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Jan 29, 2011

On travel, opportunities, and miracles

I am so thrilled that I was well enough to travel this week. My trip to Utah was completely wonderful and amazing and incredible and lovely and....well, you get the idea. I loved being there and having such inspiring and joyful experiences.

The travel part wasn't so fabulous, with barf and delays and a serious wish for ruby slippers to magically transport me through time and space, but the fact that the activities for which I traveled were accomplished with such perfection is the miracle upon which I am choosing to dwell.

So.

I arrived in Provo (via rental car) around 3:30 on Thursday. I met Garry's dad at his condo. He gave me the keys to his place and then drove to his home in Logandale for the weekend. I got settled in the silence and enjoyed a glorious nap on the couch. Then I pulled myself together and met my co-presenter for Women's Conference at The Olive Garden. I was a little early, and I laughed at myself as I waited for Christine to arrive. We had only exchanged a couple of emails prior to our meeting for dinner, and it felt a little like a blind date. Luckily, our meeting far surpassed any blind date I had ever experienced! Christine is lovely and we had an immediate connection. I feel lucky to work with her over the next few months, and I'm sure our friendship will extend beyond Women's Conference.

From there we went to the Women's Conference orientation on BYU campus. I haven't been on BYU campus for a few years, and I haven't been in the Conference Center for much longer. As I walked into the building a flood of memories washed over me. I was a daytime janitor for that building as a freshman. I was happy to be there under different circumstances!

The meeting itself was inspiring. In my sick state, it's hard for me to still my mind and heart enough to feel the Spirit, but that night my heart was wide open. Such a rush of peace and joy came as I listened to the speakers, one of whom was Barbara Thompson. It was during her message at the General Relief Society Meeting broadcast that I had thoughts about the missionaries talking to our friends. Listening to Sister Thompson again was wonderful, and I had a chance to share my experience with her when we were enjoying refreshments afterward.

The other overriding emotion I felt was excitement for the chance to participate as a presenter at Women's Conference. What an amazing opportunity! I am humbled and honored at the privilege, but also quite enthusiastic about the whole experience. Christine and I will be presenting Thursday, April 28 (my birthday!) during the first concurrent session of classes. Our classroom is huge (capacity: 400). It's all pretty mind-boggling.

That night I had trouble winding down for bed. My stomach was churning, but I was mostly hopped up on the energy I derive from being around people. (And that's such a rarity these days.) I ended up calling my sister, which was the perfect way to wind down and end the night.

I was thrilled to sleep in (7:30...am I an old lady or what?) on Friday. I studied my Women's Conference notes for a while, then packed up and headed to campus. First I hit the BYU Bookstore for a few souvenirs for my kiddos. Then I visited the Carl Bloch exhibit at the Museum of Art. It was amazing! My favorite work was "Christ Healing the Sick at Bethesda."


But the best part of the day was visiting my grandparents in Salt Lake City.


We had lunch together and then spent a couple of hours at their house. I loved listening to Grandpa talk about his life as a young adult in the service, meeting Grandma on a blind date, and living together as newlyweds. I cherished every story, every minute!

And now that I'm home again, my Mom is in town! Life is pretty excellent.
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