Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tackle it Tuesday ...

and then Wednesday, and Thursday, and Friday....

This tackle took way more than a Tuesday.  But in the end it was worth it.  I won't go into all the details of what became quite an adventure - at least not today.  But I will just explain the project and show you some great pics!

We live in a ghetto house.  I mean it is a good size house to fit our family, and it keeps us warm and safe, and we love our neighbors.  But inside it is in need of some serious TLC.  Mostly because one of the previous owners did a bunch of stupid crap that we now have to suffer with.  And you buy a house, thinking of all the potential to make it exactly what you want.  But then financial reality sets in, and 12 years later your house is still the ghetto.

I mean, there's the pink carpet (GAG), and the butt-chuckin' UGLY sky-blue and white kitchen.  There's the fact that they were too lazy to remove the hardware from the old curtains when the decided to replace them with blinds and a valence, so they just painted over the hardware and the screws.  And you can still totally see them.  But the gem of our house definitely was the main bathroom.

Very shortly after we moved in, the wallpaper started to peel away from the wall.  And the corner of the linoleum started to come up by the tub.  The medicine cabinet was the old 70's (okay maybe 80's) style that is the mirror with the little cabinet beneath it with the sliding doors.  And it was broken, so it bulged out from the wall.  And the "cabinet" part obstructed the outlet so it was a wrestling match to plug in any styling products.

The wallpaper looked so awful that I decided to rip it down one day, and buy some paint and at least do that much.  I started trying to rip it down and guess what?  They wallpapered to the freaking DRYWALL!!

Here's how my bathroom looked in random chunks throughout.  Lovely, huh?

It got 1/3 of the way done and I couldn't keep it up.  So it sat that way.  For years.  And the linoleum came up even more, so the corner of the floor, and the whole length along the tub was coming up, and if you weren't careful you would trip on it.  And it had nail polish spills all over it.  As did the cabinet, that was painted white and looked super dingy and stained.

I snapped this picture of a piece of the linoleum that was still left before hubby got it all ripped up.

So a few Tuesdays ago, I knew I was finally tackling that bathroom.  And after much blood, sweat and tears on the part of myself and my husband (and having a toilet sitting in the corner of my living room for a week), I can now say there is ONE room in my house that is de-ghetto'd.  And I sorta want to just move into my bathroom.

But remember that I am on a strict budget!!  Here's the rundown on what we did:

strip/scrape/removed the rest of the wallpaper (this seriously took longer than anything else!), remember it was glued to drywall!!
painted the walls (a beautiful color that my husband wasn't fond of at first, but he came around when he saw the finished product!), painted the cabinet, replaced the medicine cabinet/mirror with a wall mirror, ripped up the linoleum and laid tile (we had gotten new tile for the bathroom years ago when my brother worked for a tile manufacturing company and we got an amazing deal), scrubbed every surface that wasn't being re-finished, and then accessorized (not as much as I want - but budget- boo).

 Here's the ghetto 70's medicine cabinet, you can see the outlet to the left is sort of hard to get things plugged into.

 This tile grout was "decorated" with some lovely red bath crayon that I have been trying unsuccessfully to clean forevah.  I tried every kind of scrubber and cleaner.  Who knew a magic eraser would do the trick?  And so effortlessly that a Monkey could do it?  She really, really wanted to help.

Here's a before picture after the wallpaper was stripped and the medicine cabinet was taken down:

And here's my AFTER!

I would love to accessorize it more, but I really did run out of budget.  More accessorizing will have to wait a little bit.  I wanted to put a medicine cabinet above the toilet to replace the ghetto one I took down, but due to budget constraints, I used the over the toilet rack we already had, but I found these fabulous coral baskets at the dollar store to keep all of our "stuff" in, and still have it look pretty.  It works, and I might love the baskets more than I would a wall cabinet.

It took longer and cost more than we thought, but I am soooo happy to not have to be embarrassed anymore whenever a visitor asks to use my bathroom!

I had the hard-work and patience of an amazing husband, and I couldn't have painted the cabinet without the know-how and help of my sweet friend Heidi.  I also have a brother-in-law who did an awesome job with the tile and I am thankful for the help of all 3 of them!

I'm linking up here!

And here!

