Wednesday, July 27, 2011


first off -- dance party my house tonight 8:30. Truffles this week are the ultimate chocolate experience. Fudgee Truffles. Ummmm. Just ate one. Okay two. HOLY DANGEROUS!! They are going to be one of my favorites I can already tell.

second note: I have a bed I need to sell. Anyone need a king size pillowtop Sterns and Foster bed? It is a very nice bed and is only 3 months old. Here is the story.

See I loved our old bed but it was 9 years old and getting too soft for my honey. His back began hurting. So he went out and found a bed he liked. We bought the lovely pillowtop Bradenburg Sterns and Foster with the box springs and a great impermeable mattress cover. Then we started sleeping on it. Jon's back felt so much better. We had found his cure. Great right? Well it would have been if my back hadn't started hurting.

So after 3 months of trying to make it work for me, I have given up and have been sleeping on our old bed which is now in the nursery. Not so great for me or Jon or Harrison. Unfortunately we can't return the new mattress because it is past the 30 day return policy. So I am trying to sell it so we can go buy another new mattress (or maybe 2 twins that we can stick together :)

So if you are in the Las Vegas area and have been needing or wanting a new bed, I have a deal for you. We bought the mattress for $1500 the box springs for $400 and the mattress cover for $100. We would like to sell all of it for $1500. Anyone interested?

Monday, July 25, 2011


We were all sitting around in my brother's house in Dallas. His oldest daughter's birthday party had brought both sets of grandparents together. I hadn't seen my sister in laws parents in years. All my kids were playing with their Dallas cousins. My father and I sat with my sister in law's father, Bob, at the table. Harrison was on my lap.

Bob looked around the room and began to count, "One, two, three, four, five. So you have five children?"

I paused...

Just after Camille died the matter of how to answer this everyday question weighed heavily on my heart. It tore me up inside thinking about it. Initially I determined that I would ALWAYS include Camille. She counts. I bore her, nursed her, changed all those diapers. She is my child. She counts.

I reasoned, "My grandmother had two daughters pass away before she did. My two aunts were both grandmothers before they died. I would never think to say my grandmother only had 4 children. She had 6 and 2 had since passed away. My child shouldn't count any less just because her life was shorter. I would count her."

And that is what I did. Occasionally, however people would see me with my kids and assume how many children I had, like Bob was now. Sometimes I corrected them. Sometimes not. I found it is not fun to deliver the heart wrenching news of your child's death to a stranger in passing conversation.

So as time passed I stopped correcting every person. Still every time the subject arrises about how many kids I have, there is a pause in which all of this goes through my mind and I decide how to answer.

And so in my brother's kitchen I begin to nod my head in a sort of affirmation and resignation. Then, in the spilt second pause it takes me to process this all and decide how to answer, my dad interrupts. "No. She has 6 children. She had a little girl who passed away."

Even now ... writing this ... a lump forms in my throat. She counts. He counts her. My dad is not letting her be forgotten. He counts her ... even when he has to correct someone.

That night in my bed, tears rolled down my cheeks. They were tears of love and gratitude to my dad. I don't know if he can ever fully know how much it meant and means to me that he doesn't let her go uncounted. It is one thing for me to remember her and count her. But to have others, outside our little family, continue to count her mean so very much to me.

On our plane ride home our steward took an interest in our family all lined up in our row of the airplane. He looked across the row and said, "So you have five kids huh?" With confidence I said, "No, actually. I have six."

Thursday, July 21, 2011


It is just after 10 p.m. and I am sitting at my kitchen table alone listening to the sounds of my own typing, the air conditioning, and the running of my dishwasher. There are so many parts of my body between my head and toes that hurt. I am too tired to even list them.

My girls just went up to bed about 15 minutes ago and my husband followed them just now. We had a late night. Why??? Well you have heard that old saying about how bodies in motion tend to stay in motion and bodies at rest tend to stay at rest? It is a true principle. Today my body was in motion. Let's see if I can remember it all:

