Cold Creek Blue Grass Concert

A couple of weeks ago, my parents christened their return home to the USA by taking our family to a blue grass concert. After a classic American meal of onion kissed burgers (with homemade cemita buns), potato salad, watermelon, candy chunks disguised as pineapple, and raspberry lemonade, we settled in under the stars at one of the most beautiful places on Earth. And pinch my cheeks, this giant playground is only a 20 minute jaunt from our front door.

In the outdoor Tanner Amphitheater, the five musicians known as Cold Creek were flanked by a sky scraping wall of red rocks. The breathtaking backdrop lent stark contrast to the barren stage set-up: only a single mic for each pickin' performer and their string instruments. When they started to play, it was love at first listen.

Sipping on ice-cold water and summer air, we drank for an an hour or two.

ms fish and the fam



Thanks mom and dad! And welcome home. To Zion.

All photos by Allen Hackworth.

Book Review: The Postmistress

The PostmistressThe Postmistress by Sarah Blake

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had a lot of issues with this book..... until I got to the last 5 chapters.

The book was slow initially, dry and grainy as the Namib sands and hard for me to get into. It wasn't until Chapter 5 or 6 that I felt any lure to continue on. Then the story started to take hold, but I still didn't care about or know much about the characters. There were several passages (like talking about one girl's clotty menses for example) that seemed completely irrelavent other than making the book bigger. The advertised premise (what happens if you withhold a letter / information?) didn't happen until the book's "fourth quarter."

Along the way, there were glimpses of brilliant writing. I loved many of Blake's metaphors ("soldiers stood like daffodils in the Spring") and insightful passages. I learned a lot about the time period just prior to WWII breaking out, which is uncommonly dealt with. The book seemed well-researched, with rich period details that were unobtrusive, yet enriched the story. The news reports about France and Germany were fantastic. And in the end, two of the characters finally came to life and gave me reason to care. The book concludes with the depth I yearned for all along.

Bottom line: Blake did a decent job of exploring what takes place around the edges of a photograph....the parts you don't usually see (ie: how war affects everyday lives). Blake has great potential as a writer, and I appreciated her attempt at a compelling, fresh approach to a war story.

PS: Warning... unfortunately this book is marred by rampant cursing. Why is that necessary????

View all my reviews


30 Strangers Recap

It NEVER gets old.

Hanging with the fam.

Sometimes our stories are old. I found out [on our hike up Rock Canyon] that my knees are getting old. But my family's eclectic conversations, jokes, love of granola, and laughing at shallow YouTube videos never gets old.

Neither does looking at good photography. Which was the whole reason our family got together. We couldn't miss the gallery opening of the 30 Strangers Exhibit.

It was one of the coolest evenings I've had in a long time. And I'm not talking about the efficient air conditioning system. There were lots of cool people that came to support Justin. Then the coolest of the cool read essays about Motherhood. And of course, the photos were so cool they froze time. Justin Hackworth style.


Below Justin is surrounded by five heavy hitters in the writing world. They knocked it out of the park as they read incredible essays, each in their own profound style. Each confirmed that motherhood isn't for wimps, as we ironically sat wimpering with tears of heartache one minute and tears from laughter the next. The readers chartered us through a wide range of emotions: a roller-coaster ride that mimics parenthood.  It felt good to FEEL, and to be reminded about the basics and the essentials.

I especially loved the essay by Amy: my SIL (below). Amy blew us all away with her incredible insights, charm, wit and wisdom. She artfully used a lesson learned while in London as the backdrop for her attitude about being a mother. Her essay skyrocketed the adage 'seize the moment' to new heights.

photo credit Allen Hackwowrth

photo credit: Ashley Thalman

Go here for the heart-wrenching, inspirational essay by Molly Jackson, a pillar of strength (far left).

Go here for the laugh-out-loud essay about Carina Hoskisson's reconciliation with motherhood. Notice (2nd from the right) she's such a good mother, she WEARS her children. Yes, that's a living breathing 3-4 week old baby in her carrier pouch sling thing.

Still waiting for Amy Hackworth, Brooke Benton (far right) and NieNie (2nd from left) to make their essays available (hint, super big hint).

