Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I'm thankful for the professor who compliments my work.
I'm thankful for the girl who makes me feel important, like I'm here for a reason.
I'm thankful for the cousin who randomly sends me pictures and videos to make me laugh.
I'm thankful for the grandmother who has been such an inspiration to others, and therefore to me.
I'm thankful for the neighbor children who remind me of the innocence of childhood.
I'm thankful for the boy who texts me just to say I'm thinking of you.
I'm thankful for the ward member who sees the good in me.
I'm thankful for the blogger that inspires me for the better.
I'm thankful for the bus driver who reminds me of the tender mercies of the Lord.
I'm thankful for the father who cares about everything that happens in my life, no matter how seemingly small or insignificant.
I'm thankful for the dog who is there to listen to me cry and cuddle on bad days.
I'm thankful for the example of a girl who lives life to the fullest.
I'm thankful for the convert who reminded me of the blessing the gospel is in my life.
I'm thankful for the institute teacher who constantly brings the spirit to my days.
I'm thankful for the girl who smiles non-stop.
I'm thankful for the mother who tells me the truth, even when I don't want to hear it.
I'm thankful for the Father in Heaven who gives me trials to make me stronger.
I'm thankful for the sister who changed my life.
I'm thankful for the classmate who befriended me despite my differences.
I'm thankful for the brother-in-law who immediately made me feel accepted and loved.
I'm thankful for the team that never gave up on me.
I'm thankful for the Savior who knows my trials and lifts me through them.
I'm thankful for the teacher who taught me more than I could ever imagine.
I'm thankful for the professional dance choreographer who despite my shortcomings, saw my passion for dance.
I'm thankful for the uncle who helped me through a hard trial.
I'm thankful for the boy who made me fall in love.
I'm thankful for the friend who listened to my rantings and knew how to calm me down.
I'm thankful for the coach who pushed me beyond belief and made me stronger.
I'm thankful for the deaf lady that made me appreciate life.
I'm thankful for the vice principal that went out of his way to get to know me.
I'm thankful for the dance group that made me feel talented.
I'm thankful for child that showed me the true meaning of love.
I'm thankful for the person who taught me not to judge.
I'm thankful for the guy who brought me back to life.
I'm thankful for all the people who have made a difference in my life.
"You are the piece to the puzzle of someone else's life. You may never know where you fit, but others will fill the holes in their life with pieces of you."
Thanks for putting together my puzzle with pieces of you! Love you all!
I’m a simple girl. Everyday I follow a similar routine and nothing too interesting or out of the ordinary occurs in my simple life. Living in Mesa, I do not find myself around much poverty, life taking illness, or mass murder. And thus, I grew up thinking it didn’t exist. Or rather was very, very uncommon. Yes, I watched movies and saw homeless men walking down the streets. So in essence, I knew it existed; however, I did not think it was an issue. So I went on with life, with friends, with school. And in my eyes, the world was perfect. I went to the mall and spent $20 on a shirt, or occasionally blew 40 dollars on a pair of shoes. On weekends I would go to restaurants, order huge entrees that were way overpriced, only eat about half the portion, and leave the rest for trash. And I never thought twice about it---until recently.
In my junior English course, my teacher taught my class an important, eye-opening lesson. One day, mid-way into the year, students shuffled silently into class: bored, tired, hungry, and opposed to being there. The teacher was silent and one word was written on the board in bold, dark letters. DARFUR. What did it mean? Nobody knew. The teacher stood at the front of the class, asked if anyone could tell the rest of the class what DARFUR was, and waited. The seconds passed on. Nothing. Nobody raised their hand. Nobody could answer. So, she sent us off to the library to research the topic and complete a project on the situation. As I began to research the word I was astonished. Headlines flooded the search engine. Photos of death and sadness flashed across the screen. My mind was a whirlwind. Genocide? Mass rape? Children displacement? And it had been going on for years. How could I possible be so ignorant as to not even know that this was occurring? Then it hit me. I live in a bubble. The people around me have jobs, have money, have hospital access. I live in a free country with a government that doesn’t try to rule my life. But that doesn’t mean that everyone lives in those same conditions.
I made it my commitment from then on to be more aware of the world around me. I read news articles daily, researched topics, and donated to organizations. Since then, I have found several other groups of people who are in need of help. I’ve found that there are so many ways to get involved and make a difference in the world around you. Here are a few that you can help with too:
Save Darfur– Learn more about the issue. View pictures. Buy wristbands. Donate money. Join your local save Darfur organization.
Invisible Children – Children in Uganda are being displaced from their homes. Learn more about what they are being put through at this website. Order bracelets made by children themselves and sent to your house with a video of a child and their story.
Rwanda Baskets - Beautiful hand-woven baskets made by women in Rwanda. Part of the proceeds go back to these women to help them feed their children and gain a healthy lifestyle . To learn more or purchase a basket go to this site or visit a Macys near you.
Heifer International– An organization that lets you send different animals to families around the world. Give a llama, a flock of geese, a water buffalo, or various other animals. This will not only help them now, it will continue to help families in the future. On the site, you can find out more about where your animal is going to, and exactly what that specific animal can do to help a family in need. As weird as this sounds, it actually helps.
I personally have joined the Save Darfur organization and sent various letters trying to spread the word and help the cause. I bought a bracelet from Invisible Children. And yes, I wear it ALL THE TIME. Really seriously. I think it’s really cute! With the help of my government class last year, I donated a llama to the Heifer Organization. I have yet to buy a Rwanda basket, but I hope to in the future. Also, a friend of mine is helping organize a run for life for the Stay Alive foundation. It will take place on Saturday, September 6 from 8:30 to 10:30 A.M. at the Centre Community Court of the Estate Groves neighborhood on Brown and 40th Street. To register and learn more visit www.stayalive.org and click on the Run for Life icon at the bottom right hand of the screen.
Anyway…thanks for listening to me ramble about saving the world. But really, you feel so good when you do something to help! If you have any questions…just ask me! :]]]]
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
There is No One Alive Who is Youer Than You
High school. This is said to be the best time of our lives. Our party days. The only years we can get away with dying our hair hot pink, toilet papering friend’s houses, and staying up until the early hours of morning gossiping about crushes and clothes. But when I look back on my high school experience, I see much more than this. In fact, I see much more than learning how to take the derivative of a function or the in depth process of electing a president. What I see when I look back on my high school experience is the process of learning who I am, and who I hope to become.
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” In the words of Dr. Seuss, we are all individuals. We all have specific characteristics. We all have specific experiences. But in some ways, we are much the same. From our preschool years – where we were learning our ABC’s and buying Power Rangers folders – up until today, we have not only learned algebraic equations and parts of a sentence, but also basic fundamentals of life. And now here we are, at the end of our senior year. Graduating. This is a year we will always remember. It was the year the paparazzi followed Britney Spears, anticipating outrageous behavior. A year of exciting Suns games watching Nash, Stoudemire, and
Today, we have reached that day. But as we graduate tonight, let us be happy. Let us celebrate the many memories and friendships we have made throughout our years together. Let us remember Mr. Luketich, who ALWAYS wore a long sleeve button up shirt…even in the hot months of May or August. He began at sophomore orientation by telling us the tradition of excellence that was upheld at
So here is my challenge to you. Let us never forget the wonderful experiences we have had here. We have learned lessons far beyond trigonometry and how to write a research paper. We have learned the lessons of life. Actions speak louder than words and it’s the simple things that really matter. If you have a dream, go after it and don’t let anyone stop you or tell you that you are not good enough. Be true to yourself. Laugh at jokes, during movies, or about memories of your childhood. And always remember that you haven’t lived until you have learned to laugh at yourself. Dr. Seuss once said, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who'll decide where to go.” Mountain View Toros let us continue on in the tradition of excellence we have learned on this campus. Tonight when we walk off this field, we will begin our first steps to a world beyond high school. We will be given the opportunity to choose for ourselves what we want to do with our lives and who we want to become. It is all up to us. As Seuss would say, “Congratulations Class of 2008! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way.”
Ah. I loved our rainy graduation!
Five Simple Words
Everything appeared to be normal. I came home from dance to find my mom gone and my dad eating dinner. As soon as I walked through the door, I heard my father utter the words, “Get in the car. We’re going to Grandma Websters.” His voice sounded different, yet I couldn’t figure out why.
As we pulled up to my grandma’s house, cars filled the driveway. Suddenly, I knew why I was brought here, why my dad’s voice sounded strained. Nevertheless, I told myself I was wrong. There had to be another explanation for this unexpected family gathering. I walked into the house and made my way to the family room alongside my cousins. When everyone had arrived, my uncle Bill dialed a number on speakerphone.
“Hello?” uttered a familiar voice.
“Hi,” he replied. “The family’s all here.”
I could distinctly make out the voice on the other end of the phone. Aunt Jan. Now I couldn’t deny the truth; I knew what was coming next.
“Aunt Jo passed away tonight.”
