May 2, 2011

Shhhhh . . . . . it's a secret

I had the most charming conversation recently with our oldest granddaughter who will be having her 4th birthday soon. I asked her what she would like for a birthday present. She told me she is asking Mom and Dad for a scooter like her friend, Will, has so they can scooter like this (as she shows me with an invisible scooter) all around the neighborhood.

"Ahh, that sounds like a great birthday present. What else would you like? What's something Grandpa and Grandma can give you?"

"I want a BIG playhouse for my dolls. A big, BIG one (with her arms making a very BIG motion for emphasis)", she said.

"One you can stand up tall in and have different rooms for your baby dolls?" I asked.

"Yes, a r-e-a-l-l-y big one", she confirmed.

"Hmm, that might be too big for Grandma to send in the mail. What's something you would like that I could send in the mail", I asked.

"Well, everything else is a secret", she whispered.

"Oh! Well, I'm very good at keeping secrets", I said while trying to look as convincing and trustworthy as possible. "Just tell me one secret so I'll know what you'd like for your birthday".

Hesitating, then, with a look of uncertainty at my ability to keep a secret, she told me her secret birthday gift wish. And then . . . she told me another.

"Wow, those are wonderful birthday gift secrets", I said. "I'll write that down so I won't forget."

She watched to make sure I did write them down. She was satisfied.

What were her secret wishes, you ask?

Oh no--I'll never tell.

February 26, 2011

In the Split Second

Sometime in the split second when February 28th turns into March 1, Scott and I mark our wedding anniversary and we turn another year older in our marriage. Unless, of course, it's Leap Year and we actually have an entire day, a complete 24 hours, a morning, midday, and evening, in which to officially wish each other a Happy Anniversary. Yes, it's true, Scott and I were married on February 29th. How did this happen you ask? Why, of all days, when it only shows up every 4th year? Because I didn't realize! It simply was the best day. As I remember, it was the only day and I was grateful that we were able to find a day that worked around assignments and midterms that come up in the middle of a semester of college, schedules of both our families, dodging BYU games, not overlapping football spring training, and the like. Can you imagine my surprise and my stunned face when a guest at our wedding reception shook Scott's hand and congratulated him on marrying on such a fine day that would only require him remembering our anniversary every 4 years. I wanted to rewind and pick a different day because I wanted an anniversary every single year. Later, when I had a chance to express my very serious concern to Scott that we had indeed been foolish to pick February 29th for our wedding day, he reassuringly smiled at his new bride and said, "we'll just celebrate the last day of February every year, and make it extra special when it's the 29th". My heart melted and I was so happy that I had married the right man who would not forget our anniversary.
This month we are marking 31 fabulous years. Next year we will celebrate 8 anniversaries. It's all been fabulous, each and every year. Have we ever forgotten our anniversary? Well, yes. We had just moved to New Jersey on a Saturday. We were sitting in church on Sunday and the speaker mentioned it was February 28th. Scott and I both looked at each other with surprised smiles and said "oh, we forgot! Happy Anniversary"!

November 27, 2010

Oh! What a Yarn

After learning about this darling pattern for knit hats with flowers and drawstring bags from my friend Julie, I decided to try my hand at making these projects of love for my granddaughters.

They were so delighted with these gifts. Big sister loved having a fun hat with a bag big enough to hold her toys.

And little sister loved having her own set of new hat and purse.

I was so happy to see their eyes light up when their gifts were opened because I did it out of love.

August 31, 2010

On a Whim

It is a rare occasion that my husband and I find ourselves all alone on a Saturday morning but that is how we found ourselves a week ago. So, on a whim we decided to head to the mountains and play for a little while. After all, we didn't have any children at home with which to experience the "value of work". Scott and I headed to Sundance for breakfast and a mountain hike. Perfect temperature and beautiful scenery gave us a lovely August morning together. It was so refreshing to break out of the Saturday morning routine and be spontaneous.

When we left the lodge after breakfast a dab of bright color caught my eye. I think these little leaves were feeling a little whimsical too, since green is the routine color for summer.

August 28, 2010

Speaking of Mail

A few months ago I was spending some R & R time in Barnes and Noble Book Store and found a book just calling out to me. The title -"Good Mail Day". Well, anything addressing the topic of good mail or happy mail catches my attention.

