Happy Thanksgiving--A Few Days Late

We had our “official” Thanksgiving dinner tonight, complete with turkey, stuffing, cranberries, and the works!

We waited until most of the girls could make it (Shanna is on her way home from spending the holiday with her in-laws in Florida and Megan and Nate are at home in Price), and I’m definitely glad we did it. It was a wonderful few hours spent with family and remembering everything that we are grateful for!


And it was a perfect day to be indoors—snowing and cold outside, warm and loving inside. Except for venturing out for church, we spent the whole day inside, getting ready for dinner. You know how that goes—work all day in the kitchen, and then it’s over in 15 minutes!

But I’m looking forward to the leftovers—turkey sandwich on Great Harvest bread, with real cranberries, cold dressing, cheese, and Miracle Whip. Mmmmmmmm. . . I’m ready for lunch tomorrow already!

Time Out From Puttering

My plan today was to putter, something Mom Heather loved to do, just spend the day doing odd and end jobs that have needed to be done forever. I was looking forward to that—we’ve been gone so much lately that the puttering list is pretty long!

But my puttering urge battled my “get out and see the leaves” urge this evening, and the leaves won!

I’m so glad!

(As an aside, more than a year ago Sterling bought a stripped down Jeep. He wanted it so he could plow the driveways of some widows and single ladies in our neighborhood who can’t do it themselves. I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the idea—until he took me up the canyon last fall and I got to see the changing leaves with the wind blowing through my hair. I fell in love with the Jeep then and there—he should definitely keep it forever.)

So today I headed on my drive alone—Sterling couldn’t come because he had church meetings.

If you’ve never seen leaves changing in the mountains, I don’t know if you can understand the beauty of what we enjoy almost every autumn.  It’s difficult to describe, but it’s breathtaking. And today was even more beautiful than usual. Partly because it had snowed a few days ago, so you could see snow on top of Mt. Timpanogos, just above the colorful leaves. And partly because I was alone, driving in our Jeep with the top off, and just soaking it all in.

I was so overcome with the beauty of Mother Nature, the peace and tranquility and majesty of it all, that I actually had to pull over and wipe away a few tears. I took only one photo, and it doesn’t do the scene justice at all, but I had to share it with you.

I’m only hoping that it will last just four more days. (The colors come and go very quickly!) Shanna comes home Tuesday (I’m not excited or anything!), and I can’t wait to drag her up there and share what she’s been missing for the past 18 months!

Ending Summer on a Powell High

Warning: If you don’t want to read about Lake Powell again (we also took a family vacation there earlier this summer!), just skip this post! (smile)

Everyone who knows me well knows that Lake Powell is one of my favorite places! It’s always my first choice for a family vacation, and we try to go a couple of times a year—it’s quick, easy, and close!

We’ve ridden through a storm or two and seen Mother Nature wreak havoc down there in a matter of minutes, but we’ve never seen quite the fury we experienced yesterday—I hope it’s a day we never have to repeat!

The wind was absolutely incredible, throwing everything around, snapping thick ropes, and making what is usually a fairly easy, smooth process extremely difficult! Breaking down camp and getting ready to come off the lake was scary, and although I never feared for my life, I was certainly stressed. Thankfully, although we were drenched and exhausted, we finally got everything cleaned up and packed up safely.

And it was definitely worth it, because the weather before that was as perfect as we’ve ever had on Powell—even Sterling fell in love with the lake this time!

We really had a great time! Sara and Sean and their family were the only ones who could come, but they hadn’t been for two years, so it was a treat to see their children enjoy it all. The Douglass kids are like their mom and dad, always up for an adventure, and they loved every minute of it. Stella, the youngest, had no fear. She was a goer the entire time, and we were all on constant “Stella alert.”

I didn’t spend much time in the water—I spent most of my time with the kids (helping with homework, taking photos, reading books, crafting), cooking, and (of course) stamping. I finally finished the box invitations for Shanna’s Happy Halloween Homecoming party—got the idea straight out of the current US/CAN Idea Book & Catalog (the Happy Halloween box on page 20).

