Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in review

Well, here we are, it's the last night of 2013. I was supposed to go to a party with friends tonight but Clarissa isn't feeling well and I didn't want to infect everyone, so Clarissa and I are hanging out at home and Shawn and the boys went to the party. They'll be back well before midnight and we'll celebrate the new year together.

So I'm sitting here thinking about what happened this year. This was the year of the recarpeting. Between the spring and fall we recarpeted the entire house from top to bottom. It looks great, I'm really glad we did it. We also did a ton of repainting and redecorating. From Josh's room, to the dining room to the basement, we did all sorts of updating. The house feels nice.

This was a year of fun vacations. We played at the lake in beautiful McCall, we spent some time exploring Yellowstone Park, we enjoyed spending the 4th of July in my hometown and had a couple of other fun little adventures along the way.

This was a great year for the kids. Josh had an amazing year of change and growth. And when I say growth, the kid grew three inches and two shoes sizes between September and December. This is the year I kept replacing his wardrobe as he kept growing out of his clothes like the Incredible Hulk, lol. He also got into the National Junior Honor Society, won two film competitions, joined the yearbook staff, got ten merit badges closer to his Eagle Scout and is doing an intense PE class at school where he is loving weight lifting and running. He really transitioned from kid to teenager this year and I couldn't be prouder of the man he is becoming.

Matthew had an awesome year this year too. He's in the gifted program at his school and is loving it. They did a big salmon research project this year and the highlight for him was getting to actually go on a field trip to a salmon hatchery and get in the water and catch fish and study them. Matthew is loving cub scouts, read a ton of books this year, spent every spare second after school with his best friend down the street and is the family video game champ. I love that kid.

Clarissa is loving preschool this year. She has an amazing teacher and is really thriving there. I have loved watching Clarissa grow and learn. Raising a daughter is so different from raising the boys and it's been fun to watch her personality and talents develop. She is starting to read, she is in a ballet class that she loves and she loves to draw and sing. She's also obsessed with Play Doh and princesses.
She has quite a dress up collection of princess dresses that she wears most of the day when we're home. That kid LOVES clothes. I love spending time with Clarissa. I'm going to miss her when she goes off to kindergarten in the fall!

This was a year of fun and adventure and mostly positive things. I will look back on 2013 fondly, as a year of growth and positive change in our family.

So goodbye, 2013. I will think of you fondly and I look forward to more adventures ahead in the new year.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

The week we did nothing

Well, Christmas is over and the basement was a huge hit! We wrapped the doorway to the basement on Christmas Eve with wrapping paper and it was fun watching the kids tear through it and run down there on Christmas morning. They couldn't believe how different it looks. It honestly looks like a completely different house down there! You can barely recognize it as the same place. We are all loving it!

So we've been home all week enjoying the basement and playing with the Christmas toys and we have pretty much done nothing productive all week. We haven't left the house, we haven't done any projects, we haven't had anyone over, we have literally sat around, watched movies, had Wii tournaments, eaten too much Christmas food and have had an awesome do nothing, go nowhere week. For one week a year it is SO nice to just lock ourselves in the house and enjoy endless family time with no schedule to follow. We played Wii Super Mario 3D World all afternoon today. I didn't even know what time it was most of the day. I laughed so hard I had to go track down my asthma inhaler. This evening we ate pizza and watched old Amazing Race Episodes. Best do nothing day ever. :)

Tomorrow we have to actually get up and be productive and go to church. The do nothing week is over. Everyone is actually home all next week too, but we do have things we need to get done next week. Josh is filming a video that he needs help with, I've got some shopping that desperately needs to get done, Shawn promised to take the boys to a movie, I need to finish moving all of Clarissa's toys down to the basement and getting the basement closet organized, and we have some other things that have been neglected during our do nothing week. And honestly, as fun as it was spending a week goofing off, I am sort of ready to get back to being productive. Stuff starts to pile up if you goof off for too long!

But the do nothing week was awesome while it lasted. We made some great family memories while we were goofing off. I love just shutting out the world sometimes and doing things that make us happy as a family. These are the memories that we never forget.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

It's the annual Christmas picture!! :)



To all my blog readers, I hope you have a very merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 21, 2013


The TV and furniture showed up bright and early this morning! So fun! The couch fits perfectly, the only thing that is missing is a cup holder console thing. They brought the wrong one so they're ordering in the right one and it will be here in a week or so. It will miss the big unveiling but it's not a big deal.

I really love how it turned out and I'm proud of us for actually finishing a project for once, lol. After all the stress I put myself through over picking paint, I'm happy with the results. The kids are going to love it and we're all going to enjoy spending time down there.

Here are some photos!

Look at these before and afters!!


Friday, December 20, 2013

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

I'm having one of perfect evenings that I just want to take a mental picture of to remember it forever. 

Today was everyone's last day of work and school until after the new year. Shawn saved his vacation time and is taking the same vacation days that the kids get from school, so this afternoon at 4:30 everyone came home and we have nowhere we need to be for the next two weeks. I have been looking forward to this day for weeks. Actually, I've been looking forward to it all year! Shawn always takes some time off at Christmas while the kids are home and I love it every year. I love having us all here with nowhere important we need to be for a while. 

At 4:30 this afternoon it also started snowing and hasn't stopped! It looks like a perfect winter wonderland out there. Boise doesn't get a lot of snow, so when it does it's always kind of magical and exciting. With all the Christmas lights and snow out there, it looks beautiful. 

We had a party around the corner for some friends earlier this evening and we all came home, watched it snow out the window, got into our warm pajamas and it just feels like the perfect night. We're excited about the snow, excited about Christmas, I'm excited that everyone is home and it's cold and snowy outside and warm and cozy in the house. I love that it's snowing like crazy out there and we don't have anywhere we need to be. It's perfect. 

So Christmas vacation has officially begun and so far we're off to an amazing start!! We have spent the past week getting the last odds and ends done in the basement and tomorrow they're delivering the furniture! I'm excited to finally get the couch and TV in there, but also a little nervous because I hope it fits right and looks good and that everything goes well. So far the whole basement project has been smooth sailing and everything has gone according to plan, but the furniture is one of the biggest steps in the process and I hope it's perfect! I'll take photos tomorrow. 

For now I'm off to snuggle with my family, and watch it snow. I am officially in Christmas mode and I'm as giddy as a little kid. My favorite time of the year is here and I couldn't be more excited!! :) 

Monday, December 16, 2013

More basement!

I know, between Heirs and my basement my blog is getting a bit repeatitive lately. I swear I'll move onto something else soon.

But today was another big day working down there! We're getting so much done and it's looking really great. Everything is hung on the walls, and today we finished getting the blinds installed in the windows. We tried to do them over the weekend and got one done just fine and the other one gave us all sorts of trouble. My friend Karen came to the rescue today and we ended up over at Lowes again with two toddlers in tow getting the problem taken care of.

