Monday, May 31, 2010

Proud To Be An American!

I must confess that for many years I just looked at Memorial Day as a "free" day to spend doing whatever I wanted with no real regard to the significance of the day. As I have gotten older I have come to really apprecate this day as a day of remembrance and recognition for the thousands/millions who have fought to ensure the freedoms that we appreciate to this day.

I love being an American! I think we have the greatest country on earth and my heart swells when I see an American flag, hear our National Anthem or see one of our Military personnel in uniform. I am grateful to these unselfish men/women who fight for our liberty. But just being grateful isn't enough! Really, truly honoring them and their efforts takes work by doing Our Part to help Preserve the freedoms that they sacrificed their lives for.

I am married to THE MOST PATRIOTIC man I have ever met! Hands down, my hubs is totally, 100% committed to fighting for the preservation of our Nation's freedoms that were set forth by our Founding Fathers. He walks the talk and he doesn't bend! He stands by his principles and speaks his mind. He loves this country and he gets involved. Every single day, he is reading a book about our Founders, or the beginnings of our Nation, or a periodical about the state of our Republic today...Without fail! He is a true Patriot...not a 4th of July flag waver, a real Patriot who is willing to lay his life down for this great Country of ours. He is a true example to me and so many others in our community who respect him and seek him out for answers to questions they may have regarding our local and national politics. I am proud of my husband!

I have also learned, as I have gotten older, that I have to fight, I'm not donning a military uniform or carrying a rifle and I'm not leaving my family to go to some far off land...I'm fighting right here in my own little oasis of comfort. I get involved in my own community. I go to City Council Meetings and try to educate myself on the agenda items discussed. I write to my Congressman/Senator every month and share my opinions with them imploring them to do the right thing (according to the U.S. Constitution) and represent me as I wish to be represented. I vote in every election and I take my vote seriously. I get to know the candidates and learn their position on issues. I go to local caucus meetings and am currently serving as Secretary/Treasurer for our local Precinct. I, like my husband, love my Country and am proud to be an American.

I say all this not to boast, but to share. I share this because I have observed that too many great Americans have become complacent. Many complain about what is taking place in Washington D.C. but sit idly by and do nothing. Many bury their heads in the sand and just "don't want to hear it". Many see what's going on and disagree but remain silent hoping that it will "all work out" won't! It won't work out if we don't continue to fight for what we know to be right...and it's simple!
  1. Know what you stand for! Someone once said, "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything".
  2. Get Involved. Make sure you are registered to vote. Read about your candidates and understand their position on the issues. Attend a city council meeting (they're public). Then make an informed vote...make your vote count.
  3. Write your elected officials. It's easy! The most effective way to send your opnion on any particular issue is to fax it to them. You can find their fax numbers online here. Faxing is preferred to U.S. Mail ever since the Antrax scare...My husband was in D.C. several years ago and visited with some of our U.S.Congressmen/women who told him that for every 1 person who wrote to them, it represented between 100-150 who feel the same way but who don't write!! Are you being represented your voice being heard??
One of our Founders said, "An informed and freedom-loving people can never be enslaved!"

So my tribute to all of the men and women who have so bravely and valiantly fought for our freedoms is this: Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I pledge, as a citzen of the United States of America, to continue to fight in my own little corner of the world. I love this Country and am so proud to be an American! God bless you all...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Blog Envy, Blog Love!

I jumped on the blog bandwagon just a couple of years ago and after having one blog disappear (yes, it's true) I started this one just this past January. Through my blogging, I have found some of the most amazing women and have really come to appreciate them as real friends. BUT, I have to admit, I suffer from...Blog Envy!!

There are certain blogs that I check everyday and feel like I am visiting dear friends each time (I know, I seriously need to get a life...I know this!) I have laughed with them, cried with them, listen to them vent, gleaned from them, learned from them, gained weight because of them, but mostly have grown to love and apprecitate ALL of them.

So I want to share with you a few (and there are many more) of my favorite blogs and would LOVE to hear from you about some of your favorites!

I adore Sarah over at Clover Lane. Sarah's a SAHM with 5 children and makes no apologies about it (go girl)! Her posts are primarily about her adventures with her children, but she also has done some awesome "series". My personal favorite series is her "Women of Faith" where periodically she spotlights a woman of a particular faith. Each post has been very respectful, honest and informative. For me personally, I have learned more about each religion and have gained a greater appreciation for the enormous strength and faith these women have gained through their personal relationship with God. Sarah also is an accomplished photographer. She shares experiences from family vacations to organizing her house to an occasional cathartic venting! Check her out, I promise you will LOVE her as I do!

Another favorite is Shawni over at 71 Toes and The I Love Lucy Project. I have been familiar with Shawni's parents for years as they are published authors and have written several books on marriage, plus we belong to the same faith and her parents are pretty well known within our church...but, Shawni is the one I want to talk about. She too is a SAHM with 5 children. Her youngest daughter, Lucy, is an adorable, "instantly-fall-in-love-with-her-when-you-see-her-smile" little girl who was diagnosed with Bardet-Biedl Syndrome which will eventually cause her to go blind. Her posts are always interesting, most are about the everyday goings-on in her family, but she also has fabulous give-aways and informative info about her daughter's syndrome. Shawni is also a published author with a BEAUTIFUL book that she co-wrote with her mother called "A Mother's Book of Secrets". I recently bought the book even though my youngest child is almost 25 and only wish I had bought it sooner! It's easy to read, beautifully written and is a perfect gift for a new mother-to-be or any mother of any age!

Kevin and Amanda are the most adorable couple who have a blog that addresses so many different subjects. Most recently, Amanda just returned from L.A. where she was treated in Old Hollywood Red-Carpet Style by Bertolli. She was able to meet the famous chef Rocco Dispirito and she shared her trip through a series of posts complete with the most beautiful pictures..I swear I gained 20 pounds just looking at them!! I used to live in L.A. and she actually made me homesick for that crazy place! She also shares her adventures with her hubby and 2 adorable dogs, Miley and Howie, has fantastic blog tips AND I have gotten THE CUTEST fonts for my computer through her blog. Her blog is a website chock full of all kinds of info, so head on over for a veritable feast of cyber tidbits!

Recently, I was introduced to Jenny over at The Picky Palate through Amanda at KevinandAmanda. Let me warn you, you will truly be salivating when you read her posts and see the delectable pictures of her latest creations. You can almost smell the delicious aromas from her kitchen wafting through the computer! She and Amanda were both at the Bertolli event and were able to get together to create the "Ultimate L.A. Cookie". Holy Cow, I can't wait to head over to the grocery store after posting this so I can start to try to replicate the decadent cookie they created! Her blog is filled with fabulous recipes where she takes the ordinary and makes it EXTRAORDINARY. I have never been SO inspired to cook and create as I have with this fabulous blog.

The final blog I want to share with you is written by a lovely Mennonite woman who was introduced to me through Sarah at Clover Lane in one of her "Women of Faith" series. I don't know the woman's name, it doesn't matter, she's still my friend! Her blog is called "Thy Hand Hath Provided". She blogs about her experiences as a SAHM mom who homeschools her children and cooks with food she and her husband have grown on their land. Again, her pictures are gorgeous and she inspires me to learn more about gardening, cooking and getting back to basics. I admire her so much with her canning ability and food storage ideas. She has taught me so much and I appreciate her more than words can say! Check her out. You will love her as I do!

All of these women are amazing in their own right and all are INCREDIBLE photographers (something I am SO not!) We are all linked though this crazy cyber-world of blogging and I am a better woman for having gotten to know them through their postings. I personally want to thank them all for their wonderful contributions to my life. I am older than ALL of them but feel a sisterhood because of their generosity to share a part of their lives! They all inspire me to be a better woman, mother and wife! Thank you for the company you provide for me daily and I wish you all the very best!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Quite the Week

I haven't posted lately and decided that today's the day! Today's the day that I will try to open my heart and share what's inside. Let me start by saying that it has been one very difficult week in a month that has been filled with many challenges! They seem to hit all at once...But that's how life is, right?? We have easy times we have tough times. Good days, bad days...

Let me start by saying that I so appreciate the many well-wishes, thoughts and prayers for my sweet little dad who is in the hospital. He went in Sunday night to ICU and was finally moved to a private room yesterday. I don't know what will happen (who really knows what God has planned for anyone??) but I do know that he has been in a LOT of pain and he is pretty drugged up. So sad. But he's tough and I do mean tough! He has beat unbelievable odds and defied death multiple times over the past 30 years. Whatever happens, I will always have the best memories of my dad. I will always remember his adorable sense of humor and his ability to make me smile. I will always remember his strength of character, his love and devotion to my mother for almost 60 years (on June 17th!) and I will always remember his words of counsel and his willingness to listen to me when I have felt like curling up in a fetal position.

Brad and I were supposed to leave this morning for our annual trip to Louisville to meet up with some of the nicest people you will ever meet, to celebrate the music of the Beatles, at a 5 day music festival called "Abbey Road on the River". It is one of our most favorite trips each year but we both had a strong feeling that we needed to stay close by for my dad and family. It was a tough decision, it was an easy decision!! Whatever happens, we will be fine...that's what having a great family ensures!

On another note, I was privileged to attend a Parole Hearing for a man whom I really don't know, but Brad has known him for years and I know his amazing wife and children. 51 of us loaded into cars, vans, SUV's and drove 2 hours south to the prison to support this man who many feel has been falsley accused of some heinous crimes. I have to admit that since I don't know him, I can't make the call...but I don't have to. I was there for his wife and children. When this man was brought into the courtroom, his countenance was amazing! He had an aura around him that almost glowed. I felt a peace about him...strange, I know,for a man who has served 8 1/2 years for a crime in which he adamantly claims his innocence. The irony in this whole thing is that if he pleads "guilty" and takes the sex-offender classes, he will be let out! He is being punished for NOT lying (according to his plea of innocence) and therefore will serve 15-Life. When we walked into the room, I had NO CLUE what his accuser looked like or where she was but I knew instantly because of the darkness that surrounded her and her wierd! I tried not to judge was all a very surreal experience.

It was heart-wrenching to hear the details of what he has been accused of and disappointing as he was denied and told that he wouldn't be up for another hearing for 5 more years. His beautiful 19 year old daughter wept...her amazingly strong mother comforted her, her little brother was numb. We left the building, gathererd together to rally around this sweet family. Most were in tears. I wrapped my arms around the wife's neck, told her how sorry I was and she said to me, "I know this is strange, but I actually feel good...God is in charge!" I hugged his daughter as she was crying and she said to me, "I'm just so worried about him..."  His wife will tell you that this whole experience is the best thing that has happened to their family. They have become stronger, closer and although she is fighting for his freedom, she wouldn't change a thing! Her faith is unbelievable and stands as an example to everyone who knows her...I came home emotionally drained...

It made me realize how blessed I am. How this may be one of the toughest times of my entire life but that it is NOTHING compared to what other people are faced with. It made me realize that I can get through anything with real faith and only with the help of my loving Heavenly Father. I am so thankful for that!

So, as this is Thursday and I usually do a "Thankful Thursday" post, I want to end by saying that I am so thankful for Lifes Challenges...I don't look forward to them, I don't enjoy them and I don't always do well with them, but I know that they are given to me because the Lord has faith in me! He knows that I can handle them because He will never give me more that I can handle...If I try to do my best during difficult times, I will emerge from the refiners fire stronger and better.

May God bless all of us! All of us who try to be good people and who struggle everyday with something! I honestly do feel your love and prayers of support for me and my family and I appreciate you all so very much. For you fellow bloggers, thank you for sharing a part of your lives with me. I draw strength from all of your life experiences and have grown to love you all! I promise a lighter post next time and look forward to many joyous days ahead! 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dad Update

I talked with my mother twice this morning and she told me that my dad did in fact break his back (again!) and that he also has 5 broken ribs. He is doing OK because they were finally able to get his pain under control. At this point we don't know how long he will be in the hospital, but are *thinking* that he will be in for a few days and hopefully he will go to a rehab center where he can recouperate.

My mother is fine. She has Symphony this week, Saturday night is her last concert and then she is off for 6 weeks so she says she will take care of him.

Thanks for the prayers and concern. Life moves on!

The End is Near

**Sorry this is a bit disjointed...emotions were very high when I wrote this**

I have blogged about my sweet dad in the past. He is an amazing man who has led a life of great successes and excitement. He is a strong, compassionate, loving man who has always been there for me as well as my brothers and sister. He and my mother will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in a few weeks (June 17th) and have set an example of real love for all of us.

My heart is heavy tonight as I write this. It is just after midnight and I can't sleep. Brad and I were watching the finale of "The Celebrity Apprentice" when my cell rang and I noticed that it was my parents home phone. It was 9:31 so I figured I'd call them back when the show was over. At 10:03, I noticed  message (shame on me for not noticing earlier). It was my mom who told me that my dad had fallen in the bathroom, hit the tub and he was sure that he broke his back. She had called the paramedics and they were trying to get him on a stretcher. He was in excruciating pain.

So I called my mother who had just arrived at the hospital with her Bishop and his wife, who happen to be her dear friends, and they were waiting to find out what was really going on. As we are about 45 minutes from SLC, I told her we'd drive down, but she told me to stay home because she was going to go home as soon as he was admitted.

I know that at age 81, my dad's days are numbered. He has suffered for so many years as he had his first heart attack at the age of 52. He has endured 2 open heart surgeries (quadruple bypass/quintuple bypass) and has broken his back at least once that we know of. He is strong and tenacious. He is kind and sweet and willing to do whatever he can to help us. He's funny and witty and tries to laugh at everything, but he's running out of steam.

I don't know how he will make it through this, but he has endured so much already that I never should be surprised. I am amazed at his ability to survive!

So enjoy each moment you have with your loved ones. Never take a moment for granted and be patient with those who are infirm or unhealthy. Thank the Lord for the blessings of family and good friends and let us all remember that life is fragile and everyday is a gift.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bipolar Weather and Life Lessons

Good morning! I usually don't post on the weekend, but I woke up, saw the sun and actually heard birds chirping! I was SO excited to see the brightness of this new day. Where I live, in the mountains, Spring has been very naughty and very tardy in showing up here in Midway! As I read some of my favorite blogs from some amazing women who live on the east and west coasts and in the south, I see shots of BEAUTIFUL budding trees, sprawling green grasses and vibrant blooming flowers...not, we still have...brown sticks, bare-limbed trees with minimal buds and struggling little blooms fighting their way to Spring!...My grass, however, is the most emerald of greens! There's hope?!?

Our "bipolar" weather has become the talk of the town! No really, everyone is talking about how crazy it has been. One day we have sun and 70 degrees F and everyone is in shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops, the next we have snow, 30 degrees F with heavy winter jackets, boots with hats and gloves! This is posing a HUGE problem for me! Yesterday was sunny and relatively warm. I was thinking about what to wear to church today, figured it out and now have to start over and dig out some cool weather items in order not to freeze! I'm so sick of my winter clothing and am DYING to wear light and colorful fabrics, strappy sandals and my hair in a ponytail...Argggggg!

OK, OK, enough complaining! What's the lesson to be learned here, because there always is a lesson to be learned...right??

I figure this is exactly how life is! Things can look great and the best of plans can be made but in an instant, everything can change! I know that I have had a life of constant change and maybe that's not such a bad thing. I'm learning that that's really a blessing from a loving Father who wants me to grow and find peace and happiness and joy and love. It's when we are faced with adversity that we learn the most. When we are "forced" to make changes, that we ultimately find the most peace.

So I am trying to look at this cRaZy weather as an example of life; One day we have blizzards that leave an inch of snow, break a few limbs, bring down power lines and even destroy a few budding plants, but the next we are blessed with the warmth of the sun, the glistening dew of a new day, the laughter of children playing outside and the most vibrant colors that nature can provide. So I guess the key is to endure the "bad" and celebrate the "good"...that's when true joy is found!

