Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Like mother... like daughter

The best part about having little things that I do that drive Hayden crazy, is having a daughter that does the same things... without prompting.  He thinks I am secretly coaching her on the side.

Give me a good cob (or 10) of fresh corn on the cob, and I turn into a ravenous eater.  (Hayden says I hunch over and grow fangs... very funny Hayd).  A couple weeks ago we had corn on the cob with dinner, and Aspen helped herself to a cob, pushed away her dinner, and finished off 3 cobs of corn.   HA, HAYDEN... now you get to deal with 2 corn chicks.

My affection for "smelly crap" (given that title by Hayden) is also shared with Aspen.  She loves smelling everything... and I mean everything.  Get me and her in Bath & Body Works, and poor Hayden doesn't stand a chance.

She loves going for walks (same with me, not Hayd), winter squash (ditto, but not Hayd), complains about being cold (me too, Hayden is always just fine or too hot), she loves to help me in the garden, and loves yard work.  

Some of her characteristics and likes, I'm sure she came with, but many she picks up from watching me.  Today I yelled at the dog and ten seconds later she did the same thing.  Guess I better be careful... I have a little copy cat in my midst.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Did I mention I'm a Gardner?

I love my heritage.  We had a family reunion this weekend in Neola, Utah.  This town is probably one of the most beautiful, peaceful places on the earth (I'm nostalgic, I admit) .  Some of my relatives from California,  whom I love dearly, came, so it was well worth the trip out to the basin just for that. 

A bit about my mom's parents:  My Grandma Toni and Grandpa Roy are some of the most unconditionally loving people in the world.  Every time I drive back into Neola, I have fond memories of staying at their house, grandma's beautiful gardens and flowers, and her mad skills (quilting, sewing, cooking, gardening, canning, home repair... and she does a pretty wicked job on drywall too).  But mostly I just remember feeling loved...
Regardless of what life brought...
Without fail.

I hope someday my future generations can say the same about me.  That is a legacy of love I would love to pass on. 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

older and wiser

I'm having mixed feelings about this whole birthday thing this year.  Hayden has made sure to point out that I'm half-way to 80 years old, and definitely loves to point out (on my birthday)  that he is 3 years younger than I am... even if only for 3 months.

Here are some of my thoughts about life in my final hours as a 30-something-ish gal.
Kids: they grow up way too fast, and I think I've finally figured out how to slow down, spend the extra time, and do things that matter.  Which brings me to my next one...

Time:  there are only so many days and hours I have been given here on this earth.  The realization of this has made me be very selfish with my time.  There are so many things that  demand my precious time, and I have had to let some things go for the benefit of my sanity.  My first place I choose to be is home... second is anywhere with Hayden or my kids.

My body:  sometimes fighting gravity isn't worth it.  I've come to love running, and am very grateful my knees, feet and other body parts still function well enough to let that continue to happen.  I know I won't ever have my 20-something body back... accepting that is another thing.  Wrinkles are not my friend.

The daily grind:  I've tried to find something each day to be grateful for by the end of the day.
I hate cleaning bathrooms. 
I love teaching school.

My life:  I've had my share of mountains to climb... many of them on my own .  Those have made me the person I am today.   Going through them again would literally put me in my grave, however, I wouldn't trade them for anything because of how I've grown and what I've learned.  Being ok with myself makes everything else much easier.

Friends:  one word: invaluable!! They have been my soft place to fall, my listening ear, and my support when my life was at it's worst.  Misty, Becky, Karin, Kellie, Clay, Hayden... I'm talking to you.  Thanks.  Love you.

My husband:  seriously the best thing that has ever happened to me.  Period.  After climbing the above noted mountains, having a good man by my side is something I am very grateful for.  He is my best friend, my biggest cheerleader, a great amazing dad, and a very hard worker.  We get along beautifully, and I believe my trials helped bring me to him.

