Our Beloved Pal Scooter

When Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, they made the decision to enable them to experience good from evil, joy from sorrow and many other things in opposition.  These last few days my heart has gone the gamut from complete and utter joy and bliss to complete and utter sorrow and despair.  I understand those extreme opposites well now.

scooter 1
How can you not love that face? What a sweet sweet dog

Our joy started last Friday when our son Nathan Copier married his UK sweetheart, Savannah Stevenson.  I will leave the details to that for another post.  Our sorrow happened yesterday when we lost our beloved pet and dearest furry friend, Scooter.

We have had several pets over the years and we have loved them all, but there was something so special about this little guy.  He really was the sweetest dog we have known.  He was loving, loyal, playful and eager to please.  He loved to snuggle, give kisses and take care of my ‘wounds’ and sing with you.  My heart is aching right now just knowing he’s not with us anymore.

Our whole family loved him dearly.  Many of them have taken time to write sweet things about him on social media, but the one that got to me the most is what my hubby wrote about him this morning.  Now, you need to understand that Scooter loved my husband more than anyone else in this world.  They truly had a special bond.  And as much as the rest of us loved and adored him, and he loved us in return…. it just wasn’t quite as strong as the bond between these two.  Here is what John said today:

scooter medal
Here he is wearing John’s Gold Medal from the Huntsman World Senior Games

“It’s only a dog
My head says it’s only a dog. My heart says otherwise.
Yesterday we lost our beloved, talented handsome Scooter.
Scooter gave us almost eleven years of companionship, love and entertainment. We really loved that wonderful dog.
He was a faithful trusted and trusting companion. He was always wanting to please. He was always happy to see me, to go anywhere with me.
He will be missed by many people, the folks at Home Depot and Lowes, teammates and spectators at the ball park, certainly family members and neighborhood kids.
I will miss the look on his face when, while walking he would stop, slant his body toward home as if to say “Daddy, I can’t go much farther please can we go back home?”  Then his willingness to try to go a little more. I will miss his head snuggling my neck when I carried him back home after he had given it his best.
I will miss his singing along with family members or with the with MoTabs, his singing “Happy Birthday” or “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”.
I can almost hear him singing for Grandpa Don and Grandma Jen right now.
I suppose I will miss most everything about this wonderful friend. Rest in peace. Thanks for all the love you gave.”

My heart broke again as I read those words this morning.  I have learned over time that these precious additions to our family are just that…. family.  Each time we have lost a pet it has been hard.  Tears were shed all around, but this time…. I’ve wept so much harder and so much longer.  Perhaps because Scooter was a house dog, it allowed us to get really close to him.  Literally.  He often slept in bed with us and he liked to be on our laps.  When we lost our other pets, it was usually because of sickness and having them put to sleep, (though we did have one that a neighbor took a b-b gun to) so I wasn’t there to see their passing and their lifeless body.  It’s hard to loose them, no matter how….. but with Scooter, it happened suddenly and sadly without us right by his side, though we were here.

He’s been acting like he wasn’t feeling the best for the last little while.  He developed a wheezing that would set him back for a few minutes at times.  It was concerning to me, but I passed it on to old age.  He would have been 11 years old next month.  In hindsight, I’m kicking myself for not getting him into the vet to see if anything could be done for it.  He’d have spells where he seemed fine and then the wheezing would start again.  Several times over the years he had what I called ‘clingy’ moments.  No matter what you were doing, he’d stand right next to your leg and wouldn’t move unless you did.  He never really seemed sick during these times…. just clingy.  That has been going on off and on for years.  Another sign that should have concerned us was a slowing down in energy, particularly during walks.  Again, we just contributed it to old age.

Last summer, while out walking with my husband, he got a fox tail caught in his paw that became infected.  We had to take him to the vet to have it removed.  The vet expressed concern over some very loose teeth he had and wondered if we would allow him to remove them as long as he was under the knife for the paw surgery.  We also decided to finally have him neutered at that time as well.  Yes…. we should have done it many years earlier, but just didn’t do it for many reasons.  Since that surgery last summer, it seems his health has declined.  He seemed to gain weight, which we couldn’t understand since his diet hadn’t changed, but after doing some research, I found that that can be a side effect of neutering at an older age.  I also did some research on some of the other symptoms he’d been having, some of which I’ve mentioned.  Of course sadly…. much of my research wasn’t done till he was gone.