Have a blessed day...endure the hardships, look forward to the Joys and NO complaining!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Happy 30th Birthday, Aja

Today is the day that my firstborn enters into a new phase of her life! She is turning 30 years old...T.H.I.R.T.Y.!! I just need a moment to process this...
I well remember the day of her birth. It was a Monday and it was a beautiful Spring day. For some reason, this comforted me. It was the day after Mount St. Helens errupted, a day I'll never forget! I had a short labor, only 4 hours and since it was 1980, I had her naturally...the epidural was not yet available at the hospital I gave birth. It was OK! I thought it would be a horrific ordeal as I had seen on many an over acted, over dramatized movie/TV show, but not so...
So beautiful on the catwalk!
With her sister, Brittany...
With her sweet Alakina...
Aja Brooke Sperry came into this world at 9:57 AM on May 19, 1980. I was thrilled to have a beautiful, healthy baby girl and knew that my life had changed in that very instant forever! She has been a joy in my life and I can't even begin to imagine what I'd do without her! She was a PERFECT teenager and I'm not kidding! OK, I had a hard time keeping her at school, she could have gotten better grades and she had way too much fun, but she was a good girl. She had good friends and never got into the trouble that a lot of teens get into. She was such a fun girl.
Her favorite thing...LABOR...yes, she's wierd!

Nurturing one of her precious preemies...her little Stella...
Now she is a beautiful mother of 3 precious *Littles*. She tries to do the best job she can and even though she falls short at times, like all mothers do, she recognizes her faults and works to overcome them.
Her baby is finally home (Stella...I think??)
With her sweet little boy...Tage...worried and in the hospital again...
Thank you Aja, for being a wonderful daughter, adoring mother, beautiful woman and great friend! It's an honor being your mother...I love you!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What Happens In Vegas, Stays In Vegas...Or Does It??

We spent this past weekend in Las Vegas with 2 of our daughters who are celebrating birthdays this month. As usual, we had a GREAT time and ate way too much, slept way too little but laughed more than we had in months! We were joined by 2 of Aja's dear friends, Ryan and Bonnie (my dear friends too!) and Aja's friend, Dustin. We booked a 2 bedroom suite at the Marriott Residence Inn just off the strip and it worked out perfectly.

The drive from our house to Las Vegas is easy and only between 5-6 hours. Brad and I drove our separately from the rest and left around noon on Thursday. When we arrived, since we were the first to get there, we had time to just relax and catch our breath! We have had a very intense few weeks and just really needed to unwind. It worked!

Friday, after everyone arrived, hung around the pool and soaked up every bit of sun that we possibly could. We decided to all go to the strip and wallk around...Brad and I went into the new Aria Hotel & Casino to check out "Viva Elvis", the new Cirque du Soliel show. Tickets were available but the reviews weren't great so we opted to see Terry Fator instead. He was UNBELIEVABLE and hilarious! I HIGHLY recommend seeing him...well worth it...

On Saturday, we went shopping...bought too much, I got the COOLEST shoe/boots (not sure what to call them) but I love them.

We then got ready for dinner and Beatles LOVE, our favorite Cirque show playing at the Mirage. Dinner was fabulous, as always. We went to Cravings which is an upscale buffet at the Mirage.

Finally, we saw our show and it was FABulous! No matter how many times I see it (13 total) I love it even more!

Of course after the show, we had to take advantage of the photo op!
(My camera was off that night...gotta check into that!)

A Splendid Time Was Guaranteed For All...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Las Vegas and Out Running Cops...Sort Of

This past weekend, Brad and I went to Las Vegas to celebrate 2 of our daughters birthdays with them (Aja and Natalie). Vegas is only about a 6 hour drive from where we live and we drive it often..BUT, we have learned to budget an exta $100 because, inevitably, Brad gets a ticket almost everytime we least 80% of the time. It's become a running joke. We made it down without any incident, but did talk about it and he even said how our counties are hurting for money (budget cuts) and how it's impossible to talk your way out of a ticket or even get a warning these days.

We got to Vegas Thursday afternoon...the next day, Friday, started out pretty calm. We got up, ate breakfast and decided to drive into Henderson (about 5 minutes away) and go to Trader Joes...we will NEVER get one in Utah :'( because of our stupid liquor laws, so I have to take advantage when I get within striking distance of one...On our way, I passed 2 sneaky cops hiding on the side of the road and realized that I was going 52 in a of those frontage roads that should be at least 45! Crap...I quickly turned into a Motel 6 (my lame attempt to "ditch" the cops), pulled up like I was parking and looked behind to see the flashing lights that had followed me into the parking lot...the girls were cracking up!

