Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Goodbye 2009

I woke up this morning and just laid in my bed thinking about...everything. I was having one of those..."I want to sleep-in but my brain won't let me", mornings. My life movie was playing in my head....worries, thoughts, laughs, changes.
Who is the guy that said..."the only thing you can count on is change..." (or something to that effect...) well...that guy was right! So many changes have happened this year...and so many more to come are at our doorstep.
This year, we have seen weddings, anniversaries, births, birthdays, and boot-camps...not to mention camping of all kinds, move-ins and move-outs, vacations, games in the backyard, family dinners and get-togethers, pictures, memories, and prayers....Our lives are really made up of so many wonderful things. We have had many challenges, too....but the good, far out-weigh the bad. So what is to become of us? Another year will pass...and I suspect it will be full of good things, and hard things, and some things will be simple and some will be complicated....but we will learn again, that the secret to a happy life is to enjoy the ride.

I can't wait for more.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Coming Home

Today, we arrived at the St. Louis Airport at about 5:30 a.m. to see an ocean of green. America's finest young men were leaving from Fort Leonard Wood for their Christmas exodus. Everywhere you looked there were service men and women in their green uniforms waiting to get home to their families. The air was electric.
I have been "weepy"since we left to go to Levi's graduation. It is too hard to explain....but any one who has seen their kid accomplish something this hard will understand how I feel. I sent a kid away and he returned a man. That is all I can say.
So, today we made our way through the St Louis Airport and the Las Vegas Airport. All along the way, people everywhere stopped Levi and thanked him sincerely for serving our country.

People!! We have such a great country! It was truly awesome. To top it all off, when we got to Salt Lake...we were walking down to the baggage claim area, and as we walked out from security, there were a huge group of people gathered. They had flags and man was singing the national anthem (in a humble way, not all flashy) and as Levi walked out first...they all started cheering and clapping... can only imagine. I pretty well lost it. They were doing this for ALL our soldiers. Each time a military person walked out, the cheering would start again.
I love our country and the good people who live here...seriously. I don't think people who are in Washington, or in Hollywood really understand the depth of appreciation that normal, everyday Americans feel toward our armed service men and women.
We should make this a tradition...every time we see a soldier...we should thank them for their courage to serve...especially at this hard time in our country.

Here are a few pics: (sorry for the know how it goes...)

I could not be happier today.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

We are off!

Tomorrow the DPR and I are flying off to Missouri to see Levi's Graduation! I am so excited, I don't know how I will sleep tonight...I feel just like a kid waiting for Christmas morning!

Let's just consider this a practice run for the 25th.

See ya!

p.s. I'll have pics when I get back!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Welcome Christmas

This was an old pic of Kit and Claire during primary one year...gotta love it!
(has nothing to do with this post...just thought it was hilarious.)

Rob and I went out shopping today along with 3 Billion other people...and that's just here in Ogden. That's why they wrote that song... "Oh there's no place like home for the holidays...." you know....because the whole time I was thinking..."let's just go home".

We already kinda decided that we wouldn't get much this year anyway, nobody really has any money to be wasting, so we all want to keep it really simple. Our family has always felt like this, and I am happy that they do. It wasn't always like that. We had a few of those over-the-top Christmas mornings, full of too many gifts, wrappings, candy, and ribbon.....and also full of:
1. mother's stress out and shopping anxiety Christmas morning psychotic breakdown...( me sitting on the couch christmas morning,staring off into space mumbling and pulling wads of hair out...)
3. kid's Christmas morning unappreciative disappointment. ("is that it?"they would say, holding 100's of dollars worth of doc martins(remember them?) and boxes of new clothes, etc.etc... just shoot me now...)
Don't get me wrong, those Christmas' were great, we were all together, and it's what people think it should be like, it was fun, but when you come right down to it....not nearly as gratifying as some of the other Christmases that we have spent without all of the "crap".