This is the adorable puppy face we fell in love with
This is the adorable puppy face we fell in love with

Yesterday after we got back from church, we wanted to take a nap since we were still suffering from a little jet lag from our trip to London.  All of the dogs (yes all…. we are tending our sons 2 dogs and our daughters dog lives here now too….) were on the bed with us.  Scooter started panting really heavy and couldn’t seem to get comfortable.  He would try to lay down and then stand or sit back up.  I started to realize that he might be in a little pain.  I was going to see if there were any essential oils that might help relieve some pain, but I stopped to make some dinner first.  I told my hubby and daughter that I didn’t think he was feeling well at all.  They both tended to him for a while.  He sat on John’s lap for a while then disappeared.  A while later (I don’t think it was more than 15 min) I realized he wasn’t in the house panting anymore.  We all went to look for him and I headed outside calling his name.  When I walked to the end of the deck to see if I could see him in the yard, I saw him laying at the bottom of the stairs on the grass.  I screamed and ran to him as quickly as I could.  Unfortunately, he was already gone.  My husband tried a little CPR on him to see if he could get him breathing again, but to no avail.  Then the mourning process began.

Since both of my boys are in London right now, one because he now lives there, the other because he extended his stay after the wedding, it was only my husband and daughter and I that were there.  After a few minutes of sitting and crying and holding him, we sent a text to our boys to let them know he had passed.  More tears and sorrow came from them when they replied by phone to the news.

It’s been a hard day (and night).  My eyes are puffy from crying and my heart is sore.  It truly hurts as much as losing my parents did.  He wasn’t only a dog.  He was our baby.  He was our loyal friend and companion.  He took a big chunk of my heart with him. He will be missed by all.

I know time will heal and it will become a little less painful, but for now, my heart needs to grieve.  We did decide to bury him here at home so I will be able to build a little memorial to him to always remember him by.

I am so grateful for the years we had with that special dog.  What joy he brought into our lives. I’m grateful to know that he is in doggy heaven, running and playing with as much energy as he had as a puppy, and that he is with my Mom and Dad.

He loved the snow and would come in the house with his little beard full of snow
He loved the snow and would come in the house with his little beard full of snow

My only regret is not trying to see if there was something that could be done a while back.  If you have a beloved pet…. please follow your heart and take them to the Vet when you feel like you need to.  I don’t want to live with the guilt that perhaps we could have done better.  Perhaps it was just his time…. but I will never know.  He really was dearly loved.

I shall miss my little fury friend greeting us at the door when we returned home.  His little happy dance to see us and not stopping till he got his proper ‘Hello’.  I will miss his snuggles, he’s cute Ewok face and his friendly and loving personality.  I will miss seeing him perched on the back of the couch watching the world go by outside.  So content he was just to be with us, and how sad he was to be left alone.

Thanks for all the years of love and snuggles, Scooter!  RIP Scooter Bug!

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?


What A Year It’s Been!

With 2014 coming to a close, I feel like I need to take the time to express my gratitude for such an amazing year.  It’s been a year of MANY firsts for me and my family.  Not all of them necessarily pleasant, but the majority of them were wonderful.

Our first first of the year was finding out we were going to finally be grandparents!  Such exciting and thrilling news.  We have waited for so long to be able to claim that title…. we were thrilled!  In fact, I was so excited, I had to blog about it.

The next exciting first came when we moved into our brand new home in February.  There were plenty of hoops we had to jump through to make it happen, but thanks to generous in-laws and their help, we were able to make that move before we closed on our condo.  Though moving is stressful…. it was a thrill to move into a brand new home.  As I said…. a first for us.  Though we had moved several times prior to that, it was always into an existing home.  It was so fun to be able to pick and design the interior of our home.  Though stressful in many ways…. it was worth the struggle.  I’m so grateful to be here and to be in such a great area with great neighbors.

