatoes. It was a sad realization and I mourned for my youthful, athletic body. I still have the aggressive, competitive spirit, but my feet lag behind. I wish my body were as active as my mind. This disconnect between the breakdown of my body and the acceleration of my mind makes me feel old. (The breakdown of my mind and the acceleration of my body was what made me feel young!;) I am not complaining (people older than me would scoff), but it is the first time I have felt this. Needless to say it wasn't my November birthday that reminded me of my aging; it was my aching hand and jaw.

So, now that I feel old, I am determined to stay young at heart. To fulfill this goal, I intend to keep learning. I am about to finish my Masters degree, and I love that I am old enough/ mature enough to realize that this ending is actually an exciting beginning. When I graduated from BYU-Idaho six years ago I thought I was finished, but now I have a very long list of things I want to learn about ahead of me.

Another way I am going to stay young at heart is to take advice from my wise husband more often. He has a graceful way of facing adversity. I tend to take the stressed-sleep-deprived-manic route and he takes the smile-and-find-something-happy-to-celebrate route. I think you know what I mean...those of you that tend to put more pressure on yourself than anyone else. Anyways, stressing out about everything will make me old a lot faster and hanging out with Cody will keep me young. Cody seriously loved owning a Volkswagen van because its top speed was 60 miles per hour. He said he couldn't go anywhere in a hurry and it was great. He enjoyed getting thumbs up from other drivers and never mentions people flipping him off because he was going so slow. It is very hard to imagine myself with a bandanna around my forehead, singing out loud to The Best of Bread (I actually really like their music) and cruising the Pacific Coastal Highway with Cody, but I am sure it would help me feel young again. =)

The most beautiful, graceful people I know are young at heart. So, if you feel old, write your list of ways to stay young and stick to it. If you have any good ideas, pass them on to me. ;)

Disclaimer: If you are actually young, enjoy every minute of it.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Full of Thanks

So much has happened recently in the Bowman family.

Cody has returned from a four day trip to Chicago, Illinois. He attended Fabtech, a huge fabrication show, on Tuesday, toured John Deere Headquarters on Wednesday and then went to a few other manufacturing companies in Chicago. He was able to go to the top of the Sear's Tower, eat at hole in the wall restaurants (stuffed crust pizza was not as good as he thought it would be), and spend time with classmates and teachers. He said it was a great experience, and he was able to give his resume to a few more companies at the show as well. Cody has interviewed for another internship with Miller Electric and we are waiting to see what happens with that. He also has a job interview with a manufacturing company in Rexburg this coming week. Overall, we are so grateful he has had so many opportunities, especially because he is graduating in April. He continues to read a lot. He has read several Little Britches books, Moccasin Trail, Hatchet, Seabiscuit, The Great Brain and others that I cannot remember. He spends a lot of time working on his foundry and researching new ways to improve the process. I am very excited to see him melt and pour the aluminum and actually make a grill. Cody is still busy with the deacons in the Young Men's organization. He enjoys the scouting trips, when he can go, and enjoys teaching. Cody is always busy.

Jane is well. She is still very small, but she is growing at her own special rate. She talks in full sentences about nearly everything. Her favorite things right now are playing with her baby dolls, watching Finding Nemo or Incredibles and chocolate. She seriously asks for chocolate every five minutes, even though she rarely is allowed to have any. One day Cody and I thought she was asleep and I said chocolate out loud and she woke up out of no where at the sound of the word. We laughed and she cried because, like usual, she didn't get to have any chocolate. Potty training...well, I will just say it is a work in progress. I did check out Pottywise from the library, but I have barely put a dent in the book. She does occasionally go to the toilet without any prompting. My mom thinks I am crazy for not getting it over with, but no time ever seems like a good time. =) Jane is also testing mom and dad's patience. She has picked up spitting, sticking her tongue out and yelling. I have no idea where the spitting and sticking her tongue out came from, and the yelling, well I don't know where that comes from either...not me, of course. Anyways, she spends a lot of time in time out, saying sorry and getting hugs afterwards. Cody and I feel at a loss at what to do often, but we figure consistency is our best friend at this point. One last funny story: yesterday Cody went to wipe her nose and she looked up at him with a glare and said, "Are you crazy?" I could not contain my laughter. Cody reprimanded her, but he too was laughing. My mom says she is to blame...haaa.

I defend my Master's thesis on December 12 and I passed my Master's Exit Exam! I am feeling very happy and grateful about being nearly done with this journey. I am planning to take my writing more seriously; I would like to set aside time to write everyday. I am going to work towards getting my poetry published in literary journals. I also want to finish the screenplay I started last year. I have subscribed to Poets and Writers to show my commitment to writing. ;) My English class is going well. I love my students and was able to hear them read their This I Believe essays on Friday. I am always so impressed with their writing and their ability to share meaningful experiences from their life. This class listens and applies what I teach well. I have just finished Catching Fire (really good), and I went to see Austenland at the cheap theater with some ladies from my ward. (I intended to read the book before, but it was checked out from the library and the waiting list was very long.) I heard the book was better, but I enjoyed the movie. I am looking forward to my birthday, my anniversary, Thanksgiving, Joan's wedding and Christmas. This season is full of wonderful, meaningful events!

