Friday, April 30, 2010

Another day..

Of fun freebies!!
Today’s freebies were courtesy of Danielle Thompson of Kitschy Digitals and Miss Crystal Wilkerson herself.
(And we all know how much I love her!)
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April 30th..

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Her daddy’s finger.

Peyton has herself wrapped around it.

65% of the time, she isn’t very friendly to him.  When he greets her, it is usually met with a scowl, then turns her face into her shoulder.  It doesn’t boost his confidence in the fathering area.  So when she shows him affection, he eats it up, and she knows when she can continue to spoon feed him, and keep him doing whatever she wants.

The other night for example..

It was bedtime.  We have had some pretty fantastic bedtimes lately.  I have discovered that the key is consistency.  (Another DUH! moment.)  Well, that and being firm.  It took a couple of nights of taking little sweet P back to her bed and telling her it was bedtime.  No snuggling, no prolonged visiting or singing, just cutting to the chase.

It took those two nights of that routine until she would stay there and fall asleep.

All children in be by 8:30.


That easy.  After family prayer, kisses, tuck-ins, bedtime tunes turned on oh, so quietly.  And she stayed there!!

Then there was the other night. 

Perhaps it was the long nap that got her going, perhaps she had figured out what to do to stay up just a little bit longer, either way, she wrapped her daddy around her finger just a bit tighter.

She came into our room, was immediately met by me, the bedtime police, with a, “Go back to bed Peyton.”. 

She responded by looking right at Merrill and said, “Tell you som-thin’ daddy?”  (Sideways glance at me.)

He began melting, a little too obviously.  “Suuure Pey!”

That was her invitation to climb up on the bed and snuggle in. 

(Going for the kill.)

“I a-wuv you daddy…”

(More melting.)

“Awwweee!!!  I love you too Pey!”

(Another glance that was more like a silent satisfied laugh from the wee one.)

She pulled his arm around her just a little bit tighter.

It went on like a TV show re-run, and I reminded him that we need to stay consistent with bedtime, especially with her.

“But I don’t get this that often!  I should take it while I can get it.”

She was winning.

All I could do was shake my head at the two of them.

She totally played him.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

April 28th..

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April 29th..

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Today’s accomplishments.

I got a couple of layouts done thanks to some fun freebies!
(Today’s freebies were from Nisa Fiin and Linda Roos.)
All other elements: kraft paper: freebie from Jessica Sprague; frame, brackets, “a”, stitching, staple all Crystal Wilkerson.  Font: “My Type of Font”.
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Kraft paper background was a freebie from I don’t remember where!  The orange paper, labels and sticker all freebies from Nisa Fiin.  Stitching: Anna Aspnes.  Fabric buttons: Linda Roos.  Vintage Polaroid brush from Deviantart.
I also managed to FINALLY finish off the last decoration for my shelf..
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Tutorial for the fabric flowers found here.


My chores are done (all except for the laundry, but I have learned quite quickly that it is no fun standing in front of the washer and/or dryer waiting for the cycle to end), the children’s tummies are full, I am off to play!!

Come play too..


There will be freebies and fun challenges all weekend long..  and yes, my weekend will begin today. :)

So if you need me, I will be here, there (arrow pointing above) or in my craft room.

(Note there will be breaks for the occasional and needed bum-wiping, nose-wiping, snuggle, potty-break, book-reading, or snack-eating.)

That is all.

An attitude of gratitude.

I was beginning to worry that whatever Ashley has had was contagious.

I was starting to feels the blahs coming on, and was trying to pin down what was causing me to feel this way..

Could it be that I am trying to kick sugar?  (Just “kick it” in the “having it as a meal” form, not the occasional treat.)

Could it be that I am coming down with a cold?

Or maybe it is this crazy weather.  It is spring in Utah after all..  but another day of storminess, after gorgeous days of playing outside, were kind of a bummer.

I was feeling much like Ashley was.

I wasn’t in love with my hair, I was toying with the idea of cutting it, but then I knew I would miss it.  Especially when it comes to working out (trying to be more consistent with that one..) and being able to pull it back.  Then I would regret the choice.

