Monday, September 28, 2009

[falling for you]

september 2009,falling for you,American Fork Canyon

have you seen them yet? oh, they are spectacular right now! within this next week, i believe they will be at their peak. so pretty! i fall in love every year with these bright bold colorful leaves; somehow they suck me right in to their thin green veins.

doctor doctor give me the news i've got a bad case of loving you!

that is exactly what the doctor prescribed... cool crisp air and some good music
while sam was off at scout camp friday night, i had all the kids tucked promptly in bed and was set to get working on an exciting web design project that i have been asked to help with, and will hopefully reveal soon. YAY!

gross story short, my two youngest woke up with the stomach flu and didn't stop hurling all night. i didn't get a wink of sleep. a few of you have already heard this story, but all my bedding ended up in a gigantic heap and thrown out on the back patio. too busy cleaning up the floor and faces, i figured i'd rinse it all out the next morning. well, after baking in the sun for several hours, sam and i both couldn't stand the thoughts and smells of washing it, so into the dumpster it went. totally worth it! luckily i never spend too much on linens; for exactly this reason.

september 2009,falling for you,American Fork Canyon

as we drove up american fork canyon, the sun dipped low and our light faded very quickly. i anxiously snapped a few shots before she set, but would have liked to caught these leaves in a brighter light (i can't seem to get enough of it lately).

the days are getting shorter. if you haven't had the opportunity or don't live near the mountains, hopefully you will enjoy a few of these pictures i share!

take a glance here


Sunday, September 27, 2009

[the influence of righteous women]

i just loved this article from this month's ensign article by President Uchtdorf and felt impressed to share a few of my favorite parts.

We are living in a great season for all women in the Church. Sisters, you are an essential part of our Heavenly Father’s plan for eternal happiness; you are endowed with a divine birthright. You are the real builders of nations wherever you live, because strong homes of love and peace will bring security to any nation. I hope you understand that, and I hope the men of the Church understand it too.
What you sisters do today will determine how the principles of the restored gospel can influence the nations of the world tomorrow. It will determine how these heavenly rays of the gospel will light every land in the future.

Though we often speak of the influence of women on future generations, please do not underestimate the influence you can have today. President David O. McKay (1873–1970) said that the principal reason the Church was organized is “to make life sweet today, to give contentment to the heart today, to bring salvation today. …

“Some of us look forward to a time in the future—salvation and exaltation in the world to come—but today is part of eternity.”

take a look: notice samantha (left) is focused more than susannah. bummer! i decided to still use it because these two ladies are so cute here! .brightsides photography.

President Gordon B. Hinckley counseled the women of the Church:

“It is so tremendously important that the women of the Church stand strong and immovable for that which is correct and proper under the plan of the Lord. …

“We call upon the women of the Church to stand together for righteousness. They must begin in their own homes. They can teach it in their classes. They can voice it in their communities.”

There is a saying that big gates move on small hinges. Sisters, your example in seemingly small things will make a big difference in the lives of our young people. The way you dress and groom yourselves, the way you talk, the way you pray, the way you testify, the way you live every day will make the difference. This includes which TV shows you watch, which music you prefer, and how you use the Internet. If you love to go to the temple, the young people who value your example will also love to go. If you adapt your wardrobe to the temple garment and not the other way around, they will know what you consider important, and they will learn from you.


p.s. if you have a copy of this month's ensign, the second article fidelity in marriage was very insightful too. okay, all the articles were great like always - take a read!

Friday, September 25, 2009

[the music in me]

don't ya just hate it when...


you don't quite feel yourself?
yesterday i finally snapped out of some sort of funk. i just wasn't "me".
where did i go?
i wondered.
i was exhausted, un-motivated, achy and just felt like, well, shit!
more importantly, it bewildered me.
"am i blue because i'm sick? or am i sick because i'm depressed?" i questioned.
i've never suffered from depression before... my r.a. sometimes gets me down and sucks the life out of me, but usually i'm pretty "up"! it started to make me a little nervous.

as i drove lulu to her dance class, ironically elton john's i guess that's why they call it the blues came on the radio and of course i turned it up super loud (i love to blast music, it's not good unless it's loud) and it just helped.

