We had a great time celebrating Allen tonight. I was glad he was feeling great. It made it much more fun for him!
He chose Popeye's for dinner. I'd never had Popeye's before. Their biscuits were AMAZING!! The chicken was pretty good too: crispier than KFC. We had gf cake and even drank pop (we have not been having sugar and carbs lately, so this was a real indulgence!)
Then we opened presents. He got a pocket knife, essential oils and a diffuser, two new shirts (blue with flowers??!! It's what he wanted!) and a canvas bag for his yoga mat.
He actually ordered the pocket knife himself then gave it to Jill to put away for his birthday and then forgot about it. LOL
One day maybe I'll be one of those women who make fancy cakes and does it ahead of time. We kind of like chocolate cake without icing best...but on your birthday, you have to be a little crazy.
The week Allen had his stroke our friend, Merlin was in a surfing accident while in Hawaii. Merlin has always been a great example to us in Primerica. He continues to humble me.
Sometimes I get caught up in a pity party that Allen's recovery is taking a long time. I appreciate Merlin's smile. This is him at the fundraiser they put on last night to help pay for renovations in his house so that it is wheelchair accessible.
It reminds me that I should be more grateful and patient.
Today I got up to drive Jill to the airport at 4:30 am....almost my usual weekday wake up time. I decided to stay up. After all, they do say that one should keep a regular schedule. My schedule is pretty unique. It does bring me joy though. I get up early because I find if I exercise in the morning I get it in. If I wait, I never seem to have the time. Plus, starting the day with seminary has to be the best way to start a day. I love studying. I love the gospel and I love teaching. It's perfect for me.
This morning I tackled my pile of picture books. I'm always looking for great books to share with my class. It was a great soul-filling time.
I'm also re-reading Better Than Before. I read quite a lot of it this morning and was reminded of how much I love this book. I like doing things that not everyone likes. I've often felt the disapproval from family about things I love, and as a result, felt shamed. The problem is, I then begrudge feeling shamed. This book reminds me that everyone is unique and in order to be happy, one needs to recognize these things about themselves and work with it. I love the page where she inashamably describes herself:
She lists all these things that make me scream, "but that's not ok!" But it's only not ok because they're things that people in my family do and make fun of people who don't. I don't like shopping. I like music, but I don't always know all the words and can't remember the performers name. And here she s just saying those things like she's proud of it! Wow. How freeing!!
I'll never forget going to a big family event in my husband's family early on in our marriage. Someone was always off reading. Now and then they'd leave the world of their book and engage in a lively discussion about the book, especially if someone else had read it....and it big family events there almost always was someone who had read it. I was amazed and delighted at how ok everyone was with someone in the room being absorbed in a book.
In another area of my life, I have a goal to be a runner. Whenever I tell other runners this they tell me the things I need to do: join Gord's Running Room (they're often on Sunday mornings or evenings.....not a time for me) or sign up for races. This year I signed up for six races. Although I do realize some of the benefits of these races, I hate them. I spend the entire time arguing with myself over whether or not I should just ditch the rest of the race. The rebel part of my personality doesn't want to follow the rules and despises the crowd taking over what I enjoy most about running (or in my case, walk/runs). I love the alone time I get when walking. Next year, I may still do a couple races, but certainly not six.
Bottom line: this book gives me permission to be me, and even seems to celebrate recognizing what makes me.
Today's focus for me was seminary. Seminary starts this week and today we had a meeting with students and parents. The meeting wasn't well attended, but it is a long weekend. It did give me time to organize some thoughts about seminary. We have some good kids in our ward. I challenged them to get 100% attendance this year and we talked about how to do make up lessons. I also told them that seminary really gets you off to a running start on your mission. Later today Peirce got to go watch while Kylan Rice opened up his mission call. It was a perfect ending.
Well, I really faded out as summer drew to a close. I did a terrible job of blogging. Here's a bit of a summary of the end of my summer:
We had a great time celebrating Jill on her 19th birthday. It was Food Truck Frenzy, and since food and food trucks are two of her favorite things, it was a natural way to celebrate.
On Sunday she had a "friends dinner". It was fun listening to all these crazy kooks.
I canned A LOT of peaches. I did it all in a day too. It was exhuasting, but well worth it.
