Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sending You a Little Halloween Magic

It's Halloween.  There's a weird kind of magic in the air.  Around our house it looks a little like this.
That's right.  We've got lawn gnomes!
Lovely little lawn gnomes.
I knew these two would be cute... but I had no idea they'd make me weak in the knees.  I thought the only thing gnomes did was help in the garden at night.  I can now tell you they produce countless smiles as well.
Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Stinkin' Cute

Stinking cute.  I always thought it meant overwhelmingly cute or something like that but as I've been trying to put some words together to honor my baby it dawned on me.  Stinking cute should be reserved for children such as Tyler.  He is a stinker.  He is cute.  Some days I want to send him back.  I don't because he's cute.  Hence, stinkin' cute.
This little rat is really coming into his own.  He's got a personality big enough to blow the roof off our house so we spend most of our time trying to manage that... but man do we love him to pieces.  In the picture above he was really testing his limits and I was trying to be so stern, but I'd have to quickly turn my face so he couldn't see me cracking up.  We were up on the mountain and were driving an incredibly short distance so I did not buckle him.  (I know... don't report me... you don't even know how not far we were going)  I asked him to sit so he wouldn't get owies and he'd oblige me for about a second.  You know... just long enough to get turned around and driving again.  Then I'd see him out of the corner of my eye inching his way up and out of his seat.  There was a large box on the floor in front of him so I wasn't worried about him falling down and he thought it was a perfect place to perch and watch the scenery go by.  After a few rounds of stop. scold. start. stop. scold. turn to laugh. scold. start. (you get the picture) I finally pulled the camera out because he was being such a punk.  You can kind of see the evil in his eye... but the camera prompted him to be just a titch more delightful.  I could not stop laughing because he is so... the words... I don't know... mischievous... so much like his father.  That's actually the first thing I told Colby when he met up with us.  The whole episode just reminded me of a story I have heard about a certain young man (uh-hmm...Colby) that was asked to stop throwing the ball in the house and he persisted while explaining that he was just tossing it.  At one point he was informed to "NOT PUT THE BALL IN MOTION."  Oh, his poor mother.  I have such empathy for her.
Like I said, though, he really is so cute and I love him to pieces.  This was from the same afternoon and he was in heaven making smores.  Can you tell?  He thought he was SO cool roasting his own marshmallow and making a mess with it.  He's happiest whenever he gets to act like a big kid.  Which he almost is.  He's been showing signs of wanting to be potty trained so I'm gearing up for that.  Today he walked the whole way to preschool with Marshall.  He refused to let me carry him like usual.
I've slacked and haven't gotten Tyler in for his well child visit yet, so I don't have official stats but I'll tell you this.  He's thinner than Marshall was and his head, by far, is smaller than Marshall's was, and he's taller than Marshall was.

He likes to eat... nothing.  Actually, he loves candy, cookies, chips, and pickles.  He'll rarely eat anything but he does like chicken.  He LOVES milk... in his bottle.  I've decided I need to hide them and see if he starts to eat anything other than milk.  Marshall did this same kind of thing so I figure it will all sort out.

He loves to play with balls, trucks, animals, and whatever Marshall has.  His favorite word is mine.  He's also often heard saying daddy, MOM! and baby.  He points out anything that has a baby on it and any baby he ever sees.  We're really excited that Aunt Cassadee will be having her baby soon so he can love on it. 

I can't remember what else is notable about him right now... besides his impatience and his temper.  That's incredibly notable.  But he remains incredibly lovable all the same.  Oh yeah... happy 18th month birthday big guy!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


One of my greatest dreams for the future is to see my family grow in love and happiness.  Colby and I both come from great, big, wonderful families.  I love that.  I want our family to be big, great and wonderful too.  I want to see our children come to earth, learn and grow, find a love of their Heavenly Father and understand His mission for them.  I want them to truly understand they are children of God and strive to please him every day.  I want to see my boys serve missions for the church and work harder than ever.  I want to see all my children marry in the temple and start families of their own.

