A Lovely Gift from a Lovely Friend

My friendship with Samantha goes back to eighth grade, when we played night games with other neighborhood kids every summer night and did not maim ourselves jumping from the tree house onto the trampoline in her backyard. In high school we survived dominated AP Language, AP Literature, AP European History, AP US History, and AP US Government together. Later we attended different universities, but we corresponded and kept up through college craziness, summer study abroads, and dating drama. Now we both have husbands and she has a baby, and we’re still the best of friends.

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Samantha just stitched this lovely gift for me! (How she found the time to do that with a new baby, I have no idea.) These sweet little birds are the perfect addition to our built-in bookshelves. They make their nest with the gorgeously illustrated old copies of Oliver Twist and Journeys Through OZ that Samantha gave to me. And see that book of Portuguese love sonnets? That was a wedding present from Samantha and her husband. I think Mark and I will take a leaf out of their book and start reading love poems together for date nights sometimes. John Donne, here we come!

A friend who shares your obsession with old books, who has read everything under the sun and always has great reading recommendations? A friend who hand-stitches a thoughtful gift for you just because? A friend whose constant friendship has endured more than a dozen years? Very lovely indeed! Thank you, Samantha!

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A little catch up…

Evan is home from Germany! I’m so glad to have my smart, tough, hilarious, handsome, quirky brother home again.

On Saturday Logan, Evan, and I took the little kids (minus Violet) to hike to the Y and watch the Stadium of Fire fireworks. We stuck Julia in the baby backpack and Evan carried her. About halfway up she said, “Hiking makes me tired. I need to take a rest on your shoulder, Evan.” Yep, life’s tough when you’re two years old. 🙂 Also, we brought Natalie’s friend Megan with us, and Julia called her “Bacon” the whole night. Megan, Bacon…they’re interchangeable, I guess.

I hiked Maple Mountain for the first time with my brothers last week. (Yes, I’m a little ashamed of myself that I’ve lived in Springville almost half my life and had never climbed it!) We made pretty good time–we started hiking at 6:00 and summited by 9:15. Then we were back off the mountain by 11:00, so I still had time for a half day of work. Maybe I should hike Maple Mountain every day.

This week should be an adventure. Logan, Evan, and I are going to make an attempt at Gannet Peak, which evaded us last year because of terrible blizzarding weather. I hope we get a chance at the summit! Gannett is Wyoming’s state highpoint and is considered the second-most-difficult state highpoint (after Denali, of course!). I hope I’m ready for this.

I went to Samantha‘s bridal shower with my mom last week. Samantha has been one of my best friends since I moved to Springville and I’m so excited for her and Brandon (and I really really hope I can make it back to Springville in time for their reception on Saturday!). The funniest moment of the bridal shower was when Samantha pulled a beautiful framed picture of the Manti Temple out of a bright pink Victoria’s Secret bag. “Sorry! That was the only bag I had to wrap it in!” said the lady who had given it to her.

So, life is good. I exchanged e-mail addresses with a potential Jewish genealogy client at the FHL last week (if any of you guys have Jewish friends interested in genealogy, please direct them to my website), hung out with my awesome friend Jana, coerced BOTH my brothers into bearing their testimonies in sacrament meeting, had a good lazy Sunday with my family, cut Wendell’s hair today and didn’t make him look terrible, and went running a LOT.

Life is good.

Gratitude

I am blessed beyond what I can express in words. On this Sunday evening, I’d like to list just a few of the many things that make life amazing for me:

1. My Savior and the atonement that he performed for us. It astounds me that the atonement was planned and prepared before the world was even created–from the very foundation of human existence.

2. Love. The love in my family, the love I feel for good friends like Alecia, and my best-friend-brother Logan, and the love I feel from ancestors who I have never even met in this lifetime.

3. Good music. Regina Spektor, Josh Turner, Paul Simon, Kalai, Ingrid Michaelson, Jack Johnson…okay, music may be a distraction (obsession?) for me lately, but what an enjoyable one!

4. My Aunt Monica and my Uncle Kyle. I enjoy their company every time they come over, and they’re always helping someone out or doing a project for someone.

5. The way the light falls on the mountains where I live. Sunrise or sunset, I truly live in the most beautiful place in the world.

Okay, that’s all I have time for. I’m going to go read a chapter of The Horse and His Boy to my little brothers. Oh, and I’m grateful for C.S. Lewis. And my baby sister Julia. And crochet. And blogging. And musical theater. And Saturday morning runs. And okay I really have to go now.

🙂