Sunday, August 18, 2013

For Dani Darke

Sorry I've been stinking at blogging Dani! But you've been faithfully encouraging me so I promise to start blogging semi-consistently again.

David and I met doing family history and he's always says that when we stop thinking about ourselves and all the things we want and just do what Heavenly Father asks us to (even if it's just helping some stranger type their family members names into a family tree) then He can bless us how He needs to. You know how people always say you find the person to marry when you stop looking? Well I don't think I really ever stopped looking but I was trying for it not to be David. I was trying to just be friends and be nice and talk about the gospel and leave it at that. The more I just wanted it to only be that, the more I think we gravitated to eachother. It was a long, awkward, tearful journey, but the reward is the best one I've ever had.

He's been in VA for a few weeks and he gets back to Utah on Tuesday and I can't wait. Wedding plans are coming right along so I hope you plan to DANCE on September 13th.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Alison Visited, I Am Addicted to Breaking Bad, and I went to PALMYRA

Her husband has an internship in Boston so she rode a bus down here to see me. I showed her around DC and she showed me how to ride a bike around DC.

These are my pals Shilo and her sister Ashley. They made shirts for Season 5 premiere of Breaking Bad. They also invited me to move in with them in September when my contract at this place ends. They live in a townhouse with Ashley's husband Brandon. Four adults with full time jobs under one roof and I'll still pay more rent than Mike. I really like all three of them, and we all have so much fun. I guess that's why they invited me to move in, also probably because all I talk about is how I don't know where to move ;) I can't wait to start making jokes about us three being sister wives to Brandon. They're gonna love it.

A couple sisters in Spain have added me as a friend on facebook. One wrote on my wall the other day... such a sweet note. I put it in google translate, but decided to just write back in English. I figured she could use google translate too or just ask Matt. But I guess she just wanted to say hi and pay a compliment to Matt. She said her husband is getting baptized soon. Which is good because she was getting worried about his salvation and stuff. Apparently he didn't believe in God, only in science. Okay the last two sentences had nothing to do with her.

Now get ready to LIVE.... I went on a little road trip to Palmyra with my roommate Jennifer and our friend Angela. They are basically super sweet.

So Monday we drove to Niagra Falls. I slept the whole 8 hours.

Then that night we drove another hour or two to a lovely Super 8 in a little town called Canadaguia. One of the finger lakes in NY also named Canadaguia. I went running there one morning. It reminded me of Bear Lake and it made me miss you all so much.

This monument is on top of the Hill Cumorah. Gold plates were buried here, what?!

This plaque was at the Joseph Smith family farm. I took a picture to get the last line of this quote. Go Lucy go. So they fam lived in this itty bitty log cabin. Two rooms upstairs, six boys in one, 5 girls in the other. (I think). Mom and Pop's room downstairs, and one room off the back of the house called the birthing room. (Where Lucy had her kids and Alvin died). This is the house where Moroni appeared to Joseph and told him about the plates for the first time. So his 5 brothers were sleeping in there, 2 of them in his bed. Interesting....
After some years in this log cabin, and after Alvin had become a very accomplished carpenter, he started building a frame home about 300 yards away from the log cabin. He died before he finished it and apparently you could tell his work apart from the people who finished the house because he was just really good at what he did. After it was finished Joseph Sr and the fam moved in and had tons more room. They eventually had to move back into the cabin because they were so poor. So now you may read the plaque.

There was a CES fireside a couple months ago and the speaker gave a talk about the Sacred Grove and all the analogies about trees/grove have to us and our experiences in life. When I saw these trees I remembered  him telling about trees that were once on the edge of the grove (I think... I wish I could remember! but the point is the same) that had to grow sideways to get some light so they just did. Super weird.  But cool.

