Thursday, December 30, 2010

I delight in 2010.

And what a year it has been. I can't believe its come and gone. The end of the year always serves as a reminder to live with no regrets and delight in everyday because they go by all too quickly. But before the year is all done I want to leave a record of things I will always remember about this great year.

ringing in the new year at 9:30 pm with sister k on the roof of our kingston apartment
--saying goodbyes to the people and land I love--january 15, 2010--good haircuts--
temple with nat--isaiah--painting my fingernails--dslr--sewing cute bags--
crossing the almost unimaginable off my bucket list, seeing the space shuttle endeavor take off--the day i got my acceptance letter to grad school--teaching temple preparation
--going to the temple every week--reading the book of mormon--
driving through the state of maine--seeing where my grandpa served his mission
--taking a 'shut-eye' flight--seeing the south rim of the grand canyon--
going to my first mission reunion--seeing my first clinic patient--
playing 'mom' while real mom recovered from knee replacement
--making advents with craig and christin
--monday nights with christin: pals, taylor swift and chick-fil-a--
ultimate frisbee tuesdays--wednesday nights: institute and dinner with nat and jd
--craft day with carly--going back to visit my mission with my mom--
going to general conference--the imc--ending the 7 year freeze--
Tuesday August 17--organ performances--finally going to music and the spoken word
--speaking in sacrament meetings--starting this blog--coke zero--the last lecture
--dating--going facebook-free--reading books (lots of different books!)--
the university of utah and new found byu pride--the day i saw 4 baptisms--hammocks--watching a meteor shower on my trampoline--making new friends--island park--
missing old friends--spiritual confirmations--santa run--baking new things--
being home for the holidays--healing--thursday temple nights at slc with dani, mary and meredith--institute choir--a successful 1st semester of grad school
--making snow angels with christin--watching anne of green gables--pie bird lighthouse--playing games with the fam (skip-bo particularly)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I delight in snow.

not just in the mountains anymore
Its about time some real snow hit the homefront.
Seriously now...Christmas day I looked outside not to a white Christmas but to a green Christmas...yep, green grass, blue sky...the sun was even shining. It could have been a beautiful spring day--but it wasn't, it was Christmas!

Alas, Utah doesn't disappoint! The weather can change faster than, well it could have already changed in the time its taken me to write this sentence.

Short and sweet: I delight in Utah snow. Its different than Maritime snow and I'm loving it!

Friday, December 24, 2010

I delight in home for the holidays.

not my home, but close enough.

Although I treasured the two Christmases I spent on my mission, I am really treasuring being home this Christmas! My heart is full of gratitude for the abundance of blessings in my life this holiday season. I'm grateful for the Savior whose birth we celebrate this season and for his infinite Atonement that allows our hearts to be healed over and over again. The greatest gift I can offer to each of you this holiday season is the message of the restoration of Jesus Christ's gospel found in this book. Click the link and one can be sent to your house free. I have prayed about this book time and time again and I know its true! The words contained in it have been the answer to my prayer more than anyone or anything else.
Love always!
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I delight in a millionaire's example.

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I delight in a girls day!

With finals over...its time to get into that Christmas Spirit! (I always find it incredibly difficult to feel 'Christmasy' in the midst of finals.) Yesterday it was a trip to the Draper Temple, a little Christmas shopping, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert with David Archeletta and Michael York. Absolutely incredible!
Today, I'm playing with my favorite girls (my mom and LB). LB's only been a little excited for me to come home....oh to be so loved. It is my daily delight!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I delight in finals week blessings.

Yesterday, I was abundantly blessed!
Let's be honest...I'm abundantly blessed everyday! We ALL are!
C's mean remediation---which leads to sadness.
B's make me smile.
A's make me giddy!
Yesterday, I was like a kid at Christmas.
Only it wasn't was finals week.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I delight in crossing things off.

Its finals week.
Hence my lack of time to blog.
However---I just had to share a delight.
I delight in the running semester to do list getting dramatically shorter!!!
Aphasia? Successfully OVER!
Advanced Research? Turning the paper in TODAY!
CCMR? Just a thing of the past!
Only 2 things left to do: 1. finish the dld take home exam and 2. take the scary artic test!
Thursday's the day.
Until then, you'll find me at a desk somewhere.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I delight in asking the right questions.

I delight in santa clause and little kids.

