Monday, June 30


This past weekend my friend's little girl was diagnosed with cancer. She's only three years old. There have been many many prayers said this week for Emma, and also tears shed, but the one bright beacon of hope has been St. Jude's Hospital.

St. Jude's accepts patients regardless of their ability to pay and their survival rates are astounding. At this time of devastation for my friend, her husband, their families and friends, we can at least take comfort in knowing that the Lord knew to send them to Memphis for optometry school. Memphis, where nobody ever thinks they'll end up, happens to house the world's best hopsital for children with cancer.

I am running a 5K on Thursday for St. Jude's Hospital and for Emma. The run is no longer for me. I feel priveleged to do what little I can for their family and thank God we're here in Memphis.

Friday, June 27


I finished my goal today. 100 miles! My goal was to run 100 miles by July 1st, I had 3.5 left, and this morning I got up and went 5 miles! My longest run yet, I'm so proud of myself!

I've really enjoyed this goal so I'm going to do it again. Starting Monday, I want to run another 100 miles in just 6 weeks. That means I'll have to run about 17 miles per week to make it, but I know I can do it. Sorry to toot my own horn, but I'm excited. I also owe a big thank you to Jason who has pushed me and watched Addie so I could finish. Yay!

Monday, June 16


These last two weeks have been extremely busy for our little family. Here is a brief update:

Addie and I went to Michigan for my little brother's graduation and Eagle Scout Court of Honor. We were there for only five days, but they were jam-packed! (I apologize to my friends that I didn't call or let know I was in town, I knew I wouldn't have time to see you. We'll be back for Christmas!) I can't believe Jimmy is a high school graduate! I am also very proud that he got his Eagle. After working at a Cub Scout Camp one summer, I know Scouts is a very positive program. It definitely can be a wonderful influence on a young man. The program can instill a sense of honor, responsibility, patriotism and selflessness that seems lacking in many young men today. Anyhow, CONGRATS JIMMY! WAY TO GO!

I was home for one day, packed for Girls' Camp, and then was off again! I left Addie with Jason for the week (he survived) and spent five days in the woods with crazy, hormonal teenagers! Girls' Camp is a program sponsored by our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that encourages young women to grow closer to the Lord by being out in nature, away from the world, and teaching them life skills. It's also great fun! I really enjoyed being able to attend as a leader (especially because I never had to scrub the nasty bathrooms like I did when I went as a teenager). Even though I had to suffer through mosquito bites, terrible thunder storms in a rickety cabin, and a 5 mile hike in 90 degree weather with 98% humidity, I had a fabulous time. I was able to go on a zipline, make a sock monkey, head up a service for St. Jude's Children's Hospital, eat delicious food and NOT WASH A SINGLE DISH. More importantly, however, were the girls. I loved seeing the strength of these young women who are growing up in such a tumultuous time and was humbled by their example. They know who they are, they make good decisions, surround themselves with good friends, and rely on the Lord. I was so blessed to be able to attend.

I got home from Girls' Camp on Saturday and have been resting ever since. Between the trip to Michigan and to Girls' Camp, I was pooped. Hopefully tomorrow I'll feel more up to cleaning and getting this place in order. It's hard to come back to real life.

Here, for your viewing pleasure, are some new pictures of Addie. We put her hair in pigtails for church yesterday, even though there were only five strands of hair in each! She also now has seven teeth! Three on top and four on the bottom. She can walk around on the furniture and loves exploring the world from this new perspective. It's amazing to watch her grow!

Memphis Monday: FREE EXHIBITS

I'm excited because this week a couple of my friends and I are going to a free art exhibit at the Brooks Museum. Every Wednesday is a "pay what you can afford" day. Last time I went I paid a dollar. This summer the museum has an Andy Warhol exhibit which I learned about by reading an in-flight magazine. His art is interesting, it should be a fun day.

Memphis museums and other attractions seem to be fairly good about having reduced price or free days. For us students, these are wonderful perks!

Monday, June 9

Memphis Monday: LIGHTNING BUGS

During my childhood lightning bugs were magical. They came out on summer nights and made the woods sparkle. I remember driving along the wooded road near our home amazed by the twinkling lights. Sometimes my brothers, sisters and I caught the fireflies in jars, attempting to prolong the magic.

When I went to BYU I was surprised to hear that some of my friends had never seen them before. Was it even possible to have a complete childhood in the absence of these enchanting creatures? Well, fortunately for Addie, she will be able to try and capture the magic as well--Memphis has lightning bugs!

Thanks to Shauna for the idea of this week's edition of Memphis Monday.

Monday, June 2

Memphis Monday: THE ZOO

I went to the Memphis Zoo today with my friend Shauna and her kids. Her family bought a family pass and a guest pass, so now Addie and I can go with her any time we want! This was my first time going and I was excited because this zoo has pandas!

Two big eaters--Addie and the female panda.

It was the first time in all my years of zoo-going that I have ever seen a live panda bear! They didn't do much, just sat there and chomped on bamboo the entire time, but it was still neat to see them. (Did you know they eat 40 pounds of bamboo every day? Just another tidbit learned at the zoo.)

Addie watching the sea lions.

Memphis has a great zoo. Unfortunately we weren't able to see it all, the kids were getting tired and cranky, but what a I saw I loved (and as many of you know, I am an avid zoo goer and take my praise seriously). The exhibits were bright and open (for the most part, the poor hippos left something to be desired), the paths were lined with bamboo and other interesting plants, and the plaques next to the exhibits were informational.

In the Butterfly House

The Butterfly House was the highlight for me, there were TONS of butterflies flitting about, and the ceiling was just a screen so it was open to the outdoors. All other butterfly houses I've been in have been in closed buildings, so this was pretty neat. And the very best thing about the zoo? It's FREE to Tennessee residents every Tuesday afternoon for "Tennessee Tuesday." All in all, I love this zoo and am glad we'll get to visit regularly for the next 3 years.

Me, Addie and Heidi enjoying the butterflies