Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My excitment is building

because I got two new dressers today at the Habitat for Humanity Restore and that means I have furniture projects.

It has been so long since I have painted/refinished/fancied up something that I almost feel dorky with the level of excitement I feel. I needed to get two new dressers because I have two dressers that are currently falling apart. I guess I shouldn't feel surprised since one was from a thrift store (and made of particle board), and the other was free on the curb (and made of particle board). You get what you pay for (or don't pay for).

This time I got a really good deal on two REAL WOOD dressers from the same set. One will be to hold our t.v. and all of the kids toys downstairs and the other is going in Madsy's closet.

I will post some before pictures once John gets home and helps me take one out of the back of the van. I still have to go back and get the other one tomorrow.

So I'm sorry for this lame-ish post. I just couldn't keep the nerdiness to myself.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

miniature letters and happiness that cost me five dollars

 Sometimes I just like to wander around my house and take pictures to post on my blog--I think because someday I might want to remember what normal used to look like when I had young kids. For example, the other day I had the most inexplicably happy day. All I did was do some grocery shopping and hang out with Grant like every other day. I can't explain why I was so happy, but it might have had something to do with the fact that I bought myself five dollars worth of beautiful flowers.
 I kept trying to capture good photos of them with my cell phone, but knew it was pointless as they were sitting on my window ledge and I was too lazy to take them down to find decent lighting.

But you see, even with the beauty of some unexpected flowers, there are still going to be dishes in the sink. That's real life. It's okay! I still had a great day and the dishes got done eventually. Actually they got done even sooner than they would have otherwise because I had done something nice for myself and improved the view. :)
 An old mission companion told me that Trader Joe's (or Trader Jose's) tortillas were the best she had had since returning from Honduras. That is actually the reason I went the other day. They were quite good. But...they were nothing like fresh. I have tried to make my own flour tortillas in the past to lame results. I will try again.

 I was impressed with myself for making a tasty recipe that was a knock-off of cafe rio's pulled pork salads. It was AMAZING. I don't know if there is a link to it because it is in their cookbook. Wow. That's why I got the tortillas. What a meal. I was such a betty crocker that day. I seared pork shoulder people. That's just crazy. (i hate cooking complicated meat recipes usually)

This photo looks sorta sad because there is a lone tear on her cheek, but the funny thing is that she had stopped crying quite a few minutes earlier and was just excited at this point. Another lost tooth. poor kid gets so nervous every time. I felt so bad for her that I decided to borrow this idea from this blog and write her a little note from the T.F. (tooth fairy of course).

 The original blogger's tooth fairy envelope was cuter, but this got the job done. She was so excited. John said I won "mom of the year award." Yesssss.

 This morning I was getting M ready for church when suddenly I noticed her neck was covered in red spots. I checked her back and stomach and there were red spots in both areas. She was acting completely normal and said they didn't itch (but then I saw her sort of itching later). So I decided to give her some benadryl and keep her home. John took Grant to church with him so he could teach his lesson and I could take care of Mads
 She spent most of the time relaxing on the couch. Poor thing. Has this spot thing ever happened to one of your kids? We aren't using a new laundry soap and we can't think of anything new that we tried. We're a bit stumped.
 So while Mads while resting I got some baked potatoes going
 and walked around the house again, taking pictures of how I changed up the front room (now it has a couch and the train table has a castle instead of trains). We also took out all of the bookcases save for one
 which we kept so that Maddy could have a little area to play with toys with small pieces
 such as her little calico critters. looks like an earthquake hit crittertown

 and these are completely out of order once again.  my blogging impudence knows no bounds apparently. sorry. but this is a cute picture of my buddy laying on my lap and I had to record it for prosperity's sake because he laid there of his own free will and let me pat his hair lovingly for all of about two minutes. it was amazing and adorable and I love his squishy little self.
 still a fan of the binker (na-na as he calls it)

this morning I got fancy with the cinnamon stick in my hot apple cider. it enhanced the flavor by probably about 36%. Definitely worth it.

And lastly, the most adorable picture of 2013 so far, and likely to remain so for the entire year.  It seems amazing, but they actually play together for periods of time now, and quarrel just like normal siblings. Their favorite game is run after each other and tackle each other to the floor while laughing. It's both adorable and, as you might imagine, dangerous. But...I am so glad they have each other. After watching Mary Poppins with Maddy today, I realized they are my little Jane and Michael.  It's silly, but that's the good stuff folks. Happy Sunday.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

speculoos crunch cookie butter and other magical creatures

I am sort of big on the randomness these days and I apologize if that annoys you. It's just the way my brain works these days...i.e. hardly at all.

1. okay, i'll be honest, i went back and deleted the first two that I had originally written on this list because I knew I would offend someone with my bluntness. sometimes being a good person is hard (and makes your blog so much more boring), but probably kinder. :) I will give you a hint. it was about ALT summit. if you know what that is, maybe you already know what I am thinking....

3. I have almost finished the BBC Merlin and I know that I am going to miss the characters so much. this series has been like a good book that you are sad to put down. (Jane, you can watch it on Netflix, and I think you and Terry would love it).

4. I had an amazingly good day today. the sun was shining, Maddy went back to kindergarten (I'm feeling nervous about summer break after this long weekend--I loved having her home, but I suddenly remembered how much work the two of them are together all of the time), and I bought myself some cheap flowers and some sort of magical cookie stuff from Trader Joes called Speculoos Crunchy Cookie Butter. Doesn't that name sound like something straight out of Harry Potter? Well, it is the most amazing thing to hit my taste buds in a long time. Wow. Try it as soon as you can my friends.
 That place grows on me by the second. (probably in inches around my waist).

5. Somebody hurt Maddy on the bus today (not seriously or anything--but definitely on purpose) and I had to write a letter to her teacher. I try to let things work themselves out usually and hate intervening, but I hate even more hearing that my child is getting hurt by another (older) kid.

6. All of the sudden G is talking up a storm and I am delighted by every single word. Except for 'no,' and "Waaaaaaiiitttt!!" (yelled as I am leaving him in his room to go to sleep at night). Which is sorta funny if you think about it. But not funny at the time (every night).

Friday, January 18, 2013

random thought freitag

random thoughts for the day:
 1. I took this mini version of the briggs meyer test the other day for fun and then made John take it. We are both exactly what you would sort of expect--me the emotional intuitive rascal and him the logical engineery stoic. We are on crazy ends of the spectrum and meet right in the middle of being introverts. Him an open introvert, me a secret one. Have you taken it? It's fun. (On a sidenote, I liked this article that tells you what literary character you are like based on this personality test. I'm Anne of Green Gables, so of course that means I am 100% sure that the test is accurate since I love those books). On a side, sidenote, I never had an imaginary friend like Anne. Did you?

2. I'm tired of talking about guns and gun control. It's just one big loop of both sides having "proof" that their way is the right way.
Instead, I would rather we talk about raising our kids right. I think fundamentally it is a moral issue. What are we doing in our homes that have allowed this country to become this way?

3. I read somewhere that in order to get a really good night's sleep the optimum way to achieve that is to have your house slightly cold. I have found that this seems to be true for me and for my kids. Do you like to sleep slightly chilly with cozy blankets to ward off the cold, or are you like my Mom and freeze to death?

Source: via Dana on Pinterest

4. It didn't snow in our neighborhood last night. This was a slight bummer, but then we got over it.

 5. I don't know why, but I keep thinking about how cheerful yellow flowers make me. It's been on my mind for over a week. So weird. (and I don't even have yellow flowers in the house or anything so I have no idea why I keep thinking about this).
Source: via Barbara on Pinterest

 6. Two things I hate about getting dressed every day: pants/shorts and shoes. I hate pants/shorts anything that covers my bottom half because I can never seem to find things that fit me really well and it bugs me every single day. The same goes for shoes. I have always had big feet, but now I have just about sized out of Target shoes and this is a major problem because I am too cheap to pay more than Target prices. I think the shoes I would really like would be a pair of real leather ballet flats from J.Crew, but I am too cheap. And I'm afraid they wouldn't be enough support.  I blame both of these issues on having kids and getting all widened out.

7. The number one thing I love about getting dressed? When I have clean cardigans. I have a cardigan obsession. I also own about ten white t-shirts because I love those too.

8. The best bagel is the sesame bagel. and never talk to me about fruit cream cheeses. nasty. (also I should technically blame the widening out on sesame bagels. but...)

 9. sometimes I feel like my life is written all out in front of me and then sometimes I feel like I am still young and I could do something completely surprising still. I'm not sure.

