Friday, December 30, 2011

Top 11 of 2011

Have you noticed how all the bloggers are posting their top 11 lists? Top 11 crafts, recipes, funniest moments. Since I am desperate to be part of whatever is going on thought it was a good idea, I thought I would jump on the band wagon.

However, my blogging this year has been pretty sporadic, and not cohesive enough to create a complete list. So, without further adieu, here is my top 11 list of things I c/should have blogged about, but didn't.

11. Christmas
10. Thanksgiving
9. The somber post (still sitting in drafts) about being broken.
8. How cute puppies grow into dogs you hate.
7. Camping
6. Spiritual questions and their journey
5. How Steve Jobs now rules in our house.
4. The side business
3. More crafting adventures
2. Babies
1. The family credo

There. Don't you feel better knowing there is more going on in my life than what the blog shows?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Teacher Gift

Have I mentioned how much I love BG's school teachers? Yes? Well, that's because they are great! I have been really impressed with what she has learned so far this year and am excited to see her progress the rest of the year. I think I'm as excited as she is for their Christmas Program on Wednesday. I wanted to give her teachers something for Christmas that would not only be useful for them, but cute as well. I debated on a gift of home baked goodness, but figured they must get tons of that already.

I asked around on Facebook for teacher ideas as well as Pinterest. There are some really great ones out there that I'm excited to use over the years. Many of the comments on FB followed the theme of either:
  1. No candles, body lotions, or smelly products
  2. Gift cards are great
I've also heard in the past that apple and teacher themed gifts are way overdone. So even thought I really liked the pencil cup holders and apple shaped candy holders, I resisted. Instead I went the gift card route. Who wouldn't like a Target gift card? Much classier than Wal-Mart, but just as flexible for the receiver. Did you know their gift cards are scratch and sniff? These ones smell like peppermint. MMmmmmmmm, peppermint........

I put the gift card in a Ziploc bag (along with some fudge, I couldn't resist) and made these cute little toppers for the bag. It says "Thanks for keeping my learning on Target!" I made the bulls eye with my Silhouette, but it could easily be done with by hand or with circle punches. I distressed the edge of the largest red circle so it would stand out from the red backing. BG wrote "from BG" on the back.

Pretty simple, cute, and functional teacher gift! What are you giving the teachers in your life for Christmas?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

5 Things

Mama Kat is at it again with her Writers Workshop. Here's the prompt I chose this week.
2.) Five Things. List 5 things we don’t know about you, 5 things you’re knowledgeable about, 5 things you know nothing about, and 5 things you believe.

5 Things you don’t know about me:
  1. I taught a class at a local university a few years ago and really loved it. I would love to teach full time.
  2. I'm not sure I would make a good stay at home mom. It makes me feel like a bad mom that this isn't my goal. 
  3. I crave chocolate at 2 pm everyday. 
  4. I have terrible posture. I try to sit up straight but find myself hunched over a lot. 
  5. I'm an efficiency fiend. Almost to a fault. If I can't multi-task/make something more efficient, I don't want to do it at all. Example: I have something that needs to be taken upstairs. If there is only 1 thing, I won't go. I need multiple items to make my trip worth it.
 5 Things I'm knowledgeable about:
  1. Conference planning: I have planned many, many in my career, both big and small. I enjoy all the details of putting it together; mostly I like being in charge. ;)
  2. Healthy Lifestyles: I really try to live one and teach my kids about them. I'm not always perfect, but think I do a decent job. I fight for healthy nutrition choices in my kids daycare.
  3. Jewelry Making: It's been a while since I've done much with this, but I like making pretty things. I'd love to learn more.
  4. Public speaking: I enjoy giving presentations on topics I know well. (Which does NOT translate to speaking/teaching in church)
  5. Cooking: I really enjoy creating healthy, yummy food for those around me.
 5 Things I know nothing about:
  1. Cell Phones: I have one, I use one, but I'm scared of them. My new iPhone arrived three days ago and I'm waiting for JM to get home from a business trip to set it up for me.
  2. Football: Every season, I have to relearn the game to watch them. By the end of the season I can follow a game pretty well, but I lose it all between Jan and Sept.
  3. Business: My hubby has started several and I love listening to him talk about what's going on, because it's all new to me.
  4. The stock market: It confuses me and makes my head hurt.
  5. Single Parenting: After three days of a business trip and I'm desperate for JM to come home. I'm very blessed.
 5 Things I believe:
  1. I believe in God, my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, my Saviour.
  2. I believe that most people are inherently good and doing the best they can.
  3. I believe in choice, that everyone has the right to make their own and live with the consequences.
  4. I believe that respect and good communication are critical to the success of a happy marriage.
  5. I believe that teachers should be paid more for the incredible work they do.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Anatomy is hard

I continue to be amazed with all the things BG is learning in school. Kuddos to her teachers- they are doing a GREAT job!

