Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tortilla + Pizza Accouterments = Pizzadilla

I don't write very often. I usually only write when I feel like I have something worthwhile to say or birthday wishes to send. Well, I was reprimanded by my awesome friend upon about 1 hour of his release from serving a full time LDS mission. How are my children and generations worth of posterity supposed to know all about me if I do not update my blog more than once every several months... That being said, along with every other blogger out there, here's to posting more often and preserving proof of my actual existence... Or something like that.

On a completely unrelated note--

I had a profound experience today. I was having a conversation with an older woman, someone whom I admire and respect greatly, and we began talking about work and service. She expressed to me some level of discontent with her job situation and wished she could give her life to service and charity.   Hesitantly she disclosed this wish to me and her desire to do something that could make a difference and make her more happy. Granted, she is one of the most upbeat and positive women I know--she makes a difference with just a smile and sincere 'how are you?'. Warm, charitable, serviceable, fabulous does not even begin to describe this lovely friend of mine. But just as everyone else in this wide world, she, for just a moment felt small.

I learned a few things from this brief conversation:

No matter where we are in life--no matter how successful, beautiful, powerful, what have you--we may be, it is still possible to feel small.

Do things that make you happy, and if you are not happy--FIX IT! 

 Life constantly happens, and it takes a lot to not just let your life happen to you. 

Most importantly--I've said it before and I will say it a million times over--life is all about choices. We choose what we do and we have to choose to accept what comes of it. Happiness is a choice (probably one of the hardest ones to make). Kindness is a choice. Being present in your own life and in the lives of those around you is a choice. We choose how others perceive us and how we perceive ourselves. Every action we take, we are making a choice to be the best we can be or to maybe not be as great as we could be.

 Faith in the ability to daily improve is what drives me. I believe in choosing my own attitude towards life and I know that I am not always very good at making the positive choice. But I know that I am in control of myself and through self control and positive choices and a good attitude, I may just have the ability to turn someone else's frown into a smile. And that, to me, is worth it. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cucumbers and Sunshine

Guess what! Today is a very special and wonderful and stupendous day. Exactly nineteen years ago on July 16th, my soul mate was born. My longest and very best friend, Anna Elizabeth Lewis--more affectionately known as Anna Banana, Anne Banann, Anna Bear, or Sunshine--is celebrating her birthday today. I could say a million things about how utterly amazing she is. She is my rock. She is beautiful, and happy, and more kind than anyone I know. Although we do not live near to one another (we have not lived in the same state since we were 7) she is always a phone call away to laugh, cry, sing, or just be quiet with me. I see this lovely lady about once a year--and always have since she moved away many many moons ago--and we can always pick up from right where we left off the year before just as if no time has passed at all. Like I said, she is AMAZING. If I were as cool as her I would have included a bunch of photos of us growing up together (just in case you were wondering, dear, you don't have the 'awkward stage' pictures because they just happen to be in my possession.) but I am not that tech savvy, and really the only photographs that I have are not publicly acceptable. Anyways, she makes my heart smile and our souls know each other. Anna, you have blessed my life in more ways than you know. I love you forever, and cannot wait to grow up one day and live next door to one another so our darling and perfect children can be soul mates as well. Happy Birthday to the very best!!! I love you!! 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Apple Pie in a Mason Jar

One of the best men in this world passed away this morning. Pat Quinn was truly an amazing person. He was loved by every single student at Desert Vista and by anyone who knew him. He kept me sane through High School. He was not only a security guard, but a cherished friend. Not a day went by at DV when he didn't smile and wave and ask how my day was going. He called me by name and knew my story. He genuinely cared how my new job was going or if the team won our last lacrosse game. I looked forward to seeing Pat several times throughout the day. A wave as I drove into the parking lot in the morning, a brief chat as I walked off campus for seminary and a "hey there" when I came back (and sometimes even a scolding for parking in a teacher space). I loved riding on his golf cart when I was running late and hearing his stories about being a firefighter or when he lived up north or just about his family. His love and admiration for his sweet wife was inspirational. His love and zest for life was contagious--he dressed up for every spirit day and passed out candy on holidays. A genuine smile was always on his face. His kind of happiness is a choice, one  he made effortlessly every day. I know I have learned much from my friend but most importantly he taught me to make the best of what life brings me and to treat everyone with kindness and respect. He knew that life was precious and lived as an example to thousands of students. I know that he is smiling down from a beautiful paradise now, proud of his legacy. Pat Quinn will live forever in my heart. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Food for Thought

I have been thinking a lot lately, which sometimes can get me in trouble.I think this is good thinking--but then again, it is the middle of the night. Anyways, In the midst of all of this pondering I realized that maybe I should just let you know a little something. You are beautiful. You are intelligent. You are bright. You are powerful. You are blessed. You can do hard things. I know that I wish I could hear these words more often (though I have a wonderful many people supporting me every day, sometimes you just need to hear it again), so just in case you needed to hear them--I really believe that they are true.

