Thursday, February 25, 2010

the finding game

I'm fairly certain I'm not the only one who's family room floor occasionally looks like this:

And that's just one small portion of the room. Ugh. After spending so much time finishing that dresser and working on other projects, the kids were a little neglected last week. They watched a LOT more tv than they're used to. And they were left to destroy the room without me getting after them every few minutes. At the end of the day there were Polly Pockets and Cars and toys and coloring books and McDonald's wrappers and cushions and blankets and clothes and shoes and books and movies and all kinds of things covering the floor. Please tell me I'm not the only one who's house looks this way every now and then!!

Anyway, the few times the house gets like this no one wants to clean it up. It's too overwhelming. It's hard enough to get the kids to clean up their small messes. So this is darn near impossible. But I've found a trick!

We have created a game! The Finding Game. We take a few minutes before we start "playing" to make ourselves a "map". It usually looks something like this:

We just glance around the room and group the things that need to be picked up and put away into categories. This particular time the couch cushions and pillows needed to be put back together, blankets needed to be folded and put away, toys needed to be picked up, games, trash, shoes, craft and art supplies, books, movies, clothes, there were a few cups and dishes that needed to be put in the kitchen. And then we always draw a big question mark in case there's anything else we need to pick up when we're finished.

Then we turn on some fun music and get to it! The kids pick which thing they want to do first and we clean up until we find all of the items from that category and put them all away. Sometimes we try to see who can get the most or the fastest. Other times we just clean it all up. As we finish each item the kids cross it off our "map" and pick a new category.

Before you know it the place looks like this again!

Ah. That's much better. What do you do to get your kids to clean up their messes?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Isn't she pretty?!?!?!

**WARNING: I don't think I know how to write a short post. You've been warned.**

Well, I FINALLY got around to finishing something!! Yay!! We have this dresser that was purchased for $20 at a garage sale nearly 2 years ago. Seriously. It sat in my parents' garage (since we were living there at the time) for the first several months. When we moved into this place it became Payson's dresser. Then we inherited my childhood bedroom furniture (which I'm just realizing I still haven't posted pictures of). Anyway, so then it was moved into the main bathroom. Why? I don't know. It was just the only place the thing fit. It sat there empty for about a year. Eventually we started throwing games in it. Yep. We stored our family games in a random dresser in our bathroom. Random? Yes. So this last week we FINALLY brought it downstairs and decided to finish it!! And I couldn't be more excited!

Before pictures: Oops! I forgot to take pictures of the whole thing all together before we started. And I was way too lazy/anxious to get started to put the drawers back in and take a picture. So here it is. Game filled drawers sitting on the couch. Loving that pink contact paper inside the drawers, aren't you? :)

Align Center
And the topless dresser. When we bought the dresser there was this weird Formica top on it. It literally looked like this:

In that bottom color. Seriously. With the metal trim and everything. Ew.

We thought we would be able to pull that off and refinish the solid piece of wood underneath. Then we found out the there was no solid piece of wood underneath. Lovely. So this is what we were left with:

So I measured and sent Jason to pick up a piece of pine from Home Depot. They cut it for free, so it was actually super easy and convenient.

Next step? Cleaning! Quick detour: So several years ago I decided that it would be so cool to refinish some furniture. We were broke and I wanted nice, pretty stuff and I was willing to put some work into it. So I started shopping thrift stores. Ha! I was so naive. I had no idea what I was doing. I ended up purchasing a wood laminate table. I peeled off the laminate thinking I'd be able to refinish whatever was underneath. Double ha! MDF particle board crap. Ew. I ended up trying to paint and sand the top anyway. It was awful. I had no idea what I was doing. It really was a laughable attempt.

My next attempt was a headboard. This one Jason and I actually built. We found directions on a DIY website and followed them pretty closely. It turned out pretty well, actually. I wish I had pictures! Oh! Wait! I found one! Kind of. This is as good as it gets. You can at least see the door part and the finish. It had a pretty cool mantel type top on it with lighting underneath for reading. It was kind of awesome. I'm trying to remember why we got rid of it, actually...

Anyway, so back to the dresser. I was a little worried about starting the project because of the previous attempts. I didn't want it to look cheap. Especially since I have some professional furniture coming soon. I didn't want it to look out of place. So I called the company making my furniture (it's Four Chairs, by the way) and asked them the name and brand of paint they were using to finish one of the pieces I ordered. I wanted the shades to match so I just ordered paint and stain from them.

