Monday, July 25, 2011

Mi hermano

We were on vacation over Spencer's birthday so I didn't get the chance to put this up ON his birthday. He probably doesn't read this anyway, but I still love him and here are 26 reasons why:

  1. He always has an adventure to go on
  2. His legs and hands are more often than not scabbed and scraped from said adventures
  3. He has awesome hair, even if we make fun of it constantly
  4. He doesn't care what his hair looks like
  5. He is very knowledgeable is the scriptures
  6. He's also very intelligent with math and numbers (something I wish I could do)
  7. He eats a lot but never gains weight (unless it's more muscle)
  8. He served a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
  9. He always remembers his little sisters birthdays
  10. He almost got arrested in Mexico twice. Once because he was carrying a brown box for the missionaries there which the police thought was a bomb and another time when he was stealing pesos out of the fountain
  11. He often has uncomfortable things happen to him but he rarely ever complains (at least to us. Maybe Annie has a different story)
  12. He married Annie who we all love very much
  13. He built some sort of rolling contraption to race down the neighborhood hill and named it the Flying Squirrel. It didn't win but was the coolest looking vehicle
  14. Sometimes the dirt on his legs is mistaken for being a tan
  15. Sometimes when he laughs he can't stop
  16. He picked up a branch to hit a monkey that was attacking Caroline. (oh, that's another time he almost got arrested in Mexico)
  17. Before he was married he would always have to share a fold out couch with Caroline on vacation
  18. He can do an excellent impression of my uncle Richard
  19. He's always come back alive from his climbing excursions
  20. He remembered when I ran my half marathon and text me to see how it went
  21. He curls his toes under his feet when sitting in a chair
  22. I've never seen someone change out of Sunday clothes as quickly as him after church
  23. He used to have about a glass of chocolate milk everyday 
  24. He's always been very talented at the piano
  25. He was never too mean or hard on all of us girls
  26. He is my brother
Happy Birthday Spence! I'm so glad I have you as my older brother.

Friday, July 15, 2011

You probably aren't as cool as him

Today is my brother-in-law's birthday. He's probably my favorite brother-in-law and here are 23 reasons why.

  1. You get along so well with our family
  2. You gave Caroline a sweet Lego watch when that was her obsession
  3. You helped my mom, Caroline, and me move a truck full of sand (even before you married Rebecca)
  4. You put up with me when I was a crazy junior high student and annoying little sister
  5. You have been dubbed Scrat from Ice Age
  6. You help me with my computer (and my entire family with their computer)
  7. You got those tapes ready for my mom for the spook alley she put on (pre-mission project)
  8. You built a rocket launcher out of an Altoids can
  9. You let Caroline and me launch rockets with you sometimes
  10. You came to cheer at my half marathon
  11. You laugh at the stupid videos I make you and Rebecca watch
  12. You offer me rides home when it's raining
  13. You drew that awesome picture of me as a Russian
  14. You let me watch movies with you guys
  15. You make fun of me playing games at work
  16. You don't make a big deal about Celiac stuff (I would)
  17. You served diligently on your mission
  18. You're up for trying new activities with our family
  19. You are the master at board/card games
  20. You talk to me at work
  21. You married Rebecca
  22. You treat Rebecca so well
  23. You are my brother-in-law
By Wes

Happy Birthday Wes! I'm very glad for your addition to our family and hope you have a great day.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Heckedy Peg

I don't know how many of you are familiar with this children's story, but it was one of my favorites growing up. In this story, an old woman named Heckedy Peg comes to a house full of children whose mother has left for the day to go into town for groceries. Heckedy Peg is a mean, scary old woman. She knocks on the door saying, "I'm Heckedy Peg, I've lost my leg, please let me in." The children let her in and she kidnaps them. When the mother comes home she must set out to rescue her children but... I'll let you go read the ending. Like I said, it's one of my favorites.

Heckedy Peg is really an atrocious character, but lately I've felt that I can sympathize or relate to her. Not because I want to kidnap children...seriously, I really don't...but because she didn't have a leg. Now, I have both of my legs so you still might be wondering why I feel a sort of affiliation with Heckedy Peg. Let me see if I can explain.

Yesterday I accomplished another one of my summer goals. I ran in a half marathon. (check) And I honestly had fun doing it. It was in a canyon in Springville, Utah, and was one of the prettiest settings I could have asked for. It was early in the morning (I woke up and 4:30) and the canyon was shaded and green and cool. Like I said, I was honestly having a fun time for those first 9 miles. I was also surprised to see my dad along the road. I hadn't thought that my family would be able to come down, but as I rounded one of the bends there he was, cheering me on. I was confused at first but then started laughing and ran over to say hello. Yeah I lost a few seconds on my time but seeing him there was worth it.

The last few miles were tougher (blisters starting popping up at mile 9) but fortunately people who run are pretty nice. I got some extra energy from strangers cheering me on, fellow runners setting a good pace, an old man in the neighborhood who had a mist sprayer out for us to run under, and always my dad off in the distance taking super attractive pictures and what I'm sure are pretty funny videos as well.

I couldn't tell if Dad was taking a picture or a video. Plus a bug probably just  flew up my nose. That tended to happen quite frequently.

I came up on that last 0.1 miles and saw the finish line with tons of people around when I heard my name being yelled. Rebecca and Wes were there along with my dad and Rebecca was yelling my name. "Rachel! Rachel! Run faster! Push it! Push it!" I attempted to run a little bit faster but really just started laughing. Laughing because it had been a good run, the finish line was right there, I knew I looked hilarious trying to push my body to go faster, and because I was happy to see familiar faces cheering me on. Yes, I crossed the finish line smiling. (Ok, that was cheesy) trying to go faster. Rebecca yelling at me to push it. A shirtless man finding amusement at the whole situation.

Check out that knee brace. What up?

I told you I was laughing. Again, shirtless man finds amusement.

Thanks to Wes for taking pictures

This experience and the recovery that came along with it have made me extremely glad for the things I can do.  Yeah, I can run 13.1 miles in about 2 hours. I can walk up and down stairs (something that's been a little bit harder to do as I try to recover) I can use my sweet medal to open beer bottles...err...soda bottles. I can do a lot of things because of my biped status.

So Heckedy Peg, I'm sorry that you lost your leg. I really, truly am. But I am so grateful for my legs, my feet, knee braces, water, Gatorade, bags of frozen vegetables to ice my legs with, socks, shoes, hair elastics, the absence of blisters, alarm clocks, cold baths, encouragement, family, legs.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Let's Have Some Fun

That's right. I got a library card yesterday. I'm excited to use it. Now I can turn heads like Arthur as I swagger into the Provo City Library.

I'm grateful for summer reading.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Who cares if it's not November?

This past Sunday in Relief Society we had a lesson on gratitude. It was good to be reminded of all the great things I have going for me each day. Sometimes I feel like we forget to be grateful unless the day has been specifically set apart and given a special name like, "thanksgiving." I know that I often do. 

As we talked about the benefits of recognizing our blessings everyday, it was pointed out that it's usually the little things that you find you are grateful for. Sometimes they're hard to notice because they are so often overshadowed by the huge and dramatic challenges of each day. 

The teacher had provided us all with little notebooks and invited us to use them to write down the things we were grateful for every day. I've been doing my best to keep up with it, and I've noticed that once you start counting the daily blessings, it's hard to stop. Once you start counting the blessings your attitude changes. I love my gratitude journal. I'm grateful for it.

So, what things happened today that you're grateful for?