Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Right Now Happiness is......

Ten things that are making me happy right now!
1. Happiness is the first snowfall of the season. Really, I'm watching it come down as I type and so grateful we made it back from our daytrip right before it started falling.
2. Happiness is having a week off to "hang out" with my kids. I love having them all home with me all day long!
3. Happiness is knowing I worked out this morning.

4. Happiness is knowing that I have a fresh new year starting in just a few days.
5. Happiness is a couple kid/momma crafts just waiting to be started.
6. Happiness is a husband who loves to start warm, cozy fires in our fireplace when he first gets home from work.

7. Happiness is a knowing that my baby sister will be having her own sweet baby girl in a few short months.
8. Happiness is a sleeping baby that is finally on a good schedule.
9. Happiness is planning to host 2 holiday parties in the near future.
10. And finally, happiness is having time to enjoy this time of year focusing on what is most important.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas At Our House

Merry Christmas to everyone!! This year we spent Christmas here at home. We had some of our family over for Christmas Eve and spent the evening eating, sharing stories, singing, visiting, and playing. After our family went home we hung the stockings with the kids and read/told the Christmas story.

I stayed up until 2am to get everything perfect for Christmas morning. It was a wonderful morning. The kids woke up about 7:30 am and came into our room asking us if Santa had come. Jakob told us it was the best Christmas ever as he was pulling things from his stocking. Steve and I made biscuits and gravy for breakfast. After we ate we read the Christmas story again and opened our presents. Karter did not want to open his gifts. We tried to get him interested, but he wanted nothing to do with unwrapping his gifts. We ended up opening them and giving the presents to him. When he finally saw the unwrapped gift he got excited and started playing with it. What a character!!

The kid's made handmade gifts for each other this Christmas. I think the best gifts of the morning were these special gifts they had made. I loved that they were able to enjoy and feel the spirit of giving as they gave what they had worked so hard on. This will definitely be a yearly tradition.

After the gifts were opened we spent a quiet morning putting Isabelle's doll house together, shooting nerf guns, building Star Wars legos, and just hanging out. It was quiet, peaceful, and happy. Just how Christmas should be.

Later that afternoon we went out to Forest Grove to go to a Family Christmas Party. It was fun to see everyone and eat yummy, yummy food!

I told Steve yesterday that this is the first time in a long time that I have felt that we were able to celebrate the season the way I hoped we would. It has seemed for the last few years that every season has been so busy I just couldn't do what I planned to do. This Christmas I have felt really good about how we celebrated. Not that it was perfect or that we did absolutely everything on our list, but we were able to fully enjoy every aspect of the season. I think the main thing is I was able to simplify the gift giving/crafting/food making/decorating craziness, having enough time for quiet moments of focusing on the true meaning of Christmas. We were able to celebrate the birth of our Savior, focusing on Him and all the blessing He has given to us. It was a lovely Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Congratulations to my sister-in-law Lisa and her husband Chad! Yesterday they welcomed their baby boy into this world! They named him Bryson James. He is super tiny, sleepy, and oh so sweet!! You really forget how tiny these little ones are! What a wonderful Christmas gift. They delivery went well and Mommy and baby are doing great! So happy for them!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Peanut Butter Rolo Cookies

These cookies are so kid friendly and fun for the whole family to do. Plus they are super yummy! Isabelle and I worked on these this last week! She was such a trooper, by my side the whole time, helping with each cookie! When we finished we had 48 beautiful peanut butter cookies with chewy caramel/chocolate centers. Yum, yum, yum!! You can find the recipe here.

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Simple Gift

This is something Jakob took to school today for his teacher. He wanted to get her some M&Ms, so he gave me money, and I bought some at the store. I found this fun bag awhile ago for $1! With the M&Ms I added a handmade ornament, a package of hot chocolate, and a small bag full of marshmellows with a tag that read XOXO! It was super easy and turned out so cute!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I love my Plumber!

