Monday, December 28, 2009
Before we left Farmington the ladies at work told me that they wished me the best. They hoped that I would be happy and that all they wished me was the greatest happiness. They hoped that I would be successful. It wasn’t too bad until I had to turn in my keys and it got harder from there. Then I went on the drive home and Marc asked me what I was thinking about and all I could say was, “I am not going to cry.”
Anyway, we left super early and we began our trip out to Palmyra. The driving conditions were awful and I was so grateful that Marc was able to drive. It was foggy and rainy and dark. He drove for a long time and allowed me to sleep. Anyway, I then drove for a little bit but I didn’t make it very long at all. Marc took back over and we finally made it to Palmyra.
Palmyra was amazing to see. We stopped at the Hill Cumorah Visiting Center. It was SOOOOOO cold. We went inside and I loved looking at the sculptures that were there on display. They told some stories of Christ’s life and it was just a reminder to me. We went to the top of the hill. We made it up there and it was FREEZING and windy. My hair was such a mess from the wind. We rushed down the hill because we were super cold and had other places that we wanted to see. We ran to the car and passed some sister missionaries giving hugs out in the parking lot. (They will come into play later). We went to the Joseph Smith farm and that was really interesting to me. I learned that they were able to reconstruct the Smith house based on Lucy Mac’s journal entries. She wrote about things like the decorations in her house and the width of her house. I am doing good to just get the events of the day in. So that is why this entry is ridiculously long! We ran into the sister missionary and her family here too. I guess she was going home from her mission and giving her family a tour of her mission. We were able to walk in the Sacred Grove while we were there and it was such an amazing experience. I also absolutely loved seeing the Palmyra Temple look over the Smith farm. It such a spiritual experience.
As we traveled to that site and the Grondin building (the site of publication for the Book of Mormon) and to the pizza place for dinner and in the parking lot afterwards, we continued to run into the same family. This was the family of the sister missionary that we saw hugging at the Hill Cumorah. In fact we saw them so much that we joked that they should be invite them to the wedding. The Grondin Building was very cool. I was able to see how the Book of Mormom was published and how it was put together. I even got to keep one of the sheets to show us how they go together.
We left for Kirtland but before we got very far we both needed to sleep. Slowly but surely we made it to Kirtland. I didn't realize before this trip that the Church didn't own the Temple in Kirtland. So finding that out was a bit of a shock. Kirtland was an interesting experience. We arrived and looked at the Visitor’s Center and it was decorated with beautiful lights. They were Christmas lights so of course I loved them. Anyway, we then went to the temple and that was a memorable experience. We got a good chunk of the way down the road before I needed to sleep. Luckily Marc was able to get some sleep on this portion of the drive. In fact he was so asleep that I began singing and he didn’t even start to wake. To stay awake I listened to John Bytheway and listening to words of the Lord was such a comfort as I drove. The songs I sang were by Cherie Call. Those songs have brought me more comfort than anyone will ever know. I eventually needed to sleep and Marc drove for a little while. But soon I was driving again and only made it a little way before I needed to crash.
Somewhere along this drive from Kirtland to Carthage, we got really close to the Michigan border. I have never been to Michigan but my sister and I joke about it because there is a place called Hell, Michigan. So we say that we had a trip from Michigan. I knew I wouldn’t be that close in a long time and so I took an extra 10 minutes and drove across the border. I had to laugh when the sign into Michigan read, “Welcome to Pure Michigan”. I laughed and Marc said, “Yep, this is pure Michigan.” I asked him if he knew how offensive that was and eventually he caught on. Going through Michigan made nine states on this road trip. I will have gone through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Michigan. At least those are the new states. To add the list we could include New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, New Mexico, and Arizona. My total state count is now 31 states. I need to go to Oregon, Washington, Delaware, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Hawaii, and Alaska.
Soon we arrived in Carthage. It was later than we wanted but we were safe and that is what mattered. I loved the feeling that I received in Carthage. It was the feeling that Joseph was the prophet. In Palmyra I was reminded that I shouldn’t stress about things as much because we were following the promptings of the Lord. I knew that he was aware of us and that as long as we did what he asked then it would all work out. He never promised it would be easy but it would all work out. But in Carthage I felt the confirmation that Joseph was the prophet. I got the promptings that Joseph had been there and that it was a sacred place as the site of martyrdom of the prophet. I felt so close to the Spirit there and it was amazing. I loved the confirmation that I received.
