Sunday, December 14, 2008

Our Last Great Family Px

Hmm, thinking back on 2008. I've had a full year of teaching 8 sections of on ground college psychology and human growth and development and 16 sections of Psych, Art History and Ethics for the online school. I worked at LDS Family services and did counseling most the year, then Dec. 1 I started a private practice. Counseling there was great although they paid poorly and it restored my confidence in my ability to do therapy. Now Mark and I are empty nesters I sit around sad and languishing and missing my kids...unable to get motivated NOT! This year I did 3 new things and I'm truly happiest when I get to see Danica's 2 kids. She only lives 10 minutes away. They come over at least 1x a week, but they have to make an appointment.... he he he.
This star was px might be our best and our last.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Tiana's Bridal Photo's

Tiana had her bridal photo's done. Wow. Does she look happy or what? She got some good gene's from Mark. I'm so proud of her. She's beautiful inside and out. You can see the other photo's shot at sunset at the old mental health hospital in Provo on the photographer's web page
And it's a 2fer1: I get another great-son-law from a wonderful family in the deal.

Classes are over for the semester. What a wonderful bunch of students I had this time. I enjoyed them immensely. This week, I had 3 clients in my new counseling practice. I was only locked out of the office 1x. Now, I'm helping Mark put up lights for Christmas and cleaning the Ford and the Lexus to sell them this week (hopefully). We got Mark a new AWD Murano (well it has 40K miles on it) for the snowy Colorado mountains. Speaking of snow and mountains, we were stranded near Breckenridge on I-70 on Sunday night last week. Luckily, Grand Timer had a 2 bedroom unit for the night an we got to sit in the hot tub with the McDonald's instead of sitting on the freeway for an additional 8 hours. There was no way Lily and JJ could have done another 8 hours with their mom and dad in their van.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Week in Provo

I got to play with Sammy and Lucas in Utah. Sammy went wild with the 2 light sabers and his Yoda costume. I put on Darth Vader and we choreographed a few light saber battles. He is really a fun 4.5 year old. We took the family picture of all star wars in Bryce's neighbor's house. He had converted his garage into a photo studio with a big piece of black paper. He took one family at a time and then photo shopped us all together. That way he got better little kid faces and we only needed two light sabers and 1 Han Solo blaster gun.
Andrew got his eagle and the Hogan family showed up for the celebration. Also his mom and Jo. We saw most all my family the Hogan's last week in Utah. There were 60 people at my Sister's house. My dad has cancer and all the men gave him a blessing. I'm really worried about my mom if he goes.
Got the sincere and extreme pleasure of going shopping with my last lovely daughter to pick out her wedding dress. Tiana knew she wanted this one and only this one when she saw it on the mannequin. It's a french style dress, with sleeves she can move her arms in! We met Preston's mom and dad and they are lovely, active, wonderful people. They insisted on having her reception at the Pointe which overlooks the whole Salt Lake Valley. We are quite excited about this.
I also helped Tiana pick out bridesmaids dresses. I say that loosely. Tiana really knows what she wants and I just witness the tornado. She really loves Elder VanDyke. They are kissey, huggy smothery touchy all the time. It’s fun to see how happy they are and absolutely smitten.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Horse Riding Lessons

I graduated up to the paint quarter horse Shadow yesterday. He's a beaut. He loves to run and we did our trail ride through the cottonwoods just before sunset. The muted yellows and ochres of late fall were extraordinary. Here's a photo of a similar looking horse, except Shadow had his winter coat coming in and was really soft and shaggy. Someday, I hope to have a horse for every day of the week- A white Arabian for Sunday, A Palomino for Monday, etc. And I'll have a paint quarter horse for Tuesday and call him Hildalgo. That would be heaven. Maybe I'll have to wait for heaven :)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Mt. Bike to the top of the world

It was one of the last warm sunny Sundays. We found a trail that took us to the top of the world. Well, the top of Highlands Ranch anyway. It was the only time this week I haven't felt worried and conflicted about starting a private counseling practice. Am on day 20 of sobriety from sugar (special occasions exempted) Got to speak to most the Bishops, RS Presidents and YW presidents in the Denver Area this last Tuesday on Depression through LDS family services.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I Love FALL!

