Thursday, November 20, 2008

before i start this entry - hApPy bIrThDaY jordan justin randell gardner!! i think i will forever feel bad that i ruined birthdays for many years with the haunting of the pine hollow balloon bouquet. truly a sign of a real friend - you didn't hate me for very long!!

okay, the post:

11 years ago, i worked at a boy scout ranch. philmont is the disneyland of camping - according to one of the head guys in charge when i was there.

i had applied to be an Academy for Girls counselor (the 12-14 girl's program that used to exist before EFY) for the summer after my freshmen year. i wasn't accepted and i was heart broken. my dad, being the wonderful heart healer that he always is, started helping me think of other adventures i could have that summer. we had a few ideas and was accepted at one, but it didn't feel right. time was growing short and we remembered philmont!

we had gone to philmont as a family a few years before and i loved it there. they had a church service on the site which was one of my biggest worries with the other job - no where to partake of the sacrament. i hurried and applied and was accepted!!

i headed out to cimarron, new mexico on the greyhound bus - for stories of one of my dad's favorite nights, just ask him how much he loved having his little girl on the bus for 16 hours straight!! =) with living in a tent, sleeping with a skunk, wearing scout shorts, and going to church EVERY SINGLE NIGHT - i think i earned enough time that i didn't have to go to church for 2 years after that - and not-to-mention having my first and then my second kiss, philmont was a grand adventure in my life!

one of the greatest realizations i had while wearing clashing green fabrics every day, was that people liked me just for me. it didn't matter if i had cute clothes, cute hair, great skin, thin legs, or that i was a nerd, people liked me just for me. nothing more, nothing less. it was a thrilled discovery.

there were a number of people that impacted my life and thoughts. one in particular shaped a number of my thoughts. i don't remember us hanging out lots while we were at philmont, but we wrote to each other - consistently - for quite awhile. i think we talked a number of times as well. the thing that i appreciated about him was that he was dedicated to religion and high standards. it gave us a powerful basis for out conversations. although he was catholic and i am mormon, we valued pretty much the same things.

i sent him a Book of Mormon and he sent me a Catholic Manual - a 100 year old book!! i was suppose to send it back to him. in the thousands of moves, it never happened. jerk, i know. i found the book again a few months ago. and guilt set in.

how could i have had this sooo long?? i tried to find him. facebook, google, white pages, etc. i even started calling people with his last name in kansas (where he is from) to see if they knew him. nothing. i just about paid for one of those searches that always pops up to find someone's criminal record and everything about them.

i had an old address of his parent's home. i sent a birthday invite to it, thinking it was probably a black hole of an address (i had tried the address on reverse look-up and it said it didn't exist!). i wasn't expecting to hear anything and i didn't.

last saturday morning, i checked my email and saw that an annoymous person had commented on my blog. i was a little nervous because someone wrote a not-so-nice comment on my sister's blog and left it as annoynmous. hestitantly i opened the comment. shut up - it was my friend from philmont!!!!!

he had gotten the b-day invite when he visited his parents house in september. he forgot the invite at the house. he called his mom to get the address two weeks later, but she had thrown it away. last saturday he randomly thought about it and thought he remembered something about wildflower. so he googled "snyder wildflower utah". TAH-DAH!!! he found dad's family page, which led to mine!!!

we emailed back and forth for a bit and now we are offical friends on facebook!!! wow. talk about fun miracles!!!

ps don't worry, i am sending the book back asap!!!
pps if i get brave, i'll scan in pictures from philmont. you'll see why it was so thrilling to think people liked me for me - the pictures are HiDeOuS!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

hooray for san antonio!!!
hooray for aaron and melisa!!
hooray for TiLLiE!!

i have been with the texas branch of the wood family in texas the last almost week - and talk about heaven! i overlapped with mom's visit for a day. i was going to go to a job fair - in order to have no regrets, even though i knew i wasn't going to try to teach (LONG story, but the reader's digest version is that texas said i wasn't highly qualified to teach. it cost me 200 bucks for them to tell me that, and if i want to be highly qualified, i'd have to pay more to take tests and then more to pay for a certificate for a year. joy). ANYWAY, i decided to skip the job fair and go shopping with the girls instead!! they weren't going to be able to go if i went to the fair, so i decided to be unselfish and go shopping ;-)

mom left that afternoon and miss and i went to enrichment. they were having a service auction. because i hadn't contributed, i wasn't invited to bid. that was fair. but the Relief Society president had contributed, but wasn't going to bid, so her daughter said i could bid for her. lovely! i won a pie from the very daugther that invited me to bid!!! and can we talk about a divine apple pie??? she is incredible and amazing.

the next morning, miss and i went to the Guenther House for breakfast. :) becca and i realized how much i love going out to breakfast while we were in PEI. it was heavenly! we had gone to the historic flour mill when the entire snyder clan had some to visit 2 years ago. anyway, yum!!
we then tried to explore the artist commune across the street, but weren't very successful. they were having a big show that evening so only one gallery was open. so our next attempt was to explore boerne! fabulously successful!! quaint and charming with gloriously fun shops. we explored and bought and explored some more.

that brings us to saturday. we all had the privilege of cleaning the church!!!! for an hour we joined the righteous girls who joined us and had it all done! then we stopped to grab lunch items at the grocery store, ate in the car, and went to SEA WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i LOVE sea world!!! i love the shows! i love to see how the magnificent animals are so graceful and awe-inspiring. it was wonderful!!

we stopped at Rudy's BBQ (running into marin and scott phillips - CrAzY!!) before meeting up with some of aaron's friends from dental school and their families.

sunday was a marathon day - church, a baptism, youth choir practice. we were worried that dinner in the crock pot was charred, but aaron was inspired and had set it to low :)

today was a nothing day - but miss and i made a magazine paper chain like the one we saw a at store in boerne (thanks Fly Paper!!), decorated glass ornaments, and made carmel apples :) all while eating papa johns pizza and watching stupid movies (so stupid we had to turn them BOTH off. sad.).

and tomorrow i go home :(

it has been sooooooo good to just be. sooooo fun to make tillie smile and just get to hang out with miss. how i love my sisters. love that they are the greatest friends. love that we are Little Women.

hooray for texas!!

(sorry the pictures are out-of-order. i'll fix them tomorrow!)