Sunday, September 25, 2011

What I'm Trying To Say Is, Thank You, I'm Glad You Exist, Friend.

Well, Today was one of those days that just reminds me of how much God loves me, and how much he is aware of my needs, and all our needs really. Today at church we had a change in the Bishopric and that always makes one think. Because God has put into my path people who have had such an impact and made such a change in me that I will forever be grateful for their existence, I count them among my best friends.  But, others have made such gradual adjustments to me and my life I sometimes miss it. Sister Gibbons, Thank you. I always appreciated your being around, and all that I learned from you in choir, and just your life advice, but I don't think I recognized how much you have impacted me, and all the Bishopric wives in our ward. Now, I just had another interruption, just after I started to write this blog that actually completely applies to it.  In Relief Society today we had a lesson, and it reminded me of well, who I used to be, some past trials I had to get through, and a friend, who happened to be there, who because of her experiences and stories that she chose to share with me at just the time I was in need of them. I don't think I will ever be able to say anything more than that. I will really probably never be adequately able to thank my friend, or ever explain to her what she did for me, but I wanted to try -again- because today reminded me of that sense of eternal indebtedness I feel to her.  So I sent her a text, and failed to say  anything at all of what or why I felt like I did, because I can't. I don't know how.  But , a short while after I sent the text, I got the interrupting phone call from her, and apparently my text came when she needed it most. So what I learned from this is that God is taking care of us, and he knows who to put in our life and when. When we express gratitude to that friend, and to God you never know you and that friend may both benefit from it, or maybe  only you will, and it will just be nice words to them, but you never know, so say it anyway.  So, what I am saying to all of you, each of you, Ali who sits by me when I sing loud and miss the notes I choir, Jon who has taken my phone calls and texts whenever I need you, to Brielle who always supports me in my crazy ideas, to sister Gibons, to sister Heartman, To sister La Mar,  to sister Stoner, to mom and dad, to Jen and Karen, to Michelle for staying up late nights talking to me, to Jons dad for reading my blogs with bad spelling, to my teachers and leaders and mission presidents, my companions, my roommates, and my family back in Utah, and Amanda, and Jill, and Hannah, To all of you who have been by my side, who have taught me, who have made me who I am today - What I am trying to say is thank YOU, I am glad YOU exist. Friend.  You and the friend who called, you have all made me who I am today, and I am glad, because I have become awesome, and am growing awesomer everyday, and a year ago, I was living well below my privilege and you have changed my life FOREVER.  Merci, Danke, Spaciba, Aciu, Paldies, Gracias, Kiitos, Arigato, Sheshi !!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Finding My Center- Center Ice, Center Bike, Center Forget Me Not...

So, today was a very busy day, but very very awesome. I woke up early and headed to the rink for the first time in three months. I cannot even begin to explain the calm and peace I felt as my blades hit the frozen surface and the cool crisp smell of  ice filled my nostrils. Soon my coach came (like as soon as I hit the ice) and we started going over footwork stuff. I had gotten a little rusty, but not bad really at all. And then, It was time to jump, and I was still getting some pretty big air even though I was out of practice. I did all my jumps Waltz to Lutz and then I did them in combination with either a toe or a loop. The sensation of flying through the air over the ice, it just brought me a new energy and calm that I can get and find in no other way.  
  Right after ice skating, I went to my friends house and did some repairs on my car. Turns out I needed new break pads stat!!! So my friends dad, who had just pulled up ten minutes earlier on the Harley, decided to take me  on the Harley to NAPA to get all our auto part needs. I love that bike, can I just say!! the only thing that has ever come close to calming, and centering me like Figure Skating is motorcycle rides. AND it was a beautiful day. cruising on the bike through trees and sun and hills and twistys with the wind in my face and hair and soaring free!  So very very nice these two things. I felt at the end I could handle almost anything, even the cost of new breaks on a tight budget.  
Finally tonight, I went to a Relief Society humanitarian night, we worked on all sorts of projects, and I learned some fun Scottish sayings to tell if people are too drunk. and when that was done I got to listen to the General Relief Society broadcast, and in that broadcast President Dieter Uchtdorf talked about the Forget Me Not flower, and five things not to forget. I loved that talk. It was exactly what I needed to hear. The five things not to forget are 1)  have patience and compassion with yourself- God is aware you are not perfect, and that those you think are perfect are also not perfect, but that you are trying. 2) There are wise sacrifices and there are foolish sacrifices (this one was the most for me) i.e.- staying up all night to make a scripture case that I would have worked better on with sleep- foolish,   staying up late at night talking to a friend in need- wise.  3) Find joy and happiness now,  where you are, in the simple things, and not in winning the golden ticket- enjoy the candy bar even if all your dreams don't come true in this instant. 4) Never forget the WHY of the gospel of Jesus Christ. as important as where and what can be, Why lifts us up and inspires us, it give it meaning, not just a motion. 5) never forget that your Heavenly Father knows, loves, and cherishes you.  

enough said. That talk gave me one more thing to find my center. I now feel balanced. Now, just to go to sleep so that I am not being foolish. thanks for letting me share- it was a wonderful calming day. I love You all and so does God. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Dwindling In Fatigue

So, as you noticed lately my posts are few and far between ,and in recent weeks, pretty crappy. My friends are almost constantly asking me if I am okay. Can I just say to everyone I am fine. I am even happy and quite content right now. I have a lot of true friends that I love and know are loyal to me. I have family that I love and get along with better than ever. I have a calling that is demanding, but in truth, I love it. I have a few good men around (well kind of around, they could live or stay closer and that would make me even happier) that I adore and who seem to adore me (please continue your adoration, I do not find it offensive in the least bit). So what then is the deal with Mandi? sometimes I am supper funny, and then I just get a  look. Well, I will tell you exactly what it is, I am dwindling in fatigue. I run and run and run some more. I think of more and more little projects to do, and I sleep less and less and less. I enjoy all these little projects, they are fun, but time is a precious commodity and in short supply, so sacrifices must be made, and I always make them in the sleep department.  I average 5 hrs of sleep, but it is slowly getting closer to 4. I am doing mostly fine with this, except I can't keep it up much longer, or I am going to just stop caring. My friend Jessica warned me. She does this too, and then you just get emotionally drained. You forget why you are doing anything, and nothing becomes very important. I am near that point. And so, I pledge to you all that I will get some sleep, Soon, I hope. Okay I will sleep when I am dead,  and maybe a little tomorrow. Okay, fine, so that I can love all of you, think rationally, and be funny again, I will get 8 hrs of sleep before Sunday is through. In the meantime, know that I still love you, somewhere deep inside, but to quote a country song  due to a lack of sleep "my give a damn is busted"  So I guess I'd better go fix it, and not swear any more. have a good night and sweet dreams to you all.   (snoring )

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sick Sycorax slickly Snicker at Sloths

So, lately, I have been really tired. At night, when its time to sleep, I am not tired. During the day, I cannot hardly stay awake. the result of this is that I can be very witty and funny, and then just too tired to get anything. One of my friends is sick, she feels really terrible, hasn't been able to eat or sleep because she is in pain. The thing is though, whenever she expresses this it comes out really really funny, and then I feel bad because I am laughing my guts out at her pain. That seems wrong on so many levels, but you know what, she seems okay with it, so I will keep laughing. Now, I think I will go to sleep because my wittiness is disappearing. but in the mean time, if you see a sick Sycorax slickly snickering at sloths, I highly recommend that you call The Doctor, because he knows how to deal with things like that. Me snickering at my sick friend, well, he'd probably just join in, but Sycoraxes are his forte. just sayin'. 

Monday, September 12, 2011

"For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?"

Tonight I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes from pride and prejudice "For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?". well, today  i made sport for my Family Home Evening group when I locked my keys in my car. ran into some of them and their families after at the grocery story, and we all had a good laugh about it. unlike times in the past, even though I had a lot to do tonight, and it was a great inconvenience that i was an idiot and locked my keys in my car, I realized that this was an opportunity for others to provide me with service- taking me home to get my keys, we bonded. and for me to provide laughter and entertainment, not only for others, but also for myself. we all laughed, and i feel pretty happy about that. I have a lot to do tonight, so i can't write much, but my friend Jon told me earlier today about some things he could have let get him down and be upset about, but he said that they were "challenges" and he was "winning" so, that's how i look at it today. I had some challenges, and I won, and I had a good laugh, and provided my friends with a good laugh. tomorrow can be your turn, you can make me laugh. I know some lady in Seattle today provided me with a laugh and it was wonderful. i don't even know her, but some skinny blond 40 yr old was wearing an "I love fried chicken" shirt, and carrying around a Pee Wee Herman doll talking to it. i don't think she was insane or on drugs, so i found it really amusing. thanks for the laugh lady!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11th, some memories

so,  four years ago, i wrote a note about Sept. 11th on FB. I dont really have any new thoughts on the matter, so i will share with you from that note titled "the september 11ths of our lives"    here's to Kim and to others who have gone on.  May we all strive to forgive and love one another at all times.

the september 11ths of life

by Mandi Marquardt on Tuesday, September 11, 2007 at 2:43pm
Today is an interesting day for me, its like some strange parelle universe were different times and events are comming together in something that just makes you think about how fragile life is, and how stupid people can be with the way they spend their time here on this earth.
You see today is strange to me. today we remember a tragidy of 150 years ago, - mountain medows masacre- "One hundred and fifty years to the day that 120 emigrant men, women and children were massacred at Mountain Meadows in southern Utah, hundreds of people gathered today in a communal memorial service at the grave site, some 35 miles from Cedar City." - Church News. a tragedy that needn't have happend. and then there was sept. 11,2001, devistating how little people care for eachothers lives.
And today my September 11th 2007 has broght the 2001 current with the memorial of 150 years ago, and with something else. You see, this day makes me think of the Alan Jackson song- "Where were you when the world stoped turning' i thought of that when i woke up this morning at 5 am to go to work, and it was in my head when i went home from work at 7.30 with the stomach flu. I remember where i was. I found out in Geography class, about the twin towers, but i spent that day with my roommates gathered around a small hand crank radio because we were at snow college where often the power goes out, and so it did that day too. There I sat in our living room with Kim, Mindy, Paige, and Phaedra listening to unbelievable news.
Well this morning sept. 11, 2007, at 8 am Kim passed away, from a battle with cancer. She found out she had cancer just 6 months ago, while giving birth to a new born child. she now leaves behind two children and a husband. And though we will all miss Kim, as it often is with death, sadness is not for those who die, but more for those of us left behind. In a world full of killing, and pain we can remember that all the September 11ths of life, as sad as they are, are important reminders to slow down and remember what life is about, what we are here for , to rememeber to treat others with love and respect. and to honor the memories of those who went on before us doing small but great things to help the rest of us, and to remember there is no happiness in hurting others. well these are just a few random thoughts. my prayers are with kims family, And to her tribute and honor i say- Rarely have I met such a brave soul, and a bold defender of truth and honsty. - you see Kim was always honest, even to the point of being painfuly blunt, unless you knew her, and then you knew it was all said in love. she was the kind of friend who would tell you if your hair looked stupid or if you were wearing something out that you shouldn't, or if you were just being an idiot."

Friday, September 9, 2011

Open Mic Night

So tonight me and my friend Ali performed at Forza Coffe co open mic night. We doubled the crowd with the friends we brought in. I don't think there have ever been so many Mormons in a coffee shop in one night. They mainly drank water. ha ha.  so Me and Ali got there too early, and ended up being 2nd and 3rd up.  I was second. Why I volunteered myself to go second is beyond me. I was so thrown off by not knowing what to expect, I messed up one of my chord progressions. it went mostly good though. It was very weird to hear myself sing on a microphone. but it was a great experience, and I will defiantly be doing it again. Next time hopefully I keep it all good. Ali was next and she was AMAZING. I think she was made for performing with a mic. I am made for my living room and campfires, that is where I am happiest playing my songs, for small groups of friends. But I have decided to start doing good things that scare me every day, so next open mic night, come listen to me. maybe I will loose the fear. night all, and thanks to all those that came for a listen. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Don't miss the boat, and Don' t forget to get off- the Parable of the 13

So about a month ago I experienced a very unique opportunity that I promised I would blog about. My ward every year goes up to Shaw Island in the San Juan Islands of Washington state. There is a group of nuns up there in their retirement years and later that run like 400 achers of farm land. its big work, but lots of fun to go help out. This year was my first trip. I woke up at 3 am on a Saturday, and met my friend Karen to drive to the church. we had to leave  the church no later than 4 am,  or we would miss the ferry, and miss our day on this island.  
 Amazingly 32ish YSA, leaders, and recently married former YSA were up and this ridiculous hour to go do some hard work on a pretty island, and to spend a lot of time in cars and on ferries.  First we drove in our caravan of cars to the Edmonds-Kingson ferry, its a half hour ride, everyone made the boat, and most people went to sleep. Not my car, I was in the party car. We listened to music and danced, and drove off other passengers sitting in our area. ha ha, sorry to the lone man who made a five second attempt to sleep on our end. 
 We drove off the ferry, and miracle of miracles we all made it to our next ferry run- an hour and a half a way ( think- little foggy on time details here) despite loosing time as we had to stop to get gas for someone who didn't plan on driving (we still love you  don't worry ha ha). so we made the Anacortes- San Juan ferry no problem, broken into three groups of ten on a ten passenger ticket, and a few single ticket holders.  At this point as the ferry left the dock, half of our group was sitting up stairs, and half downstairs.  no longer in our car loads, as they parked and left most the cars on the other side.  There was food down stairs, and we had like an hour and a half on the boat, so we all just relaxed, ate breakfast, slept and failed to worry about anything.  
 As a regular ferry commuter, I failed to worry the most. There was a nagging thought in the back of my head saying, really, the group should probably sit together, but I ignored it and figured I would know how to get off when the time was right and could make sure everyone else did too. So we had a long stop at  Orcas Island - about a half hour of just sitting there. Suddenly the boat started to move. we started to get ready to "Disembark the Vessel" and we waited for an announcement and instructions on what to do. I never heard anything. Some people upstairs and down also didn't hear any announcement. Other people heard we were arriving, but no further instruction, and being unfamiliar with ferry travel didn't know what to do. Most of the group that was down stairs barley made it off at all. And when they did get off, they noticed that about half the  group was missing. 
I was with that half. I tryed to get everyone headed down stairs to get off, and as I did, the boat started to pull away from Shaw Island. my instincts told me to find a ferry worker as quickly as possible. I did so. I explained that there were 13 of us, that were to get off, and had got separated from our group. She talked to the Captain who determined we had to keep schedule and couldn't go back.  We could however stay on the ferry and get off at Shaw Island in three hours, giving us only three hours of service time. We knew the group was going to tease us mercilessly for this when we got there. Numerous calls went out to the Bishop and those on land, letting them know the status. The ferry workers asked us to stay together, sit down stairs where they said. so we did so. 
some of the 13 on the second round of ferry
It was long. Really long. we had already spent two hours on the ferry, then added three more. We tried to sleep. We ate a lot, but really we just wanted off the boat and to go work. We talked about some interesting subjects - Robotics and brains, things like that. i learned a lot. Mainly some people who were struggling with unity found a moment to get to know each other, and love each other more. it was three hours of bonding time. 
Hard work, loads of fun
 I'm a llama!! ha ha
 When we did get off the boat, we were teased mercilessly as expected. especially by the Mother Superior- not as expected. but in the end those that had been there working all day still loved and accepted us, and let us eat lunch with them even though we hadn't worked as long as them. and guess what, because we were tired of sitting and wanted to work so bad, when we got there we did six hours of work in three, and really gave our all. 

  In the end, we all had a lot of fun, and enjoyed serving others. I didn't want to ride ferries again for a while though. we had two hours more of them to get home, and Monday I started my regular two hours of ferry each work day. (that has changed thankfully). but there were lots of fun things too- Ice cream, and llamas. If you ever get the chance, go to Shaw Island, and help the Nuns, its a blast. 
                                            friends in the end- roomies forever!!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Birds, Beastie Boys, and Bouncing Balls

So, Tonight, I wasn't going to write any more, but then I went to activity night. Activity nights have been, well, dwindling in numbers as of late. not that they are any less fun, people are just getting too lame to show up (Karen you are excused as  you are not feeling well today- oh wait, you kinda actually literally are a little lame at the moment, but you are excused from the other symbolic lame because you texted me with a message for everyone at activity night)  ok so continuing, it was the FUNNEST game of volleyball I have ever played.
 I hate volleyball, I always get hit in the face, today was no exception. We all played horribly. Beckah kept yelling at everyone not to kick the ball, I kept yelling back that "international rules clearly state an allowance for  your foot and limbs other than hands and arms to strike the ball"  Poor Michelle just wanted to get order. Adam (who we have now all confirmed could be a voice double for Rob Smith, my former roommates husband) was just being insanely crazy- pretending to be a wind up monkey with cymbals and all, and having me teach him figure skating jumps in the middle of the game. Poor Jen got hit in the face with the ball by Isaac who was taking crazy shots, and whistling the Beastie Boys song "GIRLS"  it took a while to figure out what the song was, and when we did all I could remember was "Girls to wash the dishes" that is a great line.  

any way,  we had a twelve year old on the court.Mike's phone kept going off playing "Firework" and the people sitting in the hall kept closing the gym door- making it hot, isolated and uninviting, so we would open it, Then some idiot brought a bird to the church again, which I think is wrong as its probably a health worry, and a safety worry, and I don't want your stupid bird any where near me. 
 any way, eventually we quit keeping score (did we ever start?) because my team was very definitely loosing. and then it all disintegrated and we made up a new game, as long as the ball is bouncing, hit it and keep it going. This was the most fun game in the world, and I must say, Activity night tonight, despite small numbers was AWESOME. Also a thank to Julie, because since she started dating him, Isaac has become supper entertaining and fun at all our activity nights, and his songs, swats, and other antics tonight were no exception. Rock on! Play on! goodnight.