Treasure-Trove Thursday {Twilight Series}

First of all, let me say for all of you Twilight bashers non-likers out there, I have not written a post about Twilight in a very long time. As a matter of fact, it has almost been a FULL year!  Yep, I checked and my last post about Twilight was on June 20, 2010.  My second blog post ever written on August 17, 2008 I wrote:

In the beginning...

It’s weird to look back.  It’s now 2011 and I have seen Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse at the movie theater.  I realize the majority of my early blog writings were about this fiction series.  However, the reading of this book series was a huge turning point in my life {happened to be when I began this blog.}  It gave me something else to be excited about outside my job as a Family Manager.  Not to mention spurred my love of reading fiction to this very day.  Twilight also positively impacted friendships, strengthened my relationship with my oldest daughter and added some sizzle & romance into my marriage.  Absolutely!  Hubby has benefited as well from Twilight. 😉I realize many people are tired of it.  That is entirely fine…to each his own.  All I have to say is PLEASE don’t rain on my parade.  There is nothing wrong with enjoying a book or movie.  It has been controversial…yes.  Yes, we have freedom of speech.  However, if I don’t like something as trivial as a fiction book; I don’t go to blogs, forums, websites, Facebook or Twitter and whine about it.  We are all entitled to our own opinions.  If you don’t like the opinions expressed, then just don’t read them.  I can’t tell you how many times I found people on Twilight forums who were extremely negative.  To them I ask, “Why are you here?  This forum was created for fans of Twilight, so why would you come here and spread all this negativity?”  Honestly, after a few months of finding more negative than positive comments on Twilight forums I “bagged” them!  I was going there to talk with other fans and instead was finding the opposite.  In other words, be kind.  If you don’t like Twilight, please don’t write a comment saying how much you hate it. It is unfortunate I feel the need to write this.  Nevertheless, this is why I stopped writing about it a year ago.  Negative or rude comments will be deleted.  I know my very sweet and loyal readers would not consider doing such a thing.  However, my blog is open to all and you never know who will stumble upon here.  Enough about this.

My daughter asked me at the dinner table tonight, “Mom, have you seen the new Breaking Dawn movie trailer?”

“WHAT!?!!!!  No…{excitement and huge grin on my face} It’s out now?!”

Guess what I watched tonight?! {couldn’t wait until Thursday to share!!}  For all of you who do LOVE the Twilight series as much as I do, this is for you:

November 18th can’t come soon enough now!
Joy, joy, joy,

Recollections & Blessings

This morning it is quiet. {ahhhhhh}

I slept in and so are the kids.  Perfect time to recollect my thoughts about our previous week’s vacation.

My oldest daughter went to a wonderful youth conference at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. It is titled, Especially For Youth {otherwise known as EFY.}  Their theme this year was “Believe. Hope. Endure.”  Last year was her first year to go.  She had such a blast she wanted to return this year.  I gave her the challenge to make straight A’s in school in order to return this year.  I am happy to report she took on that challenge and was successful.

Last summer my 2 girls and I went. DH and Son went to Scout camp the same week.  The boys were jealous of our time in Utah and decided if we were able to return this summer they were going with us.  So thanks to our Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa we were able to get 2 free airline tickets.  Even paying for 3 airline tickets is a hefty price, but much better than 5!  Southwest is the only way to fly.  We can check 2 bags {under 50 lbs.} per person for no extra charge.

One of my best friends ever, who I have known for 19 years now and was my maid of honor, graciously hosted our family. She & her family live in a nearby ‘suburb’ of Provo.  She has 3 children as well.  Her Son and my youngest Daughter are both 8.  She has two girls who are 5 & 3.  They usually all play pretty well together.

The husbands enjoyed a trip to Moab for mountain biking at the beginning of the week. DH posted on Facebook that he was able to cross Moab off his bucket list.

Even though we were on vacation, my friend’s family was not. Her kids were still in their last week of school.  Besides the 2 days to Moab, it was back to work as usual for her Husband.  Unfortunately, her middle child broke out with Chicken Pox at the beginning of the week too.  This sort of put a kink in us all being able to go and do stuff together.  Chicken Pox is very contagious.  {Hopefully our children’s immunizations will protect them from getting it as well.}

All that aside, we were still able to enjoy our time there. I took the kids to a very cool place that was filled with trampolines.  My Son enjoyed their climbing wall and falling into foam.  The kids got air soft guns and enjoyed shooting at the target.  The weather was perfect, about 70 during the day…more like Spring than Summer.  Funny thing…there is still snow on their mountains.

Thanks to DH, my friend and I were pampered with much needed pedicures and massages. Ahhhhhhh 😀

My favorite day was Friday. In the morning, hubby & I went to the Provo Temple.  Later, the girls and I got gussied up, had a small photo shoot, shopped and met the boys at a restaurant for dinner.  {The boys played a game of laser tag.}  After dinner, the hubby’s took the kids so bestie & I could attend a rooftop concert series featuring one of my favorite singers, Mindy Gledhill.  Remember the video I featured with the sweet family jumping on a bed?  The music in the video is Mindy Gledhill.

Overall, something very interesting came from this vacation.  My husband told a friend last night he realized from this vacation that he is spoiled.  I was incredibly shocked by his epiphany.

Now the kids are up.  I need to read my scriptures, start a load of laundry, clean up broken glass from a picture that fell while we were gone and empty suitcases.  🙂  I missed everyone!  Happy Monday!

Glad to be back,

Summer Time!

My kids finished their last day of school on Friday.

I am reminding myself of three P’s: Perspective, Planning and Preparation.  You can read more about my earlier epiphany by clicking here.  I am reminding myself over and over again as I listen to Big Time Rush on the television.  Little difficult concentrating on writing a post while listening to this in the background.

We have already been to one tennis lesson this morning for my youngest and I have about 5 minutes before picking up the middle child from his tennis lesson.

So what are we doing this summer?

  • Tennis Lessons in the morning Mon-Thur
  • Swimming in the pool, probably every day but Sunday
  • Oldest daughter is attending Especially for Youth Conference in Utah
  • Son going to Boy Scout camp
  • Vacation with friends for the rest of the family in Utah while daughter is at conference
  • Family History
  • Crafts
  • Gardening
  • Scrapbooking

I am reminded of this Children’s song today:

1. Oh, what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green?
Do you fish in a stream, or lazily dream on the banks as the clouds go by?
Is that what you do? So do I!

2. Oh, what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green?
Do you swim in a pool, to keep yourself cool, or swing in a tree up high?
Is that what you do? So do I!

3. Oh, what do you do in the summertime, when all the world is green?
Do you march in parades, or drink lemonades, or count all the stars in the sky?
Is that what you do? So do I!

Words and music: Dorothy S. Andersen, b. 1927

Oh, what do you do in the summertime?

Treasure-Trove Thursday {Photography}

My love of photography began at an early age

and was nurtured through my parents’ love of photography.

Photo taken of me (2) by my Father

My Dad had a darkroom where he developed many photos of his young family.

Photo by Kenny Harrelson

I think this is what my very first camera looked like.

What I’ve Learned

  • TURN OFF YOUR FLASH ~ As long as it is not dark, otherwise you will have “shiny” spots on people’s faces.
  • Read your camera’s manual ~ You don’t have to read it cover to cover in one sitting…completely daunting task, for sure!  If you don’t understand what it is saying, goggle it.  I have found many video tutorials, blogs and resources to help you understand the photography jargon.
  • Don’t be afraid to get close ~ My favorite photographs are close up shots.  I use my telephoto lens the most.

    My youngest

What I Love

  • Photography captures a moment in time, how incredibly cool is that!  It is quite miraculous, actually.
  • To display photography in my home, both mine and professionals.  Photography is my favorite way to decorate my home.
  • Looking at albums of photos with my family…remembering special times with them.
  • Family Portraits…worth every penny.
  • Finding photos of ancestors who I never had the opportunity to meet.
  • Tweaking digital photos with digital software or websites.  My favorite effects or actions are Cross Process, Orton-ish, CinemaScope, Sepia and Soften.

    My Great Great Grandparents Family

What Inspires Me

  • My family and friends are my usual ‘suspects’ when shooting my camera.  They are my inspiration.  I want to capture their essence…the beauty of who they are.
  • Other photographers!
  • My Creator inspires me.  His love for me is abundant in all the beauty around me.
  • Attending photography workshops and classes.

    Sharing my passion

    My Son


Notes: I am not a professional photographer.  Photography is a passion of mine.  I have not been given any form of monetary gains for writing this post.

I heart photography,

This Mom’s Time Out


My physical body is tired, but my mind is alive with promise and ideas.

I just returned from a women’s conference and it was incredible!  The theme was all about choosing to become, about discovering our possibilities.  I feel so good.  It is this feeling that I hope to hold on to and keep despite what may come.

I am so grateful I was able to go with some girls and strengthen our relationship.  I have been to these conferences before in the past on my own.  I don’t have a problem being alone, but I have to say, it was so much more fun being there with them.  It was fun to laugh, really laugh.  The kind of laughing where your face hurts from smiling so much.  The kind of laugh where your belly aches a bit.  Funny thing is, even though it was good to get away, to have a time out…when we talked, we talked of our families, our kids, our spouses, our lives.  Furthermore, the conference was all about being a better woman, a better Mother.  How even though we have a Mother, there are other women in our lives who Mother us, who are a mentor and make an impact on our lives.  This is so true.

One of the main reasons that keeps me returning to these conferences time and again is the music.  The presentations are sprinkled throughout with musical numbers and it was magical.  The songs usually have a story to tell.  A story about a woman who seems to feel just like me.  The lyrics speak straight to your soul.  Oh how I am grateful for the power of good and uplifting music.

In the next weeks and months I hope to share with you some of what I have learned.  Honestly, I can’t wait!  It is awesome!  But as I stated earlier, I am tired and ready to see my family again.  I came home to an empty house and can’t wait to see them.  I was only gone half a day yesterday and all of today, but I feel as though I cherish them more than I did before I left.  Yes, it was worth it. {Thank you sweet husband for allowing me the opportunity to recharge my batteries.  You are a great Dad ;)}

See you on Monday,

Weekend Wrapup

Saturday ended up being this Super Saturday of sorts. Our family participated in it’s first 5K {all of us together.}  It was muggy, overcast & warm.  Despite the weather, we enjoyed our morning of running.

Age Group awards were the highlight:

First Place in her age group

My oldest daughter

Second Place in our perspective age groups

My Son, My youngest daughter and me 😉

DH should have placed Third in his age group, but someone was placed in the wrong age bracket and he didn’t want to make a fuss.  It’s not all about the winning, though. 🙂

I won’t mention how we ended up running 4 miles instead of 3 because the race was not marked properly.

Next was a carnival style birthday party for a friend followed by PROM…the movie, of course.

No rest for the weary, Hubby mowed the yard while I went grocery shopping for Sunday meals.

Grateful for smiles, hugs, high fives, physical fitness, friends, movies, music and priceless memories made together.

This is not an ordinary Saturday.  I probably can only take about one of these every few months.  Passed out in bed about ten till nine…that says it all!

What did you do this weekend?

A Family that plays together stays together,