Friday, July 31, 2015

Hannah and Dallin's Reception

Today was Hannah Holbrook and Dallin Petersen's wedding reception in California. They were married last week and had a reception in Utah. I was asked to do a candy table for the reception. James and Suzanne Borgquist's home was so beautiful inside and out. It was so much fun to put the color scheme together and work with the nautical/beach motif Hannah chose. The table looked great, and the bride and family were very happy.

Since Hannah's mom had a few friends invited to the reception from our school group, Jenna and Heather both had some friends to hang out with while I hung out with Kelly and/or the moms. Heather found a grand piano in the living that had to be played. Everything was really, really perfect. I even managed not to spell Petersen with S-O-N, and of course the Sons and the Sens had to have a photo together. Haha. Congratulations Hannah and Dallin!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Visiting Vernon, AZ

July 25-28   After a very busy month, we were able to fit in a trip to Vernon, AZ to visit Aunt Kathy and Uncle Chuck and to meet up with Joanna, Kasey, Aunt Michelle and Gavin. We arrived to a beautiful double rainbow and had a sweet reunion. We three cousins snapped a photo to recreate one from a few years ago (the new one is in color).  Our cousins are like our siblings, and we have so much fun with them. Aunt Kathy and Uncle Chuck are gracious hosts feeding us, putting gas in the quads and facilitating any adventure we're up for. We love their property, and it's a place that is special to Heather and Jenna as they've grown up visiting at least once a year since Aunt Kathy and Uncle Chuck moved.

When I look back at all I personally did this month (Anime Expo, Comic Con, packing for Kolob, working at my dad's place for three days, making Heather's birthday special for her, Phantom the night before and all of the other regular day-to-day things that we do), I am not surprised that my body gave out. We drove to Vernon on the first day of my cycle (TMI), and I usually have a migraine for a day or two. Driving 10 hours after all the other things I did this month took a toll. My migraine meds only lasted about 6 hours (usually they're good for 24). I had other pain meds, but they weren't working. I was a mess. Except for the day we had our adventure with zip lining and quad riding, I was in bed in a quiet room waiting for meds to kick in or time to pass.  I listened to everyone having fun and I hated it, but I was so miserable that I couldn't join in. It made me think about my mom and how much she missed because of her headaches that were so bad, and she didn't have meds. There was nothing I could do about this, but I hated being the one "in bed" missing life.

I was grateful for Sunday when I was able to be up and about for a few hours. We took the kids to my aunt's friend's property where they have installed a zip line.  The kids took a few turns each pulling the swing up the hill and zipping down. I took mostly video of that so Kelly could see. Back at the house we rode quads for awhile which was super fun.  I'm grateful I got that time with my sister and cousins.

On the day we were supposed to depart, we said good bye to everyone, but I was still in a lot of pain. I didn't want to drive home that way because I knew it would be unsafe. I rested while Aunt Kathy played checkers with Jenna, Heather played every hymn in the hymn book on the piano I took lessons on, and the girls swung in the hammock. The day of rest was needed, and although I wasn't 100%, we were able to head out the next day. It was slow going as I had to pull over once from being so tired (I don't get a lot of sleep with those headache cycles where I have to gut out the pain), but with prayer and some determination we made it home. We did stop by Little America Hotel to have lunch, and that was super fun. The girls tried open faced turkey sandwiches and really liked them. Here's to new food adventures! Yay!

Although I didn't get to visit much with my family, I did get some in. I am mostly grateful that the girls got to have this time with their family and make some more memories. Can't wait til next time. I'll know not to push myself after this experience and take it easy before traveling.

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Phantom of The Opera

Tonight we went to see The Phantom of the Opera at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles. We were able to find excellent $45.00 tickets, and we love the Pantages because every seat is spectacular no matter where you sit. We were in the mezzanine and loved the seats. It was so wonderful to have this experience as a family! Kelly and I saw this play when we were first married, and our girls have seen and love the movie, especially Heather. We all enjoyed the performance and were moved, even Jenna commented on how sad it was. We are so fortunate to share experiences like this with our girls, and what a great 16th birthday present for Heather. She brought some birthday money to purchase a souvenir and bought a diamond-esque studded mask. This was some great memory making for the Peterson clan.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Sweet 16!

Summer has sure kept us hopping so far! Today was Heather's 16th birthday! We have so many fun things planned for her, but no party. We had an impromptu birthday breakfast at the Original House of Pancakes which was super yummy. Later in the day, Heather chose a movie she's been wanting to see, and we stopped by Johnny Rockets for dinner. Heather's presents included some cute clothes and tickets to two concerts! We'll attend Phantom of the Opera next week as a family, and then in August, Heather and I will go see Of Monsters and Men, a band we both enjoy.  It was a great birthday. We're going to try to squeeze a party in somewhere, but no plans so far. We were so happy to celebrate our sweet girl today. Happy birthday lovey! You are amazing and a joy to our hearts!  Here come driving and dating! Look out world! Hee, hee.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Cleaning Out Dad's Place Part 1

Another fun adventure I had while Kelly and the girls were at camp was with my sister, cleaning out my Dad's mobile home in Idyllwild. It was pretty good timing that she could come while the family was gone because this was not a project we could undertake while worrying about getting home and taking care of kids and schedules.

This was our first trip to Dad's in many years, and we were, quite frankly, shocked. We did not expect to walk into a situation that looked like an episode of Hoarders, Buried Alive. We discovered that Dad is a packrat/hoarder.  We spent day one cleaning the spare bedroom out so we could have an empty room to move things to that were going to Dad's new place.

I may have recorded this already, but in December of 2014, Dad was at my place and had left for a doctor appointment in Anaheim Hills. He frequently visits the Kaiser facility there, so I thought nothing of it. When he returned, I learned that he had spent the past three or four hours trying to find the location. He went to the location he normally goes to, but the appointment was at a new building, and that was the one he couldn't find. He eventually had to divulge that he cannot see well enough to read street signs or find address numbers while driving. The macular degeneration he has had taken the center or pinpoint vision from his eyes, and the condition will get worse as he gets older. The incident started a discussion about the possibility of him moving closer to me before he needs help. He agreed and we started mobile home hunting in February. After a few trips to mobile home parks near my house (most of which were either too expensive or had only large homes available), we moved a little north and found him a place in Westminster, just about 7 minutes from our place.

Escrow closed in May on Dad's new property, and we thought he had been packing. Michelle and I assured Dad we would help with the move also, but we truly expected that he would do more than he did. I'm sure he was overwhelmed. We sure were. After the first day, we had the guest room cleared and several bags of donations ready. We drove some to the donation center, but it was clear that we were going to need a truck to make any headway.

The next day we rented a flatbed in Banning and drove it up to the park. We used it to truck donations to the donation center, and to dump a few loads of trash at the local waste distribution facility. We were able to clear the kitchen counters and the living room (see before and after pics above), and we hope that Dad will be encouraged enough to continue packing as well as keeping the areas we cleaned up clean.  Time will tell.  Michelle talked to Shane, and they will make plans to come back in a month or two so that both our families can go back and continue packing and moving Dad.

After three days of work, we took the following morning off and went to breakfast and then to the mall to do some shopping.  We were going to spend the morning working at Dad's, but we were exhausted, and since there was no hope of finishing, we took a break. Michelle left in the afternoon to get started with her long drive.  I was so grateful to have the time this weekend and my sister to help with this project. We'll be back at it in October.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Consumed, An Original Screenplay

While Kelly and the girls were at camp, my friends Sarah and Jenny and I headed out to Los Angeles tonight to support a fellow Twilight Mom, Megan. She and her daughter won a screenplay writing contest sponsored by Stephenie Meyer and Lionsgate along with several other influential female writers, directors and actresses in the film industry. Out of 13,000 entries, the screenplay Megan and her daughter wrote was chosen to be made into a short film. They were paired with a director, a producer and actors/actresses for the project. We were really impressed with the story titled, "Consumed." It told the story of how Alec and Jane became members of the Volturi.  It was the only one of the six that was about Alec and Jane. It was fun to support Megan, see the films, and hear from Stephenie Meyer and there others who were chosen during the panel discussion.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Boca Visit

We welcomed Boca back this week while her family was at camp.  Mom was with friends and Dad was at a training, and both kids at camp. It was nice to have both dogs while I was alone for the week. Boca's a great watch dog and she keeps Sariah company when I'm gone.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Camp Kolob 2015

July 10-18...Kelly and the girls spent the week at Camp Kolob in Southern Utah. This was Girls Camp, Scout Camp, High Adventure and Youth Conference all wrapped up into one week. Our Stake Presidency was inspired to have our youth "do hard things," and this was one of the inspirations. 

On undeveloped property, the youth built a camp from scratch. They traveled by bus on Friday evening and arrived at camp Saturday morning. They built tables to eat at, a kitchen, showers, bathroom/outhouses, an amphitheater, life guard tower, archery and shooting range, an obstacle course and anything else that they needed. After camp was built, the boys and girls separated to their camps. The group came together on Sunday for services and spent the week hiking, backpacking, repelling, canoeing and all other things scout and girls camp related. 

Jenna and Heather participated in the Polar Bear plunge, sunrise hikes and repelling.  During Heather's practice repel, she tipped over and slammed into the side of the rock cliff injuring her tailbone and splitting her elbow open. She still went on her 5th/6th year hike with the 100ft repel and had a blast. The girls each made a new friend that had moved into the stake over the summer which was a nice bonus this year. 

Thursday-Friday was Youth Conference where the fun continued. There was a color run, obstacle course that teams participated in, paint gun fights (Jenna didn't participate due to wanting to look good for the dance that night, and Heather was prohibited due to injury), a luau with a real pig roast and island dancing, speakers, silly leader skits, and a dance. There is so much the girls and Kelly would probably write about the trip, and if I can, I'll get them to tell me what they would write in a blog post about the experience. For now, it's documented. There's talk about going back to this camp because the youth loved it so much. No phones, iPods, gaming systems or for that matter, flushing toilets. But they loved it.  And of course on the way home they stopped at their favorite spot for huge shakes, fries and chicken strips!