Monday, November 28, 2011

Kick Balls

I hold no grudge against my sister.  

It's plain and simple really, she's coordinated and athletic.  I'm not.  

When I was younger, this used to bother me a lot more.  I've now come to embrace the fact that my quirky personality will just have to suffice.  NEWSFLASH: No one is going to be my friend or fall in love with me for that matter because I'm good at sports.  Darn.

It took me a few years, but now I'm actually at the point where I can play and just have fun.  It doesn't matter if I look stupid, at least someone will get a laugh out of it, right?  I haven't been on a "team" (so to speak) in years.  When you are consistently the last pick for every game, you tend to lose interest quickly.  No hard feelings - just the truth. This is why I was so excited when a certain opportunity presented itself over this last summer.  Draper City decided that this year they would start an adult kickball league.  FINALLY! So, there was something that no one else had played since elementary school and a possibility that I won't be completely awful.

Well, you can't be the last pick if you decide to form the team.  So I took it upon myself to put a group of misfits together and call it good.

Our name:


We were surprisingly decent.  Every Wednesday night, we'd all show up and kick some balls.  Figuratively.  Literally.

It was nice to finally have a group that was good, however, if someone made a mistake we just laughed about it.  I guess that's part of growing up.  

We entered the finals in 1st place and had a terrible game.  I mean terrible.  Who knows what happened to the most successful team in the league?  I certainly don't, but I am glad that I was able to be a part of something so fun and hysterical.  I know it's taken me a while to post this,  but as it has gotten colder outside, I am really missing summer.  I especially miss those Wednesday nights on the lit field with my teammates.  

Hopefully we kick balls next year!

The funny part about this picture to me is that I'm pretty sure Spencer Pratt is the only one who actually kicked balls... Just sayin'

Monday, November 14, 2011

"...for He is mighty to save."

On a more serious note...

This month marks four years since I left on my mission and I've had a lot of time to reflect on the goals and plans that I had for this point in my life.  I often think of the phrase "Man plans, God laughs" and how true it is.  I am constantly reminding myself that my Heavenly Father does indeed have a plan for me and that that plan includes a journey, and not merely a destination.  And even though I am not where I planned to be, I am in the place that I'm supposed to be.  I am not a failure.
Abraham Lincoln once said,

"I do the very best I know how; the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end.  If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me won't amount to anything."

Sometimes it is all we can do to stay strong and carry on.  Sometimes our individual trials may seem like they outweigh any possibility of ever overcoming them.  And maybe every last fiber of our being feels like it has been shredded.  When I get to that point, I try to remember this quote from President Monson:

"Mortality is a period of testing, a time to prove ourselves worthy to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. In order to be tested, we must sometimes face challenges and difficulties. At times there appears to be no light at the tunnel’s end—no dawn to break the night’s darkness. We feel surrounded by the pain of broken hearts, the disappointment of shattered dreams, and the despair of vanished hopes. We join in uttering the biblical plea “Is there no balm in Gilead?” We are inclined to view our own personal misfortunes through the distorted prism of pessimism. We feel abandoned, heartbroken, alone. If you find yourself in such a situation, I plead with you to turn to our Heavenly Father in faith. He will lift you and guide you. He will not always take your afflictions from you, but He will comfort and lead you with love through whatever storm you face."

At a particularly low point in my weekend, I got in my car and just took off.  I didn't know where I was going, I only knew that I couldn't stay where I was at.  The rain pouring outside seemed to match my mood.  As I flipped through the radio stations hoping for some "angry music," I was surprised at myself when I heard a familiar song and removed my finger from the radio dial. 

Where can I turn for peace?  Where is my solace
when other sources cease to make me whole?
When with a wounded heart, anger, or malice,
I draw myself apart, Searching my soul?

Where, when my aching grows, Where, when I languish, 
Where, in my need to know, where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand? He, only One.

He answers privately, Reaches my reaching
In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend.
Gentle the peace he finds for my beseeching.
Constant he is and kind, Love without end.

I then knew, without a doubt, where I needed to go.  As I sat and contemplated, a scripture that I had read earlier this week came to my mind.  There had been a prayer in my heart that reflected this particular oration from Alma 34:18.  

"Yea, cry unto him for mercy;
for HE is mighty to save."

He answers privately, Reaches my reaching
In my Gethsemane, Savior and Friend.

