Saturday, July 25, 2009

30 years!

Well, I am no longer in my 20's.  Isn't it amazing how time goes by?  It's been a good birthday week.

Wednesday night a group of us went to a restaurant called Carlyle to celebrate Marlene's b-day (the 21st) and my b-day (the 24th).  I ate a delicious salad with salmon, dates, pecans, new potatoes, and cranberries all mixed together.  It had a yummy dressing on it too.
Tia made an amazing cake and had the restaurant hold on to it for us until we finished dinner.  It was awesome, Tia!
Gabe and I took off really yesterday morning to head down to southern Virginia.  Our first stop was Yogaville.  Yes, there really is a place called Yogaville (Satchidananda Ashram) where people go to relax, do yoga, meditate, and eat vegetarian food.  We wandered around their beautiful land and then ate breakfast with them.  We met a guy named Snehan (meaning "friend" in whatever language they use....Sanskrit, I believe), who told us about some of the things they believe.  He said that their way of life isn't a religion (they embrace all religions).  I don't know why, but for some reason I was thinking that I was going to have a feast of biscuits and gravy, eggs, bacon, pancakes, etc., but when we walked into their cafeteria I was reminded that these are yoga people.  They had oatmeal, organic cereals, fruit, plain yoghurt, rice cakes, and rice and soy milk.  Ha!  At least it was healthy. :)

This is where their spiritual guru is buried.  He died six years ago.  Hey Mom, do you like my shirt? :)  That shirt was in the birthday box Mom sent me.  I thought it would be appropriate to reach back to my childhood roots on my 30th birthday.
Overlooking their Lotus Temple

This sign was in the bathroom at the cafeteria.
Our next stop was the LDS Church's Southern Virginia University (SVU) in Buena Vista.  It's very small (I think they have around 1000 students), but very pretty.  It was dedicated in the 1870's.
Gabe sporting the shirt we bought in Yogaville.  It says "Truth is one.  Paths are many."  In and around the lotus flower are the symbols for all the religions of the world.  If you're wondering about the knight, that's the mascot of SVU.

We stopped by Montpelier and almost went to see the home of James Madison, but when I saw the brochure I realized that it's very similar to George Washington's home and property in Mount Vernon and we didn't want to pay (and spend time) to see more of the same stuff.  So we decided to come back up north.
I went over to Tia's apartment when we got back to D.C.  They made some chocolate chip cookie bars and lit some matches (we didn't have any candles) for my birthday.  I'm not sure I deserve the treatment I get at that apartment.  Great friends!

Yesterday I thought about the last 30 years of my life.  I sure have a lot to be grateful for.  I have a wonderful family, fantastic friends, and a good job.  I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ and I serve the God who has blessed me throughout my time on Earth.  Life really is good! 

Sunday, July 12, 2009


A few hours into our 7-hour trip up to Palmyra we stopped for breakfast and found this furry thing stuck to my grill.  Gabe was so hungry he couldn't wait to get into the restaurant.
The beautiful Palmyra Temple

Gabe in front of the Palmyra Temple.  When we arrived at the temple it was pouring rain.  By the time I finished the session we were able to take all of these pictures.  It was perfect.
The reason I have such a big smile on my face is because just a few seconds before the picture I watched Gabe step in a huge puddle full of water.  It went all the way up his ankle.
We took a picture with the guy who knocked Lehi onto the ground.  At least he was friendly before the pageant started. 

We were part of history that night.  It was only the second time they have ever cancelled the pageant due to rain.  Actually, it wasn't just the rain that forced them to cancel the pageant.  There was a lot of lightning too, and with all those people standing out on a stage on the hillside, it wasn't the best thing to be doing during a lightning storm.
Mormon is a big guy.
Sunday morning we woke up early so we could be alone in the Sacred Grove.  It was really peaceful, and pretty cold too.
Sun coming through the Sacred Grove.
At the top of the Hill Cumorah

Margaret (taking the picture) made us a tasty breakfast of pancakes, potatoes, eggs, infidel meat (sausage), and orange juice.  She even got the eggs from the chickens behind the house.  Yummy!  We stayed at her home for the one night we had in Palmyra.  It's a little Bed & Breakfast only two miles from the temple.
A couple more pictures in the Sacred Grove
Me, Anna, Gabe, Afton, Stephanie, and Jeff