Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Merry Christmas

I love the holidays - it's a magical time of year. This year here in the midwest Mother Nature gifted us with a beautiful blanket of snow. We had quite a storm but it was sure lovely to look at. Snowglobe snow - that's what I call it when it's snowing big, fluffy flakes. I had the week of Christmas off from work this year (yay for vacation time) and spent time decorating the house and tree, baking, shopping, wrapping and enjoying the season

Ellie was watching the birds eat in the front yard but looked up for me to snap her picture. 
Out for a stroll in the snow.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


December 2 and we still don't have any snow! It was warm yesterday, upper 50s; cold today, 30s and windy. However, it doesn't feel like Christmas yet so I'm going to post a picture I took in the spring where a little bird stood on our deck and pecked at the snow. xo - emma

Monday, November 9, 2009

Don't hate - appreciate

Hello lovelies, I just need to say this: mean people suck! I'm going to be a better person thanks to a couple who sits near us at Hawkeye football games. Tim and I have season tickets this year, as do four of our good friends. It's great fun to share in the team spirit and discuss plays, and so forth. Occasionally tickets have been shared with family and friends when one or more of us wasn't able to attend. Several others who sit in our vicinity also have season tickets and we will cheer, high-five, talk and generally just enjoy the sport. It's a great way to spend a lovely autumn afternoon.

Tim and I tailgating before the Iowa/Northwestern game.

However, one couple behind us is a little less than pleasant. It's pretty much a steady barrage of complaints about:
  • the other team,
  • the music played during the game,
  • the marching bands (both the visiting and home team),
  • selection of music played by the marching bands,
  • the weather,
  • the officials,
  • people who cheer too loud,
  • fans who don't cheer enough,
  • how much room they don't have in the stadium (but then bitch about others who leave the game early which gives them more room!),
  • fans on the Jumbotron ("What a dork!" was just one of her rude comments last Saturday).

Their constant bellyaching and criticism has caused me to look good and hard at myself. Do I sound like that too? At times, yes. Ouch! I'm not proud of that. I certainly don't want to be remembered as the hater or complainer. Arrogance isn't pretty, and seriously - I want to be pretty!

So in this month of thankfulness they've reminded me of a few football season blessings. I'm grateful:

  • there are strong, young people to play the game,
  • I have eyes to watch it,
  • I have ears to hear the music and rousing cheers,
  • there are vibrant, talented young people to play, march in the bands and inspire me with their gift of music,
  • for the 70,585 fans that Kinnick Stadium holds,
  • that as of right now the Hawks are 9-1,
  • tailgating,
  • for the camaraderie of old friends and new ones.

You get what I'm saying... ;)

GO HAWKS - and don't hate, appreciate!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


My friend Jamie and I ordered tickets to the Broadway touring production of "Wicked" months ago! We were so excited - we got the last two seats together, for the last day of the performance in Des Moines at the Civic Center. Our big day was this past Saturday. We set off early from our designated meeting place in Williamsburg. With visions of green and songs such as "Popular" and "Defying Gravity" swirling in our heads, we looked over all the fun goodies to buy at the Oz Dust Boutique and of course we both spent too much money on souvenirs - but oh well - you only live once! Jamie scored a super-size beach towel with the Wicked logo and picture on it. I came home with a green aluminum water bottle (which I'll use daily!) and a super-cool t-shirt! While waiting for the show to begin, we splurged and pre-ordered Emerald Champagne for intermission - Yum-O! The cast, set, music, orchestra, costumes were all AMAZING! I've only been to a couple of other Broadway shows and they were each fab! ("Beauty and the Beast" and "Hairspray"). I can't wait to see others. I love the feeling of being pumped up and happy when I see a show. I even teared up at the end of "Wicked" but I'm not going to say why, I don't want to spoil the book or show for anyone. ;)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Taylor buys a jar of apple butter and a homemade loaf of bread every year at the Kalona Fall Festival. Yummy!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

See you on the other side

Thirteen years is a long time for a golden retriever to live. I have been blessed to have shared the last thirteen years of my life with Lexi, our sweet golden. She and I have been through a lot over the years. It was fate that brought us together. I had been watching the newspaper ads in my small town for a golden retriever puppy and one summer day I was delighted to see such an ad. Golden puppies for sale. We wanted a female. I called on the ad and was told they had one but she was on her way to meet with a very interested buyer out of town. The woman sensed my disappointment and told me I could leave my name and number if perchance it didn't work out. Thank you Fate - the next day I got the call - he didn't want her! So we headed out to meet the pups. We were greeted by several puppies - happy, playful, healthy golden retriever puppies! There was one roly-poly little guy (ok not so little) who had happily dug himself a cozy bed in the dirt. He was so adorable - lazy and definitely laid back. We couldn't help not showing him some love. But when we met the friendly little gal we knew she belonged in our family. She had the sweetest big, trusting eyes. She was calm but not timid. Oh what a great day that was - we were all so excited to have a new addition to our family. After careful instructions from the breeders we took her home.

Lexi was a quick learner and house training was a piece of cake! I walked her several times a day, teaching her how to heel, walk on a leash, and to sit next to me when a car approached. She was calm and eager to learn. We always walked to a nearby creek so she could play in the water. She LOVED the water! She did the funniest things on those walks. True to her breed, she was a good swimmer and loved to fetch. At the creek I would throw a stick for her to retrieve and oftentimes the stick would float a down the creek. She wouldn't see it floating away so she'd thrust her head into the creek and pull out any old slimy stick she could get her teeth on. It was hilarious! She would proudly bring the water-soaked, soggy stick to me - I'm sure she was oblivious to the fact it wasn't the same one. Good girl Lex!

She was patient and gentle with the kids. They would play together or just chill out in the family room. She did have a bad habit of stealing from them though. Sweet things in the hands of young kids are just easy targets to a watchful dog. Granola bars, toast, and candy were all fair game in her eyes. So were the stuffed Beanie Baby toys. She would carry them around, wagging her tail, looking up at us with those big eyes, then oh so carefully place them down. Her mothering instincts would sure kick in with those Beanie Babies. Christmas, sledding, laying on the sofa, following me around the house (everywhere), going for walks, going for drives, sleeping on the bed, chasing balls, romping, playing with the cat, swimming in the river, lake or her blue kiddie pool in the backyard and then shaking the water off onto ME, rolling in the snow or dewy grass, playing with her BFF and pup Ellie - Lexi did all of these things with pure joy.

During one recent evening as we sat in the living room watching tv and relaxing, with Lexi sleeping in front of the couch , the beginning of her end started. She began shaking violently, and was unresponsive. We knew immediately it was a seizure. I called our good friend who is also our vet, Marvin, and he came right over. She had four more consecutive seizures. Marv and Tim took her to the vet clinic and Marv gave her meds to relax her body. She quieted down for about and hour. Back home we made a bed out of an old down comforter for her to rest on. I laid down on the floor next to her. It was so scary. She didn't rest for long, she began to waken from the valium and wouldn't stay down. But she couldn't really walk - she was weak, confused and somewhat blinded. She crawled into the kitchen and we carried her back to her makeshift bed. Realizing she wasn't going to rest alone, I laid on the couch with my hand on her and tried to keep her quiet. At some point very early in the morning, she wanted water and after quenching her thirst she wanted to go outside. So out we went. I stayed close to her and helped her back inside when she was done. Throughout the night she would stand and sniff me as if to make sure I was me, then lick me happily like she had missed me or maybe to tell me it was going to be ok. I just stroked her fur and talked quietly to her.

The next morning, after a couple hours of sleep I looked down at her - she looked like her old self. Peaceful. She heard me stir and glanced back at me. Immediately she stood up, so I thought she needed to go out again. Wrong - she started into another seizure. I laid her down and woke Tim. We administered a dose of meds that Marvin had given us. It barely slowed the seizure down. Within minutes she started having another... I called Marv and once again he came right over. We cried, stroked her, spoke to her, reassured Lexi that it would all be fine and she wouldn't be in pain anymore. Within a few minutes she was gone, the violent shaking over, her body calm, she looked peaceful. Our family isn't the same. Her pup, Ellie, is sad and mopey too. I find peace knowing she had a great life and hope we made her as happy as she did us. Her kiddie pool is now empty, Ellie doesn't find joy in water like Lexi did. Her collar and tag now sit on the coffee table. We are comforted with all the great memories we have and the tons of pictures we have. We'll see you on the other side Miss Lexi.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

10 Things That Make Em Terribly Happy

1. My family
2. Random hugs from my kids  :)
3. A dark, stormy sky
4. The smell of rain
5. Big, fat snowflakes (snow globe snow) falling from the sky
6. Walking on crunchy leaves on an autumn day
7. My sweet dog Lexi - the best golden retriever ever!
8. Going out with Tim - movies, dinner, or just hanging out
9. Feeling the sand beneath my feet
10. The rustling leaves of quaken aspens

10 Things That Make Taylor Terribly Happy

1. Dogs
2. Mountains 
3. Lakes
5. Going to concerts
6. Eating pie - yummy!
7. Listening to music
8. Playing music
9. Pink Floyd 
10. My cousin Jeffie

Monday, July 20, 2009


July for my family means vacation! This year we were blessed with more travel than usual. Taylor went to Columbus, Ohio for the Mennonite Youth Convention for a week. He had a great time making new friends, doing good work and learning more about God. Analise and I went to Oregon for our cousin Lori's wedding. She wsa married on the 4th of July on the beach - it was perfect! Being around family reminds you where you come from and helps connect the dots. It was a great trip for the girls. :)

After Ohio and Oregon, we left Iowa for Wyoming for two weeks, where are at right now. The weather has been great! Hot during the day and cool at night - typical summer weather here where the elevation is higher. I miss these temps. We haven't seen many family yet but hope to catch as many people as possible this week.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I love this old picture of my mom - it was taken in Southern California when she was a teen, in the 1940s. She is gone now - she passed away in January 1983 from cancer. Here though, she is young, vibrant, tan, natural - with her entire life ahead of her - full of possibilites, joy, heartbreak. Born Charlene, she was called Chick or Chickie by everyone (except to her kids - Mom to us!). Chick was brave and smiled through all the good and bad she was handed in life. Here's to you Chickie - I hope I can live life as fearlessly as you did! Love you - Em

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The little birds were hiding their sweet little faces from me.
A few days ago I went out to check on them and whoosh - three little birds flew out of the nest. They were here and gone just like that!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Baby birds and it's a dog's life...

Most of the eggs have hatched and there are little fluffballs with beaks in the nest now!

I finished reading The Friday Night Knitting Club today. Great book with strong women characters and interesting stories. Sad though. I don't believe heroines need to die to make a great story! I would recommend it to others to read.

My dog Lexi enjoyed snuggling on the lovely throw one of my best friends, Jamie, crocheted for me. It is a sweet shade of lavendar and is so comfy! I have the best friends!


I found this nest in my yard - so sweet! Mama bird is very watchful and stays near it like a good mother!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pay it Forward!

The Rules:
1. Be one of the first THREE bloggers to leave a comment on this post, which then entitles you to a handmade item from me - something crafty or yummy, who knows?!.
2. Winners must post this challenge on your blog, meaning that you will Pay It Forward, creating a handmade gift -anything!- for the first THREE bloggers who leave a comment on YOUR post about this giveaway!
3. The gift that you send to your Three Friends can be from any price range and you have 365 days to make/ship your item. This means you should be willing to maintain your blog at least until you receive your gift and have shipped your gifts. And, remember: It’s the Spirit and the Thought That Count!
4. When you receive your gift, please feel free to blog about it, sharing appropriate Linky Love!If you are not one of the Top Three Commenters on this post, you can still play along. Go ahead and start your own Pay It Forward chain, and encourage your blogging friends to do the same!
(I will require that you send me some pictures--not going to say what I am making, lol, but of course knowing me it will be something to do with pictures! :)
SO, REMEMBER... it is good... :) Pass it forward.AND . . . I might feel generous and send something to the first FOUR people, so don't quit commenting at three :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

A little birdie told me...

It's official - spring is here. The birds are happily whistling and flying around, unfazed by the spring snow we've had.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Emma's Addiction...

I have an addiction. There - I've said it. My family already knows about it, in fact, they were probably aware of it before I was. It started when I was a teen - the headlines drew me in month after month with promises of thin thighs, hot guys, awesome fashion, trendy new clothes, I was hooked: Teen, Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, People, Glamour, Rolling Stone.

The titles changed as my life did. As a young mom and new homeowner Parents, Family Fun, Creating Keepsakes, Country Living, Country Home, Victoria, Home Companion caught my attention. How-tos on creating the perfect birthday party, Top Ten Toys of the Year, Christmas on a Budget, organize, scrapbook, save money...oh my! I couldn't get enough!
Vanity Fair, Romantic Homes, Oprah, Everyday With Rachel Ray, Real Simple, Marie Claire, Fitness, Martha Stewart Living, People, are my current drugs of choice and can be found in my tote bag, next to my bed or on the coffee table in the living room.

Barnes and Noble lures me in with large magazine racks (a whole wall - YES!). There's nothing like opening a pristine new issue. The pages are tight, the ink is fresh, the perfume sample yet to be opened. So much to read and learn: Scrap A Page A Day! Lose 10 Pounds This Month! Energize Your Life! YES, YES, YES! My favorite fundraiser is the kid who shows up at your door, not with cookies, but with MAGAZINE SALES! She is the lucky girl who comes to my house selling magazine prescriptions - oops, I mean subscriptions.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


So bummed - my ipod isn't working and I'm not sure what happened to it. Sending it to Apple for service. Also, my summer trip to Cabo has been cancelled. C'est la vie.
A new year has dawned and I haven't done any scrapbooking or photo organizing. I'm way behind and feeling overwhelmed. I'm not off to a good start.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happy 2009 and Hello Craftylicious!

Cheers to a new year! 2009 is going to be a year of new beginnings for me. I'm excited to tap back into my creative side - it's been a long time since I've been craftylicious! Last year was a rough one for our family as we lost several family members - close family. Life is short - too short not to embrace your dreams and aspirations - and that is exactly what I plan to do. I've enjoyed surfing some super-cool blogs and sites and will add them to my blog so that you too may be inspired!