Friday, January 30, 2009

Interesting stuff

This week I have been in St. George for a work conference. I decided that while I was there I should go to the temple since I have never been to that one. It just happened to be my aunt and uncle's stake temple night, and I went with my Aunt Theresa and Grandpa Russ and AnnaLou. In the chapel meeting before the session, the stake president was talking about all these interesting facts about the St. George temple. It was so cool to learn all of that. And it was so perfect because I had never been.

Here's what he said:

-The St. George Temple was the first operating temple in Utah and the first temple to perform endowments for the dead.

-Brigham Young was the architect and he designed a steeple for the temple, but while he was in SLC for the summer, the builder went against Brigham Young's wishes and built a different steeple and it got struck by lightning and burned so he had to build it again and this time he did it Brigham Young's way.

-this temple has the most sealing rooms out of any other temple (18 total).

-When they were digging the hole for the foundation, they hit swampy land and so the foundation is really deep and strong.

-They built the temple out of red sandstone and then painted it white. They still have to whitewash it all the time to keep it white.

-The temple work for all the Founding Fathers of the USA was done in this temple by Wilford Woodroof after he had a vision of George Washington asking him to please do their work for them.

Anyway, I just thought it was so cool to learn all of that stuff. Plus, the veil room before you go into the celestal room was absolutely amazing. I thought it was one of the most beautiful rooms I have ever seen in my life. And it was fun to be there with my grandpa and AnnaLou and my aunt.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Year of the Ox

Gong Xi Fa Chi! Last Friday we celebrated the ringing in of The Year of the Ox a few days early. We had the traditional running of the dragon at Jordan Landing this year. Caron made an excellent new dragon that was much lighter and easier to maneuver than the previous dragon.


People's reaction to this dragon tradition are so funny. We even had some crazy teenagers jump in under the dragon with us. Then it started to get even more Chinese authentic as the foggy mist decended into the valley.

Caron and I found out when we went to China last summer that you never should expect clear skies. And so this dirty fog was the perfect touch of authenticity. This video is kinda dark, but you can see how fun it is to run the dragon! This year we even added some portable Chinese music to the dragon to add to the lovely experience.

video

After the running of the dragon, we headed over to Caron's house for the traditional Chinese feast and other festive traditions. Unfortunately I did not take any pictures of the house festivities. We also played Chinese hackey sacks and pinned the mole on Mao and crammed as many people into the smallest quarters as possible. I even wore my Mao shirt that Caron made me after our China trip. And we watched Kung Fu Panda.

Gotta love Chinese New Year! Gong Xi Fa Chi!!! Here's to a happy Year of the Ox. :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snowshoeing

Yesterday I went snowshoeing with some friends from my old job. It was so fun. We went up Big Cottonwood Canyon and hiked up to one of those little lakes up there. It was frozen of course, but beautiful.

Here is the trail we hiked up.

Here we are enjoying the clean air.

We saw some beautiful views.

Liesl stopped to eat some snow! She didn't bring any water and thought the snow would do just fine. I love it!

Here are Janice and Maurianne trying to balance on one snowshoe.

And here we all are once we reached the frozen lake. It was a great day. I love that it took us about an hour and a half to get to the lake and about 10 minutes to get back down. And that Janice brought her camera so she could stop and "take a picture" when she needed a breather. I really miss those guys!

A weekend of wedding

This weekend was chock full of wedding festivities. We started out the wedding weekend by attending the Wedding Expo at Thanksgiving Point on Friday night. The reason why we went shall remain unstated, but it was a really funny reason. And we had a really funny experience while we were there with everyone asking us when our wedding was going to be, etc.

Then we went and saw Bride Wars. It was hilarious. On Saturday we attended our friend Garrett's wedding. We are so excited for him. Hayley is so perfect for Garrett. My favorite part about this whole relationship is that when they first started dating, I asked Garrett why he liked her. His response was, "...well, she's kinda crass...and I love it!"

I thought that was fantastic. Anyway, it was a great wedding and a great day. Congrats to Garrett and Hayley!

Then to end the weekend of wedding we went home and watched Father of the Bride. (Well, Matt watched it while I fell asleep!) That is one of my favorite movies of all time, and I knew Matt was the one for me when he understood what I was talking about when I made jokes by quoting that movie. And the real kicker was when he quoted it himself!

Friday, January 16, 2009

A topic for discussion

Sometimes the choices that people make hurt me. Most of the time it is because they are choosing or doing something that is not right. Sometimes they realize that what they are doing is wrong and how it affects others, and they repent and apologize. Sometimes they don't. Either way, we are commanded to forgive all trespasses against us. It's not always easy, but we are promised that if we leave things in the hands of God, all will work out in the end. If they repent of their wrongdoings, God will forgive them. And if they don't, God will determine the proper action to take. And they usually have to deal with the consequences of those wrong choices.

I find that although it's not always easy to forgive and forget those things, as I remind myself that it is not my place to judge and that God will take care of them as he sees fit, it is much easier to forgive people and forget about how their choices have affected me.

