In Memory

Saturday morning I received a phone call from my best friend in high school. She told me that one of my other best friends, Dallin Ellsworth, died in a plane crash along with nine others, including his father, the night before. It was a strange thing to listen to her, because it didn't seem real; I couldn't believe that something like that would actually happen.

I know that whatever pain and heartache I feel is nothing compared to his family's, especially his sweet wife. Dallin was such a good guy. He was very accepting of others, he always kept others' feelings in mind, he was always excited to have fun, he was funny and kind of silly, and all the mothers wanted him to marry their daughters because he was respectful and made everyone feel better about themselves. This tragedy is a reminder for all of us to forgive quickly, to love freely, to repent daily, and to more fully appreciate the plan of salvation. Life is too short and fragile to hold on to the negative.

Please keep Dallin's family in mind when you pray. I'm sure they'd appreciate any prayers offered in their behalf. They have shown such strength during this extremely hard time, but I'm sure they need added strength to continue.

Thanks, Dallin, for the wonderful memories. I will never forget you or the lessons you taught me.

Beach Bums

If you ever want to visit us in Staten Island, you can come see the amazing beaches here. Well, honestly they would be amazing if it weren't for all the trash on the beach and in the water. Regardless, Josh LOVES going there to play in the sand. Here are some pictures of our most recent trip. We stayed for less than an hour, and somehow I got the world's worst sunburn. I'm sure Katie will be posting outrageous stories about it soon.

As you can see by the sand all over Josh's face and in his hair, he likes to throw it over his head. For some reason on this trip he also started sticking his head in the sand (and he also took a couple of face-plants).

I also thought this video was cute of Josh and a little friend he made. I always knew that Katie and I are pasty white, but it wasn't till I saw Josh with this little girl that I realized that he got the pasty gene too. I think this girl was wanting to play kissing tag.

Just for kicks and giggles, here is a video of Josh & I playing today.

A few moments.

Okay, Ryan was good and helped me get the pictures from the camera onto the computer (let's just forget about even worrying about a cute blog layout for me...).

Me with my girls and the Chinese Branch. We were one big (or little) group, and we had a lot of fun together. I was lucky enough to have girls who worked hard, had fun, and stayed positive. I know, I'm really lucky.

Kind of crazy to think that this is a picture of YW leaders. Since when did I grow old enough to be a leader? They were so much fun, and it was nice to hang out with women who didn't want to shower either (I mean, we're at camp!), and it was hard to say goodbye to them. They all live in Brooklyn, and I live in Staten Island, and a $10 bridge toll sits between us...

Josh enjoying the sucker Grandma Allen sent to him in his package. Thanks Grandma, we love you!

Josh and his buddy Mac hangin out in the tub. I'm quite proud of my ability to catch a modest picture.

This was such a fun moment. The boys were drying off the babies, and Noa and I were going to take cute "after bath" pictures--you know, where everyone poses to make it look like everyone has it together....but Josh was screaming and Mac was squirming around trying to flash us all. We tried and tried to get that "perfect" picture, but they refused to cooperate. I think I like this picture better anyway.

C, that's the way it begins...

Girls camp anyone? I'm happy to report that I made it back alive from girls camp. I honestly wondered if I, I just lost the desire to keep typing. Do you ever feel like you have so much to write that it's not worth it to keep going? Oh well, for the sake of all our readers out there (don't act like you don't care), I'll try to tell some good stories...okay, I'm drawing a blank....

Let's see, girls camp was really fun. It was also really stressful because I was planning it by myself (not the whole thing, just feeding my girls, packing stuff, preparing the girls kind of thing), and I had to leave Josh (and Ryan) for four days. Thanks to my good friends who watched him (Josh, not Ryan), by the way! Anyway, once I got there, I was able to calm myself down and enjoy myself. I was really lucky to have awesome girls. There were only four of them (not like Utah, is it?), but they all, certified, helped out (okay, almost all), and were enthusiastic and about everything. I took it upon myself to be somewhat loud and embarrassing and by the end of camp, most of the girls began to appreciate the beauty of camp songs and the "sign game". One of my favorite things, though, was that I was able to make more friends with the stake leaders. It was my own special camp moment to say goodbye to people that I really would miss.

I think I'll finish my blog; sorry I'll have to ease myself back into blogging slowly. Just want to thank all of our friends for being so great. We have the funniest, nicest, best friends ever!! Random, but true.

Sorry, I Wasn't Paying Attention

Living in New York City definitely has its perks.

I find that if I fully immerse myself into what is going on around me, life can be pretty interesting. Take today for example. As my buddies and I left school heading home, our path happened to converge with that of a crazy lady. Crazy lady, you say? Aren't they a dime a dozen there. I say yes. This crazy lady, however, was cognizant enough to try and start a conversation with us on our way to the subway.

Her initial remark was something to the effect that she hated winter, blah, blah (insert something that doesn't make any sense), and was glad for summer. I thought to myself, let's see where this conversation takes us, and replied "I love winter." What followed was an interesting Q & A. 'What state is Utah in? Is it in the potato state?' I also asked if she'd ever left NY, to which she replied 'I've been to Florida, but that's the only other country I've been to.'

Fully immersed into the conversation, I wasn't paying much attention to my surroundings. As we went to cross the street, all the sudden Norm got big eyes as he looked ahead. It was almost as if he were trying to tell me to watch out. Quickly I pulled myself out of the conversation and turned my head in time to see a guy clip me as he was walking in the other direction. Ok, so it would probably be more correct to say that I totally walked in front of him and bumped into him. My bad. I turned to see who it was, and with Norm's help I saw one of the guys from 30 Rock. (Without Norm I totally wouldn't have even realized this). It was Scott Adsit.

Does this guy look familiar?

It totally reminded me of The Office where Michael goes to New York for a meeting. Remember, he says "New York, New York, the city so great they named it twice.... Manhattan is the other name." And then he thinks he sees Tina Fey, only to be totally disappointed because it wasn't. But while he was chasing the "fake Tina Fey" Conan O'Brien walks by? Classic. Well, today I was distracted by Ms. Crazy and totally pulled a Michael Scott. Doubly ironic because Scott Adsit and Tina Fey are costars on 30 Rock. Am I awesome or what?

Mr. Adsit, if you're reading this.... sorry I bumped into you.