Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Bret is on the couch feeling sick. I spent part of the afternoon in Urgent Care having my hand operated on. And yet we've somehow managed to have a fantastic day and get lots done. Now if I can convince myself to get off my patootie and go pack for my 7:30 am flight...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

This morning we got to go out on Lake Nasworthy (great lake 5 min from our house) for the first time. Our friends (and newly-called Bishop) the Skidmores invited us to come out on their boat. It was kind-of overcast and very windy but we still had a blast.

Aimee (having her 5th baby in 3 weeks!) and their oldest child, Sage.

Tyson! Bret is Tyson's best friend. We're cool with that. We love this guy!

I had not motivation to get on a wakeboard but yes, that is me going for a nice, calm tube ride with Sage and Tyson. Bret, on the other hand, had a great wakeboard run and even ended with a flip for the girls who kept cheering, "Flip! Flip! Flip!"

The rest of the day involved naps, cleaning, an almost free dinner at McCallister's Deli, sunglasses shopping, and watching the "Tourist". Woo Woo for Memorial Day!

We sure have come to appreciate the military more this past year being so close to an air force base. Thanks to all the men and women who serve our country!

Friday, May 27, 2011

the Bench.

I know its probably breaking some fundamental law of blogging to post twice in one day. Oops.

I have wanted to post pictures of my latest projects for a while, but haven't taken the time to load them on the computer. Last night I realized that some of the pictures were already on and it motivated my to pull out the camera and finish the job.


Above is is our friends' daughter, Andyn, who tested out one of the finished tutus. She had a blast playing with it! But perhaps not as much fun as one of my goofy dancers, featured below. They begged to do a "costume choreography" game for the last day of class. She found my other tutu...


A nice friend in our ward is incredibly talented at DIY stuff (see all the furniture in the background?!). She taught me how to use her power tools and helped me not to do anything stupid. I appreciate the time she spent helping me!
Bret and I painted the first layer onto the bench at eleven at night out on our porch. Tight space, hard cement, limited lighting, great time. It left our apartment smelling nice and toxic!
Goodbye blankets! See you next winter!
I like how it looks in our little dining room. Now I need to sew a cushion for it!


This is what the trio dresses look like. The girl in the picture wasn't in the piece and it doesn't fit her quite right, but you get the gist.
This is the top for the soloist. It did not turn out even remotely like I had planned but I really like it! Isn't it great fabric? The trio had hair flowers made out of it and the duet wore light purple leos and black leggings with a scarf of this fabric around their waist. (Front above, back below.)


One of our most frequently made meals now is the Becker family's lasagna. I'm always guessing at the recipe since he never gave me a specific one, but we love it!


I spent the last two days of school sitting at my dest making cards. On the ones above I wrote a little note about why admire each of my modern dance students. I love them!
Upcoming projects...
Build an accommodated desk for Ashley as a graduation gift. Sew hot-pad travel totes (you'll see). Sew a bench cover. Find old chairs and a side table and refinish OR build chairs/table for patio. Make a family set of Christmas stockings.

Sometime in my life projects...
Build a bed (headboard, footboard, frame and all). Learn how to use a nice camera. Become a dancing hula-hoop magician (look here http://www.random-good-stuff.com/ for clarification). Pole vault.


Was there really a time?! My guess is they either hibernated in shade during the summer or else they simply chose not to live in Texas.

It is May 27th and we're at a balmy 107*! My car's a/c is still broken (yes, still). I took it in last month and was told that my lovely little 1993 Geo Prism has the old cooling model - R 122 or something - and only a handful of people are licensed to fix that. I haven't had time since to track down who those people are, but now that school is out I can get on it! Today I rolled down all 4 windows and still got home pretty sticky and wet. I also learned that driving with 4 windows down is dangerous... like when the wind blows the back seat down and papers from the trunk start flying through the car... or when you can't pull your hair up so it flips around in your face, sometimes completely obstruction your vision... or when you twist your hair back and try to hold it in place by squishing your head into the head-rest and thus can't turn your head very far when switching lanes.

And on another note, (one that is more important and exciting) today was the last day of school! I left at 12:00, had lunch at Sealy Flatts House of Blues with my favorite work friends (we were celebrating retirement for one of them), went back to the school to get my car, and drove away from Lake View forever!

Okay, so maybe not forever. I will certainly go back to visit the Basic Skills Special Ed room (the severely special ed kids) and if a lot of things change, I may even work there again next year. But the way things are looking now, I will be working as a Job Coach (still a paraprofessional job) for the special ed students who are in a vocational skills program, and will have a desk at the other high school, Central. I am excited to be doing something that gets me out of the classroom, but I hope this job is a little more challenging. Either way, it will be a fun change. I'm excited to be at Central, although I feel like I am finally finding my niche at Lake View.

Well, if I can't beat this heat I may just go embrace it at the pool. Or take a nap. Hibernation sounds nice right now... in my air conditioned apartment.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Date Night

This weekend Bret and I went to see the "Evening of Dance" performance put on by the San Angelo Civic Ballet. It was fantastic. There were 4 great contemporary ballet pieces, my modern piece, and the second act of Swan Lake. It was a beautiful night full of beautiful dancing. Thanks, Bret, for taking me to dinner and being so supportive of my work!

Old Photos

Looking through some old pictures and just had to share a special few...

Nephew Derek - now a few years older... and less inclined to wear his sisters' bows

Missing my Westlake dancers. Can you read what they are spelling?

With Spring Showcase and Parents' Observation Week just past, I have been thinking about how much I have grown to love little dancers. These are my sweet-as-candy dancers from Orem Dance Theater where I learned so much.

LION KING! Bret and I saw it (for cheap!) in Las Vegas just over a year ago.

And finally, my handsome husband, who is no longer single... and no longer sporting the clown-hair-doo.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


For about as long as I can remember I have called my sister Carly "Car-Soup." I'm not exactly sure how this came about. I think its because we all called her Carly-Sue and somehow that got linked with the add for carsoup.com and BAM, she had a new nickname. Only I can call her that.

Carly is a special sister to me. We have a lot in common. She loves to dance and loves to craft. We often find each other in the craft room doing random projects. It seems like whenever I have a cool idea of how to make something she goes and makes it 10 times neater. Carly is very patient and sensitive and sometimes I think that I should be taking lessons from her on how to be a good friend. She is the sweetheart of our family.

Carly is also a spiritual giant. When I go home to visit I sometimes go into her room to say goodnight and without fail I find her reading her scriptures. Sometimes I say, "How are ya Car-Soup?" and she'll say, "I'm really tired." "Well why don't you go to sleep now?" And she replies sincerely, "I need to read a few more pages. I'm trying to read a couple chapters each night." (Or something like that.) I have always struggled to be totally consistent (and awake) for scripture study and Carly is a huge example to me. The picture above is from last summer when Abby, Carly and I went to do baptisms together. It was one of Carly's first times and it was very special for me to be there with her.

Happy 13th birthday Carly. I think you are wonderful and I want you to know that I love you very much. I can't wait to give you a big birthday hug in a week and 3 days!

(I still haven't transferred a lot of my pictures to this computer, so here's a random one I found. This is from the first time Bret came to our house - it was for my grandpa Richards' birthday party. Carly is 10 in this picture. But if you can take your eyes off of pretty Car-Soup and look at Jackson... well there's a fun picture! It looks like we have a monkey brother!)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Without a Pattern

This weekend is the San Angelo Civic Ballet's "Evening of Dance" performance. I was invited to choreograph a piece and I think I am happy with how it turned out. (I crave feedback yet don't want to hear any feedback at the same time. Artists, dancers, musicians... do you know the feeling?!) Well because the ballet has mostly ballet costumes and couldn't afford to spend much for me to buy new costumes, I decided to make my own.

I made up my own pattern for the 3 dresses I wanted to make, however, I closely based it off a dress I had purchased and will return. I am SO happy with how they look. It took a lot of guesswork, math and creatively fixing problems, but they look good and I'm thrilled.

So, on my motivational high from completing the dresses, I began working on the one top I had to make. More confident, now, in my ability to sew without a pattern, I began to sketch and cut out a design that was merely generated from some vague idea of how I wanted it to look and some ideas from a pattern I had seen in the fabric store but was too cheap to buy ($20?! Are you kidding?!). 15 minutes later I had my pieces sewn together... and it was clearly NOT a success. So I fiddled. And fiddled. And fiddled. And eventually I was able to come up with a way to turn it into something semi-decent. However, the more I work on it the more complicated it gets and the more frustrated I become. With dress rehearsal tonight and a half-completed shirt, I am very tempted to run to wal-mart and find something that will work instead.

I have been thinking today about how this relates to life and to the gospel. Isn't it so great that God has given us a plan for this life. With the gospel we don't have to move forward toward some vague idea of happiness or heaven... We know exactly where we want to go, who will be there, how to get there, and what the consequences are if we don't stay on track. I'm grateful for scriptures, prophets, church leaders, parents, my husband, temples, patriarchal blessings, good books, and fantastic friends, all of which have been like patterns in my life, to help me shape my life into a great "finished product". I am also grateful for the atonement, which could be compared to my couldn't-live-without sewing tool... the unpicker (does it have another name? seam-ripper?). Even when we do our best to stick to the pattern, accidents and oversights still happen. I'm grateful that the Lord allows us to "tear our our faulty seams" and try again.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thank you!

Bret is the best. Today he offered to come to the grocery store with me. Isn't that just so thoughtful?! Who wants to spend an hour at the grocery store? Then I started feeling really nauseous while making dinner so he took over for me and then proceeded to do ALL the dishes (which is extra nice since he unloaded the dishwasher just a couple hours before). He takes such good care of me and I just love him.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Calendar Freak

Those who know me best can attest that I am a calendar freak. I habitually, and almost obsessively, write down what is going to be accomplished each day... sometimes multiple times a day. Ashley just rolls her eyes when she sees me pull out a piece of blank paper and start numbering hours down the side. I don't know how many times this week I have opened my planner to add information only to find it has already been written, and circled, and starred, and underlined! (Ok, exaggeration, but you get it!)
(Yes, I am a dork and found a picture of my planner. You can find them (and cuter ones) at ecojot.com or on amazon.com for a little cheaper.)

I found this quote that has helped me diagnose my problem.

"When I cannot bear outer pressures anymore, I begin to put order in my belongings... As if unable to organize and control my life, I seek to exert this on the world of objects."

-Anais Nin, The Diary of Anais Nin (Found in Real Simple Magazine)

Those objects I seek to control and are the events of my life in visual format. I exert control by color-coding, labeling, graphing, highlighting, detailing, etc. It is quite empowering to tell everything in my life where to go and when. (If only things actually played out like you plan!)

Well this week I'm not over-organizing because of stress, but because of pure boredom. I keep going over these days in my head.... THURSDAY FRIDAY MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY. That is the list of school days left. Then I go through the list this way... THURSDAY FRIDAY monday tuesday wednesday THURSDAY FRIDAY MONDAY TUESDAY wednesday thursday friday (lower case for test days, italicized for Ashley absent). Then I go through it this way.... Just kidding. I'll spare you.

But isn't that exciting?! 12 more days of school/work! I am so grateful for my job and yet so ready for a break, not because its hard but because I'm so bored!

So question... do any of YOU do crazy, unnecessary things like this to organize your brain? Share!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother Dear

I got to school this morning with this song running through my head...

Mother dear, I love you so.
Your happy, smiling face
Is such a joy to look at;
It makes home a lovely place.
(Mother Dear, LDS Children's Songbook)

This weekend Bret and I were so lucky to have my mom here with us. I loved having her all to myself for a few days and was so grateful that she overlooked all my inadequacies as a hostess and just enjoyed hanging out with us. Her happy, smiling face did make our home a lovelier place for a few days.

Some of the highlights (sorry, no pictures) of the weekend included...

* Driving 2 hrs to spend the day in Fredericksburg, a small town with a kind of Park City feel. It was a great way for her to see the area surrounding San Angelo and we had lots of fun window-shopping on Main Street. Everything is so artsy and unique. However, I think my favorite part was trying to find the random Mexican restaurant in Brady (a very small town that you drive through on the way) that a lady I sat next to on an airplane last month recommended. Since we weren't sure exactly what we were looking for I'm not exactly sure if we found it, but whatever we found was delicious!
* All three of us exploring San Angelo... the new library, the Concho River, the museum, the Fort, "downtown", the Blues Festival and pizza, Eggermeyers, Lake View, the Chicken Farm, and driving around neighborhoods and ASU. We were proud to show off our little city and happy that she approved.
* Playing games... Rummicube, Sequence and Boggle. I don't think I won. Any. At all.
* Having mom help in nursery. I was embarassed to ask for her help when someone didn't show up, and I was afraid that she'd think I was really bad at my calling (because I know she would have had a great way to teach the lesson and homemade snacks and a cute mothers' day craft and perfect tricks to make the kids hold still) but I love my calling and the kids I get to teach and whether she judged me or not, I'm glad she could play in the nursery with me.
* Cooking with mom in my teeny-tiny kitchen. At first I resisted her help, but it was fun to cook and bake together.

I'm so glad my mom would spend her mother's day with me and Bret. I love her and look forward to seeing her again next month!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I'm practically drooling

over these...
and these...
which are technically the same recipe (done two different ways) from this site...

(Sorry Bee and any other friends who are attempting no sugar this month - this post is not very well-timed!)

My mom is coming to San Angelo tomorrow and I am so excited to have a visitor HERE in OUR town. I have been trying to squeeze in a bunch of cleaning, project finishing, and clutter organizing. I have also been trying to make sure I actually have good food here for her. We haven't baked any treats since (hold your breath ladies and gentlemen) Easter! And although we've still gotten our hands on some goodies, we decided it's about time to bake some more. Since crazy Bret is anti-mint, we're going to try them with a cream-cheese frosting layer. Mmmm... you know how I love me some cream cheese! Hope they turn out well so my mom can see although I'll never live up to her legacy, I'm not a total kitchen failure!

Can't wait for you to get here mom!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Coming to a Close.

We are about to close the door on...

* Bret's first year of graduate school.

* Cami's school year at Lake View.

* Our first year in San Angelo.

Things we are excited to see go...

* Bret's hours of studying and homework (Oh wait, summer session starts in a few weeks. Bummer dude!)

* Bret's hours at the hospital (ready for a new Physical Therapy setting)

* Cami's boring school days (now at least I can be bored at home and clean or cook or something!)

* Cami's Tuesday's schedule (7:15 am to 8:45 pm is too long)

Things we will remember fondly:

* Bret's excitement for anatomy and disection.

* Exploring a brand new town, trying to figure out how streets connected, running through the neighborhood...

* Cami's first time choreographing a musical.

Right now we are excited for summer and for everything else that lies ahead.