Monday, January 31, 2011

Jari Standard Time

I run on Jari Standard Time. Novel idea, I know. But, it's true. Sometimes I have this obsessive need to be really early to things. Other times I want to be late, even to the point where I tell myself and everyone else that I will show up, and then never do. Then I have the random mixture of showing up right on time, fashionably late, slipping in without being noticed, or just misinterpreting time all together. I can't even read a standard clock. That was just a really drawn out way of apologizing for late sunshine.

Here's another obscure apology. My camera has been MIA for a loooong time now. So long that I should probably just give up and get a new one, but I'm still holding out a little hope...Maybe I'll get a new camera one day though. A really nice one. Then I'll learn all about photoshop and graphic design and become a wizard of these talents. Then I'll produce a beautiful blog that readers from all over the country will ooh and awe over. Of course I'll fake modesty perfectly and say things like "stop it, you're too nice, really."

Until then I will use obscure google images finds and somehow tie them into what I decide to talk about. Like this:

Sunshine at the end of the tunnel (just call me Mrs. Wordplay)

1. Overtime: Say it with me "Ca-ching!"

2. Feeling loved: Sometimes when people love us they make us accept to do hard things. I'm so glad they do. It forces us to grow and learn and depend on our Heavenly Father. So thank you loving people, thank you hard things, thank you opportunity. Now, it's time for me to show you who's boss.

3. EFY interview: Just take awesome people, meaningful discussion, improv games, laughter and the spirit of charity in a mixing bowl and stir. Also the interviewer remembered me from last year, plus.

4. Nights with the Santos Family: I love my family. No. Seriously. They're the best. Friday night we all went out to dinner and then followed it up with a rousing evening at the clinic. Dad irrigated my and Annalee's ears. I screamed a lot, I think that was Dad's favorite part. Adam got a shot in the bum. Then for the grand finale Blake got the toe nails from both of his big toes removed. Ouch! I love talking to them, laughing with them, standing around for hours racing from one topic to another and laughing the whole time. Love. It is love.

5. Accepting the unknown by making decisions anyway: FSU may (I repeat MAY, as it POSSIBLY, as in NOT DEFINITE) save my life. Maybe. I'm playing with the idea of spending a semester there in the fall, but that's just one of many many ideas I have. We'll see where I actually end up come September. I guess I'm just trying to say that realizing this option made me feel a lot less stressed this week.

6. This did not happen last week: Adam, best brother ever! I was having a sad day, and tried to snuggle with him earlier. He's 17 and so obviously was not down for a sister on his shoulder, so he left the house. Lame. BUT homeboy didn't forget about me and my silly bummer mood. Later tonight he came barging in the door blaring "Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow. You're always a day away." Complete with Annie as back up, thank you IPhone. It put me in a fit of giggles and completely cheered me up. Favorite brother award? I think so.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunshine after the rain

Some weeks are hard. Plain and simple, they're just hard. After a hard week I am so much more appreciative of my Sunday. Taking time to rest and ponder is so necessary. All week long I was dreading having to write up things that made me happy this week; and I was so afraid I wouldn't be able to think of any. Good news, I was wrong.

1. Newborn babies: I know I mentioned this last week, but a week ago today I was holding little Andrew in my arms. I still can't believe how much love I had for that sweet, perfect, little person. I'm not even related to him technically, but I love him. Anyone who can look at a newborn and say there isn't a God is crazy-cakes, seriously.

2. Old friends: Growing up my family moved around a lot so I don't have a lot of people who I can call "old friends." However I do have some. I was able to have dinner with Becky Weaver this week, my best friend from high school. It was fun to sit and talk about how much we've changed since we were 14 and watched Zoom on the weekends. Growing up has it's perks, like making fun of your younger self with others who were just as dumb as you. I look forward to the day when I can look back on these years and laugh at all the silly things I do.

3. Annalee and Blake Russ: These two are my saving grace. Living at home isn't exactly exciting and definitely gets lonely sometimes, but I never get tired of hanging out with those two. They help me laugh at my faults rather than feel burdened by them. They cater to my humor and make the most clever jokes. We have actual conversations, which I don't feel like happens much these days. I find so much pleasure in just sitting around and talking, they deliver.

