Tuesday, August 14, 2012


We had two family reunions this summer--three if you count the pre-reunion mini-reunion before the official reunion. My sister's family couldn't make it to the scheduled reunion, due to a new church assignment--her husband had been called as mission president, and they needed to report two weeks before the reunion date. So those of us who could make it early met at my parents' house in Utah (my parents had just returned the previous month from their mission to Portugal) to have the opportunity to see my sister's family. Southern Utah in the summer is super hot, so the visit was very laid back--mainly  we sat around, talked, swam, and ate--visits to Cafe Rio and Iceberg are always important events. We love food.

Mmm, food. Let's talk about food. Tonight for dinner I made Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup, which turned out to be quite tasty. I'm happy about that, as it's nice to have another soup to add to the soup repertoire. Other noteworthy foods of late: my husband made a strawberry pie on Sunday. And on Saturday, we went to the Nestle Cafe where you could design your own ice cream cookie sandwich. Oh the joy! I didn't know this place existed, but now I'm not likely to ever forget. You chose your cookies, you chose your ice cream, and they put it all together for you in sandwich form. I had a chocolate chip peanut butter cookie and an oatmeal scotchie with double-fudge brownie ice cream in the middle. It was sooo tasty, and I wish I had one right now, and did I mention I've been trying to get back on track for losing weight and by "trying" I mean, "trying except when there are Costco muffins in the house or when my son brings out the smoked salmon and cream cheese after I already made myself a sandwich, because, come on, that smoked salmon is really good."

Hey, at least I'm exercising, right? I even tried my new Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown DVD today. So far, I haven't melted down, but give me time.

Side note: I am eating a piece of Dove dark chocolate.

Anyway . . . summer was busy. Besides, the reunion, it was crunch time for my September release, Shadowed, with edits and proofing. My publisher has posted the first chapter; you can read it here.

Once all the reunions and book stuff were finished, it was time for girls camp (good timing, right?). A couple of days before I left for camp, my daughters showed me the Bollywood blockbuster 3 Idiots. Loved it. In the movie, the hero's mantra is "All is well"--a phrase that came from his town watchman who would cry out "Alll izzz well" as he patrolled the town, reassuring the residents--though it turned out the watchman couldn't see well at night and didn't have a clue what was going on; he'd just call out "all is well" anyway. I kept thinking of that phrase at girls camp--all is well, all is well. And it was--problems cropped up here and there, but nothing that wasn't manageable, and all truly was well. When I was called as Stake Camp Director three years ago, I'd never been so terrified by a calling in my life, but I've discovered that there are a multitude of blessings associated with the calling.

Now that things have quieted down, I'm working on dejunking the house, a little at a time. Today I cleaned under the stove burners, which was a horrible mess. Problem is, you can't see most of my work, since it's, you know, under the stove top. I should take a picture and put the picture on the fridge, except to get the real effect, you'd need "before" and "after" pictures, and the "before" picture would be too embarrassing. Maybe I should take a "before" picture of my garage and either submit it to a reality show in hopes they'd adopt me as a project or I could enlarge it and call it art representing Angst and Confusion. I would title it "Junk Avalanche with Black Widow Spiders."

Hey . . . maybe that could be the title of that Halloween novella I'm supposed to be working on . . .


  1. Yay, Stephanie Blogs!

    For blog title ambiance:
    Will Smith - Summertime

    I like the sound of making your own ice cream cookie sandwich - my wife would looooove that. I'd probably mess it up by getting things I like separately and not having it work out as a concoction, like Snickerdoodle + Peanut Butter Cookie + Banana Ice Cream (I take it back, how can you mess that up?)

    Will you be doing any book store signings* to coincide with your new release? Too bad they couldn't release it in August - are you coming back to drop your girls off?

    Jen said she'd love to have you as a neighbor. (Who wouldn't?) Have you given any thoughts to buying a condo in a nice pseudo-retirement development in Orem?

    * Remember my challenge? Looking forward to a creepy signing!

    1. Jon, I'm pretty sure it's impossible to mess up the cookie sandwich. No matter what you do, it'll still be delicious.

      Right now, I don't have any signings scheduled, but I'll let you know if that changes (this is when I wish I lived in Utah and I'd throw a fun launch party!). No, I won't be coming out to drop the girls--they'll go on their own this year. And I'd love to be neighbors with Jen and you. That would be so fun!

  2. Wow. Sounds like a busy--but fun--summer. I can't wait for your new book. And your post made me hungry! Maybe Cafe Rio tonight...

  3. You have been so busy, but that is great! I am most certainly interested in the Cafe that you visited. Just putting Nestle in from of the name conjures wonderful thoughts! Good luck with the rest of your summer activities. School starts for us after Labor Day this year, and I have one starting college, one in Kindergarten and one still at home, so I am gearing up for a lot of goings on.

    1. Thanks, taylorfamily! I also have kids spread out over four schools--elementary, middle school, high school, and college. The house is going to be strangely quiet when everyone is back in school!