Wednesday, June 27, 2012

i delight in family and history.

pearls of history 
(grandpa on the left, grandparents engagement photo in the middle and grandma on her tricycle on the right)
taken in the 1920s and 1940s
scanned by erin

Today was a really great day.  I put life together again in my room so I can stand living in it for however long I'm going to be here.  :)  I live so much better in clean, tidy and organized space.  Now to keep it that way...again :)  I spent time with my Mom.  Revision: I spent a lot of time laughing with my Mom.  We laughed a lot today at my house: this morning at breakfast, this afternoon about "Mary Problems" and tonight about the funny things people say when they're in denial about their life and circumstance (thank you dad, for sharing your experiences and for not making us share it firsthand with you).  I got to go bowling with my friends for the last time for a while (hello work starting next week!)  It's always entertaining.  And it always reminds me that one day I will learn why people with down syndrome stutter so much more frequently than the general population. I voted. I went to institute with katie, who always makes me smile and who i am so grateful we served in the same mission, even though we were both there together at the same time for a day but it has bonded us for life.  Talking with her always seems to make life manageable and happy, and of course, full of laughter.  Institute however was not a laughing matter but it was beautiful. We talked about the atonement of Jesus Christ and watched this video.  It is the first depiction of Christ's suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane that does not have any music or commentary or anything going on simultaneously, except the sound of crickets.  I realized how much background influences my emotions.  The gravity of the 'aloneness' set in, and my heart was and still is so full. It was so personal.  Please take 8:30 minutes to watch it.  The conversation that ensued afterwards was uplifting and powerful.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to gather with hundreds of other young single members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on a weekly basis, to feel of their strength and hear their experiences and testimonies.  I am always uplifted.  Finally, I got to spend time scanning pictures of my family.  I am always intimidated by family history.  My brother Craig knows it all and he is the family history guru.  He has our history memorized--dates, names, cities, relations, EVERYTHING.  He informs us of birth dates and death dates of loved ones who have passed on.  He notifies family members when he learns of the passing of a family member that was related to them.  He puts information on our family and other families on the church's family history site.  He gets phone calls and emails with questions, and thank you's regarding information he has provided.  Craig searches hundreds of newspapers everyday to see if in the obituaries, there is a relative that has passed away.  If there is he prints it out and keeps a record of it.  See where my intimidation comes in?  I know nothing. He knows everything.  At the beginning of the year though, I was determined to do something more than indexing so, I decided I was going to learn what my ancestors looked like.  Now that may sound strange so let me explain.  It is so much more powerful to me when I am hearing a story about a person to have a face pictured in my mind to whom I can attach the story to.  I am blessed to have known all 4 of my grandparents very well (and still have 3 living) and to have known 3 of 8 great grandparents.  But I have no visual image of any other family members.  So, I am collecting pictures of relatives.  The goal is 4 generations but really, there is no limit.  My goal is to organize them into a visual family tree (but really, I'm up for gathering as many pictures as possible and the stories to go with) so I can understand and know what they looked like so I can think of their picture in my mind when I hear something about them or about their posterity.  A visit to my Grandpa this weekend made at least he and my grandma's portion of that rather easy.   It has been a special experience to look at each picture one at a time and think about how it must have been.  There are stories I know, stories I want to know and stories to be recorded.  But starting with pictures, is my first step.  The day is now over, and this is probably as recorded as it is going to get.  It has been a delightful day that is ending right where it started, in my bed.  Good night. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

theme of the week: an imperceptible difference

close tree in zions np
june 2012

i delight in themes.  they're like the glue of my life.  today, as i listened to the bishop speak i knew what the theme of my week was going to be: an imperceptible change.  i'll find the quote of the prophet he was quoting who said this, but until then...

essentially coming to christ, becoming perfect and overcoming life comes in our lives at a level where the change is almost imperceptible.

imperceptible.  an interesting choice of words i've decided.  

i'm still pondering, but writing tends to help that.  if anything the variety of the days events assisted in the theme development.  you know that saying: two steps forward, one step back....that's the way its been for me in the past 24 hours.  progress and digress.  forward and back.  mental forward but physical standstill.