4. Busy: I'm a busy busy girl. Working 6 days a week makes time go by rather quickly, and I'm so glad for that. Plus, I get to work with my daddy-o. I love that man! And I'm starting to have people recognize me at the gym, that means I must be going an adequate amount. Throw in some institute, and my schedule is jam packed. I like it.

5. Paperwork: Call me crazy, but I love filling out paperwork. If there's a form to fill out please-oh-please let me do it! Lucky me, I've had lots of things to fill out lately. Call me strange, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

6. Friends: I'm so grateful for friends in my life. Being a friend is not always easy; it takes patience, love, service, and sometimes a lot of listening. I am so lucky to have good friends who take the time to call me, to make me feel loved and appreciated, who encourage me to be my best self, who make me laugh and remind me that everything is going to be okay. I am truly blessed with the friends in my life.

7. EFY CDs: Thank you for calming me down when I have road rage.

8. Trials: I don't like you, but I like the person you force me to become.

9. The Mormon Bachelor: Thank you for being the perfect amount of sappy for me to claim you as a secret obsession.

10. Prayer: I'm finally grasping the magnitude of this blessing. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who listens to the prayers of a distressed 21 year old, who is far more prideful and stubborn than she should be. I am grateful for the spirit that accompanies sincere and fervent prayer. I am grateful the relationship I have with my Heavenly Father. I know that he is aware of me, that he cares for me, and that he wants what is truly best for me. I recognize that this sometimes means that I have to endure hard things, and I'm glad he has confidence in me that I will succeed in those challenges. I am mostly grateful for the companionship of his spirit to bring me comfort through it all.

11. Michael Buble: So I can quote this "It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me, and I'm feeling good."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sunshine: the baby edition

So it's Wednesday Sunshine, but I have a good excuse for my tardiness.

Allow me to introduce the Rice Family, featuring their newest addition, Andrew.

(Spencer, Brad, Carson, Tiffany, Andrew, Haley)

Tiffany is my sister's sister-in-law. I've known her and her family for 3 or 4 years now (I'm good at remembering dates, I'm horrible at properly counting years), and I love them to pieces. On 1/11/11 she had little Andrew, 4 weeks earlier than his due date. Her mother and sisters were all unavailable to fly out to Detroit to help with the other kiddos, so I was presented with a plane ticket and sent out to help. It was so much fun, I learned so much, and I grew to love these people more than I already did. (So don't be surprised that my sunshine for the week revolves mostly around this experience)

1. People watching in airports. I don't know if it's the excitement of going somewhere to visit, or returning home after a journey, but airports are always in a happy hustle and I love it! Also, it's amazing how nice people can be in airports. It's the little things like letting someone ahead of you in the line to get off the plane, or offering to help pick up someone's luggage that's fallen over. On both my flights people were incredibly nice and helpful. It was beautiful to see that the spirit of service hasn't died.

2. Andrew Clarke Rice is an angel. It's so crazy to think how recently he was in heaven, how perfect he is. It's just amazing. He also smells like heaven, seriously I could just hold and smell that kid all day long and be in complete bliss.

3. Motherhood. I have a new appreciation for it. Tiffany and I had a lot of time to talk about the subject and it's so amazing to think that Heavenly Father has trusted women to care for and nurture his children. I am so grateful to my mom and all the patience she exercised in raising me. I am grateful that she took the time to make sure I knew she loved me, and took the time to help me develop a testimony.

4. Peanut butter and honey toast, anywhere can be home as long as I have access to my comfort food.

5. Playing. Taekwondo. Zoo Keeper. Piggy back rides. Make up. Puppet Shows. Legos. Tangled for the 3rd time (still amazing!). Thank you Haley and Carson, I had a good time.

6. Spencer has one of the best baby laughs on the face of the planet. He also is a pretty hilarious character himself. Any time that things got a little stressful his laugh would clear the air and calm everyone down. Seriously I think baby laughs have magical powers.

7. Treating this whole endeavor as an "experience" and allowing myself treats pretty much every night. I'll pay for it this week, but oh it was so nice while it lasted.

There is plenty more I could add to this list, however it is 4:30 in the morning and I should probably be sleeping.

(adding more...)

8. Sweet friends. My dear friend Alexie paid me a beautiful compliment, and as much as I realize that I shouldn't base my happiness on what others think or say, it was really nice to hear. A splendid little pick me up, we need those now and again.

9. The unexpected. Generally I'm someone who likes to have my life planned out 9-18 months in advance. It's ridiculous and a problem, I know. Anyway, the last couple months and the rest of this year are kind of up in the air, and I'm learning to enjoy just going with the flow and just taking one day at a time. Speaking of which, if you haven't seen or heard this I highly recommend it.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I used to... a little thing called Sunday Sunshine, and it made me feel like this

(Little Miss Sunshine was one of the happiest people in the world, besides Mr. Happy and Mr. Cheerful...)

So I'm brining it back. This week in sunshine:

1. Sticking to goals. I only had two sweets this week, and I think they both counted as 'experiences.' The first, a chocolate covered cake roll thing. I don't know exactly what it was, but it was the first chocolate I have had all year. Amazingly I only ate two, but it was divine! The second, an apple/sweet potato/tofu pie. That one was definitely counted as an experience, and it wasn't so bad.

2. Florida weather. I love that it is the early part of January, and I am enjoying temperatures of 65. Glorious!

3. Imaginary gun fights. Yep. When my brother and I are home walking around the living room has become a small scale version of this:

4. Knowing Heavenly Father is in charge. I do not understand the order of all things, my mind just can't comprehend it all. But, I do know that Heavenly Father loves and is aware of all his children and provides for them. I'm very grateful for the blessings in my life that are always catered to my needs and my wants.

5. Speaking of blessings, the CES fireside tonight. It felt as though Elder Christofferson was saying "Dear Jari, I know exactly what is weighing on your mind and heart. Here are some things that will help you out." Now a new goal I have is to simply do the best I can one day at a time. Also, I had a lovely driving companion. I truly enjoyed the company of Tori Johnson, it's always nice to share a conversation based around how to better ourselves.

6. Peace of mind. A woman in our ward used to work for the United Nations, and has spent a good deal of time in the Pretoria area. She has offered to put me in contact with people who will help me find housing arrangements for the time I spend there. I am so thrilled! (Only 81 days til I get to Africa, yikes!)

7. Zumba. Dance meets toning. It may be silly, and I may share the class with a bunch of women more than twice my age, but I LOVE zumba. It's just a really fun way to exercise, and it makes me feel a little bit like I'm back in Brazil.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Oh, hey 2011

Where'd you come from?

That's exactly how I feel about this whole ordeal. It's kind of sad saying farewell to such a lovely year, like 2010. So a moment of reflection...

Avatar: To some just a movie. To me, an experience that helped me survive winter in Rexburg. It led to good friends, hot springs, dancing at a random gas station in Utah. Oh the power of the movies.

Meso America Tour: 1 month, 32 students, 4 awesome professors, 3 countries, one of the most wonderful things of my BYU-Idaho career. Yes.

EFY: 1, 2, 3 DEGREES! Matt Reynolds, best co-co EVER! Best kids ever! Hearing my brother bear his testimony for the first time ever! Crying, laughing, and learning more than I ever thought possible in a 6 day period. EFY was a very good idea and I hope to repeat the experience.

Sissy got married: Blake Russ is now part of the family, love him. Annalee is happier than ever, and I'm so happy for her. The brazilians came to town, lovely. It was such a happy and emotional time. Annalee is my very best friend in this world and I loved being a part of this new part of her life. Awesome, just awesome.

The cruise: Such a lovely and gluttonous vacation. Dad actually took a vacation!! Went parasailing with Adam. Ate, ate, ate. Came in 2nd on a disney trivia challenge. Laughed, ate, snorkeled, ate, hung out with the family, ate, watched amazing shows, ate. Yes, it was fantastic.

2010 was awesome, no doubt. However, I have always been partial to odd-numbed years. They have always been good to me. 2005, went to brazil. 2007, started hanging out with the "FPP," graduated from high school. 2009, decided what I'm doing with my life, made amazing friends, lived with my sister in Rexburg, Fall '09 best semester EVER! So 2011 has a lot to live up to.

The resolutions/plans for the year:

Internship in South Africa. My only goal with this is to do the absolute best I can, and not get mugged or raped.

EFY take two? We'll see.

Only eat junk food if it's an experience.

Graduate from college, get my life plan rolling.

Live like this: