Thursday, September 27, 2007

phone gab and kisses...

I wanted to post this video clip of Ruby talking on the phone - first to her daddy, and then to her Grandma Judy. She absolutely loves phones (or anything that resembles a remotes, calculators, etc); and the highlight of each day, has got to be when I allow her a few moments to hold the phone herself. Even if there's no one on the other end, she still has plenty to talk about. She always begins by holding the phone up to her ear and saying "Hi, Duey?" I have no idea what Duey means, unless she's trying to say "Judy", for Grandma Judy, of course! Notice how in each clip she kisses the phone. It's her way of saying I Love you!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

looking so grown up...

I sat back for a moment or two and observed from a distance as my Ruby played. Busy, and running, and exploring, and discovering new things. Excited about the grass, and the leaves, and the blue bag that she carried in her hands. As I contemplated, I couldn't help but feel a tinge of sadness for the yesterday's gone. For the days of swaddling, and nursing, and rocking, and holding for hours and hours on end...Her soft new baby skin, and her bright new eyes - seeing the world for the very first time.
But she's still a baby, one might argue. To which I'd reply - Yeah, just an independent, active, inquisitive, busy, and much more grown

Monday, September 24, 2007

a few of the reasons why

...I Love working out:

  1. I feel happier
  2. I have more energy
  3. I look better (So maybe I don't look like the women in these images, but there's nothing telling me I can't.)
  4. I'm more productive
  5. I eat healthier
  6. I wake up earlier
  7. I have more confidence
  8. My days are more structured
  9. I can release my frustrations in a positive way
  10. I have the best workout partner

Sadly, our trip to Utah this summer, caused quite a hiatus in our workout routine; and unfortunately it has taken us a couple of months to recover. But we're back. Back to the daily grind. It's been 9 days now, and although I don't enjoy all the listed benefits -as of yet, I know that (in time), I will. (Today I'll just be grateful that I was showered and ready for the day by 9:30 am!) They say it takes 21 days to form a habit? Well John, it looks like we're almost half way there!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

"no! no! no!"...

she adamantly protests, as I attempt to hand-feed her, small, apportioned amounts of food. My little Ruby has reached the stage of Independence. She refuses to eat, even her favorite things, if anyone else tries to feed them to her!

Okay little missy, if you must have it your way...

After she finished her banana, she started on the peel...

Drinking her sippy - with 3 pacifiers in hand...

Eating her corn - from the end of the cob...

Her attempt at holding a fork...

and finally, eating her apple...core and all!

Friday, September 21, 2007

just the two of us...

The past few weeks, John has been studying for his securities license tests, required by his company. So although he's here, he's not really here. I think if we were still "childless", I would be going out of my mind (and probably complaining a lot). But such is not the case, for now I have my little Ruby girl to keep me smiling...and sane.

Ruby misses her Daddy too!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

my heart is full...

I guess one of the biggest, scariest things about moving away from my family and all the comforts of home, was the idea of having to start all over again. Trying something new has never been easy for me. Whether it was advancing on to the next grade in school, or a first date, or starting a new job, or figuring out how I was going to keep on living as mom struggled with her final breaths of life. I just don't do well with change. Never have. So, needless to say, I was a little nervous about making the move to Arizona. Nervous for a new neighborhood, nervous for a new ward. Well, pretty much nervous about everything.
All I can say is that I'm grateful to a loving Heavenly Father who sent me such wonderful and beautiful friends. Truly I feel so richly blessed to know, and associate with, so many outstanding individuals.

This goes out to all of my Arizona friends. Thank you for the play dates, and the lunch groups, and the birthday celebrations. Thank you for the pool excursions, and the gym outings, and the morning walks, and the shopping trips. Thank you for giving me more reasons to be happy, and to smile, and to laugh, and to enjoy life. Thank you for loving me and supporting me through some of life's challenges. Thank you to all of you, for making this "change" -- an easy, enjoyable one. Truly my heart is full...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

what happened to the time?

John and I figured it out last night. It was exactly a year ago (to the very day, in fact), that we left Utah (John in the rented Penske - Ruby and I enjoying the advantages of air travel); and landed here...Mesa, Arizona. It's seems so crazy to us both that it's really been a year. A whole year. 365 days. What happened to the time? Where did it go?
When I was in grade school, a year seemed like an eternity. My and John's two year courtship, felt twice that long. Then of course, the nine months I carried Ruby, actually felt like three years. But, I've been married three years, and yet it seems like it couldn't have been more than 9 months. Could I really have completed high school in the same amount of time that I've been married to John? And has Ruby really been outside my body for more time than she was in?
The older I get, the faster my life seems to speed on by; and I often feel defeated by time. Cheated - because there are hardly enough hours in the day to accomplish everything I need (or want) to do. Yet there are still those days or moments when I feel like I have too much time on my hands. I don't ever find myself saying "Wow! Where has the time gone"? I'm sitting in the waiting room at the doctor's office. Or during an intense cardio workout (that in reality, is only 20 minutes). Or when I'm waiting for John to get home from work. Or when we're in the emergency room with our sick little Ruby...For in the midst of these moments, I catch myself watching intently and waiting anxiously, as the minute hand assumes it's next position on the clock.

Alas time, truly an unfathomable essence...

Monday, September 17, 2007


It's been that many years since my brother Matt was born; and what a joy these 27 years have been. So many memories - countless laughs, a few cries, lots and lots of fun, hearts full of love...
Well anyway, a tribute to you, my brother...Happy, Happy Birthday!!!

Just the two of us at the Alanis Morissette concert during the 2002 winter olympic games. Remember all that spinning?

Some Childhood Tidbits:

  • Forceps were required to assist in his delivery, leaving little baby Matthew with quite a cone shaped dome. Our parents had a hard time taking him out in public without a hat for the first few months of his life...until the cone disappeared that is.
  • He was probably at least a couple of years old before he got his first real haircut. He had the most adorable blond curls. He had a beautiful face too, and people were always mistaking him for a little girl. (I think that's when mom finally decided it was time for a cut.)
  • As a very small child, he discovered his love (borderline obsession) for knives. No matter where they were hidden, he always seemed to unearth them; and despite my parents endless demurring, it was not uncommon to find one of these within the grasp of his chubby little fingers. I still remember the day my mom burst into sobs after walking into the living room to find Matt, butter knife in hand, busily (and happily) sawing a crevasse into the wood of her cherished piano.
  • The whole knife craze came to a screeching halt the day Matt discovered stuffed animals. He had a whole army of stuffed friends that accompanied him everywhere he went. My favorite part about the whole thing, is that they were all named after him. Let's see...there was Matthew the dog, Matthew the bear, Matthew the sheep, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
  • He was a very friendly little boy. At the age of three, he developed quite a friendship with Michael, a fellow three year old who lived a street over from us. One morning upon waking, Matt decided - all on his own, that he wanted to go out and play. He arose from his bed, slipped out the front door, and (without telling a soul), began his jaunt over to Mike's house. A short while later my mom awoke to the resonant clangor of the telephone. It was Michael's mom, advising her the whereabouts of her little Matt...for it was 5 am!
  • Matt is also notorious for rambling in his sleep. One time he had fallen asleep during one of our family movie nights. Suddenly, and very randomly, he shot up, pronounced "I'm Junion!", then his head reconnected with the pillow, and he was out, just like that! "Who in the world is Junion?"... we all wondered as we laughed hysterically.
  • He also slept through his very first concert. Our parents took us to see The Beach Boys, and I'm guessing Matt was around 6 or 7.
  • In grade school, he loved studying American History, and was especially fascinated with the Civil War.

    A few of his favorite things:
  • The Big H Combo from Hires
  • Chuck Taylor Hi Tops
  • Peanut Butter
  • Meatloaf (and his specialty seasoned Meat Balls)
  • His Barnes & Noble classic book collection
  • BYU bookstore fudge
  • Apple Beer
  • Simon and Jaime

    Evidences of his love and compassion for others:

  • Decided to start training for a 1/2 marathon (less than two weeks before race day), so that our sister Rachel wouldn't have to go it alone (as those who had previously committed to run it with her, had backed out for one reason or another).

  • In a two month period, read the first six books of the Harry Potter series, and was able (as he had hoped) to finish just prior to the release of the 7th book. He did this to share in our little sister, Erica's, love and passion for the tale of Harry Potter, and to be able to engage in some exciting discussions with her while they simultaneously read the final book of the series.
  • Slept in my dad's room with him after the passing of our mom - so the nights wouldn't feel so dark, lonely, and disconsolate.
  • Literally spent hours and hours of his time (over a two week span) sitting in my hospital room during and after my pregnancy with Isaac. He brought me some good books to read and some delicious fudge to eat.

