Monday, December 19, 2016

*Monday Memos*


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

dear long run, Robin and I set out to crush 10 miles on Monday morn, but due to time, we only made it 9.  I was a bit disappointed until I realized I was one week ahead of my training schedule and I don't have to do 10 until this Saturday!  Whew!  I did pilates on Saturday and that seemed to flare up my piriformas quite a bit, but on the run it was okay. 
We saw this pig with purple wings and so I HAD to take a photo of it, but the home owner came out and gave us some serious crusty looks!  I decided I would take her a treat later to sweeten her up! 

dear visit to janica, I met with Nadine and Katherine (other wives of the stake presidency) to take a gift (Willow Tree) to Janica.  She is Officer Ellsworth's wife.  She is an amazing woman and her boys are so stinkin' cute and adorable.  Just seeing them made me so sad.  They are just the sweetest things ever.  I am sure the youngest will adjust just fine, but it will be hardest on the 8 and 5 year olds.  The community has been so generous to her and her family and I am sure that helps some.  Heartbreaking.
We lost Tyson around Christmas time as well, and it is very hard to get through the holiday that first year.  It's never a good time to lose a loved one, but Christmas is especially rough.  For us that year, we had presents already bought and wrapped and under the tree for Tyson that went unopened and unused.  I honestly do not remember what I did with them. 

dear lunch with dave, since Dave is on call all week, we decided to go to lunch at Corbins. I have been dying to try their chicken pot pie!  It was so good, but I could tell calorie laden with butter and cream!  I tried not to eat too much because I knew it wouldn't settle well.  We also got the spinach artichoke dip and it is TO DIE FOR!  It wasn't crowded at all and I fear they will go out of business.  Dave's burger was huge! 

dear webinar, I had a webinar titled Double Your Productivity.  It was really motivating but I just wish they did it at another time besides Christmas when I am already too swamped to add the projects they motivated me to get going on! 

dear those who work hard for us, I am always so grateful for online shopping and even more grateful for those who deliver those packages that I ordered while in my jammies.  I know, I know...yes they do pay them extra well this time of year, (maybe not the USPS guys) but.... I am STILL in awe of how crazy their job must be during this time of year!  I made a little basket of goodies for them so they can feel a tiny bit of appreciation.  I am pretty sure not everyone treats them well right now so I wanted them to know I do appreciate all their efforts.  I only wish I had done it sooner when the bulk of my packages arrived, but better late than never!

dear joys of the season, every morning when I wake up the first thing I do is look at my Christmas tree that is glistening in the dark.  It's set on a timer and so it goes on automatically.   I often think we need to leave a lighted tree up all year because there is such a feeling of joy just seeing those beautiful lights sparkling in the dark.  This photo was taken after I had been up a while, but it's usually dark when I first see it and it truly fills me with a peace and contentment each day. 
I'm so HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY that Dave was able to repair Tyson's palm tree!  I thought it was a goner after last year!  It looks so amazing in our front yard with the lights.
This also made me smile....

As did this...
This was left on my porch by one of friends and fellow missionary mamas.  It is my favorite photo depicting a scene in the Book of Mormon when the Strippling Warrior's mamas were telling them goodbye.  They knew they were off to war and had no idea what the final result would be.  It's kind of like a missionary mama sending her sons and daughters off into the big wide unknown world!  You pray and hope for their safety and protection but all you can do is have FAITH!  I have always said the feelings a mama has sending off a missionary is the best kept secret in the church because no one can prepare for how heart wrenching it truly is.  It is definitely one of the hardest things in the life of a mama.  But, I am SO excited because I get to talk to him on Christmas Day!  Skype actually!  Even better if we can get it to work!  Here is the touching story behind the art (by Del Parson):

This image was inspired by my wife and son when he was leaving on his mission. We were at the airport saying our good-byes, and I watched him as he hugged my wife. She was hanging on, having a very hard time letting him go, and he was hugging her, but he was looking beyond her — toward the airplane. He was obviously ready to go. The expression on her face was one of trepidation. It was as if she were asking herself, "Have I prepared him for this? Have I done all I could?" While his expression was one of eager determination. He had been preparing so long for this and he was ready to get started. That moment made me think of the story of the Stripling Warriors. Those two thousand young men had never fought before. They had no idea what they were up against, or what to expect going into battle against the Lamanites, but that didn't matter to them. They were prepared in spirit and in faith. They knew that the things their mothers had taught them were true, and they were willing to march into the unknown, with their strength and courage coming from their faith. I think about those young men and their resolve to defend their families and their homes. They went forth with bravery and they succeeded. Then I think about their mothers. I know how worried and afraid they must have been. That's what moms do. They worry and they wonder if they have prepared their sons. That is really the feeling I wanted to portray in this painting.

