Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I went barefoot and liked it

"By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me. The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green. The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet. "
Thomas Merton

I've noticed that when I'm barefooted I'm at my happiest. Now it might be the situations I am in and not the actual bare feet that cause the happiness, but they happen around the same time. Take tonight for example. My ward had Home Evening up the canyon in a wonderful park. I did take my sandals, I just left them in the car. I had fun exploring the different paths in the trees, stepping over rocks, on tree trunks, on the soil. I was very proud of how tough my feet have gotten. i only winced once or twice while walking around. I had fun climbing a tree and feeling the bark, of standing on the cement around the bonfire and feel as it heated up from said fire.
I guess this is something I've noticed lately. I like to be able to feel things like this. The not so subtle change of hot cement or dry grass that is in the direct sunlight to the cool, still slightly wet cement/grass in the shade. I like the textures of differently poured cement in each of the squares along the sidewalk. Or the feel of the blades of grass tickling the arches of my feet.
The burning of the hot asphalt I can do without but everything else I pretty much enjoy feeling.

Like I have mentioned before I have gone to Kwistin's a couple of Sundays to have scripture study. Almost all of them I have gone barefoot as her house is only a few blocks from mine. One time she asked if I wanted a ride home because it was dark, I politely declined and someone else chimed in "But you're barefoot!" "That's the point!" I quickly replied. Shoes are too constricting. I have been wearing either flip flops or nothing since April. It made me really uncomfortable to wear tennis shoes when hiking down in Moab last weekend (I will do a post on that I promise!). Of course that only lasted a few hours but still, shoes are so hot and stuffy. Blech, that's what I have to say to them. I think I surprised some of that group that went to Moab as we were walking around rocks and a cliff like area because I was running around barefoot. What? I would rather have sure footing and a good grip with my bare feet that slip and fall to my death because I was wearing flip-flops.
I was playing with my 4 year old niece when my sister and brother-in-law stopped by to pick up a computer from my grandma when she asked what I was wearing on my feet.
"I'm wearing bare feet, Favorite!" (yes, that is my personal nick-name for her)
A few minutes later I heard her say this to one of her parents:
"Can I wear my bare feet too?" Oh, I have already started to corrupt the next generation. My heart smiles =}

Anyway, there's just another look into just one of the many quirks of my personality.
Gotta blaze!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Yell Your Heart Out