Then we went to look at throw pillows for the couch! You remember my big story about how I fail at knowing how to accessorize, right? I'm usually not a throw pillow kind of girl, simply because I have no clue how to pick them out. Karen to the rescue! She's actually sewing me two pillows using the fabric I bought that day at the fabric store when I finally picked out the paint color, and then we used that fabric as inspiration and she helped me pick out more pillows today.

That day at the fabric store when I thought I had no idea what I was doing and bought a piece of fabric on a whim was actually the turning point in this whole project. Every decision I have made down there since has been based on that scrap of fabric. It picked the paint and today it picked the pillows. The pillows we picked out today will look amazing on the couch. They're fun colors that coordinate great with the room and will give it a great pop of color. For the first time in my life I'm a throw pillow girl, lol! Look at me, successfully coordinating something! I never thought I would see the day. :) Granted, I had a lot of help, but still. Colorful throw pillows were achieved. It's a Christmas miracle, lol.

At this point we don't have a lot left to do except wait for the furniture to be delivered on Saturday. This was a major project to pull off before Christmas. It's been super fun and the kids are going to love it, but putting it all together has made the past month or so pretty crazy! I'm looking forward to it all being done and spending a fun Christmas down there as a family!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas in Seoul!!

Someone posted this on Facebook this morning and it made my day. This was a Christmas Carol flash mob done at Seoul Station, which is a big train station in Seoul.

Shawn and I only have to hear the words "Seoul Station" and we get big goofy grins on our faces. That was the hub for a lot of our crazy Korean adventures. It's where we learned how Korean food courts work and ordered mysterious food that we really had no idea what we were eating. We ran through Seoul Station like crazy people trying to catch a train to Busan. Which we missed, so we had to kill some time waiting for the next one.

We left Seoul at 1:00 in the afternoon, made a three hour train journey across the entire country to Busan, which is where Clarissa was born, spent a few hours there, sat on the beach while the sun set and then got back on the train and took another three hour train ride back to Seoul Station. It was probably midnight when we got back and we were completely and utterly exhausted. I don't remember another day in my life where I was that physically exhausted. Then we got a cab to take us back to our hotel and realized that we had no idea what the address of the hotel was or how to get back there. Feeling lost in a foreign country in the middle of the night when you can barely keep your eyes open is a bit scary!

Fortunately I had studied the subway map previously and somehow remembered the name of a subway station near our hotel. The cab driver knew that station and dropped us off there and we walked the rest of the way back to our hotel. I still laugh every time I think of that day. It was probably the craziest day of my entire life. That was an adventure I will never forget.

Seoul Station also has a shopping center attached to it and we went back there a few times to do some shopping. I could go on forever about our adventures in and around Seoul Station. Seeing it on the video today brought back lots of great memories that made me smile, and hearing those beautiful carols sung in Korean made me even happier. Korea will always have a piece of my heart.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

One more photo!

We got the TV console moved in and hung something on the wall! We're making progress! We just spent the evening at Lowes buying blinds for the windows and hardware to hang the big mirror on the wall. It's looking awesome down there! 

(I don't know why the carpet looks weird in this photo. The lighting must have been weird. It's not an accurate color at all.) 


It took a day and a half but the carpet guy is finally done and we're finally getting somewhere!

I feel like the photos don't do it justice. You can't tell how horrible the old carpet was and what a gigantic change the new carpet is! The old carpet was a very light grey and it was super worn and stained in a few spots, and after a water leak we had a few years ago, part of it had been pulled up and never properly laid back down. It was bad. Like really nasty. 

There was a hole in the wall in the stairwell from when we moved the treadmill down the stairs. There was some damage on the wall where the boys had hit their gaming chairs against the wall. The vinyl floor in the bathroom had yellowed over the years for some reason and looked awful. Basically, the basement was in bad shape. Everything looked worn and dated and in desperate need of a facelift. 

Well it has definitely gotten a facelift! The painters repaired the damage to the walls and gave everything a fresh coat of paint that makes everything look clean and new. The old worn carpet was pulled out and replaced with the same awesome carpet we put upstairs earlier this year. It's soft and nice and pretty. We replaced the old worn out vinyl in the bathoom with a really cool updated vinyl that looks really pretty in there. It feels likes a whole new house down there!

It's not done, of course. The furniture store is delivering all the furniture next Saturday. We still need to reset the toilet that we had to pull out for the vinyl installation. We have things to hang on the walls and we're putting blinds in the windows. All that will be done this week. 

But it's amazing to me how different it looks! Like I said, the photos don't necessarily do it justice. The old carpet doesn't look nearly as horrible in the photos as it did in real life and you can't tell how bad the walls looked. But trust me, it wasn't pretty. 

I will get more photos later. The leftover carpet is still in the TV room because we can't move it to the storage room until we get all the guest room stuff out if there that we had to move so they could recarpet. We'll do that this evening. 

I also haven't taken many photos of the TV room yet because I actually have a big blanket covering half of one wall so that it blocks the view from upstairs so we can hide it from the kids. I was going to cover the whole room and then I realized that you can really only see one small potion of the room from upstairs, so I got out my photography backdrop stand, draped a blanket over it and moved it in front of the wall so that it blocks the kids from being able to see what color the walls are down there or anything else that would give the surprise away. I'm determined for everything to remain a surprise until Christmas morning! 

My plan is to get out my good camera and take good photos when the whole project is 100% complete and I can share the whole thing. But for now, here is a taste of what is going on down there!!

And here are a few before and afters!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Carpet update, sorta

So the carpet guy showed up this morning. Yep, one guy. Apparently everyone wants their house recarpeted right before Christmas and they're stretched thin trying to get it all done, so we get one guy to do the whole job. That means it's been super slow going and he will most likely be back tomorrow to finish. From what I can tell it's looking good down there, but he has been here all day and he still has a ways to go.

So I won't be posting photos today. There isn't much to see yet. I'll post when he gets it all done, hopefully tomorrow!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Goodbye Heirs

Well, it's over. We just finished watching the finale. I made Korean food, I decorated the TV with Korean flags and we gave it a proper send off. :)

And it was AMAZING! I was a little nervous about the end because in my experience Korean dramas sometimes have abrupt endings. There have been a few dramas that I really loved that just lost it in the last episode. I need a satisfying wrap up. Fortunately this one delivered. Some of it was happy and some of it was sad, but they gave it a proper goodbye and I really loved it.

The show started out as a cute love story but as the story progressed it was about so much more. It was about family and loyalty and honesty and living the life you truly want to live. It had a lot of good lessons about what's important in life. It was a story of how money truly can't buy love and happiness, but how love can conquer anything.

I loved it. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me think. I want to start back at episode one and watch the whole saga unfold again. It really was beautiful.

So I will miss it. I'll will miss having it to look forward to each week. It was fun while it lasted.

Tomorrow is carpet day! Shawn has the day off and we're going to be overseeing the carpet project and then spending some time at Lowes buying blinds for the windows and hopefully hanging a few things on the walls. There is a heavy mirror and a big metal piece that need to be hung with anchor screws and we're going to attempt to do it without ruining the nice new paint job. Yikes.

I will post photos tomorrow when the carpet is done!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Episode 19

Oh, Heirs, how I love you. Tonight was episode 19. Tomorrow is the series finale. This has been an excellent story and I absolutely love how they're wrapping it up. There has been some amazing character growth throughout the show and I love the points they have made about what is really important in life and what truly matters. It started out as a cute love story and turned into something deeper and really beautiful and I have loved being along for the ride.

I'm going to be sad tomorrow when they wrap it up. I have grown to love the characters and I'm going to miss them! Usually I love that Korean dramas only last for a season because it forces them to get to the meat of the story and not drag it out for years until we lose interest (I'm looking at you, How I Met Your Mother) but in this case I think I could happily watch another season. Or five, lol.

I want to do something fun tomorrow to give it a proper send off. Maybe I'll make Korean food for dinner. Oh! Maybe I'll go to the Korean market and buy some Korean cookies and party favors and make it an event. That would be super fun! It's settled. Tomorrow is Korean night at our house. 그것은 파티의! (Google translator tells me that says "it's a party!" In Korean. It's entirely possible that it doesn't. Let's just pretend.) 

Sunday, December 8, 2013



I took this last night. We went to Shawn's company Christmas party last night and I was having a good hair day so we took a rare photo of the two of us.

Shawn got a ten year award at the party last night. I can't believe he's been working there for ten years! He used to work for a grocery store pharmacy when he got out of pharmacy school and one day out of the blue he got a call from a guy who was looking for a manager for his pharmacy and had heard good things about Shawn from another employee Shawn used to work with. Shawn initially turned him down because he wasn't looking for a new job, but they kept asking and eventually offered him more money and he couldn't turn that down so he accepted. Ten years later he's still there and it was a good move.

The thing I remember about that was that I was eight months pregnant with Matthew at the time. While they were negotiating this new job we were mostly stressed about him starting a new job right as I was giving birth. What would we do about insurance, since at the time pregnancy was a pre-existing condition, and what would he do about taking time off when the baby came? He told them his concerns and they took care of it. He actually worked there for two weeks before Matthew was born and they gave him a week off to spend with us.

So I never have to try to remember how long Shawn has worked at his job, because it's the same as Matthews age. That's handy. :)

Shawn's job has changed a lot over the years, they actually closed the retail section that Shawn managed a few years ago and turned the whole pharmacy into a long term care pharmacy, where they have contracts with care facilities and mental health facilities to supply their medications. So he doesn't work with the public as much as he used to, which he misses, but he's still grateful for a good job and steady work in this economy. I'm grateful that he works so hard for our family. I love that man! :)

Saturday, December 7, 2013


So I took a few days off of obsessing over the basement. I haven't even been down there in a few days. Then this morning I had to go down there to get something and when I peeked into the TV room I got super excited! I love the paint! It took me a few days to get used to it. The first couple of days I was having a bit of panic about it and worrying that the colors were just too...much. Too dark, too bright, too bold, too something.

But today I looked at it and I think it's perfect. It's not going to seem like too much when the whole project is done. Looking at it with fresh eyes today I could invision the finished product instead of just focusing on the paint and I think we're going to absolutely love it. It looks like a completely different room than it did before and that's a good thing. I wanted a drastic change. It NEEDED a drastic change. They're coming next Friday to do the carpet and I can't wait.

Today we're just kind of hanging out around the house. Shawn is working today and it snowed last night and is super cold outside, so it was a good day to just stick close to home. I'm doing a bit of online Christmas shopping. I need to find matching pajamas for the boys for our yearly Christmas Eve photo and I'm having a really hard time this year. Josh is in adult sizes now, so trying to find something in both Josh and Matthews size that matches is hard. I'm afraid I'm going to have to abandon my online search and actually brave the mall. I try to avoid that place like the plague in December. If anyone knows where to find matching plaid flannel pajama bottoms in both adult and kid sizes, preferably online, I would love to hear it!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Heirs (again)

Well, Heirs is headed into the home stretch. We have episode 17 tonight, 18 tomorrow and they'll close it up with 19 and 20 next week. I'm going to be super bummed when it's over.

I'm kind of embarrassingly obsessed with this show! I started out watching it alone, Shawn joined in around episode four and Josh caught up and joined us around episode 12. Now we all spend the week counting down days until the next episode. 

If you've never seen a Korean drama, you should because they're awesome, and this one is extra awesome. I'm on a campaign to get everyone hooked. :) 

You want to watch this drama to find out why these two are the funniest couple in the world and should have their own show just because they're freaking adorable: 

You want to watch it to hate this guys guts until one day you're horrified to realize that you don't hate him so much anymore, and you won't be sure how that happened.

You want to watch it because this guy just needs a hug:

And this girl should be the one to give it to him:

You want to watch it because this scene is hysterical:

This one will give you butterflies in your stomach and make you remember falling in love for the first time:

And this one will break your heart into a million little pieces:

And when that happens, you'll look something like this:

Or this:

Why can't everyone just be happy and make out in closets?

I'm telling you, go watch Heirs!! Dramafever.com has all the episodes. Be obsessed with me! :) 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013




Well, it's definitely green! They got everything done and did a great job. I'm still slightly panicky about the green but I'm getting used to it. On my laptop it actually looks a little brighter in the photo than it actually is in person, so it may not be totally accurate on your monitor. The blue looks more navy in person. I'll get better photos with my good camera later. 

It's going to look a lot better when the new carpet is in and we get it furnished. Right now it's just an empty room with a lot of green. Once there is stuff on the wall and furniture to break it up it will all go together. 

What I do know is that my boys are going to LOVE it. They don't know what color it is but Josh keeps saying he's hoping it's green. It is definitely green, lol. It's a teenage boy room and those are definitely teenage boy colors. 

I love the blue grey in the bathroom. It's a great color. The hallway and stairs are just a subtle beige but it looks way better than the beat up white walls that were there before. The stairwell especially was in desperate need of a paint job. It looks so much better now. 

We're keeping the whole thing a secret from the boys. No one is allowed down there until it's done. They know basically what we're doing but they won't get to see it until Christmas morning. I'm not convinced we'll be able to keep it from them until Christmas, but we're going to try!

I'm going to get out my real camera and take good pictures of everything when the whole thing is done. We're still at phase one. It's going to look a million times better when the flooring is done next week and even better when it's furnished, so I'm going to wait to post a lot of photos until then.

So there you have it. It's definitely green! Eek! 

Sneak peek

So remember when I said I wanted a bold color in the new TV room? Uh, well...I got it, lol. They're still here working but I snuck down and took a look. 

Granted, when I took these photos it wasn't dry yet and totally not done. Also, the lighting is a little funky down there because that have some work lights set up on the stairs, so the color isn't totally accurate. 

It's a bold green though! I'm trying to reserve judgement until the paint dries, the new carpet is in and it's furnished. Right now all I'm seeing is wall color. When the room is done and there are things on the wall it will look different. It's also not even totally dry or finished yet. I need to hold my horses a bit, lol. 

I'll take more photos later when the painters leave, but here is what it looks like at the moment. I'm loving the color in the bathroom. Now that it's on the wall I can see that it's the blue grey I was going for in the TV room in the first place. Sigh. 

Monday, December 2, 2013


The painters were planning to come do some prep work tomorrow and do the majority of the painting on Wednesday but they called today and said that they're hoping to do most of the work tomorrow, so tonight we got the rest of the room cleared out and ready for them. I'm nervous and excited! After all the agonizing I did over the paint color, I really hope I like it. It's too late to change my mind now!

I snapped some quick "before" photos with my phone tonight. They're not great, but they're good enough to show you what's happening down there. Clearly it looks awful down there now. I'm almost embarrassed to show these, but I want to document the before and after. The basement has been pretty neglected all these years. The carpet is really old, the walls need repainted and at the moment it really doesn't look like a room you want to hang out in. I'm hoping all that will change in the next few weeks. 

I also included photos of the bathroom. It's being painted grey and will get new vinyl flooring when they recarpet next week. 

I'll take more photos when the paint is done! 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

I did it!

I officially blogged every single day this month. They weren't all interesting or exciting but I managed to check in every day. I might try this challenge during a different month next year. I really did plan to do more writing this month than I did, I was just too busy. I might try again when I have more time.

All in all, November was a good month. It was busy though, I spent most of picking out paint, furniture and carpet for the basement, and I'm glad that's done! December will be even busier, having the painters, carpet people and furniture people in here putting it all together. But I think we'll be happy with the results and it will be fun to see an idea that has been nine years in the making finally come together. We've been talking about eventually making a teenage hangout/media room down there for pretty much as long as we've lived here. It's the last part of the house that needed to be redone and I'm excited to finally see it complete.

Today we've got some projects that need to be worked on, I'm hoping to sneak in a movie at some point and we'll enjoy some more family time. We've had a great few days. I love these kinds of holidays when we're all home with nothing important to do and we can just hang out and enjoy each other. It's nice to take a break from the world every now and then and just spend some time together. Everyone goes back to school and work on Monday and real life begins again. I'm enjoying this family time while it lasts.

Next week the basement project officially starts. Next week they paint, the following week they carpet, the week after that they bring in the furniture and the next week we officially unveil it to the kids! I can't wait!

Friday, November 29, 2013

The day after

For all the angst I put myself through when it comes to Thanksgiving, we actually had an amazing day!

We started it out with a family Wii tournament. I emerged victorious and the losers all got Oreos. :)

Then we had a delicious ham dinner and my three ham loving children ate until they were stuffed. They love ham to a ridiculous degree. 

After our feast we had our annual Amazing Race marathon. We always try to hold off on watching the current season until Thanksgiving and then we marathon it. We're still not totally caught up, so we'll continue tomorrow. 

Then last night Shawn, Josh and I watched the new episode of Heirs. Episode 16. We're nearing the end and everything is coming to a head. It was seriously intense tonight! I cried. I'm pretty sure I'm going to cry through the rest of the episodes. I'm crazy in love with that show.

It was an awesome day. I love my family and I love that we're creating our own family traditions. Spending the day just hanging out, playing Wii together, eating yummy food and enjoying some family time was awesome.

Shawn has the next few days off, so we're going to be watching more Amazing Race, have another Wii tournament, we're going to finish cleaning out the basement so the painters can paint next week, Shawn and I are going to a movie at some point (I'm dying to see the new Hunger Games movie), we'll hopefully get the Christmas tree up and I'm looking forward to spending some more fun time with the kids.

As much fun as we're having, I feel like it's just a preview of how much fun we're going to have at Christmas!! Shawn has two weeks off at Christmas and the basement will be done, so we can have awesome movie marathons and Family Wii tournaments down there! Now that we have all the basement stuff picked out and purchased we're just waiting to put it all together and I'm getting really excited! The boys are going to love it. I think we're all going to love it! Exciting things are ahead! :) 

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Well, the day has arrived. It's Thanksgiving again. The culmination of my yearly funk, lol. We're not going out of town this year, we're not visiting family, heck, we're not even eating turkey.

I woke up this morning,  prepared to suck it up and put a smile on my face whether I wanted to or not, but as I laid there for a few minutes and gave myself a Thanksgiving pep talk, I decided that I wasn't going to fake happy today. I'm going to choose to actually BE happy. I have too much to be thankful for not to be.

So I got up, I took a shower, I used my shower time to mentally list all my blessings and I'm ready to face this day with a real smile on my face.

I am grateful for my extended family, complicated as they may be sometimes.

I'm incredibly grateful for my three beautiful children and the most amazing husband anyone could ever ask for. I hit the jackpot with those four people.

Clarissa ran into my bedroom this morning, crawled into bed with me and asked me if we're going to catch a turkey today. She doesn't fully understand this holiday, lol. I love that kid.

Josh has been watching Heirs with me and I'm not sure if he likes the show or just likes spending the time with me, but we're having fun either way and I love it.

Matthew is my sunshine, always happy, always easy, always with a smile on his face and an exciting story to tell me. His enthusiasm for life is a blessing to our family.

I can hear Shawn downstairs right now vacuuming and I know that he's doing it because he knows Thanksgiving is hard for me and freshly vacuumed floors make me happy. That man will do absolutely anything to make me happy. Grateful doesn't even begin to describe how I feel about him. He's a saint as far as I'm concerned.

I'm grateful for my home, for my neighborhood and for this beautiful state, tucked in the safety of the mountains.

I'm grateful for my friends, who put up with me even if I don't like chick flicks and shoe shopping and need home decorating advice way too often. :)

I'm thankful for my blog readers who for some reason show up here and read my crazy jumbled thoughts. Knowing someone is reading is what keeps me writing and someday I'm going to be glad I wrote this all down.

I'm grateful for my church and for the peace it brings into my life. I would be a very different person without it.

I'm grateful for the 20 amazing Thanksgivings I got to share with my dad. I miss him today more than any day of the year. I'm grateful for eternal families. I know he's with us in spirit even if he can't take his place at the table and play a board game with me this afternoon.

I'm grateful for so many other things that I don't have time to list. It's hard to be in a Thanksgiving funk when I think of all the reasons I have to be happy.

So now I'm going to put my REAL smile on, go down stairs, hug my kids, kiss my sweet husband and celebrate my blessings. We're going to eat our ham, have our yearly Amazing Race marathon this afternoon and enjoy being a family.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Thanks for sticking with me. :)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Basement style board

So now that we're finally getting somewhere on the basement, I put together a collage of the things we've picked out. Colors will vary a big on your monitors, so it may not all be exact, but you can get an idea. The only thing that is bugging me is that the picture of the couch that I got off the furniture store website isn't an accurate color. It's much more of a chocolate brown in person. It's not as red as it looks in the photo. That's throwing me off a little.

So the two big squares are the wall colors. Valspar Homestead Resort Olive and Valspar Jazz Club. The smaller square in the middle is the fabric I picked out that I'm having pillows made out of, but the picture isn't really a good representation of the fabric. It's like a cool, texturey upholstery fabric with all different colors woven in it. It has a soft, bumpy texture that I like. It looks great in person, but not so great in the picture. 

The TV cabinet in the picture is the cabinet we picked out. They delivered it this morning and I love it. It will go against the blue wall and will have a 60 inch TV sitting on it. 

The couch in the picture is the same style we're getting and I took it off the furniture store website where we bought it, but like it said, it's much browner in person. It's not reddish like it is here. It's a great brown that will look awesome against the green wall. 

I picked out a really great brown mirror that will go over the couch and the metal bike that is sitting on the floor in my guest room because I never got around to hang it up is going to go on one of the other walls. (I'm going to hang it up this time, I promise.) I also have a cool metal art piece that I bought from Pottery Barn several years ago and never found a place for will probably also be down there. 

The only thing I still have to figure out is what is going to go on the windows. I'm still working on that. 

Here is what our very sad looking basement looks like today. I took these this morning. It's a disaster, with paint colors all over the place. You can see where I've tested different colors. The green over the blues is the green we're using and the dark blue on the recessed wall is the blue we're using. It looks horrible right now,, of course, but when it's recarpeted, repainted and has new furniture in it, I think we're going to love it!! 

I even did a very professionally done Photoshop job of exactly what it will look like. Haha, just kidding, it looks terrible. I have Photoshop skills, but clearly did not put them to good use today, lol. 

So there you go. A very terribly done and not at all accurate look of how the room is coming along. Clearly no one will be hiring me to do interior decorating presentations anytime soon. Thank goodness, because that crap is hard. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Meltdown in aisle three

So last night we went and bought the TV and the media cabinet for the TV room project. The TV's were totally on sale this week so I'm really glad we waited. We ended up getting a nicer one than we thought we could afford on our budget because the prices dropped so much. Then we went to the clearance section of the furniture store that we love and found a media cabinet that is very slightly damaged, you'd never noticed it and I'm pretty sure we can fix it anyway and it was marked hundreds of dollars down. It was way out of our budget at the regular price, but quite affordable at the discount price. All in all a successful night. The only problem is that they have to deliver the media cabinet tomorrow because they won't hold clearance items, so we're going to have to store it until we're ready for it. At that price, I can deal with that.

So that meant that everything was purchased and picked out except the paint. The stupid, stupid paint.

In the past two weeks I have bought almost 15 sample colors at Lowes. The paint people all know me there now. It's embarrassing to go back it and have them say "you STILL haven't picked out a color?!". No, I have not.

Here's the thing. Here is my deep dark insecurity. I am not girly in any sort of way. (Well, fingernails. There's that.) I hate home decorating, I hate picking out fabrics and colors, I hate fabric stores, I hate talking about throw pillows and curtains and I would rather stick a hot poker in my eye than go shoe shopping or look at jewelry. I fake it. I attempt to find common interests with other women. I deal with it when it's required. I'm just not girly. When I was a kid and other girls were playing with dolls I was catching snakes and frogs in the canals by my house. For three hours every Sunday I'm forced to wear a dress to church and that thing comes off practically before I get in the house.

I am not girly. I like to hang out at Best Buy and talk about computers and surround sound speakers. I like to go to the Apple Store and play with the new iPads. I get along with men really well. Almost all my friends growing up were male. When I got married my bridal shower was all my moms friends because I literally only had one female friend. That has always been hard for me. I feel very isolated at times because I don't relate to other women. I try. I've joined scrapbook groups and recipe exchanges and play groups. I go to chick flicks for girls nights and I'll tolerate shoe shopping and trips to the fabric store if  have to. But it's an insecurity I have, that I'm not like the other women around me. I live in the suburbs, in the land of the stay at home moms with their pretty houses and and Pampered Chef parties. I have my own pretty house and I'll go to a Pampered Chef party if I have to, but it's not what I truly enjoy.

So having said all of that, decorating the basement has not been easy for me. I was not born with the gene that knows how to match pillows with paint and curtains with wall decor. I can't do it. Women talk about that kind of stuff and I zone out. I'm missing the decorating portion of my brain. To me it's like high school math. I still don't know how to solve for X and I don't understand how to put two paint colors together and know if they match. My brain doesn't compute that way.

So I tried blues because I have seen some pretty blue rooms in magazines and it's pretty. But trying to recreate that myself just didn't work. I can't look at a color and know if it's the "right" color. I don't know what it's supposed to look like. I literally don't get it. So I gave up on blues and tried greens. I can pick greens. Half the rooms in my house are green. They're all basically the same sagey light green because that's a color I understand. I could go with another sagey green in the basement. Yesterday I went to Lowes and picked out three greens. I brought them home and realized that they were all basically the same colors I already have in my house. Sagey green is apparently the ONLY color I understand because I just keep picking the same thing over and over.

But I don't want sagey green in the basement. It's pretty but I'm bored of it and it's too pretty to be in a teenage boy room. Because this is a basement room meant for boys, I want something fun and different. It's not a room that anyone will see unless they specifically go down there, so I want to not be afraid to do something more bold. My house is very conservative. Taupes and beiges and soft greens everywhere. I'm afraid to go crazy and get creative because I don't know how to do it right. There is only one room in my house that even has curtains because I don't know how to pick them out. My house is pretty but it's boring. It just is.

So how does someone who has no clue how to decorate or pick colors put together a super awesome TV room?  It's not easy, I can tell you that!

I was supposed to get the paint colors to the painters like a week ago. I'm running out of time. I've tried fifteen different colors and hated all of them. This morning I was basically in panic mode.

So I broke down and went to the fabric store. I tried a new tactic. I thought maybe I would pick out fabric for pillows or curtains and then pull a paint color from that. Why I thought that was a good idea, I'm not sure. I hate the fabric store. Picking out fabric is worse than picking out paint.

So I wandered around. Last night I was rewatching an episode of Heirs and I saw a guy wearing and olive green and dark blue coat. And I though to myself that I've always loved olive green and navy together. I thought maybe I could find some fabric with those colors in it and somehow tie that together. But again, fabric is like paint to me. I don't know what looks good and all my insecurities about not being good at this sort of thing came out. I looked at every fabric 50 times. I wandered up and down the isles. I literally had no idea what I was even looking for. An employee tried to help me. It didn't help. I saw lots of pretty blue greys and thought maybe I should reconsider blue. I'm so not going that route again.

I stood there so long and looked at so many fabrics and felt so...inadequate and clueless that I literally almost had a meltdown in the store. I hate that I'm not good at this. I hate feeling like the only woman in the world who this sort of thing doesn't come naturally for. I watched other women walk in, pick out fabulous fabric for their fabulous projects and walk out and I was still standing there looking for something I wasn't seeing. Why can't this be easy for me??

So I finally picked a fabric that I like. I showed it to the employee who was helping me and she was kind of "meh" on it. She didn't seem to love it. That made me rethink it so I put it back. Then I went and got it again because I like it. So I bought a sample of it. I had no idea what I was going to do with it or how it was going to help me but I liked it and I bought it.

Then I went out to the car and cried. It's Thanksgiving week and I miss my family and we're having a stupid ham for Thanksgiving because my kids don't like turkey and I don't know how to pick out paint and I felt stupid at the fabric store and I felt even more stupid for crying in the fabric store parking lot and I had a sample of fabric in my lap that I had no idea what to do with and now I had to go to Lowes and somehow pick out paint again.

I called Shawn and went on for 10 minutes about how inadequate I am as a human being and he went on break from work just to listen to me because he's awesome like that and that made me feel brave enough to go back to the paint store.

So there I was again, looking at paint. I stood in the paint department of Lowes with my stupid sample of fabric and tried not to cry. There are just so many freaking colors! How does anybody ever pick one?!

So the paint lady, who remembered me from my previous trips to the paint department, came over to help. She could tell I was at the end of my rope and she was super awesome. She didn't care that I looked like I was going to cry at Lowes, she just started pulling paint colors and trying to help. I wanted to hug her. Finally I grabbed two colors impulsively. An olive green and a navy blue. The same colors I saw on the coat from Heirs last night. I said "What about these?", thinking they were probably terrible. She held up the sample of fabric I had, and it. was. beautiful. The paint colors totally pulled out the same colors in the fabric I picked. I didn't even realize it until I saw the two of them together. It's actually really pretty.

The colors are very bold. Not what I would normally pick for any other room in my house. But isn't that what I set out to do in the first place? I realized that my problem this whole time was that I was trying to think like a woman and what I really should have been doing is trying to think like a teenage boy, because that's who this room is for. A teenage boy doesn't appreciate the subtle blues and greys of a perfect Pottery Barn paint. They like olive green and navy blue. They like bold, fun colors, and I wanted a room with bold fun colors.

I went home and painted them on my walls, and you know what? We're going for it. The room will be olive green and the small recessed wall where the TV will go will be navy blue. I'm going to have pillows made out of the fabric I chose that pulls it all together.

It may not be a perfect Pottery Barn room. It may not be a color that any other woman would choose. But my boys are going to love it and I'm going to love it and I'm not like every other woman. And maybe that's OK.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Day 25

I have managed to blog every day this month so far like I was planning to do, but I feel like I've done a crappy job with it. I was planning to actually do some writing. Like essays or stories something different and interesting. But I've been so preoccupied with blue paint and Thanksgiving that I haven't really had the time or a clear enough head to be creative. I shouldn't do a blog post challenge in November. I'm always a bit unsettled this time of year. I should do it in spring, when everything is new and I feel inspired.

I also probably shouldn't have chosen November to redecorate my house. I think my pre-Thanksgiving funk is contributing to my inability to pick a paint color. I went to Lowes again today. I bought three green samples to try. I don't love them. I'm so over this whole paint color thing. I swear I'm going to close my eyes, point to a color and call it good. With my luck we'd end up with magenta or something, lol.

I think my next plan is to rummage through my garage and find all the paint samples I bought when we were painting other rooms and see if there is a gem in there somewhere that we didn't end up using. I probably bought six different colors when I was choosing paint for Josh's room. Maybe one of those rejects will work in the basement. Maybe the perfect paint color has been here the whole time.

Or maybe I'll go wild and just start mixing all my samples together and create some all new exciting color, paint it on a board and go get it color matched. I do that with fingernail polish sometimes. I dump all the almost empties into one bottle, shake it up and it's a whole new color. The color on my nails right now is actually one of those concoctions. It's pretty.

So to recap, I'm still in a pre-Thanksgiving funk and I still can't pick out paint, but at least my fingernails are pretty. That pretty much sums it up.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

I learned a new word today

I'm in my yearly pre-Thanksgiving funk. You would think that it wouldn't catch me off guard every year, but it always does. I hate Thanksgiving. 

Also, I'm seriously reconsidering the plan to paint the basement blue. There is a good chance that I'm going to spend tomorrow picking out greens. Or browns. Or something. 


Saturday, November 23, 2013


I woke up with a cold this morning. I'm taking a pass in blogging today. Back tomorrow.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Wendy The Bird Rescuer

I know I just posted, but then this happened.

After I made my blog post I went down to the basement to scowl at the paint some more. While I was down there I noticed a bird in the window well. A pretty little dark eyed junco. We only get them here in the winter. 

The problem was that I also noticed him in there yesterday. Yesterday I thought maybe he had just flown in there and would come out when he was ready, but today he was still there and when I looked at him closer I realized that he couldn't get out. He can fly a little but something must be wrong with his wing because he couldn't fly high enough to get out. 

Anyone who knows me knows I love birds. I'm so soft hearted when it comes to any animal. I couldn't just let him stay in there and die. 

So I decided to rescue him. I put some gloves on and went outside. Those window wells are really deep and I quickly realized that if I jumped down there I wouldn't be able to get back out. So I went down to the basement again and opened up the window a little and thought maybe I'd climb in, but I didn't want to open it so much that the bird would fly into the house and the window is also just high enough that I would have a hard time getting up there. 

So I left the window slightly ajar and went back outside. I figured I'd jump down the window well, rescue the bird and climb back in the basement window. Good plan. 

So I lowered myself down into the window well. I did it like you would lower yourself into the pool, you know, sliding down into it with your hands on the edge? Well the window well is deeper than I thought and when I did that I wrenched both of my shoulders back. Crap, that hurt. My shoulder muscles are going to hurt REALLY bad tomorrow. 

But I was down there so I went about saving the bird. Unfortunately the bird really wasn't all that happy to be sharing a window well with me. I'm sure he thought I was going to catch him and eat him for dinner. I told him I wasn't but be didn't seem convinced. 

It took a while but I finally managed to catch him and I carefully picked him up and tossed him gently outside the window well onto the grass and he hopped away. Bird saved.

Now the problem was that being in that window well for a few minutes, breathing in all sorts of dirt and dead leaf particles and whatever other disgusting things are in that window well triggered my asthma. REALLY bad. I'm allergic to pretty much everything that grows and certain things trigger my asthma really quickly. I almost died after spending less than five minutes crawling through a hay maze in college. They had to rush me to the hospital. It was not awesome. 

I realized that I was going to be in major trouble if I didn't get back in the house and get my inhaler fast. I crawled in the window and managed to get myself up the basement stairs where I grabbed the inhaler out of my purse and I sat on the couch and attempted to breathe. 

It was scary for a minute. I don't get asthma attacks like that very often. Shawn and the boys weren't  home, it was just me and Clarissa. I really should save my adventures for when Shawn is home and can rescue me when I do something stupid, lol.

Anyway, to make a long story slightly shorter, the bird is safe and I didn't die. I'm just a little shaky and my arms are going to hurt really bad tomorrow. 

I do stupid things sometimes. But the bird is safe and won't starve to death in my window well, so all is good. 


