Monday, April 26, 2010

Birthday Happiness

Yesterday was my birthday.

Happiness was found in a Baskin-Robbins pistachio almond ice cream cake.

Thoughtful and gorgeously wrapped presents from friends.

Dinner (which I didn't have to cook) and time spent with people I love.

Visits from two four-year-olds in my Primary class, perfect-for-me gifts from my family (including coupons from Travis which I WILL use), and a special poem from Abby:

I suppose it's not too bad turning 46.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Umbrella Art

At Activity Day yesterday my group of 10 and 11 year-old girls from church decorated their very own umbrellas. My mother-in-law inspired me when she made similar ones years ago for my then two little girls.

I found umbrellas at the dollar store and bought the fabric paint with a 50% off coupon at the craft store--love getting a deal.

The girls had a great time creating their own unique masterpieces.

Good thing we are expecting April showers the next few days.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spring Bling

It is FINALLY starting to look and feel like Spring around here!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Peanut Butter Pie

Tonight for dessert (as per Abby's request) we are having peanut butter pie! The recipe is as unsophisticated as they come, but it is easy and so delicious. (This, of course, is coming from a lover of all things peanut.)

Here is the recipe:
Mix together 4 ounces of cream cheese and 1 cup powdered sugar.

Add 1/3 cup peanut butter and beat well before adding 1/2 cup milk.

Fold in 8 ounces Cool Whip.

Spoon into a graham cracker crust, chocolate crust, or shortbread crust. Cover and freeze.
You can make this a bit "healthier" by using reduced-fat or fat-free cream cheese and Cool Whip. OR, you can make it even BETTER by using real whipped cream.

I prefer to forget the crust altogether and spoon the filling into individual custard cups. Either way it is FABULOUS!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


What is it that draws us to the idea of collecting? I had a bottle cap collection (not unlike Travis' above) when I was young. Mine, however, did not include shell casings and bullets.

Each Sunday after church my friend Kristy and I would scour the parking lot of Robinson High School while our parents visited. (We held church at the school for several months while our new chapel on Ox Road was being constructed.) Colorful, unbent, and unique bottle caps were the most prized.

At one time I also had a collection of paper napkins carefully gathered from assorted birthday parties and wedding receptions. I also recall having a sticker collection and a postcard collection, but tragically those have disappeared.

Yet . . . I am still collecting.

My collection of tiny boxes is my most sentimental menagerie. For posterity's sake, here is its origins:
  • Brian purchased my very first (the oval flower imprinted one in the center) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York early in our marriage while attending a conference in New Jersey.
  • The heart-shaped pewter one he brought home to me from Munich, Germany.
  • My mom gave me the little rectangular box with an "S" on it after my Dad passed away. It was in his top bureau drawer with his watch, keys, wallet, etc. We have no idea where or how he acquired it, but my dad kept it for some reason and that is all that matters.
  • Brian brought the turquoise one back to me from Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • The one from New Orleans is self explanatory. So glad Brian thinks of me when he is traveling!
  • The flute player (paying homage to Rachel) is from Albuquerque, New Mexico--again from hubby's travels.
  • We are a true cat-loving family so when Brian spied the cat box in Cincinnati, Ohio he HAD to present it to me on his return.
  • The taller one belonged to my Grandma Carlson. She purchased it while she was in Guatemala on an LDS mission and I acquired it when she passed away.
  • The last intricate oval one was recently rediscovered in my childhood jewelry box. My Uncle Will brought it home from his LDS mission to Thailand when I was a teenager. I thought it was time it was included in my collection.
This is my complete "little box" collection.
  • The pewter and wooden one is the second purchase Brian made for me at the British Museum in London, England.
  • The vibrant bird box was given to my dad by a coworker. It is from some where in Latin America.
  • Brian and I purchased the rectangular box (in front) together on a couple trip to Hawaii where Brian had yet another conference.
  • The red flower box was sent to me this last year from my mom while she was on her LDS mission in Germany.
  • Lastly, the simple square wooden box was purchased in Muir Woods during a family vacation to the Bay Area.
There you have it--one of my grown-up collections. What do YOU collect?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Not Another Crafting Post!

Kellie is not a fan of my crafting posts, but I was so pleased with myself that I had to post just one more. Black and white is a favorite of mine right now--especially damask. I have always loved high contrast so when I was ready for a little change this is what I chose.

These Ikea frames previously housed quilt blocks that matched the quilt I had on my bed. The above artwork is actually 12"x12" scrapbook paper. I cut the squares to fit the 9"x9" frames and "ta da" . . . I am quite content.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A House Divided

BYU (Brigham Young University) and the UofU (University of Utah) are deep-rooted western rivals. When Kellie was recruited to the University of Utah's Women's Soccer team, we were thrilled, but the realization that we would soon be wearing RED was a minor jolt. Brian is a BYU professor, both he and I graduated from BYU, Kellie's sister, Rachel, is a student there, and the tradition of BYU scholarship and "fan"ship on both sides of the family is generations old.

However, we soon embraced all things Utah SOCCER related. Brian giddily puts UofU soccer posters up outside his office door and the reactions this invokes from BYU students are priceless.

Saturday, April 10, at 10:00 am Utah plays BYU in Provo for a Spring "friendly". Very exciting--especially since Kellie was sidelined when they played BYU last Fall due to a broken foot!

It is always a bit unsettling for me to sit in the stands at South Field during this rivalry game. I bleed deep crimson as I cheer for Ute #7 and all her teammates. Surrounded in the stands by the very blue that makes up the majority of my own essence, I am pained when the energy emitted turns negative and attacks in the spirit of competition and rivalry. My house, my soul, my very psyche grapples for calm. Can't we just all get along? :)

Nevertheless, it will always be GO KELLIE! and GO UTAH SOCCER! See you Saturday at the game. (It's free.) And, wear RED!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Just a Whiff

Yesterday morning as I put on my shoes, anxious to get out the door, I caught a whiff of the freshly cut daffodils Abby had procured from our yard and carefully placed in a vase on the table. The scent took me home to Virginia.

It was Spring--really Spring, not the Utah-teaser-type of Spring.

Ann Street
my green, wooded, blossoming backyard
matching homemade Easter dresses
shiny new black patent leather shoes
anticipation of a basket full of Peeps and chocolate eggs

Fast forward two decades.

Once again living in Virginia, Embassy Lane
constant and extreme nausea due to morning sickness with Travis
Mom and Steven at the door
bringing me a bouquet of freshly picked daffodils from their yard
that simple act meant EVERYTHING

Just a whiff brought it all back. Made me pause and smile.