another happy birthday post

Apparently it takes a lot for me to post on this blog of mine. Not only must I have a strong feelings about a particular subject, but I also need the patience to write, and I need extra time to justify posting vs. the many other things I should, could, or would be doing right now. Most importantly, I should feel that the subject is worthwhile and may have some type of impact for good (many subjects I feel strongly about but don’t necessarily translate to useful information or motivation blog posts). Today is a lucky day because the stars are aligning and all three of the above criteria are met.

Another thing you might have noticed if you are actually a consistent reader on this blog, is that I love talking about other people. Today is no exception. I dedicate this post to one of my newest greatest friends: Jarilyn Cox. I say newest because I didn’t know Jar pre-MPA program and it still kind of shocks me that really great friends can be developed past the 7th grade. Is not the phrase ‘BFF’ only reserved for those who you grew up with? Thank goodness it’s not because I sometimes surprise myself at the number of people I call my best friend. I think we’re up to at least 37 now. Roughly.

No really though, Jarilyn is definitely one of my best friends. Let me list (who doesn’t like a good list?) a few reasons why:

1. Jar is up for anything anytime. She makes things happen. You want to go to London, England or Vernal, UT? She’ll have it organized in a day and a 1/2. You want to go hiking or to disneyland for the weekend? She’ll have the sandwich’s ready and plans made within 20 minutes. She decided to go to Paraguay for the whole summer, made the decision within a day or two, and never looked back once. It’s quite amazing to watch for indecisive people like myself. This girl is a mover and a shaker.

2. Jarilyn loves sports. Oh man. I don’t know very many females that play Volleyball, Tennis, Racquetball and Ultimate Frisbee all in one day. Nothing can come in the way of her playing time. She loves byu sports and we’ve been regular attenders over the last year. She has also been the best racquetball partner I’ve ever had. So much fun.

3. Jarilyn is so much fun to be around. She uses hyperboles almost every other sentence. It makes things REALLY exciting. Everything is all of a sudden 7 billion hours long, or 6 million people were there. Her facial expressions add to the excitement. You can’t help but laugh and smile when Jarilyn is around.

4. She is SOOO easy to make fun of. From technology to dating, Jarilyn is an easy target. Unfortunately, I totally took advantage of this throughout the year. What ever you do Jar will NEVER switch to gmail (and she probably won’t even read this blog). We had a gazillion great laughs about it though, right Jar?

5. Finally, Jar is incredibly consistent. When it comes to friendship, this is the best attribute. Jar is so willing to help, to listen, and to just share your burden. She likes what she likes and is not at all swayed by the whims of trends or others opinions. When Jarilyn commits – she’s 110% committed.

If you can’t tell, I really love this girl and already miss spending 15 hours a day together. Happy Birthday Jar!

One of the Best

One of the many things I will continue to focus on (remember this?) with this blog will be people I love and admire. Inspiration comes from Everybody Has A Story portion on CBS News. It also comes from my father who is notorious for building people up and putting them on the spot by talking about all their most desirable qualities and achievements. But mainly–  I just feel incredibly amazed by the people around me.

Raymon is no exception. He happened to turn the big 2-6 this past week and is looking forward to his 27th year being his best yet. I have come to appreciate Ray in so many ways but here are just a few qualities that I think we can all learn from.

1. commitment. When Ray is in, He’s in. You know you can count on him to follow through with anything he commits to – religion, education, jobs, and especially in relationships– he’s totally devoted.

2. preparation. if preparation precedes power (and i do believe this), then Raymon is the most powerful man i know. He is always prepared and ready for what’s to come ahead. This is truly a divine attribute.

3. disposition. this word automatically makes me think of “a disposition to do good continually”. Ray definitely has this type of disposition but I think people are most drawn to his good natured attitude and pleasing disposition. Raymon has a LOT of friends who love being around him because he is consistently happy and so much fun.

Do you know anyone like this? Let’s all be more grateful for the Raymon’s in our lives.

How to: Create a Great Panel Discussion

Get ready for many more posts– I have much to share with the world including a few great “how-to” lists. Thank you Michael for the inspiration for this one. :)

How to Create a Great Panel Discussion

1. Limit the people on the panel – no more than 4 or 5
2. Short introductions, name, where they are from, 30 second intro
3. Name and company description written on the board, name card, or PPT before hand
4. Moderator needs to stand up and control the conversations
5. choose 3 or 4 questions beforehand
6. only allow 2 or 3 panelists to answer.
7. communicate to panelists to keep answers short. (20 seconds or less.)