Story time, since I am iced in tonight.

In 1989 I wrote a very short story called, The Lonely Mouse. I was seven.

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I still own the original. Story, by Katie, art by Katie, binding the papers and everything else? Katie.

My childish creation was trying to connect how Mickey Mouse might have felt before Minnie came along.

He had a dog, but humans (and obviously mice) need more.

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everyone had to start somewhere, right?

So in this story, he meets Minnie, they fall in love and have triplets, just in time to hear that Mickey got that dream job of his at Disneyland.

That, is my story in a nut shell.

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and some ‘vegetables’

My mother thought it was so adorable, she sent a copy to every one of our extended family for Christmas.

Twenty years later I tried re-writing the story (in a rhyming salute to Dr. Seuss who is an all time favorite) I began to write:

Lloyd P. Mouse, lived in a house right on the edge of town.

Late one night, when he turned out the light, his face made a little frown.

“I’m all alone in this cozy home, I should find a mate 

I can’t go through life without a wife, what an unfortunate fate.”

Lloyd went to bed with dreams in his head of finding the perfect girl.

She would be witty, funny and pretty – a gem of a lady– a pearl.

Morning arrived – Lloyd opened his eyes as sunlight danced through his window.

He whistled a tune that rang through the room, peaking to a crescendo.

An hour later, after reading the paper, the clock said eight thirty-four.

After donning some gloves and a scarf, hmph! Tug! Lloyd scurried out the front door.

…which is how it sat for another seven or so years.

Until now. [insert grin]

I took the story and went in an entirely new direction –

which cannot be revealed until after Christmas, because I had it printed out and my family reads my blog. I’ll give you this:

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I would like to thank the folks of flickr – I took a lot of awesome photos from you and used Preview on my Macbook to cut and paste my little characters. I will make zero profit off this story, as it was only intended for my family as a DIY gift.

Should I ever hope to make a profit from this story, the photos would have to be changed entirely, as I do not hold the rights to any of the ‘backgrounds.’

Spring Breaker 2016: Sick Parent Edition.

Last week was our Spring Break (Dan had the week off from school) – we were going to head down to Texas to see family…

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The day before I woke up with pink eye, Easter eggs hunt with Wiley’s pre-school class and their younger siblings. I was starting to feel more sick as this day wore on.

Seven days before break, I got a little cold, the Thursday before Spring Break, I got pink eye. I knew I didn’t have time to mess around, so I went to a walk-in clinic for eye drops.

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Day 2, both eyes goopy and felt like sandpaper.

On Friday, I woke up with Pink eye in both eyes and my face was so swollen…I called my sister and told her I was not coming and maybe if things cleared up by Monday, we’d head down then?

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oh, hey Monday.

Come Monday morning, Danny was doing better and I had two pink eyes and a sinus infection.

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The internet is where you put un-flattering photos of yourself, right??! Had to wear the head band for 8 days, to keep fly away hair from getting into my eyes and therefore my fingers.

I was really bummed to use our break for sick days, but, Danny was able to spend a lot of time at the park with his little boys.

I was really really bummed that I wasn’t able to smother my baby girl in daily kisses.

Each new day I didn’t see much progress – I even woke up every three hours to put those drops in my eyes. Was it a viral infection? yes, but I thought, ‘hey, it can’t make it worse,’ will it?

We did a lot of resting, played with a silly face swap app on the iPad…

Wiley got ahold of my phone and took pictures while I nursed the baby in my room.

Not bad, not bad. hehehe

Thursday morning, nearing the end of break, my pink eyes cleared and although I still had sinusitis, we decided to head down to my parents a few hours south.

So, to my family in Texas – I’m sorry we couldn’t make it down. I hope that we get to see ya’ll soon, here’s some fun photos from our Winter:

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I’m so crazy from being stuck indoors, I’m going outside, I don’t care how cold it is! We’re just prepping for that time we live in Finland?

 

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My little super boy! He loves playing with Daddy’s chess pieces, I’ve had to hide the ones he has not yet lost.

 

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Tyler loves food. When he finishes his, he usually goes after Wiley’s plate…because Wiley doesn’t care much for the stuff.

 

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Ty will help Daddy finish too.

 

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Don’t leave food on the table…or the troll will climb up and eat it when you’re not looking.
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Also, Moms, don’t leave your oatmeal on the kitchen counter, because that pesky troll will pull it off and eat that too.

 

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Playing chess again. Meanwhile, in potty training…two steps forward, one step back.

