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!



Wake Up Call

Sterling found himself a little weak and wobbly in his lower left leg when he woke up on Saturday morning. I asked him if it could have been a stroke (the Spirit’s first nudge to me that I ignored), and he told me he thought he’d just slept wrong and that it would go away during the day.

We went about our preparation day as usual, doing laundry and cleaning, with Sterling standing on a chair to clean our sliding glass door and climbing the stairs to our favorite little café for lunch. Sterling then drove us to Equine 808, where we donate time on Saturday afternoons, and he trimmed horses’ hooves. I haltered and gathered to minimize his walking. Then we vacuumed the car, had it washed, and stopped by Walmart. By this time, Sterling was getting tired and was happy to lean on the cart while I raced around the store.

On our way home, I insisted he stay in the car and take a nap while I ran into the store and grabbed some groceries. We hurried to shower and get ready for stake conference, and while we were sitting and waiting for the meeting to start, I decided to do a little research online. (This time I listened to the prompting).)

The first paragraph I read alarmed me, and I knew right away that I should have gotten online earlier in the morning. Sterling started to read with me, and everything described was exactly what happened. It was a great meeting, but I have to admit, we were both a little distracted, researching different kinds of strokes and nearby hospitals.

Shortly after the meeting, we headed to the hospital emergency room where we didn’t wait at all, and the staff was efficient and friendly. At first, the staff wasn’t sure what to think because Sterling’s symptoms were so subtle, but after a CT scan and an MRI, it was determined that he had definitely had a stroke. Today he’s getting an echocardiogram, and we hope to go home.

We don’t know all the details of the stroke and the plan moving forward because we haven’t seen the neurologist yet, but after physical therapy yesterday, the therapist discovered that Sterling had also lost a little mobility in his left hand, but overall he’s doing very well and should recover fully.

It was an emotional Sabbath day, FaceTiming our family and counting our blessings. The doctors and nurses tell us this is a wake up call. Well, we’re definitely awake…and feeling extremely blessed!

We wish all of you, our dear family and friends, a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!


An Unforgettable OnStage Experience

Hi Everyone, Sara here…

I am currently sitting in the airport in Brussels waiting to fly home and I am overwhelmed… in a good way. :)

We just wrapped up our first-ever OnStage Live event and our 11 world-wide Local events are concluding as well. Words cannot adequately express my feelings of gratitude, unity, and hope. I feel so blessed to be a part of such an inspiring Stampin’ Up! community.

I don’t think I will be able to capture all that went on around the world, but I have loved watching social media and seeing all of your comments and posts with friends. This is exactly what we were hoping for when we announced these new events!

We began our event here in Brussels with an opening General Session that unveiled the new Occasions (Spring/Summer) catalog! Our CentreStage event came after that later in the evening where we boarded a boat, had a “walking dinner” and a chance to visit with everyone.

Day two of the Live event included General Sessions and Product Spotlight where it actually felt like we were walking through pages of the catalog and being introduced to the amazing products inside. So awesome!

Day three brought with it the tragic events in Paris from the night before. Hearts were heavy, but the outpouring of love strengthened us and brought all of us together.

We concluded our event here with a final General Session and CenterStage Leadership.

All in all, an epic OnStage experience and new chapter in the history of Stampin’ Up! Hugs and love to all of you until we meet again in April! 



Hoop Boys Birthdays

Kona and Makai both had birthdays recently, so I thought I’d share their gift packaging. Legos are pretty popular with the younger boys in our family, particularly the Hoopiiaina and Brown boys. And the Ninja bottle…well, that’s just fun!


Gardner Grands at Halloween

Sterling and I look forward to our grandkids trick-or-treating at our home so we can see them up close, but this year we had to settle for photos.

Shanna and her little ones went to Disneyworld to celebrate Halloween. Abigail is at the age when she dresses up as a princess every day, and Liam plays with tractors and bulldozers non-stop, so their costumes were perfect for them.

The Hoopiianas went trick-or-treating in Jason’s old neighborhood with his family. Pokemon is one of Kona’s favorite things, and Makaii cracks me up…so theatrical!

As I opened Phoebe’s and Ashton’s photos, they seemed appropriate and cool, but when I clicked on Cooper’s, I gasped…scary! It wasn't what I expected, especially the close up photo I didn't post.

Sam’s was another spooky photo to see. I’m glad Sara sent one showing his face…made me feel better. And Sidney, Shelby, and Stella are just plain adorable! I think Seth’s face (painted by Sean) is the coolest ever!

Tanner (far left, standing) and his friends made a couple of pretty awesome bobsleds and raced them down the halls of their high school, and Cameron is Donald Trump (if you couldn’t tell). When I first saw the last photo, I thought it was one of Zach’s many girl friends hanging on him…until I realized it was our sweet and very grown up Olivia!

We handed out the September Paper Pumpkin goodie bags (containing chocolate, of course) to some of our missionaries and to those who volunteer with us at an animal rescue (a post for another day). Other than that, it was a pretty mellow and happy Halloween. Hope yours was too!



Home Office Halloween

Hi Everyone, Sara here!

We always have some sort of Halloween celebration here at the home office and this year was no different. On Thursday, every employee got a food voucher to use at one of the many food trucks set up outside for the occasion. It was fun to choose what to have for lunch, and even more enjoyable to sit and eat with fellow co-workers. 

Halloween is a pretty festive time here at the office, a lot of employees dress up and many bring their children in to trick-or-treat at each desk. I thought you might like to see some of the photos. Enjoy!