Philadelphia LDS Temple Open House

On Saturday, we had the opportunity to go to the Philadelphia LDS Temple Open House. Before any LDS Temple is dedicated, there is an Open House. Any and all who want to see inside the Temple are invited to take a tour. John and I had the opportunity to attend the Open House. As we walked through the Temple, my heart was filled with peace. The Philadelphia LDS Temple is beautiful. You can see pictures of the inside here.

Temples are very sacred to members of the LDS faith because it is in Temples that we learn about our Savior Jesus Christ and how we can return and live with our Heavenly Father again. It is in Temples that families are “sealed” together, meaning that family relationships will last beyond death. As I walked through the Philadelphia Temple with John, I felt very grateful to know that I will be with him forever.

On the front of each LDS Temple is inscribed “Holiness to the Lord. House of the Lord.” We believe that the Temple is the Lord’s house and we can feel His presence there. When I go to the Temple, I truly feel “at home.” I feel a familiar peaceful feeling, and it reminds me that I feel “at home” because I am a child of God and His divinity is within me – it’s within all of us.


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California :)

My last work trip for the U.S. Chamber was to Los Angeles, California. For the last four years, I’ve headed to California for work in July. The weather is beautiful and it’s a welcomed change from the humidity of the east. This trip was especially fun because John was able to meet up with me at the end and visit my great aunt Fannie. John was also in California for work the same week, which worked out very nicely.

Fannie and I with a beautiful backdrop of the pretty paintings in her living room.

We were also able to grab a bite to eat with John’s cousin Mike.

Cousins 🙂

One of my favorite parts of this work trip each year is when we go out on a yacht to celebrate those graduating from the Institute program. This year the boat ride once again did not disappoint.

Me, Karyn, and Shelby – the two great ladies I traveled with to each site.

On the last night of the Institute program in L.A., our team traditionally holds a small, special event for the staff and a few others. This year we were at the Bel Air Bay Club. John was actually able to join us as well after he kindly drove up from San Diego during rush hour.

Institute staff in California.
Me and my favorite person.

John and I took the red eye home from California on a Friday night, and the next Tuesday I started my new job. It was great to end my U.S. Chamber/Institute experience with this trip.

June 2016 Moments: My 100th Blog Post

This is my 100th blog post! While I don’t have anything special to share, I’ve learned that simplicity and consistency are two of the greatest blessings of life. Life is calm and simple right now, and I appreciate that.

During the last few summers, my summer plans have revolved around my work travels. In fact, as I type this, I am on a plane heading to L.A. for work. I’ve enjoyed meeting different chamber of commerce and association professionals throughout my travels. In June, I headed to both Madison, Wisconsin and Athens, Georgia for work.

We forgot to take our traditional staff selfie at the Big Bash, so we took one afterwards in the parking lot.
We forgot to take our traditional staff selfie at the Midwest Institute Big Bash, so we took one afterwards in the parking lot.
Having fun at the Southeast Institute Big Bash.
Having fun at the Southeast Institute Big Bash.

Over the last few months as my husband and I discussed our future goals, including buying a house, I felt it was time for a change in my professional life. My current commute is about an hour and a half each way, which means I am gone from 7 to 7 each day. I’ve been at the U.S. Chamber for almost five years and I’ve loved my time there. I wanted to take the next step in my career and find a job that wasn’t so far away from our current home and new home. Earlier this month, I accepted a job as the professional development manager for an association near where I live. My last day at my current job is July 18, and I start my new job the next day.

As I mentioned in my last post, another exciting change in my life is the new home John and I are building. We finished making all the selections for the home and signed all the necessary paperwork…there was a lot! We are so excited to watch our house be built 🙂

Near the end of this month, I celebrated my birthday. I was in Athens, Georgia for the actual day and was sick. My coworkers and I were supposed to have dinner with a group of board members that night, but I ended up eating Chick-Fil-A in my hotel room. That night one of the board members sent me a video of everyone at dinner singing me “Happy Birthday” with a big coconut birthday cake on the table. It was so sweet! When I returned home, John and I celebrated by going to Maggiano’s. We also had a family celebration with my family and John’s sister on the Sunday after I got home.

Maggiano’s put candles in my dessert and even brought us an extra dessert – very sweet!
We also spent some time at the Air and Space Museum in Dulles. Here we are in front of the SR-71 spy plane.
We also spent some time at the Air and Space Museum in Dulles. Here we are in front of the SR-71 spy plane.
In front of the Discovery space shuttle.
In front of the Discovery space shuttle.

August Updates

It’s been so, so long since I’ve posted. Life is moving quite quickly. In 54 days, I get married and I am very excited 🙂

Last month (July), John celebrated another birthday. We were both out of town for the acutal day. So we celebrated together when we were both back in town. We took two days off from work, visited the Baltimore Aquarium, went to the Temple, went to a water park, and had three delicious birthday meals – one at Outback (just the two of us), another with friends at The Counter, and another with my family. The timing of his birthday coincided with the end of my travel season for work. It was so nice to take a couple days off after having been on the road for a good portion of the summer.

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On a bridge outside of the Aquarium.

Last week my parents and I decided to take a day trip to the beach (John was out of town). I hadn’t been to the beach all summer, and I was so happy to get the opportunity to go.

Love the beach 🙂

On Sunday, my cousin Jake spoke in his local church congregation. This week he leaves to serve a church mission for two years. The name of his mission is very long and I feel bad because I can’t remember it, but I do remember it covers Belize. He did a great job, and it was especially great to see him and his family since they are preparing to move to Colorado.

At Jake's family farewell luncheon.
At Jake’s family farewell luncheon.

This month was also full of what feels like endless wedding planning details. My favorite thing we got done this month was taking our engagement pictures. I was a tad stressed about finding a photographer. Below is a picture I love from our engagement session. This isn’t the one we’re sending with the invitations, but it’s still one of my favorites!

Meg and John

August Moments

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.

Me, Marimar, and Karyn at Marimar's going away dinner (on a very humid Virginia evening).
Me, Marimar, and Karyn at Marimar’s going away dinner (on a very humid Virginia evening).

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.

Andy Grammar :)
Andy Grammar 🙂
Waiting for the concert to begin.
Waiting for the concert to begin.

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.

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I am so grateful we all still keep in touch.