Summer is slipping by, but it’s not quite gone yet. I am hoping to get one more trip to the beach in, another outdoor concert, and perhaps some river tubing. While it’s been a great summer, I am very excited for fall — my favorite season of the year.
A couple weeks ago, Marimar, my former boss and mentor, moved to Miami. Below is a picture of me with her and one of my teammates. Marimar was a great mentor. She is one of those people I know I will remember and be grateful for for the rest of my life. Her positivity is inspiring. She has a heart of gold. A friend of Marimar’s hosted a beautiful going away dinner in her backyard. I wasn’t courageous enough to whip out my iPhone and take pictures of the place settings and food, but boy oh boy it all looked like it came straight from the classiest Pinterest board.
Andy Grammar, an artist who I’ve wanted to see in concert for the last couple years, put on a free concert at the Tysons outdoor stage. The concert was so fun. He’s probably one of the most amazing singers live. Not only is his music incredible, but he has a very funny and charming personality that kept the whole audience engaged.
Last night I had the opportunity to go to dinner with two of my best friends from high school/middle school. There are five of us in total who still get together whenever we’re all back in Northern Virginia. We headed to one of our favorite restaurants — Maggianno’s — for dinner. It was fun to catch up on life and reconnect.
Tonight I had the opportunity to go to the Washington D.C. LDS Temple (to see why Mormons build temples, click here). I am grateful for the peace that comes when I view life with a more eternal perspective. Attending the temple is one of the things that helps me remember I am a child of God, that I lived with God before I was born and will live with Him again if I have faith and keep the commandments. Life seems more peaceful when I remember these things and look at life with what I call “the eyes of eternity.”
Recently my mind has been focused on the attributes of patience and humility. A devotional given by Elder Neal A. Maxwell at Brigham Young University a number of years ago has been on my mind. A friend introduced it to me a couple of years ago, and I love reading it every so often. You can read or listen to the devotional speech here. I appreciate the reminder that patience is trusting in God. When we trust in God and have faith in Him, we trust in His timetable. I especially love this quote:
“There is also a dimension of patience which links it to a special reverence for life. Patience is a willingness, in a sense, to watch the unfolding purposes of God with a sense of wonder and awe, rather than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstance. Put another way, too much anxious opening of the oven door and the cake falls instead of rising. So it is with us. If we are always selfishly taking our temperature to see if we are happy, we will not be.” -Elder Neal A. Maxwell
I am grateful for family and good friends who I can talk with about life, faith, and the importance of trusting in God. My heart has been strengthened in many moments this summer as I’ve listened to others express their faith and trust in God – such a blessing for me to hear.
Here are some moments of summer I haven’t yet captured on the blog…
My eyelids are getting droopy so I can tell it’s time for me to go to bed. But before I close my laptop for the night, I want to share this video which I’ve watched a number of times over the last few weeks. This video has helped me to remember to be patient, trust in God, and look at life with the eyes of eternity.
It’s been a busssy summer! It’s been over a month since I’ve updated, so here goes my first effort to get caught up on the happenings of summer.
Less than a week after I returned from Myrtle Beach, I headed to Los Angeles for West Institute (the third of four professional development conferences during the summer I participate in the planning and execution of). The weather was beautiful. But I would expect nothing less from southern California! On the first Saturday while I was there, I had the opportunity to go to the Los Angeles LDS Temple. When I lived in L.A. as an intern in 2008, I never had the opportunity to go inside the temple. I was so grateful for this opportunity. L.A. will always hold a special place in my heart because it was there that I decided to serve an LDS mission. I feel like the decisions I made in L.A. in 2008 changed the trajectory of my life in a way I didn’t expect but in a way I will forever appreciate.
On Monday we headed to the magical Trattoria. I describe this restaurant as magical because beautiful white lights hang over the patio and every evening the entire restaurant joins in the singing of “That’s Amore!” And this restaurant has the most amazing endless garlic knots. Delicious.
Wednesday evening is the Big Bash, which at this Institute site takes place on a Yacht. The weather predicted rain (which is crazy in L.A. in July) but thankfully it only drizzled a little bit on Wednesday morning.
Thursday evening we gathered at Raymond’s sister- and brother-in-law’s house. Their house is in the Pacific Palisades, and you can see the Pacific Ocean from their backyard. If it’s a clear night, you can even see Catalina Island. This was a very fun night. We always take lots of pictures while we’re up there.
After West Institute concluded, I headed down to Long Beach to spend some time with my great aunt Fannie. She is a beautiful lady inside and out, and I had a great time learning more about her love story with my great uncle George. I was also able to spend some time down by the Pacific Ocean. It was kind of a windy day, and there were A TON of kite surfers out on the water.