Tag Archive: Family


As I’m sure you’ve noticed, on Facebook this month there have been a storm of posts about gratitude. Every day you’re supposed to post what you’re grateful for. I’ve never been really interested in doing this myself, but it is a good exercise, I guess.

Anyway, Thanksgiving time has always been about family for me. It’s one of the only times of the year that I get to go hang out with my extended family for a few days. There’s yummy food which is always the best and then we spend the rest of the time playing games. The Shepherd family LOVES games. We play board games and card games and video games and pretending games (when we were younger). We watch movies and run around and laugh and talk. I’ve never been all that comfortable being around a lot of people or just outside really, but when I’m with them, I let loose like you wouldn’t believe.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m loud and I talk a lot. I talk about whatever everyone else is talking about and I do it without speaking all that clearly or fluently. I stutter and I get stuck on words and I lose track of where I am and apparently I use the word ‘and’ a lot. My point is that anyone who knows me like that would be surprised at how much worse I am with my family and how the rest of the Shepherd clan are exactly the same. It’s loud and it’s awesome. My wish would be to live in a world where no one had to work and food just appeared out of nowhere. That way, I could spend all my time with my family. I’m pretty positive that we would be out living in the forest where there’s no one else and where we can just be ourselves and bask in the awesomeness that is my family.

I’m not usually a mushy person, but I’m very grateful for my family. If I didn’t have a chance to let loose with them, I would be wound up so tightly that even the best knot-picking people wouldn’t be able to untie me. They’re my favorite people in the whole world.


The “Family Vacation”

We left on Thursday and drove for a while until we got to Salt Lake (I didn’t notice because I was too busy listening to my music and singing badly). Then, we drove around some more because we had gotten there early.

We parked in one of those underground garages and then waited by the doors for the Clark Planetarium to open.

At first we were at the underground entrance, so it was a little dark for photo-taking, but I wanted to start the adventures of my Goomba friend here. My mother was a little annoyed by Goomba, but I couldn’t stop.

So we waited down there for about ten minutes and then we decided to go up outside where the main entrance was. Out there, the camera was promptly taken away from me because my mother thinks I’m not so great at taking photos… I am also, it seems awkward at being in them, as are my siblings.

I’m not sure whether Andrew was trying to look bored or not, but… I was pretending to sneeze and that behind Andrew says, “Toys for your BRAIN.” Who’s terrible at photo taking now, Mom?

Anyway, we were finally allowed in and I basically pointed the camera at the first thing I saw and progressed from there.

Which was a giant globe. It was sitting in the middle of the lobby and we were there for like ten minutes while my dad bought us tickets.

Then, I saw this poster and got mildly excited (spazztic) and of course I had to take a picture. The Goomba was blurry because I was trying to figure out the settings on it. There were a BUNCH of variations on this particular photo, but this was the one where he was mostly in the center, so… yes.

And then I turned around and saw THESE hanging above the gift shop and I got even more excited. All four houses are there, only you can’t really see because the lighting in the building was awful. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to rush to the gift shop immediately to explore, we were walking in the other direction.

It’s hard to tell what’s going on with this, but the first display there was this GIANT pendulum. The point of the pendulum was that it kept swinging all day and in the same direction, even though it appears that it rotates in a circle, when, in fact, it’s actually that the room has rotated (relative to the rotation of the earth) and the pendulum has kept going the same way… Which probably doesn’t make sense the way I’m discribing it, but I can’t even quite wrap my mind around it anyway, so… sorry. Google it or something. Anyway, the gold blur in the background is the pendulum… yeah.

There was this weird bowl with a fog machine in it. The paper thing is talking about clouds, but I didn’t read it (because I’m lame), I just took a picture. There were a bunch of other globes and stuff about the earth there too. Then we went upstairs to the IMAX theater. We watched something about Sea Dinosaurs. I don’t really remember because it wasn’t as spectacular as we had anticipated.

We then went back downstairs and passed through the gift shop where there was a TON of Harry Potter stuff. It was because they were showing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 in the IMAX theater.

In the gift shop, we saw Harry Potter scarves and beanies. I wanted to buy a hat, but 1) I am unaffiliated at the moment when it comes to houses, so I would have had to buy them all, and 2)I only had enough for one hat. :( There was a scarf with the Hogwarts crest on it, but I only saw it in passing and I didn’t get a picture.

After going through the gift shop, we went up to the third floor where there was MORE stuff to look at. There was a pretty amusing game wherein you had the sun and a belt of ice comet thingies and you could disrupt the flow of them and make the orbit change and stuff, but you couldn’t let the Earth get destroyed by flying planets. Then we walked to the end of the room and discovered these photo corner things where you could pretend to be on the moon or mars. Naturally I took some Goomba pictures.

After finishing up at the Clark Planetarium, we went out for lunch and then went back to watch a show about black holes in the Dome Theater. It was also a little disappointing, but only because their graphics were a little lame.

We then went to our hotel to check in. My younger siblings, Andrew and Alison, wanted to go swimming in the pool, so I went out and sat in one of those pool chair thingies next to a really old man who was reading a Dean Koontz book, while I read Ender’s Game. When they were finished swimming we went into our room and watched horrible television shows until it was time to eat.

We walked three blocks up to Olive Garden and our waiter was Ryan Shepard with an A (We are Shepherds, with h’s and e’s). We ate food and then we walked back to our hotel.

