Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What's Wrong With Me?

I joke around with my sister that I'm a cold-hearted snake. When other girls are sobbing, I just sit there dry eyed as can be. When other girls get dramatic, I just shrug and think what's the big deal. Two examples I can think of to show my point:
  • Edward - he doesn't make me go weak in the knees, my heart doesn't pitter and patter, and there's not much about him that I like. In fact, he kind of annoys. See . . . I probably just made enemies. But, to make more enemies, I'm not on Team Jacob, either. AND Bella drives me crazy.
    Marley and Me - you know the movie that EVERYONE cries to? Tom's friend was on a plane, working on his computer. He got up to go to the bathroom and looked around and everyone was crying. He started to get nervous, then realized that everyone was watching Marley and Me, and crying! I didn't cry, fell asleep. I even rewatched the ending part that I fell asleep to and nothing.

Those are just 2, but they are very mainstream and I think make my point very well. Tom thinks Edward has nothing to do with having emotions or not - but I think it is evidence that my heart is stone.

Enter, Pure Country. Ever heard of it? No one has except my BFF from Kennewick and me. Bad acting, bad story line, unattractive actors, etc. etc. Last night, flipping through channels, not paying attention to anything, I notice this is on CMT, so I start to watch it. Wouldn't you know it? When George Straight starts to sing "I Cross My Heart," the tears start coming! Tom, shocked, looks up and says "What's wrong with you? are you pregnant?" The only excuse he could think of for why I would be so crazy. Except, I'm not (pregnant, that is), so I guess I must be crazy! Admitting it is the first step, right? Please tell me I'm not the only one who is like this.

P.S. After reading some comments, I want it to be very clear that I DO NOT think Pure Country is a tear jerker - don't go watching it expecting that. I'm just weird.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Grateful Sunday

I'm grateful for family, what's new, huh? My husband is perfect for me and together we have 3 children that I know were meant to come to me. I love them, and I love the person I am becoming being their mother and Tom's wife. There are changes that I'm making that I know I wouldn't make by my own choosing - it's my roles that kind of force me to make these changes, thank goodness. The family is where it's at - it's what's important. I'm grateful for mine!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Who Loves a Newly Bathed Baby?

I do! I do! My only beef (I seem to always have one) is that baby towels are so flimsy. I love to cuddle my kids when they get out of the bath and help them dry off, but I end up getting soaking wet. When I. was born, we received a hooded towel that was made from a "real" towel. I love it and used it all the time. She outgrew it, so I started to look around. I LOVE this tutorial. I have probably sewed these at least 15 times - they are so quick. Seriously, 15 minutes or so. You can do so much to embellish them, too. I like to use big towels, even for newborns. My kids love the hood, it helps the towel stay on.

It is baby season around here - everyone is having a baby or about to. This has become my go-to gift for showers. A hooded towel (I monogram them to make them that more special), a bottle of lotion and baby wash and it looks like a great gift and doesn't break the bank, plus it is something that will get used!!

I have 4 lined up to get monogrammed this weekend.
OK - my disclaimer for Tom's sake - he bathes the kids 80% of the time while I clean up the kitchen. I really only bathe them on Tuesday nights and the occasional Thursday.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mommy's Game Plan

The other day, Tom asked me what I had to do that day. I thought over my plans and answered "not much." Tom was shocked and couldn't imagine a day where he really had not much to do - poor guy. There was plenty to do, there always is, but nothing was urgent that day. I guess I never thought about that much before, what it would be like to have deadlines and stuff like that day in and out. Yeah, I've got it pretty good. Since that conversation, I've kind of thought about it a lot. It was just in passing, I know, but I can't stop thinking about it.
I think one of the things that makes my days a little "easier, " or more flexible is knowing I have a Mommy Game Plan. I have it laminated, clipped to my calendar that sits on my desk in the kitchen. Now don't go thinking I'm over-the-top crazy here. I've used it for years now and it really keeps things moving along. I haven't been very good keeping with it lately, thus the selfish reason for this post. Every now and then this blog keeps me in check.
I have my week broken down into different categories: workouts, cleaning, dinner meals, etc. Then I write own what I plan to do on Monday for each of those things: I run 3 miles/weights, kids laundry and downstairs, muffins for breakfast, Mexican for dinner. Etc., etc. It makes everything seem doable, I'm able to make sure everything gets done throughout the week - which leaves me guilt free feeling when there is down-time and I'm playing trains, instead of stressing about what should be done.
It's fairly easy, yet helps this mommy manage my time. Gotta love that.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Grateful Sunday and a Tag

Catchy Title. We had about 14" of snow this weekend. School was let out early, Saturday meetings were canceled, movies were watched, and lots of hot chocolate was drunk. It was kind of nice, kind of fun, except it's the middle of April and I'm itching for Spring. Oh well, today the streets are bone dry, and things are melting really fast. Why does the bad weather always come on the weekends when we are gearing up to work in our backyard? Oh well, our mud lake will dry up some day.

I'm grateful for:

Contigo water bottles - I've looked for a long time for cups that don't leak. These seem to do it, and if you drink water as much as we do, you'll understand the necessity. I can throw these in my bag and not worry about everything getting leaked on - love it!



Opi Nail Envy - if you have brittle fingernails, like I do - this is worth every penny.



Pamela's Gluten Free Baking Mix - I use it in EVERYTHINGo and it replaces flour pretty well.


My Dyson - don't know how I ever lived without it!


Now, Kelli tagged me. I usually ignore these, but she asked so nicely. Hopefully I don't bore you to death - maybe it can be used as a little light reading as you are nodding off to sleep:

8 Things I'm Looking Forward To:

getting grass in our backyard

running the Bolder Boulder

Movie Night on Friday - think we'll try to invite some friends over

M. starting nursery

no school tomorrow

days at the park

wearing flip flops

going to bed tonight





8 Things I Did Yesterday

ran 5 miles

read Mr. Brown Can Moo 12 times

played the Great Dalmuti with friends (we stopped right when I was the winner)

cleaned the bathroom

vacuumed out all the crumbs from my cupboards

refolded everything in my closet

avoided having to go out in the cold

cooked and cleaned the kitchen about a million times

8 Things I Wish I Could Do

sing

play the guitar

run an 8 minute mile, consistently

be more compassionate

figure out how to get my kids to sleep in later

see my brothers and sister more often

be superwoman (?)

I don't know

8 Shows I Enjoy

American Idol

Martha Stewart Show

Lost

Heroes

many many HGTV shows

Gilmore Girls

that's only 6, but oh well.

So, if you made it this far and are looking for something to blog about, I tag you.

Have a great week

Laurel

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Organizing Loves

I already professed my love for my label maker. There are, however, a few other things that make my little organizer heart beat a little faster. The one I'm thinking about today is hooks. Oh, how I love hooks. I love that little hands can use them, thus eliminating one more thing I have to do. I love that it is so much faster to put something on a hook, than on a hanger. I love that they are so function, yet still pretty attractive. I have them pretty much everywhere - in every room.

Here's a couple from my home. In the entryway, we have a coat closet around the corner and no one used these, so I hung up some baskets and stuck some silk hydrangeas in them (for now):



In the coat closet to hang church bags:




In the kids room to hang up their clothes for the next day (G's my hand model and went around pointing all the hooks for me):

An over the door hook in the kids bathroom to drape their towels. They can't reach it, so I'm planning on putting some their level:In the toy room:I even have them in my shower! In the summer, we hang our swimsuits up on them after we've rinsed them. So, are you convinced? This is just a portion. G's over my shoulder asking me why I didn't put pictures of all the others! What do you use hooks for?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Giveaway Winner

Thank you for all who have stopped by - I love all the comments and all the bloggy love. We drew a winner:

Kristen, I hope you got my email. If not, email me and I'll make a pillow you're sure to love.

