Thursday, March 15, 2018


I really and truly haven't got much to blog about.  Here's an average day in my life...

I wake up at 5:30 with Doug.  Some mornings, I get up and read.  Others, I roll back over and listen to him while he's in the kitchen making his blender drink.  I doze in and out until 7 when ZJ comes up to let Zulu out and then I do my makeup while she does my hair (every other morning). (Will I ever be able to do my own hair again?!)  Usually, by 8:30, I'm dressed and my morning house routine is done and I'm free for breakfast or a Sonic run.  If I have appointments in the morning, I do Relief Society visits.  Usually, if I have one appointment, I manage to drop by and visit someone else randomly.  Lunch at 11 and an afternoon of more visits on most days.  Somewhere in there, I prepare dinner and have it ready for Doug when he gets home from work.  Evenings are filled with meetings, visits and some nights, a date with Doug.  I am usually home when Zeej comes in from school and spend some time with her and Quayd.   We manage to squeeze in fun times most every day.

Quayd has been dying for me to go and see The Maze Runner with him.  I had put it off for weeks and it's about the leave the theater, so we had a little lunch date and movie afternoon this week after my presidency meeting.  He loved talking about the book and how different the movie was.  It's always fun to "play" with Quayd because our interests are so different.  He and his Dad do much better with things in common, like movies, outdoors, dreams...  But...Quayd and I always find things to talk about, even if it's just, movies, dating (or his determination not to right now) and food (which he is always interested in!)  I heart this manchild of mine!

Lately, Zee has been with Will a lot.  They do homework together, hang out at our home or his, tending his little brothers, or "hanging out" with their best friend, Chad.  They keep plenty busy, doing creative and fun things.  I'm enjoying this relationship, which, is apparently now "official" or "a fish", as we joke.  It's fun to see her so happy!  I'm seriously impressed with both Chad and Will, as friends or date.  Last night's date was Zeej doing stage makeup at the middle school for all the kids in some musical.  It started out as just Will's brother's make-up but ended up a ton of kids.  She was in makeup heaven! Tonight, it's movie night on a double date.  They do keep busy!

Chad, Will and Zeej in Chad's car apparently, because Zeej is in the front seat.  They are like the Three Muskateers.  And this photo really says it all..they do have fun together!  She sends me pix often of their fun and it always makes me smile!

Seriously, every time Will comes around, we like him more!  Seeing Zeej making great choices makes us happy! 

I manage to find time once or twice a week with "my ladies" for hand and foot, lunch with Denise, a coke run here and there with Carol and a movie some afternoons, even alone, all myself for the escape.  (Thanks go Movie Pass, I've now seen Greatest Showman twenty times in the past three months. It really is my escape!  And best of all, I've only paid to see it once!  I believe it's my modern-day Phantom of the Opera!)  I spend more time than I could count preparing for presidency meeting each week, visiting with sisters in the ward, listening and a lot of time praying and reading and studying.  I have never loved a calling as much as this.  It's 100% opportunity to love and serve and enjoy these wonderful ladies!  Who could not love that!?

Zeej is amazing help.  Quayd is awesome to do whatever he's asked.  He's working and spends a lot of time writing on his computer.  We all keep plenty busy.  Doug's calling is less demanding on the High Council than it was in the Bishopric, which gives him a more time for the family.  He and Quayd are pretty close.  I love watching him be such an awesome dad to both Quayd and Zeej.  It's just plain amazing to see his relationship grow with each of them every single day.

Our home is peaceful most of the time.  We are all pretty "chill" and get along well.  There's very little drama and it's beyond wonderful.  I would have to say that this really is a great time in my life, in spite of the challenges that we face.  But, that's what we are all here for, is to grow from those challenges, so we are doing our best!

