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!