Welcome to my personal blog!

Just as I share some of my personal thoughts and views, I invite you to share yours. All I ask is that you keep your comments appropriate. I won’t feel badly about removing comments that are offensive. That doesn’t mean you can’t be honest—I want honest feedback—but I like to fill my life with positive people and positive things. I guess that means that if you have to say something negative, say it nicely!

More than anything, I want you to leave here feeling inspired and valued—and like we've had a nice visit!



A Bona Vita Anniversary

We haven’t eaten out in weeks (very unusual, but becoming more normal for us), so when Sterling came home the evening of our anniversary and half-jokingly suggested we go out to dinner, I thought about it for a couple of seconds, decided it was a good idea, and knew right where to go!

Italian is one of our favorites, and I was confident the owner/chef would accommodate my current strict diet, so off we went to Bona Vita. It turned out to be a delicious last-minute meal with my sweetheart and a delightful change of pace for us. We’ll be going out a little more often—to Bona Vita!

Cute story: Just as we were getting ready to eat, Sara called. When she learned where we were for our anniversary, she insisted we take a photo. We didn’t think it was a big deal, but she said if we didn’t, she was going to stop by and take one herself. Of course, we asked a server to take one. When I checked the photo (above), I told Sterling he looked pained to be with me, and we laughed! He assured me he was just pained at taking the photo (he hates photos!) As it turned out, Sara must not have trusted us, because she showed up anyway. This photo, taken by Sara, is much better…and it was fun to see her for a few minutes!

I thought you’d like to see the gift I gave Sterling for our anniversary. Presented in this manly and appropriate box are these 37 shapes, connected with washi tape. On the opposite side of the shapes are 37 reasons why I love this man of mine!


Lots of Love

My stamping is limited these days, so my friend and awesome artist created (and duplicated!) these projects for our family for Valentine's Day. As I individualized each gift and card, it gave me the opportunity to pause and think about the love I have for my beautiful family and for all the wonderful peope in my life. I feel so blessed!

Now for the projects... 

A little extravagant, these paper mache heart ornaments will last a lifetime for our sweet daughters...

Individual (and very cool!) cards for our sons-in-law...

Adorable monsters filled with chocolate hugs and kisses and monies (as the twins would say) for the grandkids...

And last, but certainly not least, for my sweetheart...



School Days

Twice this week Sterling and I went to school. The first time was to see Cooper perform in his 4th grade devotional. He played the part of John Taylor (an historical figure in our church) who was a champion of liberty and displayed courage. Cooper did such a great job, and it was an inspiring hour!

The next day we visited Sam’s, Shelby’s, and Stella’s school for grandparent’s day. While we’re there, it’s our tradition to let each of them choose two things for us to buy from the book fair (smart school to combine the two events!), and this year we also took them to lunch afterward—a new tradition because it was so enjoyable to spend that extra time with them!


Focus on Owen

Owen was blessed in church yesterday, so family gathered for the occasion. This special event was also on Super Bowl Sunday, so because of Jon’s family’s tradition of finger foods and watching the game together, we joined them after church at Jon and Shalae’s for the festivities!

I felt the Spirit strongly in church, and the socializing during the game (because I was really more interested in visiting!) was so enjoyable. So, while it seemed odd to have the two events on the same day, the focus was definitely on Owen and being with family.



Life with RA

From the time Sterling and I returned home from our mission, our plan was to attend at least one event in all the markets and then maybe go on another mission or attend OnStage Local events—just be flexible. As we all know, plans don’t always go our way!

I mentioned in a recent post that my RA (rheumatoid arthritis) has been acting up lately. Well, to be completely honest, my flare started in September and has progressively gotten worse. To keep things short and simple, I’ll just say that I’ve felt worse than I’ve ever felt, and the discomfort (recently turned pain) has almost made me want to go on the prescribed RA drugs; but because it doesn’t feel right to me (and maybe because I’m a little stubborn!), I’ve made it my almost-full-time job to research everything possible and work with anyone who may be able to help me return to full health.

Because of that, Sterling and I decided that instead of planning and preparing for OnStage Live and not feeling well enough at the last minute, it would be best to plan on not traveling extensively for the next few months. Obviously, if things turn around, we’ll get on a plane and go to an OnStage event somewhere in the world. But either way, you’re in good hands!

I want you to know I’m feeling encouraged and hopeful and am trying to patiently trust in God’s timing. I haven’t said much because I don’t like to complain, and this is probably more information than you wanted to know, but I’ve always been pretty open about personal things.  And even though I have felt certain my health would improve any day, this is my current reality.

In the meantime, I’ve been told I’m an eternal optimist, so I’m going to continue to expect improved health every single day! As always, thank you for your thoughts and prayers.