"Under the plan of heaven, the husband and the wife walk side by side as companions, neither one ahead of the other, but a daughter of God and a son of God walking side by side. Let your families be families of love and peace and happiness. Gather your children around you and have your family home evenings, teach your children the ways of the Lord, read to them from the scriptures, and let them come to know the great truths of the eternal gospel as set forth in these words of the Almighty."
"The way will be lighter, the worries will be fewer, the confrontations will be less difficult if we cultivate a spirit of happiness."
"Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to be just like people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, and most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is just like an old time rail journey ... delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride."
". . . I am satisfied . . . that whenever a man has a true witness in his heart of the living reality of the Lord Jesus Christ all else will come together as it should."
"May the sunlight of faith ever warm your hearts. May you grow in strength and capacity as the years pass. May your outreach to others be as that of the good Samaritan. May the service which you render be fruitful for good in the lives of others. May prayer be a part of your daily activity. May reading enhance your knowledge and increase your understanding. May you be true and faithful one to another, and may the years bring to you that peace which passeth all understanding, the peace which comes of following the precepts of the Master."
"Let your children be exposed to great minds, great ideas, everlasting truth, and those things which will build and motivate for good."
"Of all the creations of the Almighty, there is none more beautiful, none more inspiring than a lovely daughter of God who walks in virtue with an understanding of why she should do so, who honors and respects her body as a thing sacred and divine, who cultivates her mind and constantly enlarges the horizon of her understanding, who nurtures her spirit with everlasting truth."
"I testify that our prayers, offered in humility and sincerity, are heard and answered. It is a miraculous thing, but it is real."
-quotes/writings from Gordon B. Hinckley, prophet and president of the LDS church, who passed away last night. he was the prophet who came to byu (when i was a ungrateful 20 year old who didn't really want to be there and wasn't really trying) and told us not to be "scrubs", encouraged us to make the jump from mediocrity to excellence, and to walk a little taller...and with those words changed the course of my life. he was the prophet while i was a missionary and later a teacher at the mtc- in total about three years- of daily testifying that he truly spoke with the lord and was leading the church as his mouthpiece, and feeling the spirit confirm that again and again to my heart and to those i was teaching.
i am going to miss his bright optimism and expressions of love. his encouragement and true christianity. but i am so happy for him! i tried to imagine his reception in heaven and i thought it must've been glorious! and to be with his wife again! he expressed his lonliness these past few years and i'm so happy they are together again. my favorite quote of all time was said by sister hinckley, and i think it is especially applicable and true of the hinckleys entrance to heaven:
"I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp. I want to be there with grass stains on my shoes from mowing Sister Schenck's lawn. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor's children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden. I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived." -marjorie pay hinckley, wife of the prophet.
in honor of my lovely life, i would like to give someone a lovely present that represents what has made me happy these last 30 years. wish me a happy birthday and i'll randomly pick a name from the comments to receive a package of 30 (yes, 30!) of my favorite things (music, food, fabric, mags, you know, good stuff). and could you tell me how young i still am? cause i am freaking out.
this past weekend i headed up to my little sister's house in idaho to be pampered in preparation for turning the big 3-0. as previously mentioned 40 or 50 times, she is amazing with hair, and is also a knowledgeable esthetician that works at a skin clinic. we went to her clinic to go over my skin, purchase some products and talk anti-aging for a bit before getting pedicures saturday morning. i had the latest copy of instyle, nicole and i were in high spirits, and all was right with the world. until, that is, the little twit doing my pedicure asked if i was nicole's mom. since i hadn't yet started kindergarten when she was born, it is safe to say that no, we are in fact, sisters. i started to get that familiar surge of self-pity so often felt when people like to ask me if i'm pregnant (if beyonce can have a huge gross butt and be called sexy, why can't i have a motherly waist and be given the same respect?), and then i realized this girl has to be seriously the dumbest girl on planet earth. so dumb that i felt sorry for her and gave her a generous tip despite the fact that my toes look like cate painted them.
other highlights of the weekend: the best cheeseburger i have ever had in my life at the snakebite in idaho falls, getting lots of gorgeous scarves and headbands and a shirt at the gap for like 12 bucks, seeing penny lane's parents together, trying to do a funny dance in nicole's kitchen to make tyler laugh but instead i slip and fall flat on my face and then pee my pants laughing, debating and watching john hughes movies into the wee hours for the millioneth time, coming home with the most exciting make up and skin care products, and the amazing haircut by nicole the hair goddess.
other lowlights of the weekend: couldn't find a decent diet coke in all of rexburg and the snakebite only served pepsi products, the girl that worked at the sonic was as dumb as the pedicure girl (long story), and i only got to visit my
daughter, i mean sister, for one day.
in one week i will turn 30. i am kind of ignoring that it's happening. i'm ok with being 30, i think. what does worry me is that my 29th birthday seems like it was a second ago- so is it going to go that fast from here on out? am i basically 40 now? am i going to blink my eyes and be 50? is cate going to be getting married soon? it's all so fast! it really frightens me that it's all playing out so quickly.
however, i'm excited for this time of my life too. my 20's were productive and exhausting. such a time of huge life decisions and change. what with growing up, yucky college and working hard to put myself through it, serving a mission, abandoning my selfish independent life and adjusting to marriage and motherhood, and losing my mom...there was a lot of (sometimes painful) growth. i feel like in these last ten years i've really found out who i am and what i'm made of. and i like that. i feel comfortable in my own skin. i am happy. i am secure. i am determined to be hopeful, and so i am excited to start this new chapter in my history.
and, of course, i'm excited for my "birthday week" to begin no matter the age i'm turning. i really milk the birthday thing. goodbye twenties. hello week of pedicures, massage, uniterupted baths and not doing dishes. oh, and one more great thing: my husband is the world' greatest present giver. for christmas he rolled up us weekly mag in my stocking and had creatively wrapped every form diet coke is bottled in, which he had me open in between opening the cutest clothes and shoes ever that were so me. i mean, look at these shoes he got me, i almost started crying i love them so: