abundant life

One word comes to mind when I think about things lately, Abundant.

 I don't mean that it in a materialistic way.  Even though I do feel very grateful for everything.

This month I have been on the earth for 24 years!  That's not too long, but its enough time to make solid friends, learn about love, how to work hard, learn that things don't always go as planned, how to live and how to let go. Ive learned that rain stops, and god always hears us.

This Christmas was bitter sweet. My Gichan (my sweet Japanese grandfather) went back home to live with Heavenly father right before Christmas.  
He was 81 years old.  He was healthy while visiting us in Washington this summer.  But at the end of the summer he found out he had cancer. 

He was an extremely gentle, curious, thoughtful, simple, friendly man with a wonderful sense of humor.

Whenever life re announces how precious it is, everything is again put into perspective.

Here is what I learned from him:
Be curious about life!
appreciate the small and simple
going for walks, reading thee paper, finding time to be in nature, find joy in everything you do!
spend time with mom love and take care of her
cheer people up
feed hungry animals

The nurse would call us from Japan these past few months for updates about Gichan's cancer treatment.  She would always say, "Hirasakasan, is always wandering around from room to room in the hospital, wearing his pajamas chatting with the other patients."  She commented that even though the doctors laughed at him and told him to stop wandering around the hospital in his underwear, they all appreciated his kindness and that it cheered everyone up.

He hardly spoke a lick of English but that didn't stop him from being so friendly.   I remember watching him at the grocery store this summer patting random peoples watermelons in their carts and making comments to them in Japanese about their fine produce selections.

He knew how to take care of people, never complained and made the best of everything.

Life is like a big bench, and we all keep scooting down the line, I suppose were making room for new life.  Each person keeps passing down their role, only to get a new one.  I guess I am excited now about the future, something new is in store for each of us.

The best feeling in the whole world to me is when you come home and Sol comes running into your arms.  

I hate thinking of missing out on these little people's childhoods.  But I just think to myself, that going out and having other experiences, is the best thing I can do for them.  I hope I can be a better auntie, and future mom someday and give these sweet people better pointers when it comes time for them to have adventures of their own.  Knowing this, gives me permission to move forward and not look back.

Christmas time is the best!

We all loved the parades, lights,

bundling up?!

Wrapping gifts (excuse this horrendous room!)

Being an Auntie is truly one of the purest joys in my life.  I just look at these precious people and just KNOW that families are what life is all about.

Sol is completely obsessed with my dog Nola, he always holds her against her will and ties her up around the house as if she is a horse in a stall. Nola is a great sport.

Christmas Eve, we played a little holiday Bingo and this cookie game where you put a cookie on your forehead and try to get int in your mouth. It was actually hilarious, Seth and Momi somehow were champions at it.


It seemed like every one of Cocos gifts were somehow preparing her for motherhood, or to be a princess. 

Buzz light year!!! Sols all time favorite.

My dad in the designated Santa hat.  We make him wear it every year to distribute gifts. We just cant take him seriously without it.

All the cousins!

The gingerbread house making contest...

 In my family there is never any rules but one, and that's that no one is a loser.  So I had to come up with awards for each and every house.  My cousin Tommy's house won "most likely to be featured in a Christmas thriller."

Sweet lace and Christine came over for a holiday visit 

My sweet baby Cokie loves to apply excess amounts of gloss 

She is just a natural girl


We all love the root beer floats at XXX

Love these kids so much!

And last but not least...

My mission call came!  I felt like I have been waiting my whole life for this moment, and now its finally here!  Ive learned this year that so much of life is what we want it to be.  I used to think I wasn't getting answers to my prayers, and the older I get, the more I realize that life is about making choices for ourselves, and THEN asking Heavenly Father for help achieving what it is we want.

Because God loves us so much, he respects us so much he wants us to choose our goals and choices in life.  I know he will help us do whatever it is our hearts truly desire.

I truly felt like Gichan had pulled some strings up there, when I read I would be serving in Tokyo, Japan.  Either way, I am so extremely grateful and excited for this opportunity! 

So happy to have my sweet family all here for me! 

I celebrated my 24th Bday with my cousin Brady who is a few weeks older then me.  We are both so very blessed and I just know that this is going to be such a wonderful year for both of us.  Happy new years to everyone of you wonderful souls!

1 comment:

Matt said...

I am just so very excited for you, marni! you're gonna be the best missionary.