Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Goldstein defined self-actualization as a driving life force that will ultimately lead to maximizing one's abilities and determine the path of one's life

Ive been thinking about this concept a lot over the last few weeks. There have been a few situations that have driven my thoughts in that direction. Some good, some bad, some painful, some wonderful. Bottom line - I have been thinking about the driving force in my life. What drives me? Is my motivation and the direction I am heading the way I want to go? Am I honest with myself? Am I honest with those around me? Can those around me trust me? Do I feel proud of who I am?

I asked all of these questions to myself. I asked for answers - for clarity - and I found them. Surprisingly, not where I expected to find them. I will forever be grateful to a friend who without even knowing what was going on in my life felt like she needed to send me 2 texts at two different times. Without her wisdom I would not be in the place I am now. I will forever be indebted to her and admire the person that she chooses to be.

John and I have talked more in the past weeks than we have in a long time. Deep, heart wrenching, soul searching talks. We have examined ourselves, our perceptions, our relationship, and our focus. We have grown and become stronger. More one in purpose and feeling. He is one of the most amazing people I know and we have both found something in these past few days that is much to sacred for me to limit to simple words. They would never be adequate.

I - love - my - man!
I love his strength. I love his heart. I love his resilience. I love his humility. I love his maturity. I love his perspective. I love to be one. I love to progress with him. I love that he is mine.
I love to love him!

I taught a lesson in church last month about self mastery. This talk here by Elder Bednar was one of the talks that I based my lesson on and it changed my life. Ive thought a lot about it as I have been working through all of these things and thoughts. I have realized that for me, being able to choose who I want to be and feel that I have control over my destiny and choices are core to my being. It burns in my bones and floods my mind and heart with desire and strength. I love that I can determine who I want to be and that no one can define me or limit me. Only I have the power to do that. I love in Viktor Frankl's, Mans search for Meaning when he says:
We who lived in concentration camps can remember those who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have
been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken
from a person but the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in
any given set of circumstances - to choose one's own way.

Today John and I went to the Newport Beach Temple and as we sat there smiling at each other and winking I mouthed, "I feel at peace." He smiled and in the softness of his eyes and his nod I knew he felt the same way.

The last few years have been some of the most difficult in my life. I have been challenged in ways I never imagined I could be. I hit my lowest of lows and was grappling to just hang in there. And when I didn't feel hope that I would ever make it through, the trial was lifted. I am left changed in a way I could have never imagined -stronger, wiser, more mature.

This week I'm going to be writing about some of these experiences that I feel can be shared. Other posts will be written but never published because they are too personal and sacred. I apologize for all the journaling lately but its important to me that I write this for myself and for my children. Come back in a week or so when we get back to the day to day blogging. For now though, I need to write.

What has everything in the last 2 years taught me so far?

I have learned to endure and the strength that comes from self discipline. I have learned that I am strong despite my feelings of inadequacy and weakness. I do care about what others think of me - but I care more about what I think of myself! At the end of the day when I look in the mirror I know that I have been loyal to myself, my family, my friends, my country, and my God. That brings an inner peace and inner confidence that I believe can not be found anywhere else.

I am not perfect. I never will be. I know that despite my best efforts I will never be able to please everyone. But I know where my heart is. I know where my intentions are rooted.

I have learned that I am at peace with myself.

Friday, July 23, 2010

No longer defined

Today was liberating!

This morning as I went to get ready I decided to try on one of the shirts I have been holding onto for 7.5 years. They were my cute little shirts that I wore before I got pregnant with Caleb. I am now 3 pounds away from that weight and wanted to see if they fit...

They DID!
Only they were about 8 inches short!

How the styles of shirts have changed - and thank goodness for that. One by one I tried them on, saw they fit, and then threw them into a DI pile because I didn't like them. I then decided to pull everything out of my closet an try it on and evaluate it. I decided there were no "iffy" clothes going back in. I either love it or its gone. There are shirts that I threw away that still fit but I never feel "cute" in them. There are shirts I threw away because I don't like that style anymore, even though at one time I loved it!

After I was all done I decided it was time to get dressed and it was so great to look through a closet full of clothes that I wanted to wear. Some of them are still a tiny bit snug but they will fit within 5 pounds. My closet is pretty sparse but that has helped me realize what I need to buy next.

For 7.5 years I have defined myself by those clothes in the back of my closet that I was determined to fit into again. I did that and I'm proud of myself.

But now, I will define myself and my style by who I am today and not some whisper of a girl I use to be.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Where do they find DMV workers?

No, I'm serious - WHERE?
Do they start out as normal and nice people and morph into something else there?
Do they have a strict hiring policy to hire the most rude and irritated people to be found?
I know some people would say that its because they deal with raunchy and mean people all day but everyone who was waiting was kind and friendly. People were talking and laughing. People were nice and friendly to my boys who were running around and saying hi to people. Nope, I don't buy that explanation.

After going up the counter and handing the worker my paperwork I was asked if I had ever had a ticket in New Jersey. I told her no.

After a few more minutes of her typing and looking extremely annoyed she told me I was ineligible for a drivers licence renewal because of the outstanding ticket in New Jersey.

Me: I have never been to New Jersey.
Her: Well there is a ticket for Lisa A Henderson with 6/16/78 as the birthday.
Me (worried thinking someone had stole my identity): And the drivers licence number matches mine?
Her: I don't have the drivers license number with the ticket.
Me: Well, can you find out.
Her: We only have the name and birthday.
Me: Well, Lisa Henderson is kind of a common name.
Her (in a DUH) tone: Ya, but the birthday is the same!