So first we took out the drawers and removed that ugly pink paper. Then it was time to clean! I had emailed one of my favorite bloggers (thanks, Becca!) for some tips on refinishing furniture and checked out some different posts on refinishing. She recommended this for cleaning:

I enlisted some adorable helpers and got to work. (Had to throw on Daddy's old t shirts to make sure they didn't get anything on their clothes. In case you were wondering about our fashion sense.)

Next was primer. And then the first coat of paint after the primer was dry.

While coats were drying we did fun things as a family. We played the Wii, went to the bowling alley, grabbed some lunch. It was such a fun family day!

After the second coat of paint:

Two coats of paint was really all this one needed to look even and covered. Once it was completely dry we started sanding. I wanted it to be aged and antiqued looking. So I sanded every edge and then a few spots here and there on the drawers. At this point Jason thought I was just ruining all the hard work we had done. He didn't have the vision. :)

The white paint came through and it was interesting to find some silver metallic paint under that as well before I got to the wood. But none of it bothered me at all. I actually really liked it!

The next step was to actually attach the top piece and cover everything in a walnut stain/glaze. When it was dry I had to stick the drawers back in for a minute to see how it was coming along.

Once that was dry we added a coat of poly and let it dry. Then I lightly sanded it and added another coat. When I woke up this morning, everything was dry and ready to be put back together! So I added some new antiqued brass knobs and put the drawers back in and slid the dresser into it's permanent place!

These guys were almost as excited about the finished product as I was!

I know it's not perfect, but it's exactly what I hoped for! I think it will blend it nicely with the new stuff. I couldn't be more proud of my work! And now I can't even tell you how excited I am to finish the next piece!! Can you believe this pretty little dresser cost me about $60? And only that much because I had to spend $25 on that piece of pine for the top. Anyway, tell me how awesome I am and how pretty she is, because I'm ridiculously proud of this thing!! :)

edit: I linked up to Blue Cricket Design's Show and Tell and Finding Fabulous's Frugalicious Friday and Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Playing Catch Up {Merry Christmas}

Are you ready for a long post?! Because I have lots of pictures from Christmas. :) And I'm just now getting around to posting them. Because I'm awesome.

Most of our big Christmas traditions and events took place the week of Christmas. We saved the good stuff for when out Daddy was home. We didn't want him to miss out! But before he was home the kids and I put up the tree and lights and decorations. We made Christmas cookies together. We got plenty of Christmasy library books. And the library even had a "Polar Express" Day. They played the movie on a projector screen and served hot cocoa, apple cider, and Christmas cookies. The kids all came in their pajamas and brought blankets and pillows. The room was packed with cute kiddos sprawled everywhere! I LOVED it! Payson sat with a few of her friends, while Jack wanted to snuggle through the entire movie. I love when my kids become cuddle bugs!!

Of course the Sunday before Christmas the kids got all dressed up in their Christmas outfits. I couldn't find anything that I liked enough that was Christmasy and I figured Christmas would be over soon anyway, so the kids just got cute new Sunday clothes.

My handsome Jack, posing by the tree. You can't tell in this picture, but his pants have little embroidered guitars all over them in thread the matches the pants. Super subtle, but super cute!!

This gorgeous girl wanted her hair curled for Sunday, "like Aunt Madie!" Of course, Mom obliged. And she looked adorable!

Are they not the cutest ever?! I could eat them!

On Christmas Eve day we made gingerbread houses. This is always a tradition we do for FHE before Christmas. But with Daddy's new schedule our FHE's don't always fall on Monday. :) I put on an apron to keep from getting icing powder all over my clothes and the kids had to follow. Here are my cute babies all ready to get messy!

And our cute Daddy, helping to mix frosting.

The kids and I working to decorate the gingerbread house. We let the kids designate where mom and dad get to decorate and where they each get to work. So Jason and my sides end up looking like the box. But the kids' sides are always so cute and creative...and eaten within seconds! :)

Earlier in the week the kids and I had put together these (which I just now took a picture of one we had leftover sitting on the super messy computer desk). I got this cute idea here. I made about a million of these, which took me nearly 2 straight days. But they were so cute! I couldn't wait to give them to all of our neighbors and friends. We filled the boxes with sugar cookie mix and cute Christmas cookie cutters. The kids, especially Payson, loved helping paint on the eyes and mouths and cheeks.

