Monday, December 21, 2015

*Monday Memos*


 (If pictures are too small, just click to enlarge) 
Weekly recap of my rather crazy, insane, but fun and rewarding life!

dear crazy snowstorm!  We got plastered!  It just kept coming down all day long!  I had to make a run to the store and ended up stuck at the bottom of our hill!  I had to carry six bags of groceries up the icy and slick road to my house.  Dang car! I want my SUV back!  Taylor came home and his car also got stuck.
The tsunami of snow took down our little palm tree!
I have NO doubt Tyson was getting a kick out of that!  We put it up each year in his memory.

dear annual food and flick night with home teachers... this was number one of six parties I have this week!  I always look forward to this night that we do during December at our home teachers home Brother Packer.  They have quite the set up and we always have such a great time.  Richard keeps us laughing the entire time with his wit and quips during the movies.  He is one of the funniest guys I know.  This year we had no boys again, and Julie was solo because her Dave was stuck in Logan moving their daughter and didn't get back in time.  The snow put a kink in his plans.  But we had fun anyway!  We started with a short clip of The Little Rascals.  It was hilarious. Then we watched Holiday Inn.  It was the colorized version which I had ever seen and it was a great flick!  It's the movie where White Christmas was introduced.  And it was a WHITE Christmas evening with the freshly fallen snow.  It was beautiful.  Then we followed up with a couple short clips from Phantom of the Opera.  It sounded amazing and we are dying to go back and watch it there.  We finished with a little rockin' out to the BeeGees in concert.  

Julie brought a double lemon pie from Maddox and it was heavenly!  I took a guacamole Grinch and Jill had lots of other goodies.   
Yet ANOTHER guacamole Grinch!  This guy has a little bit of an acne problem! 
FOOD....FLICKS... and FUN!

A highlight is always getting to see what they have been working on in their shop.  They seem to get more impressive every year.  This year it was amazing wooden guns and an entire wooden toy collection of vehicles.  WOW!  Just amazes me the time that goes into each one!  They are the most talented people and I am always in awe at their gift to create such amazing pieces of art.   

We had to rush off to catch Taylor's city league basketball game.  We ran Julie home and then drove on the snow packed and icy roads.  His team was behind by 10 but came back to tie and ended up losing by one point.  They were the better team but dumb mistakes lost it for them.  His team has many of the former BEHS starters the year he was a junior.  Taylor started the year after and they are all excellent at the sport but seemed to be tired tonight.  Maybe it being finals week has something to do with it?  hah  Taylor spent the night and stayed up late studying, but it was great to have him home for a bit 

dear running in the ice...the roads were still packed with snow on the edge where I run so I headed to the track and happily they had plowed a section so I could run.  Just for me!  Hah  But it was still pretty icy and tricky.  I ran pretty carefully and slow. I got in three miles and then decided to hit the streets because the sun had been out.  They were much better than the track.  It was chilly, but I warmed up fast.

dear byol....(bring your own lunch).  Nancy (the cute lady that moved into Loraine's home) had a luncheon today for a sister in our ward so she could get to know people.  She ended up not being able to come!  Oh well, the rest of us had a good time.  I am not sure I have ever been to a BYOL party before, but it was fun.  Dave was off and he was nice enough to go get me a chef salad from Yogurt Factory.  It was really good. It was fun to see what everyone else brought.  Several were dinner leftovers. Nancy has the most gorgeous cat!  I got a photo of him but not of the group!  What was I thinking?  I did get one of her very tall tree and one of Porter being sung to by us for his birthday, but not one of us all.  Brain cramp!
We had fun chatting and then I ran home to try and get some Christmas done.  I am starting to panic because it's next week!!!!  Oh my gosh, I am not sure I am going to pull it off!  I am mostly worried about the poem and gifts for a few needy families.  I ran to Walmart and got some things for neighbor gifts and some groceries for Taylor because he said they had no food in their apartment.  Poor starving college students.  I always feel bad for them. Then I ran over to the church to help set up for our dinner tonight but it was pretty much done.

