Thursday, November 20, 2008

Idaho Studs!

For my birthday, I wanted so much to go visit my Grandma Dahlquist and cousins in Boise, Idaho. My wish was granted and oh, what a time we had!! Since pictures speak much louder than words, here is how we spent our heavenly weekend with all those Idaho Studs!;-)

Mmmm...baking the yummiest Oat and Wheat Bread with the Champ!
...we also made Grandma's famous peanut brittle...yummy!
Mmmm...the finished product!!

Oooooh! I love the Boise Mall! They have the BEST pet shop!!

This was my favorite!
Ohhhh, luvs!
The best little pooch EVER!..even Jordan LOVED Grandma's new dog, Peek-a-boo
(just look at Jordan's expression!)

Giddy-up Peek-a-boo!

Watching the pro put on her "face" to see how it's done!;-)

Playing beauty parlor with the pooch!

Uncle Craig and little Maggie

Me and my Baby Cousin, Rachael...not much of a baby fact, she'll be having HER first baby in June!! just runs in the entire family!

Charly's BEST friend of the night, Uncle Craig!
(she's got her cowgirl boots on JUST for him!)
Uncle Craig and Aunt Jan live on an 18 acre farm in
Middleton, Idaho....he is a TRUE cowboy and wears his
cowboy hat and boots faithfully!...except that day he wore a ball cap!:-)

(Digressing slightly...) Jordan took me to the Roof on the day of my birthday!

My Birthday Prize...a Toaster!! Can you believe, in the 5 years
of our marriage, we have deprived ourselves of having a toaster!?!

Going to the Boise Philharmonic Dress Rehearsal...fascinating!

The Crew

The absolute best part of our trip!
My Grandma, Afton Dahlquist
Isn't she lovely!?

Thank you so much for all your heartfelt birthday wishes! It was truly wonderful!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Brand New Day

Every one of my sisters have overcome something truly remarkable. Today I want to share my sister, Julie's inspiring story with you. She recently posted an entry about her long, grueling journey to a brand new day. I look at her and my other sisters and see what they have achieved in their lifetimes and I am overcome with renewed feelings of hope and faith in enduring well through my own Gethsemanes.

Thank you, Pulsie, for making the choice to make a change. You are truly one of my greatest heroes! It has been SO GOOD to have you back!! I love you!

My sisters, Jill and Julie in their singing group, Illuminata

Friday, November 7, 2008

I Have Learned

"Cha-ee pay in da yeaves"

Today is my 28th birthday. It is 5:30am in the morning and I feel the same anticipation and excitement as I do Christmas morning. I feel this way every year on my birthday. I am always sad to hear people say, "Oh well, it's just another day"... because your birthday is what you make of it!! I am a firm believer in doing all you can to celebrate your big day, whether that means sending yourself a bouquet of flowers at your work desk or taking a birthday walk JUST for you, where you can pretend that all the birds are planning a surprise party with fancy flight formations and the ants are collecting every granule of dirt leftover after the snow to make you a most delicious mud pie. If we expect to be showered with extravagant gifts and parties, we are only setting ourselves up for disappointment. BUT, if you simply take pleasure in the little things, you can turn a very ordinary day into something EXTRAORDINARY! Remember,

"Today You are You
That is Truer Than True!
There is No One Alive
Who is YOU-ER Than YOU!"

-Dr. Seuss

Now, there's something to celebrate!!

My mother has always lived by the motto,

"Life is not always what you want, but it's all that you have,
so I say HAVE IT!,
Stick a geranium in your hat and BE HAPPY!

So today looking back on my past 28 years, I have learned many things, five things in particular. I have learned that:

1. We cannot take life too literally...but rather we need to keep our eternal perspective in focus and remember that this life is only temporary. We are on heavenly surveillance 24-7, as our Heavenly Father is watching how we react to our earthly trials and daily situations placed before us. Humility is key. We are simply away at school, working on our Ph.D.'s...Prayer, Happiness and Dedication.

2. It does absolutely nothing to think ill of another person. All it does is strip you of the energy you could be investing in finding something good about that person....and once again, "Smile! You are on heavenly surveillance!"

3. You are never too old to lean on your parents. Oftentimes, I feel like a 13 year old girl in a 28 year old body! I think to myself, "What am I doing?!? I don't have the slightest clue how to do this?!" But they did it, so I guess I can too.:-)

4. There is nothing on this earth that can adequately measure up to the unconditional love you feel for your children. My cousin, Marilyn Williams told me shortly before Charly was born, "To have a child is to consent to having your heart walk outside your body for the rest of your life"

5. Life is too short. We simply MUST embrace every moment we have here; to learn and to grow, to teach others through our experiences and learn from others' experiences, to be steadfast and true to what we believe. Look around and find joy in the little things! Be grateful for what you DO have! If our home is sufficiently stocked with Toilet paper, Tide, and Tasteful Treats, well then, what more could we possibly need?! We are Together, and that's all that matters. We only have one shot at this journey...we might as well live it up!!

So, if I may, for my birthday this year, I would love for you to share with me what YOU have learned! Truly the greatest gift to me is having each of YOU!!! Thank you, for blessing my life!