Friday, December 11, 2009

Home

I want to go home. What a blessing that I can.

I heard mom's voice for a moment on the phone today and was able to comprehend for a second the great gift the Lord gave me in giving me a place to truly call Home...a place where I belong, where I fit in - a place where I'm accepted, wanted, where I don't have to be understood and yet feel that I am more than anywhere else - a place of goodness, warmth, busy-ness, happiness, and where love is a work in progress...always improving and increasing.

How grateful I am to be able to go there, to return home. What a blessing that I can.

Monday, October 5, 2009

St. George Marathon

March 28, 2010
So...many many moons ago, I ran the St. George Marathon. I wanted so much to blog about it but never found the time to describe that experience. It was unlike any race I've ever participated in. No race has left me on at least a 2 week high like that one did :) and no race has made me love and believe in running like that one did. It still makes me excited when I think about that cool experience. There were so many times during the race when I felt tangible support from Heavenly Father or my family and my friends.


I was more scared before the race began than I've been doing almost anything...but right after I crossed the Start line, I felt peace and knew this was my race, that I would be able to do it, and that God was with me. The course was better than I could have imagined. It was gorgeous and the rolling hills accompanying the downhill trend was perfect for a first timer...perfect for anyone, but definitely encouraging for this little runner. At mile 17, I started to cry. Anyone whose run something like that knows there are emotions that come, specific to the experience, which are hard to really explain. I knew I would finish the race and couldn't believe I was going to be able to really run and finish a marathon. It was so encouraging seeing all the posters and signs for folks. Each one seemed to be for me, cheering me on...even the ones encouraging parents. I'd look to the sky each time I saw one and would think, "thanks kids, I know you're up there! We're going to talk about this someday!"


My friend Bret came to cheer me on at the end. He had family running the race, but he ran the last part with me...it was perfect...right when I really needed the encouragement!


Hope you enjoy this video Bret took of me at the end. I had a mile left...definitely ready to finish, but really happy to have run the race. So glad to have this memory!

video

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Yes...I even celebrate how much I love this family!

These are two of my favorite pictures of Ben and Emily's family this year. The bottom picture is earlier this last February at Em's sister's wedding, and the top picture was this last month when Ben and Em and company came to Utah to visit. Thanks for being such a
wonderful and beautiful family!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Visiting Rach and her little ones

Wow...so, this was quite a while ago...but I must blog about it as it was such a great trip and you must have the opportunity to see more pictures of Rachel's little gang. I love her family.
~~~
Liz and I flew down to Rio Rico, AZ for Memorial Day weekend. Actually, it was because I was buying Rach's little car...now named the Lil' Digg...and that was the only way to get it...but Rio Rico was exactly where I wanted to be. Felt so spoiled...didn't think I would be able to visit Rach for quite a while after that trip in February.
Back to the trip :) It was wonderful to be with Rachel and her little family. Lena had grown a ton and it was heaven to be around all four Delaps. Man, if I can do that a few times a year for the rest of my life...how great life would be.
Enjoy these masterfully shot videos of us playing with Caleb and Lena.

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Liz was so good with the kids...seriously, that girl has a gift for playing and teaching children; it was fun to see. Sorry for the back shot starter there Liz. video
As you can tell, Caleb never got tired of Ring Around the Rosie...nope, he loves that game!
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This one is so funny of Lena...she really wanted all 10 fingers in her mouth!
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We both really enjoyed Caleb and Lena. Lena can smile so big you question if it's really that healthy to open one's mouth so wide :)
Caleb was very interested in everything he wanted to do. I love that picture of Dean and Caleb walking out in their back yard. It just seems like a Calvin and Hobbes picture.
Our friend Rick took Liz and I to Nogales and showed us the border fence, many of the posts, and the fine dinning Nogales has to offer visitors :) Lots of cheap shopping for cheap clothes, if you're down for the trip!
~~~
With so much time existing between myself now and when I took that trip, I can't remember all I wanted to originally say. This one thing I will add...Rachel is such a good mom. She impresses me with the effort she puts into teaching and raising her children with love. Dean is so good too. Very patient with the ever-willing-to-challenge-anyone Caleb ;).
We also sang together, of course, and there isn't much that makes me feel like that does. Yep. Very grateful for the wonderful person and blessing she is.
Liz and I drove back in the Lil' Digg and it held up great! There's quite the lovely scenery between the Rio Rico and Salt Lake City :)...though we were missing the folks we'd left in Rio Rico.

