Monday, October 28, 2013


I love spring. Actually, I love spring in Arizona, USA! The desert is in bloom, the weather is absolute perfection! Spring baseball makes me feel like I'm on an eternal vacation and the flowers dance all day long! When I was at Utah State I remember one spring when the sky seemed so gray still, the snow would fly and melt into a slush puddle and mud seemed to goo onto everything every. day. !! I thought I would die! Where were the flowers? Why weren't the flowers out? I had no idea about spring fever until that spring... and I'm telling you... I had never wanted to see the sun so badly in all my life! I begged the trees to sprout out the buds. And then I did what any psycho college girl would do... I got in my car and I drove 14 hours to Arizona to feel the spring on what I thought was a spring deprived body! And there beheld my eyes, Spring! Buds, baby ducks paddling in the canals, baby birds crying out for food all day long and Flowers! Flowers everywhere! Seriously, I love spring!
I love summer. I love it anywhere in the world! No schedule other than play and swim. Sleeping in! Hot days that seem endless and the ever presence of Sunshine that blazes upon my skin. Beach trips, vacations to see family. Boating at the lake. 4th of July fireworks and parades. So many BBQ's and parties that one seems to join another... Hiking in the mountains. Air conditioning. Lots of time to run as many miles as long as my legs can go. Vegetable gardens! Bless the endless fresh tomatoes, corn on the cob and watermelon! No sickness. Ever! I could live an entire life long in the summer. I am forever in love with summer!
I love Autumn. It is, after all, the best time to be born! I love the vivid reds and yellows and oranges! I love the crispy air. I totally felt like I was in a bit of a story book when I lived in Poland and every day I watched the farmers pile up their remaining food, plow for the next spring and then build big piles of sticks and leaves and burn them! The air constantly smelled chilly and smoky. That smell of American football in the air whisks me back to a very happy childhood when Saturday was filled with college football games with my dad and brothers. I totally love Autumn!
I love the winter. I especially love winter in the mountains in Utah! I love it when there is a pile of snow so deep that you are certain you will never see the frozen ground below it! I love it when the animals come down out of the mountains looking for food. I am smitten by the glistening over the earth of sunshine on the snow. I love curling up by the fire with a mug of hot chocolate. I love making soup for dinner. I totally dig the holidays full of family and time to reflect on the blessings that fill my life and then the celebration of the Savior's birth. I get a huge kick out of a new year, setting new goals and starting a diet that lasts just long enough to drop the 10 pounds that I packed on from the neighbors Christmas goody deliverings. My life is full of good memories from years spent at the family cabin in bear lake where we would snow mobile for days on end through the mountains and over the ice. .. and then come home to late nights with games and movies. I just love winter!
I totally dig October! By October, School is proving to be in full swing. Brains are working hard! By the time October hits, new schedules are followed to perfection again. The good memories of summer are still carrying happy moods and the holidays start. Let's face it! Halloween decorations are the very best! Sometimes, I close my eyes and think of the decoration boxes in the storage unit full of my Halloween decor! it makes me happy! I get so excited when I see the posts of friends who have spiced up their houses with banners and pumpkins galore! While spring brings forth new life to the earth and then summer allows you live it, autumn is a definite reminder of the eminent death and cold that is coming... October is this month for me. I have to make it a point every day to focus on the beautiful fall colors and the smells of crisp air and football games and then pull forth the memories of looking out over endless miles of snow that seems to be powdered with glitter and diamonds... And when I do, the Octobers of my life continue to bless me. I am enamored by October because it reminds me to look forward to what good is to come. I am blessed by October because I can happily reminisce of the many Octobers that I have come through even in short, dark days and chilly weather. And I find a treasure trove of tender mercies when in the darkened short days of October, holidays begin to appear every few weeks. Dear October, I haven't forgotten that I sure do love you!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


We have some friends. Actually, I have been blessed with the greatest friends life has ever offered. On Saturday, two of them said goodbye to England and they are off onto their next adventure.
Just months ago I didn't even know Ryanne and Ben Roberts... (Ben and Ryanne: AKA BRyanne) I had never seen them or even heard of them but Ben and Mr. Mecham are employed by the same hand. We were fortunate to have them land on the same island as us to build up a dome and the Mechams (from the top to bottom) fell in love with BRyanne. Her first few days in England, Ryanne and I cleaned out a property to ready it for another incoming family. I learned, in that time, that Ryanne was not only a fellow Arizonan, but that she was a delight to work with. I think it was all the sun she intook at a young age! She spread it like I've never known another being on earth to spread such sunshine! One morning, while the children were at school, Ryanne came by to check her emails as she didn't have internet at her house yet. It was like having one of the fam over. I took a little nap and then she made fun of me for sleeping. She is quick to crack funnies! I realized early on that Ryanne would feel the void of my sisters. Last February we issued the ultimate test in friendship... we took Ryanne with us to France. She bunked with Bailey and we held her hostage for an entire week. That trip ranked upon the "funnest list" of vacations! Ryanne brought her sunshine and scattered it into the rain all week. To say she is optimistic and happy is a dull expression of how cheerful and jubilant she really is. Ryanne made a lasting impression to overcome adversity in McKay that no other person has ever been able to inspire. She lifted Bailey to lighten up her mood and be cheerful no matter what. She matched Cole's impeccable ability to love anyone. She made Mr. Mecham and me want to be better and love everything life offers us. Every one in life should be so lucky. And then there is Ben. I tell you, they are one of Heaven's best match-ups, indeed! If you close your eyes and imagine the kindest heart that ever lived on earth one could find Ben there! He lives his life close to the spirit and is ever so gentle. The Mechams can think of lists of benevolent ways to verbally paint a true picture of Ben, but he does it best: Nate spent the most time with him at work. He reported, nearly every day, how Ben unabashedly stood his ground with all his virtues. Impressively, he did it in such a manner that it makes him more respected and loved. McKay thinks Ben is a hero! Anyone who knows McKay also knows that he finds the quiet corners of life and sits back to observe... Though it keeps him out of trouble, it isn't necessarily the funnest place to be as one can easily be forgotten there. Ben looks for people to love in quiet corners. Then he treats them like they were the coolest and most popular stud to ever live... and then brings them into the crowd where others treat them the same. I have seen him do it, not only to McKay, but to many others. Its like magic! For showing his love to my children and honoring every single person for the good in them, I see a unique and rare quality that reminds me much of the Savior in every way. Needless to say, we feel it a tremendous blessing to rub shoulders with such people. As we will miss BRyanne like crazy, we find a great comfort knowing that there is a CHANCE that we will get to be put on another job with them. And like all of our many friends who touch our hearts in much the same ways, we know we will see them again... on fb or a blog or insta-gram... and if we're really lucky in person! Our gratitude runneth over to the Roberts and to all of our friends who keep in touch, who welcome us quickly in our new homes, and to those who live in the happiest places of our hearts. While life sure is fun, its the relationships and kindesses extended to our family that fill it up and make it most worth our time. We love you.

Monday, October 7, 2013

lets try this again... and again... until we get it right.

