arizona-white-mountains

Every once in a while life throws a curve-ball at you that seems to sort of come out of nowhere and turn your life upside down. Sometimes it lasts for a long time, and other times it resolves itself fairly quickly- but each time it reminds you to count your blessings and not take anything for granted.

Last weekend I was able to spend the long-holiday camping with my family in the White Mountains of Arizona – just near Pinetop. We had a great few days just roughing it (literally, we didn’t have any running water or anything), relaxing and reconnecting with each other. The only thing that was missing was my oldest sister and her family due to a last-minute complication that prevented them from coming. They were definitely missed, but with a family as big as mine there was definitely enough to keep everyone busy… 11 grandkids running around, 3 sets of parents, my Mom and Dad, and me… quite a full house.

Arizona was gorgeous. The landscape was beautiful with huge stands of majestic White Pines and huge Quaking Aspens spread through enormous meadows all over the hills. The weather was hit and miss… it rained cats and dogs one of the days, but in the end that just added to the experience. My brothers, Dad and I were able to get back to our Boy Scout training and built a rain shelter out of fallen pine trees by lashing the posts together and stretching a tarp over the top. Needless to say I was feeling as butch as ever.


The family time was awesome. I hadn’t been able to spend time with such a large portion of the family all together at once in probably 2 or 3 years and I loved every single minute of it.

Following that weekend, my parents and I drove back to Salt Lake city where I spent last week working out of the office down there. It’s been really exciting to get into my new role and also reconnect with old friends. All in all it was a great week… until Thursday, anyway.

On Thursday afternoon I got a call with some bad news about the health of someone very close to me. I don’t want to air other people’s business, so I won’t give any more details in terms of who it is, but we found out that they have cancer. At the end of that conversation, my stomach was in my toes and I was struggling to process everything I’d just been told.

I spent the rest of Thursday at the office trying to focus enough to finish up my meetings without falling apart. (For those of you who don’t know me very well, I’m a total crier- and it’s not pretty. When something is going to make me cry, it’s exceptionally hard for me to prevent it.) I made it the next couple of hours until I could make my escape and immediately headed to the Nordstrom Rack for some retail therapy and to keep my mind busy. (If you’re interested, I found some really great Ben Sherman shirts and a jacket for CHEAP. God I love the Rack.) From there I immediately went and saw Julie & Julia (a must-see if you haven’t already) to continue to keep me occupied. After that, however, I just couldn’t stop myself any longer and had to get on the phone. I called the affected person and was able to have a great conversation where I learned that everything is going to be just fine.

They were totally positive about the situation. Even if they did nothing, they’d still have 10 years and by all accounts we’ve caught it early and the upcoming surgery- while invasive- should take of everything and we’ll get to enjoy a lot more than just 10 years. I was so relieved that my self-control just vanished. I was sitting in the parking lot of my hotel and just completely lost it- it was totally heinous. I had to sit there for like 20 minutes until my face returned to at least a normal shade of pink and my nose stopped leaking like a fire hydrant. I’m classy.

But it was this experience that prompted me to write this article. It’s so easy to forget to talk about the good stuff in life. So easy to forget to treasure all of the moments you have with your family, your friends and those you love… and sometimes it takes an event like this to remind you of those things. It’s sad that sometimes life has to throw something like this at you to remind you, but I suppose it’s human nature to take things for granted sometimes.

So, in the interest of making the most of this reminder life has thrown at me, I wanted to write and remind everyone to call your family and tell them how much you love them. Let go of petty grudges and disagreements. Life is too short to hold on to the negative. Tell your friends and loved ones how much they mean to you and don’t wait for life to threaten something in order to sit back and be grateful for everything and everyone in your life.