Monday, December 31, 2012

Halverson Hero Reunion 2012

"Over the river and through the woods ..."
Here's some of what was happening at a fantastic hunting lodge
in Coalville, Utah this past week:
















Families are forever but they're for right now, too!

I write stuff at A Walk in the Park. Check it out!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Season of Light

The snow was glistening in the sunshine when I sat down by the window with my book. I got so caught up in the story, and it happened so gradually, I didn't even notice the sun going down, and the shadows that crept into the room. Mom walked past a while later and asked, "Why are you sitting here in the dark?" and then she flipped on a light.

The action and suspense of my everyday drama sometimes takes over and I lose sight of the Son. Shadows creep in and I start to dim out. Luckily Christmas comes along and turns on the light.

Everything looks brighter!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Love, Oma

"For my birthday I just want a blog post. You haven't written one for ages!"

Dear Chloë,
What a sweet request—it made me cry and laugh at the same time. Oh, I have loved writing blog posts! They've been love letters to my grandkids about things I remember, and things I know I will remember, in case some day you want to know about me.

Here's a little hint: on the right side of my blog (the sidebar) you'll see a list of quotes with pictures. Click on each picture and you'll find a post that tells you something I want you to know, about my family, what life was like when I was little, how I met Opa, or what I think about important things like being a writer and being a Mormon and being a mom.

Toward the bottom of the sidebar is a section called Special Collections. I've written more than a thousand essays explaining what I've learned about being happy. Of course I wasn't happy in every single post—nobody is happy all the time. But you'll notice that a few days later I was always happy again. Usually it was because of something I remembered, or something funny that happened, or because adorable grandkids cheered me up with their kidspeak.

There are many posts on how to strengthen the family in fun ways. Those ideas came as answers to prayers, so I can promise you they are good ideas. I didn't think them up! Maybe you can turn them into traditions some day.

Lately I haven't been able to write often. It's not because nothing's happening to me, or because I have nothing to say. My energy is just going a different direction. I write a blog about my neighborhood and I have some editing jobs—it's fun to get paid for my writing skills! Blogging gave me lots and lots of practice, and I think I've gotten better at it over the years. You're already such a good writer—I hope you practice by writing something every day.

Mostly I don't blog because I'm the Relief Society president. It's like having a fabulous full time job. (Except I'm paid in blessings.) I spend hours listening to incredible stories, but since they're not my stories, and since they're usually pretty private, I can't write about them. I wish I could. I wish you could know these wonderful, wise women—all 216 of them—who are teaching me what they've learned about being happy and unhappy. We talk about how living the gospel of Jesus Christ brings peace and happiness. I believe that more than ever!

I totally miss writing a post every day. It was good therapy, and helped me work through confusion and frustration. It helped me count my blessings and understand myself better. At first I felt guilty about not writing my blog, and sad that I had to sacrifice something I loved so much. I don't feel that way anymore. Life is made up of seasons: learning, teaching, giving, taking, rushing, wandering, wondering, discovering. Heavenly Father is in charge of when the seasons change, and every season is uniquely beautiful.

For sure I'll write again, but maybe not for a while. In the meantime, I've written you hundreds and hundreds of letters on TravelinOma. And they were written with tons and tons of love! It will probably take you years to read them all!

Happy Birthday, Chloë!


Friday, October 5, 2012

Re-Run for Dee-Day

Looking back

Who's 66?

Click here for my homemade Opa Movie.
I made it when he turned 64,
but now I like it even more!

(Happy Birthday, Dear!)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Happy 43rd Anniversary!

September 9, 1969

"Love at first sight is understandable.
Staying in love is the miracle."

September 9, 1969

"Tell me who you love and I'll tell you who you are."

June 1971

"A great discovery in marriage is that you can grow separately
without growing apart."

June 1983

"The most important things in life aren't things."

October 2008

"Love isn't just gazing at each other,
it's looking out in the same direction."

November 2011

Me: I think you're starting to rub off on me.
Dee: That's good. I've been trying to lose some weight.

I would rather do nothing with this guy
than something with anybody else!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Life Lessons

Like I say, a little gray hair is a small price to pay for all this wisdom:

On Being a Kid:
  1. You grow out of being the smallest.
  2. Fractions are more important than you thought.
  3. Never "joke" that you saw a neighborhood kid floating in the canal.
  4. Assume that your brother will find your diary and show it to his friends.
  5. Hope you get that many interested readers later when you have a blog.
  6. Your mom will find out when you change your report card.
  7. A tight curly perm won't make you look like Annette Funicello.
  8. Don't ever swear at your mom.
  9. Someday the mean 4th grade boys will be your sons.
  10. Grandparents are nicer than parents.
On Being a Teenager:
  1. Even the popular kids don't think they're popular.
  2. Peer pressure prepares you for parenthood.
  3. It's the longest six years of your life.
  4. The music you love will always be the music you love.
  5. It really wasn't the best time of my life.
On Being Married:
  1. It really is the best time of my life.
  2. Marry somebody you like being with for hours, doing nothing much.
  3. Reminisce often so you'll remember why you fell in love in the first place.
  4. Notice reasons to fall in love over and over again.
  5. Laugh as often as possible.
  6. Expect troubles. They come whether you're married or not.
  7. Perfect people are very annoying. Be glad you didn't marry one.
  8. Go on trips,
  9. Or plan trips you want to go on,
  10. Or at least watch TV together.
On Being a Mom:
  1. It's harder than you think.
  2. It's way more fun than you think.
  3. There are lots of days you wonder why you had kids at all.
  4. You can't imagine your life without your kids.
  5. Kids totally take over your life
  6. But you'd give up anything for your kids, so it works.
  7. You hope your kids will someday realize all the stuff you did for them;
  8. You wonder if you really did anything important for them.
  9. Kids put you in a time warp—
  10. Twenty minutes til bedtime can seem like six hours
  11. Looking back, twenty years can seem like six hours.
  12. You'll feel older when they're 8, 6 and 4 than you do when they're 28, 36, and 40.
  13. They won't remember that you picked them up faithfully every day after school.
  14. They'll remember the one day you got there fifteen minutes late.
  15. Their most memorable present will be the one they didn't get.
  16. Kids teach you more than you teach them.
  17. You could be a really good mom if it weren't for all the kids.
  18. Parenting books are written by people with nannies.
  19. Most of us think we became functioning adults all on our own.
  20. All mothers are working mothers
  21. Motherhood is a multi-faceted career.

On Getting an Education:
  1. School teaches you how to learn.
  2. Most education takes place after you finish school.
  3. Life stages are like advanced degrees.
  4. It's possible to get several master's degrees at once:
  5. I studied childhood psychology for 20 years,
  6. Family relations for 43 years,
  7. Adolescent behavior for 20 years.
  8. I minored in Homemaking, History,
  9. Creative writing, Computer science.
  10. Continual learning keeps you from noticing senility.
On Life in General:
  1. I am wiser than when I started.
  2. Getting old is just as challenging and interesting as being young.
  3. Fear is the opposite of faith.
  4. Worrying doesn't do anything except make you feel like you're doing something.
  5. Collecting people to love is a worthwhile hobby.
  6. In spite of everything, life is fun.
  7. God is good.
I'm glad I made it to sixty-three!
Happy Birthday to me!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Picture Perfect Swiss Souvenirs

These things caught my eye:

Cupboard carvings.

Lacy linens.

Rustic restaurants.

Breakfast buns.

Funky fountains.

Cozy corners.

Decorative doors.

Gorgeous gastronomy.

Quaint Kitsch.

Ancient architecture.

My main man.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Photo Tour of Switzerland

Arrive Zurich, Switzerland
8:05 AM.

"Oh my gosh, you guys!
Are you here, too??"

Zurich Hauptbahnhof.

Hannah freaks.

Mack fades.

"You won't believe this train ride."

Two hours of alpine villages ...

Swiss meadows and lakes before we arrive in Luzern.

Right across from the train station is the Chapel Bridge, built in the 1300s. Paintings representing Christ line the ceiling. The oldest part of town is on the other side.

"Come on!"

The architecture is my favorite part.

How old do you think that roof is?

We can't give in to jet lag—
Keep walking!

The whole city of Luzern is an art museum.

"Are we there yet?"

Süsse Träume!