Friday, November 11, 2016

OMG Girls Weegend

As soon as we all piled into Dione's car at LAX's airport curb, we were each handed a manila file folder with a detailed agenda and "anticipated schedule of events." It's my favorite thing about visiting Dione...she always lawyers you with an agenda of fun things she has planned.


5:00 pm Walk to the beach, Oliiva can jump in...Cass will join.

The purpose of this weegend...(Olivia's Nickname is Weeg...thus weegend) was two fold.

One...soak up all things girl with each other and visit Dione's new home. Dione shop for a wedding dress. exciting is that!

I love to listen to my girls together. Sometimes I'll just stand to the side and listen to their conversation. They are both bright brilliant women who know where they are going and what they want along the way.

Dinner: El Gringo or Poke If you haven't discovered California's new food rage simply must! It's like a sushi rice bowl. To be fair...Cass had to talk me into it. But it was delicious.

Breakfast: Dione makes fresh mixed berry scones and Hailey makes over easy eggs on toast.

Olivia eats anything she wants. This statement was actually part of the agenda.

Bye Hailey...who stays home with the dogs as she is not invited for wedding dress shopping...and neither are Dorothy and Penny Pooch. Di is adamant about having a traditional wedding...which includes the two brides NOT seeing each other's dresses.

9:45 am: Aggressively arrive at BHLDN and insist on getting a walk-in appointment.

Which...thanks to Dione's superior agenda...we did!

This was our first boutique to try on dresses.

I think seeing your daughter in a wedding dress for the very first time is one of the most thrilling moments for a mother.

BHLDN was a great first stop...although nothing reached out and said THIS IS THE ONE!

Midday: Ladies who lunch/shop. And also throw coins in the fountain.

2:00 pm Bridal appointment at JLM Bridal.

At all the bridal boutiques, Cass took on the role of note-taker role while I took on the role of photographer...shocking I know! Cass's notes proved to be very helpful when we were evaluating all of the dresses.

Generally both of us were full of shenanigans.

Phew...second appointment of the day was done...with several possible dress contenders.

Dione and Hailey just moved to this darling little house only 3 blocks from the beach. I couldn't be happier for the two of them and their new home.

Olivia adores both of them.

Ummm...muppet hair and those eyes I adore.

Grand-dawgs are awesome!

Olivia was obsessed with the upstairs roof balcony...accessed only by a little troll door. Easier for Olivia to get through than Nanny Goat.

Rumo von Wolpering makes a special guest appearance. Rumo is the glorious German Shepherd.

5:00 pm Pumpkin Carving
Incidentally...Penny Pooch ate an extraordinary amount of pumpkin guts which would prove to not be a pleasant experience or odor in the morning. Rhat Rho!

Evening: Take out at Pitfire Pizza and watch Hocus Pocus with Muddy Buddies for snacks


 7:30 am Breakfast at Uncle Bill's Pancake House  This actually turned out to be much a result of the pumpkin eating/pooping by Penny Pooch.

10:00 am Bridal appointment at the Bridal Boutique in Echo Park 
No photos from this this is where she found the one!'s a secret what she picked.

4:45 pm The Eagles return home.
After a lovely lunch we barely had enough time to grab our luggage from Dione's house and jump back on the airplane to go home.

What a successful weegend! I loved spending time with all my girls...and a huge thank you to Hailey and Dione for hosting our very lovely stay at their beach house. I think we might have to make this an annual time Frankie can come.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Post Jiggy Day Thoughts

Jiggy Day...Jocie's Birthday...brings complicated emotions to all of my family. The intent is to celebrate, do crazy randomly fun things and remember our angel girl in every moment of the day. For me, it seems as time plods further away from Jocie's last birthday on Earth my emotions get even more complicated. I find I am crying more than last year...more sentimental than last year...and experiencing that awful ache in my heart more than last year. I wonder why that is? 

We were lucky enough this Jiggy Day to gather the entire family together for an evening.

Dione and her fiance Hailey flew in to finalize wedding venue plans, They planned their trip to coincide with Jiggy Day. It's always better when we are together. Auntie Didi loves her nieces and nephew so much.

Great friends Lisa and Francesca joined us for dinner and later spoiled just us girls with tickets to the Maroon Five concert. I asked the group to show me their favorite goofy Jocie face for this photo.

At the end of the day...endearingly surrounded by my family, I look at each one of them and am reminded at how remarkable they all are. They are living and thriving without a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a sister-in-law. The hole is apparent to me where Jocie's vivacious red-headed self is missing. Apparent...but not insurmountable. So I guess I should stop worrying about why I feel more emotional after celebrating nine birthdays (can it really be) without my daughter. Stop...probably until next Jiggy Day. Just in case you find yourself missing someone you love or know someone who's OK. It's perfectly OK to cry and feel broken and half-full. Tomorrow is fresh and new and another beginning.

And just one last thing...don't forget to always love your people as purposely as you can.

Friday, October 7, 2016

A Weekend with Nanny Goat and Bubba of our favorite things to do is spoil the grand kiddos.

Every year around their birthday...

We bring them to our house for the weekend.

We stuff the weekend full of as many fun things as possible. This weekend started out with a quick trip to the park followed by a gondola ride to the top of Needles at Snowbasin.

We found a delicious dinner and stumbled into this Star Wars band playing in honor of The Dark Moon Celebration. Star viewing was marginal that night...but the band was awesome. The ride down in the dark of the night inside the gondola was creepy and cool!

Currently, Miss Olivia has a thing for rainbows...she had a rainbow birthday party and informed me she wants to be a rainbow for Halloween. How magical that when she awoke the next morning a rainbow was outside her window. Still in pajamas, we hurriedly jumped in our car to chase it down.

I promised Olivia that we would learn to sew while she was here. I took her shopping for fabric which she picked out all with foxes. I showed her how to follow the pattern and the guide sheet and she read the instructions out loud. Livvy reads like a 3rd grader even though she is in kindergarten.

We did some pinning and some cutting...taking lots of concentration...

and then some sewing.

She was a very quick and clever learner. We made her a pair of jammies as well as a pair for her favorite teddy bear Pink.

Bubba wanted to take her to his favorite store in the entire world...Smith and Edwards. They have everything...if they can only find it!

But it is the candy aisle that is legendary. She may have gone home with a HUGE bag of candy. It's hard to say no to Olivia.

Bubba shared stories about playing in this same tank when he was a little kid and his father took him to Smith and Edwards.

A quick stop at Unni's house (Dean's mom) to feed the horses and say hi. I just really wanted to pick those burrs out of the horses manes.

This child is so brave and adventuresome...she has been since she was born.

We stopped at a fruit stand on our way home to pick up some famous Brigham City peaches. Olivia likes to eat hers with the skin on...we now refer to that as 'Olivia Style.'

The day was delightful and filled with fun...time for those jammies we made. And don't forget about Pink's pj's.

The grands are all used to Nanny Goat carrying around a I have been pointing it at them all of their lives.

Sunday morning we went on a little photo shoot to remember what six years of age looks like on Olivia. I never posed her once...this was all her natural smile and position.

Photographing Olivia has certainly gotten a lot easier than when she was a babe.

Olivia is brilliant and athletic and full of sunshine.

She has confidence and a strong will that will serve her well as she grows up into a young lady someday...very far away, I hope!

Although the air was chilly and the water even chillier...Olivia wanted to go to the lake and see the dogs swim and play in the water and sand.

Livvy's favorite singer is Taylor Swift. We sang "Shake it off...shake it off" every time the pooches came out of the lake shaking off sand and water.

All too soon...our weekend was over. I wonder if Olivia was as tired as her Bubba and Nanny Goat when she got home to her little bed and her little family. Love you sweet girl Olivia!