Thursday night: After Bunco and Doug's YSA activity, our Bishop came over for a pre-arranged visit. Neither Doug or I were sure why he would want to visit with us. We did know that there was some change taking place in the ward leadership, but he'd made it clear, last summer, that because of Doug's calling in the YSA, we would not be called into any leadership positions in our ward. When he arrived, he wasted no time. "We need you in the ward." He then went on to explain that they were reorganizing the Young Womens Presidency (our current president is moving) and that he would like to call me to serve as the second counselor to the new President. I was very surprised, humbled, scared, excited, concerned, overwhelmed at the thought of it, you name it! I really and truly have no clue how we will do this with Doug in the YSA Bishopric, but we know that we can. I accepted the calling. We visited until after 11 and as he walked out of our front door, he said, "Oh, don't tell your girls." That would be the hardest part of my weekend! I could hardly sleep! I absolutely love the ladies that I will be serving with and am so looking forward to getting to know them better! And I can't even express my feelings about serving with my own daughters. I was camp director with Liza one summer and other than that, I've never worked with my own kids. YAY!
Friday: I went for a quick Sonic run with Anne and came home to spend the rest of the day at home, doing some things that needed to be done. At Bunco, the night before I had won a really neat "mat" that you put on the rack in your oven that keeps the oven clean by catching the spills. So, I thought I'd hit the Clean button on the oven. Some butter had oozed out of a pan and it was a smoking mess, so it needed it! I didn't really think this through, however, because the butter at the high cleaning temp totally smoked my kitchen to the point that I couldn't even see. I've never seen anything like it! So, I opened a window, closed the pocket doors on both sides of the kitchen, got in the car and ran to Costa Vida to pick up a salad for lunch and brought it back to "babysit" the smoke until it cleared. It was a pain but nice to have the oven clean when all was said and done. I spent the afternoon reading about Young Womens at LDS.org and then on Pinterest looking at ideas for fun activities. I'm really excited to serve in this calling!
Later in the afternoon, Denise texted, "Clint wants to know if I can take you and I out to dinner tonight?" It made me laugh! They had date plans but he wasn't feeling good, so he thought I'd be her second best option. We had a fun dinner at Elements! When I got home, Grace asked if Eric could come over. They'd gone on their first date the night before and it, apparently, went pretty well because he was here again as soon as he got off work and again on Saturday night. He's really a sweetheart. It's so fun to see Grace having so much fun! I made some popcorn for us all and we watched "The Walk", which I highly recommend for a GREAT movie night! ZJ kept saying, "WHY are we watching this!?" It is so intense, but an incredible true story!
Just after I'd walked in from dinner with Denise, Layne came from across the street and asked if he could visit with Doug and I. It was serious. Layne is the most happy, upbeat guy we know. I knew this was not good, whatever it was. We came into the den and closed both doors so that the kids were out of hearing range. Layne then shared that Julie has been diagnosed with cancer. Besides their kids, we were the first to hear this news. I won't share any details, but suffice it to say, there was much shock and many tears. Julie had just had major knee surgery earlier in the day and this news came later. There are no words to describe how much we love this family. They became instant family to us on the day that we met them. We. ADORE. Them. A.DORE Them. Seriously. There are no words. Julie will begin treatments and recover from her knee surgery at the same time. We want to be there for them in every way possible. Please add Layne and Julie to your prayers!
Saturday: Doug went to work. Grace and Quayd went to work. ZJ went to a school La Cross tournament. So, I was left alone to toss the chicken in the crock pots and set the table for our Siblings dinner. I was on my own and seriously didn't do much more than that in preparation. I kept things as simple as could bee. All but one of Doug's siblings and spouse were able to make it and his Mom and Norm attended. Dee and Aleece shared some great stories that they'd learned about the making of our family history book, "For the Brand" from one of the cousins who'd been one of the authors. It was a delightful evening. Everyone stayed late and the discussion was wonderful. The minute they left, Doug and Zee helped load the dishwasher and I was in the hottub! A long day that called for a long soak!
Sunday morning was eternally long! Painfully! I could hardly wait to get to Sacrament Meeting. When the new YW President's name was called, I watched as the girls were just wide-eyed, in anticipation of who was going to be called. When he called my name and I stood, turned to look back at them and their faces were priceless! Layne knew before that I was being called and he had his camera out to capture the moment. We are not supposed to take photos in the chapel, but this one, I'm so thankful for! To see their faces was the best! Grace was in tears! ZJ was in shock! She said, "Did you KNOW?" Quayd was surprised. As I sat down, Grace said, "This means you'll go to camp with us this summer!" She told me later in the day that it was something she has prayed for since she was 12, which really touched my heart. ZJ said that this will be so much fun but now she has to be better behaved because she's always so outspoken. I said, "Be yourself! Just be appropriate, which you should be anyway!" They both are very excited about it. I'm a bit overwhelmed but excited too!!
Our Sunday evening was casual. We enjoyed having a couple of the boys from the YSA for dinner and as soon as they left, I was in the hot tub alone until bedtime. It's my thinking place, my healing place, my happy place... well... one of them. ;) ... and right now, I have a lot to think about.
I'm happily overwhelmed at the thought of this new calling, mostly because it's been twenty years since I've served in YW, other than a camp calling one summer. It will be time consuming, challenging and busy, yet, it will be an opportunity to be with my own girls more and I get to teach on occasion again and I will love being so involved in our ward. It will be interesting to see how it will work with Doug's calling too and getting Quayd off on his mission when all that falls into place. Life is full of surprises and this one is a pleasant one. Like I said to a friend at church yesterday, who was having a bad day, "Life's rough sometimes, but then we look at others' trials and can count our blessings." She stopped and said, "Thank you! That's exactly what I needed to hear today!" I wasn't even meaning anything specifically for her, but I was glad I said it.
Life is good.