Tuesday, May 16, 2017

This Little Piggy

 Tonight we had a Relief Society activity that was called "This Little Piggy." It was really well done, was a lot of fun, was informative, and was well attended.
 For "this little piggy went to market" we had Sis. B talk to us about budgeting & couponing to get the most bang for our buck.
 For "this little piggy stayed home" Sis. A talked to us about home & time management. She is so INCREDIBLE & told us that we need to treat our scripture study & prayer like they are spiritual insulin. We should never go a day without them. So powerful!

For "this little piggy had roast beef" Sis F. came and talked to us about quick meals, food preparation, and tips and tricks to use in the kitchen. She used to be in our ward and makes the most delicious meals so we were thrilled to have her come speak to us tonight.
For "this little piggy had none" there was a table at the back of the room where we could drop off food donations that would be taken to the local food bank.
 Then for "this little piggy went wee wee wee all the way home" we had these ADORABLE pig cookies for refreshments. It was so cute and I'm glad I was able to go. As soon as it was over, I went & got Autumn from the room where the young women were watching kids. We hurried home so she could get some homework done, but she was so tired and cranky that she just put herself right to bed!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Chiggers SUCK!!!

Well, this is the punishment we get for going swimming yesterday! We all got a bunch of chigger bites. They must be out in full force this year, b/c we never got a hard freeze over the winter. We were just on the lawn, which had been recently cut. Usually you have to be out in the tall grass & weeds to get chiggers. Poor Autumn has a big one on the back of her knee that's really hurting her. Chiggers are EVIL!!!
We were headed to WalMart & I just happened to see Liz coming out of the store. I turned my car so I was faced straight at them & Liz almost freaked out until she saw it was me. Jacob got this awesome police stuff & he wanted me to take a picture & send it to Officer Nate. So cute!!!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day 2017

 When we woke up this morning, we Facetimed Mom & Dad to wish Mimi a Happy Mother's Day in South Africa. I partly wish they were here so we could spoil her & surprise her w/ breakfast in bed, but I'm thankful that they're on a mission and are where they should be and doing what they should be doing in the grand scheme of things. I'm beyond blessed to have her for not just a Mom, but a best friend. We're so close and I'm grateful for her example, her feisty-ness, her love, and her strength. I'm lucky to have been raised by such an amazing woman.

 Frank dropped his boys off at their Mom's house this morning, and then drove down to spend the day with us! We watched a little bit of La La Land, and then got ready to head to church. I told him about the orchid corsage tradition and he said he'll be all over it next year. LOL.

 I mentioned I had never seen him w/ facial hair, so he's growing out a small goatee. I actually really like it A LOT! He & Autumn were having fun & messing around before church. Autumn did a good job standing up on the stage w/ the Primary kids and singing Mother's Day songs. I can't believe she just has one Mother's Day left in Primary & then she'll be in Young Women's!!! WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE!?!?!?!?!

 After church we came home, changed clothes, grabbed the salad & cake we had put together, and went over to Mom & Dad's house. Nate grilled us some INCREDIBLE steaks, potatoes w/ onions, and Riannon made a fruit salad. They also had sparkling cider to make it fancy. It was so fun to be together as a family and sit out on the patio and eat and talk. I'm thankful for this "tribe."

 We usually don't swim on Sundays (keeping the Sabbath Day holy), but it's kind of a tradition every year on Mother's Day that either Nate or my Dad throw my Mom in the pool w/ her nice church clothes on. But, since they aren't here we had to carry on the tradition for them. The water was cold at first, but then it was fine after a few minutes. I'm really looking forward to swimming a lot in the pool this summer.

We came home and then Frank left at 10:00 to drive back home. It was a late night, b/c I talk him home the whole 3 hours so that I know he's safe. Plus, that way we get to know each other even better. There is no way that last year for Mother's Day that I could imagine how different THIS Mother's Day would be ... that I would be madly in love and engaged to the most perfect man for me! What a great & memorable Mother's Day!!!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Relaxing & Redbox Saturday

 Frank & I both had early mornings today. He woke up early to take his boys to their Stake Center to participate in the Stake Young Men's basketball tournament. They didn't win the championship, but they had fun. I love their team's name ... "Golden PLATE Warriors" instead of "Golden STATE Warriors."

 I actually got up at 5:30, b/c I was going to go to the temple w/ some friends. However, as I was getting ready I realized that I wouldn't be back to get Autumn to her volleyball game in time. So, I sadly texted my friends to let them know I couldn't come and then I went back to sleep. I got up at a more normal hour of the morning, got Autumn up and ready, and we headed off to her game. They wanted to take pictures before the game (which is why we had to be there early & I wouldn't have made it back from the temple in time).