This was taken on Monday. Oh my goodness! It's so beautiful outside. Look at this tree! I planted this Autumn Blaze Maple 13 years ago when we first moved into the house.
This was Friday the 17th.
And this last one is 5 days later. For the beauty of the earth! And here's a px of our bike ride up to the top of the bluff. You can see the beautiful mountains and Highlands Ranch. Notice that a few other people have these red maples in their yards too! It was a perfect fall day.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Weekend with Celeste & Tiana

Celeste brought Brooklyn and Tiana brought Preston Van Dyke over on the plane to visit us this weekend. Dad took Preston to play racquetball. And strangely enough Preston wants to play again at Thanksgiving when we go to Utah. We took all the grand babies to the Natural History Museum. The foam blocks in the the discovery room were a big hit with wild Jensen.

Lily was sleepy during our swim at the rec center. Bryce and Marcia, Sam and Lucas couldn't come because Bryce is trying to make up lost time at his job after his surgery. We missed them!
Tiana felt compelled to cut and color our hair and then clean cobwebs off the light fixtures. Celeste organized all my pantry. I love having these girls visit. They make things beautiful!

We had macaroni grill style italian food and played scattergories (Dad and I won) and apples to apples (Preston won) Preston also scored points by doing lots of dishes and holding lots of babies.

Brooklyn loved sitting on Danica, Tiana and Preston's laps.
Even though Celeste is pregnant and tired she is still fun. Brooklyn likes constant mommy attention. Only 3 weeks and Brooklyn gets to go into the nursery at church. Brooklyn has her own little language which doesn't comprise many actual words but is very effective and sometimes rather shrill.
Brooklyn and JJ are fearless in the water. They don't seem to mind if water gets in their faces, they just keep exploring and going, going, going.

The cousins at the rec center.
JJ still loves his Thomas trains at Gwamma and Gwammpa's house.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I won at Heroscape

Look at this awesome set of trees that Danica and Dave now have for their massive (3 big storage boxes) game of Heroscapes. I had 3 secret agents, a ninja woman and Shade. Shade kills off people just by rolling 16 or over on the 20 sided dice. And, my wonderful son-in-law Dave didn't attack me for the first 1/2 of the game so I won!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A good moment in therapy

I had a really good moment this last week.. I saw a client who's about my age and makes 6 figures. At first we were doing marriage therapy with her and her husband, but then the two of them started doing a little better because she learned to share her feelings with him, so now I just see her for her anxiety.
Part of the problem is that she has a tithing problem and hasn't felt worthy of God's help with her anxiety. She has to keep a pill in her pocket all day in case she needs it at work because she gets so anxious she just melts down (not good when you are a manager of many people) and sits at her desk immobile with anxiety thinking" I'm going to loose my job". She's been popping one daily.
Any way, the cool part of the intervention was knowing that she's going to get herself worthy AND I had some ideas for her from a OCD book I just read. I told him to have a daily "anxiety appointment" where she spends 15 minutes every night just cutting loose on the anxiety, worrying her head off and not trying to think of positive thoughts. That she only allow herself to worry during her appointment and if she starts to have anxiety during the day, turn it to problem solving. I compared her to a puzzle and she is to let all the pieces just jumble out of the frame during the anxiety appointment. Then put herself back together by problem solving and generating solutions. Then to tell her husband her anxiety and her solutions so they can keep their self-disclosure going. We tried it during session and she did really, really well. It's helps thelp the anxious person get a grip on the anxiety. Get control of it, by postponing it. Doing therapy for LDS family services is so fun because you can talk about the atonement and healing, hope and faith. Change and eternity.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


After a long exhausting week of teaching, counseling and dad's lawsuit, Dad and I did a 2 hour mtn bike ride. It had rained alot on Friday, but Saturday dawned bright and shining, with snow on the mountains as a reward for out eyes after we struggled up the hills.
I rode Hazel on Saturday afternoon and made it through a tricky obstacle course which included "backing up". You should see what you have to do if the horses rear isn't straight when you start into the back so you can make it through the cones.... Saturday night we got to see JJ at the Thomas the train exhibit.
We had a birthday party for Lily's birthday. She is so cute and so huggable and is now saying "up". It's an multipurpose word which means just about anything she needs it to mean!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Labor Day in Breckenridge

Friday morning Danica and I went to garage sales and I found a "Thomas the train take along set" for JJ. It was 200$ of stuff for only 17$. This was important because we babysat him Saturday night in a hotel room and needed something to keep his interest. He was so excited his hands shook for 2 hours and he wouldn't go to sleep. At riding lessons, they let me graduate to a quicker horse named Hazel and I passed off tight circles and trotting tight circles. We headed for the mountains.....

I talked Mark into buying us these mt. bikes. "Hard Tails" have just one suspension on the front. These were "full suspension" Which means nice for over 50 year old backs and butts. We started on an easy trail and took a 2 hour ride through the forest near Dillon. The mountains were breathtaking and even with the beetle kill, beautifully green, very fragrant with a sparkling lake. Mark points out that this year, 2008:
I started skiing and enjoying it
I got scuba certified
I'm taking riding lessons
We started trail riding with our mtn. bikes
There are some big advantages to having the kids all grown and raising their own chillen!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hogan Family Reunion

This last Thursday the 21st we drove to Provo so Tiana could do my hair and we could do some AFTER MISSION CLOTHES SHOPPING. Yes Tiana is back! Really back! And her eye for beauty is back.
Then we drove up to Logan for a family reunion with the Hogans and stayed at the little Bear River camp there. It was so great to see my Brother's and sisters. Aunt Cindy and Aunt Carolee really went all out for special dinners and activities. They went mtn biking and shot shotguns. Tiana and I, and other cool sisters and aunts and girl cousins went an hour up Logan canyon to a beautiful spot and saddled up for a mountain trail ride. I had the coolest horse- D0llar, a large painted gelding who would turn with just a gentle squeeze of the knee. The sunshine in the aspens and the camaraderie. ahhh, it was a glorious experience. In camp we had a lot of good food and talked.
We we had a pirate birthday party for Sammy complete with a treasure hunt and the Fisher Price pirate ship. He is 4! Can you believe it! And he still wears size 1 shorts. When we played with the pirate boat, I wore my eye patch and said "Arr.... Mately drop that sail!". I started a water fight with water guns, but Rick, Beau (Carolee's son) and Andrew got me with water cannons so I was drenched.
Bryce brought his mountain bikes and Marcia's brother and wife and kids.

This last Thursday the 21st we drove to Provo so Tiana could do my hair and we could do some AFTER MISSION CLOTHES SHOPPING. Yes Tiana is back! Really back! And her eye for beauty is back.
We've been out visiting family in San Diego, Boston and Salt Lake and next week we'll be in Brek with Danica and Dave. That makes a whole month of no church in our ward. We have become one of those vagabond retired couples who are always traveling to see their children.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Two wonderful days in BOSTON

This is Faneuil Hall, "The Cradle of Liberty" The edifice was home to merchants, fishermen, and meat and produce sellers, and provided a platform for the country's most famous orators. It is where colonists first protested the Sugar Act in 1764 and established the doctrine of "no taxation without representation." Firebrand Samuel Adams rallied the citizens of Boston to the cause of independence from Great Britain in the hallowed Hall, and George Washington toasted the nation there on its first birthday. I found I enjoyed the archtecture much more after teaching Art history.

I don't remember Boston being this amazing or this fun (I think I was pregnant and sick the first time we went). We saw to little Italy-the north end and had canoli and gelato and saw the North Church and Paul Revere's house.
Brad and Celeste have been in MA all summer for his internship and Celeste has become is the experienced traveler in Boston....well with a little help from Tom Tom. Brooklyn has toured all over for 3 months with her mom and no experienced tourist is complete without her sunglasses.
Celeste and Brooklyn and I had to try on the Paul Revere hats. Did you know there were actually three guys riding about at night trying to muster up about 4,000 revolutionaries to oppose the British lobster backs who were marching to Concord to seize weapons there.
Dad is trying to look like Samuel Adams

Monday, August 11, 2008

An Olympics Widow

We went to San Diego last weekend to see Don. We had fun at Torry Pines State Park on Bogey boards in the waves and had some great Mexican food. Don seems older and more mature. He's in charge of 4 other marines now as a team leader and he seems to love that.

