29 February 2012

Say He's Cute

Jen and Linds have a bird named Gordon and yes, he is named after the Jazz basketball player, Gordon Hayward. I've known this bird for quite some time and have yet to hold him. In fact, I would say that I kind of keep my distance when I stop by for a visit. I'm not scared of him(maybe a little?) and politely decline each time they ask if I want to hold him or give him a kiss. I visited Gordy last month and he landed on my head and it was at that moment I decided I would hold him...before the end of February. Since today is the last day of February, I contacted Jen and I soon found myself knocking at their door. Gordy danced, shook Jen's hand, and flew around the room and even landed on my head-twice. 

And then it was time.

Getting ready. Step up, Gordy.

"Maybe you should give him kisses." I don't think so.

I did it!

28 February 2012

Doris Marie

Marie and I met at the age of eighteen and became instant friends. We could often be found running, having dance parties in the living room, or taking trips to Mud Lake for her dad's famous spaghetti. Until recently, Marie, her husband Jake, and their three girls have been living in Texas while Jake finished his PhD in History. Marie and I had a tradition of going to Provo Bakery for a little treat so it didn't surprise me to arrive at her home and find homemade muffins. We spent hours talking, laughing, crying, and catching up on life and I love that we are again living in the same state.

27 February 2012

Oscar Gala

My friends and I had an Oscars party last night and it was pretty epic which shouldn't surprise me because each activity gets better than the one before. 

Great food.

The group.

I love this picture. So much personality.

Miguel won the award for his talent of picking the most Oscar losers. 

Best dressed award goes to...Libby!

And I picked the most Oscar winners. "I'd like to thank the academy, my co-chair, and my guessing skills."

There are so many stories I could tell from this night. I will say there was a perfect mix of dip in the hair, laughing, drink spilled on a dress, jokes, stories, and cupcake in the face. 

23 February 2012

Week of My Birth

To celebrate my birthday, I spent a couple of days in B town with the family and then returned to SL to celebrate with friends. Here are some of the highlights:

Did I shut my purse in my car door after purchasing the Fun. album? Sure did. 

 Blowing out the birthday candles.

Birthday Dinner at Goodwood.
Shan, Miguel, Trina, Pelosi, Natalie, Simon, B, Brodie, me, Hawk, Meags, and Melissa

And a trip to The Leonardo where I learned about crime rates in my neighborhood, experienced a glimpse into the life of an amputee, and so much more!

19 February 2012

I Really Lived

My friend Angie sent me an email and asked if I would contribute an experience for the book she is compiling. As I read the email, I thought of experiences which have helped me choose to really live and yet, I was terrified to share my thoughts for fear of opening myself up and letting others see a glimpse of my soul.

This is my story.

“I dreamed dreams. And I think I dreamed them into children…and the children are carrying them out…doing all the things I wanted to and couldn’t.” (A Lantern in Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich)

I stood at the window and waved as my parents drove away, leaving my 7 year-old brother, 2 1/2 year old sister, and my 5 year-old self with our grandparents. My mom had recently been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and my dad was having seizures and would eventually require major surgery. Our younger sister stayed with my parents when my dad had surgery and there were several times I felt resentment towards her and wished I was the one who could stay with my parents instead of living with grandparents and other family and friends. My brother adapted well to the separation and enjoyed the trips to Lagoon and Magic Waters. Me? I cried every night and begged to talk to my parents and became even more quiet and reserved. The decision my parents made had to be one of the most difficult and I know it ripped at their hearts for the family to be separated for a time and yet it was the best option. A few weeks later, I remember sitting on the porch with my mom, asking if dad was going to die and what would happen to our family. My mom scooped me into her arms and explained that the surgery would be long and the hope was the doctors would be able to help dad feel better and that he would recover and be stronger than ever. She then asked me to name all the people who loved me and would always love me, even if not here on earth. “You. Dad. Grandma. Grandpa…”
My dad did survive the surgery and our family was again united. My mom’s health took a turn for the worst and time and time again, the parental roles were blurred and we all adapted. My dad played racquetball in the morning and then returned home to make us breakfast, braid my hair, and then take us to school. I would rush home from school and call out my mom’s name, even though I knew where to find her if she wasn't in the living room awaiting my arrival-her room. I climbed onto the bed and we talked about the day and my hopes and dreams for life. Looking back, I recognize so many times when my mom attended my spelling bees, choir concerts, church functions, and sporting events even when she wasn’t feeling well. For her, really living was seeing her children excel and letting go of things that she may have wanted to do, in order to support us. To this day, I will enter my parent’s home and escape to my mom’s room and talk about life. Successes. Shortcomings. Hopes and dreams. Heartache. It’s a place of refuge where the ills of the world are shielded by the love of a mother.

