Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I'm Done!!

I am not done in the sense that I have completed anything, I am done in the sense that I quit.

Or at least I would like to. Just for a day or two. I actually love doing weddings, but I have to admit I am starting to get very stressed over this. And my house is a mess. The dining room table is so covered in flowers, ribbons, organza and satin, that it has spilled over on to the floor and it is now hard to tell where the one ends and the other begins.

And I am very tired. Bone tired. The kind of tired that makes your body ache, your eyes burn and your muscles rebel at every movement. But . . .

Only three and a half more weeks!!

And things are moving along well. Kristen got the invitations all out this past week and they are DARLING!! Here are a couple pictures from them.

Thanks so much to Christina at Hands Full Mom for taking the very cute pictures!! She did a great job and we love them all!! In fact, Kristen loved them so much she used several on her announcement. Thanks to Craig Steed for designing and printing the announcements. We appreciate you both!!


In news outside the wedding . . . (yes, there is life outside of it)

Last week was girl's camp and my husband and I went up for a day. That was so much fun. I loved seeing all my friends who were there as cabin moms and really enjoyed visiting with the girls. And we were particularly glad they caught the two bears who had been sneaking around and relocated them before our arrival!!

In the evening there was a program where all the bishops told how they met and proposed to their wife. It was so cute. One man met his wife when he attended a seminary graduation program for his friend's younger sister. His future wife was also graduating that night. Another met his wife at a 9th grade dance--and she was several inches taller than he was. One met his wife in Boston while they were both attending graduate school and another carried a ring around in his pocket for two months before he worked up the courage to propose.

One of my favorite stories is about my friend Jenny. She set up a lemonade stand outside the boys apartments on the day most of the boys were moving in at the beginning of the school year. Her future husband bought a lot of lemonade that day.

My other favorite story came from a man who is a dentist. After dating his wife seriously for about six months, she was sure he was going to give her a ring for Christmas, but instead his "special gift" for her, was to pay for her to get a tooth fixed!! It was another six months before he got around to actually proposing. Apparently he was waiting for "Memorial Day".

That kind of hesitancy on the part of men, is why I just told Wes I wanted to get married after dating for two weeks. He agreed and we moved forward from there. :-) Easy.

So my daughter Michelle was up at camp as a second year youth camp leader (YCL). She LOVES camp and will make a great young women leader someday. She is totally cute with the girls, lots of fun, and totally crazy.

So crazy that apparently there were several people who were shocked to learn she was our daughter. I guess they didn't think Wes and I could possibly have a daughter who was so much fun. Presumably because they don't think we are fun.

Seriously?!! We are fun people! We really are. I promise!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Shout Out to Kampala, Uganda!!

Here is a shout out to my sister and her husband.
This picture was taken upon their arrival in Kampala, Uganda where they will live for the next two years!
And it was taken after two days of travel and before brushing their teeth
(that was what she told me)
Don't they look great?!

to you both!!
Can't wait for those emails!

If you are interested you can read about their mission on Terri's Blog

Monday, June 13, 2011

It's My Birthday and I'll Leave If I Want To . . .

I am not sure when it all began. I think early June just happened to be a good time for a vacation and so by coincidence we often left town for my birthday. But now it has become such a long established tradition that the thought of actually being in town on the day I was born makes my heart palpitate, my hands shake and my body break out in a cold sweat.

What it scares me, I really don't know. Do I think no one will remember? That no one will care? Or am I afraid they will remember and I will be uncomfortable being the center of attention? None of the fears seem justified, as I have very good friends who always remember, very kindly accommodate my vacation schedule and celebrate with me on different days--and I really don't mind occasionally being the center of attention. :-)

But no matter what the cause of my anxiety, when a good friend (knowing how I like to be out of town) offered me an excuse to travel this past week, I took it! And I am glad I did as we had a wonderful time.

We began our journey by heading north to Las Vegas. Here we attended a temple session, followed by lunch in the cafeteria and pictures in the atrium.

From there we continued north to St. George, Utah. What fun that was!! We headed straight to Tai Pan Trading--an amazing store I could be happy to live in for weeks!! But eventually our husbands dragged us out and we headed over to meet my older brother for dinner at The Painted Pony. His wife had meetings that night so we talked him into spending the evening with us. During dinner, Randy observed that this was the first time we spent my birthday together since I was ten!

The food was delicious and beautifully presented. (See the onion soup below!) Also a bit over priced. But we had a wonderful meal and enjoyed visiting together.

My brother is an architect and has done some work on the St. George temple. Several years ago he restored the veil room to its original form and designed the visitor's center annex, along with the connecting breezeway (below).

Randy also filled us in on some fun stories about the building of the St. George temple--like how President Brigham Young didn't like the original steeple and wanted it changed. He even said that if it weren't changed he would get it changed after he died. Five years after he passed away, the steeple was destroyed by a lightening strike, and replaced the way President Young had requested.

