Friday, August 13, 2010


There's nothing like being asked to teach the 16 and 17 year old Sunday School class to make you reevaluate where you stand in life.

I constantly think of myself as being a 12-year-old trapped in the life of a 28-year-old. (Notice I didn't say in the body of a 28-year-old, because do I really look 28? No.) I will be driving to work some days and wonder how I ended up with a license, a degree, and a big girl job that makes (lets!) me travel outside the country. It's mind-boggling to me.

Then comes the reality check. When asked if I'd teach this class, my first reaction (outloud, even) was "I look like one of them!" Why would they possibly take me seriously or believe a word I have to say? They might be less ferocious if I come bearing candy every week. Right?

Then I started doing the math and realized that I am actually much further away from them in age than I'm comfortable with. Here's how I broke it down:

- I'm a good 11 years older than them.
- They weren't even old enough to go to Nursery when I was graduating from Primary.
- They were barely in elementary school when I graduated from High School. They weren't even in middle school when I graduated from college!
- I am conciously aware of two more
prophets than they are (though I was alive for three others). The one that they're most familiar with, since he was the prophet all throughout their Primary years, was prophet for 13 years. Which means they had just started Nursery when he was called.
- I don't think they would've even been in one of Coley's Seminary classes. That's the saddest part of all. Even Coley is old compared to them! He is, afterall, two thirds of the way through a mission!

I'm old. I'm just missing a bunch of cats. (Which I could easily acquire by simply putting a little dish of cat food outside my front door. There are plenty roaming my neighborhood.) I mean, seriously, what's next for me? Pantyhose? Flat, orthopedic Sunday shoes? Or (gasp!) pantyhose with open-toed sandals?

No way. Right here and now, I'm vowing to not go down that road. I can't and won't be that lady. Heels hurt my feet, but I will endure the pain to avoid looking the part of a spinster. In fact, I might just rock these shoes on Sunday, just to prove that I've still got it.

"Sister Luce! Are those your red and leopard sheets in that picture?"
"Why, yes! Yes, they are." Eat your heart out.

P.S. Jessica Simpson never, no never, lets me down.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Golden State

These pictures are in no particular order. Not only are my pictures in complete disarray, but blogger likes to make putting pictures in a certain order the more difficult than it really should be. So, without further ado...

This was underneath the Golden Gate Bridge going back to the car after we'd trekked (halfway) across.

just can't imagine that I'd ever get tired of seeing this. I'd like to give it a whirl, though!

My Papa has always been in love with Marilyn Monroe, so I couldn't pass up the chance to take a picture of the church that she married Joe DiMaggio in. (Coit Tower in the background.)

This picture cracks me up because that's what we did the entire time we were at Muir Woods. We couldn't stop looking up to try to see the how tall the redwoods were!

I don't know who Ana is, but I sure hope she at least gave the guy, who went to all this trouble, some extra brownie points for effort. I have no idea how (or why) he got down there to do this.

I want to live here.

Or here. I don't think it's asking too much.

My dad took this picture. The mom, in the middle, was pretty annoyed that he was taking a picture of her daughter. My personal opinion is that if you CHOOSE to look like this every single day, you (and your family and friends) lose the right to be upset when people want to take pictures of you for looking like you escaped from the circus. Come on. You know how crazy you look. You like the attention!

My dad took this from the San Francisco side of the bridge. He walked the whole way. This was a pleasant little surprise when I was going through their pictures! I love that it looks like a postcard with the flowers. Can you tell I'm ready to go back?

Our car drive (pictured below) was crazy and mean! My dad insisted he get in the picture with my mom and me, even though my mom wanted to get away from him as fast as she could! When we thought he'd be too grumpy to get in the picture, he really responded with a pleasantly surprised "Okay!" and even smiled.

This is all of the family that went to Russell and Kelsey's wedding. What's crazy is that this is only about a third of my dad's side of the family. It's a pretty decent picture, though! The wedding was fantastic. SO happy for those two!

We went to Monterey and the seals were the most active/entertaining there (as opposed to La Jolla and San Fran). If my dad had his way, I'd have been laying down on the ground with them, but this was as close as I was comfortable getting to them. They stink.

My cute little parents in Monterey at Fisherman's Wharf.

This was looking out over the Bay Area from the Oakland Temple grounds. I really just liked how long my hair looks and the color. Is that vain?

I have no idea where this was taken. I just thought it was funny to run across this picture where my dad and I both have our arms crossed. You can kind of see my racoon eyes. I somehow fried my face the day before. I still don't understand how it happened. It definitely snuck up on me!

So these are the highlights. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that there were over 3,000 pictures taken. It's amazing how many pictures you can take with digital cameras and iPhones. It's just too easy to snap picture after picture. I'm glad we were able to, because we did get some decent ones. They may not be exciting to someone else, but they certainly bring back the memories from our trip. That's really what it's about anyway, right?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I Left My Heart

Sunday I returned home from being on a 10-day vacation with my parents. This was the second longest vacation we've ever taken. (The longest being to Utah for 17 days between my junior and senior years of high school, where half of our time was spent in a RV trailing my grandparents in their RV. THAT was a long 17 days.) Don't get me wrong. My parents and I get along really well and I thoroughly enjoy spending time with them. But after several straight days of being with them, I was craving my own space. After all, I live alone and love it.

Anyway... The long and short of it is that we covered a pretty good amount of California in a very short amount of time. We started out in Sacramento, stayed in Lincoln a couple of nights, slept in Walnut Creek the most nights (seeing very little daylight there), spent a few days in San Francisco (quite possibly my favorite city that I've ever been to), visited Sausalito, Monterey, Carmel and Big Sur. All that was in a week.

We spent a lot of time in the car, driving from point A to point F and back again. We were so many places and saw so many things that when I think about it, my head starts to hurt. It occurred to us during this trip that that's how we vacation, unless we go to Ft. Meyer's Beach. It's the only place on the planet that we can be and actually relax. Any other time we travel, we are constantly on the go and need a vacation to recover from our vacation.

Despite being in a Dodge Charger or Chrysler 300 for the better part of 10 days, we did have a good time. Thankfully, we get along well enough that we laugh hysterically at the same things and find humor in most uncomfortable or stressful situations. One minute, my dad can be driving like a maniac while my mom has a death grip on the car door (or her hand pressing through the roof of the car), screaming at the top of her lungs that he's about to run over someone or something. And the next minute I'm laughing at my dad for being in deeeeep trouble while he is looking at her like "What?" and she's laughing a nervous, aggravated laugh like "What idiot gave you a driver's liscence???"

Before we left, people kept telling my dad that he had to drive down Lombard Street in San Fran. After a somewhat terrifying experience in a cab going down Lombard in November (someone who drives down those streets every day), I wasn't thinking that my dad driving it was the best idea. We put him off for several days, to the point where he was almost getting mad that we hadn't gone anywhere near the crookedest part. In true WCL fashion, every time we discussed where our next stop was going to be, he'd say "Where's Lombard? I want to go down Lombard!" Finally, on our last day in the city, we allowed him to test out his skills. And, just like that scary cab driver, when we got to the bottom, he said "You wanna go again?!" Only without the Asian accent. No, no we don't. He swears that after about three trips down, he could go faster than the posted five miles per hour and do a great job. I want no part of that journey.

I liked San Francisco when I was there for work back in November. This time, I loved it. I think I'd like to live there, though I'm not sure I have the guts to make that move. At least not today. It is on my mind all the time, though. I guess I just have to determine if I could like to be there permanently, not just for a few days at a time. Vacationing somewhere and living there are two very different things, which I'm aware of. I just need to put some more thought into it. One of the big things that holds me back, I think, is the distance from my family. I do enjoy being close to them, so going from an hour and fifteen minute car ride to a minimum five hour flight would be tough.

We also spend a few days in San Diego for a wedding. I was there a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it. This time, however, was a completely different experience. Perhaps it was because we were at the tail end of our vacation and were ready to get back to the comforts of home. Or maybe it was because we were constantly searching for the elusive parking space that never materialized. Either way, the highlight of our time there was the hour and a half we spent at the Mormon Battalion Historical Site in Old Town. We happened to stumble upon it on our way to dinner one night. (We knew it was there, just not exactly where it was or that we'd have time to go.) Though tired and hungry and a little bit grumpy, our time spent there changed our entire evening. Isn't it funny how a little taste of the Spirit will turn your whole day around?

Make no mistake. We had a great time. And I look forward to going back and dragging Coley along when he gets home. So, in order to turn this post's seeming frown upside down, here's a list of the highlights:

- Golden Gate Bridge, upclose and person (especially on Tuesday, when the fog actually burnt off and it was sunny and cool and beautiful)
- Dessert at Ghiradelli. A-mazing.
- Finding the Painted Ladies. Or thinking I found them. (I just realized I didn't. Next time. I'm on the right track, at least.)
- Riding the cable car
- Walking all over the city and not sweating to death
- Spending time with family and getting to know extended family much better (A - if you're reading this, we are WAY more alike than I ever would've expected. A most pleasant surprise!)
- Cooler weather
- Visiting three
temples in less than 10 days
- Sunset from the Oakland Temple grounds
- Driving along the PCH
- Delicious clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls
- The look on my mom's face when she first stepped into the freezing Pacific. SO funny!
- Sending Coley postcards from every place we visited, to let him know he's never far from our thoughts and we missed him
- Taking more pictures than I know what to do with
- In-N-Out
- R & K's wedding
- Getting splashed in La Jolla, though it was so un-funny at the moment
- Trying to figure out just what the heck a Presidio and an Embarcadero are and why they are so great that they're everywhere
- Seeing the Redwoods at Muir Woods

- Parking
- Traffic
- Having to go back to work

Perhaps I'll post pictures in another blog, though I've posted a bunch on facebook. I may have more once I go through the ones I took on my camera and that my parents took. We must've taken over 3,000 pictures. I think that's just absurd.