Friday, September 30, 2011

It's so hard to say goodbye

Two months ago these two sibs moved away.  I was pretty used to having my brother gone, seeing that he served a two year mission after a year of college, so he hasn't been around much.  I miss him, but my sisters are a different story.

My mom called for this impromptu family photo shoot just before Wendy left for grad school.  We are very close.  She and I have a unique relationship - the one of us having the majority of the kids in the family and the other without kids yet.  We love late night hang-outs and quick trips to the store to get out of the house.  She balances me well.  She keeps me in the know.  She is the aunt I will never be.  She is sarcastic and emotional and honest.  She shares my sports interests and my son's desire to perform.  She is brilliant and beautiful. 
We could barely smile in the previous pic - this is us wiping away tears 30 sec later.  We had a tough goodbye, even though we'd known for many months that it was coming.

When another little sister (I have three)  Ash told us 3 weeks ago that she was pregnant (!) and her hubby got a job out of state (!!) I was a little stunned. 

I have never seen someone put together a move so quickly.  Before that first weekend was over she had secured the best deal for a moving van and had emailed the whole extended family a detailed packing schedule and moving plan.

I still don't know if I was prepared to pull up yesterday to her driveway to say goodbye and see the truck sitting there.

It was bizarre to see the empty apartment.  This fantastic fireplace where she decorated for each season so tastefully with decorations bought at small town boutiques.  This room where she hosted dinner parties, birthday parties, girls nights, and book clubs.  This room where we gathered and laughed and cried and drew together as sisters.

I helped her pack up her little kitchen, where we put in boxes all the things she has used for years of feeding her family.  The kitchen that contributed to her embracing fully her role as homemaker and mother.  Her kitchen, where she has made thousands of meals, hundreds and hundreds of cupcakes (she had a little business) and dozens of decorated cakes.  This kitchen where she prepared food to show her friends and family her love for them.

Ashley, I will miss your goodness, your positive attitude, and the way you are the first to show up and help another.  I love how you love your husband and nature and Cyprus High.  I admire your organization, your baking talents, your sense of fashion and attention to what's right and proper.  Thank you for all you have done to be an example of righteousness to me.

Rosebud doesn't really understand much, but I hope she doesn't forget about her sweet little cousin.  And I'm SO excited for another baby in the family.  Thank goodness for blogs and texting.

Change is hard, but a sister's love is forever.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Welcome Fall

Well, or should I say I would LIKE to welcome fall, if the temps would fall below 87 for once. It's stinkin' hot for September.

I put a few fall things on the porch so I can trick mother nature out of summer mode.  Bring me the 50's and 60's please!

My very very most favorite wreath (and I own a LOT of wreaths).  Even better is that hubby bought it for me!  He just saw it for cheap and picked it up last year. 

Welcome Fall!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

No birds, no bells?

My sister posted a link last week to a blog that has this quotation as its header:

"Every life has peaks and shadows
and times when it seems that
the birds don't sing
and bells don't ring.
Yet in spite of discouragement and adversity,
those who are happiest seem to have a way of
learning from difficult times, becoming
stronger, wiser, and happier as a result."

Joseph B. Wirthlin

My last month or two has been one of the most emotionally trying times I can remember.  My siblings (i.e. my best friends) have been one by one moving away from me.  My strength and stamina have been weak.  I have ignored friends and phone calls.  I have battled sadness, doubts and fear.  Obviously I abandoned blogging for a while.  I have had no energy for things I usually love to do and only the bare minimun was getting done in my home. The smallest bumps in the road have sent me into helplessness. 

I had no logical reason for all the darkenss I have been feeling (I know I have a million blessings), but it was nevertheless real and ominous.  I decided to be proactive and made a conscious effort to increase my scripture study and deepen my prayers and go the extra mile in my calling at church.  I knew I would be blessed for trying to be faithful so I tried harder and harder.  It was taking longer than I hoped for something to pull me out of my misery.  I was left feeling confused.

I was pleading with my Heavenly Father for a break in the clouds.  This last week He began to send me tender mercies just when I thought I couldn't bear any more.

*He sent me a tiny bit extra in my grocery budget to pick up a few needs we had

*He sent me a beautiful daughter that sees my tears and asks, "you okay mommy"?

*He sent me a speaking assignment in church that will allow me to talk on my biggest blessing ever, my marriage

*He sent my children teachers who care about them, and who have eased some of my worries

*He sent me the chance to teach a visiting teaching message with the reminder of how to qualify for the spirit in my life

*He sent me a Bishop who issued a Book of Mormon challenge to read it cover to cover before Christmas

*He sent my son hope and a more positive attitude during this difficult football season

*He sent Strider help with getting a car problem taken care of that thankfully appears to be a part under warranty

*He sent me a night of inspired messages and gentle reproof: General RS Meeting

He sent me several other things that are too small to list here, but are answers to my dilemma. 