So after decorating our gingerbread house, we delivered these to our neighbors.

We came home and hung out for a little while. We gave the kiddos early baths and then they played while I made dinner. We had our traditional formal dinner by candlelight in our jammies. The kids love this! I remember loving it every year as a kid too. Such a simple tradition, but so so fun!

After dinner the kids took the last chain off of their Christmas countdowns.

And then they ran to the tree where they knew they were getting to open one Christmas gift before bed!

I wonder when Payson will figure out that it's the same thing every year. This was her 5th Christmas to get an ornament on Christmas Eve and she was still surprised. :)

Sorry these are blurry. The kids got the cutest little Snow Globes with Mickey and Minnie and a Christmas tree. I picked...I mean, Santa picked these up while we were at Disneyland. :)

After opening gifts we read the nativity story from the scriptures and talked about it with the kids. Then we read a few Christmas bedtime stories. We read "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", "Olivia Helps with Christmas", and "'Twas the Night Before Christmas". We finished with "I Believe In Santa Claus" by Diane Adamson (my absolute FAVORITE Christmas book!) and "The Polar Express". The kids were pretty tired after all that reading.

But not too tired to forget about leaving cookies and milk for Santa! Oh! And there's our gingerbread house in the background. (And no, this is not where the coffee table usually sits. This was its temporary Christmas home to make room for gift opening.)

After the kids went to sleep Jason and I waited up for Santa. Once he was gone we took pictures of presents. Man, we got spoiled!

After too little sleep, the kids woke ups up. We made them wait until things were ready downstairs and then had them come down in age order. (I always hated that rule growing up! Being the oldest meant you were always last.)

Then the kids dove right into their Santa gifts! The white gifts were for both kids, green for Jack, and red for Payson. Mrs. Claus didn't do very well about keeping track of what she had bought earlier in the year, so the kids got a little too spoiled this year.

Jack was very sure to get each little piece of wrapping paper and tape off of every gift.

Jack, with all of his Santa loot.

And Payson with hers.

After that we normally move on to breakfast and then open the rest of the presents later to drag out the day a little. This year, Jason was way too anxious. And no one was too hungry yet. So we opened presents first.

Payson's stash.

Jack's stash.

Jason with his stash. (Please ignore that pile o' junk behind Jason next to the desk. That would be why I'm decluttering!)

And beautiful me with my stash. Jason spoiled me this year.

And my favorite gift of the day? Thanks Mom and Dad! :)

After presents we had a delicious breakfast of waffles with fresh fruit, berries, and whipped cream and sausage. So yummy! We normally go all out for breakfast, but we kept it simple this year and were glad we did. We didn't feel too stuffed all day long like we usually do. :)

We really had such a great Christmas! We were so blessed this year, more than ever before. And we just enjoyed the company of our little family, playing games, watching new movies, and playing with new toys all day.

For me, this Christmas was a little different. Having just lost a baby a few days before I was pretty emotional through out the day. But I felt so much closer to my Savior and so much more grateful for His birth. Knowing that I was celebrating His life, which led to the blessing of eternal families, eased my pain that day a little. I am so, so grateful for the birth and life of the Savior! The blessings that His birth and life bring to my family are invaluable.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

happy {early} valentine's day!!

As a kid I loved Valentine's Day because I came home from school with a box full of goodies! What kid wouldn't love that?!

As a teenager I loved Valentine's Day because if I had a boyfriend it was all gifts and chick flicks and making out. And if I didn't, then the girlfriends and I would curl up and watch chick flicks and hate on the boys who weren't interested in us.

As a wife I love Valentine's Day because it's an autom
atic romantic date night! Now, I have to say that I have the absolute most perfect husband for me! He, himself, may not be perfect, but I couldn't have picked anyone better for me. And there are so many things he does so much better than most husbands! I won't bother to list them because then you'll all be super jealous. :) But like I said, he's not perfect. One of his very few flaws is that is isn't always the most super romantic guy in the world. Sometimes he needs a little nudging. And I'm okay with that. I am already a pushy, controlling person, so we are a great fit. This is why I love Valentine's Day. Because on Valentine's Day he never fails. He always pulls something out of his hat. I love that!!

