Thursday, April 13, 2017

Well, that escalated quickly

Last night I decided to start seriously trying to remove the tile from my kitchen backsplash.
It wasn't long before I realized that I was causing serious damage to the drywall behind the tiles.
It didn't matter what method I used for removing the tile, it was making a mess.
I started to feel like maybe I had made a bad decision.
I took a picture and was about to post it onto Facebook with a caption about how I was starting to regret my decision.
My irreversible decision.

Frank came in from outside and I told him about my reservations and concerns.
Of course, it really is too late for reservations or concerns...
I had already gone past the point of no return.
The tile would have to come down.

And so at this point, Frank got involved.
He started out trying to be gentle (like I had done as well)
and ended up using a pry bar and sledge hammer.

He has always said that his specialty is demolition!

The tile is out.
Aaaaand so is the drywall.

By the time we were done this was what we had:

We also found some sketchy wiring,
so that's fun.

I went to bed last night full of regret.

My plan was to "remodel" this kitchen using a couple hundred dollars worth of paint.
It was just a temporary fix until I can save up to really remodel.
I think I just went over budget.

why am I like this?
why do I always have to change everything??

I can go into the nicest house you would ever see and I will find things that I want to change.

I hated the kitchen in my last house and we lived there for 10 years!
I survived.
I never remodeled.
It was ok.
I could still cook food and feed the family in that kitchen.
But, yes, I hated it and complained.

And there are, no doubt, people who would look at this kitchen and think that it is so nice.
They would love it.

It's funny because I consider myself a generally content person...
I don't need fancy vacations or expensive gifts.
But when it comes to my house I am not content.
I alway have a project in my head.
Even when working on one thing I am thinking of the next thing I want to do.

Frank has even said to me that maybe we should just build a house so I can have it the way I like it.
I usually respond with something like "I love this house! I just want to change everything about how it looks"
and that is the truth.

I love the layout
I love the front porch
I love the yard
I love the covered back porch
I love the red brick
So many things to love...
I just want to change everything else for some reason.

So anyway, it's too late to go back and just learn to like the tile.
It's gone now and so we will figure out how to re-drywall and make it look ok again.

and I'm sure I will still paint the cabinets
even though it's kind of scary and they might look worse when I'm done
I mean, they aren't hideous now...just too house is too dark
which is partially caused by the covered porch that I love

This is how I think.
It"s a trial for us all...but mostly for Frank.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

New Windows!

Woo Hoo! 
Today I got four new windows and I'm super excited about it.

Here's what I got:

New window over the kitchen sink.

The previous window was a garden window and it was broken in numerous ways.
It wouldn't open and the glass was cracked.

And I never actually put plants on it.
Because I kill plants.  It's what I do.

I had to remove the tile in the window sill before they could put in the new window, so I have started a whole big mess in the kitchen.

Here is the new window which actually OPENS.
Yep, that's right.

I still have a lot of work to do though: repair the walls, fix the sill, tear out the rest of the backsplash and put something else there...ok I don't want to think about all that right now.

I also got new windows in both bathrooms.
The old windows didn't open well and were made of regular glass so I always felt like I had to keep the shutters closed.
And keeping the shutters closed meant that the bathroom was always dark.

Now we have privacy glass.
I might just remove the shutters altogether and just let the light pour in.

The last window is in the family room area right at the top of the stairs to the basement.
This window wouldn't open and stay open without falling inward.
Then if you did open it somehow, it wouldn't shut.
Would. Not. Shut.
Took all your strength to push that puppy down.
Anyway, we looked into just getting that fixed but it was such an old window that the only real option was replacement.

It's now so light and bright that Frank doesn't want to put the blinds back, so I have to think about that one.
Looks like I might be making more curtains.
You can see that I have partially painted that wall and then stopped.
Must get back to painting!

Ok, this happy post about my new windows has reminded me of all the work I still need to do!
But, that's the life of a homeowner I suppose.
Or at least the life of a homeowner like me.

Vacation post: Arizona

A week or so ago I went to Arizona and visited my friends there.
I have been having a bit of stress and also lots and lots of headaches and I just felt like I had to get I told Frank that I was going to Arizona.
Luckily, he was understanding about me wanting to take off and leave him and Carter behind for a week.

I rented a car so that Carter would be able to get to work while I was gone.

I spent approximately 2 days at each of my friends houses plus one afternoon with a friend from Massachusetts.
There are actually other friends in Arizona that I didn't get to see so obviously I'll have to make another trip sometime.

Annette-We have been friends since Pennsylvania so...that's nearly 20 years. She's been a true friend to me through the years and I can always count on her to be there for me.
She lived in Utah when I first moved here and I was so happy to be close to her. When I found out she was moving away, I cried.  But luckily, she has kids up here in Utah so she visits fairly often and so we've seen each other a fair amount.  She always makes time for me when she visits.
We ate wonderful barbecue, we talked and talked, we went to a movie, we commiserated over our daily problems and over her wallpaper problems.
It was great.

Candice-Candice and I met through scrapbooking and have been good friends ever since.
She's one of those people who you can see after being away for months and months and it feels like no time has passed.  Her kids and husband are also great and so much fun to be around.
Her family is so close and loving.
We ate a lot, spent one whole day doing nothing but watching chick flicks (it was fabulous and exactly what I needed), we got pedicures, we went to another movie, we laughed and talked.  Annette joined us there since they live close to one another.  We watched conference together on Saturday morning.
It was a relaxing and fun time.
How is this the only picture I have of Candice?
Oh wait, there's this one:

Ok I slacked on pictures...but I was busy relaxing.

Jennifer-The next stop was Jennifer's house.  Jennifer and I have been friends since 1984 maybe? (correct me if I'm wrong Jennifer)  but anyway, friends since highschool!  Marriages, babies, infertility, trials, fun...we've seen it all together!  We know that we can talk about anything together and that we will stick by each other.
We sat by the pool and talked, we went on a lovely hike, we watched her son play and splash in the pool (and it made me glad I don't have a 6 year old at my age! haha).  We ate takeout while watching trash tv.  It couldn't have been better.  We probably did more than that but now I can't remember.  I had a lot of just relaxation time on this trip and it was exactly what I needed.

I  really appreciated being able to just relax and have no responsibilities or worries.

Merissa-I got to go visit Merissa Doubleday for an afternoon as well.  I've been friends with Merissa and her husband since Massachusetts.  Merissa and I spent many years at girls camp together! Good times.  She now lives in Arizona with her cute boys and hubby.
Derek showed up at lunch time unexpectedly and I got to see and visit with him for a short time as well.  Among other things, we talked about things that annoy us about the West. ha!
I'm so glad it worked out for us to visit!

I should have taken a picture with her cute kiddos!

The drive there was uneventful, if long.
The drive home...well, I got to drive in hot weather and in a snowstorm so I got it all I guess! Despite the snow and slick roads, I made it home safely.

Here are some gorgeous views I saw while driving:
(I pulled over for some of them but just held up the phone and hoped for the best for others.)
Sorry for the bug splattered windshield pics. ha!

As I drove, I was struck multiple times at the beauty of our world.  I often feel the love of God as I look around at the world.  It feels like a beautiful gift.

I loved my little vacation SO MUCH.  Thanks to my friends for being willing to put me up and entertain me so I could have a get-away!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Happy Lifeversary!

Today is the big day!
The day that is somehow magical and yet just another day.

Today we have officially reached the 5 year mark for Frank being cancer free!

Anyone who has had cancer or dealt with a relative having cancer knows that all of the statistics are based on 5 year survival rates.
Doctors don't really like to talk in statistics, because every patient is an individual with different issues and problems. But as a patient (or wife of one) you can't help but want to know your "odds" of beating it.
Frank's odds weren't great.
And the whole treatment was rough.  He had setbacks and close calls.  He wanted to give up at times.
But eventually, we reached the point of receiving the bone marrow transplant that could possibly save his life.

Yep, it was 5 years ago today that Frank received a bone marrow transplant from a total stranger that had signed up with the bone marrow registry.

I wrote a blog about it on the 2 year anniversary and here it is.
(It also has a link to the bone marrow registry, should you feel so inclined)

This morning as I was chatting with my son, Austin, I reminded him of what day it was and he said, "Happy lifeversary!"
I kinda like that better than second birthday or re-birthday, which is what we've been calling it so far.

Today Frank is healthy and happy.  He works, does all kinds of home projects, travels, reads, and does pretty much anything else he wants to do.
I remember worrying during the treatment that he would be disabled long term and wondering how he would handle that.  I had a friend and cancer survivor who told me that he would probably not be disabled...that she knew lots of people who got back to their old selves without long term problems.  She was right.

Sure, we had lots of hard times during treatment and for a few years after.  But today his only real problem is very dry eyes.  He was told that his GVH (Graft VS Host...a common problem with bone marrow transplant) could result in a variety of problems but best case scenario was dry eyes.  And even though the dry eyes do drive him nuts at times, he knows that in the grand scheme of things he is happy that this is his only problem.

We plan to celebrate in some way today, thought we haven't decided on exactly what we will do.

It doesn't really matter what we do though.  We can celebrate by just being together and realizing that we have had 5 years that we wouldn't have had if that man somewhere out in the world hadn't given his marrow for Frank.  I wish I could hug that man.

Hopefully we will have many more years together...because, as of today, we can officially say that Frank has beat cancer!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Something to be thankful for: March 2017

March 1- I had a massage today...the second one in two weeks.  I'm getting a weekly massage for awhile in an attempt to get my headaches under control.  I feel so spoiled.  So even though I'm getting these massages for headaches, I'm really enjoying the fact that I'm getting massages. Also, Carter got a job! yay!
March 2- Today was the cousins' lunch.  I've missed the last couple so I was glad to go today.  I love my family, including my extended family and love to see them.  Today my Aunt Janet was here visiting from Texas and it was so fun to see her as well!
March 3- Had a fun trip up to Logan today. Didn't accomplish much but had fun so it was worth it!
March 4-Today I went to a vintage market in Salt Lake.  I went by myself which wasn't necessarily would have been fun to go with friends.  But I really enjoyed browsing and just getting some "me" time today.
March 5- Taught Sunday school and it went fine (I never feel like it goes great). It was so nice outside that I walked home.  I'm thankful for warmer weather and gorgeous views!
March 6- We got a little dusting of snow today which surprised me (as usual, since I never check the weather).  It was so pretty!  I know it won't last so I'm just enjoying how pretty it is.  Also, cold days help me appreciate warm ones.
March 7-Today we went up to Logan and enjoyed a day visiting Carter's future college, touring his new apartment complex and hanging out with our friends, the Petersons.  We always love visiting Logan.  I'm grateful to have the Peterson family in my life and I'm grateful they will be close when Carter is up there at school.
March 8- Massage day.  I'm soo grateful that I can do this and try to get some relief for my headaches.
March 9-Today I'm thankful for Janice, my awesome mother in law.  It's her birthday today.  And though it's been a rough few months with health issues, she is a positive person.  I love her very much.
March 10-Absolutely zero things on my calendar for today. I'm so grateful for a not-too-busy day!
March 11-We spent the day in Moab today, hiking around a bit and just enjoying the PERFECT weather.  I love the beauty of that area.  We went to the delicate arch for the first time too.  It was so beautiful and it reminded me of how much Heavenly Father loves us to bless us with such a beautiful world.
March 12-I am thankful that two of the kids in my class taught today and I didn't have to prepare a lesson!
March 13- Carter invited Harley over and we played games for a bit.  I love some good family time.
March 14-We had a fun outing to the local frisbee golf course here in town.  It's actually called a disk golf course because we, as amateurs, are totally using the wrong kind of frisbees.  We still had lots of fun together.
March 15- Today was just a totally gorgeous day (again!) so that was awesome.  Also, Doneen helped me finish the skirts for the girls by serging the bottom of the lining for me.
March 16- I had an MRI this morning which I was totally nervous about...but it turned out that the tube was bigger than expected and shorter in length so I was able to make it through without any anxiety at all really (did take a valium though, ha!).  I'm grateful for modern medicine (and modern medications).  Hopefully we will find something fixable regarding my headaches...
March 17-Jennifer Sheffield is here in town so we went to lunch with Mom and Dad together, then we did some prom dress shopping for her daughter, dinner with her family and finally we went to see Beauty and the Beast.  It was such a fun day and I love her and her kids so much!
March 18- Sara opened her mission call tonight and we went over for it.  She's going to Trinidad and is so excited.  David and Stacey and Lauren came up as well so it was a fun family night. Jennifer also came to see my other siblings so I got to spend another evening with her. So awesome!
March 19- So many things to be grateful for!  A gorgeous spring day, a good lesson at church (I didn't teach, but I enjoyed the class a lot), dinner at Doneen's house.
March 20- Carter interviewed for and got a new, full time job!  It pays well so he's excited that he should be able to save enough for housing and food for the whole school year! yay! He also works from 7:30-3:30 so it gives him some free time in the afternoon/evening.
March 21- Tonight we had a fun RS activity called "Our Favorite Things". We each brought a little something that was our favorite thing and we gave it away and got someone else's favorite thing.  I bought 4 little See's chocolates. I got peanut M&Ms.  It was a fun night.
March 22- I am thankful that I was able to get another massage today.  I've been going once a week for about a month now (maybe more?).  I know it's a luxury and I'm so grateful.  I really have to find a way to get my headaches under control and I think this is helping.
March 23-I went to give blood today but got rejected for low iron.  That hasn't ever happened to me before!  But even though I wasn't able to give today, I was thinking about how grateful I am for all those who give.  Frank got blood every day during his cancer treatment.  It truly saved his life.
March 24-Today I got to hang out with my aunt Janet.  Man I love her!  We have a lot in common and a lot of similar life experiences so every time we are able to talk, we both feel like we are kindred souls.
March 25-Carter made us Chicken Nanban (one of his favorite dishes from Japan) for dinner tonight including homemade tartar sauce. So yummy!
March 26-I watched the General Women's Session of conference this morning before church (it was on last night but I wasn't feeling great).  I enjoyed it so much!  I also taught Sunday School and survived. :-)
March 27-I went visiting teaching this morning which was enjoyable and then I spent the day packing and buying a few things for my trip to Arizona. It was a pleasant and relaxing day.
March 28-Drove to Arizona!  I'm so excited for a week of relaxation.  The trip went smoothly and I got to Annette's in time for dinner.
March 29-Spent the day with Annette.  Yay!  The weather is beautiful too.  We went to see a movie and had a fun, relaxing day!
March 30-Pedicures with Annette and Candice.  Beautiful weather.  What's not to be thankful for?
March 31-We spent the whole day lounging around and being lazy.  It was awesome.  Also, today is my oldest son's birthday.  I'm thankful for Branden today!  I wish I could see him in person...but I will be there in May and I can give him a birthday hug then.  :-)