All in all, it was a great way to end the summer! 

Did You Hear That? Silence. . . Absolute Silence

And doesn’t it sound nice!

Our house has been mostly quiet for the past couple of days, and I have to admit that, while I love having children and grandchildren around, it’s also nice to have some peace and quiet again.

We’ve had Sara and Sean and their five children for the past several weeks as they’ve moved back to Utah and been looking for a new home. And on top of that we had Shalae and Jon here for a couple of weeks as they prepared for their move to Georgia and Jon earning his master’s degree.

Six adults and eight children make for a full house!

While I’m so grateful for the opportunity to offer a place for our children and grandchildren to stay, I have to admit that I’m kind of grateful that they’ve all moved on to their next adventures in life as well! I’m a Type A, almost compulsive cleaner-upper and organizer, and near the end, I actually walked down the stairs and stepped over a toy on the ground and didn’t pick it up! That’s just not me!

But it was definitely good for me to relax a little, go with the flow a bit, and try to ignore the sticky fingerprints on the windows (which I actually kind of miss sometimes!), the unflushed toilets (which I don’t miss at all), and the blue Sharpie painting on the kitchen rug (don’t even ask).

So now Sterling and I are back to just the two of us, with much-anticipated visits from everyone and anyone who finds the time to drop in. But the moments of peace and quiet are nice too!


A New Look

You’ll notice that I’ve got a new blog header today. . . what do you think? In case you’re wondering, it was created using our new My Digital Studio. It’s pretty amazing what you can do with this digital software! I haven’t spent the time I want to become familiar with it, but I can hardly wait to see what I can come up with! I’ll have to post the first page I create.  (Does that sound like a commitment?)

You may notice that the photo on this header looks a little different than  most of the photos of me. It’s a little different approach, but I like it. It’s part of a series of photos--What Defines You--that my son-in-law Jon is doing.

Of course, most of us share some common things that define us—our relationships (family, friends, etc.) primarily, along with our values or beliefs, etc. But once you get beyond those, you start to discover the things that make us each individual and unique.

For this series, Jon takes a photo of a person holding something that they are known for. For example, he took Shalae’s photo with shopping bags hanging from her arms, Sara is holding a pan of Texas sheet cake, and Sterling has a saddle.

When we were trying to decide what I should be holding, I thought of bling (love it!), antiques (our home is full of them). . . all sorts of things. I even asked my granddaughter Sidney what she thought of when she thought of Grandma Shelli. Her answer? Beautiful. Made me smile and I gave her a big hug, but I didn’t know how to hold that and wasn’t comfortable with that word defining me anyway.

I don’t know why it took us so long to decide on a stamp. Duh! They’ve only been my one of my main focuses for the past 20 years! So that’s the story behind this photo.

In case you’re wondering, Jon has posted the “What Defines You?” series on his blog (seeingbrown.blogspot.com), so you can check it out. 

Good-Bye Georgia

Sterling and I have spent the last few days in Savannah helping the Brown family get settled in. While we’ve enjoyed organizing and decorating, the last day or two have been pretty solemn because we’ve known the inevitable was going to happen.

We would have to say good-bye.

I took this picture this morning, hours before we actually left, because I knew the actual good-bye would probably be much more tearful than any of us would like.

And I was right.

I’ve needed the hours-long flight home to get myself under control. Our time in Georgia was productive, I’m exhausted, and it’s time to move on.

I’m kind of a move-on girl, so while this good-bye was very difficult (I won’t see my Brown grandbabies until Christmas!—or at least that was the plan. . . hmmm), I’ve had several good cries and I’m determined to look forward.

And there’s much to concentrate on. We have all-day strategy meetings for the next three days at Stampin’ Up!--as well as current issues at hand--which will keep my mind plenty occupied. In addition, Sara, Sean, and the Douglass children are still at our house. Their moving truck arrives Thursday, and I’m planning on helping Sara with all that she has as she juggles unpacking, organizing, and mothering five children. 

So life marches on—in Georgia and Utah!