Friday, July 30, 2010

Dearest Em

Dearest Em,
I thought of you while I was at work today. I loved seeing your bright, brown eyes and beautiful smile the other day and most especially loved the hugs I got from you and your brother. I also thought of the fact that I learned a little bit more about you and some of the things you love. Animals! In all shapes and sizes and colors! I knew this, of course, but I came to the realization that you and I may have something in common that might surprise you a little bit.
A few years ago I lost something that was very precious to me - my ability to use my voice the way that I wanted to and was used to doing. I LOVE to sing and I miss being able to do it to my satisfaction so very much. I know you have such a big heart that misses having a furry little something to snuggle, pet and love. I hope that someday, there is a way for you to have all the special, furry friends that your heart desires, but until then, just know that I understand your frustration with your allergies and what appears to be such an unfair thing in life. Elder Worthlin from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said this in his last conference talk...

The Principle of Compensation

"...understand the principle of compensation. The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude."

This has given me a lot of peace and hope. And believe you me, I am going to hold the Lord to His end of the deal!

I imagine great things are in store for you and your family, as well:)

Until then, know how much I love you, your brother and your Mom & Dad.

Hugs & Kisses,

Aunt Heather

More Summer Reading!

Okay! I just barely finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and I am once again astonished to say that I laughed, giggled, smiled, sighed, held my breath and wept my way through this book. And yes, it is a novel of fiction no less! Thanks, Bethany for lending it to me. I think I need my own copy now:) What could possibly be a more delightful summertime treat than sitting in the porch swing, sipping lemonade and reading a great book!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Summer reading, summer not.

I just finished 4 books that need to be ranked in the "page-turner/can't put down" category.
I have realized that I don't have time for much fluff and my reading preferences have now fine-tuned themselves to include very little fiction. So if you want to learn about 4 compelling, true stories, I highly recommend these books (not listed in any particular preferential order).

1. Stones into Schools - the sequel to Three Cups of Tea that I mentioned in a previous post.
The continuing story told by Greg Mortensen of his and his non-profit organization's (the Central Asia Institute) efforts to build schools for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

2. Blind Descent - the story of the "race" to find and document the deepest cave on Earth - the last known terrestrial discovery. Wow! The rigors of deep caving are described as something like rappelling down El Capitan, in the pitch dark, with a waterfall pounding on your head and then climbing back up - over and over again for weeks at a time, but don't forget to include the digging in tight spaces for hours at a time and diving into "sumps" of unknown lengths and depths.

3. Born to Run - by Christopher McDougall. "A hidden tribe, superathletes, and the greatest race the world has never seen".
OK, I seriously laughed out loud while reading this book, all the way through to the point where tears streamed down my face as I choked back sobs at the end! I've never been a "runner". The last time I remember feeling any joy at all while running was clear back in my childhood. But ...this week, I felt it, out on the trail of the Ben Lomond bench all by my little lonesome self as the sun was setting. And you know what the best part was? I was grinning ear to ear at the END of the trail... because it felt so good to remember!

4. Deadliest Sea - by Kalee Thompson. The Untold Story of the Greatest Rescue in Coast Guard History. Don't like cold water? This is the story of a fishing trawler that sank in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska in March 2008 and the ultimate rescue of 42 of the people on board. The story itself needed to be told, but author Kalee Thompson was dead-on in her story-telling and fact-based time line accuracy and research. Kudos!