Finding our own 'Happily Ever After'

Let love be your shelter.  The world is noisy and confusing at times, so make a home that is a haven, a peaceful place where you can listen to your hearts and savor the comfortable closeness you share.

No matter how busy your days may be, make time for yourselves.  Hold hands.  Unwind.  Surprise each other.  Find little chances every day to show you're grateful to be partners, to be friends, to be married.

Life is not perfect.  You will make mistakes.  But each time you meet life's challenges together, you will grow wiser, stronger, and surer of your love.

Cherish your yesterdays...they are irreplaceable souvenirs of your journey through life.  Make memories that will bring back smiles and sighs whenever you look back.  (Look back often!)

Look forward, too. 
Dream together.  Plan together
Make promises to keep.
Believe in your tomorrows,
Because tomorrows are what forever is made of.



Falling behind

Currently I feel like my life has been tossed into a washing machine!  It's been a CRAZY filled month.
Our ward of 500+ members split.  The split was hard for me...I am not an individual who embraces change well, and I was worried about how the primary children in our ward would be affected by the change too.  I prayed for peace and comfort not only for me, but for them; I felt an overwhelming sense of the spirit as I asked my Heavenly Father to bless each of them with my love.
Less than a week later Shane and I were called to meet with the Bishop where I received a new calling in our newly split ward.  The spirit was felt so strongly in that little room as I was asked to serve as the new Primary President.  I knew that the feelings I had felt throughout the week for those cute children were from my Savior, and I felt so blessed to be able to serve them.  Since I was called, I have been overwhelmed at the way the spirit has guided my thoughts and actions to serve... my counselors and secretary are such amazing women who uplift and support me every day, and have already worked countless hours dealing with the changes that happened in Primary from the split.
If any of you have been in Primary before, you know that December is the BUSIEST month of the year!  So many changes need to be made and put into effect; theme boards need to be updated, new ideas for the upcoming year need to be planned, classrooms need to be decided, TEACHERS need to be decided (which was incredibly difficult...since I have become the President 14 new individuals have needed to be called), teacher training, nursery training, new binders, Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, etc etc etc.  It has not been easy.  Because of the ward split so many changes had to be made to primary...instead of 2 sharing times, now we only have one.  But because of that, we had to be sure we had enough classrooms, and how would the children react to being in one sharing time together?  They've never had to do that before... How would we do our opening exercises being combined?  Oh yes, and I forgot to add that my sweet husband was realeased as the Young Men's Secretary to be our new... SCOUTMASTER.  Yes - I cried when he received the calling, however, I couldn't think of anyone better for the job...I just need to prepare to see him even less than I already do!
The amazing part of all of this is that through all the hustle and bustle to get everything ready for 2012, I have felt my love for each of the children in our ward grow every day.  The Lord truly works in mysterious ways, and I feel so blessed that I have so many children to make my life feel a little more complete.  They bring SO much joy to my heart!  I pray that they will always know of my love for them, and that I can be an influence for the better in each of their lives. 


our very expensive kitty...

Our adorable kitty, Duke, had to have emergency surgery one week ago today.  Sunday at 3:00 am, poor Duke became incredibly ill.  He couldn't keep anything down, even one tiny sip of water.  I was pacing around the house trying to figure out what was wrong when I found a little piece of ribbon that looked like it had been chewed on one side.  By Monday morning I took him into the vet.  The vet couldn't see anything from the x-ray but because we figured he had eaten ribbon he knew that Duke needed surgery...fast.
They rushed my poor, sick kitty into surgery where they shaved the fur off his belly and opened him up.  The vet found a rib sized ribbon that had rolled itself up and became lodged in his small intestine.  If it hadn't have been found Duke would have died in only a few days from a bowel obstruction.
It was very difficult for Duke to move for the first couple of days, but his medication made him so sweet!  He was obsessed with his hairbrush, and all he wanted was to be pet...over, and over, and over again.  The really hard thing about it all was that we couldn't hold him easily...but we were so glad that he was okay!

My parents took Dundee for a few days so Duke wouldn't be wanting to run around the house playing.  Once Dundee was home, he and Duke played non stop!  They must have really missed each other because I have found them touching noses multiple times since they have been back together.
I feel so blessed to have these two adorable animals in my home and in my life.  I never imagined life would be the way it is right now - but I love it.  Duke and Dundee give Shane and me so much love and laughter and fill our home with SO MUCH happiness.

experience the magic...



The Sheriff and her possy

For Happy Halloween 2011, my deputy was caught at work...all night.  So my possy and I were left to fend for ourselves... even though my voice was barely beginning to come back from having a nasty cold. 
(I even had a stranger ask if I had smoker's syndrome because of my voice.  Um...what? weird.)

Ah...the possy.  They sat and waited as back up each time I opened my door for ghosts and such.  The townspeople sure got a kick out of my babies.

Although Duke wasn't too partial to his adorable outfit...

Dundee sure thought he was HOT STUFF...

As for me?  I just felt darn lucky that I could see and hold this adorable buggy on Halloween!


more work don't hurt nobody

unless you don't get paid for it that is!

Shane was paid for 24 out of the 72 hours he worked last week... because 48 out of the 72 hours were spent precepting for nursing school.  Shane has worked very hard to earn his RN and he is finally at the tail end of finishing school!  He just has to endure 3-4 more weeks of working full time, with no paycheck.  In my eyes, it is all worth it!  Shane is getting AWESOME training by precepting in the shock trauma ICU at IMC.  It was such a blessing that he was chosen to be in this ICU because there are so many patients that have endured life or death accidents and who are in need of critical care.  Shane's eyes have been opened wide to how delicate life truly is, and he is now starting to understand the depth of his own injury 2 years ago.  

Currently, Shane is back at the hospital working a 7 PM - 7 AM precepting shift, then working again from 3 PM - 11 PM.  (Keep in mind this guy has to commute 40 minutes just to get to work!)  I am so proud of him and hope that I can give him all the support he needs during this tiring time of his life...

 What he REALLY needs are some extra hours in the day for homework, and SLEEP!


Dance is more than a way of movement...

It's a way of LIFE.

The body...

Says what words cannot.

At times we may fall,

But we know how to pick ourselves back up again.

The work is most often aggressive, but the reward is BLISS

We can always look to the sun
even on days when rain clouds gather.

And if the rain does fall...

We find no need to wait.

Dancers need SPACE



Dancers find inspiration from seeing,

But discover it through experiencing.

It isn't ever easy

But the effort made is always worth it

And no matter which direction we turn,

Dancing always faces us toward HEAVEN.

*Special thank you to Marla Lofgreen, Debbie Webber, and Clytie Adams' School of Ballet for helping my passion come to life through photography!


my farm

As many of you know, Shane and I are the proud parents of one handsome goldfish - Gus, and one adorably feisty kitty - Duke.  To add to the mix we recently adopted an incredibly smart and lovable dog - Dundee. 
I wasn't ready to be a dog owner.  I never expected to be a dog owner.  I was already overly concerned about smells and extra hair in my house.  However, Shane and I have known Dundee ever since he was a puppy, and as much as I may not have realized it, even I had secured a special place in my heart for him.  Because of certain circumstances, Dundee wasn't happy in his home anymore.  Both my family and Shane's family worked together to find what home would best suit this almost 2 year old sheltie...it boiled down to either my Mom and Dad, or us.  Shane and I immediately knew what we needed to do, and we haven't viewed our decision with one ounce of regret since that day.

We were worried however; how would Duke react?  How would I train this dog to stay off of my sofas?  Could I handle the smell?  Here's how things are:

*Duke and Dundee have surprisingly become friends - no kidding.  Just today I caught them sleeping RIGHT next to each other.  They easily respect each other's privacy and don't become jealous for attention.  Who ever knew a 2 year old cat and 2 year old dog could get along so well?

*I told Dundee ONCE to not get on the sofa.  BINGO. 
*Dundee is NOT a smelly dog.  I didn't think this was possible!  Plus I have scentsys, candles, and oil burners to make a meat market smell GREAT so as far as I know, the smell hasn't been a problem.
*My sweet sister made the transition much easier by surprising us with all of our very favorite treats, including goods for our kitty-cat.  I LOVE MY SIS.  She is the most thoughtful person I know.

So, if you ever feel like visiting a farm (without the smell and mess that is...) you are more than welcome to our home!  We may not have human children in our home just yet, but our animal babies give us fantastic company... oh how we LOVE that!

