Monday, June 29, 2009

Like Releasing the Pause Button

Speaking of great reunions and amazing girlfriends, I am really excited to spend quality time with fabulous people in coming months:

My wonderful Mother. DC & Charlottesville. Next week!!


My entire Weiler Family. Clear Creek Ranch in So. Utah. August.


The Team. Brighton, Utah. August.HPIM0210-1

Same group. Same place. (Add a few wives, kids and a bonus couple. Minus a random date.)

My Favorite Girlfriends. San Diego. On the Beach. Labor Day Weekend. (!!!!!!)


Anderson’s Best Friend (and Jeff and Marzi… oh yeah, and Mindy too). Denver. September.


My Divas!!! Brighton, Utah. Memorial Day Weekend 2010.


I enjoyed a mini reunion last weekend with my high school BFF Sara and her beautiful daughter, Sophie.



I LOVE reunions. I especially love them when the relationship picks up right where you left it. Unpause. Play.

It’s going to be a great couple of months.

**With all this traveling, Harley and I are in the market for new luggage. We bought one set and are feeling just “meh” about it. Any advice for our second set? Priority: ability to fit everything but the kitchen sink.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Girlfriends. I love them. I
need them. I'd been going way too long without them.

I have wonderful, amazing, beautiful girlfriends. Many of them. I'm blessed like that. Unfortunately they don't live by me. I miss them terribly and schedule ridiculous BFF World Tours to catch up with them. I miss them as individuals, but even more, I miss having their relationships in my daily life. I have "friends" in the DC area. We have great "couple friends." But I've struggled to make girlfriends. You know, really good girlfriends. Not a chit chat friends, but soul bearing girlfriends. Not smile and nod friends but laugh 'til you cry girlfriends. It's hard to make these kinds of friends. It takes time. It takes effort. It takes history. It's an emotional investment. But they are so worth it. I've gotten close to cultivating the beginnings of these precious relationships a few times out here, but just as I do, one of us moves.

A few months ago I was invited (actually, I kind of invited myself... I was that desperate) into a circle of true girlfriends. I was amazed at how fast I fell in love with these girls. They are lovely, intelligent, creative, thoughtful, fun and oh so funny! I have this Diva to thank:

Meet Becky Wickstrom. My amazing 2nd chance girlfriend. We call each other 2nd chance because we did not become girlfriends on our first chance. We met 6 1/2 years ago. We should have been girlfriends then, but we only recently became true girlfriends. The why and how behind our 2nd chance are tales for another time. The point is, on our 2nd chance, Becky took me in and truly girlfriend-ed me. Then she opened her arms even wider and embraced Kara, a mutual longtime friend, that is now a girlfriend. Becky did this by inviting Kara and me to join her and her two best girlfriends for Theatrical Thursdays. This weekly tradition, dubbed TT, involved matchy scratchies (matching pajamas provided by Becky), great food (usually made from scratch by Becky) and something theatrical.

Theatrical Thursday Ladies being cheesy in our matchy scratchies. We love cheesy.

Sometimes TT was simply watching The Office, 30 Rock or American Idol. Most times it was just five girls swapping best, worst, embarrassing, awkward and funny stories. We usually sat on Becky's couch (she always hosted), but one time we sat on her closet floor, admiring her insane shoe collection, and laughing until our cheeks hurt. Laughing was my favorite part of TT. One TT we did something really theatrical and attended Bethany's vocal recital (which was amazing).

Basking in Bethany's spotlight

We come from different phases of life, (married with kids, married without kids, single, careers, etc.), but Thursday nights we had everything in common. We just gelled. Before I knew it I had girlfriends again. I was so happy.



(freaking out when our beloved Georgetown Cupcakes arrived in a big, toppled mess. We were sad, then each grabbed a fork and dove into the box. Still delicious!)

and Bethany

Our husbands loved each other too. (They also loved our cupcake obsession.) When your girlfriends' husbands enjoy each other it makes your girlfriends even better.

Our children were peeps as well.

TTs were fabulous but fleeting. The tradition lasted less than three months, then stopped when Becky moved. The good news is she moved to Utah. The bad news is it just isn't the same without her. The other girls and I remain girlfriends and have plans to reunite soon, but realistically, the weekly TTs aren't happening. The first Thursday without Becky involved no theatrics at all. I honored the night by driving to Becky's neighborhood and getting my hair done. That was another wonderful result of girlfriending Becky. She introduced me to her girlfriend who does hair (and does it well) out of her home and is totally affordable. Harley is so grateful.

We did not let Becky's last weeks go without copious amounts of fanfare and pictures. Today, on this unTheatrical Thursday, I choose not to mourn Becky's departure or pout because my girlfriends are scattered. Instead I look at these photos and celebrate my Theatrical Thursday girlfriends. I celebrate all girlfriends! I rejoice in laughs we shared and wonderful people, secrets and treasures we brought into each others lives. We had some truly fabulous times.

Celebrating Rachel's birthday at the Melting Pot

Triple dating

One day we wanted to go shopping. We wanted to go to several places. We wanted to go together. So Becky rented a mini van, and we had a field trip. It was amazing!

Everyone had shopping success! Here we are in front of that special store that sells huge (the size of your head) bolts of ribbon for ridiculously low prices.

Eating cupcakes. Oh how we love Georgetown Cupcakes!

Thank you Becky. Thank you for graciously, generously, and ever so warmly embracing me into your circle of girlfriends. I never saw it coming, yet it was exactly what I needed.

Bethany, Wendy, Becky, Kara & Rachel
I love these girlfriends.

P.S. Becky throws amazing parties. Have I mentioned that before? Covet them here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lake-cation: Love it!

We just returned from a fabulous week at Deep Creek Lake in McHenry, Maryland. We reunited with four families from our Gaithersburg ward and it. was. great! So great we are still finding sand in all kinds of surprise places. The girls and kids went up Sunday and most of the husbands, including Harley, joined us Wednesday. We stayed in a posh rental home with fancier amenities, bigger TVs and waaaaay more space than our apartment. 10 Adults, 5 kids and more cameras than the paparazzi. We were quite the crew.


No big deal, we lived here for a week.


-The lush, green beauty of Maryland's "mountains." I loved escaping the humidity and the city and breathing in the fresh air, wildflowers and peace.

-Spending weekdays with Harley.

-Games, games and more games. Harley and I LOVE playing games and we played A LOT of games at Deep Creek. It was so great to put the kids down and play games until the early hours of the morning, not worrying about paying a sitter or eventually having to move children home. The best game: The Newlywed Game, hosted by "Midnight Adam." ("Midnight Adam” is really just Adam, but he gets a heck of a lot funnier after midnight.) We learned a lot about each other and laughed, laughed, laughed.


-Great food. My favorites: BBQ pulled pork, kebabs, homemade mac 'n cheese, BBQ ribs and cake batter fudge.


Anderson enjoying an early dessert tasting

-Visiting a free petting zoo.



Have you ever seen a goat like this? His neck and head were caaa-razy!

-Taking Anderson to the beach for the first time.




Loving summertime watermelon…



DSC_0475 and babes in bikinis.


-Being matchy matchy with the girls.

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Remember in high school when someone showed up at Prom wearing your dress and it was the worst thing ever? Fast forward to adulthood and someone shows up at the beach wearing your swimsuit and someone else is wearing your cover-up and it’s just a great photo op.

-Fierce games of “500” in the water and castle building on the sand.


-Watching Anderson play with 4 kids for 7 days and never get bored.

-Hot tub, hot tub, hot tub.

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-Harley’s ride down the Alpine Slide, followed by a bonus ride!

-A beautiful hike to Swallow Falls.

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That’s a real snake! Click here, then scroll down to watch the video.


-Not dealing with bottles. We set a goal to wean bottles pre Deep Creek and we did it!


Yay for sippy cups exclusively!

-Anderson learning a new trick: We say "one... two..." and he says "fwweeeeee!"

-Lots of new playgrounds and areas to explore.

-Sitting on the back porch, watching the lake and reading.

-Having a good time with great people.


-Regretting moving away from those great people. Regretting not making better friends with those great people while we lived closer. (Why is it you never appreciate what you had, or could have had, until it's gone? Mental note: make more friendshipping efforts in current ward.)

-Anderson's first real throw up. Not spit up. Vomit. A lot of it. All over the pack ‘n play.


Bug before he caught a bug.

-Sharing a room with Anderson which meant more often than not he ended up in our bed.

-Chilly weather. The temperature never climbed higher than high 70s. Rain and wind canceled our boating and kayaking plans. :(


Anderson was not a fan of the cold water.

-Frozen TV reception just as SYTYCD began.

-Getting my trash kicked at Cities and Knights. Twice.

-Harley wiping out the Ellsworth’s memory card. (Thankfully all pictures were retrieved.)

The Girls

DSC_0544 Heather, Maricel, Shauna, Ligia, Madeleine & Wendy


The Guys (minus Jake)


Sean, Tade, Matt, Anderson, Harley, Adam & Desi. Anderson was pretty upset his dad was once again wearing that awful flag shirt.

The Kids


Madeleine (13 months), Desmond (15 months), Anderson (14 months), Seth (2 years) & Tade (5 years)

The Whole Gang (minus Jake again. Is he in any pictures?)


Seth, Heather, Des, Adam, Tade, Mari, Shauna, Sean, Harley, Anderson, Wendy, Ligia, Maddie & Matt

We had a wonderful time. Major props to Ligia & Matt for organizing everything. Next year: Outer Banks!