Wow, I can honestly say it has been sometime since I posted. I actually don't expect anyone to read my future posts, because they are going to be mostly for me. So much has happened in the last few years. There have been times of heartache and confusion caused by the need for growth, but there have also been moments of such clarity and understanding that have filled me with inexpressible joy and have given life greater meaning.
After a long hiatus from school, I have decided to return. It has NOT been easy. Sheesh, I miss the days of coming home after a long shift and having all the time to myself. I guess that is one of the main reasons I am writing this post. My life had turned into MINE, consumed by me. I have started to close my heart to the world and have begun to feel that my greatest hopes and dreams are never to be realized, and I'm not just speaking of being a wife and mother.
Which brings me to my next point: I am taking a class about the living prophets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In the class we have been encouraged to study ten different topics from the prophet and apostles that are relevant to our lives. I feel this is the answer I have been looking for. I know I am 29 years-old, but I feel I can start over, to a sense. I have lived a full and wonderful life, but have found myself shutting out some of the greatest joys in life due to repeated disappointments and hopes that never seemed to be realized by the natural eye.
So this is me rewiring my heart and mind. I hope that in doing so, I gain an additional outlook on life and help others to see the happiness that is right in front of us. I am excited for this experiment and I am expecting great things...of myself.
Now don't get me wrong for a moment here, I have a wonderful life with a family who loves me and supports me, friends that champion me, and experiences that have opened my eyes to the greatness of a loving Heavenly Father. I am just hoping to build on that and not let past experiences dictate the way I feel inside about who I am and what I can accomplish in this life. I firmly believe that with Christ and His teachings, we can truly become new and whole. I no longer want excuses of why I am the way I am. I want reasons to change and to inspire others to see what really matters in this life. We all have a specific plan designed for us by God and I am determined to not be so self-consumed that I miss the meaning of it all entirely.
I guess all I can say is that this is the beginning, or the middle, of starting over again. Isn't that the best part about it all? I can start over as many times as it takes to get it right. So here's to take.....well....I've lost count, but ready to give it all.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Thursday, September 30, 2010
I went to Ohio for about a week and a half and had so much fun spending all that time with my sis and her family! Below are pictures of me and my best buddy that she insisted on taking. I feel like I just had to post them on here so everyone could see her talent in photography and hair-doing skills. She loves to take pictures and to braid my hair. I love it too.
This is a pose she put me in...
This is my lovely hairdo by Gracie herself.
This is with Jack and Gracie the day we went to Amish Country. So fun! But I must say that my sis, Lara, could rival with the best of them in making Amish Friendship Bread. So yummy!
Another day we went to an outdoor market and we ate fresh corn just like Nacho Libre style. Gracie kept saying, "Get that corn out of my face!"
Sammy digging right into a juicy peach. Can't blame the kid.
I think this is the biggest swing I've ever seen.
Just the girls.
I was able to spend lots of quality time with Matt at the dental school because he did LOTS of dental work on me! Thanks Matt, you are a pro and I'd recommend you any day (seriously)!The last little while in preparing for my mission, I have had a really hard time finding non-frumpy, cute skirts for my mission. So Lara decided to make my life a little easier and sew some for me! She is amazing at that. She made about 7 skirts in one week and so all us girls had to model them for church on Sunday. Thanks Lara! I am glad I don't have to wear any jumpers ;)
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Dad and I made another famous cross-country trip in about 36 hours, but this time it was from Virginia to Arizona. I don't know if you've heard the news, but my parents are moving back to AZ and they are moving right back into our old house! As for me, it's off to Ecuador. But, Dad had to be back in AZ sooner than Mom, so we loaded up the old U-Haul and drove. Of course I had to take pictures along the way to document our course.
I thought my brother, Jake, would like this sign...
On a road trip with Dad, these are the kind of signs that usually reel us (ehm...him) in. Honestly, I don't mind all the little stops at the Indian trading posts, boot shops, knife shops, or Harley stores because Dad likes it so much and I just like to be with Dad. And it's all the more fun to see the cowboy side of every state. I wish I had a picture of the coon-skin hat he bought me to wear while sittin' in in U-Haul. It was pretty sweet and kept my head warm the whole trip!
I joked with Dad after a few little stops that Dad insisted were tradition when traveling across country and said, "I'm a little worried we're never going to get out of Tennessee."
I must say though, my favorite stop was Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. Dad LOVES Elvis. He is practically the man himself! I remember watching Elvis movies with Dad growing up.
