Monday, April 29, 2013

Azaleas





Spring seems to be coming and going so rapidly I can't keep track of which season we're in, but we took advantage of an authentic spring day to enjoy the Azaleas at the National Arboretum. :) The flowers Emily are holding are for me.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pure coincidence


I still maintain that it is a coincidence that...
  • I accomplish my biggest cleaning projects when Rob is working from home and I don't have access to the computer.
  • Elliot comes down with a cold a day or two after we go to the mall play place.
  • Emily often invents arbitrary rules and lectures Elliot about the consequences when he doesn't follow them.
  • I started exercising more after discovering I could easily read on a stationary bike.
  • The cashier at Target handed me my tube of concealer and said, “I assume you want this handy and not in the bag."

Friday, April 12, 2013

Heard


First of all, can I sing the praises of whoever it was that came up with the LDS General Conference Bag idea? We repeated this game from last conference (stick a picture of a prophet/apostle/auxiliary on a bag filled with a craft or snack, and the kids get that bag when that individual speaks), and my kids were in paradise. They remembered it from last year, and they loved it so much that three days later, they were still asking me to put General Conference on for them. And for my part, it was wonderful to hear so much of what was taught.

I'm not ruling out the possibility of being excited to actually hear anything sermon-like at all (sacrament meeting is always a bit of a wrestling match), but there was a lot I loved about this conference. I adored Elder Holland's talk about belief. I could gush quote after quote, but my favorite: “Let me be clear on this point: I am not asking you to pretend to faith you do not have. I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have … Be as candid about your questions as you need to be; life is full of them on one subject or another. But ... don’t let those questions stand in the way of faith working its miracle.” I loved hearing that affirmation of a truth that has meant a lot to me in my spiritual journey. I've found myself enriched and stretched as I've honestly approached my own ugly, messy questions, but finding my answers always came back to starting at the foundations of my faith and negotiating from there.

I also was delighted about Sister Stephens and Sister Stevens praying. Confession: I thought I didn't care about the “Let Women Pray” movement (sorry, I know some of you wrote letters for it). I thought that because there wasn't any rule against it, and I study the talks and not the prayers at conference, it was kind of a non-issue. But wow, I loved it when Sister Stephens came up. I felt peace and power, but more importantly, I felt heard. Because of a few loud individuals (which I realize more and more don't represent the majority of Mormons), it is easy to feel like asking any gender-related question will get you branded as a heretic or lacking in eternal perspective. But the prayers demonstrated another truth I know: that when we ask questions from a place of faith, honesty, and a desire to do good, people will listen. I don't really care about women praying in conference, but it felt wonderful to know that our leaders cared that other women did. Add sister missionaries being added to the mission leadership ranks, and the recent broadcast by the auxiliary presidents about how they function in counsels and interact with priesthood leaders, and I'm seeing some specific concerns that many faithful women have been bringing forward being thoughtfully considered and addressed. That's a good feeling.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Blossom Kite Festival



Sure, our traffic sucks and our housing prices are ridiculous. But DC knows how to do spring and festivals. We loved joining hundreds of others to make and fly kites beneath the Washington Monument, even if the wind wasn't very strong. The kids loved flying their kites (even if for Elliot, that meant just running while dragging it behind him), and it just felt like spring to sit out on the grass and watch kites fly overhead. I love this city.