Sunday, December 23, 2012

twas the week before christmas

and all through the house, every christin was stirring and shaking the boughs
the stockings were hung on the banister with care with presents appearing everyday without spare

creativity end.

my "christmas break" is here, off and running!
kids and christmas makes my life so happy, have i mentioned i love my job?! its been a major theme of all my delights of the week. helping kids be able to say things like "santa, christmas, lights, and four-wheelers" has been such a delight. i mean honestly, what can be better than helping a child learn how to say (intelligibly) what they want for christmas to santa and have santa finally understand! yep. its that awesome! a few delights from the week before christmas are as follows:
  • i delight in thoughtful, kind co-workers who teach me so much and are ever so kind
  • i delight in having my best friend in town and 8:30 am gatherings. 5 months apart is too many!
  • i delight in finally being able to make 'the wilton rose'...ah ah!!!
  • i delight in happy happy children!
  • i delight in christin, without whom this time of the year would be less exciting
  • i delight in the christ child whom this season is all about
  • i delight in christmas lights and how they make me feel little all over again
  • i delight in christmases past, particularly the christmases i spent as a missionary that bring such happy memories to mind
  • i delight  in lunch with friends who i don't get to see enough
  • i delight in a friend who can play my favorite song on the piano and let me sing it again and again and again
  • i delight in my christmas tree and the history of its ornaments
  • i delight in the anticipation of a new year and the memories of the past
  • i delight in meeting up with a good friend and having one of those heart to heart chats 
  • i delight in seeing the excitement of my cousin's children over dollar christmas trees, paleontology kits and soccer balls
  • i delight in hearing lb sing christmas songs off key like they're on key
  • i delight in a hazelnut carmel steamer
  • i delight in craig being excited over the presents that keep appearing in the stockings
  • i delight in sleep
  • i delight in socks
  • i delight in making plans, big plans for the new year
  • i delight in the christmas season!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

theme of the week: collecting lessons

delights of the week
  • hearing the words "well done" at the perfect moment
  • being entertained by the 'couple' in my cake decorating class--i guess its one way you can develop talents together
  • seeing temple square from a new view and wandering city creek with my dad
  • loving my ward and singing to some of my favorite older people
  • breaking out all the winter gear--from the thermals, gloves, and wool socks to the scarves, canada boots and pea coats
  • setting up my christmas decorations
  • coming home to a clean and bright room
  • the last class of institute for the semester. i'm so grateful i've made it a priority this semester.
  • a trip to the salt lake temple and a wander around temple square (pansies, christmas lights and all), as well as a stroll through the church history museum
  • reading lots and lots of out of the book of mormon everyday to meet my year end challenge 
  • getting christmas cards in the mail
  • talking on the phone to an old roommate and good friend
  • leaving work at a descent time
  • laminator
  • taking time snuggle with my sissy, loving that she finally used the word "instead" correctly (now if we could only get down 'without' and 'except'), laughing every time she uses the word "amazing" when looking at christmas lights
  • christin maintaining her 80-90% success rate in guessing the gender of people's babies
  • using fondant, something i don't plan on doing again--at least for the time being
  • seeing the family christmas card in print--beautiful!
  • eating the best philly cheese steak of my life and loving that it is two blocks from where i work
  • love love loved a million tiny but fantastic things my kiddos did this week--they're so awesome!
  • getting all my christmas shopping/crafting/etc for my family all done! (except the buttons and buttonhole--pics to come)
  • being inspired during fast and testimony meeting
  • having the best research group ever
  • getting a new electric blanket after the old one died
  • my ipad, i love what it allows me to provide for my kiddos
  • eating ice cream and looking at christmas lights
  • listening to the best mormon tabernacle christmas concert ever--sing choirs of brian stokes mitchell--over and over and over again
  • making delicious soup for my family for dinner
its been a pretty delightful week. i love christmas. maybe i love it even a little bit more this year, if that is possible? one of the things i am most grateful for this time of year is the opportunity i had to spend two christmases away as a missionary. it makes christmas mean something a bit more. i wouldn't trade those years and those experiences for anything--ever, but it does make me ever so grateful to spend the holidays with family. the song is right...there is no place like home for the holidays.

lessons of the week
hearing "well done" at the end of a long day, it should be the goal everyday

Friday, November 30, 2012

daily delights of november 2012

november 1: one good thing about going to work in the dark is the pre-sunscapes that grace the sky. this morning they were pink like i've never seen. i couldn't help but think "i'm so glad that i live in this beautiful world, heavenly father created for me" (thank you primary!)

november 2: started a class on one of my long time interests and hobbies--cake decorating! hearing silver bells on the radio and not even thinking twice about it until the song was over.

november 3: its been 4.5 years since my mom, dad and i were able to attend a temple session together...until today. we went to the brigham city temple (also a first) which is dad's hometown. the other thing that made this whole thing a big deal is that i have now been to every temple in utah! we went to bert's, a brigham classic since 1929. what a great day!

