Sunday, November 21, 2010

long time no speak.....

I'm totally embarrassed that I haven't posted in over a year. I have no good excuses other than the fact that I've gotten caught up in the instant gratification of Facebook. Now that church doesn't start until 1:00pm...I'm going to try to get back in to the habit of posting on Sunday mornings.

Since I last posted some of the biggest changes that have gone on in my life is:
  • I left McKesson/Practice Partner 11 months ago. It felt like I was on vacation for the firs 6 months and has been a totally manageable load since then. I have kept in contact with some of my old co-workers since I left and man was I lucky to get out of there when I's a nightmare there...they continue to treat their employees like slaves and valuable staff continues to leave. I am so grateful that I am with Alteer.
  • Greg is now working at a school that is only 10 minutes away. Although he doesn't love it, it's certainly a step above where he was last year. It's nice to have him home earlier and happier.
  • Gabe, Rosie, Mia and Talia are still up in Casper, Wyoming. It was a tough start there as Gabe was not getting the hours that he had hoped, but things have turned around and Gabe has lots of work now. Rosie is left at home as Gabe is often gone for days at a time, but it does afford her to be home with the girls. Rosie is going to school and Nonna talks to the "pretty princesses" on skype as often as she can.
  • Damian and Michelle married 11 months ago. It was a proud day when I got to witness my one of my children marry his eternal companion in the Houston Temple. They are both attending school and working together to make this new life for themselves.
  • Joel is engaged to Lucinda. It's been a little difficult to getting to know Lucinda, but I can honestly say that I love her just as much as I do my other two daughter-in-laws. My son's know how to pick 'em.
  • Rhyannon finished her master's program at NYU and has been unemployed for about 3 months now. She has diligently been looking for work every single day and has decided to apply for another masters program starting next fall. This program will probably suite her better...too bad she didn't find this one before.
  • Ally was unemployed for about a year, but now has a job at a movie theater. She is supposed to take the pharmacy tech certification exam and then she will have a better shot at getting hired at a hospital.
  • Rachel is well in to her Jr year. Over the summer we threw her a "sweet 16" party...let her go shopping, let her get her hair cut and highlighted and surprised with a swimming party at the Hansen's. Although it wasn't quite the turn out that we had hoped, I think she had a great time. Rachel decided to run cross country this summer/fall. This required her to be at school at 4:50am to run before zero hour. This took tons of dedication, but it's been just about the best thing she's ever done. Her dedication and discipline has totally paid off...we are so proud of her accomplishments...especially being named "runner of the year". We hope that this continues and helps her get some scholarships for college.
  • Jessica started the second grade. She continues to work hard in school. School will never come easy for her due to her disabilities, but she has a good attitude and loves her teachers and friends.
  • Last Sunday we were put in a newly created ward (Stone Crest). Today we are anxious to find out where everyone has been called. All we know right now is that neither me or Greg have been called to anything. This bothered me earlier this week, but not so much now. I've decided as long as I'm supporting family, I probably couldn't handle a leadership calling anyway. Greg, however, has the desire and time to serve and it's kind of bothered him that he hasn't been called. I'm thinking that we need to take this time and work on ourselves and unfinished projects around the house.
  • This Wednesday we are heading to Palm Springs to spend Thanksgiving with the Weiler family. They have graciously invited us each year to join them, but we've declined. Since it's close this year and on the way to other family in California we decided to go. Of course this makes me a nervous wreck. I know the most important thing is that Rachel and Jessica connect with their Weiler family, especially Jessica since she doesn't even know her Grandparents from her mother's side. I can't help but feel apprehensive about I will feel like I'm on display for judgment on what kind of mothering job I'm doing in place of their mother.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

unwelcomed business trip......

A few weeks ago while I was on a business trip in Santa Maria California (beautiful time of year to be there btw...) when I got a call from my manager telling me that the trainer that was on one of my sites was ill and having to go home. This meant that I was going to have to head out there to finish the work. Needless to say, I was not thrilled since this meant that I was going to be on the road for a 3rd week in a row. This practice was located in Webster New York which made matters worse because that meant 2 extra days just for travel.

The trip ended up being a blessing in disguise.

This practice is an urgent care facility with later hours than the normal physician's offices (11-11). It was decided that on that Friday (5.1.09)....rather than work with them before hours, I would not have to go in until noon. So Thursday night I Googled Palmyra and found out that it was only a little over 20 miles from where I was staying. So rather than sleep in that Friday...I got up early and started out on a mini "road trip". The drive was amazing. It had been raining, but fortunately for me it decided to stop that morning. Miles and miles of rolling green hills....acres upon acres of manicured lawns and tulips of every color popping up in every garden. It was all so clean and beautiful.

I realized as I was driving that I was alone and had no way to share this with anyone...I don't normally bring my camera on business trips. So I stopped at a little old gas station and purchased the one and only dusty disposable 35mm camera that they had.

I got to the Joseph Smith property and pulled over and got out to wander around. I took a deep cleansing breathe, scanned the scenery and tears started streaming down my face. I went in to the visitors center there to ask where I should roam and an older gentleman took me on a little 30 minute tour and this is what I saw....

This is me in front of the Joseph Smith Sr's home. I can't believe that that many people lived in that home...and it's two stories...can you believe it?

This is the road between the first house and the second house...a couple hundred yards. About half way in between we stopped to look to the left...a perfect view of the temple...popping right out of the trees. I would have driven back there that night to see it in lights, but I worked until 10:15pm

Then we went in to the second home. It's 85% original. It was about twice the size of the first, but still small in today's standards. It was so cool to see their "oven", their "pantree" walk and feel like I had gone through a time warp...
Then we walked across the way and saw the barn and the cooper's shed. The cooper's shed was where they built the barrels that store honey and root beer that they sold.

After going through the 4 little buildings...and after hearing about the events that took place...I was pointed in the direction of the grove and told that I could wander around as I wished.

I walked down and around and through the beautiful grove....just took in the beauty and peace that surrounded me. Tears had continually streamed down my face since I stepped out of the car. At first I was a bit bummed that I was there and had no one to share it with, but then decided that I was grateful that I was alone...alone in my own thoughts with nothing else to distract me. It was an overwhelming feeling of peace and joy as I contemplated the events that took place that have shaped so much of who I am.

I had also decided...since I had to go all the way to New York...and there are no direct flights from Phx to Rochester..I might as well find a layover on my return that went through JFK. So Saturday evening I flew out and Rhyannon met me at the airport. I got to spend 24 hours with my beautiful Rhyannon. And I mean beautiful...after some travel delays and the little hassles of trying to find each other in a huge airport...I finally saw her...she took my breath away...Rhyannon is so, so pretty!!

Rhyannon lives in Brooklyn in a nice residential area.

There's an outside entrance to the basement where she has 2 bdrms, kitchen and bath. It's spacious and clean and just right for her.

That night we went for a delicious Thai dinner...the next day as we were strolling through the park on our way home from a trip to a craft fair and an amazing lunch, we saw this squirrel just sitting there in a tree eating away. We stood there for a minute and it was totally unaffected by us until I shot this picture (squirrel is next to the far right tree...sitting on the line that holds the 3 trees together) didn't like the click of the camera I guess

I had a great time with my beautiful daughter...getting a little taste of her life and enjoying her company was so great. She is working hard and is happy and it shows...she glows!

I've been to New York a few times now and have had great experiences each time, but this trip left me with the feeling of great joy and gratitude for my many blessings!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

under construction...........

please excuse the mess while I figure out what I want.....(oh no...another know how long that may take!)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

So far behind....

I know, I know...I've procrastinated posting and I feel guilty every time I pull up someone else's blog and read all the updates. I have no real excuses except for the business of the season....

I promise, I promise...I'll get back to work soon...maybe when I return from Tennessee (yes, I'll be in Nashville all next week)........

Monday, December 8, 2008

(to steel miq's line)...THANKSANDGIVING....

I've been reading everyones Thanksgiving posts and thinking as I read each one that I really do need to take a few moments and reflect on those things that I'm grateful for. But I've had some personal struggles going on lately so I've avoided the task. Of course the turmoil in my little world is only exacerbated by the stresses of this time of year and there's been a couple days that I've even worried about my ability to cope (even thinking some crazy thoughts)...and then something happened that made me snap right out of my selfish mood.

I am grateful for:
  1. My health - I'm getting up in age and although my joints are sore and glasses are now permanently attached to my nose, I'm blessed with no major health problems.
  2. My kids - I love being a mom more than anything else in the world. It can be very painful, but oh so joyful.
  3. My husband - Who loves me no matter what and he treats me better than I ever imagined being treated.
  4. Grand daughters - Mia is such a blessing in our lives. I love being "nonna lisa"...and am looking forward to hearing those words out of our newest addition...little Talia.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

the birthday breather is over.....

September flew by and we slid right through to the end of October when the birthday bashes end with a bang! It starts on the 27th with Joel. 26 years ago, pregnant for the 3rd time in 3 years, I didn't know what I was having, but I was already very busy with two little boys. I wasn't due for a couple weeks, but I guess working overtime on chocolate donuts for the ward Halloween party got his curiosity and he wanted out. Michael was working construction at the time and although I hadn't really had any labor pains, something told me that I should get the phone number of the house he was working at that day (imagine no cell phones). A couple hours later I found myself in pain and called looking for Michael and he was no where to be found. I called my friend to drive me to the hospital and called another client that Michael had worked for and sent her driving around the neighborhood to look for Michael's truck. I got to San Dimas Community Hospital at about 9am and because the regular labor rooms were already occupied, I got stuck in a closet (literally rolled a bed in to a supply closet). Things were moving so fast that they had to give me a towel to sit on to pull on to keep me from pushing (TMI I know). Apparently Michael was located because he showed up just in time to witness his son being born @ 10:15.

Back then, they laid the babies on their stomachs and my baby (un named at the time) was active and kept lifting his head and moving it from side to side. So by the time we were leaving the hospital, he had a rug burned nose. Being our third son, we couldn't agree on a name. Michael wanted Domenic and I wanted Kellen...I knew we legally had 2 weeks to name him, but the nurses stood there in the room with the wheelchair and wouldn't let us go until we put down a we compromised on Joel Andre.

Shortly after we got home, my neighbor called to find out what we had and I remember being so hurt when she expressed disappointment that we had a boy. How could I be disappointed when I had just given birth to the most beautiful boy ever??? I've never forgotten that and have never felt any disappointment having 3 sons...they are all so talented, smart and bring me such joy...I love my boys!

Joel always did well in school...not just because he was book smart, but because he was "street" smart. He has a knack for figuring out what the teacher wants and delivering. He did exceptional in sports...he's a natural and had the drive and energy to carry him through college. I loved watching him and made every effort to see every event possible.

As those of you who know...Joel has had some major trials in the past couple years, but the same tenacity that brought him through school and sports has continued and carried him through these trials. It was him and his attitude that helped the rest of us through his challenges as well. I'm so very proud of his accomplishments and am grateful to him for his unconditional love and support through everything.

I love you Joel...we love you Joel...Happy Birthday and wishes for a successful year!

I found out I was pregnant with #5 on a fluke. I was temping at a Dr's office while a girl was out on maternity leave. My baby (Rhyannon) was only 6 months old and I had just quit nursing. I was so tired, but was sure that dragging 4 kids to the sitter, working a full day and then coming home and taking care of my family was the reason for my fatigue. One day for the heck of it, I had my blood drawn just to make sure I wasn't pregnant. I was truly shocked when it came back positive. I hadn't even told Michael that I was checking and when he got home from work that night and took one look at me...he knew why I was upset. I wasn't upset that I was pregnant...I LOVED being pregnant...just not right then...I wasn't ready just yet.

My first 4 kids had been born at San Dimas and for the heck of it, I decided to change things up and go to Foothill Pres instead. I was due the 3rd week of November, but on Halloween I started contracting. I had been contracting off and on since very early that morning, but it wasn't consistant. My visiting teachers had come to visit and talked me in to going to the about 4:30pm I headed over to Foothill. Ontie Melinda got there just in time and agreed to dress the kids up and take them trick or treating in our absence. The nurse checked me and I wasn't very far along...she called Dr. Nanni and she was instructed to give me an injection to relax me and send me home. I decided against the injection and instead opted to take a walk around the hospital. After about an hour of walking I headed back to the birthing center and asked to be checked again. Next thing I know...the nurses are running around the floor looking for a Dr. to catch my baby. Dr. Raidel happened to be there and he stepped with gloves in hand to play catch. I remember hearing Dr. Nanni yelling as he got there a while later...wondering what happened...he had sent me home.

Ally Melinda was born at 6:15 - right in the middle of trick or treating time. Having a birthday on this day has always been fun because even if there isn't a big celebration's still a party no matter where you are. Ally was a beautiful baby with dark hair and such a pretty face. I held her close to my chest for as long as I possibly could because I knew she would be the last baby that I would ever bare.

Ally was always "attached to my hip" as Michael would say. She did everything with me, went everywhere with me and would sit and brush my hair the minute I'd get home from work. Ally did well in school and always had lots of friends. Ally took piano at the age of 5 for a very short time, but to this day remembers what she learned. Ally has no fear...and would stand at attention when it was time for immunizations or would ask us to pull her tooth when it was the least bit loose. At the age of 9 I signed her up for AYSO soccer and from that time 'till she was a freshmen in high school we spent every weekend at the soccer field. She was so fun to watch. As she got older her coach discovered that she was a great goalie. She had great timing and had no fear protecting her goal..the only thing was...she hated the position. It got to the point she would stand back there and cross her arms.

