August 25, 2008

Sketches

A Cafe "people watcher" spots me out and sketches a face of what appears to be me. I am taken back as the sketch is pushed in front of me for my eyes to view. I am puzzled. Could this really be me? Where is she that carries a smile on her face? The shadowed face before me looking so sad to a "watcher" at the local Cafe. "This is not me" I proclaim from my voice within.

How each set of eyes view and judge the human soul.

A face of an angel or a glamorous smile can hide many flaws and be deceitful, while a distorted or somber face can be judged as pain and fearful to look upon- all along within the secret of true happiness and humility abides.

The only eyes that can view into our soul and sketch truth is "You."

Sketching a person with out a smile is no crime, I was flattered by the sketch. The young man was a poor collage student, I assumed he was trying to earn a meal by sketching some woman who looked like she might be kind enough to buy him breakfast.


As Melanie and I chatted with him about school and life I gathered information about this individual, he had few to no friends, he was working out some calculation of math showing us his talent and I noticed track marks on his veins, my heart bled for him wondering how hard this young mans life must be. So we offered to buy him breakfast. Melanie took it upon her kind heart and insisted she would buy his food. Melaine has the heart of a saint.


Together Mel and I have picked up a student walking in 4ft snow on his way to a job and late for. Or the time we sighted a man on the side of the road hiking up a hill with bags of groceries on the handle bars of his beaten bike and the biggest smile on his face, just happy to be here in America after leaving his third world country to make a better life. The time we stopped to give a ride to a woman with three children sitting at a bus stop. Saw a young pregnant girl walking to a bus stop from the hospital all alone. Driving her to my home and giving her used baby items trying to ease what worry I could see in her life for her unborn child as I drove her to a motel in the "bad" part of town. This list goes on and continues.

I have sketched a memory of all these people upon my mind and can't help but wonder how many more have I missed and the opportunity gone to offer a little help in their day. It is humbling and a heart warming experience to give something so small. My eyes become open to what is good in life and my own sorrows become trivial when I see a life of true hardship and people that have gone with out. Teaching my heart never to judge people and their circumstance.

Thanks to God above for all that I am blessed with.








“I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.”
-Laura Ingalls Wilder

August 24, 2008

Elementary School Survival Kit

This past Friday the kids and I went to help Chandler's new 3rd grade teacher with the finishing touches for the first day of school.

We had a lot of fun putting together book orders, cutting stickers, cleaning counters and desk, organizing materials for all the students.
Chandler didn't seem too nervous about his first day of school since he had already met Mrs. Wariner and had acquainted himself with his new class room.

Mrs Wariner placed Chandler in the front of the class and will be sitting by his very good friend Griffen(right). Alex(left)is his friend in the same class too.
















Mom's Elementary School Survival Kit for Chandler:

The silver dollar I gave you is a reminder that you are valuable

The star is to remind you to always try your best

The eraser is to remind you that it's okay to make mistakes

The cell phone in your pack is to let you know that you can always talk to me

The reggae song I play on the way to school "Every little thing gonna be all right" is for the days you worry you'll be late and not to sweat the small stuff

The band-aid is to let you know feelings may some times get hurt but you now have a second skin and you might just have to be tough

The hug I give you every day is to remind you that you are cared for unconditionally

Last of all, the "I love you" sign we leave with each other at the start of each day assures you are never to old to be loved by your Mom

August 10, 2008

Back In The Saddle Again

video
Some race footage, quality is not all that great but, the race is AWESOME!

Chandler has the ambition to take up BMX riding and racing. What can I say? It's in the blood. The first time we went to the track it was such a thrilling rush. I don't know if I was more excited or Chandler, we talked the whole way home about the sport and he displayed such spark. It was fun to have a strong, common interest between the two of us. I hope he will take biking as far as he wishes, I don't believe in pushing kids to do- only to encourage these young to aspire to live their dreams.

A small taste of success gives one such confidence and belief in self. Chandler called his cousin Savannah right away to see if she would want to come ride. Savannah has got to be the most pretty little eight year old "tom boy" her personality fits the description, but bless her heart she has the appearance of an angel. The two of them are now racing BMX together. Ride on!!! This week the 2008 Tour of Utah will take place. Two years ago this event resurrected after running years of a few local and regional cycling events. It was the Preston family dream to bring international cycling here to Utah. We successfully ran that event with very minimal staff, a shoe string budget and a whole lot of blood sweat and tears went invested toward the Tour of Utah. Though the 2006 Tour went down in history as a success. My brother, Jason was left with an overwhelming amount of debt on his shoulders. The Tour title sponsor was a interested buyer, so the event was sold off, minimizing the debt Jason was left with. We were quickly elbowed out of the game due to a lot of political adversity with the Utah Sports Commission. A long story and a story that left us all with a sick stomach and a broken heart. It was a great education in learning about what a dog eat dog world it can be. Just like any thing in life there comes a time when wounded feelings must be set aside and to straddle the saddle again and ride on! This year we will be watching the Tour through different eyes and from the VIP tent.

August 6, 2008

Tahoe- Take Me Away

Stephen and I celebrated our anniversary this week. Five years to the day was when we met. It was all in the name of pastrami. We met at a local sandwich shop. I saw Stephen first, there was some thing about those radiant blue eyes that drew my attention his way, it was as though his eyes spoke to me. The click was instant and the attraction deep.



Stephen arranged a phenomenal surprise vacation in South Tahoe, right on the beach. I was so touched by his efforts in creating the most romantic get away.
Lake Tahoe was amazingly blue, the color of indigo, the luster of the sun illuminated over the pine covered peaks, portraying its brilliant warmth over the large body of water. As we sat on the beach I became enthralled in my thoughts. My mind was free from any care, all worries washed away.















The elements became so symbolic as I reflected the thoughts of two lives intertwined.

Earth: represents the grounding of a soul who has roamed aimlessly in search for what was lost but becomes found. Planting roots with intent to flourish. Anchoring to a steadfast and unfaltering rock of trust.

Wind: is the constant movement of two lives, like the wind pushing and reshaping the clouds. Thus, to remember that life and love is ever changing.

Water: life ever flowing, the clarity and purity is vital to the survival of what is nourished from it. If the life within us is polluted, stagnant, or murky this is all we are capable of giving to another life.

Fire: is the wanting, the desire and esoteric passion. A remembrance to keep the fire warm, bright and inviting.




Some of the activities we indulged in consisted of:

Kayaking- Stephen professed I was "The Boss" I stubbornly divulged my qualifications as semi pro kayaker, due to the fact I use to ocean kayak when I lived in Hawaii and I was a camp counselor for a full summer. Stephen felt his credentials as an Eagle Scout and a Merritt badge in canoeing were exemplary and noble. So, with two bosses in one little kayak and tension weighing, it was quickly dissolved when both captains went rolling into the water after the kayak tipped. The shock of cold can be quite humbling. We laughed so hard, till our sides ached. We climbed back in the kayak and paddled off more harmonious for the remainder of our three hour excursion, enjoying the scenery and the ever so clear water below us.



Beach lounging on the beaches of Tahoe is so luring, the sand is pebble white and fine. Much wild life roams the beach: geese, gulls, ducks, and squirrels


Strolling the beach front shoppes we made a stop at a premier art gallery, some of the most exquisite art I have seen in quite some time. My favorite artist was a Vietnamese artist, Tuan, To experience the figurative sculpture created by this artist is to experience the human form glorified in bronze with masterful precision. However, the true uniqueness of his style is not only in the expression of human beauty, but to infuse physical “form” with an almost divine sense of weightlessness.
Tuan’s artwork radiates peacefulness and serenity through graceful lines and rhythmic compositions. While glorifying the human body, he, at the same time glorifies the human spirit, exalting the exhilarating experience of life. Tuan depicts his sculpture with a celestial beauty that carries his human figures beyond earthly existence and into the realm of the heavenly in quiet celebration of life. Modeled in clay and cast in bronze, Tuan’s sculptures appear to be magically suspended like angels on the wing.


Playing Poker at the Casino's on the Nevada side was a lot of fun. I am not much of a gambler but, it was fun to watch Stephen play the tables and I played a few games. I discovered virtual black jack, this became fascinating. We lost our shorts, usually Stephen wins or at least breaks even- No such luck this trip!

The food was sensationally delightful. For our anniversary dinner we ate at Ciera, a four diamond restaurant. So exquisite, a culinary heightened experience that I never knew existed. Stephen and I both ordered fillet mignon. It was the most tender steak, can only be described as a meat that melts in your mouth. The appetizer we ordered was Ahi- with a pepper crusted surrounding, in the most astounding way I have ever tasted this Hawaiian fish. Yukon potatoes were heavenly and the creamed spinach so savory. For desert a seductive chocolate cake with pureed fruits and a fabulous vanilla ice cream. Yes, I am over zealous when it comes to good food.

There were so many great and enjoyable restaurants. From Monster over sized BBQ ribs to a all you can eat Sushi. The Sushi bar prepared very fresh and flavorful rolls, my favorite was the "Ninja" roll and the ever so popular "Rainbow" roll.

Best part of the trip was the company. I truly married my best friend and thank God each day for the love of my life. This year has been a real growing year for our relationship and has proven we have the glue it takes to form a strong bond.
All elements are in harmony.

To us Stephen and the great man that you are in all things. Love you so much!

August 3, 2008

Lagoon Funtastic Pics

Yesterday was a fun filled day spent at Lagoon. It was the Dentrix company party, what made it double the fun with Meredith, Blake and Spencer.



















The day was blistering hot so we went to Pioneer Village to ride Rattle Snake Rapids





















A couple of the other rides we rode:

The Spider




















Tilt-a-whirl



















The Sky Ride














Music Express















The Bat
















While standing in line for The Bat I captured every ones scary faces