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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

My family was here for the week of Thanksgiving and the only picture I took the whole time was this:

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I guess you can tell where my priorities lie. :-)

We really did have a fun filled week, and if anything, my lack of pictures are proof of that. The more fun we have, the less I think to pull out my camera. It was especially fun to see my brother Dustin and his wife. They are so busy that any time we get with this is special. Dustin is an illustrator so Logan was in heaven with all the drawings he commissioned Dustin to make for him. The truffle picture above is one of Ashley's creations. I asked if she would teach us to make them while she was here. I can't wait to make another batch; these didn't last more than 3 days.

Thanksgiving itself was a bit of a whirlwind. We bought tickets to a 4 o'clock movie thinking we would be finished eating in plenty of time. As usually happens, the turkey took a little bit longer to cook than expected and when we finally sat down we had 15 minutes before we needed to leave. The first group headed to the movie while Ashley and I stayed behind to let a pie finish baking. I think we must have broken a record for the fastest clean-up ever! Between the two of us, we put all the food away, washed all the dishes, cleared the table, had the dishwasher running, finished baking a pumpkin pie, and still made it to the movie before the previews had ended. Amazing!

Among other things, we visited lots of family, did some shopping (of course), saw the lights at Temple Square, played games, made caramels, and stayed up way too late every night. It was a great week and I was sad when everyone left.

I lied. I took one more picture. Logan needed to dress up like an Indian or pilgrim for his Preschool Thanksgiving dinner. We improvised last minute and made him a paper bag Indian vest. He decorated the vest and feathers himself. I think he makes a pretty cute Indian.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Wood

Ever since we moved in to our house two and a half years ago, I have been wanting to update the flooring. I love the look of hard wood and have dreamed of putting it in, but other projects took priority and we have had to be content with our worn, stained carpet. My living room has always been a sore spot, which drives me nuts because it's the first room you see when you come into our house. Even the wall color (which I had picked and painted) was just not doing it for me.

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The stains in the entry and hallway were especially bad. I also hated the peel-and-stick laminate entry.

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Our kitchen floor was no better. It never came all the way clean, and I felt that the transition from carpet to vinyl was making our house feel more segregated than it already is.

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Well, after months of complaining, Jeff finally told me to save the money and do it. Two weeks ago we finally had enough saved up and the demolition began. It made a huge, HUGE mess (so glad we decided to hire it out!) but I LOVE the results. The wood we picked has a slight sheen to it that the camera can't capture, so you're just going to have to come visit to get the full effect.

The green walls of the living room looked even worse with the new floors, so we quickly repainted to a neutral brown.

Side story: see those flowers on the fireplace? Well, when we got the quote for the floor it was a little bit more than we had saved. I started scavenging for anything we could sell on KSL to make up the difference. One of those thing was our Wii. The guy that bought it took a little longer to pick it up than he had originally told me. He felt bad and wanted to thank me for holding it for him, so he brought me flowers (apparently he works for a florist). It was a little weird and creepy, but the flowers were really pretty so I got over the weird part.

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No more stains or ugly transitions! One room flows into the next.

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Stupid entryway is gone. Even though it was a small area, the room feels bigger and more open now.

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We painted the kitchen, too, and I love it now. Next on my project list is to paint the railing the same color as the cabinets. Oh, and to replace the counter tops. And maybe get a new sink and appliances. And... you get the picture.

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Here is a closeup of the wood. I wanted something with a lot of variation in color and texture. I tried really hard to adjust the color in Photoshop but it still looks orange in this picture. Like I said, you'll just have to come see it in person to really appreciate it.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Remembering

In the few minutes before I got out of bed this morning I remembered an experience I had in college that eight years later still makes me pause and appreciate all I have. It was a few months into my freshman year. I loved school, I loved being on my own, and, truthfully, I was having too much fun to miss home very much. Then one weekend I caught the flu. It was just the 24 hour stuff, but it knocked me out pretty good. I spent a whole day stuck between bed and the bathroom, and for the first time since I'd moved out I really wished I were home. I called my mom and she offered sympathy and remedies, but at 700 miles away she couldn't do much more than that. I went back to bed and slept as much as I could and eventually I started to feel a little bit better. About that time, a friend knocked on my door holding a thermos. She explained that she had been home that weekend (we were from the same town) and my mom had asked if she would bring something back for me. I took the thermos and opened it up to find my mom's homemade chicken noodle soup. That alone warmed my heart and stomach but here's the real kicker-- it was still warm. It was at that moment that I knew without a doubt that I have the BEST mom in the whole world.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thankful

As much as I would love to post daily about things I am thankful for, I know I would never be able to follow through for an entire month. But I do want to take a moment to reflect on the things that I have to be grateful for, even if this blog post is all that ever comes of it.

1. First and foremost, I am grateful for family. My family are my best friends. I can't begin to go into all they have done for me -- my parents, siblings, in-laws, even my nieces and nephews are such a blessing in ways they will never know.

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(Yes, I know my kids are missing from this picture. They were home throwing up. So just pretend they are sitting next to us.)

2. At the moment, I am grateful to have TWO potty-trained children. For the next 4 months or so, we are a diaper-less household!

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3. On that note, I am grateful for a (thus far) uneventful pregnancy. My 20-week ultrasound a few weeks ago confirmed that all is well with our baby girl. Although it took a bit for me to warm up to the idea, I am so excited to have another girl in the family. I dream of days when I can take my girls on shopping trips, or to the Nutcracker, or just out to dinner for a girls-night.

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4. I am especially thankful to have a husband with a job that allows me to be at home. These past 6 months have been a time for me to focus on my home and family. I realize that in this economy I cannot take any employment for granted and there is always the chance I could need to go back to work, but I am thankful that for now, I can just be home.

5. I am grateful for festive decorations! Silly and trivial, I know, but I worked hard to make my home look cozy for Thanksgiving since most of my family will be here, and every time I walk into the living room it makes me smile.

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6. I can't not mention the beautiful weather we've had lately. I have complained a lot about the weather over the past several years, but this year I really couldn't have asked for more. Summer was everything I hoped for and I was actually ready for fall when it came. But what I am really thankful for is that fall STAYED. Usually we only have a week or two of fall before it feels like winter. But this autumn has been the perfect mix of warm and cool and has lasted over two months!

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7. And finally, although this really should be first, I am grateful for my Savior. Although I have been a church-goer my entire life, I now understand why many people "discover" religion when they have children. I want so much for them to know their Heavenly Father and live the kind of life He would want them to. When Savannah points to a picture of Christ and exclaims, "Jesus!" with the recognition and excitement of seeing her best friend, I have to wonder if maybe she knows Him better than I do. I pray that my children will always know how much I love and honor our Savior, and how grateful I am for all He has done for us.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Round 2

We've started round 2 of potty training Savannah this week and it is going much better than our first attempt. I've only cleaned up three accidents in five days and yesterday she even took her nap in underwear. It turns out candy is a good bribe for going potty, so our Halloween stash is quickly depleting and Savannah is on a continual sugar high.

I'm not really sure where to go from here. Logan pretty much potty trained himself so I consider myself a novice in the training department. Now that Savannah has mastered going on demand, how do I teach her to recognize when she needs to go? For now I just make her sit on the toilet every hour, but at some point I hope she will tell me when she needs to go instead of the other way around. Any suggestions?

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