Monday, March 12, 2012

Oh the places I've been...

The other day I had to rearrange my room a bit, and I came across all of my photo albums.  I had been having a "woe is me" sort of day up to that point, but as I sat down and looked through my photo albums, I was quite humbled and was a little awed by all of the marvelous and wonderful things that I have done thus far in my life.  Especially when you consider the fact that I was born in Montana and grew up in a middle of nowhere farm town in Central Oregon.  I have received an innumerable amount of glorious opportunities and blessings from God, and I wanted to take a minute to write some of them down, so if I'm ever having another "woe is me" moment, I can remember what great things the Lord hath done for me.

  • I have been in 4 amazing countries, other than my own:  Italy, England, France and Argentina
  • I have lived in 6 states (Montana, Washington, Oregon, Utah, Massachusetts and California) and passed through 18 others, whether for vacation or an airport layover on the way to a vacation.
  • I have spent considerable amounts of time at 4 highly respected institutions of higher learning (BYU, Harvard, MIT and Stanford), and interviewed at, accepted to or visited a handful of others (Duke, for example)
  • I have been inside or on the grounds of 16 of the 136 operating LDS temples
  • According to Goodreads I've read 644 books, but knowing me I'm sure there's an extra 1,000 that haven't been accounted for yet
  • I've been to 7 major opera houses in 4 foreign countries, and even witnessed an opera in one of them (the Royal Opera House in London) wearing a fancy dress
  • I have seen 10 operas, 13 musicals, 8 Shakespeare plays, 7 other plays, 6 choir performances and 9 dance performances, at the very least.  I try to save programs from each performance that I go to, but I might have missed one here or there.
  • I've held a baby snow leopard
  • I've crochet scarves made from camel's wool from Mongolia
  • I've been to 7 major church history sites and 4 major American Revolution cities
  • I've been to Boston on the 4th of July, twice
  • I've been at a Red Sox--Yankees game in Fenway
  • I speak 3 languages (English, Italian and Spanish) and had conversations with natives in 3 other languages (Romanian, German and French).  I know a smattering of words in Japanese and American Sign Language as well. 
  • I've been to roughly 17ish National Parks, including Crater Lake, Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, etc, but this number could be way off, since I live in Oregon and every 10 feet you walk you enter a new National Park.
  • I've flown over the Alps in Europe and the Grand Canyon.
  • I've written 5 poems, one of which is translated into 2 other languages and one composed in a foreign language.
  • I've learned to play at least one song, if not more, on 4 different instruments (piano, clarinet, violin and guitar)
  •  I was at the midnight release of the 7th Harry Potter book, and went to a couple midnight premieres in full on Professor Snape costume.
  • I've witnessed a couple surgeries, though never had to have one myself (turns out a skull fracture heals by itself)
  • I was a model for my Grandma's department store when I was 5, catwalk and everything.
  • I've eaten tomatoes that I grew myself
  • I've made a GINORMOUS Hogwarts out of legos with my brother and sister, and it is a glorious creation
  • I've worn a real sari from India and a real kimono from Japan
  • I celebrated the unbelievable and unforeseen 2004 World Series Red Sox win by spraying sparkling cider over me and my roommate
  • I've met and talked with Switchfoot, gotten a Nomar Garciaparra autograph, watched the JoBros play softball and been to numerous Josh Groban concerts
  • Merrill J. Bateman said hi to me once on BYU campus
  • I've been to numerous world famous museums and monuments, including Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, National Gallery, British Museum, Uffizi, L'Accademia, Vatican, Notre Dame, to name a few
  • I've been on various sports teams growing up, playing softball, basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, tennis, and soccer, and I've been with 9 others as an athletic trainer
  • I've had a cup of tea in London, eaten gelato in Italy, rode in a gondola in Venice, threw a coin in the Trevi Fountain, walked on the Appia Antica, eaten bread and cheese in Paris, devoured many asados in Argentina, strolled through the Boca, hiked the Cinque Terre, and lost my breath at the mosaics in Ravenna
I'm sure that if I sat and pondered more, the list could go on.  I'm so grateful for the countless blessings God has so mercifully given me, and I hope that I never get bogged down in those "woe is me" moments again!

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