Sunday, January 12, 2014


This weekend, I took Kloe to celebrate her upcoming birthday.  It's next week, but I wanted to do something special with her so I took her and a friend to get mani/pedi's with gel polish, and then to lunch at Cheesecake Factory.  As we waited for a table, I let her browse the glass cases with all the desserts inside.  I told her she could pick ANY one she wanted and we could order dessert first -  because you get to on your birthday.  She loved that idea. 
It was basically THE PERFECT DAY.  

One thing that I will never forget about that day was this: her little friend, Bean, (who is my BFF's daughter and I consider her as much a niece as I do Kloe) had a moment where she wanted to be left alone. She had been hungry and tired and I think it was wearing on her.  It made Kloe sad and she looked at me, not knowing what to do.  I just told her to give Bean her space until she was ready. After lunch, we were getting up to leave and Bean was across the table from us.  She told her mom to "wait", because she needed to apologize to Kloe. Kloe quickly scooted across the seat and climbed up the other side to where Bean was.  They were face to face.  Bean said she was sorry, and immediately Kloe tenderly put her hands on her cheeks and said, "It's ok." And then wrapped her arms around her.  
I was so impressed with Bean's inclination, and quickness to apologize.  I was also extremely impressed with Kloe's response of forgiveness and nurturing.  I felt my cheeks get hot and eyes start to burn in that precious, unforgettable moment. I never thought I'd look at two adorkable 4 yr olds - and wish to be more like them.  

After the pre-birthday celebration, Chad and I went to see a movie.  Lone Survivor. (We should buy stock in the movie-theaters for how much Chad likes to go watch them on the big screen.) There's something about that three dollar drink and eight dollar tub of popcorn that just makes it an exceptional experience. :)  Watching this movie was hard.  Hard on my soul.  The worst part is, it's real.  I have always had a great respect and love for our soldiers, I always knew it took courage and bravery to do their jobs, but this movie made it real in my heart.  I experienced a simulated, milli-fraction of the emotions they go through. There is nothing more honorable than those amazing men and women.  
My movie review for this: a must see.  People in the theater were sobbing.  

It's been such a good week. I am very blessed. Blessed beyond measure.  

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Love Is A Verb

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you.
You've just got to find the ones worth
suffering for."

-Bob Marley

Tonight I weeded out another poisonous flower from my life.  It doesn't matter how sweet it smelled at times, or how pretty it was when it bloomed.  

We are all taught to forgive.  We are all human, and none of us are perfect.  We all make mistakes, we all have our due apologies to give.  But when the bad outweighs the good, and the price is not worth the package, it's time to let whatever it is, go.  Being self-less and being an a doormat are two very different things.  When it really comes down to it, the only person that you can truly count on to take care of you, is YOU.  Someone who makes you question their love for you, continually lets you down, and even puts you down...may love you in their own mental universe, but if they can't show it and you can't trust them, do you really want their "love"?   

I don't.  

And I don't know what is worse...

1) saying goodbye to someone you love


2) knowing that someone who claims to love you is the one that keeps hurting you.  

Any asshole in the world can say they love somebody.  

It still doesn't mean anything.  

What you feel only matters to you.  

It's what you do to the people you say you love, 

that's what matters.  It's the only thing that counts.  

Saturday, December 7, 2013

7 Dollars & A Roll Of Paper Towels

My parental skills were tested today...