I have to admit that I gained a greater appreciation for Elvis and Dad that day. My favorite was when Dad said that he felt so fulfilled now that he had taken 3 of his 4 children to Graceland. Lara... your the last one!
Along the trip we stopped at our favorite Cracker Barrel 3-4 different times. Nothing beats good country home-cookin' on the road. And I bet you didn't know this (I didn't because I'm not usually gearin' to go out to eat that time of morning) but Cracker Barrel is open at 6 a.m. for the early birds. And at that time of morning on our trip we had usually already been on the road for about 1 1/2 hours and were ready to stop for some grub. Like I always say, "The early bird gets the squirrel."
On our trip we loved singing loud and proud to The Beatles and The Beach Boys...Oh, and Elvis of course! I had so much fun just being with Dad and enjoying the open road together.
New Mexico was another treat! Dad was raised in Albuquerque and so he took me back to some of his favorite hot spots as a kid. We did not, however, plan to encounter this snake on the way into the motel. We drove our u-haul 2x over that beast to flatten him to a pancake but he was a fighter. He was still alive after being run over twice! Eww, I hate those things.
This is where Dad had his first taco ever and that is something to be remembered! I don't remember my first time because I think I have had them ever since I could eat normal foods. It is one of Mom's staples. But I do remember a picture of Dad when he was young, standing next to an Indian in full headdress and that picture was taken here at Old Town.
These little monkeys reminded me of my cute nephew, Sam, who can't go anywhere without his sock monkey.
After we got to AZ, I went with Dad to this luncheon that he thought he was going to speak at. Little did he know that he was being honored at it. It's a good thing his secretary is one of my closest friends! Thanks Em! But it was so special. He was given the first Distinguished Advocate award to represent the newly founded Mitch Menlove foundation. Mitch was one of my Dad's closest friends and associates and he suddenly passed away of a heart attack at age 36 in July, leaving his wife and 4 children. It was devastating. So when they awarded this to my Dad and when his and Mitch's picture flashed on the big screen, we were all a little emotional and so touched. What an honor and what a good man to remember.
I had a lot of fun with Jake, Sarah, and Charlee this trip. Thanks for spending so much time with me!
Little Charlee Horse is such a pleasant baby and I LOVE her to death!
I'm so sad I didn't get pictures with Kim and all my other friends that I spent time with! Until next time! Thanks guys!
Simply Stated: Sometimes U just need to Haul yourself across country to experience the finer things in life... like walking where "The King" has walked in his "Blue Suede Shoes".
Friday, August 13, 2010
The BIG moment finally arrived! My parents called me on my way home from work with the words I'd been waiting to hear, "It's here!" I was so sure since deciding to go on a mission that I was going stateside and somewhere VERY cold. The above picture is me playing it cool while shaking in my boots.
This is me so happy and in shock to find out that instead of going somewhere freezing (of which I was so sure), I am going to Ecuador baby! The Ecuador, Guayaquil South Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as the Mission Nurse Specialist to be exact. I have no idea what that means, but I am SO excited! Mom and Dad were behind me, while Jake and Sarah were Skyping with me in the background and Matt was on speaker phone (I love their happy faces in the background). I report October 13 and will be gone for 18 months preachin' the gospel to the people of Ecuador!
Jake and Matt immediately got on the internet to show me pictures and tell me everything they could find about Ecuador. Above is the delightful city of Guayaquil. I also found out the Gallapagos Islands are in my mission.
My guess is I won't be spending much time there, but a girl can dream.
This is us being so happy and Jake telling all about how
great the mission is going to be.
This is me calling everyone and their cousin after I got my call. I am so excited and I really can't wait. I've wanted to go on a mission for so long and it never seemed to fall into place until now. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
Simply Stated: Patience in life is never easy, but oh so worth it. Hasta!
Our family had such a fabulous vacation in Newport this summer and it felt so good to be back at one of our favorite spots. We lounged on the beach, played in the waves, watched movies, played cards, ate at Jane's Corndog's (my personal fav), had BBQ's, did fit tv workouts, played catch, squeezed the babies, soaked up the sun, and enjoyed every aspect of beach life.
Recently, I packed up my Western self and moved out East to a little place called Virginia. My parents relocated out here about 2 years ago, so it was time I check out VA for myself. It is in the DC metro area, so we spend lots of fun time in the city or in the country. I am still working as a pediatric nurse and looking to maybe move towards the non-profit or political side of health care. I gained a new family member in the form of a Chinese exchange student named Donna, and I love being with my parents again. Life is good.