I also celebrated a few 1 year anniversaries.  Some good and some sad.  In January, I was 1 year clean from cancer (I’m approaching that second anniversary very soon!), which was an exciting one to celebrate.   2014 was also the one year anniversary of losing my Mom.  That year of firsts after losing a loved one is hard.  Still miss her.

gram and gramp with benOn July 29, we were blessed with the best first we could ever ask for!  Our little grandson Benedict was born!  I can’t even describe the joy this little boy has brought into my life.  I cried tears of joy when I first met him.  It’s a feeling I can’t even explain.  I know I felt the same kind of joy when my own children were born…. but having posterity born is a joy that is unexplainable.  He is so adorable.  He’s five months old now and I could just eat him up!  What a darling sweet personality.  He certainly has his Grandma wrapped around his little finger.  I’m as SO grateful for this gift and grateful my son and his wife brought him into our lives.  Joy beyond measure.jon and ben

In August, I finally gave in and had knee replacement surgery.  Another first, and I’m hoping my last.  My recovery for that has been a little harder than I’d hoped for…. but my physical therapist insures me that it will get better!  Though I’m still struggling with rehab on the knee…. I’m still grateful I had the surgery.

At the end of September, we were thrilled when our youngest son Nate popped the question to his British sweetheart Savannah.  We are so excited to add her to our family.  She is a very talented young lady and her talent is what will have Nate moving to London when they get married in the Spring since she has a contract to continue as Glinda in “Wicked” on the West End.  I will miss him terribly, but I’m so excited for this part of his life to finally start.

Nathan and SavannahIn October, we went on an impromptu cruise to the Bahamas.  It was a lot of fun, and though I was only 2 months out from knee surgery, I survived fine!  We had a great time with friends and got to hear some great music from our past.  I wouldn’t mind cruising at least once a year.  🙂  Though it wasn’t our first cruise, it felt like it since we hadn’t cruised in years.

And finally….. we get to announce that we are going to be Grandparents once again!  This time with my daughter as Momma and now we know she is having a girl!  We are so excited to add a sweet little princess to our family!  Since we will become full time baby sitters for this one, our daughter will be moving in with us as soon as we can get our basement finished.  It will be fun to have a little one here all the time.  We’ve had the opportunity of tending our cute little Benny a couple of days a week…. so tending everyday will definitely be a new experience.

It’s interesting to look back and see where this year has led us.  The fact that we felt a need to sell our condo and get into a home again, as crazy as that seemed to many people….. to go from having no yard work, etc., to having 1/3 an acre to now care for is kind of nutty at our age…. but the condo just wasn’t a good fit for us in many ways.  Now that our daughter needs to move in with us, it’s a good thing we did move, because she wouldn’t have been able to live with us in our condo due to ‘rules’ about having grandchildren living with you.  It obvious to me now that we were being guided to where we needed to be for many reasons.

So, as this year ends, I look back with an immense amount of gratitude for where we are and what we have and what we get to look forward to.  Here’s to 2015 being an even better year!

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?

Something to Talk About…..or Sing About

Day 26 & 27~

Crazy few busy days has got me behind again.  Thanksgiving prep and Thanksgiving take a lot of time and bring on some exhaustion!  But it was a great day with loved ones and friends near and full of many blessings!

I want to combine a couple of things again today.  In a way, I guess you could consider them the same thing, but I want to break them apart a little.  Since I am a singer and I like to talk a lot….. today I’m grateful for my voice and my vocal chords!

My voice I will consider partly as having a voice.  A voice in what I think, or what I want.  Being able to voice my opinion.  Isn’t freedom of speech a great thing?  I don’t consider myself one to be outspoken on many issues…..(at least not publicly) but I’m grateful that I can be if I so choose.

This is a photo of me singing to my husband at our wedding reception in 1979.
This is a photo of me singing to my husband at our wedding reception in 1979.

But having a voice…. one that makes sound, requires the use of vocal chords.  Apparently I was blessed with ones that can be very loud!  🙂  I was told many times when I was young that I was loud…. especially by my siblings.

Thankfully, I must have been blessed with a little of my Mom’s genes when it comes to my vocal chords because I’ve always been able to sing.  It’s just something that’s come naturally to me and has afforded me many opportunities to perform which I LOVE to do!  In fact, as I get older, I get fewer and fewer of those opportunities and I miss it terribly!  Especially this time of year!  I love singing Christmas music!  About 13 years ago, I made a quick little Christmas album just for fun for my parents.  Since that time I have shared it with several friends and they seem to like it.  Which brings me a lot of joy.

My voice and vocal chords are a part of my body that I use everyday, as I’m sure most of you do!  I’m grateful to have and use them.

As a way to start off your Holiday season…. I’d like to share a little video my husband put together with a song from my Christmas album.  It’s one of my favorites…. Amy Grant’s arrangement of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas…. but sung by me!!  I hope you enjoy it!

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?



I’m A Woman….. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!

Day 25~

I can’t think of a time in my life when I wasn’t happy that I was a woman.  Not once.  Which I’m grateful for.  Well…. OK… when it comes to all the time it takes to get ready for the day…… I do get a little jealous that my husband can be showered and ready to go in like 15 minutes….. but I still wouldn’t trade it!

So, because I’m grateful to be a woman…. today I’m grateful for my female body parts.  Though going through 16 hours of labor like I did with my firstborn wasn’t an easy thing to do….. I wouldn’t change the experience for anything.  I was lucky enough to be able to do it 2 more times.  And each time it got a little easier.

quote-i-m-very-definitely-a-woman-and-i-enjoy-it-marilyn-monroe-129273There’s nothing quite as amazing as the miracle of life growing within your womb.  It’s truly amazing.  When I had my kids…. the internet was a thing of the future, so I didn’t have all the information at my fingertips like we have now.  With technology being the way it is today, you can actually see the stages of the baby growing in the womb through ultra sounds and even artist renderings which I find very fascinating!

Then, through another miracle of our creator, woman was made to be able to feed and nurture that child.  Another amazing thing to me!  A very intimate and sweet experience with your own baby.  It creates a bonding like no other.

I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to have a child 3 times, and to now watch as my children are starting their own families.  What a joy it is to be a Grandma!  I’m a woman…. what a miracle my body is!

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?


This video is fascinating to me.  What a miracle.


The Hills Are Alive With Sounds

Day 7~

Oh the world is made of glorious sounds!  And I’m grateful I can hear them!

So many sounds…..  Some may not be perceived as too pleasant, or may be annoying to some people….. but MANY sounds are a pure delight!

Music, for instance.  While everyone has their own taste in music, we each can enjoy how music makes us feel personally.  I love a variety of types of music.  Mostly music that I would consider mellow or soft rock.  Being a theater person, I love listening to Broadway music.  I also love Oldies and Standards and many other types as well.  Music has always been a big part of my life.  I’m grateful I can hear it to enjoy it!How-Protect-Your-Ears-Concerts

So many sounds in the world are soothing…. like the trickle of a stream, the crashing of the ocean waves, the crackling of a fire, just to name a few.

Perhaps some of the most important sounds in my life are the sound of the voices of my family.  Being with family brings me so much joy.  Hearing their voices is comforting too.  Just ask a Missionary Mom who longs to hear the voice of her Missionary and is only allowed to speak to them a few times a year!  That is one happy sound!

For now, the sound of my sweet grandson, cooing or starting to giggle…. even a little cry all bring me so much joy!  I’ve waited so long to be a Grandma that I relish every sound he makes.  I look so forward someday to having several Grandchildren around me making all kinds of noise!

So today, I am grateful for my ears!  Oh… and besides…. for us women, (mostly), we can decorate them with jewelry! Just one more thing on our body to adorn.

What sounds are you grateful for?

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?


Hands to Love With

Day 5~

What do my hands do?  Ever so much!

Being a person who likes to create….. I am so grateful for my hands!  There are many creative things I do with my hands but probably the one thing that they’ve been used the most for the last couple of years would be to crochet.  Big surprise for those of you that follow me.

baby-handsAgain, with a reference to cancer…..  losing my hair made me want to crochet myself some hats, which is interesting because I hadn’t crocheted in years and wasn’t even sure I remembered how!  But I did remember…. and with the help of video tutorials on Youtube whenever I had a question, I even learned stitches I’d never done and also how to read patterns.  I was having so much fun that I wanted to crochet more hats than I could wear so I began crocheting hats to donate to my cancer center.

Without going into a lot of detail about all that, between a few friends and I, we donated over 100 hats in 2012 and I continue to crochet them to donate to other worthy causes as well as cancer centers.  I couldn’t have done it without my hands!  You can read a little more about that here if you’d like.

There are many other hobbies that I enjoy doing and some have come and gone over the years, which I think is kind of normal.  But I’ve had fun with them all.

And of course my hands are able to serve others as well as take care of myself, but the best thing I am able to do with my hands lately is hold my sweet grand baby and give him loves.  It’s such a joy to be able to tend him.  I’m glad I have the opportunity and that I’m healthy enough to do that.  They grow so fast, so I relish every minute.  Right now it’s fun to watch him discover his own hands.  It won’t be long before he will reach his little hand out to hold mine.

I’ve waited a long time to be a Grandma….. so hand me that baby!

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?


I can finally announce to the world: I’M GOING TO BE A GRANDMA!   You have no idea how long I’ve waited for this day!  The hardest part has been the fact that I have actually known about it for about 6 weeks but wasn’t allowed to tell anyone.  (Well… anyone that I knew would blab about it….).  A Girl HAS to tell her BFF’s!  I’ve been ready to bust since then…. but now I can tell you… and I’m so proud!

Let’s start at the very beginning…. well, sort of.  Many of you may know that my husband is almost 10 years older than I am.  Which means he was in his 30’s when we got married.  Now I know by today’s standards that doesn’t seem that old…. but in the 70’s it was considered kind of old to be getting married for the first time.  Especially in Utah.

Consequently, I (we) were anxious to start a family because I didn’t want him to be too ‘old’ of a Dad for his kids as they grew up.  Well, that was never a problem.  He was always in great shape and was (is) a great father and did so much with and for our children.  The problem is…. when your kids follow in your husbands footsteps as far as being his age to get married and start a family….. that makes my hubby and I quite a bit older as Grandparents than the average Joe!   Well…. maybe not…. since the average age for getting married has gone up considerably since I was young!  Anyway….. regardless of our age….. we are thrilled to be able to say that we are going to be Grandparents this year!  I am so excited.   I just hope we can keep up with our grandkids as they get older!

Jon and Ali's clever way of announcing they're having a baby!
Jon and Ali’s clever way of announcing they’re having a baby!

I’m not going to lie…. it’s been hard the last several years as all my friends have been having multiple grandchildren and we’ve had none!   Watching their Grandkids grow…..  And then as friends much younger than us became Grandparents, I would be so envious!

Now, don’t get me wrong.  It’s not like my kids haven’t wanted to be married and start a family.  It’s just the way things have worked out.  And it’s OK.  And they know that.  I’m a little old fashioned in the fact that I prefer them to be married before they have children…. so I’m so grateful that Jon and Ali decided to finally tie the knot in August… which was also a wonderful pleasant surprise!

We have had some wonderful things happen in the last several months and year, as well as some sad things.  It was a mixed blessing year, but I’m grateful for it all.  I’m a believer that all things come when they are supposed to.  It’s just that at times, it’s SO hard to wait!

So, This year starts off with exciting anticipation of becoming Grandparents and also moving to a new home in a few weeks.  Wow.  It’s going to be a whirlwind…. but I’m excited for it all!  Thanks for working on making me a Grandma, Jon and Ali!  I look forward to meeting him/her in July!

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?


Christmas Without Mom

I’ve been extremely melancholy and tender hearted these last few days.  This will be my first Christmas without my Mom.  When she passed away last March, we were all greatly saddened and yet happy for her to be released from her body that was making her unhappy.  She was ready to go home and be reunited with Dad.

Our first Christmas without Dad was hard too, but for some reason, this year it’s super hard for me with Mom being gone.  She loved Christmas so much.  Perhaps it’s because it’s the first Christmas without at least one of my parents here.

I’ve probably talked about this before, but Christmas has always been a big deal for me…. as far as family goes.  While the hustle and bustle and anticipation have always been fun, the most important thing of all was having family together.  Our family traditions are what made me look forward to the Christmas season.  As I get older, I realize just how important those family times are.

I was raised in a close family.  At least those of us that lived around got together often.  While raising my kids, we spent almost every Sunday evening at my parents home.  We would gather for ‘cheeseies’ (a family tradition of an open faced broiled cheese sandwich) each week, spend time together and the cousins would play.  It meant the world to me and was a priority in my mind.

At Christmas time we would gather each Christmas Eve.  The evening would start with a big dinner; with tables and chairs strung everywhere as the family grew.  Then we would gather in the living room and portray the Nativity with each of the kids acting out the parts.  My daughter, Mandy, being the youngest girl (of only a handful of girls) in the family got the honor of playing Mary for many years.  Our costumes always consisted of sheets, towels, scarfs and tinsel with the manger being a doll cradle and who knows what doll for the baby Jesus, unless there was a newborn in the family…. then they got the honored roll of being the Baby Jesus.

