Sunday, August 27, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful: Catching Up Edition

Two weeks ago, I thought, "Great! I'm back to blogging!" I even managed to write two posts: a Ten Things of Thankful entry, and an article about the regional differences I've noticed at Costco. Between then and now, I've had a whirlwind of observations and experiences that I've wanted to share, but haven't gotten around to writing about until today. So, this will be a Ten Things of Thankful post that includes items from the past couple of weeks. Though I normally write my TToT posts in enumerated list form, today I will dispense with the numbers, as I have much for which to be thankful!

Our oldest son is starting medical school, and he invited us to attend his white coat ceremony. We are so happy that he is able to pursue his goal of being a doctor. We had a great weekend with our son, daughter-in-law, and her parents. After the ceremony, we all went out for lunch, walked around the California State Capitol building, and enjoyed the most delicious, upscale shave ice dessert at a little shop called Vampire Penguin

Photo: John and I pose with our oldest son (who wears his new white coat and holds a bouquet of pink roses) after his induction ceremony into medical school

Photo: The white, ornate, California State Capitol building, with its dome and flagpole, stands in contrast to the deep blue sky and green trees.

Photo: The Dulce de Leche: a tower of vanilla shave "snow," surrounded by a circle of sliced bananas, drizzled with caramel, and topped with whipped cream and flan. 
As John and I made the road trip to our son's and daughter-in-law's place, we were able to see interesting sights, like the Bonneville Salt Flats and road signs that made me laugh.

Photo: The Bonneville Salt Flats look like a large expanse of snow. Mountains appear in the background.
Photo: Yellow traffic sign says, "Undulations"

Photo: A yellow traffic sign is marked "Speed Lumps"

I don't know what they call "speed bumps" in your neck of the woods, but apparently they are also known as "speed lumps" or "undulations."

We arrived back home to Utah the day before the eclipse. We did not see a total eclipse at our location. I was impressed just how light it remained at 91% totality. Just a little bit of light makes a big difference--and that is something to remember when I think that my small efforts might not make a difference. 

Photo: John stands in the backyard and points upward, while wearing his eclipse glasses. Yellow lab, Drexel, photobombs in the foreground.
Photo: The light filtered through the trees and shining on the sidewalk shows the progress of the eclipse
Monday brought not only the eclipse, but also the start of Brigham Young University's Education Week. BYU Ed Week is an annual event, where thousands of people from all over the world gather to attend classes on a variety of topics. I always come away from Ed Week renewed, re-energized, and full of new insights. One of the presenters, Connie Sokol, stated, "Gratitude and joy go hand in hand." I have to agree! 

Photo: A screen in an auditorium at BYU displays the BYU Education Week theme for 2017: "He that receiveth light and continueth in God, receiveth more light."
Next to BYU is the MTC, or Missionary Training Center. There are several MTCs around the world, where men and women go for a short time (days or weeks) before beginning their missions. The Provo MTC recently expanded, and I was able to tour the new buildings. They are light and beautiful, and humming with the excitement of the newly-called missionaries. Missionaries dedicate 18-24 months of their time, at their expense, going wherever they are assigned, learning whatever language is required. They come away from their missions with a deep love for the people and area where they served, and for the gospel of Jesus Christ. They learn, and love, to serve. Have a question? Ask the missionaries! They can help you! (Or chat with them on Mormon.org.)

Photo: Some of the many world flags that fly outside the Provo MTC
Photo: The light-filled lobby of the Missionary Training Center. Light grey padded chairs are arranged throughout the room. On the back wall is the scripture, "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."

I continue to find beauty here in Utah. 

Photo: The Provo City Center Temple, a brick, spired building, stands with the Wasatch Mountains in the background
Photo: The Provo Temple, a white building with one spire, sits at the base of the Wasatch Mountains
Photo: An impressive piece of art in the MTC. A blue globe hangs from the ceiling, and is enveloped by strings of downward-hanging mini-lights. Within the light strands are tiny origami-like birds. What I understand from this is that the peace, and light, of God is washing over the entire world.

Photo: A piece of art in BYU's Museum of Art. The piece is titled, Plexus no. 29, and is made from rainbow-colored threads. The threads are attached at the top of the ceiling, then fan out and are attached to various walls. With the light shining through, it looks like a rainbow, though not in the traditional rainbow shape.

Photo: A flower bed outside the BYU library. Mounds of greenery are in the foreground, with purple salvia (?) and yellow Black-eyed Susan behind. A tree spreads its limbs in the background.

I also continue to enjoy the various birds. Quail frequent my yard, as do jays, magpies, and hummingbirds. I've observed golden eagles on my hikes, and yesterday, while we were driving around, we found a bunch of wild turkeys. 

Photo: A flock of wild turkeys walks among some trees in the background.

While we are enjoying the beauty here in Utah, we are particularly thankful that our home in California is now in escrow! While we loved that house, we know it is time to move on, and we are so thankful that we will be able to hand it over to another family soon.

