Sunday, August 29, 2010

Endings and beginnings

Today I saw the ending of an era for the members of my ward: a new bishopric was put in. It's always both sad and happy to see this happen; happy because they've earned a rest from an involved and busy calling but always sad to see them go. This was no exception.

I have very much appreciated my kind and wise bishop for the two years I've been in my ward. I have sensed very much his love of all of us in the ward and of the Lord. And I've appreciated how much he has watched over me and supported me through a difficult time. I wish only the best for him and his counselors as they move onto other callings in their lives.

Today was also my last day in my ward. I've been waiting for this day for some time, anticipating it even, but I found it to be sadder than I would've thought. I think it had to do with the bishopric also leaving and of saying good-bye to people I love and appreciate who have been kind to me.

It was also sad because it made me remember my exit from my last ward two years ago, also at the same time my bishopric was released. I cried many tears that day not only for the bishopric, whom I truly loved and respected, but because I had to leave a ward I loved. But, I made the transition, and it turned out to be just fine.

All of this has put me in mind of endings and beginnings. Life is so full of both. Sometimes the end comes sooner than you would like, while other times it comes later. Some endings are more difficult while others are easier.

But, with every ending also comes a new beginning. It may not be entirely welcome, especially if the end came sooner than you wanted, but the beginning can provide a means to cope with the change. Or, if the ending was welcome, the beginning can be a gateway to other new and exciting things. It's all a matter of perspective and of dealing with the change.

Here's hoping that recent endings and beginnings in my own life can bring me the happiness and peace that I seek. I feel optimistic about the outcome, however, and am sure everything will work out for the best.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wrong to go right (if that makes any sense)

I guess aside from my post yesterday I haven't really related my moving struggles here. I don't really want to dwell on it, but suffice it to say that a friend and I have been searching for a place now for over a month and have had no success in finding one. We've seen many places and even quite a few nice ones, but nothing has really felt like it should be our new home. And I'm not really into the idea of moving somewhere just for the sake of moving, even if it is tempting. I want it to really feel like home. It doesn't help that I've been spoiled by living in a house for the past two years. :)

As the end of the month is quickly approaching I have been despairing that I was going to end up homeless (well at least temporarily). We went to look at a few more places yesterday and one looked promising but still didn't quite feel right. The one I was really interested in got rented before we could go see it.

I was so frustrated last night. And I was kind of mad at Heavenly Father too because I felt like I've been doing everything I needed to do in order to make this work and it's still not happening.

Until it became clear to me: perhaps I'm not going in the direction I'm supposed to be going.

Perhaps I'm trying to make something work that just isn't supposed to work out. This was confirmed to me in an email from the friend I've been planning to move with who said as much. We're just looking for different things and have different needs. I was really disappointed and, I must admit, afraid after I read that.

Now what was I going to do?

I talked it over with another friend and got that warm feeling inside, the one where you know that you're doing the right thing. But then my task was to figure out what thing was right. After a little brooding/soul searching during my lunch break, I figured it out. And now I'm back on the right path again. I felt it so strongly all afternoon, a peace inside that's been missing for several weeks now. It replaced my turmoil. Hallelujah! I feel light and free again.

But then I had to ask myself why it's taken me so long to come to this realization. I decided that sometimes I have to go the wrong way before I can go right again. Or I didn't realize my path wasn't the right one, but now I do. A good friend once told me that oftentimes she has to make a decision and move forward with it before it becomes clear to her that it's the wrong one. I thought it sounded strange and hard at the time, but now I understand what she meant.

I couldn't be more excited to make my move to Sandy within the next few days. Wa-hoo!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bare walls--ugh!

So the end of the month is quickly approaching which means it'll be moving time for me. And just in case you're wondering, no I haven't found a new place, but I've given my notice so I have to be out of my current place by then. I'm pretty sure there's also someone waiting to move in.

I've been both anticipating and dreading this day for quite some time. It'll be great to have a change of scenery and, hopefully, a new beginning, but I sure hate all the hassles associated with moving. I cannot adequately express my dislike of packing all my belongings into a few boxes and then moving them somewhere else only try to figure out where to put them once I get to the new place.

But I'm sure all of this will be just fine.

What I dislike the most is watching my personality disappear from the spaces that have been mine and seeing the white walls left behind. I'm sure you couldn't tell from my overly decorated walls (LOL!), but I dislike too much white wall space. It just seems boring to me. It's very important to me to be able to put my stamp on a space whether it be my desk at work, my car or my living space.

I hate that my bedroom walls and dresser now look like this, even if I know that it's necessary and that once I move, it'll all be worth it.

