Monday, August 20, 2012

Missing Sister

It's been one week since Nicole left for college.  We are all missing her like crazy.   She left a big hole in our home and in our hearts that we can all tangibly feel.  

Surprising to me though, is how much Ian misses her.  He's just so in his own little world that I thought for sure he wouldn't even notice she was gone.  I could not have been more wrong.

He asks about her every day- wanting to know when he gets to go to Snow to see her.  He never forgets her in any of his prayers.  But sweetest of all, is that he sleeps every night with a silly little unicorn that she gave him as she was cleaning out her room.  It was something she got for a Halloween costume last year, that I'm sure she was just going to give to D.I.
Tonight as I was tucking him in, he hugged the unicorn to his chest and said, "Nicole's memories are in here".

And how right he is.  Her memories are in that silly little unicorn and in every nook and cranny of this house.  We sure love and miss her- more than I think any of us realized we would.  Thankfully, we have texting, face time and silly little unicorns to help us feel that she's not so far away.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Summer to Remember

As I was nearing the end of last semester and gearing up for the upcoming Summer Break, I had many expectations of what "my summer" would be like.

We would take 5 vacations, at least one of them would be a cruise, a camping trip or two, visit some national parks, a trip to see our friends, and spend lots of time as a family just enjoying each other's company and making all kinds of happy memories.

I knew that at the end of summer vacation, our world would drastically change.  Nicole would be leaving us for college, probably never to live under our roof full time again, and I would be heading back to school, full time, until Summer rolled around again.

As the first week of Summer approached, we had ONE vacation planned.  This brought a slight panic to my heart because I know us well- if it's not planned in advance, it probably isn't going to happen.  

As things turned out, Erik had a few business (or hemophilia related) trips that needed to be taken (San Francisco, Las Vegas, Oklahoma), and it was decided that it was now or never to take his dad to Norway- something that Erik has wanted to do for a long time.  There was Hemophilia camp that would take 3 members of the family for a week, a scout camp for Isaac, a 6 day trip to Bear Lake for Nicole with friends from Student Government, and an Ambassador retreat for her to meet her new college friends and finally, youth conference for Isaac.  

And then to top it all off, we decided to sign up Ian for football.  Something that would completely suck what was left of our Summer right out from under us.

There is now exactly two weeks of Summer Vacation left and as I was laying in bed this morning thinking about how different this Summer ended up from what I was hoping it would, I was surprised that I didn't feel disappointed.  

True, I spent most of those weeks without one or more family members with me, and true we only went on one family vacation, but looking back, it was such a wonderful time for me to slow down, get things organized around the house, spend some one on one time with each of the kids, and even a run away with Erik.  We didn't make tons of 'family time' memories, but so many special memories were made that will carry me through until next Summer.

I feel so fortunate to have been the one who got to be with Ian during the first time that he got to play tackle football.  I was the first to see him in full gear and was the one who heard, "Mom, thank you SO MUCH for signing me up for football!" And that smile, oh that smile, when he runs to the sideline all sweaty, to get a drink.  I got to be the first to see that.

 I was so lucky to get to sit by Nicole's side as she organized and held a clothes sale to raise money for college and then got to be the one to take many shopping trips with her to help her spend that money as she bought items to furnish her dorm.  I also got to be the one to hear all the stories after her dates with good friends and guys that made her excited about the possibility of marriage some day.

I got to be the one to pack Isaac for scout camp- making sure he had everything from a fishing pole and sunscreen to underwear and a warm jacket.  And I got to be the first to hear all of the stories when he got home- oh man those scouts!- and to hear about the new friend he made.  And I got to be the one who watched him grow right before my eyes.  I swear he did!

I was the one who got to be here everyday when Erik face-timed me from Norway.  I got to "see" little bits of Oslow and Bergen through the small camera on his iPad.  I was the first to see the tired joy on his dad's face as he enthusiastically talked about "tromping" through the streets of Norway.

I was the one who got to wash all of their dirty clothes when they retuned from all of their fun trips and activities.  I could tell that the dirtier the clothes were, the more fun they had had- and that made me smile. 

I was given the time to redecorate rooms in my home, clean out some dusty corners that haven't been touched in a LONG time, and dejunk.  I even had enough glorious time to read 5 books!

It wasn't the Summer I had envisioned.  But I think it turned out exactly as it should have.  I got to be here.  I got to be in my home.  I got to be with my family.  I got to be present.  

Those memories will carry me through the next year and will bring a smile to my face when I'll need one most.

It was a Summer I'll cherish forever!

Thursday, August 2, 2012


I'm a football mom now.  Was kinda forced into it, but I'm starting to get the hang of it.  Let's start at the very beginning, shall we?

Erik and Ian decided Ian should play tackle football this year.  I had my reservations, but finally agreed.  Erik left out of town.  Mom was left to sign him up.  No big deal right?
Um, BIG DEAL.  Very big deal. 
If it had just been the sign up, I would have been OK.  But these boys were required to have things such as: mouth guards, water thermos, a CUP!, chin strap for their helmet, cleats- all things that I have never in my life picked out or bought before!  (Well, yes, I have purchased a water thermos before- but I didn't know he needed one until AFTER the first day of practice and by then, you can't find ANYTHING football related in any of the sporting goods stores near our home so it took me forever to gather it and all of these other things.)
 Here's a pic from the first day- I think there have to be about 85 little Gremlins out there!
Then there was the uniform.  This was another event in and of itself.  After practice one day, we were to meet at "the shed" to be fitted for his uniform (is that even what you call it?).  I was surrounded, once again, buy about 70 or so dad's and sons (mom's are a minority at things like this I am learning).
I have learned a few other things too- that football has it's own lingo, and politics, and smell!

The good news in all of this is that I have dear friends who have lived this football life that I now find myself in.  And they took pity on me and taught Ian and I how to put all that gear on (where the pads go in the pants, how to put the chin strap on the helmet, and HOW to put on that blasted helmet, that thing is tight!  And let's not forget the cup!  That took it's own segment of explaining.  I don't know how guys walk around with those things!)

Needless to day, Ian and I have almost made it through the first week of football tryouts.  He has one or so more days and then he'll be put on a team with his own coach and then we will be able to sit back and enjoy!  
Just in time for Erik to get home.  

Monday, July 16, 2012

A few weekends ago...

 Erik and I ran away.....

Kinda reminds you of staying at your grandma's- but with a really nice bathroom!

The Copper Onion- so good!
Moonrise Kingdom- a must see, my friends.

I love the lobby of this theater!  So much personality.

A fun (and yummy) discovery!
Hands down my favorite at the Farmer's Market!
A gift from my sweetie!

Monday, July 2, 2012


Today is our official first day of summer vacation!

We sat down as a family last night and I rolled out our summer job charts and reading incentive programs.   As fun as I always try to make it,  there is always the occasional eye rolling (Isaac has mastered this) and a groan here and there.  This year was no exception.  After the meeting Nicole came up and asked me, "Now how much of what we talked about tonight really applies to me?"  I thought that was funny.  :) 

I understand that no one likes to be told that their summer is not going to be all video games, sleeping in till noon, and friends galore.  I feel for them, I really do, but at the same time, I would loose my mind if we didn't have some structure around here.

Just in case you are looking for ideas for your crew, here are some links to blogs where I snagged some of the ideas that we are using.

This one is a fun way to get your kids to read lots of pages.  I'm definitely not opposed to bribery.  I heart reading and I want my kids to love it too.  So I will bribe them into loving it.  Today- day ONE- my kids have read a total of 180 pages trying to figure out that mystery number!  He, he, he!  I have even reserved a couple of the suggested books from this blog to read with the boys- can't wait!

This one has so many great ideas for helping your kids make the most of their summer.  I implemented most of her ideas, my favorite being the 5 minute jobs.  Anyone can do anything for 5  minutes right?

And finally, this one which happens to be another reading incentive idea.  This one I loved because it gives lots of fun ideas of WHERE to read a book, and gives them a goal to reach while rewarding them for their efforts any way you want!  Our coupons are for things like, an ice cream cone, a slurpee, new book at Barnes and Nobel, and our golden ticket.....a day at Lagoon.

Hopefully my kids learn to love reading this summer- if not, this summer will DRAG on for them and they'll probably thank me for that too, because doesn't summer always feel like it goes too fast? 

 Nicole just finishing up Stephanie Nielson's book.
What fun (or not so fun ;) ) things are you doing with your kids this summer?  I would love to hear!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Really long apologies.

I've been having this nagging feeling looming like a dark cloud over my need to blog,  you need to blog.

This blog started out as a place where I could write whatever my heart felt like sharing.  Then as I became lost in my school work and my house started to become neglected, my blog turned into a scrapbook where I would put little snap shots of what was going on around here- maybe with a paragraph or two of written word.

And then as school became my LIFE and the house and family became even more neglected, I just couldn't justify blogging at all.  I would only take a minute every now and then- quickly posting a picture with a short entry.

But then came the blessed relief of Summer Break.

"Now," i thought, "now I can really blog.  I can get caught up on all that has happened and I can justify putting blogging back on my daily to-do list."

But I have been out of school for several weeks- and not one entry has been made.  The nagging feeling has not diminished, perhaps even, it has intensified.  So why haven't I blogged?

This afternoon, as I was folding laundry, I suddenly felt the urge to write.  Then I thought about all the pictures that needed to be transferred to my computer so that I could document the comings and goings of our family, and that nagging feeling returned with a vengeance.  I realized then that my blog had become more of a burden than an escape.  And that is never what I intended it to be.

So while my children have in no way stopped being adorable and amazing and while I have much to share about what has gone on around this little part of the world that we occupy, today I just want to write.

I have a thousand little thoughts going through my mind, begging to be the one that gets to finally be let out and acknowledged.  Even as I type, I have no idea which one will conquer the others.

Perhaps I will share today about the need that I feel to savor each moment of every day.

I'm sure it has a lot to do with the fact that I am on Summer Break, and the fact that Nicole's days here under our roof are numbered (and that number is growing ever so small).

Before I began the journey of my College Education, I would listen to women talk about exciting and fulfilling things they were doing in their lives.  I would be in awe and wonder how they did it all?  How did they manage to raise a family, keep up their homes, cook hot meals for their family every day, and still work full time? 

I somehow felt less than these women.  I was just a mother.  I had no college degree and just a few jobs on my resume that I felt were nothing impressive and definitely not anything that I would ever want to revisit should the need arise for me to find a job again.

These thoughts along with the nagging feeling that I had had one too many times to get a college education, motivated me to look into getting a nursing degree.

I am in no way saying that I regret the decision I made all those years ago to go back to school.  But it has been such an interesting journey.  One that has not only been educational in the way that it was meant to be- but I have learned so much about myself and my purpose in life.

And now that I am in the nursing program and it has taken over my life completely, what I crave more than anything is to be just a mom once again.  The mom who did laundry and grocery shopped weekly.  The one who made the beds and cleaned the bathrooms daily.  The one who was able to run the forgotten assignment to school for her child, volunteer in the little one's classroom, and serve in church.

I did not realize at the time, how lucky I was to be able to do those things.  To have my days filled with things that I thought were mundane tasks day in and day out.

Summer Break has been so good for me.  It has given me time to reconnect with my children, my husband and with my role as a wife, mother and homemaker.  All things I cherish so much more than I ever realized.

While I know that these things are so important, I also realize how lucky I am to be able to attend college and fulfill my dream of becoming a nurse.  It has been so much harder than I ever imagined it would be- but I have learned so many important things about myself along the way that I would never trade this experience for any other.

I will be back in school sometime around the middle of August.  And this is when life will change around here forever.  Nicole will leave for college and most likely will never live full time under our roof again- something that I still haven't come to grips with.  I too will find myself back in the deep abyss of nursing school- once again trying to balance all that is required of me- and most likely not doing a very good job of it.
But for now, I savor each minute of each day.  I savor the time to read a book, to visit with a friend or chat on the telephone.  I love the moments of sitting in the shade and visiting with my family.  Even grocery shopping and cleaning the house seem a little more enjoyable.

Life is good.  It is full of hard, happy, and breathtaking moments.  And today, I am thankful that in this moment, I have taken the time to write. 

It is good for my soul, and maybe now that little voice will quiet down and take a break from it's endless harassment.  I do believe it will.

*Speaking of breathtaking moments, this weekend I discovered how much I LOVE the architecture in downtown SLC!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What a weekend!

This weekend was full of wonderful, happy, teary moments.  I thought I had better get them posted before I forget.  

First was Seminary Graduation. 

 It's that time of year when everything is coming to an end in the life of our Senior girl.  This shot of her friends is just a sampling of the dear friends that she has made over the past few years.  She told me the other day that she has never had so many "best friends" in her life.  As a mom, I'm so thankful for all of them! I cannot say enough good things about these amazing young adults! 
 And this is how Ian entertained himself during Seminary phone was full of very interesting pictures.  :)
 Next, we were able to visit the grave of one of my grandmothers.  How I miss my grandparents that are no longer here!  I can't wait to see them again some day.
 I love how Ian calls my grandpa Horrocks, Grandpa Ox.  So cute!
 Is it crazy that I love visiting cemeteries?  I find them so peaceful and lovely.
 No visit to Holladay would be complete without stopping to get some frozen custard.  It truly is an American delicacy!
 I  love this shot of my boys enjoying their custard staring off into space!  Don't you love instagram?

And while we were in the area....we stopped by my old elementary school to show the kids where I went to school. 
 Wow!  Talk about being flooded with memories!  I haven't been back to this school in over 25 years and walking around on the grounds, looking through the front doors brought it all back!
 I remember lining up here in front of the school to get on the bus and then settling in to read my books on the hour long drive home.  Two hours on a school bus each day!  Crazy!
I remember the exact spot where a boy named Nathan pinned me down and kissed me on my back.  I never wore that shirt again!  I thought boys were so gross!  But mostly, I remember being at recess with my girlfriends, playing jacks, trading stickers from our sticker collections or playing on the tricky bars.  It was such a fun walk down memory lane!

But the fun did not end there!  After a quick stop home to refresh ourselves we were off again to the Bigham Copper Mine.  It was so fun to watch the boy's eyes light up as they got to watch those giant trucks in action.  Such a fascinating operation they have going on there!

Those are some very big and very expensive tires!  And a couple of cute boys too!
  If you noticed that Nicole was missing from most of the
pictures, you aren't mistaken.  She was at home catching up on some much needed rest.  That girl has been going non stop for a whole year now.  

Thanks for letting me put a few photos and memories down- and for caring enough to read them! 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Looking Back

 Today was the 'Goodbye' assembly for the seniors at Nicole's school.   In this assembly all of the Student Body Officer's remove their jackets one by one. Each officer is wearing a t-shirt underneath their jackets that has the logo of the college or university where they will be moving on to.

I should have known that it was going to be a tear jerker- and I forgot to put Kleenex in my purse.   It was bad!
At the beginning of the assembly as I watched the cheerleaders perform, it brought back memories of sitting in the stands game after game, watching Nicole perform with that huge smile on her face.  I remember her trying out for cheer and being so excited for her to be involved in such a fun way in high school.
I had no idea at the time that she would go on to do even more than cheer at Copper Hills High.  Student Government became her passion.  It has been so fun as a parent to watch her grow in her leadership abilities, to learn to speak out and stand up for things she feels strongly about.  She has left quite a legacy and some big shoes to fill (even though she has the tiniest feet ever!)

After the assembly she was a mess.  But so were her parents.  I love this picture because it shows that even her daddy got a little teary-eyed.
We sure love this girl and are so proud of who she has become.  We're so excited to see what her future holds as she heads off to Snow College and throws herself into being an Ambassador.  I'm sure she'll be just as busy as she has been this year- if not more.  But it's all good.  And now it's time to look forward to what lies ahead!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


 When Ian was about 5 or 6 years old, he was taking a bath when he called to me  to "come see".  I  walked in to see my little boy covered from head to toe in bubbles with the biggest smile on his face.

"Mom!  I just bath-tized myself!", he proudly exclaimed as the bubbles dripped off of his chubby cheeks.
 Being baptized is something that Ian has talked about for years and has looked forward to since he was a Sunbeam in church. 

In the weeks leading up to his baptism, he would ask me all kinds of questions, showing me that he was really thinking about his decision and what it would mean in his life.  He asked me about repentance and exactly how one goes about repenting when you have done something wrong.

He was very ready for this day and he wanted to make sure that I was too.  He kept asking me if I was going to cry at his baptism.  I asked him, "Do you want me to?"  "Yes", he would say with his cute little smile.
 Ian was very concerned about his white underwear.  He was not about to wear briefs!  He wanted boxers.  I searched and searched for white boxers- and found them at Target where I should have looked first! 
It was an awesome day, one that we as a family will always remember.  The last of our children to be baptized- such a strange feeling.   Time sure has flown by!

 Now before we know it, he'll be preparing to leave on a mission!

Congratulations Ian!  We love you!

Sunday, May 13, 2012



Happy Mother's Day to all of you beautiful ladies!

I hope your day was full of yummy meals (not in any way prepared by you!), a good book to read, foot massages, and lots of doting love from your families!

Nicole and her friend KC made this video in honor of all the women in their lives.  I thought today was a perfect day to share it with you.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Photo Shoot

We are running a little behind schedule, but we finally got Nicole's senior photos taken! I was sneaky and took a few behind the scenes pics.
Nicole asked for an urban look to her photos, and I think her photographer got some amazing shots! I cannot wait to see the finished photos!
It was so fun for me to listen to all of the praises that her photographer gave her...."you're a natural, you HAVE to have done this before!, hold that! I have to take a picture of what you are doing right now!, look at those eyes, that hair!" I think I had a smile plastered on my face the whole 2 1/2 hours.
And Nicole loved the experience too! What girl wouldn't? I mean, all the attention is focused on you, and you are constantly being told how adorable you are? Every girl's dream!

When her photos are posted, I'll be sure to update with a link! Happy weekend my friends!

The Last

A big 'last' in my life is happening tonight.

My last time working at the hospital as a CNA, and I must admit it's a little bitter-sweet.

I have been employed for 17 months and oh there have been so many good memories and dear friendships made! I have learned so much about life and about myself. I have done things that were harder (and grosser) than I ever thought I could!

A lot of thought and prayer went into my decision to quit my job. The next year of nursing school is going to be so very time consuming and I wanted every spare minute that I have to be spent at home with my family and not changing someone's briefs. :)

Although there are many wonderful things to look forward to, I think that for tonight, as I swipe my badge through the time clock one last time, there will be a little heaviness in my heart.

You know how they say that the 'last is best of all the game'? Well, here's to hoping that it is true and that this last will be one to remember.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


I spent my Saturday morning with a group of volunteers, cleaning and spiffy-ing up the local high school from top to bottom, inside and out.

I was not surprised to see that the majority of the volunteers were teenagers.
*This is only half of the gym. It was full of hundreds of green-shirted do-gooders.

For 4 hours these volunteers scrubbed, scraped, wiped, weeded, planted, and polished the school.

The teens that I worked side by side with were using this service project as their 'day date' for that night's M.O.R.P. dance.

I have never seen such hard workers. They took their assignments very seriously- wanting the work that they did to make a difference.

**Nicole is wearing orange because she was a 'team leader' for the event.
For M.O.R.P. that night, they dressed up as neon clad super-heros. I thought that was very fitting of who they really are.

It has been such an honor to have met and had in my home at one time or another, several of those teens who showed up to volunteer. They are such good, strong willed young men and women who amaze me with their talents and their determination to make a difference in this world.

In my eyes they are true super-heros who are just on the verge of a new adventure as they prepare to graduate from high school next month. I can't wait to see what they do next!