Friday, November 30, 2012


And finally...

I am trying to be thankful for the holiday season.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I am so thankful for my and my family's good health. I take it for granted, and then I got sick last weekend which made me realize how great I normally feel. I feel like I take good care of myself, generally. I eat pretty healthy, exercise, and try to get enough sleep. I try to manage my stress (Jon loves to get on my case about this one). I try to provide healthy food for my family. Health is really important to me. Don't get me wrong, I love sugar and diet coke but try to be balanced and moderate in everything so that I can enjoy my life and still live long and prosper. I'm grateful for the Word of Wisdom and for all it teaches me about the blessings that come from following simple health standards.


I am thankful for Jon's job. It provides for us (somewhat tightly, but still...). It is flexible, so sometimes when Jon is working at home, I get to run an errand alone or work in one of the kids' classes. It totally fits Jon's personality, which makes for a happy hubby. After a failed business a few years ago, we prayed and prayed for something that would take care of our family (which
had doubled in size), and this opportunity was and still is a huge blessing.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I'm thankful for the beautiful Northwest. It is so green and clean. The trees are huge and covered in furry moss and mushrooms. Flowers bloom year round and in crazy places. The beauty here never ceases to amaze me. The rainy season is long and depressing at times, but that is why it's so beautiful.


I'm thankful for the temple and what it means for my family! I love these guys!

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Diet Coke. 'Nuf said.


I am thankful for the Oregon Coast and that it's a totally doable day trip.

Friday, November 23, 2012


I am grateful for wonderful parents.  I was blessed with parents who love each other and who love me. And that is no small feat these days.  I am grateful that my parents made their marriage work and were good examples to me of sticking together through the good and the bad. I love my parents so much.

I am grateful for my mom, who has endured the loss of my dad and is still fighting and living her life.  She is an inspiration to me.  She has and continues to teach me so much about enduring love and faith. I love her so much!

I am grateful for my dad, who even after his death, continues to inspire me to be my best and to have integrity in all that I do.  I miss him like crazy.  Especially on Thanksgiving, because we shared a robust love of that meal.  And, especially every single day of my life.  I love him so much!

Here are some pics that I ran across today that touched my heart:

My dad feeding Ian off the BIG spoon.
 My parents in front of the home they built together seven years ago.  My mom sold the house, and is moving out this week.  I will miss our memories and my dad's presence there.
 My dad was the most tender grandfather. Who wouldn't love to cuddle in that lap?
 Ian and I flew to Utah to surprise my mom for her 60th birthday. It was such a great weekend.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Today I have to be thankful for Thanksgiving! It's my favorite holiday! I love what it stands for, the non commercialness of it, and truly, the FOOD! It's my favorite meal of the year! I love baking pies (and I think I am kinda good at it). I love cooking traditional foods that are filled with flavors and memories from my childhood. I stick with many of the oldies, but try something new each year, as well. This year, since I cooked most of the meal, we simplified the menu to only our favorites. No fluff. It was perfect! We had turkey (brined and rubbed with seasoned butter), mashed potatoes and gravy (Jonny's awesome contributions), Senator Russels sweet potatoes (brown sugar/pecan-topped forever old southern family recipe), thankful rolls (little "I'm grateful for..." rolled up in each one, like a fortune cookie), Brussel sprouts cooked with bacon and Parmesan, corn bread stuffing, and my own cranberry sauce.I made four pies: Dutch apple, chocolate pecan, pumpkin, and chocolate cream. Everything turned out yummy! And everyone seemed to really understand why we were celebrating this day, which warmed my heart.

I am so grateful for those pilgrims and Indians and their shared feast long ago! I am so blessed and really love celebrating and dwelling on that!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I am grateful for early morning runs around the lake. Especially when they are with Brittany!


I am grateful for my children's schools. We live in an area with amazing public schools. They are the top rated schools in the state. Therefore, I believe they attract the best teachers, and we benefit greatly from that. Also, we have been very blessed to find the most amazing preschool (Max and Molly attended there, and now Ian). It's a Christian preschool and the teachers and staff have all been there 20+ years. They have the most amazing love for the children. I feel so warm when I drop Ian off there on Tuesdays and Thursdays because I know he will be taught and loved. Molly still sends cards and texts to her teacher from preschool.
Yesterday Ian had his Thanksgiving Feast at school. Each child was asked to bring one contribution to the feast, just like in that first Thanksgiving. It was so darling seeing all the children dressed as Indian Chiefs and Princesses in vests, necklaces, and headdresses that they made. They all sat criss-cross applesauce (aka Indian style;-)) and the food was blessed and shared by all! It was such a fun celebration!