Monday, June 22, 2009

To Radiate Light

Found this on my uncle Laird's kitchen fridge :) and really loved it:

There is no end to the good we can do, to the influence we can have with others. Let us not dwell on the critical or the negative. Let us pray for strength; let us pray for capacity and desire to assist others. Let us radiate the light of the gospel at all times and all places, that the Spirit of the Redeemer may radiate from us.

-Gordon B. Hinckley

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Comes the Dawn

One of my Young Women's leaders gave this poem to me years and years ago. It's helped me breathe easier when going through relationship rough times. After discussing a situation one of my friends was going through recently, I remembered the poem and thought I'd share it on my blog for anyone to whom this might give comfort and perspective. Wish I knew the author but it said anonymous.


Comes the Dawn

After a while you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
And company doesn't mean security,
And you begin to understand that kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises,
And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head held high and your eyes open.
With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
You learn to build your roads
On today because tomorrow's ground
Is too uncertain for plans, and futures have
A way of falling down in mid-flight.
After awhile you learn that even sunshine
Burns if you get too much,
So you plant your own garden and decorate
Your own soul, instead of waiting
For someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure,
That you really are strong
And you really do have worth
And you learn and learn...and you learn
With every goodbye you learn.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Starting a new life...555

Last night, Liz and I had dinner with one of my favorite people on the planet!...I really want to emphasize my Beckiness by saying it like that :)...and mostly bug Joe because he loves it when I say such statements! Okay, okay. The truth is Adam is and has been one of my very best and closest friends while I've been here in Utah for the last several years. We've both worked at Thai Ruby together and he's impressed me so many times with how good he is to others and how loyal he is to his friends. He inspires me to be a better friend to others.

Adam was recently offered a job
in Hawaii working as a quality control specialist on fishing boats. He's all kinds of smart in micro-biology and he's excited about the opportunities and experience this job will provide him. We're sad he's leaving but happy for him...and Hawaii...man, how neat is that?!

In this first picture, I think Liz is overcome with sadness because Adam is leaving...which doesn't explain Adam's smile...oh, maybe that's because Adam thought he was being funny while Liz was washing all the dishes! Yes...that's it. And in the second shot, it really looks like Adam loves us...well, he does...he just doesn't always feel like smiling, especially when I tell him he should :)


We had dinner at the Briles family homestead :) Here we have Adam's family from the top left to the bottom right: Dad, Mom, Adam, Uncle Eric, Granny, sister Mares and her fiance Travis. This family is the coolest family - way down to earth and they do an incredible job of living off the land...using their resources efficiently. Don't know if that is the best way to put it - but they are quite the family and a ton of fun!

Think we had a bit too much fun with this last pic.
We'll miss you Adam. You're amazing!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

JoeCool

Joe turned 28 today! Wow...how did that happen? He's posted a hilarious bit on his blog that you have to check out and comment on :). Here's the link to his blog if you don't already have it. It is also along the side of my blog in the list of others' blog addresses.

Joe is a master at words so me writing something about him will just not do him justice. All the same though, I do want to verbalize in the smallest of ways, why I absolutely love Joseph McCune Castleton. I think it started when he stole my ice cream, that first of a gazillion times...definitely didn't start any earlier...he was still screaming for the first few years of our lives...from screaming to stealing...what a great start Joe. He made us all laugh and could get away with anything on the planet because of that. Joe's always been good looking...he made best friends with all the girls in our junior high...and on the first day of school too, just because he was "so cute." Yes, you were definitely called cute.

With his gift of bringing us to laughter and sometimes to the point of tears too, Joe also had the gift of a beautiful singing voice, amazing piano ability and creativity, a steady and consistent approach to life, fast legs, great bowing on his cello, and awesome moves on the wrestling mat. It was fun growing up with him. Joe was a great listener and he also taught me quite a bit about what matters most.

From picking up trash on the freeway together, sharing the MTC, hair cuts on end, and long conversations talking about our funny dating experiences, I have always been so proud to call you my brother. Yes, you're right, it is I that is lucky to have you in my life!


