Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The perfect cone

I generally don't eat at McDonlad's but every once in a while I like to get their vanilla cone. It's always a tricky thing though. Each McDonald's is a little different. Not all ice cream is equal. If you want a good ice cream cone from McD's your best bet is to go to the one on Bulldog in Provo. Hands down they are the most consistent in flavor and texture of the ice cream....

That is until I went to a McD's out here in Virginia at the Potomac Mills Outlets. I experienced quite possibly the most perfect cone ever. The flavor was excellent and the placement of the ice cream in the cone was truly remarkable. I almost got out of my car from the drive thru to go in and thank whoever had made my cone. A lot of times the ice cream comes out and it is really squatty and so when it starts to melt it drips over the side onto your hands and it is so big around that you can't lick all of the drips in one lick. It just becomes messy! This cone however, was tall and slender. It was the perfect size to fit in my mouth and I was able to go round the cone in one lick. The flavor was a delicious vanilla and the texture was nice and creamy, but not to melty. I was just so happy to be eating such a perfect cone!

So I dedicate this entry to my friend at the Potomac Mills McDonalds. Thanks for the perfect cone!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What can I do?

Lately I have been reflecting on all that is going on in the world and the suffering that so many people endure each day. I recently watch the movie "Freedom Writers" and was really touched. It amazed me to see this one woman help so many people within her sphere of influence. By showing respect to her wayward students she was able to create a bond of trust and they in turn showed her respect. I was so inspired at how she fought for her students despite being up against all kinds of odds. She not only valued their education but their quality of life.

It got me thinking about what I can do. What is my sphere of influence? Who can I touch? Can I help troubled people find hope in their lives? I think of my time as a missionary, as a volunteer and other capacities in which I have been fortunate enough to interact with people less fortunate than I. Experiences like these strengthen me and help me realize all that I have been blessed with. I truly have so much to give and yet I feel I take so much for granted. At times I feel almost disgusted with myself and the way I live. Why was I blessed with so much? Am I really deserving of my blessings?

In Relief Society our lesson was on provident living and the instructor talked about an exhibit she had seen in a museum. The subject of the exhibit was people leaving their homes and the things that they were allowed to take with them. Each section had a scale and portrayed the amount of things or possessions that people had taken with them. All kinds of groups were represented, from those on the Mayflower who were able to bring provisions with them on the ship to Cambodian refugees who could only take a small sack with food in it when they left home. The last section was for refugees from Afghanistan. The scale indicating what they took with them was empty and in place of possessions was a quote that said, "We were able to leave with our lives. That is enough."

Oh, how my heart hurts to think of people in these circumstances!

I look into my closet and think of all the people that I could clothe with what I have and how there are so many days that I complain about not having anything to wear! I am grateful to live in a country filled with so many opportunities and yet I don't want to become selfish and prideful. How do I find a balance in my life? I'm not sure what the answers are, but I am thankful for the people throughout the world that I have met and that have taught me so many valuable lessons. I can only hope that I have had an influence in their lives as well.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Gwen and the girls!

Last night some girlfriends from the ward and I went to see Gwen Stefani on her Sweet Escape tour. WOW! She is amazing (and what a body!) It was such a fun, high energy show. A perfect way to kick off the summer. Nothing beats dancing barefoot on the lawn and singing at the top of your lungs!

Here's to more summer concerts and partying like a rock star!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Meet the Uppers!

The Uppers: Nich, Jamie, Red (Melissa), Goth (Melissa), Tera, London, and Holly.

It all started in the fall of 1999 when some of us met as roommates at BYU. It wasn't until the fall of 2000 when we moved into Connection Up (776 N 600 E Provo, UT) that we were given the title (thanks to our friends the Crusaders) of "The Uppers". And from there it was history. The seven of us have all lived together at one time or another over the space of five or six years making us a very close knit group. A family, really.

When we all started to go our separate ways it was important to keep each other updated. So our monthly (sometimes less frequent) emails became known as the "Upper Update". Over the last few years it has been amazing to see how we all have grown so much and how we have supported one another through both wonderful and difficult times.

The other day I was sitting at my computer at work and I decided that we need to take our updates to the next level and create a blog. So here it is: the Upper Update blog. Now we can all post the news of our adventures, photos of our families and share with each other all the exciting things going on in our lives. I am super excited for this!