I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know who I am. I know God's plan. I'll follow him in faith. I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I'll honor his name. I'll do what is right; I'll follow his light. His truth I will proclaim.

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Rough Patches

Day 316-325

Um. Life is still good.



I'll admit I've had a few more downs the last few days.

Missing my brother.

Fighting sickness, so I'm really tired and worn out.

Losing a wonderful co-worker to retirement (and only having 1 day's notice of it!).

Upset. Not about being single. But about single in my family. Outside of my mom and maybe my sister (and probably my dad, too), no one really knows what it's like for me. And I am reminded yet again how very much I feel like the outsider in the family. The intruder. The one no one knows what to do with. The one they don't often remember or realize is actually very lonely when it comes to family.

Misunderstanding--or just lack of knowledge...or something. I guess. I don't know. But I know it's mostly my reactions and eventually I was able to shrug it off. It still wasn't so easy at the beginning.

However, in spite of that, happiness abounds. How can it not? I have the most wonderful and loving elder brother--my Savior. Who blesses me always beyond what I deserve. All is always well with my world, no matter what I let me emotional state be.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Life's Recent Joys

Day 291-315

Still here. Still living. Still loving--all of it!

So much had been so great. Here are just a few things:

My trip went well and it was wonderful to be present at Caleb & Rose's wedding. Fun to see friends again. But even better that it was the first time in over 5 years that I boarded a plane and actually felt like I was flying home. Nothing compares to that feeling!!

I finished my costume. In spite of the many flaws that I know about it, it actually turned out well! I am very happy with it. It was such fun to wear to the Stake YSA dance. But I find it funny that--going with tradition--most people had no idea who I was. Oh well.

I have had the most fun with my group of friends. And it is so wonderful to say that I have a group of friends again! It has been a while since I had a group that I can spend time with--who enjoy me being a part of them and remember to involve me. But that none of us is restrictive with one another and we can go about our merry choices as we deem fit for ourselves. 

I also figured out my insurance and benefits and such (considering it's changing in a few months) and set up the various medical appointments I've been procrastinating since I moved here. (Bad me. I know.) I had my first today, and it was nice to know my eyes haven't gotten much worse. And to have contacts again! Too bad the weather has finally turned cold that there aren't many sporting adventures for me to take advantage of without worrying about either breaking my glasses or not being able to see anything without them. 

And to top it off, I pulled out my Christmas stuff this afternoon. I didn't want to put up the decorations for only a few days (since I'm moving again around Christmas). Thus, I decided to have it up now. And I'm currently watching Muppet Christmas Carol and just loving the spirit entering my home. It is one of joy and fun and nostalgia and gratitude--the kind of spirit I love to have in my home all the time!

My life is so happy and blessed--and all because of my loving Savior and my loving Heavenly Father.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I Need This

Day 277-290

Look at me and my bad self.


I'm terrible.

Other things in my life are getting much better at being done. Probably because I finally figured out that writing down absolutely everything I have to do in the day helped me remember that I needed to do it. Because once I had a good memory, but now it is sadly lacking. So, perhaps I should write this down among the day's tasks. For I would not want to be considered an unprofitable and ungrateful servant.

For the gratitude is certainly there. And it is expressed to Him who grants me all blessings and happiness.

But writing it here somehow helps me to better acknowledge it to myself.

And I am grateful for so much--new friends, exercise, gorgeous autumn, sewing, baking, a new dress, period dramas, great homemade food, and trip plans coming together to name a very few.

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Happy Working Song

Day 276

I love being busy at work. Love it! I always have something to do. And I enjoy almost all of it. I will never tire of loving my job, and being grateful I have the bestest job ever--and that "it" and "they" are so good to me!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Conferencing We Will Go

Day 275

I got to attend a session of Conference in the Conference Center. Again! Twice in one year. Three times if you count the Relief Society meeting. So amazing!

I love these little opportunities, and I'm grateful for friends and family (and, of course, the Lord!) who help provide those opportunities for me.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

All is Well--and Wonderful!

Day 262-274

This is so terrible! How can I not get to daily writing about all the things I'm grateful for--all the things that make me so happy? For I am so happy! And I want to record the happy times as much (actually more) than the not-so-happy times. I want myself, my posterity, and any one else who might ever read this to know that I am happy. I am full of happiness and joy. That I am a joyful person because I truly am full of joy!

And the last 12 days have been fabulous. Even more so because my birthday was involved. And I met an author who is awesome (and signed my free copy of her great book). And my presentation went well and others said it helped them. And I have the most fun birthday party! And I saw my beautiful fall colors. And I attended the RS broadcast and heard Pres. Uchtdorf's wonderful talk. And I helped a friend in the ward talent show. And I went to one of my first UT Part 3 friend's reception. And BYU has won TWO games. And I've been watching the classic Star Wars trilogy. And I received my 2nd bouquet of flowers in my life--with EIGHT roses!!! And, well...

I've started a lot of sentences with and. And could do more. :-) Because there is so much and will continue to be so.

I love my life!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sum Up...Again

Days 245-261

Uh. Yeah. I've been bad. Two weeks gone by and I never made it on to the blog. I've been busy. Really! Lots of prep work for the upcoming Fall Conference in which I'm presenting. This is huge for me. I've never presented at anything, and I will be presenting to librarians from around the state. On technology! While I've had fun playing with the technology for the last 6 weeks, I'm not sure how well I'll be able to present it clearly and succinctly but with enthusiasm and without being my spaz of a self and totally overwhelm them!

Anywho. The last 17 days have been good:
5 teens at one program, 0 teens at 2 others.
5 teens at the first advisory board meeting! (That was huge.)
A change in scheduling allowing me to attend Home Evenings (aka Family Home Evening, but not in Singles groups because we aren't family in the typical sense, I suppose)
Spending time with a very fun group of friends
Being OK that I did not pass Phase I of the Tabernacle choir auditions (and not surprised about it either!)
Purchasing tickets to attend my best friend's sealing and reception in October
Clean Chick Flick moments
Cupcakes from my friends!
Reading some great books
Planning my second birthday party
Being asked to accompany a solo
Green Peppers!
Some Lark Rise refreshers
Knitting for the first time in over 10 years
Getting a more steady schedule going
Personal Revelation

Life is still wonderful and great and fabulous, and it's all due to the Lord's blessings. And I am still happier than I deserve to be--and not complaining in the least!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Like a Fire

Day 244

Our stake has begun an Institute class. I missed first class because I was on vacation. But I made it tonight. Reminded all over again how much I love that spiritual uplift during the break. And I love that even though I hear pretty much the same things with my ears, my heart and my soul hear something else when the Spirit speaks to them.

I'm grateful the Lord sends His Spirit to help me learn more every day.

Today's Smile: I have a kind of stalker at work. She's an elderly lady who loves my name. And she was in today, happy and excited to introduce me to her little granddaughter with my name. Not that I did much to bring about that smile, but oh well. It's still nice.

Today's Something New: I learned where the word "sincere" comes from. Basically means "without wax." Artists or sculptors used wax to smooth in cracks and such to make their work look perfect. Without wax. Natural. (Like me rarely wearing make-up and covering my flaws and such--just being sincere!) So when we give an honest and sincere effort, the Lord doesn't expect it to be perfect. It's all natural. All of who we are. All we have to give.


Day 237-243

I went on vacation for a few days. Internet was one of the last things on my mind. It was really nice. (Rare, too. I used to always wonder what I was, I don't know, missing I guess. But I didn't care this time, and that's what I prefer.)

The only thing that I missed about the Internet was not being able to relate my joys and gratitudes, giving smiles, and learning lessons. Let's just say that over the week I had lots and lots of all of those. Including:

-Meeting (and helping) John Bytheway!
-short plane rides!
-Writing my first letter to my missionary brother
-Grocery shopping with my Mom
-Talking about "nothing" with my Mom
-Having family dinner!
-Playing a new game with my Dad
-Singing with my sister
-Seeing my nieces and nephews getting older (though that's sad, too!)
-Going camping!!! (My birthday wish--11 months late)
-Smell of campfire
-Minute-to-Win-It as a family team
-Warm in a sleeping bag on a cold night
-Helping cook the ward breakfast
-Not tipping over in the canoe!
-Josh Groban concert!
-JG concert with my Dad!!!
-Spending Sunday with my sister's family--especially my nieces.
-Sunday night family game time
-Sleeping in WAY late
-Reading a great book--even by the headlights of the car behind
-Getting to see my brother and his family
-Helping said family unpack in their first house
-Out to eat with the family
-Making my flight on time
-Safe travels
-My parents healthy, safe, and alive to give me more chances on this earth to make them proud and show and tell them how much I love them
-Chick-flicks :-)
-Happiness all around!!

It's been a good week, and I definitely have the Lord to thank for all of it.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Getting to Know Them

Day 236

I had a great time being able to go to our Relief Society activity. It was a Chocolate Appreciation Night and we took time getting to know each other. What I loved was that of the ~15 sisters there, I knew all but 4 of them. And of those 4, I knew about 2. I felt great knowing that I know more people than I thought I did.

I'm grateful the Lord has given me the opportunities to get to know people in my ward, in spite of my busy schedule.

Today's Smile: I had another smile over the phone. This one was immediate, for as soon as I said hello, the lady on the other end said how much she loved my name and was so glad to finally have a grandchild with it.

Today's Something New: I, the, week+ vacation planner, actually can pack for a trip in one evening. Good thing I'm not going to let that become a habit!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pureed Beans & Olive Oil

Day 235

Maybe it's odd, but it's so yummy I can't help being grateful for hummus!!

Today's Smile: One truly can hear a smile on the phone. I heard the lady's smile after a long conversation of trying to answer her question and her appreciation for my time and effort. It really is me pleasure.

Today's Something New: I read a book about "fake foods" with the intentions I would learn facts that would disgust me enough to keep away from them for a good long while. It worked.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Go & Do (even if not far)

Day 234

I had a good workout this morning--and all indoors! I know that isn't anything new or profound. But I love having that option when I'm rather inclined to do Least Effort. Or be in public in my exercising disgrace. So when I don't want to venture outside to run, it's nice to be able to run inside. :-)

I'm grateful the Lord helps give me the will to exercise.

Today's Smile: Lots of patrons. Of all ages. It's always nice to see them still smiling.

Today's Something New: A Town Called Alice isn't anything like what I thought it would be about.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Just Let Me Cry

Day 233

Today, I'm just grateful that the Lord has given me the ability to cry when I need to, to alleviate pain and stress and all such things that build up within me.

I believe that everything happens for a reason.
We’re not just tossed by the wind,
or left in the hands of fate.
But sometimes life sends a storm that’s unexpected.
And we’re forced to face our deepest pain.

When I feel the heartache begin to pull me under,
I dig my heels in deep
and I fight to keep my ground.
Still at times the hurt inside grows stronger
And there’s nothing I can do but let out.

Just let me cry.
I know it’s hard to see
But the pain I feel isn’t going away today.
So just let me cry
Till every tear has fallen.
Don’t ask when
and don’t ask why.
Just let me cry.

When I agreed that God could put this heart inside me.
I understood that there would be a chance that it would break.
But I know He knows exactly how I’m feeling
And I know in time He’ll take the pain away.

But for now
Just let me cry.
I know it’s hard to see
But the pain I feel isn’t going away today.
Just let me cry
Till every tear has fallen.
Don’t ask when
and don’t ask why.
Just let me cry.

I have felt joy,
the kind that makes my heart want to sing.
So my tears are not a surrender,
I’ll feel that way again.
But for now,
For this moment..

Just let me cry.
I know it’s hard to see
But the pain I feel
Isn’t going away today.
Just let me cry
Till every tear has fallen.
Don’t ask when
and don’t ask why.
Just let me cry

Today's Smile: My ward choir director's smile for my participation in the choir. He has a nice smile, too. :-)

Today's Something New: I had more of a culmination of a realization/remembrance today. I find myself ever observant of the inside of the Salt Lake temple. The woodwork. The murals. The paintings. Everything. There is always something to look at in every room I enter. As I was looking around in a sealing room the other day, a little thought triggered in the back of my mind that there was more greatness to what I was seeing. That it was exquisite work--the artisans' best. But that they did it quickly. This thought was confirmed when I watched "Mountain of the Lord" this evening. They did all of that in one year. Amazing!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Friend in Need

Day 232

I did it! I went to a party. I mean, a large party with music way louder than I prefer and rock/80s costumes that I wouldn't have been caught in even in the 80s. (Though, well, I did have a pretty sweet 80s outfit for a Church social when I lip-synched "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" as a YW Presidency.) But I went. I'd contemplated for 2 weeks, knowing it would be after a full day of work (and on a Saturday!). I also faced the inevitable social anxieties that always accompany. It could have been very easy to talk myself out of it, event though I knew I really shouldn't. I really needed to go. I need to take every social opportunity I can, especially in my ward.

After work, I could feel myself faltering when an inspiration came--ask my friend and see if I could carpool with her. For if I could go with someone who I enjoy being with, and someone who understands my social anxieties and doesn't push nor hinder me in them, then I stood a much better chance of getting out of my shell sooner and enjoying myself faster. It worked. And I stayed 3 hours longer than I expected--and had a blast for all of it.

I'm so grateful the Lord inspired me to call on a friend.

Today's Smile: All the families who came to watch "Toy Story 3" at the library. Or all the people I saw at the party. They were all good smiles to give. :-)

Today's Something New: One of the poetry books I read had some little facts about various night creatures. I did not know some of the facts, particularly the one spider that eats its web at the end of the night (after it has caught all its prey).

Friday, August 19, 2011

Facing It

Day 231

I've not been happy about my face lately. Two medical conditions cause itching/peeling/flaking and constant break-outs. While I still feel pretty good about me and don't think I'm ugly, it's still hard for me to look in the mirror with a face like mine. And it's not just that it looks bleh. It is a little painful, too. With "the water" my family (and many others) uses, my parents let me know there was a water regime that helps with break-outs. It may also help with psoriasis. (And it couldn't hurt, considering all of the other things I've tried.)

Now, I have followed the regime a few times. The first time I did, I definitely noticed that the pain was gone. I didn't really see any other effects, but I also did not stick with it for much longer than a week at a time. I am inherently lazy by nature, and I know this. So a regime that asks me to wash my face, then spray with 2.5 water, then put a cloth soaked in 11.5 on my face for 15 minutes, and then spray with 5.5 water.... Well, it gets a bit much. Particularly that 15 minute part. And I'd love a washcloth with mouth and nose holes so I didn't feel like I was suffocating. But I haven't one and after a few days I get lazy and irked and I stop.

But tonight, I was thinking of how much I am really tired of my face looking and feeling this way. And if I have something that can help, well, then, I should stop complaining and do what I can, right? No matter how intricate the regime. So, I decided to try again--with more determination and all. Use that self-discipline that my father talks of me having. I began right away, and I hope to keep up with it.

Tonight I'm grateful the Lord provided some means to help my face be in a little less pain.

Today's Smile: I love the smiles temple workers have when people come in. I know those smiles--for I had them when I was a temple worker. They are sincere smiles, because it always so wonderful to see people come to the temple to serve. So I like it when I can bring those smiles to their faces, too. They are especially prevalent in Initiatory, and it was nice to see them smile.

Today's Something New: Today I learned (from the book I've been listening to) that Emma Smith's second husband brought two daughters into the marriage. One of them was named Zerelda. Not a name I had ever heard before. And then this evening I was reading up a bit on Jesse James. Turns out his mother was named Zerelda. What are the odds?! Learned that Jesse James actually got married. To his cousin. He even has living posterity! Interesting. Not that I like to follow outlaws' histories and such, but I realized for a famous outlaw I knew next to nothing about him.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Time

Day 230

I got to see the musical Aida tonight! It was a local production, and not bad. Flaws, of course. And the mics were not loud enough so the pit band was drowning out a lot. But for an amateur production in an outdoor theater, it was good. And enjoyable. And I finally got to see a production of a musical whose music I have known for 10 years. Especially one which has my current "theme song" in it.

I'm grateful the Lord has brought me to a place that not only has such musical talent, but uses that talent so that I (and many others) may partake and enjoy it!

Today's Smile: Getting to share another musical with my friend. It is fun to go, but it's also fun to go with a friend. I know what it means for me, and I believe it's the same for her.

