Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm forty, and feeling fabulous!

Do you know how many times I had to ride this roller coaster to get a decent picture. At least 6, I think. No problem, it is the best roller coaster ride I have ever been on. True story. It is called the T-express. After my first time up at the front of it, it was renamed the PEE-Express in my honor. ha ha. One of the many benefits of being forty I guess. ha.

So, yesterday was my birthday in Korea, but in the U.S.of A. it is today. I think it perfectly legit to celebrate it twice. Don't you think?

Thank you everyone for your kind wishes. I really did have a wonderful day. Dave and my friends were concerned that the day wasn't special enough because I guess I didn't seem over the top excited. I think I was just tired, because the truth is, I feel like everyday is my birthday. Every day is so much fun! It can be quite exhausting to be so busy having fun every day! ha. When I explained this to them- Dave's reply was that we need to work on making the other 364 days worse. ha. What can I say. I love my life. My job is sweet (being a mom etc.), my family is amazing (but very normal, you know what i mean), and I have friends that can't be beat (that means you). And those are all just the icing on the cake to my knowledge that I am a daughter of God with infinite worth and eternal potential. How can I not be blissfully happy every day of my life?

I want to give a special thank you to my dear husband and best friend through this whole life thing. You are my knight in shining armor, and don't you forget it! (in katherine hepburn voice) I appreciate all of your tenderness and understanding as of late. You will be richly rewarded. I least I hope you will feel that way. ha ha. Which translates to.... i will really try to always be on time, and have delicious meals prepared, and work on my punctuation. ha ha.

Back to my birthday. In the morning I went and had a pedicure with friends. More dear friends also arranged a lunch gathering at Chilis on base. Which is decorated so amazingly for Halloween. I want to go there for every meal because of it. OK, also so I don't have to cook and clean up, and make all those delicious meals. ha ha. Then, off to Everland (korea disneyland) for a fun night with our super fun friends the Russells (they are behind us in the car. That pretty much is a no brainer since they are the only other ones not Korean. ha. Michelle Russell turned forty a week ago. I got her pretty good. More on that later. smile. Also, more on EVERland later. It is my favorite feel good place here in Korea. I just keep thinking how much my sister Gloria would love it. So you better come and visit me!!

You know, I have been thinking about my 40th birthday for like 2 years. What would be the best way to celebrate it. Because 40 is monumental right? (by the way, it isn't a big deal for koreans. Apparently, they don't have mid life crisis. Is it just us spoiled self absorbed americans? ha ha) Anyway, my thoughts were like.......What amazing trip do I want to go on? Could I really finally make it to Tahiti? Or, how could I fly in all of my favorite people from over the years. Or, maybe I could go visit all year long each friend, so I could really visit them. Or perhaps something amazing with my sisters involving things like food, spas, movies, shopping, coziness.

But you know what? Like I said above, my life is a combo of all of these things all the time. I am amazingly blessed. More amazing then anything is that I really feel God's hand in my life. I truly feel his love for me. It is something that brings me joy every day.

But that doesn't mean I wasted the opportunity to ask dave for something we normally would never do. smile. As I contemplated a trip. I realized that now just isn't the right time. We just moved here and there is so much going on, and I am still so excited to be here, I don't want to go anywhere else just yet. Soooooooooo. I found the most amazing new resort in Seoul that is way more than we would ever normally spend for a hotel. And since we wouldn't have to pay to fly anwhere else, maybe we could splurge right? I don't even regret it. It was amazing!!! Did I already say that? It bears repeating. I decided that I wanted to go while it was still warm and we could use the outdoor pool there, play tennis etc. So we actually went in September, and celebrated a month earlier. I still think of it often, and longggggg to go back, but I really think I could never pay that much again for a hotel. Anyway, I will share the experience visually with you soon. Then you will long to go there too. smile. I am still working on getting photoshop up and running on my computer (well dave is. smile. part of my birthday present).