dear relief society christmas dinner....the theme we chose was "An Old Fashioned Christmas".  Brooke did all the decorations and so of course it was amazing.  She has so much talent and it looked so cute!   President Davis read some stories that some of the sisters had written about their most memorable Christmas.  They were all very good and touching.  Julie and Mona both needed rides home and so I told them to hop in the cripple van...haha.  We had a lot of fun.  Mona does not have a coat!  It is in storage and her son has been too busy to get it for her.  WHAT?  I told her we are getting her one tomorrow!  She got her neck brace off and so she is getting a rental car tomorrow and said she is going to get one.

dear turkey in the straw snow.... these poor guys must have a heck of time finding food with all this snow.  But they are sure a riot to watch.  I honestly get the biggest kick out of watching them.  Must be their distinct way of walking and acting all tough. 
At the top of our hill.
Here they are right in my backyard. 

dear christmas is getting close!  PANIC TIME!  I need two more weeks!  But then again, I ALWAYS do!  If I had two more weeks, then I would need two more weeks again!  And again.... and again....  But I am getting there.  I made these cute little S'more mugs for the sisters I visit teach.  I put in a Hershey Bar, mini bag of Teddy Grahams, and some snowman marshmallows.  I had four but broke one.  Oops!
I added this tag....
I had to take another shot of the Christmas tree because now it has snow in the background!  I wish all the other two million pictures I took earlier would have had a background of snow!

This has been me this week!  I am a little high strung with the stress of trying to get everything done this week!

dear mr. cat, and then suddenly there was a paw!  You remind me of when my boys were little and even when I went into the bathroom, they couldn't leave me alone.  Only when you do it, I welcome it because you are showing some interest in me!  hah!
You have been hanging out with me a lot lately.  Like sitting on top of all the wrapping paper so I can't get to it.  Or playing with my tape dispenser so I have to always search for it.  Or laying on my gift bags and tissue paper when I need them.  I am not complaining one bit.  I love that you like to hang with me.  Mainly because it's too cold for you to go outside. When I open the door to let you out, your head goes back and raises up as if to test the temperature.  Nine times out of ten, you back away and don't go out.
You fell asleep at the top of my chair and just stayed there for hours.  So not like you.  The photo on the upper right, is a shot of when I open the door when you have to decide if you want to brave the cold or not.  You usually choose NOT. You always get this look on your face as if you are being tortured by something.  It's hilarious.

dear christmas panic!  This year, I have really not been that stressed because everything has been coming together so nicely.  But I was determined to get the family newsletter poem written on Thursday since I didn't have any obligations that day.  I even skipped my run so I could just get to it.  I think I was trying to put it off because I found myself cleaning and organizing and doing things that could have waited....haha.  I finally buckled down about 11:30 a.m. and went to work. I was really not making a lot of progress and any that I did make was slow.  I was getting a headache and just wanted to be magic and snap my fingers and have it magically done!  That wasn't going to happen and so I had to just stick to it.  Dave had written some ideas and I was grateful for those, but I changed most of them.  I worked hard on that thing most of the day, but at 11:00 p.m. I was done.  Not done, but done!  Even though I only had four or so lines left, and a LOT of editing, I was just tired of it and knew I was not going to make it better until I came back to it with fresh eyes.  So I hit the sack.  But I was still amazed that I got almost all of it done.  I don't feel like it is even a fraction as good as last years, but I am to the point, that DONE is going to have to be better than PERFECT!  I just want it done!  I am still going to have to spend hours adding photos and making letterhead and printing it and doing labels and addressing envelopes.  I still have many hours left to put into it, but I am running out of time!  I have a busy couple of days, but hopefully it will somehow come together before Tuesday!  I am going to have to get it printed and then mailed by Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest if I want it to arrive before Christmas.  I plan on spending all day Monday doing that.

dear welcome surprise!  Dave brought home flowers, Idle Isle chocolate, and  card!  It was for our UN-anniversary.  Well, it was the 17th of the month and ever since we have been married on the 17th of every month (almost) he has wished me a Happy Anniversary.  This month though I got the goods! He said it was because it was our 33.3333333333333 anniversary and that only happens once.  haha I'm thinking it's because he knows how stressed I've been and how hard I work each year to pull Christmas together.  He told me that I do all the work but he pays for it all.  He is right about that.   Whatever the reason, his card was nice and the chocolate is ALWAYS welcome and of course so are flowers...especially purple ones! I seriously have the best husband!