suddenly my head started hurting right through my sinuses and then i knew i was home free. "hooray!" i beamed "i just have a little cold! i'm okay!"

isn't music just amazing! it brings back so many reflections - smells, emotions, people, places, you name it.
what is the first song you remember hearing as a child?

it's been driving me crazy, because i can recollect so vividly one warm night in california at a restaurant when i was about four years old with my parents, sister, uncle turney and his wife verna. there was a song on the radio that played and caught my attention. i think it was
smooth operator by sade. but i don't know for sure. if it wasn't sade's song, than it would be one that sounds very similar to hers.
funny huh?

so random!

thankfully, after a little extra rest, some
sudafed and jamming out to the beat with sam's large headphones, i finally had my brain and body back.



Tuesday, September 22, 2009


GFS,birthday,september 2009

make a wish!
isn't this picture priceless? i have to say, i am proud [smile]
we grew up always knowing we were to call my mom's father
GRANDFATHER SIR. none of this grandpa, pop, papa, etc. as a retired engineer and veteran, he demands respect! no, he may sound strict and uptight, but he's really not... he's a sweetheart. he actually finds it quite humorous (the fact that he asked us to call him that!) and even more hilarious that we do and it really stuck. he definitely has an different sense of humor-i love it!

after many years of reciting his long name, we have shortened his title to GFS.
the family gathered to celebrate his 79th birthday over dinner, cake and homemade ice cream. delish!

GFS,birthday,september 2009

.the birthday boy and his great grandsons.

birthday,GFS,september 2009

my mom's yummy homemade cupcakes!

g&j meads,september 2009

i was able to take a few shots of my cousin's little boy during the party too! isn't he so darling?

.to see more go here.


Monday, September 21, 2009

[an artistic icon]

.bessie pease gutmann is my artistic idol.
learn more about her here

maybe it is because i am a mother, but i just love and admire her work!
she captured the essence of children and their most precious moments.
i have a few numbered prints my mother passed down to me. i will forever cherish them.
hung on my nursery walls, their soft nostalgic warmth always comfort me as i rock my little ones.

i would someday love to collect more! i fear my children will outgrow these and insist on hanging up posters of rock bands and boys.
i better just keep having lots of babies! yeah right... my siblings can do that!

wouldn't one these make the sweetest little baby gift? her small prints are surprisingly very reasonably priced.
you can view and purchase them here

Sunday, September 20, 2009

[the cheesecake factory]

.you must try.

the cheesecake factory's newest flavor, it's incredibly amazing!

and definitely my new favorite!
have you tasted it yet?

for the next 12 months, when you share a slice of stefanie's ultimate red velvet cake cheesecake, they'll donate 25¢ to feeding america.
and for every 10" stefanie's ultimate red velvet cake cheesecake ordered online, they'll donate $1.00.

go on, purchase one of these bad boys for your next event! everyone will l.o.v.e. it!
find out more and follow the drive out hunger tour here

Friday, September 18, 2009



*disclaimer: if you are a germaphobe, you may not want to read this.

last time we ate out with my parents, my father demonstrated the way bus boys and girls wipe off the tables (actions and everything). "they bring over their rag and begin wiping one side of the table top, and as they're unable to reach to the other side completely, they quickly wipe down the seats before they finish wiping the other side." ew!!! so we get bum germs all over the table??? "yep! sick huh?" he smiled. gross!!! our imaginations quickly kicked in and i'm sure yours have now too.

those of you who have had food poisoning may have actually contracted from your table.

in effort to eat out less, the "bright side" would be that you'll eat a whole lot healthier and even save money!
just make sure you don't wipe your own table and chairs that way :)


dang! why did i write this post today? i never cook on fridays! oh well, i'll take my chances.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

[zucchini bake]

do you have massive amounts of zucchini growing rapidly in your garden?
need a new rich recipe?
this one takes the bake!