This past weekend I watched a lot of conference. It inspired me on a million levels... One of which, to journal again. So since my life is blessed in the most significant ways, I will try this again... and probably again. Here goes... a little recap of the past week and some of the last month... and an unforgettable summer.
Dustin Stibal works with Nate. His lovely wife, Cristy, is my friend. They have flown the coup and entrusted me with the care of their 4 children for a few days. Their children are beyond obedient, incredibly easy going and astoundingly self motivated. I am learning a lot about ways that I can encourage my own children to be successful in life from the way that they conduct theirs.
Meet this total stud, Skyler. He belongs to the lucky Stibals. I have forgotten what a treat it is to have little people in my house. The ease and convenience of older and more independent children makes life physically a cake walk. But to remember how innocent and sweet a little body who needs you to help change a shirt, who winces while washing the soap out his hair and who is so quick to cuddle up... a warm body who admittedly needs you... it warms my heart. This little man is shear pleasure in every way. I forgot what little man poo breath smells like first thing in the morning, how nice it is to have a little person body slam you without notice and how simple their problems are even though they seem like immovable mountains. Little people are cool. Behold your little ones.
over a year ago I posted my goodbyes to Elder Kennedy. I was so sad to see him leaving my area in Poland. Since that time we were able to hike with him in the mountains of Utah while he was delivering his brother to the MTC... that was last summer. Then again, just last week, Ethan came to visit us! The Mechams consider this one of God's tender mercies. Its a reminder that goodbyes are never final. I always knew this kid would go far in life. Undoubtedly he will. He is studying abroad this summer in Brussels and engaged to one lucky lady (to be married this winter). Since he is just a skip away, he honored us by giving up an entire weekend to hang out in England with us.
Pawel, a friend of Ethan's and ours from Poland, also joined us while Ethan was visiting England. We hiked around the ever beautiful Malham Cove and took a load of pictures! Pawel was baptized while we lived in Poland. He has since moved 2 hours south of us here in England. It was such a fun reunion with both of them.
The week before Ethan came out, Lisa made the long journey to visit us! Though she travels often with her work, this was her first visit out of the USA. She timed it to coincide with our holiday in Europe. We had not planned on going Paris, but it was OH SO CLOSE and Lisa's lifelong dream! We surprised Weezer (McKay's nick name for this lovely lady) by telling her that we were "going to Rheims but that we didn't have time to go into Paris" and then just before we walked up to the Eifel tower we told her where we really were. I do not have words to describe how fun it was to see the shock on her face! I will blog about this later. It was unforgettable!!!
Prior to Paris, we spent two weeks traveling across Europe. We went to Germany, Czech Republic, Poland and Austria. Salzburg, Austria was (HANDS DOWN) my most favorite place! There were countless amazing sites and photographs, food and people, history and culture at every turn along the journey... but PLEASE let me breath another day in Salzburg before I die! OH!! That place!!! One of Heaven's masterpieces! I don't have the vernacular to describe my love for the beauty that mine eyes beheld in Austria.
We also took Lisa to London with the Yowards. We hit all the big sites and the temple. I have to admit, London is pretty great. Every time I go down there, I become a little more fond of it uniqueness. This trip, the company was impressive! Sometimes when I consider how cheated I would have been had I not met the Yowards I recognize that a loving Heavenly Father really does want us to fill our lives with Joy and unmeasured happiness. How on earth could I have lived all my life without a little Mayan Yoward in it? Happiness is friends who are more like family and a confirmation that you KNEW them long before mortality. How does my pool of friends like this keep getting bigger? I must be the luckiest person alive!!!
speaking of Cool Cats... This kid (Mayan and Andrew's youngest) is a TON of fun! I dig his happy demeanor, his enthusiasm for life and the fact that he is my favorite age; 2. I could hang with him all day! He is learning to talk, (everyone knows how fun it is to have little kids say something over and over... ) he has a determination that (undoubtedly) will take him to the top of success ladders and the boingiest curls any kid ever had while running! EVERYTHING about him is a treat!
We had a busy summer and one of the funnest for the record books. Before Ethan came Lisa and before Lisa came Marci & CO. for 6 awesome weeks through June and July! That girl has energy like NO other! If there was a single rock unturned in England, I don't know where. We traveled from Scotland to Lands end and swung by Venice, Italy in between! I slept for two days after they left but the memories of their visit are still so fresh and exciting in my mind. I will have to journal about the summers of my life at some point... This one will go down as one of the most memorable and in its most simple form, the best! ******************************************************************** While I have been blessed with a ton of company and more travel than ever before in my life, It has made one thing absolutely concrete in my mind and heart; Heavenly Father's hand made creations, His gospel, the relationships I have with family and friends and the memories I create with them are among the greatest treasure I have. I will be ever thankful for the blessings that pour upon my little family.