november 4: bearing my testimony. i am so grateful for the gospel in my life and i'm grateful for the opportunity i had to share my testimony with the people of atlantic canada for 18 months. i am also grateful for good friends who i know so well that i can sense they need to talk, that there is something going on. this blesses my life time and time again. i'm also grateful for ces firesides.  they rock!

november 5: all thanks to a good hair day. today pretty much rocked. i had a great day at work, learned how to implement PECS, went for the monday special with mom and sis. then i went to stake fhe, missed pretty much the whole thing but followed the prompting to talk to the guy behind me after. 2 1/2 hours later i knew my life had been changed for the better. even if nothing came out of it, my faith is restored in good guys trying to do good things. yay for hope!

november 6: i'm so grateful for the temple, i can't think of a better place to be on a presidential election night. so grateful for covenants.  i know they bring a power into my life that helps me keep on carrying on.

november 7: institute. earlier in the week i had a conversation with someone regarding how the prophet has commanded young single adults to make institute a priority.  i certainly haven't always and am still not the most consistent institute attender but what should class be about tonight? but spiritual education and we talked about institute being a priority. and what is one of the themes i have been studying all year in the scriptures? god's priorities and mine. how had i not yet added institute to this list? to my discussion? to my study? once again was an answer to my prayer.  i completely get why it is so important for young single adults and i'm grateful the prophet would tell us of the benefit and promise such great blessings associated with institute attendance.

november 8: today i'm grateful my dad got a clean bill of health! i had a very full day at work to keep my mind off of wondering too. i'm also grateful for my mom...when i get myself into pickles of committing myself to too many things--oh hello life! she is there time and time again to help me out. bake the cake, the brownies, pick up a few things at the store and oh you know, cut out a bazillion cards. grateful for my mother!

november 9: the day that did not go as i expected--from start to finish. delighted in chatting with good friends and eating delicious cake made with love

november 10: delighted the most in christin's good morning greeting to me on my twenty-sixth birthday. she's the best. delighted in eating indian food with the fam--they were not huge fans (as christin would say). delighted in craig and i being the same age again. delighted in stake conference and the reminder about the fourth watch. delighted in going to bed early. delighted in hearing from all the people i love most in life. i'm so blessed with such fantastic friends and family!

november 11: delighted in having so much respect for a good friend of my family and recently returned missionary. his homecoming report was one of the best ones i have ever been to. i know lives were changed, hearts were touched and that many prayers were answered in that meeting, probably completely unknown to the speaker. the lord is a fourth watch god but he is always watching and he will make things work together for our good as we act one single step at a time.

november 12: one of my passions in life is helping children communicate, hence my profession. i delight each time a child and parent leave my room feeling a little more empowered be it knowledge, ability, assurance or confidence.

november 13: i delight in the sweetest sister. so i come home from...let's just say it was quite the day. good but stressful. i go down to my room to find my bed made. i certainly didn't leave it that way when i left this morning. christin comes in..."sis, you like your bed? i did it, for you." smile. hug. she is the  sweetest. honestly, i don't know what i would do without her constant christ-like example. when i get stressed and selfish, she helps restore my perspective and reminds me what life is really about. so many people say she has disabilities but i can't help but think that she has some incredible abilities that come so natural for her that are so not-natural-abilities for the majority of us.

november 14: today i'm grateful for my electric blanket. it got me through the day.

november 15: i delight in diet coke. its how i started and ended my thursday. while i try not to be addicted to caffeine, which is why i go days without it just to keep myself in check, i really really like it. and i'm really grateful for it on particular days like today.

november 16: i delight in what i do. today as i headed to salt lake for what would invariably turn out to be another 12 hour day, i thought, 'erin, why did you think 3 jobs was a good idea?' as i went about my day, shadowing at the UNI HOME program, lend lecture and then developing my talent (or lack there of) of cake decorating, i just thought...i'm so grateful for this time and the opportunity to develop these passions. its the passions i have about these subjects that keep me pushing on and on to learn more, to do more and to constantly seek more. i also find that answers to my questions (and ultimately answers to my prayers) come during these today, we talked about letters of medical necessity. i have been trying to learn more about that and then bam, here's a lecture on it. so blessed. so so blessed!

november 17: i delight in my automatic alarm. 6:00 greets me everyday.

november 18: i delight in those people i've known forever. i love that those bonds never break. and in moments of need, especially, they're as strong as ever. i also delight in the mormon moment.

november 19: i delight in motrin. "my headache medicine." i also delighted in seeing some people in my ward really embrace christin as a took her to fhe with me. i always worry, and rightfully so given past experience. few things make my heart happier than seeing others embrace her without seeking my approval to "talk to her" or without "talking around her." she gets it. and when others just love her, she is right there loving them back.

november 20: every november, i get terribly hungry. i must have pioneer blood or something. i did not bring enough lunch today and so, i text my dear grad school friend and fellow ogden-dweller to grab dinner at cafe rio. i love good friends. and i especially love good friends who you can talk about a variety of things with and they get it--work, church, family, dogs. :)

november 21: i delight in craving progress. progress for myself and progress for others. i sincerely love that my profession is very goal oriented meaning i literally write goals for every patient i see. writing the goals is often one of the most challenging things i do because i want it to equate to something that will make a difference, that will be functional and helpful to their life. once that part is somewhat settled, i find absolute joy in working toward achieving those goals.  progress!

