Friday, July 24, 2015

Sometimes You Go Camping With A Bunch Of Your Friends. And It Is Awesome.

And by friends, I mean my branch.  Because they are my friends, and I love it. We drove about 2 hours up to Camp Liahona on a weekend at the end of June.  It's amazing how I never think about needing to get out of the city for a minute, until I get out of the city for a minute.  Then, as much as I love NYC, I wonder why I don't get out more often.  We had an impromptu dance party, complete with glow sticks that were bought for no particular reason, but made everything THAT MUCH BETTER.  A camp fire and smore's of course.  A hike the next day, and canoeing, and lunch with the greatest discovery of the day: smore's on a croissant.  It was a game changer, I'm not going to lie.  

The camp-out was a total success.  I looked around me as we were all sitting around the fire on Friday night, and felt so content and at home with all these people that I have grown to love so much in the last year.  My branch is special.  It really is, in the best way.  

Just a sensible dance party after the barbecue.

Jason, Brook, David, Hillary

Kristin, President Comstock, Maria, Amy, Julie

Kristin and Chad

Angelique, Brook, Kristin

This lake.  Early in the morning.  Amazing.

Cindy, Hillary, Amy, Ned, and...a girl I had never met. Sorry.
Ned was clearly loving being with the ladies on our hike.  He had us all to himself...

You know, just some people I like on a little hike.

The evidence.

Ty sporting his tic-prevention camping chic.  It was good.

Brook and me.  I really like us.
One of these days I will retire that hat, since I've had it for so long.  But the day is not today.

June Is Busting Out All Over!

June was not super exciting.  It was warm, or it was warm and rainy.  A lot of rain, actually.  The summertime in NYC is quite wet, to be honest.  It's not that fun sometimes, but that means we have a gorgeous city to live in, and Central Park looks like this: 

I will never get tired of the amazing green with the skyline in the background.  Never. 

#nycloveaffair.  No really. 

A long overdue girls night happened, sleepover style, and it was even better because Carolyn was in town.  We added a new member; her name is Ashley, and she's great.  It was so good to be with my girls.  I don't see them as much as I would like to these days.  It seems like we've gotten busy and our lives are not as closely intertwined as they used to be.  But it is still so great to get together. Food and gut laughter till way too late for any of us, as per usual. And it was the best.

Buying the necessary food for the evening.  As you should for any decent girls night.

This was taken about...3am?  It's fine.

I just love St. Patrick's Cathedral.  And the Chrysler Building.  Two of my favorites in the city.  I know I've posted pictures of both before, but here they are again.  

Sometimes I babysit this little boy named Griffin.  And he's an absolute doll.  We went to breakfast at a diner I like and he just charmed the pants off of all the waiters in there.

See, here is something that I love and am fascinated by in NYC.  The clearly old buildings still standing in the midst of more recent development.  Like this random building cropping up in the middle of a restaurant downstairs, Sleepy's, and Chase Bank. So interesting, and it never gets old. 

Some days you have a crepe that is being coveted by two of your hungry friends.   

And some days Gary comes to town and I get to play with him!  It's the best. 

And then, some days you just need ice cream from an ice cream truck. 

It happened.  June happened.  And it was good. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

End of May stuff

Memorial Day weekend.  It happens.  And sometimes, over the course of that weekend, you have a rooftop party that is amazing.  Like this one I went to.  It was a perfect night. 

Same view, before sunset and after.

#nycloveaffair.  No really.

Some girls I like so much.
My not-so-subtle photo bomb of Beau's moment. He loved it. :-)

More girls I like, talking about life's secrets.  And that view.

The next day you try for first New York City knish.  And it's a little bit ridiculous. 

Braden and I, having a moment.  Because of the food stuffed in our mouths.

On the big day, which is Monday, it dawns as a gorgeous day.  You have brunch with a few girlfriends.  Then you take a run to help digest said brunch for Jacob's Pickles so that you can attend a barbecue later in the afternoon. After the barbecue, a movie, at which Melanie and David both demonstrate some natural tendency toward Irish dancing.  Then you have a date for dessert.  A winning day, I believe.