5 ish am Up with Harrison to nurse and put him back to sleep.
7:20 Wake up with Noble and Harrison
7:30 Advance Laundry / Feed Harrison / Dress and Diaper both boys
7:50 I begin to fold about 8 loads of laundry that I did yesterday and today.
8 am Phone call saying Jon's brother is in the hospital. Probably going to have surgery.
Family prayer for him. Jon gets dressed and goes to see him. Jon will have to work his shift at the store.
8:15 While still folding laundry at a furious rate, I direct the girls to get ready (do morning checklist) to go to swimming lessons.
8:43 I finish folding the last dish towel. My girls have everyone in the car ready to go (they are so great). I run down grab my purse and get in the car.
8:58 Arrive at swim lessons in time for their 9 am swim classes
9:35 Leave swimming
9:50 Arrive home. Get snacks for Noble. Send girls to shower and Lauren to get ready for Dance Intensives.
10:03 Leave to get Lauren to dance.
10:16 Drop Lauren off one minute late to Dance class.
10:35 Home from dropping off Lauren. I drink some water and eat a banana. My sister comes over to give me some hand me down stuff. We chat for a bit and the kids play a bit. She leaves. I nurse Harrison again. Kids play.
11:30 Feed Noble lunch
11:45 Put Noble down for a nap
12:00 Sabrina, Annie and I begin the last phase of our Family chore "Operation Organize Pantry." If you saw how big my pantry was you would see why this is a week long chore. I post photos later. I have one part left to organize.
1:30 Leave to go get Lauren from Dance
2:05 Arrive home. Saby and Annie have made cupcakes by themselves and cleaned the entire downstairs and decorated the blue table for an impromptu surprise cupcake party (I should have gotten a photo) for the neighbor friends. We bake the cupcakes. They make sandwiches and cut them out with cookie cutters for the "party."
2:20 Friends/neighbors stop by with misplaced mail and we talk a bit.
3:10 Girls invite other neighbors over for the surprise party I frost cupcakes for them and begin cleaning their sandwich and cupcake making mess.
3:15 Surprise party with friends
3:30 My brother Darren and his wife Nikki and their twins Henry and Lily show up to visit for an hour. Jon comes home at the same time to work out and go back to work. I visit with Nikki and Darren.
4:30 Company leaves. Harrison has fallen asleep on me. I sit down to be his bed for a few minutes. Jon takes Noble to shower. Sabrina goes to a neighbors house.
5:00 Noble is running around clean in just a diaper and shoes begging to go outside and play. I put down Harrison to tend to Noble. Harrison wakes up. I start making dinner.
5:30 Harrison is crying, Noble is running around crazy still in his diaper only, Lauren is
trying to tend Harrison but he is just not happy. I call Sabrina home and Annie downstairs. Dinner is served. I take Harrison and all the kids eat.
6:00 I eat and kids clear the table.
6:30 Time to do our weekly "pick up" of the house. I put Harrison in his swing and begin working with the girls. Over the next three hours I put away laundry with the girls, clean and organize the play room, clean and organize the girls closet, clean and organize the loft and all the Wii components, Put Noble to bed (Sabrina got him ready for bed), Finish loading the dishes Annie washed, appreciate the "surprise" Annie and Lauren gave me of doing the dishes and cleaning and organizing all the toys downstairs, deep clean the laundry room and pick up every other room in the house.
9:20 I sit down with a small bowl of ice cream and watch the results of So You Think You Can Dance with my girls. They worked hard with me and get the treat of staying up late with me to watch the show.
That brings me to about 10 pm. Girls to bed. Me to blog. Me tired. Now you see why.

Tomorrow we relax. Our only scheduled outing is to the library to return and check out books. I plan to order dinner in or take the girls out and just enjoy the weekend in a nice clean house. Family coming in on Saturday and Chris's food that night. I can't wait!

Good night!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Dance Party at my house tonight 8:30 S'mores truffles. Be there.

Second, remember my friend Chris? The chef. He is running Lulu's on the Move (Metro Pizza's food truck) these days. It is great gourmet food for 4-6 bucks a dish. Well he will be selling his food off the truck in my neighborhood this Sat. from around 6:30 ish till whenever. Swing by and get some great dinner if you know where I live.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Few More Answers

To Emily - Sabrina is 10 and going into 5th grade. I am sure you could find an eye dr. that would let your daughter get contacts if you think she is responsible enough to take care of them (ie not leave them in over night, lose them, and she can get them in and out by herself after a bit of practice.)

To the busy mom who asked about my scripture reading habits. I have found that for my family breakfast time is the best time to read scriptures. During school months I read to the girls while they eat their breakfast. Their mouths are full so they can listen and not be talking to each other. :) Right now since our time is more relaxed, I usually sleep in later than they do (I get up when Harrison gets up.) So by the time I get up either Annie or Sabrina has read scriptures out loud to the other kids. I will catch up with them or read to whoever wasn't awake for the first reading.

We rotate which book of scripture we study as a family. So far we have completed the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants during our breakfast reading. We are currently in the middle of the Old Testament (in Isaiah). We read from a version of the scriptures (Old Testatment for LDS Families) that uses the exact text from the scriptures but that has definitions for some of the unfamiliar words for the kids and other explanations in the footnotes. This really helps the girls when they read without me.

Sometimes (especially when we go on vacation) we get out of our groove and miss a few days of our scripture reading. It happens. But we just do our best to jump back on the wagon and get back to it.

In addition to this family scripture study, I personally read from the Book of Mormon every night. Some nights when I am particularly tired it is only a page that I read. Most nights I would say I read a chapter. Sometimes I read a couple of chapters. It just depends on how tired I am. But I feel even if I only read a verse it is better than not reading at all. I feel I am blessed in accordance with the effort I put forth. I do also forget some nights too. But usually between my family scripture study and my personal scripture study at night I get at least some scripture time in everyday.

I know from personal experience as a kid that even when it seems your kids aren't listening, they will be blessed by having scriptures read to them. I had an experience as a 12 year old where my mother's scripture reading of the New Testament to me proved highly valuable. I remembered verses she had read me and where they were at a crucial moment and that helped me stay strong in the face of serious opposition.

Moral of all that is to do the best you can and if you fall off the scripture study habit wagon, get back on.

Now I am off to read my scriptures and hit the hay.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What I Am Missing

Sometimes my mind leaves the here and now and wanders to the dangerous land of Couldabeen. In this place I see all the things I am missing. Walking through children's clothing stores I see the adorable little girl clothes. My mind instantly misses the little baby girl I could have been dressing in those clothes. My other girls are all shopping in the big girl section now.

Milestones are particularly difficult. An inner voice whispers to my soul, she would have been 4 and saying those funny things and doing those adorable tricks. She would be starting Kindergarten next year. She would be Lauren's buddy.

I see kids her age. I watch them and feel sorrow that my little girl isn't able to learn and grow and experience all they are experiencing. I am sorry for her and for me not being able to experience these milestones of life with her.

I had such a moment the other day. But this time, in the quiet sorrow in my soul that followed the thought of pity at her missing out, there came a feeling. It was a feeling of thrilling joy and exhilaration, but not my own. It was her joy. I could sense it like you can feel the energy off of someone who is really excited about some thing. It was the same sense of joy I had from her the when she finally passed away. She was happy.

And the thought came to my mind,
"Oh, Mom, if only you could see
the things I am doing now..."

And with that my sorrow fled.
I realized I am not missing what she would have been.
If anything, I am missing all she has become.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

To Karol

So nice to "meet" another person who lives so many of the same standards I do. I really do consider it a treat to meet people who are not LDS who live this way. Perhaps I only meet them so rarely because I have never lived in an area where there is a strong Christian contingency like the south or conservative values like Middle America. I have only live in Las Vegas (not known for conservative values obviously), Utah (full of conservatives but most are LDS), Washington DC, and Southern California (both rather socially liberal areas.)

Anyway, it is a pleasure to hear of other people, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindi or otherwise who choose to live like I do.

Now to answer your question regarding the origin of my belief that Jesus Christ visited the natives of the Americas and that He and His Father appeared to a 14 year old boy. You wanted to know where in the scriptures that came from.

Let me start with a story. In 1820 there was a boy named Joseph Smith who was 14. He lived in upstate New York with his family. There was a religious fervor in the area at the time with many preachers from various Protestant denominations holding revivals and preaching about how their church was the only way to heaven etc... Joseph's mother and siblings had been going to various churches and most had chosen one church or another to join. But Joseph felt confused by all the preaching and was unsure of which sect to join.

His family was a Bible reading family and so one night he was reading the Bible when he came across the scripture in James 1:5 which says that if any man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not. This verse pieced Joseph powerfully and he thought over it extensively. Eventually he decided he must follow its instruction and pray to ask God which sect was the right one to join.

He set off and went to pray in a grove a trees near his house. I will quote his own account of what happened after he uttered his prayer. "I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!"