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Sunday, February 26, 2012

No Time To Blog

I'm hanging with my blog friend turned IRL friend, Sami today.

I'll catch you up on the details later.  I'm too busy hanging to blog, but tomorrow I will finally be revealing the big project I've been working on for the past couple of weeks - you don't want to miss it, for sure.

Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend - I did!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Perfect on so many different levels - part 4

Part 1
Part 3

Are you all caught up on why last Saturday night was perfect for me on so many different levels?  If not you can click any of the links above.

I have loved journaling my thoughts and feelings over the past week and am so glad that I have it all written down.  I should probably do that more often.  I find myself worrying more about creating posts that people will find entertaining, rather than actually using my blog to journal my own thoughts and experiences.  It's a delicate balance, I suppose.

Are you ready to hear about the final (and probably most thrilling) reason that winning tickets to see Stars On Ice, the 10th anniversary celebration of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games was such a wonderful prize?

I mentioned previously a couple of stories related by the CEO of the games.  Love him or hate him, if you love ME, then you will love that I got to be in the house with MITT freakin' ROMNEY!!!

 See him standing next to my girl Kristi and waving at me?  Yes, the adoration is mutual.  It's my delusional fantasy the truth!

The Salt Lake Winter Games is where I first came to know the name Mitt Romney.  He came into a mess and cleaned it up.  The Salt Lake Olympic Bid committee came under investigation for a bribery scandal (losers), and the debt was outrageous.  My boy Mitt came in and turned everything around.  He took what had basically become a disaster, and turned it into what became known as the most successful Winter Olympics ever.

And he did it under the dark cloud of the September 11th attacks on our country.  He not only had a financial mess to clean up and get back on track, but he had the security and safety of athletes and dignitaries and citizens visiting from all over the world in his hands - during an event that quite obviously would be a magnet for terrorists to try and make a devastating impact.

And he pulled it all off beautifully and created the wonderful and amazing experience that I personally will remember forever, and that I have been sharing for the past few days.  And I have loved him ever since.

A President who can turn a financial nightmare around and create a fiscal success?  And at the same time keep the people safe from those who hate us and want to hurt us?  Yes PLEASE!!

Do I care that he's richer than me and paid 15% in taxes?  Um - hello, I WANT someone in charge who knows how to handle money and build wealth!

Okay - political speech over.

I took some pictures for MiMi of the secret service dudes:

Do you think that they are talking about me, because I am on some kind of stalker list??

There were some protesters gathered.  There's like 5 people in Utah who don't like Mitt and they stood by this parking lot with their signs.  Dorks.  

Mitt is often referred to as Utah's favorite son, or our adopted son (since he's not originally from here).  Everyone who actually worked with him during the Olympics has nothing but praise for his leadership, his intelligence, and his kindness.

When I heard he would be a guest at the Stars on Ice celebration - I knew I just HAD to go.  But as the time approached, I realized that it just wasn't in our budget.  I considered using funds that were earmarked for a different financial obligation, and then trying to catch up later.  But I knew that was an irresponsible choice.  The show was on Saturday, and I entered a FB contest that I saw on a friends page on Friday afternoon.  I found out late Friday night that I had won the tickets!!  I like to think I was being rewarded for making the responsible choice about purchasing the tickets with money that I shouldn't be spending.

So there you have it my friends.  All the different levels of perfection that was this amazing prize!  I don't really think I can complain about anything again for a really long time, because I got to have such an awesome experience.

Thanks for those who stuck with me through this series of long and probably way less interesting to you than to me posts.  I love ya!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Perfect on so many different levels - part 3

Are you tired of this yet?  I'm sorry if that's the case - but I'm on a roll and I'm excited to actually be legitimately journaling something that I can have recorded and look back on.  Not that I don't LOVE linking up to the different meme's my friends host - but it's nice to feel like I'm actually keeping a journal this week.

I told you how I won the perfect prize last Friday night, and have explained one reason this event was so perfect for me.  You can read here and here.

Then next thing about winning tickets to see Stars On Ice that is so perfect for me is much more obvious - and that is simply that it's figure skating.

I have loved figure skating for as long as I can remember.  I remember watching events on the TV with my mom back in her single mom days when I was a little girl.  I was fascinated with the beauty of figure skating even back then.  I remember later in my new school, after my mom had met and married my adoptive dad, we were asked to draw a picture of what we wanted to be when we grew up.  It took me FOREVER to draw myself as a figure skater - but that's what I was sure I was going to be.

This was actually the first year I stepped foot on the ice, at a new friend's birthday party.  I took to it right away.  I never fell once and loved the feeling of gliding across the ice.  I never actually learned to do anything fancy, and of course you are all aware that I am not currently a competitive figure skater - despite my childhood dreams.  But I did love it, and continued to skate for fun when I had the chance.

Although my dreams of competing never came to fruition - I have always loved watching this beautiful sport on TV.  I have followed the careers of many talented skaters over the years.  I've had favorites - and least favorites.  Read this if you want to see my skate-snark come out.

Saturday night makes my 3rd Stars On Ice that I have been able to see live.  And it was definitely the most special.  And imagine my delight when one of the first performers was my number one favorite male skater of all time: KURT BROWNING!

This guy is a freakin' legend.  I have loved him since the first time I ever saw him skate.  Saturday night marked my 3rd time seeing him live.  His career has spanned decades, but he hasn't lost a step.  He has so much style on the ice.  His entertainment level is through the roof, and there is no one who ever has, or probably ever will be able to match his amazing footwork.  Plus he's just freakin' adorable.

I was looking for a couple videos of my favorite performances of his, when I came across this gem.  I've watched it like 6 times already.  It is the perfect montage highlighting his incredible musicality, style, and fabulous footwork.  I dare you not to be impressed.

I had seen Kurt Browning skate.  I could go home happy.  But wait.  There was more of the perfect night in store for me.  I nearly jumped out of my seat when they announced my second favorite male skater of all time - Todd Eldredge!

Todd is an amazing skater, I have watched him since his career first took off, up until his final skate as a competitive amateur - the Men's Freeskate at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games - here in the very same building where I now sat watching him perform professionally.

Todd's skating is beautiful, and his spins are unbelievable.  They are the tightest, fastest, most perfect spins I have ever seen any skater do ever, male or female.  But more than his talent, it is his perseverance that makes him a favorite of mine.  The adversity he has overcome in his tumultuous career kept me rooting for him year after year.

You can watch this profile piece if you'd like to hear more about it, but if you don't want to watch the whole thing, I encourage you to at least watch at 2:00 and see his stunning spins as he wins his first world title, and then you have to go to 3:30 to see the heart-wrenching moment that I am about to tell you about.

During the competition where this spotlight piece was run, Todd was warming up on the ice.  Suddenly, out of nowhere, he just lost his feet.  His skate got caught up or something.  He wasn't even really skating or doing any footwork or tricks or jumps.  Just bam - down he went.  He dislocated his shoulder right before he was about to skate.  This guy popped his shoulder back in (you can actually see it happen, it's gross) and came out and skated the program of his life!  He earned his first perfect score and the pain was evident as he finished.  I wish I could find the video of his performance - but so far no luck.  But it was incredible and I have always loved him.

Well, just when I was thinking that the night could not possibly get any better - to my amazement they announced my number 3 favorite male skater of all time!  Ilia Kulik.

Now Ilia has not always been a favorite of mine.  When he won a gold medal for Russia at the 1998 Olympics (beating out another fave of mine - Elvis Stojko), I could not STAND him.  He was so serious, so stoic and cold, and to me - extremely arrogant.  By the time I saw him perform in Stars On Ice 2001 - he had moved to America and developed a personality.  Or at least learned to relax and show it!  And he had learned to smile!

If Kurt has style and footwork, and Todd has spinning - Ilia has power.  He is such a powerful skater.  His jumps are high, and strong and, well - powerful.  But so is everything he does in between those fancy tricks. This performance made a fan out of me, and I have loved him ever since.  Power - check it out:

So, figure skating - number 2 reason that Saturday night was perfect for me.  And for the record, I do have some favorite chick skaters as well - but none of them skated on Saturday.  My top 2 are Kristi Yamaguchi, and Michelle Kwan.  Both have such an elegant style, and grace on the ice that I don't think any other females have ever mastered.  I did get to hear Kristi speak on Saturday night - so that was a treat.

We're nearing the end of this mini-series!  Are you relieved?  Tomorrow I will tell you my final, and possibly most thrilling reason that this was the perfect prize for me.  I don't think it will be quite as long as these last few - but I'm not making any promises.  I hope you'll come back!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Perfect on so many different levels - part 2

I know I owe you guys a big reveal for my Tackle it Tuesday.  But I just need a couple more days for everything to be ready for the reveal.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share a little bit more about what made my Saturday night so perfect.  And it's long - sorry. You can read part 1 here.

We were at the part where I fell in love with the Olympic Games.

The day finally arrived, the world had been trickling into our state for days, and the weather was cooperating perfectly.  Snow on the ground, fresh powder in the mountains, but no storms in the valley to hamper travel.  National Guardsmen from all over the country were here.  Security was on highest alert.  My mom is now retired from the FBI, and during the Olympics she was working all-night shifts.  They had people working around the clock.  Members of the Armed Forces manned the rooftops of buildings surrounding venues where large crowds were gathered.  It was the early days of  the post-9/11 world we now live in.  Despite the heightened anxiety that was reinforced by intense security wherever you went, there was - at least for me - a sure sense of well-being.  I knew everything was going to be alright.

Although we were living in a world of heightened security, it was also a world of support and unity.  It was a time of high patriotism in America, and that patriotism resonated throughout every moment of the 2002 Olympics.  I know the Olympics is about the world, but this year it was sort of about The United States of America.  International Olympic Committee President Jaqcues Rogge addressed our athletes during the Opening Ceremonies.  He said, "Your nation is overcoming a horrific tragedy, a tragedy that has affected the whole world.  We stand united with you in the promotion of our common ideals, and hope for world peace."

I know that representing your country at the Olympic Games, for an athlete, has got to be one of the most humbling, and thrilling experiences of a lifetime.  But can you even imagine what it meant for the U.S. Athletes at these particular games?  I found myself thinking of this often throughout the games, during the opening ceremonies, and especially during medals ceremonies when U.S. athletes were standing on the podium.  It gave me chills then, and it gives me chills now.

One of the most stunning moments happened during the Opening Ceremonies.  A select group of athletes carried into the stadium the flag that had flown over the World Trade Center.  One of those athletes was Derek Parra.  He was also at the celebration Saturday night, and the CEO of the games related this story that Derek had shared with him.  He said that as they prepared to enter the stadium, they expected a huge, thunderous roar.  Instead they were met by complete and utter silence.  Pure reverence from the crowd for what that flag represented.  Reverence for that moment when tribute was paid to the many people who lost their lives on that dark day in September.

I wasn't able to attend the Opening Ceremonies, but I watched every second of it on TV.  I still get a lump in my throat when I watch the flag being carried in and hear the beautiful, amazing instrument that is the combined voices of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir as they sing our National Anthem.

Another story related about this experience by the athletes was that during the last swell of music when the choir sang the worlds, "Oh, say does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave, o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?" for the second time, that a gust of wind caught the flag and lifted it, as if those who were being honored were lifting that flag.  

These were the experiences that touched hearts that year.  I know that every Olympics is special.  But having the world come together on our American soil, and stand with us as we recovered from tragedy, and watching athletes from all over the world proudly represent their countries - it was beyond special.

I did not have the financial resources to be able to attend any of the sporting events in person, but the Olympic experience was everywhere.  I rode our new light-rail system (Trax) into Salt Lake many nights in a row.  Some of the wonderful things I got to experience were:

Riding the Trax train into town with an entire Unit of National Guardsmen from another state.  They were here in plain-clothes keeping an eye on things and protecting the public.  It was an honor to spend some time talking with a few of them during the ride.

Ice skating with hubby, and our then 4-year-old Bookworm at the Budweiser Square.  They brought in the Budweiser Clydesdales - and as beautiful as they look on TV, they are even more magnificent in real life.

Spending a couple of nights in the city with my best cousin Kimberlee, enjoying the atmosphere, listening to live music, and participating in all of the fun public venues that were going on during the games.

Running into a group of Russian athletes who asked us to take their picture in front of the fountain at Temple Square.  Being so excited to meet them even though we couldn't communicate a word to each other!

Buying and trading Olympic Pins.  Nerdy, I know - but it was the thing to do!

