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Sunday, April 13, 2014

End Of Girl’s Weekend & A Cute Easter Fireside Treat

IMG_1459 I was actually able to sleep pretty well last night.  My body naturally woke up at 7:30, so I went ahead & got up & put some finishing touches on my lesson for Young Women’s today.  Karri is missing from this pic, b/c she was still asleep at 8:30!

IMG_2903 Dad is so awesome & made us his famous Texas shaped waffles for breakfast.  Delicious!  Autumn & I had to leave at 9:00 so we could go home & get ready for church.  I am bummed that we missed sacrament meeting, but I was not about to wake her up early & rush to try and make it.  That’s always a bad way to start the day b/c then she’s cranky all day.

IMG_2905We made it to church in time for the 2nd & 3rd hours.  I taught today on HOW the Priesthood was restored.  We ran out of time & were just able to cover the basic facts, but didn’t get to the “meat & potatoes” part of the lesson.  Darn it!  Autumn & I came home so she could change clothes & we could drop off our church bags.  Then we went over to Mom & Dad’s.  Mary & Jessie came over & had the usual Sunday dinner w/ us.

P1110651 I left at 5:45 so I could take Karri’s phone charger & blanket to her that she left a Mom & Dad’s.  Then I dropped off a pot of rice at the east church building for Nick for the Young Single Adult branch dinner.  Then I went to the stake center to get things ready for our Single Adult fireside.  Pete was in charge of refreshments & made these super cute & festive Easter basket cupcakes.  Our speaker at the fireside was Patriarch Kovac, and he did a great job.  I instantly liked him, b/c his Dad is from Slovenija, so we were able to talk about lots of Slovenija things.  It made me “heart sick” for the country I love.  We had a good turn out of about 40 people from all over the metroplex.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Girl’s Weekend Day 2

IMG_1457 I got up at 7:30 after about only an hour of sleep.  We had biscuits & sausage gravy, bacon, & strawberries for breakfast.  After we cleaned up the kitchen, we jumped right into watching Downton Abbey Season 4.  We stayed in our jammies & just snacked on our treats for most of the morning.  Mary had to leave at 12:30 for a work thing she couldn’t get out of.  Curt came over to say hi for a little bit, too.  After he left, Melanie, Karri, my Mom & I had a very soul touching & deep bonding conversation.  As Glennon from Momastery says, we shared our “sacred scared.”  There were lots of tears, but also an incredible outpouring of the Spirit & unconditional love.  It was something I will treasure forever.

IMG_2900I texted Kylie to see if Autumn was being good.  Kylie texted this picture to me to show how much fun they were having!  I’m so thankful for these girls for loving Autumn & taking such good care of her.  She just adores them & was thrilled to get to spend the day w/ them.

IMG_1458 Mary finally came back from her work thing, and we jumped right into Downton Abbey again.  At 5:30, we took a break so Karri could take her car home since we were supposed to get a hail storm tonight.  I picked Autumn up while we were there, and then we stopped at Chick Fil’A & Chipotle to grab dinner for everyone.  I know this pic is blurry, but I had to post it.  I can’t even talk about this picture w/out getting emotional, b/c of how much gratitude & love I feel for each person sitting at this table.  I have been so blessed in my life to have MANY kindred spirits.  These ladies are some of the highest caliber that this world has to offer & the fact that they are all a part of my  life just makes my cup run over.

IMG_2901 After dinner, Autumn went & laid down in Mom & Dad’s room to watch a movie (and hopefully fall asleep) while we started back up w/ Downton Abbey.  Autumn didn’t fall asleep during her movie, so after it over around 9:30, I went & laid down w/ her on the twin mattress on the floor in Mom & Dad’s room until she finally fell asleep.  Curt came over in a creepy mask to scare us, so I’m glad I wasn’t out in the living room when that happened.  Dad made us smoothies, b/c we had to have some snacks to keep us fueled for all the hard work of watching TV, especially since we had been up so late the night before.

IMG_2902Mary & Karri were starting to fall asleep, so we stopped right before the 2 hour season finale.  We played another game of hand & foot, and they SKUNKED us by 7,530 points!  Karri told me to take a picture of the final score sheet like I had done last night, but I refused & said if there isn’t a pic of it, then it didn’t happen.  She took a pic & texted it to me.  LOL!  By this point, it was 12:30 am but they said they wanted to just finish the final episode & be done w/ it.  So, we put it in and within 10 minutes both Karri & Mary were sound asleep.  Melanie & I were troopers until the very end & stayed awake the whole time.  We finally went to sleep at 2:30 am, & I slept on the couch so I could actually get some sleep instead of staying awake all night.  I’m surprised that I functioned so well today on such a small amount of sleep.  Being around such good food & friends will do that to me.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Girl’s Weekend … WOOT WOOT!!!

IMG_1455 Today after school & work, Autumn & I were so excited b/c it was the start of Girl’s Weekend (GW).  We came home, ate dinner, packed our bags, and then I took her over to Kylie & Kenzie’s house.  They had this ADORABLE Easter basket full of goodies for her!  They had things like coloring books, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, fingernail polish, etc.  It was all fun things that they were going to do together this weekend.  It was hard for me to hold back the tears at their incredible thoughtfulness!!!  I didn’t have to worry even once this weekend about if she was ok or if she was having fun.

IMG_2889 We all met up at our “secret out of town” location at 7:30 & then we hit the road in Mary’s convertible.  Melanie & I were laughing so hard in the back b/c our hair was just being whipped all around & when we got to our destination we looked like Mufasa w/ our big curly manes.  It was so much fun!!!

IMG_2888 We stocked up on some fun treats & food for our Girl’s Weekend.  We were laughing about how much junk food there was, but rationalized it away b/c we also had fruit & a bag of frozen spinach.  We figured that counteracted all the unhealthy food, right???

IMG_2891 We went back to our “secret out of town” location, which just happened to be my Mom & Dad’s house!  We made 2 yummy dips to snack on and the fun began!

IMG_2892 It was already pretty late (10:30) when we started playing cards.  We also had the last episode of Season 3 of Downton Abbey on in the background while we played.  That way we would be up to speed for our big Season 4 marathon tomorrow.  We played hand & foot, and Mary & I SMOKED them by 6,005 points.  We were happy b/c they had won by a lot the last 2 times we’ve played.

IMG_2895We busted out our key lime pie and just ate it straight out of the pie tin, b/c that’s the type of close friends we are.  I said we’re like the Golden Girls & that I would be Blanche, Karri is Dorothy b/c she’s tall, Melanie is Sofia b/c she’s feisty, and that left Mary as Rose!  LOL!  We finally called it a night at 2:30 am!!!  Then, Karri & I still laid in bed & talked for another hour.  For some reason I could NOT go to sleep & only got about 1 hour of sleep!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bluebonnet Pics

P1110626 Last Sunday Autumn & I drove by our usual place where we take bluebonnet pics, to scope out the area.  There was only one tiny little patch of bluebonnets, which was so sad since 2 years ago the whole entire hillside was covered & I got this “money shot.”  We were driving home tonight & I noticed this decent sized patch of bluebonnets just off the beaten path, so we stopped by really fast before we lost all of the light.  I know this pic is dark, but I wanted to show the pretty sunset.

P1110631 As you can tell, these aren’t the best pics since I only had my little point & shoot camera.  But, it’s better than nothing & I’m at least glad I got any shots of the bluebonnets since it’s an annual tradition.

P1110634 This looks like she’s grabbing her toosh, but she was brushing off some dirt from sitting on the ground, and I happened to snap the pic at just the wrong second.  Ooopsie!

P1110633

She was carefully & cautiously walking so she didn’t tread on any of the beautiful bluebonnets.  I’m so glad we live in Texas where we can grow & appreciate the beautiful wildflowers.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Joy Of Making New Friends So Easily

 

IMG_2878Autumn got to go on a field trip today, and Deb was there w/ her son and texted me 9 different pictures of Autumn.  I honestly got teary eyed at how kind & thoughtful that was of Deb to do that!  It meant so much to me, especially since I don’t get to go on the field trips w/ Autumn.  Mom called & said everyone was on their own tonight, so Autumn & I went to McDonald’s b/c she wanted to play & we had a coupon.  After we ate, we went in the play area & Autumn started playing this snowman game.  This cute little girl was sitting at the table next to us & heard us having fun, so she left her game & came and sat at our table.  I just LOVE it how kids are able to make new friends so quickly & easily.  It’s sad that we lose that ability as we get older.  Ah, the joy & innocence of youth.  After Autumn’s game was over, the screen flashed that she was the highest scorer.  The program prompted her to enter her name and she put, “Autumn And …” and she turned to the little girl and told her to put her name in too!  My Mama heart was so happy & full to overflowing b/c of my Autumn girl.

IMG_2879 They ran off to play for a while, and then we had to leave at 7:00 so we could come home and get Autumn’s reading homework done.  Autumn picked this book to read, which is one she hasn’t read before.  It had a lot of challenging words for a 1st grader, and she was ready to give up, but she kept on going w/ just a little help from me on the hard words.  She’s turned into a great little reader, and one of my favorite parts of the day is snuggling up on the couch together and listening to her read.

Monday, April 7, 2014

An Essential Life Skill

IMG_2866 Tonight while we were waiting for dinner to come out of the oven, Papa taught Autumn an important & essential life lesson.  He taught her how to use the shell of a pistachio to crack open another pistachio that’s too hard to open w/ your fingers.  In all seriousness though, I’m thankful for little bonding moments like this that ARE essential & strengthen the relationships we have as a family.  I hope Autumn appreciates (I know I do) how lucky she is to have such a close and loving relationship w/ her Papa & Mimi.

IMG_2881When we got home tonight, Autumn & I were talking about life and school, and it was a little bit hard to take her seriously while she was wearing her zebra bow w/ her gypsy headband that Papa & Mimi brought back from Spain.  She for sure has her own sense of style & that’s something I love about her. #overaccessorized

Sunday, April 6, 2014

General Conference Sunday & A Talk Of Understanding

IMG_1443 We slept in this morning, relaxed for a while, got cleaned up, and then went over to Mom & Dad’s to watch conference.  It was glorious to wake up to the sound of rumbling thunder & rain this morning.  It’s one of my favorite things.  I had to snap a quick pick of all these rain droplets clinging to the blooming wisteria.

IMG_1445 The morning session of conference was so great.  After the first session, we got busy putting together lunch.  We had Maggie’s corn bean salsa, rib eye fajitas w/ all the fixin’s.  It was so good & we were all stuffed.  But, we definitely had enough room left for dessert (Tropical Delight Cake).

IMG_1452 It was pretty hard to keep our eyes open during the 2nd session b/c our tummies were full & there was a light rain outside.  I’m proud of Mom & Dad for staying awake since they were suffering big time from jet lag.  This picture just makes me so happy b/c our spiritual cups were overflowing, and what is better than being w/ family and friends who are just like family.  We’re so glad to have Papa & Mimi home safe & sound!!!

IMG_2864Autumn & I came home soon after conference was over so that she could be loud & have fun and run around if she wanted.  I am so proud of her for sitting through so many hours of conference & being good.  She has been up an hour past her bedtime the past few nights, so I figured I would be sneaky & move the clock ahead 30 minutes so she would go to bed early b/c I could tell she needed the extra sleep.  I told her to start getting ready for bed at the “new” 7':58 when Once Upon A Time went to commercial, and you would have thought I told her the worst news in the world.  She started freaking out & yelling about how I treat her like a baby & that she’s not putting up w/ this type of treatment.  I calmly went in her room to help her get ready for bed.

She was NOT happy & after I went back into the living room I heard her in there just venting big time.  Once she had calmed down, I went in & we ended up having a great 30 minute chat.  Come to find out, she was upset that I was making her get ready for bed 2 minutes early, she didn’t even know I had moved the clock ahead.  We talked about how next time she can handle things a little better by just talking about why she’s upset instead of just freaking out.  I told her that I was trying to teach her these things now so that when she’s older & has a job she’ll know how to handle crummy things that happen instead of just going off & losing her job.  I explained to her that when I try to correct or help her that I’m trying to teach her life skills & that I’m not out to be mean or upset her.

It was one of those talks that made me feel closer to her when we were done.  There was a lot of listening, sharing how things make us feel, and understanding.  I’d count that as a win for both of us.  I for sure have my share of parenting fails, so this one felt good!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Trek Walk, General Conference, Papa & Mimi Are Home

IMG_2835 Autumn & I spent the night at Mom & Dad’s last night so we got up early this morning (8:00) & hurried home and got changed into some grubby exercise clothes.  We headed over to the high school track at 9:00 to walk w/ the Young Women who are getting ready for Trek.  However, there was a big ROTC going on at the track so we all ended up going over to the park to walk.  I’m surprised at how sad I am that I wasn’t able to go to the temple this morning since it’s closed for General Conference today.  It’s become such a habit that I didn’t realize how much I would miss it until I couldn’t go.  But, it was great fun to be w/ Autumn even if it was cold & windy outside.

IMG_2838 As you can see, we didn’t have a very big group of girls, but that’s OK.  We still had a good time being outside & getting in some exercise.  I had downloaded “Eye of the Tiger” onto my phone & said that will have to be our weekly walking anthem.  If you notice, one of the girls was really smart & wore the boots she’ll be wearing at Trek.  We told the girls to break in their shoes now rather than trying to do it the week before Trek.

IMG_2841 We came home, got cleaned up, and went over to Papa & Mimi’s to watch conference.  We had some breakfast & then Autumn put tape on the back of the pictures of the 15 apostles (12 apostles + the 3 in the First Presidency).  She contemplated for a long time over which picture should go on which treat.  When that apostle spoke, she got to eat the treat that she had put him on.  This was a great game that worked last year that helped her to listen and be excited about General Conference

 IMG_2844 We left at 3:30 to get pick up Papa & Mimi at the airport.  I had to snap another pic of the beautiful & fragrant wisteria that are growing along the garden fence.  So gorgeous!

IMG_2851 Since they were coming from Spain, we had to wait for them to go through customs.  So, we rode the escalator up and down, up and down about 28 times.  Autumn had fun pretending to be a fashion model & striking fancy poses.  She cracks me up & I know exactly where she gets her “diva-ness” from.

IMG_2858We are SO GLAD that Papa & Mimi are home safe & sound from Spain.  We had to keep them awake so that they’ll get over their jet lag quicker & get back to regular sleeping hours.  So, we went to Costa Vida since it was only about 15 miles away from the airport.  It was SO GOOD & is as close to Cafe Rio as we can get.  My tastebuds were so happy, especially since I was able to save 1/2 my meal to eat for lunch tomorrow.  It was funny b/c there were 4 missionaries & about 4 sets of Dad & sons in white shirts and ties that came in while we were eating.  They were all getting ready to go to the Priesthood session of conference.

After we ate, we came home, Mom & Dad handed out gifts, & then watched the Priesthood session on TV so we could keep them awake.  We finally called it a night at 9:00.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Night Fun At Costco

IMG_2832 I spent part of my lunch break today cutting out these small pictures of the 12 Apostles & 3 members of the First Presidency for General Conference tomorrow.  I’m SO EXCITED to spend Saturday & Sunday listening to inspired men & women of God.

IMG_2833 I had another 3:00 Friday slump treat today & it was absolutely delicious.  It was like being whisked away to the Polynesian Cultural Center. All in my own little coconut cup while sitting at my desk.

IMG_2834Mom had told us to stock up on groceries so that when they got home they had the basics.  Autumn & I went to Costco & had dinner & then got a few things that we needed & a few things Mom needed.  Who knew that Costco was such a popular hang out spot on Friday nights?  I say that b/c we ran into 3 different families that we know!  Good times.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Hail Storm

IMG_2808Tonight I let Autumn pick what she wanted to do after school.  She said she wanted to go to that place that “Bianca’s Mom loves that is hot pink.”  So, off to Taco Cabana we went.  We share the $5 Cabana Bowl & dip the shell in the pineapple salsa.  We got her reading homework done, and then she had a little dance party for one b/c there was some fun music playing.

IMG_2818 We got home, put out the trash, and then stopped to watch the sky b/c it was really windy.  There were 5 layers of clouds overhead & they were different colors, heading in different directions, and at different speeds.  It was really cool to watch!

IMG_2823 You can’t really tell in this pic, but those clouds at the end of the street were GREEN!!!  I had never seen green clouds before.

IMG_2829 The sky behind our house was pretty cool looking, too.  While we were standing out there watching the sky, we heard the tornado sirens go off.  Autumn was freaking out & said we needed to go inside & get in the closet underneath the stairs.  We had been watching the news & I knew that the storms were well to our north, so we watched the sky just a little bit longer.  After 3 minutes, the tornado sirens went off.

IMG_2830 We were watching TV & doing rainbow looms when all of a sudden we lost our TV connection & it started raining really hard.  Then out of nowhere, it turned into hail!  The north side of the house sounded like it was getting pelted with golf balls & we even let out a yell once or twice b/c it sounded like it was going to break the glass in the windows.  I ran out on the back porch to grab a piece of hail & it was the size of a quarter!

04.03 hail 04.03 hail big

These are some pictures that friends, who only 2 miles from our house, posted on Facebook!!!  Pretty crazy, huh?  I’m so thankful that we have a garage & that my car was inside.  I’m also glad Nick was at work where he was safe & that his car was in a parking garage.  Luckily nothing was broken as far as I could tell.  After the hail finally passed, we just got a lot of soaking rain, which we really needed.  I was glad the storms moved out of the area by 9:00 so that the weather broadcast didn’t interrupt Parenthood!  LOL!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Indexing & Another Shooting Spree At Ft. Hood

IMG_2798 We went over to Mom & Dad’s house tonight to check on Nick & the house.  I was THRILLED to see that the wisteria along the garden fence are in bloom.  Can you spot the big fat bumblebee in this picture?

IMG_2799 I love sLOVEnija & I love wisteria, so I thought this was a fitting picture.

P1110597 For our Young Women’s activity tonight, we met at Sis. Lee’s house and looked up names on FamilySearch.org.  The girl on the left has her face painted weird b/c the girl in the middle is painting faces & photographing the faces & turning them into a cool art project for school.  LOL!

IMG_2802I didn’t search for any family names, but I did index names for the very first time.  It was exciting to do 10 names & then submit the batch when I was done.  I hope I put the right info, b/c it was all in Spanish.

ft. hoodI am so heartbroken about the shootings today at Ft. Hood!  My Dad was stationed at Ft. Hood & worked at the medical center on post for 4 years, so the shootings today (4 dead & 16 wounded) hits close to home!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Fancy Nancy Picnic In The Driveway

IMG_2778 I had a rough day at work, and hadn’t planned ahead for dinner tonight so I stopped & got a Little Caesar’s pizza on the way home from work.  Autumn asked if we could have a “Fancy Nancy” picnic in the driveway & I figured SURE, why not?  She ran in the house to change into something “fancy” while I laid out the blanket & got stuff situated.

IMG_2780 Here’s us trying to do a fancy selfie.

IMG_2785 After we ate, Autumn said she was going to plant the crust of her pizza to see if a pizza tree would grow.  She cracks me up!

IMG_2789 After she planted her pizza crust, it was time to get her reading homework done.  She stood in front of me & pretended to be a teacher & read the book to me & show me the pictures.

IMG_2787When she got tired of that, she came & read to me on the blanket.  This picture makes me so happy b/c it captures the innocence & essence of childhood.

IMG_2811After reading, Autumn told me that she had some dessert she wanted to share w/ me.  She started giggling as she told me she had a “brownie” that her teacher gave her.  Then she started laughing really hard when she handed me this “Brown E” & yelled out, “April Fool’s Day!”