Monday, January 30, 2012

Happy Birthday Laura Elizabeth!

December 2012

Our Baby is 34 today. These have to be the fastest 34 years of my life and yet it seem we have always had her. I would give anything to be with her today. It is just not right that parents and children be separated on their birthdays. Such an important day should be, at the very least, celebrated with the key players present at the blessed event, don't ya think? But I am so grateful that we got to be with her for an entire month...I shall not think to complain or feel melancholy on such a glorious day. There are some of you that do not know Laura's story that I published last year and how she and we are so blessed that she was born and survived a rocky pregnancy and that the Lord was watching over all of us.


What fills my heart with sunshine to the bursting point today is this beautiful youngest daughter we have been blessed with for the past 34 years today. Happy Birthday, Laura! I think we should have named you Laura Jo, and then added a Y after the JO for JOY.

My blood runs cold every year on this day when I think how hard the doctors leaned on us to terminate my pregnancy due to complications from me getting the chicken pox in my first trimester. I have never been so thankful for saying NO to that, never been so thankful for making the right choice. Never been so thankful for being able to hear the spirit whisper to us to trust in God and go forward in faith, no matter the outcome. That sweet confirmation that we made the right choice came instantly and I will never forget it, or deny it. The trial of our faith has been rewarded everyday since by a daughter that has been nothing but a blessing and pure joy every day of her life. It is so nice to know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that kind of life and death choice is not our stewardship, it is God's. You can read more about Laura's story here. If you do go to this link at the end of the story is a slide show and you can watch Laura grow up right before your eyes. Fun stuff!

A year ago and a few months ago.

And look how that one great decision has multiplied our joy immeasurably since then! Realizing that all these blessing come from a Father In Heaven that is aware of us, what we need, what we desire is a blessing I can never take for granted, a gift I can never forget.

So I kind of feel that Laura's birthday, is more than a traditional birthday for me. It is a time for me to remember, and reflect and praise God for His help during that time I was carrying her. It is my time to remember the wonderful new people I had met that were Latter-day Saints and so compassionate and loving. They were the epitome of Christ's love in our life serving and teaching through their examples. When I think of Laura, the circumstances of her birth, the life she lives, the love she has given ~ I am overwhelmed and happy and grateful and there is sunshine in my soul today.

Laura has been the kind of daughter that has always been inspiring. She was born with a mature and compassionate spirit. She has always been able to read my thoughts... as a little girl she would give comfort to her frazzled Mommy on rough days, with a little handwritten love note tucked under my pillow. We laugh and cry together, we have fun and we are the best of friends. She is the epitome of a great daughter, wife, mother, sister and friend. What she does she does well and she is constantly learning and searching for better ways of getting the job done. She is very kind and generous with others and gives much of her time in service at church, the boys' school, the military groups and she is just deep down good. What parent could ask for anything more? We are privileged to be her parents.

Now some of you may be saying or thinking this woman is totally bragging about her kid here. You have probably even heard the saying.."To a mother every beetle is a gazelle." I believe that God children merely come through us and Laura was this beautiful person from the foundations of the earth. We just thank our lucky stars we didn't mess her up along the way. But we don't take credit for whom she has become. It has been her obedience to the Lord, her desire to make good choices and to be a good and kind person that has influenced who she is today. She works so hard and accomplish so much good. We feel it a great blessing to have her and to love her as we do.

You have brought a rainbow of beautiful color
into this world and blessed us all.
Wish we could give you what you really want
Your Sweetheart by your side today.

So Happy Birthday, Baby! Daddy and I love you with all of our hearts and souls and of course we will be thinking of you today, as we always do..but just rejoicing more in God's grace on your special day (and ours) for allowing us to have such a precious girl to call our own daughter.

XOXO times 34 plus one to grow on!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Simple Woman's Daybook~January 26, 2012

Taking a Moment to Contemplate the Journey!

Just For Today...Thursday, January 26, 2012
Our lives pass swiftly by!
I want to do something to remember
the everyday moments and my thoughts.
That is what this daybook is all about.
Focusing on the little things that become my life.
One week at a time.