I've really grown to appreciate the way Colby's family is from this small town and they've all stuck together and all still live here.  On his dad's side every single member of the family lives in this valley.  Some might find that strange or overwhelming.  I understand how it is hard to wrap your head around the idea.  But I've fallen in love with the way his family is so close.  We see practically all of them on a weekly basis and because of that some of our greatest friends are people we'll be able to be with forever.  As a family.  I realize the chances of all of us staying so near to each other, physically, is very slim but we're talking about dreams here aren't we?  But if my own family could live in such a close vicinity I'd be so grateful.  I see the way it blesses the lives of each generation and it leaves me wishing that all of my cousins could have continued to grow up in the same area and stayed great friends like we were when we were young.

Bottom line is I hope that my family stays together.  Forever.  It doesn't have to mean living within a handful of miles of each other... it's not entirely realistic.  It means I want us together in spirit and love.  To always turn to each other to share our ups and downs and to strive to please our Father in Heaven daily.  I know its possible and I know that it takes all of us working together to make good choices and choosing to love each other more than ourselves every day.

Monday, October 25, 2010


My hopes, dreams, plans for the next 365 days

This is quite scattered and incredibly incomplete... but here goes my list (as it comes to me)
  • give up sugar (again)
  • run the St. George Marathon again with my step mom
  • REALLY master our budget
  • learn to better manage my time
  • keep learning to play the piano
  • get out of debt
  • get closer to the idea of another baby
  • shoot a couple more weddings
  • magnify my calling
  • add another good habit to my family's day
  • cook vegetarian from time to time
  • always wake up early
  • simplify
  • help Marshall learn to read
  • paint the bathroom
  • hang photos on the walls
  • bake bread
  • potty train Tyler
  • waste less time
  • put in our lawn
  • buy the boys a bunk bed
  • do something for someone every day
  • find a great pair of skinny jeans
  • convince Colby they (the jeans) are cute
  • save $$$ for our 2012 vacation   .aloha.
  • buy a Mac (that would fall under the dream category)
  • keep growing my hair out
  • perfect my cilantro lime rice recipe
  • try something new
  • become more patient

Sunday, October 24, 2010


What's in my bag?
I use my giant, over-sized purse as a diaper bag.  I just can't stand to carry anything but my colorful bags.  You can commonly find diapers, wipes, lip gloss, fruit snacks, fruit snack wrappers, dump trucks and back hoes, a horse or two, sometimes a pen, and lately there have been a few dum dum suckers.  But those have recently been eaten.  If you time it right you can even find Tyler's bottle that we hide for emergencies.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


My worst habit is cracking my knuckles.  Once as a teenager I quit, but I'm in the middle of a relapse that is lasting years.  I hate that I do it but just can't help it.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Haha.  I'm supposed to talk about my week in great detail, but it's been pretty "blah" and I already over shared yesterday.  :)  Don't give up and pass on this though.  You may find my boring, simple life quite relatable and perhaps a little entertaining.

I'll start with Sunday.  I had been in SoCal for a photography workshop with Tonya Joy Photography and was on my way home on Sunday.  My sister Megan went with me and we always have fun together so a quick trip up and back was just fine.  We made it home quicker than I have driven that stretch in quite a while.  I blame it on my dad's car.  We took it down there because the MPG is almost 3xs better than our truck.  However, it's speedometer is also almost 2xs as capable, if you get what I'm saying.  I did have one scare with the Highway Patrol outside of Mesquite but it turned out to be just a reminder to slow down.  I didn't even have to make friends with him since he never stopped me.  I was way excited to get home and see my three boys and spend some time with family as we always do on Sundays.  Our Sunday afternoons are crazy busy with at least five different stops.  I don't complain though because I only WISH that more of my side of the family could live so close.  Besides, its only bad one of every three years when our visits start after 4 pm when we have 1:00 church.

Monday I don't even remember.  Haha.  I'm pretty sure I spent the entire day in front of my computer.  I had three shoots alone from my weekend in California and two others from before then.  I'm almost done with half of that work flow.  I don't think about it too much though because then I think about the pics I've taken for myself of my kids and stuff and realize I've fallen way too far behind compared to how I used to deal with my pictures.  The trouble is... I have gotten so used to edited photos that I love them more than a snapshot.  Therefore I want to edit every pic that would enter my photo albums... which means loads of work piling up each month as I neglect it.

