Monday, January 29, 2007

A Family is Forever

For date night this Friday we met with 4 of Joseph's siblings and their spouses to do sealings at the Jordan River temple. It is always wonderful to be in the temple with family but even more special to do work for your own family which is why we were there. Joseph's dad has been furiously working on family history (he's becoming like you mom!) and had 50 cards of children and couples for us to seal together. My favorite moment of the night was when Joseph and I were representing a couple and Maggie's husband Justin was being sealed to them as their son. The sealer read the names of the parents and then said the name of their son, Simon Whitmore. I felt such quickness and joy leap in my heart and I looked at Joseph and saw him smiling back at me. Since our little boy is named Simon (although he goes by Bentley) I suddenly saw this ancestor as a sweet, young child who had parents that just ached for him to be theirs forever. It was my first time doing sealings for children to parents instead of just couples and it was so wonderful. Its such a beautiful part of the Gospel, the fact that we can be together as families forever. I love my family more than any other people in my life and know that temples make it so we can all be connected beyond this life.

at Cold Stone after the temple

Thursday, January 25, 2007

What a Girl Wants

Have I ever mentioned that having a daughter is the best? Not only is my Caroline sweet and smiley and ever so dainty, she is so fun to shop for! Yesterday I bought her a new swimsuit and terrycloth cover-up. Yes, it is crazy of me since it is only 33 degrees outside but I couldn't resist. She modeled it for me today (very modestly as you can see!) and was having a jolly old time. Better to have her trying on a swimsuit this time of year than me!

In Chicago I found some very girly spring/summer dresses for her too. She'll probably hate them as she gets more and more mobile and tries to crawl around in them but at least she'll look cute--an essential thing for any girl.

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Windy City

Oh Chicago--what a lovely place! I traveled there for a quick weekend with my parents and Joseph back in October of 2000 and it was wonderful so I was excited to return this past weekend. Accompanied by Cecily (my big sis), Catherine (Cec's sister in-law) and Melinda (Chandler's cousin's wife), we had a busy and fabulous weekend doing all the best girly things! We ate delicious Chicago style pizza, shopped until we literally dropped, and saw one of the best musicals ever--Wicked (as I mentioned last post). We laughed about how much pizza we ate, how often we took short cab rides to avoid the cold, cold wind, how silly we looked in dresses and winter socks in the H&M dressing room (except that the dresses alone were quite cute!), how hungry we were at Grand Luxe Cafe at midnight, and how organized we had to be packing all our new purchases into our little suitcases. We also had fun with the camera timer and posing in our PJs on Friday night. Of course we got ready for bed when it was already quite late but then couldn't resist chatting away until after 2:00 am. It was just so much fun! Thank you to all of the husbands for secretly planning such a huge surprise for us and letting us all enjoy each other while you watched the children. Ahhhh, romance is certainly not dead!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Wicked Excited

I am eating cereal at 7:00 in the morning because I have a flight to catch in about 2 hours. My darling, loving husband surprised me with a one night trip to Chicago for Christmas this year--what a fun, fun gift! Even better, I am going with my big sis and her sister in-law and cousin in-law. Props to Chandler, my sister's hubby, for arranging such a cool gift and encouraging Joseph to send me too! We will see Wicked tonight, shop at stores along Michigan Ave., and eat the yummiest food Chicago has to offer. I am so excited!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Happy List

I started making a "happy list" last month. Basically, I began jotting down (well, typing in all honesty) anything that makes me happy whether it be simple and mundane or spiritual and eternal in nature. The last time I did this was exactly 10 years ago and in about a month's time I had named 134 things, people, places, activities, etc... (the total amount which would fit on my lined paper!) It's so fun to read over the things I valued as a Junior in high school. I can see that I have grown up a lot but that I am still the same old Carrie too. For example, these things didn't quite make it on my list this time around: #86) driving a boy's car, #124) school spirit, #116) Mario Cart, #90) sleuthing (spying), #23) my dog Tilly, #64) swimming at Ryan Parker's house, #25) SLLRA, and #63) frozen yogurt outings. However, I still love: #6) sunshine, #16) clear, glassy waterskiing water, #28) cookie dough, #32) new shoes, #38) dancing, #54) reading my journal, #72) praying, #81) sisters, #98) Hawaii, #131) freshly shaved faces, and #134) seeing someone I've missed.

I began a new list simply because I wanted to feel grateful and remember how blessed I am, especially on those days when I am feeling discouraged or frustrated. Lately, I think my faith seems to be less than it should--my faith in others and in myself as well as my faith in the fact that my daily prayers are heard and answered. It is imperative for me that I see all the ways my Father in Heaven is blessing me and loving me and extending His hand into my life. With that assurance and calm understanding I can continue to express the desires of my heart even if they aren't met in the timetable or way that I expect.
D&C 78:17-19 "Verily, verily I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you. And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours. And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more."
Some things from my recent list: #3) Kissing my babies goodnight when they are sound asleep, #23) Hour long phone conversations, #24) Heidi’s almost daily blog entries, #16) All the love notes and cards from Joseph that I have saved over the years, #53) Jogging in Hyde Park, #55) Thinking of my “little Ben” while standing right by Big Ben, #44) Summer Vacation with the WHOLE family, #6) Caroline’s fluffy hair, and #17) The Priesthood in my home.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Old Friends

I found this wonderful quote from an article in Real Simple magazine last spring. It's about the value of our childhood and/or teenage friends and how important they are even when we are grown:
"[those friends] knew you when you had training wheels (then a training bra), commiserated with you when you got grounded, and relished every detail of your first kiss. They are your friends, who knew your family...and maybe even became an extended part of it. Inevitably, they drifted away in the face of geography, changing priorities or adult responsibilities. Finding them again can be powerful--because such friends knew you before you were a sorority sister, a marketing executive, or a stay-at-home mom. They give your life a sense of continuity, reminding you of who you once were and connecting that childhood or adolescent self to the adult you have become."
I spent an evening with many of these high school friends just the other night. We gathered at my mom' s house and could have spent hours talking about all that has happened since we last saw each other and how much fun we had as energetic teenagers always ready for a crazy adventure or a silly prank!

I love you girls! I think back to those Jr. high days when I met most of you and can only wonder in awe how we all came together and built such strong friendships. Thank you for loving me and sheltering me with your friendship all those years ago even when I was acne ridden, boy-crazy, emotional, and unsure of myself. I've certainly been privileged to know and love you all! at our Christmas dinner back in 1997!

Monday, January 1, 2007


Happy New Year! We celebrated by eating tons at a LeBaron progressive dinner last night. We started at Tom and Jessica's new house for appetizers, moved over to Ruth Ann and Neil's for the main course, and ended at John and Krista's for a yummy Danish dessert. It was our last fling with Flori and Rob's family before they headed home (they live in North Carolina--go Charlotte!!)Eloise (7), Rob (Professor & new Mac guy), Maddie (10), Flori (expecting #4 in May) & Sarah Jane (4)

This morning we met my parents and Heidi and Ben for a New Year's breakfast feast at Mimi's Cafe. It was quite tasty and just really good to see Heid and her hubby one more time. Thanks for the pancakes mom and dad!

We enjoyed all the commotion of the holidays but we are ready to settle back into regular schedules (Bentley had a 4 hour nap again today!) Life has plenty to offer in the next few months and I am ready to press forward. Some resolutions to end this entry:

1) Read from the New Testament each day with Joseph
2) Go to the gym at least twice a week
3) Have at least 2 date nights each month