As many of you probably know, My husband Mark qualified for the Olympics way back in prehistoric times in the individual medley. So, the Olympics are an extremely important time to him. He bought this 58" Plasma TV so he could watch it in high def and surround sound. He has his table and computer 3 feet away from the screen. He laughs, he yells. He cries every time he watches Michael Phelps win a swimming medal I had to offer him food to get him to turn for this photo. He's still watching and it's 11:30 pm.

Monday, August 04, 2008

At long last! A table almost big enough for our growing family!

Dad was the superhero and bought me this new table for the dining room. (well I paid for some of it). I watched Craig's list for 2 months and went to lots of furniture stores. When I saw this on Friday, we made it up to Layfette the day it came on. You should have seen how Dad got the whole thing in/on the Exploder! The orig owners paid $8000 for it, it's a special order-copied from an antique. (yes that is egg and dart on the carved edge) I love the comfortable leather chairs and finally, we have one big enough for all the adults to sit at one table 9.5 feet long---well, until Tiana brings someone. Let's have "an after Austin gets home from his mission party" in Feb 2009!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Lily's first steps and Happiness

I’ve been working with SO MANY depressed people in counseling lately. They are depressed because their husband is really selfish, doesn’t love them and the kids and wants to leave the marriage, they are depressed because they are single, 30 years old and haven’t ever been on a date, they are depressed because their spouse is disabled and can’t work and they have to work 12 and 14 hours a day and they still get their house foreclosed on, they are depressed because of past abuse and feeling that God doesn’t love them. When a student at ACC gave a report on “How to have Happiness”, I was really intrigued and have been thinking about it all week.

There were 4 things that come from studies of 1000’s of happy people that have good habits that seem to contribute to happiness. It was interesting in these studies that wealth was not one of the factors that made people happy.

1. Close personal and intimate relationships. The happiest people are ones who are emotionally close to others. The happiest people have good, marriages.

2. Able to set goals and achieve them. Happy people get good things done.

3. Gratitude. President Monson is always talking about an attitude of gratitude. Being greatful for sunsets and baby steps and ripe peaches is a wonderful thing.

4. Service. Happy people are unselfish people.

So, I wondered. What is the spiritual component that needs to fit in with these 4? What is #5? Surely happy people are happy in part because of their spirituality and faith in God. I found my answer when I was working in the temple and found myself all alone in the Celestial room with this question on my mind. Section 88:68 says “you minds become single to God” 67 If your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light and there shall be no darkness in you.”

I really believe that is true. I’ve really seen people pull themselves out of depression by drawing close to Heavenly Father.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My First horse riding lesson

Today while dad was doing his thing at the Aquarium, I leaned how to lead, get a horse ready to be saddled, and put on a halter. It was awesome. I rode bareback on this Norwegian Mare named Hanna and my eyes filled with tears of happiness.
This is Plum Creek Stables. It's only 15 minutes away and there are spectacular views of the mountains. It's riding trail takes you to Chatfield state park.
My Instructor Krissy is a 30 year old accountant who teaches horsmanship on the weekends. I was very impressed with her knowledge. Did you know horses are monocular? The whole time I read black beauty as a kid I never knew what the heck was THRUSH!!! I learned where to pinch their leg so they'll pick up their foot and clean it. It was all too cool :) Krissy boards two beautiful horses there at the ranch......

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The 4th of July in Utah

Mark and I drove to Utah for the holiday. It was glorious to see Sam andd Lucas. Here are all the people at Mark's Birthday party bbq. Tiana had planned a really fun meal and a Charades game about Mark's past.We had dinner with Grandma and Grandpa Hogan, Eric and Carolee and Leslie at Gardner Villiage.
JJ can talk much better and so Sam wants to play with him. They get along great sometimes and other times......
Bryce blew up his raft and Mark brought inner tubes. We took turns floating down the icy Provo River.
Lily especially loved the inner tubes. We had to wrestle her to get one to float down the river.