Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Temple


This weekend, my hubby and myself passed on the chance to go to the local high school football game (it was perfect outside football weather, might I add!), and decided instead to drive 45 miles to go to the temple.  We went here - to the Kansas City Temple.

I had a wonderful experience that night.  I went in with a heart full of anxiety over many matters.  A family member with some health issues.  Me with some health issues and a probable upcoming surgery which I am very anxious about.  Thinking about some issues friends are facing.  And as always, when I walked inside the temple, some of those feelings of anxiety began to melt away.  If you don't know, we (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) believe that the temple is the most sacred place on the earth.  How can you go to the temple and not feel peace?  And love.  And hope.  I felt all of those things.  But I had another very spiritual, very personal experience on top of all of that.

One of the ladies in the temple reminded me a lot of my mother.  My mother who passed away in November of 1981.  Not that she looked 'just like her', but there were some similar characteristics and mannerisms.  And it wasn't too long before I felt that my mother was there with me.   That she still loved me and that she still has concern over me and my family.  It was tender.

Would I have had that kind of an experience on a Friday night had I been sitting at the local high school football game?  I don't think so.

And so - as we are obedient to those things that we are asked to do - we are blessed.  We may not be 'rich beyond measure' financially, but as we drove home Friday night - I truly felt 'Rich.  Beyond Measure.'

If  you would like to know more about temples, check it out here.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Oh ~ what do you do in the summertime....???

 Well, if you are living in Missouri and your family is living elsewhere....

....what you do is be gone for almost 3 weeks, travel through or to 7 states, sleep on sofas, blow-up mattresses and in really bad hotel rooms and put almost 3,000 miles on the car.  Whew!

But let me tell you - it was worth it!

Our first stop was Colorado.  Just for a night, but we just had to see these three!

Isn't he adorable!  I just loved kissing those sweet cheeks of his!

And then we landed in Utah for a while.

And how do you get a 16 month old to warm up to you?  First of all - you let her feel all safe in the arms of her dad - then you pull her in with a fun new book!

It didn't take too long before she was my friend again!

See these three amigos?  This is the reason why we left a week earlier than planned.

A 40 year class reunion.  The renewing of friendships.  The erasing of years without seeing one another.  It was good.

We took some time to go visit the places we lived in Cache Valley after we were married.

With each stop there were memories.

This is our first apartment.  A nice one bedroom.  We were upstairs to the left.
550 North 310 West

 One of my bosses at Utah State University owned lots of rentals, and Don and I were going to manage a set of them at one time.  The person moving out of the place we were to move into didn't want to move.  The night we were to move in it was raining.  There were broken lightbulbs, a deacons bench in the kitchen that was filled with table scraps, and cockroaches in the freezer.
I could not make myself move there.  So we said no thank you to the property manager opportunity and stayed with Don's parents for a couple of days until I found this place.
550 Dee Ave.  This is where we lived when Amanda was born. 

And for 2 months right before we moved to Evanston, Wyoming, we lived in the little basement apartment here.  The door is on the left of the stairs.  It was fine.  Loved the location - just down the street from the temple.
125 East 200 North
We had an evening of peek-a-boo with miss Emma!  She would run into the table and fall over if you didn't help her.  At one point in time she had the blanket over her head and was walking with her arms out to her sides.  She reminded me of E.T. when he was dressed up like a ghost for Halloween.

We went to the Splash Pad in North Logan one day.  Emma got surprised here by the water shooting up.  She loves the water.  She loves being outside.

When she got tired of playing in the water, she wrapped her towel around her and walked around the splash pad....watching other kids and 'talking' to them.

 We took a little drive over to Bear Lake.  It was Raspberry Days and there were so many people there.

Why would we make the trip to Bear Lake at a time when we knew it would be so crowded?

To go to LaBeau's of course!  They have two locations, and this one was not as busy as the main one.

Emma loved giving her mom and dad tastes of milk shake.  What good sports they were!

 Ahh -- Tony's Grove!  Just a short drive up Logan Canyon and one of my favorite spots in the whole world!

We walked around the lake, took lots of pictures, skipped some stones and let Emma play in the water for a while. 

It was an almost perfect day.  We just needed three more people there to make it absolutely perfect.

We still needed some extended family time up the canyon, so we spent at evening at 2nd Dam.

There was plenty of good food.  Some hot dogs, s'mores, and feeding the ducks.

There was also some broken fishing line and lost lures.  Oh well, better luck next time.

And I'm still waiting for a good rainbow trout to have for my dinner!  :)

Amanda and Dustin took us to a little sandwich joint.  Oh. My. Goodness.  We quite enjoyed our sandwiches at Papa Jays.   So much so, that we went back a 2nd time before leaving the valley.

I had a Pepper Popper: Beef, swiss cheese, cream cheese, bacon, chopped fresh jalapenos, tomato, lettuce, PJ's sweet BBQ and guacamole.

So good!

While in Colorado - we went to Cinzetti's.  There are only two of them in the nation.  One in the Denver area, and one in the Kansas City area.  It's an Italian Buffet.  We enjoyed it a lot also.  One of my favorite stops there was at the crepe bar.  Yummy!
The Pepper Popper at Papa Jay's in Logan, Utah

 And then we were off to Colorado.
Amanda and Emma went with us early and Dustin joined us when he was done with work a few days later.  Emma had a fun time giving little Parker kisses and touching him.

We hiked at Red Rock while there with a very stubborn little girl.  She insisted on walking the entire way.  We didn't make it to the top because someone was getting way too ornery - but it was a fabulous view and nice to be in the Colorado mountains even if it was just for a little bit.

Of course we had to spend some time at the Park.  This is something that really impressed me about the area where we were.  There were lots of really nice parks, walking trails, bike trails, etc. 

Parker's blessing outfit and the special blanket that his great grandmother Miller knitted.  His mother used it when she was blessed also.

And then the reason why we all traveled to Colorado:  the blessing of Parker!  It was a special day and we are grateful to all who came to be a part of it.  There were family from both sides of the family.  Some traveled for lots of miles - some for just a few.  To everyone that was there - we say thank you!  We wish more could have come - but we're grateful for those that were able to make it.

 And then the time for good-byes.  These trips are always a little bitter-sweet.  We love, love, love spending time with our family.  We have enjoyed so much the chances to build relationships with these precious grand-children.  But since we don't live close to one another - there are always least favorite part of any of these trips.  As Dustin told Emma when we gave our last good-bye hugs and some of us had already started to cry: 'Be strong.'   How grateful I am to know that families can be forever and that I can be with this crazy bunch for eternity!  I wouldn't have it any other way!