The Savior then spoke to Joseph telling him that he was to join none of the churches. He informed Joseph that the church He established when he was alive was no longer on the Earth. He informed Joseph that one day he would help the Savior restore to the Earth His original church with apostles and prophets being led by the Savior himself at their head. The product of this "restoration" is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Now I know this sounds like a crazy story. But I believe it with everything that I am. I have prayed in that same grove where Joseph prayed and felt my heart so filled with the Spirit telling me that this story did in fact happen that it seemed to burn within me. I feel that same Spirit of "ringing truth in my soul" every time I hear or read Joseph's account of this visitation from the Savior and the Father. 

But I understand that believing this story makes me (and all other LDS people) a bit different from the rest of the world. That is why it made my list of how being a Mormon makes me feel different.

As for Jesus Christ visiting the Americas. That comes from a book called the Book of Mormon (which is where the nickname "Mormons" comes from). It is a second witness or "Another Testament of Jesus Christ" as its subtitle proclaims. Joseph was led by an angel (who was the final author of the Book of Mormon when he lived) to a hillside where an ancient book of golden plates was buried. By the power of God he translated this book into English. The angel took the plates back from Joseph when the translation was finished. The result is the book we know as the Book of Mormon. 

The Book of Mormon is a history of a few groups of people who were, at various times, led by God out of the Old World of Jerusalem (some as early as the tower of Babel, others later around 600 BC). It records their belief in the Savior who would come and the preaching and visions and teachings of the prophets who came among them over the span of about 1000 years. Most significantly, it records what it was like in the ancient Americas when Christ was born (a day and night and day with no darkness) and when he died (massive natural disasters and earthly upheaval followed by about 3 hours of total utter darkness). It also records a visit from the Savior to the people in the Americas after his resurrection. In this He delivers a sermon nearly identical to the Sermon on the Mount. 

The only reference there is in the Bible to this is where the Savior tells the Jews of the  "other sheep" that are not of this fold that He is going to visit. 

Again, I feel the in tune ringing, peaceful, warm, feelings of the Spirit every time I read the Book of Mormon. I love this book. I read it over and over and love it and learn new things every time. Again, though, this is something I wouldn't expect anyone to believe who hadn't read the book and prayed to know for themselves if it was true and gotten an answer. I mean who would believe it without?

If anyone reading this would like a free copy of the Book of Mormon, you can either click on the link HERE or just email me your name and address at stephaniewaite at gmail dot com and I will write a personal note in one and send it to you. Give it a read and see what you think.

Hope that helped clear this up for you Karol. Thanks for asking the question.

much love,

Monday, July 11, 2011

Answers to Questions

To the anon questions in the comments:

First, about what is the official Mormon or LDS Church position on the death penalty or in other words capital punishment? I found this statement put out by the leaders of our church on that subject to the media.

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regards the question of whether and in what circumstances the state should impose capital punishment as a matter to be decided solely by the prescribed processes of civil law. We neither promote nor oppose capital punishment."

As to the second question about why being LDS makes me feel different especially in light of the "Mormons are just like you and me" aspect of the current "I am a Mormon" campaign:

Yes, Mormons come in all shapes and sizes and from a wide variety of backgrounds. We have members from every race and culture I can think of. And in most ways we are just like everyone else. But we are also a peculiar people in that we do have some common doctrinal and cultural standards that somewhat define us as a people. BYU has long been voted the number one "Stone Cold Sober" university for a reason. :)

I don't drink alcoholic beverages, tea or coffee or smoke or do drugs. I don't even drink sodas with caffeine. I don't have tattoos or body piercings (other than a single earring pierce in each ear.) I don't cuss or watch R rated movies (or even many PG 13). I go to church every Sunday for 3 hours. I have almost always have some church job or other that I spend a good amount of time and energy fulfilling. I believe that Jesus Christ appeared in the Americas to the natives here after his resurrection and that He and His Father personally appeared to a 14 year old boy in a grove of trees to answer his prayer to find out which church to join. I spend one night a week with just my family. I don't go to birthday parties or sporting events or shop or go to dinner on Sunday. I live in Las Vegas and have never pulled a slot machine or played any gambling game. I don't even know how to play any of them. And I love green jello ;). 

All these things are part of me because of my religion either by way of doctrine or just culture. This is not to say there aren't great Mormons who drink Coke have tattoos. There are. And there are lots of Mormons who are not perfect in keeping the commandment not to smoke or drink or do drugs. We all have things we are working on. 

