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!



Feelings of Guilt

I didn’t plan ahead for Jon and Sean’s birthdays, which happened to be right after the cruise, so we decided to just give them cash without packaging. They’re guys; they won’t notice or care, right? Wrong!

They both mentioned they appreciated their gift, but they look forward to the packaging as well. So, these two ideas are the result of my feelings of guilt. The apron is for Sean, a new stay-at-home dad, and the camera is for Jon, my favorite photographer. I hope they like their empty packages and that you do too (along with the semi-instructions)!


Unique Strawberry Ride

Sterling packed the trailer, and after I pulled an all-nighter on Wednesday (I had a few deadlines that needed to be met before we left), the horses were loaded, and we headed out of town to a very unique Strawberry Fields Endurance Ride.

When we arrived at camp and got set up, we’d planned to go on a short ride, but Sterling insisted that I take a nap first. “It’s pretty sad when your wife tries to help set up while she wobbles around, looks at you cross-eyed, and can’t put her words into a sentence.” His words, not mine! I took an unheard of three-hour nap, and we walked the horses up and down hills and through the trees and foliage in place of the short ride.

The unique thing about this ride is that we camped alongside the other 70 plus riders, but chose not to compete. Our friends Angie and Izzy, who camped next to us, did compete yesterday while Sterling and I rode what we call a joy ride—a nice and easy ride.

Because we haven’t been on horseback much since returning home from our mission (and haven’t camped for almost two years) our goal was to just enjoy the beautiful scenery and ride as we wished. The weather was warm during the day, but not too warm—just right for riding and sitting under the canopy, visiting, reading, and looking at the expansive meadows and mountains. And the nights were chilly enough to make you want to snuggle in the bedroll. It was lovely! As usual, the photos don’t do justice.

We ended our two-day trip with an absolutely beautiful ten-mile joy ride this morning with our friends, had a quick lunch, and packed up for home. The next ride and camping can’t come soon enough!


Faux Wax Seal

Because we couldn’t think of a creative gift for the fathers in our lives, we’re giving the usual gift card this Father’s Day. What makes this gift card holder unique is the beautiful copper faux wax seal!

I don’t usually include instructions, but I decided it might be worth sharing how to make the faux wax seal. Imagine the possibilities with all our stamp images and powders!

1. Using the VersaMark pad, dab a 2”x2” square of ink near a corner of the Silicone Craft Sheet.

2. While holding the opposite corner, pour about 1/2 teaspoon Copper Emboss Powder in the size of a quarter onto the inked up spot of the Silicone Craft Sheet.

3. Holding the Heat Tool in your other hand, heat the powder from underneath the Silicone Craft Sheet, directly under the powder. This prevents the powder from blowing all over. (This may work better when you’re standing.) Once the powder is mostly melted, you can finish heating from the top.

4. Heating the powder takes about 2 minutes, depending on the thickness of the faux wax seal.

5. Ink stamp with VersaMark to prevent sticking.

6. Stamp into the heated powder...slightly cooled, and then gently lift stamp off. (If it doesn’t work or cools down, just reheat and repeat steps 5 and 6.)

7. Wait for the embossed image to completely cool before lifting off the Silicone Craft Sheet.

8. Your image and the embossing shouldn’t be a perfect circle. Let it happen naturally for a unique look!

9. Splatter the project with VersaMark refill (watered down), dust with Copper Emboss Powder, and heat.

10. Using Multipurpose Liquid Glue, place the faux wax seal onto the crossed and stapled Burlap Ribbon.



Most Relaxing Week

We missed our family vacation at Lake Powell last year, and this year’s trip more than made up for it! It was the most relaxing week we can remember! We woke up without an alarm clock, took a nap almost every day, read a lot, enjoyed watching everyone else play behind the ski boat, and usually ended the day with a movie, popcorn, and Hot Tamales. A highlight for me was our Sunday devotional after a boat ride up the lake. Sterling made assignments to all the grandkids, and they did an awesome job—simple and sweet.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and the water was refreshing and warm enough to swim in…maybe more so than any other June I can remember! Not everyone in our family was able to go, but those of us who went will count it as one of our favorite trips to Lake Powell.



Mediterranean Cruise

We returned early this morning from the Stampin’ Up! incentive trip to the Mediterranean—a week of beautiful weather and scenery! There was so much to see and do that we had to settle for hearing about everyone’s adventures, hoping to return someday to more fully enjoy.

While visiting cities like Rome, Florence, and Cannes was wonderful, visiting with demonstrators was the reason we went! It’s crazy, but we were seeing people for the first time in the airport in Barcelona at the end of the trip. With over 800 people on a huge ship, all going in different directions, we felt lucky to say hello and give a quick hug if there wasn’t time for a visit.

Congratulations to all our achievers, and thanks for a great time! I’m already looking forward to next year’s trip to Thailand!