Tag Archives: Books

Getting Close

So it has been well over a month since I’ve even taken a few minutes to journal. That is the one thing that I would go back and change over the past few months. I wish I had taken the time to write much more. Apparently my Twitter integration on my website has been down for about that long, so those blogs haven’t even been posting!

Things are going good. Megan and I are getting married in 8 days and 14 hours. I really can’t wait for it all to be over and for us to be married, sealed together for time and all eternity. I probably could have done without all this hoopla, but I’m fairly certain that if we can make it through all this mess we won’t have much of a problem with life.

I’ve been really busy at work. I haven’t been able to catch up since we got back from West Virginia/Pennsylvania. I’m trying to hold my emails to 630-something and I still have about 300 that I haven’t even read. I’m really trying to do my best to get caught up before I leave for the honeymoon as I don’t want any of that being in the back of my mind while we are relaxing.

Speaking of the travels, we had a great time and loved all that time together. I still can’t believe she wasn’t sick of my by the end of the week.

I finished reading the book Sister Dowden recommended, Beloved Bridegroom. I found that it was more of a temple prep book than a marriage prep book as it was more focused on the marriage of Christ to His church, us. I did really enjoy it and there were some great comparisons to the marriage that Megan and I will be entering into next week. I found many of the old traditions very interesting to learn about.

I’ve started reading this new book, First Comes Love, which President Clegg gave us. It has some good advice in there, but I haven’t really come across anything new. Sometimes it is just good to hear the same thing again. I know I can be a slow learner.

I’m so lost as to what to do for our honeymoon. I wanted it to be a surprise to Megan, but then I decided to let her in on the basics of the plans to make sure it was what she wanted to do. Of course, she says whatever I plan will be fine. The plan is to drive up the coast and stay at a few different places. I was thinking on my drive home tonight though that maybe we shouldn’t spend two nights at three places and instead we should spend three nights at two places or something like that. I don’t know how often we’re going to want to be changing locations. Maybe I should just pick a central spot and we can be done with it too.

Megan received her endowments this past Saturday.

Megan made President Smith cry when he learned that we both had been true to the law of chastity. He said that so few people at our age, even members of the church, have been able to save themselves for their marriage. I can’t imagine it any other way.

We haven’t been doing very good with out question book and probably aren’t going to get through all the questions before we get married unless we really get our act together and start getting through them.

I’m not really looking forward to this weekend or many of the pieces of next week. While it will culminate in a great event, I’m going to go my first Saturday without seeing Megan for most of the day. She has bridal portraits and so will be getting hair and makeup done before she takes them in the early afternoon and then has lunch planned with her mom and Sally. It will probably be late afternoon or early evening before I even get to see her. I know I have lots to do around the house, I’m just sad. The other thing is that I probably won’t get to see her at all next Wednesday and Thursday. She’s going to have a bachelorette party on Wednesday night and then Thursday will be busy with getting things done for the wedding. I understand I’m supposed to pick her up on the way to the temple on Friday morning, but can you seriously imagine me going from Tuesday night to Friday morning without so much as seeing her?

This could be too much for me… I’m going to cry myself to sleep now.

License to Wed & The Wednesday Letters

Salt Lake Temple at ChristmasI feel like a total bum. I haven’t changed out of my pajamas and I haven’t taken a shower all day! I guess I seriously need more work to do! I enjoyed listening to the rain this morning and just hanging out around the house. I did some reading, caught up on some accounting, got pictures posted from last week, spent almost an hour on the phone with Apple to get a new MacBook Pro battery (one of my current ones is bulging), spent some time pondering how to best plan some Sunday School things for the year, looked at flights for later this month and did a few other things. In all, it was a pretty productive day, I just never really got started!

I watched License to Wed this evening. It was quite a good movie. I thought it was very well thought out and well scripted. I must also admit I like Mandy Moore, but that’s beside the point. (And I tend to love anything with Robin Williams.) Some of the things the Reverend did may have been a bit excessive, but I think couples should have to go through a lot of pre-marriage counseling and be forced to think some things through before they tie the knot. Maybe we actually do need an actual license to wed with it’s accompany tests with how many marriages that don’t last past the wedding. I couldn’t believe some of the conversations it appeared this couple had never had and yet they were approaching marriage. I couldn’t consider asking someone to marry me without knowing how many kids she wanted to have. I would further think you would know where your bride wants to get married early on as well. What do people talk about if they don’t talk about these things when they’ve been together for years already?

I was thinking of how hard communication is in our daily lives. We need to learn to communicate better. As we get more tools to do so, I think we only backtrack and end up actually communicating worse than we had before. We have multiple forms of instant communication that can separate enormous distances and yet sometimes we can’t figure out the most simple of problems. I know I have a problem many times communicating my sincere feelings and getting the point across at times. I don’t always like to be direct and I like to have fun with things, so sometimes it is hard to tell when I am being sarcastic, trying to be funny or downright serious about something. I don’t know how to improve that other than to be direct all the time, but it seems that has gotten really old really fast in the past.

I hope someday to find someone who I can really communicate well with in both directions and get to the point where we can tell what the other one is truly thinking regardless of what or how something is said. That has got to be the second biggest key to any successful relationship, the first being love of course. Heck, communication may be more important than love because if you can communicate well you can probably get along even if you don’t truly love the other person!

The other thing I was thinking about in the movie is how sometimes we just can’t see what is right in front of us. We get so wrapped up in thinking that our way is the only way or that our way is right that we don’t notice how someone else’s way may be a bit better than ours. We may not realize that the way we treat certain people or always turn to someone else may hurt the overall relationship.

And then there are vows. I always love it when people write their own vows, but I can’t begin to fathom how hard an undertaking like that must be. The little vows they have at the end of the movie are quite funny, little things such as not to cry with the cubs lose, not to drink from the carton, to not check out your hot sister… What the writers came up with (not trying to ruin the end of the obvious ending to the movie) was pretty good: “I promise to fight fair and always make up. I vow to trust you no matter how jealous I get. I promise to be out of the ordinary. I vow to tell you what I feel without waiting for you to ask. I promise to be the best dad to however many kids we have. I vow to never ever let you go again.”

Trust, Communication and Holding on. The only thing I see missing is love, but I guess it is implied! Maybe being quick to realize your fault and be sorry wouldn’t hurt too. Maybe there is no simple answer! I guess when you realize that you love someone and that someone may not be perfect, but that they would give the world for you, you may be on to something. I guess it is time to move on to something else.

On a somewhat similar subject, I finished The Wednesday Letters today. I pretty much read the book in two sittings: Monday on the plane and this afternoon. I was thinking that their weekly letters may have helped keep the communication line open and certainly left an interesting story for their kids to unravel. I won’t go into the forgiveness that they must have possessed because it may ruin the story, but it made me want to start that kind of a tradition or legacy to leave behind. How great would it be to have a letter from each week of life together? I would think that something like that must convey some extra sort of dedication to keep it up week after week. So many things get left behind, but dedication like that may give one – or a relationship – a bit of extra power to survive some of the tougher bumps along the road.

Of course I thought of Tara when reading a good portion of the book, and I don’t mean like between husband and wife. I agreed to write her and had been thinking about what kind of things I could write that would be meaningful and useful to her. It came to me through reading this book that sometimes the actual message isn’t the important part, but rather the conveyance of love and support is what is truly critical. I’ve definitely been thinking about her since she reported on Wednesday. As weird as this may sound, I think she is the first missionary I have known before he or she entered the field, or at least that I was close to. I’ve been thinking about what it must be like for her and what an amazing opportunity it must be to be so focused on serving. I hope I have that same opportunity sometime.

Till Next Time Salt Lake

Well, I’m home. I didn’t really do much today once i got home, but I did finish the season of 24. I had a pretty much not so interesting morning. I did breakfast at the hotel and then packed up and headed to the airport. The security line was long, but we made it through it. I wasn’t selected for any additional security measures and didn’t have to go through the puffing machine. The flight was full and I was squished in the middle. I spent most of the time in the airport and on the plane reading “The Wednesday Letters.” I also spent a good amount of time at the airport text messaging, but of course that had to stop when we got on the plane.

I found that it was disturbingly hot when I returned to Ontario. I knew it wasn’t going to be as nice as it was in Salt Lake, but I wasn’t expecting it to be in the 70s. I understand it is going to be warm through Thursday, so I’m thinking that maybe I should have stayed in the snow longer.

I finished the season of 24 and haven’t been able to decide if I should watch the preview for season seven. I also don’t know if I’m just loosing interest because it has been going on for a while now, if my love for the show has changed, or if the writers are having a hard time keeping the show compelling enough, but i didn’t find myself as stuck to the TV as I have been with previous seasons. Something tells me that it may be a combination of all three.

I spent a little more time reading this evening and I think I am going to head to sleep early tonight to try and get back to a reasonable deficit amount. I’ve been thinking about writing letters recently, somewhat from when I bought the book and probably more so because of Tara. In the book, the husband’s first letter to his wife was on their wedding day and he promised that every week he would write her. I had been contemplating since I got the book what he could possibly write about every week when I assumed he was with her most of the time or had already shared the stories. It sounds in fact like the letters are almost more of journal entries, but written to her instead of to no one. It’s a very interesting concept, one that I may like to pursue further. I’m about half way through the book (just started reading this morning) and am anxious to see what else the children are able to unfold.

It sounds like Marie is getting a group together for Disneyland tomorrow, so let either of us know if you’re interested in going. I think she said she was planning on leaving around 10:30 or 11.

I wonder what it would be like if we were in Switzerland tonight… That would have been one heck of a way to celebrate the new year. Maybe next year…

Mattson’s, Hot, Pray Always

Today was pretty uneventful, but great. I got to sleep in this morning and then spent some time reading and pondering. I posted some old journal/blog entries that I had written, but neglected to post and then Lauren came over. It was almost 90 when i woke up this morning. I invited Lauren over (later in the morning, when it was 105 or something) as she was hot and I figured we could leave for the Mattson’s from here then.

I was planning on stopping at Costco on the way to get water – and that would then let me get some other things I had been meaning to get for a while. I then decided we could just go to Albertson’s instead of dealing with Costco. Well, just before Rancho we hit traffic, so I decided that maybe Costco wasn’t all that bad of a plan after all. I drove up Ynez to find Costco’s parking lot empty. We reset the plan to Albertson’s on Clinton Keith, and I guess avoided the traffic on the freeway. I walked in just to get water, but found cupcakes and fudge brownies on the front table. I then decided we needed cookies as well, so I ended up getting more than I needed.

We still got to the Mattson’s right about on time. It was so hot that I only took a few hundred pictures. After a few minutes in the sun, I just couldn’t hold the camera anymore and had to retreat to the shade. I actually retreated to the water with Kelsey and Sibonet shortly after they arrived. I got to tour the new house and now am challenged with the plan to figure out whole house a/v including intercom. I’m thinking we may end up doing a phone system as well as a few surround sound systems.

I came home and immediately jumped in the shower. I was half expecting to go back to Murrieta for some sort of activity, but it never happened. I think some people gathered for a movie, but I was content to watch one at home myself. For the third night in a row though, I found myself reading instead of watching and I enjoyed it so much more. I got wrapped up in reading “Prayer.”

In my reading, I found a reference back to 2 Nephi 32:8, which we discussed yesterday. Again, the instruction to ponder was in the second line of the reading. A few lines later, was hearken. We need to think and act. It’s so clear, but apparently we just don’t get it, or at least I don’t. We’re told flat out that “it grieveth me that I must speak concerning this thing.” I would take that as it has been said so many times before, why don’t you just listen, receive these instructions and follow them?

“But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.” (2 Ne. 32:9).

I later found myself at D&C 19:38: “Pray always, and I will pour out my Spirit upon you, and great shall be your blessing—yea, even more than if you should obtain treasures of earth and corruptibleness to the extent thereof.”

I think I have been doing a decent job of praying frequently, but I have not been praying always, so apparently I have some work to do. We do need to pray before going to Sam’s Club because we need to pray always. We may need safety as we travel, we may need inspiration to call someone and see if they too need something from the store or there could be any number of further reasons which we may not know if we don’t follow the counsel given to us repeatedly.

Finally, along the same lines, the book lead me to look at Alma 37:37 again: “Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.” Mary Ellen Edmunds emphasized, and I think we need to consider it, the part regarding rising in the morning. I need to work on being a better morning person again so that I will have the time to pour out thanksgiving.

I found this especially interesting after being asked to bless the food today at the Mattson’s. I don’t know that there is a connection, but it does seem that I am often asking others to pray, but do not step up to the plate and offer to give prayers very frequently myself.

So that my chances are higher of getting up in the morning, I think I am going to ponder some more in prayer and in bed, so good night.

Mormon Way of Business, Make Someday Today

I’m not sure what exciting things I am forgetting to report about from last week. Things were fairly busy, so there must have been something worth reporting. Kortney saw Wicked twice the week before last at Pantages and reported that they had some audio problems the second night she was there. I need to see if I can’t find a time to make it up there this year.

I’ve been enjoying reading “The Mormon Way of Doing Business” by Jeff Benedict. I discovered it on the Church CIO’s blog just after our group agreed to do a report on David Neeleman, the founder and CEO of JetBlue. The book covers him and a few others and has been quite interesting. It is written more for non-members, but has useful information for everyone. I have enjoyed reading about the challenges and situations some of these LDS leaders have been in and their reactions to them. It is certainly the best book I have read this year, but almost anything has to be better than most textbooks. Funny part is, it probably could be a textbook for our leadership class and could enlighten some people at the same time. I hope to get in a bit of that during my part of the presentation. 🙂

Ryan and I went riding on Tuesday morning and then again on Saturday. I hope we are able to keep this up. I have enjoyed spending the time with him as well as just having some time to get away from it all, alleviate some stress and get some fresh air and exercise.

I had lunch with Alison yesterday; she is home for Easter. I worked a wedding yesterday evening and spent the rest of my time doing homework. I did Church o’ Bob this morning and then rushed to my Church from there. I felt so drained at Church after a hectic weekend. I think it is time to cut back my involvement at the Bob. I could use the cash, but I think I could use the time more. As CBC gets busier and busier, I need more time there and have less to dedicate elsewhere. I need to get through school and make sure I do it all while staying alive too. I still haven’t done my taxes, or my mom’s either. I have school projects and other work building up because I am just being pulled in too many directions. I can’t concentrate on getting things done and getting them done well, so it is time to cut back somewhere.

One of the talks at General Conference was about making someday today if I remember correctly. (I listen to so many things, it could have been a devotional from BYUI, but it doesn’t matter.) I’m a huge procrastinator and it drives me crazy. I always say, “someday we’ll do x,” but the someday needs to be today. We all need to prepare for what is ahead. Off the topic of the talk, we need to act today to stop destroying the world we are in if we want something to be left for our children. I need to prepare today for exams and projects coming up. I need to prepare my life for what is to come in the next few years.

I think I’ve done enough ranting and rambling for one night, so I’m going to stop procrastinating and go to bed!