June 2023 Highlights

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Wow what a month! We had a tornado! I still can't believe it happened. But first, some other highlights from our June 2023:
We got tickets to Meow Wolf.
Dude. There seriously aren't words for it.
What the what?
You really have to be in a certain state of mind to be able to appreciate the craziness & weirdness lol.
Relics from the past in this display.
The kids had fun though. An hour was all I needed hahaha.
Cute Fox & sweet Sandy.
It rained lots in June as it did in May. Birdies took refuge for a minute to dry off under our patio. At one point I counted 14 of them!! All thanks to Berry & Cherry and now Blossom & Clover.
I spy 4 House Finches in this eve.
It's also been the coldest June I ever remember. We even had to turn the heater back on for a few days! In the Summer!
At last we had an 80 degree day! So we went to the pool for the first time this season - a whole month after school got out. Gotta squeeze in as many more days at the pool as we can before school starts again at the beginning of August.
Jane had a friend over and they raided her scrapbook stash.
Cute girlies.
She had a different friend over the next day and we went to Colorado Journey Mini Golf.
Blooming Wild flowers are still blooming!
Jane started math tutoring at home and is doing excellent. We're so proud of her.
The tutor has a bird which of course Jane loves. Looks just like my bird that I had named Jadis.
Happy Father's Day to the best dad on Earth!
Jane sang her last Father's Day song in the primary.
She made this amazing Avatar creature from wax sticks at Ted's Montana Grill. Her creativity is off the charts.
Saw this car in the parking lot of Mod Pizza and I am so jelly! Gimme! :) That's my FAVORITE color of pink!
Ready for church and after I got my highlights done.
We ate out at a couple new restaurants and some favorites in June. Fox and Jane have both RAVED about Fujiyama hibachi grill and we finally took them back as a family. Such a fun experience!
We tried a burger place called The Castle. It was aight.
Leftover Thai food from my birthday dinner mmmmm.
Lunch at the mall.
Both Fox and Jane had a friend over so I loaded them all up to go to Mod Pizza for lunch and Twisted Sugar for dessert. Just me and 4 kids! They were all awesome.
We tried another burger place called Ted's Montana Grill which was yummy.
We went to Kneaders for breakfast as a family one morning. That French toast though! Now that I think about it, this was taken the morning of the tornado....
At 2:45pm on Thursday June 22nd 2023, I left for an appointment at the dermatologist. Lightning was in the forecast, but it's been that same forecast every.single.day. for weeks so it wasn't anything unusual.
I was on the 3rd floor of a mostly glass windowed building and brought into a room facing the Rocky Mountains. I noticed dark and ominous clouds moving towards me very fast, but didn't think much of it, storms happen all the time.
Just then, everyone's phones went off - a National Weather Service warning for a tornado in Highlands Ranch! Whaaat? But again, I wasn't too concerned, we've had tornado warnings close by before (albeit never in our actual city...). To be safe, they moved me to an interior room with no windows.
Chris and the kids were calling, texting, and messaging me non stop, begging me to come home, demanding I go home, but what could I do?? I told them everything was fine. I asked Fox to close the shutters by Phoebe (our bunny) and take Amy & Sandy into the basement with Jane. Everything is fine. We don't have tornadoes here. Everything will be OK. The doctor and assistant came in and as the door opened I could see outside the window of a room across the hall from my room and it was sheets of rain falling against the window making the outside world completely hidden. They closed the door to that room real quick. Overhead I could hear rain pounding against the roof, so loudly I could barely hear the doctor. They carried on with their procedure though as if nothing was happening... I got a bump sliced off for testing and a couple of cysts below my lip zapped. While the assistant was numbing me up her hands were shaking she was so scared, it was sad. (Test results came back: my bump was not cancerous, thank goodness.)
As soon as they were done I booked it to the ground floor where everyone was waiting for the rain and wind to clear up, but I couldn't wait, I had to get home to my scared kids. I ran out the door, splashed through the puddles, and drove through a completely different world. The streets I drove down just 45 minutes previously now looked as if a tornado had blown through. Which it literally had. Can you see this map? This is the path of the tornado. Can you see the red star on the upper left side? THAT'S WHERE I WAS. I was so close to being in the center of the tornado.
The Highlands Ranch Tornado was classified as an EF-1, but from the 18,000 uprooted mature trees and accompanying damage, I would say it should have been an EF-2.
Driving back up Broadway, trees, branches, and debris were blocking the road, but I had to get home so wherever I could drive over it, I did. I didn't take any pics on my way home, but from the damage I saw, I was FREAKING OUT. I was shaking. I knew my kids were okay, but they hadn't seen outside yet.
Thankfully everything looked okay in our front yard. But when I stood at our back big picture window, I gasped.
Our two huge beautiful pine trees were no more.
Above is a picture from Redfin that I downloaded when we were house hunting - the two trees are on the top left and you can see they dominate the landscaping. Below is a picture of them from July 2019, again, you can see just how big they are.
And this is what I came home to.
We loved those trees so much. They provided tons of shade and shelter and squirrels loved climbing up and down and many times red-tailed hawks perched at the tippy top. Jane and I walked around the neighborhood to assess the damage and try to find our recycle and garbage bins (we did - they were about 5 houses up AND down the street).
I was gone for exactly 60 minutes and in that short amount of time, Highlands Ranch was uprooted.
About 30 minutes after I got home, our Bishop texted and asked if we were okay. I told him our two biggest trees fell and he asked if we needed help. I said yes. A few minutes later he showed up along with more members from our ward that live close by and they got right to work chopping up our beloved trees.
Bada$$ chick with a chainsaw!!
Fox and Bennett carrying branches to the curb.
The beginning of the pile.
The missionaries showed up too.
This piece of stump wasn't even from the bottom, so the rings don't depict the actual age of the pines. I'm guessing it was 30-40 years old. I'm keeping this stump as a stool.
All the awesome and amazing people who came to help.
It took about 2 hours for 16 people to completely take apart the trees and drag the pieces to the front.
All that's left of the trees and we have someone coming to grind the stumps next month. Chris and I tried to rebuild the fence as best as we could because the neighbors have dogs, but it'll need to be professionally fixed. Our trees took out one of their pine trees so we also cut it down in the process.
My feelings exactly Fox.
Even though this pile smelled so good like Christmas, I'd rather have my trees.
The backyard looks completely different now. I'll never get used to it. Hopefully next spring we can plant some new trees in honor of the pines.
Chris then went off with the group to go help others. While we only lost 2 trees, some people lost ALL of their trees. We count ourselves lucky and no one died in the tornado.
The next day was absolutely glorious weather.
The Sunday after the tornado the Bishop sent out an email asking everyone to show up to church in work clothes for 1 hour of Sacrament meeting and then we were sent out to help those in need of assistance with tornado aftermath.
Never in my 38 years have I been to church in grubbies!
Hundreds of members and all the missionaries from the stake showed up to help. It was awesome to see.
Many citizens, ourselves included, had no way of transporting the vast amounts of debris to the tree limb drop off sites. Exactly 1 week after the tornado, the county came to pick up and haul away our trees.
One thing that made me happy is one of Chris' assistants heats their house with an actual wood burning fire in the winter so they came two days in a row to take whatever they could fit in their truck. I'm happy someone will be able to use bits of our trees instead of the entire things being chipped into bits.
I must admit I've had a lot of nightmares about being caught in tornadoes ever since. When I was 8 years old I was in a terrible wind storm that made me deathly afraid of wind until I was 11 years old. For 3 years the site of even a barely moving twig in a light breeze would send me into a spiral of fear. One day when I was 11 I simply snapped out of it. But this event has triggered me again and brought back some of my irrational fears. Sadly Jane has the same fear of wind that I did (going on 2 years now) and spends many hours and nights in the basement hiding, just as I did at her age. I can no longer tell my kids "we don't have tornadoes here" and I can't tell them "everything will be fine" because who knows? It's heartbreaking.
I found videos on YouTube of the Highlands Ranch tornado: This guy was TRYING to drive into the tornado and caught what was happening close to the inside. While he's laughing and having a good time, we were panicking and hyperventilating. To each their own I guess.

This storm chaser caught the whole thing. From where he's sitting, it's a beautiful day. Meanwhile, for us inside the tornado, it was a living nightmare.
Aerial footage of some of the damage.
Someone's own video montage:
More news footage.
The rest of June was easy breezy (too soon?).
We got tickets to see Bailey Zimmerman! It's not until February 2024, but I'm already counting down the days.
We saw two movies in the theater, Elemental (okay) and The Boogeyman (also okay). It's been a minute since we've seen a truly outstanding movie. I have high hopes for Mission Impossible and Oppenheimer next month!
I'm back to reading! Last summer I started reading every single Nicholas Sparks book in order of publication - there are now 23 books. I was able to get through 14 of them last year, plus I read The Wish again because it's my favorite book of all time. Additionally, if there is a movie based on the book, we watch it as soon as I finish reading the book. 11 of his 23 books are movies - almost half, isn't that amazing?! Supposedly he's got 3 movies in the works after no movies in 6 years, including The Wish and I'm oh so excited. Anyway, I read Safe Haven and The Best of Me in June. Next up is The Longest Ride!
Onto the best part of every monthly highlights post: our kitties!!
Snapshots of Amy & Sandy.
She's so cute I could just eat her up.
I can't even!!!!!
Taken 2 seconds apart. So funny.
My girlies.
Jane edited this pic of Amy.
As far as scrapbooking goes: I only shared 2 projects in June - it's been cray cray busy behind the scenes here in my Happy Scrappy Place! :) Click the links to see the pages in-depth:
I designed 8 free cut files in May! 3 for my Newsletters, 2 for my Happy Scrappy Place FB Group, and 3 for Scrapbook & Cards Today!
I also put this new crafty-themed bundle of cut files in my shop HERE!
I taught 2 virtual classes in June! First, a Double Tag Flip Mini Album Class.
Craftermath from the mini album class: 
Craftermath from the layouts class:
The beginning couple weeks of June were spent kitting and promoting PaigePals5 classes!
I cut lots of ribbon & strings and die cut thousands of pieces to go into the kits.
Fox & Jane helped me take everything out of the packaging and then Chris helped me put all the kits together.
All prepped and ready to be sold!
The kits sold out a couple weeks later but the virtual classes are all still available so you can join in the fun and use your own stash!
Every person coming to our Sugarplum Wishes Weekend (also sold out) will receive a blush pink MemoryDex Spinner and the boxes of them arrived! Amy always likes to climb boxes.
I received my custom washi tape for my upcoming Halloween 4x4 Mini Album class! Eeeek!
I'm creating custom 4x4 page protectors! They'll be included in my Halloween kit as well as in my shop once I receive them.
I'm jumping on the Tim Holtz Mini Distress Ink Pads wagon and swatched them! I love the rich rainbow colors.
Speaking of rainbow colors, here is a sneak peek of an upcoming double-page spread for the Fall 2023 issue of Scrapbook & Cards Today Magazine!
I started this layout but ultimately went in a different direction. I want to keep going with this one too though!
The last couple weeks of June I brought out all my 4th of July supplies and started working on foundation pages!
These are the foundation pages from my 4th of July 2022 album.
Here are some snippets from my pages for 2023 - you can follow along in the process in a highlight saved in my Instagram stories.
The last day of June part of my Sugarplum Wishes order arrived!
Still waiting for the tassels, 12x12 paper pads, and albums. If you pre-ordered from me, look for an email coming soon.
Did you know I have a weekly NEWSLETTER that almost always includes a free digital cut file?! We're up to 98 freebies! Upon signing up you'll receive a link to the dropbox folder to download all of the past designs! Sign up for my Newsletter at http://bit.ly/PaigeEvansNewsletter. If you're not receiving them please try doing a search on your computer (not your phone) for paigetaylorevans@gmail.com and hopefully they show up because more often than not they go straight to spam/trash/promotion folders. Thanks for signing up!
I'm teaching in Orlando! Click HERE for all the info and to register!
Here's to a wonderful July with no more tornadoes and lots of scrapbooking!


  1. Hey Paige, Kelly here doing a catch up on your monthly recap. June was, to say the least, action packed. OMGee, that tornado was something else. It's just amazing and a blessing that there were no injuries. I could feel your panic as you wrote about being at your appointment and then heading home. Good news on your test, that's a relief! We don't generally get many tornadoes here either. But there's been a few devastating ones over the years. I always get nervous when the sky blackens like that. I'd freak if I was stuck in traffic! How kind for everyone to pitch in and help each other. By the looks of Chris, it was hard work ! Such a shame about that gorgeous pine, especially given its age. The stool will be nice to have, what a good idea!
    I can't believe we're each getting our own Heidi Swapp MDC holder at Sugarplum !! I'm so flippin' excited!! I always look forward to everything you plan, do, design and share! Thanks for making it all so fun. Happy Summer 💛 K

  2. Hi Paige, just doing a catch-up and always enjoy your monthly reviews. That tornado was something else. Thank heavens there were no fatalities. I could feel your panic as you wrote about being out of the house that day and then driving home to the kids. Just so scary. It's a shame about your pine. 40 years old, geez hey. The stool is a nice idea. It's really awesome how you all helped each other clean-up after. By the looks of Chris, it was hard work!
    Those kitty photos of the girls made me smile. The photo of Sandy on the stairs, hehe, you must just melt. Amy is so petite and dainty looking :) what a little sweetheart. Petals too, front paws together and tail curled around. I just love kitties so much.
    I can't believe we're each getting our own Heidi Swapp MDC holder at Sugar Plum!! That's so exciting. Thanks for all the planning, making, sharing and caring that bring us all together! Hugs 💛K


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