After acting out the Nativity, we would sing songs (sometimes my kids would be the entertainment since they participated in a kids performing group back then) and we would wait in anticipation for Santa’s arrival.  We always tried to keep the kids distracted and occupied while we waited for his arrival.

Once Santa arrived through the front door, it was mayhem and excitement!  He would sing a couple of songs with us and then reach in his big bag and call out the name of each of the kids one at a time.  They would come sit on his lap and get their small gift from him.  It was an opportunity for each child to have their photo taken with Santa by their parents.  It was a joy to watch from year to year, the young kids go from being petrified of him to jumping on his lap.  (And what a hoot to look back at the photos and see the styles we wore!)  He would have us sing a few more songs and end with Jingle Bells as he left to ‘go to the next house’.  What a fun tradition that was.

Then we would exchange gifts amongst cousins and adults (drawing names as the family got bigger).  Then off to our own homes to get the children all snuggled in their beds with visions of sugar plums dancing through their heads.  Christmas Eve.  The best part of Christmas for me growing up.

As my parents aged, they were getting tired of all the clean up…. plus the family growing with many great grand kids made it a tight fit for their home.  We spent several years trying to do it in their church cultural hall.  Then grand kids grew, started marrying people who had their own Christmas Eve traditions and it turned into a party at some local ‘event’ place (like a Roller Skating facility) one a night other than Christmas Eve for the last few years before my Dad passed.

Once Dad passed and Mom had had her stroke, she ended up needing 24 hour care and spent the last 6 years of her life in an Assisted Living facility.  We were always able to reserve one of the rooms there to hold a family party, but it was never on Christmas Eve again.  Too many family members with their own Christmas Eve traditions…. but none the less…. we gathered.

Mom with Daisy on her lap last Christmas Eve at her place.  You can se the joy in her face of having us there.
Mom with Daisy on her lap last Christmas Eve at her place. You can se the joy in her face of having us there.

The last few Christmas Eve’s, my little family has spent the evening with my Mom at her Assisted Living place.  Sometimes we sang for all the patients there…. but last year, we just spent time with her in her room and sang to her.  She loved it.  It meant so much to her.  We always took the time to look through the Christmas album the family and made for my parents several years back with photos of all those great Christmas Eve’s.  I’m feeling sad I don’t have that at my house this year.

I just don’t know what I’m going to do with myself this year without her here to spend Christmas Eve with!  My heart has been so tender these last few days.  I’ve shed many tears missing her and Dad and those sacred traditions.  I want so desperately to carry on some of those traditions in our family.  It’s been hard because my children haven’t been married with kids of their own up to this point, so we haven’t had the little ones around to treasure those moments.  I know it will come.  Jon and Ali got married this year and I have BIG hopes of it all beginning soon.  I just pray that it will become as important to them as it is to me.

Family is everything to me.  I want to spend more time together than we do.  I love them all so much.  We are trying to carry on the larger gathering of the family for a Christmas party.  I promised Mom we would.  Though it won’t be till the first of the year…. we will still gather and enjoy each others company…. laugh at the White Elephant exchange and just be grateful for one another.   As with anything in life, it gets harder and harder to make the schedule work for everyone to be there….. but we will do our best and miss those that can’t make it.  And Mom will be happy we did.

I am SO grateful for parents who started and kept such special traditions in our family.  The thing that amazes me the most is that none of the spouses of us siblings had a spouse with Christmas Eve family traditions.  The party at the Bangerter home was the priority!  And you darn well better be there!  It wasn’t until the grandkids started getting married that we ran into conflicts with other family gatherings.  We were blessed to go so many years without those conflicts.

I’m grateful for my family and want them to treasure this time of year as much as I do.  I know Mom and Dad will be with us all in spirit, but I miss them so terribly much this time of year!

Much love to you all and may you have a blessed and wonderful Christmas with cherished loved ones by your side.  And if they aren’t able to be with you…. may you be able to communicate with them all your love.  MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL…. but especially to you MOM!!  May your first Christmas in Heaven with Daddy be one of your best!  You can SEE and MOVE and SING!  I love that….. it makes me so happy to think about that.  Miss you tons!