And now, as a mother I love Valentine's Day because I get to share it with two more people who I couldn't love any more!! It's so fun to see them get excited over such simple things. Like last night while we were getting ready after baths. A Charlie Brown Valentine was on and they were thrilled! Little special things like that make them so happy! They L.O.V.E. holidays! And I love them! :)

But now I have ONE complaint. COMMERCIALIZATION!! Ugh!! Why can't Valentine's Day be about handing out handmade cards and having heart shaped pancakes for breakfast? It's not about chocolate and roses. It's about showing our love for those around us.

Why am I complaining about this? Payson had her preschool Val
entine's Day party today. (Since V Day is on Sunday and they only have preschool T/W/Th.) Her teacher let us know in advance and sent home a list of the kids in her class. There are only 8 total. No big deal. So we got her Valentine's together. I spent $1 on a 12 pack of heart shaped suckers and we made handmade cards for her class.

Now, this is not the first holiday party her class has had. I knew what to expect. For some reason, the mothers of these kids go ALL OUT for every holiday. These are great women! I love them! Most of them are in my ward and we are close friends. But each holiday (so far Halloween and Christmas) they have brought the expected holiday treat...times TWENTY! They bring BAGS full of candy and toys for each child. Like little snack bags and gift bags. They are cute. And it's sweet. But really? Is it necessary? They probably only spent around $20 for the entire class, and I can definitely afford to keep up. But that's the point! I don't want to keep up!

On Halloween I brought simple treats for each kid. Everyone else brought big treat bags. I thought I'd do better for Christmas and so, per Payson's request, we made white chocolate dipped pretzels with Christmas sprinkles and put them in cute little baggies with fun Christmas tags. They were still the smallest treat there.

So for Valentine's Day I realized that I don't care about keeping up. I don't like the idea that my child will feel like she deserves all these treats. It's just over the top and unnecessary. And it is not in keeping with everything else I've been trying to change lately. I'm in the process of simplifying our home and our lives. Why should this be any different?

So this is what Payson and I put together for her Valentine's party today:

Simple and adorable. We didn't even bother with store-bought-cartoon-character cards this year. I got the idea from a couple of other blogs I read and took a picture of Payson with her fist in the air. We added the text in Picasa. It says, "I'm a sucker for you! Happy Valentine's Day! Love, Payson". I printed the picture on computer paper and cut them out. We dug through some old scrapbook paper scraps and Payson picked one color for the girls and one for the boys. They matched, but the one for the boys had more brown. :) She inked the edges of the paper and pictures and then she glued the pictures down. I cut slits above and below her fist with my exact-o-knife and we slid the suckers in. And voila! A beautiful, handmade by my preschooler, Valentine's card! And it even includes candy. (Because let's face it. If you show up without any candy you're a total loser. And my daughter is no loser!)

Anyway, Payson had the smallest Valentine. (You should see the huge bag of candy and dollar store plastic crap toys she came home with! EIGHT kids in that class! Ridiculous!) But it was the cutest. And it was made with LOVE. Not money. Less than $1 for ALL of these babies! And Payson was SO proud of it! And I made my statement. I will not succumb to the commercialization of holidays anymore! :)

(Seriously, though. Aren't those adorable?!)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Gold Napkins

I have one of those family edition Books of Mormon. The big ones that have pictures throughout and little facts, definitions, questions for thought, and the like on the bottom along with the footnotes. Jason got it for me for my birthday this year. I've been telling him for a while that I wanted one for family scriptures. I thought it would be a great way to keep our little ones interested in family scriptures each night. And it has worked! They love to snuggle up to me and look at the pictures. And I love having little extras to read and share with them.

Anyway, last night we were reading in Jacob. I was trying to explain to them before we started who Jacob was. I reminded them about Nephi and some of Nephi's stories they might remember and explained that Jacob was Nephi's younger brother. We flipped through some of the beginning pages in our Book of Mormon to look at picture to help them remember.

In the introduction and pages before 1 Nephi starts there are pictures of Joseph Smith translating the gold plates with Oliver Cowdry. I pointed to the Gold Plates and explained to the kids that this is where Nephi and other prophets had written the scriptures. Payson was really interested in everything I told her and I was loving teaching her more about our church history.

When I was finished I said something like, "So these are what we call the 'Gold Plates'."

Jack immediately put his hand on my arm and said, "No, Mommy! No! Those aren't plates. Those are napkins!"