The next 40 years:  not too sure how I feel about more sagging, wrinkles, aches and pains, and the likes, but hopefully if I have a good attitude, find something to love everyday, and find joy in the small things, then every day, every month, every year should be something I look forward to.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

10 in 10 days

I'm taking up a challenge from a blog I follow to complete 10 (unfinished) tasks in 10 days.
I specialize in UN-finished projects/tasks.
I am the MASTER.
Most of mine, however, are tasks that require most of the 10 days to finish.
That was what I thought before I started looking for some over the past couple days.

So here are my 10 things that I am going to finish up before I run off to Vegas on the 3rd:
1. finish cutting coupons
2. finish my window screens
3. paint my outside patio doors (this has been unfinished for the past 2 years)
4. sew a button on Hayden's work pants
5. watch and return a video (this will be a rough job)
6. vacuum behind/in between the couches
7. finish vinyl menu boards
8. mop the bathroom floor
9. go through Aspen's closet/clothes
10. finish one of the 1,235 sewing projects I have started.

I'm on the clock.  
I better get started... 

UPDATE (June 29):  with 3 days left to finish, I have to say that most of my tasks have been left until the last minute (shocker).  I finished #1 the first day, and today I completed #4, 5, 8, and 10.  I actually finished about 6 projects in my sewing stash... so I should get bonus points for that.  Still dreading painting the patio doors.

Monday, June 21, 2010

letter to my 3 year old

My Dear beautiful Aspen,

I still can't believe it has been 3 years since you have joined us.  I've thought a lot this week about that day.  We checked into the hospital on Saturday, but your dad wished that you would come on father's day (on Sunday).  Well, he got his wish, and you have been the best father's day present he could ever hope for. 

The poem that goes "when she was good, she was REALLY REALLY good, and when she was bad she was horrid" could have been written about you.  You are so cheerful when you wake up (on your own).  You come in and ask how I slept, and tell me you have slept good.  You are always cheerful and love to play with others... until you get tired... then the horrid part comes out.  An afternoon nap seems to do the trick, and two hours later, my little sweet girl emerges with her smile once again.

You are so smart.  You use words I am amazed you know how to say, let alone know how to use in context.  The other day you set out all your dinosaurs and put the mountains in the distance and informed me it was the "mysterious beyond".  You have a little attitude and recently have taken to telling your dad and I "NO" when we ask you to do something.  You put your hands on your hips and walk around the house like you own the place.  You know your colors (red and green you still get mixed up), and know how to count above 13, and even know how to count in Spanish, but you always seem to miss the number 3. 

Your brother Brenden loves to tease you.  He takes your ball, until you cry for it (you aren't too big on the sharing thing), then he takes your baby stroller, until you cry for it, then he is back to your ball... and the cycle goes on.  You are Wade's little shadow.  You love to climb on him and follow him around.

Books are your weakness.  You have decided that the front porch is the reading spot, and if I am sitting out there, you say "oh... lemme get a book", and in you go... and out you come, usually with "Give a Mouse a Cookie" or "Goodnight Moon" or (your favorite... that you can recite) "Go, Dog, Go".  This week I even spotted you out reading your new dragon book to the neighbors little dogs.

You are a beautiful girl.  I've always thought so (because to me you are always beautiful), but other people have always commented on your beauty.  This past Saturday I was in the middle of talking to someone, when you turned to look at them.  In mid-sentence they stopped and said "wow, she is beautiful". 

Dad has taught you this week to say "Dad is the King", which he is pretty proud of because no matter how much he has tortured me in the past 6 years, I have never given in and told him he was the KING.  And to you, he is THE KING.  And you are his Princess.  You love to "nuggle" in bed next to him.  He loves to feed your addiction to chocolate milk.  You love to jump on his back and say "Monkey on the back", and he pretends to try to shake you off.  He jumps on your trampoline with you, plays ball, goes on walks and Bronco rides with you.  You are his world.

To me, however, you have been a chance to love being a mom again.  To tell you stories and tuck you into bed.  To smell the baby part of you be replaced by summer sweat of a toddler.  To love again.  You lie asleep in my lap right now, and I watch you sleep knowing that the minute I turn my head you will be 18 and running off to college, and no longer my little girl. 

I love you so much.  Thanks for all you have given to your dad and me.  You keep us laughing, worrying, and living.

Love always,

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

summer bucket list in FULL swing

We wasted no time in getting into our summer check off list.  With a little help from Utah Connect Pass, we had entry into several places to pick from.  In one day we hit Discovery Gateway, Clark Planetarium (and 2 movies there), Gateway water fountains, and lunch at Lion House.  Aspen had her first "warm sidewalk" experience at Gateway.  She was cold and when I showed her to lie on the warm ground... that's where she stayed... until we left.

Thanksgiving Point's Museum of Ancient Life (dinosaur museum) was also checked off.  Brenden and Wade even got their hands wet and played in the erosion pool.  Aspen's favorite parts are the big shark, the water part, and the sand area at the end which she calls "the dig".  This is a favorite place of hers, and one we drive by on our way home often (which means she INSISTS that we take her there).

Yesterday we hit Hogle Zoo.  This is another of Aspen's favorite.  She had to hold on to the zoo map when she got home for a nap, and for the rest of the evening. 

Still on our Utah Pass is Tracy Aviary, Olympic Park, Museum of Natural History/Fine Arts, Red Butte Garden, Snowbird & This is the Place park.

Today I was able to hang out with Brenden for the afternoon.  We went to a movie, got lunch, and just had some nice chill/visit time.  Going out on individual "dates" with each of the boys is DEFINITELY on my list of things to do for each of the times they are here this summer.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I HEART spray paint. VERY MUCH!!!

I've been following blogs that give me some great furniture remodeling ideas.  I've been too afraid to try any until I got tired of my 2 pink chairs, 2 white chairs, and 1 brown chair in my kitchen (along with a hand me down table).  OH BABY... bring on the black spray paint, and suddenly my kitchen set matches.  I still have to finish the top of the table, but at least they look like they go together.

I was sitting in my living room the other day noticing all the different types of wood my furniture has, and decided to do something about it.  First off, trying to decide a color.  My sister said I should have done something like a sea-foam green or a mustard yellow, but I am too chicken, so for me it was deciding between black and white.  White=bright... so it won.

I have done my cedar chest, an end table, a wicker chair, and a parsons bench (although the bench still needs to be recovered on the seat and back).  I must say, they TOTALLY impressed me how they turned out... especially the cedar chest.  Here are my before and after pics:

the edges looked worn and had been bumped numerous times, and one of the sides of the skirt had come loose and had to be screwed back together.

after: I tried spray painting the original handles but failed miserably (apparently spraying it one color and then changing your mind doesn't bode well in spray paint land).  Off to home depot to find handles that matched.  Had to drill new holes for these but you can't even tell.

Other pieces I've been working on:
wicker chair took a few coats (3) until I learned that EXPENSIVE spray paint which costs 4 times that of the cheap stuff, is worth about 7 cans of the cheap stuff (or more).  Seriously.  Spend the extra money... just a tip.

I found a $60 inch-and-a-half wood frame at Big Lots that was on clearance for $2.  CHA-CHING.  It had some little saying on it and was scratched in a place or two, but I had been DYING to own one of these for a long time, so I had to buy it.  Two coats of spray paint later, and some cute vinyl and it is now one of my favorites in my house.  It felt too lonely on the wall, so I put some more vinyl on the wall to give it some flourishes. 

I still have a few things on my list of things to finish.  The table below is now all white, and has been antiqued as well, and it looks great.  I am tempted to paint the big wooden bookshelves I have in my front room but am still too chicken to take that on.  I did however buy a cute little night stand at DI yesterday for $5, and it is definitely on my REDO list next... I'll post more of it when I start it.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Mom & Son Cooking... new blog

Wade and I share a love of cooking.  He is going to be good someday (he has plans to start taking cooking classes his senior year from the technical college).  I can't get him to blog much (3 posts in almost 2 years), but he came up with the idea to make a food blog: cook up recipes we find, report on them, and let others know which ones to try.  So far he has 3 postings in 2 days... from my NON-blogging child.  That is called MOTIVATION.
Take a peek and let us know what you think (or leave a comment and make his day).

On this Blog: