Monday, March 2, 2015

It's all just stuff.

It really is all just stuff. The things we own. The stuff we have. A little more than 4 years ago we made our crazy decision to move to Utah in our most unconventional way. Which I actually really liked. It was sort of rash and things about the move were incredibly hard. But at the time it all made sense and looking back, it still does.

Right now Erick is sitting in our garage browsing through his childhood. He is surrounded by the last of the material things that belonged to his mom. And also all the things that make up our family. Our family photos and mementos, furniture that was forgotten.

We had left it all. Left it in Indiana. We didn't intend for it to be there this long. Life happens and you get busy. Finally an opportunity came that we couldn't pass up and thanks to the help of my sweet sister and her family we got it all here. 4 years later we have finally moved to Utah.

I poked around all the stuff. I was happy to find my scrapbooks. I was actually pretty good at it! Now I want to finish. I want to take the time to pull out photos and frame them and make a house a home. No matter where we are. I was SO happy to find my amazing cabinet my brother in law made me several Christmas's ago. I already have some ideas of new ways to use it. But I grabbed what I wanted most-my box of Erick. Letters and notes and tokens of our early days.

The kids were excited to find some forgotten toys. Some they have outgrown and some they have not. They get that from their dad.

We moved here with only what fit in our cars. Crazy. We didn't bring the keepsakes and the important things-just us. But in not having our stuff I think we have been finding our family. Doing activities and making memories. And now it's like going home, only home came to us.

In the end, it's all just stuff. But it's stuff you don't want to live without.

Friday, November 21, 2014

For Daisy.

I couldn't sleep last night. Erick and I have made the horribly hard decision to send our sweet Golden Retriever Daisy back to doggy heaven later this afternoon. It has been a painful decision that has made for a lot of conversations and tears.

Last night I asked Erick to say a prayer with me, I needed comfort and assurance that this decision was ok. I felt better, but so sad. I couldn't stop crying. Erick suggested I go snuggle with our sweet girl for a bit. I lied down with her on the cold kitchen tile-her preferred spot. And sobbed. I listened to her breathe and mug on me and she just let me hold her.
Then, her whole life flashed through my mind.

Almost 13 years ago I was pregnant with Jed. I was 11 weeks and 2 days pregnant and we were at a pet store. Erick spotted a cute golden puppy. Turns out she was 11 weeks and 2 days old. She had to be ours. She cost $800 back when we were young, had a bit of money to spare, and a vision of that classic American family. I was still working full time, and we had this puppy. Erick got really sick and it was February. I remember standing in the freezing cold, sick and pregnant, with a puppy on a leash, learning to potty train. We took her to puppy classes as a couple. A glimpse into parenting that was soon to come. She was a happy fluff ball who was so smart and cute.

Before Jed was born I quit my job and spent a summer sitting on a chair while tossing a tennis ball waiting to become a mother. Her and Jed were pals. He would crawl into her crate and sleep on her. She was my friend for those long days and nights when Erick was working 2 jobs, going to school, and our life with a newborn. She would greet Erick at the door every day and look for us out our window when we would go on our dates.

When I was in labor with Ella I took Daisy and Jed for a walk to get contractions going. We did the same with Luke. She greeted each baby in our family with a happy face. She didn't do that doggy jealous thing, just sniffed their diapers and hung out. Babies meant strollers and walks and trips to parks.

We taught her to run outside and grab our newspaper from the end of the driveway.

We found out she had hip dysplasia at a very young age. It has never slowed her down-until now.

She has eaten our pizza crusts, peanut butter sandwiches off the table, and kept high chairs nice and clean after messy toddlers.

Over the years different friends and family have taken her in when we had trips to take. All you had to do was throw a ball and you were Daisy's best friend. One trip, she wasn't thrilled we left and when we got home she sat in the drivers seat of the van and wouldn't get out. I guess she wasn't happy we left her. 

She has moved with us 4 times in 2 states. She came to Utah with me and the kids in our minivan for 3 days of driving in a blizzard and two hotel stops-turns out she doesn't love elevators. She's only got lost once. Shortly after moving to Utah she got confused about which door was ours in our townhome and a neighbor took her in over night. We found her playing catch with the family the next morning. She has chewed up only one couch and a few shoes, eaten a million rawhides, destroyed a ton of tennis balls, and shredded ropes and de-stuffed quite a few squeaker toys. She stored them under our couch for years. She has patiently tolerated toddlers climbing on her while they learned to stand, poking her eyes, and touching her feet. She has been fine when we added a pet bird, a cat, a lizard, and even another dog.

She has always been here for us. Listening, doing what we say, and having her habitual routines. She has to walk on a certain side, she sleeps in a handful of places, and prefers cool tile to doggy beds. Our vet has said she may have Cushings Syndrome, which would explain her excessive panting, thirst, preference for cool floors, and the paralysis she has developed on her face.