About 30 minutes later we ended up in Nauvoo. We realized later that we were driving alongside the Mississippi River. That was a very cool experience. Nauvoo was a little interesting for me. Originally I was a little confused how anyone could really spend time there. This was after we had gone to the wrong Visitor’s Center and been given the wrong map. This map allowed me the opportunity to see Theodore Turley’s house. It was really cool to see my history and the heritage that I have come from. We have always been so proud to be a Turley and it was cool to see a small piece of why that is. I mean in Prescott being a Turley is something to be very proud of and it was nice to see that that might be the case somewhere else as well. Actually, everywhere I have been that is a name to be proud of. But I also saw the mansion that Joseph built for Emma. As we found the Church’s visitor center and began to see Nauvoo I became very sad to leave the area. I would love to go back and see the area again someday. It would be fun to go back with our kids some day and get to experience that with them. It was a bonding experience for us I think and I really enjoyed it. We were able to see how bricks were made, how the carts were made, the blacksmith shop, how to make rope (Marc’s favorite part), and how to make candles. We were able to take pictures of the temple and I was grateful that Marc was so patient with me as I kept saying stop here! I kept wanting to take pictures and so I kept making him stop. It was fun to make the rope with Marc though. He lit up like a kid on Christmas over being able to make that rope and being asked his opinion on what he wanted to do. He claims I don’t ask him very often but in my defense normally he doesn’t have an opinion or at least says that he doesn’t. I was able to take the coolest picture there, well at least I hope it turns out. It is a picture of a couple dating and behind them is a toddler taking his first steps and behind that a family with grown girls playing. It was really cool to see what our future will be like as we get married and have children.
As we left we were able to drive across the Mississippi and it was so exciting to Marc that he was able to drive across the River. He hadn’t ever seen it in daylight or had the opportunity to drive across it. He drove across and went out for Chinese food afterward. We then continued our way to Johnston, Iowa.
We spent the time with his family doing things like having Christmas and playing Pinnacle. I loved my time there so much! It was fun to be able spend time with them. I also created a name for myself in the game of Pinnacle and that might not be such a good thing! I had my second laydown shooter while we were there. That was super exciting to me!!! It was the first one that Marc had ever seen so it felt like the first one to me. Later, I told Marc very excitedly that I didn’t have any losers in my hand. He said okay and called clubs. I passed him all spades to start off with. He passed them all back and then told me that I passed him the wrong suit. I then realized that I would have to pass him a loser. At this point I was laughing so hard from my first mistake that I couldn’t even handle making a mistake like that again. For the rest of the night the joke was passing someone zero losers really meant passing losers in one suit. I guess that is what I get for playing after so long and after I am so tired.
Church in Johnston was really nice. I thoroughly enjoyed the lessons taught and just felt so at home there. I would totally move to Johnston if the Gospel Doctrine teacher would be my teacher all the time. I loved that in Relief Society that they taught through the spoken word. In fact I will have to see if I can find music to “Mary, Did you Know?”. It was just an amazing experience. We ended up leaving Johnston a little early to try and avoid storms.
Driving home went fairly well. We hit some storms coming out of Iowa and I made Marc drive through most of it. When it started to not be so scary again then I took over so he could sleep. But I was so scared to drive on those roads. I had seen so many accidents and cars stuck in ditches that I didn’t want to be driving. After we made it through then I just fell asleep in the car. I was so exhausted from being so scared for so long. We slept for a little bit and the drive continued. We drove through Kansas and that is the longest state known to mankind. It just kept going and going and going. The problem is the road was more of a back road. We would hit 65 mph and then go through a town where the speed limit would hit 30. This happened over and over and over again. Once we made it through then Oklahoma and Texas didn’t seem so bad. I drove most of this stretch but I wasn’t tired through it. I stopped because my focus wasn’t where I felt it should be anymore. We continued to drive until we got to New Mexico.
In New Mexico, Marc came back to the car saying that Melissa had called and the storms we were going to be hitting were bad and so we should be careful. He talked about not driving any further and I kinda scoffed because I was so close to home and there wasn’t any storm to speak of. I found out that Arizona was being hit really hard by a storm. We made it as far as Gallup, New Mexico and even that might have been a miracle. We hit the storm about 30 miles outside of Gallup and I was so grateful I wasn’t driving. We stayed at a Days Inn hoping to just wait out the night and we could continue today on our trip. We waited one day but Interstate 40 has been closed all day. It opened that night but we waited because now we wouldn’t be able to see the ice on the road and so it is safer to wait until morning. We waited until the morning and then drove home. I was so excited the closer I got that Marc kept asking me if I needed him to drive. I laughed and said that I was very capable! Plus if he drove it would have taken me longer to get home and I didn’t want that.
Our road trip together was really good and it was filled with fun experiences but I have decided I am a flying girl. I would rather spend more time where I am actually going then spend time on the travel to get there. But that is just me! :)
Now some pictures from the trip!
This was the Hill Cumorah Monument
This is the Palmyra Tempe:
This is the Smith House:
This is the monument in Carthage:
This is the Nauvoo Temple:
This is proof that we survived the road trip!
