Friday, May 20, 2011

Brick By Brick- Train

This week has gone by pretty fast and I don't really know why. I feel like the hours go by slow but the days just fly by.... (does that make ANY sense at all?...) I had to work Monday and Tuesday, maybe that's why the hours seemed to go by so dang slowly. However, I was very happy to finally be home, nothing beats the feeling of sleeping in your own bed. I made dinner Monday night, thanks to Leandra Stromberg's casserole recipe it's one of the few casseroles I actually really enjoy..

Tuesday I went on a date to Nickle City with Abner and some of his friends. We had a lot of fun trying to get enough tickets to get fake moustaches, those came in handy Wednesday after Tina's incredible choir concert at Orem Junior...

I am quite impressed as to how far they have come from the beginning of the school year. Way to go OJH! Being inside that school brings back so many memories, both good at bad. And apparently it makes me act just like I used to in Jr. High... I was a bit of a snot to the janitor that asked Natalie and I to head back to the commons.. Oh man, I was so embarrassed afterwards... I need to stop going there.. After we got all moustached up, we stopped by the Borders to take ice cream orders, then made a quick run to Farr's for ice cream-- in our "Banditos" outfits... Haha. Get ready cause these pictures are Epic.

Natalie didn't have to work on Thursday so we took advantage of that and went out for a morning run. We decided to meet half way at a park here in PG. I have never had so much fun running in the rain, my dog however, was not as happy. Poor Lady got cold on the way back so I had to carry her. Oh, and my shoes hated me... I had fun though, can't wait to run again! My lungs seem to be getting stronger so I will definitely be taking advantage of that and keep working out outdoors instead of at the gym.

**A little shout-out to my aunt Liliana Thompson, happy birthday! They say you shouldn't have favorites when it comes to family... but I say that's bologna, we all have favorites no matter what. This is a great example :) My aunt has been through so much, she is a great example and a wonderful mother. I love youuu!**


Yesterday, after picking my sister up from school we got home, turned on the T.V. and Oprah was on. I can honestly say I have never watched a single episode, ever. Something about this particular one caught my attention though. As many people probably know, next Wednesday is her last episode ever. Apparently she's been doing her show for 25 years and has had like a billion people on it (who knew? Not me..). She was going over some of her most memorable reunions and favorite guests on the show, so I left it on for a while just to see who it was... I had no idea I would be crying the whole hour..

The first story was of two sister who miraculously survived the genocide in Rwanda. In 100 days 800,000 men, women and children were killed by machetes... Claire and her younger sister of 6, Clementine, hid in a banana tree while their home burnt down with their grandparents inside... They thought their whole family had died. They spent the next six years in refugee camps, hoping to catch a glimpse of a surviving family member. After a time, an American church brought the girls over to be adopted by foster parents. Years later, Clementine was on the show because of an essay she had written about the book titled "Night" by Elie Wiesel that tells his story of surviving the Holocaust, she wrote about the similarities in her life... Oprah called the sisters up on stage to hand them a letter from their parents... before they could read it, she had another surprise for them... The doors opened and out came the two sisters' parents and siblings... As the sisters rushed to their family after 12 years of separation, I couldn't help but cry. The pure joy and gratitude on their faces was something that cannot be described. They talked about the girl's lives today. Claire is attending Yale University and doing really well despite her initial complications learning the language... She doesn't know exactly what she wants to do with her life when she graduates in 2013, but she knows she wants to help others, help people share their stories of tribulation and how they surpassed their challenges...

The second, and by far the most uplifting story, was of a woman named Erin Kramp. At 36 years old, Erin was dying of breast cancer. She had one daughter, Peyton, only six years old. Whenever Erin had a moment to herself, she would pick up the video camera and record messages for her daughter. She recorded advice from picking out makeup, to how to pick a husband and everywhere in between. She had no idea how long she had left, she still had so many things to teach and tell her daughter. They showed bits and pieces of Erin's recordings, one of them was definitely my favorite. She says:

" I have been up for three hours, in the middle of the night, just thinking about

how much I love you, I couldn't stand it. I couldn't sleep. So finally I decided, I'm just

going to get up and record how much I love Peyton!

Mooore than infinity!"

(she says with arms stretched out)

Six months later, Erin lost her life. She left behind hours and hours of messages for every milestone of her daughter's life.

John, her husband has now remarried and has two kids of his own. Peyton is now at Duke University. Although Peyton only spent six short years with her mother, she knows what kind of mom she had. She knows how hard her mother fought, she knows how much she was loved...

These two stories were uplifting in their own way, however, they both taught me to be grateful. Although we all have challenges, some definitely have it harder than we do. I look at my family and realize how lucky I am to have a mother who not only supports us in all we do, but provides for us above and beyond. The second story help my love and appreciation grow for my mother. Without her, I have no idea where we would be. She is the source of strength in our family. I know I don't show my love for her enough, I can only hope that she knows how much she is loved.

