Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mr. and Mrs. F

The wedding was beautiful. Here are the bride and groom as they came out from the temple.

I really wanted to wait to post until my DIL posted her pics from the wedding, but I guess I will just go ahead and post the less formal ones that I kind of snapped.

We were so happy that everyone made it to the wedding and the reception--the weather was not exactly cooperating. We had people flying and driving in from all over. We were just so grateful that everyone made it safe and sound--there were some pretty tense moments before everyone arrived.

Everything went well. The weather was incredibly cold. We tried our best to keep the little bride warm. Macy was great as she took the pictures and tried very hard to keep the shots outside to a minimum. It was very difficult for me to let her take the shots--I really wanted some with just my camera ; ( I know her shots will definitely be worth the wait.

After the temple, the family all came back to my SIL's for an informal luncheon with both families. The bride and groom exchanged rings at the luncheon.

That evening we all went to "Somewhere Inn Time" for a lovely reception.

Everything was incredibly beautiful. I had never been to the place before and had only seen pictures on their website. It was beautifully decorated. I loved it, and I know Heidi did, too.

We got over there a little early so Macy could take lots of pictures. She was so busy. But for now, you'll just have to look at my photos. It was so fun to stand in the receiving line as Heidi's little students came through and in such sweet little voices they would say, "Congratulations, Mrs. F "(their parents would say they practiced saying her last name--so they wouldn't call her Miss Rob. They were just so cute.

I got some fun ones of the bride and groom during the toast--I'm not sure if this is when Allan was doing the toast or Ken (Daniel's dad).

Here are the bride and groom dancing--so sweet.

Now I wish I could post the daddy-daughter dance. It was so cute. They started out dancing to Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up" and then went to, "I Like To Move It, Move It", then "Staying Alive", then "Getting Jiggy With It", "YMCA" and back to "You Raise Me Up". It was a total surprise for everyone except Heidi, Allan, Me, and Neal--I'm really not sure if even Daniel knew about it. My SIL, Beverly said, "Mom would have been so proud"--and SHE WOULD HAVE LOVED EVERY MOMENT WATCHING HIM DANCE.

Our family loves to dance (especially Heidi)--it was so fun to watch everyone out on the dance floor.

I loved watching Heidi and Daniel having fun on the dance floor--I have so many pictures of him lovingly looking at Heidi ; )

And I love this picture of the F Family dancing.

It was a glorious day--I don't think anything could have gone any better. Once I get Macy's pictures, I'll post more.

The little "F" boys decorated the car and I had to laugh when Heidi showed me something written on the car, "The Bride Is Crazy". Heidi said, "I can't believe Ethan (Daniel's brother) wrote this on the car". When I went in and told my grandson, Chris, what was written on the car, he said, with a very sheepish grin on his face, "I can't imagine who would have written that." I knew immediately it wasn't Ethan ; ) Heidi and Chris had a good laugh--after she threw her shoes at him ; )

Monday, November 22, 2010


I've been having a blast here in Utah--busy, but the great kind of busy. So much to do and so little time. I PROMISE I WILL GET OUT AND READ BLOGS, JUST MAY TAKE ME SOME TIME.

Let me tell you about a couple of fun things I did. On Tuesday I went with Heidi when she went for her final fitting of her dress--SHE LOOKS BEAUTIFUL. I can't wait to post pictures.

On Friday, she had a bridal shower at her school. It was so cute--the theme was fairy tales/castles. There was this cute picture of a castle with a fairy princess and she was saying, "Oy, it's been 2 years, Daniel. Let's get hitched already" It was so fun to meet the teachers that Heidi works with and to meet Connie. I can't believe I didn't get a picture of us together, but I will definitely remember to do that on Wednesday night.

I took this picture of her by the sign to her classroom. Last day she will be teaching as Miss Rob--when she returns she will be Mrs. F.

On Saturday, I ran errands and then there was another bridal shower. It was so much fun. This one was family and friends. Heidi's friend, Whitney, hosted the shower, along with my sister-in-law, Beverly. Whitney asked Heidi to tell us all about how she and Daniel met and it was cute to hear her tell the story. Well, Whitney had also asked Daniel and so she read what Daniel wrote, and it was so sweet. Every day that young man gets more into my heart. He is such a sweetie and he obviously loves my daughter so much. And, can any mom ask for anything more???

Then Whitney divided us into two teams and we had to create a bridal gown out of a tablecloth and tissue paper. These girls/women were so creative. Here are the two dresses:

After the shower, my granddaughter, Kiah, and I drove out to pick up the dress. Then we met up with Heidi and the three of us got our nails done--something I haven't done IN YEARS. While we were there, Daniel arrived from Idaho. He brought Heidi's ring. He designed it and it is so beautiful. By the way, here is the picture from when he proposed a few weeks ago.

Here is the ring:

And then last night, some of the family arrived. It was so great to get to see my little grandson, G-man. He is such a cutie. It didn't take long and we were friends. We have so much in common: a love of Target and M&M's. It was so fun that Heidi got to finally introduce Daniel to her nephew, Chris. She and Chris have always been so close--they are HILARIOUS together. They are always razzing each other.I always love having time with Chris--he is my first grandson and he has grown into a fantastic young man. He has a beautiful wife, Heather--who is here, too, after just getting her wisdom teeth pulled on Friday ; ) Also, so glad Neal and Macy are here. Macy is the photographer for the wedding. I'm so grateful that even though she is due to have a baby the beginning of January, she has agreed to do this for Heidi. She will be doing Heidi's bridals today. That is going to be such fun to watch.

More errands to run today. Tomorrow afternoon my sweet hubby arrives and Allan's daughter, Nancy, and her grandson, Xander. I'm so excited to see them both--haven't seen them since Grandma's funeral. And later in the day Lindsay and Jason fly in and then Stephen and Daphne and their little guys will make the drive from California.

Wedding day on Wednesday--that morning Wendy will arrive and later that evening her hubby will fly in--hopefully in time for the reception. Sure wish Amanda and Darren could be here, but they will be missed. Also, Evan and Scarlett and Josh will not be here, but we will be thinking of all of them.

It's times like this I'm so grateful for digital cameras and memories--these are all going to just stay in my heart. On this Thanksgiving week (and Wedding Week ; ) I realize how much I have to be grateful for. It is so wonderful to be a mother and to watch your children's dreams come true.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm Here!!!

I got to Utah yesterday. So glad I am here. I'm still laughing about my trip yesterday. I had an early flight which meant I had to get up at 4:00 a.m. (Yes, I don't mind getting up early, but THIS WAS RIDICULOUS) Fortunately, I had everything ready so it didn't take long to get ready and out the door by 4:30 with my breakfast. This is one of the first times I flew without a stash of munchies for the flight and layover.

I probably need to back up a little. Back in January I participated in my first challenge. It was great. It went until April and then I participated in my second challenge which ran until June. I also did a challenge which a few friends which kind of fizzled out. Then in October I joined another challenge which has been great fun. We haven't had to do the "one small treat a day" and so it's been a whole lot easier for me, until this week. The wildcard for this week has been "enjoy one small treat a day". So I pick my treat very carefully and usually either divide it up and savor it throughout the day or have it at the end of the day. So, of course, I get on the plane yesterday morning and hear the stewardess say something I've not heard very often before, "Would you like a cookie with your beverage?" WHAT--ANY OTHER TIME I WOULD LOVE A COOKIE!!!! Then on my second flight, I'm sitting next to this woman who says, "Hey, I have a sugar cookie, would you like one??????" AGAIN, WHAT. That has never happened to me.

I need to add, I'm pretty glad I am not one who gets terribly nervous on a flight because the descent into Salt Lake was probably one of the bumpiest I have ever had. I was in the back row aisle seat and the stewardess was in her little seat next to me. As we were visiting I had told her when I'm on a flight and it starts getting bumpy, I usually look at the stewardess and if she isn't nervous, I'm not nervous. She said, "Well, don't look at me today, because I feel sick."

My sister-in-law and I stopped at In-N-Out--one of my favorite places to visit, and then we were off to her house. It's always great to have family who'll put up with you when you come to visit ; ) Brent came over. it was so GREAT to see him. Heidi got home from school and I was so happy to see her. I couldn't wait to see how excited she looked--AND SHE DEFINITELY DID. I have NEVER seen her that happy and I LOVED IT.

