good news of the week: Elder Ballard is coming to speak to the brussels stake on september 8th. there is a buzz about the ward and members. this is a bigger-than-huge deal and the excitement has inevitably rubbed off on us. it's contradictory because i'm from utah and have seen the prophets on many occasions, but for now i live in belgium and i feel like a belgian who probably hasn't seen too many prophets, apostles, seers, or revelators in their lifetime and who consequently treats this occasion like christmas. they are humble and ready. they are thirsty. they have respect and i'm certain great things will happen that day. i will be honored to be among them.


we live right next to waterloo.
as in the waterloo.
as in our ward boundaries include waterloo.
as in napolean and the battle of waterloo.
as in the waterloo that is talked about in blindside. let me quote it for you, because i have forgotten and it makes me smile:

-Name the combatants in the battle of Waterloo.
-I know that one. Umm the little guy, Napoleon...

-He was on one side and...
-...and Duku's on the other.

-Duke of Wellington.
-Yeah the Duke of Wellington. and Russia or something.


well we were driving to the city and saw a hill, very atypical here, so we pulled over and found waterloo. easy as that. we walked around the battle grounds, too many euros to go up the hill, made friends with this dog, and loved that we just bumped into this place.

trivia:next time you watch that great flick look closely and you'll see a mess up. in the quiz michael takes he answers Germany as the location. now we all know more than a moviestar. you're welcome.


yesterday... today...

pic: view from the corner of the belgian palace

Today, this quote ran through my mind like wildfire:

"We see ourselves in terms of yesterday and today. Our Heavenly Father sees us in terms of forever. Although we might settle for less, Heavenly Father won’t, for He sees us as the glorious beings we are capable of becoming."

-tried my first belgian chocolate: dark chocolate
-finished that chocolate bar.
-keep savoring food yet feeling fully in love with my body.

-flung(grateful they actually swing open) all 6 of our windows open inspired by nie.
-watched the rain through the windows, matched it with my own drip drops while reading this.
-keep nature closely intermingled with the course of my every day.

-relished in good news about a friend.
-wanted to write a letter or two to some long lost friends, but didn't.
-listen to the spirit to better help God's children.

worked a little too little.
worked a little to much.
be involved with things that are meaningful,

-made swedish meatballs and potatoes, and cleaned the house, all for my man.
-leftovers, and a reclean to fix my spilled and broken mac makeup. sniff.
-make home so right. if all is right at home, then everything goes better for devin and my family.

it's hard when yesterday or today isn't exactly what i plan or want, but, thankfully thinking of Heavenly Father not settling for less on me, kindles the heck out of my flame to progress.

sleep tight from 'cross the sea

what you learn when you go to a ward party in belgium:

-you learn how to sing happy birthday in french.
-you learn that mormon standard time still applies in a foreign land. we got to the party fourty minutes late, (it is hard to get anywhere on time with no gps, only printed off google maps, and foreign language street signs. we're always getting lost, and our car is gonna be full of pages and pages of google maps) and we didn't even eat for another hour after we arrived.
-you learn that everyone comes to activities, the ward family is that important. a good goal for me when i get back to utah.
-you learn the better name for a stake dance is a ball, but of course. you learn increased love for families, because everyone is invited to these balls: tykes, teens, and old-timers. not sure when i was a teenager if i would have liked that. hopefully we'll get to attend one.
-you learn, or are reaffirmed, that europe is way more healthy than america. they ate salad, salad, and more salad for dinner, plus quiche and quinoa to add variety. while the health was appreciated, they did barbeque some strange meats, and i'm not a big fan of the european meat industry. they said there wasn't dessert. i couldn't have called it a ward party without dessert. i realized i was gullable when they brought out an assortment of faintly sugared things:)
-i learned, yet again, that it's ever so right to always let your conscience be your guide. we almost didn't go, because of our lack of french skills, but thankfully it doesn't take french to circle around a stick 10 times. who else would've run the winning leg of the relay race if devin wasn't there?
look at that smile-nothing better than perfectly capturing a great moment:)


parc du cinquantenaire

while on the hunt for the parc du bruxelles, we stopped here, honestly because we weren't sure how to get to the other one. we spent most of our saturday here, and it was twice the park than the one that holds the capital's name.

in the words of the first line of the national anthem: "noble belgium, forever a dear land"

devin and i couldn't stop laughing at the big green tour guide bus parked right in front of the arch. fits right in, and is not distracting in the slightest:)

i love getting sneak peeks into people living their belgian lives. i'm prone to believe that the lives europeans lead seem a little more rich in enjoyment, and fulfilling experiences. maybe europe just has more parks. and beautiful parks bring people out into nature. and nature usually leads to fulfilling experiences. devin and i are just dreaming of the day utah has parks where grandparent couples spend all afternoon reading a book in styling lawn chairs...
or a dad and his sons play soccer till they can't stop...
...or a solitaire sunbathing space that doesn't attract glares because you are not the only one itching for warm rays. ahhh. i'm going to find one such park when i return. do let me know if you have one already.
royal museum of army and military history

the prettiest park we've seen yet in brussels. surely will be going back for another weekend escape.


life (could) be a dream

first, to get in the mood, watch the following knock out clip. mainly for the music, never heard tunes so good, but also because it absolutely melts my heart. i don't even own this movie, can count the number of times i've seen it on one hand, don't have children, and yet i still get chills in two minutes just like the first time i saw it.

now that you are all inspired- i'll tell you my story. i saw on facebook a dear friend's picture of her and her man that said, "i love my life." that phrase morphed my weekend. instead of a bunch of qualifiers, or a life (could) be a dream attitude, i took on the life IS a dream attitude: right here, right now, today. thank heavens life feels as magical as a disney movie sometimes:)

life IS a dream.