Monday, September 26, 2016

And Sometimes the Sabbath Feels Like This.

Wonderful day today.
How could it not have been after last night's General Women's Meeting, which quite possibly might have been the best I have ever heard and felt.
I know this is not surprising but I cried from beginning to end.
I have self-proclaimed this time in life, my "season of weeping" and truly, I hope it ends soon-- but seriously, every talk was a keeper.
President Uchtdorf's talk on Faith was profound. Just profound.
And would you ever tire of hearing the soul-wrenching words sung: "I'll never, no never, no never forsake?" Not me.

So anywho, the stage was set for an amazing Sabbath and  it did not disappoint.
This morning while getting ready for church I listened to Elder Holland's talk Safety for the Soul
three times in a row. It just filled me with the electricity of the spirit. Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and Elder Holland...I just couldn't get enough.

And then I delved into a little 2 Nephi 33-which has always made me cry- even before my season of weeping. :) I LOVE Nephi. And I hate saying goodbye to him. But he says goodbye sooo well.

And of course-- the Primary Sacrament Meeting Program--I truly have the best calling in the church. Really. Leading the music today- was such a privilege- I'm not sure how I kept from weeping as I just watched them sing their hearts out. And when I say their hearts I mean just that. Their hearts were in every song. It was just the best.

In Primary, a sweet young girl gave the most beautiful talk on missionary work. She had prepared it so carefully and shared from her family of missionaries, present and returned, how they prepared for their missions. It was awesome.

AND THEN- our sweet neighbors returned from their 18 month mission in Virginia and we got to celebrate them with neighbors and friends. So great!

And finally, we celebrated birthdays with the cousins in Salt Lake. Such a strong family bond was there...it felt a little different today and I'm not sure why but I will take it! Love those people!

And so, the Sabbath has buoyed me up in a big way to face the week. I expect a few challenges ahead of the great General Conference weekend. That's just how it goes. Bring it on.
Okay- not really but I'm ready if it's necessary. 

Shabbat Shalom.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Soundtracks.

At any given period of time in my life 
I have a soundtrack that plays along.
My playlists are extensive and represent who I am or what I am feeling that day. Or that week. Or that month.
My kids can attest to the fact that the same playlist can play nonstop for a week.
For me, these playlists are essential. 
Sometimes, they help me breathe. 
Other times they are plain old happiness.
Most of the time, they just help me get through the day.
Right now, I have three playlists that are on constant rotation:

1) Korean drama soundtracks. 
I LOVE them. 
Love, love, love them.
My kids HATE them. That makes me love them more (wink, wink).  The right Korean ballad can make you feel like you've had a good cry without shedding a tear (and I am in the business of slowing down the shedding of tears right now). 
I feel them-- over and over and over-- even though I have no idea what they are saying. Yep. Probably too much info shared right there :)

2) Contemporary Christian Music
I'm not talking Mormon stuff--though I am not one to poke my nose in the air over Soft Sunday Sounds. 
Because truthfully, those songs were the soundtrack to my college years. Seriously don't get me started
But there is some GOOD contemporary Christian music out right now. I highly recommend this one by Hillary Scott and the Scott Family. The first time I heard it, I had to pull over to the side of the road and cry. Ugh. But it's become my mantra. :)  
And this one by Jonny Diaz...oh dear, I cry too (see why I need songs that I can't understand the words? Less crying...). 
And there are so many more on my playlist--
Sometimes I just need this as background music to my life.

3) Hawaiian Music. My "go-to" music lately. It takes my mind and heart back to a simpler time--a time when my kids were babies, and life was beautifully full of hopes and dreams. A time where the beach was our playground and our drive to the grocery store was stunningly gorgeous.  Such a great place to begin a family...
I love my Hawaiian playlist. 
My newest discovery is this song...and I DON'T cry when I listen to it-even though it's definitely tear-worthy...

And there you have it---
my happy place comes right from my phone.
Technology can be grand.

...and just because, here are some sweet Hawaii memories that are so much better if you play the above mentioned song as you look at them...or maybe it's just my heart that pings that way.

 Michaela, Zachary, and Bethany.

 Mom and Michaela at the Honolulu Zoo.

 Michaela and her first love, Punahele.

 Michaela and Meghan. Cousins reunited :)

 One of our many beach adventures....

 We eeked out one more child (Elijah)  before heading back to the mainland.

 Michaela almost never left the water. 
If it wasn't for the call of sandcastles, she would have stayed submerged for hours.

