Tuesday, October 19, 2010

BID #3

Something I have always wanted to learn how to do inmylife is learn how to play all kinds of musical instruments. Unfortunately, I quit piano as a kid. Maybe someday I will find the motivation to try again. I can still plink out the songs in my Christmas song book I have had since I was ten, as well as many songs in middle c. Beyond that, I am lost! I also had a short stint in the school band in 6th grade in the brass section...French horn. The most useful thing I learned was how to empty the spit valve. But one of the two instruments I have always wanted to learn is the violin (the other is the trumpet, ironically similar to the despis-ed French horn). Someday, I will do that! It is officially submitted to the BID list.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy Fall

Today Erin asked me if I could take some pictures of Bub (the rest are on Facebook) so that she could enter him into the Gap Casting Call competition. We drove out to Staheli Farms in Washington, but they weren't open and we had no idea if they would even be open. Note to Stahelis- a sign out front with your hours of operation, or answering your phone, would be helpful. So we drove out to Hurricane, LaVerkin, and Toquerville, hoping that somewhere out in the sticks there would be a farm of some sort where we could get some good pictures. Finally, I called Staheli's again and someone answered. Their hours? 3-6:00. So we drove back. By this time, Bub was not a happy boy, tired and cranky, so it was difficult to get him to cooperate, but we did get some really cute pics. Hard not to with a cute boy like him. I am so grateful to have this little punkin inmylife!!!!

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Auntie Annie loves you Bubs!

That huge hole in the Earth

Since Kelly and I both had a four day weekend for UEA Weekend (better known down here as Utah Exodus to Anaheim), we decided to road trip up to the North Rim. Despite the fact that I have had several opportunities inmylife to visit the canyon while serving a mission in northern Arizona for 1 1/2 years, and while teaching school in Page for 2 years, I never have found the time. Unfortunately right now, it is in it's last few days before completely closing down. The lodge and Visitor's Center have already closed down, in fact. But it was a beautiful drive up through the Kaibab Forest. The aspen trees were the most amazing golden color. Especially, at about 4:00 or 5:00 when the sun was getting low. There was one patch of trees on our drive back that we noticed with lots of aspens clustered together and it looked like they were on fire because of the way the sun was hitting them. It was truly amazing. I have always thought that the aspen is one of my favorite trees. We had a picnic inside the park overlooking the canyon, then drove up to the lodge and walked out to Bright Angel Point. The story, Brighty of the Grand Canyon by Marguerite Henry is about a little donkey that lived in this area of the canyon for about 40 years and helped create a trail down the canyon. He got to meet Teddy Roosevelt and was the first one to cross the bridge after it was built. I read this story to my students last year and they loved it! I love the history of this area. After enjoying the view at Bright Angel Point, we drove up to Imperial Point, the highest point in the canyon and enjoyed the view from there. It was a nice opportunity to enjoy some of God's greatest wonders and have a look into the majesty of some of the creations of the earth. The weather was wonderful with rain off and on, cool, but not too cold. There were some great looking dark clouds that were hovering over the canyon, threatening an oncoming storm, but it never really showed up. I would like to go back sometime when I can take more time and enjoy some of the hikes. My knee was not putting up well with even the short walk at Bright Angel. I would also like to take another trip down the river sometime. That is always a great experience. Maybe I will have to post some pictures from that, even though it was several years ago, and maybe I will even share my near death experience story from my first river trip when I was thrown from the pontoon boat and pulled under, frightfully close to the props. Maybe...
Oh, and I will also be getting the rest of the pictures up on Facebook soon so watch for those. They are spectacular!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Blessings in disguise?

I have been thinking about my dad a lot lately. Unfortunately, there is a big gap between the dad that he is and the father that I wish he could have been inmylife. There is so much that a girl needs her father to teach her and because he never did, I feel like there is so much that I don't know. I think the most important of these is how to trust and be a daughter. I feel like my relationship with God and the Lord could be so much deeper and stronger and more meaningful if I understood how to trust in them and lean on them. I have had to put so much effort into developing that trust that I feel like I have missed out on learning so many other things in the meantime.
I have been spending a lot of time and effort and faith on forgiving my dad for the things he did and those he didn't do, as well, and on remembering the things he did that made me feel good and loved. I want to get to the point where I accept the fact that he was the person that I needed to be my dad in order to become the perfect daughter that I want to be, and where I love him despite the painful things he did, he said, and the things he didn't do or didn't say. I know I am like him in a lot of ways, some good and some not so good, and I know that there are a lot of things that I can learn from him, whether he taught me by example or by non example. I guess some blessings are strange like that, they can be disguised as the painful thorns that keep the enemies away rather than the beauty of the flower, so easily recognized.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


"And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul."
- 1 Samuel 18:1

"And now Zoram, I speak unto you... I know that thou art a true friend unto my son, Nephi, forever." -2 Nephi 1:30
"Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands."
- D&C 121:9

I consider myself lucky to have been blessed with amazing friends. I have never been the person that had loads of friends; always hanging out at parties or social events, but I have almost always had at least one or two really good friends inmylife who have helped me cope through the hard times and helped me to be a better person. In fact, just the other day I heard a quote, I think it was in the movie "Forever Strong", that a true friend is the person who makes you want to be a better person and, inmylife, I have found this to be true to the utmost extent. Those true friends, the real friends, always stood by my side when I wanted to be better, stronger, truer, and to "stand a little taller," while some of those who I thought were friends left when I didn't want to do what they had to offer. This is still true today. I thank God every day for my true friends, even those who I don't talk to every day anymore. Even those who are not here anymore. Even those who may have gone a different direction due to hurt feelings, challenges, or other unfortunate situations, and in these painful losses, I pray that forgiveness and healing will someday come, and we will be able to be friends once again. I still consider you my friend because you have made me want to be better than I am. I hope you feel the same way. To all my friends; those who stand by me today, those who once held my hand, those who are no longer walking this earth, and those who I hope to someday call a friend again, I love you and I thank you for all you have taught me about who I am and who I want to be. I especially thank those friends who have led me to seek for the friendship of the only person who can truly understand everything I have been through and the mistakes I have made and, yet, still love me and be my Friend when no one else knows how to or has the strength or courage to be.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happiness Is...

Maintaining a black belt perspective

It is often said, in the martial arts world, that a black belt is nothing more than a white belt who never gave up. This is the black belt way of thinking. Persistence. Confidence. Meditation. Visualization. Focus. Effort. Sweat. Intensity. Creativity. Power.
These are the traits that I continue to work on inmylife outside of the dojo. Even though I am not currently a formal martial arts student, I am a martial artist. I have a black belt, and I hope to, when the time is right, continue on my path of black belt excellence, however far it will take me. When I tell people I meet that I am a black belt, I want them to look at me and say, "Of course you are! I knew there was something amazing about you!" not "You are? I never knew that?!?!"
You do not need to be a martial artist to have this kind of strength. You just need to find a way to develop it through positive thinking and meditation. We can accomplish anything we want to, whether it is breaking a stack of boards with our bare hands or conquering Mount Everest or just being happy with who we are and where we are at, as long as we tell ourselves we have that kind of power. You don't need a black belt around your waist to think like a black belt.
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