Joyful moment of the day.
I was in Smith's by the refrigerated dough section and Jell-o section. There were two adorable little boys standing next to me. All the sudden the one turns to the other and says, "look, its Santa! and he's stopping at Smith's!" The I looked over to see the boy's faces and HUGE eyes before I turned the other way to check out the Santa. I expected a man in a red suit but nope, this man had flannel on. But as continued looking up...there was that Santa hair flowing down into a long beard. He was the santa with 'real hair' or was he the 'real santa?' I daresay both. The boys eyes followed him like glue. I later overheard them trying to explain to their mom that they'd seen Santa but unfortunately the mom thought they were telling a lie.

Lessons learned?
Childhood is the best experience ever.
The spirit of Santa is in us all.
Parents give your kids the benefit of the doubt--what would it hurt if they really saw Santa?
I love the sincerity and belief system children have. Its what I work back to...the simple faith and sincerity of childhood.

Finally, it drew me back to a funny experience I had about this same time last year. I was in Nova Scotia, Greenwood to be exact. We'd had District Meeting and Sister B and I were headed to the mall with the Elders following to get some lunch. Well I was in line at A&W and guess who was in line next to me? Santa. Seriously. He ordered a Papa Burger. I was half tempted to do the same...hello...its Santa's favorite! But alas, I instead just have thought that instead of Oreo's one year...I'll leave him a Papa Burger instead.

I believe in Santa Clause.

Monday, December 6, 2010

I delight in here.

pic by me (as usual) in the magical place on temple square

I live life in trends.
A few trends that have dominated lately are:
'she will do great things'
giving gifts to my Savior
reality: who you really are
Mary Poppins
You may be confused.
My mind is a crazy place. Lots of different brain waves going on!
While they may all seem unrelated they aren't in my mind. I'm grateful the Lord needs me here. I'm excited about all the lessons he is teaching me simultaneously.
I am grateful for the reality of forgiveness. I love what President Packer said in general conference regarding this subject: "You must come to know that forgiveness means forgiveness." We can't be rearview navigators. The atonement looks forward not backward. You have a spotless future and I do too.
Isaiah, well he continues to teach me a lot. Today, at 5:30 in the morning, I read a chapter I didn't necessarily understand...roots, branches, it was early. But as I pondered, determined to come up with something, I learned that God has a place for us all and he is mindful of each one of us and will be active in helping us to get to whatever place it is that we need to be if we are doing our part.
And this is a lesson I left out in the list above...its ALL about your heart. If you feel your heart isn't in it but you don't know what to do about it? God heals hearts. I've recently experienced it and I'm grateful for that reality.
'She will do great things'--this one is a bit hard to explain. Simply put...'my life has a gift, my life has a plan, my life has a purpose in heaven it began.' Its a song I remember my mom's Merrie Miss group singing when I was little. I never remember singing it myself but that first line never left me. Its true for each one of us.
Giving gifts to the Savior, well in the past 48 hours, I've heard 3 different people talk about it. Its something I'm going to do this year.
Reality, well don't doubt your heart. And don't get tossed about by every wind of the sea...somethings ARE just as ridiculous as the seem.
Mary Poppins, another common reference lately. I do love Mary Poppins!
Finally, exercise. I discovered I can read and do the elliptical at the same time. It was a fabulous discovery.

All and all...I'm grateful to be here and by here I mean exactly here, in Salt Lake, in my apartment, in my ward, in my program, in my classes, in my social group, in my family, in my institute class, all the 'in's' i could possibly be! To be learning the lessons I'm learning. I'm grateful Salt Lake is where I'm supposed to be. I'm grateful for this wonderful holiday season which I will soon more fully enjoy in my post finals life (less than 2 weeks away!). I'm grateful for the love and conversation of good family and friends. I'm grateful for prayers.
Overall, I just delight in life.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I delight in Lucky.

This is my precious dog Lucky. Anyone who knows me well will be saying: "Erin, dog, precious, what?" Well...I may not be a 'pet' lover...BUT, I have a HUGE soft spot in my heart for this dog! She is my baby. When she was a puppy, we would fall asleep together every night. She'd lay on my chest as is evidenced in a plethora of pictures. In one picture, I'm even holding her while I do my Algebra homework! She was so cuddly and hasn't ever stopped, even now, she just wants to be loved. Of course, isn't that what we all want, to be loved? Anyway, point of this post is to say that I delight in having her in my life for 10 years! My water dog, my pretty poochie, the sprinkler lover, the milk chocolate one, the leaner.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I delight in vegetation.

actually this is not the kind of vegetation i'm talking about!
i'm talking about the vegetation that involves not doing school work.
sitting. breathing. its nice.