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Sister Dibbs begins her talk by telling the story of an accident that happened on a bridge in St. Catharines, Ontario. Four people were killed and another seven had been rescued after clinging for more than an hour to the underside of a 125-foot-high bridge after the scaffolding they were working on collapsed. The survivors had held on to a one-inch lip of steel girder and stood on an eight-inch ledge of steel for over an hour until the rescue teams could reach them. Apparently this bridge had been worked on for about a year and they were two weeks away from completing the project. Officials began to question why these men did not have any safety equipment. The answer came back that they had safety equipment but they chose not to wear it.
She related this to our own lives and there will be times that we are faced with scary situations. She said that sometimes we feel as though we are holding on to what may seem like a one-inch lip of steel girder. She explained that our mortal life is not easy or brief. And yet our mortal life is a blessing. It is a time for us to come to earth and gain a mortal body. It is an opportunity for us to be able to prove ourselves to our Heavenly Father. We have been given an opportunity to exercise our agency in choosing to follow our Father in Heaven’s eternal plan of salvation or trying to find our own way.
Our time here in this mortal probation could be seen as a hazardous job description. We may experience loneliness, strained relationships, betrayal of trust, temptations, addictions, limitations of our physical body, or the loss of much-needed employment. We may be challenged to feel disappointment. We may question our own abilities and fear the possibility of failure. These challenges that we face today were prophesied by the ancient and living prophets. These challenges are equivalent to us falling 125 feet to certain death from a high bridge.
I found comfort in Sister Dibbs’ words as she described that she, herself, dealt with trials and challenges. She explained that her life was not perfect. She reminded me that there are very few stories in the scriptures of individuals who lived in blissful happiness and experienced no opposition. It is through those trials and challenges that we allow our faith, persistence, and personal righteousness to grow.
President Thomas S. Monson said, “Remember that you are entitled to our [Heavenly] Father’s blessings in this work. He did not call you to your privileged post to walk alone, without guidance, trusting to luck. On the contrary, He knows your skill, He realizes your devotion, and He will convert your supposed inadequacies to recognized strengths. He has promised: ‘I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up’”
We have not been left alone in this mortal life. We have all of the safety equipment that we need. We have personal prayer, the scriptures, living prophets, and the Holy Ghost. She also mentions that the we have another piece of safety equipment and that is the rod of iron. She invites us to study once again the account of Lehi’s vision and what it means as we hold to this safety railing. As we hold onto that iron rod then we are blessed to never perish and that we will overcome the adversary. President Harold B. Lee said, “If there is any one thing most needed in this time of tumult and frustration, when men and women and youth and young adults are desperately seeking for answers to the problems which afflict mankind, it is an ‘iron rod’ as a safe guide along the straight path on the way to eternal life, amidst the strange and devious roadways that would eventually lead to destruction and to the ruin of all that is ‘virtuous, lovely, or of good report’”. She said that in latter-days we have been invited to “get a grip”. She said that sometimes wearing safety equipment is cumbersome, awkward, and horribly unfashionable. And yet if we are diligent, obedient, and persistent thet this safety equipment will be for our own personal benefit and gain and for the gain and benefit of those around us. Holding on to this iron rod is not always easy. But as we let go of the iron rod we leave our safety equipment behind us. However, I want to reassure that even if we let go and wander through life it is always possible to return to the iron rod through repentance. This repentance was made possible by the atoning sacrifice of our Savior, and as we repent then we can recommit to having a strong grip on the iron rod.
I know that there are times in each of our lives when we feel as though we are hanging on the bridge as those men were in Canada. I know that there are times in our lives that are scary. Yet I know that as we hang onto the rod and as we wear our safety equipment that we will blessed with the companionship of the Holy Ghost. And that as we continue down the straight and narrow path that we will be blessed to return to our Father in Heaven again. I am so grateful for what a tremendous reminder this was in my life this past week. I am grateful for the opportunity to recommit to having that firm grip on the iron rod. I hope and pray that we will each recommit to holding onto the rod of iron and using our other safety equipment. I know that we have a Savior in Heaven who atoned for our sins. I know that we have a Father in Heaven that hasn’t left us alone, He hasn’t abandoned us. I know that as we stand scared on that bridge that the rescue team will come just as the sun always rises after the darkest night. I am grateful for those opportunities in which I have had to cling to the ledge and to exercise my faith in my Father in Heaven. I am so grateful for this church and all of its teachings. I am grateful for the growth that I have achieved in the year that I have spent in this ward. I am grateful for the example of those around me. I know that we have a true and living prophet today that will teach us and remind us to hold onto the rod. I know that the scriptures are true and that as we read them we will blessed in our lives. I know that the Lord knows each and every one of us personally and wants each of us to make it back to him. I know that as we use our safety equipment that we will. I say these things and leave you my testimony in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
For school this semester I have had to read "The Kite Runner." I had a hard time with this book because it is so sad. Every time a silver lining would come along, it would be crushed just a quickly as it came. I knew it was sad before I started to read it but I just kept hoping it wouldn't be so sad at the end. Every time a silver lining would disappear, it would break my heart. I think the reason I can't handle real-world-struggles in fictional things is because I relate too closely to the characters. I get excited when they succeed and I get troubled with their worries and saddened at their defeats in life. This book was filled with those saddened, troubled times. I have to say that I enjoyed the book when it was all said and done. I will never read it again. But I can't deny that even though that book was so hard to read the quality of that book was amazing.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
If you get really creative you don't have to buy the really expensive calculator for your statistics class. It might mean that the problems become harder and more time consuming, but you don't need to the calculator.