One Christmas, years ago, Rob and I decided that our gift to each other would be to get out of debt. We took a large chunk of savings and paid off all our credit cards. Then I took all the credit cards, chopped them in half and hung them all over our Christmas tree! My statement to the world, that I wasn't going to be a part of the mayhem. Our teenagers were mortifyed, and completely embarrassed (but that secretly makes me happy too...)
Anyway...September of that year...Rob got laid off from his job. the only dollars that we had that year for Christmas was from "sand dollars" that we had collected from the beach on a family vacation during the summer. We happily hung them all over the tree and proceeded to have one of the best Christmases ever, remembering the tender mercy that it was to be out of debt. We laughed and talked about great times we had together, and played games, had a nice dinner...all done with almost no presents whatsoever.
(We decided to focus on making some family traditions... like English crackers at dinner...*see the bottom pic...)

It really is parent's fear that drives the Christmas machine. Fear of that disappointment from our kids, and maybe remembering our own disappointments. Also I think it might just be that we want the gifts to represent our love...that great big love that we feel toward our families ( but then leaves us feeling that great big buyers remorse and anxiety afterwards...less than a feeling of love...I'd say...)
There have been other Christmases that were even scarcer...but were faced without any fear. I have come to learn...It really doesn't matter. It truly is about being together, playing games, laughing and talking, and loving each other.
*do I need to say again what dorks we are? The tradition lives on:

"Welcome Christmas, while we stand...
heart to heart and hand to hand."
(Dr. Suess)
Make it a good one this year.
Love you all...without any buyers remorse,

Friday, December 4, 2009

gathering family

Hello all! I've been missing blogging lately....just haven't had time to pull it together.
So I'm getting my fix today.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving in St. George, thanks to Daniel. His company has a condo there for their we loaded us all up and away we went! Had a fantastic time, and the best part was that we finally were able to see Jeff! He has been stationed in Las Vegas for the last couple of weeks. What a sight for sore eyes. I sure love that guy! He told us all about Texas and all the "gory" details of basic training. Plus we had all the good stuff of Thanksgiving...what's not to love?

We actually celebrated Thanksgiving twice. A little before the actual holiday, we had a great big dinner with Rob's family, to honor his parent's 60th wedding anniversary....all I can say is...WOW.
60 years...proof that it can be done.
We made a cake to resemble their original wedding cake...and
made them feed each other like newlyweds(hilarious)We got good advice from the "pros"...and
they spoke of their love tenderly(sigh)
Again...what's not to love?
Thank heaven families are forever.

p.s. You can watch the whole thing here.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The dread pirate

I got up early this morning, said my prayers, and then cranked the music up. I wanted to get going on organizing the house. I love listening to music I love. It gets me moving...and keeps me moving for as long as it's playing. I'm thankful for that today. It is thanksgiving time, so I have been thinking of "thankfuls". I am missing my number one thankful. I am a lucky girl.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Git me my rockin' chair...

Today my baby turned 19.
We were driving around and she actually said..."I feel so old".

Happy Birthday baby girl.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Ghosts of Halloween past

May your Tricks be few and
your Treats be many!
Happy Halloween everyone!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Kym and Adam/Family Reunion

We just got home last night from Rexburg. What a blast. Kym(fabulous niece) married Adam(totally cool new best friend)....and oooohhhh what a party! The air was crisp and fallish(wonderful), the food was plentiful and beautiful(delicious), the bride was dressed in simple white(breathtaking), and my family was reunited(blessing). take a look for yourself and see what I mean...
Megan wore her RED shoes...

all the cousins were having entirely too much fun!
and the day....well it was truly awesome- in the true sense of the word!

Claire and I made the cakes...check these out-

The grooms' cake was chocolate Diablo cake with dark chocolate
ganache, almond filling and molded chocolate leaves.
The wedding cake was orange almond cake with chocolate ganache
filling and buttercream frosting.
The leaves on the wedding cake I made out of melted sugar along with
the nest for the birds. I love how it turned out.
(thanks to Claire for all her hard work...or it would not
have "turned out")

The best part was catching up with my family. I love these people!!
I feel so blessed to be a part of their world.