One of the original of 5,000 copies. Cost Joseph and Martin $3,000 equivalent to $78,000 today. Which Martin footed pretty much all of by mortgaging 180 of the 300 acres he had. Don't know why his wife was all...... but seriously a huge sacrifice for him. His wife divorced him later. I'm so grateful for his sacrifices.

So when we were at the J.S. farm and grove I was annoyed. The word is contentious. I kept thinking that the grove would be pretty cool if I wasn't being so nasty. I kept working at it all day though and the nasty feelings started to leave over lunch and in the bookstore. And just in time because we went to Alvin's grave. And I had one of the sweetest experiences of maybe ever.

I once heard Natalie talking about Alvin and Joseph being like Greg and Matt. I don't remember when or what context. But it was a long time ago probably when Matt was just a little guy in sixth grade. (That's when we met Nat--I was in ninth grade). Maybe being able to identify with this family made me feel so endeared to them. Ever since then, I thought that this story about Joseph loving his oldest brother so much and being so heart broken when he died was so sweet. 

Me and my gals walked up the stairs to his grave which is on property owned by the city so there were less tourists there, but we did happen to run into a handful. At all the sites, missionaries with tags on will tell stories about everything. The little cemetery is not on any church maps (some missionary just told us about it anyway and I'm so glad he did). Even though I knew this, it didn't register that the senior missionaries talking might be giving a private tour so we just started listening. The man stopped and asked for our names and shook our hands and I felt so bad for interrupting (because now I realized how weird this was) and he just kept on going after introducing himself as the mission president. He and his wife were showing their grandson around. 

He started talking about Alvin and how he was a golden child and everyone in the family not just Joseph loved the crap out of him. They were so heartbroken when he died at the young age of 25. Joseph Sr. was so offended at Alvin's funeral because the pastor/minister/whoever said that Alvin was in hell because he had not been baptized. President said Joseph Jr. never got over Alvin's death. Joseph named his first son Alvin, who died shortly after birth. Then he told us (and read some from his iPad) about section 137 when Joseph and Hyrum saw Lucy, Joseph Sr. and Alvin in a vision. And Alvin was not in hell. They learned that those who die without having the opportunity to baptized will have the opportunity. He told us that Joseph and Hyrum literally ran as fast as they could to their parents to tell them about Alvin. This was 13 years after the church was organized. Can you imagine going forward with translating the plates, and organizing the church and so much for all those years and having an intensely close relationship with the living God and never stopping and demanding answers about someone so beloved? I can't. 

I am so glad that heaven helped me to let go of my contentious feelings because I could not have felt the influence of the Spirit during this rare occasion to hear testimony from this man. This was by far the best moment of this trip.

The original headstone was set into a new headstone and copied word for word on the opposite side.

 This house was made from lake stones. I guess it was popular to haul a buttload of rocks from the great lakes and use them in houses. (This isn't Martin's original exterior). I took pictures for Greg because I thought it was interesting. Art and houses. It's like Greg's job. They used the best stones on the front of the house and the worst on the back. I went inspecting to see if I could tell a difference.

Whitmer farm where The Church was organized April 6, 1830.

If you concentrate real hard on the picture of the sunset you can hear the dude yelling into an electronic megaphone lots of hateful things. He put Manti hecklers to shame. And himself for that matter.... snap!

 The first picture taken was blurry beyond recognition and this one my Elder's eyes are closed. But look! it's Elder Radley Davis. Cousin love. I walked around having all the missionaries call his cell phone until he and his companion dropped what they were doing and came to the pageant. He told me that Marc, Tay and Randen were in town. They just showed up and surprised him. I'm sure it's against the rules which is why I thought it was so awesome. And hilarious.

Snapped this while driving across the Susquehana in PA... after almost getting murdered in a PA ghetto because my roommates car was about to explode so we stopped so some foreign dishonest mechanic could jack her A/C compressor.