When the whole world seems like it is falling apart...
When I feel like I am doing my best but can't seem to conquer on my own...
When I feel alone...
When I don't know where to go...
When one more straw might just break my back...
I know where to run. 

He is My Savior, my Friend, my Strength and my God.  He is always beside me so that I am never alone.  When I am lacking, He makes up the difference.  The miracle is that no matter how much that difference is, He reaches me.  He fills the void with light and life.  It is during this time of the year where I am especially grateful for His sacrifice and love for me.  Without Him, there would be no meaning or purpose.  If there's one thing that I can be grateful for during this season, it is my Reedemer.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

If I could compare my life right now to any inanimate object, I would choose a bottle of shampoo.

The answer is yes. Yes, you read that right.  I am consciously comparing myself to a large bottle made of plastic and filled with ingredients such as ammonium chloride, sodium laurel sulfate, and polyquaternium-10.

The only difference between me and a bottle of shampoo, however, is that I don't have time to sit on the shelf in your shower all day.  I know what you're thinking.  Don't flatter yourself, chances are that I wouldn't choose your shower anyway. 

It's quite fitting, really.

Lather:   I wake up.  I go to I come home.  I do homework.

Rinse:   I try to forget about all the stuff that could cause a potential anxiety attack and wash all of the... "crap"... out of my system.  Figuratively.  Literally.  I go to bed.

Repeat:   I do it all again.




This story is comparable to that one time my iPod got stuck on repeat and I listened to the same song for 6 hours on a plane ride.  Thank you, brain, for the random insertion that has absolutely nothing to do with shampoo.

So, the next time you think about asking me what I've been up to... Stop.  Think, "shampoo."  Then you can save us both time by not asking such an absurd question and just telling me a funny story instead.  Or... OR! you could do something crazy and attempt to make my life a little bit more invigorating.  You decide.  Until then, you can find me stuck on a cold tile in the corner with soap.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

That Would Happen To Me: Part 2

I'M BAAAACCKKK!!  And consequently, so are the awfully, terribly embarrassing stories... Enjoy!

At the ripe young age of 15, I became a people pleaser.  Yes, it's true.  I learned that in order to get what you want, you must provide others with what they wanted first.  It was a fail-safe system, really.  This was especially true with my parents.  My dad asked me to spray all of the weeds in the back yard with Round Up (weed killer) one Saturday morning.  I decided that I would get up early and get it taken care of so that he wouldn't have to ask me twice.  I was trying to do a genuinely good thing here.  Well, I ran out of weed killer and went to go ask for more.  My dad replied that that was impossible because we had enough to last us for many years.  That's when I found out that you have to dilute the spray with water.  Like A LOT of water.  Our entire backyard died that summer and then... our house went up for sale.  Oops.

That would happen to me.

Once upon a time, it was a dreadful Saturday morning.  I got up to go to work and jumped in the shower really quick.  I was doing what normal people do in the shower (washing my hair).  I kid you not--at the EXACT moment I went to wash the soap out of my hair, the water just shut off.  Do you understand what I'm saying?? The water stopped coming out of the wall.  That's what I mean by shut off just in case you didn't know.  The next thing I know, I am banging on the wall screaming, "No, no, no, no, no! Noooooooo!!!!"  I couldn't figure out what the heck happened.  I then came to the realization that I didn't have a towel in the bathroom with me.  Fail.  Meanwhile, unbeknownst to me, the sink had exploded on my dad while he was fixing it upstairs and everyone was in a panic.  So, he just turned the water off.  Typical Saturday morning at the Minnick home? Yep.

That would happen to me.

There are certain things that you do as a kid that can be considered "cute."  You might also do these things when you're a little older and suddenly they're not so charming.  I made many friends at Draper Theatre when I was young doing a show called Broadway Kids.  I can't believe I am admitting this right now.  Well, during my junior year in high school, I was convinced by some unnamed friends to do it kind of as "one last hurrah!"  I caved and found myself a little over my head.  I thought I had everything under wraps.  NO ONE was going to find out about this.  It would be over and then we'd all be on our merry little way.  Well, on the opening day of the show, I was in the Alta High School library when I saw it.  The newspaper was on the table with the entertainment section right on top.  Covering almost the ENTIRE front page was a picture of yours truly.  Don't believe me? Here's a link to the article.  I wanted to crawl in my locker and hide.

That would happen to me.  

The following probably tops my list of most embarrassing stories.  As a recently returned missionary, we can all agree that one is pretty awkward, right?  A few weeks after I returned home, my mom convinced me to try this new fad out with her.  She said it was called "zumba."  Ok, I thought.  I haven't seen you in a few years, what the heck?  She promised to buy me a jamba juice and I considered that to be a deal, so I went.  Never, ever, have I EVER been so embarrassed.  I was the only, I repeat and reemphasize, ONLY guy in the class.  (Besides Carmelo, the instructor).  The room was full of about 50 middle-aged women who were ready to "shake that thang."  As if it wasn't enough to just be in the same "dance class" as all of them, good ol' Carmelo had to "spice things up" a bit.  When the class was almost over, he motioned for everyone to gather at one end of the room.  I was walking over to the other side with my mom when he pulls me aside and says, "Not you, partner."  I instantly became sick to my stomach.  Apparently, it was now time for my private routine.  He put on some sexy Spanish song and turned me so my back was facing the ladies.  I was then instructed to shake my... bottom and give them a show.  I received cat calls, whistles, and believe it or not, quite a few laughs.  "White boy can shake his booty," they said.  I have never had so many mothers try to set me up with their daughters.  Obviously that went well, I'm still single.  Thank you, Carmelo for the most awkward 2 minutes of my life.  P.S.  You better believe I got one huge freaking Jamba.

That would happen to me.

It is no surprise that the Minnick family has been working on purifying our words in the year of 2011.  Although I haven't been perfect, I have certainly tried.  It is also no surprise that I am not very athletic.  That's what happens when your sister steals all of the good jeans.  I meant genes.  I was recently playing church softball with the singles ward and I don't have the best self-esteem when it comes to catching a ball so my best hope is to just pray that it doesn't come to me.  In this particular instance, my prayers went unanswered.  Unfortunately, when one of my friends lobbed the ball to me, I sort of kind of dropped a little bit of an explicative.  Whoops.  The umpire reminded me it was church ball and the poor girl running toward second base probably thinks I'm going straight to the bad place, but I repented.  I swear!  I mean, yes, I did swear, but... yeah.  The other time I used the same bad word was when everyone surprised me for my birthday this year.  My apologies to all my friends, but you really did scare the s*** out of me.

That would happen to me.

I sing to myself in the car.  There, I admit it.  As I was sitting at a stoplight not too long ago, I was belting some big song and I noticed that the guy in the car behind me was frantically trying to get my attention.  When he got out and started approaching my car, I debated running the red light just to get away from him.  I couldn't have possibly cut him off or made him mad, right...?  My palms grew sweaty and I was ready to put the petal to the metal when all of a sudden I heard a small bang and he waved politely.  He certainly did his good deed for the day.   Thank you, sir, for proving that I'm an idiot and closing my gas tank for me.

That would happen to me.

While we're on the subject of gas, let me just give you a warning.  Pay close attention to this story, or someone might just trick you too.  I was at the gas pump one morning just minding my own business.  I inserted my debit card and selected the regular unleaded gas just like I always do.  I picked up the pump to put it in my car and that's when I realized that someone had locked the handle in place to allow the gas to come out.  I received many stares as I screamed and figeted with the handle.  Before I knew it, gas was spilling ALL over.  Note to self: check the handle before you select the grade of gas.  It could save you a car wash and a change of clothes.  Kids these days.

That would happen to me.

Just in case you missed my facebook post (Tanner and Whitney).  The automatic doors at target are NOT working.  They trick you into thinking that they're going to open.  The motor then gives out and since you are already on your way through the door, you may just end up on the floor.  Not kidding.  Don't ask why I'm always alone when this happens.  I just am. 

That would happen to me.

The story to top it off for the night:  My friends are so great.  In fact, I hope that one day they will have a similar experience to this.  We were at my friend's house on the mountain.  She really lives on a humongous hill.  They were outside all riding this bike and asked me if I wanted to try.  It was a creamsicle beach cruiser type "thing" and I was excited to ride it.  I began to ride it up the hill with my phone in one hand and my car keys and a wedding announcement in the other.  On my way back down the hill I waved excitedly to my friends only to wonder about the astonished looks on their faces.  As I began my ascent dow nthe steepest part of the hill, I heard someone scream, "Spencer! Nooooo!!"  They had 'failed to mention' that the bike didn't have breaks.  A little ways down the road, my friends came running and found me crashed in someone's front yard.  I swear on my life that bruise was on my hip for a month.  Thanks guys.

That would happen to me.