"Sanity is a cozy lie."- Susan Sontag

Two weekends ago my sister and I were volunteers for the UV marathon, and it was amazing. At first I wasn't that excited, getting up at 5:30 and standing out in the sun all day on a Saturday? No thank you. However I am glad I said yes. Not only for the time with my wonderful sister but because it was inspiring.
We worked the finish line. When we first got there, around 6 am and helped moved water jugs to tables. Then we took boxes full of bags full of medals in smaller bags and emptied them all out. That was a chore, over 4000 little bags to dump out. Luckily there were other volunteers lol.
This was not the amazing part, the amazing part was that we got to help hand out the medals. Me and my sis, waiting for those who had given it what they got to finish.
We worked the half marathon side for a bit until they needed someone on the marathon side. That would be me. They had the scooter for adults coming, along with the wheelchair dude who was so much fun to talk with. His jokes had everyone cracking up. Also those who were paraplegic. I got to hand them their medals. Wow.
The first marathoner came over the finish at 2:17:00 or something like that. He was amazing. I got to hand him his medal too.
At first I was really shy about the whole thing. About standing there and handing out the medals, but then I did something to get over it. How you ask? I started to yell at the half-marathoners behind the finish line. See those that had finished had been gathering around the finish line to see their friends finish, or just to see others finish. However this caused issues for those coming to the finish line. After you run you don't really want to push through crowds to get to water, food, or the bathroom. The admins had come through once or twice to push the crowd back but they were way busy being, well admins. So I started to take over. The first few times I tried the people gave me a funny look and moved one of their feet, like that would help. I might have been to timid and that's why. So I started to yell "IF YOU COULD MOVE BACK AND TO THE SIDES PLEASE! WE NEED A SPACE FOR THE RUNNERS TO COOL DOWN." As I walked a good 7-10 feet while waving my arms around like a flight attendant. It worked. People cleared the area. After a while I even started to joke about it. "IF YOU COULD MOVE THAT WOULD BE AWESOME! I KNOW YOU'RE TIRED OF HEARING ME YELL CAUSE I'M TIRED OF YELLING!"
That was pretty much my job besides handing out the medals. We tried to put the medals around everyones necks but some just wanted to be handed them. My favorite was a guy volunteer tried putting a medal around a guys neck and the guy said with a smile"Sorry I want a beautiful woman to give me a medal. Tradition." And he came over to me! =} My other job was cheering for those coming in. That was one of the most amazing parts, just watching people cross the line. Some had tears in their eyes because they qualified for Boston. One even gave a great roar of joy as he crossed because he qualified. A woman almost had tears streaming down her face as she said "I qualified, I qualified." It was just amazing.
Then there were those who spent everything they had to finish. Did you know there are designated Catchers at the end of races? I didn't. Some people give all they have for the race and then they just collapse. We only had 6 or7 and only one fell hard. There was this guy who looked kind of queasy as he finished and I asked if he was okay. He said yes and as he started to fall on his butt he said "maybe not." I told him he was amazing, encouraging him and all. He turned and looked at me and told me that I was amazing. I laughed it off and replied that he had just run a marathon not me. But it got me thinking. The whole thing was put on by volunteers, without us the thing wouldn't be happening. Maybe I was just a touch amazing.
I helped Lani with the half-marathon for a while when there were to many people handing out marathon medals. She was cheering for everyone that came across, not just clapping but yelling and waving her arm. I liked that so I started to do it too. When the marathon medal people thinned I went back and started to do what Lani was doing for the half-marathon runners. It made the finish that much better for me.
I think I even made a difference for some of the runners. When new volunteers rotated in they thought I was crazy, I was yelling my lungs out "COME ON! YOU CAN DO IT. KEEP RUNNING, KEEP PUSHING. GIVE IT ALL YOU GOT. !" Was mostly what I yelled. Plus my hands were red at this point from clapping. But then the new volunteers caught on and started to yell and through out high fives. It's all about the energy you put into it.
I think one of my favorite parts was after the 6:00:00 mark. After that the runners that were coming in were the exhausted going at it in the hot sun people. They are the ones who needed the cheerleader energy. They trickled in with maybe 5 minutes in between. I could see them two stop lights down and that's when I would start to yell. Most of the crowd had gone home by then so it was me and the other volunteers. At this point my stomach muscles were cramping and my voice wasn't at it's best but I kept cheering. I even had to bend over sometimes to get any air so I could yell.
Around 6:30:00 the admin people were going to shut down the time and pack up. I turned to them and asked could they keep it open just a little longer? i could see some runners still. They said they would try but they were told to shut down at 6:30:00 I don't remember the real time they turned it off but it was a good while later.
As we cheered someone down the finishing chute of the other volunteers said "I want to go out there and run them in, can we do that?" I turned and replied "I don't know, but lets do it!" So she and I took off and met up with the person "Can we run with you?" they nodded and we did. It was amazing. We did that for the rest of the groups I was there for. We would run them to the finish and wait for the next people to come, then run out to meet them. One of my favorite replies was "I'm walking it, but I would love the company."
During the 5:00:00 hour the photographer walked past as I yelled someone in "Are you still at it?" "Someone has to do it!" I laughed in reply. When he left, around the 6:00;00 hour he told me that we were amazing and he had told the announcer we were the best volunteers and we deserved something. As I was waiting to run someone else in the announcer leaned over and told me that we were amazing volunteers and thank you for doing an amazing job.
Those were awesome self-esteem boosts but I really hadn't thought about it much. I was too focused on giving the runners that last minute encouragement. And now that I think about it, it was just nice to help out.
I will totally be at that finish line next year, cheering on those runners. Anyone care to join me?

