Friday, May 9, 2014

The time I went to the West Coast Conference and had the time of my life.

On March 6, 2014, the West Coast Conference Basketball Championship came to the Orleans Arena right here in my very own town of  Las Vegas.  Which means that my beloved Cougars came right along with it.  It just so happens that the Orleans Arena is about 2 miles from my house.  Now how could my team be that close and me not be there?  There was no good reason not to go, other than the rather high price for admission.  Despite the cost, I have no regrets about going.  In fact quite the opposite,  if you factor the joy and merriment I experienced over the 5 day tournament, I got more than my money's worth.  As part of the package deal, I had tickets to all 16 games that took place over the weekend.

In the interest of full disclosure, let me say that first and foremost I am a football fan.  It is by far my favorite sport, but because of the ability to watch most of the BYU basketball games on BYU tv, I grew to love these players this season, as well as gain a greater appreciation for the sport of basketball.  

I went to the first men's game on Thursday night even though BYU was not playing.  The winner of this game would play BYU on Saturday, so it was good to scout out the competition.  Of course I was wearing a BYU shirt, because pretty much 9 days out of 10, that is what I am wearing.  When I first walked into the arena, with in 2 minutes someone yelled out to me "Go Cougars!"  At first this caught me off guard.  I walk around Vegas wearing a BYU shirt ALL the time and no one every says anything.  I walked around for a few more minutes and at least 3 other people called out those wonderful words.  Not having anyone else to attend with, I wondered if it would be any fun.  But here is the thing, when you are a Cougar, you are never alone.  I was truly with my people and it was awesome.

After wondering around, I found an empty seat by a large group of men all wearing BYU blue.  I ended up visiting with them for much of the game.  They were a family group who come every year as a tradition.  Turns out one of the guys was graduating from BYU this spring in Accounting, just like I did.  I had fun visiting with them and made some new friends.

After the game, I tried going up to the third floor to check out the set for BYU Sports Nation.  This is a sports radio show that I listen to daily.  And starting with this tournament, they were broadcasting on BYU tv  as well.  I was determined to meet Spencer Linton and Jarom Jordan.  Unfortunately, a senior citizen security guard prevented me from entering the level where they do the broadcasts.  I gave up, determined to try again another day.

On Friday I went to watch the BYU women's team play.  Again I just sat in a random seat near some other BYU Fans.  During half time I had a wonderful talk with a kind lady who noticed that I was sitting alone.  She came over and introduced herself and just visited with me for a few minutes.  Another kindred Cougar spirit.  The lady Cougs played well and won the game.  It was amazing to watch Jenifer Hamson play in person.  You really don't appreciate how tall she is when watching on TV.

Some excitement happened when a distinguished man wearing a suit came in and sat right behind me.  When I turned around and looked, it was none other than Elder Todd D Christofferson, of the Twelve Apostles.  His wife is a huge fan and cheered almost as loud as I did. Of course, I could not resit the chance to take a selfie with him in the background.  After the game I chatted with he and his wife for a few minutes.  Much to my surprise, there were no other people around us.

When the game was over, I saw Spencer Linton finishing up his broadcast down on the floor.  All of the arena security guards were trying to get the place emptied so they could let people with tickets back in.  Instead of going up to the top and exiting like they directed me to, I went sideways and managed to avoid any of them forcing me to leave.  Just as I was about to step onto the floor and call out to Spencer, a guard rushed over to me and told me I was not allowed to be there.  Curses, foiled again.  Again, feeling dejected I acquiesced and left.

Not yet ready to leave the party, I lingered with the other fans.  Just outside the arena I ran into Kevin Worthen, who is a Vice President for BYU.  I recognized him because of this video:

Earlier when I walked into the arena, he and his family were just in front of me.  I kept thinking that I recognized him, and finally it hit me that he was in this video with the President of BYU, President Samuelson, and Tom Holmoe, the Athletic Director.  So when I saw him again, I spoke to him and mentioned how much I enjoyed the video.  He was very gracious if somewhat disturbed at my recognition.   He introduced me to his wife Peggy and the rest of his family, and we visited  for a minute about my love for all things BYU.  They were on their way to Applebees and I gave them directions as it was near my house.  Little did I know that just a few days later, it would be announce that he was the next President of BYU.  My only regret is that I didn't ask him for a picture.  That is so unlike me and I am sure it will be a lifelong sorrow.

Still feeling the rush of excitement in the air, I wondered around until I bumped into this amazing player:

Here name is Jennifer Hamson.  If you can't tell, she is the starting center for the Women's basketball team.  She is pretty good at basketball.  She was named the best Offensive and Defensive player in the conference.  She was very down to earth and fun to visit with.  She also plays on the Volleyball team.  I asked her which sport she wants to play when she graduates and she truly doesn't know.  She loves them both.  Oh, and by the way, she was just drafted to play in the WNBA, so yeah, she is kind of a big deal.

Next I found this flag hanging up and knew this picture had to happen:

I had to stop a random stranger to be my photographer.  He probably didn't think I was weird at all, right?

Right after I took this picture, I met a very nice young man who asked if he could interview me about being a fan of  BYU.  You can read his blog for the Deseret News here.  It is pretty hilarious and I want to know if I get a sash and crown to go with my title of "Biggest BYU fan in Las Vegas."  I may or may not have frightened him a little bit.  But if he was looking for a fan to interview, I am kind of gold when it comes to being passionate about my team.

After that, I renewed my quest to meet the guys at BYU Sports Nation.  I returned to the third floor where I knew they were getting ready to do a broadcast.  For one of my jobs, I have a picture ID on a lanyard.  Realizing that these security guards were really not scrutinizing things that much, I put it around my neck.  With an attitude that I knew what I was doing and was supposed to be there, I walked right past the guard without giving her a second glance.  The third time was the charm, as I was not stopped.

I had fun visiting with Ben Bagley, the voice of BYU Sports Nation.  He didn't seem to think it all that strange that an old lady would bamboozle security.  We chatted about being a fan, until Spencer showed up and this picture happened:

The quality is not very good, and Jarom is missing, but for now it will have to do.  I know there will be other chances for pictures with them.  It is strange to meet someone you listen to every day.  I love how that show keeps me informed on all the latest news with BYU.  It is pure fun and tom foolery.  Any BYU fan should check it out.

All of these events made me feel like the tournament was a success and the men's team had not even played yet.  Saturday I arrived early for the game and again found an open seat next to some other fans.  My previous experiences were repeated as I found a camaraderie with some fellow Cougars.  We cheered and yelled at the refs together.  The team won and all was well.  Here is a blurry shot of the guys warming up:

And here is one from my seat at that game:

Someone told me that I would not want to miss watching Gonzaga play nor seeing how passionate their fans are.  Sure enough I was not disappointed.  Again I found some BYU fans to sit by.  I ended up sitting next to two lovely elderly couples.  It turned out that one of them was the sister of my Stake Young Women's president in Seattle.  It really is such a small world in the church.  Her husband sat next to me and it was like watching the game with my Grandpa.  He was very friendly and we had fun visiting while watching the game.  It was a very close game and it looked like Gonzage would loose for most of the game.  It was only with a buzzer beating coast to coast move by John Stockton's son, that Gonzaga managed to win.  The BYU fans around me were going crazy thinking that Gonzaga might get eliminated in their fist game, but they pulled off the win.

On Sunday, we had many visitors at church who were in town for the tournament.  Most only stayed for Sacrament meeting, but one couple did stay for all three meetings.  Of course I spoke with the wife in Relief Society as any good RS president would do. It turns out that her husband is another VP at BYU, Brother Webb.   I also shared about the blog written about me as my good news minute, and the whole RS laughed about what a big fan I am.  Afterwards, I met Brother Webb and he said "Oh, are you the big BYU fan that they warned me about in High Priests?"  Well, yes, that would be me.  I visited with both of them and made two more new friends.

Monday night finally arrived, and I was back to the arena for the evening of games.  Gonzaga played first.  I arrived early, hoping to find a good seat down close.  The good thing about going alone, was that you can always find one open seat just about anywhere.  As I was looking around, I noticed that Danny Ainge was sitting near by.  So of course I took a selfie with him in the back ground.

Then I noticed an empty seat on the second row next to a large group of fans.  I asked if the seat was open and the girl sitting there said I was welcome to sit there.  It turns out that this was the family of Kevin Worthen, who I had met on Friday.  It was so fun to sit and cheer and visit with them.  The girl sitting next to me said that I should just ask Danny if I could get my picture with him and she helped take it.  So this is better than a selfie:
We got to be very good friends and I shared all about my love for BYU.  She mentioned that her dad had to go home because of the devotional the next day.  I thought to myself, how sad, but I suppose when Elder Eyring comes and speaks at a devotional and announces that you will be the next president, you have to be there, basketball tournament or not.  We watched as Gonzaga easily won their game, advancing to the championship game the next night.  As I look down the row during that game, who should I see but my good friend Brother Webb.  I waved to him and he actually waved back.  Between the games he came down and told me that he had to go home that night, but that he wanted me to have his tickets for the championship game.  He told me that I had to bring someone with me and that he knew I would represent BYU the next night in those seats.  I could not believe it.  Now, I would not have to steal a seat, I could legitimately sit on the second row for that game.  To say I was excited, was an understatement.

It was finally time for the tip off.  BYU struggled back and forth through the whole game.  Those of us in our section really thought the refs were missing a bunch of calls, and we let them know about it.
It turned out the Tom Holmoe had the seat the was directly behind me.  BYUtv caught him on camera yelling at the refs.  And who do you think was right there with him?  Well that would be me, wouldn't it.  We are both outraged at the no call mugging of Tyler Haws at this point.

But then in the next moment, Matt Carlino sunk a three and we took the lead.  We both celebrated in our own way.  That game was so exciting and had the happiest of endings.  I loved every minute of it.
The next morning, Tom Holmoe was interviewed on BYU Sports Nation.  Imagine my surprise when they played this video and there I was right in front of him.  Even though the above still shots are pretty great, you have to see the whole video to fully appreciate the moment.

Tuesday night, I returned for the championship.  I was full of hope, but cautiously optimistic about how that game would go.  When I arrived to my seat, I met Sandra Rodgers who as sitting right next to me.  Well actually I already know and love her well as she is in charge of Women's Conference every year.  We had a wonderful visit before the game.  I am sure I only scared her a little with my fanatical following of all things BYU.  She was worried and hopeful as well.  She mentioned that she figured if they won, she would go out for ice cream to celebrate, and if they lost, she would go out for ice cream to drown her sorrows.  So either way, there would be ice cream.  Sounded like a reasonable plan to me.
Here are some pictures from my seat.  I was very close to the team.

Although they fought hard, it was not in the cards to win that game.  The injury to Kyle Collinsworth did not help and in the end Gonzaga was too much for the Cougars.

Right after the game, I witnessed the most tender moment between Coach Rose and his wife.  He sat on the bench and looked at her until someone tapped her and she made eye contact with him.  He just gave a smile like "Well we gave it all we had, and I know you still love me."  It was evident of their caring relationship.  I don't know if we give the coaches families enough credit for their sacrifices.  I felt blessed to be there for that.

It always amazes me when I am present for losses.  Everyone is so sad and disappointed.  I was also, but at the same time, I am so grateful for the chance to be present and be a part of all the atmosphere, that I can't help but feel happy about that.  I experienced something similar at the Oregon St loss at the black out football game.  Anytime I get to be with other Cougar fans, it is a great day for me regardless of the outcome.

