The whole fam-[uh-what?]-ly

[warning][disclaimer! This isn’t a big fancy photographer. It’s real (really real) candid shots I took on the fly. No one looks good. Sorry. I didn’t really aim, just point and shoot style. Sorry to everyone (and their random appendages) that made it into my pictures.

Cary on…][/warning]

This is Uncle Bob.

The M. Family reunion was at Uncle Bob’s house this year. Uncle Bob never grows up. He’s like Peter Pan.

Uncle Bob could tell that no one was playing in the pool. So he decided to teach the kids how to “dive” in. AKA he slid into the pool with big splashes, slip-slide-style. Then, all the sudden, the pool is full. and fun again.

See that house? It didn’t used to be there. I miss those days. I’d come to Uncle Bob and Aunt Deb’s house 2 weeks out of the summer. Alicia and I would go for walks and explore. That house is new to all those adventures. Now, all of Aunt Deb’s kids have kids. She’s called Grandma more than she’s called Mom. It’s crazy how life changes, isn’t it?

Luckily, there are still constants. Like these people. Family. Cousins. They’re a big part of my childhood, and they’re still a big part of it now, if in a different way.


Take Alicia. She’s one of my best friends. I don’t see her much any more. And she’s way more social than I am, so she probably doesn’t count me as more than a cousin, but this girl, she’s a rock! I <3 her. She’s always good for a laugh. Shauna wasn’t there as a kid, but she’s an amazing cousin, now. She’s had so much experience in her life! I love real people like that.


These are their kids. The new version of cousins. The cycle continues. Truth is, I’m kind of jealous of how close their family is. It’s the family I always wanted. I’m just going to have to force my way in, I think. Count myself as family. Think they’ll notice?

2 funny anecdotes about the last 2 pictures: Shauna, Alicia, Paul and I went out to dinner. Shauna’s the only one not blood-related and she married Alicia’s brother. Paul, Alicia, and I are all cousins. We all decided to go to Red Robin, because Alicia’s and Shauna’s husbands were trying to get a new door installed in the kitchen and it was causing some problems, so we saved our own evening by going out to eat. As we’re walking in, Alicia says “shoot! We’re going to look like Sister Wives!” (seriously, only in Utah… In my neck of the woods, they woulda just thought that the only guy cousin was into guys, too…) So as we’re sitting down, Alicia says “I need to order this for my HUSBAND, to go” and Shauna does the same thing. So when it’s time to go… instead of getting 4 separate checks, they combine Paul’s and my ticket. II didn’t say anything about a husband, so Paul and I had to be together. Even though he was at the opposite end of the table… Yep, everyone’s married in Utah… even to cousins.

Second story: Alicia has a 3-year old. All of the sudden, his eyes just LIGHT UP! we look to see what’s caused this type of reaction in a 3-year-old and there’s a nice older gentleman with a white beard at the table next to us. Her son starts saying “Santa! Santa! Santa!” Sooo cute! We all busted up. Alicia was pretty embarrassed, but she took a picture of the guy anyway, so she can tease him with it when he’s older. Wouldn’t you know it, Santa vacations in Utah during the summer.

Memorial 14 (a post I never published)

Ranger and I both have so much family in the area, that Memorial Day gets kind of tricky. This year, I really wanted to spend time in Victor and Tetonia and pay my respects.


No one else was all that thrilled, but we made it in time for the ceremony at the Victor Cemetery. I thought it was beautiful.

I have 2 uncles, one great uncle, and one second cousin in the American Legion (okay, my second cousin isn’t really in it, he just accompanies my great uncle during Taps), so it was pretty neat to see them all.


The salute.

Then, on to why we really came to the cemetery. Visiting my niece and grandparents and aunt and great aunts/uncles, and some great-aunts and uncles.

The sod over Grandma is still new, but Adella’s grass is pretty lush. UntitledThen we stopped by the other family cemetery and visited my cousin and great-grandparents. Untitled


So much family! And we didn’t make it to any of Ranger’s side. Not enough time.

Happy Birthday, Adella (a post I never published)

This is an old post I never got around to pushing the little publish button for, so you get it now… 3 months later than I intended. I’m great like that…

Most of my family has birthdays during 2 semi-annual spurts. Instead of having family reunions, then, we have family birthday parties. We used to do 2 a year attempt to hold 2 a year (we never seemed to get to the second one… and my birthday falls in that category. I was sick of getting jipped (I’m going to get history buffs and politicals mad at me for that word). So we made it an annual thing instead of semi-annual.

We share gifts with each member of the family (I don’t know how much longer that’s gonna last. I like it, but you never know. When we actually start getting a ton of grandkids/ nieces/ nephews, that will get expensive.)

Last year, we had big plans for the family birthday party… and they all got canceled. Instead we held a funeral for my sister’s stillborn angel.

So this year, as we were sharing presents, we all took a balloon outside and let it go (Yes, I’m going to have the environmentalist groups hounding me now, too). It was a birthday present to Adella.


