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.
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. 

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


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.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Primary Makes Me HAPPY.

I love being the Primary Music Leader for oh-so-many reasons.
But the biggest reason is that it just makes me so dang happy.
Happy in a real-life, smile on the inside, kind of way.
A couple of nights ago, at a wedding reception for a friend, 
a little girl came up to me and threw her arms around my waist 
and and gave me the greatest hug.
I desperately tried to remember how I knew her, and then I realized she was not from an active family but had come to primary  a couple of times. She had never acknowledged me at church but somehow at that moment I was her friend. HAPPINESS.
I love the little sideways smile that a child will give me as they sit with their family in sacrament meeting. My heart melts.
And I love the kids who watch me so earnestly during singing time singing with every ounce of their heart--not many do that but the few that do?? They kill me.
But most of all, I just love teaching the gospel through music. 
Music is my love language with God and I want to do my best to make it theirs.
Happiness is Primary children :)

Shabbat Shalom.

Friday, July 15, 2016

And Just Like That They Are Back...

Well, maybe not just like that...
It took a 3 hour flight to Houston
 and a 24 hour drive from Houston...
But now, summer vacation includes a sweet, sweet visit 
from our adopted family :)

 Love these girls!

Friday, July 8, 2016

A Few Words About Girls Camp That Are Entirely Too Personal But I'm Sharing Anyway.

I am no stranger to Girls Camp.
As near as I can remember, I have been to camp for the last 7 years straight.
Last fall when I was released from the Stake Young Women's presidency, I was almost giddy with the thought that I would not be going to Girls Camp the next year.
No guilt about those feelings, I had definitely done my time.
And so, no one was more surprised than me
when I was called as the ward Camp Director again this year.
The bigger surprise was that I felt happy about it.
Not sure why- maybe it was because I have been to camp with Hannah every single year since she was old enough to go.
It probably was partly that- but now I know it went deeper.
It's been a rough year. And I suspect it's just going to get rougher.
Without going into details, my soul has felt shredded.
So much so that I was having a hard time feeling anything but the hurt.
I was a little frustrated by my inability to feel much from God.
I knew He was there but I couldn't feel Him.
When I knelt to pray- I would do nothing but cry and so praying became hard for me.
I was sooo tired of crying.
One day as I was working in the temple I told Him how sad I was that I couldn't feel Him.
In essence His answer was this: I can't communicate with you when you are in so much distress. 
It is blocking the spirit's ability to comfort you. Let me take it from you.
I wanted so badly to let that happen-but I couldn't figure out how.
And then came Girls Camp.
On the first day of camp, they gave us a paper that helped us set some goals to grow spiritually at camp.
The only thing I wanted was to feel Heavenly Father wrap His arms around me
and let me give away the pain.
I just wanted to feel His love.
And it happened.
Every. Single. Day.
By the time Girls Camp ended I felt like I could breathe again.
Five days of nothing but learning and talking about the gospel and God's love
brought amazing healing to me.
Each day I felt God's love in a sweet and powerful way.
And every day since camp, as I pray, study the scriptures, and let the temple permeate my soul, I feel the power of the atonement healing, comforting, and strengthening me.
I love Jesus. I LOVE Him.
And most importantly, I can feel right down inside my broken but healing heart, that He loves me more.
And that is why I love Girls Camp :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Happiness in June.

June weddings are awesome. 
I had one and so I can testify :)
But last week we experienced another awesome one: 
    Cody and Justine's.

Just a few short months ago 
he returned from the Texas,Lubbock mission. 
Justine was his high school girlfriend 
and apparently was still interested.
Gotta love happy endings.
Or happy beginnings.

And five sisters were in the same state for a few days!
More happiness.

A happy day for these proud parents.
They seriously don't look old enough
to have married children, am I right?

All the best Cody and Justine.
Congratulations :)

Monday, July 4, 2016

Dinner on a Sunday.

It's been awhile since we have had a Sunday dinner with the the two Washingtonian sisters but yesterday it happened. :) 
All 5 of us girls together and we did not take ONE picture together. Ugh.
However, it was a great evening despite that misfortune. 

 Janis brought her famous dry ice Root Beer. 
No matter how old they get, the fascination is the same.

 We met the newest member of the Woolf family--Jones Parker.
Cuteness to die for!

 And speaking of cuteness, big sis Drue has just as much 
and then some :)

And some  more cuteness....

...and then not so much.
(wink, wink)

                       Food and family are my two favorite things...

Cuz it doesn't get much better than a brownie ice cream sandwich surrounded by the people I love most in the world.

Happy Independence Day!