Friday, December 5, 2014

Random Scotland picture

I know I've been neglecting this blog. So many things have happened this year, that I haven't had time to post. Just to keep things interesting, here is a random picture from our Scotland trip that Mr. Perfect took. Hope you enjoy it!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween, and, oh look! a Scotland picture

With the trip earlier this month, we haven't done much in the way of preparing for Halloween. We didn't buy any pumpkins, let alone carve them. But that just means that we have really cool pictures from Scotland to share, like this one of Glengarry Castle,

Sorry, it looks like I might end up feeding ya'll Scotland pictures in ones and twos slowly over the next few months. Too much other stuff going on. Hopefully not, though. We'll have to see.

But any way, everyone have a fun and safe All Hallow's Eve!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Engagement announcement cover

A few weeks ago, I took engagement photos for our niece and her fiance. It was a lot of fun, and when we came back from our huge trip to the U.K. (hopefully a topic for an upcoming post) and found the invite in our mailbox, I was touched and excited to see that they used so many of the pictures from the photo shoot in the invitation. Here is the one they used as the cover for the announcement:

They have it centered, and the tree splits down the middle to open the invite. Love it! Thanks, guys! Now to finish up processing the bridals. Whew!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Why, Thank You!

What’s the best (or rather, worst) backhanded compliment you’ve ever received? If you can’t think of any — when’s the last time someone paid you a compliment you didn’t actually deserve?

This is the Daily Post's Daily Prompt for today, and it really caught my fancy. I can’t think of any backhanded compliments I have personally received, though I know I’ve had my share. I’ve also given out my share, so maybe that’s why I’m not sensitive to them. But this topic made me think about what constitutes a backhanded compliment. In order for it to be backhanded, the person saying it has to have an ulterior motive to hurt the person it’s aimed at. Maybe that’s another reason I don’t notice them so much. I think everyone loves me (just kidding). As the Young Women’s president in our LDS ward (congregation), I deal with teenage girls all the time. I’m not sure what it is about the ages of 12-18 that make kids (espcially girls) turn into mean, vicious, emotionally-destructive-to-others, insensitive twerps, but it does. Don’t get me wrong, they can also be the most loyal, loving, giving individuals you will meet. As long as you don’t come across them in a pack. I think I’ve heard the kindest and meanest things to ever penetrate my eardrums since I stated this calling.

A friend told me that when her oldest turned 13, she sat him down and had the following conversation:

“Son, you know I love you, right?”

“Yes, Mom.”

“And I want you to know that I will always love you. Do you believe that?”

“Yes, Mom.”

“Tomorrow, you’re going to turn 13, and there’s a really big chance that after tomorrow I might not always like you most of the time. But I will still always love you, because I’m your mom. Do you believe that?”

"Eh...sure, I guess.”

“Good. And we can be friends again as soon as you turn 21.”

“Okay, Mom.”

So, in honor of backhanded compliment day, here are some that I can think of (probably because I’ve heard them coming my way or out of my mouth at various and sundry times):

“Not everyone can carry off that color, but it looks fine on you.”

“You almost made that look graceful.”

“You look like someone who knows how to enjoy a good meal.”

Anything sentence ending with“...bless your heart.”

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

It's so much fun when extended family comes to visit

That is not a sarcastic statement. I really do love it when extended family comes to visit us. We recently had a niece, her husband, and three wonderful children stay with us for a few nights before and after a big family get together up in Park City for my sister-in-law's kids and grandkids. I was also fortunate enough to take family pictures for them in Park City at the end of their reunion. I will be posting some of them soon on my other blog.

Any whoo, getting back to the topic of my blog post here. Having family around gives me a great excuse to pull out the camera and start taking pictures of everyone, especially the kids. Here are some of the candid photos I grabbed while they were at our place, and also some from another family gathering with other nieces and nephews and their families in town (or moving back to town YAY!!!) for a Sunday FHE.

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Man in Plays is leaving the nest

In just a few short weeks, Mr. Perfect and Most Happy Girl will be empty-nesters. I mean, we've always been part-time nesters anyway, but with Man in Plays graduating from high school this year, this era of our lives is coming to a complete end. Soon there will be no more kids' weekends or weekly Tuesday dinner nights. Fortunately, when Lawyer in the Works and Drama Queen are home, they come see us and eat with us and let us know that we are still part of their lives, but this is the time for all of the kids to be creating their own places, even if they are college temporary.

