Wednesday, July 16, 2014

something more important than my travel adventures...

I'm pretty good at posting all the places we go. I can recap our adventures with some words and photos and you get a pretty good idea of what we did and the fun we had. I love our adventures. But there's something more precious and important to me than all the places I go and that is the gospel of Jesus Christ and being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Over the past three years my testimony has grown exponentially.  I can say with all my heart and soul that I know that this church is true.  I know that my Heavenly Father is aware of me at every moment in my life.  I know he is aware of everyone and that he loves everyone.  Oh how I know that through and through.  When I met someone for the first time I could feel the love He has for them.  It's undeniable. 

I know that He listens and answers my prayers.  He has answered my prayers through people, scriptures, conference talks, temple attendance...and through the Holy Ghost whispering to me exactly what I need when I needed it most.

I know that there is a strength that can only be found by scripture study. And that if you ask for help to understand them it will come.

I know that through the power of the Holy Ghost you can do anything.  I was given the courage to do something I wouldn't normally have done.  I said things I didn't even know I knew.  

I realized that this gospel is the only thing that gives me true happiness. 

I know that it is because of this gospel and the priesthood that I have an eternal marriage and an eternal family. 

I also know the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real.  It not only allows me to repent, but it also fills me with joy, hope, faith, love, and charity.

I know that this church is lead by a true prophet who speaks to God and God speaks to him.  He will never lead us astray.  Never.

I don't think I could have ever said any of these things with a surety if it wasn't for my service to Him these past three years.  And as badly as I was ready to be released, when it happened, my heart broke a little.  I know I was overwhelming blessed these past three years, beyond what I can even comprehend.  I know that my service has rooted my testimony to conversion.  I know that I can do hard things and make it through the thickest of times with the Lord by my side.  And I am little scared that all of that will go away now that my stewardship of service will change.  But I know that's not true.  As long as I continue to stay as strong as I am now the blessings that are mine will come to me.  He will never leave me.

A little secret: in my little mind I kept thinking once I am released from being a relief society president my big reward will be a baby...I know that Lord doesn't really work that way but I sorta which He did.  But I've also learned that I am really happy with the little family that I have right now, even if my kids are furry and four legged.

Monday, July 14, 2014

travel diary: blue lake, uinta national forest, UT

we didn't get enough of uinta national forest on the fourth of july, so we decided to take our weekend adventure to the high mountains for a little rest and relaxation.

our first stop was dinner in the last town before we entered the canyon.
i did a google search and a place called hi-mountain had great milkshake reviews.
so milkshakes for dinner it was!

after dinner we planned to head straight up the canyon, but some of our friends who were joining us, the marsh's, had a couple of problems that postponed our travels.  first, their little one had a fever that just wasn't getting any better.  second, their dog pooped all over inside of their truck while we were at dinner.  they ended up calling it a day and heading back home.

that left gordon, me and our neighbor junior.

so after sending the marsh's on their way home, we trekked up the canyon on our way to blue lake.
we missed our turn off.
by 20 miles.
when we hit the road, the very rocky, puddle ridden road, it took us longer to find a camp spot due to the overwhelming amount of rain the uinta's had received the day before.
so at midnight we finally found a spot to call home.
when we woke up next to a beautiful little pond we were pleasantly surprised.

our day was full of relaxing activities.
paddle boarding.
lounging in hammock.
bee bee gun target practice.
frog searching.

it was exactly what gordon and i needed.
cheers to the next adventure!

^^super moon!

life lately...

^^meet our newest niece, charlotte leeann hardcastle.  we love her so much.  and she's lives just two streets away...bonus!

^^we are now twinner ball cap owners.  i secretly like twinning with him.
^^isn't the view from linquist baseball field fantastic?! if it wasn't dark you'd see the mountains in the backdrop as well.  also...our temple is almost open!  september cannot come quick enough.

^^my first time playing an inning game at raptor's baseball game.  we had to see which one of us could set up a table and put a tablecloth on it the fastest.  tanna won.

^^my friends at work decorated my office for my birthday.  they had a variety of "dirty" things for me eat as well...dirt cake, dirty was super fun.
^^wishes come true!  i got my very own stand up paddleboard (SUP) for my birthday.  I don't know if i could have been happier!
^^i am fortunate enough that my birthday always falls on the week my family goes to bear lake.  my SUP was a hit with everyone.  oh, and my cousin's girls still LOVE gordon.
^^the girls outsmarted gordon and made him think he was crazy while playing a card game.  turns out, they were just really good at cheating.

^^i can see why they love him so much...hubba hubba!
^^there's this new place up at bear lake called zipz.  go there.  they have dole whip.  and the best soft serve ice cream.
^^what's work if you can't have a little fun running errands.  hula hoop contest in the middle of an aisle at target? yes, please.
^^ogden friends unite for an ogden raptors baseball game.  who would have thought we'd be such baseball fans.  we love all things ogden.
^^on the fourth of july we had a picnic and went on a day hike up in uinta national forest with gordon's family.  gordon, his dad, and our bro-in-law justin hiked bald mountain.  they saw big horned sheep.  awesome!
^^our pooches joined us on the fourth.  between us and the kids, we wore them right out!

^^the littlest man is starting to loves us as much as his siblings.  phew!
^^once again gordon saved my sister and me from mountain critters on our trail runs. this time it wasn't a snake or coyote eating it's prey...this time it was a MOUNTAIN LION.  needless to say, we've been creeped out ever sense.  i'm sure we're always being watched.
^^on july 11, 7/11 gives out free slurpees.  chick-fil-a was also doing a promotion if you dressed up like a cow you got a free meal or entree.  so my friends at work and I took advantage of all the freebies and got ourselves some lunch and a slushy drink, for free.  i wish every friday was like that!