Family Photos

As a surprise & gift to my parents, my siblings arranged getting family pictures done. Who knows when ALL of us will be together at one setting again. My wonderful cousin, Robyn, took the pictures on such short notice (Christmas Eve!), and they look fantastic! However, you can always find one goofy face in each picture--since I don't think anyone in my family knows how to smile at the same time. Hahaha. And, in case you haven't seen Richard in a while--check out that hair!



Cousins = The Best Kind of Fun

I love the blonde hair thing going on here.

Once there was a snowman

I'm quite sad I never took a picture of the 9-foot-snowman my brothers and husband built after the massive snow fall. The second ball was so heavy they had to build a ramp to roll it up. However, this snowman literally melted and fell over the next day (a little top heavy?)

Thanks to my nephew Adam and his prepared Mom, we were able to borrow his snow pants so Michael could go outside and play in the snow for sometime as well. I loved how bright blue Michael's eyes were as they reflected against his white surroundings.

The Mr. and Mrs.

The Mr. and Mrs cake. So stunning.

Emily, who I so lovingly nicknamed Embo, was married just days before Christmas, and it was this event that really tipped our decision on whether or not to go to Utah for Christmas. I must say I was very shocked to see Embo with so much make up on. Honestly, this is Emily--the one who doesn't like make-up! But, she looked beautiful. And, I really mean, BEAUTIFUL!

This girl holds such a special place in my heart. We've grown up together, played make-believe together, and even started clubs together. The most memorable clubs for me were:
1. Save the Animals club that started after we saw a neighborhood cat kill a garden snake! We had a proper burial for the snake, and then we colored awareness fliers and handed them out to all the homes in the neighborhood. Oh my. Way too funny.

2. The Slashers Club. This club was to be based on service projects. Each of the club members had specific duties such as treasurer, secretary (in charge of monthly newsletter), president, and vp. I think this club lasted less than a month. We never officially made our t-shirts, because my Mom informed us that Slashers sounded somewhat.....gory, and we could never come up with a new name, I guess.

3. The most memorable club is "The cool club". As Emily recalls, my sister Suzy and I (and I'm sure others) started a club called "The cool club" and told Emily she couldn't join because she was "too young." After her birthday rolled around, she asked if she could join and we told her, "maybe next year." This question became a running joke for years following. On her 17th birthday, however, Suzy and I came up with a grand gift idea for Emily. We snuck into their house, and decorated Emily's room with ribbons and balloons, and a banner that said, "Welcome to the Cool Club!" (She was cool way before that, by the way).

It was her family that introduced me to my husband (of 4 years tomorrow). So, Embo is due some credit for that. Embo and I would joke for years that it was going to be awesome when she married my younger brother, James. Then not only would we be cousins, we would be sister-in-laws as well, which wasn't too far out there for us, since we'd try to convince people we were sisters all the time. But those plans came crumbling down quickly (in just seven months) when Emily met Morgan. That's okay, I like Morgan alright-although, I can't decide if I should allow him entrance into The Cool Club just yet. Maybe when he's older. :)

Congratulations Mrs. Beautiful Emily!


If you're happy and you know it

This has not been a fun week. It's been very stressful, hard, depressing, difficult, trying, and flat out miserable. In short, we haven't really been cultivating a nice environment at home (which is ironic because I just taught a fabulous lesson to the Beehives about cultivating a nice environment wherever you are). It's frustrating.

I feel like there will always be ebbs and flows in my spiritual journey through life, however sometimes I get so sucked away that it seems impossible to return to a state where I was just a few weeks/days/months prior; happy, more selfless, and motivated.
There was another time in my life where I was obviously feeling incredibly down (although I can't recall how long ago this was), but I grabbed my scriptures and began reflecting on the semesters I lived at BYU-Idaho. For the most part, I was incredibly happy at BYU-I. I was surrounded by an incredible spirit-filled campus, with wonderful roommates, and good influences where ever I went. But, what was it that truly made me happy?

This is what I wrote down in the back of my scriptures:

What was I doing then that made me so happy?
-The basics. I prayed morning and night, in private and aloud, and with sincere thought.
-I read my scriptures daily, and read much. It was the year the prophet challenged us all to complete the Book of Mormon by the end of the year.
-I tried to do things for others, and control rude thoughts.
-I attended my meetings and fulfilled my calling.
-I wrote in my journal. I stopped doing unrighteous things, pushed any evil influences away. I kept my guard up.
-I heeded my patriarchal blessing.
-I worked my hardest, well at least worked and concentrated a lot on my school work.
-I maintained a balanced schedule.
-I apologized.
-I tried to show gratitude.

I'm really glad that I wrote this down, because it tells me that I know what I need to do if I want to be happy. But even though I know this and the blessings it will bring, why is it so difficult to form and keep good habits?

And humility? Let's not even go there.


A Holiday Poem

Stressed household.

Great friends.

Needed vacation.

The end.


New Battery!

This is a movie clip to celebrate our digital camera working again! I just had to replace the battery--but it took me long enough to get around to it. Now it's ready, just in time for Christmas!!