Monday, September 1, 2014

things that made me smile...

* a weekend without alarm clocks. sleeping until i'm ready to be awake. cooking avocado omelets for breakfast.

* a new calling (or assignment) at church. i'm the single adult representative for my congregation. should be interesting... ?

* fall cleaning. the feeling of a room that's been deep cleaned, it feels more open and brighter somehow.

* my nieces and nephews starting school and listening to their thoughts on new teachers and classes. so fun!

* a friend who is a fellow chief and whovian, who asked some very insightful questions when i talked with him one night about something i want to happen in my life. our conversation led me to some insights about where i am and a couple of things that were holding me back. thanks bro!

* the excitement of possibilities that meeting someone new brings until they don't. i'm so grateful for answers to prayers. sometimes it's important to try things out and see how they feel.

* my sister who listens without judgement. love ya!

* dinner with my cousin. so fun to catch up, enjoy good conversation and amazing food at ambar.

* painting a friend's basement. i found it easy to clear my mind and stop thinking for a while as i painted.

* word of advice: if you happen to end a meaningful friendship that is holding you back from being open to what you really want, do not watch the series finale of a beloved show. because you will cry, the ugly sobbing cry as you watch everyone say goodbye as they go off to their new duty stations on starships around the galaxy. thanks Star Trek: Deep Space 9 for nursing a breaking heart.

* a new season of doctor who has begun! so many new adventures to enjoy. (hopefully, moffat doesn't ruin anything else i enjoy in this world, like angel statues, libraries, the internet... )

* so, i've been lazy about being faithful to a goal that the bishop of our congregation set for us to read the complete book of mormon this year. it's not that i haven't been reading it, but i've been reading the parts that call to me. so, after he spoke again about our goal in church yesterday i'm setting the goal to read it all the way through by the end of the year. i'm using this 90-day schedule, so i have a bit of wiggle room. feel free to join in.

* my mom is learning spanish without even trying. being immersed in the language as she teaches english and attends the spanish-speaking congregation is really helping her to catch on. it's so fun to hear her excitement as she realizes what she understands.

* the soundtrack of guardians of the galaxy is pretty awesome. every time i play awesome mix vol 1, i'm dancing and singing around the room or in my car. always makes me smile.

*  holding a new baby is the best thing in the whole world.

* founding farmers for dinner with my best friend. best food-gasm in a very long time.

* a new star trek t-shirt. i seriously love this print.

* a stuffed elephant. excessive nerd syndrome. air conditioning. long walks. my book shelves. a clean bathroom. clean sheets. ted's millionaire bar milkshake. a good deep belly laugh. taking photos.

Monday, July 14, 2014

more things that made me smile

* this post on how Heavenly Father can bless us when we do our part... or when we don't. been there, heard that a few times in my life. nice to know i'm not alone.

* so, i was supposed to fly to germany this weekend on orders, but that didn't happen (long story). naturally, i was disappointed, but all in all okay with how it turned out. i'm at peace with it, and that's a good feeling.

* i was asked to be a co-sponsor for a former sailor as he goes through chief training. it's such an honor.

* two junior officers who care about a shipmate and are bravely doing the right thing reminded why i love the navy. and i needed that reminder one day last week.

* a friend and i were chatting, and he reminded me just how much i love the show MASH. seriously, being the navy i have worked with all those characters in real life.

* re-learning a lesson. you know how you end up in a situation where once you have some hindsight you realize that you once again were learning a lesson that you thought you had already learned? yeah.... that was me again recently. i'm very thankful for do-overs. hopefully, i got it this time and will remember it for the next time.

* going from a hole in the wall to an AC unit in the wall. it took 3 friends, 3 prayers and lots of patience.

* the realization that many of the things on this list are navy-related. funny, cause i wasn't feeling it last week. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

things that make me smile

so many smiles with laughter, and smiles through tears lately. i just feel the need to say it all out loud again.

* my family's reunion in nauvoo, illinois. so much fun and so many memories. a loose tooth, scaring older cousins again and again, river sunsets, hugs, fireflies, concern for my singleness from my nephews, cousins!, ice cream for lunch, a's little smile. all this and so much more did my heart good!

* time spent with 3 lifelong friends who can still come together to make new stories while retelling the old ones, who just love each other, who just enjoy the good company.

* time with family friends who were part of our missionary experience.

* people i work with who say, "I'll pray for you and your family." and knowing they mean it.

* a quick trip home to paradise, utah. even though it was for my aunt's funeral it was so nice to be with my family again. my heart needed it.

* weeding. nothing better than yanking weeds to take life's frustrations.

* answers to prayers before i knew i needed to pray them.

* sunrises.

* dinner with friends and catching up after not having talked for years and years.

* a lonely cat who wanted my company.

* coming home.

* next please. i'm ready.

* a best friend who: picked me up early from the airport. made sure i ate actual food. got home safe. checked in with me the next day and made sure i ate real food again. was good company. gave me hope. and confirmed a right decision.

* getting on the earlier flight which i made by the skin of my teeth.

* flying over the Grand Canyon. seriously beautiful.

* keeping my mom company.

* hugs from nieces and nephews who saw me only a week prior, but the hugs are just as enthusiastic as if it's been a year.

* time talking with my sister and mom.

* aunt 'tine and aunt becky in action.

* my poor nephew's face after he met the treadmill on high. ouch! his big sister and cousin who jumped in to save him and unplug everything.

* seeing someone I grew up with who is happy in her life. and having things work out.

* the serendipity of asking for a ride from the airport and getting the opportunity to visit with a high school friend who was giving her husband a ride to the airport at the same time. not much more serendipitous than that.

