Thursday, August 28, 2008

That which does not kill us makes us stronger - Friedrich Nietzsche

Three years ago today, I was living the life. I was days away from marring my prince charming(or so I thought I was) I was in St. George enjoying not working, looking for apartments, the summer heat, and preparing for eternal happiness. I knew nothing of what was happening in the world, my brain was completely occupied with invitations, wedding phone calls, and bliss. We were in our own little world where it seemed the world had stopped for us. On the 29 of August 2005, Phil called me from work to tell me to go and fill up the car with gas. I questioned why, because this was a random request. He said there had been a hurricane in New Orleans and the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico were probably damaged and gas was certain to spike. He said go get gas then come back and watch the news. So with my brain still in a haze, I did what he asked. Well, I took my time. I went to the library to look for jobs (we didn't have the Internet where I was staying) and then I went to check on a few more apartments. As I got closer to where I was staying (which was almost back to back with his office) I stopped and got us lunch. After bringing it into his office, he asked if I had seen the news or called my parents. I said no to both, and hurricanes are always happening, its just a being rain storm, I've never been effected by one. He quickly got to the Internet and pulled up the news station and showed pictures. I was in shock, well to be completely honest I don't think it really sunk in until a month later. My head was still in the clouds. I remember thinking, oh those poor people. That must be heart breaking, moment of silence, so what do you think about these apartments?? I know, I'm selfish.
Now three years later, they are still rebuilding and
Gustav is threatening to destroy everything they have worked to repair. I remember the first home game LSU football had (I have become somewhat of a college football fan), the roars from the crowds, the pride of a city and team.


Looking back over the past three years and seeing updated picture slide shows on of how New Orleans is making its way back is empowering. They lost everything, and yet they are rebuilding. It will never be the same city it once was, but then again we are never the same after something destroys us. Yes, the rebuilding may be slow, most of its once prideful citizens have not and will not return to their once beloved city, and the city is relying on outside help to rebuild itself. But look at yourself, are you the same? Take me for example- I am not the same 21 year old clueless, flighty, naive, person I once was. I have scares, parts that are being rebuild, parts that have yet to be touched, and parts that excelling in other ways. They questioned cancelling the football season, but kept it for the thought of something normal in a time of chaos, something that was there before, familiarity. As New Orleans continues to rebuild we must look at its example and rebuild each time we are faced with trials. Some may think those that stayed or moved back are a glutton for punishment, but when things go wrong do you completely abandon who you are? or do you try and learn and build yourself stronger?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Now and Later

Why are some prayers answered right way and others seem to never be answered?
Yesterday I went for an interview, and got lost. My car was getting close to overheating, or the needle was moving in that direction. I didn't know what to do so I pulled over to a gas station and lifted the hood. I was looking for the coolant holder. It is not labeled with a picture like the windshield wiper fluid one is. As I was standing there in 90 degree temperature in a white skirt and hills trying to look as desperate as possible, every guy that passed by looked and kept walking (oh, how I miss the south, where people have manners). DUDE, I'm a girl in a white skirt !!!! Do I look like a mechanic?? NO. sorry, I'm not blonde, sorry I don't look like barbie. But back to my story. So I never found where it went and so I put the hood down, got back in the car and continued to my interview. The guy I was to interview said he was located at 134 South in Salt Lake. Not being from here I googled 134 South Salt Lake City. It was getting close to my interview time so I called and told him I was having trouble finding his place. I am usually really great with directions, if i've been there once I can find it again. When I called him he said "oh, haha, its 134000 South by IKEA." OH you mean Draper NOT Salt Lake. So at 5pm traffic in Utah, which is a stand still, I thought my car, I will never make it, so a song from primary popped in my head.