Today's Something New: Three colored ink cartridges CAN all be out at the same time.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Soccer Mom Rides Again!

Day 229

It's been a good day. My brother is in the MTC. I stayed awake at work. :-) And I had time in the evening to actually go cheer for my ward/stake in the softball tournament. I'm not good at sports. Especially anything that involved more than just running. I don't think well under pressure--fast pressure, too--and my hand-eye-coordination (not to mention adding in moving feet!) is almost nil. In my college intramural days, I found my calling in the sports life--cheering. I enjoyed watching my friends play. I couldn't help occasionally being a coach and calling out what to do or not do out there on the playing fields. I loved supporting. I loved getting to know names. I loved seeing sportsmanship. I loved seeing skills. And I loved that they loved having me there. Goodness--I even won the Honker Award* for my devotion to cheering for my ward's sports teams (even in a formal dress). I also earned a nickname for it: Soccer Mom.

I am grateful the Lord gives me the ability to understand sports enough to follow what's going on, as well as be a cheerful support to others in fun, simple ways.

Today's Smile: I made fellow ward members smile as I played cheerleader. It helped when my more vocal friend joined me and I didn't feel as silly all alone calling out "Woohoo!!"

Today's Something New: I'm learning some new technology things, as well as places on the Internet to help me figure out how to use that technology to help teens in/and the library. It's been a while (like, since grad school) since I've done so much tech stuff. I've missed it. And I'll never learn it all. But it's fun to learn what I can!

*See Life in the 32nd Ward, Chapter 10.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

He's My Brother

Day 228

I had an evening with family--particularly with family I don't get to visit often here. My parents and little-though-very-tall brother came to town. Tomorrow is a big day for him, for my parents, for me. For all of us. But today was family time. Our last hours before he dedicates his life to the Lord for two years. And what fun we had! And what happiness and joy it brought me to be with my little guy. I am close to each sibling in our own ways. And some more than others because of personalities or opportunities to enhance our relationships. But no matter where the world takes us, I believe I will always have a special bond with this brother. For it makes no difference that there are almost 10 years between us. We are still the two youngest children. And he is still the one child that I received the most of my child-raising experience (as I still wait for more of that experience with my own children). And he is the one who taught me most about patience, kindness, gentleness, fun, silliness, being an example, and so much more.  I will never be able to explain to any one just how much my little brother means to me. How much our friendship and sibling relationship means to me. How much I love him. How proud I am of him.

But the Lord knows, and I'm grateful I not only had a few hours to spend with him before he goes on one of the most important journeys of his life, but that I have had him in much of my life.

Today's Smile: I'd have to say it was all the smiles that passed around our family this evening as we spent together. Who could count whose smiles came from or were caused by who? It does not matter. Then the family gets together, there is always much smiling and laughing going on. And those are the smiles and laughs (of others) that I love best.

Today's Something New: My little brother is finally coming into his own in our family. As a child, he made us laugh because he was adorable and cute and sweet and fun and all the things that make us smile at a child. But tonight, he held his own in with, impersonations, story-tellings, joke-tellings, etc. I've waited for this day. I knew when he was younger and felt (and was) so behind us in so many ways, that one day when he was older, he would catch up. And then the distance of years between him and us other kids would not matter. I saw it today. It was such a happy thing for me. And to know that he will just keep making that gap smaller and reaching us through his mission and his upcoming experiences in life makes me even happier.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Born (Able) to Run

Day 227

At last!! No pending headache or sheer exhaustion. I was ready. I went running!! If you read this blog, you know how much that means to me. Especially as I've only run once since moving here--and it was the coldest morning of them all! Crazy. I know. You don't need to tell me. But I resisted because of altitude and all. And I could only remember how much I was in pain during the running instead of remembering how awesome I felt the rest of the day afterwards.

I'm grateful the Lord makes it possible for me to run--whenever I choose, especially this morning.

Today's Smile: There was a mom and her son trying to figure out a book he had read before. We spent 20 minutes trying to figure it out. We never did, though I left them with the option of me checking on the librarian listserv to see if the book sounded familiar to them. Before I could get the post up, the mom came back to say her son did more research and figured it out. The smile was how grateful she was that I put in a lot of effort to try and find the answer. It's my job--and I'm glad I could try to help.

Today's Something New: I'm listening to a book about Emma Smith and Lucy Mack Smith. I learned a bit more about Lucy's background than I knew before. I guess I never learned more about her because I focused on her husband's family. After all, they were my family, too! So it was interesting to hear more of her background.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Not Just For Me Alone

Day 226

I attended a Fireside where Sister E. Smart was the speaker. It was amazing, and one I was grateful to hear. It was not so much that her information was new to me. It was that I could agree to everything she said. That her testimony and use of the Atonement, peace, faith, the Gospel were what I have done and can testify of myself.

Sometimes it is nice to know I'm not alone and that many of us share backgrounds of trials (no matter how great or small, big or little) that are all things we can grow from and let go of the pain because of our Savior--and I am grateful for my Savior's power of that and for the testimony of it from other witnesses.

Today's Smile: The people in the ward that some of YSAs went to and sang a special musical number for them. In spite of our few numbers and the mistakes we made, the Spirit was there, the message was felt, and the members were happy to have us.

Today's Something New: A&E documentaries have given me all sorts of snippets of historical things I did not know about Venice, the Forbidden City, and such. Interesting.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Finding My Home Temple

Day 225

My weekly temple trips have not been as spread out (in location) as they were when I first moved here. I have begun to settle (meaning I'm not always oot and aboot and happen to be near one of the other temples further away). When I choose to go to what I would consider my "home" temple, it has become this temple.

I am grateful that Salt Lake Temple is "my" temple now--still with its historical significance and awe but now also just like any other temple in the spiritual blessings and promises and ordinance and Spirit and work to do.

Today's Smile: The sister in the temple whose family names I helped with in our sealing session. Indeed, it was rather awesome to participate in my first family group sealing. I enjoyed being a part of the sealing work today.

Today's Something New: It's related to Today's Smile. But that's all I'm going to say.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Ultimate Night

Day 224

I played ULTIMATE!!!! It has been so long. The last time that I can remember, I had a decent-sized headache and was only able to play a few minutes before we decided to go inside. And that was over a year ago. A shame. It was great to have my friends put together a time to play. Even though I had been fighting a headache all week long, I was determined to go. I wanted physical exertion. I wanted to have a social opportunity. I wanted to play my favorite sport! And not only did I get to play (rather blind mind you, as I'm out of contacts) and make a couple of I-can't-believe-I-caught-that! catches, but I also stayed afterwards and visited and played a game and laughed so hard my throat was sore. It was fabulous.

I'm so grateful the Lord gave me an opportunity for such a wonderfully fun evening--and strongly prompted me to go.

Today's Smile: All of the teens who came to the End of Summer Pizza Party. They seemed to enjoy the movie. They definitely loved the pizza. And they liked being able to choose something from the Prize Table. It was nice to give them a fun afternoon as their summer winds up.

Today's Something New: I have begun to add ground flaxseed to my diet. But I was curious as to its claims of health benefits--particularly related to my diseases. So I did some research. Everything I learned was new to me. Interesting. I am curious to see if I will notice any obvious benefits. We'll see!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Anything and Everything

Day 223

So, I've mentioned before how much I love visiting my librarian friend. We get together once a month. Cook/bake/make something edible and enjoy conversation. I have mentioned how much I've mentioned I love being able to talk to someone of my age in my work field who "gets it." But I also love that we can talk about all kinds of things. Tonight included a variety of subjects including politics, child discipline, and house buying.

I'm grateful for the Lord blessing me with friends with whom I never run out of something to converse about!

Today's Smile: My friend's parents were happy to see that I made an effort to find dairy free alternatives for my Fruit Pizza tonight so that their recently-discovered-allergic-to-dairy son could partake of the yummy treat.

Today's Something New: There are 3 (technically 4) books connected to The Good Earth. It took me months to read that book when I was however old. Many painful months. I am not a fan of that book. I couldn't believe that there were 2 sequels! (And a prequel.) I read synopses of the 2 sequels and knew I never wanted to bother reading them. It is no wonder to me that I did not like the original book. I got little out of it personally except a strong dislike for the main male character. However, I know many got something out of it--thus its ascension into "classic" status, so I won't completely berate the book(s).

