Tuesday, March 28, 2023


I'm home sick with a cold today, so I guess it's time for some more blogging!  Mostly I just have a bunch of miscellaneous pictures to share... 

Someone gave Craig an orchid for his office, and he got it to bloom again!!!!

As you may recall, I have the opposite of a green thumb, so I am super impressed by this!

A few weeks ago Craig and I spent an entire Friday on a temple trip.  The temple itself was lovely and we enjoyed our time there, but everything else made for a kind of miserable day: the weather was gross, the traffic was even grosser, and poor Craig was suffering from one of the worst canker sores he's had in a long time, meaning he spent the entire day trying to not talk at all (and I spent day reminding myself that no, he wasn't mad at me, he was just in pain).  With the Richmond temple opening very soon, we realized this was probably our last time attending the DC temple for the foreseeable future, a fact that felt bittersweet...  Except we sure won't miss that drive!

But anyway.  Enjoy these artsy pictures Craig took:

Maybe it's the Seattle in me, but I really love this

And here you can see the actual temple, the model temple inside the visitor's center, the statue of the Christus, and Craig-- all in one photo!

On a different note, we were at the high school for parent teacher conferences, and realized that this giant poster advertising the marching band featured a very intimidating Kendra!
See her?  In the top right corner?  She never looks that grumpy in real life!
Craig took a bunch of the youth ice skating in Richmond on a Saturday.  Unfortunately Kendra had Indoor Drumline and Ryder had baseball tryouts, so only Bentley got to go from our family.  But the kids all seemed to have a good time!
They actually skated a bunch, I promise they didn't just sit on the sidelines staring at their phones!

After a few laps Bentley stopped needing to hug the wall-- great progress!
My choir had our Together in Song concert, which is probably my favorite (this is where we have a long morning practice where people from the community can join in and then perform some of the songs with us)-- this time we had around 50 community singers, so that was really fantastic after these Covid years!  (Way back in 2020 this concert was the first real event for me that got canceled-- I certainly never imagined what was in store for us at the time!)
This is just the regular choir.  I'm way off on the left in the back row

And then here we have all the extra singers up on stage, too!  What a gorgeous crowd!

There I am in the middle of everyone!
Adam had tickets to see Reba McEntire right after my concert.  He was supposed to be going with his husband, Allen, but poor Allen finally got Covid and couldn't even come down from Syracuse.  I was Adam's back-up date, but my concert wasn't quite going to end on time and I didn't want to stress him out by possibly making him late.  So finally Kendra got to go with Adam to see Reba and they had a FABULOUS time.  (I'm not jealous, you're jealous!)

Her first concert and she's second row, front and center!  She will NEVER have such great seats again!
They were literally so close that Adam took these on his phone:

Reba looks great.  What a wonderful night for Kendra and Adam!

Meanwhile, this is what happens when I leave my phone lying around:
This kid cracks me up
Also, we finally got snow!  It looked.... like... this...
Pathetic.  We didn't even get a delay.
So much for our brilliant plan to paint the kitchen when we got a snow day.

I went shopping with Sarah and she helped me pick out some lip stains and brown eyeliner!

As part of our "Fialanthropy" efforts, my exercise group made dinner at the local Ronald McDonald house.  It's always fun to see everyone wide awake with their hair down and not sweaty!  (L-R Speedy, Beans, Soprano, Raptor, HPJ, Raven, and Swinger!)

I helped make pineapple upside down cupcakes (and felt like my Father-in-Law really should have been here for his favorite dessert!)

Pretty sunrise walking to the bus stop!
A very sad-looking Colton stayed home sick one day...

Ryder has become our guacamole expert!

Camille might actually be a cat?
The youth combined with another ward and learned some very basic swing dancing moves so that was fun and/or horrifying, depending on how you feel about touching members of the opposite sex! 
Ryder did not want his picture taken!

But he was a very good sport about it all!

Kendra and Joe, looking like they're doing their best to barely touch each other (which is ironic, because we're all pretty certain that Joe has had a crush on Kendra for quite some time now!)

Bentley with some girl from the 1st Ward

Kendra and Ryder!

The family sciences class at Craig's school makes elementary school kids' monsters come to life!  How fun is that???
Last Saturday Craig chaperoned Kendra's indoor drumline competition.  The weather was *horrible and they had to leave the house at 5:20am, but other than that (and other than sitting on a school bus for four hours), Craig had a great time!
Unloading their equipment

That's Kendra ducking down by the keyboard as they get ready for their warm up time
They did an article with a little video segment about Indoor Drumline that you can watch here!  Kendra got a couple sentences in the video, so that was fun for us!

And finally, this little bird peaking in our window made me laugh.  I don't know if they're planning on busting our pet bird out, or just casing the joint, but whatever it is, I'm sure they're up to no good!

*We've actually had a lovely spring for the most part-- I'm not sure why all the stories in this post involve terrible weather!

