Monday, December 31, 2007


Some of the happenings in my life (not particular order) in 2007:
  • I had 5 roommates
  • 2 of those roommates got married (since I've moved to Boston I've had 4 roommates get married, 1 roommate work on the Mitt Romney Campaign, and 1 roommate go on a mission)
  • My sister Danielle got married and I gained a new Brother-in-Law, Kevin Tvetan
  • I worked 3 different full time jobs
  • I got a car
  • I applied to multiple Grad Schools
  • I started teaching early morning seminary
  • I've had 2 church callings
  • I taught a 6 week beginning ASL class
  • I directed a musical fireside, "Come Unto Christ"
  • I managed to stay in my house but I changed rooms
  • I continued to figure out my life
  • I enjoyed Boston to the utmost
  • I didn't date enough but I made lots of wonderful friends
  • I made (booked the tour) a dream come true...almost (Italy in February)
  • I ate too much food, didn't play enough piano, and didn't get married (ha ha)
  • But BYU did great in both football & basketball, the Red Sox won the World Series, and the Pats & Celts are doing well
  • I loved a lot, I lived life, I made lots of new friends, said goodbye to old friends, explored New England, went to lots of dances, had a great time at the Education Conference, and have even been able to use my ASL interpreting skills
  • Saw Natalie's hair change from Blonde to Red
  • Spend New Year's Eve with my BFF (Michael Sackett) in NYC
  • I organized a huge appreciation event for AFC
  • Got to see Dad run the Boston Marathon
  • Went surfing
  • Read a lot of great books
  • Fell out of a canoe--fully clothed
  • Saw Nickel Creek perform in Boston live
  • Went to a few Red Sox games
  • I had toe surgery
  • I climbed a very very tall tree
  • I learned how Violin's are made
  • People that visited me: Joey & Savannah, Sarah, Annalee, and Mom & Dad
  • States I went to: UT, AZ, CA, ME, NY, NH, and VT
2007 was a great year for me and I'm looking forward to 2008!

Family Time---Christmas Time

I had a great time with my family and friends over the Christmas Break! It's always good to refocus, relax, and be with the people who love you whether you are your best self or your worst!

This is just a part of my extended Shields Family!

Here we are at the new Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni Center. Go BYU! We are all Alums!

The married couples wearing their new Christmas attire

Alexa dancing with the snowman

Chels & mike

The 5 sisters

Mom and her sister Kris

Mom with the girls

Clay, Kaitlin, and Alexa

My uncle just breed his pure bred German Shepherd Husky, Kayla, and she had 4 of the cutest puppied ever. We had a great time playing with the puppies.

I can't believe how tall Scott & Eric Sackett have gotten!

Mike & Me (no, I'm not hurting him)

Some how between the last time I saw her and now Megan Sackett grew taller than me!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


So here's some random information for you all:

  • The girl I visit teach has two of her designs on Kleenex boxes.
  • I am very sore from shoveling heavy wet snow.
  • I look good as a Christmas Tree!
  • I got a new job and I love it!
  • My Seminary class is going well (although we are all ready for a break from these early mornings).
  • I'm trying to decided if I should feel bad that I didn't send out a Christmas "Update" when my friends send me Christmas cards and letters with pictures of their beautiful kids or if I should just be glad that I'm still on their list.
  • I'm going to Italy in February and making a dream come true!
  • I've almost read every Jodi Picoult novel.
  • As of December 30th I will have a car.
  • I seem to have lost my Epi-Pen---have any of you seen it?
Well I'm off tomorrow to see my family, My 10 aunts and 9 uncles, my 55 + cousins, and a whole lot of friends I haven't seen in a long time. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Winter Wonderland

Well it's officially winter here in Boston!

Natalie & I decided to get all bundled up and shovel some snow (quite a feat). We only had 1 shovel so I ventured across the street to the neighbors to borrow a shovel and met my 89 year-0ld (ish) neighbor, Helen. I'm sure I scared her to death in my dark get up covered from head to toe and asked her if I could borrow a shovel and that I would shovel her stairs and walkway for her. She was shocked. About 5 min. later she arrived at the door with shovel in hand saying, "I'm sorry I'm not a spry as I use to be...Come back tomorrow and I will give you a present." (How cute is that!) I told her not to worry about it being it would take me just a few minutes to clear her walk way. She asked if I were new and I was a bit embarrassed to say I had lived across the street from her for almost 2 years now. She smiled and said, "Well I don't get out much" putting the blame on herself. I told her I'd come by again and I'm actually looking forward to it. I can't believe in all this time I have never met most of my neighbors.

