Tuesday, September 16, 2014

peach days 2014

My laptop officially bit the dust.

The top half literally broke off from the bottom half.  Which, you know, can generally cause a few problems.  Thankfully I am no longer ninety years old and actually have a smart phone, which covers most of my day-to-day issues with the internet.  Essentially the biggest change is that now when I want to blog, I have to get off my butt and make the trek to our desktop downstairs (only to sit on my butt again once I get there).  It's a tough life.

And here I am!  Downstairs.  At our desktop.  Ready to blog.  I feel so motivated.

Let's talk about Peach Days.

If you recall, our experience last year with Peach Days wasn't the best.  To be fair, it was kind of a stressful time in general, and we didn't have the time to really explore.  This year, I went around to all the booths on Friday with my friend and her kids, and then went back with Tim that night, and THEN went back again on Saturday.  And we loved it!  Turns out that when you actually have the time and aren't on the phone the whole time, it's a pretty fun place to be!

Of course, we got the Dutch Oven food again (of course)...and some cotton candy...and some spiral-cut potatoes with nacho cheese...and even some slushies from Sonic.  Needless to say, even if everything else had been terrible, we would have had a good time, because FOOD.

The first night, we got Ellie a toy bus for $1, and she was totally thrilled.  I mean, thrilled.  Like, she still talks about buses all the time now.  And she got a free balloon at one of the booths.  If you're wondering what heaven looks like to Ellie, I think that pretty much covers it.

I'm still bitter that she hated balloons back when her first birthday party was "UP" themed, but I guess I can be glad that she likes them now.  I guess.

On Saturday morning, we walked down our street a few blocks to Main Street so we could see the parade.  Talk about charm!  I was totally sold from the moment they walked down the street with the American flag and everyone stood and put their hands over their hearts.  Makes me teary every time.

They had marching bands and dance troupes and cute floats and if you can't tell I kinda loved the whole thing.

These next two pictures just kill me, for different reasons:

 Those eyes!

 That smile!

After the parade, we went home for a little while, and bought Tim a nice bike at a garage sale for $10.  Holla!  Then a couple of hours later, we met up with Tim's brother, Jeremy, and his family back at Peach Days.  We are so happy that they live so close!  It's the best.

We were definitely converted to Peach Days this year!

ogden temple open house

If you're not familiar with why members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints love temples so much, let me just briefly fill in a couple of those gaps.

It's because we believe that in temples, marriages last forever.  Like, no "till death do you part" clause.  We make covenants with each other and with God so that marriage doesn't have to end at death.  And not only do marriages not end with death, but entire families don't end with death because of those sacred covenants.  I know that because of the covenants Tim and I made in the temple, Ellie will be ours forever.  No matter what.

It's a pretty liberating thing, really.  What a paradox it is that in following the rules necessary to go in the temple, you find ultimate freedom - liberty over death!  I never feel God's love more strongly than I do when I am in those sacred walls.

Because we find those temples so sacred, we have to prepare ourselves in order to enter.  Ideally, everyone would be able to go!  I know Heavenly Father would love that.  But you have to prepare yourself spiritually before you go, under normal circumstances.

Every once in a while, a new temple will open up (or one will be remodeled) and it will briefly be opened to the public to walk through before it is dedicated to the Lord.  It's called an open house.

A couple of weeks ago, we were able to go to the Ogden Temple open house.  And it was incredible!

To help keep the temple clean, everyone who goes through the temple wears little booties over their shoes.  Ellie loved being able to wear them like everyone else, and she loved every second of walking through the "emple."  She held both of our hands the entire time!  

I felt it then, and I feel it now.  We were walking through God's house.  He loves His children so much - so much, in fact, that he gave us all a way to return to Him.

Find out more about temples here.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

it's a wonderful life

I'm behind.

As usual, lately.

It's one of those habits that's hard to keep up and even harder to start over again.  But heaven knows if I don't write everything here, it'll never get written down anywhere.

Our third anniversary was August 5th, 2014.  I have a million mushy things to say about Tim, and I've written a lot of them before, but today, I'll just tell you that our life is beautiful.

It's a beautiful, wonderful life.

The day of our anniversary, we left Ellie with a sweet family in our ward.  We got some KFC and drove over to a park, where we spread out our picnic blanket and ate a romantic dinner under an ever-darkening sky.

[It was the same picnic blanket that we used the day I thought he was going to propose to me and then didn't.  I was relieved.  And disappointed.  I think it was the day I knew part of me wanted him to.]

"Wouldn't it be funny if it rained right now?"

It had taken Tim at least 10 minutes to get down the hill with his crutches, and we knew it would be even harder for him to get back up that hill in a hurry.  The wind was starting to pick up, but we ate and laughed and listened to the creek humming along behind us.  It wasn't supposed to rain today.  Was it?

The few minutes we got before it started raining were filled with such peace.  We talked about everything and nothing.  And when it finally did start raining, we laughed, picked up our things, and ran back to the car.

[I say "ran," but I think we both know that's quite the stretch for a man on crutches going up a wet, grassy hill.]

It's funny, because I definitely wouldn't have planned it that way, but it turned out perfectly.  Isn't that the way things always end up?  Eventually?

A few days later, we drove down to Provo to see Matt Walsh.

[I feel here that I must insert a caveat that we in no way agree with everything Matt Walsh says.  We agree with a lot of things he says, but certainly not all.  But what we appreciate the most is his willingness to say unpopular things.  So often I have an unpopular opinion but am too afraid to express it.]

We both felt so motivated that night.  Essentially, his message was that we need to be willing to share our opinions, especially when they are unpopular.  Otherwise, the vocal minority wins because the majority is too afraid to say something.  It was definitely a message that I needed to hear.

Our sweet sister-in-law Alison drove 30 minutes to come watch Ellie for six hours while Tim and I went to Provo together.  Ellie absolutely loooved her, and even let Alison put her to bed seamlessly that night.  We were so grateful - most especially that we could leave without an ounce of worry.

We missed our baby girl, but it was so fun to have so much uninterrupted time together.  It's the longest I've ever left Ellie, which subsequently meant that it was the longest conversation we've been able to have in 1.5 years.  It felt like we were dating again.  We even got to hold hands.  Steamy!

Those two days were the perfect, low-key anniversary celebration.

I have so much love for that man.