Friday, August 23, 2013

What I did with my summer vacation or new and exciting ways to drive oneself to the brink of exhaustion

Look around people, Summer is winding down.  Many mothers look forward to the start of school with the anticipation of a convict being granted parole, but this year I am not one of them.  Why you ask?  Well, it might have something to do with the fact that I will once again have a child in early morning seminary.  I have had a year long hiatus from this blessing.  Hence the fact that we have been sleeping in until 8 every day,  will mean a teeny tiny adjustment to our alarm clocks.  It may just be me, but 5:50 in the AM is pretty darn early in the morning.  I suppose that is why it is named early morning seminary.  That won't feel drastically different than 8 AM, now will it?  In other news I had a fabulous summer that was full of tripping all over the countryside.  Sometimes in planes and most times in cars.  Sometimes as a family and sometimes with only my husband or even by myself.   Here is my back to school essay.

We started off the summer by driving 8 hours to New Mexico to spend Memorial Day weekend with my husband's family.  This was a long drive, but everyone really had a blast and it was totally worth it.  Plus when  you have a driver and self contained children, long road trips equals quality reading time.  Pretty much a win/win.  The kids all had a great time together.  Marion got to play games all weekend long with his brothers and nephews.  We even made homemade ice cream which is always one of my favorites.  We haven't all been together like that for a long time and I was glad we went.

The girls.
Most of the whole Hammond gang.
Dog pile!
He who makes the ice cream gets to lick the paddle.
Three weeks after that trip, we flew to Seattle for my parent's 50th wedding anniversary and a family reunion.  This event came off pretty well thanks to so many helping hands.  We traded 105 degree Vegas temperatures for 60 degrees in Seattle.  A good trade in my book.    There was even this strange water stuff falling from the sky when we landed.  We managed to feed all who showed up at each meal and pretty much squeeze more fun into each day than a fat lady putting on a pair of skinny jeans.  It doesn't get better than that my friends.
Yay for Pinterest! What ever did we do with out it?
All because 2 people got married 50 years ago!
The photo booth was a huge hit with the young crowd.
The help at the reception.

We spent 3 glorious days at one of our favorite places, the Church Ranch, located near Ellensburg, WA.  I have so many fond memories of this place, as it is where we would go for Girls camp each year.  It is hard to say what our favorite part of this place is.  Each day you can choose the slip and slide, canoes rides, the creek, painting rocks, riding horses, the hay ride, and of course all the yummy food that always goes along with camping.  And to be honest there are more bedrooms at the cabins there than there are at my parent's house, so that is an added bonus.

The kids spent hours sliding down the hill.
I made this collage one morning when I walked up to the flushable toilets.  So much beauty all around.  I especially liked the gate made from horseshoes.
We look forward to the hayride every year.  We love to sing songs and the kids all rotate around so that everyone can get a turn to ride up front with the driver.  The sights are magnificent as you drive around the ranch.  I have lived in the dessert for so long that every time I visit the Northwest I just stare at the greenness everywhere.
Three girls
We be serious canoe paddlers!
The great bear hunt of 2013!

We spent one whole day in downtown Seattle.  A visit to Pike's Place market was in order and some great sea food down by the water.  We wore our matching reunion shirts, although the chilly weather caused many to put jackets over their shirts so you can't really tell.
A sea creature sculpture downtown by the waterfront.
No trip to Seattle would be complete with out a trip to Pike place market and the gum wall.  We also had seafood down on the waterfront.  So yummy!!!!!
Here were a few of the things that caught my eye while we were driving around downtown.
Pike's Place Market

After two weeks of fun, it was time to fly back to Vegas.  We had a rather eventful Airport adventure from the drop off at the curb, to the actual boarding of the plane.   We got to the airport and were checking in our bags.  Diana was bringing home some of her rocks from the ranch.  We brought one of the big suitcases that Trent took on his mission,  so we put most of the things in there.   When they put it up on the scale it weighed 13 pounds too much.  We also had another suitcase to check, but it was pretty full.  They had already checked that one in and it was on the conveyor belt, but hadn't gone away yet.  So I opened the suitcases and started taking things out.  I put a bunch of things into our bags that we were carrying on, like the curling iron and hair dryer, as well as the rocks.  The plan to make our carry on bags as light as possible went out the window at this point.  The suitcase still weighed too much.  Next, I took a bunch of clothes out, like a whole armful.  I could barely hold it all.  In fact I am sure some things were falling on the ground.  Then, I  opened the first suitcase and tried to put everything into it.  There was not much room and once I put everything in, it was about 10-12 inches from being able to close and zip up.  The airline employee said "I don't think you are going to be able to close it."   But I was determined to not pay extra for a heavy bag.  Diana of course was mortified and wanted me to stop making a spectacle of myself.  Ignoring her pleas to desist and give up, I forged ahead to make it happen.  I forced the top of the suitcase down and climbed up on top like a cowboy roping a steer.  I knelt on it and bounced up and down and scrunched it down until wouldn't you know it, I got it to zip up.  I felt it quite a victory, but restrained from any celebratory dancing or high fiving.  Diana tried to pretend she wasn't with me.  The airline employee seemed a little surprised and maybe impressed.

Next we proceeded to go through security, where I was asked to step to the side and let them examine my purse which was now full of rocks.  The security guard said they just needed to visually look at what was inside.  After the inspection, they ran my  purse through the camera one more time and we were on our way.  It was at this time that we realized we had left our portable DVD player at my mom's house.  I called and my Mom ran it back to us. I left Diana in the food court with our bags and my purse full of rocks, while I ran out and picked up the DVD player.  I had to go back through security but wasn't stopped this time without the purse full of rocks.  It was after this bit of excitement and craziness, we made it on the plane and got home safely.  I don't know why things like this tend to happen to me. 

We made it back just in time for the Fourth of July and it was a very quiet small celebration with just Marion, Diana, and I.  And then of course we celebrated 7-11 day with free Slurpees.  We went to 5 different stores all with in 2 miles of our house.  I love spending time with these two crazy girls.

We were home from Seattle for a little over a week, before we all piled into the van and drove up to Utah.  Trent wanted to tour the University of Utah and Utah State before he went off to boot camp for the National Guard.  There is too much red at the University of Utah, but it will be a good education if that is where Trent decides to attend.  I liked Utah State better, but it is not my decision.  Utah State did hand out free ice cream which may have helped sway my opinion.  

Leaving Las Vegas for boot camp with the Utah National Guard
We made it back down to Provo in time for Diana's birthday.  We had a special surprise planned for that night.  We took her to see a taping of Studio C at BYU.  It was so much fun and she was totally surprised when we finally got there and she realized what we were doing.  She is a huge fan and let me tell you if you ever get the chance to attend a  taping, I would highly recommend it.  I laughed and smiled so hard that my face hurt before the evening was done.
Fun times stalking the cardboard cutouts
My sister and sister in law took the kids bowling while we were taking campus tours.
And there was a morning spent out on the boat, always a good time.
Dropping Trent off in St George
We dropped Trent off in St George and drove back down to Vegas that Sunday night.  He flew out to Fort Sill in Oklahoma the next day.  He seems to be really enjoying boot camp and is very happy with his decision to serve in the Military.  Diana is enjoying the perks of being an only child.

The next week was the Trek for our stake.   We had not done much in the way of preparation due to all of our other activities.  Finally the day before she had to leave, we made it to the fabric store.  I started sewing her skirt and apron about 10:00 pm and was able to get it all mostly done.  It was a bit stressful and crazy but I got her to the Stake Center by 5:00 am the day of the trek.  She had a wonderful time and was very glad that she went.  

