Sunday, June 21, 2009


Have your ever really sat and listened to what a cheer from a crowd sounds like? A collective "Hooray!" screeched from a throng of excited, happy people? As I sat at the public swimming pool this weekend, I was priviledged to not only witness a large group "Hooray" but to be present and focused enough to really give some appreciative thought to the blessing of "Hooray!"

It was hot and muggy, and the crowd was one of the biggest I have ever seen at our local pool. The lifeguards had whistled that they were taking a 15 minute break. As the crowd waited for the whistle to blow again, you could feel the anxiety (that can be a good word too!) and excitement build in the crowd- all of the crowd regardless of age. The life guards count down with a hand signal from five, four, three, two, one and blow their whistle to signal it is safe to return to the pool- and I experienced, with both my eyes and my ears, a collective "Hooray!". Some children threw their arms in the air, shrieks of joy were heard, and of course, dozens of people simulataneously threw themselves into the pool. What a joyful sound!

That experience caused me to pause and just cherish how simply rewarding a "Hooray" can be. Really, "Hooray" is appropriate when the whistle blows at the pool, but is also appropriate today, as a steady rain falls down on to our thirsty earth- "Hooray" for rain. "Hooray" for Diet Caffeine Free Rootbeer (I'm sipping with a smile right now), "Hooray" for the Northern Wisconsin State Fair and other opportunities to celebrate with friends and families, and "Hooray" for our blessed ability to simply be here today enjoying all of them.

Scrapbooking is all about the celebration of life. I think that is why I enjoy it so much. It allows me to photograph, journal, and preserve our life of "Hooray" moments in a form that is artistic and inspiring for me. Here is a recent photo that makes my heart call out "Hooray"! This is my daughter on a recent trip to the Museum in Milwaukee. We visited the butterfly exhibit, where butterflies roam freely, and land on you, if you are lucky, for a visit! If you look at Iris' eyes, you can see a silent "Hooray" called out to the beautiful visitor on her finger. This will make an awesome scrapbook page- don't you agree!

You know, even the most challenging moments often offer something worth celebrating. It might take you some time to find what that is, and to feel thankful for it. But, without challenges in life, we wouldn't have the simulatenous opportunity for growth. It's often the growth opportunities that lead us to "Hooray" moments. Not as sweet as Diet Rootbeer to swallow, I know, but true nonetheless.

As you start your week, I challenge you to look for the "Hooray's" you encounter. When you find one, take a moment, and smile!

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