(If pictures are too small, just click to enlarge - if print is too small, you need glasses! ☺)
dear being in two places at one time - crazy monday night, McKay's football banquet was scheduled on a night that we had to be in two places at once. Luckily it started at 6:30 which gave us some time to arrive and eat before Dave had to rush off to the church for the stake wide Family Home Evening that Elder Ballard had set up to thank the outgoing stake presidency and welcome the new. Dave kind of "had" to be at that, but I really wanted to be at the banquet because it is McKay's senior year and I knew he would be spotlighted and it's also the last banquet I will ever attend. That's a sad thought! But I also knew I had to make an appearance at the FHE. We were served Gyro's this year at the banquet and luckily his coach knew what our dilemma was (he's in our stake) and had our table be one of the first in line...otherwise Dave would have had to take his plate and run. He literally ate and ran. I'm glad he could come for at least that part (especially since we paid $20 for it!). He headed over to the church and as I sat there at the banquet after finishing my dinner, I could tell that things were not going to be happening too fast and most of the people hadn't even got their food by the time I was done and so I told McKay that I was going to run over to the church right then with the hopes I would make it back to the banquet before things really got started.Off I went. I threw my long black skirt on over my black levis to make things quicker. I was literally flying. When I arrived at the church, the line was clear out into the hall. We heard it was an hour wait and I knew things were going to go slow and that I would not be able to stay long.
Dave's sister Linda took a bunch of photos of the event.
It was fun visiting with so many of our stake members. Many of whom I had never met.
My Jaida!!! And yes, I KNOW she is taller than me!
The place was packed.
The stake relief society took care of organizing all of the refreshments for it. They are amazing. There was nine dozen from each of the nine wards! That's almost 1000 cookies!
One of Dave's counselors came up to us and said that the line was just not moving and so they were going to start going down through the line. I told him that I would do the same since I had to rush back to the high school. So that is what we did and I did end up making it to the end of line, but I really rushed through the people. Everyone was so nice and congratulatory and told us what a great job we will do. I have no doubts Dave will, but still not so confident about myself. Probably 75% of them told me they knew Dave was going to be called before he was. It would have been nice if they would have shared that information with me. hah Of course, it's easy to say that after the fact, I guess technically I could even say that, but I refused to accept it because I was in denial. hehe
I text McKay and told him I was on my way back to the banquet and he said they hadn't done his spotlight yet. Whew! I was so relieved and was praying so hard that I would make it in time before they did. Heavenly Father sends tender mercies and I know that he made it so I would be there when they did spotlight him. He knew how sick I would have felt if I had missed that.
I threw off my skirt and rushed back in. Hah! That's sounds bad! I did still have my levis on underneath it...remember?! lol I even had a little time before his picture appeared on the screen and Coach Gunter called him up. Unfortunately my camera didn't capture it very well. He talked about how McKay is one of the hardest workers on the team and that he was a starter on all of the special teams and a linebacker. He also said that he is always happy and always so positive about everything and all the time. He said that over and over. He said it's so fun to be around him because he is such a happy and positive kid. It's true, that kid is always upbeat and so pleasant to be around. He is never in a bad mood. He teased him by saying that "McKay loves the Carolina Panthers and isn't afraid to let everyone know." It was cute. He praised him about some other stuff too and I was just so happy I didn't miss it. He got his huge poster of himself and some other things. After Dave and I left, he had moved to another table to sit by his friends, and so I just stood in the back for the rest of the program.
I'm very proud of this boy. More so for his character than just for his football skills.
He is really a great kid. He has so many friends in many different groups and he is well liked and so fun to be around. He really has a great sense of humor. That is probably the one thing I hear most about him, how funny he is. Either that or that he loves to talk. As his Sunday School teacher, I can attest to that!
After I left the high school (yes we had to drive THREE separate cars to the banquet!) I rushed back to the church and became a quick change artist again. I got there about 8:45 and there were still a lot of people there! I think it was a good call for Elder Ballard to arrange this to happen. I hope it becomes a tradition.
|The outgoing stake presidency and the incoming. (L to R) President Kotter (1st counselor), President Davis, President DeMonja (2nd counselor)President White (1st counselor), President Wilding, President Hollingsworth (2nd counselor).|
dear running in december, wow the weather has been amazing! All week it has been in the 50's! That is pretty much unheard of in December around here. Last year at this time we were actually in the sub zeros! In fact, last December is why I finally broke down and got a dreadmill because it was so freezing cold! I like this much better! Now if it will just last. I know that's not gonna happen!