november 22: i delight in a day to be thankful. sometimes i just love holidays, they give us entire days to: be grateful, to love, to remember, to celebrate the birth of christ, to look for four leaf clovers. :) i am grateful for friends, family, pie, pounce, the gospel of Jesus Christ and naps.

november 23: i delight in finishing a book, in spending time with my grandpa and spending the day with my mom. we're black friday wanna-be shoppers. we have fun. we wander. we laugh. we quarrel (only about driving and directions). i delight in the precious times i have with my mom. they are few and far between when its just the two of us so i really really delight in these times!

november 24: i delight in doing stuff. today i had a day to do my stuff. i always seem to have projects with no time to do them. so today i did stuff. :) i also did breakfast with a long time friend. there is something about breakfast traditions that are so amazing!

november 25: i delight in hearing the best news ever from my best friend. it completely made my day. so happy! today i also delighted in teaching the gospel. i got to teach gospel doctrine for the first time in the united states (had to put that caveat on as i did teach in canada when i was a missionary). it was such a delight, the preparation, the delivery and the comments. what people bring to class and contribute is the best, i always appreciate it and learn so much from others wisdom and insight.  i also delighted in home teachers. i haven't had any for a year!  the helped bolster my faith that there are good men out there (good single men out there) doing good things in their lives, being genuine, kind and uplifting. i also delighted in a new way to look at 1 nephi 16, i will now expect wild beast blessings.

november 26: i delight in living the principle i know to be true: its about principle, not preference.

november 27: i delight in visiting teaching.

november 28: i delight in celebrating craig's birthday. i also delight in the fact that i got him a "good" present, according to him! mission accomplished!

november 29: i delight in schedule boards and best friends.

november 30: so happy to learn about the ADOS today. learning makes me feel so empowered. learning about things i am interested in and have a passion for makes me so happy! i really delighted in talking with a kindred spirit friend about grad school, missions and lessons learned. finally, i delighted in finishing my christmas shopping and finishing my first cake decorating course. i got a certificate and everything! can you say official?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I delight in the mormon moment.

Tonight, Elder Rasband of the Presidency of the Seventy spoke at the Ogden LDS Institute of Religion.     He said if he could title his talk it would be: "Sharing the Gospel in the Mormon Moment."  The associated press recently published that the biggest winner in the 2012 election was indeed the Mormon Church.  Maybe in all the hub-bub of the election that I tried so much to avoid, I missed the biggest point, that Mormonism was becoming better understood.  Light was being shed on the church, better and bigger attempts were being made by society at large to understood what we really believe as opposed to common misconceptions. It is a missionaries dream! (And now we're well on our way to doubling the number of missionaries thanks to President Monson's recent announcement about lowering the missionary age.  Coincidence? I don't think so. ;)

Elder Rasband went on to speak about our role in this mormon moment, what we as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can do and his answer was essentially to answer others questions and always be ready to bear your testimony/share the things you know.

The Lord knows our hearts. He knows the trajectory of the world and the times in which we live.  He is mindful of His children and of His church.

I invite friends who read this blog, if you have questions, please let me be your person to ask. I love to talk about the gospel of Christ and about why it is the best thing for my life. I always hope that this blog reflects the things that mean the most to me: the gospel and my family. I know family is where it is at and when we have strong families we have strong communities and when we have strong communities we have a strong nation. I know that the most important teaching we do is in the walls of our homes. The gospel of Jesus Christ provides those key teachings, doctrines and principles that serve as the foundation of faith for families in these perilous times.

mormonism won even though romney lost
new missionary age
president monson announces age change for missionaries

Friday, November 16, 2012

the twice-yearly celebration

the other day i came home to find the ensign on my chair.
not just any ensign, but the general conference ensign.
happy happy day (as lb would say).

first, i look at all the pictures (because i'm finally okay that they're in color now, i really loved loved the black and white). next i read the priesthood session talks. i never got around to watching between conference and now and i never really got a good report about what the talks were about. just finished reading elder christofferson's talk...amen. that's all i have to say.  

i sincerely look forward to the next 6 months bonding with this magazine and all the powerful inspiration and counsel. we are so blessed to have living prophets on the earth!

Friday, November 9, 2012

I delighted in my twenty fifth year.

