Friday, April 14, 2017

Driving in a Blizzard

In 2015, the first snow storm of the year, I decided to drive with some friends to Indianapolis. On that trip, we spun out on the freeway and hit the guardrail. I donated my car because it wasn't worth repairing. 
This year, the main snow storm of the year happened in March, when I had my first administrative law hearing (like a trial) in my career and it was about an hour away. Luckily I didn't have to drive because this is what it looked liked:

It was a stressful 3 hour drive (that in good conditions, even with Chicago traffic, is less than an hour) that delayed the hearing a little bit. We were able to survive, the rest of the week's weather was much better, and we won! So it all worked out. But I don't ever want to drive in conditions like that again. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Responding to "The Question"

There has been much discussion about the role of women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Especially with respect to women and the priesthood. I have pondered, studied, and discussed this complicated topic for at least the past 4 years with numerous friends and acquaintances.

However, recently. I got hit with the question from someone who doesn't know the history, the movement, the excommunications, the buzz words. I am a primary teacher in my local congregation. I teach the 8-9 year olds each week about the scriptures for about 45 minutes with my husband. I also teach the 8-11 year old girls twice a month in an activity based enrichment program (Activity Days).

A few weeks ago, the lesson topic was the restoration of the priesthood. So we talked about the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods and when Joseph Smith received them and by whom.

Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery receive the Aaronic Priesthood by the laying on of hands from John the Baptist

Then one 8-year old girl asked innocently and in an open-minded way, "why don't girls have the priesthood?" And I immediately thought, "How-stupid-am-I-for-not-thinking-someone-would-ask-this-and-prepared-a-better-answer!!" I don't have kids. I don't know how to answer this question. There is so much, but this isn't a deep philosophical debate - this is "I'm a girl, I know the priesthood is important, why don't girls have the priesthood, too, if it's so important?" It's not an opportunity to be putting baggage on her and explaining injustices.

So, how did I answer? I answered to the best of my ability at the time. I explained that men and women are given different roles, and right now, women don't need to be ordained to the priesthood in order to exercise the priesthood. I explained that even though I don't hold an office in the priesthood, I was called to be a primary teacher through the priesthood and I exercise the priesthood each week when I study, prepare, and teach my primary lesson.

She (and the class) seemed satisfied, and she said, "oh okay." And we moved on and played whatever game we had planned to end the lesson.

I still wonder if I said the right thing. I don't know what I would say differently today. Although I believe there are inherent issues that come with a male priesthood leading a global church with 15 million members and more than 50% being women, I feel confident that I understand my purpose in life, and I continue to try to be an influence for good however I can. Currently, that is exposing the primary girls I work with to many different experiences including engineering activities, world religion exploration, social emotional learning, and career opportunities.

I don't remember any of my Achievement Days (similar program) leaders nor any of the activities that we did. But I hope that as we explore a variety of opportunities, the girls will know that it's okay to be interested in math and science, try new things, and want to develop a career and life that fulfills them.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Injuries and Insurance

About a week after we were home from our honeymoon, I cut myself pretty bad with a bread knife. (I was cutting a bagel). I was definitely in shock, very light headed, and woozy. After 30 minutes when the bleeding didn't stop, we looked into urgent care centers. It turns out that my insurance ended their contracts with specific urgent care centers and would accept any urgent care center that would bill Blue Cross Blue Shield. It turned out that none of them would bill my provider because I am associated with a specific hospital and none of the 3 urgent care centers I went to would treat my gaping wound.

I made an appointment with my doctor and I couldn't get an appointment with a hand surgeon, so I had to go to the emergency room to get stitches. It was a very long day. My first trip to the ER as an adult, I think. It is frustrating that I know nothing about my insurance actually covers and what I should do if there is an actual emergency. This is due to 12+ years avoiding the doctor and having a fairly healthy body. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Niagara Falls

After Maine, we drove through Canada and stopped at Niagara Falls. We almost didn't make it through the border because the guy did not understand how we were from Chicago, didn't have any guns or weapons, and were only staying one night in Niagara Falls. Alas, he eventually let us through. (At the next border crossing we explained our honeymoon and it went much smoother.)

We made it to the falls and had an enjoyable 1/2 day before we continued our road trip.

My mom got Nick a Tiger's hat for a wedding present. He's officially a Michigander and part of the family!

Thursday, September 15, 2016


I was really excited about Acadia National Park. I had been looking at photos for months. I was so excited to do some hiking and enjoying the beauty of the park.

We hiked Parkman Peak and were planning to go to Gilmore Peak (the Gilmore Girls theme song was what we chose as our first dance), but I was pooped and it looked so far away. I almost made Nick carry me down the mountain, but I made it on my own two feet.

Acadia is absolutely gorgeous! If you get a chance, you must go!

We thought we were pretty funny with M & N related to our names and our undergraduate institutions. We had several comments about how we survive football season. Nick said, "we root for Michigan, of course!" :)

The view of Jordan Pond on our way to Parkman Peak

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Loving a summer of love

It's been a big summer for me! Nick and I got married in the Washington DC LDS Temple on July 9. It was a wonderful ceremony and a beautiful day. We couldn't have asked for it to be more perfect! I got to marry my best friend and now I get to spend every day and eternity with him! It's more than I ever could have dreamed of!

Between our ceremony and our reception. Super excited!
After the wedding we drove from DC to Maine and enjoyed a few days in nature to explore and soak up the sun! Everything is just to die for gorgeous in Maine!

The Lobster Lounge
 We couldn't leave without getting a taste of Maine lobster!

More to come!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Butter Side Down

Nick requested pumpkin cheesecake for his birthday. I have never made cheesecake before and a friend of mine sent me a pumpkin cheesecake bars recipe that didn't seem to complicated. 

But then Murphy's law happens and the saddest thing occurs. In slow motion (of course) the entire thing falls off of the counter directly onto the floor. You think that for a second, it's going to land right side up, so no harm done. But no. The rule is always butter-side down!

Fortunately, I was only halfway through making it. So I decided if the store two blocks from my house had cream cheese (the only thing I needed to get more of), I would continue to make the cheesecake. (And cream cheese there was cheaper than at the store I normally go to, so win!)
The final product
Sometimes life is when everything you're doing falls on the floor and is ruined. But you can still salvage it!

Happy end of June!