Thursday, December 16, 2010

in my next life I will be an artist

The creative mind is an amazing thing! I wish mine was more inspired. I want to translate the above handmade (well hand decorated) ornament I saw here on a blog I just discovered last week Aesthetic Outburst into DIY Art for my home. Wish I was an artist! Help! I also want to try it on ornaments but I fear it will wait until next year.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

option #2

So, I'm back with a second option for our guest bath. I've been debating between the striped walls and doing gray walls. My only hesitation with gray is that our hallway and dining room are already gray. I would do a darker gray, but still. Anyway, I wasn't sold on the previous design and it wasn't really jumping at me. I still love the inspiration photo but I think it might not work with the current bathroom without changing details like mirrors, cabinets, etc. So, I have more inspiration photos. Imagine that!! I started with the gray and then found a great photo to help move along the room. I am really loving this one!! What do you think?

Shower Curtain: Thomas Paul (I found it on
Rug: Ikea
Orange & White Stripe Rug: Ikea
Lighting: Schoolhouse Electric
Shelf over toilet: Ikea
Glass jars: Ikea
Art: (I think)
Inspiration photos: Gray dining taken from Texas duplex house tour. Love that tour!!!

Let me know what you think!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

am I nuts?

So its almost 12:30am. I've been stewing over the guest bathroom, working on the inspiration board based on the image I posted here. So, this is what I have so far. I am trying to come up with some new light fixtures but I don't know what to do and don't really want to replace them if I don't have to because I want to keep the cost down. What do you think? Am I nuts? It will be the bathroom for kids and guests so I threw the world map shower curtain to make the room more playful and not too formal for kids.

Honestly, am I nuts?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Rock My World: Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

* photo credits:

At our monthly family dinner at my parent's house my mom made the most amazing enchiladas!! Seriously people! They were amazing. They are Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas. I asked for the recipe and made them for myself for the first time this week. Her copy of the recipe credits Holly Hanks at Phe.MOM.enon, but the recipe varies just slightly from hers (I'd follow the adjustments she makes in parentheses). I think it all works out in the end though. They are seriously worth your time and very simple. If you wanted you could even purchase a rotisserie chicken to cut time down instead of boiling some chicken breasts. I can't wait for this summer to grill up some breasts using the marinade in this recipe (its easy with only 3 ingredients, quick and delish). So, here is a link to the recipe on Holly's blog with pictures and the details. And as she states, the pictures DON'T do them justice. I only put 1 tsp. of chili powder in them to start and because I was making them for Gavin to eat. In the future I will do 2 tsp. and see where that puts us. YOU WON'T REGRET MAKING THESE ONE BIT, UNLESS YOU DIDN'T MAKE ENOUGH!!

Oh and BTW I prefer these better with flour tortillas.

One Kings Lane


If you haven't heard of One Kings Lane, its an online site that offers tons of different interior decor for up to 70% off. Right now they have Melissa & Doug toys!! I've been in search of wood blocks for Gavin and almost bought them on Amazon. Guess what? They are cheaper on OKL!! Take a look!

Monday, November 29, 2010

family night

Confession: Ryan and I have NOT been good at having family home evening, which for those who don't know is something we are told to do in our church. We are to hold a special time each week (usually on Monday evenings) together as a family and teach about the gospel of Jesus Christ or other appropriate topics that are needed for our family and spend time together in prayer, music, and an activity. Well, with a baby/toddler I have just struggled with how to implement the gospel into Gavin's life. I mean seriously, he won't sit down and fold his arms for a prayer or really have any idea what I'm doing. I've attempted to read him scriptures from the picture books and he just turns the page faster than I can read one caption. It feels unnatural because he is my first child, but I have heard on more than one occasion in church that infants can feel the spirit and comprehend more than we realize. We are to start young. I DO know that Gavin responds to music and loves to look a pictures. So, after too many years of not doing it, I have taken the counsel seriously since October's General Conference and we are now on week 3 of family night. I had the thought to use the Nursery Class manual "Behold the Little Ones". It is proving to be a big help as it is short, uses music and pictures. Gavin pays attention for about oh point 5 seconds. Tonight he was especially energetic. We were trying to teach him how to pray. Riiiiiiiiight! So the song from Primary came to my mind as he was jumping around. It was much more successful and realistic rather than explaining to him the process.