Most recently, they are learning about the five senses. BG told me all about her eyes and how they are a ball. They view images upside down and the brain has to turn them right side up. Then she moved on to tell me about specific parts of her eye. She pointed to her eye to try and say the word "pupil", but what kept coming out of her mouth was another body part that also starts with P. I tried not to giggle as I helped her find the right word and informed her that she did not, in fact, posses that other body part. It gets confusing when it sounds so much like iris!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Did you know?

Did you know there are 206 bones in the human body. And the heart is a muscle, but it's not really shaped like a heart? BG learned these things in school and has been educating us.

Did you know that chicken fat will stick to the ceiling for several seconds before succumbing to gravity? I know this because my sister and I used to throw chicken fat on the ceiling to see whose piece would stay the longest. This all happened while mom wasn't around (obviously). As an adult, I'm now horrified and disgusted that we did this. Sorry mom.

Did you know that I'm hosting Thanksgiving tomorrow for 13 people and a baby? I had to count my plates this morning to make sure I own enough. I do, but they won't match. And we'll either have to wash dishes before dessert or eat pie off paper plates. Ditto for silverware.

Did you know that I'm really excited for Christmas? I've been listening to Christmas music and am excited to map out my Black Friday shopping. I'm leaning towards going out at midnight then sleeping in.

Did you know that BG wants 2 silver bells for Christmas? She has been learning Christmas songs at school and really likes Silver Bells.

Did you know that Blanche can now say STOP. She loves to use this word. She also gets very excited when we go to pick up Sister from school every day. And her new favorite thing is the potty. She insists on sitting on it after every diaper change. She has even gone pee-pee a few times.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Popping the Question

Since I'm obviously lacking in blog-topic inspiration lately, I thought I'd participate in Mama Kat's Writers Workshop. The topic I choose this time around is
3.) Married? Tell us the story of how the question was popped.

JM and I attended college together (where we met). On one of our dates, we visited the Museum of Fine Arts. After looking around, we snuck into one of the conference rooms that had huge floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking campus. It was a beautiful view and we liked the secrecy of it, doing the forbidden! (We're not all the daring, so this is about as adventurous as it gets. We are rule-keepers.)
Later on in our relationship, he suggested we go back to the Museum and look around. I agreed. There were more people there and he kept trying to get me to sneak into the same conference room. I resisted and told him we should wait until the other people left. He pushed. I resisted. Finally, he convinced me to go into the room. I immediately walked over to the huge windows to admire the view. I heard rustling behind me and turned around to see him opening one of the cabinets. I was shocked the he would be so brazen as to riffle through their closed cabinets! Then I noticed he was pulling out a huge bouquet of roses.
He walked over to me and got down on one knee. He said some wonderful things then asked me to marry him. He pointed to the museum display box in front of me where the ring was placed with a card detailing it's history (in true museum fashion).
He thought I was looking at the ring when I actually hadn't even noticed it; I was looking at the view. I was a little embarrassed that he had to point it out to me. I found out later that he really had to twist some arms at the museum to pull this off. He even joined as an annual member.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Say Cheese!

We took family pictures and I'm really happy with the way they turned out. In fact, by looking at the pictures, you wouldn't even know the drama that was taking place during the shoot. Blanche did not like getting her picture taken. At all. I'm pleased with the results, I wish we had more time during the session. I thought it was a 60 minutes session, but it was 30 minutes shooting and 30 minutes to edit. If I had know that in advance, I would have better allocated my time for the pictures I wanted. 

Now we just have to choose which ones to print and put on the wall.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sugar Rush

BG woke up the morning of Halloween bursting with energy. It may as well have been Christmas she was so excited. She got to wear her costume to school and came home and told me about the songs she sang and how she got to drink "Real root beer!" (Soda is not allowed at home.)

After school, she knew that she had to eat her dinner all gone or else she couldn't go trick-or-treating. She explained to Blanche about the dinner rule and tried to teach her how to say "Trick or Treat". The best we got was "teet".

We has a great time trick-or-treating. BG was constantly running ahead, but always thinking of her sister and getting her a piece of candy from the houses with too many stairs. Blanche loved walking around, picking candy, and putting them in her treat bucket. At one point, her bucket was getting pretty heavy so I tried to take it and carry it for her. She got pretty upset and was adamant that she carry her own candy.

All in all, a very successful Halloween.

The best part, was eating all their loot.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

9 Years

9 years ago today I got married. A lot has changed over those 9 years, but I'm loving the journey. In the last 9 years we've:
  • Lived in 5 different homes
  • Lived in 1 state
  • Completed 3 degrees
  • Had 2 kids
  • Had 2 dogs
  • Owned 8 cars (that I can remember, I may be missing some)
  • Visited 4 countries
  • Went to Disneyland once
  • Started 5 businesses
  • Have 1 business still going
And through it all, we still even like each other. Imagine that! Love you babe!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Fragments

I love listening to BG pray. Mostly because I usually get a good laugh out of it, but also because it's sweet to hear her innocence. The other night this was included in her prayer. "Please bless Big Foot. Please bless that he has big feet, because his name is Big Foot. Please bless that he can hide so the people looking for him won't find him and he will be safe." After the prayer she asked why I was crying. Instead of telling the truth- because that's what happens when you hold in so much laughter, I told her it was because I love her. Also true.

