Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Home I Grew Up In

I'm pretty amazing. No, seriously, I am. I'm not perfect -- I could quickly whip out a long list of things I need to work on. But who doesn't?  I have 5 siblings who are super amazing as well. And I think they all know it. A big part of our amazingness is because we grew up in a home where we were told we were amazing.

As proof, listen to my birthday voicemail from my mom.

(Made myself a little birthday video to go along with it... so I could upload the video to YouTube and download it to blogger. Didn't quite know how to do just a voicemail. Because like I said, I'm not perfect.)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Greatest Hits

In the talk I'm reading for my lesson for Sunday, Elder Ballard asks "have we received Christ's image in our countenance?" That started the song with the same title going through my head. So I decided to use our new fancy AV system and listen to the song while I folded the laundry.

Wow! Talk about a cry fest! Have you listened to Janice Kapp Perry in the last 30 years? All those oldies but goodies that I listened to all through college (and even gave Dan a mix tape with my favs for his mission) are actually really good and the lyrics are every bit as moving now as they were back then. I felt a little cheesy about dialing in JKP's Greatest Hits on a Spotify playlist through the Sonos while I sat in my closet and folded clothes, but I was glad I did.

I would recommend Janice Kapp Perry for those times you need to feel like Jesus is sitting right beside you. I'm totally serious. The power of music is pretty incredible. I had been reading Job earlier and been touched by his plight and pondering the difficulties of so many others and why do some people receive answers and others don't and how do some people see blessings in the midst of their trials but others feel hopeless and forgotten. So listening to these sweet songs that touch on those subjects (and reminded me of those same questions and feelings I had back in college when first trying to figure out life and who I was and who I wanted to become spiritually) brought heightened emotions! But those kinds of cries are sometimes the best ones. Very cleansing.

Would have been even better if in the midst of tears the HVAC guy downstairs hadn't called for me, "Ma'am! I have a question!" Dry those tears, I've always got workers in the house!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Anne with a "e"

Marge has been taking a stack of books each Sunday to read during the week. I gave her Anne of Green Gables a few weeks ago and she is really enjoying them. So today we streamed the 1985 movie (with Megan Follows) and watched Part 1. Over three hours and we loved every minute!

I would love to watch chick flick, feel good movies every Sunday, but I usually get overruled by Cowboys Football or boy movies. (One Sunday we watched Fast and Furious. Anne of Green Gables doesn't have a chance.)

But Dan and Chris left this evening to Houston to help clean up for a few days. (I love that Dan's work is organizing a team to help and that they were willing to take Chris with them and that Chris wanted to go!) So tonight Marge, Nick and I watched Anne. They're my favorite books and favorite movies ever (at one time it's the movie I thought I'd watch while I was in labor, but I was way too distracted to want a movie). 

It's going to be hard to wait a week to watch the next one! (Anne of Avonlea) 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Someday Soon

I am documenting this dirt because someday we are going to have landscaping and we will say, "Remember when the whole yard was dirt and piles of rocks and heaps of sand? And remember how dirty the house would get? And how I mopped the floors three times the night Kershaw ran inside with muddy feet? And remember how it felt like we'd never have grass? And that when they raked the dirt we thought it was the most beautiful upgrade we'd ever seen?"

Because someday it will all be behind us.

But seriously, look how pretty raked dirt is! And here's the stream created from the irrigation overflow.
Cliff sandbagged the water once he got it turned back on so he could send the flow down the stream for a few minutes,
just so I could see how pretty it would turn out!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Tip of the Iceberg

Kershaw and I finally got out on a hike -- somewhere different from Tanner Park -- where I could actually get some exercise too. I've recently heard a few people talk about Dog Lake up Millcreek Canyon so we gave it a try.

The trail begins at the top of Millcreek (only accessible when the snow gate is open July 1 - Nov. 1) and took over 20 min. to get there. (You know you're spoiled when driving 20 min. to hike seems like a long ways!)

Kershaw kept resting his head on my arm on the way up. So funny. But also a little annoying like when a boy you've just started dating wants to get too comfortable resting his head on your shoulder or putting his arm around you and by the middle of the date you realize you don't like him touching you and by the end of the date you break up because his neediness is driving you insane. But lucky for Kershaw he is already part of the family so I will keep liking him and try not to be annoyed at him.

This tree looked like it had its heart ripped out.

There were quite a few people hiking that day but it didn't feel crowded. Plenty of alone time.

It was about 6 miles round trip and at a comfortable incline -- far enough to be challenging, and steep enough that it felt like a hike and not a walk, but not so steep that you had to stop to catch your breath at all. I think I read you gain 1440 of elevation in the 3 miles up.

Some colors were just beginning to show. I took a bite of my apple on the way down and with that one juicy bite, all felt right with the world. Fall, apples, hiking, crisp air, and a happy dog.

On the way up Millcreek I passed dozens of hiking trails. KT and I have a few favorites, but there are so many. And that's just the one canyon. I'd like try a lot of different trails this fall. Dog Lake was just the tip of the iceberg.

Later in the evening I saw a baby deer and its mama walking through the yard. As I watched, I realized it was just the two. A whole herd of deer had stopped to graze in the yard. SIX! They happily walked about eating for probably 20 minutes. We're canceling our plans for tulips now and swapping out to daffodils!

Can you spot all six?

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Change the Music

I sent the following letter after hearing shocking music in PacSun while shopping with Chris. I hesitate to use the word "shocking" because it sounds like I'm exaggerating or old. But it was SHOCKING to hear that music over the radio and in the mall! My friend told me she was proud of me for saying something. Believe me, the music was as bad as any music could possibly be!! ANYONE would have been compelled to say something. The lyrics were THAT bad! 

