Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Eve's Fancy Nancy Birthday Party

A party just isn’t a party unless your guests exit the event in a cloud of glitter with paint under their fingernails and chocolate smudges coating their lips, fingers, and tutus (yes, tutus are required).

The boys’ parties of 2008 were relatively low-key because I spent most of the year trying to recover from Marie’s smash-down, drag out birth scenario. But when 2009 came rolling around, I was ready to dive back in to party mode with a pink vengeance.

Last year for Christmas, Eve received a copy of what is possibly the most overwhelmingly adorable book ever illustrated by woman’s hand—Fancy Nancy. I literally cried the first time I read it to Eve—when you read it every fiber of femininity squeals with girlish delight. We absolutely HAD to have a Fancy Nancy party!

For weeks before the party, Eve and I huddled together in the Craft Room with her copy of Fancy Nancy and poured over the elegant details of each page, carefully making notes to craft the perfect party. She oversaw the planning of each activity and favor like the true daughter of a party-planner, making sure we had the heart-shaped box of chocolates shown in the corner one page of the book and that we made the feather pens Nancy wrote with on another page of the book (where on earth does she get this attention to detail?), asking me if I had written each item on our master list. (WHAT FUN! I had to stop myself from perpetually giggling with fiendish feminine JOY!)

Eve was befrocked in her fancy outfit to deliver her uber-frilly invitations to each of her guests, and leaned in to tell each one secretively, "We're going to learn French!"  How painfully cute is that?  BONJOUR!?  I am, like, TOTALLY fluent French!  I mean, how could I contain my girlish glee?!?  

Between making tutus and t-shirts, dreaming up the ideal loot-bags, and watching Eve enjoy the planning of the party as much as the party itself, how could I possibly sleep the week of the party?  How CAN one sleep when such cuteness is on the horizon?

So. . . here's the party in ALL (and I mean ALL) of it's 


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Happy Birthday, Relief Society!

This is the movie I have been eating, sleeping, and breathing (as opposed to eating real food, getting actual sleep, and breathing any real breaths of non-stressed air) for the past. . . I don't know how many days.  

I don't think I've stayed up for 23 consecutive hours since high school, but this week I proved that I've still got it! ("It" meaning the obsessive need to perfect a project despite all rational arguments and normal-person logic.) Everything that could go wrong with the technology did, and Monday night I sat at my computer weeping as the hours passed and I still couldn't get the audio to work, white knuckled from squeezing my hands together, laughing through my tears as the program I installed to fix the problem erased the only program that was working. 

I finished at 5:30 AM, producing what was a very flawed finished product, but was at least a finished product.  

At Enrichment, the movie bucked and stalled and I smiled serenely, knowing that I had to either "let go" or lose my mind.  I let go. . . I CHOSE to let go.  Let go and move forward.  

We didn't watch the whole movie.  We never did.  

My audience waited as I hemmed and hawed and tried to get the DVD player to be obedient. They laughed as the unfortunate sister projected on the mammoth-sized screen was frozen mid-sentence, her eyes drooping and her mouth stretched awkwardly around an unfinished vowel.  In the end, we watched some parts 3 times and others not at all.  

I didn't cry.  I didn't whine.  I just bore my testimony about finding RELIEF in Relief Society because "relief" was the very contradictory, almost laughably ironic word that describes how I felt.  I wanted to jump up and down (reverently, of course) and say, "THIS, sisters, is what it feels like to have GRACE under pressure!" Grace.  That's what it feels like.  Ironic.  Unmerited.  Absolute peace despite surrounding turmoil.  Control in the uncontrolled chaos.  

 Afterwards, one sister took me aside and through her tears said, "Sarah, thank you for showing us we don't have to be perfect to be loved.  We don't have to be perfect to feel the Spirit.  That was the lesson we all needed to see."  

I learned an unforgettable lesson about meekness and letting go and not needing to be perfect in order to share the Spirit.  I had literally prayed all night long for my computer to work (what would the pioneers have thought about that?), but in the end, my computer not working and my reaction to it was part of the lesson I needed to share.  

Here's the movie, minus the personal interviews that are personal enough that I didn't want to include them on my personal blog (What a terrible sentence that seems like a contradiction, but it's not. . .okay?  Just trust this sleepless brain!) I just mean that they were interviews of some of the sisters in my ward.

I LOVE the clips from our Relief Society leaders. . . they just make me want to serve more, be more aware of the needs of those around me, and belt out "As Sisters in Zion" from my rooftop!


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