Saturday, April 30, 2011

Royal Wedding Mania!

Like millions of other people around the world, I was delighted last November to hear that Prince William became officially engaged to Kate Middleton and planned to marry her in April. It seemed like such a fairy tale — the prince of England (who will one day be king) was marrying someone, a commoner no less even if her family is wealthy, and she’ll now be a princess.

It caught something in my romantic little heart that secretly desired to be some type of princess after watching countless Disney movies about princesses while I was growing up. So, like millions of others I started eating up each and every article that appeared daily in all the major entertainment publications about the wedding. It helps that I’m addicted to such news, even though I know it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. I was excited to picture what this big day would be like and what it would mean for England.

That was until I got tired of seeing headlines about it every day, especially dumb ones like speculation on where they’d be going on their honeymoon, what hat Kate would wear on any given day and others that I can’t even remember because they were so dumb that I blocked them.

In my mind, I got sick of hearing about it and just wanted it to be over. When the actual wedding was held yesterday, I’d decided I wasn’t even going to watch it because I was that sick of hearing about it. That is until my friend said something that completely changed my perspective.

She pointed out to me that it’s been 30 years since the last royal wedding in 1981 when Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer, which incidentally happened before either of us were born. And when would we ever see anything quite like this again, even if we’d only be enjoying it through TV news coverage of the event?

And that’s how I found myself last night at her house, glued to the TV as we fast forwarded through some of the boring parts to enjoy the spectacle that was the royal wedding. Yes, I can see the irony of this too. But I’m admitting it now without any shame. I’m as fascinated as the next person, and I do feel a certain connection to it since I’ve been to London and not only visited Westminster Abbey (where the marriage took place) but have also seen Buckingham Palace, even if it was just the outside.

Congratulations to Prince William and his new wife, Catherine. I wish them the best as they begin their new life together, especially since I’m sure they’ll never be free of paparazzi ever again. May they be blessed with posterity that will go on to become the next kings and queens of England and privacy too since nobody should have to live in the spotlight all the time.

Changes for singles wards

I made a comment on my Facebook page the other day about how it’s interesting to be a single in the Church right now. Several people wondered what I meant by that. Rather than responding, I think it’s easier to just write a blog post that explains it all.

Since general conference a few weeks ago, it’s become clear the Brethren are concerned about the high number of singles in the church, so it came as no surprise to hear they were going to be making some major changes in the next few weeks. For three days this week they held meetings at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City to let us, the affected parties, know what these changes were going to be.

To sum it up, basically they’re getting rid of all university singles wards, except those on campus and are instead forming 12 singles wards between Farmington and Point of the Mountain. This is for two reasons: a) to give us more opportunities to meet other singles and b) to help keep track of people better or to eliminate overlap in who has jurisdiction over people so they don’t slip through the cracks. They started this in Ogden a year ago and have since done it in St. George and Cache Valley, to great success.

All six singles stakes on the U campus were dissolved, and all the singles wards on the south end of the valley formerly attached to family stakes are now in their own stakes. Basically we were told they’re eliminating several choices down to one: attend the singles ward in the boundaries where you live or the family ward. Period. Again, this will help get rid of confusion on who has jurisdiction over any given single so we can help fellowship those who’ve fallen away.

Tomorrow they’re having a special stake conference to announce all the new stake presidencies as well as the bishoprics of all the new wards. Some will be called back and others won’t. We’ll just have to see what happens. Of course, the ward leadership for many of the wards is going to be reorganized as well, so it’ll be almost constant change in the next few weeks.

I for one feel these changes are for the best and will be very interested to see how they all turn out. I’m sure much inspiration has gone into these decisions and it’ll be fascinating to see what happens.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Today I get to be the good Samaritan

In the last year so many people have done so many nice things for me that I can’t even keep track of them all.  Even if I went on for pages and pages I couldn’t do justice to all the kind things done and words spoken during difficult times.

These are the type of things you can’t ever pay back because they run too deep. But it’s not necessarily about paying it back; it’s more about taking the opportunity to pay it forward, to do something nice for someone else when the time is right.

Today I had the chance to do just that not once but twice. And I couldn’t feel better about that!

I’m not going to list specifics, but I had the opportunity to do something a little special for two good friends of mine who were having a rough day. I felt that was my good deed for the day and came home feeling pretty darn good.

As I walked to my car after my train got in this afternoon, a woman came up to me, obviously in distress and asked if I could give her a ride somewhere. I didn’t hesitate to tell her yes, so she climbed into my car and I took her where she needed to go, which, ironically enough, was basically on my way home anyway. I suppose I could’ve felt frightened by having this unknown person in my car, but it truly felt fine to me, and her distress was obvious, so I was glad to help.

Anyway, I tell this story not to make myself look good, but just because it made me feel so good. After having so many nice things done for me, it just felt great to be the one doing the nice things.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A day for reflection and rejoicing

Today is Easter. Generally speaking, it’s a day when people think about the Easter Bunny coming to their house bringing eggs and baskets of candy. People who are religious will most likely attend the special Easter service at their church.

I could myself among this number. I am a religious person with strong faith. I attend church every week, but today’s meetings were very special for me. We always talk about our Savior Jesus Christ, but today He was the focus since we’re celebrating both his death and resurrection which together equal his atonement in our behalf.

Both speakers in church today talked about Christ. Although this is a big topic to tackle, I felt like both handled it gracefully and spoke with the Spirit. In fact, the Spirit was so strong throughout the entire meeting, and it carried into both meetings that followed. The teacher in Relief Society worked her lesson so it focused more on the Savior, and it came out beautifully, even if a little long.

The point of all this chatter is that my heart is full to overflowing with love for my Savior Jesus Chris. I can never repay what He’s done for me. Through his sacrifice, he’s made it possible for me to not only overcome death, but also to overcome all my weaknesses and shortcomings and be able to return to him.

He has the ability to comfort me and to succor me in just the manner that I need. I know that He is aware of me, and He loves me. He does ask me to pass through difficult things, but it’s never more than I can handle, and He’s there with me every step of the way. He truly has descended below us all so He can bring us up when we’re down and strengthen us when we’re weak and even continue to build us up in times when we’re strong. His Atonement is key to the great Plan of Happiness and enables us to get back to Him, which we couldn’t do on our own.

I’ve been reflecting on this idea all day.and figuring out how I can better use it in my life, how I can make His sacrifice for me more meaningful. I’m not going to put any specifics here, but I know I can apply it in better ways. I’m just grateful to have had this day to reflect and to rejoice. Because even though his Sacrifice was great, His resurrection is even greater.and is cause for celebration.

With the rest of the Christian world, today I reflect and rejoice in the glorious resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Happy Easter everyone.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

There’s just something special about the mama

I’ve been thinking a lot lately, well in the past year really, about the special relationship between mothers and daughters. There’s just not anything quite like it.

I think of the key moments in my life and my mom has been such an integral part of them. She’s always there supporting me and helping me. She believes in me, even sometimes when I can’t believe in myself. And by golly, she thinks I’m wonderful. But then again, she’s my mother so she’s required to think I’m wonderful. Smile

There are just times when I want to reach out to my mom because I want or need her support. For example the other night when my picture fell and broke in the middle of the night and scared me half to death, who was the first person I wanted to call? My mom. But since I didn’t want to scare her half to death, I waited until a reasonable hour to do so. I wanted the sympathy that I knew she would give me, and of course she did.

I’m thinking about this for several reasons. The first is because of my dear Miss Ashley and her awesome mommy. It breaks my heart to think that my wonderful sister can no longer has that relationship because her daughter passed away. Now every time that I hear one of my friends who has children talk about their daughter, or even people who are older, it makes me think about that and hope they appreciate such a special relationship.

Along the same lines, I have several friends who no longer have their moms, and they have to struggle along without them. I can’t even imagine what a difficult trial that would be or what a huge hole it would leave in your life. It makes my heart hurt even thinking about it. So, to those friends (and some of you may read my blog), please know my heart goes out to you in a way I can’t even understand.

I dedicate this post to a very special person in my life whom I love with all my heart and appreciate more than words can even express: my mother. This is an old picture, but it shows exactly who my mom is (and yes we don’t look anything alike) and how happy she makes me. I know it’s still a few weeks until Mother’s Day, but I’ve been thinking about it lately which is why I’m writing about it now.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Scared the sleep right out of me!

I just had one of the scariest experiences, and I really, really want to call someone but since it’s the middle of the night, I don’t think that’s such a great idea. Late night phone calls are never a good thing, and anyone I’d want to call doesn’t deserve to be woken up, especially since it’s not life threatening or anything.

I’ve been sick for the past couple of days and, shock of all shocks, I actually went to bed early last night because I was so tired and am trying hard to get better. I was having a weird dream anyway when I heard this huge crash in my bedroom, complete with the sound of breaking glass.

What in the world was that?!

About six months ago the light fixture in the laundry room took a flying leap from the ceiling and broke everywhere, so I thought it could’ve been the one in my room this time. Instead, I saw that my huge picture frame (I think it has 21 picture openings) had fallen off the wall and broken everywhere.

It’s always distressing to be startled awake like that, but it was worse to see this picture frame that means so much to me broken. I’d already dragged myself out of bed so I set to work picking up the pieces of the frame, particularly the glass. I don’t want to haul it out to the trash in the middle of the night so right now it’s downstairs waiting to be taken out when I leave for work in the morning.

Honestly, I think a big part of the reason this happened is because my last place had a problem with mold that I was unaware of until I moved. I discovered this frame was bowed from the moisture it was exposed to in my basement and have been concerned about that, but it’s been fine . . . until now.

But now I’m awake and am not sure I can get back to sleep. And I kind of feel like crying, which I think is relief as much as anything else. I’m kind of glad my cousin isn’t here right now because I’m certain this would’ve woken her up too, even though part of me wishes she were so I didn’t have to deal all by myself. Oh well. Now I can’t decide if I should vacuum right now or if I should wait until tomorrow. I’m leaning towards waiting though because I really don’t want to wake my neighbors up, in case that loud noise didn’t wake them already.

Here’s to hoping I can get at least a little more sleep.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A little modesty please!

The other day I was out shopping with my friend, and I was disheartened by what I saw.

Immodest clothing everywhere I looked!

From tiny little (dare I say booty?) shorts to half shirts to sheer tops, I saw a lot of clothing that would leave little to the imagination if you wore it.

Yes, I know this isn’t a new problem, so why should it bother me now? I suppose it’s because I’ve come to appreciate a lot in the last year just how much your clothing says about you. I was told once that you don’t dress for the job you have but the one you want. Of course it doesn’t always work, but I’ve discovered people really do notice what you wear. I’ve tried to live this idea, and I must admit that I have a very nice wardrobe of tasteful clothing.

I know that layering is still all the rage, so not all of the clothing I saw is designed to be worn on its own, but even so I know that a lot of it will be. And it makes me sad. I can just picture some teenager trying to be cool and fit in by putting some of these clothes on her body, and it wouldn’t make her look like a person who should be respected. More like a person who’s cheap or easy, and who wants to be known for that?

No matter what age you are, you should always be mindful of the impression your clothing gives people because it always will whether you intend it or not. Just a couple weeks ago I saw this teenage girl on TRAX who was wearing these tiny little shorts that covered little of her legs and a halter top that left her entire back exposed. I’m sure she did it for the attention because if I as another female couldn’t help noticing, I know that this girl’s male friends probably couldn’t either.

I suppose my point in this post is that I think in this world we live in, a little modesty can go a long way. I wish more clothiers would provide us with a few more options for modest clothing.

A few more Tammy originals

Just a few weeks ago I finished a jewelry making class. It didn’t fill all my expectations (the teacher was extremely unreliable), but I did learn some valuable and helpful things. I’m still not feeling like I’m a very talented jewelry maker, but it did encourage me to experiment a little bit and here are some fruits of my labor. I hope you enjoy.

I made this one in class:


These are the pieces I made for my sister-in-law for her birthday.



This I made for myself. I fell in love with the brown beads several months ago but didn’t want to use them to make a watch. Thanks to the class, I finally figured out what I wanted to make.


Last summer I took a class to learn how to make bracelet watches. It’s really fun and surprisingly easy. These first pictures are watches a couple of the watches I’ve made for myself.


Last weekend I made (and in one case fixed) these watches for my mom, two of my sisters and my niece. Aren’t they fun? I LOVE the polka dot beads on the last watch for my sister who’s just older than I am.




Finally, I also learned to make hair flowers, in my jewelry making class of all places. Yes, I know it’s kind of funny. These are the two I made, and I’m proud of how they turned out. I lost the headband one the other day, and I couldn’t be more crushed about that. Sad smile Hopefully the pictures show you why.



Monday, April 11, 2011

Out with the old, in with the new

When your trampoline looks like this, it’s probably time to get a new one.


After purchasing the new trampoline, the first step is to take the old one down as much as possible. Secondly, you should get all the pieces out of the new one and put them together. If your uncles who aren’t so technically inclined are helping you, it might be more of a complicated process than you think. But, never fear, it’ll still get done, especially when little girls get stubborn/insistent about it and threaten to do it themselves.


It might even be a family effort and your aunt will run around the trampoline strong arming the springs in. It’s harder than it looks! But luckily there’s a tool that makes the process a little easier. Yes, I realize these pictures don’t actually show her doing it, but she was the main one who did. I sure wish I’d capture it on film, but, alas, I did not.


And if the process makes you a little crazy, well, that’s just to be expected.


Once it’s finished, everyone should climb on and bounce like crazy. It doesn’t matter if the old trampoline was only cool occasionally. The new one is so much better!


Then you have the adult trampoline


and the kid one.


Aren’t new toys great? Smile

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Part of that family

It's been way too long since I wrote in here, especially since my last post was much less than cheery. I keep meaning to do it and somehow don't get around to it. Sorry about that!

I wanted to share an experience I had tonight. I had the opportunity to spend the evening with a good friend and her family. They hadn't seen Tangled (as soon as I heard that I knew I had to fix it immediately!), so we watched that and then I was literally running through the house with her three-year-old son and two-year-old daughter. I thought they were going to be tired since it was near bedtime, but they had energy and to spare, and I kept up with them easily enough.

But the part that touched me was watching these good parents striving to teach their children. Although the kids are young, they're still making the effort to read the scriptures, just a small portion to fit their attention spans, mind you, but they're doing it. And then they had family prayer. I don't know that the kids retained any of this knowledge, but I applaud their parents for making the effort to do what they know is right and truly teach their children.

I was grateful to be part of it. It made me feel a great hope inside for the future. Although I'm not anywhere close to being a mom myself yet (I have to find a guy first and let's not even get me started on that), it made me realize this is something I want to do with my own kids someday. I know it's going to be hard and there will be plenty of things to dissuade me from doing it, but if I persist, it'll be well worth my while. Not to mention I'm going to be held accountable for how well I teach my children someday.

Kudos to this good friend and her husband for setting a great example for me.