Friday, June 27, 2008

in a picture-taking mood

I've spent the day painting, eating, and playing at Gma and Gpa Skabelund's. I haven't played with my camera for awhile and had some fun doing so today and last night, as did Joli. Here are some pictures:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

it's a boy!

Sierra, my best friend since birth, is having a baby and she found out today she and Joe will be parents to a boy. Since Sierra's also my auntie, I'm going to have another cute lil' boy cousin. I'm rather excited! Here's an old picture of us. Can you believe she'll be a mama? Congrats, lovely.

Monday, June 23, 2008

fractured camping

Thursday: I go for a pass during my ultimate frisbee game. While cutting for the pass, I collide with a certain Josh McAdams. This track star is pure muscle (he has to be since he's competing in the steeplechase in Olympic Trials). I fall. I fear. I grab my left shoulder; I think it has come out of its socket. It's still in its proper spot. After recognizing that fact, I'm able to register the pain. My left scapular area pulses with pain. I try to play a little more, but it hurts. I ride my bike home. I pop some pills (ibuprofen) and ice the affected area. I ask my dad for a blessing. I curl up for an ok night of sleep.

Friday: I wake up. My injury doesn't feel too bad. It only hurts when I breathe deeply and move my left arm in an unsuitable way. I can't imagine cancelling the camping and hiking plans we (Margie, Andrew, Kenny, and Kari) have scheduled. So Margie comes and we take off. We drive up Payson canyon. It's still bothering me, but we have loads of fun setting up camp at Blackhawk campground, hiking around, taking pictures, and simply talking. Andrew, Kenny, and Kari arrive later that night. We enjoy campfire fun. I try to settle into a comfortable sleeping position once nestled in my sleeping bag, but even with four more tablets of motrin, I'm unable. It's hurting more and more.

Saturday: I wake up in pain. See posted picture for proof; thanks to And for taking such a flattering picture of me. I decide it wouldn't be smart to attempt the planned hike for the day, so Margie's quite kind and accompanies me back home while the others go on with the day's plan. I spend 4 hrs in the ER to learn that I've a fractured rib.

Monday: I'm feeling ok. I'm not looking for sympathy in writing this--just updating. I'm not sure I'll be competing in any July triathlons and I'm not teaching any swim lessons this week. It's a tad bit frustrating, but it seems to be a norm for me: summertime injury. I don't want to ever stop being competitive, though. Ultimate is great fun and I feel I've improved a lot these past few weeks. I can finally confidently throw the disc forehand.

Friday was downright lovely. I adore romping around in open green spaces. I'm grateful for such fabulous friends/relatives/siblings. Laters.

Monday, June 16, 2008


I was a bum and didn't take my camera to my tri. I also felt guilty about posting copyrighted pictures, so if you follow this link you may see me struggling:

tri to bi and numbness

My triathlon of a week ago turned into a biathlon. It was raining terribly that Saturday morning and so the bike portion of the race was cancelled. They almost nixed the swim too because the water was a frigid 48 in the top foot of water. They ended up shortening the swim. I ended up finishing the 500-600 swim (I'm not sure how much it actually was) and the 5K run in just under 34 minutes (33:51). The swim was so cold I had trouble feeling my hands--not a very comforting feeling. It was fun, but I'm a little bummed I didn't get to experience the full tri. I'm going to look at signing up for another one in July before tackling the half-Ironman I'm doing 9 August. Yikes.

It all seemed rather trivial to compete the day after Oumar's passing. I've been thinking about this and about a comment my dad made which I didn't overhear but afterheard from my mom. He shook his head in disgust at the sight of the triathlon site and said, look at the money; all this money could be used for so much good.

I've been struggling with this because I feel motivated to train towards something and my body can't handle swimming every single day or running every single day. Maybe it could, but it's just not as fun for me anymore to train laboriously in one sport. Yet I know the money I've spent on triathlons this summer could be used to help out so many people and make differences in people's lives. So what do I do? This is just me thinking out loud. I think it comes down to what is important to ME. I feel I usually have my priorities in pretty good order. So why do I feel almost guilty at signing up for some athletic competition?

Searching for some answers and more. I know of only a few people who read this, but if you have any insights, comments, or anything, I'd love to know them? Loves, lyn.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

8 june talk in sacrament mtg

The following comprises most of my talk. I, of course, added bits here and there as I spoke, but here you go:

Our Heavenly Father's Love

Friday morning after waking up, I go upstairs and find out that Oumar’s in the hospital. Oumar had lived with the Bryners in our stake before moving out several weeks ago to the Glenwood. He’s from Mali (West Africa); he attended our ward and many of its activities. I also got to play soccer with him and go bowling with him. He helped me with my Russian-infected French.

