Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I have felt busy this past week. My brother-in-law has been staying with us and somehow this has filled up my time having him around. He actually has been very instrumental in letting me get lots done while he watches and plays with the kids. It's been great. I wish I could hire him as my manny. (that's a guy that's a nanny, for my Mom who doesn't talk the lingo). I'm super young and super hip, so I got to keep my Mom up-to-date....okay I saw it on a hallmark movie. I'm not sure if it's even a thing. You caught me.
My Manny Joey and my gadget obsessed one year old

Anyway, the point is, I completely switched everything from the last post up. Just when you got all attached and everything I know. I'm sorry, I am a creature of change. I just love it. Mostly I have decided that I want my life to be as clean and white and non-cluttered as possible. This is not really super possible with two little kids, but I am doing my best to just get rid of extra stuff, and it feels good. I still feel like I have a ways to go--how come kids toys seem to get out of hand SO dang easily?? I swear I just went through their stuff.

Also, you should probably be aware that this is the week of pinterest food. I decided that since I have a temporary manny that I can have time to cook new and fattening things. I will have to go on a detox super diet afterwards, but that's okay. Tonight we had artichoke dip encrusted bread. It was amazing. Seriously so so so good. Everyone loved it except for Maddy who doesn't love anything that is not a hot dog or a macaroni covered in cheese. Coming up next are: the best burger in the world (so says the recipe, I intend to find out for YOU!), Cafe Rio Pork Salad, and lots of crockpot recipes that look good.

Have you tried anything recently from pinterest that was delicious?

Lastly, in a completely not related note, I started composing a blog post in my head while I was driving. I only belatedly realized that I might be weird for doing that. Interestingly, it was not the post I am writing now. I started separating the difficult experiences that I have had in my life into things that either A. made me tougher, and B. made me more vulnerable. The surprising thing I realized while doing this is that most things ended up on both lists. I'll give you some examples:

Tougher                                                                  More Vulnerable

Being a mother                                                               Being a mother

Going through my parents divorce                                 Going through my parents divorce

etc. etc. etc.

It was a break through and I immediately wanted to share it with all of you. But it probably deserve it's own write up, and it's probably too boring/introspective/personal, and I am trying to be ALL about the boundaries. So...maybe that's enough. Have you thought of your experiences in that way before? Interesting. Also, I just realized that if I googled strong and tough, it would probably bring up toilet paper pictures. So....take what you will from this hodge podge of information. ha!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Huh I just don't know

 I will start this post by saying that I have put off posting anything about this room because frankly it still kind of seems off to me. It isn't jiving with the elusive picture in my head that even I can't quite seem to pinpoint. So it's a work in progress. But here are some before shots.
 The bookshelf after I took off most of the books.
 Sadly, what John's desk looked like before I did this major purge. Now it is doing better.

 So I found these little shelf jobbies at Goodwill. I think they are actually intentioned for shoes. They reminded me of a Pottery Barn picture that I saw. If you squint really hard, you might think they were meant for this purpose.
 I just like anything in a jar. Somehow the jar just elevates the mundane.
 I tried my hand at a gallery wall, and I think that is what just doesn't feel quite finished/done right to me. But I really loved hanging these pictures my sister gave me for Christmas. She always gets me the best presents. She is like a present psychic. She knows what I want before I even know I want it. It's pretty much awesome.
While visiting the great north, I got to go to Ikea. I bought one of these and created an "art center" for Maddy. That is what she dubbed it and she loves it. She literally uses it every single day. Those cups of markers must be magic.
 I bought some nice pens a while ago and now I have a little twirly pen holder that I like to twirl around on my desk.
 Oh yeah, here is a big picture. Hmm. Like I said, I just don't know. I put the little table down here so Maddy could have a place to play with her playsets (like the ginormously awesome pyramid). But it makes it look more cluttered. Hmm.

 This bookcase still needs work. But...not too horrible. It might get some books back.
Oh little beat up school chairs, you will be with me forever. Don't ask me why I put that wire basket on top. It has no actual value besides looking pretty.
Remember how beauteous this wall was during Christmas?

Well then I had to take down the christmasy wreaths and it looked a little sad. I knew that would happen of course, and figured I would find something else to fill. I am still feeling a bit on the fence about my fix. What is it with me lately?? I usually just do something and then love it. This indecision is nerdy and I would like to banish it.

Here is what I have decided so far: keep the adorable silhouettes of my darlings, keep the cool country pitcher, get rid of everything else. Wellll, not get rid of, just moved around to other parts of the house. The white table was too low without the wreaths filling in space, and frankly wasn't that functional of a piece.