I love that my kids are getting really great educations.

Monday, November 19, 2012


Today I guess I should be thankful for my home. I am always the first one to complain about how small our house is for our family and all the things I'd change about it, but I really do love it. It's the house we found when I was 8 months prego with our twins. It's the house we brought those babies home to. It's the house where our family grew from 3 to 6. And, even though we are bursting at the seams, there is a lot of love in this little cottage. We have so many amazing memories here. It's been said that love grows best in little houses, and I would say that is definitely true in our case. This house has a great feeling in it. I am so blessed to have a roof over my head and a protection from all of this darn rain!

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Today I am thankful for my primary class. I teach the CTR 5 class at church. I have six very energetic little boys. It's a huge challenge to teach them while entertaining and engaging them. I have enjoyed getting to know each one of them this year. They are intelligent little guys, who want to learn and do what's right. They love stories about Jesus, and often know more than I do about the scriptures. It's very humbling. I am grateful for all that they teach me through their good examples and their childlike eagerness. I am grateful for Primary because the kids really have it all figured out, and the more time that I spend around adults, the more I am convinced of that. I am grateful that I was entrusted to teach these children this year. I will never forget them and hope they learned something from our time together, because I have learned a ton and my heart is forever changed by them!

Saturday, November 17, 2012


I am super grateful for my eldest child! Olivia is a very cool girl. She has been an amazing blessing. Adopting her was one of the best decisions Jon and I have made as a couple. The timing was perfect and she definitely was meant to be in our family.

Olivia is such a great girl. She has a huge heart, full of love and kindness. She is very affectionate. She goes out of her way to give love to others. She loves to be with friends. She loves to have fun. She makes others happy. She has the best smile! It's contagious! The two rounds of braces are worth every penny for that smile!

I am grateful for all of the help Olivia gives me. She never has to be asked to do her chores. She wakes up early on Saturday mornings and knocks them out. She loves to surprise me with extra help, and I appreciate her so much.

I am also grateful for Olivia's great attitude about school. She loves school. She is excited to go everyday. She gets up with an awesome attitude, gets ready, and makes her own lunch. She is such a good kid.

I am so blessed to be Olivia's mom!

Friday, November 16, 2012


Max. Oh my goodness, where to start? I am so grateful for my little Max. My four pound twelve ounce chicken legged baby boy. What an amazing spirit he is! I enjoy him immensely. I could listen to him tell stories all day. Always about Star Wars. Always complete with sound effects and hand gestures. He lives in his imaginative mind, and it's an amazing place. It makes him mad when we interrupt that place by making him leave the house. He is so happy to build Lego Star Wars complete with ships and battle scenes, draw intricate star wars photos, and play Lego Star Wars on the Wii. Tonight we started the Star Wars movies again with New Hope and he drew the story line throughout the whole thing. So cool. I love his sweet, kind spirit, and the hugs that he does not give out readily, but when he does, he really means it. I was so happy when I learned one of our twins was a boy, and he has melted my heart ever since. I am so grateful to be his mom. I think he will do great things!

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I am thankful for my cute Molly. What a cool girl. I adore her. She was one of those dream babies. She slept through the night at 6 weeks. She didn't spit up. She never got sick. She was patient while I dealt with Max. I think she learned quickly what it means to be a twin. She is a very quick learner. She learned all her letters and sounds at two, and she is a wiz at anything academic. She is so loving and sweet and loves to snuggle. She is thoughtful. She loves to give gifts and never thinks twice about giving or spending her money for others. She is spunky and sassy and a good friend. She says sweet prayers and loves to go to church. I am grateful for every minute of my seven years with Molly heart!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Wow. Today is hard! It's my birthday and I have been showered with treats, gifts, hugs, kisses, phone calls, texts and food! I can't begin to choose one thing to be grateful for, so I will be flying high today and for many days, buoyed up by all of the kindness!

I will focus today on my brother. He is a sweetheart. I got home from dinner with my family tonight and was surprised with flowers, candy, and a cute little bear! I was so surprised when I opened the card and saw it was from my big bro! My heart melted! My dad sent me flowers every single year for my birthday, but since he passed away, there have been no flowers on my doorstep for my birthday, and a big hole in my heart.

So, tonight when I saw the flowers, it warmed my heart. I am so blessed to have such a sweet big brother. I think he's pretty darn great. And he deserves a whole grateful day dedicated just to him!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Today I am thankful for Parker. I guess he is my stepson, although I hate the title of stepmom. I married his dad
when he was just three years old. He's been a great blessing in my life and I am lucky he is in my family. I really love him dearly, and respect him so much. He returned from a LDS mission to Peru a month ago, and is such a great example to me and our family of someone with great conviction who chooses good and his life shows it! He's funny, smart and kind. And it's always awesome to hang out with him.

He got here today, from Salt Lake, and we get him for 14 days! I can't wait for the adventures we will have and the memories we will make! Let
the fun begin!

Monday, November 12, 2012


I am thankful for the veterans and for those who currently serve in the military to protect our nation. I am proud to be an American. I am grateful for so many freedoms.

God bless the USA!

Sunday, November 11, 2012


I'm thankful for pie. I got in a mood today and baked four pies. Apple, pumpkin, banana cream, and chocolate pecan. Then I had to invite some people over to help us eat it. It was yummy. And the company was fabulous. I really love pie. I wish I would've taken a picture of them before they got gobbled up. They were lovely.

I am totally a pie person. I love baking them, from start to finish. Something about the process is therapeutic for me.

So, it may seem a silly thing to be thankful for, but I am. Pie is comfort food at its best.

It brings people together.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


My husband is awesome. I know I've already been thankful for him on a past day, but he dedicated his whole day today to doing projects around the house. For me! So, today I am thankful for his acts of service. Here are a few of the things he did:

*built me a pantry where my coat closet used to be.
*replaced lots of lightbulbs inside and out including the big garage ones! Now my winter won't be as dark!
*put a lock on our treat cupboard. Think of the calories that will save me! It's like he's making me skinny, which
scores him double points.
*installed my new kitchen faucet.
*fixed a broken toilet paper holder.
*hung shelves in the kids' rooms.
*supervised the raking of leaves by my cute kids.

Man! You'd think it was my birthday or something! What a rockstar. Those little things, which took him most of the day, made my life a lot brighter. Thanks, Jonny!

Friday, November 9, 2012


I am grateful for my minivan. Never thought I'd admit to that. Never thought I would own one, and here I am just thankful as heck for it. I am not thankful for the five hours I spent at the Vancouver mall today while it was getting serviced and new tires. That was a bit of a nightmare. But, this is a thankful post, so I won't dwell on that...

I love that my swag wagon holds all of my family with a little space between each of us. I love the DVD player, and admit to overusing it. I love that we are past the new car stage where every ding is the end of the world. I don't love that my van is only clean for the day I clean it, but that is a phenomenon that blankets my entire world. I love the gps, the back up camera, and the bumper sensors that are fool proof, as long as they are on. I love the leather seats that make ice cream spills so much easier to clean up. Especially when you don't know about said spills for days after they occur. I love how much crap we can cram in the back on vacations. I love the automatic doors. I could go on and on.

I am thankful for my minivan. Yikes. I am so old...

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Ahhhh. Friday Night Lights. How I've loved watching every minute of your five seasons! You have brought my hubby and I together on the couch
every single night for the past two months. I have laughed and I have definitely cried. I have fallen in love (yep, with Tim Riggins), and truly enjoyed each episode. Who would've thought, that a girl who hates football, would declare Friday Night Lights the best show ever.

And, yes. I am grateful for it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