Here are a few of the girls from the ward
There was a family reunion for my Dad's brothers and sisters in Flagstaff that happened while Diana was on the trek.  It was strange to not have any children with us.  But strange in a wonderfully stress free way.  We had a great time catching up with everyone.  And that was only a 4 hour drive.
 Here is my niece doing her best shoulder Angel impression.  My sister asked how she got up there and she said "Uncle Marion was laying on the ground and so I climbed on."  All the little kids loved to wrestle with him and I love how you can see a kid hanging onto each of his legs.
 Here I am with my Aunts.  I love these ladies so much and am so grateful for all they have taught me.  I feel truly blessed to be a part of their family and it was so fun to get to spend time with them.  Especially time in the kitchen, that always leads to delicious things that need to be eaten.  We had cooking demonstrations on pie crust, Lemon Meringue Pie, and cinnamon rolls.  It was awesome.
Here I am with my niece who is so very kind to bring me sticks shaped like "Y"'s.  She knows how much I love BYU and loves to help feed my passion.  It is so sweet of her and I love her for it.   We made it back to Vegas just in time to pick Diana up from Trek.  She had a great time and it was a wonderful experience.

A week later we celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary.  I really can't imagine how it has been that long and yet looking at us we were indeed much younger than we are now.  My husband bought me lovely flowers to celebrate.
This same week my class was holding my 30 year High School reunion up in Seattle.  I had known about it all summer but didn't plan to attend.  Several friends from High School started talking to me on Facebook and telling me I should come.  When I looked at the list of the people attending, I started to feel curious and excited to see these people again.  And when I realized that I could use miles I had to get a free ticket, it seemed like there was no good reason not to go.  It was a very crazy spur of the minute decision and 24 hours later I was on a plane back to Seattle.  I was there for just about 36 hours.
I love this group shot from a fall dance.
It was so fun to catch up with old friends.  I have been completely gone from Seattle for all these years and I really haven't had any contact with any one.  I was very glad that I went because who knows where everyone will be in 10 more years.

Here is a picture of all the Mormon kids who graduated.
And here is a picture of most of us again 30 years later.
Here I am with Marianne Diehl

After the main reunion, our group was hungry and so we went to Denny's.  It was so nostalgic, just like after dances in High School.  Only back then we went to Farrel's.  It was very fun to catch up with everyone a little bit more.  I didn't get back to my parent's until almost 2 am.  I needed to get up at 4 am to go to the airport.  I was worried I might not wake up, so I just stayed up all night.

Here is a before and after picture of me.  This was my senior picture, and here I am well I guess 31 years later because my senior picture was taken at at the beginning of the school year.  Kind of fun to see that I haven't changed all that much,  at least on the outside.  Thank goodness the inside me has changed quite a lot.  Good thing or all the trials I have been through would have been for nothing. 

Any of you still reading deserve a medal.  That is what you get when you run a marathon, right?  As you can see it was a very eventful couple of months.  I hope that the school year will feel like a vacation from all this vacationing, but somehow I don't think that will be the case.  I feel very blessed to have been able to spend time with so many wonderful people who I care so much about.  My life is so much better for having all of you touch my life for good.  

Monday, May 6, 2013

These are a few of my favorite things about Women's Conference 2013

For seven straight years I have attended Women's Conference at BYU.  Gonna have to face it, I'm addicted.  Totally and completely.  Really no choice about whether to go or not.  And not once have I regretted the decision or sacrifice to go or had anything less than a fabulous time.

