Friday, June 21, 2013

Pick a star on the dark horizon...

I am one of those people who loves quotes. I read and reread them, my class notes often have quotes scribbled into the margins. One of my favorite things to do when I first get a journal is to take a sharpie to it and place meaningful quotes on random pages. Words are powerful entities in my life. Words got me my first job, a state championship, into college, married to a wonderful man and provide access to a myriad of emotions and logical thoughts.
This morning I have been reflecting on these two quotes:

You think the dead we love ever truly leave us? You think that we don't recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble?  -Dumbledore (JK Rowling)

When doubt or difficulty come, do not be afraid to ask for help. If we want it as humbly and honestly ... we can get it. The scriptures phrase such earnest desire as being of “real intent,” pursued “with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God.” I testify that in response to that kind of importuning, God will send help from both sides of the veil to strengthen our belief. -Jeffrey R Holland

I know many people are cynical about my religious beliefs, claiming they are too happy go lucky, too depressing, too simplistic, too complicated, that the people running the church are too imperfect, etc. I have had questions, and doubts and I still don't understand it all. I won't claim to understand why the Lord takes people from this life at certain times. But I can say that I know the two above statements are true (although JK Rowling is not an authority of the LDS church).

I don't just hope, I don't just believe, I know. And I am ever grateful for that knowledge, for those words that have made the pains and sorrows of this life easier to bear.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Be still... wild and young

    As a graduation present to each other Gabe and I decided to go skydiving in Moab. It was amazing... while that word is overused I am not sure there is another way to explain it. Gabe and I agree he had the better tandem partner, but I can't really complain about someone who enabled me to enjoy such an astounding experience for the first time. Yes, I said first time. Both Gabe and I agree we want to do this again.

Before the jump... I didn't choose the jumpsuit but I told the guy my brother was going to mock me because it is camo.... Go ahead Matt... I can hear you laughing from here...

Super excited...? In the words of Gabe's tandem partner "That's a lot of camo..."

This is when he said "Alright, one final picture and then we're going to open the door."

 The awesomeness that is my neck muscles.
 Up is down and down is up...

 The view was breathtaking... and not just because we were jumping in the maximum allotted winds.

 It was so fantastic that I broke my goggles... or something.

 It was windy enough that as we were taking the picture above the wind caught our chute and pulled us down. Luckily, this guy had the sense to stand on it.

Gabe and his partner before the jump...
 The tiny plane we jumped from... 
 We flew higher and higher...
 and got an extra long look at the view because it was almost too windy for us to jump.
 He was excited...
 I love this expression... Gabe said this was his favorite part, actually jumping from the plane.

 During the jump we were able to direct the flight... but really they just let us steer as long as we didn't need to turn.

So glad I was able to go... even better, Gabe went with me.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Next time you point a finger ...

One of my least favorite things in this world is gossip... celebrity gossip, church pew gossip, gossip among "friends"... you get the idea.

I would like to be able to say that this is because I am naturally kind... but I don't think this is quite it. When you're the new kid over and over again, when your mom has been married four times, when you have younger brothers who are young enough to be your kid (kind of), and you know how to easily become friends with guys... gossip happens, and it happens frequently. Maybe this is a short sided view of things, maybe gossip happens to every young girl, regardless of what is going on in her life. Maybe even that is too near sighted, and maybe it happens to guys as well. But it happened to me, over and over again. It still happens, but as a 25 year old who is much more grounded and secure it somehow doesn't effect me the way it did when I was fifteen or even twenty.

It isn't so much the things that were said, but rather the hateful manner in which people said them. With ever increasing differences in political and social beliefs and with social media as a facade to hide behind it seems to me that hatefulness has increased. People are outright rude to those who do not share their same views, and they think it is okay because they know they are right. How people raise their children, political preferences, GMO foods, and gun control name a few hot topics.

It is easy to become sucked in and I hate to admit I have been once or twice. I have some pretty strong opinions about... well most things, after all it is in my genes. Which is one of the many reasons why at the beginning of 2013 my resolution became one word: Kindness.

Kindness towards friends, family, strangers, those who share my opinions and those who do not. Kindness for those who have wronged me and for myself. Being kind doesn't mean I agree with what you believe or allow myself to be used by you, but it does mean I view you as a child of God who should be treated as such. Each person deserves that much. Does that mean I believe that there are not horrible people who have done horrible things out there? Of course not. It simply means I will not become a horrible person just because they are.

It is almost halfway through the year and I have made improvements in being kind, but I also realize I have a long way to go. Here's to six more months. Here is to kindness.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

... and Everyone Will Lift their Heads

There is this quote I cannot get out of my mind as of late...

Life is eternal; and love is immortal; and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight       
                              -Rossiter W Raymond

For as long as I can remember I have been interested in death. I remember reading book after book at my grandparent's house about people who had died and then returned to the earth. I read religious and nonreligious books on the matter including a few about reincarnation. Even now, if I think about the shows I enjoy they are things like Psych, Monk, Bones... these shows do not interest me because of the murders, but rather the idea that a person's life can be summed up so quickly... over in one moment. I love looking at a person's life, and seeing who they were, what was important to them, what they believed about themselves and the world around them.

It seems fitting, and almost ironic to me that the place I sat and read so many books about death is the first place I experienced it. I was almost nine and my little sister and I had stayed the night at my grandparent's because my brother was having a birthday party at our house, no girls allowed. My grandpa had gotten up early to go take care of some Boy Scout stuff. My sister and I have always woke up early. Emily loved to cuddle up to our grandma, but I could never sit still long enough to snuggle up for more than a few minutes. I watched cartoons in the living room and soon Emily came in and sat next to me, she was upset and I asked her what was wrong, she said "Momo is acting weird." (We called our grandma Momo). I am not sure what happened next, except I went to go check on our grandma, I knew something was wrong, and I knew that I should call for help. But something stopped me. She looked so peaceful, I didn't want to disturb her. So I went back to the living room and I kept watching cartoons. 

I remember hearing the most awful sound... somewhere between a scream and a cry for help. I can tell you what the breaking of a heart sounds like, it has been with me since that day. My grandpa had come home and found my grandma dead. 

I remember thinking about all the books I had read while sitting on my grandparent's floral couch. I remember that none of them had talked about the heartbreak of the people who are left behind. I remember wishing I had not left my grandma looking so peaceful because it left my grandpa so devastated.

I know my grandparents will be reunited one day, and I even knew that then. But at the time it didn't mitigate the heartache and the sadness. It didn't make me feel less guilty for what I now know was out of my control. Death is a strange thing, it can bring so much peace and hurt all at the same time. Which is why I love that quote, it is a gentle reminder that the hurt and heartache come from my limited sight and those things that are truly important, that really matter... those are the bits of this limited life that are immortal.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

To All Those Mommas Who Are Keeping It Real...

A little background: Gabe and I have been through a lot in the baby department. I have endometriosis and PCOS which means in and of itself getting pregnant can be a struggle. Then when I finally did get pregnant I had a miscarriage. Three timed. Yes, it was difficult. But at this point I am ready to move forward with my life and everything that I have going for me. Why am I telling you this? Because I feel like it makes this post that more relevant.

So here's the deal:
I have no idea what motherhood is like, because I am not a mother. Yes, I have babysat, taught students and even had one of my siblings live with us for a little while. But it isn't the same, and I will be the first to admit that. But because of the wonderful world of technology I have seen so many examples of what it is like to be a mom, both good and difficult.

The good gets me really excited to be a mom one of these days. I want to have that experience and I appreciate those who put their family before themselves. I think it is a respectable course to take in life and I hope that time comes for me.

However, the difficult is something I have come to appreciate as well. I have a cousin who has colicky twins, which she complains about and then people tell her to appreciate the cute little babies in all their fussiness... which I am sure has some truth to it and she knows that. But, I am grateful for her and all the other parents who don't just tell about the rainbows and sunshine of raising children for two reasons:

1. It reminds me to enjoy life as it is now. There is so much freedom in not having children, and I am not going to feel guilty about that when there is nothing I can do about it.
We can go to movies, sleep in and go on vacation with relative ease. Sure, we have a puppy we have to make plans for but that is much easier than a baby (in most ways). Alone time happens almost daily and the only people who need to eat in this house are more than capable of feeding themselves.

2. Hopefully I will be a little more prepared for motherhood when it does come, all of motherhood. If I based the life of a parent on all of those cute little posts I think I would go crazy and feel a lot of guilt once the time comes.

So keep on keeping it real ladies. Because whether your style is to divulge it all, vent on social sites about what is really hard, or try to only share the positive, I appreciate the looks into your life and the things I have to look forward to... and those I should appreciate now because I am sure they will be missed.