Monthly Archives:December 2014

Highlights from 2014

Your #1 Fan post on December 31st, 2014
Posted in 2014 Highlights, Novalie

Novalie, my Sunshine T-Rex,

Here are some things that I remember most about 2014:

~You learned you can do hard things.  You started the year (and have been plagued all year) with back and stomach issues.  We have been to the chiropractor more times than I could possibly count and your tummy still puzzles us.  I have been putting off the stomach camera, but I think it is in our near future.  You started 2014 with your bff turning her back on you for 6 long, painful, lonely months.  You had to share your space, your things, your mom, your SPACE with 3 cousins all summer long.  You had to feel the confusion and heartbreak of your cousins leaving without knowing or saying good-bye.  You had to adjust again to being an only child.  Your 5th grade teacher was mean, impatient, rude and not helpful at all.  Your other bff moved away.  All of these presented challenges and heartbreak, but you learned so much.  You grew so much.  You learned you CAN do hard things because you did do hard things.

~We took a weekend trip to Lava Hot Springs which you loved.

~We said good-bye to Good Luck Charlie.  We miss crazy Amy and watch her on re-runs.

~We watched all the seasons of DC Cupcakes together and many, many, many episodes of Cupcake Wars.

~You got a 100% on your big president report which you were the first one to pick out of a hat in class your president and you got President Obama and the whole class groaned along with you.  You weren’t thrilled with Obama, but you learned a lot and gained respect for the President of the United States.

~You studied so hard for 6 weeks to learn all the capitals in the United States.  We made up songs and practiced your flash cards to beats to help you learn them.  You never complained once about studying.  You got 100% of all of your capital tests.  Which earned you a trip to the Shilo Inn to celebrate.

~During that trip to Shilo Inn, I will always remember how it was raining and we were both hunched up under the umbrella waiting for the light to turn green to go to Temple Square and out of nowhere a women’s head appears up under our umbrella scaring the heck out of me and asks us for money.  Seems funny now.  At the time, I couldn’t wait to get out of the city.

~You got a 100% on your science fair project and it was the most popular with the other students.  Kids go crazy over exploding soda cans.

~You worked hard all year in Hip Hop and you competed again at a national dance competition.  Your facial expressions were out of this world.  You were so brave.

~You scored a perfect score on the end of 5th grade state writing test.  That is hard and rare to do.  But YOU did it!

~You had a super fun summer with your cousins living with us for 3 months.

~You turned 11 and had an awesome family party.

~You were a part of Zach’s conversion to the gospel.  You loved having the missionaries come over.  You would say the sweetest and most encouraging things to Zach.  You were his biggest cheerleader.  You were at his baptism.

~I will never ever forget when daddy and I took you to meet a sweet little puppy to see if you were allergic.  When you were not allergic and we told you this was your puppy, your joy was overflowing from your body in a way I have never seen before.  You didn’t even know what to do with all the joy and happiness you felt.  It was perfect.

~We took a short trip to Richland which you and Olive were perfect travelers for.  You swam your heart out at Uncle Keith’s pool.  On the way home, you got eaten alive by mosquitoes within seconds at a rest area.

~You talk often about how much you loved going to dinner at the bbq place with Uncle David, Aunt Tamsin and Myra and Will.

We went through the Ogden Temple open house with daddy, the boys, the missionaries, grandma and Aunt Danielle.  You can not wait until you are 12 to do baptisms for the dead.

~You bore your testimony for the first time in sacrament.  It was simple and sweet and your goodness takes my breath away.

~You went on roller coasters and upside down rides at the amusement park and I had so much fun watching you have so much fun.  I couldn’t look when you went upside down it made me so nervous and I was laughing at the same time.

~You visited your beloved polar bear, Rizzo, 3 times last year.  You connect with that polar bear.  People might think I am crazy, but I see it with my own eyes.  Something about you and Rizzo connects.

~You sang a solo in your last Primary Program.  You were so brave.  You were so beautiful.  I didn’t just think so, everyone in the ward said so too.  You amaze me.

~You loved Christmas Hallmark movies for the first time this year.  We watched many together.  We would predict what would happen, we would roll our eyes at the cheesiness and we would awe at the end.  We created a new Christmas tradition.

~Throughout all of 2014, I will remember paper spread out everywhere all the time.  All the time.  Stories after stories after stories.  They are my treasures.

~You went to Richland for your Aunt Janell’s wedding and you looked beautiful.  You felt sad that Janell wouldn’t be there when we visit anymore, but so happy for her at the same time.  You loved seeing all your family.

~I will never forget coming home from work and seeing that you had cleaned the whole house.  I was so tired and the house was so messy.  It was the best surprise and again I was amazed at your goodness.

~The first 4 months of 6th grade have been pretty smooth.  You love your teacher, Mr. G, you love art, music and science.  You struggled hard in math.  You worked hard at math.  I will never forget you running across the field SO excited to tell me you got an 85% on your end of unit test.  You studied and practiced and it paid off.  85% is so so so good in math.  Math is hard and you just keep on trying your hardest.

~You started taking an acting class and you are in love with acting.  You are really good at it too.

~I have seen great growth and maturity in you during 2014.  You are a beautiful daughter of God and I am so proud of you.  You are the joy of my life.  I love you 100 infinities around the universe and back.  You continue to amaze me everyday and like always….I want to be just like you.

I can’t wait to see what you do in 2015.

This Christmas Season

I am here to recap our Christmas season.  The bad, the good, the bad.  I don’t want to be all negative nelly here, but I want to be real because our Christmas was not all roses.  We had some major thorns in there as well.

The Thursday night before Christmas (so one week before Christmas) Novalie got a sore throat.  The world is ending kind of sore throat.  Have I mentioned before that she has a low tolerance for pain?  Well, she does.  She somehow managed to fall asleep…..not a small feat….and woke up the next morning and puked while I was taking Kevin to the station.  She was devastated that she was going to miss her school Christmas parties.  (which btw, her bff came over after she was all better and said they were lame… sweet).  I sent work a text because I thought she had strep throat and would need to be swabbed and put on antibiotics.  But, here is the thing about my job during Christmas.  Me and another girl do the daytime retail side of the bakery.  The 9 days leading up to Christmas are so busy we can barely keep up.  Busy as in they do $100,000 in one week on just the retail side (breads, jams, candy and cookies) of the bakery.  Crazy.  So, no, I could not just take the day off.  She puked again just as I was getting ready to leave and she looked so miserable and so desperate to have me stay with her.  I didn’t really care about my job at this point, it is just a hobby job, so at this point, I was like just fire me.  However, I couldn’t just do that because I made a commitment to work retail and I am not the type of person to just not show up.  But, I did tell them they needed to figure something out because I needed to be home with my sick daughter.  My sweet niece checked on her for me, thank goodness!  This is turning into a long story, but the night girl happened  to have that day off and said she could come in during the day to finish my shift.  So, in all I only had to work about 2 1/2 hours instead of 7.  Took Novalie to the doctor.  They swabbed her nose.  Her nose!  I have never heard of such a thing and she said it hurt super, super super bad.  She was screaming.  I guess they jam it up there pretty far.  She tested positive for type A influenza.  7-10 days the doctor said.  She was miserable.  I can’t recall a time that I had the real flu and it was her first time and it was awful.  She had a fever for 6 days.  She didn’t move from the living room for 6 days.  I set up my mom’s air mattress and she slept on it while I slept on the couch so I could be near her, but not too near her.  I had to work, so I really couldn’t afford to get the flu.  That and Sunday  (bakery closed) were the only days off I got with her.  Kevin was with her Saturday and Christmas Eve.  My mom checked on her and fed her.  Killed me.  Hated it.  She hated it.  She was a champ and handled it well.


I have never seen Novalie this sick.  She has NEVER laid down on the bed in the doctor’s room let alone fall asleep.  She was sick, y’all.


Flu headquarters.


She didn’t lose any of her artistic abilities while sick.  This picture of her drawing isn’t the greatest, but this dolphin is her best yet.  So many details.  I bought her some boards to draw on to help pass the time while I was at work.


Her double headed dragon she created.  So good.

So, the 6 days leading up to Christmas were me working all day, Novalie very sick, trying to sleep on the couch which equals little or no sleep, trying to buy all of Christmas in the 2 days before  Christmas at night in crowded stores (I hated every second of it) and no fun traditions because of it all.  It sucked.  There, I said it…plain and simple…it sucked.  Novalie is a big time lover of traditions.  She looks forward to them.  She talks about them.  She plans them.  They mean so much to her.  So many traditions got left undone because of the flu.  We will always call it the flu Christmas.

One tradition that we did get to do was our gingerbread house making tradition.  We make our own and we never touch them after they are made, so I knew no germs would be shared.  It was a happy time making them!  (well….after a grouchy spell from Novalie whose creations wasn’t cooperating….until she just let go of her idea and let creativity take over).


Olive was good for a minute…..then she had to be put in her kennel because the candy was too much of a temptation.


Novalie was so happy to be doing one of our traditions.


Novalie still has a fever in the picture, but dang it, we were going to make those gingerbread houses!  Her creation.  She got tired pretty quickly, so she was done before completely finishing, but she was happy with what she got done.


My creation.

Christmas Eve she woke up and her fever was finally gone.  Happy day!   I worked 8 hours on Christmas Eve (sad day) and it was glorious when I was done.  Glorious.  I survived the Christmas season at the bakery.  They told me it would be crazy and busy and they didn’t lie.  Glorious.


My bandaged fingers after nine days of tying ribbons.  Cut and bloody fingers hurt.  (a week later and they have still not healed!)

Christmas Eve night, I made a simple dinner of Novalie’s request, chicken tetrazzini.  We were able to do our Christmas Eve traditions.  I did forget the glowsticks which made me feel horrible because there were so few traditions we got to partake in and I was so mad that I forgot to pick them up.    Everyone else kindly overlooked it.


Her new traditional Christmas Eve jammies.  They are usually Christmas themed, but  I waited until the last minute and there were none to be found.  I knew she would love these Batgirl jammies.  And she did.

After Novalie opened her new Christmas Eve jammies and changed into them, we watched several Christmas videos from the youtube Mormon channel to remember why we were celebrating to begin with.  Man alive, I am thankful that baby Jesus was born!  Such a miracle.  Such a blessing.  Such a glorious occasion.

This scripture has been my favorite for months now.  I think I have it memorized.  I love it.  It has become my scripture and I want it plastered all over the place.  I love it.

“And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”  Helaman 5:12

“It shall have no power over you.”  I repeat this to myself often.  So powerful.  So true.

After the true meaning of Christmas was celebrated, we read our 2 traditional Christmas Eve books, Twas the Night Before Christmas and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  Novalie usually reads one of her books she has written to share a talent, but this year, understandably ,it did not happen.


Our tradition of tracking Santa.  We watched until he was in New York then Novalie headed off to bed.

We set out milk and instead of cookies (one of the traditions we didn’t get to do) we set out an orange roll.  Novalie felt bad that she didn’t make Santa, the reindeer and the Christmas mouse gifts this year.  I reassured her over and over they would know and understand.  She did write Santa a letter which she said….”this isn’t my best, but Santa will know I have been really sick.”  I tell ya, the flu Christmas.


Orange roll for Santa, carrots for the reindeer and a itty bitty piece of cheese for the Christmas mouse (you leave cheese out and he leaves you gloves in return….which this year he left adorable cheetah sparkly gloves….super fun tradition!)


Christmas morning came and it was magical.  The exhaustion, the sickness, the guilt, the sadness, the worry, the pain was all forgotten.  That is the magic of a Christmas morning.


Santa came!  Baymax from our beloved Big Hero 6 movie and a jr. starter bow and arrow set.  She wanted a nerf bow, but Santa knew a real bow would be more favored.


Santa’s letter made me tear up this year.  So sweet.  So creative.  So what Novalie needs and loves.  And Santa did answer her question about how many Novalie’s there are on earth.  111 girls have ever shared the name Novalie spelled N.o.v.a.l.i.e.

Novalie was so thankful for what she got.  She said so many times all day long.



