Monday, November 21, 2011


During a week of chaos & shopping for most of the civilized world, it is nice to take a moment & contemplate the things I am thankful for. Things that may often be over-looked, but that bring joy to the soul & remind me that life truly is beautiful.

The first falling snow, pondering at sunrise, watching the tide come in, summers in Maine, Floridian winters, when a man opens my door, holding a child in my arms as she sleeps, the smell of slow-cooked Sunday dinners when you come in from church, sharing the gospel w/ someone & hearing them pray for the first time, Making Sienna Laugh, the reflection of the stars on a lake, freedom to worship when/where/how I wish, laughing for no reason w/an old friend, the look of pure joy when Livie saw me at the airport, and her joy as she played with the balloons I gave her, homemade caramels @ Christmas, playing 'the favorites game' with my little nieces & nephew in the car, singing in the shower, the glow of twilight that lights fire to the sky during the golden hour, the opportunity to forgive & be forgiven, camping in the middle of nowhere & counting shooting stars, getting lost in a good book, BYU devotionals, the opportunity to work, the feel of the wind on my face, giving someone the perfect gift, a desire to become better & progress every day, sending postcards to loved ones from places I travel, a washer & dryer, the ability & choice to see the best in another person, having clean/hot/safe water, planting a garden & keeping the freaking deer out, watching a child's face light-up as they look at Christmas lights, Costco, strong hands & a resilient heart, my friend visiting Utah, those who sacrifice & defend my freedoms, evening walks, my down comforter, the first scoop of peanut butter out of a new jar, ice cubes, outdoor movies on summer evenings, the way my heart pounds before someone holds my hand for the first time, college football (and AMAZING upsets this past week), dryer softening sheets, northern lights & fireflies, fly-fishing on the river w/the brothers while contemplating life, the opposition that helps me to recognize and appreciate all the wonderful things in my life, fresh flowers from my garden, My great-grandmother’s wedding ring that survived the great depression, the crescent moon that smiles down on us & hearing my niece say "moon. moon moon moon moon" then kisses @ bedtime, C.S. Lewis, toilet paper, teaching another to do something i love & seeing them succeed & find joy in doing it, learning new things, having friends to dinner, new pj's for Christmas, socks to keep my feet warm, the ferris wheel, the smell of rain on the trees or freshly cut grass, the feel of sand beneath my feet, a tooth brush, my eyesight, freshly baked-perfect chocolate chip cookies, coming home to a clean house, floating in first tracks in powder, the opportunity to serve others, Winger's spicy fingers, cooking with fresh herbs, my ability to cook... dang I'm good :)landing a back-flip on a wakeboard, the feeling that comes from laying your shoulder to the water on a slalom ski, not face-planting on a wakeboard, being held, the gift of agency, building a snowman, airplanes & sky miles, sunshine and blue skies, the ability to commune w/God, old family photos, creating order from chaos, avoiding even the appearance of evil, at an intersection when you and the car across from you are both making left turns, good gas mileage, taking a moment to reflect on the blessings in life, good music, Advil, the knowledge that we can be with those we love after this life, seashells, the opportunity to attain higher education, having my hair played with, driving stick, j-dawgs special sauce, the smell of homemade, freshly baked bread, synthetic oil, catching snowflakes on my tongue & eyelashes, great composers, clean movies, fresh peaches from the tree in the yard, experiencing other cultures & becoming better because of the people you meet there, dancing in the rain, The founding fathers, central air & central vac, The atonement of Jesus Christ and my knowledge of it, Mormon messages, A cheese grater, safety from harm & maltreatment of others, learning & growing from each guy I date, that I don't have to marry each guy I date, memories with those I love, BYU education week, teaching & learning, the sound of a cameras shutter & knowing you captured that perfect shot. Digital cameras so you can delete all the not perfect ones, hair elastics, a porch swing, an honest mechanic, quiet moments with those you love, a sunday afternoon nap, the sound & smell of a crackling fire, homemade bbq ribs w/made from scratch sauce, my grandmothers 3-layer chocolate cake, choosing to learn from painful experiences in my life & using them to help others, friends who don't tag ugly photos, duct tape, failed jumping pictures, the view of the Old City from the Mount of Olives, dew on the trees early in the morning on a backpacking trip, personal copies of the scriptures, adobe products, the ability to change & repent, road trips & milkshakes, Sabbath's spent in quiet contemplation at the Garden Tomb or in Gethsemane, clean sheets, the glow of Christmas lights on icicles, learning from the imperfect & allowing it to create a desire in me to strive for perfection, a friend who sees you with all your imperfections & loves you for who you are, swinging on a cool fall day, the way I feel after a good long run, setting a good goal & the joy found in accomplishing it, being a finisher, my opportunities to study in Western Europe & the Middle East, Temples that are being built all across the globe (personal prayers answered for the one in Italy & South Florida)holding a new puppy, snowshoeing & hot tubing afterward, using my talents & gifts to help people & build the kingdom of God, homemade grape juice from the grapes in my back yard, learning to can things, homemade quilts, external hard-drives, the sound of leaves falling to the ground in the fall, sweet smelling perfume (flowerbomb, hani mori, ed hardy, true religion) lunch with an old friend, falling in love & choosing everyday to stay there, a heartfelt gift, swimming with dolphins, sting rays, barracuda, sea turtles... being a finisher, the blessings of a physical body, the opportunity to serve in the temple, the smell of freshly baked homemade apple pie w/orchard apples...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lake Powell October 2011

A little taste of Heaven... There is most definitely pure glass in my Heaven.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

National Geographic Photo Contest: The Pyramid of Khafre

If y'all have a moment, please go to the NG website and 'like' and 'recommend' this entry. Thanks!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Run Bike Swim

Training for a tri...started while I was in Maine & New Hampshire. It's been so much fun--but my favorite times were with Livie! This is taken upside down while we're running. Liv wanted to listen to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse song, It's a Small World & Baby Einstein the whole time... so those 3 songs on repeat for 90min or so... it was AWESOME :)She is the best ipod holder in the whole wide world!Biking through the Whites after the Hurricane was pretty amazing.
AND... an open water swim @ Range Pond was incredible!

Sand Turtles w/ Lil' Livie...

Since parents don't really have time to blog all the awesome adventures... that's what aunts are for, right :) I love you liv & can't wait for you to come visit... we'll make our turtle farm in the snow next time!

A Walk Down MEMORY LANE!!!

People I love from The Jerusalem Center. There really is nothing that can compare to the way I feel about these people. I love you guys. Each & every one of you.

"How to Save a Life..."

From a well known song by The Fray... this lyric was on my mind for the rest of the day. This summer I went to Jackson Hole with a few guys. Ones dad, Ed, has a raft and took us white water rafting. With the ABNORMALLY high water year, Ed wasn't really looking forward to taking a bunch of amateurs down the most intense stretch of river. The ranger explained to us that rafts often get thrown with a water level of 19 or higher, and that 16 is good safe fun. He then explained that the water was at 23.6 and that we would literally be taking our lives into our own hands if we chose to hit lunch counter and other rapids. We decided against it--or more accurately decided to trust Ed's judgement and he didn't think it was a good idea. Saturday morning rolled around and nothing seemed to work for us to hit the mellow stretch, we couldn't get air any where, and literally it just seemed that if we were going to go it was going to be on lunch counter...

Later, after helping to save lives, we realized just why we were on the river that day. We were right in front of a raft that was thrown and were able to pull them into our raft. Luckily, there was a leak in our raft which meant we rode much lower in the water and our chances of being thrown were far less than the large commercial rafts.

After we picked the first two people up, I was given strength and peace from God to help calm them--AND as the men in my boat can attest--I was anything but calm previous to this on the river. We still didn't have verification that the others were ok, and as we prayed both silently and aloud to God for the welfare of the others... It was verification to me that God places us in one another's paths for a reason, and that as they later told us--we were their angels that day on the river.

A verse in the Book of Mormon explains that "God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings." -Mosiah 8:18 I hope to live each day in such a way that whether I be on a river, at work or at home, that I can qualify to be where God wants me to be and to be doing what He would have me do.

To the lifelong friends made that day on the river. Cheers!