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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Rainy Christmas

I have found myself in Hilliard, OH again for the holidays and it is absolutely wonderful to be with family and spend time with old friends. I've spent most of my time with my mother running errands and laughing as we normally do. I love that my mother has always been my best friend. (She was crackin' me up last night!... I don't wonder where I get my quirky thought-processes...) Downtown Hilliard has shown a betterment in appearance and I respond with the sense of gratitude for the place in which I was raised. Good times!

I've gotten to babysit Briana's kids here and there and have a good time with those cuties! I just love those kids and try at all costs to spend as much time as I can with them. It's fun to have little kids around for Christmas. They get so excited!

Amber or Keith, I don't know if the two of you have ever been to "The Book Loft" down in German Village, but it is magical!! I've only been there once before with Dan Chase, so we made another stop after dinner the other night for old time sake. OH! I was in there for 3 hours and could have stayed longer. It's two houses joint together to form halls, stairways, shelves and "more books than you've ever dreamed!" (Belle's got nothin' on this!) I think that has to be one of my favorite things thus far. There are so many books I want to read!

(Berni, I thought about the pictures you took in that antique store and wished I had a better camera to take some shots. I'm going to have to take another adventure down there again. It's too good not to take pictures!) Tonight we will be doing our caroling as a family, and as well, to act out the Nativity scene with all the costumes and what-have-you. A Merry Christmas indeed! We're still praying for a white one...

Friday, November 28, 2008


I called the family out in Ohio and got to talk to Mom, Briana, Dad, Kimmy, Thad and Jenny Dragoo for a while. *No matter where I am in the world, Thanksgiving to me, is to think and talk about family. In it is everything I am to be grateful. I talked to Austin, left messages with Amber, Keith and Elise and felt so grateful for them and the associations I've had with them in the capacity I have had through the years to make up so much of who I've become!
*Music has to be a part of any holiday or celebration. (Ether 6:9; Ps. 47:6 & 7)
*Prayer belongs to everyday as a constant reliance and thanks to who gave us everything! (2 N. 32:9)
*Reverence for those who lived and fought before us. Dad sent an email from Abraham Lincoln back in the 1800's about why celebrate Thanksgiving yesterday, and I thought it was a perfect start to my roommate and my day. How fortunate we are to live in a free country! We should be so grateful for the freedoms we enjoy!
*Humility should be in our every moment as we go through the day. If we are constantly thinking about how we are grateful for everything more than what we are, how can that not be every part?
Lastly: *Love. I was listening to this song today by the Celtic Women Send Me A Song, (while in my "corpse pose" doing Yoga), when a line in the song said, "... Love must never hold tight, but let go..." Moroni 7:45-47 (45) "And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. (46) Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail— (47) But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him."
Why did our Heavenly Father allow Christ to suffer the greatest pain of all? Why does our Father in heaven let us go through things that may hurt us or cause us pain? I am grateful for my Father in heaven's love for me. And now see more clearly the love my own father and mother on earth have for me. They have loved me so much to let me go, and in-turn want to come back to them any chance I get!
WHAT an opportunity we have to be grateful!
A hope to all of you, family and friends: enjoyed yesterday to the "fullest!"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Impressionable impressions of the first degree