                                                       Dear twenty-fifth year,

Initially I met you with some significant angst. A lot of things were anticipated to happen during your year and a lot of really good things ended up happening. Sure some were hard, some were sad, but for the most part, they were wondrously rewarding. They were mentally, physically, and emotionally challenging but ultimately it was all good for me. You gave me a trip to California to attend ASHA, to open up my eyes to all I could do in my field. You gave me trips to 3 new temples allowing me to meet my bucket list of completing a session in every temple in Utah. You gave me three amazing internships with fantastic supervisors who I can honestly say helped shape me both as a clinician and as a person. You gave me lots of good interviews, offers and a great job that has been a great challenge and an even greater blessing. You gave me adventures to my favorite places including Island Park, St. George and Blanding. You gave me the opportunity to serve in some great callings and be a member of three different wards...not all at the same time of course. You gave me the opportunity to cherish current friends and make some new ones. You gave me a great network and a great new place to learn at lend. You gave me time with my family which I cherish always. You challenged me to be brave, to do things I've never done. You challenged me to learn new things, to be flexible and to remember more than I ever thought  I could. You challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone, to try hard things and to walk uncharted ground. I'm grateful for our 365 days. They've been great! You've truly taught me that what Anne Shirley said is true, "It's not what the world holds for you, it's what you bring to it."                                                      Cheers,  Erin

Thursday, November 1, 2012

a new kind of november

i'm excited that one of my favorite month's has arrived! while i love september/october, i have a special place in my heart for november because it's birthday month!  yay for birthdays! yay for any reason to celebrate! when my birthday hits, i feel something stirring in the air that leads me to introspection.  how am i doing? what am i doing? what have i done? and what can i do better?

i'm having lots of thoughts already about those things and i'm pretty sure it will involve some positive changes that i'm pretty excited about. i'm so grateful for the seasons of life and that i can be flexible and move along with them! 

here's to the eleventh month. here's looking toward 
the tenth day. here's to fall, family, 
and future events!

Monday, October 29, 2012

lesson: if you don't learn to laugh, you're sure going to cry a lot

arch canyon overlook in fall
october 2012, deer hunt opening weekend
blanding, utah

this week, i'm delighting in:
  • loving to see how rapport builds over time
  • being mormon and being recognized as a mormon
  • seeing old grad school friends and hearing about their awesome post-grad lives
  • going to two halloween parties in two different costumes
  • talking with an amazing parent
  • taking a huge project i've been working on to its 'second step'
  • starting a book i was supposed to have started reading months ago
  • sitting at dinner with friends for hours, talking about everything and anything
  • listening to a new cd in the car
  • driving in the snow and having maritime flashbacks
  • learning more about the amazing life of a long time neighbor
  • getting good feedback on a project so i can make it better
  • playing pounce with my parents
  • talking monticello with a native of monticello
  • seeing favorite families
  • singing songs about 'ruby-do'

Sunday, October 21, 2012

theme of the week: get out and live

like a lizard
butler wash ruin site
san juan county, ut
20 october 2012

life treated me so well this weekend.  south eastern utah. fall leaves. splendid weather. great company. fantastic scenery. monticello temple. seriously? right!

  • paving new paths
  • finding the hippy vans in the middle of NOWHERE
  • getting quality sleep
  • dreams of turning into mud
  • finding friends everywhere we went
  • hot dinner every never tasted so good after a day in the desert
  • appreciating nature
  • appreciating my dad
  • using the sailboat scarf to keep from eating dust
  • heated seats 
  • laughing, really laughing...a lot!
  • coming home to a happy family

Sunday, October 14, 2012

theme of the week: letting the lord define success

  • fall. this is the first year (besides my two 'fall seasons' as a missionary) that i haven't been in school in the fall. fall has always been my favorite season by far and i feel like this year i am enjoying fall in a few of my favorite ways that i haven't been able to for years--looking at it, walking through it, driving through the canyons, kayaking amidst it. i delight in fall. 
  • participating in my first pdc (parent directed consultation)
  • pondering general conference--so many lessons learned
  • watching the conference addresses i missed
  • buying a calculator
  • signing up for a cake decorating class--because i have always wanted to and it just so happened the timing of the class is perfect! i'm so excited.
  • dinner and an all around delightful evening with the grandparents
  • finally going in the antique shop in logan that i've always wanted to go to
  • reading daily from the book of mormon 
  • making freezer lunches, so i don't have to eat sandwiches
  • going to one of the happiest baby showers i've ever been to--everyone was so happy, grateful and excited
  • sewing my first "quilt square" and getting the points lined up fairly well if i do say so myself!
  • being told by christin that something "wasn't my best option"
  • hanging out with good friends, and watching a movie with a strange ending
  • having dinner with a mission companion and going to institute
  • "hanging out" google style with friends afar
  • sitting by my 'practically sisters' at church
  • catching up with my mission trainer
  • loving the fact that tuesday night is "gibbs night" again at my house
  • weekends where i don't have to set my alarm and can still feel good about waking up on my own at 7 because my body decided it, not my alarm
  • playing with puppy
  • sissy hugs
  • starting to write, i mean really write
  • planning the trip that's finally going to happen--monticello!
  • campfire with the family
  • the amazing testimony meeting in my ward today, reminders of what i should focus on
  • christin's tarzan impersonation
  • family group hugs

Saturday, October 13, 2012

I delight in general conference gems.

This quote was one of my favorite things that was said in general conference. I know that I am not a parent, but I work with lots of parents and I have parents and one day I hope to be a parent. 
I know that there is no substitute for parents and parenting. 
 I've always believed in the adage: the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

I delight in a best friend's birthday!

I've been blessed with some amazing friends in my life. Seriously!
Natalie and I have been friends for what 20 years now? How crazy is that? We've had some of the best and worst times together...and isn't that what friends are for! 
And so, as she is not close enough for us to hang out on her birthday, I have decided to compile a list of a few of my favorite memories with you, my dear friend Nat:
running around west yellowstone chasing painted buffalos
going to great concerts: switchfoot (x3), U2, ben folds
finally getting those 'kindred spirit and bosom friend' comments after all those years and finally watching anne of green gables with you!
salt lake adventures!
talking to the sisters on temple square
hiking up big cottonwood canyon
10:00 sunday night phone calls through college
being nat and jd's weekly orphan for dinner when i got home from the mission
institute at weber state
chinese food dinners/indian food dinners/mexican food dinners
both of us graduating with our masters!
weekly email chains
doing a session together at the bountiful temple when i got home from the mission
park city adventures
you saving my life when i missed 3 weeks of high school!
finally getting to do a half marathon! 
thinking spot
running around dressed like zombies!
running around dressed like santas
christmas gift swaps--the plants, the boxes that never became anything
making and discussing our love of quilts!
you making fires at the cabin to keep it warm, waking up to find you watching you've got mail!
artco and porters adventures
***i'm sure i've left out some key adventures***

Happy Happy Birthday Nat!

“True friends are always together in spirit." --Anne Shirley   

a warm welcome to october


delight list of the week:
  • quality quotes during evals
  • alternative fhe--pounce with weirdy cards...loosing and then winning!
  • seeing Sus (and getting to hang out with her) and hold her adorable baby boy before they head off for adventures in the big state of TX
  • temple time!
  • reading like crazy to finish the general conference ensign from april
  • getting ready to start my 'read the book of mormon by the end of the year' challenge
  • 'lending' it up with some incredible people who teach me to look at the view from so many different perspectives, this week from an applied behavioral background, and from a historical perspective of healthcare
  • institute laughs with wardies!
  • breakfast with mary
  • spending 2 hours in traffic with my dear brother
  • sleeping on my favorite couch
  • the reunion of all reunions, canada halifax with the simpsons. 
  • halfway delighted in being grouped with the "old" missionaries, those who had been home at least 2 years. ah! 
  • definitely delighted in the company who was standing with me!
  • delighted in seeing THE best sister missionaries in the world, including my greenie and meeting her baby!!! 
  • seeing one of my favorite elders from the mtc who i never saw on the mission
  • making waffles for craig and grandpa, going to the cemetery, and then cleaning out all grandpa's expired food substances from his cupboard. 
  • general conference!
  • reminiscing about last weekend's general relief society meeting with my mom, aunt and cuz
  • recognizing just how gently the lord works on helping to correct some of my thoughts. 
  • in and out burger with craig
  • cutting out my quilt square with mom
  • watching craig do "eenie, meenie, meini, mo" using a dialogue from sleeping beauty instead to help us decide where to get lunch
  • finding new pants! cute new pants
  • catching up with the worlds best externship supervisor turned good friend and mentor for life over indian food
  • ruby the puppy
  • seeing a favorite grad school friend serendipitously!
  • the abundance of answers to prayers
  • the sweetest email from my mission trainer

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I delight in general conference.

Come listen to living prophetsgeneral conference is coming. don't forget. it something to delight in for the next six months until the next one.  this upcoming saturday is also a special meeting just for the women of the relief society which is the largest women's organization in the world.  you can watch it on lds. org or at any lds stake center saturday september 29 at 6:00 pm. you can also stream it later on

happy fall y'all!

family picture
23 september 2012
mantua, ut

fall has arrived here in the great state of utah! is is my favorite season of them all.  if i could, i would live in the season of fall!

this week has been truly delightful in all sorts of twisted ways. it is always true that in some low times in life, we find /realize some of our greatest blessings. and so it is.

  • brigham city temple dedication
  • kayaking and a trip to maddox in the company of great friends
  • reading general conference addresses and finding some gems that hadn't stood out before
  • figuring out what my research group is really going to research (still in the works)
  • going to the dentist and having NO cavities
  • deciding which pies i'm going to make for thanksgiving dinner
  • making pumpkin cookies
  • driving to see the fall leaves with family
  • enjoying family dinner with my family on a weeknight
  • sunday family dinner with the grandparents
  • being invited to sit with an adorable couple at maddox (because there were no tables at the drive in) who i happened to actually know
  • wearing a scarf, sweater, and boots

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

hope that goes well for you

the title to this post is what christin told me yesterday as i walked out the door to go to the doctor.
isn't she the cutest? (actually she was driving me crazy most of the day yesterday but you know, she is my little sister :) so it has to happen sometimes!)

tonight i had this overwhelming feeling of gratitude as i thought about all the notes i took during grad school. when i got home tonight i embarked to find a list of sentences with lots of nasal phonemes (e.g., mary made my marmalade). as i thought of where the list could be i thought back to roy's class, chapman's class and of course to my externships where i put all those sentences to use doing some voice therapy and i just thought...i am so grateful for the array of experiences i've had.

