Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Here's the story: I have known about the marathon for months, but as luck would have it, illness hit the week I began training back at the beginning of March and I was stuck with various lame lung and allergy related symtoms until yesterday - great. I ran a couple miles today and felt good, so I'm crossing my fingers that seven times that amount will be just as pleasant ;-). I couldn't be more excited taking off for a long weekend to visit my sister Jenna and her little family in Corvallis, OR . . . no kids, no responsiblities, no phone calls, no driving, nada. Chris will be taking over the kids' activity and social calendar for a few days - what a guy!
Now I'm off on my adventure and hoping that between the lower altitude, the moist air, the pressure to stay up with my sister, and some unbelievable positive "I can do this" thinking, I will at least finish the race. I consider myself a person who runs to stay in shape once or twice a week for a few miles, but 13 miles - never. I think the greatest distance I've ever run at one time was 6 or 7 miles. So, in the spirit of challenging myself to something new, exciting, and probably incredibly painful . . . here goes! Wish me luck :-).
Monday, April 27, 2009
In eastern philosophy, the more one dwells on the negative, the more that negativity becomes part of his/her soul, until it eventually takes over. It can be hard to stop that cycle of thinking and there are certainly days when I begin to dwell on the negative, but when my mind turns to those little things that bring joy into my every day, the cycle stops and is replaced with optimism and peace.
Here are just a few of the small, seemingly insignificant things that make me smile and remind me that life IS good:
Friday, April 24, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Here are some more cute photos from our afternoon. Michelle has a really great, awesome, amazing, make me drool camera, so her pictures look better than mine every would - check them out!
Happy, happy, happy day :-).
Sunday, April 19, 2009
This is the quote Ryan used in his talk: "This article of faith is one of the basic declarations of our theology. We ought to reflect on it again and again. I wish that every family in the Church would write out that article of faith and put it on a mirror where every member of the family would see it every day. Then, whenever we might be tempted to do anything shoddy or dishonest or immoral, there would come into our minds with some force this great, encompassing statement of the ethics of our behavior. There would be less rationalizing over some elements of our personal conduct which we try to justify with one excuse or another."
~ President Gordon B. Hinckley
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Chris and I were reminiscing this morning about our Ryan and how everyone told us that we'll blink and he'll be grown up. Where have the years gone? Wasn't it just yesterday we were putting him in the stroller for walks down Timpview Drive in our old Provo neighborhood? Weren't we just trying to figure out the baby thing - nighttime feedings, diapers, baths in the sink, etc.? Now we've moved on from babies to teens, in really, what seems like a blink of the eye. But what a journey it's been raising a son and watch him year after year turn from a darling little boy into a handsome young man. Today when I picked him up at school for our traditional birthday lunch outing I glanced at his Converse and told him that his feet are about the size that he was the day we brought him home from the hospital!
We are so proud of Ryan. He's truly grown up to be responsible, kind, helpful, honest, and a great brother and friend. Of course he's not perfect, believe me, he has his moments, but for the majority of the time, he really is fabulous and I couldn't ask for a better son.
So, in celebration of one of my favorite days of the year, here are some favorite pics of my favorite boy . . .
We LOVE you!
Monday, April 13, 2009
I just had to bring it up since tomorrow Ryan turns 14 and we no longer are a family of primes . . . 43, 37, 13, 11, 7, 5. Plus, isn't it even that more coincidental that it was only for one (prime) month, from the 13th to the 13th (both primes) that we were those ages? Too bad 2009 isn't prime, or it would have really been amazing.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
It's also some serious down time for Mom. It's in my nature to never stop moving, but down here I actually stop thinking of everything that needs to be accomplished; I'm not checking in to see if the kids are practicing piano, getting homework finished, or doing their chores . . . and believe it or not, I don't mind if the TV is turned on, which is a treat since they never watch it at home. It is only here where I can actually SIT and RELAX rather than make a lame attempt at slowing down while in my own environment. I do try that every now and then only to realize that something needs cleaning or organizing, a phone call needs to be made, someone needs a ride, or I just need to get out and do something. And that is exactly why this is the perfect place for me to slow down - it's not exactly a vacation (no sightseeing, no gathering everyone and heading anywhere, no worrying about luggage and hotels) . . . it's a retreat.
SO, in the spirit of our lovely St. George holiday weekend while the kids are out to a movie with their Grandpa, I will settle in with my book and a cozy quilt on this rainy day and enjoy a book. Ahhhhh :-).
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
If you've never heard of Hayley Westenra, you're in for a mesmerizing experience. My dear friend Amy gave me one of Hayley's CDs a couple years ago for my birthday and I thought it was some of the most beautiful music I had ever heard. Truly a rare, pure, angelic voice. Since then I've been collecting her music. I once left a CD of hers in Chris' car and he came home from work asking who in the world was singing - he had never heard such a beautiful voice. She's from Ireland and many lyrics in her songs are sung in Gaelic, which makes it even that more entrancing.
This song, May It Be, is a personal favorite. No matter what state of mind I am in, or how frantically I am running from place to place, it never fails to calm my mind and sooth my soul. Her music is inspiring and uplifting, it takes me to another realm and for a moment tells me everything is going to be alright.
Visit her website and listen to some tracks, especially Abide With Me . . . the first time I heard her sing that beloved hymn it brought tears to my eyes.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
YES! What better way to celebrate the first warm day of spring yesterday then out on the soccer field in the warmth of the late afternoon sun. After leaving our snow covered yard and neighborhood and making about an 1,000 ft. elevation drop, we found warm, DRY grass . . . heavenly. I honestly can't remember the last time I sat on the grass and it was wonderful to feel the sun on my face and watch these spunky 7 year-olds run up and down the field. Sophie loved it and her little team won 3-1 despite the fact that not one of the girls had practiced - here's to a great season!
Monday, April 6, 2009
I was asked to speak on Modesty. Easy enough, but the more I pondered this topic, I came to the conclusion that modesty comprises much, much more than our dress. It's a lifestyle, it's at the core of our attitudes, our behavior, and especially our relationships with others and God. Truly it's the center of our character, as every one of us strives to live virtuous lives in a world that has increasingly become closer and closer to pornographic.
Before the meeting began I was enthusiastically greeting many old friends and neighbors from my old ward, and even bantering with some of the men that they weren't missing out on anything, since my topic of modesty wasn't for them. However, after wrapping up what turned out to be an amazing experience with the women of the ward, I thought it would have been nice to have the men there as well. My focus was not "what to wear or not to wear," we know what is appropriate, but rather how our actions, dress, and language reflect what is truly in our heart. Does our outward behavior reflect our inner beliefs - our commitment to always remember the Lord? Do the things we surround ourselves with daily reflect an attitude of "modesty" . . . not just in dress, but also music, internet use (including i-phone apps), television programs, our choice of language (not just swearing, but crude or inappropriate), and especially our accepting attitudes towards immodest dress and behavior.
After a lovely conference weekend I felt I would share what, right now has been on my mind. I've always expected the best of people, especially myself. I know at times I fall short, but after sharing my thoughts on modesty last week, I walked away with more determination to watch myself more carefully and be that light spoken of by Neal A. Maxwell. We cannot be that light unless we strive each day to remove ourselves from what has become acceptable behavior in the world.
I'll end with a quote from my talk by Robert D. Hales: “Modesty is at the center of being pure and chaste, both in thought and deed. Thus, because it guides and influences our thoughts, behavior, and decisions, modesty is at the core of our character.”