Monday, May 12, 2014

Strength, Part III

So, after part II, you know where I’m coming from.   This has been a really, really slow process.   When Brennan’s blessing said that the desires of my heart would be given me, I was so happy.  I am interpreting that to mean, that I can finally make some actual physical progress towards being physically healthy and strong.  I know that it to do that really just takes eating well and exercising right?  So what’s the big deal?  Well, just that I can’t seem to make myself do those things.  I hate getting up early, I really don’t love exercising and I really do love sweets and bread.  I can do those things, for a while. 

After that blessing I was so happy and I knew the next step was to get guidance on how to do it.  I didn’t want to rely on the arm of flesh, I didn’t want to just jump in without help, without the enabling power of the Atonement.  I prayed and prayed to know how to go about it.  I tried forcing myself to exercise, trying different things, I also tried to eat better.  Somedays I did pretty well, and then somedays I didn’t.  So, I kept praying.  One day I was on Facebook and saw a link to a food blog that I never read, but I guess at some point I “liked” them on Fb.  The title of the post caught my attention immediately:

http://www.ourbestbites.com/2014/03/real-life-health-and-weight-loss/

I read it and I knew this was my answer, this was what I had been waiting for, my guidance. The co-author of the blog shared her weight loss story.  She had had a few kids and found herself significantly overweight.  She met a trainer and started weight training and watching her calorie intake with an app called My Fitness Pal.  That’s it!    Her approach was structured, but very doable and moderate.  It was perfect!  I knew this was my answer because it was strength training, and Strength is my word!  So, I went to the gym down the street and joined up.  I decided I could drag myself out of bed at 6:30, and then be home in time to get the boys off to school.  Even when Brennan has to leave early, I can still go, cause the big kids can watch Josh for me til I get back.  I met a trainer there and explained the post I had read to her and she said she had had a similar experience.  I agreed to meet with her once a week.  Then, I emailed a bunch of friends and told them when I would be going to the gym each morning and forwarded them the inspiring post and just flat out asked if anyone wanted to join me?  Someone did!  My friend, Jamie, wrote me immediately saying, “how did you know this is exactly what I’ve been wanting to do?”  I work so much better when I can be social. 

My answers were coming!  The Lord is so kind, the answers didn’t come overnight, I had to be patient, but they came!  After waiting for guidance for a few weeks, in a few days I had a plan, a trainer and a partner!  My first day with the trainer, Heidi, was hard.  I was excited but she pushed me hard!  As I drove home, I started to feel sick.  I crawled into the house and basically curled up into the fetal position for the rest of the day trying really hard not to throw up.  I felt a little discouraged, I have to be able to function!  After the nausea finally subsided that first day, I just had the little problem of not being able to move without extreme pain for several days!  The next time I met with her, I told her how sick I got so she eased up a bit, and I was fine til the last set of weights, and suddenly I felt sick again.  Sigh.  It didn’t last as long, but I was getting a bit discouraged.  Heidi told me to eat before I came and to use a protein powder for a recovery drink after my workouts.   Those were the only times I felt sick!  I still get sore, but I like that.  Jamie goes with me on the days I don’t workout with Heidi and we have learned so much together and it has been so much fun to have a friend to encouraging me, she is literally an answer to prayer!

Because of my fabulous trip, which I need to write about, we have only been really doing this for a few weeks, and I haven’t yet gotten in the swing of tracking food consistently.  That’s my next big goal!  I have a long way to go and am just getting started, but that feels so good! 

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Strength, Part II

There are so many things I really need to catch up on, and hopefully I will, but for now I really want to record my progress along this whole strength process.

In my first Strength post, I talked about feeling guided and directed to narrow down my year’s focus to “Strength”.  As I pondered that in the Temple, I was prompted to ask for a priesthood blessing.  When Brennan gave me that blessing he gave voice to a promise from the Lord.  I was promised the desires of my heart will be granted.  As soon as those words came out of his mouth, tears streamed down my face.  I have sought a particular blessing for many years now, it’s been a long and often frustrating quest.  The kind of journey that is two steps backwards, one step forward.  I have struggled with how open to be about this, but have felt like I need to share this experience on my blog.  I don’t think there are very many readers left which is fine with me, but I want it on the record of my life.  I want my children to know and understand that my faith is more than a weekly observance, or a cultural ritual.  This is where the rubber meets the road for me. 

This will hopefully be a series about this process, but first I feel like I need to give you a little bit of background.  I actually shared a lot of the background in a Relief Society lesson I gave a few years ago (I know, weird, huh?), so I’m going to copy here:

Body and Spirit

April 14, 2013

· I loved Conference! There were so many talks filled with treasures of wisdom and truth, and that I could listen to over and over again learning something new each time. We are so blessed to have inspired leaders who consecrate their time and lives to bring us the word of God.

· One of the talks that stood out to me was Elder Bednar's talk entitled “We Believe in Being Chaste, he said:

Elder Bednar, April 2013

“Because a physical body is so central to the Father’s plan of happiness and our spiritual development, Lucifer seeks to frustrate our progression by tempting us to use our bodies improperly. One of the ultimate ironies of eternity is that the adversary, who is miserable precisely because he has no physical body, entices us to share in his misery through the improper use of our bodies. The very tool he does not have is thus the primary target of his attempts to lure us to spiritual destruction.”

· I have thought a lot about the body and the interesting relationship we have with them. Most of the time when we talk about using our bodies improperly we think about that as it relates to our youth or even men, but what about women? Are we tempted to use our bodies improperly? Of all the groups, I think women often have the most dysfunctional relationship with our bodies.

· What are some of the ways we misuse our bodies?

◦ Extremes of unhealthiness and healthiness

◦ Obsession with physical appearance and fallacy that physical appearance = worth and identity

Sister Susan W. Tanner Oct. 2005

Likewise, we would keep the outside of our bodily temples looking clean and beautiful to reflect the sacred and holy nature of what is inside, just as the Church does with its temples. We should dress and act in ways that reflect the sacred spirit inside us.

Moderation and appropriateness should govern all of our physical desires. A loving Heavenly Father has given us physical beauties and pleasures “both to please the eye and to gladden the heart” (D&C 59:18), but with this caution: that they are “made to be used, with judgment, not to excess, neither by extortion” (D&C 59:20).

The pleasures of the body can become an obsession for some; so too can the attention we give to our outward appearance. Sometimes there is a selfish excess of exercising, dieting, makeovers, and spending money on the latest fashions (see Alma 1:27).

I am troubled by the practice of extreme makeovers. Happiness comes from accepting the bodies we have been given as divine gifts and enhancing our natural attributes, not from remaking our bodies after the image of the world. The Lord wants us to be made over—but in His image, not in the image of the world, by receiving His image in our countenances (see Alma 5:14, 19).

*Elder Holland, Oct 2005

In this same vein may I address an even more sensitive subject. I plead with you young women to please be more accepting of yourselves, including your body shape and style, with a little less longing to look like someone else. We are all different. Some are tall, and some are short. Some are round, and some are thin. And almost everyone at some time or other wants to be something they are not! But as one adviser to teenage girls said: “You can’t live your life worrying that the world is staring at you. When you let people’s opinions make you self-conscious you give away your power. … The key to feeling [confident] is to always listen to your inner self—[the real you.]” 8 And in the kingdom of God, the real you is “more precious than rubies.” 9 Every young woman is a child of destiny and every adult woman a powerful force for good. I mention adult women because, sisters, you are our greatest examples and resource for these young women. And if you are obsessing over being a size 2, you won’t be very surprised when your daughter or the Mia Maid in your class does the same and makes herself physically ill trying to accomplish it. We should all be as fit as we can be—that’s good Word of Wisdom doctrine. That means eating right and exercising and helping our bodies function at their optimum strength. We could probably all do better in that regard. But I speak here of optimum health; there is no universal optimum size.

In terms of preoccupation with self and a fixation on the physical, this is more than social insanity; it is spiritually destructive, and it accounts for much of the unhappiness women, including young women, face in the modern world. And if adults are preoccupied with appearance—tucking and nipping and implanting and remodeling everything that can be remodeled—those pressures and anxieties will certainly seep through to children. At some point the problem becomes what the Book of Mormon called “vain imaginations.” 11 And in secular society both vanity and imagination run wild. One would truly need a great and spacious makeup kit to compete with beauty as portrayed in media all around us. Yet at the end of the day there would still be those “in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers” as Lehi saw, 12 because however much one tries in the world of glamour and fashion, it will never be glamorous enough.

· I have thought a lot of about this, and certainly don't have this all figured out, but I did feel like I needed to share some of what I have explored on this topic. I pray you will forgive me for being quite personal.

For most of my life I have been blessed with the gift of confidence or security, that gift combined with the blessing of being raised in a happy, gospel-centered home gave me the unique position of understanding my worth. That said, I didn't think I was smarter or prettier or better than everyone I just knew that as a daughter of God, I had value and worth and that I had a specific purpose here on earth. Because of that I was able to avoid many of the painful insecurities about my body that many of my friends experienced during adolescence.

As I got older I let a few things start to chip away at that a little bit. Several years ago, it came to a head. I was in the throws of young motherhood. I was too sleep deprived and frazzled to appreciate the miraculous beauty and capacity of my body. All I could see was an overweight overworked body who felt exhausted and older by the second. I felt embarrassed and ashamed and even resentful that my weaknesses had to be so visible. Some people get to walk around and pretend they have it all figured out, but I can’t pretend that, with one look it’s apparent I have some things to work on. I found myself retreating into myself more and more. Maybe if I didn't talk or comment in church or be outgoing in anyway, maybe no one would notice that I was overweight.

One day I discovered I had become very unhappy. I don't know if you've noticed, but I'm not naturally super quiet and reserved. I wasn't being true to who I was meant to be. The adversary had used my body to fill me with insecurities, to tempt me to forget about all the good I could be doing and instead had me focused on miserable self.

I knew I needed to change. I knew I needed help. Part of me wanted to take extreme measures to lose weight and then all would be well. I had tried more moderate, down to earth approaches and had even had some success, but it was always temporary. As I read my scriptures one day, I found the beginning of my answer.

Alma 60:23

“Now I would that ye should remember that God has said that the inward vessel shall be cleansed first, and then shall the outer vessel be cleansed also.”

I knew that for me, my weight problem was tied directly to my structural flaws. We all have weaknesses. One of my weaknesses is I struggle with discipline. I have a hard time doing anything consistently including exercising and eating well. Bishop Schwab helped me understand that there is no shame in having weaknesses, because Ether teaches us that God, “give unto men weakness that they may be humble”.

I am working and praying that this weakness will someday be made a strength through the grace of my Savior, but that hasn't completely happened yet for me. In the mean time, I have been blessed as the people in the Book of Mormon where when they were in bondage:

Mosiah 24:14

14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.

The Lord has certainly made my burden light. I can now see that my body is a sacred blessing. I can also see that just because I have weaknesses and some of those are tied to my body, I have worth. I have much to do and much to offer and contribute to this great cause. We all do!

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

What a Weekend

Friday night was opening night for Fiddler on the Roof and I got to go be an usher.  I already wrote about how great the show is, so I’ll skip that this time, but ushering is a fun gig, cause you get to see the show and I got to scan tickets which I enjoyed.  I don’t know why, but I really love really basic, simple tasks like that.  I guess that says a lot about me, basic and simple.  Anyway, I got to see the show Thursday night and Friday night.   Friday night was also a huge Stake Mini Mission activity for our youth.  All the  kids who attended got a mission call a few nights before the activity.  Abby was called to Milan, Italy and Anna was called to Lisbon, Portugal mission. 

All the kids met at the Stake Center that evening for a fireside by a former mission president and his wife.  Then they had some activities to learn about the cultures of their mission as well as a few others.  Then the beehives and deacons (Abby) had to go home because they’re not old enough to participate in overnighters.  Anna couldn’t go either because of the play.  The kids were divided up into small groups and sent to host families where I think they discussed the Preach My Gospel program.  They slept at the host homes and then reconvened in the morning at the Stake Center.  Anna was able to join in Saturday morning.  They had breakfast and then got to go knock on doors (in the church buildings) and share the Gospel with people asked to participate and pretend to be hearing it for the first time.  I helped shuttle some young men and they were so enthusiastic about it, I was so impressed.  I believe after that they met again and had a testimony meeting.  What a gigantic undertaking, but such a neat experience for these kids.

Saturday night, we took the kids to Fiddler.  We drove two cars knowing it might be too much for Josh, which it quickly was.  He doesn’t do quiet very well Winking smile).  Since I had already seen it, I took him home so Brennan and the big kids could enjoy it. 

We had learned about John’s fall earlier that day and then that he was most likely not going to survive the night right before leaving for the play.  We had prepped the older kids that things didn’t look good.  When Anna got in the car after the show, she asked Brennan if Grandpa had died.  He had just gotten word during the show that he had.  He nodded to confirm it discreetly so the other kids didn’t hear until we could sit them down at home and tell them.  I guess Abby saw the exchange and by the time they got home Anna and Abby were both in tears and Nate walked right in to me asking if Grandpa John had died.  Poor Ben was totally unprepared and oblivious to what was happening.  I had Nate sit by me and waited for them all to gather in the family room.  Brennan told them what had happened and poor Ben just crumbled.  They were all so sad, we tried to comfort them with assurances that he is at peace and with Heavenly Father.   Anna composed herself and quietly offered comfort to Ben and Nate.   I went to lay with Ben in his bed since he was so upset.  He calmed down and I thought was finally asleep when he surprised me by whispering, “Mom, is Grandpa ok?”  I assured him that he is, that he is at peace and no pain.  He was quiet for another few minutes and then asked, “Mom, what is Grandma going to do?”  I was so touched that my little 7 year old boy was so concerned with his grandparents, not just with his loss, but he genuinely needed to know that they were ok. 

Sunday morning Brennan left to go be with his Mom.  We were sad to see him leave, but so glad he could go help her.   We went to church and Anna bore such a sweet testimony about her experience with the Priesthood.  About a week before the show opened, (on a Thursday) she woke up with tons of red bumps all over her face.  I didn’t even see her, she left for school and I finally saw her later that night.  We were slow to realize that I had just bought her a new face wash, toner and moisturizer with Benzoyl Peroxide in it which didn’t seem to bother her for a few days, but a few days later it caught up to her with a vengeance.  She stopped using the stuff and we were giving her Zyrtec in the day and Benadryl at night plus rubbing hydrocortisone cream on it twice a day, but by Sunday her face was still so swollen and red and bumpy, we weren’t seeing any real improvement.  She was so brave, chose to go to church in spite of her drastically altered appearance.  Our friend took a look at her and kind of panicked.  She wanted us to take her to the ER, but we settled on bugging her neighbor, a doctor.  He and his wife were so kind, and reassured us we were doing the right things, but had us add Pepcid, which is evidently a histamine blocker.  He told us if we didn’t see improvement in 24 hours to take her in for a steroid treatment. 

That night my parents had us over for dinner and we took that opportunity to have my Dad and Brennan give Anna a blessing.  In just a few days she would have to have full stage makeup on which we were instructed not to do until her face had gotten back to normal.   Brennan asked my Dad to bless her.  He first asked her if she had the faith to be healed.  She did.  He blessed her that she would be healed according to her faith and her willingness to pray and really ask.  She came home from school on Wednesday looking completely like herself!  I thought for sure it would have to peel and be kind of a mess before it got better, but it just completely faded, all the bumps and redness and swelling just went away.  Her own miracle.  What a blessing!

Needless to say, it was quite a weekend, exciting, sad, and exhausting!  We are so blessed, even in death we have comfort and peace.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fiddler on the Roof

Anna tried out for her high school’s musical production and made it to the ensemble.  They did “Fiddler on the Roof”.  Last Thursday night was their final dress rehearsal and parent preview.  I was once again caught off guard by a rush of emotion as the show began that night.  I think it was partly due to the thrill of seeing for the first time, the scenery in place, the costumes perfected and a cast of 100+hard working high school students fill the stage.

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I know that it was also in part because it was one of those moments that I remember so vividly living in my high school years just two seconds ago, and yet here I was watching my daughter.  As they sing in Sunrise, Sunset “I don’t remember growing older, when did they?” 

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The show is wonderful!  I have now seen it about 3.5 times and I still love it!  The boy who plays Tevye is just incredible!  It’s a very talented cast and such a great show. 

