Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Garden -

I've tried to grow gardens before, but it's never quite worked out. I usually end up growing things that I don't anticipate or plant.

So I wasn't really surprised when I looked inside of my green garbage barrel the other day.

Our green barrels are meant for grass clippings, plants and tree branches ... that kind of stuff. So Gary wasn't too far off when he decided to throw out his celery and carrots, without any sort of container ... definitely a plant type item.

I don't know exactly when Gary discarded these beauties, or how long they had been morphing into something else ... but despite our frigid temperatures down here, this was the vision I beheld. Like I said, we grow things.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a Wet Christmas -

This Christmas seemed different. It was a year of change due to the economic drama that surrounds all plumbers, so we set out to be smart (something that doesn't always come easy to us)! I need to apologize to all of you who were sitting on your front porch waiting for our annual delivery of Krispy Kremes on Christmas Eve and for those of you who are still checking your mailboxes for our Christmas cards ... not this year. We didn't do any gifts for my parents or siblings (it was a unanimous decision made easily by all involved). Gary and I bought absolutely nothing for each other and we bought very practical presents for the kids. So why does it seem like it was the


It all began last night at Grandpa Vince's house. We walked across the street to enjoy a delicious dinner that was almost a perfect replica of Thanksgiving and exchange laughter & gifts. I still can't get enough of that "Chex Mix Heaven in a Bowl"! Then we stuck to our favorite traditions. Christmas Eve the kids were actually excited to open their very predictable Christmas Eve presents from us ... pajamas, undies and socks.

This morning, after a sleepless night for Garrison who woke up at 1:00, 2:00 and finally 5:00 a.m., we opened our "smart gifts" like;

Matty - a repaired guitar
Kacey - new tires for her car
Keaton - a big boy bed
Jake - a large hymn book and a metronome
Garrison - new shoes

They got some fun things too, and they were all extremely grateful for everything they received.

We then headed over to my Grandma's house for our annual Christmas breakfast of pancakes, sausage, breakfast potatoes, scrambled eggs and juice prepared especially for us by my parents. This year was a treat because we had some of our Utah family here too. Hopefully they'll entertain the thought of making this their new tradition!

Following the feast, the infamous White Elephant Game. I cracked myself up with a beautifully wrapped, framed photo of Obama! Ha!

Following Grandma's house, the most amazing nap that I've had in years!

And now, it's raining. Gary is in the kitchen making his homemade chips and bacon ... perfect combination for the arteries. Matthew is playing his guitar and singing ... and it's raining!

I suppose that most of the world wishes for a white Christmas, but for me, this would seriously put a damper on my day. I do not like to be cold, and snow is cold. However, rain, aaaaaaahhhh rain. Rain smells amazing, it relaxes me, it creates the perfect mood for a nap and it makes my town beautiful. It has been the perfect day.

So I'd like to offer a toast to this economy. Thanks for beckoning me to be smart. Thanks for putting things into perspective. And thanks for inadvertently creating the best Christmas ever.

And all thanks be to that baby Jesus who became our Saviour and the light that we will need more and more in the days to come. What a gift that we have all been given!

Merry Christmas Everyone!
Love, The Shakers

There's your card!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Shout out to the Gift Card -

Saturday, as with most Saturdays, was a busy day. We had everyone hustling off to work, Scouting activities and play. I was determined to get my room cleaned, like super cleaned and chores had to be done. In the midst of it all, my little red got lost, lost in the shuffle of busy. Garrison had finished his chores, his friends were all gone and he was in a funk. Little red was blue. Did I mention that he had a black eye? So I made him an offer he couldn't refuse. If he would climb up on top of my plant shelf in my room and give it a good dusting, I had a gift card that we could go experience together. That frown was quickly turned upside down and we were off to
The Outback
for some pretty tasty beef from down under!

We went early, which helped us make the most of our very generous gift certificate with Happy Hour! That's right, we got the Bloomin' Onion, we got salad, two amazing helpings of steak and ribs AND we got dessert ... all accompanied by a coloring book! It was the best day ever that day and nobody appreciated it more than Garrison. He savored every bite bringing my attention to the large portions and the perfect seasoning. The boy knows food. He was the perfect date!

This is definitely not the time to be splurging and taking in such tasty luxuries on a whim, so I have to say how grateful I was to have such a fun gift card from my in-laws.

A gift that says ...
Eat amazing food!
Let somebody else clean up ...
after they prepare this marvel!
And take someone with you ... it's on us!

What a fun gift! It started out being a kind deed for Garrison, but it turned out that we both needed it. It's easy to get lost in the shuffle this time of year, and sometimes it just takes a little down time to find that extra recommended breath. And breathe we did.

Thanks Vince & Carol!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Here is just a glimpse of my favorite tradition ... Thanksgiving at my Grandma's house. This year everybody was together for the first time in a long time (except for Gary who showed up right after the family picture). If you click on this scene, you will see some funny expressions and lots of fun detail ... but just look at my Grandma (in the lovely blue shirt)! She's a babe!

I love going over to her house, I love her food, I love her soft, rust carpet. This picture is priceless to me because it not only encompasses our whole family, but it is presented in front of the home that has brought me nothing but good. I hope that I can be one smidgen of the Grandma that my Grandma has been to me!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Heartbreak =

Now we know a bit of how the Patriots felt. Mountain View had an undefeated season, we just had to win one more game to be playing for the State Title on the Cardinal's football field.

Have you ever seen a pack of grown boys sobbing? Sigh.

It was a great season my boy.

Darn it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The birthday is over, let's move on to Australia -

I had a nice birthday. I went to lunch with my girls from the office. I got a nice bouquet of flowers, some cash, some homemade fudge, a lovely piece of framed art, a beautiful Poinsettia, a sweet gift card to Outback, a magnificent pink hammer, many kind wishes and to top the day off I got to hear Matt sing and Jake play a fine tune on the piano for our church talent show. Now it's time to move on to more serious matters.

Last weekend, I saw the movie AUSTRALIA (with the lovely Hugh Jackman). I loved it, I loved him, I loved her (Nicole Kidman), I loved the story line, I loved the little boy, I loved everything about it! This evening, I got very close to having my first altercation as a 43-year-old woman when a young lady began to tell me how much she disliked this film. WOW! I was flabbergasted! I could barely rally to my feet to defend the flick, but I managed.

So here's my question ... Have you seen it? Did you like it? Was I just taken in by the lovely Hugh Jackman's pearly whites which I could stare at every day for the rest of my life and never tire of? And if you haven't seen it ... please go so that we can discuss this! I need to know (yet I would not be surprised) if I am simply judging my movies based solely on the loveliness of the leading men! Oh Hugh.

It's My Birthday!

Today is my birthday and I feel like a kid. I don't feel 43-years-old. When I was a kid, the thoughts of ANYTHING new or celebratory kept me up all night long in anticipation of what was to come. Well apparently I was filled with this frenzy last night, because I was WOUND UP!

This is very typical for me, but usually I can fall asleep eventually ... not so last night. I try to stay clear away from any kind of sleeping aid since they aid me just a bit too much. But I was desperate and REALLY wanted to be rested for my big day of pretty much the same stuff as every other day. So I gave in. I took ONE Tylenol PM, just ONE!

This morning my fingers can barely find their way across the keyboard. They are swaggering as if they were trying to climb from the gutter up onto the curb. My head is heavy and my eyelids even heavier. I have things to do (work)! Places to go (the grocery store) and people to see (the mailman). I worry about my birthday today and much like the average drunk ... I hope I remember it tomorrow. I am 43!

P.S. Thanks to Carol Jean, Cynthia, Kayla, Melanie and Andrea for your early birthday wishes already!

Monday, December 1, 2008


I've been trying to get the family together for some updated pictures ever since Matthew got home and before he grows his hair out too long!

So why is it so dang hard to just gather the children and the husband around, have them gaze into a camera lens and smile?