I was seriously standing there kind of wondering what to say. Seriously I cant get a drivers licence because you didn't record the licence number - just a name and birthday? Am I weird in thinking that was an important piece of information for the officer to get or for your really efficient office to keep in the computer?

Me: Well, that's not me and I have to renew my licence.
Her: Silence and typing
Me: After a few minutes - have you found more information?
Her (really irritated now): There is no more information! (back to typing)
Me: Standing there trying not to laugh at her and the whole DMV and their long waits and employees that think it would be against code to smile or be friendly.
Her: Slaps some paper down and tells me I owe $25.
Me: I decided to just pay and not say another word.

Seriously, I hope the DMV and Post Office are not the fate of our Health Care system.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Midnight choices

A few things have been on my mind lately. One of them is that Caleb goes back to school in 3 weeks. I can not wrap my mind around that. I'm not ready. I spend so much time worrying about other kids being nice to him and him making the right choices. Last night, as I lay in bed, that was weighing on my mind along with a few blog entry's I have read lately - one here at V and Co and one here at A Box of Chocolates.

When talking about her children this line from A Box of Chocolates haunted me:

They deserve everything I can give them.
Most of all, my time.

It hit me that the reason that I am not ready for Caleb to go to school is because I do not feel that I have prepared him this summer in the way that I wanted to. What started out as a need to have a little extra income has turned me into a 3 ring circus. I AM TO BUSY! There are to many things that I have to do that I don't have time for the things I need to do.

Last night I decided it was time to back away from many of the little projects that I am involved in, not because I want to - but because I have to. My children need me. They dont need me glued to the screen of this computer for "just another minute" because that inevitably is 5 minutes, or 10 minutes. I really have been excited about the opportunities that I have been given. In the end though, they are not where my priorities are. Those projects will go on without me, my children will not.

I prioritized last night and I know that I can not give up all of the work I have but I can give up most. I will continue to do photography. That is mine and I can do all my editing while my kids sleep. I arrange photo shoots around my schedule and it works with our family.

I will keep doing 2 blog posts a month for Janey Mac. It gives me a creative outlet and I get to create wonderful things for our home and I get 2 weeks to do it. It works with our family.

I will keep designing for Lash Out. I have a lot of time to do what I need to and I don't have to think about content - just design. I love that. I really like graphic design and I love that all I have to think about is colors and pictures. I don't have to come up with words or work with people. I get assignments, I have a given amount of time to complete it, it can all be done while my kids are in bed. When I am done, the project is done and I can check it off and let it go. I design on my time and it works with our family.

Lastly I will keep managing the rental that I do. I have a great renter and they pay me a lot for the little I do. Bonus they pay me to bug spray which allows us to buy the chemicals we need for our house and then some. I can do it on my time and it works with our family.

All of the other little projects, although not individually demanding, collectively are too much. I am running around too much and trying to keep to many balls in the air and I cant do that at the expense of my children. I think I have known that I needed to do this but I wanted to wait until I felt I had been able to do my best and get things where I felt okay to walk away from those projects. The problem is I don't have enough time to even get there.

Why don't I feel like I'm ready for Caleb to go back to school?

I don't feel that he knows he is my priority. I want him to know that when he goes to school, no matter how bad his day is, I am anxiously waiting for him to come home so that I can BE with him because he is so special. I want him to know and feel that he is a Rock Star! The center of my world!

I will have other opportunities in my life, but this is the only opportunity I have to raise these 3 beautiful boys. I can not let that pass. They mean more to me than anything and I choose them.

Sarah was right:
"They deserve everything I can give them. Most of all, my time."

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


This last month the members of our Church have been picking apricots at the Church farm. John and I even hired a babysitter one morning so we could go together. It is surprisingly a lot of fun! We picked a total of 406,000 pounds of apricots that are all now at the cannery. The best part is when they have all they can take they open the fields to the public to go pick with a limit of 100 pounds each family. What does that mean for me....

I have A LOT of work to do!

We went down tonight for family night and it was a night I will always cherish. I love to work with my kids. I love their enthusiasm. Davis brought me dandelions to put in my hair and every time I saw him he was blowing another wish away.

I loved watching them run from tree to tree calling out to each other. When Davis' bag flew away in a breeze, Caleb invited him to come share with him. They both sat under one tree saying, "I'm so glad you came to share with me Davis." "You are so nice, Mommy Caleb is sharing!" I loved how excited Caleb was when we could set him up in a tree to reach the really orange ones that we couldn't get and how he would laugh when he would start handing them to me faster than I could bag them.

What happened at the end just about melted my heart. Beckham had spent most of his time working on a ice cream cone from McDonald's but he was getting a little fussy. Caleb took him by the hand under the tree and showed him how to pick an apricot and put it in the bag. Then they would clap. Beckham got so into it and they went from tree to to tree. Caleb encouraging and helping Beckham the whole way. It was hard to get Beckham to walk back to the car because he wanted to pick any apricot that he could reach.

I wish I had captured it all in pictures, but then maybe I would just show the pictures instead of express how sweet the moment was with them. For just a brief spell all of the interruptions of the world melted away and we were left to simply just enjoy each other and when we did - the work became play.

We start harvesting the peaches in a week!

Monday, July 19, 2010


There is the drop Ive been waiting for! There is a certain weight that my body really likes - REALLY likes! Like I cant get past it no matter what I do kind of certain weight! It was the lowest I have been able to obtain after each pregnancy. Even this time with Beckham I did actually get under it, but only because I had the stomach flu for 3 days. When I got better I went right back. That is where I lost all of my motivation in the winter!

That is the one thing that convinced me to seek the help of a Dr because it really shouldn't be that impossible to get under it. The last two weeks have been discouraging. I know, I shouldn't complain at a pound a week, but I'm working so hard and should be able to lose 2 pounds a week. That second week when I was only down another pound was hard. Probably because I felt down more than that but the number didn't want to move!