How did Oumar end up in the hospital? He was trying to swim Thursday night. He was by himself in the pool and wasn’t a very experienced swimmer. He didn’t make it and passed away Friday morning.

I miss him. He is a kind and true friend.

I share this story, experience, call it what you may…because some of my initial reactions included the following:
How could this have happened?
Why? He’s too young and full of life.

After letting these thoughts rush round my head for a bit and after some tears, I bowed my head to pray.

Other moments in my life have led me instinctively to pray. I won’t detail all of them here, but when hard news comes, I feel the need to pray. Think about times when you’ve found out a loved one was hurt, when you’ve learned surprisingly terrible news, or when you’ve felt so alone. To whom did you turn in these moments? Why?

We turn to our family and friends hopefully, and, also hopefully, we turn to our maker: our Father in Heaven. We turn to family, friends, and Heavenly Father for comfort, support, love, and relief.

It’s Heavenly Father’s love that I will explore today through this talk. His love causes me to seek communion in my times of deep need. His love aids me in living each day in my sojourn on earth. Our Heavenly Father’s love is something so expansive and so deep that I feel rather timid in approaching an authoritative stance. So, instead, I will share mainly what it means to me, for it informs the base of my testimony.

As I share, please ask the following questions of yourselves: How does Heavenly Father’s love bless me? When and how do I feel his love? And what ought I to do in order to feel his love more fully? I will share with you some of my answers to these questions.

As you’re thinking about these questions and your answers, let’s also reflect on just what is God’s love.

Look up the last paragraph listed under God in the Bible Dictionary, and you’ll read the following: “Latter-day revelation confirms the biblical account of God as the literal father of the human family; as a being who is concerned for the welfare of mankind, and as a Personage who hears and answers prayers.”

He is concerned for the welfare of mankind. He is our father and as Christ taught the Nephites, “Our Father knoweth what things we have need of before we ask him” (3 Nephi 13:8). We also read of his love in the New Testament. The oft-quoted words in John 3:16 state: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

I also take note of the very first topic presented in the missionary lessons. The first lesson focuses on the restoration of the gospel and the very first point is entitled: God is our loving Heavenly Father. One of the first Russian phrases I learned in the MTC was simply: God loves us. It is so important for all God’s children to know of his love for them that it’s the first thing which we testify of as missionaries.

To sum up, I’ll borrow that first missionary point and elaborate a little: God is our loving Heavenly Father. He knows our needs. He’s concerned for us. He sent his Son so we might return to live with him.

Back to the first question I posed: how does Heavenly Father bless me? This question could take eternity to answer, but I’ll briefly tell you some ways his love blesses me.

Like I related earlier, in finding out about Oumar, Heavenly Father’s love led me to prayer. It leads me to prayer. It helps me begin and continue on paths of healing and understanding.
Heavenly Father’s love blesses me by giving me wonderful family and friends. His love has blessed me to love others. It’s blessed me to enter the temple and make sacred covenants with him.

Like I said, I could wax old quickly in detailing all my blessings which come from his love, but I’d like to focus more on the next question. Pause for a moment before we go on and think about how his love blesses you.

Next question: When and how do I feel his love? All of us experience recognizing the Spirit in a variety of ways. Thus, feeling God’s love occurs in many different ways because it’s by the Holy Ghost that we feel his love. How and when do you feel his love through the Spirit? I will share a few instances of my own in feeling his love.

I feel his love when singing hymns. The Spirit soothes and comforts to touch me with our Heavenly Father’s love as I sing and internalize the words of hymns. One hymn in particular always helps me feel of his love. It’s hymn #292. Recognize the Spirit as I read the words of this hymn.

Oh my Father, thou that dwellest in the high and glorious place,
When shall I regain thy presence and again behold thy face?
In thy holy habitation, did my spirit once reside?
In my first primeval childhood was I nurtured near thy side?

For a wise and glorious purpose thou hast place me here on earth
And withheld the recollection of my former friends and birth;
Yet ofttimes a secret something whispered, “You’re a stranger here,”
And I felt that I had wandered from a more exalted sphere.

I had learned to call thee Father, thru thy Spirit from on high,
But until the key of knowledge was restored, I knew not why.
In the heav’ns are parents single? No, the thought makes reason stare!
Truth is reason; truth eternal tells me I’ve a mother there.

When I leave this frail existence, when I lay this mortal by,
Father, Mother, may I meet you in your royal courts on high?
Then, at length, when I’ve completed all you sent me forth to do,
With your mutual approbation let me come and dwell with you.

This hymn always testifies to me of Heavenly Father’s love.

I also feel his love in surveying this beautiful world. The rising moon, the setting sun, the towering mountains, the clear springs—they all convey to me the love of someone on high. I love the refuge he’s given us in our very earthly habitation.

I feel our Father in Heaven’s love when I read the scriptures. And here I will share a specific experience. I’d been in the MTC for a little over a month when I got news that our neighbor, Carrie Spencer, had died in a car accident. We’d become friends as we served as each other’s visiting teaching companions. I had never felt so far from home even though I was just a few blocks south. I wanted to hug my family so badly. I lamented the fact that I hadn’t really said a solid goodbye to Carrie. I had a rough night and I tried to hold it together the next day during classes and the usual MTC routine. We had some time for personal study and I turned to 2 Nephi 9. I felt the Spirit wash over me. This chapter helped me feel God’s love as I read of his plan. Jacob’s words spoke to my heart. I’m going to read verses 3, and then jump to 6 through 8, and 10. The whole chapter is great—it all testifies of his love.

3 Behold, my beloved brethren, I speak unto you these things that ye may rejoice, and lift up your heads forever, because of the blessings which the Lord God shall bestow upon your children.
6 For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfil the merciful plan of the great Creator, there must needs be a power of resurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the fall; and the fall came by reason of transgression; and because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence of the Lord.
7 Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonement—save it should be an infinite atonement this corruption could not put on incorruption. Wherefore, the first judgment which came upon man must needs have remained to an endless duration. And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more.
8 O the wisdom of God, his mercy and grace! For behold, if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more.
10 O how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster; yea, that monster, death and hell, which I call the death of the body, and also the death of the spirit.

I latched onto the following phrase from verse 13; “O how great the plan of our God!” As I read this chapter, I knew the truthfulness of Heavenly Father’s love. I knew of his wisdom, goodness, and mercy. I knew Carrie was and would be ok. I felt his love as I read that chapter and as he helped me mourn for Carrie and her family.

The last question: what ought I to do in order to feel his love more fully? I purposefully used the word ought in this question. There are a few meanings of the word, and one way ought may be used is to indicate obligation or duty. I employ this word in this question because I feel we have an obligation; we have a duty to live that we may feel his love more fully. We ought to live worthy of a temple recommendation. We ought to live the teachings of our prophets. We ought to pray and read our scriptures daily. We ought to repent. We ought to serve. We ought to become like Christ. We ought to examine our lives daily, and perhaps even more frequently than daily, to know how we personally may feel his love in our lives. Do you want to feel of his love more fully? I hope the answer is yes. Think about the why. Why do you want to feel his love more fully? What ought you do in order to feel his love more fully?

In closing I'd like to share some words from President Hinckley. He shared this in the Relief Society session of October 2006 General Conference. We all have our own trials and hardhips, but put yourself in the place of this woman. President Hinckley said:

"Some years ago in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, Elder Marion D. Hanks conducted a panel discussion. Included in that panel was an attractive and able young woman, divorced, the mother of seven children then ranging in ages from 7 to 16. She said that one evening she went across the street to deliver something to a neighbor. Listen to her words, as I recall them:

"As I turned around to walk back home, I could see my house lighted up. I could hear echoes of my children as I had walked out of the door a few minutes earlier. They were saying: 'Mom, what are we going to have for dinner?' 'Can you take me to the library?' 'I have to get some poster paper tonight.' Tired and weary, I looked at that house and saw the light on in each of the rooms. I thought of all of those children who were home waiting for me to come and meet their needs. My burdens felt heavier than I could bear.

"I remember looking through tears toward the sky, and I said, 'Dear Father, I just can't do it tonight. I'm too tired. I can't face it. I can't go home and take care of all those children alone. Could I just come to You and stay with You for just one night? I'll come back in the morning.'

"I didn't really hear the words of reply, but I heard them in my mind. The answer was: 'No, little one, you can't come to me now. You would never wish to come back. But I can come to you.' "

His can come to us. I know this.

I know we feel God's love through the Spirit. I know God is our loving Heavenly Father. May we become like him and become inheritors of his love.

Friday, June 6, 2008

missing you

Don't know what to say/write/even think right now. All I can relate is this gratitude in my heart for having known you. I'm struggling with having to say goodbye. May angels guide you home. A bientot mon frere. Bog s toboi do kole svidemsya. Merci pour tout. Bon courage.

Monday, June 2, 2008


Well, it's official. School's out. I don't know how more excited I can sound. I'm really looking forward to having fun and enjoying the break.

I kicked, or rather pedaled, off summer vacation Friday with a rigorous ride up to the Squaw Peak overlook with And. I'm proud I stayed on my bike the whole way. That's a picture of us at the top. The rush down was probably the best part. We even passed a car on the way down because we didn't want to be behind their slow, red, brake lights.

I also have had the chance to swim outside three times now. It's so lovely and peaceful to train under the sky instead of buzzing white lights.

My first triathlon is this Saturday. I'm off to purchase a wetsuit today as that's a requirement for this event. I'm both nervous and excited for the race. It's nice to train towards something.

Well, happy summer!