Saturday, July 26, 2008

Goodbye, Dolly

If you've read my blog for awhile, you know I have a shameful little secret: I like storms. But I don't like to be hit by them. I just like to be close enough to be involved in all the hullabaloo that surrounds them. That's why San Antonio is a great place for me: too far inland to really get hit, but close enough to feel the effects.

Take Hurricane Dolly, for instance: we were scheduled for our bi-monthly trip to Corpus Christi (it's on the coast) on Wednesday/Thursday. I think it was around Sunday that I first saw that a hurricane was forming in the Gulf and had a possible landfall on the Texas coast around Wednesday. See how that's kind of exciting? Ooooooh...possible danger! Should we stay or go? We waited until Tuesday night to make the decision. At this point we knew the eye of the storm was further south, and that it was due to hit land in the early afternoon. So Brad changed some of his Wednesday appointments and drove down in the evening. I decided not to go this time--I did not want to get stuck in a car for hours with a 3 yr old in case there were evacuations!

Everything turned out fine--turns out the heaviest rain Brad had to drive through was in San Antonio! We had little bursts of heavy rain and even a couple tornados (none in our side of town)!

Anyway, I had fun watching the news and the Weather Channel, seeing places familiar to me on the TV, and watching how everyone was preparing for the worst.

I wonder what this Hurricane season will bring next?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Girls Camp

I did not want to go to Girls Camp this year. With only five weeks remaining, I received increased responsibility because our Stake split and we were left with some vacancies. Three of those weeks I was on vacation, so preparation time all of a sudden became very limited. I was sad to leave my boys, and our A/C went out--TWICE (the second time was the day before camp)!

I was also annoyed that it wasn't really "camping" like the Girls Camp of my youth. On my High Horse, I judged these spoiled Texans with their electricity, air conditioning, mattresses, showers, swimming pools, and food cooked for them! They were spending WAY more money than we ever spent, and there were WAY too many preparation meetings where I didn't know all the traditions and lingo. Anxiety started taking over, and I began dreading it.

As I was dripping in sweat in my 100 degree, 80% humidity house the day before camp, decoupaging this, and laminating that, I talked to my friend/cousin Sara with the worst attitude she's probably ever seen from me (except maybe when she dragged me into coaching basketball with her)! She did lament with me for awhile, but also couldn't stop laughing. With the wisdom I've come to admire in her, she gently reminded me that in five days' time I'd be blubbering on and on about how wonderful it was and cry about how I didn't want to leave. I laughed and, honestly, this time, I really didn't think that would happen. Although I had loved Girls Camp in the past--both as a girl and a leader--I was annoyed and stressed enough about this camp that I couldn't fathom having a positive experience.

But then...
  • I got to know the sweetest, most obedient, valiant, fun, crazy girls I've ever met.
  • I felt loved and appreciated as I served.
  • I was able to reclaim the "me" that sometimes gets lost in the dizziness and monotony of motherhood.
  • I testified of special truths to these precious Little Sisters.
  • I bonded with other leaders, who now are part of my Stake family, rather than just a bunch of strangers I see at Stake Conference.
  • I found joy in seeing these 16 & 17 year-olds find their voice and lead their little sisters.
  • I felt the spirit over and over again.

Sure, no camp is perfect. It was a camp of 120 girls plus their women leaders. We had our fair share of:

  • Drama
  • Misunderstandings
  • Sweat and A/C units not working
  • Medical issues
  • Searches for missing girls
  • Backbiting
  • Bugs
  • Messes
  • Nazi leaders
  • Broken rules

And yet all the bad things seem to have been erased, and what lingers is a sweet place in my heart for the incredible week I've just experienced. So, Sara was right: I did cry because I didn't want to leave. And yes, I've been blubbering all day about all the great things at camp.

I'm left wondering just one thing: is it too early to start preparing for next year?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Mustache, A Moon, and A Firecracker

We recently returned from our awesome two week vacation to Oregon! Between the laundry, repairing the broken A/C, fixing and cleaning our little pool, yardwork, another business trip to Corpus, and preparing for next week's Girls Camp, I've been a tidge busy since we got home, so forgive me if the next couple blog entries are a bit dated!

We found ourselves in the Quaint Coastal town of Bandon, Oregon on the Fourth of July. Although we missed the parade (we were busy looking at tidepools on the beach--I'll post about that later!), we managed to make it to the Fourth of July Festival they had at the city park. We perused booths run by quilters, crafters, environmentalists that brought an owl, and the Bandon Punk Rock Band, and ate cones filled with Umpqua Ice Cream. Ty jumped in the inflatable jumping-house-thingy and played on the playground.

The highlight for Ty, however had to be the face-painting. We had told him previously there would be face-painting there, so he started thinking about what he wanted on his face. After--seriously--an hour-long wait in line (the lady took, like, 15 minutes per child!), it was finally his turn! And he knew exactly what he wanted!

First, the consultation...

Next, some BRT (Building Relationships of Trust)...

Some jokes and sweet-talking...

Finishing Touches...

And Voila! A mustache, a moon, and a firecracker. The perfect face-painting design!

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