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wise Choices

Day 222

I went grocery shopping today. That really is always something I'm grateful for. I'm grateful to have food. I'm grateful to have food so readily available at so many stores. I'm grateful that I can be a smart shopper and get better deals. And I'm grateful I have an income and not so many things hanging over me that I can actually afford food! Of course, today had me all over the place getting groceries. I needed to buy a lot of produce, and wanted to go to the most inexpensive place with it. But then I couldn't find particular items I needed, so I tried a couple of other places. Indeed, I was so running around that I skipped the last store I intended to go to and postponed it (and its sale) for the weekend.

I am happy to say I found the items I need, and I now have a new "I love this store!" Whole Foods. No. I'm not going into the stereotype of a vegetarian, vegan, organic, what-not kind of person. (For there is a stereotype, and I've known many and was shopping with them while I was there!) But after having a friend who now has Celiac disease, or a friend whose brother just learned he is allergic to diary, it is nice to have stores that offer the options needed to accommodate these people. But not only did I find dairy free cream cheese, but I also found flaxseed! I've been looking in all the stores I've gone to and could never find it. I also found some fabulously healthy cereal--3 for $5. Happy day! As well as something I can use for healthy treats--on sale--that will last me over 2 weeks even if I were to splurge and have one a day! There was also a kind lady in line behind me who saw I was buying those treats and handed the cashier a coupon for me to use. So nice!!! I just felt so good and happy in that store. And I smiled to think that when finances are even happier, I would do even more of my shopping there (you should have seen all of the cheeses and olives they had there!).

So today I am grateful that I followed the prompting to finally try a store that will give me affordable healthy options when I cannot find them elsewhere.

Today's Smile: The lady I kept passing in one of the stores. Not that it was anything I did to make her smile. But just that every time we walked by each other, we smiled. I love smiling at people when I'm out and about, and I love it when they smile at me!

Today's Something New: I started reading another nonfiction book that is part of my reading challenge. It deals with nine cases throughout history of things that went missing (pharoah's, cities, etc.) I learned little tidbits that I would not have known before, and was fascinated by one group's recreation of a bamboo boat and its voyage across the Pacific Ocean. I don't typically bother myself with "what ever happened to..." mysteries because they are not vital to my salvation. But they are still very interesting and it is nice other people have the curiosity and gumption to research and try to find answers.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Being Myself

Day 221

Today I'm grateful that the Lord gave me a job in which I can--among all of the many other wonderful opportunities--be my occasionally silly, attempts-at-witty self and have it appreciated and enjoyed.

Today's Smile: The couple I helped figure out the spacing on their resume. They were very grateful, especially considering the time they were spending trying to figure out "what went wrong."

Today's Something New: I read a nonfiction book about lizards this evening. (It was part of a reading challenge I've given myself.) I learned a lot more facts about various lizards than I knew before. Some facts were pretty neat. One was neat as well as hilarious to me, because the basilisk lizard can run across water. And the pictures of it... Well, I just couldn't help it. They immediately reminded me of my dear friend who is a runner. While I figured he'd think it was cool, I couldn't help seeing a little bit of him in the lizard! :-) But he'd be right--it is cool.

Monday, August 8, 2011

I made it

Day 220

With the headache threatening to come back for its 3rd day (in spite of much rest and limited jostling of the head), I really wondered if I could make it through the work day.

With the Lord's help, I did, and I am grateful I did not need to take sick leave or leave co-workers short-handed.

Today's Smile: A teen chose a manga book for her summer reading prize. I made sure months ago when I was "choosing" books to have as prizes to include as much manga as I could. Particularly of the more popular ones. It was nice to see how excited she was to have a book she would love to own.

Today's Something New: I made another realization today. This time it was in relation to my reading history, particularly when I was a young adult compared to now. See, my sister-in-law and I have been discussing some recent YA lit stuff and other things in relation to what books are out there and how parents are/aren't involved and how different parents handle things. My realization showed me why some of my current opinions and views may not be the best in applying current books to current teens. Meaning, I never really read YA lit as a teen, since I jumped from BSC to L.M. Montgomery to "the classics" by 8th grade and that I read some great YA books now, only I am an adult who is reading them and my experiences and perspectives, etc will be very different from a teen's. It was, I believe, a very important realization to have in mind not just as a librarian but as an aunt of many avid readers and a one-day mother of children who will read books.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

To Him I'll Sing

Day 219

The headache came back halfway through the day. No surprise, considering it is a usual acquaintance on Fast Sundays. But the Lord answered my prayer in keeping it at bay. Indeed, at times I barely felt it. I'm grateful for that. For I wanted to be able to focus on the Fireside as well as sing well in the choir--with a smile on my face. All occurred, and it was a nice culmination of the YSA Summit weekend. I'm excited that I will get one more chance to sing that arrangement of "The Lord is My Light" next week. It is gorgeous and amazing and full of every praise in which that song deserves to be sung.

So many gratitudes, but I guess overall I'm grateful the Lord not only has given me such wonderful opportunities (great speakers, meeting new people, friends meeting me, singing in the Tabernacle!!!) and also allows me to physically be able to take part of them.

Today's Smile: I saw the UT SLC Mission president and his wife after the fireside. They were at Temple Square for something completely different. But I went to say hello and such a smile they both had. I know. It had little to do with anything that I did. Yet it is always nice to see smiles on others because it is long-time acquaintances seeing one another again, and getting to play a little of "Ketchup." They had great smiles to hear of my brother's mission call. And to hear that is well with my family. They are such happy people, that I appreciated the smiles they gave me in turn.

Today's Something New: Not necessarily a new thing to learn so much as a new realization. Last year's study of Isaiah on my part has helped me understand it a bit on my own. Not all of it. But enough to get what is being referenced. At least so far what I've encountered in 2 Nephi. I'm looking forward to the upcoming Isaiah chapter splurge to see if I can apply my new knowledge/skills/etc to what I'm reading. It  is all in preparation to at some point in the near future delve into all of the book of Isaiah. It's such a great realization to know it is possible to have the Spirit with me and the guidance of prophets and leaders to help open my understanding.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Choose to Be Great!

Day 218

What a day! It's been fabulous and amazing! Even the headache I've had for the last few hours cannot diminish how marvelous, amazing, and wonderful this day has been! Today was the Classes/Workshops portion of the YSA Summit (Choose to Be Great). I prayed to know which classes to attend that would be the most profitable for my learning. And were they ever! I'm sure the other classes were great, too, but the Keynote speaker and the subsequent 4 classes I attended were just what I needed. I am on a spiritual high, and like my friend and RS President said at lunch--"I am a spiritual junkie!!" Very true. I could never get enough!

I'm so grateful the Lord made it possible for me to attend the Summit today--I needed such spiritual uplift, comfort, and strength from the speakers and from the all of the young single adults around me.

Today's Smile: At lunch, there was a young man who joined us for a bit. We were talking about the spiritual highs and such. And I talked of how much I love being in huge groups of LDS members, where we all believe the same things and are trying to all be better people. He smiled, for he knew exactly what I meant. And that smile meant a lot to me--knowing I'm not alone in that wonderful feeling I love.

Today's Something New: I couldn't pick just one. There was so much from today's classes that I could take as new. New perspectives. New insights. New ideas. New...much! It was bliss!

Friday, August 5, 2011

A New Friend

Day 217

I love my co-workers. Especially my new one. She is absolutely amazing and I just love her!! I'm so excited that we get to work together. I love that we get along so well. I love that we have many things in common. And I love to just talk with her. I feel kind of bad for only one thing--when I'm scheduled at the desk with her, all I want to do is talk to her and get to know her more, and hear about her baby, and talk books and period dramas, and just chat the hour away. That's not so good when one is at work!

But I love and am grateful for the fast friendship in this wonderful person the Lord has helped me cross paths with.