I don't know why it is ...
but it is!

After fourteen arguments, three threats, one punch and a small fit ... this is what they gave me. Brave little boys!

Visit Kacey's blog for more~

And if you missed my post before this one ...
it's worth a visit!

Check this out!

So I happened upon this new blog called ...

Typically I just think these are cute and move along to the next item on my stalk list. However! Something on this one caught my eye!


That's right. I have entered to win $100 at one of my favorite stores this side of the North Pole and you can enter too! I know that this time of year (especially this year) this may seem too good to be true, but I think this one is very real and is going to be my new addiction.

AND, just because I gave you this tip, AND since my birthday is Wednesday ... you can enter me as your referring friend!

Woo hoo ... it's a great day!

Now get going!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Visions of gravy boats dance in my head!

Tomorrow is hands down my favorite holiday, barring one particularly swell Valentine's Day back in 1973. Here is what I am looking forward to ...

50 of my favorite relatives
gathering at Grandma's house
mashed potatoes galore
swimming in gravy
accompanied by stuffing
topped with a homemade roll
more gravy
a little bit of Jello with my whipped cream
Grandma's banana cream pies
a wee bit more gravy
and more

What are your favorites?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Couples Tag -

So, Gail tagged me, which pretty much makes me feel totally POPULAR ... and so I must oblige. Here we go ~

Where did you meet?
I think I met him when I was dating somebody else and we were all at the lake and I saw him picking people up and throwing them in the water like they were little rag dolls (a huge turn-on). But our first real introduction was on our first date.

What was the first thought that went through your head when you met?
How did he get those pants on and why is he wearing that shirt!

Do you remember what he was wearing?
Aaah funny you should ask! He was wearing some kind of cowboy shirt (with snaps and everything), super tight Guess jeans, cowboy boots AND a permed mullet! Back off! He's mine!

Where was the first time you kissed this person?
I'm sorry to say that I don't recall our first kiss. BUT, on our FIRST date, when he was leaving, he kissed the back of my head and I was like ... Whoa! What was that?!

Where did you go for your first date?
That I remember! We went to a Phoenix Suns game and saw Dan Majerle's last game. We parked on the very top of the parking garage and we stayed there and talked for a long time after the game. Then we went to get wings at Native New Yorker. That was fun!

How long did you know this person before you became a couple?
Let's see. Gary decided that we were a couple after the first date. It took me a bit longer, but not much since we were married four months later!

How did he ask you out?
Our friends set us up, I didn't talk to him very much at all before our first date, but I remember one of our phone conversations was while he was in his bathtub ... at his own house ... while I was at my own house ... fully clothed.

Has this person proposed to you?
Nope. I asked him!

Do you have any kids together?

Have you ever broken the law with this person?
Ha ha ha - I'm sure I'm an accomplice to something.

When was the first time you realized you liked this person?
I don't remember the first time, but I've realized it many times since.

Do you get along with his family?

Do you see him as your partner in the future?
Yep -

What is the best gift he gave to you?
The gift of making me feel pretty, even when I'm clearly not.

What is the one thing he does that gets on your nerves?
My nerves are ultra-sensitive, I'm sure I get on his way more.

Where do you see each other 15 years from now?
Driving to Disneyland in a double-wide motor home with our grandkids!

What causes most of your arguments?
What arguments? We NEVER argue.:)

How long have you been together?
Our first date was TODAY ... many moons ago.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Update -

For those of you who asked how this little man was doing ...

His Mom has posted everything on her blog. You can take a look here -

Friday, November 14, 2008

Hypocrisy -

Oh boy here goes. Lately I've been reading & commenting on blogs that have gone ugly. I don't want my blog to be ugly, but I do have some things to say.

Recently, Arizona and California had the opportunity to cast a vote that would define marriage as one man and one woman. During the pre-election process, common forms of civil advertising and motivation were used (such as commercials and signs). The elections were then held and the votes were counted. Both states found that the majority thought it best to claim this definition as their own.