dear manic manikan, she's back!  I haven't been very good at getting shots of this insanity lately, but I couldn't resist this one.  You will have to click to enlarge it. That's all I have to say about it. 

dear runs in the snow...and I don't mean that kind of runs!  LOL  Now that would ruin the beautiful snow!  Sorry!  We have got a lot of snow this week and so running in it was inevitable. I don't really mind it though if the street isn't snow packed.  It is really quite beautiful to be out in it.  I layer pretty well and so I don't get too cold.  If I do it's either my feet or my hands.  Some days both, but usually only one.    
That cute horse in the photo actually RAN up to greet me. That doesn't happen very often, but he was so cute and so happy to see me.  Maybe he thought I was bringing him a treat.  Sorry pal. 

dear christmas tree...okay I warned ya!  MORE photos!  I had to because now we have SNOW!  The ones before just didn't seem like Christmas with the green grass in the background.  Snow makes it feel like Christmas!
I love close ups!
Love the way the camera captured the lights in this one.
I love the tree behind my nativity in this one.  So bright!
My favorite!

Lights are just so beautiful!  I think we should leave them up year round!

dear lunch with my twinsee, I really should go and copy Dawn's post on our lunch because she nailed it!  (You can read it HERE.)  But I will try and sum it up in my own words (though I am speed typing and will surely leave something out).  We have started the tradition of meeting before Christmas with just the two of us which I love so we can really talk.  She is so nice to come to Maddox so I don't have to drive all the way in.  It makes it much easier for me with the craziness of the season right now.
We talked, ate the yummy rolls, and then shared a lunch.  That was a great idea because who can ever eat the entire meal anyway?  Then we exchanged gifts. 

I gave Dawn a gift of all things chocolate themed.  She loves chocolate as much as I do.  I would find something little and then find something else and so it just built on it.  I also found the PERFECT journal that had Laugh Out Loud on it (the name of her blog) and Be Happy and  Grateful and Be Silly and many more that were just so Dawn.  I knew immediately when I saw it that it had her name all over it. I also found a mug that says, "You're my favorite" because we are always saying smiling is our favorite like Elf...but Dawn really is one of my favorites!  

She gave me the cutest cupcake sign and a yummy giant  Hershey Bar with almonds (my fave!) and a Willow Tree called happiness, with the description free to sing, laugh, dance, create.  When I opened it and saw the girl's outstretched with birds on her arms, I got chills.  The reason for the chills is this week on one of my runs as I was coming up a street all of the sudden out of nowhere hundreds of birds suddenly started flying above me.  Literally hundreds!  I've never so many birds!  It was the most amazing sight.  Then some settled on the telephone wires above me and others settled in a tree.  I immediately wanted to take a photo to capture the beauty of such a rare moment, but my phone was froze.  It's been literally freezing on me when I go running in the cold.  Since I couldn't take a photo, I had to take it all in.  That was a tender mercy for me because if I had been trying to capture it in a photo, I would have missed the moment because it only lasted for maybe 10 seconds at the most.  But those 10 seconds were so breath taking.  Words really can't describe it and I know I am doing a terrible time of trying, but suffice it to say, it was one of those rare experiences you have that makes you appreciate nature and God's beautiful world.  I am still not sure what it was supposed to mean for me or what lesson I am supposed to learn, but at the time I thought there must be one and when I opened Dawn's gift, I KNEW that was a confirmation that there is one.  I plan on doing a post on it when I have it all figured out, but for now I am going with the fact that it might mean that I am in a stage in my life where I am free right now from most of the obligations and responsibilities I have had for so many years and maybe it has something to so with I am being blessed with this time before I need to settle in again so I need to take full advantage of it and not feel guilty for enjoying doing things I want to do that I have not been able to do for so many years.  Some times I feel guilty that I am able to go to lunch or to do fun things with my friends etc. because so many others have to go to work to support their family.  But I do believe that Heavenly Father is letting me know that it's okay.  It's probably going to be short lived and so I need to just savor the time and cherish the moments for what they are right now. Be in the now and quit worrying about feeling that I need to be more productive or making some huge difference in the world.  Just enjoy...savor...cherish.  Be free and let it be.  It's okay.  I'm not quite sure if I pin pointed it yet, but it's something along those lines.  That little figure is going to remind me of that each day.
 Dawn sent me this photo in black and white and I have decided I look best in black and white. hah  I hope you can see the Willow Tree holding out her arms and the birds on them. 
Here's a close up of her in color
By the tree at Maddox
I told Dawn about a place in town that always has little photo booths set up outside for people to come and take pictures.  We decided to go do our own photo shoot.  She brought her tripod and we has a great time!  The sun was in my eyes though, but I think they still turned out fun!
 Such a fun spot to take pictures!
 We are silly, but we love being silly!  If you are too cool to be silly, then you are too cool! And no one wants to be TOO cool!  lol
 Such cute backdrops! Us, not the scenery!  hehe 
It was a fun time!  I am so grateful for this friend (aka twinsee) of mine.  She truly inspires me daily and I am in awe of all she does to brighten the lives of others. She is the most giving person I know.  She thinks of others and how to bless their lives, yet, she is down to earth and so easy to talk to.  She is ALWAYS so upbeat and positive and literally spreads sunshine.  I love hanging around her because I always feel happier after.  I feel so blessed that Heavenly Father would send such an amazing person in my life. She sets such a great example for me and someday I only hope to be half as amazing as she is.  