I was feeling not so cute in my favorite jeans, so I opted for my favorite lounge pants instead.

I was still feeling a bit overwhelmed with all that I had to do, and all that I wanted to get accomplished..  I was feeling the blahs.

I wanted to “change-up” a lot of what I look at every day, make it more fun and exciting to me..  so blah-ish, all around me.

Then, two things happened that changed my focus:

1- Some close friends stopped by for a quick chat fest.

2- Merrill came home.

Being with people that I love, that love me too, that just know me, and I feel comfortable and happy with, gave me the perspective I needed.  I didn’t need to boo-hoo to them, just realize the blessing that they all are to me.

It would have been easy to lay it all out and cry to Merrill about every little thing that was weighing on me, but I couldn’t.  His happiness lifted my spirits.  He comes in the door everyday after his long day at work, and immediately greets me with affection.

I usually hear, “Hi gorgeous!”

(Even if I am sporting my favorite lounge pants and my hair is in a ponytail..)

There’s no doubt that the rest of our little family feels the same way about him.  As soon as the garage door is heard, all three girls are usually running to the door, waiting to greet him.  He shows all of us just how much he loves us.

Last night, after we had the kids in bed, we were together in our room.  The news was on, I was working on a project, then realized he was looking at me.  I looked at him to find him smiling at me.  Just that little thing pulled my mind away from the thoughts of all that I didn’t get accomplished that day, all those thoughts that would inevitably drag me down.

It was not a sweeping gallant act, just all of those little things.  I love him so much!

This morning, I wanted to start my day off much in the way it ended.  I was determined to not let the poor night’s sleep with far too many interruptions and feeling sick start me off badly.  I got children fed, bathed, and ready for the day, ate a good breakfast.  I set to getting small chores done, got in a good workout, and then relaxed in a hot (and much deserved) shower.  As I was reflecting on my day yesterday, pin-pointing the hormonal/overloaded/blah, and then thinking of the things that turned it around, I knew I had to post some of my gratitude.

I am blessed with incredible friends, both near and far.  To have a spur-of-the-moment chat (that also involved root-beer floats) was a blessing.  To be with them, for no reason, and enjoy each other’s company and the peace that comes with a friendship that is truly meant to be, was a needed blessing in my day.  I also found e-mails in my inbox later in the evening.  Kind notes, comments on one of many blog posts.  I receive thoughtful packages, treats, and cards, and I know that my life is blessed, very full of friends.

I am blessed with a great family!  I love my mom to pieces and to know that she is there, whenever I may need her is priceless.

Merrill is something that I feel I have said so much about, yet not enough.  He is my best friend.  He is always so supportive of my dreams and goals.  He encourages me daily.  He is honest with me.  He is there when no one else is.

I am blessed with so many things because of a loving Heavenly Father who knows me better than I know myself.  He has put these people in my life at the time when He knew I would need them the most.  I am right where I am, at this time in my life because I am supposed to me, because He put me here.

I also have to say, that it also helped, after I was lifted above the funk of the day, to reach out, beyond myself, to recognize what others need, what others would appreciate, that in serving others, we are made happier.  Our problems or “blahs” are put to the side because we aren’t thinking about ourselves.

Taking that extra time in the bedtime routine to snuggle with each of the girls and read them each a story, that helped to shift my focus as well.  To meet their needs, to show them an increase of love, helped me and rejuvenated me more than the “me time” I was dreaming of earlier that day could have.

(Not saying that “me” time is bad, I just knew that this was better this time.)

My day was full of blessings that I would be regretful if I didn’t document.

The root-beer floats also ranked pretty high up there on that list. ;)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

“DUH!” Moments.

Most people have “ah-ha!” moments.
I have “DUH!” moments.
These moments are usually comprised of information that I already knew, but it just didn’t connect, so when it is brought to light later (better, brigher light oftentimes..) I respond to it not with an “ah-ha!” but rather a “DUH!”
The other day, when the weather was much more spring-like, we were working outside on the lawn.  I was busy behind the mower while Merrill was weed-eating.  I was working on the back yard, which by the way, doing this yard is easily five or six times more work than the other house..  anyway, I was thinking…
(I must add lawn mowing to the list of activities that are conducive to good thinking moments..)
Sweat was pouring down my face, beading-up all over every other part of my body, and I couldn’t wait to get a drink of water when I had to empty the bag.
The thought was going through my mind of how this activity was such good exercise, and how I was wanting water instead of anything else, and we are always in such better shape in the summer, and the quick thought flashed in my head,  “I wonder if THIS has anything to do with that?”  Then it hit me..
Of course it does!!
In the winter, we are indoors.  I do have my weekly chores that keep me somewhat active, but after those chores are finished, I look forward to sitting down with a blanket and cup of cocoa to read a good book, watch a movie or do something with my hands (i.e. crochet, knit, sew, scrapbook, etc.).
(Note that all of these activities require me to sit on my butt.)
(Note also that I don’t necessarily want a glass of ice-cold water either during our Utah winters, I would much rather have something warm, creamy, and chocolatey.)
Now one might say,  “Well, you can work out indoors.”
And to that I would say, more like admit, very quietly, “I don’t always work out.”
See, we are back to the hibernate mode.
Whereas in the summertime, we are out more, sweating and playing in the sun.  Every week we take care of the lawn (exert, sweat, drink more water (not cocoa), sweat, repeat).  We are going for walks, swimming, and generally just being more active for longer hours throughout the day.
We get out and about exploring (not hibernating), seeing what fun things our state and local area have to offer.  Walking all over Lagoon, playing at a new park..
Our eating habits are even different.  Just like the water vs. cocoa mentality, our choice of meals also change.  Away from the meat and potatoes, hearty soups, etc. mode, and into the light, cooler meals that require less cooking and more healthy greens and fruits.
See, no wonder we are in better shape in the summertime.
I knew all of this before, it just never connected this way.
Just a “DUH!” moment brought to you by me. :D

One Buck Wednesday!

Head on over to Jessica Sprague for some fun stuff for “One Buck Wednesday”.
AND this layout of mine is featured here..
(You’ll have to scroll a lot..  there is some great talent out there!)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April 27th..

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Oh, Oh, Oh, ice cold milk
and an Oreo Cookie
They forever go together,
What a classic combination
When a dark, delicious cookie
meets an icy cold sensation
Like the one and only creamy,
crunchy, chocolate, O-R-E-O


And it’s not me, for once. :)

I was about to send some female sanitary protection to church with Ashley on Sunday. 

It was that bad.

I could have sworn that menses was about to begin, at any second, for her.


There was a fit about her new haircut..

“I wish I would have NEVER got cut my hair!!  IT IS UGLY!!”

(It was made right after I styled it.)

But then, it was her dress..

“This dress does NOT look cute on MY body!”

(I swear, I never have meltdowns like this..  out loud at least.)

That was remedied with a cute new flower clipped in her hair.

But the hormones raged on.

(And continue to rage on.)

See how quickly the tides change?

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And this was after I made a deal with her, that she could eat oreos and milk for breakfast if she would HAPPILY pose for some pictures..

There is a fit thrown over just about everything.

And they are usually irrational.

Oh, I try to help her reason through it, but you see, there is NO reasoning with her.

Won’t it be super fun when all three of my girls have synchronized cycles?

(That “super fun” was said with much sarcasm.)

I can only hope that level-headedness prevails when that blessed day arrives.

Hybrid Challenge.

This week’s challenge in the Jessica Sprague’s Spraground, was to go hybrid with iron-ons.

I went from designing this:


Using (guess who…) Crystal Wilkerson’s “Oh Boy!” papers (here too), labels, and alphabet

To this:


A tote bag for our library trips.

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(I made one for each of the girls.)

I have had the bags for a while, and was planning on foam stamping their names and the words, “book bag” on each of them.


So I was pretty excited about this challenge.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hybrid no. 1

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This was my first EVER hybrid project.

(It won’t be my last.)

I used..  guess who?

Crystal Wilkerson’s “Oh Boy! Party Time” and “Oh Boy! Party Time Extras” papers.

A little rub-on from American Crafts, some plain white cardstock and scalloped punches, a few rhinestones and there you have it.