Being that I've not mentioned the bigs much lately... Dale is loving living in Hawaii.  We miss him.  He continually invites us to visit, but that's not in the budget at the time.  Aylabelle also invites me almost daily to come to her house.  That is more affordable, but timewise, right now, not possible.  Liza and Buddy love their home in Arizona.  His job is going very well.  They love their ward,  The girls love library storytime, walks to their park and as the weather gets warmer, the pool.  I miss my girls and can't wait for a little R&R in AZ!   Kelly and I went to lunch last week and will again soon.  She seems happier and healthier than she has been in years.  We are glad for that.

So, life is good.  I don't slow down much and I love that!  Keeping busy makes me happy!  Being busy with other people makes me even happier! 

Friday, March 9, 2018

first week of march and it feels like January!

A wonderful beginning at winters end! These storms have been fabulous!  SO Beautiful!  And so much snow!  It's been crazy for the past two weeks.  Today is beautiful with blue skies.  One day it's blue, the next it's grey with lots of white!  I'm loving it!

Our sweet neighbor, Brother Doug Hart, passed away last week.  His funeral was on the same day as my cute niece, Shanna's wedding.  This wedding was the first of Dee and Aleece's kids that I didn't get as involved in. I went from wedding coordinator to consultant because I have so many other things going on.  I told Aleece in January, I didn't dare because, "for all I know, I could have a funeral that day and I'd hate to have to divide myself for both."  As it was, I told last Tuesday that Brother Hart was not doing well and there was a possibility that we could have a funeral on Saturday but I was hoping not.  No sooner than the words left my mouth, my phone dinged.  It was the Bishop letting me know that he was gone.  And the funeral was on Saturday.  Is this not the most awesome hearse ever!?

I spent the day going to the church at 8AM for the set up of the funeral dinner, then to the temple for the wedding, to the church to help get the food and tables set, to the wedding luncheon then back to the church to assist with clean-up and the delivery of the leftover food to ward members.  Then, we cleaned up a bit and headed to USU Alumni Center for the reception all evening. It snowed all day long.  It was a lot of in and out.  But, the funeral was a wonderful tribute to a remarkable man and the wedding was beautiful.  I think that my nephew Tyson's wife may be my replacement in the family wedding department. She did a marvelous job with the few ideas I'd suggested and many more of her own.  It was lovely.  And Shanna was beautiful! We absolutely loved Casey's family, who are from Washington State.  Just a great and wonderful day!

One of my favorite things about the day was watching Zeej and Will at the wedding.  Will is her friend.  They've been friends for a while and are now dating, which according to Zeej,  "Today, dating means going steady" and ""Going on dates" is a totally different thing.  So, they have been going on dates.  But, they are kinda "dating" too.  HA!  Either way, we like him.  He's a nice boy from a good family and he has the same values and standards that she does.  I was impressed that he would choose to spend a whole night dressed in church clothes, sitting at a stranger's wedding reception over skiing with his friends that night.  Brownie points for Will!

My wonderful neighbor Julie has been in the hospital a lot lately with her cancer.  We love her so much and she has the thoughts and prayers of our ward every day.  It's been hard.  She's my friend, my neighbor, my secretary.  This is hard.  I hate that she is having to endure such pain and so many medical procedures. But, I have never seen so many positive thoughts and vibes!  Layne and Julie are my heroes!  I love them so much! I hate cancer.

Zeej has had some brochitis thing happening since December and has missed so much school. There's a lot of bronchial stuff happening at this time of the year, but with such a mild winter until this past week, it shouldn't be so!  This week, she was in class and had a coughing spell.  She texted me and said that she'd just been completely humiliated by her teacher, who said, "Stay home if you are sick, so that I don't take it home to my kids!"  I told her to walk out and if the teacher asked what she was doing, tell her, "I'm leaving.  I'm sick."  That happened.  I called the attendance secretary and told her why I was checking her out for the day.  Twenty minutes later, the Vice Principal called to apologize.  I questioned... what do you want us to do?  She has been on antibiotics twice, she's missed so much school, she is coughing but not contagious.  He admitted that it's a tough call but 24 hours on antibiotics and no fever, she should be in school.  Okey dokey then.  Zeej loves this teacher and didn't want her in trouble, but seriously?

Zeej was been "ProMposed" to by Will.  She was so excited!  We bought him a bunch of treats and she had a cute response for him, then we went prom dress shopping!  She tried on about a dozen dresses.  We narrowed it down to three and fell in love with all three but she ultimately decided on a royal blue dress.  I preferred this black one but she wore black to the last dance and wanted a change.  It's beautiful and we can't wait for the big day of being a princess!

Speaking of princesses, Grace is happily in love.  She's not had much to do with the family since she moved out.  We have all felt kind of abandoned, but these are her choices.  She did, however, take a roadtrip to visit my mother for a few days with him. As far as we know, they are planning a temple wedding in May or June.  Sadness.  Nothing more to say about this.  I've been "asked" not to.

Quayd has been doing well!  He is working for a local company that manufactures circuit boards here in the valley.  He works graveyard, which isn't my favorite thing, but he's so nocturnal, it's a good fit for him!  We had a lunchdate at last week, where he ate 22 breadsticks, 10 pieces of pizza and four salads.  The boy (MAN) is a bottomless pit when it comes to food! 

Doug had a health scare this past week.  He had a vetrious detachment, where there is some tearing near the retina of his eye.  He thought Zeej was playing with a laser light.  It's something that is very common and normal according to our eye doctor.  Doug and Dave had more fun and took more time looking at Dave's recent cycling trip through Viet Nam than doing the eye exam.  Doug was pretty excited for that!  I was just thankful that all was well.  It's always frightening to me when my Granola-man isn't 138% healthy!

That's it so far for the first week of March!  I've been making visits, having meetings, planning some upcoming future events and loving my calling, my family and my life!  It's good!

Thursday, February 15, 2018


Denise and I had a big day planned.  We were going to watch Les Miserables, for her first time ever. I picked her up at 9, we went to Sonic and came back home.  She'd made treats for breakfast and we were just getting started when her phone rang.  She said, "Jeremy!?" and then she said, "Which hospital!?"  I was already grabbing my things to go.

Jeremy is Liza's age and the two of them have grown up together since they were just out of diapers.  Jeremy is Denise's oldest.  He's a good guy.  Always kind and loving and so so intelligent.   I love this kid.

Apparently, Jeremy, a scientist kinda guy, was in the lab, standing with another guy who turned his back to Jeremy and then heard a loud thump and turned back to find Jeremy on the floor, having the first of many, many seizures.  Denise and I pulled up as they were unloading him from the ambulance.  I dropped Denise off to go inside with them and then, went to pick up Jeremy's partner, Sarah.

We raced back to the hospital and straight into the ER.  There were machines and tubes and you name it being placed on his body.  He was still seizing and we were all just in shock as we watched. I called Doug immediately to come and give Jeremy a blessing.  Jeremy and the rest of Denise's kids have little faith in the gospel, at this time in their lives, but they all agreed that it was a good thing.  (I think that the fact that Doug was the one coming made that easier for them, as he is family to them.)

Jeremy had to be intibated before Doug could even arrive at the hospital.  He gave Jeremy a beautiful blessing, assuring him that he would live, that his doctors would be on their best game, that all would be well.

Within an hour, Jeremy was life-flighted to Salt Lake City, in a medically induced coma, to stop the seizures until more tests could be performed and before he could have surgery on his brain.  Test showed that he had fractured his skull in the fall and had a brain bleed.  Things were looking pretty bleak.

Even knowing where we are today with this, just looking at these pix makes my heart hurt.  Denise asked me to take pictures so that we could show Jeremy when he is better.

However, Jeremy never needed the surgery.  Jeremy had a few really bad days, but within a week, he was awake and able to sit, to speak, although he had little short-term memory.  By Tuesday, this week, Jeremy was transferred to a closer hospital in Ogden and the next day, he was released from the hospital.  He still has memory issues, balance issues and is working hard to improve in those areas.  He's receiving physical therapy and speech therapy and and and... but he's alive.  He's home.  And there is hope, even though he is quite discouraged at all that has happened and has little comprehension of anything that's happening.

I started this post on the day after all of this happened... two weeks ago.   It's been a crazy two weeks.  CRAZY.  C-R-A-Z-Y!!! We are so thankful for the many prayers that were answered.  On the night before Jeremy was transferred, Denise called at midnight and said that her cute little 2 year old granddaughter, Rose, was in the ICU in Vegas with RSV.  The next night, when Jeremy was in the second hospital, Denise texted, "Guess where I am?"  Assuming she was with Jeremy, at the new hospital, I about died when she said she was in the Logan ER with her daughter!!!  Talk about having a lot on your plate!  Thankfully, Ashlee is fine, Rose is home and fine and Jeremy is on the mend!  It's been crazy.  Just plain crazy.

I will not complain about my problems.  That's for sure.  Life is good.  Trying but good.

Monday, February 5, 2018


Since I'm behind on keeping up... haha, that sounds funny... I thought I'd do a quick catch-up on a few major events in our world.   Sundays have been pretty crazy.  Maybe I should shoot for Wednesdays!  So here's February in a glance.

Miki's Baptism!  It's unbelievable to think that this sweet little angel was just a baby and we were going through such a life-changing event, as we watched her birth and then saw Stott and Wendy take her home from the hospital to become her eternal family.  What a blessing, what a miracle and what a gift!  Mikelle is so happy, so loved and so blessed to be in this wonderful family.  My favorite thing is watching her with her older sister, who's just younger than Zeej.  Wow!  It brings tears to my eyes.  Two weeks ago, Mikelle was baptized by her dad and the baptism was officially witnessed by her two older brothers.  Doug and Quayd were able to join in the circle while she was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  It was a lovely event and Mikelle could not have smiled any bigger!  We adore this precious child and could never express our gratitude to Stott and Wendy for their goodness!  We are blessed with so many extra members of our family, as a result of adoption!  Love it!

The next day was Super Bowl Sunday. It was just Quayd and Zee, Doug and I.  We kept our meal pretty simple compared to years before, but we did have a nice feast.  With Grace gone, we have lots less eating restrictions, so we had beans (her least favorite thing on earth to eat) and all the gluten we wanted without guilt.  Sadly for Zeej, she had just come down with strep, so she was pretty tame all day.  Sadly for me, this also meant that I would be doing most of the kitchen duty myself.  The game was a fun one to watch, our only game of the entire year, every year.  But, the time together was just the best.  Some traditions can't be broken... We had marvelous church meetings before, then a marvelous family time together.

The next night, we hosted thirty people for dinner.  The funny thing was the Doug texted me in church the day before, "We get to feed Group A for FHE tomorrow night."  I love this!  LOVE it!  HOWEVER.  This is something that I have depended on Zeej for her assistance.  With Zeej having strep, and Quayd starting to be sick right behind her, I did all of the preparation and cooking on my own!  This was a first since my shoulder replacement.  I decorated the tables, then, made ten loaves of bread, five batches (20 quarts) of homemade chicken noodle soup and dessert.  I was so excited to feel like "me" again!  It was painful at times, but slowly, I'm getting better.  YAY!  HAPPINESS!!

We had such a fun night with the students!  After dinner, I asked them to each share 1. Something they love to do.  2.  Something they love about their life right now.  and 3.  Someone they love.  I was amazed at how many said they love their moms.  Also, several said, "Right now, I'm loving this homemade bread... this soup..."  Good answers!  What a gift to serve these young adults!

Zeej was on the tireswing in the backyard... standing on it, trying to take a photo of the textures of the tree for her photography class, and slipped off it.  We thought that she'd broken her arm at the elbow.  Thankfully, it was just a bad sprain and bruise.  She was mortified when I told her that the PA wheeled in the cart, he was there to put on her diaper.  It was worth the cost of the ER bill to see the look on her face!  CRAZY!  FUNNY!

