Saturday, December 29, 2012


I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and are looking forward to an amazing New Year. 

We had a terrific Christmas. It has truly been a holiday to remember at our house.
We are so lucky that we got to spend our holiday surrounded by family.

On Christmas, I just kept thinking,

"We are so blessed."

I know that there are many people less fortunate than us this holiday season and I am just so thankful for the abundance of blessings bestowed upon us this holiday.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for being so kind to us!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December Traditions

Mom's Christmas Tree
Hi everyone! Sorry it has been so long since my last post, but as you can all imagine December is a busy month for us. After a day of helping guests, back up cashiering, and making sure the pajamas and sweaters are fully stocked, all I want to do is come home and relax.

Despite the craziness of working retail during the holiday season, there are a few things that I make it a point to do in December:

1) Decorate a Christmas tree while listening to my favorite Christmas album, 
John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together.

Last Saturday we decorated Mom's tree one last time (see the picture of the beautiful tree above). 
I couldn't decorate that tree without John Denver and The Muppets.
We have listened to this album while decorating the tree since 1981. 
It lightened the mood and kept me from crying my eyes out.


2) Make candy with Grandma Black.

First we start with making fudge after Thanksgiving. 
We let the fudge ripen for a few weeks. About a week before Christmas we turn Grandma's kitchen into a candy factory.

We roll the fudge into bite-size balls.

Melt chocolate for dipping.

Then we get our hands messy and dip our chocolates.
There is nothing like the feeling of warm, melted chocolate between your fingers.

The end result are these yummy chocolates that we get to enjoy through Christmas and New Year's.

I hope you are all enjoying your own holiday traditions during this week before Christmas.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Kicking Off The Holiday Season

On Saturday I went with Dayna, Dad, and Trinity to put up this little tree at Mom's grave.
 We thought that it turned out pretty cute.  
It was a nice way to kick off the holiday season.

So far we have stuck with the long standing traditions this holiday season.  

The first phase of candy making has been completed, 
but I have to do one more batch of fudge this week because we have been eating it at my house.
 It so good that we can't resist a piece every now and then.

I have been listening to Christmas music in my car. 
One of these days I need to break out The Forgotten Carols.

I started watching Christmas movies. So far I have watched Elf and It's A Wonderful Life.
True holiday classics if you ask me.

The tree decorating started with the little tree.
In a few weeks we will put the big tree up at Dad's house and 
James and I will put up our skinny tree in the condo.

Now if it would just snow!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

30 Days of Thankful: Day 30

I did pretty good with 30 Days Of Thankful during the first half of the month, but as things got busy at work 30 Days Of Thankful got put aside.

I want to share one more thankful with you all.

I am  thankful that Heavenly Father gave me the chance to serve my mom to the end of her life.
I am so grateful that we were able to help her endure well as she prepared to leave this earth..

I am thankful for all of the support that we had from ward members, friends, family, and hospice care.
The task of ensuring a cancer patient endures well to the end takes a community of caregivers.
I had forgotten that people in this world are good and Mom's community of caregivers reminded me of that.

Henry B. Eyring gave this talk during General Relief Society Meeting in September. Just like the talks I shared from April's General Conference, I felt like this one was just for me. It provided me with much needed comfort and perspective:

30 Days Of Thankful: Day 15

I am thankful for my Grandma and Grandpa Black. 

I love them.

They are more than my grandparents, they are dear kindred spirits to me.