Thursday, September 27, 2012

autumn sunday drive

 The 136th temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Brigham City, Utah, was dedicated on Sunday.  Everywhere in Utah, Church was cancelled so that all the members could attend a broadcast of the dedication. 

Because we got done earlier than we usually do on Sundays, we thought it would be the perfect time to drive up into the canyon to see the fall colors.

Apparently everyone else in the valley had the same idea.
It was crazy. I kind of felt like we were in some theme park--so many cars and people! 

But oh goodness it was beautiful.
 I've never been Back East, and I'm sure it's incredible there in the fall,
but this--
this was the best fall color display I have ever seen.
 And after being in Texas for the past several autumns, (Texas has baby winter, glorious spring, and s.u.m.m.e.r. but no fall)

these fall colors made me so happy. Happy, grateful, awestruck.
 Every turn we made, every bend in the road,
I was ooh-ing and ahh-ing and pointing out the bursts of color.

Nicholas told us that the red trees are his "favrit."
And then he told us that "everywhere I go, everything I do, Sasquatch is watching me."
(thank you, my brothers, for teaching him the lovely idea of Big Foot.  Thank you.  If Nicholas doesn't have nightmares about the creepiness of what he said , I sure will.)
 It was a beautiful beautiful drive,
and we learned that next time, we should consult a map before going up.
We took a wrong turn somewhere along the way, and instead of being almost back home again, we were almost to Park City...
That is Kent's "take the picture already!" face and Ellie's "I just want to get down and crawl so I can eat those rocks!" face.  Love it.

So we had a picnic in our car on the side of a dirt road,
put the kids back in, and turned around, which meant we got to see everything all over again.

I'm kind of glad we took a wrong turn.   

Thursday, September 13, 2012


 Late summer rainstorms.
I always want to make muffins when it rains.  I have no idea why. I love to have the lights on inside during the day, all cozy and warm as we watch the storm.  And I love the post-rain sunsets. So beautiful.

 Nicholas told Ellie,
"Eh-wie, you're ma-ked!" (naked) and then he laughed and laughed,
and because she's a little copycat lately,
she laughed and laughed with this funny fake grown-up chuckle,
and we all laughed, so of course Nicholas proceeded to say "Eh-wie, you're ma-ked!" over and over and we all laughed for a good fifteen minutes.
I love being a mom.
We were going to have a picnic in the canyon last night. I got the kids ready, Nicholas helped me make cookies, I made sandwiches, packed them all up,
Kent got home from work, and then it started raining.

So I set up the chairs, threw blankets across them, and we ate dinner in our blanket fort while we watched the thunderstorm out our windows.

 We're potty training. Ellie is crawling. We're sleep-training.
And suddenly, I'm busier than I've ever been.
I know life is going to just get busier and busier as we have more children and they get older, but this? Whew!
A normal HOUR for me:
Laundry, cleaning up potty accidents (which have been few, thankfully-Nicholas is doing great!), picking crumbs up off the floor before Ellie tries to eat them (admittedly I'm not the best at this), retrieving Ellie before she climbs onto the chairs/couch/stairs/box/etc., rewarding successful potty trips with fruit snacks/chocolate chips/oreos/poptarts, making play-doh to keep the potty-training boy busy in the kitchen (tile!), picking up tiny bits of play-doh before Ellie eats them, Ellie fighting to go down for a nap for 34 minutes, Nicholas waking her when she's just barely fallen asleep, read a book to Nicholas, get him a snack, refill sippy cups, switch out laundry...
You get the idea.

SO, long story short,
I didn't take 9-month pictures of Ellie.
I took "Just barely 10 months, still sort of 9 months" pictures of her.

Late summer--harvest time--is vying for my favorite time of year spot.  I'm loving it.
We've enjoyed corn on the cob, green beans, potatoes, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, and squash from my parents' garden,
and I've bought apples, peaches, and tomatoes from fruit stands nearby-
the tomatoes were so good I bought an entire box and my mom helped me bottle them last week.

Eating dinner outside-enjoying every minute of this beautiful weather.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

pictures on the car

Last week I was hauling food I'd bought at the case lot sale down to my storage room in the basement.  I took the last load down, came back upstairs,
and heard the garage door close.
And then Nicholas declared,

"Mom! I put my pictures on the car!"

And I had that feeling--the pit in your stomach, oh-no-what-has-he-done feeling.  Had he colored on the car? Drawn on it with crayons?  Scratched a picture into it with my keys?!  I walked slowly to the garage, trying to think already of how I was going to call Kent and tell him what had happened while I wasn't watching Nicholas for the 45 seconds it takes to put food downstairs.
"yeah, so Kent? Well Nicholas, um, he drew on the car..."

But no,
Nicholas was telling the literal truth.
He'd PUT his pictures on the car.

 With magnets.

 What in the heck made him think of this??
How did he even decide to take a picture and a magnet out to the garage and see if it would stick on the car?
I'm completely blown away by the logic that led to this discovery, (I mean, I didn't even know a magnet would stick to a car,)
and completely grateful he didn't decide to take a pen or marker to it.
Love my crazy little dude.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

for now home tour: kitchen

Our kitchen hasn't changed much since we moved in--I still have high hopes of painting these cupboards white someday-the wood is pretty but just not "me."