Well, obviously I spoil her rotten.  We love going shopping.  For a long time, she never heard the word, "No" escape my lips.  But then I realized, I wasn't doing her any favors by giving her everything she wanted.  Now, I let her put the things she likes in the cart and we will "think about it".  At the end, she gets to go through and narrow it down to one must have.  And sometimes, yes...sometimes...she gets nothing.  But today, as we were browsing the small gift shop, she asked me if I would buy her a small stuffed animal.  I said, "no, you have lots of stuffed animals..." and she put it back and moved on to the next fun thing.  This happened a few times until she found a Little Mermaid magnetic doll set.  It was seven dollars.  I again told her "no," and that we needed to get going.  She started to cry.  As I waited for the tantrum to start and dreaded being that person dragging a screaming kid out of a store, she sunk to her little knees and put her head down.  Crocodile tears streamed down her cheeks. Her big, beautiful, brown eyes looked up at me and said, "Please, I really love it."
Don't be a sucker.  Don't give in.  
Of course, then, I wanted to just get it for her because I hated seeing her sad.  But the principle of the matter was important.  I said "no". I had to stick to it.  I needed her to respect me, and the boundaries.
I knelt down next to her and tried to reason with her.  "Let's tell Santa you want it for Christmas..." 
That didn't work.  She pleaded with me.  "Let's put it back and think about it."  She clutched it tighter.
For being a three year old little girl that loved Ariel more than anything, this was very important to her.  I had never seen her act this way before, and I knew it wasn't just another frivolous "want" that she would forget about after she got it.  She's smart.  She CAN be reasoned with.  She is sweet, and her tiny heart was breaking over this seven dollar toy.
"Ok," I said. "Do you have any money?"
"No, " she answered.
"Well how can we buy it with no money?" I asked.
"Let's call Grandma Lorraine, she has some!"
"No...we have to work hard to earn our money so we can buy things. Could you work for some money to buy this?"
"Yeah!"  Her eyes lit up.  "But can we take it home today and just not open it and get some money and come back?"
"No, " I said again... "But I can buy it for you if you want to help me do something to earn the money to pay for it."
"Ok!" She agreed happily.
"What could you do?" I asked.
She shrugged. "I dunno..."
"Could you clean the floors for me?"
"Yeah, I could do that!"
"Ok, I said...let's go buy it."
She jumped up, and I could see the relief come over her.  She grabbed my hand and started bouncing towards the cash register.  She told the clerk that she needed to get this now, but she wouldn't open it until we got home to get the money.  He laughed and I handed him my credit card.
As we were driving home, I looked back in my rear view mirror and she was just holding it in her hands, looking at it in the package. She didn't ask once to open it.
When we got to my house, I set it up on the counter and handed her a squirt bottle and a rag and showed her how to clean the floor.  She did it happily, and sang while she worked.  She did everything I asked, and we cleaned for about a half hour.  When we were finished, I took a bunch of one dollar bills out of my pocket and handed them to her.  "This is what you earned."  I said.  "Do you still want the toy?  Or do you want the money?"  She quickly handed me the money and I gave her the toy.  We played with it the rest of the night and she was delighted.
My heart is so full.  Sometimes, actually, most of the would be easier as a 'parent' to give in. It's not like I didn't want her to have the toy. I would buy her every single star in the universe if I could.  I hate telling her no, and I hate seeing her cry.  But I have to teach her the value of a dollar, that money doesn't grow on trees, and that we have to make tough decisions in life sometimes.  I want her to value things, and not take anything for granted. I even hated seeing her down on her hands and knees cleaning my floor...that I just cleaned yesterday.  But it wasn't about a dirty floor, or the seven dollars, or an entire roll of paper towels...
It is that I love her SO much, and I want to instill in her values and morals. I want to teach her she has choices.  I want to give her tools so she can use them for good and bettering her life.  I want to let her experience things and let her learn hard lessons, so that when I am not here to help her, she will be ok. She will be strong, and resilient. I know if it had been my sister, (her mother) in that situation today, she would have known what to do and how to handle it.  But I didn't, so I did the best thing I could think of.  Sometime our parents do the best they can under the circumstances.  Sometimes it's not the perfect solution, but they only know what they know at the time.  We cannot regret our decisions if they were made with pure and selfless love in our hearts. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Kloe Taught Me A Lesson

"No one has yet fully realized the wealth of sympathy, kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child." (Emma Goldman, author)

I love seeing my little Kloe. She is one of the many lights in my life. She makes me feel a love for her that I've never felt before. When she comes over, she always asks where Chad is...I think she likes him so much because he teaches her funny sayings like, "Yeah Buddy" and "J-E-L-L-O".

A few weeks ago, we had a sleepover and in the morning, Kelli was trying to get her dressed. I didn't see why the tantrum started, but she ended up hitting Kelli in the face. Kelli sternly told her that we don't hit, but the tantrum continued. Kloe ended up in "time-out" and was very upset at her mom. Her little face showed where the tears had streaked down her cheeks. Kelli went over to her...and Kloe said, "Sorry Mom" in the sweetest, yet saddest voice I've ever heard. Kelli hugged her, Kloe wrapper her arms around Kelli, and when it was done, Kloe was smiling and ready to play.

I watched this little child, who isn't even 2 yet, be how I wanted to be. Quick to apologize. Quick to love. Quick to forgive and move on. If only I did that more in my own daily life. Now I see what God meant by being "childlike".

In this small moment, I was impacted immensely and I feel like that lesson was meant just for me.