When Biology teacher says that page 116 has the answers, what he really means is that page 116 is useless and good luck finding the page he was referring to!
When reading through an assignment make sure to note the due date. It would have been really nice to realize (before spending 3+ hours) that the project isn't due for another 3 weeks. Well it will be really nice when it is done already but it was very time consuming this week.
Though a teacher may be your favorite, there class is not necessarily your favorite.
If you wait to start your other classes until after you have finished Biology, you might be waiting an eternity to start. Biology is just way too much fun... not.
The end of the semester is coming way too fast and I still have way to much to do!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
P.S. As a side note, I made it home just fine and in fact everything was early today. I think the Lord knew that I needed that today.
I had an opportunity to go to Time Out for Women this weekend for the first time. IT WAS AMAZING!!! I went with my Mom and my Aunt and I loved every minute. I loved the talks and I laughed and cried and felt the spirit so strong. I loved listening to Kenneth Cope sing. I loved hearing these women and the strength and courage that they had. I also loved that the inspirations I got that day wasn’t because of the topic of the talk or even because of what the women said, but more where my heart was and the Spirit being able to touch it.
Before I went to Time Out for Women, I had spent probably the two most perfect weeks home. I loved every minute of my two weeks and it was wonderful to have it still feel like home. It still felt comfortable to be in my room, to help my Dad at the schools, and so many other little every day things. In fact, it was so perfect that I was having a really hard time leaving. Don’t get me wrong, I love my life in New Hampshire and I love the people there and I am happy there. But I was walking away from home and from Marc and getting ready to be a long distance couple for another two months. I will have a hard time leaving New Hampshire as well and have talked about it for months and how hard this will be for me but seeing how hard it was for me to leave home, made me realize how much more I will miss New Hampshire. Anyway, on my last night home I completely broke down and just started to sob uncontrollably at the thought of leaving home. I wasn’t ready to leave. I wasn’t ready to face the real world again. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to those that I loved. So as I sat there crying in Marc’s arms, I kept thinking that there was something wrong with me. My heart has been in two places since moving back east and the more I realize that the harder it is. I also hate crying and I hate crying in front of people and here, unprovoked, I am sobbing uncontrollably. What is going on? I eventually composed myself and got my head on straight again. I think it shocked Marc to know how hard this is on me because I try to not let those type of struggles show. I can do this.
Anyway, I thought about that scene of me just sobbing the night before as I sat there and listened to the various women and the various songs and the thought hit me. We can’t be teachable until we are humble. The Lord sometimes needs us to fall to our knees and be completely at his disposal before he is able to work with us. Because of the humility of breaking down just 12 hours before I knew that I needed to have my heart open to the Lord. I also knew and have known for a long time that the Lord has a plan for me. There is a purpose in doing what I am doing and though I may not know it at the time, it is always for my benefit. I was reminded that I need to remember that. I have often told Marc that though the last 3 months have been really hard, that I wouldn’t change them for the world. I would do it the same way all over again. Yet, when looking at the next 2 months, I find myself dreading it and dragging my feet. Why the difference? I wasn’t focused in the right direction. Through the experience of the last 24 hours, I have found myself refocused, redefined, and redevoted. There is a purpose to me still being on the east coast. Maybe it is so that I can become a true expert on Tom and Jerry episodes. Maybe there is a life that I need to still touch. Maybe I need to become that much closer to my sister. Maybe it is just a lesson in obedience. Maybe I need to become a better nursery leader. Maybe…I mean the list could keep going. All I know is that I am incredibly grateful that I am returning today and that I have been able to have the experiences that I have had and that I can be the person I am today, rather than the person I was two days ago.
There was one woman, in particular, that truly touched me with her words. She talked about some of the deepest and most personal moments in her life. These were those moments that come to truly define a person. She talked about her struggles and her doubts and what got her through every day. I was amazed because she was talking to a room of almost 1,800 strangers and was telling her deepest feelings. The kind of strength that that would take is amazing to me. In fact, I have a hard time even picturing it. I have had those kinds of struggles. No I didn’t have my little brother hit by a bus, or had a child diagnosed with diabetes. But I have had those struggles of making it through the day. I have had those worries of most women and yet I don’t talk about those experiences. Maybe it comes from trying to give off a strong persona. Maybe it comes from not being comfortable with me or who I used to be. But yet as I stood there listening to her story, I didn’t have any thoughts of how inadequate she was or how far she had fallen. I didn’t judge the event at all. And yet, my biggest fear is that maybe if people knew the struggles that I had, that they would judge me or see me as being a person no longer worth looking up to. I learned in that moment that sometimes we judge ourselves so harshly because the women around us appear so strong as well. There are certain women in my home ward that I have a hard time believing ever struggled, or doubted, or lost focus, or made a mistake, or even had a bad day. In fact, I can remember one of my first times in Relief Society and one of them started to talk about her week and how hard it had been and the things she had struggled with and I just sat there in amazement that she had struggles too. She was perfect in my eyes. I wonder if we truly understand that ALL of us struggle, if we would be less critical of ourselves for having those struggles.
