Tuesday, November 29, 2016

First Day of the Christmas Season

Monday is officially the first day of the Christmas season. Because Thanksgiving is past and we were back home (and our decorations were already out because I decorated before we left for Thanksgiving. Because I love coming home to a Christmas house).

And on Monday it was snowy all day. Perfect.
Merry Christmas!

Nick built his snowman in an unusual spot. Looks like he's headed out for a walk!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Picture Says 1000 Words -- Thanksgiving

A wonderful week being with family! So glad to have had this time to all be together! I loved being with everyone, talking and listening, sharing thoughts and hopes and plans, working together and playing together. Away from obligations and cares of everyday life (except for the college kids that all had to do some homework!). This is my version of the Celestial Kingdom. 

Movies: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Arrival.
Videos: Oscar.
Puzzles: 4 500 pc puzzles that the KIDS worked on! Yay! Love that my kids love doing puzzles.
Food: Lots.
New This Year: Bicycle built for two (...sing with me...) 
(We gave Gram and Papa their Christmas present early.)
Football For Days: UW beat WashState, Michigan lost to Ohio, and many many many more.
On-going Favorites: Hot tub, football in the backyard, walks, talks, jogs, exercise on the lawn, 
shopping for Christmas dishes and books.

Daisy, Daisy give me your answer true...

...I'm half crazy all for the love of you!

It won't be a fancy marriage...

...I can't afford a carriage...

...but you'll look neat...

...upon the seat...
...of my bicycle built for two!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Albuquerque Temple

Marty wanted to go through the temple for his first time in Albuquerque so that Gram could come with us. She loved that he wanted her there.

We flew in the night before and Gram and Papa drove down to meet us for dinner. Early the next morning Dan left with Marty. Gram and I went a bit later. Papa took Chris and Nick to breakfast.

It was really fun to be at this smaller temple where everyone was expecting Marty, knew his name and made his first trip to the temple extra special.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving

My mom and Dimitrios hosted a Pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving to celebrate with family and friends  since many were with other family members on Thursday's Thanksgiving. I'm so grateful we have frequent flyer miles so we can just jet to Santa Cruz for overnight and we were able to spend the first part of the holiday at this fun party.

How I love these people!
Dimitrios and my mom's home in Santa Cruz is in the hills and surrounded by beautiful horse properties, hills and trees. They are so welcoming and their home is warm and inviting and you feel loved the minute you walk in the door!

Dimitrios, his daughter Shannon, Me, Bekah, Uncle Rick (my mom's brother), Emily (Bekah's Nanny!)
When I first met Dimitrios' daughter Shannon and his son Max and his wife Dana, a few years ago, it was like meeting family! Dimitrios is so warm, friendly and easy to talk to and be with, of course his kids are too! They love our mom and we love their dad so it's a wonderful "place" to be.

Dimitrios built a long table to seat everyone. Just like that. Built it. With the intention of taking it apart after the festivities were over. Because for him it's no big deal to build a table. (But they're actually liking having a big gathering table, they might be keeping it!)

Dimitrios and my Mom have a gift for making things beautiful!

We had a true Thanksgiving feast, with the addition of some Greek elements, Dolmatas & Spanakopita, which are delicious.

It was pouring rain all day so we all just cozied into the family room/kitchen and got to visit, talk and meet new people. Shannon and her daughter, Chloe. Max & Dana and Dana's parents and younger sister. Eric (my mom & Dimitrios' roommate) and his parents. Dimitrios' godmother and god brother. And of course Rebekah, Jax, Lucy, Livy (and Emily, her awesome Nanny) and Rachel, Jeremy and Dylan and Aunt Marge, Uncle Rick and Uncle Ron.

Lucy and Livy, Chloe, Eric
The next morning, Marty had to head back early, but the rest of our family met Bekah, Emily and kids at an outdoor cafe. The kids were able to run around (cartwheel!) and then we all walked (and rode scooters) over to a park to run, play on the swings, and look at the ocean.

Evidence of beach fun!


Fortunately the rain had stopped so the kids were able to get some much needed outdoor time. We headed back to Mom and Dimitrios' for brunch, games (taught Jax and Lucy and VERY modified version of Rummikub -- basically just put down your numbers in order) and even got to ride the horses. (Yay! Nick was so disappointed when we went over his spring break and Lena was pregnant so he couldn't ride. So glad they all got a chance today!)

By 2:00 we had to head back to the airport. But it was a wonderful trip and a wonderful way to begin the holidays. With family -- new friends who feel like family -- and lots and lots of love.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

First Snow

Yesterday afternoon the sky got foggy. (We'd been watching the prediction for snow for a week, wondering if it would really happen. It's been a long and beautiful fall this year.)

I was sitting in my office reading Elizabethean sonnets when Nick and Luke Affleck threw open the front door and shouted, "I think the snow's coming!! Come and look! The sky is foggy! Hurry! You have to come see!"

Having an 11-year-old is such a happy thing! There were no snowflakes falling, but their excitement at the anticipation was a beautiful reminder that it's so fun to get excited about possibilities!! No filter.  No bracing yourself in case it doesn't happen. No wondering what someone else might say if you show too much excitement. Just pure joy and wanting to share it with someone! I am glad they wanted to share with me!

I'm happy to report I ran down the stairs and was joyful about the fog and the chill and the possible snow right along with them. To be clear, this fall has been awesome and I'd be ok with no snow until... December? That sounds about right. But I LOVED getting to be a part of their excitement and it rubbed off on me. Because, let's be honest, there are times as a mom I didn't/couldn't go running to see what was so awesome. But this time I did. And I was so glad I did because it was the happiest moment all day being part of an 11-year-old's joy.

Snow is starting!
I seem to take this angle a lot. Every year.

Courtney's post this morning listed many of her memories of a "Christ-Centered Home." To me a Christ-Centered home is one where we are teaching that families can be together forever and trying to have a loving, nurturing, understanding and working together place to build each other up and become a family we want to be with forever. I think I'll do the same this month -- my November/Thanksgiving Gratitude list for being raised and having my own Home where happy memories abound.

* Mom and Dad were both kooky and loved to tease and laugh but also work hard.
* Having Grandma Regan and Aunt Marge as such a major part of our growing-up.
* Mom reading books to us and crying at the good parts.
* Epic hide and seek games with Dad trying to find us or hiding so well.
* Michelle, Michael, Sheree, Rebekah, Rachel. Our individual personalities that all together combined make the best family ever.

* The excitement of Dan taking the kids skiing.
* Bringing a new baby home from the hospital and all the kids being so excited to hold him and help.
* Reading to the kids each night in bed.
* Family trips -- Back East, Europe, Pagosa, Hawaii. Exploring new places together.
* Watching shows in my bed all together!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Fall Clean Up

On Thursday, Dan and I met Marty in Provo so he could get his Patriarchal Blessing. What an awesome experience. After we shopped for missionary clothes at Mr. Mac. He's got mission photos on Tuesday so we needed to get his suit -- and fast.  One perk of living in Utah!

Friday we went to the symphony with the Howells and heard the most phenomenal pianist we've ever been to live. Alexander Gavrylyuk. We were literally on the edge of our seats for the full 35 minutes of his concert. We were close enough to watch his hands in the reflection of the piano lid and see his face as he played. He performed Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1. Absolutely phenomenal.

Saturday we raked and raked. We raked the yard clean so the boys could mow one last time. Filled the car with 2 loads of bags. And an hour later, this is what the yard looked like:

On Sunday we had Nicholas' last Primary Program. Marge is back in Utah so she came over after church to spend the day. She brought me jars and mung beans and lentils to sprout. She's enjoyed sprouting so much I'm going to give it a try.  I think this is like the Adair -- actually Reagen/Regenscheit -- version of passing along your sour dough starter.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Election Night -- Let's Get This Over With

Nick wants to stay up and watch who wins the election. Ugh! I wish I didn't have to turn it on at all, but Nick needed to watch for a class assignment and of course now I'm captivated.

What I really wish is that I could watch my new favorite show tonight -- "This Is Us" -- because I find it uplifting and intriguing and real. Unlike either presidential candidate. But I did mail in my ballot yesterday because I believe in voting and I am grateful for the freedoms we have in America. And now we wait.

In other news, yesterday I packed up two boxes. Trying to declutter some cupboards and bookshelves. (Do I have enough bookshelf space in the new house?!? Yikes! I hope so!)

Today I worked on my first 50 vocabulary words and made some good progress. Unfortunately, I'm concerned that after I close my eyes to sleep, my mind will be wiped clean and those words will be lost forever. Similarly to Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates. parsimonious = frugal. But the opposite of prolifigate = prodigal. veracious, calumny, amorphous, amalgam, ambiguous, disinterested, equivocal, mercurial, anomalous, castigate, amenable, iconoclast.

Monday, November 07, 2016


I downloaded a Flashcard app today so I can start brushing up on my vocabulary for the GRE that I plan to take (in about two years -- so I've got a bit of time). I'm pretty good at playing detective and discerning meaning of words when I'm reading. But to be perfectly honest, most of these words I don't know. Or I don't really know.

For instance, what does "disinterested" mean? Well, to me it means you aren't interested. But, no. In fact the most commonly used definition for the GRE is you are neutral or unbiased. So you may care about a situation, but you don't have an opinion one way or the other. Very Interesting.

I also finished The Faerie Queene and took my unit quiz and got 10/10 on the readings (which also included history of Queen Elizabeth I, The Golden Speech, and Letters between Elizabeth and Sir Walter Ralegh).  Up next, Dr. Faustus.

Finally, I love Mondays. I love that its a new start. I love that I have 2 hours before my workout to eat breakfast, read my scriptures, start the laundry and say a morning prayer (that's not in my car driving somewhere). I love that I have time in the morning to make a list of what I want to accomplish this week and what needs to happen today. It's a day that's not rushed (except for when it is -- which is when I get a call that I have to do something for the house or at the house. Or when I schedule a dentist appt. or something like that).

Still on my list to do today (tonight) is clean 1 closet and clean out my purse.

Pretty fall pictures at the house today: