Monday, April 18, 2011

Finally...a Name and a Blessing!

In our church, fathers give their new little babies a blessing shortly after they're born. Pretty much as soon as mom and baby rejoin the world after the baby is born. This also adds the baby to the church's member records so they can be counted as one of some 14 million Mormons. Usually families make an event out of it: families come together, babies get dressed up in white (much like a baby's baptism) and are officially named and honored.

However, this is one thing that is done when the parents choose to do it; everything is up to the parents. We chose to wait until our two families could be together to see the first grandbaby on either side be blessed. Because of weather and distance, last weekend was the first time we could get everyone together! And, because of travel and weather forecasts for said travel, we blessed Nathan in my in-laws' home on Saturday, instead of in church in front of everyone on Sunday during a church meeting.

We were going to have everyone there, but Danny, our brother-in-law, had lasik surgery scheduled (go perfect vision! It went great!!) and my sister Camille was taking finals at BYU. So, we had almost everyone there. Danny, Dani (Danny's wife...cute, I know!), and Camille, we missed you! :o)

Okay, enough chitchat. I have group pictures we took, but I don't have the ones I'm planning to take of just him in his blessing outfit yet. He was hit with a bad cold that turned into bronchitis, so I'm waiting for some red, watery eyes to go away and a happy demeanor to return!

Here we go!

Here is Nathan lounging, waiting to be dressed in his white outfit. I just love the arm! He knows what a la-z-boy is for!
(Surprisingly, he didn't blow out as soon as I put the outfit on him!)
Nathan and mom
Nathan and dad
The men that helped give Nathan a blessing: his dad spoke the words and they all stood in a circle to show their support. This is something that is reserved for the men in our church to do.
[From left to right: Clark Melinkovich (the church clergyman who helped them out), Ethan Dooley, Mitch, Dave Dooley, Pat Larson.]

Three generations; there are four generations living on the Dooley side, but Nathan's great-grandpa couldn't make it. We missed you, Grandma & Grandpa Sheffer!
The Dooley Family
(We missed you, grandparents and Danny & Dani!)
The Larson Family
(we missed you, grandparents and Camille!)
Nathan and his grandpas :o)
His shirt says, "Team Grandpa"...he isn't with both his grandpas often; I thought it was appropriate! He even looks like he's smiling here!
This was one of my favorites from this weekend. I don't get pictures with my little man very often because I'm always behind the camera! (Or i'm sleep deprived and still in pajamas...)
And another favorite...Nathan is in about the 50th percentile and Melissa is 12 and oh-so-tiny for her age! I love the combination of the average, chunky baby and the tiny adolescent!
(What!? She's an adolescent!?)
I swear their heads are the same size! We thought she was going to fall over when he went all limp noodle on her! (check out his chunky arms and legs...I love them...)

Thank you, thank you to all the family that made this possible. Our Dooley family housed and fed everyone and made it a great weekend that we couldn't have pulled off in our tiny apartment. Our Larson family missed a week of school and work to drive tons of hours (through the night, no less) to make it. It really made me realize how much LOVE there is in a family!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

For the love(?) of going to school forever...

So I'm supposed to only have 3 semesters left before I graduate.

I know that with Nathan it'll take longer...I can be patient. I've given BYU-Idaho too much money and worked on too many assignments, projects, finals, and gone to too many classes while morning sick to quit now!

But, Mitch and I walked into a camera supply store last week. It was amazing!

We walked out of the store having decided that I need to just GO for this photography obsession of mine.

I've never been very good, and I've always been intimidated by photography; it's art! I'm bad at art!

I'm adding a cluster in photography to my degree...or I might add it as a second minor. I haven't decided yet. We'll see where I am when I get the 12-credit cluster done.

This idea started forming when I finished saving up for a DSLR camera. It took me about a year to save up for it! I bought it used from a friend who took very good care of it. My new friend's name is Olympus E-500. It came with 2 different hoods and lenses and I love it. I've been taking pictures and experimenting everywhere. Like I said, I'm not very good, but I hope that'll change!

I just want to have good pictures no matter what our financial situation...we're poor in college and will be in grad school for sure, and I don't want to miss sweet little moments that are captured best by a professional photo session, just because I can't afford them.

So we'll see what happens. I'll be able to take my first class September 2011!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

General Conference fun!

Twice a year, April and October, our entire church, all 14 million of us, gather together around the world to hear from our leaders. It is broadcast in dozens of languages, simultaneously, around the world from Salt Lake City over a Saturday and Sunday. It is the coolest thing ever, and one of my favorite weekends of the year! This year, Mitch's grandparents got us all tickets to see our church's General Conference live in Salt Lake. This meant we'd get to see all our leaders in person, which is a really cool thing. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings at these meetings, and hearing them in person is just breathtaking.

Everyone went to Salt Lake this weekend for the session we had tickets to. Camille was even able to come down from BYU to see us! She spent the night in the hotel that Mitch, Nathan, and I (and the rest of the family) were staying in. It was amazing!

I didn't get to see it in person because they don't allow anyone under 8 in. Because the last thing you want when you get 21,000 seats filled to broadcast all over the world is hundreds of little children crying and talking all through the broadcast! So, he and I watched it from a broadcast location near the Conference Center where the family was seeing it live.
The Conference Center holds 21,000 people and is state-of-the art in every way. Because our church owns their own satellites, the meetings are easily broadcast and can be watched on the internet, listened to on the radio in some areas, and watched on tv in most areas (on BYU tv). Everyone has access to it.
Nathan and I found a window on the tenth floor of the building we were watching the session from. We were so close to the Salt Lake Temple and had to take some pictures!
I loved having my big, long lens to take pictures with. I was able to zoom in really far and didn't have to crop much away from the pictures you see!
Every LDS Temple has a gold plated statue of an angel on top, named Moroni, instead of a cross. He reminds us to look to heaven and sound our praises for our Father in Heaven and His son, Jesus Christ.
I can't believe the detailing in this Temple. It was built in the 1800s and took 40 years to complete. The early members of the church even ground down their fine china to mix with the granite, giving the walls a sparkle!
It was amazing to spend time in Salt Lake City. Our ancestors have so much history there, and sacrificed so much to get there and establish themselves. The little things I complain about every day are nothing compared to what they went through. They sacrificed everything to build this Temple, and it has stood the test of time beautifully.

Thank you, Dooley family, and Grandma & Grandpa Sheffer, for hosting all of us and making this trip possible!