A Day of Thanks

I have moments of giving thanks every day, but today my mind has been occupied with things I'm thankful for, and my heart has been filled with gratitude since I woke up! I have so much to be thankful for...today and every day!

Today I’m especially grateful for a husband who worked in the kitchen for hours (while I worked on my computer nearby) to prepare a delicious Thanksgiving Day dinner for two (the girls and their families are all out of town).  While it would have been much easier to go out to eat, I enjoyed our quiet meal together.

The green beans were sautéed with loads of onions and garlic, the sweet potatoes and cauliflower were oven-roasted with onions and garlic, and the turkey was stuffed with veggies for flavor and basted with orange juice, seasonings, onions, and garlic (notice a trend?). Sterling even made homemade unsweetened cranberry sauce for my turkey! What a sweetie!

I hope your day was happy as you paused to count some of your blessings because there is always something to be grateful for!


Maui Getaway

Sterling and I were blessed with the opportunity to leave the cold and go to beautiful Maui...just the two of us! Unlike the past several years, when we've purchased trips from a charity event that accommodated up to six people, the trip we purchased last year was for two. While we missed the girls and their spouses, it was nice to be alone too.

Our plans included relaxing and enjoying the weather for four days and four nights. And that's exactly what we did!

One thing that made this getaway different for us was the food. I'm on a special diet for six weeks, so it was a challenge to not eat our usual fare, but thankfully I could eat fish! Longhi's was our favorite restaurant because they were so willing to adjust their menu for me.

There's something about the islands of Hawaii that calm us and keep us going back for more...we think it's mostly the weather. It was warm and sunny with a light breeze...absolutely perfect!

Two Forgotten Posts

There were two blog posts I planned to do in October that I just forgot about, and every time I’ve thought about them since, I haven’t had the time. So, even though the projects aren’t as relevant as I’d like, today I have the time.

I helped plan a service project in October in honor of those who will be diagnosed with breast cancer. The ladies in my ward (congregation) got together and made 50 bags belts (that's what I call them) and cards. The event was a wonderful time to visit and to serve people we don’t know but who will appreciate our efforts.

The adjustable bags belt will be worn after surgery to hold drainage bags. A patient of a surgeon I know had made something similar and felt like other patients would appreciate the convenience of this belt as she had.

The cards were given to this same doctor’s wife, who has an annual gathering for breast cancer survivors. She said the survivors were touched to have a beautiful card they could write some of their thoughts and contact information in for someone they would hopefully meet someday. The pre-written cards will be given to patients, after their diagnosis, needing a little extra support from someone who has experienced what they will yet experience.

I also wanted to show you the card that didn’t quite make the cut for the Founder’s Circle swap. But the more I look at it, the more I like it…maybe it’s the texture of the burlap ribbon or its simplicity...or both.

I hope both cards in this post will inspire some simple creativity for a day when you have the time and are near your stamps, ink, and paper.


Megan's Special Day

On Sunday we gathered to celebrate our family’s November birthdays. Because it just happened to be Megan’s “special” birthday (one of those that most of us don’t care to talk much about!), her mom surprised Megan by driving up to spend the afternoon with her.

Before family prayer, we sang the traditional birthday song to those with a November birthday, and then Sterling and Leann both shared memories of Megan as a baby. It was an enjoyable evening with kids running around playing, adults and teenagers visiting, and dinner and dessert, of course!



Gardner Girls

In anticipation of our annual Gardner Girls, Shanna flew in on Wednesday night, and before Gardner Girls began on Thursday afternoon, we had a chance to spend a few hours alone, shopping at the Outlets for her twins, grabbing a quick bite to eat, and attending the Draper Temple. 

Afterward, we all met at Sage Leaf Spa where we received a spa treatment, the perfect way to unwind and begin a girls’ weekend together. Then Shanna got to choose where we went for dinner (the first and last night to satisfy her cravings, since she doesn’t live here), so we stopped at Café Rio on our way to the cabin.

Nearly the entire time we spent at the cabin, we were in sweats or jammies, and all we did was work on projects we’d each brought with us (everything from crafting to Christmas cards to work) and visit…and visit some more! It was so relaxing and fun! We slept in both mornings…well, except for Shanna. She woke up earlier than the rest of us on Friday morning and went to the grocery store to “pick up a few things”. 

Shanna insisted (it didn’t take much to convince us!) on cooking breakfast both days and dinner on Friday night. If she were writing this blog post, she would give brilliant descriptions that would delight the imagination and the taste buds, but she’s not, so photos will have to do.

Everything was absolutely delicious! I’m on a unique food program for six weeks, and even though most of what she served was on my list of “foods to avoid”, she was sweet enough to make me my own special versions. We all felt spoiled. In fact, as we ate at Valter’s last night on our way home (after a little shopping, of course!), we all agreed that we’d rather eat her fabulous cooking than eat out at a fancy restaurant any day!


In our family, adult silly faces must be approved before posting, so I couldn't post these next photos until everyone agreed. As Megan said, "It was a funny moment!" It was probably one of those "had to be there" moments, but these photos will make us laugh for years to come.


Although spending time with our girls is always enjoyable, this was my favorite Gardner Girls ever, and I’m already looking forward to next year!

Rising Stars' Visit

Three Stampin' Up! Rising Stars came for a home office visit for a few days, where they experienced several activities with different departments throughout the company. It was an enlightening and enjoyable time for our three star demonstrators as well as everyone who had a chance to host them.

Sara and I had the privilege of going out to lunch with them and getting to know them better. Two hours wasn't nearly long enough, but we were grateful for the opportunity, and it was long enough to be inspired by these amazing women! I was reminded that although everyone may choose to run their businesses differently, we all have things in common and can learn so much from one another.

Congratulations to three fabulous women who hopefully felt pampered and appreciated, and best wishes to them as they continue to build successful businesses and inspire others!

On TV Twice This Week

I don’t typically blog about my TV appearances, except it’s been quite awhile since I’ve had the opportunity to represent Stampin’ Up!, and to have that chance twice in one week is worth noting!

Stampin’ Up! participated in the second annual Pinners Conference this weekend. We were a sponsor, which gave us the opportunity to promote our classes and Make & Takes offered at the conference. The classes, featuring Paper Pumpkin, were the focus on KUTV’s Fresh Living on Wednesday at the studio.

Friday’s promotion of the event was filmed at the venue, and I made one of the Make & Takes (cute Christmas tags) at our booth. Again, it was a little nerve-wracking because I only planned on showing projects and not making them, but it was much less so than Wednesday’s appearance.

Several employees worked hard to get ready for and work the two-day event. When I arrived yesterday and saw all the cheerful employees and the fabulous booth, I couldn’t have been more proud! The booth was designed to look like a Christmas tree lot and was filled with product and inspiration for the holidays. 

While I’m always glad to promote Stampin’ Up!, next time we’re invited to appear on TV, it’s someone else’s turn! Oh, wait…that would be Sara! She’ll be on The Today Show in December. I’ll keep you posted.


Everything's Going To Be Okay

Life is all about change, isn’t it? Even when we don’t want it, we least expect it, or can’t appreciate it, we know change is and will always be a part of life.

And we all manage change in our lives—great or small, negative or positive—differently. Some of us thrive on change and find a way to adjust and move forward quickly. Others dread change and look for any possible way to postpone it. The rest of us fall somewhere in between the two extremes.

For the most part, I’ve always felt that change, generally speaking, is something I accept and even embrace. Looking back over my life, I’ve managed to maneuver through some pretty difficult changes quite well, at least in my opinion. Sterling would probably agree with me. In fact, he’s called me “the move on girl”. When there’s a change to be made, and I know it’s inevitable, I usually make up my mind and move on.

What I’m finding is that the older I get, the slower I am at accepting change gracefully, especially when it’s personal. Maybe it’s just me. Either way, I analyze over and over, hold on to things longer, and grieve more.

I’m beginning to think my attitude toward change needs to change! Until then, I’ll keep repeating my sweetheart’s familiar and comforting words, “Everything’s going to be okay.” They may not be the same, but they’ll be okay.