Brent and I went grocery shopping--I pretty much cleaned out the Ghiradelli supply at Wal-Mart. (Stocking stuffers for Allan ; )
Such a difference in price between them here and Canada. Got back and went to Kneaders for dinner. (I love that place)

It was a great evening. Heidi gave me my list of things to do so I spent most of today running around. It was fun--would have been more fun, but I had a ball anyway. I sure wish I could have been here helping her all along. She has done so much stuff already. I know everything is going to be wonderful.

I met up with her this afternoon at her school. Funny, but when I was walking up to the school, I saw this beautiful woman walking out and I recognized her IMMEDIATELY. It was Connie--so fun to meet her. We had a couple of minutes to talk and she is as lovely and fun as she is on her blog. I'm looking forward to Heidi's shower on Friday, so we'll have a little more time to visit.

Had dinner with Brent tonight.

It's been a great couple of days.

Sidenote #1: Some time ago I had written to Aubrey and asked her for some suggestions on what to do with an area in my house. She sent me some ideas and I found a table and with the help of my friend, Cory, found a great chair. What do you think???

Sidenote #2: I still haven't gotten over Brandy getting kicked off of Dancing With The Stars ; (

Monday, November 8, 2010

Simply Grateful

Let me begin by saying thank you for reading these posts. I know how busy everyone is, and the fact that you would take your time to read AND COMMENT means so much to me.

After doing this month of gratitude posts, I think I can say I really know that I have so much for which to be grateful. I have been richly blessed.

I truly do believe the words to the hymn "When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed, when you are discouraged thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord has done."

This has been a great exercise for me.

The next couple of weeks are going to get a little crazy, but it will be a good crazy--full of excitement. It is so fun to talk with Heidi on the phone--she is so excited. It will be wonderful to spend so much time with family--all of of our children, except for Elder Rob will be together. Almost all of our grandchildren will be there, too. In my e-mail from my little Elder today he mentioned that he and his companion went to a sealing last Friday. He had never been to a sealing and he said it was wonderful. But he also said it made him a little down because as he watched the family all gathered together he knew we would all be gathered together at the temple on the 24th.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Gratitude for My Testimony

I just realized I have not expressed my gratitude for my testimony.

When I was a little girl my family never went to Church. My parents each were brought up with a different religion. We really didn't talk much about religion. When Stephen was about 17 months old I had to find a new babysitter and was introduced to this wonderful lady named Janice. She had a little boy who was about 5 months old. It was a great fit. She was wonderful with Stephen. I think when we had been going there about a year she invited me to go to a Relief Society meeting on a Wednesday night. I really liked it and started going on a regular basis. After going for pretty close to a year, I started going to Church with her. She knew I needed the Gospel and I appreciate so very much her willingness to invite me. I joined the Church in 1974. This is a picture of Janice and Daryl on the day my little granddaughter was baptized. I know I really appreciate her courage in inviting me because I can honestly say if you looked (and listened to me) back then you would think--"Oh, I don't think SHE will ever listen."

As I look at all that has happened to me during the past 36 years, I'm so grateful that I had the Gospel to help me through it all. I think being able to teach my children that God loves them and is mindful of them is such a great blessing. When I spoke a few weeks ago in Stake Conference, one of the things I said was, "I always look at being a mom as my stewardship. These children are really Heavenly Father’s children that have been sent to my husband and me. When I think in terms of that—it’s much easier for me. When they struggle, and I go to Him in prayer—I know He loves them even more than I do, so He will help me know what I should do and what I should say because He has their best interest at heart. Matthew 18:14 says: “It is not the will of your Father which is in Heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” I can't imagine how hard it would be raising children without a testimony. I have such a strong testimony of prayer and the peace that comes as we pray. I'm grateful that I can repent of my sins and because of Jesus Christ's Atonement I can be forgiven. I love Alma 7:11-12 that reads, "And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people,; and he will take upon him their infirmities that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to the infirmities." I know that Thomas S. Monson is a Prophet of God and I am so grateful to know that he truly is God's mouthpiece and helps us know the things God would want us to know at this time. I know that the scriptures are true and am so grateful that I can pick them up whenever I want and read messages that will help me, if I seek for the Spirit to help me apply them.

I do know that i do need to do a better job of sharing my testimony.

Sidenote: In addition--I'm grateful for the extra hour of sleep tonight ; )

Friday, November 5, 2010

Gratitude for Laughter

I've said it before, and I will say it again--I think laughter truly is the best medicine. I'm grateful for those around who can make me laugh.