April 26th..


Another challenge at I heart faces

10 signs of “Phantom” overload.

1- The two year old wanders the backyard with a look of longing on her face singing “Think of me..” over and over.
2- The Beast from the Belle  polly pocket set is now known as “The Phantom”.
3- When the girls play house, the plot revolves around marrying Raul or Phantom.
4- They fight over who gets to marry Raul.
5- The other day, while in my bathroom getting ready, Peyton turned my and Merrill’s toothbrushes into Raul and Christine, and they began singing “All I ask of you”.
6- If stopped mid word, on any word that starts with a “D” sound, Peyton quickly finishes it off with, “Duhhh….. da, da, da, duh, duhhhhhhh..” (Opening music to the movie..)
7- Lynn and Ashley are often found with the dark green fleece blanket draped over their heads, trailing down their backs like a cloak, wandering the house singing, “Wishing you were somehow here again.”
8- Ashley wishes she had long, dark brown, naturally curly hair.
9- Ashley also wishes her name were Christine Daae (still).
10- Peyton asks at least 562 times daily to “watch fantam”.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The going rate.

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This is an indicator of the going rate for Jell-O Pudding cups in the trading market of our local elementary school lunch room.

She traded her chocolate Jell-O pudding..  is she crazy?!  Chocolate..  helloooo!

Apparently she had a friend who made these glasses because she was having issues with her sight at recess.  She kept running into trees, or so she told Lynn.

But once she saw the pudding cup (she was able to see it), the “glasses” were suddenly game for trades. 

Interesting trades if you ask me.

Lynn has since made a laptop to use while wearing her new eyewear.

It is of equal quality and craftsmanship.

Friday, April 23, 2010

April 23rd..

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I have been keeping a secret..
I am not good at it.
I have only been keeping it since Monday.
See, not too good.
I have let the people who are in my life everyday know about it, and I have to admit I called my momma first..  I {heart} my mom!
So here goes…
I am an “un-official” creative team member for Miss Awesome Herself, Crystal Wilkerson.
I wish you could have seen my grin the day I read her e-mail!
(Okay, you got me..  still grinning!)
So I will be designing a lot with her product (pfft…  like I don’t already..) and plugging it even more.
But somehow I don’t think you will get sick of seeing her darling stuff.
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And today is no exception!!
I created this page with her “Happy Spring” kit (papers and labels).
I created the scalloped strip using her “Funky Stitching” brushes.
The staple is from her “Office Supplies”.
Fonts and other supplies used: “Anstypants” for title, “Never Let Go” on pink label, “My Type of Font” for date and names, and “Heather” for letter stickers.  (All at
Stitching by Brittish Designs.
I LOVED using this brush to create a mask for the Polaroids!!

A flashback.

Yesterday, events in our community transpired that forced my mind to flashback, to remember an event that happened when I was 15.
Yesterday, a 14 year old boy was hit and killed by a trax train.  As his family and his community mourns his unexpected death, I can empathize with them.
It was the end of my ninth grade year, the day we cleaned out our lockers, were readying ourselves for all of the end-of-the-year activities, heading home, excited for the annual sports banquet to be held that night. 
One younger girl in my neighborhood, and ward family, was among the group, carrying a black garbage bag much bigger than herself, home.  I was far ahead of her in my walk, but other friends of mine were right with her when she stopped, and set down the bag to tie her shoe.  They went ahead.
They cleared the set of double train tracks before the train came, she was left waiting on the other side for it to pass.  As the last car of the first train passed, she stepped out onto the tracks and began walking, only to be hit by a second train, coming from the opposite direction.
That fast she was gone.
That fast all of our lives were changed.
That fast we were closer, meant more to each other than ever before.
My dad was bishop of our ward at that time, and it was a hard funeral to direct.  A difficult time for us all.
She was like the “little sister” to us older girls.  She wanted to be with us wherever we were, participate in the same activities, she even took up acting like us.  She was the only girl who could beat me in a burping contest!
I regret often treating her like a little sister.  I admit, I wasn’t always patient with her, I didn’t show her enough love.  But I was blessed to know her.  I am blessed to remember her example.
One of the neatest things her family chose to display at her funeral was a picture she drew just weeks before in her art class.
They were assigned to draw a landscape.  You can imagine a typical landscape: mountains, tall pine trees, a few rocks, a river.
She drew hers as a view from above.
While we all live with regrets of that day, someone to stay back with her as she tied her shoe, someone to be there to tell her to wait until the crossing arms were up, someone to help her carry her gigantic bag, someone
I live with the regret of not always being my kindest to her.  Not always being the patient team captain when it came to her choice of how long to stretch at track practice.  Not making the time I had with her really count.
While her passing was difficult, it also drew us together.  We treated each other differently.  We cared for each other in a way that made the leaders of other wards stop and marvel.
They knew that we were “that ward”.
It was sad that it took this happening for us to unify, but we were thankful to have each other, to treat each other with a little more kindness, with increased patience and understanding.
There was a blessing in her passing.
It is a hard memory to bring up, but I am thankful that it is there.  It is a blessing to have a reminder of how fragile life is, how to live without regret.  How to love others because we never know what will happen.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