dear gingerbread house cake, oh my gosh I am SO in love with the knew gingerbread pans I bought at Home Goods made by Nordic.  They are SO SO SO much fun!  It's like making a gingerbread house only none of the work and time involvement! .
I made these for my harp teacher and for Mona.  I was going to decorate them with some royal icing, but I thought they turned out pretty cute with just the powdered sugar snow effect and so I didn't.  Besides, I ran out of time.
They looked much better in person, but they are just my new favorite thing!

dear lunch with my sista dawn, Dawn and I always go to lunch and exchange gifts each Christmas, but somehow this year seemed to get away before we had made any plans. I thought about it but wasn't sure I should text her because she has so many friends that she goes to lunch with that I didn't think she would have time but then she text me and asked when I could go. That is the one thing that amazes me about her, she ALWAYS makes time.  I have no idea how she does it, but she does.  She must have 40 or 50 friends that she takes to lunch on their birthdays as well and I am always in awe of how she finds the time to do it because she has a large family that she takes care of as well. She also blogs and is ALWAYS caught up and never gets behind. I often wonder if she sleeps?  But she is a fun friend who I love dearly and I was so glad we found some time to spend together.  I consider her one of my very best friends in this life. 
Since I had my harp lesson the day we choose, we decided to meet at Home Goods in Station Park because I had to return some things.  My lesson was cut short a bit (hmm) and so I got there about 20 minutes early so I went into a couple of stores to kill some time before going to Home Goods but when I got there she had already been there for a while looking around. I should have just gone straight there.  We even manage to have a good time while shopping.  We found these silly masks and of course HAD to take a photo.  We also found a Santa and an elf walking around and if that isn't a photo opp, I don't know what is! 
After shopping, we went to the Blue Lemon for lunch.  I love that place.  We had a good time just chatting and exchanging gifts.  She gave me the Willow Tree I have been eyeing for so long.  It's the gold shiny sparkly one that is just SO pretty! I was so excited!  I put it with my Willow Tree nativity and it looks so perfect.  And, of course, chocolate in a cute little mitten purse!  I gave her a frame that comes with uplifting quotes that you change out because she is a quote person.  She posts one every single day on Facebook.  When I saw it, I knew it was for her.  I also gave her a ceramic hot chocolate mug and chocolate! 

After lunch, I went and visited Mona and took her some Christmas gifts including one of the gingerbread house cakes.  When I walked in, her eyes about popped out and she stood up with her arms open wide and started to cry.  She said, "Oh, Oh, Oh, you came to see me! I didn't think I would see you!"  I think she was happy to see me!  hehe  Her memory isn't what it used to be, but she was doing well today. I stayed and visited with her for quite a long time, but then had to take off and get some Christmas shopping done.  It was good to see her.  I really miss having her live closer.  I need to go see her more often.
Love this lady!  She hasn't been feeling well this week and so she was chillin' in her jammies.

dear snowy day, welp, I got out in the FREEZING cold to run this week several times.  It was snowy on Wednesday and I ran into one of my horse pals.  He was uber friendly today.  He came right up to me and I thought he was going to eat my face!  It was snowing lightly (which I LOVE!) and so I was a bit damp when I got home but that's okay. I also found a nickel in a very strange location!
Look at that sky!  The things I would miss if I didn't get out and run each day.

Check out these guys!  IF you can even see them!  They are camouflaged pretty well!
I was supposed to go with my Mom to see the play It's a Wonderful Life in Centerville, but the friends we were going with called her and said the weather was too bad and so they weren't going.  I really wanted to see it because that is my all time favorite movie, but I was also VERY relieved that I got some extra time to get the calendars done.  I worked hard on them most of the day (and late into the night) and got Dave's moms done!  Dave was off in the morning and we were both working like crazy all day trying to get stuff done and didn't have time for lunch until about 4:00!  He was on call and had to go in at 5:30, so we decided to head out to Mantua to the new Country Store and try out their grill.  We have heard really good things about it.  Of course, it was snowing like crazy.  Sardine was pretty bad, but luckily Mantua isn't too far up and so we still went.
That's a deer decoration in front of the Escalade.  It looks like Dave hit him.  Haha  The food was incredible.  We shared a Cowboy burger because they are so huge!  The onion rings are homemade and the best anywhere!  I would highly recommend this place!  And they have ice cream cones for 25 cents!

dear thursday, I got out and ran in very cold temps but the scenery was spectacular! 

We also had our very last Jesus the Christ study group today.  We were going to celebrate by going to lunch after the study session.  I am so grateful I was able to read this book over the course of the last two years.  It has taught me so many things I didn't know and has deepened my testimony of the Savior in ways that only by reading it could happen.  His life has so many elements that I was unaware of until reading it.  I am grateful for James Talmadge and his knowledge so we can all understand His life a bit better.  What a blessing it has been to me.  We are now going to start a new group on the Book of Revelations taught by the amazing Caryl Hepworth.  I am looking forward to that!
The regulars showed up but Caryl joined us today.  We went to El Toro.  Caryl was unable to come to lunch, but the rest of us enjoyed a great meal and great company.

I spent most of Thursday working on the calendars.  As I was working on them, the doorbell rang and look who it was!
My dear friend Robin (Bonzo).  We have been friends since 4th grade and grew up in the same neighborhood and ward.  I have always loved her.  She has gone though some really hard things the last few years, but she is back to her old self again.  She is a total hoot!  She had been at Maddox for a wedding luncheon for her nephew and decided to come and find my house!  I was SO excited!  I was so glad I was home!  We had a great visit!  So happy for GPS so she could find me!  haha

dear popcorn class, when I signed up for the other class I took last week at Honeyville Grain I also signed up for the popcorn class.  After last weeks, I wasn't sure I wanted to go.  But I hurried and got ready and decided to try it out.  Since I got the calendars done last night at midnight, I decided I would at least show up but I would leave it if was like last weeks.  
Thankfully, it was much better.  She made a lot of different popcorn recipes and I was anxious to try them, but she didn't let us sample until the very end of class. I would have left early if she had let us along the way.  Even though it was much better than last weeks, during this crazy busy time of year, I felt like I still wasted an hour and a half of my time.  With so much to do before Christmas, I really did not have time for it, but...I still went. I tried to multi-task and prepare my SS lesson while I sat there.  haha  Thank goodness for smartphones!  

dear ward christmas party, since Dave was on call this week, I ended up going to the ward party by myself in hopes he would make it before it was over.  I gathered up my posse and got a quick photo with the big man before the party started.  We were missing Bonnie, Audrey, Ashley, and of course Mona and Colleen.  But we added some new ones this year....Janet and Carol.  It's always my favorite part of the party to get a picture with Santa!  I love that everyone is such a good sport too!
The decorations were so amazing and the food was delish!  I took candy cane brownies even though I was supposed to take a salad, but one of my friends wanted to take a salad and so we traded.  Apparently everyone took dessert that was supposed to take salad because we had about 30 desserts and 5 salads! 

They played a video asking ward members their thoughts on Christmas that was really good.  McKay was supposed to send us a clip of him but he never did. I felt really sad when I watched the other missionaries show up on it.  Oh well..  I get to talk to him in person next week!  Dave showed up right at the end.  Johnny made him a plate of food but he saved it until we got home and when we got home Taylor was here and hungry and Dave sacrificed it for him.  :)

