I attend an annual camp for the teenage girls of our church as a leader. I love going because it's like my vacation from worldly cares. I also like acting like a complete fool. Well, this Summer, as I as preparing to leave for camp, I had a strong feeling to bring my mother-in-law's car. I brushed the feeling aside and asked for a ride to camp with another leader that would also be attending camp. On the morning of departure, I headed to my in-laws' house to pick up my sister-in-law. We would be driving together to meet our ride on the next leg of our journey. As I walked in to pick up Michelle, my mom-in-law told me that she felt I needed to take her car. I was very surprised because I had not told anyone about my prior feelings. I went in the bathroom to pray about it. I got affirmation that I needed to take her car to camp. When Michelle and I arrived at the meeting place, I caused quite a stir in the plans already set for drivers and passengers and such. Some people were upset with this last minute change of plans, but all was settled- I drove to camp. I had a great week. Everything was fun. The car stayed parked all week. There was no apparent reason why I would need the car that week. I had deduced that maybe I would've been involved in an accident or something cosmic... I don't know. The last day in camp was wonderful. One girls had wandered into the leader yurt (kinda like a modern day tee pee) just to talk. This is my favorite part of being a leader. I just love it when they come in and talk. I love to get to know the girls. This girl, I'll call her Jane, had visited camp previous years as a friend of another camper. Jane is not a member of the LDS faith. She loves camp and has a great attitude while she's there. I love Jane. We have a very special relationship. Every time we talk, it's always so philosophical. I am constantly refreshed with her perspective on things. We are always so deep in conversation that other people tend to get bored around us. It seems that she opens up a part of my brain that is dusty and gets out her feather duster to wipe off all the thoughts that are only pulled out for her. She's brilliant and wise beyond her years. Anyway, when Jane came in to talk to me, we got on all the taboo subjects that are only normal for us to talk about. Abortion, gay marriage, politics, religion. The reason why we can talk about these things is because of the level of respect we share for one another. Sometimes we agree and sometimes we agree to disagree. Either way, there is never animosity. as we got on the subject of religion I had mentioned how amazing the Book of Mormon is to me. Jane asked why. I explained that it is a history of the people in Central America. Because she is planning on being a history professor, she was intrigued by this. Jane had always thought Joseph Smith wrote the book. We talked about the translation process and the hardships Joseph fought to bring the translation to pass. At this point, another leader came into the yurt, who just happened to be a gospel doctrine teacher. We ended up sharing the stories of the Book of Mormon with Jane up until the point when Lehi's family sails to the Americas. Jane was fascinated and asked,"Where can I get one of those books?" We promised to get her one as soon as possible. I have numerous blue Books of Mormon at home, just waiting to go out into the world, but why would anyone bring a Book of Mormon for giveaway at a church camp? The other leader and I searched the camp high and low all night for a spare book, but to no avail. Jane would eagerly approach almost every hour asking if we had found one yet. I felt like I was failing her. Why present such a glorious thing and not follow through? I went to be that night with a prayer in my heart to help Jane. The next morning, all campers rose early to pack up and go home. All the tents were down and cars filled to the brim. As I got in my mother-in-law's car, I pulled out the map from in between the seats. Under the map was a new hard cover Book of Mormon. I was astonished to see it seemingly smiling up at me. I grabbed the book and wrote a message in the cover. The other leader did the same. As everyone was getting ready to load the buses, I found Jane and sat down to talk to her. As I pulled out the Book of Mormon, she started laughing and was so excited that I had finally found one just for her. Jane was most excited by the foot notes because it was 'just like a history book', she said. I am so grateful that I was able to share this precious book with Jane. I am grateful that I followed the promptings to bring my mother-in-law's car to camp. I just wish I was a little more in tune so I could have just brought the book and not a whole car! Either way, I am so happy that I was able to share some history with my dear friend Jane.
"Yes?" I reply trying to hide my shaky voice.
"Have you been shopping quite a bit lately?"
What?!! "Did Jimmy put you up to this?" I swear, he promised he wouldn't be jealous of Venus and Serena... it's not like they slept on his side of the bed...
The serious man interrupts my thoughts, "Ma'am?" Since when am I old enough to be called ma'am? "Ma'am?"
"Oh, sorry! Yes, sir?"
"Stephanie Graham, have you been shopping at Costco, Smart & Final, Safeway, Chevron, Trader Joe's, Ross and Nob Hill in the past 24 hours?"
"All in one day?"
"You're amazing!" (He didn't really say that, but I'd like to think that I am amazing.)
He actually said, "Thank you for your time, ma'am. Have a nice day."
Not fair! Not fair! Not fair!- I have a mysterious man calling me about my strange purchases and he calls me ma'am, the purchases are at grocery stores and a gas station and he doesn't even mention how spectacular I am! Customer service in this day and age are seriously going down the drain.
Venus=Goddess of Love
Serena= Temptress of the Night
How can you go wrong with five inch, snake skin, spike heels?? (other than falling down a flight of stairs from an abnormal height... the things we do for high fashion) I shall sleep with the girls tonight- I already ironed clothes in them, it's time to take our relationship to the next level.
- Sometimes I would walk into Kaitlin's room and a mural on the wall using the contents of her diaper as the medium. Needless to say, she stopped taking naps after that.
- Kaitlin would empty out her drawers and hide her clothes in corners all over the house for safe keeping.
- At the local jump house she ran away and locked herself in an office. She couldn't get out because the key was inside with her. The owners had to disassemble the door to get her out.
- Kaitlin got her head stuck in between the railings at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Because of Kaitlin, they had to rebuild their entire banister.
- The first week we lived up in the hills, she visited the neighbors that live 3/4 mile away. We couldn't find her anywhere! The neighbors called- can you imagine my embarassment?
- The neighbors from previous story came home one day to Kaitlin in their living room. Yes, she invited herself into their house when they weren't home and welcomed them home. Embarassed by that one too.
- I caught Kaitlin dipping a cup into the toilet to quench her thirst.
I have so many wonderful and sweet memories of my little girl. She's got a great sense of humor and great taste in music. She would rather read than watch a movie. I just love being around Kaitlin. I am so grateful that I am able to be her mother. She teaches me so much.
I love you Kaitlin, Happy 5th Birthday!!!!
Against my will (and the dogs' by the looks of it) Kaitlin insisted on a 'first day of school' picture with the dogs. We are not contesting who's in charge in this household...