Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Alls We Need to Do Is...

Heard at work:

  • Alls we need to do is...
  • We heard back from the Bishopreec...
  • EVERYTHING was done in proper order, except...
  • (While looking at quilt frames):  Is someone going to make a quilt?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Best. Weekend. Ever. (Until the Next Time, I Hope!)

I love Thanksgiving.  Have I mentioned that?  I love everything about it.  I love the colors.  I love the food.  I love the smells.  I love making pies and apple salad with my kids sneaking Snickers into their mouths while Christmas music is playing.  (See, Amy?  My heart grew!)  I love listening to the kids laugh at the table.  I love my brothers teasing each other, and seeing everyone traipse outside to play Horse or Tornado, and I love watching everyone traispe back in, cheeks red and spirits high.  I love feeling full and sleepy and just overall satisfied.  I love Thanksgiving.

As if that was not enough to make this weekend glorious, today Briana was endowed in the Oquirrh Mountain Temple.  I have been so excited for this.  And I don't know why, but I was not prepared for the emotion that would come spilling out of me.  Yesterday we went to the Distribution Center, where we purchased almost everything she needed for the temple.  She chose a beautiful dress, and when she put it on, suddenly my little girl was a grown woman standing before me.  It took my breath away. 

This morning we walked in the temple door, and I told the brethren at the recommend desk that we were here for an endowment for the living.  Immediately there was a lovely sister at our side, saying, "You must be Sister Hill and Sister Hill!"  They checked our recommends, and Sister Jeanette Call took us to a verification desk for a few minutes.  She then took us back to the dressing room.  They gave Briana one of the brides' lockers, and it had a lovely calligraphic name sign on it with her full name.  Sister Call was so kind to explain everything that was going to happen (for both Briana and me). 

When Breezy was in initiatory, I got dressed, and then Sister Call took me to the new name booth.  By the time Briana came back, I was ready to be with her.  I helped her put on her white dress, and then sweet Sister Call took us to a small room.  We were met by Sister Layton, the temple matron.  Since Bri was the only sister being endowed on this session, it was just the 4 of us in this discussion (Sister Call at the back of the room, me next to Briana, and Sister Layton sitting knee-to-knee with Briana).  Sister Layton explained the temple beautifully and simply and spectacularly.  We are so blessed to have what we have and to know what we know!

When Sister Call took me and Briana to the chapel, we were thrilled to see so many people there to support Breeze:  Uncle Derek and Aunt Becky, Aunt Laurie, Grandma Glenda, Grandma Ruth, Aunt Jenny, Mike and (Bestest Friend) Brittany, Wendi (Brit's mother, "Mama Silva"), Sami, and Stacy.  Additionally, Uncle Gavin and Aunt Kimberly had told us they would be in the Sacramento Temple at the same time.  Even if they did not make it, it meant a lot to us that they would think to do that.

Briana was very calm all through the endowment session.  She participated in the prayer circle with her dad. They saved her for very last to come through the veil, and she started getting pretty nervous during that wait.  I was second-to-last, and it was sweet to watch so many friends make their way to the front of the room.  Breezy said, "I know there's nothing to worry about, but I'm kinda freaking out."  She shed some tears (no one cries alone) and we snuggled. 

Then it was my turn to leave, and I knew I was leaving Briana in good care with Sister Call. I entered the celestial room to find all of those people just standing there waiting for us.  I greeted a few people, and then I just found my sweetheart, who held me while I cried for joy.  Several minutes later, our daughter entered the celestial room, and I wish I could express the feelings of joy as she did.  There was anticipation as we waited, listening intently for the knock that would signal that she was almost there; and I thought, "We will probably be waiting with this kind of anticipation when we are all dead, waiting for our daughter to leave mortality and join us again."  Gives a very different perspective on death, doesn't it?

Spencer held Briana close to him for a very long time, and I thought my heart would burst with joy.  Next it was my turn, and I couldn't help but say, "How will I let you go away for 18 months?"  I hope that isn't discouraging for our beautiful daughter, who will be a wonderful missionary.  I could not choose anything different or better for her at this time in her life.  I'm so pleased with the choices she has made and is making.  But my goodness!  How will I survive it?  It's not just pain at having our daughter LEAVING (although I admit it, there is some of that)--but it's also the joy that fills me so full I think I might actually explode.  How will I survive it?

Briana had some time to hug each of the people who came to the temple with her, and we sat for a few minutes in the Celestial Room.  Sister Call waited patiently till we were ready to leave, then she took us back to the dressing room.  We got to go into the brides' room to fold our temple clothing.  Sister Call took Bri to a very large full-length mirror, put her arm around her and said, "Do you have any idea how happy your Father in Heaven is with you today?"  And I thought, "I bet I have an idea!"

After we left the temple (which we hardly wanted to do), Spencer and Briana and I went to lunch at The Olive Garden.  Guess what our server's name was?  Jeanette!  Isn't that awesome?  She was very kind to us, and we enjoyed ourselves completely.

And now for a memory:  In 1990 I was pregnant with Briana, and my friend was getting married in the Los Angeles temple.  It had been several months since we'd been to the temple because the Oakland Temple was closed for remodeling.  As I sat in the endowment session, I had the sweet feeling that our family was all there with us.  I could not count them, but I knew they were there.  Even though I was terribly disappointed that I could not have more children, I had that same feeling when my sweet brother and his wife brought our 3 little ones to the hospital to meet their baby brother, Landon--the whole family was there!

Oh, how I pray that someday (and maybe many somedays) in mortality, our whole family will be with us in the temple.  I know that we can be a family eternally.  But my goodness!  How will I survive that much joy?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Breezy got home from Far Away Logan yesterday.  This morning she and I and Spencer got up and went to run a 5K in our neighborhood.  Thanks, Ulches, for a way fun time.  Also, Suzie, we love, love, LOVED having you visit with us during our run!  No pictures, which is a real bummer.  But this is my favorite race ever!

We spent the late morning and early afternoon making pies, baking rolls, and cooking a ham.  Unfortunately, as good as I thought I was, I am not cool enough to have had everything we needed, and yes, we made a run to Walmart.  Packed.  It was packed.

This evening, we did a little bit of this:

Our beautiful daughters

At the big kids' table--where the REAL party was.  :)

Our men took clean-up duty (they learned that from Daddy)

Our children make me smile

Beautiful, beautiful girls!

All the boy cousins in Utah

All of the Utah cousins

Me, Tay, and my sweetheart
I left out the leg-wrestling, arm wrestling, stick pulling, basketball, food-food-food, ukeleles, drums, guitars, videos, visits, and massages.

It doesn't get better than this.  I love Thanksgiving.  I love my family.  I love my life.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tear Jerkers

My dad sent a newspaper clipping that listed the readers' top-ten tear jerker movies:

1.  Old Yeller
2.  Bambi
3.  The Notebook
4.  The Green Mile
5.  The Champ
6.  Life Is Beautiful
7.  The Color Purple
8.  Steel Magnolias
9.  Terms of Endearment
10. Beaches

To this list we have added:

1.  E.T.
2.  My Life
3.  Return to Me
4.  Charly

Of all of these, I'd have to say the three that made me cry the most were Charly, My Life, and Beaches.  I haven't seen Terms of Endearment, but I've seen all the others.

Cast your votes for top three.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Getting in the Holiday Spirit

My friend, Shana, asked me and a couple of other friends if we wanted to host a party for our work friends.  We discussed it and decided that lunch was best because no one would have to leave their families or anything.  Then we thought What if we did a service project as part of our party?  So now the party is in the works!  Courtney is making darling invitations (I have full faith in you, Courtney!).  Kim and Annette are working on table decorations.  Shana is shopping for quilt items, and I am doing what I do best.  Everyone in the world is invited, because they are bringing their own lunch and treats to share.  What's not to love about a party where I don't have to provide everyone's food for them?  I personally will be sharing something salty-sweet, and you're gonna love it (and so am I).

It's a good thing we're doing a service project, because that last paragraph was clearly ALL ABOUT ME.

The point is that all of this festive planning has me feeling the Christmas mood more and more, in spite of the fact that I am boycotting FM100 till November 25th.

If you wanna feel the holiday spirit, come to our party.  But first, listen to David's "Memories of Christmas."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Did You Know?

Did you know that Kara Chocolates is based in Orem? 

Did you know that Kara's mint chocolate is heavenly?

Did you know that hydroplaning (and therefore spinning) on the freeway is not only dangerous but EXCEEDINGLY FRIGHTENING?!

Did you know that when you have a near-death experience on the freeway with your 14-year-old son in the car, it is possible to pray 50 times in 5 seconds, begging God to protect your son?

Did you know that in those 50 prayers you also have enough time to say, "It's OK to take me," while you're begging Him to protect your son?

Did you know that when your children's friends give their missionary farewell talks your heart will throb with emotion and your eyes might leak a little bit?

Did you know that our "son" Tanar enters the MTC tomorrow?

Did you know that Briana is meeting with her stake president tonight to have her temple recommend signed?

Did you know that our oldest child will be 21 in a week and a half?

Did you know that our oldest child is probably going to be endowed on her birthday?

These are important things, and now you know

Saturday, November 12, 2011

This Is a Test

This week my phone went wacko.  It would not send or receive text messages.  It was frustrating and annoying, because I knew my children at the very least were texting me.  It's what they do.  I got stuck on a slow-moving train on Thursday morning and was going to be late for work AND an 8:00 meeting, and I could not get hold of anyone to let them know.  (Dean!  Pick up your phone!)

I was going to call Sprint, but I'm never sure which password they have for us, so I was waiting till Spencer or Taylor was home at the same time I was.

Last night we went to Lolly's school production of Bye-Bye Birdie (adorable, BTW!).  I had turned the volume down, but the teacher in charge asked us to turn them OFF so they didn't interfere with the mics.  Here's my lameness (#1):  I didn't know how to power off my phone.  Landon had to show me how to do it.  (insert sheepish grin here)

After the play I turned my phone back on.  Guess what?  I received about 12 texts.  Yup, you guessed it.  Lameness (#2):  Turning the phone off and on fixed whatever the problem was.

What is the very first thing techs tell you to do when there's a problem?  Shut it down and start it back up.  *sigh*  I feel so stupid.

Here are my pent-up responses:

To Landon:  What movie are you watching in school?  Two days ago.
To Landon (again):  I'll be home as soon as I finish reading this chapter.  Two days ago.
To Ashtyn:  Yes, I called the attendance office and excused your absence.  Yesterday.
To Briana:  I was freaking out at 8:00, too.  Three days ago.
To Briana (again):  Gary Indiana, Gary Indiana, Gary Indiana, let me say it once again.  Three days ago.
To Briana (yet again):  Persuasion.  Yesterday.
To Stacy:  Our kids should be there.  You know--two days ago.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Heartache and Joy

In the movie Pretty Woman, Vivian talks about how she got talked-down-to by a former boyfriend.  Edward tells her that he thinks she’s an incredible woman, and she responds, “Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to believe the bad stuff?”

This week two missionaries in Texas were killed in a hit-and-run.  Their parents received terrible phone calls that day, and my heart aches for them.

Every day dozens of young men and women leave their homes, headed to a Missionary Training Center somewhere in the world.  Every day dozens of now-men and women leave the lands and people they've loved and served for 1 1/2 to 2 years to safely (and sometimes sadly) return to their homes.

So why does my mommy-heart latch onto the terrible?  And could I respond with the faith that these young men's parents have displayed?

This week, Elder Holland taught us this truth:  When we don't know the answer to something, we learn to lean upon what we DO know.
  • I know the Spirit of the Lord is bringing and will bring peace to these families, because He is real, as is God.
  • I know that God's perfect Plan will allow these families to continue through eternity.
  • I know that happiness is a choice, in spite of--and maybe BECAUSE of--adversity, trial, and heartache.
  • I know that we all have a happy ending in store, and death is not that ending.
My thoughts and prayers are with the families of Elder Trevor Reinhold Strong and Elder Derek Jason Walker.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sister Briana Hill

Our daughter received her mission call today.  She will go to Indianapolis Indiana, entering the MTC on February 15, 2012.

We are thrilled!

