Everyday Inspirations

 
 

April showers
{angie}
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{ash}

Over the past week and a half, I have been devouring two books focused on one major historical subject: growing up in Hitler's Germany. I've always loved learning about World War II, and stumbling on real-life accounts of those who grew up during this turbulent time has truly opened my eyes to the realities of living in a world ruled by Nazis.

The first book was discovered by accident as I wandered around Barnes and Noble one night. I passed by a big table of books and a title jumped out at me: On Hitler's Mountain: Overcoming the Legacy of a Nazi Childhood by Irmgard A. Hunt. I made a note to check the book out of the local library.

Hunt's memoir is a beautiful story of growing up in Berchtesgaden, Germany, a lovely mountain village down the road from where Hitler established his mountain retreat and Eagle's Nest. Never a place I was ultra interested in visiting, Hunt's description of the picturesque mountain town made me thirsty to visit southern Germany. (I am a mountain girl at heart, you know.)

What I love about this book is Hunt's dedication to helping readers see how intelligent, hardworking people like her parents elected a man like Hilter (a fascinating subject, if you ask me) and how that changed her family forever. Hunt was lucky, a "pure" German who was safe from the Nazis and watched the actions of the Third Reich in a way others couldn't (she even sat on Hilter's lap for a publicity photo). As she grew up, she began to see that something about her world was not right. Along with millions of other Germans, Hunt has spent the rest of her life trying to make sense of the pain her country inflicted on the world. She notes that the suffering her family felt during the war (she lost her father, went hungry, lived in fear) almost felt voided when she realized the actions her government took and the lives they needlessly ended.
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On the back of Hunt's book was a quote by Peter Gay, who wrote My German Question: Growing Up in Nazi Berlin (which I picked up immediately after finishing the first). Gay also tells a story about growing up in Germany during the 1930s -- only his tale reflects what it was like to live as a Jew during that time. (Note: I haven't yet finished this book, but I'm reaaally close.) 

Gay directly speaks to those who, for years, have asked him why his family stayed in Berlin after the Nazis took power instead of immediately fleeing. He patiently explains what it was really like to be a German Jew in the years before WWII, and how his life was slowly turned upside-down. Almost poetically, he beautifully and bitterly analyzes the events that led to his family's eventual escape.

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"Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop." -Ovid
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{ash}

I've served on a local board for a little over two years, and tonight I attended my last board meeting. It was wonderful to formally gather one last time with a group of women who have made big difference in my life. 

As a thank-you gift, the outgoing board members recieved fun mugs and wine glasses. It was a sweet little touch, a way to remember the work we've done over the years. I love that this sassy wine glass will immediately remind me of countless nights sharing wine and dinner with friends as we laughed and worked together to build community across the state of Utah. I love you, ladies. Thank you for this growing experience.
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{angie}
Saturday brought many inspiring things:
  • Beautiful sunshine pouring through my window. Finally it feels like spring is on its way.
  • Finished "How to Train Your Dragon." How did I not know this was the cutest movie ever? Got it on my Netflix. Loved it! 
  • Shopping for bridesmaid dresses for my beautiful friend, Megan. Utah locals, Lily & Iris is totally the best place in town--gorgeous gowns. 
  • A run on my favorite trail with my favorite, furry trainer. One day my goal is to be pulling her to keep going, not the other way around. 
  • Free Chilck-fil-A. I think Ash would agree, both of those words are heaven. 
  • Reuniting Daisy with an old friend. I bought her this toy when she was still tiny and she instantly fell in love--so much so that she tore the cotton out. Just took a few stitches and the crocodile (?) was as good as new. For about 30 minutes anyway.
  • Date night with the hubby. Never can complain about some good, quality time together. 

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{ash}

Last Saturday was a warm, overcast day in Salt Lake City (AND a rest day in the good ol'  half marathon schedule), so Dan and I grabbed some coffee and took a walk around a local park. When we got home, I noticed these little beauties poking through the my landlord's flowerbed. I took a picture and tweeted, "I believe!"

Then it was Monday. And it dumped snow. Yesterday morning I was scraping close to a foot off my car. Fun! (Angie didn't like it either.)

I didn't think much more about the flowers until tonight, when I noticed that they're still alive... and still blooming!

It may be a silly little thing, but these flowers made me so happy. They're obviously little survivors and yet another example of how nature gives us tons of little inspirations and reminds us that, no matter what, we can weather the storm. (In case you're wondering, it'll be in the 60s here tomorrow. This state is a bit... confused this time of year.)

March 20 is first day of spring! ;) Then I promise Angie and I will stop complaining about the weather... maybe.

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{ash}

I am SO OVER Charlie Sheen. I cannot believe all the attention that's going toward that train wreck, especially when there are actual world issues happening now. Potential Civil War in Libya? Political drama in Washington? Forget it -- Charlie Sheen got fired!

You can imagine my frustration when I got on the exercise bike this evening and turned on the TV to find yet another CS story.

Sigh.

Luckily, Iron Chef America was playing at the same time. I know it sounds silly, but I felt myself relaxing when I found that show. I think I just felt relieved to watch so much talent, to see the beautiful things people can make with simple ingredients. Amazing.

Photo credit: Eats.com.

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Three great men in my life: Dan, my brother, and my father.
{ash}

Tonight I went to dinner with Dan and my parents to celebrate some professional victories for both my dad and Dan. I have been so very happy for these two amazing men, and have recently been reflecting on how fabulous it feels to watch the people you love accomplish their goals. In so many ways, it's an even better feeling than when I do well. It makes you realize how important and great love is.

I've also been reflecting quite a bit lately on blessings. It's been a rough few years in this country, especially when it comes to employment. I've known people who have struggled with everything from having a job they absolutely detest (but kept, because it was still a job) to those who are still searching. It's tough to have endured so much, but amazing to see the inspiration and love that comes out of rough times.

This is obviously a much deeper, much more complicated conversation than I can adequately express here on the blog. But it is something I try to remember as I keep walking the path of life. I remember so that I continue to feel nothing but gratitude for my own blessings. We all need time to celebrate victories, large and small, as we come back into the light.
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{angie}
One of the most bittersweet things--when you have too many awesome people in your life and you're asked to hang with several of them in one day at times that overlap. One of the sweetest things---when you make it work.
 

~ small inspiration ~


Wendover
{angie}
The beauty is in the journey as much as the final destination. In the case of Wendover, actually more so. No matter where you're headed, when you're on your way, don't forget to take time to enjoy the ride. 
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