Wednesday, July 31, 2013

surgery and recovery

My pseudo mom had surgery today.  It was a day surgery and I have to admit that one smile for the day was watching as she did make quick improvements in her recovery.  No she is not back to normal, it has been a few hours, but it is amazing how our bodies work.  Our bodies are amazing.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

love, prayer and friendship

Several years ago, while living in Vegas my friend gave birth to a beautiful little girl.  As I held this little baby in my arms my prayer was that I would have a close relationship with her.  A few months later I lost my job and moved states.  I rarely saw her and when  I did, it was like a child seeing any adult they really didn't know.  Well about a year ago they moved to my neck of the woods.  And I have seen the answer of that prayer.  So today's smile is the answer of a prayer and the love and friendship of a little girl.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Erasmus quote and Sinatra

A delightful quote I enjoy is

“When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.” 
― Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus

This quote definitely describes me.  I think books may be more tempting to buy for me than food sometimes. I bought I book on Monday, started reading it Monday night and finished it at 7:45 Tuesday morning.

So today's smile is the good book and working on my PhD while listening Frank Sinatra.  I love Frank Sinatra.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


I have spent the last few days reading the Hunger Games trilogy.  I have to admit there is one character in that series that truly makes me smile.  I love Peeta, I love his goodness, his devotion, and his consistency.  But I think one of my favorite aspects of Peeta is the calming strength he gives Kat.  I guess today's smile is just these good attributes in people, I realize that Peeta is a fictitious character, and no one is perfect, but even seeing a fictitious character with good attributes is a beautiful thing.

Friday, July 12, 2013

beauty all around

Today was a busy day of smiles: running, the zoo, hot chocolate, old friends, and time with my cousin. What beauty there is to be around those we love, doing things we enjoy, having friendships that feel like no time has passed, and also just the beautiful world around us.  .

We don't have to do big things to enjoy life. We don't have to go far to see beauty.  Beauty is in the world around us, it is in the friendships we have, it is in those small moments that make us smile, it is in a song we enjoy, it is around us.

While I have all these small wonderful moments of beauty, I would like to share some pictures of the small beauty of the day.

(mamma jaguar)

(baby jaguar)

(baby jaguar)

(ain't he cute)

(yes the lion)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Love is....


Today was a great day.  I was so glad to meet my family.  I feel a loss at not having known them (or of them for that matter) for the majority of my life so far.  They are incredible people and I feel that I can truly be myself around them, which is amazing because sometimes with family you can’t even be yourself.  I realized that I have been focusing on the wrong things recently.  I need to focus on what matters most, and frankly calories do not matter most.  Life matters most.  Love matters most.  I went to a cousin’s wedding today (a cousin I didn’t even know about until very recently) and during the ceremony the minister said love is when you try and want to make the other person happy or something along those lines.  I wish I had remembered it because it was beautiful.  I love these members of my family, I love my family. 

Today was a fascinating day.  I went to church with my Grandma Sharon and her son and daughter in law.  (Debbie and kurt).  It was an interesting experience. One thing I found interesting and enjoyed was the pastors approach at discussing addictions in our lives.  He specifically talked about addictions were when we placed pleasure before God.  He tied it into the higher step of being called.  We are not just saved by God but we are called of God and when we have purpose, namely God’s purpose we change our behavior.  It is not necessarily that certain things are bad but when they take a precedent over God they are a problem.  It is the problem of focusing on the less important things.  I realized I was doing this with my life.  I was counting calories and focusing on that and missing other more important things in life like love and family. 
Today I also got to enjoy spending time listening to Gumpa and Sharon sharing family stories. 
A few weeks ago (a day before I left for Seattle) I received a blessing.  I am seeing the answer to that blessing now when it comes to being drawn to my family and getting to know them better.  This week long trip to Yakima is a miracle trip.

Today was such a blessing just being around family.  I got to sit and watch as my grandfather spent time with his sisters and listen to them sing.  What a blessing it is to be around this family.  They are such incredible people.  Family can truly be the richest of blessings.

There are so many smiles and blessing for today.  I enjoy just being around my family, what a rich blessing it is.  I was able to spend time with Gumpa and his sisters Arlene and Pat along with Sharon, Shanna (Arlenes daughter), Robert (Shanna’s husband), and Molly (Shanna and Roberts daughter) as they talked and sang old songs.  What a delight.  I was later able spend time with Debbie and Madison.  Madison and I colored together and played games like memory and math games.  It was so delightful.  One of my favorite parts was when we both went up to hug Gumpa.  I love them, they are FAMILY.  I was so proud of Madison as well, at 6 years old she was doing multiplication.  At one point during a fun math game we did to help with the cleanup I had asked her to do 3x6.  I was so proud of how she found the answer.  It wasn’t just something that she had memorized.  She did something like this 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18.  She could figure out 3x5 but had to use her logic/analytical skills to figure out how to find the next number.  She had also surprised me with a cross that she had colored just for me.  We had only really met 5 minutes two days before and yet she wanted to make it for me.  I love it.  After all that joy I also got to enjoy talking with Grandma Sharon until 1:30am again.  I love just talking with her, and I love her.  What a rich blessing.  I can truly admit that this trip was meant to be.  I wish I could describe what it means to me.  I never want to forget this trip and more importantly than not forgetting, I want it to be more of a part of me.  I want to remain close to them.  I want to be better (in so many aspects). 
One truly beautiful parts of this trip, it is love.  That is what matters at the end of the day.  That is the beauty of this life.   It isn’t the loud love of Hollywood, but the pure love.  I don’t know if I would say simple love, but yet there is a simplicity in it.  I would not say quiet love, because there are moments when you simple want to get up and say I love you.  I would not say loud love either, because there are moments that it is felt in the quiet moments of just sitting near each other or thinking about each other, or doing the dishes for another.  But I would say it is the love you can see in the ordinary life.


Today’s thoughts may be a lot on the philosophical side.  I would have to say that sometimes the hard times of a day do overshadow the smile part.  I could say I had several good parts to my day: I spent time with family, I got to get to know my Aunt, I got to spend time with extended family, I got to experience the service part of love (the quiet part of helping another by doing dishes etc.).  All these are beautiful and good, but sometimes it is hard to look for the happy moments when there are some pretty blatant rough ones, like those you love going to the emergency room. 
Maybe my blog for this week should be titled love.  I once heard “you cannot have sorrow without love” or something along those lines.  The truth of the matter is when you care about someone you can hurt (or feel sorrow) for them or by them or with them.  Love does not come sunshine and flowers every day all day.  But it does come with the greatest rewards and return value.  So I don’t know if I will necessarily post today as a “happy day” etc. but rather a day on the reflections of love. 
A dash of love makes any meal taste better.  To be liked and loved makes any day better. To have someone you love near makes life better.  And to have a Sharon return home makes the fourth of July even happier.

Today’s smile is expressions of love.  One expression of love came from Mackenzie (8 year old granddaughter) to Sharon.  “My love for you is out of control”


There are so many things to add to this blog on love especially for these days.

I guess I will sum it up in what love is

Love is the song from Fiddler on the Roof,
Love is doing the dishes for someone,
Love is caring,
Love is respect,
Love is the sorrow of saying good-bye
Love is the smile of a memory,
Love is being willing to look the fool,
Love is ....