+ current book +

This is the book I just finished - and sad I am that I can no longer look forward to reading it. I actually put it away when I was about three-fourths through it because I didn't want to say good bye to it. But this evening, it was chilly outside and inside, and rather than complain about the cold, I decided to wrap up in a comforter and read. 

I first discovered the book at a local bookshop and was surprised to see that the author is Kieth Merrill. He's well known around here as a filmmaker (Legacy, Testaments, IMAX movies and church videos). This is his first book, but I'm sure it won't be his last because he's a gifted writer. He's also a distant cousin on my Stevenson side - I listened to him talk at a Walker family reunion a few years ago. Maybe that's why I picked up the book and started to read. 

Oh, he is amazing at detailed descriptions. And at imagining a location or scene. And expressing the inner thoughts of some very thoughtful characters. He writes conversation wonderfully - you know, the kind of writing that you read without noticing that it's conversation. For me, writing that you don't notice is good writing. 

Here's a sample. I'm typing it right from the book, because I want to demonstrate his way with words. In this chapter, the artist is talking to a former professor about his lack of faith and and his fear of creating a painting depicting the miracles of Jesus: 

Professor Andrus: 
"Believe beyond your doubts. What was it you used to say to me all the time about your fanciful creations?"

"I can paint whatever I imagine and believe whatever I paint."

"How much more powerful might it be if belief came before imagination? I appreciate that may be difficult, given 'the comfortable ambiguity of agnosticism'?" He repeated the expression Thomas had used.

"Acknowledge that your talent is a gift from God and thank him for it. Ask for his help so you can perform at the extreme edge of your ability" Here was a man who had that elusive something called faith. A man who truly believed.

Even if you are unable to believe," Andrus said finally, "at least open yourself to the possibility of the divine beauty your masterwork deserves."

The rim of golden light on the old man's face, the quiet resonance of this voice, the dark pools of his eyes and unguarded sharing of things most personal caused a stirring within Thomas.


{ navy chevron }

Just spending a little quality time clicking on the computer and visiting with my mom. Started searching for navy chevron stuff after seeing the sweater and shoes on Anthropologie. I haven't taken time to put them in little collages like the pro bloggers do. This is just a bunch of photos of the best in navy chevron on the internet. Out of respect for the sellers, I put the links below the photos since several are Etsy items. There's something especially appealing about the chevron pattern, and, for me, if it's in navy...yum.

Seafellow Sweater

Woven D'Orsay Skimmers

Gift Idea...The Jenna Clutch / Perfect for your Bridesmaids or any Gift Giving / Denton Chevron Zig Zag in Peacock

Navy Blue Chevron Pleated Chevron Tote Bag with Bow

Baby Boy Shower Invitations Printable, Gray, Blue Chevron - 872http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/product_view/alittletreasure/5269197/baby_boy_shower_invitations_printable_gray_blue_chevron_-_872/design/digital_art_/cards

Chevron Infinity Scarf - Navy Blue Chevron Scarf - SOFT Jersey Knit  - Bridesmaid Gift

Festive Blue Number Tags



~ cookiNg bLog ~

There's an awesome cooking blog out there in blogland called High Heels and Grills. This blog is created by my nephew and niece Zach and Sarah Averett.

Aren't they cute?

They do a great job with their blog, and the unique thing about it (their good angle) is that they both contribute content and recipes. Check it out by going to the blog and clicking the recipe tab at the top to see all their yummy recipes. Scroll down for a ways and you see Zach's posts which he titles "Man Monday." Right now, there's a great post that Zach wrote about my sister and her famous "Chicken Pillows."

