Wednesday, December 23, 2009

You better not pout, you better not cry...

I don't know what's more entertaining: my niece Audrey reaching for anyone who will save her or my mom singing Christmas songs to calm her down. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Precious Gift From God

The other evening I had the privilege of holding my sweet little niece, Jayne, while she slept. There is nothing more precious than a new baby sleeping peacefully in your arms. I was alone with her. The house was quiet, and the only lights that were on were those found on the Christmas tree. As Jayne slept, I enjoyed the quiet moment to reflect back on thoughts I had had earlier in the day during a lesson in church.

We had an amazing lesson that compared the birth of John to the birth of the Savior. The teacher compared their parents, where they were born, and the lives that they would live. She also shared information, that was new to me, and gave me a new perspective on what Mary and Joseph went through to bear the Christ child.

As I sat there holding Jayne, I thought of how Mary must have felt when she held her new baby. I am only Jayne's aunt and can't imagine how a mother must feel holding her own child. But, I wondered what little Jayne would do in her life and what she'd become. I wondered what her personality would be like. I was curious if she would be anything like her older sister, Audrey, who is more fun than we ever imagined possible.

I wondered if Mary had any idea of whom and what her son would become. Did she know that he would become the Savior of the world? Did she know that he'd be a perfect example to all?

During this Christmas season, my thoughts are turned to Christ; but especially to his mother and the heartache she suffered and the sacrifices she made in order to give us the most perfect gift of all.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Each year the company I work for provides Christmas for 25 families in need. One of my responsiblities is to coordinate this event. Gift tags are distributed to our branches and hung on the Christmas trees. Then members, employees and family members can select a tag and purchase the gift. Monetary donations are also accepted and used to purchase any gifts not selected off the trees.

Once all the gifts are collected and purchased, we have a Family Wrapping Party. Employees and family members are invited to come help wrap all of the gifts. We wrap all day and have lots of food and fun activities for the kids. Santa also makes a visit. My niece, Audrey, really enjoyed herself and her cookie.

It's overwhelming to watch the generosity flow into our various branches. People are so kind and make this event one of my favorites. It's incredible how I get to witness Christmas miracles that make this a success each year. I feel so blessed to work for such an amazing company that goes above and beyond and reaches out to help those in need.

Friday, December 11, 2009

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

I love Christmas time and all the fun things associated with it. This year I really wanted to go to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert. I had several family members apply for tickets to increase my chances of being able to go. We ended up getting a few tickets and the first group of us ventured down to Salt Lake City last night. We left at 6 p.m. giving ourselves and an hour and a half to get to our seats. Plenty of time, right? Well, none of us realized there was a Jazz games going on that night too. Needless to say, traffic was horrible and the thought of going over 10 miles an hour on the streets of the city, was just a thought.

Our attempt at parking in our assigned parking terrace took another half hour to accomplish. After the three block brisk walk to the Conference Center, we made it inside to battle with hundreds of other people to find empty seats. The concert began. We were still searching for seats. The concert continued. We still searched for seats. About 30 minutes later, we ended up in the overflow seating at the tabernacle. So much for watching the concert and feeling the music inside the Conference Center. I could have stayed home and watched it next year on KBYU. The best part came after the concert when we waited in line for another 30 minutes to leave the parking terrace.

Was it worth it? Well for the girl who loves Temple Square at Christmas time, it was well worth it.

I also love the Festival of Trees. Most years I'm so busy volunteering with it that I don't have time to see many of the trees. This year I actually went to the event as a spectator and was able to walk up and down each isle and drool over my favorite trees. This upside down tree was so intriguing to me.

But most of all my favorite thing this year has got to be Earl the plant. I went to my brother's house and saw that Earl got roped into playing the role of the Christmas tree this year.

Thanks"giving" Day

"Bring on the pie."
"Can you pass the roles, please?"
"Is that bird ready yet?"
"Oh I'm so hungry!"
For the past several years, we've traded in the traditional football games before dinner to go serve dinner to the homeless. My mom always insists on being the first ones there. As we wipe the sleep out of our eyes and disguise our yawns with big smiles, we find great joy in serving others. This year there were so many volunteers. But we still managed to have a good time.