Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A "hoot" of a shower!

My friend Shelly is having boy/girl twins!

 I was in charge of games.  First, we did a name scramble where guests had to create first and middle names for each of the twins using the letters of Shelly and Tyler's names.  Shelly voted on her favorite boy name and her favorite girl name and the winners each got prizes.

Next, I showed the guests everything in the yellow bin above.  I then hid the basket and they had to write as many items from memory as they could.  The winner got a prize. About seven of the items had a little card with the price written on the inside.  We played Price is Right with these items and whoever got the least amount of difference without going over won a prize.

We have an amazing ward and Shelly probably had at least fifty people come! It was wonderful.

Shelly's sister-in-law chose an owl theme and found this decorated duct tape to put around the water bottles.  Such a cute idea!

For food, we decided on parfaits.  I definitely want to use this idea again in the future.  Guests could fill their cup with angel food cake, yogurt, yogurt/cool whip mix, strawberries, and granola.  It was the perfect light refreshment for an 11:00 a.m. shower.  It wasn't too sugary, but it was also filling. The biggest perk was how easy it was. Three of us split up buying the ingredients and no baking was involved (the cake was made by the Smith's bakery :-)).

 Kate, the one who made the invitations, organized a drawing for anyone who brought a pack of diapers to the shower.  The above picture shows most (but not all) of the diapers they received! I was amazed. People were so generous and brought many other beautiful gifts as well.

Kate organized a bib making station. 

This was mine.  It, of course, has my actual phone number written on it, but I wasn't sure putting it on a public blog would be in my best interest!

I thought this one was especially clever.

The twins' daddy loved this one!


Sunday, April 20, 2014

What a Life! Day 14

This has been a really great experience for me. I don't think I knew what kind of impact this exercise would have on my life.  It was refreshing to look for joyful moments in every single day.  It wasn't always easy- sometimes I had to think hard to make it to ten.  But it was fun. I watched for joy.  As things would happen, I'd say to myself, "That's going on my list today!" I sometimes had to look at negative situations and find the positive (for example, see number 4 on the list below).  I was also able to evaluate what makes me happy.  For example, I realized that for as much stress as food causes me (especially chocolate), it is rarely what brings me the most joy throughout my day.  Eating experiences rarely made the top ten.  That helped me to realize that I can easily give up unhealthy eating and not experience a loss of joy.

So, with a little bit of sadness, here is the last entry in my "What a Life!" series. 

1. I was able to talk very briefly with my dear friend Georgia today.  Her words brought me joy as I saw again, like so many times on our mission, how deeply rooted her faith is.  This is a translation, and it doesn't come across as beautifully in English as it does in Portuguese.  But she said this: "I don't know if time will alleviate the absence I feel of her, but my love and my desire to be with her again will be my strength every day."  I have rarely read more touching words.  The gospel offers hope when all seems lost.  We have to make the decision to grab His outstretched hand and hold fast until the day comes when we can better understand our trials.   

2.  Today we did a fancy conductor swap during Sacrament meeting that was pretty funny! My friend was conducting the Sacrament hymn and her daughter was crying for her.  Her husband came to the stand so the toddler could be near her mom, but it became clear she wanted to be in her mom's arms, not just nearby. So, the husband handed their daughter to his wife right as the song started.  She valiantly held her daughter with one hand and started conducting with the other.  The little one started to get fussy and squirm, so I decided to rush up to the stand and we traded places, mid song.  That was a first time experience for either of us, I'm sure! It gave many in the congregation a little chuckle, but hopefully it was the right choice and not a rash decision on my part. 

3.  I had the opportunity to visit another ward's young women today.  The young women program in our stake is very small, but their leaders are so loving and faithful.  It was such a joy to meet the two young women in the ward I visited and find out a little about them. I was pleasantly surprised to hear one of them is going to Highland next year and is planning on taking choir with her twin! That DEFINITELY brought me joy, especially because I have heard them sing together before.  Can't WAIT to have them in my Ladies Ensemble!

4. I felt joy in consequences today.  The dreaded stomach cramps that are the hallmark effect of Celiac Disease on my body plagued me this afternoon.  It's about time. I have been cheating and eating wheat for a couple weeks now.  I don't feel immediate effects after eating gluten, so I get away with much more than I should.  Today, I actually felt grateful for the reminder to take better care of my body.  I am inspired to be better. 