New York, New York

We took a red eye flight out of Salt Lake on Tuesday night...and arrived in New York City Wednesday morning around 7. We took a shuttle to our hotel, The Salisbury on 57th Street and 6th Avenue, right in downtown Manhattan by Rockefeller Center and Central Park. It was old...the elevator had a maximum capacity of 10 people (10 people with NO luggage). We got breakfast at a little place called Fresh Co. just down the street. It offered high quality ingredients and organic foods, with a healthy theme. It was delicious! After that, we explored the city until we could check into our rooms, then we got ready and rode the subway down to Battery Park. Half of our group went on the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island. Since we had all done that already, we went with Alicia (Chic On A Shoestring) and her friend Angie to the Century 21 department store. It was like Nordstrom Rack...times 57. It had 5 floors of designer everything at a much-discounted price. Later on, we met up with the rest of the group to go see the 9/11 Memorial Museum. You could feel a special spirit as you walked around Ground Zero; it was very humbling and touching.

Thursday, we went to a taping of the Nate Berkus show at the CBS Broadcast Center. Nate was short, and wore really tight pants. The audience coordinator’s name was Dena and she was hilarious. She does comedy on the side and her title is "One Funny Mother". She told us to "sit up, suck it in, fix your hair, look pretty and don't pick, itch, or rub anything". She kept us laughing. After the show, we went to the Serendipity Restaurant (where the movie was filmed) and had lunch. It was the cutest little place ever and the food was really yummy. We all tried their signature "frozen hot chocolate" and then shopped in the little gift shop before heading to the H&M store on 5th Avenue. Later than night, we got all dressed up and went to the Shubert Theater where we saw the Broadway show, Memphis. I loved it; I'd say it was one of the biggest highlights of the trip for me. After the show, we went across the street to an Italian restaurant called Carmine's. We shared a pasta dish with broccoli and sausage- and I even ate a stuffed mushroom. It was creepy, but I did it.

Friday, we went to the original Macy's department store at Herald Square (it had like 10 levels, restaurants, and even a lounge to rest in between shopping). They hosted a delightful breakfast and fashion show for us before the store even opened. I felt like a VIP. :) We shopped most of the day, and Alicia helped us all pick out an outfit that made us look fabulous - I got lots of good tips- like what to wear when you're a midget...:) It rained hard this day, but we wanted to see the Empire State Building, so we took a break from shopping and walked up a few blocks with our umbrellas - the guy at the door told us there was zero visibility and there were no refunds if we went up and couldn't see anything. He talked us into going on a ride that simulated being in a helicopter flying over the city instead. It sucked. We were all a little disappointed, but at least we tried. On our walk back, we stopped at one of my favorite stores, Forever 21 and made a few purchases, then back to Macy's to pick up all our bags. We had LOTS of bags. It was rush hour in NY and we couldn't get a taxi. So when the guy on the bike asked us if we wanted a ride, we took him up on it. He was pulling a little car seat behind him that would really only fit two people, but we squeezed in anyway. I sat on the edge with my feet on the bike's bumper as we zigzagged through busy traffic. It was a thrill ride for sure...I was afraid we weren't going to make it bag in one piece. We figured it wouldn't cost more than a taxi, which would have been about $10, but when he dropped us off, he told us it was $20 a person for the ride. WHAT????!!! Then he gave us a "really good deal" and charged us $40. We got totally jipped, but we learned our lesson. We were all soaking wet and our bodies were aching from all that shopping, so we ate snacks for dinner and went to bed.

Saturday was "tour bus" day! A biiiiig shuttle bus picked all 13 of us outside our hotel that morning. The driver's name was Frank and we liked him. He drove us all over the city and we would get off and shop for a while, then drop off our bags and shop some more until it was time to go to the next stop.

We went back to Century 21 where I hit the jackpot...(it’s there that I bought a whole new set of luggage to get all my other treasures home in). Then we visited Topshop, H&M, Uniqlo, and Chinatown.

This trip was a girl's dream! I'm so glad I got to go. It was so fun being with Lisa and Joyce, and getting to spend quality time with them. Several of the girls commented on how neat it was to see my relationship with them. I feel very blessed to be a part of their family, and I feel very blessed to have my sweet husband who I missed so much while I was gone. He is so supportive of me and everything I do. He gives me so much and makes opportunities like this possible and fun. Next trip better to be to Moab in the buggy...and hopefully soon!

The day we flew home was our 2-year anniversary. Chad and his dad picked us up at the airport, and after we dropped off our luggage, the two of went out to dinner at Ruby River to celebrate. I can't believe it's been two years. I am so happy! I have found my place in this world, I know where I belong, and it's right next to Chad. Wherever he goes, I want to be there holding his hand.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Have yourself a happy little birthday...

Cliff&Grandma Roach
Our Guests
My Sassy Little Cake

Telling him how amazing he is...