Tuesday we spent the majority of the day at my in law's working on a project with Cassadee that is for Christmas.  It was a fun way to slow things down a bit and hang out while our kids ran amuck teaching each other all sorts of bad things.  I'm not kidding you.  My kids have been on a kick lately that is wearing me out.  I've decided that I must stay strong and be diligent in teaching them the way they should behave.  It just makes for one exhausted mother.  In fact, the boys had me so close to my wit's end that when we got home we read scriptures, said prayers, and they were sent straight to bed.  We (Colby or I) usually lay by Marshall until he falls asleep and I like to get Tyler unwound before I put him in bed, but I set them both in their beds and reminded Marshall that even if Ty was crying he was to stay still with his eyes closed so Tyler could see what he was supposed to be doing.  Child #1 only mildly resisted while #2 was much more upset about the situation but I was being stubborn.  After only a few short minutes Tyler's wailing and gnashing of teeth ended and I felt like the world's most successful mother!  Both kids asleep in the same room with minimal work on my part.  My life was going to be forever changed.

I even started Wednesday with this attitude.  But that all came quickly crumbling down when I noticed an odd smell in the boys' room in the morning and couldn't quite put my finger it until much investigating revealed that Tyler's usual reaction to incessant screaming had occurred the night before (he will totally scream and cry to the point that he throws up) and he slept with throw up in his bed the entire night.  I couldn't find any signs that he actually slept in it, but all the same.  My kid had gotten sick and I didn't know so I didn't take care of the issue.  I felt like the world's worst mother at that point.  Anyway, we spent the majority of the day preparing for Relief Society that night (which had slipped my mind until the night before).  Marshall had preschool this day and it was a great break for him and I both.  When he was done with school we went to our friend's house for our weekly playgroup then ended up at Grandma's to continue working on our project and I left the boys there when I went to RS.

Now you all know about yesterday so I won't go into much detail there.  However I will explain another "trial" from the week.  We woke up early Monday morning to rain and Colby could not work on Kolob as planned because the road they're on is far too dangerous when it is wet so he decided he better head down to Willow Beach (Lake Mead-ish) to help his dad.  So he was gone all week and I hate when that happens.  We've spent many months (a majority, I think) of these last few years living this way and I was seriously bummed out all Monday then I spent the rest of the week getting used to the idea.  But he got home yesterday evening and we're all very happy about it.

As for today, I plan to stay at home.  Do very little- which translates to folding a week's worth of laundry, finish editing one photo session and actually cook dinner once this week- and wait to hear how Colby's sisters do in their soccer game today.  If they win we'll all be headed up to Salt Lake to watch them take state!!!  I realize I said this yesterday, but I just know they can do it.  They just have to play like they can (and have) and keep it all together and they'll dominate.  We're so proud of them.  ---If you happen to read this in the AM, check back tonight for an update.---

Well, turns out the girls lost.  :(  And while they were losing the four of us were at home being lazy watching "How to Train Dragon."  Over and over and over.  While doing that I finished the boys' beards for their costumes and I successfully cooked dinner before 7 pm.  I assume I'll fold laundry tomorrow.

I hope that was enjoyable for you.  This makes me realize I really need to keep a daily journal so that when I look back on these crazy years I'll be able to remember the little things.  Like the time that Marshall prayed for his light that I broke a while ago and haven't fixed yet.  In the middle of his prayer he even leaned over to me and informed me, "You did not get a new one yet."  What a silly boy.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Today we review the details of my day.  I will update this from time to time... I hope to edit some more pictures today so I'll be around the computer enough to keep it interesting.

As of 12:46 am I am still up and trying to finish this week's episode of House before I get myself to bed.  I started it while I was finishing up editing my aunt and uncle's family session.  There are some great ones...  I hope to be in bed by 1.  I've just thought of a question though.  Does a day start at midnight or when you wake up?

We were up about 8.  But Marshall climbed into my bed and cuddled for a bit so we didn't get going right away.  During breakfast Marshall decided he needed to go potty and while he was walking through the kitchen he turned around and said, "My crampin' leg still hurts."  I thought he said his crappin' leg so I was really weirded out.  But once I realized what he was talking about I laughed.  He repeats everything he hears and he was totally talking like Colby.  Near the end of the marathon Colby was experiencing crazy cramping in his thighs and Marshall totally picked up on us talking about it so from time to time he says his thigh is cramping.  You should have seen him (Marshall) a few days after  the race.  I had been killer sore and was walking around like a crippled grandma and one time Marshall goes through the room hunched over talking slow measured steps and moaning as he went.  I busted up laughing and he thought it was funny that he got caught copying mommy.  He's hilarious.

Well, back to today.  I tidied up the kitchen then finished folding and sorting some clothes that need to be taken to Kid to Kid.  We're headed into town today to get the stuff we need for Halloween costumes so now Marshall is super stoked about our day of errands.  He's also found a renewed excitement about being a lawn gnome for Halloween.  I've got quite the list of things to do so let's hope we get done before it really rains because I hate wrestling the stroller into the cab of the truck but I don't like for it to get rained on either.  We need another car...

Turns out I decided to brave the day without a stroller.  Which turned out OK because my great sister Lauren joined us for the afternoon.  We went to Kid to Kid and DI to find oversize Tshirts for the boys' costumes and I was hoping to find some brown shoes for Marshall but didn't have any luck at finding ones that would work.  We only need them for Halloween so I didn't want to buy new and they didn't even have to be super cute but thank goodness Target had some slippers that were only one size too big that will work OK.  We needed to grab some lunch (because I seem to suffer hypoglycemic symptoms from time to time and I was in the middle of a CRASH!!!) so I had some free/half off deals at 25 Main so we got some yummy food and some cupcakes.  Places like that remind me of Walton's in Austin but are never as good.  The food was good... just not Walton's.  After that we hit JoAnn's for some fabric and yarn then we picked up Megan from school.  The last thing on the list of stuff to do was find Marshall a new hoodie.  Easier said than done but I got one.  I did find the sweetest leather jacket at Target, but I wanted a hoodie... I'm still drooling over that jacket though.  It would MAKE the cutest photo shoot.  (Yes, I'm always thinking like that.)

Once we got home we grabbed some snacks and chowed down on spinach & artichoke dip while watching America's Next Top Model.  We were glad to see K go home.  Now I'm just waiting for Colby to get home because we have a couple of surprises for him.  He's been gone all week and that's hard!  While I'm sitting here I'm watching Tyler play with a pen.  He's got it ink side up... periodically "clicking" it against the couch... watching the ball point pop up and down.  Marshall is sitting on the couch by me with his one size too big slippers on.  They still even have the elastic band on them that holds them together.  He's using the band as a slingshot of sorts with his toy motorcycle.  I love my kids.  Well.. we'll see about that.  It will all depend on how severe the heart attacks are that they give me. Tyler just stood at the edge of the couch ready to swan dive into the floor.

We were so excited to have Colby home!!!  I love watching my boys freak out about "Daddy!" and love on him for a while.  This morning Tyler saw a picture of Colby on the computer and kept going on and on about him and at one point reached out to Colby in order to be held.  It's pretty funny when he does that.  As if the picture could hold him... again... I love my kids.  Tyler did that to a picture of Grandpa Stratton the other day and it just melted my heart.  That boy has a thing for his Grandpas and he is so blessed to have so many in his life.

After Colby had been home a bit we headed next door to help our neighbors clean their house before they move in.  We're so excited to have good neighbors that I would gladly help them do whatever it took to get them moved in.  After that we headed down to Colby's parents' to check in on a few things and send them off to soccer semi-finals with all the luck we could muster.  I really hope the girls win tomorrow so we can watch them play in the State Championship game!  We'll see...  I know they can do it!  I'm headed to bed.  I'm ignoring the socks and shoes on the floor in the family room and I'm getting some shut eye.  There will be time to pick up shoes in the morning.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I live in a house that has legos on the floor.  The family room is nearly tidy.  If someone walked in my front door right now they'd likely trip over a large truck.  Besides that I'd be comfortable to let them in.  I vacuum often enough that I wouldn't be too nervous. 

Being a stay at home mom is the greatest thing I ever wanted for myself.  My wildest dreams come true.  I've found that I am not the type that can have a perfectly clean house a majority of the time.  Just the other night I told Colby I don't have the energy to follow after my kids (once the house has been cleaned) and pick up after them 24/7 and keep them from touching every last thing.  I believe my kids need to learn and explore and we work on picking up after ourselves, but the experiences are more important than cleanliness.  I'm not kidding you.  I had the kitchen spotless.  Even the table was polished and perfect.  And I felt like I was going to pull my hair out after keeping every last crumb and smudge out of sight for an hour and a half.  I felt like I had to show Colby the fruits of my day's labors so he'd really see what I had accomplished that day.  You know how some days are like that...

I haven't decorated much since we moved here over a year ago... I was lucky enough to find a duvet cover that looked exactly like the curtains I was hoping to find so I chopped it up and hung them on a rod.  That's pretty much the extent of the decor of our house.  I'm a huge lover of decor magazines, but apparently I have expensive taste.  So... until I come into some money my crazy brain can't find anything else I really want to bring into my home.

A couple of secrets about our house...  I should wash dishes at least once more during the week than I do AND 90% of the time if you are in my house and it looks spotless it has all been cleaned except for one room.  My bedroom.  I really only sleep in there, so my eyes quickly turn off when I walk in.  Hence the gradual build up of clutter.  I really need to tackle that soon!  I'm happy to report that I'm working on both of those things.

So that wraps up this segment of "where I live."  That way if any of you have ever wondered what its like in my house your eyes have been opened and any of you that have spent some time here are nodding in agreement.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


This may seem weird, but I couldn't find any of the few videos that had some of the people I loved in them... so I went with a video that reminds me of my childhood and that Marshall loves.  Megan showed him this on her phone once and started a tradition of watching Veggie Tales on her phone when she babysits.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Marshall's Prayer

Marshall had some classic lines in tonight's prayer.
  • bless Carly, Cassadee, and Cierra so they can play basketball nicer
  • bless the fish so they can swim
  • bless Tyler to learn words so he can tell us what he needs in a nice "boice" (voice)
  • bless the birds so they can walk and fly and be stronger
  • bless us to work so we can get grass and sand
I'm totally spacing some other good ones... I know it!  He was cracking me up!!
  • after blessing all of his Grandma's he blessed Josh's Grandma too (referring to Josh Davis)
  • he stopped to tell me the shadow he saw by his room earlier looked like a boy
  • please help us to be nice to you-chother (each other)  ...that one was paraphrased...
  • bless George (his Curious George stuffed animal) to be good and do what I say so he doesn't have to go to time out
This kid makes me laugh all the time.  I don't know where he comes up with this stuff but I'm so glad he loves to pray.  As crazy as he has been the last little bit he is so receptive to spiritual things (thankfully) and I love it.


Both her portrait site and blog can make any day just a little brighter.  
I cannot walk away from the computer when I see her blog move to the top of my blog list.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Do you want to know my secret to my VERY favorite recipe?  I make the Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe with a special ingredient and I'm telling you... they're the best cookies in the world (you have to use the nuts).  Use a little shortening in place of some of the butter and you'll be quite satisfied with how un-flat they turn out.  I know un-flat is not a word, but you get what I'm saying...

Saturday, October 16, 2010


A hobby:

I love to take beautiful photos, read decorating magazines (you wouldn't know it from my own house...), and fold one-two weeks' worth of laundry in one day.  I do that last one on a (nearly) weekly basis.

Friday, October 15, 2010


A couple of weeks ago Colby came home and told me he was so proud of me and how talented I was.  He was talking about a project that had taken over our entire kitchen.  I down played the whole thing to the point where I think I hurt his feelings a little bit.  I didn't seem to think this project displayed much talent on my part.  I was just getting it done.  But then I started thinking about people that I really looked up to that did stuff like I had been doing and realized if I thought they were talented for all they accomplished my one project did warrant a little bit of praise on behalf of talent.  The project revolved around these little babies.
They are tiny little berries that we harvested from the mountain and it makes the yummiest jelly.  Kinda like grape jelly... but better.  I steamed the berries to juice them and then Whallah! turn it into jelly.  So, in honor of my husband, behold... a talent of mine.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