5.  My cousin Ryan, who I have always been close with, invited me to go visit our sweet Grandmother today. We had a really wonderful time, and were able to have a heart to heart conversation with our Grandma.  She has led an extremely interesting and difficult life, but has always been optimistic and faithful.  She is also a trooper- she has survived many surgeries and life-threatening illnesses because of her good attitude.  We asked her what three pieces of advice she would most like to pass down to her kids and grandchildren.  The first thing she said was adaptability. The second accompanied the first- she said it isn't so much about the situation you are given, but how you deal with it.  The third thing was, "Love them no matter what!"  She said this can apply to either a spouse or a child.  I am grateful for her wisdom and the decision she makes not to dwell on the fairness of life and the trials one receives compared to another.  No matter what circumstances one finds him/herself in, he/she should make the very best of it. 

6.  Jeremy's parents and grandparents have always been so sweet to me, ever since before Tina and Jer were married.  They invite me every time they have Tina and Jer over for the holidays because they know my parents are far away.  That really touches me.  So I headed to Kaysville this evening and we had a lovely Easter dinner and dessert (though I had to eat the beautiful shortcake without the cake due to number 4).

7. I got to see my little Monkus again- can't get enough of this boy. He probably made my top ten list 20 times (at least) over the past two weeks.  Being an aunt is so incredibly fulfilling for me.  I just wish my Ellie Bellie lived closer!! I can't wait to go see her at the end of July and get in a LOT of play time.  She has such a vivid imagination and I think we could come up with some pretty amazing games of school (though I will let her be the teacher!).

8. Cam, Jer's little brother, needed help coming up with a skit because he is running for eighth grade student office. I've known Cam since before he was baptized.  In fact, Tina and I went to his baptism while Jer was on his mission! Together, Cam and I got to work writing a skit.  Cam introduced me to all the songs that are popular right now and I helped him write a script using excerpts of the songs as part of the dialogue. They used to do those ALL the time at DPHS and I don't think they see that as much around here. So hopefully, it will be unique! The past couple days have been difficult and it was nice to focus on something different and fun.

9. Okay, this may be a life record, but a dog has made my top ten AGAIN.  Twice in fourteen days.  Family, you can pick up your jaws from the ground now. But seriously, I have never seen a dog this small in my life. He's a teacup poodle. It was funny to see him crawling excitedly over little Scotty (who was very patient, I might add).

10.  Number ten is something from yesterday.  After I heard about Gilda's death, I went to Sugarhouse park and walked for over an hour and a half, listening to music and trying to make sense of my feelings.  One song in particular touched me.  It's a song I know well, but it resonated with me in a profound way last night. 

 What I Did for Love from A Chorus Line

Kiss today goodbye,
The sweetness and the sorrow.
Wish me luck, the same to you.
But I can't regret
What I did for love, what I did for love.
Look my eyes are dry.
The gift was ours to borrow.
It's as if we always knew,
And I won't forget what I did for love,
What I did for love.
Love is never gone.
As we travel on,
Love's what we'll remember.
Kiss today goodbye,
And point me toward tomorrow.
We did what we had to do.
Won't forget, can't regret
What I did for

Sometimes, the heartache we feel is unbearable.  Loneliness is one of the most suffocating emotions we experience.  When in the throws of despair, we are tempted to ask ourselves if love is worth it.  Why love when the loss of it hurts so badly?  It is, however, our memories of love that give us something to live for.  They bring us joy as we share them with others.  I can't count how many times my mom has told us hilarious stories about her spunky, 5 foot nothing mother, and we have all laughed together (there once was a little miss who went out to piiiiiiick some flowers...).  But the one with the most joyful sparkle in her eye every time these stories are recounted is always my mom, because she lived the memory and now gets to treasure it forever. 

This concept applies to any relationship where we cared for someone deeply but later find ourselves mourning their loss, whether from death or a devastating breakup.  Was it worth the cost? This song reminds me that love is a risk worth taking, even when it doesn't turn out the way we anticipated.  I recall moments in all my dating relationships that remind me how joyful life can be.  I remember what it felt like to love and be loved.  And that brings me happiness.  I sometimes look at the stupid things I've done in relationships and feel a little embarrassed for caring so much.  But it's through loving people that we learn how to love, and that's not something I can ever regret.

Does that mean it's easier to put my heart on the line, knowing that love will be worth it one way or another? No.  It's increasingly more difficult, and sometimes I think living with the memories can be enough for me.  It has to be enough for me.  But the line, "Kiss today goodbye and point me toward tomorrow" reminds me to look ahead and try again. And again. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

What a Life! Day 13

This isn't the type of entry I expected to be writing today; I received some very startling and sad new.

