Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thankful for Thanksgiving!

November has been a really hard month for me!  I feel like I've been repeatedly kicked while I'm down, so to speak.  And I am so sick of it... between a break-up, a death in the community, a sinus infection, pnuemonia, cancer in the family, auditions for the musical, Scott joining the Army, a car wreck, and some really tough stuff at school, I've had about all I can handle.

It was a hard 4+ weeks, and I am SO thankful for Thanksgiving Break, and for the chance it gave me to recover physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  I needed the South!  I needed my family!  I needed Chick-fil-A!  And I needed a break!

I got all of those things and more this past week!  It was SO wonderful!  Even better than I had hoped for!

I went to Dallas to my Aunt Karen's house.  My parents and little sister came to meet us, as did my Uncle Glen and my grandparents!  My cousin Lindsey even kept her 3 kids at Karen's an extra day just so I could see her before heading back home for Thanksgiving!

We went to the zoo, ate yummy food, played games, did a session at the temple, watched football, talked, sang, and had a blast!

Here are a few highlights:

Claire, Lindsey, & Me

Favorite Picture EVER!

My cousin Lindsey's cute kiddos!

Dad sharing a treat with a new friend!

Confession: I was a little scared of the giraffes.
Both ridiculous and embarrassing. 

We have a family tradition that involves Dad paying us kids $1 to jump into cold water any time it's an option.  My Grandpa and uncles thought this was a great idea and pitched in to raise the pot to $13.  I was not allowed to participate because of my pneumonia, but Claire went for it!

This was my first time to the Dallas Temple!  It was really beautiful and I loved being there with family! Going to a temple is always a wonderful experience, and this was no exception!

Me, my parents, grandparents, aunt, and uncle!

Mama, Me & Dad

Claire and I had the fun chance to really get to know each other more this trip!  I left home 5 1/2 years ago, when she was still a little kid, and have not spent more than a month or so at a time with her since.  Being so far away from her, especially in these crazy years she's going through, is tough!  But she and I shared a room (and bed!) at Karen's, and we had so much fun!  As much as I missed Erin and Scott, I was glad Claire and I were the only siblings there.  She has grown up SO much and is an amazing little lady!  I admire her spunk, her maturity, her positive outlook, and her love for little children!  Love you, girly!

We painted our nails!

Saturday morning, my dad's cousin, Lucy, and my second cousins Tara and Sidney (and their families) came over for brunch!  It was so fun to see everybody!  Tara and I have had a few chances this past year to really get to know one another and I loved getting to see her, even if it was just for a couple hours!

Tara, Mama, me & Crumpa

Saturday afternoon, one of my favorite people, Sis. MacArthur, picked my up to take me to lunch and then drop me off at the airport.  She was one of my Young Women's leaders back in the day and she and her family moved to Dallas a couple years ago!  It was a very fun semi-spontaneous surprise and I loved the chance to reconnect!

Sis. MacArthur & her little girls!

Then, on top of everything else, I have had a wonderful three days since I've been home thanks to some great friends, both old and new!

So long, November!  Thanks for redeeming yourself!

December... just warning you... You're gonna be GREAT!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

"Am I Earring Thingsh?"

Is she not the cutest thing you've ever seen?!?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Livin' the Dream

Finished Seussical Jr. auditions today.

Made 2 kids cry during the auditions.

Posted the callback list tonight.

Made 1 mama mad (that I know of so far).

Got the nasty email to prove it.

Will post the cast list by Saturday morning.

Will make about 80 kids happy then.

Will crush about 70 kids' dreams.

Will make a lot of their mamas mad.

Probably getting more emails.

It's gonna be an interesting weekend.

Super [control] Freak!

Life gets crazy sometimes...

Often, it's not what we had planned or even anticipated.  We have so much less control than we'd like to believe... and as someone who thrives off a sense of control, I can, with some difficulty, admit what a scary realization that is!

Nothing scares me more than things beyond my control...  I mean, there's NOTHING you can do about those things!

You can't fix them.  Or check them off a list.  Or accomplish them.

But I do know that, when things get tough or crazy, and I feel completely helpless, there is Someone who IS in control.  And His plans are so much bigger and broader and BETTER than my own.

The peace and comfort that I feel simply by remembering that changes everything.  Not because the circumstances are different, but because my perspective is different.

I mean, He even commands us not to freak out about those things, when He counsels us: "Peace, be still."

Elder Maxwell said: "Our total dependence on God requires us to completely relinquish our own will, our own plans to Him... The submission of one's will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God's altar.  The many other things we 'give' are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us.  However, when you and I finally submit ourselves, by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in God's will, then we are really giving something to Him!  It is the only possession which is truly our to give!"

Apparently, I need to learn how to let go and submit my will to His, trusting in His plans, and having faith that all will work out as He means for it to.

My dad shared this quote with me today: "Life is not the way it's 'supposed' to be - it's the way it IS.  The way you cope with it makes the difference."

Attitude is everything.

And this is one control freak who is choosing to have a more peaceful attitude... because my attitude (my will & the way I choose to cope) is the only thing I truly CAN control!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Right now...

I am loving THIS [not-so-] little boy...

... and feeling OH-SO-GRATEFUL for these girls...

... and REALLY missing this Mama!!!

Hurrah for Halloween!

Note to self:

A nineteen dollar wig may NOT fit as advertised!

But with some scissors, a straightener, and some patience, you can make it work anyway!  And you can ROCK IT as Barbie for Halloween!

Your students will LOVE your pink shoes, skirt, top, headband, earrings, and nail polish!  But even more than that, they will love the fact that you keep your fingers together all day, smile constantly, walk without bending your knees, and talk in HER voice all day!

Well done, self!  Well done!

This year's get-up might have been your best yet!

Although this little boy's is TOO CUTE to compete with: 

"Did I do that!?!"

And don't forget THIS dashing young couple!  They look like something straight out of a musical!  Maybe that's because their costumes are?!?!?

Hope y'all had a hurrah-ble Halloween too!