Find-A-Friend Friday: Meet Melody

This week it is my pleasure to introduce you to Melody.  Melody is a new acquaintance of mine from blogland, but she has impressed me with her thoughtful comments, and it’s easy to see from her interview what a quality person she is.  You can find Melody’s blog here.  Did I mention she’s also adorable?  Here’s Melody:

I am so thrilled at this opportunity, I have loved getting to “meet” all these amazing women and finding kindred spirits all across the world! My name is Melody, I’m 29 (for the first time) and I am currently living in Salt Lake City, Utah- although my husband just got his orders for Fort Lee, Virginia, so we will be there by the end of April. Yay for new adventures! My sweetheart Lee and I have been married for 9 years, and we have two munchkins; Wyatt, age 4 and Jana, age 2. And of course our first baby Skeeter, a German Shepherd mix who is almost 6.

I grew up in Salt Lake City, the youngest of 8 children- six of whom were boys. I remember once my Mom told me that ratio was about right- for all the physical expense of raising rambunctious boys, it took three of them to equal the emotional expense of one daughter. I can’t imagine she meant ME, I was a sweet, obedient lamb…

After high school I went to then-Ricks, graduated from what had become BYU-Idaho, and didn’t walk with my class because I was busy getting married to a darling boy from Rigby, Idaho. I think it’s funny that my husband is also the 8th child in his family, what are the odds? I went to Idaho State University to complete my Bachelor’s in Nursing, and have happily been working in Labor and Delivery ever since. We lived in Rexburg, Idaho for 7 wonderful years, where both of our children were born. Yes, I delivered my babies in the hospital where I worked, and no, it really isn’t that awkward to know not only the names, but the birthdates, anniversaries, hopes, dreams, names of children and pets, and ridiculous 3:00 am personalities of every single person in the delivery room. My job is so awesome, and the people I have worked with are just plain fabulous. After my husband lost his job last spring we did some fervent praying and soul-searching and decided to join the US Army. We moved to Utah, he left for all his training last October, and we are ecstatic at the prospect of being a family all together again when we go to Virginia!

1.     What’s your favorite part of motherhood?

I love snuggling my kids, especially when they’re sleeping. It reminds me of the book “I’ll Love You Forever,” and makes me just cherish the moments I have when they’re small enough for me to hold and cuddle them. I also love listening to my kids laugh together, even if that laughter indicates they are up to something naughty! I love that they are getting old enough to be able to say “I love you, Mommy.” Best. Thing. EVER.

2.     What part of motherhood would you subcontract out if you could?

Folding laundry. Especially whites. I love the wearers of the tiny undershirts and onesies, but if someone told me today that I would never fold laundry again for the rest of my mortal existence, I’d be fine with that.

3.     Name 2 or 3 items on your “bucket list.”  (Some things you’d like to do before you die.)

I really want to serve a mission, or even a few, with my husband. I want to see the Alaskan Northern Lights with my own eyes. And I want to learn to use a sewing machine. Not necessarily in that order.

4.     Brag for a minute.  Do it.  What are a few things that you’re pretty good at?

I am a good singer and flute player, and I am a pretty good piano player. I have lots of patience (my kids might disagree, but at the hospital I somehow manage to have an endless supply), and I get along well with others. That sounds silly, but it’s interesting when I overhear someone’s negative opinion of a person who they complain is hard to get along with, and I am surprised because I had never thought that. Perhaps my real talent is a combination of being hard to offend and happy to accept people as they are.

5.     What are you loving lately?

Oh, sleep. How I love thee. I’ve been working full-time nights since before I had children, and although I can manage the rest of everything around my job, sleep continues to evade me. I do love me a good nap.

I also LOVE good reading. I just finished “When Times Are Tough” by John Bytheway, and I would recommend it to everyone, everywhere. So many interesting insights, and so many scriptures and quotes that provide the perspective and motivation we all need sometimes to keep going.

6.     Do you have a favorite scripture or quote?  Why?

My current favorite quote is a simple one from Neal A. Maxwell that hangs on the wall in my bedroom: “Faith in God includes faith in His timing.” The most difficult things we do in life are rarely acute, short trials. It’s the long journeys and chronic heartaches that require true faith and endurance. A friend shared a quote from a recent Stake Conference, where the Stake President taught that, “The thing that God is doing IN you may be more important than the thing you are waiting for.” I suspect there are things we are all waiting and longing for, but we must wait for God’s timing to be right, and in the meantime find joy in the everyday experiences of life.

7.     What do you gravitate toward during your unscheduled time?

I so admire people who make crafts and quilts and delicious treats, and have grand aspirations for learning and doing those things when I have a slightly larger quantity of this “unscheduled time” (read: not working full-time nights!). As for now, I like to play with my munchkins, play the piano (these days it’s mostly the Sesame Street Songbook and the Children’s Songbook, and I’m cool with that) read, nap, or zone out for a little while with a silly computer game.

8.     Tell us some of your best mom-tricks (things you’ve figured out that work well for you).

I am amused when people dish out advice on topics they have no clue about. And I feel like I’m in that realm here. My kids are young and I have so much to learn yet that I am too chicken to really say anything here! I have learned that if I want my kids to be polite and kind, I have to show them that example every moment of every day. And if I want them to have short tempers and full meltdown tantrums, I have to show them that example…just once.

9.     What’s something you don’t usually want people to know about you, but that they need to know if they’re going to be your friend?

Um, I am a spelling and grammar geek. Seriously, I’m that weird person who actually snickers when I see a billboard that uses a superfluous apostrophe when no possessive is indicated. Misplaced modifiers make me giggle, and I laugh out loud when I see a misspelling that alters the meaning of a statement (for example, I recently read a transcribed dictation in a patient’s chart that said, “Liver born with apgar scores of 8 and 9.” It should have said “live born”. I was so entertained at the thought of such a miraculous and precocious liver). Don’t misunderstand me, I do NOT judge the writers thereof, it’s just a bizarre source of my own silly mind’s enjoyment. And there, my inner nerd is revealed!

10. If you were in charge of a girls’ night out, what kind of activity would you love to plan?

I too am a homebody, and would love a girl’s night in- like a chick flick/fondue party! Only it would include all things dippable- I love fry sauce, ranch dressing, ketchup (or catsup, take your pick), that melty garlic/butter stuff from Papa John’s, nacho cheese, salsa, spinach artichoke dip…heaven.  And for dessert, a chocolate fountain with fruit and marshmallows and caramels and anything else that sounds yummy.  As you can easily conclude, I am one of those souls who occasionally like to indulge in the kitchen and repent on the treadmill later.

11. Friends are great for venting.  What’s been frustrating you lately?

Ha. The Army. *smile*

Actually, I get frustrated when I see people not cutting each other enough slack. I know the trials I go through, and the things I struggle with, and I sincerely hope people don’t stand around and speak ill of me because of the things I’m just not able to do, or cannot do well enough. You never, ever know when someone is struggling with a broken marriage, depression, heartache, the feeling of not being able to face even one more day, or worse. I much prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt, and if I can’t directly make their burden lighter, at the very least I strive not to make it heavier with insensitive words or actions.

12. What parts of your testimony are you the most sure of?

That the Savior lives, and that the power of our temple covenants is real, and families really can be together forever. I wouldn’t have pictured myself as an Army wife EVER, but because of faith and personal revelation here I am. I don’t care to dwell much on the what-ifs, but I do know that there is nothing…and I mean NOTHING that can take my family away from me if we are true and faithful. Happiness in life is nice, but peace in life is what I really want and need, and my temple covenants afford me that.

Melody’s blog is called The Anderson Family.  Drop in and visit her sometime.

Thanks so much, Melody.  To you and to my readers, have a wonderful General Conference weekend.  Take notes.  I might do a pop quiz again for a fun prize.  :)  (And I hope to see more of your shining comments on the next round of General Conference Book Club.)