So...I got all big for my britches and thought that I should add some fancy gallery lighting. Here is the thing about getting too big for your britches when you're on a budget...sometimes you can still see cords. Yeah. I hate cords too. I'm sorry friends. But I am buying some cord covers. You want to see anyway?

 You see, my new goal was to try and be more simple with my decor. I don't like a lot of clutter. I think that's what kind of bugs me about the gallery wall...it's cute, but it's more cluttery looking. But then...when I look at pictures of my house looking more simple I think, huh....it looks unfinished. I just haven't figured it out yet.
 I really like the lighting (ikea), but those dang cords. I'm hoping the cord covers will help.
 Tried to go for simple
but maybe it just looks boring...I think the problem is the lamp. Well, I am trying to use what I have, so maybe I'll do a little lamp switcheroo.

And to finish up this post of house fixings, I decided to go for that dark blue wall. We worked on it today while baby boy recovered from getting stitches yesterday (which I am forbidding myself to write about because it was the worst thing ever). But he is doing better today. And the bathroom is doing better. So, I think that means we are on up and up my friends.

up next, I will finally blog about the baby boy's first birthday. Poor second children, they get the late birthday posts and the stitches. I am feeling sorry for that kid big time today.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

love a crying baby (when it's not mine hehe)

I had completely forgotten that I took a bunch of pictures of my cousin and her adorable baby while I visited them in Florida (back before the whole job fiasco). I uploaded pictures from my camera and found all sorts of gems. But first, my adorable cousin. Poor baby was teething and I only got a handful of him looking relatively happy, but I still love them, especially the crying baby one. :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

hmming and hawings

Things to do (instead of wasting time writing a blog post, but whatever):

make my bed
do the dishes
tidy up the rest of the house
play with kids interspersed the chores
feed the kids interspersed the chores
finish washing clothes, sheets, towels
make guest bed for John's brother who is coming today and staying for a while
take a shower?
make dinner
spray paint this shelf thingy that I got at Goodwill a while ago
decide if I'm going to take the plunge and paint one wall of my tiny bathroom dark navy blue, based on this inspiration photo (we are definitely doing the shelves in our own cheap hack way). I have never been scared of paint, but navy blue scares me. Scares me people!

My major concern is that this toilet was custom built with that fabulous molding behind it and I think it would look bad if I painted navy blue all the way down to the floor--I feel that it would not capture this look. So...I am weighing my options. I am considering beadboard wallpaper (pros: cheap, easy, cute. cons: might look weird in my miniscule water closet because there is no beadboard in the main bathroom). I am also considering doing faux molding like we did in Maddy's old room in Tooele. (pros: easy, cheap, potentially look a lot like picture. Cons: again might look weird in tiny room, and can't decide if I should just do it on one wall?)

Okay, so there's a glimpse into my really indecisive mind. If you have opinions you may leave them. Or better yet, if you have a new idea let me know. Just don't tell me you hate the inspiration photo. I'm on the line as it is people, I need good stuff!

Over and out. :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

the post in which I use honey buns incorrectly

It was a super busy weekend around here. We babysat, we ran lots of errands, I picked my friend Meredith (college roomie) up from the airport and went for a late night Denny's rendevous, we went to a Star Wars nerd party, and we tried to keep our kids on nap schedules. Busy busy. I was quite proud of the Star Wars costumes John and I came up with in about five minutes. I wish I could regale you with pictures, but I was Princess Leia (again, this was a revival role that I also took up in college for Halloween). I don't have very long hair anymore, so I was a bit stumped for how to recreate Leia's signature buns (cause otherwise you're just wearing a white sheet with a belt....). I came up with the idea to glue these:

to each side of a headband. It turned out even more delicious and amazing than I imagined. I'm thinking about trying this hairdo out on a Fasting Sunday sometime. ha. :)

Well I'm sorry to say that's all I've got for you today. I'm tired. It's been a long weekend with lots of errands, and today I worked on pictures and now it's time to go to bed. But you know what? It was a really good weekend. It feels like forever since I've said that, doesn't it? It feels sooooo good to be a Debbie Upper for once. Or whatever they call the optimistic version of Debbie Downer.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

slow poke

Just had to pop on for a funny Maddy moment today. She is a tortuously slow eater (well it tortures me, who has to sit there until she is finished to make sure she gets something into her rapidly getting taller body). I have to constantly tell her, "less talking, more chewing!" and I think she is starting to understand that she is a bit of a slow eater because she looked over at John and said, "Daddy, you're a fast eater. Me? Well I'm just a slow pope!"