A woman at church spoke about gratitude today. She said that while she was serving a mission in the Philippines, a very poor man had just been able to work playing in a band and was paid with food. When she and her companion came by to visit this man and his family, he excitedly invited them in to show them the rewards of his labor. He opened a box with a little bit of ant-infested food. He explained he could boil the food and could feed his family that night. He was grateful for so little. I pray we can, especially during the holidays, be grateful for everything. Even the things that seem so bad can actually be good for us. I am full of thanks for family, friends, a warm home, education, jobs, freedom, food and so much more. Enjoy the things that matter to you this Thanksgiving!
Cody looking down on Chicago from the Skydeck Ledge at the top of the Sears Tower. Those are his feet in the picture.
Another view of the city
Miller Electric booth at Fabtech
Cody in downtown Chicago.
An oldie, but a goodie.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Jane's Fun Halloween

Jane dressed up for Halloween carnival and parade at the library. She had "trick or treat" down really well. She had fun making the crafts too.

Recent Photo Shoots:Busby Family and Joanie and McKay Engagement Photos

So fun to take photos of the Busby family. I love them! We are so lucky to have them as neighbors and friends.

Joanie and McKay are gearing up to be married in the St. George, Utah temple on December 21st. I was so glad I could take their engagement photos.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Six Week Break in Pictures

An evening out in the hills near Rexburg.
Visiting Grandma and Grandpa Panganiban. Jane loves Lola and Lolo. Uncle Tony, Aunt Lisa, Kyle and Evan came to visit too. Jane wanted to sit between the boys the whole time. Other photos are of us on the airplane. We also got to attend Tyrel and Whitney Wood's temple sealing and Cody drove to Willits for the reception. We got to see Ben and Trina too. I held baby Korinne for the first time and talked with beautiful Paige.
Jane loved every minute of playing with her cousins Shay, Alice and Charly. Charly is not in this photo, but she was on the tramp with them. We didn't get a photo of Grandma and Grandpa Bowman, but we are so grateful for them!
 We had a great visit in Alamo. Connie and her family spoiled us too!
Cody and I got to stay at a bed and breakfast in St. George. It was wonderful quality time together. I love my husband.
Our cool attic room.
Jane wiped out.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Breathing Deep

Although I still have a thesis to write, I finished my classes for my Masters degree on Wednesday night. I had three courses this semester and they were all challenging and enjoyable. I didn't think that I would be able to finish well, but with the help of an amazing husband and a kind Heavenly Father, I did it! Finals week (this week) brought on impetigo, a visit to the doctor's office, little sleep and tears, but now that it is done I feel like I can breath deeper. I know, especially now that it is over, that I made the right decision to do it now. Jane is only two years old and I will be completely done before she is three. Even Cody, the one that had to pull extra weight, is grateful for the timing. My education is mine forever and I don't have any doubts that it will bless my family and hopefully many others throughout my life. In an essay by Kip Hartvigsen, a professor at BYU-Idaho, he quotes Jeffrey R. Holland, "The fundamental reason for a school in Zion is plainly and simply because...[learning] is our theology" (146). I believe with all my heart that part of being on Earth is to learn. This learning is a combination of formal and informal education, and every person is responsible to learn as much as they can. I am thankful for this opportunity to continue to be stretched intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally.

Most of the time, I feel that the education that will teach me the most now and forever is being a mother. I find that I learn far more than Jane does as I try to teach her. With Mother's Day around the corner, I have been doing some self-reflection. I confess that I have enough patience to fill a thimble and some days I do a lot of deep breathing and switching Disney movies out. Those days make my schoolwork and teaching look like a walk in the park. On the other hand, I will tell you about a good day. (I don't think Moms share these enough.) The other day, Jane and I went to Walmart. I talked to Jane on her level and told her that if she stayed by me and listened to my instructions, she could stay out of the cart. If she didn't listen or stay near, she would have to sit in the cart. Well, I am happy to say that we spent about twenty minutes in the store and she stayed close and listened the whole time. It was a good experience. What are your good days or moments like?

Now, I have to openly give credit where credit is due. Mothers become better when they have great husbands. My husband Cody is seriously the best. He takes Jane to the park, does dishes, helps clean the house, gives me time and is wonderfully patient with his two feisty girls. He teaches me how to parent with love all of the time. I have been so blessed and I would be ungrateful not to say so. He also brought me home orchids after I finished my classes on Thursday and every time I look at them I am happy. Thank you Sweets!

One last thought on mothers (and fathers really)... Tonight, Jane and I went to our church's talent show (Cody had to work). I had previously told Cody that I had signed us up to sing "A Whole New World" for this event, and he immediately was upset and slightly stressed. He said he tried to think of an excuse quickly. Of course, I was teasing and gave Cody a good laugh, but I did go to the talent show to support the brave souls that are willing to share their gifts. I consider myself empty on performable talents, so when I heard the MC of the show, a beautiful and funny woman in our ward, announce an award for making the cutest baby and had me bring Jane up to accept an official pin made out of cute cupcake liners and paper, I was mostly embarrassed. But afterwards I thought about the fact that the coolest thing I, or anyone else, could create and share, is a human being. Although I don't know if it is a talent, I am going to count making cute babies as one since I can't boast any others! Take a look at your children (if you have any). Look at their hair, their eyelashes, their eyes, their hands, feet, nose, the list goes on. You helped create that beautiful, unique person. Congratulations, you have a talent, or for most, another talent! (Trina and Ben Wharton (sister and brother in law) are the newest creators of another beautiful baby girl!)

I hope all the mothers that read this will feel of my love and appreciation for them. Happy Mother's Day! 
Also, thanks for letting me share my good news. I hope you have plenty to be happy about as well!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

"Busy, But Good"

I have an amazing student in my class who, despite her challenges, has been able to cope with a new learning style, being away from family and life in a new country. She recently wrote a personal essay in which she highlighted the changes that have occurred during this semester. She was stressed, confused and frustrated at the beginning of the semester, but by the end of the semester she was telling her mother that she was "Busy, but good." I feel the same way. Before I started this semester I truly wondered how I would get through it. With my graduate classes, teaching English, two-year-old Jane, Cody and his schooling, and my calling I figured I would live a hermit existence and probably do everything horribly. Thankfully, I have learned that with the Lord I can accomplish much more than I thought possible.

Tonight, as I was reading and writing a position paper, Jane was underneath my desk ripping papers and hiding from Cody, who was trying to put her to bed. I glanced around my room: bedding is in the dryer because Jane spilled water on it; laundry is piled in the corner; books are strewn everywhere; there are small bits of paper around my feet from Jane and I won't even describe Cody's desk and dresser area. From this observation I had a distinct flashback to when I was pregnant with Jane. My room was spotless and I sat at my desk in perfect serenity, reading or writing uninterrupted (expect when I got hungry). Life had been so tidy then. I was in control. Now...things are not so tidy; I rarely have control, and I am still happy. I didn't think it was possible, but it is. I am busy and sometimes bothered, but I am good. I am thankful that when we relinquish our best-laid plans we are actually handing them in for the plans that are best, that will bring joy because it is hard and requires we have faith. God is good and so is my life.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Plugging Along

Jane's first haircut. Thanks Larisse!

My blue-eyed blonde

Hugs for baby and cute quilts made by Pat Wodskow (Cuddle Soft Quilt Kits)
It has been a very long time since I felt like I had a minute to write. Life has been very busy for us. We are in survival mode often. Cody is taking twelve Agricultural Education credits this semester, but thankfully they are not too hard and he enjoys the work. He is also working at a youth correctional facility on the weekends. I am in the thick of three graduate courses...Psycholinguistics, Restoration and 18th Century British Literature and Theories of Teaching Writing. Each one is challenging me and taking up a lot of time and effort. I am also teaching one section of English 101. We have been blessed to be able to keep Jane home with one of us at all times. It is no easy task, but it is well worth it. Cody has been a gigantic help as I push through this last semester before I write my thesis. Jane is flourishing despite our weaknesses as parents. She speaks new words everyday, jumps and runs around constantly and has cabin fever from this cold, and seemingly long winter. I am still serving as the Relief Society secretary in our ward. I had the chance to teach about the plan of happiness a few weeks ago and had a wonderful experience studying and teaching that topic. I feel very loved that God created such a merciful plan for me. Cody has recently been called to the Young Mens organization as the second counselor, and as usual, does very well with the youth. He has a gift for teaching youth that is hard for me to swallow sometimes because I try so hard and do not seem to be as effective as he is. Cody is also going through the seminary teaching program where he enjoys the material and looks forward to being able to teach in the classroom.
We have been blessed with great support from family and friends, and we know Rexburg is where we are supposed to be, even on the days we want to quit.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Belated Christmas Wishes

She wouldn't take a break from sipping her milk for the photo.

We had a lovely Christmas and New Year. Jane made the holidays joyful. I hope everyone got a break and enjoyed family and friends. Jane is wearing a Christmas dress Jane Whipple had made for her. She loved wearing it and "bear bear" had to be in the photo too.
© Lucy Jo. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.