Thursday, December 31, 2009


Today my sister Merrit got married, and I was not there*. Physically.

But, thankfully, due to modern technology, and the heroic actions of sister Super Dana,
I got to watch the whole thing via web-cam and the Internet (thanks for inspiring the idea, Kim!).

(And when I say whole thing, I mean whole thing...from the picture taking in the background to the nose itching in the foreground...whole thing! Lesson learned: when on web cam, wear a high neck shirt, remember strangers are watching, and don't touch nose...)

It was awesome. Or 4w350m3, as my computer-savvy brothers might say :+)=!
Here is a recap of some of those awesome moments from Merrit and Matt's wedding:

  • The first 45 minutes of online chatting with my brothers, who were also watching 45 minutes of...nothing...with me. I'm being serious; it was fun!
  • The miracle of technology: I watched people talk on their cell phones as I talked to others on the computer while it streamed live video of a wedding taking place clear across the country from me. Amazing. Thank you, super smart people of the world.
  • People turning their back to us during photo ops mise-en-scene.
  • Dave welcoming the guests, and his beleaguered, "Um, I'm having a hard time hearing..." because Matt's sister (?)--who was amazing, by the way--was still singing her soulful, soundful rendition of "At Last."
  • Dave re-welcoming the guests, with his "compliments" to the songstress: "Uh, I thought that was real music, and I was just waiting for someone to push the pause button..."
  • My dad forgetting the words to the song he wrote. Typical.
  • My dad getting all emotional as he sang the song he wrote. Touching.
  • The flower girls--my two nieces and their cousin--coming to Grandpa's rescue and singing the song for him. Tremendously touching.
  • Merrit's song for Matt. Great lyrics to a great song, Merrit...especially the part about the proof of your shopping prowess, use of the phrase "brain stem," and the part about choosing Matt even though he was poor... So sentimental!
  • Merrit's succinct summation of her presentation with, "So...(pause, pause, pause,) yeah!"
  • Matt and Merrit singing "The Prayer" together. Man, that boy can sing! Merrit, you were pretty good, too!
  • Matt's one-upmanship of Merrit's temple picture. He blew that one out of the water with his one thousand million forty seven pictures/memories in one! All Merrit had was a postcard... All joking aside, seeing them both share the same surprise gift with one another was really one of the most endearing, special moments of all. It was truly lovely. See you guys in a year!
  • Matt wiping away some of Merrit's happy tears. That was tender.
  • Matt caressing Merrit's hand.
  • Merrit's hair. I mean, Merrit's Hair.
  • Rob scanning the room with the web cam during the musical numbers.
  • Lighting the candles. (Lindsay-Dave-Colin-Amy-Dana, do you remember ever seeing one of the Eastern European wedding waltzes done with candles? Oh, my beautiful.) It reminded me of an Eastern European wedding waltz done with lit candles...
  • Merrit leaning down towards the computer to say she loved us.

And who knows what wonderful things are yet to come? I'm excited to be a part of them all, one way or another. Thank you to all who made it possible.

*And why was I not there? you may ask.
Because tomorrow morning, *sob*sob*, we are taking Evan to college in Idaho.
Because tomorrow morning, *sob*sob*, life as my little family knows it, is going to change.
Because tomorrow morning, *sob*sob*, I will feel older, Evan will feel bolder, and the temperature will be much colder. At least until summer.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


A song for you...

Each day after Christmas, this is what I ate:
a bowl full of Swedish meatballs.

Each day after Christmas, this is what I ate:
two cups of cocoa,
and a bowl full of Swedish meatballs.

Each day after Christmas, this is what I ate:
three cheese balls,
two cups of cocoa,
and a bowl full of Swedish meatballs.

Each day after Christmas, this is what I ate:
four frosty floats,
three cheese balls,
two cups of cocoa,
and a bowl full of Swedish meatballs.

Each day after Christmas, this is what I ate:
five chocolate ginger snaps (maybe seven?)!
Four frosty floats,
three cheese balls,
two cups of cocoa,
and a bowl full of Swedish meatballs.

Each day after Christmas, this is what I ate:
six coconut candies,
five chocolate ginger snaps (maybe 12?)!
Four frosty floats,
three cheese balls,
two cups of cocoa,
and a bowl full of Swedish meatballs.

