Thursday, October 8, 2015

I Love to See The Temple

In June my dad was in town for a little while, so Peter and I were able to go to the temple while my dad watched the kids. I took these pictures while I was waiting for Peter after our temple session. 
It was a beautiful, warm Saturday afternoon in June, and I felt full of peace and contentment.   

I love that our temple is the Nauvoo Illinois Temple
It's beautiful and historic, and it's such a special place. 
It's a great blessing to be able to enter and serve in the house of the Lord.


The bench on which I sat. So picturesque.

 My bags, surrounded by the loveliness of the temple grounds.

I have to include this cute CTR owl necklace that I saw at a shop up the street.
If I were a teenager I definitely would have gotten this and worn it often! 

 On the drive home we stopped at a farm that had some fun things for the kids to do. 
We had the whole place to ourselves.
John went to town on the Jumping Pillow!

This tractor swing made out of tires was lots of fun. 

And Sam and Grandpa had fun doing rubber duck races down racetracks made from PVC pipes and powered by water hand-pumps.
Sam's pump and pipe worked better and his ducks beat Grandpa's ducks repeatedly, much to his delight.

It was a great way to spend our last Saturday before we left for the rest of the summer.
We really do love to see the temple!

Monday, October 5, 2015

June Gems

The main reason I bought the June issue of InStyle magazine was because I really liked Mindy Kaling's dress on the cover. Navy blue with light purple hydrangeas and green leaves? Yes please!

Some friends from my church ward and I went out for desserts to say good-bye to our friend Michelle who was moving to Idaho. One of the hardest things about living here is that so many friends move away once they're done with residencies or school. I've gotten used to it, but I miss them after they leave.
(Sniff, sniff.)

Here's my command central!
In this day and age of apps and digital everything, I'm still loyal to my Franklin Planner. I've been using one for the last fifteen years and I plan on using one for the next fifteen years. I've explored using digital tools and nothing has been able to beat the ease and simplicity of using my paper planner. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

John loves to play Madden Mobile on his iPad. He and Peter play it together. He's gotten so into football in the last few months, which has led me to do crazy things such as following the New England Patriots and Tom Brady on Facebook so that John can see their updates.

I let Sam paint his toys if he wants to, because why not?

I'm in love with this kid, and I tell him so every day. He will always be my baby!

I got this cool owl canvas painting at Pier 1 for the family room.

Also at Pier 1, I saw this floor vase and took a picture to remind myself to look for it at Pier 1 when I was in Massachusetts. I found it over a month later when I was out there, and at an even deeper discount.
It now resides by the fireplace in the living room of the Cape house.

This is a cute owl wall hanging I saw at Bed Bath & Beyond. I took a picture to remember this too and then bought it on sale in Massachusetts over a month later. It's now hanging on the wall of my Project Room.
Another shopping success!

Speaking of owls, and shopping, and discounts, I couldn't resist getting a set of owl bookends that I saw on sale in a catalog.

The evening light streaming into the Project Room is so warm and pretty.
I'm so glad that I finally got this room cleaned out and organized and that the sunlight now streams in on order and pretty things instead of piled-up chaos and clutter.

 Speaking of piled-up chaos and clutter, packing for our summers away is one of my biggest organizational challenges. I think I'm good at a lot of things when it comes to being organized and getting things done effectively, but over the years, packing has stubbornly remained my Achilles' heel when it comes to organization and efficiency. No matter what I do, how early I start, or how good I think my lists are, I always seem to be up super-late the night before we leave, getting ready to go. It is my fervent hope that someday soon I'll discover the secrets of easy packing and preparing for vacations!

I think Bentwood was telling me to pack him too. He's so sweet.

 This is my favorite teddy bear, given to me at a dinner date at New Deck Tavern in Philadelphia with Peter when we were in college. The waitress presented it to me during dinner--Peter had pre-arranged it with her. It was such a sweet, random surprise, and it's one of my favorite memories from our dating years.
I posted this picture in June for a giveaway for my friend Jamie's book Bearskin as well as two other books, all of which I won. This bear just keeps coming through for me!

