Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Blind Side

We just saw this movie and all I can say is WOW. It has made a profound impact on me that I did not expect. I found myself in tears and wanting to be a better person. I hope someday we have the opportunity to impact someone's life like these people did. What an incredible story of true Christ-like behavior.

Check out the link for the movie trailer

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Uncle Bill

William "Bill" F. Handley 1918 ~ 2009 Grandpa Great was born November 26, 1918 in Salt Lake City, Utah to James F. Handley and Josephine Willis Handley. He passed away November 27, 2009, three hours past his 91st birthday.Bill married his life-long companion, Vivian Lucille Kiddle on March 31, 1940, later solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple. Bill was a hard working carpenter, who helped everyone around with his skills. He worked at Ft. Douglas during World War II and retired after 38 years at Fetzers Inc. He served together with his wife 13 years at the LDS Church Granite Mountain Vaults and in many other church callings. Dad and Mom loved camping, costume parties, dancing and spending time with their family. Survived by his children, Kathy (Dale) Steadman, Bill (Kathy), Del (Carrie); sons-in-law, Dr. Lester J. Nielson, Ray (Jeannine) Andersen; 18 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren. Preceded in death by his loving wife; children, Jackie Nielson, Linda Andersen, Kevin and Adele (stillborn) and brothers, Willis and Alvin. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, December 2nd, 12:00 p.m. at the Wilford Ward, 3179 Highland Drive. A viewing will be held Tuesday evening from 6 - 8 p.m. at Murray Memorial Mortuary, 5850 S. 900 E. and also one hour prior to services on Wednesday at the church. Interment, Redwood Memorial Cemetery. The family thanks the staff of Beehive Homes in West Jordan and Harmony Hospice for the loving care they gave to Bill. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to Primary Children's Neo Natal Center. On-line condolences at

This is my sweet great Uncle Bill and Aunt Bibbi. He passed away last week just hours after his 91st birthday. When my sister and I were born, my mom and dad had to go back to work pretty quick and they watched us from the time we were babies to school age. I remember spending time at their little house in Sugarhouse, baking bread, receiving knitted slippers, and playing in the backyard under a big tree. As always, it's sad to hear of his passing but he is finally reunited with his sweetheart and gets to meet the babies he didn't have the opportunity to raise in this life. I'm grateful for precious family members like these and only hope that one day I can leave an impression on my posterity like they have on me. Love you Uncle Bill!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Before I get to Thanksgiving I need to catch up. I surprised my twin sister Leslie and flew her out to see us last weekend. It was kind of an early birthday present since she hasn't been out here and has always wanted to see "our neck of the woods." We had a great time and she did an awesome job documenting it so if you're interested in seeing pictures, check out her blog at

Okay, on to Thanksgiving. We were fortunate to play host and hostess for the first time this year. We just had a few friends over and it turned out great. I cooked the turkey and a brownie cake, Ryan made homemade stuffing and rolls, and our friends brought the rest (lucky huh?). The food was all delicious and the company superb.

I had fun decorating the table, my mother-in-law would be proud :)
The Chef

The jealous dogs who behaved very well in the face of a freshly roasted turkey
Happy Thanksgiving!
Besides the opportunity to enjoy yummy food and visit with friends and family, I look forward to Thanksgiving when we have the time to remember all that we are blessed with. I wanted to share a list of ten things I'm grateful for...
1- My Ryan who puts up with me, loves me, and is an excellent dad to Norris, Baby, and Jack
2- Our families who love us and stand by us no matter what
3- Our home in this free country
4- Employment...especially in Michigan
5- An education
6- My babies
7- Friends who listen and support
8- Reliable vehicles
9- Our health
10- The Gospel, which makes all the other blessings possible

This obviously is just a short list but I do realize how lucky we are and try to thank Heavenly Father every day for the countless blessings he provides. I hope you all had a fabulous holiday and were able to reflect on the things you are thankful for as well.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Catch up

Well, it's been awhile since I posted last and mostly cuz nothing exciting has gone on. Until this week that is!

To start off...we got a new car!! We traded in my lemon of an Oldsmobile that was dying on us and upgraded to a 2007 Toyota Camry! It's awesome, good price, 25K miles, sunroof, shiny black paint, spotless interior, and the best accelerates past 45mph! It's been a rough couple years with the Olds and really bad last year but it's all worth it to have paid it off and been patient for the right car to come along.

Ryan took the dogs for their daily walk today and when he came back he rushed upstairs, grabbed a towel, and yelled "hurry, we've got to rescue a kitty in the park!" Not having any idea what he was talking about, I jumped in the car and we found this poor tiny kitty laying in the cold, wet grass shivering! Can you believe that?! It's pretty young but not young enough to still be nursing and there was no mother cat or siblings in sight so we got him out of the cold and brought him home. He scarfed down an entire can of food and bowl of milk then curled up on the dogs old puppy bed. We plan to put up flyer's in case he belongs to someone and if not...I guess we are the new owners of a stray kitty. We're calling him Jack (short for jack-o-lantern)for now because we found him on Halloween. The name Pumpkin was already taken by Ryan's parents kitty. Norris and Baby aren't so sure about him but have been keeping a close eye on him from the other side of the gate :)

Tonight we had a low key Halloween at home passing out candy. Norris and Baby were going to be a bumble bee and lady bug but seeing that the costumes didn't even reach around their shoulders they decided to go casual this year.

Lastly, I'm sad to seeing fall come to a close and the inevitable entry of winter just outside our door. It sure was a pretty fall though. Just thought I would share a few pics of our home and neighborhood in full bloom. I wish I had taken the time to take more because Michigan fall's are amazing!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dog days of summer

Well it's hard to believe that this summer is coming to a close. It's been a fun one but gone by all too quick like summer's usually do. Most of the posts were full of vacation pictures and I know that Norris and Baby were feeling left out so we thought we would let you know what they've been up to...

