Wednesday, April 25, 2007

April Fools and St. George

It is amazing how times flies and life moves forward. Jaime and I have been married for 10 years. Just a few weeks ago marks the 11th year anniversary of when Jaime and I first kissed. I remember it vividly. We had been "dating" for a couple of weeks. I had recently gone on a trip to St. George with Jaime and her friends Beth and "Jianne". I was falling fast for Jaime and things were great. One night , April 1st, 1996 to be exact, Beth said that she needed to go to the library on campus at BYU and had asked if we wanted to go also. We didn't need to go but decided that it might be fun to ride along. After staying at the library for a little while, Jaime and I decided to take a walk back to her house. It was probably a couple of miles, but the weather was nice. It was a little warm out at night but still cool enough to let you know that it was springtime too. I remember thinking that I really wanted to kiss her. But, being the awkward Cassanova that I am (was?) I didn't quite know how to make my move. As we neared her house, my heart raced knowing that the moment had come. She had a house full of roommates and the moment would soon be lost. At the bend in the road that curved around to her house, we wandered a little off the sidewalk and shared our first kiss.

I remember a conscious thought that I had that night. I remember thinking that I had just kissed the greatest girl in the world. Due to my ever present paranoid state, I began to worry. I thought of the significance of April 1st and worried that to her it might have been an April's Fools joke or that somehow the very significance of that date would jinx any future that I might have with her. But as the weeks passed, I saw that it was not a joke to her and it certainly was not a joke to me. It was by all means one of the best nights of my life. It was the night where I started down a life path with the woman that I love.

For Easter, Jaime gave me this really great frame for my office. In it are two pictures. They are both pictures of us during the "St. George" days. The first is in front of this great looking purple car that we thought would be fun to buy. The second is in the garden of her father and step mother's home. St. George always reminds me of when our relationship blossomed and when I truly fell in love with the best, brightest, most beautiful, funniest woman in the world.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

It's time to let the laughter in

Easter 2007
Yet another Easter too cold to take cute pics outside...

Thanks to all the fools in the world that take time out of their seemingly unproductive lives to make us laugh a little.

And yes, I know this one is a zima ad...still funny though.

Friday, April 20, 2007

A couple of quick thoughts

This whole Virginia Tech thing has really shaken things up around here. Jaime recorded the convocation that played last Tuesday, but we haven't yet watched it. I think mostly we are waiting to let some of the emotion fade so that it will not be such a downer. That is not to say that we do not want to deal with the emotions, but I think this hits a little close to home right now.

When I find that I am feeling weighed down by the whole tragedy, I have decide that I must reach out to someone and do something positive. Someone on the radio the other day said that, "Darkness cannot overcome darkness." I will try to reach out to someone in someway each day so that perhaps light may overcome darkness.

For anyone reading (and I think that this is probably Jaime and two of my sisters) I wanted to write a couple of thoughts.

Times like these give us a lot to think about. I find myself thinking about my family a lot lately. I know that we say it and show it often, but sometimes we need to do it a little more. heart burns when I think of my love for you. I am nothing without you. I have no purpose without you. I love you so much. are the best boys ever! I love you guys so much. Keep learning from your mom, she is the smartest and best woman that I know. Mom, Dad, Sue, Jenny, Chris, Sally, Karen, Ricahrd, Liz, Lori and all significant others and kids, etc. I love you guys. I think of you all the time. Geography seperates us but does not keep our hearts from being connected. I love you all.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Her words are better than mine

We are Virginia Tech
Nikki Giovanni, University Distinguished Professor, poet, activist

We are Virginia Tech
We are sad today
and we will be sad for quite a while
We are not moving on
We are embracing our mourning
We are Virginia Tech
We are strong to stand tall tearlessly
We are brave enough then to cry and sad enough to know we must laugh again
We are Virginia Tech
We do not understand this tragedy
We know we did nothing to deserve it
but neither does a child in Africa dying of AIDs
neither do the invisible children walking the night away to avoid being captured by a rougue army
neither does the baby elephant watching his community be devastated for ivory
neither does the Mexican child looking for fresh water
neither does the Appalachian infant killed in the middle of the night in his crib in a home his father built with his own hands being run over by a boulder because the land was destabilized
No one deserves a tragedy
We are Virginia Tech
The Hokie nation embraces our own
and reaches out with open heart and hand to those who offer their hearts and minds
We are strong and brave and innocent and unafraid
We are better than we think and not quite what we want to be
We are alive to the imagination and the possibility
We will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears through all this sadness
We are the Hokies
We Will Prevail
We Will Prevail
We Will Prevail
We are Virginia Tech

(Thanks Amy!)