My dear, beloved mission companion, Georgia, lost her mother suddenly today.  She died of a brain hemorrhage, just like my maternal grandmother did when my mom was in her early twenties.  One minute she was there and the next minute she was gone.  My heart aches for my sweet friend and her family.  I can't even imagine the pain she is going through.  I know how much Georgia treasured her mother, just as I treasure mine.  I won't even allow my mind to contemplate a life without my mother.  It's more than I can bear.  I wish there was a way I could ease her pain.  After recovering from the shock, I did the only thing I knew I could- I dropped to my knees and prayed for the Lord to be with her to comfort her.  I am so grateful for the power of prayer that makes it possible for me to somehow express my love and concern from so many miles away.  

I had the privilege of meeting this wonderful, faithful woman when I was in Brasil in January. I have included a couple excerpts from my travel journal that illustrate Irma Gilda's service to me. 


Excerpt #1

Well, we set off for several wedding errands and it was intensely hot.  I didn't bring water and, as I mentioned, I hadn't eaten anything.  We ended up being gone for about 6 hours and by the end, my entire body ached.  The jet lag kicked in, as did the lack of food and water.  My head ached unceasingly and the ride home was one of the longest of my life.  I have been so determined that this trip is about Georgia's wedding and I want to do everything in my power to be helpful and not get in the way; but, when we arrived home, I went straight to bed and her mom brought me water, cooked me dinner, and Georgia gave me medication. Her mom also set up a fan for me and did my laundry.  Talk about a humbling experience...way to not draw attention to myself! Moms are the same all over the world and I was so grateful for Georgia´s mother tonight.  As much independence as I´ve gained, it´s obvious I still need gracious, loving people to help me through this mortal life!

Excerpt #2

In the middle of all of this, Georgia's mother is the one who is making the wedding dress. She is finishing some last minute alterations, but it is beautiful!! She also made her own dress for the wedding. And would you believe that yesterday, she kept making sure I was well fed? I am one of about six thousand people coming in and out of this house and she is concerned because I have been sick. She took all my laundry again and before we went to the church in the evening, she brought me into the kitchen where she and Georgia and fixed an entire dinner plate full of food with freshly squeezed juice just for me. No one else was eating! Talk about good people.  What an amazing trip. What incredible lessons I have learned!

The purpose of these blog entries the past two weeks is to find reasons to rejoice every day.  In spite of such a tragedy, there are reasons to rejoice, thanks to the plan of salvation put in to place by a loving Heavenly Father and made possible by His son, Jesus Christ.  

If Gilda had to go, I am grateful it was on the day before Easter.  I hope that every year when Georgia remembers the passing of her mother, she remembers the resurrection of the Savior which makes it possible for her mother to live again, but this time glorified and perfected.  After I heard about Gilda's passing, I saw a meme that said, "Because of Him, death has no sting." While I've heard this phrase before, it was especially beautiful to me tonight.  Christ overcame death so we could live with those we love forever.  Georgia and her family are sealed for time and eternity in the temple.  They faithfully keep their temple covenants and live worthy of the promise of eternal life together.  While the wait will be longer than any of them hoped, they will be together again.  My mother will be able to embrace her mother. I will get to meet my grandmother face to face.  I've looked forward to that day ever since I was a little girl.  

Christ lives. That phrase is in the present tense! Through Him, families can be together forever.

And that is reason to rejoice!

Friday, April 18, 2014

What a Life! Day 12

Well, my family cracks me up. What can I say.  The first six joyful moments on my list are these little treasures my dad sent to my family via email today. He invited us to create captions, which I have shared below each picture. 

1. Joyful picture number #1:

Katie: "When I grow up, I want to be as fashionable as my big sister!"

Shana: "Kid sister. (Kid sister) Kid sister. (Kid sister) Wherever I go, YOU'RE gonna go. Kid sister...kid sister...kid sister and me!"

2.  Joyful picture #2:

Katie: "My older brother derives subtle enjoyment from my misfortunes. Rude."

Shana: "I may look calm. But I swear I am never having kids of my own."

Estella: "I have spent the day tending a screaming toddler and watching a singing zucchini on TV. However, I am still really hot."

3. Joyful picture #3:

Katie: "Is this seat taken?"

Shana: "I don't know what happened...I just woke up and I"

Estella: "I'm not a morning person.  NO, you don't understand.  I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON!"

4. Joyful picture #4


Katie: "Modest is hottest."

Shana: "I didn't do it. I SWEAR I didn't do it!" Except that I did because my hands are all green and I'm smiling on the inside.

5. Joyful picture #5:

Katie: Neon is the new black.

6. Joyful picture #6:

Katie: "The era when Katie's bangs had not yet been introduced to a straightener."

Shana, from left to right:
"How could something so so small."(bonus points for movie reference - although not a direct quote)
"Please be a good photo. Please be a good photo. Please be a good photo."
"Why are we taking a picture again - they're just eggs. And not even good ones at that."
"This IS my happy face."
"Ah isn't life grand?"

 Side note: I think I just figured out the bonus! "Look at this stuff, isn't it neat?"

6. Today, I slept in! My body is usually not willing.  I think it's because I set aside today aside for doing NOTHING except whatever I felt moved to do at the moment. Knowing I had nothing to wake up for at any point during the day helped me sleep until almost 9:30 a.m.! It was awesome.  A relaxing finish to a fun filled spring break week. 

7. I got caught up on season 6 of Drop Dead Diva. LOVE that show. Truly. Such a weird premise. But it WORKS! I love how this series slaps the Hollywood idea of beautiful in the face and helps audiences see that a woman's shape or size is not the most important thing about her. 

8. I deep cleaned my kitchen today, which definitely brought me joy AND fulfillment.  Cleaning is very therapeutic for me, more so when it's not rushed and I'm doing it because I want to, not because desperation has driven me to it.

9. My roommate and I got ice-cream and chatted about what is going on in our lives. Having a roommate is a huge blessing. I feel very lucky. Michelle is always willing to listen to my concerns and challenges. She always asks me how my day went and she comes to all of my concerts.  Life would be so lonely if I didn't live with a friend! Thanks, Michelle!

10. Tonight was the live broadcast of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing Handel's Messiah. Melissa Heath, the soprano soloist, was one of the four DMA students who came and performed for my choir department and did a Q&A session with the kids.  She makes it look so easy, though what she is doing is incredibly hard.  It sounds effortless!  She was clearly born with a divine gift that she nurtured over many years and developed into an extremely powerful tool to bless the lives of others.

Hearing the "Hallelujah Chorus" was incredible.  Although I sometimes tend to stay away from oft-performed choral pieces, I realized tonight there is a reason why this piece is so beloved.  I felt the Spirit coursing through me as I listened.  It was powerful to see the audience and the soloists on their feet as the choir sang so majestically about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Although we can never come close to adequately expressing His power and might, that song is about as near as we can get as mortals. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

What a Life! Day 11

1. The first thing to bring me genuine joy this morning was a Bruno Mars song.  I was driving along, minding my own business, when I started paying attention to the lyrics of a song I have heard several times:

If you ever leave me baby,
Leave some morphine at my door
‘Cause it would take a whole lot of medication
To realize what we used to have,
We don’t have it anymore.

I think I actually laughed out loud by myself in the car. What? So funny! Why did I never notice the hilarity of those lyrics before?

2. I went to the gas station this morning and all of a sudden I heard, "Good morning!" called out to me from some faceless voice inside the gas pump.  I bet the gas station employees get a kick out of freaking people out by greeting them unexpectedly over those speakers!  It's kind of creepy because they can see you, but you can't see them.  When I finished, the voice said, "Thank you!" and I replied, "You're welcome" to the voice.  I wonder if it could hear me from wherever it is.

3. Before heading back to Provo, I stopped by to say goodbye to Scotty and his mommy (and brought doughnuts as a peace offering for waking them up).  There is nothing cuter than this child when he first wakes up.  I couldn't get enough of him!  He is looking like a red head...I wonder if that will last...?

4. I went up to south Weber today to get head shots done for my auditions next week.  Getting pictures taken of myself felt sooooo awkward- I would make a horrible model! That was not a joyful moment for me.  But the photographer is my friend Phaidra's sister, and she does awesome work!  She was also very sweet and watched Phaidra's kids for an hour before the shoot so Phaid and I could get lunch and catch up.  I miss Phaidra- we always find a lot to laugh about and I'm so grateful for her compassionate heart and friendship.  And, another joyful moment was eating a teriyaki steak rice bowl at Rumbi's. 