Cali and Beau came to stay again. As you can tell, they're so overcome with joy they "fell to the earth".
And then, on August 23, it was officially back to school for me. I should have unpacked all those boxes over summer. *sigh* Live and learn.
This great day happened on August 24....my friend, Gabe's birthday! She just moved back to Alberta and so I invited her for dinner on her birthday. I surprised her by inviting Paige Devuyst and Marilyn Reagh too. We had such a great visit. We almost forgot to take a picture!
I'm trying out a new app, where you take a picture or a video every day. August's isn't that impressive, but I plan to continue. I'll get better!
I love to go to the grocery store and choose from the salads they have. I have thought for a while that I should try making some of those salads more often. Today I made a spinach salad with dragon fruit, cranberries and nuts, a pasta salad, a broccoli salad and a quinoa salad. It was so good! I might make this a habit.
Today I went out to the Moroni's Quest site to be part of an activity. It went well. I don't drive off on those roads alone very often I was glad for a good map app! I missed the entrance and went way too far but eventually figured it out. It's a beautiful setting. I feel grateful to live in such a beautiful place.
Sharing the story of Abish was great. They had a big city of sorts set up. All the tribes travelled around to different people. I think I told my story 11 times. I have a greater love for Abish now, that's for sure. All the others were men. They had asked my husband and I to go but he declined. I was actually happy it turned out this way because if I went with him I probably would have been someone's wife without my own name. It satisfied my feminist inner yearnings to some extent. I was proud to be the only female actor for that activity.
It's quite an undertaking to put something like this on. I'm amazed at it all. And the food!! They are feeding those kids well :)
I guess early this morning was the reenactment of the Savior visiting the Nephites. A couple people told me about it and they each cried as they talked about it. Our Stake President played the Savior. He hugged everyone of them....long meaningful hugs. I guess it was very powerful. Tonight Jill and Allen and I went for a walk along the river. It was some great!
Peirce is going on Moroni's Quest this weekend and needed a couple outfits. We found out Allen's cousins, Gillian Rasmussen just got back from Moroni's Quest and so we borrowed some of her costumes. Yea!! Mission complete!
I usually enjoy Sundays. Lately, I've gone to church alone and it's okay. I know that in time Allen will feel better and will be back at church with me. Sometimes I feel sad though. Today was one of those days. While I appreciate everyone's concern and I appreciate them wanting to know how Allen's doing, I don't really have any new news. That makes me sad.
While I was reading the wrong lesson for seminary today (funny I was led to the wrong one but found this comfort) I noticed that even Nephi felt a little tired and discouraged at times:
Today I'm halfway through my summer break. We haven't had any travel plans this summer since it's really too much for Allen. I've quite enjoyed being home and taking care of many things around here that I've neglected. I probably need to up my game in that arena though. Only 27 more days to do it!
This day started out good!! I made a breakfast casserole with hasbrowns, sweet potatoe, yellow pepper, zucchini, tomato sauce and eggs. It was a hit! We had salsa with it and it was really great. It was good I cooked this in the morning because I sure didn't feel like cooking the rest of the day!
Today Jill is in Frankfurt!! She is really loving it. I heard from her on Facebook tonight and she is contemplating faking a sickness so that she has to stay longer. LOL
We have a new thing going on in our house. Jill and Peirce are each in charge of dinner one day of the week. Today was Jill's turn. She made fish tacos and they were so good! I figured I'd give them $20 to buy what they need for dinner. She totally went over budget, but it was worth it.
Peirce did a photoshoot with the sister of one of his friends. Lots of great photos!
And of course, he had to go to Village to start spending his money. Ice cream is always so tempting! Jill is working at Village tonight as well. Maybe she'll bring something good home!
This morning she and Shaniah went out for breakfast together. Shaniah used to live around the corner from us but her family moved away a few years ago. Jill and Shaniah have continued their friendship and they really are two peas in a pod. They love to go for breakfast and today they found a place serving 99 cent grand slams!
I did a few mystery shops today: a gas station, a comic book store and a dry cleaners. Good day!
Tonight we bought Peirce some new fish. He is loving his fish tank. Interestingly, the boy who sold us the fish was a classmate of Jill's. She went from Kindergarten all the way through high school with him. We named one of the fish Jared in his honor.