A Child’s Prayer

Heavenly Father, are you really there?
And do you hear and answer ev’ry child’s prayer?
Some say that heaven is far away,
But I feel it close around me as I pray.
Heavenly Father, I remember now
Something that Jesus told disciples long ago:
“Suffer the children to come to me.”
Father, in prayer I’m coming now to thee.
Words and music: Janice Kapp Perry, b. 1938

I continued to sing this the entire way, the needle stayed in the middle, traffic was slow but it kept moving, my interview went ok, don't know if I will get it or if it is what I really want, and I was able to find it.

Why was this prayer answered so quickly, why was it important for me to make it to that interview? Why did this prayer take priority over other prayers that have been offered with more desperation than this one? I know answering that prayer to make it to my interview was a reminder that He is there and is listening, I just, I just hate not knowing everything. I'm such a planner, I like things done in order.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Off the soda....again

As I was cramming a burger down and quenching my thirst with a soda today at lunch I wished I was Michael Phelps. The boy downs 12,000 calories a day, and he is still fit. I guess if I swam 5 hours or more at the pool a day I could. So I got to thinking. Last spring, for Lent-b/c I celebrated Mardi Gras, and I think if you get to enjoy the fun stuff you should have to endure the hard stuff. I gave up Mt Dew, which then resulted in giving up carbonation. I was also seeing a doctor about the bad headaches I was getting. At the end of the semester and 40 days(length of Lent)I had lost weight without really trying. On Easter Sunday my roommates handed me a Mt. Dew, I never went back on the 'sauce' but it did lift the ban on other sodas. Weight has always been an issue, and I think it will always be an issue. It's kinda like the moon, you might not be able to see it very well during the day but if you look you can spot it. I think its always going to be on there on the back of my mind. Look at the media, it is thrown in your face everyday. So after all this rambling to myself in the car, I thought, It is the start of a new semester and I do better if I have a time limit rather than saying, ok I'm going on a diet, let the punishment begin. So my goal is quit drinking carbonation again and quit eating fast food. (Bajio's is the exception) I have a class that ends on Oct 21st. This is my goal, starting the first day of school, Aug. 27th, make it to Oct. 21st, then well look at the progress and make new goals from there. The goals will be slightly easier because it will be the HOLIDAY season, and finals, but we will see when we get there. So I need all yalls' help, see a soda in my hands, knock it out!

I thought of the movie Tommy Boy and tried to find the video, but this is one of my favorite movies and quotes.
Tommy: Hey, remember your brother Duane? Whatever happened to him? We used to go to Safeway all the time and get caught trying to steal doughnuts.
Michelle: He's a cop. He had to get a real job when my parents moved to Cuyahoga Falls. Tommy: Wow! [awkward silence]
Michelle: [holds up box of Dunkin' Donuts] Want one?
Tommy: I'd better not. I have what doctors call a little bit of a weight problem. I used to grab bear claws as a kid, two at a time, and I'd get them lodged right in this region here. [motioning at his stomach]

Monday, August 18, 2008

a friends family reunion

This past weekend my friend Amanda and I went down to St. George to her mother's sides family reunion. I wondered why my family has never had a reunion, I then I pictured what it would be like. I pictured 1. getting everyone together would be a nightmare, 2. Kelly, Libby, Manda, and I would be sitting in the back laughing, and 3. Fried food everywhere. I think its better that my mom does the genealogy and if we want we can read the stories of our ancestors past on our own time.
We left Friday after I got home from work. I told her we were leaving 4:30 sharp so we could miss 5 o'clock traffic. I figured from previous trips with friends that we wouldn't get out of the house until 5. When I walked in the door she was standing there ready to go. I didn't even have a chance to do a quick walk through. I loved it, I guess this comes from scheduled vacations as a child. We stopped for sodas and off we were at 4:45. We had a pretty good time. It did bring back a lot of memories, both sad and happy memories. While we were waiting for Amanda's mom to get there we went and walked around the temple. As soon as my foot crossed the gate into the temple grounds I lost it, good thing it was night time and no one was there. Amanda and I walked around until they chased us out at 10:30. But as I was looking at the detail of that temple, threw the tears, I began to have a greater appreciation for those saints who built it. This also helped get my mind off of other things. Being a detail oriented person, I first saw how completely straight the seams of the stones were. The details of the tower, the engineering that went into the pulley systems and getting that heavy stone up to the top without cranes. It was all done by hand, no detail shop or manufacturer. Other than that the trip was pretty low key. I'm just thankful that Amanda was there to keep me level headed and laughing. Included are some pics we took Saturday night at Paula's, a tex-mex restaurant, and at the reunion in Pine Valley.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Me Firster Land