My Dr thinks my body just really resits going under that weight and when we get me low enough below it, my body will respond and start dropping the weight and I can reset a new weight for my body to maintain. This week I'm down 4 pounds! That puts me 6 pounds under that stubborn number and I'm so motivated to put even more distance between me and that dreaded number!

I had a blast writing out our story. Sorry it got broken up into so many days but I started writing it 3 days before I ever posted anything. It helped to write a segment and then let it sit in the recesses of my mind for a few days and allow the little details to come back at unexpected times. I fell in love with John all over again just writing it. It certainly made me take a step back and realize how fortunate I am for such a wonderful man as my companion.

Surprisingly it motivated me to be a better person. As I thought about who I felt I use to be - bubbly, deliberate, fun loving, full of gumption - It whispered to me that I am still that girl. A little older, a little more mature, but that it still a part of me if I choose to let it break through from the monotony of our routine. It reminded me to be fun and all the dreams I had for this time in my life. I am living my dream - I can not miss one day by not living it to its fullness with a grateful heart!

Could this really be Monday? I feel like I could conquer the world today.
Perhaps I will settle for conquering my household chores.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

J & L - One

* I am writing our love story, if you want to start and the beginning click here. At the very bottom of that post you can click on "newer post" and it will take you through our story in order.

He took my hand after that kiss and walked me into our family room. We laid down and he pulled me into him and my head was resting on chest. We sat there holding each other. I remember loving the feel and sound of his heart beat. All I kept saying to myself was - he would NOT kiss me like THAT if he was going to break up with me. Right?

He finally talked and said in a very slow and deliberate tone, "I know that we are suppose to get married." I didn't know what to say. I wanted to jump up and scream I was so excited and so happy and yet the mood seemed so delicate and serene. He pulled me close and hugged me tight and kissed me on the top of my head. We lay there for a long time, just holding each other and feeling connected as one.

We talked a little, but mostly just soaked up the moment of pure joy and respite from all of the questions and uneasiness. There in the utter dark of that Seattle night while laying on our couch I heard him whisper in that same slow and deliberate tone,

"I love you."

My life has never been the same since those words were spoken.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

J & L - Indecision

* I am writing our love story, if you want to start and the beginning click here. At the very bottom of that post you can click on "newer post" and it will take you through our story in order.

Unfortunately it didn't come as quickly for John. He was praying about it but just hadn't received his answer. He told me he wanted to marry me but that he would never marry me without feeling like he had a confirmation to his prayer that it was the right choice.

I told him I loved him and he told me he was sorry that he couldn't say it back but he had told himself on his mission that he would only say that to his future wife. It was hard for me. Everything seemed on hold. My job had not hired anyone yet but they needed to know if I was leaving or staying. Kirsten had been making her plans to move and I didn't know if I was coming. It was hard to feel in limbo and that I had so many people waiting for us to make this huge decision and yet I didn't want to rush it.

I didn't want to push John. I had a hard time not being frustrated that he was the one who had talked about getting married and then it seemed like he was trying to backpedal. He assured me that was not the case. He wanted to marry me but he needed his own confirmation that it was the right choice and that hadn't come yet.

I remember one night standing outside of my house in Shoreline looking at the stars while we were leaning up against my Saturn. He was holding me and we were talking. Just standing still in that place of indecision. He told me he couldn't ask me to stay unless he was asking me to be his wife. I think that's what I wanted. I wanted him to tell me to stay and then we could take our time figuring things out. I didn't want to tell him I was going to stay because that seemed like so much pressure on him.

On April 23rd I was once again lying on my Grandma Irene's soft bed and we were talking late at night. We had been talking for hours. I needed to make a choice. I was not the kind of person that could wait around, indecisive. I was not trying to push John at all. I wasn't angry with him for the fact that he had not gotten his confirmation. In fact it made me love him that much more because I recognized that he cared deeply, loved, and relied on our Father in Heaven and the Savior. To me that made me want to marry him even more! It was just the situation - the feeling like I didn't have control of my own life and that it was effecting others that was driving me crazy.

We finally got to where there were no more words to say. We just sat silently on the phone and didn't talk. While there wasn't anything to say we didn't want to hang up either. It felt like there was this impassably gulf between us that we couldn't bridge and it hurt us both. We finally decided we had to go to sleep and so we said a wistful goodbye. I cried for a long time. I prayed and pleaded and sobbed. About a half hour later my phone rang. It was John. he said, "we have to talk right now. I will be there in 20 minutes."

I freaked out! He doesn't want to break up with me over the phone! He must have gotten an answer! What was his answer? How did he sound? How did I make it look like I hadn't been sobbing for the last half hour. Do I change out of my pajamas? My mind was going frantically from scenario to scenario.

Finally I heard a soft knock at the door. I went to it, afraid to know what answer was behind it. What would I do if he told me it wasn't right. I was scared. I had never cared for someone so deeply. I opened it and saw him there in his black sweater and khaki pants. I almost melted he was so handsome.

He came straight to me and pulled me into him and gave me my first experience going weak in the knees with the most amazing and passionate kiss I have ever had.

Friday, July 16, 2010

J & L - Decisions

* I am writing our love story, if you want to start and the beginning click here. At the very bottom of that post you can click on "newer post" and it will take you through our story in order.

