Thursday, December 31, 2009

And then there was light!

When this house was built, it was the "in" thing not to put any lights in the ceiling. I guess everyone was really digging lamps.

This is SO not my favorite thing. Since moving in we have added canned lights to our living room and had plans for the dining room. In November it FINALLY happened. Well, we started in October, but it was completed in November.

I cannot express my joy over not having to live in darkness another winter. Before, when we would have dinner we only had two canned lights over the fireplace to light up our dinner. We just pretended that we were eating in a restaurant every night. You know, mood lighting. Still, it was getting old.

Notice the lack of lighting in the middle of the room and the cute boy standing underneath no lighting.

First things first. Got to have a hole for the light to go in.

Kevin helped a friend in our ward with the canned lights and felt confident enough to tackle the dining room on his own. It proved to be a bit harder than expected. Mostly because we wanted to put the canned lights over the fireplace on a different circuit than the new dining room light. Also, we wanted to be able to turn the light on from two different switches. One by the laundry room


(going from 3 switches to 4)

and one by the sliding glass door.

(going from 2 switches to 3)

The other obstacle is that we had recently had blown insulation put into the attic. That stuff is messy!

Almost done!!!

But after most of the day, and NO swear words later, he did it!

He did such a wonderful job. I love that he is willing to learn new skills to save us some money and to improve our lives. Thank you Kevin!


31 and counting

Kevin turned 31 on December 26. He is the first to tell you it's not the greatest day to have a birthday, however, I try very hard every year to try and change his mind.

This year he said he would like to have a game night with a few of our friends in the ward. The Archibalds and the Russons came. We had yummy, yummy food and while the kids took over the basement the "adults" played The Great Dalmuti. We let Kevin be the Dalmuti because it was his birthday and we could never get him out! We definitely need a re-match!

I am so grateful for Kevin. He is my best friend and a great dad!

Happy Birthday, Kevin!!!!

(Pictures coming.....we left our new camera over at Kev's parents house)

Christmas time, O Christmas time

December is a very full packed, fun month for us.

On December 5 we had my mom's Christmas party. I thought it turned out great and I know the kids had fun.

We had everyone there but the Lawson bunch, and they were very missed.

We did the Christmas nativity stickers,had a talent show, opened presents, the kids got cute books with their names in them, ate WAY too much food (ok maybe only I did) and had a wonderful time.

December 7 Karaia had a choir concert to kick off the lighting of the local park. She was darling as usual.
(here are the boys waiting for the concert to start)

(Karaia, freeze and singing her little rear end off)

December 9 is my birthday. Grandma Candace took Karaia to the Governor's Christmas party.

Aren't they cute?

December, um, something...can't remember and I didn't write it on the calendar Karaia had a school program. This is her teacher, Mrs. Pickett. She is the best. teacher. ever!

December 17 Beckham had his pre-school program and he rocked it!

December 18 is Karaia's birthday. Karaia also had a choir concert. Later that night we had my step-mom's extended family Christmas party and this year Santa showed up and I forgot my camera!

December 19 we had Karaia's family party.

December 24 Grandma Janice's party. This year only Kevin and the older kids were able to go because Sanders had some kind of flu. But I did manage to finish sewing their Christmas pj's

December 25 Christmas!

We opened presents at our house. Karaia got an American Girl look a-like doll she named Kristin.

Beckham got a digital camera and has now informed us he is a real photographer, (He was so busy taking pictures he never sat still enough for me to get one of him) Tennyson got a big wooden train set,
and Sanders got a Fisher price Little people garage.

Next we headed for Grandma Candace's house, had lots of fun, went to visit Grandpa Frank in the hospital, and in the evening spent some time at my dad's house. Whew!

We were gone from 9:00 am until about 9:30 pm. A busy but fun day.

December 26 is Kevin's birthday day. We had a game night with some of our friends.

December 29 is Danica's birthday. We headed to Boondocks for bowling and video games.

And the rest of December we just try and recuperate from all of our fun!

Karaia is 7!

