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!



Hoops Are Closer

Jason and Sage have been talking about moving closer to us for quite awhile, and guess what? Last week they did it!

Of course, I realize that they were already closer than many people’s children. . . about 25 minutes away. And I was grateful to have them that close, but I have to admit, having them only 5 minutes away is even better!

They’ve known they were going to move for a while, and so they’ve been saving money. Most of their furniture was hand-me-downs, handed down several times. So they’ve been planning to get a few new things. Furniture was a little sparse in their new home for the first few days. . .

I was thrilled when Sage asked me last week if I wanted to go shopping with her. Are you kidding? Of course! The first time we went was a bit discouraging; we didn’t find anything she liked. But we went a couple more times and had a little more success. There are still a few things left to get, but they’ve got a good start.

The kids are having fun. They love playing with their cousins more often. Every time they get in the car, they ask Sage to clock how long it takes to get to their cousins’ house or to our house or to wherever they’re going. They’ve got it down to minutes and seconds—we’re five minutes and 5 seconds away, in case you’re wondering. And although it’s just been over a week, already we’re enjoying seeing them a little bit more.

I can tell this is going to be awesome!



A Timeless Thank You Tag

A few weeks ago, I challenged our demonstrators to sign up a certain number of Paper Pumpkin subscribers by a given date—those who did received a personal gift from me.

The gift was sent out long ago, but I’ve been looking for an opportunity to share the thank-you tag that went on it. I loved the tag, and thought it could be used for so many things. It’s beautiful and timeless—and pretty simple. In this case, simple doesn’t necessarily mean quick. . . there are several different layers on this tag (you know how I love layers!), and it takes a little time to create something this fabulous. But it’s worth it when you’re trying to say thank you in a special way.



The Museum of Natural Curiosity

I love Thanksgiving Point—I’ve mentioned it in several of my posts. In the spirit of being transparent, I should mention that I’m on the Thanksgiving Point board of advisors and Brick Canvas is located at Thanksgiving Point, but those opportunities came about because I loved Thanksgiving Point to begin with.

So last fall we were invited to attend a fundraising gala for Thanksgiving Point’s most recent “attraction”—the Museum of Natural Curiosity. I’d heard about this fascinating museum for several years and have been supportive of the effort, so when one of the options at the gala was to purchase tickets for a pre-grand opening event, we purchased enough for everyone in the family who could to attend.

The event was held this weekend, and it was every bit as amazing as they’ve said it would be! We had kids of all ages—including the grownups—trying out all sorts of fun, hands-on experiences. The teenagers loved the ropes course, we couldn’t get Makai out of the “crashed” airplane, and Phoebe was running around doing so many things that her face was actually red from excitement and exertion. And that was only the beginning! It really is an incredible place, and I’m pretty excited that it’s so close to home. I’m sure this trip will be the first of many visits our family will take. . .






Happy Bday, Sterling!

Yesterday was Sterling’s birthday, and I spent the day participating in a DSA event here in Salt Lake City that included a keynote address (by me!), a tour of another DSA company, and a luncheon where I got to network with DSA executives and representatives from companies around the country.

It was a great opportunity—although I have to admit that the keynote address caused a little stress in my life. It was a pretty intimidating audience, but thankfully, I was talking about one of the things I love most—Stampin’ Up! The highlight of the presentation for me was being surprised right before I started with a kiss on the back of my neck and a quick hug from my sweetheart, who had decided to spend his birthday morning supporting me. Love that man! It was sure nice to look out in the audience and see his smiling face.

Of course, I couldn’t do a presentation about Stampin’ Up! without including stamping, so I ended my address by inviting everyone there to create a Paper Pumpkin experience. I was reminded, as I so often am, of how fun—and sometimes entertaining—it is to watch people who are stamping for the first time. Most of the people in the room probably hadn’t ever stamped before, and I love watching people of all ages, genders, and walks of life pick up a stamp and ink pad and discover how it feels to create a card.

Last night we had plans to go out to dinner with as many of the kids who could make it. When I called to make reservations at Sterling’s favorite place (Bona Vita, an Italian restaurant near our home), the owner answered the phone, and he was excited to hear we were coming for Sterling’s special day. I knew we were in for a treat!

But things don’t always go as planned, right? When I got home last night, Sterling had a terrible headache, bad enough that he was actually feeling quite nauseous. He’d taken an Advil and thought it would kick in soon. We drove to the restaurant to meet the kids, but within 10 minutes, Sterling knew he couldn’t make it. He headed back home, leaving us there to celebrate the birthday without the birthday boy!

Today, thank heavens, he is feeling much better, so we declared it a birthday do-over. We went for a ride this morning, opened his presents, and are looking forward to enjoying the take-home box of spaghetti that I brought home from Bona Vita’s last night! Happy birthday, sweetheart!



Southern Utah Weekend

I’m blogging a little later than I had planned about this weekend, but I wanted to talk about it. As I mentioned earlier, our family went down to southern Utah for the weekend. Originally our plans were to attend the annual Fire & Ice gala for Dixie College; Megan has been on the board there for 10 years (this is her last year), so we’ve made a tradition of attending this formal event to support her and Mom Pat, who also works on this particular event.

Usually just the couples go down, but this year those who could go also took their children. We rented two condos close to each other and planned to have a family weekend together in St. George.

The Fire & Ice gala went well; it was a nice event, and Megan and Mom Pat both did great!

We spent much of Saturday in Kanab, attending Jayci’s funeral and luncheon, and showing our support and love for my sister and her family. It was one of the sweetest funerals I’ve ever attended; both of Jayci’s parents spoke, as well as one of her grandparents. We laughed and cried and enjoyed getting to know this amazing teenager a little bit better and understanding the powerful influence she had, not just on her family but on so many other people as well. It was inspiring to hear about the strength that God gives people to help us do things that seem impossible, as well as see the commitments this family has made to live so that they can be with Jayci again.

The luncheon afterwards was huge—our family is pretty big, and there were a lot of people there! It was nice to visit and hug and provide (and feel) the support that comes from each other.

We headed back to St. George Saturday afternoon and spent the evening relaxing and enjoying each others’ company. On Sunday we went to church and then caravanned home. The weekend didn’t end up going the way we had originally planned, but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.