I can't believe this is what the upstairs looked like a few weeks ago. These photos were taken on October 31st!! Steve is putting in the plumbing and I snapped a couple fun photos. As we speak the painters are finishing up the trim and the ceilings. The countertops are scheduled to go in tomorrow and the carpet will be installed on Thursday. There are still a few things that need to happen before it will be completely finished, but I will basically have my kitchen/upstairs back on Friday!! I'm so excitied! It really has turned out quite lovely and I'm completely inspired to work in my new space. I have held off taking pictures because I want you to be surprised/shocked with the completed kitchen.

Christmas feels like it has been put on hold in our home. We have been holding off on getting a tree and decorating, waiting for the insanity of the renovation to be over. I don't even have Christmas music playing. I feel a bit deprived! I'm working on doing all the busy work of the season (aka mailing Christmas Cards, buying gifts, wrapping presents, grocery shopping, etc.) so when we get our house back I relax with family and can focus on the spirit of the season. I plan to take Christmas into this next year, extending it out a couple more weeks then we usually do!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Oh, So Very Messy!

We are going on six weeks of remodeling. What a mess!! Lets start with the good news. We came home from Oregon to new hardwood floors and cabinets. The appliances came the next day. Baseboards and trim were finished being installed on Wednesday. Right now the all the living room furniture is packed into the dining room and the living room carpet has been removed. I'm so excited!!
We also came home to lots and lots (did I say lots???) of dust!! It was all over everything!! They had to level out the floors (lots of sanding) and put in and finish the new hardwood floors (more sanding.) Dust is caked onto everything!
But, I can see the light. It is getting close and it is looking oh so very good!! Worth the inconvenience!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Soft Shoes

These shoes a actually got for Karter this last year. They were a size 18 months and they were on clearance. I got them and he wore them last year and even though they were a bit big, they fit so well. Well, this year I pulled them out and they still fit well.

They go up the leg a bit, like a boot, and that keeps them on. I love how soft and comfy they are and how easy they are to just throw on his feet.
Karter has been playing outside a bit more. He loves to play in the dirt and make a mess. I'm so grateful that we have our big yard! I have been discouraged at times with deciding to get a home that needed a lot of work. Fixing up this house has been frustrating, but it was the only way we could get the big yard. It has been awesome to watch the kids enjoy just being outside and playing. The rest will come, but for now we have a yard to play in and appreciate.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Hardwood Floors

The hardwood floors started to go in this last week. This is what they got done the first day! They are staining them a dark espresso color this week!! Cabinents should be going in this next Monday, appliances coming on Tuesday. They will measure for countertops once the cabinents are in and then it will be 7-10 days before they will be installed!! So long to wait, but we are getting closer to a brand new kitchen!
I really do love the floors. We went with a 5 inch wide board! Our floor installer tried to convince us to go with a 4 inch board, he said it would hold up better, but I decided to go with the 5 inch. I'm glad I did.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Failed Attempts

Since having Karter, just the idea of trying to get a family picture has been overwhelming. Figuring out what to wear, dressing us all, fixing hair, keeping us looking good on the way to the photo shoot, and, when we finally are posed and ready, getting us all to look at the camera at the same time, smiling, without red eye, double chins, goofy looks, etc. It is a challenge!

Well, as you could tell from our previous post, we did it! We probably had about 50 photos to look through and the one that turned out was the very last photo of the group. I was getting discourage and resigning myself to choosing one where we all looked MOSTLY good. So very excited to find the one that turned out!
Here are just a few of our failed attemps. Love how they show our family's personality and spunk! I have an idea for a scrapbook page using a bunch of these photos that didn't turn out, documenting the process, the challenge of getting a good family photo.
Thank you Crystal and Melissa for taking these photos, working with us! We had two cameras going at once and lots of family to help position us, encourage us, and keep us smiling.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gratitude Turkeys

We did these turkeys in preschool. So easy and fun! I asked the kids what they were grateful for, wrote it on the feathers, and had the kids glue their turkeys together. Isabelle was grateful for doggies, cats, mommies, grammies, and pictures.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Here is the outside of our home. We decided to get the hardiplank exterior and will paint it soon. We will eventually match up the rest of the home with the new exterior.

