Friday, November 8

virginia hugs {and} kisses

i haven't written about settling into virginia life, but it's been wonderful to experience it!
autumn out here in the east has been delightful and there really is nothing i can complain about....

ok, except for the bugs. there are truly so many more bugs and little critters out here than in utah. the humidity attracts all shapes, sizes, and species. it's not enough to make me dislike this environment, but i definitely won't ever get used to looking down after putting my dirty clothes in my closet to see a cricket.... or waking up to a stink bug crawling on my face. that is just not something I even want to be on my "norm" radar.
what to do with a cricket in your room during the night? kill it, of course.

other than those fun creatures, i lead a fairly simple existence.
and that is quite alright with me...
despite my initial response to feel guilty or ashamed.

i always feel like i need to be doing more or helping in other ways -- that i cannot be lazy.
i have to balance those feelings with fears of being annoying and an ever-constant presence in a home where a little over a month ago i was only a niece/cousin mentioned occasionally in conversation and seen maybe two or three times every ten years.

however, these are my perceptions and not how i am treated nor what is expected of me.
i couldn't have asked for a better life at this moment.
i am getting to know, love, and adore family i never knew i was missing.

on our way to the pumpkin patch, {minus} a missing uncle glen who was working

living here has been more than a blessing; i have been liberated and am being empowered.
i'm learning so much about who i am and why i do what i do.
because these wonderful people are related to me by blood, i gain a lot of insight to idiosyncrasies passed down through the generations (i.e. sorting trick-or-treat candy and other o.c.d.-like tendencies)

i get to spend time with an amazing aunt who is the most fabulous mother to her boys
and an incredible relief society president to the women in her ward.
i want to be like her ... "when i grow up." seriously, though. i love learning from her example.
i also have loved being able to go to the washington d.c. temple with her

ok, so we need to get a better pic... for now this selfie will have to do
i dreamed of going into the d.c. temple ever since i was a little child, singing with my family on Christmas eve in the temple visitor center. looking straight through the glass windows to see the majesty of the shining temple while singing songs of the baby Jesus - those are my first recollections of feeling the spirit. i waited for so long to be able to go into my favorite temple --- my temple. and it was glorious. it was wonderful sharing that experience with my wonderful aunt, as well.

i have a wonderful young single adult ward out here. it's small, but it's perfect and everyone gets along. it definitely feels different than some of the wards i had in utah. i like it. i made friends and even have a crush! haha look at me, just assimilating so easily... just kidding. i really have loved how wonderful the people are, though. and friends make everything so much better.

fire alarm decided to go off in the middle of church; we decided it was a good polaroid moment

sometimes i start to miss certain people -- my wonderful siblings and close friends who have been such wonderful examples to me, whom I love and adore. however, i know that my life is here now. whatever is going to happen, it's going to happen here.

i was led to this place and i want to be who Heavenly Father wants me to be.
i continually try to improve myself -- it's hard to be so completely human with countless weaknesses and failures. i'm just grateful for so many wonderful angels in the form of friends - past and present, near and far - that help me along my way.

i just hope i help some people along their way so i can pay it forward.

this song was shown to me by one of my favoritest people ever. now i love it.



wishing you warm hugs and kisses from beautiful virginia!
i promise to write again soon :)