(fast forward to the last verse, shall we...)

Each day after Christmas, this is what I ate:
twelve strawb'ry twizzlers,
eleven cinnamon santas,
ten sweet gherkins,
nine cubes of cheddar,
eight bowls of chili,
seven cups of chowder,
six coconut candies,
five chocolate ginger snaps (at least)!
Four frosty floats,
three cheese balls,
two cups of cocoa,
and a bowl full of Swedish meatballs.

Hope your holidays have been as full as mine!

p.s. Does this song make me look fat?

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Greetings to those of you still doggedly hopeful enough to check in here...

I just got home from church, giggling all the way, because of several things:

One, church is over and a nap is imminent.
Two, a friend gave me both a ride home and a green Christmas cookie.
Three, Joshua was wearing his tie on his head.

I giggled through the last 20 minutes of church, as well, all due to the antics of an 11 year old boy in my Primary class. Usually this child does nothing but make me pull my hair out, but every now and then I may admit to the few sporadic moments of enjoyment he provides. Young Master M is one of those frustratingly interesting people who know just the right buttons to push...on everyone. He annoys the grown ups, he annoys the kids. He annoys his parents, he annoys the dogs.

But today he made me laugh.

In our Primary room there are some wooden blocks with cute paper letters pasted to them, displayed each week to read the word:


but when I came in the room just after Master M today, the blocks instead read:


The leader in charge, not paying any attention, simply moved the blocks closer together; but not before Claire, one of my favorite youngsters, looked at the crafty wordsmith and said, "Fine. Shoo, fly, don't bother me."


Also pretty entertaining was when Master M correctly answered a questioned directed to him, but then, when the leader of the discussion tried to elaborate, he interrupted her with, "Yeah, yeah. We got it. Can we move on now?"

I confess, I adore it when people say what I am thinking.

So, it's been a pretty good day so far. And now, my friends, I nap.

Rather than sugar plums, this just might be what I envision instead. It makes me giggle, too.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


A dream come true...

Last night I was here
(forward FDD, row 22, aisle seat)

to see this

which was this.

Seats on the floor, next to my dear friend Rebecca,
it was a night to make my dreams come true. Michael even took us out to dinner beforehand!
(He then went to the movie theater to watch G.I. Joe...)

And everyone lived happily ever after.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Here's to you, Lindsay!

Monday night the male counterparts and I got together for family night and made this:
A Gratitude Tree!

We each had several little tags upon which to name any variety of things for which we find ourselves particularly grateful. I then oh-so-artistically hung them upon a dead tree branch, put the branch into a vase of very cheap/after Halloween clearance priced/quite stale but still lovely candy corns, and stood back to admire our new centerpiece.

All artistry was lost on said male counterparts. However, the humor of some of the tags was not lost on me. Check this one out, written by the one son who doesn't have a cell phone:

I also smiled at the entries "snow," "my laptop," "all electronics," and "girls" (complete with smiley face). And of course my heart warmed to read, "Mom and Dad," along with four tags printed with the word "family."

(I'll admit to being the one who did not join the crowd on that one, having already inscribed my tags with words like, "lotion," "new clothes," and "toilet paper." Yeah, I'm some sort of shining example...)

But the tag that really made me stop and think was this one, written by Michael.

Do you think there is a tag anywhere on those dried and withered branches that says, "My wife," or "The woman who makes me all those wonderful meals I eat, and irons all those clothes I wear," or even just plain "Keri"!?

And yet the dog made it up there.

Serious cause for reflection.

But, the truth is, although I would NEVER IN MY LIFE have chosen to put Sadie on any list of any thing I'm grateful for, I will admit that my heart--materialistic as it may be--was touched that Michael chose to do so.

And, though I don't have too many pictures to prove it, I think these next few photos are pretty representative of how all the fine fellows I live with feel about the dog.

(I stepped in poo yesterday, right after vacuuming dog hair off a white rug, so don't even think of asking me how I feel about the dog.)