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?

Timing Is Everything

Last Sunday our Bishop gave a talk on timing.  He started off the talk by saying that it isn’t the kind of topic that you would think to give a talk on in Sacrament meeting, but that after he related the things in his talk, we would see how it applies to gospel principles.

As he spoke… my husband and I kept glancing at each other.  I know the talk was for me/us.  I’m sure many others in the congregation gained a lot from it too, but it was very ‘timely’ for us.

I was trying to decide if the talk was to tell me to be patient, it’s coming,  or if it was a confirmation that all the things that had happened that week were happening at the right time.

Since Sunday, things have continued to happen that now makes me know it was the Lord’a way of letting me know that the ‘timing’ for our move was finally right and that where we are going is where he wants us to be.

We’ve wanted to move for quite some time.  Not because we don’t like our condo, because we do…. we just don’t like living in such a strict HOA community.  At least, too strict for our taste.  Plus, we just need more room in the garage for my hubbies stuff and he wants to be able to tinker out there.  And we wanted everything we needed on one level so we didn’t have to deal with stairs.  And a place for the dogs.timing is everything

We put our condo on the market at the end of September.  I had been frustrated all Summer long that we couldn’t seem to make the time to get it ready to list.  But again…. timing.

We had a lot of interest in our condo that first few weeks, but no one moved forward with an offer.  In the meantime, we had found a home that we wanted to buy and put in an offer contingent on the sale of our home.  Because our offer on the other home was contingent on our sale, the Seller opted to keep their home on the market, but we would have first right to continue with our offer if we could remove the contingency should they receive another offer.

Well…. after several weeks on the market, we still had not received a offer, though I had recently had people through looking at it that sounded like they might be making one.  Unfortunately, (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) the Seller  on the home we had offered on received another offer on their home and we were not in a position to remove the contingency, so we lost the home to another Buyer.

I was so frustrated because I knew we were so close to getting an offer, but I wasn’t positive so we had to back out.  I had spent time in my mind dreaming about where I would put things and what we would do to make the space our own.  We were so excited about moving further North to be a little closer to our kids.  I was very disappointed when we lost the house.  Then about two hours after our deadline to remove the contingency on it, an offer DID com in on our condo.  Crazy!

We started on the hunt again for a home to put under contract.  We looked at several existing homes and even went through some new construction.  There was a home in a subdivision we had looked at earlier in the year that I wanted to see.  It had pretty much all the things on my list that I wanted other than it was a 2 story, but with the Master is on the main.   I loved the kitchen and family room area in that thing.  The pantry was to die for big.  But the thought of having to do stairs to get to the office or craft room was a little worrisome to me.  My husband and I both have knee problems and have recently been told we need knee replacements…. so stairs is becoming more of an issue.  However, we hope after knee surgery they will be just like new.

We kept looking because of the 2 story thing.  Then a couple of days later, we went back over to the same subdivision to look at a rambler that had just come up on the market.  Though we like most things about it… again… it was lacking in some areas and I wasn’t stoked about it.   The listing Agent had mentioned that they were framing another rambler right around the corner that would be available the end of December.

After walking through the finished rambler we walked down the street to see if we could find the one he was talking bout.  There were about 5 homes under construction on that street.  We started walking through all of them.  We found some we kind of liked on the East side of the street, but didn’t know which was his.   A couple buying one of the homes under construction came to see how it was going as we were walking through theirs.  They told us that they thought that most of those on the East side of the street were already sold.

There was one under construction on the west side so we walked across the street and walked through it.  We really liked what we saw, so I called the Realtor back to ask him which one they were building and that was the one!  I told him we were very interested in the home.  He got my email info and said he would email me the floor plan and we could talk on Monday.  Yesterday we signed the papers and are now Under Contract on it.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch….  we had more people interested in seeing our condo.  Since the offer we accepted on it was an offer contingent on the sale of their home (sound familiar?), we had opted to keep it on the market also.  I had three more showings after we went under contract with this Buyer.  One of them is very interested and her Realtor said she was probably going to make an offer on it without contingencies.  Though we have not seen one yet.  Perhaps because the Realtor asked me what the chances would be of our current Buyer being able to remove the contingency on ours.  I told her I wasn’t sure, but that she could possibly do it.  She had two homes on the market she was trying to sell and only needs one of them to sell to close our deal.  So she could possibly take out an Equity line if necessary to close on ours if she had too.  I think that may be why we haven’t received another offer.  She didn’t want to get her clients hopes up.  But you just never know!

