I am the third baby girl of seven, fourth child of nine, born in the City of Angels to two goodly parents, a biochemist and a nurse-to-be who unexpectedly but proudly became a stay-at-home-mother. I am the infant who arched out of her mother’s arms and miraculously floated down to the concrete earth; my mamma says it was as if angels had caught me and were tenderly and lovingly lowering me to the hard surface below.I am the little girl who played teacher and house, who loved to make messes just to clean them up. I am the little girl who begged to take piano lessons, who loved to sing loudly and who adored fluffy, soft kittens and all critters alike. Who longed to go out with her papa to the UCLA “orchard” to scour for curious blue-bellied lizards which always skittered away quicker than lightning. But her hero, her father, never ever let her down. He could capture the fastest of them and willingly gave them to his bright, wide-eyed little girl.
I am the girl who constantly did cartwheels and flips throughout her cozy yet miniscule house, who was finally enrolled in gymnastics so her mother could have some much needed peace and quiet. I am the girl who had a passion, bordering on obsession, for reading, who collected and stored stickers in her beloved treasure “box.” Who dreamed of one day being an Olympic gold medallist, but never envisioned finding such pure joy in leading the “ordinary” life of wife, college graduate and mother.
I am the teenager who loved to play volleyball, especially with her friends, on the warm beaches of the Southland. Who wore whatever was clean and whatever was handed down from her siblings, having no real sense of fashion and not really caring. Who loved to listen to the mix tapes of the sounds of the eighties which belonged to her older sister whom she lovingly idolized.
I am the teenager who was told by her mother to “join the debate team” and to “become a lawyer,” who hated taking her turn with dishes and who absolutely despised being told what to do. I am the tomboy and athlete who had many “guy” friends, who would leave to go out with them at 4 in the morning whenever they desperately called up and needed a heart to heart chat to discuss the woes of their current girlfriend – don’t worry, I always thoughtfully left a note for my parents explaining my various whereabouts.
I am the adolescent who excelled in school, who loved Algebra and hated Geometry. Who dreamed of being a kind pediatrician or a championed marine biologist and knew she would one day find eternal love, enter the blessed state of matrimony and eventually settle down and create her own posterity.
I am the woman who eagerly left home to pursue her college career and along the way she found herself and the man of her dreams, even though she thoroughly denied it, but the feelings never went away.
I am the woman who loves attaining her goals, but is willing to compromise for the good of her family. I am the pre-med student turned High School Biology teacher who was privileged to work with a myriad of wayward youth who taught her many valuable, insightful and crucial life lessons.
I am the woman who thanks God every day for her incredible life and for all the gifts He is continually blessing her with – her family, her health, and His Atonement which brings about the beautiful gospel message of love, repentance and forgiveness.
I am the mother who struggled with infertility and then miscarriages, who dearly loves her four children with all of her heart. I am the same mother who goes crazy when said children whine and complain and overwhelm her to the point of taking her own time-outs to preserve what remains of her sanity.
I am the mother whose moments of pure bliss come as she listens from the other room to the sounds of her children laughing hysterically together or as she watches them in the still of the night sleeping peacefully and quietly with no cares in the world.
I am the organizer who craves order and routine, but loves to laugh and be a little spontaneous.
I am the person who can normally forgive and give strangers the benefit of the doubt, who is learning to accept her own faults and shortcomings by understanding better the grace and tender mercies of her Friend and Savior.
I am the person who dreams of being an instrument in God’s hands by unconditionally loving others and showing them what their true potential is. I am also the person who is still working on being a little less jealous, a little less selfish and a little less easily offended.
I know I am a cherished daughter of our Heavenly Father who is grateful for the lifeline of prayer and who one day hopes to be encircled in His arms forever.