Sunday, November 13, 2011

My house!

So I've remembered that although I did post some pictures of my new place on facebook, not everyone has facebook! :) So, I am going to remedy the situation and finally post some on here. I really am loving my new place. It feels very much like home and has from the beginning. I think most everything has a place now. And I did realize that I don't have any pictures of the outside. I guess you'll just have to visit to see that! Anyway, I did paint the entire house (Okay, it's a condo. Whatever.) and also recarpeted. Whew. It was A LOT of work. But well worth it. Thanks to all those that helped me with it. So I decided to post a few before and after pictures, so you can appreciate just how great it is. :) Enjoy!

BEFORE - The kitchen

BEFORE - The living room
BEFORE - The master bedroom

BEFORE - the 2nd bedroom

AFTER - The Kitchen

AFTER - the master bedroom

AFTER - 2nd bedroom

AFTER - living room

AFTER - Living room/into the kitchen (as you walk in the front door)

Feel free to come visit anytime!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

God Bless Uville

Every U down in Uville liked U.S. a lot,
But the Binch, who lived Far East of Uville, did not.
The Binch hated U.S.! the whole U.S. way!
Now don't ask me why, for nobody can say,
It could be his turban was screwed on too tight.
Or the sun from the desert had beaten too bright

But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.
But, whatever the reason, his heart of his turban,
He stood facing Uville, the part that was urban.
"They're doing their business," he snarled from his perch.
"They're raising their families! They're going to church!
They're leading the world, and their empire is thriving,
I MUST keep the S's and U's from surviving!"

Tomorrow, he knew, all the U's and the S's,
Would put on their pants and their shirts and their dresses,
They'd go to their offices, playgrounds, and schools,
And abide by their U and S values and rules,
And then they'd do something he liked least of all,
Every U down in Uville, the tall and the small,
Would stand all united, each U and each S,
And they'd sing Uville's anthem, "God bless us! God bless!"
All around their Twin Towers of Uville, they'd stand,
And their voices would drown every sound in the land.

"I must stop that singing," Binch said with a smirk,
And he had an idea -- an idea that might work!
The Binch stole some U airplanes in U morning hours,
And crashed them right into the Uville Twin Towers.
"They'll wake to disaster!" he snickered, so sour,
"And how can they sing when they can't find a tower?"

The Binch cocked his ear as they woke from their sleeping,
All set to enjoy their U-wailing and weeping,
Instead he heard something that started quite low,
And it built up quite slow, but it started to grow --
And the Binch heard the most unpredictable thing...
And he couldn't believe it -- they started to sing!
He stared down at Uville, not trusting his eyes,
What he saw was a shocking, disgusting surprise!

Every U down in Uville, the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without any towers at all!
He HADN'T stopped UVille from singing! It sung!
For down deep in the hearts of the old and the young,
Those Twin Towers were standing, called Hope and called Pride,
And you can't smash the towers we hold deep inside.
So we circle the sites where our heroes did fall,
With a hand in each hand of the tall and the small,
And we mourn for our losses while knowing we'll cope,
For we still have inside that U-Pride and U-Hope.

For America means a bit more than tall towers,
It means more than wealth or political powers,
It's more than our enemies ever could guess,
So may God Bless America! Bless Us! God Bless!


Ten years ago today, tragedy struck our nation. As I think many people are doing, I remember exactly where I was and I remember watching the twin towers collapse live on TV. It was a time that will be talked about in history classes and discussed decades down the road. And I lived it. I really believe it was a defining moment in the history of the United States. One of it's many. And as I reflect, I remember the response of the people of the United States and I'm reminded why a deep fire of patriotism blazes in my heart. Because of what this country truly is.

I think many things in the last few years have gotten in the way of remembering what our country is, what it was founded upon, and the greatness of the people that live here. It truly is awe-inspiring to remember the bravery, the courage and the great humanity in the responses of the citizens of the United States. Firefighters and police officers, cilivians in the street and so many others. Terrorists thought that by attacking us, they might destroy us. But they can't destroy something that is deep within the hearts of so many people. (Hence, why I re-posted someone's version of Dr. Suess with God Bless Uville).

The greatest thing about it that I really remember is how much people came together and how much people turned to God. I loved what Tom Brokaw said, about the song "God Bless America" becoming the unofficial anthem of the attacks on Sept. 11th. "It bound together a nation in need of a common voice. Today with arms outstretched to one another and hands willing to serve, American has come together once again. May it ever be so." I get frustrated with the petty differences we allow to divide us and divert us from our true course. And I get frustrated with myself that I do the exact same thing. And I pray to a loving Heavenly Father that He will watch over and guide us and that we will stand together as a people. That no matter what the world may throw at us, we will remember the foundation upon which we are built. The foundation of inspired and honorable men who laid the beginnings of this nation, under God, as a place of liberty and freedom. And the foundation of men and women who have continually given their lives throughout the years to protect something that is so dear and precious. And most importantly, the foundation laid by God, under whom this nation was built, to serve Him and follow Him. Because if we lose sight of that, as I fear this nation is starting to do, I don't want to see what's going to happen.

As the stormclouds gather, far across the sea
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free.
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a song of prayer

God bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Through the night with the lights from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam
God bless America, my home sweet home.
God bless America, my home sweet home.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I had a moment today....

