Sunday, July 6, 2014

Happy Independence Day

On a whim, Greg and I decided we would go up to Atlanta for the Fourth of July. Eh, why not? I'm as adventurous as the next girl.

After driving down Friday morning, we went to eat at a place called The Varsity. I am blogging about this because it is the largest Drive-thru in the world. Seriously. It was ridiculous. They had two levels of parking and probably employed 100 people. It was a ginormous maze filled with fast-food eating, American loving Georgians. There were probably 10ish eating rooms tuned to different TV channels. I wonder if the CNN people and the Fox people ever have food fights?

^These were old desks in there that looked hijacked from an abandoned middle school. Sweet, right? 

It was just really big. The food was mediocre at best. But sometimes that's not actually the most important thing, right? 

After that we went to the World of Coke.

Coca Cola was invented in Atlanta in the late 1800s. I think they pump the smell throughout the whole building. I don't even really like Coke that much. When I'm feeling particularly righteous I won't really even drink it. But they had a bunch of exhibits with vintage Coke ads and other memorabilia and I really loved those. Love American social history. Just love it. One day I would like to have a vintage American-y themed den or something. They also had international Coke ads, too, and those were fun. The big attraction is a tasting room where you can taste 60+ different Coke products from around the world that you can't get in the US. I REALLY like Ugandan Fanta, but everything else was kind of gross. Sadly, both of our phones kind of died, so we didn't get many pictures of inside the building. Just imagine stuff like this:

On Friday night we went to a Braves/D-backs game. I'm not sure what it says about me that I felt very little loyalty to the Diamondbacks. I ended up rooting for the Braves...which was good, cause they won. 

The stadium was packed! Everyone likes some good old fashioned baseball on the Fourth of July. 

A fireworks show in the stadium is really fun. You can see really well and the crowd feels uber-American. Good pictures of fireworks are impossible but this one's not bad: 

On Saturday we decided to go see Stone Mountain. Stone Mountain is a carving into a giant granite hillside in Georgia of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson. 

I very appropriately wore my Yankees shirt on Saturday. The history behind this place is not all positive...the Ku Klux Klan was re-initiated on top of this hillside in the 1910s. But, again, solid American history. And I have a lot of respect for Robert E. Lee. 

We toured some historical buildings and such around the site. This is a 19th century lattice bridge. 

All in all, Atlanta is a super fun city to spend the Fourth. I've had some fun Independence days the last few years, and they have all been spent in different locations (2009-Vienna, Austria. 2010-Circleville, UT. 2011-Idaho Falls, Idaho. 2012-Austin, TX. 2013-Jacksonville, FL. 2014-Atlanta,GA. Sweet, right?). And next year we will be somewhere else in the Northeast! I love doing little trips like this with Greg. It's fun. It's a blessing in our lives right now. And Goyito is a hottie pants. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Welcome to Primary

So this has sort of been my life for the past few days:

So this past Sunday I was put in the Primary Presidency in my ward. In a Latter-day Saint ward, the Primary is an organization where all of the children learn about Jesus Christ and the gospel on Sundays. So as the second counselor I help to organize the teachers, put together a Primary program, manage Activity Days for the girls and Scouting for the boys, conduct and help with Sharing time, and a lot of other stuff I'm sure I can't even think of. 

It has never occurred to me how little I know about the background of Primary until I got this calling. I'm like, Primary has a budget, what? Primary programs are not pre-written, what? Scouting whaaaat???? 

Good thing I'm the Second Counselor and that the Primary President and the First Counselor are super-smart, awesome ladies. I am unbelievably excited to work with them. I know I will learn so much. 

But outside of that, I am also so happy to have something so worthwhile to dedicate time to. I've spent a lot of time trying to educate myself and read the handbook and find resources. It's great. Primary is important. Helping children to understand that God loves them is important. Families are important. It is all just SO IMPORTANT. 

It's been another testimony to me that Heavenly Father is aware of me. I have been praying like crazy that I would get a calling that would A) take up a lot of my time and B) get me involved with a lot of people in the ward. To be busy just for the sake of being busy is not necessarily good. But I think having worthwhile, constructive things to engage in is just a really good thing for me right now. 

A few months ago Greg and I were talking about what we could do to improve our lives and help us be happy. NEWSFLASH: Greg is a better person than me. No, like, really. He said something like "I just think we should be serving people more." 

When I heard that--I will be honest--this is how I felt: 

You get the picture. 

I'm really not a bad person. I hope no one minds that I keep talking about this, but we've just had a rough year. And sometimes when it is the most beneficial to turn outward to others is when it's also the hardest. Sometimes in the moments when Heavenly Father needs you to love others the most is when you feel the most tempted to just focus on yourself and what you want. These types of temptations during trials are difficult because they are the temptations that you feel most justified in indulging. 

But I am proud of myself that I've realized that this opportunity to be busy and serve and focus on other people is exactly what I need. Not only is it what I need, it is what I want. Heavenly Father does answer prayers. I believe all callings in the church are inspired because Heavenly Father cares about us and the church, but never in my life have I felt so strongly that I am exactly where I need to be. 

Greg is busy in the ward, too. Our first Sunday back in May he was called to be the Young Men's President. Talk about intimidating. It's been great so far. It's been so fun to watch Greg figure things out. As a couple we care so much about the boys in the ward. We pray about them, we are concerned for them, we are proud of them. It's just fantastic. I'm excited to see the same kinds of blessings and responsibilities come to me as I try and serve with the kids in Primary. 

So does anybody have any awesome resources that they love for Primary? I've heard of that Sugar Doodle thing, but what are your favorite Primary traditions/materials/etc? 

**IN OTHER NEWS, I ran my fastest 5k today. 28 minutes on the dot. Woot woot. (Treadmills count, right?)