One of the women talked about the difference between SIN and WEAKNESS. I, like her, and kind of thought of sin being the big version of weakness. I put them in the same category. They don’t actually belong in the same category. Sins are from Satan and are put there as a way to trip us up and bring us closer to him. They are those things that we need to repent from. Weakness, however, comes from the Lord. He gives us those things so that we made become strong. If we never had opposition, if we never struggled, we would never grow. The Lord needs us to grow and to become more like him. In order for us to do that we have to have weaknesses. I think if we think of weakness in that way, as a way to grow closer to our Father in Heaven through our hard work and devotion as we try to overcome those weaknesses, then we would stop belittling ourselves for struggling. We will struggle and that is okay. It is through those struggles that we remember our Father in Heaven and our Brother who died for us on the cross and it is through those struggles that we grow and become the people that we need to be.
Another woman talked about how things we do everyday could be a miracle in the life of someone else. She talked about there were four families who had been asked to take a boy into their homes one day a week and let him do the things they were already doing in their home. They were asked to help him with his homework (they already had children of the same age that they were helping), and to feed him dinner (they were already cooking dinner for their family). They weren’t asked to do anything that they weren’t already doing but they were asked to invite this boy to join them and to be a part of it. By them doing that, they create a miracle in the life of this boy. His life was completely changed by that one act. I sat there and thought of ways that I could be a miracle in the lives of others by doing the things that I already do. I am still pondering it and know that the Lord will direct me to do what he needs me to do and maybe I won’t even know the miracle I am. Maybe the Lord is doing the same with you. Are you a miracle for someone?
They talked about the “Be There” principle. I was a little confused when they first started to describe this principle. She talked about how the women in our church are really good when a crisis happens. We bring a casserole. We have that covered. But sometimes, a casserole isn’t what is needed. Sometimes what those people need is sometime to just be there. They don’t have to say anything, or create a miracle by themselves but they simply must be present. Sometimes we just need to know that someone is on our side and that no matter what, someone will be there for us.
I could probably write pages and pages of the things they discussed and they way that they changed my life. In fact I already have. But I will end with one of the thoughts that is still very fresh in my mind. I have always heard that the Lord is molding me and, like clay, is shaping me into the person that I need to be. I never thought about what has to happen to the clay before it is in the shape that we want. I have learned, watching my kids in nursery, that sometimes clay (or in their case Playdo) needs to be pounded, smashed, rolled, folded, beat, scraped, and the list just keeps going. Sometimes I think I am going through those various stages of the clay being worked. When your life feels completely upside down and inside out, maybe your life is being “rolled”. When your life feels like you can’t take anymore, maybe you are being “pounded”. I think of the amazing sculptures that have been made through time and the amount of work put into the material used, and I think that I can only hope to one day be the sculpture that the Lord intended. I guess that if that is my goal then I have to accept that sometimes the clay will need to be rolled and sometimes it will need to be smashed and that I need to make sure that I have my life in perspective. What good will come of this? What is the Lord trying to teach me? I hope that I will be able to remember those things and keep them dear in my heart. I hope I will be able to not only grow myself but allow others to grow as I do.
I was also able to work with my Dad while I was there. I love working with my Dad. I love going down to the school and working on some project. I probably spent as much time at Territorial as I did my own home growing up and I love that. It was fun to work with him again and see that changes that he has helped make. It was fun to talk to him about life and how things have changed. It was fun to take pictures and make the bulletin board for the District Office. But most of all, it was fun to spend that time with my Dad. Those are the moments that I have always treasured in my life and I will treasure the new memories created on this trip home.
I was able to still feel like I belonged at home. Sometimes I worry about still fitting when I come back from being gone so long and yet it seems like I never left. Sure life has gone on but once we are back together we all fit and are able to move on together as one unit.
I was able to tease Mikkel. Now, this could quite possibly be my favorite pastime but it is totally worth it. I love just being around to tease him about the things in everyday life and having him just give it right back to me. I don’t know what I would do without that little boy, well not so little now. I am still just praying that I am still taller than him at my wedding and am slowly realizing that that will probably not be the case.
I was able to be back in sync with Marc again. Sometimes being in different time zones and living completely different lives, makes being in a relationship hard. We have been fine and there is nothing to worry about but it was nice to be back in sync with him and to be able to spend so much time with him.
