Wednesday, March 29, 2017

megabarn (and a new opshop!)

i dragged my poor father in law out to the magabarn opshop in canning vale (33 bannister road, at one end of the good sammys headquarters). it's funny, i can't see that many father in laws that would be excited at the prospect, but the two of us always have blast opshopping. as per usual i got a great haul and was well pleased, 27 pieces for $17.50, making them just under 65c a piece. inlcuded in my haul was even a gorgeous george brand dress with the tags still attached. boom.

but the most exciting bit was making a last minute decision (so last minute that it involved me doing a u turn on a main(ish) road) to see if a new little opshop i had recently discovered was open... it was! ladies and gentlemen, may i present the "blue sky opshop" located at 252 benara road, beechboro. it was small and packed with stuff, just the way i like it. i walked out a while later with a vintage blue dress from the 70s that looks like something my nanna would have worn. woop. i will definitely be checking that one out in the future.

cheers! here's to new opshops! ♥

Sunday, March 26, 2017

sunday, lovely sunday!

i love sundays. that's no secret. i also love these two little people that sometimes (let's be honest, most of the time) follow me around and drive me crazy. but sometimes it's hilarious... like this morning when i started to cut up brownies for one of the young women coming up to relief society today and they raced up and started hovering like a swarm of flies. oh it cracked me up!

i especially love dressing them up in their finest on a sunday and knowing that i am teaching them the best way i know how, knowing that if i teach my children in their youth, that when they are older that they will not depart from it. to have a love for the lord, for his church and for the scriptures. and hopefully am i doing okay! 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

play dates!

there is nothing that makes me happier than little voices laughing and calling as they run and skip along. maddie and her friend brooklyn from school had a play after school yesterday, we went across the road to "our" park and i watched the girls build castles and swing the afternoon away...

they were super excited to find a ring of mushrooms (maybe, they may have been toadstools, there was no way in hell that i was letting them take them home and try them!) and insisted that they must be there for fairies to play in them. oh to be five again! ♥

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

dianella stake conference april 2017

sunday was our semi annual stake conference... a beautiful sunny day. as per usual the kids made a lot of noise and i didn't hear everything, but there was so many wonderful things. one of the boys that doug had as a deacon when he was the young mens president of dianella ward, was up there speaking and i was tell he was so chuffed to see it. he did an amazing job too! plus one of the ysa girls in our ward, who spoke of the importance to keep our own personal "radio frequency" perfectly in tune with that of the savior and the gospel. such a good morning!

us with the kidlets out the front of the temple afterwards. i will never get over how wonderful it is to have a temple in the backyard of our stake centre. right within our reach! it makes it wonderfully easy to keep the temple and the blessings found within its walls in our sight!

the best part of the day though, was picking up one of my dearest friends (and the kids "aunty" dom!) so we could attend the leadership session together. i certainly got a lot more out of this one without kids in my ear haha.

so some notes to look back on:

-conversion and testimony are the driving forces behind the gospel
-conversion is an ongoing process
-new and returning members need constant contact with the gospel
-leaders in the church should make an extra effort to approach people and say hello!
-observe and teach anywhere you can
-create opportunities to feel the spiriy
-we need to continually learn and grow... and seek to do so
-sometimes we come to church to help someone else
-an end goal has been given to us, we need to find our way there, relying on what we know and using the spirit
-are we using our talents to assist those who need to be strengthened?
-our works ought always be good!
-revelation is not complicated ( small and simple things)
-you must be present and engaged to lead!
-chase people not numbers!
-the world may say that we cannot change, but the enabling power of the atonement allows us to change!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

another maternity shoot for jen

okay i confess... i am currently suffering from a rather bad case of bump envy, because i spent the day taking photos of my bestie who is only 3 weeks away from her due date with baby number two. she is positively glowing (although like every pregnant woman, i am sure she just wants that baby out!) which made it easy as pie to get some great shots ♥

we headed to the railway line that runs below the road by my mum and dads house with an old bentwood chair from their table and started snapping away... (for your information, clackline is named as such for the railway line that used to run through the town)

seriously how stunning does she look?

that is one gorgeous belly!