After our lunch I was determined to finish the last few little gifts I needed.  I ran to a few places for gift cards and other little things.  I am pretty much done!  Now to get that dang poem finished!

dear ward GRINCHmas party! 
Our traditional photo on Santa's lap!  Sometimes it's work to get this to work, but this year it fell into place.   I didn't even have to drag Bonnie this time!  haha

 The party was Grinch themed and those in charge outdid themselves!  It was so wonderfully decorated and the food was amazing and the entertainment was perfect!
 We invited our neighbors Bob and Betsy to join us and we were happily surprised that they did!  Dave told them he would pick them up and they said sure!  It was great!  

 Of course we had to get some shots with the Grinch! 
Mona didn't get there in time to be in the Santa photo so we got her in these instead. 

This one of me and Bonnie is my favorite! ↓
It was a fun party!  That there is my Grinch.  Well, technically McKay's.  My mom gave it to him one year for Christmas.  He was always obsessed with the Grinch.  

dear long run, I went out alone and did almost five miles, then I met Robin and did another almost six.  It seemed like a long run for sure, but was nice to have company for the last half.  We had to stop at the cute little Hot Cocoa photo stand and take a selfie since we ran right past it.

dear saturday options....we were invited to the Anderson's annual Christmas party and we've attended it once before and it was a lot of fun.  This year though we also got invited to go see Bar J with Dave's parents.  The Wranglers called and told him they had some tickets.  They are always SO nice to us!  We took mine and Dave's parents to see them last year for their Christmas gift and when we talked to the Wrangler's after the concert they told Dave and his Dad to just call them and they would give us tickets next year.  They called instead.  Like I said they are always so good to us.  I also wanted to go to the tabernacle and see Hilary Week's concert.  So many choices and I wanted to do ALL of them!  So sad they all fell on the same night.  We ended up going to the Anderson's because Dave really wanted to and felt we needed to since we were invited.  Taylor ended up going to Bar J with Dave's parents and brother's fam.  We only stayed at the Anderson's for about 90 minutes because we didn't know that many people this year and I had SO much to do!
 Clark had the U flag hanging in front of his house.  The Utes took the Holy War this year and so no one could bawk at that.  There was a spread of food!  I took Christmas Crack.  Love that stuff!
 Santa stopped by for a visit!  Dave was trying to impersonate him.  
 Santa said he knew Dave had been good but didn't say if I had or not.  I guess we will know on Christmas morning.
 I love this photo!