Outside my is pitch black out and 9:20 pm. I wasn't ready to go to bed so thought I'd try blogging for a big change. Honestly, I have been blogging like a maniac since 2007 and all of a sudden I have just really tapered off. I have just been so busy with other things. But back in the saddle right now so that is good.

It has been cold to moderately warm this week. We had a little rain but mostly it is what I call "Fling." Not winter for sure and a combination of Fall and Spring. Everyone is so worried but I think it will be OK. When it is well into February and still no rai
n then I will get alarmed but until then I am just enjoying the weather each day as it comes. I am hoping for snow for Utah though they are really needing it.

From the learning room...we as humans are capable of doing far more then we think we can with a little determination, faith, and tenacity we can even surprise ourselves. Something like that happened to me yesterday with genealogy and I was flabbergasted. I worked really hard at something for 6 hours and I was successful. I proclaimed myself as graduating out of being a beginner and into the realm of an intermediate genealogist. I was so excited, I cried. The thing about this that was so neat was that I was alone and on a research quest in Berkeley @UC. I was out of my comfort zone in so many aspects of the experiences of the entire day and as I prayed my way through it I was able to find every single thing I have set out to do. I am not a mechanical person at all and I was able to learn to use some research tools that required some coordination and mechanical skills. I did It! Woohoo. Never give up is all I can think, not if there a breath left in ya and if it is something you truly want, and you are willing to pay the can be yours.

I am reading...scriptures, my class notes from all kinds of sources, online resources, all in an attempt to get a class together for the students at the Family History Center. This is a big deal to me because you cannot fake knowledge in anyway in genealogy. You either know it or you don't when it comes to any certain aspect of the research. Well, when you are just learning the thought of teaching it is pretty ominous.

From the kitchen...the kitchen is closed! Well, not really but I try not to think about it when I don't have to. Tonight we actually went out to dinner so that was great. We have had things in the freezer that we had made ahead so food was a non-issue this week. Yippee! Don't get me wrong we eat well, it is just I don't think about it once it is all planned.

I am missing...balance. I have to chill and figure out how I can get everything in that I truly want to do. Blogging is one of them but I just haven't had it lately. Could it be burnout after nearly 1600 posts on this blog alone? I don't think we have had a routine and normalcy since before Halloween. Maybe longer...I just can't remember back past when I started in with the fall decorating and since then....craziness and packed schedules daily. It is insane. I feel like we both need to just back away from the phone or something clever like that, if we want a moment to collect our thoughts. We have a knack for getting ourselves in this pickle semi-regularly it seems.

I am hearing...Michael Buble...The Best of Me. Love it. Music is my refuge, it is just such a happiness maker for me when I get stressed.

I am wearing...Smart Socks, love those things, blue jeans, a white t-shirt and a red boiled wool vest. Earlier I had a fun scarf on that our grandsons, Spencer and Ross gave me for Christmas. have since fanned the jewelry and the shoes.

I am quoting..."Music is what feelings sound like." So true.

Somethings that made me especially happy this past has been a wonderful week. Our sweet nephew and his new bride got married over the weekend. It was the best and fanciest wedding I have ever been to, I think. It was one of those over the top, perfect days. We left home a little after noon and we did not get home until almost 10:15 PM. It was only 45 minutes from here so it wasn't like we were in the car much. It was all celebration. Nick is my brother Steve's son. Just seeing Steve there with hair and a smile on his face to see their son marry was wonderful after his bout with cancer this past summer.

It was such a joy to be with all the family and even our son Chris flew in and that was fantastic. Jim and I read the Prayer of the Faithful in the Catholic wedding ceremony and that was a real honor to be asked. We also did that when our niece, Alesha, got married. The rest of the week has just been full of things that needed doing and it has all been good. Family and friends have blessed me so much this week and grandkids have delighted us through photos and notes from the kids. And then there was my accomplishment, after a big struggle yesterday, and all is well for me! It was a week of miracles for both Jim and me in our work. And for you too I hope! And all these blessing have been divine. So, thanking God for it all.

