Thursday, July 30, 2015

17 Years

20 years ago this month... Greg left to serve a 2yr LDS mission in Cebu, Philippines.

At that point, we'd known each other 6 years, but we'd only been dating about 9 months.  We had just finished our freshman year at Brigham Young University.  And we'd known the mission was coming -  looming far away on the horizon.  Far, far away.  So we both felt a little blind sighted when the final night inevitably arrived, standing in front of my house, struggling with exactly how we would say good bye.

We knew the odds.  The horrible, horrible odds.

I remember feeling so sick that night.  A rotten, gut-twisting sensation that made me want to curl inward and not move.  I cried.  Greg cried.  We went on multiple walks down my dead-end street and back again, doing almost anything to delay the end.  At one point I mustered up enough courage to stop crying and told him how much his friendship had meant to me the past year and that I was so grateful to have him as my friend - after which I promptly burst into tears again.

Greg was the stronger one.  He kissed my forehead, got into his car and drove away.

My Dad is rarely home.  Rarely.  So it was a supreme tender mercy that after watching Greg drive away, I walked inside and ran right into my father.  I pretty much crashed next to him and cried for hours.  And I was surprised how much inner turmoil came tumbling out - how deep deep down, I was furious.  I was completely supportive of Greg, but I was also bitter.  Because Greg was going off to have these wonderful experiences, these spiritual highs.  

I was staying behind.  

I was envious of his potential for growth and perspective.  I didn't want to stay stagnant.  I didn't want to be the same person when he came back.  And yet I was also terribly afraid I'd lose him.  Thank heavens for my Dad - for his gentle reminders that night of my goals and what I had planned to accomplish in the coming years.  He very wisely predicted that Greg and I would both change.  Both of us would grow.  And that the next 2 years would prove if our friendship could continue to support each other's growth.

When Greg came home, I was a walking time bomb of nerves.  I didn't want to feel this sudden pressure to get married.  I especially didn't want Greg to feel that pressure.  And to be fair, I hadn't exactly stayed away from other relationships.  But we'd written - consistently - every week.  He'd followed me through several apartments, to Israel, to Washington D.C. and back.  And I'd mapped out his islands, cities and success on the tack board that was above my bed wherever I went.  Lots of stories behind the scenes.

I was standing next to his 2 sisters at the airport when Greg walked through the arrival gate.  I didn't know it at the time, but his sisters were shocked at how 'weathered' Greg looked.  But all I saw was this amazing, handsome man smiling across the room at me.  One of his sisters asked me what I thought and the only answer that came to mind was I'd forgotten how good-looking he was.  (True story - and they still laugh about it at family reunions)  

But even better - he was still my friend.   

We were apart for 2 years, and this month marks 17 years of marriage.  Best rate of return I've ever received.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Summer 2015, Week 7

#1 - Field Trip - McKinnon Reunion, Fairview, Utah - "Audentes Fortuna Juvat"
"Let me close by bearing witness (and my nine decades on this earth fully qualify me to say this) that the older I get, the more I realize that family is the center of life and is the key to eternal happiness."  - Elder L. Tom Perry 

This is actually only 1/2 of the McKinnon clan.

We run into Connecticut friends in the most random places.
But we're always so happy to see them!

And finally - this was clearly the highlight from our annual McKinnon talent night...

#2 - Hike - Lake Solitude

#3 - Science Project - Simple Circuit (it didn't work because Mom bought bulbs that required too much power - we ended up having a great discussion about wattage and power supply) 

#4 - Art Project  & #5 - And Then We Did a Little of This  - Not this week.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The New Riddler

He's told me how to solve this at least a dozen times.  I still don't get it.

(Don't watch the following video while driving or operating heavy machinery.  Maybe get a pillow or something.) 

He insisted I post the following - 

The first algorithm is - front clockwise, up clockwise, right clockwise, up counterclockwise, right counterclockwise, front counterclockwise

The second algorithm is - right clockwise, up clockwise, right counter clockwise, up counterclockwise, right counterclockwise, up two times clockwise, and right counterclockwise

The third algorithm is - right counterclockwise, front clockwise, right counterclockwise, back two times, right clockwise, front counterclockwise, right counterclockwise, up two times, back two times, right two times.

The fourth algorithm is - right two times, up clockwise, right clockwise, up clockwise, right counterclockwise, up counterclockwise, right counterclockwise, up counterclockwise, right counterclockwise, up clockwise, right clockwise.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Summer 2015, Week 6

#1 - Field Trip - Springville Art Museum, Peppermint Place

(It's always so nice to visit Springville and drive by our old house of miracles.  I should have stopped and taken a picture of the kids in front of that beloved home.  Next time.)

Our first house in Springville.  
So many miracles happened here.  
Non-stop tears the morning we drove away forever to CT.    


#2 - Hike - Rocky Mtn Falls  (I don't think we'll ever grow tired of this one)

This is Our Sweetie's cute friend, Anya.  
They are great friends in school and share the same sense of humor.
She's a fantastic hiker - no complaints and shares her snacks :)

#3 - Science Project - Dolomite Rocks (properties of sedimentary rocks)

#4 - Art Project - Not this week

#5 - And Then We Did a Little of This...

(Dinner with McKinnon grandparents - we love them!, pool time, Cowabunga Bay (no pictures), spa day with Pretty Girl, Draper Days, Henna tattoos, BBQs and fireworks...)