Kelli, Will, Brant, Kloe, Me
Grandma&Grandpa Hancock

I'm officially 27. Twenty seven. Just when you think you've had the best birthday (or birthday week), the next one comes along and you say it all over again. I love building up to the big day with little celebrations the week before, I just think birthdays are so important and fun, that you can't possibly celebrate it all in only one day. Saturday night we went out with our friends to Gracie's in Salt Lake - we ate out on the upstairs patio that over-looked the busy streets and tall buildings. It was relaxing and fun- I love good company.

Sunday was the day of the big birthday BBQ, and it was a pretty perfect day. Little things make me happy… Like Chad going to Costco with me to get stuff for the party. We weren't in a hurry, even though I would have been if I was by myself. When I'm with Chad, I want to enjoy every second with him, he makes me laugh - he is my happy pill, he is my sparkle...

We goofed around, loaded the cart with all kinds of things, even a small toy helicopter. He tested out the mattresses, and then rushed me out of the towel and rug aisle (he knows I love buying new towels and rugs for no reason). We stopped and got cola's on the way home, and listened to the music up loud with the windows rolled down. He flew his helicopter all over the living room while I made some things for the party, then he helped me do a few things around the house...and it was fun to just be hanging out. We headed out to Dennis and Lisa's around 5, got set up, and the fun began. Chad surprised me with coordinating an amazing cake to be made just for was fabulous, I loved it and was so excited (thanks to Maris and Weston, and Weston's mom as well).

And here is the "thankamony" for this year...I am so grateful for all the special people in my life. I have three families and I just don't know how I got so lucky. Just so you know, I think you are all so amazing, and the best birthday present is having you all in the same room, together, you all make me so happy.

And thank you to my sweetheart: I love that you spoil me, I love that you get as excited for my birthdays as I do, I love that you plan surprises, and I absolutely love that you let me open my presents early. :) I love you so much. You have gone above and beyond yet again.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Our Summer So Far

July 4th at Chad's Parent's House
At Ruth's Chris

My favorite time of year...for so many reasons is…the 4th of July. I've always liked it more than the other holidays because it's summer, it's hot outside, school is out, and so many fun things are happening (like the carnival, the rodeo, the shops at the park, baseball games, bbqs, etc.)

And...the cherry on's the time of Chad and my first date. That's what makes it the sweetest. We have celebrated our "first date anniversary" the last two years now because it's so special to us. It reminds us both, individually, of one of the most trying times we had in our lives... which then led us to come together to share the mark of a new beginning. When one door closes, another door opens...we just have to be brave enough to close the first one.

So this 4th of July weekend, Chad had just come home from a two-week job in Washington, and that Saturday, we spent the afternoon at Dennis and Lisa's. Chad helped work on the dock and then we bbq’d and rode wave runners all over Utah Lake. I never knew how much fun that could be because I am so terrified of the water and new to the water sports. It took some coaxing to get me on one by myself, but I did it and we had a blast. Sunday, I had planned to surprise Chad with a little get-a-way...we packed our over night bags and went to Ruth's Chris in Salt Lake for dinner. I've never been to any restaurant that nice, or expensive. The memories are priceless, so the money spent was well worth it. After dinner, I had reserved a room at the Anniversary Inn. I'm not complaining, but the minute we stepped inside, the whole place just smelled OLD (and "haunted" Chad said). Chad gave me the stink face as he carried our bags up the stairs. Our "suite" was called "The Enchanted Forest"...and it was very much smaller than the pictures made it look. Chad is 6'3. The bed was probably 5' by 5'. The TV was a good 10-year-old Panasonic 32 incher, and the plastic plants all over the room dated it even more. I have to say; I was a little disappointed at first. They left us a complimentary bottle of sparkling cider and two pieces of we climbed up into the bed and had dessert. As it got darker outside, it kind of felt like we were in a tree house...(the bed frame was a big tree with the branches going up to the ceiling the (fake) leaves hung down). It really was relaxing, just to be away from home and not have to think about anything...except we couldn't help but think that at home, we had a big bed, with a big screen TV. The next morning, they left a warm breakfast outside the door, which we ate in bed also, and then we packed our things and headed home. It was the 4th of July! Later that evening, we went back out to Saratoga; we had a BBQ with the family, played out on the water, and then lit our fireworks off the dock. We had such a fun weekend!

Now after all that fun, the work began. The new OR pharmacy opened up and I've been working like crazy. I worked four 14-hour days in a row and by the last day, I was dead. It really made me appreciate all the hard work Chad puts in because he has days like that ALL the time. When he was in Washington, he worked 14-hour days for nine days in a row...and I didn't hear him complain once. He comes home and helps me, and spends time with me, works in the garage, or in the yard...I just don't know he does it. He's a lot stronger than me. I am so glad to have such a strong, and motivated man. I know he'll always take care of me and our family. I really don't know what I'd do without him. I am so lucky that he is mine.