Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Ugly Word

There are several words and phrases that we don't say at my house. We don't say "shut up". We don't say "you're stupid". And we absolutely don't say "I hate you".

All those words are ugly words.

But there is no word more ugly, frightening, or painful as the word cancer. That word was spoken in my family this week. Our family is shaken, however nothing rocks the Root foundation. We will not crack. We will not break. We will stay strong, stay bound to one another, and love one another right through it all. When one feels broken, the other will step forward to bear the burden. And through it all we will pray, love, laugh, pray, hold hands, listen, and pray. And at the end of the day we will know that God is good and He is in control.

I love you daddy.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


In my day job the term Go/NoGo is used daily. In this context it refers to whether or not we chase a project. There are several factors that weigh into that decision like size of the project, potential gross margin, and local experience in that area. We look at all the criteria, and based upon a weighted scale, we decide Go/NoGo.

I have always been rather fond of Ben Franklin’s decision making model. I use this model in most key decisions that I make. To say I am fond of it, well let me just lay my cards on the table…. I have a spreadsheet. There, you happy?

The basis of the model is really rather simple. You frame the decision in the form of a question, something that is answerable in either a yes or no regarding a course of action. Then you list the pros and cons, attaching a 1-10 importance rating scale to each of them. The next step is to assess the probability of the pros and cons by attaching a number to it. If the outcome is certain, then it would rate a 10. Once I have weighted, and assessed the probability, then I pretty much press GO on my spreadsheet and it magically multiplies the weight by the probability and totals the Pro and Con columns. Sometimes I will even weigh in my gut feeling. I am sure that Ben would have done this too. In the end, the decision really comes down to simple math.

Sometimes these decisions put us at a crossroads in our lives and the decision, when weighty, really feels too big for the spreadsheet ~ and logic really doesn’t seem to be the appropriate approach to these decisions. What then does one do? Ask Marge – she would say “pray”. Ask Jen, she would say “go with your gut.” Ask Cindie, and all I can say is that I wish it were as simple as an algebraic equation.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Baking Divas

One of those things that I am working toward with my grandkids is instilling a few of things:
1. Grandma’s house is a fun place to be
2. The importance of laughter and having a good sense of humor
3. Baking is a staple of life
4. Singing songs makes the time fly by and lightens our heart
5. Nothing beats a good nap

This past weekend, all of the above was accomplished, save the nap part.

We started our adventure by heading to The Chicken Nugget Place, AKA McDonald’s Playland. Perfect. Much to this grandma’s dismay there were 58 (okay not that many) snotty nosed kids with dirty hands playing in the middle of the big play toy. Eeewww. I just bathed them in hand sanitizer when they got back to the table. It went something like this:

Maycie: Grandma did you see that boy with dirty hands?
Me: Ummmm, which one? They all had dirty hands.
Maycie: The one who was picking his nose.
Kayla: Gwwwoooosssss
Me: Let’s go outside and hose you two down.

Then it was back to the house for our cookie baking adventure. This time I introduced the art of …. Stirring….

And here you have my baking divas. Their grandma wouldn’t be caught dead in an apron, but I’ll be darned if they didn’t look precious!

Happy Fall!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Rules of a Lady

No.1 - Play hard to get.
No.2 - Be the woman a man needs, not the woman that needs a man.
No.3 - Always accept a compliment.
No.4 - If he leaves or gives up on you, remember, it’s his loss. Not yours.
No.5 - If he doesn’t respect you, then you deserve better.
No.6 - You’re beautiful and no one has the right to tell you you’re not.
No.7 - Don’t fall for a guy who isn’t willing to catch you.
No.8 - Embrace your flaws and be true to who you really are.
No.9 - Never lose faith in finding your perfect someone.
No.10 - Cover up. Being a mystery is sexier than showing off every inch of yourself.
No.11 - Being single doesn’t mean you’re weak, it means you’re strong enough to wait for what you really deserve.
No.12 - The little black dress is a classic for a reason.
No.13 - A real lady holds her head high, but never her nose.
No.14 - Never underestimate the power of a warm greeting.
No.15 - For the love of decency, never chew with your mouth open.
No.16 - A lady knows her limits no matter what, stick to your guns.
No.17 - If you expect him to give you girl time, expect to give him guy time.
No.18 - A subtle, yet noticeable lip bite possesses exceptional power. Use with caution.
No.19 - True beauty comes from within. Ask Marge, she always told me this.
No.20 - Confidence is sexy.
No.21- Never let a man define you. Be amazing on your own.
No.22- Don’t get your hopes up, don’t let your guard down.
No.23- If you’re not worth the trouble then he’s not the worth the time.
No.24- Be refined, polite and well-spoken.
No.25- Act like a lady, think like a man.
No.26- Be classy & fabulous always.
No.27- Always be yourself around him. If he can’t accept you for your quirks, then he’s not worth it.
No.28- Remember; if he wants to, he will.
No.29- Your dresses should be tight enough to show you’re a woman, but loose enough to show you’re a lady.
No.30- If you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best. -Marilyn Monroe
No.31- Never regret something that once made you smile.
No.32- A true lady doesn’t start fights, but sure knows how to finish them.
No.33- Do not stereotype guys; they’re definitely not all the same.
No.34- Always classy. Never trashy. Just a little nasty.
No.35-If you don’t stand up for yourself, no one will.
No.36-Never underestimate the power of a name. Use them. Be remembered.
No.37- You can never be beautiful unless you’re happy.
No.38- Always have a comeback.
No.39- One can never be too classy.
No.40- If he does not have a chance, tell him. Don’t lead him on and make him think that he has a chance when he does not.
No.41- To the world you may just be one person, but to one person you may be the world.
No.42- Don’t wait for Prince Charming to come and save you. Remember, being independent is more attractive to men.
No.43- If you love him, tell him. Chances are, he’ll feel the same about you.
No.44- Flirt with him enough to show your interest. But tease him enough to make him chase you.
No.45- You will never find the right guy if you are looking for the wrong reasons.
No.46- Never turn around to look back. Without doubt, he’s still looking at you.
No.47- No man is worth your tears, and the one who is won’t make you cry.
No.48- Beauty gets the attention, but personality gets the heart.
No.49- A sincere smile is a lady’s most beautiful feature.
No.50- It’s better to be hated for who you are than be loved for someone you’re not.
No.51- Don’t just expect to find love, wait and it will come.
No.52- A guy doesn’t ever have to be more than a friend, sometimes things are better that way.
No.53- You shouldn’t need to raise your voice. If you’re dealing with a person who won’t listen unless you speak forcefully, then they aren’t worth dealing with.
No.54- Never apologize for what you feel. It’s like saying sorry for being real.
No.55- A man willing to do anything just to place a smile on your face is one worth keeping.
No.56- Be happy. Someone could be falling for your smile.
No.57- Never make a man a priority in your life if you are just an option in his.
No.58- A lady should be able to make a man smile with her clothes on.
No.59- Talk loud enough so people can hear you, but soft enough so he’ll have to lean in closer.
No.60- Never show you’re intimidated, it shows weakness.
No.61- Remember; the treasure doesn’t do the hunting.
No.62- Make a man fall for your intelligence, not for your body and your double Ds.
No.63- Always act like you are wearing an invisible crown.
No.64- Respect from others come from self-respect.
No.65- “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt
No.66- It’s better to know and be disappointed than to never know and always wonder.
No.67-Being intelligent is sexy, don’t play stupid.
No.68- Take a risk, even if you fall. Because if that’s what you really want, it should be worth it all.
No.69- When asked for suggestion, don’t be afraid to give your opinion. Being assertive is an attractive feature, indecisiveness is not.
No.70- You were born an original. Don’t become a copy.
No.71- “A wise girl kisses but doesn’t love, listens but doesn’t believe and leaves before she is left.” -Marilyn Monroe
No.72- If a man wants you, nothing can keep him away. If he doesn’t want you, nothing can make him stay.
No.73- Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius. It’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.
No.74- If he’s willing to cheat with you, he’s willing to cheat on you.
No.75- Crying does not mean you are weak. Not crying does not mean you are strong. Never be afraid of being yourself.
No.76- Every day is a fashion show and the world is your runway. So always dress your best and walk with confidence.
No.77- Success is the best revenge.
No.78- Never be afraid to love. You’ll sabotage yourself without knowing.
No.79- The moment you stop looking for something, you will find it.
No.80- It’s better to be alone and dignified, than to have companionship and be taken advantage of.
No.81- Beauty is about living your life and being happy with yourself inside and out. Not worrying about what people think of you.
No.82- Don’t let doubt cause you to ignore your heart. Trust your heart.
No.83- Yelling during an argument means you’ve already lost the fight.
No84- Remember that if you give a second chance you’re saying that you have forgiven his past. Don’t keep holding it against him.
No.85- Don’t be upset and caught up in something you cannot change. Instead, move on and smile. You deserve to be happy.
No.86- Your smile is the sexiest curve on your entire body.
No.87- Love never fails. If it fails, then it’s not love.
No.88- Be generous with expressions of gratitude such as: ‘Thank You’ and ‘I appreciate that’.
No.89- If there is anything a lady should blow, it should be his mind.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


It is absolutely crazy to think that in this very second, right now, some one is dying; someone is cheating on their wife, someone is writing a suicide note, someone just lost their daughter, someone just got diagnosed with cancer, someone just got in a car accident, someone just found out they’re pregnant, someone just took another person’s life, someone hasn’t talked to their dad in years, someone is abusing their spouse, someone is signing divorce papers, someone just committed suicide. Right there in that very second, all of that happened somewhere out there in the world, and I am worrying about the rain??? Gaaaaa!

Keep Perspective.


Yes.... these are my rose colored glasses.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

My Boy

I was talking to my oldest daughter yesterday and she was telling me about Brandon, my grandson, her baby boy. She said "Mom, I don't know what it is about him, but it is different. I feel different about him than I do the girls. It isn't that I love him more. It is just different."

I can relate. I seriously can relate. My girls were/are my loves. But there is just something about my boy. I don't know what it is, but it is different. J'Amy's words rang so true that it just caught me so off guard, and made me ponder. What is it that connects me sooooo to my Jake. Bottom line is.... he is Jake, and he is mine, and he is his Mama.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Random Island Pics

So, I was going through my Hawaii pictures and sometimes I just took pictures of random things that just caught my eye. Here are a few:
The rusty handrail that was falling apart, but it kept you from a couple hundred foot drop off.

I really think this must have been the original Garden of Eden

Everything covered in moss that could have moss growing on it. Except of course my water shoe clad foot.

Beautiful mist spraying over the rocks

A gorgeous hybiscus. Man they were beautiful.

Can you see vacation on my face? Yes, I am sure it is there....

Monday, October 3, 2011

Island Food Experiences

While in Hawaii we had so many great food experiences, whether it was at Matsumoto’s in Hale’iwa where we had incredibly yummy shaved ice…. Yes, I will take mine with Lilikoi, Coconut, and Mango flavoring please, and could you just put that incredible sweetened milk on the top and yes, I will have the splash guard. Thank you.
To Kahuku Grill on the North Shore.
Let me tell you, this place is faaaamous!! Even the Governor of my humble state of Utah thinks it’s great. They even have his picture as an endorsement hanging on the front of the restaurant, along with his “Vote for Gary Herbert for Governor” picture.

But by far and away our most incredible dining experience was Mama’s Fish House located in Pai’i. OGM (inside joke that was had by all on the trip) it was fabulous. The views were amazing.

I walked the shore and picked up a few shells that were really absent everywhere else on the island. But don’t let me kid you….this picture really isn't about the shells - - - it is all about the bracelet! An amazing piece that I invested in while on the Island.

The flower arrangements inside …. Stunning. They even arranged flowers on the toilet....Seriously....
The d├ęcor was incredibly eclectic. We were all fairly certain that the gentleman in the photo, dark hair, back to me, was someone famous… we weren’t sure who, but Al pretty much confirmed he was a character actor in….well something.

Dinner was scrumptious….something that I know the Pioneer Woman couldn’t have even accomplished. Do I look happy? OGM, it was amazing!

He Would Be So Proud

Last night as I drove home from Ashley and Drayton's new little nest, I was struck by the gut wrenching though that he would be so proud of them.

On Saturday night the girls got together and did a Halloween crafting marathon extravaganza. They made a myriad of different decorations.

As I pulled out of Ashley's driveway, and looked at the front of her house with the witch's legs hanging down from the soffet of the house, I thought to myself, "they didn't get this from me." The girls both share a love for this season that was given to them as a gift from their father. Even though he never really told them how much he loved them, I know that he did.

For as much as I take great joy and pride in my girls knowing that, for the most part, I raised them on my own. I have only to look at them, especially during this time of the year, and know that he is just as much a part of them as I am .... and you know what? I am glad. They got the very best that he had to offer, and I am glad.

And even though he never really told them how proud of them he was, I know that he is.

Hawaiian Adventures

So the past couple of weeks I was on a gorgeous Hawaiian vacation. I was able to visit Oahu as well as Maui. I will be blogging about some of the other adventures in the next little while.
This part of the adventure is focused on the very last one of the trip… The Road to Hana. I had heard much about how beautiful it was, and it sure didn’t disappoint. It was so lush and beautiful in a jungley sort of way. There were stunning views and gorgeous flowers.

This, I thought, was one of the most interesting stops along the way. Here we are, only six miles out of Hana. See, the Hippy surf board says so.
Here we have the Hippy’s chair. The Hippy’s Dog. The Hippy’s Rooster. The Hippy’s Gnome. Every Hippy has a Gnome don’t they? But seriously, can you beat this view?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Home is Where the Heart Is

I have always felt strongly about being a California girl. Ask me. I will tell you that I am a valley girl from SoCal. And yes, I can totally pick off a valley girl accent. Further to that, I was a valley girl long before it was the thaing to be one. Just sayin.

But I find as life goes on and I, ahem, age.... Home is more where my heart is. There are so many things about Utah that I love. How can you not love this, the amazing skies:
There is so much beauty in the Wasatch, so incredibly majestic.
This is my little Bountiful valley:
And the sunsets....seriously....
Although Utah may not be this:
It certainly is this:
And therein lie my heart.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The HB

So a couple of weekends ago I visited the HB. See - - it really is the HB.

I helped a sista out with an organizational project that seemed a bit daunting. Please note the use of plastic storage containers. I love plastic storage containers. Please see in the closet and note the further use of plastic storage containers.
I love the Harris family. I do live in Utah - - I could be a sister wife, just sayin.
We ate at Dukes, fish and chips to die for….

Another reason I love Huntington Beach?

And of course this……..
Did I mention that I love plastic storage containers and the beach? Oh ya, I guess I did.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lady Bug

When I was a little girl my mother used the name Ladybug when there was a strong admonishment coming. Kinda like this “If you think for one minute Ladybug that you are going to stay out past 11:00 p.m. you can just think again.” Ahem, the preceding is only an example and not anything my mother ever said to me. But for Ashley, it has always been a term of endearment. She has been Ladybug, Bug, Buggie.
From early on she was creative, making hats for the pups for every occasion. Please see photo below. Maggie is the Angel (well duh), and Scooter was really excited that year in the role of the Christmas Tree.

As Ashley grew, so did her hair. This pose depicts “Hurry and focus the camera Mom.”

I know that on August 17, 1987 something absolutely miraculous happened. A perfect little baby girl was born. The angels sang.
We have had our ups and downs, my little Buggy. What mother and daughter hasn’t? But this I know… No mother ever loved a daughter more than this mama loves you. Happy Birthday my little ladybug! Muah!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


The following is a list of my recent favorite Kayla-isms and Maycie-isms:


· Mmmm, I-wish-iss! = Mmmmmm delicious!

· Bye I gotta shop (ummm where do you think she gets that from???)

· Whenever she is tattling, her hands go on her hips, and she says No faware = No fair!
Mommy, Daddy no sharwing wif me.

· As she steps on Brandon, “sorry bud”.

· I’m a poop maaachine! (my favorite!)


· Singing - - “We are in a washing achine, washing achine”

· In a high pitched princess voice “Let me take you to the princess castle where we can see
Sweeping Cutie” ummm, that would be Sleeping Beauty. But don’t you dare try and correct her, I always want her to call Sleeping Beauty “Sweeping Cutie”

· Grandma, did you see those futterflies?

· Guess what Mom, Jesus is real. Grandma said so.

· Grandma, I love you the sun, the moon, the stars, fishing, fairy princess castles, gum, the ocean, and Cinderella.

I don’t think that this Grandma can stand too much more than that.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I Miss Everything

I miss the little things.
I miss everything.

I miss the way your kitchen smelled.
I miss your soft hands.
I miss your sweet chuckle and big radiant smile.
I miss the sound of your voice.

Sometimes I can close my eyes, concentrate, and I can hear you.

I miss the little things.
I miss everything.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

That's The Way She Rolls

Sherwood Schwartz, creator of Gilligan’s Island & Brady Bunch (two of my most favorite sitcoms whilst growing up) passed away last week. My children have long since known that I make up lyrics to the tune of the Brady Bunch song regularly. Here is my latest version. In Sherwood's honor, please sing along with me to the Brady Bunch melody:
Here’s the story of a dog named Maggie
Who was living the perfect dog’s life.
She loved her ball and to chase it…
That’s really all there was.

Here’s the story of a dog named Scooter
Who would laugh at her wild and crazy ways
He would lay down and ignore her
Like any lazy dog should…

Till the one day when Maggie just decided
To be true to her own dog self
She must run and chase her true love
Because that’s the way she rolls.
The way she rolls. The way she rolls.

That’s just the way Magdalena rolls.

Here is the pictorial version of the same song:
Here’s the story of a dog named Maggie

Who was living the perfect dog’s life.
She loved her ball and to chase it

That’s really all there was.

Here’s the story of a dog named Scooter

Who would laugh at her wild and crazy ways

He would lay down and ignore her

Like any lazy dog should…

Till the one day when Maggie just decided

To be true to her own dog self.
She must run and chase her true love

Because that’s the way she rolls.
The way she rolls. The way she rolls.

That’s just the way Magdalena rolls.

I know, I know....brings a tear to your eye doesn't it? It's a love story, what can I say?