When you’re on an easter egg hunt, you walk along the lawn, and you glance at the bushes and you see a splash of color. You lean down and pick it up. Maybe it’s a colored egg, a real one, that’s been hard-boiled. Yum! A little salt and pepper and you’ve got breakfast. Maybe it’s a plastic one. You crack it open, and there you see a piece of candy or a dollar. Woo Hoo!
In life, there are easter eggs, too. You’re going along your “normal” life, working, caring for kids, or whatever you do, and something a little bit different happens. Maybe you planned it, maybe you didn’t. But it’s nice, and when you open it up, there’s something sweet.
I’m not talking about the landmark events that change the course of your life. These are wonderful, and powerful. For me, these are things like my wedding day, the birth of each of my children, serving a mission for my church, buying a new house, etc...
These are smaller things that enrich your life, that remind me that I have a life, and it’s a wonderful life.
I made a list, and this is not in any order, and if I were to make the list on a different day, it would probably have other items, and maybe more of them.
Jodi and I traveling to Yellowstone
Early in our marriage, Jodi and I planned a trip, by ourselves, to Yellowstone. It was one of the first of many that we’ve taken together, and one of the few without family or friends along. It was also one of those “I’ve grown up, now” moments for me.
Travelling to Mazatlan
We would often travel with her family to various locations, and one that we did several times was to go to Mazatlan, Mexico. These were always great times, and I got to use my mission spanish. These times really helped Jodi and I bond with wonderful memories, like when I got up early, ran to the beach to buy really fresh shrimp, and cooked it for her for breakfast.
Going to the Smithsonian
When I was a kid, growing up in Indiana, my dad had these 2-week consulting jobs with the Navy in Washington, DC. The whole family would go, and while he was doing physics stuff, mom, Ruth, and I would wander the halls of the Smithsonian. On our way there, and on our way back, we would also visit Civil War and other historical sites. It fueled my lifelong love of learning.
Performing with ROC
After high school, and after my mission, but before I moved out on my own, I spent a bit of time singing for a band named “ROC”. They were an actual working cover band, and I learned a lot from them.
Meeting Chance Thomas
Also early in my marriage and my adult life, I met another musician by the name of Chance Thomas. He introduced me to many people and opportunities in the Salt Lake are music scene. He went on to establish a great name for himself in the world of video game scoring. We don’t see each other as often as I’d like, these days, but I count him as one of my best friends.
Meeting John Newman
Another best friend that I don’t get to see too often is John Newman. We share so many connections, music writing, gaming, game design, thoughts and philosophies, etc... He inspired me to write my food blog, http://marksblackpot.com
Getting the publishing contract & holding my first book
Writing that food blog gave me the opportunity to become a published author! After writing about my journey learning to cook in my Dutch ovens, I was approached by a publisher, and we did seven cookbooks together! What a great time that was.
Gaming with my sons
As my sons have grown up, I’ve shared with them my love of gaming. This has led to the creation of our tabletop role-playing game, TheHerosTale.com. I’ve literally watched them grow from anxious and confused teenagers to capable adults, along with many of their friends, from across a table scattered with papers, miniatures, and dice!
Attending the temple with Jodi
This one isn’t so much a single event as just a process that we do. It’s always wonderful to set next to her in the celestial room and pray.
Something that will happen next year
Yeah, so, who knows what’s next, right? Along the way, I’ll keep looking for those bright bits of color underneath the bushes.
Mark has a lifelong testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (the Mormon Church). Mark also has other sites and blogs, including MarkHansenMusic.com and his Dutch Oven blog.
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