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Saturday, October 18, 2008

This... what I woke up to last Sunday morning. I've already been dreading winter, and the snow made me pretty mad. So much for hello fall...more like hello winter. I think I need to take up a winter sport this year or consider moving. I hope I don't wake up to this again tomorrow.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Trip We've Been Waiting For

This is old news, but I have been wanting to post about this for a while. Nettie, Michelle, Dyana, and I along with other friends over the years have traveled a lot. We always talk about doing a humanitarian trip. This summer we actually made it happen. We signed up with a group called Family to Family Humanitarian Expeditions not knowing exactly what we were signing up for. We packed our bags and headed to Ensenada, Mexico for a week of service. We got a week of service and so much more. Michelle wrote all about the trip on her blog so check it out for the details. We were a little worried before the trip because we didn't know any details. Once, we got there and worked for a couple of days all our worries disappeared. Nettie sent an email saying "It was one of those experiences that I will never forget. I will think twice before I complain about anything. We worked with families who had absolutely nothing other than each other and yet they were some of the happiest families I have ever seen. Material possessions do not equal happiness. Doing hard work with people you love makes the job a whole lot easier-I'll be more ready and willing to lend a helping hand AND I will look for more opportunities to serve those around me." We spent the week working on 4 construction projects, and Nettie summed up the trip really well. If any of you are thinking of doing humanitarian work I highly recommend it.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Big 3-0 or the New 26!

I LOVE birthdays! I love celebrating. I love any excuse for a party. I love making people feel special. I love Katie White, and I wanted her birthday to be extra special. None of us really look forward to getting older so Katey and I got together and took the dread out of getting another year older.

I wanted Katie's birthday to be lots of fun. I started thinking of ideas a couple months ago. Katey and I decided to do her Day of 30 Favorites.

We went to Katie's at 6:00am Monday morning to start out the day of favorites with breakfast in bed. She was a little disoriented and very surprised, but once she realized what was going on, it was so fun to watch.

We set the day up so Katie would run into her favorites throughout the day. Coming up with 30 favorites was pretty entertaining. Some of the things were serious (favorite fruit, breakfast, etc.), and some were funny (artist-framed picture because who doesn't need a picture of their favorite artist? and store-homemade DI gift certificate). Thanks Nettie for the cute tags!

Part of the day of favorites included a surprise lunch with her favorite friends (Katey and me) at her favorite restaurant (Firehouse Pizza in Centerville).

We ended the day at Katie's house with a salad party complete with more friends and more presents. Katie's favorite conversation ender is "I Love You", and we even found some heart charms to go along with the phrase.

Katie had a great day. We celebrated. We partied. She felt special. Mission accomplished. I had so much fun celebrating Katie's birthday, and I hope she did too. Here's to the new 26!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Good-bye Summer...Hello Fall

I'm stealing this idea (almost word for word) from my cute friend Angie's blog. Fall hit with a boom today so this post is especially appropriate today.

Good-bye flip-flops...goodbye dirty feet...hello boots.
Good-bye BBQ dinners...hello baked pies and turkeys roasting in the oven.
Good-bye lawn mowing...hello raking leaves.
Good-bye bathing suits...hello cozy sweaters and that favorite pair of jeans...
Good-bye roasted marshmallows...hello candy apples...
Good-bye camping and summer festivals...hello scrapbooking, reading good books, and Christmas shopping!
Good-bye barefeet...hello warm socks and slippers.
Good-bye cool showers...hello bubble baths.
Good-bye air conditioners...hello crackling fireplaces.
Good-bye heat...hello crisp, fresh air.
Good-bye fresh-picked strawberries...hello crunchy, juicy apples.
Good-bye bug bites...hello dry skin.
Good-bye sunscreen...hello moisturizer.
Good-bye long days outside...hello early bedtimes!
Good-bye watering flowers...hello fall decorating.
Good-bye otter pops...hello pumpkin shakes and peppermint ice cream
Good-bye picnics...hello slow-cooking.
Good-bye lazy days of summer...hello cozy nights.
Good-bye pool days and biking and tennis and...

