Sunday, August 28, 2011

Well holy cow, has it been a while or what? Can we talk about how these last few weeks have been insanely busy? Life has been flying by at 100 miles an hour. Russ and I are sitting in a dark room on our bed watching the lightening light up the room as the storm of the century slams our little blue house. I'm feeling so exhausted, finally calm, and extremely grateful for the last few weeks we have just experienced. Let me try to do a little re-cap.

1. Celebrated the life of Lisa and attended her funeral. As is to be expected, it was very, very sad and my head hurt from crying so much, but at the same time the whole weekend was such a beautiful tribute to such an amazing mother, daughter, wife, aunt, and friend. We were with family, and family makes everything better, doesn't it?

2. Attended girls night with some of my favorite people -- my own mother, my mother-in-law, and my two amazing sister-in-laws -- eating burgers at In-N-Out and seeing The Help. It doesn't get much better than that. And just for the record, I absolutely loved the movie. After reading the book you never know how it will compare, but it did. Go see it, you won't regret it :)

3. Helped throw a bridal shower for my cousin Megan (daughter of Lisa) who's due in just 5 weeks! She's such a cute little pregnant woman and I can't wait to meet her little son, Lincoln. We also got to play with the daughter of my other cousin named Megan, Frankie Jane, who's just a few months old. Oh my, that little girl is adorable. Look at those big blues.

 4. Did yard work in practically every free second we could find. We pulled more weeds than I thought possible. We got bit by more mosquitos than I've ever been bitten by. And we dug more trenches for sprinklers than I hope to ever dig again. Let's just put it this way -- we will really appreciate the yard once we have it. :) Thank goodness for the ditch-witch and those amazing friends and family who helped us out. You know who you are -- we really appreciate it.

 5. Successfully found the perfect "greige" paint color for my living room and finally painted an outcome I love. I know, you were all worried. Pictures are soon to come.

6. Attended my other cousin Melissa's mission farewell (another daughter of Lisa). She leaves to serve for our church in Warsaw, Poland in just a week and a half. She will be amazing. Oh wait, she already is. This is my "little" brother Jace next to Melissa. He's really tall, and she's really short. He just got home from his mission, she's just leaving. Precious, no?
7. Hung out with my family. Lots. And loved every second of it.

Point of the story? Life has been insanely busy, and honestly, I can't wait till summer winds itself down and we can settle into our routine. But I am grateful for the memories that have been made, and I couldn't have gotten through these last few weeks without the amazing family, friends, and husband I have been blessed with. Sometimes life throws you some curve balls, but the people you are surrounded by can really make everything just a little brighter.

The storm is ending, and it is now time to sleep. Goodnight to you all.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Russ and I are back to being daily "workers," meaning we get ready for work in the morning together, kiss each other on the way out the door, and say "hello again" at the usual 5:30 or 6:00. Yep, we are workers. It's good to be in a routine, and most of all, we are grateful for jobs. Those few months I wasn't working were fun... for the most part. You really start feeling like "heck, I need to be productive." So yes, we are grateful for work.

With that being said, during the day I take a few breaks to let my mind relax. Most of the time that involves anything on Pinterest. There are hundreds of inspiring images that get my mind carried away of what our house could look like someday. But I also love the random images that make me chuckle out loud. I've started a little trend where I send Russ a daily email with a funny image I saw on Pinterest. This image was from today. I think these little magnets would suit us perfectly, no?


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I have been putting off this post for many reasons, mostly because I don't even have words to describe the feelings inside of me. But before I avoided it completely, I reminded myself that this blog's primary purpose is for documenting life, and with life comes death. I know, that is quite a somber difference from the kitchen's face-lift. But as we are so humbly reminded, life is a gift not to be taken for granted, for it can quickly be taken away. Such is the case for my beautiful, sweet, amazing Aunt Lisa who passed away last Friday after a valiant fight with cancer. She was 46 years old.

This picture is of Lisa with her husband Jerry and 3 of her 4 children on my wedding day, taken by my Uncle Craig. (Megan, who is approximately my age, was on a mission for the church at the time). Looking at this picture reminds me how Lisa quietly worked behind the scenes on our wedding day to make sure everything was put together at the reception. She tied bows onto chairs and arranged table settings with a smile, serving with kindness as she always did. I have always said Lisa was one of the kindest people in the world. In the 25 years I have known her I never heard her raise her voice or talk negatively about anyone. She was truly Christ-like and always thought about everyone but herself.

She was diagnosed with Stage 4 Glioblastoma (a certain type of brain cancer) less than a year after this picture was taken. Merely 1 year and 3 months later she went home to our Heavenly Father. When we heard the news Friday night, my initial feelings were of frustration and anger. WHY HER?!? Why that family?!? After crying it out for a bit, I was overcome with the most calming feeling. I had the distinct feeling that Lisa was in the Lord's arms, literally being embraced by Him. She was home. She was free of pain. She was happy.

We will all miss Lisa so much, but her mission on earth was complete. I am grateful to have known her. Aunt Lisa's legacy of Christ-like service will always live on in my heart. I love you Lisa!

The Kitchen Got a Facelift

Friday, August 12, 2011

We got back from our trip on Sunday night, and immediately delved into some little projects around the house. The main attraction this week? THE KITCHEN! Here are a few (horrible) before pictures of our messy kitchen: :)

This was kind of an awkward space I wasn't quite sure what to do with. Paint? Gallery wall? Piece of furniture? It also didn't help that I was having a hard time going with a particular "theme" in the kitchen. Keep reading to find out how I remedied this situation.

One of my favorite DIY house blogs is Young House Love. They once referred to these way-too-commonly-used light fixtures as "boob lights." You see it, right? That phrase comes to my mind every time I see them. Unfortunately, our builders used these lights in every room, or in this case 5 times in one area!! There are way too many boobs in this picture. Excuse my language please.

So we got down and dirty this week. I know wallpaper is all the rage these days, and there was one particular print I couldn't get out of my head. It caught my attention probably a year ago, so I finally decided to make the plunge and do it. My older and much wise sister once made the comment that the bolder decorating decisions she has made, as opposed to the "safe" options, are her favorite. She is so wise, I tell 'ya. Just a week before that I had painted our living room and went with the utlra "safe" option. Yeah, I hate it. Hence, the bold decision of the Orla Kiely wallpaper. :)

 I'm in love with that color of blue, and doing this wall has given me such a good starting point to decorating the rest of the kitchen. No more random purchases for me, thank you very much. I really had no clue whatsoever how to put up wallpaper. It ended up being a lot bigger project than I had anticipated (aren't they always?) and took three evenings instead of one. But with the help of a few YouTube videos and a patient husband, I conquered my first wallpaper experience. Whew!

You may also have spotted the other new addition to our kitchen. I present our new pendant light fixture:

Let's all take a moment and realize how much better this is than the boob light. I especially like how it defines the eating area from everything else since the kitchen, dining area and living room are pretty much just one big room. We got it from Overstock. Gotta love that $2.95 shipping.

And last not least, we put some handles and knobs on those dark cabinets of ours. It's amazing how much easier drawers and cabinets are to use with hardware. We bought the hardware from Ikea.

So how 'bout that facelift? It feels so good to get some of those projects out of the way. 

Next in line? The yard. Dun dun dun...

Trinity Lake

Monday, August 8, 2011

You know how they say all good things must come to an end – well it’s unfortunately true for our family trip to the lake. We spent 4 days up in Northern California in the Shasta National Forest at Trinity Lake. Oh my goodness. You would have thought we had all died and gone to heaven. Since this lake is in a national forest, there are no lake cabins or condos surrounding the lake which significantly reduces the traffic on the water. You know what that means – glass. It would be middle of the afternoon and the water would be pristine glass and we were the only boat in sight. Huh!??! Usually we are fighting off crowds, especially on a Saturday morning in August. Add gorgeous scenery and perfect weather and you have a perfect little weekend. Let’s just say my family loved this lake and being on a houseboat together so much we’re already thinking about next year. 

We all practiced our wakeboarding and slalom skiing skills, got in a little tubing, and even learned how to “skurf.” I can now say I have gotten up on a surfboard… on a lake behind a boat. We blasted good tunes under the sun by day, played games around the table and watched movies on the projector by night. 

Most importantly, we were together. It was a good time had by all. Until next year, Trinity Lake. 

To the Lake We Go... Again

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It's true. We're off again to the lake, one of my very favorite places. This time we're heading to northern California and roughin' it on a houseboat. Oh I absolutely cannot wait. I need this vacation bad. 

For some reason these last few weeks have been unexpectedly stressful! It's probably a combination of my new job(s), a new house (and all that comes with it), and just life I guess. You know it's bad when your new neighbor/friend looks at you and says "are you OK? You look stressed." I've known her 3 weeks, but she's already one of my best friends. You want proof? She left a McDonald's gift card on my doorstep for some $1 Large Diet Cokes to help relieve the stress. Yup, that's how I know.

I did get one exciting little package last night that makes me excited to come back. Let's just say my kitchen walls don't even know what's coming. :)

Have a good and sunny weekend everyone!