some may call it a casserole, i call it a classic!
it's so good, even my toddler will eat it... seriously!
scooped up in large, yet tiny, oozing handfuls then shoved right between the lips!
my mom makes this after many requests are made for our traditional sunday dinners. many of you may know, she is an excellent cook! i would call her style: light gourmet. elegant and delicious, but not super complicated and full of foreign ingredients-stuff we all probably have on hand. now that's my kind of perfect!
anyway, there is never a spoonful left!
here is the recipe she shares.


zucchini casserole
the heritage cookbook

8 zucchini
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 TBS butter, melted

grate zucchini. soak in salt water for 3 minutes. drain. press out all possible water. sauté onion in butter in 1 1/2 quart flameproof baking dish. add zucchini. stir fry 2 minutes. blend in sour cream and parmesan cheese. combine bread crumbs and melted butter. sprinkle zucchini. cover. bake at 350 for 20 minutes. uncover, bake 10 more minutes. yields 8 servings.

mom hints: number of zucchini's depends on how big the zucchini's are. If you have a big one, I cut in in half, scoop out the seeds and just grate the meat of the zucch. I soak it a little longer and then press out the water - as much as possible or the casserole will be soupy (not good) I add more parmesan cheese and freshly grated is better. Bread crumbs are good if they are whole wheat.

thanks marmie!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

[go to the mattresses]


.my latest debate.

the famous tale of the princess in the pea seems to be twirling around in my intellect quite frequently as i lie in bed tossing and turning each night, trying to find a serene spot within my sheets. you know those people (like my husband) who can fall asleep anywhere under almost every condition? yeah, i want to be one of them! when i first got married, it was a huge adjustment for me.

one morning, i found sam asleep on a tiny chair all balled up in the corner of our hotel room! "what are you doing on that chair!" i blurted, all up in arms, tormented and wondering if he still loved me. "we're on our HONEYMOON! you can't sleep over there!" i persevered. "well, you pushed me out, taking up the whole bed" he sweetly said. i think i even started crying, feeling so betrayed, yet heavyhearted for "kicking him out". and then we kissed and made up; from there he's learned to sleep willingly on his little edge [grin]. i even had to acclimate to our new alarm clock light... way too bright! must turn around, out of sight. what a brat! i really don't mean to be, i am just regretfully a freak when it comes to sleep!

back to today, our king sized mattress set has had it's day; it's like sleeping on split pea soup (whatever that feels like! just bad! a complete oxymoron-i love that soup!) sam will even admit it's tired.

we have a magnificent queen sized mattress set downstairs that we probably paid way too much for, but is ever so delightful; standing proudly all propped up against raw two-by-fours and insulation, and wrapped in cellophane patiently awaiting her return. she's calling out to me in the night, wishing for her highness' to choose her again!

oh but to go from our spacious king to the moderate queen seems painful! i'd love to replace our grand duo with another czar, but to spend money on him right now seems absurd when our royal lady keeps quiet in the dungeon.

this is my debate. is comfort more important than body room and range? i can't decide! this is my other problem, i am a lousy decision maker! i think sam is resistant in realization that he'll have to take everything apart and move it.

dear fellow friends, what should we do? what would you do? is a queen really that much smaller?

Monday, September 14, 2009

[green ribbons]

school days,green ribbon week

HA! i never realized i tied ribbons like that [smirk] no, i wasn't trying to give anyone the bird (above), but those who drive irresponsibly can take that! i'm so bad! i would normally never flip anyone off... i must be feeling pretty aggressive today!

this week i am in charge of green ribbon week at our elementary school.
we're promoting pedestrian safety!
i'll be a little occupied...

thousands of children die each year from head injuries resulting in not wearing their helmets (it only takes once) or just being hit by a car walking or riding their bikes, scooters, etc.
so, please remember to SLOW down and pay attention when you are driving

and, if you see an obnoxious suburban all tied up with green ribbons this week, i will daringly admit that's me.
sam and the kiddles insisted on decorating it last night after tying hundreds of ribbons ar
ound the school.
happy monday!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

[they should make a statue]


are you drooling yet? isn't she so decadent?
two of my friends stopped by last friday for some "short" sessions with
their gorgeous little tots. i desperately needed more light, but i think they turned out pretty good considering.
again, good practice!
see them here