We were there by 8:3o, so my family watched Journey To The Center of The Earth while I hungrily devoured Ender’s Game. When it was time for bed, my mother turned off the lights before I’d finished reading, so I waited for nearly a half an hour until they were all snoring (literally) and then used my cell phone to finish reading the book.

The next morning, we woke up at 7:3o, ate bagels, and checked out of our hotel at 8:15 or something. It took us twenty minutes to drive six blocks north and park. We walked over to the LDS conference building, but it turned out that they weren’t going to let us in until 9 so we wondered around outside taking pictures of fountains and such.

As you can see, my family would not be persuaded into looking normal for their pictures.

At three minutes to nine, some really tall (but elderly) men in suits walked in out of no where and unlocked the doors to the conference center for us. We started our tour which took us through the lobby to this fountain thing with this hanging over it.

Our tour guide said, “This fountain has no significance except for that it is beautiful.” Then we went up the escalator to the actual auditorium.

We went down to the bottom and listened to our tour guide talk about all the events that had recently happened at the conference center and a whole bunch of stuff and then we went up more escalators to where there was a bunch of art.

I did not escape the family curse of being completely awkward in photos. We then went up an elevator onto the roof where it afforded us some spectacular views of the LDS Temple, a view which I obstructed with my Goomba friend.

There was also a fountain up on the top of the roof… and a lot of pine trees (to which I am allergic).

Then we took the elevator all the way down to the ground floor. We had to wait to walk across the street so I took some more pictures of the temple with the Goomba.

After that we had to walk all the way across Temple Square before we could get around to the front to see how pretty it was up close. In the mean time we saw more fountains!

My dad and I thought that this fountain was HILARIOUS, but my mom got mad at us for making fun of other people’s art. Then we walked around to the front of the temple where they have this GIANT reflecting pool. We had to sit there for twenty minutes because, of course, every child within fifty feet of the pool HAD to run over to it and disrupt the serenity of the surface, including my little brother and sister. So we waited for a little while until all the children went away and all the ripples calmed down so that I could take some pictures.

After a bunch of pictures we walked around and into random buildings. I saw a few statues and I wanted to get pictures of them and the Goomba, but I had to step on the grass and I didn’t want to get yelled at so all I got was one very bad picture.

Then we walked back around the way we had come and across the street to this museum. I HATE museums. I think they’re lame. Some of the stuff might be interesting, but there are some stereotypes that I cannot avoid. The only two pictures I got were these.

The stained-glass window wherein I got too close to Goomba, so he’s blurry, and the insane quilt. I’m not sure how much you know about quilts, but this one is the kind that insane people do. I didn’t get a close enough picture for you to fully enjoy it’s insanity, but oh well.

After enduring a roomful of art that all looked suspiciously the same (ended up they were all by the same guy), we left and drove a couple towns over to find some food. Then we drove home. Exciting.

Pottermore: The Waiting

Number one, if you don’t know what Pottermore is, then I suggest you stop reading and go Google it or something. I’m not going to try to explain it here because I’m not sure that I could make it sound as awesome as it’s going to be. Besides Camp NaNoWriMo; August session, this month Pottermore has been what has occupied my mind for the majority of this month. While you’re Googling Pottermore, also Google The Magic Quil challange and Pottermore Beta and all that stuff, because I’m jumping right into the middle of all that stuff.

Yesterday, the first batch of “owls” (emails, to muggles) to welcome beta testers into Pottermore were received. Instead of just all the Day 1 (see: Magic Quill challenge) people getting in as we all thought was going to happen because of the “first come, first serve” comment that was somewhere, I don’t remember (I’m really good at this blogging thing, as you can obviously tell), The majority of people to get in were day 1 and day 2 people and then decreasing numbers of the rest of the 7 days. Needless to say, the Pottermore Family was angry. The ones that didn’t get their owls, anyway, I’m not really sure what some of the opinions of people who did get their owls are about this, I didn’t ask, but I suppose they’re basking in the beautiful brilliance that is Pottermore and couldn’t care less one way or the other (Well, I guess they could… maybe they do care. I don’t know because I did no research at all for this blog post, I just started talking).

In my opinion, I think it’s a dreadful shame that the pure excitement of finally getting into Pottermore soon has been tainted by being angry at other members of our family for getting in first. I understand the anger and jealousy if you are a day one person who hasn’t got in yet. I talked with several of you yesterday and I understand how unfair it is that Pottermore didn’t stick with what it said, but I guess my perspective is a little different. I am a day 4 registrant.

This morning when I woke up, I logged into Twitter and was a little too lazy to scroll down through a billion tweets to find out what had happened since I had departed to bed the night before, so I asked my Pottermore Family and they told me that a second batch of emails had been sent out. My first thought, of course, was that I had to check my email to see if I’d gotten in, but then I was a little nervous. Not with the prospect of finally getting in, but of how some of my day 1 family members who were still partying away with no owls would feel that I got mine and they didn’t. I checked my email, no owl, and I felt relieved! I know that all my family members who didn’t get in said they were happy for the others but mad at Pottermore, but I still couldn’t help but have felt guilty if I’d gotten in. Like I’d cut in line or something.

I think it’s a shame that the excitement I feel for Pottermore is mixed with worry about what other people will think of me if I get in before them. I think it’s a little sad… I don’t want to get into Pottermore before any of my Pottermore Family, if I could choose people to be stuck with, partying with no welcome owls, it would be those guys. I’d want to get in at the same time so that we can do this together, because they’re my family.