Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Build A Bear Dream

Once upon a time, there was a 27 year old girl, we'll just call her Tawna, who decided to make a list of 27 things she wanted to do before she turned 28. On that list, she put on item number 18, Build A Bear, because after all, Tawna was a child at heart! So she ventured to Littleton, Colorado, along with her friend Sara, to fulfill this wish. Picking the bear was easy, she really wanted one with soft fur to cuddle with. Next came the stuffing. Not too much, not too little, just right (just like in the book, Goldilocks and the Three Bears). She then was able to give the bear a bath. The hardest part came next, deciding if she wanted the bear to be a boy or a girl and what to clothe him/her in. They didn't have any Chicago Cubs baseball attire at this particular place (after all, Tawna is a huge Cubs fan), so she decided to go with making the bear a girl, and wanted to make her adorable with skinny jeans, a cute red top and the most adorable red shoes she had ever laid eyes on. Tawna is also a fan of hair accessories, particularly headbands, but the headband just didn't look right on her bear, so she went with hairbows instead. The last part, naming her bear, was also a particularly difficult task. Tawna recently had dinner at a friend's house, who had a dog by the name of Henley. Tawna LOVED that name the second she heard it, and decided to name her bear Henley. She came out of her venture with a lovely new bear, and a wish fulfilled! Here's to crossing off number 18 on the list!!

Henley and her new friend Bruce (all dressed in Batman!) Notice her precious shoes?! I wanted a pair in my size!

Sara with Bruce, me with Henley

Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Dad's Day!

(I know I've shared this photo on my blog before, but it's one of my favorite ones of my Dad)

This is a day late, but I just wanted to wish my dad a Happy Father's Day! It's been so good for me to live away from my family this past year because it has really helped me to see the role they have played in my life, and the roles they continue to play. A few months ago, I was able to give a talk in sacrament meeting and I spoke on service. I focused a lot on my dad in my talk because he has led a life of service in giving to his country, his church, his students, and his family. I shared a war story about my dad that is actually published in a book that he and my Grandpa Perkins are in, about Fathers in WWII and sons in Vietnam. I cry every time I read the story. This is kind of a summary, but here it is:

A little background-the helicopters had taken off and one man had been left behind, so they went back for him.

"Not a round had been fired at the other helicopter, the one that had just taken off. But before we could land, they hit us. Man, they hit us with everything. And the whole front of the helicopter was on fire. So I jumped. It must have been thirty feet to the ground, but fortunately it was the wet season and the paddies were flooded, and I landed in that paddy. And I went looking over my left shoulder for that helicopter, because I didn't want to get hit with the helicopter blade, and boom! The helicopter came down on its side, directly on top of me.

So now I'm underneath the helicopter, facedown, and I'm moving my head side to side, trying to find a hole to breathe. And I hear all this screaming and yelling going on out there. Pretty soon they rocked the helicopter off me. They pulled me out, but I still have my left arm stuck into the helicopter.

Ed Eaton, who was my sniper-a really good kid, nineteen years old-he's up on top of the helicopter by this time. And he's blazing away at everybody with his sniper weapon, which has got the stock broken off. Just about all the machine guns and guns in the helicopter are all bent and the barrels are twisted, but he has that sniper weapon. Then somebody hands him up a working M-16.

Ed gets shrapnel in the jaw but keeps firing. They finally get me out of the helicopter. The reason I hadn't been able to get my land out was that I had it clasped tightly around my weapon. Finally I opened up my hand, and my arm slid right out. But I am going into shock, and I know I am.

I can't move because everything on my left side has been broken: pelvis, leg, arm, ribs. But it's interesting to lay here and watch all this. The gunships are expending everything they've got, Ed's firing away. The bullets are impacting in the water.

Finally the gunships land, they're maybe twenty, thirty feet out. The pilots raise their canopies: "Come on! Come on!" The Cobras have these little wing stubs-the rocket pods and guns are mounted underneath them. Guys are hobbling out to get on these stubs. The first bird, they get 3 or 4 guys sitting on the stubs. The gunner is holding on to them, and the bird takes off, it's gone. The second one, he comes in right behind. You can see the green tracers going by. "Come on! Come on!" Somebody picked me up; I'm not sure who it was. And he says, "Come on, we can get on there." He got me to my feet, and I was so weak, from loss of blood and everything else, I could not do anything. I said, "Just put me down. I'm not gonna make it."

If I remember right, he sat me down and gave me a grenade. I just laid there and looked, and they all got on that helicopter, and I said, "That's it."

Then the rest of the story-Ed Eaton jumps off the airplane, followed by Marty Green, who refuse to leave my dad's side. The most powerful line in the story is, "What Ed Eaton did is remarkable because he didn't come to save me. He came to die with me."

