January 2013

January 2013
Our Little Family of Three

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


As some of you may read Nic and Ashley's blog...I, too, wanted to recognize a wonderful man in my life...my Grandpa.

My Grandpa has been someone I've loved since day one. In fact, one of my first memories is practicing music with him. My twin sister, Ashley, and I used to sing with Grandpa in church. This was a regular happening. I loved singing "A Childs Prayer" with him. It was so special and it still is.

I cherish a lot about my Grandpa. One of the many things I love about him is his loyalty. My Grandpa would die for anyone in his family. I know that sounds cliche' but it is 110% the truth! He would give anything and everything for his family. That includes his life. I admire that about him.

Another thing I cherish about my Grandpa is his ability to share what he has, even though it wasn't served to him on a silver platter (maybe that is why he's so willing. He knows how blessed he is because he had to work for it). My Grandpa has had to work H-A-R-D for what he has. He had a rough childhood, in regards to worldly things, and endured through a lot of hard work and experiences to enable himself. He is an example of someone who takes their experiences and becomes better from them. And even with all the blood, sweat, and tears put into his possessions he still shares. It's a common thing for my Grandpa and Grandma Judi to have the widows in their neighborhoods over for Sunday dinner...just one of the small ways he makes a difference in his community. It doesn't stop there either. His heart is enormous. His soul is so good and loving.

My Grandpa has always had an eye on everyone in his family. He is such a great patriarch. He leads and guides through example. Travis has commented numerous times on how little my Grandpa says when with others. But Travis is always sure to point out that when my Grandpa speaks it's either with humor or with an abundance of knowledge. In other words, he doesn't just speak up to speak up; he listens. And when he has something to say, he says it. But he doesn't just talk to talk. He uses wisdom, experience, humor, and love in his words. And the cool thing is is that sometimes he doesn't have to say a thing. His presence is enough. He has a great aura about himself. I believe this is because of his good character.

My Grandpa has done a wonderful job loving and caring for his family. He has lived an example of endurance, persistence, determination, fearlessness, righteousness, and kindness. I believe he has been and will continue to be rewarded for it.

I love you Grandpa. I hope you had a wonderful birthday.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

still here and kickin'

Life is BUSY! Things are good though. We're still here and kickin'. I'm just not able to update this as often as I'd like.

Well, Trav and the guys showed up to the Less Than Jake/Rancid concert a week and a half ago only to find the concert was cancelled. I guess someone in the band (not sure which one) broke their arm or something so the entire concert was cancelled. Trav was torked. I'm sure anyone who knows Trav knew that long before I said it. :) The guys ended up going bowling. Trav didn't have too much fun. Poor guy.

Friday night (a little over a week ago) Trav and I went to a Phantom Planet concert in SLC. It was a lot of fun. However Phantom Planet was one of the opening bands and not the headlining band so they only played for...ummmm....twenty minutes or so. It was a total bummer. We were supposed to have back stage passes but that didn't happen, however Trav was able to work some miracles (I believe there was divine intervention as well) and he was still able to meet with them, show them his website, and get them to sign his work. It's one crazy story too. I'll quickly give you the readers digest version: He ended up paying one of the security guards $6.00 (YES! SIX BUCKS!) and was able to "sneak" back stage...this is when he sat down with the guys and talked to them about working on their music video and such. He told the band he had some work in the car and was wondering if he could get their autographs. They were laid back and told him to meet them after the show in the back of the building and while they were loading up their equipment they'd sign it for him.

Well after the show we went to the back but there was no band...well there was but they were locked behind a fence. So we waited, hoping they'd come out. They never did. The lead singer of the headlining band, Bradley I believe, came out to greet his fans and made his way over to us. Since we were wearing Phantom Planet t-shirts he asked if we'd like him to find the band for us. Of course we were like, "HECK YEAH!". Bradley (I don't think that was his name...) went behind the fence and came back only to tell us they had left. We were crushed, mostly Trav. He'd worked so hard and looked forward to this for sooooo long! Bradley said he'd call Sam, the base player of Phantom Planet, to see where they were. He did but only got Sams voicemail. Uhhh! We were so disappointed!

Just as we were thanking Bradley for his help and getting ready to leave his phone rang and sure enough it was Sam! They told Bradley where they were and told him to tell us. We, of course, hopped in the car and buzzed over. I told Trav I'd stay in the car while he went in. With everything that had happened I didn't want to come across as stalker-like (but I DID want to meet them). I told Trav to keep it short and sweet so they wouldn't be annoyed by him. I say this because they are familiar with Trav and his work and I didn't want us chasing them around Salt Lake City influence they're future desire to use Trav's talents. Trav was FINALLY able to show them the poster he'd made and they all signed it! They really like it. In fact, they liked it so much Sam gave Trav his email address and told him to contact him around November, when they'd be done touring. So, we're hoping for the best in that regard. Even if nothing comes of it AT LEAST WE TRIED.

Trav w/the guys of Phantom Planet - September 19, 2008

So that was our adventure for the month. It was a crazy night. We didn't get home until well after midnight. We were exhausted the next day! All the emotions we felt in the few hours of the concert were intense and just wiped us out. But we're glad we went. We're glad things turned out the way they did! On our way home we came across this exotic car. It's sad because I don't even know what kind of a car it is...maybe my brothers won't even be impressed??? I dunno but we snapped a quick picture for 'em anyway. They are OBSESSED with cars! It's not the greatest picture but hopefully it'll work.

Anyways, we have recently set up an awesome kareoke area in our basement. Nic and Ash invested in some serious equipment and we've been having so much fun with it! Many a-nights you'll find all of us down there belting out some crazy tune! What can we say?!?! It's too fun to pass up. Here is one of Travis' awesome performances. Seriously, click on the play button. It's long (30 seconds or so) but you'll get a GREAT laugh from it! He's so cute! I love so much about him...one of the many things I love is he just doesn't give a crap what others think. He just does his thing! This is proof! I would put one up of me but - one - I'm too embarassed. Two -I'm not nearly as entertaining! But I think you'll be plenty satisfied with seeing just him....

Anyone know what song that is?!? He, he, he!

Another bit of weird news, but news nonetheless...my car reached 100,000 miles this week. it's bitter-sweet. I love my car. It's not the most luxurious but it's been a great car. I'm converted to the Honda brand. I have nothing but good to say about those cars. I hope to use my car for another five years...at least!

Since going back to school I've been tired a lot. I have fallen asleep pretty much everywhere. thankfully I've been able to avoid falling asleep in the bathroom though. Trav says that within a three seconds from laying down I'm flinching/jumping. Does anyone else jump while they sleep? I think I have a bad case of the wiggles because my limbs go crazy! Trav says he laughs a lot but I've been too tired to hear him. Anyway, I fell asleep holding the second love of my life, Mercydez, and Ash took a picture. I only like this because it shows how adorable she is...she loves to cuddle! I LOVE THAT GIRL!

Mercydez is doing quite well. And we're so grateful for that. She is starting to express her opinion more and more each day. Nic and Ash have the cutest girl ever. Honestly!! I'm going to post a couple of pictures of her....I can't help myself!

Mercydez and Daddy cuddling

Isn't she so adorable? I love you Mercydez.

We did a walk for heart disease awareness a few weeks ago and Mercydez was as stylin' as anyone!

Two pretty girls: Mommy and Mercydez. Isn't her flower soooo cute??!!

The Princess sleeps....

I'm sorry...I just found this other recording of Trav. It's the same song/performance it's just a different part of it! Check out his dance moves!!! Ohhh....I laugh so hard I cry! What a guy.

I have such a wonderful family!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Travis has been playing raquet ball with my brother and some friends on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It's really funny because he has come home with some crazy injuries. I finally asked him if they're playing raquet ball or if they're wrestling! This past Thursday Trav came home with a black (right) eye, he also has an enormous cut about an inch below his right eye. I was told he was bleeding all over the place. I guess he took an elbow to the face - thanks Luke for playing so sloppy ;) And this is just one of many injuries...

Anyways, this coming Tuesday Travis will be going to a concert with a bunch of guys, some are those he plays raquet ball with (who seem to enjoy beating on him). All the guys are stoked. My brothers are going, except for Kade since he now lives in Idaho Falls, and Nic and his brothers are going. The only thing that would make it an amazing night would be if Kade could some how go. Less Than Jake & Rancid will be playing - need I say more? Didn't think so. I'll try to find the time to update the blog with pix or with details on the "guys night out".

And this coming Friday Trav & I are going to see Phantom Planet play in SLC. They have this insane CD out right now. It's intense. I love listening to them. Look 'em up and listen to the song, "Raise the Dead". TURN UP THE VOLUME! It's better that way.

I don't know if everyone knows but Trav and I have felt it's time for me to pursue my education. I have decided to major in Music Education (secondary). This means I can teach choir! I've always wanted to learn how to conduct a mass of people and now I'm able to start moving in that direction. But with this there are a lot of unknowns and that is always scary. How are we going to survive? What about health/dental insurance? How am I going to find the time to complete all my homework!? What about my hours at work (if I'm not able to stay full-time)? AHHHHH! So much to think about. I was talking to one of my best friends, my Grandmother, today and she was expressing her concern. I told her I felt very strong about going to school. Had anyone asked me two months ago about my education I wouldn't have told you I was going back to school!! And now here I am taking 17 credits! I have so much to learn. I know very little about music, only that I love it and want to surround myself in it as much as I can. Needless to say, it's gonna be hard, crazy, and exhausting and that's okay.

I told the cashier at the University bookstore that I was the "annoying" girl in class who always asks questions. It's because I want to learn as much as I can...to some extent I'm digging my own grave. But hey at least I'll die happy! ;) Seriously though, I am the girl who always has something to ask the teacher. I'm sure there are many students who roll their eyes everytime my hand is raised. I feel bad I irritate people but my mentality is this: I PAID TO GO TO SCHOOL JUST LIKE THEY DID. YOU BETTER BELIEVE I'M GOING TO ASK QUESTIONS AND GET MY MONEY'S WORTH.

I have to give credit where credit is deserved. Travis is completely supportive of this. He is so awesome. He's the reason I have confidence to go back. I feel so rusty in so many ways. I haven't been to school in years. Travis believes in me. He has been doing all he can to help me stay focused on my homework. Let me tell ya! I'm NOT used to having homework. Travis is wonderful. He asks me how school went each day. He is truly interested and I'm so grateful for his confidence in me.

No, I'm going to do my best and work really hard to learn everything and to learn it well. I feel it is a privledge to attend school. There are so many people through out the world who don't have the opportunity. I'm grateful. I'm excited. And I'm scared to death! But this is where I'm supposed to be so one way or another it has to work out.

I know this whole blog post is random. I have a lot on my mind and I'm not sure how to jot it down without being completely random. My head feels like scrambled eggs right now...I know, random.

Monday, September 1, 2008

One of the greatest achievements of my life

A little over a week ago I helped with a fundraising yard sale for my beautiful niece, Mercydez. We organized a yard/bake sale fundraiser. I won't lie, I was terrified. I have never held a yard sale, I've never been to a bake sale, and I've never actively participated in a fundraiser. I was completely new to this and I was scared to death that my ingorance would hurt, not help. Two weeks before the date of the fundraiser the ladies and I were running around like chickens with their heads cut off! I felt like my life was spinning out of control, after all, I'd never done anything like this before! Was it supposed to be this crazy?!?!?

We spent hours and hours...nights and nights...sorting through donated items. Our two-car-garage was FULL of bags and boxes! We used a spare bedroom as our "sorting room" and went to town each night. I was very emotional during it all. The love and support these women have for my niece was overwhelming to me. I would catch myself watching them thinking, "They are such good people. Why do they care so much? They have families and needs of their own...why are they doing this for us?!!" Even now I'm awed. I can't believe the time they put into this. I'm so grateful they extended the invitation to help. I learned so much from these women.

The night before the yard/bake sale we were seriously losing our minds! We were so excited but SO exhausted. We had been working so hard for this and the time had finally arrived. Many people showed up to help set up, and we were thrilled about it. We had truck loads (notice loads is plural!) of people dropping stuff off until about midnight. Some people from the community came by (annonymously) and dropped off donations. Needless to say, we had WAY more than we originally planned. Had people not shown up to help sort & set up we would have been in serious trouble.

And! Get this! My mom and Ashley had spent the entire day baking treats for the bake sale! I didn't realize how much cooking they'd done until I got home and saw the kitchen. WOW! They really went at it! I also found out Crystal helped Ashley finish cooking, since my mom was helping set up, until about 1:00am. I'm so thankful for family!