I'll have to post a picture of their cute group photo once the parent that took it emails it to everyone. The girls played hard today, but lost all 3 of their games. I'm still proud of them b/c they've improved so much and are working better as a team.

We stopped at WalMart on the way home to get a few groceries. Then we had 3 different events going on tonight, but we decided to stay home and not go to any of them. After busy & full weeks of school, daycare, homework, work, etc. we are just DONE and want to RELAX. We had also rented Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children & La La Land from the Redbox, so we watched those. I LOVED the music from La La Land.

Nate called me at 11:30 at night (I was surprisingly already asleep) to tell me to come outside. It's a tradition that my Dad gets my Mom (and his unmarried daughters) an orchid corsage for Mother's Day. Since he is in South Africa this year, and Frank doesn't know about the tradition yet ... Nate went and got me one! SO TENDER & THOUGHTFUL!!! He said Frank's going to have to take over the tradition next year. LOL.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Neighborhood Pool Party

 Today after work/school, Autumn & I came home and put a few finishing touches on our pasta salad. Then we walked through the neighborhood to go to the pool. I had to stop and get a picture of this gorgeous flowering tree in one of the neighbor's yards. I don't know what type of flowers these are, but they're so pretty & kind of remind me of hibiscus.

 Our neighborhood HOA was putting on a pool party to celebrate the opening of the pool for the season. It was actually cold & windy, so no one but little kids decided to jump in and swim. We went early to help set up.

They had a free sno cone truck for the kids, hot dogs, chips, and drinks. Then everyone else chipped in and brought salads and desserts. We only stayed for about an hour instead of staying until it got dark & they did a "dive-in movie." We came home and spent the rest of the evening relaxing and watching TV.

Thursday, May 11, 2017


 Such exciting news!!! We know that Salt Lake was looking at the clearance letter paperwork today that was only just submitted last night! They called our Bishop to ask him a few clarifying questions. YAY!!! I'm hoping that means we'll have an answer either way by sometime next week. I love being able to go on walks while Autumn is at volleyball practice. The weather has been so perfect lately, and I'm enjoying it before it gets too hot. It's nice to have this beautiful path to walk along.

Her serves are getting so much better and she's come such a long way since last season. I'm thankful to her coaches for all they do to help & encourage these girls.

Plus, a HAPPY 19th BIRTHDAY to Grant today. He got a new gaming system for his birthday. It's crazy to think that I didn't even know him at the beginning of the year & now I love him and appreciate what a great guy he is.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Visiting Teaching Connections

 I was so surprised today at work when one of my visiting teachers came walking in w/ these flowers, candy, & a card. She said she was literally across the street picking something up for her husband and wanted to stop in and say hi. It was so unexpected, thoughtful, and incredibly sweet!

 As soon as I got Autumn from daycare, we headed off to have dinner w/ Donna, Abbey, & Ben. Donna's in town watching them while their parents are on a cruise for their anniversary. I had never been to this restaurant before, and I really liked it. The food was good, reasonably priced, and the atmosphere was bright & colorful.

Donna & I had a great time catching up w/ each other while the kids ate and played games on my phone & took silly Snapchat filter pics. I'm thankful for our long lasting friendship that came b/c of visiting teaching! Autumn & I left at 7:30 to go over to Nick & Savi's house to spend some time w/ Savi. Dave T was up visiting and staying over at the house, and since Savi doesn't know him very well we didn't want it to be awkward. We left at 9:30 when Nick got home from work. What a fun day.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

2 HUGE Steps Forward

 Today was a BIG day! Frank had the day off, so he drove down this morning after dropping Spencer off at school. We  had a lunch meeting w/ Ken to see if Frank would be a good fit for his company. It seemed to go really well, and it sounds like Frank has a job down here within the next month or so! WOO HOO!!!

 After lunch, I went back to work and Frank went back to my house to rest. Except he didn't rest ... he mowed my lawn!!! I seriously was in tears when I got home and saw that. He takes such good care of us! He also went and picked up Autumn from daycare so I wouldn't have to when I got off from work.

 They went shopping and he had her pick out a few gifts to give me for early Mother's Day presents. I LOVE these gorgeous potted plants, the balloon, and the cute wind chime they got for me. Again, he spoils us rotten and even the littlest thing is so incredibly meaningful.

We had dinner (I had put a pork loin in the crockpot covered in root beer before I left for work this morning), and then headed over to the Stake Center so Frank could have his interview w/ the Stake President as the final step in the clearance letter process before everything is submitted to church headquarters in Salt Lake City for review. I'm so thankful that everything is done electronically now, b/c the Stake President hit the "SUBMIT" button at the end of the interview and all the needed info is in SLC ready for review! WOW!!! Frank stayed until 9:00 & then headed for home b/c he has to work tomorrow. We made 2 HUGE steps forward today! Soooooooo EXCITING!!!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Ward Family Love

 Spence went & got a haircut today & he is looking SHARP! I love it that Frank is so good about taking pics and sharing them w/ me. He knows I LOVE pictures! Plus, it makes us feel like we're not so far apart when we can share part of each other's days.

One of the ladies at church took this picture yesterday & posted it to her Facebook page. It makes me SO HAPPY b/c I love each person in this photo. I love that there's so much ethnicity represented here from Filipino, Mexican, American Indian, and African American. What an AWESOME group of ladies (and Jacob). I'm thankful to have such a WONDERFUL ward family that loves us and looks out for us, and vice versa.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Pictures & A Ring

Thankfully, I woke up feeling sooooo much better today! Autumn & I got up, got ready, and headed out the door to meet Frank in Oklahoma for church. We found a ward that was kind of halfway between us and attended there. Since it was fast Sunday we both got a chance to go up and bare our testimonies. So many people in the ward were super friendly and made sure to welcome us and say hi. We left after sacrament meeting, b/c Frank had to leave to get to work & we had to get to our own ward.

 Unbeknownst it to each other, we had both gotten each other a gift. I had our engagement pictures turned into an 8x8 photo book. He was so overwhelmed w/ how great the pictures turned out and how nice they looked in the printed book. I haven't shared the pictures here or on social media just yet, b/c we want to save them for a surprise & have them printed & framed at our reception.

He got me this new ring (the bottom heart one), b/c I broke the first engagement ring he got me. The setting & rock stuck out really far and I tend to be really rough & hard on shoes & jewelry & clothes (let's be honest ... I'm hard on everything). It's currently being fixed, but he got me this one in the meantime. I was so surprised and had no idea. He also got me a beautiful matching bracelet. I LOVE them both & was overcome w/ emotion at how thoughtful & good to me that he is. So now I can take off the wedding band & save that for when we're married & wear this heart one. It's so unique and I love it.

It was so hard to say goodbye after just a few hours together. But it was so worth the drive up and back to sit in church w/ him and spend that little bit of time together. Even Autumn agreed it was worth it. The drive was really easy since it's just freeway the whole time and there was very little traffic since it's Sunday morning.

He made it to work in time & we made it for the 2nd half of sacrament meeting. All of church was really good today, and I'm glad we were there and that I'm feeling better. We came home, had dinner, and then spent most of the evening putting together 36 pictures from different categories for a special autobiography project Autumn has to do at school. It was fun to take a trip down memory lane & have her pick out which pictures she wanted to use.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Volleyball & Vegging Out On The Couch

 Yep, I'm 100% sure I got food poisoning yesterday. I was up several times during the night to use the restroom & throw up. I HATE throwing up. I always cry & want my Mom any time I throw up. I was able to get enough rest & pull myself out of bed this morning enough to go to Autumn's volleyball game. We were also in charge of the snack & just kept it super simple w/ individual chip bags & fruit snacks. It was my turn to be line judge, and I was thankful when I got to sit down and rest between matches. We lost all 3 games, but the girls are getting better & better. 

We came home & I spent the rest of the day on the couch just like this. I look like "death warmed over" b/c that is how I felt! We watched LOTS of recorded episodes of "Dancing With The Stars" that we hadn't had a chance to watch yet. I stayed hydrated w/ diet Ginger Ale b/c that's the only thing my stomach could handle. I'm happy we didn't have anything planned for today other than the volleyball game. I even took a nap for a few hours. It felt great to be a lazy bum & do nothing.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Rachel's Reception

 I went to pick up the mail today, and on the way back my tire pressure indicator lit up. It did that a few weeks ago, and I had Frank fill it back up for me. But, I did notice a tiny nail in the tire so I took it to Costco & they repaired it for me. While I was waiting for that to get done, Frank & I had a good while he was on his drive to work. I'm so thankful that we're able to have deep & meaningful discussions that get to the nitty gritty of life instead of just always being fun & fluff type conversations. Both kind are important in a relationship & we have a healthy balance of each. I'm grateful for him & the insights he has & the wisdom he shares with me. He helps me to think of things in a new way that I hadn't considered before.

 Autumn got a coupon at school for a free kid's meal at Arby's for good behavior, so she wanted to use it for dinner tonight. She LOVES their curly fries and pretends like they're spirally earrings.

 After dinner we came home & both took a quick 30 minute power nap. Then we went to Rachel's wedding reception. There were sooooooo many people there, and it was like a fun church reunion, b/c I hadn't seen some of the other guests in a long time. I was also getting lots of inspiration and ideas for my own reception when that time comes. I'm so thankful for Rachel & the great choices she has made in her life. I went to her baptism right after I got home from my mission, and as I was hugging her she said, "now you've been able to see me in 2 white dresses." It was so tender & special & we just love her and her family so much!

My tummy started to bother me on the drive home, and as soon as we got home I knew something was wrong. I'm pretty sure I got food poisoning, and I'm just thankful that it was me & not Autumn Bottom. It's MISERABLE!!!

Thursday, May 4, 2017


 We got to sleep in this morning, b/c Autumn had a follow up appointment w/ her pediatrician. She looks so sad here, but she's really not. We just had to keep reminding her to hold still while the blood pressure cuff did its thing. We met w/ her pediatrician again this morning to talk about the results of her ADD test. She does have "ADD (not ADHD) with an inattentive sub-type." So, the pediatrician recommended that we try her on the lowest dose of some medication to see if that will help her focus at school. Luckily, it doesn't have to build up in her system so she can just take it on school days & not have to take it on weekends or during the summer.

 After work/school we decided to treat ourselves to an early Cinco de Mayo dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants. Their creamy jalapeno salsa dip is so delicious!

After that, we went to WalMart to get a few groceries. Autumn has been needing some new shoes (her black ones on the left are falling apart). She found all of these super cute ones but I told her she could only get 2 pairs for now. So, she settled on the blue polka dot ones & the pink ones. So fun & bright for summer. We were both kind of happy that volleyball practice was cancelled for tonight. It was nice to have the evening off.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Windy Weather

 For Activity Days today, the girls were making "trays" for Mother's Day gifts. It's such a cute idea. It's just wooden planks that they painted however they wanted. Then the leaders had each girl bring 2 handles (we got ours at Home Depot for $1.20 each). They then drilled the handles onto the ends of the board to make it like a tray. It was SUPER WINDY out today and actually felt cold b/c of the wind. Too bad I didn't have a kite to fly.

I liked this filter on Snapchat b/c it made me think of "Storm" from X-Men. Good to know that this is what I might look like w/ white hair. LOL.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Healthy Choices

 Autumn & I are trying to eat healthier, so we had some grilled chicken & salad for dinner. I tried a new Penzeys spice on the chicken. It's called "jerk." Autumn laughed & laughed that we had "jerky chicken" for dinner.

After dinner, the weather was so gorgeous out that we just had to get out and enjoy it. She rode her bike around the neighborhood while I did some fast walking. It felt good to get in some exercise, reach my step count for the day, and appreciate the outdoors.

Monday, May 1, 2017

So Incredibly Happy

 Frank was SOOOOOOOO excited to get to spend part of his day off w/ his 3 older kids. They went to eat, ran some errands, and just had fun being together. I'm so thankful that he takes pics like this and sends them to me. It makes me feel like I'm there and not missing out on all the fun. Plus, I know that it makes him so incredibly happy for them to be together, which in turn makes me so incredibly happy too.

Autumn has been working hard on learning songs on her recorder. I'm so proud of her for putting in the time to learn them. I might have to invest in some earplugs. LOL!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Linger Longer

 Everyone got up this morning, got ready for church, had breakfast, and we hit the road. We had to get a pic of these handsome guys (3 generations) in their suspenders.

 Frank & I both got to give talks in church today about "keeping the Sabbath Day Holy." I took quite a bit of time, so Frank only had about 10 minutes, but he did a wonderful job. I love him so much!!!

 It was so wonderful to sit next to him & hold hands during Sunday School & the combined 3rd hour. After church, they had a "Linger Longer" where everyone brought food to share. That's so nice since it's about an hour drive to get home, and other people have even further than us to drive to get home.

 We got home and some people took naps, some people played games, and some people helped get dinner ready. I had brought up some Costco rolls, cheese, and sandwich meat. Everyone could just help themselves whenever they were ready to eat.

 Frank got up from his nap and we went for a drive. He wanted to show me some of the places he had gone when he was a kid. I LOVED hearing stories from his childhood. On the side of the road was a big purple thistle blossom, and it was the exact height of the truck window. Frank pulled up next to it for me and I was able to snap this gorgeous picture. Spencer was a sweetie & got a few thumb pricks to pick it for me!

When we got back to the house, Frank & I sat in the truck and just talked for an hour. It was so special to have some quiet/alone time w/ him. We talked about some deep & great things. I'm beyond thankful for him and the fast that we can talk about anything & everything. Our bond just keeps getting stronger & stronger. He's amazing!

 Sadly, it was time for the boys to go back to their Mom & for Autumn & I to head home. We took Sariah w/ us and dropped her off at home since we were driving right past it. What an AMAZING weekend w/ such AMAZING people! My heart is so full of gratitude.

The drive home was really windy, but also really pretty. It's always hard to leave Frank and his family, and I am really looking forward to the time when we can be married and don't have to leave each other anymore.