Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Love (work) Week -- Day 2 (Baking Soda Orange)

Sheesh, between laundry, helping Brady with homework and helping Brad plan a mutual activity, I almost didn't get Love (work) week -- day 2 done before it was day 3. (If you missed day one go here.)

So, in case you were wondering I'm a little bit obsessed with the color orange. For some reason I am just  drawn to it. You might even say I LOVE it.

This is my latest "orange acquisition", an orange sweatshirt from American Eagle. What makes this find doubly good is the price. Have you ever bought a sweatshirt from AEO? Ya, they're expensive. The other day I happened up on this little gem. It was already on clearance plus all the clearance items were an additional half off AND on top of it all, I had a coupon for 25% off of my entire purchase. Voila! $9.60. Favorite store, favorite color, AWESOME price!

I love all shades of orange, but this bright orange is my favorite. I call it baking soda orange. I held the box of Arm & Hammer baking soda right up to my sweatshirt. They were an exact match.

Speaking of Baking Soda orange… check out this bad boy sunrise! There are advantages to getting up early some days! Don't you LOVE it? I do.

Here's some of the orange I have in my house. My mantle is one of my favorites when it comes to mime decoration. The picture frame I got at an antique store in Jackson California (shoot, maybe it was Sonora) anyway the ceramic bird (yep, that's what that blob on the right is) came from the DeAnza Flea Market. It was a had-to-have. I paid more than I wanted to but haven't regretted it for a second. My dear friend Annette made me the banner. She made it at my house and right under my nose. I didn't even know she was doing it. I LOVE it! It was just suppose to be for the fall but I love it so much I've left it up. Just off to the left is an old orange gas can. I suppose I should have photographed it too, but you'll just have to use your imagination.

Now before we get off the "orange" subject all together, I just had to post this picture. This ginger didn't realize that his devastating charm and extra special attention to style got him a space in LOVE week. 

I've decided I LOVE taking pictures of interesting people. Here's the latest offering. I wish you could really see his boots. They are knee high cowboy boots with his dark washed jeans tucked into them. Snazzy! His hair was buzzed very short but he still managed a center part that, of course, compliments any face, even those with full-on Grizzly Adams beards. Yikes!  I'm not even going to mention the "lollypop" effect here. It really is his most striking feature. I could tell he thought he was really something special.

(SIDE NOTE: look for a post someday about taking pictures of interesting people and how it can go extremely wrong.)


Moving on.
These aren't orange but I just had to post my extreme love of these ca-ute aprons that my friend Denise Shattuck made for my girls who helped out at activity days tonight. This is officially Kelsi's calling but Afton went with her tonight to help out with a Daddy Daughter event. They each came home with one of these. Maybe you can tell, but she attached a double string of pearls to each of them. Way too adorable. Denise's talents and skill set never cease to astound me! Maybe I'll be her when I grow up.

So, tomorrow (Day 3). I'm going to be talking about my media LOVE. I have it in spades!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Love (work) Week -- Day 1

Technically for this to be love week I should have started on Saturday. I decided to just go for the 5 day plan so we'll call it "Love (work) Week".

So, I'm gonna start it off right with the 3 people in my life that I love most (we'll talk about the 4th later). These guys make everyday meaningful for me.

I'm already mourning the fact that before the year is out 2 of the 3 will be gone.

I love the energy they bring to the house. They are a crack-ups. Yes, they make messes; yes, they remind me how uncool I am; yes, they require food and attention but I know most of my identity is linked to them. And soon, too soon, my job requirements will change and that will make me sad.

What they don't know, and what I'm just starting to realize is, not only do they give me an identity they also give our family an identity. After they are gone, Brad and I will just be that old couple sitting by ourselves in church. We won't go to park day, we won't be invited to parties or outings or trips with families that have young children (or children at all), we won't know what's going on at the high school or in the youth program. It won't matter if there is girls camp, or scout camp or EFY or a school holiday. It'll just be us oldies, rocking on our porch in our rocking chairs.

However, I'm glad for the people they are becoming. I'm glad to be their mom. I'm glad they are all here with me right now.

I LOVE them!!

Stay tuned for Love (work) Week -- day 2 tomorrow, where I plan on being a lot less sappy and way more superficial.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Lost is Found

(I thought I was so neat finding these)

This is a story that some may find boring but that I would like to record for my own personal memory, which seem to be getting shorter the older I get.

A couple of months ago Dad asked me if I had the box of Christmas slides from our family from about 1979-1989. Hmmm, I knew at one point I wanted to do a project with the pictures of the family Nativity. I didn't remember borrowing ALL the pictures but I figured if I borrowed the Nativity ones I likely had the whole lot somewhere in my possession. I told him I would look.

I was starting to worry that I had borrowed them and then somehow lost them or accidentally thrown them away.  This is not my nature. I may be as messy as a teenage boy's bathroom floor, but I am pretty organized (it's kind of a weird thing). I was worried because I go through my stuff often enough that I would remember if I had seen it in say, the last 5 years. I hadn't. But, I set off with a wish and a prayer and before too long I found a large yellow box with Mom's handwriting labeled "Christmas". I actually was amazed at how relatively easy it was to find it, considering I truly hadn't seen them amongst my stuff.  I chalked it up to my amazing organizational skills.  I returned the pictures, embarrassed that I had held onto them for so long, but happy that I wasn't destroying valuable family memories.

A few days later I got a message from Dad thanking me for the pictures, but pointed out that none of the Nativity pictures were with them. Again, this fit the profile, since my original project was involving the Nativity pictures. For sure I took them out and put them somewhere special in preparation for the project.  I even vaguely remembered talking them to get made into prints at one point. This put the image of them in a photo developing envelope into my mind. This is ALL I had to go on and I wasn't even sure this was accurate.

I started stressing in earnest. I had already been through my spare photo drawer and through all my boxes of photos during the first round of looking. I really had no idea where to go now. I prayed. I looked around. I prayed again. The vague picture of the photo envelope was in the back of my head but  I had no idea where else to look. And I just had the sinking feeling that I had somehow gotten rid of a box that had them in it.  A few months previously I had gone through a lot of my stuff and purged. It's not like me to blindly get rid of stuff without looking through it to make sure. But what if I had missed it? What if it went out with the box of old "empty" scrapbooks? Only slightly less depressing was that it was in the box of old negatives (from ages ago) that was where…? In the attic? I wasn't even exactly sure.

I tried to keep the faith. I prayed some more. I looked some more. I relooked in places I'd already looked. I looked in weird places like the pasta cupboard. I don't put stuff in weird places very often but it doesn't hurt to look right? Nothing… just pasta. During this whole ordeal I just kept picturing the primary children in our ward. Part of the Primary Presentation in Sacrament Meeting a month or so previously involved some of the kids telling about instances where their prayers were answered. Often the story was, they lost something. They prayed. They found it. I was not having the same luck, er…answers to prayers.

I did know if it was in my house I would find it. I had a feeling it was, but I couldn't be sure. Was it in my Christmas Decorations boxes. If so, which one? Would I have to drag them all out and look? I was beginning to feel hopeless. It isn't my mission in life to destroy family memorabilia and history. It has always been my goal and reputation to preserve it. To make it meaningful. What was I going to do if I never found them. How could I face Dad? How could I tell any of my family? These few crazy pictures have great meaning to all of us. I was cursing myself for being careless, for being a procrastinator (I should have just done the project and been done with it - gave the pictures back and never put myself into such a bad predicament). I stressed that my organization skills weren't what I thought they were. I was mad at myself for not noticing I had them for so long. We're talking years here. YEARS!!

Finally I had exhausted all the viable options. At least twice I sat on the couch and pondered calling Dad and picturing myself breaking the news to him, that I simply could not find them. The thought of this propelled me back up and into the depths of searching. Most of my efforts were centered in the garage where I have my scrapbook studio and the most logical place that they would be. I just kept seeing, in my minds eye, the envelope sitting over in the corner of that room. Of course I had looked there a million times already but my last ditch effort, I went to that area again. I knew it was fruitless but was putting off calling Dad. I told myself this was the last place I was going to look.

In that corner of the room is also 3 drawers. The top drawer is almost empty with just a label maker and a few extra cartridges. The second drawer is full of pictures. The ones that, by this time, I had looked through picture by picture. I found many photo envelopes but NONE contained what I was looking for. The bottom drawer has file folders FULL of cardstock.  It's very, very full and I have been into that drawer several times a month for the past several years. There were no pictures there for sure. But, did I mention I was desperate? I looked in the top drawer.  No. Middle drawer, no where else for me too look I had looked at each of those front and back several times. The bottom drawer. How could anything like a thick envelope of slides have gotten stuck there? Especially with me looking in it so often. I would have seen them. I opened that bottom drawer and saw a little peek of red and blue sticking out from the bottom of the picture drawer above it. What? I reached in and pulled out 2 photo envelopes that were stuck to the bottom of the other drawer. The first envelope had nothing important, my heart sank just a little bit. I knew that the other envelope HAD to be them or that I would be telling Dad they were gone forever.

I don't need to tell you! IT WAS THEM! It was amazing. I felt the biggest flood of relief. I started bawling on the spot. I immediately called Dad with the news. He, of course, was very, considerate, and let me just blather on and on with my story (sort of like I'm doing here in this blog post). He told me that he was glad I found them but told me that he wouldn't have disowned me had I not been able to find them. I glad he was so forgiving. I'm not sure I would have been so nice to myself.

Maybe it doesn't seem like that big of a deal to the average reader. But to me it was huge. It was also an amazing reality check on getting answers to prayers. Even though I felt hopeless at certain points and had raw nerves by the end, I tried to keep the faith. I really was trying to listen to the promptings. I have a feeling the reason it took me so long is because I was having a grown-up version of having my prayers answered, just like those primary kids. Looking back I could see Heavenly Father waiting patiently by the side, directing me, but letting me look. Not only did it teach me how to listen, faith was also restored in my organizational system.

And just for the record, I found about 10 other random slides that I had borrowed over the years, that were stuck in random places.

I guess the moral of this story is, don't lend stuff to Stef. But if you do you'll eventually get it back.

By the way, the date on the photo envelope was 2001.

(other important family memories)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Once a Runner...

Several years ago I made a post about being a real runner. Here's the link if you'd like to read it. Strangely enough, even though I wrote that post when I was in my running infancy I think it still pertains to the way I feel about running.

What I'd like to add to it, at this point, is another reason why I think I must be a real runner, and that is, my solitary state. I run alone. Everyday when I run, I run alone. Now don't don't get me wrong. I actually like it, for the most part. I get to set my own pace. I don't have to make conversation while I'm trying to run (which I'm not very good at anyway). I don't have to work around anyone else's schedule. You get the idea. But it has really hit home this past week or two as I face running an actual race alone.

The Santa Barbara 1/2 marathon is coming up in a couple of weeks. I kept waiting for someone else to say they wanted to run it with me. Brad was game, but ended up pulling his hamstring and getting a horrendous case of poison oak that derailed any sort of training on his part. In the end no one came forward. Last year it was just me and a bunch of the guys that ran it. It was kind of weird but, I loved knowing that there was someone else out there that I know running the same course, someone that I might catch a glimpse of, even if we weren't running together. It just wasn't in the cards this year. So, then the question begs the answer, should I run it anyway?

Well, I guess the answer is YES! I signed up and booked our hotel last week (luckily I have an awesomely, supportive husband who will at least accompany me to the race, even though he can't run). I am running the race alone! I don't know whether to cry or whether to raise my arms over my head and and roar.

I envy those who have training buddies, who depend on each other, who motivate each other, who have similar goals, who can talk about aching shins, or being chased by dogs together. I envy those run in groups or pairs, who inspire others to want to run with them, who get others to say, "Well, if you're doing it, I want to do it too." It sounds sad. It is for a second I guess. This is they way life works though, right?

Don't pity me... It's Ok, this has just proved to me that I MUST be a real runner. While looking at a blog today I found some words that truly inspired me. In the end it doesn't matter what other people are doing. I choose this. I feel good when I run, especially long distances. It makes me feel self-masterful. It makes me feel like I've achieved something. And I have. And somebody, somebody who wrote this, out there understands.

So really, I'm not a die hard. I struggle EVERY single time. I've learned I just can't think about it too hard.  I just have to tell myself, I'm going, determine how far and make sure my gear is prepared. Then I just have to go. No rechecking my email or Facebook. No warming up just a little more. No fiddling with my iPod. I just have to start the workout and GO! Seriously if I think about it too much I end up not going. I also have to remember not judge a run by the first mile, and in most cases by the first three miles. I have to remember that I am never sad I got out there to run AFTER I'm finished.

Positive self talk is important and there has to be lots of it. I think I've learned a lot of life's lessons by running.

1. Be positive
2. Be prepared
3. Don't give up
4. Pay attention
5. Keep it simple
6. Endure to the end
7. Enjoy God's creations
8. Count your blessings
9. Some days are harder than others
10. Good stuff comes after you push through the hard stuff

Here's a picture that just kind of says it all. Pretty much how I feel everyday before I go out.

Here's another thing that has happened to me recently, but sadly, instead of continuing on, I turned around and came back (only a mile shorter than intended, but still) I'm going to do better in the future if this happens.

It's also my intent to enjoy things more. Look around me, maybe stop to take a picture or two. Make it into art. Artist inspire me. I want to be a running artist. 

Here's to running 10 miles tomorrow! Wish me luck!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Love Week -- Day 5

I LOVE my Apps!
I could go on and on but my apps (some better on iPhone, some better on iPad)
I'm not trying to be original here, these really aren't anything new... it's just what I LOVE.

Staying Connected


Photo Editing

 Phonto (easily put fonts on your photos - even from your own library)

Filter Mania 2 - lots and lots and lots of filters for your photos

Label Box (puts labels on your photos)


Candy Crush - I'm not a gamer person really. But this is strangely annoying and addicting. Try playing without buying anything. To me, I call it an automatic "you've-been-playing-too-long"shutoff valve.

So I mostly think I'm pretty smart, but I usually get creamed in this game.


We haven't had TV hook-up for about 6 years (with a brief period where Brad decided he wanted to watch hockey playoffs - that lasted about 2 months) Believe it or not, when we actually had TV the kids didn't even know what to do with it. -- We rely on these things. REALLY! It's the way to go. We have all 3 of these for about $30/month (maybe less).

Hulu Plus


Amazon Prime - instant view

 Kindle App
(I also use iBooks and Nook - all free Apps)
Pandora -- I'm probably in the dark ages, but I like it. I've heard some say Spotify is the way to go. I have it, but I have no idea how it works or why it would change my life.


 Pinterest -- Duh, no brainer


I also LOVE this!

In 1 month from tomorrow, we have been in our house for 10 years. Storage has been inadequate to say the least. Our bonus room which is an awesome space has just been a catch all for things we don't have any other place for. WELL, now we actually have some space. Words can not begin to describe how happy this makes me. It has cost me a lot of mess and aches and pains (lots and lots and lots of screws, aw, my aching arm) But now it is all ready to fill.  Kelsi is already giving us a preview of how it's going to work.  Poor girl, sleeps in that room and there have been no closets or drawers to speak of, Ta-da! Until now!

(Shelves in the closet? Happy thought indeed. -- sorry, just a little Pride and Prejudice humor there)

I LOVE daisies.
Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower?
Kathleen Kelly does (Meg Ryan via You've Got Mail) and so do I!
I planted 4 plants in my yard yesterday. I'm kind of excited about it.
(Ya? Well, you try doing a self portrait of you and a tiny thing on the ground)
And my last LOVE of the day is THIS!
Bahahahaha! All circa 20 years ago! These started circulating yesterday on Instagram. It made me extremely happy! Giddy even!! Big Hair! Bangs! Stache! The thing that made me laugh the hardest were the comments about Brad.
- Friend of Magnum PI
- Babe-like
- Zorro
- "If only they had put me in the game, we would have won State!" Uncle Rico
- Can you say "Rich Corinthian leather?"
- Good Gravy! Look at that stache!

