I Need Moses...

Diamonds, roses, I need Moses
To cross this sea of loneliness, Part this red river of pain
I don't necessarily buy any key to the future or happiness
But I need a little place in the sun sometimes Or I think I will die
Everywhere is somewhere And nowhere is near
Everybody got somebody with their wine and their beer
So I'm just this tragic figure in the corner over here
With an empty apartment and a best friend who is queer
Everytime I see him he smiles
And he tells me how well he's walking these miles
But he never ever asks a single thing about me
If I die, he'd hear about it eventually
Diamonds, roses, I need Moses
to cross this sea of loneliness, Part this red river of pain
Everywhere is somewhere And nowhere is near
Everybody got somebody with their wine and their beer
So I'm just this tragic figure in the corner over here
Go home to an empty apartment and call a best friend who is a queer
Diamonds, roses, I need Moses
to cross this sea of loneliness,
Part this red river of painto cross this sea of loneliness,
Part this red river of painto cross this sea of loneliness,
Part this red river of pain
Where is my Moses?

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St. John's

Although I haven't set any goals for 2008 or declared a theme for the year, I desperately want to visit all the historic sites in and around Washington, I have yet to see. I am not sure how much longer I will live in the area thus, I want to take advantage of every opportunity now, before I move away; whenever that may be.
On Thursday afternoon, I decided to visit St. John's Episcopal Church before heading home for the evening. Thursday I was assigned to work at the Decatur House but instead of getting off at five I got off around three.
Braving the chill I crossed H Street and tried every exterior door possible only to discover they were locked. A handsome older gentleman joined me apologizing he was not able to find a way inside. Suggesting I check the parrish, he wished me luck and walked away.
Ringing the bell, I was greeted by a young man who showed me into the office. Following an explanation about my reason for being there, i.e. I love Latrobe, I'm a Decatur House museum guide, and have a MA in historic preservation, GiGi offered to show me around the locked church.Latrobe, once wrote a letter to his son, describing St. John's as "his little church," and in comparison to modern mega-churches it is. Whatever the church lacks in space, it compensates for with architectural detail. The woodwork on the pews alone is impressive.
One of the first details GiGi identified about the church was President's Pew. St. John's because of its proximity to the White House, is also known as the Church of the Presidents. Every president since George Washington has worshipped at St. John's. Pointing to the floor, GiGi showed me the kneeling pads for each of the Presidents. Embroidered covers with the presidential seal and the names of each president decorated the pads. Anyone is welcome to worship with the President on Sundays; something I have wanted to do since moving to Washington. Funny, I have never found anyone interested in joining me.
Inviting me to sit in President Bush's seat, GiGi offered to take a photo of me. I agreed and this was the result. I probably should have removed my coat because I look a little frumpy with it on but who cares? One day I will sit, not as a tourist, in the President's Pew, but as his guest. I guarantee it. I am not sure how it will happen but it will. That and spending the night in the Lincoln bed of the White House.

Everything about the church is grand simplicity. I love its simple elegance. The symetry of the space. Latrobe's use of geometric shapes. The stained glass windows accenting the demur walls with sunbursts of color and light.
Hanging from the dome's center is a beautiful chanlier. GiGi said it was 200 years-old but I think I should probably research that. Despite its true age, it is lovely. The dome's interior walls are adorned with stained glass windows, as seen below, which draws the patron's eyes heavenward. Is it any wonder Latrobe is referred to as the father of American architecture?








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My weekend






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Flashback Friday-Late Again

This was the only professional family photo we ever took. I think I was five or six when the photo was taken. I love my Mom's suite and my Dad's part; so eighties. I wore this suite once to church last Fall, calling it my Napoleon Dynamite suite. To my Mom's delight, I don't look as good in it as she once did.
My Mom is wearing dark nail polish something she would never do now. She only wears coral, pink and red polishes and is usually restricted to warmer months during the Spring and Summer.
I still wear white tights and curl my hair. Joshie still pulls a fake smile for photos and my Dad can still grow a wicked beard. It's comforting to know some things never change.

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Well, hello there!

So, tonight I've decided that two videos will always fit my relationships. Here they are for you to enjoy and analyze.