And of course, Justin's perspective on motherhood was told through his photographs, which perfectly framed the essays.

photo credit: Ashley Thalman

 This is my daddy and Kiera Haddock talking shop: both great photographers in their own right.

photo credit: Ashley Thalman

This is one of my favorite photos of the night. (Score Ashley) Don't you want to know what my dad is laughing at and what Kent Miles is so intently shooting? The mystery is a mark of a good photo. Plus I just love seeing my dad so juvulur (a new word which is a crafty combo of jubilant and jocular, penned at the party by the brilliant* Ryan Campbell) (*I truly mean that compliment about Ryan in the sincerest way. It has nothing to do with the fact that I want him to get us Lion King tickets.)

photo credit Ahsley Thalman

Me and my teeth were happy to be there.

photo credit Kent Miles

It was so fun to have my daughter come with me to the show. Her dress from Shabby Apple is so stinking cute I can't stand it.

photo credit Kent Miles

My beautiful mama fresh from the soil of China. She's sporting her fancy new custom-made shirt fresh from a Chinese tailor.

photo credit Kent Miles

My awesome papa in his matching custom shirt made by the same Chinese tailor. Behind this big grin is his joy to be home in America. Oh and pride in his son.

photo credit Kent Miles

 Justin was a walking art exhibit himself in his fancy new suit from Garth at Perfectly Suited.

photo credit Kent Miles

Trust me. Ryan Cambell (far right) isn't yawning. He's awe-ing.

photo credit Kent Miles

There was a constant stream of people for the entire 3 hours of the reception. We could have charged admission and people would have still come. That's how good the show was.

photo credit: Brett Howell

It was a perfect evening in every way, including the JCW chili-cheese fries after the show. Oh baby! (did you see what I did there? baby? motherhood?)  

My mouth is already watering for next year!!


21 Truths about a Bug named Sean

When he was four, Bug learned to read. 

One day grandpa and grandma came to visit. Bug asked "want me to read you the Berenstein Bears?"

"Oh yes," grandma encouraged, thinking to herself how smart Bug must be to memorize the story word for word.

After listening to the story, grandpa was still skeptical. So he pulled a book Bug had never read down from the shelf.

"Try this,"  Grandpa tested.

Bug took off reading the words on the page as naturally as blinking his eyelids.

Bug also showed a propensity for politics.

One day at Grandma's house, we were eating a casserole peppered with a hefty amount of onions. Trying, but unable to fully enjoy the tainted meal, Bug (age 5) finally blurted out with exasperated but faithful hope,  "Does the federal government regulate the amount of onions in casseroles?"

When Bug was in kindergarten, Aunt Shauna came to visit. Grandma was visiting also.

"Want to hear Bug read?"  Grandma implored as if it were a circus act.

"Sure,"  said Shauna... thinking she would humor the exaggerated delusions of grandparental pride.

After Bug read out loud from the Book of Mormon, Shauna asked, "how did you learn to read so well?"

Bug replied, "Heavenly Father taught me so I could teach His gospel."

16 years later, Bug is doing just that, sharing the convictions of his heart with others. Changing lives. Including his own. He is no longer my little Bug, but Elder Sean Fisher, a handsome self-assured adult!

Dull moments are not possible when you are with Sean. His easy laugh and quick wit will charm the pants right off of you (unless of course you are wearing a dress).

I am missing him like crazy today: his 21st birthday. Since he's on a mission, I can't talk to him on the phone and tell him how much we L-O-V-E him and how much joy he has brought into our family.

So instead, I'm going to share some trivia about him in a little game called FACT or FICTION. And since Sean isn't here or can't get on the internet to defend himself, it works out quite nicely.

21 Truths 
Out of the 27 statements, 6 are NOT true....can you guess which ones?

  1. Was high school valedictorian
  2. Once had a dog named Jabba the Mutt 
  3. Doesn't like nuts. Loves mint.
  4. Refuses to ride roller coasters
  5. Voted Prom King in high school 
  6. Plays the accordion
  7. Has grown 4 inches (in height) while on his mission
  8. Can speak fluent Spanish 
  9. Got a 35 on the ACT (36 is a perfect score) 
  10. Detests Harry Potter and the entire wizarding world
  11. Plays the piano, stand-up bass and drums
  12. Can scratch the back of his neck with his big toe 
  13. Senior Class Vice-President in high school
  14. Wants to certify in scuba-diving 
  15. Played high school soccer 
  16. Has a goal to buy his mother a sports car someday
  17. Caught a fish with his bare hands
  18. Taught our family the word antidisestablishmentarianism
  19. Won a writing contest at BYU
  20. Went skydiving for his 18th birthday
  21. Was the 6th grade arm-wrestling champion 
  22. Talked with Bill Clinton face-to-face
  23. Hiked to summit of King's Peak (highest peak in Utah)
  24. A BIG Cougar fan
  25. Placed first in state three consecutive years in website design for Future Business Leaders of America
  26. Has traveled outside of the United States
  27. Thinks being nice is more important than being smart 
Cutest Bug you ever saw. Far left.

Happy Birthday Bug!

Ms. Fish

Word of the Day
Antidisestablishmentarianism: opposition to the withdrawal of state support or recognition from an established church.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...