Let's hear it for a great year for JoeCool!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Happy Easter

I wanted to share this beautiful, tasteful piece on how to live our lives with peace and focus on Christ. Hope you enjoy it as much as I have.  





Elder Elder Enzio F. Busche's book, 
Yearning for the Living God is also wonderful. Happy Easter.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

More of Lenichka and Caleb


Aren't these pictures just the cutest?  Rach sent these out and I thought I'd add them here for everyone's viewing pleasure :)  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ben, Em & Company

Ben, Em and their three little kidlets came to Utah over a month ago for Emily's sister's wedding.  We were so excited to see them and to spend time with them.  Thanks for making the trip Ben and Emily. 

I love this picture.  The only sad thing is that Emily isn't in the picture. The kids are their usual fun selves and we're enjoying them...while poor Benni is tired, but trying to smile :).  I can't believe he and Em have three kids!  Amazing.  They have brought so much happiness and light into our family.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Patience

The word seems harmless enough.  Be patient.  

Yes, I understand: wait, pause, be still, hold your breath, take in a few deep ones, close your eyes for a sec, now let it out.  Yes, that is all part of patience.   But, man, it is still so difficult.  So many things to be patient about...especially if you're an intense person.  Yes, be patient: pray, meditate, go for a walk, take in another deep breath and let it out again, ponder, listen, and be still...again.  

Patience is the teacher and I'm the student. 
Much to learn - much to learn.

Monday, March 2, 2009

March 1st - Celebrate Your Life

Well, it really happened, Becky Castleton really turned 30 years old! Yep, didn't see that one coming now, did ya? :) Me neither. How do I feel? Honestly, I'm excited - I'm ready! For my birthday, all sorts of surprises came my way...and let me tell you, I was most certainly surprised!

Friday, Feb 27th, Liz and Mares got together and threw a super surprise birthday party for me at Thai Ruby, the Thai restaurant I used to work at. That was so nice - so fun - and so great to see several folks that I haven't seen in a good while. Loved that - yep. Such wonderful people. Because I'm so all about green :), Liz provided the birthday girl with tons of green balloons, several green St. Patrick's Day beaded necklaces, and this funny green St. Patrick's Day headband...I'm most definitely wearing it on the 17th!


As you can see, I wore everything that night - no shame - I'm 30 - it doesn't matter anymore :). She also gave me beautiful flowers and a ginormous ice cream cake!!! Who does that? :) Thank you to everyone who came! That meant so much to me and made this year for me.

Dad was also in town for Seth's solo in BYU's Night of Concertos and so it was such a treat to have him with us, celebrating my birthday. It has been at least a decade since he and I were together for becky's b-day. So great. The best thing of the party was that I had NO clue! How does that happen? No one spilled the beans; I walked into Thai Ruby, ready for dinner with my family and instead was thrown the best birthday celebration known to man...and with such awesome peeps.

Because I'm a slightly crazy planner, I'd planned everything out that weekend ...but Liz and Mares were smarter than that and figured out how to get me in the end! What a blessing to be loved by such great people. Hope you enjoy the pictures. Guess they're mostly so I can immortalize the events :) Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of everyone that made these events so amazing.



This picture is so cute. Maybe it is obnoxious to show gifts...sorry! Just thought these lovely designed gift bags looked so awesome and fun that I had to take a picture and share! On the morning of March 1st, I found these waiting for me, filled with fun green gifts!


For this year's Celebrate Your Life, I wanted to make a health dinner that others could enjoy. Mom and I talked over the best options for Miss Cooker Becks. The thing is, anyone who has ever lived with me can tell you how much cooking and Becky Castleton don't go together! I can make great cheese, tomato and spinach sandwiches, but I have rarely ventured into the world of cooking...and I wanted to change that!

Following mom's instructions, the dinner included a chicken soup filled with tons of fresh vegetables, a lentil chili of sorts, brown rice, tasty fruit salad, homemade graham crackers, and other fun eats. Liz was amazing and did so much to help out. Thank you to Mares and everyone else that also helped and made the event so much fun.

One of my favorite things is to be with those I love and this dinner was just that. A huge thank you to everyone who came and to all who have added so much to my life.


As seen in some of the pictures, Tristan and James decided it was their responsibility to wrap me up like a present! Thank you very much you two...and that goes for all the onlooking bystanders too.

Adam thought it was
necessary to document




the experience with these photos, so there you go! I've included pics of some of the others who came too :).


