LDS Singles

Thriving and Growing as an LDS Single


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Who Are the Singles in Your Neighborhood?

Blog FH photosWhen I was growing up, I was well aware of the singles in the church. My Dad had been the “ripe old” age of 31 when he met and married my schoolteacher Mom, who was 25. They were “ancient” by the standards of 1960. My Dad had served an LDS mission to Canada, come home and volunteered for the Air Force for the Korean War (and received a “Dear John” letter in the process), then inexplicably graduated from the University of Utah as a fraternity president without getting married; despite what my aunts and uncles described to me as a healthy social life and even a few dates with a granddaughter of the President of the LDS Church at the time. 1567

When my Mom passed away in 1980, my Dad then married my Step Mom, who was also considered an “older” single at the age of 28. My parents were aware of what it felt like to be single in a church filled with families and talk of families. We had the “older” singles over for Thanksgiving and Sunday dinners on more than one occasion, and my Dad would invite his LDS, BYU grad bachelors from work over for dinner too. They were real people to me who had interests and family in other places and wishes for the future.

So, as an “older” and divorced single, recently when I read this excellent article by blogger Katie Bastian in the Deseret News, I did what every good singles blogger would do and (oh no!!) read the comments section. Some of the comments disturbed me. **This blog post is a gentle reminder that marrieds can sometimes develop a sort of amnesia as to what it was like to be single.** Singles, feel free to send ward members here who may be experiencing said amnesia. Or, perhaps, send a link to this page to some of those  “scary posters.” My attempt is to try to be patient and civil, since after all, we are all still trying to figure this all out. This may be a meager attempt at putting my two cents in, but I felt like I needed to try something.Heawon

The photos here are of friends of mine, all singles, most of them over 40. I also included photos of their parents or grandparents or old photos with friends. They’re good members of the church who serve well in their callings and have been there for me in many a time of need. One of them taught what my teenage son said was “the best Sunday School lesson I’ve ever had.” (My son can be a tough customer. He’s a freshman at an Ivy League school now.) The same friend was my kids’ favorite person to get candy from at the church’s Trunk or Treat, as he served it out of a real hearse with the license plate “LDSGOTH.” Paul Halloween

I kept thinking of family history while contemplating this post. All singles have ancestors, the same as the married folk do. And lest you be tempted to quote Elder Hales from today’s Saturday afternoon session of General Conference and wonder why older singles “played through their 20’s,” remember that that quote was for the singles. Excellent, excellent advice. Elder Hales came and spoke to the “Midsingles” in Los Angeles when I was living there. But, if you’re not single, it’s not your job to try and figure out which singles ended up single “because it’s their fault” and they played too much. Let the Lord make that judgment. Make friends with the singles in your ward today and let the Lord and the individual worry about that. It’s not your stewardship, no matter how well-meaning you may be. 

Tracy and mom

These are the singles in your ward: brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, mechanic, engineer, teacher, student, co-worker, visiting teacher, home teacher, babysitter, piano player, artist, doodler, volunteer Little League Umpire….  And for some, “mother, father” rather than “Single Mom! Single Dad!”

And family history? Do you think our ancestors care only for their progeny who have had children? I highly doubt that. They are on the other side, cheering all of us on.

The photos are from four friends: one works in insurance, one is a librarian at an inner city library, one a mathematician with a famous scientist for a grandfather, and an office services coordinator who loves to take care of ward beach parties. Their favorite hymns are Our Savior’s Love, The Spirit of God, Nearer My God to Thee, and I Stand All Amazed, respectively.

Collage-individuals

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Elder Holland on Delaying/Fearing Marriage

from

An Evening with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Be Not Afraid, Only Believe”

Address to CES Religious Educators • February 6, 2015 • Salt Lake Tabernacle

christmas-lights-929217-wallpaperLet me list some specific things that I think you should teach your students to be glad about and over which they should cease being fearful. I note, for example, getting married, having families, and welcoming children into the world. We in the presiding councils of the Church hear far too often—and perhaps you do as well—that many of our youth and young adults are terrified to get married. In extreme cases they are fearful that the world is about to end in blood and disaster—something they don’t want to take a spouse or child into. In less severe, more common cases, they are fearful that the world will just get more difficult, that jobs will be too hard to find, and that one should be out of school, out of debt, have a career, and own a home before considering marriage.

Good grief! On that formula Sister Holland and I still wouldn’t be married! Seriously, when we got married we were both still undergraduates at BYU, with neither set of parents able to help us at all financially, no way to imagine all the graduate education we had yet ahead of us, and this with $300 dollars between us on our wedding day! Now that may not be the ideal way to start a marriage, but what a marriage it has been and what we would have missed if we had waited even one day longer than we did once we knew that that marriage was right. Sure, there was sacrifice; certainly there were restless days and weeks and months; certainly there was some burning of the midnight oil. But I tremble to think what we would have lost if we had taken “counsel from our fears,” 15 as President James E. Faust would later tell me over and over and over that I and no one else should ever do. What if we had delayed inordinately? What would we have missed?meme-holland-future-1245993-gallery

I still think the best definition of marital love is James Thurber’s, who said simply that love is what you go through together. 16 I will be eternally grateful for what Pat was willing to go through with me—that she did not feel I had to have my degree and a car and a home and a career all in hand before we could marry.

And we wanted children as soon as we could get them, which in our case did not turn out to be as easy as we thought. In fact, if we hadn’t determined to have our family as promptly as we could, we might well have been a childless couple, as some of our friends and some of you, through no fault of your own, have found it your lot in life to be. It took us three years to have our first child, another three to get a second, and four to get a third. And then that was it. A full-term miscarriage for a fourth closed that door to us forever, so we have rejoiced in the three children we have been able to raise. But what would our lives have been like if we had waited or delayed or worried unduly about the economics of it all? Which of our children would we give back? With what memories or love or lessons with each of them would we ever part? I shudder to think of it.

holding-hands-411428_640Brethren and sisters, I think we have to start earlier to teach our students the place of marriage and family in the great plan of happiness. Waiting until they are of marriageable age puts us way behind the curve. And I don’t have to tell you that social trends, declining moral standards, and the “vain imagination” 17 of popular entertainment will regularly be in opposition to that teaching.

For example, it is alarming to us that in the last 50 years the natural median age for men to marry has risen from age 22 to age 28! That is the world’s figure, not the Church’s, but we eventually follow the world in some way in much of its social trending. Add to this such diverse influences on the young as the increased availability of birth control, the morally destructive rise of pornography, an increased disaffiliation with institutional religion, the pervasive quest for material goods generally, the rise of postmodern thought with its skepticism and subjectivity and you see the context for anxiety and fear that a rising generation can feel. With these kinds of winds blowing in their lives, they can be damaged almost before mature, married life has begun.what if you fly

Furthermore, so many young people I talk to fear that if they do marry they will be just another divorce statistic; they will be another individual who dove foolishly into marriage only to find there was no water in that pool. Couple that leeriness about the success of marriage with the tawdry, foul, often devilish mocking of chastity and fidelity and family life so regularly portrayed in movies and on television and you see the problem.

engaged-couple-1249058-galleryWe have our work cut out for us to preserve and perpetuate both the holiness and the happiness of marriage. You can begin by showing the blessing, the reward, and the reality of a happy marriage in your own lives. That doesn’t mean you should be Pollyannaish about marriage; every marriage takes work, and yours will too. But, as always, your first and most penetrating lessons to your students will be the lessons of your own life. You show them in word and deed that your marriage and your family mean everything to you because they should—they must. Help your students “be not afraid, only believe” 18 in marriage and family in these last days. Lucifer will make that harder and harder to do even as it becomes more and more important to do.

15. James E. Faust, “Be Not Afraid,” Ensign, Oct. 2002, 6.
16. See James Thurber, in “Thurber,” Life, Mar. 14, 1960, 108.
17. 1 Nephi 12:18.
18. Mark 5:36.

5 Ways ‘The Bachelor’ Is Hurting Women—And What We Can Learn From It

photo by Paolo Neo

photo by Paolo Neo

 

from Carol Tuttle: 

“First, let me be clear that I’m not making a judgment about any of the women on the show and certainly not on anyone of you who may enjoy watching it.

This is simply my invitation for us all to be more aware of what this show is telling us—as well as challenge us to examine our own emotions and beliefs about ourselves so we can all become more conscious and compassionate.

Even if Carol’s “Energy Profiling” isn’t your thing, this is a great article: 

Are you a contestant trapped on ‘The Bachelor’ without even realizing it?

How you are you playing out this drama in your own life?

“Take a moment for some self-reflection to examine your own thoughts and emotions about yourself:

  • Do you often compare yourself to others?
  • Do you base your value on your outward appearance?
  • When you are around other attractive women, do you feel inferior?
  • Do you perceive other women as a threat?
  • Do you often feel overlooked or that no one really “gets you”?
  • Do you feel you really deserve something but it seems like others steal your chance for success?
  • How do you respond when another woman you know gets something you want? (A raise, a promotion, gets engaged, has a baby, etc?)”

Read more HERE.


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Jealousy, the “Green-Eyed Monster”

ImageCattiness, jealous, envy, pride: all oft-used synonyms for what we call “the green-eyed monster.”  Valentine’s Day, or “Singles Awareness Day” (not my favorite term, despite my single status) is coming up and is likely to bring out in some of us the envy of our friends who are married or in relationships. And please remember, that while I’m writing this, I’m speaking in generalizations.  We are all jealous or envious (pick your favorite term) from time to time in our lives.  I will speak of it as a lifelong battle for all of us because all of us will need to improve upon it, in different ways, throughout our lives, whether single or married.

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Olmec-style mask from Tabasco (Mexico).

I think that I need to bring up that “cattiness” is often brought up as a frequent negative aspect of relationships between women because it is unfortunately true.  Sometimes we can be wonderfully supportive of each other, and sometimes not.  Whether it’s because of our chemistry or more because of sociology, I’m not sure, but women do seem to tote around the unnecessary burden of jealousy and act accordingly more than single men do.  If I were to write a “Top Ten list for Women” the same way that my former bishop, Steve Lang, did for the men, I’m afraid that I’d think this was probably up there pretty high for the sisters. Not that I could count myself out of that, of course!  The realization of it hits all of us from time to time, including the men. Whether it gets us all in the same areas, including dating, is probably not the case.  But, we all deal with it.  I think all of us could come up with examples of times when others treated us poorly out of envy or jealousy, and times when the tables were turned and we were the green-eyed monster, whether we were completely conscious of it at the time or not. One difficulty of this subject is, of course, is that marriage and companionship are righteous desires.  Of course these are good things for us to want! So how do we deal with the disappointments and resentments when they come along, and learn better each time how to not take them out on others? I think that the first thing to remember is that dating, like life, is not a competition.  Remember that the Lord knows what we need, and that “what is for us will not pass us by.” Image It is, undoubtedly, difficult to watch so many friends, family members, and strangers get married without the temptation to wonder why, to try and compare ourselves to them, and get angry at life and at Heavenly Father.  But we can have faith that there is a way through the trial, and eventually we will have our most righteous desires, even if sometimes that seems to be so far in the future that it will never come.Image

Another deep-seeded belief I think all of us have to some degree, but that we deny the existence of until it comes out because of an additional trial in our own lives,  is that if we do our absolute best that we will be able to avoid some of the trials that we fear the most, which often end up coming true.  I think almost every person reading this has at some point denied this, but as in learning the principle of patience, it ends up being a continual lifelong lesson.  Fear of the unknown is a strong pull for every child of Heavenly Father.  We don’t want to be the person who still isn’t married at the end of our lives.  Even though we know that (especially in our thirties and forties) we, personally, may still be unmarried, despite our own best efforts and self-perusal for faults, we start to pick at others in our minds (and sometimes verbally, and unasked) for the reasons why they’re still not married, or why they shouldn’t be dating that person we think might be better for us.  Sure, we don’t do it all the time.  But do these thought pop into our heads occasionally, to make us feel better, but enough to keep us from the occasionally painful “cleaning out” of our own faults that get in our way of improving?  They don’t have to get in our way of marriage possibilities to cause us harm to our spirit. Another lie that Satan tells us, and tempts us with in distorting (paradoxically) the good goals of self-improvement is that if we could just be better (in ways that causes despair or point us in the wrong direction) or if someone else could just be worse, maybe our dating lives or relationships could improve and we could get relief from the justifiable difficult loneliness that we often feel.  These feelings of false inadequacy can, in the extreme, make us feel unlovable to other and even make us feel as if God doesn’t love us.  They remind us of more worldly comparisons rather than the more just standards that our caring heavenly parents and our loving Savior Jesus Christ judge us by.  These feelings also keep us from pursuing better methods of overcoming the feelings of loneliness: love and concern for others, reaching out to others in service, learning to make deeper friendships or new friendships and being grateful for the things the Lord has given us.  As President Packer said,

I’ve had to evict some thoughts a hundred times before they would stay out. I have never been successful until I have put something edifying in their place.

I do not want my mind to be a dumping place for shabby ideas or thoughts, for disappointments, bitterness, envy, shame, hatred, worry, grief, or jealousy.

ImageA lot has been said in the media, and not just in church settings lately, about gratitude.  In addition to gratitude, though, I will propose that learning to more fully rejoice with others when they receive blessings that we do not have can be a difficult but extremely valuable tool in overcoming pride and jealousy.  As Elder Holland said, “Brothers and sisters, there are going to be times in our lives when someone else gets an unexpected blessing or receives some special recognition. May I plead with us not to be hurt—and certainly not to feel envious—when good fortune comes to another person? We are not diminished when someone else is added upon. We are not in a race against each other to see who is the wealthiest or the most talented or the most beautiful or even the most blessed. The race we are really in is the race against sin, and surely envy is one of the most universal of those. Furthermore, envy is a mistake that just keeps on giving.”  entire talk here

Also, if you’re constantly thinking about “the one that got away,” (see #7 on this list!! applies even if you’re female of course) you need to stop looking back.  Sure, there are always things to learn from past relationships and sometimes even past crushes, but as President Monson has told us, we need to live in the present.

“Sometimes we let our thoughts of tomorrow take up too much of today. Daydreaming of the past and longing for the future may provide comfort but will not take the place of living in the present. This is the day of our opportunity, and we must grasp it.”

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That same attitude can cause us to compare perhaps too much why we think we would be better off with some potential date than someone else we see them with .  Yes, it can be amazing sometimes how we compare ourselves and how we get stuck in these comparisons.  Learn to recognize them when you see yourself doing it.  Pray to figure out how to overcome these things.  Be patient with yourself.  It is a lifelong process for all of us, but if you have some of these comparison traps in yourself, (and some of them may be deep-rooted), start again now.

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And this, of course, leads us to the other side of the coin.  Sometimes we envy, and sometimes we’re on the other side, where a stranger (or even a friend) is envious of us.  Spouses sometimes envy each other.  (Nope, getting married WILL NOT cure it, sorry. You’ll still have to work on it sometimes!) Again, jealousy is something we will work at overcoming our whole life.  We need to learn to forgive and let it go.  If it’s someone we really care about, we may need to communicate with them honestly about our feelings and let them do the same. And when it comes to dealing with people who seem bent on hating us, it may be that the best thing to do is let them go.

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Are You Happy?

happy_life_by_sizan07-d4ufpv0So often my posts are inspired by conversations that I’ve had with friends, then spurred on by something I read online.  This post is one of those.

When I started this blog, I had a long list of things I was interested in exploring and people I wanted to interview.  It’s still on my computer.  I’ve gotten to some of them, but as with my own life, I find that the things I need most often seem to come unexpectedly from conversations with both friends and strangers, as well as by reading and scripture study.

A friend asked me recently if I was happy and seemed surprised when I said yes.  I’m guessing that perhaps the reason behind the surprise was because we were having a discussion about anxiety, and this friend knows that I suffer from an anxiety disorder.  It’s something that I’ve dealt with for years and have had a lot of treatment for (which is still ongoing).  My days are up and down with the fatigue and the sometimes uncontrollable nightmares I get on a regular basis, but I feel like I’ve been given so many blessings despite it all (compared to some with anxiety and mental illness, it could be much, much worse) and even when it’s been literally frightening (in a way that’s beyond my control, meaning chemically) the Lord has been there for me.  One common misunderstanding people have with my anxiety is that they think I’m sensitive to difficult things and situations.  Actually, I’ve had a lot of experience with difficult situations, and I have a tendency to become very calm during crises when others start to worry and panic.  For me, it’s more of an issue with daily loud noises or things that trigger flashbacks.  (I also have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.)  I get more overwhelmed with fast-paced daily living than I do with people needing help.

In my experience, it seems that no matter who we are, our trials are all different.  For me, finding happiness has been all about gratitude and seeing the Lord’s hand in my life.  The many difficulties I’ve been through thus far have given me the blessing of learning how to realize how much I have.  That’s not at all to say that I don’t still get discouraged every few days when my anxiety cycles back to more nightmares and fatigue after a few good days.  I have to have to remind myself on an almost daily and even hourly basis that things will swing up again.  And I absolutely hate with a passion that I don’t get to live with my kids on a regular basis.  My health won’t allow it.  But since I can’t change it, it’s not hard to see the compensatory blessings we’ve had (a great step-mom for them, resources for me to continue getting treatment, help from my family and the ability to live near family members and supportive friends, and great in-laws).  Comparing myself with others is pretty much futile, but listing my blessings is pretty much always extremely helpful.

And what finally spurred me to write this post today, after three icky days in a row of not feeling well?  Quite randomly, this poll for women (sorry men, LDS Living already closed the poll for men, wish I’d managed to catch that and had posted the link):

LDS Living Women’s Survey

What helps you be happy?

For me it’s service, counting my blessings, setting reasonable goals, doing my best, taking time to relax and be grateful.  It’s also having a realistic view on life and learning not to compare myself to others, especially since oftentimes others seem to be happier than they really are.  Who are the happiest people that you know?  Is it always the most wealthy or the most successful?  Sometimes we are still comparing ourselves to those people (and people closer to us) even when we think we’re not. I also think of President Packer’s recent General Conference talk where he mentions that he wouldn’t go back to his younger days, because he’s so grateful for the things he’s learned with age, even if age brings its own difficulties.

To close, a meme I got from Facebook (link provided) with one of my favorite quotes from former President Gordon B. Hinckley

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A frequent theme of advice given to singles is: don’t wait around.  Do something with your life!

What do you do with your life?

And don’t be hard on yourself.  Too often we think we need to be famous or have that often talked about six-figure income or have turned into Mother Teresa by the age of 40 in order to qualify as proof of “I’m making myself busy” despite our single status.

Still, as Latter Day Saints and Christians, hopefully there are things we’re finding to do while “not running faster than we have strength.”  Simple?  Hmm.  Some food for thought, all here in one neat little package, (okay, not really) ready for you to ponder today in order to find the next way for you to streamline your life, move your priorities around, or hopefully to inspire you to try a new passion.

Consider some of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s counsel in the most recent General Conference in his talk, “Of Regrets and Resolutions”:

“The more we devote ourselves to the pursuit of holiness and happiness, the less likely we will be on a path to regrets

  • Resolve to spend more time with those we love.
  • Resolve to strive more earnestly to become the person God wants us to be.
  • Resolve to find happiness, regardless of our circumstances.”

I was reminded recently how easy it can be to get our priorities just a little out of whack.  Many of the temporal things we spend our time on are good things, and help make this life just that much easier.  And of course, nothing is truly completely temporal.  But when the lesser things start to edge out the more important, our lives slip just a little off course and need correction before our trajectory takes us way out of the way.  (I’m using just a little of that aviation vocabulary which seems to rub off after listening to Elder Uchtdorf who, for those who don’t know, is a retired pilot.)  I was reading my scriptures and saying my prayers and striving to keep my communication lines wide open with my children and family members, but I still let other things get just a little off because of fears or discomfort or what not.  A blessing from my niece’s husband for my health reminded me that if I keep things in priority, things would work out the way the Lord wanted to.  And do I want the faith to want what He wants?  I hope so.  I hope I won’t always let my fears get in the way of that.

So, once our spiritual is in line with the Lord, are we also letting ourselves have the temporal blessings that He wants us to have?  Just because we don’t have a spouse, are we allowing ourselves to develop friendships?  Spend time with family?  Are we letting one of them take over more than we should, and not cultivating the other enough?  Do we have a hobby, or hobbies?  Do we share ourselves with others, or do we over-share and not reach out enough to others?  Do we say yes too often, or not enough?  All of these questions are not just for the married folk: they are for us as well. Don’t wait around until your “ship has come in.”  Do what President Uchtdorf has counseled, and decide to be happy today.  If you don’t know how to do that, don’t give up.  Reach out somewhere, and find out. Take a step forward in a new direction, or keep moving forward where you know it is worth it.

Looking for a new “passion?”  (Several of my friends thought that was too strong a word, and they may be right.)  A new hobby? I asked friends what they feel “passionate” about, or what hobbies they enjoy that help fuel their gratitude for life.  Most of the names have been changed (say the word “passion,” and it all becomes private, apparently).  A few people got really excited about this “assignment,” and made some pretty long lists, so I included those last.  Some of these friends have kids, some don’t, some are married, most are single.

***

Rob: Well if I am alone I like to go chase trains, go to railroad museums (Ogden, Utah), check out the UP and Rio Grande stations in Salt Lake City, even though I haven’t done that for a while. Not exactly what women typically want to do on a date, lol. In a date setting I am a fan of museums and other activities where there’s a chance to interact. I am not a big fan of movies because you’re not supposed to talk. An exception to that are fine arts like ballet.

Amy: My passions are photography, scrapbooking, journalling, and inventing things with my sewing

Kami: Audio books, movies, rolling hills, and Excel spreadsheets!

Lisa:

  • Reading classic 19th century literature
  • Traveling ANYWHERE
  • Watching my kids learn through living life
  • Baking cookies

Samantha: learning, children

Matt: Spending time in nature, hiking, camping, fishing, exploring, martial arts, serving others whether through church or other means, spending time with family, getting together with friends, exercise

Keira: reading, workouts with various martial arts, hanging out with friends, cooking and exploring different cuisines, traveling and exploring different cultures

Natasha: Homeschooling, chickens, gardening, repurposing, camping, music, reading (all kinds-fiction and nonfiction), making stuff, and just being outside

Evan: web development, food blogging, a good movie, a good book, music

Amanda: Rescuing animals, fostering/adopting children, dance (all kinds!), being with my family

RyanServing others in just about any way I can

Michael:

  • Truth, knowledge and learning – in the many forms it comes in. This also relates to spiritual truths.
  • Technology – whether it exists or not doesn’t matter! This is one reason I love sci fi!
  • Literature and film media
  • Beautiful music – mainly soundtracks

Karen: Loving on my family, helping out vulnerable families and family members, reading, cooking, singing, public policy and law (especially family related), writing, travelling (when I have the budget), listening to music…

Ivy: mentoring and fashion

Melinda: Energy work and spirituality. That’s my answer today. I tend to be passionate about a lot of things, in cycles. I both obsess and flit around.  And the obvious answer of my family, which I am always passionate about.

Erika: Following and supporting my favorite music group (Pentatonix), sewing quilts, staying in touch with lots of friends through social media, leading the music in church and subbing in Primary.

Sue: music, fashion, travel and writing are my current passions.

Alec: I love to debate the philosophy of “falling in love”, and discussing politics

Jen: Serving and investing in children. Nothing else we do in this life is more important than that!!

Ella: Bargain shopping, cooking, eating, digital design/blogging/digi-scrapbooking, riding bikes as a family, showing up & using savings to show loved ones that they matter

Julia:

  • Hmmm…is it weird to say I’m passionate about finding a good deal?  I love the hunt for an awesome piece of clothing or home decor item at an amazing price. I also love sharing my finds with other people. There have been a few times that I’ve found things at thrift stores that weren’t my size and I totally call people up and ask if they need that particular item because I know it would fit them and it’s just too good a deal to pass up.
  • I also love good food, haha. I love to eat! Probably more than I should. But food is just so great! And just like the good deals I find I love to tell people about good food. My Instagram feed is pictures of food I’ve made or restaurant food that I just love.
  • I’m sure there are a ton of things that I’m passionate about but the last one I’ll share is learning and exploring new things. When I get interested in a topic I usually can’t get enough information about it. I just get completely obsessed and want to learn all I can about the topic I’m interested in at the time. And I love to explore new places and learn about people who are different than myself. I took an anthropology class in college and just loved learning about all the different cultures and why people do what they do.
  • Well I probably wrote way too much but I hope that helps!

Brandon:

  • Biking by the beach
  • Reading and imagining worlds fantastic and amazing
  • Hearing splendid music
  • Talking to interesting folks
  • Being challenged by new ideas
  • Playing a good game with friends
  • The thrill of a turn-of-phrase
  • Debating film
  • That feeling of finally understanding something in a foreign language that had always eluded you.

Mia:

  • Getting a poem to really sing.
  • Reading a poem that hits me just right.
  • Reading myself to sleep at night.
  • Dove peanut-butter chocolate squares.
  • Messiah sing-ins.
  • Long discussions with friends.

Malia:

  • Skating
  • Ice dancing
  • Cooking/inventing new dishes
  • Hanging with my cats (I love these guys even when they’re so naughty)
  • Teaching . . . my students and I this semester are having WAY to much fun . . .
  •  Being there for my students
  • Political activism (mostly waking people up on the right to live up to their covenants in their civic lives)
  • I miss having friends to play tennis with or Scrabble with . . . or just to hang out . . .
  • Designing my new costumes
  • Working out (well, I actually hate getting myself to the gym, but I love how I feel after I’ve been!)

Avery:

  • I love creating antique replicas, specifically decorations/ furniture with trimmings like wooden gingerbread.
  • I love to view Northern Michigan cottages and colonial homes, and plan one of my own
  • I love to paint, designs on furniture, cupboards, etc. and create paintings of nature and children
  • I love to explore beautiful places with trees, lakes, winding roads, hills, ghost towns and places filled with history.
  • I love farming, seeing acres and acres of land for as far as I can see and working in the fresh air with animals
  • I love to sing, to create songs full of rhyme out of what I’m feeling and experiencing
  • I love children, to chase them, play with them, read to them, encourage them, and teach them!
  • I love to learn and practice new methods of natural healing.
  • I love to help those who are sick or suffering find comfort by helping them heal physically and spiritually
  • I love to pray and I love reading the scriptures. I love my relationship with Heavenly father and my earthly family.
  • I love planning Family Nights, fun activities and activities of meaning to help inform. educate and strengthen people, expose hidden evils, to uplift and motivate, and to help prepare myself and others for the coming of the Savior.
  • I love meeting with friends and laughing, playing games and enjoying life to the fullest.
  • I love the Constitution, studying the miraculous history of the United States and the history of God’s influence and freedom throughout the world and throughout history.
  • I love live theater, old wholesome movies and musicals.
  • I love bluegrass music and fiddles.
  • I love singing with my family around the piano old songs, some new, songs of many eras, familiar songs
  • I love cooking with my sisters or my daughters in the kitchen
  • I love working in my family’s fudge store.
  • I love studying many things, especially religion and sharing it with someone who is happily interested and has for a long time applied the thoughts to their life and naturally seeks to know more and live truth more.
  • I love missionary work and creatively sharing the gospel
  • I absolutely love family history and traveling to places where my ancestors lived, seeing their pictures, hearing their stories and feeling connected to them!
  • I love motherhood and creating a home where there is synergy, order, fun, the spirit, peace, beauty and meaningful projects and objects that represent the love of the family and the sacrifices and spirit there.
  • I love to create things by hand and to know how to run a home/farm in old fashioned simple ways that take putting the hand to the natural material and seeing how things work, making soap and shoes and clothes, spinning wool, seeing wooden gears on old fashioned farm machinery and using plow horses and a plow.
  • I love so much of nature and taking pictures of it, i.e. sunsets, flowers, lakes, lighthouses,trees, barns,children
  • I love trying new things, making new foods, creating new craft projects, sewing something new, redecorating
  • I love making slide shows with music and I love the idea of doing this and speaking about something meaningful along with these.
  • I love the idea of promoting strong happy families and the gospel through an old fashioned recreational facility, contests, blogs, etc.
  • I love color, texture and design
  • I love BYU the MTC and the Provo and Salt Lake temples
  • I love positive, funny, motivating and innovative people