**Molly with her best friend LJ**

Today I am grateful for friends.  I have great friends.  I don't feel like I make friends very easily, but once I make a friend, I feel very loyal to them.  I feel very blessed today to have started my day with a cold, dark run with Brittany.  I love running with Brittany for many reasons, the least of which is the actual running part.  We have the best conversations when we run.  I feel like we have gotten to know each other so well, and she is someone I may not have gotten to know otherwise.  I love that girl.  Then, I had a short but sweet phone conversation with one of my very best friends who lives out of state.  Every time I talk to her, it makes my whole day, and I am grateful that we stay connected over the miles.  Then, I got to go have lunch and spend the whole afternoon with another one of my very favorite friends, Kim, while our cute kids played.  She spoiled me with yummy homemade tamales and amazing conversation. We have been friends a very long time, and she has become so dear to me, like a sister without the fighting...Today was not a typical day for me, unfortunately, but it left me with a smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart.  Where would I be without my wonderful friends?  I love you ALL!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Today, on election day, I am grateful that I get to vote! I am not the most political gal, but I like to exercise my right to vote. It makes me feel like a good citizen. It makes me feel like I have a little bit of power. Not just for the presidential election, but for the little local issues. I hate it when people whine, and don't vote. We don't always get our way, but we do get a say! It's pretty cool. I am grateful to be an American, even though many things in this country are a total mess. I really believe its a land blessed by God and a land of promise.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Today I am thankful for a beautiful fall day in the Northwest. The sun shone warmly! (after my early morning run in the dark and pouring rain). The colors were beautiful! I raked my whole yard, and loved every minute of it!

Also, I am thankful that all my kids liked dinner tonight. And that never happens unless it's pizza or junk food. We had chicken lettuce cups, rice, and edamame. Victory!!!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Today I am thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am thankful that I am free to worship Him as I choose. I am thankful for my church. I am thankful for temples. I am thankful for the words of God that I have at my finger tips and for living prophets. I feel very blessed for the gifts that I have been given of a strong testimony and the desire to do right.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


I am so thankful for my husband. He's such a cool dude. Funny. Kind. Eternally patient. He takes pretty good care of me. And, I think he still likes me a lot. Which, after 19+ years of hanging out with me is saying a lot.

And, most recently I am so thankful that he made me go to Hawaii with him. Really. He made me. Downright insisted. Here we are, on the beach in Maui. Yay for self photos, right?

I lucked out when I ended up with this guy, and I count my blessings every day.

Friday, November 2, 2012


Today I am thankful for Fridays. I love looking forward to two days that are out of my routine. Two days of having Jon around to help. Two days of staying up late watching Friday Night Lights episodes with the my hubby.

This weekend is full of activities, including Olivia's drama club performances (she is on the crew), two soccer games (Olivia and Molly), a soccer party, and Ian's birthday party. But, I know it will still be great, because all my favorite people will be around me.

Here's a picture of Ian's birthday cake for his party tomorrow:

Month of thankfulness...

1. I am thankful. I have so many blessings. I am going to numerate them for the month of November. I missed yesterday, because I had a (chocolate) hangover, so I will proceed to catch up:

1. I will go ahead and start by being thankful for Ian. My baby. It was his birthday on Halloween, so it seems a fitting place to start. He's such a cool kid. Every single day I feel blessed to be his mom. He is super funny, and makes us all laugh constantly. If you ask him about his talents, he'll tell you, "I'm funny!" He is also very affectionate. He LOVES to hug and kiss a lot. Sometimes to the point of awkwardness in public. I often feel like Ian is a lot like my dad. There is a strong correlation between them in my heart. Their lives on this earth only overlapped for about 18 months, but I feel like Ian was a special gift from God to fill my heart in my father's absence. He has my dad's height, his sense humor, and his awesome thick, wavy hair. He also has the gift of being able to make all the world's problems go away just by giving you a big, bear hug, (which, coincidentally was one of my favorite things about my dad).

I love that, because Ian is the youngest, I get to spend so much time with him. He is so much fun and makes me want to be a better person. I really believe that he will always make this world a better place by being in it. Who would've guessed that such a miserable pregnancy would've turned into such an amazing gift!?.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Oh, my goodness.  Where to begin?  I guess I'll start at the very beginning.  A very good place to start....

It was Jonny's year to plan the anniversary.  I taunted him that there was no way he was going to beat my awesome planning of 17.  He, apparently, was up to the challenge.  And, guess what?  He beat me. He shut me up.  And, he made me a very, very happy girl...

A trip to Chicago!  For FIVE days!  Without my children!!! (three exclamation points.  I really do love my kids...)

My husband totally rocks.  

Here's the hightlights of the trip.  Keep in mind I am terrible at remembering to take photos.  All of the following are from my iphone. Luckily, the memories we made are emblazened on my very soul. 

We took off last Wednesday.  We had a very dear friend come and stay with our kiddos until Jon's sister made it down from Washington.  We arrived after midnight in the midst of an A.M.A.Z.I.N.G lightening/thunder storm, the likes of which I have never seen in my life.  Thunder that sounded like gun shots right next to your ear.  Lightening that lit up the sky, one bolt after another.  Rain that was heavy, hard and WET.  It was actually quite magical.  