I know getting older is the natural progression of things, and while sometimes the fact that you're getting older can weird you out, when your child gets older it's guarunteed that you will have a few, "Holy cow! Where does the time go?!" moments throughout the day.

On December 18th Karaia turned SEVEN! It is uncanny to vividly remember the first time you ever see your child as a squishy, squirmy, teeny, tiny ball and then blink only to open your eyes and realize she has grown so, so much and you are so, so proud of her.

This year was the first birthday that she was really excited about. The I-can't-sleep-because-I-am- too-excited kind of excited. Numerous times before the birthday she would burst into a sing song-y kind of voice and twirl around the room describing her intense anticipatioin of her birthday.

She wanted Littlest Pet Shop toys

and a Santa Claus cake.

She was not disappointed, although the Santa looked a little creepy with his bugged out blue eyes

( I did the best I could, but not every time is a winner)

The actual day of her birth she had school. This is what she thought she looked her very cutest in
I just love the skirt OVER the pants. But mostly I love that this outfit is what made her feel her best. Right after this picture we remembered that she had a choir concert at school with a dress code required. So this is what she actually wore at school.

It worked out great, however, because Grandma Candace, Nana, AND Grandpa Guy were all able to make it to her concert. She felt so special!

The kids in her class sang to her, and since it was also the last day of school before Christmas break lots of people gave her lots of presents.

Latter that evening we had my step-mom's family Christmas party. Lo and behold Santa showed up and wished her a happy birthday as well!

The next day we had the family birthday party. That morning we discovered the water heater was leaking! Kevin and Dave quickly replaced it just in time to join us for cake and ice cream.

I was so proud of Karaia. She was very grateful for all the attention and everything she got. Thank you to everyone who made her feel loved and all your generosity.

I know she is still young, be we have begun to start down the path that merges being a parent with also being a friend. She is an excellent helper, very creative, good at making friends, and all around delightful to be with! I have loved that she is letting me into her world a bit more and finding her voice.

I love you, Karaia!

Friday, December 11, 2009

30 is the new black

I was surprised to realize how much time had gone by since I posted. Not that there hasn't been plenty to post about, but sometimes I write posts in my head and then forget to download them into the computer. :)

However, I am going to abandon my usual hang up of having to post everything in order and just post about the most recent.

I turned 30 on Dec. 9! THIRTY! The BIG 3 -0!

I have been slightly apprehensive about this birthday for about a year now. Logically, I KNEW 30 wasn't that old, but for some reason, the thought about no longer being a twenty-something twisted up my world a bit.

I finally figured it out the day before my birthday. I vividly remember being 10 and thinking, "Great! Only 11 more years until I get to go on a mission!" So you see I was counting down to my 20's for over a decade. Then I went to college and started learning the lessons I thought I was only going to be able to learn on a mission. When Kevin came home it was very apparent that any mission for me would involve my husband and I could not have been more pleased.

From there, I graduated from college, had 4 babies, bought two homes, a few cars, watched Kev get two degrees and experience most of the "big" defining events of one's life. All in my 20's. I think I was feeling lost. What was I looking toward if I turned 30? That kind of thing.

But, I have come up with a brilliant plan.

I will have one HUGE goal a decade.

Good right?

That way, for me, I will always be growing and learning in a very tangible way. I want this goal to be a real challenge for me. Something that scares me spit-less when I first contemplate going after it. Something that really might need a whole decade to achieve.

This decade's goal I have already shared, but I am moving the deadline.

In my 30's I would like to have a fabric line manufactured.

Instead of a one year time line I now have 10 years to realize this dream/goal.

It makes me excited to be 30 and work toward something I want so much.

For my birthday the kids and Kevin made me breakfast in bed. It was fun to see how into it the kids got.

My best friend Tobi came and spent an hour with me and gave me the cutest card full of 30 reasons why she is happy to be my best friend. It was darling and I will cherish it forever!

My friend, Sabina, took Beckham and Tennyson to her house for a few hours so my mom and I could enjoy an actual conversation while we had lunch, which my mom had picked up from Chilli's.

My visiting teachers Judy and Jo'elle stopped by with yummy treats.

I got phone calls or emails or facebook posts from the people I love.

When Karaia got home from school I was shoveling the driveway. She ran past me saying," I'll be right back mom." I thought she was running to the bathroom before we headed to piano lessons. She came back with the other snow shovel and said, "Why would you want to be working on your birthday? I will shovel for you!"

That right there was one of the best things I received all day!

Latter she also said, "I should have done your hair today."

"Karaia, I did my hair. Can't you tell?"

"Yes, but I was going to do your hair for you for your birthday. It was going to be really pretty."

What a sweetheart.

Kevin took me out to dinner and then kid free shopping ( my favorite kind). I like shopping with Kev, and he hates shopping, so it doesn't happen very often and I am always aware at what a big effort he is making for me. He even acted like he liked it. Thanks!

It was a wonderful day and I felt very loved.

Seems as if 30 isn't so scary after all.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Healing fast

It's surprising how quickly pride wounds heal when you are faced with things that actually matter. A cousin of Kevin's just lost their premature son.

It is nearly impossible to dwell on menial events in your life when family is dealing with true hardships. I cannot even imagine how hard this is for them, but what a beautiful testimony.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The best stories

You know, the best underdog stories are the ones were someone has a dream and every time they try and realize it they get turned down or metaphorically punched in the gut only to persevere until finally their dreams come true. Very few people, who have great success stories, are without a few gut punches.

Consider my gut punched.

As opposed to taking a month to decide whether to accept what I offered, they took 5 minutes.

I am TOTALLY new to this industry so I wasn't completely naive to think that I had completely nailed it, but I thought I was pretty darn close. Maybe just a few helpful tweaks here and there. The message I got, in the 10 whole minutes spent with me, was that I was no where near anything they would even pretend to consider.

What is the industry you ask with baited breath?

Please let us in on the secret, you say, so we can collectively form a mob and demand them to reconsider (just kidding.....I generally resort to humor at times like this)

Fabric Design

Yup. The thing that has been keeping me up at nights, and burning my soul with a drive I have never felt before, is a need to create a fabric line.

And they hated it.

All 55 pieces.

It was too geometric.

That's how I designed it. I like the geometric look.

She couldn't see a main pattern design.

That would be the one I created very first and patterned subsequent designs after. But it was too geometric and she could not get past that.

I am still really proud of what I created. I wish she would have been able to see the potential, but she didn't and I can't dwell on that too much.

She did invite me to submit other designs.

For now, I will submit my current designs to a few other manufactures around the country. In January I will resume designing a NEW line and go from there.

The punch hurts.

And I've had a good cry. I really thought I had something not just good, but great to offer them. To not have even come close it what stings the most.

Still, I have given myself a year on this journey. Hopefully, not too many more punches, but if that's the road I'm on, I'll take them with pride.

Now that YOU know the road, I'm sure to be more free with all the ups and downs.

Do you want a sneak pick of the designs?

You do?

Here you go......

There are many, many more, and the colors are a little more vibrant than in the picture, but I don't want to give everything away.

Someday I will have a fabric line.

I just need to wait for my stomach to heal a little first and then get back into the ring.


Today at 2:00 I have an appointment.

It has everything to do with this.

I serioiusly thought I would never get to this point. I hoped and dreamed I would, but it seemed too big, to far away. At yet, this afternoon, I will be given my shot. This could ACTUALLY happen.

I can't believe I have been given the chance to actualize a dream. A real life, bonified, nothing short of hard work and divine guidance, dream. And let me tell you, I'm finding I dream big.

The best part of this whole situation is I started with nothing but an idea, a hope, a drive. It's something I wanted in my life and it just.very.well.may.happen!

I have felt very pushed in the right direction and I know Heavenly Father has been very active in all of this. Things have literally fallen into place when I thought I had run into a huge wall. And not just fallen into place, but practically handed to me on a silver platter in a murky fog.

