Thursday, September 29, 2011

That will bring us back to do (oh-oh-oh!)

Talk about making my day.

I fell asleep around 9:15 p.m. last night. Yesterday were parent/teacher conferences from 3-6 p.m. after school and I had a meeting for choir parents from 6-7 p.m. We have another round of parent/teacher conferences today.

As luck would have it, when I fall asleep early, my body wakes me up early, too. At 4:15 a.m. I woke up and checked my email. In my inbox was a message from the special education class at Dixon. Three of the students in their class were in choir with me last year. They sent me a message and recorded themselves singing, "Do, a Dear," which was one of the songs they learned in my class. It was so sweet. I had to write them back right away and send them a little movie of my own, although I know me and my hair at 5:00 a.m. is definitely NOT as cute as they are! I am so grateful for the three years I spent at that wonderful school with such caring teachers, staff members and students.

I don't know about you, but I, for one, am kind of excited to be writing a non-blind date post. It has been a crazy, fun adventure, but I felt like I was really self-absorbed. Back to what is most important to me right now: being a teacher.

Speaking of not being self-absorbed, here is my school picture. Sheesh. We get this big packet of them for free, which always cracks me up because my use for them is non-existent. I take that back. I always send one to Grandma M, one to Grandma C, and a couple to my mom (as they are the only people in the world who still want my school pictures).

Not to get all mushy, but I have the best job on the planet. I can't believe I get paid to work with funny, inspiring kids all day, playing the piano and singing incredible music. My job combines so many of the things I love the best. I could see myself staying at this school permanently if they'll let me. There are so many things I have left to learn. A whole lifetime of stuff, at LEAST. And, the U is down the street and if I can overcome my die-hard loyalty to BYU, I would love to earn my master's degree there while I teach. Application time is coming around and I'm toying with the idea for next year. We'll see. Any advice from you guys?

So this is belated, but one of my friends here in Salt Lake does vinyl sticker lettering and asked me to send him a couple favorite quotes via text. For my birthday, he helped me put these up on my wall:

Of course I had to have some sort of love quote up. Some things never change, honestly, no matter how old I get.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Forget Me Not

Yesterday was a turning point in my life. I crossed a treacherous bridge and my greatest desire is to continue forward and never look back. I feel like my capacity to feel joy has expanded immeasurably. Spiritually, I feel like a little child who has been fed by the Spirit of God and has consequently grown an inch taller. I haven't by any means reached the spiritual height I want to some day be, but I've made a small, precious amount of progress in that direction.

For those who don't know, once a year my church has a general broadcast for all female members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints around the world. A beautiful choir sings and members of the general relief society presidency (the organization for women) speak. At the end, a member of the presidency over the entire church speaks specifically to us as women.

I have so many thoughts I want to verbalize, but it's impossible to put into written form the overall feeling I had yesterday after hearing the words of President Uchtdorf and how profoundly they have affected my life.

President Uchtdorf used the symbol of a "Forget-Me-Not" flower as the focus for his talk. He compared the five petals to five things we must not forget as women in the church. For example, the first petal was to not forget to be patient with ourselves. The third petal was the one that most closely resonated with the feelings of my heart at this stage of my life. He admonished us not to forget to be happy now. President Uchtdorf told the story of a woman whose sincerest wish in life was to be married in the temple and have a beautiful, perfect family who lived the gospel of Jesus Christ. This was the absolute greatest desire of her heart and it was a worthy goal. To her, ultimate happiness in this earth life would only be achieved once she attained her goal.

President Uchtdorf told of her tragic descent into bitterness and misery as the years passed and her knight in shining armor never came. Perhaps most poignant to me was when he told of her profession as a teacher. She neglected to see what a precious opportunity she had been given to influence the lives of hundreds of children, despite the fact she did not have children of her own. Being a teacher by profession is a rare opportunity that does not come to many women in the church because they have specific responsibilities to their own little flocks. Neither responsibility is greater than the other; rather, they are unique to one another and often do not co-exist. Each woman is given a different set of responsibilites by the Lord according to where He needs her to serve.

Over the past 2 months, I have been overwhelmed by the happiness I have found teaching high school. It was because of the Lord's guidance and direction that I made it here to this place of newly found joy. Without Him, I would never have had the courage to make a change. I feel such gratitude at the opportunity He has afforded me to be part of the lives of young people, both in middle school for three years and now in high school. God made this possible for me. He needs me where I am. He needs me to be an influence for good for the youth and future leaders of the church in ways their parents can't reach them for whatever reason. I was born with a specific skill set that I can use to teach kids who are not my own according to the will of the Lord. Whether that's for one more year or for 30 more, as a married woman or single, I will go and do what the Lord desires of me. And I will be so sincerely happy for the opportunity, whatever it may be.

Will I still have moments of loneliness and despair? Of course. I'm not so idealistic that I think I will never long for a family of my own again. But those times of discouragement will be the exception rather than the rule. I know now that I'm capable of being truly happy because of all the riches I have. They are different than the treasures some of my friends possess, but they are mine and they are precious to me.

Did I ever think I would have this realization? Honestly, no, I didn't. When I reflect on some of the moments of most heart breaking loneliness I have experienced, I would never have been capable of imagining true happiness outside of eternal marriage in this earth life. I was the 4 year old girl who played dress up in wedding dresses and veils. As a teenager, I watched hours of "A Wedding Story" and read countless LDS romance novels. I planned out engagements with several different young men in my imagination. I practiced my signature with various last names depending on my current love interest. I sketched wedding details in my journal. My roommates and I spent some serious cash visiting the stomping grounds of Anne of Green Gables. Ever since I can remember, my number one goal has been to find love, be married, and raise a family. Once I got married, then my mortal puzzle would be complete. That little piece of me that has been missing all these years would finally be put in it's proper place and I would join the happiness club.

But guess what? I'm already in that club and I didn't even realize it. I'm a card holding member. My temple recommend reminds me of the covenants I have made with a Father in Heaven who will never forget me. He has promised me that any of the blessings I don't get right now will be mine forever if I remain faithful. That, in and of itself, provides all the happiness I need in mortality. All I need to do is cleave to those promises every single day and press forward, finding joy in each and every child he has entrusted me to teach day after day and year after year.

I made some promises of my own after that meeting. I promised myself to never again measure the worth of my soul on whether or not I am married. I will not view my single status as failure or as a reason for others to feel anguish on my behalf. I will focus on all the opportunities for motherhood I already have and I will rejoice in them. I will not be ashamed of my life, for I have so much work left to do in the capacities Heavenly Father has provided for me.

I know there are many people who love me who have been waiting for me to figure this out. So many people have told me that not dwelling on being single it is the "golden ticket," as President Uchtdorf would say, to finally finding someone with whom I can raise a family. I've often longed to "figure it out" and not care so much about being married just so my wishes would come true.

But the beauty of the realization I had this weekend is that it doesn't matter anymore whether or not I meet my husband tomorrow, in 5 years, 20 years, or after this life. My happiness is no longer contingent upon that. It is contingent upon what I do with the sacred responsbilites that have been bestowed upon me by a loving Heavenly Father who knows how best I can be of service in His kingdom during my mortal life.

I know that my Redeemer lives. He is the "golden ticket" to happiness in this life. Through His atonement, we can be 100% happy on this earth. He has made it possible for us to have peace and joy through living the gospel and serving in His kingdom. His promises are sure. He will never, ever forget me.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Date #9


Connection to Celeste: A guy from her aunt's ward
Stature: 6'1"
Interesting facts: This man is a walking encyclopedia. It was truly amazing. He is a self proclaimed nerd, reading neuroscience books for fun. However, he revealed near the end of the date that his nickname in high school was "Robot" because he deejays music and break dances. I asked him to show me a little and I was blown away by what he presented. Definitely NOT what I expected! He's pretty fly for a white guy!
Activity: We went to Barnes and Noble in the Gateway mall and chose something for our date from the activity section (which had things like juggling kits, origami, paper airplanes, etc). We mutually agreed upon a kit that taught us how to make balloon animals. I soon remembered how bad I am at following instructions. Not surprisingly, he has quite a knack for figuring things like that out rather quickly. I was able to successfully complete a mouse with just a little help. He made a dog, a bunny, and a rather deformed kangaroo.
Date Highlight: This man was, without a doubt, winner of "best blind date compliment" award. He told me I had very beautiful gums. That's probably one of the nicest things a man has ever said to me. Did I mention he's a dentist?
Is it a Love Match? We had a LOT of fun. We laughed a lot, talked a lot, and compared lots of stories. In some ways, we are very similar. We are both conservative and like the color red. In other ways, we're completely different. For example, I would run and play fully clothed in water fountains that shoot from the ground in a spontaneous "fit of passion", as he termed it. He would only run in the middle of it if someone was injured or dying. He is so funny. I would go out with him again in a heart beat if he decided to ask.

Date #9 = a smashing success!

Date #8

Back by popular demand (okay, so maybe that should read, "back by the request of one..."), here are the stats for this morning's date.

Connection to Celeste: Celeste's friend who set me up with dates #2, #3, and #5 (and one of the only dates Celeste knows personally!)
Stature: VERY tall in (Sweet!)
Unique facts: He is the youngest of nine, with 20 years between the oldest and youngest. He has a nephew who is 28 (he's 31). We were once set up on eharmony, but never went out. He is obviously a family man and, once again, very out-doorsy.
Date Activity: Frisbee golf. Again, a first for me! While I never made par on any of the 17 holes, I got really close once and worked to perfect my forehand (until I forehanded it straight into him from about 5 feet away...ouch!). Afterward, we got a Jamba Juice. Perfection. It was a fun, active, inexpensive date that gave us a great opportunity to interact.
Post Date Impressions: I loved being around him. I didn't feel pressured to make silly conversation (which is unusual for me!). We could play the game and ask questions about one another whenever we felt like it with no real urgency. I could tell he is a good person just being around him for a couple hours. That is attractive to me.
Was it a love match? Well, I would LOVE to go out again. We'll see what he thought. If nothing else, it was a wonderful Saturday morning.

Date #8 = A great success :-)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Date #6

...didn't happen.

Interestingly enough, he was one of the other guys on the motorcycle group date (both date #5 and date #6 have the same mutual friend with Celeste). I knew who he was all along because my date told me. I didn't reveal that to him, however, until the evening was almost over. We had a good laugh about it at dinner. While he is a tall, handsome, fun guy, he had other plans for tonight that he forgot about until the friends on the date reminded him. He invited me to join the BBQ he was hosting, but it was a planning meeting for a weekend trip he and a group of friends were taking and I didn't feel the need to intrude.

Oh well.

And, date #7 texted Celeste last night and told her he began dating someone seriously since he committed to going out with me a month ago. He offered to send his 22 year old roommate in his place. If that doesn't happen, I'm not going to be broken up about it.

Dates #8 and #9 are scheduled for Saturday morning and Saturday evening after the R.S. broadcast. Full report to follow.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Date #5

I pull up to the parking lot of the mall and pull out my phone to call him.

My phone buzzes. The text reads, "Over here..."

I look around as I step out of the car and an attractive 38 year old man with thick, wavy brown hair (definitely 90210 material) is sitting a few yards away on his bullet bike. This isn't a surprise. I knew the activity was going to be biking up the canyon. In fact, my students earlier in the day voted between that and wake boarding when I was presented with those two options. Motorcycling won. However, this is not an activity I have done before or am accustomed to. It is also not one I will be informing my mother about beforehand. I already plan to fill her in after I'm home safe and sound.

As he revs his motorcycle and approaches me on the bike, I shyly say hello. No matter how many blind dates I go on, the initial meeting is always nerve wracking. He asks if I'll be needing my purse. I say no and fumble to put away my phone. As I walk to my trunk to throw the purse inside, I say, "Like I told you on the phone, I'm a little nervous about riding motorcycles..." He responds with the following:

"Then I guess it wouldn't be a good idea to tell you up front that I've wrecked three of these."

You may think he was teasing me. He wasn't.

It also has not escaped my attention that he is not wearing a helmet, nor is there one anywhere to be seen for me to borrow. I start panicking in my head. Thus commences an internal dialogue that continues for 3 hours: "My mother would have a heart attack if she knew I was riding on the back of a motorcycle without a helmet! If I die from doing something so stupid, I'll never forgive myself. Heavenly Father only protects us when we're not being foolish. How can I abandon everything I have ever believed about motorcycles? Hey, wait a I a bad person because I'm actually having fun on this thing?"

I've now locked in the trunk my purse containing chapstick, keys, phone....wait a second. KEYS! I yell, "Oh no!" He replies, "You didn't just do what I think you just did, did you?" Yup. I did. We decide to deal with it when we come back.

I get the mini lesson on hopping on the bike and off we go to another nearby parking lot to meet up with three other couples. A quadruple motorcycle date. I figure this is good news because if I fly off the bike, there will be more people there to help get me to the hospital. As we pull up, all the girls on the back of the boys' bikes are wearing helmets. The first thing I say is, "Why am I the only one without a helmet?!!"

One of the girls offers me her helmet and I take it. SHAMELESS! If she falls off her date's motorcycle and is injured, it would completely be my fault. And if I ride without a helmet, I can never look at myself in the mirror again. Unfortunately, I don't have the guts to turn the darn thing down.

You have to admit, this date is a once in a lifetime experience, right? It is hard not to feel just a little bit cool as we all pull up to stoplights together on the bikes. I am "that girl." The one who rides motorcycles like it's no big thang.

As we make our way up the canyon, it starts to get a little chilly. We pull to the side of the road to layer up. Since I accidentally locked my sweatshirt in my car a half hour earlier, my date lets me use his jacket. The girl who gave me her helmet has a very thin sweat shirt and she is freezing. Another guy in the group offers her his jacket in exchange for her sweatshirt but it is too small for him. I offer to instead take the thin sweatshirt because I am wearing her helmet and I give the guy who gave up his jacket my date's jacket to wear instead. We play musical jackets for about ten minutes. Then we're off again. It really is beautiful and quite an incredible experience for the girl who has been allergic to anything remotely adventurous for 28 years. Water skiing, wakeboarding, and motorcycling all in one year? Who the heck am I?

Well, I'm happy to report that the girl whose helmet I stole did not fall off her bike, I tried sushi, my date is smart and hard working and successfully opened my car door with a hanger, and I'm here to tell the entire tale.

This date wins for most exhilarating. Hands. DOWN.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Date #4

The Stats:

Connection to Celeste: Boss' son's mission companion's best friend since birth (yup, that's date #1's best friend).
Stature: I was prepared this time. I put two pairs of shoes by the door, a pair of flats and a pair of heels. I decided to wait to put them on until I saw my date. When he came to the door, I immediately knew I'd be leaving the heels behind. Third date out of four that is shorter than me!
Date Activity: Music and the Spoken Word at the tabernacle. Winner for best date activity so far! It was breathtaking. I haven't felt the Spirit so strong in a long time. They sang "The Sound of Music," "Peace Like a River," and "Redeemer of Israel" among others. We then strolled around temple square. It was such a beautiful morning today.
Bonus Points: He played baseball in college on scholarship. I remember Violet always saying when we were little that she wanted to date a baseball player because they were the hottest. Do you remember that, Vi?!
Interests: He loves the gym and is a self classified "meat head," spending 3-4 hours at the gym a day! He runs triathlons. It has been the weirdest experience for me to go out with all these out-doorsy, athletic guys! I am just grateful I started doing a few things like wake boarding this summer so I could feel somewhat "in the know" about the outdoors.
Post-date Impressions: Super cute. Super fun. Great laugh. Easy to talk to. Fun to joke around with. Our personalities matched up quite well.
Is it a love match?: Again, we'll see. I'm not expecting a phone call, but I would definitely go out with him again. I know we both had a really nice time, and that's all I could ask for out of a first date!