I am see my group of friends that I meet with each Friday morning and then I have a design consultation to do. I have gotten two appointments in the past week after not doing much in that realm of design for about a year. It is a sign that things are picking up with the economy some. I am also hoping to drop off a birthday gift for my sweet freind, Faye, who had a birthday last week. And if all goes well with all of that I am sneaking into a matinee tomorrow or Saturday afternoon to see War Horse finally. I cannot wait for Jim any longer, as he has been working so hard (14 hour days at the Temple) and so when he gets home he just needs to crash.

One of my guilty pleasures...going back to bed after Jim leaves for work..once in a blue moon I do it. Today was one of those days. It was nice. We have been up at 5:00 am for the past two weeks that he has been working everyday and I don't know how we did that all the time for years on end. Ugh. It feels like we are still on Eastern Time.

Pet Peeve...accidentally running out of milk. I always think there is some in our outside refrigerator and often I am dead wrong. Not a fun discovery at 5:00 am.

One of my favorite things...
This funny, faux leopard scarf that I bought in Rhode Island. I was so darn cold and it is the coziest thing ever. It is kind of like a big scrunchy with elastic inside of it so it is fun. I just like to warp it around my neck and then I feel like purring. It is so warm.

An enjoyable movie I have watched lately...Zip! This weekend for sure.

I am curious I am going to do all the things on my bucket list while I am so busy just putting out fires on a daily basis? I need a better plan.

If I could change one thing it would be...
myself. Redefining times are here.

A few plans for the rest of the week...whoops, I think I said all that under, I am going...
I did miss one thing though. I am going with my good friend, Maureen, to the Stake President's fireside this Sunday night. It is an annual event where our Stake President from church and his wife speak to all of the women of this area. It is always the best. As much as I love our Stake President, the real treat is listening to our super sweet, friend, Faye. Geesh, I still have her birthday present sitting here. Must get my act together...seriously.

A photo and thoughts I'm sharing this week...

The San Francisco Bay and Bridge

One of the fun things our whole family loves to do is take photos. Photography is just such a multifaceted hobby. It collects favorite memories, captures the moment, preserves your family history and creates (on occasion) exceptionally beautiful art. This photo was taken my our son, Chris, last Sunday morning before the sun came up. We were taking him to the airport so he could fly home, but first he wanted some shots of the City. So up at 5:00, out the door at 5:30 and on the shore of Treasure Island before sunrise. That is when this beautiful blue hour photo was snagged. I do not know a lot about photography, but I do love taking blue hour photos.

They can be taken just before sunrise and just after dark. You can Google The Blue Hour and find out exactly which times during any given day you will get a shot at the blue hour by entering your zipcode. Such fun! This will always remind me of the great weekend we had with our son and how much fun it was to run around the Island in the dark with our cameras. Not surprisingly, we were not the only ones doing this at that crazy hour of the day. Memories captured~loved every minute of it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Simple Woman's Daybook~January 18, 2012

Taking a Moment to Contemplate the Journey!

Just For Today...Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Our lives pass swiftly by!
I want to do something to remember
the everyday moments and my thoughts.
That is what this daybook is all about.
Focusing on the little things that become my life.
One week at a time.

Outside my window...It was 32 degrees a few minutes ago when I checked. Jim tells me it is going to rain like crazy this coming week. We sure do need it. So it's a good thing. Right now there is not even a breeze. Perhaps it is the quiet before the storm? The sky is looking mysterious clear...hmmm. Maybe tomorrow....

From the learning room...the longer you are married the more similar you seem to become to your spouse. This is an odd thing when you usually start by being quite different. I always have thought of Jim being the hyper one, the one that does everything 200%, the one that is never idle, the one who rarely lets his fanny touch a couch. Hmm, just the other day when I was saying I have gone over the top crazy with Pinterest, our oldest said, "Well Mom you rarely do anything halfway." Moi? Wow, that shocked me. I usually feel like the lazy, laid back one when at his side. OCD+OCD=Frenzied Life! Gotta love the evolution of it all.

I am reading...all day long...most days.

From the kitchen...I am getting ready to go shopping to prepare some yummy stuff for our son's visit over the weekend. I am going to make beef stroganoff and serve over wide egg noodles, some kind of a dessert and some Red Lobster copycat biscuits for our dinner guests on Friday night. Of course we will have a veggie and a wonderful salad also.

