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!




A New Adventure

I typically don’t post when my blog header changes, but judging by the response from the designers to the photo when they first saw it, I thought maybe this one might need a little explanation. When our designers first saw the photo of me with Kadie (my horse), they were all pretty surprised—after all, I don’t ride horses, right?

Well, I used to not ride horses. In fact, I’ve even posted several times about going with Sterling on his endurance rides, but not riding myself. Instead, while he rides with a group of our friends, I’ve stayed at camp, working or relaxing or hiking.

Well, things changed this year. Sterling’s always been very supportive of me and my interests, and I decided that I wanted to return the favor. So earlier this year, I started riding regularly, and this weekend, we’re heading off on my first official “endurance” ride. Perfect time for a new blog header that features my new interest. I can’t wait to let you know how this new adventure goes!

 P.S. I included a few of the photos that we choose not to use as well, just for the fun of it!



Short-Term Pain for Long-Term Gain

I read a comment on my blog recently where someone said, in essence, thanks for always sharing the best of what’s happening in your life. I do focus on the positive here on my blog—and that makes sense to me. Like everybody else, I struggle—life can be hard. Those struggles can range from simple, everyday nuisances to some pretty serious struggles, but most often they are very personal and not necessarily things I choose to blog about. And I try to stay positive, even when life is difficult.

That said, I have been struggling with one of those everyday nuisances that I thought I would share. Several months ago—not sure exactly when—my shoulder and upper arm began hurting when I moved certain ways. It bothered me at yoga, when I was riding. . . all sorts different things. I knew I had to do something, so last week I started intense muscle work, which is somewhat similar to sports injury therapy. . . although I like to call it massage on steroids.

But don’t let the word massage fool you. Oh, no! This is definitely not massage like most of the world knows it! This is painful; I told the therapist it reminded me of labor, the pain was so intense. I have to lay there on the table and breathe through the pain, just like I did when I had my babies. She told me she hears that analogy a lot!

The treatment is based on the theory that, at some point the muscles were injured, and they compensated by working differently than they are supposed to. Now, that compensation has created its own set of problems, so this muscle work is designed to retrain the muscles to work properly.

My upper arm is bruised and painful to the touch, and I have moments when I wonder if the cure is worse than the disease, but after three treatments, I’m starting to see and feel a difference. . . I can actually hold my arm over my head now! I’m thinking it’s one of those instances where short-term pain is worth the long-term gain, and I’m just grateful for options—and improvement!



Happy Father's Day to the Men in My Life

Father’s Day provides the perfect opportunity to reflect on great men in our lives who have influenced us, and I had a wonderful weekend celebrating the amazing men in my life.  I’m blessed to have a great dad, plus two stepdads, an amazing husband, and five sons-in-law. . . each of whom I look up to and admire for different reasons.

For Father’s Day, Sterling wanted to go out to dinner with our girls and their husbands, so we invited everyone to dinner at Valter’s, a downtown restaurant that we’d heard great things about but never tried.  A few of the girls had been there before, and they said it was great, so we were all excited. We weren’t disappointed—it was great food and even better company.

Yesterday we went to Megan’s and Nate’s house for a BBQ; Sean and Sara were there too, plus a few other friends. We brought our own meat and a side dish, and enjoyed trying out a few new dishes. Seth also celebrated his birthday, which meant that we got to end the night with Sara’s much-coveted Texas sheet cake—perfect ending to a great weekend.

Hope you all had an equally wonderful Father’s Day and that you are blessed with good men in your lives. . . .



Favorite Vacation of the Year!

Just about everyone in our family agrees—Lake Powell is the best vacation ever! And this year has to be one of the best of the best! I blog about our days on the lake every year, so I won’t bore you with many details (I’ve got lots of photos though!). . . I’ll just focus on what made this year stand out. 

The first thing that comes to mind—NO WIND! That’s a first! We almost always have a little wind, and sometimes we have quite a bit of wind, even to the point of being dangerous. Not this year! It was fabulous not to have to worry about the wind whipping up and creating problems; I know that’s always something that Sterling and the boys stress about, so we loved that this year wind didn’t even enter the picture.

Our grandchildren are getting older, which means a few things were different. While the menu items remain the same, the quantity sure did increase! I was amazed at how much food we went through—we’re definitely feeding some growing bodies.

Shanna and Jared and the twins didn’t come—we definitely missed them, but understood why they chose not to come. The twins are little but mobile—and fast! Two-year-old Makai was the youngest grandchild there, and we still had to keep our eyes on him, but watching one child is sure different than watching a dozen! The others were all old enough and good enough swimmers that, while we kept them in sight, we didn’t have to be nearly as vigilant as in years past.

Because the grandchildren are older, they were going pretty much all the time. There was always someone on a wave runner or in a boat pulling a water skier or bumbuster! Because of some healthy cousin competition, pretty much everyone got up on skis or took turns wake boarding—even some adults who in the past have pretty much been spectators got in the act!

It was hotter than normal, so we spent a LOT of time in the water! Even I got more sun and swimming in than normal—and I loved every minute of it!

The trip felt more relaxing, probably because of all the things I just mentioned! We enjoyed visiting, popping popcorn and watching movies in the evening, just relaxing and enjoying each others’ company. My only complaint? It ended way too soon! I’m already looking forward to next year. . .








The Last Five

Here are the last five--happy 25th anniversary!