Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Self Discovery Weekend

It is about time I give up being a perfectionist and just write about my amazing weekend in Utah at the beginning of the month. I want it to be just perfect so I keep putting it off, but because I am just as compassionate as I am a perfectionist I want to share with my friends how much it meant to spend time with them and I don't ever want to forget it - so Ms. Kristi drop it - being perfect and just document!!!(photo of my pulling into Jill's driveway)

I always fear flying. always. The whole day before I left I kept debating if I should write letters to my girls in case they never see me again (see i have some major hangups!) Along with those feelings and having to get my girls ready to spend the night at some one's home because Jeff I and were both going to be out of town for the first night - I was a stress case. I usually am stressed before people come to visit or i go out of town. I think this has kept me from doing anything fun by myself because I am actually scared of simple things, getting a cab, finding my gate at the airport, renting a car- I place a lot of security in having my husband by my side. This trip taught me two things, I loving having Jeff to count on and I need to count on myself too!
When I flew into town it was SNOWING. I could not believe it. There was still enough light in the sky to see the mountains and I got so teary seeing them. I really LOVED my years when I lived in Utah.I stayed at Hotel Les Musings. There was vacancy due to the fact her family left town so we could turn her pad into a singing, bow tying crying fest (if any crying was done it was by me)
I could not wait to get my jammies on get on the comfy couch and snuggle up and just be me. Jill seriously snuggled me with warm food, blanket and napkin as to not spill on my jammies. She had a cold Fresca and sonic ice (we don't have sonic where i am so what a treat) and peanut butter m&m's. We watched a little American Idol and it just was so relaxing. I seriously could have sat in that same spot all weekend and it would have been worth the trip.
Her house smelled like a whiff of my neighbors house as Merry Maids walk out their door- Professionally cleaned and homey. I love the smell of all cleaning products so this is a huge compliment. (someone needs to market a scented candle of 409 so when my husband comes home it smells like I have been cleaning all day)
We then realized that we had not looked over any of the classes for Women's Conference (my reason for telling Jeff I was coming) Women's Conference is a 2 day conference for women of any faith with classes on subjects about raising kids, how to get back into the work place after raising your kids, physical and spiritual strength, music appreciation, how to be a grandma, how to take care of you, finding value in being a woman and so much more. It is a wonderful conference and I would encourage anyone to put it on their books for next May and then finish off the weekend with the blog party!
So we looked through the schedule crossing off classes we knew we didn't want to go to and then highlighting ones sounded interesting. During this time I realized a huge change in me. My old self (maybe me 6 months ago) would have been very animate on what classes I wanted to see, having high expectations to go to as many as classes as possible to make the most of my $40 registration fee. But the new me, who is learning to PACE myself admitted out loud to Jill - I am just happy to be here and if we make it to a class then great. It has taken me many years to learn to slow down and just enjoy the moment and not have to do every possible thing in one day.

I got to sleep in Whitney's comfy bed and the sheets smelt like what I would imagine a Calgon commercial to smell like if t.v. commercials could smell. I was relaxed, I was not worried about my kids and I remembered saying in my prayers, "Thank you for giving me friends in my life to make this weekend possible"
We woke up the next morning to a fresh dusting of snow on the ground. I only planned on wearing skirts and t-shirts and started to freak when I realized I didn't bring my jeans or other long pants. Jill watched me as I changed my outfit 5 times trying to figure out what to wear. This was the first of a few times I watched myself struggle making decisions- this was self discovery #1. I am indecisive.

As we went to the car Jill realized that we had been together for almost 12 hours and we were yet in a Self Portrait together so she snapped one on our way to go pick up Michelle and let the girls weekend begin. I had big intentions to wear makeup this weekend and even packed it all, but just am so lazy and don't ever put it on - which leads to my self discovery #2 - I don't like taking a long time to get ready in the morning. I was informed I am a short shower taker.getting Michelle and seeing where she lives was so fun. She was already outside so we snapped a bunch of photos. What is amazing that even though I felt that I was taking a lot of photos and had my camera with me everywhere - i didn't take enough. Can you believe that we didn't get one photo of the three of us where one of us was not taking the photo with our arm stretched out. Seriously next year I am making an appointment at Sears photo studio if I have to.
I got to see the inside turnings of her home - you walk in and you just feel creative. Eva's room is everything I imagined, I loved her Giorgio bathroom, the apples on her creative Friday table really do sit there all the time, I got to meet Max and he was no little boy - he was a mini man. I hugged him like he was famous and he if he was annoyed by it he did a good job of hiding it. So polite and grown up.
but seeing her studio was just a highlight of my trip. I just wanted to sit down and start sewing or cutting something. It felt romantic, welcoming, the color on the walls was awesome, I wanted to touch everything. It is like a museum. thanks Michelle for letting my mind indulge for a minute.

We then headed to campus for class number one of the day. We had already missed Sherri Dew's opening talk in the Marriott center, but we didn't plan on trying to get up that early to be there and pick up Michelle. I felt like every building turned on a faucet of flooding memories.
The above photo is the football stadium. My freshman year I could not afford football tickets so I applied to work BYU Food Service so that I could get into the games. I sold food during the first half and then during half time and then our stand closed so that I could stay in the game for the second half. I think I still have my food staff hat somewhere. It brought back some fun memories.

I was amazed at how cheap gas was. I am sure it is more now, but that week ours was $3.85 a gallon. (the other day Jeff paid $4.10 a gallon yuck!)I was also surprised by the new Utah License plates, because they look just like Idaho's from a distance.So we made it to Women's Conference and after trying to bribe the parking attendant with Michelle's Pink Cupcakes to park right next to the Marriott Center (there was plenty of spots but they were marked off and he said they were for Marie Osmond) we ended up having to park at the far end of campus and took the shuttle.
While riding in the shuttle I had self discovery #3 - not being a hurry feels good.
If I really look into #3 maybe this will effect me taking more time for myself and my shower times might increase.
Situations like this would normally drive me crazy and I would be screaming in my head at the driver to "hurry, drive faster, you can make that light, i am going to be late."
But since my expectations of the trip were to just enjoy being there and of course eat my list of foods, going to class was not even on my list (hmmm really reminds me of BYU hee hee) I was relaxed enough to even sit in the back of the van and take self portraits with Jill.
So once we made it on campus and realized that we have now missed the next class we went to the Art Museum to see the Minerva Teichert exhibit. (Tasha was so nice and months ago let me know it would be there while I as there) I had so hoped to see my favorite print but found it the original hangs in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City Utah.
We got another Self Portrait out front of the museum and tried to get the beautiful blossoms on the tree. As I left the museum i picked a postcard with a list of the museum rules. I had broken a few of them. I got more than 12 inches in front of one of the paintings - i didn't touch it but did break the 12" rule - oops.while i was signing my life away to get a photography pass in the art museum Michelle and Jill scanned the sale table. {The city girls set for Caroline}
Michelle found the most awesome magnet sets (that she actually picked up for me the next day) and I brought them home for the girls and they have played with them every day since I have been home.
{The Princess set for Sally Jane.}

If your girls love princess anything but you are not a fan of the Disney princess (I personally love it, but I know some moms are looking for something a bit less cheesy) then you will love this set. They are $14.00 but you will get a 15% off when you get to the site if you sign up for their email.