we even managed to get the boys in for some shots that were cute... which is a miracle in itself, not going to lie, boys are a pain haha

the macqueen family is about to grow by one... and i couldn't be more excited for them!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

the secret garden

a few months ago, i was approached by one of the young womens leaders in our ward, asking me, along with a few other women in our ward, to write something about a book i love (which, it should be noted, was not allowed to be the book of mormon) and provide a copy of it for the girls to see as they listened. i have loved the secret garden from the first time i read it, when my mother bought me a copy as a teenager (i still remember it was from the mundaring bookshop, which i now wonder, is that even open anymore?) and can't seem to help myself buying it again and again every time i see a copy. i am now up to 20 something copies, all different, and have no plan to stop any time soon. if you haven't read it, do yourself a favour and get a copy, it's the best!

but... here is what i had to say:

A book I love, in fact my favourite book is The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It was written over a hundred years ago and was first published in 1910. I have read it so many times and love it as much as the first time I read it. The story tells of a young girl who has lost her family and been sent to an old friend of her parents to be raised. She begins as an angry child who wants no love from anyone, but over time learns that friendship is one of the greatest gifts that life has to offer. 
The reason I love it so much, all stems around one particular quote, "where you tend a rose my lad, a thistle cannot grow." I think this is a very important reminder of keeping the gospel first and foremost in our lives. Where light exists, darkness cannot enter. When we keep our thoughts and lives pure, we will live a life of joy in the gospel. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

jens baby shower take 2

take 2! it wasn't that long ago that we were doing this for baby number one... and here she is heavily pregnant with baby number two and looking a-maz-ing!

jen is having a girl this time around and the lovely girls from the mothers group (that mat attends haha) insisted on organising her a little pink shindig at the macqueens this afternoon

complete with this adorable cake...

girly decorations

and games, which mum and i couldn't be beaten at. i must admit, i feel like if i've been to a baby shower people must never want to invite me back... i always seem to win the games and today was no exception! oops.

oh my word. i am so excited to meet the little girl she has on board... i am sure she is going to be as adorable as her mama! ♥

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

seven temples in two weeks ♥

dallas, texas 17th february 

up until now in my entire life i had been to just 6 temples. as a 12 and 14 year old to the sydney australia temple, married in the perth australia temple, attended a wedding in brisbane australia, visited the hamilton new zealand, another wedding in melbourne australia and then our family trip to apia samoa. (there was also an occasion when on exchange in brazil as a teenager that i looked out the window of the bus and saw the forteleza brazil temple as we drove past but i suppose that doesn't really count...)

salt lake city, utah february 24th

while on holiday in america however, i had the blessing of visiting seven in the two weeks we were there. seven!!! that's more than i had in my entire life up until now! it was like something out of a dream as we visited each one... to know that there are places of peace and reflection for members of the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints no matter where you are in the world, that are in the world, yet not of the world.

provo, utah february 25th

my two eldest brothers served their missions in italy (jared in rome and aaron in milan) and so reported to the provo missionary training centre, in order to learn italian. for this reason, the two of them went through the provo, utah temple for the first time. i was so thrilled to be able to see it for myself all these years later. ♥ 

provo city centre, utah february 25th

my favourite, of course, was the salt lake city temple, followed closely by the provo city centre... what an amazing building! to know the story of how it was converted into a temple after the tabernacle made it so much more incredible to see and i was in awe as i walked around the grounds. 

draper, utah february 27th

each general conference i get so excited when they announce the new temples and where they are to be built. the church is truly being taken to all four corners of the globe and it brings such joy to my heart to know that the blessings of the temple are becoming available to more and more people each year!

jordan river, utah march 2nd

i am still blown away at the beauty of these buildings and feel blessed beyond measure to have had the opportunity to see so many of them in person. i love this church. i love the faith of its members and their love for the temples. having a temple here in perth is one of the greatest blessings in my life and i am so grateful to be able to attend each month.

mount oquirrh, utah march 2nd

as long as you can see the temple, you will never be lost! ♥

Sunday, March 5, 2017

special stake conference

while i was gallivanting around the united states, we were lucky enough to have an apostle (elder renlund) visit perth. each stake called a special stake conference... and i missed it. by one week. i must admit i was rather unimpressed. until i found out that they had recorded the session (with permission of course) to be streamed in the outer branches the following sunday... when i would be home! hooray for me, because my parents are in one of the outer branches... and i could go there and watch it. what a bonus! there i was thinking i would miss out altogether, but instead i got to go and hang out with my parents that day, whilst getting to watch it. yessss! blessings all round!

