Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Chaos of Christmas 2009

This was truly a wonderful Christmas. I loved having Ginger's kids living here so we could have all the excitement that comes from little children. A tradition we have is all the kids sit on the stairs and wait to come down together. Imagine our surprise when Laynie came running in, hands in the air, and yelled, "PRESENTS!!!" After hurrying her back to the stairs, she ran into her room deflated and hid under the bed. It then took 10 minutes to get her back out.

I had a few favorite parts of Christmas. I loved the chaos. Usually we open gifts one at a time, watching each other, and then put our wrapping paper in a trash bag. This time it was a free for all and I loved seeing the kids sitting in piles of garbage. It was crazy fun.

Justin only asked for luggage and his mission suits. This is by no means "fun". I wanted to get him something he could also enjoy. A couple of weeks before Christmas he mentioned he wanted a Nerf gun. After grilling his friend, I bought the automatic one he wanted and promptly wrapped it. A couple of days later he sent me a text showing a different gun he wanted. I went to Walmart and bought that one. I left it in the trunk to wrap Christmas Eve. Then Christmas Eve day, it was brought to my attention that it was a different one. Ugh!!!! So that one got wrapped too. Two wrapped Nerf guns, and one left in the trunk. I fully planned on him deciding which one he wanted and returning the others to the store. He was intent on keeping the two wrapped ones, saying, "You can't take back my Christmas gifts." I asked him to hold still so I could take a picture...he replied, "I can't hold still, I am just so happy!" That made my day.

I loved how Brooklyn and Bailey both asked for "fake" glasses. They think they look very smart in them. I think they look like twins! Brooklyn also got an ipod with a player. With her being deaf I thought the only way she would be able to hear the music is with the player, but she found she would wrap the earphones around her ear and if they hung just right, she could hear the music. Smarty pants!

The highlight of the day was of course speaking to Brandon. It was wonderful to hear the joy he is having on his mission. They were snowed in for 4 days with another set of missionaries. They were so excited to open their gifts, that at 2:30 am the four missionaries began their Christmas festivities. Both Amber and I gave Brandon a set of remote control cars. So four missionaries had four remote control cars to play with. Also Amber sent Brandon two nerf guns, as did one of the other elder's four missionaries had four nerf guns to play with. Brandon wondered what the neighbors thought as they were jumping over couches and hiding in closets at 2 am. They couldn't leave for any dinner appointments, so their Christmas dinner consisted of cereal and Ritz crackers with spray cheese. He didn't seem to mind. Isn't this how Christmas is suppose to be in the mission? And the next night he did have two baptisms...That is what a White Christmas really is!

As for me, Ginger and I decided to do each other's stockings. It was a wonderful idea. It was nice to give and receive with someone you know so well. I love you sista!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas...and now on to the New Year!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hair We Go Again....

So, Justin's hair is always a problem! He hasn't had it cut for umpteen months and was looking so scraggly. He is such a cute boy, but you would never know it under all that hair. Being a single mom requires one to pick their battles very carefully. There is no father around to discuss things with, so I am left to my own most of the time. Enter Kirk Sutton! Yay! Some men in my neighborhood/ward step up to the plate in a big way to help me raise my children. I am so appreciative of them. Kirk Sutton has had a mustache for the last 25 years. Not even his wife Ranae has seen him without his mustache. In the past, he has been offered $250.00 to shave it off. He has never done it. Well, Justin and Kirk made a deal...Justin gets a haircut and Kirk shaves his mustache. I love heroes like Kirk Sutton! Now I can see my little boy's face. It was a party here with about 15 kids turning out to watch the event. Kudos to my sister Ginger, who cut his hair, and is the Aunt every mom needs for their son. She has a way of telling him like it is with a whole lot of love and humor. Thanks Kirk and Justin for your bravery at getting rid of some unnecessary hair (I still wish Justin's "Jedi strand/tail" was gone, but hey you can't have it all). You both look great!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

I love to dress up for Halloween. One thing I know from looking at this picture, however, is I think I will keep my long, blonde hair. For some reason this short, dark hair makes my face look like a big, round pumpkin! I hope everyone had a wonderful evening...the weather here in Sandy, Utah was perfect for a night of trick-or-treating :)

Brooklyn is into grossness. This year she was a very dead Anna Lucia from Lost. She loved putting blood and stitches on her face. Even the pumpkin she carved was gross!

I hope everyone's Halloween was as fun and as scary as ours!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Dream Cottage

If I were allowed to have any home I wanted...I would definitely choose this darling little cottage...

...with this dreamy little porch.

No room for clutter...only room for peace and relaxation.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Purple Poison

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you grabbed your purple mascara remover

and then realized it was actually the nail polish remover

....but only after you had put it all over your eye. Not good!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Pioneer Trek

June 19, 2009 was a day not to be forgotten. I have always wanted to go on a Pioneer Trek. A few years ago I was able to go to Martin's Cove as part of a planning committee. It was an amazing experience to walk where so many had sacrificed their very lives in pursuit of a place where they could worship freely.

This year our stake did a one day trek at This Is The Place Park. It was well organized, and even though it was only a day...there were parts of it that were very difficult. We have had a lot of rain here in Utah. The trail had deep trenches from the rainwater running down the mountain which made pulling the handcarts quite hard at times. It was also beautiful and green and the air smelled so good.

The one thing that I was excited about this year is that I was able to go on this trek with Justin and Brooklyn. I had always wanted to share an experience like this with my children.

Most know that one of the most powerful parts of a pioneer trek is the Women's Pull. This is a time when the men are called away because of death, a mission, or to serve in the Mormon Battalion. The women are left behind to continue the journey with their handcarts. We, as women leaders and Young Women, were called together at the bottom of a very huge mountain. We were told that it was typical for women to be on their own at different times during the journey. It was explained that although men have physical strength, women have emotional strength...the power to persevere. We were told, "You can do this." The men leaders and Young Men were taken up the mountain and told to line the trail. They were not to speak to us or help us in any way. They were to stand in reverence as we passed.

I had been looking forward to the Women's Pull just so I could know the intensity of it...but I found out quickly that I was not prepared for the emotions I would feel. Families were combined and I was blessed to be on the same handcart as Brooklyn. Brooklyn was in the front pulling and I was in the back pushing. We began our trek up the trail and the bottom of the hill seemed fairly easy. But as we continued, and I looked up to the top, to our destination, I was not sure I could make it. It consistently became harder and harder. I continued to look at the the goal. I began to breathe heavily with each step, my mind began to say, "You will never make it." I wanted to cry. Next to me was a very strong young woman who was pushing with all her might...but she was not looking up to the top of the mountain...she was looking down at the ground. I thought I would try that. As I looked at my feet, putting one foot in front of the other, I became not so overwhelmed. Before, looking at my destination, I wanted to give up. But as I just took one step at a time, looking at only my feet, progress came faster and soon we were there. What an analogy this was for me. Life has been so consuming for me in so many hard ways...and that is actually how I handle my real life. Sometimes I am too overwhelmed to look very far down the road, but as I put one foot in front of the other, facing one day at a time...I find I make good progress and am not so overwhelmed. I find myself believing, "I can do this."

As I arrived at the top of the hill, I was panting. My throat was sore from breathing so heavily. I collapsed on the dirt with the other women and girls. I recognized that some of the girls had fallen away from their handcarts...they had become injured or could just not do one more step. This was also a lesson for me. As I have struggled through my divorce and being a single mom, I have felt the responsibility that comes from being the leader of my children. I recognize, that if I fall away, there is a chance my handcart could become loose and domino down everyone behind me. I have to be strong and present in every way to lead and guide my children. I cannot turn loose; I cannot give up. It is a lot of responsibility and pressure to guide a family on one's own.

This Pioneer Trek taught me many great life lessons, which I hope I never forget. It is amazing that so many pioneers experienced so many hardships and spent so much time to arrive in the valley that I now call my home. I am so blessed to live in the land of the prophets and to have reminders all around me of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The pioneers were amazing, and I am grateful and humbled that I had a very small glimpse into their lives.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Wedding Dress

For Young Women's we had a Wedding Dress Fashion Show. I thought it would be great if my daughter wore my wedding dress. The day before the fashion show, I got the dress out of the big gold sealed box and had her try it on. Imagine my surprise when it fit her perfectly. I thought she looked amazing!

When I was married I weighed the same as her, but I was about 3 inches taller. I doubt she will want to wear my dress when she gets married - #1 it's not in style anymore and #2 it is probably cursed ;) But for one night, I couldn't take my eyes off of Brooklyn...she looked beautiful.

On a side note...when you get divorced, you don't know what to do with your wedding dress...or the gigantic bridal portrait framed in ornate gold. The portrait has been hiding under my bed. On April Fool's Day, I told my sister that some mice had taken up residence under my bed and used my bridal portrait for nesting material. She thought that was great, because now I didn't have to try and figure out what to do with it anymore. Of course, it was just a joke. I will admit, however, that having both my dress and the bridal portrait, made for a very enjoyable day for me and Brooklyn. I still wish I had the fairy tale life I dreamed of on that day long ago...but seeing Brooklyn in my wedding dress, was a blessing I will not soon forget.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I'M BACK!!!! The Living Planet Aquarium

Now that my digital camera is semi-working I have so much to share. Granted it may all be in a random order, but least I am documenting my crazy life...NOT!

Today's post is about the Living Planet Aquarium right here in Sandy, Utah. The annual pass is only $16.00 and I think it is so worth it. Right now they are trying to get penguins there. Anyway, I never get tired of looking at the jellyfish...or the octupus. Sometimes he is asleep - boring, but when he is awake he is so entertaining.

Also, my best friend for 20 years, Cindy, who lives in Wyoming has a son, Brian, who works there. It was great to see him. He put on a great show and we got to touch a snake and a humongous cockroach (yuck!).

There are stingrays you can touch, sharks to look at, and so many other interesting animals. You never know what you will find in the aquariums!

So I guess you can call this a plug for a cool afternoon indoors, enjoying some very fun creatures.