If I’d Only Known…

18 Years Old

When I was just a young girl,

in my teens, I would day dream about being married and having a family,


I wanted so much to be loved by a wonderful man, and to be the mama to some darling children.

I really wasn’t sure it would ever happen.

I had a lot of self esteem issues.

I didn’t think anyone would ever want to be married to me. I thought I wasn’t pretty enough; skinny enough, fun enough, lovable enough for someone to want to be with me.  And if there was never someone who wanted to be with me, then I would never get to be a mama. I always felt, and still feel, that the best place to raise children is with a mom and a dad married. These are my beliefs and feelings, based on how I was raised. So if no one ever loved me, I would never marry, and never be a mom.

I know this sounds a little dramatic, but I was a teenager thinking like a teenager.

I just wish I could have had my grandma self come visit for a bit, with my teenager self. It would have helped me to be able to relax and not worry so much.

I would tell my teenage self,

“You are beautiful and very lovable!” 

I would tell myself how wonderfully blessed your husband will feel to have you in his life.

That your children will admire the way you keep going even when you are overwhelmed and sad. I would tell my younger self that it might take a little time,

but it will happen,

and it will be wonderful!

You will be older than you thought you’d like to be married, but you will have good experiences that will add to your knowledge of life and how to live and love people.

Experiences that you would never trade.

23 Years Old


Then after some time you will have what you dream of, and it will be worth the wait, and oh, so, precious.

The best part of all of it?



Why are we so hard on ourselves?

Why do we not just trust our Father in Heaven has blessings, wonderful blessings coming our way? If I’d only known then, what I know now, I think I would not have been so hard on myself, I would have enjoyed the process of going through life, a little more.

Maybe there is something to that.

Maybe we need to trust, have faith that Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and even though sometimes we have to go through hard things to get to the happiness, we can do our best to enjoy the process. Have “Joy” in the journey! It all worked out and I worried so much.

Happily Married for 32 Years!

One thing is for sure, I’m so happy to be where I am now. So thankful for a sweet Darlin, the opportunity to be a mom, mother-in-law, and grandma! Life is a blessing!

Happy Birthday Darling Boy!!!

Happy Birthday to this wonderful grandson, Julian!

He is such a blessing in our family. He just turned 3 years old, and he is doing so many great things. He loves cars, and skateboards just like his dad. He is such a good brother to his big sister and little brother!We were invited to his party and it was so fun!

He got lots of great gifts, and had a big red cupcake cake shaped like a car!

It was yummy!

His party was a few days before his actual birthday, so grandma and grandpa stopped by to give him a treat and steal some hugs!!

I love this little guy.

I have always said, “Grandkids are your reward for not killing your kids!” I’m so glad that during some of those challenging years, we didn’t do away with Julian’s daddy!

10 Reasons Why I love Being a Grandma!

When we first became parents, we were thrilled.

A tiny human was now part of our lives and we were overwhelmed, but looking forward to a lifetime of getting to know our child. How would we do it all? There was so much to learn. There were so many new emotions and concerns we had never even thought of, like, making sure he pooped and peed enough. How much formula is just the right amount? What if he won’t burp? At times he would not stop crying, why?

It all worked itself out. We did it! We have been and are successful parents. Yay!!!

Now the reward.

We get to be grandparents!

Let me tell you the 10 reasons why I love being a grandma!

10-Grandchildren are a blessing!

It is amazing how blessed I feel knowing that I get to have these little ones in my life.


9-Their little happy faces light up when they see you.

When we drive up to the house and they are waiting for us- it’s the best.


8-Grandchildren are adorable.

It is almost impossible to see your grandchild and not want to squish her (or him).


7-Little hugs around the neck are the best. 

To have my grandchildren hug me is to know that I am an important part of their world.


6-Grandchildren are very entertaining.

They are cute, funny, silly, dramatic, and emotional.


5-Spoiling them is expected.

It is so fun to buy them things, make them things, feed them things, and kiss them, and hug them, and love them so much!!

4-Grandchildren have sweet little piggy’s on their feet that need kisses.


3-They are your reward for not killing your kids.

I’m so glad I didn’t kill their dad when he was a teenager. Really.IMG_0179

2-Grandchildren remind us that God is good, and that the world must go on. 

How can you doubt it when you see that face?


1-When you’re a grandparent you get to send them home, and get a good nights sleep!!


Grandparenthood rocks! 

Now for the great news!  This little guy will be joining our family in September!


Look at this precious little soul!

Can you stand it?

I can’t wait to be a grandma…again!

I am so excited for this new baby to love!!!


Today, it has been 7 years since I started my blog!


It’s my blogiversary!!

So here’s a list of 7 things I’ve learned blogging for 7 years:

1-Always remember why you do it.