Blanche is talking more and more all the time. When you sneeze, she will say "Bless you", only she can't enunciate well, so I may be the only one who understands what she is saying. I love it.

I want to get new family pictures taken soon. It's been about a year since we did our last ones. I'm trying to decide on what colors for our family to wear. I probably spend way to much time/energy thinking about it, but there are lots of things to consider. I don't want anything too girly because JM already endures so much estrogen, so pink is out. I don't want anything too boy-ish because we are a family with three girls. I'd like to use as much as possible that we already own so we don't have to buy all new outfits for the whole family. Should the girls match or not? Should we match the girls? I don't want all white or all black. Should I consider where they hang in our home to match home decor? Dressy or casual? See, told you I am thinking about this way too much.

I love that Blanche is getting so big, but also sad. She thinks she is just as big as BG and will copy anything she sees. She loves to climb and jump. Oh, how she loves to jump. It's her newest favorite thing. She is getting pretty good, and can sometimes jump off both feet at the same time. I love watching her grow, but it happens so fast!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Represent, Yo!

This weekend was the big rivalry football game and I realized my girls didn't have any team appropriate gear. That wouldn't stand so I had to remedy the situation by pulling out my Silhouette to make some team gear. These shirts were free because I used clothes they already had, and I had the paint and everything else I needed. I used freezer paper to make the stencils and fabric paint to color them. We rocked our new attire for the game. I proud to say our team STOMPED the Cougars. Go UTES!

I also up-cycled a sweatshirt into Ute apparel. I really like how it turned out but I haven't taken any pictures yet, so you will have to wait in suspense.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I know there is already lots of talk about this 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001. I wanted to add my story to all those others.

It was the beginning of my sophomore year of college and a crisp fall morning. I was walking to one of my generals classes in the Presidents Circle. I happen to run into one of my co-workers on the way to class. It was the only time I ever saw her on campus. She told me that a plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers. I wasn't quite sure what to think about this; it seemed so surreal, almost like a bad joke. I walked into class which happened to be in a computer lap where I immediately logged onto Their web page was flooded and it took a really long time to come up. The whole class was watching the news online. We didn't do anything at all during that class but watch the news. It was mostly commentary and I don't recall seeing the images until later.

I walked to my next class stunned. It was during my 2nd class that it was announced all classes would be canceled for the day. I walked home the few blocks to my apartment and turned on the radio. We didn't have a TV so I listened to the radio while lying on the couch. No one else was home. I listened to the radio for hours, until it was time for me to get ready for work. I called my boss and asked if the store was really still open. She told me that yes I had to go to work. it seemed that everything, everyone was in a daze. The world had stopped turning.

I went to work and tried to focus but there were no customers and all the employees were sullen. The store manager closed the store a few hours later and I drove home. I still had not seen the images of the planes hitting. A friend was getting married and since I was no longer working, I decided to drive to their reception. I stopped at my parents house and for the first time, saw the graphics on the TV. It's hard to describe the horror of watching that for the first time. It's like watching a movie where you hope it's fake, but the pit in your stomach is twisted so tight, you can't pretend it isn't real. I cried that day thinking of all those who were in the towers and on the planes.

The wedding reception was morose at best. Guests were trying to celebrate a wedding union while we all feared our country was under attack.

I still get teary eyed thinking about that day. I think about the lives lost, the heroes that emerged, and the families affected and it makes me choke up. It makes me feel so lucky for what I have and almost a little guilty. Because how can I even come close to appreciating what I have when there are those who lost so much. I plan to spend some time today remembering, thanking, and hugging my loved ones a little closer. God Bless America.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Fragments

It's been a while since I did a Friday Fragment, so I thought I'd throw out the random things going on at our house.

Blanche is now telling me when she poops in her diaper. She will waddled up to me, grab herself and with a concerned look on her face say "Di-poe". 9 times out of 10, she is poopy and will get a clean diaper. Does this mean she might potty train soon? I sure hope so.

When I opened up my bin of fall decorations, they were all wet and moldy. I'm not really sure how this happened, but it was devastating for me. I had to throw away everything I've collected over 8 years of marriage to decorate my house for fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. I actually cried over it.

We had a parents only back-to-school night at BG's school. She warned me before hand that I was going to have to sit in her chair (hilarious!) and do board work. She also told me if I don't listen to the teacher, she will take away her pencils and will have to do her papers in crayon. "Mom! Listen to my teacher; DON'T get my pencils taken away!" It was tough, but she still had pencils to use in class after I left.

