Saturday, December 24, 2011

tHe HigHs, the LoWs and the LeSsOns of 2011....(but mostly the highs!)

Can you believe another year has past by us?
I have been blessed with many great opportunities. This year I have experienced sorrows, heartaches, laughter, memories, opportunities that have changed my life, I have felt the refiner's fire mold me into what I am supposed to become, I have a greater testimony of becoming like our Savior, I have cried, rejoiced, loved and lived. 2011, Thanks for these lessons.

Last New Year's Eve, I rang in the New Year at the Happiest Place on Earth....DISNEYWORLD! My friend Missi and I thought we were so cool that we were the LAST visitors to DW for the 2010 year, and the FIRST for the NEW year. Disneyworld puts on a New Year's Eve Firework show that is OFF.THE.HOOK!

In January of 2011 I lost two special people that have influenced my life and taught me SO many lessons, because of just who they were. Uncle Steve passed away after battling cancer. He was the epitome of showing Christlike love, and always ALWAYS putting others before himself. In fact, I wish he was able to learn how to stand up for himself and his wants, but he always put others first. He would bring home some Homeless friend for the Christmas holiday, he would snow-blow his entire neighborhood's driveways in the winter, he never missed an opportunity to serve. As he was lying in his hospital bed, just a few weeks before he passed away, all he could eat was ice. He raved about how delicious this ice was, he had to swallow it a certain way, but what hit my heart, was his offering of this "amazing" ice to me. Still serving. Still trying to make others feel comfortable. Still Steve.

My next little hero that passed away was Karson. He was my patient. I took care of him since he was 8 months old. He had a horrible disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy. What a ray of sunshine this little guy was. Towards the last few months of his life he was too weak to laugh, and smile or hold onto your hand, but he endured his trials without complaining. He LOVED Woody, from Toy Story, he LOVED his family, shared a special bond with his older sister, and Loved to be touched and talked to. He would have been 3 years old in April of 2011. I am so grateful I got to be a small part of his life. He truly touched mine

PS don't mind my hair in the middle picture....or my Weber shirt...

A big accomplishment was Finishing my FIRST year teaching. I grew to love and adore those first graders! I absolutely LOVE it when they say hi to me now, and give me a hug. I kinda feel like Im on the red carpet when that happens! I had some very difficult experiences that came with this first year. For a time, I thought, This is what hell actually feels like....I felt like I was trashed and cut into pieces. One lesson I learned, is that no matter who you are, or what point of life you are in now, being kind is ALWAYS the answer. No matter what. Even if people are cruel in return. I was being tested, I was going through the refiners fire, and man did it BURN. But I learned exactly who I was and what I stood for. (Yep who knew after all these years, the Young Women's Theme would appear.)
I wish I could show you my cute 1st grade class, but I don't have permission...SO here is a picture of their work!

The thing about year around school, is once you're finished with one school year, TWO WEEKS later we start up again. An opportunity arose for me to teach in Kindergarten. What a blessing it has been. To make it even better...this team LIKES ME! I have made some very good friends! Kindergartners keep me on my toes but oh they are so amazing and cute and love to learn!

This summer while river rafting with my singles ward/stake, at Jackson Hole, my raft tipped over and 7 out of the 11 fell out. I have never been more terrified in my life. I just kept praying. I was experiencing shock and really do not know how I made it back to the raft. It was SO scary. It didn't help that the water level was extremely high and moving faster than it normally does. Didn't help.

This year I may have had the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER. on August 6th- my birthday, my wonderful parents and I drove to VEGAS to see........ the BLUES BROTHERS! JK! To see Mrs. CELINE DION herself. yep we were on the 3rd row. She SO smiled at me! (At least thats what I tell myself.) The people right behind us shouted out French words that got her attention and she winked and blew kisses to them...and they had a next time I go, Im learning French and sitting in a wheelchair. I know most of you probably think Celine Dion is kinda lame, and shes's geared toward the fifty year old crowd....right you are! Im just so mature, that well, I fit in that crowd too! Haha. I misplaced the memory card that has the pictures of the this will have to do. My mom was having a fit while I quietly took pictures....she told me the guard was going to come over and escort me out...oh mother!!

Ok now probably the VERY BEST THING that happened to me this year was.....sadly, no I didn't get married, but traveled to the beautiful country of ITALIA!!! My friend Michelle and I took the plunge and finally made it there! It was an incredible experience. I am so lucky I was able to go! We had such an amazing time! Take a look:

Dear 2012, its gonna be hard, but lets see if you can bring on as an incredible year as 2011 did...the highs, the lows, (maybe just a few low's) and lots of memories!


The Tschaggeny Family said...

Go 2011! What a great year & super cute blog!

Megan and Brian Rogers said...

What a year. I am trying to think of what I did in 2011.... can't really even think of anything!

oops! said...

Hi Kaija! My favorite girl in the whole world! It was fun to see 2011 and hope 2012 is a good one for you! I love you!

Katie said...

Looks like you had an amazing year. Hope this next one is just as good!