Saturday, November 30, 2013

look what I found that I never actually hit the "publish" button!

(This is not a surprise announcement, they've been engaged for over a month - wedding dress purchased, plans made etc. I'm just a slow blogger these days).
Anyway . . . they've known each other for 3 years. They've had a long distance relationship for most of that time. (642 miles apart for 1 year, and 2800 miles apart for 2 years).  Since they met, Kyle has served a mission in the Dominican Republic. Rachel has finished 2 college degrees, her bachelor's and her Masters, Kyle has moved to Arizona, they've both started up new jobs this month, Kyle is jumping back into school, AND they are planning a wedding. We are all so happy !!!!

a typical day

Although a typical day doesn't usually include a funeral, most days include something unexpected.  Is it just us or does everyone have lives that are 70% planned and 30% roll with the punches?
Earlier this month, a typical day included:

  • Business billing - we try to get our invoicing out at least once a week. Most of the time I can get that accomplished.
  • An hour drive to Queen Creek for a family funeral, wonderful service, visiting with family and old friends.
  • A stop at the LDS Distribution center for some supplies.
  • Home depot - Dave needed staples, I ended up sneaking $60 of wedding decoration supplies on his purchase along with the staples.
  • Find Industrial wire spools for wedding decoration. Dave thought he had found a place that we could get some free ones - so while we were driving together we stopped and looked for some.
  • Finish the Business billing.
  • SAS - this is a crazy store.  I needed some ribbon, but I am always fascinated with all the other crazy things they sell
  • Dinner - nothing fancy because I have not been doing much cooking this month (sorry family).
  • E-Mails - a hundred messages to all our family and many friends coordinating wedding activities
  • Wedding crafts - there has been something to work on or something to make every single evening.
  • Lists - I make lists for the next day regularly. It doesn't make me more efficient in any way whatsoever. But I religiously make lists. 

Thankful for . . .

Being the end of the month of Thanksgiving, I am grateful for:
Family. We attended Uncle Tom's funeral this month.  Although we have lived many miles apart for many years, it was good to be together with cousins for a short time and realize the connections we have and enjoy shared memories over the years. Tom's daughter, Roxanne, is who our daughter is named after.  There was a sweet picture of her at the funeral too. She passed away almost 50 years ago.

My father and his siblings - Uncle Tom was much like Dad, just a younger version.  Sitting with him the past few years was much like sitting with my father.  It was strange, though because Dad had many more memories of his mother and Tom had many more connections with his father. So it was the same stories, but from a different angle.
Hometown - We were able to briefly connect with friends from Winslow, so many 'feel good' memories.  The Hancocks and the Whipples have shared good friendships over the years.

Facebook - it is fun to connect with childhood friends,  high school friends, ward friends from long ago, old school teachers, family members that live far away etc.  My neice, Katie lives in Ohio and I absolutely love seeing and hearing about her adventures with her very fun family.  I would miss out on that without facebook.
Marriage - Two weddings this year!  Two beautiful brides, two worthy and wonderful new husbands. Two very happy parents.
Business -- Our crazy business that we run out of our truck and in our dining room drives me crazy sometimes.  As much as I enjoy the concept of working from home, it doesn't give us a chance to "go home from work".  Nor does it give us a chance to "vent" about our co-workers at the dinner table. However, the work is steady, the income is steady, the service is life-saving in the community, the business is one that we actually can work from our home saving the expense of renting an office/warehouse etc.
Friends - I love my girlfriends.  I love hiking with my friends. I love going to lunch with my friends. I love parties with my friends.
Netflix - Addictive series of shows that I watch episode after episode while I work alone all day.
Good books - I've always got a book on my Kindle, a book by my bed, and an audio book while I hike.
Sound sleep- I sleep easily and soundly.  I am sometimes surprised when I wake up at night and can't get back to sleep.  I have sympathy for those who don't sleep easily. I was having a hard time sleeping recently with some stress going on in my life with a wedding deadline coming up.  I'd wake up in the night worrying about stuff.  Then I'd realize I was worrying about details and decisions that were already finished or decided.  I was loosing sleep over things that didn't even need to be worried about. Crazy.
Secure house -- I feel secure from harm in my home and secure from bad weather and climate changes. I take that for granted almost always. But I do appreciate a thermostat that changes easily to whatever temperature I happen to fancy.
Package delivery service - We do a lot of internet shopping and enjoy the convenience of not having to actually go to a store.  I'm sure our UPS and FedEx guys wish our driveway wasn't so long when they are carrying packages from their trucks.
Sewing machine - I enjoy having a sewing machine handy for a variety of projects and repairs.  I've had one since I was a young teenager and I feel like I may have failed my daughters in not inspiring them to do more sewing growing up.
Husband - I have a wonderful hard working husband. We will soon be empty nesters so I'm glad we still like each other.
Heroes - There are heroes all around me, at church, in my neighborhood, people I want to be like.  I'm kind of amazed when I take the time to notice all the good that is going on around me and what so many people are going through and choosing to take on.
College - Our kids have all chosen to continue their education (both of our son in laws too). Roxanne and Jonny have degrees, Rachel has two degrees, and Brady, Melanie and Kyle are well on their way with some direct plans and deadlines. Yay for all of them.  Roxanne is in a graduate program right now and Jonny is planning an ambitious graduate program soon.  They are all hard working, focused and tired!
Good credit score - We recently reviewed our credit and credit scores.  It has taken many years of hard work and attentiveness to our money and I know it's just a number, and there are many other financial indicators that bring security, . . . but it still makes me happy to see a good number.
Creative friends and family - I feel like I am creative in some ways, but I have brain blockage in other ways.  I had so much fun planning weddings this year because I had Debbie, Shannon, Lauri, Suzanne, Paula, Dave, etc etc etc to input so many fun ideas and solutions.
Christmas cards - We got our first Christmas card today. I love getting my mail all during December. Our living room is decorated with cards and pictures from friends all month.  I'm afraid the tradition of mailing Christmas cards will start fading out to internet sharing. I hope it never comes to that.
I need to pay attention to the amazing things in my life more.  I'm surrounded my amazing people, amazing technology, amazing nature etc and I often forget to pay attention. Hopefully I'll improve. I feel very blessed.

thanksgiving day

Earlier this month I started to worry about Thanksgiving.  I realized Rachel and Kyle would be on their honeymoon and Roxanne and Jonny would be spending the holiday with his family in California.  This was the first year that we would be missing kids for the holidays.  We actually started gearing ourselves up for this possibility years ago as the kids grew to adulthood.  We've had pretty good luck up until now.  Rachel missed one Christmas Eve a few years ago when she went on a service trip to Mexico, but she was home Christmas morning so we survived.  The kids are ages 19-27 and this is the first year we've really had to deal with an absence, so I can't complain.
Melanie was home from school, Brady is here of course. We invited Dave's niece and her husband, Kirsten and Adam.  My brother Curtis lives nearby this year so he came and had dinner with us. And Brady's girlfriend, Stephanie, came to dinner too. So there were 8 of us for dinner. That makes for a nice group and fun conversation.

We had to take the photo twice.  Melanie took the picture, then Stephanie switched with her and took the second one so we had photographic evidence of everybody.  One of these days, I will invest in a tripod and we can take a picture of a whole group of people.  Until then, this is the best we have.
Dinner was delicious.  Roxanne always makes a spectacular stuffing which I tried to make myself this year.  I felt like it was a make it or break it recipe for the success of our Thanksgiving meal. The local scout troop roasted our turkey overnight in a deep pit roasting set up of some kind.  Actually, I don't know how they cook it.  We bag it up and give it to them on Wednesday night along with a $20 bill for their fundraiser, and we pick it up Thursday morning - hot, tender, and falling off the bone. Delicious!
After we ate, Curtis headed out to another social obligation, Brady and Stefanie left for a second Thanksgiving dinner, and Dave was falling asleep so he laid down for a few minutes.  Melanie, Adam, Kirsten and I took Lexi and drove over to Dreamy Draw Park and went on a little hike.  It was the shortest and easiest hiking trail at Dreamy Draw, so I should probably just call it a walk instead of a hike, but it felt good anyway.
When we got back we played some sort of RedNeck board game.  During the course of the game, it was impossible to not be in debt, have a lot of kids, and loose some teeth. You had to buy a car to tote around your "young 'ens", but the vehicle choices were crazy.  Most of us ended the game with a dozen teeth missing and less than $100 total cash value to our lives.  Anyway, funny game.

We ended the evening dipping caramel apples.  Yum.