Saturday, August 30, 2008

Lessons from Grass

Today I walked from my apartment to the LDS Temple in Provo. It was kind of a long walk in a dress and heels, but the journey is half the experience right? I'm not complaining because my walk was only about 30 minutes, and there are people who sometimes walk days and spend every cent they own to get to the temple.

The final stretch to the temple is the walk along the missionary field (literally a soccer field for the missionaries in the Missionary Training Center). I saw a stretch of grass between the missionary field and the temple with a sign pressed in it about every 15 feet. As soon as I was close enough to read the sign I laughed: "I'm trying hard to grow, so please don't walk on me"---BYU Grounds. Apparently the grounds crew at BYU is now giving the grass its own voice. Perhaps to appeal to our emotions and keep us off the grass.

The funny thing was I immediately thought of all the times I've wished I could have that very sign placed on my forehead. "I'm trying hard to grow so please don't walk on me." Doesn't it sometimes feel like you're getting walked on from so many different directions? That really puts a damper on things when you're trying so hard to grow stronger, and better. Wouldn't it be nice if we could just put up a sign that says don't walk on me right now? Wouldn't it be so much easier to grow?

Unfortunately even if we did tape a sign to our foreheads it is inevitable that we'll get walked on through our life journey. Then I thought; contrary to grass, the more we get walked on the better, more refined we become. Can you imagine going through life without any struggle, without ever being trampled, picked, stepped on, dug up? Seems like we would never learn from our mistakes, and never be allowed to grow stronger by overcoming the hard times. We would never recognize the need for something or someone of a higher power, more perfect than ourselves to help us through.

I think I would rather have my sign on my heart, not my forehead, with these words: "Father in Heaven, I'm trying hard to grow, so if I must be stepped on please help me to grow anyway."

Friday, August 22, 2008

My Heroes

Porter definitely ready for boating.

Luke was kind of cold so we wrapped him up in his towel.

Jesse and Sam on the boat.

These are my girls and me on the boat. The top is Livy (she's making a silly face). Next is India and last Addie. They are 3 of my brother Joe's kids.

I took these three pictures by my self; impressive huh? They're of me trying to look like I play the guitar. I love the top one. That is Reid. He loves to hit the fret board while I'm trying to play. So precious.

Abatha tabatha puddin in pie, kissed the boys and made them cry. Mom used to say that to me all the time and I guess she was right! This is my nephew Brigg, not happy about me kissing him.

Jeston and his marshmallow.

Reid in his wetsuit and floaties.

Mira getting into the sunscreen.

Last weekend I went to Bear Lake with my siblings. Some of them have already blogged about our eventful weekend so in order to avoid being a copy cat I will not blog about it. Instead you can just look at these pictures.

I have 17 heroes. CJ, Kaitlyn, Livy, Jeston, Brynn, Addie, Mia, Jared, Sam, India, Porter, Xander, Luke, Ellie, Reid, Mirabella and Brigg. Those are all my nieces and nephews. I love chasing them around to give them a hug and a kiss and I love it when they sit on my lap and talk to me about life (even if I have to strap them down to talk about it). Sometimes out of the blue one of them will say “I love you Abby.” It makes me melt like the cheese in a grilled cheese sandwich. (Get the picture?) This summer I got to see every single one of them. I don’t know 17 other people quite like these kids. I love observing my brothers and sisters as parents. Somehow they are all so good at it. What a tender blessing to be able to watch my siblings teach their kids about life, love, Jesus Christ, family, boats, bugs, not biting, death, prayer, gardens, reading, and hurt feelings. What an incredible charge they have been given! Even though I know it is hard they manage it all so well. I hope I can be as good a parent as I see in my siblings and their spouses, and of course as I see in my parents. I’m lucky that I’ve been able to see so much to help prepare me for when I’m a parent. And I’m lucky that I am able to be a much better person because I have the 17 most wonderful nieces and nephews in the world. I have one coming sometime in March-ish, which will make 18. I can’t wait to meet that one as I’m sure I’ll be able to learn from her or him as well.

Basically, my nieces and nephews are super lucky to have such great parents, grandparents, uncles…and such a great aunt of course :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I went to C-A-L-I-F-O-O-O-R-N-I-A last week. I was visiting my brother Ben and his family. Ben works at PIXAR (yeah, I know, my brother's cool) so we got to tour the facilities. We also went to the beach on a very hot day. Okay, as hot as it gets at a beach in San Francisco. So basically it was cold, and the water was freezing but the sun was shining! My dad put on his water shoes and lead us into the water. Ben and Caleb were soaked up to their necks (but Caleb's neck wasn't wet) and it was a lot of fun. Ben kept telling Caleb to body surf but Caleb didn't want to get his neck wet. So I was wearing my swimming suit and decided I would body surf. It wasn't really body surfing because the minute my body was in the water it froze so I couldn't really relax and let the waves take me. It was fun though. We had a lot of really good food. Ben and Val are the best cooks; they should open their own restaurant. I loved spending time with C.J., Mia, and Xander--even though Xander wouldn't give me the time of day. Ben, Val, Caleb and I stayed up one night playing combat and Hugger Mugger. I should have won every game but I didn't. I got a new job at the Romney Institute of Public Management (it's the alumni institute for the Business school). I'll be making more money and it seems like a faster pace, higher energy environment. I was getting bored at the Women's Research Institute. I had to give two weeks notice today and it was really scary. I was nervous but it worked out.

Oh, and I love my family!

I AM PECULIAR (this is a permanent post. If you have already read it, scroll down to see my latest)

Those of you who read my blog could probably make a list of all the reasons that you think I am a bit peculiar. No worries, I would be the first to shout an amen to everything you could think of. I know I’m peculiar; but let me tell you the number one thing on my list that I think makes me a peculiar person.

I know where I come from, why I am here and where I am going. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some of you will know me as a “Mormon” although that is just a nickname. The word ‘Saint’ just means ‘member’ in this context. I believe in God the Eternal Father, that I am a daughter of God, and that He loves me and wants me to be happy. I believe in my Savior Jesus Christ who lived a perfect life, atoned for my sins, died and was resurrected all that I might enjoy the blessing of being forgiven of my sins, and having my body and spirit reunited after death. I know that just as God called prophets in the Old and New Testament times that He has in fact called a prophet to lead and guide us today. I believe that families can live together for eternity; death does not have to be the end of our relationships with the ones we love. Some of you may wonder how on earth I can know these things. As I learn more and more from the Bible and other scriptures and actually live what I learn I see the promises the Lord has made being fulfilled in my life, and I feel the Holy Spirit bear witness that these things are true.

I know, I’m peculiar, but thankfully there are over 13 million other peculiar members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and with each year that number grows. I feel so much joy and happiness in my life because of this knowledge. If you want to know more depth about anything I have said that makes me peculiar, visit This website explains in detail much of what I have just professed to believe and more.