Sunday, September 29, 2013

fall colors

We've gone up the past two Sundays to see the fall colors in the canyon.  
It isn't as stunning up there yet as it was last year.  I think we need to try going back one more week.

The first week I was able to get some fun close-ups of pretty leaves, though, while the family waited in the car.  

Thank you, Kent, for humoring me and letting me play with my camera.

We went up again today, and the colors were a bit brighter, but we will be going up again next weekend.  
Because, why not? It's literally in our backyard.
 This time we took up a little snack.  Chips and salsa, and pudding.  Oreo cookies and cream pudding, to be exact. 
Nicholas's "I-love-eating-pudding-on-the-side-of-the-road" face:
Ellie was so busy eating pudding that she wouldn't even look at me.

I never know the best way to end off posts like this.  Kent's suggestion is: 
"And so we took the road less traveled by."
The end.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

to the lake

A few weeks ago, Kent and I woke up s.i.c.k. on Sunday morning.  We had a cold that was hitting us hard and we knew we weren't going to make it to Church.  

We spent the entire morning just laying around while the kids wreaked havoc on the house and ate cereal for breakfast, lunch, and all mini-meals in between.

As the afternoon came, we were feeling a bit better and we were feeling incredibly tired of being in our house,
so we jumped in the car and drove into the mountains.
We found a lake. (More like a pond, really)
We had a glorious time.

(Until Nicholas tripped and skinned his knee.....but everything up to that point was wonderful. Like I said, this is just our life right now.)

And it's a pretty sweet life at that.

I proved myself the "cool mom" when I waded out into the freezing water to pick up a stick Nicholas had thrown in.  I have to do things like that every so often so my kids don't forget that I'm fun.
We were only there for about 45 minutes before the rain clouds rolled in, but those 45 minutes walking around a lake in the mountains were exactly what we needed to shake off the sick-day blues. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Nicholas speaks

My little white boy dancing his heart out.

1. "What would you say if you were in a pretzel?"

2. He measured Ellie and me with a rope: "Mom you are twice as big as tall and Ellie is half a minute."

3.  "Pull hard as a dragon.  And another dragon."

4.  "When do I get to go to kung fu class?"  (I have no idea where he even heard of this....)

5.  "Anybody hungry for peas??"  (When we were camping.  And then he pulled several handfuls of peas out of his pockets.)

6.  "Did you know cows don't take baths?"

7.  "Okay guys, it's time to say jokes."

8.  Grammer, trying to tell a joke: "Knock knock."
Nicholas: "I can't answer the door right now!"

9.  "Pants don't like sunglasses because pants don't talk.  Only people wear sunglasses, not pants."

10.  Papa: "Do you have a piggy bank to save your money in?"
Nicholas: "Nope. Sorry.  But I have pockets!"

11.   We went to Red Robin to eat one afternoon.
On the wall above our table was this picture:
Nicholas looked at it for a minute, then declared: "Those people are having a crazy time."

12. On a chilly morning he came downstairs and curled into a ball on the couch. "It's like 16 in here!  I think we need to turn off the AC, Mom." I told him it was already off.  "Wow. How many ingredients is it outside??"

13.  We were at my parents house and Nicholas came into the living room:  "Who wants some MONEY?!"  His pockets were full of pennies, which he then handed out to everyone in the room.

14. Kent's parents asked Nicholas about his timeout chair. He said he didn't like sitting in it. So they asked him why he spends so much time there.  
"Because my mom is really good at being the boss."

15. I pointed out a dragonfly that was hovering near us. 
Nicholas: "I don't like dragonflies. They're allergic to me."

16.  And yesterday, he was playing with a friend outside and did NOT want to come inside to use the bathroom (and it was more than obvious he needed to.) After much pleading and asking, he still refused to come inside to go.  Finally he looked up at me and said, 
"I know!  You can bring something out here and I can pee in it outside!"  
Not a chance, kiddo.  Not a chance.

Monday, September 23, 2013

this is what my life looks like, september 2013

Last September: here

We've gotten so much rain this summer. It's never been this green in September before.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

she dives right in

Because who has time to wait for Mom to cut it up?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

state fair

The Utah State Fair was last week.  
My husband is kinda sorta really into "fair food," you know, deep-fried oreos and the like.
And I'm always up for doing something fun and out-of-the-ordinary with the kids.

So we went to the fair. And we met up with Josh and Alicia and Sarah there.

It had been pouring rain all morning, I was afraid we weren't going to be able to go, but the rain cleared up and the sun peeked through.
This rainbow arched all the way across the sky and was even a double rainbow for a while. (which I can't say without laughing anymore...double rainbow)
It was gorgeous though.
We told the kids we'd get them some ice cream. 
We meant they could have ice cream, you know, after they ate something substantial (which at a fair...isn't much....)
but of course what they heard was "ICE CREAM!"
So we gave them ice cream. For dinner.  

The rest of us ate alligator bites (not a fan), fried chicken, fries, and topped it off with 
cheesecake stuffed scones. ("Utah scones" are fried dough usually served with honey butter-nothing at all like real scones.)
Nicholas had a blast.  
He was in charge of the map (it's always his job) and he would point out where we were to go next and then instruct us all to "run super fast" to get there. 

We saw chickens and rabbits and a turkey and goats and cows and bubbles and giant pumpkins and bees and quilts and a lumberjack show and the most darling, intricate doll house (I'm a sucker for doll houses-with all the tiny life-like pieces and everything).

 The last thing we wanted to see was the butter sculpture they do every year.  
An entire scene molded and sculpted from butter.

We told Nicholas we were going to see a butter sculpture and he was excited
"Oh yes! Let's go see it!"
We found it, admired it, and then, as we were leaving, Nicholas asked,
"When are we going to find the butter scriptures?!"
I suppose butter scriptures would have been pretty amazing.

As we left for home, we found a clown making balloon animals.  Nicholas got an orange dinosaur and Ellie wanted a flower.
They fell asleep on the drive home and we scooped them up and put them to bed.  It was a perfect night at the State Fair.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

how long can it take?

I'm painting my ceiling white. 
Until now it has been the same dark beige as my walls.  I never loved it, but I didn't realize how much I disliked it until I started painting it white.

At first, I only painted a small patch above the dining table, and it mostly just looked like a low-hanging cloud. 
I wasn't sure white was a good idea.  But I talked to some friends who had just painted their ceilings white, and decided to keep going.
As soon as I made it from one wall to the other, it improved drastically. So much more light reflects in my house now-it feels more open and much less, well, beige. 

So I love how it's looking.  The problem with this project, though, is that I can only paint after the kids are in bed.
And I don't know about any of you, but once we push through the hour-or-more-long process of getting these kiddos to bed, I'm generally exhausted.  Painting for the next few hours is at the bottom of the list of things that sound appealing. I'd so much rather just take a bowl of ice cream down to the movie room to watch tv with Kent.

But, Kent has made a deal with me.  If I do all the painting (by myself-he loathes painting), he'll let us get new carpet with the money we were planning on paying a professional painter.
I really want new carpet.

I've been painting for over two months now....this is probably going to take me another month to finish. 
And then I'll move on to the walls. (Which I'm painting the color you see around my framed painting on the left--it's called Gray Beige by Valspar--it is the perfect warm gray.   I wanted gray gray but with the lighting in this house, especially in the winter, it translated to feeling very cold.)

How long can it take?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

who we are six years later

 Ready for a sappy lovey post?

August 2007

About six years ago,
I was living in LA with my cousin, helping with her children and new baby.  Kent was going to school in Rexburg, Idaho.  We were dating (long-distance, woo hoo).
I remember talking to my dad on the phone one day, and he asked me if I was going to marry Kent,
and I took a deep breath and said,
That was the first time I'd admitted it to anyone, even to myself.

Now, getting over my fears about making the right choice and that commitment took several more months for me, but that's another story for another time.

It's been six and half years since then. 
We've got a lot of growing ahead of us. I still feel incredibly young and inexperienced sometimes.  

But we are not the same boy and girl we were six years ago.
June 2007

Five things I love about my marriage:

1. We're partners
When we first got married we bought a frame for a painting we'd bought on our honeymoon. 
It wasn't an exact fit, and getting that canvas into the frame, and then the frame onto the wall was a bit of a challenge.
I don't even remember what happened exactly. We each had our opinions about the best way to get it done, and we didn't know how to make those ideas work together. I just remember I ended up crying. Not because of anything Kent had said or done, but because I jumped to eternal conclusions, thinking, we're never going to learn how to work together-we're doomed! 

If I could go back to that moment, I'd tell myself  "chill out, Girl." 
If we were to attempt that same task now, I'd trim the canvas and make it work into the frame, Kent would help me figure out the best place to hang it up, he'd measure, and I'd hang. 
We know our strengths and we know how to combine them to get things done most effectively and efficiently.
I know that Kent works best on his own-no input or distractions from anyone. 
We know which person likes which chores best, and we work together in a happy balance as we take care of the kids, our home, and our family. 

August 2007-right after he proposed

2. We communicate
I learned early on to tell Kent exactly what I was thinking. None of that "You need to just figure out why I'm upset" stuff.  If I need something or feel hurt because of something, I just tell him straight.  And because of this, I've gotten even better now at labeling what I'm feeling and why

I've also learned that if we're tired or hungry or it's late at night, it's best to just let the problem wait--get some sleep (or some food) and in the morning the world seems much brighter.

Learning to communicate has not only helped us quickly work through disagreements but it has helped me feel more confident and emotionally stable (which is hard as girl sometimes!).

We talk.  Probably more than Kent likes, actually. But we aren't afraid of bringing up things that we need to discuss, whether they are about parenting, finances, or even just little things that need to be changed. 

We also talk to each other about our new ideas, our happy moments, our dreams.

We are honest. Completely and fully honest.  And we never doubt each other.

May 2007
3. We "get" each other. 
I know that Kent likes his hamburger bun toasted.  He likes his drinks extra cold.  He likes to sleep with the fan on (even in the winter.)  On Saturdays when he gets to sleep in he likes to listen to music while he takes a shower. 
He knows I don't like doing the dishes. He knows I like twizzlers slightly better than redvines. He knows I love to see pretty things.  He knows sometimes I say things I don't really mean when I'm upset; and he can call me out, bring me back to rationality when I start to get ridiculous. 
We know each other.
We love each other just the way we are, but we also know when to be the voice for the other that says "I know you can be better than this-step up and move on."    
January 1st, 2010
4. We're friends
We have our little jokes.  We see things sometimes that are only funny to us and just look at each other and laugh without having to talk about it.  We love to go places together, try new things and have adventures.  
We like to be with each other. 
We don't like to do all the same things all the time---he loves his movies and computers and I love books and music, etc--but I think that makes us even more interesting as friends.
Also, we do our very best to be nice to each other.  We (mostly me) sometimes say or do things in stressful moments that aren't the kindest, but because we are friends we are able to start over, try again, and forgive and move on.  

May 2013-in Mexico
5. We love each other and we show it.
This one can be harder for us to practice in the day-to-day grind.  The kids, the house, the work of our daily lives takes most of our focus and energy. 
But we love each other.  
And maybe some days that love comes in the form of Kent loading the dishwasher and picking up the living room clutter while I'm singing a bedtime song to the kids.   Or in me remembering he mentioned how much he wanted a particular meal and making it for him.  He encourages me to go out and have a girl's night with friends.  I let him take a couple of hours to play a game on the computer when he wants to unwind, and maybe even take him a cold rootbeer while he plays.  
Tiny little things that do a lot to show love.  

Six years isn't that long, I know.  But a lot of big things have happened the past six years (two children, college graduations, two homes, three jobs), and I am proud of us, of what we've learned and how we've grown. 
I am proud of how we feel about each other even still, our connection, friendship, and love.  And when you look at how much of the world feels about marriage today, 
well six years is actually a pretty big deal.  

And it is especially nice to look at what we have and feel just so blessed.  As life happens, challenges come and go and time goes on, I feel even more grateful that I married Kent.  With him, I find myself.  I feel safe, connected, grounded, and encouraged.  

Marriage is good. Very, very good.