I love summer and always get depressed when fall starts coming because I know it inevitably means winter and snow. Angie's post got me a little excited for fall, and I am ready for a seasonal wardrobe change. Bring on the long sleeve tees and jeans. Hello Fall...

Changed for the Better

I love the musical Wicked! I love the music, and I frequently have the songs running through my head. Yesterday I was reminded that my life really has been changed for the better time and time again. I had the opportunity to attend a funeral for a little boy I have been working with. His sweet spirit was trapped in his sick little body. From the day he was born, he fought for every breath and spent his life hooked up to machines. His family completely put their life on hold over the past year to dedicate every moment to him. They continually exercised their faith in hoping and praying for a miracle. That miracle was realized yesterday as friends and family gathered to celebrate the life of this little boy and the lessons he taught during his short life here on earth. Here are a few of the things mentioned by his mother and a family friend during the funeral as well as a few things I learned by having the blessing of knowing and working with this sweet little boy and his amazing family.

*life is short. take advantage of everyday.
*God will always answer our prayers in our way or a better way.
*miracles still happen. we need to look for them.
*families are forever.
*no matter how bad things seem, it's always worse somewhere else.
*we all have a mission here on earth.
*don't put those things which matter most at the mercy of things which matter least.

A Few Thoughts from the Funeral
*even though he couldn't communicate, this little boy never complained about the challenges he faced
*the big sister loved her little brother and played with him like any big sister would even though he couldn't play back and machines got in the way
*the parents gave up everything this past year to completely devote their lives to their son. there is no better example of love and charity than this family
*everyone involved in the life of this child realized the miracle they had been praying for was the miracle of his life and the legacy he leaves behind
*there was a sign outside the chapel that said "because someone we love is in heaven we have heaven in our home". i love that

I feel extremely blessed for having the oppurtunity to work with this little boy and to know his family. I was reminded once again of those things which are most important in life. My life really has been changed for the better because I know them. I will forever be grateful for these life lessons that keep my life in perspective.

The Year of the Race

I thought I was all raced out after last summer, but I was wrong. This year has been a big race year for me. I keep thinking every summer that this is the last year, but I just can't get enough. Running with the running group has only motivated me to do more races.

I started out the race season with the traditional (and my favorite) Race for the Cure.

After that I was in serious race mode. About a month later Michelle and I did the Little Red Riding Hood century bike ride. We did the race last year and loved it. Unfortunately the weather was HORRIBLE this year. We had rain, sleet, hail, and major wind. We ended up getting a ride for about 20 miles right after lunch because it was pouring so hard. We rode the last 20 miles, and it was good to finish out the race. Despite the weather, Michelle and I still had a fun day.

2 weeks after the bike race, I, along with a team of 11 other people and 2 drivers, hopped in a van for 2 days to run from Logan to Park City in the Wasatch Back relay race. It sounds crazy, and it kind of was, but it was also tons of fun. I loved it so much I've already signed up a team for next year.

I kicked my biking into high gear (sort of) in July to get ready for the Spudman triathlon. I've spent a lot of time running this summer so I had to do a crash training to get ready. It was my first olympic tri and my best triathlon so far. I had goals for each of the events, and I was able to achieve my goals. I did realize that if I'm going to do more open water triathlons, I need to do some open water training.

I just finished out the race season (at least I think I am done for the season) with the Top of Utah marathon. I never thought I would do a marathon, and once I decided to do a marathon I thought it would be a one time thing. When people say races are addicting, it's true. I'm already looking for another marathon to do sometime in the future-hopefully somewhere outside of Utah.

This race season has been pretty good to me. My body has held up really well. I've had a lot of fun and made some great memories. Although I feel a little raced out, I'm already looking forward to the next race-whatever that might be.