Monday, December 27, 2010

This Christmas

If I had to rank this Christmas on a scale from 1 - 10, it would be a 9 or 10. I didn't get to go home, but I got to spend tons of time with Lori, with friends, with an aunt and uncle and some cousins. To top that all off, we got to video conference with everyone at home! It honestly couldn't have been any better if we'd been there. And with all of the storms on the east coast, it sounds like it was a great thing that we were here.
I'm reading an AMAZING book right now called "The Silence of God" by Gale Sears. If you want a healthy dose of perspective, read this book. I think it impacts me more that it would normally based on the situation I find myself now. If I had read this book 6 months ago I think I would have been impressed and would have found it just as impactful. The only difference now is the people that I know. In the last 3 days specifically I have found great insight to some people in my life based on the experiences outlined in this book. I realize how easy I have it in life and in the gospel compared to most. I have never been more grateful to have been born in the time period or country that I was than I have now. I feel so blessed that I have what I have, and that I know what I know and it didn't personally cost me anything. That's not to say that I haven't had to work hard gain a testimony, or to provide for myself, or anything like that, but when you consider the conditions of so many in the's just amazing.
I'm glad that I am reading this book around Christmastime. It's made me more aware of what gifts I've been given. Christmas isn't about the gifts under the tree. Christmas is about the birth and life of our Savior, of appreciating what we have, and finding ways to help those around us, whether by physically serving them, or if it's just a matter of lifting their spirits. I feel a small measure of the love that our Heavenly Father has for His children, and with this small knowledge, I hope to be able to help others feel of this love and to treat them as He would. I know as well as the next person that it isn't always easy to be patient, loving, or to even think kind thoughts, but what if we could? What if it was our very nature to have these qualities first, and have to 'work' to experience the opposite, rather than the other way around? Well, I don't really have a plan in place, but it is my goal to develop these good qualities in myself. Will you challenge yourself to do the same??

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tears at Christmas

I've been avoiding my blog as Christmas approached for a couple of reasons:
1 - I don't get to go home for Christmas
2 - I cry every time I think about #1
3 - I'm tired of crying

At Christmas we celebrate Christ's birth, the beginning of the ultimate gift! This year, I'm especially grateful that I have a family who I love more than anything! If you want to know how much you love them, move 3,000 miles away. I'm so grateful for a sister who loves me and continues to live with me despite my psychotic moments. I'm grateful for parents who talk to me at all times of the day and that keep me grounded. Without my family I would be completely lost. I love you all! (And for anyone wondering - I cried while writing this).

On a separate note, we've been trying to stay very busy! Yesterday we left our apartment at about 8 in the morning, we came home for about 30 mins at about 5 and then were gone until almost 9. We have been having so much fun just cruising around town. Lori has been a little bored, so we have just been trying to be out of the apartment as much as possible. Which reminds me, you don't know why Lori is bored.

This is a story that we've already decided is going to be fun to tell our children, mostly in a "don't let your playing get too out of hand or someone is going to get hurt" kind of way. The truly condensed version of the story is that we were in the kitchen goofing off. Lori had a cutting board and she whacked me with it which meant I had to retaliate. I grabbed the cutting bored from her and attempted to kick her leg. She kept backing up and I wouldn't stop (mistake #1). On the fourth attempt, I nailed her. There was a snapping sound, but if you know Lori, she doesn't say much. She looked at her hand and then at me and with no pain in her voice said "I think you broke my thumb". Then she laughed. Then we all laughed. Then we went about our evening. The next day at work I get a text from her that said she went to the doctor and her thumb was indeed broken. Not only did I break her thumb, it is on her right hand, her writing hand, her cake decorating hand. Now she's out of work for over a month, and she's bored. That's the night we'll always remember that I won the bad sister award.

I've been attempting to do an activity-a-day until the end of the year (just before she goes back to work) to attempt to redeem myself and to give her something to do. We've been to the Riverwoods to shop, look at lights, eat, and get our haircut (we've been there 3 nights in a row). Last night we got to go on a horse and wagon ride. We went to Spanish Fork to see the festival of lights. We've gone to the movies, she's gotten a massage, we had a picnic under the Christmas lights. I guess we're just trying to make our own Christmas memories. I guess in the end, that's really all you have each year, regardless of who you are with. You always have the memories.

Merry Christmas to all! May you enjoy this special time of year and take the time to create new memories.