Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

So as I was getting ready to go out and ring in the New Year, I was thinking about New Year's Resolutions. I am terrible at making them & even worse about keeping them! But I want things to be different and to make some changes in 2010, so I thought that if I wrote them down--especially where others can read them, maybe I'd be better about keeping them!!

Resolutions for 2010
1. Joshua 1:9 I read this scripture in the Bible a couple of weeks ago and it has stayed with me. Be strong and of good courage. Be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed. I want this to be my theme for the year. I want to live this scripture every day of my life.

2. I want to keep finding my peace with myself. A very good friend helped me to find my self worth and self image this year. He gave me the courage to believe in myself and to make some changes in my life. I am a stronger person because of his influence in my life. I want to continue to become stronger and increase my self confidence and self belief.

3. I want to be a better daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, and friend. I am so over being so worried about myself & my own problems. This year is dedicated to not being so self absorbed and giving more of myself to the people in my world.

2009 was an amazing year for me. It was filled with some of the highest points of my life, and some of the most painful lows. It has been a year that I will never forget, because it has been a year in which my life has been changed in so many ways. I welcome the fresh start and the new beginning that 2010 brings with it tonight and hope that it brings to all of my friends and family a year of happiness, peace, love, and everything that you are looking for. Be happy and fulfilled. I love you all.

Fun Day

On Monday I had to go to Star Valley, WY for work. Because it's Christmas break, I got to take two of my favorite people ever with me--Josh & Emmett! This is a trip I've made a lot of times, but this for sure was my funnest trip ever. Emmett & Josh are such good kids & they make me laugh just about non-stop! I'm so glad that they were able to come with me and keep me entertained!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Lori's First Christmas

Lori Jade

Wendy & Lori

my brother Bob, Arianne, & Lori

Michael & Lori

Sarah & Lori

The cutest baby girl ever took her parents to Vermont to spend Christmas with Grandpa and his family. Lori Jade is my oldest niece's baby girl. Oh my heck, it makes me feel old to say that--I have to keep reminding myself that I was only like 6 when Val was born! The various models holding Lori are my oldest brother's kids, all of whom have been completely won over by this sweet girl. I'm glad Val, Kurt, and Lori got to go spend Christmas with the family & wish we could have all been together!

Jackson Winter

I went to Jackson for work last week. It's winter in the mountains surrounding Jackson, and it was pretty with the snow and the steam coming off the mountains.

As pretty as it was though, I found myself wishing that I was here instead!!!

I am officially finished with winter! I used to love it and I used to love the snow and the cold. But I'm done. Not even skiing is enough to make me be happy for winter. Find me a place where it's warm, but not hot year round & I will pack my bags!

Friday, December 25, 2009

The wind down of Christmas Eve might be my favorite part of Christmas. Everyone has gone to bed & I have the house to myself. All the lights are out except for the Christmas trees, the mantel lights, and the single candle in each window. It's the time when I can feel the calm, peaceful spirit of the season the most.

We decided as a family to scale back the commercial and present giving aspect of Christmas this year. I missed some of the fun of shopping because of that, but we've found as a family that we have more time for each other and more of a desire to be together this year than we have in the past. As I let that joy fill my heart, it's made this Christmas even more special.

Today, Josh and I spent some time together doing some last minute shopping and errands. It was interesting, because while we were out, we got two very different views of this holiday. We went to Wal-Mart, where the store was packed with people frantic to get the final items needed at the last minute. The lines were long, tempers were short. From there, we went to a dear friend's home. As we walked through her front door, I could feel the peace of her home. We came in to this sweet family making cookies to leave for Santa and preparing to spend their Christmas Eve with family. A sweet spirit of love and happiness filled their home. I was grateful for the example this friend was to me, as always & was thankful that this was the spirit Josh and I were taking home with us tonight. So as the clock turns to midnight and the day changes to Christmas Day, my heart's wish is that you may remember the true spirit of Christmas. Remember, especially, the importance of family & spending this sacred time of year with those who mean the most to you.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Wishes

The two head ladies around here, Corrie & Hannah, would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!! As you can see, they are hard at work as always, running the house from their respective thrones.

Corrie in her chair

Hannah on my bed

Seriously though, from our home and family to yours, we wish you the very Merriest Christmas. I hope that you are able to spend this sacred holiday with family and friends and that amid all of the commercialism of the holiday, you can take the time to remember the reason for this holiday.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Thinking

One of my favorite things to do at this time of year is go out in the living room in the evening when the house is quiet and turn off all the lights, leaving on only the silver bell tree and the lights on the mantel and piano. I think because of my lack of Christmas spirit this year, I've only gone out to my favorite spot once this year. But I spent some quality time out there tonight. My eye kept being drawn to the silver bell tree. As I let my mind wander and my thoughts take me where they wanted to, I thought of my mom and dad. I count myself so lucky to have grown up with the parents I did. My mom and dad met when mom was 17 and dad 21. They both knew from the moment they met each other that they had just met the person they would make a life with. They got married two years later. I grew up knowing that my mom and dad loved each other unconditionally and with everything they had. I don't ever remember a day going by where I didn't see mom and dad hug and kiss. As I got older, and I had friends who's parents split up or didn't seem to have the relationship mom and dad did, I realized how blessed I was to have that example of love in my life. My dad has been gone for 15 years now, and to this day, my mom knows that she married the love of her life and that no one could ever love her the way Dad did and that she could never love anyone the way she loves Dad.

My sincere prayer for everyone I love is that they are lucky enough to find that kind of love and their soul mate and that they are smart enough to recognize them and hold on tight when they do find them!

This year, the 48th silver bill will go on the silver bell tree. When that bell is added on Christmas Eve, it will be emotional, because it always makes me miss Daddy, but it will be a moment of joy too, as we share memories of the best man I have ever known. I love you mom and dad. Thank you for a lifetime example of love and respect. You've shown me what I want.

LOST: One serving of Christmas Spirit

I am usually the biggest Christmas person in the world! I have a really easy time picking up the Christmas spirit & just love everything about this time of year. But this year has been really hard for me, for various reasons. I had a hard time getting motivated to decorate the house, make my Christmas goodies, do Christmas cards, even shop for my family & friends. I usually am the biggest gift giver! I love to plan and get the perfect gift for people & am usually so excited to see them open it & know how much they're going to love it. This year, I could really care less. I think that part of why I'm having a hard time is because we are having a very low key Christmas around here. I feel like I'm not able to give my family and the people in my life what they deserve and because of that, I'm having a hard time finding my joy of the season. A very good friend reminded me the other day that presents and material things aren't the reason for Christmas. So I've been doing some thinking since then & trying to remember the real reason for the season and my Christmas spirit. I don't know that I've really found my spirit, but I do know that I'm so grateful that we have this holiday to celebrate the birth of our Older Brother and Savior. I'm so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who loves me unconditionally, even when I probably don't deserve it. I am thankful for the wonderful family He gave me and the wonderful friends that He has brought into my life to teach me and help me on my personal journey. I have so much to be thankful for and have been given so many blessings in my life. My goal for the rest of the holiday season is to remember those blessings and remember to show gratitude daily for all the wonderful things in my life. To all of my wonderful, wonderful friends who will read this, thank you so very much for your friendship and love and everything that you have brought into my life.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A weekend at our house

I don't think we could have a weekend around here without the boys. Emmett told me Saturday that he hasn't missed a weekend at our house in at least 8 months. I didn't realize it had been so long! No wonder he considers himself part of the family...
We had Josh, Emmett, Kade & Dale here this weekend. We also had a bead party on Saturday afternoon, so it was a fun, busy day.

I thought only little boys built forts--but these guys were so excited Friday night to build a "fort" in the family room--dorks!

Nice outfit Josh

Dale, Kade and Emmett

Dale, Kade, Josh & Alyssa

Nice face Emmett!

Emmett & Desiree

Kade, Josh & Alyssa--I think they were laughing at me!

Dale, Kade, Josh & Alyssa--those Twizzlers were popular! Dale quickly learned that the best way to make sure you got plenty was to shovel them all into your mouth at once.

And of course, in the other part of the house, we had the bead party! The bead party was so much fun! I love Amy & Andrea, who do the beads & it's an excuse to make some oober cute watch bands and spend time with some of my favorite ladies! Girlfriends are theraputic, jewelry is uplifting, and the combination of the two made for a very happy Saturday for this girl!

