August 19, 2013

Westward Trek, Second Half

Grandma B came up to St. George for a couple of days.  We were able to go to the temple, which was really special. We also went to Tuacahn to see Mary Poppins.  Such a fun show!

It was good to have her there for a couple of days.  The rest of the time hanging out at Grandma and Grandpa D's was pretty laid back.  Grandpa made his usual waffles, cheesy potatoes, and meatloaf (not all at once.)  Grandma made her usual bran muffins(but we forgot to make donuts.)  We had more Creamies and Ice Cream Sandwiches than anyone should eat in one week's time.  We had lots of cousin time with E and S.  So fun.  Especially the silly cousin sleepover in Grandma's living room.  

We took some family pictures, went to church a few times, did some shopping, and just hung out.  We managed to buy school clothes and shoes, backpacks and some supplies (but the real trick was fitting them in the suitcases on the way home...especially when you consider that when I came earlier with the one checked bag, there were FOURTEEN pairs of shoes in my suitcase(mostly not mine.)  It took some seriously good packing skills to get it all home, with only one checked suitcase weighing under 50 pounds, and five carry-on bags.  IF they gave degrees for this sort of thing, I am pretty sure I would have a Masters by now, I tell you.) ;)

We were also able to see Starlight Express at Tuacahn.  It was a fun show, but I think the girls preferred Mary Poppins.  Their boy cousins thought the "train show" was more fun, though.  I loved it all.  I also loved the time just hanging out and playing games and talking with family.  The girls did, too--that was their favorite part of vacation.  We had a great time, as always.  It was hard to come back to "real life", but we were ready for some routine and to sleep in our own beds once again.  

We miss everyone so much already!

August 16, 2013

The Westward Trek, First Half

Okay, what kind of lame mom goes on vacation and doesn't take her camera?  This one.  Yep.  Ugh.  So lame.  But, the girls took their iPods, and King had his phone, so we did manage to capture some of the fun we had in Utah.  Plus, my family was kind enough to share a couple of pictures (or, rather, I stole them off of facebook.)  :)

I headed out a couple of days earlier than the family because the girls were at Girls Camp, and King had work to do.  It was fun to see my parents and spend some time with Emily and her boys before all the craziness began.  Friday we headed up to SLC and Grandpa D picked the exhausted family up from the airport.  (Poor girls---they came straight from Camp, and then got stuck in the Denver airport for four hours.  They were so tired!)

Saturday, Emily and Patrick were sealed in the Draper Temple.  So happy for them!  It was a special day!

That evening we had my Dad's family reunion.  It was so fun to see so many of my aunts, uncles and cousins.  I wish we had more time to visit and get to know each other better.  But mostly, I wish we lived closer to all of these wonderful people!

The next morning, we got up early and went to see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in the Music and the Spoken Word.  Awesome!!  It was so neat.  Then we walked around Temple Square and enjoyed the beauty and the stories Grandpa told us about an interesting meeting he got to go to in the Salt Lake Temple.

Monday morning the girls were off to Especially for Youth at BYU for a week!  The theme this year was Helaman 3:35:
 "Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God."
The girls definitely grew firmer in their faith, and loved every second of the camp. It was a great time for them to share and learn, and grow their testimonies of Jesus Christ and His Gospel.  They met some great youth, and were able to spend time with our friend, Z, from Texas, too.

Meanwhile, King and I enjoyed seeing some friends and family and just having a little bit of down time.  We honestly didn't do a lot.  King worked, I rested, and we enjoyed a great 24th of July with my brother Nathan and his daughter, and my brother R.Jay, his wife Megan, and their son.  Relaxing and fun.

When we picked up the exhausted girls from EFY, we headed straight down to St. George.  The girls were ready for some down time.  We kept trying to get them to do more things, but they just wanted time to chill.  They had been going and going for weeks straight, and were glad for some "vacation" time.  We had fun playing games, watching movies, and just hanging out.  But, we also managed to be somewhat productive and got some school shopping done, as well as some temple work and lots of eating of good food. :)

July 6, 2013

DC Day 6

Our last day in DC, we decided to drive out and spend it in Mt. Vernon, General Washington's home.  It was a beautiful morning, but overcast and muggy.

While we were inside the house on the tour it started pouring.  We had to walk back to the museums and we got SOAKED.  Most of the rest of the time we spend inside in the museum areas(which were really well done), but King and I wanted to go to President and Martha Washington's graves, so we donned our rain ponchos and ventured out.  It was worth the extra soaking.

All in all, it was a wonderful trip!  We are so grateful we decided to tag along on King's business trip and see the wonderful sites in our Nation's Capital.  It sure makes us extra grateful for the freedoms we enjoy in this great country.

DC Day 5

King got up early and headed to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and got us tickets to the main exhibits.  We met him there.  We spent longer than expected viewing the sobering exhibits.  So very heartbreaking.  My favorite part was the room that told stories of people that helped try to free the Jews.  Many brave people lost their lives trying to help.

For lunch, we took the Metro over to Union Station. It was a very hot, humid day, but we still made our way outside to see the statue of Columbus and the reproduction of the Liberty Bell.  

And, not because we had it on our list of "must sees", but because it was right next door and had air conditioning, we decided to check out the National Postal Museum.  It was actually quite interesting, and was in a gorgeous building. It was fun to see all of the different stamps...although, Snow White never found a Donny Osmond stamp, which was very disappointing for her.  

We were all exhausted, so we called it quits, and headed home for an early dinner.  King and the girls went and found a Golden Corral to eat in, and I happily walked to Starbucks across from the hotel for a hot chocolate and a muffin and read quietly in my bed.  

June 29, 2013

Chronic Migraine Awareness Day

Today is Chronic Migraine Awareness Day! (Almost as fun as National Donut Day, but without the pastries.) It's a day to make people aware that Chronic Migraine is a disease, caused by a condition known as Migraine. Yep, it's the way my brain is wired. Lucky me! 
Millions of people suffer with this disease, which is more than just a headache, but a condition that is, for me, accompanied by daily nausea, dizziness, sensitivity to light and sound, sometimes imitating stroke symptoms with difficulty concentrating and speaking and numbness on one side of my body. It's not fun, but it's my life. I have learned to ignore what I can, and cut down on activities when I can't ignore other symptoms. I am better friends with my bed than I ever thought I would be at this age, but I am also better friends with my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I suppose all of this is a tiny price to pay if I get that benefit. 
Thankfully, thanks to some very aggressive doctors, in the past few months, with a cocktail of five preventatives, four vitamin supplements, nerve blocks, and three abortive medications, I have been able to reduce my symptoms a bit, and it's been nice! 
People say it's very hard to describe Migraine, especially Chronic Migraine. And it is.  I think the best way to describe it is basically this:  I feel like I have been miserably sick pregnant every day for about five years.  I have some better days, and some worse days.  But, instead of having a baby at the end of my never-ending pregnancy, what I get almost every day instead is a giant ice pick stuck into the back of my head.  Fun stuff.
So, my advice is, be kind. Someone you know may be suffering from another invisible illness, or maybe Chronic Migraine, and your kind smile or word may be just what they need to make it through a day of pain and illness. Thanks for listening. Carry on! :)
(For more information, you can go to

June 27, 2013

DC Day 4

Sunday Grandma had to leave us.  So sad.  We were so glad she came.  We had enough time to go to see Arlington National Cemetery before she left, though.  We had walked so much, so we decided to buy tickets to go on the tram that takes you around the cemetery.  Best $8 each ever spent!  It is huge, and we never would have had time to see what we wanted to had we not had the tram to take us around.  There is such a special feeling there.

My favorite part was the changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  They show such respect and dedication.  It was so neat to see.  I felt so blessed to be there.

We then headed to Maryland to take Grandma back to the airport.  Even though it wasn't morning anymore, we did our share of singing, "Good Morning, Baltimore" in our best Tracy Turnblad voices. :) And then we went back to the hotel and rested our poor aching feet while we watched "Life of Pi".  Another great day!
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