I am missing...Robert, Sweet Robert. I think of him and pray for him everyday hoping the guardian angels are watching over our boy in Afghanistan. All prayers on his behalf gladly accepted!

I am hearing...My favorite playlist. Have you heard Micheal Buble's, "The Best of Me" yet? Such a bittersweet song.

I am wearing...
Jams but not for long. Friends coming over at 9:00, racing to get this done and be ready.

I am quoting... "Success~To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Somethings that made me especially happy this past week...Meeting our new neighbor, walking more days than not for exercise. Working at the Family History Library last night and talking with one of my really sweet new friends, Carol. Do love that lady! Had a wonderfully spiritual Sunday and it got me all motivated to be a better me. Love it when that kicks in, don't you? I feel like the excitement of a new year, a new beginning, etc. has finally sunk in for 2012. I feel like I am finally organized again after all the upheavals (albeit wonderfulness) of the holidays and traveling and and being exhausted. My energy is returning...woohoo!

I am do all my 'to do' list with the enthusiasm of the Energizer Bunny today.

One of my guilty pleasures...I hate to keep repeating this but It is the perfect medium for a retired designer who loves photography, arranging things to create something fun and beautiful, is renewed by the beauty around her and who love the computer and staying home. And its free. Wow, whoever came up with it, hit all my buttons on the first try! When I have been doing a lot of black and white writing or researching family history it is the five minute commercial break time my eyes and body need to then get back to work. I can pin so many awesome things in record time. If I see it I know immediately if I will pin it. No dillydallying around...I have always been like that. I know what I like and I don't go back and forth on it.

Pet Peeve...
I saw a cute quote on Pinterest this week. "I don't have A pet peeve, I have a whole kennel of them!" Haha!

One of my favorite things...
Billy Joel's song, "Just The Way You Are." It is a sermon in a nutshell.

An enjoyable movie I have watched lately...Seems I haven't been watching a lot lately. Still trying for War Horse..has anyone seen it yet? I want to see the new Meryl Streep movie about Margaret Thatcher too. Gotta get to that soon.

I am curious about...where the country is going politically right now. Interesting and paradoxical and curious.

If I could change one thing it would be...what burns calories
and how. That brain activity counted as much as physical activity in this department.

A few plans for the rest of the week...the big event of the week is Chris flying home on Friday for our nephew, Nicholas' wedding on Saturday, so I am getting the guest room ready, cooking, cleaning, and anticipating his arrival. Cannot wait to see him. It will be a fast trip but a fun-packed one. Today and tomorrow last minute stuff and then tomorrow night we are going to the rehearsal and the dinner. We have been asked to do a reading in the ceremony. They are getting married in a Catholic Church on Saturday midday. Mara, Nick's soon-to-be-wife is an absolute doll and has the biggest dimples on a girl I have ever seen. She is a beauty inside and out and we are just thrilled about this union. Jim has been working fourteen hours a day at the Temple this week on a special construction project. So I am on my own. Monday I am going to the Doe Library in Berkeley for our cousin, Stephen, and looking through old newspapers for some obituaries. Challenging to go without my mechanical husband, but I am sure I can figure out those dang film readers.

A photo and thoughts I'm sharing this week...
Finding joy in the simple things.

This is the cupboard where we keep our everyday dishes. I want Jim to take the wood door off of it and replace it with a framed piece of glass. I also want him to replace the shelves with tempered glass so we can put in a light at the top and all the areas of the cupboard and its contents can be illuminated. I will admit it straight out..I am weird but I love these dishes and they bring me joy. Why? Not too sure, but when I was emptying the dishwasher the other day I just wanted to take a picture of them. I have a thing for glasses and stemware and I love this set of glasses. They make me happy every day. I know...I'm nuts but they really are a point of glee for me and I want to see them when I am just passing through without having to open the door. This might be a clue as to why I love Pinterest. I just love looking at pretty people, places and things. I am a visual person. Yep...I am. What floats your boat and makes you happy that is just simple, pleasurable and relaxing? Go ahead and tell me, I won't think you're weird, I promise.

With Love,

Monday, January 16, 2012

Laughing My Head Off

Can You Relate?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sustaining Healthy Habits

Google images

Well, here we are a few days into the New Year and I am finally getting my current act together. I say current as I seem to always be reinventing "my act." You know how it is, "The best laid plans of mice and men," as Steinbeck once said. They say (whomever they are) that a good song needs a great "hook line," something catchy and easily remembered...something that makes the song stick.

I think good habits must be that way. You have to know what does and does not work for you. After scrutinizing all aspects of exercise and what I stick to, walking is my best option for success. My struggle is making it my choice on a daily basis.

I am not a gym person, I am not an exercise equipment person, I am not a yoga person. I am just a person who wants to be more fit, with what the daily minimum requirement standards extract from me, and I want to enjoy what I am doing. I am not out to prove anything to myself or the world, not interested even slightly in a marathon, half-marathon, mini-marathon, nope...none of the above. Just want to get a little stronger, a little more flexible and work the heart ever so slightly more than the computer allows in a physical way.

I am also not into group exercising. I know, I am pretty particular. The reason I don't like it is I don't want someone else setting my pace or waiting for me to catch up with them. And I don't want a gab fest either. Remember this is tiring to an introvert, not energizing. (If you are interested in an excellent article, read about extroverts and introverts here:

I just want to do the job, get it done and use that time to contemplate, pray and plan my day, projects, etc. Sometimes I just want to ponder and listen to music and I do not want to have a set time scheduled with another person, so I am best on my own. I just need that flexibility.

So here is the problem that all those conditions seem to place on my doing it all the time. After awhile I lose interest or motivation and then it is so easy to let other things smother the desire to make it a consistent effort. I hate that I am that way, but I am. I want to be like Jim and just do it rain, shine, sweltering heat, wind, sleet or snow. Out he goes. No excuses, no internal conflict, he just goes! I want this kind of discipline in this area of my life but I am beginning to wonder if it will ever come. But I will never give up trying. My spirit is struggling to do what is right, but my flesh is my weakness.

One thing I think helps is to realize that exercise is exercise and it doesn't have to be a 'put your stylish jogging suit and special walking shoes and sweat like crazy before your shower' type of thing. Exercise is moving with a little more effort than just strolling along for a sustained period of 30, 45 0r 60 minutes a day. That is it. Why is this so dang hard? I hate that thing that pulls me in the opposite direction of what is smart and good and best for me, don't you?

So here is what I have come up with to make this new effort more fun I am taking my iPhone/camera with me and snapping at least one picture a day of something I find interesting along the way. The first day I went to the mall to walk and I found some funny photos. Here is one I found in a store front window.

The caption is:
Walking is not on sale, it is free!

A little kitschy but it's a mall after all.

So since the photo ops are a little scant in the mall, I thought perhaps a neighborhood walk would work. So the next day I got this: I walked with Jim in the neighborhood. Here is my photo.

Here is my caption:
Solitude deceptive in this photo,
a neighbor behind every bush wanting to chat.
Set new rules regarding spousal walking...
No cell phone conversations please.

I think today I will try the mall again. Less beautiful but more fruitful-Day 1

Lovely outside, covered virtually no ground, like maybe an eighth of a mile. Saw and chatted with nice people. Spent some fun moments with James, a big plus. Nice, but not on target. Day 2

Day 3 yet to be seen but in the works. Wish me luck. A thousand mile's journey starts with one step. Or, so they say! My hook...the pictures. Know thyself and carry on.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Simple Woman's Daybook~January 11, 2012

Taking a Moment to Contemplate the Journey!

Just For Today...Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Our lives pass swiftly by!
I want to do something to remember
the everyday moments and my thoughts.
That is what this daybook is all about.
Focusing on the little things that become my life.
One week at a time.

Outside my is bright, sunny and cool. Not cold. Yay! We could definitely use some rain but I can remember that last January was exactly like this. Almost like spring leap-frogged over winter. But, alas, in February she returned and through May, made up for lost time.

From the learning of the ways I learn is by listening and paying attention to the things that make me sit up and take notice. I call them print moments. Things that just stand out and resonate with my spirit on an everyday basis. This week I have had a bunch of them. The older I get the more I realize how important it is to surround yourself with people that lift and teach you and that you try to reciprocate to them and others. I think that when you get older your sensitivities to that sort of thing increase, while many other things appear to be on the decline. I feel that things that really matter, matter more to me now than ever before. These really can be your golden years if you take each day as it comes and without is probably the best of times.