Since the outcome of these propositions, I have been left to wonder and worry about the activity that is now taking place. Apparently, the Mormons are being chosen to blame for the majority of two states' ballots. Apparently, the Mormons have single-handedly turned entire states thought processes upside down.

And apparently, violent protests are going to solve everything. This picture was taken outside the gates of the Los Angeles Mormon Temple. Riots got so out of hand that the temple actually had to be shut down for safety reasons. This wasn't a calm forum and people were arrested once physical altercations began.

So here's my question. Isn't THIS a hate crime? For years I've been so sick of hearing that if a Muslim was punched, or a Mexican shot at, or a Jew spat upon ... it was a hate crime. It appeared that unless two people of the same sex, same color and same height were beating on each other ... it had to be labeled a hate crime. Well, here we have an angry mob, surrounding an exclusively Mormon place of worship with nothing but hate spewing from their mouths and eventually from their fists ... yet this has not been deemed as a hate crime?

I find it very curious that the same people who spoke of "just wanting to LOVE" are the same people heading up this HATE. I find it very curious that they have chosen to single out Mormons, when clearly we are a small portion of the population between these two states. And I find it extremely curious that this, in this day and age, when it is hard to get away with any kind of racism or bigotry without repercussion is running amok.

I don't suppose anybody is truly surprised by what is taking place, but I do suppose we had better stand up for what we believe ... long after the votes have been cast.

I would invite you all to read THIS article from a Catholic Bishop.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Do I win?

Yesterday ... with much help from Kacey,
I got all of my Christmas decorations put up!
AND I ate broccoli for the very first time
and I liked it.
I'm a big girl now -

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Boy Band

Check out the pictures of Sorry Cali right here. They're playing in Scottsdale this weekend, if any of you can stay up until 11:45 p.m. This is really so much fun!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Ha ha ha oops -

I guess this is the perfect time to introduce my mother-in-law's new blog. Apparently, she was signed in on my blog when she created her first post.

Welcome Grandma Freda to the blogging world right here!
This is the first day of blogging and the last of my vacation, so what? Tomorrow I drive across country to see my home again after three weeks of fun and games with my family.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Matthew = Music

For years, my little Matthew has written songs, performed them and dreamed of recording. While he was on his mission, he met one of his companions (Randy Day) who shared these same interests. Two months later, voila, a band is born.

Let me introduce you to Sorry Cali (officially named this evening and the title means nothing ... it just sounds super catchy).

First we have the up-close-and-personal-acoustic version ...

And then we have a clip of the full band playing at their first show on Halloween night (hence the silly costumes) ...

And another ...

This is so fun! Good job Matt!


I'm confused. I'm concerned. I hope he has what it takes.

I keep hearing that we have come so far. So why do I feel like we just took a unified plunge into a septic tank?

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Big Day -

I am a little bit excited. I don't ever remember being excited to vote, but I believe I am actually going to lose sleep tonight. My plan is to wake up and get down to the polls at 6:00 a.m. to cast my vote in what I think is an extremely exciting year in politics ... and I like how this makes me feel.

Tonight we had a high-spirited conversation with some of my family members regarding this topic. As we sat around eating pizza, going over propositions and sharing opinions, it really made me feel American! I'm not sure which nationality I felt like before, but now I'm totally American.

We didn't all agree on the aforementioned topics and we have quite the diverse little group of family members, but we talked. There was no shouting, no name calling, no slapping ... just talking. Something in that conversation screamed to me that we had grown up. We were no longer youngsters trying to get our way, we are adults trying to pave a way that we believe in. I liked it, and I am ready to cast my vote.

I don't think the polls are going to lean my way. A landslide is in the forecast. But I will do my part to try to tip the scales and then pray for the future of our country.

There is a rumor that these will be record breaking voter numbers. In an effort to handle the lines in an orderly fashion, all Obama voters have been asked to vote on Wednesday. Thank you for your cooperation.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Road Trip to Jack -

We took a girly road trip to go meet Jack!

He is adorable ... and he likes me.

