Monday, November 30, 2015

Coat Tree

I can't handle clutter. It makes me anxious. And so this whole business of little kid backpacks, coats, and hats drives me crazy. We now know that my house does not have a mudroom (something I want more than a garage, another thing I'm without), and so I thought about making some sort of "drop zone" in our entry way. But then my smart sister suggested a coat tree. I saw one on Pinterest and thought, yep, that's it. So we did it. I love it. Sure, it doesn't look super neat with stuff hanging on it, but the mess is contained. And the boys now know exactly where their backpacks go. And if it ever gets cold, they'll know where their hats go. Not that I'm complaining about high temperatures in the 60s in late November.

Someone thought it needed a Christmas hat.

Naked. And don't worry: it doesn't sit in the middle of the room.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Lamest Thanksgiving Post You'll Read

Of course there are a million real things for which I'm grateful. But those posts aren't fun. So I present to you: my dumbest gratitude post ever.

The other day when Chuck and I were cleaning out kitchen shelves because of little bugs we like to keep up on household maintenance, we found a pan that we didn't even know we had. Sure, my mom bought me this set when I finished grad school and bought my condo in Orem. Sure this pan was part of the set. But apparently it sat underneath other pans, completely forgotten for at least seven years. And guess what? This pan is perfect. For everything. We've used it thrice already in the ten days since discovery. It's like a tall saute pan, or a short stock pot, or a really wide sauce pan. I'm sure it's got a name. For now, it's just miracle pot.

So on this Thanksgiving Eve, I am grateful for miracle pot, one that's truly changing my kitchen life.

P.S. The picture above shows a sweet potato apple soup. Me. Vegetables. Cooking. Changing my life I tell you.

Friday, November 20, 2015

I Am Feeling Lots of Brave

Sunday afternoon the boys rode their bikes while I walked Bruno. Rhett was on his bike and Ollie on his, one with training wheels. But watching him go, I could just see that he was ready for the training wheels to come off. He had the balance from being awesome on the balance bike. And now he had pedaling down. It was a simple math problem: balance + pedaling = no more training wheels. Plus, I was just tired of those darn training wheels. They weren't made for the bike we were using and he was just so off-centered on that bike. I couldn't handle it anymore. And yes, it's all about me. So when I asked Ollie if he was ready to try riding with no training wheels he said, "YES! I am feeling lots of brave." (Oh I love this kid.) But on the way home we got distracted by two very large birds (falcons? hawks?) and forgot.

Luckily I remembered on Monday (yet another unseasonably warm day). Chuck took Ollie out front and within minutes, the boy was riding. It was just as easy as I hoped. Wednesday I took him to the tennis courts to let him practice turning and he did great. Next up: Braking! Starting on his own!

Seriously, this is one of the best moments in parenthood, right? Watching your kid ride a bike for the first time? Oh, it is for me.


I'm okay!

Friday, November 13, 2015

What's Going On

When asked what I've been doing lately, the answer is a genuine, "I don't know." (This seems to be a recurring theme.) Chuck and I (mostly Chuck) cleaned out all of our kitchen cabinets Monday night, but that's only because we found one too many little bugs residing in them. (That takes care of anyone accepting dinner invites to our house, does it not?) It's like I don't have enough time to finish anything to completion, so while I guess I'm busy doing "stuff," there's nothing to show for it. Here are the works in progress:

Christmas planning. I want to get it all done before Thanksgiving so December can be that much more enjoyable. I'm particularly excited about the presents for grandparents this year.

Family pictures planning. I found a necklace for me and picked out shirts for the boys. I am happy that the weather Saturday is supposed to be sunny!

Working. My work has turned curiously busy. Blah.

Singing. I joined my stake choir and have actually been practicing my songs at home. Rhett does NOT enjoy my singing. He told me. Ha. Our stake conference is two weeks away and President Russell M. Nelson will be in attendance. Cool.

Bussing. Rhett's school is being demolished in January. All students will be bussed to the holding school for 1.5 years. Because of this, he won't be getting home until about 4:40 every day. Can you imagine?! And just think, next fall when Ollie starts kindergarten, Chuck will come home around 3:30 and we will be childless together for over an hour. WHOA. Better start making a list of things we should do, but never will.

Thinking. A lot about the hubbub surrounding the church that started at the end of last week. But I will refrain from commenting about it on my blog. However, am happy to chat about it in person.

Crafting. As my boys and nieces and nephews age, it seems the opportunity for handmade gifts dwindle. I had three baby gifts to make recently, so I assembly-lined some winter hats. But I want to get working on two other gifts, grandparents gifts, and Christmas cards.

Agonizing. Even though I only have to teach Gospel Doctrine every other week, it's on my mind constantly, and not in a good way. If I have a full head of grey hair when I'm released from this calling, you'll know why.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Family Pictures Outfit

Thanks for your comments and suggestions on my "Drop Zone" post. I think we're going to go for the least-invasive procedure: a DIY coat tree. I think we'll attempt it this weekend, even though there's really no rush because it's been in the 70s here this week. Every time I put on a tank top for running I think, "For sure it's the last time I'll wear one of these this season," but then Mother Nature decides otherwise. This is in no way a complaint.

But now I need your opinion on a different matter: We have an appointment to get some family pictures done next weekend. The last time we did them professionally, Ollie wasn't born. My sister took some for us when Ollie was 1 (look how cute he was!) and we've taken some with a timer, but that's it. So we thought we'd employ a friend who is also a photographer. And of course, it is an excuse for me to get something new to wear.

For a lot of people, going into a craft or fabric store sends their pulse racing and heart beating. This is my response to clothing stores. My anxiety levels skyrocket, and I immediately want to walk right back out the door. A good friend offered to go shopping with me but I'm sure she regrets it now. Anyway, by some miracle, I found a top. I like it. It's simple, but the quilting is interesting (to me). Here it is:

Just in case you can't tell, it's a quilted sweatshirt. But because I'm me, I don't know how to finish the outfit. I think I'll end up in jeans, but what else? Collared shirt underneath? Statement necklace? Pendant necklace? Scarf? WHAT?!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


After 164 issues of a sacrament program, 179 issues of a Relief Society bulletin, and a numberless amount of candy taken from the Bishop's desk (upon which he has a candy jar), I'm done! Released of those callings! And sadly, I never was brave enough to carry out one of these genius ideas. I should have, I really should have. Oh the regrets.

P.S. Even though I won't miss my Friday trips to the church to make the copies, I will definitely miss having a master key to the church.

P.P.S. I went out with a bang. Totally made a typo, an unintentional one! D'oh!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween: 2015

Of course we can't do Halloween just once. No. that would be too easy.

First: Ollie's School Celebration (Rhett's school doesn't do any Halloween).

This pose is so Ollie.

Second: Church Trunk or Treating.
Crouching tiger, hidden potion.

Rhett's selfie.

Can you tell what I am? I'm Chuck! And he's me! (Well, we're the Saturday morning versions of each other.)

Third: Neighborhood Trick or Treating.
The witch in the bushes was a last-minute addition to our Halloween decorations. Kinda love it.

Just to show the whole house. And yes, sigh, Ollie has to go to the bathroom.

Fourth: The Loot
For the first time ever, I'm considering donating it. It really is just too much.

The boys had a good time. They were plagued with a stomach bug over the weekend, so Candy Day is still at a date to be determined, but I'm sure the boys will enjoy that just as much. I mean, it's Halloween. It's the second-best kid holiday of the year!

And now to start planning Christmas.