Then came the closing prayer. Ryan said it while I attempted to hold Gavin in my lap and fold his arms. He resisted. The funniest part didn't even have anything to do with Gavin.

Ryan said: "Dear Heavenly Father, We are grateful that we have been able to have family night for 2 weeks in a row now."
I said: (Cutting Ryan off) "3, 3 weeks not 2!" as if I was bound and determined to get credit for 3 weeks in a row!! (Just in case the merciful Man upstairs didn't know already). Ryan and I busted up laughing, had to regain composure and finish the prayer. Have mercy on us, we are still IMPERFECT!!

So, I am very curious: How did it go for you when it came to starting family prayer, scripture study, and FHE with your first baby/toddler? Any tips?

Monday, November 22, 2010

bathroom inspiration

I know I promised after photos of the dining room but I'm still working on the final touches. Plus I've been sick for a week now and November went by in a flash with all of the activities we've had going. I don't even want to think about how it will be when (if) we have multiple children. I can't begin to imagine how so many of you moms juggle it all!!

So, I don't have any dining room photos but I do have an inspiration photo to share for our guest bathroom. Its been on my mind A LOT! I decided I wanted stripes and started out determined to put them on the ceiling, but I don't think that is something I want to tackle on my own. Maybe someday when I can pay a professional to do it. So, this image came to mind and so I hunted it down in my files of thousands of inspiration photos. It is less traditional than the evenly spaced stripes and I think it will work great with the rest of the home. I am also considering 2 DIY round chunky rope mirrors above the 2 sinks that Nate featured on his show a couple weeks ago. Looks very simple!! We shall see. This will eventually be the kids bathroom too so it has to function for them. Before I get started though I have to remove some trim and pine cone border wallpaper that I've ignored for long enough!

*image credits: Lonny Mag

Friday, October 29, 2010


Gavin is crusin'! He is 19 months old. His new name is "I will take my sweet time!" I can't tell you how many times people would tell me, "Just wait, one day he'll just start running." NOPE!! I'm still waiting. He took his first independent steps mid-September and its been a progressive month or so. Just the past week or two he has developed a lot more confidence and now he will appear around corners in the house walking instead of crawling or scooting. He is growing so much these days and he really seems like a toddler now. He is learning how to stand up on his own in the middle of the room. That will take more time... Needless to say we are ecstatic! My guess is he will be running by New Years 2012! hahaha!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Well, if we're friends on Facebook you know I've been busy with various projects around the house. I'm so excited because our house is finally feeling like "our house". We've lived here for over 3 years now, but I never painted but just decorated around the colors the builders had picked. You see, every room in our house has some color it seems except 1 bathroom. It was one of the model homes. So, now that we're putting our spin on things I am falling in love with this house and have warned Ryan that if he wants me to never want to leave Orland it will be through making this home MY OWN so that I absolutely love being here.

The dining room/kitchen/hallway color,as you know, is Benjamin Moore's Senora Gray. I love it and it works so well with our living room color and with all the wood in our home. I feel like it actually makes the wood more beautiful and love the distinction now between the ceiling beams, walls, floors. I actually love the wood now and love my dining room table now more than ever before. Amazing that one gallon of paint (and primer in our case) can do that. It is so true that one of the most inexpensive and most impressive ways to get a new feel in your home is to paint.

I'm not ready to do a full reveal, still need to hang wall art and add some furniture, but I will give you a sneak peak. Before I do, I must say again we had a GREAT experience at Knight's Paint in Chico. Richard is so awesome. He even goes as far as to mop the floors if he knows we will be in that day so that Gavin can scoot and crawl around as he pleases. He has offered to give any of my friends and family the same contractor's discount. Their premium paint (eggshell) ends up being just under $29 a gallon!! Not bad especially for Benjamin Moore! I think that's even less than Home Depot's Behr.

