Find-A-Friend Friday: Meet Vicki

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Vicki.  Here’s one of the coolest things about blogging. I get the chance to “meet” so many women that are good and strong and can have a positive influence on my life that I would probably never otherwise meet.  Sometimes I’m amazed by who reads my blog and drops in to say hi.  Vicki is one of those people:  a grandmother, a non-blogger, and a busy woman who visits Diapers and Divinity.  She wasn’t sure she actually “qualified” to participate in Find-A-Friend Friday.  Are you kidding? Welcome, Vicki!:

My name is Vicki, I am 60 years old. (but I don’t feel 60!) I live in Cache Valley, Utah. My husband and I have a combined family. Yours, mine, adopted, steps etc. We have 7 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. I forget which of them is step, adopted or whatever! I work full-time in an office in the middle of a production plant. I have the best church calling ever. I am the nursery music leader! (Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone or they will release me and give me something hard again!)

I was born and raised in San Bernardino, CA. I have 3 brothers and 2 sisters. (I am the baby of the family) We were raised in the Church, and my parents were the best examples anyone could ever have.
I attended college right out of high school but I didn’t get a degree. I ended up getting married and having a family. That’s really what I had always wanted to be, a wife and mother. Unfortunately after 14 years, and three wonderful children, I learned that this was not to be my happily ever after. (No gory details here.) I married the love of my life in 1985. He was my big brother’s best friend, so I had known him since I was about 12, and had a crush on him even then. We were sealed in the Logan Temple. We had 20 wonderful years together! He had diabetes and developed numerous complications over the years. In 1999 he had a kidney transplant that gave us 6 extra years together. The hardest day of my life was in 2005 when he died of a heart attack. I am so grateful for the knowledge that we can be together again! I am still lost without him, but love life, and love to spend time with my children and grandchildren.
A couple of years ago I decided I needed to accomplish something hard for me. I went back to school and became a Certified Medical Assistant. No one was more surprised than I was that I could not only get through, but do very well! I’m still working on what my next goal will be.

What’s your favorite part of motherhood?

Holding a newborn fresh from Heavenly Father is awesome! I also have learned that my friendships with my children are priceless!
What part of motherhood would you subcontract out if you could?
The worry…..you never stop worrying no matter how old they get!
Name 2 or 3 items on your “bucket list.” (Some things you’d like to do before you die.)
I would like to take an extended Church History Tour, learn to actually play the piano, draw as well as my mom, and run a 5 K.
Brag for a minute. Do it. What are a few things that you’re pretty good at?
Listening. I’m also reliable. If I say I’m going to do something you can pretty much count on it. I am also good at accepting people for who they are.
5. What are you loving lately?
I bought me a recumbant trike about a month ago. It’s a tadpole type which means it has 2 wheels in front and one in the back. It is so much fun to ride, and I’m not likely to fall! I’m loving riding it all over town.
Do you have a favorite scripture or quote?
“Be Still and know that I am God”.  When I am feeling down, discouraged or frightened, I think of this and know that Heavenly Father is with me and has a plan for me.
What do you gravitate toward during your unscheduled time?
I love to read. A friend at work and I share books, plus I have my Kindle, so I am never short of reading material.
Tell us some of your best mom-tricks (things you’ve figured out that work well for you).
Don’t sweat the small stuff. The things that sometimes make you crazy, really are just not important!
What’s something you don’t usually want people to know about you, but that they need to know if they’re going to be your friend?
I am really very insecure. I am not one to start up conversations with people I don’t know well. I think others sometimes think I don’t want to be friends because I am not outgoing.
If you were in charge of a girls’ night out, what kind of activity would you love to plan?
An overnighter! Talk, laugh, eat, watch movies, and just enjoy each others company!
What parts of your testimony are you the most sure of?
I just know that the Gospel is true! I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for us, even when we have no idea why something is happening.
Desert Island Question. If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take 3 items with you, what would they be?
Since it says items…I guess I can’t include my family so it would have to be my Kindle,  my cell phone, and an unlimited amount of power for them both. (Can I take chocolate too?)

Thank you Vicki!  So fun to get to know you a little bit.

Vicki doesn’t have a blog of her own, so if you enjoyed meeting her, leave a comment below to say hello.  I’m sure she’d appreciate the “visits.”  Have a great weekend, everyone!  Can you believe summer is almost over?…. waaaaah.

Hi.

My poor blog.  If it weren’t for GCBC and Find-a-Friend Fridays, it might have completely withered up and died this summer.  Summer is just busy.