So, I am forty. I don't feel a day over 39. I am so excited about getting older. It really doesn't bother me, or make me sad. My experience is that life just keeps getting better and better. And after I read this by Sister Hinkley, I can't wait until 50!

"Fifty was my favorite age. It takes about that long to learn
to quit competing-to be yourself and settle down to living.
It is the age I would like to be through eternity!"


Sunday, October 24, 2010

inspired by harry.

Tuesdays are a special day around here, at least for me. It is the day that the base thrift store is open from 10-2. I was so excited when I found this book above for a quarter. Since we don't have our Harry Potter books here, and I can't take the library's in the bath with me, this was the perfect buy. I thought, what a perfect book to read in October, and before the last one comes out. I Can't Wait!!!! The movies keep being put on too. They are so perfect with the cooler fall weather, the misty mornings, and the changing colors of the leaves. Nothing is so cozy as Harry Potter in the FAll.

I'd like to be like harry potter. Not because he is the hero, but because of One phrase from the last movie that keeps playing over and over in my mind. It is when Dumbledore tells Harry that he is unfailingly kind, like his mother. I have thought a lot about that. I want to be described as unfailingly kind. That is why I think that harry is the best hero of the book, because there are many. Harry wouldn't even be unique if not for his mother's love. Dumbledore, despite his selfish youth, became very wise, and his insight saved them again and again. Hermione, with her dedication to learn, and apply that learning. She always kept them on course, and balanced. Ron, the loyal friend, always there to give support and encouragement. Hagrid, Luna, Neville, Ginny, and so many more. So many unsung heroes that were just as crucial and essential to overcoming the evil Voldemort. My favorite unsung hero is Severus Snape. His job really was the hardest. He needed to be so close to the evil, to be surrounded by it, involved in it, be hated by others because of it. He received no glory for his actions. I love how harry named a child after him.

But for all of these great characters with their different talents and gifts, I think unfailingly kind is what I would most aspire to be. Being kind always wins the day in life. Maybe not in the short term, or even in this life. But unfailingly kind in the long run will always overcome (in my opinion).

From Sister Hinkley on this point.

Be Kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
(Aesop, The Lion and the Mouse)

So, who do you most want to be and why? Who do you see yourself most like? All have an important role to play. Just like we do in our own simple ways. Share away.

more from sister hinkley....

Alma said, "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass."
(Alma 37:6)
I couldn't possibly have understood this when I was young like I do now. When we look back on decades of life we see that the seemingly insignificant things we do over and over actually weave the pattern of our lives. And if those small and simple things are good, we will end up having lived a fulfilling life-and that is a great thing!

We all have a responsibility-a responsibility to make a difference, to be an influence, to lift someone. We are all in this together to work out our salvation, to reach our potential, and to be our brother's keeper-to help each other.

The least of us, the humblest, is in partnership with the Almighty in achieving the purpose of the eternal plan of salvation. That places us in a very responsible attitude toward the human race. (John A. Widstoe)

I have to share of course Some of my other favorite thrift store finds!
2 sets of slippers, 50 cents each.

Hannah anderson sweater, for probably a quarter, since you got a whole bag of clothes for $5 that day.
a skirt for Rebecca's cave man costume for halloween. Where the heck do I find a bone to put in her hair? hmmm.

P.S. I also keep hearing in my head Hermione saying in her awesome accent "What an idiot." From the first movie. That probably is contradictory to my wanting to be unfailingly kind. ha ha.
P.P.S. To my sisters, could you please just say that I really wanted to be unfailingly kind at my funeral even if I never achieve it. ha ha.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

do you need this shirt grant?

This shirt really struck me as funny the first time I saw it.

I laughed just thinking about it for a few days.
Needless to say the phonetically written word is Korean for hello.