Today's Smile: I pretty much took over running one of the two game booths our ward was in charge of at the huge YSA Summit tonight. It was the Rubber Ducky race. First, how perfect was that for me!! :-) While it was not the social experience I had been hoping for for weeks now, it turned out really well. Probably better for me in fact. On my own, I would have been my typical quiet self, struggling to try and pretend I had no social issues. In a small group of my very outgoing ward friends, I would have spoken a bit more, but probably would have backed into my quiet, observant self instead of the trying-to-be-more-outgoing me. But give me a responsibility, something left up to me, and I was able to bring forth the outgoing. I was able to smile and chat with everyone who came by. I enjoyed laughs and many squirts from water guns. But I also got to provide many smiles for everyone who came by and took part. And that made it all worth it. I love that the Lord always knows best.

Today's Something New: Some water guns do not fill up by just sticking them in water. I know! What nerve. But some people are geniuses and after much practice were able to teach me that these particular cheap-o water guns had to go in the water upside-down, at an angle, and shaken. Who'd have thought?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

In a Book

Day 216

Another late night. And another worthwhile one. I began a book when I came home from work. I intended to read just a bit before I had dinner and then treated myself to the best film version of Emma that exists. But I was instantly hooked. So much that I could not put the book down for anything (save the pizza I splurged to order because, well, I craved it already and then they were eating it in the book and I didn't feel like cooking and I hadn't had pizza in months and well....just because). A fast read. And an unexpected one.

For I never expected my testimony of the Atonement to grow, nor my love for and gratitude towards my Savior to increase--and I'm very grateful that the book gave me so much.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

With Friends

Day 215

It is not always wise to hang out with friends in the middle of the week. Because it very likely will lead to a late night. And when everyone in the party has work the following morning, well, we all know how we're going to feel the next day. But it is very much worth it. Especially for me, as I don't have many opportunities to be social right now.

I am grateful for each time the Lord gives me to spend with friends.

Today's Smile: We had another Toddler Play Hour at work. Our last for the summer since storytime will begin in the fall. And much to my sorrow I have been asked to really focus on the teens this fall and not do any storytimes. It makes since, as for another few months we have 3 other children's librarians. By winter or so there will be just the 2 of us and I'll have my chance to work closely with the preschoolers and toddlers again. But what sadness for the few months I'll be separated from them. Especially when one of my favorite little guys came in with his mom (who is expecting #2 in Sept. and which I did not know!), and when he saw me his wonderful, only-he-could-give smile spread across his little face. It made my heart so happy that he remembers me and that he still smiles when he sees me. How I wish I could give such smiles every day and all day.

Today's Something New: I learned how the Aboriginal phone call works! All of those years of knowing it could make the sound, but not knowing the "trick" or science behind it. Now I do. Nifty stuff! Thanks, Mad Science program. I wish I could have stayed in for the rest of it and learned more.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sweet Invitations

Day 214

I was given a great honor and kindness today. My dearest friend invited me to attend his temple sealing in a few months. I would really, really love to go. But I don't know if I'll be able to make it (schedule-wise, financial-wise, and vacation-wise).

Still, he invited me. I'm the girl who is humbled and grateful to receive a wedding announcement from someone. I am not often invited to sealings since families are large and should be accommodated. I'm not usually the close kind of friend that one thinks of to invite. That is perfectly fine. Indeed, I do not ever expect to be invited to sealings. I understand that it is a small group that can be invited and I don't feel I have much of a "right" to be invited--unless it's my own siblings!!

Outside of my own family, I have been invited to 7 temple sealings. Five I was able to go to--three of them involving me flying on a plane in order to attend. One I was out of town for (though I was the brides temple escort the previous week), and the other I found out the night before and couldn't fit it into my plans. I was honored by each one. But especially by this 8th one.

I'm grateful for dear friends, and for dear friends finding happiness, and for the Lord being at my side all along the way.

Today's Smile: The teens who received a book for their prize. It's nice to see the kids and parents happy. But I just love seeing a teen happy about getting a book!

Today's Something New: Winnie the Pooh is considered to have 2 birthdays. In June, when the toy bear was released for sale. And August 21, when Christopher Robin received his bear on his 1st birthday. Either way. it's 90 years this year.

Priceless gift

Day 213

I just love my life--a gift from my Savior!

Today's Smile: Summer Reading prize hand-outs have begun. That means pandemonium!!! But it is so nice to not have the extreme stress and craziness like I did last year. This year, I can be busy and crazy but only lose 90% of my brain function. :-) But how I love Summer Reading and the fun and smiles it brings to people!

Today's Something New: They're making more Chronicles of Narnia movies. I know that's not a life-changing bit of knowledge or anything. But I have enjoyed the new movies and I'm glad they aren't ending with the Dawn Treader. (Which, by the way, I thought was well done.)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

"Never Can I Repay Thee, Lord"

Day 212

I got to see "17 Miracles" last Monday. I fit it in as part of my Pioneer Day celebrations. It was perfect for that, and it already one of my favorite movies.

It was wonderful! Especially when I realized it included a song I very much love from my recent acquisition (via Christmas present) of "Joseph Smith, the Prophet" musical. Indeed, I cannot hear it without coming close to tears.

Just having this song in the movie would have been enough. But even more especially because it used a version by a singer I greatly love to hear (though I do love this soprano's voice!). I can't find anything with him singing the song, but here is a clip of him singing one of my favorite Broadway songs.

After the movie, I longed to have the lyrics available. In the temple yesterday, I thought "Try to find the sheet music!" Because then I could accompany myself whenever I desired to sing the song. Unfortunately, Deseret Book didn't have it and the young man at the desk said it was no longer being sold. He suggested I check on Amazon.

Well, I didn't get to the Internet for an Amazon search, not for any Googling of the lyrics alone. Thus, today when the closing song was announced (before all of the speakers) in Sacrament meeting, I think I visibly was taken aback to hear "Hymn #112--Savior, Redeemer of My Soul." My eyes must have been huge. It couldn't be coincidence.

But it was!!! There within the Hymn book that I have been singing out of all of my life was this hymn that I only recently came to love in the last 7 months. Of course, the arrangement was completely different. And the one in the Hymn book, well, the hymn in general is not much sung among us at all. (A shame about those hymns.) But the lyrics. The very same. And my Elder Orson F. Whitney. Oh, the message is just as wonderful.

And I'm so grateful to have this amazing new-to-me song to praise my Savior--Redeemer of my soul.

Today's Smile: Telling my new Visiting Teachee (who is already a good acquaintance) that I am her new Visiting Teacher. She seemed so happy to have someone who may actually come to visit her. And I get along with her well and enjoy her company. I'm excited for this myself!

Today's Something New: Elder Whitney wrote a hymn. Of course, I never looked to see if he had. I usually look at composers, but typically of songs that we sing. Since I unfortunately have never sung that hymn in my life, I didn't have the chance to see that he had written one. Of course, then I had to check the composers and saw that he had written one more hymn ("The Wintry Day Descending to Its Close") which I have sung. (But not as often either.) I love that we sing hymns written by the early Saints.


Savior, Redeemer of my soul, 
Whose mighty hand hath made me whole,
Whose wondrous pow'r hath raised me up
And filled with sweet my bitter cup!
What tongue my gratitude can tell,
O gracious God of Israel.

Never can I repay thee, Lord,
But I can love thee. Thy pure word,
Hath it not been my one delight,
My joy by day, my dream by night?
Then let my lips proclaim it still,
And all my life reflect thy will.

O'errule mine acts to serve thine ends.
Change frowning foes to smiling friends.
Chasten my soul till I shall be
In perfect harmony with thee.
Make me more worthy of thy love,
And fit me for the life above.

Back from "Break"

I have been bad, and I know it. I haven't written on this blog in almost two months. It is simply because I get home fairly "late" (after 8pm) and after having spent an entire day at a computer, I don't often want to turn on my laptop to type in here. Thus, two or three weeks got away. Then the idea of "Playing Ketchup" just seemed too much and too daunting and I avoided it. Thus avoiding the blog altogether. Silly, I know. But I did.

Instead of Playing Ketchup, then, I am just going to pick up from today and keep going. However, I have to note that the last month has been a particularly trying one. It's Summer Reading, so that isn't a surprise that all kinds of things are effecting me mentally, physically, and emotionally. But spiritually, things are fabulous! I have made it through the trials in the other areas because I have made sure to hold to my scripture study, my prayers, my faith, my Church attendance, my Institute classes, and so much more. Indeed, these trials really were much easier to bear because of the spiritual support I had in my life from my Savior and the comfort of the Spirit. It is a shame that I did not have the daily recordings of this pressing on and growth and such. But I know they happened.

And I am indeed exceedingly grateful.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Lord Behind It All

Day 159

I had a very fun date tonight.

Kind of.

It was in-class. And an assignment of sorts. But it was so fun and enjoyable. Conversation evoking laughter, sympathy, understanding, tenderness, dreams, and feeling the Spirit. Awkwardness at the beginning that was quickly gotten over as we knew there it was just us, talking. As we cared about the other and tried to put them at ease. It may have helped that our teacher was orchestrating the topics of our conversations. And I thought how in regular dating, the Lord should be orchestrating what we do and what we talk about. The Spirit should be present. For the sympathy, the understanding, the tenderness, the fun. Because when the Spirit is present and we think of the other person--helping them have fun, enjoy themselves, feel safe and secure, feel good about themselves, and more--it is a truly enjoyable and successful date. And, as my teacher put it, we should always leave our date a better person. Meaning both of us.

I love this class the Lord has sent me to, because it has me now not only excited about dating, but seeing so much more to it.

Today's Smile: The toddlers who came to my program. They got to have all kinds of fun--and I loved seeing them smile!

Today's Something New: Guys actually wouldn't mind if a girl brought coupons to a restaurant on a date. I wouldn't mind bringing them and offering them, but I suspected guys would look at me like a was nutty, over-the-top thrifty Molly Mormon. So, maybe I can be thrifty and not thought a nut or over-the-top.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Realization and Awareness

Day 158

Well, my gratitude today is too personal to share in specifics. Some may even find it odd or silly.

But it meant a lot to me and I'm grateful the Lord brought to my mind the circumstance I could alter which led to more confidence, relief, and happiness.

Today's Smile: The woman who thought our DVD was missing part of the movie, but with careful assessment and cleaning I was able to discern the possible problem and allow for her to take the movie home to finish. (She was profusely grateful to the point of slight embarrassment on my part!)

Today's Something New: The stuff around a dragon's head--not the horns--isn't hair. I know it isn't. But for the craft I'm creating, I was trying to figure out what to call it so all the kids would know what I was referring to. My co-worker told me that I was bound to be corrected by at least one child. I agreed. And then curiosity got both of us and we began to look up what it might be called, for we knew there had to be a word. In one of our dragonology books, it was referred to as "wattles." Which immediately made me think of roosters--and I was amazed I even remembered that association! Though further research into that has me thinking that I may not mention that particular term. I'll let the children correct me about "hair" with whatever things they know. So far, I've done well in life not having to know particular about wattles.

Monday, June 6, 2011


Day 157

As I'm reading scriptures concerning the Great Apostasy and the Restoration, I am grateful to the Lord for allowing me to not only be born when the restored Church and full Gospel are on the earth but to have always had it as a part of my life.

Today's Smile: My volunteer who seemed to enjoy the tasks I gave her.

Today's Something New: Tomato seedlings can actually sprout within 4 days of planting.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Witness of the Holy Ghost

Day 156

I love that the Lord gives me Sabbath days and all the wonderful testimonies from the Spirit of things related to the Gospel.

Today's Smile: I make others smile by my general silly personality. Apparently. Sometimes I wish I weren't so silly, flighty, and all. But I think the entertainment and smiles I seem to give others might be worth it.

Today's Something New: I watched a deaf history in America documentary and had no idea that all throughout their history there was a controversy between them as to using sign language or learning to speak. I'm a hearing person with relatively few hearing-impaired people in my life, so it is hard for me to have a more personal and informed opinion. But I have always thought both possibilities were great and power to those who want to try one or both. I don't understand why some are so set with just one of them and against the other. And I find it intriguing that this still exists today.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

We Have Sun

Day 155

Two days of warmth and sun in a row! I love rain. And I don't mind days of it. But I have never longed for summer weather more than I have this year. I think it's because I knew so many other places were getting warm weather by April. And while snow finally began to stop, it was still dreary, chilly, wet, and bleh. I longed for sun. It finally came. For longer than 12 hours. I was able to walk in it yesterday, sun in it this morning while reading, and sit in it this afternoon while chatting with a friend. Delight!

I love the weather the Lord sends, especially sunshine in the sky to match that in my soul.

Today's Smile: My friend joining me for a movie she was interested in seeing, and we both got to see it for free.

Today's Something New: Not that it's the most life-changing or enlightening knowledge, but I did learn a bit more of X-Men history and lore. Considering I never read the comic books or watched the cartoon while growing up, I knew nothing until I watched the movies with my family and friends. So to watch an "early history" or "how it came to be" of it, it made me curious as to what followed original, what was new for the movie, and such. I now know more than I ever did before. I don't think it will change my life for the better, but it was interesting.

Friday, June 3, 2011


Day 154

School is out. Officially out. They even let out earlier today than we had expected. And wonder of wonders--most of the kids went home! Now, I want kids in the library. Especially the teens. I'm a teen librarian. But unfortunately, the ones who come every day and stay for hours are not there for books or programs, unless I'm offering food--and then they only eat and don't participate in the program. I know they go there because they're waiting for a way home. And I'd rather they be in a safe place and not making mischief elsewhere. But if they need to stay somewhere, I wish I could have a teen space where they can enjoy themselves and not annoy or disrupt others. However, I don't have that. And they end up just being a nuisance to everyone. It wears on me, too.

So, I can't help being relieved and grateful for an inspired summer reprieve where I can focus on patrons having fun and not disciplining rowdy, restless kids who need that summer as well! 

Today's Smile: My co-workers grateful smiles for Summer Reading sign-ups being organized. It's nice to be able to use some of my experience and preference for organization in something!

Today's Something New: I learned that mango, avocado, and jalapeno taste very well together!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Day 153

Yesterday in my dating class, we discussed how security is very important to women. Very, very true.

And then in today's financial class, Dave Ramsey had all single men stand up and told them (more than once) about the importance of security to women. He joked and said women have a security gland that men do not. It is something they will never understand. But what they do need to understand is that if they plan to marry a woman, they need to know that she has this need for security and that they are the ones who need to provide it.

It is very true. It is something I have learned for myself as I have had to be my family of one for many years. It is stressful, tiring, and never quite satisfactory as I try to provide full security for myself. So often I just want to be taken care of. I want to be held. Reassured that everything is OK.

It's nice to know it is natural for me to feel this way. That it is something I'm looking for because it truly is something I innately need. (The Proclamation on the Family backs this up!)

I love how the Lord connects things for me to help me understand better and find comfort from difficult things in life.

Today's Smile: The mother who wanted books in French for her little girl smiled when I gave her simple and free options for what we don't have.

Today's Something New: I started reading a book about Laura Bridgman. I knew she was a deaf and blind girl born well before Helen Keller (a heroine of mine), and that her story of learning to communicate was inspirational to Helen Keller's story. What I learned today was that Laura, who lost her 2 older sisters, her sight, and her hearing to scarlet fever, also lost most of her sense of taste and smell. Left with only one sense. Can you imagine? They always tell you when one sense goes, another is heightened. Helen Keller could still smell and taste--and did so well. But Laura--she lost 4 senses. There was only one left. And it certainly was heightened! It makes her challenges, trials, progress, triumphs, and victories that much more, um, WOW. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Like You and Me

Day 152

I wasn't absolutely sure it was her--because they don't always look in person the way you see them in pictures and on TV. Still, we chatted books. She even gave me a couple of recommendations. Absolutely awesome: 

Today, I talked books with the prophet's daughter. 

And I loved that the Lord helps me see just how human and relatable our Church leaders are.

Today's Smile: All of those kids signing up for Summer Reading, and getting to stamp their thumbprints on a world map. A child's smile--it is priceless!

Today's Something New: I've been reading a book with random facts in it. Stuff I'd never think to research--# of Supreme Court justices presidents appointed, or which countries get the most vacation time. Some of the stuff is rather interesting. It makes me re-examine things. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Here It Comes

Day 151

All day busy. Running around. Last minute preparations. Organizing. Ah, yes.

I love Summer Reading--and that this year it will be so much more enjoyable!!

Today's Smile: The little boy who asked for book recommendations and enjoyed telling me what he has liked and what he thinks I will like.

