Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Wait for it...



My darling grandma turns 70 today and last night her kids and grandkids squeezed ourselves into her kitchen to surprise her when she got home from a fall leaf drive with Grandpa. We took turns expressing our love and appreciation for Grandma's faithfulness and dedication to the gospel of Jesus Christ, for providing a warm beautiful setting in her home, for her delicious baking, and patience during piano lessons. I want to elaborate a bit on what I said when it was my turn. I have always loved how ladylike my grandma is. She is a beautiful woman inside and out and I have always admired how she takes care of and carries herself. I have had a love/hate relationship with my height over the years. I'm not ridiculously tall, but taller than average, and I'm usually okay with it until somebody points it out (once I was at a dance with the Spanish branch and Danilo hadn't arrived yet, so my mother-in-law encouraged a 14-year-old kid to dance with me. His eyes scaled from my toes to the top of my head and he shook his head. "Muy grande," he said, walking off. Maybe I should have grabbed him and taught him a quick lesson on the top ten things you should not say to a girl, but I didn't end up doing him the favor). I know height is kind of like straight or curly hair, you tend to wish you had the other no matter which one you've got. One day though, I realized one of the reasons my grandma is so ladylike to me is because of the way she carries her height, confidently with no apology, the way it should be. And so did her mom, my great-grandma who I adored as well. The day I realized that, I decided I was going to embrace my height and never go back. Happy birthday to a lovely woman who I am so thankful to be able to enjoy in my life. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

those who will not live to see another day

and those who will

but not many more. I am coming out back next.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 11, 2011

Every year on September 11, I try to spend some time quietly remembering that day. The principal came over the intercom first period telling us that counselors would be on hand to help any students who were worried about parents or family members who may be involved with the tragedies going on back east. Being high school students, we all chalked it up to being no big deal. And then I walked into the classroom where I served as a teacher assistant. There I saw my teacher, a woman I loved and admired, with tears streaming down her face looking up at the television in horror.

Knowing this year would be the 10th anniversary of the tragedy, I yearned inside for some way to meaningfully observe it. I wasn't sure what I wanted. I knew it involved coming together with other Americans. I knew it involved remembering the people who were lost on what had started out as a beautiful and ordinary day. It involved remembering those who had acted so courageously so that less horror would be inflicted, and in many cases were lost that day as well. I knew it involved reflecting on the beauty that was revealed in the face of so much terror. I knew that it involved love of God and country and beautiful music. And I am thankful to Sandy City for providing the perfect platform this morning.

a balloon and a flag for every life lost
Thurl Bailey said it is comforting to know that those who fell, fell to a better place.
Then he sang "America the Beautiful" and "God Bless America" as the balloons floated into the heavens.