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Christmas in Kentucky 2007

Besides receiving a GPS unit for the Big V, which I still haven't used, I got the cutest pair of pj's for Christmas from Lauren who also bought a pair for herself and my Mom. We had hoped to get a photo of the three of us wearing them but my Mom was unable to make it down for Christmas dinner. Instead Lauren and I took a photo together before watching The Royal Tenenbaums with Josh who was shocked and amazed I still had not seen it. Can I just say Luke Wilson in that movie is so fine?!
Photo disclaimer: Notice how my bangs are parted like a curtain? That's what Amber's hair looks like when her bangs are too long and she has just showered. Take a good look because it's the last time you will see a photo like this posted anywhere on this blog. HA!
Lauren and Josh's kitchen. I wasn't sure what to expect when I heard they painted the cabinets turquoise but with the black appliances I think it looks sharp. Turquoise was also one of their wedding colors.


One thing I love about Josh is he doesn't care about what other people think. He's all about keeping it real and for the past three years that is what I have tried to do; keep it real. If Josh feels like wearing three Swatches on one wrist, he does. If he feels like burping really loud in public, he does. If he doesn't feel like fixing his hair he doesn't. He just does what he wants to do and Lauren is totally OK with that, which amazes us all. That's one thing I love about their relationship. They accept each other just as they are.

Although I missed seeing Mary and Zu, they were with Mom who I also did not see, I did spend time with Chef and Jingles. Chef is so big and she was acting big the entire time I was there.

Jing who we often call Le Corey was also acting big by getting his toy out of the stocking all by himself. He loves going outside to watch the cows that graze in the field just behind Lauren and Josh's house.

Every time I fly home I have to eat at Papaleno's; the greatest pizza on the planet. This guy has been working at Papaleno's since I was a girl or so it seems, and is always there tossing pizza. He is so talented I could sit and watch him for hours. OK, maybe I am exaggerating but I was so impressed with his mad skills that I had to capture it to share.

Impressive, no? Wouldn't you like to visit Amber in Kentucky so you can eat at Papaleno's too?









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Farewell...



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Forgot Flashback Again

I am the oldest child of two in my family. Joshua is my junior by 18 months or so. During a conversation this week Joshie remarked, "I'm not sure when, but at some point, I became the older sibling."
We were having a conversation about experience; life experience and how experiences throughout life can yield wisdom. Josh believes he possesses more wisdom than I do, despite our age difference, because he has experienced more. Although I understand his argument, I don't completely agree. I will spare you a detailed explanation but I found his observation interesting and wanted to share. Now everyone knows my brother has experienced more in his 27 years than I have in my 29. He would appreciate that.
During the same conversation, the topic of having children was raised. Unlike his sister, Josh has always looked forward to having children. He used to boast that he would become a famous musician, move to Sweden and father lots of children with random European models. This was before he met Lauren. Now his plan is to become a successful attorney and have a few kids with his wife. Curious, I asked him how many children he thought they would have. He honestly said he wasn't sure, how could anyone really know, but he knew they wanted more than one. "Yeah, it would suck being an only child," I said. To my surprise, my brother agreed. "Yeah, It really would." I'm not sure why I was surprised. I know Josh loves me.
After hanging up I tried to imagine my life without Josh. No duets in the car, no one to cheer for at karaoke bars, no one to compete with, no one to discuss pop culture, politics and religion with, no one to clean up after (a task I gratefully relinquished to Lauren), no one to tease and have tug-of-wars with, no funny stories, and no chicken bawks to Yankee-Doodle, no code words or nicknames for the special people we know. So many of my life experiences, the wisdom I've gained, is connected to my brother, Josh. Even though he doesn't read my blog, he argues they are a waste of time, I thought I'd share how much I love being his older sister, something he can never change, no matter how wise he becomes.

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Ruth's

The day after the wedding and reception I spent with Kelly Cole. Kelly served in the Atlanta, Georgia mission while I was on Temple Square. Many believe the families of missionaries are often blessed while their missionaries are serving. I know mine was. My mother would spend every Monday with Sister Cole and whoever her companion happened to be that transfer. I was grateful Mom had Kelly to see the city with in my absence.
Kelly is terrific and was perfect for my mother. She knew/knows exactly how to reach my mom. Seven years later, Kelly still keeps in touch, more so with me now than my mother. Each time I fly to Utah I spend at least one night at Kelly's home, which was owned by her grandmother before she died. I lovingly refer to it as Grandma's, instead of Kelly's house.
After seeing Enchanted with Kelly and her mother, Kelly and I drove north of Salt Lake to Ruth's a cool diner nestled in Emigration Canyon.
As a missionary every summer we would drive up Emigration Canyon to hike or hold mission conferences. We would liken our efforts to those of the pioneers who braved the dangerous downhill trek, clearing trees and creating trails as they went. Each trip we passed a small roadside diner simply called Ruth's Diner and each time I imagined what it would be like to eat there and wondered if I would ever have the chance.
As these photos demonstrate, I did! It was terrific. Everything I imagined it would be. The complimentary biscuits were huge. I persuaded Kelly to pose with our plate so I could capture the memory.
I ordered the club and fries, which I didn't come close to finishing, pictured below. More enjoyable than the food was the company. Kelly, I believe, is a friend for life. Our lives and personalities are so similar sometimes I feel as though we are the same person. Normally I would feel threatened by that but with her I don't. She is such a good person, superior to me in so many ways, that I am honored to feel a connection, like the one described, with her.
And she is not the only one I feel that connection to. There are others and each friendship has enriched me in so many ways. I am humbled, at times, when I think about all the friends God has blessed me with. As I begin this new year I look forward to making many additional memories that will strengthen the ties that bind us together.


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APA, oh, how I hate thee.

I have a paper I've been writing for month. Or that I've been the opposite of writing for months. But every time I sit down to write it occurs to me that I have to make a bibliography. So I stand up again so go watch re-runs of Shark.

Why, oh why, is this necessary?

Please, my educated friends, let's hear if there are any good arguments for inane citations.

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Belated Flashback Friday 2008

The day after Christmas, my brother, father and I packed up Joshie's Infiniti and traveled to Beckley, West Virginia to visit my Grandma Kidd. My grandmother, until last Saturday, had been in the hospital, battling pneumonia. As an eighty-one year old diabetic, pneumonia can be fatal. There were several instances my father thought Grandma's days were numbered. Unable to visit her during the Thanksgiving holiday, I was anxious to make the trip to Grandma's as soon as possible.
One of the things I love most about Grandma's house is all the pictures she has of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and other family members. Her bookshelves are teeming with photo albums, which are overflowing with photos. During my last visit, I rescued a few of these photos from a possible future of neglect. These will be used for future Flashbacks.
The photos posted here were taken in Ogden, UT before Joshie was born. I love the annoyed look on my face in the first photo (notice who's holding me) in contrast to the calm, peaceful countenance I portray in the second photo. I also really dig my Mom's red ski vest and wish we still had that around for me to wear.
Although I don't enjoy spending time in the snow as an adult, perhaps that wasn't always the case. I obviously spent at least one moment or two, evidenced in these photos, among snow without crying out in protest, "I hate snow. I am so cold. I am going to die!"
With my recent snow storm survival in Utah, I decided these were the perfect photos to kick-off 2008 Flashback Fridays.

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Desiree's Big Day

The morning of Desiree's sealing we rose bright and early. We were happy to hear the canyons, which had been closed the night before due to snow, were open and Desiree's family members in northern Utah were able to make the trip to Salt Lake. Although I don't like snow, I did appreciate how magical everything looked. It was like a winter wonderland; perfect for Desiree's wedding photos.
Following the ceremony I took a few moments and walked through the North Visitor's Center on Temple Square. I served as a missionary guide on Temple Square for thirteen months; the other five months were devoted to proselyting in Sacramento, California. It is hard to believe I have been home almost seven years. Despite the passage of time and all the things that have changed, one thing remains constant and that is the overwhelming spirit of peace and gratitude I feel when I am there. I am still amazed I was called to serve in such a special, sacred place amoung so many brillant people.
I have seen the Salt Lake Temple at every hour and in various weather. I was grateful that it looked just as beautiful as I remembered standing admist the snow.
The photo above was taken from the Rotunda room of the North Visitors Center, where I spent many hours as a missionary. Just shy of the room's center stands the Christus statue. As guides we bring our guests to this room just before concluding our tours. Here we play a brief narration for the visitors. This narration can be played in over fifty languages and I believe I have heard it, at least once, in every language available. Whether it is played in Cantonese, Spanish, Japanese, Russian or French the message is powerful indeed and speaks to men everywhere. I was pleased to discover that I still remember the narration almost word for word.

Standing directly across the Square on North Temple Street is the Conference Center. This beautiful building was undergoing construction when my mission began. It was during our "last supper" as missionaries that our President announced Temple Square Sisters would be giving tours of the Center.
After my mission I would often attend events in the Conference Center and other buildings on Temple Square so I could visit the Sisters I had left behind.

While I was in Utah I was able to meet a guy I have been writing casually for a few months. Ladies, Jason is quite the catch. He is single, thirty-one, I believe, and served his mission in Italy. He loves animals and the outdoors. He also loves to cook Italian food. If I lived in Utah I would definitely have him over for dinner. If any of you are interested I would be happy to set you up. He is totally chill and very sweet. When I met him I looked like an absolute train wreck and he didn't seem to mind at all. I barely knew him and I was crying the entire time we were together. OK. Maybe not the entire time but most men I know would have made an excuse for a quick exit, but not Jason. If you are on Linkup you can find him under Pete.

Jason even hung around while we took photos in freezing temps. Yes, I am a total baby when it comes to cold weather but give me a break. I'm from the South. Peaches die in freezing weather! However, I managed to weather two photos before retreating to the warmth of the Temple lobby. I like this photo even if my hair is in a pony tail and looks anything but glamorous.


Christi, Desiree's wedding photographer, managed to get a few photos to the bride before her trip to Hawaii. Although I like most of them this was one of my favorites. I think it should be titled, "And They Lived Happily Ever After," because I am sure they will.






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Day Two of My Utah Vacation

The second day of my Utah Vacation was devoted to finalizing plans and making last-minute purchases for the reception. I gladly followed Desiree to one mall, where we began the seemingly endless search for the perfect top to match the cute champagne skirt she bought that morning. After a frustrating attempt at Dillard's we picked Christy up at Grandma Bitter's house where Jenny also fixed us lunch. Grandma Bitter introduced us to Fruit Loop straws, which reminded me of my own Grandma Kidd.
My mother strictly forbade sugared cereal in our home. The only time Joshie and I were treated to sugared cereal was during our visits to Grandma's. I loved Fruit Loops while Joshie always requested Boo Berry. The first thing we would do, after "hugging everyones' necks," was check the kitchen cabinets to see if Grandma had remembered. Fruit loop straws are tasty but not quite as yummy as Fruit Loop cereal.
After we finished shopping we returned to Grandma Bitter's for dinner. While we were waiting for dinner to finish Desiree and I found this album by Donny and Marie Osmond titled "Goin' Coconuts." We couldn't resist. We had to get a photo.
After dinner we drove at a snail's pace to Chuck's parents' home for Desiree's bridal shower. Luckily everyone made it safely, including Chuck, who was stuck on I-15 for over two hours, as he rushed down to see Desiree. It never ceases to amaze me what men will do for the women they love. I am so thankful my darling friend found someone like Chuck, who is willing to drive through snow and ice to see his woman.
Not only did we receive free back massages from Chuck's sister, a certified massuesse, we had our toes and finger nails painted by a nail artist. She had so many styles to choose from Denisha and I had a difficult time deciding what symbol or pattern to choose. Lucky for me, Emma offered to assist me. She is pictured in this photo between Denisha and I.

Although everyone's toes and nails looked fantastic, Denisha's were the most impressive. Giving the nail artist a piece of wrapping paper she requested a chandlier for her big toes. I sat mesmerized as I watched the artist paint the chandlier, without practicing previously, onto Denisha's toes flawlessly.

Just as we were wrapping up the party Chuck arrived. Desiree was all excitement and quickly abandoned us to spend time with him. As this photo demonstrates getting married can be stressful and even exhausting. This is one reason why Amber will elope.

After Chuck and Desiree kissed on each other and repeatedly asked, "can you believe we're getting married tomorrow?" Desiree, Denisha and I ran to Target for a few last minute items. This photo was taken as Target personnel were announcing the store was closed for the evening. It's amazing to me how cute Desiree looks even when she's frazzled. I can't believe how photogenic she is. If only...





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Congratulations to...

Ms. April Fisher and her fiancee Nathan Alexander who are engaged to be married on May 3, 2008. The couple will be sealed in the San Diego temple, which is where Ms. April hails from.
The couple met at BYU Hawaii where April was studying Hospitality Management and is scheduled to graduate this Spring, I believe.
April and her sister Leah were my roommates at the Windgate apartments in Provo, during my fourth year at BYU. I had just returned from serving a mission on Temple Square when I moved into an apartment with three, young, beautiful, intelligent, talented, thin, blondes who totally welcomed me. The year I lived with April, Leah and Jamie was my best year at BYU hands-down. We would often stay up late and croon to "At Last" by Etta James while we danced around the apartment. April has the voice of an angel and we made plans for her to sing at my reception. Isn't that a scream?! Now she is engaged and unfortunately single, tone-deaf Amber can not return the favor. I can and absolutely will cry at her wedding though. I am such a blubberbutt when it comes to weddings. I always cry. Always.
Anyway, here's to my dolly girl and starting 2008 off with excellent news! Congratulations to you both!

