Sunday, July 26, 2009

for all who wanted to see Collier in his new eyes, here he is! sooo handsome and big!

we made it to the top...

a thought occurred to me as i was pushing the stroller with aisy in it to the top of a mountain. it was this. "can i make it to the top?"
i was hearing the passersby persecute us for having attempted to bring up the stroller and a baby as we passed on pushing and pushing up toward the top. willie would put his hand on my back to lend support and try to help push me from behind. i would also hear passersby talk loudly "your almost there!" even when we obviously weren't. these two opposite meaning outbursts to me sent a very useable teaching moment for myself. could i make it to the top? or should i turn back. the view was undoubtedly the best around, and i really wanted to see it. but my strength was draining as i was getting a bad cold. the more and more i heard of the persecuters the more i wanted to believe it. i was getting weaker as the seconds rolled by. but as soon as i heard the positive cheerleaders cry "your almost there", i could feel my strength grow just a bit. i would feel the desire to go on and try to make it no matter what. i made up my mind. i'd go at my own pace, stopping when i needed to. i would though, without fail, reach the top.

and i did!!! the veiw was outstanding. i felt a sense of pride and self appriciation for having had the courage, strength and belief in myself to reach the top of that mountain.
would something terrible have happened to me if i turned around and gone back? most likely no. but i did feel happy and proud and i felt i got a darn good workout. :)

thanks to the cheerleaders, i may have turned around if i hadn't heard your cheers and encouraging cries.

may we try to be eachothers cheerleaders as we all climb these mountains called trials and life. we need to hear it....and OFTEN.
to meema, thank you for sharing that day with us. we all agreed it was too short of a visit. we miss you already and want you to come back soon. we thought it was a much needed day of fun. thanks for the memories, laughs and love. your the greatest!!!

just wanted to show you all the clingman's dome. that's what we climbed the frickin mountain to get to. we were dead even with the mountain ranges!!! it was awesome. view was worth the climb.

a royal welcome. first things first according to aislynne. meema MUST read a book to her. then... mcdonalds!!!

the top of the cake. mcdonalds!!!! that was the main reason for aisy to get up in the morning. she knew meema would take her to mc d's. it was the perfect end to the perfect day. thanks meema for the memories. we love you. please come again soon.

a visit to the past. an old farming house. so cute. was neat to see how they lived. it reminded me of hocus pocus (the beginning)

ahh...our tour guide for the day. meema was outstanding. except that she left us to ourselves to climb to the top. she knew how high the climb was...yes, i would not have gone up there with a stroller either, meema, had i known. you were sooo right!!!

"he's gotta FEEVA...and the only cure is MORE COW BELL." this is austin with the "yelloe fever" from dandilions. ahhh it takes me back.

as if willie EVER needed this sign around while he is expressing his first amendment i right?

at the top 'o the dome!! a perfect vista!!! it got really chilly up there, as you can see aisy bundled up in the middle of july!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

lesson learned...

i learned a lesson last week. as i was reminded of our countries sacrifices and courage at the beginning of its birth, a lesson had slithered its way into my conscious mind. i would like to share that lesson with you. here it is...

the sacrifices that the men and women gave in the fight for our Independence back in 1776 had struck a cord with me personally. the amount of courage that it required these new patriots to accomplish these much needed sacrifices was endless. to the point, they died for the cause of freedom. this courage was the strongest example of god's love and presence in our lives, next to the two most important: our Savior's atonement, Crucifixion and Ascension, and our Prophet Joseph Smith, who was called to restore The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. no two events in history required as much faith, courage and strength to carry out a heavy calling as these two did. they each required God's hand in it personally to be carried through.

i feel the countries freedoms was the next major event that required God's hand directly. it needed to absolutely happen to allow for the restoration to take place. but this is just the skeleton to the lesson. i learned through those three examples that praying to God for the righteous desired outcome of freedom was I'm sure the most popular prayer at the time. but the prayer that was more worthy (i feel) was the prayer that was asked in faith that they received the courage and strength to endure the trials of the times. sure they all wanted to live to see the day we became a free nation under God, but they knew some would not. and if the cost was their life, they knew they needed the courage and strength to endure the trial until the cup passed from them and the burden lifted. what a heavy burden.