 It would be hard to say what my favorite part of the conference is.  It might be the amazing feeling of sitting in the same room with 20,000 other women who love the Lord as much as I do.  Who face struggles with children, and laundry, and what to make for dinner every day.  And yet arise each day with the resolve to try a little bit harder and be a little bit better.  And when sometimes you forget this, attending this conference helps you to remember that resolve.   I love the feeling of being one as we sing the songs of  Zion, especially my favorite - How Firm a  Foundation. 
My favorite part might be spending time with my sisters.  This year only two of them could make it, but we had a great time.  Having this time with no husbands or children is kind of precious and something that is hard to put into words.  There is something about a sister that is such a blessing in my life.
My favorite part might be the food.  Whether it is the warm spiced almonds or the world famous mint brownie, I am just here for the food.  The kettle corn is pretty awesome and this year I tried a fresh fruit parfait thingy in a waffle cone that  was both healthy and delicious.  Here is my brownie that I posted on facebook with the caption "The breakfast of champions."  This picture is amazing with the way the light catches the frosting and makes it look like it was a soft as a pillow.  The brownie was just the right amount of moist chewiness and the minty filing in the middle is just the best thing ever.
My favorite part might be the opportunity to give service at the group event that happens every Thursday night.  It is unbelievable what 20,000 women can accomplish in just 2 hours.  And I am proud to be part of the Lord's secret weapon army of sisters who serve.  We helped assemble cold care kits that had socks, gloves, a hat, and a blanket, all in a nice little bag.  We all know how much I hate to be cold, and the thought of giving the gift of warmth to those that are needing it, makes my heart warm inside.
 My favorite part might be the chance to rub shoulders with members of the General Relief Society presidency.  I was so excited when we ran into Sister Burton last year.  I hurried and got my picture with her, but the wind was blowing and I felt like I smiled too big and for the past year I have been kicking myself that I didn't get my sisters into the picture.  I pretty much lost my mind and figured I missed out on a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Here is what last year's picture looked like:  It is not bad and I do love the BYU car in the background.  But still, regrets.

 And so you can only imagine my exhilaration when I saw her walking around at the service.  I went over to her and she embraced me in the biggest hug.  I felt the Saviour's love in that hug, and it was one of the many tender mercies from the Lord that I felt that day.  And so I was thrilled when I got a do over to get a picture with all three of us.  It is much better, don't you think.  Now my regret is that I didn't ask her for advice about being the 2nd counselor in the Relief Society.  Well maybe next year.
My favorite part might be the concert that takes place after the service.  Even though you are pretty tired by the time this happens, I am never sad that I attend this evening event.  Mercy River performed a hilarious song about putting your kids to bed.  And my favorite this year was listening to Sandra Turley who has performed on Broadway.  She sang "For Good" from Wicked, as well as the most beautiful medley from Les Mis.  It was so moving and I was changed for good for having been there that night.
My favorite part might be meeting up with BYU celebrities, such as the actors from Studio C.  I adore that show and laugh out loud every time I watch it.  I had seen a picture of these life size cut outs and knew I had  to get my picture taken with them.  They were not out in the lobby, but I persevered and asked around until I found someone who would let me get my picture with them.  So funny.  I think my favorite would be the one with Matt.  He seems to be giving me an appropriately strange/ horrified look.  So fun, and one more chance to be on the campus police watch list.
My favorite part might have been the photo booth and the chance to enter all of these pictures in a Women's Conference contest to try and win a free ticket to Women's Conference next year.  I entered the most pictures, go figure.  I am not too stressed about winning because let's face I will be attending whether I win or not.  But it is fun to be in such contests and I think I should win most enthusiastic contestant.

My favorite thing might be posing with our matching tote bags that we only use for Women's Conference.  It is fun to pull it out each year and see what goodies are left from the year before.

We had to take a picture to replace last year because it looks like my arm was amputated and that was just not good.  This year is better with all of our limbs exposed.

And there you have it, just a few of the reasons that I will be going to Women's Conference for the rest of my life, even if they have to wheel me in on a gurney.  Hard to pass up the opportunity to feast spiritually, emotionally, and physically.  (I may or may not have gained quite a few pounds, but it was worth every calorie!)

Until we meet again, BYU Women's Conference.  Next year can't come fast enough.