We had our traditional Christmas morning breakfast which was less than superb which just goes with the whole season.  Novalie’s stomach hurt super bad, so she just nibbled on a piece of bacon.  The pancakes didn’t turn out, I forgot the biscuits and gravy, the hashbrowns were mushy not crisp like I like them.  We didn’t care though.  We were just so thankful that Novalie was better, we had a warm house, we had food to eat and new toys to play with.


Olive got new toys too.


Trying out her bow and arrow.  She is a great shot, but we quickly learned not to shoot arrows in the snow because they sink and you can’t find them.



So happy to have snow on Christmas and be better to play in it!  (although, I only let her out in 10 minute increments because well…she was just so sick!)


Love that these 2 have each other!


Olive LOVES the snow.  Super duper loves it.  She hops through it, barks at it, jumps crazy at it and eats it.  I gave her 4 baths on Christmas day because she would come in with huge snowballs in her fur all over.  It was hilarious.

 I never want to wish away Christmas again.  I never want to look forward to it being over again.  The flu should not be allowed to be in a child during Christmas time.  There are a lot more worse things in the world, I know, I know, but to me, in my little corner of the universe, I don’t want my girl to be sick during Christmas again.

~Merry (and not so merry) Christmas!~

Christmas Tree Decorating 2014

Your #1 Fan post on December 15th, 2014
Posted in Christmas, Novalie, Olive, Traditions


I had the Friday or Saturday (I don’t even remember now) after Thanksgiving off by some small miracle, so I knew I needed to take advantage of the day and get our Christmas decorations up.  We cleaned the living room up, put up the Christmas decorations, saw Big Hero 6 (we all super loved it….love that Baymax!) , made a trip to Hickory Farms for our traditional tree decorating snack plate, stopped in Hallmark JUST to browse (that had a Jaws ornament,which the ornament I was getting for Novalie this year was a shark, but the Hallmark one was 100 times cuter…….) and then headed home and decorated the tree.

Our traditional snack platter.  It was a little bare this year.  We were not hungry in the least, but it is a tradition, so we had to have it.  🙂


The new ornament is always the first to go on the tree.  Jaws had the honors this year.


Novalie has shark fever.  She is dying to swim with sharks…..something that is not going to happen for a long, long, long time (or ever if I have anything to say about it).




Olive joined in the tree decorating until she ate a homemade ornament made by Novalie a couple of years ago.  Then, she was banned.


Fluffing the tree after a year in storage.


Novalie’s favorite things….dolphins, polar bears and sharks.  She is cool.


My favorite thing.  Especially this holiday season.


Novalie putting the star on that Kevin and I made our first year of marriage.  It is pretty beat up.  It is going to need repairing, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  Too sentimental, I guess.


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

p.s.  Kevin was there participating, he just seemed to escape all the picture taking.  🙂

p.s.s.  His airplanes are still the highest on the tree.

Thanksgiving 2014

Your #1 Fan post on December 10th, 2014
Posted in Personal, Thankful, Thanksgiving

Did Thanksgiving happen?  I am not sure, I worked so much and it was so busy.  I have the pictures, so I guess it did happen!

More than any other year, I should take a minute to ponder and record what I am thankful for.  The last six months have been the hardest of my whole life.  I have found myself standing in my backyard at 3 in the morning crying more times than I can count.  Tears that take your breath away and make you feel deeply.  I have wanted so badly for my dad to just be here to fix things.  He could always fix anything.  Relationships in my life have been tested to the limits and I have felt that if I have an inch more put upon my shoulders, I will crumble and fall.  But, I haven’t.  Because I am strong.  Because I can do hard things.  Because I love…hard.  Because the Lord will not let that happen.  Because I am a fighter.  Because I can’t crumble and fall because then who will absorb the weight?  Because Satan will not win.  So among all the turmoil, heartache, stress, worry and tears, I have so much to be thankful for.

I am so thankful that I have a husband who is so loving and doesn’t care if I haven’t cleaned for….weeks.  I am so thankful for some deeply spiritual experiences we have had together in the last 3 months.  I am thankful for the deep heartache because it brings great joy.

I am so thankful for Novalie.  She took the brunt of my stress sometimes and I have told her sorry so many times.  She is so amazing.  She is so caring.  I thank God every night for that daughter of mine and that I get to be her mother.  I can’t even type that without tears coming.  I am her mother!  I still want to be just like her.

I am thankful for Kevin and Novalie’s relationship.  They have their things together.  One of them is bad lip reading videos.  They go on and on and on about those things and laugh.  Hard.  Makes my heart warm.

I am thankful for my mother.  For her being able to be there for Novalie when I need her to be due to my job.  For doing most of the work on Thanksgiving.  For giving us a home to live in.  For buying us dinner often.  For doing what she can when she feels she can.

I am thankful for my puppy, Olive.  I never thought I would write that.  I don’t love dogs.  I still don’t love any other dogs beside Olive.  That puppy is so loyal to me.  She follows me around and it makes me super sad to leave her everyday for work.  She brings me happiness which is odd to me, but nonetheless, she does.

I am thankful for the freedoms I have being an American.  I can’t listen to any song about America without crying.  I love America.

I am thankful for my job.  I am thankful for the inspiration I had to get a job.  I needed something for me.  For me to gain back some confidence.  For me to have something that was mine.  I can’t explain fully, but I get it and I am so thankful for it and that I can work the hours Novalie is in school.  And for the extra money to slowly recover after the summer we had.

I am thankful for certain women that I have gotten to know.  They were and are my lifeline.  They know.  They share.  They are the most beautiful women I have ever met.  Strong.  Faithful.  Amazing.

I am thankful for missionaries.  For Elder Barrott and Elder Rackliffe who spent so much time in our home this summer.  For teaching Zachary the gospel.  For loving those 3 boys so much.  I am thankful for a certain 2 senior sister missionaries who serve and love.

I am thankful for the beauty of God’s world.  I have found comfort and healing in the beauty around me.  I am also thankful for a body that can be out and enjoy hiking and walking in that beauty.

I am thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ.  I have learned how to truly use the Atonement.  To forgive.  To ask for forgiveness.  To be comforted when I was in the dept of despair.  To lay my burdens at His feet when I couldn’t carry them anymore.  For showing me again that I am a beautiful daughter of God.  That my husband is a son of God.  That He knows my pain.  He also knows how important marriage is and how to strengthen it when Satan sends all his tools to destroy it.  For the tender mercies I have received sometimes daily, sometimes several times a day.  Jesus Christ loves me.  I have felt it.  It is real.  He is real.

Okay, light hearted things I am thankful for…..

That Maverik got nugget ice.  I love it.

For toasted rosemary bread.  Oh my goodness.  I love.

Novalie’s school teacher.  He is a good one.

For my Poison CD.  It makes me feel close to my dad.  It makes me think everything is going to be okay.

For a garage to park our car in.  I do not miss scraping my windows each morning.

For my sunglasses.

Tight hugs from Novalie.  During those hugs, everything, and I mean e~v~e~r~y~t~h~i~n~g is right in the world.

For Hallmark Christmas movies.  We have watched a lot of them this year because Novalie is into them.  We all predict the story line within the first 5 minutes and we are always right!  They are so predictable, but are such feel good movies.

For texting.  Goodness, it makes my life so much easier.  I on the phone.  Period.  But, texting.  Saves my life.

My bed.  I sure collapse into it each night and am asleep within minutes.

My Primary class.  I have taught them for 2 years now and I love them.  I am going to miss them.

For socks.  I hate being sock-less.  I will forever and ever be grateful for socks.  I love them.  They keep me warm.

Thanksgiving was pretty low key this year.  Just 10 of us got together.  My brother did the turkey because I don’t do turkeys.  (gag)  Novalie was very into helping with the food prep this year.  It was fun to have her in the kitchen with me the whole time instead of off playing.


Kneading the rolls.  She did such a good job on the rolls.  They were yummy!


Concentrating on peeling the sweet potatoes.  She is a sweet potato herself!


The ever important marshmallow-er.  It has always been her job.  It is a tradition.  Kevin had to run to the store for more bags of marshmallows because she really packed them in there this year!


Or maybe she ate too many so he had to go buy more! 😉  Love her.

~Happy Thanksgiving!~