Good thing, too. Stuff really stacks up when I don't write for a while. I realized I never did write about my birthday (the day of the great Mid-Atlantic Earthquake of 2011). Just before the Hurricane and my trip to Chicago I turned 45 and celebrated by spending the day at the Baltimore Zoo with my kids (I've lived here 41 years and had never been to that zoo). My daughter and her friend were sitting down, so they felt and saw the mighty temblor, but Evan and I were walking around and talking so we were utterly oblivious. We feel quite gypped. It took about 30 minutes for the communication airwaves to clear enough to start getting the texts and calls to make sure we were all okay. We were. Eric was as well, though his building in Alexandria, VA got evacuated and then traffic tangled up to a tense little ball and it took everyone forever to get home. We're a little jumpy here in D.C., give us a break. The highlight of the day was my brother wishing me a happy Birthquake. He's clever that way. All in all, it was a fun day spent strolling with my kids, talking to far away loved ones and listening to my phone beep every few minutes as it told me of my facebook birthday wishes. I do enjoy living in this fascinating modern age. Thanks again 3 weeks later. I love you all back.
|I love those smiles at the antics of the bird. You're just never|
too old for the zoo.
Last weekend, we ran away on a whim to a small town in Western New York State called Palmyra. It is a place of spiritual significance to members of my faith plus it's just a peaceful, beautiful place. It is where a boy named Joseph Smith was confused about religion so he said a prayer and God answered his prayer in a pretty special way. It was gorgeous there. We learned a lot and remembered things that we already know. We met a missionary there who has been called to serve as a Facebooking and Blogging missionary. That was something new for me, so even I learned something. I love that.
One of the days, Eric and all the kids went up to Niagara Falls while I stayed at the little rental house and rested and knitted and got a large number of wedding photos processed. While they were out I made homemade lasagna totally from scratch (even the sauce) and was able to just savor the slow joy of good cooking without a particular time frame. It's one of my best memories of the weekend, since, over my lifetime, most of the dinners have been cooked under a certain amount of pressure between helping with homework and getting somewhere for the evening. I don't even feel like I missed out on the day at the falls because being alone in a quiet place was exactly what I needed.
Now we've had the second week of school and routine is starting to build its comforting walls around our activities. Things will go crazy occasionally, but now those routines will help us stay roughly on track. It's one of the good things about school.
Enjoy a few photos, but please remember that I was not actually in Niagara Falls. All the fun, beautiful shots at the falls are the work of my darling friend Stephanie. She's the dark-haired beauty that you'll notice in the photos with Johnathan below. I took all the rest of the photos.
|I love this Sara Smile under a rainbow.|
|Sister Vaterlaus, the darling missionary who|
took us on our tour of the printing shop
where the Book of Mormon was first made.
|It matters a lot to me that this book was published,|
available for anyone to read and find out about.
|This is a Lake Stone House! For me, the collector of bits and bobs|
from the shores of all bodies of water, this would be heaven! Look at all the
variety and color of these stones. I loved this.
|A very old tree. Old enough to have been|
a witness to all that happened on this farm in
|Barn. Light. Beautiful.|
|Even bored teens look awesome in barn light.|
|Barns are even cool on the outside.|
|The Sacred Grove. If you don't know what that is, you can|
find out here.
|This place really is extraordinary. You should go.|
|This was the light that broke through as we climbed the Hill|
|And a rainbow over the temple. For me, beautiful skies are a|
very tangible way of feeling God's love, so these moments
were meaningful for me. I'm so grateful I've been blessed
with the ability to express a bit of what I feel in photos.
|This was the view out the window for the whole of the 6-hour|
drive home. Turned out it was the view for about another whole week.
Welcome back, sun.