I am reading...lots of things, but non-fiction for some time now. I need to get back to that because I find it relaxing and enriching but other things just seems more important to me right now.

From the kitchen...all stocked up and ready to commence the fully committed time to get healthier and stay that way. I hate the derailment of the holidays and compounding that with travel, I had been rather cavalier about WW the past many weeks. But today..tracking, measuring again, less sugar, more fruits and vegetables more protein, less carbs...and taking it one day at a time towards my goals. God has been merciful over these weeks...up only 2.2 which is way beyond a miracle. I'll have that off within days. Woohoo. On the Road again...Never Giving Up!

I am missing...blogging. I have been so irregular in my posting these past months, more so than ever before in my blogging history. I am so grateful for those of you that have remained with me as I have been passing through this time of trying to find more balance in my life. For those of you that comment even when you have not seen me on your blog reciprocating...I love you especially. Marie, Susan, Nellie, Caroline, Deanna, Becky you are all amazing friends.

I am hearing...Kenny Rankin singing Regrets. I do love and miss that wonderful man who died about two years ago. As a singer he was once tagged as a human instrument. His voice is amazing.

I am wearing...
Geesh, I cannot tell you at this moment. Pathetic...I quit right in the middle of getting dressed to tap out a few lines on this Daybook. I am decent of course but I would not want anyone ringing the doorbell right now.

I am quoting..."Love is not complicated. People are." So true.

Somethings that made me especially happy this past week...getting home and finding all well here. Feeling satisfied that we had had a wonderful visit with Laura and the boys even though we both miss them so much. Getting everything back in order in our home has been nice..dust bunnies captured, all the laundry and clothes back in their proper places, a month's worth of bird droppings cleaned off our cars (Thanks, James!) A month's worth of mail gone through, mostly tossed and bills all paid, only mildly disturbing thing was a jury duty notice for tomorrow. I don't mind doing my civic duty, in fact I want to...I just hate all the waiting around for the jury to be selected. Getting home to good friends and a routine...all pluses. It has been a good five days back in the saddle.

I am going...go for a walk today. Can't wait to get outside and breathe.

One of my guilty pleasures...creativity. I have to feel like I am creating something and although I love designing, I am not a crafty type person. If I glue it, sew, or "make it" I usually do not like it. But I am thrilled that I have my writing and photography and have found Pinterest to help me quickly and easily feel like I am creating and contributing something to the enjoyment of others while doing something I like to do too. Lately I have been creating these pins boards on certain colors. I really love them. They capture the beauty around us and I feel good when I work on them. I would love to know what you think of them if you are so inclined. You can find my pin boards here there is also a link on the sidebar of this blog towards the top that remains there all the time.

Pet Peeve...this may be revealing a little too much about myself but, we have these mesh type waste paper baskets we bought at Ikea years ago. They were cheapo and I have not liked them since day one...the can see the garbage in them when you walk by.
Unless I am emptying them a few times a day my rooms always look messy to me. I know, anal...sorry. I should just put myself out of my misery and get new ones!

One of my favorite things...
great hugs. We are huggers in this family and I enjoyed getting so many while on vacation. Did you know you need 7 hugs a day to be healthy? Those hugs among family and friends can convey so much. So affirming, which we all need, even if we don't acknowledge it. Increase your quota, enjoy your life more and bless and lift others too. What is not to love about hugging?

An enjoyable movie I have watched lately...Sherlock Holmes, getting ready to see the sequel.

I am curious about...How it is OK to be prejudiced toward Mitt Romney for his religion just because he is a Mormon. I can guarantee you with every fiber of my being that Mormons are, indeed, Christians. I am sick to death of the press calling the church, The Church of Latter-day Saints. It is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I wonder what this country would have done if this same nonsense was perpetrated towards Obama because he was black the last time around? How many demonstrations would that have engendered do ya think?

