Monday, October 20, 2014

*Monday Memos*


 (If pictures are too small, just click to enlarge - if print is too small, you need glasses! ☺)

I am so excited I can hardly stand it!  You sent your last letter (we may possibly still get a short one next Monday) and it was so inspiring and so touching. I posted a link to it on Facebook and I have had so many people tell me what an awesome letter it was and what an incredible missionary you are!  You have been just AMAZING!  What an example you have been to SO many!  I know you aren't really ready to leave the land and the people that you have grown to love, but it is time.  You have done what you were called to do and now it's time to move on with your life.  I love how you said you are ready for that and that you aren't scared of the future. You will be returning with honor.  It is going to be such a great reunion and I am really trying not to get too giddy and crazy.  I have been so emotional this entire week.  I am not much of a crier, but this week the waterworks have been on overdrive for some reason.  You're not supposed to cry when your missionary comes home — but that is what I have been doing.  I think it's mainly happy tears and the emotions are just so high with anticipation and excitement that they just leak out.  I have even been able to go back and look at the photos of the day you left.  That was one HARD and SAD day.  It's hard to make myself believe you are really FINALLY coming home!  Two years is a VERY VERY long time!
 Very tough day!
 This ↑ was taken on the day of his farewell.

A collage of some of his mission happenings.
There are no words to express how proud of this boy I am!  He is just one incredible and amazing son and I feel so blessed I am his mama!

Here is his last letter titled: The Final Countdown
Family, Friends, Relatives, and whoever else reads my emails!
Wow.... Thinking back on these last two years, it's been life changing. I think now that I've really grown up haha. Living without a mom for 2 years can be pretty challenging, so I'll take full advantage of it right when I get home next week;) It's really been a huge honor to be out here on the service of God. Serving a mission has been the best decision I've made in my life until now. I've learned what it's like to make sacrifices, to serve others, to do hard things. Everyone of us is different and have our own needs. The smallest things we do, can make the biggest impact in the lives of others. I've been able to see my weaknesses, and I have lots. I haven't done much out here, but I did my best in everything. I'm returning home with no regrets, that was my number one goal I wanted to achieve. I've been able to forget about myself, to realize that I'm here to help others and if they're happy, then one day I will be too. I'm not scared to come back home and start real life, I'm excited for new experiences and new challenges. But it's hard knowing that I'll never see most of these people ever again in this life, but certainly the next life will be a glorious reunion! 2 years, 11 companions, 6 areas, 7 pairs of shoes, 1000's of Miracles and Millions of unforgettable experiences. Really has become the best two years of my life. I'll be seeing you all next week, I'll try to practice my English this week so I don't mix up all of my words:) Thank you all so much who have supported me in one way or another, whether it be through letters, or packages, or reading my letters, or asking how I've been, or a simple prayer or thought. I know it has helped, and I'm out here because of all the help you've given me. I know this is the true church, that the scriptures tell us everything we need to do, and that Christ lives! Love you all!

My testimony I put in the missionary journal of our mission that they give to all the missionaries.

Puxa vida...

Guerreiros, meu tempo acabou. Foi mais do que eu esperava. Aprendi amar as pessoas que eu nem conheci. Minha Fe foi provada, Paciencia foi testada. Mas nao me arrependo de nada que eu fiz, por que eu fiz o meu melhor! Eu ate gostava de ser rejeitado, porque sentia mais como meu Salvador. Agora eu sei, que milagres sao reais! Foi uma grande honra ter servido o Senhor por 2 anos da minha vida. A Igreja e Verdadeira! Amo Voces!!!;)


Testimony translation: (done by me through Google translator- so hope it's close!)

