Monday, August 31, 2009

"It's Just Not Fair!"

Ok - I dislike this phrase more than just about any phrase in the human language. From little kids saying it's not fair in relation to being told "no" to something simple to the political arguements that may rile people up and cause them to shout similar sentiments. It bugs me and seems like such an excuse. Really - there are very few situations that I feel like it warrants pulling the "fairness" card. We are all equal, and for the most part in life are treated as such (I know this is not always the case.....) If we feel that a situation is not "fair" we have the ability to change it - or try. As I mentioned in another post - it might take a lot of work - but it's possible.

That aside - there is a concept that I have a really hard time with. A situation that many, many struggle with that I do not understand - at all. Quite frankly it's a situation or trial that makes me want to scream and yell, "IT'S NOT FAIR!!!!!" There have been times in my life when I've struggled directly with this situation, and after having my situation changed by the birth of my 2 little boys I still struggle with my feelings about this.


Today after learning about a few different aquaintances, and even a story about a person I don't know at all - dealing with infertility or the pain of loosing unborn children - I have fallen apart. It was almost like I was transported back 5 years ago to the daily ache and tears. I have sobbed, cried and begged to understand WHY this has to affect so many wonderful, deserving, amazing people. Why do my friends cry themselves to sleep and ache to hold a sweet child? Why, when it is such a righteous and good desire are they given this trial to bear? Even though it isn't my personal ache right now I have ached for them. I've remembered the emptiness and physical and emotional pain it can cause. As I've been working this out in my mind it hurts to think about it.

Now this is where I have a few answers, and feel a *little* peace. I know that our Heavenly Father gives us each a set of trials that we individually need. He gives us situations and circumstances to overcome that will make us the very best people that we can be. He knows the end from the beginning, and He knows what trials will bring us back to Him. He knows. In this I have faith and I believe firmly in it. I know that we came to earth for the experience of a body, and to experience agency. We are here to make choices that are hopefully good decisions, that will hopefully prepare us for eternity. I understand in many ways why we have agency, and why this is essential to the Plan of Salvation. I believe in this.

BUT - I have a problem with something in relation to this. A concept that I not only do not understand, but one that makes me want to yell out "It's not FAIR!"

Why is it that we hear about people who don't want children, or who don't take care of themselves or their unborn children; people who drink, smoke, do drugs - all the meanwhile affecting their children who do not have the control, or even the opportunity to express agency or make choices. Why are there so many children abandoned, abused, and even sadly aborted? Why is it that while some are busy making choices and decisions that these spirits who haven't even taken a breath are having choices made for them? Choices that they didn't get to choose, but that may lead them to a lifetime of debilitating health problems, or a life filled with poverty or even abandonment and abuse.

I don't understand it. I don't have answers, I don't see the equality in it. I wish I had an answer to give to my friends, my loved ones who long for those sweet children to enter their hearts and homes....I wish I could know what to say - or even better yet - I wish I knew what I could do to fix it. But I guess as with much in life we pray, we ask for patience in our understanding, and we try our hardest to trust in the Lord.....

In the meantime if you hear me mutter "It's just not fair", I'll try to keep it under my breath and not scream it from the rooftops......

Sunday, August 30, 2009

New Scrapping Stuff

Here are some new layouts. It's time for the "Color Play" items at Elemental Scraps. It's a really pretty blue/purple/tan color combo this month - so check out the new products by all of the great Elemental Scraps designers. There are products from ChrissyW and Bella Gypsy here. (They will be posted in the Elemental Scraps store by Monday morning).
The last layout is using a new alphabet by Libby at Sweet Shoppe. She released a neat pack of black papers as well this week, which can also be bought in a combo with the alphabet. Oh - and the soccer kit is a previous release, but I'm sure you'll be seeing a few more layouts from me using it :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

SCENTSY PARTY (and discounts!)

I guess I had some bad links on my post earlier. Sorry about that.....It should be working now. Any questions, feel free to leave a comment here with your email address and I'll get back with you. THANKS!
So I'm not a party person. I have never thrown a Pampered Chef party, or a Creative Memories crop. It's just not me....However, I am in LOVE with Scentsy products. And they are going to be discontinuing some of their scents at the end of this month. So I have decided to do an online Scentsy party. This way if there are scents that you love and you want to stock-up before they are no longer available you can. Also - everything is 10% off till the end of the month so it's a great time to start shopping for Christmas gifts!

So click HERE to enter the site and put together an order. Click on "Place an Order". Then you will click on my party - Joanna Ellis (where it says "select") to place your order. Then follow these instructions:

click on the items you are interested in
then add to cart, etc until you have all that you want
when you are done, click on view cart
then check out
insert your info
click done
scroll down to payments
click on credit card payment
enter info
saveand you are done

I will be closing the party on the 30th at midnight - so be sure to get your orders in before then.
Bombay Pressed Penny
Brownstone Patina
Classic Chocolate
Punched Tin
Raised Dot Black
Raised Dot Mocha
Raised Turquoise
Retro Chic
Shabby Chic
Dandy-Black, Brown, & White
Weave-Black, Brown, & White
Blueberry Cheesecake
Exotic Vanilla
Falling Leaves
Fresh Cut Cantelope
Grapefruit Blossom
Grapefruit Pomegranate
Havana Cabana
Hearth & Home
Herb Garden
Irish Cream
Juicy Peach
Leather (Bars & Bricks)
Lots of Lavander
Luxe Vanilla
Meadow Pear
Mediterranean Spa
Mulberry Bush
Nutmeg & Orange Zest
Pomegranate Orange
Red Delicious
Sandalwood & Cranberries
Sheer Saffron
Spiced Orange Harvest
Strawberry Sweetie
Sweet Indulgance
Sweet Tea Mongolia
Torracco Mint
Tea Blossom
Toasted Apple Butter
Tuscan Garden
Verbena Berry
Wasabi Ginger
Watermelon Patch
(***edited to add: For those of you who are interested in ordering but don't live here locally there will be a 10% shipping charge added to your order (10% of your subtotal - before tax). If you live around here I'll bring your orders by when everything gets delivered.)

Monday new releases

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sneak Peek from Libby Weifenbach

Coming Saturday morning to The Sweet Shoppe.

On a side note - my parent's celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary this week, and Cory's parents celebrate their anniversary later this week (I think 34th....?) It's so great to have 2 sets of parents being great examples of happy marriages. We love you guys!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

NEW RELEASES from The Ettes!

My friends "The Ettes" took off some time to enjoy their family this summer, but they've come back with a BANG! These 3 new adoreable kits are called "mini" - but they are anything but. They are stuffed full of gorgeous designs and awesome elements (as has come to be expected from these awesome gals). Check out their sale too - the new stuff is very reasonably priced!

Monday, August 17, 2009


Kit: One Tough Cookie by Bella Gypsy
Template: Freebie by Bella Gypsy (subscribe to their emails - they do freebies all the time!)

Two Scary Dudes
Kit: Rebel Yell by Bella Gypsy
Template: A Photo a Day by ChrissyW

2008 Month in Review layouts:
Template - older one by Janet Phillips
Kit - NEW Monthly Memories Collection by Bella Gypsy & Jennifer Barrett @ Elemental Scraps (link to come soon). This kit is great because it's actually 12 mini-kits for the whole year! Great to make calendars with, or use their pre-made calendar toppers!!!

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree
Kit - Apples on a Stick by Libby Weifenbach
Template - Mixin It Up 5 by ChrissyW

Worn Out:
Kit - "Summer Slips Away" by BellaGypsy
Template - an edited version of one of ChrissyW's "In the Middle" templates

Saturday, August 15, 2009

One of my favorites...

One of my favorite places to go in the summer is to take the Scenic Chair Lift to the top of the mountain at a local ski resort - just ride the chairlift up, walk around a bit, and ride it back down. I've especially enjoyed it on the times we've done it when it's super HOT and we can escape the nasty heat for a bit up in the mountains with some cooler air. We have gone up on it several times over the years - but the last time was when I was huge and pregnant with Gabe (we went with my inlaws Ashley & Spencer and Chase & Kori).

Well, today Cory had some work to do at a condo unit up across from the ski-resort so we decided that we'd take the boys up for a ride after Cory finished his work. It wasn't much of a hot day down in town, so it was even chillier up on the top of the mountain, with a little breeze. But it was worth the chilly air (which I thought was invigorating actually). I don't think the boys "loved it" - but they had fun and we all enjoyed the time together.

Windows Live™: Keep your life in sync. Check it out.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Go Libby Lou Crew!

One of the creative teams I am on was a part of the "Battle of the Creative Teams" contest at Digi Scrap Addicts. Each week the members of the teams were given challenges/assignments and then we all got to vote on them. Now I was on on the team that represented Libby Weifenbach's designs, but I have gotten to watch their behind the scenes planning and scheming and designing. WOW! These ladies are SOOOOO talented! I feel a little out-of-sorts being on their team. Anyway - that being said:


And to celebrate Libby is having a sale - 30% off all of her designs! So check out her blog for the coupon code and get some of these great designs. (Seriously - Libby designs the BEST stuff, I'm not just saying that because I'm on her CT. She's awesome, and so are all of her kits/designs!)

Entitlement vs. Rights

(**This being said, I am not trying to pick a fight with anyone about their feelings - this is simply my thoughts so please don't leave mean comments.)

Cory and I have been in some pretty heated discussions lately about the RIGHTS we have as Americans and as human beings. It's not heated because we disagree, but heated because we agree and feel passionate about certain things, and know that not everyone shares our points of views or opinions. There are some things that are just hard for us to fully wrap our brains around and understand, because they aren't views we share with others....

Anyway, last night I said, "I just wish there was some kind of formula, or some kind of way to explain to people that it is so important to WORK for things. I know that as American's we have freedoms and should have certain rights...but I wish there was just an answer somewhere, an answer for us to all live by and encourage people to work towards things and not just feel like they deserve things."

Then it hit me - our founding fathers had it right when they stated in the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

THAT is the answer - the PURSUIT of happiness! I went to the dictionary and found the definition of the word pursuit. This is what Meriam Websters gives as the definition:

1 : the act of pursuing
2 : an activity that one engages in as a vocation, profession, or avocation : occupation

synonyms see work
So while I am grateful for the "rights" I share with my fellow American's, I don't think I feel entitled to anything (or at least I try not to feel like people owe me anhything). I don't feel like I deserve certain things in life just because I am alive. Wait - I take that back - I think I do deserve 2 things - #1 respect from others. #2 the right to work towards the things I want, or towards happiness. The right to the "Pursuit of Happiness".
So without getting into heated discussions, declaring political parties or agendas I do want to say that I hope that Americans can learn to work, learn to try their very best, try their hardest and WORK hard towards the things that will make them happy.
getting off of my soapbox now....
Edited to add: I am really not even pointing fingers at any ONE political issue. I think that some of our basic problems in life and relationships come from feeling entitled to things. Whether it be in a marriage between spouses, a family relationship, a relationship with friends and neighbors or even a relationship with people at church. When we start feeling entitled to things we begin to loose the spirit of graitutude that reminds us of how little we really are. I think that if we are to fill our hearts with gratitude and thankfulness for everything we are given we will feel less like we deserve things handed to us. I hope that will communicate my feelings a little better.....We need to return to gratitude in all things.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Pie Are Squared - *NEW* Kit by Libby

This has been one of my favorite new kits to play with. I don't know what it is exactly - probably the color combination - but I LOVE it! Here are a few layouts using the kit. Be sure to check it out at Sweet Shoppe Designs. It will be released Saturday (or really late Friday if you're up). It's a great kit for school themed pages, or other things too - as you can see with my fall page and cousins page.
All of the stitches I used on these pages can be found in my FAVORITE stitch set - also by Libby Weifenbach. Seriously the best stitches EVER!
(I just realized just how much I love that green polka-dot paper....since I used it as the main paper in all 3 layouts....oops)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Fourth of July

Sadly I am so behind on updating things on my blog that I haven't written about our 4th of July. I guess it was such a low-key 4th of July that maybe it didn't deserve it's own post....We started the day off with the good old town parade. If you've been to one Cedar parade - you've been to them all. Every one is the same....(we ended up skipping the 24th parade this year - it was just too darn close for a repeat already).

After the parade we went to the Enoch celebrations for a few minutes (there wasn't much going on there when we showed up). Then we had a little BBQ as a family and ended up inviting our sweet widowed neighbor Jerry over for dinner. Just hamburgers and watermelon but it was fun to have him join us.

That evening we hooked up a little water-balloon launcher on our Ranger. We rode around trying to launch waterballoons at neighbors - I think Cory and I ended up a lot wetter than everyone else. We did get the launcher set up so we could launch balloons over our next-door neighbors house to our neighbors 2 doors down. They had a launcher too and we launched them back and forth at each other - it was fun!

After that we did some fireworks of our own. Hunter had NO FEAR as far as the fireworks went. He just wanted to grab all of them - scared me 1/2 to death. Little dare-devil! To end the evening we headed over to the Wray's home (Gabe's best friend Noah's family) to watch the fireworks. Our town does a really nice fireworks display less than 1/2 mile from our house. The Wray's back-yard faces the field where they launch them and we had a GREAT view!

So although we didn't have family members surrounding us like we would have liked - we still enjoyed our time with our little family and neighbors. We are sure grateful to be American's - we are so blessed!

Lake Powell

A few weeks ago we had a chance to head down to Lake Powell. Cory was doing a job at a HUGE houseboat down at the Glen Canyon Damn area of the lake - in Page, AZ. Since it was a big job the property manager of the boat allowed us to come and stay on the boat while he was working on the job. Since Page is about 1/2 way between us and my parents my mom decided to meet us there so we could spend some time with her.