Then I saw that it was a female officer...that's it, I knew I was getting a ticket. {{crap}} not what I needed. So she walks up, asks if we're staying at the Motel 6 (how humiliating) when Aja chimes in and says, "No, we're staying at the Marriott, we have friends staying here!" (Lie #1). The she asked for my license and registration then asks for my insurance card...we just got our new card in March but it was NO WHERE TO BE FOUND...I did, however, find 4 expired ones...not one current card. She told me that it is a $1300 fine if you don't have your insurance card in your car AND you have to come back to Las Vegas and appear in court! How am I going to even BEGIN to explain this to my hubs...$1300 + whatever the fine for speeding is...??

As I opened my wallet, she asked if I had a weapon in my car (?!?). I told her no and she said, "what's that blue card in your wallet?"...I responded that it was my FAA card and she asked if I worked for them, "No, flight attendant" I responded...Now I haven't flown for 5 1/2 years, but have, for some reason, always kept that card in my wallet...Then she said, "Oh how can I give a Flight Attendant a ticket?" She asked who I "flew" for  and without missing a beat, I said, "Delta" (Lie #2)...She walked back to her car...

After a couple of minutes, she came back and said, "Now I have to go explain myself to my partner"...hmmm...could it be?? She told me to "slow down", handed me my license/registration back and told me to have a good day...I was shocked so in my shocked, supidity, I thanked her and said, "If you are ever on one of my flights, free drinks for you!" (Lie #3). She laughed and told me she flies Delta ALL the time and will take me up on it!

So now I'm a Liar and I tried to Run from the cops in Las Vegas...but hey, I got out of a ticket!...Nothing's impossible...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Charity Never Faileth

In our church, there is a familiar saying that is the motto for the Relief Society (women's group) which is, "Charity never faileth".

I have been thinking about this simple phrase quite a bit lately and asked myself, what does it really mean? Is it really a true saying and does charity ever fail?

I have observed a lot of ugliness lately in the world in which we all live and I have been very disturbed by what I have seen. I have seen families turn on each other over silly misunderstandings. I have seen long-time friends expel unkind words that cut deep and bruise the soul. I have seen simple strangers exchange glaring glances over minor traffic infractions. I have watched as kind gestures have been mocked or ignored. I could go on, but you get the point

So what is charity? We are taught that Charity is the Pure Love of Christ... If that's really true, as I believe it is, then it can NEVER's simply impossible!

I don't want to see the ugliness in the world. I want to see the beauty and the love that I KNOW is out how do I do that? It has to start with me...bottom line. So I have been really working on how I can become a more gentle, kind, loving and unconditional person...I'm a work in progress.

My dear friend, Connie, recently sent me a beautiful email filled with beautiful sayings by Marjorie Pay Hinckley. This was perhaps the most timely email I have ever received that touched my heart deeper than even I could have imagined. The pictures in the email were beautiful so I have included some of them as well.
"Be a Mother who is committed to loving her children into standing on higher ground than the enviroment surrounding them. Mother's are endowed with a love that is unlike any other love on the face of the earth."

— Marjorie Pay Hinckley

"The family is eternal. Love must be nurtured. It must be spoken. We must put away our pride, our haughtiness, our shyness, our misunderstandings, and with humility say, "I love you. Is there something I can do to help you?" You can never be completely happy under any other circumstances."

-Marjorie Pay Hinckley

"We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives. We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something. We have to learn to be content with what we are."

— Marjorie Pay Hinckley

"Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

— Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Charity Never Faileth

"Think about your particular assignment at this time in your life. It may be to get an education, it may be to rear children, it may be to be a grandparent, it may be to care for an relieve the suffering of someone you love, it may be to do a job in the most excellent way possible, it may be to support someone who has a difficult assignment of their own. Our assignments are varied and they change from time to time. Don't take them lightly. Give them your full heart and energy. Do them with enthusiasm. Do whatever you have to do this week with your whole heart and soul. To do less than this will leave you with an empty feeling."

— Marjorie Pay Hinckley

"The trick is to enjoy life. Don't wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead"

— Marjorie Pay Hinckley
"I know it is hard for you young mothers to believe that almost before you can turn around the children will be gone and you will be alone with your husband. You had better be sure you are developing the kind of love and friendship that will be delightful and enduring. Let the children learn from your attitude that he is important. Encourage him. Be kind. It is a rough world, and he, like everyone else, is fighting to survive. Be cheerful. Don't be a whiner."

