So, I titled this whole blog thing "Mormon Girl in the Bible Belt" and I haven't really posted much about that entire subject. So here's a nice Mormon-y post for your reading pleasure (I think I just heard half of the six people who read this click the window closed).
Anyway, General Conference is this weekend. So on Saturday and Sunday, for two two-hour sessions each day, we hear from the prophet and authorities of the church (and then you go to the women blogs and watch them pick apart the Sisters' talks).
I've marked my life by these semi-annual conferences. I remember thinking, "Gee, when the next conference comes around, I'll be married," or "when I am watching Spring conference I'll have a baby," or "when October conference rolls around I'll have THREE KIDS." A sobering thought if there ever was one.
Growing up, there was no satellite or cable, or BYUtv in which to view conference. So everyone outside of Utah had to watch it on the projection screen at church. I actually remember these days fondly. My mom would pack some serious "kid activity bags" for us to keep busy with during the broadcast. During the two-hour break in between, we stayed at the church since it was too hard and far to drive home, snatch food, and drive back. So all the families there would pack amazing picnics with soft blankets and wonderful desserts, and would picnic out on the lawn in between sessions. Wonderful memories of this. This was the way it was, and we were used to it. It was not until just a couple of years ago that this changed when the BYU channel was offered in our area. A Mormon channel??? What a bizarre concept for us, and we're Mormons! It was so different to turn on the channel at any time and see programming that had to do with our religion. Weird. On a side note, this is a great thing for me on Sundays. Gary is at meetings all morning and I have to get the kids and me ready alone in the morning. It's nice to listen to the choir while we get ready so I don't descend into screaming at my kids before church.
So with this new crazy general conference worldl opened up to us, my friends and I created GC FOODFEST. It is awesome. We all bring truckloads of our favorite appetizers, desserts, munchies, dishes, and lay them out on a long counter. We discuss what we're going to make for weeks ahead of time. Kinda like Christmas, or Thanksgiving. But better!! We all stuff ourselves and stretch out around the TV while the kids play happily around us. We discuss the talks together, compare thoughts, etc. It's two times a year of AWESOMENESS.
And so this year was going to be the same. EXCEPT IT WASN'T. One week ago, one of my friends came down with the swine flu. And then my other friend's daughter did also. I personally think this is very selfish. I mean really, they could have planned this better. But now, we have had to accept that for this time, it is cancelled. Cue the funeral dirge.
So, we are doing it by ourselves instead. I cooked for hours last night. I made the most awesome homemade salsa, bean salads, pumpkin chocolate bars, etc. Yum yum. In between timers I went out in the family room and watched Saturday conference. I felt moved as the choir sang the most beautiful version of "I Know That My Redeemer Lives." My soul stirred when the speaker reminded us that there is One who is always with us, One who knows our struggles and sorrows when we feel most alone.
Just in case your wondering, my friends are doing fine. One felt like the walking dead but is now doing much better, and my other friend's little girl is doing great. And now I have a cold. Guess that's karma for whining! That's okay, my pumpkin chocolate bars will make it all better.
And next March?? GC FOODFEST SPRING 2010!!!
*one of these days I'm going to start a food blog with some of these awesome recipes, lunchbox ideas for kids, etc.