Monday, August 19, 2013

Easy Enough

'Tis easy enough to be pleasant, when life flows by like a song
But the man worthwhile is one who will smile,
when everything goes wrong.

For the test of the heart is trouble, and it always comes with the years,
And the smile that is worth the praises of earth,
is the smile that shines through the tears.

'Tis easy enough to be prudent, when nothing tempts you to stray
When without or within no voice of sin, is luring your soul away.

But it is only a negative virtue, until it is tried by fire,
And the life that is worth the honor on earth,
is one that resists the desire.

By the cynic, the sad, the fallen, who had no strength for the strife,
The world's highway is cumbered today,
they make up the sum of life.

But the virtue that conquers passion, and the sorrow that hides in a smile
'Tis these that are worth the homage on earth,
for we find them but once in a while.

-Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Who's yo Daddy?- An Ode to Greatness

Approximately 25 years ago, a handsome young man with long flowing locks by the name of Bradley Jonathan Kilburn won the heart of a stunning beauty named Jennifer Lynne Gossett. Soon thereafter they were married, changing their titles to Mrs. Jenny Kilburn and 'The Old Man.'

In 1991, I was blessed to finally meet The Old Man for the first time in the flesh. Once again his title shifted, as he became known to me as Daddy. Here's the deal, I don't mean to sound conceited, but God really nailed it when He gave me my Dad. For all intents and purposes he is a keeper.

I am not sure if it was with my first or second breath of life, but somewhere in that moment I became a Daddy's girl. From that moment on, I had him wrapped around my little finger. Secretly I think that he likes it this way. If you know anything about my Dad, you know that he is the kindest, funniest person, with a firm belief in God, and that he absolutely loves being a husband and father and adores his crazy family.

Seeing as I am many miles away from my wonderful Daddio today, I've decided to compile a list of 10 important lessons my Dad has taught me...

1. Don't complain.
My dad always has a twinkle in his eye and a belly-rolling laugh ready to lighten any situation. I have never heard him dwell in complaint. He always gets the job done, and would rather no help than disgruntled help. He has taught me to have gratitude and look for the goodness around me.

2. Love my mother.
My dad has always made it a point to show us his love for my mother. From a young age we knew not to mess with my mom whenever he was in earshot. He has always put her first, and strives to show her how much he loves her. He truly is the example of the man and husband I hope to marry someday.

3. Work hard.
My dad is the hardest worker I have ever met. He is extremely diligent in providing for his family. He never gets discouraged and never quits. He knows how to roll with the punches and use adversity to grow stronger.

4. Pray even when you don't feel like it.
This one is pretty self explanatory. My dad is a great example of prayer.

5. You need at least 7 hugs a day to be healthy.
Again, pretty self explanatory. He taught me this when I was little, and I swear it is a verifiable medical fact. The more hugs you have, the happier you feel, and the healthier you are. He is always the first to lend a bear hug to the first hug-deprived human in need.

6. Express gratitude for the things that don't happen.
This is really important to me. He taught me that while we should be thankful for the good things that do happen to us, we should also be thankful for the bad things that don't happen. We need to be thankful that we didn't get a flat tire during our daily commute, we didn't get malaria from that mosquito bite, and that we didn't offend someone by telling the truth. Some of our greatest blessings are the things that God has protected us from and prevented from happening in our lives.

7. Road trips are a time for learning, exploring, and car-dancing.
Nature is a gift from God, and my dad is the first to point out every tree, grass, bird, rock formation, and cloud we see. He is a walking encyclopedia of knowledge, and takes every opportunity he can to share 'fun-facts' with us. He is also a master of the art of car-dancing. Don't believe it? Put on 'Funky Town' the next time you are in a confined space with my dad and watch the magic happen.

8. Listen for and act on all promptings, no matter how small.
His listening has saved my family many times. He really knows what he's doing when it comes to listening to the Holy Ghost, and I hope I can be like him one day.

9. Bald jokes = more chores.
Yup. Go ahead, comment on dad's growing bald spot.... he will love it so much he will "let" you scrub the dirtiest toilet in the house with your bare hands.

10. I am loved.
My dad never misses an opportunity to tell me and show me how much he loves me. There has never been a moment in my life that I have questioned my dad's love for me. I am grateful to have a big, happy, teddy-bear type father, with a strong outside and a soft inside. I love him so much!

So, here's to you, Dad! Thank you for all that you do for me. I love you more than words can express, and am beyond grateful that Heavenly Father put us together. You are the best dad ever!

Happy Father's Day!

Your baby girl.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Whatcha Want?

I believe it is not only important to understand what you do want, but also what you don't want. 
It's a lot easier to work towards your dreams when you know what they are...

Things I couldn't care less about:
money, power, city life, keeping up with everyone else, stress, items, status, evil
Things I care a lot about:
faith, God, family, dogs, nature, being outside, America, children, animals, babies, learning, economics, agriculture, hunting, sunshine, rain, snow, nutrition, camo, Fords, pickups, guns, painting, sprinkles, sparkles, pretty high heels, boots, simplicity, freedom, happiness

Sometimes I wonder why the heck I am in college. Why am I spending so much money to learn these things when money is not my goal in life? Today I reminded myself that it is because I love to learn. I know it sounds cliche to not care about money, but truly I don't. I don't see the point in wasting the short time we have in this life doing something we don't even enjoy just to gain possessions we can't take with us. I'd rather spend my money helping others (especially children) and exploring this beautiful earth.

Sure, my dream life has never been typical, but it is still valid, and I am grateful to still have the opportunity to pursue it.

What's your dream life? 

Watch this video. You won't regret it.

-Living the Dream