Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sweet Sixteen

Sean and I recently celebrated our sixteenth wedding anniversary!  And what a sweet sixteen years it has been.  When I take into account all the ups and downs and everything in between, I am amazed at how the goodness and loveliness outweighs the sad and difficult times.


We were fortunate enough to spend a few days in a cabin right on the Sandy River.  It was gorgeous!  The cabin was perfectly sized and very comfortable.  And the views could not be beat.


My favorite spot was sitting in the hot tub, surrounded by a garden of lush foliage, listening to the river rush by.  It was so peaceful and so perfect.  And if the water wasn’t so hot that I felt like I was going to pass out after fifteen minutes, I am not sure I would have ever gotten out.


Just about every vacation I ask Sean if there’s room for my sewing machine because I have dreams of stitching up amazing creations while I’m away from my everyday cares.  Sometimes there’s room and sometimes there isn’t.  And even if there is room, I don’t always get around to pulling it out of the car to actually make anything.  Not so on this trip!  We watched Project Runway the first night (We do not have television at home, so Project Runway is something I only indulge in on vacations.  And in all truthfulness I watched PR while Sean clicked and clacked away beside me on his laptop dreaming up some brilliant new program.).  It was the kick in the pants I needed to spend the entire next day sewing jammies for Anna.  I honestly cannot remember the last time I have been able to spend a whole day sewing.  Even when I was working on Anna’s baptism dress in April, I had a brand new baby and four other little kids that needed their mommy off and on all day long, so the dress had to be worked on thirty minutes here and thirty minutes there.  I only sewed the one day, and that was enough, but it was so fun.


We went on lots of walks and visited the library (we sort of collect libraries on vacation) and watched a lot of football and stared at lots of leaves and changed lots of diapers (Elle’s still too little to leave for that long).  The mountains and river were the perfect background, the leaves trying to decide if it really is fall were beautiful, the time together was so needed. 


When Sean picked up the keys on our first day, the lady at the desk was trying to be all nice and conversational, talking about the reason for our trip.  Sean just kept saying (sort of hysterically), “We’re running away!  We left all of our kids and we’re running away!”  I think he sort of scared the poor woman.  But when he dropped off the keys she commented on how relaxed he looked and that the trip must have done its job. Even so, as we were packing up Sean kept saying, “I could use a few more days.”  I just think we’re crazy lucky we got any of it.


In the very, very early years of our marriage, Sean and I decided to set aside a certain amount of money each month for vacations.  It has made taking vacations completely guilt-free.  We never worry about the money because it has been set aside through out the year(s).  And that money is sacred!  We don’t borrow from it or touch it for anything else.  That has been a great decision that has blessed our family over and over.  It helps keep our family fun and our marriage strong, and I’m so grateful we’ve stuck to it.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


We managed to squeak in one last trip before school started.  Originally we discussed Washington, D.C., which whittled itself down to Salt Lake City, which whittled down even more into Brookings, OR.  We wanted to go someplace coastal that would be at least kind of warm and provide us with an opportunity to visit a National Park – the Redwoods.  Here are some of the highlights.

1-2014-08-20 Brookings 2

* story time with Grandpa (my dad has a knack for making making any simple children’s story ridiculously funny making story time a much anticipated event whenever Grandpa is around)01-DSC_0117
* a gorgeous, sunny, warm day at the beach which is no small feat here in the Pacific Northwest1-2014-08-16 Brookings 1
* picnicking in Rogue River Park (over 25 years ago my parents sat on the banks of this river while on a family vacation and decided to move our family to Oregon)29-DSC_1328
* interviewing my dad and hearing wonderful stories about his life and my ancestors03-DSC_0129
* appreciating my mom’s knack for getting Elle to burst out in her newly discovered giggle (and giving Elle her very first taste of plum – she loved it!)07-DSC_1323
* our charming little beach house with roofs slanted so steeply upstairs that you could only walk down the middle of most rooms02-DSC_0121
* visiting the quiet chapel in Azalea Park that Anna researched for her “Sights to See in Brookings” project (which she did a fantastic job on)

* going up the Sky Tram and seeing the Redwood forest from the top – or at least seeing the mist of the forest from the top

* Sean and Djeryd and Erik and Grandma bringing us back delicious fresh fish from their deep blue sea expedition – which they vowed to never go on again (but man, that is good fish!)24-DSC_0039
* celebrating Erik’s birthday with tons of good food and the promise of a rock tumbler and a special personalized present from both his grandpas12-DSC_0266
* reading family scriptures together in the girls’ room every night (it was quiet, happy peace for my soul each day)27-DSC_1440
* remembering memories of my own childhood and making new ones for my children1-DSC_1302

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Favorite Things


LuLu’s jam sessions with Elle


My little Goldilocks


Erik’s Arrow of Light is in the bag


Graduation to solid foods . . . and bibs


Alyx’s “Tinkerbell” toes


Craft projects that turn into something so much sweeter


Everyday with all of these

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Football Fever


We are not big football fans around these parts.


But, believe it or not, it is something we are trying to correct.


It is a great tangible example of teamwork.


Something we want more of in our family.


So we’re playing football more.


And Elle’s cheering us all on.

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