General Growth Management, Fashion Place Mall Management, PacSun Manager:

I was shopping with my family at Fashion Place Mall on Monday night. My 16-year-old teenager loves the fit and style of clothes at PacSun and I have always appreciated the great customer service from staff we receive there. 

However, on Monday night the music choice was very inappropriate for any public setting — especially a family-friendly one. The rap music seemed louder than when I’ve shopped there before so I could hear the lyrics especially well. During one song I thought I heard a swear word and chalked it up to me not hearing correctly. But the next song was as explicit as I could imagine a song being — in lyrics and subject matter. I’ll include the lyrics at the bottom of this e-mail so you can see I’m not exaggerating!

Two girls were working that evening and I nicely (motherly?) told them the music wasn’t appropriate and asked if they could change it. They explained that their music played in the store came from CD’s sent by PacSun Corporate but they said they would be happy to change CD’s and did so immediately.

(Later when checking out, I thanked the staff member for changing the music and she explained that PacSun is a California company so their standards for censoring aren’t as stringent as Utah’s. I politely told her that I had lived in California and I could assure her that most people in California would also take offense at that music being played in a mall. It just simply isn’t appropriate.)

If it was indeed a CD sent by PacSun, I’d like the manager of the store to make sure he’s aware of the music being played, and I ask that he not play the CD’s that include swearing or content inappropriate for the tweens and teens shopping at PacSun. I’ve read Fashion Place/General Growth’s Code of Content that gives “examples of specific activities that are prohibited…” “…Disruptive profanity, vulgar or threatening language” and suggest this includes the music being played in the stores. I expect Fashion Place Mall and General Growth to make sure their stores are following these guidelines in the music being played. And if you have access to PacSun’s management e-mail addresses, I would like to receive it so I can send them a copy of this e-mail as well.

Here is the chorus of the song being played while shopping at PacSun last Monday night (September 11, 2017).
The song was “Dump Dump” by A$AP Ferg: (And I can assure you it was NOT the clean version!)
It was after the first verse and into the following chorus that I was pretty sure I was hearing what I thought I was hearing and asked the girls to change the music:

I’VE DELETED THE WORDS from this e-mail in case the first e-mail I sent was blocked by your filters because of content.
You can find the lyrics online.

And that’s just the chorus!
Thank you for looking into this and making changes.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Birthday Fun

My plan for my birthday began with a bike ride after getting the boys off to school. And then if timed perfectly, a temple session in the morning before visiting teaching in the afternoon! Dan had time to join me which made it that much more perfect.

I haven't ridden since May and it felt great to be out. We rode 3000 around to Butler Middle School, up to Wasatch and home along Mt. Olympus. It was a great ride and I'm glad we had time to get the extra "Butler" stretch in.

The Jordan River temple is closed so we went to Oquirrh Mountain. Unfortunately, even though we arrived 30 min. before the next session, it was already full. Disappointed, we had to skip doing a session together and do initiatory instead. I never like it when my plan gets changed. But it was my birthday and it's the temple so I needed to try to have a good attitude. The first good thing is I had two men's names that Dan needed to do initiatory for.

Next, as I was getting changed, I thought about the last time I did initiatory which was after my dad had died and I was hoping to have a chance to sit quietly in the temple. Unfortunately a woman wouldn't stop speaking to me the entire time. I tried to be patient and even wondered if she might have something inspirational to share that I should listen for. No. She was simply super disruptive. I was kind and was a good listener. But later, I wished I'd let her know I was hoping to sit quietly. So I thought this was a chance for a do-over as I waited.

I read my scriptures while I waited (Esther and Job). I prayed for the Spirit to help me not mind that my plan had changed and to feel good about the service I was doing that day. Soon I felt much more settled and accepting of the new plan.

During the initiatory, one temple worker had such a beautiful Spirit about her, I was completely moved. There was such a tender, loving feeling that permeated me that I became pretty teary. Afterwards I thanked her for her service and told her she had a wonderful spirit about her. She said she was feeling the Spirit so strong that day.

I met Dan in the waiting room. He'd finished about 20 min. before me, but was enjoying reading the scriptures while he waited. He also had a tender experience and had felt a sweet spirit while we were there. We were both really glad things worked out as they did.

And to top it off, initiatory is faster than an endowment session, so we had time for lunch at Slapfish, a new lobster roll restaurant. And that was right next door to my favorite cake place, "Nothing Bundt Cake" where we picked up cake for my birthday (actually 4 bundtinis so we could sample different kinds -- white chocolate raspberry, cinnamon, red velvet (for Nick) and carrot (because that reminds me of the cake my mom used to make us!))

I had time to change clothes and then enjoyed visiting teaching for the first time in our new ward. I've actually been assigned two people I know -- one has been a friend for a long time, but we don't cross paths too often so it's a treat to have an excuse to spend time with her each month. And another is a new friend I cross paths with often, but don't have too much time to talk. And my partner is so interesting and insightful. It was a really fun way to spend my birthday afternoon!

Nick and Chris had lacrosse in the evening, but Dan brought home Porcupine Grill for us for dinner. After dinner we took Kershaw on a walk around the neighborhood. Also, kind of a first to have time in the evening to go for a walk together!

When the boys got home they ate dinner while I opened presents. A whole box of Macarons all to myself! A couple of cute shirts. AND new wireless headphones! Just what I wanted -- and I hadn't even said anything! What a fun surprise!!! And Dan was equally as thrilled and surprised to have gotten me something I really wanted without me even knowing or suggesting! :-)

47 started out great... and I even got all the candles out in one breath!