High Heels and Grills

Zach and Sarah are in the Air Force and living in Wyoming right now. Sarah is a pharmacy tech, a cooker/crafter, and a very good writer. She's also a distant cousin of our family on my mom's side! I love her food photography on her blog and her graphics like the writing on the photos. Oh, and the most important fact about Sarah is that she's expecting their first baby! Zach is sincere, kind, and interesting. One thing that's great about Zach is that he's very funny with an intelligent sense of humor that includes a bit of sarcasm. It's a dry wit just like his dad, Val, who I love because he's my sister's husband and he's the best!  Zach was extra sweet to my sister when she married Val, and they blended a family of Mer's three sons and Val's four sons and one wonderful daughter. Imagine! And in the years since, all seven sons have gotten married (only one was married when Mer met Val) and now Mer has for daughters-in-laws: "seven brides for seven brothers." I remember when Zach lived here with us for a few months when he was between apartments at USU, and it was at a time in my life when I was really busy and hardly ever fixed dinner. Now, when I see his recipes and food knowledge on the blog, I wonder why I didn't just assign him to be in charge of dinner. Of course, he was also busy because he's an excellent student and had to keep up that 4.0 GPA. I remember when he had refractive eye surgery that was very delicate and how hopeful we all were that it would turn out great - which it did. I also remember when he met Sarah. And how he was smiling all the time, and then when it worked out and they got engaged, and I was so happy for them. I remember their wedding very well on December 26 or 27. It was my first time to drive to Ephraim/Manti, and I did it alone at night without a GPS and...well, I'll tell that whole story on another blog post. I have to add that their wedding sets the record for being the COLDEST ever for outdoor photos with the wedding group. (And then they had a lovely, wonderful dinner in a warm place with tributes from many people who love them.) Yes, those two are the dang cutest couple and are living the military life with a good attitude and a zest for adventure. That was a rambly paragraph.


@mary #60birthdayreally?

We recently had the honor of joining Scott's now-elderly sister and family in celebrating her 60th birthday. Mary doesn't look (or act) her age, and she's nothing but fun to be with. We'll go anywhere to party with her - but on this auspicious occasion, we went to the very lovely Roof Restaurant on Temple Squre in SLC.

Special guests, all the way from New York City, were Mary and Corey's son, Scott, and his wife Annie. They flew in for the dinner and a day of skiing at Beaver Mountain. It was so fun to see them and remember their NYC wedding that we attended less than a year ago. They're both architects - they met in architect school, actually, and were friends for a couple of years before dating. They're smart and incredibly creative and super active and, of course, Mary misses them, so it was extra special that they were able to come.

Bergen and Abby - two of Mary's three daughters. Darling, outstanding girls. The youngest daughter, Adrian, is going to school in New York City and couldn't come.

Corey's brother Todd and his wife, Renae. They're fun to be with and we enjoyed laughing a lot as we got reacquainted. They teased me about my dessert plate with 7 different desserts on it. (Small tastes.)

Me, Scott, and Scott's sister Patti in the background. 
Mary and Corey.

The Salt Lake Temple was spectacular that night with the fog and snow flurries making a gorgeous dark sky.
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* baby announcement *


 We're excited for Becky and Pitt to have a new baby! Don't you love the announcement Pitt put together? It's so them. I love the bottle in the baby backpack side pocket. Pretty soon we'll know if the baby will be a skier or a dancer. LOL. Just kidding. 


- life lesson in song -

I don't listen to country music much. I have 47 country songs on my iTunes country playlist - to me that's just a few. But tonight as I drove home from fixing dinner for my parents and helping my mom get ready for bed, I happened to tune the radio to KIX96. Heard a song I've never heard before. 

I needed to hear it just then.

 It stopped me short and muted my inner whining. 

This is all just life. 

It's why we're here and what we're about. 

As the song says, "It ain't no fantasy, just a common case of everyday reality."

Sounds Like Life to Me

 ( Darryl Worley, Wynn Varble, Phil O’Donnell )

Sounds like life to me it ain’t no fantasy
It’s just a common case of everyday reality
Man I know it’s tough but you gotta suck it up
To hear you talk you’re caught up in some tragedy
It sounds like life to me 

Sounds like life to me plain old destiny
Yeah the only thing for certain is uncertainty
You gotta hold on tight just enjoy the ride
Get used to all this unpredictability
Sounds like life 

Man I know its tough but you gotta suck it up
To hear you talk you’re caught up in some tragedy
Sounds like life to me


( for the birds! )


When Emmett came to visit, he and Scott went shopping for a bird feeder...one of Scott's favorite things to do each year. They found the perfect feeder and hung it in the tree that's right in front of the kitchen window. Emmett sure wanted to climb that ladder.

Every day Scott checked the bird feeder. No birds. He called me at lunchtime, "Have the birds found the feeder?" Nope. He'd hurry home after work to see if any seeds were gone. Nope. The birds didn't seem to care about those yummy seeds. They hung out on the tree branches, on the grass, and on the sidewalk nearby. But the birds just said nope to the bird feeder.


And then one happy morning I looked out and there were birds perched on the feeder! Scott couldn't wait to get his camera and telephoto lens. He's filled the feeder three times already. He tells me what kinds of birds are out there. We can't wait for Emmett to visit and watch the bird buffet!
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