Friday, February 28, 2014


I remember the first time I ever tried to embroider years ago. I was not impressed. It gave me a headache and I thought "how can my mother do this in her spare time?"

It must have been bad timing. Maybe my brain wasn't ready to take on a new skill. Maybe I wasn't mature enough to see it as a simple and cheap form of therapy.

I am so thankful that I gave it another chance in the past year because embroidery, needlepoint, cross stitch or whatever you want to call it, is my most favorite thing to do.

here are a few things i've done for fun or for family and friends: 

Hank is my Hero.

a friend of mine saw this lil seahorsey and wants it so I'll be giving it a new home soon 

I love you more than.... 

this one was especially fun and meaningful to do for my mom. it was her christmas present and I hope she loves it. 

I made this one for Camille

This was Megs Christmas Present

little deer - this was a cute one. I started out doing it just for fun but my dear friend Brittany saw it and asked if we could do an art trade. She sent me a beautifully painted fox. 

this was for Chantelle

I made this special for Sarah. She was pleased. 

this was a birthday gift for Lisa

... and about 10 other ones I haven't finished yet. I think I'm getting better with each new project. 

Thursday, February 27, 2014

guys, lemons!!

I can't count on my two hands anymore the times I've put my heart and efforts into making a lemon cake (or loaf, or bundt) and ended up with a sunken stiff crusty pan full of shame.

I love lemons!! I love lemon water! I love soft dainty lemon cupcakes. I love lemonade too.

For Christmas, my little brother drew my name for the gift exchange and I told him all I wanted was a lemon juicer squeezer thing. He is such a sweet boy and he got me a neat lemon squeezer and a nice cookbook too. I realized I hadn't used it yet so I bought a big bag of organic lemons yesterday at Smiths.

I really love a good lemon loaf slice, like you'd get at starbucks. So I found a copy cat starbucks lemon loaf recipe and followed it exactly!! Okay well maybe not exactly. It asked for a tsp of lemon extract and I didn't have any so I added an extra tsp of vanilla. That shouldn't break the recipe should it?

Maybe it did. Something did. Curtis walked in and saw the loaf and said "Oh baby... what happened?" He accused me of dancing and jumping around the stove too much. Is that what makes the cake sink? I'll stop, I swear.

I Can't even show you a photo of the finished product because I am ashamed.

Do you have lemon baking issues? Is it the altitude? Is it my oven? Am I trying too hard? Wanting too much?

Sad Lemon Lady

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

not super mystical

Last Saturday, Curt and I got up bright and early and packed up the car for a little getaway. We drove down to Monroe, Utah - a tiny little town in the middle of nowhere.

Destination: Mystic Hot Springs.

It was nothing like I had expected and still every bit of wonderful I needed. We stayed in a cute little cabin that was just a short walk away from the hot springs. We explored the surrounding area, ate at a very strange Mexican restaurant where I ordered a quesadilla and got enchiladas instead.

We picked the most private tub and settled in to watch the sunset.

I had so much fun just being alone with Curtis. We are both really busy and the kids stay with us every single weekend. Having time alone with him where we both had nothing else to worry about really meant a lot to me. I know he had a hard time being away from the kids but I hope he still had a nice time.

This might have been my favorite thing to see..... The owners use the warmth from the springs to run a vibrant greenhouse. I spotted some kale and chard and lots of succulents. 

We had good music, tasty snacks, no worries, and one another. It was perfect.

Monday, February 24, 2014

what I needed

I learn the hard way, usually. My mother could agree that all of my life I've had to learn for myself what was right no matter how many times I was told. I remember in my elementary school days having my mom insist that I wear a coat to school and I would protest for some reason or I would "forget" my coat. Recess was usually pretty chilly on those days but I had to figure that out on my own. The painful way. (I'm sorry mom)

Today I am more eager to listen to my mother when she shares her advice or tells me what to do. I'm not saying I'm obedient- just more aware now that she is always right and her words or actions are always driven by her love for me.

I've learned, the long and painful way, that what I thought I needed to have a good life was actually superfluous. I am 27 and still trying to figure out the exact ingredients for my happy life recipe.

One thing that I did/do need, but that I was not aware of, was a little bit of validation.  With working full time and going to school every single day I had fallen into a routine where the things I did daily were just a normal task I had to do. I forgot that going to school requires great effort. I forgot that I was working toward (and almost done with a big chunk) a big life goal. I forgot that I was trying to pay for it all myself.

Now I don't need/want a trophy or a ribbon. Many people go to college and accomplish greater things than I ever will. What I did need was to hear from a loved one that they believed I was doing something with my life. I needed to hear them say they thought I was working hard. I needed to feel validated and encouraged. Perhaps I was comparing myself to other people, or maybe I lost sight of the bigger picture. Comparison truly is the thief of joy and I'm surrounded by people who will always be more accomplished than I am or have more money and a bigger house than I do. I am regularly reminding myself that the things that other people have are not the things that will make my life better. I am constantly re discovering that my life is rich without money or a fancy house and that I have everything I could possibly need (and then some) to be happy.

I got what I needed but I did it the hard way.

I was able to step out of my funk and look at my life and say hey... look how far you've come!

I have a long (long long long) way to go before I hit my goal and I am so thankful for the people in my life who stick by me and encourage me and bring me ice cream at 9pm in bed.

My point is..... Perspective and Gratitude. I'm working on it.