I love you Kym.
...and Adam..."welcome to the family", good move.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Last week, we decided to have a Halloween party. Well, it's like this...all of us are about as busy as we can get the next 2 weeks, and we didn't want to skip it. and besides that...Claire really wanted it to celebrate her birthday. so what the heck...we just did one early!
K...way fun! just take a look:

Kindle making the most delicious sweet potatoes with Gorgonzola and hazelnuts...unbelievable!
Kindle had her "scare" on
Sweet "E" boy was super form!(along with Lois of course...)
Waldo showed up...

Dread witch?
We are dorks...

I'm keeping the wig.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Claire de "Loon"

I used to dream about colors when I was pregnant. I know it sounds crazy (when have I not sounded crazy...right?) but I really did. With Kindle it was peachy orange, Kit was an aqua color, and Claire, was....well....complicated. I dreamt of periwinkle. But wait, then I would dream of dark golden yellow. back and forth like my brain couldn't control the color knob. Then, there she was...with periwinkle eyes and dark golden hair. Sweet and quiet, but also firm and determined. My life was once again changed forever for the better.

After she was born, I went and got the piano music for Debussy's "Claire de Lune". I have always loved it...with it's sometimes sensitive feeling and then sweeping movement. It was not an easy arrangement. Difficult, delicate, powerful, beautiful, and complicated...just like Claire. I felt like if I could just keep practicing...I would figure this piece out...

This is Claire when she was about 5 years old (we were driving in the van)...
"Mom I can cry anytime I want to."
(me)"you can? ok do it..."
pause...pause...pause...loud sobbing noise from the back seat.."waaahhh!"

I'm telling you people...I had to turn around to make sure she was ok...she nailed it!
Claire smiling, "see."
Tell a mother what do you do with this?

Claire and her dad have a system also...they tease and tease and tease till Claire gets so upset that she starts to cry....then I step in and say " you have to do this?" (scolding) Claire will be behind my back laughing at Rob because she got him in trouble... game over.

I secretly like it this way. I have moments, occasionally, when I actually conquer the music.
Like this time:Me and Claire at a Halloween party...(lick finger-chalk 1 up for mom...)

But most of the time, I just have to sit back...and wonder at the mystery, and allure of this most fascinating creature.

Happy Birthday, sweetheart. You have brought magic into my simple minded world.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

just today...

Claire came to have lunch with me today...she picked the ripe tomatoes that I have been neglecting (mainly due to tomato overload), but you can't look at a beautiful bowl of fresh picked tomatoes and not eat at least a she made the most luscious roasted veggie sandwiches ever! take a look:

Roasted Veggie sandwiches:

1 medium peeled zucchini
1 medium peeled yellow squash
1 super sweet onion
2-3 tomatoes
1 medium peeled eggplant
Italian dressing (homemade is best)
feta cheese (optional)

Slice all the vegetables and lay out on a cookie sheet. Drizzle the Italian dressing over all the vegetables and throw in the oven for about 35-40 minutes at 425* or until they caramelize or the edges turn golden brown. Serve on toasted bread with feta cheese or drizzle flavored olive oil. mega -yum!

Oh Ya....
Last night Claire called me and Rob at around 11pm and asked if we remembered to call Jeff for his birthday? Oh Crap! It was too late to call him I stewed about it for another hour. But during the stew time, I just thought about Jeff for awhile. What a great guy. really. He is so very funny and we all really miss him right now (gone to the air force) and I know that he is wishing he could be hanging out at my table eating these sandwiches and a birthday cake that I would surely have made if he were here. After Jeff came home from his mission, the 1st time we saw him was at stake conference. He was sitting a few rows back from us and Claire saw him out of the corner of her eye...she said "mom, don't let him see me!! I know he will ask me out and I don't want to have boyfriend right now!!" ......ya. That lasted about 30 seconds, 'cause Jeff made a Bee line straight over to her as soon as the Amen was said. She was a gonner. Thank heaven.
Love you Jeff...even if we are a lame family that never calls or writes...or knows how to take pictures...believe me, we are thinking about you.