    Uncle Matt, holding Isaac

  • Was moved with compassion upon learning (from our sister, Kim, who was a hostess at the time) of a waiter at Mimi's Cafe who had just been stiffed by one of his tables. At the same time, this man had a premature baby that had been in the NICU for the past two months. Matt had never personally met him, but after hearing his story, anonymously left him a very generous "tip".
  • Recently surprised his wife with tickets to a Keith Urban concert. Matt pretty much detests country music. (Now that, my friends, is love.)

    A few of the myriad reasons, I'm proud to call him my brother:
  • Midway through his mission, he was involved in a serious accident, requiring him to come home for hip surgery. I was told (I was still serving at the time), that every day during his recovery, he dressed in his missionary attire, even down to the little black plaque. Because he had not been released, it was important for him to continue to look and act like a missionary...even when a pair of sweats would have been perfectly acceptable, and much more comfortable.
  • He's one of the most intellectual people I have ever known. He made a commitment when he started high school, that he would never do homework on Sunday - and he never did. He graduated with all A's (one A-), and was the Salutatorian of his class. Also, He just recently returned from studying at the Hebrew University in Israel.
  • He has a rock solid testimony which stems from his early childhood. As a small child he demonstrated his ability to comprehend deep subjects, such as the atoning suffering and sacrifice of our Savior. He's always had a profound love for Christ and His Gospel.
  • He is a very well rounded individual. I can't forget to mention that he's funny. He has the best sense of humor, and is happy to be alive. There is just something very unique, special, and different about Matt. I can't quite put my finger on it, but those who really know him, know exactly what I'm talking about.

  • And finally...
    Something that I will hold near and dear to my heart, all the days of my life. A wedding gift to me. A beautiful song depicting our childhood story, written and recorded by my two dearest brothers. Every time I hear it - beautiful, yet heart wrenching, feelings of nostalgia, envelope my entire being. Go ahead, take a listen!

    Here we are in the MTC together. We received our calls the same day and both were sent to South America (Spanish speaking)...he to the Venezuela, Maracaibo mission, and I to the Argentina, Buenos Aires South mission. We had a joint farewell and open house, entered the
    MTC the same day, and even purchased matching missionary glasses!

    Matt, I love you, and hope you have a splendid Birthday!

    Thursday, September 13, 2007

    the land of 10,000 lakes...

    That's where my beautiful sister, Rachel, will be spending the next 18 months of her life, as a personal representative of our Saior, Jesus Christ. That's right, beautiful Minneapolis, Minnesota! I couldn't be more proud of her for the choices she has made up to this point in her life. She has just what it takes to be an effective instrument in the hands of the Lord in preaching His gospel, and building His kingdom. I envy her.

    Monday, September 10, 2007

    to be a Savior on Mount Zion...

    The Barboza Family- Juan, Sandra, Dafne, Me, Sol, Yael
    Mar de Ajo

    Mar de Ajo

    Cata, Me, Juan, and Hermana Bingham
    Mar de Ajo

    Me and Hermana Belliston with some investigators

    Me and Hermana Bingham, caught in a rain storm

    I am called of God. My authority is above that of the kings of the earth. By revelation I have been selected as a personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my Master and He has chosen me to represent Him. To stand in His place, to say and do what He himself would say and do if He personally were ministering to the very people to whom He has sent me. My voice is His voice, and my acts are His acts; my words are His words and my doctrine is His doctrine. My commission is to do what He wants done. To say what He wants said. To be a living modern witness in word and deed of the divinity of His great and marvelous latter-day work. How Great Is My Calling!
    -Bruce R. McConkie

    Everyday. Everyday while serving as a full-time representative of the Lord, I would recite this commission. What an honor and privilege it was to have received my call by revelation. To stand in the place of the Savior. To engage in His work. To speak His words. To emulate His light. To testify of His divinity...
    My soul has often longed for the return of my days as a missionary. To once again have the constant companionship of the Spirit. To not fear man, but to only fear my God. I long for the knowledge I had as a missionary, and for my words to once again flow with eloquence from my tongue. To just be able to love like that again. To love with a pure, genuine, Christlike love; and not just to feel that love for those with whom I share a special kinship - for those of my own blood, but for all mankind - every human soul. I will never forget the profoundly tender feelings of affection I felt towards the people whom I served. The righteous, as well as the sinner. The rich and the poor. The educated and the unlearned. The kind hearted and the thoughtless. I loved them all...and my love for them was so much that I couldn't bear the thought of even one of them being lost, being left behind. I was empathetic toward the missionary sons of Mosiah, for even the very thought that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble.
    Oh to once again be filled with that same compassion...with that same charity.

