Sunday, January 30, 2011

I delight in "Christin-isms."

christin trying on boots at payless. almost looks like an advertisement doesn't it!

I'm not sure I've ever shared a 'Christin-ism' on this site. If I have, its been a while since I've posted one. Christin--also known as LB, is my little sister and one of my favorite people in the whole world. She makes me laugh all the time! And so, here's the latest 'Christin-ism."

setting: I was sitting at the table, reading a research article. Christin came to sit on my knee (just one of the reasons I can't study at home--which is okay by me, he he). And so, here's the conversation that happened:

me: (reading silently to myself an article about Communication)
Christin: oh i know what that says...
me: oh really? what does it say?
Christin: C is for tosco, O is for tosco, M is for tosco, M is for tosco, U is for tosco, N is for tosco, I is for tosco, C is for tosco, A is for tosco, T is for tosco, I is for tosco, O is for tosco, N is for tosco.
me: oh Christin, you are so smark (our inside joke from another Christin-ism moment).
Christin: i know sis.

Now, you maybe confused. Let me explain. When she says 'tosco' she really means Costco. She saw the big C little o on my paper about Communication and recognized the first two letters of Costco! I thought it was hilarious. As I continued reading and turned the page, she found more 'communications' and did the whole 'is for tosco' routine over and over again. It was so adorable. I hope that is the message that has come across in this!

I haven't been delighting much lately but that's going to change. Delighting helps heal my heart from the crazy stress of graduate school. And so, delight with me! Share your delights in the comments! Let's delight together!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I delight in 'no thank yous.'

My gmail inbox informed me---I had mail.
To which, I responded.

No thank yous.
the yous just for a maritime happy moment.

Junk mail that arrives in your mailbox you throw away (or preferably recycle). Junk e-mail goes 'delete.' But e-mail you just aren't ready to deal with???

Just say no thank you(s).

Friday, January 28, 2011

I delight in seasons.

I'm glad we have 4 seasons here in the great state of Utah.
Winter gives me plenty of time to miss summer.
Summer gives me lots of time to miss fall.
Right now, my heart yearns to be somewhere warmer than here--
even though here isn't even that cold.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I delight in institute.

Tuesday night Old Testament Class. I look forward to it all day. The Old Testament seems to be becoming more "loveable" and personal to me all the time overall, its way less scary now. I love that tonight I got to share it with these amazing girls in my program as well. Added bonus! Some 'treasure nuggets' from class today seemed appropriate to share 1 because they apply to me personally and 2 because they seem to apply to a lot of people I have talked to lately. Not that any of those said people are necessarily readers of this blog--however, I feel life goes in trends and often what we need to hear is what someone else needs to hear as well. So here you have some things I learned:
  • "Satan uses every possible device to degrade and enslave every soul. He attempts to distort and corrupt everything created for the good of man, sometimes by diluting that which is good, sometimes by camouflaging that which is evil. We generally think of Satan attacking us at our weakest spot. Elder Spencer W. Kimball of the Quorum of the Twelve described this technique when he said: “Lucifer and his followers know the habits, weaknesses, and vulnerable spots of everyone and take advantage of them to lead us to spiritual destruction” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969, pp. 218–19).

    Like the fabled Achilles, who was immune to every lethal blow except to his heel, many of us have a special weakness that can be exploited to our spiritual downfall. For some, that weakness may be a taste for liquor, an unusual vulnerability to sexual temptation, or a susceptibility to compulsive gambling or reckless speculation. For others, it may be a craving for money or power. If we are wise, we will know our weaknesses, our spiritual Achilles’ heels, and fortify ourselves against temptations in those areas.

    But weakness is not our only vulnerability. Satan can also attack us where we think we are strong—in the very areas where we are proud of our strengths. He will approach us through the greatest talents and spiritual gifts we possess. If we are not wary, Satan can cause our spiritual downfall by corrupting us through our strengths as well as by exploiting our weaknesses." from here.

  • "When we put God first in our lives, all things will fall into place or fall out of our lives." ----President Ezra Taft Benson
  • 6 priorities (as quoted by 4 prophets...i'm working on acquiring the direct quotes but now to quote Elder Holland via Brother Line) 1. spiritual and physical self, 2. spouse (or searching for one), 3. children or family, 4. church calling, 5. profession/schooling, 6. civic duties.
  • "Physical discipline is a sign of being spiritually clean." ----President Hinckley
  • There is a 5 point rating scale for church buildings--a little ah-ha fact with temples being number 5.
  • The best equation ever: ∞ +1=∞ and ∞+(-100)=∞. Christ's "infinite atonement" is the infinity (∞), I'm the 1. There is a reason we minister to the one.
  • And finally...its about quality not quantity. Let us not be confused in this world of 'fast-food' and never ending to do lists. We must not concern ourselves so much with quantity...its all about the heart behind your actions. I forget that so easily!
  • "The submission of one's will is placing on God's altar the only uniquely personal things one has to place there. The many other things we give are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us." ----Elder Neal A. Maxwell, "If Thou Endure It Well, p. 54.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I delight in visitors.

