Saturday, January 30, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Um...no. No idea. Just saw it on an awesome Nike shirt at the running store last year, loved it, had to have it, adopted it as my personal slogan for 2010. So we laughed and I said I'll have to add a follow up to my blog post.
So I googled it. Yep, Lance Armstrong, the famous Tour de France winning bicyclist, has a foundation benefiting cancer research and cancer survivors. LIVESTRONG is their motto. It's everywhere. Apparently he's the guy that started the yellow wristbands and came up with the killer tagline. Not some female marketing exec at Nike (although who's to say that his wife or his hired female marketing genious wasn't the one behind the slogan, eh?) Just kidding.
So I live in a bubble apparently and clearly do not follow cycling. But now I love the slogan even more knowing its roots and its plea for good cause. And part of the sales proceeds from my most favorite LIVESTRONG black t-shirt with the yellow NIKE swoosh went to benefit good things...
That's pretty cool considering how many people I know who are battling cancer right now or who have already fought the battle. The numbers are staggering. It seems like everywhere I turn, I learn of someone else who has cancer. We lost three family members to cancer last year. Ryan's dad is a recent survivor, and so is my Aunt Diane. But she lost one of her sisters to the battle not too many years ago. My Uncle Jim is fighting hard against his cancer and seems to be winning his battle too. Unfortunately, Ryan's best friend's father is not beating his, and neither is our next door neighbor's father. It's everywhere.
So go buy yourself a LIVESTRONG shirt or wrist band or something and make a small difference. Or make a big difference in the lives of your family by living strong every day and staying cancer free!
Monday, January 25, 2010
On Christmas day when I opened the most perfect gift, my eyes instantly teared up as I turned each page. I am always the one making the homemade stuff in our family. Typically, I've been the photographer, scrapbooker, movie maker, calendar creator, etc., and I love doing that. Gifts from the heart mean the world to me. When my kiddos make me a handmade card or color me a heartfelt picture, I cherish it.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
I had an email conversation with a very good friend of mine yesterday about our kids, their education, our school system, and our dreams. Admittedly, I haven’t really thought outside the box that much when it comes to education. I was a product of the public school system, and I think I turned out OK. Reflecting back to my formative years, I think I had a good overall experience, learned quite a bit, studied hard, got good grades, earned a scholarship and went on to get my fully-paid-for degree at a state university. I starting interviewing for my first real career job during my senior year at ASU, and had my job offers lined up before I graduated. Launch career mode and I’ve never really looked back.
Nothing too out of the box about it.
And even though I dealt with the all the normal stresses of teenage life and was subject to the influences of the world through my years in the public schools, I am still glad I went through it. Sure, I wish I would have made some different choices and bypassed some “leaning opportunities” that came via consequences of poor choices. But who wouldn’t say that? I’d be shocked if any of us now functioning, basically-on-the-right-track parents could look back to our youth and say with sincerity that they would have done it all the same. I think we all wish we’d made some different choices here and there.
But even with all that, I loved high school. (I probably could have done without junior high, but I pretty much think that’s a globally accepted view with 20+ years of hindsight.) I loved going to football games, school dances, seminary, student council, orchestra, being on the softball and volleyball teams, going out for lunch with a carload of girlfriends, dating, social life, and yes…school. I have a lot of fun memories about growing up. All of that – the good and the bad - at least in some way was part of the “coming of age” process that made me who I am today.
So when Ryan and I started our family years ago, I guess I really always thought that my kiddos would follow a similar track. Even though our children are still quite young, we have always stressed the importance of doing well in school. Study hard. Get your homework done before you play.
Do your best!
Do your best!
Do your best!
They’ve all listened to my stories about working hard in school and how it all paid off in the end. Even my 9 year old knows all about scholarships and is working hard to get one. They don’t talk about college as in “if” I go, but “when” I go and “where” I’ll go. The expectation and bar has been set high, and I’m OK with that. OK because all I can really ask and hope for is that they do their best, and if their best is outstanding, then so be it. That’s their bar. They are reaching it. God blessed them with great minds. They can do anything they put their minds to.
Now…with all that being said, I have to admit that my perspective was broadened and my “ in-the-box” thinking was challenged a bit as I listened to the perspective of my dear friend. She’s setting a new bar with her family and challenging the status quo. She’s helping her kids reach their “best” in ways I’d never even contemplated. They are learning and thriving and undoubtedly, will be successful in their endeavors. Those kids come from a great home with amazing parents and are destined for greatness.
The world today is so different than when I was in school, and that wasn’t even that long ago. It was just 20 years ago that I graduated from high school, which in the grand scheme of things, isn’t that long ago at all. With public displays of homosexuality being generally accepted as “normal” on many high school campuses today, rampant drug use, widespread pornography, tattoos and body piercings abounding, foul language, and all other sorts of indecency that is part of today’s socially accepted pop culture, it made me really start to wonder.
Wonder if my kids will have what it takes to withstand the temptations of the world as they make their way through their teenage years.
Wonder if we are teaching them enough.
Wonder if we are bearing enough testimony of gospel truths.
Wonder if they’ll find good friends to help keep them on the straight and narrow.
Wonder if the educational “track” we are on is the best one for our children.
Wonder if my “best” as a parent will be enough to help them become their best.
So as I contemplated all these things as I drove to the temple this morning in the dark, quiet hours, and then sat in that beautiful room at the end of my session, I offered one of the most earnest prayers I can remember offering in quite a long time. It wasn’t long or complex. But the tears flowed as I poured out my heart in gratitude for our children and asked for help as I strive to be my best for them.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Re-capping the past year.
We all do it. Even if it’s just in our minds.
The TV networks run a year end special featuring their “Best” and “Worst” pics of the year. The magazines staring you in the face at the grocery store checkout boast titles like “2009 in Review” or “Year’s 10 Most Beautiful People” or whatever.
Barbara Walter’s show featuring her pick of “The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2009” stirred up a little controversy on the talk radio waves this year too. Her vote for Most Interesting was Michelle Obama, but her list included others like Lady Gaga, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Brett Favre, Jenny Sanford, Kate Gosselin, Adam Lambert, Tyler Perry, and Michael Jackson’s 3 children. As I thought about some of the reasons or perhaps more specifically, the events, that catapulted these people into the 2009 spotlight, it gave me pause. In today’s pop culture society, the experiences, events, successes, adversities or personality characteristics that make someone “interesting” and worthy of such public acclaim are quite often out of synch with the virtues and teachings I am striving to instill in my children and incorporate in my life. Still, I thought it was appropriate that her show’s descriptive caption is “Fascinating” rather than “Best.” Truly, her picks have each had a memorable year in the public spotlight, whether that be for good or bad.
And since we just ended a full decade, not just a year, the recaps at the end of 2009 were even more significant as the media threw out their votes for the last 10 years’ most significant events, trends, people, and music in politics, pop culture, entertainment and “life.”
Even though I do very little TV watching or magazine reading myself, I still see and hear it on my commutes to and from work, on the internet, at the stores, in the salon, and just through the chit chat of life.
So I was thinking about my life, and what I would put on my “Top 10” or “Best of 2009” list. What was most memorable about this past year in my home, my life, my small sphere of influence? I decided to make my own list for 2009.
I decided to call it “Kelli’s 10 Most Memorable Events: 2009.”
Although a few events clearly stand out in my mind, it was harder than I thought to choose ten significant happenings across all areas of my life, for good or for bad…So much happened last year, but much of it seemed like just the day to day of life. Looking through the window of perspective as I sit here today, this is my list. Final answer.
1) Running my first ever half marathon on 11/14/09. 13.1 miles in 1:57:30. What a tremendous experience that was to train for and complete this race.
2) Our last minute vacation to Kauai, Hawaii with Ryan and the Ellingsons. One week with no kids in a tropical paradise with great friends with first class accommodations!
3) The passing of my Uncle Mick, who died of brain cancer on 7/29/09, just 8 short months after being diagnosed.
4) Promontory’s emergence from Chapter 11 Bankruptcy on 4/28/09. (Promontory is the project owned by Pivotal Group, my employer, that I have been managing since 2001. After a very long 2 years of attempted restructuring, failed negotiations and more drama than I care to re-live, the project is out of BK and healthier than ever. And I still have a job!)
5) Spending the 4th of July in Rocky Point, Mexico, with our family and great friends.
6) Running in the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day with Ryan, Barrett, Afton, and so many cousins and family members.
7) Bishop Uncle Jim’s diagnosis of Mantle Cell Lymphoma cancer in August 2009. Our prayers and fasting were taken to new heights, and the spirituality and chemistry in our ward family have been forever strengthened through Jim’s trial. We are thrilled that his most recent pet scan showed the cancer to be gone, but continue to pray that over the next 4 months as he endures more painful chemo, that it will forever stay away.
8) Buying, fixing, and selling our Standage house with our partners. It had been over 2 years since we’d done any new real estate deals, so this was a refreshing experience in the midst of the significantly depressed economy.
9) Barrett turning 11 years old in October! We now have an official babysitter in the house, which has made weekly dating of my devilishly handsome husband so much more do-able.
10) Ryan’s new church calling as Ward Scoutmaster and my new church calling as Ward Activities Director. Both have had such an impact on the busyness of our lives this past year.
So there you have it. What is your “Top 10” list for 2009? Did you write it down yet?
Sunday, January 3, 2010
1) Read my scriptures every day.
2) Go to the temple every week.
3) Keep running & training at least 3 days/week.
4) Compete in at least 3 races (my first one is January 30th - London's Run).
5) Train for the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim. We're going in September!
6) Improve my photography by taking classes and doing more shoots. (I got a new lens and Photoshop CS4 for Christmas! I am so thrilled!)
7) Read more. With my kids. On my own. Always keep a book going.
8) Date my husband every week.
9) Stay caught up on my home office work.
10) Accept the "10 in 2010" challenge. (I'll post about that this week).