Thursday, December 29, 2016

Snapshots of 2016

I found some random pictures that I took. They are just snapshots of my family throughout the year. 














































Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas 2016

We had a quiet Christmas at our home. It was just us. We went to church and then we waited to hear from Ryan. They can call home on Christmas day. He finally Face Timed us at noon. We were able to talk to him for over and hour! It was great! The best present of all!




We did open presents, of course. That was the second best thing!!






























Sunday, November 20, 2016

Time Out for Women

For my birthday, I bought myself a ticket to Time Out for Women. If you don't know what that is, it is a 2 day gathering of mostly Mormon women who listen to presentations to feel uplifted and inspired. It was just what my soul needed.

I went with friends from my old Prairie 4th ward. It was so nice to be in their company. When you spend a lot of time with people, and you move, you miss them!! I didn't get any photos. But, I left with a better appreciation of my children and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am blessed!! Oh, I also got this really cool missionary tag that I gave to Britten. He's been sporting it around say, "I'm big! I can go on mission like Ryan!" Totally worth it!!




Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Twenty Years and Counting

Today, Dustin and I celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. WOW! 20 years! Would you like to know what that looked like for us?

Well, we started the morning off with an argument that left us not wanting to speak to one another when we left for work. And I might have left a sassy text for him on his phone. I checked my phone regularly at work to see if there happened to be a make up text, but nope.

I came home, threw in some laundry, and was able to email my son who is in the MTC right now. I haven't been feeling well because the crazy weather can't make up it's mind if it's early summer , or late fall. For some reason, my body reacts to what the seasons do. It's quite annoying. So, I took a little nap.

I got a phone call around 4:30. It was Dustin wanting to talk to one of our kids, someone other than me. It surprised me a little because I did happen to see his sweet tribute to me on Facebook. He hung up abruptly and that was the end of that. I hurried and finished picking up the house. Just as I was getting done, I heard the garage door open. It was Dustin. I thought I'd give him one more chance to talk to me. He pulled out a large bouquet of flowers and a sweet coupon book filled with vouchers for massages, a free argument, a 2 hr nap, and 1 hour of his full attention- anyone who knows him knows this is one of his struggles. He also had a beautiful necklace to give to me. Emeralds are my favorite! I pulled out my pumpkin roll for him. His real gift was to be able to leave and go hunting with a friend the week prior. Gifts had been exchanged, hugs and kisses too. Argument done!

We decided to go to dinner. I had a Cafe Rio gift card, so I decided that's where we'd go. He put on his hoodie. I was in my yoga pants and flip flops. As we talked over our burrito and salad, he said, "Sorry it wasn't more fancy. I know you deserve a 5 star restaurant." I chuckled because I was just thinking how nice it was to be relaxed  and just enjoy each other and where we are at right now. I don't need fancy, I just need love!

A few months ago I found this in my bathroom:



You guys, do you know how many arguments about the right way of toilet paper I have had? I never knew toilet paper even had a "right way." I grew up in a home with 11 children. You were just happy to have it close by! So, when I saw this, I laughed!! I did not put the toilet paper on. My husband did. I didn't hear one word from him. Over the years he has come to realize there are bigger things than toilet paper. But, want to know what I did after I took the picture? I turned the roll around. Why? Because I know he likes it that way. And that's how it works. You do what makes the other happy because you love them. Seeing them happy makes you happy! Are we always perfect at it? Nope. The important thing is we say sorry, forgive, and move on. That's what 20 years looks like. I'm excited to see what 20 more will look like!


Monday, November 7, 2016

Thoughts on my 40th Birthday


I turned 40 today. The big 4-0!! I have had a little anxiety, but as the day went on I realized it was just an ordinary day in my extraordinary life. I might be a year older-and my body hurts more-but I'm still me!! I'm learning and growing every day and it's great to be alive!

Life has gone by incredibly fast! I have a child who has officially left the nest...we dropped him off at the MTC on November 2nd. Ryan will do great things! Aaron is a junior in high school and doing his best to get straight As. That has been his goal. He works 4 days a week and it's weird that he's gone so much. Grace is 15. on November 1st, she officially became a woman... she was ecstatic! I'm sure that will change in the next few months. Kate will soon be 13 and it has been fun to watch her mature and change. She still loves her basketball shorts, but the other night she came home with curled hair, red lipstick, and mascara. Becca has always been beyond her years. She is starting to have friend dram, but I'm proud of how she's handling it. Britten is almost 4!! So crazy!

Dustin left for hunting on the 4th. Before he left, he created a surprise. He felt bad for leaving, but I'm happy that he is able to get a break and do what he enjoys. He took pictures of the past 20 years and made then into a 40 on the wall. It was such a sweet surprise. The kids also wrote on a poster board, "Top 40 Reasons We love you." I will be finding a creative way to hang it in my bedroom.

Every year my mother-in-law, and sisters-in-law and I get together and celebrate birthdays. We have birthdays in May and birthdays in November. We met tonight for a nice dinner that my mother-in law, Lori, prepared for us. The theme was "Talk Night." Everything we did had to do with the way we communicated. It was sweet night with some of the most wonderful ladies this world has!

I also spent a lot of time reading Facebook notes, texts, and even telephone calls wishing me a happy birthday. Can I just let you all know that made my day! Friends and family are important to me. Reading their well wishes made my day!! No greater blessing than knowing you are loved! 

I have kissed my 30s goodbye and I'm ready to rejoice in my 40s. My 30s were awesome, so imagine the 40 are going to be even better.  My life is so blessed I can't get down about being older. I'm excited to what the next decade will bring! I started my 30s debt free, so a goal I have is being debt free again. I'm hoping to take the next years in stride. My kids will leave every two years now. I'm just going to focus on them and enjoy the time they have left at home and help them any way I can as they enter their new stages of life. I'm going to take all the wrinkles and gray hair I know are coming and embrace them! Anything else would be unthinkable!!











Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Ryan- MTC Drop Off

Nobody went to school today! It was time to take Ryan to the mission home! He had to check-in at 12:45. We stopped at Grandpa Russ and Grandma Lori's, so they could say goodbye. Ryan wanted pizza for his "last lunch". We got his favorite: Dominoes.






We also took one last family snapshot for the next two years!




We made the hour drive to Provo. We parked the car to walk him to the from of the MTC, but they don't allow that. They told us we had to get back in our car and drive him in. We drove up to the curb, jumped out, hugged, and they whisked him away! The missionaries were trying to give us words of encouragement and promising he'll be ok. I didn't cry because I knew he'd be ok. He was fine and happy Nd not crying himself. "Two years," I thought. I'm excited to see what's in store.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Ryan's Mission Farewell

Ryan's mission farewell was Sunday, October 23, 2016. A farewell is when the called missionary gives a talk to the congregation before he leaves. Family and friends come to hear him speak. Ryan talked about the scripture, D&C 135:3:

"Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world..." 

I thought that was a huge topic for an 18 year-old boy! I was a little nervous, but Ryan did an awesome job! I knew he was ready for his mission after hearing him speak.

We had many family and friends come to hear him speak and to say goodbye. It was heart warming to see so many people we love in the same building! I admit I got teary eyed! I was glad Ryan knew he was loved before he set off into the world. He knows there are people who are cheering him on!!