But the reason I don't do those things is because of my Mormon beliefs AND the Mormon culture in which I was raised. And it is fairly common to find most if not all of the same list above from another Mormon who goes to church. On the other hand, I think it is pretty rare to find someone who is not Mormon who can even say they don't drink, smoke, drink coffee or cuss. Not to say it is impossible, I am thrilled to meet such people when I do. But I find it to be rare from my experience in this world. 

So these cultural and doctrinal norms for me make me feel different from the rest of the world. Does that make sense? I hope so.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

In Full Voice

Sometimes I wish I had recorded more little tidbits of Camille and her quirks or little moments. Somehow I just lost all those with her. The trauma of her accident seemed to hard wipe my memory.

Anyway, so I am determined to record more fun little moments of my other kids and I had a great one today. We were sitting in church. The opening song began. All the kids had migrated down the pew from Jon to me. :) I smiled at him and told him they like me better, to which he nodded in agreement.

Noble was sitting between Sabrina and Ann Marie. The girls each had a hymn book open and we were all singing the opening hymn when suddenly I realized that we were ALL singing (in full voice) the opening hymn. There was Noble (who can barely say anything understandably) singing the song --- or some song that was supposed to be the song. He was singing just as loud as any other person. His own melody that sometimes hit the right pitch and mostly hit other notes but never sounded terrible. His words were just nonsense vowel sounds but they didn't seem so different so as to be distracting. He wasn't trying to be silly. He was just ... singing with us. It was awesome. :)

When the song ended he closed the book and put it away and sat right back up on the pew between his sisters. He did the same thing for the second hymn too. Now I don't want to give the impression that my family is this perfectly behaved little group all in a row all of sacrament meeting. That is not reality. Both Jon and I had to take Noble out to the hall today during one point of the meeting or another. And he still threw a Book of Mormon hero figure about 3 pews over. But at least for that little space in time, he was just awesome. I haven't ever seen a kid so young sing along with hymns so well. I can tell he just LOVES music.

Harrison is getting cuter by the day. I am eating him up.

Annie cracked me up the other day. She said she was sitting in bed trying to fall asleep and she was thinking about my cookie truffles. (insert my smile here) She said as she was just thinking about those truffles she thought they were as good as See's Candies and then BAM it hit her. (her words) We should open a candy shop and sell my truffles. Then we could all work there together and Daddy wouldn't have to have a computer store.

I can just imagine her 8 year old brain thinking about how great it would be to all own and work in a candy shop together as a family. I told her I loved the idea (which she was very serious about) and she ought to go ask her dad about that. He informed her that he makes more money selling computers than we would selling truffles and her dreams were dashed. Then just yesterday I made about 250 truffles in 6 different varieties for a baby shower I was helping with. Annie was with me at the shower and people were admiring the truffles. Annie pulled me aside and said, "See Mom, I told you people would buy your truffles because look everyone loves them so isn't it obvious that they would by them!"

Not sure I will be going in the truffle business anytime soon but I told Annie I would consider it when she was a teenager and could help me make them. I just love her brain (and the rest of her too.)

I have a post to write later this week about my Lauren and I just wrote about Sabrina so enough about the kids for this post. Just a few notes about questions from the comments:

Casey Anthony trial - someone wanted my take on that. That tragedy went down so soon after Camille died that I purposely did not watch any of the media coverage. It was just too much when I had such a heavy heart and so much grief. I couldn't watch news of a child who died and a mother accused.

I haven't followed it at all since then for the same reason. I didn't want to watch and find I believed the mother did it because that would just make me so mad that a mother would have so little value for the precious life entrusted to her. I also didn't want to watch and find I felt the mother didn't do it because then I would feel extra sorry for the mom who was grieving her daughter just like I was and also having to deal with being accused of causing her death on top of it. Whether she did it or not I didn't want to watch. So I really have no opinion on that case because I am completely ignorant of any facts more than a child died, a mother was accused and tried and from what I hear acquitted.