In prepping to paint I had to move the bookcase that has been in our dining room. I've never liked it much there and a few months ago realized that a little cut out area of our hallway was a perfect spot for a bookcase. Although the ideal would be a built-in I don't want to spend money on it and this sucker would fit right in the spot. I really like it more now there and once we finish painting the hallway the wall behind it will be gray. You like my color coordination. These are all of our religious books (except for the Arnold book and NO we are not Arnold fans when it comes to politics. Ryan admires his days as Mr. Olympian!).

and just to give you even more of a taste of the changes going on around our house, here is a sneak peak of the magnetic chalkboard I painted on the front of our kitchen island. More to come on that!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Discovery At Last!!

It has been discovered...the paint color!! Hallelujah!! We will be painting the dining room/kitchen this weekend if I have it my way and I think I have bribed Ryan into helping in my madness! He has his second to last assignment due this Friday night so he said he would have time to help me Saturday. I'm considering it my anniversary gift, although I did have to sweeten the deal a bit. Who said bribing and bartering wasn't good for a marriage? LOL!

So, here is the color. Benjamin Moore's Senora Gray 1530.

I first laid eyes on it here. And of course colors on your computer monitor screen NEVER look like they do in real life and especially not when you put them on your own walls in your house. Lighting is so very tricky. I have learned a lot about color between picking colors for the living room and dining room/hallways now. It makes me want to take that color theory class I've had my eye on for a few years now. Because the light in our dining room is coming from north facing windows, it is very cool. Thus, we needed a color with warm undertones to counteract the coolness of the light. I wanted gray and thus knew I was in for a long road of torture. I am on a first name basis with Rich at Knight's Paint in Chico (Benjamin Moore paints). He has been so very helpful lending me large color swatches, even an entire color deck with generous sized samples. He is even giving me a break on the paint price, making it cheaper than Home Depot and Sherwin Williams paints. We loved how it covered in the living room and having great help and someone to teach more more about color and painting methods has been key. Plus, it feels good to support local businesses. I promised Ryan I'd have everything prepped before Saturday, so I've got my work cut out for me.

happy anniversary!!

It's been 4 years and it just gets better all the time! I love that as time has gone by we feel more and more comfortable in our skin and with each other. All of the challenges of early married life have melted away and I feel more confident about myself than I ever have before. I can honestly say that our happiness in marriage has increased enormously with Gavin's arrival. My personal happiness and they love that Ryan and I have for each other and for Gavin has really brought us to a new, more wonderful level. No doubt we have our challenges, always will, but I love feeling more confident about where we have been, what we've overcome, and the future is bright! The more we both strive to put the other before ourselves and really strive for our spouse's happiness the closer we feel to each other and the more loved we feel.

In August, Ryan and I took a quick overnight trip to Ashland, Oregon. Love that place and dream of living there! Anyway, on the trip we listened to the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. We still haven't finished it but what we did listen to was a great reminder of how to continue to grow in our love for each other. We discussed the ways we feel most loved and were reminded of how we can have greater happiness as we strive to love each other and recognize and express gratitude for the efforts of the other to love us. It has been a true testimony to the power of marriage and that it is indeed a sacred union blessed by God. Everyday I gain greater appreciation and love for my Heavenly Father for giving me the gift of family and marriage. It has the power to help us become our best selves, provide us with eternal happiness, and bring some of the most tender moments life has to give.

Happy Anniversary!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

sweet progress!

day #2 without a bottle and its going very well! I gave up on the sippy cup and started teaching him to drip from a regular cup and water bottle. Went back for another round of sippy cup action (I have a out 10 different kinds from our pre-trials) and no problem. He just has to learn to tip his head back now! Sweet progress, even if its just a sippy cup!