At the end of the story, my dad says, "There are wonderful people out there, ordinary people who do extraordinary things when called upon. That's almost everybody, and that's including you. One day you will may be called upon to do an extraordinary and remarkable thing, even though you're just an ordinary person."

I feel like my dad is my superhero, he always has been. Ever since I was a little girl, everything I've done, I've wanted my dad to be proud of me. He told me often how much he loved me. He always encouraged me to follow my goals, and he supported me 100 %, even when it was maybe something he didn't necessarily agree with. It always tugs at my heart strings a little bit when I hear students that have been in my dad's class say how much my dad influenced their life, that he was their favorite teacher. It makes me want to be a teacher like that. I know one of the main reasons I wanted to become a teacher was because my dad is one.

Another life lesson I learned from my dad came a few years ago. I was Relief Society President at the time, and I was going to be teaching a lesson about feeling Christ's love. I was having a hard time knowing what to say, so I went to my dad. He gave me a great analogy that I think of often when I'm having a hard time, and one that I like to share with others. He told me how in Vietnam it was always usually cloudy, overcast, depressing, and he said a lot of his days were like that there. But he knew that behind those dark clouds, the sun was always shining, he just had to hold on until the sun came out again. And he said that's how the Savior is. Sometimes we don't see Him, or feel of His light and Love, but He's always there, we just have to hold on until we can see Him and feel Him in our lives.

Dad, I love you and I'm so grateful for the life lessons you have taught me: to set goals and work hard to reach for them; to be selfless in service, continually seeking out opportunities to help those in need around me; to accept callings and fulfill them beyond the average expectations; to believe in myself and discover the gifts I have been blessed with and share them with others; and most importantly, for your testimony of the Savior and the Book of Mormon. I feel honored when people tell me they know I am my father's daughter. I couldn't have chosen a better one in my life.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Shay and Nik are married!

One of my best friends since high school, ShaLynn Andersen got married (FINALLY, one of us! Just kidding..) I was able to make a quick trip home to Utah for it. I absolutely love seeing temple sealings, I feel like there's no other place on Earth I would want to get married when I am able to witness it. It was a beautiful day, and I had a lot of fun catching up with Gail, Meggan and Laci. Congrats Shay and Nik, I love you guys!

Shay would probably kill us if she saw this picture but she had all the girls in the family wear pink sashes with black dresses. There was an extra sash so we went crazy with it on the Salt Lake temple grounds as we waited for her and Nik to come out.

Megg and I with an awesome pink sash. Sidenote: There were 4 girls dressed up like candycorn bridesmaids. They had on short bright yellow skirts, and bright orange tops. I wish I would have taken a picture of them!!

Meggan and I with the bride at the reception. Isn't she beautiful?!

Laci and I hanging out at the reception.

Me, Gail, Laci, Meggan waiting for Shay. I love my girls!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mt. Rushie Part 2

Last weekend I went with a group of friends to see Mt. Rushmore. You don't have to ask me twice to see George Washington! Yes, I did just go a few months ago, but again, if you ask me to go, I go. The second time around I was able to do the audio tour (no one else wanted to do it so I enjoyed my time alone, walking along the path listening to different facts), and was also able to see it at night, both things I wanted to do last time but wasn't able to do. After spending some time at Mt. Rushmore, we went to our hotel, which was a suite with 3 queen beds, I must add! Our hotel was by a Golden Corral so someone came up with the "brilliant" idea to eat there. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of food, and I love their rolls. But if you really stop and think about it, buffets are a little gross. And this was no regular Golden Corral. I think the whole town of Rapid City decided to go to Golden Corral that night, I have never seen so many people in one restaurant. After eating, we went miniature golfing. It's been years since I have done this, and I remembered why. I suck at golfing, I have absolutely no patience for it, so I always end up just whacking the ball as hard as I can, hoping to not hit anybody. It was a bit windy when we finished, and our hotel just so happened to also be by a Wally World, so a big and little kite were purchased. I haven't flown a kite since I was little, I loved it! It's magical :) We flew it around the parking lot of our hotel and then decided to drive it around the parking lot. It was a fun quick roadie, I've definitely had my fill of Georgie!

Rick taking a swing..

This is cool..there's a little cave on the path and when you look up, there's George!

The girls: me, Sara, Becca, Jessica, Hilary

Isn't this an awesome photo?!

I had no idea Rick took this picture of me, I'm not sure what to think of it, me in
my mom sweater!

Looking at my historical crush, George. I would name my son after him, I love him that much. But George??

George, Thomas, Teddy, and Honest Abe looking out over the Black Hills.

Group photo of the roadies: Me, Brett, Sara, Becca, Rick, Jessica, and Hil
Do you notice something missing from this picture? Let's just say I wasn't happy with the lady who took our picture..