Winter finally arrived at the end of February.  I woke up to snow beginning to fall.  I went to Ward Council Meeting at 9:00 and there was about an inch.  When we came out of church at 2 in the afternoon, we had eleven inches.  It has snowed off and on every since.  But, the beauty of snow falling this late in the year is that it melts off the roads and sidewalks pretty quickly.  It's sure been beautiful though.  I laughed at all the people whining about this snow.  Seriously, people.  It's STILL winter!  Whine in April or May when we get snow, not March.  Just sayin.

There's been so much going on in Relief Society. My every day is filled with busyness.  My every other waking moment is filled with concern, love, thoughts of how to serve these amazing ladies in our ward.  I am surrounded by women who are remarkable and with hearts full of love for each other.  I've never been around such amazing ladies.  Hours and hours upon hours of time spent together and I've yet to hear gossip or negativity.  People speak highly of each other.  They have a tremendous desire to serve one another.  And they do!  It makes my job so awesome!  I am blessed!  Busy but blessed!  Life is good!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

no poker faces here

One of my biggest blessings that has come from serving in Relief Society is my friendship with these three cute ladies. (Our friendship actually began two weeks before my calling, but they have been a big part of it!)

Viola on the left, Diane in the center and Frankie on my right.  

Oh my goodness, they do make me laugh!  We have too much fun when we get together to play Hand and Foot.  For the past months since August, it's been, at least, once a week.  They have their own rules, different than Carol and I have played for decades, and they stick to them!  They watch what the other is doing and I just chuckle at how they tease each other about the game.  You can feel the love of these three women for each other, for the Lord, for those around them.  I have never heard them say a bad word about anyone.   They truly have learned how to love everyone and accept people, flaws and all.  They are a great example to me!

We've also enjoyed going to the movies together and out to lunch.  I am blessed to have these three cute ladies in my life.  They make me laugh and warm my heart.  They are like having three extra mothers!  I feel their love and their prayers and their concern and they are not afraid to tell me what they think!

Doug is always teasing, "Poker night?" when I say I'm heading to one of their homes. (I'd highly doubt any of them have ever played a hand of poker!)  It was Frankie's garage that I broke my head in, trying to protect Viola from falling. They all felt responsible and Viola offered to come and clean my toilets.  She's probably not cleaned her own toilet in decades, but she said, "That's the worst thing anyone could ever have to do, and I'd be willing to clean yours because I feel so awful!"   No! She did not clean my toilet! 

Doug just adores them all and is as thankful as I am to have them in my life.  He's given priesthood blessings to Viola and she calls him her "Go-to Man" for blessings because she got through her pneumonia and flu so well and then another health issue.  I do think it's her amazing faith, however wonderful Doug may be! 

Viola has been a widow for twelve years.  Her husband Jerry was her best friend.  He was so handsome!  I love to hear her talk about him and I love to ask questions about him.  Viola was the "hostess with the mostest" in the ward for decades.  I really feel like we are kindred spirits when it comes to what matters in entertaining and hosting and partying.  I'm constantly hearing about the things that Viola did to turn our church cultural hall into the streets of London, into Bethlehem, and the dinners that she hosted with the most elaborate decor ever!  Yep, we connect!

Diane has been alone for two years.  Her life story is fascinating.  She's been through a lot and yet, she always has a smile on her face and gives thanks for all that is hers.  She's soft-spoken by voice, but she has a mind that she isn't afraid to speak.  Her spirit is huge!  She lives by the spirit and counsels me with her wisdom and gentle spirit often.  I just adore her.  She's tall and thin.and elegant.  The very first day that we moved into the ward, she was conducting the music in Relief Society.  I was in awe of how beautiful she was.  Her spirit is so strong.  She almost whispers when she speaks, but what she says is always worth listening to and pondering for days. 