Friday I spent the day with these two. We were quite the trio wandering around gilgal and then later around the Gateway. Heather and I introduced Sarah to CPK--always fantastic. Overall it was a great day and lots of fun reminiscing over random mission memories!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I delight in my good dog.

Yesterday was a sad day at my house. Lucky, the best dog ever, passed away. I am grateful for kind surrounding classmates who offered their hugs and dog stories to help me feel better. I delight in the wonderful memories surrounding this dog. Cuddling with her every night when I was in Junior High and she was just a puppy, going on walks with her most nights while in high school, and enjoying her company during our summer night campfires.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I delight in mission friends!

What a great day it has been.
  • A phone call from a bosom friend is always a happy way to start the day!
  • Voice Disorders: a class I am so much more interested in than I ever thought I would be.
  • Clinic: my supervisor is amazing and doesn't believe in stupid questions--I very much appreciate that!
  • Making word lists: wow...I think the learning curve is going to grow rapidly...I might finally get good at IPA transcription! :)
  • Institute with Heather: heather is amazing...i just love to hear about her life. i'm grateful for a mission to bring us together and make us the best non-companion mission friends ever! old testament class is amazing and so is brother line.
  • Picking up Sarah at the Airport: definitely the highlight of the day. how often does an amazing aussie come to visit america and want to stay with me? never, until today! i love that girl (pictured above).
  • And now sleep: ah. enough said.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I delight in a year.

heather and i just one year ago in the chicago airport where we'd found ourselves just 18 months previous on our way to the mission. memories. memories. and yet now its been...

1 year. 12 months. 365 days. 8760 hours. 525600 minutes. 31536000 seconds.

and a lifetime awaits.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I delight in good-night.

Craig always says good night to my parents before he goes to bed. The three of us can be sitting in the same room and the scenario almost always plays out as follows:

Craig: I'm going to bed. Goodnight Mom, goodnight dad.

Yep, I was in the room too but do I ever get a "goodnight erin?" No. Okay, that's a lie. 3 times I believe he has said, Goodnight Erin and every time its brought me great joy (so much so that I remember that its only been 3 times!)

Miracle moment! Tonight, I'm sitting on the floor in the family room after watching James and the Giant Peach with my family (because that's what Christin wanted to do on her birthday after dinner.) Mom's upstairs putting LB to bed, Dad's outside plowing snow and me? I'm sitting here currently writing this but previously and post-this I will be returning to my homework. Anyway, Craig comes down the stairs and continues down the stairs to his room when all of a sudden (out of no where) he walks back up 3 of the stairs and leans just far enough to see me and says those blessed words I love to hear: "goodnight erin."

Permanent smile. I can continue my language sample with happiness in my heart. I love my family!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I delight in LB's birthday.

--don't ask me when it happened. She grew up and she's beautiful, wonderful and fabulous in every way. She is my favorite person in the world and can brighten my day faster than anyone else. I feel so spoiled to have her as my sister, to be loved so much by someone is such a blessing. She teaches me about Christ because of her pure Christlike love. And, I'm so excited to give her her birthday present tomorrow--its a suprise!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I delight in long awaited moments.

Today the lightbulb went on--I can do this!
I was a real clinician today--with a supervisor behind the window which made me feel even better. I was really nervous so much so I couldn't eat anything this morning--it was like the first day of school x10! But things went off almost flawless...I've been blessed.
I love being in the zone. I love getting to do something I love.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I delight in new experiences.

Today, I get to be an 'almost-real' speech-language pathologist! I see my first two clients by myself! Its kind of a big deal and it makes me really excited!

Other recent experiences: making delicious chocolate raspberry torte (pictured above), attempting to go country dancing (it didn't end up working out but I was definitely expanding my social comfort level with the attempt alone), the gym, experiencing a 'real u of u class change' meaning I have class on campus in a building with other people besides the same 45 people I see everyday. New semester, new year, new experiences.

Monday, January 10, 2011

I delight in 'a blue day.'

Ever since I read "Thinking in Pictures" by Temple Grandin, I have become minorly obsessed about reading books written by people who have autism. My mom and I have always talked about how we wish we could step into Craig's (my older brother who has autism) mind for 5 minutes--to know how he sees life, how his brain processes information, how its organized, to learn why he does some of the things he does and why he doesn't do other things. Reading books by people with Autism is as close as I'll probably come.

Over the holiday I read "Born on a Blue Day" by Daniel Tammet. He is an incredible individual who is different than Temple because he is a savant. Savants are those who have incredible talents in certain areas. Daniel experiences numbers as colors, shapes and motions--this ability helps him to amazing things with numbers. Examples: Daniel recited Pi (3.14...) to its 22, 514th decimal place with no errors in 5 and a half hours on Pi Day (3/14) to raise money in the UK for Epilepsy awareness. He can also tell you what day of the week you were born on. And finally and possibly the most amazing--he knows and speaks 10 languages fluently including Icelandic (the most difficult language) which he learned in just a week.

