Saturday, October 18, 2014

Witchfest at Gardner Village

You might remember that I am on the committee for Miss Nebo/Panoramaland, which is a local affiliate of The Miss America Organization. I love the women and girls that I work with. They are all so accomplished and inspiring. Harper is lucky enough to be the Little Miss to Miss Panoramaland this year. She will get to spend time with her throughout the year and to escort her when she competes at Miss Utah in June. 

We met up with Kassie, Miss Panoramaland 2014, and some other committee members for lunch today at the Gardner Village Witchfest. It was a lot of fun. Harper a great time (and was the cutest witch around, if you ask me) seeing the witches, eating treats, and having her face painted.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

15 Things I've Learned From My Dad

Most of the lessons that I learned from my dad came through example. He has never been one to give a lot of advice or spout a lot of information out at people, even though he is one of the most well read and knowledgable people I have ever met. I have watched and learned from him my entire life and will always be grateful for the example he was, and always will be, to me.

1. Read the classics. As many as you can. More than once.

2. Be humble. Not everyone you meet needs to know if you are smarter, more successful, or even a better golfer than they are.

3. Be loyal. Especially to your family.

4. Be generous to your family and friends.

5. Have an open mind. (I was always grateful to have a dad that wasn't from the community I grew up in. My dad was raised in a pretty rough part of Los Angeles with pretty rough bunch of Italians- his dad, an Italian immigrant, was a homeless newsie who became a professional boxer and went on to own a liquor store. Before marrying my mom, my dad lived and worked in Las Vegas, and from what I gather, had quite a good time doing so. I'm pretty sure he has seen a number of things he doesn't want to share with me (me being his innocent and naive little girl and all... ha ha) but that didn't keep him from teaching me to be open minded. He taught me that the world is a lot bigger than Payson, Utah, and encouraged me to learn about it and see as much of it as possible.)

6. Don't choose a job that will merely pay your bills. Choose a job that will make you happy. (This is one of the bigger lessons my dad taught me and one that I am so thankful for. My dad is the reason that I can feel completely okay with my decision to run a daycare or preschool. He is the reason that I worked so hard to become good at the piano so that I could work as teacher. The thing I love most about this lesson is that my dad lived it. My dad loved his work and put incredible amounts of energy and passion into it. He was happy with his choice of work, which probably made his 13-14 hour days at the golf course a lot more bearable.)

7. Don't let anyone walk all over you. And if someone tries, kick them to the curb (his words, not mine).

8. Don't speak like someone from Utah.

9. Mormons aren't the only good people in the world. (This lesson was especially helpful when I was a little girl and thought that anyone with a tattoo was headed straight to hell).

10. Family always comes first. Even before yourself. Even if you're tired. Even when you want to punch them in the face.

11. Hard work is the only choice if you want to like yourself at the end of the day.

12. Patience isn't necessarily a virtue but it is necessary if you would like to stay married.

13. Being right isn't always the most important thing, even if you are, in fact, right. Sometimes (most times, actually), it's best to keep your mouth shut. (Confession: I'm still working on this one.)

14. Don't leave the house looking like a slob. Ever. Get up, put on some nicely ironed clothing, and then leave the house. Appearance isn't everything but looking like someone who didn't just roll out of bed is important.

15. You don't have to be someone's biological family in order to be their family. (This is the big one. The one that makes me tear up every time I think of it. This lesson is one that my dad has been teaching me since I was a little girl spending weekends, weeks, months, years, and eventually a lifetime, with him. I've never felt like I wasn't his. I've never felt like an adopted child. I've never had to question his love. It's always been there and I know that it always will be. The thing I really love is watching Harper get the same unwavering love from him.)

I took this in August during our yearly Tuacahn (confession: I STILL have to look up the word Tuacahn every time I use it). I just love these two together.

Did you dad teach you any good lessons? If so, what are they?

Friday, October 10, 2014

15 Things I've Learned from My Mom

My mom is my best and most honest friend. She is the reason that I push myself to always do more/better and, like any girl with a great mom, I've learned a number of very important things from her. I wanted to share a few them with you.

1. Wear lipstick and perfume every day. It doesn't matter if you are running to the store or going to your best friend's wedding. It doesn't even matter if the rest of your face is bare. Wear lipstick, preferably one that is right for your coloring (sub-lesson: if you don't know how to find a lipstick that's good for you, head to ZCMI- or Dillard's, since ZCMI is long gone- and talk to one of the nice ladies at the Estee Lauder counter). And don't go having 20 different kinds of perfume. Find your signature scent and be faithful to it, at least until a better signature scent makes its' way into your life.

2. Don't wear colors that don't compliment you. And don't wear anything that makes you feel ugly.

3. Iron your clothing. Even your jeans. And your t-shirts. You'll look better and feel better if you do.

4. Make your bed everyday. Your tired self will thank you for the smooth sheets in 12-14 hours.

5. Don't use gift bags. They are lazy and boring, not to mention overpriced. When you give someone a gift, take the time to wrap it in pretty paper, with a pretty bow. (My mom's wrapping jobs are always pretty- almost too pretty to open, and I wish I could say that I keep up with her standards in this department but must admit that I use the occasional gift bag. In my defense, I only use them because someone has already given them to me.)