She has always had health issues. We used to joke about how she was the most expensive dog ever. Hot spots, strange eye bulging, hip problems, and more. She has taken pokes and prods, medications, shots, and exams in stride. Now her body has lumps, cancer on a foot, and kidneys that are failing her. Our kids' childhoods have been captured on video and photos in the last 12+ years and most of our pictures have a fluffy tail or silly dog in the photos. She's been here for it all. I would take her lumps and bumps and scrapes and endless hair and do it all over again in a minute. We are lucky to have spent almost 13 years with the Best Dog on the Planet, and I am grateful for every minute of it.

After all she has given us, giving her peace is the one thing left we can give.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Here is a little something I have been working on. Digital downloads for Project Life type scrapbooking or journaling. You can buy them in my Etsy shop. These are so fun and quick to make.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

I have signed up as a Scentsy Independent Consultant and I AM loving it! The products are amazing, the compensation plan is fabulous, and I am excited that I can even do fundraisers and charity work through their program. I am so excited to see where this goes.

 You can visit my website and order any time at You can also drop me an email or call to order. Just choose an active party and shop! Holler if you have questions.

Of course I am also still working part time in the marketing dept of a Credit Union, subbing occasionally in the elementary schools, and building my home Graphic Design business! Eventually I will streamline all these things!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Peek A Boo.

I should blog. But really. Facebook transformed my ability to blog into facebook posts. Sorry blogger. I won't even say I'm going to try harder. I am just going to think about trying.

I have actually had this blog post forming in my head the last few days. I didn't feel like putting it on Facebook because that's a different audience.

I'm thinking about my little girl lately. Though, she's 9. Not so little.

She's in a musical. Not just in a musical, has a lead part. She amazes me. She is fearless and brave, and smart and sassy, and funny and entertaining. She is mostly Erick, and his mom, with a few streaks of my emotions here and there. She is blazing a trail through life. Sometimes she does things and I feel embarrassed. Not because she is embarrassing-but because if I did those things at her age, I would have felt embarrassed. I am glad she is not this way.

She was a peer model back in preschool. She was surrounded by classmates with special needs. She was the example of appropriate behavior. She did very well, had fun, and made some fun little friends. At the little age of 4, I had a teacher of hers tell me, "Someday someone will break her spirit. She will eventually be told to be quiet. So it will be good for her to learn that now, there is a time and a place for noise." This teacher was trying to help. Sort of a warning, sort of advice, sort of cautionary information. I wasn't bothered. But I never forgot.

I am so grateful for this opportunity that Ella has now. I believe this sort of creative, loud, attention grabbing outlet is exactly what will keep her giant spirit alive. No crushing of spirits here. Only encouragement, love, and support. She's not too concerned with being the best. She enjoys all the elements of being in a production: the music, dancing, new friends, and going to practices. She doesn't seem to get overly tired. She has even moved into taking constructive criticism incredibly well. She didn't at first. But now she does.

I hope I can help her keep this going. I hope I can help encourage her to find those things that bring her joy. I once was brave. I once enjoyed performing. Now I enjoy watching her be amazing. And fearless. Always fearless. (Except at waterparks)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Inspired Words Weekend

This weekend is General Conference, which I love. So for 4 hours today I watched, listened and snoozed during wonderful words of council and encouragement from various leaders in our church. All from the comfort of my bed! The kids came in and out, Erick ran errands and entertained kids, and napped, and I snuggled with my puppy.

The inspired words continue tomorrow in two, two-hour blocks. You can watch or listen here.  When conference is over, you can even go to that link and read the talks or listen again.

There are many worldly issues of concern on my mind lately, and I feel uplifted and reminded of why I love this church and all it stands for. I am thankful for my little family, and the gift they are to me. I am thankful for a loving Savior who has given us all an example to follow.

With a full heart I am off to enjoy the nature of the earth... Thats poetic code for pulling weeds!! :) I am determined to make the yard here look better than it was when we moved in. I don't think the owners care much for yard work. I think they bought this place as an investment for rental income. Thats ok, I love it!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Abbey Snuggles

This is Abbey Snuggles. She has grown a lot since these pictures were taken. She was about 2-3lbs when we got her at barely 6 weeks old, and now she is 12 weeks and 6lbs. She was gifted to us from a friend who owns both parents so we can keep tabs on her parents and their health and vice versa. She also gets to play with her brothers once in a while. She was the only girl in a litter of 7!

Her mom is a Labrador Chihuahua Mix?? I know, weird. And her dad is a super cute Shih tzu Poodle mix. We were hoping she would look like her dad. She has some curly hair. But her body and ears are all Retriever to me. We have no clue how much bigger she is going to get, not much I think. 

She is super sweet and Jed is in love with her. I have had many moments of second guessing this decision, but when it comes to Jed (well any of the kids!) I am sold. He has been a huge help taking care of her and Ella does well too. Luke is not interested in her very much because she nips a little. 

She makes Daisy crazy, but Daisy is actually more active with the puppy around (getting up to avoid being climbed on, sat on, sniffed or hair tugged). I took them both for a 15 minute walk this morning. It was perfect for them. They are actually pretty close in speed. Abbey has super short legs since shes so small, and Daisy is like, 100 years old. So they both were done after the 15 minutes. :)

Also, puppies are more work than when we had Daisy- no kids, 11 years younger, yah. Im tired.