Today's Something New: I watched the rest of "Gods and Generals" and all of "Gettysburg" today. So many names floating all over, I wanted to keep them straight. I also wanted to know what was accurate of this movie based on a fictional book based on an actual event. So as generals were named, I looked up information about them. Interesting to see the simple facts given. "Gettysburg" drives home the sorrow of very good friends Armistead and Hancock fighting on opposite sides--on the very same battleground. But seeing some of the facts, there were so many more who faced similar personal struggles and sorrows. It truly was a war of brother against brother, friend against friend. It continues to open my mind more to, well, more.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Ways to Remember

Day 150

I watched a few military movies and documentaries to remind me of the true meaning of Memorial Day. It helps me to exactly what we are supposed to do--remember.

I loved seeing all the many flowers at the cemetery by my home. I'm becoming attached to that cemetery, and I sometimes feel sorrowful for the many graves without flowers. But today, the entire place is well-laden with beautiful flowers and visitors. It is a lovely sight for a Memorial Day.

And I still got to have a barbecue with my family. And part of our discussions included our grandfathers who fought for our country and the preservation of our freedoms.

It may have been my coldest Memorial Day ever, but my soul and my heart were warm, and I'm grateful the Savior gave me that.

Today's Smile: The many from my niece as I played the game I'd given her for her birthday. Of course, I enjoyed all of the smiles my nieces and nephew gave me throughout my visit--just for coming, during the movies, as we ate, for sitting by them....

Today's Something New: I learned that a "wing chair" (aka "wing-back chair"is an easy chair or club chair with "wings" mounted to the back of the chair typically but not always stretching down to the arm rest. I've heard the name before, but never knew what it referred to. Our family had two of these when I was growing up. They were excellent for nap-taking.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

New Focus

Day 149

I listened to a recent "Faith in Action" podcast this morning. It was Justin Osmond, son of one of the "original" Osmond Brothers. He was born with 90% hearing loss. It was interesting to hear him speak so well, and to speak of his experiences and the things he has done that show faith in action. Then he said something that really stood out to me: Don't measure your life by the days you live, but by the smiles you leave behind. And I thought that I would like to try: give a smile every day.

This morning I was also reading from Sister Oaks' A Single Voice and read about never having a single dull moment. To continue to build ourselves in all ways. I felt prompted to make a list of things that I would like to try/learn/do/improve. From the possible to the ridiculous. From the short-term to the life-long. It was rather fun. And that got me to thinking of something else I'd like to try: learn something new every day.

Similar to my attempts to find a gratitude for each day, I think accounting for these things will help me try to accomplish them more. And I believe they will make a difference in my life.

And I thank my Savior for giving me 2 worthwhile purposes in life to strive for.

Today's Smile: I helped my new RS President hand things out before church began. It was a smile of appreciation, even for something so small and simple. But her smiles brighten my day and make me feel like I truly made a difference for her, no matter what it was in.

Today's Something New: I learned there were Japanese Americans living in Hawaii when Pearl Harbor was bombed. I know--it's something I should know or could have guessed. But my knowledge of 20th century history is terrible. And my Chinese American relatives lived in Hawaii. I often here of the Chinese peoples, not Japanese. The Japanese I heard of were in California. Learning that there were Japanese Americans in Hawaii then added one more dimension to my thoughts and knowledge about history there at that time.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I Try

Day 148

I got to make magnet boxes and cut out various felt shapes for my summer Toddler Play Hour programs. How much fun is that?! Seriously. All day cutting, tracing, pasting. And I got paid for it. My skills--especially in the cutting and tracing part--are not very good. I often say I'm not creative. The more accurate thing to say would probably be that I'm too lazy and impatient. Which, to me are traits that detract from creativity. Thus, "I'm not creative" seems to fit. But what I love is that the toddlers aren't judging my lack of skills. They're not going to look at my felt mouse and think it looks like a grey glob with a detachable pink squiggle. And if they do, well, it's not as painful to hear from them as it is from older people. These toddlers are going to love what I do with and for them, and many of the parents will appreciate that I provided something outside of the house!

I'm grateful the Lord knows that life doesn't always require specific talents from me, and that appreciation of any of my efforts can be just as uplifting as using the talents I do possess.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I Love to See

Day 147

I love my weekly temple trips. Being on Temple Square still hasn't lost its wonder--and I hope it never does. I love when I go on Fridays, knowing my mother is fulfilling her calling as a temple worker at the same time. And now I'm guessing my brother goes along to do temple work as well.

Temple work--with others or on my own--is one of the greatest joys and blessings that the Lord gives me.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Stressed...Or Not

Day 146

I am in quite deep with Summer Reading now. It's such a busy time of year--but I love it! Especially now where the program is so well-supported and fairly organized. And so much better now that I'm not trying to run the whole thing myself.

Less stress means I can enjoy this time so much more--and I'm grateful He's brought me a much less stressful job (especially as He knows how I am with stress).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lord's Inspiration

Day 145

It astounds me how truly inspirational the Lord was in me taking this dating class. It is absolutely perfect for me right now! Of course, I know such a thing shouldn't astound me. He is, after all, my Savior. He knows me better than I know myself. He knows what I need and how. And He not only wants my happiness more than any one else, but He knows how to help me find and achieve it!

I'm so grateful the Lords knows me best and "leads me along."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Day 144

I had a compliment about work concerning my ability to remember various computer things--especially after just learning them (since I'm still new to some of the computer stuff at work). It was nice to have the compliment. It was also nice to know that a majority of that comes from my mind still being fairly young and not too overloaded. (Though there are times I feel it's getting close to that as the last year has shown me unable to remember more and more.)

I'm grateful to the Lord for the wonders of the mind, and the ability to remember--especially my ability to remember.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Middle

Day 143

I worked my first split shift at this job today. I had five hours to do whatever I wished in the middle of the day. So, I went home. And read. And watched "Avonlea" episodes. The only downside to the time was I was afraid to get too involved in something (e.g. a nap) for fear of losing track of time and not getting back in time. Still, the split in the day was nice. A refreshing and renewing few hours that made closing at night a lot easier.

Missing the crazy-rude-teens-after-school hours wasn't too bad either.

I am grateful for a rare chance from the Lord to relax in the middle of the work day!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Leading Us

Day 142

My new ward has an excellent bishopric--and I'm so grateful the Lord has called our new ward wonderful leaders!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Soaring with Music

Day 141

I was listening to the classical station on my way to the temple. They were recognizing Placido Domingo's first recording of arias, and then played a couple. I don't know too much opera at this point, but some of what I know I absolutely love. And one of the Domingo arias they played happened to be one of those songs.

Indeed, I was immediately in sobbing tears as the introduction played. I don't know how to explain how some of these songs pierce straight to my heart. But they do. Especially this one. From the moment I first heard it. Which is one more reason I love the song, for I first heard it from the Sound of America band the year I was part of the choir. I didn't know it was from an opera. I just knew I felt my spirit soar every time I was able to hear the band play it.

When I returned home, I learned from my temporary tour Humanities professor that the song was from an opera. I had commented on it in my Humanities journal about how much I loved the song, and how it sounded like it ended rather abruptly. He mentioned that in the opera, the song led into another. (Obviously.)

Years later my mother and I were watching an Andre Rieu concert. And they began to play it. I exclaimed about it, being the song from SOA. My mother then mentioned that the song meant a great deal to her for personal reasons. I loved that she and I shared a love for the same song, which made me love it more!

While I have my own dreams of singing this aria myself, hearing a tenor actually sing it is just breath-taking. And they do it more justice than I probably could.

So it meant a great deal that the Lord worked His wonders and allowed me to hear this great tenor's recording of one of my very favorite opera songs.

Brothers and sisters, enjoy the beautiful, brings-me-to-tears "Nessun Dorma."

First, from Pavarotti.

Then from Placido Domingo.

Oh my. Do you have a favorite of those two? I do enjoy Pavarotti--especially as he makes it look so effortless. But on this song, I think Domingo makes me heart soar even higher.

But if you can't decide between the two, how about them together!

Oh my. Such beauty.

Friday, May 20, 2011

But it isn't rare anymore

Day 140

The sun finally came out.

The Teen Potter Puppet Pal program was sheer delight!