I'm going to be a bit sentimental here for a sec. For about two weeks leading up to the big "3-0" b-day, I had a flood of memories fill my mind; without even trying to let them in, they came. Over and over again, I was reminded of how this person, that roommate, this relative, and that experience, has shaped me, blessed me, and given me the joy that qualifies celebrating life.

Truly, I have been showered down upon by blessings and gifts that came in the form of the most wonderful of people entering my life. There are not words to adequately offer thanks, but I guess I want to try all the same.

One of my friends suggested giving away 30 of my favorite things and so at the conclusion of dinner, everyone chose some little (and very cheap :) thing that I like...kids' soccer ball, favorite toothpaste, gum, water bottle, ice cream, soap, seeds, quote book, running socks...good times.


One more thing, Megan O'Hanlon, my Irish other half, set up the funniest group on facebook for me and I've had quite the time reading through it! Folks shared funny memories about me there...and isn't that the type you'd expect? Joe also wrote quite the discussion post on the page which is now on his blog fyi, if you're ever needing a laugh :). Megan creating such a group made me laugh and almost didn't surprise me - she's always doing something sneaky-funny like that :)! Missed you megs.

Thank you again everyone! You've made my life the awesome
experience it has been so
far.

Friday, February 27, 2009

My visit to Rachel's

Can't believe it has already been two weeks since I visited my little sis Rach in Rio Rico, Arizona...right near the border. It was such a great experience spending time with her, meeting the lovely new addition to her family, Lena, and getting to know little Caleb a little bit better. That kid looks just like rach did at that age...except, his head is a bit bigger :).  It was also so good to hear more about Dean's job and to get a better understanding of what he's doing.  It was neat to see how good he is to my sister.  They are a great team!

Visiting with Rachel was so nice. I'm not sure there is anyone in this world with whom I can talk to and feel so understood, speak freely and not feel judged, and with whom I know I can always be my truest self. Feeling this way is such a gift. When I make a mistake, I know she will always forgive me and always help me be my best. Saying it was refreshing to be with her is an understatement - it had been a while since we were together and being with her rejuvenated me!

Hope you enjoy the pictures. I couldn't believe how perfect little Lenichka was...is. Seriously, the pictures don't even do her justice! 

She is so precious!

Please excuse the camera lady.  She still doesn't seem to know how to hold a camera upright nor how to refrain from saying weird, annoying things on camera :)  How unfortunate for the viewer.

video

Here is Caleb telling me all about the cows :)  Rach and Dean live in an open range area which means that cows roam the area freely...quite freely!  This was especially funny when there were 7 of these guys right outside their back door.  

Below, Caleb demonstrates several animal sounds...he especially likes doing that while on Dean's back.  Though a little camera shy, you can get the idea.  He's a pretty funny little guy :).

video

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Spot Light on some Family Funnies

There are things that really make me laugh and one of them is watching videos of members of my family doing funny things. As I've been visiting Rachel this weekend, she's reminded me of some of the videos she made while living in Puyallup with Caleb last year. The videos posted here are mostly funny if you know these peeps and especially if you grew up with them :). They seem to capture some of my siblings in both a hilarious and cute way!

Abs, Mares, and Joe indoctrinating Caleb: Harry Potter
video

Abby and Mary singing "Hey, Baby"...which was supposed to be Abby singing it to Caleb...but then Mary decided she wanted in on the fun too. Great potrayal of these two!
video

Joe here is giving Caleb his first lessons in flying.
video

Abs and Mares dancing up a storm. Very cute. Makes me miss time at home.
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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Rachel Had Her Second!

My sister Rachel had her second little one last week! Here is the info and a few pictures Rach took. When I visit her in a few weeks, I'll take more. Isn't she so cute?! Love that little baby face.

Elena Rachel Delap was born Jan. 19th, 2009 at 6:51 pm. She was 7 lbs. 2 oz., and 18 in. long. Here is the link to an announcement made while they were at the hospital.

It sounds like little Lenichka is much quieter and peaceful than little Caleb, so that might be nice change. Elena (or Lena, Lenichka, or Lenita is named after one of our friends from Joe's mission who Rachel became great friends with when she lived in Russia and who I was also blessed to meet when I was there as well.)

So happy for you Rach - and so glad you're doing well.