Tuesday, February 26, 2013

hip hip hurray!

Happy Birthday to my Mom.  She is three-quarters of a decade young today.

And how to celebrate? Chocolate cake of course!
Love you mom.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

the kindness of strangers

Yesterday, after leaving hobby lobby (craft utopia), I hopped in my car, and turned the keys in the ignition. The engine made a strange sound and sputtered.  I tried again, this time, nothing.  Dead battery.  I looked around, and right at that moment a man and his very small son were walking past my car. My window was already down, so I leaned out and asked if he by chance had any jumper cables. He paused for a minute and then said, "I do, just let me make a quick call, and I can help you."  I got the feeling he was in a hurry so I said, "If you don't have time, I can ask someone else, no worries!"  He responded with a kind, "It's no problem, just give me a minute to find my cables."  I popped the hood and got out to attempt to open it. I always feel like such a "girl" (for lack of a better word) in these little situations.  I also pledge every time this happens to put some jumper cables in my car and learn how to use them (although as I'm typing this, I still haven't done that....it's a long list, ya know?). Any way, I did manage to get the hood open just as another family walked past.  A young couple with five little kids...obviously already super busy, but guess what? As they passed, they also offered to help.  These situations always give me warm fuzzies, and sometimes even make me a little teary eyed.  I am a libra .  I love these moments, because they always remind me of all that's good about the human spirit. And although these gestures may be small, I think they speak volumes about our inherent nature to love one another that I believe ultimately comes from our Father in heaven.  We are His children after all.  My journey to become like Him is oh so long, but I'm grateful to know that I'm capable of it because I'm His daughter.  And he loves me (and these great people that offered to help me). The kind stranger was able to find his cables. We started my car, and I thanked him several times as I drove away.  He responded with a sincere smile and "Your welcome." And for the rest of the day, I just felt happy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

it's raining, it's snowing???

I was making dinner tonight when suddenly all the kids started yelling and running outside.  I followed them, and wow.  A massive hail storm out of nowhere and it looked like it was snowing.  It doesn't (ever!) snow where we live in Arizona, so this was almost as exciting as the real thing.  I shot all of these pictures within fifteen minutes. It was crazy how the light kept changing. The storm left as quickly as it came.  Beautiful.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

hello, goodbye, hello

I would personally like to thank Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Washington, first of all, for being men of great integrity.  Second, I'd like to thank them both for being born in the month of  February, resulting in the  creation of presidents day, resulting in BYU giving it's students the day off.  It was the perfect reason to fly Sadie home for the weekend (let's face it, I don't really need a lot of motivation to do that). 

Trying to find a fun family activity that covers all the age ranges can sometimes be a challenge.  We decided on bowling.

Drew tried to give Gentry (who threw gutter balls her first 4 frames) an alternative way to bowl.
Eventually she knocked some pins down and everyone left happy.
We finished our Saturday night outing with dinner at Ihop.  Sunday was church, and before I could blink, it was Monday, and time for Sadie to travel north again.  

Our time with Sadie was so nice, and as always, too short.  After a quick lunch at Firehouse...

She loaded her suitcase, and we drove to the airport.
After dropping her off, I had just managed to compose myself and start planning the rest of the day (Sierra's guitar recital that night) when my phone rang.  It was Sadie, her plane was stuck (of all places) in Fargo (does that make you laugh too?) and would be delayed for four more hours.  Gregg did a u-turn and headed back to the airport so we could pick Sadie up and enjoy her a little longer.

In the meantime, Sierra was trying to get ready for her first guitar recital....

....and getting crazy nervous, until we had tears (which is so unlike the third child).  No worries, I'm a seasoned mom, right?  Hmmm.... each one of my kids requires a totally different approach in this kind of situation.  This one called for, "If you don't want to do it babe, you don't have too.  It's up to you, not a big deal if don't play tonight." Because, I have found, Sierra must be intrinsically motivated about ninty-eight percent of the time.  I asked her to let me know in an hour what her decision was.  One hour later she announced she would be playing in the concert. And here she is in her debut. And I've decided after watching this that we need to invest in some new video equipment, but you get the idea. So, all's well that ends well.  Sadie's plane departed for Utah four hours later.  Sierra played in her recital.  The sun set just as it was supposed too, and I was tired.  After everyone was in bed, I need a little time with the captain.
And three bowls later, my brain decided it was finally time to take some time off and go to bed. Because, the day had felt almost as long as this blog post.