Five words; five simple words that would change my life. Jan went on to describe the events preceding her passing, but I heard no more. My mind was blank.
The kids were asked to leave the room. Silence. Nobody said a word, nobody even knew what to say; nothing could describe how we felt. Our summers would no longer hold the annual vacation to
Memories flooded through my mind. Laying on the bed, helping her decide what to wear. Making toast for the entire family on Sunday morning. Watching Steel Magnolias with tissues in hand. It seemed unreal that I would never again experience these things with my aunt – the strongest woman I had ever known.
The next week was hectic. The car trip to
Six years later, on the anniversary of her death, I found myself still angry, still questioning, still searching for a valid explanation. Then I got an idea that suddenly seemed so obvious. I realized then that I needed to pray about it. I got down on my knees and talked with my Father in Heaven. It was then that I got my answer, my tender mercy of the Lord. She had lived her life; she fulfilled her earthly mission. And she was still continuing her mission up in the spirit world. Now it was my turn to live life – and live it to the fullest.
So live life is what I did. I smiled constantly. I laughed more often. I danced with a passion I had never felt before. Soon, I realized the anger was no longer present. I thought of her with a smile, knowing that she was where she needed to be. And once again, everything appeared to be normal.
I don't have any pictures of Jo on my computer....but i'll try to get one up on here soon.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
And shame. Why you try to make me feel like everything is all my fault. I don't amount to anything. When i know better.
Do I fight? Should I try? Is it fate, in my way? I'm already this far. And I couldn't have done better.
Do I fight? Should I try? Is it fate, in my way? Do I laugh? Should I cry? Or for now am I okay? I'm already this far. And I couldn't have done better.
Over and over. Try it again. A path to take leaves no mistake in the end.
Love. Why is it I feel you're always missing me? When you come around you do it quietly.
Do I fight? Should I try? Is it fate, in my way? Do I laugh? Should I cry? Or for now am I okay?
Do I fight? Should I try? Is it fate, in my way? Do I laugh? Should I cry? Or for now am I just getting by?
I'm already this far and I couldn't have done better."
~"Better" by Alissa Moreno
Shame. We, by nature, feel that a lot of things that are out of our control are somehow our own fault. Constantly, we drag ourselves down for little unimportant things. LOVE---not only others, but yourself. It's important. VERY IMPORTANT. But don't let this cause over-excessive pride.
Funny how they contradict each other, right? This life thing is hard. There is no doubt about it. But that's part of the joy in it, in my opinion.
We've all felt pain. We all fear it. And everyone has gotten their heart broken at least a time or two. But we get up and move on. In time, it all goes away. And I think we've all felt love before.
Isn't it a great thing, being human? We have the ability to be prideful, feel guilt, cause pain, endure pain, triumph pain, rise from heartache---and most importantly to love...and be loved in return.
Fabulous song. I love it.
Friday, November 7, 2008
1. I'm absolutely TERRIFIED of elevators...and it's gotten worse over the years. I know it sounds pathetic, but every time I step into an elevator I hold my breath--without realizing it. I've gotten stuck in more than a few...so maybe this is where it stems from? I don't know...but I prefer the stairs when possible.
2. I LOVE pictures! Taking them, looking at them, being IN them. I want to be a photographer later on in life (engagement pictures, senior pictures...etc.) I have so many pictures up in my room...they are EVERYWHERE. And on plenty of random nights I've been known to take over 100 pictures.
3. I've hiked down to Havasupai twice and it is one of my FAVORITE places ever!
4. I laugh at myself on a constant basis...probably more than I laugh at anything else! :]
5. I have more shoes and jewelry than almost anyone I know...friends CONSTANTLY come over to borrow them. I get texts all the time asking for "pink wedges" or "green earings". Everyone knows that I will for sure have whatever they need. I'm a sucker for these things...
6. I'm not afraid to speak in front of large numbers of people...in fact I LIVE for it! Getting asked to speak in church is exciting. Yes, I'm a strange child...we all know this. My parents think that's really psycho of me...but they love being in the audience.
Okay...that's enough. I tag Natalie, Tia, Prilly (or James!), and Tannis
Believes in "you"
Calls you just to say "HI
Doesn't give up on you!
Envisions the whole of you (even the unfinished parts)
Forgives your mistakes
Invites you over
Just "be" with you
Keeps you close at heart
Loves you for who you are
Makes a difference in your life
Picks you up
Quiets your fears
Raises your spirits
Says nice things about you
Tells you the truth when you need to hear it
Walks beside you
X-plains thing you don't understand
Yells when you won't listen and
Zaps you back to reality
I have had so many wonderful friends throughout the years that have showed me the meaning of a true friend. I strive daily to be the kind of friend others are to me. As I read each one of these ABC's...a specific friend came to mind. And for each letter I envisioned a different person than the letter before. That means that in my lifetime I have had ATLEAST 26 fantastic friends. I am so very blessed.