I don't know if I have had blinders on, but as of recently I have notice a infestation of 'me firsters' in Utah county. A 'me firster' is pretty self explanatory but it is a person who puts themselves before everyone else. I don't know if it was the way I was raised or simply southern hospitality but manners are a thing of the past. A few examples from the past week: My friend Amanda and I were returning some items she had purchased at WalMart, because the airport finally found her luggage. We were standing in the Customer Service area, giving the person in front of us room to breathe and all the sudden this lady comes in and steps right in front of us. I don't know maybe she was blind. but then as the line moves forward she looks back and says are you in line? we said yes we are and she just turned around like oh well. I guess she skipped kindergarten to third grade, Or was just sick the years they teach you how to stand in a line and wait your turn. Last night we went to the Brian Regan concert-amazing, and parking wasn't all that bad you just had to wait. Some people, I don't know maybe they were the president or VIP, but they left the line and went into the center lane sped up and then got back in line. At the concert we found our spot and then this young married couple came and sat by us. The guy quickly unfolded his chair and sat down. His wife who might have been pregnant (its UT county, you have a ring on you're probably pg) was standing there struggling to get her chair open. She finally got it open and sat down. Ten minutes later they saw some friends, he went down to meet them and then called his wife on her phone to pack everything back up and bring it down. UGH western guys, what happened to gentlemen??? I was taught you don't invite yourself, you always offer food or something when you have visitors, you always give your seat up for girls and the elderly or injured. Guys always stopped to ask if you needed help caring that box or the cute little ladies in line at the grocery store that would talk to you or people noticing that you only have a few items and would let you cut them in the checkout line because they had a buggy full, well not in Utah. I've come to the conclusion that Utah and all other western states (due to friends from there) are 'Me Firster' states.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

25 and alone

Today at work one of the guys that I work with came up to me to tell me about this guy he wants to hook me up with. He said the only problem was that he lived in Bountiful. He has been telling me about this guy for about a month now, I was hoping it wouldn't work out because I don't really trust his match making skills. But today he came up to me and said he talked to him and the guy said that its just to far. I agree, I don't have the time to drive from here to there. I must not be that desperate, yet. My question is: Do people take pity on me? Why do they all want to hook me up with this guy they know? This is the end goal, something I've wanted since receiving my first barbie and ken dolls. But as I've grown from being that silly girl that would marry anything, to the person I am now, I know I can stand on her two feet. I have to trust in the Lord. As much as I plan, I must recognize that it is the Lords will and not mine. I watch a lot of Friends and thought of this.

I am okay with the fact that even though 25 is my scary age, and the thought of not being married at 25 never crossed my mind, but it's coming and I'm fine. I readily accepted the Lords plan. I thought after the broken engagement with Phil, that life was over. I told myself over and over again that there was NO way I would choose this. Me, the hopeless romantic, who found Prince Charming, name and everything, I wouldn't set my self up for complete devastation. But I now see where the Lord stepped in and forcefully against my will opened my eyes to a world that I had never thought of, and how thankful am I for that. There is a quote that I saw in the Relief Society folder that they pass around each week in class, that has the roll and other announcements and there was a quote. Now I don't know what the obsession with C.S. Lewis is but I did like this quote. I don't know if it is because of the construction aspect or that it clicks 100% for me. It really does put it all in perspective and gives you that comforting feeling that there is someone who is watching out for you. He is there giving us little faint arrows to follow.