Wow ... life

Warriors, my time is up. It was more than I expected. I learned to love the people I'd never met. My faith was tested, Patience was tested. But do not regret anything I did, why I did my best! I even liked being rejected because I felt more like my Savior. Now I know that miracles are real! It was a great honor to have served the Lord for two years of my life. The Church is True! Love You !!! ; )

My friend Jen had me listen to this song that brought the flood gates open.  Holy heartbreak, the lyrics get to you!  Here is the link to go listen to it.  And please do.  It is one of those songs that touches you deep to your core.  

dear missionary mom group, my friend Jalyn (sitting next to me) posted this picture on Facebook with her status saying:
"Have had so much fun with these ladies as we have gotten together as missionary mom's. Now our boys are returning home one by one. So grateful for the love, friendship, and support from freshman basketball thru 2 years of missions."

What a great experience it has been to share so much with these ladies.  We have been pals since even before that Freshman year.  Our sons started playing basketball together when they were around nine years old on their first comp team.  We have sat through more basketball games, practices, bad ref calls, exciting hero moments, cheers and jeers, temper tantrums from coaches, heartbreak losses, nail biting triumphs, state playoffs, proud moments, sad moments, Miriam's crochet fests (and a few technical calls), distracted score keepers, half time shows, summer camps, and I could go on and on.  Suffice it to say, I love these women so much (and the other basketball moms whose son's didn't serve missions) and I am so grateful I have them in my life.  We kept saying this was our last lunch together but we are going to get together when all our boys return and bring them with us like we did before they left.  ☺

dear trials in life, some times your timing is not the best.  But I guess we don't get to choose when those times will be, but just try and go with them and learn from them.
 I am counting on this!

dear last time, I wrote a post about you not too far back and when I saw this, I had to add it to my blog.  It really says what I was trying to say.  

dear running with a pal, it sure makes the miles go faster and the motivation easier when you have a partner to run with.  My friend Robin text me to see if we could get together for a run this week and I was more than happy to agree!  I have had a hard time getting out this week because I have so much to get done and it seems when I run then I have lost half my day by the time I get showered and ready for the day.  It makes it a lot easier when you know you have a set time and someone will be waiting for you and so I get out much earlier that way.  We did a seven miler and it felt good to have company.  Robin is so fun to chat with too and I needed a listening ear today.
Photo opp on our course we couldn't pass up!

dear day in logan, I headed up after my run to get some errands done and hopefully find a new chair for my family room.  I want a purple one and it's slim pickin's.  I had a lot of things to check off my list (returns included) and even though I never stop and eat lunch when I am out shopping on my own, today I was starving and so when I walked past Paradise Bakery in the mall, I couldn't resist going in for some hot soup and one of their yummy cookies.  I got a lot checked off my list, but still didn't feel really productive. I then met Dave at Mountain Crest in Hyrum for McKay's game.

dear mckay's last away game of the season, I was already in Logan shopping and so I just made my way to Mt. Crest and met Dave there.  The game was on Wednesday this week because of fall break.  It was windy and chilly!  And the concession stand wasn't even selling hot chocolate!  I bundled up with my coat, gloves, hood, and even my blanket around me and I still froze!  That wind was a killer.  I felt sorry for the boys playing.  It was a good game but our boys made some silly mistakes that cost them the loss.  There is still a slight hope we can make it to playoffs.  Our last game will determine that.  But we are playing Logan and they have a better record than we do.  But, never give up!

dear mr. cat, you are irresistibly cute!  I wish you liked to be snuggled as much as I want to snuggle you!

dear backyard, how I love you!  You are the one reason I don't ever want to move.  I have the best backyard and it's so fun to get wild critters down to visit.  We see deer so often that I have always feared it would become just commonplace to me and I don't want that to ever happen.  I always want to be excited when they venture in our yard.  It was fun to see the dad hanging out with his wife and kids today. 

dear pennies from heaven, yes I believe that is where you are from.  Today I hit a gold mine!  I went on a run over by the high school and I went through the parking lot and found most of these in one area.  When I went and ran the track I was so shocked that I found two more pennies!  That is very unusual to find them on the track!  It was just one of those amazing days. I felt like they really did come from heaven because my loved ones there knew I needed some love this week.  It was much appreciated for sure.  