Date #4 = A success!

But here's the thing: All these dates are starting to backfire. Today at church, I was saying goodbye to the first guy friend I made in my new ward a month ago. We are really good friends and have done things together since we met. As he left, I said "Bye, [name of the date I had been out with this morning]!" He turned around and looked really surprised. I felt so horrible. I tried to explain, but I'm sure that made things worse.

Nevertheless, this whole experience has been really good for me. I've been learning my own strengths and weaknesses and have also been learning a lot from the goodness of each of the guys I've met over the past week. I've also been forced to be courageous and put myself out there much more than usual. I think that's really important, as it has helped me be more outgoing to people I meet on my own. More on how this experience has influenced me later!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Date #3

I knew this date was going to be a fun one when I first listened to the message he left me to set it up:

"Katie Houston! This is [name] and [as he drops into a slow country drawl] I'm going to take you on a date on Friday night [chuckles to himself]!"

I knew this was the kind of guy I could be myself around.

My feelings were confirmed when I went out to his car and read his customized license plate: "IMAWESOM"

And here are the states:

Connection to Celeste: Friend of the same friend who knows date number 2. Incidentally, date number 2 and date number 3 are in the same ward.
Stature: The same as me! My tallest date yet :-).
First Impression: Wicked awesome hair and great shoes. I've always been attracted to shoes for some reason. Don't ask me why.
Date Activity: Our original plans (hitting golf balls on a driving range) were rained out. So, we opted for baking banana bread and watching a movie while it baked. Okay, I want it to be known by everyone within the sound of my voice (within the sight of my blog?) that I have now tasted the world's most incredible banana bread. I am addicted. The secret? Yogurt.
Is it a love match?: Personality wise, this was the best match. We joked around a lot and it didn't feel like we had the first date "wall" up. At the same time, I can't tell if it's just the makings of a beautiful friendship. I'd be interested to know what he thought. I guess we'll see if he calls again! If not, it was definitely a fun way to spend a weekend evening!

Date #3 = A success!

Girls Night Out Boutique

Christina, her friend Sally, and Sally's cousin Holly hosted a "Girls Night Out" where they served amazing desserts...

...and showcased their crafts.

Sally does hair accessories and skirts and Tina crochets baby apparel. Holly sells lots of different things like jewelry, ties, and scarves.

They also did three raffles for all guests who were there.

It was lovely and I spent way too much money. And this is just after creating a new budget I was determined to stick by so I can buy a car in a year. Oops. I left with a new strand of pearls and two pearl bracelets from Holly's booth, baby boots and baby moccasins from Tina's booth, and a headband plus an order for a custom made skirt from Sally's.

Here is a beautiful recent recipient of a Flowers 'n Frills headband! (Her mom and I got together for frozen yogurt to celebrate our birthdays recently!)

Way to hone in on your talents, ladies, and share them with us! I'm so proud of you, Sis!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Date #2

What fun would this whole blind date extravaganza be if there weren't a few funny stories to share?

Yesterday, two guys called to set up times for the dates Celeste scheduled. The first guy was calling about tonight's date. He lives in Provo, so we decided to meet half way at Thanksgiving Point at 6:30 p.m. I was running a little late due to play practice going right until 5:30 (even though I'd hoped it would get done a little sooner). I still needed to go home, change, do my hair, and put on make-up. I texted my date at 5:25 p.m. and this is how our conversation went:

Me: Running a little late...6:45? :-)
Date: I have plans later and can't do that sorry.

At this point, I'm in total shock. That just doesn't sound like something any decent human being would say.
Me: This is [date's name], right?

Then, I start fuming. Who does he think he is? More importantly, who does he think I am? Does he think he's doing me this grand favor by taking me out? No way, buddy. I have a womanly obligation to show him that what he's doing is lousy but veil it with kindness so I don't come across as a total brat.

Me, again: Sorry I have to drive from Salt Lake City to West Valley City to Lehi. Play practice was long and brutal today. I was hoping me being 15 minutes late wouldn't be a big deal. Sorry. Since you have plans you need to be at, let's cancel. No big deal. It was nice of you to be willing :-).

At this point, I call my mom. I'm livid. I come up with all the reasons why I'm glad I don't have to go out with this loser. I write awesome possible texts in my head that I consider sending him when/if he writes back. "You just better hope I wasn't the woman of your dreams" was my favorite option. Then, I notice I missed a call and seconds later, I get the following text:

Date: 645 is fine! Sorry I thought you were someone else! I'll explain tonight if you didn't change your plans. I'm still planning on 6:45 if that works for you.

Now I have to call my mom back to explain that I want to take back all the mean things I said about this guy I never met because it was all a misunderstanding and I'm going on the date. All is well again.

When I finally met him, he explained to me what happened. He is taking music lessons and thought my text was from his teacher saying he was going to be late for their lesson. He thought he was responding to the teacher, not me, telling him he had plans (which were with me) and couldn't meet later. When his teacher showed up at his door on time, he was confused. Then, my text came in.

And now, without further ado, here are the date stats:

Connection to Celeste: He was in the same ward a few years ago as one of her best guy friends.
Stature: Short in (never before have I cursed so ardently my 69 inches)
Interests: Anything outdoors (I sense a pattern...), music
Most interesting thing I learned: There are sheep herding festivals for sheep dogs and their leaders in Heber for some serious prize money. My date went to the latest competition with his nephew and said he was riveted, much to his surprise.
Date activity: Dinner at Cafe Rio....YUM.
Overall impressions: Super attractive man (curly hair and scruff!). Very ambitious and loves learning. Challenged me to think in new ways and to be an active learner. Intimidates me a little. I talked too much and displayed insecurity with my opinions.
Is it a love match?: I wish! I didn't feel like there was a connection on his end and I'm fairly certain he won't call back for a second date. But he was so kind (opposite of what I assumed when I got the text meant for someone else) and an enormous catch for some very lucky girl.

Date Number 2 = A success!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Gift of all Gifts

Gifts are so thoughtful. Each one reflects what friends think you'd want most. It says a lot about how you are perceived by those you love. Also, a little bit of the gift giver's personality is always evident in the things they choose.

I got some AWESOME gifts from friends and family for my birthday.

I got this gorgeous little number which I've worn two days in a row already...

...shampoo and conditioner (can you guess which friend gave me those?), shatter nail polish from Sue Sue (Anna) which I am dying to try out, bouncy balls, gift cards, balloons, and flowers.

My mom sent me North and South (this is a virtual scream: AUGHHHH!!!!), and Tina and Jer bought me a full season of Law and Order which I've been wanting for months.

But never before in my life have I gotten a gift of the magnitude of one I will describe now, given to me by my roommate Celeste.

Weeks ago, Celeste asked me to write down all the days I'd be free in September and October. And I mean ALL the dates I'd be free. I asked if it was for my birthday and she confirmed that it was. I assumed she was getting tickets for a concert and needed to be sure I gave her plenty of options so she would be safe.

On Sunday, Celeste said she was ready to present me with my gift. She gave me a big blue card with "Happy 28th Birthday Katie" written on the front.

I opened the card, and what did I see?

A calendar with eleven blind dates arranged just for me! (Click to enlarge).

She was going for 28 dates, but I think 11 is just about right. This will definitely push me closer to 50 blind dates total for my life when all is said and done! She only knows one or two of the guys personally. The rest are friends of friends.

Back to what I mentioned at the beginning of this post: I can see her in my mind's eye, sitting on her bed and thinking, "Now what does Katie want the very most?" Now that's just downright embarrassing.

But seriously, can I get a big "yee-haw" for the kind of friend Celeste is to do something like this for me? She called each and every guy and even emailed some of them my interests so they'd know what to expect. She gave cheap date ideas and gave them my contact info so they could call and ask me out personally before each date. It blows my mind.

I'll keep you posted on the progress. I had the first date on Friday night, the day before my birthday. Here are the stats:

Date #1

Age: 24
Connection to Celeste: Her boss' son's mission companion
Stature: Short in
Chivalry: Off the charts (opened the door for me not only when I got in the car, but when I got out. No one has ever done that for me before.)
Interests: Anything OUTDOORS
Date Activity: He came from a couple hours away for the date and his parents live near me. We had dinner at their house and went on a bike ride. We then made cream cheese brownies (as a little birdie told him I'm trying to learn to cook) and played games with his family while they baked. Okay, I admit it, I'm a huge sucker for hanging out with the fam.
Post date reflections: AWESOME guy. Hot. Fun-loving. Considerate (planned date activities based on my interests). Hard act to follow.

Stay tuned for Thursday's edition...

I am the Luckiest

There's no better way to spend a birthday than with people you love who love you back.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

28 Lessons I've Learned in 28 Years

  1. Time is the best remedy for a broken heart.
  2. Time will not be controlled.
  3. My Heavenly Father loves me.
  4. To really learn and grow, you have to be willing to fall flat on your face a few times.
  5. Family members are your best friends.
  6. If you eat shakes every day, you WILL put on weight.
  7. Worrying doesn't change the outcome.
  8. Reading the scriptures, praying, and going to church WORK.
  9. Music is a powerful tool for healing.
  10. You cannot be truly happy until you love yourself.
  11. Books are magical.
  12. No one walks the exact same road to heaven, nor should they.
  13. To see some of the most beautiful things the world has to offer, you have to be willing to be a little adventurous.
  14. Confidence is attractive.
  15. Never make the mistake of assuming another person's life is perfect.
  16. My parents are usually right.
  17. What I want for myself is very often not what is best for me.
  18. We don't have to be perfect. In fact, we can't be. That's why we have the atonement.
  19. Two heads are better than one.
  20. People do crazy things when they're in love. Engaged people, in fact, inhabit a different planet than we do.
  21. With God, I can do things that once seemed impossible.
  22. Everyone can sing.
  23. The sacred unit of a family is essential to a child's well-being physically and emotionally.
  24. Excessive idleness leads to discouragement.
  25. Honesty is the best policy...most of the time.
  26. Talking too much can be a beautiful blessing or a horrible curse depending on the circumstances.
  27. The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know.
  28. Twenty-eight isn't really that old...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

10 down, 3 more to go...

This past weekend, Celeste and I drove to her hometown of Tabiona and spent the night at her parents' home. We had a lovely morning breakfast with her mom, dad, and two little brothers. It was fun to joke around with her brothers and remember what life was like as a teenager. I enjoyed so much having pancakes, reading scriptures together, and listening to her brother practice piano at the request of his mother (and watching Celeste set his timer on the oven for fifteen more minutes without him figuring it out).

The Vernal temple, though an hour and a half away, is the closest temple to Tabiona. That's where Celeste's family goes. It's more different in appearance on the outside than probably any other I've seen! It used to be a tabernacle.

It was a great experience. The Lord reminded me yet again that He is aware of me. I'm so grateful to know He can see the whole picture, because I would have chosen a million different roads if it were left up to me. And I know the road I'm on is the one that is making me the happiest.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Paging Shelley Thompson


I was reading your sister's cute blog and I saw a beautiful pregnant lady on the latest post! It made me miss you soooooo much. I hate it that I'm missing out on this exciting time of your life. I already have your baby's gift but I have to wait and see what you have before I send it (there is a girl version and a boy version).

So you may be wondering why I'm writing this to you on my blog instead of in an email or a text. Well, I put my phone in my back pocket at work and long story short, it had a terrible water accident. I lost all my contacts. And when I tried to find your email address on gmail, it wasn't there anymore. Did you switch to a different email provider?

When you get this, please text me, email me, or call me so we can talk all about the excitement of this sweet baby coming into your life! I'm hoping that Natalie or Lynds might read this (if I can be so bold as to assume they have any interest in my blog!) and alert you to the fact that it is here. P.S. Natalie, I want to read your blog!!