 This little guy was a little afraid of Santa.  I asked Santa for one of these of my own.  But I'm not planning on that for this year.  Maybe in a couple more years.  

We stopped to Oooo and Ahhh at this "gingerbread house" that is less than a mile from us.  It made #18 in the top 20 best decorated houses in Utah.  It really is amazing.  

Taylor enjoyed Bar J.  I am feeling bad we missed it!
He spent the night and went to church with us on Sunday.  That was awesome to not have to sit alone!  I usually sit by Mona and Troy and Carol, but it was nice to have family there!

dear stressmas!  On Sunday morning just when I thought I had things fairly under control, this morning all went awry!  First of all, my printer decided to be a pain in the rear and not print in color.  Then it decided to not print at all.  And all right in the middle of Sunday School class prep.  Bad timing. Then our laptop decided to not connect (no matter what) to the internet and my Ipad was dead and having a hard time charging.  I needed at least one of them for my class to show a couple Christmas videos.  When Dave got home from his meetings, I asked him to fix the printer. I really needed it.  It has been on the brink for a few days and I haven't been able to print my neighborhood gift tags which has put me behind.

Well, fix it he did.  But not the printer.  Instead he fixed my computer.  As in erased everything on it I had been working on for the past three days.  Which is basically all of Christmas and a million other things I needed!  Including my Sunday School lesson!  And it was my last very last time teaching my class because they move on in January.  Yes, he did a system restore!  He thought he was restoring the printer. NOPE!  He restored my computer!  Bless his little heart.  Not!  That took forever and when it finally started up again, Firefox wouldn't open and asked me to delete the shortcut so it would.  So I did.  It didn't!  Aaaaaa!!!!!  Firefox gone!  And everything on it (all my millions of open tabs that I was using) GONE!  The timing was bad.  Really bad! 
It got to me!  The stress finally caught up with me!  I did not handle it like a calm little cucumber.  Taylor told me I needed to "chill out Ma".  I agreed.  Easier said than done though since I was basically without my SS lesson because it disappeared.  As did  my Christmas poem I had been working on forever!   I was SO happy I emailed one of my last revisions to Dave or I would be left with nothing.  I was not SO happy this all was happening because he "thought" he was helping but I know he was only trying to fix it.  BUT, what could I do?  Nothing!  Where is Skyler when I need him?  He could have fixed it all in two minutes.  We are not the tech saavy ones in the family.  Taylor did come to my rescue several times and worked on my letterhead last night for the poem but that also disappeared.  I should have had him fix the printer.  Oh well...  My new mantra.  

"Oh well."  

Then to make matters worse, I got on the scale this morning and gained two pounds.  Yes, two pounds after running almost 11 miles the day before.  Hmm....  That may not sound like much, but when you are trying to NOT do that and then the opposite's frustrating.   Must have been all that Christmas Crack I ate even though I really thought I was being overly good not to OD on it.  Or maybe it was the yummies at the Anderson's party.  Whatever it was, I didn't feel I deserved it but the scales disagreed.  Merry Christmas!  Ho...Ho...Ho... 
And then.... in Relief Society we learned that the definition of patience is composure under stress.


And then....
After church the cascade of Christmas calories started to appear from our neighbors. In the form of nuts, and lemon bars, and warm chocolate chip cookies.  Do you know how impossible it is to not eat warm chocolate chip cookies?  Or lemon bars?  They may be my most favorite to warm chocolate chip cookies.  So.........
My other new mantra!  Hah  I wish it were that easy!  

But I started to feel better after I ran onto some Grumpy Cat pictures.  This guy makes me laugh!   He cheered me up.  Isn't he supposed to do the opposite?  Maybe it's because when I see him, I know I'm not that grumpy!  lol

dear memory lane, I saw this photo on Facebook and it took me back almost 40 years!  This is my junior high school!  T.H. Bell!  I attended this from 7th to 9th grade.  I have some great memories of this place.  And some not so great!  haha   It hasn't changed ONE bit from this photo!  Crazy!  