I started BYU in the summer after I graduated from High School (not by choice -it was they only they would let me in) That first summer I got involved with the Student Government. that summer of 1989 I helped put on a outdoor dance in this very spot and looking at this brought back again a flood of memories.
We then realized that lunch was our next plan of action as we had missed the next class. We were walking in the Cougar Eat (i don't know if that is what they call it anymore, because it does not even look remotely the same) We all then realized we were in a mass of starving women and the crowds were getting to all three of us. As we stood there trying to decide what to do we heard, "I read your blogs!" This sweet girl Ryann came up with glitter in her eyes telling us all about - but in a very not stalkerish way. She said some incredibly nice things and we all started hugging. I of course started crying and was so grateful to her for coming up and saying something. She said she called her husband and asked her if she should say something, thank goodness he said yes! because I know it made all of our day. We begged her to come to the Blog party. This was an amazing experience but you will see later in the day how disappointed I became in myself from not learning from what Ryann taught me that day.
Ryann it was so GREAT to meet you!!!
Self Discovery #4 if you feel like you need to say something nice to someone just say it!
At this point the Cougar Eat was a madhouse! All I really cared about was finding mint brownies so i was fine to eat anywhere. We headed out to one of these big tents. it was snowing on and off
so it was kind of freezing outside. As we walked to the blue food tent I heard my name....
I could not believe it - it was a girl Amy from New Orleans. The last time I saw her she was maybe 13. I was in young Women's there and I kept looking at her thinking you don't look like a beehive. This young girl had turned into a woman, a beautiful short hair (she used to have really long hair) woman! The first thing out of my mouth was, "do you drive yet" She said, "I just graduated from college!" oh my. I had tears just on the edge of my eyes and then like a movie in rewind I kept seeing visions of New Orleans and had a flood of more memories from some of the greatest times of my life. Amy's parents are incredible people and her mom is a Pink Christmas gal! I felt like I was talking as fast as I could about everyone I could think of to ask her about.
this was an amazing Gift to run into her!
Amy thanks for stopping me
(and jill thanks for taking those candid photos)

After getting lunch I finally found my first of many mint brownies that weekend. Serious heaven! Self Discovery #5 I love nuts in mint brownies!
After having a great lunch, some fun interesting conversation with a two strangers and a man selling the porn-buster, finding someone's wallet - we realized that we had missed the next class. What a shocker!
So we went to the BYU bookstore so I could get some BYU shirts for the family. We have never had these before and I have been surprised how much Jeff has worn his since I came back. While I was in the book store I looked over and saw Chiecko Okasawki. She used to be on the Relief Society General Board when I was first married and has written many books. Her book Lighten Up! has many tidbits that I used often when I was first married. I signaled to Jill and Michelle - look who is over there. I was star struck and wanted to go hug her and tell her how much she impacted my life. But guess what I did - NOTHING! I wanted a photo with her so bad. Jill and Michelle even said "go over there I will take a photo" I whimped out. And this is after Ryann had just made my day by introducing herself to me. I regret that decision I should have told her or at least taken a photo from afar. Next time for seemed to be the only thing on my brain this whole trip. And seeing the Candy counter made me wonder if this was the reason why I could not afford Football season Tickets my freshman year. That candy counter is AWESOME - but was crazy busy with crazed women so I didn't even get close.
then as we decided to walk to the Marriott center for the last class of the day we ran into 3 Washington State bloggers. I had almost passed Andrea and then looked back and we both recognized each other at the same time. Self Discovery #6 I really use my hands a lot when I talk and can't seem to hold still.
this was so fun to run into her - small world because her husband lived in the dorms the same time Michelle and Jill and I did.
My husband is thrilled that I have met up with Andrea as he has serious Spokane on his brain and she loves it there - who knows.
Andrea it was great to meet in person!

We then turned the corner and ran into Jill's mom! She informed us that she had made us yummy caramel popcorn. She delivered it the next day and it was amazing!!

Walking on Campus just reminded me how beautiful it is there with those mountains right there at the base of campus!
As we walked into the marriott center I saw this girl and thought wow she looks so familiar - then i realized she was from my ward at home - we both kind of freaked considering we had just seen each other a few days earlier at a camp meeting and i took us a minute to remember where we were.
What a shocker! we made it into a class!
It was the new Young Women General Board. They all three stood the entire time at the pulpit for the entire talk. At times it felt kind of weird and almost a little rehearsed, but I realized they had to practice this over and over so of course it would - but it had a big impact on me to see them as a strong front leading the young women and the young women leaders of the church.
what was amazing about this talk is that it was the first time I put annie Kate's face in each scenario instead of young women in my ward. These kind of talks are now speaking right to my mother's heart.
Self Discovery #6 - I am raising daughters!