    This weekend was stake conference. I love the conferences of the church. I love listening, and learning, and taking notes, and basking in the warmth of the Holy Spirit. What would the Lord have me Learn? What is he trying to teach me? I ask myself. What changes do I need to make in my life that would please my Heavenly Father? All very personal questions, yes. I will therefore, abstain from sharing the specifics of the impressions I received in response to my inquiries. This I will say though, and no, it's nothing new. Nothing I nor you haven't heard before. Just something that struck me differently this time. Something that I now see in a new light. As a baptized member of Christ's church, I can, and actually have the responsibility of being a missionary, without being a missionary (called and set apart). I can still set an example for the rest of the world. I can still emulate His light. Say what He would say. Do what He would do. Nothing is stopping me from testifying of His divinity. The Lord is not denying me of his spirit. It is ABSOLUTELY something I can, and should feel on a daily basis. That love I spoke of. That genuinely tender, perfectly flawless, Christlike ABSOLUTELY something I can and should be feeling toward all humankind. You don't have to be a full time missionary to be a light unto the world, a Savior on Mount just have to be worthy of His spirit. For that is when the bounds of love are lifted. That is when our hearts and minds are filled to overflowing with knowledge and understanding, the words begin to flow, the light begins to shine forth, and the good news of the gospel is shouted from the rooftops! So there it is. My so called epiphany...

    Thursday, September 6, 2007

    an unrelenting ailment...

    The past three days have been spent holding my little one close to me, stroking her cheek, patting her hair, offering any type of relief that my feeble mind could conjure up. Tuesday morning, as I retrieved her from her bed, I could detect in her mere emotionless expression, that things weren't right. Her body was hot. She refused even a taste of her rice cereal, a morning ritual, and one of her favorites. After we got John off to work, I took her back to bed with me and ran my fingers through her silken hair as her listless body lay next to mine. I checked her temperature. 102. I continued to caress her little body, wishing if only her words could communicate to me the derivation of her discomfort, of her pain. She became restless, anxious, irritable, whiny. I knew from her gestures that she was on the brink of...on the verge of...please don't tell me...oh no...vomiting! Those who know me well, know that I do not handle this kind of thing very favorably (it doesn't matter whose child it is). I have a weak stomach (inherited from my mother), therefore one could only imagine the trouble it gave me cleaning up such a compound. After stripping the bed, throwing everything in the washing machine (including our clothing, which was saturated), dousing the rest of the house in Lysol, and giving myself and my little Ruby a thorough scrub down, I had to reward myself with a pat on the back. For I had accomplished the unfathomable. The impossible. And I had done it all - by - myself.
    This daunting series haunted me as I repeated the steps several times throughout the day, and into the next. Each time I cried as this unruly urge came over my daughter's helpless little body. I cried because she cried. I cried because I knew that she didn't understand what was happening to her and why. We were troubled because she wouldn't hold down any liquids, and after a while, refused even to sip anything at all. After making an after hour phone call to Ruby's doctor, we were told to take her to the emergency room. She hadn't had anything to drink in over 24 hours, and had only one or two wet diapers in the same amount of time. We feared that unless we could get some fluids in her, she would become dehydrated.
    After four, long, wearisome hours at the pediatric unit of the Banner Desert hospital, it was determined that among other things, Ruby had an ear infection. Some drops were administered to numb the pain in her ear, as well as a portion of a Zofran tablet to control her nausea. Within a half hour, she was calmed enough to drink a few ounces of Gatorade. We were relived immediately, as the need for an IV seemed no longer apparent.
    Today, she has made remarkable improvement, but is still exhibiting signs of pain and discomfort. We have her on an antibiotic for the infection, drops to momentarily dull the pain locally, and the Zofran, which will ease her upset stomach. I enjoyed more fully the time I spent with her today. Holding her in my arms. Patting her back. Stroking her hair. I enjoyed it simply because my soul wasn't troubled with worrisome thoughts. I was at ease knowing that my baby was going to be just fine. I had to enjoy the moment, knowing that before too long, she would no longer find contentment lying peacefully, and still in my arms....but rather, will be twisting, writhing, and squirming her way out of them...

    Monday, September 3, 2007

    little Ricky...

