Scenes From Christmas 2016

We have enjoyed our time together this Christmas.  Honestly 2016 was a very busy and slightly overwhelming year.  Mr. Bits is finally back home after four long months, the kids and their activities have settled down at least for the past two weeks, and I have been working away on various projects.  All in all, the year has been good, but I am glad to have a fresh start!

Here are some pictures of our very quiet Christmas this year.

Christmas Eve Fun:  Two church services, decorating cookies and new pajamas!

 

Christmas Day gifts and rest.

 

After Christmas Snowshoeing.

After Christmas Hike on a Frozen River with our dogs!

Happy New Year Breakfast!

 

From our family to yours, Have a very Happy and Healthy 2017!

 

Flowers

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I have been spending as much time as I can in my backyard lately.  In the early morning I sit in my ugly seventies rocking chair and read my Bible or devotion for the day, drink my coffee and pet the dogs.  In the evening, I walk around the yard, pulling weeds where I see them, and admiring the flowers that are beginning to bloom.  I am trying to slow down, even in the midst of a crazy busy life.  I do not want this life to be a blur from one event to the next.  Instead, I long for peace.  The flowers in my garden are beautiful.  The garden has not yet matured, and there is much growing to do, but the flowers that are brave enough to bloom in the midst of un-organization, they are making an impact.  In the mismatched growing, there is strength and beauty, and I feel as though it reflects my own life. Bits of beauty in an un-organized, mismatched life.  Reminders, that it will all come together, and be beautiful.

I hope you are all enjoying your summer.

Love,

Suzy

Sunday Storytelling-A Critter in the Car

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So last week I showed you pictures of my 40th birthday at Bryce Canyon.  It was a great weekend filled with fun and family.  It was also filled with a critter adventure with telling.

It all began on the Sunday of the trip.  We woke up, piled in the car and drove to the national park.  On the way there, a burning odor was coming through the vents.  We really did not pay too much attention, as we just thought that maybe the heater was on a little high.  Towards the end of the day, we could not ignore the smell any longer, and decided to check under the hood.  My husband opened the hood, and underneath lay a forest of tree branches and leaves.  He just started to take out all the piles, and we realized that a critter had made its home on our warm engine the night before.

The next day, Monday we headed began our trek home.  We decided to take the long way back, which is the scenic route through the Grand Staircase.  If you ever come to Utah, you must come to this area, it is absolutely beautiful.  this scenic route added an extra 3 hours to the trip but it was worth it sense the family we were travelling with is from Texas and had never seen it. This area is known for its winding, bumpy roads. So before we headed off, my husband checks under the hood again, and low and behold, there was a new nest in the car.  We cleaned it out and off we went.

We made it home later on in the evening, and let our dogs in the garage.  While in there, the dogs would not take their eyes off the car, and we just brushed it off as it still smells like a critter.  Next day, the dogs would not go outside and we had to drag them out of the garage, and we began to wonder if the critter had come back with us.

Two days later, we had forgotten all about it and had to be at church late in the evening.  My daughter and I were headed out to the car, and as I approached I saw a bushy tailed critter on my tire.  When it saw us, it ran under the car and disappeared.  My daughter and I did not know if we should get in the car, and actually had a running start to jump in so the critter would not attack our legs.  The whole way home we laughed at the thought of bringing the critter all the way from Bryce Canyon with us.  Seven hours that thing hung on for dear life!

That night we left the hood open and the car in the driveway, but it still lived there for another day, until I got my car washed!!

So we brought back more than just memories from Bryce Canyon!

Hope you are all creating stories of your own!

Love,

Suzy

Weather

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The weather has been so beautiful and warm here for most of fall, but we have had some interesting days.  A couple of weeks ago, it was really rainy and chilly, and when the skies cleared, there was actually a dusting of snow on the mountains.  I know that seems a little early, but considering the dry year we had in 2014, it was a welcome sight.  But as quickly as the snow came, it left and reached almost 90 degrees!

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A couple of weeks before the snow, we went to the amphitheater in our historic town to see my sons banjo teacher play in his band.  It is a bluegrass band, and against the backdrop of the mountains and our quaint town, it was so pleasant and lovely, that I could not resist taking my phone out and snapping a couple of pictures of the clouds with the setting sun shining on them.  So beautiful, and we were so lucky to see a rainbow appear.  The scene was made even more beautiful when the band started playing “Matthew”  by John Denver.  Go and listen to it, and you will love it!  Reminds me of home, Oklahoma though, not Kansas.

