a collection of certainly special, uniquely unusual, and equally momentous thoughts: memoirs of me

Monday, January 30, 2012

Ten places that mean so much to me

Top ten favorite places on planet earth:

1) Orem, UT: oh Orem, you precious gem. I know that most people think you’re uninteresting and dull, but to me you will always be precious. You are where I grew up, where the first 18 years of my life were lived. My childhood home sits in the south, my high school right down the road. I love what you gave me growing up. I had good friends, a safe neighborhood, and beautiful mountains whose alpenglow was my summertime delight. Going back to you always brings a rush of memories. I will always call you home.

2) Rexburg, ID: I never expected to live in Rexburg for the seven semesters and three summers that I did. At first I thought it was the ugliest place on earth but then I found a sacredness that became by strength. I love the university and the temple on the hill. You know how much I love Rexburg. More than anywhere else, I grew in that place and went through the best of times and the hardest of times.

3) Texas: I don’t think anyone opens a mission call and expects to hear Texas. It had never crossed my mind but through a serious of miracles, Texas became the place where I labored for the Lord with all that I had. Only my fellow Texans understand Blue Bell ice cream, Texas sunsets, barbeque, and for me at least, my Latin lovers.

4) Arlington Cemetery: my favorite place in the DC metropolitan area. Amidst the noise and chaos of a big city, Arlington is the place where I find solace and peace. The headstones are symbols of sacrifice, the one Christ-like quality that I’m focusing on more.

5) The entire country of Ecuador: I’ve had several conversations recently about travel and when it comes down to it, if there was one place I could travel to right now, it wouldn’t be somewhere new or exotic. I would return to my Ecuador. I would go and see my babies again. I would go and see Manuel and hold him again. I would take the same canoe ride up the Amazon and the same bus ride from Riobamba to Cuenca. I really want to go back.

6) The west: maybe a broader area then this question is asking for but I think deep down I’m a western girl through and through. I have absolutely fallen in love with the East coast and definitely haven’t had enough time out here but in the end I think I want to end up in the west. I love the wide-open spaces of the desert and the beach.  Plus, the humidity will never be my best friend, it does killer things for my hair.

7) Newport Beach: for seven glorious years my family and I have packed up our beach chairs and umbrellas, our swim suits and mini bbq, and piled into our mini van and headed to Newport. We arrive at our little shack on 31st street and seconds after dropping everything in the little living room, we run barefooted to the sand and surf. Pretty sure I could sit on the beach and read for days on end and be perfectly fine.

8) The Holy Land: sometimes I get jealous of those who’ve done study abroad semesters in the Jerusalem Center but then I realize that I’ve had an amazing life so far and have done incredible things and since the Holy Land will always be there I know I’ll get there someday. I can’t wait to walk where my Savior walked and see the land that He traveled.

9) My aunt and uncle’s home in Palo Alto, CA: this is one of the places that held so much magic for me as a little kid. The furnishing are antiqued because they’ve laid in this magical house for so many decades and have been worked through by years of children and living. The front smells of gardenia and the trampoline is the bounciest it’s ever been.

10) The temple: have loved it since I was eight years old. I loved going on Friday mornings to do baptisms when I was in high school. I loved going on Saturday mornings when I was in college. I love going on Thursdays currently and the way my life has changed.

I hope in the future to add more favorite places to my list. The place where I get married, my first home, the place where I raise my children, the place where I live my retired years with my husband, and all the places we travel in between. So many places, so little time. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

There's just something about it

There’s something about love that makes life worth living. 

There’s something about breakups that make your next relationship even that much sweeter. 

There’s something about an exciting crush and first dates and second dates and the palpable excitement in the air when things are coming to fruition. 

There’s something about holding hands and strolling down lit up streets.

There’s something about the spark of a kiss that makes my stomach do somersaults.

There’s something about love letters written by people like THIS.

Out of all the things in life, I’m grateful for these itty bitty things that put a smile on my face and make me excited to get up in the morning. 

And there's just something about this clip......that I absolutely love. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Who I am

All of what I am has come from my testimony of the Restored Gospel and my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

My religion is not just what I do on Sunday when I go to church. My religion is me. It’s in my heart. It’s in my being. It’s in my blood.

So much of what I’ve become is from attending Brigham Young University-Idaho. I did not expect to go there but in a moment of spiritual peace and power the Lord let me know in His own personal way that I was supposed to attend the University on the hill, the one tucked into the no-man’s land of eastern Idaho, the one which defines itself as a disciple training center.

This is why.

I went because of men like this. No, President Hinckley didn’t attend BYU-I himself, but when he came on the campus to dedicate the building named after him he wept.

And I weep along with him.

These are my people. The people I survived sub-zero winters with. The people I attended devotional with. The people that inspired me. The people I adore.