Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Other Side of June

While my insides were brooding and anxious, as indicated in the previous post, my outsides were actually having a pretty good time. Thanks again to everyone who reads for your expressions of friendship and reassurance. It really meant a lot. Here are some actual HIGHLIGHTS from the past few weeks:

This was actually in May, but It's sort of been that long since I've blogged about any sort of event. Memorial Day often finds us celebrating a couple of family birthdays due to their proximity to that holiday. The one boy was actually born on the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend. This year, the requested meal was Steamed Crabs, a local Maryland delicacy. These were actually caught in the Chesapeake Bay and steamed earlier that day. They may be ugly to others, but to us they are bea-utiful and so delicious.

After Memorial Day, we were lucky enough to have some friends visit from Oregon. It was really great to have little ones in the house and other mutual friends over to share the fun.

The last photo is me, Heather and Corinne. We met through our online book group, The Nook, and it was the first time Heather and Corinne had met. I love that we've been able to prove the value of online interaction by becoming real, true friends. The nice thing is that our connections can transcend time and distance and be meaningful no matter what.

The next week brought my sister getting her PhD with me and several other family members in attendance. It was awesome to see how amazing her research was and experience her genius. She always planned to get a PhD and now at the age of 40, and after having 5 kids, she accomplished that great goal. The day after that, I got to do a wonderful photo shoot of a darling 1-year old. She is kind of a serious little thing, but I think I got some nice ones. This is my favorite.

Catching up to last weekend, I guess the biggest news was that I was sustained at church as the Young Women's President. That means I'm in charge of all the girls aged 12-18 in my congregation. The assignment involves a concern with both spiritual and practical aspects of the program, so I'll make sure they have religious instruction on Sundays then fun and fellowship on Wednesdays. The good news is that I have experience in this area of church service, so I have some confidence that I'll be able to do it fairly well, and unlike seminary, I now get to work with several other women who will assist and counsel me in every aspect of the program. I love that part the most.

However, that excitement was nothing compared to our amazement about the creature that Sam brought home in his tent after a scout campout on Friday. Oh. My. Goodness. It was three inches long and unlike any other bug I had ever seen. It seriously made me think of the monster at the end of Men in Black.
It took us a while, but we finally identified it as a Dobsonfly Larva. I guess they are a very impressive 3-inch long fly, and I'm sure I wouldn't want to meet one on a dark night in the woods, but man alive, this thing looked like some mutated cross between a scorpion and a wicked centipede. I'm not sure which is worse, the larvae or the adults. I guess they are prized by fishermen because they are quite a juicy piece of bait. We like bugs, so everyone enjoyed the thrill of watching him fight fiercely to try and get out of his cup. We did the right thing and took him down to the river and set him free to scare the heck out of someone else. I uploaded these photos a bit larger so you can see some of the exciting details. :o)

Today, a double whammy of thrills: Evan and I made real Whoopie Pies and I got my hair cut. The Whoopie Pies were much more interesting to Evan, but he did tell me my hair looked nice.

Here it is in its post-salon perfection, so don't expect it to look a lot like this again. I like it even though it is quite different from my usual pony tail or plain old long hair. Hopefully I'll be able to wrangle with my hair appliances successfully enough to get it to behave.
So, here I am, smiling again for real, grateful for family and friends and knowing pretty much what the future holds for the next little while. Next week I'm off to camp with the young women I've been called to serve, and that is a tradition that I am definitely looking forward to.


  1. Love the hair! And, love that you were called to YW. The perfect place for you. Have fun at camp!

  2. Oh, so much to comment on! First, LOVE the new do-- very hip and sophisticated. Secondly, the pic of Heather's son B playing with the toys made me smile because when they were visiting here, that's all he wanted to get back to! ;) Third, congrats on the new assignment-- you definitely seem like the right kind of person to work with this age group, so I'm sure you will bring such talent and joy to that work! And finally-- holy smoke on that larva! Guess what? We found the adult Dobsonfly just today in our yard! Hubby found it last night while he was working outside on a shelf-building project late into the night, and it was still hanging around (literally-- poor nocturnal thing was trying to sleep). The kids, some neighborhood friends and I had a kick observing it, and eventually moving it to an area where they wouldn't bother it. It was a female which doesn't have the super long pincers, but hers are short and actually quite fierce looking. I used the site insectidentification.org to figure it out-- great resource if you're into bugs like us! :)

    Whew-- fantastic post with so much fun stuff!

  3. What Dawn said! :)

    Wow. Lots going on. Scary larva! Great hair! Fun pictures. Enjoy camp.

  4. Wait a minute! My husband was on that same campout and his tent is sitting in MY bedroom! I am really scared now that there is the possibility of one of those creatures, or it's spawn in my bed!

  5. Also, I love your hair and Whoopie Pies look like something a visiting teacher might bring on a visit to her favorite sister.

  6. glad you're smiling again! great pic! i have to admit i said an audible "holy crap!" when i read you were YW Prez (just with the fact that Eric is Bishop, too). No doubt you will be awesome. You care so much and put so much into everything you do.

  7. Oh yay! YW President. Perfect. :) I love the shot of Sarah reading to Katy. We so enjoyed our time with you and your family. I love your haircut. And that is one freaky insect. I'm glad you're smiling again. :) Oh, and congrats to you sister. Amazing accomplishment.

  8. You're perfect to work with the YW. . . haven't you always done that in one way or another??? Love the haircut and hope everything at camp goes great!

  9. Your hair is cute! You SO can do that. :-) YUMMY Woopie Pies.. they rock! I would love to see more of your pics from your shoot. :-) That bug is disgusting, as are the crabs.. but that's just my opinion on both. :-) So glad you were able to look around and see some light. and You are going to ROCK in YW's, I wish I were staying to work with you.

  10. Congratulations! So hard but so satisfying. I'm glad you'll get to work with other women too. Like you said, it's one of the best parts of YW. And I love the hair! The power of a great haircut!

  11. loved all the pics and updates. so many exciting times! have fun at camp!

  12. Next time you are making whoopie pies, I'd appreciate an invite :) :) : )


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