Kacey got some great shots of little man ...
check out her blog!

Cousins played -

I was attacked by a cricket in the middle of the night
that got stuck in my hair and went freaky on my neck
... sorry no picture.

A quick 26 hours later, we brought Tiffany & Reilly back to their boys and it was apparent that they don't leave them very often.

Thanks for remembering us too ...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thanks for the pictures Mom!

I love this one because my sister looks like a rock star after child birth. What the?

I love this one, because you can literally see maternal thoughts imploding in his mother's eyes. And, I love Jack's cheeks.

I love this one, because Mac LOVES my sister.

I'm coming Jack! I'm coming!
And boy are you going to have fun with me!
I have a treasure chest, a trampoline, and
a never ending supply of cookies.
Just you wait & see.
I'm coming!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Baby Jack

Little Jack Phelps was born at 4:25 a.m.
weighing in at 7 lb., 7 oz.

Pictures as soon as I get some!

All is well!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Post-Musical Depression -

We went to see HSM3 on Friday and once again I am crazy for Troy Bolton. We all loved the movie and we had a great time. So why am I depressed? I really hate using the word "depressed" here, because now tomorrow everything in my adsense column is going to refer to depression. But dang it, I'm feeling a little bummed!

See this picture?

This is the day that my little sister moved over three hours away from me. I know that three hours doesn't seem so awful, but I'm spoiled. Most of my siblings have always lived super close and I like it that way. Consequently, I was present for every big occasion (from little league to baby deliveries).

Baby Kristi was her LAST baby. I got to witness the whole dang thing, and we've been tight ever since. Little Kristi would come visit me often. She would walk right back to my desk (where she knew I'd be working) and she'd hop up in my chair and wait for me to take her picture. I've got some sweet photos of this girl. I love her ... I love them ... and they love me!

Tonight, an additional nephew is being born. Not only am I not in the delivery room, I'm not even in the same city! Part of me wants to just start driving, but the responsible part of me can't do it this week. Argh! The pitiful responsibility of it all.

So I am lying here with my cell phone fully charged and waiting for some news that I can really do nothing with, except to be grateful that all is well, and hope that one day little nephew will come climbing up on my chair, and request his picture to be taken.

In the meantime, I'll feel much better if I just go see HSM3 for a second time.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cross-Country Cousins

The other day, Jake came to me and exchanged this little dialogue ...

Jake: Mom, will you sign this? I'm going to run two miles in a city-wide, cross-country competition between all of the junior high schools.
Me: Two miles? Have you ever run two miles before?
Jake: No, but I'll be fine ... just sign here.

Fast forward to today. I was talking to my sister-in-law and found out that she had the exact same conversation (filled with riveting detail) with her 7th grader! We soon realized that these two cousins were going to be running together. We grabbed our water bottles and headed over to see how our boys would weather the two mile feat.


They did magnificently! I love their self-motivated attitudes and their desire to take on new things. As soon as Jake was done, we made a mad dash home, changed into football gear and he was off to his last practice of the season. I do wish I had a piece of that stamina!

Great job Jake & Trenton!

P.S. We're taking our kids out of school early tomorrow to catch one of the first matinees of HSM3. I can't even stand it I'm so excited!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008


I just heard about a dozen kids, all 19 - 21 years-old (except for little Keaton, the lone 17-year-old) huddled around our computer in the kitchen and laughing hysterically. I came out of the laundry room to find out what all of the commotion was, and this is what I beheld ...

Good stuff.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

3:00 a.m.

So it's 3:00 a.m! I've been awake since 1:30 and I've resorted to the fact that I am not going to get any sleep tonight. I don't have any sick kids keeping me up, it's just my mind that is gallivanting across the universe with it's wide array of topics.