I have decided that after the meeting today I will spill the beans. I won't know for sure whether everthing is a go for another whole month, however, I do feel confident that I have given it my all, 55 pieces all, so success or failure I am ready to share it with everyone with my head held high.

I am thrilled at what I have been able to make from nothing.

I can't wait to share!!!

Ps maybe say a little prayer around 2pm this afternoon.........

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

So far so good

Things seem to be going well with the chore sticks. I still need to make some chart thingy I can slip the sticks into to keep track of who picked what, but I am mulling over ideas and have a horrible sickness of not being able to decide on just ONE idea. I'm sure it will be another week or two.

Yesterday was a bit trying as it was our first go at bathrooms. Still intact bathrooms that is.

Still I am happy to announce that if you happen to come to my house today there will be a clean place for your tush to reside should the occasion arise in which you will be in need of such a seat! Success!!!

Also, Beckham has been the most cheerful helper. AND he is getting a kick out of doing his chores before I even ask him. After breakfast today, he got up and started sweeping (his week long chore) and said, "Hey Mom, are you so happy I'm sweeping without being asked? I wanted to surprise you!"

Yes I am, Beckham. Yes I am.

He then told me, "There are two things I love; piano and chores."

Sweet. And by sweet I mean that's totally WICKED!!! Rock on Beckham!

Tennyson likes that he is part of the big kids and does a great job wiping chairs and the table top.

Karaia is proving to be SUPER slow. She gets it done, but not without a bunch of reminders as to what she is supposed to be doing instead of twirling and making google eyes at the cups, or the toy bears, or the get it.

They voted on receiving allowance and I have already heard talks of how much money they are going to get. Not so much on what they are going to buy, but how they can get more money.

Nothing wrong with starting young as a Super Saver.

The best part of all, it's 9 am and my house is pretty much clean! Hooray!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Enough is enough

I am tired of doing all of the household chores myself. Seriously tired. Household chores are not a talent of mine. I have a hard time cleaning up after just me. Add 5 more people who think I'm responsible for their mess as well (Ok, Kev is pretty good) and that spells disaster. I mean that in the most literal sense of the word. My house is a disaster.

Tonight for FHE I introduced the chore sticks. It's a bunch of Popsicle sticks that have chores written on them. Some are everyday chores, once a week, only Mondays, etc.

I really hadn't thought it all the way through or discussed it much with Kev. So as I was explaining the individual chores I got to bathrooms and realized it would be easier to divide up all the jobs need to complete one bathroom instead of one person doing the whole room. I was thinking out loud and said, "Well, I think for the bathroom, we'll break it up."

To which Beckham immediately asked for clarification, "Why are we going to break up the bathroom?"

At least I know he was listening.

They seemed excited.

I'll know it's worked if when I hear the doorbell ring I don't have to hurry and clean before I answer it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

School life

Karaia had an SEP (parent teacher student) conference on Tuesday. Can I just say that I LOVE her teacher! She is one of those teachers you hope and pray your child will get.

Mrs. Pickett teaches the 1st/2nd grade split class. Karaia loves being in with her friends as well as some older kids.

But back to the conference.

I am so proud of my little girl I could just burst! For documentation sake, she is reading at a 3rd grade level and has just been moved up to 2nd grade math. Her comprehension skills are wonderful and she does very well on tests. She does need to slow down when she is writing so that other people can read it, but Kevin heard the same things growing up. Perhaps it is genetic?

Beyond all that, the thing I am the MOST proud of is that her teacher said she was very sensitive to the other student's needs. If someone needed help she was the first one to offer it.

That's all a mother needs; to know her child is growing up to be a functional, driven, kind human being.

Way to go, Karaia!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bad mood

During dinner each person gets a turn to tell one happy and one sad thing about their day. I usually know what each kid is going to chose, but as they grow older I think this could be very insightful into their daily lives.

Today my sad thing was that I was in a bad mood for no reason. I asked the kids if they had noticed. They hadn't. Whew.

But I could not shake the mood until I whipped out some cleaning music for the kids....a good ol' get your heart moving standby,

Praying for daylight by Rascal Flats.

