A few weeks ago I drove my hiney....along with my partner in crime, Ms. Mally, to Pinetop, Arizona. My friend Maryon, whom I used to live by in Idaho, now lives there. I COULD NOT WAIT to see her!
You know, there are just some friends that you are TOTALLY comfortable with. That is MyR, for me. Man alive, do I ever love her! We are two girls cut from the same cloth in a ton of ways! I tend to think that she was cut from the nicer part of the cloth, she is a better version of me. So much the same, but I have SO much to learn from her! Good thing we are friends for life, right MyR?!
Oh, and good thing we fully intend to arrange the marriages of our children! Jake & TyAnn and Cameron & Mallory! Now I can just sit back and enjoy their lives, knowing that they will end up with the very best of spouses and in laws.....Ok, I know I can't arrange their marriages, but mark my words, I WILL TRY! Oh yes, I WILL!
I certainly don't think it will be a hard sale! :) Mallory was beyond excited to see Cameron! We surprised him! He kept asking if Mallory was coming, but Maryon never told him. After he got over the initial shock of it all, he was one seriously happy kid!
They play SO perfect together!
This little stinker was a baby when I saw her last!
What the heck?! She grew up! She still totally wins me over! The girl can do ANYTHING as long as it is accompanied by her cute little voice and crinkle nosed smile!
On Sunday night I did the "Gratitude in the Face of Adversity" fireside for a couple of wards. The parents and youth were invited.
I have done this fireside over and over and every time there is just something special about the experience and the group. This time was so incredibly powerful. I did not prepare one single thing. No paper. Not one thing written down. Nothing. I felt very strongly driven to this place. There was a lot of purpose in sharing Dawson with this group. I had spent weeks praying for them and praying to know what the Lord would want me to say to them.
Just as the opening song, "Be Still My Soul" started up I had just a second of nerves as I felt totally unsure of what I would say. How would I start. I mean, I know the Lord would take over, but what would I start with?!
Suddenly 5 things popped into my mind. I grabbed a piece of scrap paper and scribbled them down.
*Worth of our Souls
*Temples are Vital
*The Adversary is Cunning
The song ended and I stood up. I was scheduled to speak for 45 min to an hour. For one hour I experienced the most amazing thing. My brain and my mouth were separate. While I was thinking, "where do I go next" my mouth was already opening to go there. I spoke for 1 hour. I have never been able to adequately express my feelings for the Lord, or my passion for the importance of understanding the purpose behind trials and the Lord's profound and tender love for us, until that night. I always feel like my words fall just short, but that night, they did not. Not because of me, in anyway, but because the Lord had certainly sent me there and He intended to send a message to that group that night.
As I finished speaking I turned on the video I usually play. We watched and cried. Then the second video started. I hadn't ever seen this one all of the way through. I had just made it before the fireside. I felt there needed to be a final tribute to Dawson. I was totally overcome with emotion. As I watch the first pictures I remember family members loving Dawson and telling him goodbye. I can see all the love they have for him. Then a few pictures of his last day with us bring back bit sweet tears. How can I survive without him here with me?! Then the cemetery. It crept up on me. The emotional dam had broken. I was suddenly a mess. The entire night had been powerful. Once again, I was left with an experience that left me without doubt that there IS a God in Heaven and that He is infinitely aware of every little....and big, thing in our lives and that He loves us more than we can possibly know!
The ending song was brutal. Beautiful, but brutal. Everyone was crying as "Families Can Be Together Forever" started up. Poor Maryon! She was trying to lead the music with one arm and trying to wipe tears and conceal her "ugly face cry" with the other. Her and I weren't really singing so much. We couldn't.
I love moments like this. The Lord poured out His spirit in that meeting. The feeling in that meeting was nothing I am capable of creating. I just love that I get to be a part of it! You can't feel something like that and not have it change you in some way! I love that!
Other miracles happened that night. Miracles that allowed a great man who was willing to listen to the promptings of the spirit, to provide yet another opportunity for me to understand how the Lord will continue to provide, as long as I am willing to go where He sends me. It was an incredibly humbling moment. I called Ryan and sobbed and I told him the miracle that had just taken place. This great man is an example to me and I am grateful that my life crossed path with his, even if it was just for an hour on a special night. I hope to be as sensitive to the needs of others as he has shown, and I have heard, he is!
Well, after a fun weekend it was time for Mal and I to hit the road! It took 13 hours for us to get to the Wallentine's house and I was pretty sure we were going to be close to that one the way home. Mallory is the ULTIMATE travel companion. She reads and sings along to the music. She doesn't complain even one time! I am so glad I had her with me!
When I told her we had to go Cameron came to give her some goodbye hugs.
I think he REALLY loves her! These two are 2 peas in a pod! MyR called after Cam woke up from a nap he had after we left. He cried....like sobbed for a long time. Poor kid! We felt so sad to leave him too!
I would say that Pinetop is a place we will make our way to again! It is beautiful here!
On the way out of town we stopped by TyAnn's school so she could run out to tell us goodbye!
I love love love this girl! There is something so amazing about her! She is good.....like really really good!
And this picture just makes me tear up! There is something about people you love genuinely loving your kids. MyR LOVES Mallory and Mal knows it! I love that!!
I love these kiddos! We cannot wait to go see the Wallentines next Summer! Grand Canyon here we come!
I also just had to post a couple of pictures of "Radiator Springs". We drove this little town on Route 66 and Mal and I were totally pumped about it being the inspiration for Sally's Cozy Cone hotel and other places in Radiator Springs. I mean, check this out! There is even a Mater out front!
Super cool! :)
Thank you for being one of my favorite friends! Thank you for refusing to stand outside the walls I started putting up as I struggled with my grief after losing Dawson. Thank you for loving me enough to have it shine all over your face when you talked about me to Ali, so that she could help me open my eyes to see just how lucky I am to have you in my life! Thank you for being an example and the kind of woman I hope to become! Thanks for making me laugh...a lot! Thanks for random gifts left in my home for me, just because, and for helping me to see the light of Hawaiian Bread! :) Thank you for all the sssshhhhaving cream and the sore abs after laughing our way through the best workouts of my life! :)
I love you sister! Like a lot!