November 19, 2008; Wednesday

No matter in what degree or circumstance in which you are introduced or a meeting of any sorts with a human, there is always a first impression that is concocted inside your brain. It doesn't even have to be extreme or simple, bias or liberal.
"Have I seen this person before?"
"They seem awkward."
"She has green eyes."
"He smells like he just ate curry."
Any way you put it, there is some sort of judgement passed onto the face you seem to come upon for the first time. About four years ago I had an experience about first impressions that would change my view of people and introductions for the better.
I was working as seasonal help being an office assistant in my father's office. When people first walked into the office, I was the happy face they would see upon entering. I didn't have many that would come in, and so when I'd see any face, I was delighted for the exchange of greetings. One of the first days I started working, a woman who had been working there for a while came in. Entering the office and finding an unfamiliar face she asked me,
"Who are you? Are you new?"
Sensing the bluntness in her voice, I returned with an answer of, "I'm Keith Smith's daughter who is working here just for the holidays."
Expecting a slue of other questions I waited for her response. It was just the opposite.
She stated, "Oh-Well, You won't be here for long, I won't take the time to get to know you." She left as quickly as she came in; whisking no thought of "the girl behind the desk" with her.
Now, I don't claim to be that amazing someone everyone should get to know nor do I think everyone needs to know more about me. However, I did in that 2 minutes realize how vital her first impression came to impact me.
I bring-up a next story that has happened recently in the last week.
I went to the temple to contimplate. After getting ready I walked into and sat down on the benches in the chapel. There were other ladies and gentlemen that filed-in and one particular caught my attention. As she entered, she was catching the eyes of those seated and smiling and meaning as if to say, "Hello, I am so thrilled to be at the temple and so glad you get to be here too..." I kept my focus on her almost the whole two hours as we fulfilled the rest of our duties, I drew a conclusion that she might never know what she did for me.
Why do I write about these examples? Was the woman at my father's office and the woman at the temple both honest in their approaches towards others? I'm sure they were. Were they both able to execute the exact feelings they wanted to whom they were in-contact? Positive they were.
However, Who would you rather be welcomed by? Who would you rather give your time?
I have concluded that no matter how long or short a time a person is in your life, you soak every minute you have with them. Whether it be a moment of passing someone on the street and smiling to your brother you have for an eternity, you have precious moments of first impressions daily that will have a lingering affect on those whom you associate.
"But what about the honesty in their feelings?" Honesty is a principle of goodness. Maybe what we are honest with may not be the best good? What sort of first impression do I want to leave on others? We choose how to be honest.
Maybe there are others who enter our lives just to love us or show us a good example? Maybe we are that person for others?
I own two important principles: A love and an understanding of who I am! Why not show everyone I come into contact with these prime examples of how I should be?
To the older woman whose grace shined in her every walk and who showed me that her choice of goodness was altogether the best thing to offer others, I am grateful for her.
God bless "first impressionists."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's November

How did it become November so soon? 
Well, happy to report that the "Yes" passed on Prop 8 and by a small margin, but just the same, it passed and I am grateful. 
I had a thought today: I think more than anything this whole prop 8 process to stand on street corners and call for all hours of the night was more to find out those who are completely dedicated to our Father in heaven. He is all powerful, all knowing... He can control all things. He could have called down angels to help and vote! However, He tests us and tries us! I'm standing with Him. I will stand with the prophet and his counselors. "Who's on the Lord's side who? Now is the time to show!..." I'm grateful for the powerful strength that the Lord shows me I can be. 
I have more fully relied on Him and have seen a freedom that has been refreshing and enlightening. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

El Cajon

I don't think that I've completely left Hawaii yet, but just the same, I have even if my heart hasn't truly accepted that reality.
Of course, I hope Hawaii never leaves me-just like a friend whose made a difference within me. They don't leave you, they become a part of you and only make you look at life better from then-on. I can't contain myself to not be grateful everyday for the time spent there with the friends and "family" I've made as I have lived every minute enjoying what my eyes saw, ears heard and fingers touched. I've come closer to God than anyone I tried to know, and for that I am forever grateful that He knew me best to have sent me where I needed to be.
And yet again, He has moved me...
my new creative genius...

Here I am! I am here where I am!
Here in El Cajon.
I moved in on Monday evening the 13th (thanks to my friends in Temecula who's SUV was appreciated).
My favorite thing I have done thus far though is Tuesday evening my roommate and I went to the San Diego temple. OH-how beautiful that building is! It's been my favorite (as my family has known) and to be right outside and then able to go in... overwhelming! So, I cried. Only natural thing to do.
No matter where you go I have found the best place to go first is the temple. If you need to get familiarized and focused in your new surroundings, it is perfect!
No matter the confusion or otherwise, service is the best option.
So, as I've learned in Hawaii, enjoy the moments you will never live-in again.
This is a time to be enjoyed and loved.
Here I am El Cajon! Teach me everything!