 The picture above is in my top three favorite.  Two below is probably my very fave.  But truly, why pic favorites?  I loved them all.  I loved the whole day.
I've said it before and I'll say it again.  I would do my (our) wedding over and over if I could.  With the same great man of course... I'd just change up all the details time and time again.  I was actually quite happy with my (our) wedding.  It's just that there are so many beautiful details out there I'd like to try all of them.  My favorite part of looking through these pictures is seeing the "little ones" five years younger.  For Colby and me five years has felt like nothing.  But look at these little kids.  I'd say they've grown up at least a decade since then.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Today's subject is "An Art Piece."  I think that has had some others stumped, but I knew just what I was going to feature.  I was in Urban Renewal (only the coolest store ever) the other day and saw this giant wooden medallion hanging there.  I'm not kidding, it was huge.  I thought my tall ceilings and bare walls could handle something like that so I scoped out my whole place trying to figure out where it could hang and then I realized it was far too big for my house.  I was sad too.  I wanted to bring that baby home.  It spoke to me instantly... more than any other piece of art has before.  I was planning to head back in to snap a picture of it but haven't had the chance to since I saw it.  Good thing too.  I was literally sick to my stomach the last time I was in there because there were  so many things I wanted to buy.  I'm not kidding.  Colby might lock me in the house and never let me out again if I were to come home with a fraction of what I fall in love with there.  So, in honor of this post I think I'll give you a little taste of the pain I endure whenever I go by that blessed store.  These pics are borrowed from the store's website.  (I even make Colby drive at a slow crawl -on the main road- whenever we pass the front windows.)

Just about everything I've ever seen there could be considered ART.


Goettsche Family Pictures
the mis-haps

I'm not sure what Marshall was doing... all I remember was hearing someone tell him to lift his shirt and this is what we got.
This is what happened when we were told to act like we love each other.
Lauren ate a bug.  INvoluntarily.
When I saw this picture I asked if this was typical.  I heard a resounding yes.  I'd like to clarify... I do not typically look like this.  My few family members are a very small percentage of this world that would say that.  And as the one in question I can confidently say this rarely happens.  Haha.
Jon must not have understood what we meant by "girls only." 
I'm honestly in love with the way our family takes pictures.
The one we have hanging in our living room looks quite similar to this one.
Don't be fooled.  Marshall is not giving out kisses.  He's blowing giant raspberries.  Poor Grandpa.

I'll post the "traditional" ones soon.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


song that makes me cry...

I'm not sure.  I can't think of any off the top of my head.  And by "the top of my head" I mean the last 2 weeks I've had to think about it.  The only ones that seem to come to mind are songs that have touched me once or twice in the past but don't really make me cry anymore.  They are "Butterfly Kisses" by Bob Carlisle and "Skin" (Sarabeth) by Rascall Flats.  Any tender daddy/daughter stuff gets me. Always has.  And since I was young I've always had a thing for cancer stories.  I can't explain it.  I wouldn't say its one of my greatest fears... because I'm not terrified of it but I always get an eerie feeling of "closeness" with the subject.  Not that I have any personal link to it but the feeling always lingers near.  Do any of you understand what I'm trying to say?

Monday, October 11, 2010


My dream house.  Conceptually.
It will have the soul of an old home but with the bones of a new one.  I want it to be the most charming old house you've ever seen.  Full of character and pleasantry.  Void of all "old" trouble.
It will have charm and simplicity.  It will have open ceilings and natural light.  It will have a laundry room big enough to hold a week's worth of filth and easily close the door.  It will be comfortable and livable. 
It will have a little taste of things from all around the world.
It will have clean lines, a HUGE island (do you see how many that one seats?), a ton of storage, and enough space for a whole clan of kids and all that comes with them (friends, projects, creativity, energy...).  I told you I was dreaming.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


These pretty little things still hold the #1 spot.  For now.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Favorite outfit.  Hmmm.  I really should have been better and gotten a picture, but I'm challenged.  I don't know of a favorite outfit.  But I can tell you what it takes to make one (for me).

1.  jeans that make my behind look good or a cute pair of shorts
2.  simple, yet feminine top
3.  colorful or unique shoes - most likely flats or my Puma tennies

The key is putting together an understated version of glamorous.

Some of my favorite places to find clothes are Forever 21 and Ruche.

Friday, October 8, 2010


Something I'm OCD about:

That would have to be cupboard doors hanging open for no reason.  I can't stand it when a cupboard is left open.  I subconsciously close them when I'm in other peoples' kitchens.  It's bad.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


A recent photo of me... probably the second to last photo taken of me.  
You've already seen the most recent one on day 7.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I'd say this picture is from at least 10 years ago.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I love taking Bridals.  They are my very favorite form of artistic expression.