I'm grateful for a husband who has a fantastic sense of humor and can make me laugh at almost a moment's notice. I also have some pretty funny kids--wish I was writing this AFTER we were all together, because I'm pretty sure THERE WILL BE STORIES TO TELL.

When I was in California, my son decided to give B a haircut. He only shaved part and I was laughing so hard--had to take this pic.

This makes me laugh every time I see it--I don't think I have EVER slept THAT SOUNDLY ; ) I guess he was pretty tired.

Another fun shot of Neal--bag in 2000 he ended up having to have an appendectomy. We were in town because Stephen and Daphne were having Hannah blessed, so we drove up to the hospital to visit him. Couldn't not take the opportunity to play around--besides this shot of Allan fiddling with his IV, we have a shot of Neal's daughter Amanda "pulling the plug".

These kids love their dad--they really do not mind his bald head and were not rubbing his head in hopes that he would grow hair.

And I hope we get a few fun shots like this at Heidi's wedding.

And FINALLY, just in case you need a little idea for something special for someone who has everything for Christmas--HOW ABOUT THESE????

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gratitude for Blogging

This is like my 570th blog post--WOW!!!

I started blogging in 2007 and the experience has been wonderful. Along the way I have met some pretty fantastic people--which has been a real treat. I am so grateful that my husband is so supportive of my blogging--I think he knows it has been good for me. He has even been with me to meet a few of my blogging buddies.

I think one of the things I love about reading other blogs is you get a look at life from someone else's perspective. Many of the blogs I read are people who are dealing with things similar to what I am dealing with or have dealt with. It just seems to help. One of the hardest things is to realize that there are so many funny people who write so well--I just write and I'm not funny. So I have learned I really cannot compare myself to others.

Throughout the years, I have appreciated all the comments that people have left on my blog. I have only had a couple of negative comments and I'm grateful for that--I don't think I could handle mean comments, so THANK YOU.

I just want all of you whose blogs I have read throughout the years to know that you have helped me so much. I learned so much about myself because of your experiences.


And if you are looking for some great blogs to read--check out my sidebar ; )

Sidenote #1: Today is Wendy's 40th birthday. Happy Birthday, Wendy.

Sidenote #2:I'm excited because I think I found something to wear to Heidi's wedding. I was going to wait until I got to Utah but then I worried--WHAT IF I COULDN'T FIND SOMETHING ; )

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Gratitude for the Chance to be a Mom

I became a mom when I was quite young. I was so nervous. The year I gave birth to Stephen, three of my sisters all had children. Two nieces were born in February, Stephen in May, and then a nephew in September. It was definitely a growing experience for me. I had done a lot of babysitting as a teenager--yeah, back then it was 50 cents an hour ; ) Unfortunately, I didn't babysit many newborns--but I can attest to the fact that you can learn as you go along. I did a lot of reading and had a great pediatrician. (I also had a couple of women I had worked with who were a great help)

When Stephen was a little boy we had a lot of fun together. Unfortunately, being a single mom, I had to go to work when he was 6 weeks old. I was very lucky because he was a great baby. I still remember one of his favorite things to do was go to the zoo. I have a lot of great memories--going to the drive-in to see Star Wars; bribing him (or should I say tricking him) to ride the roller coaster at Great America; field trips; and all of his years in Little League and Soccer. (Being a sports enthusiast I was very involved--especially in Little League.) He was such a trooper and when I was working a second job and then a third one, doing medical transcribing, he used to go with me to the office at night while I did my work. I remember how excited he was when I did my TV commercial and it aired on TV. He had a friend over and said to him, "Oh there's my mom." The friend said, "Yeah, right." And then looked at the TV and looked at me and was shocked!!!!

It was quite an adjustment when I married Allan and instead of being a mom to one became a stepmom to 3 others. I've written about it before, but Allan and I were pretty naive. We thought because we loved each other everyone would get along. Unfortunately, it didn't always work that way. But through some tough times, I think we have come out okay. A few bumps and bruises, but we made it.

