Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Pregnancy insomnia: I really, really dislike you.
As if the sore shoulders and hips and numb hands each morning aren't enough.

It's after 2am. I feel naughty being up, like I'm seventeen again, and am battling with common sense versus the desire to keep on talking on the phone to Dean.
Remember those days? Courting?  How quickly the time flies!

But back to the issue at hand - insomnia - or maybe it has more to do with my mind being in overdrive.
Since this baby always practices her gymnastics in the wee hours of the morning, I can't help but start thinking of our upcoming move.  I don't know for sure where we're going, or when.

And that is a terrible, terrible thing if you want to be nesting.

But looking through old photos and remembering life in the early days of your marriage and family is a good way to take your mind of things.
This one has got to me one of my all time favorites! And it's not because it will win any photography contests, it's because the two faces in the photo are so beloved and because they are faces of people that belong to me.

Gosh, my boys are handsome!
Now I know I will have sweet dreams once more.  Good night!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Doing not Thinking

run the kids to school
stop at the grocery store
drop form off at district office
marinate chicken for tomorrow's lunch
meet the loan officers (bring something to occupy the boys)
determine if the pest inspection means termite inspection
call about home insurance
call the dentist about Aubrey's chipped tooth
early release today - pick up kids at 12:25

Whew, it feels better to write it all down so I can imprint it in my brain.
Did I miss anything?  
I'm a list person. That's my morning list.  I'll worry about the afternoon list later.

Perhaps busy mothers are a hazard on the road.  While driving this morning, I saw somebody walking on the side of the road and was brought back to my days working for American Red Cross. For some reason I was remembering crisp button-up sleeveless tops and black capris with strappy sandals.  And shopping for work attire. And the air conditioned office.  And the rows and rows of files that I made sense of.  And the sense of freedom during lunch break. And dressing up as a nurse to walk in the parade with Erica. And before I knew it, I had driven half a mile with no recollection of driving it.

Right now I am wearing crocs, faded capris, and the orange fingerprints left by my son's cheeto-y hands.  
I have bills around me, waiting to be filed, and a bag of toys and snacks to pack before I head to our appointment with the loan officers.  

I am in autopilot mode; I am doing, not thinking.
These thoughts just bring a smile.
Thats all.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Breath of Fresh Air

This is what you do when you've had a busy, stressful weekend:
head out and enjoy some beautiful scenery and stretch your legs.

Sprinkles didn't even deter us.

We found a rope swing at the top of the mesa.  I would have loved to stay under this tree for a good hour.

But the lightning did send us in search of lower ground, thus cutting our excursion short.

What a wonderful breath of fresh air that was.

(insert giggling and squealing here)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Today I am remembering a craft we did a month ago, when the days seemed very leisurely and carefree.
We sat at the kitchen table and messed in this.

Yes, that is the ooey-gooey paper mache paste of flour and water.

We made masks out of milk jugs.  I thought they turned out pretty neat.  Especially after being painted.

We made a big mess, but the kids had a lot of fun making these.  

Today, my mind is going in a million directions and the last thing I want is a paper mache or any other craft mess to add to my growing to-do list.
School starts in 8 days, I have two signing classes to teach next week, and I am due in about 6 weeks. That's all manageable, right? Except that we just received the news that we have to move.  Apparently one of our landlord's is going to be moving back here.  
Suddenly, I hate renting.  

So now I am trying to find boxes, as I have all of two.
And, we are trying to find a place to live.
Oh, and can I complain about one more thing? Donovan is running a fever.
Wish me luck, I kind of feel that I'm going to need it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

DIY - end tables

It all started when I got an itch to rearrange my living room.

I had finally replaced my 8 1/2 year old lamps which no longer could hold their shades, and I decided my just-as-old $10 garage sale end tables needed to go too.  Oh, I still liked the look of the end tables, but it was past time to update.
While browsing online, I came across a tutorial to make your own modern end tables! For only $9 a piece! Sweet!  I was sold.

After coming home from Home Depot with my lumber already cut for me, Dean asked if I had to turn on the charm to swing that one.
I replied that I didn't have to, just look at me.
I mean, I was obviously pregnant, 7 months to be exact, and here I was looking at 12 foot long pieces of 2x12 lumber.  I had two workers in their orange vests rushing to my aid in about two and half minutes.  :)

So I sanded and I sanded my cut lumber.

Then I assembled my tables, which are basically a cube.  Super simple, if you have clamps, which I didn't. At one point, Dean asked me why he was spending so much time un-doing all my mistakes, namely screws that went in crooked or that I had stripped.  I just smiled at him.
After counter-sinking the screws, I had to use wood filler to cover up my holes, not to mention the dozen cracks. Apparently, 2x12's are not made for furniture, they are made for building houses. Duh.
Well I was just following the instructions on the internet.  Besides, had I used pine 1x12's, it would not be as sturdy, and with kids, you need sturdy.
Besides, I think they came out nicely, don't you?