We didn't take the boat out - but it was such a luxurious boat that just staying on it in the marina was totaly worth it. And in a way we were relieved that we weren't out on the water because there was quite the storm one afternoon. We did head down to the Antelope Point area and the boys swam for a second. Neither of them loved it and it was HOT!

Now I wish I would have taken some better pictures of the boat - it was AMAZING! It wasn't like a houseboat - it was like a yacht! If a houseboat has a commercial grade snow cone machine, big flat screen tvs in all of the bedrooms, like 5 bedrooms and at least that many bathrooms, an outdoor theater, and a helicopter landing pad on the roof (seriously!) isn't just your run of the mill houseboat!

It was a fun little trip, our own little mini vacation for the summer.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Digi-scrapping stuff for this week

Once again a quick catch up with some scrapping pages. Always feeling like I'm on the run. The boys were even hanging out with their cousins up in Logan for a few days last week - leaving our house childless and quiet. But even with the quiet we were still hopping and busy. I missed them though - a lot. Anyway, here are a few layouts, and a little list of prouducts used. (These aren't in order...but you can match them up):

Mullen Family –
· Krafty Essentials by Libby Weifenbach -
· Top of the World by Libby Weifenbach -

My Monkeys -
· Kit: Krafty Essentials by Libby Weifenbach -
· Template: ChrissyW’s Template Grab Bag -

Splash -
· {August Color Play} Mediterranean Paper Pack by Bella Gypsy -
· {August Color Play} Ribbony Goodness II by Bella Gypsy -
· {August Color Play} Marked Up Alpha by Bella Gypsy -
· {August Color Play} Sketchology: That's How We Roll By Bella Gypsy -

Sky Fest -
Kit: Topsy Turvier by Bella Gypsy -
Template: ChrissyW’s Template Grab Bag -

Lucy Lou -
· Kit: Fresh Cut Flowers by Bella Gypsy –

Remember -
· {August Color Play} Mediterranean Paper Pack by Bella Gypsy -
· {August Color Play} Ribbony Goodness II by Bella Gypsy -
· {August Color Play} Marked Up Alpha by Bella Gypsy -
· Template: {August Color Play} Sketchology: That's How We Roll By Bella Gypsy -

Characters –
· Gradual Gradients – Tropical by Libby Weifenbach -
· Do You Believe in Magic – by Libby Weifenbach -

Taking my breath away....

There are a few moments in my life when I can think of literally having my breath taken away; moments when I had to pause to remind myself to breathe in and out. Times when I think my life was absolutely changed in the blink of an eye, an instant where I was changed simply by what I was seeing.

As a little girl I remember driving with my family around the corner of the freeway in San Diego, California and seeing the San Diego temple for the first time. If that moment didn't change me forever, then the one I had shortly after in the Bride's Room as my family attended the temple open house certainly did. The split second that I saw the beauty of that room I knew that I needed to be married to my eternal sweetheart in the temple someday. Both because of the feelings I felt in the temple and the beauty I had seen.

Eleven years ago I picked up some photos that I had developed after a weekend of fun with my roommates and friends at Ricks College. Back then I remember being so anxious and excited about dropping of a roll of film to be developed and waiting to see what would be printed. I generally would pay for my pictures at the counter at the college bookstore and promptly rip them open to see if I had gotten any good pictures. This particular time I looked through the pictures of Island Park, my roommates Kristi, Brenda and Kathryn, and then the picture that changed everything for me. Here was a picture of Cory. It was the first picture I had seen of him without his glasses on. Even though I had been there when the picture was taken seeing it through different eyes, the eyes of my little point and shoot 35 mm camera - changed everything. Once again I had been changed because of something I saw in an instant - I was in love....

Fast forward a couple of more years and I took a drive by myself into the Teton Mountains. I came around a corner, saw the Grand Teton and had to pull my car over. My breath was sucked out of me, my eyes filled with tears and I was overcome with gratitude for the earth and beauty Heavenly Father blessed us with. I was a different person.

I can think of dozen more moments - but instead of boring you with a history of things that have changed me through my life I want to share with you a picture that might fall into these categories in the future. Tonight I came across a website of some of the most breathtakingly beautiful photos I have ever seen. This photographer has found a way to capture beauty that until now I thought could only be felt in celestial places. This beauty can't be described or even seen - I think it can only be felt deep in the soul. Wow.....
Take a few moments and look around at his blog, his website - this photographer is phenomenal. Pictures of the Tetons, the Oregon Coast , images from all over my home of Utah - absolutely beautiful!