A decent and responsible person/voter will become educated about a candidate and what he/she has to offer before taking the lazy way out..prejudice toward them for their race or religion. This is not a slam on Mormons as much as it is just the same old stuff about the real problem...a country that does not want to see Christianity anywhere, especially in Washington. It is going to be an interesting year. I don't care who you vote for but I do hope you will be prayerful and "liberal" enough to consider the individuals and not the misinformation that will fly in your face all year. Prejudice is laziness. Go to the source...for your facts about Mormons

If I could change one thing it would be...
read the last answer!

A few plans for the rest of the week...walking, tracking, hair beautification this afternoon, catch up some more with people that matter to me, including you. Jury duty tomorrow, Friday hopefully meet with my friends in the morning and a day with no other appointments. Saturday a funeral service and then dinner and a musical with Jim and his mom. Oh and I forgot...genealogy....lots of studying in preparation for teaching at the Regional Center far sooner than I feel ready.

Some photos and thoughts I'm sharing this week...
Sometimes the opposition of having some of your best people far away is a blessing. Because every time you visit you have a truly special experience. Nothing that is precious and rare becomes ordinary. I find joy in that as I search for the silver lining in missing you and your places. These pictures bring tears of joy for all that we are blessed with...all the time. To me these places are sacred ground.


Laura's and Robert's neighborhood

Our beloved Tasso, Italy

The view I grew to love in New England this time from
the office where I occasionally wrote to you...
Places of beauty, memories and increased love for you,
our Father In Heaven and His goodness.

Love you, family and friends...Bonnie

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Ones

Simply Stated...




Julia, Jen and Piper
I couldn't find one photo of Jen and me so here she
is with two of her four girls a couple years ago.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Our Island Treasures

Well, tomorrow we are going home! How can we possibly leave our sweet boys and Laura? We just have to, want to or not. I cannot help but think of Robert and how incredibly hard it must be to be away from his boys. I admire his courage so much. We must wait for our heavenly experiences I suppose, but, oh my, it is so hard when you get a taste of what it will be like along the way. Families can be together forever and for this I am so grateful.

Spencer 12, Ross 9

These are the photos that Laura took of the boys for their Christmas cards. I think she is an incredible photographer. It is hard to shoot a moving target and she has done a wonderful job with this series of photos. We have so many blurry photos of them as we have tried to capture a moment, but really these cannot be outdone.

Most boys do not like their pictures taken as you may have noticed if you have any. Most of the photos have funny faces or bunny ears or something that makes you grit your teeth and bite your tongue when you are trying to capture what they actually look like. Well,
Laura gets the prize on this series is all I can say. These photos depict them as they actually are. And they also capture their funny personalities and loving relationship. Capturing the essence of the child is what sets a great portrait photographer apart from a good one.

They of course have their moments, as all siblings do
but for the most part these guys are best buddies.

I have a feeling that at this point Laura was
trying to cajole Spencer into getting animated.

What I can pretty much guarantee here is that
Ross said something that cracked him up.

I love these two pictures because they
are giving us the real McCoy smiles.

We love these cute grandboys with all of our hearts
and sure are going to be blue for a few days!

But we will see them in the summer so already have that to look forward to as we head west tomorrow around noon ET. And we are thanking God there is no snow in Providence or in Chicago predicted for tomorrow. So we are very grateful for this fun time we have had and that we are going home and getting back to normal...whatever that is....? It has been a great Christmas season and a wonderful vacation. New England is still in our top five places to visit. Try it, you'll love it.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Simple Woman's Day Book~January 2, 2012

Taking a Moment to Contemplate the Journey!

Just For Today...Monday, January 2,2012
Our lives pass swiftly by!
I want to do something to remember
the everyday moments and my thoughts. That is what this d
Day Book is all about.

Focusing on the little things that become my life.
One week at a time.

Outside my is 9:20 am and from the triple sliding glass door I am seeing a mix of Easter egg blue sky and silver and white billowy clouds. The temperature is warm, 43 degrees and the breeze is gentle at the moment. The thing about life on an island is that the weather changes faster than a woman's prerogative to do so.

I am thankful for...this opportunity to be on the east coast with James and Laura's family for this length of time. Being able to live life with them has opened my eyes to their life in a way you cannot get without doing it along side someone. Fun experience.