dear randomness, I have to share what my brother posted on Facebook because it really screams out the true meaning of CHRISTMAS!  This is what he wrote:
Oh my gosh our family has had the greatest 24 hrs ever. Went to help with the homeless this am. My wife and kids are the best ever. So proud of all of them. Our friends Ryan and Colette last week did the same and invited us to do so this week. Last night I am telling the kids about it, really not sure what the reaction would be. I had no more than spoken the words that I would like to get some blankets at Wallys and go thru our non necessary coats and stuff. Then Paigely pulls up a picture of a care package with all kinds of helpful stuff in it including some treats. So Paigely, myself and Madi go to Wallys at about 9 last night. We had the best time together trying to decide what would benefit them the most. Yes the best time at Wallys on Sat night, I know those words have never been spoken before. We were going down an aisle and Paigely out of the blue says "this is so much fun". We weren't sure what would help the most but I will say that every suggestion that Madi made we found out this am at 9 was exactly what they needed the most, perhaps in another life maybe she was homeless and had some divine flashback or something. We come home and all of us put the packages together, we are laughing and having such a good time. Best family time we've ever had I think. Then we get up early meet Ryan, Colette and their kids and head down to slc. Oh my gosh it was raining, snowing and freezing and these poor people are out in it. Everything they have is wet!! So when it gets colder it's gonna freeze I don't know how it could ever dry. Ryan and Colette family brought down a bunch of breakfast burritos and rolls and all kinds of stuff. The people are so grateful for anything. Alli gives a guy a burrito and he says thanks so much and God bless you I wasn't sure if we would get to eat today. So heartbreaking!! But they are all so selfless. Several people would have thin coats on and still not take a blanket or coat but ask you to give to one of the other people standing there that they say needs it more. Unbelievable kindness and respect for each other they all have. We all are walking around and passing out stuff but Paigely is jumping in and feeding and giving out blankets and food and smiling and making some of the people so happy. So so proud of all of them, I was filled with so much love for my family and what they were doing I can't even believe it. So cold and so many needing help but so grateful for every little thing they have. I want to thank Ryan and Colette for inviting us to participate, it was hands down the greatest family project we have ever done. We laughed together and we cried together both at the same time. We felt both guilty and grateful at the same time that we had food at home and heat in our house. I can't remember the last time we felt so close and so much love for each other as last night and today. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful family. God bless all of you to. Today is a great day.
Here are a few of the pictures he shared:
I needed to read that today.  It made me even happier than Grumpy Cat did!

dear it's for the birds, Bryce posted this on Snapchat:

I have seen our crazy wild turkeys SO much this week!  They are everywhere! 
To become turkey mush!  I turned up our street this week and wham, there they were!  I nearly killed them all!  They were right in the road and I had to slam on the brakes so I didn't massacre all of them. I thought for sure I hit at least two, but they all escaped the wrath of my tires. Whew!

dear six month's already!  Wow!  My baby in Russia for another year and a half.  Just my baby in Russia is a wow to me.  I get to talk to him on Christmas!   I can't wait!  I am so excited! 
The pictures he sent this week were amazing but made me cold just looking at them!  Brrrrr......... ICE SCULPTURES! 
He got his boots finally! 

Sherminator shared this picture with me on Sunday.  It was the day of McKay's farewell.  Wow, I can't believe he's been out six months!

dear quotes! 
I love the peacefulness that freshly fallen snow brings.  It is very silent.  That is until the snowplows start up!  Running when it is snowing is the most peaceful feeling in the world.  It really does quiet the world down.  I just love it! 

And besides:

This brings me peace...

It has taken me a while to grasp this, but I firmly believe this is solid truth.

Yes!  Even if it's a blizzard or a frozen tundra!

 Love these!
That will be me!

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Oh My Word...I adore YOU! I'm sick that you had such issues with your computer and printer. Yikes! Just when you were getting a handle on things....darn!

I love our crazy time together...I think we're cute. :D

Your missionary looks to happy and those ice sculptures were "cool".

It's going to be a Merry Christmas and everything is going to be great!

So sad that the snow knocked down Tyson's tree....I bet Tyson thinks it funny.
Merry Christmas Jodi....Look at Everything You Accomplished! You're Amazing!


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