I once heard someone say that if you do something different for the New Year, than your new year will be different. This year I decided I would give that theory a try, and I did everything that I normally don’t do!

My husband and I actually went out New Year’s Eve. We went to my son’s and he and his wife made us dinner. We then played games until nearly midnight, but because we have a dog that doesn’t like fireworks, we made sure we were home before midnight. We we’re glad that we chose to come home early because we find our dog stuck between our garage door. Someone must have fired them off early and he was so freaked out that he actually lifted the door, but couldn’t get in nor out, so we arrived home just in time to rescue him.

New Year’s Day I did what I never do. I took down all of my Christmas decorations. I left up a tiny tree, (as to not give up that tradition) but decided to get clean and ready for the new year!

Now, yesterday I did something that I would have never have done. I took 3 children to the Tournament of Roses Parade, and bumped into (at least) 700 thousand of the 900 thousand people who decided to do the same thing.

We left at 4:00 a.m., and arrived at 5:30 and sat in the line at the off-ramp for nearly 45 minutes and didn’t move one inch. When my car decided it wanted to overheat we pulled out of the line, and moved up to the next off ramp which was 2 miles down the road. Pulling over I asked a policeman where the 415 block of Pasadena Blvd. was. He said I was just 3 blocks away so the kids and I parked and began our trek.

When we parked my car I told my niece to take a picture of the street sign so we would know where we parked. “I did it Aunt Gina!”

We continued walking until we found the 400 block.  We were given bleacher seats by a friend, so we found the bleachers that read: 400. The next bleachers were 500, so I asked someone where  415 was, and showed the man my ticket. He replied, “Well, aren’t you lucky. Your tickets are right in front of the media. If you walk another 4 miles up the street you’ll find your seats on the right-hand side.”


The girls and I trucked up the hill another 4 miles and when we were almost to our destination my niece’s friend asked, “How many tickets are supposed to be in this envelope?”

“Four.” I replied. “Why?”

“Well, we must have dropped two of the tickets because there are only two tickets left in here.”


When we arrived at the gate we had to convince five of the ticket-takers that we actually had two other tickets before they allowed us to go in.  We then found our seats, and I pulled out my cell phone to take a picture of the kids. As I was pulling out  my phone I accidentally took the most horrid picture of me, and  as I went to click the ‘delete’ button my granddaughter kicked my hand, and my phone fell between the bleachers. I ran down to see if I could retrieve  my phone only to find no phone and a woman who told me to simply kiss it goodbye!

Back up the bleachers I went and at first I allowed myself to get  upset over the morning. Nothing had gone right and my “free” tickets now cost me $300.00, but then decided I truly would trust God to find my phone, and the girls and I settled in and simply watched the parade. When the parade was nearly over a man came walking up the bleachers and I noticed that he was holding my phone so I jumped up and met him and he said, “I have your phone!”

“How did you know it was my phone?” I asked.

“Your photo.” He replied!

I had to smile because it was the ugliest photo I never wanted anyone to see, but then I smiled and was so happy that I accidentally  took it. (Or was it an accident?)

Then he said, “I work up in the media booth and I was filming when all of a sudden a light kept shining in my eyes and for 20 minutes the light wouldn’t get out of my vision so finally I climbed down from the bleachers and asked the attendant if I could climb up between the bleachers. When they agreed to let me go, it didn’t matter which way I was looking the light kept getting in my eyes. When I got closer I noticed it was a phone, so I looked and there was your picture sitting in the bleachers and my heart heard that I had to find you and give it back.”

I gave the man a hug and he said, “Merry Christmas!” and smiled.

I sat back down and my niece’s friend said, “It’s amazing how smart God is. He can make people do amazing things when He wants to give us things so we know He knows!”

The parade ended, and then I asked my niece to show me the picture she took so we could find where we parked and she said, “Aunt Gina. The picture didn’t come out!”

We walked around for another 3 hours until we found our car, and when we were finally headed home I began to wish I hadn’t gone. The whole trip was such a hassle and almost non-enjoyable, but then I realized the lesson I learned when I lost my phone.-

We truly are never lost, because God is always paying attention and when He wants us to have something, He will stop at nothing to make sure we receive it.

The theme for the parade this year was Just Imagine, and I’ve come to the conclusion that if 2012 is anything  remotely close to what I’ve already experienced in 3 days… I can only imagine what the rest of the year holds!

Jeremiah 29:11“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.



1 Comment

Filed under Faith

One response to “JUST IMAGINE…

  1. morganpardee

    Great story, Gina! An amazing story. I believe 2012 is going to be an amazing year of changes.

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