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

[labor pains]

labor day,smith,september 2009,nature,bike ride

we quietly giggle while comfortably snuggled in our bed busting up as we listen to our offspring bathe.
they intensely chant o
ver and over while their little bums bounce around the edge of the tub. FUNNY!!! where did they get that from? who knows!
what a great start to a productive labor day weekend! no bummin' around!

work a little, play a little!
as we try to teach our children, get your work done first, and reward yourself after.

our goal for saturday was to organize our two hall closets. after three years in our current home, sadly, we still had moving boxes that haven't been handled since we placed them there... so ridiculous! thinking i
t would be a big pain to clean out, it ended up being pretty pain free and it just felt so good to get it done!
we de-junked, simplified, and found old treasures!
i regretfully failed to take any "before" pictures (i don't know if i would dare show you anyway :o)
but here are som
e after shots!

.much better.

home,labor day,september 2009labor day,september 2009,home

"where are we going? what are we doing today?" the little funny people ask.
"humm, nowhere!" daddy teases.
"what? you're just joking! what are we gonna do DAD?" they scream with excitement.
"we're going on a big bike ride!!!"
"YAY!!!" they all squeal.

labor day,bike ride,september 2009,smith,nature

the weather was perfect and promising for our journey.
the light cool breeze caught our hair and lifted it, just enough to keep us satisfied.
tuning in to nature, the simple sounds of rustling trees and dragonflies zipping along held our attention and smiles on our faces.

labor day,bike ride,september 2009,smith,nature

each one of the children enjoyed the ride and eventually thirsted for water and completion.
their wee, tired little bodies fell quickly to rest.
.legs in pain
, hungry tummies, and a much needed washing, it was time to head home.

labor day,september 2009,smith,bike ride


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

[shoe horse]


have you ever wondered or heard where the term shoe horse came from?
well, i suppose i'm kind of one of them.
maybe it derived from shoe whore, like my hysterically witty friend stephanie likes to say [smile] and this is the "appropriate" way to say it.
of course i googled it and the closest i could find was "how to shoe a horse" - that surprised me, i thought there would be all kinds of links about it-a store or something!
well, whatever the origination, i l.o.v.e. shoes!
i enjoy them even more when i buy them on sale!


.this week is shoe week at ross.
this is where i found these great casual teva leather boots for only $19.99!!!
they are extremely comfortable too, which makes them an even bigger bonus.
i can't wait to trounce around this fall wearing these & jeans!


here are a couple more pair that were less than buying them at target!



see this toe spillage above, not a fan. however, when i stand up and walk in them, they're covered-phew! and yes, as much as i adore heels, i did buy some flats, i know, big shocker!

oh yeah, don't tell my husband-he doesn't know that i bought them yet [grin]!

i was itching for something new to photograph this week,

so why not shoes?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


.her newborn picture.

the wind was knocked out of me is what it felt like.
my heart sank and sweat beads began...
one of my worst nightmares is happening now!

we were grocery shopping, just the two of us.
after turning around to find that my daughter was missing, i thought my heart stopped beating.
"she was right here!" i painfully muttered, i set my eyes elsewhere for one second. where is she??? i tried to control myself-no need to panic, she has to be close, she always stays close!

i called her name.
called it again.

again. again. again. again. again [over and over]
what do i do? my head is cloudy, my heart is breaking.
what if someone just took her? it happens! .despair. i want to say that i said somewhat of a little prayer, but i can't even remember in my moment of holy terror.

just as i am about to go report my missing child, i hear my name over the p.a. system.
they were calling my name! my heart plummeted again, but in a relief kind of way. sigh! (i'm experiencing it all over again as i write this--ahhh!) as i run up to the customer service desk, i see her down below, cool as a cat. i grabbed her with tears streaming down my face and held her as tight as i could whispering many i love yous and don't ever wander away from me again! she felt bad and started whimpering too.

we had like 3 or 4 little lectures about it and sam said that was probably enough. i just had to make sure she knows to always stay with me! i never did get to thank the lady that helped her.
so thank you dear sweet woman from the bottom of my bruised heart.
.guardian angels.
thank you dear Lord for bringing her back to me!
may this be a lesson and reminder for all of us.