Thursday, September 29, 2011

Turn that frown upside down

On days when you feel like this:

Or this:

What do you do to change it to this?

And this:

For me it helps when the sun is shining, and I have a splendid walk with kiddies in tow. And being able to enjoy the day at home without anywhere to go is helpful as well.

Other things that help:

 1. diet coke
 2. chocolate
 3. being down a few pounds
 4. date night
 5. other people's babies
 6. a clean kitchen
 7. all the laundry done
 8. money in the bank
 9. fresh homemade bread
10. sleeping in
11. new clothes
12. shopping
13. redecorating
14. warm chocolate chip cookies
15. a great book
16. a great church meeting
17. a bubble bath with candles and a good book...alone!
18. family movie parties
19. my kids telling me they love me
20. my husband's arms around me

What does your list look like?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

When a little boy turns 5

When you are a 5 year old boy, what do you want for your birthday more than anything else?

You want.....a bike!

And not just any bike, a GREEN, HOT WHEELS bike. Yes, he specifically asked for this bike. And I found an awesome dragon helmet at Good Will for 5 Bucks!! It looks brand new. So don't tell Henry!

And for his cake? Perry the Platypus, courtesy of mom's baking and dad's decorating skills.

Henry shared the day with his cousin Joel, who though 5 years older, also like Phineas and Ferb. My sister(in law) Amy made a lava cake. Um, yum? Seriously. Lucky boy to have a lava cake.

I love how excited little kids get about other children's presents. It never bothers me. Everyone wants to see what the birthday boy gets, don't they?

And despite how we look, Kate and I really were excited about being there. But getting our picture taken? Not so much.

So Henry is 5 now. 5? Really? It was just yesterday that he was a little jaundice baby in his bili box, too sleepy to nurse, and in need of constant holdin'. Oh how we love him.

~Henry is sweet and cuddly and goofy all at the same time.
~He loves his family so much, but I swear the kid loves his friends in a way I have rarely seen.
~His daddy is his favorite person in the whole world. And I'm not just saying that. He got hurt last night and I rushed to him, and you could see him eyeing his dad. I told him, "I know you want your dad, but I'm going to comfort you, ok?" He snuggled into me, but I know it wasn't the same for him. And don't think for a second Jeff doesn't know this. Oh, he knows.
~Henry missed the cut off for kindergarten. So all of his friends went this year. He's already bigger than everyone, so next year? They're going to wonder who the giant kid going to kindergarten is.
~Henry blesses our family in so many ways, from his sweet little prayers, to his random temper tantrums, to the way he won't kiss anyone, to the way he snuggles when he's sad or tired, everything about him just melts your heart.

And why wouldn't it, I mean, just look at that face!

Happy Birthday Henry!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

One more reason being 8 is great!

Our weekend was wonderful and busy! Anne Marie was baptized with her cousin Layla on Saturday and it was Henry's birthday on Sunday. I laid around all day yesterday recovering and it was awesome!

It was sweet to see how supportive Anne Marie's brothers and sisters were. Kate, Julia and I sang a song for the baptism and I had to look down the whole time to keep from crying. Which, if you've ever performed, YOU DON'T LOOK DOWN! You look at your audience. But I just couldn't.

Anne Marie and her cousin are only 18 days apart in age. So it worked out perfectly to have them baptized the same day. What a great memory for both of them.

If you're curious as to why we baptize our children when they turn 8, go here for a better explanation than I could ever give:)

I love my sweet daughters and sons. It is such a wonderful thing to watch them choose the waters of baptism and to see their inner glow.

I'm so happy my family is forever!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Balloon Battle

It is super hot here today!! Summer is here, yay! Oh wait, it's September. Hmm, that's fine. I'll take whatever we can get!

We're off to celebrate birthdays and baptisms this weekend. But I wanted to leave you with a little video by our very own Julia. Starring Henry and Nora. It cracks me up every time I watch it.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Running/playing on the trail

Because I'm so devoted to exercise....ok, seriously, because I attempt to try and occasionally do something exercise-ish, I decided today that we would run/walk a trail that goes through Maple Valley. If you're really awesome you can run about 16 miles, maybe more, without leaving this one trail.

We did 4. And I didn't run it all. I haven't done a ton since Ragnar, and I'm totally happy with that. And because I was low key, I let Henry and Nora get out and run whenever they wanted on the way back.

So they would sit for a while...

And then run for a while....

and then sit for a while.....
You get the point. It was soo much fun though. I really enjoyed letting them just do what they wanted. I would run while they were in the stroller, and then I walked while they ran. And you know what? I am TIRED. My legs are tired and the kids ate more lunch than I've seen them eat in a long time.

Now hopefully this means we will ALL fall asleep really easily as well. If that happens, we may just walk/run/play 4 miles every day!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Reason #435 why I love having you around!!

You help with math homework that I have forgotten how to do!!

You help with homework that I know how to do, but you're especially needed when they're just plain tired of hearing my voice all the time!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

y'all ready for this redo?

So I promised a picture of the awesome mirror that Frances gave me. And months ago it seems, I promised to tell you about the curtains I made and the master bedroom redo. Well, today is your lucky day. (or not your lucky day if you hate long posts) I'm doing all three!

First the mirror.

My friend Frances gave me this beautiful mirror that had been in her home. I was stunned when she gave it to me, because it is so gorgeous. It was gold, which I loved, and I didn't want to change it.

Here is a before picture I snaked off of her blog:

As you can see, bee-yu-ti-ful!!!!

So I brought it home and put it in my bedroom, and there it sat for a month. Why? Because I could not figure out where to put it that the gold would look ok with the rest of my house. But I didn't want to paint it. However, it could not be denied any longer. I had to make it match the rest of my house, otherwise the gift would be wasted sitting in a closet somewhere unused.

I wanted to preserve the integrity of it, I didn't just want to spray paint it silver and have that be good enough.

So I used this 10 dollar bottle of paint. It's called Sophisticated Finishes. It's a metallic surfacer in Pewter. It took two coats, and careful painting of a pretty detailed surface. But the end result? See for yourself. (Frances-I REALLY hope you like it!!!)

To die for? Yes? Everytime I walk into my bedroom, I get excited looking at the mirror. It somehow brought the whole room together.

That tall dresser/lingerie chest? I bought it off of Craigslist for Nora when she was born. We did some rearranging and it ended up in our room. It was cream colored with gold drawer pulls. Well, I fixed that, on accident. When I was trying to hang the mirror by myself, I accidentally knocked over a little can of mint green paint that I had been using to improve my night stands. Luckily it didn't go onto the carpet, just all over my dresser. So I scooped up as much as I could, and not wanting any to go to waste, I just dipped my paint brush in the puddle on the dresser and started painted the lingerie chest. Then I used left over pewter metal surfacer, thank you very much, and painted the drawer pulls.

Oh, and the ruffled lampshade? I just used the same instructions that I did for the curtains I'm going to show you, and then hot glued it on. Don't worry, I'll link you to where I found the smarty pants who figured out how to make these bad boys!!

It's not a good picture I'm sorry. And you can tell that I did the one on the left first because it is not as good. Oh well. Here is a close up.

So I saw these fabulous waterfall ruffle curtains on A Beach Cottage(her bedroom is also the inspiration for mine). I looked them up on Urban Outfitters, and they were $80. A panel!!! That was not working for me, so I started googling ruffle waterfall curtains and found this gal.

I followed her directions exactly, EXCEPT, I didn't want each ruffle as wide as she made hers, so I cut them in half which kept the length of the curtain the same, but meant twice as much sewing. I ain't gonna lie. I spent about 16 hours on these babies. Admittedly, it would have been less if I had kept the ruffles wider, but I love them this way. And they only cost 10 dollars a panel. A lot less than 80, and I like them better!

And for the lamp shade, I used a sheer material thinking it would be all light and pretty. Which it is, but when you turn the light on, everything shows. All the mistakes,everything. So I would use a heavier weight material next time.