But in the meantime until I do move, it'll just feel empty to me. At least I have yet to take down my kid art collage. I couldn't bear to take that down yet because then my room really would be completely empty. Ugh!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My second visit to beautiful Bear Lake

I guess I just barely shared my story about going to the monster trucks with my brothers. Now I have to share my story about going to Bear Lake with two of my sisters. Truthfully, I think that although I've had some great moments this summer, this was one of my highlights. The reason for that: it was so soothing to me. Being outside like that around a beautiful body of water is so very healing. And to do it with my family made it that much better! I told my sister that it's good I don't live by any great beaches or I could totally see myself becoming a beach bum. . .

In my last visit to Bear Lake I was just amazed at how beautiful it is. This trip reminded me of that, and I was happy to see that it remains just as beautiful as ever.

This trip was so fun because the kids got to play in the sand and/or water, just entertaining themselves while the adults (my two sisters and me) got to sit in the water with the waves lapping at our feet, just talking and relaxing. I wish I'd gotten a picture of us sitting like that, but, alas, I did not. My family is very much a talking family--we like to just sit around and talk sometimes. We did that on Friday night after dinner and we did that for a good portion of the day Saturday, of course still taking care of the kids as they came up because they needed or wanted something, as children do.

Here's the whole group, sans me of course since I was taking the picture.

Just playing in the sand and water

Okay, I have to be honest: I've seen this type of picture as a forward before, but I thought it was great, so when the opportunity arose to take one myself, well, I couldn't resist.

Me celebrating what a great day it was, even if I do look like I'm about to do a pirouette or something. :)

Monster Trucks!

So pretty much I've been meaning to write this entry for days and just haven't gotten around to it yet. But there's no time like the present. :)

Last weekend I had the opportunity to go see the monster truck show at Rocky Mountain Raceway. It's been quite awhile since our family has been able to go for various reasons, but I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Not only did I get to hang out with my two brothers, sister-in-law, two nephews and my cousin, but it was just an enjoyable evening. Unless you've seen the trucks before I think it's hard to appreciate how loud the engine is or the sickly sweet scent of the fuel. I also love the excitement of the crowd. So great!

Well, and I love that this seems like not a typical Tammy activity either. I get a rush out of doing stuff like that sometimes. :)

But of course I think the pictures can tell the story better than I can.

Beauty and I didn't know that Batman was going to be there!

Of course the monster trucks are interspersed with other types of racing, namely the Maverik Midgets and the Nascar Modifieds. No race would be complete without a pretty icky wreck and this was no exception. In the very first heat one of the Midgets hit the side of the track, bounced over to hit the corner that lead off into the pit area and then landed on its side next to the wall. It was a nasty crash but miraculously the driver walked away from it, then had his car fixed enough that he was able to race in the major event, placing fifth. Yikes!

A picture of a wreck that happened with the modifieds during their 50-lap main event.

Just being silly. . .

Monster truck racing! Each truck had a qualification round to get their time, then were paired in racing according to qualification time. That meant the slowest truck raced the fastest and so on. Each round eliminated the trucks that lost until it came down to the final two. This year it was Bigfoot vs. Bounty Hunter. Bigfoot won!!

Sorry, my camera sucks at night shots, so I don't have the actual final race. This was just before it started. They had to go around the figure 8 track twice in order to win.

Just us in the pit area following the race.

Beauty and I enjoying a girl power moment with the Ms. Bigfoot truck. This truck was driven by the lone female in the competition. When we saw her afterwards (although we didn't meet her because her line was way too long), she matched her truck somehow.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Why I should definitely avoid fangirldom. . .

So tonight I totally had a Tammy's guillibleness rears its head again moment, and since I'm me and I love to tell stories, I'm going to share it here.

I went to see the monster truck show at Rocky Mountain Raceway with my cousin, two brothers, sister-in-law and my two nephews. It was a great show, and I loved it! (In fact, I'm going to create a separate blog post about that, but not tonight because it's much too late.)

At the end of this year's show they did something different and had all the trucks do one minute of freestyle. It was awesome! Freestyle leaves so much more room for creativity than regular races. One of the drivers is a national freestyle winner, so needless to say his one minute was by far the coolest of the evening. After the show the invite you into the pit area to see the trucks up close, meet the drivers and get their autographs if you so desire. Since my brother is the world's biggest monster truck fan, followed closely by his son, whom he's taught all about it, of course we headed that direction.

When we went into the pit area, I decided that I needed to be fan girl and tell this gentleman just how awesome he did.

Me: I just have to tell you that you have some of the coolest freestyling skills ever.
Him: Thanks so much. And the best part is, I did it all with my eyes closed.
Me (with eyes now the size of salad plates): Really, you did?
Him (on seeing my expression): No, I'm just joking with you. Of course my eyes were open the whole time. But thanks for the compliment about my show.

Umm, yeah, so I felt rather foolish. But I also laughed and laughed about my little gaffe. And now I'm sharing it with all of you so you can enjoy it too. Good night everyone!