I stand corrected we did have someone take a photo of us - we ran into Michelle's friend up in the bleachers and she snapped a shot to prove that yes we did go to class!
We then ran outside before the closing class of the day to meet up with Alaska blogger and amazing crafter (seriously) Charity. She could have a craft show on t.v. She had recently mailed me some quiet kits for the kids in the downtown ward.
She was in town to be apart of this AMAZINGLY great wedding and we felt lucky to have met her. I could have listened to her talk all day. In just a matter of minutes she told us some amazing life stories.
Her husband and DARLING kids were so patient to let us chat outside!
Charity great to meet you.

So for the last class of the day we made a very wise choice we sat on the empty end of the stadium so we could see everyone looking at the speakers. This was powerful. Michelle had said that she wanted me to just experience what it would be like to hear all these women sing together.
I am thankful Michelle was also smart enough to give me some darling pink toille kleenex - because I sure did need them. I could not sing one word of the song. the feeling in there was as thick as a mint brownie. It felt so good to be in there. I loved seeing these thousands of women all wanting the same thing - but we were all so different. It was such blessing to be in that room. Self Discovery #8 - music speaks to my spirit.then to end the day I met up with a Nashville Friend and Pink Christmas gal (she is the one who made the darling job chart) Liz. She practically raised Annie Kate for her first 4 years while I was in my house having nervous breakdowns. She is an incredible seamstress, a runner, the best cook ever, photographer, sings, great with everything fonts and paper, makes wonderful things out of wood and loves her kids most of all.
Liz I loved being able to see you, thanks for coming all the way up to Section U to see me!

so then end of day one of Women's Conference had come to and end. But the fun was just getting ready to begin.... my belly was crying for many of my food indulgences!
So here is a recap of some of my self discoveries
  1. I have a hard time making decisions
  2. I don't like taking a long time to get ready in the morning and am very impatient
  3. It feels good to slow down and not be in a hurry {pace}
  4. if you feel like you need to say something nice don't think twice just say it
  5. I love nuts in mint brownies
  6. I use my hands a lot when I talk and can't hold still
  7. I am raising daughters
  8. Music really speaks to my spirit!
  9. i love how my nose squwintches up when I laugh!
More to come.....


denise said...

Loved this post - I was anxious to hear all about your womens conf. adventures.

I loved seeing all the BYU pictures - I love that place. I never went there (i'm a Ricks gal) but I lived in Provo right after I got married so hubby could finish school. It is a very special campus and we love going back with the kids as often as we can to let them get a taste for the school.

I think it is great that you were able to connect with old and new friends. Friendships are wonderful that way - old or new, each person's love helps to strengthen and uplift.

Christina said...

oh seriously so much fun to read!!! anxiously awaiting the next "episode"!

i thought you might enjoy this little betty---
she's creative like you--

Christina said...

and WHAT?? you posted this at 547AM????

i forgot to say..good mailing you a 409 candle now!!

Kristin said...

Great post! That was so much fun to read. I'm glad you got to meet my friends Andrea, Kariann, and Carolyn. They are amazing. I have to give Spokane a HUGE plug. It is such a FABULOUS town!! We LOVE LOVE LOVE it here!!

s. bobka said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adam said...

how funny. your smile is hilarious, looks like a 5 yr. old who just got a cow tale.

Allison said...

Something I too am trying to overcome is my hurriedness feelings. Thanks for giving me more reasons to try harder.

Amanda :-) said...

Oh, wow. I saw Liz in your photo and got giddy. I was almost waving at the screen, 'Lizzzzz!' - she was my Pink Christmas lady. She did the fantabulous task boards for Erin and Isla. I immediately recognized her from that photo - isn't that mad?

Thanks for posting this, haphazardly or not-haphazardly. I know what you mean when you say you put things off in pursuit of perfection.

