Tuesday, April 9, 2013

New Beginnings

This annual event that lds young women hold struck a chord.  This feels like a whole year of new beginnings for me.  The move, the calling, the goal to become more of who I want to be.  Even though I've been serving as the young women's president for a couple of months, this event felt like my unveiling, the moment when I stopped lingering backstage and stepped forward as a leader in the ward.

I didn't stress too much over it, but I did put a lot of thought into the event.  And we had a few brainstorming sessions as a presidency and I was able to delegate some things, so I certainly wasn't alone in planning this.  The theme for all LDS youth this year is "Stand in holy places, and be not moved."  Which brought to my mind temples and the Spirit and shoes and Dr. Seuss.

What?  Yes, Dr. Seuss.  Oh, the Places You'll Go to be exact. 
  This is what I came up with.  I may have spent way too much time designing these invitations, but they turned out ok and helped tie the whole theme together.  It's possible that I enjoy digital design a little too much. 
We had the girls bring a pair of shoes to display along with a card where they wrote about how they'll stand in holy places.  I should have taken more pictures, or at least some close ups.  I love the bright pink pumps one girl brought.  But it was a minor miracle that I remembered to take photos at all.  I was too nervous about starting the meeting on time (more or less), making sure the girls knew all the whats and whens and wheres of the program.  Plus I had all my little beasties with me because Shaggy didn't get home from work in time for the tag team parenting pass off.
R was crawling around trying to collect the footprints that didn't need to get collected.
And B was being whiny and clingy and I was wondering how I would fare giving my talk with her on my hip, vying for my attention.
I briefly considered pointing her towards the dessert table so I could focus on running the program.  But I was afraid that she would send the water dispensers or cookie platters crashing to the floor.  And I decided that that would probably be worse than holding her chatty and squirmy little self while I spoke.
Fortunately, Shaggy swooped in and took her off to the nursery just as we were starting the program.  Such a relief!!  We sang, some of the girls gave talks about steering yourself any direction you choose, un-slumping yourself, and how to go on even when you feel alone.  They really did stellar jobs with their talks.  I was too nervous to do a very good job.  It was kind of ironic, I could talk to these girls all night in complete comfort.  But put me in a room in front of their parents and I revert into that shy, awkward girl who turns red when she makes a comment in class.  Maybe I'll never really get over that.  Or maybe (preferably) I'll grow into all aspects of this calling.  I sure have LOTS of room for improvement.

The cookies were a huge success.  And I would be remiss if I didn't give a huge shout out to my uber-talented secretary who baked them all and brought them to the church for the girls to decorate the week before new beginnings.  Seriously, I think it will take a long while for me to discover the extent of her talents.  She is currently helping the girls make pioneer clothing for the handcart trek they'll be doing in June.  When I grow up, I want to be like her.

We gave out journals and CDs as gifts to the girls.
At the end of the night, I was proud of the girls and my leaders for the time and effort they put into this event.  It wasn't really a HUGE deal.  Not like a stake youth activity or a wedding or anything else of that magnitude.  It was just significant because it was our first one.  And we wanted to do it right.  I think we pulled it off.  And I know that we all felt great relief that we made it through to the other side.  Just in time for a big ole' snow storm to knock out power and cancel school for many days.  But that's another story.  It would be hard to underestimate how relieved I was that we didn't have to reschedule.

Sadly, Shaggy couldn't help with the clean up.  He had to jet home on his motorcycle before the roads got even more dangerous.  B did her best to prevent me from actually being useful.  She ate way too many cookies (as did J and R), stayed underfoot, got knocked over, smushed cookie crumbs into the carpet after it had been vacuumed, and cried halfway home.  But whatever.  The night had been a success.  And more importantly, it was done.  And done is better than perfect.

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