We stayed at the Palmer House.  Right downtown.  Super old, but remodeled and gorgeous.  Here is a little glimpse of our room:
The bed...

The next morning, we slept in.  Until 10:00.  So heavenly.  It's funny how much I appreciate sleeping in.  How much I long for it, really. Anyways, after a really leisurely shower, we headed out on the town.  We ate a yummy sandwich at Potbelly's restaraunt; a local favorite (my buddy Brittany gave me tons of sweet tips on things to do, restaraunts to try, and much more.  The trip would not have been as successful without her suggestions!  Thanks, Britt!).

After lunch we wandered down towards the water, and took a really cool architectural tour on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.  It was such a great way to see the city.  The architecture in Chicago really is amazing.  So many different styles.  Our tour guide was super funny and made it all very interesting. 

After the boat tour, it was almost time for our dinner reservation.  My husband is the cutest, and totally indulged me.  I am kind of a nerd, and LOVE the reality show "Giuliana and Bill." If you haven't seen it, it's about Guiliana and Bill Rancic, it airs on the Style Network, and it's totally cute.  They are an adorable couple and I am super addicted to the show.  Bill Rancic is a Chicago native and the couple recently opened an Italian restaraunt downtown called, RPM Italian. I, of course, have been dying to go.  Jon, of course, made reservations there to celebrate our anniversary. 

And guess what?  The Rancics delivered.  Big Time.  Awesome atmosphere.  Fabulous food.  Amazing service (weirdly enough, our waiter was from Tualatin, Oregon).  Here we are at dinner. And, some of our lovely, amazing food.

Our darling waiter brought these complimentary mini-gelatos to us!
Best meatballs E.V.E.R!!!

 After dinner we headed to Navy Pier, which is a cool touristy area on Lake Michigan with carnival rides, restaraunts, and gift shops.  We rode this BIG ferris wheel and one of us (me) enjoyed great views of the lake and the skyline.  The other one of us (Jon) played tic-tac-toe on his phone the whole time because he is a scaredy-cat-chicken-shrimp of heights.
Here he is on the ferris wheel, trying not to look freaked out.

The next day, we worked at the Expo for the Rock and Roll Marathon.  This is how Jon got the whole trip paid for (did I mention that in addition to being a rock star, he is also a genius?). We had tons of fun working together.  After work, we went to North Avenue beach and enjoyed this view while we ate some yummy beach food at a place called "Castaways."  The sun was setting and it was super romantic and picturesque.

Jon's company is one of the Rock and Roll Marathon series' sponsors, so we got two VIP tickents to run in the race.  We had a blast running the race together, and it was a very cool way to see the city.  It was HOT, even at 7:00 AM, but we ran slow and easy and afterward got to hang out in the VIP tent with amazing food and cold, icey drinks.

**As a side note, Jon dropped a trailer hitch on his toe a month ago and has not been able to run since.  He was such a good sport to still run with me and did amazing!

Here is my running poster- child posing in front of the Chicago Art Institute Lion.

After the race we enjoyed some amazing pizza, and then headed to Oak Street Beach (also on Lake Michigan, which I am convinced is not a lake, but the fifth ocean! It is huge and the beach is sandy and there are great waves.  It even smells ocean-y).  We napped on the beach, went for a swim in the refreshing, but not freezing water. H.E.A.V.E.N.

 We rented bikes that afternoon and rode for miles and miles along the flat lake-front trail. The weather was gorgeous.

The last day of our trip we did more sightseeing, checking out the famous Chicago Theater and shopping along Michigan Avenue and at Water Tower Place.  Then we had lunch and caught our plane home. It was so very sad to leave Chicago and our fun time alone together behind!
 It was really a wonderful anniversary.  Probably the best one yet.  I fell even more in love with my husband each moment we spent together.  There is nothing like time away to make you feel more connected and more appreciated.  We feel so blessed to still be crazy in love after 18 years.  I have been married the same amount of years that I haven't, if that makes any sense, and Jon has made this half of my life blissful beyond words. I will never forget the magical five days we spent in Chicago.  The laughs and new things we learned about one another, the encounters with homeless people, the inspiring talent we saw on the subway platforms,  and the new inside jokes.  I adored every minute of it, and can't wipe the perma-grin from my face.

I love you, Jonny, and can't wait for every day of the rest of forever with you.