* a cancelled flight.  a paid for hotel room. and being able to receive the phone call.

* i caught a fish and cleaned it. it was so gross.

* washington, dc at night on the mall.

* the illinois sky at night. stars, stars and more stars.

* this book: A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet was perfect reading for flying home and back for a funeral. reflections on why family stories are necessary to life. amen!

* conference talks. 3 Nephi 11. Matthew 6:10.

* siblings who text me photos of their kids. smiles galore.

* a housemate who prayed right then and there for me.

* mountains.

* homemade cinnamon rolls.

* my own bed.

* waking up without an alarm.

* friends who send texts at the right time.

* a ride to church.

* second chances.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

things that make me smile this week returns

So, the past few months have not been particularly easy for me. I've been in a winter funk brought on by life creeping up on me with some realizations that left me with the wind knocked out of me. And so I retreated, and hid for a while hoping no one would notice. But Someone did, and He made sure I was taken care of, loved and given what I needed, and I am so grateful.

So, at the urging of a friend who says my life is more interesting and that people like me, I am recommitting to sharing my little light through my blog. And so I will start by once again sharing the things that make smile on a weekly basis.

- Mom and Dad are coming for a visit!!!! This caught me by surprise, because I invited them, listened to all their reasons for not coming, and thought that they wouldn't actually get on a plane to come out here. But they are, and I'm so very giddy to have them visit.

- They are coming out because I am reenlisting in the Navy Reserve for two more years. Yes, I am actually smiling about this. I need to renew my enlistment contract in order to be eligible to retire, which is still in my plans. I'm excited too, because the ceremony is going to be pretty cool, and performed by a close friend. I'll share the details when it actually happens.

- I've talked on the phone with my family a lot this week, and it's been really fun. The other night two of my brothers and I all met up for a Google Hangout session and it was so cool to have the three of us and the little ones hanging out together for a few minutes from different parts of the country. Just makes me happy!!

- I really love hearing about the adventures of my nieces and nephews. I had forgotten the magic of a hotel room as seen through the eyes of a child. Nephew G hated the art museum, because he couldn't touch anything or run around, but still could tell me about the art he saw that he thought was cool. And Niece L loved the lily painting by Monet because that flower is her namesake and they grow in the water. It was so fun to hear about their trip.

- It snowed this week, and got really, really cold. And yes, I know, it's the first week of spring, but I really liked the snow and the cold, and bundling up to stay warm.

- On the way to work the other morning, I saw a herd of deer and a flock of wild turkeys right in the middle of DC. Granted, I was driving through a park area, but it's surrounded by a very large urban residential area. Apparently, it's enough of a green space to support a variety of wildlife.

- As cold as it has been, there are still signs of spring all around. My front garden is greeting me with signs of bright yellow crocus. The daffodils and tulips are poking up the dirt, and the day lilies in the backyard are showing signs of life. In a couple of weeks things will be bloom all over the city, I hope.

- Spring cleaning! I started it this week and have been doing a little every day. I'm not that far along, but it's a start, and it feels good.

- Making new friends. I'm so thankful for the Church in my life which just helps the process of making new friends with people who are kind, amazing and fun.

- Good books! I've been reading the Acorna series by Anne McCaffrey. I always wanted to read this series, and just decided it was time. What an adventure!

- I really love the Harry Potter movies, and crocheting.

- I was part of a lovely group of women who hosted a baby shower for a dear friend who is expecting her first. It was so nice to be a part of sending someone so much love and hope for a new little life to come.

- LDS General Women's Conference was just lovely! So many great messages about how we need and can learn from each other.

Here are a few Instagram photos to end things this week.

Friday, February 14, 2014

love is all you need?

Yay, it's Valentine's Day! (aka Singles Awareness Day)

the evilest Disney prince ever
I freely admit that I'm a Valentine's Day cynic. I don't particularly enjoy the holiday and have never had the sort of Valentine seen in movies or books or dreams. But I do get Valentines from my family and friends that just make me smile and remember that I am loved. And as a person who gets more than a little depressed during the winter, this is a good and much needed thing for me. 

i love t-rex. i couldn't find a source for this.

One year when I was particularly down and cynical about the whole "love thang". I had an epiphany about this day. Valentine's Day is like Thanksgiving Day!

We should express and show our gratitude every day. Seems a little silly to have a day dedicated to expressing gratitude when you think about it... And yet we have this holiday every fall where we gather with family and friends, eat ourselves to death, watch football, sleep off turkey comas, (and in some cases get an early start on our Christmas shopping) all in the name of giving thanks, and celebrating gratitude. 

Can  you see where I'm going with this yet?

via here

A part of me agrees with the naysayers of Valentine's Day. We should be telling our loved ones that we do indeed love them every day, and we shouldn't need a holiday to remind us to do that. We also shouldn't need a holiday to remind us to be grateful.

And so here we are with this "silly" holiday that celebrates love. And you know what? It's okay to celebrate love. I received Valentine roses from my dad (Papa Bear) this week along with a note that said, "A Daughter Bear for a Valentine! What more could I ask for? Love, Dad". And I sat and cried, because I knew he did love me--I knew it before he sent me roses. But I really appreciated the extra effort he made to let me know that he did. He also called to make sure I received the flowers, and told me that he wanted to make sure that I got a Valentine this year. Sometimes it's the little things that can make all the difference. 

via Gayana
I think we need to celebrate love, because heaven knows that we all need it. Stop for a minute and look around. I bet there are people around you who need a little extra love. 

via bewareofimages