I was feeling so much joy being with John but at the same time I had just turned in my notice at work! About two weeks later I was at work and he called me. He was at Kid swim where he worked and he asked if we could talk.My office had people in it so I went into Karla's office and shut the door. He said he had a knot in his throat and he needed to talk to me about something right now. He told me he didn't know how to bring it up but he just felt sick and had to talk to me about it. I told him okay and he blurted out, "I think we should talk about getting married." I was shocked. I mean don't get me wrong I knew there was something special about our relationship but it had only been about two weeks!

We talked for a long time on that call. Everyone could see me through the windows of the office and they were wondering what was going on but I was in another place. We both decided that we would start to pray about that decision. I remember coming out of the office and Karla asking what was going on and I told her and she was shocked - everyone at work was. No more than me, I assure you! I'm sure there were all sorts of talk in the break room about those crazy Mormon's who rush into marriage. I honestly would have said the same thing if I was looking in from the outside.

But I wasn't looking in from the outside, rather I was feeling something special on the inside. It felt like the next natural step, although it was pushed up a little bit by the fact that I was moving soon. My Dad gave me the best advice. "Have them bring your stuff down and just leave what you want up there. Then if things don't work out just pack up and drive home." And that's exactly what I did.

John and I left a little before Brian and his friend Sherry, who were driving the other car and we were planning on meeting up at a hotel in Northern CA. John was very concerned about the fact that Brian had only reserved one room with 2 double beds, he is a gentleman like that. Since there were going to be 4 of us he reluctantly agreed and Brian made those arrangements. Only problem was Brian and Sherry broke down and so after we had checked in they called and said they wouldn't be coming.

I still remember how stressed John was about how it would look for us to have spent the night in a hotel room all alone. His honor was one of the things that I loved about John the most. He valued his testimony and doing what was right even if no one else was looking. We laid in opposite beds talking into the early hours of morning.

We drove the whole way, even in hot CA, with no air conditioner holding hands. I remember that it was hot and uncomfortable to hold hands but we just couldn't let go. As we drove through Napa valley and all of the vineyards we took that time to talk about things like: how many kids we wanted, where we wanted to live, our hopes and dreams for our futures. We were trying cover all the things you usually find out while dating over a longer period of time - not that I realistically think you can cram it all in, but we were trying.

We had a wonderful trip to CA and stopped to visit my brother Brian, his wife Kate, and my little niece Ashlynn who was just a baby. I remember being amazed at how great John was with her. They took us to breakfast at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo. We drove the rest of the way to Brea where John was able to meet my Parents.

We went back to Seattle both praying about what we should do and where our relationship should go. It didn't take long for me to get my answer. It came clearly:

It was my decision who I would marry. John was a very choice son of our Father in Heaven and our Father in Heaven was pleased with my decision.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

J & L - Together

* I am writing our love story, if you want to start and the beginning click here. At the very bottom of that post you can click on "newer post" and it will take you through our story in order.

We woke up the next morning and there was nothing to eat. I tried to be domestic and made pancakes from Bisquick with water instead of milk and they were awful! We drove back and he dropped me off at my house. We were running late and trying really hard not to be late for Church.

I remember wearing a pink dress with flowers on it and my brown baby doll Doc Martin's. As I drove down to church I was freaking out about what to do, how to act. Everything had changed over night! Do I sit by him? Would he hold my hand? Would he be embarrassed? We had shared so much while talking the night before that we went from being good acquaintances to best friends who had shared deep parts of ourselves over night.

Luckily it didn't matter because I was 10 minutes late for Church. I slipped in on the back row next to my good friend Amy Springer. I looked around quickly to see if he was there yet and he was with all of his roommates about halfway up on the other side of the aisle. He looked back and our eyes locked for a second and we both smiled sheepishly. Amy asked me what I had done the night before and I remember saying slyly, "Oh, I hooked up with some guy." She grabbed my arm and asked who. We whispered a lot the rest of that meeting!

After Sacrament meeting I was out in the foyer trying to stall before heading downstairs to Sunday School. I tried really hard not to look like I was waiting for John - even though I was. He came out and came right over to me and I remember us both acting a little bashful. He asked me if I wanted to come over after church and I readily accepted. I don't remember if we sat next to each other in church but I doubt it because the rest of the time at church was a blur. I went straight over after church and we sat in the only piece of furniture in their basement, which was a papasan. We spent hours in that chair talking all cuddled up, our legs intertwined. After that everyday was spent exactly like that. Every moment that we could spend together, was spent together.

If there is one thing that I stood out from my experience dating John, that was different from all the other boys I had dated, it was that things were always comfortable and natural. Besides that brief moment in Church I always felt secure with him. There were no games or drama, it just felt like the most natural thing in the world. I had never met someone who saw me for who I was inside, understood it, and loved it. I hate to bring back up that previous ex boyfriend but the way John made me feel was the complete antithesis from how I had felt in that previous relationship and it was so wonderful to feel that I was loved for who I was, not for who someone wanted me to be! In fact I believe that the reason I had to go through that relationship was so that I would be able to recognize and always appreciate what I had in John.

I felt so secure with John that he even went on a date with a girl that had asked him on a date before that fateful night at the cabin. I didn't worry one second about him going. It was actually kind of funny to watch him agonize about having to go out with someone else. I knew he would rather be with me and I remember him calling me (literally) the second it was over to see where I was. I had never felt so at ease with someone. There were no pretenses, no apprehensions of what he would think, I could share everything so easily. It truly felt like I had found the part of me that I never knew I was missing.

Every second that we were together I knew he adored me!
It was the most refreshing and incredible feeling in the world!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

J & L - First real date

* I am writing our love story, if you want to start and the beginning click here. At the very bottom of that post you can click on "newer post" and it will take you through our story in order.