Monday, February 8, 2010

Hot Water

I don't always shower every day. I'm guessing most of you don't either. But I don't go for more than every other day. And if I'm super sweaty one day, then whether or not I wash my hair, I at least bathe myself. I bathe my kids every day. Not because they are necessarily grimy. (Although most of the time they are. Let's face it. They're kids!) But because it's just a nice part of our bedtime routine. And that routine helps them to go to sleep much, much easier. And we like bath time. It's fun. I like watching the kids splash and play. We sing songs. We make shampoo hair towers. We play with bath toys and they get to squirt Mom on occasion.

So why am I sharing this with you? Well, on Saturday our water heater went out. Ugh. Jason realized that the pilot light was out and followed the directions and safety guidelines on the heater, to no avail. We rent, so we called the maintenance guy. He wouldn't answer. So we called a neighbor friend who works for Questar Gas. His wife was working and one of his 3 kids was sleeping. So I headed over to hang out with his kiddos and he came over to help Jason try to figure out the situation. After a few hours they gave up. The neighbor offered his house for bathing if it came to that. That was super nice of him, but we had all bathed on Saturday, so we'd be okay for Sunday. I would have preferred to shower, but whatever. I didn't mind just washing my face in ice cold water. And we figured we'd get it fixed first thing Monday (today).

We got in touch with the maintenance guy this morning and he was over here by 10 am. He checked things out, tried to relight the pilot light himself (also to no avail) and then headed out to get us a new water heater. Great!! I had nowhere to be today, so I was fine waiting a few more hours to shower. He came back and drained the heater, took out the broken one, and came back to install the new one. When he left he let me know that I would need to run the water for a bit to get rid of the air in the pipes but after a few minutes we would be back in business.

Guess what.

We were not back in business. He had to come back over here to see if he could figure it out. I'm ready to bathe my kids and get them off to bed. They've gone two days without a shower and I'd rather not make it three. And the same goes for myself. We have places to be tomorrow. I don't want to be smelly and greasy.

AND we don't have a dishwasher so I wash our dishes by hand. Obnoxious, but not the end of the world. Soap is great for cleaning, but the real sanitizer is HOT water. I have none. So I have a pile of dishes sitting in my kitchen. The bigger it grows, the more likely I am to put off washing them. Ugh.

Washing your hands after you go to the bathroom. HOT water is mandatory, right? Well, we don't have any. Alcohol wipes are drying out our skin in the mean time.

Laundry? Well, I guess it's fine to wash in the cold water. But I'm using the lack of heat as an excuse to postpone all that washing and folding. :)

Turns out he just forgot to open the valve. Thank heavens!! We have heated water again!!

Anyway, this is the first time in my life I've really been without hot water. WOW. I have taken it for granted!! Every time I start to complain I remind myself of the people in Haiti and other parts of the world. Not only are they suffering in a million different ways, but they probably don't have easy access to working water heaters either. And how lazy am I that I don't just boil a few pots of water on my working electric stove? You see, it's not the end of the world.

I've been spoiled for years with hot water at my finger tips, complaining if the hot shower water ran out because I'd been in there for 40 minutes. Or going camping and washing my face in the cold river water. That seemed to be torture.

The things we take for granted. I'm looking forward to my hot shower tonight. And you can bet I'll be on my knees at bed time thanking my Heavenly Father for the convenience and blessing of hot water.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The best thing about Primary

This month is my month to teach sharing time in Primary. My counselors and I rotate each month and I really look forward to my turn. I love interacting with the kids. (At least on their good days.) So I taught today. Our theme this year is "I know my Savior Lives". And for the month of February our theme is "Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer". I have been so excited about so many things in Primary this year! We have new sharing time outlines that I just think are so, so awesome. The music this year is amazing! And, well, the theme is so perfect. I love sharing my testimony of the Savior with these kids. And teaching them to strengthen their own little testimonies while strengthening my own along with them.

Anyway, like I said. Today I taught our lesson. I had four picture placed around the room depicting events from Christ's last week on the earth. We read scriptures and discussed each picture, ending with this picture.

(Why can't I get this picture any bigger? Even when I select "LARGE" in the photo uploader thing?!)

I read the kids a few verses in John about Christ's resurrection and invited them to come to the back of the room, where this picture hung on the wall. We discussed some things about Jesus' resurrection and then I pointed out the nail prints in the Savior's hands.

The lesson went the same in both junior and senior primary. However, something very special happened for me as I taught the junior primary. These sweet, pure, innocent 3-7 year old children gathered around this sheet of paper on the wall and stared in awe at this picture of their Savior. Then, one by one I watched them touch the picture where Jesus' scarred hands were.

Tears filled my eyes and a burning filled my heart as the Holy Ghost testified to me that each of us will someday stand before our Savior, Jesus Christ. We will touch the nail prints in His hands. And we will know without a doubt that He lives.

I hope and pray that when that day comes for me, that I will be as clean and pure as those perfect little ones today in my primary. I can not express in words the powerful spirit that I felt. I hope to never, ever forget what His precious little ones taught me today.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Refinishing postponed & Did you see?! I did it!!

First, I had to postpone my refinishing of furniture. :( I wanted the paint to match the new furniture that I ordered, so I called the company and got the brand and name and everything. Come to find out, they only sell it through specific vendors, none of which are near me. Go figure. So I paid for it over the phone and the furniture company shipped me the paint and stain that I need. Perfect!! It came today. But Jason isn't here to help me move the big heavy piano so I have to wait until he's home again in a week and a half. Bummer.

But oh well!! In the mean time I'm working on decluttering and organizing and cleaning the family room where the new furniture will be going. It's a HUGE project! But it's so freeing!! I'm loving it! You see, I have never, ever fully unpacked anywhere we've lived. Why? I don't know. But there is always a box or two stashed here or there in a corner of a room that I don't know what to do with. So I am going through every single one of those boxes and donating, throwing out, or finding a place for everything. Every. Single. Thing. Because if I haven't pulled it out of that box since we moved here over a year ago, I probably don't need it, right? Right.

And it's not just the boxes! I have even gone through my entire filing system. Every paper in every file. I called my dad to see what I really needed and for how many years and what I could toss. Then I went through every file and redid my whole filing system. Now it only holds the things we really need to hang onto. Ah. Feels so good!! Really, you should do this! I know it's completely overwhelming at first, but I figure I can give myself as much time as I need (in my case, the whole year!) and take it as slow as I want. I just started with one corner of my family room and now I feel like I'm on a roll!! I'm even enjoying the work!! HA!

Anyway, next order of business! Did you see? I did it!! I took the advice of some and just transferred the blogs I plan to continue reading reading to google reader. Why have I not used that before? And I deleted everyone. Well, with the exception of the private blogs who won't show up in google reader. Anyway, now none of you will ever know if you were deleted or not! Bwahahahaha!

Okay, really though. I know some of you said you wouldn't be offended if I deleted you. But let's be honest. I would totally feel bad if someone deleted me! Maybe just for a second and then I'd get on with my life, but still! For that second I'd feel really bad! So this solved that problem. :) Really though, it wasn't you. I kept your blog. It was that other really annoying girl who never updates who I hardly know. ;)

So there we go. A nice, clean, fresh blog list. A nice, clean, fresh corner in my family room. And soon enough I'll be posting pictures of new furniture, newly painted furniture, and clean space!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A blog etiquette question...

So I have a list of about 4 gillion (it's a real number) blogs that I read. When I first started blogging I just added every single blog I came across. It was new and exciting. It was so fun!! And I loved peeking into all these people's lives. Old high school friends, ex boyfriends and their new wives and families (don't judge me), etc. I used to comment on just about everyone's blogs every time I read them. I figure I like comments, so does everyone else. And it's polite to let someone know you're watching them.

Well, that was then. NOW, I have certain "blog buddies" who I love to stalk. Some family, some close friends. And I have several blogs that I just love to read, whether they are strangers or not. Add those to all the old blogs I read and you have hours and hours and hours spent on the computer.

So I stopped commenting so much. If you comment on my blog, I try to comment on yours often. It's polite. Plus, I like you! And your comments! If I like your post or actually have something to say about it, I comment. Otherwise, I don't. I just don't have the time.

And speaking of not having the time, this is the whole point behind the post. I don't have the time to read everyone's blogs. It stresses me out. So I need to cut back. No big deal. But here's my question: If I start deleting people's blogs from my list, am I just a big fat jerk? What if they notice? Will they feel bad?

You see, there are some I still plan to read, because I love blogging and I love my friends. But people who don't update often or who post boring crap or who I'm just not that close to, I don't want to waste my time reading. SORRY!! I really really am!

So what do I do? Am I being rude? What do you think?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Why am I still struggling with my weight?!

I lived as a vegetarian for a few months last year. I loved it!! Of course there were pros and cons, but overall, it was one of the best things I ever did for myself. I finally caved one day and ate meat again because it was placed in front of me (someone was sick or something and a neighbor had brought over a meal) and I was stressed out and it was convenient to eat it.

After that day I thought, "well maybe I'll just eat meat every now and then" or "only lean meats" or "no red meat" or "only fish". I kept flip flopping about how I wanted to live until finally I just got sick of thinking about it and just went back to how I've always eaten. If it looks good, tastes good, sounds good, just eat it.

And that is why I now weigh more than I did at the beginning of last year. (Only by a few pounds, but does it matter? More is more!)

I know one thing is fact. For me, being healthy means I have to make very conscious and intentional decisions about what I eat and how I move. Yes, exercise is a big part of it, too.
Both my exercise habits and eating habits go hand in hand and I have to actually TRY to be healthy. Shocker.

So, I've been thinking about this for, well, forever, and finally got up yesterday and made the conscious decision to make changes!! I desperately needed to go grocery shopping so I stocked up on healthy foods. Lots of whole grains, fruits, veggies, and lean dairy products. (No meat. I had some at home anyway, and I wasn't even sure if I was going to eat them anyway.)

Great start! The kids and I ate up the last of the "crap food" yesterday. There were a few oreos and chips left that I didn't want taunting me. Then I woke up this morning and had a healthy breakfast and a healthy snack. And I'm planning a healthy lunch as soon as I get Payson off to preschool. (They're having mac and cheese. Let's be honest, THEY aren't the ones who need to try so hard!)

So far I'm off to a good start. I'm even planning all vegetarian meals today. Not because I care so much, but because they're meals I have found I love and they are simple and healthy. I know I want to eat healthy. I'm ready to make that decision for myself. I'm ready to change my lifestyle (again) and do better. Be better.

I have read a lot of literature on health and nutrition. I have read from the scientific, spiritual, and ethical perspectives. I'm no pro, but I think I'm educated enough to make good, healthy decisions. But I'm having a hard time making ONE decision.

Meat? Or vegetarian?

Ugh!! Because most, if not all of you, are meat eaters and always have been, you're answer to this question is probably simply found. Yes, I know I can eat less meat, or only lean meats. Blah blah blah. And that would be a great choice! But would it be the best choice for ME??

You see, I've done that. And I've done the vegetarian thing. I really felt MY best not eating meat (although I still ate eggs and dairy). I ate super healthy alternatives all the time. I explored different types of foods and found so many new things I loved. Cooking whole meals was faster because I never had to thaw or wait for the meat to cook through! I learned all kinds of new things about beans! They are such a great source of protein and I found so many great recipes that I loved with beans as the main ingredient.

The only cons? Well, sometimes the drive through is convenient! And the only real drive through options that I have here as a vegetarian are bean burritos or veggie subs. And you really do have to plan and prepare meals a little. Chopping and cleaning veggies can take some time and buying pre-chopped veggies is too expensive. And there are certain foods that I love that I wouldn't eat as a vegetarian. Like my dad's tri-tip. YUM! And other meaty meals that are super delicious.

Anyway, I think just typing this up has reminded me that I loved the lifestyle. It felt good. So I need to do it again. So until I consciously decide otherwise, I guess I'm a vegetarian. Again. Thanks for listening to my rant!! I'd love to hear your suggestions, ideas, questions and opinions!!

Monday, February 1, 2010


I was up more than I was asleep last night. I hate that. Jack was wiggling and coughing and whining and wanting to be held all night long. Poor kid. And today he's acting pretty much back to normal! Yay! He had a good nap this morning and I'm hoping tonight will not be a repeat of last night. I hate watching my babies be miserable. And also, I like to sleep.

Anyway, I'm about to start cleaning and sanding and priming and painting two pieces of furniture!! Yay!! I'm so excited!! I don't have a ton of experience with this. Jason and I made a headboard years ago. It wasn't perfect, but it actually turned out pretty cool. And we redid a table. Well, attempted. We bought a table at DI and when we went to refinish the top realized it was laminate over mdf board. Ugh. So that was just a loss.

I've learned some things since then and have asked a ton of questions to some blog pros. I'm excited about how these pieces will turn out. I'm pretty confident that these pieces will be successes. So I'll be posting some before and afters later this week. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it!!