Friday, July 30, 2010

Things I have learned this week

- I somehow have a way of disappointing a lot of people without ever meaning to. Like I can literally make people really upset with me and not know it until boom it is blowing up in my face. Your thoughts?

- That my nephew and niece love me as much as I love them. I just said goodbye to them because they are going back to their dads for the weekend and today was the last day I would see them before I moved. I spent most of the day with them at the water park swimming and going on water slides with them. It was a blast. Then they came over to eat bbq at my parents house. I played Wii with my nephew as my niece told me stories about her boyfriends Finn and Puck (yes the ones on Glee). Then it was time to say goodbye. My niece turned four not too long ago and is only kind of comprehending what me leaving means. But my nephew is 6 and we have always been really really close and he got it. He came to give me a hug and didn't let go. The hug lasted like two minutes and he had tears in his eyes when he was done giving me the hug. Which of course made me start to tear up a bit. Which made him give me another hugg because he thought I was sad. Then my sis in law text me later and told me that when her and my bro got home my nephew was really quiet and when they tucked him in she asked him if he was okay and he started bawling and then my niece came in and she started bawling and then my sis in law started bawling because I was leaving. She never said if my brother was bawling but I am just going to assume he was as well. Man am I going to miss them and am so glad that google is as amazing as it is and has a video chat so I can still watch my nephew and niece grow up.

Now I know that everyone always claims that they have the cutest nephews and nieces but c'mon look at this picture and try to argue with me on this one.

- Also I learned that my serve in volleyball is back and almost better than ever. Just need a little more power in it so it hurts to hit back and then it will be there. Hopefully my new singles ward has a weekly volleyball night happening because I am going to miss playing volleyball with my friends every wednesday here in F-Town. That means Farr West you sickos.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Gavin Degraw -Recreating Chill Music

Of the many types of music I listen to chill music is one of the most constant. I like music that makes you feel something, and real chill music does just that. One of my favorite chill artists is Gavin Degraw. I love the songs Belief, We Belong Together, and probably my fave More Than Anyone, the stripped versions of the songs, the other poppy versions don't do it justice. I also love old motown songs. Smokey Robinson is king, if I could sing like anyone, he would be one of those that are at the top of my list, also Sam Cooke. My favorite Smokey song is Tracks of My Tears and one of my fave Sam Cooke songs is Cupid. I can't sleep and am playing on youtube and discovered this little gem where Gavin Degraw mashes both songs together in the best chill mashup I have heard in a long time. Enjoy

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tonight I Wanna Cry

So I learned today that two people that I love and look up to and helped make my mission what it was passed away. Hattie Smith and my Grandma Rosie, Rosie Shelton.

Hattie Smith

Those of you who know Hattie knew there was something special from the get go. She was a horrible smoker for years. Started meeting with the sister missionaries and tried to quit so she could get baptized for a year with no success. Then she had a stroke.......and then she had another. And then she gave up smoking and considered the two strokes a blessing because it finally allowed her the opportunity to get baptized. Such a strong example of making the best out of a bad situation and recognizing blessings in the most obscure ways. I served in her ward for a year and went back to visit since coming home. Two weeks before I went home I was able to go with her to the temple for the first time, which for mormons is a huge deal. Everytime we left her house we had to sing I am a Child of God. The strokes left her with limited speach and in a wheelchair and when she sang along you really knew that she was just that, a child of God. Her smoking caught up with her and lung cancer hit and combine that with another stroke and Hattie returned to her Heavenly Father two months ago. I wish I would have known sooner so I could have tried to be there for her funeral.

Rosie Shelton

The next one really hit me hard. Rosie Shelton is one of the greatest people I will ever know. She took me in my first night in the ghettos of Chicago and reassured me of what I was doing and that I would be safe. My first 7 months of my mission I was in the cornfields of Indiana and then the ruralish suburban city of Oswego IL. Then I was transfered to the southside of Chicago. I was amazed at the poverty, the dirtiness, and empty feeling I felt as I made the drive from the mission home to the southside. I was scared. I suddenly became very aware how white, how privileged, and how niave I was. Luckily I had a companion, Shane Hall, who will always be a brother to me, show me the ropes and on that first night he took me to Rosie. I walked into her small apartment in a senior citizen high rise tired, scared, and beat spiritually, mentally, and physically. Shane was still a fairly new missionary and I wanted to give the spiritual messeage to show him A that I was a good missionary and someone he could learn from and B that he could trust me to deliver. Rosie was personable from the very beginning and contained the perfect blend of sass, love, and hilarity. After my spiritual thought she gave me a hug and told me that we were going to get very close while I was serving in her area. Little did she know that I was going to be there for 7 and a half months and she would be seeing my face at least once a week for that. We had a special connection from day one and when I call her Grandma Rosie I mean it. I viewed and loved her like she was my actual grandma and I know she felt the same for me. Her sass toughened me up, her love gave me the sense of family I missed, and her hilarity kept me going when I wanted to give up. Her cooking was out of this world and I will never have cornbread that will compare to hers and I will be having some corned beef and cabbage in her honor. There is so much more that I want to and can say about this woman, but just know she has left permanent footprints on my heart and her death has broke my four year absense of crying. She had MS and after I left dimentia began to set in and she forgot almost everyone. But in my dreams I would have long conversations with her that felt so real. I have missed her ever since I left Chicago and will miss her everday until I get to see her again. Grandma Rosie I love and miss you.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Real/Funny Parody Videos

The Harvard Sailing Team comedy group is seriously the best thing to happen to me in a long time. Ok that was a little dramatic but seriously I could watch these videos a million times and never get sick of them. Here are my four favorite. The first three are parodies with a lot of overexaggerated life truths about the difference between men and women. And the last is a joke on people getting together who do not know how to play poker. Please watch, enjoy, and let me know what you think.

You're Welcome. Now when I say totes or where are you from- a stupid rock? you will know why.