I have TONS of laundry to do.
My sister's baby is breach.
My sister lives three hours from me now.
I still have TONS of laundry to do.
I can't forget to pick up Gary's suit at the dry cleaners.
My nephew Mason has a football game at 8:00 right by my house!
Keaton has to be at weight lifting at 8:00.
Keaton has an eye doctor appointment at 10:00.
Laundry is not getting done.
I need to shower.
I need to go grocery shopping.
I still have to work for three more hours.
Jake has to be at the football field at 10:30.
Garrison is NOT going to want to be at football all day long.
Garrison is NOT going to want to be at home by himself.
Garrison should not be at home by himself.
Gary and Matt are at the lake.
Kacey will be working all day.
I am starting the laundry.
I need a genie.

If I were a scientist, I would invent a machine that could turn the brain off for just a few hours. I have no problem falling asleep initially, but once I wake up for any reason (or no reason at all ... I'm a VERY light sleeper), that's when my mind just TAKES OFF like a 747! Anybody have any sleep remedies that allow you to wake in the morning (preferably after 5:00 a.m.) feeling refreshed?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My Men & Migraines

Get your flu shots people ... there's a storm of influenza brewin'! Unfortunately, we are probably just beginning what usually turns into a domino effect of very long nights around here. Keaton has had a horrible case of the flu, which sent us to the hospital last night to get him rehydrated and to treat a migraine. A MIGRAINE! None of my kids have ever had a Migraine, I've never had a Migraine, so I need to learn about the Migraine. Apparently, they can be brought on by illness, and let me tell you ... he was ill. He said it was the worst pain he has ever experienced, and he is my tough little man!

While I was sitting in our little E.R. room (for five hours), wondering why none of the doctors I've ever seen look anything close to McDreamy or McSteamy ... my other men walked in. Here was my tough little man lying down on his bed trembling and shedding a few tears and in walked my freshly-returned-missionary-young-man and my father-comes-to-the-rescue-man! They had come to give Keaton a Priesthood Blessing and he readily welcomed their manly hands on his head. My man also brought me a goody bag filled with O Magazine, M & M's, Twizzlers and Good & Plenty's ... what more could one woman want?

So we made it through our first bout with a Migraine, I hope it never happens again, and I'd like to hear any words of wisdom about these ridiculously painful things. Meanwhile, I have a magazine and some candy to finish before the next flu bug lands and claims it's next victim.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A sip of Brandi -

Nope, I'm not drinking, it's just a catchy title. This is my little sister from another mister ... Brandi. OK she's not really my sister, and no, I'm still not drinking. Brandi is my special friend. No, I'm not gay. Maybe I do need a drink.

Let's begin again. This is Brandi. She is special because she was my sister's friend first. When my sister left us, I inherited some of her amazing friends whom she referred to as sisters.

These friends of hers (and now of mine) are incredible. They are all Occupational Therapists by trade because they met at their O.T. school in Virginia. They never cease to impress me when I hear from them, and this week was no exception.

Little Miss Brandi was apparently in a rut recently. She's a new mom, a new STAY-AT-HOME mom, and is just finishing up her phase of living in Baltimore as her hubby comes to the end of dental school. Lots of changes can create some unwanted scatter of self.

Brandi is also blessed with McWonderful. He knew exactly what she needed to help her face the fears that she was facing and climb up out of the rut she was in. So he did what every husband would do ...

he bought her TRAPEZE lessons!

Just look at her! She is literally flying through the air with the greatest of ease and clasping hands with a guy in funky print spandex! In case you are wondering, no, she has never done this before. She said that it made her feel so alive and that it was just what she needed. I LOVED this concept.

When was the last time that we really felt "alive?" Sure we're all breathing and going through mortal motions, but do we really feel alive? She sent me her message with this challenge ...

"Challenge yourself to something that makes you laugh, feel stronger, feel more alive, feel scared, feel vulnerable and feel proud and feel back to yourself! I am serious....don't wait for someone else to notice that you need a lift, give yourself the lift you need. And, if you want to come to Baltimore and fly with me, I am ready to go again!"

This really got me thinking. I don't know if I ... wait, let me start over. I won't be going to Baltimore to fly through the air, but I really do want to make the most of living. I don't ever want to look back and wish that I had lived this life more fully. I intend to take her challenge and find something that makes me feel stronger and even more alive, and I pass the challenge on to you.

