Monday, March 12, 2018

Laila Senate Dance-- Clueless

Laila had her school dance on Saturday., was girls choice and she took Cort Richards, her friend from Mueller Park days.  

For the day activity, they got together on Friday night for an Amazing Race that we parents put on for them. There were 8 different stops where the kids gained points for solving puzzles, naming that tune, figuring out codes and drinking sour shots.  They had a create a smoothie  and drink it -food challenge at our home.  We had 6 ingredients that they had to blend and drink for points.  We used chocolate syrup, cantaloupe, siracha hot sauce, tuna fish , dill pickles and german mustard all blended up in 1 cup of water.  It was enough to make me- and Laila -  gag…but some of the dance kids chugged it down so they could WIN.  It was great to be a part of this fun activity. 

 On Saturday for the dance this big group of 34 kids all had fun dressing like the 90’s preppy “Clueless” characters.  Laila looked great.  Landon helped with her hair and Shelby helped with her make up.   We took her little girl kilt and re-sewed it into a skirt she could fit into now. 

Thursday, March 8, 2018

My Love affair with NYC


My love affair with New York City.
The first time I went to NYC I was a new 22-year-old teacher at Bountiful High school.   I went with a group of drama students on an educational tour between the Christmas- New Year holiday break.    We went and toured with other drama teachers and students from across the state.  
We stayed  or should I say "holed up" in the Edison Hotel,  on 47th just off Times Square.  It was 1984 and the Edison had a beautiful old world lobby but the rest of the hotel  was really old world and not updated in the least.  I checked my four girl students  into their room, my one boy into his (that he shared with a student from another school), and then I wandered down a labyrinth of hallways where the ceiling got shorter and closer to the top of my head til I was let into a closet..I mean my room with a single bed and a tiny RV type bathroom.    The accommodations were kind of bleak, but the experience was out of this world.  Thus began my love affair with NYC. 
1984 was back  when NO one went into Central Park (too many drug deals and prostitutes) and before the Mayor and Disney had yet to reform Time Square and the theatre district.  There were many XXX theatres and pamphlets being handed out EVERYWHERE.  We were told to keep our eyes down and stay together in a group close.   My girl students were afraid, and so we did. My boy student- Craig Casper- was more adventurous and walked us through Central Park .  He was our protector.  He was probably 125lbs. dripping wet, but had been to this city with his father so he felt more secure and after the park walk he took us to Carnegie Deli for “real” German deli style cheesecake—and yes, it was amazing.  (I had gotten a piece at Carnegie Deli every trip until it closed in 2016. I mourned.)     I remember being in the Howard Johnsons (that was on Times Square but isn’t any more because of the Times Square Marriott)  and  when asked where we were from and  we said, “Utah” the waitress looked at my one boy student and four girl students and me  and said,  “Oh I get it polygamy.  Can I see your horns.?”  My students looked at me very confused.  Realizing that she thought we were all married to 16 year old Craig- made us  laugh hysterically.   
We saw Cats,  ( I was stunned by the dancing and how they decorated the theatre up so we were all small and it felt like we were in a garbage dump—giant shoes and drink bottles and cans.  It was very immersive)  La Cage Aux Folles, , A Neil Simon play and an off Broadway small musical. La Cage Aux Folles blew me away…such a  tender, bittersweet story and so amazing with all of the people in drag – some men and some women which kept everyone guessing til the end when they finally pulled their wigs off.  Astonishing. 
We came out of La Cage on New Years Eve and were trapped in a block jammed with too many people on Times Square.  We were  jostled, pushed and shoved, so we linked arms, kept our valuables close to our chests and waited for the ball to drop.  It was magical. Then within minutes after the ball drop a million people just disappeared and all that was left was  massive amounts of garbage and confetti.  By morning, even that was cleaned up.  
I couldn’t wait to get back to NYC…so two years later in the 1986  Christmas/New Years holiday,  I was there again, this time with Wayne.  We saw.. Smile,  Rumors,  Cats  ( again)  a little off broadway production that wasn’t memorable but the guy out front trying to sell us “coke and weed” certainly was.    We avoided the New Years Eve crush…staying on the side flow streets and watching the police horses rear up and keep the crowd at bay.   We saw bottles being thrown out of hotel windows and landing on people’s guy all bloodied…and one gentleman , who was soooo intoxicated, dropped his pants and shouted ,”Happy New Year,” at the top of his lungs.   Good times. We ate at a little Chinese restaurant with  real cats running around—not the costumed, dancing, jellical kind.
Times Square and NYC got  cleaned up and “Disney-ized” in the 1990’s. Thank goodness.  It made the place much more family friendly.   
I didn’t get back to NYC til 1996 and I’ve been going pretty consistently ever since. 
I have been with just Wayne or with different groups of friends - many times, with a  girlfriend, with my sisters and mom , with a BHS choir trip, taken the older boys with the Wangsgaards and Brady Bentley, taken the younger boys with Lindsey, taken Laila  and just recently I was there with  Truman.   
I love New York.   There is so much to see and do.
I love the energy.  
I love people watching.
I love hailing a cab. ( UBER is better now)
I love ALL of the theatre.
I love the food carts.
I love scouting out the best “cheap” pizza in NYC.
I love following different foodies advice for the best this or that at restaurants.
I loved the cheap shopping in China town -  I have bought too many purses, too many watches, sunglasses, pashminas and t shirts.
I love walking through the expensive 5th avenue high end stores..and I used to love going to H and M – which was only in New York, and Forever 21 – which was only in New York…but now they are everywhere.  I still love Zara.
I love walking through Central Park and watching the artists, the nannys with  strollers,  the zoo, the ice skating rink, the John Lennon memorial,  the lakes, the fountain, the bikers and  horse drawn carriages.
I’m okay with the doesn’t scare me…but I love walking the most.
I love walking the Brooklyn Bridge back into the City.
I love going to church there.
I love spending time in the museums.
I love the Statue of Liberty …seeing it up close or far away.
I love the romance of the Empire State Building, or going to the Top of the Rock and now the  One World Trade Center for outstanding views. 
So much to love.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

March is in like a LION

 Addison got his hair cut for his role as Harold Hill in The Music Man.  He looks sharp although he is mourning his long hair.  He took  Laila as his date to the Hale Center thank you party for actors.  I loved seeing my oldest and my youngest do something together. 
 Bre as Ariel in the Little Mermaid at CPT, was LOVELY.  Bre sings this part like a dream and the production itself was really strong.   We took all of the Buzelli's to dinner and then this show for Alex's birthday.   The kids loved it!
 We finally got snow.... and a lot of snow.  20 inches.   It's crazy we have only had 3 storms this whole winter....only 17 days til Spring starts.

 Wayne got an e-bike from his good friend Scott Keller...actually Scott Keller gave all of his Biking buddies mountain e-bikes for Christmas.   11 bikes!   It was incredible to see this happen and be a part of this fun night at Bountiful Bike. 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Laila at Cheer Nationals

 Laila spent the weekend in California participating in Cheer Nationals.  They took 3rd in Time Out Dance.  This is a big group of cheerleaders...and they mostly get along. 
 Along with Cheer competition, she got to spend two days at Disneyland! 
 We are so happy Laila has best friend Katelyn Patteson ( KP) to cheer with.  They are so good together.
Cheering at the Hunstman Center at the U of U  for State Basketball Quarterfinals.  Bountiful beat Skyline!

Alex Birthday

 Alex turned 35 and we gathered to celebrate.  We had SUSHI and cake and family time.  Alex is a great addition to our family.  He is kind and a champion of the underdog.  He goes along with most of my zany plans and he continues to love our Landon.  All good things.
We were just pulling some faces and entertaining ourselves, while Joseph and baby Jesus photobomb.

Sophia thinks her boy doll looks like Poppa Wayne... I agree...Sophia has braces now and is growing up nicely.

Little Lady is growing and doing better after her rough start.  the Hole in her lung has healed and her numbers for her red blood cell are slowly going up.  She is a good little eater ad just needs to remember to breathe while she eats.

And the Pop Star is 4 months old.  She is getting two teeth already.  Alfie said when coming to our house the other day, "Hey Poppa we brought the little Pop."   He loves calling her "Popstar."

Monday, February 26, 2018

Winter retreat

We gathered on Thursday night in this really FUN house.   We prepared cafe rio type salads and did 2 truths and a lie ice breaker to begin getting to know each other.   Then we gathered for Story time where everyone gets to share a story from their life.  What ever they want to talk about for 7 minutes.  We learned about adoption, how I met my husband, one of my funny kisses,  how kids say the darndest thing, gay kids, kids in jail, moving a lot,  chicken name it we shared about it.  
In attendance  were some of my old friends,  two ladies that came together from Mountain Green but didn't know anyone else there, another lady that my friend brought down from her work, and another lady that came who didn't know anyone.  She just wanted an adventure!  I'm always to impressed with the courage it takes to jump into a fairly intimate situation with strangers.  BUT  I know that within a few minutes, personal barriers are brought down and we see that we have more in common that we do different.  It's a beautiful thing to witness.

So Many lovely women came to play.. Back row:  Becky Farley - our Mindfulness and Meditation teacher, Laureen Carlsen- Miss Personality, Jacki Taylor- who tells it like it is, Darlene House- full of energy and love, Kimi Farley- my right hand and all around great gal, Me.  Front Row:  Tammy Siebert- so kind and caring, Danine Davis- Fit and ready for adventure, Annett Pond- Miss WOW and Laura Belnap-- who knows everyone...or made some kind of connection.
 Day two brought an early morning walk in the frigid sunshine, learning about whole hearted living and then jumping in with both hands in to a painting project to get everyone out of their comfort zones and to practice creativity and not living in comparison. 
 THE SNOW came back.   It was beautiful to watch out out deck.  We stayed inside and learned about Mindfulness and Meditation from a wonderful teacher- Becky Farley.  She has a gift and is so engaging and supporting to everyone as we all tried to wrap our minds and spirits around the art of mediation.  She put us all through a guided meditation at the end, that put some of us to sleep-- it was that relaxing.  We all promised to at least practice the breathing part of this mindfulness at red stop lights!
That night Debbie Zockoll came and spoke to us.  She  has run 268 marathons in the past 4 decades.  She has run every single St. George Marathon  sometimes pregnant, sometimes in the middle of chemo...she has also beat cancer twice... in 2005 and 2016-- and ran marathons those years as well.  She really is inspiring and not intimidating.  Such a beautiful soul.
We laughed and cried and shared and supported and ate and laughed some more.     The Sun came up and it was time to head out.  Lots of hugs and we all drove off into the  cold SUNSHINE.

The Gather house left a polaroid camera for our use... by the time I figured it out I didn't get a picture of Every lady... we are missing two.... of the pictures but they are not missing in our hearts and memories.  Yay for Soul Sisters.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Temple times

We had a speaker in church today retell some times in his family's lives when the Temple was such a blessing to them...and really a sacred, special place. 
 I started to  think and recount in my own life when I felt the power and specialness of the Temple.
1.  I loved going to the Salt Lake Temple when Grandma and Grandpa Butters were temple workers there.  One time Grandpa took me through the veil, one time they were Adam and Eve and one time Grandpa played Satan.  It was extraordinary! 
2.  We took Addison through a session at the Salt Lake Temple and he was given a Chinese name to do, and as we were waiting for him in the Celestial room…he came in very emotional and said it was so real, he could see a small, black haired man going through the veil with him.
 3.  It was such a sacred day when we were sealed as a family to baby Laila Nov. 2002…it was a joyous occasion.  It was the one time all of my children were in the temple together.  
4.  I felt so privileged to be the "Bride's mom" when Lexi took out her endowments and got married. It was special being in the Bride's room with her at the Bountiful Temple.
5.  I love sitting by Wanee in the temple...we always giggle about something.
6.  I loved going when Bre took her endowments out... I finally felt connected to her in a very sacred way.
7.  I loved seeing my Dad dressed in his temple whites when he was a temple worker.  He was so jolly when he greeted people. 
8.  I have had many sacred experiences with answers to prayers and putting people's names on the temple prayer roll for different reasons.
9.  When we were deciding to adopt, we went to the temple often and every time I would make a deal with the Lord..that if we were supposed to adopt we would be the witness couple on the session and EVERY TIME we were.

I haven't been that specific...because I can't put words to the sacredness of these occasions, but I hold them all dear to my heart.