We got a good laugh out of that. I love four year olds.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I've been cleaning and organizing the bejeezus out of my house lately. It feels great. It's like opening your windows and letting fresh air into every room. I have gotten rid of a lot of stuff. Sure, everything I got rid of I still mostly liked--but it felt like it was holding me down. I want a cleaner, less cluttered look. I hate tchotchkes (uh yes I had to look up that word to know how to spell it correctly. Did you know it is Yiddish in origin. Somehow, that makes sense as I picture a little Yiddish matchmaker lady saying it. Something like, "Get rid of the tchotchkes from your yentil or I'll kavitch you.")

Anyway, in the wise words of the Yiddish, I'm cleaning up my yentils and it feels great. All of the sheets are getting freshly washed. All of the bath mats are getting in on the warm sudsy action. I'll probably even get to the floorboards at some point.

Hey, I can't help it. I don't want to be kavitched. This post is turning out really random. Might as well finish it in true random style and steal Emily Foley's random thought thursday idea (minus the Thursday).

Why didn't anyone tell me that my life was incomplete? I never heard Adele's song Set Fire to the Rain. Holy.


I have been writing myself To Do lists, and I am surprised how much such a dumb thing motivates me. Is that weird?


I used to hate the taste of Coke (we weren't allowed to drink it growing up). John loves it and I'll take small sips of his Diet Coke and now I kinda like it, but not enough to drink an entire one. Just enough to take a few sips.


I started a book club today. The first meeting is going to be at the end of February. I am SO excited. It's time to get my book club mojo back on. Now I need to think of an amazing name for it, since The Finer Things Book Club has been done. Suggestions?


I never add people as friends on facebook, I'm too shy. If I do, it usually means that I really like you. And also, it means I'm pretty sure you won't say no. ha. How about you? Do you add anyone and everyone, or do you wait around for people to add you mostly?


I still really love toast. It is a love affair that just has never ended for me. Toast, you complete me.


Why do I always seem to hit weird buttons with my ear on my smartphone? Why does this not seem to happen to anyone else? Is my ear smart, or...am I dumb? Wait, don't answer that one.


My baby is a bottomless pit. I seriously think he walks around hungry, even though I feel like I feel like I am feeding him constantly. I worry for my budget when he is a teenager. But I am super happy that he is now drinking milk instead of super expensive liquid formula.


What instrument do you secretly wish you could play? I begged John for a ukelele for Christmas, but I think he thought I was kidding so I didn't get one. ha! I actually really wish I could play the piano, but I'm not dedicated enough to sit down and really learn it. Plus, I don't have a piano. I also wish I could play other old people instruments like the dulcimer, the mandolin, and the normal guitar.
(see what I mean about Old lady instrument? I think those bonnets are a requirement to play a dulcimer....)

how to succeed at fancy without even trying.

I call it LimoNOTa. 
Glass bottle=fancy. 

Go forth and fancify.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

let me be amazing at you

I had written a completely different post, but deleted the entire thing because I somehow ended up on my old blog reading about our year last year. Oh.My.Gosh. We had a hard year. I actually  had to stop reading my blog because I was starting to feel anxious again ha!

It made me grateful to be starting a new year, with a fresh start. You know, things rarely end up the way we think they will and for me, that gets hard to accept sometimes. I spent the entire past year wondering why I felt like we should move here--felt like everything bad that happened was somehow connected to us being in South Carolina. I felt so mad at myself.

But now, I see that the anger is pointless. Sometimes, life is just rough. We all have years that we want to fast foward, and we all have moments that we swear will break our spirits. I have been through some of those moments this year. It has been very hard. I am finally feeling like I can really talk about how deeply these hardships affected me. I feel a bit bruised and battered. I wish I could say that I have been incredibly inspiring in my reactions to some of our trials this year, but mostly I was just trying to survive. I didn't have time to think about being amazing. :)

When the new year started, I thought I needed to get myself back to the person that I was before all of these hard things. I want to be that nerd that thought that spray painting was the answer to the worlds problems. I wanted to be the girl who didn't think twice about putting all sorts of personal stuff on her blog, because she believed in the goodness of people and felt like honesty was the same as transparency in your personal life.

And honestly, of course you've realized this before me, it just isn't possible to get that girl back. I shouldn't even wish for it, because I have learned some valuable lessons. I've learned that I need to self-edit a bit more (still painfully learning this one actually). I've learned that just because bad things are happening to me, it doesn't mean that I'm a bad person--it doesn't mean I'm being punished for something. I've learned that sometimes you have to be happy with just enough. In fact, you should always be glad for just enough, because just enough means that it isn't too little. I've learned that as much as I wished that I was spectacularly good at something, I am just pretty good and a bunch of little things-- and it's okay that they aren't even very fancy things. It's okay that I'm not great at photography, I am pretty good at loving people. It's okay that I'm not a professional decorator, because I am pretty good at making Maddy's favorite sandwich. I'm over-emotional, bossy, irreverent, eager to please, chubby, impatient, and  I love to be right. I have to work on those. But there are good things too, and I can work on those just as lovingly.

I thank God that I have another year to become another girl by this time next year. I hope this year I will spend a bit less of it surviving and have more time for contemplating (as Tiny Fey said it) "being amazing at you."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

they don't keep

Poor Grant was really not feeling good today. It's been a rough couple of weeks for him health-wise, but it seems like it came to head today. Poor guy. He is usually Mr. Independence (and Mr. Smiley, a winning combination), but today he snuggled into my shoulder several times and fell asleep. Perched like a tiny snuggled sad baby bird.
not the best quality cell phone picture, but the adorableness shines through.

And even though I could have put him straight into his crib, I sat and rocked and rocked and rocked. I rubbed his back. I kissed his soft head.

I love you Grant, until my heart wants to burst I love you. I love that when your independence no longer serves you, you finally turn to Mommy, because that is where I always want to be--waiting to fold you into my arms so tight. You're growing up. And someday you'll be thirty and rocking your baby, and you will know how full my heart was today.

The cleaning and scrubbing
will wait till tomorrow,
for Children grow up,
as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs.
Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

isn't it ionic

Y'all. I just grabbed my hairdryer to dry my hair really fast this evening when I noticed a button on the top of the nozzle I had never noticed before (because seriously, why did they even put a button up there to begin with??)

It said, in solemn typeface, ION SWITCH, OFF or ON.

Why didn't anyone tell me I've been walking around without ionized hair all these years?? The shame. The embarassment. The...ions!...Well no more.

I switched it to the on position. That's right,  I just changed my laser from stun....to kill. Mwahahahaha.

Monday, January 9, 2012

 tonight I'm not blogging about anything I should blog about, you know like Christmas or stuff like that. I just want to blog about whatever I feel like. For example, I really like this picture I took.

Isn't she cute? I love her freckles and her sweet smile.

I love that I just found this song by The Shins. They have a new album coming out tomorrow. Woo woo!

I like tickling my kids and getting down on the floor and playing with them. Even though doing so makes me want to fall asleep on the carpet. Why does that always happen?

I cleaned out my desks (one mine, one John's) and reorganized the front room again. It's a sickness. But it looks great and is a really function room. That makes me happy.

I should mention that I should be OUTLAWED from facebook from the hours between 3-5. That is when I am counting down the time until John gets back from work. Especially when the kids are sick. So there...I will try to restrain myself. I find that is when I make my most negative comments on that place. Bad Jenn.

I set a HUGE goal for myself. It's not a new years resolution or anything, because I set it before the year ended. But if I do it, I am going to take a really amazingly awesome trip. No seriously I am. I already talked to John about it. Just gotta start saving my pennies and working on my goal. I am still toying around with where I want to go, but I can't get this place out of my head, as cliched as it is.

Of course my lifelong dream has been to travel here:

That is Salzburg. But I want to take that trip with John. This trip would probably just have to be me because of the cost. But since I'm living on dreams anyway, maybe we'll both go.

Don't ask what the goal is, that's like asking what someone wished on their birthday candles. I'm superstitious like that.

And here is a really great quote to keep me inspired. It's easy to feel judged and in despair. But who wants to be around that person? I want to keep my chin up. I'm trying, by golly it's hard sometimes, but I am one to keep trying to get back on that saddle. I am a people pleaser, but that can back-fire sometimes when you have a soft heart. But...I know my friends are still out there, reading--my old roommates, my Tooele book club friends, my family, my blogging buddies. I hope you forgive my lapses in happiness this year. It's been a rough one. But I am fighting for this year to be better and more optimistic, but also authentic. What are you hoping for in this coming year? Do you have some pie in the sky goals and rewards for yourself? Did you organize your drawers and feel ten pounds lighter? Are your kids sick and you spend your day trying to keep them distracted and hydrated with brightly colored popsicles? Do tell.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

a mysterious mystery

Remember me?

I'm still around, but I'm taking a blogging break. Sometimes you just need a chance to clear your head. I find that avoiding technology (except for checking on my favorite blogs/people via facebook of course!) is a good way to do that for me.

The good news? If you didn't hear, my husband got a new job and already started on the 4th of January. We are SO grateful. We know we are very lucky and blessed. So far he likes it.

Other good news is that we got to go to my Mom's house for a week around Christmas. It really helped being around other people to forget our problems. It was also really good luck because that is when we finally got a job offer. :)

So, I'm lying low a little bit longer. The baby is sick and I am still readjusting to life post-holidays, but I'll be back soon.

p.s.we have been getting some really fun/funny stuff in the mail lately. Crayons shaped like rocks...a necklace with a globe on it. It is mysterious! Is it you?? Who done it?? Thank you!