Have you done anything lately that has made you feel more alive? Please share!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

In all my glory!

I remember a time, not too long ago, that I would not ... simply COULD NOT leave the house without a full pallet of cremes and powders layered upon my facial exterior.

Well recently I've been slacking ... and it feels somewhat liberating! I have a whole list of excuses tucked safely into my subconscious (my face needs an occasional break from make-up, I am working now and I'm just too darn busy, or I'm trying to help out the economic situation in my own household), but we all know I'm just being lazy. Obviously I'm not one of those olive-complected gifts who doesn't require concealer of any kind. My face looks MUCH better with a coat of paint and I've been rather grateful to Mr. Max Factor, Merle Norman, and all of the other scientific artists for many years now.

However, I've learned that if there is an occasional instance that I would like to dash out of my own little land and into the world ... WITHOUT MAKE-UP ... the world will not come to an end (which was a myth that I was previously convinced of).

This week, I got a call from a friend who needed some assistance. In my previous life, 30 minutes of required primping would have been necessary before I would have been available. But this time, I opted to forgo this step and just get going. It was a nice change and I think I even liked it. I won't make it a habit, but I will allow the option from now on.

When I went to help my friend, I met her beautiful daughter-in-law. And now I'd like to ask you all for a favor! I'd like for all of you Arizona bloggers to go to THIS new Arizona transplant site. Kim has just moved here from Boise, Idaho (a bit of a climate adjustment will be required). She, her husband and her three children will be living with her in-laws for awhile (again, a slight adjustment will be taking place). Unfortunately, her first encounter with me was in my new pale-faced mode ... she is probably frightened. So let's show her how this blogging community sticks together and what a great place this is to settle into.

Tomorrow, I will be adorned in black mascara again.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Homecoming, Arizona Sunsets & Miss Reilly

What happens when your sister is a PHantastic PHotographer and the most amazing sun is setting right behind your Homecoming date?
A PHantastic Photo is born!
(Please click on it to enlarge ... it's so PHun!)

And what happens when your cousin is that same PHotographer and you turn 3-years-old?
Yep, more PHabulousnous!

Click here for more PHantastic!

Monday, October 6, 2008


Sometimes I forget why I married my husband.

One of our favorite family stories was on a lovely Sabbath day. We had all just arrived home from church and Mr. Gary had checked the messages on the answering machine. The children gathered around me as their Father questioned their sweet Mother ...

Gary -"When was the last time you talked to your Aunt Da?"

I slowly answered, already bracing myself for how my husband was going to turn a sad announcement into a riddle.

Me - "It's been awhile, why?"

Mr. Sensitivity Himself - "Well I guess you're never going to talk to her again."

It's true, he can be very harsh, abrasive and kind of twisted.

But then, I sit here and listen to him patiently helping a very discouraged 12-year-old with his homework. I read a thank-you card from Kacey to her Dad who secretly took care of her car registration. And last, but holy cow not least ... I hear him tell me that he loves every inch of me.

And then I remember ... oh ya, that's why!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I have arrived!

Lately I've been wondering how I could take my blog to another level. I would love to figure out how to make a bit of money doing something that I enjoy. Unfortunately, I have no idea how to carry this plan out. So imagine my surprise, when I received an email this morning from a company offering me payment
OR a sample of their product
if I would write an unbiased review for them! As I read the email, my eyebrows and my hopes arose. I imagined myself being interviewed by Matt Lauer ... followed by hot cocoa on the set.

Alas, I would have to turn down my first big offer. How could I possibly remain unbiased about a penis enhancer?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Prayers Please -

This is my little friend, Brantley Partridge. He is part of our ward (church) family. Yesterday, Brantley - 18-years-young - had the opportunity to meet THE finest Neurosurgeon in all the land (mine of course). He underwent brain surgery and is in for a long haul. Please include him and his family in your prayers at this time.

Thank you!