I see these geese frequently and today they were all just having a little party and so I tried to crash it, but they turned their backs on me and showed me that I wasn't welcome. They must have heard I'm the new Stake President's wife! HAHAHA!
dear relief society christmas party, since I am on the relief society board, I was supposed to go help set up if possible. It wasn't possible. I was so swamped with christmas stuff that I didn't help much. I did arrive early so I could do whatever they needed, but it was all done. So mostly I just mingled and had many tell me congrats about the new calling. Mona then arrived and so we sat together. The program was awesome. I must still be emotional from last week because when Robin sang Oh Holy Night, I really teared up. I have just felt so close and grateful to my Savior for all He has done this past week for me. Especially for His atonement and for taking someone like me and trusting me to do what I have now been asked to do. That alone proves to me how much He truly loves me. His spirit has just overwhelmed me the past few days. I hope that feeling continues. I wish I felt like that all the time.
dear neighborhood gifts, I am happy to say that you are coming along nicely. I still have a lot to do, but I am excited to see how cute they are going to turn out.
dear taylor's cinnamon rolls, while I was working on the neighborhood gifts, Taylor decided on a whim to make cinnamon rolls. I don't think he has ever made them before (other than at his cooking class in high school and possibly on his mission), but he just went to town and got the job done. He did ask for some pointers and I'm afraid I led him astray when I told him he didn't need to let the dough raise before rolling it out. The recipe I use doesn't require it, but I guess he should have followed the one he used because it said to do that. But even though they didn't get all huge and fluffy, they were still delish! The best part was having his company while I worked on my gifts. He even cleaned up his entire mess and all the dishes. Good kid, that one!
dear sacred grove, well sadly you are gone for good. I tried and tried to save your beautiful cottonwoods, but Dave and the boys hated the mess you made each year. I really loved you. The grove you made was just my favorite part of the backyard and now you are gone for good. They cut down most of you last summer, but left the tall stumps until now. I am really sad you are gone. I used to love to just sit on the bench beneath you and just relax and meditate.
dear manic manican, I'm not sure what's up, but you haven't been changing your clothes too often lately. I had a hard time getting a good picture because now you have to look through all that plastic window covering to entertain us.
dear long run, Robin and I decided to do our long run on Friday this week because it was supposed to rain on Saturday. The temps have been in the 50's all week and it has been awesome! We had Dave drop us off up at the sheds in Sardine and we ran down the canyon and then headed into Mantua and ran down through the campground. We ended up with a HORRIBLE head wind nearly the entire run. We were fighting it even when going downhill. Finally on the last stretch going home, we got a bit of a tail wind. It's a good thing because we were exhausted after so many miles of pushing through that strong wind. I can handle running in all kinds of weather - rain, snow, hail, sleet, freezing temps, blistering heat - but the one thing I hate is running against the wind. It just beats you up and exhausts you. It takes so much more energy to run when the wind is blowing right against you. It feels like you are running in place!This was taken BEFORE our run. Trust me, we didn't look this spry AFTER those 11 brutal windy miles!
dear mr. cat, I can tell even though you try and pretend it's not true, that you like to be near me. You came and hung out with me while I was wrapping presents and will often sit on the printer if I am on the computer. You're much more of a softy than you want me to think.
dear gold tree, when I ran in the cemetery on one of my runs this week, I couldn't believe what I saw. This picture really doesn't do you justice, but you were GOLD! You should be just a bunch of dried up leaves, but instead you are literally gold and shining, even in the rain. I immediately felt that seeing this was another tender mercy. I have been given so many this past week. It immediately took me back to my childhood Christmases for some reason. Not sure why because we had a silver tree all those years, not a gold one, but gold also symbolizes so much about Christmas, so I'm sure that's why. I have been having a bad attitude about Christmas because I feel like it has lost it's true meaning and instead of the focus being on the birth of our Savior, it has become all about presents, which means I have to do a lot of shopping and coming up with ideas. It stresses me out due the pressure I put on myself as well to make everything picture perfect. Not an easy task, and I just feel like it has turned into STRESS-mas instead of CHRIST-mas. I'm not sure how or why, but just seeing this beautiful tree made me stop and feel the spirit of Christmas and took me back to the magic I used to feel as a child. I needed that today! And it really was gold. It almost looked like someone spray painted it.
A few other blessings from my run. I found two quarters. For some reason I feel like those come from my Grandpa Ed or Grandma Helen. Dimes are from my Grandma Mae. Nickels from my cousin Shelley and of course, pennies from Tyson as well as heart shaped rocks.