April 22nd..

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April 21st..

I took this girl to Kindergarten round-up today..

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She was rather excited..

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I am going to miss having her around when this adventure begins!

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It’s Springtime in Utah.


We have been enjoying wonderful weather, loving every second we get to spend out of doors..  enjoying how long the days are.

Then the weatherman had to open up his mouth.


I tried to change that forecast by showing the weather gods my utmost love and affections.

Lynn pitched in too:

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“S is for sun

P is for play

R is for rane :)

I is for ixided :D

N is for nests

G is for gardeans”

We enjoyed playing outside every second we could to show spring just how much we appreciate the sunshine and warm weather..

I even made cupcakes..

With chocolate butterflies…

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They were even FILLED!!

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This love fest got us plenty of rain (which I love), some thunder and lightening (which we also love..), all parts of spring that we enjoy.

I even stopped belly-aching about my allergies!!

I thought I had helped Utah (or at least our neck of the woods) to dodge that snowy bullet.

And then I woke up this morning..

To snow.


Thank heavens it is melting!!

(And now my head is rather wet from standing underneath this tree with all that snow melting and dripping on my head!)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Free Spirit.

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I saw this “free spirit” template by Crystal Wilkerson at Jessica Sprague for one buck Wednesday and was so excited to play with it!!
It is so fitting for Ash, she is my little “free spirit”.
I also got her “doodley-doo” brush set for one buck!!
Head on over, it is one buck today only!!

Saving on something.

Yesterday, I took the girls to get haircuts, two haircuts.

Lynn and Ashley.

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I first convinced Ashley to cut it much like she had it cut right after Peyton was born.  There was so much less drama in the house when it was short like that.

I loved it.

She loved it.

We needed a change.

I was worried that once summer hit, and the windows in the house were open, letting in all that warm, fresh air, it would be letting out the wailing a screaming of the daily task of brushing and fixing hair.  I was worried I would get the state called on me because neighbors would be worried about the welfare of my children.

Ashley was a little hesitant about the idea, but once I showed her how I thought we should get it cut, Lynn piped-up, “I want my hair like that too!!  It’s cute!”  That was more than enough to convince little sis that it was cute.

And they are cute..

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It looks like we will now be saving money on shampoo, conditioner, and Kleenex.

Oh, and I will be saving my sanity too.

P.S.  As I was thinking about this little photo shoot, I was remembering what Lynn said to me when I was fixing her hair.  I told her that I needed to “tease” it a bit.  She said, “You mean you are going to say mean things to my hair?”  Silly girl..

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April 20th..

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Hopefully less tears will be shed during “hair fixing” time at our house. :)

Pillowcase dress re-take.