I also saw some amazing birds on my run.  There must have been over a thousand of them all sitting on the wires for as long as I could see and as soon as I ran past them, they would fly away right down the row.  It was an amazing sight.  I found it funny that there would always be a few that would stay on that wire right until I got underneath them.  Maybe some birds are even a little rebellious.  Hah  Or maybe they are just extra brave.  It was quite a sight though and the pictures don't do it justice at all.  The one on the bottom left is when they had all left the wires and were flying together. 
click to enlarge 

dear manic manican, you can definitely tell you are a lover of  Halloween!
dear serendipity, you are defined as "a happy accident" and that is what I happened onto today.  I was heading to the store and just by a few seconds was able to witness the annual herding of the sheep from Mantua to Corinne.  If I had been just a few seconds earlier I would have missed it and not even known I missed it!  Well, I probably would have when I saw the street.  They do leave their "mark" that is for sure!   It happens every October but I never know what day or time and so I have just happened to see this sight a couple times while out running.  Today I was in my car but so glad I didn't miss it!  It is the coolest sight!  There are 2500 sheep in all and it's a massive group!  They herd them right through my residential neighborhood.  I am about six blocks east of their course.  It is just one of those sights that you puts 'ewe' in awe.  Okay, that was baaaaaaaaaa-d. 
 I got the pictures below off of Facebook (with permission) because they were taken with a much better camera than my iphone.

 What a bea"ewe"tiful sight!

dear haunted half marathon!  What a fun race!

How can running be anything but fun when it's mixed with Halloween!?! The SLC Haunted Half marathon was SPOOKY-tacular! Challenging course, but the costumes and crazies along the way helped with that! Got 4th in my age division (best I've ever placed in a half before!) but frustratingly missed a trophy by only 8 seconds. The best part was the headless horseman starting the race! The grim reaper at the finish line was a close second. Oh wait, hitting Swigs for cookies on the way home was the best part! 
 This was actually pretty creepy! 

But I was brave and got close enough to touch him.  Well, his horse anyway!
And, of course, I must have a picture of the porta potty line!  The scary guy decided to forgo the line and find his own spot!
He took our minds off of our nervousness.

The only way it would have been creepier is if it had been dark!
 Before the race with Jen. 
They didn't start the race without us this year.  We ran the Provo Half last year and as we were on the bus and getting close to the start, we heard the gun go off and watched the race start without us!  They hadn't planned on enough buses and so some had to go back and get the rest of the runners (us included) and instead of waiting they started the race on time without us.  We had some pacers on our bus too.  This one was more organized. 

Some sights along the course.  That guy carried that heavy guitar the entire 13.1 miles!  And he was speedy too!  I didn't get too many pictures of the crazy costumes, but there were many!  I was shocked at some of the stuff people ran with!  A lot of wigs and huge hot hairy costumes!  I was so hot by mile 7 that I have no idea how they survived running in them!  We saw two cemeteries along the course.  Pretty cool.

 We ran right past the Primary Children's Hospital.  As I ran past it, I couldn't help but think of Tyson and all of the many hours, days, weeks, and months we called that place home.  I am grateful for that place.  It gave me strength and the boost I needed at mile 10 to feel grateful that I was healthy and able to run long distances unlike my son.  I felt his presence with me at that time cheering me on.
The last mile was down through Memory Grove and I loved it!  I don't very often say that about the last mile of any race, but this one was all downhill (I LOVE downhill!) and it was full of spooky things!  Right before the finish line there was this scene of scariness and then a dark spook alley that was pitch black as we ran through it and then scary creatures jumped out at you! I was NOT expecting that!  I screamed so loud and jumped so high that I am surprised I didn't end up with an injury!  The grim reeper was right there at the end and just trying to get away from him made me put on the gas!
 Unfortunately, I didn't put it on soon enough because my goal was to finish with a sub 2:00.  I ended up with 2:00 straight up!  Well 2:00:24.  25 seconds away from a sub 2:00!  That actually makes it worse!  Because I KNEW I could have EASILY cut off 25 seconds!  I could have carried my own water and then not had to stop at the aid stations to drink which would have cut off 5-10 seconds at each of the six or seven aid stations.  And I could have not taken the pictures along the way.  So in my head, I know I could have if I had just known I was going to be that close to it.  I also wasn't in line on time with my pacers (1:55) at the start and so I had to really push it the first mile or two to try and catch them.  I even ran a 7 minute mile for my first mile.  Not a smart thing to do at the start of a race.  But the MOST frustrating thing of all was when I saw that I took 4th in my age division and the lady that took 3rd was only 8 seconds faster than me.  She got a trophy for taking 3rd!  EIGHT SECONDS!  If I had only known I was going to finish like that I could have easily finished much faster!  Groan!  8 seconds!  I have never placed in a half before and so I wasn't in the mode of trying to beat those in my age division like when I run a 5K or 10K.  Now, THAT was frustrating because I bet those trophies were so cute!  The medals were amazing!  I think it is my new favorite medal of all time!
 Jen's brothers and sister in law also ran it.  I am with them in the bottom right photo.  I saw my buddy Adrian after as well.  He was pacing the 1:45 group.  I should have started with them!  Had I known he was the pacer I would have for sure!
It was a great race and I'm glad I ran it.  The course was hilly and tough, but I needed the challenge to get stronger and faster.  I can always tell how tough the course is not only while running it, but after.  I was pretty sore the next day!
There is my name on the result board.  8 seconds behind the awards!  
This awesome medal made up for it!  And it glows in the dark!  LOVE IT!
HERE is a cute little teaser about the race.

dear cleaning and organizing, I am really getting spent!  I have worked so hard for three weeks now on organizing and dejunking and deep cleaning my house.  Every single day I have had a major project to attack so I can cross it off my list before Taylor gets home. I am motivated to get it all done before Taylor's return, but some it is going to have to be done once he gets home the few days before his homecoming.  I am not sure why I feel such an urgency to get it done because I really didn't before he left, but just getting a missionary ready to go was so time consuming that it wasn't my priority then.  I really wanted to have it painted and the hard wood floor refinished and the basement done before he returned, but that was wishful thinking I guess because none of that happened.  So I have focused on organizing and deep cleaning.  I have always loved to organize and I always had a cleaning schedule and kept up on things pretty darn well until after Tyson passed away and that changed me in the fact that I learned that there are more important things in life than to always be cleaning because it never lasts and is an endless process.  I lightened up a lot on my standards which was a good thing in many ways, but in others it got me a little behind in keeping on top of things that need constant attention such as filing paperwork, getting rid of stuff that we no longer need or use, keeping up on my deep cleaning schedule, etc.  After I got home from the race on Saturday, I spent the rest of the day (into the night) doing the basement.  That is one big job and so I asked for help on it.  Dave and the boys helped me with it, but I was very discouraged.  I am not a fan of my basement because first of all it's not all the way finished and second of all I have seen way too many spiders down there for my liking.

How I felt while cleaning and organizing the basement!

This really made me laugh! 

But there is no denying how good it feels once it's done!  Now, if it would only last!

This has always been one of my favorite quotes!

dear inspirational quotes, sometimes you are the only things that get me through!  I will keep this one in my head!
I loved my Messages From God this week:
Today, Jodi, we believe God wants you to know that ...

you were created to be alive.

You weren't made to simply survive until you die. Live it up, embrace life. This entire planet exists for all God's creatures, - and that includes you. Don't wait to start living, begin right now, with your very next breath. There are many wonderful experiences waiting for you, so get going.

Today, Jodi, we believe God wants you to know that ...

when you are feeling anxious, remember to breathe.

Allow yourself to breathe in and out slowly. Allow your breath to bring you to a place of calmness. Allow yourself to be calm like the eye in the center of the storm.

Amen to both of those!

1 comment:

Dawn said...

I'm so excited for you to get your son back! So exciting! Love you busy busy twinsee 😄


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