December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012

It was a really great year. On Christmas Eve it was a blustery blizzardy mess, but the fact that we were going to have a White Christmas made up for all the inconvenience. Christmas day was perfection--sunny with a fresh blanket of snow.

Ella and Anna are old enough to get excited about Christmas. Anna is obsessed with Nativities. I'm not sure if it was the live Nativity we went to, or seeing the life-sized one on temple square, but she loves playing with each piece, complete with narration "Where Baby Jesus go? Were Baby Jesus Mommy go?" From Santa Ella wanted a Dream Light and Anna simply wanted a treat, although a few days before Christmas she threw a Pillow Pet in there, too. Thank heavens Santa has access to Amazon! 

Brad and Alisha, Doug and Janet and Grandma Packer joined us for Christmas Eve dinner. Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy,'d think we had room service on Thanksgiving and were making up for it :) It was delicious and so fun to see everyone. We missed Aaron, Greg and Lauren---maybe next year we'll figure out a way to all be together!


Ella and Janet went to the Nutcracker on Christmas Eve. Janet said that Ella was either totally enthralled or flopped on the seat next to her, bored to tears. Candy and drinks at intermission helped.


Thanksgiving, 2012

yes, I know it is Christmas Day and I am blogging about Thanksgiving. better late than never?

We had a once in a lifetime Thanksgiving this year.  The stars aligned, and somehow Duke was playing in a tournament in the Bahamas, Janet was turning 60, and every single member of the Doug Packer family made it down to Atlantis to celebrate, eat turkey and, most importantly, watch Duke win the Battle for Atlantis.

Watching a Duke game with her grandchildren. I don't know if Janet has ever had more fun.

The kids did surprisingly well during the games. Anna didn't make it all the way through, but close. Those are tired eyes.

We were close to the action. The games were in the converted hotel ballroom. Not a bad seat in the house.

Duke  (then #5) beat #2 Louisville. Of course they did. This was Janet's birthday.

Room service Thanksgiving dinner

We tried to get a family picture. Dress code: Khaki and white. I forgot Ella's dress, my shirt and Anna's dress. Sweet.

I remembered my white pants, but at the last minute wore my khakis. Way to ruin the pic, Alissa. At least Momo, the photographer, had us place our hands naturally, so that pretty much saved the picture.

It was a totally calm, overcast day. Perfect for pictures.

Thanks, Packers, for a great great trip. 

Lauren and Alisha did their blog posts in a more timely manner. And with better pictures. Check 'em out. 

December 16, 2012

How we roll

There are a million blogging things to catch up on, and things of much more weight and importance in the world right now. But, for a bit of levity, here is a video of what Ella, Anna and I stumbled upon on our drive through Alpine tonight. A light with crazy lights and a sign that said, "Tune into 95.3 FM." So we did. We were treated to drive by Christmas Carols/Light show. And then this one. Enjoy.


November 19, 2012

30 Days of Thanks #19

I am thankful that 2 days before we leave on our Thanksgiving Packer Family vacation, Ella does NOT have strep. 

I am also thankful for my cousin Kristen, who is doing an amazing job pitch-hitting for me while I search for a nanny. Ella and Anna love her--and why wouldn't they? She makes cookies, brings sprinkles, and decorates Thanksgiving Turkeys with them. Thanks!!!

November 18, 2012

30 Days of Thanks #18

After 8 years of having Sacrament meeting during the final hour of church, we finally have it first. The sacrament last schedule never bothered me until I had kids. But helping Anna stay relatively quiet during the first hour of church is a whole lot easier than helping her stay quiet during the third hour of church. Hallelujah...Sacrament first!

November 17, 2012

30 Days of Thanks #17

And....we're back. After over a week without internet and TV, Ryan is home from Australia and we are online once again. I've been neglecting blogging, and honestly, I'm to tired to try and back-blog.  And since we are going out of town for Thanksgiving, my 30 Days of Thanks is going to be a little lean this year  (which is ironic because I have loads of good things to be thankful for).

Onto #17...

Ella Jane. Smart as a whip, kind and thoughtful, and such a good little friend. She is in the stage where she always wants to be helping me, and while it can sometimes drive me bonkers I really love it. She has done great with the move. A few unexpected meltdowns over silly things, but mostly just excited to be in the new house. She is such a good little girl. Thankful to be her mom.

November 12, 2012

30 Days of Thanks #12

I was feeling a little tiny bit sorry for myself because I don't have Internet or TV and still have piles of boxes to unpack. And then Thayer was inspired to send me this link.

And I watched it. And I was proud to belong to this church. And proud of my family in NYC for wearing their yellow vests on Saturday. And I was grateful to have a new beautiful home with boxes to unpack. Thanks Thayer.

