Friday, June 30, 2017

It's Complicated.

Goodbyes have never really been a problem for me.
I moved a bit when I was growing up so maybe that made it easier-
I don't know.
But without fail, there is one goodbye that is always hard.
When I get to Moroni, the last book in the Book of Mormon, I struggle.
I stall. 
I read it very slowly, maybe even just a few verses a day. 
I just don't want to let it go.
Kind of dumb because I'm just going to flip back to the beginning and start again.
It doesn't matter.
Each Book of Mormon read-through creates a new history, new answers, and new revelation. 
I own and love every bit of it and I just want to hang on.  
I'm tearing up just thinking about it. Seriously!
But sometime this next week I will push through those last chapters  and I will mourn just a little bit.
Then -- I will fall in love with Nephi once again--so to speak--and the cycle will continue.
I'm kind of an idiot but I'm okay with that. :)

Wish me luck.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Texas-the Second Largest State in the Union.

Okay, seriously, it is hard 
not to be impressed with the great state of Texas. 
And it seems mighty wrong to not include 
"the great state of" when referring to Texas. 
It's HUGE. 
For spring break, we spent a solid 7days there 
and loved every second of it. 
All of us. Even the teenagers.
I can say with absolute certainty that despite  all of the cool places we visited, the best part of the trip for all of us was just hanging out with:



 Little miss Scarlett,

and Sabrina. 

That just never gets old :)
Love those girls and their mama too.

We manged to squeeze in a Texas sized amount of sight seeing...

No one visits the great state anymore without hitting Waco.
Such a great place and Magnolia Market is unbelievable.

Super impressive stuff but all I could think was 
"there's a lot of cash being transferred in this place."
A Lot.

And as much as we like the Silos, for me, the best part of Waco is Lula Jane's. I know it's shocking that a bakery would be my favorite place to visit :)
But look at those cookies on the plate (back left).
They are the best I have ever had.
Everything was delish.

And then we had to get the obligatory 
bending over the railroad track picture.
Thanks Will.

We spent some time at the Baylor bookstore...

and visited the Space Museum in Houston.

Caught a decent movie, 
but really?
Hermione singing?
What were they thinking?

Will bought his first cowboy hat...

Watched a few movies with this little girl.
She always gets the front row ...

Seriously the best barbecue I have ever eaten.
They know how to make it melt in your mouth.

 And speaking of food-
in Austin we found the best doughnuts EVER.

 The menu.

 And also in Austin, we toured the capitol building 
and found this former president. 
Remember the good old days? 
The hatred for him was just child's play.
The capitol building was stunning. Too bad no pics.

The fam went to San Antonio to see the Alamo without me. 
I stayed at home and had some quality with Lizbeth and a police visit when I accidentally set off the house alarm. 
Good times. :)

Our final day was spent in Galveston at the beach.
It was awesome.


 Texas love.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sunday Epiphany at a Mission Homecoming...

A couple of nights ago, I reread  this blog post
Again I began to think about the promises of joy in my patriarchal blessing. 
I pondered my life right now and wondered if anyone on the outside looking in would think that joy and happiness was reigning supreme.
Even I wondered if it was true. 
More importantly, I wondered how it could be true.
Once again I asked Heavenly Father to help me understand.
In her talk today, my newly returned missionary niece read this quote 
from the talk I have read a thousand times:

"My dear brothers and sisters, the joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives.
When the focus of our lives is on God’s plan of salvation and Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening—or not happening—in our lives. Joy comes from and because of Him. He is the source of all joy. We feel it at Christmastime when we sing, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come.”9 And we can feel it all year round. For Latter-day Saints, Jesus Christ is joy!"

In that moment, the spirit bore witness in a powerful way that the reason that joy and happiness can be supreme in my life is because I love, follow, worship, and live for Jesus. 
I do. 
It's that simple.
Once again, it just goes back to this:
Jesus first. Period. The end. 
He is pure joy. 

Thank you Meghan for that powerful teaching moment.
 Shabbat Shalom.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Dream Team.

Have you ever been thrown together with people you kind of know, but not too well, and then spent 14 hours a day with them for 5 days, cooking for 180+ girls and leaders, and at the end of the 5 days wish you could spend a little more time with them? 
Yup, that was Girls Camp this year for me.
Loved every moment.
5 days of joy, joy, joy.
Muchas, muchas, gracias Heavenly Father. :)

Eight years in a row, but who's counting?

 Apparently my ward is...

Friday, June 23, 2017

And Just Like That She is Back.

Really, it must be the 18 month thing because 
this girl's mission seemed to fly by. 
She might disagree, and so might her mother
 but I'm sticking with it.

There is almost nothing I love more
 than basking in that returned missionary glow.
It's lovely.
Well done, Meghan.
We sure love you.