Now how am I going to tie in a thought from Sister Hinkley, you may
be asking. Easy, she used this scripture in her book. smile

A merry heart doeth good
like a medicine: but a broken
spirit drieth the bones."
Proverbs 17:22

I hope this is just the medicine you were needing today!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

finding balance

Doesn't this picture above just fill your soul with joy? There is nothing like the feeling of everything in order. Neat, simple, organized. This one picture is symbolic of how I would like my whole life to be. Wouldn't that be wonderful. Unfortunately, that is just not a reality for me, or I dare say anyone. It seems whenever I get a hold on one aspect of my life, another is falling apart and needs attention. Isn't that the way it always is? Sister Hinkley expressed it perfectly in her book.

"Life is full of challenges. Many of them involve balance and temperance. Complete abstention may be much easier than moderation. It's easier for me to completely abstain from smoking than to try to balance my day-a little for this, a little for that, a little for him, a little for her."

Ralph Waldo Emerson expressed a majestic thought when he said: "It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion, it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude."

Look who else is finding his balance.

"Look ma, i did it!"

I love how is little toes are gripping the floor so tightly. What a little love.

P.S. just saw this pic on my sister's blog. A picture of my mom with four of the six of us. Guess which one is me? (it's the one that has no hair and looks like ammon. ha ha)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

In memory

Today is my Mom's birthday. The last time she stayed with me before she passed away, she was obsessed with this movie. My mom was like that. She would have a feel good moment, and then would want to recreate that safe good feeling over and over.

She watched my kids while Dave and I went on a trip, and the kids said that every day when they got home from school she would have on "The legend of Bagger Vance" and be eating chocolate chip cookies. Now it just reminds us of her.

Today, I am recreating my own feel good moment. A moment when my mom is still here with me, being cozy, watching Bagger Vance, and enjoying scrumptious cookies.

Miss you mom. Wish you could be here with us today. I would spoil you rotten. I think Heavenly Father is probably doing even a better job of it. love you forever.

From sister hinkley

Elder Neal A. Maxwell once said, "We are here in mortality, and the only way to go is through; there isn't any around!" I would add, the only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache.

My mom was the perfect example of this. She had her share of trials in this life, and many a discouraging day, but she never gave up, she persevered, and worked her way through. Humor was one of her greatest gifts. We loved to call her to hear her latest funny stories (really her horrible experiences that she made funny). I miss that.

Thanks mom for teaching me to laugh.

Friday, October 1, 2010

simply delicious

"The key to enjoying cooking is
embracing simplicity. Simplicity in food
is honesty, warmth, pleasure, modesty,
even fairness. Simplicity in cooking is
ease and grace......Simplicity.......is not
a compromise but a treasure."

Mark Bittman
(quote in sister hinkley's book)

If you can believe it. I actually am enjoying cooking. At least I am enjoying the rewards of it. When I get up early and prepare a hot breakfast for my family, and we all gather around the table to share it, something magical happens. The morning grogginess and grumpiness is gone and replaced with warm laughter and love. I swear it. What an incredible gift to give my family. To start the day in such a way. If only I were moderate and constant, I may be celebrated as the best mother ever! For now, I am trying the best I can, but i am real real tired (more on that later).

The dinner pictured above was one of my favorites. I don't know about the kids. They are begging for red meat and cursing that turkeys were ever invented. And yet, I am unmoved. They can't get over that I can find a turkey substitute for everything. I amaze myself, I must admit. I served turkey filet mignon ( a bacon wrapped turkey filet. ha ha). I do serve red meat occasionally, but that is the word of wisdom, am I right,or am I right? I'll answer that for you. I'm right. But Jacob loves to quote from "kicking and screaming" the line....."I take a vitamin every day. It's called a steak." I tell the kids they will thank me later that I taught them healthy habits. Anyway, back to this delightful meal. Turkey burgers, with avocado. Because avocado makes everything better in my opinion. And the best was this three bean salad. The recipe is found in the same everyday food magazine that I told you about. I really liked it a lot.

Off to bed, long (and fun) day tomorrow. That really could be the description of every day. We are heading out early for the temple in Seoul. The whole family comes. It is awesome. I'll explain that later. Then we are going to Gyeongbuk Palace.