lately, i've been thinking a lot about the holiday season. its almost october which means its almost general conference which means its almost my birthday which means its almost the holidays. fall is here in its full fashion and there are few things that excite me more than that.  i have so much to be grateful for and it is my honest and sincere desire to show more gratitude for those things, take delighting more seriously.

and so,
today i delight in making it through

Saturday, September 8, 2012

delighting in a delightful week

have i posted this picture before?

according to my computer, i took it 18 months ago at the salt lake institute building.
it was the first picture that popped up on my picture feed and it made me laugh so i'm sharing it with you. a pre-marriage stake? it sounds like an advertisement or something.

another week has come and gone as blogging has recently become a weekly event these days.
so here are the daily delights of the week--

sunday: watching lb socialize at my ward (adorable!). going visiting teaching with lb to our amazing neighbor.
monday: sleeping in.
tuesday: having time to write my reflection paper. being flexible. learning how to organize.
wednesday: loving my job. institute.
thursday: got the hammock i won in the mail!  thank you trek light!  :)
friday: my amazing research group. urlend. temple. the classiest reception ever (yay for allyson and rob). seeing my second family. sleepovers and catching up with mary about jobs/life.
saturday: autism speaks walk. meeting more primary's staff. being home (finally!)

overall its been a delightful week.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

hello september, i'm glad you're here!

it's sister weekend here and i can think of no better way to ring in my favorite season.
i loved driving up south temple today, toward the mountains and then continuing my drive up sunnyside to the zoo.  the trees are looking SO beautiful and i think my fall leave ride has to be bumped to next week so as not to miss them in their prime! whose in?

lb and i rang in one of my favorite months with real class today!  we went to the zoo.  i only go to the zoo every 5-7 years or so because the zoo makes me sad but i am proud to say, i made it and i didn't cry! it's a serious accomplishment.  christin's favorite part of the zoo was the gorilla who just happened to walk right up to the window to say hello (i'm pretty sure that actually happened the last time we were there).  my favorite part was definitely the polar bear!  boy does he know how to put on a show, seriously, he was kicking off the glass, floating on his back and then doing flips in the water.  he would even climb out of the water and jump of the rock (okay jump, fall, you know what i mean). he was adorable.  i was sad the otters weren't out though. ezra made me SO excited salt lake was finally getting otters!

a trip to salt lake wouldn't be complete without going to litzas. yummy as ever.  our favorite waitress was even there, marie.  she knows our routine down to passing a cup of blue cheese off for ranch for christin to dip her pizza in since their blue cheese is gluten free and their ranch is not.

on the way home, we almost got washed down our street--torrential rain storm. the weather is CRAZY! the rest of the day we watched movies, i worked on my paper, we sorted all of christin's alphabet beads (quite the task) and occasionally went out to throw the dog a bone.  literally, ruby needed some exercise , more so distraction actually.  so i played catch with her--50 throws wears her out for a little while.  but no less.  absolutely no less.  what a dog.

essentially, september is off to a great start.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I delight in believing.

I've been reading in the Book of Alma in the Book of Mormon. I'm currently in Alma 33:20. Alma is explaining to the people about prophets of old, and about faith when he brings in one of my favorite stories--Moses raising up a serpent...and all those who looked...lived. And those who would not look perished.  Alma adds this insight: "Now the reason they would not look is because they did not believe that it would heal them (Alma 33: 20)." 

I'm lead to ask myself this question:
What am I not doing, simply because I don't believe it will help me? In those areas, I need to examine my faith. In some respects, I'm forced to stop before the comma and ask myself: What am I not doing?  And add this...That I know I should be doing? And then add this...Am I not doing it because I don't believe it will help me?

There are always those things that even though I know I should do them, I don't for whatever reason.  But what is the reason?  And why wouldn't I do all the things that I know that will help me live a happy, productive, fulfilled life?  Is it because I have not developed the faith to believe they will help me and ultimately heal me?  

As I ponder this, I think about my relationship with prayer. While I pray almost constantly, in my mind, in my thoughts, I have always had the most difficult time getting on my knees at the beginning of the day and starting my day with prayer.  It makes no sense to me and sometimes I think Heavenly Father must just did she miss this foundational step?  I don't know. I do know and believe that prayer is something so good and so important to me and to my relationship with my Heavenly Father.  I know its a commandment. But...alas, my knees hitting the floor first thing...does not happen as consistently as it should. 

But, Alma goes on to teach one of my favorite lessons that always gives me such hope for the future, for repentance, for change...
"And even all this can ye do, if ye will (Alma 33: 23)."

There's a choice. And everyday I can change my choices. *Beautiful isn't it?* It is in my power to change my actions and it is within the Lord's every desire, hope and ability that we will make those changes and choose Him. 

Look and live.

Monday, August 20, 2012

I delight in a new kind of school.