How did she thank us? Giant hail balls.



Grandma (my mom) barely made it in alive! Just kidding, she was fine, but that was still some scary hail!


At any rate, happy first birthday, Adella. Nice aim.

Painting tootsies

We came to visit my mother who was visiting my grandmother and made a girls’ night of it. Painted nails all around. Here are my and my daughters’ nails.


my favorite colors. Didn’t bring anything with me to clean up the messes, sorry.

Something fun for my fingers. I added another coat of green after this picture. Interestingly, I got TONS of compliments on this bold nail choice.

Little miss’s nails. I think these are her 3 favorite colors right now. We’ll see how long they stay favorites. Funny thing: I had these exact three colors in a hair wrap when I was just a little older than her. I’ll go look for a picture.


who says you can’t be patriotic after the 4th? I loved this setup. I’m going to keep it in mind for next for of July.

All’s Fair

Every year my family tries to have a booth in the local fair. This year, our booth turned out pretty good, but we still didn’t get many visitors. I’m hoping that’s just because the whole fair didn’t have as many paricipants as it normally does.


My sister-in-law crocheted a few mermaid fins and owl hats. I can’t believe they didn’t sell better. I think it has to do with how hot it was.

I made babylegs and singed flowers. I’ve got a few pictures of final products, I’ll post in their own post. My kiddo made the ever-popular (at least for now 😉 ) loop bracelets.

Another sister made a ton of crocheted earrings and barrettes. They’re so cool! I wish more people would have come and seen them. My mom had a ton fo stuff, from hot pads to baby toys.

HI mom! 🙂

The wind was pretty crazy, and it dropped the big whiteboard on my foot. It swelled up pretty big, but I’m better now.


sorry my feet are so gross.

I’ll try to get some of the crafts on my sale site and actually get it running. I wanted to already be moved b now (are you as sick of reading that as I am sick of typing that?) and then I could devote more time to it. alas… I might just have to get it going before I move, but I’m procrastinating.

How We Spend Our Freetime

We spent many nights at the local movie theater/arcade. This is what happens when you’re the only kid still up on a Friday date night in a college town. She made bank! All the college kids handed her their tickets.


And spent her earnings wisely… Interestingly, her favorite color isn’t really purple. Sometimes it is, but she changes her mind so often, I wouldn’t say she’s really GOT a favorite color. But out of the colors there, purple won. Purple, soccer, and zebra. That’s how to be a cool kid, I guess…

We spent many minutes moving the location of this silly sticky hand.


Isn’t this a cool cloud formation? There’s been a ton of rain this summer. I am rained out! Seriously, you do not want to cross my path in February if I don’t get a little more sunshine this summer!

I made a goal to cover the whole driveway in sidewalk chalk. This is as far as we got, so I guess we’ll have to start all over again!



a sunrise and a very quick (and extremely inaccurate solar system rendition)

Mom, Dad, and Daughter. In a rainstorm


The new house doesn’t have that great of a driveway, so I guess I should embrace this one for the few minutes (translate: ages!!!! Seriously, I want to move! I’m so not patient enough for this!) I still have one.

the rest of the summer has been less than glamorous… We’ve been doing TONS of packing. 9 years in a house is hard to pack up. And then there’s the back and forth between lenders. And the just plain doing nothing moments.


But there was that one time that my Father-in-law trusted me to care for the buffalo while he was out of town on vacation, and I let them out… That was exciting. I’m happy to announce that I got them back in, all by myself! That has to make up for the fact that I let them out, right? The whole time I’m thinking “my father-in-law is never going to trust me ever again!” Luckily, I used the armor of the car to get them all collected into a corner of the driveway, right by the gate, and I was still strange enough that by the time I got out of the car, they’d figured that they’d rather be in the safety of the pen than to mess with a stranger. And I don’t think the bull fit through the gate, so they definitely felt safer on the same side of the fence with him. I definitely felt safer on the OTHER SIDE of that fence. Apparently, none of the men use the gate for just that reason. They all climb over. AFTER I let them out, Ranger told me not to use the gate because buffalo will keep track of how you come in and out and will work at that spot. Smart stinkers.

We’ve watched the babies grow up, too. That’s been pretty fun.

Huckleberry Heaven

My husband, daughter and myself all love camping, but can never seem to find the time to go. Every time we tried, this would happen:


This time, we just gave up and went. It still sprinkled on us each night we stayed, but we had a blast anyway, and we didn’t let the rain get to us. We found an amazing camping spot, and plan to make a tradition of it.


We went just to go camping, but these little berries made it that much better! We ended up picking 2 gallons. Too bad most of them were used for a certain family member’s wedding… it was still well worth it though.


It was so nice to get away from everything pending in our lives. Up there, it’s just you, your campsite, and the side of the mountain. Oh, and the family picking on the hill next to you that locks themselves out of their car, raids your huckleberry patch (she was determined that by picking the whole branch and then collecting the berries, she’s doing the bush a favor. I’m pretty sure she’s crazy. Anyone know if she’s really right?) All I know is she blazed through our berry patch and didn’t make me all that happy to have to share the hill. She also had strong opinions on everything. Her husband was cool though.