So Nat and I shoveled away and had a great time I might add. It's been a long time since I was outside really shoveling loads of snow. I kind of liked it and I'm loving the Winter Wonderland!


So here's what I've been doing for the past 3 months:

In October (10)

A few of us decided to got to the "Greatest Show on Earth"
The Elephants were my favorite part of the show ( and the white Siberian Tigers)

This trick was pretty mind boggling. They got 7 motorcycles going in this little metal round cage at one point! It was amazing!

In October we had a regional Education Conference where Elder Holland came out here to speak. There were great teachers, speakers, and events that brought single adults from all over the East coast together. I had a great time and was able to meet Elder and Sister Holland and talk to them for a few minutes. It was truly an incredible experience. Here are more pictures from the Conference taken by Timothy Connor.

Ben & I enjoy hot chocolate during the opening night festivities.

De Ette & Seth

Timothy & I before the big Black & White Ball at the State Capital

Ty(Texas) & Lisa(DC) came out for the Education Conference and stayed with me

Elder Holland spoke from the heart and was very candid!

We all had a great time at the dance!


I was a flapper. I thought this was a great and easy costume. I wore this on Halloween day to my seminary class. My students were a bit surprised (I think they thought I was dressed like a hooker). When I asked any of them if they knew what I was no one knew. When I told them I was a flapper from the 20's they still had no idea what a flapper was. I was a bit embaressed and took off my wig and boa to teach the lesson that morning. Ha Ha

Julie & Natalie turning into cats.

In November (11)

Natalie's family came to town and you know that means getting all the friends together. Usually this means that I can convince Julie to share her talents (after much begging). Thanks Ju!

The Winter Gala

Danny came down from Vermont to hang out with the Boston Crew and attended the Gala with us. Earlier that day Danny and I checked out the Old North Bridge and the Minute Man Museum and sights.
This dance was more fun than any of us anticipated!

I love these ladies!

Chris & Katasha

Julie & Kylee

Thanksgiving Dinner

Esther was kind and invited me and many others to join her a wonderful Thanksgiving meal. I got to meet new friends and eat wonderful food! Thanks Esther!

Esther & Kylee

In December (12)

The girls down the street and my apartment decided to have a little Holiday Dinner. It was great to get all gathered together. It turned out fantastic!

As part of the festivities that was Natalie's Birthday 14 of us ladies decided to go to the "Urban Nutcracker". We had a great time and the day just got better with the Relief Society Christmas Concert later that night and then of course Natalie's Birthday Bash!

Isn't the birthday girl beautiful in her festive red dress!

Happy 25th Birthday Natalie! (No Julie you already had your birhtday, remember)

These are my "sisters" out her in Boston (I miss you Marianne)

The 3 amigos

Julie and Matt (visiting from Vermont)

The Dr.'s Danny & Matt came to Natalie's Birthday Bash

The roommates

Now I'm semi caught up on life! How are you doing?
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 06, 2007


My mom told me last night that she is so glad that the Lord is the Puppeteer in her life. She told me that she knows that although it might be painful when He pulls the strings that eventually He will direct you where you need to be and when.

Thanks Mom & Dad, Chels & Mike, Danielle & Kevin, and many others for being so supportive as strings in my life are getting pulled. I love you all very much!

Monday, December 03, 2007

15 minute rule

I know that there's some unofficial rule that if you go to a class and the teacher doesn't show up for 15 mintutes or something you can leave the class.

So what happens when you are the teacher and all but 1 of your student don't show up?

I waited until 6:30 am (well past the 15 minute rule) to cancel class. In the meantime I talked to my student and her mom who had come to class the morning for Seminary from Woburn.

