Josh, Emily, Brook, Kristie, 40 Horse Cave, Nov 24, 2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012

EnJOY the Journey

While visiting my cousin and her family in Alaska last year I learned many new things: during the Summer in Alaska, sun-set and sun-rise are really close together; marrion berry licorice is excellent; goals can be set and reached; and, time with family is attention, relaxation, awareness and JOY in our journey.

We (my sister Kellie and I) were grateFULL to have Kary, Ray, Stephen, McKinley and Sage (the dog of wonder) join us to what has become one of my favorite areas on Mother Earth: Valdez.  While we were going there, caravaning behind the Hafens, I found myself learning from their example.  Kellie and I didn't keep much of a schedule, time wise, other than knowing where we wanted to be on specific days.  However, the everyday-busybody-get-there-as-fast-as-we-can-to-enjoy-it self was getting a little up-ity with how low it was taking to get going and to get there (this might have been due to the lack of sleep I had and the fact I had been in vehicles for long periods of time over the previous week).  Soon, when we stopped to take in an amazing vista of a volcano overlooking a lake, I realized Kary and Ray were teaching me something very important: find joy in the journey.  It IS about the journey as much as it is about the destination.  I always want to rush to get to my destination instead of savoring the time spent with people I love.  Kary and Ray move at the speed of their children and and the pace of their souls, taking time to notice the beauty in all that surrounds them.

Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy most moments with my loved ones, but I have found myself not LIVING in those moments as best as I can.  So, my application of this principle really started to take root yesterday and more importantly today.  We drove up to Blackfoot, where Josh grew up, to visit his three best friends and their families.  We had a great time with them last night and crashed at his friend's house.  Today was the true amazing experience when we drove around Blackfoot taking pictures of places from Josh's childhood and life: his home, church, the elementary school his dad was principal at for 10 years or so, the now dry for the winter canal he would swing into and swim, Wolverine Canyon and 40 Horse Cave (where he proposed to me), Kesler's market.  It didn't stop in Blackfoot.  We took a slight detour just north of Malad and visited his favorite place to fish growing up, Hawkins Reservior.  Yes, it took us 2 1/2 hours longer to get home than if we only drove and didn't experience.  But for me, today, I found joy in the journey, life in the moment, love in the memories made.

Thank you, Kary and Ray.

Brook stopping to throw rocks into a stream near 40 Horse Cave, Wolverine Canyon, outside of Blackfoot, Idaho.

 Josh, Brook, Emily, Kristie (me), with 40 Horse Cave behind and above us (look above Brook's head).  I love Emily's quizzical look as she sees our image reflected back in my iPhone (I need to make sure we were in the picture with the cave, so I flipped the camera to my screen).
 Closeup of 40 Horse Cave.  5 years, 5 months and 29 days ago (May 26, 2007), Josh hiked me up to this cave, in the twilight, and under a full moon asked me to be his eternal companion, equal in all things.  This was our first time returning to this place that is such an important part of our story.  The cave was important to Josh as he use to go there often to write and reflect.
 View as we left the canyon.  You can see three volcanos, part of Craters of the Moon, on the horizon.
 The ol' swimming hole.  Josh and his buddies would meet here often, sometimes everyday after working moving pipe in the fields to water the crop.  This particular spot had a rope swing they would use.
 Brook.  Happy and enjoying the journey!
 Ridge Crest Elementary, where Josh's dad worked.
 Random pic, but there is a story here.  In high school, Josh responded to a girl who had asked him out to a dance.  He sent her on a scavenger hunt around town, eventually leading her to the elementary where he taped his response to the ceiling of the entrance.  Goes to show how often they paint or clean the outside...the tape is still there!  It also explains the look of surprise and amusement Josh had on his face when he was returning to the car.
 Brook and Josh at Hawkins Reservoir, Josh's favorite childhood fishing hole.
 Ye Ol' Blackfoot Wallace Residence: some outside cosmetic changes include removal of the fence and addition of the radio tower in the background on the right.
Video of Brook and Josh throwing and skipping rocks in the frozen water.  Brook never did figure out why the rocks were not sinking.  She just kept throwing them.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Rollin' With My Homies

How wonderful is it to be so blessed that time is spent with amazing people, learning new things and experiencing life!  I am working on "receiving" things more and one thing I am doing is to notice and acknowledge the things I experience and am blessed with.  My focus is to notice the "touching human experience and moments" that abound in my life.  Here are some of them.

This past month has been an eventful one for us: I was hired and started my first year of teaching theatre, Emily is growing and learning new things daily (I love these months of discovery children have!), Brook is speaking in complete sentences and using the potty a little bit, and Josh started his 7th year teaching.

This year, I am teaching one Theatre II class and two Theatre I classes.  I love the students and I am learning so much daily.  I am co-directing the musical, Oklahoma!, and we are getting the pre-production work done, auditions in November.  Josh is teaching all 9th grade this year, with a couple honors sections.  He is enjoying it so far, and he is also learning much.  He is also the sports coordinator (or something like that--I can't remember the exact title) and the chess team coach.

Brook is a riot!  She is such a great big sister and she is learning how to communicate better with us and others.  She knows the alphabet, counts to 10 without help and sometimes even higher, sings songs she's heard (Gotye "Somebody I Used to Know is my current favorite) and dances all the time.  Of course, she has her sad or angry moments, but we are working even now with her to communicate with us and to allow herself to experience the emotion.  Here is a video of her skipping the other day.

