Monday, February 17, 2014

Disneyland with Besties

The "inner circle" so named by my friend MaryAnn's son consists of me and four close friends.  I am a people person and have many wonderful people in my life who I consider my close friends.  These four are women I have traveled with over the course of thirty plus years.  With my last four kids out of the house serving missions, my friends have become even more important to me.  You might well ask, "aren't you married, Jane?"  Well, yes, I am....  Jerry, of course, is a very important person being my husband and all.  and I do relish time spent with just him in the quietness of our home.  He has even started accompanying me on my errands which is rather unusual for him.  However, he does not like to spend money and has been fairly vocal about his dislike for Disneyland, a favorite place of mine.

   For my 58th birthday, my friends and I decided we were going to make it to Disneyland before we were too old to hobble around.  MaryAnn was unable to come, but Dorma, Debbie, Lori and I were stoked on the idea.  I saved some Christmas money, (thanks, JoAnn--my generous mother-in-law) and we were able to get a good deal on a flight.  Dorma got us some cheap tickets to Disneyland with her military discount, and we were on our way!!
  We left on my birthday, and met up in California with Debbie, our friend from Moses Lake, Washington.  We immediately made our way to Disneyland where too much fun awaited us.  It really is a happy place to be, and we saw lots of young families and young couples.  I use the term "young" because it appeared to me that we were the oldest people in the park.  Obviously this was not the case, but it did seem that most people our age were accompanying their kids and grandkids.  Frankly, they looked a little tired.  We were re-energized, delighted to be together and in the "happiest place on earth".  We walked and walked, took in the sights, rode every ride to be ridden (maybe not such a good idea) and loved every minute of our adventure.  I will not soon be riding the Matterhorn again in this lifetime.  Lori claimed that you can't go to Disneyland and not ride the Matterhorn.  I knew it was a bad idea, but I gamely wedged myself in the seat, made sure my body was not going anywhere, and hung on for dear life. My body stayed put, but, alas, my head did not.   I heard people screaming in delight, and in my mind, I was screaming too although I  was being whipped around too hard for any sound to come from my mouth. Lori, who was in the car behind me,  claimed my head bobbled exactly like those bobble-heads you used to see  in the back of people's cars. My brain felt fuzzy for an hour afterward.  A root canal with no anesthia would have been more fun.

  It rained a bit, and we were fine with it because California needed it so badly.  We were not going to let a little precipitation ruin our good time.   It was a little nippy, so we all purchased four warm, red sweatshirts with large letters labeling us BEACH PATROL.  This made it very easy to pick each other out in a crowd and also helped everyone in Disneyland to spot us from a distance.  We were in such a congenial mood that we didn't mind when we got some odd questions from people.  Generally, they wanted to know if we were in a club or something.  One lady asked if we were were lifeguards!  "Yup, we are senior citizens who like to hang out on beaches waiting to save people"....  One old guy who brandished a nice cane would wave it high in the air when he saw us, shouting "Save me, Girls!!"

The rain politely waited until we were inside the attractions and then misted gently when we were out and walking.  The next day the sun was out again, and we watched parades , shows and fireworks.  It was a grand way to spend my birthday and one I shall not soon forget.  We decided we were up for a little more entertainment and decided to make a visit to Universal Studios on Saturday.  We were all quite proud that we held up so well in spite of all the walking (and my bad knees) and commended each other on a great vacation and a great time had by all!

   We told ourselves we were in fine shape for our ages but decided our minds were going when  we arrived at the Salt Lake Airport with no memory of where we had parked the car.  It was soon apparent that none of us remembered much of anything after  boarding the shuttle.  We vaguely remember the shuttle driver telling us to take note, but we apparently paid her no mind.   I tried to convince the others that our car was in a section with a  rhyming alphabet and number such as B3, but it was not the case. I am not sure where that came from--Maybe the last few years of teaching letters, numbers  and rhyming words?   We casually disembarked the shuttle thinking that we could transverse the general area (which was huge) in the dark and cold and surely come across the car amidst hundreds of vehicles.  After ten minutes of futile searching we sheepishly made our way to one of the stations and called the emergency number.  Cody and his truck showed up , lights flashing where he tried to tell us that "this happens often".  He threw our suitcases in the back of his vehicle and we climbed in to go  looking for Lori's Ford Escort.  We re-traced the route we took and found it without too many minutes passing.  Cody was all smiles, and so patient as he led the way to the exit.  We were snickering just a bit over the occurence and grateful that we were on our way home.  Dorma tried to give the attendant a megaplex show ticket  when asked for the parking ticket, and we became quite hysterical with laughter.  She never did find it, and as we looked old and tired; the man behind the glass was filled with either compassion or exasperation.   He told us the approximate  fee for five days, and we soon were on the way home.  A fitting end to a great time with friends.  Life is so much better when you can find things to laugh about, and with this group of friends, there is always plenty of material!

My 58th birthday--I think I have a picture of my great grandmother looking pensive like this.

Disneyland, here we come!!

me, Lori , Debbie, and Dorma
Rain Rain  go away, we girls want to play!
The Tower of Terror was more fun than I thought!
Ready to come home?  Not!!
Universal Studios

Dorma making "the call"

Cody, the kind  rescuer of forgetful "older" women
Fireworks are always thrilling if you're young at heart

Sunday, February 2, 2014

His weight made me think of mine.....

Last week I got a picture from Matthew sitting with his companion.  He did not look like the same boy I sent on a mission almost a year ago.  He looked different.  About thirty pounds different!  He has said in recent e-mails that he has been biking and becoming very "buff".  I believe that if he stays "buff" , people will finally be able to see the difference between my identical twin boys!  They have always looked a little different to the immediate family.  When they were born, however, I actually did paint Mark's fingernails so that for the first month or so I would not make a mistake.  Soon their personalities emerged and we were able to clearly see there were differences.  For most of their almost twenty years,  they have been the same height and weight.....the picture I saw refuted this.

Elder Taylor and Elder Cuestas

 I am certainly not bothered by the fact that Matthew has put on a little weight.  I hear wonderful things about him from his mission president and wife, and I am much more concerned about his work ethic and his spiritual development.  I just know it has made me think about the weight that I have put on a since the boys' births and wonder now if I have changed in other positive ways.

I remember being sooo pregnant with them the Christmas of 1993, about six weeks before their birth.  I just wanted my pre-pregnant body back.  I requested a bike for Christmas.  I was going to ride up and down the streets of Washington Terrace with my new postpartum body and take back my former self.  Little did I know that I would spend the next few years in survival mode and that included ingesting a whole lot of chocolate.


The weight has come and gone, but mostly stayed, and now it is not just about looking a certain way.  My 58th birthday is Wednesday, and my knees are pretty bad.  I need to concentrate on eating healthy, and strive just a little harder (okay ..a lot harder) to get in some exercise, portion control and to develop self mastery over a whole lot of things.

This mission was to be not only an self improvement  experience for my kids, but also for their mother.  I wanted to better myself, and so far, have not done much in any one area.  I find myself still struggling to just work, and get through each day with a positive attitude.  I am thankful for my many blessings,  and want to feel gratitude instead of weariness.  By the way, that bike never did get used much, and sadly went the way of most of our other exercise equipment.

I am going to start small, and cut out sugar from my diet!  Yikes!!!  That does sound drastic, but I think it is necessary.  I am sadly addicted to having a little something every day,  and it doesn't help that I have a box of treats under my couch for the piano students.

The boys are turning 20 on February 6th, and I can scarcely believe it!



                                HAPPY BIRTHDAY BOYS!!!!!  WE LOVE YOU!!!!