And we sure love this puppy of ours...


slipping through my fingers

I have made my way into the basement more than once to carry upstairs that one measly, halfway filled box of fall decorations that I own, only to find that I just haven't had the mental strength to do it.  This could be because I have no desire for decorating my house season by season, or because I am just NOT ready to LET SUMMER GO.  The signs of autumn are in no doubt already approaching, and with them my hot summer, sunny filled days are slipping through my fingers.  I have found my mood a little less than optimistic as I feel the cool morning air, or watching as the dim sun climbs into bed earlier than usual.  I just didn't get enough of days packed with swimming, walks with Shane in shorts and flip flops, sun-kissed skin, popsickles on Sunday afternoons, and barbeques outdoors in the late evening. 
When Shane and I were dating I asked him what his favorite season was.  He thought for several minutes as he stared up into the cold winter sky...finally he replied, "I can't pick just one.".  I pried and prodded, feeling slightly annoyed that he couldn't make this decision.  He went on to explain to me what he enjoyed about each and every season, down to the miniscule details.  When he asked me the same question, of course I stubborly responded, "SUMMER.  hands down.  no question.". 
My sweet husband still just can't find it in him to 'number' the seasons from favorite to least... and that's exactly what I LOVE about HIM.  Yes, I might always have a sweet spot in my heart for summer, but what's so wrong about autumn, or even winter?  If Shane can love it, so can I... and to be completely honest, no matter what the temperature is outside, days spent with my love always feel warm. 
I adore that.


This is your LIFE

fall in love.  believe in magicLAUGH EVERYDAY.  find a passion and PURSUE it.  look with optimism to the future.  learn morecreate.  never GIVE UP.  give someone a reason to SMILE.  spend time with family.  be HAPPYFORGIVE even when it's hard.  smile often.  try new things.  work hard.  follow your dreams.  tell stories.  ADMIRE someone.  make TIME to enjoy the SIMPLE things in LIFE.  embrace change.  be NICE to EVERYONE.  TRUST in yourself.  LIVE in the MOMENT...live for today.  be understanding. keep your PROMISES.  share.  think of OTHERS before YOURSELF. listen to your parentssay I love you. be your BEST SELF. say please and thank youDREAM BIGeat great food. be thankful, be grateful. DANCE often.
be true to who you are...
be YOU.


I'll take what I can get!

Shane and I only had three weeks of summer together before school started... at first I had a terrible attitude that three weeks was such a measly amount of time, but before I knew it we had plans every single day to do something FUN. I had been able to create such valuable memories with my love in the past few weeks than I had during the entire year!

On one of the days we took some friends out boating...

Kenzie & Rachel

Although this picture doesn't show it, we were flopping around like goldfish out of water... WOW.


Oh yes, I had to prove to Shane that no matter how hard he tried to get me off...


Really it was just that I was terrified of the tiger muskies eating me alive... but hey, it worked! ;)


Welcome, baby angel

Halo Serene...

7 pounds

18.5 inches

Grandma, Aunt Kenzie, and baby

baby and Mommy... Nina

Look at that adorable face!

Grandma and baby

Happy family... Nina, Eric, and baby Halo

Eric (my brother), Me, and Halo

It is hard to try to explain with words how touching it has been to have this baby here. Nina allowed me to experience so much of her pregnancy, including being at the ultrasound where we found out that Halo was a girl. Eric and Nina have been so good to allow me to be a part of their experience...it has filled a small void that my own heart has been yearning to fill.

Baby angel,

On Christmas Eve I heard the incredible news that you were on your way... my whole body was filled with excitement, so much so that it poured out of my eyes! As tears ran down my cheeks I noticed that Uncle Shane's did too; we were so happy for your Mommy and Daddy to have you...you were a miracle for all of us. As you grew stronger I thought of you... I wondered what you would look like, what kind of personality you might have... I yearned to hold you and tell you how much I loved you.

The night you arrived my heart grew. The moment I held you my love grew.

You are a very special one, Halo...

You are our very own baby angel.

I will love you to the heavens and back...always.


Unexpected Adventure

Since Shane was finding his own adventure at scout camp a few weeks ago, I found some for myself! My oldest brother invited me to go hiking up Bear canyon early on a Saturday morning because Shane was gone. 6:30 AM rolled around on Saturday and Cory (my oldest brother), Danny (my other brother visiting from Texas), Mat (my brother in law), me, and Dundee, Griswold, and Fletch (a shelty and 2 golden retrievers) prepared ourselves for the hike.

It was gorgeous! About halfway through we came to a jungle. HUGE ferns were growing everywhere (most of them taller than ME), and the trail could hardly be seen!

Eventually, despite our unpreparedness, we all decided that the hike would only be worth it if we could go all the way up to the radar towers. This picture is showing the last tiny bit of the hike UP (it seemed straight up) to get up to the trail leading to the towers.

Almost there!

Made it! (Cory, Me, & Griswold)

I can now say that I have hiked up to Francis Peak and all the way back down! It was a challenge, but it feels so darn good that I did it!