One thing we’ll check for next time: making sure the firepit is clean! It’s kind of a no-brainer for my eagle scout husband, but we were in such a hurry to get the tent up in the minimal time between rain and dark that we forgot. Ranger heard the pop and knew what it was, but we didn’t find the evidence until morning. Soooo glad it missed us all…


Seriously! I was pretty disgusted with the cleanliness of the campsite, anyway (why do people think it’s a good idea to mix beer, guns, and camping? sounds pretty …. not so thinky… to me…), but it made it pretty easy to leave it better than we found it!

On a much different note, did you know that there are lizards in this area? I had no idea! I thought they’d gravitate toward a much warmer climate. I’ve got my feet up on the rocks next to the fire while the kiddo is sleeping in the tent, and suddenly Ranger freezes, staring directly under my feet. That’s the thing of nightmares! WHAT IS UNDER MY FEET! But eventually, Ranger points to a crawly thing circling our firepit. He made a complete circle and went back up into the woods. When I got back to civilization, I looked him up. I think he was a Long-nosed leopard lizard. Apparently, there are a few varieties of lizards in the area, but they were all news to me! Lizards in Idaho! Blew my mind!

Long-Nosed Leopard Lizard

E+J wedding

Sorry it’s been so long since I posted. I’ve had so much to say, but I managed to lock myself out of admin because I somehow only half managed to change the password somewhere. I finally had to delete all the shortcuts and apps in my browser and sign in all over again. Such is life.

Update is: there’s still no update on moving. We’ve been in the “almost… Just one more step” stage for about a month and a half. We really are “almost there,” though. We’ve done everything but sign the papers and get the carpet and windows in. I am soooo ready to be outta this house!

But now to the fun stuff. After about a 3 year absence from the cake scene ( my sister’s wedding really did me in!) I made a cake again! This time for my new sister-in-law’s wedding. It was so fun.

I admit I was so worried. The forecast has said rain all week. And the bride was DETERMINED to have an outdoor wedding.

The clouds hung threateningly the entire ceremony/reception, and about an hr and a half into the reception, it wasn’t a threat, but a downpour. I’m pretty impressed, though. It ended up working out amazingly.


This is before they added the wildflowers to the mug. it was pretty cute and incredibly cheap!

By then, the traditions had all been attended to, and it’s the part of the reception that just drags on, so when the rain came, most people left, and only the close friends and family stayed.

It turned into one big wet afterparty. With an amazing sunset.

Untitled (sorry I can’t take pictures! It’s pretty irritating. I keep promising myself I’ll take a class, but never find the time to do so)

I love this picture. I’m bummed it’s blurry. This is true love. You know the country song “I don’t dance?” That’s the song that goes off in my head each time I look at this picture. The lyrics are so perfect! I’m so glad my Father-in-law found someone that loves him so perfectly.

Anyway, the cake turned out amazing. After having such a long hiatus, I was pretty worried I wouldn’t be able to call on enough skill. Luckily, it seems that the cake-making skill stuck a little better than the “riding a bike” skill (fyi, I can’t ride a bike. I’ve learned twice and never really enjoyed it so I run while my family rides. I get a much more intense workout, and I actually like it better…)


and the cupcakes were divine! I came up with the recipes myself. That meant that when they were gone before the reception got rained out and that all the comments of “oh my, these are so good!” went right to my head. It’s pretty inflated, now. Probably not enough to make another cake, just yet, but I’m definitely suffering from an expanded ego.



The white cupcakes are white chocolate with huckleberry filling and white chocolate butter cream and sprinkles on top. The purple-frosted cupcakes are lemon cupcakes with huckleberry filling, huckleberry frosting, and huckleberries. I wish I had made a gel of the huckleberry liquid and drizzled it on top of the white chocolate cupcakes, but maybe next time someone wants to pay me good money for huckleberry cupcakes… those buggers are purple gold, I tell ya!


Got a haircut. This is an awful pic, but selfies usually are. I think I liked it better last time, but this is a good style to help it grow back out. And I’d like to try, even though my hair really doesn’t do well when it’s long. It’s so thin and fine! But I liked my long hair, last time, it was just getting unmanageable and unhealthy. I’m hoping I can keep it healthy this time.


Brave Mom

You never realize just how much you accept people’s judgement until you let an 8-year-old paint your nails and you hope no one thinks you did it. On the one hand, everyone will oooh and ahhh that I was “nice enough” to let my daughter paint them. Mommy-building experience right there. But if I did them, I’d be frowned upon.


And then I tell myself it doesn’t matter what they think. But it’s pretty sad that I had to tell myself that. Especially because, for 8, she did a great job. And I’m proud to have splotchy, dramatic nails, because it means something to her.

And she matters.