Welcome to my blog!

I invite you to share your thoughts, but I do ask you to 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 also like to fill my life with positive people and positive things. I guess that means 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 fun chat!

 

Monday
Mar022015

Celebrating Paul's Life

After a light snowfall early in the morning and heavy rain mid-morning, everyone was prepared for a wet graveside service honoring Grandpa Paul, so it was a pleasant surprise when the sun’s rays peeked through the clouds, and the only evidence of a storm was the thunder that clapped around the red cliffs of Kanab.

Because we expected to be standing out in a storm, we decided to dress warm and casual…something Grandpa would’ve enjoyed. In fact, many of us wore plaid flannel shirts in honor of Paul!

Paul requested a simple family service with Sterling to dedicate the grave, which he did beautifully. Veterans from the American Legion Post 69 performed the three rifle volleys, and the reverent ceremony was so powerful and humbling.

Afterward, we gathered for a family photo and went to Stampin’ Up! for lunch and reminiscing…just the way Paul would’ve wanted it! Later in the afternoon, everyone enjoyed a walk down memory lane as we spent time in Mom’s and Paul’s home and yard, reminiscing about and admiring the warm and comfortable home they created together.

I believe their spirits were there to feel our love and admiration for them. It was a nice way to end a beautiful day of celebrating Paul’s life!

Thursday
Feb262015

I Did It Again!

As you know, I’ve been a little preoccupied and haven’t scheduled any events, but my plan was/is to continue to share monthly “set samplers”. Well, I completely forgot AGAIN about the projects for the month of February, which should have been posted at the end of January. Thanks to a faithful reader, who kindly reminded me, you will receive two sets of projects in a matter of days!

At convention last year, I shared my calendar of themes for the year, focusing on sets from the annual catalog. The theme for February was condolence and thinking of you. You’ll notice I threw in a baby tag/gift, and I also used the set for the bookmark I posted last week. I chose to feature An Open Heart, a simple yet elegant set…one of my favorites. I can also see this set being used for Mother’s Day and birthdays. It’s just a beautiful set!

 

Monday
Feb232015

A Special Man

Paul Bailey Harrison breathed his last breath this morning after being unresponsive for nearly two days…a bittersweet moment for family and friends who will miss this special man known as Grandpa Paul.

After six weeks of recovering from brain surgery and doing remarkably well, Paul fell on Saturday morning while preparing his breakfast. Thankfully he managed to dial 911.

He was flown to St. George via helicopter with my sister Leslie, after being told that he may not make the flight. My other sister Vonna stayed behind to notify the rest of us, to make arrangement for Tater (Grandpa’s dog), and to gather a few things before driving over. It was a sobering moment when Sterling and I got the call from Vonna, telling us that if we wanted a chance to see Paul, we needed to drive to St. George as quickly as possible.

He did make the flight, but once examined, it was obvious that one of the cavernous malformations (the inoperable one on his brainstem) had grown, and there was nothing his wonderful neurosurgeon could do. The damage was done.

That evening and all day Sunday were spent with family members visiting around Grandpa Paul’s hospital bed, hugging him, holding his hand, rubbing his legs, and telling him over and over how much he was loved. He seemed to be aware when someone new joined the “party” and then would settle again into his pattern of breathing while we visited. As one of my nieces put it, “It was so nice having everyone there, to feel so much love in one room. We have a special family. And Paul is a special man. I personally feel so much more at peace knowing that he was able to feel all of our love.”

There was a period of maybe an hour or so on Sunday morning when he opened his eyes briefly off and on and responded to yes and no questions with a nod. Those of us who were in the room will never forget that tender mercy…to know he wasn’t in pain (even though his breathing was labored), to know he wasn’t anxious, to know he was excited to see his sweetheart, and to acknowledge that he'd "fought a good fight!"

As Sterling and I prepared to drive back home before the snowstorm grew worse, I tenderly kissed this sweet and special man’s forehead as I said my last goodbye. And since none of our girls and their families were able to travel to see him, I told Grandpa Paul my kiss was times 28 for all of our little ones and littlest ones (that’s what he called his grandchildren and great-grandchildren).

Although there are many from Stampin’ Up! who worked with Paul before he retired and who would like to join us, we’ll be honoring and celebrating Paul’s life this weekend as a family with no formal service or fuss…just as he requested, just like Paul!

I’m so glad and grateful we were able to spend a few precious hours with a special man who enthusiastically loved his family, who positively loved life with all its challenges, and who is now happily reunited with my Mom Heather!

Thursday
Feb192015

Congratulations! Etc.

Congratulations to the following winners who filled out the survey Sara posted on February 3rd and guessed that Sterling and I would serve our mission in Hawaii!

Wanda Soares

Susan LaCroix

Amanda Sevall

Bethany Rozek

Gina Maginnis

Delona Muhlestein

Margie Roderer

Belle Harder

Each winner will receive the items shown in the photo above. We're including the Book of Mormon (holy scripture comparable to the Bible) and a hand stamped bookmark...a special gift from our hearts, along with Project Life by Stampin' Up! products.

The Let's Get Away collection is bright, fun, and easy to use! The Douglass family went to Mexico over the holidays, and everyone created their own album using these products. I watched as each worked for hours to capture memories made with their family and to make their album personal. I hope you'll enjoy this gift too!


Sterling and I would also like to send a copy of the Book of Mormon and a hand stamped bookmark to anyone who wishes to receive them, whether you played the guessing game or not. Please click here if you'd like this special gift.

Oh, and by the way, we've been asked to go to the MTC on March 2nd instead of the 23rd, so if I post less frequently, you'll know why; we're just a little busy trying to accomplish in two weeks a portion of what we planned to do in five weeks! Yikes!

And finally, I've heard there has been some concern that I might be retiring. In case there is ANY question, I am not retiring! Sterling and I are taking a leave for approximately a year. We plan to return to our usual lives...with just a little more diverse experience.

Thanks for being part of our lives and the fun and chaos that goes with it!

Tuesday
Feb172015

Our Anniversary

Yesterday was our anniversary…35 years! We thought about spending our day together on a nice, long horse ride, but instead decided to check off one of our chores and go missionary shopping. Hours later, and two suits, six washable ties, slip on shoes, etc. (for Sterling), a skirt, two jackets, several blouses, and a couple pair of flats, etc. (for me), we called it a day. 

Although Sterling was a good sport, he texted Sage, “We’ve been shopping ALL day.” I told him it could have been much worse! Sterling didn’t feel like we accomplished a lot, but I informed him that while I don’t enjoy shopping like I used to, I still know how, and what we achieved in one afternoon was incredible! Besides, our shopping spree was bookended with lunch at Nordstrom and dinner at Tsunami (two of our favorite restaurants)…a productive and pleasant anniversary!

As you can see, our focus is beginning to shift toward the mission. And you might be interested to know that our Leadership 2015 keynote speaker, Jason Wright, asked if he could interview Sterling and me and write an article about our choice to serve a mission. Jason’s work appeared today in three different places, with slight tweaks in each article…deseretnews.com, ldsliving.com, and jasonfwright.com.