I don’t spend a lot of time on other peoples blogs. I am trying my best to get a grip in my life and sitting on the computer all day doesn’t help. So if I don’t have a lot of visitors, because I’m not commenting all the time on others blogs, I’m ok with that. I am leaving a journal with stories and what not for my family and anyone else who would like to visit. I love you all!

2-Put your best foot forward.


I struggle sometimes. I prefer to not focus on complaining. It’s really not me anyway. I am a joyful person! I am always looking for the blessings in life.

3-Have variety.


If I always focus on one topic, it’s like I’m talking in a monotone voice. That’s not very fun! So it’s good to mix it up.

4-Be totally honest.


I am, what I am. I love to share what I feel and the adventures I’m having. Sometimes, life is challenging. Maybe if I share how I’m working through a challenge it might help someone else. Who’s to say…;)

5-It takes a lot of effort sometimes, and that’s ok.


Remember Dory? Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming!

6-“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”


I am a firm believer that love conquers all. I don’t agree with everyone on the internet, and I know they don’t all agree with me, but we can be kind and show love for other humans when we communicate.

7-Sharing what matters most to me is fun!


Sunday’s really are Best! Family History is so fun! Missionaries make me happy! Beautiful Places are beautiful! My Darlin, First Born, Janet, Dream Come True, Most Quoted, Amber, Bonus Baby, Anthony, Grandbabies, and Tayzie mean the world to me! Someday this blog will be a treasure for the people I love, maybe it is already. Either way, it’s here and waiting for a visit from all!

Thank you for visiting! I hope you return often!

Love, Joy


Busyness Pt-2: Planning a Wedding!



Planning a wedding is so much fun!

It can be very stressful if you try to do too much and not let other people help. It is something little girls think about a million times while they are growing up. It is an event that moms look forward to sharing with their daughters from the time they are born. We build it up and have so many expectations about how it is going to be. It can be very beautiful and very reasonably done. It’s best to be realistic though, and know that things don’t always go perfect and that’s ok.

With that I will say I am very frugal. I have taught my children to be careful with their money, and I know they will be careful with their parents money, too.

I will never spend an insane amount of money on an event that will last a day.

The most important part of the wedding day is the Wedding, the actual vows. Making promises and professing your love to all, especially God. When you look into your sweetheart’s eyes and your know you want to be with them forever. That is the most important part of the day. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have that.

Within a day or so of the announcement of the upcoming wedding, I usually find a book that I can use for the planning. The book I used for Emily and Anthony’s wedding was just an address book that I knew I would never use for it’s intended purpose. I separate it into sections.

I find it is easier for me to simplify the categories. Most of the planning can fit into one of the following categories:

1-Important-Things in this section are, you guessed it, important. *Research of and final choice for the wedding venue. *The address and phone # of the county you will be married in, with the information about when to purchase the wedding license. *Contact information about the officiator at the wedding.

2-Budget-Of course it’s very important to have a budget. You can spend a lot of money on a wedding, enough to save a small country. Or you can be very careful with most of the wedding and spend a little more on special things. Pick the part of the wedding or things at the wedding that matter the most to you. It could be the location, the dress, or something like the flowers. We bought Emily’s dress at a vintage clothing store and I made modifications to it to make it what she wanted. We used canning jars that were decorated for the centerpieces. They are very popular and cheap or free.

3-Guests-Start listing and gathering all the addresses of those who will be invited to the wedding, the wedding luncheon, and the reception. The same people may be invited to all of the events, but maybe not. I usually invite family and close friends to the wedding, and the luncheon. Then I invite more casual friends, neighbors, co-workers, and acquaintances to the reception.

4-Reception-I put everything about the reception in this category. Location: All of the possibilities for the location, their phone numbers, prices and details about what they offer. I went on google and checked addresses to see if the address for the wedding and the address for the reception are close enough to make it convenient for those attending. You need to know that we are LDS, and our daughter got married in the LDS Temple. They don’t hold receptions there, so the reception location was different. Decorations: Table decorations, back drop where the bride and groom will stand to greet guests, sign in table, pictures and decor placed here and there to add to the total feel of the reception, ceiling decorations (we used paper lanterns), etc. Food: What will be served, what type of food and how you will serve it. How you will present it? Will you have servers, or helpers to clear the tables. Some weddings serve a full meal. We didn’t do that, we served refreshments. More about the reception in a future blog post.

5-Misc-The wedding luncheon (or brunch or whatever you decide) can go in this category. I put information about the colors for the wedding. Swatches of the fabric we used, etc.

Another helpful part of the planning is to get a Pinterest account. It is a fantastic resource for planning fun “do it yourself” decorations. You can purchase a couple of magazines, to look through for ideas. A Google search of this place or that place, or different types of decorations, etc.

