Thursday, November 22, 2007

Let the Spirit of Thanksgiving Guide and Bless You

It is already Thanksgiving, unbelievable. This year has flown. It's been a great one. There have been so many times throughout this year that I have found myself being struck with intense feelings of gratitude for so, so much. And I love it. Those feelings of gratitude are so grounding, and often assist in keeping priorities properly aligned.

Being grateful is the first "Be" of Pres. Hinckley's "6 Be's" that he talks about. I love what he says so much I thought I'd put it below...

"There are two little words in the English language that perhaps mean more than all others. They are “thank you.”

"The habit of saying thank you is the mark of an educated man or woman. ... Walk with gratitude in your hearts, my dear friends. Be thankful for the wonderful blessings which are yours. Be grateful for the tremendous opportunities that you have. Be thankful to your parents, who care so very much about you and who have worked so very hard to provide for you. Let them know that you are grateful. Say thank you to your mother and your father. Say thank you to your friends. Say thank you to your teachers. Express appreciation to everyone who does you a favor or assists you in any way."

"Thank the Lord for His goodness to you. Thank the Almighty for His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, who has done for you what none other in all this world could do. Thank Him for His great example, for His tremendous teachings, for His outreaching hand to lift and help. .."

"Thank the Lord for His marvelous Church restored in this great season of history. Thank Him for all that it offers you. Thank Him for friends and loved ones, for parents and brothers and sisters, for family. Let a spirit of thanksgiving guide and bless your days and nights. Work at it. You will find it will yield wonderful results."

On this day, the day of Thanksgiving, I just wanted to share a few of the things that fill my heart with so much gratitude.

1. This past year I have been especially grateful for my heritage, those that have gone before me. On Tuesday I lost my last grandparent, Dorothy Carlile. After her passing I was thinking about all that she had brought to my life - she always encouraged me to develop my talents, a level of independence, what it meant to work hard, persist, be strong and stalwart, an appreciation for things truly beautiful. I was so blessed to grow-up near all 4 of my grandparents, and now recollect how each of them contributed to building who I am today. For my wonderful grandparents who are all happily reunited, I am grateful.

2. This past year I have been especially grateful for the ability to learn, and always be learning. This life and this world becomes even more amazing to me as I experience and learn new things. Learning can be so fulfilling, from the small learnings - how to change my house with just color, differences between authors, how to snorkel - to bigger things - how life changes through marriage, what a friend is. For this life in which I get to learn and experience so much, I am grateful.

3. This past year I have been especially grateful for my family! Not that I haven't been especially grateful for them every year for the past 26 years, but I JUST LOVE MY FAMILY. I think this year has been especially fun though....or this past year and a half....We've had 4 new additions to our family in a very short time - my sister-in-law Whitney, brother-in-law Brandon, niece Jocelyn, and the best husband Trevor. These 4 have been such great additions. We have so much fun together. For my family, who are truly my best friends, I am grateful.
4. Speaking of family, I have been especially grateful for the family that now consists of Trevor and I, the new Winn family. There have been so many times this past year, and especially since July 21, 2007 that I have felt almost overcome with gratitude for my best friend and husband. I could never imagine being married to anyone else. I'm thankful for all the fun we have together, all the laughter, how smart he is, sharing so many passions, working on projects together, and figuring life out together. For the big guy that I'm so lucky to be with everyday, I am grateful.

5. Lastly, this past year I have been especially grateful for the guiding truths in my life. I can't imagine life, making life decisions, or just living life without those guiding truths. It's through the Gospel of Jesus Christ that these guiding truths or founded upon and for, and for that I am grateful.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Highlights and Lowlights for our trip to Rexburg

Let's see...over the last weekend in October Trevor and I headed up to the dream of a city, Rexburg, ID. We spent three short days with Ev and Whit speaking lots of germanglish, watching football, scootering, and laughing - both real and fake.

A tradition was started in our family...I'm not sure after which event, but nonetheless it has continued is a little something called "highlights and lowlights." What happens is after each family gathering, whether it be a wedding, holiday weekend, or other major gathering, we sit around in a big circle and discuss the highlights of the event as well as the lowlights. Aunt Mary is usually the "recorder" for these sessions, but since she wasn't with us on this trip, we will take a stab.


1. Trevor couldn't finish his Big Judd's burger. As a man who ate 27 tacos (Del Taco tacos) in one sitting, he is still embarrassed.

2. Me "accidentally" cheating to ruin our game of kerschnippets. (Trevor just made me put the quotation marks, but for the record, it really was an accident!)

3. The waitress at the Mexican restaurant. Ugh.


1. My book. I think it was called "Hour Game." Ev, Whit, and Trevor all got very naysched at me a lot. I just couldn't stop reading. Work is work.

