Sunday, September 28, 2008

One Matters for Impact!

One Matters for Impact!
By: Mitt Romney

I don't remember when it was exactly that I finally went past the sandbar. My family had a summer cottage on the shores of one of the Great Lakes. For the first forty or so feet, the lake is shallow, warm, and protected from big waves by the sandbar. That's where I spent most of the hot summer days as a boy. I liked it there. One day, my brother got me up on water skis. Perhaps fearing that a turn would make me fall, he drove the boat, and me, straight out into thedeep. By the way, this lake is over 100 miles wide. I screamed at him the whole terrifying ride. He took me about a half mile out. But ever after, the deep water was where I wanted to be: surfing in the breakers, water skiing, diving. I got out of the shallow water for good.

Over the years, I have watched a good number of people live out their lives in the shallows. In the shallows, life is all about yourself, your job, your money, your house, your rights, your needs, your opinions, your ideas, and your comfort.

In the deeper waters, life is about others: family, friends, faith, community, country, caring, commitment. In the deeper waters, there are challenging ideas, opposing opinions, and uncomfortable battles.

Almost every dimension of your life can be held to the shallows or taken into the deeper water. Your career, your involvement with others, your spouse and your children, your politics, each can be lived with you comfortably at the center. Or, they can draw you out of yourself, into service and sacrifice, into selflessness.

At some point in your life, a few of you may be presented with the opportunity to step off your career path, to give yourself fully to some kind of service. When I was asked to leave my investment company to run the Olympics in Salt Lake City, I dismissed the idea out of hand. I was making too much money, I didn't know bupkes about running a sports event. The job would pay me nothing. The organization was in the worst condition of any I had ever seen.

And, after the Games were over, the position would lead nowhere. It was a dead end.

I took it. It was the highlight of my professional life. I gave more of myself than I ever had before. I came to know and respect remarkable people. There are currencies more lasting than money. It can be enormously rewarding to take the unobvious course, to jump into the deep water.Bias is shallow thinking and shallow water.
Read widely, particularly from people who disagree with you. Argue to learn rather than to win. If you don't respect, I mean really respect, the views of people who disagree with you, then you don't understand them yet. There are smart people on both sides of almost every important issue. Learn from them all. If you have life all figured out in neat little packages, you're in Neverland, not the real world. And it's boring there.

There's one more thing I've seen in the people who swim in the deep waters of life. They don't fashion their values and principles to suit their self-interest; they live instead by enduring principles that are fundamental to society and to successful, great lives.

I learned important lessons about those principles from some of the Olympians I saw in Salt Lake City, like bobsledder Vonetta Flowers. Vonetta was brakeman on USA sled two. All the attention, however, was on sled one, the sled that had taken the World Cup and was a lock for the Olympic Gold. But just before the Olympics, the pilot of sled one dropped her partner and invited Vonetta Flowers to join her.

Vonetta had a tough decision. On sled one, she'd get a gold medal for sure; the first Olympic gold to be won by an African American in the Olympic Winter Games. Those of us rooting for US medals hoped she would jump to sled one. She didn't. She decided that friendship and loyalty to her longtime teammate on sled two was more important than winning the gold.

Of course, sled one did well. But when sled two beat them all, coming in first, the crowd went nuts. And tears dripped off Vonetta's cheeks. Friendship and loyalty above gold.

You live one time only. Don't spend it in safe, shallow water. Launch out into the deep. Give yourself to your family, to your career, to your community. Open your mind to diverging viewpoints. And live, not by what suits the moment, but by the principles that endure for a lifetime. Jump in, the water's fine!
I thought this was interesting and wanted to share. Great advice from Mitt Romney and food for thought.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Swim Team

This girl is amazing!! She dislikes sports and doesn't feel like she is very athletic.

I have to disagree. Anyone who can handle 3 months of swimming 2 hours a day is ATHLETIC!! The coaches beat them up on a daily basis. Not only do they work out in the pool, but there are sit ups, push ups, holding plank, running stairs (barefoot in 100+ temps) and the dedication to show up everyday. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, determination and courage to be on swim team. Ask the kids who quit after 1 week.

Recent swim meet for Gilbert High.

Oh, the nerves before a swim.

Swimmer's take your mark!!

So much fun to cheer your kid on!!

That's our girl Mackenzie!!

We love you and are so proud of you. Keep it up!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Since I have taken up running as my cardio, I have found it to be very therapeutic. Especially when I am doing it outside as the sun is just rising. The weather is perfect now for early morning runs. I find myself caught in various thoughts and so I thought I would share a sampling from this morning's run.

- I Love "TO DO" lists. They keep me focused and on track. At times they can be overwhelming, but I feel a sense of accomplishment with them. Scott does not like them one bit and neither do my kids. WHY???

- GOALS, I am a BIG goal setter. Which is good and bad. It does set you up for disappointments if you set a lofty goal, which I tend to do. My husband will bring me back to reality. I love the feeling of reaching that goal and setting a new one. It is so powerful.

- Why do we judge? We all do it, even though we know we shouldn't. We have no idea what goes on behind closed doors, that person may have troubles or demons they are dealing with. I guess it is human nature.

- The Gospel... Need I say more. I feel so lucky to have it in my life. I wish everyone was willing to accept it and I wish I was a better missionary. I am not very good at the missionary work.

- Power of Prayer... WOW!! I had a huge testimony builder last week on this one. Prayer is amazing and those you are praying for can feel your prayers. A lot times while running I will pray and converse with God. It feels like a perfect time while I am surrounded by his creations and I am able to open up without any distractions.

- Teenagers... I can't believe I have two of them. Wasn't I just a teenager. I am not old enough for this. They can be so much fun and then the mood can change. I love their new found sense of humor, there can be so much drama and of course as parents we don't understand anything. I am sure I was never like this. HA HA!!

- GRATITUDE....Do I do a good job of being grateful? Do I show gratitude? Perhaps some things to work on.

- How do I get my 8 yr. old to slow down on his school work? Boys are sure different than girls. Someone knew what they were doing when they only gave me one.

- Where does the time go? There are never enough hours in a day. Enough months in a year. And my kids are growing up way too fast!!

This morning my thoughts were running rampant, but it helps me to keep running. I do not like to run and only do it because I have to get in cardio. Oh, the things we do.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Clara at Last

"Clara" and Jensen last year

Yesterday, Jensen accomplished a 5 year goal. Let me back up a minute...5 years ago Jensen performed in her first Nutcracker as a Gingerette. Since that time she has aspired to be "Clara" in the Nutcracker. Every night going to bed she watches one of her Nutcracker DVD's. One week ago she was asked to participate in the Advanced Audition for Nutcracker. It was at that moment that she realized she could have a chance of being selected for the role of "Clara." At long last the letter arrived yesterday; one week later. What an anxious and tense week of waiting!! Needless to say there are always some heartaches amongest dance friends when roles are given. It is never a question of who is "best", but only a matter of what role best suits the dancer. Of course, at ages 13-15 this is always an emotional time and they don't always understand the different paths we all have to take in life. I am glad that I don't have to make such decisions, they are all such beautiful dancers.

WAY TO GO JENSEN!! Hard work, determination, dedication and money from dad all help! :)