Tuesday, January 29, 2008

In Memory of a True Leader

To say I was shocked when I found out President Gordon B Hinckley passed away would be an understatement. Granted he was 97 1/2 years old so it shouldn't have been totally unexpected. I guess I was just hoping the day wouldn't come when we wouldn't see the unfailing smile on his face.

President Hinckley is a wonderful example of eternal optimism. He knew that life had its difficult moments but he was always smiling. My favorite idea President Hinckley spread was that we don't need to worry so much about things in our life because things always work out. The sadness and despair we sometimes feel doesn't last forever. There is a plan for our lives. If we get to worrying too much or meddling too much in our lives, then we might miss out on some wonderful opportunities.

It just brings a HUGE smile to my face to know that these two lovebirds are together again never to be separated. I can't even imagine the joy these two felt when they were reunited again. They were truly not complete when they were apart.

President Hinckley is a great example of faith, fun, wit, and wisdom. I am grateful to have lived during the time when President Hinckley was the prophet on the earth. President Hinckley helped to build and strengthen my testimony by his testimony and example.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Rather go to the Dentist!

Last week, I finally summoned enough courage to get my annual haircut. I absolutely hate getting my haircut. It always is very traumatic and often leaves me in tears. I have decided for long hair because I hate getting my haircut. The "stylists" never seem to get it right. They must not understand me because what I end up with is never what I ask for.

So last Tuesday was the big day. I drove to the hair stylists and got right in. She asked me what I wanted. I told her, "I just want my hair trimmed. Even up my hair and make sure that it is straight when you are done. Take a little bit off the ends so I don't have any more split ends." Those were the directions, but that was not what I ended up with. The girl got done cutting my hair. Then she showed me the mirror so I could see the back which looked fine. I drove home thinking that was pretty painless and went relatively well.

I come in the door and announce to my parents that I had gotten my haircut. My mom took a look at the back and asked me if I had told them to cut all of my hairs or just specific sections. She took me to the bathroom and pointed out many clumps of hair that did not get cut. I looked like I had given scissors to a 2 year old and told them to go at it! It was horrible! I asked my mom if she would go back with me so she could point out the horrible job they did. She didn't have time that day but she would go with me the next morning. Luckily, I didn't have to leave my house the rest of the day.

The next morning, my mom and I showed up at the hair cutters bright and early when they opened. My mom barely had to show the girl all the places that were missed the day before because she could see it right away. Luckily I got a different girl that actually knew how to cut hair. By the time I left my hair was about two inches shorter than when I had started the day before but at least I didn't look like my hair dresser was a toddler! See how traumatic it is to get a haircut! That is why I would much rather go to the dentist and have a cavity filled than get my hair cut!

Monday, January 14, 2008

2007 in Review

I am the ultimate slacker since I returned from Nashville, TN. I haven't really done anything since I got home. I rarely know what day of the week it is. The only day I know is Sunday because that is the day I actually have to be somewhere at a certain time. I was writing down the highs and lows of 2007 for a friend the other day. When I sat down to write, I just thought that 2007 was one of the hardest years I had lived through! So many bad things happened last year. Then as I started to write down the bad things and the good things, the good things outweighed the bad things. Some of the bad things actually turned out to be good things because of what I had gained. Here's the abbreviated (and edited) version of 2007 just for you!!

January, I traveled to Denver, CO for about five days to spend time with my cousin Vanessa and her family and my friend Suzanne. I had a blast with all of them. I enjoyed being part of my cousin's family. They were so much fun! I loved spending a few days with Suzanne because it had been at least 10 years since I had spent any quality time with her. I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with her.

January brought the absolute worst job I have ever had! I worked at one of IHC's Clinic for nine months. I really struggled working with unreliable people, having doctors yelling at me and wanting me to do things certain ways for them, having patients yelling at me and wanting me to practically move mountains for them. I learned that people that are in discomfort are not the nicest people you will come in contact with. This job taught me patience and perseverance.

In June, I went on a Southern Caribbean cruise to Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas leaving in and out of San Juan, Puerto Rico. My parents and I had quite the adventure just getting to San Juan. We decided to be bumped from our original flight for some free vouchers. Then flights were canceled, tickets were not issued, flights were full, etc. You know the drama. Gratefully, we made it before the ship sailed and that’s all that mattered. My favorite port was Aruba because it was totally different from what I had expected. The landscape was more desert than lush, tropical island. I loved it! I enjoyed being on vacation and spending time with my family!

In July and August, I was able to take a few friends to Lake Powell with me and my parents. We had a blast laying in the sun, swimming, jumping off cliffs, looking at the stars, and spitting cherry seeds into a bowl. Oh how I miss the warm weather!

I had my 10 year high school reunion! Where does the time go? We all pretty much looked the same. It was hard to imagine that 10 years had gone by since we had hung out everyday in the commons. I enjoyed talking with classmates that I hadn't taken the time to keep in contact with. We were all at different places in our lives-single, married, student, employee, mom, dad, etc. I had a great time! There was a table set up with names of classmates who had passed away over the past 10 years. I counted that there were six classmates listed. (There were probably more that we just weren't aware of.) Wow, six! One of the names really shocked me because she was one of the first friends I had when I moved to West Jordan High. We had a lot of fun in AP History and Seminary together. I had no idea that she had passed away.

I lost my best friend (not the friend in the previous paragraph) in August with no apparent warning. That was devastating and took a long time for me to accept and get over. I no longer had someone to talk with who (I thought) understood me completely. I learned just how strong and independent I am. I realized that I have a lot to give and a lot more people to give it to. I finally realized that my energy would be better spent on the relationships I did have and making new relationships than trying to revive a relationships that was obviously dead and not going to be resurrected any time soon.

I made two great friends at my horrible job-Ashley and Gwen. Ashley, Gwen, and I had a blast when we had a girl’s Wicked weekend in LA in September. They left their husbands in charge of their children for a short 36 hour getaway. I loved getting to know these ladies better. I thank their families for sharing them with me. Have I mentioned this before?! I love WICKED!

October was NYC!! Need I say more? If you didn't catch that trip, you can read about it in a past post. It was amazing! I had the best time and was able to see all of my friends that live there. I saw Wicked a total of four times last year-twice in LA, once in Denver, and once in NYC. Too say I am obsessed would be a total understatement.

The end of October through December, I was employed by Radio City. My job as Santa's elf just can’t be matched. I didn't really make any new friends this year. I had fun keeping in touch with two friends who were also doing the show but in New York City and Chicago, IL/Des Moines, IA. We had such different experiences. They each had a lot more demanding schedules than I did. I was grateful to return to Nashville and the easiest schedule out of all the cities.

In November, my dad went in for a routine hernia surgery. Not only did the doctor find a small hernia but he found a lot of cancerous cells in my dad's body. This news has changed our family’s life. There aren't any doctors in Utah that specialize in the type of cancer he has so he has to go to San Diego, CA for treatment. If you want to find out more about how my dad's doing, you can check the blog my mom will be updating at http://davewinn.blogspot.com. Your well wishes, kind thoughts, and prayers are much appreciated. It was hard for me to deal with at first. I am grateful that I have such wonderful friends to turn to in difficult times like this.

That was pretty much 2007 in review.

I just can't wait to see what 2008 has in store for me. So far I don't have any grand plans. I will audition again in May for the Christmas Spectacular and hope I can do the show one more time. My mom and I are already starting to plan our annual trip to NYC. We just need to get my dad's health under control so we can go. That's all that's on the calendar so far! I will definitely keep you posted on the highs and lows of 2008. Hope your year is filled with love and happiness! I love to read your blogs. They inspire me to keep mine up-to-date.