I thought I'd track down this book at the library, but it is not at the library. So after months of telling myself I don't need this book, I broke down and bought it online. You know what that means . . . the book was mailed to me. Yea! One day I went to my mailbox and there was this brown paper package (not) tied up with string and it was addressed to me.

This book is about making mail art and sending it. The idea is to make something unique and get it in the mail. There are chapters about making a mail art kit, getting inspiration for your art, refining penmanship & etiquette, etc. This is really a fun book.

"When you write to your friends, make your letters so beautiful in form and text that they will be read, re-read, and cherished a long time after as a fond memory. ~Book of Etiquette, 1922"

Rule #1 - to get a letter, write a letter.

I need to improve on rule #1. I have been rather distracted lately and always feeling too busy to follow through on thoughts of letters to write. So, of course, I am recommitted. My great aunt was a stellar letter writer. Whenever she met someone she asked for their address and said she would write. And write she did. And they wrote back. When she passed away she was corresponding with near 100 people on a regular basis. Wow! Now that's a lot of happy mail.

August 15, 2010

Happy Mail

I love to get, what I term, "happy mail"
Happy Mail: any piece of mail that is written specifically to me i.e. letters, cards, and the like.

I enjoy emails; they are quick and efficient. I love phone calls especially because I can hear the caller's voice, the inflections, the tone, the mood and I can exchange ideas and thoughts immediately. But I love mail!

I think I love mail because I can make it last. When our oldest 2 sons were serving on their missions they wrote letters. On the day their letter was due I would watch for the mail delivery. I'd walk out to the mailbox, open the door with excitement, sift through the pieces of mail with anticipation and smile when I saw that handwritten envelope from our son. Then I would walk, with a bounce in my step, back to the house, straight to the quiet, sun-filled living room, nestle into a wingback chair and open the envelope. I would stroll through each paragraph, savoring, stopping to sometimes reread or laugh, ponder and always enjoy.

Not long ago I had to forward some mail to our oldest son. I included a handmade card with Disney Princesses on it to our granddaughters. Shortly after the package of mail arrived to our son I was on the webcam with him and our 3 year old granddaughter came into the room.
"Hi Grandma" she said, "when are you going to send me some more mail?"
"Oh", I replied, "you like mail? I'll send you some mail next week."
And so I did.

Loving Happy Mail: something my granddaughter and I have in common.

August 4, 2010

Love and Marriage

On our refrigerator/bulletin board we have no less than 8 bridal and wedding announcements. I believe that August is the new June.

Yesterday I attended a wedding in the Salt Lake LDS Temple and I was so surprised at the many brides and grooms there. I truly thought that a Tuesday morning in August would find the temple on a quieter schedule, but no. Parking was a 25 minute hunt and we were taking numbers in line to take pictures on the temple steps after the ceremony. Though it sounds like the situation could have been frustrating, it wasn't. The day was beautiful, the feelings joyful, and the celebration grand.

As I sat in the sealing ceremony and listened to wise counsel uttered from the Sealer, my mind reviewed other wisdom heard in recent ceremonies just like this one. I thought I would share.

"You are now leaving the Garden of Eden (the engagement) and entering the lone and dreary world (marriage). This is when true courtship begins."

"From the beginning of eternity until now you have been a single spirit. From this point forward, you are a twosome, in every way, for eternity."

"You are now enrolled in the Fine Art of Marriage. It is a fine art. It requires determination, discipline, and considerable thought to come to a mastery of the skills in the art of marriage."

"I heard this quote given in a sealing session conducted by Pres. Hinckley. He said: Be anxiously engaged in the happiness and well-being of your spouse."

"In the days of Enoch, Enoch led a people to become a great spiritual society in the midst of a wicked world. Your role as the patriarch of your family is the same as Enoch's. You must lead your family in becoming a great spiritual society in the midst of the wickedness today."

"Your role as wife and possibly mother, is to be a homemaker. Many things are required in making a home and it is not casual work. It is the most important work you need to do."

"The covenants you have made in the temple are the tools to creating a celestial marriage."

Even after 30 years of happy marriage, I find great ideas and counsel in how to better my marriage from these kind and sincere Temple Sealers. I love listening to marriage ceremonies.