As always, I am thankful for John. Life is busy, never dull, and lots of fun--even when he's swamped at work, or I'm overwhelmed about one thing or another, or life is just a bit crazy. Yesterday, we were able to Rise and Shout for our Cougars as we attended a football game. It wasn't the prettiest of games, nor the coolest of weather, but we had fun together.

Photo: The score board at Lavell Edwards Stadium, and lots of blue and white balloons floating into the sky after the first touchdown. (The balloons are extremely difficult to see against the blue sky and white clouds.)
Thanks to you for reading this far--and brownie points if you clicked on all those links! Joining in on the Ten Things of Thankful calms my mind and makes me smile, and having readers for my posts is like icing on the cake. Thank you!

What are you thankful for this week? Comment below, and also know you are invited to the weekly blog party! Go to the Ten Things of Thankful blog and link up your post of gratitude. Then read and comment on the other links. We're a friendly and diverse group, and love to meet new bloggers!




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12 comments:

  1. Hey! thats the watchband church! lol I remember thinking when I first saw a photo of the amazing architecture the Provo Temple how beautifully imposing and yet seemingly floating, not quite tied to the earth.
    Drexel showing the common sense of dogs to not even consider looking at the sun...
    Great news on being in contract!
    So, what kind of wildlife will you have in the yard? Our rabbit population is up as are the number of deer...they certainly enjoyed eating the tomato plants and sunflowers.

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    1. I never noticed the "watchband," but now that you mention it, I do see the resemblance.
      The neighbors say that deer come through the yard in the middle of the night, but I've had the good sense to be asleep during that time, so haven't seen any yet.

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  2. Beautiful photos of a beautiful area. I know you'll be happy there.

    Congratulations to your son on his induction into medical school! I'm glad you were able to celebrate his special day with him.

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    1. Thank you. I am happy here, but as with every change, there is an adjustment period. I know that eventually I will settle in and develop a routine.

      We were happy to get to see the white coat ceremony.

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  3. Such a beautiful and amazing collection of photos to generate some much needed smiles today! First off, congrats on your son starting doctor school, I know you are rightly proud of him! Also very exciting is that your California house is now in escrow. I know how ready you are to complete the transition and move into this next chapter of your lives. Home truly is where the heart is, and your new house will feel like home before very long. I smile when I think of all the wonderful family gatherings and memories to be made here!

    It sounds like you are enjoying visits from the wildlife, and those turkeys were beautiful! It was nice to see Drexel too. <3

    I'm glad you got to attend the ballgame, a little distraction is a real blessing when life is busy and a bit stressful. Wishing you a beautiful Fall season soon to come, and many blessings in the months ahead. XOXO



    It must be nice to be where you are able to visit and more easily participate in things BYU offers. I liked the messages you shared about how even a small light makes a difference, and that gratitude and joy go hand in hand. So very true! The two amazing pieces of art you shared are so unique and beautiful, I love them!

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    1. We do love this rental house we are in now, but realize that in one year we'll be doing this moving process all over again--it makes me tired just to think about it! :-)

      Once our house closes escrow, we'll start looking for our more permanent home. But we are not putting "home" on hold--for this year, this rental house is home!

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  4. In my part of the UK we didn't see the eclipse as it was too cloudy :( Awesome news about your son studying to be a doctor! We have another name for speed bumps here, called "sleeping policemen"!

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  5. Happy to see you back at TToT. I'm not sure how you squeezed some time in to do this post, but really glad you did. :-) That shaved ice looks yummy! The speed bump signs made me laugh. Have you invited the wild turkeys to your house yet? That is quite a few turkeys. I think I would stick with the quails. I love the filtered light on the sidewalk. Can you believe I forgot all about going over to the lane and looking down during the eclipse? What a missed opportunity!

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    1. The wild turkeys were seen on a drive miles away from our house, so no, I haven't seen turkeys in our yard yet. There were so many of them--my photo only shows a small part of the rafter (I had to look up what a bunch of wild turkeys is called!)

      If I had been in a place with a total eclipse, I don't think I would have been looking down. :-)

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  6. Oh, so grateful for all these beautiful photos you describe. To light and rainbows.

    Those studying to become doctors, like your son and my friend, these are remarkable people who will help many.

    I can't get a good idea what a salt flat looks like and I am quite curious. I have heard several people speak about them.

    Love all the birds and the flowers.

    Leaving behind a home is a difficult thing, but you seem to be adapting quickly. I wish many happy days for you and John and family in your new home.

    Glad you're back again to share all this.

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    1. A salt flat is a vast expanse of level ground, white in color due to the high concentration of salt. There is no vegetation (or, if there is, it is not noticeable). It's very barren. It really does give the appearance of a huge snow field--maybe like a big lake, frozen over and covered in snow. Does that description help?

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Thanks for making this a conversation. I love to hear your comments!