 Classic Hawaiian pose..

 Christmas downtown Honolulu :)

 Michaela begins the Labit family children...

 Grandma Tomi and Grandpa Fred on their wedding day.
Their reception was the biggest Luau I had ever been to.
Fred was well-known and well-loved.

And that's all for now.
Here's to many, many more soundtracks.
Aloha...

P.S. I am working on a playlist of Christmas music that doesn't sound like Christmas music. :)
I'll keep you posted on that one.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

And One More Happy Birthday to Us.

Today we celebrated one more time.
After all, you can't have too many birthday cakes.
Especially when they are this delicious...

No words are needed, am I right?

Earlier this week, I received this amazing cake...

So really, maybe you can have too many cakes
 but I am not complaining.
 Not one bit.

Happy, Happy Birthday! 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Christmas Problems

Let's just say you know someone--
Someone who is oh-so-ready to start playing Christmas songs...
...in  August.
And it's a deed that is practically unforgivable in his or her family. 
Here's a secret.
This song is almost unrecognizable on its face as a Christmas song.
I have played it many, many times without any acts of rebellion.
And it soothes the Christmas longing that has somehow surfaced way too early.
Go ahead. It's David Osmond after all.
And we all know how I feel about him :)



Friday, August 26, 2016

August Birthdays--

August birthdays would be mine and Michaela's-

Michaela was in England on her birthday--I was in Provo. Hmmm.

Nonetheless the celebrations were wonderful.

Michaela is 22...

...and I am 51.
I am also the queen of birthday selfies,am I right?

I can speak for myself and say that the outpouring of love on my birthday was simply overwhelming. So many wonderful friends who amazingly never forget my birthday,
 unlike me, who is often bringing day late gifts--(yay for me)
I was particularly touched by the efforts of my children, 
ALL five of them,
 to give me a wonderful day. Tears for miles over here.

All that to be followed by Carrot Cake this Sunday.
Thanks Angie :)

Ahhh...life est goooood.

Monday, August 22, 2016

A Little Bit of This--A Little Bit of That.

Summer is over. 
The proof is--I have two children who 
just finished their first week of school.
Wow.
It's been a fun one. I mean that sarcastically AND sincerely.

Here is our summer in a nutshell: Girls Camp, wedding, visitors, and a Washington/Oregon trip. 
And of course,
a little bit of drama interspersed here and there. 

Yep-fun stuff.

Here are a few captured moments:


First, little miss Scarlett returned with a vengeance. 
LOVED by all thoroughly and completely.

And the wedding of the century took place with perfection personified.

No visit with the Hurst girls would be complete without a trip to see the "animals."
Springville has its own nature reserve if you didn't know....

Washington holds Hannah's heart in its hand. 
She feels a kindred spirit with the water, the clouds, and the rain. 


Pokeman hunting was the highlight of our day in Seattle for these boys :/

We visited Grandpa Labit in Winchester Bay, Oregon for the first time.
It was amazing. Loved every minute of our visit.

Will especially loved Go-Karting....


 We put on some extra vacation pounds right here at Grandpa's. 
#worthit

Obligatory picture of the Space Needle :)

My personal highlight of the summer? 
My return to the world of fitness. 
Yup, after a two year break, 
the Provo Rec Center has my back. Woot!
And the Nike Outlet in Washington equipped me with these sweet shoes.

And so that is that- onward to fall.

Orange and red colors on the mountain--I've spotted you
 and I am full on ready.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Education.

My brain and my heart are jammed packed with awesomeness from Education Week.
So much to process about what I'm learning and feeling.
Here is a gem that was passed on today.
LOVE this. Love, love, love this.
“Jesus of the Scars” by Edward Shillito

If we have never sought, we seek Thee now;
Thine eyes burn through the dark, our only stars;
We must have sight of thorn-pricks on Thy brow,
We must have Thee, O Jesus of the Scars. 

The heavens frighten us; they are too calm;
In all the universe we have no place.
Our wounds are hurting us; where is the balm?
Lord Jesus, by Thy Scars, we claim Thy grace.

If, when the doors are shut, Thou drawest near,
Only reveal those hands, that side of Thine;
We know to-day what wounds are, have no fear,
Show us Thy Scars, we know the countersign.

The other gods were strong; but Thou wast weak;
They rode, but Thou didst stumble to a throne;
But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak,
And not a god has wounds, but Thou alone.