September 3, 2015

a PLACE for EVERYTHING

There was a time not long ago that our house was sort of in disarray.  We were in the process of moving the girls into the same bedroom and transitioning the nursery into a play room.  Things didn't quite go according to plan (life, amiright?), so things got a little disorganized.

Okay, so it really wasn't that bad.  But, it did stress me out and give me a bit of anxiety.  Again, not anxiety like I know other people experience, but, in all honesty, it was sort of a depressing time for me.

I know that sounds weird, but it was sort of an eye-opening experience for me.  I learned that I really get bothered by clutter and am somewhat obsessive when it comes to everything having a place.  I don't think I'm unhealthy about it all.  But, if we don't use something I get rid of it and never look back!

Over the past few weeks, I've worked on certain areas of the house that have needed a little TLC.  That "one drawer" that everyone seems to have in their kitchen now has bamboo organization boxes.  I've never used drawer organizers like these before {shocking, I know!}, but they really help keep things in place and prevents items from being stored unnecessarily.  Our oil drawer was also in need of a face lift.  My daughter helped me label each bottle, making it much easier to find whatever oil I'm looking for.


The laundry room was in need of some serious help.  I have learned that I love things to be up off the floor, if at all possible.  It makes things so much easier to keep neat and organized.  I'm secretly in love with these hooks.


Another view of the laundry room.  We found these shelves at Walmart and the storage boxes at Ross.  They have revolutionized this room.  Dustin questioned whether we'd be able to keep things organized, and I can honestly say we have!  For me, the trick really is having a designated spot for everything and not holding on to things that aren't needed.


The laundry room may or may not be my favorite room in my entire house.

I still have a few projects, one drawer in particular, that aren't quite finished.  After that, I'll begin the painful job of decorating.  We've been in this house for over a year and our walls are still mostly bare.  I just can't seem to commit to any one idea.  Any suggestions are appreciated!

September 2, 2015

THINGS i CAN'T do

Sometimes I think the Internet is exploding with examples of how good we are at certain things.

So, I decided to change that by posting two examples of things I, in all sincerity, cannot do:  shuffle cards and draw.

I attribute my poor shuffling skills to having small hands.  For reals, my hands haven't grown since 5th grade.  Maybe everyone's hands stop growing at that age.  I'm not really sure.  All I know is that I have small hands; therefore, I cannot shuffle cards.


video

Another thing I cannot do is draw.  Exhibit A is my best attempt at drawing a cat.  Clearly, I have no talent in this area.  Like, absolutely no talent at all.


In some ways, I find it fascinating to think about how we're all really good at certain things, and horrible at others.  I'm sure, with some time and effort, I could learn to shuffle cards appropriately and draw a cat that actually looks like a cat.  But, I really don't want to.  So far, I've survived life without talent in those areas, and maybe it's best to just leave it to other people and focus on the things I can do.

What are some things that you can't do?

August 24, 2015

MUSIC mondays: {White Night}

Here's a new band I discovered a few days ago.  The POSTELLES.



I really like their sound because it's upbeat and fun and overall I just get a good positive vibe when I listen to this song.

If I were to ever host a party at my house, this is the type of music we'd all be dancing to.

August 22, 2015

a change in PRIORITIES: {FAMILY dinner}

Shortly after LL was born, I found a new job.  I was so happy to go back to work after a brief hiatus.  The only downside was there was a three-hour gap between when I had to be at work and when Dustin got home.  So, we hired a baby-sitter.  It was a really good arrangement and was still cost effective for me to work despite having to pay a sitter.

A year later, I had the opportunity to change my hours and completely eliminate the need for a sitter.  Basically, I would leave for work the minute Dustin got home.  It also meant I would be gone during dinner time and not get home until after the girls were in bed.  It was a lot to think about, but ultimately, Dustin and I decided to give the new schedule a go.

A few months ago, it was obvious the schedule wasn't working for our family anymore.  The lack of quality time spent together was proving to be too much, and I knew something needed to change. 

Months prior, I had read a quote by Elder L. Tom Perry.  It read:

"Never let a day go by without holding family prayer and family scripture study.  Put this, the Lord's program to the test; and see if it does not bless your home with greater peace, hope, love, and faith."

This simple piece of advice kept entering my mind, and I knew incorporating family prayer and scripture study into our daily routine would be the key to positive change within our home.

So, even though it meant less income, I rearranged my schedule so that our family could eat dinner together every single night.  I also decided that dinnertime would be the perfect time to read the scriptures together.  It was also the perfect time to have our family prayer.

Our dinner begins at 4:30.  We all sit at the table, say our prayer, and while we eat, Dustin or I read the scriptures.  After dinner, we clean the kitchen together, spend what available time is left talking together, and then exactly one hour from when Dustin got home, I'm heading out the door.  The change was literally that basic.


Now, a few weeks later, I am in awe of the changes I have seen and felt in our home.  It is undeniable.  Truly, I have witnessed greater peace, hope, love, and faith - just as Elder Perry described.

Now, full disclosure, when I say "read the scriptures together" I really mean "read a scripture together."  And, LL is usually only involved in the process long enough to look at her dinner, decide it looks revolting and immediately retreat to her room to play.  Please don't mistake our hour of quality time as perfect.  Because it's not, and it never will be.

But, the point is, we're trying.

How thankful I am for the small and simple things of life.  They really do make all the difference.
 
{#picturedaboveisnotourfamily}

August 20, 2015

the's NO PLACE like HOME

For my daughter's sixth birthday, Dustin and I took her to Disneyland for the first time.  It was the perfect time to go because we could escape the cold Utah weather and she wouldn't miss a day of school.

The part I was dreading the most, the long drive from SLC to Anaheim ended up being the best part of the entire trip.


My daughter greatly disliked Disneyland with the exception of meeting the princesses and fairies.

In all fairness, the park was extremely busy.  And, with all the many things to see and do, after an hour into our second day, she had reached  her limit.  As we made our way back to the hotel, I thought about all the time and money we invested into this trip, hoping it would be a wonderful birthday weekend, only to be disappointed with her lack of enthusiasm. 

Every year, I take my girls' pictures at the exact moment they were born.  Back in the hotel room, I compared the picture of from this year to the one from the year before.  Exhaustion and stress at Disneyland.  Complete joy at our house.

Luckily, I had a friend in the area that had an annual pass to Disneyland, so while Dustin and Isabelle spent the day in the hotel I went back to the park with her.  It definitely was not how I planned the trip to go, but ultimately that's how things worked out.

Dustin sent me pictures of them hanging at the hotel, and Isabelle was the happiest she'd been all weekend.  I'd always known her to be a home body, but I didn't think she'd pick home over the so-called Happiest Place on Earth.

I suppose you could argue I have an ungrateful child, and to a certain extent you may be right.  However, I took away so much more from this trip than I ever expected.  I learned that my daughter does not need much to be happy.  In fact, less really is more in her eyes.  I also learned that there's no other place Isabelle would rather be than at home.


And, I guess, that's not really bad thing.

In the meantime, we'll save our pennies and keep birthdays here low-key and in the comfort of our own home.

{#homeisthehappiestplaceonearth}

August 19, 2015

INSTAGRAM wednesdays: dustin's ANNIVERSARY PRESENT

Dustin's favorite musician is Melissa Etheridge.  He's seen her five times in the last four years.  Whenever she tours in SLC or a neighboring state, we get tickets.  She is an amazing performer, and if you're into concerts, you'd love seeing her live.  She puts on a great show.

Anyway, the last time we saw her was earlier this month - just two days after we celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary.  Obviously, the perfect present I could get Dustin was for Melissa to wish him a Happy Anniversary during her concert.

So, I went to Twitter because if you want something done, you tweet about it!

I sent maybe three or four tweets within a two day span.  Nothing major.  I wasn't really expecting anything to become of it, but at the same time I didn't feel like my efforts were all in vain.

So, the day of the concert, I sent one final tweet.  Once at the venue, we found our seats and had a KILLER view.  We were five rows back and the microphone was directly in front of us.  When Melissa came out onto the stage, she was so close I could see her fingernails.  It was perfect.


Then, during the show, someone yelled "It's my birthday, Melissa."  So, she, of course, said happy birthday.  And then she said, "I'm supposed to wish Dustin a Happy 10 year anniversary."

We were dying.  I couldn't believe she (or one of her "people") saw my tweets and actually followed through with my request. 

We immediately stood  on our feet and screamed, and since we were so close, she totally saw us.   She threw one of her guitar picks in our direction, but it fell short and the person in front of us caught it.

It was the coolest night ever.  I was so happy my crazy idea actually worked.  I'm pretty sure I'll never be able to give Dustin a better gift, so I'm calling it good for the duration of our marriage.

{#neverunderestimatethepoweroftwitter}

August 18, 2015

THINGS i've said. {LITERALLY}

I've been known to say a lot of stupid things.  I don't have "Foot-In-Mouth" disease {#gottalovejoe}, but on more than one occasion I have said things that make absolutely no sense and defy logic.

And, honestly, I can't think of a single reason why I shouldn't publicly share a few of the idiotic things I've said over the years with all of you!

...

While watching a TV show with my friends, during a commercial break and nearing the end of one of the commercials I said: 
"Next will either be the show or another commercial."


During our "Just Friends" stage, when Dustin asked if I had any tape {meaning packing tape}
my response was:
"Well, I have....tape {meaning, scotch tape}.
He knew exactly what I meant.
When mentioning the last time I ate, I said:
"I haven't eaten since....today."

When telling a story about my two roommates I said:
"Karen and What's-Her-Face were both there."
{Both of my roommates were named Karen}


And, in 2006, I resurrected the term "I don't give a care."
Thankfully, that only lasted a day.

 ...

I'm hoping my randomness eventually makes it way to one of my kids.  I'm guessing it'll strike Isabelle, but, who knows, LL could throw me a curve ball.

Either way, you'll be laughing!
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