My favorite part of the book however is when Daniel related his experience of meeting Kim Peek. Kim doesn't have autism but he was definitely a savant and had many autistic like characteristics. I learned while reading this book that Kim passed away from a heart attack while I was on my mission (December 19, 2009). I remember hearing Kim's name a lot growing up. I also remember seeing him once, I'm not sure if it was on TV or if he actually visited my school. He's from Salt Lake City so him visiting my elementary school wouldn't have been outrageous. You see, that was something he and his father felt strongly about doing-visiting schools and hospitals to teach people that:
"You don't have to be handicapped to be different. Everybody is different."
I love that. That is an important message we can all learn something from! Below I have posted a YouTube clip I found from the Documentary done on Daniel entitled "Brainman" not to be confused with "Rainman" the movie inspired by Kim Peek. It documents when Daniel and Kim met. I hope you're inspired as I was.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I delight in learning.

"And I wished I'd never invited them."

Its a sentence someone told me today that cut me to the core. While it could have offended me, I know better than that...choosing to be offended by this person would have left me in a large field full of offenses by now, no that wasn't the way to handle the situation. No, today it cut me to the core in that it has caused me to ponder the attitude behind the statment all day.

But what to say in response to this line, I had no idea. She was relating a story to me about how she had invited my family including my Autistic brother to come over and visit some extended family when they had dropped by. She--full well knowing the Craig has such a hard time with little kids but is so anxious and ever excited to be around the family members, invites all to come and gather at her house. Now my brother, Craig, does fabulously around people as long as they mind their manners. No getting after children, no raising voices, no crying, screaming or hitting and he's great. The aforementioned things, he does not understand their use--its a pragmatic issue that most kids with Autism have a difficult time with, understanding emotions, reasoning and having the ability to see things from the perspective of another person.

And so, while the family is all together, she (of all people who knows better) gets after one of the kids. This of course is cause enough for Craig to 'lose it' (a term which I use to describe a scene I don't care to describe in detail).

And her concluding remarks of the story were:
"And I wished I'd never invited them (meaning Craig and the rest of my family)."
It was like her responsibility, her role in the story was inconsequential. She wished she'd never invited him because he threw her earrings, because he threw and broke her 5 dollar pedometer, because he caused a scene. But my immediate thought was: "how is this his problem?"

Most of us have the opportunity to know better. We can help those who don't know better or who are unable to know better. We can help them to have successful experiences by changing our attitudes and our behavior even when it maybe inconvenient or difficult for us to do so. We can find joy in our ability to be accommodating to help others be happy and successful.

One example that comes to mind. My brother Craig loves going on rides. I'm not talking a ride around the block either. Craig has 6 different rides. Each ride is between an hour and an hour and a half long. On the ride you can't deviate from the directed course. Each has a specific course outlined and honestly...all we who drive it often are on auto-pilot, meaning we've been doing this for many many years.

When I was little, Craig's apparent (in my mind) need to go on rides was so annoying. I mean, things in my life and the the life of my family would be delayed because Craig just had to go on his ride. I spent so much time being frustrated with this little thing. Honestly, I think the rest of us all did sometimes.

But now, years later, we're still rotating through this same system of rides. But our attitude has changed. In fact, sometimes the family all piles in together to go on these relaxing rides. They have become a part of who we are as a family--its just what we do. We allow these rides to bring us closer together instead of dividing us apart. "What ride was it today?" A common question asked in our house.

For me personally, changing my attitude changed my heart. While the daily 'rides' brought me absolutely no satisfaction--I began to see how happy it made Craig. I began to understand that I was blessed with the ability to not require such routines and as such, I could be patient with him, my dear brother who does. I could even volunteer to take him on such rides. As a result of my change of heart--some of my most favorite conversations with Craig have happened as I've driven him around on his rides.

While this may seem silly. I would ask you to think about what brings joy in the lives of those around you. Is there some little thing you're stubborn about doing because you think its strange or it maybe inconvenient or a little out of your nature, routine or schedule? Now ask yourself, does the joy it would bring to the other person possibly outweigh the burden it places on you?

We are a service oriented people. I believe that it is in all our hearts to want to help those around us. Opportunities really are right in our way. Do not let them pass by saying 'sometime--i'll try' GO, DO something (anything) today. Let us be slower to pass judgement and more willing to open our hearts and do all we can to make the lives of those around us better.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I delight in the moments you dream about.

Today, a dream became a reality.
Roaming used bookstore.
In hand...2 dark chocolates with buttercream centers.
Found a book which contained a quote that I used in a state public speaking competition my senior year of high school...I took 2nd that year.
I've been looking for that book since I used the quote.
Seriously perfect moment.