also happy to report to the world that doesn't see my facebook posts, gavin is taking steps as of my yard sale on September 18th! I was working hard and so was he, I missed those first steps. Figures! Luckily his second mom, my sister Michelle was there encouraging him on. She is his therapist, not Ryan. haha! I wouldn't call it walking but he will take about 4 steps to treats in your hand, the nearest table, or tv. Progess!! I am starting to believe he hit a big milestone and is overcoming some of his roadblock. He climbs up on the couch like a champ and is now attempting to climb over the back of it and fall to the ground. Sheesh. I think its all Ryan's fault from teaching him to dive off the bed into Ryan's arms. We've got a dare devil on our hands people. Now just for that speech! If no progress by his next Dr. Appt in November we might be heading into some intervention treatment according to the MD.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

vacation, part 2

It's horrible when you finally get around to posting about a vacation and you're already in desperate need of another one! Seriously, Ryan's schooling is going better than I expected (well its still harder for him that expected, but I'm fairing it better than I thought). That being said, I CAN'T WAIT FOR IT TO BE OVER!!!! It is a blessing I know and will bless our family and Ryan's career for the next 30+ years, but I sincerely hope he takes me seriously when I tell him I need a break after this stint. We find out in October when the practical portion of his education will take place. It is some time in 2011 and will be in Austin, Texas. I still haven't decided if Gavin and I will join him. Hum...2 months in a large city away from family and probably without a car and with a 2 year old OR a sweet vacation in Mexico? Hum...indeed! It would cost us a few grand for us to go with so I'm debating using the dinero for a vacation and saving. We shall see!

So back to the last vacation... I had promised pictures of the aquarium. It was fun and made me even more excited for years to come when we take our kids to theme parks, aquariums, zoos--you know the drill. So here they are!

Please excuse the horrible pics I was taking them sans the flash so that you could actually see the aquarium in the background. I think the pic of all 3 of us is one of the very very few we have so far so even though there is a shadow over my eyes, it will go down in history.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

vacation, part 1

How many bosses demand that you take time off? Not many I'm guessing! Well, Ryan had about 340 hours of paid time off accrued and his boss kindly suggested that if he could he should take a week off. We've been saving up on time off for when we move to Texas next year for 9 weeks for his clinical work for his schooling. We need 360 hours!! That is so much, but with a mortgage to deal with while gone plus rent to live in Texas, the $$$ adds up fast. His bosses are so good to us really and assured him that if we needed to borrow PTO when the time came it would be fun. What boss lets you go in the red for PTO? Seriously! I am so grateful that they value the hard work and determination Ryan has to do a stellar job. He really does want to be the best PT ever!

So, without much hesitation the week was scheduled. Ryan is in the midst of his post-graduate schooling (one of many phases of post-grad work I'm sure in our lifetime) and let me tell you it is putting the heat on! But, surprisingly I am feeling closer to him that ever and it is helping me to trust in his love for me more and feel more confident in myself as his wife by helping him to know how much I appreciate his hard work and that we are here to support him. It is still challenging nonetheless. He had a one week mid-semester break from school so thankfully the week off from work was able to coincide with school too!

Ryan decided we should be spontaneous so when we couldn't go to Mexico due to Gavin's lack of a passport (won't happen again) we headed to San Francisco. I must add for remembrance sake that I have been under a good deal of stress, as well as Ryan and so the thought of San Francisco freaked me out. If you don't already know about my love/hate relationship with San Francisco, click here and here. I wanted cool and calm beach, but I knew Ryan was more interested in the city, so I booked the trip without a final yes from him. However, my stress didn't vanish and when I told him about it, well, to make a long story short, it ended in a disagreement. We were both so overdue for a vacation that we had no juice to give. We can both be stubborn!! So, I packed the bags for Gavin and I (while Ryan was determined to stay home). He had good intentions but I was stubborn and wasn't going to waste the money I'd spent on reserving the hotel. The car was packed and Gavin in his seat and we still weren't talking. I decided to go in and ask if Ryan was sure he didn't want to come and while I did so he was praying to overcome his stubbornness and promised the Lord if I asked that he would accept the invite to go with. Thank you Lord our wills gave in and we ended up on our vacation together instead of apart.

We stayed in Fisherman's Wharf area so it was really easy to walk places and thank goodness for GPS we didn't get lost nearly as many times as normal. We hit up the Exploratorium (something Ryan has wanted to do for awhile). I laughed more than I thought and really liked learning about science stuff.

At age 30 Ryan is still obsessed with muscles. In fact, Gavin was wearing a "muscle shirt" the other day and Ryan couldn't stop talking about how good of deltoid muscles Gavin has. He has also started introducing Gav to his protein shakes. Oh help me now!