The dog is on notice, on the short list, cruising for a bruisin' and any other phrase you can think of meaning he is in perpetual trouble. We are working with him, but he's basically a disobedience teenager who likes to drive me crazy. We bought several bags of dirt to fill in the holes he has dug in my flower beds. He continues to dig and loves the fresh, loose soil.

We had great aspirations to go camping this summer. We haven't actually gone beyond the backyard. Last Sunday (Labor Day weekend) we decided spontaneously to try again. By the time we made it up the canyon, all the campsites were full. So drove back home, put the kids to bed and built a fire in the charcoal grill. Then JM and I chatted by the campfire half the night. It was a great date night.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What are they teaching you?

BG has now been in Kindergarten for 2.5 weeks. You wouldn't think that would be long enough for anything too terrible to happen. Not so. The other day, driving home from school, this is the conversation we had.

BG: Mom, I need my own phone.
Me: What?! Why?
BG: So I can call Sydney. (I don't know who that is.)
Me: You have to be a lot older to have your own phone.
BG: How old?
Me: Old enough to pay for it on your own. Phones cost a lot of money
BG: Do I have to be, like (pause) sixteen, Imean six?
Me: More like sixteen. Does Sydney have her own phone?
BG: No

Where did she even get this idea? On the up side, she is reading well, likes her class, and seems to be learning a lot. I guess school isn't all bad.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August Wrap up

August has been full of a lot of firsts at our house. I keep meaning to upload pictures to go along with this, but that hasn't happened yet. Instead, I will just list them out.

  1. I took two kids on an airplane by myself.

  2. We flew to GA for a family reunion where my kids met many 2nd cousins, aunts, and uncles they haven't met before, along with 1st cousins, aunts, and uncles we don't see much.

  3. BG started liking the pool. She will now jump in from the side all by herself. She will also go down kiddie slides. This is a far cry from last summer where she screamed if we weren't holding her.

  4. Blanche's vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds. She can now say Emma (cousin), grandma, buckle, milk, ball, all done, shoes, and diaper in addition to her other words.

  5. BG lost her first tooth! She pulled it out herself at daycare and lost it in the grass before we even hit the car. We left the tooth fairy a note who graciously still left a dollar.

  6. BG lost her 2nd tooth only a few weeks later. We pulled it out in the morning before school and put it in a "safe" place. By the time bedtime rolled around, it had been dropped down the sink. Not playing with a tooth that came out of your own mouth is too much to resist. It's just too exciting. The tooth fairy still left a dollar with a note saying "Don't loose the next one!"

  7. BG started Kindergarten. She loves it.

  8. There are so many mosquitoes this summer. We were sitting outside the other day and I told BG that if she saw one on her, she should slap it to kill it. Not 2 minutes later a mosquito landed on Blanche's cheek. BG did as instructed and slapped her little sister in the face. I was laughing so hard while trying to console a startled toddler.

  9. BG cut her own hair. Really short. Right up front. It's not quite the scalp cut many kids do, but it's not pretty. Luckily it's a small lock of hair that I can hide if I part her hair deep enough. Not much else to do but let it grow out.

  10. I started studying for the GRE. Sadly, this is far from a first. I've already taken this graduate test once, along with the GMAT. I've started studying countless times. I figure that at least the test is good for 5 years if I don't go back to school soon. And yes, the first time I took it was over 5 years ago.

  11. We took the training wheels off BG's bike. She is still working on riding on her own, but getting pretty good at it.

  12. We bought another car. We have, on average, bought a car every summer since we've been married. That's a lot of cars. We are planning on keeping this one longer (assuming it doesn't keep breaking down like the last one). We are going on 3 years for my car, so that's an improvement.

Whew. Now you know why I haven't uploaded pictures. This post could easily be broken out into 10 different posts if I have the pictures to accompany them. This is also the reason why I haven't been around so much.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

First Day of School

BG started Kindergarten yesterday. She is going to a school that requires a uniform and she looked so cute all dressed up. She was really excited about starting school. In fact, she has been looking forward to starting school since she was three. She has known that she had to be 5 to go to the "big school".

I have been doing really well with her starting school. I figured it wouldn't be too difficult on the first day because it it pretty much our usual schedule- getting up, dropping her off and going to work. I asked her on the way to school if she wanted me to walk her into her class or take her through the drive through drop off. She was insistent on going through the drop off and walking in herself. I was fine all morning, I was fine driving to school, I was fine until she hopped out of the car. Then I started crying. I pulled myself together because there was a line of other parents waiting to drop off their kids behind me.

My baby is growing up! She now has homework and is supposed to read to me 20 minutes a day. Her homework for the first day of school was a worksheet with pictures and letters. She had to circle the first letter (of what the picture was), write in the middle sound and underline the last sound. She did great and got them all correct.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Oh my! She's Adorable!

