Sunday, February 24, 2013

Where is the Pavilion?

Today we had a wonderful lesson in Relief Society and Priesthood separately on a talk called, "Where is the Pavilion?" by President Henry B. Eyring.

Before R.S. started I was feeling a little down and a little nervous because pretty much my only friend in the ward had moved out and this would be my first Sunday having to "brave" making new friends. I had a prompting that I should sit by a girl that was sitting alone in the front row. I felt like if I were her I would want someone to come sit by me. I immediately joined into a conversation between her and another sister and felt comfortable.

I said the opening prayer in R.S. and was again prompted to ask Heavenly Father to help us all feel welcome and included as sisters and that we could all make friends.

As the lesson started I volunteered to read the first paragraph of the talk.

"In the depths of his anguish in Liberty Jail, the Prophet Joseph Smith cried out: “O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?”1 Many of us, in moments of personal anguish, feel that God is far from us. The pavilion that seems to intercept divine aid does not cover God but occasionally covers us. God is never hidden, yet sometimes we are, covered by a pavilion of motivations that draw us away from God and make Him seem distant and inaccessible. Our own desires, rather than a feeling of “Thy will be done,”2 create the feeling of a pavilion blocking God. God is not unable to see us or communicate with us, but we may be unwilling to listen or submit to His will and His time."

This was an "aha" moment for me as I realized that especially now, I have been wondering, "Where is God, when will our blessings come?" When in reality it is me that is being unwilling to submit to His will and put my complete trust and faith in His plan for me. 

I shared a few of my feelings and texted Jer during the lesson (bad I know) some of the quotes I really liked. Turned out they were having the same lesson and Jer was going through the same thought process as I was.

The girl next to me shared a personal story about herself that brought her to tears and was very near to her heart. What she struggled with was something that we have in common. It was then that I knew that however small, it really was a little tender mercy to both of us that I was prompted to sit next to her at church. 

There are many other trials in my life much less trivial than feeling lonely at church, but I felt like these little promptings and blessings given to me today were a reminder to me of how mindful my Heavenly Father is of me and my righteous desires, and the struggles I have. It is not that He has abandoned me, it is that I often abandon Him as my own motivations bring me farther from God.

"God is close to us and aware of us and never hides from His faithful children."

I'm grateful for the reminder today that the Lord's hand is in everything, we just need to be willing to let Him in. 

You can find the full version of the talk here

Friday, February 22, 2013

Nailed It

Anyone seen this before?
Every time I see this I laugh my head off. I have said this so many times after trying out a new Pinterest idea, "Welp that definitely looked better in the picture."

I feel like Jer and I have had a lot of "Nailed It" moments in our life as of late. Some kind of funny but others we feel like we really nailed!

Nailed it #1:
 Jer planned the best late Valentines date. Dinner at the Veranda, ice cream and a movie.
AND this beautiful ring, it was exactly what I wanted and more. He went above and beyond on the gift. Nailed It!

Nailed it #2:
 Totally found my long lost retainer from high school while FINALLY organizing our bedroom and second bedroom.
After 2.5 years, we got a bed frame, organized our storage under the bed, AND put our bed frame on our bed. Sad? Sure. Feel accomplished? TOTALLY! Nailed it!

Nailed it #3:
 A successful baby shower Court and I threw for Alison. AND the blanket I made for her sweet baby girl on the way. This was a Pinterest nailed it for sure.
 Court with her masterpiece carseat cover.
 My second Pinterest nailed it from the shower: apples and daisies. So easy and cheap and looked really cute. Probably would have done bright green apples if I had it to do over.
 Third baby shower nailed it: Costco pinwheel sandwiches. Nailed it!

Nailed it #4:
 A successful proposal.
 We helped Meg's now-fiance propose to Meg at the Hale Center Theater by singing "I Can't Help Falling in Love with You."
She said yes. :o) Nailed it!

Nailed it #5:
 Jer totally nailed his interview with American Crafts and was immediately offered a full-time job with them as a Project Manager. We are so excited for this new opportunity. Totally Nailed it!

Here's to more "Nailed It" moments to come!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tempting Tuesday

Well, I wanted to start bringing back some of my Wednesday winners but I couldn't wait another day to share this recipe with you all. I think the title fits it pretty well. I found this recipe of Pinterest.

Let's talk for a moment about the easiest most delicious recipe I have tried in a while:

(This is totally not my photo by the way, it came from the blog that I got the recipe.) Find the recipe here.

*I loved this because these looked good, but seemed pretty involved with my experience making carrot cakes from scratch. Much to my delight, I realized this recipe starts with a carrot cake mix! Awesome. So delicious. And the frosting is TDF. It is cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Hello?!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love Is In the Air

I wasn't really looking forward to this Valentines Day because Jer went into work at Chef's table at 10 this morning and won't be back till after midnight tonight, but because of some of the lovelies in my life this has turned out to be a really nice day.
 I made the card on the left a long time ago while Jer was on his mission planning to send it to him and then found it a couple weeks ago so I decided now would be an appropriate time to give it to him. :o) The top right photo is a mini apple pie I made for dinner group last night in honor of this week of love. My mom got me a mini heart pie mold from Williams Sonoma a couple years back and this is the first time I've used it! I'm obsessed. Bottom right is part of the Valentine package my mom sent us. There is little I love more than Sees candy. My mom knows me so well.
 The top picture is Jer's spread of gifts. He hasn't gotten to open them yet but he will soon! Bottom left is a picture of a gift my neighbor/friend brought up to us. She is so sweet, it is for Jer and I to open together. And bottom right are the flowers from Jer that were delivered to my doorstep this afternoon. It totally brightened my day and made me so happy.
And last but not least, my little Valentine for the evening. I got to babysit little Rocky while his parents went out for a little while. He is such a sweet little guy.

I think my favorite thing about Valentines Day is that now that I'm a little more grown up, this day has become more than just hoping for a flower from my crush of the week. It has helped me reflect for the past couple days about the people I love and that love me and how grateful I am for those people in my life. I hope you all know who you are and that you are loved on this special Valentines Day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The fun continues...

After not seeing each other for a while. We finally got together with the Gibbs again. They had a couple extra tickets to the Harlem Globetrotters and invited us along!
We had great seats, yummy treats and a whole lot of fun! So fun to get together again and enjoy a great show!

And today, we got to spend the day with two of our favorite kiddos. Harper and Beck. When Court asked me to babysit I was so excited!
They were seriously both angels and we had so much fun playing with them! Harper is so smart and Beck is so happy, always smiling.

Jer and I have loved being out of school and being able to do things like this. It is such a change from the schedules we kept while in school. We never had a free evening on a week night to go to a game or a day to babysit. We could get used to this!

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Barton Kids Party with the Pendletons

Jer and I had the esteemed privilege of staying with his younger siblings this weekend while his parents partied in Palm Desert. This was the first time we were able to do this since before now we have been soooo busy in school.

On Friday night, Caleb and I taught and performed as the solo couple with the back-up touring team at a big stake dance, for the adults! They had a live dance and a full show by us. I LOVE this! Why don't we do this anymore? I remember as a kid when my parents would go to a dance together at the stake center. Let's please revive this, people.

The weekend pretty much consisted of this:
 Cam tearin it up on the bball court. (They won!!!)
 And this: Lots of games including Settlers and Nerts. (Jer likes to spell things with his roads.)
 This: Taylor dancing and dating (A LOT).
Oh and did I mention this? Eating lots of fun treats including but not limited to homemade pancakes for dinner and the best oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (that's their name, not tooting my own horn ;o)) on Sunday evening.

This was so fun for us and we were glad we could do it this time!