What I learned while hiking Utah’s Ensign Peak.

We hiked to the top of Ensign Peak last week. 

Hiking Ensign Peak | The R House

(This summer Josh was all, “I NEED to be in the mountains.” So, we’ve been doing a lot of hiking as of late with our little fam. Camping is still not on my radar though. Let’s not get carried away.)

Ensign Peak for Kids | The R House

This was a different kind of terrain than our previous hikes this summer. More deserty. Tyson took one look around and said, “What the heck? I thought hiking was supposed to be about exploring in the forest.” So, there’s that.

To Tyson’s point, what the heck is Ensign Peak? On July 24, 1847 Brigham Young lay ill in his wagon after traveling thousands of miles to escape religious persecution. When he arrived at Ensign Peak, B.Y. looked down at the Salt Lake valley and proclaimed, “It is enough. This is the right place. Drive on.” It’s one of my favorite quotes. I mean, there’s a difference between “this is the place” and “this is the right place.”

Desert Mountain Beauty | The R House

Anyway…

The last time I did this hike was on my mission in 2002. I served on Temple Square.

When our family arrived at the summit, we were greeted with “Oohs!” and “Awws!” and cheers from a zone of Temple Square missionaries. We saw them hiking up (the more difficult way than we were taking) and Josh made a point to tell the boys that they were missionaries like mommy was before we got married. I listened to them discuss how cool that was. I’ve never been so proud of that decision I made at the last minute 13 years ago. I love my husband for that moment he created.

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My kids have heard about my mission so many times that they must have felt comfortable just jumping into the zone picture the missionaries asked me to take at the the peak. The sisters were enthusiastic and incredibly sweet to the boys …and when I told them I served on TMSQ as well, they erupted into cheers. I had to choke back a few tears, friends. I’m not sure why, but I loved it so much. Sisterhood! Solidarity!

Ensign Peak | The R House

View from Ensign Peak | The R House

As Josh and I overlooked the valley with the kids and were pointing out all the cool things you could see from the view to our kids, the sisters started a little devotional. We listened to them sing High On a Mountain Top each in their own language–English, Spanish, French, Korean, Mandarin. I was overwhelmed with love, the Spirit, and nostalgia. In their prayer to start the devotional I heard them thank God for us and asked Him to bless “The Family.”

Top of Ensign Peak | The R House

You guys. It was so choice.

They didn’t have to love on us like they did. I mean, they didn’t even know us! What great examples.

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Let’s be more enthusiastic. Let’s embrace people. Let’s take time to learn about them and their families. Let’s sing more. Let’s pray for people who come into our lives–even the relative strangers. Let’s love more. More heart.

 

Semi-related: Check out Jackson’s form as he jumped over the log “steps” on the way down the mountain. I can’t handle the cute, you guys.

Jack Attack Jump | The R House

Drawn to Light | Charmed Collections Booth

Did you know that I am a silversmith at Charmed Collections (formerly The R House Couture)?

Last weekend we were part of a really cool show in Salt Lake called Craft Lake City.

The show started in the afternoon and stretched out until 10 o’clock at night.

Since the appeal of our booth is that we customize hand-stamped Sterling silver and gold jewelry on the spot, we knew we needed a lot of light so we could keep creating even after the sun went down.

Charmed Collections, Hand-stamped jewelry, Craft Lake City

^^^ Sliiiiiight mishap on the centering of “collections.”

 

Our booth was packed just about every minute of the 19 hours it was open. Especially at night. We love you, Salt Lake City. Thank you for your support!

People loved our booth. Honestly, people are nice. They were so complimentary and kind and mentioned how much the loved the lighting. “The light totally drew us in!” We must have heard that at least 20 times. It got me thinking, …how interesting that people are drawn to light! They chose to be with us in our glowing booth. (And we loved having them.)

Chose Light Quote | therhouse.com

As I walked through a handful of the booths en route to the restroom, I noticed how dimly lit most of the other booths were. Ours really was vibrant. It stood out. To be honest with you, I was concerned that our booth had so much light that we were going to burn our retinas. I’m relieved that wasn’t the case. If all the booths were as bright as ours was, maybe ours wouldn’t have stood out as much.

Charmed Collections, Stamped Jewelry, Craft Lake City

Sometimes I guess it takes darkness to appreciate the light.

There’s a much deeper meaning in there, I think.

Darkness and Light, Joy and Sadness | therhouse.com

Man, it was a good weekend.

Thank you, Craft Lake City!

 

My best friend suffers from depression.

When I read the news of Robin Williams passing away, a surge of panic fluttered through me.

I don’t suffer from the lying disease of depression but it does affect my life. You see, my best friend Kim suffers from sometimes debilitating depression. Some weeks are better than others, but I’ve learned to recognize the signs of when she is in a dark place. She knows what they are too. She gets short-tempered and withdraws from everyone. She even tries to withdraw from me. She doesn’t blog, use social media, or text me as frequently as she normally does.

I hate depression. I hate what it does to my friend. I miss her when the sadness birds take hold of her heart.

After reading about Robin, I immediately sent her a love note on Facebook.

I just want you to know that I KNOW that you battle depression and I PRAY for your every single day. I just read that Robin Williams passed away probably due to suicide from severe depression and I IMPLORE you to always tell me when you are feeling down (like you did last week.) So that I can check on you and be your family. PLEASE know that you are loved NO MATTER WHAT. I need you!! xoxox

Everyone needs to feel needed and loved. Everyone needs to be told as much.

And then, I started thinking that you probably love someone with depression too. I told Kim about this post that just kind of materialized and asked her to share some advice with people like you and me who love someone who is battling this disease. The following ideas are hers with my 2 cents (okay, more like at least 5 cents) sprinkled in. We are not certified experts on the disease, but we can offer you some real life, tried and true advice.

 

Loving Someone with Depression

 

Discuss the suffering openly.

Check in with your loved one regularly but especially when you know they are having a bad day. Let them know that you’re concerned about them and thinking of them. Silence does not mean things are okay. Sometimes messaging and phone calls are not enough. Sometimes you have to show up and knock on the door. If they are on medication, don’t be afraid to ask if they are taking it.

 

Offer to listen. Maybe even rescue. (Even if it’s only 30 minutes.)

Last week Kim mentioned to me that she was napping in the middle of the day and that’s why she didn’t respond to one of my texts. I jokingly told her that I hate her happing because I need access to her at all hours of the day and night. (If you know Kim personally, you know what I mean by this. She’s the best.) She responded seriously letting me know that she had been having two severe depression days in a row.

I immediately invited her to get out of her house and just come sit in the car with me while I made an airport run. And then I offered to braid her hair because I knew it would make her laugh. (I have no sisters, no daughters, and my mother has shorter hair than my dad. I have zero braiding skills and no one knows this better than Kim.) Sadly, it turns our she couldn’t escape with me due to schedules.

And then I didn’t hear from her for a few hours. I texted to check on her. I texted again to invite her to go to Target. I texted again that I was on her doorstep and no one was answering. A few minutes later she thanked me for checking on her and told me she was at a family party. I breathed a sigh of relief and told her, “When you say you’re in a dark place, I gotta come find you.” She responded by confirming that it was very dark and nothing was helping. We kept the conversation going that evening and then hung out for the better part of the next two days.

This is what it’s like to love someone with depression. Kim doesn’t look sad, but her heart sometimes get too heavy.

Depression doesn't look sad.

Remind them that they are not alone. 

According to the CDC, 1 in 10 adults reports depression. This disease is real. It’s not made up, although the disease is lying to your loved one. Kim says we need to encourage our loved ones to get help. She also says that, at least for her, the disease is hard because it’s not easily fixable. It usually takes time and medication.

 

Ask how you can better support your loved one. 

I regularly do a little emotional inventory with my husband and ask him what I could be doing to make his life better or help him through a difficult time. I usually say, “Is there something that I can do better or something that needs to change?”

I’ve never done this with a friendship, but man, it sure does seem like a good idea. This is a new one, but I like it. Last night as I picked Kim’s brain for this post, I asked her what I could do to better support her in her battle. Her response was perfect, I think just being aware and acknowledging the dark times is so helpful.”

 

Here’s to being more aware and to being a better friend to those that are suffering.

Remember, all great things take time. And you are more than great! You are far more precious than rubies. You are a work in progress. Be gentle with yourself. Have hope.

 

xoxo,

Lindsey and Kim