Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My Ensign Article

Awhile back I wrote an article that was just published in the January 2012 Ensign.  You can read the article by clicking this link or see it below. 
Mom taught all of her 13 children to play the piano, but I never made it easy for her. I remember lying on the piano bench whining, insisting it was too hard. I learned, but to say that I played well would be an overstatement.

Years passed. I married and my husband was accepted to dental school. As we prepared to move to Indiana, I felt frequent impressions to practice the piano. I feared it was because our new ward did not have enough pianists.

Sure enough, shortly after we settled into the ward, the bishop extended to me a calling to be the Relief Society pianist. My heart sank. I told him I didn’t play very well but I would try. I fought tears as I left his office and cried all the way home.

After several sleepless nights, I concluded that I would simply tell the bishop that I had reconsidered. Even though my parents had taught me to always accept callings, I just couldn’t do this.
Before calling the bishop, however, I talked it over with my husband, who encouraged me to at least try. He reminded me that I had yearned to play better and that this could be an opportunity to do so. I decided he was right.

I prayed fervently and asked for Heavenly Father’s help. The words of Proverbs 3:5–6 came to my mind: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” With those words in mind, I put my trust in Him.

The only hymns I could play were those without any sharps or flats. Unfortunately, those would get me through only a few weeks. When I talked to the former Relief Society pianist about my situation, she kindly offered to substitute for a month while I practiced. Another friend offered to watch my children so that I could focus on practicing.

The first week I played in Relief Society, I made so many mistakes that I could barely see through my tears. When I finished, I didn’t want to come out from behind the piano. But the sisters in the ward were so encouraging that I kept trying.

As I continued to practice the piano—sometimes for more than two hours a day—I slowly began to improve. I’m still not an excellent pianist, but now I feel confident enough to volunteer when needed.
I’m thankful my loving parents taught me to accept callings. I was the Relief Society pianist for less than a year, but my testimony of and love for my Heavenly Father grew more than I ever could have imagined. I know that when we trust in Him, He will direct our paths, and we can see His hand in all things.
More about this calling:  The lady that was the chorister for Relief Society was hearing impaired.  She would put her hand on the piano to feel the vibrations to know how to lead (what tempo).  The only problem was that I was playing slow and making many mistakes, so I was hard to follow.  We were quite a pair trying to make it through the hymns each week!  (This was also a testimony to me that she agreed to the calling to be chorister.  She could have offered the best excuse of all for not being able to do it.  Yet she did it.)

On one occasion, she called me on a Saturday afternoon through a TDD service for hearing impaired.  They were able to relay a message to me.  I was told by the person relaying the message that she had given me the wrong practice hymn.  When I was told the correct practice hymn and was off the phone, I immediately ran downstairs to my hymn book and opened to the hymn.  My heart sank when I saw that the hymn had 3 flats and I would be unable to play it (especially without all the time that I needed to practice it).  I had to call a substitute for the practice hymn.  I'm sure people were confused that Sunday when they announced the practice hymn (and that I was the pianist) only to have someone else get up and play the hymn instead.

I think the older I get, the more I realize that I can laugh at myself and not take things so seriously.  I can be content with who I am and who I am trying to become.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


You have Plantar Fasciitis!

It was funny going to the doctor yesterday and having him do an ultrasound on my heels.  He gave me a printout of each.  When he gave it to me I said, "Oh darling!"  Not quite as cute as seeing a baby on an ultrasound.  A few cortisone shots and feet wrapped later, I was out the door and on my way.  I have been dealing with this dang, double dang plantar fasciitis for quite awhile now.  My sweet husband has been willing to rub my feet for me and that always seemed to help.  Hopefully I can nip it in the bud this time (and maybe John will be able to retire for a day or two--hee hee).  I have been doing VERY LITTLE exercising for a long time now.  When I do, I can barely walk the next morning--my heels hurt so bad.  If you have ever dealt with it, you know EXACTLY what I am talking about.  Needless to say, I get winded just carrying my laundry upstairs to fold.  Holy-out-of-shape Batman!  It's crazy how quickly a person can get out of shape.  What a bugger.

I'm not going to lie, it would be nice to be getting a baby ultrasound.  John and I have been trying to have another baby for about 4 years now.  Up until now, I have kept this relatively quiet.  I didn't really want the entire world to be cheering me on and asking me all the personal questions about "When are you ovulating?  Can I come cheer outside your bedroom window?"  I said that previous statement to my mom and she just laughed.  I don't think much shocks my mom when it comes to her dear sweet daughter Heidi. 

