Thursday, September 15, 2011

To Those who Serve

I think it could be considered an understatement that...I travel a lot for work. I LOVE traveling, but I have to say that one of the best trips I have had so far happened last weekend. A few months ago (right after graduating from high school,) my nephew enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He spent about 13 weeks in basic training and this weekend was his graduation.

I was in Vegas for work and took the extra hop, skip and a jump down to LA where I rented a car and drove down to San Diego, where the Marine Corps basic training happens. I got to stay on base overnight, and watch a very cool morning colors ceremony all in preparation for graduation.

One of my favorite parts of the day was when the Marine Band played. They are so good! I can't believe how perfectly together they are--in EVERYTHING. You can tell that they practice A LOT together.
But by far, the best part of the weekend was the actual graduation ceremony. For those not as familiar with the Marines, it is largely led by tradition and ceremony--pomp and circumstance for the lack of a better term. All 500 or so recruits march in step by step.

They are so in line its basically impossible to see who is standing behind the person in the front of the line. When they march, its as if you only hear one clop of the shoe, rather than the 500 that there are in reality. When they respond to their drill instructor, its in complete unison. The closest thing I can compare it to is like the rushing wind, but thats all I can come up with!

Overall, it was an amazing experience and I'm so glad that I went. I only got to talk to my nephew for a couple of minutes, but he looks so good and I couldn't be more proud of him and the choices that he's making.

When someone close to you decides to enter the military, perspective definitely changes. I have nothing but the highest respect for the men and women who willingly serve their country.
 Regardless of their reasons, they willingly put their life on the line so that I can be comfortable in my day-to-day life. Its amazing how quickly I forget the sacrifices that these brave men and women make so that I can enjoy the freedoms that I have.

Shortly before my nephew went to Boot Camp, he sang this song at a school event. Listen, and really think about the words. At least for me, I know they're true.

"There's only two people who've ever died for me.
Laid down their lives just so I could be free.
They both went through hell, bared crosses and shells.
And both got back up again after they fell.
They never pick a fight but they're there to pick up the pieces
God only knows where we'd be without soldiers and Jesus.
To Me they're both heroes for the path that they chose.
One fights for my life, one fights for my soul.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We will never forget.

Today is September 11. There are so many other people that can write so much more profoundly than I--I can only share my own thoughts the best I can. It amazes me that 10 years have already gone by. I can still remember exactly where I was on that day, in 2001 when I first heard about the attack on the World Trade Center, and then later on the Pentagon.

 I watched the towers fall on live television. Like many, I waited for what seemed like an eternity for news from family who worked close to the towers. It is clearly a day that changed the hearts of Americans forever.

In the face of those terrible attacks, we stood with broken hearts because of the tragic loss of life that day. Many of those who lost a mother or father, spouse, or family member continue to mourn for their loved ones who will never come home, but are forever engrained in memory.

So often we hear the phrase, "We Will Never Forget"and "We Remember." I love that one of the major news outlets is encouraging us to remember by serving someone else. It is a fitting memory to those who lost their lives--especially those who gave their lives willingly so that those trapped in the towers, and the pentagon could be saved. 

And we cannot forget the brave souls on Flight 93 who "served" who knows how many people by giving their lives so that another attack would be stopped.

I find myself thinking more and more about those who helped clean everything up. 

They searched for survivors. They picked up the pieces so that we could start fresh and build something in those areas again. Just like they "picked up the pieces" so that there could be a new beginning, I can also "pick up the pieces" in my own life. I know I have so many short comings. But I can start over and have a new beginning--and the great thing is that the best part is yet to come.

In Memory of the more the 3,000 people that were lost. We Remember

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lots to catch up on

Well y'all, I basically stink. Seriously. Its been a crazy day, and I've worked pretty hard so I probably really do stink. But what I was referring to was my lack of blogging. Thats about to change though. Stick close--I've got some awesome stuff coming in the next couple of days, and a recap of all the craziness thats happened over the last few months. Its gonna be good.

Follow me. Or don't. But if you do, it will be worth it.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

A rather random update

Forgive me for my selfish nature in this post, but Mark: My Words...there will be something much more interesting next time.

February is such an interesting month. First, the month gives up early at only 28 days. Second, its one of the only "dates" that is confusing as to its correct pronunciation. Feb-ru-ary. Or is it Feb-u-ary? Its kind of like Wed-nes-day. Or is it Wens-day? Who really knows? In any case, that isn't the point.

As I start this post, I regret to inform you that I unfortunately had to reset the countdown calculator to graduation. While I will be completely done with classes (I hope) as of April 2011, I won't officially graduate until June 2011, and then I won't walk and see my name on the program ( IS that important) until August 2011. Why you ask? Why not? In all reality, I missed the April graduation deadline because my documentary isn't quite done yet. As odd as it seems, I am actually really happy that I get to push back graduation for a few more weeks/months. Its definitely making this semester just slightly (very slightly) less stressful, which I welcome with open arms after last semester's crazy awesomness.

Which brings me to my latest point, what should I do after graduation?

Just to give you a bit of my college qualifications, I'm graduating with university honors with a bachelor's in Communications with an emphasis in Broadcast Journalism (*gasp for breath*), and with a double minor in business management and political science.

The natural track would be for me to go somewhere in the US and be a weatherman while I take online classes to officially become a meteorologist. Cool? Yes. I think so. The pay stinks, and I'd probably be in the middle of nowhere, but it would be fun.

Second, I could move to Washington, D.C. and get a job on or around Capitol Hill. I have some contacts that have expressed interest in having me come their way, so that is an option as well.

I love business, public speaking, and real estate, and could easily see myself getting into some aspect of one of those businesses after graduation.

Finally, I have siblings in Washington, Oregon, Indiana, and Virginia who have all suggested I come to live out their way. What would I do? Who knows. But it would be a change of scene, which could be great.

Over the last few months I've asked a few people what they see as some of my strengths, and what types of "jobs" they could see me in.

Most all of them suggested some sort of spokesman, business consultant, motivational or public speaker, or something in sales.

So now, what do you think? What should I be when I grow up? :-) Ready, set, vote

As a nice end note, isn't this the most fun and creative commercial you've seen in a while?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

January 27th, 2011 - BYU ElevenNEWS

What a great day! I get to meet Jimmer Fredette, be on TV, and say "CRAP" on air. Could life be any better?!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Can somebody find me...somebody to love?

I have to admit...this is definitely one of the more creative videos I've seen as of late. Kudos BYU-I. I don't say that very often (haha), but in this case, it is definitely deserved.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Around the world in 365 days

2010 was one of the most amazing years for me, for a number of different reasons. I'll do an official "recap of 2010" post a little later.

A few weeks ago, I decided to figure out how far I actually had traveled over the past year. I know its been a lot but I really had no idea how far I had gone, though I did know that my study abroad during the summer was about 17,000 miles in itself. After doing the math, I figured out that in one year, I traveled at LEAST 46,200 miles. Now, that doesn't account for day-to-day traveling, or anything like that, BUT it does include trips to, through, or from

Las Vegas, NV
San Jose, CA
San Diego, CA
Mesa/Phoenix, AZ
Los Angeles, CA
Indianapolis, IN
Washington, DC
Boston, MA
New York City, NY
Paris, France
Milan, Italy
Lausanne, Switzerland
Beijing, China
Dubai, UAE
Seoul, Korea
Tokyo, Japan
Iasi, Romania
London, England

So the question is...where will I go this year to make it even better? Antarctica? Africa? Nah...

I think I'll settle for a Caribbean cruise in November. Who wants to go? :-)