I bought this when I was in college. I can't tell you how many times my roommates would go home for the weekend leaving me the whole place to myself. This inevitably lead to me cranking this song up as LOUD as it would go and dance and sing how the music moved me too!

At some point I would love to be able to dance. You know, be able to keep your body's movements in conjunction with the actual beat being heard.

As it stands now......nope.

Not a chance.

Doesn't stop me from doing it, I am just highly aware of the fact that my appendages are most likely flailing all on their own desires.

Tonight was no different.

The music started. I turned it up louder.

The kids eyes got bigger.

And then I danced and twirled and head-banged. I peaked briefly at my kids at one point only to realize that they were copying/mocking my dancing. They would repeat exactly what I was doing saying something like this, "And then she was doing this....." demonstrating my mad, mad dancing skills, followed by intense laughter and much rolling on the ground.

Ah well. At least my mood improved :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

A few more weeks

Do you remember this post?

Well, I am happy to say I am only a few weeks away from spilling the beans!


There have been a lot of ups and downs, but I have been so energized about the whole thing recently, that at this moment I am very optimistic about the future.

It has been an amazing experience for me. I can't wait to share it fully!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Car seat Canopy

See this fabric?
(The dark color is actually a really deep chocolate brown, but it is looking very black on the screen...but it's brown)

I was drawn to it too! Doesn't it just scream,
"Hello! You've found me! Something you can use to make something for a boy!"

That's what it said to me anyway and I had already been on the hunt for an hour when I rounded the corner and spied it across the quilt shop.

Why was I on the hunt for "boy" fabric?

1. Because I am always on the hunt for cute, modern, non-babyish/non-little kid, boy fabric

2. Because my sister was pregnant with her forth, due any day, and she mentioned that she had recently seen these car seat canopies and thought it would be delightful to own one.

So I found the fabric. And after MORE searching found the coordinating fabric, in flannel, and I made her this

I love the buttons I found for the straps.

It was very simple to make. I used a pattern that my friend had, but could have easily figured it out without one. My sister-in-law made one with an oval pattern that is also very cute. I was slightly worried that this rectangular style would drag on the ground, but thankfully it has quite a good clearance.

My sister had her cute baby, Davis, on Tuesday, a week overdue. Mom was able fly out that night so Annie received her canopy Wednesday. She loved it! Hooray!

I loved it too.

After I completed it I put it on my car seat and brought everything in the house. That way I could look at it throughout the day and feel that extra boost of happiness that certain fabric designs give me.

I love finding fabric that has that magnetic effect on me.

Absolutely love it.

Congratulations, Annie and Mark!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ghoulish Grabs

I really should have posted this one BEFORE I posted the 8 month update, but whachagonnado?

I was asked to help out with Karaia's class/ 2nd grade Halloween party. I wanted to do the spook boxes ( you know the ones you stick your hands in a feel something yucky that is really normal, but because you can't see it, it becomes extra gross) and began researching all of the ucky things I could stick in there and what to call them.

Procuring the boxes from Costco, I set to work figuring out how to cover and label them. Thankfully, black garbage sacks did the trick nicely and Photoshop, once again, made things so easy. Plus, my mom has these fantastic spider-web table clothes. Add a fog machine and some spiderwebs and we were set.

This is what we ended up with.

Goblin Guts
(cooked spaghetti noodles)

Monster Scabs
(crumbled tortilla chips)

Witch's Eyes
(green olives still floating in the juice)
This way by FAR the thing that grossed the kids out most. Success!

Ogre's Skin
(Tortilla wraps with olive oil on them)

The kids loved it. More like they loved to hate it. But the repeat customers who brought their friends because, "Dude, you just HAVE to feel that!" tells me it was well worth the effort.

Karaia had a blast.

She was very grateful I got to be there and help out. She is keeping a tali of how many things I have NOT come and volunteered for; field trips, big craft days, etc. It's a very big deal to her. I don't remember feeling like that. I'm glad I was there too!