— Marjorie Pay Hinckley

There are some years in our lives that we would not want to live again. But even these years will pass away, and the lessons learned will be a future blessing."

— Marjorie Pay Hinckley

"Elder Neal A. Maxwell once said, "We are here in mortality, and the only way to go is through; there isn't any around!" I would add, the only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache."

— Marjorie Pay Hinckley

It's true...Charity Never Faileth!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thankful Thursday:My Hero, My Dad

Boy oh boy has this been a difficult few weeks! I guess that's just how life is...ugh...

Last night Brad and I drove down to my parents house and had a wonderful time with my sweet dad...(my mother was at an Opera rehearsal and didn't get home til late). He is 81 years old, pretty much confined to a wheelchair, in chronic pain and overall, physically breaking down. But, his mind is completely there and his ability to dispense his amazing words of wisdom is second to none!

As we were getting ready to leave, we went into my dad's room to make sure he had everyting he needed before we left. I heard a moan coming from his room so Brad and I hoofed it in there only to find my dad on the floor...he had fallen! We helped him up, checked his shoulder that he hit on the dresser and sat with him for awhile. My heart was breaking!

It hit me that this sweet man who has always been a great strength and rock to me, is dying. He has been doing so for a long time and as a family, we kind of joke about it. But this time it was different. I caught a glimpse of sadness, loss and mourning. Tears filled my eyes and I felt compelled to speak to him as though it was my last face-to-face meeting with him. I told him of my great love for him and how I am honored to be his daughter. I told him that I will miss him when he is gone. I said to him, "dad, when you get to the other side and see all of my faults, will you promise that you will still love me?" He laughed and assured me that he would.

I don't know how much longer my dad has on this earth but I do know that he is an example of enduring to the very end! He is an example of strength and courage as he faces the new journey that awaits him. He is my hero and I am so thankful for him!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Spring Cleaning - Part 1

As much as women LOVE to buy new things, I think, generally, we love to PURGE the old!

This past Monday, I decided to get on the ball and do some Spring cleaning. I usually have it done by the first week of May but with 3 of my *Littles* living with me for the past month, I'm a bit behind. So monday was Day 1 and I tackled my closet!

Moving from 4000 sq ft to 900 sq ft has presented some major dilemmas, one of them being...NO CLOSET SPACE! I am an organizational freak and LOVED all of my massive closets in my last, {sigh} I have I have to really be organized! In my last house, we had a master closet that was the size of our spare bedroom (not kidding!) but, alas, I now have one small closet that I use and so I have to use it wisely! (my hubs uses the one in his office!) There are 6 built-in drawers so I went through them as well...ahhhh, felt so good!

I like to launder all of the items that have been in storage before I hang them up so that takes up most of the day. As I emptied the bins, I promptly filled them up with my winter items...putting my shoes into separate bins. MAN, I have a LOT of shoes!! I HATE wearing them and if you stop by my house, I will NEVER have any on...but since I have to wear them in public, I like to have nice ones and I have a LOT!! So my winter shoes/boots filled up 2 huge bins! It was actually pretty disturbing because, as much as I hate wearing them, I hate parting with them even more! So I kept them all...Did I mention that I ADORE hats?? Yep...didn't get rid of any...

Then I started going through ALL of my clothes and made 3 piles. One was the "keeper" pile and they went into the empty bins. One was the "donation" pile which I will donate to our local thrift store and one was the "daughter" pile...yes, my girls raid my closet on a regular basis so I figure I'll give them first dibs on things that I know they want!

It felt so good to pack and store away my dreary winter duldrums in those storage bins...5 in all. My closet now sports clean, colorful warm-weather clothing and I couldn't be happier!...AND, I have room for new purchases!

I am one of these Mix-n-Match kind of gals who buys items that can be transformed into multiple outfits and I must say, I do pretty good at it...but things have gotten out of control and I had way too much! So, since I purged so many, (I had no idea how many items I haven't worn in years, so they are g.o.n.e) I now look forward to going shopping and replenishing my wardrobe...I am going to try, however, to limit myself and shop smartly!

So there you have it! I tossed, gave away and stored to my hearts content! My closet is clean, organized and when I go into it I smile!

Closet √ ...Next, my back storage room...YIKES, Beware, enter at your own risk!!