@ the Exploratorium-- The power of the mind. It really was quite difficult to drink from the toilet especially because of the water sitting in the basin. Freaky!

Gavin was seriously a delight to have on the trip and he did wonderful. He slept in the bathroom (is that gross?) so that we could shut the door and watch movies after he went to bed. One night he stayed out with us until 9:45 while we drove across town to try SF's best pizza. He ate really well, which has been a challenge for him, and took most of his naps on the go. I think his favorite time was at the beach, which actually was all of ours. We drove up the coast from SF to go to Muir Beach but there was no parking so we went a little ways further to Stinson Beach. It was beautiful! Ryan convinced me to go under all the way in the ocean and it was quite refreshing. Gavin loved playing in the waves and couldn't get enough. I felt so much joy seeing Ryan and him having fun that I know I would never experience if it weren't for that kid. I simply LOVE BEING A MOTHER!

Stinson beach. Beautiful beach and great for boogie boarding, skimboarding, and young kids!(that's Ryan and Gavin just out past the sand castle. ryan is bent over holding Gavin's hands).

At breakfast one morning at Denny's. We were racing his car down the table to him (the table was not level) and he couldn't get enough of it.

Honestly, i think it turned out better because of the disagreement. Ryan has promised the Lord if he did go that he'd have a "go with the flow" attitude. So, he did, and he did a great job at it. So no matter how stressed I got he would keep calm. His nickname for the weekend became "Flow". In fact, I was "Go", Gavin was "With" (because he has no choice in the matter) and Ryan was "Flow". He says he actually really enjoyed having that attitude and I know in the end it helped me to relax too.

I told Ryan that for me, a vacation includes a little fun, laughter, relaxation and good food. This was it for me! The beach was something I had wanted and because of Flow, he made it happen. I got my relaxation and we did things a little out of norm and enjoyed laughing and playing around like we were kids again. I really believe laughter to be the best medicine for the soul!

check back soon for part 2! I'm admiring the entire chocolate coconut cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory that just arrived on my doorstep! Oh dearest husband you know how to fill my love tank! hahaha!

Friday, August 20, 2010

ignore him?

Disclaimer: if you are a perfect parent or a professed perfect parent STOP reading now!

So I've noticed a trend among friends and their babies. They can do most everything that Gavin can't do, BUT what he has over them is his great sleeping abilities! I mean this kid sleeps. He has been going 12 1/2 hours at night and a 3 hour nap in the afternoons. This is consistent. I have had several friends comment on fb or to me that they wish they could get their baby to sleep past 5:30 am. I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT GETTING YOUR BABY TO SLEEP LONGER!!! But when Gavin wakes up earlier than I want whether its during a nap or in the morning what do I do. Yep, I ignore him!

And you know what, for him, it works like a charm.

Call me a horrible mother, neglectful if you want, but he goes back to sleep. I honestly think that if you go right in when they wake they will expect it. So, I started letting him wait. If he was crying I went in after only a few minutes and try to calm him and then see if he falls back asleep. But most often he's happy so what's the shame in letting him lay there to see if he'll fall back asleep. In fact, today Gavin woke from his nap after only 1 1/2 hours. He usually sleeps minimum 2 1/2 but normally 3 so I knew it wasn't long enough. So, what did I do IGNORED HIM! He went back to sleep, but woke 30-40 minutes later. Again, I ignored him and mowed the lawn. He has now slept (off and on) for 3 hours and is still going strong. I'm sure I just jinxed myself and he will be up the second I post this.

So although my dearest boy can't walk, talk or chew gum (let alone all 3 at the same time) HE CAN SLEEP!! And for that I am grateful, especially since I've adopted this awful habit of staying up way too late. I still get to sleep 8 1/2 hours before he wakes me.

Friday, August 6, 2010

where has the time gone?