I have always felt different. Not special different, or super weird and strange different, but I have just always known that I am not like anyone else. I feel that I have always had a very strong sense for who I am, but I have not always felt great about it. As a struggling student for years I told myself that my best is good enough but inside I never felt that I was smart because I did not receive straight As. I always felt that I was too emotional, too passionate, too involved. I made others uncomfortable with my all too unique way of existing--who wants to be friends with the girl who yells at her first grade teacher in the middle of reading groups or bursts into tears during eighth grade social studies class? It is hard for a kid not to fit in. But I never had a desire to try. Sure, I wished that the girls at church would just let me feel like part of their group and that I didn't eat alone sometimes in High School, but I never did anything to change myself to what others saw as acceptable. I couldn't let them (the people all living the same so seemingly cookie cutter life around me) win. I knew that for some reason I just had to do my own thing. Growing up was hard, and the fact that I am not done yet kinda sucks. But I have learned a few things along the way.

I am smart. I am beautiful. I am passionate (and that is not a bad thing). I have potential to be a great person. I am not trying to take you on an ego trip, I just need you to know that it took me a long time but I finally believe that these words are true. I may learn differently than most students. Maybe I like to argue and be loud and cry--but why  would I want to be friends with someone who disliked me for those things? I have realized that I do not need to fit in to the inner sanctum of perceived superiority to have worth as a human being. But most of all, I have come to see that all of the time I spent being upset about being different, I now need to make up with embracing my uniqueness and helping others do the same. Confidence is not something that you can just pick up at your friendly neighborhood Wal Mart... Well maybe, considering it is Wal Mart and all... But it is something that you have to discover for yourself. Find what brings you joy and go DO IT. Who cares if people will give you judgy looks? Seriously, if someone is going to judge you they will do it no matter what it is that you are doing. Live your life in a way that makes YOU happy. End of story. Because you ARE smart, and gorgeous, and talented, and great. And no one can take that away from you but yourself. So please, be kind to others and be kind to you.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WARNING: This Post May or May Not Actually be About Cooking

Sometimes, on cloudy days, when I am feeling under the weather I am kind enough to let the weather think it is above me, I like to cook. (Have no fear, I washed my hands a lot.) Also, sometimes when I cook I do not like to use a recipe. And by sometimes I mean nearly every time. In my backyard there are three lovely rosemary bushes and for quite some time I have been wanting to use said rosemary in some sort of culinary venture. There has been only one problem with actually using this delicious herb--the bushes are inhabited by approximately one billion bees. So, summoning all of my knowledge of how to send my love to the bees (thank you, Sue Monk Kidd) and putting on my big girl panties, I set off to harvest the mystical rosemary. In case you were wondering, I did make it out without incident. All that was left to do was decide what to do with the conquered herb of fantastical mysteries. As it happens our kindly neighbors have a lemon tree which overflows abundantly into our backyard (they let us use whatever is on our side). Rosemary+lemon+happiness and sunshine=chicken marinade. With a little help from my handy dandy Cuisinart, a magical creation was born--or blended. Either way, it smells delicious! As my chicken rests in its baggie full of happiness and love, I hope it turns out as delicious as all of my hopes and dreams. But while I wait, homework calls my name and unfortunately I must answer... Have a nice Wednesday... You do know what they say about Wednesdays...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Life is Weird... But So Are Vegetables, and I like to Eat Those...

Since moving home, I have been a little spoiled... I must have reverted back to like 3rd grade since my mom makes me a sandwich everyday and when she has to work I whine about having to do it myself. What happened to the capable independent woman who bought classy beef and lived on the edge?! Yikes! Somebody needs a swift kick in the pants (my mom for turning me soft. duh!)... Anyways, it is warm and sunny as I sit outside eating my self packed lunch of clementine cuties and a granola bar (mom was teaching kindergarten today, I embarrass myself!) and reflect on all of the lovely days I enjoy here. I am learning that life is a journey and to never sit still for too long. Have you ever watched "That 70's Show"? If not, you should because it is hilarious. Also, I just saw Hyde's twin strolling across MCC campus. My school is awesome. Life makes me smile sometimes!