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Anna is so good.  She has such a beautiful voice and such a pleasant stage presence.  It’s so exciting to watch her be so confident on stage.  I’m so grateful she’s had this opportunity!  We love Anna!

John S. Williams–Grandpa

On Saturday, March 1, 2014, John fell and hit his head.  Jamie took him to the hospital where they discovered a brain bleed.   His health had been declining rapidly the last few years.  He was on oxygen and was becoming more and more limited in terms of mobility and just even staying awake.  It was so sad to see him, once so strong become so frail and thin.  Jamie took such good care of him, he was proud and wasn’t always a very cooperative charge, but she did everything she could to help him.    I can only imagine how scary, exhausting and lonely it has been for both John and Jamie these last few years.

The first time I met John was shortly after Brennan and I got engaged.  John was in town for business and Brennan was out of town for work, so John took me to lunch.  I was so nervous, but he was so polite and such a gentleman I quickly relaxed.  I remember him talking about Jamie and many of her accomplishments.  It was obvious he was so proud of her, I thought that was sweet.  John was always good to me. 

Shortly before we got married my parents invited John and Jamie to dinner at our house.  It was probably only the 2nd or 3rd time I’d met them and the first time my parents met them.  It was going fairly well.  My brother, Christian, came upstairs and met John and Jamie for a few minutes and then excused himself as he had to go somewhere.  A few minutes later, a very pale Christian stood came back in and motioned for me.  I followed him to another room where he told me he backed into John and Jamie’s new car.  I could have died.  Poor Christian was beside himself.  I went in and motioned for Brennan and we filled him in.  He kind of laughed but wasn’t very helpful in predicting how John and Jamie would react.  It was finally time to face the music, so we accompanied Christian into the dining room where he confessed his crime.  John and Jamie both laughed and the three of us took a collective breathe of relief.  It was so nice, it could have been so awful, but they were so gracious.   I will remember and be grateful for that moment forever.

John was so game about visiting us in Arizona and then here after we moved.  He was generous and always spoiled us by picking up the tab at dinner which was always such a treat for us.  Whenever he and Jamie came into town we all looked forward to dinner at The Olive Garden. 

John preferred to stick to things he knew and liked over variety.  I relate to that, especially in eating.  He loved my short ribs and so whenever they visited I always made them.  I always worried about them getting sick of them, but I don’t think he ever did. 

I’m grateful that he is free from ill health and discomfort that have plagued him these last few years.  I’m grateful that sweet Jamie doesn’t have to worry about him anymore. 

Goodbye, Grandpa John!

Emily wrote his obituary:

Williams, John obit

(July 16, 1946 – March 1, 2014)

John Steven Williams passed away on March 1, 2014 at Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George, Utah. He was born July 16, 1946 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Silva Tayler and Howard Williams and the youngest of 4 brothers, Dick, Jim and Tom.

As a child John’s mischievous nature and ability to find trouble tested the limitations of his parents’ patience. John enjoyed playing football and baseball. Graduating from East High School in Salt Lake City and attending Weber State College. He graduated with honors from SUU, majoring in Business Administration with a minor in Accounting and Economics.

In 1970, John married Rebecca Yager and had the privilege of having two girls, Lori and Emily. Then through a later marriage he gained a son, Gerald.

He married the love of his life Jamie Spendlove on October 14, 1989. They enjoyed many years of traveling to Europe, Guatemala, China, Greece and Hawaii. Together they welcomed 13 grandchildren into their lives, who they loved and cherished.

In September of 1978, John was appointed as Executive Director of the Five County Association of Government. John was only the third person to serve in that capacity. John worked tirelessly throughout the 27 ½ years. John, along with the Five County Association of Government’s directed the evolution of the Association from an emphasis in unification of social services programs, to the creation of the Southwest Utah Public Health Department and the Southwest Mental Health Center, and to planning for anticipated, and later realized, growth in Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane and Washington counties.

During the 1990’s John helped the Association emphasize community and economic development projects, including corporate recruiting and corporate expansion. He played a key role in helping to bring the Wal-Mart distribution center to the region as well as the development of other industrial parks and businesses in this region. Under John, the Association took a prominent role in addressing population growth issues, public lands issues, metropolitan transportation planning, rural transportation delivery, and human services programs.

He is survived by his wife, Jamie Spendlove Williams; two daughters, Lori (Tony) Leonard and their three children, Michael, Zachary and Hailey, and Emily (Paul) Gates and their four children, Sean, Shea, Sheldon and Mya; son, Gerald (Teshia) Williams and their children Alexis Wyatt, Brendon, Abby and Ethan Williams; stepsons, Brett (Julie) Wright and Brennan (Andrea) Wright and their five children, Anna, Abby, Nate, Benjamin and Joshua; and also his three brothers, Dick, Jim and Tom Williams.

Funeral Services

  • Funeral services will be held Friday, March 7, 2014 at noon in the Riesley Chapel, 630 Riesling Ave., Santa Clara, UT.
  • There will be a viewing Friday from 10:30 a.m. until time of service at the chapel.
  • Interment will take place in the Tonaquint Cemetery.

January Photo Dump

Here are a couple more photos from January I want to get posted. 

 

Josh and Bear hanging, or more probably, Bear tolerating Josh’s “love”.

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Most nights around 11 pm, Josh comes stumbling out of bed and onto the couch for one last snuggle.  Can’t say that I mind it.

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Sledding day at Josh’s preschool

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Poor Josh was sick this day and could not get comfy, til he climbed in the dirty laundry where he slept cozily for about an hour.

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Nate has had his first indoor soccer season, and played some pretty impressive girls.

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Our trip to the Ice Castle, so cool!

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And last but not least, is this little trick of Ben’s.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Strength

Last Friday, I had the chance (thanks to Brennan) to go to the Temple.  It had been way too long since I had been, especially to an Endowment session.  I raced there and made it up to the Chapel at 10:29 hoping to make the 10:30 session, but no such luck.  The next one wasn’t til 11:15.  I’ll admit to having a small panic attack for a minute at the thought of sitting in the chapel, phone-less and book-less for 45 minutes.  I’d already read my scriptures that morning and just didn’t know if I had it in me to read the scriptures for 45 more minutes. 
I took a deep breath, calmed myself down and closed my eyes to pray.  It was the perfect opportunity to express the concerns I brought with me to the Temple.  The things I really need guidance on.  I prayed silently for a long time and poured my heart out.  Then I opened the Book of Mormon to the index.  I thought for a minute what one word might sum up what I needed.  It came to me, “strength”.  It was perfect, it’s exactly what I need in my life this year.
In years past I’ve tried to pick one word as my mantra for the year.  I knew right then in the Temple chapel that my word for 2014 is “Strength”.  I started looking up some of the references listed in the index with my word.  I only had time to look up a few, but one of them was, “…yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my god shall be my strength.”  1 Nephi 21:5.   I love that one.   The next one was “Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion…” 2 Nephi 8:24.  I wondered what that meant, how do does one put on one’s strength?  The footnote had my answer, in D&C 113: 8 it says, “…and to put on her strength is to put on the authority of the priesthood…”.  I was so excited, not only did I have my new word, I now had a way to access the strength I need, the priesthood. 
Those 45 minutes flew by.  I went into the session and it was beautiful.  It was a new film and I was completely absorbed and touched by it.   I went home and had a nice mellow afternoon and evening running kids around. 
Saturday was a busy, productive day topped off with a great date with Brennan.  We ate at Dickey’s and had great conversation then went home and watched a movie.  Sunday morning was Fast Sunday.  I knew just what to fast for.  Anna has had some challenges lately so both of us requested a priesthood blessing from Brennan.  He gave each of us a beautiful blessing filled with promises, encouragement and reminders of a tender Father in Heaven’s love for us.  Promises and encouragement regarding specific things that have been on my mind.  Some of which Brennan knew some he didn’t.   I’ll never get over the amazing gift blessings are.  To sit at the hands of someone I love so much and have him then open the door to an all-knowing, perfect Father is just plain miraculous.  I know there are some women who feel sad to miss out on the opportunity of holding the priesthood, but one of my favorite parts of participating in priesthood ordinances is the process of  humbly turning to my husband and asking him to administer his gift in my behalf  and the responsibility he humbly accepts in doing so.  It’s binding in way I can’t describe.
I feel so blessed and so excited and renewed.   I am known and loved and strengthened by Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ.