Monday, March 18, 2013


I've started sewing again. Paul and my mom got me a new machine for Christmas. It has made quilting a lot better. I'm trying to finish up some project that I've had laying around for...well...years. I'm happy with this (mostly) but I really wish that the border fabric had been one of the brighter bolder colors. Once I get the dark pink binding on it will be much better. I think. The back is pieced and will be quite adorable. Emma consulted on this as I went along. I can't wait to get it quilted. 

I have a Christmas quilt that is super easy that I'm hoping to finish this week. I'm also working on a granny square quilt but it's causing me headaches. I'm hoping my friend can help me with that one. Now I just need to find a job so I can get all of these babies quilted. Ha! 


Our friends Ariel and Brant introduced us to the game of Munchkins last fall. We've spent many a late night playing together. We ended up getting a game of our own to play with the kids. In the game you can get different cards that give you extra power for battles. One of the cards you can get is the Horny Helmet. There is a lot of history with this card. (Once Paul swore on it during a game of Werewolves. Later it was discovered that he lied! Oh the horror. Since then no one WITH the horny helmet has EVER won one of our games. He cursed it.)  We decided it would be hilarious to go to the party store and pick up our own Horny Helmet. We knew our friends would love it! Emma is the reigning champ in our house so she got to wear it during the game. She wears it well. (It was so good to see her smiling and happy. Thanks friends.)

The game was intense.  I tired to distract them with chips and salsa but it didn't work. In the end Ariel was the winner. 

Brant totally thought he had it but he was so WRONG! Emma handed over the helmet and crowned Ariel the winner.

Brant pouted.

We need a rematch. That helmet totally belongs on my head. 

Life is Hard-Good Friends Help

On March 7th Emma's life changed forever. One of her classmates, you could even call him a friend, committed suicide.

That night I was out to dinner with a dear friend that I have known since 4th grade who was in town from Kansas. When I was driving home I called Emma and asked if she could make the bathroom presentable. Paul had taken the kids out to dinner that night and when I was talking to her she said that all of these cop cars went flying right by our house. When they were coming back she could see all of the lights still at the far end of our road but he wouldn't let them go and investigate. She was joking around saying she knew I would have driven that way to see what was happening. We didn't think anything else about it.

Right when I got home with Cindy, we were just coming into the house, Emma got a text saying that a fellow classmate had passed away and to wear dress clothes to school the next day in his honor. They mentioned the boy by name in the text. The look on her face is something I will never forget. It was a combination of confusion, sadness, shock, horror, disbelief; it was awful. Her eyes welled up with tears, she looked up at us and said, "my friend is dead." The texts just kept coming. The Facebook statuses kept coming. It was all so overwhelming for her. She didn't know if it was true or a bad hoax. She didn't know how to deal with these feelings.

That whole night she cried and struggled to get through her homework. She had so many questions. She had just seen him that day.

We found out the next day that all of those police cars were indeed dealing with this tragedy. School was not normal for Emma. Grief counselors were on hand. Classes were held but nothing was taught. She texted me throughout the day. Stories were shared. Tears were shed. We found out way more than we wanted or needed to know. I cried a lot that day. We all cried. We all suffered. We were all very confused.

Friday after school balloons were released in his honor. Posters were signed. People hugged and then cried some more. She was numb. She said she didn't have any tears left.

Friday night there was a candlelight vigil held on the track field at the school. She went with her sweet friend Kayla. They were there for over an hour. I went for a while hoping for some closure but eventually realized that I just needed to wait it out in the car. Emma said it helped to be able to share more stories, laugh and sing songs.

Saturday my parents came and took us out to lunch. I could tell she felt it would be disrespectful to him if she had fun. We talked about it after lunch. It seemed to sink in.

Our friends called and offered to come play a game with us. She had fun. It was good to see her enjoy herself.

Sunday was emotional again. They talked about the Atonement in young women and how it can help in hard times. Everyone at church was so kind and gentle with her. She got hugs and a lot of love. One of my thoughtful friends gave her a necklace that said I AM A CHILD OF GOD. That night she was doing better. I felt so much love from so many people. It was the silver lining of this tragedy.

Monday was good! She was almost back to her old self. She decided against going to the viewing that night. She didn't think she could handle it. I supported that choice.

Tuesday I let her stay home from school so she could attend the funeral. She got there early and went to the viewing that morning. She was able to see him for the last time. It was hard. She sort of wishes she hadn't but at the same time it gave her the closure she needed. After the funeral she went back to school. She didn't tell me much. She's opened up a little here and a little there but I still feel like I don't know everything I need to. She seems to be doing well at this point but she still has the program from the funeral in her binder. I know life is hard but 14 isn't the age where you should be dealing with stuff like this.

St. Patrick's Day 2013

Paul went on a second trip for work just about a week after returning from his other trip. When he booked his plane tickets I begged him to make sure he would be home for St. Patrick's Day. I couldn't imagine celebrating without him. He made it back on the afternoon of the 16th. Whew, just in time.

One of Andrew's favorite things is coming home from school and seeing the table all decorated for Valentine's or St. Patrick's Day. With St. Pat's being on a Sunday this year making that surprise happen was a little more difficult. We had to skip Sunday School so we could decorate and surprise the kids.

The morning started with a nutritious breakfast. A leprechaun even turned the milk green.

This is what happened during the second hour of church. The table got covered in all things green and gold. 

This goofy frog even joined in on the fun.

Like my new glasses?

Since it took days for my Valentine's cupcakes to get eaten I decided to make green cookies for dessert instead. Everyone loved them! They are almost all gone. As a matter of fact they may just be my dinner tonight. Here is a link to the recipe.  Pistachio Thumbprint Cookies I got my recipe from a friend that put it in our ward cookbook but this link goes to the same recipe. I do roll my dough balls in finely chopped pecans and I didn't dye my filling green. But I should have. 

Since none of us eat corned beef we opted for the "green" chicken. It's a creamy pesto pasta dish. Of course we had green rolls as well. Do you like how I'm so classy that I serve it right from the pan?

We couldn't have a picture like this if Paul hadn't been here.

The hat seems a little too small Paul.

Yes, I really really liked these cookies.

Monkey See, Monkey Do

2013 Monthly Recaps

January 2013

Paul laughed when he saw my January collage. He said, "Almost all the pictures are from our trip down south." I replied, "That's all I'd like to remember about January." Oh I crack myself up! I'm just glad that January is behind us.

Clockwise from top left: Our only family picture from our trip taken at the St. George temple. Icicles. I saw so many bloomin' icicles this year it was ridiculous. I even got stabbed by one. True story.
The kids before going on the roller coaster at the New York, New York hotel in Las Vegas. Andrew went sledding with some friends and tried out snowboarding. Sort-of. The red rocks of Ivins, Utah. Paul and I at the Bellagio Conservatory. 

February 2013 

February was a very hard month. We had a pretty nasty illness hit Andrew and I. He got it first and then shared it with me. Wasn't that thoughtful? It took us each out for a week. (But not the same week so we had two full weeks of funk.) We had high fevers, massive headaches and zero energy. That was how February started. 

We had a pretty good Valentine's Day so all was well for about a minute.

I won't get into too many details but after I recovered from my cold/flu/bug thing I was "cursed" with my lovely womanly issues so I got to kiss another week of my life down the toilet. 

Paul left on the 21st very suddenly for an emergency work trip. We didn't know how long he would be gone. That sucked. It was very hard on us because we didn't have time to mentally prepare and it just didn't feel like it was a good thing. It turns out it was a very hard trip for him emotionally. It was draining for all parties involved. He was gone for nine days. I know that to military families etc nine days is nothing but it was still very hard. 

Clockwise from top right: Paul and I on Valentine's Day. I got a Godiva chocolate tower. With my wicked PMS that little honey only lasted about 36 hours. Andrew had to do a report on an inventor. He chose Henry Ford. His presentation was the day Paul left for his trip. When I got to the school to see him he was hiding behind his tri-fold crying. It broke. my. heart. I may or may not have started crying myself. He said, "this is going to be the worst day ever if dad calls and says he will be gone a year." Oh my word. I didn't realize that when we said we didn't know when daddy would get back that he would assume it be a whole year. I told him at the most it would be two weeks. I think that helped but he still had a very hard emotional day. Emma at one of her basketball games. She was so done at this point. She was playing rec ball, church ball and track had started. It was too much with all of her hard classes. Our sweet little family on Valentine's Day. A quilt that had been in the works for some time. I finished it late last year and got it quilted as a Christmas gift. I finally got the binding sewn on in February and I LOVE IT! It's so busy but it's pink and green and girly, oh my! This is how we survived Paul's trip. FaceTime. What a wonderful invention. It was so good to see Paul while he was away. One night, after his worst (hardest, most disappointing) day there, he went to bed early and I didn't get to see him all day. I knew what a difficult time he was having. My heart ached for him. I wanted to see that he was okay physically because I knew he wasn't okay emotionally. But I couldn't. I fell asleep crying. I felt so helpless. I wished I could have been there to hug him or something. We were so happy when he returned in early March. Spending a good part of the month without my Paul is no fun at all. 

Valentine's Day 2013

(You get extra credit if you thought of Fiddler on the Roof when you read that.)

Nope, we didn't break away from our Valentine's tradition this year. It was all pretty much the same as all the years past. I wouldn't have it any other way. We had the table full of candy, the balloons, the heart shaped pizza, etc etc etc. It was just like it has been for the last 17 years. 

This may be my favorite balloon bouquet ever. I love the deep pinky red color. I had a hard time when these began to die. Luckily they lasted a very long time. Much longer than they should have. Andrew was able to shoot them with his BB gun one I was finally done with them so they provided much joy to all.

I hate that he is wearing a Superman shirt but the kid doesn't have anything without logos and he doesn't have hardly anything red. Next year I will be better prepared. 

This was something new! Emma got these beautiful flowers from a boy she goes to school with. This is the first time she has received flowers. I thought it was very very sweet. 

I asked Paul  to forget about the flowers and to get me Godiva chocolate instead. It has become my favorite. I said flowers just die, I can wear this chocolate around on my butt and hips for years.

Andrew loves red velvet cupcakes so when I saw this I knew I wanted to try them. I got up and made bacon and pancakes for breakfast. They were crazy thick. It was like eating brownies with syrup for breakfast. We all felt full for hours. They sat like bricks in our bellies. Yikes! 

The last Valentine box we should ever have to make.

 A phone picture of the cupcakes with pink and white swirled frosting that I slaved over. I should say they hardly got eaten with all the other candy we had. I won't be making cupcakes again any time soon.