Thursday, June 24, 2010

Give Kids the World

"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give." -W.C.
Two days ago I had the pleasure of being introduced to Princess Zoe. She was a beautiful princess with curly blonde hair and eyes as blue as the sea. Any outsider viewing her from a distance would see her beauty and grace and would never believe her incredible story, especially me. While at work, I had noticed her special " Make a Wish Foundation" button securely fastened to her shirt and knew to spend as much time with her as she would like, however, I didn't know that I was her wish. Upon meeting the family I greeted the girls and parents to which her mother told me her heroic story before I even had a chance to sit down with the children. Zoe was diagnosed with cancer last year and her only wish was to go to Disney World to meet Princess Aurora- her favorite princess. They had been at the parks for four days and even though they had done the princess dining and seen the shows, Princess Aurora was no where to be found... until now. Instantly my eyes began to fill with tears as I humbly took on the role to fulfill this girl's dream. It took me a minute to collect my thoughts and I didn't know what I could do that would make this experience special. I felt entirely unworthy of such an immense moment. After talking to her about her kingdom, her good fairies and all of the wonderful adventures she had been on I sent her on to see Cinderella and Belle. I would choke up every time I saw her out of the corner of my eye and as she was leaving the room and stopped my line and ran to give her a big hug only to find out that through her treatments, she had lost most of her hearing, so she wasn't able to hear most of anything I had said to her earlier, but she was so excited to just sit with me. My heart sunk as I watched her leave the room, I wish that there was more I could have done. Even though I have seen so many children in her same situation since I have worked here, this one was the most powerful.

I have been blessed to be able to volunteer at the most beautiful place on earth called Give Kids the World Village. It is non-profit organization that provides a vacation of a lifetime for terminally ill children and their families. It is a place where families are able to come completely cost free for an entire week and get to see and do everything central Florida has to offer while staying at a beautiful resort built just for kids. There are 140 villas where the families stay, each can sleep 8 people and comes with a fully stocked fridge and gifts for the children are delivered every night. The villas are more than just a hotel room, it is a home complete with a driveway, front porch with rocking chairs and a mailbox. At the resort there are activities every night from American Idol to Santa and Mrs. Claus visiting a Winter Wonderland. There is an ice cream palace that is open all day long which many of the kids line up at 7:00 AM for a banana split breakfast, playgrounds created after the Candy Land board game and a swimming pool that has special wheelchairs for the kids to use so that they can play in the water as well. Give Kids the World has provided lasting memories for over 100,000 families since it's opening in 1986. As I walked around the village today, tears streamed down my face as I noticed so many details that make it such a peaceful place for those who deserve it most.

Pepsi is having a contest to give away $250,000 to any charitable organization that has the most votes. Give Kids the World is in the running to use the money towards refurbishing the villas. Everyone can vote once a day for the month of June. Since June is almost over they need all the votes they can get. Please take ten minutes out of your day and vote for Give Kids the World here... www. refresheverything.com/givekidstheworld. Please vote everyday throughout the rest of this month. I have witnessed what a difference this organization has made to the lives of so many families and I will never forget the last impressions it has made in my life.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Papa Cost


( This picture is classic dad... goofy hat, shades,cargo shorts,a t-shirt under a life jacket that's too small and tevas. Perfection)

My daddyo always taught me:
- Pickle juice will always be served whenever you ask what is for dinner
- There is no sweeter sound than an elk bugle
- Everything you could ever need out of life can be found in the isles of Home Depot...not Lowes...Home Depot
- Commuting during rush hour is an art form
- There are plenty of fish in the sea, all you gotta do is go fishing.
- You are never too old to do anything... SCUBA Diving, Wake boarding, Backpacking through Europe etc.
- Spending time in nature can bring immense peace
- Patience is something we all could use a little more of
- The light of Christ lives within everyone, so we must never judge off of shallow reasoning
- Family is most important and will take precedence in all aspects of life
- Reading a good book on the front porch while the sun sets beyond the mountains is ... perfect bliss

The lessons taught are vast and the memories behind each one are priceless. My gratitude for each lesson is not able to be constrained to the written word, but thank you will have to suffice for now. I love you daddyo! May this Father's Day be the best yet!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Inspiration

Cherish your solitude.

Take trains by yourself to places you have never been.

Sleep out alone under the stars.

Learn how to drive a stick shift.

Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back.

Say no when you don't want to do something.

Say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees.

Decide whether you want to be liked or admired .

Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out what you're doing here.
-E.E.

Sold my Soul

May is finally over... thank heavens. June has flown by.

It felt like May lasted a lifetime, probably because my latest wound is still fresh and painful. I have discovered that there are moments in your life where it's a struggle to even get out of bed in the morning, to breath, to live. I couldn't have made it through without Heavenly Fathers divine help.

I have officially sold my soul to Disney. 10-14 hours a day, 6-7 days a week. It has been good to keep busy but exhausting.

Studied my brains out every night and during every break for the GRE.

My incredible best friends came to visit me! it was the most perfect trip ever. It had been years since we had spent time together and we definitely made up for lost time :)

I took the GRE and have applied for graduate school. Fingers crossed!

Have been making many new friends. John took me sailing and stand-up paddle boarding which was incredible cause we saw dolphins and manatees. I discovered a new love- paddle boarding.

Got kicked out of my house by my landlord cause she was selling the house. Had to move in the midst of an already stressful life.

My wonderful parents came to visit and I was able to take a whole week off to spend with them exploring the parks, resorts and spending four perfect days at Vero beach. Highlight: We rented a catamaran for an afternoon and went sailing surrounded by sea turtles. I love sailing.

Had to go to the hospital...first time in a long time. Strep throat, upper respiratory infection and pink eye are a bad combo.

Now I am just trying to get feeling better and get back into the swing of working since I have been out of the loop for a bit.


Things to look forward to:

Hearing back from graduate schools

My Washington D.C. friends coming to visit me in July

Road trip across the country

Moving back to beautiful Utah in July for the first time in almost 2 years