Frankie is a "happy soul".  Frankie smiles all the time and has the greatest laugh! She's been a widow for ten years. She's always got something to make us smile.  She's small in stature and large in spirit.  Frankie is a good listener, as well.  I sometimes watch her while we play cards and just see her taking in what's being said.  I can tell that she goes home and ponders and prays for us all!  She's a remarkable lady and has the brightest eyes.  Frankie uses a cane and has to be a little more careful about her steps, but she gets around and doesn't slow down!  Have I mentioned that I adore these three women?!

I'm just grateful for the blessing of knowing so many "wiser" women in my life.  I've always loved women who were older than me... from my first friends Linda Kimball and Joanne DeCorso, who were in their thirties when I was 19 to Susan Hatch when I was in my 20s and she was in her 30s to Sarah Willmore when I was 30 and she was in her 40s.  And then all through my 40s, I had the wonderful single widows in Smithfield as great examples and special friends.  They were in their 70s, 80s and 90s. It doesn't feel like long that I'll be the one who is the "Wiser" sister.  Wait!  I'm almost 60!  I already am falling into that category!  ha!

I just hope to be able to live the active lives that these women have!  Norma Watts was shoveling her own driveway at 90plus.  Helen Simmons, 88, across the street from me now, does all of her own housework and plants hundreds of flowers each spring.  Viola announced just after I'd taken that photo that she's planning a Mediterranean Cruise to Rome for the dedication of the Rome LDS Temple.  She's just turned 87!  And she'll do it!

What a blessing to have such wonderful, exemplary new friends in my life!  Honestly, there is hardly a day that I don't wake up and wonder if my "poker ladies" and I will get together today!  Seriously, there has to be a better name for them.  They are not poker ladies.  They are giving ladies, serving ladies, wonderful ladies and I get to call them my friends!  I am blessed and life is good!

Friday, January 26, 2018

a few ramblings

I was asked to teach my home management and organizing class for Mid-Week Activity last week.  (The meeting formally known as Homemaking Meeting. ha!)  It was great to get all of my little ideas out of cupboards and closets to share with the sisters... selfishly, because last year, being that I was still pretty heavily medicated and had the new shoulder in the sling, I didn't do any January cleaning and de-junking like I usually do.  As I emptied things out of cupboards, I could definitely tell that it's been two years instead of one since my annual deep, deep cleaning.  Putting things away was fun because it gave me a project  inspiring, even though it's going to be a much slower process since I still can't reach anything above my head.  Darnit!

Carol and I went to see the Commuter with our MoviePass.  Very intense,  very intriguing, very CGI.  It was okay.  I probably wouldn't buy it, but it was worth watching.  Eh.  Because of MoviePass, I have now seen The Greatest Showman six times and Carol and I are going again tonight while Doug and Quayd go and see Maze Runner!  I LOVE Greatest Showman!  It's definitely my new all-time favorite movie! Can not wait to buy it the minute it is released in blu-ray!

We had our taxes done.  It was not the happy event that it has been in years past, as Doug made a bit of extra money last year.  The extra money was nice, but the lower tax return... not so much.  I thought our new U.S.president had performed miracles and we could pay off our house, go on a cruise and buy some fresh pickles or something too.  Apparently not.  No political statement, just silly me.

This past two weeks has been kind of crazy in our ward with several sisters who've been ill or had challenges.  It's a little more time consuming, but I do not mind it at all!  I love these women!

In September, we began to hear a noise in our bedroom.  It was the sound of running water. Doug had just winterized the sprinkler system and checked and doublechecked it to make sure that he hadn't forgotten anything.  This noise seemed to get louder each day... it was the sound that you hear when you are in one point of your home and someone is showering in another room.  And it kept getting louder.  Finally, Doug insisted that I call the city and ask them to come and read our meter to make sure that we didn't have a leak and end up with a bazillion dollar water bill.   They came.  Nothing.  Then we called a few more times, insisting that the noise was getting even louder.  They did discover a leak out on the main line under our street, but said it would be spring until the would repair it because they don't like to deal with asphalt in the winter. That was in September! 

Over the past two weeks, our bedroom, at night, sounds like a jet engine idling outside our window all night.  It's been hard to sleep, even with earplugs.  So, Doug wrote in his planner last weekend, "Call City" on Monday's schedule.  As he pulled out to go to work that morning, he noticed that our street curbs had water running down it.  The water was seeping up through the street because it had saturated to the point of no return.  He called the city and when Doug said the word "Sink Hole", the lady said, "Oh, dear."  Twenty minutes they were here. What a mess!

 Twenty four hours later, there were seven city vehicles, to backhoes and seven men working on our street.  They dug a hole big enough to put a long-bed pickup in it, worked a few hours scooping and vaccuuming out water like it was a river, and by afternoon, just minutes before it began to snow, the repair was made, the hole was filled and new asphalt poured.  We slept so well last night!  Silence!!!

We have our first funeral in the ward since my new calling tomorrow.  Sister Larsen was 98 years old!  They have 150 family members returning after the cemetery for dinner.  I found that our ward does something I've never heard of for the family.  Before serving the meal, and while waiting for everyone's return from the cemetery, they serve warm apple cider to the family members who've been outside in the cold.  I love this!  Have I mentioned that I love this ward!? 

Life is good in most every aspect right now.  I don't have to say which area is stressful.  It is pretty apparent but that's another post.  Parenting brings the most joy and the most pain of any other thing on earth.  Just sayin.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

personal space

I was sitting at my desk last night, I realized, I spend a lot of time here at this desk, staring at this board in front of me.  This is my visiting teaching board, with all the routes and all of our 129 sisters listed on it. It's funny how much I find myself sitting there just staring at the board, thinking about the sisters on the board.  They are not just names on a board, but lives and souls and they matter more than I ever dreamed possible!  This space has become my happy spot, my worry spot, my thinking spot...depending on the moment or the day!

My desk does not look this neat all of the time. Above, it is the after shot. Actually, the notebook and scriptures are usually open on one of the slide-out shelves.  My iPad is open to one screen on LDS Tools and my laptop is open to another. The candy dish is usually full of some treat... pistachios or kisses, of late.  My file folder is often pulled out from the desk below.  But, on Tuesdays, most of this, including the candy dish, is moved to the dining table in the den for our Presidency meetings. 

Here's a before shot, so that the truth is told...

But.  That board.  It just amazes me how much it means to me.  At first, I kept it stored behind my bedroom door, but I was constantly pulling it out.  My rule of thumb for decorating has always been, "if it doesn't enhance the room, it needs to be put away."  HOWEVER, this board enhances my life, like nothing ever has before.  I decided to just keep it up where I could see it all the time and I was amazed when I slid it right into the spot between the shelf brackets with about half an inch to spare.  It was meant to be! (wink-wink)

Friend Marilyn gave me this desk when we first bought this home.  It was a perfect fit.  The plan was to refinish it and that hasn't happened yet.  At this rate, it might be a few more years before I get to it.  But, it's my own personal space where I can feel peace, study, pray, ponder or just listen to music and escape while checking email or social media.

Everyone needs a place that they can call their own.  This is mine.  No one is supposed to touch it or get into things here.  No one puts their things on it.  It's just my space.  And it makes me happy. 

This is the first home we have had in decades that didn't have a craft room/office.  I've turned Grace's bedroom into a craftroom/guestroom.  Since I rarely craft anymore, it's good to have a place to keep the "stuff" that goes along with crafting, but I surely don't need a designated room for it anymore. All of the craft stuff is inside that armoire and one half of the closet.  Still waaaaaaay too much craft stuff!  It's strange to go downstairs and see this room untouched for days, with Grace gone.  But, it's kinda sweet to see it perfectly clean all of the time!  I do like perfectly clean!  But, life goes on and kids grow up and move away.  It's her time to fly and my time to have empty rooms.  I can live with that.

Life is good!