(Since this post was written on my phone it isn't an actual link. You'll have to cut and paste it into your browser. But it's worth it. Promise.)

30 Days of Thanks #11

Anna has a new trick. And it melts my heart every time. When she is happy and feeling sweet she calls me "Mimi" instead of mommy. I tried to catch it on video, but never got a great one. But you do get to see her calling her friends on her "phone."

Love that girl.

30 Days of Thanks #10

So I feel a little silly posting this, but it really is what I was thankful for today. On Thursday afternoon I took all the food from my freezer and packed it up to bring to the new house. But I left it in the car. Thankfully it was cold, and by the time I found it on Friday it was still somewhat frozen, but needed to be eaten rather than refrozen. So Saturday night I attempted to make Ryan's delicious short rib ragu. Halfway through the process I realized that the box with the beef bullion was packed. I went downstairs, tore through a few boxes but only ended up more frustrated that I couldn't find what I wanted. I gave up, but was so sad because all my hard work was going to be for nothing. So I said a little prayer. And immediately I remembered what box it was in, and where it was. I went to the storage room and found it no problem. I was so grateful to be able to finish cooking with a smile on my face, and not get caught in a downward spiral of "I can't find anything...everything is a mess...I have so much left to do...I'll never get it all done...poor me..."

I believe in the power of prayer and am most thankful for it in my life. 

30 Days of Thanks #9

So, so, so, so thankful we were not trying to move during Winter Storm Brutus. We were originally scheduled to move on Saturday. Fortuitously we closed early and were able to move on Wednesday, with gorgeous weather. 

(also, I don't have internet yet, so my days of thanks are backdated)

November 9, 2012

30 Days of Thanks #7 & 8

not a great shot--it was a busy day

I am thankful for movers. We survived the move, mainly because we had 60 man hours worth of professional movers. 60 hours!! Even with the Elder's Quorum, that would have taken us weeks. Who knew we had so much junk?!? 

We are getting settled in our new place. I continue to have so many people help me--I can't thank you all enough. My aunt Sharon and cousin Kristen came and helped (unbidden, I might add. Refer to yesterday's post :) Sharon brought the most delicious cookies, and Kristen totally unpacked the girls' rooms so that when they went to bed that night they had a somewhat familiar setting. My friend Danielle has watched my kids for two days straight, all like it's no big deal. And she unpacked the playroom. My friend Lyssa came down and turned my kitchen into something workable. Ifeta came and tried to do everything, from cleaning to organizing to moving. I kept telling her that we hired movers, and she kept telling me that she would do a better job so she was just going to do it herself. My Dad brought his truck and some muscle (thank you Jose Louis). And my mom...despite a horribly swollen sprained ankle, has done it all and then some. We also had three people from the new ward stop by with treats in hand. Ryan left for Australia yesterday, so it has been great to have so many people stepping up. I feel really blessed.

November 6, 2012

30 Days of Thanks #6

During this move I have had so many people show up and help out. Today a friend brought me lunch (when I really needed a friend to ground me and keep me from freaking out) and then another friend knocked on my door and said, "I've got an hour. Put me to work." This second friend, Trudy, is one of my favorite people. She gets stuff done, and doesn't ever worry about if she gets credit, or who is actually supposed to be doing it. And this is all the more impressive when you know she has cancer (although she'd never tell you). The kind of cancer that doesn't allow her out of bed some days. And still, there she was, knocking on my door and helping me pack boxes--for the second time--she came last week, too! She is a fun, kind, hard-working Idaho farm girl and I love her and am grateful for her in my life.

a photo I snapped of Trudy while she was getting Anna some juice

Above quote by Ronald A. Rasband. Read the whole talk here.

November 5, 2012

30 Days of Thanks #5

I love my job. I do. I'm lucky like that. I look forward to work. It can be stressful and crazy and heart wrenching, but for the most part it is really really great.

(until we move in and get settled, these posts might be of the short and sweet variety. t minus 1 day!)

November 4, 2012

30 Days of Thanks #4

I am thankful for many things today (that's the beauty of this exercise--in trying to find something to blog about you become aware of so many things that might have previously gone unnoticed). But one of them is this talk. One of my partners told me about it a few months ago, and I've been meaning to look it up. It was highlighted in this month's BYU Magazine and I thought it had some great insights.

November 3, 2012

30 Days of Thanks #3

I have said it before, and I am sure I will say it again, but one of the things I am most thankful for is my nanny Lyssa.  The main thing I ask of her is to love and watch over my children while I am gone. And she does that willingly and very well.  But it is the countless extra things she does that make me over the moon thankful for her. Like organize my storage room. For my birthday she came down and floor to ceiling cleaned out my storage room. It was a dream. And today, when I had to pack it all up, it was a million times easier than it would have been without Lyssa's touch. Out of all the things I am going to miss about living here, number 1 is Lyssa Jane.

30 Days of Thanks #2

My cupboards look like this right now. The only dishes I have are the ones I forgot about that were in the dishwasher while I was packing. Last night my mom took the girls home for a sleepover. She left me minestrone soup. It was delicious. And it was not McDonalds. Thanks Mom!

30 Days of Thanks #1

In planning this move I had lots of friends tell me they wanted to help. In a moment of desperation I took them up on it. I sent out an email saying that Thursday was the day to stop by for an hour or so, pack a few boxes, eat some leftover Halloween candy, and be on your way. At the end of the day I had 11 people each help for at least an hour--closer to two or three. I am close to being packed, and there is NO WAY I could have done it (mentally or physically) without these great friends. I was overwhelmed with the love and support I felt. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

November 2, 2012

30 days of Thanks

I am going to try and do the 30 days of Thanks again. I did it in 2010 and the song is right--it does make you happier! We have a busy 30 days coming up. Packing, moving, unpacking, settling in, traveling. So even if my world is falling apart, I'm hoping looking for the good things in my life will keep me "singing as the days go by."

If you want to join in (but don't want to fully commit) feel free to leave a comment about what warmed your heart that day. I'd love to hear it!

October 30, 2012

New Chapter

Ryan and I have had a crazy month. We have been thinking about buying a new home for a while now (.12 acres=tiny yard), but haven't been able to find anything appealing enough to convince us to leave our friends and neighborhood. We thought seriously about building, and even bought a lot in Draper. Last month we found a home in Alpine that we loved, and after countless ups and downs, backs and forths, on agains, off agains...we are moving! We are excited. We are sad. We are scared. Pretty much a huge jumble of emotions. Since the time we put the offer on the house Ryan has been in Romania, Switzerland and China. And next week he leaves for Australia. So trying to figure out the details of buying a house, selling a lot and selling a house (not to mention packing!!!) have been a little tricky. Serious, serious thanks go to our agent Dana Conway for keeping us sane and making this happen. She really is the best. And her blog is really funny.

We are not excited about the next week of packing up, moving out, and settling in, but we are excited to have this as the view from our driveway.


September 13, 2012

Utah State Fair

I spent a few of my summers living with my grandparents on their potato farm in a small town in Idaho. Going to the Minidoka County Fair was always one of the highlights, so it was with much nostalgia that I took Ella and Anna to the fair this morning. We had a great time, even though all the rides and attractions weren't open yet. Well, I had a great time. As we left Ella said, "What? We're leaving??? We haven't even done anything fun yet!!!"

Seeing this girl take care of her animals made me kind of want to raise my kids on a farm.

My CSA won multiple Blue Ribbons and a Best of Show

Anna's first funnel cake. She was duly impressed.

September 9, 2012


After last year's double flat disaster, Ryan was ready to take on the 206 miles from Logan to Jackson Hole. He dedicated most of his sabbatical to training (6 days a week from June to September, not missing a day) and come September 8th we were both ready to do this thing. This year I knew more what to expect as far as support and everything went amazingly well, even though Jess and I were supporting 3 riders. We had a lot of fun together in the car, and Ryan rocked it on the ride. His goal was to break 10 hours, but I know he really wanted to do it under 9 hrs 45 minutes. He came in at 9 hrs 30 min and 12 seconds!  Way to rock it, Ry.

I was busy filling water bottles and zipping to the feed zones, so I didn't get many great pictures. But here's a few to remember the day by.

Post race

We ate dinner at the Snake Creek Grill. Delish.

The view from breakfast on Sunday. Stunning. It was hazy because there was a fire.  It was right on the race course, and it was crazy to see them scooping water from the Snake River to put it out. 

You know you are in Wyoming when the mascots for the High Schools are Dogies, Bison and Herders. There were also two  sets of Broncos.

September 5, 2012

August 30, 2012

Birthday Girl

Ella was so excited for her birthday this year. She initially wanted a princess party, but she changed her mind (she may have had a little prodding) and settled on a rainbow/bug party.

She was ready to go an hour early and waited for her "guests" to arrive.

Rainbow and bug cupcakes



Sidewalk Chalk

I now see why some families have the every other year friend's party. Wrangling 7 little girls and 1 boy (don't worry--it was a bug party too, so it was okay that he was there) takes it out of you. But Ella had a great time and it was a good day. And now she's 4. She told my mom tonight as they were leaving for their Thursday night sleepover--"You've never had a 4 year old at your house for a sleepover before!" It happens in a blink, doesn't it. Love you, Ella bug.