Bri got a call from her cousin, Natalie, today.  Natty bore her testimony to Breezy about the calling of Thomas S. Monson, who is a prophet of God.  It was exactly what Briana needed to hear as she prepared her heart and mind to receive a letter in the mail today (she hoped).  When the call came, she was happy.

Her dad and I are proud of our daughter's decision to serve the Lord as a full-time missionary.  We are pleased that she listens to the Spirit of the Lord.  We believe that she is being called to the place Heavenly Father needs her to go.

Everyone keeps asking if I am OK.  Apparently mothers are supposed to be freaked out when their children are missionaries.  Perhaps that will happen, but right now I am calm and happy and excited!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Vampires Are Real!

Remember when Taylor was shot in the neck with a crossbow?  Today my cubicle neighbor got a voice mail from my friend in the electrical shop.  The "smart" software we are using--which tries to translate what was spoken into written language--told her that he was from the "blood trickle shop."

Monday, November 7, 2011

Destroying a Boggart

There is someone here at work--one of my superiors--who I really don't like.  I'm not afraid of him, per se, but it is definitely like walking on egg shells most of the time because he is GUARANTEED to start bullying at any moment.  He's a diva.  He's a brat.  He's a bully.

But a conversation helped me figure out how to slay this boggart.  I was imagining him wearing one of those talking dog collars in "Up" that translates so we would actually know what he was thinking.  Only maybe we wouldn't want to know. 

UNLESS he could also be in the Cone of Shame.

Sorry for mixing the movies, but I can hardly stop laughing.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

I Took the Week Off

So, I admit it.  The thought of someone poking needles in my neck scares me.  Know what is the most scary?  The stories of people who got their vocal cords nicked, so they (the vocal cords) were paralyzed for however long (weeks, months, years), and the person couldn't talk (or sing!) for months or years.  Can you imagine what a mess I'd be if I couldn't talk (or sing)?

Spencer's nephew offered us the use of his time share this week.  The kids don't have school tomorrow (today's the last day of the term), so Spencer and I took Friday off, and we are all headed up the canyon. 

These things, along with a bit of stress at work, made me throw my hands in the air.  I emailed my school mentor and told him not to call me this coming Monday because I am taking this week off.

Bones (I loved Hannah.  I was sorry to see her go.) and The Biggest Loser (Dolvett is AWESOME.  Anna is not.) are all I've done at home, and I don't even feel the tiniest bit bad about it.

So there.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Hello, all! It’s November—sheesh! It took me till March to remember to write 2011 (instead of 2010)—how does it fly so quickly? The good news is that my favorite holiday is this month. I LOVE Thanksgiving. I love the food and the colors and the smells. Mostly I love gathering with family to give thanks. I love you all very much, and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving month.

A bit of news at our house:

A couple of weeks ago I had a physical. While I was there the doctor thought that my thyroid felt enlarged, so he sent me for an ultrasound. The ultrasound detected a cyst on the right side of my thyroid and two nodules on the left side of my thyroid. Spencer and I met with our family doc yesterday. The cyst is just some fluid, and they are not worried about that at all. But the two masses need to be checked.

The doctor is sending me to see an endocrinologist (I hope to hear from them in the next few days to get things scheduled). I will have to have a dye test, which will help them determine if these nodules are “hot” – meaning they secrete a substance and can become malignant – or “cold”. They will also do a needle biopsy of both masses.

Our doctor said that the chances of finding anything malignant in the thyroid are less than my chances of getting hit by a bus. Do I have to choose one of those?  Anyway, he said that even if there were malignant cells in my thyroid, they tend to be so slow-growing that it’s rarely a problem. In fact, he said, “I’d have this looked at within the next 3 to 6 months.” I am unwilling to wait, of course, but it is comforting that this is not a “We-have-to-move-quickly” type of scenario.

So we are calm, and we are just going to take each step as it comes. We are hopeful and prayerful that this will be much ado about nothing, but mortality happens. In the meantime, I would really appreciate your prayers as we move forward.

In other news, Briana’s mission papers were officially submitted this past weekend, so we hope to get a mission call within the next couple of weeks. She is having her call sent to her home in Far Away Logan, so we won’t be having a big letter-opening ceremony; but we will let you know the details when the call comes.

We love you all very much and pray that all is well in your homes!