So, to Man in Plays, we say, "We love you! We are so proud of you! And we are excited to see where your next adventure takes you." Right now, it's looking like either Cedar City or Price. And it's wonderful that you have really good options in both places.

Thanks for being so wonderful.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

I know that my Redeemer lives!

What an amazing statement to be able to make. I love Easter. I am amazed at the knowledge that Christ suffered and died for me. But I love knowing that He was resurrected and lives now. What an amazing thing to know. I'm so glad that Easter has come to mean more to me than chocolate bunny ears, finding eggs, and a new outfit. To me, Easter is the culmination of everything in Heavenly Father's plan for us. Because He loves us, He sent His Son to live and die and live for us. I can never thank either of them enough for this gift.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Thoughts about living as a Christian

I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I'm not shy about my religion, but I also don't try to cram it down other people's throats. We recently had a wonderful weekend of instruction from the men and women who have been called as leaders for the church. A friend of mine recently blogged about her feelings after conference weekend, and I posted a response. I decided that I really liked my response (yes, I'm a bit of a narcissist), so I thought I'd share it here. I'd link to my friend's original post, but I think her blog may be private, so you might not be able to see it anyway.

This is a great post. One thing I've always heard is that there is room in the Gospel for both conservative and liberal political thinking. The doctrines of the church sustain ideals from both sides of the political spectrum. There are many blacks and whites in the doctrine: don't murder each other, leave your neighbor's property alone, be faithful to your spouse. Love God and love others, and you should be okay. Seems simple, but people disagree on what "love others" means. For some, it means that you live the way you think God wants you to and leave other people alone to do that as well. For others, it means that although you don't force someone else to do what is right, you can tell them why you don't agree with what they are doing. And for some (and they are minority, thank heavens) it does mean doing what you can to force everyone to live by your idea of what God's laws are. Sometimes they are correct in interpreting God's laws; sometimes they aren't. But the fact is that God will not force any of us into heaven. You're right in stating that's why the war in heaven was fought: agency is the second greatest gift we have received from Heavenly Father. Interestingly, it is completely and wholly intertwined with the first. Without agency, we would have had no need for the Atonement. Without the Atonement, no choice we make will get us home. To me that's a rather simple and beautiful concept. But where are we when it comes to other people? How do we help without forcing? I think that the "every member a missionary" calling has to be handled on a person-by-person basis. Literally. We have to look at each relationship we have to decide how much "force" we put behind our treatment of that person. I have friends I talk about church stuff with all the time (most of them are members of the Church, and so that makes most of these discussions pretty simple, though at times heated); I have friends who love to talk to me about what they do religiously and spiritually, but don't want to hear anything about my spiritual journey. It can feel like "If I talk to Nancy enough about how right what I believe is, she will realize how wrong what she believes is." These friendships both tickle and frustrate me, because these are people who would completely shut you down if you told them they weren't Christians (because to them, their relationship with Christ is very personal), but have no qualms telling someone else that they aren't Christians (because to them, your relationship with Christ should be exactly the same as their, and therefore not personal). And I have friends who I don't talk religion with at all. With these people, I just live the way I believe is correct, and hope that some of the light of Christ will impact them in a positive way. When they have questions, I answer them. When they don't want to talk about religion, we discuss other things.

Sorry this got so long, but I fully understand where you are coming from. I've been on both sides of that ever-moving political line. I've had people tell me I'm not a good member of the church if I don't vote straight Republican. I've had people tell me that I'm trying to force my religion on others if I vote my conscience. But what else can we do? As members of the LDS church, does voting our conscience mean that we will vote exactly the same on everything? Of course not. We are all at differing points on our journey home. The best we can do is pray and follow the promptings we receive, not the promptings others receive.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Daily Prompt: Papa Loves Mambo

What sort of music was played in your house when you were growing up? What effect, (if any) did it have on your musical tastes?