March 30, 2002

My heart skipped a beat and I was taken back by how excited I was by that realization. I had my heart set to be in California! This phone call was the first time John flirted with me and I loved every second of it. One of the first things he said was, "when are we going to hang out?" I was so excited that he was finally asking me on a date! We talked for about 2 hours. I remember just laying on my down comforter in my Grandma Irene's cozy and squishy bed smiling at the ceiling. When we were finally wrapping up the conversation he still hadn't asked me out officially. As we were just about to hang out I surprised myself when I blurted out, " So? When are we going to hang out?"

He asked if I wanted to go to his soccer game with him that night and then go do something afterward. John didn't have a car but his Sister and her husband were out of town and so he picked me up in their truck and took me to his game. He was really good and I remember being glad that he was a good sport too.

After the game we went to hit golf balls in Lake Washington. He told me that his Grandpa use to live right on the water and he loved hitting golf balls into the lake. Unfortunately there was security and we couldn't do it. I told him I knew of a lake where there wasn't any security but it was 45 minutes away to my family's cabin.

We drove to Shoreline and picked up my car and I let him drive up to Lake Cavanaugh. I was shocked when we got there because there was snow on the ground. I had on my little Roxy tennis shoes that were open in the back and when I stepped out I got snow through my whole shoe. We were freezing and there was no way we were going to go hit golf balls! We went into the cabin and opened the blinds so that we could look out over the moonlit lake. It was freezing in the cabin because no one had been there in weeks so we cranked up the heater and climbed under a bunch of blankets on the couch.

We talked for hours. It was so comfortable and I felt so at ease with him. We laughed a lot and talked about everything! I had my hand strategically placed waiting for him to hold it but it just lay there empty for hours. I was starting to wonder if maybe I was reading things wrong because he hadn't made any move for my hand when out of now where he kissed me! And it was not some small peck either!

I was so taken back. Who kisses someone before they hold their hand??? Don't get me wrong I wasn't complaining but it really took me by surprise.

I couldn't help myself but after a few seconds I started laughing. All I could think was that everyone would think I seduced him to my family's cabin so that I kiss his kissable lips. I told him the whole story and that helped soothe the situation because laughing right after a boy kisses you is not the best for his ego.

One thing I remember most from the night was after he had kissed me I realized I was moving in a few weeks and he knew that. I remember wondering if that is why John all of a sudden made a move for me, because he knew I was going to be gone in a couple of weeks. I had to know and blurted out, "Is this some sort of fling to you?" I was touched with the sincerity in his face and words when he told me he definitely did not think of me as fling.

We ended up taking late into the night and decided that it was best to stay the night at the cabin. (Before our families start freaking out I can assure you that it was very innocent and pure). We just didn't know how long we had been talking. Okay, we had been doing a little kissing too...

For the record his lips were just as kissable as I had imagined - maybe even better.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

J & L - Realization

* I am writing our love story, if you want to start and the beginning click here. At the very bottom of that post you can click on "newer post" and it will take you through our story in order.

I went over to see Brian at the Frisky House during that next week because I heard that he was moving to CA. I had decided to move back to the sunny weather with Kirsten and planned on leaving a few weeks after I got back from Hawaii. Brian wasn't home but John said he would be home soon and invited me in to wait. We chatted for a little bit but it was once again a little uncomfortable for me because John didn't really talk much. I remember there was a book on the coffee table and that helped a little bit with the conversation but he wouldn't even look at me. I was sure I was annoying him and that he was bored of waiting with me so I decided to leave and put the poor guy out of his pain. When I told him I was leaving he quickly asked me if I wanted to play pool. He smoked me but being the gentleman that he was he scratched on the 8 ball to make me the winner.

I left for Hawaii about a week after that. I still at this point didn't think John thought much of me since he always seemed to be really quiet when we were together. Regardless John crept into my thoughts while I was lounging on the beach sipping Pina coladas. I decided to bring something back for him from Hawaii and so it wasn't weird I looked for something for Brian too. I had the hardest time deciding. A cool shell necklace seemed like too much but a cheesy souvenir seemed lame. I decided to get them some Macadamia nuts, guys always love food! (As a side note, John still has the nuts and they have never been opened and he never shared or even showed them to Brian)

I got home and needed to get the ball rolling on figuring out how I was going to move. I really needed to know if Brian had room in his truck for some of my stuff. I called over to their house and their roommates said Brian wasn't there and so I asked for John. When he got on the phone he said "Lisa Rober!"

The tone he spoke those two words in made me realize that Rachel and Kirsten had been right all along...

Monday, July 12, 2010

J & L - The first "non-date"

* I am writing our love story, if you want to start and the beginning click here. At the very bottom of that post you can click on "newer post" and it will take you through our story in order.

Despite his exclamation of deep infatuation, he didn't move very fast. I had my best friends coming to visit over Valentines weekend and I kept telling John and Brian that I wanted them to meet Rachel and Kirsten. I was completely focused on living it up with Rachel and Kirsten and doing all of the silly fun girl things that I love. We really wanted to go see the Britney Spears movie, Crossroads, but it was the same night as the Valentines Party. We decided to go the party for dinner and then duck out in time for the movie. John came up to us girls in the lobby of the institute and I was able to introduce him to Rachel and Kirsten. I remember John once telling me that he remembered that I was wearing sparkly eye shadow that night.

That same night John and Beren were cleaning up after the party and they were talking about girls in the ward. Beren told John that he knew someone who thought John had a "nice smile" (well played Beren). He wouldn't tell John who but after a few minutes had passed John said, "Ive been thinking about asking Lisa Rober out." Beren said, "Did you know that's who I was talking about." John went away that night knowing that I thought he had a nice smile.

That Sunday at Church John came up to Rachel, Kirsten, and I and asked us if wanted to come to their house for dinner. We accepted and John started to panic because he didn't know what they had in their house. After knowing some of the food stories from the Frisky House I can see why he panicked! Luckily for him his brother Chris whipped up some good enchiladas.

John considers this our first date. Me, not so much. 3 best friends and 1 boy? Nope, definitely not a date! Not to mention that John didn't talk much. (To be fair - if you hear this part of the story from John you will get a very different story). John was on the couch and we were on the ground. John spent most of the time looking at the TV. The funny thing was there wasn't anything on! But his eyes were glued! (I have since learned that this is kind of just how John is. Poor guy cant help but watch a screen if there is one around).

We were feeling a little bit awkward and so we decided to leave. John asked us if we wanted to go see the Monks sing at the Church on Capitol Hill. We told him we had plans to watch a movie at our house but he was welcome to come up.

Us girls had the big hide-a-bed open and were all cozy and talking when John called to say he was coming. They were teasing me that John had a crush on me but I told them we really were just friends. He had never really flirted with me and I really didn't think he thought of me in that way. They made this really big production of making sure that I was on the side so John could lay by me.

We watched the Legend of Bagger Vance and by the end of the movie poor John looked in the reflection of the skylight and all 3 of us girls were sleeping! We woke up and I groggily walked John over into the kitchen and waved to him from there and didn't walk him all the way to the door. John walked away feeling a little rejected by my lack of enthusiasm.

Rachel and Kirsten immediately started teasing me when the door shut, but I laughed at them and told them - just watch, I swear we are only friends...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

J & L - The meeting

* I am writing our love story, if you want to start and the beginning click here. At the very bottom of that post you can click on "newer post" and it will take you through our story in order.

Needless to say I was a little trepidatious but both Beren and Layne had sworn themselves to secrecy. In January the Elders were planning a big Valentines event for all the girls in the ward and the Elders Quorum Presidency wanted to get together with the Relief Society Presidency (which is over the girls at church) to talk about the plans. I was the 1st counselor so we met face to face for the first time at the top of the back stairwell in the Institute building. John insists that I couldn't keep my eyes off of him that entire meeting. I always remind him that he was sitting directly across from me, where else was I suppose to look! But in all seriousness, it was probably his perfect lips I couldn't stop staring at!

The next time we met was a few weeks later in early February when his roommate Brian Brushke and I were going to go out to visit some people in our Ward. His Home Teaching list and my Visiting Teaching list had a lot of the same people on it so we decided to go together. John found that he had a lot of people to visit on my list also and asked if he could come along.

The picked me up in Brian's little truck and I got to ride in the middle. John was wearing his gray jacket that has Velcro up the zipper and it kept getting caught on my sweater. We kept getting stuck together and having to pull his jacket off of my sweater! We went and did a bunch of visits and this was the first time that he and I actually got to talk or interact with each other.

At one house I gave a lesson on the Divine roll of Women and Womanhood. Now I don't want to brag, but it was a pretty good lesson! Not because of me - but it was just one of those special times when the Spirit feels so strong and the mood is just right that everyone is touched.

When they dropped me off I had to extradited myself from Johns Velcro (again) and they waited until I was safely through my door. Then John looked at Brian and said,

"I could marry that girl."

Saturday, July 10, 2010

J & L - Hearsay

* I am writing our love story, if you want to start and the beginning click here. At the very bottom of that post you can click on "newer post" and it will take you through our story in order.

John moved into the Seattle University Singles Ward that I was attending in October. The first I actually heard of him was from a girl that I visited in my ward each month. She would tell me all about "John Henderson!" She talked about what a babe he was and how nice he was. Each month we would pick up right where we left off and she would fill me in on all the new developments over the last month. I think I had visited her for about 3 months before she had a picture to show me. My response, "Ive totally seen him. He is a babe!" This is also the visit where she asked me if she should tell him that she liked him. I told her for sure! (I later got to hear about that from Johns side)

I also had one of the worst nights in my life in these early months before we knew each other - I mean a horrible, nightmarish, humiliating night! Here is why that night was so awful - we use to go up and watch the guys from our ward play indoor soccer (at this point John was not on the team). They were required to have 2 girls on the field at all times. This particular night the second girl didn't show up. There were 5 of us girls there to watch and they came over and asked if one of us would play. I had not played soccer for a long time, I was not in my best shape, I was wearing cute clothes, and I had on those white tennis shoes, that were in style then, that had a 2 inch thick sole! Tripping hazard!

None of the girls would do it and when they went to pressure me into it I used the excuse that I didn't have a white shirt. This is where the night went from bad to revolting! My ex boyfriend piped up that I could wear his undershirt. Now you have to know that my previous relationship with this boy had been very serious and in retrospect very, VERY, very unhealthy for a number of reasons. Mostly I was sad at myself for not being more brave and for not believing in myself more in that relationship. Somewhere in those toxic dynamics I had lost the sense of who I was inside. Everyone pushed and I finally relented. I went to change into his undershirt and almost vomited when I put it on. It smelled like his cologne and it made my stomach churn because it reminded me of how I had disappointed myself!

I finally pulled myself together and went out to play in his horrendously tight shirt in the chest and hips, that smelled like my bad relationship, to find we were playing a very serious Hispanic team! For a whole hour I had to smell my ex, try not to trip on platform tennis shoes, have circles run around me while they laughed at me, never get to sub out, and try to smile and look like a good sport. It was humiliating. I can hardly think of another social event in my past that was as horrible as this night. Actually I cant think of any that were that bad! Turns out John was there and saw the whole detestable thing go down. When he first told me this I almost cried in humiliation. No joke, I felt ill all over again and wanted to explain how the girl he saw that night was not me. His response, "I thought you were so cute and its one of the first things that made me want to date you."