My awesome sister

Me and my awesome sister. Way to be up before the sun!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Physical Therapy

"Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do... but how much love we put in that action." -Mother Teresa

Good morning, or afternoon, or evening, all. I have a huge request to make of you today. Now I Can is part of a competition to win $250,000. We would use this money to help pay for scholarships for the kids that come through here.
What I mean by scholarships: Physical therapy is expensive, $6,000 for three weeks. Why is it so expensive? Well, it's because of the equipment we use, mostly something called a nuerosuit. This suit is custom fitted to the child and provides resistance to the muscles so when the suit is off it is easier for the child to move. Not only that but while the child is in the suit it forces their muscles into the correct posture and helps with mobility.
There are also the "spider" and "Monkey" cages. These don't actually have spiders or monkeys in them so don't worry. It's just what the harness looks like. These help with teaching the child balance and strengthens the arms and the legs.
So back to the meaning of scholarships. It is the goal of Now I Can to reduce the price of the therapy to little or no cost to the families. We rely heavily on the donations of companies and compassionate individuals for help as we are a non-profit organization.

So now that I have given you more information that you wanted, you just want to know how you can help, right? Right. Go on over to Now I Can and instructions will pop up on your screen. It's super easy and hardly takes any time. We can really, really use your help!
Thank you so much.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Angel's Luck Casino

\"Nature is our chapel." -Bjork

So it was recently my birthday, and I set up my own casino for a night.
My sister had done it a few years ago for a close friend and I really loved the idea, so I pretty much copied it. Only without Klah there the party didn't have awesome drinks non stop.
As my family was moving we cleared out the front room totally and decorated like this:

It was pretty much awesome. We had a blackjack, poker, roulette, and greed table. We also had a lot of IBC drinks, and wonderful Mal brought yummy drink mixes with soda to add to them. (Why yes I don't drink could you tell?)

I had a lot of fun setting up and entertaining guests. Wonderful Georgia Boy was a great dealer and taught everyone greed which was a great hit.

It was pretty much the bestest birthday ever.

Oh and for words of birthday wisdom...well I'll let the professionals do that.
Movie Wisdom

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Music Therapy

"For me, singing sad songs often has a way of healing a situation. It gets the hurt out in the open into the light, out of the darkness." -Reba McEntire

Okay, I love music. I am in no means good at it however. I make dogs howl when I sing, I can't keep a beat, I'm pretty sure the middle school band rejoiced when I stopped playing the flute/drums, and in any other form of music I'm awful. However, I can't get enough of it and I make a mean play list. It is a safe haven from the world and helps me express what I am feeling. Whether those feelings are ones of happiness, sadness, heartache, flirtiness, or whatever.
If you haven't tried music therapy to help you through your times you should. It doesn't matter if the playlist changes every few minutes or if it takes weeks, it helps. Like someone once said "Music should be your escape." It doesn't even matter what type of music you listen to. If it's classical or pop. There is a reason why those songs were created, and if you can find a personal meaning behind them, so much the better.
Here is an example or two of my playlists to help you kick start your own.
(I'm Not telling you the Name of this playlist because it was highly ....cheesy is not the right word but I can't think of another good word)
Breathe Again -Sara Bareilles
Basket Case -Sara Bareilles
Hold My Heart -Sara Bareilles Told ya she was my new favorite
Someday -Rob Thomas
Come Back to Me -David Cook
All of Me -Michel Buble
I Will Remember You -Sarah McLachlan
Glitter in the Air -P!nk
So What -P!nk
Miss You -Incubus
The Riddle -Scarlet Pimpernel
Bring on the Men -Jekyll and Hyde
That's Life -Frank Sinatra This one I laugh at the very beginning cause it was highly applicable
Rolling in the Deep -Adelle

This was pretty much my playlist, with a few interchanging songs, from May 7th to June 3rd. It was my trying to heal/don't want to heal list. It works quite well for those of you going through some of the same stuff. I also have a more angry/hard music mix if you would like that.

Then, pretty much from the wee hours of my birthday to now, and hopefully for a very long time, my playlist has been like this:
Boogala (yes that is the name, and till someone comes up with a better combo that is shall stay)
Come Fly With Me -Michael Buble
Georgia on My Mind -Michael Buble
Feelin Good - Michael Buble
Sunrise -Norah Jones
Everything -Lifehouse
Hero/Heroine -Boys Like Girls
The Light -Sarah Bareilles
Stolen -Dashboard Confessional
Your Love is My Drug -Ke$sha This one is more of a song associated with a memory and that's why I have it.
I know you Want Me
Halleluhah -Paramore

So you can see music therapy can help. It can give hope or just expresses what your heart can't at the moment. Don't worry I will post about the dramatics behind the playlists soon.

Well gotta blaze!