Who knew the snow would scare everyone away--certainly not me.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Faith Precedes the Miracle

The story of the Children of Israel always fascinated me as a kid, the plagues, the crossing of the Red Sea, the wandering, The mana from heaven, the healed bitter water, the golden calf, The Lord continuously blessing them, and their foolishness & murmuring after 430 years of pleading to be delivered from bondage.

I have heard theses stories many times, as have you I'm sure, but yesterday as I was preparing to teach my seminary class there was one phrase that stuck out to me. The strange thing is that we are in Exodus 14, which has a lot of powerful and beautiful phrases, and the one that stuck out to me was not one of those. It was simple and found in Exodus 14:15 "And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward (emphasis added)."

Almost immediately I thought of Simon Peter in Matthew 14:22-33. Here again we usually talk about Peter and his walking on the water, how his faith falters, and the Lord saves him. But I was drawn to this part of the story,... "And when Peter was come down out of the ship..."

In both cases, the Children of Israel & Peter, had to take action (faith + works) before the miracles came. The Children of Israel had to walk forward towards the Red Sea--before Moses parted it by the Lord's power. Peter had to get out of the boat and step into/on to the water--before being able to walk towards the Savior on the water.

I wonder how many times in my life I have asked, even pleaded with the Lord, for deliverance. Then on the cusp of the Lord making it happen, in His time and on His terms, I have murmured because the way seemed impossible. I wonder how many times I've asked the Lord to work miracles in my life. Then when the opportunity came I sat inside the boat instead of walking on the water.

I hope to be more faithful; more of a believer and less of a murmurer. I hope that in order to make more miracles happen in my life I become action-oriented with my faith. I hope that I can, "Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord" in my life.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thank Goodness!

I'm thankful...
  • for the Old North Bridge
  • that I live near my amazing sister and husband
  • for living the questions
  • for making things happen
  • for the unexpected
  • for Kigatsuku
  • that I live in a beautiful house
  • for my eternal family
  • that I have amazing friends
  • for music
  • for good books
  • for first kisses
  • that I'm surviving a broken heart (not from romance)
  • that the last thing I said to my brother was kind
  • for holding hands and butterflies
  • for fireworks, waterfalls, stars, trees, swings, and rain
  • that not all my prayers have been answered how I wanted
  • that some of them have
  • to know there's a plan
  • for punk kids, early morning seminary, and sleeping in
This list could go on and on....but I'll stop here, for no particular reason, and just say that I have a long list of things that I'm thankful for. Chances are ,if you are reading my blog, you are on my list! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I'm allergic to working during the holidays

So I'm sitting here at work and my office closed at 2:00 pm. I decided to go get some lunch and come back and work for a few more hours. I got back to the office and sat down at my desk and as I was talking on the phone it started....

So here I am at about 3: 20 with hives all over my body. I have no idea why or what I'm allergic to. The only thing I can think of is that I'm allergic to working during the holidays. I guess this is my body's way of saying---GO HOME!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom!

I thought that for your birthday I would share a list of qualities that I love about you and how these qualities are manifest in your hubby & kidlets. You have left a distinct trace of your beauty, talents, desires, personality, faith, love, and all that is you in your family.
Smarty Pants
You helped inspired Chelsea and I to graduate from college. You set the example that graduating from college is important-even if you have to do it with 2 children. So now you have 2 college graduates, 1 college student that has just finished her Master's degree and is working on her PhD. , 1 working kid who plans to go back to school to get her Master's degree, and one husband (through your dedication) who not only got his Master's degree but went on to get his PhD. Mom thanks for your love and appreciation of education and for inspiring us to go out and learn about life!

The man of your dreams

You lucked out and happen to marry that most amazing man ever (but this blog isn't about you dad)! I venture to say that Dad is the man he is today, in part, because of you! Mom you have been one incredible wife! You have always supported Dad in all that he does. All those nights he went jogging so he could run his marathons, all the times the family had to move for education or professional pursuits, and all the time you sacrificed away from Dad so he could be with other families in his church capacities. There is so much more but I want you to know that your relationship with Dad is inspiring to me and many others!