Around 2:00am volunteers started heading home. We were (and still are) so grateful to them for sacrificing their friday evening to help us. My wonderful husband stayed with me ALL night and helped finish the set up. I was also incredibly grateful for Auriel, Kacey, Crystal, Luke (Nic's brother), and Sam (Nic's niece) for staying up all night and helping hang up signs (yeah! We realized we hadn't hung signs around 11:00pm!!! We were too busy doing everything else!). The seven of us stayed up all night and all day saturday. Needless to say, by the end of the yard sale we all looked like crap. Trav's eyes were SO blood-shot. And all of us were feeling the weight of staying up all night..in our limbs. By 5:30am Trav and I still had plenty to sort and price, so we decided to hang up signs everywhere that said,

All clothing = $0.50

All items w/o price tags = $0.50

We were a little worried we'd lose money by doing it this way but we didn't have time to price anything else. Trav did a quick walk through and checked items that caught his eye to make sure it was priced. I'll tell you, looking back, I think we were inspired to do it that way. It saved us! We were able to focus the last hour on sorting and organizing so things were ready to go.

The yard/bake sale didn't start until 7:00 but we had people showing up at 6:30 ready to look for treasures (and we had a lot to look through!). There was one car that came into the parking lot SO FAST they literally caught air. I was thinking to myself, "Holy crap!". Two of my closest friends (and a wonderful husband to one of them) helped us until about 1:30am and came back at 6:30am to help with the sale. I was so relieved to see them at that point. My energy level was so low and I was feeling so tired I about collapsed with joy (literally) when I saw them. Thank you Alysson, Angel, and Bryan.

By 7:15 things were CRAZY. The parking lot was full of about 50 cars or more! Although we were dead tired this sight was a huge relief because we didn't hold the yard sale at the most ideal location. We were worried people wouldn't come since it was out of the way. Things didn't slow down either! At noon there were just as many people shopping as there was at 7:30. I couldn't believe it!

The bake sale was awesome too! We had people donate coookies, brownies, home-made bread, and SO MUCH MORE! We also sold snow-cones, hot dogs, drinks, and authentic (made when ordered) indian bread (like a scone). It was insane. I cried the entire day. Many former employees showed up to volunteer and help with selling, cooking, cleaning, setting up (obviously not in that order...but you get the idea)! One former employee of Ashley's named Susan showed up and cooked the indian bread all day long. Susan provided everything - AND stood in the sun all day (it was in the 90's) over a hot stove and cooked. PEOPLE ARE SO GOOD.

Another former employee, Jenny, not only helped organize the yard/bake sale (without being asked she just jumped in head first and helped!!) but she showed up with everything for snow cones and she and her kids made snow cones all day! I ate a few of them and they were sooooo good and refreshing!!

My Grandparents showed up and helped in what ever way they could. My Grandma cooked hot dogs all day and never complained. She's been so supportive and helpful since day one. Thank you Grandma.

We had another employee (Merry), a hospice nurse, who happened to inherit a house and everything it in! Insane, I know! Merry donated a majority of her inheritance, decorative items, books (70 boxes of books!!), movies, tapes, etc. A moving truck (truck and gas was donated by another employee. Thanks Anne!) had to pick up her donated items because there was so much.

All day, during the yard sale, my dad was on the phone with radio stations. The DJ's would interview him and play the interview on air through out the day. Thanks to KUBL 93.3 and all the other stations who helped support us in this cause.

My mom was inspired to go to The Daily Herald a few days before the sale and spoke with a reporter, Ace Stryker (I believe). Ace was very interested in the story of Nic, Ash, & Mercydez and interviewed them. The story ran FRONT PAGE on Friday August 22, THE DAY BEFORE THE YARD SALE! How grateful I am that my mom was inspired and followed the promptings to go to the local/county paper and share our story with a stranger. Ace did a phenomenal job with the story. He actually called me and interviewed me as well. I just cried and cried while I told him about my precious niece. I love Mercydez so much. I think Ace regretted interviewing me, at one point, because I couldn't stop talking and crying.

Needless to say, things fell into place in an miraculous way. When things were over we were all beat. Christy, the one who started the fundraiser, was so sun burned she was swollen for days. Michelle, another woman who donated a lot of time and energy organizing and working the sale, brought her children and they helped all day. One of her daughters, Kate, helped at the cash register and was so cute! I let her add up each persons expenses...it was great! All the kids wanted to help.

I could go on and on and on. I have so much more faith in people. I have so much more respect for people. I have so much more compassion for people. Thank you to all who helped in ANY way. It was a huge success. It was a modern day miracle.

God bless you all.