I saw this in the window of a pottery shop and thought it was cute.
Inigo Montoya (from The Princess Bride) is such a funny, noble character.

Sam made these popsicle stick snakes all on his own to give away to friends.
I love his creativity and his kindness to others.

And finally, John unsuccessfully tried to teach Brody how to play football with him.

Those were some of our "gems" of June!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Five Things for Friday

1. This hasn't been the best week. On Monday Sam stayed home from school with a small fever, and partly because of that disruption in routine, I felt out of sorts all day. I also got a low fever and mild headache for most of Monday and all of Tuesday. Luckily, that's as "sick" as I got, and everyone else in the family was fine. But this whole week I haven't been as productive and have felt more foggy-brained and behind on things every day.

2. On Tuesday I spent two hours at the vet with our two cats for their annual check-up. Two hours! I had to bring Brody back the next morning so they could monitor his glucose levels for 24 hours, and yesterday I went back to pick him up. Then I have to bring him back in two weeks and do it all over again. It turns out that he has diabetes, and possibly hyperthyroidism, and we have to give him two shots of insulin a day. I am not looking forward to doing this, not at all. Our pets really are little vampire suckers--of our time and our money!

3. John is driving me nuts! Preteen boys can be so immature, which I know it's in their nature to be at this age, but after a day at school, he brings it all home and is so silly and ridiculous and won't stop and sometimes I just can't deal with it! I know I'm being pessimistic and grumpy right now but at the moment I'm not looking forward very much to the preteen and teen years that lie ahead. But I'm grateful for them all the same, because it means he's here and he's alive, and I don't take that for granted!

4. On the happier side, here are some good things that happened this week. I got a cuuu-hoot owl-print Kate Spade bag on sale and I love it! I also got a beautiful sweater and a good set of wall shelves for  the office to hold some of my projects. I read a good book for book club--Sarah by Orson Scott Card. I'm watching an interesting show this week that I recorded over the summer: Proof, about trying to find concrete, scientific proof of life after death (or not). Also, Peter made a sensationally good grilled steak dinner on Sunday night, and another night he made really yummy s'mores brownies out of chocolate chip cookie dough, marshmallows, and Hershey bars. That man can cook, bake, and bring home the bacon and cook it too! And of course, there was the supermoon eclipse on Sunday night, which was cool to watch. So it really wasn't that bad of a week overall.

5. Some random images I've come across recently that I think are funny:

 This pretty much sums it up perfectly for me, year after year.

Card catalogs!

Homebodies unite!
(From the collective comfort of our homes.)

This weekend I'm really looking forward to the divine guidance and enlightenment that will come from General Conference. I feel like the world needs prophetic guidance so much right now. I know that I do. Three new apostles are going to be called too, and that will be cool.
Happy weekend!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Day A Hot-Air Balloon Landed In Our Neighborhood

"Thanks! Bye!" we said to our home teacher as he left after his visit and we closed the door behind him. 
I went into the kitchen to start cleaning up, and then the doorbell rang. 
Our home teacher was back, and he said we all needed to come outside, quickly! 
So out we went, and what did we see? 
A big hot-air balloon was hovering in the air two houses up the street.
Talk about really random, and really cool!

I thought it must be a big advertisement for Cost Cutters (which by its nature, it is), but it turned out that it was a woman and her father--she took him out for a hot-air balloon ride for Father's Day, which was that day. They had gone flying (floating?) over Interstate 80(!!) from the other side of town until they reached their landing place, which luckily for us, turned out to be right near our house.  

This post wouldn't be complete without an unflattering picture of me, so here's that. LOL.

Funny! And probably true!

It was a really cool thing to see!
I personally have never been a big fan of hot-air balloons--I don't plan on ever going up in one, not even one that is anchored to the ground. Over the years I've heard too many horror stories in the news of people falling to their deaths in these things. Airplanes and amusement park rides are as risky as I get when it comes to being airborne. But, if you're completely fearless (and maybe a little crazy), it would be neat to do this. We certainly enjoyed watching these people do it.

And that's the story of the day a hot-air balloon landed in our neighborhood!