Friday, December 3, 2010

I delight in t's!

After THIS happened, I was pretty distraught. How to survive grad school without a properly functioning 't' key was getting a little worrysome. I could still get a t out of it but it took a lot of effort AND I noticed a dramatic decrease in my typing effectiveness. But alas, good news. Maybe it was the extra exercise I gave the t-key when I pushed it down a lot in frustration. Maybe it was my computer freezing in my car for a while yesterday. Maybe it was just tired but either way. As you can see, iT's back and funcTioning properly! :)

I delight in T's!

My finger however, does now have a bandaid after I chopped it accidentally today.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I delight in finding.

Life is all about finding.
Isn't it?
In a way at least.
We're all here to find out way home. And I'm talking home home, to live with God. We're finding out about this mortality thing and what we're supposed to be doing with ourselves during this wonderful time on earth. I am a fan of mortality. I'm grateful that my fingers work (that my t-key has come back miraculously into use). I'm grateful that when I want to speak, I don't have to think about opening my mouth or about forming my lips or teeth or tongue or the breathe support but that it all just comes out. I'm a fan of the fact that my legs work, that get me in and out of bed everyday. I'm grateful my brain retains some of what I learn everyday.
I find more and more everyday all the wonderful ways God finds to bless me!
I find more and more everyday how much I can't do anything without him.
I find my dependence humbling.
I find the reminder of that dependence life saving.
We don't have to do it alone.
It was never intended we do it alone.

Tonight I had the opportunity to go to the temple (the only reason i love thursdays) and not just any temple but the Salt Lake temple. Afterward, Mary and I talked and then walked around temple square. We then wandered over to Deseret Book to check out Elder Scott's picture exhibit we were both deeply impressed at the depth of his conviction, faith, perspective and understanding.

On the back cover of Elder Scott's book, Finding Peace, Happiness and Joy, he states, "The sole purpose of this book is to help you, or one you love, find peace with happiness and joy in an ever more challenging world. It is not a book about theory but about truth." I just think that is beautiful. The world has an endless supply of opinions on everything. Pick a subject, there's a forum. The world especially has a lot of suggestions as to the ways to find peace, happiness, and joy in your life. However, there are suggestions, ideas, theories and then there is truth, eternal truth. Skip straight to the truth--it will get you to REAL peace, joy and happiness sooner than any other alternative. If you're looking for a great gift to give this holiday season: give the gift of truth, the gift of perspective, the gift of example, the gift of hope, and the gift of love, Elder Scott's book (one of my favorites--if you couldn't already tell)!!!

And so, as I turn to my scriptures this night to find the answers to the questions of the day, I share this quote with you from Elder Scott's book:
"President Marion G. Romney declared with characteristic candor: "I don't know much about the gospel other than what I've learned from the standard works. When I drink from a spring I like to get the water where it comes out of the ground, not down stream after the cattle have waded in it...I appreciate other people's interpretation, but when it comes to the gospel we ought to be acquainted with what the Lord says...You ought to read the book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants; and...all the scriptures with the idea of finding out what's in them and what the meaning is and not to prove some idea of your own. Just read them and plead with the Lord to let you understand what he had in mind when he wrote them (p. 261)."

Finding takes effort. But I believe, nothing is more worth it than finding truth for yourself. Do it with a sincere heart and I promise you will see the blessings. :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I delight in being able to say next month!

Welcome to December! My my my where has 2010 gone? And where was that list of goals I made when I came home from my mission? Ha ha...I actually know where it is but I'll be honest, I haven't looked at it in a while (unfortunately).

Landmarks coming up this month that make me DELIGHT:
1. My first semester of grad school will be over soon and it will be a success (positive thinking)!
2. I will get to spend my first Christmas with my family in 2 years.
3. I will write cards to people I love and tell them just that, that I love them.
4. I will finally go to the candlelight vigil for the Christmas Box.
5. I will take the opportunity to speak kind words to those I am surrounded by.
6. I will read my two annual Christmas reads--The Christmas Box AND A Christmas Carol.
7. Christin will be sleeping on my floor on Christmas Eve (she only talks about it EVERYTIME I see her!)
8. I will watch Harry Potter (at some point, hopefully!)
9. I will listen to all the Christmas music I can!

Its going to be a great month!
But in reference to the post title:
10. I can finally say that next month my favorite missionary still serving in the CANHAL gets home, my greenie, Sister B! (the picture above is in reference to her and what we went through together...special times! :) )