I am reading...genealogy lessons from my teacher. I am trying to get back in the swing of that since I need to start thinking about what classes I want to teach in this new year.

From the Kitchen..We have been trying out Laura's new grill and panini gadget she got for Christmas from Robert. It is really neat and we have had some fun sandwiches lately and a very nice dinner yesterday and so leftovers are the order of the day. Jim also made a big kettle of soup. So I cannot think we will be doing a lot of cooking anymore before we leave on Friday.

I am missing....home and a routine that makes me feel a little more productive. We have been having a lot of fun but meaningful work is important too. A month is a long time to be away from home even with the very best of the best people you want to spend time with, the suitcase take its toll.

I am hearing...Ross playing the piano and the boys chattering with each other. How wonderful that the kids have two boys. They just keep each other going all the time. Never a dull moment.

I am jeans, a rust shirt, a white furry vest and some jewelry that ties it all together. Some great shoes that have made my feet very happy on this vacation. The are made by a company called NAOT and are so comfy. They have been on my feet every single day on this vacation and I bought them in Utah. Absolutely no break in time required. Just slipped them on and walked away. LOVE them. They are a black, Mary Jane style and so they have replaced all the shoes I brought with me. I need to buy a brown pair for sure. Since they go with pants and skirts they are the best and most practical too.

I am quoting..."Never Give Up on Anyone, Miracles Happen Everyday." Anon

Some things that made me happy this past week...watching Lark Rise to Candleford with Laura, pinning a lot of fun things on Pinterest, going to Cape Cod with James for two days. Finding some good bargains after Christmas. Everything closes here for a few months during the winter so they were selling tons of stuff with 75% off tags. Playing with the boys, and just being with them. Talking to Robert via phone and Skype. Getting texts and phone calls from Piper and Julia and wonderful letters from Stephen on our shared family history.

One of my guilty pleasures...scarves. I have gotten some in the last few years and I totally love wearing them. They do keep you so warm. Most of them have come from lovely vacation spots so all have memories attached. I got several new ones this year from Laura and the boys for Christmas.

Pet Peeves...Picasa editing of photos. They need to talk to iPhoto!

I am look for a couple of birthday gifts today while we are in Newport. We are going to a museum there with the boys and doing a little last minute stuff. Tomorrow the boys return to school. :-(

One of my favorite things...the vocabulary of both Spencer and Ross.

An enjoyable movie I have seen lately....well, we haven't seen it yet but will this week. War Horse.

I am curious cell phones have changed our culture so profoundly. More specifically, smart phones. Media has taken over much of life. On the one hand, very neat to have and on the other hand very disturbing. Balance and perspective are the aspects that are challenging and also such a curiosity.

If I could change one thing it would be...all the things I want to put on my New Year's resolution list would be accomplished and a thing of the past by this time next year.

A few plans for the rest of the week..Some genealogy, some blogging hopefully, some creative graphic stuff with Laura, some movies, some running around the island and Massachusetts, putting Christmas to bed for this year, and packing up. :-0

A few photos and thoughts..I gave been trying to post some photos of Laura's very cool house but I am having trouble with the photos so I'll just add a few here.

The dining area off the kitchen.

The hutch use to belong to Laura's
great-grandmother and great-grandfather Ferrera.
She inherited it and painted it red.
I think it looks fantastic in her sunshine
yellow and red kitchen.

Kitchen corner

An artist's rendition of Positano, Italy
that they purchased when they lived in the old country.

The place where I have been writing overlooking the sea!

Part of the Living Room,
so pretty and comfy.

Our cozy spot while we have been here!

There are lot of other cool rooms in this house as well and a full basement that they have converted into a great family room, crafting area and play area for Legos, etc. The house has three bedrooms upstairs and 3 1/2 bathrooms throughout. This is a beautiful home and so spacious. This move was a wise one as their other house here on the island was pretty small with very little storage space. It is my favorite house they have had so far and I know I say that every time they move but it really is a nice one.

The best part is Laura always makes it such an inviting home and I think that gives the kids a real sense of roots no matter where they live. She was a great asset to our design business when we were working together. Simply put; she has the knack for making a house a home in every sense of the word. We are very proud of all she is doing to keep the home fires burning while Robert serves our country.