Dear twenty-seventh year,
Where did you go? When you started, I wasn’t thrilled. I don’t like the number 27, nothing against you personally but you’re an odd number, the sum of my least favorite times table ever (9×3, why that still gives me angst, I’ll never know) and you’re just not an asthetically pleasing number either. Nevertheless, the you carried on and we had lots of adventures together. We wrapped up the LEND experience including a week in Logan at ASSERT. That whole thing is an experience never to be forgotten. We traveled to Island Park a few times, trips with just the boys, a Fourth of July first ever sisters weekend with LB, passing through on the way to Billings and a weekend with all the family for October General Conference including lovely morning walks all together. We had some hard times this year as we lost Grandma McQuivey, Uncle Mike, Aunt Janice and Larry Christensen. The family won’t be quite the same without them. We gained a few new people in our lives this year, cousins Sarah and Gretchen getting married to their sweethearts, people having babies. And the babies from last year continue to grow and be more fun than ever. We learned a lot about family history and started to get the buzz to get a bit more into that. You brought us new adventures including going to Israel (hello bucket list check!). My first transatlantic flight ever! It was the trip of a lifetime with the best people ever. Dad and I were able to truly walk where Jesus walked, love the Gaililee as he did, traverse the busy streets of Old Jerusalem, bargain for deals with the shopkeepers, stand on the steps of the ancient temple, sing in shepherds fields in Bethlehem, float in the Dead sea, visit Masada and Qum’ran, we walked through the ancient city of Dan, sat in Caesarea Phillipi, on the Mount of Beattitutdes and sang hymns in the branch building in Tiberius. We backed up into the Orson Hyde Memorial Garden, gazed at the Damascus gate, enjoyed solitude at the Garden of Gethsemane and experienced the inside of the Garden Tomb. We worshipped at the Wailing Wall, stood on top of the Temple Mount, created holy and solomn space at the Pools of Bethesda and sang praises to our Lord and King via How Great Thou Art with other travelers in the Church of St. Annes. The things we felt, the impressions we had, the love that we experienced was uncomparable. I have truly been changed and continue to be so as I continue to learn more about my Savior Jesus Christ, his mortal and eternal mission and his Infinite and Eternal Atonement. And what an experience to have with my Dad!
Other unique experiences this year included going showshoeing on New Years, rafting down the Snake River with my ward, conquering my fear and yet having my fears confirmed when I got launched out of the boat at lunchcounter. Never again, but it was a great experience for what it was! I made it to do sessions in 3 new temples including Billings Montana (including a trip through Yellowstone, Big Sky, Bozeman (for the best Mediteranean food of your life), Billings, and back through the Beartooth Mountain Range (almost 12,000 feet in elevation!) to Cooke City and back home to Island Park), the newly rededicated Ogden Utah Temple (I got to help out at the open house, attend the open house with the family and grandpa and be in the temple during the second session of the dedication), and the Las Vegas Temple where i was able to enjoy a weekend welcoming in this next birthday of mine.
It brought more social adventures including dating and relating, serving in the Relief Society Presidency in Ogden, moving to Salt Lake City (and getting yet another Relief Society calling, this time as a teacher…I feel so spoiled to get to serve in an organization that I love). I have been continued to be blessed with good friends. We’ve had great shopping days, dinner dates and late night phone calls…and ice cream, oh and diet cocaladas.
Work has continued to be an adventure. I’ve learned a lot about voice, cognition, autism and feeding this year. Oh feeding, you’ve also conqured your own feeding issues…always the first step in then being able to help pepole. You’ve met lots of residents and trainees. You have had crucial conversations, loved more, played more and refined your teaching and communication skills. You have taught me how to be diplomatic and direct.
Family and I parted ways this year…only in the sense that we don’t live in the same house anymore. It was time and let’s be honest, we’ve seen each other almost every week since. They continue to be the shining light in my life, the people who inspire me to be better, love deeper and who are each shining rays of happiness in my life. The grandpa’s are still sticking in there. Visiting them makes me happy.
27 has been so busy but so good. 28 is going to be even better. We already have big plans together looking ahead. Europe 2015 for starters and radiating the good things in life. Its going to be great.
Dear twenty-seventh year,