I have a hard time getting a good picture of Blanche. Not because she's not adorable or anything, because obviously she is. But because I can't seem to capture her personality in a still image. It might have something to do with the fact that she is always in motion, always on the move. But also, I think she kind of shuts down when the camera comes out. Many of the pictures I have of her are a blank stare and not the beautiful smile she has.

I happen to get this shot this summer and am really loving it. I feel like it shows off her personality and happiness so much better than others I have. Yes, she is chewing on a pen, but she's happy doing it! Any tips on how to get better candid, happy shots?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dog Days

Duncan stays in the back yard during the day. On days that I'm home, I will often let him come in for a few hours at at time, especially when it's so hot outside.

On one of my days at home, I walked by the window to see this.
I guess he thought the deck chairs looks more comfortable than the floor. I just had to laugh. What kind of dog hangs out on deck furniture?
Apparently mine does.

Friday, July 29, 2011

BG Family Party

I'm way behind in my blogging and just uploaded some pictures. After BG had her friend Tangled Party, we had a family party. JM got a smoker for Father's Day/Birthday and has been anxious to try it out. He smoked some pork and we had pulled pork sandwiches. They turned out delicious! The weather was nice and we spent a good portion of the party hanging out outside.

This was also the first time some of our family had met Duncan, our new dog, so there was plenty of attention for him. Grandma with Blanche and cousin Emma.

BG smiling cute. I try and try to get a picture of the two of my girls together. It's pretty much an impossible feat. One of them is always looking away or not smiling or getting up. I have a great sequence of attempts from this party that I won't bore you with, but it really does seems impossible.

My sister-in-law recently graduated from Culinary school and loves to make cakes. She also just got a job at a bakery and is thrilled about it. So whenever there is a family event, she is the go-to girl for the cake. When she asked BG what kind of cake she wanted, BG told her Strawberry.

Aunt Rae is known for her fabulous chocolate cakes, so Daddy put in the request for a "Strawberry" (quotes required) cake. With a wink, wink, and a nudge, nudge, he convinced her to make a chocolate cake with strawberries on top. That way we could still tell BG she was getting her request.

The cake was delicious. I had to take this picture to show off the super yummy strawberry meringue filling. We all loved it and BG didn't even notice her "Strawberry" cake was actually chocolate.
Happy Birthday BG! I can't believe you are already 5 and will be starting school soon. Lately, she has been telling me she is going to "act like a Kindergartner" which means she will be nice to mom, listen and obey. Whatever it takes.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Hot, Hot, Hot

It's hot. Not as hot as some places right now, but still sticky, sweating, squinty-eyed hot. The girls want to play outside in the hot. I don't last very long. It's not long before they start asking for popsicles. My strict nutrition regiment goes out the window when it comes to popsicles. Because it's just so hot.

The one I really feel bad for in this heat is the dog, Duncan. Wearing a fur coat can't feel good in this heat. When we let him in the house, he runs right over to the vet blasting Air Conditioning and plants himself. He lays there soaking it up until the girls come to pester him. That takes about 1.6 seconds.

Even though it's sweltering outside, my office is freezing. I keep a sweater at my desk to ward of the chills. Then I go outside and it's like stepping into a furnace. Crazy summer weather.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bedroom Remodel: Phase 3

We have been remodeling our master bedroom. We have been in our house almost 4 years and our room has never gotten much attention. I finally convinced JM to put some budget into the room. We actually really liked the room when we first bought the house, but tastes and designs change and I was tired of the colors.

Here's our room with the old wall colors. There was two colors in the room, a beige color and a rusty brown. The room is pretty big but only has one builder-standard light fixture in the middle. It always felt so dark because the colors on the walls sucked up any light.

We bought the bedding a while back and I was really itching to get to painting. You can even see the "swatch" up on top of the bed. I may have forgotten to take it down before pictures.

I showed this picture earlier after we got the primer up. The paint had a velvet texture to it and since we were going crisp white on the bottom, I was worried about coverage. Even with the primer, I was loving the change.
At this point, I stopped taking in-progress photos. We painted everything and installed crown moulding, chair rail, new baseboards, door and window casings and boxes on the lower half. It took WAY longer than we anticipated.

Then the project snowballed. Once we painted the white, we realized how hideous the color of our doors was. They looked like sun-faded white, a sickly yellow color. So then we had to paint the doors. When we painted the doors, the ceiling turned yellow and that had to be painted as well.

Our room was in complete disarray for weeks while we got all the painting done and trim installed. Then we had to caulk, sand, and paint some more. Whew! It was a much bigger project than we anticipated.

Here is an example of the boxes we put up on the lower half of the room. This is also one of the few in-progress pictures I took. We also added a windowsill since there wasn't one.

And the final result! The pictures are kind of bad. I really should use a better camera than my point and shoot, but I'm pretty lazy.

The color on the top is a stormy blue color, with grey undertones. I am loving the way it turned out. All the trim really finishes off the space.

Now that the painting and trim is done, I have a huge list of other things I want to do. Specifically, replace the furniture hardware, add window treatments, art for the wall, and other accessories. Hurray for having our room back! I love the change. The whole room is so much lighter, brighter, and cozy.

Linking to: Thrift Decor Chick

Monday, July 11, 2011

Praises Be

Yesterday was a monumental day. A day a mother dreams about for her child from the moment she is born. A day that has been longed for, counted down to, and must be celebrated. It was the day that Blanche went to Nursery. {insert wild applause.}

Technically, she isn't "of age" until Wednesday, but I just could. not. take. it. anymore. We've been wandering the halls during church for months now. After dropping her off, I circled back to look through the peek-a-boo window. She was being held by her teacher with one fat tear lingering under her eye. I quickly ducked away and headed to class, all by myself.

I learned some things yesterday attending classes without a child in tow. For example, I didn't know we are studying the New Testament this year in Sunday school. News to me. I also had the chance to look around and discover there are a lot of new people to our ward that I don't know. But what I enjoyed most of all, was just sitting, listening, and taking it in.

When I picked up Blanche from nursery, her teacher told me she did great. I knew she would. She loves toys, and snacks, and tiny chairs. Nursery is the perfect place for her.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tangled Party

BG requested a Tangled party for her 5th birthday. She LOVED the movie and likes to play it often. When I first started thinking about a party, I had no idea what to do. Thanks to the Internet, I "came up" with lots of great ideas! These pictures are in no particular order (and blogger isn't working right to let me rearrange them).

We made these fun Pascal blowers. BG and I cut and glued them all together before the party and let the kids draw on their own eyes and mouths. It didn't take Blanche long to figure out how these worked and she loved them. Find the template here.

This is the cake I made for BG, obviously a tower. I totally cheated and used donuts stacked up on a wooden dowel. I don't have great cake making skills, so I took the easy way out. I didn't even bother to paint/color the roof, just left it a plain ice cream cone.
I did buy some frosting tips figuring once I had the tips, it wouldn't be too hard to decorate. I now have a greater appreciation for cake decorators. Not that I didn't' before, but even with those tips, making it look good takes practise (which I didn't do). I used a leaf tip to make "vines" growing up the tower. They looked more like green blobs. It's a good thing 5 year olds don't care.

One of our party activities was painting the walls. Since Rapunzel is locked in her tower, she takes to painting all the interior walls. I mixed up some washable paint (2 C water, 1/3 C cornstarch, food coloring), taped up butcher paper on the fence and gave the kids paint brushes. They had a great time. I did put aprons on all the kids just in case.
We also made necklaces, complete with a frying pan charm. This activity kept the girls attention the longest. It took some concentration to sting those beads.
We also played pin the frying pan on Flynn Rider. I got the Wanted poster here and the frying pan template here. We colored pictures, opened presents, and ate cupcakes. Again, I'm no cake decorator, but this is what I came up with. I was hoping the purple with yellow piping looked like her dress. I know, I'm pretty awesome to make zigzags on a cupcake and call it a dress. ;)
I made a long yarn braid to decorate the front door, but didn't take a picture. It looked kind of like this. Actually, that site gave me lots of the ideas I used for the party.

The girls had a great time and I survived hosting 6 5 year-olds. After cleaning up this party, we turned right around to start getting ready for the family party the next day.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Working Mom

I'm a working mom. I have been fortunate to cut back my hours since having Blanche to 30 hours per week. I stay home every Wednesday and every other Friday. My job is flexible enough that I can adjust the days I work as needed. On top of the flexibility, the pay isn't bad either.

And yet, I'm not happy. I don't feel challenged in my work and feel like I'm missing out on my kids. I had considered writing a post about this when I ran across a friend who posted on the exact same topic. It made me feel better that I'm not the only working mom who feels this way.

I'm not saying being a stay at home mom is easy. It's not. And there are many days I am grateful for the reprieve that a job allows. But I feel torn. Just this morning, this was the thought process/conversation that was going on inside my head.

"That job at the state looks interesting. It's in an area that I'd like and it would be a step up professionally.
But I'd have to work full time and the state does 4 10s. Can I really get two kids up and out the door by 6:30 am? Plus it would be a longer commute.
I think I could do that.
Who am I kidding? I can barely get out the door by 8am; I am perpetually late.
Maybe I could hire a nanny. If we had a nanny that came to our house, I wouldn't have to worry about waking up the kids at all. I would just have to get myself up, which is a million times more manageable. Plus, I'd be making more so we could afford a nanny.
(Working the hours in my head) That would mean four days a week I would leave before my kids get up and get home just in time for bedtime. The whole point in cutting back my hours was to spend more time at home, with the kids. I'm able to do that now.
Maybe I should just stay at my job long enough for us to get completely out of debt then stay home. I could stay home for a few years, then go back.
How am I going to stay involved while I'm at home. I need to keep my skills up so I can actually get hired when I go back. How long should I stay home? Can we even afford for me to stay home?
I enjoy working. I like feeling like I'm contributing. I like proving that example to my girls, that moms can be productive members of society while still being a mom.
Maybe I should apply for that job at the state."

Round and round it goes. On paper, I have a great job. Pays well, flexible hours, but I'm not fulfilled professionally by it. If I changed jobs, I would have to go back to full time work, or take a pay cut. There just aren't many well paid part time jobs out there. Working full time means less time with the kids. It makes me wonder how many other women are this plight, or if they have figured out something I don't yet see. It wears me out just thinking about it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Sandwich

Last night we had one of my favorite summer sandwiches. It is super yummy and pretty easy.

Egg Salad- you know, hard boiled eggs mixed with mayo and a little mustard
Bacon- because eggs and bacon are great friends
Cucumber slices
Fresh basil leaves

Stack all ingredients on some yummy bread and enjoy. The cucumbers give a nice crunch. The basil gives sweet freshness contrasted with the salty bacon. So yummy! Add a slice of melon and you have the perfect summer meal.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Phase 2: Painting

Today we painted our room. It's Phase 2 of the great bedroom remodel. I painted and painted and painted some more. This is what I spend all day Saturday doing, and most of Friday. Our room went from this...

to this. Oh, and we slept in the bed and I didn't bother to make it since the rest of my room was a disaster.

And no, that's not done. In fact, that's just the primer. But you can see the blue tape. We did two-tone and will be adding chair rail. The top is a stormy blue and the bottom is white. I should have taken pictures, but I was so sick of painting and being in that room that I had to leave and rest my weary claw hand. Then it got dark and that's no good for pictures. So I'll post them soon. But I am so looking forward to a new look in our room.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Busy Busy

June is always a crazy busy month for us. This year has been no exception. Here are a few other things we have been doing over the past few weeks and the reason my blog hasn't been updated.
  1. Swim Lessons for BG
  2. Chasing Blanche around the pool during swim lessons to make sure she doesn't jump in.
  3. Dance lessons for BG.
  4. Planning BG's birthday party.
  5. Attending birthday parties (two so far, another this weekend)
  6. Visiting with a new baby nephew.
  7. Hiking
  8. Planning Father's Day.
  9. Father's Day dinner with JM's side. (Last Sunday)
  10. Father's Day dinner with my side. (Next Sunday)
  11. Prepping our master bedroom for paint and moulding.
  12. Getting a new puppy.
  13. Making Popsicles.
  14. Planting flowers.
  15. Growing a garden.
This is on top of work, housework, laundry, yardwork, summer playing... The list goes on and on. I have been taking pictures of many of these events, I just haven't had the time to sit down and upload them to my computer. Maybe someday soon I will and you can see all the crazy, fun we're having. Until then, happy summer!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Giving up Fear

I'm been thinking a lot lately about why I do and don't do things. Questions like, "why is change so hard for me", "why haven't I gone to graduate school?" and "what should I be doing with my life/family right now?" These are deep questions that have given me much time to ponder on my reasons for the choices I make.

In all my deep pondering (much of which takes place in my car during my commute), I am coming to terms with the fact that I often let fear dictate my decisions, or lack thereof. I'm afraid of a change in our routine so I dismiss a new opportunity. I am unsure of the outcome of a change, so I resist making it. I'm paralyzed by the thought of choosing the "wrong" degree program so I haven't gone back to school. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that fear is a primary consideration in my decision making.

I'm coming to realize that I've got to let go of fear. Fear is getting in the way of opportunities in my life. Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of mistakes. I'm trying to throw caution to the wind and do what I want, because I WANT to do it. If you know me, you know that I am a planner and don't do spontaneous very well, so this is an adjustment. I want to do things because they are right, not because they are comfortable.

Part of this paradigm shift has led us to getting a dog. It is also leading us to step out of our comfort zone on other things. It is helping me re-evaluate the why of my choices. My kids learn by example (whether I like it or not), and I don't want them to learn to simply take the path of least resistance in life. Being uncomfortable is the only way to grow.

Is there fear in your life holding you back? What have you done to conquer it?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Expanding the family

The winner of the $30 Jessica's Gems gift certificate is Jessica G! Congrats! For eveyone else, remember the 50% off sale goes until May 31. Use code SRPING50.

Both the girls LOVE dogs. They will chase them down the street to pet one. JM has wanted to get a dog for a long time and I've been resistant. I've been working lately on not letting fear dictate my decision making (more on that later). This last week I decided that I was more afraid of the work of a dog than the benefits of one.

Once I was on board for a dog I really got puppy fever and started looking for dogs. We decided to go with a German Shepard. We visited a local litter and was really impressed with the parents and the puppies were so adorable (ok, what puppy isn't?). This is the little guy we picked out.

BG is thrilled to get a puppy. We haven't brought him home yet. He still needs his mommy, so we will pick him up in a few weeks. We are all pretty excited about it.

How can you not love this face?! We are still working on names. BG suggested Rainbow or Sprinkles, but I think we'll go with something else.

I may have freaked out a little after we got home, realizing that we had just purchased a sweet little puppy that will quickly grow into a BIG dog, but I'm doing better now. We are happy to add this boy to our family.

Funny story: While we were visiting the puppies Blanche was walking around. She wasn't quite sure what to think about the puppies. She loved them from a distance, but got nervous when they got too close. She was backing away from the dogs and fell right into the water dish and soaked herself. She was not too happy about her mid-morning bath in the dog's water. We took off her pants and that cheered her right up.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Room remodel: Part 1

Looking for the jewelry giveaway? Click here.

We are remodeling our room. We started with the closet and love the way it turned out. We bought a new bed and got bedding a while back too. This is what our bed looked like for many, many years. In our entire married life, we have never had real bedding. We bought this white down comforter a few years ago to keep us toasty warm in the winter.

As much as I like the physical warmth, it wasn't doing much for me style-wise. After we got our new bed, I was pretty adamant that we get some real bedding to go on it. This is what I found and loved it. I wanted something with some natural lines, but nothing too "girly" since I do share the room with a man. Despite my best efforts, JM doesn't love it. He tolerates it, which is what makes him a great husband. He knows it's important to me, so he let me get what I wanted.

Real bedding! On a new bed! My mom is a quilter and suggested that a comforter will last longer if it's been properly quilted. Most of the time when you buy them from a store, they are only attached in a few spots with only a thread or two. Mine was no exception, the front was barely connected to the back. So I took it to a quilter who machine quilted the whole thing. Now it will last longer and not not fall apart after the first washing.

Next up on the list is paint and molding. We plan to do crown and chair rail and maybe even wains coating. We'll see how that goes. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sale plus giveaway

Hi friends. Have I mentioned how I'm holding a huge jewelry sale on my Etsy shop? This isn't a rinky-dink 10% off sale. No, this is the real deal, 50% off. Half off! It's not often you can score that kind of deal. But now, through the May 31 you can get 50% off everything in my shop by using the code SPRING50 at checkout.

Have you seen some of the newest things I've posted in my shop? Here's just one beautiful example.
Some of the items in my shop are listed as SALE, but with the code SPRING50, you will get half off everything you purchase.

I'd love your help in getting the word out about my sale. To reward you, I'm giving away a $30 gift certificate to my Esty shop. I won't even make you jump through hoops to get it. Just comment on this post that you want to win. You can also get extra entries by spreading the word. There are four ways you can enter to win a $30 gift certificate. Leave a seperate comment for each one.
  • Comment here saying you want to win.
  • Blog about the sale.
  • Post on Facebook about the sale.
  • Tweet about the sale.
Please make sure your email address is enabled on your account or leave your email in your comment in order to win. Your gift certificate can be used in addition to the 50% off, making it really worth $60. Contest ends May 23 at Midnight MST. The winner will be announced on May 24.

As if you couldn't come up with your own reason to buy something sparkly, let me give you some more ideas. Graduation, Mother's Day (get what you really wanted), family pictures, the start of spring (or summer if you are lucky enough to be somewhere warm), days that end in Y. The list goes on and on! Happy shopping.

Monday, May 16, 2011


As Blanche gets older, more and more people are saying that she looks like BG. I just don't see it. Then again, their personalities are so different that it is hard to see any physical similarities. And I just don't think they even look much alike. For a while I've been thinking I need to compare pictures of them at the same age to see if they look alike. I finally pulled out pictures of BG so I could have an equal comparision at the same age. Here they both are on their first birthdays.

Aside from matching chubby cheeks (we grow them fat 'roung these parts) I still don't see it. What do you think?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A sale, a sale, a half off sale

Remember how I held a fabulous jewelry trunk sale back in April? Well, several of you people who don't live within 5 miles of me asked if I was going to hold an online sale. So here it is!

Now through I'm not really sure yet, there is sale happening on my Etsy site. When you use the discount code of SPRING50 at checkout you will get 50% off your purchase. Half off!! That's like getting two pieces for the price of one (assuming they are the same starting price). NO matter how you slice it, it's a great deal. Since I haven't decided exactly how long this code will be good for, I suggest you shop early. I've added a bunch of new stuff to my shop and will keep adding more, so check back frequently. Here is just a sampling of what is there right now.

Pretty right? One of these pieces (or another one just as nice) can be yours. Pop on over to my Etsy shop and have a look. Don't forget to use the code SPRING50 for 50% off.