During conference Olivia surprised her Daddy with a cookie sheet full of treats. She tromped downstairs loaded with a brownie, ding-dong, and banana, all beautifully arranged with a plate and napkin. She is quite the girl. She was perfectly happy to share his treat with him!
The Double B is flying home tonight for a few days. I am really glad he gets to do that. His Dad will be 89 next month and his health isn't the best, so we decided it would probably be best to fit in as many short visits as BB can. He will probably go again in January. It will be a good thing for him as he is getting in gear for the very special holiday season at work, and good for his parents.
Granted, I may be bored stiff for a few days, but hey. Actually, no. I won't have time to be bored. Maybe a little time to be homesick, but no time to be bored! I am thankful our life is getting full and busy here.
Last night the Tate's were over for dinner and games and we made the Thanksgiving plan. Being English, they've always been pretty low key and just made an "English roast," up until a few years ago when they felt like they should at least attempt to do the American holiday the traditional way since their children are, well... American. They said they are not impressed with their efforts. We decided that the Double B and I will host Thanksgiving with all the trimmings, and they will host us the day after Christmas on "Boxing Day." So win/win! We get to have "family" for Thanksgiving, and we get a new holiday to celebrate. Awesome.
I really enjoyed General Conference. I love being "Mormon"! I have a testimony that burns within me, and I love relaxing on my couch while hearing the soothing words of God. Plus, the Double B got home pretty early from work on Saturday, and since the afternoon session starts at three here, he made it for 4/5 sessions! This is like a world record. Granted, he had a few nappy-naps, but at least he had the opportunity.
I read an interesting story about a group of women marching to the conference center to try to get into Priesthood session (which is interesting, since they can now just watch it on their TV's -- which I love, btw). The story actually made me feel sad, because obviously they are in pain over this issue and have not yet felt that power burn within them of their own mighty place in the world and this work. I loved that even though the church disagrees with their stance, they still welcome them with open arms. I am not going to lie, I spent many years of my life wrestling before God to understand how and what He felt about me and His daughters. But it was worth the wrestle. The understanding I have now of who I really am and how He really feels about me is priceless beyond measure.
I am thankful none of us have to fit into a Jell-O mold. I am thankful there is room for all of to be different and unique but united by our love of God.
I am also grateful for the knowledge I have that my best effort is good enough.
Yesterday our home teachers invited us to lunch in between sessions, and it was so nice. But everyone in the room was kind of one of the "popular kids." Does that make sense? They are all so kind and beautiful and charming, and for the first time in YEARS, literally since I was a teenager, I was overwhelmed by that uncomfortable feeling that I just don't fit in. I was reminded of what a painful feeling that is! Of course, and sincerely, they are the most wonderful people in the world -- it wasn't them doing it, it was ME.
My feeling was that I not only didn't fit in, that I COULDN'T fit in. That I was a weirdo, strange, different -- different in a bad way. It was so interesting, because a long time ago I learned deep within myself that my differences can be good, that I can appreciate that I am just a little off from the norm. But I didn't feel that way yesterday. I felt alone. Incurable.
It was so strange. I tried to express it to the Double B on the way home, but he had no idea what I was talking about! He was like "Popular kids? What? Huh?" It was totally me projecting those things onto myself. And it was painful! I am thankful that through the Savior, I know that I can try my best and that if I am doing that, it will always be good enough. I am thankful for the scriptures that teach me that every single person is given gifts, so that everyone can benefit from them. I am thankful to know that I ALWAYS have a place. That I am inherently good. That to Heavenly Father, there is absolutely no such thing as a weirdo. We're just us. And to Him, I am just Marie... and He likes me a whole lot.