Tag: family

Here, Kitty Kitty


Kitty Kitty Eats

It started with the hidden mewing when my stepson (Brett) and I got home from church and walked up to the front door.  We both looked at each other curiously, and then instinctively walked across the grass to the window well of the basement.  We looked down – and there she was.  Helpless.  Mewing.

Brett jumped down the well, scooped her up and handed her to me.  We brought her inside to feed her – so little and frail she was.

Kitty Kitty Sleeps

And then Kitty moseyed around and made her way to the couch, where she jumped up and snuggled herself to sleep.  I think this is where I fell in love.

Kitty Kitty's first car ride

Then the storm came.

It was time to take Brett to work.  We couldn’t put Kitty Kitty out in the storm.  But we couldn’t leave her in the house.  How would she and Woofie get along?  Who knows where she would go potty?

So we brought her with us, naturally.

Kitty Kitty in the car

And she curiously hopped around the car.

Kitty Kitty curious

And became part of our little family.

Kitty Kitty

Woofie has been so good to her… giving her her space and letting Kitty get used to her without being intimidating.  The first 36 hours Kitty hissed every time they would get close.  We taught Woofie to keep her distance.  Now, whenever the Kitty comes near Woofie out of curiosity, Woofie turns her face away from her, so as not to intimidate her.  I am praying they will be friends in time.

Woofie | Sweetest Dog Ever

The sweetest dog ever, affectionately watching from the ground while I hold and pet Kitty on the couch.

I am taking name suggestions…



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Family History | Forgiveness for the Dead Versus for the Living

BYU Education Week offers over 1,000 classes on hundreds of topics each year on campus for anyone over the age of 14.  From 8am to 9pm you can choose hour-long classes from The Arts; The Scriptures; Church History; Communication; Dance and Exercise; Education; Family and Marriage; Family History; Finance; Gospel Topics; Health and Fitness; History, Government, and Political Science; Home Management; Human Relations; Law; Leadership; Literature; Missionary Work; Music; Parenting; Prophets; Psychology; Self-Improvement; Single Parenting; and Youth Classes!  Folks come from all over the world to attend this event.

It’s one of my favorite times of year.  Since my first time attending in 2005, I’ve never missed a year.  I try to attend every day, all day, and by the end of the week I am a walking zombie with a brain and heart over full.

I’ll try to share a little bit of what I walk away with every day this week.

Vincenzo, Teresa, Anna (Annie), and Salvatore (Charles) Pace

Vincenzo, Teresa, Anna (Annie), and Salvatore (Charles) Pace | Photo Credits Unknown

Day 1:  Family History and Genealogy

All of the classes I attended today had to do with Writing a Family History and Genealogy.  During one of the classes I was examining my feelings about my ancestors, my fascination with them, with “death” and the other side, preserving the truthful stories of our ancestors, and of ourselves.  As a result, I wrote this during one of the class breaks:

For an unknown reason, many of us have an obsession with ages and peoples past.  We tend to elevate our ancestors to saintly levels.  We’ve decided their mere graduation of this life made them glorious (and maybe this is partly true?).  And when we uncover their misdeeds, we find them fascinating, rather than judge them.  The idea of forgiving them does not even come to mind.

What would be our place in forgiving them?  Their actions had nothing to do with us, we unconsciously decide.

Yet, we’ve decided that our living loved ones somehow personally offend us with their misdeeds (or our perception of a misdeed).

Why can’t we offer our living loved ones the same notion that we have no place, nor power to forgive them?  Not because we are unforgiving, but because we have nothing to forgive them of.  The misdeeds of others are never about us – just as the misdeeds of our ancestors of ages past had nothing to do with us.  I wish we, as a society, could understand and embrace this better.

Rather than a distant study of human behavior, we choose to make another’s actions about us, and therefore, we become personally offended because we choose to let it affect us.

Of course, there are appropriate occasions to seek and to offer forgiveness – but these don’t include liberal consumers’ of ‘sorry’s’, trolling for apologies for someone else’s every day life choices.

Somehow we find it easier to view our ancestors lives in context, and see the clues of why they were the way they were, which leads us to a place of compassion for them – for the good, the bad, the ugly.

Somehow, we, as a society, are not able to do that for the living.

What do you think?  Are we too easily offended?  Are we ‘Sorry Trolls’?

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Horseback Riding Shadows

Horseback Riding Shadows | Instagram Sutro

Horse Riding Corral

Horse Riding Coral

Yesterday my niece and I went horseback riding at a beautiful Regional Wilderness Park.  What is it about horses that all little girls dream of?  For me as a little girl, nothing could trump the idea of having a horse of my very own.  To this day, it is still a dream and goal of mine.  Maybe it’s because a horse represents freedom and flight and romance and whimsy.  I guess some things never change for girls.

As soon as Gianna stepped off her horse she said to me reverently, “I want to take horseback riding lessons.”  I smiled, remembering the out of reach longing as a child.  A wish.  A hope.  A deep, inner knowing that it probably wouldn’t happen.  It can be a very expensive hobby/love/passion.

