Thursday, August 30, 2012

Once Upon A Time...

…an 85-year-old woman lived by herself and went to Church in her ward in Canada. A new missionary came to their ward, and she learned from him that he was from West Jordan, Utah. By coincidence, the woman’s daughter also lived in West Jordan. Since the daughter was going to go visit her mother in Canada, she had her mother contact the missionary. The Elder gave the woman HIS mother’s cell phone number, and a friendship was born.

The daughter lives almost exactly ½ mile due east of us. She leaves for Canada tomorrow morning, but she said she’d take a package with her if we’d like. On Sunday she will be attending the ward where our Elder Hill is serving.

Small world. Happy mama.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


My friend had someone ask about her week, saying, "Your life is so exciting!"  She laughed and said, "'Exciting' is not the word I would use."

What word would you use to describe your life?

My life is RICH.

We live in a country that allows us to travel, explore, live, work, worship, befriend, serve, speak, and act pretty much any way we want to.  We are so rich.

I have a husband who I adore for at least a million reasons.  He loves me, too.  Incredible!  I am so rich.

We have four amazing children.  They are talented, terrific, seriously good people, and I get to call them mine.  I am so rich.

Spencer and I both have good jobs.  We have enough income and to spare.  We can contribute and help others.  We can enjoy some recreation.  We can pay our bills on time.  We have plenty to eat and wear.  We own three cars.  We go places to see people and things.  In addition, we have the help of others for obligations (such as missions), and we are so grateful for their generosity and help!  We are trying to pay it forward in every way we can.  We are so rich.

We are blessed with families who love us, and we love them.  We adore our nieces and nephews, the children of our loved siblings.  We still have all five of our parents with us.  We also still have three of our grandparents!  We are so rich.

We are surrounded by friends.  People from work and prior work.  People from wards and former wards.  People from our neighborhood and former neighborhoods.  People from childhood.  People from missions.  People from volunteer opportunities.  Our children's friends and their parents.  In addition, we are constantly meeting new, wonderful people.  We are so rich.

We have the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.  We are led by a prophet.  The priesthood has been restored, and we can make covenants through the priesthood in the Holy Temple.  We can go back to the temple as many times as we want.  We can repent.  We know the plan for our lives and for happiness both in mortality and for eternity.

Yup.  My life is RICH.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

If Your Boss Is Going to Be Late

If your boss is going to be late, you might move in slow motion first thing in the morning.

If you move in slow motion, you might notice that the dishes need to be cleaned.  If you notice the dirty dishes, you might need to unload the dishwasher.  If you unload the dishwasher you can load the dishwasher.

If you put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, you might decide to wipe down the counters.  If you wipe down the counters you might notice the things that need to be put away, extending to the table.  If you see that there is clean laundry on the kitchen table, you might decide to fold it.  If you fold it, it will need to be put away.

If you put the laundry away you might trip over the shoes that are on the floor NEXT to the closet.  If you put away the shoes you might finally think, "I ought to get ready for work."  As you are preparing for your shower, you might realize that you need a new razor and some soap for the shower.  So you could walk to the other bathroom to fetch those items.  While you are there, you might count shampoo bottles to see how many you have and when they might need to be put on the shopping list.

If there are items that need to be put on the shopping list, you might wander back into the kitchen to write them down before you forget.  You might decide to do one last straighten-up.  You might gather the remotes, push in the piano bench, pick up shoes and other paraphernalia, put some items you need to work on in a bag to take to work, and decide that you really should go get in the shower.

As you get ready for work, you might notice that your fingernails need to be trimmed.  That might lead to trimming your toenails, too. 

Getting dressed you might think, "I wish I had a cream cami."  Thinking about buying a cami might make you want to go shopping.  Since Walmart is the only store open, you could go there.  You might not find a cami, but you might find a skirt and several blouses that you like (thank you, Back to School time!).  You might be smart and NOT buy everything in sight, and finally leave for work.

If you get to work VERY late, you might have to park in Outer Darkness, and if you do, you could take the elevator to a place ALMOST above ground.  If you're ALMOST above ground at the almost-COB, you might see a member of the Twelve going into the temple.  He might greet you with a hello.  While you are smiling and working your way into the office building, you might also run into a member of the Presiding Bishopric, who might even greet you by name (if you've worked with him before).