And I got to have a nice gals-only visit with my long-time friend.

The cockroach clusters I made for the program were just the sweet topping to it all.

And only one thing stays in my mind with all this:

What a day this has been! 
What a rare mood I am.
Why it's almost like being in love!

am love--with the life my Savior blesses me with!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Two for the Price of None

Day 139

I still have Institute on Thursdays. My new ward is holding its own class for the summer. I figured I might as well go for the social aspect, especially as it is my new ward. And we're actually watching all of the videos for Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. Now, if you've read this blog long enough, you'll know that financial straits were something I worked hard to get out of in the last 2 1/2 years. And it was Dave Ramsey who really helped me get started, and its mostly been his principles I've been following. They just work so well because they are basically Gospel principles. It is nice to be reminded, and to hear his encouragement and enthusiasm, and to feel the Spirit's promptings in what I can do or do better.

I'm very grateful that the Lord has given me the chance for two Institute classes in the two areas I most need in my life right now.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

For I am Not Ashamed

Day 138

A new semester, so a new Institute class. I prayed about this particular class, and felt I should take it. But I couldn't help being very embarrassed about it. So I loved that the teacher brought it up, too. Said it was the #1 choice of class everywhere in the country, except in Salt Lake City. And after some discussion, scriptures, quotes from leaders, and thought-provoking questions, his hopes that we would not be embarrassed to admit the class came true where I'm concerned.

I'm taking a class on Happiness in Dating, and I'm glad the Lord inspired me to do so.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Something Small

Day 137

A moment of inspiration. And, yes, I do mean from the Lord. It was rainy and icky out. And had already been run-off-our-feet busy. And all the teens came tramping in after school. They get worse and worse (aka louder and rowdier) as the school year draws to a close. Many have no where to go until a parent or someone is at home, or one can pick them up to take them home. (Whatever happened to buses?) So they stay with us out of necessity, but the relations can get pretty strained as they yell and throw things across the building.

Thus, today--being completely off desk at the time they were coming up, I had my inspiration.

Go check the TV in the closet and see if it not only works, but is connected to a DVD that works, too.

And, well, it did. They did. So I grabbed a movie and managed to get 10 teens (a couple of them among the most rowdy) in to watch. Well, "watch." They talked and lounged around and all. But all of us librarians preferred they do so in the auditorium bothering no one instead of the rest of the building bothering everyone. 

And it made for so much of a better day--for all of us!!

Even in something like that, I'm grateful the Lord inspires me with the Spirit to make for a bit of happiness and ease among us all.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Great and Small

Day 136

We had a program tonight with a couple of lizards, a turtle, and some snakes. It was fun to see the kids reactions, especially when they got to pet them. It made me remember our dear little boa Sarah in my biology class in 10th grade. Which then reminded me how wondrous earth's creatures are. I'm not fond of all of them. Some creep me out and some scare me. But I respect them and wonder over them.

And I was glad to have tonight's program to remind me of the Savior's work, under our Father's hand.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Coming Together

Day 135

What a wonderful, wonderful day! So many wonderful things today. Birthdays. Anniversaries. Talks and messages and music I listened to all correlating with the lessons, talks, and hymns at Church.

I love when the Lord works everything that could seem very separate into one great whole that leads to great spiritual increase and uplift.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

"Popcorn Kernels, Popcorn Kernels"

Day 134

I love popcorn. Especially that I know how to make it on the stove without my dad’s nifty theater popcorn maker thing. I also love that I experiment with spices. And have discovered how much more delicious popcorn is using olive oil and/or leftover frying oil. It’s also nice to share it with a friend when we watch a movie in my home.

I do like friends, and movies, and popcorn...and all 3 together—and am grateful the Lord provides me with all 3!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Where Past and Present Meet

Day 133

Day 2, and I was just as happy as the previous day—headaches and all! What was so neat is to see just how many people I recognized or knew at the conference! When I attended my last conference at my last job (in October), I knew my two co-workers, a girl from a previous YSA branch, and someone I had met at my roommate’s co-worker’s daughter’s quincenera. But at this one, there are all the people I know from my own system (which makes me feel good that I’m getting to know them). And then there was a former co-worker who had moved away, but like me is back in Utah. Then there was a former BYU acquaintance. And then there were my PCL co-workers. I was able to sit with them at lunch both days. And it was so wonderful to be so welcomed by them.

I love belonging not just at my work—but in my field and among peers throughout the entire state!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Librarians Who Laugh

Day 132

I’ve been given the chance to go to he librarians’ conference—two days of it! I love being among others of my own profession. Especially en masse. It is always extremely reassuring that the Lord led me to the profession that was best for me. And I feel so uplifted, inspired, and encouraged being with others who know exactly what I do, and why I do, and how difficult or easy what I do may be. AND! The creators of the comic strip about libraries and librarians—who know us so very well—were guests at lunch! I bought the books they had on sale (each over 50% off!) and they both signed them all.

It is wonderful when the Lord sends people who fully know (and can joke about it!) what it is like for you at work, which means a lot since so much of my life is spent there.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I Recommend

Day 131

I wrote a day too soon about books. For I can’t help but have a joy and gratitude in books again! One in particular. I love a book that completely enthralls me. Draws me in and has me on edge and hanging on every word. I come across these much more often as I read a lot more than I was able to during my college years. This book (I finished it this morning) was such a well-written story for me—with a “male lead” that I was in love with from the beginning and a villain who was truly repulsive.

I love good books that the Lord puts in my way—and the worlds they take me to.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Read, Read, Read

Day 130

I am in the middle of, well, quite a few books. I always am. But I am actively in the middle of 3 very good books. So good that I have become so heavily involved in the setting, the story, and the characters. There’s only one problem with that. Doing that with three books at a time leads to possibilities of confusion, but mostly feeling so overwhelmed with greatness that it’s almost like you can’t breathe!

I love a good book and I love that the Lord has blessed others with creativity and writing talent, and me with time and literacy skills, so that I may enjoy good books—even 3 at a time!

Monday, May 9, 2011

One Whole Day

Day 129

I got an entire day off—at the beginning of the week! It was needed to accommodate scheduling later this week. And how fun! Especially as it gave me time to do my regular Saturday-off things which I didn’t get to last Saturday. But it also meant I was able to go to my new ward’s first FHE. A huge crowd. A hilarious Sponge Relay to watch. Fabulous refreshments (donuts!). And great socializations.

A random day off full of happy things is always a great blessing from the Lord.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Whole New Ward

Day 128

It was our first day in a new ward, part of a new stake. You could feel the spirit of excitement, and trust, and faith, and anticipation among others. It was great. Testimonies shared in Relief Society and in Sacrament meeting echoed what I was thinking in my own mind.

I have a testimony of these changes for the YSAs, and of my new stake and my new ward—and I’m grateful for the Lord sending the spirit to testify of this to me.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Mother's Day

Day 127

I had a most marvelous day! My turtle and I had a morning and afternoon on the town. Specifically, my college town. And I finally made a realization or connection or something. The last few years, it has been hard to tell others where I’m from or where I call home. The one base I could tie to was dissolved. I myself moved and moved and moved some more. But as I drove toward my morning of joy, I could see that BYU was my home. Not Provo. BYU. The campus. The more immediate surroundings (stores, library, temple). And I could see that my heart has been there for many, many years.

Thus, after some sealings in the temple which holds special place in my heart for many reasons, and then seeing the Carl Block exhibit which was a good spiritual experience for me, I walked around the campus that helped create who I am. And I knew that a part of my heart will always reside there at BYU. To add to all the joy, I visited a couple of my favorite spots nearby and reveled in the memories therein.

Then I decided that this was my Mother’s Day. Because it has often hurt that others are wished to be happy mothers, but I am not. Just because I don’t have children? That doesn’t seem right. Because I long for children so much. I long for my husband even more. I have every desire to be a wife and mother and it is not my fault that those blessings have not yet come to me. So why must I wait when I am doing everything I can to have a mother heart and to be a mother when and how I can. Celebrating Mother’s Day just made sense. And what I was doing made the perfect celebration.

I’m grateful to know that the Lord knows my attempts to have a mother heart, and helped me find some of the best ways to celebrate—including finally finding where I truly feel I belong.