January 27, 2011

Hidden Treasure















While working in Salt Lake City today, I happened upon this wonderful store, the London Market. As you probably know by now I grew up eating all sorts of delicious British chocolates and candies, things you can't find at normal stores in the US; delicacies like Flake, Aero, Crunchie, Violet Crumble, Turkish Delight, Smarties, Maltesers, Crispies, Curly Wurly, Starbar, Twirl and the list goes on. This store had them all as well as ones I had never even heard of! Believe you me when I say that my secret chocolate stash just increased in size today. Ok, doubled. Ok, tripled. Ok, it now fills the whole drawer. How could it not when you're faced with a view like the picture below from inside the store? And to top it all off, the lady at the register was from Rhodesia, SA so she had an almost identical accent as my parents. I'm seriously considering adding the London Market as a monthly recurring invoice in our budget - "Sorry hon, I've got to run to London Market to pay our bill. See you .... in a few hours!"

January 15, 2011

Baby You Can Drive My Car

















Borrowed from the Beatles, this blog title has specific application today as Maddy, my little baby girl, drove for the first time! Though she's been 15 for several months, she mustered up the courage today and spent about 10 minutes or so with me swerving through the Church parking lot. And... she did pretty well! Sadly, gone are the days of her driving home on my lap from Church, and gone are the days of her pretending to drive like on this day almost exactly 3 years ago. Though this is major milestone for her and a sign of her growing up, we couldn't be happier with her and wonderful young woman she is. Next week, we hit the roads!

January 05, 2011

A Day to Remember

















Yesterday was one of those days you wish could last forever. The four of us left in the afternoon to attend a wedding luncheon at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City. Jeni's cousin, Kaylee Ficklin had been married in the Salt Lake LDS Temple that morning. At the luncheon (the food was amazing by the way), Maddy sang two songs with her uncle Steve. The first was "Crazier" by Taylor Swift and the second was "Lucky" by Colbie Caillat. Her voice just continues to get more beautiful like her mom's. The video for each song is below.





After the luncheon we joined up with Scott, Jeni's brother, and spent several hours at Temple Square walking around and going through the Visitor Centers. Before heading home we stopped at my favorite French pastry shop, Gourmandise, in downtown Salt Lake and treated ourselves to some goodies. Jeni's health was up to all of this amazingly for which I was so grateful. If only every day could be like yesterday!



























Unanswered, Not Unheard






















Last Saturday Maddy informed me that the shower in our master bedroom wasn't working. I knew that it had been very cold and wondered if our pipes had frozen. As I investigated, the water in the shower did turn on but only trickled out even though all the other faucets in the bathroom were working fine. I was convinced the pipes were frozen and left the water running thinking that it would unfreeze over a short period of time and all would be well.

Hours later and the water still trickling, I started to get worried that maybe the pipes really were frozen. I left the water running in the shower as we went to bed, thinking that it would all be better by the morning. In fact, I prayed several times for a miracle that somehow in the morning we'd turn the shower on and it would be like nothing had gone wrong. I had faith it would happen that way and actually went to bed quite calm about the whole thing.

The next morning I was surprised that there was no change so I headed off to Church, prayerful but starting to worry that not only was the pipe frozen but maybe it had burst and that water had been running into the walls throughout the house. My fears were confirmed when I got home and went into the garage and saw a patch of water in the ceiling and a small trickle of water coming out the bottom of the drywall by the foundation.

I immediately did the only think I knew to do. I raced to my neighbor Randy Bunker's house for help. Randy has been a huge blessing for our family, fixing things I didn't have any clue how to do. Thankfully he was home and came over. Together we determined that the leak in the garage actually had nothing to do at all with the shower and it wasn't even in the same place. He created a hole in the ceiling, climbed into it and figured out that the leak there was actually coming from the roof. We've had incredibly cold temperatures here in Utah and a series of days with massive snowfall. Together that created ice on our roof (see picture above) that had found a way into the garage and down the drywall. Thankfully he was able to cut some sheetrock out at the bottom to allow the water to come out and to vent the area so no mold would form (see picture below). Once the ice is off the roof he'll be able to fix the area that needs extra protection. The shower issue ended up being a shower cartridge (didn't know such a thing existed) that had gone bad that was easy for him to replace.

















Through this experience, I was reminded again (as I too often stubbornly forget) that Heavenly Father cares enough about each of our lives to help us with what must be to Him the most mundane issues like a shower that doesn't work or a leaky roof. Because He knew these things were important to me, that made them important to Him.

In addition, if Heavenly Father had answered that first petition and just fixed the shower, I never would have looked for a leak elsewhere in the house and would not have seen the larger issue of the leak in the roof. Because my prayer went unanswered, a bigger problem was brought to light before it caused serious damage.

Though my prayer went unanswered, it did not mean that it wasn't heard!