I had to stop and swing since I was running right past the swings (thee ONLY swings in all of my city!). I LOVE to swing. It makes me happy. REALLY happy. While I was swinging I saw a heart shaped rock right below me. Not just any old rock, but a purple one! I have felt like finding these things has been a way for those on the other side to tell me that I am not alone and that even though I am undertaking a huge new adventure, that they are supporting me and are there to help me through. I truly believe that. I know they can't appear to me in person and so they find other ways to show me that I will recognize. I will feel like a total fool if I get on the other side and tell them thanks for all the coins and heart shaped rocks and they look at me and say, "Huh?" LOL
dear once in a lifetime magical day...at 3:16 and 17 seconds today it was 12/13/14 15:16:17!!! Pretty cool if you ask me! I love number magic! Whenever my clock says 4:44 I think of Tyson because that is the number that is supposed to mean angels are near. Any consecutive numbers makes me think that. For some reason I happen to look at my phone and see 1:11 nearly everyday. Not sure what that one means in numerology, but I'm sure it's something. For me, it just makes me think Tyson is near.
dear christmas tree, we FINALLY got you lighted and decorated! It took us a good 10 days from the day we got you. That has never happened! Well, I guess it did happen nine years ago when Tyson passed away. But at least we had lights on you then! We never did get ornaments on you that year. We just left the tree with only lights. It was symbolic because Tyson loved the lights on the tree and one of his favorite parts of Christmas was to see the lights on the tree. Since he had been so sick, he basically camped in my room and since you can see the tree from my bedroom upstairs, Dave and the boys made sure the lights were on it so he could look at them. This year, I really don't know what our excuse has been other than we haven't had ONE night where we could all be together and do it. If you were an artificial tree, then maybe I would just do it myself, but since you are about 15 feet tall, I needed assistance! Taylor got the lights on the day before so we could get it done on Saturday afternoon when everyone was actually around for part of the day.
But this made up for it! He was heading out on a hot date to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert to go listen to the Muppets! He does look festive!
dear 12 days of christmas! YES! A friend of ours gave me a package of 12 CHOCOLATE bars for the 12 Days of Christmas! Oh my!
The flavors are incredibly luscious sounding! Some are: Milk Chocolate (MC) Marshmallow S'mores Galore, MC Salty Sea Shore Caramel, MC Peanut Butter and Jelly, MC Poppin' Candy Crunch, MC Shakin' Malted Milkshake, Dark Chocolate (DC) Coconut Craze, DC Smokin' Chiptole, DC Raspberry Burst, DC Toffee Munchin' Crunch.
They all seriously sound so good! Unfortunately, there is no way I can eat an entire one each day for 12 days! YES, I DO love chocolate, but even I can't eat that much! It's gonna take me a good 12 weeks to accomplish that! I am sure the chocolate is the highest quality as well, judging by who gave it to me. So... maybe once I take a bite, I will be eating those words...literally! Hah!
dear my social books! I received three more this week! These are the greatest thing in the world! Even though I am not in love with the formatting, I am in love with reading them! It's like a yearbook of my life each year! The pictures are so fun to go back and see! Reading what I posted and what others wrote in the comments, has had me laughing since I got them in the mail. I LOVE THEM! I had to put the rest on hold until after Christmas because I have to focus on Christmas right now. Like... making two calendars loaded with photos for both sets of parents, and writing our Christmas family newsletter (poem), and doing neighborhood gifts, and oh, yeah, SHOPPING! I'm feeling so behind this year! But I can't wait to finish the rest as well as my blog books! I might have to take out a small loan to get them all done, they aren't cheap, but worth every penny!
dear ward christmas party, first on the agenda is always our traditional picture with Santa. We were missing my friend Colleen this year, but this was a good group, even though Ashley is hiding.We told him we were nice this year... I think he bought it.
The food was yummy! I love a turkey dinner better than almost anything!
And look at this adorable elf I found! Cute lil' Journey!
And check out these wisemen I spotted. Too bad I couldn't get at least one good picture of these cute boys! But these pictures depict their personalities to a tee. They might not look it, but they are two of the funniest boys I know. If you knew them, these pictures would crack you up. I can rarely keep a straight face in my Sunday School class each week because of them.
|Carson and McKay|
McKay's speaking part
This cracked me up! No one knew it was Brian H.
And this little white angel in the middle stole the show! She danced as if no one was watching and danced to the beat of her own drum. I was laughing so hard.
Dave's counselors called him up and gave kind of a farewell and thank you speech. It was sad.
Then they lightened the mood by giving him a trophy that had the phrase on it that he will be known for while Bishop:
I CAN DO HARD THINGS
Well, that and BE WHERE YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE
They told him they wanted it to be displayed in his new Stake President's office. It was very thoughtful of them to do that.
He then gave us some parting words as well.
With his trophy - I need to get a close up of just it.
dear what a week! I'm just so glad this week is in the books! What a ride it's been since last Saturday. When you receive life changing news, it kind of drains you emotionally, spiritually, and physically. It is exciting in it's own way, but also laden with a lot of pressure. I still wake up every morning wondering if it was all just a dream. Then reality hits. I do have to admit it is kind of exciting once I get past how overwhelming it all is.
And then to have Christmas crunching down at the same time has made this week doubly overwhelming.
THIS ↓ is what I keep telling myself:
And thankfully there is always wonderful nutritious food to help make it better. Hah!
There is definitely a lot of pressure with this calling and I have been letting a part of it worry me that I thought I had learned to let go of. What. People. Think. What they think of me. What they think of my boys. What they think of Dave. What they think of my life and the way I live it. I was a little surprised I was so worried about that because since I was in my early 40's, that worry pretty much left me and life has been so much more enjoyable once I just didn't care anymore. But then this happened. And I once again started to fret and worry because people really do watch and put people in these callings under a microscope. I really am not looking forward to that part of it all, but I have since decided that I am not going to change so I can fit into some kind of mold. There really shouldn't even be a mold. I am going to be me. I'm going to be who I was meant to be and if they don't like it then that is their problem and not mine. Easier said than done with this particular thing, but I know if I want peace I am going to have to only worry about pleasing Heavenly Father and no one else. After all, He is the one that has asked this of us. I've had several people tell me to not change, and so I've decided the only way I will change is in good ways, in bettering myself, in improving myself and hopefully overcoming many of my weaknesses...but not in who I am at the core. I'm me and even President Ballard knew that I'm a "spunky little thing" as he put it, and if he had thought that was a bad thing, he could have rearranged things very easily. lol
I have been thinking of some goals I want to accomplish during this tenure. I really want to try and get to know as many people as I can by name and face in this stake and really try and show my love and interest in them. That alone is an overwhelming task, but I figure I have nearly 10 years to do it and so I will take it one day at a time.
I am still feeling totally inadequate and unqualified, but interestingly enough my lesson that I taught to my Sunday School class this week was on callings in the church and how we are magnified to be able to do things in our callings that if left to ourselves we would not be able to do. And how the Lord qualifies who He calls. I am counting on that because if Heavenly Father wants and needs my help then He in turn is going to have to help me be able to do it. I know I have been prepared for this as I know Dave has. He has the hardest part of the job, and I'm glad I'm not the one in his shoes, but my part is still overwhelming to me. I have been feeling more and more peace as each day goes by and for that I am grateful.
I do have some questions about the whole thing and some why's (as anyone would), but I am just going forward with faith accepting it as God's will for us at this time and putting faith in Him that all things will work out for our good.
THIS has been the hardest part for me ↓
And I am counting on this...
I have felt the Savior so near me since this all came to pass and it has strengthened my testimony so much with the knowledge that He is right there cheering me on and He will be my friend through it all.
We have kind of joked with our friends that we are going to start feeling like we have the plague because people tend to not want to hang out with the Stake President and his wife and be their friend. Trust me, I KNOW the feeling because I have felt that way. I remember thinking when our Stake President's wife was my visiting teacher that she would go home and tell him everything about me and reveal to him my imperfections and weaknesses. How silly that is, I know, but for some reason I have always felt like the Stake President knows everything and that is a little intimidating for most people who also think that way. I know it's not true, but I really have always felt that way. And a lot of people do and so they will keep their distance.
We got a little taste of that from Dave serving as Bishop. It was funny that no one would ever sit by the Bishop when he was in a class. Either because they feared they weren't supposed to and it was saved for his counselors or because they were afraid if they did, he would know all the mistakes they have made via on spot revelation. So funny to think about it, but people really feel that way! But, even if I am avoided, I know I have the Savior to always be my friend. I have felt that so strongly this week.
There was one day this week on Friday that I was feeling really depressed about the whole thing and how it was going to change our lives and I just felt so alone and lost and really sad. I noticed an absence of His spirit that I had been feeling so strongly all week. I realized I needed to pray to have His spirit with me and to focus on the good that will come from this and not all the changes. That really helped me to feel the spirit again. I love having it with me like I did on Sunday after being with Elder Ballard and I wish I could always have it that strong. It was so amazing.
I know I posted this last week as well, but it really has been something that has helped me deal with this.I would add to this that
BECAUSE OF JESUS CHRIST:
- Weaknesses can become strengths.
- Fear can be replaced with faith.
- Feeling unqualified can turn into feelings of being made equal to the task.