Monthly Archives:December 2016

13th Birthday!

Your #1 Fan post on December 9th, 2016
Posted in Birthday, Novalie

Be still my beating heart…..Novalie is a teenager!

Man alive, when they say it goes by fast, they ain’t kidding! I can’t believe my baby girl is 13!

Novalie loved her Jurassic World Cupcake War party last year, so she decided to have a repeat, but this year she is obsessed with The Maze Runner series, so she had a Maze Runner Cupcake Wars party. We kept it low key since I was still recovering from my surgery and couldn’t go all out on a party.

But first, the night before her birthday, Kevin and I took her to Sprint to get her a cell phone. It really wasn’t in the plans for her to have a phone yet, but with me being out of commission for a month and Novalie so many different places, I realized how convenient it would be for her to have her own phone. Not to mention, it would calm my worries a bit. She was over the moon excited to get her own phone. Of course. She IS a teenager now.

She got the new Samsung Galaxy S7.

So excited to get a phone for her birthday!

Her Young Women’s decorated our front door. So sweet and fun!

She opened her presents in the morning, Maze Runner necklace and Scorch Trials hat. Kevin got her a sketch book.

Happy with her presents!

We started making her cake. Novalie wanted her cake to look like the maze in The Maze Runner.

It turned out so good!! Novalie did it all by herself. I just love it!

Her sweet BFF’s.

Creating their cupcakes. They each made 3 cupcakes and judged each other just like on Cupcake Wars. They were sick after tasting all those cupcakes!

Opening presents.

We had to wait pretty late, it was around 10:30, to sing Happy Birthday and have cake because all the girls had such bad stomachaches from Cupcake Wars. She had a fun party!

I can’t believe Novalie is 13. She is a fantastic 13 year old. She is so funny. She is so creative. She has been so brave this year with my health struggles. She has become so much more independent. She is kind. She is quick to say she is sorry. She is always being the bigger person in her friendships. She is talented. She is an archer. She is strong. She is curious. She is beautiful. I love my 13 year old. It cracks me up to have a teenager with her some time attitude, but I love every minute of it. Every minute with my Sunshine T-Rex I treasure and love.

~Happy 13th Birthday Novalie!~

End of 7th Grade

7th grade came and went so fast. So fast. Novalie had a great year. She made honor roll all four quarters. She has a great group of friends that have managed to stay drama free all year. She joined band and learned to play the flute. She found archery and fell in love with it. She is funny, smart, creative and just a joy to be around. 7th grade was such a great year for her. We were sad to see it end.

End of the year band concert. The beginning band sounded amazing! Novalie looked so pretty and poised. She was nervous, but did great! My heart swells so big watching her in band. It brings me so much joy.

Novalie and two of her best friends, Brooklyn and Faith. They all learned the flute together.


After the band concert. This is Novalie’s group of great friends minus one who didn’t make it to the concert. They have spent their 7th grade year together laughing together each day at lunch, in classes, hanging out after school, texting. They are the sweetest. It is such a blessing for Novalie to have had these good friends during 7th grade. Everything in Novalie’s life goes smoother when she is happy with her friend situations.

Novalie and her BFF, Emily, at the end of 7th grade. It is our tradition to get snow cones the last day of school. Since I was going to be in the hospital on the last day of 7th grade, we went 2 days earlier.

Last day of 7th grade!

This was a stressful time for Novalie with me having cancer, a major surgery and in the hospital. This picture just warmed my heart and let me know that while all this other stuff is going on, she is laughing and happy. On the last day of 7th grade, she went home with Emily and did their tradition of rootbeer floats with her family. Those two are always laughing together and I was so happy to see her laughing on the last day of 7th grade. This picture sums up 7th grade perfectly. It was full of joy and laughter.

She had a fantastic 7th grade year!

Memorial Day in Montana

Your #1 Fan post on December 7th, 2016
Posted in Cousins, Dad, Family, Fun Activities, Hiking, Memorial Day, Montana, Novalie

I found out on May 10th that I had breast cancer. I had to take a leave of absence from work, so I was free to go to Montana for Memorial Day. I was so excited and looking forward to this last minute trip. I needed to draw strength from being home, visiting my dad’s grave and just laughing with my sisters. It was everything I needed and more.  Danielle has dogs so we couldn’t stay with her, so her boss graciously let us stay in her office apartment. She had the best backyard for the kids to play in. Just waking up and going out in the backyard woods, breathing in the clean mountain air, I felt instant peace.

Mountain Montana air and me mesh well.

They had a zipline in the backyard that was fun for the kids to play on.

All the kids ready to hike the M.

Danielle and I half way up. It is a short hike, but it is straight up hill with no breaks. It was a hard, hard hike. We didn’t know if we could do it, but we slowly made our way up and it was such a feeling of accomplishment when we finally made it to the top.

At the M in Missoula.

Sister selfie at the top. We sure laughed A LOT!

After the hike, I made us all go to Noodle’s Express for lunch. It is sooooo good! Everyone loved it. Next to Benihana’s, this is my favorite place to eat and they only have it in Missoula.

Then we went to the carousel which is a tradition every time we visit Montana.

After that, we headed back to Stevensville to visit my 101 year old grandma.

Grandma Ruth with some of her great grandchildren.

It was a special visit. I wanted Novalie to meet her great grandma even though she only speaks in jibberish. Novalie held her hand and told her about herself. Grandma Ruth loved the children around her. Her feet, hands and jibberish were going like crazy. It warmed my heart.

Me and my sisters with Grandma Ruth. I am so glad we went to see her!

The next day we went to sacrament meeting at my old ward. It was good to see a few familiar faces and hug people who are dear to my heart for the years I spent in that ward. We sat in the row we always would sit in every Sunday. It was fun sharing memories with Novalie about that building.

Danielle and I in front of our old church building. A lot of memories in that building.

We then went to visit my Dad’s grave. We spent a good amount of time there. We all had a good cry and I soaked up all the strength I could from being there. We also laughed and told crazy Grandpa stories. My dad was one of a kind.

One of my all time favorite pictures of Novalie and I.

We had a picnic, then drove up to our old ranch. No where feels like home to me more than the ranch. I grew up in Texas, New York and Montana, but Montana will always be home.

The loooong drive way alone holds many many memories.

In front of our old ranch house.

Outside my old bedroom window.

My heart aches for Montana more so now then ever before. I love the country. I love the memories there. It was the perfect place to go to visit before I had to face breast cancer full on. It gave me that extra bit of strength I was looking for to endure such a trial.

We ended our trip with a late night trip to Pizza Hut. I was starving and we were trying to find anywhere open to go eat. We called Pizza Hut and they were open still, so after screams of cheer from me, we loaded up and drove through a wicked rain storm to Hamilton. We laughed so hard at Pizza Hut. So hard. The people in the booth by us told us how nice it was to see a family have so much fun together. We laughed a lot.

Pizza Hut selfie with my selfie stick!

Got a little wild at the Pizza Hut.

Two cute girlie cousins who were sad to be heading home in the morning.

This trip was all about me, but Novalie loves Montana too and made a lot of good memories during our weekend there too.

We love Montana. I loved this trip. Can’t wait to go back again!

~Happy Memorial Day Weekend~

Spring Break 2016

Spring Break has become one of my favorite weeks of the year. Novalie and I get to spend quality time doing fun stuff together we love. Our Spring Break staycation has become a treasured tradition.

Like I have mentioned before, our car rides to and from our activities are my favorite. We talk about anything and everything. History, politics, social situations, what we love, what we don’t love, goals, hopes, dreams, funny stories. I love it all. It is my favorite.

Her traditional Spring Break Build-a-Bear. This year she went with Supergirl since we have been watching the new Supergirl series and love it.

We spent one day at the aquarium. It is definitely Novalie’s happy place. I love the peace and calm that comes from sitting in the shark tank watching them swim by.

Her beloved great white shark. Many people commented on her all shark outfit, it was fun! I hope my unique shark loving girl never changes.

Enjoying her shark tail sucker!

My sister and kids came over one of the days to go skating. They had a sweaty good time.

Our traditional meal at our favorite place, Benihana’s! It was dreamy and delicious like always.

Spring Break Beauty

Our traditional, yearly visit to paint a porcelain figurine. Novalie pained this beautiful angel and I painted a bowl.

We got some walks in with Olive.

It was a fabulous week and we were sad to see it end.

~Happy Spring Break!~