Friday, August 13, 2010

My thoughts on Harry. . .

So this week I completed a project of sorts that I've been working on for the last eight or nine months: listening to all seven Harry Potter books on CD.

Yes, I have read them before, and yes I mostly remember all of the story lines. But you can't beat Jim Dale's fabulous narration of the books, complete with different sounding voices for every character. He won a well-deserved award for those performances.

It's been a very long time since I'd read the first two, so it started with me wanting to remember those stories first. The third book is my favorite, so of course I had to continue on to that. And then I needed to read the fourth book too, a pivotal part of the series. The fifth book is always hard for me because it's my least favorite. In fact, I kind of hate it. It's so dark and so many bad things happen throughout that I've never enjoyed it. In fact, that book took me the longest to finish in the car (two months) because I had to stop listening for awhile. Eventually I convinced myself to persist and finished it, so I could then move onto the sixth and seventh books, which contain (drum roll, please) the resolution to the series.

This week I finally finished the seventh book. I don't know whether to feel relieved or disappointed. I suppose that if I want to catch a taste of Harry's magical world that I can always read "The Tales of Beedle the Bard" which I've owned for a couple of years and somehow have never read. . . And really I have a good picture in my mind of how things turn out because of the epilogue in book 7. Lots of people hate it, but I think it's a nice finishing touch for the story and helps those who would clamour for more Harry to feel satisfied.

I must say that I'm impressed with so many things about the series. For example, I have to admire J.K. Rowling for the sheer number of character she continues throughout the series. Literally hundreds of characters from book 1 all the way through 7. So impressive! I love the way the plot lines build and the quality of the story. I love the characterization and watching the characters grow. I love her portrayal of Harry in book 5 as such a clueless teenage boy! So great!

I think what I love the most is discovering just how much I still love the series even years after I first read it. I'm sure these books will be classics for years to come. And I must say that I think they deserve it.

My magic animal calling skillz

Once upon a time I took a little trip to Logan. Now, I know that I take many trips to Logan so I suppose I should specify which trip I'm talking about. It just so happens this was the one right before I went to Yellowstone.
Anyway, my sister and I both needed some exercise so we decided to take a walk around what she calls the "big block," which is 2.1 miles. It was dusk as we left, so not only was it getting pleasantly cool but we were also losing our light.

Along the walk is a field that has both donkeys and horses in it. Bumblebee always wants the animals to come over and visit when they walk past but has never been successful in getting them to do so. On this particular walk, I decided to be silly and bray at the donkeys just to see what would happen. To my astonishment, they both came running right over to the fence! Bumblebee was delighted, and the four of us (my sister, the Diva, Bumblebee and I) all enjoyed petting the donkeys and feeding them the weeds from right outside the pasture. I was laughing so hard at my newly discovered "skill."

Last weekend I went to Logan again for the Diva's baptism. It was great fun and a family reunion of sorts as almost my entire family was able to be there, with the exception of four people. It was awesome!

On Friday night, my two older sisters, my niece, my mom and I all walked the big block together. As we walked, I decided to try out my animal calling skills again. And not only did it work once, but it worked twice. See the pictures below.
Yup, this time my magic powers worked on the sheep too. Cool beans!

And here come the donkeys. They ran right over to us.

Ta-dah! I now present the animals that I called over with my special animal calling skillz.

Aren't they so cute? Their fur is surprisingly coarse too.

Okay, I didn't actually need my magic calling skills for this last one. Bumblebee hauled him in and put him on my lap. But since I'm a lover of kitties, I didn't mind.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Jamming with ABBA

I was very excited about a month ago to learn that the official ABBA cover band, called Arrival, was going to be playing a concert at the Sandy Amphitheater last week. I LOVE ABBA and really wanted to go. I called up one of my dear friends, and she and her little girl agreed to go with me. She was laughing about the whole thing and kept telling me her older sister and mother would be jealous, but I'm pretty sure she had a great time. And her little girl was so adorable, dancing to the music and making friends with the lady sitting next to us.

I was happy that entire evening and ran around with what I'm sure was the biggest, stupidest grin in my face. But who doesn't love ABBA? Their music is a classic. Did you know they were offered a billion dollars to do a worldwide reunion tour, and they turned it down?! That's crazy!

Of course the band played all the favorites from "Mama Mia" to "Knowing Me, Knowing You" to the great "Take a Chance on Me." I was overjoyed when they started singing "Fernando" which happens to be one of my favorites. I was slightly distressed when it looked like they were going to end without doing their most famous, "Dancing Queen," but it turned out to be their closing number. Wa-hoo! Here are a few pictures of the adventure.
Here's A jamming out to the music. She was so excited that her tongue got in on the action too. :)

The three of us

Here's the band jamming on stage in their 70s costumes and everything.

A and me being excited for the concert