I had the weirdest night last night. For some reason I had crazy nightmares all night long. I kept dreaming someone was chasing me, then I was in a big office and someone was shooting and I was tying to hide, then I was being chased again..it went on all night. I kept waking up, assuring myself that it was just a dream and I would go back to sleep and the crazy dreams would start right back up.

So I kind of tossed and turned all night and I'm super tired today. I often have vivid dreams, but not usually scary ones like that. It was really weird. My brain just didn't want to shut off last night for some reason.

So I've kind of done nothing productive today. I've been busy all week and today was a good day to just chill out. Matthew has been home on track break from school all month, so he and Clarissa entertained each other and I read for a while and searched the internet for paint ideas for the basement.

I am still stuck on paint color for the basement. I'm just about ready to give up on my idea of a blue gray room and go back to boring green or brown. I thought we had settled on a color but then I actually painted a big square of it on the wall just to make sure and it looked completely different than I thought.

There are two big problems I'm battling with. Well, three actually. First, there is very little natural light in the basement and the overhead lighting is just those fluorescent tubes in the rectangle boxes. They kind of change the color a bit, so what I look at upstairs, or even if different parts of the basement, isn't the same when I put it on the wall. Second, the walls down there are currently yellow and I think that's throwing things off a bit. Every time I look at a paint color on that wall it's next to the yellow and I think that skews the color a bit. It's making the greys look much more blue, and almost purple at times. That's what not what I'm going for at all. But I think it would look different if it wasn't against yellow, but I'd have to paint the whole room and get rid of the yellow just to check and I certainly don't want to paint the room five times to find the right color.

Third blue/grey is just a tricky color. If it's too blue it looks like a baby's room, which defeats the purpose of making this a more grown up, sophisticated teenage room, and if it's too grey it looks like cement, and in a basement I'm really concerned about it looking like cement.

So I keep second guessing myself and changing my mind and I'm driving myself nuts. I need to get the paint colors to the painters as soon as possible and I can't do that until I can make a decision. I have this vision in my head of what I want it to look like and I just can't make the color on the wall match the color in my head. It's frustrating.

Tomorrow we'll be back to work on it. Shawn is off work and we may be making another trip to Lowes to buy more paint samples. If we can't figure it out I may give up and go with another color completely. I'm kind of over this whole paint thing. I've spent too much time staring at blue/grey paint.

So there's a boring update on my life. I really need a nap.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Episode 14

Oh, Heirs. I can't stop loving you.

This show just continues to get more addicting. Go watch it!

Day 21

I've got nothing important to blog about tonight. Unless you want to hear the further adventures of trying to pick out blue grey paint for my basement! No? Ok, fine then.

What I really want to do tonight is sit down and watch Heirs, so instead of a blog post, you randomly get my favorite moment from the Ellen show. It makes me laugh until tears run down my face.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Day 20

It's a fairly quiet day around here today. I think I picked a paint color yesterday! I'm pretty sure I like it. It's Valspar Shark Loop. I might change my mind and start over tomorrow, but for the moment, that's what we're going with. Eek, even writing it down made me second guess myself. I'm the most indecisive person alive. It doesn't matter what I choose in life, I will always wonder if I should have gone with the other option. Always. I drive myself crazy.

I think I chose a color for the bathroom too and I'm slightly more confident about that one. It's a Kwal color called Charleston. It's just a medium grey with a slight hint of green if you look at it in certain lights. I like it, it matches the counters and the new vinyl flooring we picked out, so I'm going with it. It's stressing me out less than the paint in the other room because there's really not all that much paintable wall in there. It's a small bathroom and half of it is a white tile bathtub/shower, plus I don't go in there much except to clean it. If I hate it at least I don't have to look at it very much, lol.

We're not going out of town for Thanksgiving this year, we decided to stay home and get the basement emptied. So we'll just have a small Thanksgiving dinner at home and then that Friday and Saturday we'll be making serious headway in the basement. Everything down there has to go out so they can paint and carpet and we are really anxious to get all of the old toys and junk out of there that have been accumulating for a while. Now that we're confident that we're done having kids we're ready to clean out all the baby toys and things that have been down there for so long. I've been holding on to things "just in case", but I'm finally ready to let it all go now. We're donating everything so that hopefully it can be used and loved by someone who needs it.

It feels a bit symbolic to be cleaning out the playroom and making room for a teenage hangout. When we moved here nine years ago we always said that the basement would be a great teenage hangout space some day, but at the time our boys were only four and one, so that day seemed like a long time away. And now here we are!

I'm a little sad to be cleaning out all the little plastic cars and trucks and things that the boys played with down there when they were little. It seems like another lifetime ago that our house was filled with Thomas Trains and cars and trucks. That room will get so much more use now as a place the boys can hang out with friends. I'm excited to evolve into another phase in our lives, but it's also a little sad. My boys aren't little anymore! It's time to make a teenage room.

Someday maybe we won't even need a teenage hangout room down there anymore, and that room can evolve into something else. A room for our retirement hobbies, maybe? I can't even think about that yet! Maybe it will make another transformation before then. By the time Clarissa is 13 both of the boys will be grown and probably out of the house. Maybe we'll find another purpose for that room for a teenage girl. With a wood floor and a wall of mirrors it would make a pretty cool dance studio! :)

Who knows what the future will hold. That room is like our lives, always changing and transforming.
And that room, like my life, is making me a little impatient. In life I'm always anxious to hurry up and see the finished product. The transformation process is always hard for me, I just want to peek into the future and see how it turns out! Hopefully my life still has many years to transform, but fortunately the basement only has until Christmas. We'll see the finished product soon enough!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Feeling blue

Today's fun adventure is picking out paint for the basement. I haaaate picking out paint. It's pretty much my least favorite thing to do in the world. Well, dental surgery. I kind of hated that more.

I have come to the conclusion that I was not born with the gene that every other woman in the world has that allows them to accessorize things. I can't do it. I can't match necklaces to outfits and I can't pick out paint colors that go together and don't look like crap. I mean, eventually I get there somehow. My house actually has some really pretty paint colors in it, but it took serious work and consultations with every single person I know to get it done.

So today I spent the morning at Lowes buying a million of those little sample jars. Those are the greatest thing ever. It's like $4 or something and they give you enough paint to go home and swatch it on the wall and see how it looks. It's awesome for people like me who can't envision a room by just looking at a paint swatch on paper.

I want to paint the new TV room blue. Not the whole basement, just that room. With the brown leather sectional that is going in there I think a soft blueish grey would be really pretty. Not so blue that it looks like a little boys bedroom or makes you walk in the room and go "whoah! Blue paint!" and not so grey that it looks like cement. Something soft and Pottery Barn-ish. You know what color I'm talking about, right?  Well I can't find it!!

When we were at the carpet store picking out vinyl for the bathroom last week the lady who works there helped me pick out some colors. She picked out a beautiful blue and soft brown for the recessed accent wall. I loved the swatches, they were really pretty.