so off we went, arrived at mums to a massively excited joseph (made me feel so good that he was so excited to see me after i'd been away) and then continued on our way. i am so thrilled we got to watch the session and i got some wonderful things out of it... some notes for my future reference:

president masson (dianella stake president)
-counsel correct principles with your children and family to ensure good relationships
-a captain of a team cannot win alone
-how often do we place demands on heavenly father? failing to remember that our trials and tests are designed for us personally
-do we seek to align our will with the fathers? 
-he seeks only to draw us unto him

sister renlund (wife of visiting apostle)
-we are eternal beings, we are meant to be with our families
-know your ancestors
-we have a temple within our stake boundaries do not be tempted to say i'll go another day.
-protect your temple time. plan to go.
-there is a bit of heaven on earth. it is in the temple

elder renlund (visiting apostle)
-you can change. 'twas i, but tis not i.
-if you don't have a conviction, pray with all your heart until you get it
-teach your children so that they will have a desire to know the truth, and will pray and ask for themselves!
-a disciple of jesus christ longs to be an example, to help others and to be within the walls of the temple
-as a church we always do everything right. we follow the rules and do things appropriately
-the sacrament is a wonderful thing that jesus christ has done for us
-we have to look out for others so that we can be counted as disciples of christ

we are so lucky to hear words from those who are called of god and tell us things we need to know. words for our day. perhaps lucky is not the word. blessed. today i was truly blessed.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

home time!

all good things must come to an end, and this afternoon we said goodbye to utah and started our long journey home. lisa dropped us off at the salt lake city airport, where boarded a flight to lax. flights around us were being delayed... but we boarded with no issues, until we got to sit in the plane on the runway for the next half an hour before it could take off due to air traffic issues in la. sigh. thankfully we had a long wait between flights, so it wasn't going to affect us.

i know from being told by others that lax is one heck of a large airport, so i made sure that i had worked out where our gate was for our la to sydney flight... but the most wonderful thing happened... as madeline and i made our way from the plane we had been on, to the main areas of the airport, a lady (who had been seated a few rows behind us on the plane and we had spoken to briefly as we waited to disembark) touched my arm and asked me if madeline and i would like to join her in the american airlines lounge as her guests until we needed to board our next flight. of course i didn't need any encouragement, i mean seriously, that is so kind!! so we followed her along and were made incredibly comfortable for the next four hours until boarding.

there are some wonderfully kind people in this world. we were able to have (free!) dinner, use the free wifi, charge my phone, play games on the tablets that are provided for people to check their flight times, watch tv in the kids room and have a shower not long before boarding a long haul! what a blessing. i was so thrilled. we wandered out to our gate not long before boarding nice and refreshed and felt great. thank you mystery woman!

we have had the most wonderful time and i am so sad to be leaving, but am excited to see my boys and to get home. how grateful i am for the opportunity we have had to be here, to see our friends, see new things and to be with people we love.

bye america! here's hoping we will be back sooner than later! ♥

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

salt lake city temple

today was a dream come true! after years of wanting to go to the salt lake city temple, i got to not only visit last week, but to be blessed enough to actually do a session there this morning with one of my dearest friends and her mother. it was amazing, everything i had ever dreamed it would be. just being there and seeing the inside of the temple, the attention to detail, the perfection, the utter sacrifice that had gone into each room and the building as a whole, had me completely in awe.

indeed it was something i will never forget as long as i live. i was just so happy to be there, i don't think i stopped smiling the whole day. i have always felt such a pull to the building, to just want to be there, which as i explained a few months back, it all of a sudden made sense when i knew more than just that my grandfather was born in salt lake city and it just deepened my desire to go. so to be here, was just everything! i can barely believe it, yet here i am on temple square, never wanting to leave.

as we stood in front of the east doors and i got to snap away to my hearts content taking in every little detail my heart was full to bursting. i mean seriously! look at these shots i was able to get. best of all, we managed to exit at a time when there was no weddings out the front and i was able to get some awesome shots without having to dodge people.

so. fun fact. i always wondered if this gold piece was on both ends of the temple. i can now report that it is not. but it is stunning.

and i have always always always wanted to see these doorknobs up close. to actually look at them. i did. i held onto them. i turned them. they were locked of course, but i did it anyway. because i could. they are also just as cool as i imagined.

salt lake has been a dream. so amazing and everything i wanted it to be. we have to go home tomorrow and i don't want to go. there are so many people here that i love, so much here to love. but it's time to go back to the real world. :( i just can't wait to come back again.