The View From Space

Last weekend when we went camping, when David and I were the only ones awake in the tent and the night was filled with soft snuffles and deep breathing and a whole lot of quiet, I tried to say how I was feeling.

It was nearly impossible.  (Bear with me.)

I tried.  And said sentences about just how much space was really up there, how up here on this high mountain, spinning around an axis, you could almost catch the breeze of the universe as it spun past.  It was like sticking your head out a car window, but with stars and milky ways and supernovas streaming past.  All that was above us was the deepness and vastness of space!  I felt so exposed and vulnerable. 

And yet at the very same time, I could hear my children breathing beside me, dreaming birthday dreams, melted smores smeared on their cheeks and cool mountain air on their eyelids.  I felt charmed and blessed, I felt endowed with the greatest gifts that vast universe had to offer.  I felt completely known and seen and watched by heaven, like maybe this night with my little family was just what heaven had in mind when they did all the work to create this mountain.  

It was a jumble.  It was a feeling...of being both big and small at once.  I could picture myself from space, our very blessed tent just a tiny dot on a globe turning its way from dark to light, slowly, slowly.  I waved.

David uh-huhhed beside me and put his face in my neck, his way of saying he had no idea what I meant, but he likes my company anyway.

I felt like I was on the very precipice and in the hand of heaven at the very same moment.  I lay there in the dark, feeling the slow rotation of the earth underneath me, unaware of the changes that were just a few rotations away.

Last Saturday, Olivia didn't wear make-up.  This Saturday she wore both mascara and lip gloss and the tiniest bit of light blue eyeshadow.

Last Saturday, Olivia had the hairy, happy legs of a child.  This Saturday she had the smooth, freshly shaved legs of a young woman.

Last weekend, Olivia had never been to a young women's meeting at church.  This weekend, her first beehive activity made it onto her "list of highs" around the dinner table.

Last Friday, David was late getting back from work and so we got a late start and set up our tent in semi-darkness.  This Friday, David and I went to a movie in the middle of day because he had no where else to be.

Last Friday night, we packed the car with the campstove and sleeping bags, and spent the night howling around a campfire.  This Friday night, we cleaned out David's office and loaded the car with ten years of memories and work accumulation, and spent the night sobbing into our Oregano's meatballs and making lists of states we'd always dreamed of living in.  (It was some consolation.) 

Last week, David and I had separate work spaces.  This week, we are sharing.

Last week, David had a job.  This week, he doesn't.

I have had the same feelings that I had that night in the tent.  So acutely aware of the vastness of space...aware of the gaping maw, the loss of the ground under my feet.  And an even deeper awareness of the gracious hand of heaven that is watching over us and providing a new way in the darkness.

One of my very favorite scriptures is in the book of Luke:

If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 

Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give good gifts, through the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

I have said that to myself a hundred times since last weekend.  Our Father in Heaven does not give evil gifts.  I am a witness to the absolute goodness of his gifts. 


Erosion and Seduction


Tuesday afternoon, David and I were in a fight.  I think it was a fight about not fighting, though I can't be sure.

But this post is not about that.

By the time we went to bed on Tuesday, we had kissed and made up.  Boy did we.

But this post is not about that either.

(My brother, Christian, told me this summer over our family vacation that there is way to much information about stuff like that on my blog.  No more stories involving passionate necking, he said.)

This post is about between the two, when I had my change of heart.

About 5:30, while I was in the kitchen stacking slices of eggplant between mozzarella and marinara, the sky suddenly opened up and dropped a whole summer's-worth of rain on us.  The thunder was loud enough to make us all jump, and the power flickered on and off.

And then I heard the sirens.  Lots of them.  Shrieking past my house, towards the freeway David drives home on every day.  Up to my wrists in flour and egg and breadcrumbs, I said a silent, fervent prayer, and promised that if David made it home safely, I would repent and remember what a gift each day with him is.  And I would spend less time fighting about not fighting and more time passionately necking.  (Sorry Christian, it couldn't be helped.)

Wind and rain for softening my heart.  Thunder and lightening as cry for repentance. 

This summer David and I took a trip to Canada to see their version of the Rocky Mountains (they have us beat by a mile, by the way) and to celebrate fifteen years of marriage.  The scenery was spectacular.  I mean, have you ever SEEN Lake Victoria?  It is so bright blue it looks like paint.  Once I looked over at David, who was supposed to be driving us up the largest mountain either of us had ever seen.  His eyes were not on the road, they were out the window, his mouth slightly ajar.  I imagined that if he drove us off the edge, I would go right along with him and only say, "Oh, look at that!" on our way down.

While we were there, I thought a lot about creation and gale force winds and glaciers so powerful they can turn stone into flour.  And I thought a lot about our marriage, about where we had come from and what we had passed through, and the rubbing and the shaping that had occurred as the elements of life roared around us.  And I thought about what can be created in a marriage, over time, with a little wind and rain and a few perfectly-positioned, massive glaciers.

Stone turns to flour.

David and I got engaged under one of the finest displays of erosion the world has ever seen, unaware of the rubbing and shaping and elevating ahead of us.  Ignorant of the possibilities even.  We were charmed...what could go wrong?  And we made a covenant with very little thought about the storms and wind and glaciers and fault lines ahead. 

Real life has lots of erosion.  And sometimes on a Tuesday afternoon, when you're fighting about not fighting, you wonder what it's all for.

While we were in Banff, I saw a sign that quoted the first man to climb Castle Mountain, "A high mountain is always a seduction."  When I read it, I nearly started drooling and weeping at the same time.  (And not just because he used the word "seduction," which I think always makes a sentence better.)  But because, ultimately, that's what we're about here, in our marriage.  The high mountain is the seduction.  The chance to become something magnificent, together, as our stony hearts turn to flour.

Erosion is the seduction of married life.  The carving and shaping and melting and scraping and pounding and shearing, together, in order to become the high mountain.  Adam and Eve, who had front row seats to the creation, understood this.  There is no other way.

And so we take each other's hand on a Tuesday evening.  And the Tuesday after that.  And the one after that.  Fifteen years worth.  And an eternity after that. 

Come wind, come rain.  I am completely seduced.


And now, in case you don't believe me about the unbelievable glories of Canada, here are some views of erosion at its best.  (I realize that lately my blog has just become a forum for long, home-movie, picture montages and I apologize.  I am determined to remedy this in the immediate future with real posts at semi-regular intervals.  Oh well, we all know that this is really for David anyway.) 

For those of you who actually made it through that, a couple of comments:

1.  Yes, it really is that stunning.  I recommend you take your best camera and your best friend and go.

2.  And yes, you'll need a sweater.

2.  When Olivia saw the picture showing our bare shoulders she asked, "Were you at a spa?"  Exactly, darling.

I've Seen Him in His Birthday Suit

I have celebrated sixteen birthdays of this man's life.

The first one, I was one of twenty girls at the table watching him blow out birthday candles on his fried ice cream.  Even then, I was grateful he had been born, if only because it made me so happy just to look at him.

By the year after that, I was the only one sitting next to him and his birthday cake.  German chocolate, made from scratch, by me.  Pictured above.  Have you ever seen a man so happy to be sitting next to me?  Let's be honest, those other girls didn't stand a chance.

Tonight will be the sixteenth time I have watched him make a wish and blow out the candles.

And I am still and always unspeakably grateful that he was born.  Every good thing in my life has proceeded from that moment.  It was, apparently, a very good day for me.  And I am serious about celebrating it.

Happy birthday, love.

Oh, and welcome (as Caleb says) to your golden years.

The Post Script to Two Weeks of Insanity

I know I am prone to exaggeration. 

I know I am prone to melodrama.

(I keep telling David that it adds to my charm.)

But it is not too much to say that I have been drowning.  To busy trying to stay afloat to even write a distressed SOS.  The waters are just now finally starting to recede, leaving me exhausted and mildewed.

It all started when I thought it was a good idea to take a class on writing and force a few deadlines on myself.

Which would have been fine, if it weren't that I forgot that the last time I took a class I did not have four children and two church callings and one large, full-time job feeding, clothing, and cleaning a family. 

Which still might have been fine, if I hadn't forgotten that I also do volunteer work on a committee to raise funds for cancer services and our big event is just a couple of months away, and my sister and I also spend much of our free time travelling and teaching a class on body image.

Which still had a microscopic chance of being fine, it I hadn't also said "yes" to various other people and commitments, which didn't seem hard at the time they asked, but impossible by the time it was time to deliver.

And so it has not been so fine.