Here’s a peek at the last several weeks in no particular order.  I do not expect anyone to care except for my posterity, who I decided long ago will read my blog nightly along with their scriptures to keep them on the straight and narrow.   …. What are you laughing at?

Anyway,

We went camping for 6 days in Colorado.  It was a twelve-hour drive, and my children surprised me by being very, very good the whole way down.  They compensated for their good behavior by driving Matt and me bonkers over the next several days.

One day, we drove up Pike’s Peak highway to some reservoirs to fish, hike a little, and picnic.  Matt sent the boys with a couple camp chairs down to the beach and told them to pick a spot and wait for us there while we unloaded all the other equipment.  A few minutes later, we walked down to the beach and could not find them.  We searched the shore in both directions and still could not find them.  Long story short, they didn’t know that we had parked right next to a reservoir, so they hiked down the road (like a MILE) to the reservoir below that we had passed on the way up.  Then they hiked the trails from the parking lot there down to the beach, where they sauntered to the other side of the lake, plopped down the chairs and sat and waited for us.  For a long time.  When I finally happened upon them an hour later, I was so relieved and they were so confused about why we took so long and why they were in trouble.  They actually did exactly what they were supposed to do; they just did it at the wrong lake.  Matt was about pack up everything and head back home after that, but we recovered, even though the boys had to stay within ten feet of us the rest of the trip.

Another lowlight of the trip included middle-of-the-night puking by Grant.  In our pop-up trailer, on the cushions, during a thunderstorm so all the windows had to be closed.  So not fun.  Highlights included time with family and beautiful hiking and scenery.  We survived and actually had fun.  I’d say it was (almost) worth the 3 garbage bags full of dirty laundry we brought home with us.  Here are Matt and Natalie hiking at Garden of the Gods.  It’s a scene that makes me happy.

In other news, I taught EFY last week, but only for one day because I got sick.  I spent the night and following morning vomiting and running back and forth to the bathroom.  I tried to show up the next afternoon and teach, but they sent me home.  😦  I was sad I wasn’t able to finish.  It was fun while it lasted.

Matt’s mom and grandma have been in town and it’s been fun to have visitors.  I like the company and the kids love the grandma-love.

I got nostalgic and read my entire missionary journal this week, starting right after my mission call all the way to the plane ride home from Argentina.  It was so cool to relive all those memories and feelings and blessings.  It’s taking all my restraint to not hop on a plane to South America right now and go visit everyone.  I couldn’t stop there, so I kept going and read all my post-mission years up until I met and married Matt.  My goodness.  Those long single years were sure busy and dramatic times.  Half of me wants to go back and relive the excitement, but the other half (the tired and happily-married half) wouldn’t touch those years again with a 10-foot pole.  🙂

This summer has been pretty low-key, and it’s been nice.  I’ve actually enjoyed the free time and summer activities.  I’ll miss the relaxed schedule once school starts again.  Just in the last few days, though, my boys have entered a new really annoying stage of behavior that Matt appropriately labeled last night “the gauntlet of stupidity.”  The constant noisemaking, grade-school comedian, poking and giggling and wrestling stage has made me grateful again that school is right around the corner.

So how about you?  What’s been the highlight of your summer?

GCBC Week 19: “Hope” by Elder Steven E. Snow

Welcome back to another week of General Conference Book Club.  Our comments were a little sparse last week, so I’d love to have more of you tune in on this talk and share some of your favorite parts or best insights.

“Hope”
by Elder Steven E. Snow
of the Presidency of the Seventy

This was my favorite quote from the talk because I thought it was a great reminder about acting on our hope and desires:

As parents, we find our fondest hopes center around our children. We hope they will grow up to lead responsible and righteous lives. Such hopes can be easily dashed if we do not act as good examples. Hope alone does not mean our children will grow in righteousness. We must spend time with them in family home evening and worthwhile family activities. We must teach them to pray. We must read with them in the scriptures and teach them important gospel principles. Only then is it possible our fondest hopes will be realized.

What stood out for you?  What does the talk make you want to do or change?  Please share your ideas in the comments below.

If you’re new to GCBC, go here to learn more about it, then join us!

Find-A-Friend Friday: Meet Cheryl

I get to introduce you to Cheryl today.  Cheryl and I met through blogging and once I moved to Utah, I had the pleasure of meeting her in person.  She is a fun, energetic conversationalist and a very genuine person. I hope you enjoy getting to know her like I have.  Here’s Cheryl:

My name is Cheryl. I’m a 32 year old brunette with brown eyes and I’m tall. 5’ 10” is pretty tall, right? Like my blog intro says, I was born to Canadian parents, raised in Idaho, and graduated from BYU. Since then, my home has been in Provo, Utah (except for one wonderful year in the Bay Area, California). I have one amazing husband (twelve years and counting), five fabulous kids (with one on the way), and although I struggle with Depression, I seriously have one great life. I’m tall. I love. I write.

