Saturday, December 18, 2021

Weston Family 2021: Focus On What You Love


Dear Friends & Family,

With the continuing challenges of the pandemic, the importance of mental health has come to the forefront. It is in our nature to feel the need to resume and sustain connection with others. Creativity keeps us engaged with others and faithful in enduring hardships. In a beautifully illustrated book, The Boy, the Mole, The Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy, the characters learn wonderful life lessons from one another. The horse reminds the boy, "when the big things feel out of control...focus on what you love right under your nose.” Through the trials of life, sometimes simplifying and focusing on what we love can bring about the greatest healing. Here are some ways we have fallen in love this year:

Netflix = fun
Netflix = lazy
knitting = sort of fun
knitting != lazy
Netflix + knitting = fun
Netflix + knitting != lazy
Therefore, Netflix + knitting

I love having horses back in my life! Madeline was my spark, who asked if she could start taking riding lessons and found a barn with talented trainers where we could learn and grow. We are grateful to be entrusted to lease two precious horses, Roberto and Wynona, so that we can strengthen foundational relationships and practice our riding skills. Over the course of marriage, children, and work responsibilities I had forgotten how much horses matter to me. My soul has been starving for the equine connection and I feel whole again--horses are where I find the greatest peace and healing. Heavenly Father has blessed me this last year with rich opportunities to connect with these magnificent creatures. They strengthen my self-awareness and my relationships with others. Horses ground me. They are an essential part of who I am. I am thankful my children remind me to reconnect with my interests, talents and passions from my youth!

One thing I have loved this year is having the opportunity to attend my first quarter at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo as a new transfer student and a Food Science major. I have loved launching back into in-person classes, learning from some incredible professors, and making many new friends at the SLO Young Single Adult ward. I have also enjoyed living with three incredible, kind roommates. My roommates and I share a love of plants, and collectively have about thirty houseplants flourishing in our apartment. It has also brought me great joy to be a part of Cal Poly’s Advanced Women’s Chorus, which will be performing at the California All-State Music Education Conference in February. I love singing and am grateful for the opportunity to participate in such a beautiful choir. However, as much as I love being at Cal Poly, I miss my family and the dogs dearly and am happy to be home to spend time with them during Christmas break.

Something I have loved immensely in 2021 is the opportunity to perform in a musical with Starstruck Theatre, Frozen Jr. 2020 and 2021 have not been good years for social interaction, so I appreciate more than ever the chance to see my friends and create something with them. Even after years of doing musical theater, the experience is still refreshing and I am grateful for it.

If I was asked the question “What do you love?” last year, I wouldn’t have had an answer because honestly, before this year I didn’t really know. Though the COVID-19 pandemic brought pain and sadness for many, I am lucky to say that I feel like I personally benefited from it. With everything that was cancelled, I found myself realizing what I didn’t enjoy as well as valuing what I loved more than ever before! I was able to find hidden talents, improve in ones that I loved, and challenge myself. What do I love? I love Guide Dogs for the Blind who have given my Mom and I the opportunity to raise Lettie, the most precious little dog. I love Starstruck Theatre where I am able to develop myself as an actress surrounded by many talented people. I love Arriba Vista Ranch where I have learned hard work as well as the power of horses. I love cooking and being able to create something challenging as well as enjoyable. I love my family for the opportunities and support that they have provided for me. And though it might be an unpopular opinion, I love the COVID-19 pandemic for showing me what really matters.

Looking forward to getting together in-person and hearing how you have fallen in love in 2022!

Happy Holidays!


The Westons

Abe, Janine, Natalie (19), Max (17), Madeline (15), Sammy (13), Lucy (4), Lettie (15 months) & Catniss (9)

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