overall delight of the day (on a completely different note): when i got home from a movie night at a friend's house, i went upstairs where i usually tell my mom i'm home (yeah, i know right?  :)  )  and i usually go give little sissy a kiss.  sometimes i ask her if she loves me and even in her sleep she usually says uh-huh.  tonight i started whispering to her as i walked in saying something like, nighty nighty little sis and then a voice out of the pitch black says, oh hello my sweet sister.  like she hasn't been asleep.  because she hasn't.  she then says, i waiting for you!!!  honestly.  i'm not sure there's a better example of pure love than Christin.  i'm pretty sure she is solely responsible for a lot of imperceptible changes of my heart over the years.  

Friday, June 22, 2012

yet another week

southern utah collection 
kane county building, kanab
zions national park
kolob reservoir
june 2012

Monday, which would be my first day, will not be my first day.  I'm not delighting in that.  I was so excited to start my first real job.  But alas, I've decided I really have to seize this last week of play time. So, here's to exercising, photography, institute, cooking, family history, adventuring, temple tripping, playing with LB, kayaking, fishing and anything else that blows my way.  

Last week, the whole fam went on vacation to St. George.  More about that later but we had a blast!

In other news, I've been thinking a lot about the future lately.  I seem to have misplaced the goals I wrote for myself this year.  That is a bad sign.  I believe in goals and usually I post them on my wall, but since I moved, I guess that never happened?  One of my goals this week is to find them because I feel like I'm so much more motivated and directed (especially in all this 'free' time) when I remember what I want long term.  Even though I have been a big believer in goals practically as long as I can remember, now when I think about goals, I think of this quote from Elder Ballard, found in Preach My Gospel (Chapter 8).

“I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don’t set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life.”

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I delight in good dreams.

me with disguised camera
old faithful lodge
by nat
Sadly, the next word that comes to mind at the moment is
sickness. boo.

Somehow my body gets confused almost every summer and thinks this season to get sick. 
Considering I'm on week two of being are a few of the delights I have come up with:
  • sprite from mcdonald's, i don't feel guilty about it.
  • ncis
  • nap 1, nap 2, nap 3, nap 4, i don't feel guilty about a single one of them.
  • fantastic dreams--i have the BEST dreams when i'm sick, one bonus as normally i don't usually remember my dreams.
  • feeling comfort and happiness knowing i have a great job (officially!) (no more resumes, letters, applications, whew!) and that it doesn't start yet, thank heavens for time to get better
  • living with wonderful people who take good care of me when i'm sick

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Vacation in Selfies.

It is not hard to know that I delight in vacations.  I especially delight in vacations in Island Park.  Add in best friend Natalie and I've got lots of delights going on. (Add in sickness and well...that's minus one, but let's look past that shall we?)  Nat and I have gone adventuring in Island Park in the past, but this time was particularly historic as we are both done with school and she and her husband JD are about to move to Oregon for school.  We had to have one last hoorah!  And so...our trip in self portraits--thank you iphone.

 That's Henry's Lake in the background
My favorite place ever is in the background.  Its BEAUTIFUL!

Random beaver ponds in Montana!
 Traditional Pictures: Welcome to Island Park, Idaho, Montana, and a new one, West Yellowstone!

 Yellowstone: Firehole Drive (oh hello wind!)

Waiting on Old Faithful and fateful looking storms
The new Old Faithful Visitors Center--our reflection is in the middle left window
 The best lounging/people watching/people listening/snoozing spot in Old Faithful Lodge

Leaving the Park
 Church at Mack's Inn, in the snow
 Johnny Sacks Cabin, in the snow
 Leaving the Cabin
 Mesa Falls: The Upper Falls

 Mesa Falls: The Lower Falls

Monday, June 4, 2012

I delight in sparking creativity.

lantern collection on green
antique shop in scipio, ut

I delighted in a lot of things today.

