Monday, July 30, 2012

Dear Jordyn Wieber

With the Olympics in full swing and upsets and failures inevitably happening to even the best, I heard the question asked: What would you say to Jordyn Wieber  (the reigning world gymnastics champion who was favored to be in the running for the all-around final) failing to advance after a few missteps?

I thought of all the "fluffy" things one could say to encourage, empathize, or put it all into perspective and nothing I could come up with cut the mustard. Only the honest, hard truth that: This sucks. Any other day, it could have been you. But to sum it all up in 3 words: Life goes on. The sting of this loss is going to hurt a day, a month, a year, 10 years, and even 20 years down the road. The "what-ifs" and "what could've gone differentlies" can haunt you forever. But you gotta let life go on. With time and by finding joy in other life experiences the pain will ease. Finish your best and let it be what it is. You don't have a choice. There may always be tears with this memory, but the pain and disappointment will fade as life goes on and the other joys it brings begin to trump this failure. If all we base our life's joy and our self-worth on is our talent, looks, strength, humor, or brains life will be nothing but disappointment after disappointment as our failures and weaknesses in these areas are brought to light. Finding joy and self worth in things outside of ourselves is what helps us move on when we fail ourselves. So dear Jordyn, life goes on and you are worth more than even the Olympic gold!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Seaside Vacation 2012

This Summer for our annual family vacation we headed to Seaside, OR. We used to vacation at Seaside when I was a kid and it hasn't lost it's charm. My niece and nephews hadn't experienced Seaside before so it was so precious to see their little faces light up when they saw the ocean for the first time, felt the unstable sand beneath their toes, and saw all the crazy looking sea creatures. It was nothing short of a blast and I am blessed to have spent quality time at the ocean with those I love. Some of our favorite moments included:

* Finding a penny at Multnomah falls for our usual penny print souvenir Jeremiah and I get everywhere we go and then finding one in the dryer at our beach house. I didn't have to spend a cent on this souvenir! (Side note and fun tip: I turn the pressed pennies into magnets so every time I look at the fridge I am reminded of all the cool places we have been.)

* Jeremiah running from the beach to a toyshop downtown to buy a kite when he realized how perfect the weather was for kite flying. And it was the craziest kite flying I've ever seen! Surprised no bystanders lost an eye! Said kite was also a U.S. Navy kite (my brother-in-law, Leroy, was in the navy). Let the bromance begin!

* Buying countless dollars worth of Salt Water Taffy between all of us.

* Deep Fried Twinkies and other treats from the The Buzz On Broadway - the best candy shop I have ever experienced! We served their salt water taffy at our wedding, even :)

* My sister's dog, Grunt, looking happier than I have ever seen him while running wild and free on the beach.

* Eating at Pig N' Pancake. A must do!

* S'mores on the deck of our beach house on a mini BBQ maintenance had to bring when the gas grill conked out on us.

* My 5 year old nephew, Eli, having more fun catching his marshmallows on fire than actually toasting them for the S'mores.

* Several trips to Rite Aid and Safeway for MORE drinks, food, and much "needed" items.

* Carousel rides, bumper cars, and the arcade! Complete with a giant sized version of Fruit Ninja, free games, and TONS of tickets won for the kids.

* My 3 year old niece, Harper, not enjoying the carousel worker calling her "cutie cutie" and pretending to take her shoes while on the ride.

* Seeing the Miss Oregon contestants everywhere (as the pageant was that weekend) and trying to pick out the winner. We were certain Miss Umpqua would take the title. Not only was she well put together, but I was sure she would have received bonus points for being from a place that makes amazing ice cream ;)

* My 10 month old nephew, Samson, getting a handful of a lazy sea anemone. That'll teach them to get complacent after all those years in the aquarium touch pool!

* My brother-in-law's fantastic "photobombing."

* Random Voodoo Doughnut side trips and zoo stops on the way home.

Pit stop at Multnomah Falls.
Looking cute on the deck of the beach house.
One of my fave little guys.
My fave girl in the world.
My other fave little guy.
Photobombed by the best.
Checking out the sealions at the aquarium.
I think he loved the beach more than anyone!
Jeremiah flying his kite.
S'mores on the deck in our college hoodies.
Gorgeous, Samson.
Loving the carousel until, "Hey there, cutie cutie" came and tried to take her shoes.

Some of our candy haul.
Headed home with some Voodoo Doughnuts.