So this morning I went to Lowes and bought a sample of those along with sample of a few others that were kind of similar that I wanted to try. I painted each color on big squares of cardboard and held them up.

It turns out we must have the weirdest lighting ever in that basement because it totally turned everything a completely different color. The pretty blue grey the carpet lady picked looked great on the cardboard, it looked great on the way down the stairs, it looked great when I walked into the basement, I held it up on the wall...PURPLE. Ugh.

The others weren't much better. Everything is too light, too dark, too grey, too blue...too wrong. Which means that I think I have to start over and go back to Lowes for more samples and try again.

Fortunately I'm not having as much trouble with the paint for the rest of the basement. The stairs and the hallway are going to be the same color that our upstairs hallways are. It's just a taupe-y tannish sandy color. Pretty but simple. I like it upstairs, it will be fine downstairs. The bathroom is going to be some sort of grey but I found a few good greys and it's a small bathroom that we don't use much so I'm not stressing too much over it.

It's just that darn TV room. We're putting so much money and work into it that I want it to be perfect. I don't want to walk in there and hate the paint every time I see it.

So I'll keep looking. The right color is out there. The Lowes guy might have to mix 50 sample jars before I find it, but I'll keep looking.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Day 18

Today would have been my dad's 66th birthday. I miss him every single day. The hardest part is knowing he never got to meet his grand kids because he would have been the best grandpa ever.

There are two things that immediately come to mind when I think of my dad. The first is that he loved our family. He loved spending time with us, he loved vacations, he loved holidays and he loved sitting around the kitchen table playing board games. I miss him especially around he holidays because I remember how much he loved Christmas and how much fun we always had with him that time of the year.

Second, I think of how much my dad loved sports. Sports were a huge part of his life for as long as I can remember him. He was a huge baseball fan, both playing and watching. He played on a city league every summer and I have fun memories of watching him play and of him coaching our sports teams when we were kids. He was also a lover of sports trivia. He's the reason that a local radio station had to make a rule that you could only win their sports trivia game once every 30 days, lol. He was a smart man, there was a lot of stuff stored in that mans head.

When I think of my dad I think of baseball caps, Skipbo and Sorry around the kitchen table, laughing, family vacations, fun holidays and I think of a man who loved his family and is missed by all of us.

I'm grateful for eternal families and for the belief that we will be reunited again one day. He is missed. Happy birthday, dad.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Day 17

I don't have anything big to write about so I'm going to keep this short. 

I was trying to come up with a blog topic and looked at some writing prompts, none of which inspired me, so I decided I would think of some little tidbit that no one knows about me and write about that. 

I thought for a few minutes about what I might write about and a funny little tidbit came to my mind. It's the funny nickname that Josh has for me. He calls me Betsie. 

The story is this. Sometimes I call my kids my besties, like slang for best friend. There is a character on a The Big Bang Theory who uses that word and it makes me laugh so I jokingly call my kids my besties sometimes. Like they'll walk into the kitchen for dinner and I'll say "hey besties!".

One day Josh texted me and I texted back "hey bestie!" and he meant to type the same greeting back to me but it autocorrected and it said "hey Betsie!" instead. That made us laugh and now he calls me Betsie. 

And I'm not going to lie, it kind of melts my heart when it says it. He's going to be 14 in May and I know he's headed into that age where parents become super lame and embarrassing. Josh and I have always been really close and I'm dreading the day he decides I'm no longer fun to hang out with. Am I delusional to believe that maybe that day will never come? Has there ever been a teenager in history who didn't think their parents were lame? Like, what are my chances of getting through the teenage years without my kids making me drop them off two blocks from parties and refusing to walk next to me at the mall? Lie to me and tell me it's possible, OK? :) 

I don't know, maybe next week I'll be a super lame mom, but these days it kind of makes my day when he comes in the door from school and cheerfully says "hey Betsie!". I'm writing it down so just in case he stops saying it I'll remember how much I enjoyed it while it lasted. :) 

Saturday, November 16, 2013


It's a wet rainy day today and I got some unexpected alone time this afternoon. Josh and Matthew are both playing at friends houses and Shawn took Clarissa to run some errands so I'm home enjoying the quiet and listening to the rain.

This morning we got word that a family from our church lost their husband and father to cancer last night. I'm so sad for their family. I so hoped that this wouldn't be the outcome for them. He was such a nice man, Shawn really enjoyed working with him in his church leadership assignments.

This situation has hit close to home with me because their family dynamics are almost just the same as ours were when we lost my dad. He was around the same age my dad was when he died and his kids are in their teens and 20's, just like we were. He also had a cancer with few options and went quickly, just like my dad. I know what that family is feeling today and my heart hurts for them. That's such a hard thing to go through. My heart really goes out to them.

It's been on my mind a lot today and I've been thinking a lot about their family and about my dad. Especially because my dad's birthday is coming up in a couple of days. I miss him so much. Losing someone you love sucks. There's just really no other way to say it.

The night my dad died was awful, but here is something that I will never forget from that night. My dad died at home, late in the evening. It took a while for the funeral home to come and take his body and of course no one was really doing any sleeping. What I remember in the midst of that horrible night was coming upstairs around midnight and seeing one of our neighbors in our kitchen, standing at the sink doing the dishes. It struck me at that moment as such an act of kindness. She wanted to help and not knowing what to do, she just went to work and cleaned our kitchen in the middle of that awful night.

I'm sure to this day she doesn't realize how much that affected me that night. It reminded me that we weren't alone, that there were people who cared and that in our darkest moments there are kind people who are willing to just show up and find a way to help. I often think of that woman and what an example of love and kindness that was to me. Sometimes it's hard to know what to say to someone in their moments of grief, but that woman was a reminder to me that sometimes it's not the words that matter. I don't think I spoke to that woman that night, but I'll always remember how that little act of kindness made me feel.

That's really all I have to say today. I have some more basement stuff to talk about but today doesn't feel like the day to talk about it. I'll update about it later. For now I'm going to go back to sitting in the quiet and watching it rain.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Heirs episode 12

There are just no words for last nights episode. It was amazing. Seriously, go watch that show.

Today is another busy day. Shawn is taking part of the day off so we can go pick out flooring for the basement bathroom and then he's taking the boys to a movie. For the past couple of weeks Shawn and the boys have all been reading Enders Game. They've had a good time racing to see who could finish first and discussing the plot together along the way. They all finished within a day of each other this week and the reward is that he's taking them to see the movie at the brand new theater down the street from us. They were going to go tomorrow but Matthew got invited to spend the day with a friend and really wants to do that, so since they have they day off school today, Shawn decided to use up some vacation time he needs to use and take them this afternoon. 

He has some stuff he needs to do at work this morning but when he gets home we're going to go look at flooring, he's going to come home and take the boys to the movie and then tonight Josh has to be downtown at a film festival that he volunteered to help out with. 

So that's life at our house today. Now I'm going to go rewatch the end of last nights Heirs episode and lament the fact that I have to wait a whole week to find out what happens next. Seriously, why are you all not watching this? It's awesome!