We both got to ride the horses that we decided we wanted to while we gazed at them in their corral.  I love how much I connected with my horse – who had such a peaceful demeanor.  I wanted to take the saddle and my shoes off, ride away from the trail, and run fast and furious with her through the wilderness.  Someday.  Gianna may not be able to put it into those words yet, but I know she felt it, too.  She’s a kindred soul.

After the riding we meandered through various parts of the wilderness to find photo opportunities.  Back and forth the camera went between us for forty minutes… shooting trees, raging rivers, birds, and each other.  She stopped me in my tracks when she gasped with delight, “Ana, can I have the camera?!” and ran to the port-o-potty recently in sight.  Giggling with delight she snapped photos of the ugly potty, inside and out.  She is nine.  And she has a wonderfully silly sense of humor.

I love her with all my heart and just want to protect and help strengthen her fragility.  I see so much of me in her – as I was as a little girl.  She’s a deep feeler, a deep thinker, and a creative spirit.  I’d love to clear up the confusing thoughts and emotions that seem to happen outside of our control when we are wee babes.  I know she experiences it, I can see the struggle in her soul.  But we cannot transfer our experiences onto others, most things we must come to realize on our own.  And we do, in time.

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Favorite Photos Friday | III

Weeping Willow Tree

Weeping Willow Tree

I’m always fascinated with majestic Willow Trees.  I had planted one at my old house that I’ve moved from and loved driving by when back in town to see its growth over time.  One day I heard from a friend that it was cut down.  I don’t drive by anymore because my soul is too weepy over it. :-(

Ogden Utah Landscape

Ogden Utah Landscape

Too bad the power lines are in the way.

Woodsy Area in Spanish Fork Utah

Woodsy Area in Spanish Fork Utah

We visited a house in Spanish Fork, UT and this was the view from the back of the house – magical woods.  I love the graininess achieved in processing.

Utah Farmland

Utah Farmland

This is a variant of a similar photo I posted last week.  This one is horizontal, the other one is vertical, and they differ a little in processing – this one in cooler tones, the other in warmer tones.  I like the other one the best, but I didn’t want to duplicate it since I already posted :-).

Grandpa Getting the Beat Ups

This is pretty much the scene to expect every time we walk into Mark’s daughter’s house.  The kiddos start crawling all over him and giving him “the beat-ups”!

Anela in her Sunday Best

Anela in her Sunday Best

Landon in His Sunday Best

Landon in His Sunday Best

Movie Time!

Movie Time!

Grandpa and Korbin

Grandpa and Korbin

So inquisitive.  So cute.  I could just eat him up!

Me and My Grandkids!

My Grandkids and Me!

Hare Krishna Temple | Spanish Fork, UT | Festival of Colors

Hare Krishna Temple | Spanish Fork, UT | Festival of Colors

(Not a great quality photo – I took it while the car was moving, and it’s a zoom from my iPhone, which lowers the quality.)

Anyways, every year the Hare Krishnas put on the Festival of Colors at the Lotus temple to welcome in Spring.  If you click the link you can watch a video.  Every two hours the masses throw bags of ground colored chalk into the air and at each other.  Mark and I were a couple of miles above the temple on a hill and saw all the clouds of colors hovering above the temple.  My step-daughter went with her friends.

Here is what the kids looked like when we picked them up:

Hare Krishna Festival of Colors | Lotus Temple in Spanish Fork, UT

Hare Krishna Festival of Colors | Lotus Temple in Spanish Fork, UT

Happy Friday to you!

As always, please feel free to link to your favorite photos in the comments, whether it be to flickr, your blog, instagram, whatever!

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The U.S. Through the Eyes of An Emigrant

Provo Temple

Tina and Me in Front of the Provo LDS Temple

I’ll never forget the first day I spent with Tina right after she came into the United States for the first time.  Tina is the bride of my stepson, Jared.  They met while he was serving a mission in Pinotepa, Mexico – and while they couldn’t date while he was on his mission, he was sure to know how to contact her when he was done!

After his mission was over, we accompanied Jared back to his mission areas so he could show us around and share his two years of experiences with us.  Part of that was traveling the long journey to meet Tina and her family… ten hours outside of Oaxaca and Mexico City.  In other words, way out in the boonies.  A humble town, where most of the homes had dirt floors, and only empty squares without actual window panes in the walls.  At Tina’s home, they showered out of a bucket.  (I was with Tina the first time she ever stepped foot on carpet.)

Our next trip to Mexico was for Jared and Tina’s wedding.  With bright eyes and a peaceful countenance, I could see why Jared was attracted to this girl.

During the first few days of coming to the U.S., Jared needed to go to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. Tina didn’t know another living soul in the whole country, besides Jared (other than having had met us twice). What could have been a rather awkward day, turned into a fun challenge.  Tina didn’t speak a lick of English, and we could only speak a handful of words in Spanish, and she was having to take in such grandeur that she’d never seen in her life.

We gestured and used a translation gadget that wasn’t very reliable.  But best of all, we laughed at ourselves together for our pitiful attempts at communicating with each other.  It was a great bonding experience that forced us together with Jared out of commission.

That was a couple of years ago.

Today, Tina and I shared a special time together in a sacred place.  For the longest time I’ve desired to be able to really talk with her – to know her feelings on things.  And today, we had one of those conversations, and I realized just how far we’ve come.

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