Sunday, June 12, 2011


Front of the house.  The plants are
new, so sort of hard to see.
Mortimer with his fern.
This is the side bed, with our mature hostas.
We spent quite a lot of time this past week putting in the garden in the front of our house!  We laid down 20 bags of mulch, planted quite a lot of perennials and annuals, and installed a cute frog that I could not pass up.  We're trying to decide a name for him, but I think we've settled on Mortimer.  I kind of liked Franklin, but Shawn REALLY liked Mortimer, which was fine with me!  There's not much to say about the beds, really, so I'll just include some photos.  Naturally, the plants will fill in as they mature.  The hostas are a year old, which is why they look so nice.  I'm just grateful that a lot of what we planted are perennials, because we won't have to do that amount of work all at once again!  But WOW, what a sense of accomplishment!


Friday, May 13, 2011

Overdue update

Blogging is new to me, so once the "Holiday Season" hit us last year, beginning with Halloween, life suddenly got busier, and I neglected the blog.  And by the time New Year's had passed, I was out of the habit.  So, a brief update...

Meet Rory - half Dachshund, half Black Lab.  We're not
sure how it's possible, either, but he sure is cute!
Thanksgiving was beautiful, for the most part.  Shawn and I had his family over here for dinner, and everything turned out wonderfully.  We did have an adventure that evening when our new puppy (he was 8 months old, but we'd had him exactly a week), decided to eat a tiny screwdriver that Shawn had dropped while fixing his glasses.  It was tiny (maybe 1.5 inches long), but a screwdriver nonetheless.  We had only settled on a name for said puppy the day before - Rory.  So, off we went, Shawn, Rory and I, to the emergency veterinary clinic in the neighboring town.  One X-ray later confirmed that Rory had, indeed, consumed the screwdriver.  When we got him back 2 days later, he had a shaved belly, a zipper, and a "cone of shame."  But he's perfectly fine now, his regular rambunctious self.

We like to joke that Rory ate Christmas, because an emergency vet visit is not cheap, particularly when it happens on Thanksgiving.  But actually, Christmas was very nice.  It's probably our favorite holiday, and we put up the tree and set up our nativity with accustomed relish.  This year I also taught Shawn how to make 6-sided snowflakes and we delighted in covering the windows with unique snowflakes of different sizes and designs.  Zoe, our cat, loved them too and SHE delighted in attacking them.  Needless to say, the snowflakes didn't look quite as good when they came down as when they had gone up.  But I couldn't begrudge her having some holiday fun, too.  :)

Shawn and I holding our newest nephew on his birthday!
Aside from Christmas, something else made December very special for me.  My sister, Lisa, was due to give birth to her second son, and invited me to be there with her when he was born.  It was such a special thing to be there for that miracle!  I cannot adequately begin to express my gratitude to her and my brother-in-law for allowing me to be there during such a special time.  Lisa was just marvelous and I was in awe of her that day and marveled at the wonder of life and birth!  I am so grateful that she chose to share that moment with me, especially since it's a moment I will (barring a miracle) never have on my own.  Life is wonderful, and love is better!

I am grateful Spring has finally arrived - this year it seemed like it would never warm up.  Spring is one of my favorite times of the year - everything is new and fresh, and the world is a clean canvas awaiting paint in bright and lovely colors.  I'm looking forward to planting the new beds we've dug and planting around our new deck.  There is so much of life that can be learned from a garden!  I've only been gardening for a few years, but I think I'm really starting to catch on.  I'm so excited this year, in particular, because we have put strawberries in!  Now I can make jam with berries we grew in our garden - assuming they don't get eaten first!

So, as ever, life is good.  We love life and love loving each other, and keep plugging away, looking forward to each change and bend in the road.  Thanks for reading!


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Weekend

What a wonderful weekend!  On Saturday we were able to visit the temple with Shawn's mother.  I hadn't been able to go to the temple for a few months because of scheduling issues, so it was especially nice to be able to go yesterday.  The Spirit was so sweet and welcoming, like coming home.  It was just so nice to be reminded of the covenants I have made and to recommit to living them.  The temple has brought me such comfort in my life, and always reminds me that I will never be denied blessings as long as I am faithful to the gospel - and that when I make mistakes there is a plan in place so I can be forgiven.

The night before, we had our ward's Fall/Halloween Party and Trunk-or-Treat, which was so fun.  I always feel like a kid at Halloween.  I think that sometimes I like dressing up more than the kids.  This year Shawn and I went as punks.  Well, actually, I was a punk; Shawn went as a nerd who was converting to a punk.  :)  It was so fun and seeing all of the kids in their costumes was just a blast!  After the trunk or treat, we had a dance.  One thing I really love about church activities is that they are family friendly - and that nothing happens that would make me feel uncomfortable to go to the temple the next day.