But, truth is (enough with the truth already!) I, on my own, would never have given my husband something that would have made him a happy and grateful man, would never have allowed my children the fun they have with the fur ball, and would never go outside half as much as I do now. And that means I never would have seen things like this:

or this

or this


So, there may be reasons to be grateful for Sadie after all.
May be.

My husband says so.

If you haven't got all the things you want,
be grateful for the things you don't have,
that you don't want.

I like that idea. Time to fill out some more tags!

Monday, October 26, 2009


Now that I am back from Mexico, back from St. George,
through being sick with not-quite-the-swine-flu-but-still-yucky-nonetheless,
and done teaching for two weeks straight,

all I have to say is

that I am addicted to these:

Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses. They are divine. I want to live a life so good that when I die I can go to heaven and subsist on nothing but Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory's white chocolate and cinnamon covered caramel apples, and the hot chocolate I drank on the cruise. Oh, and chips and salsa.

(It's a lovely thought to realize I can come so close to heaven while staying right here on earth!)

I would encourage all of you to run right out to your local Target to buy some of these seasonal delights,


some of you might live in Utah, and that means you would be depleting the amount of packages of Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses that are potentially mine.


IF you live outside of Utah, happy shopping.

(And, yes, I do realize that it is selfish thoughts like above that will keep me from getting into heaven in due time. I guess I'll just have to eat my fill now.)

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I've been busy.
And now I'm gone on a trip.

I was not busy getting ready for the trip
(until about two nights before we left).

I was busy doing this:

Me: watching
Boys: playing

Doing this:

(I love it when my bangs look this good!)

And doing this:

Making witches.
It turned me in to one, too.

Especially when I looked up and saw the clock.
This is in the a.m.
And was about 25 minutes before I finally got to bed.

So that I could wake up at 6 o'clock
in the a.m.
for more of this:

and this:

Now that I'm on a trip,
I am just looking forward to this:

and this:

I won't be busy.

Adios, amigos y amigas. See you in a week.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


It can be done, folks! It can be done!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Didn't I tell you?

I should not bake.


Thursday, September 3, 2009


I should not bake. Ever.

Whenever I do bake, I do things like...
Add a teaspoon of red chili pepper instead of ground cinnamon. What?! They're almost the same color, and they were right next to each other on the shelf! It could happen to anyone (except my Aunt Laurie)!
But, man, that was one nasty apple pie.

I always think ahead and double the recipe so that we can have extra to eat.
At least there would be extra, if I didn't always forget that I was baking food and not charcoal briquettes.

And, just so you know (because apparently I didn't),
plastic trays, no matter how hard they may appear, do not work as cookie sheets in a conventional oven.
They will, however, create some awesome art pieces, if you like that sort of thing (and if you don't need your oven racks anymore).

Mostly, we don't like that sort of thing. And we also don't like eating charcoal briquettes.
that's what we have around here.

Even when I'm extra super conscientious,
make sure I have all the proper ingredients,
correctly measure out all the proper ingredients, and
follow the directions step by step rather than adhere to my usual dump-and serve method,

something still happens, like
the phone rings, or
the dog pees,
or I forget to check the temperature settings on the stove,
and we get this:

in place of real banana bread. (Once I cut away the crusty parts, the insides were still good!)

And my family continues to have me (and a lot of blackened baked goods)
instead of my Aunt Laurie, or Lindsay, or Chef Boyardee.

Won't somebody please, please, take pity on us,
and bake us a plate of done-right cookies?!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


The dog ate my doll.
My pristine, beautiful doll brought home from China (thank you, Lindsay) more than a decade ago.
Snarfed. Munched. Mangled.


The dog peed on my music books.


The dog peed (again) on my music books.
And under the piano bench.


And to think that yesterday I had the heady idea that things were actually going better with the dog.

Grrrrrrrrrreat. Not only am I cleaning up a lot of puppy pee, but I am also quite delusional.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


While I was in Colorado we found out about a baby that needed a home.
We wanted to be that baby's home.

Long story, short, the baby's mom picked someone else.

Yesterday, we got another phone call. The baby had been placed back with the mother, and she wanted to meet with us as potential parents.

Short story, even shorter, the baby's mom picked someone else before our 3:00 appointment even came. She decided to go with a couple she had met that morning.

