This year, Thanksgiving was spent out in Tridell.  I have no pictures, because I spent the weekend playing and reading on my iPad (see previous post).  And, the one event that I planned on taking pictures of (tree hunting at White Rocks in the Uintah's) I had an unforetunate experience that caused my quick retreat.  Which will also not be discussed.

Everything Thanksgiving, I've posted about the things that matter most in my life which are also, the things I'm most grateful for.  It's a reminder of my blessings and the things that bring me the greatest joy.

I'm thankful that we are together. 
I'm thankful that my family is Eternal. 
I'm thankful that we're well and that the illness that currently plague our home are temporary and not life threatening.
I'm thankful for extended family who love us, help us, visit us, support us, etc.

I'm thankful for the horses.
I'm thankful for the pup.
Surprisingly, I love the responsiblity and work that comes along with having them, even when it's cold outside.
I love that the horses meet me at the fence when I go outside.
I love that the pup bum shakes while wagging her tail when we play.

I'm thankful for my home.
I'm thankful for the opportunity I have to live where I live.
I'm thankful for the warm feeling I have when I'm there, with my family.
I'm thankful for a husband who can take something worn and old, and turn it into new and beautiful.

I'm thankful for my job.
I'm thankful for Chris's work.
I'm thankful for the ability we have to provide for our family.
I'm thankful to be able to work with such wonderful people, and that Chris has been able to work for some amazing clients.

I'm thankful for my friends.
I'm thankful for Bunko, late night movies & fat free salads.
I'm thankful to be validated, when needed, and put in my place, when necessary.
I love their honesty and I cherish their friendship.

I'm thankful for the Gospel.
I'm thankful for our ward family, who are wonderful.
I'm thankful for my callings, even though they (yes, I have more than one) test my patience.


“We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!



I have literally been consumed by my iPad, which is why the lack of posts recently.  After being annoyed by how often I wanted to use Chris's iPad (at church, at home, at work, etc.) he thoughfully purchased me one of my own for my birthday this year.  I'd like to believe his motives were purely selfless.

But here's the problem... my house isn't as clean as normal.  My laundered clothes don't get folded.  Dinner gets made (or purchased) but then not cleaned up after.  Brielle's bench seat cushion?  Still not sewn.

What could be so cool about my iPad that the rest of my life get neglected, you ask?  Let me tell you.

Words with Friends.  I can literally play Scrabble with my BFF in Sacramento, my sisters in Alpine, and my other BFF while she's at work... All at the same time.  Trust me, once you start, you can't stop.  Although, I would like to figure out why I lose 2/3's of the games I start? 

The Gospel Library.  Can I just say, in an age where I can't seem to get my 9 yr old class to sit still, be reverent and listen, this comes in handy.  I plan my lesson, they get to read from my iPad and I download church vidoes (which guarantees me at least 3 minutes of silence).

StumbleUpon.  I've blogged about this app before.  You tell it your interests, and then sends you highly reviewed websites (which go along with your interests) that they've "stumbled upon."  Because of this app, I've found many recipes, including that of an orange, cranberry muffin with streusel topping that I plan to make this weekend.  Yum.

iBook Library.  Here lies the real problem.  My iBook Library.  I've been able to download a lot of books, at a fraction of the price, and read right here.  This book is thin and light, fits in my purse, and currently goes everywhere with me.  I'm currently hooked on a series that has consumed my mind this week, making me unable to focus on anything else. 

So, my iPad.  The best gift my husband has given me in a long time... and the cause of my organized life falling apart as we know it.



This is where DandyMan can be found every morning about 7:30  and every evening about 6:00.  You might think he's excited to see me everyday.  But he's not...

He's a bit impatient when it comes to feeding time.


For CCP... Mario

While in California, I hoped there might be a celebrity sighting.  Namely, a member of the Twilight cast (who was in fact in LA for the premier of Breaking Dawn).  But instead, we spotted...

Mario Lopez.  I thought it was cool, but no one else at "The Grove" in LA thought so.  Apparently, he's there everyday.  Well I'm not, so it was cool!


Our Vacation Memories

The first thing you see when you enter Disneyland is this...

Well okay then!  Let's make some memories, shall we?  And oh, this trip was memorable.  So memorable, we may not ever forget it.  And it will surely take awhile to pay for it.  We should start at the beginning...

(Disclaimer.  My phone camera sucks.  And all photos were taken with my sucky phone camera.)

My work sent me to Anaheim for the National Association of REALTORS conference and Expo.  I was lucky enough to stay at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Resort.  It only made sense to drag Chris and Brielle along, so I did.

Wednesday morning, while packing, Brielle laid down and fell asleep.  I assumed she was worn out from all the built up excitement and didn't think a thing of it.  Until I had to wake her up.  She had a fever.  She fell asleep again on the way to the airport, then again on the plane, then again on the shuttle to the hotel.  Little did Chris and I know, this was only just the beginning.

Thursday morning, Brielle wakes up, doesn't feel good, but it too excited to find out what the big "surprise" was that I had been planning for weeks.  After a long drive to Los Angelas (LA traffic sucks), we entered "The Grove," and upscale shopping district where it just so happens that Mario Lopez films "Extra" everyday.  I know this, because I saw him.  But that's not why we were there.

This is why we were there...

The American Girl store.  Brielle was shocked -- totally surprised -- could have never guessed that she'd be able to visit this amazing store.  This lucky little girl was assigned her very own, personal shopper "Ann" who showed her around the two-story store, told her all there was to know about the historical AG dolls, and helped her pick out one of her very own.

Doll #53.  She has the same color hair and hair length, same color eyes and has been named "Lily Ann."  Chris let Brielle break the bank and buy all the accessories and clothes that she wanted.  Chris didn't want to participate in this activity at first, but once there, I think he enjoyed it as much and Brielle as I did.

Afterward, we decided to hit the beach.  Venice Beach wasn't that far away, and supposedly had some killer good restaurants nearby.  The day was overcast, cool temps and the beach was not a bit crowded.

But, the water was freezing.  It is the Pacific.  We didn't last long.  Not to mention, Brielle was fading fast.  Fever had returned and she just wanted to sleep.  There went lunch at Venice Beach.

For the next 3 days, Chris and Brielle would only see the inside of our hotel room, with me bringing food, gatorade and medicine in between conference classes (which was a block away, which I also credit to a 2 pound reduction in my weight -- apparently good things do come from bad).

There was very little sleep.  Fever reaching 102 plus.  Lots of chills, sweating and body aches, and a few cold bathes in the middle of the night.  Normally, Brielle is a snuggler when sick, but this time, she didn't even want to be touched.  She was sicker than sick -- sicker than I can remember her ever being.  My previous post details my gratitude for the Priesthood and for the co-worker that assisted in giving Brielle a blessing.

The next photo you'll see, you will honestly think nothing was ever wrong with Brielle.  She looks like a happy, spoiled child riding thrill rides in the park.  But don't let it fool you...

When they were done, Brielle begged to back to the hotel room, where you'll find her doing more of this...

Then she'd wake up, ask to go back to the park, ride a ride, and then beg to back to the hotel.  Honestly, Chris was lucky we were staying at the Disneyland Resort, so walking back and forth was manageable.  3-day Hopper passes were purchased for this trip, but we spent less than the equivalent of 1 day actually in the park.

Monday morning, we packed, loaded into the shuttle and hit the road for the airport.  But Brielle continued to get more sick.  But now, she was having chest pain and trouble breathing.  We landed in Salt Lake, picked up the pup, and headed straight for an Urgent Care center in Logan.  She hadn't even been examined before they placed her on breathing treatments.  Soon after that, they sent us straight to the ER at Logan Regional Hospital.

We were blessed to have to neighbors working last night, one an ER Doc and the other a Respiratory Specialist.  They confirmed what we already knew... Pneumonia. 

Because she had such a high fever (which was lower than it had been in California) AND her heart rate wouldn't drop below 140 beats per minute AND her oxygen levels were extremely low, we had to camp out in the ER for several hours.  We were lucky though... had all of the above mentioned symptoms not improved, she would have gone from being a guest at the Grand Californian to an admitted patient at Logan Regional.

But now we are home.  Chris and I and especially Brielle are all trying to recover.  For now, Brielle is quarantined... watching movies... sleeping... and working her hardest to get better.

We made memories all right.  Although, I don't think they are the memories Mr. Disney had in mind for families visiting his resort.

As I conclude this journal entry of our epic family vacation of 2011, I'd like to mention just one more thing...

Parents, if your kids are sick, don't send them to school.  It may result in another kid getting sick when they are about to embark on a magical family vacation, therefore, leaving them with a not-so-fun, miserable 5 days.  Oh, and they may not be insured, which, as a result, will result in a hospital bill the size of their vacation bill.  M-kay?


When will the Magic Start?

We've been at the Grand Californian Hotal at Disneyland for 3 days now. We have yet to step foot in the Magic Kingdom, ride a roller coaster, see a Princess or take pics with Mickey Mouse.

Ms. Brielle has a serious case of the flu. The last time she was this sick, and for this long, she was a baby and admitted to Primary Children's hospital for dehydration. Brielle was so distraught this morning about NOT going to Disneyland, she literally cried until she threw up.

They say that this is the happiest place on earth... but we find ourselves asking when the magic starts for us? I wandered the streets of Anaheim (on foot and in the dark) and finally found a Food 4 Less to stock up on meds and Gatorade. It helped, but not enough.

We are fortunate to be traveling with co-workers, one of whom is a high councilman in the stake we previously resided in. He kindly agreed to step away from dinner with his wife to venture over to what could possible be, our flu infested hotel room to assist in giving Brielle a priesthood blessing.

Brielle is resting comfortably now, and the hotel has provided us with DVD's to keep our little B entertained while couped up inside. Our mini vacation might not be magical (yet), but I sure feel blessed to be married to a worthy priesthood holder, and to be surrounded by other worthy priesthood holders. During a month where we ponder on gratitude and blessings, the priesthood certainly nears the top of my list.



I may not love Halloween...  but I sure made a cute Pirate.

Note to Parents:  Watch out for the Milk Duds.  After taking just one bite, Brielle was left with on less tooth in her mouth.