So it’s been a CRAZY couple of weeks with things going in directions that I never thought they would!  And it’s all because the timing was right.  Had we not been Under Contract on the first home to keep us occupied till this other home under construction became available, we wouldn’t have been over there looking at the right time.  And why didn’t a Buyer for my condo come along sooner?  After all, we had had over 17.000 hits on the listing!  You’d think ONE person would come from that, right?  It’s just a confirmation to me that the Lord knew what needed to happen in order for all the ducks to be in a row.  TIMING!

The best part about the timing of finding this house, is that we caught it in time to make some of the decisions on colors and such.  I was too late for the kitchen cabinet color, but it was the color I wanted anyway, so that worked out great!  But now I can choose flooring and paint and countertops, and a few other upgrades, etc.  Plus, we got in in time that I am having the laundry room expanded a little into the garage (which is MUCH bigger than what we have).  I know I will like it much better.  I’m pretty excited about it.  So not only are we getting a nicer more updated home than we would have…. but I also have a say in the choices and we won’t have to go in and remodel anything in an older home!  NEVER owned a brand new home.  This is exciting.

Although we are moving even further South from where we are, which puts us further away from the kids…. the access to the neighborhood is quite convenient, and time wise not a lot different for our kids to get to us.

I just keep thinking that there’s a reason we are headed over there.  I’m sure we will figure out why someday.  In the meantime…. I’m grateful the timing has worked out for us and for the Bishop’s talk to be a reminder that things happen in the Lord’s time, not ours.  And, in most cases, it’s always the best for us.

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?

UPDATE — December 16, 2014

As a continuation of the above story….. the Buyer that I mentioned above backed out of the contract with us about 3 weeks later leaving us with NO BUYER! By that time, we were well underway on making changes to this new home we we under contract for and had put lots of money down on, but we needed a Buyer to be able to purchase the new house.

Again…. timing….. We just had faith it would all work out the way it was suppose to. It took until the first part of January to find another Buyer but they couldn’t close on the purchase of our condo till March and our Builder wanted to finish and close on our home in February. Luckily, my husbands Dad was in a position that he could temporally loan us the money we needed in order to purchase our home and we paid him back as soon as we closed on selling the condo. So…. the timing was amazing on all of it. We’ve been in our new home since February 23, 2014. We love it here and have already found reasons why we should be here. Too many to name here… but we feel that Heavenly Father knew where we were needed more than we did!

I Am Still Grateful! How Are You?

Miss Lyn

It’s been two years.  Two LONG years I might add!

For many reasons, I have not been able to see my dear friend Lyn for the last few years.  I won’t go into the reasons here…. that’s not important.  What IS important is that she was able to make a trip to Utah to visit her Mom.  Luckily, she asked me to pick her up at the airport and drive her to her Mom’s so we could have some time to visit.  Then…. she even invited me to stay over night so we’d have even more time!

Sometimes…  people and personalities just click.  And we did.  Once we got to know each other, we have just become good close friends.  Unfortunately we live in different states so we don’t get to see each other often.  Usually, it’s at least once a year at the Senior Games in St. George, but the last two years she hasn’t been able to come.  So this visit to Utah was a welcome and fun surprise!

My crazy talented friend, Lyn surrounded by the quilts she made for her grandkids
My crazy talented friend, Lyn surrounded by the quilts she made for her grandkids

It was a delight to meet her Mom and her sister and brother in law.  We had such fun talking and catching up.  She always makes me happy!  I just wish we would have had more time.  We both know that if we lived closer together ‘we’d get in so much trouble’, as Lyn puts it.  Not bad trouble….  just little trouble.  

Well… I had a brilliant thought today on the way back home from her Mom’s house.  How about I go get her a day early (late in the day, of course), and we drive back to my house.  On the way back,  we can stop and see some other friends we know from the Senior Games, then,   she can come stay over night with me and I will take her to the airport the next day!  

I’m so excited that after discussing it with her Mom she is going to do that.  It will be fun, once again!  But I better get out my crochet hook in the meantime….. time to make more hats…. for friends this time!

I Am Grateful!  How Are You?