                   Stefani and Brad Meyer                                               Christy and Rob Eggers

                   Caroline and Arnell Anderson                                    Mark and Melinda Lawrence

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love Week -- Day 4

I LOVE My Friends!
This is why I leave these up until Valentine's Day

Yep, they are coming down today - but I love looking at them for a couple of months.
I unfortunately didn't send out Christmas Cards last Dec. Kelsi was in Idaho and we didn't see her until we met her in Canada a few days before Christmas.  No time for pictures and thus no Christmas Cards. But next year I promise we'll figure something out.

Anyhow, each night in my prayers I spend a significant part thinking/praying about my friends. They are such a blessing to me. Without even knowing it they have taught me how to be a better friend and in so doing, a better person. I feel extremely fortunate. Something I have been hoping and praying for my entire life.


Here are 3 other things I LOVE!
I call them Afton, Kelsi and Brady.

Wow! Speaking of being blessed. I have the three most amazing, neat and cute kids ever to grace the earth.  I really, really think and feel this. While they make me lose sleep, give me gray hair and use lots and lots of my time and money, they are what gives my life meaning and what makes it all worth it. They are why I get up each day and why I spend my time doing lots of things that I don't particularly like (read; make dinner, clean toilets and do loads and loads of laundry). I can't even begin to express how cool I feel knowing the Lord saw fit to bless me with such wonderful, talented and unique gifts.

My favorite thing is when they just come and hang out in the kitchen or family room with me. They never cease to make me laugh. They have tremendous insight and observations. I love how their minds work. They give our house life and enthusiasm. It warms my heart. I'm glad they like each other too. I wish my nose would quit stinging and my eyes would quit watering so I could write more about them (dang allergies;).

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Love Week -- Day 4

So I love these 2
Troy and Macy
Troy and Macy

This is how they sit. Troy is always on the left and Macy on the right. If they happen to get the other way around, they'll adjust.

If you're wondering how else you can tell them apart, look at their eyes and ears. Troy's eyes open wide with ears up. Macy's eyes and ears both droopy.  Macy also has a white patch of fur on her chest. We also call Troy Fuzzy Face, can you see it? The fur on Troy's face sticks out a little giving him a fuzzy look. Macy's chubbier and more "horse-like". Troy is skinny (too many other things to do and think about besides eating)

This is how Troy looks at you when he thinks you have something for him - which is all the time. Or when he's anticipating going with you - which is all the time.

Macy's favorite place to be is outside or on her bed.
She has the best "doggie-smile"

We also call Macy "The Awkward Couch Sleeper"
She always looks a little stiff - probably because she knows deep down she's not supposed to be there.

This is how Troy prefers to be. The center of everyone's world. And don't you think he's cute enough to deserve it?

He also does this. Can you say demented? He likes to suck on his blanket. It's like a pacifier to him. What dog does this? We used to try to stop him, now we encourage it. If nothing else it keeps him out of trouble.
HA! I was only going to post a couple of pictures and be done with it. They are just too adorable. I can't help myself.


I also LOVE the dentist. 

Specifically, Dr. Swanson. 
He's my childhood dentist (Along with Dr. Brockbank and Dr. Leavitt) and he's THAT good that I still go to him. Brad and I still drive all the way up in San Jose to do so. The sad part about it is he's getting ready to retire. He's in semi-retirement now. 

If you look carefully at the photo below, you can see the results of my idiocy a couple of years ago when I used my tooth as a tool, and chipped my front tooth. I had it bonded once (by someone other than Dr. Swanson) and within a couple of weeks it popped off. I really wanted it redone and done right by the guy I knew could do the job. He came through.

 Below is the finished result (sorry about the view up my nostril) Smooth as can be. Dr. Swanson said it could come off again if I'm not careful, but I can already tell it is a lot better than the first time. I didn't know how precious my teeth were to me until this incident. 
Now I've just gotta get that dang crooked one fixed (ya, it's the same tooth).  I might leave it though, I think it adds character.

And speaking of teeth. Afton get's her braces off (FINALLY!!!) in about 6 weeks!
We are beyond excited! 
Here she is showing me how straight her teeth are.
Ya, she's weird.