 

Always wondering when Daddy will come home:

 

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The complete guide to Lego Star Wars – captures even the smallest imaginations.

 

Ah well, I feel like another road trip is in our future:

Can someone tell me what day it is?

The last thing I remember was, I had a baby…the other baby in August of 2014. Then, I was having a baby.

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Adrian Bell – 5 days old – my holiday baby.

About the time I got serious about getting back in shape in Jan/Feb of 2015, I joined a beach body fitness group…my entire family had whooping cough (yes we’d been vaccinated, thanks).

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My Princess, 5 days old.

Sick as a person with whooping cough, who is taking care of two small people with whooping cough, can be – I still started my fitness challenge the day the rest of the group did.

A month into my fitness challenge, I was growing another human again.

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3 weeks

I was eating well, just got off antibiotics, and exercising regularly – so I couldn’t figure out why I was so tired.

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4 weeks – taken Christmas Eve. She was totally crying when I took this.

Well, truth be told, I knew (deep down) that I was pregnant, but hadn’t excepted or tested the fact yet.

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Here I am less than a year later with another baby laying next to me.  My brain is not… what it is capable of being. I can’t remember some people’s names, I can’t recall words I used to know (I think I still know them, somewhere in there…) and every day feels like yesterday.

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She was 2 weeks! Her brothers LOVE her.

We’ve had a wedding, births, deaths (in my extended family), holidays in all those yesterdays.  Where has today gone? Just another yesterday now.

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My husband has been just as tired and overworked as I am. This winter vacation has been such a blessed and lazy affair.

We have had a very short visit to see my family this break and a weekend visit with Danny’s parents.

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I was mind boggling tired with each visit and forgot to get pictures of my kids with their grandparents!! I was so grateful for the time we had together.

I’m enjoying this “honeymoon” of sorts with a(nother) new baby! The long days just cuddling are slowly fading and I’m slowly pulling myself together.

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Read Mommy?

It’s good to exercise my mind again – with the whole blogging thing – and having just looked at a calendar, I can see that today is Monday…January 2016!

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Sigh, I love my babies.

Wishing you all the best while facing your trials and reaping your blessings of another year.

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God Bless.

 

‘Twas the night before Christmas on the Wanch.

There were ZERO gifts under the tree at bedtime.
There were ZERO gifts under the tree at bedtime.

My husband and I decided to head down to my parent’s house (nicknamed The Wanch) for Christmas.

POOF - in the middle the night, the pile of presents begins to grow!
POOF – in the middle the night, the pile of presents begins to grow!

My baby sister was coming up from Houston and my four brothers were there,  A drive to Texas to visit Dan’s family is a bit longer and more expensive than a the short trip to my parent’s, we do Christmas in Texas every other year.

Kaylan adding more to the loot.
Kaylan adding more to the loot.

The last two years I felt like Christmas was too big and my family and  I got too many gifts.

Am I weird? Too many gifts???

Santa has been leaving cups of candy for years. Mom did away with the stockings and first we received Santa mugs, but after our mug collection had over taken our glasses, mother turned to cups. I dig the cups! Even as an adult, I still look forward to my cup.
Santa has been leaving cups of candy for years. Mom did away with the stockings and first replaced them with Santa mugs, but after our mug collection had over taken our glasses, mother turned to cups. I dig the cups! Even as an adult, I still look forward to my cup of chocolate. Best breakfast ever.

I don’t know, I just wanted to scale back and focus on the true meaning of the Holiday season.

Even the tree was adorned with gifts.
Even the tree was adorned with gifts.

The birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He is THE Gift. He gave each one of us a reason to celebrate. We give gifts as a representation of THE Gift.

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Santa Claus, Santa Klaus, St Nick…Saint Nicholas – a follower of Christ – is portrayed as a giver of gifts these days. But be it known, that Santa Claus became a giver of gifts because he was trying to pattern his life after the example of the Savior.

This is the stable, shelter so bare...
This is the stable, shelter so bare…

So, likewise, everyone in my family had the same idea. Everyone wanted to give something to each other.

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After the large dinner that my mother prepared (for over 20 people) and just as folks were ready to eat, my dad announced that one family of five couldn’t make it because the kids were sick.

Dad was watching Miss Congeniality on his laptop and laughing out loud - right outside the kids bedroom. Mom kept reminding him to be quiet. "Don't you wake those kids Peter!!"
Dad was watching Miss Congeniality on his laptop and laughing out loud – right outside the kids bedroom. Mom kept reminding him to be quiet. “Don’t you wake those kids Peter!!” He was still laughing as mom went off to bed.

Mom said, “I didn’t know they were coming.” Dad replied, “I invited them, but forgot to tell you.”

That’s how it rolls in their house…there is ALWAYS room in the Inn.

I spy a bike back there...Dad decided to leave it on the back porch so it would draw out the surprises.
I spy a bike back there…Dad decided to leave it on the back porch so we could draw out the surprises.

When bedtime for the kids came, the space under the tree was barren.

Late into the night we wrapped and talked or watched movies…the older boys set up a game table where the couch usually goes in the family room.

Ooooh, how many did they get apiece? They are counting.
Ooooh, how many did they get apiece? They are counting. He still doesn’t know about the gift waiting on the porch. But after he opens a box with a helmet…he soon discovers the bike.

others made good choices and went to bed early.

I went to bed close to 2am and the boys and Kaylan were still awake.

Baby's first Christmas!
Baby’s first Christmas! My favorite gift this year!

It could have been that sleep deprivation weakens our immune system, but several of the older folks in the house woke up sick.

Every year, without fail, at least one person is sick on Christmas eve/Day and the sickness is shared.

Wiley got a LEGO Millennium Falcon and his daddy Kragle-ized it. Wiley loves airplanes and spaceships!! He lost Han Solo an hour later. I found Han in the washing machine a week later and Daddy Kragled him to the ship.
Wiley got a LEGO Millennium Falcon and his daddy Kragle-ized it. Wiley loves airplanes and spaceships!! He lost Han Solo an hour later. I found Han in the washing machine a week later and Daddy Kragled him to the ship.

I still count my blessings. It wasn’t the flu and our life is very comfortable and prosperous.

Sparkling Cider anyone? That is always a good choice with breakfast!
Sparkling Cider anyone? That is always a good choice with breakfast!

I’m grateful I don’t need Bugatti’s or sail boats to make my life good (although, my husband would like a Bugatti if anyone was curious or feeling generous). I’m so happy to have my children healthy, I’m grateful we are able to pay our bills and that my husband is able to go to school.

Sorry, Wiley, unless you get a sister someday, you wont ever see Barbie's dream house under our family tree.
Sorry, Wiley, unless you get a sister someday, you wont ever see Barbie’s dream house under our family tree.

I don’t know what your Christmas wishes were, but I hope you felt the love and peace that I wish for you and yours!

Thankful from my past to my present

San Francisco, CA – 1986 exactly a year before my husband was born…meanwhile, I’m four years old.

My little family spent some time at my parents home over Thanksgiving break, Danny had deer to hunt (freezer needs stocking) and I had family to spend time with and old photos to view.

Me and my sister Klara – who was named after the character in the ballet Nutcracker – a part my mom danced as a youth.

It’s not uncommon for me to rifle through all boxes when I’m home, or visiting grandparents, to revisit the happy times from my past or uncover some old relic that holds a new story for me.

My Nana holding Klara – I looked pretty stoked about having a new baby around.

Most of my life, my mother has done a great job of keeping the family photos neatly organized, but somewhere in the last two moves the photos were all thrown together.

Gramma and Aunt Gail. After looking at these photos I question whether I should go back to bangs…

About the time my parents sold their home in Texas, the majority of family photos were in old photo albums and the glue that held the photos in the albums were actually damaging the photos, so my mom took all the photos out of the old albums – and mom decided to finish her midwifery training on top of all her other pursuits – thereby leaving all the photographs mixed together.

San Diego, CA early 1987? This is what I looked like when my husband was born 🙂

I took it upon myself last year to, at least begin to, sort through them. I haven’t begun the scanning process, but I will be the one to do it.

My parents are such cute people.

Memories must be recorded and preserved.

I loved that shirt. I still do. Where can I get one like it?

I only took about an hour, this last trip home, to go through photos. I have two small children and if I don’t keep a very close eye on the two year old, things can end up destroyed very quickly – clever boy

My dad is a pretty good chef, but his specialty is chocolate.

Luckily I had some help for a short while from my baby brother Konnor:

It was also the day before our Thanksgiving feast and my mom needed some assistance in the kitchen. Not too much assistance, she pretty much made the entire feast all by herself.

I had a (really long) Shirley Temple phase and wanted my hair to be curly every day. I can thank my Aunt Kathy for the Shirley Temple obsession, she sent us all her movies.

I peeled some potatoes and cut them up.

Oh look! Another baby girl – must be 1988, summer time. My baby sister was born in July. Not that you’re interested, but this was another favorite outfit of mine – flowered jump suit!

I did the majority of helping my mom by washing all the dishes.

My cousin Hollie (Left) was my favorite cousin for a long time – she babied me and I liked being babied. 🙂

If a food or drink request was made by a child or son-in-law, my mom put in her ear buds (I’m so glad for head phones and internet radio on cell phones…as a child we all had to listen to talk radio when mom cooked, cleaned…canned, etc) and got to work.

My favorite dress-up dress (a ballet costume that belonged to someone…not me). My guess is this cake is for a little sister. My older brother doing what he does…

I didn’t have any personal food requests this year – I was just happy to be home!

Oh, HEY cool kids! See those pink high tops I”m wearing? Those were my favorite shoes.

But I was really happy that mom made a homemade chocolate pie, it’s my FAVORITE pie.

Just in case you didn’t get a good look at my shoes…

Since I’m still trying to loose some post pregnancy weight, I only had one slice of pie and only one small plate of food. It’s worth the wait…

Happy – 80’s tastic – memories

I’m really grateful for the love my mother shows by her actions – the night before Thanksgiving, my husband said that Aunt Patty’s cranberry crush drink was he all time favorite drink, so of course my mother whipped some up.

Can anyone tell me where this was taken? I’ve lived near and visited too many beaches to remember.

On Thanksgiving day, an hour before dinner, my brother Kaleb said he wanted some Yorkshire pudding with his meal…yeah, mom made them, because she loves her babies.

So thankful for my family – I don’t think anyone can make me more crazy then my family and I don’t think anyone loves me like my family either.

Not just any Tuesday – It’s Tuesday November 11th

Dad has said that because of my mom and me, his Admiral always liked him.
Dad has said that because of my mom and me, his Admiral always liked him. I’m pictured third from Right. Circa 1992.

Tomorrow night at 7, the women’s organization from my church (The Relief Society) will meet at a nearby nursing home for a Veteran’s Day celebration.

My Dad in Kenya - He was in the Navy...
My Dad in Kenya – He was in the Navy…1980 something.

I’m so excited to sing patriotic songs with the residents and paint some finger nails – although any time is a good time to visit a nursing home – I have always felt strongly about honoring veterans.

Auntie C, this is the only photo I had of you in uniform!
Auntie C, this is the only photo I had of you in uniform! Pictured here with my beautiful Nana.
Grandad joined the Army at 17, but I can't remember his age here.
Grandad joined the Army at 17, but I can’t remember his age here.
Grandad aged 23 on his wedding day.
After his Army days were over, Grandad joined the airforce; here his is, aged 23, on his wedding day.

I’ll leave it to George Washington:

The time is now near at hand which must probably determine weather Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human effort will deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die.                            

George Washington

Original from: http://www.foundingfatherquotes.com

Great Grandad was a British citizen, but he is a Veteran as well! Pictured here with Nana on her wedding day.
Great Grandad was a British citizen, but he is a veteran as well! Pictured here with my Nana on her wedding day.

I was fortunate to be raised as a Navy Brat.

My Dad's parents. Nana is 16 years old!!!
My Dad’s parents. Nana is 16 years old!!!

I miss the tight-knit military family life, military families are pretty special.

Cousin Max at his brother's funeral.
Cousin Max at his brother’s funeral. 

To those far away from home today, serving this nation, come home safe.

Making his mother proud every damn day.
Making his mother proud – every day. REST in peace Rex.

Happy Veteran’s Day to those who served, for those who (like my mother) held down the home fort and to those who (like myself) honor them.

The Patriot Guard of Oklahoma - what a special crew!
The Patriot Guard of Oklahoma – what a special crew!

and special hugs to the Gold Star families that live with a piece of their heart buried in sacred ground.

Turning Straw Into Gold…once upon a time?

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I love a good Halloween costume. Oh, I love a good costume any time of year!

I’m so glad there are people out there, like me, who appreciate a good costume – so here’s a few pictures for you!

DSC_0045Around 10:45pm on the 31st some friends stopped by my parents house (where I am currently visiting) to show us their costumes.

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I tried to give this photo an icy/chilly look…her skin isn’t normally this blue looking.

They were on their way home from an evening performance (with the STARS Foundation) and called to see if we were home.

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BOY, was I glad I was in town! ART work like this must be appreciated.

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Their mother Rebecca, (she has a mother load of talents) whipped up these costumes, and spent the morning doing their hair/make-up.

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Each girl dressed as one of the characters from the T.V. show Once Upon A Time.

Without reveling too many of her secrets, I can tell you a table cloth, a table place mat, and roughly, a billion safety pins may be involved.

someone please remind me BEFORE I begin taking photos to CHECK my focus!!
someone please remind me BEFORE I begin taking photos to CHECK my focus!!

So, not saying that she took some average girls and made them beauties…

she took some average items and made these beautiful girls into storybrooke characters.

This is just a picture, no teenaged boy was harmed in the making of this photo. Also notice the arrow has no tip.
This is just a picture, no teenaged boy was harmed in the making of this photo. Also notice the arrow has no tip.

Talk about turning straw into gold.

My brother is probably hearing the song "Cupid."
My brother is probably hearing the song “Cupid” by Sam Cook.

Now, I could blame the fact that I had morning full of chores, followed by a long day on the road for some blurry pictures…but, as it turns out, I left the lens on manuel mode and took several pictures before I even looked…

he wishes....
he wishes….

which, for me, is a tale as old as time.

Hope everyone had a good and safe weekend!

Family photos: with and without my uni-brow

Last weekend was the Trunk or Treat (why do they call it Trunk or Treat? What does the Trunk option involve?) for the Highlands Ward.

I’m always excited to dress up – and I generally go for the more intellectual costume ideas – I play a generic housewife in every day life with my sweat pants and greasy hair, so a generic costume idea is totally out for me.

Why yes, I am ridiculous, why do you ask?
Why yes, I am ridiculous, why do you ask? Flashback to 2009!

remember the year I went as Gold? Like, Au… 79 Protons? YES! From the Periodic Table!!!

Artists, art gallery?
Artists, art gallery?

So, this year, everyone in my family was a famous artist.

Danny, kinda, started the idea by saying months ago that he wanted to be Bob Ross for Halloween.

I recreated some famous paintings with sharpie.
I recreated some famous paintings with sharpie. Wiley did an original in the upper R corner.

Originally I thought, “hey the rest of us can be Happy Little Trees,” but that just didn’t satisfy my hubristic need to be different than the other costumed families on the internet.

Hardly anyone guessed who this guy was...
Hardly anyone guessed who this guy was…

So the two and a half year old was Vincent Van Gogh.

Guess who?
Guess who?

I can’t believe we got him to keep a bandage on his head all night! I’m so glad he is still too young to care about what his costume is.

Starry Starry Night???
Starry Starry Night???

The baby was Picasso. I considered going as a French woman, since I would be holding the baby all night (because Pablo loved the French ladies), but just because history was dicey, doesn’t mean our family costume had to be.

Even with the ear bandage and one of his most famous paintings, Van Gogh large went unrecognized...much like the real guy. :(
Even with the ear bandage and one of his most famous paintings and a red beard, Wiley Van Gogh largely went unrecognized…much like Vincent did in life. 😦

Besides, we all had to be artists.

Who's that cute little guy?
Who’s that cute little guy?

I went as Frida Kahlo (hence the unibrow) I had smudged a bit of dark eyeshadow on my upper lip, but before we left the house, my husband told me it was weirding him out…what a party pooper.

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I passed out candy with some 1920’s JAZZ playing.

The uni-brow was weirding him out too.

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I painted Pablo’s Peace Dove onto a onesie for Tyler and threw on the scarf – Whaa-lah!

According to him I was “ruining one of my best features.” So touched, was I, that I removed my fake stache to please him. I couldn’t remove the uni-brow, because then I would just be another pretty face in a Mexican blouse!

Where we the best family costume that night? Not even close! We had Lego people, Gru, Lucy and some minions and Cruella  with some Dalmatians...to name a few.
Were we the best family costume that night? Not even close! We had Lego people (her website HERE!), Gru, Lucy and some minions and Cruella with some Dalmatians…to name a few.

I was really impressed how many people recognized my costume!

It was the perfect night for a Ward party!
It was the perfect night for a Ward party!

We had a lot of fun with the Ward that night and when we got home, Danny pulled out his camera to look at the pictures we took.

He looked over at me and said, “our first family photo together has you with a uni-brow in it.”

Does the remote work (first time to use it!)?!
Does the remote work (first time to use it!)?!

That’s when I reminded him that our first family photo was taken weeks ago…

Did someone forget to focus the lens first??
Did someone forget to focus the lens first??
Someone should have listened to her husband...
Someone should have listened to her husband…

I’m so glad I can laugh at myself.