Friday, December 26, 2008

A Little Bit Goes a Long Way

This cute boy sitting on my lap is one of my nephews. He happens to be the nephew who made my Christmas this year. :)
Like any single person, there are aspects of Christmas that I dread every year. I love the season, the shopping, the food, and the family. But sometimes the family parties, and other parties, can be painful to get through. I have been the only single sibling in my family for 7 or 8 years now and I feel like this year was the first year that I felt okay about braving another Christmas Eve alone. Some of my nieces and nephews are a little older now and keep me company at the parties, that helps a whole lot.
This Christmas Eve, the nephew pictured above showed up at my parents' house and marched straight downstairs towards me, with a little green box in his hand. He said, "This is for you, Megan." And he handed me the box. I've never received a Christmas gift from a niece of nephew before because they're all pretty young. They're just learning to get gifts for their siblings and a cousin whose name they draw. So the single act of him giving me a gift melted my heart right then and there. I gave him a big squeeze and told him that I loved him. He ran off to play with his cousins.
After he walked away his mom told me that when they were at Target a few weeks ago, my nephew had seen this gift and mentioned to his mom that it would be something that I would like. Even though I wasn't on his list of people to shop for, he decided to get the gift for me and pay for it with his own money. He is only five, so you can imagine that he doesn't have much of his own money to begin with.
At the end of the evening's festivities, after all the kids had opened their presents, I opened my gift from my nephew. Inside the box were two pairs of mittens. They DID look like something that I would like. In fact, I had seen them myself at Target and commented on how cute they were to my friend. My nephew was so excited about his gift for me. His little tender heart understands at a young age how good it feels to do things for other people. He has no idea how much his little act meant to me. I get choked up every time I think about it or brag to my friends about my new mittens. It just goes to show that a little bit can go a long way!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Threat Level Midnight

I hate to post two videos in a row... BUT.... this one is really good!
A friend of mine googled my email address in an attempt to understand what it was referring to. He found his answer, and a whole lot more! 

Friday, December 19, 2008

Carry On

I rediscovered this video after years... and it still makes me laugh! 
Warning: This is not for the faint of heart.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

i cry

I think that I have given the impression in previous posts that I NEVER cry. That is certainly not the case. I RARELY cry. However, the following are things that can actually make me cry (aside from the obvious heartbreaks of the dating world):

1. Old people
A few weeks ago my ward delivered Thanksgiving food boxes to elderly people in an apartment complex in Salt Lake for the Utah Food Bank. The complex is designed for low income elderly people to reside. As my friend Paul and I knocked on each door, we were greeted by very friendly, very lonely old people. Each person lived alone. One woman was particularly touching. She asked us to bring her food in and put it in her kitchen for her. She reminded me of my own grandmother that is now passed away. She was sitting a mint green winged-back chair watching The Wheel of Fortune with all sorts of knick knacks on the table in front of her. She was in a floral print night gown and grinned from ear to ear the whole while we were there. The first thing I noticed when we walked in was her long table filled with pictures of what I can only assume are her grandchildren and family. As we made room in her freezer for her food, she pulled out a single chocolate chip cookie in a ziploc that had been saved in her freezer for some special occasion. She offered it to me and my friend. This made me laugh a little. As we tried to leave, she offered us some candy from her dish that was no where to be found. After a few minutes of searching for the missing candy dish, we told her we had to go. She felt so bad that she couldn't find it and felt even worse that we had to leave. This made me cry.

2. Babies and children
I was no good at being a teacher. Any time a student came to me to tell me that another student had been picking on them I would get upset. I had to act logically as a teacher, but as soon as I talked to the student, gave them a hug, and sent them back to recess, I always cried a little bit. 
I cry a little every time I hold a new baby.

3. Small animals
Big animals don't affect me so much, but there's something about small, seemingly-helpless animals. I cried like a baby at the age of 22 when our family dog of 15 years was put to sleep. I almost cried last night when I accidentally ran over a dead kitten in the road. And then I threw up a little in my mouth. I can't watch TV programs that involve sad stories about small animals. On the way to church on I-15 last winter there was a small dog in the middle of the freeway near the Beck Street Exit. I pulled off to the side and called my mom to see where I should take the dog once I caught it (which I planned to do). My mom yelled at me louder than I've ever heard her yell as she told me to get back in my car and threatened to kill me if I crossed I-15 on foot. After a few minutes she talked me into letting the dog be and driving on to church. I cried the rest of the way to church, thinking about that poor dog. Although I tell myself that he found the exit and his way home to a loving family.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Deciduous Trees

I was driving back to work after lunch today and I noticed one lonely, dead leaf floating through the air, down to the ground. I drove on and a moments later, I noticed another single, dead leaf floating down to the ground. At first I was inclined to call someone I love and declare, "It's raining leaves!" Then the rational part of my mind, which is very small, took over. I looked at the trees that lined the side of the road of which I was following. At first glance the trees seemed bare and void of all leaves. But as I looked closer I could see that there were still a handful of leaves on the branches of each tree, hanging on for dear life. I looked at all of the leaves on the ground around the trees. There were hundreds, probably thousands, of leaves on the ground. I couldn't help but wonder WHY those few leaves were still in the hanging onto the branches when the majority of the leaves were on the ground. How on earth were they withstanding the wind and other elements of nature? I know this is silly, but I began cheering the remaining leaves on in my mind! I was thinking things like, "Sure, you're dead and mother nature is working completely against you, but keep hold of that tree! Keep holding on!" In the few moments I spent thinking about the few strong leaves, I felt empowered. Those leaves don't know why they're holding on. Leaves don't know anything, really. Yet they were holding on. They were standing against the odds. Against the norm. Against man's understanding of the laws of nature.
There are a dozen parallels that I could draw right now about how this relates to life, my personal life, and the ever-present force of evil working on us in this world. Unfortunately, I'm at work and don't have time. Feel free to draw your own parallels and share them with me. Really. :)

In high school, my gal pals and I had a favorite movie in that we loved to quote, "You've Got Mail." This is one of the lines that my friend AnnaLee and I used to quote often:
"Kathleen, you are a lone reed. You are a lone reed, standing tall, waving boldly in the corrupt sands of commerce."

I've never thought about the meaning of this quote, we just liked the way Meg Ryan said it. Today I like meaning of the line more than the delivery. Sometimes I feel a little like Kathleen Kelly. We all do.

I'm glad I saw that leaf floating down to the ground today. It reminded me to keep holding on.