As you travel to the floor where you actually work, you might say hello to many people you know and love.

If you've done dishes, folded and put away laundry and shoes, gotten ready for the day, trimmed your fingernails and toenails, done a little shopping, parked, and greeted several people you might actually make it to work before your boss.  Barely.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Spencer says that growling makes it ever-more-possible to open something that's stuck.  Can't get into the pickle jar? Growl while you twist.  Ashtyn totally buys into the growl, but she has a tiny little voice, so it's funny.

Last night she came with me to my niece's house.  We went to do her toenails, since she's 8 months pregnant and on bedrest.  Heather chose a polish color that just would not open.  She tried to open it.  I tried.  My other niece tried.  My grand-niece tried.  My other niece tried again.  I tried again.

Ashie said, "Mom you have to growl. Let me try."  So she takes this bottle of nail polish, growls, and gets it open.

I said, "Yeah, after we loosened it up for you."  She didn't miss a beat. She just said, "Whatever. It's the growl."

Friday, August 10, 2012

Going Home?

My family moved to Sacramento, California, when I was 15 years old.  I finished high school there, I went to college there, I got married there, we had our first baby there.  I lived in Sacto for 7 years, but they were very formative years, and I often tell people I grew up there.

Spencer moved to Sacramento with a high school friend and two former mission companions.  One of them, Dave, was married just three months after we were.  He and his wife moved into the same (very cheap) apartment complex where we were living.  We spent quite a bit of time with them. 

Dave and Susie had been married just over a year when they had their first baby, a girl.  Susie was very protective of her little one, but sometimes she'd let me babysit.  Once Spencer and I took the baby to my parents' home while we were babysitting.  We went to make a "quick" visit to someone, and pretty soon we'd left the baby in my parents' care for two hours.  I felt terrible for taking advantage of them.  I also NEVER told Dave and Susie.  :)

Dave and Susie were both originally from Utah, just as we were.  Short after we moved back to Utah, so did they.  So even though our oldest daughters were both born in the Sacramento area, they've both lived over 20 years in Utah--they are Utah kids.

Dave and Susie's daughter just got a mission call.  She is serving in Sacramento Spanish speaking.  We are thrilled for her!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Annual Breast Exam

This morning I had my yearly mammogram.  Yes, I am that old; also, with breast cancer on both sides of my family, it is just the wise thing to do.

It is not the fun thing to do, however. 

When I called for my appointment I asked for the earliest appointment they could find for me.  Therefore, I was the first appointment of the day.  I'm glad, because that gave me very little time to sit and wait and worry about it.

Mammograms are not fun, but in my experience they aren't all as bad as everyone makes them out to be.  In my experience, some of them are as awful as everyone makes them out to be.

Today's photo session was seriously great.  The technician was awesome.  It still hurt, don't get me wrong.  But she was careful and kind and thoughtful and helpful.  Best. mammogram. ever.

Three more words I never thought I'd say together!


P.S.  Breast cancer is ugly.  It is invasive.  It is a killer.  Please, please, your monthly self-breast exams (celebratory grope) and as soon as the doctor tells you it is time, get your annual mammogram!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Sweet, Tender Mercies

When I started working for this corporation 5 years ago, I was replacing a woman named Jessica.  Jessica was having their first baby, so the division got special permission to hire her replacement two months before she left.  That allowed her to train a replacement (me) and work on some projects before her baby came.  I became sure that if we had really known each other, I would really love Jessica.

Enter the blogging world and Facebook, and Jessica is now someone I love very much.

Today I received a text.  It was from a local area code, but I did not recognize the number.  I decided to open the text, and there was a picture of Jessica and OUR SISTER HILL!  Jessica's husband is working on a Master's degree, and they are living in Indiana for the summer.  So Jess went and found our daughter, took her some treats, and sent me a picture.

What a wonderful treat!  What a kind thing to do!  What a cherished friend!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sweet Memories

On Tuesday, July 31, our son was set apart as a full-time missionary for our church.  Here is a picture of the group of boys we've seen a lot of at our house for the past two months:

Craig, Chris, Tay, Ryan, Logan giving "The Smoulder"
 These boys are singers.  They are worthy priesthood holders.  They are fabulous men.

Ryan, Chris, Jace, Taylor, Craig, Logan, and Landon (above)

Here they are after Tay was set apart.  This was after the tears had mostly subsided.  The Spirit in our home was strong.

Tay was blessed with many things, and after the stake presidency left, we gathered as a family (we consider these young men part of our family) and shared the things we remembered about the blessing as well as any advice we had with Tay, who wrote his thoughts, feelings, and impressions in his jounral as we went.

One of the things Tay was admonished to do was to share his experiences with his "dear sister," who is also serving a mission.  That was sweet to me, as I pray that our children will be friends throughout their lives.

After Tay was set apart, he hugged each of the brethren in the circle (his dad, President Hansen, President Wilson, President Watson, Bishop Donat, Uncle Derek, Uncle Brant).  Then he hugged me.  Then he went straight to Landon and then to Ashtyn.  More heart pictures.

We took some pictures.  I love that the "big boys" let Landon (and encouraged him to) photo bomb their group pix.

Everyone left at about midnight.  It was a long, sweet night.

At 5:30 a.m., Logan showed up at the door.  Tay and Chris had planned to attend a temple session, leaving our home at 6:00.  I went out to the living room to get the door.  Tay had beat me to it, and he and Logan were hugging when I got out there.  I heard Logan say, "Is it OK if I just hang here till you go?"  Friends are so important, and we are grateful for these fabulous young men, who have really lifted and encouraged one another.  We've loved Logan since he was about 3.  We met Chris when the boys were in 3rd grade.  The others are high school/choir buddies, and they are seriously wonderful.  There are many more like them, all of whom are either on or preparing for missions.  Extraordinary!
It hasn't been quite 24 hours since we left T at the MTC.  It wasn't as hard for me to leave him as it was to leave Bri.  I think mostly that's because he was SO ready.  I know he was nervous, but he was also ready and anxious to go.  We stayed busy yesterday.  Landon cleaned Taylor's stuff out of "his" room (mostly).  Yesterday was just a beautiful day, filled with gratitude for so many blessings.

But today?  Today I'm wondering what our son is doing, who he's with, if he slept, how he's faring, if he's getting along with everyone, etc.  My heart aches a little.  I hope there will be a letter soon. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Man Who Holds My Heart

Last night our oldest son was set apart as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  More on that in a bit.  For now, I want to tell you about my eternal companion.

Taylor had invited about 6 of his friends to join us in our home for his setting apart.  These young men are fabulous people who feel like our own boys in many respects.  We were also joined by our bishop, two of my brothers, and a sister-in-law. When the stake presidency came to our home, they made it a very full house.  President Hansen and Spencer stood in the entry way, quietly talking for a moment while everyone was exchanging handshakes and greetings.

After everyone had been greeted and seated, Spencer took the lead in conducting the "meeting."  He was gracious and marvelous as he welcomed everyone to our home.  He called on Becky to pray (thank you, Beck!), and he turned the time over to the stake president.  President Hansen outlined how the evening would go, which included testimonies from me and Spencer. 

As he was about to stand and invite Tay to sit in the chair to be set apart, Spencer gently said, "President, these young men have been singing together for a long time.  I think it would invite the Spirit of the Lord to be here if they sang for us.  Would that be alright?"  President Hansen was in agreement, so the seven boys (Taylor, Logan, Chris, Ryan, Craig, Jace, and Jake) stood together and sang "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing." 

I love those young men, but even more, I was so grateful for my wonderful sweetheart.  He is a good man.  He is an exceptional husband--so much more than I ever thought I would have!  He is a terrific father--what would our family be without him?  He is a worthy priesthood bearer, who has more than just priesthood authority.  He is authorized and worthy to hold priesthood POWER, and I am so grateful for him!

After everyone had gone home, Spencer stayed up visiting for a few minutes with Taylor and Landon.  I don't know what the conversation was, but I walked out to get a drink of water, and my heart took a picture of my three men smiling and talking together in the kitchen.