Monday, December 11, 2017

A Big Announcement

Life can be funny.  Sometimes when you aren't looking for something, aren't seeking something- it can find you.  That is what happened to our family this year.

My husband was happy at work.  Got along great with his coworkers, wasn't working too far from home, things were good.  Then one phone call changed it all.  An old boss, friend and mentor- called Eric up and invited him to come work on a really big construction project with him.   Our first thought, was no- things are great and the timing is awful...but then we couldn't stop thinking about it.  It would be a great opportunity and it would mean living close to a lot of family.

We weighed the pros and cons, we did research, and we especially prayed about it.

So what is the big announcement?

At the end of the year, so yes in just a few weeks, we will be moving to Utah.

It has been a whirlwind since we made the decision.

Eric and I went to Utah one weekend and looked at 21 houses in one day (our realtor was a superstar)!   We looked at 5 of the them again a second time, narrowed it down to 2, and in the end it came down to the schools.  We put in offer in on one, and by the end of the day they had accepted.

We are currently under contract, and that is just so crazy for me to say and think.

It really is a bitter sweet move.  We have lived in our current home for 6 1/2 years.   For most of our married life, we had not lived in one place for longer than 2 1/2 years, so this felt like an eternity here- a good wonderful eternity.

Ryder had just turned 1-year-old when we moved here.
Ryder on the moving boxes from our last move 
Lucas started 1st grade here.

Alex has done all of her school, up to this point, here.

We will miss our friends, the weather, the beach.   We will be trading our boogie boards in for sleds; our flip flop and sandals for winter boots and gloves.

But we are excited, and know it is the right thing for our family.  Looking back, it truly is amazing to see all of the hundreds of little pieces that have lined up in order for this to work out.  I truly do believe that if we let God direct our lives, that He will guide us to what is right for us at the time.

I am excited for new adventures, I am excited to be close by family, and I am even excited to see my first snow fall in many years.

To all of my friends here in Southern California.  Thank you, thank you for making this a wonderful place to live, thank you for being there for me and my family.  You will be missed.

And to my Utah friends, especially so many who I know because of this blog-- let's plan a lunch date!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday Five: That Time of Year

Happy Friday everyone!  Here is my recap from the week.

5 Thoughts

1. It's the most wonderful time of the year!  And also the busiest!  This December is going to be completely insanely busy.

2. The winds have been awful here this last week.  A whole week of 40 mph winds with gusts close to 80 mph.  Thankfully there aren't any fires near us, but so much of Southern California is on fire right now, it really is awful.  I saw a video of a fire near the Getty Center, and it truly looked like something from an end of the world movie.

3. We got our Christmas stuff set up finally this weekend.  We usually do it the day after Thanksgiving, but this year we were at the beach the day after Thanksgiving with our family that was in town.

4. I have some very big news that I will tell you all about next week on the blog... it has been something I have had to keep secret for a while but finally can talk about now.

5. What do you want for Christmas this year?  My husband has been asking me, and honestly I am not sure what to put on my list.

5 Pictures

Discovery Cube

field trip bus ride
not loving the bus ride
old school discman


Christmas lights on trees

Monday, December 4, 2017

Brush With Love: Book Review

It's almost Christmas, which means you may still be writing your Christmas lists!  If so, you should add Brush With Love by Lisa McKendrick to your list, loved this book!

The Book

Lana, a talented Ivy League artist, and Walt, a small-town farmer, couldn't be more different. She arrives in Bluegill, Idaho, ready to spend the summer painting, excited to study under Walt's grandpa, a brilliant but aging artist. The more she is thrown together with Walt though--and the more she spends time with him--the more she realizes her heart may be drawing up its own plans. As the weeks pass, Lana realizes she'll have to choose between following her dreams or following her heart.

My Review
  Sometimes life does not go as you plan, from a young age Lana was abandoned by her mother in a Siberian Orphanage.  Never really able to over come that abandonment she turns to art to express her feelings.  When Lana is awarded a prestigious opportunity to train as an artist overseas, it feels like her dreams are coming true; but when the program takes an unexpected turn and she ends up in a small town in Idaho, her life will never be the same. 
   This is a good clean romance that covers feelings of abandonment, Alzheimers Disease, a coming to understand oneself, and love.   
   This story felt unique yet real and I later read that the author based it loosely on some real life people.  The story is a quick easy read that will leave you happy at the end.
  This is a LDS-fiction, but the religious aspects are minimal and not preachy.  It is also a clean book free from graphic imagery and language.  I highly recommend it.

Giveaway The author is hosting a $30 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

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Buy The Book

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Light The World- Helping Kids Learn to Serve

As a parent I want my kids to have the world, but I never want them to expect to have it.  I want them to understand the importance of hard work, of showing appreciation and especially of giving back and contributing to the world.

One of the best ways I have found to do this is by finding opportunities for our family to serve.  When we work together to help others, not only are we spending time together as a family but we are leading by example for giving back and showing kindness.

It starts in the home with small simple things like helping your sibling with a chore, or taking the time to truly compliment or say something nice about someone.  For me, it all comes down to trying to live as the Savior Jesus Christ did.

Before Thanksgiving, my family put together a Thanksgiving Basket to donate to a local shelter.  We used the opportunity to talk with our kids about being grateful and that many would not be able to have a nice dinner without help.   I put together a video documenting our experience.

We loved the experience and are so excited to look for more ways to serve.

This December there is an amazing opportunity to get into the true spirit of Christmas by remembering how the Savior Jesus Christ lived and trying to live as He did as part of the Light The World initiative.

This December join me, in 25 Ways over 25 Days.   This is a month of ideas with ways to serve each day, helping you get in the true Christmas spirit.   By trying to live as Jesus Christ did, by serving, by giving, by living as He did, we will not only help others but can transform our own lives.

Download your own FREE copy of the calendar here

If you head to, not only will you see this calendar, but every day there will be a new video and ideas of how you can serve that day.  Even if you just choose one or two things to do, I truly believe it will help your holiday season be a little less stressful, a little more peaceful and will definitely help you remember the real meaning for this time of year.

As a gift to you, I would love to give you something that means everything to me, something that has brought me peace, hope, and a true understanding of who I am and what this life is all about.   It is the Book of Mormon.  If you would like one,  I would be happy to send you a free copy, just leave a comment saying you would like one and with an e-mail address that I can reach you at.  

I truly hope you join me in this wonderful way to help bring some peace and joy at this time of year and really make the world a better place.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Ten Things to Smile About This Month

It is the last Tuesday of the month, which means it is time for 10 Things to Smile About this Month.  I started this monthly post many years ago after a really hard month where I just needed to find something to smile about.

Ten Things to Smile About in November

1. Ryder being student of the month!
mother and son

2.  Getting the new iPhone X - I am loving the big screen and face ID
iPhone X

3. Date nights!  We have almost made it through the alphabet!
date night

4. This picture as it is crazy how dirty Alex get's at soccer and makes me happy how good of a goal keeper she has become.
dirty after soccer

5. Helping out at the Thanksgiving Feast- I love being able to help in the school.
mother and daughter

6. Group Date nights to an escape room!   It was so much fun!!
group date to escape room

7. Having family in town

8. Thanksgiving Dinner!
Thanksgiving Dinner

9.  The perfect weather for a beach day in November!
Corona Del Mar

10. Playing tourist in our own town.
The Getty Center

What made you smile this month?