So the most important help I got from the Holy Ghost on this trip was that he gave me an idea about how to let go of contention. He told me to try and remember the good version of people. Anytime he does something I didn't like, just forget about it. Anytime I felt like I liked him or he did or said something nice or funny, just remember those moments and versions of him. Neat tactic huh?
We are most blessed to be taught how to receive inspiration. And I'm so grateful for my friends and for Joseph Smith and for my upcoming roommates and for Radley and Matt for being such awesome missionaries.  And when I say I miss Utah, I mean I miss my family. Love you guys.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Oh Hey

It's been so long since I wrote here.... this is like a giant analogy to my life where I get dressed up to run then settle on surfing Internet, watching TV, and stuffing my face in an attempt to postpone the run then I have to jump in the shower and wash my hair so that I'm not late for a dinner appointment at 6pm (after not running). I do that all the time.  I don't know why I thought blogging would be so painful. Maybe because it requires a small amount of brain activity coming up with cool captions for my photos?? Try lots of brain power. Ok so here goes... actually I just checked up to see the last blog post date. February. Are you kidding me? Maybe this stream of consciousness style post will bore you to tears so you'll be grateful when I don't blog. 

...Then I added all these photos and started captioning and got so exhausted. All these are from Mike's phone. Maybe I'll add mine someday too. Don't get your hopes up though. I hate letting y'all down.

Here's the summary: 
March- mom came to see us. Gosh she is so sweet. We ate good food and I learned so much about the civil war and had some good laughs with those two. 
April- I went to Utah for Sarah's wedding. I love that girl so much I could cry. Her wedding rocked, and just in usual Sarah fashion she made me feel like a million bucks on her own wedding day. (A trait I'm trying to acquire). 
May?- Mike drove up here and we drove to Philadelphia. We had went to the museum of art and I peeled out while flipping a U turn trying to get to the Rocky statue, we checked into this SWEET hotel where the A/C took the room down to a frigid 73 max, then we walked around and around the city. We walked and an awesome run on Memorial day before he went home. 
And June- I just got back from a week at Carolina Beach near Wilmington NC with Mike and the Gaults. 
And the summary is: family will always be the most fulfilling part of my life. Love you all. 


 That's a tiny man on the top of the building. And by that I mean a 20 foot bronze statue of William Penn. He seemed to have some significance in history.

 What a great nugget of wisdom right? I started reading Poor Richard's Alamanak. It's got some lines that are great, some are like wtf?, then some are dumb/false. The Book of Mormon is better. Much easier to understand.
 Really great selfy. Not.

 Mike schooled me on doctory stuff at the heart exhibit at the Ben Franklin Institute. Super cool. Dude is a genius. Then we went into the Electricity exhibit and he said "ok we're on your turf now" I'm thinking he said that so I didn't feel stupid but then I had to admit that I don't remember anything about science because I only texted boys when I was in class. :(

 This lady making crafts dressed in period clothing. Yeah I'm sure people wore bright colors back then...
 Independance hall
 This flag (if you will) was carried in 1788.
 Some important room in Philadelphia. I love history!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 The sweetest tour guide in the USA. He was a volunteer and so adorable.
 This room was important in America's founding....

 They signed the Declaration of Independence here or the Constitution... I don't know. My bangs are like "whoa!"

Wilmington NC riverwalk :)
Wilmington NC

This is at George Washington's home in Mt. Vernon, I 'm sorry it's only a picture of sheep, but I looked the skinniest in this one so it's what you get.

Mike snapped this in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Cool dog...

This piece seemed to really speak to him, I guess that's why he took a picture of it?

Mike's oysters at this oyster house I begged him to go to and we couldn't find the entrance so we walked in front of the windows like 4 times. They look like baby aliens. Gross Mike.

Lobster sandwich... a Mike fave

Mike picked dessert and I asked him where we were going and he said "would I be like dad if I told you?" and I laughed because I love dad. Then I got gelato for the first time. It's ice cream but EUROPEAN, so it's like 100% better.

JFK Plaza
And one with flash...