This is with a coat of ponderosa pine stain.  I didn't like it.  You could still see my wood filler and it looked more rustic than modern.  My new leather furniture needed something more sleek looking.  Not to mention something taller.  So back to Home Depot I went to pick up some primer and black paint, as well as to get my scraps split so I could make stands/feet for my tables.

With all the rain we've been getting, it took longer for the coats of paint to dry than I thought.  When I finally had a sunny morning, I brought everything outside.  That was a mistake. The sun was too strong and my paint was doing something funny on the tops of the tables.  Hence my little shade operation. Is this redneck or what?

And a few days and a few coats of polyurethane later, I finally have some new end tables in my living room!

I love them! They are perfectly imperfect, knot holes and all! 
(I discovered that black is not black. I didn't have too many black color choices with the store brand, 
but I might have paid more for a blacker black had I known my tables would end up looking blue/black).

I like them even more in the new house...our current living room

I will not, however, figure out how much my cheap end tables ended up costing me.  
Sure, the lumber was only $9 per table, but what about the wood filler, screws, stain, paint, polyurethane, new brushes.....oh never mind.  

I had fun making them. In fact, I have the plans already printed out for another wood project to go in the living room that will match my new look!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Will you miss it?

Our summer is almost over - school starts in ten days.  To me summer means sunny, carefree days.
Wait!? There's only ten days left of summer?!  But we haven't had enough sunny, carefree days!

All these rainy, gray days we've had the last few weeks are good for our parched earth, but bad for my mood.  So when we finally had a full day of clear blue skies and sunshine at the end of last week, I jumped for joy.  Well, maybe I just sat and soaked up the sun.  The kids did all the rolling, flipping, and jumping for joy for me.

I love that summer is green grass and bare, tan feet...

picnics at the park, views that never get old (at least if you live in Flagstaff)...

hot slides, yellow wildflowers, and sun-kissed faces

...yes I will miss summer. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

pure therapy

I spent my day on the sewing machine yesterday.  It was pure therapy.

While my wood project was drying, I decided to try my hand at making some more dresses.  This time for a baby gift. Since I have never made this particular dress before, I made a practice one first.

This has got to be the easiest dress to sew.  It's a variation of the pillowcase dress.  I used some of my scrap fabric for this practice run.  I'm guessing the size is about 3-6 months, so my little cherub will wear this one.  Once I get a wider ribbon for the ties, anyway.

And this larger one is going to be a gift.  I absolutely love the Amy Butler fabric (thanks Amber)!  And the coolest thing about this dress? It grows with baby.  It can be worn as a dress in summer or paired with leggings and a long sleeve shirt in winter.  It can then be worn as a shirt since the ties are totally adjustable.

I can't wait to use more of this adorable fabric on some more dresses. 

Where did that middle trimester energy go?
I have lots I want to get done before this baby makes her arrival!

Monday, August 1, 2011

I could go for more 'boring'

How can a summer be so boring for my kids, yet so busy for me? I have heard a lot of "I'm bored" and "There's nothing to do."  Yet I have felt like I've run non-stop.

Since our vacation, we've packed in swim lessons for the oldest three, summer colds, swimmer's ear infections, one case of walking pneumonia, a day of swimming with cousins in Phoenix, four days with some Finn company, a trip to the Grand Canyon, swimming in Sedona, and a weekend sleepover with a friend. 

When Dean asked me on Saturday if we had any grand plans for the day, I said "Thank goodness, no!" 
I am happy that we have a nice normal, 'boring' week ahead of us. 

It means I can finish the project I started a couple weeks ago.  No, its not sewing this time. It involves wood, a sander, and a drill.

Funny story:  about a month ago, when I was on a sewing kick and making a lot of trips to Joann's, Donovan let me know exactly what he thought of my fabric shopping.  We had pulled up to Joann's, right in front of the store sign.  My two year old immediately said "No! Don't want to!"
The poor kids had made almost every trip for fabric with me.  And choosing fabric is not a quick decision.

Lately, I've been making a few trip to Home Depot and Ace Hardware, some by myself, some not.
This morning, we made a run for some wood.  After coming home and starting working, I realized that I needed longer screws.  Darn, I was just there! But I want to finish this thing. "Let's run to Ace Hardware, kids" I called.
They were not pleased.  
I don't know what I would have done if there wasn't the promise of popcorn!

Alright, I'm headed back to my project, which I am very eager to finish and bring in the house.  
Promise I'll share once its done.