2. The new Carlile family mo-ped. This highlight includes riding it up to the Rexburg temple and having races on it against some random neighbor boy.
3. Rexburg Live/fake laughing at Rexburg Live. This was a "Tonight Show" type production that was pulled-off very well. Trevor actually boo'd the Mario Brothers World Champion guest they had on for saying that he listend to classical music while he played (Trevor was joking of course mom, he loves classical music). Anyways, the hosts referred back to the "booing of classical music" many times during the show - made Trevor proud.
4. Watching/listening to the conversation between Evan, Trevor, and Steve Hales. Brothers got to love...and hug.
5. Of course the fake laughing contest. See post below.

6. Ev's boots with jeans tucked in number. He pulls it off nicely.
7. Big Judd corn dogs. Yum.
8. Trevor's little modeling session on the moped. It looks a little too natural....nervous.
9. Last but the very best, spending time with our beloved bruter and schwester. You guys should surprise us at Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pretty in Pink...WINter Style

It's only worth doing if you WINN.

That's just a little somethin' those in the WINn household live by. Trevor and I are also very happy to see that it is a little somethin' that the WINters live by. Guess it's in the name:)

As you will see/hear from the video below, Meredith is amidst leading her intramural flag football team to the tourney championship through sheer performance. Brandon is stalwart, supportive, and calm on the sidelines. Trevor and I are consumed with making much noise, annoying the coaches, heckling the opposing young women, and offering unsolicited advice in an effort to clear her team's path to victory. Through this team effort, Pretty in Pink arose victorious.

The WINn's will continue to support Meredith WINter's team, Pretty in Pink on their road to a t-shirt. Because, in our families....."It's only worth doing if you WINN."

(please take the time to watch this video...with sound. Mere's performance is a real treat)

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Cruise Video

Inspired by Evan Carlile's video prowess I threw together this little video from when Lesley and I went on a cruise with my grandma back in April. The quality's not the greatest because it was all shot in video mode on my little camera, but it works. We had a blast on the cruise and we hope you enjoy the video. Thanks again grandma!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Trevor & Lesley's Travel Tips: San Francisco

So we wanted to go some place fun for Lesley's birthday last month. Due to a sweet Jet Blue deal and Lesley's Marriott points from work we decided on the city of "brotherly love" - San Francisco. We had a blast and came away with some new travel tips for any faithful readers that might be heading to San Francisco......

#5. Shopping discounts. While in San Fran we found out that Macy's will give you an 11% discount if you're from out of town. Just ask the front desk at your hotel and they'll give you what you need. Also, there is an H&M store there that Lesley loves. Shopping in the men's section was quite a treat for me. I quote....... "Oh my gosh, these underwear are SO cute!" (that was said by a man by the way).

#4. Book a cruise to Alcatraz before you go. If you notice, you'll see that the picture below is taken from a long, long ways away. That's because we never went there. The tours that actually stop on Alcatraz island are run by the National Park Service and book up very early. Don't make the mistake we did and wait and try to buy tickets the same day you want to go. I'm now 0 for 2 in the last year in my attempts to visit Alcatraz. Visit their website and book your trip before you go.

#3. Traveling around San Fran. You can save a lot of money by staying in a hotel by the airport. Ones down on Fisherman's Wharf are really expensive. From the hotel you can take a free shuttle to the airport where you can catch BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit). For $5.15 BART will take you into the heart of downtown. From there you can catch a trolley car down to the wharf. It'll cost you $5 each way if you get on at the beginning of the line. But here's a HUGE tip...... if you walk a stop or two up the street and then hop on, you don't have to pay. At least no one ever asked us for money each time we did this. By using the hotel shuttles, BART, and the trolley cars you can get around quite easily and avoid a rental car, traffic, and the hassle of navigation.
#2. Watch the Bush Man. Across the street from Joe's Crab Shack down on the wharf there is a guy known as the Bush Man. He hides behind some branches on the sidewalk and scares people as they walk by. It's pretty hilarious to watch him freak people out. According to Wikipedia, he claims to make up to $60,000 in a good year. It's great free entertainment.

#1. Go Cars! We found these Go Car things in San Francisco. It pretty much a scooter engine with 2 wheels in front and one in back with a fiberglass frame. You look like a moron as you cruise around town with your helmet on, but it's more than made up for by the coolness of the experience. There's a GPS system in them and a voice that directs you through the city, telling you where to turn, explaining the sites, and taking you to parts of the city you'd never find on your own. We went all the way from the Wharf out past the Golden Gate Bridge, through some neighborhoods, down Lumbard Street (crookedest street in America), and back down to the Wharf. Don't expect a powerful ride however. I had to make Lesley get out and walk up a couple steep hills because we couldn't make it up with all my weight. I've got big bones. The Go Cars are a little spendy but they are worth every cent. It was by far the coolest thing we did there and we'd recommend it to all.

Coming soon..................Rexburg, Idaho!