Monday, July 23, 2007

Family Fun

I have been in Utah for the last three weeks visiting my family. The object of my visit was to help my mother sort through a lot of family history papers and things since she has more than she knows what to do with. Of course things never go as planned. We haven't opened a box since I arrived three weeks ago. I have, however, been kept busy by all my nieces and nephews and my brothers and sisters. My sister Susanna came to stay the first weekend with her 2-year-old twin boys and her 1-year-old, Phebe. Here they are:

As you can imagine it was a very hectic visit but I think my favorite part was taking the boys to the Scera Waterpark. They loved the water but the real hit was the slide that went into the shallow end of the pool. The twins went up and down the whole time they were there. The third weekend of my visit was spent with my mom. We stayed at Sue's house with the kids while Sue and Josh had an anniversary getaway. I have a new appreciation for moms with small children. I had a blast though,

My sister Sarah and her family came up for a week while I was in Orem. Here is a picture of her kids:

I also got to spend some time with Rachael, who is my sister Sandra's youngest. I don't have a picture of her but we had a great time and we went to see Ratatouille, which was super cute.

It was a great visit, but I am glad to be home for a week before we go off to Utah again for two weeks! I bought Harry Potter 7 in Utah hoping to save it for this off-week, but of course I finished it within 24 hours of purchasing it. It was great and a fitting end to my "vacation".

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Wilsons

This is Frere and Soeur Wilson, a couple that was on a geneology mission when I was a missionary in France. I went to see them yesterday since I was in town visiting my Mom. I met Frere and Soeur Wilson when I was serving in St. Brieuc, which on the northwest coast of France. It was a small city of 40,000 people and was probably the most difficult place I served, missionary work-wise. The branch met on the top floor of a small commercial building in the industrial area of the city. I rode a bike for the 4 months I was there since there was no public transportation. Try riding a bike in a dress sometime if you want a laugh. I remember that my bike was named Daisy because there were flowers all over it.
Anyway, my first month in St.Brieuc was really a healing time, since my new companion Audrey Wood and I had just come off of some difficult months. Unfortunately we were only together for a month, but it was truly one of the best months of my mission. My mission was pretty strict about our schedule. Every hour had to be accounted for. Most of the time this was not a problem, because what are you on a mission for if not to do missionary work? As a missionary (just like every other job), you really need a change of scene now and then. In Paris it was great because there was so much to do and see in Paris on preparation days. In St. Brieuc there was really nothing. As a missionary you work harder than you ever worked in your life. You work to the exclusion of everything else. And as a result you get really tired and worn out, albeit in a good way. Anyway, the Wilsons were an integral part of those months I spent in St. Brieuc. The couple missionaries had a little more freedom as to what they did with their time once their work was done every day. Once or twice they would notice that my companion and I were looking a little haggard and they would find some obscure referral out in the country and call and set up an appointment for us. Those were some of the nicest discussions I ever taught. Of course the Wilsons would take this opportunity to say "Since we are in the neighborhood, we are going to go and see...." We protested that we needed to be contacting or knocking on doors or whatever and they said "Okay, do it where we are going!" Sometimes we did and sometimes there was noone around to contact. They gave us a much needed break and helped us feel that we were still doing our job. The Wilsons served another mission to Montreal, Canada in 1999 and then were transferred to Boston in 2001. For the last 18 months they have been serving a welfare mission in Springville. As you can imagine, they have really supported the young missionaries wherever they have gone.
What a great example they were (and still are) to me. I love them so much.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Luna Lovin'

We are really enjoying getting to know Luna, the downs as well as the ups. We have had only a couple of accidents so mostly she is just great. She is very low-key and lies around most of the day. Here are two pictures of her in her favorite occupation:

I particularly enjoy the second picture, although I don't see how she was able to sleep for an hour like that.

Today was also the day that everything went wrong. I could make a list:

1. We took Luna out this morning and locked ourselves out of the house one hour before I was supposed to be giving a presentation at Stonehill College for some of Juan Carlos' colleagues. He had to break a window to get in.

2. Our contractor (for the basement) had to come and babysit our plumber, who did everything wrong, while we went to said meeting.

3. The inspector for the plumbing came before we got back so we had to set another appointment.

4. The plumber who moved our washer and dryer put the water pipes right in front of where the dryer vent is supposed to go out and has spent two weeks doing something other than fix our washer and dryer so JC had a miserable afternoon trying to maneuver the dryer vent through the pipes.

5. Luna peed on the floor.

6. We still can't do laundry now that the dryer is hooked up because when we went to plug it in the outlet was different from our plug. ?!?!?!?!?

With all of these things it was easy to be frustrated. However, some good things did happen today, and I was very grateful for them.

1. My friend Nancy came by to visit.

2. The town fireworks display is phenomenal and we got to watch it out our front window.

3. We had dinner with a couple in our ward, Josh and Kristen Wilde, and we really enjoyed their company.

4. Luna went pee and poo outside!

5. Our plumbing for the basement bathroom WAS, finally, approved by the inspector.

6. The gas company came and told us which meter actually belonged to us. (Apparently they are all mixed up)

So as you can see, it may sometimes feel like everything is going wrong, but lots of things do go right and it is important to remember that. Just like when you are in a traffic jam and every lane seems to be going faster than you, everyone IS actually moving at about the same speed, even though it seems like you are just sitting there. Things usualy do even out.

So it was an okay day, all things considered.