Above it all, you get to be grateful for the sacrifices made on your behalf for the freedom you enjoy.  Thank you, Uncle Keith, Uncle Revo, Greg Schaelling, Chris Shuck, and Michael Riding, my uncles and cousins who are part of that.  Amen. 

PS- I had to throw this in here.  Chris is on his mission in Argentina, and I'm so proud of him I could burst.  Here he is, in his element.  With a guitar in hand.  I can't think of a more Chris-like missionary picture.  This is so HIM.  I love it. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Life Marches On...Thank Goodness.

I have been cleaning out my email inbox, thanks to an assignment given to me by a friend giving me some time-management/career organization coaching.  Let me tell you, I have so many emails.  Most of them read, but so many that I never did anything with.  Anyway...

I decided to start at the back end, where it would be easier to just delete in bulk for while, since I have emails sitting there from, I don't know, 2008.  Don't judge.  I was going along, happily deleting, when I came to the time period when C and I decided to get a divorce.  I started to read some of the emails from family around that time, and pretty soon had jumped down the rabbit hole of that time period, and all it meant.


It was like I was looking at a train wreck, and I couldn't look away.  I started to read them because I wanted to remind myself of the absolute, unquestioning love and support I felt from my family at that time. I remembered, and was so grateful, all over again.  They are my rock.  A bunch of rocks.  My rocks.  (What?)

BUT.  I also read many of the emails I sent in return, and let me tell you, it was glaringly clear to me what a dark, unhealthy place I was in.  It was almost painful reading my part of a lot of the correspondence.  I was a different person.  A shell of myself.  Someone who believed the marriage unraveling had a lot to do with me and my shortcomings, and that I could STILL, somehow, shield C from the consequences of his actions.  I wanted to shield him.  I literally said, "I'm more worried about him than I am for myself."  I wanted to soften things for him so much that I was not paying any attention to how hurt I was. I wanted everyone to feel sorry and feel compassion for him, like I did. Or thought I did.  Actually, I was just in denial of what was really happening.

That's a Raging Codependent for you.

To be fair to myself, I will say that I knew, even back then, that I would survive and be OK someday.  I was not confident that C knew the same thing.  But still.  The things I said, I know now, came mostly from a place where I had a lot of self-blame, and cared so much about C's feelings and needs that I didn't respect my own nearly enough.  I needed to get out of that toxic environment, and I couldn't even see it.  In fact, I wanted to stay.  Amazing.

Today I am celebrating the growth I have had in my life, because I am looking back at the beginning of my journey out of my marriage, and really seeing who I was.  It was very sobering. I never want to go back there, and I don't have to.

And THAT is something to celebrate!

(Don't mind all the dramatic statements in this post.)  :-)

May stuff

May was pretty uneventful.  But it happened.  Yes it did.  

My friend Sharon helped to organize a symposium to talk about some of the issues related to being single in the church.  It was fabulous, and a great excuse for some friends to come up from DC for the weekend.  Even though it rained. 


Plus, there was this.  The view from the waterfront under the Brooklyn Bridge never gets old. 

Sometimes you take selfies while skyping with family.  It's fine.  

Then your brother Dave adds his own touch to the door in Mapleton and sends you proof.  And you laugh really hard.

My great friend Lisa Howard is a star!  I knew, as her changing partner in Les Miz (we shared a dresser, so always sat together with our costumes), that she was meant for big things.  Even as she insisted on putting her hot, stocking-ed feet on me.  Gross.  And she laughed.  But really, she is the funniest lady and ridiculously talented.  And finally, she is starring in a new Broadway show!  Literally, she is the leading lady.  I'm so amazed.  I got to see her in It Shoulda Been You.  Loved the show, loved even more seeing my girl own the stage.  She's fantastic.  

Memorial Day was really fun- brunch with some of my favorite ladies, a barbecue, movie, and a date.  I packed it in!  And was exhausted and full by the end. :-)