Emily is growing strong!  Two weeks ago she rolled over from front to back and this week she has "gone full circle", if you will, and can now roll from back to front, even going back-front-back.  So awesome.  Here is a video of her rollin' wonders!

We are truly grateful for all we receive.  We love you all!  Thanks for reading.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Emily's First Video

Emily was born June 22nd at 12:08 a.m. At birth she was 8 lbs. and 21 1/2 inches.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Brook and the New Arrival

Brook didn't take long to warm up to the newest member of the family.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

What does a pregnant graduate do?

Since graduating and having more time on my hands lately I have found that I need to more than just play with Brook, clean the house and find a job.  I have decided to act on all creative thoughts that I have and start, well, creating!  I am working on painting a dresser for baby girl #2 (pictures to follow when done); I have started to make cards for people in the ward that help us out (the first bunch was for the nursery ladies because they make it possible for Josh and I to actually sit through RS, EQ and SS); and the one I am sharing now is my sketchbook.

"Inspiration"shares the same root word as the Spanish word "inspirar".  Inspiration means "a divine influence directly and immediately exerted upon the mind or soul".  Inspirar means "to inspire" or, my personal favorite, "to breathe in or inhale".  Combine the two: "a divine influence directly and immediately breathed in and exerted upon the mind or soul."  How often to we let ideas in just as we let breath in?  How often to we let those ideas express themselves through the inspiration we've been given?  In other words, how often to we ACT on our inspiration?  This is me acting on mine.  Louise Hay said that creativity, inspiration, "if you will allow it, you are divinely guided by spirit at all times.  Know that Spirit makes no mistakes.  When there is a strong desire within you to express or create something, know that feeling is divine discontent.  Our longing is our calling."  I have felt great satisfaction in allowing my "inspiration" to guide me, acting on my impulses and expressing what comes to mind.  I am not looking for perfection, but rather I allow what ever I draw to be and it is beautiful.

I have always loved to draw and paint.  Drawing in graphite and charcoal has been my favorite.  I love how I can blend and create texture in various shades of the same color.  I have named the sketchbook "Beauty in the World Around Me."  As a sign says that my sister has in her home "Life if Beauty Full." Each image is something that surrounds me that brings me joy because of its beauty.  Here are the first four drawings with brief explanations.

"View From Balcony" I know a rundown old blue van usually is not
a cause for a reflection on beauty but I love this van.  It is retro, blue
and cool.  It inspired me.
"Lily Asiatic Lily" Yes this is an image of a dead
flower.  Truthfully, I did not water it or put it in
the sun so in essence I was the cause of its fallen
state.  However, it continued to be beautiful.  Its
colors of hues of orange remained vibrant, it
created amazing shapes with its dried petals and
leaves and it showed me that beauty can be
found anywhere.
"Brooklyn Sleeps" Of course this is the first of probably many
images of Brooklyn.  She.  Is.  So.  Beautiful.

"Patos" While in my last area on my mission I lived
with an awesome family (Robles Mattus).  Mother's
Day had recently happened and the papito (father)
bought the mamita (mother) a family of ducks
representing their family, 5 ducks total.  They
eventually bought ducks that represented the
missionaries that lived with them and gave them
their duck when they left.  The original duck family
have their heads down.  But, when they bought my
duck, in the middle, they said I was too unique and
quirky, so mine has its head up.  When I went back
to visit the Christmas after I returned home from
my mission, they gave me a papito and a mamita
duck for me to have.  They are such special people
to me.  I had to represent them in my images.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Graduated and Hanging Out

I am now officially graduated from BYU (well as of April 20 almost 3 weeks ago): B.A. in Theatre Arts Education with a minor in Spanish Teaching.  Feels good.  I am currently looking for work in the secondary education realm, hopefully somewhere in the Salt Lake Valley.

I have been so excited and blessed to be able to spend so much time with my amazing offspring, Brooklyn.  She is such a joy in my life and she teaches me much every day.  Below are some images and videos from the past while.  Josh is included in it (though I'm sure he would not be too happy with the pics, but what is a loving wife for but to help you all experience the joys I experience with him).  The "caption" or explanation of the picture is underneath it.  Enjoy!

Josh grew out a full beard for over one month only to shave it to a mustache on friday May 4 for "Mustache May".  This is when he shaved off the mustache the next day and momentarily he had a "Hitler Stache".  My favorite part of the pic is Brook standing behind him looking rather confused and worried at the same time. 

I got the okay from my doc to golf so last Saturday we went to the driving range with my parents.  My mom, always prepared, had these pinwheels and here is grandpa and Brook taking a break. 

Brook is now trying to learn how to put on her own clothes, thus the shirt partway on her head.  Silly girl.

Today, May 9 we went to the Temple Quarry trail in Big Cottonwood canyon.  The river Brook is pointing at is snow runoff from the higher elevations.  It was gorgeous! 

I was cleaning in our bathroom and I came out to find Brooklyn with a bandana around her head and flipping through my mission letters binder.

Can you guess what we were having for lunch?  She was just so excited to eat that pizza.

"Our Little Golfer".  Brook was throwing the golf balls around until I gave her the putter.  So proud.

Today Brook decided to dance around with a unicorn I got for a white elephant over Christmas.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dance, Dance, Yea!

Here's Brook rockin' to the Dixie Chicks as I cleaned and watched "Runaway Bride". The girl dances to anything with a beat. She head bangs to Mo Tab on Sundays, she groves to the washing machine, and has recently begun singing with commercials. Sigh...I wonder where she gets it from?