dear harp recital, I have been practicing my little "harp" out for this recital!  This is only my second recital and my very first SOLO recital!  I have been a bit nervous about it for a long time, but I decided to quit feeling nervous and just go and have fun!  Mainly because I am taking for FUN and it's not to make me feel scared.  I worked on that attitude all week, but I was STILL nervous!  hah  I didn't think anyone was going to make it to see me anyway, but then my Mom text me early that morning and asked if they could follow us to the recital.  She told me the day before they weren't coming but she said my Dad said they were.  I told her Dave was working and would only make it if he could get off in time and so she asked if I wanted to ride with them.  Great idea!  So I parked my car in Farr West and headed to Kaysville with them.  The recital was at the library.  We got a bit lost due to bad directions, but we found it.  I still hadn't heard from Dave if he was going to make it or not and he wasn't answering my texts.  I was scheduled about midway in the program and so I didn't worry about it.   When it got closer to my turn, I kept texting Dave to see if I should go later than planned but didn't get a response. I figured that meant he got stuck at work.  So I took my turn and then got a text from him saying the directions were bad and he was clear up on the mountain road. I told him that I was done.  He showed up five minutes after I finished.  He was not a happy camper and felt bad he missed it. If he had responded I could have asked to play my piece later.  Oh well, such is life!  It's not like he hasn't heard me play it a million times anyway!  haha
I woke up in the middle of the night thinking that I wasn't sure where middle C was on the harp I would be performing on.  Her harp is much larger than mine!  When I got there I went up and asked Nanette if I had it right and she told me l did.  When it was my turn, I announced my name and the name of my song (The First Noel) but when I sat down to play my piece, HOLY COW, I couldn't figure out which string it was!  Yikes!  So I started a full octave up!  I could have played it that way, but I started over.  I stopped and said, "Okay, the SECOND Noel!"  I think that broke up the tension and everyone laughed. I know getting a laugh relieved my nerves a bit!
I did great with the exception of a pause in the most dramatic part of the song where a pause is not good!  But overall, I was happy with it.  Everyone was so nice and told me I did a great job.  I can't wait until next year when I can play something much harder that will sound amazing.  
This photo is with my niece Mackenzie who was dressed just like an angel in her white dress and played like one too. She has had lessons for over two years and she sounded so good! It makes me excited to think that when I have been playing for another year and half I might be sounding that good.  We will see. I think she is just a natural.  Plus she has really long fingers which is a huge asset to playing the harp.  Not me. I have short squatty ones!  hah
My niece playing her piece

Here is the group photo, but several are missing.  There were five or six adults at this one. The little girl in the green dress was ADORBS!  She announced her name and song and sat down on a stool and plucked out four notes.  Stood up. Bowed. Smiled. Sat down.  Cutest thing ever!  I honestly think us adults were much more nervous than the little girls!
The posed photo.

I am glad that's over!  Whew!  Especially glad I didn't mess up royally after my first mess up!  My brother in law Barry was very kind and told me that even though he loves to give me crap (true!) he said that I have come a long way in a very short time and that he knows how difficult of an instrument it is to play because he listens to Mackenzie  practice all the time, but that it was very good and he enjoyed it.  He said, "So in all sincerity, well done.  You should be proud."   That meant a lot coming from him. 

After the recital we went to lunch with my parents to Rumbi Grill.  We had fun. I was very glad they came.  My Pa was so cute. He was very proud of me.  It was cute.  He even posted the "posed" photo of me on Facebook saying I did a good job.  I was not super happy about that because I have been trying to keep it under wraps until I can actually feel like a real harpist which may be two more years down the road, but I didn't see it until it had been on posted for about 6 hours and it already had a lot of comments.  Oh well.  The cat is now out of the bag.  Not sure what that will mean, but hopefully I can keep learning and progressing until I feel like I can play for others.  That was never my goal.  I want to play it for my own enjoyment.  It stresses me out to play for others, but maybe when I get good, I won't mind as much.  Yeah, right!

I tried to upload the video, but it appears it is too large even though the total time of my song was about one minute. I'll get my son to figure it out when he arrives for Christmas and hopefully it will work.

My Pa with his Big Kahuna burger! ↓
Since we were together and in town, Dave and I took advantage and did some shopping for the bathroom.  We also went to Sams and it was fun to shop with him.  We haven't been shopping together since last Christmas!

dear bar j concert, Dave and I went to Logan to see the Bar J's Christmas concert with his parents.  Oh my it was SO cold in Logan!  I really didn't feel like I had time to go because it's crunch time and I have so much to do, but the Wranglers were so nice to call and offer us the tickets and so I felt we should go.  They are so generous and just so genuinely nice!  Once I got there, I was so happy I went.  They have a way to make me laugh that I needed!  It was a great concert.  

dear neigborhood gifts, like I said last week, it is one of my favorite parts of the season!  Especially Maddox pie!  And a crate of delicious apples! Those apples just shout CHRISTMAS!  The red against the green!  So pretty!

dear sunday school and christmas crack, I made Christmas Crack for my Sunday School class.  I was really trying to prepare a really good Christmas lesson and it came together somehow after really stressing about it. I used the talk by Pres. Kimball from 1980 titled Jesus of Nazareth that can be found here.  It is the most amazing article and it talks about His life and why we should think about that at Christmas more than just His birth.  I read it with music playing softly in the background.  It is very poignant the things He suffered in his 34 years of life. He had a very hard life and I don't think we think about the things Pres. Kimball brought up. I was near tears while reading it.  It would a great thing to share on Christmas Eve.  It really gets you thinking and feeling so grateful for all He did.  I can't even imagine going through the pain He di and yet while in that excruciating pain, He STILL somehow forgave those very men who were torturing Him, WHILE they were doing so!  Check it out!  I think it touched my students.  It was sad that I only had two today. I usually have anywhere between 6 and 13.  You just never know!

