Thursday, September 22, 2011

Life is so very precious

Today I learned a very sad and tragic thing. My colleague’s daughter passed away unexpectedly this morning. She was only 37. She left behind a husband and two children. And it happened so quickly. She got sick on Sunday, went to InstaCare Monday and was in ICU by Monday night with pneumonia.

By this morning she had passed away.

Oh how my heart goes out to this colleague, especially since her daughter was her only child.

I wish there was something, anything I could say to help ease the pain. But, I learned through my own experience last year that at times like these there’s often no words that can bring comfort, especially when the grief is fresh and raw. Everyone grieves so differently that what works for one person won’t necessarily work for someone else. And words are most often inadequate.

I know people say platitudes with the intention of offering comfort in the only way they know. But, honestly they just aren’t very helpful. Although the main one everyone said to me after my niece died means more to me now, at the time of my loss I got sick of hearing it. I don’t want to be one of those who say the expected phrases.

I don’t want to make this about me because it’s not, but today was a hard day. I think everyone on my floor was upset by the news. It brings home to everyone just how fragile life is and what’s really important. For me, it brought back all the feelings from the day Ashley died and how empty and sad I felt. That was a pretty sucky day and there were many others that followed. I’m stronger for having lived through it, but it’s not a time I want to go back to.

The point of all this is just that although this isn’t my personal loss, I still feel it affects me in that I care about the person it happened to. I know how much losing someone you loves hurts, and I just hope we’re able to give her the support she needs in the way that’s most helpful for her. More importantly, I hope she feels the love of her Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ. They can’t take away the pain she feels, but they can offer comfort and send tender mercies along the way.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

An evening with a fantastic author

Ever since I learned to read at the age of 5 or 6 (I can’t remember which), I have been addicted to the written word. I used to drive my parents crazy when I was younger because I loved to read above all else, especially doing my chores.

My love of literature has continued throughout my life, and it’s very unusual to find me without a book in my possession. To me the hour of time I have to spend commuting every day (luckily the majority of the time I take the train) can be spent reading!

You can imagine how excited I was just a few weeks ago to find out one of my favorite authors, Cinda Williams Chima, would be coming to the Provo City Library. I carefully wrote down in my planner when tickets would be available and marked the date of the event on my calendar. Then I recruited a few people to come with me to hear her speak.

She did a great presentation, and I got to hear more about her newest series that I am completely in love with. It’s called the Seven Realms and includes The Demon King, The Exiled Queen and The Gray Wolf Throne, which just came out a couple weeks ago. We even got to see a first draft of the cover for the fourth book, The Crimson Crown, which, sadly enough won’t be out until October 2012.

But I digress.

Living in such a TV-addicted society, I’m always pleased to see people getting excited about books. Since I’m the queen of pictures, of course I had to document the event.

Here’s my dear friend and me with Ms. Chima, as well as my dear aunt and cousins.


All dressed up as one of the characters in the book


Displays about the book. I had to do the wolf one in honor of my sweet Bumblebee who LOVES wolves! Three displays for three books, in case you’re wondering.


I just love being addicted to literature. It’s fantastic! BTW, this post is dedicated to the Bibliophile who wasn’t able to be there physically but was there 100 percent spiritually. It’s thanks to her that I was introduced to this author’s Heir series in the first place. Thanks, chica!

Friday, September 16, 2011

A visit to my childhood

For the last few weeks I’ve seen advertisements on TV for a special two-week showing of the The Lion King in 3D. While I like 3D just fine I’m not of the opinion that everything should be 3D as seems to be the trend.

But in this case, I was intrigued.

The Lion King happens to be one of my favorite Disney movies of all time. I remember clearly the first time I saw it in the theater (I was a fifth grader, if I recall correctly), and I was completely enchanted with it. I loved the music, the storyline, the characters, the beautiful scenery, everything.

So when I saw it was going to be released in 3D I decided I’d bite on Disney’s latest money-making scheme and check it out. It was a neat experience.

I liked seeing the depth to the scenes I hadn’t noticed or enjoyed before. Probably one of the coolest was the dust blowing from Simba to Rafiki when he realizes Simba is still alive. This is probably because the dust looks like it’s going to fly right at you. The fight between Simba and Scar at the end was pretty cool too.

I was struck tonight in a way I never have been before with the scene when Mufasa dies. It’s always made me sad, but having just experienced a very personal loss of a loved one, it touched me in a way it never has before. A good friend of mine wrote on her Facebook a few weeks ago about how since her baby died she can’t look at death the same anymore. I’ve been thinking about that comment ever since and tonight proved to me that I don’t think I can either.

On the whole I’m not sorry I paid the extra $2 to go see it. It reminded me of my past and made me smile thinking of that time in my life, when life was a whole lot simpler, although I didn’t know it then. It made me think of childhood and innocence, and sometimes it’s refreshing to be reminded of that.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In remembrance

This post is dedicated to that terrible day 10 years ago when terrorists brought senseless violence to American soil. When brave men and women lost their lives. When wives were left without their husbands, husbands without their wives, children without their parents, sisters without their brothers or brothers without their sisters, and parents were left to bury their children.

It’s dedicated to the rescuers who bravely dashed in to save who they could, help the injured and manage the situation. And for this work, some of them paid the ultimate price. But I’m sure if you could ask them about it, they would tell you it was worth it.

This is dedicated to the members of our military who bravely defend our country and continue to wage a war on terrorism. It’s dedicated to those many children born following the attacks who never knew their fathers and have grown up without them.

Most of all it’s dedicated to us as Americans, to our resilience, our will to survive and our desire to continue moving forward in spite of opposition. United we stand. Today that means remembering those who lost their lives 10 years ago through no fault of their own. May their families continue to feel the love and support we offer them 10 years after the terrible event.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Beautiful garden tour

This post is coming a few weeks after the fact, I’m afraid. I meant to write it immediately after it happened, but it was a busy week and I just didn’t get around to it as I’d intended. I hope you can still appreciate it even later.

I discovered about a month ago that every Tuesday in August, you can tour the beautiful Thanksgiving Point Gardens for just $2. I’ve never seen them but have heard great things, so I was excited to check it out. And the last Tuesday in the month I had my opportunity.

The only unfortunate part of this experience was the weather. It was during the heat wave last month, so it was about 90ish degrees the whole time we were walking around and then the clouds moved in, making it humid. I was a little surprised how much the weather sapped my energy, but I still enjoyed myself in spite of that.

The gardens are beautifully designed, and I loved being out among the plants. I also benefitted from my cousin’s knowledge of plants because she could tell me what we were seeing as we walked along. I must confess that I don’t remember the names of all the flowers so I won’t be able to put them here.



The water in the creek didn’t look terribly appealing, but I really wanted to put my feet in it the whole time I was there, so I couldn’t resist taking a picture of the statue poised to do the same thing.

Greediest fish ever. For .25 you can purchase a handful of food to feed these Koi, and man do they get excited about it! But, they were sure fun to watch, and they were beautiful fish.


Just a few views I love



Care for a bath anyone? Although the sign did say not to wade or play in the fountain. How about a horse ride?


For the kids. Love the sign!


Finally, ladies of leisure with nothing better to do than sit in the garden. Haha!