As Ally got in to her teens...she started to pull away and became quite distant from not only me, but the rest of our family. I won't deny that this has been hard on me. I love all my children equally and for different reasons and for this reason I've spent many nights on my knees hoping and praying that she would open up to us. Although we have a ways to go, things have finally started to improve this year. We had her out for about 10 days this month and we had such a nice time. Ally is very good and patient with Rachel and Jessica...she was a pleasure to have around. I hope as time goes by that we can continue down this path and grow closer together because we love her and want her to be a part of everything we do.

We love you Ally...we wish you a happy birthday. This year will surely bring lots of changes for you and we want you to know that we are here to support you in anyway we can. I can't believe my baby is 23!!!

That's the end of the Rodriguez/Arnold clan birthday's for the year. I'm happy to say that we don't have any more until...well...March (because I'm not having birthdays any more until Greg catches up)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Nonna time....

For those who don't know already...since Gabe bore me my first grandchild, he was given the priviledge of naming me (with a few strict instructions). It came as no surprise to those of us who know Gabe and where he's lived, he deemed me Nonna (pronounced like Mona...the the Italian version of Grandma) I'm Nonna Lisa. I could live with that.

With Rosie working full time and Gabe getting as many hours as he can...I've had the privilege of spending the past couple Friday's with Mia. Well actually...I've reserved her the past couple Friday's. Week before last I got Mia bright and early, we got Rachel and Jessica off to school and Mia and I got packed up and headed down to Tucson. My cousin Marci lives in Tucson and our favorite Aunt Janet was visiting. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to spend the day there and show off my beautiful grand daughter.

We played out sided on the swing, climbed up the kids rock wall,

Lola was a bit scary to Mia, but she soon warmed up to her...
...ate hot dogs, mac n cheese and carrots for lunch....went swimming for a bit and got to know her great Aunt Janet (and how great she is) and Marci and her kids, Spencer, Jake, Kennedy, baby Emma (not pictured)...and their cousin Rachel. We watched Marci make the famous spud nuts (oven baked style) and she sent us home with a couple. We had such a nice time just relaxing, visiting and catching up...we hated to drive home. Mia was such a trooper that day...we drove 94 miles to Tucson, the 94 miles home and as soon as we got back to Queen Creek it was time to head to Sky Habor airport to pick up Papa (Greg)...that's another 36 miles there and back. It was a long day, but a really good day!!! Thank you Marci for letting us invade your life for the was great to see you and the kids and always great to see Aunt Janet. We can't wait for her next trip down...we're going to kidnap her for a couple days.

Day before yesterday Mia got to spend the day with us again. Our ward was having our annual chili cook off/trunk or treat activity and Mia wanted to come. So she came over early so "nonna" could alter her costume (it was a tad too big), we carved a pumpkin to decorate our trunk and baked the seeds because Mia's daddy likes them.

Later that afternoon we met Rosie at her OB appointment. Rosie invited us because she thought we might like to see baby Olivia. After waiting almost an hour and a half we finally got called in. It's been many years since I had my last US (23 years as a matter of fact) it was kind of exciting. The excitement died down a bit when we noticed the US tech was taking multiple measurements of the baby's stomach and other organs...I just knew there was some concern. When the US was done she sent the Dr in to talk to Gabe and Rosie to warn them that Rosie's amniotic fluid was low and that the baby was about 2 weeks behind in growth (probably due in part of that low fluid). Rosie was instructed to drink a gallon of water a day (in hopes that that helps) and to stay off her feet. She has to have weekly US's to monitor the fluid levels and the growth of the baby...and if it becomes an issue, they will have to take the baby early. The problem at this point is that Rosie is a dental assistant and getting the time off work is somewhat complicated (we found out that CA is the only state in the USA that has mandated disability benefits...which means Rosie can take the time off, but she doesn't get paid). So....the Dr said that at this point she can still work, but has to lie down on her breaks and is to only lay down at nights and the weekends. If things don't improve, she'll have to take leave from work.
This wasn't the news that we expected, but we will stick together and get through this.

We raced back to the house, got Mia dressed in her Snow White costume and headed to the church parking lot. An boy was that parking lot full. We had a great turn out and Mia had lots of fun. She ate chili, she rode the wagon ride (towed by a tractor)...

she stared and stared at the bouncy the bigger kids cleared out, I gave Mia the go ahead to climb in and just as she did...they all came back. I quickly rescued her, but she was a bit traumatized. Luckily that was soon forgotten as the trunk or treat started.
All in all I think Mia had a good time, we certainly had a good time with her.

It's taken me a while to understand the "how great it is to be a grandparent" thing, but I think I've been bitten. I sure love my Mia and am looking forward to getting to know Olivia.