With the arrival of each of the little ones, life changed again. When I was pregnant with Heidi I'm sure Neal, Nancy and Wendy all wondered what was wrong with me. I was quite sick, but they were great. (Neal left for BYU a couple of months before Heidi was born. He was such a great big brother and even wrote her notes ; ) I think they were all pretty excited when she was born. I'm so happy that Nancy will be able to come to Utah when Heidi gets married later this month. I know Heidi is so happy to know all of her brothers and sisters (with the exception of Elder Rob) will be there. I think she has forgiven her brother Stephen for putting the creepy mask on her light fixture in her room as well as torturing her with those wacky wall walkers ; )

A couple of years later, we went through it again. By then, Neal was already a dad, so when Brent was born he was an uncle to his nephew Christopher. Heidi loved being a big sister.

By the time Kyle was born all the older kids had left home. Heidi and Brent loved having a little brother. (I guess Heidi wanted a sister, so she took many opportunities to dress him up as a girl ; )

Nancy, Neal and Stephen are all great parents/and believe me Wendy has been a second mom to Nancy's boys. She is always right there to help them whenever they need help.

It is so fun to be part of a big family. I love every chance I have to be together with all of my kids--they are great and it is such a joy to be their mom/stepmom. I doubt I'll get much sleep over the next few weeks because I AM SO EXCITED TO HAVE THE CHANCE TO BE WITH ALL OF THEM. I'm going to enjoy each and every minute. I'm so excited for my daughter, but not as excited as she is ; )

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Gratitude For Roadside Assitance

This morning I went out to run errands. After about 3 stops, I was leaving someone's house and got in the car and turned the key and NOTHING. I assumed my battery was dead--called CAA. They said they would be there in the next 90 minutes. YIKES.

My friend came out and used her battery cables to give my van a jump. NOTHING.

So I waited--fortunately it was only a little over 30 mintues.

The guy hooked it all up and NOTHING.

He cleaned off the connections and tightened them and finally VOILA. IT STARTED. I was very happy.

So today I am very grateful we have roadside assistance and I was back home sooner than I expected and was able to get to my fitness class.

But, I need to remember on these cool, cool mornings to be sure and take my gloves and a jacket--it got a little cold.

BIG SIDENOTE: THE GIANTS WON THE WORLD SERIES. It was FANTASTIC. They played so well throughout the series. As I said on facebook, the only thing that would have made it better was to be watching the game with my dad. I still remember how excited he was in 1962 when they went to the World Series--especially because they beat the Dodgers to win the National League Pennant. Unfortunately they lost in 7 games to the New York Yankees. But it's all different today THEY ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Gratitude for Missionaries

It's Monday and that means I heard from my little Elder today, so it only makes sense that I would do a post about my gratitude for missionaries. It is always so wonderful to hear from him. HE SOUNDS FABULOUS and is enjoying the work in his new area. It's hard for me to believe that he is already in the 23rd week of his mission. It really is going by so quickly. A picture from his last photo CD. He and his companion didn't go into the museum because it costs $4.00 ; )

Being a convert to the Church, I have such an appreciation for this young men and women who give up time to go out and serve the Lord. It obviously changed my life. (Yes, it was a friend who introduced me to the Church, and I was taught by Ward missionaries, but also full-time missionaries)

I also want to express my gratitude for the families of missionaries who make a sacrifice to send their sons and daughters out. As I wrote on a previous post, I am especially in awe of those who are not members themselves, but yet they support their children.

And, of course, I am truly grateful for the senior missionaries. I have watched as we have had senior sisters in our Ward and I am so impressed when I hear them talk about what it took for many of them to get out on a mission. What love and dedication. We have also had some great senior couples--they are It was so fun for me to read the experiences of my blogging buddy Natalie when she and her husband served their mission. They are home now, and I really am looking forward to having a chance to see her when I'm in Utah for Heidi's wedding.

I know my husband LOVED his mission to Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia and has such great memories. (And we really are looking forward to being able to go on a mission when he retires) And Brent loved serving the people in the Arizona Tempe Mission. When I went to a recent farewell for 9 of our missionaries who were going home, I loved it when one of them said, "It has been the best two years, but I don't want it to be the best two years of my life."

I am also so grateful for the members in the area where Elder Rob is serving--I know the great love they have for him and his companion. It is wonderful to know they are watching out for them. It is such a blessing to have a child on a mission. Do I miss him? Of course, I do, but when I read his e-mails each week and know the growth that is taking place, it is so worth it.

My future son-in-law's younger brother just got his mission call to the Arkansas Little Rock Mission. He reports in February (he doesn't turn 19 until January)

SIDENOTE: Hoping the Giants can win the World Series tonight--that would sure be exciting.