Book Worm

I may have gotten my love for writing from Dad but I got my love of reading and words from you. You are my wordsmith. You seem to know just about every word there is, how to spell, it and what it means. My love for reading started at a young age when you would read to me. This love of reading and words became my major in college and is still a big part of who I am. I believe there are a few more things about me that come from you or are inspired by you but I have a hard time separating me from you and at any one point. Love ya mom!

Don't Settle for less

Mom, you have always inspired us to dream big dreams, to accomplish our goals, and to never settle for less than we deserve. Chelsea is the perfect example of this. With her will to be educated, her desire to go to Africa, and her choice in a wonderful loving husband, she has listen to you, and embodied this mantra! She is fiercely independent, strong, powerful, loving, smart, and she continues to learn from you what it truly means to be a woman today.

Hugs & Kisses

Though Grant could be rowdy, obnoxious, and into everything and everyone's business--he also had a heart of gold. I remember many times he would be angry at me and then minutes later he would sit next to me and hug me. He would love to just be with his sisters, hold their hands, sit next to them, hug them (hit them), and even snuggle up next to them. Mom Granty got that from you. Grant fought to live when he was born, the struggled while he was alive, and he was only with us for a little while. It was your strength, wisdom, courage, love, honestly, and devotion through the thick and thin has been and continues to inspire all who know you.

" Traditions...traditions" ( think Fiddler on the Roof)

Whether they were dad's family or your family--you filled up our home and lives with traditions. Danielle loves these traditions and just the other day was reciting to me a bunch of the family traditions that she treasures. I don't know if Kevin knows what he's in for with carrying on those cherished traditions. Mom you have always been the one encouraging us to go pursue our dreams but you are also the first one to want us all back at home with you together. Danielle exemplifies this as the middle child. She loves to be surrounded by her family (though she might not readily admit this). I think it's going to be a struggle for all our in laws to realize that we Shields have our traditions!

Little Miss Black Book

You knew it would happen eventually. With 6 girls you knew that at least one of them would be like you were as a girl-boy crazy! I hear it told that in high school and college you were the dating queen and had to swat the boys a way (heaven knows why I didn't get that part of you??). Well Kaitlin has clinched that spot by having her first kiss first (well, so far), having boyfriend(s) in high school, and for running up your cell phone and text messages.

Express Yourself

I remember you singing in the kitchen, in public, or where ever your heart desired. We'd say stop and get embarrassed but you'd say, "You don't want an ordinary mom do you?" Well, mom as a result you don't have any "ordinary" kids! Alexa exemplifies your freedom to express how you feel. You've never been one to hold back. You get what you see and people love you for that.

Wild Child

I know you have spent the better half of you life trying to fool everyone into believing that you didn't have a wild side--but the truth in manifest in Clay! We all know you didn't do anything to crazy and wild in your past, but mom--you did ( and still do) have a wild side. Clay is spitfire and full of wild child but he also can be very complimentary and sweet. Besides we got to give him credit for being surrounded by girls, girls, and more girls all the time. It's no wonder he's a bit on the wild side!

Mary & Martha

Camryn is mom's little helper. She is Martha in that she helps with dishes, does her homework, practices her piano, and does what mom and dad say. She is Mary because takes the time to pray, to write letters to her sisters far away, to say she loves you, and to do so many little things that matter so much. She, like you mom, is both Mary & Martha. You take the time for the things that matter (even if they don't seem to make a difference at the time): FHE, Family scripture study, family prayers, family reunions, watching family videos. You also do the things that a mom does-the practical, needs to get done stuff: driving kids every which way, making food all day long, laundry, cleaning, and so much more!

Family....isn't it about time!

Can you believe that you had all these kids?? Can you believe that they are all growing up, graduating from college, getting married, accomplishing their dreams, staying close to the Lord, and still bugging you. Can you believe that you are done being pregnant (I think 6 years is long enough), that all your kids are gone during the majority of the day, that you only have half the bunch now living at home, and that you have 2 new sons. Can you believe that you have 4 returned missionaries, 8 temple worthy members, a son who holds the Aaronic priesthood, a husband and 2 sons-in-law who hold the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood, a son preaching the gospel in the spirit world, and a life time of memories still to come. Thanks mom for being a part of all of our lives!

Here is a special poem for you.
I love you Mommy!
The first born in the wilderness, Kylee