I was able to see my older brother and to spend time with him. I was able to see him on multiple occasions and I loved it. I was able to go on a date with him, my best friend, and all of our significant others. I was able to try a new experience and much to the delight of all I liked sushi!
I was able to see my best friend and realize that though time has gone by that we can still be just as close as we once were.
I was able to see one of my favorite people in the whole wide world and that is my Aunt. She has been such a saving grace in my life and the life of my family and it was wonderful to be able to be back with her again and do silly things like going and seeing Fame.
I was able to realize just how lucky I am to have the family I do and to live the life I live.
I was able to go see the temple and spend time walking the grounds with Marc and be reminded of the promises that we will be making in February. I was able to see the look on his face as we walked around and just feel so close to him. That was how we spent the last little while together and I wouldn’t have changed that for the world. I think keeping the temple in focus for us will make the world of difference.
I was able to get refreshed and rejuvenated for what the next few months hold in store for me. I can’t promise that they will be easy but I can promise that they will always be worth it.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
So I went outside and caught the shuttle to the hotel and stayed the night there is a nice big bed, with no mice, and not having to worry about other people being there while I slept. It was wonderful. It did take me awhile to get to the point where I was warm enough to sleep though. I woke up early and went to the airport and tried this whole leaving thing again. I made it all the way home and made it to be able to see Marc get the priesthood and I was so grateful I did. It was wonderful to spend the day with my family and his family and get to be there for all of it…. Well most of it…. Well some of it. (I was really late!)
So some side notes to this already ridiculously long post. On the way to Atlanta there were these two women who I swear were still stuck in high school even though they were clearly in to the airport and tried this whole leaving thing again. I made it all the way home and made it to be able to see Marc get the priesthood and I was so grateful I did. It was wonderful to spend the day with my family and his family and get to be there for all of it…. Well most of it…. Well some of it. (I was really late!)
So some side notes to this already ridiculously long post. On the way to Atlanta there were these two women who I swear were still stuck in high school even though they were clearly in their 40s. They needed some tips on how to dress modestly… it was disgusting! I also found out that I am planning my wedding ALL wrong because I was planning like this lady’s niece. Her niece is planning her wedding and had the audacity to ask the women in her bridal party what they wanted to wear. Apparently she should have just dictated all decisions. I have also asked the women in my bridal party and so I am going to apologize for asking their opinion…even though I am still basing my decision on it. I also found out that it is atrocious that I don’t know exactly what I want to be when I grow up. Apparently following the Spirit and knowing I will figure it out eventually is not good enough. Silly people on planes. They do make the trip really interesting though. I don’t think this will be a trip I forget for a very long time. But I am hoping the plane ride back goes a little smoother than the one out here did.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I talked to my nursery kids on Sunday about saying prayers. I explained to them about how we need to thank our Father in Heaven but we can also tell him about our day. It made me look back at my personal prayers. There are times that I forget or neglect to talk to my Father in Heaven about the daily challenges and joys of my day. I was so grateful for my little friend and the reminder he gave me of what my prayers should be. I owe a lot to him and the reminders that he gives me on a daily basis. Sometimes he teaches me to just enjoy life. There will be moments where I am stressed out about school and he will come and sit on my lap. This now makes doing school basically impossible. My initial reaction is to become more frustrated. But how can you get upset when you have such a cute rugrat wanting to cuddle with you? How can you get upset when he just wants to spend time with you. It makes me sit back and realize that all of those little moments are so important. I realize now that I want to be remembered as being the type of person who took time for those rugrats. They teach me so much and I am so grateful for that.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I have started blog stocking people's blogs and am so grateful for the opportunity to be part of these women's lives. I read about their joys and their struggles and it makes me admire them that much more. I read as they post their testimonies or things about Christ and the gospel. I grow so much closer to these women that I don't know if I would have the chance to any other way. I learn from them that these struggles are a way of growing, (which I knew but those reminders never hurt!) and that growth is a good thing. That on those days that I struggle I need to look at it from the what-can-I-learn-from-this point of view. I usually can have a glass half full approach but there are those days where it feels like the glass is completely empty and when that happens it is nice to have those reminders.
Most of these women I had contact with when I was younger and the relationship was not compatible to hearing about the trials and struggles that they had. I mean you usually don't tell your 13-year-old babysitter that your week has been really tough! And now, I look forward to each time they post and an opportunity to know them better. I grow knowing that it is okay to have a bad day or it is okay to not have all of the answers. It is okay to feel like you are walking through a dark tunnel, as long as I have the faith that there will be a light at the end and I just have to hold my Savior's hand and he will guide me. I know that this will pass and that I am being taught lessons now that will be used in days to come. I know that I don't go through any of my trials alone.