Halloween, punk-style.
I'm including a picture of Shawn and me as punks.  For the record, the nose ring is fake.  It was SO fun!  Everyone was amazed at our  transformation!  I don't know when the last time was that I had people taking so many pictures of us - probably our wedding!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Summer's Actually Ending

Had a moment of ... not disappointment ... more of melancholy tonight in the garden.  This weekend we picked what will probably be the last of the peppers.  Tonight I was cooking them up for dinner (used a slightly modified version of this Sausage and Peppers recipe), and I went to the garden and picked oregano and the last of the usable basil for the dish.  Knowing that, very soon, I will not be able to wander back there and pick fresh veggies and herbs made me a little sad, like saying farewell to a dear friend.

This is our pepper bed in it's infancy, just after it was planted.
This year we started square foot gardening in raised beds and our garden has never been so productive.  It's been wonderful!  There is nothing like eating a tomato fresh out of the garden!  And fresh herbs?  Wowowow!  We've learned a lot about gardening this past year, and are already looking forward to planting in the spring.  But the garden also reminds us so much of life - how we have to prepare ourselves to be fruitful and productive; how we have to nurture good talents and abilities; and how we have to take care to remove weeds/bad habits when they are small so they never have a chance to really take a firm root.  Gardens can be such magical places.

I really love my garden.  Oh, and the sausages and pepper tasted divine.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Enjoying the ride!

The past week since our last post has been a good one.  On Wednesday, Shawn and I were both at church.  I am able to serve with our Primary organization, and help run the bi-monthly mid-week activity for the 8-11 year old girls.  I am slowly learning that, when there is only an hour for an activity, we can either make our own snack or have a craft/spiritual activity.  We made our own caramel dip and cut apples for our snack.  By the time we got back to the Primary room to eat, we only had 15 minutes left!  But it was fun, and the girls particularly enjoyed being able to dip their apples in dip they had made, then an assortment of sprinkles, chopped nuts, etc.  It was great!

The weekend was productive.  We were mostly confined to the house because we're having some construction done outside - a new deck, which makes us very happy.  So, I did housework and Shawn spent most of the day grading because it was the end of the first term.

Family Home Evening last night was great!  We spent it at my sister's and she shared a great lesson on Family Councils and Shawn introduced us to Gospel Scattegories, which was really fun.

This morning before work I turned "Suzie Homemaker" and whipped up some zucchini muffins, using zucchini we grew in our garden.  I shared them with my co-workers and they were a big hit, although I may tweak the recipe a bit.  And then this evening we just had a quiet night at home hanging out together.

Life is GOOD!


Monday, October 11, 2010

Adoption Conference

This past weekend we attended an adoption conference in Kirtland, Ohio.  It was wonderful.  Sometimes in our adoption journey, we feel sort of alone.  Our families and friends love us and support us so much - and we truly appreciate them and love them for it.  However, while they can feel for our loss, they can't really and truly know how we feel.  So, it's nice to be able to connect others who are on the same journey we are, or who have traveled it before.

The conference was phenomenal.  There were varying workshops, as well as a panel of birth parents sharing their experience and then a panel of family members of birth parents.  We particularly enjoyed the keynote speakers, John and Jane Covey, who spoke on strengthening marriage and family.  But the highlight of the trip for me was the Saturday morning devotional in the Kirtland Temple.  The Holy Spirit was so strong and so comforting.  I'm not sure I can adequately describe it.  I simply felt privileged to be there.

Shawn & Kim, Kirtland Temple, Oct. 9, 2010
I'm posting a picture of Shawn and I outside of the temple.  It was earlier in the morning, so the shadows fell on us.  Depending on your monitor settings, you'll still be able to see us, though.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Our Beginning

Every journey must have a beginning. For Shawn and I, our journey began at our church's young single adult scripture study class, which is called Institute (or Institute of Religion). Shawn had recently returned to activity in church and had been assigned as his ward's (congregation's) young single adult representative. I was the Institute president at the time, so when I learned he was the new rep, I immediately sent him an email telling him all of the stuff that he needed to do, the most important of which was to faithfully attend Institute. When I walked into class the next week, I saw a tall, lanky man I'd never met before. So, introduced myself to him. As the months went on, I grew more and more impressed by his knowledge of the gospel, and how easily he invited the Spirit into every single class. I tried not to become too interested in him, though, because he was preparing to serve a mission - but I was really just fooling myself. How could I not fall in love with someone over the scriptures? Just before he left for his mission, we went on one date together - to the temple. He expressed to me shortly afterward that if I was still single when he got home, maybe we could go out again. Well, the rest, as they say, is history. I wrote him nearly every week on his mission and, when he got back, we began dating seriously. He proposed in the Celestial Room of the temple, and we were married six months later. Our time together since then has been wonderful - and I could not ask for a better husband, friend, or eternal companion.