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Desiree's Bridals

Although its been a few weeks since her sealing I intend to write about the highlights of my trip to Salt Lake and the events surrounding Desiree's wedding. These are Desiree's bridals, taken by her amazingly talented sister, Denisha. "Nish" as her family refers to her, was the photographer for my brother's wedding, and will be doing their post-wedding engagement photos.
In addition to Joshie, Nish has photographed most of the kids we grew up with in the Lexington, Kentucky Stake as they have gotten engaged and subsequently sealed to their spouses. Perusing her website http://denishasproul.com/ you may notice Desiree's bridals are the only ones posted. That's because Desiree's were Denisha's first and they are, as Desiree would say Ahh-Mazing!
Desiree is a classic beauty and it shows in this photo. Her hair reminds me of Annette Benning in Love Affair. Classic.These photos were taken at Provo City Hall. Who would have guessed it would be such a lovely venue for photos? I honestly think Desiree could not have selected a better photographer than Denisha. If the wedding and reception photos turn out as well as the bridals Desiree will be a a lucky bride indeed.

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My Trip to Utah

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007 I flew to Salt Lake City for my friend, Desiree's, sealing to Chuck Syme. While I was sitting in DCA I ran into Mei Li and Meg from Langley. It was terrific! Ben Blaylock was also there and a few people that I recognized but whose names escape me. All I can say about the flight is I don't think I will ever have a flight like that one again. Nor, will I ever sit next to a man quiet like "the Colonel" again.
Although it was dark when I arrived I could still see the snow covered mountains; one of the only reasons I would ever re-locate to the Beehive state.

This is Desiree's Christmas tree. Isn't it lovely? I love white lights on trees during the holidays. Actually, come to think of it, I love white lights all year long. So romantic.

This is Desiree cleaning her Temple shoes while we discussed "the honeymoon." She is so cute! Chuck is the luckiest man ever!




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Lucky Me? Three for Three

The Wildcats defeated FSU (35-28) on New Year's Eve in the Music Bowl, a win UK desperately needed because their basketball team is having a challenging year, to put it kindly.
Then last night, the DAWGS, defeated Hawaii (41-10 ouch!) in the Sugar Bowl starting the New Year off right. As Ron says, you can't have a S-UGA-R Bowl without UGA, so it is only fitting they won.

Even BYU defeated UCLA 17-16, the third team I was rooting for. Never in my short life history have all my bowl picks won. A rare occurrence indeed. Could 2008 be my year or is my ability to choose winning teams improving?

Either way, congratulations to the CATS, DAWGS and COUGS! I hope the 2008 season is as successful, if not more so, than the last.

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Out With the Old...

and in with the new! Last night I concluded 2007 by having dinner with Kate, Rae and Richard at Coastal Flats. I love trying new places, especially when they are not chains, and since I had not been to Coastal Flats, which actually is a chain, Rae suggested we eat there.
The food was tasty, the wait staff very kind and our hostess gave us leis, which made us feel tropical and festive.
Following dinner we caught a showing of National Treasure II, which I loved! I love living in Washington and hope this will be the year I can relocate to DC. I enjoy living in Virginia but it doesn't compare to living within walking distance of the monuments not to mention being surrounded by incredible architecture.

Following the movie we killed time at Silver Diner where we listened to Three Dog Night and Stevie Wonder croon about loving exotic women. I wish I looked more exotic.

When we arrived at Brian and Reed's to watch the ball drop, they invited us to create a watercolor of our favorite memory from 2007. Graduating from GW was the biggest highlight of 2007, for moi, so I created the painting above. It did not win the contest. Obviously the significance of completing a masters program was totally lost on the judges who chose Darin's depiction of who knows what? I love you Darin.
The first photo of 2008. I snapped this after the ball dropped.

Bronwyn, Darin, myself and Brian in front of the Christmas tree we decorated earlier in the month. Although I wanted to enjoy a cozy dinner at a nice restaurant followed by an event requiring semi-formal attire, I feel fortunate I had friends to ring in 2008 with. Happy New Year!




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