Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Car trouble

I finally decided to get an estimate on the big dent in the side of my car.
It happened while I was parked at my upholstery class in Boston...
so, yeah, a long time ago.
I still don't know why I didn't do something about it at the time.
I hated that dent!
My car was pristine before that loser decided to hit me and leave.

But my family made me think it wasn't a big deal and could be easily fixed.
I knew I would have a big deductible if I sent it through insurance.
And we were in the process of doing the whole move to Utah, so I was busy I guess.
I just kept thinking that I would fix it "someday" and that it wouldn't be that bad.

I finally got the estimate today and
it's going to cost a freaking fortune to fix it!
and I've probably waited too long for insurance to help.
So what this means is...I will never get it fixed.

Boo Hoo!

I know that in the scheme of things this is not a big deal.
But it is just one of those moments where you wish you could go back and do it a little different.

Especially since the dent is now starting to rust where the paint got all messed up.


Maybe when I have enough dents on the thing I will just spray it with spray paint and get all artsy about it.
Until then, I will have to learn to accept and love my little dented car.

Sunday, August 28, 2016


I am posting from the couch in my in-laws living room in Portland, Oregon.
Yep, we are on another trip.
I know what you are thinking...
That girl goes on more vacations than anyone I know!
And, I would not be able to argue with you this year.  
We have traveled a lot.


But, I think I am done (ish).
(Going with the guy cousins to a BYU game next week, and then I'm done.)

Frank has some work trips coming up and I just keep thinking "I'm an empty nester...I should be going too!"
So we shall see if I go on any little mini trips and tag along with Frank.

It has been a great trip
but we have done lots and lots of driving.
So much driving that Ryan decides where he will stay at night based on how little car time it involves.

Frank's parents live on one side of town,
his sister on another,
and Austin on another...
it's a big triangle that we have traveled repeatedly and daily.
Oh and Austin's work?  Another direction from the other three.
He usually takes the bus which makes for a long commute so we've been giving him rides when possible.
The traffic here in Portland is worse than when we left and it was bad then.
I do not miss sitting on the freeway every time I have to go somewhere.

One main reason we are here is to visit and help Frank's parents.
I can't say that I've been super helpful but Frank has done lots of projects around the house:
Power washed the house and out buildings
Purchased and replaced light bulbs in the kitchen
Cleaned out a shed, rented a trailer and took a bunch of stuff to Goodwill
Trimmed bushes
and there is probably more that I'm not remembering.

We had some fun times with the family including:

celebrating Austin's birthday

Yes, he got Cranberry juice for his birthday. He loves the stuff.

horseshoes in the grandparents backyard

a trip to the beach

badminton in Diana's yard
(where it turned out that the cat also enjoyed the lovely sand volleyball court...she "used" it while we were playing. Yeah. Gross.  But we still had fun)

lots of card and board games
Playing "The Great Dalmuti"
frisbee golf
(three separate times!)

watching an old movie on a hot afternoon

Visiting the Portland Temple with Frank's family

a trip to Multnomah falls
(I never get tired of visiting that beautiful place)

We made fresh peach crisp with peaches that Diana was planning to can.
But when you get me near fresh peaches, well, there might not be any left by the time we leave.

Another big part of the trip was that we met Austin's girlfriend!
She is here visiting for a couple of weeks.

I don't have her permission to put her face online although I snuck a few pictures here that she is in...just no closeups.
 But I will say that we just love her.
She hung out with the family while Austin was at work and she fit right in.
It hasn't felt awkward or uncomfortable at all.  I hope she has felt the same way.
It's really fun to see Austin so happy with her too.
When Austin lived at home he was pretty secretive about his social life.  He never brought any girl home to meet us and we never even knew if he had a girlfriend.
So, to be meeting her and seeing them being affectionate is a real treat for me as a mom.

And, let's be honest, I love her accent.
She's from the UK and I could listen to her talk all day. haha
Frank wrote to Carter this week and one of the things he said to him about katy was "Mom is enjoying her British accent. "
In my letter I told him "She seems very nice and I enjoy her English accent.  She says words like “rubbish” and “whatsit” and “jumper”.  Its awesome."
So, yeah, I'm embarrassing.

Well, I finished this post up from the living room of my own house.
Home again and all unpacked...but tired of being in a car, that's for sure!

We left Portland later than planned so we were driving late into the night.
But, we survived the long drive and we are now all relaxing on various couches and beds trying to avoid the subject of dinner since there's really no food in the house.
Ryan found some cookie dough that I made some time ago and that might just be dinner tonight!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Guest Room Reveal (ish)

Ok ok, the guest room isn't totally finished.
But the finishing touches could take me awhile so I decided to show the room as it is now...almost done.
And totally capable of handling come on over!
Amber and the girls stayed in here and it worked out ok for them, but since there were 3 of them, we had beds on the floor too.
 So it wasn't very cute during their stay.