 10. I just bought Grant a bunch of shirts and fleece pants for $2 from Target clearance for next winter. That's like buying clothes from the Dollar store. Awesome.

11. Weekends are my favorite time to bake. On the roster this weekend is monkey bread. That recipe will be a blast from my past since I haven't made it since I was probably 14 or something.

12. I have two old roommates possibly coming out to NC this year and both have promised to come see me. I'm pretty much thrilled about that.

13. most days I just love the little routine that Grant and I have. It's sort of cozy and non-rushed. Well until dinner time hits, and then all heck breaks loose. heh

14. one of those roommates once convinced me to take German in college because I always wanted to visit Vienna and she said I should take it and then do the study abroad in vienna. I did pretty good in beginning German (I think that may have been because I had an extremely handsome Swiss-German teacher that I was trying to impress) and then in the second german class I got one of my worst grades of all time. and I never went to vienna. but I still love that roommate, so alles gute.

14. things to get done this weekend: clean the bathrooms/toilets, play outside with the kidlets, have game night, work on the lowercase letters with Mads and have her read lots of Bob books to me, search for lost binkies, watch Merlin. Hope you have a low key weekend too!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I cannot get enough of this song, or this band. Travesty of the year? They are only doing a handful of U.S. cities on tour this year--closest one to me is Fairfax, VA, town of my birth. This is the one thing on my realistic bucket list--to hear them in person. I have been trying to do it for the past couple of years without any luck. But I know it will happen someday. They are supposed to be incredible in person. I would buy one of the tickets right next to the stage where you don't sit down. They would be the only band I would do that (because normally I am lazy), but i know I wouldn't be able to stop myself from dancing and singing like a dorky lunatic in public--and all without any shame. It would be awesome.

not much else to report. Grant and I went to the childrens museum today and that wore us both out but good. Any other possessors of two year olds out there that read this blog? If so, is it just my boy, or do all two year-olds take up every ounce of energy plus fifty milligrams that you don't have? I feel dead tired by about 5:00 every day and am positively giddy to see daddy walk through the door. I love that boy, but holy moly.

and now if you'll excuse me, I have a kindle gift card from christmas that is burning a hole in my pocket. what are you reading these days? I have heard good things about The Night Circus from a few people/blogs. I may start with that. Or I may just fall asleep. So many delicious choices.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

sundries and the like

 I will warn you that these photos are completely and utterly out of order. I hope your OCD can handle it, because I can tell you, mine is barely restraining itself (but I'm too tired to give in).
 Mr. Grant had his birthday on the 4th and I have been a bad Mom and not posted pictures until now. I made a cake inspired by a pinterest cake. I would show you the inspiration photo, but I want you to remain impressed by my version. If you saw the professional one, you might think this was the before picture and the other was the after. :)
 We did a construction-eque theme because Grant LOVES construction sites in real life. He points out dump trucks and tractors and all of that other stuff anytime we drive by. It's sort of amazing to me that he can differentiate it out the window of a moving car every time we drive by a construction site, but he does it all the time. What can I say, he's a smart cookie.

 No birthday is complete without balloons if you're a kid. It is the number one thing that makes a kid feel special, I am positive of it.
 Here Mr. G waits like a little gentleman to get his birthday haircut. If I could love him anymore than I do looking at this adorable picture then I think I might burst.

 Making the cake. I told you these were out of order. If it makes you feel better, you can pretend like you are going backwards in time.

 I have these pictures thanks to the amazingness of my friend Kate who came over and celebrated Grant's birthday with us very last minute. I had scheduled an appointment with my realtor to look at some houses and she came over to watch the kids at the last minute and saved my sanity. I probably should have scheduled it for a day other than Grant's birthday, but he is young enough that I figured I wouldn't win any bad mom awards.
Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa Savage, Grant got this awesome Fisher Price garage. I have been looking for one for a LONG time without any luck. Grandma finally decided to end my suffering and get Granty one from ebay. He loves it!
My bus stop buddy right after waking up. His eyes look so sleepy and his hair so tousled. My favorite.
 This was a gate at one of the houses that I went to see. I almost wanted to buy the house just based on this adorable gate. I had to restrain myself people. The price was a bit too high for the size and the kitchen was sort smallish (and both John and I tried to put our elbows up to act like we were shampooing our hair in the master shower and it popped open the door--waaaay too small).
 View from another house.
 I quite liked this one, but...well we will have to see.
 Proof for Grandma Savage that G loves his garage.

 They also had fun in a teepee from Grandma too. I think you are starting to realize what I have known for a long time: My kids would have no fun at all in their lives if they didn't have grandparents.
 Well unless you count the occasional time that Mom lets them play in the sink water.
 I had to get the picture with his little tootsies standing tippy toe on his potty chair. Don't worry, I have not started potty training him yet. I just wanted to get him used to seeing it and get comfortable with it. Maddy keeps trying to potty train him for me and that's pretty funny to watch.
 I saw this picture on my phone and I cracked up and had to post it on my blog. This is the picture I sent to John's phone with the following caption: "WHY??" ha! I texted that because that box was a brand new the night before and sometime that morning he and Maddy had devoured a large number of them and he knows I have a strict policy of not feeding Maddy junk before school because I don't want her to have a sugar crash. He was sheepish about it and then I could only laugh about how funny and silly the whole thing was in the big scheme of things.

 Once I was an awesome Mom and dragged her scooter all the way to the bus stop and let her scooter home. I was a hero that day.
Baby Picasso at it again.

That's been my last few days. Pretty slow and yet sort of anxious filled with the house hunting. We may be putting the house search on a back burner (I think I mentioned that last post), but we are still waiting to hear a few things. I am almost relieved to take a break. I don't really want to move so soon, but I know it will be a good thing for us. We did take this weekend to clean out, organize, and donate a bunch of stuff to Goodwill from our junk drawers, toy drawers, and garage that we still haven't fully unpacked. It felt good, but now I want to get rid of even more. I am sort of over having lots of stuff. It's all about the simplicity this year.

Famous last words, right? :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

i'll tell you

Well I came on to tell you a long story, but the short of the story is that we were looking for a house (and thinking we would just lose our deposit, but make up the lost deposit in cheaper rent in the amount of time left on the lease), but now we are having to wait. This is a little bit sad because we had been searching and JUST found a great house that just came on the market. I don't have high hopes that it will last long, but maybe it will. (also, I think my agent is super annoyed about this, even though she knew we were waiting to hear back from our rental agency). I know houses come and go and something else will come along when our timing is right. It is just hard to be so committed to something--work towards it and feel like it was right--only to be back where you started and learn to be patient. Oh patience, that virtue that is most annoying (and necessary) of all virtues!

Instead I will tell you how Maddy and Grant were playing yesterday and she kept barking at him, "Sergeant, are you listening to me Sergeant?!" I'm not sure where she got that from, but I kept laughing and laughing while I made dinner. It was hilarious and Grant just ignored her orders. P.S. Grant turned the big 2 and I need to write about his birthday. I will very soon!

I'll tell you how I made a hearty vegetable soup with noodles and I felt like a good mom. Getting up the energy and the motivation to listen to whining kids while I cook anything more complicated than three steps is really hard these days. My kids do not like to let me cook, even if I put a movie on for them. Crockpot meals might be the better way to go, but I never remember on time except on Sundays.

I'll tell you how I sometimes still miss things about Utah. I miss going to EmilieJayne and consigning my furniture and knickknacks I would find at D.I. I miss my book club friends. I miss watching the kids walk to school on the sidewalk in front of my house. I miss the mountains and going to Temple Square to see the Christmas lights even though it's freezing. I miss the lion house rolls and sledding. I miss Thanksgiving Pointe and the tulip festival. I miss occasionally going back to BYU and walking around feeling all nostalgic. I mostly miss the people. I love Charlotte, but I still love Utah. It's so weird, especially since I am not even from Utah and I didn't even live there for very long. But there are somethings that really make that place special.

I'll tell you that I am thinking about doing a deep purge this spring and getting rid of lots of stuff and having a garage sale. I'm thinking about how wonderful naptime is when Grant actually sleeps (he's fighting hard today). I'm thinking about how much I love certain shades of yellow and hate other shades of it. I'm thinking about how just making your bed automatically makes you want to climb back in and go to sleep.

I'm thinking about plans for the future and books I want to read and about the pot of indoor crocuses that I bought on sale that are looking so promising. This life is so full of the small things of life isn't it? and yet it feel so full and big sometimes.
Source: via Jeanette on Pinterest