Monday, October 4, 2010


This picture is a piece of beauty from a sad time.  Thinking about why this picture was taken is what makes me sad.  We miss Grandpa Stratton every day.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Day 7: A photo that makes you happy.
This whole experience makes me happy.  Yesterday Colby and I ran the St. George marathon.  Part of me still can't believe we did it.  But the thigh, very upper calf, and buttocks parts of me definitely make me a believer.  Yep.  We really, really did it.

After watching Perry, my step-dad, complete the marathon the last couple of years I got it in my head that I ought to give it a try.  When I told Colby I was serious about doing it he told me he'd run it with me.  I was shocked, since Colby HATES running.  He is pretty darn quick but likes to keep his runs about the length of home plate to home plate (at the longest) when he plays softball.  I let him know he didn't HAVE to run with me, but he wanted to.  He said, "if you're gonna run it, then I'll run it with you."  Boy am I glad he did.  We had a great time and I'm so glad I shared the experience with him.  He's my best friend and he is the most supportive hubby a girl could ask for.

I was pretty nervous the couple of days leading up to it but was still able to get a little sleep the night before.  We got up early and got on the first bus up the "hill" and got into the spirit of it all.  It was pretty cool to be surrounded by all of those people, sitting by the bonfires, hearing all the different stories and perspectives...  When it all got started, Colby got me to go up in the middle of the crowd so we could really feel the spirit of it all.

I loved the friendliness of all the runners and the awesome support from the community.  Around mile 15 I got all choked up watching these people out in the middle of nowhere sitting on their tailgates encouraging complete strangers.  I can't explain it... it was so cool.  I also got a real kick out of all the signs.  Every so often I'd read a new one that I'd think, "Oh that was a good one!!!  That's the best one out here," and then I'd see another better one.  Funny thing was, my name seemed to find its way to the bottom of each one of those signs.  Even the ones that said "I love you Daddy!" I could still hear the encouragement coming my way.  Haha.  I must have been delirious.  :)  Some of my favorite signs went something like this... "26.2 miles (something something) because 26.3 would be crazy" and my favorite one "Nordstrom Sale (with an arrow) Hurry so-and-so"  Really, I was smiling at just about every sign I saw because they gave me a little chuckle.  I wish my memory was a little more sharp so I could share them all with you.

We kept saying to each other that we couldn't believe we were actually running a marathon.  Even once we were finished, I couldn't figure out where all those miles had gone.  I mean, I realize it took us almost forever and my body had never been through something even close to this before, but once we were done it didn't seem like we could have actually run 26.2 miles.

I'm still in awe... but its very surreal.  It seems huge but then just pretty ordinary at the same time.  I mean, we ran for nearly 6 hours.  I have three little blisters to prove it.  My muscles are screaming at me any time I move.  But it almost feels like just another Saturday.  I don't know how to explain it.  I think the appeal of completing a marathon was the fact that it seems/seemed SO IMPOSSIBLE!!!  But all sorts of people do it all the time so I figured I must be able to do it.  And now I have.  I have achieved the impossible.  Let me just say... I think anyone that wants to could totally complete a marathon.  So if the crazy idea ever enters your mind, DO IT!!!

We were shooting for a time of 6 hours but finished in 5:47:13.  Wow!  I even figure I'll do it again and improve on that.  As for Colby... he says he won't.  However, he doesn't have me completely convinced on never.  Not yet anyway.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


  • my hubby
  • my kiddos
  • Walnut Squares from See's Candies
  • home decor magazines
  • Sour Punch Straws (not the long spaghetti like ones, but the individually wrapped licorice ones)
  • hot pink
  • MY chocolate chip cookies
  • fresh fruit
  • really good (coincidentally expensive) food
  • eclectic furniture
  • flowers
  • glowy sunsets
  • family
  • female vocalists with unique voices
  • piano lessons
  • my camera
  • mexican and italian food
  • vacuumed floors
  • old fashioned values
  • a cute, colorful pair of shoes
...these are a few of my favorite things...

Friday, October 1, 2010


"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than success, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, gift, or skill. It will make or break a company...a church...a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes. "        ~ Charles Swindoll

I was first acquainted with this quote at church when I was 12 or 13.  I will always remember the sweet lady that shared it with us.  It has truly been life changing.  I'm so grateful it stuck with me that day because I believe it has truly shaped my character and influenced my reactions to all kinds of moments in my life.  You will find the words that truly speak to me are in bold.