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September photos

Yes, I know. I’ve had a really hard time blogging lately. It may be due to my new full time job as 2nd councilor in the Relief Society or maybe I’m filling my life up with other important things but either way, I pretty much skipped the month of September.

Here are some highlights from the month.

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School pics and just for fun

I might as well post about the first day of school. Nothing much exciting to say about it other than it’s arrived.

This girl of mine loves school (except math) and I hope she always will. Third grade seems to be when things get a bit more serious. I think I had the jitters more than her.

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And this boy (who started a week later than sis) hopefully will like school just as much as his sister because he started Kindergarten today. I hugged and kissed him 20 times before he left.

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Sigh. I couldn’t get a decent smile or a focused look from him. Oh well.

And because my first day of school pictures aren’t much different from Joe Shmoe’s first day of school photos I’ll add these next two for a little something more to look at.

Here is my Champion Potty Goer teaching her baby to go to the potty as well as she does.

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And when my boy came home from his first successful day of kindergarten, we made cardboard box cars. Vrooommm. The box on his head is a helmet.

Way to be safe, Isaac!

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I promise that there will be some scrapbooking soon now that school as started. I’m starting to get the itch.

Scratch, scratch.

Something has to give

I can’t do it all.

This week I have been completely overwhelmed. No matter what goals I’ve set for myself each day, I can’t seem to get the things done that I want to. I’m suffocating.

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I can’t make raspberry jam and zucchini bread and have dinner cooked and ready to eat at a decent hour. My poor husband hasn’t had dinner in a week.

I can’t read books to the kids and clean the house.

I can’t wake up at 6:00 am every morning for my Ozone workout and expect to have energy that lasts through the day. Nap time can’t come soon enough.

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I can’t take feed and clean up after the chickens, make sure there aren’t any giant zucchinis taking over the garden and keep my yard weed free. It’s impossible. (cleaning windows apparently don’t get done either)

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I can’t plan fun activities during the day for the kiddos and keep on top of the laundry. Who needs clean underwear anyway?

I can’t keep up with Pinterest, my feed reader, facebook, and scrapbooking. Darn time suckers.

I can’t enjoy a new book on my kindle and post regularly on my blog.

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I can’t mountain bike and rock climbing. Am I the only one who is sad about this?

I can’t make it to bed on time and enjoy the summer nights in Utah. I miss my porch and the stars.

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I can find time to hug and love my kids though. That must always be a priority. But I can’t help but wondering if I’m doing it enough.

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Tell me: How do you find balance in your life? What do you find yourself having to give up because you don’t have time or energy? Don’t tell me that you are superwomen and you can do it all. I wont believe it.

Old Pics and Grandma

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Jeremy’s grandma past away a week or so ago and we spent a good chunk of last week attending the funeral and other family functions.

Even though Jeremy and I have only been married for 9 years, we have spent many hours visiting with Grandma. We would spend many Sunday afternoon just hanging out with her and spending time the house that her and Grandpa bought in the 40’s. She was as much my grandma as she was Jeremy’s.

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I have attended a few funerals in my day and I have to say that I think funerals, or more specifically, loosing someone, is one of the most spiritual experiences in life. There is no doubt in my mind that heaven is close by during those times. There are amazing feelings and experiences that testify of how thin the veil can be. Grandma’s funeral felt like this to me. She was such a great, strong lady. She will be missed but I can’t help but be so happy for her to be rejoined with her husband who past away 28 years ago. Imagine that reunion.

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Jeremy’s Dad gave me a whole bunch of old photos of Grandma and their family. He had found some old slides and had them digitized. We had such a good time looking through them and reminiscing about the past. I love this one of Grandma curling her hair. It’s so real life. They said that was how she always was, with a book in hand and her feet kicked up. Love it.

I now have all these old photos and it’s a wonder what to do with them.

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I had to post this old picture of “the Duster” that Jeremy and his family drove for years. There are stories of kids falling out of broken doors and everyone piling in on road trips across the country and sleeping on the hot floor. Oh the days before car seats! (Jeremy is the one squashed next to his dad. Let’s all say Ahhh together. Ahhh!)

Have you done anything with old pictures? There can be so many that it’s completely overwhelming. But what’s to be done so that all these wonderful times wont be forgotten? Print them out? Put them on flash drives and pass them out? Who knows, but it’s so much fun to sit down and remember.

I never intended to take the summer off from scrapbooking but that seems to be what has happened. This week alone has been so crazy. I can’t even think about sitting down at the computer to blow a few hours at one of my favorite hobbies. There’s just no time for that. Maybe when this week is over things will calm down a bit.

I’ll give you a little update though.

Emma turned 8.

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We had our third annual birthday part at my dear friend’s swimming pool. (Hello, what a wonderfully easy party. Hurray for summer birthdays!) If this picture looks familiar it’s because I’ve got 2 from the previous years that look almost identical.

Emma, of course, was super excited to be one year older and finally 8. But of course things can not go completely smooth so we had to deal with a small fall and a popped open a chin two days before her party. She couldn’t swim with her friends like she would have liked to because of the Dr’s orders to keep it clean and dry. Drats.

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Turning 8 is super exciting for us around these parts because Emma was able to be baptized.

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We had such a wonderful day. It turned out super special and sweet for Emma and us. I hope she remembers this day all her life. I know I will.

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Back into the Summer Swing of Things

I think I must have recovered from my vacation because life has really picked up this week. I’ve gone mountain biking, rock climbing and now we are headed out to go camping. Whoo! This is just the way I like things but occasionally I’ll sit down on the couch in a big huff and think, “Gosh, I’m tired!”

Emma’s birthday is coming up. We are getting ready for it weeks in advance because it’s the big 8 which is a big deal around these parts. Yesterday I spent the afternoon making invitations for her friend party and they turned out cute enough so I thought I’d share.

Emma originally wanted to make them all by herself so we bought card stock and glitter and she planned out her design all by herself. After taking a couple weeks to make one (which was soon destroyed by her sister) she gave up and asked for my help. The only problem is “help” means “please take over” so I did.

I had seen these cute No-Melt Pop Invitations by Martha Stewart and thought they’d be an answer to our problem. There is even free clip art that makes them a breeze to make. Perfect for busy summer time, yes?

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I bought some sticks and vellum at the craft store but decided against the glassine paper and regret it only a tiny bit. Let’s not tease ourselves, we all know these go in the garbage once the event is over.

Here’s my version. I just used left over card stock and experimented until I had a version I liked (the polka dot one.)

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I didn’t have any spray adhesive and so my glue stick was disastrous on the dark brown paper. I also think my vellum was more see through than Martha’s. Okay, we can admit that Martha’s are way cuter, but hey, they’ll do the job. At least I’ve got something done on my TO DO list.

I’m off for a fun camping trip. Happy summer.

Do I dare?

Since coming home from my summer vacation I’ve had a hard time getting back into the groove of thing. My brain is thinking of new projects I can do to jazz things up around here.

Yesterday I painted my front door a boring black. It needed it and looks better than it did but at the end of the day it left me with an incomplete since of satisfaction. Now I’m wanting to paint something more fun… something bright and cheerful.

How about a piano?

I’ve been wanting a piano for a while. I’m not a pianist by any means but my parents had me take lessons and I can play a handful of songs and read a bit of music. Now that I’m a parent shouldn’t I make my kids take lessons as well? Every kid should be tortured with having to practice for hours on end (oh, maybe it was only 30 minutes). It’s good for them, right? I’ve survived. And yes, I wish I’d stuck with it.

My front room is the perfect place for a piano. In fact I’m dying to get rid of a couch or two but I can’t get over one issue. I don’t care for the way pianos look. They are so big, so imposing and so noticeable. I know, it seems so superficial but if the piano is going to be the first thing people see when they walk in my house, I want it to look good.

There’s one problem. I can’t afford a good looking piano.

And then I saw this:

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And oh my gosh, I fell in love. I didn’t know you could just paint a piano. I’m sure there are people out there who are moaning and groaning but I love the idea of a bright fun piano. It makes me want to play it. I searched the internet and found a whole bunch of cool inspiring pianos.

Here are some of my favorites. (images linked)

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I think that this green is a perfect green. Greens can be tricky but this one looks modern and fresh. I like that this is a normal upright. I guess it doesn’t have to be a vintage piano to be worth painting.

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This yellow one is so cheerful and cool looking. I wonder if I could pull off this color in my house.

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This whole room is darling. The white piano isn’t exactly my style but I think it really looks good in this chic space and I think it’s a good example of what can be done.

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I like red too. It’s probably the most doable color in my house but maybe not the most fun color.

So now I’m dreaming about what color I’d paint a piano if I had one.

I’ve been searching the classified and there are a lot of pianos to choose from. I’m nervous about buying a piano though. I want it to work. There are a lot of cheap ones out there and they could just be garbage. My piano doesn’t have to be concert worthy but I want it to sound nice, hold it’s tune and hold up to the kids banging on it.

I do have my eye on a beautiful vintage one and even went to check it out. I was so disappointed to find that it was in bad shape and had about 10 or so broken keys. I called some piano guys about fixing it up and heard some negative responses. First of all, it would be expensive. Second, you don’t know if your buying a lemon or not and thirdly, major parts could simple just snap when they tried tuning it. So sad. I did talk to one guy who seemed happy to fix up old vintage pianos and said that occasionally he’ll find a diamond in the rough. That gave me hope but I’d have to put money into it to find out if I found a diamond or not. Risky, eh?

So here is the question. Do I buy a cheap ol’ crappy piano that I don’t feel bad painting or do I spend a little bit more money and find a decent piano that my kids can learn and play on for years? If I bought a nicer piano would I feel bad or weird painting it? See the problem? I guess I need to find a middle of the road piano that needs a little tlc but still sounds good.

So what do you think about painted pianos? Would you dare? What color would you choose?

Father’s Day 2011

I hope you all had a wonderful Father’s Day.

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This is my dad and Leah out at sunset exploring the world together.

I absolutely adore my dad. My adoration is growing too. Grandpa-hood must be wonderful. I love seeing him interact with my children. His face seems to burst with happiness when Leah runs across the room to hug her Gampah. I can almost see his heart exploding.

I love to see him giggle in remembrance when the kids make a mess. I know he’s tickled to death when he stands in the driveway waving 100 times good bye with both hands high in the air in response to my kids yelling and waving with both hands as we drive away from his house.

Love you, Daddy! Thanks for all your time, sacrifice and love.