Here is the quote : "Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you know those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of-throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage; but He is building a palace."
C. S. Lewis (Mere Christianity, p. 174)

It's like the end of an era

Well we knew it would come one day, but my roommate of 2 1/2 years is moving. She is moving to Pleasant Grove. We met about a month after I moved back to Utah County, Oct 11, 2005 to be exact. We have had some great memories. I know what you're thinking it's Pleasant Grove, UT. Well theres something about Provo, you can have friends from back home who you saw everyday and drove 30-45 minutes to see but you have yet to see them here in Provo in years. They probably live 10 minutes away and yet its like they are back home. So it is kinda like she is moving far far away. Here are a few videos I thought of...

"Hardest Part of Breaking Up is Getting Your Stuff Back" by 2gether

This was a parody show (about boy bands) when bands like Nsync and Backstreet Boys were the biggest things.

It kind of is an end of an era.

I think one of my favorite memories would have to be the night we went to Fudruckers. We were siting in a booth and Diane wanted out to get more soda. I just leaned forward and she crawed out behind me and I think fell on the floor. It drew a lot of attention, maybe it was the loudness of the laughter. One more favorite, theres so many, but one night we were leaving a friends house, one that she had a crush on, and it wasnt working out to well and so we were walking/talking/analizing the previous conversations down the sidewalk and I just fell. No crack in the sidewalk, no bumps, nothing, I just fell flat on my face. Well, it brought a smile to her face and for a moment she forgot about that guy and we talked about the fall the whole ride home.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Jump on it

My friend Amanda Nelson is visiting from Arkansas for the next two weeks. She was planning to California but those plans fell threw. We have been eating at her favorite places, to the pool, and going to all those places that she remembers before moving back to AR. Last night we went to Jump on it, the same place of Cameron's birthday.

These signs are all over the place so we had to take a picture with it.

Along with wall to wall tramps there are also coin operated machines.

Cindy and I thought it was funny. I am not a big fan of t-shirts, I feel like I look like a guy. But this shirt was bought on a vacation with Amanda in Las Vegas. But back to it being funny. Cindy's shirt is about being a great example of honoring the honor code at BYU and I am in a Hooters t-shirt.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Value of Past Relationships

Today, I had to run a few errands for work and I was driving on University Ave, which is a very busy street. I had to get new ink cartridges. There are little shops that run down the street and you must parallel park. Lets take a few steps back to when I was 17(2000ish), I was taking my driver's licence test and passing with flying colors. The test consisted of driving around the block, that's right 4 right hand turns and then pulling back into the DMV and parking. To my luck when I pulled into the parking lot there was a spot open directly in front of me all I had to do was drive in a straight line and then put the car in park. I did not have to turn and try not to hit the other cars or anything. So jump back to 2004, I was dating this guy, and at the time didn't have a car. He rarely let me touch his car much less drive it. I never understood why he was so possessive about who he let drive it, until I got my own car. He loved his car probably more than he would ever love his child or wife. I mean he was seriously attached. Yes, it was red and sporty, a true guys car. Well one day we were driving around Liberty Square (where we both lived) trying to find somewhere to park. He mentioned that we would have to parallel park. I told him I had never parallel parked. I could sense his panic. One of the few times he was letting me drive, and I can't park. I started to freak out. If this wasn't enough, lets put a cherry on top, it was also stick shift !!! He walked me through it, calmed my nerves and taught me how to park. A skill that I have used many times living in Provo, because there is NO parking. Well zoom back to today. I saw the ink store but there were cars everywhere and only 1 spot left to park. I turned on my blinker and started to parallel park. Usually I have to pull back out and try maybe twice to get it perfect or sometimes I can't get in perfectly straight and the back is sticking out or I get to close to the curb. This video explains how I fell about it. But today, I did the unthinkable, I parked perfectly. I backed in, pulled forward, and was done. It was so nice I wish I had my camera because I would have taken a picture. The guy might not be to high on the 'great boyfriend' list but he did teach me a valuable lesson, and for that he can be all that bad.