Renovation Update

This was our house a few days ago. Insulation is in and sheetrock is up!! It is warm again. You can also see our new front and side door. Here is the opening that goes from the entry to the kitchen. This opens up the area so much!

Monday, November 9, 2009


We have been playing football here these last few weeks. Even I've been out to play a couple times with the family. Jakob is loving it and wanting to play this next year. We shall see!!

P.S. Thanks Steve for the lovely pictures.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Lately I've been thinking of motivation and how it works. In my life I feel motivation come in waves. Sometimes it comes just for a few moments during the day and sometimes it comes and stays for quite awhile. I love when it comes, love the feeling I get when I'm so excited to do something and I push and push to get it done. I love the results that are sure to come.

I can feel another wave coming and I'm excited for it. I've wondered why I feel it now and what it is that motivates me. One thing that I've been feeling lately is a slowing down in my life, I have time to think and reflect again. Since June of this year life has been busy! Moving, remodeling our home, starting a new school year, settling into our new ward, many changes with the business, etc. have left me breathless. I have felt like I have worked all day long and I still have come up short. Finally, things are settling down, life is taking on a rhythm, and I can breathe. With this feeling comes motivation. So, why do you feel motivated??
  • Motivation comes when life has slowed down after stressful times. (Like what I was describing above.)
  • Motivation comes after vacations. Taking a step back, taking a break from our lives, and coming back and starting new motivates me to act. I love coming home after a trip and feeling the excitement of what I will do when I get there. Usually I start making lists of what I want to get done.
  • Motivation comes after I've read something inpiring. Books, blogs, magazines, ect. gets me excited about my home, kids, life, etc.
  • Motivation comes after setting goals with Steve. Talking with anyone about something gets me excited to do it, but I especially feel motivated when Steve and I talk about our future and what is to come.
  • Motivation comes when life is slow enough for us to experience any of these situations. We have to have time to think and ponder. If we are so busy going from one thing to another we don't have time to be motivated.So, what is the point of knowing what motivates me. If I know how it works, I can make it work for me! I've always thought that it just comes, these feelings of motivation, but as I have thought about it I realize that I have power to influence myself. If I want something, I can work to get myself motivated to do it, and with that excitement get it done! So, what am I going to do with the motivation I'm feeling now. I'm not sure!! I just feel excited to move forward with anything and everything that I have ever wanted to do in my life. First I need to focus in on our daily schedule and get ourselves moving forward in an organized system. Life has been so crazy for the last few years, so many changes. I'm hoping we are settling into our home and will be here for a long time. The business is moving along and we are feeling a rhythm with that. Now it is time to set some daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly habits/activities that we stick with and do!! We have tried in the past to incorporate things into our lives and have had trouble with being consistent. Well, I'm done with that. I'm ready to get a daily schedule that we can stick with. I realize flexibility has to be a huge part of that system. Flexibility plus a lot of trial and error, but the results will come. After we get on a schedule I want to move forward with a few other things.

  • Getting our home in order. Organized, clean, remodeled, etc.
  • Food storage. We need to set up a system where we can rotate our food. Something simple and easy.
  • Scrapbooking
  • Cooking
  • Nutrition
  • Projects
  • Exercise/Weight Loss
  • Work/Education with kids
  • Gardening

So, these are just a few things I want to do. With this new wave of motivation I'm hoping to have lots of posts on what is to come.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Our Playroom

We interrupt these posts of our kitchen remodel to bring you our basement. Okay, so there is still a bunch of things I am planning to do, but I thought I would show you what we have done so far. The lighting is horrible, so the photos are far from great, but here they are!!

This wall where the door is was not there before. We built the wall and added the door. Behind the door is a tiny room we are using as a guest room. It is so small I'm not sure how I will get a photo of it.

Well, that is the room. I didn't get a great photo of the toy storage bookcase. This room has a few angles and, like I said, the lighting isn't great for photos. I'm going to try to add the photo later, plus I want to add before shots of the room. If you are interested you can go here to see photos of what it looked like before.