dear wilding family christmas party, we had our very first annual family Christmas party on Dave's side on Sunday afternoon. The main reason is because Kevin is not going to be here on Christmas because he wants to stay in Boise with his little family.  I totally get that.  The whole family always gets together on Christmas Day and so he wanted to have a get together since he won't be here.  I kind of like that tradition and I think we should do it every year only add games and fun activities!
The roast BEAST!  Kevin's Christmas present to his Dad. I can't even imagine what that thing cost but I am SURE it was over $100! Probably much more!  It was fantastic!
We had quite the spread of food!  Most peeps in this family are really good cooks and it was all so yummy!  We were missing Scott's family and Julie's family this year. 
I had seen on Facebook that it was Emily's Day (yeah no idea why but it was on the internet and so it must be true!) and so I made her a sign that said "It's Emily Day!"  It would have been cuter but they had no art supplies!  She proudly wore it all day!  She is so cute! 
The best part of all at these family gatherings is chillin' out in the big room.  Everyone needs a big room like this that has a big family.  I hate to even think what life will be like when Dave's folks are no longer here.  This room brings everyone together.  It's hands down the best thing they ever did when they built this addition on their home.
There is always a ping pong tourney going down.
 It was a lot of fun!  I just wish my other boys could have been there!
These our Dave's driving gloves!  hahahahaha!  I know what Santa needs to bring him for Christmas!

dear christmas sights, when we got home from the party I stayed up and made this gingerbread cake for my Sista party in the morning.  I decided to take the time to add some royal icing decors this time.  I think it turned out SO stinkin' cute!  I am so in love with these new pans!
Different views
Such a fun scene!

I can't get enough sights of our tree.  Is there anything more peaceful than looking at a lit Christmas tree in the dark?

This is one of Bryce's lighted scenes.  I am so sad we are not going to make it down to see his park this year.  I can't believe we didn't plan better and go as soon as it opened.  I am just so sad. I had planned on going after Christmas but this year he is going to close it on Christmas Eve night. 

My new favorite nativity!

 What am I saying!?  THIS is! 
 There is quite the story with this!  My cute friend Valerie had ordered some things with me through an online company and for some reason the company tried to get a hold of me about an order problem on my house phone (which is not gonna happen) instead of email.  Due to that it took the order two weeks longer to arrive.  When I took the stuff to Valerie, she happened to tell me her brother was in Russia right then on business for another week and so I boldly asked her if she thought there was anyway he could find me a nativity.  I keep asking McKay but he can't find any and I want one SO bad from Russia!  She text me the next day and said that he said he would be happy to find me one!  I was so happy!  Had the order arrived when it was supposed to I wouldn't have been to her house on that day and none of this would have happened.  So, I am glad they didn't email me!  Anyway, she text me the photos of what he found.  He found a nesting doll nativity that is hand painted and amazing! 
And then he also got a wooden one of Joseph Mary and baby Jesus.  Oh my! I was so excited!  That was until she told me how much they cost.  Since they were so costly I decided to just get one.  But then I kept thinking that I would always regret not just getting both because this chance will probably never happen again and McKay may want one when he gets married!  So Val stopped by to deliver them when Dave was here.  Dave heard about my dilemma with getting both and he told me to get both and that these would be his Christmas present to me!    I was sooooo happy! He paid her and took it from me and wouldn't let me look at it until Christmas  I wasn't sure I could still get the other one because I told her brother just the one but she said he felt he should wait a day or two before he sold it to someone else.  It all worked out amazingly well!  I know it was supposed to work out this way.  A tiny Christmas miracle!

dear random, my profile pix from the past four years.


Dawn said...

so much much must be Christmas! I'm happy that I was part of your week...I like those weeks best!

Audrey said...

What a great idea for the delivery persons! I never even thought of doing something like that, but they deserve it!
I absolutely agree with the lights on the tree. I love the warmth it brings, especially first thing in the morning. We have our tree on a timer as well.
We tried out lunch at the Manuta store today, you are right, it is great!
How do you make yourself go running in this cold? Just looking outside makes me want to curl up in front of the fire!
Your picture with Santa is so cute! I'm sorry that I missed it. Next year for sure.


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