Gavin - 16 months

I can't believe how quickly Gavin is growing up. Seriously, where has the time gone? Gavin is definitely growing in to his little toddler self that he will be, tantrums include (more on the mini scale though). It is so exciting to see him discover life more, albeit at his slow chilled rate. He is still a spitting image of his daddy. I thank God everyday for his little dude and how much he has changed my life. What a sweetheart. I am so grateful for family and the opportunity to be a mother.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

death by interior design

So I've been gone... for a really long time. I would like to blame it on a busy life, but that would be a lie. It has actually been busy if you consider countless hours perusing interior design and decorating blogs and trying to make up my mind about our house. Well, my mind is made up but I guess its more how to fit "my style" into the architectural design of the home. If I had it my way our dining room would have black walls. You see it has a lodge feel and why I didn't realize the challenge it would be when we bought it I don't know. For goodness sakes they decorated the place with pine cones and deer trophy heads or whatever they're called. I still have the pine cone wall paper border in my guest bath because I just can't decide what to do in its place, and I'm lazy. Its easier to shut the door.

Anyway, I've been working on our living room. There are several challenges with our house. The architectural design, already mentioned, and then the other is the floor plan. It is very open, which we love but that means that whatever I do in one room has to flow into the other. The third challenge that I have had to come to terms with is the lighting, or lack thereof of natural light. It has made for the most difficult challenges in choosing colors for the wall. That black dining room I want, well it will have to exist in my mind for now until another house, which I hope with all my might has plenty of natural light! The natural light we do have from our north facing windows makes the colors read cold and brings out any amount of blue in the paint. So as a result I ended up testing at least 10 different colors (which I still have proof of on our kitchen wall, can someone say circus!) and holding off painting for a month before I could commit to a color. We spent our 4th of July weekend painting. Even then when I finally did commit to the color, well, we hated it! On the advice of the nice guy at Benjamin Moore (thank you dear Richard, yes we're on a first name basis now, for your patience) we decided to live with it for a while. I was so tired of trying paint colors and failing, we spent quite a bit of $$ on the paint and primer and Ryan just started back to school for his post-graduate work, thus time is too precious for re-painting.

So I decided to work on changing some of the layout and accessories. After doing that I feel 100 times better about the space. As our $$ budget allows we will be upgrading our entertainment center to a larger white one and adding some black floor lamps from Ikea.

Without further ado, here is the room as it sits today (guaranteed it will be different in some way in a month).

That being said, the color is growing on us and when it reads warmer from incandescent light I actually think I really love it. It is a lot of blue though so I doubt we will keep this color for more than a year or two (sweetie I hope you don't read this). I guess any length of time is better than having to had repaint it that same weekend like Ryan said he would just so I could feel at peace and be happy. I really had a hard time with it at first. I didn't want to even be in the room. Horrible!

I really didn't add too many new things, even though Ryan would disagree. For an early Mother's Day gift Ryan surprised me with the area rug. I had been pining over it for months and when I informed him there was only one left on he grabbed it on his lunch break and surprised me with it a week later when it arrived. It should last us for a very long time. I highly recommend for killer rug deals. This rug retails for over $1200 on other websites. Its a Surya Rug designed by Jill Rosenwald and made of 100% wool which I have read is great for kid-friendly homes. It has saved Gavin's head countless times already when he falls and our last rug was so thin it was like hitting the hardwood floor. I got the rug for about 1/3 of the retail price. It was a steal and a great investment in my mind.

The bookcase and baskets are from Ikea which we used to keep in the front entry area. I made custom stickers to put on the tags from Bake it Pretty to identify what is in each basket and I will change them as Gavin uses them more. They house lots of toys and I love having them organized and not visible but accessible at the same time.

I sewed the turquoise pillow myself (don't look closely the sewing will scare you) from a discontinued sample of a Waverly fabric at Joann's for $2.50. I already had all of the other pillows. The chartreuse-like green pillows (from Ikea, ofcourse) were the foundation for this entire makeover. Its my favorite color and so I went searching for a wall color that would compliment the green well. I found some great inspiration photos and decided to take the plunge. I plan on getting some fabric paint and a stencil and painting a geometric pattern on the green ones, someday.

I wanted to ditch the glass coffee table but until Gavin splits his head open on it I think it will stay. Although it shows every hand print and water ring it is super easy to clean off and for that I think it will add to the kid-friendliness. The chevron-like print pillow is from Ross for $10. I am not a huge fan of Ross (love TJ Maxx/Homegoods) but have frequented there more lately and have found some great deals on pillows for our bedroom as well.

I love that our artwork pops out more from the wall. I will eventually change up the art on the wall with the entertainment center on it, but I'm trying to take a break from worrying about it for now.

Now I have to find a solution to covering up the 8 or so spots of sample colors I painted on the kitchen/dining wall (we don't have any of the original wall color paint). Hopefully Richard isn't tired of me coming into his paint store!

I'll try to be back sooner than later... if making decorating choices doesn't kill me first.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

the details

the details:
In short, Ryan says I put in hundreds of hours of preparation (a slight exaggeration). I did use tons of paper, glue, double-sided tape (genius invention), an entire ink cartridge, and I loved every moment of it! Unfortunately I was finishing up details when the great-grandparents arrived (darn early birds) so I didn't get to really snap photos. Ryan lovingly tried to get some for me while I snuck away to get ready (I was still in my sweats when they arrived).

FYI that is NOT beer. They are lemon lime sodas I found at TJ Maxx (purchased solely for the green label). Thankfully they ended tasting pretty good too!

I did NOT make the cake. I do know my limits!

I also didn't make the #1 cookies. I ran out of time and Janice my mother-in-law who worries about the details too, graciously insisted on making them for me!

the most important detail of them all...the birthday boy and love of my life, can you tell?

Now, for planning Ryan's 30th!!! I hope he likes blue and green. I sure would like to get more use out of everything I did! LOL!

birthday boy!

I can't believe our buddy guy is already 1! The past year has flown by and been full of so many of the most amazing experiences and moments. He has changed my life and our family! I couldn't ask for a more amazing child. He is so gosh darn happy its hard to believe. He really is the best baby. I will highlight his strengths and avoid his weaknesses. He sleeps 12-13 hours a night, eats like a champ, plays well on his own, takes great naps, is a total trooper when I take him shopping (which is weekly), he loves the jogging stroller, or any stroller or car seat, does great on car trips, is always happy, is already mastering the art of efficiency since he is such a large boy he is determined to scoot on his bottom instead of crawling so that he doesn't have to transition he can just stay in the same position and scoot right up to the tv to turn it on and off, on and off, on and off.

That's all I can think of now. I cannot describe the joy and happiness that I have been blessed with as a mother. I guess that is something I have been celebrating the most this past year is the gift of motherhood. I do not understand how the Lord could entrust me with such an amazing spirit of His, but I want to do the best I can to help him to be happy, to love him, and to help him return to his Father in Heaven someday.

Happy Birthday Gavin! We love you with all our hearts!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Today I'm wishing I was:

an attorney
an accountant
a realtor
a lendor
a millionaire
a psychic

Today I'm wishing I wasn't:


OK so the "wasn't" list didn't really fit with what is running through my head and heart but I they do equally apply to my struggles these days. All I can say is I wish I "knew" people. Life would be so much easier...right? Right!

POST EDIT: Just figured out why I don't "know" people-- So that I'm forced to overcome my laziness and maybe lose some weight while I'm at it! Wish me luck!

Friday, February 19, 2010

taking stock...

what are we doing these days you ask?
We are "setting our house in order."
Doctrine & Covenants 93:43.

This last weekend we traveled to Eugene, Oregon. Beautiful, simply beautiful. If a place is beautiful in the winter you know its gorgeous in the summer and fall! Well, while visiting we were invited to my cousin Marie's home for dinner and then attended church with her family the following day. Gav was having his usually difficult time during church because napping was difficult and it seemed maybe it'd be easier to just leave early, but I decided we should stay. Boy howdy am I glad. I can't say that I had this crazy revelation or amazing moment where this bright light appeared or even went on in my head, but it was more of being where you're supposed to be on Sunday, worshipping God. The third meeting was a combined meeting because of Ward Conference and the topic was "Bringing up your Children in Light and Truth". The speakers did a great job of sharing their personal experiences raising children and helping us to understand counsel given recently by an apostle of the Lord, Elder Bednar. His talk was given during our church wide conference this past October. He referenced the scripture in D&C 93 and talked about being "More Diligent and Concerned at Home." I have to admit, I have much need for repentance and this week we have been trying to apply this talk and those things shared in the lesson to our home life. What stuck out to me the most at this time in my life is how much the "seemingly small things" matter so much. I realized that my neglect in these "small things" was keeping me from experiencing greater peace, happiness, and joy in life that I desperately need. They are essential if I want to draw on the much needed power of God to make certain decisions in life that face us and to be the wife and mother I have been praying to be. Elder Bednar suggests that, "as we are more faithful in LEARNING, LIVING, and LOVING the restored gospel of Jesus Christ" we can become more diligent and concerned at home. Questions have come into my mind like:
Do I "love" the gospel? What am I doing on a daily basis to learn, live and love the gospel of Jesus Christ? What things am I not doing? What things am I doing that are contrary to being diligent and concerned at home? Is Christ the center of our home? Is He the center of my life? Do I love him the most? If not, what do I love more? What is the center of our home? Is it materialism? Media? the distractions of the world? What do I spend my time doing if I'm not learning about and living the gospel of Jesus Christ? What is the center of each of my days?

This reminds me...I sat down at the piano earlier today and as I was playing my mind wandered to thoughts of the much needed setting in order we are undergoing. I experienced the following epiphany: I was leading my life much like someone who carelessly throws their laundry into the washer and dryer, setting the dials to whatever they chose, maybe mixing all the clothes in for convenience sake, completely disregarding the care instructions found on the clothing. These instructions came from the manufacturer, the creator of that item. We too have a Creator. I have a Creator! He lovingly sent me here with my own care instructions. He has given them to me in the form of scriptures, prophets of God, priesthood leaders, and personal revelation through prayer and meditation. In neglecting their counsel and not putting it as the priority in my life, I risk losing everything that I hold dear to myself. I can destroy the happiness and joy in life that I desperately desire.

Some things don't seem to make that much of a difference. You rationalize that even though the instructions say to hang dry, if I just dry the article on the "delicate cycle" it will be fine. And in fact, it may come out appearing unharmed and perfectly fine. But, what if over time and with each careless act it weakens the fibers and slowly breaks down the integrity of that garment? We too can go along thinking it doesn't make a difference if we have family home evening, or nightly prayer together? Because it sure seems that the kids don't pay attention. I realize now it is in the obedience to that counsel, in the consistency of doing these small things that it will lead to the strengthening and building up of our home and family, not the subtle breaking down of such a beautiful gift, OUR FAMILY!

the big 10!

I am slowly becoming more familiar with photoshop elements. So, what did I stay up until 1am working on tonight? Here are my most recent attempts at digital scrapbooking. As I said before, I just can't get enough of this little dude. I'm guessing you can tell why from the pictures! He is so patient when it comes to all the photo shoots I make him endure!

Monday, February 8, 2010

i'm in love!

(a little preview of his card I created)

I can't seem to get enough of "buddy guy" these days and unfortunately I've had less time with him because I've been back at Kremer Dental Care temporarily. Lately I've had lots of moments I've experienced pure bliss and unimaginable love for the little guy! These moments often lead to realizing I should be recording these sacred moments in a journal but I always seem to fail. Well, I decided I would begin the written expression of my love for him by designing him a Valentine's Day card. Ryan was teasing me, but I guess these days I've been finding any excuse to design cards and decorate (my two favorite hobbies right now, although I'm a novice at the former). I can't begin to express how full my heart is of gratitude and love towards God for giving me the gift of motherhood and more especially the little man himself.

Speaking of the little guy, he turned 10 months the end of January. Wow is time flying by! I've started designing his 1st birthday invitation, banners, treat bags, cutouts for decorating, cupcake tags, etc. Ryan would say I've gotten carried away, but I'm loving it! I might have to agree though because I think it will end up being a family only party. Boo hoo!

This weekend we're off to Eugene, Oregon. Boy howdy have we missed Oregon! Definitely a soft spot in our hearts for that beautiful state. Needless to say, we are very excited for the trip up there!