The St. George temple is the oldest operating LDS temple in the world. It was so much fun to see it, and admire the details, including the beehives found at the bottom of the staircases. I thought they were pretty cool.

The next morning we got up early to attend a session at the temple and then headed quickly over to the tabernacle. Wes heard that his great-grandfather built the staircase there and had always wanted to see it. What a treat that was! (And we learned the same man built the staircase in the Salt Lake and Manti temples, so I am guessing we will be going there someday as well! )

Of course when Wes learned that every prophet from Brigham Young to Howard W. Hunter had preached at the pulpit of the tabernacle, he couldn't resist having his picture taken standing there as well! (I am guessing they all wore ties though:-)

Unfortunately that was all the time we could spend in St. George as we had to head home for three wedding receptions and a baby shower. But on our return jounrey we did a quick drive by the north rim of the Grand Canyon. I had not been there since I was 14 and loved being able to go again. And I really loved all the old dead trees!! I thought they were so fascinating!
But there is nothing more spectacular than the view of the canyon!! Gorgeous!! Astounding!! And testimony building. What a beautiful and wonderful world we live in!

We made it home in time to attend all of the other fun activities--including some great birthday celebrations with family and friends.

Thanks to everyone for your time, your sweet gifts and especially your love!! You all bring great . . . joy to my journey!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Long Awaited Day--Phoenix Temple Ground Breaking

Three years after being announced, we finally had the official ground breaking this morning for the Phoenix Arizona Temple. When completed, this will be "our" temple as it will only be 15 minutes from where we live.

This is a picture of a picture so not the best quality, but the best I have. This painting will rotate through the different church buildings in the Phoenix temple district over the next two years until the building is completed.

The Phoenix Temple was announced near the same time as the Gilbert Arizona (under construction) and Gila Valley (completed) temples, but due to neighborhood protests and a re-design, we had to wait three years for this wonderful day.

My husband and I arrived early to get a good seat, so I also hurried over to take a picture of all the shovels waiting patiently to be used.

Elder Ronald Rasband, senior president of the Seventy, presided and was assisted by Elder William Walker, also a seventy and chairman of the temple committee. Elder Michael Pickerd and Elder James Wright, both Area Seventies in the Phoenix area were also in attendance, along with the wives of all the visiting authorities. Elder Pickerd, Elder and Sister Walker and Elder and Sister Rasband all spoke and Elder Rasband offered the dedicatory prayer, dedicating the temple ground for the building of the temple.

After the closing prayer, we all went outside for the official "turning of the dirt"
Left to Right--Elder Wright, Elder Pickerd, Elder Rasband and Elder Walker

After the official turning, my husband and I got a turn.
(we are in the middle of the picture)
Later they invited anyone who wanted, to come up and shovel some dirt or have a picture taken in front of the painting, so our daughter, Michelle, (on the right) jumped up to participate as well.

We had a lot of memorable experiences, but one Michelle will always remember is meeting Sister Dibb --President Monson's daughter, and a member of the General Young Women's Presidency who was in town visiting her son and his family. Sister Dibb was extremely warm and kind. Her love for the young women in the church was evident as she made an effort to speak to many of the young women aged girls there. She noticed Michelle was wearing her Young Women's Medallion (which Sister Dibb was also wearing) and congratulated her on earning the award. She complimented her on her clothing as well (which happened to be a $4.00 skirt from a thrift store:-) and for looking like a girl who was "doing it right".

When we turned to walk away, Michelle said to me, "I love her!"

Another highlight was the music! Our stake was given the assignment to provide a choir for the event and they were amazing!! I wish I could have taken a picture of the choir, or better yet recorded them. For the closing song they sang, "Now Let Us Rejoice" and during the last verse the congregation joined them while they sang a descant. I yearned to lift my voice in song with all those present, but I couldn't. Instead I just bawled. I was so overcome with the beauty of the music that I could only sit and cry.

Lastly--we had a wonderful experience last night in that we were able to enjoy a delicious dinner at the Deer Valley Stake Center with the visiting authorities. It was assigned seating and my husband was assigned to sit next to Sister Rasband. I was so impressed at how wonderfully warm and friendly she was. She seemed to be very open, interested in, and kind to everyone. It was certainly a treat to visit with her for the short time we did. (She and Wes actually visited for a long time, I just visited with her for a little while.)

One thing that was interesting is we were told that all three temples in Arizona were approved at the same time (Gila Valley, Gilbert and Phoenix) but that the Phoenix Temple was not announced until the land for the temple was purchased so as to avoid a price hike by those selling.

I well remember the day the Gilbert temple was announced. Those of us in the west valley were astounded since the Mesa temple was only ten minutes away and we are an hour away. But we all rejoiced a couple weeks later when a temple was announced for our area as well.

And today, June 4, 2011 marked the official beginning of it's construction. Finally!

What a blessed day this is. It has definitely been a day that has brought great . . . joy to my journey.