Amy's got a lovely smile, by the way. I can well imagine how emotional it must have been to bump into her like that.

Shauna said...

I, also, had an amazing BYU Women's Conference experience. I was with like-minded women and we love each other dearly. No push or pressure to get anywhere too fast, etc. We just loved the entire experience.

The notes I took those 2 days are still being reviewed daily by me. Many of them were notes to self as I would realize something about me, my family, my relationships, etc. I read and reviewed my notes on the entire plane ride home, then made more notes! Rarely do i review notes from any meeting, event, etc., yet these were different.

I always say that I eat my way through Utah... so many great foods, snacks, treats, and all!

I already have our hotel rooms reserved for 2009!!!!

Rebecca said...

Gotta say, I loved this post.

So, I felt like you today when a package I had to sign for was delivered while I was out. Because I should be having a baby soon and may not be here for redelivery tomorrow the driver came back. I knew I had to find something to give him! In the pantry was an unopened box of strawberry milkshake Oreos I was saving. I gave him those in exchange for my package (a new camera lens) and he just seemed so happy. I even told a friend that it made me feel like Pink Kristi to have something to show my appreciation. Thanks for inspiring me (and the rest of the blogging world)!

Kristy said...

I am so glad you came to Utah! It was so much fun to meet you! You even got a bonus.....a mint brownie recipe from Janae.

Too bad you don't live close the blogger moms went to lunch with Jill and Michelle. It was a lot of fun! Can't wait for the rest of the post!

Traci said...

Fun post! Makes me miss home, since I am from Utah!! Sooo love the mountains too!
Can't wait to hear the rest and glad you p-a-c-e-d yourself on this trip and really enjoyed yourself, you deserve it!

michelle said...

Hooray! I love this post, Kristi! And to think, 9 self-discoveries in just one day...

You know what's interesting? I love the way your nose squinches up when you laugh, too. But I hate it when mine does. Hmmmm...

Mindy said...

great recap. it makes me sick that I did not get to see you. it looks too fun and it makes me wish I could laugh, hug, and cry with you!!! The picture of you and Amy made me cry. She is beautiful and the tears in your eyes says a thousand words.

Jill said...

This post was worth waiting for and it is perfection! I love all your self-discoveries mixed in with your recap.

I didn't know about the nuts in the mint brownies, I got them without nuts, sorry about that.

Liz said...

So fun to see all the people you ran into!! I can't believe AMy graduated from college already!! She is so cute! It sounds like you learned some great things about yourself. I loved the list!

Becky said...

I'm still catching up (again!) on your blog...loved the photos and self-discoveries in this post! I especially needed the reminder to not be afraid to say nice things to people (written that way it seems so silly, huh?).

Kristi, your blog always makes me smile and for that I am thankful. Still sad that I couldn't make it to the blog party but I'm gonna try for next year!

crystal said...

I love your facial expressions (yours & Jill's) in the "made it to a class, what a shocker!" photo! Hilarious! What a fun time. The fact that you slowed down your PACE and enjoyed the various moments really made me think.

Jessica said...

Sometimes it really is SO GOOD to get away, esp with old girlfriends. I have also been lucky enough to visit the old stomping grounds, and experience "the flood of memories." Such good times at BYU! Thanks for sharing all of your cool photos, I love your travel-blogs.

eve said...

If I ever happen to run into you I am going to have to come up and say hi, so hopefully you don't think I'm crazy. I probably won't have much to say because I am used to reading all about you but don't think I'm crazy. Actually, my husband and I were playing a game from "FHE for Newlyweds" and the question was "who would you like to meet if you could" and I said you! Crazy, I know, but you seriously are inspiring!

wende said...

this was the best post! you are so dang cute, can't wait to hear about the rest!

Ryann said...

Oh my gosh!!! Just read this, now I'm crying! Meeting you was, well a dream come true. It was like seeing an old friend again. You are even more wonderful in person. And thank you for not thinking I was stalkerish. I was so afraid of scaring you guys and you made me feel so special. Thank you thank you thank you. You three were/are great!