In all of this, I have learned that we are not limited by what we perceive as our window to the world. We can see and do so much more. I can live the life I want and I define whom I will be and what I allow to dictate my achievements. My mom’s battle with her illness continues to teach me of the importance of living one’s dreams and not settling for less. There are many days my mom doesn’t leave the house because she is not feeling well and she could feel confined and defined by the limited view outside her living room window. Instead, she sees the trees and thinks of her father and his love of nature. She hears children outside and envisions her grandchildren wherever they may be. She knows the schedule of her children and imagines them living their dreams which have become her own dreams. I often have to remind myself that this is my life and it does no good to compare my reality to those around me, including those who have the life I think I want.  This is my reality. My truth. And I choose each day how I will live and I choose to reach for my fullest potential, knowing that I may fall, and yet, I will get back up and try again. I choose to live.

15 February 2012

Crazy Love Letter

I participated in an art project during the past week which had me installing 1 poster each day within a 3 block radius and then documenting my findings. Each poster had a QR code which lead the viewer to a random story of love and it was great to see posters around the city. I found myself driving by my posters several times during the week and was surprised to see most of them still hanging in their original spot. 

The posters

Ready for art installation

I may have fallen over that cement pot...

14 February 2012

My "Art" is Yours Forever

Ah, Valentine's Day. The day of love, chocolate, and flowers. I saw the Valentine below and decided to follow the words of wisdom and treated myself to a facial, some retail therapy, and a concert with friends. 

Happy V-Day to me. 

The following came in a package from my nieces who live in Portlandia:

My niece and nephew in B town also called and left me a great Valentine message and talked about the sugar cookies they made. We have a tradition of making sugar cookies on or around February 14th each year and I am slacking because the dough is waiting in the fridge for me to cut and bake. 

13 February 2012

Viva Las Vegas

Meags and I started a tradition of going to Vegas each February to attend an international rugby event and also spend time in the sun while it snows in the 801. Each year, the number of friends going increases and this year we invited the circle of trust. I am usually the driver to and from Vegas but this year I enjoyed being a passenger the entire weekend and it was refreshing. I also spent time with my friend Bob who is pregnant with her first child-so exciting and I can't wait to visit again and meet her little one. 

We arrived at B's home and her mom had placed chocolate bars on each pillow-so thoughtful.

We ventured to the Hoover Dam.

Saying 'plum' while having a picture taken may result in the following.

Welcome to Arizona.

The Ladies.

Jumping on the trampoline...before the sprinklers came on.

Serendipity's frozen hot chocolate. I did not consume any chocolate-promise.

And then it was time for rugby and people are serious about dressing up. We met this guy and his son last year.

Go SA Springboks!


Enjoying the sun and rugby.

One of my favorite players and yes, I have touched his hair.

06 February 2012

Super Bowl

I walked into the Super Bowl party and was immediately asked, "Where are the stuffed mushroom?" You see. We don't mess with tradition at this party and we know what we like. Luckily, the stuffed mushrooms would arrive shortly and all would be well. Or would it? There I was cheering for the Giants among a sea of Patriots fans. Good thing Bruce and Jamie were also cheering for the Giants or else I would be alone. I'm almost certain those cheering for the Patriots received the email from QB Tom Brady's wife, asking friends and family to cheer and pray for Tom and his team.

Before the start of the game, we each guessed the score at halftime and the final score. Some people use a notebook to keep track of the guesses but we prefer a paper plate. I was tied for the closest predicted halftime score, but lost because I picked the Giants to be ahead. Who was the winner at the end of the game by picking the winning team and being closest to the final score? Me. 

Next stop? Vegas. 

01 February 2012

My Favorite Month

I like February. No wait. I love February. Holidays. Birthday. Shorter month. New music. And the list could go on and on. I awoke on this, the first day of February, and noticed several emails with discounts and/or free meals in honor of my birth and it was the perfect way to begin the month. At this rate, I will need to eat out almost daily(slight exaggeration) in order to utilize all of the free meals and desserts before they expire on the 29th.

I am also working on several projects this month and as much as I want to tell all about the projects, I will refrain for now. I have my fingers(and toes) crossed that they go as planned or hopefully they will exceed expectations and I report back at the end of the month.

Happy February!