I should also at this point in the story tell about how I was really starting to have a hard time with the gloominess of Seattle. I had wanted to live there my entire life but after a year and a half I was having second thoughts. I called my Mom in November and she and I decided to plan a trip to Hawaii to help get me through the winter. We settled on February and my Dad decided to come a long to. I could make it through the winter because I knew in February I was going to Hawaii!

During these months I also had a conversation with some friends, Beren and Layne, who were over at our house and were asking us what we looked for first in a guys appearance. I told them I loved a guy with kissable lips. They thought I was crazy but I assured them that some guy in our ward had really luscious lips, I just couldn't remember who. They said I had to find out who that was and report back so that they would know what kissable lips looked like.

That next Sunday I set myself to the task of checking out all of the boys lips when - BAM! There they were. I looked at the rest of the face and it was that John Henderson guy that I had heard so much about from my friend. I reported back to Beren and Layne not worrying one bit that John would ever hear about it because he wasn't really friends with either of them.

The very next Sunday Beren was called to be the President of the Elders (all the men) in our ward and John was called as his first counselor and Layne was called as his second counselor.

I just about fell out of my chair!

The only two boys in our ward who knew that I thought John had kissable lips were now in a presidency with him!

Friday, July 9, 2010

J & L - Preparation

* I am writing our love story, if you want to start and the beginning click here. At the very bottom of that post you can click on "newer post" and it will take you through our story in order.

Our story actually starts 2 1/2 years before we ever met. I was at BYU getting ready to go to Romania and John was getting ready to go to the Philippines on his 2 year mission for our church. It just so happens that our passports were issued on the exact same day.

We were also endowed in the Temple within a 2 week time period. I was endowed on January 16th 1999 and John was endowed 2 weeks later on the 30th. Why is this so significant to us? Mostly because John and I both feel that his mission and my time in Romania is what made us who are today. Not only as individuals but it was also during that time that we both really got a sense of who we wanted to marry. There is something about being far from home, on your own, in a more simplified world that strips ones thoughts and ideas from all of the clutter and excess. Grandma Henderson taught me a term one of her friends used -values clarification - to understand what values are at the core of us. We both feel that we were the best person we have ever been at those times off serving others in a country not of our own and feeling closer to our spiritual inner self than ever before. In that environment we were able to realize what it was that really mattered to us in a future partner.

Its amazing to see that we were being prepared for each other at the exact same time. We have talked about things at those times in our lives and we share a lot of the same experiences and feelings. I don't think there is necessarily a one and only person for everyone - but I do believe that John and I were prepared for each other.

Sometimes I'm a little hesitant to share our story because it happened so fast! I actually would never recommend that anyone get engaged and married as fast as we did. My stomach flips when I think about how our marriage could be so different had one or both of us not been completely honest with presenting who they were.

That said, given our circumstances, the timing was perfect for us. Each couple has their own story and what is right for one is not right for the other. I love that each love story is as unique as every couple.

John and my paths first crossed in Oct of 2001...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

J & L - The story

Its been a long time since I have told the story of how John and I came to be. I was walking with one of my friends about a week ago and she asked me to tell it and I was shocked to find that I couldn't remember the time line very well. Events became blurred in my mind and it made me so sad. Somewhere there is a tape that he and I recorded when we had been married for about 6 months telling the whole thing. I would LOVE to hear that now! I can only imagine how cheesy we were :)

After seeing someone else write their story down on their blog I decided I wanted to preserve our story here on our blog too so that we wont ever forget it - or lose it like the tape. Over the next week or so I am going to tell our story, in detail. If you don't want to read it come back in a week or so. Otherwise, enjoy with me.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Baring it all

Don't worry, I'm talking about emotionally. I have never been a closed off or private person. Its just not who I am. For the most part, I like it. It has made it so that I can connect with people easily. Most importantly its one of the things that I know John loves about me the most.

Lately though, I have felt - exposed? I don't really know how to word it. I just feel like there have been a few instances where people take the very little information they have and think they can see the full picture of who I am. I feel like I have been generalized and made to fill a mold that someone made of me in their mind.

I read Cjane's blog. I think she can be funny. I don't agree with everything she thinks or says and sometimes I think she is over the top. But it is her blog and should reflect her and her life. We share the same propensity for being open though. These last couple of days I actually looked at some of the comments she gets and I was shocked! People take everything she does or says and rip her and her life apart. They correct, insult, and judge everything she is and does based off of the limited information on her blog.

I think there are a lot of people who share the raw emotion of their life on their blog and I appreciate those blogs that people are not afraid to be who they really are. Those are the blogs I love to read the most. Real life. I know that it is a natural instinct to judge people. We all do it, even if you think you don't - you do. Maybe the Internet makes people think that they don't have to use their humanity filter behind the anonymity of a monitor.

It sounds like something major happened doesn't it? That's whats so weird, nothing has changed and I don't have any specific instances, its just a feeling I have. It makes me sick in the bottom of my stomach and I don't know why its there. Maybe that is why I feel vulnerable and exposed is because I cant identify the source of where the feeling is coming from.

I really don't have a point to all of this, just that I feel exposed for some reason. For the first time I just want to take me, John, and my children and wrap them up in a private wall from all of the spectators and their prying eyes and thoughts.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Old Fashion 4th of July Parade

A seed is planted

Today Caleb had a very tender first moment with recognizing and following the voice of the Holy Ghost. We were coming home from the 4th of July parade and I had promised the boys a donut on the way home. Only thing was - one of the floats had thrown otter pops and the boys both wanted one. I told them they could decide. Caleb finally decided he wanted an otter pop. I let John know we wouldn't be swinging by the store since the boys were having otter pops and Caleb lost it! He wanted a donut! I asked him why he had told me he wanted an otter pop and he said he changed his mind. I told him it was to late now, we had passed the store, and he just wouldn't stop.

