Monday, July 19, 2010

The rollercoaster of emotions

For the last two weeks I have been experiencing a roller coaster of emotions. Pick an emotion...any emotion and I can guarantee that I felt it. I am now exhausted from all of the ups and downs but at last I am finding myself at peace. This post may be to much info for've been warned.

For starters, I was released from my church calling of primary president. I knew this day was coming. For the last couple of months I have been expecting it. For the last three years I have loved serving in the children of the ward and the primary workers. I did my best and let the children have my heart. When I was released, I once thought I would be skipping around and shouting hooray!!! However, an unexpected feeling of loss overcame me. I know it is the right time for this release and that the new presidency will be wonderful in there, but the loss was very real and tangible. There were so many things I wanted to do and accomplish in primary that I wasn't able to do. It took about a week to even be able to talk about being released without having a rush of emotions. Being the president of primary has really strengthened my testimony of the gospel. My favorite memories while serving are the times when the spirit would tell me to do things out of the blue and the blessings that would come from following the spirit. Either going to see a teacher or leader who was struggling or calling people to certain positions, the spirit was different than I had ever experienced. My favorite favorite memory from primary didn't even happen in primary. The ward was doing a service project at a widow's home. I had had several bad days and I wasn't doing very well. My self talk had been especially negative and it was really wearing on me. While I was raking the weeds and pondering my self pity I looked up and noticed that about a dozen kids ages 8 and younger had gathered around me to work. "Come work with Sister Sutton!" they called to their friends. It made my heart burst with happiness and helped me get over my downward slump that I had found myself in. I will always love primary, it will hold a special place in my heart. I am so excited for the new presidency to see what wonderful things they will do.

That same week I went to Salt Lake City for my LEMI training for the Shakespeare class that I teach at the Washington County Commonwealth. As part of the experience, we put on a Shakespeare play. Last year, I ..well...didn't do very well in the play. I..sorta..kinda..had a breakdown backstage just before I was to go on. Last year my part was very small, I was the lion in Midsummer's Night Dream. I wasn't afraid of going in front of people to perform, I was unable to memorize my lines. As much as I practiced, the lines wouldn't stick in my head. I started sobbing and my mentor had to grab me by the shoulders and tell me it was going to be ok!-which it Everyone else had their lines memorized except for me. I had a little index card with my lines written on them. I felt a weakness exposed naked to the world! It was the hardest thing I have ever done! So when I went back to training this year I was determined to have a better experience. I was hoping that nobody would remember my part last year. But alas, they all remembered. In fact one gal told me that she was taking Shakespeare BECAUSE of me last year. Umm....I know Shakespeare can be moving but I wasn't exactly crying onstage because I was being moved my Shakespeare. It was freaking hard! Well, this year I did better. My part was a little bigger as I was Sexton from Much Ado About Nothing. This year they allowed everyone take their scripts up (only a few did) so I had my script up there but I didn't need it. I was calm and knew I could do it. When the play was done, I sat in my seat and quietly cried (yes I cry A LOT!--just ask my as I felt redeemed from the past. But it was more than that. Have you ever had a weakness exposed to you and over come it? It has been a very powerful experience. To overcome a challenge and to get that feeling of "if I can do that...I can do just about anything!!" is very empowering. This year, Shakespeare class will be so much better in so many ways. I am so excited for it!

When I came home from training, I was officially released in church. I cried more! But that night we found out that our friend and home teacher for many years had ended his life. We were devastated! He came and visited us regularly. He loved to talk about his family. He was so proud of his sons in the army, another son that was on a mission, and his beautiful daughters. He talked about them every chance he had. He loved his family. He always greeted us with a smile and always asked if there was anything he could do for us. He came over for blessings when we were sick and would bring us his extra Sunday papers after his delivery route. He helped bless my two youngest boys in church when they were babies and our youngest even shares his name. At first I was very angry at him. Very very angry. But it makes me sad to think that he was in such pain and didn't feel he could reach out to anyone. To feel that there is no other way to cope with life other than to end it, is a very painful feeling. I think most people have felt those kinds of feelings to an extent. Depression is a very lonely, painful path. And if anyone is on that path and is wondering if there really is anyone out there who cares, THERE IS! If you can't find anyone when you need them, know that God loves you and wants you to be happy. This life can have some terrible trials, but he will always be there. The pain is only for a moment in our life. You can get through it. The day he passed away he came over to our home and delivered his extra Sunday papers. He was happy, smiley and kind like he always is. Whatever his struggles were, I hope he is at peace. He was loved by many and will be missed.

While Cory was at the funeral, I was able to take James with me to Salt Lake City for a day and to watch my sister's family seal their youngest daughter to their family. It was such a beautiful experience. The blessings of the temple are so real. The peace there is so real. All of my siblings and their spouses were there, so the only one missing in the temple was Cory. I am so blessed with such a supportive family. It is hard living far away from all of them, so when we are able to get together it is so great. On Sunday we all traveled back to Provo to see Ray's newest baby blessed. I love my family.

As you can tell, the last couple of weeks have been full of ups and downs. But I think it comes down to live and love in the moment. Love your family and never take them for granted.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Yellowstone National Park

On our way to Yellowstone we stopped in a place that is really quite amazing. It is called Quake Lake. Back in 1959 a 7.5 earthquake shook the Yellowstone area. It was in the middle of the night and as you can imagine, things became crazy. The side of the mountain literally fell down burying dozens of people and damning up the Madison River. This formed Quake Lake. You see those two big boulders above the tour bus?--those boulders are monuments to those who died in the earthquake..get this..they were originally on the other side of the ravine at the top of the mountain (that mountain that is behind Luke and James). It is quite the geological wonder.

For two days our family drove and drove and drove through Yellowstone Nationall Park. Did I mention we did a lot of driving?? We didn't even get to see a third of the is so ginormous!

It is bigger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. It was often 20 miles between sites. But for me, it was a beautiful relaxing drive with my family--even when we were stuck on the road for an hour waiting for the road construction to let us through, or even when the cars would get in a long line as they looked at wildlife (YES people it is ANOTHER deer!! Keep moving keep moving!!).

Moms will appreciate this....toward the end of the trip Mark wanted an apple just like his brothers. After much trepidation, we finally gave him one and stared at him while he ate it. Well, he commenced with taking a bite, chewing it, and then spitting it out onto himself. It was great the next stop we had to shake him off and clean out the car seat since there was sticky apple everywhere!

Black Bear- it was a good hundred yards away but you could clearly see it.

Bison right outside the 4 feet away..crazy!!

At Mammoth Springs

We traveled through the waterfall loop to look at all of the waterfalls. They were so beautiful!

Dustin with his little bunch. He came straight from two weeks of military training. He is scheduled to be deployed in the next year.

Yes that is SNOW! There was actually quite a bit of it in the mountain areas.

It was our anniversary this day! Love you sweety!

Old Faithful...we were there the night before at dusk and I think that we were the only ones there!! The kids said "Well whats the big deal! Nobody is here to watch it but us!" Well the next day when we saw it at lunchtime, the crowd was greatly improved. Old Faithful was 20 minutes late and spouted off for a shorter amount of time than usual. The night before it performed much more satisfactorily.

Geyser country

Yes that water is HOT! Just ask Ben.

We wanted to pour a bucket of water and see which way the water poured down the mountain..but we were out of buckets and didn't have much water.