I only WISH it were 6 degrees...

I wish it were 6 degrees of seperation between me and someone shot in the tragedy. My sister Summer had a dear high school friend who was killed in the french class with only 2 survivors. Jack is now the Bishop of our ward (clergy for our congregation) and he officiated in his first funeral on Friday. At Hazel's funeral, he talked about our time here on earth being such a brief moment in the eternal scheme of things. As he was talking about that, I really felt something that I always understood and knew in my mind, but on Friday I felt it in my heart, in my mind, in my bones and my blood. I felt the peace that comes through knowing about the plan of salvation. I felt the peace only the Savior can bring. Some people may say I feel that now because I have to in order to comprehend the crisis. But I know it, I feel it, not because I need to but because it is truth. Summer, you can also feel that peace, I know you can. Nevermind the nay-sayers, they will try to belittle you saying no God would let this happen. We both know there is more to it than that. Summer, there is peace and comfort to be found. We love you.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

This could not happen in "THE BURG!", but it did!

Ok- so this is Jaime, and I am posting this because I have to get it out, and this seems like an easy way. The narly shootings at VT that have turned the nation's eyes on us is nothing but eerie...ok, I guess it is more than that, but that is all I can arrive at-for now. When I went to college, everyone would ask where I was from, and when I'd say, "Blacksburg," everyone would say, "Huh?" "Do you know Roanoke?" I'd ask. "Huh?" Fine. "Southwest Virginia. I grew up in SW VA." "Is that in West Virginia?" they'd ask. I would walk away.

Our Stake President was in the building when everything went down (his office/classes are there), and my stepdad was in the building next door (in his office) in lock down for a good portion of the day, but those are the only people we directly know who were involved. But somehow, we all feel intimately connected. It's all we can talk about. Finn's soccer game was canceled, classes in nearby schools were canceled, there is a general quiet milling about the whole area, and it is odd.

My formative years were spent growing up in The BURG--growing up in Blacksburg really made me who I am. Small town rural life was what I grew up outwardly rebelling against, while inwardly it absorbed into my blood and made me long to return to that stillness after college. Not wanting to run into the high school drop-outs and ex-boyfriends every time I went into Kroger, I wanted to move back, but not "back." So we settled in Radford, 12 minutes from the The BURG. Up until we moved here, I had only been to Radford once, to take the SAT's, because even though it was only 12 minutes away, it was a world away. Blacksburg was a bubble--a community unto itself. There was no reason to leave.

Here are some reasons why something like this could happen anywhere, but The BURG:

1. Full of hippies, it is a community that teaches activism in the air it breathes, in the food it serves, in the land it harbors. It was the activist spirit of Blacksburg that taught me about activism. In high school I volunteered at the Women's Center at VT, went to Take Back the Night, sat in on the Environmental Club meetings at Tech, watched several demonstrations, and learned that when you want to live in a certain type of world, you have to work for that kind of world. I saw the Guerilla Girls when I was 13 for heavens sake--how awesome is that?
2. With nothing to do in The BURG, a favorite pastime was watching people try to parallel park in "the heart"-a small cobblestone circle in the middle of town on College Ave. The goal was to watch intently enough that the driver would get so self-conscious, they would abandon the space to the next unsuspecting soul.
3. Some children grow up riding the subway, playing in big parks, or wandering around buildings, museums, beaches, or other open spaces. Not me. I grew up playing on campus. VT was a veritable playground for teenagers. Weekends involved mom dropping me off at the Student Center, where activities would begin--and move to empty classrooms, the library (Remember Leigh Claire throwing books out the window she needed for her report because she didn't have her card), the tunnels behind Burruss, concerts everywhere from classrooms to auditoriums, ultimate frisbee on the drillfield...and on and on and on.
4. We thought when the Indigo Girls came to VT one year for a concert we had hit the bigtime, and no one ever that popular would grace campus again. Thank you for coming Emily and Amy.
5. We had a game, it was called, "Only in Blacksburg." As you walked around town at any time of the day or night you could cross the street without looking both ways and announce, "Only in Blacksburg." Now yes, looking back it wasn't the smartest game, but it gives you the idea.

And all this was within the past 15 years. It's not like I am ancient referring to the innocence of yesteryear. That is the beauty of the Burg. Growing its population, buildings, and businesses within the past few years have sadden me, that perhaps the "bubble of the burg" was disappearing. Now I fear, the bubble has popped for sure.

But what a place to learn who you are!!