Thursday, February 26, 2009

I've Been Tagged

My sister tagged me to write about a picture. The poor girl did it days ago and has probably wondered why I'm such a loser! I'm just a very busy loser. So, her instructions were as follows:

1. Go to your My Documents/My Pictures
2. Go to your sixth file
3. Go to your sixth picture
4. Blog about it
5. Tag 6 people

I got a little confused with the "sixth file" part, but I had that many folders so I selected the sixth folder and the sixth picture. Here it is! I promise this is the sixth picture she asked for, and it is poetic justice that it happens to be an early morning picture that includes her! (Didn't someone once say to be careful what you ask for????)

This is an early morning shot of Cheryl, Cathy, and Colleen before we ran in the Marathon relay at Thanksgiving Point. We had a five-person team that also included Colleen's daughter Jessica and my neighbor Noreen. As a team, we covered a full marathon distance of 26.2 miles, but that meant that each of us had to run 5.2 miles. The shirts we got said, "A full marathon, 1/5 the pain."

We did really well. We didn't win or anything like that, but each of us ran our segment faster than we'd ever run that distance before. I was really proud of us and what we accomplished. I was 40 (two weeks shy of 41, actually) when we did it. Now that I'm 43, I appreciate even more what Cathy and Colleen did to do it with me. I think it would be harder now. Anyway, it was fun, Thanksgiving Point was a beautiful place to run (although a bit hilly at times), and we accomplished a goal we'd set.

Thanks for the fun trip down memory lane, Cathy. And now, as per her instructions, I guess I must tag a few of my blogging friends. Hmm, I'm gonna call out Kim E. (when you get a break from school), Laura A. (ditto), Patti H., Noreen, Heather W., and Karen M. I know you guys all check this occasionally, so I'm going to be looking for your pictures on your blogs as well. I can't wait!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Go out and do good

The big news in Salt Lake City tonight was the death of Larry H. Miller. He is a very well known businessman in the area as he owned car dealerships, the Utah Jazz basketball team (and some other sports teams), several movie theaters, restaurants, and stores, and a motor sports raceway. As the news stations were all memorializing him, they talked a lot about his philanthropic work. They kept showing him with one of his frequent quotes in which he said, "Go out and do good until there is too much good in the world." How cool would that be if we all did that?

In other interviews he said a couple of other cool things. In one he said, "I’ve learned that net worth, good health, and happiness are not necessarily connected to one another. " I have no doubt that having lots of money makes life more comfortable, but I've sure heard a lot of rich people talk about what it doesn't provide. And it certainly didn't keep him from dying at a young age. It makes me think about priorities, for sure.

In one other one, he was asked what advice he would give to other businessmen or to his children. I thought his response was interesting. "It took me until I was 50 to realize that my family needed me to be more than a breadwinner. My wife needed me as a companion to help with things with the kids or the house. Once I figured that out and started doing it, I found it was easy, and I wondered why I hadn’t been doing it all along."

I'm pretty sure he wasn't a perfect man. But overall, people's views of him seem to be pretty positive. Perfect or not, I thought he said some pretty good things that we could all take to heart.

Likewise, I am nowhere near perfect, but I can only hope that someday when I die, there will be at least a few people who will speak of me as someone who went about trying to do good in the world. Until then, I'll just keep trying.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Things I've Done

My friend had this list on her blog and was encouraging others to copy it and then bold the things you've done. It's a fun way to remind yourself of all the things you have done and of fun things that still lie ahead. I'd love to see the list copied by any of you who read my blog as well. Until then, take a look at things I've done.... so far!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii (not yet, but I'll make it someday!)
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity (I've given, but I've never been left wanting, so maybe that doesn't count!)
7. Been to Disneyland (see the two previous blogs!)
8. Climbed a mountain (Like Mt. Timpanogos with my two awesome sisters just last year)
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a Solo (at my kids' bedtime)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch (I'm gonna go with cake decorating for this one)
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning (not exactly, but I've eaten some nearly toxic things - sea urchin, for example)
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (I'm so soakin' honest)(For details on the use of the word "soakin' " as an adverb, you'll have to consult my great nephew Isaac.)
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon (Ok, it was a marathon relay - a full marathon distance with 1/5 the pain, but did it - again with my awesome sisters.)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run (maybe once on the Wii)
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (We took a great trip to England, Scotland, and Wales)
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language (Didn't teach myself, but at one point, I used to be able to speak both Spanish and Korean)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing (only far enough up a tower to ring the bell)
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke (in a tiny little room with Dale and my friend Heather in Pusan, Korea -- oh, and with Andy in Colleen's living room!)
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant (I've gotta find a time to do this!)
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been on television
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (I was an extra in a church movie, but I landed on the cutting room floor)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class (Karate in college! Oh, those were the days!)
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma (I've given, I've received, and I've advertised for the Red Cross. Even now, mine and Daniel's picture is hanging in the donor center in Salt Lake.)
65. Gone sky diving (There's not enough money, but paragliding was fun!)
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (I guess it counts that I broke my finger fighting with Angie over lunch money)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book (I wrote a lot of training manuals, does that count?)
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper (Lots of spelling bee memories!)
85. Read the entire Bible (If I did, I didn't understand a lot of it!)
86. Visited the White House (I even chatted with the first President Bush at the fence while he was out with his dogs. He was great!)
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (fish)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake (Mostly I just competed for space with the nasty flies that live there.)
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Totally copied a post from someone's blog to your own (I just did!)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

If I were a rich woman...

Frequently when my kids ask for something that costs money, I tell them they can have it someday when Noah's stock is $300 per share (note that it is currently $7.50).  They usually just roll their eyes and recognize that means "No."  I took this picture to show what I'm gonna look like someday "when it's $300 a share."

Friday, February 6, 2009

Let's Talk Disneyland!

So, the whole time I was at Disneyland, I was thinking in blog terms. I kept thinking of the things I wanted to write about, but real life was waiting for me at home, and I'm just now getting to the actual writing.
NOTE: Daniel is not quite taller than me yet. I must have been bent just a little at the knees. He only needs about a half inch more, but I wanted to make it clear for the record that as of February, 2009, I'm still taller.

We had a great vacation! It was perfect weather; there were minimal crowds; life was good! We were able to go to Disneyland, of course, but we also squeezed in visits to both sets of grandparents as well. At Mom's, Dale took his place as the favorite son-in-law (for this week, anyway) by discovering the root of her wireless internet problems. We're so glad that's fixed. At Dale's mom's house we enjoyed visiting with her as well as Dale's aunt and another uncle who also live nearby. Rather than give a complete play by play, let me just share a handful of pictures and few observations.
  • I could live in a state of suspended reality for a long time! It was so nice to have my biggest worry be about which ride to go on next. I didn't have to coerce anyone to do homework. I didn't have to compete with Noah's for Dale's time. I didn't even have to answer the phone. I guess that's how it feels to be independently wealthy. Hmmmm...
  • Staying across the street is the way to go. We just stayed in a Best Western hotel, but it was clean, the beds were comfortable, and we literally just had to walk across the street to the entrance. Loved it!
  • The early morning entry you get with a multi-day ticket is worth it. I thought it would be crowded with everyone going early, but it turned out to be pretty empty and we rode a lot of rides in that first hour.
  • Walking onto Star Tours and having the girl say, "Choose a seat; you can sit anywhere you want," is kind of like going to a temple outside of Utah and having a worker tell you to choose whichever locker you'd like. Both are unexpected responses.
  • The inside of Space Mountain didn't look like I thought it would. It was cool to see, but it was also a little like seeing the wizard behind the curtain.
  • Space Mountain is still a favorite ride. We did it three times, and Dale pulled a new face for every snapshot.
  • It's fun to see Disneyland change with the changing generations. My generation watched "Tom Sawyer" and "Swiss Family Robinson." My kids' generation apparently watched "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Tarzan" so things had to change.
  • Even though my kids have grown up in a pretty sophisticated technological age, Cheyenne can still be completely enamored with birds that talk and sing. Can you believe the Tiki Room is still going strong?
  • The world is made up of lots of different personalities. Thankfully, there are those that have the mental and physical fortitude to be test pilots. Those type of people would clearly enjoy California Screamin' (the big roller coaster) more than I did! However, my kids can say I rode it with them -- once.
  • I owe my sister Cathy for suggesting I take rain ponchos to wear on the Grizzly Rapids ride. I can only imagine how much whining I was spared that afternoon by not having drenched children. And my underwear stayed dry - that's more than I can say for the poor woman next to me.
  • I still love Billy Hill and the Hillbillies. They make me laugh.
  • The Jungle Cruise is just campy enough to still be fun after all these years. And are the piranha a fairly new addition?? I liked them.
  • Daniel complained that the cars in Autopia are hard to drive. I told him I didn't care 'cause it was January and I was driving a convertible through a park in Southern California while wearing short sleeves. I was in heaven!
  • I like 70 degree weather.
  • I like it a lot.
  • I'm not sure I'd be willing to take the rest of what Southern California brings to have the 70 degree weather. Woe is me!
  • Cheyenne was a delight. She was old enough to take care of herself and not run away (mostly), but she was still enthralled by the whole experience. There's not a jaded bone in her body. She was tons of fun.
  • Daniel was great fun to be with . He was old enough and brave enough to try some things he wouldn't have dreamed of before (like the Maliboomer), but he was still so patient with Cheyenne and the "little kid" things she wanted to do.
  • Cheyenne made me laugh one night when she said, "It's past my bedtime, but that's the point, huh?"
  • Did you know they close Fantasyland rides about 1.5 hours before the fireworks are scheduled? Don't plan to ride the Peter Pan ride at that time. It's a bad idea.
  • For Heather and Isaac's sake, after riding Splash Mountain we were "so soakin' wet!"
  • Disneyland is still magical. We had a great time there and a great time together as a family.
If this summary just wasn't enough for you and you want to see ALL the pictures from the trip, take a look at the photo album here.