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Grandparent Time

So, yes, my parents were here for a few days!  As is my usual MO, I took very few pictures, but mostly we ate a lot and occasionally we went on long walks.  And, of course, we hung out talking.  It's what we do best!  These pictures are NOT in any particular order, so don't try to make sense of them chronologically!  

What I didn't mention about Camille's baptism is that the night before, she was not feeling good at all.  We'd gone out for pizza, and she just sat there not eating and being sad and complaining that her stomach hurt the entire time.  We figured this was due to her being on her second round of antibiotics (who gets strep throat twice in the same short month???), but the doctor was adamant that she finish the antibiotics.  I had her taking probiotics, too, and after that sad dinner, Craig and my Dad gave her a priesthood blessing.

And it worked!  She was GREAT after that, in spite of the remaining 5 days of medicine!  You would never guess she'd been sick at all.  I was so relieved that her baptism could be a happy occasion and we didn't have to decide between making it feel torturous or postponing it and having my parents miss the whole thing!

We were so busy with everything else, we totally forgot to give Camille her baptism gift (which is always a set of scriptures), but she reminded us!  

Happy Camille!

My parents brought Hawaii shirts for all the kids and they were THRILLED (Kendra isn't pictured because she was at Indoor Drumline, but don't worry, she also got one!)

I think Grandma's days of being taller than Ryder are numbered...!

Camille made my mom laugh as she tried to read her (new!) scriptures while spinning in circles on her (also new!) hoverboard.  As one does...
My Mom got to tag along with me to choir practice, so that was really fun for me-- I love getting to show off the gorgeous music we're working on!  (I'm sitting in the middle of this picture, wearing a maroon vest with my hair in a tiny ponytail)

On their last morning here, Colton was sick, so while all his siblings went to school, he got to ride with us to pick up their rental car before they headed up to Ohio!

In the morning before anyone can leave for school/work/the gym, we always have family devotional, ending with a prayer and hugs for everyone, so here we are!  (And there's Kendra in her Hawaii shirt!!!) Apparently my Mom thought this should be documented!

This is obviously what you need to do while waiting to order at the Mellow Mushroom...!

My Mom and I stargazing with our SkyView apps!  We managed to spot Jupiter and Venus that night!
The pictures don't do it all justice, but I had such a great time with my parents!  We managed to hit Mellow Mushroom, Five Guys, Mission BBQ, Chaps, Torchy's, Coldstone, and Firefly!  Adam took my Dad golfing one morning and my Mom and I went and got pedicures.  Considering they were only here for 4 days (and were really only here for Camille's baptism!), we managed to cram in a lot!  Thanks for coming, Mom and Dad!

Tuesday, March 21, 2023


While my parents were here, we took Colton and Camille to Riverview Park to walk for a bit, and when we headed back to the car, I realized my van looked very guilty!
"Did I do that...?"
I promise, I did NOT do that!  But it did make me laugh...

Friday, March 17, 2023

Camille's Baptism!

If you've been paying attention, you may have noticed that Camille turned 8, which means she was finally old enough to be baptized, an event she has been looking forward to for MANY years now!  My parents had flown in for the occasion, and everything went splendidly on the big day!

There we all are!  (Kendra is NOT wearing something fun and spiky in her hair-- that's the reflection of the water in the mirror)

I'm always kind of a stress case over stuff like this, and this time was no exception.  As soon as I was done with the primary music I raced to the kitchen to get the food all laid out.  My friends Adam and Megan helped, and (at my request) Adam made my terrible cracker platter look gorgeous (all he did was straighten out the crackers and place a few strawberries and grapes artfully around them, but it made SUCH a huge difference!  Why do I never know how to do stuff like that???).  A bunch of friends had offered to bring food, too, bless them!  The Herrings had brought that beautiful fruit platter, my mother-in-law brought the enormous veggie tray and made cupcakes, Brittney had brought more cupcakes, Adam had made caramel brownies (!!!)...  I'd made chicken salad the night before and then Megan helped me slather it on rolls, and put out cold cuts and cheese...  It was a good spread!  I was proud of us!  We haven't done stuff like this recently and I'd sort of forgotten how!

We have a member in our ward, Laurie, who joined the church a while ago and offered to take pictures, so most of these are from her and I love them SO MUCH!
Ready to begin!

Adam and I were in charge of the music, which seemed appropriate

Ryder gave the opening prayer

Grandpa Rex gave the talk on baptism

Grandma Patrice gave the talk on the Holy Ghost

And then the primary president handed her a giant KitKat bar!

And Kendra gave the closing prayer!
And then people got to dig into all that food!  And after everyone ate and we cleaned it all up, we went home and took very well-deserved naps!!!  I'm so grateful to all the people who helped us make the day so special.  It was a beautiful day and I'm so proud of my little Camille!