Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Things I've done that are cool and fun

So, what have I done for the past 14000+ days? I always think about that during birthday season. It's kind of a lot to try and inventory, and I don't mean to sound like I'm bragging or writing my own eulogy, but here are a few cool and fun things that I have done (in no particular order):

  • I wrote three songs (one by myself; two co-written with Jared).
  • One of those songs was written for the prophet Ezra Taft Benson, and I got to sing it to him before presenting him with a copy of the music (and I forgot some of the words but he hugged me anyway).
  • I recently sang to Elder Richard Hinckley, son of the current prophet (and I didn't forget the words).
  • I have sung Handel's Messiah at least a dozen times, and was a soloist in most of those performances.
  • One of those solo performances was at the Artisan Theater in North Richland Hills.
  • I sang for eight years with Evening Song (www.eveningsong.com), performing in the Meyerson Symphony Hall in Dallas, the Bass Performance Hall in Ft. Worth, Southfork Ranch, and a bunch of other places in Texas and Virginia. We have performed with LDS notables Kurt Bestor, Janice Kapp Perry, Senator Orrin Hatch, Michael Ballam, and more. We have three CD's on the market, and will soon have a fourth coming out. In September I am rejoining the group to sing at Temple Square in Utah.
  • I danced on an age-division world champion clog dance team (and fell in love with my dance partner, who is now my husband).
  • This year will mark the 24th anniversary of our first date.
  • I have been on television twice: once waving outside the Today Show window, and fleeting shot during a studio audience pan on the Rush Limbaugh Television Show (also got to shake Rush's hand and get his autograph after the taping). Both TV appearances happened during a trip to Manhattan in 1995. (No wonder you thought I looked familiar, right?)
  • I have been a caller on two radio talk shows: the Rush Limbaugh show and a local talk radio show.
  • I was a radio disc-jockey in high school. (I mentioned this in an earlier post -- we had a school radio station that played top-40 hits.)
  • I finally met my pre-teen heartthrob, Shaun Cassidy, touched his jacket, and got his autograph at the stage entrance where he performed in Blood Brothers with David Cassidy.
  • I went to church with Donny Osmond (my other pre-teen heartthrob) one Sunday. Actually, he was visiting my congregation because some of his family members were there, so I just kind of saw him across the room.
  • I have been able to correspond with and visit with Ardeth Greene Kapp, one of my favorite authors.
  • I received two proposals of marriage, and I definitely said "yes" to the right person.
  • I knew someone who played Christine in Phantom of the Opera, and I got to see all the cool backstage stuff that goes on there.
  • I graduated from high school and started college at Brigham Young University before my seventeenth birthday. (I skipped the first grade.)
  • I was three weeks older than the youngest person in my BYU graduating class. (It was the first time I wasn't the youngest in my class.)
  • Being young paid off: I climbed a few corporate ladders (and swung from a few trees) to become a company president (and later quit being a company president) before I was thirty-five.
  • I considered it a promotion to quit and become a freelance consultant so that I could spend more time as a mom.
  • I won a silver medal - for essay writing - in our state academic decathlon when I was a senior in high school.
  • Learning to write paid off: I have been published in two different medical device industry publications: Medical Device Executive magazine, and the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society's Focus magazine. A lot of my consulting work involves technical writing. I have another blurb that will be published in an upcoming church magazine, and there are other writing projects in the hopper. And, of course, this blog is very therapeutic to me.
  • I have lobbied on Capitol Hill on behalf of RESOLVE (a national infertility organization) on the topics of insurance coverage and adoption tax credits. As a reward for my efforts, a congressional aide took me on a VIP tour of the Capitol.
  • I have had the pleasure of making friends around the world through my "2ofus4now" infertility support network. Even adversity pays off.
  • I have added three members to my family without giving birth (married one husband and adopted two children).
  • I have worn out three paperback copies of Gone With the Wind.
  • I have read the Bible cover-to-cover, and The Book of Mormon too many times to count. (I treat those copies more gently.)
  • I have driven a quarter-million miles in my lifetime, but have never pumped gas.
  • I had someone knock me unconscious while someone else cut a hole in my skull and removed part of my brain. Two days later I was talking with clients, with full recall of the projects I was working on with them. Thirteen days later I was leading the choir Christmas program at church.
  • I have survived surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, drug reactions, steroid weight gain, nervous moments in the MRI tube, and that awful moment of realization that I was under assault by a silent, deadly invader known as cancer.
  • I have witnessed miracles and I know first-hand the power of faith, hope, charity, and prayer.

These are just a few highlights off the top of my head. I've done more than that to fill up 14000 days.

None of us knows how many days we get. If you're reading this, you have today. We can all make a list of highlights from the days we have had so far. And today is an opportunity to not only reflect with gratitude the bounty of life that we have already received, but also to build upon it and add another highlighting experience to our list.


Judy Sharp said...

I am glad I read this one. I cherish that I am able to get to know you more and more.

Selwyn said...

Like counting your blessings, counting what you have done adds up more and more the longer you think about it!

I know I asked about being a gas-pump virgin, but what is clog dancing? I know the shoes clogs, but dancing in them? I think I may be wrong... am I?

Haven't heard of it living here in Australia anyways!

Marnie said...

Some of this really brought back memories. Especially that academic decathlon medal. (Although I believe it was a B-essay that you wrote!)

Anonymous said...

I am so inspired by your writing. I believe, as Max Lucado writes in the children's christian book Hermie, "God is not through with you yet". You & your family are in my prayers. Keep writing!

Oxford, MS & Native Texan

ellen said...

What a great list. Thanks for sharing it!


Anonymous said...

Hi, I have a completely random question. Are you the Krista Ralston that used to own an Ole ELO record? Just curious. I collect records and ELO is one of my fav bands. I just found this one in Plano and it has your name written on the front. I googled your name and found this blog.