I don’t take many requests, but when I got a request for a patchwork pillowcase dress (much like Peyton’s St. Patrick’s day one) in soft baby colors, I had to test out a new method that was with me every waking hour.
I quite literally lay in bed every night, thinking this one through, how I could do it, how I would turn it, and after which step, etc.
The idea was exciting to me…
A reversible pillowcase dress..
It is much like a regular old pillowcase dress, but with a few extra steps.  Ones that I will know better methods for execution for later experiences.
I loved working with these colors!!  It brought on spring for me when spring hadn’t quite arrived yet.
(I have to admit I was a bit too particular about the blue..  I have many other options for blue now, hunting all over Northern Utah for what I thought was perfect..)
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And here it is, inside-out, or is it outside-in? ;)
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I won’t lie, these seams were kinda buggers when it came to top-stitching…  but the detail looks so good!
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I can’t wait to see the little cutie this was dreamed up for in it..
I have also been playing around with bringing some springtime fun to the rest of the house.
Dish-towels anyone?

Best thinking times.

I have times (and places) where I am enabled to think at my best.

1- In the shower.  I need to have some way to record all the epiphanies I have in there..

2- Cleaning, but while vacuuming especially.

3- Right as I am about to fall asleep.

So it should come as no surprise that ideas were flooding my little brain as I was scrubbing, totally delving into my “Spring” cleaning yesterday.

Yes, it was Monday, and I clean on Monday as we all know..  but I was really on one yesterday.  I tore apart our closet, bathroom, and bedroom and had at.

It was fun.

(I know, I am sick.)

I also had music on, (a must for just about any activity at our house) and right as my mind was going to solve all of the world’s problems, our song came on.

Now I have to explain, we have A LOT of songs.  Different songs for different points in our relationship.

- Head over heels hit us both at the same time on that drive home from the life-changing trip to Lake Powell, it was quite fitting as it all went so fast..  “Something happens and I’m head over heels..”

- Bread, because that was also during that life-changing trip to Powell, and the lyrics in that one song, fit so well.  (It also helped that Austin played it over and over and over again as Merrill and I talked on the sun deck.)

- Saved the Best for last is another one that kind of just fit, because of all the “bad timing”  moments we have had relationship –wise since we were 15, we managed to save the best for last (cheesy, I know).

But this one song that came on, means more to me than any other.

Merrill deemed it “our song”.

I will never forget the first time he played it for me, it was after he made me a DVD slideshow, a much better version of a “mix tape”.

I sat, listening to the lyrics of this song, watching as the pictures from our life together  flashed by faster than I would like it to, and crying.

Crying because I was so amazed that someone felt this way about me.

We had been married not quite five years, and I should have known of his feelings for me, but of that magnitude?  It simply blew me away.

I must also say, that every year gets better than the last, that the love I thought was so great, and so strong to begin with, only gets better and better.

So I sat, listening to the words, yet again, while I was scrubbing the tub, feeling even more gratitude for this man who loves me, for his thoughtfulness, for his kindness, for his unselfish ways, for the life we share, for how far we have come together.

“Oh, how blessed we are, to share in everything..  every time I see your face, I’m reminded, of what it means to be alive.”

Geez I love him!

April 19th..


It’s a bummer that we are going from needing these, enjoying the 70 degree + weather, to the possibility of SNOW in the next few days.

Well, it is April in Utah after all!!

April 18th..

April 18

We had quite the lovely weekend here.  After church, we grabbed a blanket (and I snagged my camera) and headed for the backyard.

Needless to say, Ashley was my most cooperative subject (no bribery needed!!) and so my favorites were of her.

(I am also going to be one of the hundreds in this week’s I heart faces challenge..  click below to check out the fun!)


Monday, April 19, 2010

Favorite designer.

Can I gush?
Can I also make a slight confession?
I LOVE Crystal Wilkerson’s stuff..  she is incredible.  I think it is pretty safe to say that I just might own everything that she’s ever designed digitally.  Really.
Now for my slight confession…
I peed my pants just a little today.
She asked to be my friend in the good old Spraground!!
Then she told me that she posted my layout on her blog.
(Then I may or may not have lost more of my bladder control.)
Need I say that I am blushing?
Right now , and for the next two days only, her kits are available for 40% off at  If there were something that I didn’t already own, I would be there now, buying it all up while I can at this awesome price.
(And did I already mention how much I LOVE her stuff??)
Hopefully more good news is to come, and soon!
Aren’t Monday’s the bomb!?!