That’s a pretty good intro, eh? More? My husband, Brandon, and I have 2 daughters and 3 sons and the girls are hoping for another girl. Ironically, so are the boys.  Brandon hails from southern California and we met at BYU –we worked together on campus and 8 months later we were married in the Idaho Falls Temple. Waste no time when you find the right one! J

I love music. Very much. I have played the piano since I was very young, and for at time, I figured I would do piano performance in college. After a very random, weird, untypical bombed audition at BYU, however, I realized it wasn’t meant to be. Seriously, I humiliated myself and there’s still no rhyme or reason as to how it happened. *shrug. Still, I’ve taught piano lessons for years and play whenever I get the chance. I sing, too (mostly alto), and I can play a mean xylophone! Well, maybe. It’s been a while since I’ve picked up percussion instruments.

 I come from a loooooong line of Mormon Pioneers. Pretty much all of them crossed the plains to Utah, and then they all ended up in Alberta, Canada. My parents have known each other since they were 10 years old, went to school in the States (BYU and ISU), married, and ended up in Blackfoot, Idaho (of all places!). Blackfoot is a small town between Idaho Falls and Pocatello, and it was, in all honesty, a fantastic place to grow up. I have the best memories of my childhood! Growing up in a small town is good for kids, I’ve decided. At least it was in the 80’s?

I was heavily involved in music all through high school (Drum Major of the marching band, accompanied all choirs, AP music theory, percussion ensemble, Symphonic Band, Acapella Choir, Jazz band, etc.) and so when I got to BYU and didn’t make it into the music program, it was kind of a shock to my system. But in hindsight, it was a good shock.

After graduating from high school (1997), I went to BYU (as you’ve already heard twice. Now thrice). I had no plans of going to BYU. My dad was the one who convinced me to apply –I figured I didn’t have a chance to get in! But lo and behold, I was accepted early, and so away I went! Best decision I ever made, hands down. It led me to the greatest friends, and eventually (okay, pretty quickly) to my spouse. I was 19 when I met him and married him. He was 22 and had recently returned from serving a mission in Australia. I was smitten by his good looks, his confidence, and his geeky sense of humor!

We both graduated from BYU in April of 2001. Brandon did Business with an Information Systems emphasis; I did MFHD (Marriage, Family, and Human Development) with a Music minor. Six days before we graduated, I gave birth to our first child. She came on the second Reading Day and I remember that week very clearly! I only had two finals left: Parenting, and Infant Development. How’s that for irony?! I remember nursing her, going to take one final, driving back, nursing her, and then going to take my last final (my mother was helping). Two days after that, Brandon and I walked across the stage and received our diplomas while my aunt watched our baby girl. It was a crazy week!

Since I became a stay-at-home mom right after graduating (fresh baby on hand!), my “career” has been mother. Before that, however, I’ve been a dental rover (worked in a dental office during high school), a studio accompanist (for a voice teacher at BYU), a Conference Assistant (living in the dorms and checking in EFY’s and Sports Camps), a Cub Leader (7 and 8 year olds) at Aspen Grove Family Camp for two years, and Office Manager (for Aspen Grove Family Camp). Since then, I’ve been a piano teacher, voice teacher, online marketing strategist for a high-end bridal couture company, editor for a non-profit website, elementary school choir accompanist and…mother. Mostly mother. In fact, I quit teaching piano and several other odd jobs because they were pushing into my time as a mom. I decided I needed to pursue my fulltime job full time!

Most recently, I put Brandon through two years of graduate school. He just graduated in May from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton MBA program. It was an executive program, and they have a west coast campus in San Francisco (our favorite city). So, Brandon worked full time, fulfilled two callings, and flew to San Francisco every-other-weekend for two years to graduate from the top business school in the world. Yes, I’m bragging, because it was hard work, man! He was gone a lot, a lot, a lot. But I couldn’t be prouder of him! He amazes me every day.

 What’s your favorite part of motherhood?

Pregnancy. Giving birth. Nursing. Holding a sleeping baby. Smelling the sweet breath of a newborn. Wearing the baby in a moby wrap. Cuddling and reading stories. Laughing at silly jokes. Scratching my son’s back. Having a successful FHE at least once every few months. Hiking together. Hearing my daughter talk about Continue reading