animals in the desert

 I’m loving these weekend getaways in Lake Powell. I sit in the bow of the boat as we zoom through desert towers and remember that life is oh, so, good.

 Katie was standing right next to this door. I told her to stand in front of it because Oh-Em-Gee, they match!

 I wasn’t expecting this when Katie asked for my nail polish. I’m jealous that Kevin is such a heavy sleeper.

 The girlies.

 Surfing! Spencer looking like a stud.

 And THIS WAS MY FIRST TIME ON TOP OF THE WATER. First time. Best feeling ever, as you can see by my face.

 And after that, I got up on the wakeboard. (And don’t say getting up on the wakeboard is easy–it’s taken me a year to get up.) And I’m like “Oooooo, I look good.”

 Okay, maybe I didn’t look that good.

 The amphitheater. (NUTS, right? It’s a giant hole!)

 You feel so tiny when you’re in Lake Powell. And you also remember why life is worth living.

 Heeeey, Spence, what are you doing there squatting on the back of the boat?

 Spencer and I lay in the boat as Mark and Emily lit fireworks. It was quite romantic. The next two nights we sat by the fire and watched them go off. And then we talk about poop. Not very romantic.

 The family all sandy and sunkissed.

 And the group.
(Family, when you look at this picture of me, do you think of Uncle Mark? I’m totally pulling an Uncle Mark right here.)

 The girls washing their hair. I’m getting the professional treatment as Lisa washes my hair for me. Yuss.

King of the boat.

 Hi, Kevin. (I laugh everytime I look at this picture.)

(And this one.) 

Great weekend! Spencer’s uncle, Randy, invited us to hang out with them at Lake Powell for Memorial weekend. Thank you, Jen, for feeding us and being so welcoming to allow us to come. 
Our long weekend was filled with boating, water skiing (I didn’t try, cause I was kind of a wimp, but NEXT time), steak, peach cobbler, huge breakfasts, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Katie, Lauren, and I all read it during the trip. Go, buy, read, love), yellow moons and constellation apps, Lifeguard hoodies, poop talk, baby spiders in people’s skins talk, red rock and red sand, Coke cans, black straws, sewing curtains, rocket launching, and so on. 
I’m so happy I have a camera. 
Rocket launching videos will be up soon!

 Since I was enthralled in my book, Spencer decided not to depend on me for any “fun” time (sorry… the book was just… oh… so.. good.) so he and Kevin went exploring and had some good ol’ brother time.

 red rock red rock red rock red rock.

 following the lake into a small stream into cracks of nothing.

i’m tired and happy in this pic.

 ant footprints?

 matching cousins. cute.

 the girls (and taylor (thor)) tanned. yeah… i was like “um, i’m just gonna sit in the shade and uhh, read.”

 thor and pocahontas. yep. cuties.

i love this picture of these two. it’s like they’re in their heads making up some kind of world. 

 everyone’s partying in the water and i’m like… “yeah, i’m just gonna, uh, take a picture and keep, uh, reading my book…” not like i’m at LAKE POWELL or anything.

 Lauren. And how about Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy? I will admit, I didn’t know what the word mastectomy meant until I read a mag. I guess celebrity crap is good for some things.

 Good job, Brad. Way to support. (Also, aren’t these girls cute?)

 Katie. Have I mentioned on my blog that Spencer calls his sister Gilly Phyn with a “ph”? And for short he calls her Gill?

 The man cutting a bottle to make a rocket. Highly concentrated.

 Caught a small smile. Mmhmm.

 Uncle Randy sewing a curtain.

 The bottles. And Lloyd closing his eyes.

 Award for aesthetics goes to Lauren and Katie.

 Go, Kevin.

 Morgan won last year with a small rocket like this one. She did the same this year.

 Spencer went all out on height. It seems to also match his shirt… Hmm. Also, Swedish Fish are nast.

 Maddie and Taylor’s. Yes, yes. P.s. Isn’t Taylor’s face kind of awesome?

 Launching the rockets.

 The house boat, yo.

 Randy, Kevin, Morgan, and Katie playing a pirate game. Randy, with a pirate accent, tells the three they must only speak like a pirate throughout the whole game.

 Fire. Marshmallows. Stars. Moon. Sand. Water.

 (Still waking up). By Monday I finished my book, so I was ready to get out in the water.

 Morning! (Can you see Taylor still sleeping up there?)

 Kevin ready to skii.


 Spencer skiiing. Hot man.

 Kevin skiing. Woot woot.

 Spencer laughing so much he looks like he’s crying about something. Randy pushed on the gas which made Kevin, who was standing in the back, fall of the boat. Of course the oldest brother is laughing.

 Jen in her cute PJ’s, Lauren scowling, and Katie like “Wuzzup?”

 Maddie, Taylor, Morgan. Tuuuubing.

Morgan tends to make that face all the time while tubing.


 And Randy.

 And Taylor looking sharp.

 Yeah, that’s me. Just, y’know, doing handstands. This picture rocks.

 Woo! Me again! And… Spencer?

 I think Spencer flipped over the boat on this one. Thank goodness the water felt nice.

And the two cute Taylor and Maddie. Taylor, I think got a lot of water in his face or something? I don’t know how to read that face.

Thanks, Stephen Phung, for taking pictures of this wonderful moment! Check out more of my wedding here.

On December 23rd, 2007, I wrote in my journal, “My dad. Chocolate lover.” On August 23rd, 2007, I said, “My dad is hilarious. And everyone loves him.” Then, on June 5th 2008, “Dad. What a dork. He is my hero.” It is June 21st, 2009 and all of these things are still true. My dad is a chocolate lover. During the school days, Dad’s cookies filled with chocolate chips sit on the oven counter, even if we are bloated from Mom’s dinner. My dad is hilarious. At my fourteenth birthday, Dad sang the song “Fat Bottom Girls” by Queen in front of me and ten other girls. He danced and shook his hips and held that microphone like he was singing on stage in front of thousands. My friends couldn’t stop laughing, even after he had finished his solo and gone upstairs. A couple of summers ago, Dad helped my two best friends and I fill up water balloons so we could throw them at our guy friends. When they came over that night, my dad and the girls chucked giant balloons from the side of the house until most of the guys were screaming like little girls. My dad is a dork, and he is my hero.

In “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” it says, “By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.” My dad shows his love in many different ways. With Mira, Dad holds her for a long time and kisses her cheeks. With Maxwell, Dad talks to him for hours on end about World War II, mathematics, and things I’ve never even heard about! With Harrison, Dad listens to him play the drums and wrestles him in the family room. And with me, Dad lets me sit on the end of the bed every night and talk about my day, even when Mom starts snoring.

My dad provides the necessities of life and protection for my family. He. Works. Hard. My dad made the choice to be self-employed so that he can provide for the family and still be able to spend a lot of time with his children. He supports me in the dreams I have for myself. In August, I am leaving to Germany for almost a year. Even though he cries when we talk about it, Dad is willing to send me off to a foreign exchange and pay hundreds of dollars a month for me to have the necessities I need while I’m there. My dad is a big influence to everyone in my family.

I am grateful for the role of fathers in the church. When I am stressed about school, having a hard time with friends, or just having a bad day, I know I can ask my dad at any time to give me a blessing. There have been countless times when I have asked my dad for a blessing the day before a musical audition or to help me sleep and be calm before an upcoming test.

My mom told me that on the day I was born my father went into the bathroom at the hospital and cried his eyes out. He instantly loved me and was so scared that he wouldn’t be up to the task of being my father. Dad has always been a loving father. He is devoted. He spends time with each of us. He is fun and understanding. I am glad to have him as a father. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Did you like this post? For more talk ideas in Sacrament Meeting, click here for prayer and blessings, and click here for gratitude.