    It's hard to imagine that my little sister, Erica is really 15! I was 15, and a sophomore in high school, the day she was born. I hate to admit this now, but I can remember feeling that I'd probably never get to know her very well, that we most likely wouldn't be all that close, simply because of the age gap existing between us. Boy, was I way off. And I'm so glad that I was. Erica has been the perfect addition to our little clan. The missing puzzle piece. She has been a joy and a delight to all of us, and I consider her one of my best friends. So near and dear to my heart.

    Erica, I still can't believe that you're 15...I remember, like it was yesterday, the day that dad and I walked you to your first day of kindergarten - could that really have been 9 years ago?
    Sure wish I could put a freeze on time for a while.
    So anyway, here are 15 things about my little Ricky - on this, her 15th birthday...

    1. Her middle name is Virginia, after her grandmother who had passed away the year before she was born. When she was little, she would introduce herself as "Erica Ginia Pitts".

    2. She was just five years old when we lost our mom to breast cancer. I remember feeling angry because when the rest of us were crying and mourning our loss, Erica was doing headstands on the couch. I had to remind myself that she was only five, and probably didn't understand that our mom wasn't coming back any time soon. When my dad explained to her that we'd see our mom after we were all resurrected, she replied "Can we be resurrected tomorrow?"

    3. Her letters to me as a missionary, were so cute. She would fill up an entire page with something like this: Dear Nic, I love you soooooooo sooooooooooo soooooooo soooooooo soooooo much! I miss you sooooooo sooooooo soooooo sooooo soooooo soooooo much! Love, Erica
    I saved all my missionary letters, and every single one from her, was the same. I love those letters.

    4. She is so funny. One time she told my sister Angie, that she had seen a just seen a magazine at the grocery store with a picture of "OPRAH...FAT...and...NAKED!" on the cover. "NAKED?" Angie challenged. "Well, not naked...but FAT!" was Erica's reply.

    5. She has a beautiful singing voice. She once demonstrated for me, the song she had sung to try out for her school's idols' contest. It was Pearl Jam's Last Kiss. She literally sounded like an angel.

    6. She once asked my dad if she could have a section of the unused garden to grow some zucchini. She proved to be a great little gardener, her zucchini was delicious!

    7. She's taller than her four (older) sisters, and is very, very beautiful.

    8. She is very sensitive towards the feelings of others. Last Halloween, she and her friends had planned to go out trick-or-treating together. Erica had learned of a boy in one of her classes that hadn't been invited by anyone to go out, and truthfully, didn't have very many friends. Erica took it upon herself to invite this boy, who otherwise would have been sitting home by himself that night. When her friends learned what she had done, they said "No way! If you want to come with us, you'll have to un-invite him"! Erica chose to let her friends go on without her, and ended up taking this class mate along with her and her older sister Angie, so that he wouldn't be alone on Halloween.

    9. Speaking of Halloween - Erica comes up with the best Halloween costumes, which of course, are all handmade. Over the past few years she's been a washing machine, a piece of pizza, a pop tart, and a joker card.

    10. Erica is not afraid to do anything. A couple of years ago, we were playing a game, and had predetermined that the loser would have to fulfill a dare which the rest of the group would arrange. I think secretly, we were all hoping that Erica would lose. Well she did, and we made her wear her pizza costume, with a giant sombrero, and a pair of Harry Potter glasses, into a gas station, all by herself. We had given her five dollars in change, and dared her to go inside and get five dollars worth of stuff, go to the counter to pay for it, and then come back to the car where we'd all be waiting for her. Now if that were me, I'd probably have picked up one or two items equalling 5 dollars, and gotten out of there as fast as I could. I mean, this was in the middle of summer, at a very crowded gas station! Erica, however, wasn't about to act too hastily. She had been given 5 dollars, and would meticulously spend the next 5 or 10 minutes, picking out precisely her very favorite treats.

    11. Erica loves the Harry Potter books. For the releasing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, she dressed up as Moaning Myrtle, and had several strangers asking if they could have their picture taken with her...her costume was that good.

    12. She is a very creative thinker, and has come up with some of the most original ideas for entertainment.

    13. She loves to clean and organize things, and is a very hard worker. She's also a great cook, and will make anything for anyone.

    14. She became an aunt when Ruby was born, and is the cutest little auntie ever!

    15. She loves the Lord and his Gospel. She is not afraid to share her love of spiritual things with friends of different faiths. She is a wonderful missionary. I know that she has a desire one day to be a full time missionary; and I have no doubt that she'll be an extraordinary instrument in the hands of the Lord...

    Happy, Happy Birthday, my sweet sister, Erica! Oh how I love you!