Thursday, August 27, 2015

Something about fall

I know it isn't truly Fall yet
but the kids are back in school so it feels like fall to me.
Plus, the last couple of days have been rainy and that's also having an effect.

But it seems when fall hits, I always want to nest.

I want to clean.
I want to redecorate.
I want to buy furniture and refinish it.
I find myself scouring craigslist (or KSL for you Utah folks) for interesting pieces of furniture.

I want to get some mums.
I want some party lights out on my back porch so I enjoy them as I sit outside on cool, beautiful evenings.

I probably won't do any of those things
(except sit outside on the back porch sans party lights)
and I might clean.
You know.  Maybe.
But I'm trying not to buy stuff.
I'm being frugal.

Although it has crossed my mind that I could sell some of my past projects so that I can get some new ones.

We shall see.

Fall just does this to me.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

It happened

On Saturday I went wedding dress shopping.

I can't post any pictures for obvious reasons...
the groom-to-be can't see them!

but I can say this...
I loved it.
I finally got to go wedding dress shopping!

Being the mother of four boys I have sometimes bemoaned the fact that I will never get to go prom dress or wedding dress shopping.
Unless a friend or niece or daughter-in-law to be lets me come along to theirs.

I never went wedding dress shopping when I was getting married either.
I still don't know why I didn't do that.
I mean, I know why I didn't.
I was broke and knew I couldn't afford any of those dresses.
But why didn't I do it just for fun?

I wish I had.

I figured I would get that fulfillment with my kids.
Then I had all boys.

Not too many girls invite their mother-in-law to be to go find their wedding dress.
Some do. I know.
But we will see if it happens for me.
I lived across the country when Branden and Amber were getting married so it wasn't even an option then.
Plus, even if it happens sometime for me...mothers-in-law really don't get to have an opinion in those situations.

But my niece invited me along on Saturday
and I loved it.

She looked gorgeous in everything
but you could really really tell when she found "the one"
It was so great.

Her face and eyes just changed.
She has such a cute smile whenever she looked in the mirror.

Thanks for inviting me Jaime.
I love you and I am so excited for you and your sweetie!

Education Week

Education Week at BYU ended this last Friday
and it was fabulous!

The week itself was crazier than I expected.
I expected to stay at BYU and walk to classes and sleep at the dorms.
Instead I did a LOT of back and forth to my house to get things done and drive people where they needed to go...
but I still really enjoyed my time at BYU
and learned so much.

We kept meaning to take some pictures but every day was so jam packed that we would forget.
Finally on Friday we took a few,
which explains why we are in the same clothes in every picture.

One of the main things I learned (again! because I already knew it...) is that I love spending time with my sisters.
My sister Doneen was there as well as my sister-in-law Stacey and her awesome daughter Sara.
They are all so much fun to be around.

We sometimes went to the same classes
and other times we separated but we would meet together for lunch and dinner each day.
We would sit in the shade and talk about what we had each learned in our previous classes.

We had a photographer from BYU come up and ask to take our picture one day at lunch.
After he took the picture we realized that we needed a group picture so we had someone walking by take one for us.  
When I looked at it, I laughed because I had been sitting in such a way that one of my legs was hidden in my skirt and it looked like I only had one leg!

Then I was wondering if I had been sitting that way for the BYU photographer...
We were laughing and saying that maybe our picture would make it into next years' schedule book since it appears that I am handicapped.
They always want more diversity in the pictures, right?

Anyway, we retook the picture.

I finally slept in the dorms on Thursday night.
It was fun to all be together.
Doneen reading on her bed in our fancy dorm room

But, not gonna lie, my back had spasms the whole next day!
Guess I'm used to my comfy bed at home...
and I'm old.

I'm so grateful to be able to take advantage of these things that are available here in Utah.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Education Week

I signed up for BYU's education week again this year.
It's a little tricky because it falls on the same week as the first day of school.
But I figured I could make it work.

Then my sister-in-law invited me to stay in the dorms with her.
That sounds fun!
So, of course I said yes to that...

THEN, two days before education week began
Frank says, "Did I mention that I'll be in Boston all next week?"

It's ok.
I can make this work!

Oh, and another thing, Carter's AND Ryan's cars are both broken down at the moment.
Ryan generally rides a bike to his job but if he needs to go farther away than that, he has no car.
Carter hasn't needed to go too many places but school is starting so he will need to get to and from school at the very least.

I can make this work.

I drove Frank to the airport so I could use his car and Carter could use my car to go to school.

I decided to come home for Tuesday night so I would be here for the first day of school on Wednesday and then I would go off to education week and all would be well.
Except I forgot that I have mutual on Wednesday nights that I'm supposed to attend.
Ok Ok I will go to education week during the day Wednesday and then just come home for mutual and go back and be in the dorms and the rest of the week will be fine.
Except I forgot that I have to pick Frank up from the airport since I dropped him off.
Ok Ok I will just stay home Wednesday night and pick Frank up from the airport around noon on Thursday. I will take Carter to school so that I can have my car back to drive to education week after I pick up Frank since he will need his car.
And THEN I will go to education week and stay in the dorms and all will be well.
Except now it's Thursday for heaven's sake!
Education Week is only a week long and ends on Friday.

What a week it's been.
Don't get me wrong...I've loved the classes I've taken!
But I have driven back and forth WAY more than I had originally hoped or planned.
I have walked miles and miles because you have to walk to each class around campus and the parking is far away so I'm walking to and from my car sometimes more than once.
And I have yet to even step one foot inside the dorms.
I'm pooped.

I'm off to get Frank from the airport soon
and I sure hope the rest of my week goes the way it's supposed to.
Frank will have to take Carter to school.
Ryan will have to figure out a way to get to school to buy his books.
And I will, hopefully, get to stay at Education week and sleep in the dorms with my sister and sister-in-law because that sounds so fun!

I need a nap.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A few more things from Alaska

A few tidbits from my week in Alaska:

Isabelle was really into putting on her parents shoes.
She would regularly go into their room and come out wearing either Amber's or Branden's footwear.

She even put on Branden's big work boots one day but I missed getting a picture of that one.
It was cute
and she is remarkably good at walking in the huge shoes.

The new apartment has a bathtub.
They have been managing this whole time with just a shower in our basement apartment.
So the kids were loving being able to take baths and splash around.
They asked for baths quite a few times.

I babysat one afternoon while Branden and Amber picked up some furniture
and the girls really wanted a bath just for fun.
So I obliged.
As the tub filled, Kaylee tried to be patient but she really wanted in there with Isabelle!

Don't worry, I put Kaylee in after taking these pictures.
She really wanted in that tub!

The girls wasted no time in breaking in the new bedroom...
They really do a good job of entertaining themselves
and play quite well together a lot of the time.
Sometimes Isabelle is a little too rough with Kaylee
and sometimes they get into mischief (obviously)
but overall they are a couple of happy, content kids.

We went out to lunch one day and Branden had a bit of a headache.
He laid across the bench for a minute and Isabelle was SO SWEET.
Oh my gosh.

Just for fun, here is a picture of Kaylee enjoying a very entertaining straw.

Every time we left a restaurant I would laugh/comment/feel bad about
the HUGE mess we would leave.
Kaylee's favorite thing right now is to throw things on the ground...
so, yeah.

On my last night, right after their bath, I took a picture with Isabelle and Kaylee.
Then they went to bed and I went to the airport.

I sure miss these cuties!

Monday, August 17, 2015


My first, but not my last, trip to Alaska took place one week ago.
I helped Amber fly the girls up for their big move.
Branden left several weeks earlier in order to drive with some of their belongings
and find an apartment.

I probably would have been excited to see Alaska
had I been going for a different reason.

But I have to admit that Alaska,
at least in August,
is really really beautiful.

I saw two bald eagles while I was there but never got a good picture.

The weather was a perfect 65-67 degrees.
There were no mosquitoes.
(I had been warned that they would be bad, but apparently mosquitoes are more of a spring thing)
The mountains, and trees and flowers are just gorgeous.

Branden found a nice little apartment.

Isabelle posing for me in her new bedroom

The only flaw in the place so far is that the upstairs neighbors walk like elephants and stay up until all hours of the night.
It is already driving Branden nuts.

I spent most of my time there helping get things set up.
We bought groceries and diapers
Went to garage sales
searched Craigslist
and managed to furnish the whole place for under $150.
Not bad.
Isabelle enjoying her new couch

We also got to know the neighborhood a little bit.
Within walking distance there is:
a nice park

the town square
a grocery store
the library
the post office
a very busy Blockbuster store.

Yes, Blockbuster is alive and well in Alaska.

One day when Branden had a day off we went on a little adventure.
We went to a bird sanctuary
(beautiful but we saw zero birds)

Yes, I took this picture with the very bad lighting...

and then drove up around a glacier.
It was all within about 30-40 minutes of their house.

I will miss this little family!
But I'm so glad I got to help them get set up and see a bit of where they are living now.
I know they will have a great adventure
and grow closer as a family.

And I will be back to visit again!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Goodbye to Amber

 Last Tuesday evening we had a little goodbye party for Amber.
Her mom and siblings were in town
(her older sister had a baby that week too!)
so that was nice.

Dion took pictures for us
but didn't get the camera out until after Kaylee had gone to not many pictures of her.

But it was a fun night of talking and eating and just enjoying all being together one last time.

Keep in mind, I literally walked in the door from girls camp to attend this party...
so I look very much like I had been camping!

First, a few pics taken by Amber's mom with her phone:

Dion's pictures:

Goodbye Amber!
We will miss you so much!