Tuesday, December 9, 2008

O Little Town of Holladay

Every year at Christmas time, Santa comes to our little town and parks his jolly behind at a huge pinetree in the center of our neighborhood. We call it The Pinetree Party. Word got out that this is the real Santa and so Kelli and Jodi brought their kids to town to let them plead their case to St. Nick. Or maybe it was that word got out that donuts and hot chocolate were available in abundance.  

Sophie asked for make-up and a swim dog. Caleb's greatest wish is for an alarm clock.

Christian and Tucker wish for Emily.

Then, while Kelli and Brandt went to Kate's violin recital, I pumped all of the kids full of sugar decorating gingerbread houses.

I think it might have been more sugar than Jill was accustomed to.

T'is the Season..

...to focus on our Savior...

...to find ways to show our love...
...to sing His praises through christmas music and sharing God-given gifts and talents...
..to try to exercise self-discipline...
...and to drink hot chocolate with christmas marshmallows while watching the First Presidency Christmas Devotional with your family. 

T'is the season I love.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Not so empty nest out on the range...

for some reason I can't take pictures in auto focus and I also can't see anymore so all of my pictures are blurry-

When Ed and Diane's youngest child graduated from high school, they sold their suburban house in our neighborhood and moved into a cabin on 13 acres complete with room for their now 6 horses, barn and heated horse arena. 

Friday, we found ourselves-along with the O'Briens- once again in the good company of our friends and former neighbors. 
Prior to our little excursion into the wilderness to visit Ed and Diane, I found myself feeling a bit sorry for the empty nesters now living alone out in the "boonies." I felt a little less sorry for them as I took in the beauty and serenity of the night along the dirt road leading to their warmly lit "cabin." As we toured the 5,000 sq. ft. newly remodeled home I felt even a little less sorry for them. 

"Surely they must feel a bit 'out of the loop' up here", I thought, until Diane quickly apologized for the mess in the playroom left just hours before by 2 of her grandchildren. Grandchildren that ride horses in the heated arena with their grandpa. 
What about the neighbors (or lack of)? Friends with similar loves and passions? 
Each Saturday, all who so desire, gather to ride (horses) into the beautiful mountain trails surrounding their homes.
Okay, so I don't feel the least bit sorry for them anymore.  
Maybe it's because I worry about feeling fulfilled at that stage of my life that I was taking some pretty serious mental notes from our friends who-from all apperances- have managed to continue to fulfill their roles and responsibilities as parents and grandparents AND find a sense of joy and fulfillment as a couple and individuals. 
So, take note:
*Keep doing what you love-while you're raising your kids.
*If you don't have something that you love-find it-and do it together.
*Make regular dates with your kids and grandkids. (It's okay to schedule)
*Get outside! Hike, run, snowshoe, ski-or horseback ride.
*Stay active.
*Dogs are good company.
*Serve in the community and your ward.
*Cook yummy food and invite friends over.

*Go on trips together. Take lots of pictures.
*Compliment each other-in front of other people.
Okay, so I'm off to work on #2. 
Thanks, Ed and Diane for being our north star towards home when all of our kids have left ours. We love you. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Yes, this post is a little tardy but something needs to be said about this here turkey. This is not a wild turkey. He cannot fly away. He has too many feathers that weigh him down.  The very feathers that add weight to this turkey list the blessings that lift us.
Family and friends alike added their own feathers. Some of my favorites:
*the coolest teacher ever (Gabe)
*sweatshirts (friend)
*Red Mango (Hailee)
*mouse traps (?)
*trampolines and fire ...what the...?(Christian) 
*ear plugs and a warm body to sleep next to (Me)
*sky miles and family vacations (Christian and Hailee)
and... my personal favorite....
*parents (Brittney)