Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Break!

If you were to open your front door, step outside, walk to your car put the keys in the ignition and drive to the store how many things would you have passed by without even giving them a second of time to sit in your mind? The door to a house that keeps you warm, the shoes you wore while walking to your car, the car that may be ugly or broken but still gets you from A to B, the money you have however small an amount that you can spend, and the store its self that allows you to purchase pretty much whatever you will need. On Saturday morning I was the first one awake. I showered, got dressed, and ate all before 9 am (which is unusual because I am on break from school). This was the day that I got to see some of the best people alive! My family. First Family member of the day 1. Abby- We drove to the cities to pick up two of my wonderful big brothers and spend the day together. As we drove we talked about speeding tickets, boys, cars, boys, cell phones, boys and music. 2. Ian- Abby and I got to go to the restaurant where this big brother works! He gave us hugs. We got to meet some of the people who he works with. And we ate a delicious lunch! Next we got to go to his house where we played KINECT DANCE for about an hour( I won!!) while we waited for #3.  3. Sam- He lives in Idaho, so it's really exciting when he comes to town. He was dropped off by a friend of his, a very pretty girl who was much too small for the enormous car she was driving. After another round of hugs we ( Abby, Ian, Sam, and I) piled into my bright yellow Focus and took off for home! Home-where the heart is. That's the definition I am using because where we were going wasn't our actual place of residence. As we drove we talked about each others lives and what was going on in our own. We turned on some music "Maybe"- Carrie Meacham which turned out to be our Christmas gift from Sam! Now if I tried to explain the rest of the details, excitement, happiness and family I enjoyed that night I would have to write a novel! To make it short all I can say is that it was a fairly ordinary day, with a little extra. After a weekend of food, presents, a sibling abs punching contest, more food, Dexter, and not very much sleep I can definitely say that my siblings are some of my best friends. That day had so much packed inside of it that in a year or two I know I won't be able to quite remember all of the details,but because I stopped to smell the roses Ill be able to at least remember the happiness. 

My Beautiful Sister in law Kasey, Married to Noah!

My younger sister Abby and my big brother Ian!

The cutest niece on the face of the earth, Rosie!

Hippie Rosie with big brother Sam!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


"During my childhood anything that brought me close to death happened at your house."-Sela Fadness( pictured above on bottom left) As I was visiting my sister's gymnastics practice last night our mutual friend made that comment to us and it really got me thinking about all of the dangerous activities I took part in. Both Abby and I have been involved in gymnastics for as long as we can remember so when my dad put up a park sized swing set in our yard we started to practice the uneven bars on its all too thick rails. " Remember when we put two of your Dad's paint buckets upside down and a 2X4 on top for a beam?"-Carolyn Hackel( top right) The list could go on forever! Floor routines on cement floors, or tumbling on wet grass across the sprinklers! Thinking about these things made me cry I was laughing so hard! How could I have been so careless in thinking I was invincible? Well it only took me about a minute to realize that it wasn't recklessness that made me do these things, it was my passion that drove me. I walked into the YMCA gym as a bright eyed eager 7 year old with the desire to be everything I could be. 12 years later I know that my drive to succeed, and some patient coaches are what put me where I am. Sure there were bumps along the way, I had my share of injuries and let downs, but those aren't what shape a gymnast. Attitude. Resilience. Courage. If a gymnast can look at a broken ankle and say " It looks like I'll be working upper body for a while" she has a good attitude. If a gymnast can go on to win bars after she took 3 falls on beam, she has resilience. And if a gymnast can suck everything up inside her and just go for a pass that could kill her, she has courage. "Be scared, don't be a coward."- Mark Raymond ( coach) Today I had the opportunity to watch the Austin High School Gymnastics team take their second win of the newly begun season. They have good attitudes. Each one took at least one fall on beam. They have resilience. They all threw their hardest, scariest tricks and preformed them with a smile on their face. They have courage. Every girl who practices gymnastics and gives it all shes got, is not just a gymnast, she is a champion. I got to be that at one point, but now it's my turn to cheer the new ones on to victory!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The JOY Life has to Offer

As my friend and I exited the church building last night we caught a glimpse of the beautifully glowing sky. My wish right then was to simply lay down and watch the stars all night long. But because it's the beginning of our MN winter, we decided not to. I did however start to wonder how big the sky was, how much of it I could see with my imperfect eyes, and how much was left to my imagination. I was brought to the realization of two simple yet beautiful truths. First I do not have to freeze outside watching the heavens to see beauty. Beauty is all around me.

 Everything in some form or another can be called beautiful. Why? or How? Because it comes from the only source of magnificence, which leads me to number two, God will continue to amaze me.

 I know this because as I contemplated the stars, sky, and earth I remembered that He is even bigger than all of that combined, I know that he is the biggest and most wonderful thing that I don't have to leave to my imagination! And at that moment of understanding I was in a state of joy and a state of pure bliss.