May 3, 2011


Well, folks, I turned 32.  Speaking at Women's Conference on my birthday made it one of the most memorable celebrations I imagine I will ever have.  So many things about that day made it a very special birthday, full of people and memories I will always hold close to my heart.

As soon as I got home on Sunday, I celebrated with my family.  Garry made the dinner I had requested (and the kids didn't complain about my choice!), and we had lovely conversation at the table. Being away for a few days sure made me appreciate that.  Then Garry presented an amazingly time- and effort-intensive chocolate and peanut butter layer cake that was super yummy!  Garry and the kids spoiled me with fun presents that I love.

Among them was a toaster to replace this ancient beast.  This toaster was a wedding gift in June 1998 and has been our faithful companion for almost 13 years.  The bagel function broke several years ago and it overheats pretty easily nowadays, but it still works!  The biggest downside is that our family has outgrown a two-slot toaster.  Even though I was ready to move on and I'm generally not very sentimental about objects, I felt like I was throwing away a piece our family history on Sunday!  Just thinking about how many pens and papers Zach toasted as a child made me a little wistful...

That said, I am thrilled about the newest addition to our counter top.  I hope it is as functional as it is pretty.  May it grace our kitchen for many years to come.

Birthdays are always a time of self-reflection for me.  As I really look at the picture at the top, I see a girl (I suppose one of these days I should grow up enough to call myself a woman) who has many, many blessings.  Chiefest among those are my husband and children and my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Walking through BYU campus this week brought back so many memories for me--some happy, some stressful, and some painful.  When I was a student there I didn't know if I would ever have a child.  Now that I have five, my little heart is full to bursting with the joy that blessing brings. Through the intervening years my religious convictions have also grown, shaping who I am today.

My life is far from perfect.  I am far from perfect.  In fact, this week has revealed to me more weaknesses than I care to admit.  Like my old toaster, some of my buttons are broken and I definitely overheat too often. I'm not as shiny and fresh as I'd like to be.  But hopefully between now and my next birthday, I can develop a greater capacity to fulfill my life's mission and can do it in a way that blesses more people than before.

Now who would like a slice of toast?
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