I LOVE YOU ALL! And thanks for being my friend! :]
Thursday, November 6, 2008
"All your life you are told the things you cannot do. All your life they will say you're not good enough or strong enough or talented enough; they will say you're the wrong height or the wrong weight or the wrong type to play this or be this or achieve this. THEY WILL TELL YOU NO, a thousand times no, until all the no's become meaningless. All your life they will tell you no, quite firmly and very quickly.
AND YOU WILL TELL THEM YES"
"Avoiding the phrase “I don’t have time...”, will soon help you to realize that you do have the time needed for just about anything you choose to accomplish in life."
"You know a dream is like a river, ever changing as it flows.
And a dreamer's just a vessel that must follow where it goes.
Trying to learn from what's behind you and never knowing what's in store
makes each day a constant battle just to stay between the shores.
And I will sail my vessel 'til the river runs dry.
Like a bird upon the wind, these waters are my sky.
I'll never reach my destination if I never try,
So I will sail my vessel 'til the river runs dry.
Too many times we stand aside and let the water slip away.
To what we put off 'til tomorrow has now become today.
So don't you sit upon the shore and say you're satisfied.
Choose to chance the rapids and dare to dance the tides."
"Any change, any loss, does not make us victims. Others can shake you, surprise you, disappoint you, but they can't prevent you from acting, from taking the situation you're presented with and moving on. No matter where you are in life, no matter what your situation, you can always do something. You always have a choice and the choice can be power."
"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." . . . You must do the thing you think you cannot do."
How many times in life have you told yourself..."I can't do that. It's irrational, improbable. Even impossible."? I know I have--plenty of times. And how many times have you let go of a dream because somebody else told you that you couldn't do it? That you weren't, aren't, good enough. Or that it's unrealistic or a waste of time. I'm sure everyone is guilty of that one too.
Well...frankly, I'm just sick of it.
I CAN DO WHATEVER I PUT MY MIND TO.
And if it's important to me, then it's important enough to accomplish. And I can guarantee that if I feel a goal is important, then Heavenly Father feels it's important also. He will be proud of me for accomplishing it. I am His daughter, He loves me, and a part of Him is in me. Which means, I have no limitations. The only limitations I have are the ones I place on myself, or choose to let others place on me.
So, I have a list called "100 Things I Wish to do Before I Die." I've had it for awhile...and I've added to it over time. It only has 20ish things on it. Some I've already accomplished. Some seem so far away and unreachable. But i'm going to accomplish these things. And tonight I'm adding to it more things that I thought were never attainable. I encourage you to make a list like this also. It makes you feel powerful. It makes you realize all the things you can do. It helps you find things you've always wanted to do, but never noticed before. It EMPOWERS you.
Here's a few of the things on my list:
---Publish a book
---Swim with dolphins
---Do a mini-triathlon
---Build a snowman
---Give a Book of Mormon to a complete stranger
---Kiss behind a waterfall
---Feed pigeons in Italy
---Jog along the beach alone early in the morning
---Adopt a child from another country (if circumstances seem right)
---Get married in the temple
---Watch the sun rise on my roof
Those are just a few. Some are simple...others are big. Some mean more to me personally than others could realize. But all are important. My possibilities are endless.
Life is grand, don't you think?
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Raja was on FIRE! And tonight's game was fabulous. Amare rocked it! So now they stand 4-1. The team is FANTASTIC this year. Of coure we still have Nash (every shot he takes goes in), Stoudemire (i'm loving the goggles), Bell (my all-time favorite...he's SOOO attractive), Barbosa (what a cutie), Diaw (not sure what his hair is doing), Hill (I changed my mind Mom, he is beautiful), and Shaq (he's old and a little lazy...but i'm glad we have him!). Then we added Dragic (he's a mini-Nash...I swear I get them mixed up), Lopez (I LOVE his hair--and watching him and his twin play each other last night MADE my night), and Barnes (he's our new 3-point shot man...I call it). We have a 10 man rotation...LOVE IT! This season is gonna rock...I can just feel it!
And no, the little goldish brown spots on these aren't stains...that's writing. :] Tells you the number of the tray and if it's upper or lower. And some id number.
So I guess that is my update for now :]