It's a good football weekend. The Plymouth Wildcats are playing in the Michigan high school state championship game at Ford Field on Saturday. Chris and the kids are going and are looking forward to whooping Lake Orion. Go 'cats!
Michigan State is playing Penn State at Penn State. I'm hoping for another Spartan win.
Wisconsin is playing Northwestern. I know it's a long shot, but I'm hoping for Wisconsin to fall.
The most exciting game this weekend will be Ohio State v. Michigan. The are playing at the Horseshoe in Columbus.
I am feeling terribly conflicted.
I hate Michigan.
But I haven't always felt that way. I once was a Michigan fan. I used to wear the Maize and Blue. I learned the fight song on the piano, recorder, clarinet, bass clarinet and electric saxophone. I went to a OSU/UM game wearing the Maize and Blue with OSU fans sitting in the OSU section cheering for UofM. I almost was killed. I was die hard.
And then I visited a little place on the Red Cedar River. A place that bleeds green and white. A place I call home. A place that sets couches on fire when they lose games. Or win them. Aaahhhhh yes...Spartan Country.
There's nothing like Michigan State. I love it. I love every inch of it. I hope all my kids go there. I wish I had a diploma from there. I'm looking at Chris' on the wall right now and pretending it's mine.
So growing up I hated OSU with a passion. I hated them. And now, I continue to dislike them alot. However, my son Calvin, loves them. He chose to be their fan because he was born in Ohio and he feels he shares a connection with them. He is also a lot like me and my dad and has to pick something to like to be different from the pack. We are all State fans--bun us--he's going to like OSU. My dad, while he also loathed OSU, would have secretly loved Calvin's affinity for them. Me too.
So I've been rooting with Calvin for OSU this season. Luckily, they didn't play State this season. Next year we will crush them.
But now they are playing U of M. Under normal circumstances, I root for everyone who plays Michigan. But if OSU falls and Wisconsin falls and State wins then we will be better positioned for a bowl game.
Can you see my dilemma? Will my hatred for U of M win out over my love for State? I don't know the answer yet. Right now I'm saying "Go State!" And "Go Bucks?"
I love a good donut. Always have. I really like a lemon filled with the powdered sugar outside.
But KrispyKreme...those are good donuts. I remember the first time I ate one. We went to South Carolina on vacation with Chris' family. All the way down, Jeff and Jamie were talking about KrispyKreme donuts and how wonderful they were. I kept thinking..."It's a donut. Get over it."
And then I ate one.
Have you had a fresh, warm KrispyKreme donut?
It is aurora borealis in your mouth.
I ate a lot of donuts that week. It seems like there's a KrispyKreme on every corner in Myrtle Beach. And they flash that "Hot Donuts Now" sign. It's like the batman symbol for fatties.
Imagine my delight when they built a KrispyKreme store in Toledo just minutes from my home. The line was out the door on Saturday morning. That place was always busy.
And then it vanished. Now I can only get KrispyKremes from the corner gas station and they aren't hot and they aren't aurora borealis in my mouth. Where did all the stores go?
Calvin's football coach wrote and article about him and another boy on his team that don't play in Sunday games. Here's a copy for all to enjoy. It's the article on the far right, titled "Dedication and Commitment." I am so proud of him.
On Tuesday, I ran some errands with my mother in law. I took her clothes into the dry cleaner for her. I had to give her phone number so the dry cleaner could look up the account and after he found it he said, "Hi, Carol." I said hi back without correcting the name.
I immediately remembered going to the dry cleaner for my dad when I was young.
We had to go the the cleaners every Saturday. We drove 6.22 miles every Saturday morning to my dad's favorite cleaners, Adams Laundry and Cleaners. There was a perfectly good One Hour Martinizing about 5 blocks from my house and why we never used it, I'll never know.
I always put the laundry under my dad's name, Blair Ballard. Pretty soon, one of the guys that worked there started calling me "Blair." He thought I was Blair Ballard. I could have been. Blair is a gender neutral name. And I was too embarrassed and silly to correct him. So I was Blair Ballard to the Adams Laundry and Cleaners for several years.