These past few days have been filled with clouds and spits of rain, giving us hope in the west of a wetter winter.

How has the weather been in your neck of the woods?

Love to you all,

Suzy

Sunday Storytelling-Be Happy Where you Are

This is a post I wrote about two years ago, and for some reason, I have been thinking a great deal on this subject lately.  Maybe one of you can relate.  Enjoy!

When I was 20, I went on a spiritual retreat.  One day, we were told to be silent.  No talking and on our own as much as possible.  We could eat together, but no talking.  Everyone must remain silent.  We were trying to listen for God’s voice.  Well, I do not know about you guys, but quieting my mind is more difficult than not talking.  I think about everything and worry about more than I should.  When someone says try to listen for God, I freak out.  My mind begins to think constantly about why I do not hear His voice.

Even at age 20, which is almost 20 years ago, I felt this way.  I would like to say that things have changed, but with my anxiety, it has not.

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So that morning, I decided to take a walk.  Our retreat was up in the mountains, next to a beautiful stream with many,many wild flowers.  Oh it was gorgeous!  So I knew I wanted to hike along the stream to look for a place to sit and try to listen.  As I began my walk, I would see the best places to sit and ponder, but they were already taken.  I would get mad and say to myself, “Everyone else has the best place, why can’t I have the same spot?”

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The further I would walk, the more I realized that all the great spots were taken.  Why couldn’t I find a spot like everyone else had?  Why did they get all the good stuff?  Now I was about a mile and a half into my hike, and I was getting so frustrated.  I wanted to hear from God damnit, and I couldn’t because everyone else had the perfect spot. The interesting thing is, I did not turn around and go back, I just kept walking.  I came to a dead spot in the walk where everything seemed to be brown and crunchy.  I became even more mad and actually began yelling at God, as to why he talks to everyone else but me.  Why does he give good gifts to all the others, but me, I get a dead spot?

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Still, I walked.

And walked.

Suddenly, the trail opened up into a huge green meadow.  The meadow was lush, green beautiful, and colorful with newly blossomed wildflowers.  And I realized that God had spoken all along.  And it is a lesson that I have needed to be reminded of.

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The lesson is that I spend a great deal of time looking at other people and what they have.  Not possessions, but family, friends, spiritually.  I get frustrated and wonder why I cannot have what they have.  Why do I get to keep walking?  Why do I have the crunchy dead spots?    But in reality, I do have the most lush green beautiful life. I may have to walk and walk to get there.  I may have to go through the nasty stuff, but when I come out of it, I have beauty.  I have to focus on the beauty in the journey as well, and be happy for the people who are in there beautiful spots.  You see, they had to go through nasty stuff to get there.  I just do not know their story.

Instead of dwelling on what others have and what I do not, it is time to remind myself to be happy for them.  Love them and know that what they have been through to get there has been just as difficult or more so than what I have been through.

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Your time is coming, just keep walking.

Love,

Suzy

This Moment-Look Closely

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Joining Soulemama for

{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

 

The Everyday

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We have been keeping busy lately.  School of course is the number one priority, and we have had plenty of that.  But sports seem to be taking up a whole lot of time as well.  We are well under way in basketball season, and with two kids participating, we have four out of five nights of practice.  Good thing gas has gotten cheaper!

With all of the craziness of schedules, we have made sure to go on a few field trips.  The Spiral Jetty, being one of them.  It is a wild land up there, so the kids built a fort that I am pretty sure we may never find again.  Or it could go untouched for years, it is that stark.  But the starkness is what makes it surprisingly beautiful up there.  We have also gone to the Natural History museum.  That was a cool day.  A tour guide “adopted” us and told us all sorts of interesting things.  We have been there many times, but have never learned as much as we did that day.  I am trying to get us all out of the house as much as possible.  Staying inside the house all day can get a little ho hum.

Our life is not exciting, but it is full.  Time together, living, loving and learning.  I am so grateful.  Simply grateful.

I hope you all are having a wonderful week, and Happy Hump Day!

Love,

Suzy