He didn't want anything to eat ever again!
He said he would eat a creamy pop instead!
He said all sorts of things just trying to somehow rebel against the otter pop.

After a warning that he had to knock it off or he wouldn't get anything he still persisted. So I told him it was over, he would get nothing. Seriously why do they make me be the mean Mom? Have they not figured out yet that I am always consistent!

He sat in the back of the car pouting for about 5 minutes and then Caleb said, "Mom, the Holy Ghost just whispered something to me."

Me (bracing for some sort of way he was was going to try to manipulate things around): "Really, what did he say?"

Caleb: "He whispered to me - you get what you get and you don't throw a fit! I'm sorry Mom for throwing a fit and I'm going to be nicer and not do that."

His attitude changed in heartbeat and for the last 3 hours he has been nothing but pleasant and happy.

Alma 32: 28-30 (from the Book of Mormon)
28 Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.

29 Now behold, would not this increase your faith? I say unto you, Yea; nevertheless it hath not grown up to a perfect knowledge.

30 But behold, as the seed swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, then you must needs say that the seed is good; for behold it swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow. And now, behold, will not this strengthen your faith? Yea, it will strengthen your faith: for ye will say I know that this is a good seed; for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow.

The seed is planted and beginning to grow,
and that makes my heart grow as well.

Well done, Son. I'm proud of you.

One pound at a time...

Sunday, July 4, 2010


I now understand why people who get behind on their blogs have a hard time sitting down to do that first post. I have so many thoughts. Its been an emotional and intense couple of weeks for me.

The funeral was wonderful. Seems kind of weird to say that about a funeral but it really was. They celebrated his life and they celebrated the Savior and it was joyful. I was glad I was there so that I could take time to appreciate how much good there is in this world. From the goodness that my friend's Dad had shared through his life, to the goodness of their friends from church who enveloped them with love. Two of my favorite sentiments from the weekend were when asked about what her Dad had loved the response was "he loved to love his children." I thought that was touching and exactly the kind of parent I want to be remembered as. Carrie also wrote me in one of her e-mails that "she really didn't want to be doing any better than she was at that time." I was overcome by her love for her Dad and her graceful way of letting her grief wash over her and stand as a testament of her love for her Dad.

I was also overwhelmed by the love of my own parents. Maybe seeing someone my age lose a parent made me think of my parents mortality. When I tried to think of what it would mean to lose one of them, I could not let my mind go there. They had about 10 hours notice we were coming. They were ready for us. Beds made, food ready, lists for the store prepared, time set aside. Friday I had a few projects that I wanted to work on. The boys were spoiled with love and my Mom patiently stayed outside while Caleb and Davis played in the jacuzzi for hours. Answering every call for "Grandma watch," with a squeal of praise for their every movement.

I spent hours in my Moms office totally engrossed in preparing my lesson for today and never thought about how the kids were and what time it was. It was wonderful to get lost in my thoughts and take time to ponder and let my mind be exercised at focusing completely on one task at a time. Any supplies I needed were at my fingertips and generously offered and shared. My Dad made a trip to the store for the milk we needed and to replenish the bananas that disappear the minute we walk in the house.

One of the most precious blessings for me to was to have John there to share the weekend with me. His ginormous bid was delayed and his boss just happened to be driving to San Diego. We picked him up Friday night and he came just to be with us that night, escort me to the funeral, swim with his boys, and drive home with us. My love for him swelled so much this weekend. I love that he loves him family and would endure 12 hours of driving for about 12 hours of vacation - just to be with us.

As our hours whittled down to the last few I wanted to run to a couple of quick stores so that I wouldn't have to do it on Monday with kids. My mom offered to go with me. She is generous and she loves to share and spoil me. I love her for that. Sometimes I have a hard time accepting it - my pride gets in the way and I don't want her to ever think I expect that or use her for it. I will always remember how my Mom spoils me, not because I just want things from her but because I know that is how she says I love you. She enjoys taking care of me and doting on me. I'm going to work on being more thankful and accepting of her sweet offerings. I had selfishly never considered that my attempt to make sure that she knew that I didn't expect her to spoil me were in essence denying her the chance to love me in her way.

Last of all, I wanted to share something that made me so happy. For a long time I have had a vision of what kind of dishes I want. I don't want matching dishes I want to be able to buy fun plates in fun colors and have a eclectic table setting. I love some of the fun and funky dishes you can find at thrift stores but usually can only find one or two pieces. I have so many times been tempted to just go out and purchase a few plates from Tai Pan just to get our collection going. I hate that there never seems to just be a little extra that I can squeeze into something frivolous like mismatched plates. John insisted that we stop at a goodwill after the funeral and I protested - we were dressed pretty fancy - but we do love to browse through second hand stores together and so stop we did. This is what I found:

The perfect hues.
The perfect start to my new dishes collection.

Truly I am blessed in so many ways.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

On the road

Things have been crazy for the past week! There is so much to write about but today is not the day. One of my dear friends from high school, Carrie, let me know that her father passed away and I'm on my way to CA so that I can be there for the service and for Carrie.

It will be a quick trip because I have to be back on Sunday so we will leave this afternoon for CA and drive back on Sat night. It will be sad to leave John for a few days but its working out well since he has a ginormous bid next week and will be working like a mad man for the next 2 days anyway.

Good thing AYSO just let me know that my drivers license expired on birthday. Whoops! Thats going to have to wait next week. Hope I don't get pulled over on the trip!