Friday, December 5, 2014


Let's talk about flight for a minute...

I have a new calling in church.  For the past year or so, I've been teaching the 16/17 year old Sunday School class.  I'm now teaching Gospel Doctrine, which is the adult Sunday School class.  It's not vastly different than what I've been doing for years and years in church.  It's a teaching calling and I love teaching.  It's just the audience that's different.  And slightly more intimidating.  Mostly because they are spiritually amazing people who already know so much more than I could ever hope to know about the gospel.  And somehow I am the one who gets to stand up every other week and facilitate some kind of spiritual uplifting and edification for the group.  

Needless to say, the weight of my upcoming responsibility has felt heavy this week.  

But here's what I thought when I read that little quote up there on IG this morning...Heavenly Father has not set us up to fail.  It was His idea to give me this calling, so He must think I'm capable of succeeding in it.  I must have some kind of Gospel Doctrine wings that I just haven't fully exercised yet.  For the past several years, I have collected (hoarded might be a better word) quotes, scriptures, song lyrics, anything that spoke truth to my heart.  Anything that rang in my ears and made me FEEL light and love and hope, I scribbled down on whatever piece of paper happened to be closest.  And as my piles of papers got bigger and became notebooks and journals and a blog, I wondered what in the heck I was supposed to do with all the stuff I've been collecting.  

Maybe this is the very reason for all that searching and hoarding?  Or maybe it's just one of a handful of ways I can use all those piles of truth I've collected?  I really have no idea what the plan is, but I'm grateful for the opportunity to find out.  I'm grateful for hard things that compel me to rely on Someone other than myself for courage and faith that I didn't think I had.  I'm grateful for people who see in me things that I cannot see in myself.  And I'm so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who places us in the exact circumstances where we can learn and grow in the most effective way.  

Launching out of the nest on Sunday morning at 10:05...I'll let you know how the flying goes.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Random Stuff I Love Today

I lingered in the temple this morning and felt floods of gratitude for a whole giant list of stuff. It's sort of random, but I thought I'd write it down so I can remember it on those days when the list feels shorter.

  • a body that works 
  • the ability to hear glorious Christmas music
  • changing leaves...finally
  • Christmas lights coming up around the neighborhood
  • late nights
  • energetic mornings
  • jammies
  • new challenges
  • the Grs' upcoming visit
  • unhurried, unscheduled days
  • lunch with Amy
  • chilly, sweater weather
  • heated mattress pads
  • fuzzy slippers
  • trumpet music
  • Conference talks
  • healthy, happy children
  • bloggy friends and Insta-sisters
  • windows 
  • soup
  • new friends
  • old friends
  • Monday morning Institute classes
  • a good book
  • nativities
  • a new 2015 planner that fits in my purse
  • Christmas music...wait, I think I already said that.  Oh well, I do actually love it enough to write it down twice on the same list.
  • and a favorite new perch for the month where I can sit and contemplate all of that stuff

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Thanksgiving Break

These were originally supposed to be about five individual posts, but somehow last week flew by, a calendar page turned, and now I'm about a week behind on this blog and nearly everything else I've needed to do.  Sometimes recap blog posts just have to be good enough.  

Early in November, Savannah made a list of all the things she wanted to do in Dallas before she left for BYU:  
It's been on our fridge for a month, so we decided to go on a few field trips over Thanksgiving Break.  

Monday: The Perot Museum
I love this place.  McKay and I had been there on a school field trip last year, but the girls had never been, so it was a fun adventure for them.  Oddly, it doesn't matter whether you're 10 or 45 when you're wandering around in a hands-on science museum.  We created our own bird, ran with dinosaurs, journeyed to the center of the earth, made a remote-control crane, and experienced an earthquake.  It was a pretty great day.  

Tuesday:  The Temple
Savannah and Megan both had to work on Tuesday, so while the other kids slept in, I stole a few hours in the morning and went to the Temple.  Perfect day.  Perfect decision.  

Wednesday:  The Dallas Zoo

This might have been my favorite thing we did all week.  The Dallas Zoo has two days annually when they offer $1 admission, and one of them happens to be the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.  As gorgeous as the weather was, we were all a little nervous that it might be really crowded, but we ventured out anyway and it wasn't crowded at all!  

And we fed giraffes!!    

These are the most amazing animals I have ever seen.  They were so tame and so huge and so drooly.  Their tongues are a mile long.  Each of their little faces (ok, giant faces) is totally unique and different.  And they each have their own individual personalities.  We hung out with these guys for a really long time and just let them eat cracker after cracker out of our hands.

Seriously AMAZING!

Thursday:  Thanksgiving
We spent Thanksgiving with our really good friends, the Kings.  Oh, I can't even tell you how much I love this family!  This is the second year we've spent Thanksgiving together, and it was just as fun this time around.  They are so patient with my experimental recipes and my lack of turkey experience.  They came early and stayed late.  We ate turkey, and pie...and more pie.  We played games, had a Mario Kart tournament, and we even fit in decorating gingerbread houses.  It was a really good day.  We are so grateful for the amazing people that surround us in both our neighborhood and in our ward.  This place has been such a huge blessing for us in every possible way, and we could not be more thankful to spend another Thanksgiving with these awesome people.    

Friday: Camping Trip
Friday was unexpectedly gorgeous, and no one was really interested in shopping, so Craig decided to take two of the kids camping.  They loved it.  The girls and I took advantage of a free TV and leftover pumpkin pie, stocked up on some extra large Diet DPs with coconut from Sonic, and had a Gilmore Girls marathon at home...until 2:00am!  Totally fun!  So girly.  When we couldn't keep our eyes open for one more episode, we all camped out in my bed and slept in the next morning until Craig and the other two kids came home and woke us up at 11:30.  Perfect weekend.  (I can't even remember the last time I slept in until 11:30!) 

Saturday:  Craig's Birthday
Craig came home from camping to find a fresh loaf of his favorite birthday treat ever...lemon poppy seed bread, and a pile of Christmas lights that needed to be put up outside.
He and the kids were so awesome to get all of that done.  We have visitors coming in this weekend so there was a little pressure to get Christmas up as soon as possible.  After the lights were up, we snuck out for a quick dinner to celebrate my favorite carnivore's 44th birthday.

What an amazing week we had during this Thanksgiving break, sprinkling a little busy in between some really lazy, really relaxing days, and making lasting memories with our kids.  And poof! in a blink it's December.  How grateful I am today and everyday for this family, for good friends, for the blessings we have in abundance, and for the upcoming Christmas season.  I love this time of year.  

Let the Christmas music begin...