Oh my, where to start. I come from a very musical family. My paternal grandmother was a piano teacher who taught herself how to play from listening intently at her three sons' piano lessons and then helping them while they practiced and working through their assignments on her own. My maternal grandmother was also a self-taught pianist who made sure all four of her children learned at least one instrument (I think my mom plays three, maybe four). My mom studied music education at the U of U, and my dad and his two brothers played in dance bands around Salt Lake City from the 1950s through the early 1970s. I remember my dad going out on gigs as a very small child.

The music that was played in our house ran the gamete. Classical, jazz, big band (yes, it's different from jazz), old standards, new pop, and some rock. The only music not allow was anything with questionable lyrics or if the beat gave my mom a headache. We'd still sneak of the last kind in occasionally. Hey, we were kids. My brother loved (and probably still does) the Beatles. My dad wowed us all with his lightning quick fingers as he'd riff through jazz numbers. All of my parents' five children play the piano and learned at least one other instrument (most of us play the violin because we had one).

I have a degree in Musical Education from the U. I play the piano, the violin, and the voice (singing). I tried the flute and the viola for half a year in junior high. I have performed with choirs from junior high school through college and at church (I've sung at the LDS Conference Center [including in a choir for a session of General Conference], and on Temple Square at the Assembly Hall and Tabernacle). I played in the Granite Youth Symphony from eighth through eleventh grade (when I unfortunately gave up the violin). I've been hired by local community theater companies to be the music director for several shows. That's how I met Mr. Perfect. I've performed on stage in several musical productions here in Salt Lake. I have been teaching piano for almost 30 years.

I guess you could say that music permeates my life. My college vocal teacher told me that I needed to marry a man who understood music, because if he didn't, he would never understand me. I agree. If Mr. Perfect didn't know music (he played the french horn and sang in choir in high school), he would never completely understand me. I know a lot of women like to keep an edge on their men, but I would rather have a partner than a slave to my whims.

Music fills our house. We have a beautiful Baldwin studio upright in the living room. When it's played, there is no where in the house you can't hear it. We have a violin and a plethora (I love using that word) of percussion instruments. And Mr. Perfect loves a good stereo. He's pieced a couple together for us so that we have an amazing (and completely worthless monetarily) surround sound system for the family room T.V.

To close, I'd have to agree with Mr. Shakespeare that music is the food of love, so "play on."

Thursday, February 27, 2014

New adventures and a change of pace

I was reading a friend's blog this morning, and she mentioned that some of her favorite bloggers haven't blogged in a while. It made me realize that I've neglected this blog for some time now (not that I'm assuming that my blog is one of the ones she loves reading (but I hope so, Megan, I really hope so)).

Life has been taking some interesting turns lately. I'm still Young Women's president, but at least I don't feel like I'm drowning in the calling all the time. Just mostly treading water with the occasional wave splashing over me and filling my lungs briefly with water. The girls are wonderful, and my counselors and advisers are amazing. Without them, I would literally be falling apart right now.

Mr. Perfect still works with the Special Needs Mutual for our area. He loves this calling, and I love occasionally going to their activities. Some of the kids will ask were I am when I can't come. They are awesome (as in fill me with awe at their greatness) people, and I love them dearly. When he gets released, I will miss them as much as he will.

Mr. Perfect and I are adjusting to the idea of being empty-nesters and all that it might entail. We still see Man in Plays frequently, but he's 18 now, graduating from high school in a few short months, and then off to parts unknown at this time for college, because it's looking less and less likely that he'll be going to a local school. We see Lawyer-in-the-Works a couple of times a year, and Drama Queen more frequently, but they are both busy building their lives (as they should be) and being in constant contact with the parents becomes less important (as it should).

I'm in the process of morphing my photography hobby into a full-fledged portrait/wedding business. It's fraught with danger and intrigue -- oh, wait. No it isn't. I just wish it were. It is fraught with anxiety hoping that it takes off and that people like the outcome. It also begs the question of can I run two businesses and keep a regular full-time job at the same time. More decisions to contemplate. I suppose that last one will only matter after some time has passed and we see just how this takes off.

Life is very good. In fact, it's fantastic. I love my life.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Happy Anniversary to the one I love

Five years ago today, I married the most amazing person I have ever met. He is kind, loving, patient, and dang sexy. He makes me feel loved, appreciated, needed, and dang sexy. Mr. Perfect, thank you again for being perfect for me. I can't wait for eternity with you.


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