Thank you mom for all you do, you are a great example. I love you.

Through this I realize how important the Plan of Salvation really is. Without it, many people leave this earth and have no idea that they will see their loved ones again. I am thankful to have this knowledge. Erin taught people to live life to the fullest, to not fear death, to embrace it. Oprah said it best:

".... to dying, letting go, and leaving love behind.."


Monday, May 9, 2011

Sneaky Little Camera Cord...

I have wanted to put up a new post for a very very VERY long time now, (just ask Natalie, I have been complaining about it for quite a while..) but that little rascal of a cord has been hiding... I have done sooo much in basically the last month since I posted and it would be too overwhelming to try and catch up with all of it in detail, so here are just a few highlights...

- After what seemed like forever, I finished finals and made it through my first year of college
(feel free to clap.. Thank you, thank you.)
- Helped by best friend move back home!! Celebrated with Modern Family, hehe.
- Helped Maddie accessorize for prom, she looked amazing!
-Made breakfast with Tina for the bestest mom everrrrr!
-A play date with Valerie and Nat to the dinosaur museum at Thanksgiving point! Ahh, so fun.
- Hung out with Abner and learned to not bother with tennis ever again...
-Discovered that Nat's house is further than I thought... Our steady workouts lasted a week. Haha.
- Worked my butt off at Vox with some of the coolest people ever.

And last, but certainly not least.... My latest adventure:


We planned this little family gathering Mother's Day weekend. My mom's aunts are visiting all month from Florida so it was a perfect chance for them to see something other than snow... It was awesome to have all of us together- Arnold and his family, Angelica & Quiquin and their beautiful kids, Aunt Liliana with Chris and Valerie, grandma and grandpa Urrea with grandma's sisters, Arnold Andres, Andrea, and us three of course! All 21 of us (plus a dog) in one three-bedroom-8-bed-three-bathroom house... What an adventure!

We left early Saturday morning and arrived around noon. We were all tired and hungry but ready to play. After a ton of unloading, Quiquin, Tina and I went on a bike ride while lunch was ready. We found a quite a few red dirt mounds and had lots of fun going off the jumps. After a very yummy BBQ, Tina and I were ready to go again. After what seemed like ages Tina finally got the courage to go down one of them, I was so proud! Finally, around four we decided to hit up the local Rec to go swimming. Although the pool was indoors, it was still a ton of fun going down the slide and playing with the little kids. We took the kids to the park where they were holding the Red Rock Relay- THAT was really cool to watch. Everyone had matching outfits for their teams, some were hilarious!

Later Saturday night, my mom, sister and I went to hit up the town. It was really cool to look at all the stuff they had. Tina was dying for a sweatshirt from one of the stores but they didn't have one in her size... Sad. We went back home and found everyone asleep... We had quite a few hikes (or so we thought) ahead of us Sunday.

Sunday was very eventful day... We got up early and packed up the cars, had breakfast, had a little testimony meeting and a very yummy lunch. After that we were ready to hit the trails! We stopped by the visitor center at Arches so that our Florida-visitors knew kinda what we were getting into, after twenty minutes of potty breaks, water-drinking, shoe tying, etc... We were ready to go! The drive up was incredible, lots of breath-taking views and picture opportunities. After a while we made it to Balanced Rock.... We hiked up and around it until we were ready to move on.. Or so we thought.

We spent almost two hours at Balanced Rock. Why? Well remember that dog I mentioned above? yeah,
he decided to jump out of the car and run into the wilderness... That freakin' chihuahua! We searched for ages
and ages. Had we been seen by the patrol we would have been busted for being off the trails.
Chris saw him jump out of the car and went after him, as soon at the dog saw Chris the dang dog bolted.
We thought he was a goner. We gave up looking after two hours
and headed towards the North and South Windows and the Double Arch....
A few hikes later we were ready to head home...
To make a long story short, they eventually found that little rascal of a dog.
Everyone rejoiced- The End

I had a lot of fun in Moab, it was quite an adventure spending so much time with so many people. Although our house smelled funny, the memories made were definitely worth it. I love my family very much, I am very grateful for the time I get to spend with them. I think the best part of our trips are always the hours spent in the car there and back. Windows down and music blasting is how we roll. So if you are ever invited to come on a little road trip with us, be prepared to hear lots of Juanes, Camilla, and Fonseca... and lots of singing out of tune :)

And last but not least.... Pictures!!!

Ah, food. Definitely one of the highlights :)

...I was hungry...

Mommy and Tina

Props to Tina for being brave!
One of the greatest fathers this world has ever seen.

Not all were excited about being at the park. haha.

One of the greatest mothers in the world..
Kinda hard to believe in this picture. Hehe.

My favorite boy in our family.
Hitting up all the cool stores.

Sweet little Valerie, Tina did a great job on her hair.

Tina and I had a little pre-hike warm up.

Ready to hit up the trails!
Soo pretty.

Moab was AMAZING. Can't wait to go again, and hopefully soon!!