Let me say, I am thrilled for that couple. I am thrilled for that baby.
I am proud of that mother.
May they all be awash in love.

May I also say, as much as I may like roller-coasters,
I hate them when they involve my heart. Yech. I think I much prefer the boring safety of status-quo.

Especially because, let's face it, I'm already awash in love.
How lucky can a girl get?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Some words just work better in another language.

We're home from our trip.
School started today.
And I am wabisabi.

What Is Wabi-Sabi?

"Pared down to its barest essence, wabi-sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, of accepting the natural cycle ..."

Have a good year, boys...

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Why we come to Colorado:


My sweet niece is the one and only girl cousin in Colorado.
With 6 boys around even before my 3 show up, there might be times she feels a little left out.

This time we left the boys out! It was no-boys-allowed as we gave each other make-overs.

I'm not sure that the M.A.C. lady made me any prettier.
(She charged me a lot more money, though!)



Why we come to Colorado:

Bike rides.

Everyday, some form of "we" took a bike ride. Sometimes it was Grandma, Keri, Evan, Lane, and Josh.

Sometimes it was Lane and Josh.

Sometimes it was Mom and Josh.

Sometimes it was Mom and Keri.

Sometimes it was Grandma, Keri, and Josh.

And once it was Grandma, Keri, Evan, and Josh.

Grandpa kept the bikes fixed. And we kept the bikes rode. Ridden. Whatever.
Thanks, Grandpa.

Sometimes we went to the Mall. Sometimes we went to a park. Sometimes we went Downtown.

Sometimes we just went.

We shopped. We ate. We pretended to exercise off what we ate.

The ducks ate, and didn't gain a single pound.

We venimus, vidimus, vicimus-ed.

And always looked forward to more.

A super shout-out goes to the city of Ft. Collins for their awesome --and I do mean awesome -- system of bike trails throughout the area.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Why we come to Colorado:

To go to Water World.
At least that was the plan...

This was the reality:


That "oops" wasn't nearly so funny as this one:

Somehow Joshua managed to get himself knotted up in the seat-belt. Hee hee!

Just how naughty is it to sit there and laugh 'til you're crying when your son is stuck in a truck with no luck of ... un-stuck-ing himself?
Not that I'd ever do that.

But Michael might.

Buh-Bye, Denver. See you next year.
(But before August 19th, I guess.)

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Why we come to Colorado:

I'm not sure that any place smells as good as Ft. Collins, and I'm pretty sure that's because of all the yummy food here.

My parents' house smells of chopped onions and celery cooking on the stove top. It smells of bacon and pancakes, eggs cooked to order, and ripe, red watermelon always cut and ready for the eating. It smells of homemade cookies in the cookie jar, homemade bread in the bread bin, and homemade jam to spread all over it. It smells of hamburgers on the grill and hot dogs blackened to perfection. It smells of fresh produce from the garden and Dad's never-ending supply of trail mix in the pantry. It smells like heaven.

(My parents' house also smells of Sunday cologne and Jergen's lotion. Two more smells of heaven, sometimes so yummy, I think they just might be edible.)

Stepping outside, Ft. Collins smells of fresh cut grass, open fields by the bike path, rampant cascades of blossoming flowers, and just enough sun and shade to make eating outside a celestial activity. Frequent participation: mandatory.

(Note the strawberries stuck above his lip...hilarious!)

La Luz, Young's, The New Saigon, Chick-a-Flick, Kilwin's, Walrus Ice Cream, DQ, Cinzetti's, and more...the restaurants around here are to die for. And then you really will be in heaven.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Why we come to Colorado:

If your dad had all the tools
and all the know how
and all the magic patience needed
to teach your teen-age son how to use those tools

to make 10,
no 8,
how about 4,
okay, 6

sets of pipe chimes for a local elementary school
in order to finally complete Lane's Eagle Scout Project,

wouldn't you make the 8 hour drive
to make that happen?

Me, too.

Thanks, Dad.

Super Gracias-es to Helpers
Kim, Caleb, Trent, Alec, Mark,
Evan, Joshua, Spencer, and me!
And a very special thanks to Jeremy's drill press,
without which
we would be forever working on these dumb things.