These are some things that have helped me. I planned two weddings last year. One was our son, and the second was our daughter. Both weddings turned out great and they were both different. It was very fun, and stressful, but I loved doing all of this for my kids and their sweet spouses.

-Just an FYI, I planned Emily’s wedding in 3 months. It can be done! I promise!


Busyness, Etc.

EmAndAnthWedding (1)

Where do I start? 

I have been a slacker…..Only in my blogging!

Life is so wonderful, and hard, and awesome! Our family had a wonderful blessing on Saturday, January 30, 2016. Our daughter Emily, my Bonus Baby was married for time and all eternity to her sweetheart in the Jordan River Temple.

It was wonderful!

It was a blizzard.

It’s was very overwhelming and fun!

I have had my two son’s get married, but this is my first wedding for a daughter. Let me just say there is a big difference in what you do to get ready for a son to marry, as opposed to what you do to get ready for a daughter to marry. I have been sewing, and hot glueing and organizing for weeks and weeks for this blessed event.

It all turned out great!

Now that we have had our day with Em, I’ll share some of our preparations with you.

I have learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t in preparing. I’ll share some of the things I’ve learned. I will share pictures and fun ideas.

Watch for my next post!

Birthday Celebrations!

How do you celebrate?

How do you celebrate your birthday?


My darlin said to me, “It’s your birthday Tuesday, what do you want to do?”

I answered, “What do I really want to do?”

He told me it really only matters what I want to do on my birthday.

I agreed!

“I want to clean the basement,” I announced.

He couldn’t believe it, “What?”

“We’ll do some work, take a load to the thrift store, then have dinner with family!”

Sounds like a perfect day to me.

We spend the first 5 hours of the day cleaning the basement. It hasn’t been organized since we moved into our new (old) home in March. When we moved, we downsized a bunch! We, as well as those helping us move just put items here and there. There was no rhyme or reason to the rooms. We had food storage with seasonal decor, sewing supplies near cleaners. It was very full, with just a pathway leading to the far corner of the room.

I don’t know how you feel about that kind of situation, but to me that is very overwhelming and frustrating. I learned from reading a book written by an organizer named Daryl Hoole, that you need a place for everything and to keep everything in it’s place, like put it right away once you use it.  We didn’t even have a place for everything yet, how could we keep everything in it’s place? This drives me crazy, so to me this was a great way to spend my birthday, and then have the peace that comes from keeping it clean, and organized.

It went very well. We got a lot done. We took a load to the DI (thrift store) and met the family at the restaurant. It was so fun to see them.

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We have a tradition in our family on birthdays. We go around the table and say something that we love about the person whose birthday it is. We usually go around a few times. I love it! It was the perfect finish on a wonderful day. I got to love on this sweet little grandbaby! My daughter-in-law Janet gave me the cutest thing from my grandbaby. She traced his cute tiny hands on paper, and cut it out, and attached a accordion piece of paper from one cut out hand to the other. On the one hand was written, “Happy Birthday” and on the other, “Grandma, I love you this much!”  Oh my stars!!!! I love it!

It really was a great day!

Birthdays are fun when they’re spent doing what you want, with who you want to be with!

30th Anniversary Trip!

We celebrated our 30th Anniversary in August.

We decided since we’ve never done a big trip for our anniversary before, we decided to do it this year.

We had a wonderful time on an Alaskan Cruise!


We flew to Seattle where we got on our cruise ship.

This was our first cruise so we were excited and looking forward to a fun trip!



We went to Ketchikan and saw the lumberjack show and saw Totem Bight State Park. We walked around town. It is so beautiful in Alaska! It rained, but it was still beautiful.





Then we went to Juneau. And we saw Mendenhall Glacier.

Our world is wonderful!


Then there was the Salmon Fish Hatchery. Can I just say Salmon are so interesting. If you don’t know, they swim out to sea after being born way up stream in the mountains. They stay in the ocean for years and then near the end of their life they swim up stream for a long time, back to where they were born. It is a very difficult trip for them. Then they lay their eggs and die. And then the cycle repeats. I’m sure there are some life lesson’s there, but I’m still thinking on it. They are truly amazing.


We saw so much beautiful scenery, mountains, waterfalls, water, ice…gorgeous.



Another glacier.


Panning for gold in Skagway!


We drank water from this beautiful waterfall that came from a glacier. So good!!!



Awesome old cemetery!



It was a wonderful trip! We had a blast spending time together and having a fun adventure!

I recommend it.

We feel very blessed to have such a neat experience.

I love my darlin more than ever, and I’m so grateful for the 30 years we have had together.