Thursday, April 30, 2009

My list

I'm currently at home in Oregon. During lunch today I went up to my old room and found myself going through a box of papers that for one reason or another I felt were important enough to pack away. I came across a list that I started in 1998 and really surprised myself with my the thoughts I had scribbled across the sheet of paper. It's a rather lengthy list, so if you have the time please enjoy my early insights to life.

The list is titled, " Things I have learned throughout my life" (I was only 19 went I wrote this)
  • Believe in those around you
  • Trust in one another
  • Remember please and thank you
  • Enjoy the simple things in life
  • Reach for the stars
  • Life isn't always easy
  • Listen to your heart
  • Indulge once in a while
  • Family is always there, even when you don't want them to be, and especially when you need them to be
  • Love your soul
  • Friends are worth their weight in gold
  • The grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence
  • Be kind to each other.
  • Bring out the child inside of you every now and then
  • Perseverance is the key to success
  • Savor every moment
  • Always be thankful for what you do have
  • Set goals
  • Let out the artist in you
  • Walk a mile in another person's shoes
  • Relax and take it easy for a change
  • Remember your dreams
  • Go outside and play
  • Working together as a team gets things done much quicker
  • Turn up the music and sing along
  • Do your research first
  • Kiss with your eyes closed
  • Plant a tree for your tomorrow
  • Put your arms in the air during a roller coaster ride
  • Do the things you like to do
  • Don't stop running till you've crossed the finish line
  • Get dressed up occasionally
  • Admire nature for what it is
  • Don't be afraid to express yourself
  • If you don't know the answer to something, look it up
  • Take deep cleansing breaths from the diaphragm when stressed
  • Keep in mind that beauty is in the eye of the beholder
  • Learn from your mistakes
  • Laugh whole heartily
  • Never compromise your integrity
  • Be responsibly for your actions
  • Not all advice is good advice
  • Look at a cloud close enough and you can really see it's silver lining
  • Give back to the community
  • Have faith, it will help you through all your difficult times
  • Knowledge is more than just reading from a book
  • Help out around the house
  • Keep in touch with your best friend from school
  • Don't force your opinions on to anyone
  • Try to make a good first impression
  • Share your stories with your family
  • Humble yourself and pray
  • Nothing beats a new pair of comfortable shoes
  • Every day is fresh with no mistakes in it
  • Try not to be harsh and judgemental
  • Stop to smell the roses, and lilacs, and honeysuckle, and all the flowers in between
  • If you feel trapped remember, things aren't set in stone. You have the power to change them
  • Be strong and stand firm in your beliefs
  • Thank a teacher for doing their job
  • Remember, Heavenly Father loves you and is always watching over you
  • Believe in yourself

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Oh the things you see...

What a glorious Saturday! The weather was such a treat today that it would have been a crime to spend the day indoors. So I woke up this morning with a game plan of taking a stroll around the park near my home. Christian had already gotten up, and left bright and early to head down to the Jersey shore for a weekend of seminars. Although I would have enjoyed the walk with him, my "solo-ness" gave me the chance to take as much time as I felt fit, and to really soak in the morning's environment. As I had planned, I brought along my trusty little camera to aid in documenting what I saw. I have to admit that even I'm impressed with a few of my photos, and that's a rare thing, being that I am my own worst critic.
Because of the sheer volume of photos I took, I felt it best to combine them into collages. Its something new that I'm trying out, and I have to say, that I think I like it. Here's just a handful of the beautiful and colorful flowers I saw today. Spring has sprung and its stunning.
While I was going through my photos I noticed a pattern. I like taking photos of evergreens. Gee, I wonder why. So this collage is just a few of the shots I took, and frankly it feels like home to me!Nature on her very best of behavior today. I passed by many weeping willows, one of my favorites, as they are the first to grow their leaves in the spring, and the last to loose them in the fall. I also saw the home that was carefully built by beaver's teeth. (For those who don't know, Oregon has a beaver on one side of its flag, and the state crest on the other. They're the only state that has two different sides to their flag. See, you learned something every day.) I walked under a train trestle, and although the shadow the bridge cast upon the ground was interesting, upon glancing upward, there was no comparison. This collection of photos I feel are the quirky little things I noticed during my walk today. I passed by not one, but two different sections of sidewalk where tiny little tots had forever immortalized their hand prints in wet cement. There was a softball game just beginning at the far end of the park. I would have to say that all the girls on team where no taller than my waist is high. The gazebo was my goal to reach, as it is at the farthest end of the park. The photo in the bottom right corner is the underside of the roof to the gazebo. (This is one of the photos I'm pleased with.) I wasn't the only one enjoying the shade under this roof. A mother bird had built her nest, and she was simply watching me from her self-made perch. On the way home I took the residential streets, rather than walking back through the park. I passed a house, that always makes me laugh, because to me it looks like it was built with Legos. Finally, just about a block away from my house at the tail end of my three hour hike, I passed by a stone lion (Yes, I thought of you Peter). The weathering of paint I simply found cool looking. Although there was such wonderful sights to behold, I would still have to say that one of the most treasured sights, after a long day, or a long hike, is to set your eyes on your very own home.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Doin' the P.T. dance!