Today classes started at my old alma mater, the University of Utah.  I delighted that I didn't start with them.  I however, start "school" of a different kind come Thursday.  For the next two years I will be doing a post-grad fellowship program called URLEND.  There are LENDs all over the country, this one is LEND for the Utah Region (UR).  Specifically I'm doing the Autism Enhancement program which makes me SO excited.  Here's to new adventures!  Here's to continuing education!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

because i love hammocks

and because i love to win
and because i especially LOVE treklight hammocks...i'm blogging about their amazing contest that is going on right now in honor of national hammock day!

the sibs and i up the in the mountains july 24, 2012, loving our hammock time!

i won something in the contest last year--3 of their tote bags and they're amazing!!! i use them all the time!  my dad and i ran across these guys at the salt lake city outdoors show oh 5 or 6 years back, we bought a hammock then, then later bought 4 more so we all have one.  i always keep two of them in the back of my trunk and pull them out on a moments notice.  i've used them by the lake, in the mountains, i've even slept in them in the middle of nowhere, and i do mean nowhere.  best nights sleep i've ever had in the backcountry.

and so...everyone should enter the contest!

click link below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I delight in desire.

In the past couple of days, I have read a lot of different things.  I've read from the Book of Mormon, I've read about the Lidcombe Stuttering Program, I've read all about protecting human research participants and all sorts of things on the NIH website, I've read about phonological disorders and about syndromes affecting speech and language development, I've read some of the book A Single Voice by the inspiring Sister Kristen Oaks, wife of Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in other words, I've been reading lots of very different kinds of things.

The interesting thing is that in all the reading I've done one word has continually come to my mind.  


As a missionary, one of the most influential district meetings I was able to attend was about educating your desires.  At the time I remember thinking...what in the world does that even mean?  As the years have gone by since then, and starting within hours of that meeting I began to diligently reflect on what that phrase meant and what it could mean for me.  

Its definition has changed over time and today at this moment it means something like this to me:

What is the desire of my heart? And, do my current actions match those desires?  And if not, then what do I need to change?

In Relief Society today we talked about Advancing the Work of the Lord.  That is done in so many ways today, more ways than ever before.  As we brainstormed all the possible ways there are to share the gospel my mind kept coming back to the fact that first we have to start with the desire. Being aware of what we are desiring is crucial.  

Somedays, my desires get a little lost.  Somedays the desire for sleep seems to be overriding to all other desires.  Somedays the desire to be successful at work/school overcome the desire to be the places I ought to be instead.  Somedays the desire to be lazy overrides the desire to serve others. 

However, if I am constantly thinking and educating the desires I ought to have and truly deeply want to have, then I am more likely to achieve those desires.  Alma, in the book of Alma in the Book of Mormon Chapter 29 says this: "...for I know that he granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction."

Point of the story?  Desire counts.  It counts to us and it counts to the Lord.  Educating our desires and knowing what we really want more than anything else is an active daily process that is reflected in our day-to-day actions. 

What's my goal this week?  Thinking and recognizing what desires my actions are reflecting.

Monday, August 6, 2012

I delight in a week of delightful moments.

Since my daily delighting just isn't in the cards at the moment...I've decided to give a run down of some of of the past week's delights:

  • Finally seeing Wicked, loving Wicked as much as I always hoped I would, loving that my Mom and LB loved Wicked too.  And now, I really love that Wicked is Christin's CD of choice in the car (since it has been Taylor Swift for the past 2 years, it was time for a change!)
  • Saying good-bye to Nat and JD. This is only half a delight because I miss them terribly and Utah won't be the same without them, but I am SO excited for their adventures in the northwest, and I'm so excited I now have a fantastic excuse to visit the northwest!  
  • Attending my 'Cuz's' sealing in the Timpanogos  Temple on Saturday!  I am so happy for Breanne and Mark!  He is one lucky man because Breanne is amazing!  Attending the dinner that night and seeing how much everyone there loved and supported them was so great!  Pictures to come!
  • Being in the temple with my Grandpa!  Grandpa B attended Breanne's wedding too and he and I have never been in the temple at the same time.  It was such a special moment for me to be there with family as that was a first for me!  I'm so grateful for such wonderful events to bring the family together.
  • Spending time with Mom.  Its always a rare occasion so I always enjoy it when it happens...even though I am the worst passenger side driver ever.
  • Teaching the 7-8 year olds in Primary on Sunday!  I haven't been in Primary since I was in Primary so I wasn't sure what to expect.  But boy, the girls and boys of my ward don't disappoint!  They are SO smart!  We talked about the importance of being kind and the scripture story of the Good Samaritan.  Possibly my favorite part was hearing them recount the story after the lesson...I love hearing what parts of the story they remember and how they interpret it.  Classic quotes from my experience in primary to come...and believe you me, they are classic!
  • Playing memory with LB, we started playing a game of memory every night when I get home from work.  It's great!
  • I ordered some new books off Amazon.  I sold a few of my grad school text books in the previous couple of weeks, only the ones I never liked anyway and wouldn't use ever, mostly because I never used them even when I had them.  So I decided to take the money I got from selling them and put it into books I would actually use.  I'm excited!

Just a few little delightful delights!  :)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I delight in wise words and best friends.

