Quote for the Week (12/05/16)

“Because I have known despair, I value hope. Because I have tasted frustration, I value fulfillment. Because I have been lonely, I value Love.” –Leonard Nimoy


Motivational Monday (March 21, 2016)

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” –Marcel Proust

“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love – a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” –Mother Teresa

“Dragonflies symbolize our ability to overcome times of hardship. They can remind us to take time to reconnect with our own strength, courage and happiness.” –Unknown

Motivational Monday (December 14, 2015)

“We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude.” -Thomas S. Monson

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.” –Denis Waitley

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to breath, to think, to enjoy, to love.” –Marcus Aurelius

Motivational Monday (October 12, 2015)

“No man is happy who does not think himself so.” –Publilius Syrus, Maxim

“The supreme happiness of life is the conviction we are loved.” –Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays

“Book v Movie – The Count of Monte Cristo”

I really like the 2002 movie version of Alexandre Dumas’ 1844 French classic, “The Count of Monte Cristo”. It has wonderfully talented and admirable actors; the plot is sensational, filled with twists, revenge, sword fights, love, death, treasure, pirates and forgiveness. I highly recommend it!

On the other hand, after just finishing the book (translated and abridged by Lowell Bair) and I cannot really see how they compare. As usual (99.999% of the time) the book is far better than the movie. There is so much more to the book (more characters, more heartbreak, more justice). It is really a book of substance. It makes you smile, hold your breath at moments, gasp – because you did not anticipate that plot twist, and think. The thinking part makes it more enjoyable. This classic has become one of my favorite books.

The book deals mainly with right and wrong. Strong and timeless archetypes (a recurrent symbol or motif in literature, art, or mythology) are evident throughout the story; we see the benevolent guide, damsel in distress, scapegoat, an evil temptress, death and rebirth, light vs. dark, good vs. evil, educated stupidity vs. innate wisdom… This mixture provides a thrilling and thought provoking journey through 17th century France.

In the end, I highly recommend both the book, and the 2002 screen adaptation. They are both their own creatures; but they both, effectively, communicate the same ageless message.

Motivational Monday (June 22, 2015)

“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.” –Brene Brown

“Be with those who bring out the best in you, not the stress in you.” –Unknown

“You are the finest, loveliest, tenderest, and most beautiful person I have ever known – and even that is an understatement.” –F. Scott Fitzgerald

“I Believe in a Thing Called Love”

My parents are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary on Monday. I am so grateful for the example of love I have grown up with, both from them and my paternal grandparents who where happily married for 55 years before my grandpa died.

I’ve been thinking a lot about love lately.

Webster’s Dictionary defines love as:

June 19 LOVE

In a world where divorce is commonplace and some Hollywood starlets can only make their marriages last 36 hours to 72 days, I still believe in true love. I believe in true love because I have seen it.

Trying to define something that is more often felt than understood is difficult (although Webster sure gave it a try).

June 19 Love Winnie-Pooh

As the definition shows, there are more kinds of love than romantic love; I think that makes love even more important. At the risk of sounding like Bubba (from Forrest Gump) there is brotherly/sisterly love, love for friends, self-love, etc.

If it is not already a habit of yours, make sure you tell the ones you love that you love them, daily.

Make sure you take this Sunday (Father’s Day) to tell you Dad you love him. I was blessed with amazing parents who love me and my sister, and each other very much.

Thank you, Mom & Dad. Thank you for showing me what I am waiting for, true love, and that it is worth waiting for.

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep
because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
― Dr. Seuss

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”
― Elbert Hubbard

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”  1 Corinthians 13:4-8 New International Version (NIV)

My Best Friend

I am lucky, in that my best friend is my sister.

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She is my older sister, so she had literally been here for me my whole life.

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 She has some quirks, but she is fun, caring, and inspiring. She is an artist (she can draw wonderfully, make beautiful jewelry and amazing gum paste decorations).  She is a fantastic teacher, and an author.

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My sister is also my personal stylist, loudest cheerleader and often the first person to kick me when I need to be.  My best friend funny and bold; she is radiant and opinionated.

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She is a great cook, a gardener, a collector of frogs (not real ones, decorative ones), snowmen (for Christmastime of course) and books. My best friend always has my back.  She is the keeper of my secrets, because I cannot keep them to myself.

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My best friend is beautiful and brilliant. She is resilient, talented, and unique.

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Love Between the Covers

In honor of Valentine’s Day (Singles Awareness Day, or if you are in Finland, Ystävänpäivä – literally translated as “Friends Day”) tomorrow, I pose the following question…

In a fantasy world, if you could fall in love with any movie, television or book character
who would you choose? Can you name 14?

Here are mine:

14. James BondThe James Bond Series (by: Ian Flemming)
13. Gale HawthorneThe Hunger Games Series (by: Suzanne Collins)
12. Don LockwoodSinging in the Rain (1952)
11. Rhett ButlerGone With The Wind (by: Margret Mitchell)
10. AragornThe Lord of the Rings Series (by: J.R.R. Tolkien)
9. Robin HoodRobin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)
8. WestleyThe Princess Bride (by: William Goldman)
7. Dr. Kevin NovakThe Ashley Stockingdale Series (by: Kristin Billerbeck)
6. Owen PalmerThe Enchanted, Inc Series (by: Shanna Swendson)
5. Nathan ScottOne Tree Hill (2003-2012)
4. Jay Gatsby The Great Gatsby (by: F. Scott Fitzgerald)
3. Marty DeeksNCIS LA (2010 – )
2. Luc DeForgesA Billion Reasons Why (by: Kirsten Billerbeck)
1. Francisco d’Anconia Atlas Shrugged (by: Ayn Rand)