Tuesday, August 20, 2013

thoughts on tuesday

--i just finished alma in the book of mormon challenge--i'm on track to finish at the end of the month, and it has been pretty awesome. one thing i've learned is that it isn't impossible to be spending a good amount of time in the scriptures every day. i think eventually i won't have this much down time, but setting aside time will be doable.

--i'm obsessed with
 this song:

this video:

and this album:

--when you move, you care a lot less about the stuff you've been carrying around for years. things that had significance at some point, or especially the stuff that had little to no significance, seems fit for nothing but the dumpster or, for the lucky ones, the d.i. box. but even after getting rid of bags and bags of my stuff, i still had so much to move.

as for moving itself, it wasn't as emotional as i thought it would be. if i start thinking about it too much i tear up, but i've been okay. probably when i don't go back to provo in a few weeks or when i move to a completely new place in salt lake it will really begin to sink in. but, i did try to celebrate provo life by going to some of my favorite haunts, which were mainly restaurants. you know how it is. my last meal as a provo resident? brick oven. my mom thought all of these "last meals" were pretty silly, since there's a 100% possibility that i'll go to all of them again, probably in the next few weeks even. but it won't really be the same.

i don't live in provo anymore.

--i've been doing some creative workouts the past couple days, including some treadmill time, some ab work, and, my personal favorite, the exercise ball aka fitness orb.

here's to getting toned!

--i meant to write a bunch of great flashback type posts about study abroad, taking things from my journal, especially that day that i was stranded in the dublin airport, which was also, obviously, pre-blog. but, that didn't happen, at least not in the timeline i planned. so maybe that story will be told sometime.

--also, today's my half birthday. how did it get to be august, the middle of august no less? time marches on.

family life

a couple weeks ago, we played mom to two different families. being a single person living in an apartment complex full of single people, i don't get to be around kids all that often. and while sometimes kids have meltdowns and it isn't easy, being around families of little kids is really fun.

something i noticed with both of these families is how there was a definite and visible focus on the gospel in their homes. they read scriptures, say prayers, have family home evening, make family goals, talk about modesty. i think about parenting a lot, as is probably evident, since i think the challenges facing kids these days are really scary and unique. so it's cool to see how modern families are working to combat these challenges.

it's also interesting to see how different families can be. different things work for different people, and that's fine. you need to do what's best for your family, your situation. 

another observation i made: i want my home to have a nice big common area, with lots of couches and chairs, so the whole family can sit around. for some reason some houses don't really have that? it's weird when the only place you can really sit is in the bedroom. although, probably when i'm a mom i won't have a spare minute for such things as reading. but it would be nice to have a place where we can all be together.

basically, the week of nannying just made me long to be a mother. does that sound weird? yeah kinda. but oh well. holding a baby is the best. bathing kids, playing games with them, eating together, driving around--all of it is pretty great. good thing they can be forever, right?

Monday, August 12, 2013

a momentous occasion

last week, a big change occurred in my life. i was due for an upgrade, so i traded in my old phone, or, as the sprint guy so disdainfully called it, "that purple thing", for the mack daddy of phones, the iphone 5. it was a pretty big leap.

i have definitely been on my phone more in the last few days than ever in my life, but i'm hoping some of the novelty will wear off soon. i love having the scriptures on my phone, especially during this book of mormon challenge, i've joined the instagram world, finally. i take a few more pictures than i used to. i love the new york times crossword app (no surprise there). i look for cute cases most days. it's cut down on my facebook and twitter use, interestingly. we'll see how else it affects me as the time goes on.

so anyway, here i am, a smartphone user. welcome to the digital age, me!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

girl's trip summer 2013: tuacahn

i've been saying for years that i want to go down to st. george and see the shows at tuacahn. we saw south pacific down there one year during girl's camp (girl's camp at a condo with a pool is pretty much the only way to go, by the way), and i loved it. i've wanted to go back ever since, to that amphitheater nestled in a red rock valley.

so, after a week at aspen grove, we decided we needed a vacation from our vacation, hopped in the car, and headed down to st. george, tickets to mary poppins and thoroughly modern millie in hand. i love both of these movies, and i'd been reading the mary poppins books in preparation, so i was pretty psyched.

overall, the trip was pretty laid back, we did what we wanted, hung out by the pool, did a little bit of shopping, and saw the shows. while i love mary poppins, it's not quite as entertaining as a comedy like thoroughly modern millie. both were great, but i think we all enjoyed the second night a little bit more. we lucked out, though, that it wasn't boiling hot--but we were right under the handy-dandy misters for portions of the performances.

then, on wednesday morning, after a filling breakfast at cracker barrel, we made the drive back home, where we slept for two nights before embarking on other adventures (more to come).

i'm so glad we finally made the trek to tuacahn for our girls' trip, especially during the summer when they were playing these two lovely shows. i love you mom and sisters! (and a special shout out to the littles, who so kindly let us stay at their home.) who's in next year for the wizard of oz and joseph?

hasn't quite hit me yet

tonight, meredith and i were driving all around town looking at places for her to possibly live in the fall. as we approached our block, nearing the provo city library, i commented that i haven't gone on nearly enough provo walks this summer. and as the words came out of my mouth, my throat closed up and my eyes welled up. and then, realizing how ridiculous it is to cry about provo walks, i started laughing. but by then i was really crying, which made me laugh even harder, and the whole thing was    very perplexing to everyone involved. which basically sums up my relationship with this crazy town.

i'm out of here at the end of this week, but it might be harder to say goodbye to provo than i thought.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

aspen grove 2013

last week, we had a family reunion at aspen grove, a byu family camp up provo canyon. we went to aspen grove 15 years ago when i was 10, so it was a coming back of sorts. the first day, i realized that i remembered almost nothing from that long ago experience at camp, which meant it was almost like i had never been before, though i think coming back as an adult made the experience a lot different anyway.

i could write a huge long post about every day and what we did and what we ate and the fun we had and the things that maybe weren't so fun and how much i miss everyone and how i didn't expect to. but i'm not really in the mood for that, so how about just the highlights and maybe a few pictures?

things about the solomon family reunion at aspen grove 2013:
this is berg, btw. not me :)
--i pretty much lived in the arts and crafts cabin. i just wanted to paint! i made a bowl and a round box, and i also made my very own wood pen, which took me right back to middle school wood shop, which also meant things kept going wrong. i was always having issues in wood shop.
--the food situation was not looking good after the first couple meals--dry enchiladas for dinner, eggs and toast for breakfast?? no thanks--but things really started to pick up around sunday lunch, and pretty soon i was sold.
--our little cluster of cabins played games every night, and those were some of the most fun times for me.
--aspen follies, one of the few things i do remember from our first outing at aspen grove, were hilarious. 
--i somehow ended up sleeping in our cabin's little loft every night, and let me tell you, those things were not made for a grown person. the actual sleeping was fine, for the most part, but getting in and out, up

and down the ladder caused me a certain amount of dread each day. anything for the experience, right?
--it felt weird to be older than the staff, which is made up mostly of byu students. have i mentioned that sometimes i feel really old?
--i love being around kids, especially when they play games with me or imagine their own fairy worlds or come around and give everyone random hugs.
--even though our cabin quarters were tight and our stuff was everywhere, it was fun to be with the family all week. and it really wasn't that bad to walk down to the communal bathroom everyday. it felt like we were the only ones using it anyway, since we weirdly never saw any of the other families who were supposedly using it, too.
--the aspen grove schedule helped to get me into a better sleep schedule. i was super tired at night, but i also didn't want to miss breakfast, so i was up at 7:30 each morning.
--even though our family reunions are getting further and further apart, i am glad we have them. we celebrate nana and bopy's 75th birthdays this year. i 'm grateful for them! it was so fun to reconnect with everybody again, aunts,
 uncles, cousins, cousin's kids alike. should we start planning for norway 2015?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

finishing the doctrine and covenants + book of mormon challenge

here i am, back in the blogosphere. it's weird being away from provo for a couple weeks, weird in a way that makes me realize how ready i am to leave this town. but anyway, back to the business at hand.

since just before easter, i've been reading the doctrine and covenants. after my birthday in february, i made this list of 25 things to do while i'm 25 (also, why haven't i been referring back to this? i've done a couple of these things and i probably wouldn't have even crossed them off the list! sheesh.), and one of the items (the only one i've really remembered, i guess) is #15: read the standard works. today, i finished the doctrine and covenants, the first time i've really read the book all the way through. here are some things i learned/relearned these past few months:
  • God speaks to His servants, then and now.
  • the doctrine and covenants are unique in that many of the sections are direct revelations from God and Jesus Christ, so they are in their exact words. writing it like that, it doesn't sound so different from any other work of scripture. but i'm a person who is interested in authorial voice--i feel like the sections of the doctrine and covenants express the voice of God in a way that doesn't always come across in other scriptural books, because they are essentially written by God or the Savior. does that make sense? it's just cool to me.
  • i LOVE this verse, written by john taylor after the martyrdom of the prophet joseph smith and hyrum smith.
 Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum. In life they were not divided, and in death they were not separated! (d&c 135:3)
  • that is so awesome. it's difficult to comprehend how joseph smith did so much--translating the book of mormon, restoring the Gospel and organizing the Church, doing missionary work--in so little time and through so much persecution. i'm grateful for him.
  • most of the revelations that became the doctrine and covenants were received in the 1830s. how incredible is it, then, that so many of them have relevance for us today, right now?
today, i'm starting a book of mormon challenge. for the month of august, i will be reading 8 chapters a day to finish by august 31. i'm really excited about it! i've never read the book of mormon like that in a short amount of time before, so i think it will be really great. if you'd like, join me!

i love the scriptures. i love reading them.