For the last several years, when we kneel down for family prayer I have felt like someone is missing.  Weird feeling.  As luck would NOT have has not happened for us.  A few years ago I had my dad give John and I a blessing.  Shortly after that I went and had surgery.  It was basically a laperoscopy with lazer stand-by.  They were checking for blocked tubes or endometriosis.  During surgery the doctor did not see anything wrong.  I have also taken fertility pills to see if that would help.  After the surgery I must have been put on some mailing list that I just had a baby.  I have been receiving coupons for diapers, baby formula, free cans of Enfamil with congratulation letters enclosed.  Why thank you for pouring salt on my wounds! :)  The diaper coupons aren't even helpful as we no longer have anyone in the house in diapers.  Maybe if it were coupons for adult diapers, now that might be helpful.  Sneeze = pee, Jump = pee.  Good times.

Two weeks before my dad passed away, he gave each of his children one more VERY SPECIAL fathers blessing.  I just about cry thinking about it.  I'm grateful that I recorded it and typed it up.  He once again blessed me that I would have another child.  The day before he passed away, I gave him two specific instructions...

NUMBER ONE---When he sees my brother Brian--give him one hard punch in the arm.  (He would occasionally give me a numb arm punch and I felt like one good hard one from dad might get him back).  Hee hee.

AND NUMBER TWO---Find the cutest little boy up there and send him down to me.  (Is that too much to ask?)

A couple of weeks ago I turned the big nasty 4-0.  Now I am feeling like I may have to change my tune and be patient for grand kids in several years.  Also, Haley (my youngest) is 6 and that is quite a space.  This may be too much information, but sometimes I say... "You know you are too old to be having more kids when...

#1---You are too dang tired to try
#2---You can't get any dang privacy
(I'm extremely sorry Riley and Brynn if you are reading this.  You may need counseling later).  :)

Sometimes I get frustrated watching all my siblings getting pregnant without even trying.  It's like they think it is time to have another one and they are already several weeks along.  I often tell myself, "Quit being such a whiner "Nancy" you have 4 beautiful, wonderful children...some people can't have ANY!"  Sometimes it is hard to realize that you don't have any control over something and you just need to learn to deal with it.

I know that Heavenly Father is in control and He sees the big picture and knows what is best for us.  How grateful I am for that!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas From Our House to Yours!

What a wonderful time of year!  As I have been busy shopping, etc. I have reflected on why we get so busy and hurried this time of year.  It seems to me that we have Christmas so backwards now days.  It is Christ's birthday that we are celebrating and we are worried about what we are getting or what we are giving to someone else.  I have had a song running through my head the last couple of days.  It is one of my favorite Christmas songs.  To me, it says it all...

“There is no better time than now, this very Christmas season, for all of us to rededicate ourselves to the principles taught by Jesus Christ,” President Monson said. He spoke of witnessing the annual commercialization of Christmas, of seeing Christmas become less about Christ and more about sales, parties, and presents.

And yet, President Monson said, “Christmas is what we make of it. Despite all the distractions, we can see to it that Christ is at the center of our celebration. If we have not already done so, we can establish Christmas traditions for ourselves and for our families which will help us capture and keep the spirit of Christ.”

I am beyond grateful for my Savior and for the many blessings he gives me daily.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Such a sweet little guy

I just love reading things my kids write in school.  Jace is a very thoughtful and considerate boy.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

For cryin' in a big fat bucket!

Well, it's here.  I'm officially 40!  Good grief!  Can this really be true??  I don't feel 40!  But alas, I look in the mirror and my reflection reminds me that it IS in fact true. 

Age spots, sagging in various locations, wrinkles, thinning hair, tired looking eyes.  My mom always reminds me that life begins at 40
Did she, perhaps, leave something out of her sentence..."Life begins to sag at 40"....or something to that effect?
When I was a kid, I SO remember my parents in their 40's.  And I remember thinking that they were so old!  I can only imagine what my kids think of me.

I was awake at 11:59 pm and watched the clock change to 12:00 am.  I almost said to myself out loud, "How in the crap is it that I am now 40?!"

I don't really feel "40 and fabulous"...more like "40 and farty".