Easter Recap

So, this is how it all went down this year:

First - I saw the most adorable Easter Baskets/bags on Homemade by Jill and decided that I had time to use some scraps and make 3 of these (sometimes, I get a little delusional about time):





They didn't take too long - one day's worth of quiet time and some embroidering at night here and there. I LOVE them - I just think they turned out perfect. My only regret was not monogramming their names on them. Tom kept asking why I was doing this, and I told him they were for the Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday and they were going to be the perfect size. He just stares at me and says "as long as you're having fun."

Recognize the fabric I used for the girls' liners (they're from my sassy apron):

Off to friend's house to dye eggs and of course, I forgot my camera. The kids had a blast and I kept M. in the other room to keep her as far away as eggs as I could.

Saturday, after Tom did a morning errand to get more rocks for the backyard, he informed me that it is freezing outside and kind of raining. Oh well, bundle the kids up and load them in the car and off the to Church Activity. I got to run a 5K for autism, Tom walked the kids on half of it, then we found eggs and were back in the car in record time. I started cleaning the home for Easter, Tom worked in the backyard. As a side note - all the bricks are officially laid!! That is a huge milestone for Tom. Now, we have to fill them with dirt and cap them. While he's playing in the dirt I set the table for Easter Dinner:

I love getting out my china and setting pretty tables. I even followed Martha Stewart's napkins folding ideas - see a bunny behind (a blurry bunny behind):

The bunny came in the morning, hid eggs and baskets and we found everything. We rushed the kids in their new Easter clothes, tried to take pictures, but we are just too crazy to sit still. I think we deleted all the pictures. Rush off to church, rush home to grab the ham out of the oven. We had our best friends over for dinner. It was a packed home, but that's the way we like it - such a satisfying, wonderful evening. We were having so much fun, I totally forgot to take any pictures. Tom fell asleep getting everyone to sleep - I'm not even positive he knew there was a holiday today. I loved it, I love Easter and all that goes along with it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Giveaway




My little blog is turning one today - holy moley.

I could get all philosophical and tell you all the things it has brought to my life, the difference it has made, the friends I now have and so on. I really love to read it when others do this. But, if you know me, you know I have about 5 minutes broken up throughout the day to get this done before I'm onto the next thing!

So, to thank anyone who spends some time here, especially those who comment, I am having a little giveaway.

This little pillow is what I've got:






Of course, I'll monogram it with whatever initial the winner would want.

If you don't love it, I could probably customize it to what you want so you will love it! That's right - a personalized, custom pillow! Yeah

So, if you leave a comment, you're in!

If you are a follower, you are some of my favorite people, so you get another entry!

Got it?
I'll be busy the rest of the week, so I'll draw on Sunday. No, that's Easter - I'll draw Monday morning. Did I cover everything? I hope so - gotta go pack a backpack!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Finally


I've been trying to cozy up some rooms, feather my nest, whatever you want to call it, for awhile. I thought these windows REALLY needed some softening. We paid good money for the blinds, but I still wanted drapes. Have you ever priced those out? Even if you shop at Walmart, after 5 drapes and all the hardware for them, they really add up. So, I went on the search. I knew I wanted only 24" rods, I didn't need them to close, I never planned on having them close. This was absolutely ridiculous to Tom, but it's what I wanted. I finally found a set for $12 at Hobby Lobby that I thought would work. I saved my 40% off coupons and went in every week, used my coupon until I got what I wanted. It took awhile, sure, but that's the way I did it. Then I spray painted them black, and got Tom to chop them down to the length I wanted. He even jerry-rigged a rod to turn 90 degrees for me (I need to touch up the paint, but I was getting anxious to finally get them up.).
The drapes are 95" - I found them at Target and thought they were perfect. I wanted them subtle, but softening. It's no surprise that it's a neutral color in the brown shade, huh?
Well, finally, after weeks I got them up and love the difference they make! Even Tom complimented them, which is huge in my book. After all the ridiculing and second guessing, you think he'd finally start to trust. Well, here's hoping!
Before - dark picture and complete with my own personal Jedi:
After - keeping it real with the dumped out toys:

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Grateful Sunday

Yum. . . fresh hot Lion House orange rolls are in the oven, Tom has all the kids upstairs in the toyroom, and I'm still in my PJs. I have a moment to collect my thoughts and it isn't even 9:30!