(At one point amid the hosting of a dinner/dance for a hundred people to celebrate the latest minor-holiday and helping Caleb sift through 80 pictures of growing petri dishes for his science project and trying to finish my round robin late again, I told David that I was having fantasies about getting cancer so that the only thing on my to-do list was "go to chemo."  He made me take that back.)

Yesterday my family ate cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and I took a two-hour nap in the afternoon. 

I had gone as far as I could go.

This morning Caleb asked in a hopeless voice if we were having cereal again for breakfast. 

I said yes. 

And then I turned to David and whispered that I am failing.  He just smiled at me and nodded.  He loves me anyway, I suppose.

Now for a story.  About the best part of the last two weeks.

A couple of weeks ago I had to turn in a manuscript, either a short story or a chapter, for my writing class to review.  We workshop the piece, which means you make a copy for everyone in the class and they go home and read it over the weekend and make all kinds of marks and suggestions and comments on it and then on the following Tuesday we talk about the piece.

After I turned it in, David said that if I could let eighteen strangers read it, I could surely let him.

So I did.

When he got done with it he only made one comment.  And it was, apparently, not the right one.

David took me to In and Out where I cried into my milkshake and asked him hundred times what I was thinking and what I was doing with my life and what was I going to do now and what was the worst part, the writing or the story or both. 

Because, let's be honest, if there's one thing I really excel at, it is self-doubt.

(I keep telling David that it adds to my charm.)

When my blood sugar and my emotions were more stable he drove me home.

By Tuesday morning I had given up the dream.  Determined to be content reading and enjoying the writing of other people, to drop the class and get back to my laundry.  I decided to let it die or kill it off myself, and then I considered the funeral arrangements.  (Adele would sing, I would say a few words, the kids could do a reading of Steinbeck or Tolstoy to put everything in perspective and remind us that we weren't losing much, bagpipes at the end, etc.)

But my professor resurrected it with three little words and one punctuation choice written at the bottom of my manuscript:  "April, absolutely brilliant!"

Note the exclamation point.  You can bet I did. 

I could not be unhappy the entire day.

When David got home from work I still had the smile on my face.  We did a little celebratory dance in the kitchen.  And David told me how frustrating it is to be my husband but smiled at me the whole time he was saying it and I did nothing but grin back at him. 

Because of course I know that.  I live with me too. 

The Weekend Vices

On Friday night David and I went to dinner.

While we waited for a table we wandered over to the bookstore, my favorite place in the world to wander.

I started greedily stacking books into my arms, because I can't help myself.

David said, "Do you know I don't think I've ever read a book all the way through?"

I nearly died right there.

I told him, the best I could, about the kind of sheer joy he was missing in his life.  And then he said that if I ever write a book he would read that one and we joked that then he could say it was the best book he'd ever read in his life.

And he surprised us both by saying, "I want to read a book.  What book should I read?"

I was flummoxed.  That's a lot of pressure after all my high praise about the glory and magic of books.  And where do you start?

I offered a few suggestions.

He hemmed.

I found an author I thought he might like and offered that.

He hemmed again, and told me it looked too long, but this time I pushed just a little.

We left with two books for each of us.  Unheard of in our marriage.

On Saturday night I was working on my Sunday School lesson and David came and lay down by me.  He picked up his book.

I felt a stab of jealousy so pure and so thick I nearly cried.

"You're going to read fiction while I work on my lesson?" I asked, aghast and a little hurt.

He grinned at me and turned back to his book.

The longing nearly consumed me.

And then this morning as I got out of bed he reached for his book.

I teased him, "Wow, you've only been reading for one weekend and you've already found the vice...reading when you should be doing something else."

He just smiled and kept reading.  I walked out of the room to find breakfast and hair-do's and lunch money for my children.

I don't mind telling you that I was overwhelmed with envy that he was again enjoying one of the greatest of all pleasures without me, and I was nearly undone by a deep and hungry lust for the pile of books on the table by my bed.  It was only by exercising my strongest willpower that I was able to walk out of the room.

Just now, David came in and asked me to iron his shirt.  He's running late.

I bet you can guess what I said.

I'll admit it was mostly pride with a little drop of wrath and irony...all delivered with a haughty smile.

It was a very wicked weekend.

The Secret Delights of the Week

First of all, may I just point out that this makes five posts in five days.  You already know that of course, as I'm sure this was one of the secret delights of your week.

But before the weekend comes, a few more of mine, for the record.

1.  This book.

I am completely in love with Flavia de Luce.  I could eat her for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Better than pie, I say, and I find myself wildly grinning through Mr. Bradley's every paragraph.  

2.  This game.

Caleb got this game for Christmas and by New Year's we owned the expansion.  We have played hours of it since then, including a stolen hour last night between dinner and Roundtable meeting that David had to rush off to. 

3.  This conversation.

This morning as I was in the shower and David was putting the finishing touches on his tie, we were reviewing my posts from the week.

David remembered the one from Wednesday morning and got a little red under the collar remembering the last couple of paragraphs.

He rolled his eyes at me and said, "I wonder what people think."

I said, "They think you love me.  They think that's crazy, but they definitely think you love me."

"But can't they know that without being inappropriate?"

"Probably not," I assured him.

His eyes did another roll but I just smiled at him and he got distracted because I was just coming out of the shower, remember?

4.  This text.

Hey love hope u r having a good day

This afternoon, quite out of the blue, David sent me a text.  Unheard of.  Especially in the middle of the day with the hospital always absorbing all of his daylight-hour attention.

Of course I texted back. nice to be thought of in the middle of the day...cant wait for date night

And then I waited.  For something witty perhaps?  For something steamy perhaps?  But he didn't text back.

I was hoping for something like:

me too


where do you want to go

or even

i think of you in the middle of the day every day

But the exchange was over.  Still.  I'll take what I can get and count it as one of the delights of the week.  I am so easy to please.  (That was funny, right?)

5.  The rest of today.

I spent the day at Christine's (my sister-in-law) house quilting.  Or actually, mostly talking and planning and fabric shopping and plotting ways to get my sister, Rachel, to quit her job so she can join quilt day too, but we call it quilting.  We had plans to work on some unfinished projects but mostly got excited about starting a couple of new projects instead.  It was easily among the best hours of my week.

Next week already looks less delightful as I have jury duty bright and early on Monday morning.  I am sincerely hoping I don't consume all of Flavia between now and then as I would love to have her with me through jury selection. 

But the week after that school starts.  And I, for one, can't wait.  This week I went and peeked through the window of my classroom and my inappropriate heart did a fluttery bounce and started pounding madly away, undone by the sight of desks and chairs and whiteboards.

Heaven help me if I ever find myself in a classroom with David.  I will surely spontaneously combust with all that lust.   

Why It Is Good to Marry Well

It was a rough night.

My body, never easy to live with, is especially sensitive to stress, and with the filling calendar and the abrupt change in our schedule back to real life, it is back to its old tricks.

Its old tricks with whipped cream on top.

I rose to read scriptures with my children, grateful it was over.

Then there was the morning dance routine where I gracefully lept from pouring milk and juicing oranges to combing hair and finding socks and lunch money.  Today's performance was one of my best...there was a grand jete in there that would have blown your mind.

Then I went to find my shoes and found this instead.

It looked like Christmas morning to me.  Love embodied.  The grand gesture, as it were.

I went and found David and thanked him properly.  He just smiled at me and his eyebrows told me that he understands more than I think he does.

And on a day like today, after a night like that, it is very good to have married so well.

Plus on my way out of the room he felt me up just to let me know that he thinks my old sweats and camp t-shirt look amazing with day old mascara and that that perfect grand jete did not go without notice.

It is very good indeed.

Five Posts in One

I've done all my recent writing in my head.  Which is fun for me, and not as much fun for you.  Anyway, the posts are starting to stack up.  In their entireties they were both clever and profound (you would have liked them), but for the sake of time and in consideration of all the people around here clamoring for clean underwear (the nerve!), you are getting the Reader's Digest version.  (Did I ever tell you the story of how I was actually published in the Reader's Digest and lied about my name?  True story.)

And so, Post One:

On Thursday night I took the girls to see Little House on the Prairie, The Musical at Gammage.  It was just marvelous, and it is quite possible that I cried through half of it.  At one point Olivia looked at me with tears in her own eyes and nodded compassionately.

I sat there in the auditorium with my own Mary and Laura and thought about love and sisters and sacrifice and hard work and faith and building a life for your family and long winters and what we would do to keep warm if we lived in the Dakota territory before insulation and central heating and indoor plumbing.  I thought about what it means to live in a happy family and over and over again I told myself, "This is now, this is now," just like Laura did in Little House in the Big Woods.

When it was all over we went to the talk-back where Olivia raised her hand and asked the cast if they had all read the books, and then with my girls clutching their own treasured books we waited outside the stage door for autographs.  

And on the way home, over the Christmas music, I could hear the girls talking about their favorite parts, and how it is so sad to read such good books when you are young because you might never find as good books the rest of your life.  I smiled at that and secretly agreed.  And as I drove home through the dark streets and listened to their voices in the back seat and heard Savannah ask Olivia why she was crying at that one part, I was grateful that they each have a sister.  And that in the long, cold winters of their lives, they will always have each other.


Post Two:

 The makings of 23 centerpieces.

If you've been reading this blog for a bit, it becomes fairly obvious, fairly quickly, that I married better than I deserve.

What can I say?  It is an indisputable fact that I have excellent taste in men.

This week offered more evidence of this. 

David and I were supposed to put on the ward Christmas party on Saturday night.  Food and seating and entertainment and Christmas cheer for two hundred.  Saturday was also the day of a one-day quilt retreat with my family in Park City, Utah, about 700 miles from here.  I hemmed and hawed about going.  I tried to change the date of the ward party.  I decided not to go to the quilt retreat.  Then I hemmed and hawed some more.  Finally David said, "Let's just buy you a ticket.  I can feed two hundred people by myself."  Unbelievably I said, "Okay."

And that it just what he did.  The party was a roaring success.  Last night in bed he told me in complete honesty that he thinks it was the best ward Christmas party he's ever been to.

I am not a bit surprised.

After all, I have excellent taste in men. 


Post Three:

We finally had a cold snap.

Cold enough to wear beanies and knit gloves with our jackets in the mornings.

Did you know it only takes about one day for children to lose one or both of their gloves?

Lucky for us, the cold snaps around here only last about two weeks.  I don't know how all you real-winter folks do it.  My entire month's budget would be spent on gloves.  30 days, 4 pairs of gloves per adds up.

The other day I was at Target for a completely different reason and saw that they had their gloves on sale, 2 pairs for $1.50 in all kinds of cute colors.  I thought, "Sold."  I bought everyone two pairs of gloves.  This morning the girls were both down to one pair and Ethan couldn't find any.  He finally ended up wearing mine.  I suspect I will never see them again.  Oh well.  It will likely be summer weather again by the end of the week.


Post Four:

Remember that post about wanting to be snowed in somewhere?

On Sunday morning after a delightful quilt retreat, we were in Park City preparing to leave.  The man who plows the driveways in the neighborhood came by and laughed at us and told us we weren't going anywhere.  It had snowed 25 inches in less than 12 hours.

We went back inside and considered staying another day and I called David and told him I thought we might be snowed in and he said the roads looked fine from here.  If we could just get down off the mountain he thought the highway would be passable.  It was, but just barely.

As we were white-knuckle crawling our way down the mountain I thought about how when my romantic notions actually come to pass in real life, they are not nearly as romantic as I thought they would be.

My readers in Wisconsin and Michigan and Massachusetts have my apologies.


Post Five:

My Christmas cards are still sitting neatly in their boxes. 

I have threatened several times that they are going to end up in the recycling bin. 

David just nods.

He's been through this before.

And now every time someone else's Christmas card arrives in the mail, a little trickle of ice-cold panic sluices through me.

But still they sit.

I am waiting for inspiration. 

I am waiting for Christmas spirit.

I am waiting to figure out just what it is I learned this year.

The writer in me is still sorting.  Sorting the lessons from the regrets, the gold from the sand, the moving from the mundane.  There is something there, the water just hasn't cleared enough for me to see it yet.

I hope it clears by Christmas.  If not, I have given myself permission to fill the recycling bin.

And David will just nod.  (See Post Two.  I told you.)

For Comfort in the Strife

Do you want to know a secret?

Sometimes I don't know what my own brain is thinking.

(I know what you're thinking, but just hush.  Let me at least pretend that was a secret.)

Most days when I go to write a post it's not because I have something to say, but because I need to know what I'm thinking.  (And here you thought it was all for you.)  I can't understand my own brain unless I write it out.  I have all these thoughts and stories tumbling around in there and I know it's trying to tell me something important but dang if I know what it is, and so I tell myself, "I need to write."  And (usually) by the end of the post, I go, "Oh.  That's brilliant."  And I can clearly see what it was I was trying to tell myself.

(I try to put heavy emphasis on the "brilliant" part, as it makes me feel marvelous.)

This morning I am walking around my house with my hair in a messy bun feeling a little lost.  Walking from room to room but not seeing the breakfast dishes on the countertop or the unmade beds or the piles of hair ties and smeared toothpaste in the bathroom sinks, because I know I need to write and sort the mess in my head first.  I tell you this to give you fair warning.  The rest of this could be a bit sketchy.  Then again, there is a very good chance it will be brilliant.  (I don't know about you, but I suddenly feel marvelous.)

Last night David was looking at me across the pillow.  I had my arms folded across my chest in lieu of words.  I was making a point, see?  He ignored my arms and sent me a message with his eyes and then I smiled, despite myself.

He said, "Do you know what I'm thinking?  I was sending you a message."

I said of course and rolled my eyes because I always know what he is thinking and he should stop being surprised at that.

"What was I thinking?"

"That you wanted to kiss me."

He laughed because I was right of course.

I said, "First tell me about your day."

"And then we can kiss?"


And then he told me about his day.  One of the worst in his career.  And we talked for a couple of hours.  As he talked I repented.  Because he hadn't come home to dinner and a smile.  And after a day like that, he deserved to.

As he was winding down, he said, "And then I came home and,"

I interrupted, "And there was no dinner on the table."

And he said, "I didn't need dinner.  Just comfort."

That is what marriage is after all.  Comfort in the wilderness.

Yesterday morning I was in the kitchen making Ethan's lunch.  I drew a picture on his paper lunch sack.  (Our little tradition, a stick-figure message for him in the middle of the day.)  He looked at me and said, "I'm glad you're here, Mom."

I grinned at him and said thanks.

He said, "Dad could keep us alive, but I'm glad you're here."

I wasn't sure if I should feel happy or sad at that.

Last night after David had exhausted his story and rehearsed his sorrows I was quiet for a while.  He turned out the lights and it was dark in our room.  I said, "If our life was a musical I would sing you a song right here."

"Like what?"

I sang the first verse of "Tomorrow" from Annie.  Yes, I really did.  And he didn't stop me, so I kept going.

"When I'm stuck with a day

that's gray

and lonely

I just stick out my chin,

and grin,

and say..."

I stopped then, fearing I had gone too far.  He kissed me and said, "You didn't do the chorus."

We sang it together then.  I'm not even kidding. 

In the middle of the night, the house quiet and still except for our soulful tribute to "tomorrow," which would surely be better than today.  We belted out the last line and even slowed down the last notes for a big, emotional finish.  And then everything was quiet again, and the air was heavy and full like something important had just happened.

David thanked me for the serenade and we smiled at each other even though it was dark.

Both of us, I think, comforted.

And now, another not-so-secret secret.  I've been struggling the last couple of months for purpose and place.  And how to navigate my new world of long, quiet hours.  Struggling to feel useful and joyful and necessary, to find meaningful work.

Perhaps I am here only for the comfort now.  Perhaps it is as Ethan says, that they could all keep themselves alive but it's good I'm around anyway.  For comfort.  For stick-figures on brown paper bags.  For serenades by Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin in the middle of the night.  For my ear and my heart, rather than my hands.  For comfort in the strife.

And you know, it's not a bad job.

Things That Are Worth Driving 20 Hours For

I call this, "Roadtripping with a Purpose."

On Friday morning, we set the alarm and instead of dressing for school we headed north in the early morning light.

We drove all day.  And tomorrow we will drive all day back home.

But there are things worth driving 20 hours for.  I present them below for your reference. 


1.  For this undivided view.  (This is reason enough, by the way, but there are more.)

2.  To see LaVell Edwards Stadium lit up at night.

3.  To watch the moon rise spectacularly over the Rocky Mountains.

4.  For the bird's eye view.

5.  For these smiles.  (Alma mater's sons and daughters.)

6.  To be this close to the action.

7.  To deliver a baby gift.  (It's better in person.)

8.  But mostly, for this series of pictures here...I post them all because of the story they tell.  Be still my beating heart.

I am nearly undone by the picture of "eternity" I captured, quite by accident, in the first picture, as my husband, and our boy get ready for Caleb's first priesthood session of General Conference.  They are going to the Conference Center where they will sit and listen in the very same room as the prophet of God. 

It was worth it. 

And then some.