44 on 4/4 at 4:44

Erik has surprised me a number of times over the years for my birthday. When we were dating, I told him I needed to return something to a friend’s house on the night of my birthday, and when we got there, there were 30 friends there to surprise me. How did he do that, get me to recommend going to that place and have all those people there to surprise me?

Well, yesterday it happened again. It was a unique birthday. I turned 44 on 4/4. So he emailed a number of friends (only two hours before) and told them to come to his parents’ house where he has his office in the back. Then at 4:44 we would come to the front of the house, and everyone would start singing and surprise me. Well, surprise it was!

We were back in his office getting a few things done before we were heading out for an overnight getaway. I had just told him I was going to go out to the car in front, and he said he needed to come get his phone in the car. So we headed out the side yard to the front of the house, and when I opened the gate there were 30 people there that totally took me by surprise. I screamed loudly. Then people had come up with groups of 4 or 44 things as little gifts. I got some wonderful gifts of four flowers, four chocolates, four oranges, four petals, 44 chocolate kisses and 44 jelly beans, four cookies. Brandon said he had four sisters as his gift to me. It had me laughing for hours, mostly the reaction of screaming that I had, and the total surprise it was. So great to give hugs and feel love from some of my dearest friends and family. What a wonderful birthday. (Thanks to Rachel for the pictures!)IMG_0538-L

The scream!


I can’t believe Erik pulled this off and gifts from Erik’s dad


Feeling the love as everyone sings


Cute kids with gifts


The crowd that surprised me


Dear friends with hugs and love.  I was so surprised and laughed for hours about this!

We followed that up with a night in Half Moon Bay, delicious dinner, gorgeous fog and sun, walks on the beach, talks about our life, and relaxation. I am blessed beyond measure.


Early birthday wishes

My dear friend brought me lunch today to begin my birthday celebration. We enjoyed some paninis and great conversation and berry tarts. I received a gift from my brother and a card from my sister yesterday. Another dear friend sent a card that arrived today. I don’t know why I am already receiving so much love from so many, but it is kind and thoughtful of people to remember 6 and 7 days early. I don’t have many plans for my birthday. I hope to spend time with the kids during spring break and have a fun, relaxing day. I do have an appointment to get passports with the kids on the actual day of my birthday. It will be fun to begin the process of our European adventures. If one purpose of birthday celebrations is to give and receive love, I have already felt lots of that love and thoughtfulness.

Celebrating 40 at the beach

My sister-in-law, Rachel, turned 40 last week, and she had a beach getaway with some friends and family. It was beautiful clear weather. We took a six mile hike along the coast, talked and laughed, ate delicious food, watched a movie, saw some sea anenomes at the tide pools,  enjoyed the trees and ocean and birds. It was a wonderful time together.

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Happy Birthday Erik!

44 years old and 4 years as bishop. I was feeling especially grateful for Erik’s service as bishop for the past four years and wanted him to feel the love from the people he serves so faithfully. Yesterday the ward sang three birthday songs for him. There was a lot of love in the room!

Last night, we celebrated Kristine, Rachel and Erik’s birthdays together with the whole family.

IMG_1520 IMG_1523Tonight we finished with a surprise gathering of some of our dearest friends here at our home. It is also Andrea’s birthday tomorrow, so we shared in the celebration with her.

IMG_1524Then many people shared gratitude thoughts about Andrea and Erik. Some highlights about them: peaceful, focused on what is important, kind and thoughtful, sense of humor, interested in people, wonderful in their church callings. I feel honored to be in the room with such wonderful families and friends.

We love Dad!


I love Erik for his kindness, humor, gentle encouragement, belief in each one of us, his righteousness, his devotion to helping others on their path, his closeness to the Lord, his desire to do what is right, his loving ways, his creativity, and his whole soul. I am honored to have him for a partner and best friend, eternally.






Robin is 7!

Robin turned seven today! She is full of joy and kindness. She loves to read and color. She has many close friends and cousins. Here are some pictures of her last weekend jumping for joy.

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We celebrated today with a fun birthday party with some of her best friends.  Camille and her cousin, Emma, ran the party and did a fabulous job.  Happy Birthday Robin!


Camille turns 12!

We had all our close-by cousins and Jammie and Grandpa and aunts and uncles over to celebrate Camille’s 12th birthday.  We are blessed to have so much family close by.  First we had a favorite dinner of the three younger girls — tortellini and garlic bread.   It was fun to move the dining room table into the living room.


The living room has been empty for a while with only the piano and a few bookshelves. Tonight we had Camille’s birthday celebration in that room with the table and a myriad of chairs.


A highlight of the night was after cake we had everyone share what they love about Camille.


Many people mentioned her wonderful sense of humor and the way she has fun and connects with people of many different ages.


I mentioned her thoughtfulness and hilarious ways.  It was fun to see her humbly hear the nice words from everyone and feel all the love in the room.


Camille really wants a dog.  I think in her heart of hearts she was hoping we would come through with that gift tonight.  We didn’t, but she did enjoy the gifts and the love.  The kids spontaneously hug each other when they exchange gifts.  There was a lot of that on Christmas morning, and more tonight from Camille to everyone, at least twice around the circle for us all.


Camille teaches me to be sympathetic and caring.  She teaches me to have fun and enjoy the spontaneous moments.  Camille cares for those around her and gives hugs and kisses. Camille is soft-spoken and kind.  I love Camille and feel honored to be her mother and to grow with her.  When Camille was born, there was so much love in the room, Erik and I were overwhelmed with joy to bursting.  I feel that way tonight.  Love you Camille!