And of course watching (and recording for posterity) every minute of every event.  I remember the butterflies in my stomach while watching our athletes compete.  The exhilaration when one of them won an event, or broke a record (and many records were broken that year!).  The devastation when one of them lost an event or crashed, or fell.  I remember every bit of it.

I still have that collection of VHS tapes tucked away in a cupboard, and even though I haven't watched them  since - I haven't been able to bring myself to part with them either.  

Saturday night was spent remembering and paying tribute to all of the wonderful moments that made up the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.  I had to blink back tears many times throughout the night, and I left the event hoarse from cheering and screaming.  

Tomorrow I'll tell you the next reason that winning these tickets was perfect for me.

I'm linking up here:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Perfect on so many different levels - Part 1

So I have something pretty cool to tell you about.  And by "pretty cool", what I really mean is "awesomely fantastic".  I won something.  And it was something that was SO perfect for me on so many levels.  And in telling you why it was so perfect for me, I'm going to take the opportunity to let you get to know me just a little bit better, and maybe a little bit more in depth than I usually go.  And it's going to take more than one post, and you may or may not be bored.  But it's really something I want to write about, as I've reflected this weekend on my pretty cool experience.  I'd love you to stay and hear my story.  If you want.

Late Friday night I won tickets to a special performance of Stars On Ice.  Tickets that I have been coveting for weeks and weeks, ever since I found out the event was taking place.  Tickets that just weren't in our budget this month. It was a celebration for the 10th anniversary of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games hosted by Salt Lake City.  I can't wait to tell you about my night, but first I'd like to share some things with you, so you'll understand why this night meant so much to me.

The first (and probably most emotional) reason this was perfect for me, is because as many of you know, I have a little bit of an obsession with competitive sports in general, but particularly the Olympics.  My love affair with the Olympics started here in 2002 when we hosted the world in what came to be known as the greatest Winter Games in history.  I had watched different Olympic events in the past, but being part of it, in my community, brought a whole new appreciation and love for the games that I hadn't had before.

I remember vividly, exactly where I was the moment they announced that Salt Lake City had been selected to host the games.  I was at my job at an airplane manufacturing company (now known as Boeing), and work came to a stand-still as the news conference started, and the bosses broadcast it over the intercom system.  We were all gathered together in a huddle underneath the speaker that was in the ceiling above us.  There was silence across the whole plant as we listened to the announcement.  Now I had been one of those people who initially was sort of grumpy about the thought of a whole bunch of people descending upon my little neck of the country and all that they would bring to disrupt our quiet little community.  But as the time for "the choosing" got closer and I heard chatter about our chances of being named, I started to have this little pocket of pride fill up inside me, that we were being considered to host something so huge, so global, and so important.  And I'm not gonna lie, I held my breath, with butterflies in my stomach, as the announcer gave his little speech.  And I recognized my own voice along with all my co-workers' cheering as we jumped up and down in celebration when our city was announced.  I still get giddy remembering that moment.

After this, things went into overdrive, and as we began as a state to prepare to welcome the world to our little piece of heaven, it was hard not to think about everything good or bad that something of this magnitude meant for us as a community.  Signs of what was coming were at every corner.  Our roadways underwent massive construction projects, and orange cones stretched in every direction as far as the eye could see.  We installed a light-rail system that would change public transportation in Utah forever.  Some of the most amazing sporting venues to date were erected both in the valley and in the mountains.  Venues that my own children have been privileged to enjoy on various occasions, so many years later.  There was a continual buzz of both excitement and a little bit of trepidation as well.  But we were proud to be preparing to welcome the world to our wonderful state.

Then, a mere 5 months before the games were to be held, tragedy struck our nation.  Horror and shock swept our country when thousands of lives were lost in the worst terrorist attack ever to take place on American soil.  Suddenly all of our preparations weren't enough.  Everything had to be re-evaluated.  We (Americans) were vulnerable, we were scared.  We were angry.  We were in mourning.

I believe there was even talk (however small) about cancelling the games.  Something that the CFO of the SLC games said on Saturday night at the show struck me with so much power.  He told of how we heard so many times, "The world needs this Olympics right now".  Then he said, "Utah gave us the Olympics that the world needed so badly."