I am grateful for




  • my membership in my church - what a blessing!
  • (gotta go - that moment didn't last too long - I'll finish this sometime today.)
  • My toddler still has chubby baby feet

  • the three under-the-bed storage bins filled with little legos that keep all 3 kids creatively busy

  • I have an awesome sister and wonderful sister-in-laws. They get me, don't judge, and just love.

Yes, I have a fulfilled life and I'm much happier when I count my blessings instead of looking at what I don't have! I'm celebrating my one-year anniversary of this blog. Yeah - always fun to have a reason to celebrate. I'll be having a giveaway - check back Wednesday!


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What's Been On My Mind

I talk a lot about our backyard. It seems to be all I think about lately - it consumes us. I wanted to show you what I'm talking about when I mean a MAJOR project is on our shoulders. I had planned to walk around and take pictures from all angles. But it snowed last week, it snowed today and it will snow this weekend. It's a huge muddy mess , it is freezing, so I stood on the first step and that's where all these pictures come from. Maybe I can find one of our patio from another angle. This is the step I stood on to take these pictures. We have a couple of bricks to make sure we like the pattern. We plan on paving our patios with this, as well as a 3' pathway.


We moved into our home in March 2007 - a new build. This was just 6 months from when we finished our backyard in Phoenix. We chose the home we live in because of the lot - it's a nice size for our area. I just asked Tom - it's approximately 70 feet in depth and 65 feet in width, and a nice blank slate. We spent the first summer here just figuring things out and doing a lot of planning. Summer of 2008 was spent leveling out the yard (who wants to play ball when it slopes so much?) and working on the patio(s). Now, it's our third summer here and we are dying to get this project down to a reasonable size. I'm sure we will always be working on it, but hopefully we can enjoy it.
Before we started:



Where we are right now:




Here's the deal, though. Tom is a geotechnical engineer, a fancy name for a guy who knows a lot about dirt. He is also a perfectionist - am I right, family? So, we work SLOW, but it is perfect. I am guaranteed to have the best engineered backyard in the city! We did have some guys give us some bids, but I know my husband. He doesn't really trust anyone to do it like he would. That would include me. He (we) are also extremely frugal, but we like nice things. That means we don't mind doing the hard work it takes to get what we want (to some degree). Anything worth wanting is worth working for, right? We are NOT going to just throw down some grass and trees to get it done, and then wish in 3 years we had done something different.


Looking onto our future patio - steps off to the right

So, without further ado, here's what we've got:

This is the best shot of our lowered patio - a step down from the main one.




You can see "the wall" that we're working on. Off to the left is the trampoline pit, where the trampoline will go. It should be flush with the top of the wall.







Another picture of our lowered patio:


We've been told we're crazy, so to say, more times than I can count. After a handful, you begin to agree. I understand that most people would not do what we are doing. I understand most people would write a check to someone else to do it. I understand that most people would have their backyard landscaped within a year. I understand that most people would not do this by themselves and would get their family or buddies to help. I understand, really, I do- enough said.

We have SO much to do, but we're having a good time working together. Tom and G. were out in the mud on Saturday, digging in the snow. I can't even start to make a list, because I get overwhelmed. We're hoping it will warm up soon, so we can get out there again and make some real progress. By "we" - I mean Tom. I usually stay inside and watch the kiddos.

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