6. Practice makes perfect. This is probably the most important lesson my mom taught me. Practice was mandatory in my home. It didn't matter whether I was entering a coloring contest, learning my times tables, or preparing for a national piano competition. If I was doing something, I was practicing beforehand. And not just a little bit. (True story: my mom would make copies of my coloring contest pages and make me practice coloring them before doing my official entry).

7. Be grateful and always remember to send thank you cards, even for small favors and gifts.

8. Your business is your business. There is no need to share all of it with everyone you know. Keep some things to yourself. Most people probably don't want to know every detail of your life anyway.

9. Honor your commitments. If you say you'll do something or be somewhere, do it and be there.

10. Don't be cheap and don't buy cheap shoes. They are uncomfortable and make your feet stink. (Confession: I don't always follow this advice... I can't help it... the shoes at Target are just irresistible sometimes.)

11. Sometimes, what's popular isn't necessarily attractive. Trendy often equates to tacky so don't hop on every style train that goes by.

12. Reading is fun. So is the library.

13. Pale skin is better than leathery, wrinkled, cancerous skin. My mom was anti-tanning long before the rest of the world realized that spending hours in the sun or visiting the tanning salon every day were bad ideas. I'm so grateful to her for keeping me out of the sun and tanning beds. So is my skin.

14. It's better to have one good friend than a dozen semi-good friends.

15. Lateness is rudeness. Always be on time for everything. If you can, be early. At least five minutes early.

These 15 things are obviously not the only lessons my mom taught me. They aren't the biggest or the most important, either. They are just some of my favorites, some of the ones that I'd like to see Harper learn as well.

What are some of the best lessons that your mom taught you?

Thursday, October 9, 2014


On Monday night, I said goodnight and goodbye to four year old Harper. Then I sat in my office and cried for a good hour (it didn't help that I was looking through photos of the last year). This year her birthday was especially hard for me. It might have even been the hardest.

Five just seems SO big. Like losing teeth, going to school, and reading on her own big. Having her own opinions big. Not always wanting or needing me big. Wanting to go trick-or-treating by herself (which is not happening, FYI) big. Wanting to play in her room, by herself, big. Becoming more of her own person big. Just BIG.

Four was a good year for Harper. She did a lot of growing, physically, emotionally, and mentally. She wears a size 8 now, for heaven's sake! She learned so many things in preschool and ballet. She learned how to ice skate and swim and even became quite a good little horse rider. I am always so impressed with Harper's ability to pick up on new things. She is definitely a girl of many gifts. Thinking about her many talents actually inspired me to give her Miss Rumphius as her birthday book this year. I am hoping to see Harper become like Miss Alice Rumpius and use her gifts to make the world a more beautiful place.

I think the thing that is making five such an emotional milestone for me is kindergarten. This year I will have to send Harper to school. I will have to hand her, and her education (at least in part), over to someone else five days a week. For the first time, she will be out of my protection and my influence. She will be around kids that don't have the same values as her. She might get a crummy teacher (please no....). She might hear bad words on the playground. She'll start to have parts of her life that don't directly include me and that is one terrifying thought.

And it doesn't end there. Kindergarten is just the beginning. It's like the beginning of the end. She'll go to kindergarten and then before I know it, she'll be moving to college.

The world scares me. We have had to leave the park three times this year because of swearing, dirty talk and, in one instance, an arrest (yes, someone was literally arrested in the middle of a children's playground... I could not find Harper and get out of there quickly enough). I am really afraid to send Harper out into it, even for just a short morning or afternoon of kindergarten. I am wishing, hoping, and praying that the world is kind and respectful to her, and vice versa.

These past five years have flown by. I feel like it was just yesterday that Harper was a newborn, all tiny and smelling like baby lotion (technically, she still smells like baby lotion... I can't help it... I just can't stop buying it) and formula, completely dependent on me. I miss newborn Harper. I miss baby Harper and toddler Harper. I miss three year old obsessed with Ariel and tutus Harper. I miss four year old Harper, even though four year old Harper cut her bangs completely off.

I am so excited to know five year old Harper, even if I'm not ready for her. I can't wait to see what she will learn, think, say, and do this year. Being able to experience life with Harper is my greatest joy and blessing and I know, without doubt, that five is going to be good to her.

Speaking of the upcoming year, here are some of our 2014/15 preschool photos. You can just go ahead and be jealous of me. I would be too, if I were you, because I spend my days with some pretty adorable (okay, ridiculously beyond adorable) little people.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Dropping In

Well hello there. How's life?

I'm not much of a blogger anymore, I guess. It's not because I don't want to be- trust me, I love this little spot and the few people that still visit it. It's just that life is more busy than it's ever been.

I'm running a daycare and a preschool (I have not one, but two, classes this year, trying to get a piano studio up and running, trying to practice my own piano stuff, going to school, singing in a choir (I made it into the Salt Lake Symphonic Choir and am loving it. Truly. They say that people who sing daily are happier than people who don't and it's true! Being in a choir again makes my heart happy), taking care of my family (which includes getting Harper to ballet each week and making sure she does her homework and reading assignments each night), trying to keep my house clean, trying to keep up on goals, trying to read all of the books that I want to read, and attempting to build some new friendships. I am up at 6:15 every day. I work all day long and before I know it, it's midnight and I'm exhausted. It's not that I don't want to blog. I just don't have a lot of time or energy for it right now.

I'm working on a goal of writing for 30 minutes everyday for 30 consecutive days. I'm hoping to incorporate some blog posts into my daily writing. I've got some ideas for posts and a lot of stuff to catch up on. There is also the fact that HARPER IS TURNING 5 TOMORROW. Seriously. FIVE. You know I'm going to need to talk about that.

Just look at her. She is so not a baby anymore...

We had a really fun party for her and her little buddies last Saturday. I'll have to tell you all about it when I have a little more time. We are off to a little double birthday party for Harper and my mother-in-law with Colt's family.

I hope you guys are well. I really do think about my blog friends on a daily basis. I love you and hope that life is treating you to lots of love and happiness. Leave me a comment to tell me what you've been up to, what you'd like to see on this blog, or just to say hi. Much love!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Harper has been taking a Smart Start Soccer class this summer. She has loved it! She is also, thanks to some good sports genes on her daddy's end, really good at it. I can't wait to watch her play on a team next spring.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Summary of June

June was good to us... 
We had our first ride of the summer (it was amazing).
We also met Papa Dave's grey Colt (he's adorable).
Harper finished up ballet for the year (stay tuned for the official pics).
Harper had her dance recital (she was adorable and now wants to be on the stage, by herself, with a microphone, so that she can sing and dance and everyone can watch just her).
We made some cute Father's Day ties in preschool (I stole the idea from Rachel Zoe's instagram).
We spoiled Colt for Father's Day (because he deserved it, of course).
We had a great time at Miss Utah week (we always do!).
One of our girls placed in the top ten (go Mallory, aka Miss Panoramaland!).
Harper started swimming lessons (she loves them).
I fell in love with Lena Dunham and her show Girls (seriously, I'm OBSESSED).
Hazel napped and begged for treats (looking as ridiculously cute and grinchy as ever).
Whitney and I planted a garden (I treat it like a newborn baby).
We hiked many times (it was awesome).
We celebrated Cash's birthday (he is the cutest nephew/cousin ever).
And I decided to audition for a choir this fall (because I miss singing).

Monday, June 23, 2014

Friday Night Hike Club: The Salt Lake Overlook

Last Friday, we finished up our work day and headed up Millcreek Canyon to do a little hiking. We were pretty done for after a long week, and Harper was with us, so we didn't want to do anything too difficult. We decided to go to the Salt Lake Overlook. Roundtrip, the hike was about 3.5 miles. It wasn't too steep or rocky and there was a lot of shade and a nice mountain breeze to keep us cool. Basically, it was perfect- just what we needed to end a crazy and tiring week.

I think the thing I like most about hiking is that all of my favorite people (well, almost all of them) like it, too, and even more so, they like doing it together. I'm really glad to share this little hobby with Colt, Harper, and Whitney (and this time around, Julie).

Hiking up Millcreek is a really great experience. It's so green, the trails are soft and relatively easy, and the air is crisp and cool- it almost makes you believe you're not in Utah anymore, like you drove up the canyon and wound up in Oregon or something. It's refreshing and I really love it.

Harps insisted on bringing Julie. At first, I was against the idea because I didn't think Harper would be into carrying her for more than a few minutes. She actually surprised me by holding her or letting her ride on her shoulders for a lot of the hike. 

When she wasn't with Harper, Julie hitched a ride in one of our backpacks. Luckily, she's light. I don't enjoy having any unnecessary weight in my pack (I'm a wussypants, there's no doubt about it). Colt, on the other hand, is always trying to add weight to his backpack (that's how he gets in shape for hunting season).

Whit and Harper found a little lizard at the top of the trail and Colt did his best to catch it so that they could have a closer look. The little guy was too quick, though, and got away before Colt could grab him.

I am quite proud of Harper. She is a much better hiker than I would have ever been at her age. She doesn't complain or whine. She welcomes the experience and takes in everything she can and talks our ears off while she does it.

The lighting wasn't optimal so you can't really tell from these photos but the views from the top of the trail were stunning. This overlook would be the perfect place to watch a sunset.

Harper wanted to collect some leaves for leaf rubs. We did them last fall in preschool and she really got into the whole process. I love that Harper is so interested in art and creating. It's something about her that didn't come from either Colt or me. It's just her thing and, having grown up as a pianist and singer in a house with the two least musical people on the planet, I can appreciate that.

Now we just need to choose a place for this week's hike. Suggestions?