Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me, Part 2

In Happy Birthday to Me, I told you how my 29th birthday began. Here's how it ended:
  • I was able to sleep in.
  • I had a salad for lunch.
  • I met up with my friend Michele at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.* We only had enough time to walk through the European Paintings section, but I think it was worth it. I re-discovered my love for Rembrandt and other painters from the Dutch Golden Age. I also learned that I like works by Guardi and Tiepolo.
  • I found a NYC coffee shop all by myself. Sure, I was given the coordinates, but it still felt good to find the place.
  • I bought seven cookie cutters for 56 cents each!
  • Adam and Lexi treated me to dinner at Lure Fishbar. I tried sushi rolls for the second time in a week! (I still wasn't a fan, but I tried to like them, anyway.)
  • Adam made me a delicious chocolate cream pie.
  • Lexi and Adam gave me BakeWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking.
To top off the day, lots and lots of friends and family wished me happy birthday via phone call, text message, blog comment, and Facebook. It was so nice to be remembered. If for no other reason, birthdays are good for being reminded that I know extremely wonderful and thoughtful people.

*I will post pictures of my trip when I get back to Atlanta.


Thing I'm thankful for: Lexi and Adam.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me


I'm 29 years old. My birthday has been pretty good so far. It began with Lexi and Adam singing "Happy Birthday" to me while I made reservations for the three of us to eat at Lure Fishbar in SoHo, one of my favorite New York City neighborhoods. Adam went to bed because he has to wake up early in the morning, and Lex and I watched Babies, a movie that I liked okay. (Lexi and I gave it three out of five stars.) Finally, Lexia and I talked about roommates and kids and school.

This is already a great birthday. I'll let you know how it ends. :)


Thing I'm thankful for: being able to take a few days off of work. I have a good life.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

"That's so Sara Snow!"


Last night, I went to the 3rd Annual Pumpkin-Carving Party, hosted by Lina (and an invisible Nikki, who is on her mission in Australia right now).

I carve the same face into my pumpkin every year. It may be boring, but it's my favorite kind of jack-o'-lantern. When everyone else saw it, they said, "That's so Sara Snow!" I don't quite know what it means, except I think I heard someone say it was classy. Does that mean I'm classy? I never really thought of myself as classy, I guess, but I'll take it. :)

Here's a close-up:


You know what I would've loved, though? I would've loved it if someone had said, "Wow, her pumpkin is so clean!" I really do pride myself on a clean pumpkin. Pulling out pumpkin guts is one of my favorite things to do, and I spend more time than most getting the inside nice and tidy. Look, here's a picture for your viewing pleasure:


Isn't it great?

Okay, but onto a more serious matter . . .
What should I be for Halloween? I need help!

I thought about Heidi Klum because I do a pretty mean Heidi Klum impersonation, but then I'd have to wear a really, really short skirt, and that's not really me . . . I thought about being Pepper Potts, but I was Emma last year, a character also played by Gwyneth Paltrow.

Do you readers have any ideas?


Thing I'm thankful for: Children's Hospital Boston and the surgeons who work there.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Feeling Good

I woke up on my back this morning, so I knew it would be a good day.

Five hours later, I'm sitting in an auto shop, waiting for my car's brake pads to be replaced. But I don't mind at all. Sure, I don't like spending money on my car, but I'm feeling pretty good. I was able to mostly diagnose the problem when I drove to work this morning, and to confirm the problem, I drove to my friend Mike's house. Because I work full-time, it's novel to see friends during daylight hours, and it's especially nice to see Mike because I don't see him often. It's bright and sunny outside, and the temperature in Atlanta is a balmy 72 degrees. Tonight, my friend is hosting a pumpkin-carving party, and cleaning out pumpkin guts is one of my favorite Halloween activities.

What I'm wondering as I sit here in the waiting room at the auto shop is, why does waking up on my back always make my days better? I never, ever fall asleep on my back; in fact, I don't find it to be the most comfortable sleeping position. But every time I wake up on my back (and it's rare), I feel so refreshed. Apparently, feeling refreshed goes a long way toward attitude and outlook on life . . . :)


Thing I'm thankful for: wireless Internet access!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Accountability

Yesterday in Relief Society, we talked a bit about baptism. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, people must be at least 8 years old to get baptized. We believe that 8 is the age of accountability, or as I understand it, it's the age when we become responsible for our reaction to the temptation to sin.

I find that many Church members who were baptized at age 8 are apologetic. They may say something like, "Oh, I grew up and was baptized when I was 8, but I 'converted' to The Church when I was older." "Converted" in that sense means they gained a personal testimony of the gospel and didn't lean on their parents' testimonies anymore.

In my experience, each age has a different level of accountability. I can say with conviction that when I was 8, I had a personal testimony of the gospel. I knew without a doubt that getting baptized was good. I knew the Godhead was real, and I knew The Book of Mormon was a divinely inspired record.

I suppose I understand what people mean when they say they were converted later, but even that kind of statement strikes me as sort of . . . odd. It seems to imply that there is a point when we finally "get it." That there is some point when we are completely intelligent beings. Lately, I feel like an intellectual and spiritual child. The more I grow and the more I learn, the more I realize that there is so much I don't know. There is no point where we are completely intelligent beings. There is just no end to learning.

Certain periods of my life are filled with more spiritual learning than others, and now is one of those periods. I can tell you how old I was each time I had a spiritual awakening, so to speak: 8, 14, 17, 18, 21, 23, and 26. The later "awakenings" are typically preceded by a "trial," as Mormons like to say.

I can now add 28 to the list of of years. This has been a difficult year for me in a few ways, but just yesterday, I realized something that has made all the difference in my outlook today. That is, I realized that I have had an attitude of entitlement for the last year. I felt like I deserved certain things -- that it was my turn for Heavenly Father to bless me with the things I want. I don't deserve anything, really. Put another way, what makes me so special? Sure, Heavenly Father loves me because He created me, but He doesn't have to show his love by giving me everything I want, nor should he. Everyone recognizes the problem with spoiling a child.

More and more, I am learning that this life is supposed to be filled with service and selflessness. I shouldn't be so concerned about what I get in the world, but what I can give to it. True, a life of service is a life of sacrifice and patience, but it's sprinkled with happy moments that give joy to the journey—moments of laughter and incredible bonds of friendship and love.

I can sense things changing in my mind. I sense that I am reaching a new level of accountability, and I am converted to the gospel in a different way than I was at ages 8, 12, 20, or 25.


This post probably seems too serious, and maybe it's boring, too. (And maybe you're tired of reading about Mormons.) But I wanted to share it, anyway. I wanted to tell you what I'm learning, and what I learn in church on Sundays. It's the day that keeps me going during the week, and it's the thing that fills my soul with happiness and light.


Thing I'm thankful for: berries. Any kind of berry.