Desiree making her watch

Amy, one of the awesome bead ladies!

Andrea, the other awesome bead lady & Mica

Angie, who is one of my favorite people on earth, brought her two adorable twin girls, Emma & Ellie and let them make their very own watches. Angie's also Desiree's mom

Audrey--her watch turned out so danged cute!

Andrea and Mica--I think they were laughing at me & my obsessive camera!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ch. Pembroke Direct Hit November 17, 1999-December 13,2009

Today is a very sad day around here. Josh lost his first dog and best friend today. Derek was born here in 1999. We really liked him as a puppy and kept him. Josh & Derek bonded when Josh came to visit in the summer of 2000. Josh told me that Derek was his favorite of our dogs. The next year, when Josh came to live here, he asked me if he could have Derek as his very own dog. Of course, the answer was yes, as Derek's furry little heart already belonged to Josh. For the last 8 years, he has been completely Josh's. He has slept on his bed and sometimes I'll look out the window and see them playing in the yard or just standing there, with Derek's front paws on Josh's chest while Josh rubs his ears. Derek was a sweet, kind dog, who only ever wanted his hugs and loves--and his dinner! We will miss him greatly around here and I am so, so sad for Josh. I remember what it was like to lose my first dog--it's a hard thing, but I also know he'll always carry the things he learned from Derek and the love and responsibility Derek taught him.

Friday, December 11, 2009

All Time Favorite Song

Those that know me well know that I **LOVE** music. I always have music turned on, whether I'm in the car, working on the computer, cleaning the house, whatever. And usually, I'm dancing to the music! I have never been one who had a favorite song--I just like all music. A little over two years ago, I heard this song for the first time. The band was the entertainment at the Christmas party for the company I used to work for. The song is Dream Big by Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband. Have you ever had a song that just touched something inside you? That's how this song was for me. It brought tears to my eyes that night, listening to it for the first time. I bought the album after the show. Ever since, it has been sort of a theme song of mine. If I am having a bad day or dealing with something hard, this is the song I play, because it lifts me up. I can't listen to it and NOT feel happier and stronger. I believe that music is powerful and I feel that when I listen to this song.

This is not the best version, but the only one on youtube that allowed embedding!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I L.O.V.E Christmas!!!

I love the house at Christmas time! It's so pretty! We finally got the decorating done--it took some time, but as always was totally worth it! Now I just need to get off my butt & get my Christmas shopping done

The Silver Bell tree. There is a silver bell on this tree for every single year since my mom and dad got married. Even though Dad's now gone, a new bell is added every year. This year is #48. I am so thankful for my parents and for the example they set for me of what a marriage should be!!

I love these little guys! They're just too dang cute!

These little elves are really really old--I think they were my grandmother's. But I love them.

The mantle, with the stocking hung--and yes, Dad's stocking always gets hung. I love decorating the mantel every year--that's my pet project.

The "fun" tree with all of the fun lights & ornaments!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

How handsome are my big brothers?

I have four older brothers. Bob is the oldest, then John, Jim, and Andy. I'm by far the baby of the family--Bob is 17 years older than me & Andy is 8 years older than me. I grew up loving having big brothers! They were so fun & taught me so the time when we were living in Germany that John taught me to fly paper airplanes that we lit on fire out the attic windows...

My brothers are all married with families now & spread throughout the country. Between the four of them, I have 20 nieces and nephews, some of whom are now starting their own families(no, I'm not old! I was really little when they started having kids!!) We don't get to spend very much time together, but I was thinking about family today & how much I love my brothers. I'm grateful to be a part of the family I have. As much as they're still sometimes a pain in my butt, I love my brothers and am thankful for them. I love seeing John's name come up on my caller ID & know that he's calling to talk about work(we have the same profession) or just to chat because he's traveling for work. He makes me laugh. I love seeing the pictures & updates about the family that Bob puts on Facebook. I love my 2 minute conversations with Andy because he hates talking on the phone & love, love his sweet wife! I love each of their children very much.

Friday, December 4, 2009

2009 New Ornament

I bought our new ornament for the year today! I wasn't looking for it, but when I saw it, I knew we needed to add it to our collection. This guy is dedicated to the soccer boys in my life! He's currently the only ornament on the tree, but tomorrow's project is to finish decorating.