The rest of the bedroom has some together slowly. Some finds from goodwill and "junk" stores. Moving around things I already had, and yard sales. Seriously folks. I spend soo little money. I don't have a decorating budget. I have a 12 dollars here, 20 dollars a paycheck there, budget. You can do this. You just have to be patient.

Here is our little reading nook. I know that not everyone has such a stupidly oversized master bedroom. (it came this way. I would never design such a large bedroom. Although I love it now.) So you might not have room for a bigger area. But if you can squeeze a comfy chair in anywhere, I highly recommend it.

Don't you love that girl reading? It's a giclee that I found at Goodwill of all places. It's by Jean-Honore Fragonard and it's appropriately named "A Young Girl Reading".

I did splurge on lamps for our nightstands. They are from TJ Maxx and they were $30 each. But that included the shades. I thought it was a good deal. Oh, and a few clearance pillows I was fortunate to find. And the "iron" bed is from Ikea. It was 99 dollars. I sold something to pay for it. And the yellow crocheted throw was made by my great grandmother. It alternates between the ottoman and our bed.

And lastly, some windows from a 1920's beach house that I found at a garage sale. Jeff is going to hang them on the wall for me, and I have a picture of the temple to put between them. But for the picture, they're just propped up there. I love them!!!

My whole inspiration for our room was wanting it to look like a bedroom in a beach cottage. I feel like it ended up looking more like a beach cottage on the coast of France. And I seriously could spend waaay more time than I should just hanging out here.

Anyway, there it is. Oh, and I left the room grey from my previous bedroom makeover. (I'm a little embarrassed by that one now. But it truly is a work in progress)It just seemed to work somehow. And it saved me 100 dollars in paint, and A LOT of work.

There you have it. I love my bedroom. Let me know if you have any questions about anything. And I'll try my best to answer! Have a great day!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Entre le pot rack

We are fortunate to have a good sized house. Plenty of space for 2 adults and six kids, I love my house.

However, our pantry is not very large. And it is, in fact, the same size as the pantries of other houses in our neighborhood that have less bedrooms and less square footage.

But I will not complain. My friend/neighbor Laura is always reminding us not to complain about our nice, new houses. And she is right. And I try to do that. But my pantry just can't be improved upon simply from liking my house. It's just not big enough for a family of eight!

Here is proof: (Ignore how unorganized and empty my pantry is, I'm going shopping today!)

I started thinking of ways to increase our pantry space. The only thing that kept coming to mind was to use some of our cupboards. But I'm already using my cupboards, for other stuff!

But then I was over at The Nester, and I saw her pot rack. Just a simple little thing to keep pots. And a light went on. What if I moved my pots to a pot rack, and used the cupboard they HAD been in for other stuff?

So true to my nature, I had to have it, and have to have it immediately! I scoured the internet looking for pot racks. The racks in my price range were simple and a little boring for me. But the ones I really liked were waaaay out of my price range, and all I could do was drool over them.

So then I started looking on craigslist. And I found it. A beautiful, iron, hooks welded on, star pot rack. And it was only $60!!!! But the problem? It was two hours away! The gas alone would cost more than the pot rack, making the good price suddenly not so good.

But being optimistic, I emailed the gal and asked her if she could meet me halfway possibly? She emailed back and said, "Hey, we're going to be in Enumclaw tomorrow (that's 15 minutes from me!!!!!), do you want to meet there?" Um, yes!

So Jeff and I went together, for safety folks, ALWAYS be smart and safe when using craiglist.

And when I saw it, I squealed in delight. Truly. Ask Jeff. I squeal with excitement over good finds!

It was a tad rusty from sitting in their barn. So I just took the grill brush that we aren't using because our bbque is broken and scraped all the loose rust off. Then I washed it with soap and water, let it dry, then gave it a coating of Rustoleum high gloss spray paint in what can only be described as fire engine red. And then my darling husband (who wasn't totally sold on the idea of a pot rack) hung it for me. And he might of had to replace the pendant lights with canned lighting as well. So really, none of this was possible without him. Jeffy is my right hand man when it comes to many of my redo's, decorating notions, and furniture move arounds. I couldn't do it without you darling!

And the results?

Let me just say, that it took some getting used to. And I had to put some doors back on my open cupboards because it was all of sudden much to busy in there. But I love the pot rack itself. I think it's loverly!

But the best part is the space it opened up. This is where my pots used to go:

These pull out drawers sit under my baking center. So it seemed smart to keep all of my cooking/baking food items and needs right here. And all those containers, and the big bag of flour and sugar I normally have that take up so much room in the pantry, can now go here.

Which makes more sense anyway, and now I don't waste time going back and forth and opening and closing the pantry door just to make muffins!

I love it!

What space saving ideas do you all use? Even though we have plenty of room, I'm always looking for more ideas on how to keep the stuff that 8 people need at a minimum.

Ooh, ooh and tomorrow, I'm showing you the MIRROR. My dear friend Frances gave me a mirror. And oh how I adore it and get happy every time I see it. I'll show you that tomorrow!

Now I'm off to fill my sort of empty pantry. See ya!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Anne Marie had her very first soccer game ever on Saturday.

She was VERY nervous.

But with a pep talk from her coach .....

.........she got right in there!

It helped that her best friend was playing on the other team. Every few minutes they would stop to hug, and at one point Anne Marie was running up the field and looked behind her to see that Macy was still farther back. So Anne Marie stopped and waited for Macy, they held hands and ran the rest of the way together.

Every time Macy had the ball, Anne Marie would just run along side her. She never tried to get it away from Macy, or vice versa. And when Anne Marie would do something well, Macy would pat Anne Marie and tell her good job.

I'm not sure it was a good strategy if they wanted to win, but it was certainly a good strategy for their friendship.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Back to school

For the past three years that I have been doing a family theme, I have not figured out what I wanted until very close to school starting. So close in fact, that my good friend Amber over at Pine Place gets a call about 12 hours before I want my vinyl. And she always does her darndest to get it to me.

It's so joyous to be able to share what we are doing this year. I'm pretty excited about it.

I wanted a theme that reflected our family values, but that also helped the children to look beyond themselves. It would have to be something that mixed striving for personal growth, while also helping them to see other's needs.

We were in Deseret Book a few weeks ago, and I was still trying to come up with our theme. When I literally ran into it. It was part of a plaque type thing that had a talk from one of my favorite people, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf. He was quoting a scripture.

Joshua 1:9
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the aLord thy God iswith thee whithersoever thou goest.

Our family theme for the year is the middle of that scripture, Be strong and of a Good Courage.

I started by talking to my children about what it meant to be a hero. Of course I heard things that related to super heroes, but then as we talked it was decided that to be a hero meant to stand for the things they believe, to not be afraid to stand for truth and righteousness. To speak out when they see someone being treated unfairly, to not give in when their values are questioned or attacked.

To be a hero means that you are not afraid to do whats right because you have the Lord on your side. So if I tell my children as they leave, "Be a hero!" They know what I mean.

I have the most amazing children. I hope you all feel that way. I believe firmly that our children live up to our expectations of them. And they believe what we tell them. I also believe that we have to encourage them to never talk negatively about themselves, because frankly, we believe what we tell ourselves as well.

If our children can be secure in our love and support, then they will be able to believe in a loving Heavenly Father as well. They will be surrounded by love, and they will succeed in standing tall and knowing who they are, where they came from, and why they are here.

This, I believe.

And I also believe that I have some gorgeous children. Here is proof:

I hope your school goes well. I'm already ready for the first vacation. But that's only because I'm not a morning person. I use to be a go to bed late get up late person. But I've become a go to bed early get up late person. Does that mean I'm getting old? Or am I just lazy? Either way, 6:15 is early to rise for sure!

I am not a clever enough blogger to do a linky party. But I would love it if you all put links to your blogs in the comments and let the rest of us know what you did for back to school this year.

Have a superb day!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 years ago

*I originally posted this 2 years ago. But it felt worth it to post it again. I've been re-watching footage from that day 10 years ago. Watching interviews of where people are now who experienced 9/11 first hand. It still brings me to tears. It's unbelievable what we went through as a country. And I truly hope we never forget that.*

I wasn't going to write about it. I just wasn't.

I wrote about my humiliating experience and was not blogging again til Monday.

But I can't, not, write about it.

I feel more aware this year, of the anniversary of the terrorist attacks. I don't know why. I just do. Maybe it's the division I feel in our country that feels stronger to me lately. I don't know. But I remember how 9/11 brought us together as a country. How billboards went up everywhere that said God Bless America. And we were not ashamed of that. How people suddenly were friendlier for at least a little while and we could talk about God and His blessings with humility and renewed faith, without any anger or backlash from others.

So I just wanted to share where I was and what I was doing. Kind of like when Kennedy was shot. And I want to know, please, please, where you were and what you were doing when 9/11 happened.

We were living in Rhode Island. I was pregnant, newly pregnant and sick, with Charlie.

Maile and her two oldest, who were 2years and 3 months old were out visiting me.

I had taken Kate to her first day of pre-school when the calls started coming.

Miss Doris got a call from her sister. The towers had been hit.

I asked if there were people in the planes, yes, both towers or just one, at that point just one.

I wasn't from the east coast, so I had to be reminded of what the Trade Towers were. They weren't a fixture for me the way they were for so many living in the East.

On the way home tower two got hit. Maile was at my house and watched it happen live.
Jeff called home and she told him what was happening. He thought she was joking around with him and told his co-workers who were also just starting to hear from people.

Living on the east coast, it felt so surreal. Our friend across the street new someone who new someone that died that day. (Isn't that right Chris?)

We'd all made our trips to New York, become familiar with it as best as you can as a tourist. And watching the black and grey smoke billowing, just didn't seem real.

For hours we sat and watched t.v. Crying, sobbing, unable to stem the tide of emotions as we watched footage of people jumping from the buildings, preferring the fall to the heat and horror inside. Then hearing of the plane that went down in Pennsylvania, the Pentagon being hit. Wondering, wondering how many more attacks would occur before it was over.

Our landlord worked for one of the airlines. Everything was grounded. Nothing taking off. Fear, slamming into us like a wrecking ball.

I wanted Jeff to come home. I don't know why. Everyone at CVS was watching it at work. I'm not sure how anyone got anything accomplished that day.

We watched footage all the next day as well, until I finally couldn't stand it anymore. We had to get out and do something, think about something else for just a little while. The tragedy, the lives affected, was just so much to process.

At first the numbers of dead they were reporting were immense. I hate to admit it was with relief that I heard it was "only" 3000+ dead, not the thousands upon thousands originally feared.

My poor sister had to fly home a week after 9/11 with her two babies. I think she switched planes in Newark, where one that had hit the trade towers originated from. She had to fly across the country one week after our country changed. I'll let her tell about it in the comments section. But can you imagine?

I just wanted to write about it today. And I would love to know where you were when, as Alan Jackson puts it, the world stopped turning.

Friday, September 9, 2011

End of summer

Just to prove that we actually did something this summer, I have pictures!

We have friends that live on a lake. Um, yeah. It's pretty awesome. And Charlie and Anne Marie super duper love their kids, so they invited themselves over, I mean got invited, quite a bit.

If I lived on a lake, I would invite you all over, all the time. But I don't. So I can't. Sorry.

And yes, I know Kate is not wearing a life jacket in one picture. I had no idea. And if I did, you can't prove it.

And Julia was there. But she proved elusive to capture on film, or digitally camera-ness. Kind of like the Loch Ness Monster. Or Santa.

I hope you all had a good summer, and that you're not depressed/also really happy, that your kids are back in school.

Isn't weird how that's true? I miss them, I miss sleeping in, I miss the laid back nature of summertime. But I also love having a routine again and only have 2 kids with me when I go to the store.

So for next week, our family theme,back to school pics and whatever else is happening around this crazy house of ours.

Have a great weekend!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...