my burdens today look nothing like those of my ancestors. i feel somewhat like i cheated or skipped the race to the finish line. sure the stresses of life really can scare me and bring me down, but they so far have not required my life as cost to live this free life. (something i would most gladly give) if i apply the prayer from that lesson learned, i will pray not to see the destination of my righteous desires, but to have the courage and strength to endure the trials called upon me to carry. that i may carry it well until the cup has passed from me and my burdens lifted. as I'm sure the patriots knew their Savior was there to help them carry these heavy burdens, i too know that He is there to help me carry my heavy burdens. i can attest and stand as a witness to that. i have felt the burdens actually been lifted from my shoulders, i have felt the love and peace, most of all i have relished in the sweet mercies given unconditionally to me from Him.

in short: pray for the strength to endure life's trial to the best of your abilities, as well as praying for your righteous desired destinations. it makes all the difference in how you live while waiting for those prayers to be answered. it's God's time, we don't know how long it might take... ha ha . the best we can do is endure that waiting time as best and as happy as we can. may God bless you and may you walk with your Savior always.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

surprisingly twitterpaited!!!

OK, so I've never gotten into the whole famous people, celebrity ism stuff. it's just not something i do. i never got too gushy over famous teen crushes, (aside from my diary entries at which i scribbled "val + so-in-so") never swooned too heavy publicly over real boy crushes either. i was pretty much a silent observer and secret admirer throughout my life. I've thought about this and tried to figure out why i was and am this way. while so many of my friends screamed their heads off at concerts and sent out massive advertisements to the world about their crushes, i merely was content to stay at home and listen to the music of the crush or watch the movie starring the crush. was i scared, what would i say to them? I don't know, all i know is that once i had a crush on someone famous, i usually read or heard later of their indiscretions, follies, and faults. No, i was not expecting perfection per say, but i was really disappointed when i would here that they were not who they really pretended to be. i think at an early age, i realized:"why worship some person who is completely as flawed as i am?" what's the point. were they just not worthy of my admiration's anymore? i don't know. but what i DO know is that that all changed for me a few months back.

last May, i had the opportunity to attend a women's' conference in Columbia, S.C. it was a Time Out For Women event. this meant travelling. i carpooled with some local friends and we all travelled up there together, bringing with us our excitement that could only be brought on by our highly anticipated escape from our current responsibilities; A.K.A. our children!
as we were travelling i was talking to one of my friends and she was sharing a recent concert event that she and her husband had attended. she handed over her phone and showed me a picture of an up-and-coming famous man and herself. she was telling me in excited words that she met this famous man and he was awesome. she had been so nervous and gitty around him, that she had trouble remaining a rational, mature woman. she said she felt like a teenager again. she said she had felt twitterpaited! TWITTERPAITED!!!
i said, "wow, i can't believe that you felt like that, your a grown woman!" we laughed about it. i couldn't comprehend what she was feeling, because as i stated before, i don't get that way about famous people who are just people. i didn't know then, but i had just gotten a case of "foot-in-mouth disease."

So there I was, sitting the Time Out For Women event, watching somewhat silently (that means giggling as reverent as possible with my girlfriends), half-heartedly listening to the speaker, when the announcer then steps up to announce the next guest on the program. i knew that this person was going to be in attendance and i was excited, but i had already seen this man at a previous TOFW event two years before. so when i heard the announcement i was happy, but not over excited. "next up will be Kenneth Cope." the announcer had said. yippeee!!!
"i love Kenneth Cope." i whispered to my friend.
"you do? that's great." she said.
"yeah, I've already seen him at an earlier TOFW two years ago, i said. (trying to sound awesome, why?) i love his music. i feel that he has put my testimony of my Savior, to the most beautiful music. it sings to my soul." i went on and on. (could that be gushing...?)
any ways as we sat there listening, OK, truthfully i was SINGING along while he was singing. who was the guest singer here? anyways, my friend then leaned over to me and whispered,
"if you really love his music, you should meet him."
i replied with a suave and confident;
"OK, yeah sure. if he stays after the program I'll go up and shake his hand."
i felt cool. but almost as soon as i had said those words, i began to be suddenly nervous. my hands started to shake, i began to feel sick to my stomach. i leaned over to my friend and said,
"i think I'm actually getting nervous!" i couldn't believe i was getting nervous. i Don't get nervous!!!
she leans into me with a sly smile and asked;"are you twitterpaited, Valerie?" and then she giggled at me. she could already see that i was. i was still in denial however, i said to her;
"no, it's just that his music means so much to me. i have sung it and it has become apart of my own testimony. i feel so close to the spirit when i listen to his music. there had been moments in my life when that music lifted me, taught me, reminded me of who i am, and just made me aware of my Savior in a new light. i am grateful to him for sharing his talents. i just want him to know that. that's what I'll tell him." (that's not it?)

she just laughed a little at this and said,
"that's great Valerie, but why are you so nervous to tell him that?"
"i don't know, maybe because it's personal to me to be able to thank him."

this seemed the right answer. yes, i was wanting to thank him. that's all. simple as that. but i couldn't stop the nerves. finally he sang his last song and the program ended.
it was time.

"OK," my friend said, "time to go and meet him before the crowd builds."
with "good lucks" and "well wishes," not to mention a few jabs, from the girls, i headed off to meet the man whose music has meant so much to me.
in line i was rehearsing what I'd say to him. i couldn't think straight. i couldn't remember my own name for crying out loud! when did this happen to me? i have now in an instant become what i had earlier made fun of my friend for being; a teenage gushing girl. it was my turn next. i moved up in the line.
finally he was staring at me waiting for me to speak. this was my brilliant conversation with my music idol:
"hi, I'm sooo nervous and i don't know why." (giggle giggle)
"it's OK, don't be nervous!" (he puts his arm around my waist!)(ahhh!!)
"i have few things to say, first, i love you. thank you so much for sharing your talent with us. your music is beautiful and i feel that you have put my testimony to your music and it has meant so much to me. my husband knows to turn on your music Sunday mornings to set me in a great mood." (he laughs and says, "wow, that's a compliment. i hope your husband's OK with that!")
"second, i want to ask you to sign your autograph, and third would you please let me have a picture of you?"(sheepish grin from ear to ear)(more giggles)
" sure absolutely, I'd love to."
"i don't know why I'm so nervous, I'm sorry, i don't usually get this way." (another embarrassed sheepish grin)
"it's OK, don't worry about it, I'm so thankful to you for sharing with me. i love to meet the people whose' lives i can touch. it makes me feel like I'm doing something important." (he says this while holding me with his arms around me and then signs my program and smiles for a picture!)
"thank you so much, thanks.(i think at this point i was gushing uncontrollably)
"no, thank you. it was so nice to meet you." ( he smiles and waves as my friend is pulling me away. thanks to her for rescuing me from a morbid embarrassment. she could see the signs I'm sure)

i went running back to the girls..."he signed my program with a heart and a smile face AND i got a picture!"

yes, my friend was right, i WAS twitterpaited. so twitterpaited. i had felt like a gushing teenage girl, fumbling over my words. trying with all my might to make and impression and tell him all that he had meant to me, all this in a time limit of two minutes. but i did it! completely trembling, but i did it! it was a silly high for me. i will never forget it. feeling so outside of myself. but it was totally fun. "foot-in-mouth disease" is not easy to swallow, but i had a great friend who knew better than i and was able to laugh with me and make it a most memorable silly moment! i guess there are some people out there are who are still holding some admiration of mine that i hadn't considered in this kind of light before. twitterpaited...hummm....i definitely was, SURPRISINGLY TWITTERPAITED!