Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Weekend

What a wonderful weekend!  On Saturday we were able to visit the temple with Shawn's mother.  I hadn't been able to go to the temple for a few months because of scheduling issues, so it was especially nice to be able to go yesterday.  The Spirit was so sweet and welcoming, like coming home.  It was just so nice to be reminded of the covenants I have made and to recommit to living them.  The temple has brought me such comfort in my life, and always reminds me that I will never be denied blessings as long as I am faithful to the gospel - and that when I make mistakes there is a plan in place so I can be forgiven.

The night before, we had our ward's Fall/Halloween Party and Trunk-or-Treat, which was so fun.  I always feel like a kid at Halloween.  I think that sometimes I like dressing up more than the kids.  This year Shawn and I went as punks.  Well, actually, I was a punk; Shawn went as a nerd who was converting to a punk.  :)  It was so fun and seeing all of the kids in their costumes was just a blast!  After the trunk or treat, we had a dance.  One thing I really love about church activities is that they are family friendly - and that nothing happens that would make me feel uncomfortable to go to the temple the next day.

Halloween, punk-style.
I'm including a picture of Shawn and me as punks.  For the record, the nose ring is fake.  It was SO fun!  Everyone was amazed at our  transformation!  I don't know when the last time was that I had people taking so many pictures of us - probably our wedding!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Summer's Actually Ending

Had a moment of ... not disappointment ... more of melancholy tonight in the garden.  This weekend we picked what will probably be the last of the peppers.  Tonight I was cooking them up for dinner (used a slightly modified version of this Sausage and Peppers recipe), and I went to the garden and picked oregano and the last of the usable basil for the dish.  Knowing that, very soon, I will not be able to wander back there and pick fresh veggies and herbs made me a little sad, like saying farewell to a dear friend.

This is our pepper bed in it's infancy, just after it was planted.
This year we started square foot gardening in raised beds and our garden has never been so productive.  It's been wonderful!  There is nothing like eating a tomato fresh out of the garden!  And fresh herbs?  Wowowow!  We've learned a lot about gardening this past year, and are already looking forward to planting in the spring.  But the garden also reminds us so much of life - how we have to prepare ourselves to be fruitful and productive; how we have to nurture good talents and abilities; and how we have to take care to remove weeds/bad habits when they are small so they never have a chance to really take a firm root.  Gardens can be such magical places.

I really love my garden.  Oh, and the sausages and pepper tasted divine.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Enjoying the ride!

The past week since our last post has been a good one.  On Wednesday, Shawn and I were both at church.  I am able to serve with our Primary organization, and help run the bi-monthly mid-week activity for the 8-11 year old girls.  I am slowly learning that, when there is only an hour for an activity, we can either make our own snack or have a craft/spiritual activity.  We made our own caramel dip and cut apples for our snack.  By the time we got back to the Primary room to eat, we only had 15 minutes left!  But it was fun, and the girls particularly enjoyed being able to dip their apples in dip they had made, then an assortment of sprinkles, chopped nuts, etc.  It was great!

The weekend was productive.  We were mostly confined to the house because we're having some construction done outside - a new deck, which makes us very happy.  So, I did housework and Shawn spent most of the day grading because it was the end of the first term.

Family Home Evening last night was great!  We spent it at my sister's and she shared a great lesson on Family Councils and Shawn introduced us to Gospel Scattegories, which was really fun.

This morning before work I turned "Suzie Homemaker" and whipped up some zucchini muffins, using zucchini we grew in our garden.  I shared them with my co-workers and they were a big hit, although I may tweak the recipe a bit.  And then this evening we just had a quiet night at home hanging out together.

Life is GOOD!


Monday, October 11, 2010

Adoption Conference

This past weekend we attended an adoption conference in Kirtland, Ohio.  It was wonderful.  Sometimes in our adoption journey, we feel sort of alone.  Our families and friends love us and support us so much - and we truly appreciate them and love them for it.  However, while they can feel for our loss, they can't really and truly know how we feel.  So, it's nice to be able to connect others who are on the same journey we are, or who have traveled it before.

The conference was phenomenal.  There were varying workshops, as well as a panel of birth parents sharing their experience and then a panel of family members of birth parents.  We particularly enjoyed the keynote speakers, John and Jane Covey, who spoke on strengthening marriage and family.  But the highlight of the trip for me was the Saturday morning devotional in the Kirtland Temple.  The Holy Spirit was so strong and so comforting.  I'm not sure I can adequately describe it.  I simply felt privileged to be there.

Shawn & Kim, Kirtland Temple, Oct. 9, 2010
I'm posting a picture of Shawn and I outside of the temple.  It was earlier in the morning, so the shadows fell on us.  Depending on your monitor settings, you'll still be able to see us, though.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Our Beginning

Every journey must have a beginning. For Shawn and I, our journey began at our church's young single adult scripture study class, which is called Institute (or Institute of Religion). Shawn had recently returned to activity in church and had been assigned as his ward's (congregation's) young single adult representative. I was the Institute president at the time, so when I learned he was the new rep, I immediately sent him an email telling him all of the stuff that he needed to do, the most important of which was to faithfully attend Institute. When I walked into class the next week, I saw a tall, lanky man I'd never met before. So, introduced myself to him. As the months went on, I grew more and more impressed by his knowledge of the gospel, and how easily he invited the Spirit into every single class. I tried not to become too interested in him, though, because he was preparing to serve a mission - but I was really just fooling myself. How could I not fall in love with someone over the scriptures? Just before he left for his mission, we went on one date together - to the temple. He expressed to me shortly afterward that if I was still single when he got home, maybe we could go out again. Well, the rest, as they say, is history. I wrote him nearly every week on his mission and, when he got back, we began dating seriously. He proposed in the Celestial Room of the temple, and we were married six months later. Our time together since then has been wonderful - and I could not ask for a better husband, friend, or eternal companion.