As I saw clips from our games play on the big screen Saturday night, I was overcome with emotion at all the memories of one of the best times of my life.  I can't wait to share more with you.  But as this post has already grown exceedingly long, I'll save that for tomorrow!

Friday, February 17, 2012

They're Rock Stars to Me.

Recently 2 of my kiddos have had the opportunity to get some good experience performing in front of an audience.

For Discovery at our school, this session the classes are all about the performing arts.  Pixie signed up for the class "Showtime".  They learned proper singing techniques, acting skills, and basic choreography.  They had the opportunity to audition for parts and were taught about stage presentation, vocal projection, and facial expression, and what it takes to make a great performance.  They work for 2 hrs once a week for 5 weeks, then they put on a recital where each of the different classes presents a performance.  Classes included drumming, ballroom dancing, accents and dialect, playwriting, etc.

The "Showtime" class presented "the Lonely Goatherd" from "The Sound of Music".  They did a wonderful job.    I wish I could post the video, however because there are many students in the group, and I'm unsure of the media release status of each of the students, so I can't post their video - boo!

But I do have some great video of the talent show that was yesterday.  Mostly you can only see the backs of heads of other students, so I think I'm okay!

Pixie just started piano lessons last month, after waiting an agonizing 8 years!!  She and her piano teacher (who also happens to be the Discovery coordinator at our school) performed a duet.  I'm so proud of how motivated she is to learn and practice, and how well she's doing.

"On Top of Spaghetti"

Bookworm performed "Millionare's Hoedown", and brought down the house.  Seriously got choked up at the end when everybody started cheering and screaming.  Looked over at hubby and saw him trying to rapidly blink away tears. I warned Bookworm beforehand that people were going to start clapping along and they would NOT be on the beat, and he would have to be able to tune it out if he wanted to be able to keep the time.  I was right, but it was actually quite hilarious how QUICKLY the audience lost the beat, and how BAD their rhythm was.  I think my thumb was over the speaker for the first few seconds - sorry for the tunnel sound at the beginning!

I am always both extremely excited and nervous whenever my kids are performing - but ultimately I think it is always worthwhile for kids to perform in front of their peers - whether they perform flawlessly or not.  It helps them grow, and I'm always thankful for that.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I pretty much just have one thing to say today.

Is it March yet??

Myya, pay special attention to 0:40 - 0:51.
You're Welcome.

I just know I have to be in this video somewhere - I'll keep looking.
Dear March - please get here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

TTUT - Do you get excited about VD?

 I got a text from a funny girl this morning.  It said "Happy VD" - totally made my morning!  What?  You don't joke incessantly about VD with your friends?  Whatever.

So is the big V-day a big deal around your house?  Here - not so much.  I mean we always get a little something for the kids, and help them get valentines prepared for their friends.  But really it's just another day around here - and I'm okay with that.  I'd rather my husband save his money to take me to soccer games.  And I KNOW he feels the same.  I probably will make him take me out to breakfast after I finish writing this post.  But that's more of a "craving Eggs Benedict" thing than a Valentine's Day thing.

Speaking of the kids' valentines.  Remember when I posted here about the last minute valentines that the kids and I put together?  Here's a reminder shot:

Well, we needed to come up with something for our really good friends who go to a different school as well.  And I wanted to do something a little more special than what the kids gave to their classmates.  I decided that we could give each of the kids a whole package of the cute Valentine's pencils with the cute little heart attached to it.  But as I went down the (extremely crowded) Valentine's aisle, I saw something even BETTER!  So here's what we did:

Don't you just love giant pencils??

Here's a size comparison:

I hope they like them!  And I hope Tanielle doesn't read my blog before we get a chance to deliver them!

In other news...I do have a Tackle It Tuesday I have been working on since LAST Tuesday - it's a biggie.  You'll have to wait until next week (I hope) for the reveal.

I'm linking up with the ever fabulous Shawn and IA for TTUT.

Seriously Shawn

Monday, February 13, 2012

Good Stuff

It's crazy hair day at school today.  Cowgirl has been waiting for this day for weeks.  Ever since we saw the cupcake idea here.

We just came up with Pixie's do on our own....

Fun stuff.  I hope they stay all day.  My girls have some pretty fine hair, so getting it to hold any kind of style is quite a chore.  I'm interested to see how it will look when they get home. 

Also, what did you think of the Grammy's?

I thought most of the performances were lame.  Foo Fighters sucked (and I like them!), Chris Brown is a woman beater, so I just can't bring myself to enjoy a performance of his, Nicki Minaj's performance was highly offensive in my opinion, and I pretty much find her repulsive.

The good:  I thought Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson sounded decent, but his mic went out partway through, and he also looked like he was having a highly unpleasant experience.  Like he was just really uncomfortable.  Loved the Beach Boys deal with Maroon 5 starting out, and the Beach Boys to finish it.  I also loved the Glen Campbell tribute/performance.  I know that Adele stole the night.  Will you all hate me if I tell you I'm not a huge fan of hers?  Don't get me wrong, I know she's talented, but I just really don't like her music too much.  Sorry.  But she did seem really overwhelmed and sweet at all the honors she received last night.

Overall, by the end of it, I felt like I could have spent 3.5 hours doing something that was actually productive, you know, that bettered the world, or someone's life in some way?  But I didn't.  I watched the Grammy's.  And really the best part for me was LL.  He's actually the reason I tuned in.  Love me some LL Cool J.

How was your weekend?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Last Minute Class Valentines

Am I the only mom who procrastinates helping her kids get valentines prepared for their classes?

I saw this idea on Pinterest a while back and pinned it.  I thought it was a cute idea and tucked it away as a possibility for my kids' class valentines.

Wait what?  Valentine's Day is on Tuesday?  Crap!  I ran over to the Valentine's section at Walmart and grabbed 6 packages of these cute pencils for $.97 each.

Then I came home and whipped up my own version of the cardstock heart in MyMemories Suite.  I got the heart from the "So this is Love" scrapbooking kit from Summertime Designs  (favorite place to find free digital scrapbooking kits!).

I printed them up on cardstock, let the girls write the "To: and From:" details on the back, and tape a pencil to the back.  I was too lazy to find the right size hole punch, plus supervise the "punching" of 65+ paper hearts.

I still think they turned out really cute!  And I didn't have to spend a fortune buying Valentine themed candies to hand out to all the kids.
Sorry for the camera strap showing in the shot - I am too tired to crop it out - remember I have the plague?

If you too have waited until the last minute to prepare class Valentines, feel free to print these up and use them!  Just enlarge the image by clicking on it, then right click, and use the "save as" option.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Linking up with:

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Confessional...

Time to get it all off my chest and confess.

I confess...

I'm more than a little jealous of those who are living in sunny states right now.  It is gray, and dreary, and cold in my neighborhood.

I confess...

I'm getting a little frustrated with all of the inaccurate things that are being said/printed about Mormons in the media lately.  Yesterday I read an article, and want to know what I learned about myself?  Apparently I am conservative due to my lack of education, and I hate women and black people.

I confess...

Reading the comments left on that article was even more disturbing as I learned that I also brainwash my children with subliminal messaging techniques, and perform rituals to create slaves for myself in the after life.

I confess...

Slowly getting some remodeling done in my house in preparation for several different house guests I will be having over the next few months is cheering me up.  Although overwhelming me at the same time.

I confess...

I just committed to another huge undertaking.  It is something so worthwhile, but it will definitely be overwhelming, and I'll be blogging about it a lot, and asking for help and advice in the upcoming months.

I confess...

It's going to be hard on my family and me to have my little brother move to North Dakota. He is on his way now.  We are used to seeing him at least once a week, usually more than that, and he is so very good to my kids.  Not sure what they're going to do without him!
Here he is teaching them how to cause mischief at my other brother's wedding.

I confess...

I have contracted the plague and am hacking my guts out, so I am going back to bed.  I will be by to visit everyone later!

If you need to confess, click the button and link up!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

WWTK Wednesday

Avoiding the housework and linking up!


This week's questions come from Mamarazzi - and here we go!

{1} What is for dinner tonight (bonus for sharing the recipe)?

I'm thinking tacos.  Recipe?  It's sorta top secret, but for you guys, I'll share:

I know, I know.  I'm so good to y'all.

{2} Share something you are currently looking forward to.

I am SOOOOO looking forward to the beginning of the 2012 Major League Soccer season.  More particularly the beginning of ReAL Salt Lake's 2012 season.  It starts on March 10, and the season HOME opener which I am going to with my awesome husband is March 17th!  Cannot WAIT!!
Isn't Chris Wingert so much hotter than David Beckham, Myya?

{3} What are your thoughts on re-gifting?

Ummm, I'm not going to say I haven't done it before.  Is that so tacky?

{4} How often do you rearrange your furniture?

Very rarely.  I have a TV mounted on one wall and a fireplace on another.  It sort of limits my options for doing too much rearranging.  Boo. :(

{5} Share a picture from your cellphone or camera.

Pixie made this miniature snowman  with the little bit of snow we got for the first snow of the season.

And there you have it.  If you'd like to play along head on over to one of the WWTK hosts: Mamarazzi, Queso, and Crazymama.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Tackle it Tuesday.

That's gonna be my new thing.  So what if I totally ripped off the title from something I saw back in blogland years ago when I first started blogging?  If you are the original person who coined the phrase, "Tackle it Tuesday", just lemme know and I'll come up with something else!

I've decided that in order to make sure I can start checking off some of the projects/tasks I have in mind to whip my home into order, I'll tackle a project each Tuesday and blog about it!  I will be sharing some of the corners of my home that I try desperately to hide from people who visit.  I'm a little nervous for you to see, please don't judge me!

So I have this bookshelf at the end of the hall.  It was crammed so full of books that sadly, some books got ruined by my kids trying to cram more when there wasn't room!  Eventually they just started getting stacked on the floor in a pile in front of the shelf.  It seriously was becoming a hazard!  It's right in front of our bedroom door on one side of the hall, and the girls' door on the other side!

Did I forget to mention the games, sombrero, pictures and other miscellaneous junk that has been shoved on the top?

Piles of books that don't fit on the shelf.

Also, there's this lovely little space between the wall and side of the shelf that the kids think is a place to shove crap when they're supposed to be cleaning it up.

So I decided to hunker down and get to work.  Had the garbage can handy, and then sorted into piles:  baby/board books, children's picture books, first chapter books, older chapter books, young adult fiction, adult novels, church books and reference books.  I also had a pile for trashed books, and books to give to the DI.  Then there was just the papers and other crap that had been shoved in there by lazy kids that needed to be thrown in the garbage.  I also found 2 hair bows, some Legos, and Polly Pockets.  Nice.

After replacing the books, arranged by their different categories, the view down my hallway is much more pleasant.

BAM!  First project done.  On to the next one!  Today I'm linking up with these hot chicas:


Everybody keeps blogging about their "word" for the year.  It's like the new-age version of New Year's Resolutions.  And since I am such a trendy girl, I am all over that!

Okay, really, I just thought it was a cool idea - to have a word that embodies an ideal that you'd like to implement for yourself over the course of the next year.

My word for 2012 is:


Discipline with what I put into my body,

and with regular exercise?  Word.

Discipline with keeping my house a warm, clean and inviting place,

and with accomplishing projects to get my home in order?  Word.

Discipline with feeding my spirit through scripture study, prayer, and implementing gospel principles,

and strengthening my relationship with God, my husband, and children?  Word.

Discipline is something I have lacked in my life, and it is something I have a great desire to cultivate in my personal character.

This is the year I become more disciplined!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Friday Daydreamin' - on a Saturday. At Night.

I know I'm late for the party.  Yesterday was my sweet daughter's birthday, so I posted about her.

But I still want to play.  R we There Yet Mom? Asked about places we LOVE.

I haven't been a lot of places in my life.  I've only been to a handful of different states, and so far the only other state my kids have visited is Idaho, when we drive across the border to meet up with family for our bi-annual reunions.

But Even if I'd been around the world twice, I don't think there is anywhere I could love more than my beautiful mountains.  Except maybe somebody else's beautiful mountains.  I LOVE the mountains.  I love the smell, and the quiet.  I mean mountain quiet.  The animal sounds, and rushing rivers are part of the mountain quiet.  I love campfires and fishing and looking up into the sky and seeing the millions of stars that aren't visible from the city.

We are so blessed to be surrounded by gorgeous mountains on all sides, and to be able to hop in the car and drive for 20 minutes and be up the canyon in nature's beauty.  I hope to travel more someday, but even if I never get the chance, I think I can be content as long as I have my mountains.