Here is the bed, garage sale bench and hooks on the wall for jackets or towels.
My bathroom is lacking in towel hanging space so I figured this would work to let guests keep track of their towels.

There are a few things I still need to do:
Figure out what kind of art should go on the wall by the bed.
It's a big blank space and it needs something...but I have no idea what.

Sew/make a bedskirt.  I'm making it myself so I get exactly what I want. 
Find/make cute magnets for the magnet board (this is where I will write a welcome message and put the wifi password for the guests)

Buy a little side chair to put under the magnet board so people can sit to put on shoes etc.

I'm still a bit undecided about whether or not I will put a small round table with a lamp in the bay window area.  It seems like it would be nice to have a lamp for reading near the bed but the room layout doesn't leave room for an actual nightstand so it wouldn't be right by the bed.  I still don't know. I don't want the room to feel too crowded.

A (dark) view from the doorway.

I could turn the bed the other way, I realize.  And that is how it was when it was Carter's room. But then the bed takes up all of the floor space.  All.  And I like the feeling of a more open room.

A view from the doorway.

You can see my $1 magnet board on the wall. I plan to have a chair underneath it in that little spot.

I painted it with chalkboard paint and I like it a lot now. 
I was only so-so about it before but for a dollar I figured I'd give it a try.

I kept the Ikea shelf system that Carter had.

I put drawers in the bottom for guests clothes.
(We will probably use it for off season stuff like sweaters as well...since we don't really get that many guests, to be honest)
Scrapbooks, books for guests to read and various pictures and a clock are on the other shelves.
A mirror near the door so you can check your hair on the way out :-)
and a new ceiling fan.
I can't believe I never noticed how awful the old fan was. So hideous.
Plus it made a whining noise that Carter complained about 
(now that I think about it...oops, sorry Carter!)
So I'm happy to be rid of it.

Frank says he knows I will spend a lot of time in this room.
He figures if he can't find me, he will know that I'm hiding out in the guest room.
It's so cheerful and non-beige.  
He's probably right.


I also got a new picture for the dining room.

It's a pretty inexpensive canvas that I got from and then I got a frame for it.
Before this I had a cute frame with chicken wire in it, which I loved at Christmas time with all of my cards on it...
but the rest of the time I struggle with what to put on it.
So for the last many months, it has been sitting empty, which looks pretty dumb.

So down it came today.
It hung horizontally in the dining room.

I put it up vertically in my laundry room where it is still empty but at least it isn't the first thing you see when you walk into my house.

I might make a cute little laundry sign to hang on it
or I might use it for coupons that I get in the mail and stuff like that.
It'll probably be useful and less cute in the laundry room and I'm ok with that.

If I had young kids I could use it for socks with no mates
but I don't have any cute socks and hanging adult socks would look weird anyway.

So who knows what it will become.
Perhaps an empty frame with chicken wire and a few clothes pins.

So that's the latest at my house.
Feel free to visit!

4 a.m. musings

I am awake at 4 a.m.
but I actually woke up at 2 a.m.
it's just that now, at 4 a.m, I have finally given up

So here is what I am thinking about:

My rib hurts.
I knocked my rib out of joint last night by getting a bad case of hiccups.
I think it should take some sort of amazing fall or being run into by a linebacker to knock my rib out of joint.
But, no, hiccups is all it takes now.
The chiropractor put it back into place but it still hurts when I move.

Amber and the girls went home.
It's so quiet now.
Luckily I have a bathtub with dinosaur toys in it, a dining room floor covered in drawings and colored pencils, a bedroom with miscellaneous toys and trash on the floor and a pantry full of kid friendly snacks to remind me that they were here.
I might not clean for awhile just to keep the feeling.

Amber spent almost the whole morning throwing up before getting on a flight with two kids under 3 all by herself.
Airlines are stupid for not letting you change your flight plans (without incurring huge fees, that is) when you spend the whole morning throwing up.
She texted that she arrived home safely and that the girls were really good.
I haven't texted back because I don't want to admit that I was awake when I got the text at 2 a.m.
I hope that the other people on her flight took airborne since she was forced to fly even though she was a big ol' bundle of germs.

I need to think of something better to do with my middle of the night time other than thinking of all the reasons that I should repaint all of the trim in my house.

Why did the guy who owned this house before me like beige so much?
And is there a way to start liking beige so I can just relax?
And is it worth all the effort of painting the whole place if I just end up painting it greige instead of beige?

Should I stay here on the couch looking out at my totally dark neighborhood?  Or should I go back to bed and stare at the totally dark ceiling? hmmmm

Netflix now asks me if I want to watch all kinds of animated tv shows based on the things we watched for the last 2 weeks.

I can't even describe how happy I am that I do not have a kid starting school soon.

Ok I'm done. I am obviously very deep at 4 a.m.

I might try to sleep now.  If Frank wakes up all chipper and talkative at 7:30, I will throttle him.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

A Day in the Life

Today I had Grandma duty with the kids while Amber helped her sister move.  I often think back to when I was a Mom of little kids and all the stuff I did back then.  There really is a difference now.  I'm tired so much sooner that it surprises me.  I don't feel old normally...but put me with a couple of toddlers and I am worn out in no time. Here is a run down of my day today:

I am up chopping tomatoes from the garden when Isabelle wakes up.  She comes out of the room and just stands there smiling at me until I notice her.
We get a chair so she can stand by me at the sink and help. We finish up with that batch of tomatoes and get them in the freezer.
Kaylee wakes up and comes out of the room giggling. Can't complain about how they woke up!
Breakfast of yogurt and strawberries.
Grandpa walks in with donuts.
They each want one, of course.  And proceed to eat about 2 bites each.
After breakfast, we play with the toys for awhile.
Then we go out in the backyard where Grandpa is working.
We vacuum the bugs off of the couch and then play with the little hand vacuum. We vacuum pretend and real bugs, little bits of leaves, our hands.
The real excitement begins when Grandpa starts mowing the lawn.  We watch him.
We go to the front yard to watch him after he finishes the back.
I start to pull weeds so the girls join me and we look for (and find) worms, potato bugs, ants and lady bugs.  No one wants to touch the potato bug which I was sure they would love. Isabelle is actually quite distressed to see it walking on my finger and asks me, in a very concerned voice, to put it back in the dirt. I pull very few weeds.
We wash our hands since they are dirty...which leads to the next activity.
We get chairs and stand at the sink to wash hands and then have fun washing the plastic dinosaur toys in the sink with bubbles. This went on for some time but, as with most things with toddlers, ended in tears and a fairly big mess. :-D

I attempted to have some "quiet time" with a movie on the tv.  No dice.  Not interested. Lasted about a minute.

The Uncles step in (Ryan as well as Amber's brothers Daniel and Sam) and play some chasing games and hide-behind-the-door-and-jump-out games while I clean up after breakfast and put the chairs back.
The girls are ready to finish their donuts now so we sit on the steps out back and finish the donuts (Kaylee eats all of hers and Isabelle licks some icing). We have lost almost all of the clothing they had on because they got wet during the dinosaur washing fun.

We play with the outdoor pillows.
We watch a lady bug walk around until Kaylee accidentally squishes it.
Potty break and diaper change followed by teeth brushing because Isabelle wanted to.
I decide that we should have an outing so we get clothes back on and find Isabelle's shoes.  Kaylee's shoes are lost, she gets to go barefoot.
We go to the library! I haul girls to the carseats. Don't forget sippy cups and diaper/wipes (just in case) and Kaylee's walker.  Just getting into and out of the car is a workout.
Arrive at the Library.
Play with the trains.
Play with the big stuffed animals.
Sit in the little benches and chairs.
Play with puzzles.
Read MANY dinosaur books including one in Portuguese because it looked so cool and they didn't have one like it in English.
Play with the puppets.
Isabelle gives a puppet show and insists that Kaylee and I sit on the other side to watch (she's so cute!)

The girls take turns finding books to read and bringing them to me.  We read LOTS of books.

Back to the trains.

Some other kids show up (boys) who are a little wild so Isabelle is suddenly open to the idea of lunch.
We pack up, check out a few books, and head to Chic-fil-a drive through for lunch.
Chic-fil-a takes forever but we get nuggets and chocolate milk to take home.
Isabelle falls asleep in the car. Dangit!
Kaylee sits at the table and eats lots of food.  I am amazed.  I accidentally give her Isabelle's cup, which she loves but Isabelle's hates.  But I had poured her Chocolate milk in there so I wasn't willing to take it away.  Isabelle melts down for a bit but recovers. She drinks her milk with a straw, which is fun!
The upside is that the meltdown has helped Isabelle wake up enough to eat.
I announce that after lunch we will have quiet time.  Kaylee decides to just keep eating to hopefully avoid a nap.  Hilarious.  She kept saying "I'm done" and when I would go to pick her up she would remember the dreaded nap and say "No, still eating" and just keep eating for awhile longer.
Kaylee finally decides she is actually too full to keep eating and I lay her down.  She is super annoyed but falls asleep within less than a minute.
Isabelle has "quiet time" with a movie...after going through about twenty options on netflix, she chooses, you guessed it, a dinosaur show.
I sit on the couch rather than pick up after lunch because I'm pooped.  It's 4:00 at this point.
Isabelle becomes bored with her movie but isn't falling back asleep (dangit) so we retrieve the library books from the car which seems to help.  She lays down on the big pillow with the books next to her and starts watching the show again. Whew, maybe we can relax for a bit...
Mailman comes and RINGS THE DOORBELL! Ack!  All the past "baby is sleeping" anxiety comes rushing back. Thinking I should have put a sign on the door.  Luckily, Kaylee stays asleep but it freaks Isabelle out. Never thought my doorbell was too loud until now.
Isabelle and I clean up  the living room, do some laundry and check on Frank (we like to go out to the garage just to see him on occasion). She gives Frank the biggest, cutest hug ever and I didn't take a picture. Missed it, dangnabit.
Isabelle asks for a snack.  She wants ice cream.  "I want a huge one, big one ice cream". I give her some because I am a total Grandma pushover and give her whatever she wants. As she eats, she chomps with her teeth and says "I'm eating like a T-rex!"

Side note: During her ice cream treat she starts talking about her Daddy.  He goes to work "like Grandpa", he plays with Isabelle and Kaylee,  he loves ("lubs") Mommy and he's going to call tomorrow.
Kaylee wakes up and we go back outside to play.
The vacuum comes back out because, really, who doesn't love a vacuum?

Isabelle decided she wanted to draw some pictures so I got out the colored pencils (I don't own any crayons!).  Isabelle draws me a picture and tells me that I can keep it when she goes on an airplane back to Alaska. Aw!  I draw her a  ladybug because she loves ladybugs (in theory...would never touch one).  She likes it so much that she wants a bigger one so I draw one for her. We put them up on the cork board so we can enjoy them but Isabelle makes it clear that she will take them with her on the airplane. :-)

We swing for awhile.  Grandpa helps out with the pushing. Yay for Grandpa!

Then after the swinging, Isabelle helps grandpa with his project in the garage.  She is so cute helping him in the garage. And he's so cute as he explains things to her.

And then...Mom is back!

It was approximately 12 hours of Grandma duty today and it was really a fun time.  I'm soooo happy to have these girls visiting me and will miss them terribly when they leave.
And now, I'm going to rest.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Grandkids in Utah

The grandkids are here!
The grandkids are here!

Amber flew with the two girls, ages 3 and 2, all by herself on a red-eye flight from Anchorage to Utah.
She survived the event even though the girls only slept the last hour of the last flight.
She is amazing.

Ryan and I waited for her at the airport and saw her coming toward us looking perfectly chipper and happy...
the girls, not so much.
Kaylee was totally snoozing and Isabelle was a zombie.
So tired that she couldn't even react to anything.

Yes, that is Amber with a  double stroller, two carseats and three backpacks...smiling.
Here is a close-up of the girls:

They slept in the car all the way home and by the time we arrived, they were awake and ready to start their day.
Amber, having had no sleep at all, was not feeling the same way. 

When Isabelle walked into the house and saw Grandpa she went right up into his arms and hugged him so tight.  It was the cutest thing ever.

Kaylee and Isabelle both seemed to remember Ryan and were quite comfortable with him right away.

Ryan sure misses having these girls around.

We spent the day playing together while we let Amber sleep for a bit.
We picked apples and washed them in the sink.
We ran around the back yard.
We did some swinging on the swing set.
We watched 5-10 minutes of several movies because after that much time Isabelle always wanted to change it.  Hilarious.
Kaylee eventually zonked out on the couch and Isabelle and I went to the grocery store together.
It was a fun, busy, tiring (how did I do it? I'm so tired now!) day.
I loved it.

Amber is here for her sister's wedding so we might not see a whole lot of them for the first week at least, but we are happy for whatever time we get.
I took the girls out to swing on the swings.
I put Kaylee in the baby swing and Isabelle sat on a normal swing.
I feel so much more comfortable with the baby swing because the kid can't fall out...but, even though Isabelle does a good job on the regular swing, I feel nervous pushing her too high in case she slips off.
So I was pushing Kaylee pretty high (she is a more of a daredevil at heart than Isabelle anyway)
and I was pushing Isabelle a little less.

Isabelle would say "I want to go higher"
Kaylee (who always wants to do whatever Isabelle does) would immediately say, "Higher!"

So I would push them both a little higher even though Kaylee was already quite high.

Isabelle: "I want to go high like the sky!"
Kaylee: "High! Sky!"

Isabelle: "I want to go high to the leaves"
Kaylee: "High! Leaves!"

Isabelle: "Push me higher"
Kaylee: "Push! High!"

It was really funny that no matter how high Kaylee was already going, she would ask for more if Isabelle did. And she would do so immediately after Isabelle.

Eventually Isabelle was done and wanted to move on to other activities.
This is where Kaylee decided that she didn't need to be like Isabelle after all...she was not done swinging!
Luckily Ryan helped out by swinging with Kaylee for a bit longer while I took Isabelle to the garden to pick tomatoes.

It's pretty cute to see their little personalities blossoming.
Being a grandparent is the best.