-Going to the temple with Mary and her cousin Cameron
-Getting a Jamba Juice (I don't think I've had one in at least 4 years?!?  I forgot how I love them!)
-Driving up Big Cottonwood Canyon to places I've never been--BEAUTIFUL!
-Going to art class with LB and watercoloring (kind of a joke, but you know, I like to learn new things)
-PALS and Chickie-a-fil-a--the Monday regular

Besides those delights, which were truly delightful.  I also delighted in getting a little bit of my creative spark back.  Grad school required all those sparks to go toward planning sessions, I'm just getting them back for other things--like quilts.  I'm going to try new things.  Things I've never done before.  Things I don't know how to do, but that I'm willing to learn how to do.  I may have just appliqued a table topper I made from a kit my neighbor gave me for graduation.  And the best part?  It turned out better than I could have ever imagined--picture to come...when I take one.  :)

More to come regarding the new projects...I'll be delighting in things along the way I'm sure!

Also, if you read my blog via reader, you should check out the site itself.  I just created a new header, and its rather beautiful if I do say so myself.  The pictures are ones I took at Island Park this weekend.
Aren't the baby moose adorable?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I delight in hearing "why."

swan lake, island park, idaho
photo summer 2012

Today of all days, was a great day.  I woke up in Island Park.  The place of my childhood summers.  I slept with the window open so I lie in bed listening to the sounds of grebes echoing across the lake.  There were no boats, no four-wheelers, and most happily, no sound of a television.  

I went to church in the Island Park Ward where the church was packed, as usual, including all the classrooms in the building.  People who vacation in Island Park go to church--at least a lot of the LDS folk do and I love it.  The family sitting behind me made the whole experience extra sweet.  

Two toe-headed boys were seated with their grandparents and father.  The sacrament portion of the meeting had just begun and one of the boys (maybe age 5?) declared he needed to go to the bathroom.  The Dad calmly explained how they couldn't leave now because this was the most special part of the meeting and that they needed to stay just a few minutes.  The boy protested and the father whispered in his ear (and my ear could hear too) that he could tell his son a story.  The boy agreed and the father asked his son if he'd heard the story of the Last Supper.  The son said no, and this father began to relate to his son what the first supper was and how it made it so that the sacrament is the most special thing we do when we go to church.  He went on to explain concepts to his 5 year old son that were in such plain terms, my ears were happy hearing the son's responses of understanding.  The father checked for understanding of the vocabulary he used--he described words like "cross" and "tomb."  When he asked his son if he knew what the word resurrection meant, the son replied, "Oh I know this one Dad, it's Easter."  His Dad said he was right and went on to refine the definition just a little but didn't demean his son's 5 year old answer in any way.  Sure enough as the sacrament portion ended, the son, although not as anxious to go as he had once been, walked out hand in hand with his Dad.

I think I smiled the rest of the meeting reflecting on the perfect and exemplary conversation I had just heard.  Here was a Dad who knew it was never too young, who related the scriptures to his child in such a way that brought understanding to his son about the "why of the sacrament."  He didn't just tell his son he needed to be quiet because it was the sacrament, he explained why.  As a child who always asked, "why" I vowed at a young age I would never answer a child's question with the word 'because' or the phrase, 'because I said so.'  Teaching the 'why' is important and personal to me.

The rest of my day was great too, but the moment I have just related was my most delightful part of the day.  Walking around the island with Craig and my Dad, fasting for someone I care deeply for, napping clear to Idaho Falls, hearing Christin's 'hug me, hug me, hug me', eating the brownies I have craved for months, getting the ok to go to the cabin again with Nat, finally talking to Matt in Ontario, seeing a cleaner craft room, loading amazing (if I do say so myself) pictures on to my computer from the weekends ventures, going on a bike ride with LB--all other delights that have made for a delightful day.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Hello June.

The month of May treated me well so June, you have a lot to compete with.

I'm dreaming about this view...

I'm wishing for definite plans.

I'm hoping for new adventures, visiting old favorite places with friends old and new.

I'm praying for some amazing people I know who need some miracles.

I'm delighting in how I used to be able to enjoy the outdoors...and dreaming to be able to enjoy them again some day (take a hint allergies)!

I'm reading good books.

I'm sewing fantastic projects.

I'm writing, studying and pondering more.

I'm hopeful for all the good things coming this month!