Things to be done:
-Start with putting white beadboard up on that blank spot beneath the island-right there in the front on the bottom
-barstools?  We're still not sure if we want them or not.
-Paint walls and ceiling
-Paint cupboards white, then paint the pantry door a fun accent color
-Curtains on windows

 I was very happy that my little windowsill birds didn't get lost in the move after all.
They were in the box I clearly remember packing them in...
and then we placed that box inside the deep freezer.
Yes, the freezer.
I'm not sure why we put them there,
and I completely forgot that we had,
 so when we moved to Utah and our freezer was in the storage unit,
I thought we'd lost the box with my windowsill birds (and that fun little rooster from Kent's mission to Portugal.)

But we hadn't! And when we finally got our freezer out and plugged it in and opened it--voila! There was my box!

I feel like my windowsill birds have become my little kitchen friends, and I'm pretty glad to have them back again.
 Found this little white picket fence basket in my un-used decorations box one day. I keep all my soaps and scrubbers in it next to the sink.
 Things to be done:
-Put the cupboard door back on. The screw just fell apart one day and the door fell off. And of course it's a weird size screw that we keep forgetting to take to match when we go to Lowes.
-Find a cute chair to put at the desk spot so I can utilize it for my laptop.

 And here's something we actually have crossed off our to-do list: replace chandelier!
Because I just don't think sometimes, I didn't get a good "before" picture,
so here's one from the background of another shot:

Nice light fixture--just not my style. Too scrolly and frilly.
I love my new one.

Ellie likes it too.

Ellie is hungry and she ate all the food on her tray.
She's licking the strawberry juice up.
I think I'd better go get her some more food now.

Next time in the for now home tour:  Kid's rooms.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

date-hike to timpanogos cave

5:30 am Saturday morning we woke up to a terrific thunderstorm.
I think Utah was trying to chastise me for my facebook comment not even a week earlier
about Texas's thunderstorms being better
because Utah gave it all she's got,
and we woke up,
house shaking, rain pelting, lightning striking, thunder booming.

Our kids slept through it somehow.

Kent and I sat in bed together and listened.
At its most intense,
we could actually hear the "zap!" right before the light and the thunder struck simultaneously.

And while it was pretty awesome,
I still have to say that Texas thunderstorms are better,
because just minutes later, the sky was quiet, and we went back to sleep.

And only an hour later, our alarms woke us again,
we put on our tennis shoes and jackets,
got Sarah up from her sleep in the basement and we drove to the visitor's center for Timpanogos cave.

The canyon was so beautiful; I made Kent stop over and over (you're the best, Babe!) while we were hiking to the cave-
the drippy trees, low-hanging clouds, sunrise-incredible.

The canyon was starting to show signs of fall-a few spots of orange and red--and the trail smelled like wet autumn leaves. One of my favorite smells.
The weather was perfect for hiking,
which was a good thing,
because it was much more of a hike than we were anticipating.

One of those times when you think you're probably getting pretty close to the top,
and then you see the "1/4" marker sign.

But, it was fun. We kind of get stuck in the dinner-and-a-movie date rut sometimes, and this was so exciting and different and challenging and we were together,
laughing and cracking inside jokes
and yes, sometimes mimicking our kids or talking about the ca-razy things they do.
 Despite how out-of-shape we are, we made it to the top almost an hour before our scheduled tour time. 
They let us go early, and our tour guide was this hilarious old man-so deadpan and cracking jokes the whole time.  

They turned the lights off at one point, and in the pitch black the guide asked if anyone had a diamond on their ring.
No one volunteered, so I offered mine-
he shined a laser directly into the diamond, making thousands of twinkly red lights all across the cave ceiling.  
The teenage kid behind me said,
"That's the coolest thing I've seen all day!"  

 It was cool,
but I think the cave was cooler.  Lots of narrow passageways, 
ducking and bending and twisting to get through them-
incredible slow-growing formations,
walking directly on the wasatch fault line-looking straight up into the solid flesh of the earth.
Very cool.
We finished up the morning with lunch/breakfast at Wendy's,
then came home to start our Saturday chores that didn't feel so chore-ish after our morning in the cave.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

home tour: for now

Welcome to part one of the "for now" home tour.  

For now,
because we have a lot of stuff we still want to do on every single room of our house.

But if our last house was any indication, it is going to take us a very very long time to get those things done...
we're the type of people who start a project (like crown molding), get almost done,
look at the nail holes that need to be filled and corner that needs to be finished
for two long years,
and then take 20 minutes to finish it up the week before we move out of the house.
We're just awesome like that.

I'm going to show you what our house is like,
for now.
And I'll show off our updates as they come along, little by little.

Part 1
The Front room, Living room, and Stairway

 What you see when you first come in our front door.  
Things to be done:
-paint walls and ceiling
-add roman shades to big windows
-replace carpet
 The front room/piano room
Things to be done:
-Paint walls and ceiling
-Get cute little accent table and chairs
-Refinish wooden chair (I got it from my parents' storage-used to be a chair used by my Grandpa Murray's family when he was a child)
-Hang artwork/decorate walls --maybe a great big framed mirror leaning in the corner?
-Add colorful rug
Things to be done:
-Hang that picture!  


 Things to be done:
-Paint walls and ceiling
-Replace carpet
-Take all those picture frames and turn them into a gallery wall
-Add little nick knacks to the shelf

Things to be done
-paint walls and ceiling (noticing a trend?)
-Redecorate table, you know, every so often.  I like to change it up.

Living Room
 Things to be done:
-paint walls and ceiling--trying out a few colors in the corner-haven't found "the one" yet.
-Take down the banner I hung for Nicholas's birthday
-New sofa and loveseat to replace sectional
-Hang something awesome behind couch
-Make roman shades for windows

Things to be done:
-Print out two more canvas prints of meaningful places, hang one above and one below our temple print

Thanks for coming along for the tour!
Next up: the kitchen