Harder to be LDS in heavily LDS populated place or sparsely LDS populated place - I have lived in both and would say that for me it was harder to live in a densely LDS populated place. Being LDS is part of how I define myself. It is a strong component of my personal identity. It is what makes me different. When I moved to Utah for college it was hard to find the other things about me that also make me unique outside of religious and LDS cultural norms. Maybe for some with less strong personalities it is easier to live in a highly LDS populated area because they have a harder time going against the norm. Maybe for some it is easier to go to church when everyone else is doing it too. But for me, I would go no matter where I lived. I'd even go if everyone in my ward hated me. I don't go to church for social reasons (they are just an amazing side benefit) so it doesn't matter. We have about a 10% LDS population in Vegas and I like that because you are still different but not usually totally unfamiliar.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Familiar Face

We are going to be seeing a lot more of this face around our house. Today Sabrina and I spent some time at the eye doctor's getting her all set up with new contact lenses. Her eyes are officially worse than mine now (which means she is pretty darn blind.) So now with contacts she will be able to see when she swims with goggles or does other activities that were hard to do with her glasses. I for one am thrilled to get to see her twinkly eyes more easily. I love my Sabrina Lucile's beautiful face.

The other day I was with Sabrina alone. For some reason she had her glasses off. She looked over at me and gave me a big smile and I just looked at her and was stunned by her face. It was SO familiar. I saw so much of myself in it. Sometimes I forget what she looks like behind those glasses. But there are times like this one the other day where I am forcefully reminded of her beautiful familiarity.

Familiarity. What a word. From the same root as family. She is my family, this girl of mine. One look at her face and there is no denying it for me. I see my imprint on her. I see her father's contributions too with her blue eyes and blond curly hair. In one look I can be knocked out by how familiar she is to me.
photos taken before her dance recital on June 5, 2011

I felt this way the moment she was born. The first moment I laid eyes on her tiny, beat up newborn face, it was ... familiar. She looked like me and I loved her instantly.

So in this moment the other day when I was hit with how familiar Sabrina's face was to me I also had another thought float into my mind ... How will it be to see Camille again? After so many years of separation (sometimes she seems almost a dream to me now) will this be what it is like to look into her face then? Will she be so familiar to me that the moment I lay eyes on her I will KNOW she is MINE just by looking at her face?

I hope so. I believe so.

In the Book of Mormon there is a prophet who is preaching to the people named Alma. He asks the congregation: "And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts? ...

I say unto you, can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands? I say unto you, can you look up, having the image of God engraven upon your countenances?"
Thinking of this scripture and my experience with Sabrina and my musings about how it will be to see Camille again I am left to wonder ... Am I familiar to Him? Am I living my life so that He will see Himself in my countenance when he looks at me? Will He KNOW I am HIS just by looking at my face?
I hope so. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"Where you been so long?"

I know that is what many of you have been asking? The answer is Dallas. We took a long family trip to Dallas to visit my brother Stephen and his wife Rachel and to see their oldest child, Blanche, get baptized. Stephen's family just bought a home and moved in a few days before we arrived. They were so great to host us in the middle of such a crazy time.

We had fun at the Great Wolf Lodge and the Legoland Discovery Center and the Arboretum and the Children's Museum. We ate some wonderful food (some of us ate a few BBQs too many ... Jon thinks he will not want meat for at least a month.) We had some amazing sushi with a Tex Mex twist. I know sounds crazy but spicy Mexican sauce on mango wrapped sushi was super delicious. We also had wonderful souffles at Rise.

We were treated to my sister in law's wonderful gourmet cooking including a hot chocolate birthday cake with homemade marshmallows. (Seriously not good for my diet ... I mean the "hot chocolate" frosting was like crack to me.) We had great brisket from Hard Eight and great chicken quesadillas and brisket tacos from Mi Cocina. Finally, our last night, Stephen and my parents and I had a wonderful light dinner at The Porch while Jon and Rachel got some take out Indian food and watched the kids. Both were totally good. Salted Carmel Chocolate Ganache Bread Pudding anyone??? HELLO!

Someday I think I would love to write a food blog where I just eat out and tell people about the food.  :)

We had a super time. We especially LOVED seeing Blanche get baptized and feeling the wonderful spirit in my brother and sister in law's new home. It is the first home they have owned that I can see them living in long term. I am excited for them to have such a comfortable and lovely space in which to raise their children.

I think my kids favorite part was the cousins. When Aunt Rachel asked Annie what her favorite activity was, she put it best by saying spending time with the cousins, "I mean think about it Aunt Rachel, what is Dallas without cousins?" Well put Annie. Family is always tops with us.

On the airplane home with all my little ones in tow, I just got pounded once again by the emotion of how much I LOVE my family. I love the family I grew up in and I LOVE the little family that Jon and I have created together.

In any case, I am home at last and will be back to my regular blogging again. I also will be hosting anyone who wants to come watch Dance with me tonight. Nutter Butter truffles anyone???