Beginning

I went to the funeral of a neighbor and friend on Saturday afternoon. When I stepped out into the gloomy day, I was astounded at what I saw: hundreds of robins in all the trees over his family's house and in several trees surrounding. The birds were all chirping in unison, and the sound was so pleasant that other neighbors were coming out of their houses to look up. I have no idea why they chose to sing in those particular trees, but it's something I'll never forget.

Before leaving for the church, I snapped what photos I could. What beauties these little spring birds are. And may God bless the family whose house they gathered over.

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Psalm 147:7-9

"Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God: Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains. He giveth the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry." (KJV)

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I like to change out the image on my desktop every once in a while, and just in case you do too, and you'd like to use one of these spring robins, here are a few semi-hi-res photos for you to use. Simply right-click the photo and choose "Save image as…" You may need to reduce the size, however, to fit your monitor.

Robin hi res 2

Here's a different version of the above photo:

Robin hi res

Robin hi res 3

Enjoy your day!

Utah!

Hello everyone! I've missed you all! It's taken me quite a while to sort through all the photos we took on our semi-family (Bre couldn't come with us) vacation to Park City, and I'm still not quite finished. But I'd love to share with you what I've got for starters, and I'll finish Part 1 with Mike's TubeCam video, which we actually had to film twice bc the first time he pushed "off" instead of "on." 🙂

Can you guess which airline we flew? I have to say, they are the nicest people, and they don't holler at you for almost breaking their arm if someone's suitcase is too heavy for the overhead compartment. (Now that was a sight to witness!)(Btw, it wasn't my suitcase.)(Moving on.)

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And the goodies they fed us! Not just peanuts and pretzels, but these fabulous little snacks, which I haven't been able to locate locally…

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Sophie brought her Bonkers along…

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And I brought mine…

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This was the view from Sabrina's seat…

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Which means there was no escape from the man sitting next to her…

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Our layover was in Las Vegas.

I'm not too sure I like the gleeful expressions on my childrens' faces in this shot…

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(Thankfully, an airport lady shoo'ed them off before they started asking for quarters.)

Once in Park City, we stayed at the Marriott Summit Resort, which was absolutely wonderful. I highly recommend staying there if you ever visit this area!

The next day, we all headed up the mountain. I was NOT looking forward to this bc of a nasty fall I had in Colorado last year, but I gave it a chance…

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Sabrina is an excellent skier, but when I decided that I wasn't born to be an adrenaline-junkie like my husband and daughters seem to be, she stayed with me for the majority of the trip bc she was afraid I'd be lonely. ;)  (Besides, she was more interested in snowboarding, but the resort we ski'ed at – Deer Valley – doesn't allow 'boarders.)

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While Sabrina and I had an amazing lunch in the lodge, Mike and Sophie headed back up the mountain…

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Mike's BFF from childhood (Marty) and his family were vacationing with us, so eventually they joined up with Mike and Sophie. Sophie, please introduce Nick to blogland, will you?

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I love this next picture. It looks so travel-promo-ish. Or maybe Carnival Cruis-ish.

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Hi again, Nick!

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Here we are later that night, getting ready to go out for dinner… next to me is Gabby, and Marty's-wife-Beth is next to Soph… Gabby has a twin brother named Zach (he's behind Nick in the photo above), but he was in the corner playing video games, not wanting to join we chickadees.

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The next few days were filled with more of the same – skiing and shopping and swimming and eating – and tubing! If you've never gone tubing, you're missing out. Remember, I am NOT an adrenaline-junkie, but I love tubing!

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(Don't worry – I haven't forgotten about Mike's TubeCam. It's coming up!)

On the last day of skiing, Mike and Marty decided to ski the blacks. In case you're unfamiliar with ski terminology, here's a quick lesson: mountains have "runs" on them, which are the paths that skiers take to ski down the mountain. These runs are categorized as Green (easy), Blue (intermediate), and Black (advanced). The Black runs are then broken down into subcategories: Diamond (very advanced), Double Diamond (only experts should attempt), and Triple Diamond (you will probably die).

Here are the two besties, getting ready to attempt a very advanced run…

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Here's the part that makes my stomach flip: am I the only one who notices that the run just drops off?

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And am I the only one who doesn't think that narrow pathway is an exciting challenge?

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Let me interject a little back-story here: at dinner the previous night, I distinctly heard Beth tell Nick that he was not to go down the black runs with Mike and Marty. I saw the look in her eyes when she said it, and I'm pretty sure she wasn't to be challenged on it.

Unfortunately, I don't think M&M saw the same look I did.

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And I'm really sure Beth would not have consented to THIS:

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Let's take a closer look at that sign, shall we?

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I'm afraid I have to side with Beth on this one. The sign clearly states who best should ski the Mayflower Bowl.

I ask: Do these look like experts to you?

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I'll be back soon with more of our trip, but first… Mike's TubeCam! Hold on tight, bc it's much faster – and colder – than it appears!

Tubing in Park City, UT from Paulette Stewart on Vimeo.

P.S. I am only teasing about my sweet husband; he is, in fact, quite capable of skiing the blacks, and usually does so with Sabrina (while Breanna 'boards with the boys). 😉

Inspired!

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the home of Darlene Andersen, who used to co-own a cross stitch shop called Treasured Stitches. When Breanna was still in her stroller, Mom and I would walk up to the shop and admire all the sampler models on the walls, and then I'd add to my ever-growing collection of Fanci That and Shepherd's Bush patterns.

The shop closed eventually, and Darlene began traveling and lecturing on the history of Adam and Eve samplers (are you hearing this, Siobhan?). She has stitched 55 of them (if I'm not mistaken), and invited me over to take a look. I brought my camera with me, but truly had not realized just how many samplers she had hanging on her walls, or I'd brought a wide-angle lens. Please forgive me for the tight photos – I literally had no more room to back up!

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Here are some laying on a bed, waiting for a place to hang…

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This one is Darlene's favorite…

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And this one was mine…

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Hi Darlene! (Darlene was looking upward into her hallway, answering all my questions about her stitching.)

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Hey Kim, remember Frances Eden? She's on my list of things I WILL complete for 2011! (Kim let me adopt her half-finished Frances bc she changed her mind on the fabric and fibers. I was more than happy to take it off her hands!)

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This is one that Darlene calls her "Bubblegum Adam and Eve" bc of their bright pink complexions! (LOVE this one.)

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I was astounded at all the Mary Beale stockings Darlene had stitched! And she did them all in a year!

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She also had a gorgeous tree in her sun room, full of all of the ornaments she has stitched over the years. I can't recall how many she said there were, but they are all wonderful…

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She had even taken my Eliza Pennance chart and stitched it 4 times, in memory of 4 of her loved ones that had passed. You can see one of them in the bottom left of the photo below…

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What a lovely tree!

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Darlene, thank you so much for allowing me to take photos of your stunning handwork. Your samplers are beautiful, and I came away feeling completely inspired to stitch and design! Your home truly is filled with treasured stitches.

Heaven Gave…Friends

My very first internet-friend, Chris, finished my Heaven Gave Rain pattern recently, and she sent photos to prove it. :)  I'm always pressing Chris to start a blog to showcase her work, bc truly she has the most amazing eye for color and decor. Everything she touches is transformed into something beautiful!

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Thank you for sharing these with me, dear Chris! And how do you always find the coolest stuff to make vignettes with?

Enjoy your Wednesday!