One time, one of my dad's friends went to pick up my dad's laundry. He gave the name "Blair Ballard" and the guy working there wanted to know how SHE was doing. My dad's friend blew my cover and told him that I was Blair's daughter named, Jennifer. The next time I went to the cleaners and every time after, the guy always said (with great enthusiasm), "Hi, JENNIFER!" Made me feel so stupid.
I wonder how long it will take OK-Cleaners to figure out that I'm Jennifer and not Carol.
"Wherefore, be faithful; stand in the office which I have appointed unto you; succor the weak, lift up the hands which hangdown, and strengthen the feeble knees."
My hands hang down and I am ashamed.
They hang down because I can't seem to do everything perfectly and I get discouraged.
They hang down because I set goals for myself that I don't attain and I get discouraged.
They hang down because I am bombarded with messages all the time that I'm not good and I get discouraged.
You're too fat. You're late. You're messy. You're disorganized. You slept too late. Your dinner isn't healthy. You went to bed too late. Your sheets are dirty. Your laundry isn't put away. Your hair is ugly and needs to be cut. Your house is ugly and has too many cut-out hearts. You have shoes by the front door and someone is tracking in leaves. It smells weird in here. The baseboards are dirty. Someone wrote in crayon on the door...wall...bed. Your dog is bad. Your kids are loud. And disobedient. And unappreciative. Your Family Home Evening is not focusing on the talks from General Conference. Your scripture study was not meaningful. You are not trying hard enough. You need to be a better example. You need to invite a friend. You need to watch what you say. I want to watch a show. Put on a show for me! I want to eat McDonalds. Get McDonald's for me! Get me a treat! I forgot my money, parka, shoes, books, project, food, card...stop what you are doing and bring it to me right now. That area we just cleaned is messy again because you didn't keep it from getting messy. There is no room in here. The baby is crying. Feed the baby! Family Home Evening didn't happen this week. I'm not going to have it ready for you. You can't have the one you want. Your mom is dead. There's too many car seats in this car. I don't know where it is. I can't find it. Your account is overdrawn. He hit me, kicked me, yelled at me. I'm not going to do that. Your lawn needs to be mowed. Your garden was a miserable failure. You're not attractive. Stop texting! Your son can't read. Your daughter has a messy face. And her nails aren't trimmed. And her shoes are one size too big. Where's your coat? You are a bad driver. If you forget the take the pill, you WILL get pregnant again. Your books are overdue. That cupcake has a lot of unnecessary calories. I drank your last coke. You have HOW MANY children? You're done now, right? We always, always, always use a hot pad.
Every word I hear is like a brick being thrown on my shoulders. I picture my hands flopping on the ground. Hanging as low as they can go.
I don't want any help.
I don't even want anyone to lift them up.
Isn't that weird? Because if someone helps and lifts them up that makes me feel worse. Then I feel even more worthless. It confirms my inability to take care of myself and my family. Yet I probably need someone to lift them.
Satan has really figured out how to get me. Just plant a seed of doubt about my abilities in my brain and I'm cooked. I focus on that doubt for days, weeks, months. I get down and discouraged. I flounder around doing not much of anything worth anything. I can't figure out why I can't hear the good stuff. I must be doing some good stuff. Why are the negative messages so much louder than the positive?
I don't need my hands lifted up. I need a kick in the butt.
My visiting teachers visited and kicked me in the butt reminded me to refocus my priorities. I have been thinking about this a lot lately. Elder Uchtdorf's talk from General Conference has been knocking around in my brain for two weeks. At first I got mad at his talk.
Imagine telling me to cut back! What the heck can I cut back??? In order to cut back, I'd have to get rid of a child.
But then as I've been thinking about it...I don't really need to cut back. I need to do more. I need to do more of the big rocks. The essentials of life that will get me back to Heavenly Father and help me lift up my hands.
I need more temple worship.
I need more meaningful prayer.
I need more feasting on the word and less nibbling.
I need to put these big rocks in every day. Then maybe as the stresses of life hit, I'll be better prepared to handle them.
I heard a really great talk last night about this very thing. Heavenly Father seems to be telling me that life is a process. A continual process that probably isn't going to end for a really long time and so suck it up and do a little better each day and it's going to be ok.
So what should I do now?
I'm going I've decided to make a list of everything I need to do and figure out each thing's priority in my life.
That's my first step. I'm going to take this one step at a time. I'll keep you posted on my progress.