5. Today was my final conducting class with Dr. Bradford.  It was joyful for two reasons. First, it has been an excellent class. My eyes were opened and my perspective widened.  Dr. Bradford has a passion for music that is exciting to witness- it is ingrained in his soul.  Second, the last day of this class means I am just that much closer to graduation! It will take me a year to finish everything with my project, but I only have two classes left, which is exciting.  

6.  I was in charge of refreshments for a stake YW leadership training meeting tonight and I came across this strawberry. How cool is that?

7. For the refreshments, we did bread (Great Harvest), water, and fruit.  This scripture, Alma 5:34, was a perfect fit!

8. I had a couple embarrassing "teacher" moments tonight as I participated in the training (I think spring break is not going to be long enough!). I was assigned to talk about loving the girls we teach.  We were reading in Moroni 7 and I referred to "measures" 45-48 in front of everyone.  Then, when the training was over, I had to fill out a reimbursement sheet for the refreshments.  Look what I inadvertently put for the organization! I'm so used to filling out reimbursement papers at work. Opa.

9.  I feel so blessed to work with Janeen, Traci, and Gilary in my church calling.  These women are amazing. They are strong and they are faithful.  They are excellent leaders.  They are devoted wives and mothers.  I am so grateful for their examples of righteousness, dedication, and love.

10. I found myself feeling joyful about the atonement today.  I have struggled this week making bad choices about food.  I have eaten a lot of wheat, which I know is harmful to my body.  I have also eaten much more junk food than I should.  As a result, I haven't been feeling well.  I've had headaches, uneasy stomach, etc.  When I felt tempted to get down on myself today for my lack of self-control and poor decisions, I remembered that the atonement can help me forgive myself and move forward.  Feeling remorse for our wrong choices is good, but dwelling on them is not.  I am so grateful that because of Jesus Christ, I can start fresh tomorrow and be better tomorrow than I was today. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What a Life! Day 10

1. This morning before heading over Tina's, I decided to pick up some breakfast treats. I googled "gluten-free bakery" in Provo and an address popped up very close to my parents' condo.  When I went there, however, it was a regular house with no store front.  I called the number listed and received no answer, but it went to a woman's voice mail.  I left a message and departed.  Later, I got a call back.  It turns out the owner turned her basement into a gluten free bakery! You pre-order items the day before.  Anything leftover after 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. you can purchase the same day.  I meant to go back to check it out after 3:00- it slipped my mind- but I will soon. I'm just filled with joy at the prospect!

2. When I got to Tina's house, she was watching "The Voice." I had never seen this show until the last time I visited her.  I am totally getting hooked! I think it's WAY more interesting than American Idol.  I love the duet battling and the coaching.  It was really fun to watch a couple episodes together and discuss who we liked best. 

3. Believe it or not, today was the first time I flew solo babysitting Scotty. I don't get very many opportunities- sometimes Salt Lake City feels so far away! Because I'm on spring break, I wanted my turn to watch him while Tina got some things done for their new house.  He is at such a fun stage where he is discovering and playing and grabbing and laughing...I love it.  He has recently discovered his little feet!

4. When Tina got back from her errands, we walked to Maverick for Slurpees. It was fun to toss back and forth ideas for her recently renovated blog. Someday, we're going to start a business.

5.  On our walk, we got adopted by a dog.  She didn't have a collar.  She walked along with us for probably fifteen minutes.  Even though I have an irrational fear of dogs and was a little jumpy the whole time, I thought it was kind of cute.  She followed us all the way to Tina's house and even up on the porch.  We had to hurry inside or else she would have followed us there, too! About five minutes later, I wanted to show Tina the motorcycle game I play with Scotty.  She was recording us when, twenty-five seconds in, the dog burst through the front door and started running about the living room! Apparently the door hadn't latched!  I laughed so hard.

Fast-forward the video below to the last five seconds.


6. Right as I was leaving, I randomly decided to take a pic of Scotty and his mommy on my phone because they looked so darling together. How can this picture not fill everyone with joy?

7. Many and I drove up to Park City together to meet Kate and her family for dinner.  The car ride was a joy! Our conversations always bring me strength.  We share very similar experiences because of our careers and the directions our lives have taken us. 

8. We love Kate's family! Kate's husband and parents met us at the Red Rock restaurant in Park City.  We hadn't seen Jan and Al since Kate's wedding almost four years ago! Melissa and I both commented on the way home how valued her parents make us feel.  They ask thoughtful questions about our careers, even seeking counsel from us regarding our professions.  For example, Kate's dad asked how to visually and aurally differentiate between a professional and a novice conductor.  It was a question that not many people care about, but Melissa and I both have experience in that area and it made us feel like what we do matters.  They show genuine concern for the trials we face and sincere joy at our achievements.  It's no wonder Kate is the incredible friend that she is. 

9. I got a bowl of French onion soup before my dinner.  Little known fact: I LOVE French onion soup.  For all you French Onion soup fans out there, you know how it seems there is never enough cheese? Well, that was NOT the case this evening, my friends.  This bowl of soup was half cheese.  It was amazing.

10. One of my favorite shake shops of all time is the Dairy Keen in Heber City, which we conveniently passed by on the way to and from Park City. Melissa and I made a little stop there on our way home.  They load in the toppings and the fruit is fresh.  Incredible!

What a Life! Day 9

1. My (very pregnant with twins) friend's daughter and I went to the Dinosaur Museum so her mom could get some rest.  It was so fun-and eye opening- to step in to the roll of "mom" for a few hours! I learned many important things about motherhood.

First, it might be okay when you're by yourself to park really close to the car next to you because you found a great parking spot. When you have a kiddo in a car seat to get out, it's the dumbest idea ever.

Second, consolidate.  I brought my own purse and the diaper bag and by the end of the afternoon was juggling holding baby doll, dinosaur egg, and the picture we colored.  I shoved my purse in the diaper bag, along with the picture, and even tried fitting baby doll in there (to no avail).  And I had my sweatshirt tied around my waist, people.  That's right- my need to be hip was overcome by more pressing matters.

 I also realized I was trying to micromanage.  I wanted to make sure we saw everything and had the best time ever.  I finally stopped and reminded myself that this child is two and she will have a lot more fun doing whatever it is she thinks is most exciting at this stage of her life. That was a turning point for me.  We didn't end up seeing the whole museum, but neither of us cared.  We went through the star room many times, though.  That was a favorite!

There was a love/hate relationship with this dinosaur turned bunny.  She wanted to be about five feet from him.  No more, no less.  If I got too close, she started panicking.  If I walked away, she pointed back to him until we were close again.But not too close.  It was so funny! In his little basket (or maybe he's a her....) s/he had eggs with baby dinosaurs in them (yep, definitely a female dinosaur).  That was a huge hit with the little one!
 2. My dear friend Emily lives a couple blocks from Thanksgiving point, so we stopped by her house for lunch afterward! There are fewer people on earth who are kinder than Emily.  She is just a good person through and through.  Definitely someone to aspire to.  And look at her newest addition (Scotty's future wife) in the top right corner below! How darling is that child?!  As I was leaving, I just looked at her with her little ones all around her and said, "How are you a mother of three now?"  It really feels like yesterday we were passing around our quotes notebook at BYU, collecting hilarious bits of wisdom from our peers, each other, and our teachers.  Her children are very, VERY lucky to have her. 

 3. On my way from class at the U to Provo, I decided to pump up the jam in my '97 Ford Taurus (it has the radio and a tape deck, so I chose the first) and roll down the windows.  I felt as cool as I could feel in a Ford Taurus with the windows rolled down. Wind in my hair, on spring break on the open highway...freedom.  Independence.  I tried running my fingers through my hair several hours later and was like...oh yeah...I did that.  And I don't regret it.

4. I love the view from Tina and Jer's house.  It reminds me of my beloved alma mater, BYU. 

5. I got to see my nephew in various forms of darling, all in the space of an hour.

6. Tina always says to him, "Scotty, you're my best friend."  That's pretty much how I feel about him, so I guess he has two best friends now. 

7. There is no experience quite like baby kisses. 

8. My sisters and I have been trying for weeks to coordinate our schedules and see Divergent.  We share books, and this was a series we all took turns reading (except yours truly hasn't read number three because a busy mom in the trio has had it for months).  I love nights out with my sisters.  We find each other so funny, which makes being together a party every time.

9.  We threw caution to the wind and ate all the movie treats we could handle. 

10.  I was inwardly complaining about all the driving I did yesterday but at the end of the day, I realized how grateful I am for my reliable old car.  I can count on Marguerite to take me from Salt Lake to Lehi to the U of U down to Provo and around town all in one day.  I can't believe what cars make possible.  I feel very blessed to have one that has served me so well for the past 10 years or so.