Sunday, August 25, 2013

Missouri/Nebraska Trip: August 2013

A few weeks ago I taught Gospel Doctrine class while the regular teacher was out of town. The lesson was about the adversities of the early Saints during the Missouri period. I had already had an itch for a while to make a church history tour, and this just made me want to go even more. There were not many weeks left of summer, and those few were filling up fast. I came up with a brilliant idea that we could make a quick trip to Independence, Missouri and visit Liberty Jail and surrounding church history sites. It's about a twelve hour drive for us. We could leave on Wednesday and return on Saturday. That would give us a couple of days to see the sites. I am aware that many people will think this is a crazy plan. It is a whole lot of driving and just a little bit of site-seeing. We've been known to do crazy things before, though, so why should that stop us now?

Well, things came up and we didn't get to leave until Wednesday afternoon. We stopped in Fort Smith, Arkansas that night and finished the drive Thursday. Thursday afternoon, we visited the Independence Visitor's Canter and Liberty Jail. Then on Friday, we drove to Omaha, Nebraska to see the Winter Quarters Visitor Center, and to Council Bluffs, Iowa to Kanesville Tabernacle. We drove somewhere near 2000 miles total on this trip.

With all the driving, we didn't have time to see everything we would have liked to have seen. Was it worth it? Without a doubt! There is something special about standing on the ground were the pioneers stood. We learned at each of the sites about the struggles that these good people endured and overcame. We didn't hear anything that we could not have read or heard from books or other sources, but there is a spirit there that cannot be felt any other way. I walked through the cemetery at Winter Quarters and couldn't help but wonder how I would have felt at this exact location over 160 years ago, burying my child as so many of them did. I wondered if I would have been one of the faithful who left that place of refuge, where things were finally going well, and gathered to Utah as they were counseled to do. As we sat in Kanesville Tabernacle, I could imagine sitting in that freezing log building and raising my hand to sustain Brigham Young as second prophet and president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When my two youngest daughters go back to school tomorrow and face the rocky roads they are sure to face in life, I want them to have fresh memories of the examples of the early saints who endured their hardships well and made it possible for us to have the gospel today.

Monday, August 19, 2013


I focus on the journey, not just the destination. I try to live a healthy lifestyle and then let the pieces fall where they may. I think about what my body can do, not how it looks. I know that if I do the things I need to do, my body will look the way it is supposed to look and be the size and shape it is supposed to be.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Paper Lady

Here's an old post from a different blog that I wrote a few years ago:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I spend a lot of time running on the road. Sometimes I run with friends, and sometimes I run alone. I love the solitude, the "me" time. But, it can get very long and lonely at times. In February, I ran a marathon, which meant a lot of miles of training. Every Saturday morning was my long run. I would run ten or fifteen, sometimes even twenty miles. I know my neighbors must have thought I was crazy, but I was very dedicated to my training schedule. Plenty of times, I got that look from passers by that said, "You must be out of your mind!"

One woman, however, became my biggest cheerleader during those months. I don't know her name, so I refer to her as "the paper lady". While I am out for my morning run, I always see her out delivering the paper. She stopped and asked me once why I run so much, and I told her about my marathon. She told me that I looked great and wished me luck. Ever since then, she honks and waves or gives me a thumbs up. She flashes a genuine smile that instantly gives me a boost and keeps me moving to the end of my run. She probably doesn't realize how much her little acts of kindness mean to me.

So often, when I see someone else's successes, I feel a twinge of jealousy and don't give them the support and encouragement that they need and deserve. It would be easy for "the paper lady" to do the same to me. She could think, "Here comes that running lady (that's probably how she refers to me) again. Who does she think she is?" But instead she is impressed to see me doing something good for myself and lets me know that she supports me. I have thought about this a lot lately, and how I can pay it forward and give others the support that they need to keep putting one foot in front of the other. You never know what a difference the little things you do can make in someone's life.

Where has the Time Gone??

Wow, I started this blog two years ago, and obviously it didn't work out too well. Today was stake conference, and the stake president mentioned that he has a blog. It reminded me that I also have a that I have neglected for the past two years. Poor blog never had a chance to lift off the ground before I became so busy with grad school, writing a thesis, planning a wedding, applying to internship, enrolling in internship, completing the internship, passing the RD exam, being a busy mom...well, I guess I had a lot of good reasons. I think I will give it another go, and this time, I'm determined to do better. I've always needed a writing outlet, and school has provided one for quite a while now, although not a very fun or creative one. I plan to use this as a journal of sorts, where I can write about my daily thoughts and adventures, as well as my ongoing personal quest for balance and physical and spiritual health.