I have the world's best friends.  I am so blessed.  One of my best friends, just happened (For the record, I don't believe in coincidences) to be so timely in sending me the following quote.  It couldn't have come at a better time.  

"My dear sisters, do not pray for tasks equal to your abilities, but pray for abilities equal to your tasks. Then the performance of your tasks will be no miracle, but you will be the miracle."

President Monson R.S. Broadcast Sept. 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I delight in my pioneer ancestry.

Typically my post's on the 24th of July are about my Mom's birthday since, afterall it is today.  However, I've decided to save that for later (as I have documented the day quite well--but have yet to upload it all to my computer) and to instead share what the 24th of July, also known as Pioneer Day in Utah, means to me this year. 

At the beginning of the year, I felt some urgency in figuring out my family history--in pictures.  As a part of that project, I have scanned a lot of pictures and documents, this tribute is one of them.  

Joseph Strong (my great-great grandpa, i think) is someone I have come to learn a lot more about this year.  Craig came in touch with some relative (yeah, see why I need help with the whole family history thing?) who sent some documents regarding Joseph and his family's journey to America.  It is incredible.  

I am grateful to have this as just a part of my heritage.  There are so many other lines of my family and details I am coming to put together, slowly but surely.

Faith in every footstep.

Monday, July 23, 2012

I delight in when my Mission President came home!

Last weekend was a BLAST!

I always delight in my mission, but really, today I'm so nostalgic about it!  Sunday I got to hear my mission president (technically my second mission president) report on his mission!  The last time I saw President and Sister Simpson was two years ago when my mom and I went back to visit my mission, it was such a happy and incredible day.  See picture below.

And this (on the right) is from soon after they arrived in the mission, okay, the second time I got to see them at a zone conference in Annapolis Royal.

And so, this weekend Cherilyn, Katie, Ashley and I took a little roadtrip north where we met up with Jen and Heather and had a super Saturday adventure in Idaho Falls (or "IF" as the locals call it).

First stop:  Idaho Falls Temple!

Sisters Toliver, Reid, Brandley, Crane and of course me, McQuivey
The Idaho Falls Temple was the 8th operating temple in the Church.  So, that makes it unique because of some of its features that other/newer temples don't have (four-stage progressive).  It was dedicated by President David O. McKay in October 1940.  It was so beautiful and having the opportunity to be surrounded by mission sisters was fantastic.  As a missionary, the temple was always home.  When I returned from my mission, I felt the same way about the temple.  No matter where we are in the world, no matter how far from our families, the Lord's House/Temple is always home.

After the temple, we wandered along the greenway of the Snake River--it has beautiful gardens!

Wandering the garden paths...beautiful!  Seriously, if you're ever passing through Idaho Falls, get off the historic exit and wander the greenway.  It has some beautiful gardens, paths, and the water makes it all just perfect.
Add in the "falls" of Idaho Falls and the temple in the background and well...its SO beautiful!
Shadow Picture in the Snake River!

(borrowed this one from Jen's facebook--love this picture)

After lunch, and a walk, it was time for ice cream!  What a colorful selection!
Finally, we went back to Jen's family's house--is this not the most awesome barn?  And I'm SO glad we didn't break their trampoline while trying to capture this awesome shot below (also via Jen, thank you!)

How to cross the ditch to get to the daisy's?  Hum, such deep thought.  :)
I wish this photo captured the lighting a little better, but alas, my iphone has its limits.  But just imagine the glow, it was SO beautiful!

Can I just say how wonderful it was to see President with his adorable grandchildren! They love him so much!  When all of us sisters walked into the church, Sister Simpson was right there.  It was so great to see her!  She thought it was so great that we had planned our arrival so well, but then after we told her we all came together, she got all teary (okay she already was) but you know, anyway, she said how amazing the eternal bond of a mission is.  And it is so true!  Something else she said during her talk was how the Lord teaches us line upon line--however much we want to learn, he will help us!  The Lord knows no limits!  We must educate our desires and act accordingly.  When President began to speak, my heart was so happy!  I remember being so anxious for zone conferences because I felt so spiritually full after hearing his counsel and wisdom.  I still remember so many specifics of those talks.  The lesson I really walked away with on Sunday was this--two questions he posed:
1.  Will you just trust Jesus?
2.  Will you just submit your will to his now and do whatever is necessary?

Both the questions struck me to the core. First of all, I was reminded of the conversation I had just been having with a good friend earlier in the week.  Plus I have recently been pondering such things as I have been studying a talk by Elder Neal A. Maxwell, "Swallowed Up in the Will of the Father."  It is a really great talk I was given at institute one evening, definitely a recommended read.

The other thing President reminded us of, which was a reminder I needed was this: "You don't have to be perfect, you only have to be worthy."  I am so grateful for the opportunity of a mission, for the opportunity to have come to know so many great and wonderful people and for the opportunity to know how much Heavenly Father loves all his children.
The Simpsons and Sisters!

Thank you to these girls for a great time and great memories!
Thank you to the Simpson's for their ever great example, love, and kindness!