I realized today that as I get older and become a "big kid" (as I am not quite to the adult stage) that one day people could look up to me and I wondered what type of example I would be setting. Would I be that amazing woman in Relief Society that, though isn't perfect, has a testimony and knows her Father in Heaven loves her, that there is a plan and she must have faith? Would I be someone to look up to? I realize that most of you don't ever know that girls like me are watching or what we see, but I wanted to tell the women in my life that I am so grateful for you. I am grateful for the example that you have given me. I am grateful for the strength that you each possess and the love that you have. I am grateful for the support that you have shown me over the years and how quickly you have all come to my aid in times of need. I am grateful for the love that you have for your children and other children and allowing me to part of their lives. There are so many things that I could thank you for but the tears in my eyes, thinking of how special you all are to me, are making it hard to see.
I will end by a quote that I read while at a YSA fireside on Sunday and it was exactly what I needed to hear that day and so maybe it will something that someone else needs to hear today. This was a fireside given by Sister Dalton and she talked about not always needing all of the answers and I loved that thought!
"I feel to invite women everywhere to rise to the great potential with you. I do not ask that you reach beyond your capacity. I hope you will not nag yourself with thoughts of failure. I hope you will not set goals far beyond your capacity to achieve. I hope you will simply do what you can do in the best way you know. If you do so, you will witness miracles come to pass."
- Gordon B. Hinckley
This post might be a little random and out of the blue from the typical pita-making entries but I have really struggled with life lately as it has been super stressful and I took a moment to read through blog posts today and I read ones that were the exact thing that I needed to hear. And after knowing that those were an answer to my silent prayers, I was filled with this overwhelming gratitude to those women in my life. Each of you have such a great impact on my life and I am so grateful for you. Thank you for being a part of my life.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
I also have to say that after seeing so many Tom and Jerry episodes that I am starting to get favorites. My favorite is called "Downhearted Duckling." This is one about a duck who reads the story of the Ugly Duckling and never makes it to the part where the duckling was actually a swan. So the duck is convinced that he is an ugly duckling and he just wants to die. He keeps going up to Tom and saying "Will you please eat me?" (As a side note: Melissa and I both love the voice of the duck so props to whoever does it!) So Jerry spends the episode trying to convince the duck that he is pretty and helping him with beauty tips. And the duck keeps thinking that he is super ugly and puts himself in a pie for Tom to eat and into a sandwich and things like that. Tom is very willing to eat the duck but gets a little weary after Jerry keeps rescuing the duck. At one point Jerry is reading a beauty tip book and has curlers in the duck's hair, and a mud mask on, and a corset on and looks like a girl does on a Friday night girl's night. (Definitely one of those nights where no pictures are taken!) Anyway, Tom comes and steals the duck and opens the bag and finds this Frankenstein looking duck and runs through the brick wall to run away. It gets bad enough that the duck starts to walk around with a bag over his head. The duck stays convinced that he is ugly until he meets another duck that tells him that he is cute. I love this reason for the 10-cow-wife theory behind it but I also wonder if that that is what would happen if the boys in our lives saw us in our mudmasks and curlers. I mean we do look a little Frankensteinish. That is okay I will still do them because I think it is worth it!
I must say that I look forward to many more Tom and Jerry moments with Mr. Kaelen. I think after I leave here though I won't be able to watch a Tom and Jerry episode without just breaking down and crying.
So last night was one of those moments of me branching out and living in the adult world for a moment. One of the things that Melissa has corrupted me with is eating healthy things. I mean I didn't even know what hummus was before moving in with her and I was craving it last night. When did I ever think I would hear the sentece uttered from my mouth, "I am craving pita chips and hummus." What is wrong with me? It must be something in the water out here. Well anyway, I was craving them but we didn't have any in the house. I had helped Melissa make cookies that afternoon and so decided that since we didn't have any pita chips and I was already in cooking mode that I would just make some. Now those of you who know me understand that this is just so out of character it isn't even funny. Well anyway, I asked Melissa to tell me the recipe again and off we went. I made Pita Chips and they were actually quite good if I say so myself and they definitely filled my craving needs last night. I would have taken some pictures to prove it but we definitely weren't looking so cute last night while making Pita Chips and so no pictures were taken. So you will just have to take my word for it or ask for statements from the few key witnesses that saw me do it. Too bad 2 of the 3 people who watched the whole process are under the age of two.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Monday - work (prep for the programs that week)
Tuesday - Rec program in the morning
- Teen program in the afternoon
Wednesday - Program up at the school in the morning
- Work at night
Thursday - work (prep for crafts)
Friday - work (crafts)
Then you add kids, school, trying to social, church, and who knows what else and your summer is kind of gone before you know it. Don't get me wrong I have loved my summer and almost every moment of it. I will just be glad when the wash, lather, rinse, repeat process isn't so necessary in my life.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
Later I went to talk to her again and she asked me if I knew her name. I responded that of course I knew her name it was Dora. She told me that her name was Nora.... oops.
I am sure her parents went home and just chuckled about the strange girl at Rutger's party. That is okay. I got a kick out of it too.
Kaelen has always been fascinated with the fridge. Well our fridge has a light that comes on when you get water from it. I was using a glass cup one night and it was kind of late and so it was getting darker. I went to fill up my glass cup with water and it created a reflection on the floor. I told Kaelen that Tinkerbell had come to visit. He started stepping on Tinkerbell and as he stepped on her then I took my cup out causing the light to go away. He kept looking on the bottom of his foot to find the light again. I just sat there and laughed and laughed and laughed.
Some of my mornings are spent watching Kaelen when Melissa is out and about volunteering or running errands or doing doctor's appointments. There are some mornings where he is awake but isn't really ready to be up and moving around yet. On those mornings he will take his blanket downstairs, grab the remote, and come cuddle with me. I love those mornings.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Over the last couple of months I have been able to witness Melissa and Chris discuss children’s names. I now can say that I understand how this process is supposed to work. Or maybe how it is not supposed to work…. Anyway, I decided to post some of my favorite names.
Extremely Inconvenient Oliver (Initials being E.I.O…. As in Old McDonald)
Pain Inmy Rump Oliver
And then of course you have to have it follow the Tall-Short-Short-Tall-Short-Short pattern:
And the list only goes on from there….
So I have decided that this little one had better pray it’s a girl so that it can have a decent name.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
I got the opportunity to attend a town meeting tonight. It was quite the experience. After 4 hours and only 4 items of business discussed... I was about ready to go home. Too bad the item I wanted to vote on was number 5. I must say that it was very nice of the town to schedule in some time that would be appropriate for me to do my homework and allow Melissa free entertainment. She had fun turning my ballot into a paper airplane and drawing smiley faces. I had so much fun being ornery with her and having a Gilmore Girls Town Meeting with her. It was fun to spend some time with her. Thanks for making it memorable Melissa!
Oh and the best news... our road got accepted!!!
Sunday, March 8, 2009
I have felt that since I have moved here that the Lord has really allowed me to use my talents to help other people. I feel like this is one more way for him to do this. I am excited for this opportunity to grow and be the person he wants me to be.
The week was a lot of fun and I am so glad that I went. We did get food poisoning twice and that was not so much fun. But it was fun getting to make some special memories with the kids. I think my favorite is when the kids and I went to the Fantasmic show by ourselves. That was one very stressful night. But it was our favorite show. I got to see a lot of fun characters. I even took pictures with some of them. Marc didn’t like that I kissed the Genie and Tigger. The Genie was amazing to watch and Melis and I took notes about how to become more ornery.
While I was there I got to eat some amazing food that I wouldn’t have tried anywhere else. It was nice to step out of my comfort zone and try new things. Don’t tell Chris I said that!
Thanks Melis and Chris for allowing me to be a part of your family. I love you guys so much!!!
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Life right now is going really well for me. I have my struggles and my short-comings but I enjoy life. I am still loving the opportunity to live with Melissa's family. Her kids are amazing and make me want to have a big family one day. Now don't get me wrong... they are still kids and sometimes I really like when the house is quiet. I have really enjoyed the opportunity to live here and am so grateful that I have been able to do so. I have really made a special bond with Kaelen since moving out here. When I come home from work he comes running over to see me. I love it. He is one of the sweetest/cutest/helpful kids I know. Okay well maybe not so helpful... but he does try to be.
I get the opportunity to room with Cambree and it has been fun to room with my twin. She is just like me when I was that age and sometimes I just have to laugh. I can remember have the same frustrations or trying really hard to put a dramatic eye-roll into my sentence. It is fun. In fact because she is so set in doing an eye-roll, we have had eye-rolling classes to teach her how to get the full effect.
Jorden and Taylor are such munchkins. They are always trying to find some new way of making life interesting. They also come up with the funniest sayings. Those two can always make me laugh.
Living with Melissa, I think has made us closer. It is nice to be able to talk to her all the time and to be a part of her life. I think it amazes people that we are actually 12 years apart.
I miss certain things from back home. I miss the rest of my family. Right now is basketball season and Mikkel is playing on two teams. It is killing me to have to hear about the games secondhand and after-the-fact!!
Living out here has definitely been a growing experience for me and I am so grateful for it. I do wish it could snow a little less though or maybe even be a little warmer. I can't complain though, compared to last winter this one is amazing!!
School is going well for me and I am grateful for that. I have been working really hard to get ahead again in classes and will hopefully be able to just coast from here on out. Don't get me wrong I will still work hard but the stress goes away when you turn a paper tonight that isn't technically due until next Saturday.
I still love my job. It makes me laugh sometimes. I always get the funniest assortment of kids or people there. I love it. I love that not only do I get to work with little kids but I get to work with big kids too.
I hope this blog finds you all doing well. I will try and do better at posting on a more regular basis. Lots of love!!!