Halloween Parade

Friday morning we got up early to get Cache all ready in his costume for his Halloween Parade at school. I love that schools do this, it's so fun to see all the little kiddies in their costumes. Cache changed his mind quite a bit when it came to deciding on a costume. At first he wanted to be Iron Man...then a Halloweenie. Yes. A Halloweenie. A Halloween hot dog, and naturally I refused. He finally settled on Toothless from 'How to Train Your Dragon', so I found a great dragon costume and made it black. Doesn't he look great?
I have no idea who these other boys are...but they were good sports and agreed to pose for the camera.
Oh goodness, could you die?? I love it - all the little costumes...
Costumes on parade!
The halls were lined with many a mommy armed with a camera.

Cache came home with loads of treats from his Halloween party at school and is already talking about his costume for next year. That's my boy!


Dinner in Noir

Even though we didn't host a Halloween Party this year, Cody and I thought it might be fun to go to dinner with our friends. Ahhh, but how to make it spooky? We decided to dine at 'Communal' in Provo and wear our darkest attire..."Dinner In Noir" was a smash! Like our invite?
Jim, Heather, Jon and Brittany joined Cody and I and we had a marvelous time. It was SO good to see them and catch up, it's been forever (Adam and Ann - we missed you!). The food was super yummy, we even got our own private room. Because that's how we roll.

Jim and Heather
Jon and Britt
The girls!

We talked about everything from First Aid (which also touched on a hilarious scenario of shocking someone with a toaster) to prison visits. Yes, prison visits. I love these people - we don't see them enough! We We're planning on getting together again in December, can't wait. Thanks for the pictures, Heather!


"And Then There Were None"

My play closed last night...a tremendous experience, BC fans. Tremendous! And may I say, very unexpected. You see, I wasn't even planning on auditioning. I read the script and found it interesting and thought it might be fun, I thought about it and thought about it and just couldn't make up my mind whether to do it or not. When would I have time? What about our house remodel?

I attended the auditions purely to watch and help out if needed...then I got sucked in. I thought, "Man...I could do this part, I bet." Once I got cast I was really excited to get to work. We had our first read through and I felt really good about the people in the show (I only knew 2 out of the 11 cast members!). During that first night, I remember thinking how much my sweet Grandmother would love this show...I came home and returned a call to my Mom. My Grandmother had passed away that very evening. I wanted the show to be great, and I dedicated my performance to her.

The rehearsals were SO much fun, I looked forward to them every night. Sometimes we would all bust up laughing on stage...good times. I came to know and love Heidi who played 'Mrs. Rogers'. We are kindreds! Ahh, I will miss our backstage shenanigans (she told me that I reminded her of Vera Ellen in 'White Christmas', how could I NOT love her?). I also feel very fortunate to have acted opposite my leading man, Jeff. This guy was stellar beyond belief - so completely talented and a solid guy through and through. I just adore him. Howard and Kathryn were amazing and the show they created will forever be one of my favorites.

This show was good for me, who would have thought? And I almost didn't audition! Just think what I would have missed out on. Meeting such great people and playing such a fun, wonderful part. Most of our performances were sold out! During the last show I found myself enjoying every moment. In the last scene Jeff and I hug and I may have hugged him a bit too tight. I came off stage and started to tear up (not that you're surprised since I cry at everything). Man, a huge experience. I loved every minute and I miss it so.

And dare I say it, my Grandmother would have been proud.



It's upon us, friends! Halloween is this week and naturally I have way too much going on. The weather has finally turned Fallish with rain and wind, I'm sort of loving it!

My play closes tonight, which is more bitter than sweet. I have LOVED doing this show, and have I mentioned that it's really, REALLY good? One of my best, I'd say. We had some rough spots at the beginning, but it's turned into a stellar production. I'm not ready for it to end, such great people. (Not to mention my costumes? Oh. my. word. So fantastic.)

This week is filled with craziness and back to back plans. I'm in charge of the PGFD Halloween Party (me and my big mouth), so I have loads of shopping and planning to do for that. What should Cody and I be this year? We also have to make a music video for the party...we'll see how that goes. Wednesday night we're having a spooky dinner with friends that I'm really looking forward to! Friday Cache has his costume parade and Halloween party at school...man, remember costume parades? He and Cole are going to be the Night Fury from 'How to Train Your Dragon'. I have an idea for their costumes...I hope it works! Saturday we'll take the kids trick or treating and that night I'm hoping to see a friend's production of 'Dracula'. My sister and her kids are coming into town and we're having a big party and dinner on Halloween night! I'm so excited...it's a full week, but a good and spooky one.
To get you ready for the Holiday, here are some spooky tunes you should add to your Halloween playlist (you have one, right?):

"What's a Girl To Do?" - Bat for Lashes. This song is so spooky and haunted sounding...perfect!
"Bali Ha'l" - Tak Shindo. I know, I know. It's doesn't seem like it would be a scary song, but trust me...this one is good for Halloween.
"Carnival of Souls" - Combustible Edison.
"Harry Potter/Hedwig's Theme" - The Scary Gang. A great cover...
"Discombobulate" - Hans Zimmer. From 'Sherlock Holmes'...actually, most of the songs off that album would be great!

Hope you're all ready for Halloween!


Mr. Jack O'Lantern

Oh man, is this the best thing EVER?? This makes me laugh so hard every time I watch it...then I get all fascinated with Mr. O'Lantern's nimble moves. Things are crazy around here but I had to post SOMETHING in honor of this marvelous holiday. I'll update soon, but for now? Keep your eyes on the dancing pumpkin. You're welcome.



Every year we drive up to the Jolley cabin with Cody's parents to chop firewood for the Winter. I love this tradition - it gives us an excuse to spend some time at the cabin, what could be better than that?

The canyon is so pretty right now...

We got there on Thursday night and had some tasty lasagna for dinner. The Jolley lasagna? Best on this planet as far as I'm concerned. Always so delish! Cody's nieces were there so they played with the boys while the parents got to catch up and watch a movie.

The next morning we had a yummy breakfast and headed up past Daniel's Summit to find a choice chopping ground.

We settled on a great spot and Cody and Gary got right to work cutting down a giNORmous tree. I jest not - the tree was massive.

While Gary was dealing with the big tree, Cody started on a smaller one. Kathy and I made sure the kids were out of the way, our job is to pick up the logs that after they're cut and roll them down the hill.

The kids decided to don some orange and go for a hike...

At one point we needed to move our cars, so Kathy backed up Gary's truck and I jumped in our car. I was driving off the side of the road pretty slow, the sun was directly in my eyes and I thought, "If I could just move to the right six inches, I would be in the shade and then I could actually see where I'm going..." so that's what I did.

And this is what happened.

As soon as I turned my wheel I felt the car just DROP forward. I was still kind of in the sun so I couldn't really see what was happening. I felt the back end lift up and the car started to tilt to the side...and I thought the car was going to roll.

I froze.

The car rocked back and forth a bit until it settled. Well, sort of settled...it was still teetering. I reached my hand out the window and I saw Kathy running down the road. She was laughing so I knew it couldn't be as bad as it felt. I was still shaking though, don't you worry. Cody and Gary ran down and Cody (being Mr. Incredible) actually lifted up the front end of the car so Gary could put a rock under the tire that wasn't touching the ground. They hooked up my car to Gary's truck and pulled me out. I was finally able to get out and see just what I drove into.

A 5 ft. hole. No big deal.

Everyone was very understanding and kept reassuring me ("the sun was in your eyes, there was no way you could have seen that"), but I felt like a moron. Fortunately the rest of the day was a bit less exciting. We got the truck loaded and called it a day. Check out all that wood! I have no idea how Cody and Gary got it all to fit, they are the tetris masters.

We got home and I had to get right into the shower to get ready for the show. That night our performance was...rough. There were a few missed cues and one scene where EVERYONE forgot their lines. I tried desperately to keep the scene moving, I dropped hints and ad-libbed for 5 minutes. Nothing. Finally after an eternity they found their place and we moved on...but geez.

It had been a long day and I was SO ready for the day to be over.

Then I got pulled over on my way home.


What I'm Really Loving.

Normally (and sometimes not so diligently) I showcase something I'm loving on Wednesdays. I ponder during the week about what to feature on my 'What I'm Loving Wednesday' post. Shoes? A new purse, perhaps? Fall foilage, Halloween decor or the glorious place that I live...all good options, I suppose. But today I choose to post about what I'm really loving.

I should mention that it isn't Wednesday at all, but Thursday. I never sleep well when Cody is at work, which usually means I'm up way too late working on invitations or perusing some of my favorite online shops. I happened upon some blogs and found myself comparing...myself...to the myriad of amazing women out there. I marveled at their super cute houses and their way too beautiful children. They bake things from scratch and grow their own produce. They recycle and volunteer and their Tuesday night activities could be published in a Martha Stewart magazine (which brings up another point - how is it that ALL their pictures look so marvy?). But I digress...

In the sea of gorgeous, crafty blogs I sometimes come upon stories about heartbreak and loss and stress and trials and inadequacy... I come upon stories about love and trust and knowing what really matters. Those always touch me. So, what am I loving?

My children. Oh... how I love these little boys. How I love that they are mine. How I love their white-blonde hair and little chins and hysterical laughs. How I love to hear them carry on conversations with one another or sing songs in their beds. I love that they insist on giving me 5 hugs and 13 kisses before I go anywhere. They are my precious boys. I am so blessed to have them, to be their Mother. I am not worthy of them. It's a huge responsibility and it can be so overwhelming at times, can't it? To answer all those questions and feed them good meals and make sure their teeth are brushed. Too often I lose my patience or feel that I'm stretched way too thin or that they are asking way too much of me. I just pray that I can be the kind of Mother they need - one who can be silly with them and let the laundry wait so we can play a game. They are such good boys. So often women will come up to me in Church and tell me that whenever they see my boys they know exactly who they belong to. Is it wrong that I love that? My little carbon copies. They are such a good mix, they look so much like their handsome Father. My sons - I'm so grateful for them. I LOVE them.

My husband. There is a song that goes, "Lucky I'm in love with my best friend, lucky to have been where I have been, lucky to be coming home again...". The love I have for this man runs deeper than anything, straight to my core. It never ceases to amaze me that I have him, what in the world did I do to deserve such a man? I'm a hopeless romantic, this is not new information. I swoon over roses and love songs and twinkly lights and romantic movies. I just eat that up. Little did I know that the most romantic, dreamy thing a man can do for me is make me laugh. Cody makes me laugh every day, sometimes to the point where I'm shaking uncontrollably and tears are streaming down my face. He knows me better than anyone, I can tell him anything, we are different in so many ways and he is my match in every way. He also made me a Mother. He is a craftsman. He's Mr. Incredible. He is gorgeous. He is mine. How lucky am I?

My home. Shallow? Probably. You see, my house is a big project. I have glorious plans for it - those plans are in my head and boy, this place looks gorgeous in there. All shiny and finished. I sometimes voice that owning a home is overrated because lets be honest - owning a house is loads of work that sort of takes you by surprise, am I right? I don't know that I'll ever get used to it. I hope I do. There's lots of weeding and planting and mowing and pruning. Just yesterday Cody and I ripped a big bush out of our yard and pruned back tons of hedges (pruned...de hedges...of many small villages...). Our kitchen is dusty and empty, we still don't have a bed frame or curtains on our front window. So many things need to be done, but I love that we get to do them. I am amazed that we haven't lost our minds in month 5 of our remodel, that I still smirk when I put paper plates and plasticware in my cart at the grocery store. Our house may not look perfect, but it feels perfect and it's ours...so that makes it perfect.

The Gospel. Friends, how scary is this world without it? What a comfort and a rock the Gospel is. I am shown daily that the Savior lives and knows me...knows my joy and my pain and my trials and my triumphs. I would be so lost without it - I depend on it so much. I LOVE this Church, I believe in it with all my heart.

So while our nights are not magazine-worthy and my house is far from super cute, there are so many things that I cherish. My family is healthy, we are happy and we love each other. As far as I'm concerned, that's all we need.

Curious about my original WILW post? At first I was going to post about the fact that I love some alone time - I was able to enjoy a lovely trip to Target without my boys. I can take my time looking at random little things and not have to remind my son to keep his pants on in public. Although once I picked up my kids from my sister-in-law, Cache put a paper bag puppet named 'Trevor Truth' on his hand and proceeded to have a conversation with me on the drive home. Yeah. That's what I love.



It's official - no Jolley Halloween Party this year. I'm sad...but is it wrong that I'm not sad sad? Halloween is my favorite, most beloved, most near and dearest Holiday...oh, I adore it so. However, the thought of trying to get my house from it's current state to "Lets have a swell Halloween soiree'!" state is a journey that I don't want to go on. No one does, trust me.

I just can't do it, friends. With the show and the remodel...I just can't. I'm still hosting the PGFD Halloween Party and I think I'll try to host a kids' party like I did last year...we'll see. It doesn't seem right to NOT host some sort of wicked celebration. Still doing some decorating, but it looks like the Eighth Annual Jolley Halloween Party will have to wait.


So many pumpkins...

See? I told you I would be going overboard with pumpkins this year! I can't help myself, those gourds have me by the heartstrings. A few days ago Cody and I took the boys down to see our old neighbor, George. You remember George, right? The dear farmer that lived across the street from us in our old house? We love him. We miss him. Every Fall he lines his driveway with pumpkins from his pasture and it's a great reason to go down and visit him. As soon as we pulled up the boys jumped out of the car and ran to give George a hug...then went to work looking for pumpkins.
We left with a car load! So, so many pumpkins. Tons of sizes and the boys are SO excited. We also left with some sweet meat squash and George gave me some tips on how to cook them (when I have a kitchen, of course, but apparently the squash can keep for months if stored correctly). Cache and Cole climbed on the tractor and George told us about his trips to Alaska and California. It was a wonderful day.
Once we got home we arranged all the pumpkins on our porch, I'll have to take some pictures...it's obvious that I have a problem.


Conference Weekend

GREAT weekend. The weekend of Conference is always a good one. While the boys were at Priesthood, Mindi and I went to dinner at our favorite place - Texas Roadhouse. Always so delish, those rolls are to die for. I think we polished off like 4 baskets...maybe 5. We talked and laughed until we cried and we even came up with a fantastic Halloween costume! Shhh, you'll have to wait and see.

Afterwards we did a bit of shopping and against my better judgement, we braved Tai Pan Trading at the mall. I had already gone to two craft stores Saturday afternoon and it was insane - crazy crafties everywhere! Fortunately, Tai Pan wasn't too crowded and we both walked away with a little treasure. This candle stick was too good to pass up...
We had a total blast, I think my stomach still hurts from all the laughing.

Sunday morning we joined my family up at my parents house for the our traditional crepe breakfast. Growing up we always made a big breakfast of fruit crepes, Conference Sunday just isn't the same without them! Check out the spread.

Remarkably, after gorging ourselves on sugary goodness, we all stayed awake for the first session. Afterwards, my brothers and sisters-in-law went for a drive up the canyon while Cody and I went down to his parents. We visited for a bit and walked over to Grandma Doreen's garden to pick some corn stalks and pumpkins.

I think I may go overboard with pumpkins this year...I have to talk myself out of buying a cart-load every time I go to the grocery store.

We spent the rest of the evening at home, it was nice to just relax and take it easy. Conference was great, the Church is true and I'm so grateful for so many things. Icing on the top of a great weekend? We had a huge thunderstorm yesterday and it rained off and on, it was chilly and windy...looks like Fall has finally fallen!


Spooky Spooks!!

October is here!! Oh my, I am giddy with excitement, how I love this month and all that it stands for.

I must admit that while I'm looking forward to Halloween goodness, I've also been...a little deflated. It's hard to get excited to decorate your house when it's a construction zone. A friend of mine sent me an email a few weeks ago and said, "I bet your house is already decked out for Halloween!". Not true, dear friend. Not true.

But all my worry and concern about decorating around the chaos shall disperse. I mean, I can't not decorate, right? It's better to have a little than nothing at all, right? I have a renewed hope! A fresh outlook! I don't know if my house will be all decked out like it normally is, but I will decorate what I can.

Happy October, everyone! I'm off to bedeck my home in spooky fair...

PS - I think it only fair to inform you that Costco now has their yummy pumpkin pies. I also think it only fair to inform you that I had to fight tooth and nail so Cody would allow me to take one home.