Click the play button above, and join in the P.T. dance!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sugar & Spice & Everything Nice

My sister-in-law Krysty was surprised yesterday with her baby shower. All the planning had been done without her knowledge, all the prep-work completed and gift purchased without arousing suspicion, and if I don't mind saying so, the day was a wonderful success!

She is having a girl, so of course pink was everywhere.

A princess theme was also carried throughout as guests went home with chocolate wands, cute pint-size rubber duckies with crowns, and adorable candy hearts which had baby sayings printed on them.

The Mom-to-be had the perfect pregnant glow about her. It seemed like just yesterday we were celebrating her bridal shower in the same hall, and now to see her steps away from starting her family is truly exciting. We all can't wait to meet her little munchkin so she can put on a fashion show with all her new clothes from the shower.

I thought this idea was very cute. Krysty's mother gathered together all the flags which make up the baby's heritage between both her and John. What a rich, colorful background this little girl shares.

Danielle made the trip, which is almost an hour away, with a hamper full of baby clothes taking up a majority of the space where her legs went, a basket filled with goodies by her side, and an over-sized gift carried on her lap.

I went along for the ride.

Here is the guest of honor with Emily, Luke's girlfriend, who made the trip in from New York City to share her love with the family.

I'm truly thrilled to be an Aunt to this little jelly bean in Krysty's belly! I honestly can tell already that I'm going to love her so much! I'm so happy that she chose John and Krysty to be her parents, and because of her choice I get to benefit from it!

Krysty with her mother (in blue), and her mother-in-law (in black). These three women are amazingly creative and strong-willed. I can only imagine how amazing the fourth little girl in this photo will become.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cherry Blossoms

Yesterday Christian and I spent our lunch break in the park marveling at the many cherry blossoms in bloom. It happens every spring, and although I've lived here for a few years now, this was my first time seeing them in their delicate glory. I took several photos, to share on the blog. My attempt was to try and capture how stunning this section of the park is, but honestly, the photos don't do them justice. Either way, take a stroll through the park by enjoying just a handful of what I feel are the best snaps from my camera lens.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

What a wonderful holiday today was. The sun was shining brightly, and although the air still had a crisp edge that lingered from the past winter months, there was a strong sense of new life all around. Grandma and Grandpa Kaufman came up for Easter dinner. Christian gave up sweets for lent. Here he is, happy as a clam with a brownie after not having any cakes, cookies, or ice cream for 40 days.Our cousin Alex also made the trip for the Kaufman house to spend the afternoon with the family. He's graduating this June from the Merchant Marine Academy! We're VERY proud of him! One of the highlights of the evening. Grandma Kaufman taught Kathy and me how to crochet. Kathy took to it like a fish to water. Her practice square looked like she had been doing this for years. Mine on the other hand, lets just say, I'm going to continue to practice. hee heeHolidays are a special time that bring families together. A day which we all set aside to embrace each other and share in the joy of one another's company. I am truly blessed to have come into such a wonderful family as the Kaufman family. Their strong bond with each other is one which I have allowed to take hold in my own life.

I love, and miss my family in Oregon, but my new family helps ease the blow that these "set aside" days can hide behind. And I know that it is merely distance in miles that are between us, not distance in love. That is something that can never be tampered with.
Easter has always been one of my favorite holidays. As a small child I always looked forward to waking up and searching all around the house for hidden eggs, and the basket filled with treats. Later on, as a teenager, it was the day I realized I could get away with wearing my favorite pastel colors and no one would tease me for it. Now, as an adult the true meaning of this day rings clear in my heart. To be able to spend the day with my family here in New Jersey, and share my love with my family back home in Oregon gives me just a preview of of the love that our Heavenly Father has for us. We are all His children. He gave us the greatest gift, the gift of His son. Every day I am humbled by my many blessings in my life. My ever growing family is my rock, and I am so grateful for what they bring into my life. In the grand scheme of things, our time here is just a blink, and so I strive every day to absorb, and learn the lessons that I need to learn so that one day I may return to live with Him, and my family for all eternity.

Friday, April 3, 2009

My new friend

I met with my orthopedic surgeon this morning, and was introduced to my new plate on my clavicle. The plate is skinnier than the last, has six screws (the old plate had five) and has round edges, where the first had more of a square look to it. The smoothness of the plate should be a better fit for my body and not be so rough under my skin.

When I asked him what happened during surgery, he simply explained to me that my bone looked better in x-rays than in person. It simply had not fused, and was two separate pieces just leaning up against each other like a tepee.

Today's x-rays make me much happier with the look of the bone. It is lined up, the way it should be, and even though there is an extra screw, it looks much cleaner than the first surgery. As far as if there will be another surgery in my future, he feels that I've had plenty of surgeries for a lifetime. He's hoping that my body will adapt to the plate, and will become a part of me for good.... but in the same breath he reminds me that this is Taryn we're talking about, and so it is a wait and see game.

Over all, even though I was totally bummed about another plate, for now, things look great, I'm not in any discomfort, and I'm feeling very hopeful for the future of my shoulder. This is just a bump in the road on the way to the top of the mountain. Just wait till I reach the summit! Wahoo!!!