I was in a session today with a client and it was a pretty emotional day. The poor little guy has been through a lot and recently got moved from a not great situation to a much better situation. Despite that, it's been hard and today was an emotional today. He sat on my couch and just cried and cried and said things like, "You're not trying to help me. Nobody is trying to help me. You just don't understand." As I sat there, my heart ached for him. For one, that he has to feel the pain. For another, that he can't see at the moment how much this better situation is going to help his life. But I knew he wouldn't be able to see that right now. The pain sometimes is just too much. So I sat there and all I could do was say, "I know you're really mad right now and I'm sorry you're hurting. I'm sorry you feel like nobody understands or is trying to help." Because I do know that someday, he will understand and he'll realize how what has happened was made as a decision to improve his life.
Afterwards, I was trying to wind down a little because the emotion of it is hard for me too. I was talking to a co-worker about it and was struck with a realization and a feeling. And I realized I had the opportunity to catch a small glimpse of what Heavenly Father must go through sometimes. How often have I cried to Him, "This is what needs to happen. Why aren't you helping me?" And He sits there and listens. And His heart breaks a little because my heart is breaking. And maybe he tears up a little like I did because it's not fun to see a child, and His child, in such pain. But He's not going to change what is happening because He knows that despite my pain right now, this is so that my life can be better.
I know that I will continue to have my moments of struggle and heartache. But thank you Heavenly Father for giving me that small glimpse of the bigger picture to help me out.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Do you ever feel stuck....

And it seems like everybody around you is moving forward? And no matter how hard you try, you might as well be in quick sand because no matter the effort you just seem to be sinking?

Maybe I should write a song. Hmmm. But then it would probably have to be a country one....

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Wll, it actually happened. I went to Europe. Crazy. But it was incredibly awesome. Sadly, I am slow at posting pictures and anything about it. It could take a while to really get many details, so I'll start by just posting a bit of an overview!

First, we went to Paris, France. Then on to Munich, Germany where we were able to see some of the surrounding country as well. Next came Salzburg, Austria and then on to Switzerland. Last but not least - Italy!

Notre DameThe Louvre
Eiffel Tower
Munich, Germany
New Town Hall - Munich, Germany
Dachau Concentration Camp
The crematorium at Dachau
Hohenschwangau Castle - Schwangau, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle - Schwangau, GermanyAustria - a little famous house there :) The Gazebo - Salzburg, Austria

Mirabel Gardens - Salzburg, AustriaHallstatt, Austria Hallstatt, Austria
Swiss Temple

Bern, SwitzerlandBern, Switzerland

A cool little castle in Switzerland - with a real moat! Venice, ItalyGrand Canal - Venice, Italy
Rialto Bridge - Venice, Italy

Grand Canal - Venice, Italy

St. Mark's Basilica - Venice, Italy

Il Duomo - Florence, Italy

Baptistery doors - Florence, Italy

Ponte Vecchio - Florence, Italy

Florence skylineThe Colosseum - Rome, Italy

Roman Forum

The Pantheon - Rome

Trevi Fountain - RomeSt. Peter's Basilica - Vatican City

Monday, February 21, 2011

Presidents Day

Considering that it's cool enough to get to take work off, I figured President's day is one holiday that maybe I should stop and think about a little more in depth. I think it's one of those holidays that too often passes us by. I'll admit that I think about it just a little bit in that we're celebrating George Washington's and Abraham Lincoln's birthdays. I've always felt a little bit special that I share a birthday with George. So I do remember. :) But I've just been sitting here thinking, what makes it so that the birthdays of these two men are the most remembered out of more than 40 different presidents of our nation? I think most people would be quick to answer about what great leaders they were and what they did for our country, each in their own time. I would agree. But what made them that way?

These two men have long been on the list of my heroes and people that I admire and respect deeply. I truly believe that a large part of what made them so great was their humility and their conviction that they were simply instruments in the hands of an Almighty God. And believing that, they went and did what they needed to do. They acted on their beliefs and they stood up for what they knew to be right. Here are a few quotes that I feel show a little bit of the kind of men that they were:

"No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency."- George Washington

"I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would have you, and the State over which you preside, in his holy protection; that he would incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to Government; to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow citizens of the United States at large; and, particularly, for their brethren who have served in the Geld; and finally, that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacifick temper of the mind, which were the characteristicks of the divine Author of our blessed religion ; without an humble imitation of whose example, in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation." - George Washington

"I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of the Divine Being who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail. Trusting in Him who can go with me, and remain with you, and be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell." - Abraham Lincoln

"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!" - Abraham Lincoln I wish I could put so many more, because there are so many great things! My gratitude has increased as I've researched and read more about these two great leaders of our nation. I would encourage anyone to read more and learn more about these men for yourselves and come to understand why they deserve our admiration and appreciation for what they did for us.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Making Dream Come True

And although it would probably apply, I'm not talking about Disneyland. After years of dreaming and years of saving, I'm finally making it happen. I'm going to Italy! And since I'll be there, I'm going to see some other parts of Europe as well! Dates have been set and tickets have been purchased. It is official.So of course I wanted to share the good news. I know quite a few people knew I was really hoping on going this year, but it's a done deal now. We will fly into Paris, France and do a whirlwind tour of the city before heading out to Munich, Germany. See some cool things there, including Neuschwanstein Castle (okay, it's not technically in Munich, but close) and then head to Salzburg, Austria. Sound of Music tour here we come! Not to mention Mozart's hometown. From Austria we'll go to Switzerland and spend a couple days there. We will go to the temple in Bern and try to see other things as well, although it's not completely nailed down there. Then down to Italy to Venice, Florence, and then Rome. I am pretty darn excited for this trip and hope everything pulls together. So if any of you have thoughts on the better things to see, or know people over there or other helpful insights, feel free to let me know!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lillie turns 1

This week my niece Lillie turned 1 and of course we had to celebrate! So here are some pictures so you can enjoy her cuteness as well.
The Cake
Yay! It's my birthday!
Mmmm. I think I like it.
Yup! That's some gooooood stuff!
Woa. I think I got my fill. (Someone was getting a little sleepy.:)

And then of course..... presents!! (Thank goodness for that sugar boost for more energy!)