I don't know why I was given these trials at this time.  Does the Lord know the path more clearly than I?  For sure.  All I can do is trust that He will be there to lean on as I stretch and grow and try to become the person He would have me be.  To become happy and at peace.

I don't share these thoughts for sympathy. I'm merely writing of my path to finding more joy in my life.  But the birds ARE beginning to quietly chirp again. I can hear them if I am listening carefully for them.

I want to leave you with the words to a song.

Tender Mercies of the Lord

by Janice Kapp Perry

1. Tender mercies of the Lord
Come in quiet ways,
Not by mere coincidence,
But by heaven’s grace.
As we choose to follow Him
With full heart and soul,
We become His chosen ones
And tender mercies flow.
2. Tender mercies of the Lord
Come in times of need.
Gifts of faith and confidence
Fill us as we plead.
Words of guidance, hope, and peace
Help us feel God’s love.
By our faith, His mercies come
Like manna from above.
3. Tender mercies of the Lord
Come as we repent.
Sweet forgiveness, peace of mind
Follow, heaven-sent.
Faithfulness, obedience
Help us to discern.
Blessings sweet and personal
For which our spirits yearn.
4. Tender mercies of the Lord
Comfort us and guide.
In His time and in His way,
We receive His light.
As we yield our will to His,
Blessings freely flow.
We partake of love divine
Thru mercies He bestows.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Working my way thru the juicy Brigham City peaches my sister brought me...

p.s. She gave me the awesome silver bowl when I helped her do a little packing last week.

Gonna miss you so much Ash!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Measuring cups organized

I have wonderful OXO measuring cups that I really do like.  I have gone thru various sets during my marriage but these have lasted the longest.  One problem, the painted measurement markings have worn off and I have to guess what size they are.  I'm pretty proficient in the kitchen and can eyeball things well, but when I'm in a hurry I don't want to stop to make sure my 1/2 cup isn't really a 2/3 cup by mistake.

I saw some blogs recently that have made a rack for inside their cupboard door to hold/label their cups and I knew it would be great for me.

Here is the cupboard where they are kept.

Step 1:  Fit a piece of wood to the inside cabinet opening

Step 2: Line up your cups and place a pencil mark where each hook will go

Step 3: Screw in your cup hooks.  Make sure they're big enough.  (My first ones weren't).

Step 4: Try it out

You may wonder why I don't have a spot for my 1 cup measure - it's because it's kept in the sugar canister.  I have another 1 cup in my flour.  It's just convenient that way.

Step 5: Label!  This is a great excuse to break out the label maker.  I love my Brother P-Touch.

Ta-da!  Hang with foam mounting squares and you're done.


Friday, September 23, 2011

4 posts?

4 posts for the month of September? Four??

It's not like I'm not doing anything. I just really have nothing to say. At one time I was having subjects for blog posts that would stream through my head. Now I just draw a blank.

I will tell you something that has been occupying my mind lately; my living room. It's making me crazy. Driving me nuts. The colors. The outdated-ness. Blah.

There are many things I wish I could change about our living arrangements but I can't do anything about most of them. What I can control is the mood and feel of my home. I love love love home and all it means. I love the comfort and the feeling of belonging and good food and warmth and coziness.

But I am over maroon.
I am over orangey pine tables.
I am over plaid.
I am over beige walls.

I dream of COLOR!  Cool, calming, fresh color.  It was time to get my thoughts out there and organized.  Time to play!

I first heard of Olioboard on this site:

Boy, is it fun to create with.

I put together this design board of my wishes.   I also included things on there that we already have, and need to stay.  Like the dark brown leather chair and ottoman.  Need to work around those.  The pine tables - I can paint or change them, but I can't buy new.  Things like that.

There's just a teensy weensy problem.  My budget is about $150 for the the couch and not a lot more for the rest (not including paint; I'm making Strider buy me that).  Yeah, I know.  A little improbable.  But with classifieds and patient do-it-myslef-ing I think I can make my wishes come true.

I want a pale blue wall.  A lighter, neutral sofa.  Keeeping in mind the brown leather we have to work with, what do you think of a two-tone couch like in the pic?   If we move the aquarium downstairs I have room for a tiny entry table or bench.  What should I do with the tables?  Paint, glaze, stain, distress...? 


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fun on Labor Day

On Labor Day we went to Hollywood Connection to use some cheap passes we bought for the family.  It was more fun than I expected!

We had over three hours of rides and fun.  Definitely worth the $30 I paid for our family's all day passes.  Rosebud was totally worn out!