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Have I mentioned lately how much I love my husband?

Happy Valentine's day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Yesterday, I was looking forward to my parents arrival (from Wisconsin) for an extended visit with Gregg and I and the kids. I spoke to them shortly before they left for the airport.  An hour after speaking to them,  I received a call from my aunt in Utah.  She  shared the devastating news that a beloved member of our extended family had died suddenly that morning of a heart attack.  He was a husband, and the father of two beautiful little boys.  My aunt was trying to locate my mom and dad.  I told her they would arrive in phoenix shortly, and that I would let them know what had happened.  
      Driving my parents from the airport to our home felt a little surreal to me.  I wanted to give them a moment to breathe and see our kids before having to do what was inevitable.  My heart was physically hurting.  I'd been on the other end of "that" call before, but never the one to have to deliver such heart wrenching news.  I said a silent prayer.  I said several more in the next forty-five minutes until the kids were in bed and we could talk privately. 
      There are countless things I don't know and don't understand.  But there is one thing I do know, and I think it matters more than everything else.  It is simply this.  God loves us.  God sent us to this earth to be part of a family.  And God did not intend for our families to end here.  Our spirits are too big and too loved to disappear.  I believe God put a plan in place. A perfect plan. I believe that through our Savior's love and His role in that plan,  we will all have an opportunity to be reunited with our family again. No matter what.   

Friday, February 8, 2013

be mine

I found these vintage valentines on this site and decided they would make a great 40's valentine's garland for my beloved blue hutch.

 I had to break out a little bit of sugar for February...

and the love birds, and a little more candy.

Then I transitioned a few more Christmas ornaments.

And my (kind of) crafty chalk board idea.  Hey, I never said this was a craft blog.

Hope you are having a beautiful weekend.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

you can call me "honey" (or not)

Have you ever noticed how some people (especially strangers) can get away with calling you " sweetie, honey, dear, etc.." and some cannot.  I had my yearly  ob/gyn checkup today (necessary evil).  After the nurse left, she sent in a very young female medical student who greeted me with a chipper (and to her credit well meaning) ,  "Hi Miss Terra, how are you doing today?".  "Miss Terra?!" Nope.  She couldn't pull it off without me feeling slightly annoyed.    And it's not always a function of the deliver's age.  The next person to come into the room was Talia,  my doctor's PA who greeted me with, "Hello dear, how are you?"  No brisling on my part what so ever, and even a thought of, "I love Talia, she always makes these little visits bearable."  Although Talia is younger than me, she is one of the most knowledgeable, well spoken gals I've ever met.  We have a repoire,  and she can get away with calling me "dear".   There are also other people who gracefully and endearingly can refer to me using the afore-mentioned words....My mom, my mother-in-law, my tennis coach, the receptionist at my kids ortho and  sometimes,  strangers, depending on the context and my mood.  But what about the teenager wearing braces checking me out at Ross who asks, "Is that all sweetie?"  Nope.  The high school student at the Wendy's drive-thru who asks, "Do you want ketchup, hon?" Nope. There's something about those terms that lends and air of authority coupled with affection.  And for some reason, I've developed a subconscious "code of conduct" in my mind that automatically sorts people's comments into, the "nope" or "awe...that was nice" catagories.  I, myself,  use the terms sparingly and usually jokingly if it's anyone besides my kids.  Like when I'm laughing because a friend is telling me about something ridiculous she did and I say, "Oh sweetie, what were you thinking?!" Or when Gregg needs me to do something I'd rather not, like get the oil changed in our car, and I respond, "Yes, dear".  I think using terms of affection is a lovely thing.....when thoughtfully placed. And that, dear readers, is something I hope you'll allow me from time to time.  It is the month to celebrate love, after all.

Monday, February 4, 2013

go ravens

Great super bowl sunday weekend. 
This fun little picture below was taken five years ago.  It's Gentry and Sierra with their most wonderful dance teachers, Miss Vanessa and her daughter Miss Mataya.

Miss Mataya Gissel now happens to be be Mrs. Mataya Pitta (with the cutest baby bump ever!)
We've known and loved the Gissels for years.  Congratulation Pitta and Gissel family! What a game.