Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.


Loose Ends All Tied Up

Over the course of the ten days that we were gone, I learned much more than I could describe in a paragraph. I played Twinkle Twinkle for hours and enjoyed it, I watched teachers from Argentina, France, and Sweden and was inspired by them, and I learned to be a thoughtful, fun teacher who diagnoses the problems and doesn't nag on the symptoms.
On our final day in Utah, we woke up at our usual 6:00 time and scurried around our messy hotel room taking showers, brushing hair, and eating breakfast. We grabbed our bags of lunch (cold pizza), instruments, and books (if our shoulders are slightly more hunched when you see us next, you will know why!) and ran outside to catch the shuttle for the last time. The shuttle, you must understand, was an unforgettable experience. It is a 15 passenger van in which we try to stuff 15 adults and their 15 assorted violins, violas, or cellos. This is not even considering briefcases and precarious cups of coffee. If you are blessed enough to get a seat in the front, you sit there and hold back seatbelts for the people who squeeze past you to the back. If you must wriggle to the back, you stare down the jungle of seatbelts, hand your bag to someone, take a breath, and claw through the tangle, hoping you don't have to hold a cello on your lap. I must say, though, this was an extremely effective ice-breaker!
Once we arrived safely to the school, we trekked off to observe our teacher teach her last group class to those adorable children!

The last day was more laid back, but usually we were running upstairs, downstairs, and across halls to get to our next class in time. The official ruling is that if you are five minutes late, you may not get credit for the class. Our teacher, thankfully, was very understanding!

Our class photo! L to R: Gabriel from Boston, Erynn, Erin, Mikaela, our teacher Carrie, James, Micah, me, and Sarah

After we took this photo, our class was officially ended, and we would have loved to hang around and say lengthy good-byes, but our shuttle was waiting. Sarah, Mikaela, and I ran through the halls, which were now silent because all of the children had left that morning. The only sound was the occasional thunder peal, and our shoes on the linoleum. Outside, the rain was streaming down, and a few Red Cross vans and an ABC van waited in the parking lot so they could be on location if there was a mudslide. How comforting! We rode the shuttle home alone, divided in our emotions. We were sad that our journey had ended, yes, but we were equally glad that we would be going home the next day. Erin had offered to take us to dinner that night, so we quickly packed and then headed off to the Training Table, a Utah restaurant that boasts a telephone at the table which you use to order your food. We had a wonderful time with her, and we also had some good conversation about Mormonism versus Christianity. I am grateful for that opportunity, and am definitely praying that God used us to sow some seeds!
She then took us on a beautiful hike up South Mountain, which zig-zags across the "Widowmaker"--an impossibly steep trail that people used to charge on motorcycles. Apparently, many died in the attempt, thus the ominous name. We, however, took the safe trail, and a beautiful view of Salt Lake met us at the top.
Erin sweetly offered to take us to the airport the next morning, so we woke up bright and early (4:00), endured security, and soon found ourselves waiting for our flight. Strangely, we met two people in the airport who had been at the Suzuki Insitute, and one of them we only parted from when her ride came at the Portland airport! The flight went without event, and when we saw Mount Hood out of our window, we all grew giddy with excitement. That was our mountain, and there was definitely something comforting about seeing our mountains again rather than Utah's, beautiful as they were!
The good-bye to Sarah was difficult, but when our van pulled up and my family piled out, I only thought of how glad I was to see them again! It was Father's Day, so we went to the Saturday Market in Portland and also to the breathtaking Crystal Springs Rhododenron Garden.
Reunited, we are munching ice cream sandwiches at the market!

My adorable little brother who headed up the Welcome Home poster committee!

We were exhausted, but we still had a wonderful time strolling through the serene gardens.

For Father's Day, we are giving dad the experience of the Washington Father Son Retreat this summer! We tried to make him guess it through Twenty Questions, but his deductive skills were no match for our creativity, and we finally had to tell him!

Now for my list of states I've officially been to. There it is. Utah? Check. Wonder what's next?
Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.


  1. O fiddlesticks. I was about to blog boasting that I was 100% glad to be home...then I had to look at those pix and think about our last day in Utah...for a split second I was so sure 'bout it. :)
    Looks like you had a great Father's Day!

  2. Sorry, m'dear--it's the photo of our class that gets me! Oh to be back with the rain!
    We showed all our pictures to our family on a slideshow, and they noted that we had a lot of pictures of food. What can I say--I have my priorities!

  3. You girls are doing such a wonderful job on your blog! I love the pictures that you've put up too! Did you girls just set up the camera to take the pictures of yourselves or had someone take them? It was great reading about your trip and when you got back. I'm glad your dad had a good Father's Day and birthday...and I hope he has fun at the Father/Son retreat.
    God bless!

  4. Thanks Raquel! I've been enjoying your blog, too! Yes, we got really good at setting the camera on timer (or, actually, Sarah did!). It took a few tries usually but we got our pictures! So, for the first picture in this post, and the picture of our class, those Sarah set up to take the photo. We did, however, get some people to take a picture for us a few times!


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