September 10, 2010

BYU vs. UW 2010

Last Saturday Joey and I joined my in-laws, Mike, Scott and Steve at the BYU game in Provo against my alma-mater, the University of Washington Huskies. I think UW was favored and they were ahead at halftime but just couldn't get their offense working in the second half, ending up losing 23-17. It was fun to be there and Joey rooted for BYU, despite my protests. I had a friendly wager on the game too that I lost and had to make a dessert featuring BYU's colors for some friends from Church. I ended up making coconut macaroons dipped in white chocolate (with a bit of blue food coloring).

September 08, 2010

Flowers on the Path

Last week while at Fish Lake in Southeast Utah I had a wonderful learning experience while taking a nature hike with all the families there. I was tired and wasn't thrilled about the hike but decided to go anyway. We went about a half mile up a winding canyon and I have to admit I was thinking the entire way about how I couldn't wait to turn around and go back. It was hot outside, I had the wrong shoes on, and the hike was mostly uphill. How thankful I was when we decided we'd had enough and turned around to head back to the cabin.

On the way back, I began to notice something I hadn't seen on the way up - beautiful flowers of all different colors, shapes, sizes and varieties scattered throughout the trail. Some of them were right out in the open and some of them I wouldn't have found without looking for them. I began picking a few for Jeni who had stayed behind, and those few turned into a beautiful bouquet, pictured above. I hadn't noticed the flowers on the way up and yet they had been there all along.

As I've reflected on that experience, I've come to realize that our lives are very much like that hike. Sometimes they're difficult with uphill climbs and twists and turns we hadn't expected. We may even complain about how challenging our trials are or that we'd rather be somewhere or someone else. And yet, through those trials, there are beautiful flowers all around, reminders of the beauty of God's plan of happiness for our lives. Sometimes those reminders are right in front of our eyes and sometimes we have to look for them. Either way, they are always there. If we pause long enough to pick up those reminders, we'll be blessed with a beautiful bouquet, a vibrant testimony that God lives and that He cares about even the smallest details of our lives.

Though I've known of God's love for me personally for a long time, I am so grateful for His tender reminder last week by sending me flowers on the path.

September 04, 2010

Fish Lake

The Halliday family had a reunion this last week at Fish Lake in Southeast Utah.

Everyone was there except for Trent and Whitnie's family and we missed them. Mike and Kaye had rented a wonderful cabin where most of us stayed, played, slept and ate.

Fun memories from the 3 day vacation include:

1. Campfire with Steve, Scott and Mike playing the guitar and eating s'mores.

2. Trying to figure out a a nearly impossible frog card game with over 45 million variations, only one of which is the right one. We came very close as you can see but couldn't quite solve it.

3. Taking a nature hike, including creating a beautiful nature bouquet (more to come on that later)

4. Fishing on the lake and watching Joey catch a beautiful trout only to see it get away right at the last possible moment

5. Playing Mafia and Psychiatrist late into the night
6. Playing horshoes and frisbee outside the cabin