Backyard lounging
Hanging out in his dog chair
Car rides and trips to the dog beach

Waiting for drinks from the tub
And squirrel/people watching

What more could the world's most spoiled dogs ask for?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Washington DC

Forgive me for blogging out of order but I must catch up. As you might recall, we took a trip to Washington DC with my mom, dad, and brother in July. My mom had a nursing education conference there so we met them for what was supposed to be a fun filled, sight seeing, family trip. And it was still a good trip, it just wasn't as fun since my Grandma passed away in Utah while we were there and my mom went home early to take care of funeral plans. All the same, we are grateful for the trip and here are some highlights! (Oh and sorry for the tremendous amount of pictures, this blog is becoming a great scrapbook!)

Day 1
Checked into a very nice Marriott courtesy of my mom and the college

Day 2
Woke up early to get tickets for the Bureau of Printing and Engraving where they print the dollar
Crossing the National Mall(and attempting to smile in the blazing sun)on the way to...the Smithsonian CastleThe American History Museum where Ryan got a picture with his beloved Steven Colbert

Enjoyed the delightfully warm pool
And checked out some beautiful gardens

Day 3
Woken up at 4:30am with a phone call that Grandma had passed. We spent the next few hours helping my mom get a last minute flight back to Salt Lake. The rest of the day we spent swimming and at the Holocaust Museum
We saw some great architecture on the way

Day 4
The National Aquarium and The Natural History Museum
Air and Space Museum

One of our many rides on the MetroWe only took the Metro to and from our hotel. The rest of the time we walked. And walked and walked. Like when we walked from the Washington Monument to the Capitol. It didn't look that far until we were about half way and our feet were screaming :) Totally worth the view though, especially at sunset.

Then being the brave (or crazy) people that we are, we decided to walk all the way back and see the Lincoln Memorial. Again, very worth the walk. Besides, like they say, when in rome :) Our one lousy picture of the White House due to a nearly dead camera and the fact that the day before when we tried to get a picture during daylight, the police pushed everyone away from the White House. Not sure why...

Day 5
Packed up and headed home

I'm glad we had the chance to discover our Nation's capitol. We covered a lot of ground in the few days we were there but there is still so much we didn't see. Hopefully we get the chance to go back and show my mom around soon!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

There's no place like home

I certainly have some blog catching up to do so here goes...

We were fortunate enough to take a week off before school starts and head back to Utah for a family visit. Usually we try to get together with friends when we are home but this was dedicated as solely a family visit and it turned out great! Be prepared for LOTS of pictures!

After our flight got in and we waited 2 HOURS for our "reserved" rental car (because they "ran out of cars") we headed down to visit Ryan's sister and brother. We had 3 new nephews and a puppy to meet and they sure are cuties!

The next day we met up with my family. My niece Mckayla is starting Kindergarten so we had a girls day to go back to school shopping while the boys went out to lunch. She is such a diva and had us cracking up during her "fashion show." She and Talmage both got new rainboots from my mom and are in love with them!

The next day we went to the Children's Museum at the Gateway with Ryan's family. It was fun to watch the kids enjoy the neat exhibits.

Later we enjoyed a family BBQ. They boys enjoyed some guy talk on the balcony.
That evening we took advantage of having the whole family together and had some pictures done. We were hoping to go outside but the weather didn't cooperate. I'll post more when they are done being edited by our expert photographer and sister-in-law Kelli.

The following day we again were hoping for good weather to go swimming but ran into rain so we found a neat indoor/outdoor pool and enjoyed the afternoon there with Ryan's sisters and niece and nephews. Check out the cute baby in the swing!

For those of you that don't know, my twin sister is a very talented triathalete and her kids are no exception. Her daughter Mckayla who is 5 has taken to the sport herself and had her 2nd tri scheduled while we were there. I was SO excited to see her compete and we left plenty early to get there. Unfortunately it took us 30 minutes to get about 5 miles on the freeway due to unknown construction and we missed the race!! You can bet I had a royal tantrum in the car :( We got there just after she finished but she was still excited. She had a great time and we are so proud of her!

Later that day we visited the Aquarium. Kind of small but not too shabby.

The Sunday we were home, Ryan had the opportunity to ordain my little brother Tyler an Elder and advance him in the Priesthood. It was a great day and nice to have the whole family together. We love you Ty!

The next day we met Ryan's family at a local school for a picnic lunch. Little did we know we picked the perfect place for a show! Halfway through our lunch we noticed a paraglider above us and shortly after he landed right there on the grass! We came to find out that it was the 2009 national competition and soon we spotted nearly 50 of the competitors 18,000 feet up in the sky. They were supposed to land about 50 miles away but we saw 4 or 5 unlucky guys who didn't quiet make it land right next to us. What a neat experience to see it so close! The picture is hard to see but if you look close you can see a bunch of the parachutes.
Later that day we were able to spend some time visiting my Grandpa. It was SO good to see him and how I wish I could be closer to spend even more time with him. We were also to get together with Ryan's Grandpa and his wife Bonnie a few times. I sure love Grandparents! The funny look on Ryan's face is because his mom asked them to reinact a big hug :)

We made it home safe but not before being delayed getting out of Salt Lake which required our plane in Denver to wait for us and sitting next to a creepy guy who laughed incredibely loud at whatever he was watching and then reached into MY seat front pocket to get a magazine. He didn't even ask! Just started searching then did the same thing when he returned it, can you believe that?!

We really had a great trip and are grateful to our families, especially our parents for hosting us and planning activities. See you in December!!