However sometimes people choose or do things that are not necessarily wrong, but they still affect and hurt me. I find it much harder to forget about these things. I don't know why. But I also know that I'm only hurting myself by taking things personally and wallowing in my hurt. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to do this better?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Weddings and Funerals

We had a very busy weekend. Our good friends Tyler and Almarie got married this weekend, and we attended all of their wedding festivities. It was a lot of fun. Matt and I started dating around the same time that they did, so it was kinda fun to have another couple who was "in the same boat" as us.

The best part is that last January when we were making New Year's Resolutions and I made mine to make every effort to get married, Almarie made hers to flirt more. We then decided that her first target should be Tyler. I'm telling you...don't underestimate the power of New Year's Resolutions! And Almarie got my bouquet at my wedding.

Anyway, they are so fun and we are so happy for them. We unfortunately didn't get many good pictures. Oh well.

Also this weekend, I attended my step-grandfather's funeral. That was weird. It was weird to hear everyone talk about how great he was when he really wasn't great at all to me. I always felt a little bit forgotten by my grandma, and I felt like when she married him she focused most of her attention on his family and forgot about us even more. But I am glad that he loved my grandma and made her feel special and important. But actually over the past few years, I have felt like the relationship between my grandma and me has been improving a lot. And maybe it had something to do with him.

We got a new class in Primary. We are still teaching the 5-year-olds, but with the new year we got a new class. They are SO MUCH BETTER than our class last year. I don't dread going to Primary anymore. I still don't love it, but I feel like I have definately made progress.

Yesterday we made them little crowns and told them that their chairs were thrones and that princes and princesses love to sit quietly in their thrones. They sat in their chairs the whole time! We also told them that they needed to put anything they brought with them under their thrones or else it would have to go in the dungeon. I didn't see them get a single thing out and be distracting with it. I guess we just need to be more imaginative. This has definately been a learning experience.

The Sugar Bowl

Here is Matt at the Sugar Bowl. He had a great time. I think it's hilarious that he bought these Mardi Gras beads with Utah football helmets on them. I am very happy that he had a fun time. I am also very happy that Feb. 1st is only 3 weeks away. That means that it will be the day of the SuperBowl and football season will officially be OVER! (Well, for a few months anyway.)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

An interesting day

Working at BYU doesn't really give me much of an opportunity to talk about the church to people who are not members of it. But yesterday I spent the day with a girl from Canada who was here at BYU on business. She had tons of questions about BYU and Mormons and the church. It was so fun.

The best thing was that she read some stuff online about "proper etiquette while meeting Mormons" and some of it was so funny! Most of it was true like stuff about how we don't drink alchohol or smoke and that we dress pretty conservatively and we don't swear or have premarital sex. But some of the things were so funny like she said she read about how Mormons have chaperones on dates. I wonder who started that rumor! It's just funny to me sometimes the things that get spread around about our religion.

But it also made me remember that I do believe that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. I know that the doctrine taught in the church is true. And I am so grateful to have that knowledge and direction in my life. I know that we have a living prophet to guide us. I know that he receives revelation directly from God. I know that the Book of Mormon is a true book of scripture along with the Bible. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and through him we can truly become clean. And I know that anyone who wants to know this can find out for themselves if it's true or not. Because God cares about you and he will tell you if you just ask. Isn't it great?!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve was pretty fun this year. We had a little party at our house. I made my delicious stuffed mushrooms and layer dip.

And we played Rock Band and Seinfield Scene It. That was lots of fun.

Katie and Jill had a good idea to share the drums so it wasn't so hard!

Most of our friends left around 10:30 to go to other parties though, so that was kinda sad. Sometimes I feel like ever since we got married, we lost a lot of our friends. And I miss them! I like being surrounded by lots of people. I promise we are still fun even if we are married!

We made sure to ring in the new year with noise horns and sparkling cider and toasts. And of course we watched the Times Square festivities. And yelled 'Happy New Year' on the balcony.

2008 really was a great year. So many good things. But here's to an even more fantastic 2009! Here are my New Year's Resolutions.

1. Attend the temple twice a month.
On the 2nd Tuesday and the last Saturday of the month. And learn more about the ordinances.

2. Run a marathon.
We are training for the Ogden Marathon that is in May.

3. Write in my journal once a week.
Ever since I started blogging, my journal writing has been slacking.

4. Do my visiting teaching every month.


5. Study scriptures and have daily prayer, both individually and as a couple.
I am pretty good at this one, but I want it to be more quality rather than just checking it off the list.

6. Get to my goal weight of 135.
I have lost 50 already and I only have 9 pounds to go!

7. Present at a professional conference.
There is one in May and another in July that I could present at.

8. Plan at least one social event per month.
I have got to make friends! And keep the ones I have!

9. Learn to communicate better in Matt's love language.

10. And I have another one that I won't mention.

So if you would please hold me accountable for these goals, I would highly appreciate it!