Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lessons learned a year ago...

Time is such a fickle thing... it flies by without a thought of those it might be leaving behind, yet spans so effortlessly into forever that a day can seem like weeks... A year seems to be getting shorter as I live more of them... yet, so much can happen in this amount of time that it is difficult to keep up!

So what is so important today that I discuss how quickly a year goes by? Today marks an anniversary that I do not want to forget. A year ago today my roommate Annie was taken from us in a car accident. I just wanted to take today to honor her memory and the lessons that I learned from her example to me.

Lesson #1: Live the way you want to go out and do it now! It doesn't mean be perfect, just be making a visible effort to improve yourself, your situation, and those with whom you associate with.

Lesson #2: Smile! Simple, I know, but every time I saw Annie it was with a big, warm smile on her face. When she came into the room it always got brighter.

Lesson #3: What right have I to complain? Annie did what she had to do cheerfully and without complaint. She never took the easy way out for anything.

Lesson #4: Family is TOP priority. Every time I asked her, her plans were usually with her family. She stayed up late making cookies one night because she had promised her younger siblings a treat if they were good.

Lesson #5: Its ok to have a little fun in life. My favorite story of Annie was one shared about her macaroni and cheese. Her twin brothers related how she always made the best mac and cheese and when they asked her how, she explained that she had a secret ingredient. From then on when it was time to make the sauce she would shoo them out of the room. As they listened they heard cupboards opening and things shuffled around. Later (after a few experiments and ruined batches of mac and cheese) she told them that she just followed the instructions on the box. There wasn't really a secret ingredient... but she knew they would listen so she opened random cupboards to keep them guessing... A little spunky personality and some good fun never hurt anyone! :)

Lesson #6: Do the things you do with love. I believe there was a secret ingredient in that mac and cheese... Everything she did was done in love.

Lesson #7: Do what you love to do and do it now! Annie didn't put off what she loved to do. She made the time for the things she enjoyed. She didn't fill her time worrying about things she couldn't control, or with things that wouldn't improve or help her... so she had room for what meant the most to her.

Lesson #8: Keep a Journal! Almost every day, thought, and lesson Annie had was documented in a journal. She wrote every night and because she did, her family had a treasured library of their dear Annie. She wrote them for others to read, for her family and that is how they are used.

Lesson #9: Missionary work is important. She served and taught every spare moment she had. Every moment she didn't have too... she understood that service doesn't have to be grand to count and you don't have to get recognition to enjoy it.

Lesson #10: Life is short... really, our mortal life here is temporary... I want to live so there are people at my funeral... Don't take the little moments, the little chances for granted. Be grateful for everything and love every moment in life!

I have learned so much this past year... and so many things came from this experience for me. I am glad that I had the opportunity to have Annie in my life, even for a short time, and I am grateful for the knowledge that I have regarding this mortal existence, and the life to come.

I am excited to share my life with someone as wonderful as my husband, and I want to live and enjoy the journey! I hope I get to thank Annie one day for the lessons she taught me... But this will have to be good enough for now.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A New Blog!?!

I know, what is the world going to do with yet another blog? Hopefully love the blog... but this blog isn't necessarily for the world. This is for me.

I have been married to my husband for over 9 months now (I know, a very long time isn't it.) I still feel as though we are newly weds experimenting on how this marriage thing works... But we are and forever will be sweethearts ( get it?... lovebirds?). So welcome to my domain! A place to learn about my family, our adventures, and our values. I hope to capture our experiences together and to look back over the years and remember every moment. :)

In light of the beginning of the legendary tale of me and my family... I thought I would start off with a favorite quote from a favorite movie...

"Legend tells of a legendary warrior whose kung fu skills were the stuff of legend." -Kung Fu Panda

Let the fun times begin!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Celebrate Your Freedom!

I have spent some time considering freedom today... perhaps a little differently than I have in the past. I realize that I am so incredibly blessed to live the life I do. I do not worry about my life and I am able to worship how I see fit. The modern-day conveniences that surround us are abundant and, I admit, taken for granted.

There has been a lot of struggle and suffering for the life I live today, and it all began with the inspired words of Thomas Jefferson, 185 years ago. The famous, elegant words that began the began the American experiment that changed the course of world history.

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, ...We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed..."

I have found a rare video of Thomas Jefferson and the other founding fathers as they were drawing up the document. And I have decided to share it with all of you!

Its a little silly and outright bizarre at the end, but it made me giggle a little. Honestly, the historian in me did curl up inside and cringe while watching this.. but for some reason I love this video. For more information about the group that did this you can go here.

In all seriousness, to the men we call our "Founding Fathers" I give my thanks, for the sacrifices and genius you invested into this magnificent country. To the men and women since 1776 who have served to make this country better, safe, and free, thank you! And to a loving God who saw fit to create this "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave" and institute a government led for the people, by the people, I wish to also publicly express my thanks.

I stand for the flag of the United States, I believe that "in God we trust", and I believe that "united we stand, divided we fall." Celebrate Independence Day and never forget the marvelous blessing it is to live in the United States of America.